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Friday, October 31, 2014

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Finance Board Begins Budget Reviews

By Jennifer Connic

Budget proposals for 2007-08 from various town departments may not have been submitted to First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, but the Westport Board of Finance discussed the health and transit during a meeting tonight.

Representatives from the Westport-Weston Health District and the Norwalk Transit District met with the finance board about budget issues they face, including community health activities and advertising in local buses.

John Cimarosa, health district consultant, said district officials are always looking for new community health programs based on needs, and the programs are the one area that is not mandated by law.

One example is the Meals for One program, he said, which helps senior citizens learn how to cook well for themselves.

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Selectmen Approve Use of Lot for Power Line Project

By Jennifer Connic

The Westport Board of Selectmen today approved an easement for Connecticut Light and Power Co. to use the lower Imperial Avenue parking lot to lay a high-voltage power line under the Saugatuck River, but power company officials and the construction crews were told to be sensitive to neighbors.

Construction crews would use the entire lower lot temporarily to allow workers to dig a trench under the river for the power line. It is part of the project for 345-kilovolt transmission line from Middletown to Norwalk by Northeast Utilities.

The lot will also permanently contain a vault for electric equipment. Construction will also be suspended in June in order to make way for the Westport Woman’s Club’s 100th annual Yankee Doodle Fair.

Town officials have negotiated a deal to receive $297,500 for the easements.

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01/11/07 04:15 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Y’s Men to Hear from IBM Executive

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Michael G. Hill: Speaking to the Y’s Men Thursday. Contributed photo
The Y’s Men of Westport Weston will hear about the changes in business innovation during its session on Thursday at 10 a.m. at Saugatuck Congregational Church.

Michael G. Hill, IBM global telecommunications industry general manager, will speak on “Business Innovation and the Telecommunications Industry Challenge.”

In his position, Hill is focused on helping IBM’s telecommunications industry clients succeed in a converging business climate comprised of telecommunications, media and entertainment, IT and consumer electronics industries.
For more information, call Bill Meyer at (203) 226-3704 or Jon Fox at (203) 227-2679 or visit www.ysmenwestportweston.org.

01/11/07 01:55 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Westport Photographer Sues Playhouse

A Westport photographer is suing the Westport Country Playhouse and Yale University Press for what he says was illegal publication of 12 of his photographs in a book about the Playhouse.

Jayson Byrd alleges theft, copyright infringement, unlawful conversion, unjust enrichment and intentional infliction of emotional distress in the suit filed Monday in New Haven Superior Court. He is seeking unspecified damages.

The photos appear in “An American Theatre: The story of the Westport Country Playhouse 1931-2005,” which was published in 2005 and sold for approximately $40, according to a news release.

Pat Blaufuss, Playhouse spokeswoman, said the matter has been referred to the theater’s attorneys and there is no further comment on the matter at this time.

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01/11/07 01:13 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Little Joins Board of Finance

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Republican Thomas Little (l) officially joined the Westport Board of Finance tonight. Town Clerk Patricia Strauss (r) administered the oath of office before tonight’s finance board meeting. The board voted earlier this week on Little to fill a vacancy created when R. Gavin Anderson retired from the board in December (See WestportNow Jan. 9). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jennifer Connic for WestportNow.com

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

All Gone: 8 Sprucewood Lane

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Crews are completing the clean-up of the house at 8 Sprucewood Lane, which was demolished this week. The one-story ranch was built in 1960 and sold in November for $1.2 million. It was the first demolition permit issued of 2007 and was the WestportNow Teardown of the Day on Dec. 6. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

01/10/07 09:27 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Baron’s South and Jesup Green Study Moves Forward

By Jennifer Connic

Town officials have secured the funding to plan for the future of Baron’s South and Jesup Green, but some Westport Representative Town Meeting members said they worried about the future costs.

The RTM approved nearly $50,000 for an engineering study of Baron’s South and Jesup Green during its meeting Tuesday night.

First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said the study will look at the area with consideration of the 2001 Downtown Plan, the Westport Public Library’s plans for expansion, the Levitt Pavilion’s plans for expansion, the Downtown Merchants Association recent plans to expand downtown parking and the need for workforce housing.

The Westport EMS has requested to expand police headquarters, he said, but perhaps the headquarters should be moved into a new public safety building with the potential of being constructed on Baron’s South, he said.

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01/10/07 08:17 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Eight to the Bar to Perform Sunday

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Eight to the Bar will perform at the Center for Senior Activities on Sunday. Contributed photo
Eight to the Bar will perform as the third performance in the Indoor Musical Series sponsored by the Friends of the Westport Center for Senior Activities on Sunday at 2 p.m.

In the free performance, Eight to the Bar will perform swing music. The group was voted “Best Vocal Group” and “Best Dance Band” by Connecticut Magazine.

