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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Defibrillator Provided to Health District

The Westport Weston Health District is the latest facility to receive an automatic external defibrillator (AED) as part of the Town of Westport’s ongoing effort to protect its citizens and visitors by placing the devices in public facilities.

The health district facility at 180 Bayberry Lane joins Westport Town Hall, Westport Center for Senior Activities, Westport Public Library and all public schools in having the devices if there is an emergency.

First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said additional units are needed to continue to meet the town’s goal of having an AED available to anyone who has a heart attack within five minutes.

Westport has been recognized by the Connecticut Department of Public Health as a “HeartSafe Community” because of the CPR training provided to residents and the AEDs available in public facilities.

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03/29/07 07:44 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Two Injured in I-95 Crash

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Westport and Fairfield firefighters worked together today at a mid-day accident on I-95 that sent two people to Norwalk Hospital. The firefighters responded to the two-car accident at 12:45 p.m. in the northbound lanes between exits 18 and 19. The accident involved a box truck driven by a Milford man and a Volvo driven by a New York woman. The left lane of the highway was closed to traffic for more than a hour. Firefighters cleared the scene at 1:55 p.m. when state police reopened the lane to traffic. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

03/29/07 06:43 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Westport Hosts Sexual Assault Awareness Campaign Kickoff

By Jennifer Connic

The region’s leaders made it clear today they hope people will say it loud in tackling and ending sexual violence.

The Stamford-based Sexual Assault Crisis and Education center kicked off its 2007 “Say it Loud Campaign” at Westport Town Hall with a function that featured speeches from federal, state and local officials, and those in attendance included high school students and law enforcement officials.

“We need to call attention to this serious problem,” Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said. “We think it does not happen in places like Westport, but it does. It happens in places people cannot imagine.”

He cited a minor who was arrested last Friday on sexual assault charges (See WestportNow March 23).

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Westport Reads Concludes

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In the final event for Westport Reads 2007 Wednesday night, John Marchese (r), author of “The Violin Maker,” spoke about the craft and also introduced master violin maker Sam Zygmuntowicz.  Zygmuntowicz was the figure at the center of the book, which focuses on his building a violin for Eugene Drucker, of the Emerson String Quartet, to rival the Stradivarius that Drucker now plays. For Westport Reads 2007, Westporters read “The Soloist” by Mark Salzman and the Westport Public Library sponsored a number of events throughout March that were inspired by the book. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jayne Gottschalk for WestportNow.com

03/29/07 03:51 PM Comments (2) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Playing for the Chorus

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Michelle Anderson, a violinist from Bedford Middle School, takes a bow Wednesday night at the Westport school district’s annual town-wide chorus festival at Staples High School. She accompanied the 450 students who participated in the event. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

03/29/07 05:30 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Thursday, March 29, 2007


5:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201A – Emily McLaury House Committee
6 p.m. – 4 Panhandle Lane, Westport – Green Energy Task Force Field Trip
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Planning & Zoning Commission Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Sherwood Mill Pond Committee
7 p.m. - Coleytown Middle School - “High School Musical” (sold out)
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - YouTube

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Town-Wide Chorus Festival Held Tonight

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The Westport School District held its town-wide chorus festival tonight at Staples High School. A group of younger chorus members watch the Staples Orphenians perform during the event. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

03/29/07 02:28 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Conservation Commission Closes Y Hearing

By Jennifer Connic

After a record five months of meetings on a single issue, the Conservation Commission tonight closed its public hearing on the Westport Weston Family Y’s controversial application to move its facility from downtown to Camp Mahackeno.

The audience applauded the vote to close the hearing, but the commission’s work is not done. It will not need to spend time in work session deliberating and rendering a decision on the application.

The commission held a record number of meetings on the application that started Oct. 18.

The commission spent tonight asking questions of the Family Y’s consulting team that is working on the project, including on the septic system, which some opponents have said has a high risk to fail.

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03/29/07 01:50 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Selectmen Accept Solar Panels

By Jennifer Connic

The Board of Selectmen today approved what they hope is the first plan to accept free solar panels from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund.

The two-kilowatt system is available to Westport—which is a community that has agreed to have 20 percent of its energy use to come from renewable sources by 2010—because over 100 households have signed up for a renewable energy option thought Connecticut Light & Power.

Public Works Director Stephen Edwards said he hopes to bank the solar panels until more people sign up and there are more panels available to the town.

The plans are to install the solar panels on the roof of one of the Westport schools, he said, including Staples High School and Bedford Middle School.

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03/29/07 12:27 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Spring Golf

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With warmer temperatures and spring here, people are heading to Westport’s Longshore Club Park to play golf. Temperatures are close to 60 today, and will remain to be in the 50s over the next few days. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

03/28/07 04:36 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Going Down: 185 Imperial Ave.

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Construction crews demolished the home at 185 Imperial Ave. today. Several people stopped to watch the demolition work of the house, which was constructed in 1910. It was the WestportNow Teardown of the Day on Feb. 1. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Chip Stephens for WestportNow.com

03/28/07 04:29 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

A Better Chance to Hold Fund-Raiser

A Better Chance (ABC) of Westport will hold its annual fundraiser on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Church in Westport.

The event, titled “A Dream, An Opportunity, a Better Chance,” underscores the opportunities afforded to Westport’s ABC scholars.

Attendees will be able to bid on a wide variety of opportunities in live auction and silent auction.  One of the auction items for the evening will include dinner for two at Westport’s Dressing Room restaurant and tickets to a Westport Playhouse performance.

Tickets for the event are nearly sold out. For more information or to purchase a ticket, contact Katie Augustyn at (203) 454-4735 or Mary McKenna at (203) 226-5923.

03/28/07 02:30 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 105 Hillandale Road

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Westport building officials are reviewing an application to demolish the 1969 house at 105 Hillandale Road. The 3,312-square-foot house sold this month for $1.5 million (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

03/28/07 02:20 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Saugatuck Reflections

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Temperatures reached into the 70s on Tuesday in Westport, bringing out some to walk or sit and read along the Saugatuck River. Today’s forecast calls for temperatures to be slightly cooler with highs in the 50s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jennifer Connic for WestportNow.com

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007


10:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – International Hospitality Committee
5 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – Board of Selectmen (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7 p.m.- Town Hall Auditorium – Conservation Commission (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – TEAM Westport Committee
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - “A Centuries-Old Tradition in a Brooklyn Workshop”
7:30 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Literature: Mark Schenker

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

ZBA Modifies 113 Cross Highway Variance

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The Zoning Board of appeals modified a variance for 113 Cross Highway tonight to help preserve the historic garage. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
By Jennifer Connic

The Westport Zoning Board of Appeals tonight unanimously approved a plan to help preserve the former Cross Highway Garage.

The owners of 113 Cross Highway—Kim and Michael Ronemus—filed a request for a modification to their recently granted zoning variance for 113 Cross Highway to develop one of the accessory buildings into an office.

The Zoning Board of Appeals last month approved one variance to allow a home office in one of the accessory buildings, which was necessary because Westport zoning regulations do not allow offices in outbuildings. The ZBA, however, rejected two other variance requests that would have expanded the building and allowed a guest room in a separate accessory building (See WestportNow Feb. 28).

The modified plan calls for a new 292-square-foot building adjacent to the garage with a breezeway linking the two buildings. The new building would have a 60-square-foot basement to handle mechanicals for the two buildings.