Doors for the performance open at 1 p.m. with refreshments served at 1:30 p.m. The show starts at 2 p.m.

Reservations are required and can be made by calling (203) 341-5099.

The center is located at 21 Imperial Ave.

01/10/07 07:57 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

More Like Winter

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The sun was shining on Tuesday, but the temperatures were in the low 40s and more like winter. The forecast says temperatures will be in the high 30s today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

01/10/07 05:30 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2007


8 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Maintenance Study Committee
10 a.m. - Westport Public Library - Jobseekers Resource Seminar
10:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – International Hospitality Committee
Noon - Toquet Hall - “Play With Your Food”
2 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – Pandemic Flu Committee
5 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – Board of Selectmen (live coverage cable channel 79 and at www.westportct.gov)
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – Board of Finance Work Session
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – RTM Long-Range Planning Committee

01/10/07 05:05 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

RTM Approves McLaury House Funding

By Jennifer Connic

The Westport Representative Town Meeting tonight approved $268,000 to rehabilitate the Emily McLaury House on the corner of Myrtle Avenue and Avery Place.WestportNow.com Image
The McLaury House will continue to be used for workforce housing after its renovation, according to town officials. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The money will be used to refurbish the 1921 house including to replace the bathroom and kitchen, improve the plumbing and electrical systems and fix the collapsed sewage line in order to remove a cesspool in the back yard.

First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said he wants people to come to Town Hall and see the house—which was designated as a local historic property in December 2005—and know town officials are committed to historic preservation.

Additionally, the house will be used to house municipal employees as workforce housing once it is refurbished, he said.

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01/10/07 03:33 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

School Calendars Approved

The school year will start before Labor Day for the next two years.

The Westport Board of Education approved calendars for the 2007-08 and 2008-09 school years during its meeting Monday night.

School will start on Wednesday, Aug. 29 this fall and on Wednesday, Aug. 27 in 2008.

Additionally, Columbus Day returns to a holiday for students, but teachers will use it as a staff development day.

The two calendars are available on the school district’s Web site.

01/10/07 01:49 AM Comments (1) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

“Play With Your Food” Debuts Fifth Season

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The fifth season of “Play With Your Food” debuted today at Westport’s Toquet Hall. Nancy Diamond and Carole Schweid founded this theater group and continue to oversee all aspects of it. All shows include lunch, professional readings of one-act plays and discussion with the actors. There are performances in Westport (sold out), Stamford and Greenwich. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

01/10/07 12:41 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Westport Property Transfers Dec. 25-29, 2006

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period Dec. 25-29, 2006:

Paul A. Schreiner and Ariane C. Mermod to Robert F. Grant Tr, 249 Greens Farms Road, $3,650,000WN property.jpg

Sir 7 Caccomo LLC to Michael A. Smith, 7 Caccamo Lane Extension, $1,985,000

Jay D. and Virginia A. Gould to Cartus Corp., 22 Darbrook Road, $2,585,000

Cartus Corp. to Marianna Kulak McCall Revocable Trust, 22 Darbrook Road, $2,375,000

National Hall Associates LLC to Antares N H LLC, Post Road West and Wilton Road, $19,850,000

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01/09/07 10:24 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Staples Assistant Principal Heading to Iraq

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Richard Franzis: Activated by U.S. Army Reserves WN File Photo
By Jennifer Connic

One of Westport’s Staples High School assistant principals has been called up to active military duty and will be deployed to Iraq later this year.

Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon announced Monday night that Richard Franzis, Staples assistant principal who is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, has been called up to active duty.

The 51-year-old Fairfield resident and father of three, who is adviser for the sophomore class, will be on active duty for 18 months, he said.

Staples Principal John Dodig said Franzis’ last day at Staples was Friday and will travel to Pennsylvannia next week for two to three months of training before going to Iraq.

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01/09/07 10:00 PM Comments (2) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

P&Z Approves Lot Use for Power Line Project

By Jennifer Connic

The Westport Planning and Zoning Commission has approved a plan to allow Connecticut Light and Power to use the lower Imperial Avenue parking lot for the high-voltage power line project, but members also heard concerns from neighbors about noise.

The commission approved the plan at its meeting Monday night, during which it heard that use of the entire lower lot is necessary temporarily to allow workers to dig a trench under the river for the power line. It is part of the project for 345-kilovolt transmission line from Middletown to Norwalk by Northeast Utilities.

The lot will also permanently contain a vault for electric equipment. Construction will also be suspended in June in order to make way for the Westport Woman’s Club’s 100th annual Yankee Doodle Fair.

“CL&P has been sensitive to our needs,” Town Attorney Ira Bloom said. “They want to get the ball rolling on this in the month of January.”

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Board of Finance Names New GOP Member

The Westport Board of Finance Monday night named Thomas Little as the replacement for Republican member R. Gavin S. Anderson.