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03/27/07 11:49 PM Comments (1) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Homegrown Cooking

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About 50 people attended a talk at the Westport Historical Society today with local chef Michel Nischan, who has also authored a cookbook and is the co-owner of Westport’s Dressing Room restaurant. He described the Dressing Room as a homegrown restaurant and stressed the importance of supporting local farmers. “Our goal is to recapture the simple and pure tastes found in locally grown organic ingredients for this generation and those to come,” he said. Nischan also prepared a turnip soup for those attending and signed copies of his cookbook, “Homegrown: Pure and Simple.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

03/27/07 10:30 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Feels like Summer

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It felt like summer in Westport today with temperatures reaching 72 degrees. It brought many people to Compo Beach to catch some of the sun. The forecast calls for temperatures to be in the 50s the remainder of the week. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

03/27/07 10:19 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Joseloff to Seek Budget Restoration

By Jennifer Connic

Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said today he is planning to ask the Board of Finance to restore at least some of the $876,000 cut it made to his proposed 2007-08 budget.

The board voted on the cut—which includes reductions to the fire department, parks and recreation, health district and general government budgets—during its meeting Monday night. (See WestportNow March 26) But it will consider restoration of some or all of those cuts before its final budget vote during a meeting scheduled for April 11.

With the cuts, the selectman’s proposed budget is $56.6 million, which is a 4.3 percent increase over the current budget.  Joseloff had originally proposed a $57.5 million budget, which is a 5.9 percent increase over the current budget.

Joseloff today identified several areas he’d wish to seek restoration in his budget, including salary funding at the fire department, hybrid cars for departments that do home inspections, and parks and recreation field maintenance funding.

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03/27/07 09:35 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Attacking the Fire

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Westport Firefighter Steve Murphy attacks the flames at today’s blaze in an empty building at 580 Riverside Ave. No one was injured in the fire which was confined to a rear room used for storage. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Saugatuck Fire Under Investigation

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Fire Marshal Ed Zygmant (r) investigates a fire at 580 Riverside Ave. this morning. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
A fire erupted in an empty Saugatuck business today but quick work by Westport firefighters confined the damage to a rear room used for storage.

No one was injured in the 9 a.m. blaze in at 580 Riverside Ave., which once had been home to the Laura Bazante Salon.

Firefighters at the Saugatuck fire house, which is just up the street at 555 Riverside Ave, received a walk-up report that there was smoke in the area.

When firefighters investigated, they found the fire in the rear of the building which is slated to be demolished as part of a project to revitalize Saugatuck Center (See WestportNow March 12), and it currently stands empty.

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03/27/07 06:15 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 8 Oak Ridge Park

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Westport building officials are reviewing an application to demolish the 1952 house at 8 Oak Ridge Park. The 1,552-square-foot house sold last December for $725,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

03/27/07 09:37 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Getting Back in the Water

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With spring and warmer temperatures here, rowers from the Saugatuck Rowing Club are back on Westport’s Saugatuck River. Temperatures were in the mid-40s on Monday under overcast skies, but the forecast calls for temperatures to reach close to 70 today with sunny skies. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

03/27/07 04:30 AM Comments (1) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Board of Finance Cuts School Budget by $500,000

By Jennifer Connic

The Westport Board of Finance Monday night cut $500,000 from the proposed 2007-08 school budget in a vote that came after midnight in a room that earlier had been filled with parents concerned with a potential large cut.

The cut brings the proposal to $88.7 million, which is a 7.8 percent increase over the current budget. The Board of Education had proposed a $89.2 million 2007-08 operating budget, which is a 8.4 percent increase over the current budget, and will have the opportunity to seek restoration at an April 11 final budget hearing.

Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon sent an e-mail to parents Monday morning encouraging them to attend the meeting because it was vital they attend to support the proposal. Many of the seats in the Town Hall auditorium were filled, and there was an overflow crowd in the lobby.

Earlier in the evening, Kevin Connolly, finance board vice chairman, proposed an almost $1.9 million cut to the proposed budget, but other members said they could not be on board with the large cut.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Noon - Westport Historical Society - Michel Nischan
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 307 – RTM Transit Committee
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – Boating Advisory Committee
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – Zoning Board of Appeals
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Architectural Review Board
8 p.m. – Town Hall Green Room – RTM Rules Committee

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