The Democratic chair said he will make “a distinctive and valuable contribution to the town.” GOP members said they regretted their Democratic colleagues’ “strong-arm” tactics in making the selection.

A statement by Republican members Charles Haberstroh and Avi Kaner said: “Tonight the Democrats on the Board of Finance voted, along party lines 4-2, to appoint Tom Little to the vacant Republican slot on the board.

“We congratulate Tom on his appointment and look forward to working with him. It is regrettable that the Democrats would use their majority to strong-arm the selection process to appoint the Republican replacement.”

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After the Rain

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More than an inch of rain was recorded in parts of Westport on Monday, but it cleared at Compo Beach by late afternoon. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2007


8:45 a.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Municipal Employees Pension Board
Noon - Toquet Hall - “Play With Your Food”
5 p.m. – Staples High School, Room 590, Staples Subcommittee
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Historic District Commission
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 206 – RTM Transit Committee
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – Zoning Board of Appeals
8 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – RTM Meeting (live coverage cable channel 79 and www.westportct.gov)

01/09/07 05:37 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

School Board Begins Kindergarten Discussions

By Jennifer Connic

The Board of Education heard arguments tonight from parents who both support and oppose a form of an all-day kindergarten program, but many cited problems with the proposal.

Westport Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon has proposed a kindergarten program where students would attend three full days of school and two extended days (See WestportNow Jan. 7).

Landon based his proposal on the recommendation from the staff stating kindergartners need more time in order to have time to explore and play. Additionally, he cited a survey in which two-thirds of parents chose a preference for full-day kindergarten.

“We are not proposing this to add to the curriculum,” Landon said tonight. “It’s to offer the existing, fully-comprehensive program in a more relaxed atmosphere with a greater opportunity for socialization and exploration.”

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01/09/07 04:28 AM Comments (8) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Westport Photographer Exhibit Opens in Norwalk

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An exhibit featuring works by Westport photographer Suzanne Sheridan opened tonight at the Patriot Bank branch on Westport Avenue in Norwalk. Rozanne Gates of Westport and an unidentified man admire her Compo Beach cannon photo. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

01/09/07 02:09 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Monday, January 08, 2007

Master Chef Addresses Y’s Women

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Michel Nischan, Master Chef, author, lecturer, environmentalist and enthusiastic organic gardener, addressed today’s meeting of the Y’s Women of Westport Weston. Nischan, a partner with Paul Newman in the Dressing Room restaurant at the Westport Country Playhoiuse, helped bring the farmers market to the Playhouse parking lot last summer.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

01/08/07 11:01 PM Comments (1) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Demolition Permit Issued for Rudolph House

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The home at 16 Minute Man Hill won’t be demolished if it can be sold by Friday under a court agreement.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com file photo by Dave Matlow
Westport building officials issued the demolition permit today for the Paul Rudolph-designed house at 16 Minute Man Hill, town officials said.

David and Yvette Waldman, who contracted to purchase the house for $3.2 million, and the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation settled on Friday in the court battle over the future of the home (See WestportNow Jan. 5).

Under the settlement, the Waldmans will negotiate through Friday with a potential buyer for the property who would preserve it. If a deal cannot be negotiated by then, the Waldmans would then have the right to demolish the house.

Waldman said on Friday during press interviews that he plans to demolish the house on Saturday if an agreement cannot be reached.

01/08/07 09:04 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

School Budget Could Increase 8.9 Percent

By Jennifer Connic

Westport Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon has proposed a 8.9 percent increase for the 2007-08 school budget.

The proposed budget was sent to the Board of Education on Friday and it will discuss it during its meeting today at 8 p.m. at Staples High School. The proposal is also available for public viewing on the school district’s Web site.

The proposal is a $7.3 million increase over the current budget and would bring the total budget up to $89.2 million.

The proposal carries a 7 percent increase in total salaries, but the biggest increase is in benefits, which includes health insurance, with a 25.1 percent increase in the line item.

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Ceremony Honors Partrick Wetlands Preservation

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Christopher Tymniak (r), representing Gov. M. Jodi Rell, today presents a proclamation from the governor to Matthew Mandell (l) and Sean Timmins (c), Partrick Wetlands Preservation Fund directors, honoring the effort to preserve the wetlands.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jennifer Connic for WestportNow.com
By Jennifer Connic

The steady rain today did not dampen the celebratory mood at a ceremony at the Partrick Wetlands honoring the donation and dedication of the property in northwest Westport.

The Partrick Wetlands Preservation Fund formally received 22 acres of the 55.9-acre property at the ceremony from Stratford-based ARS Partners LLC. The Westport Conservation Department and the state Department of Environmental Protection will oversee the conservation easement for the property.

The event ended 40 years of uncertainty about the property. As part of a negotiated deal, ARS Partners donated the 22 acres to the preservation fund and will construct 13 single family luxury homes on the balance of the property closest to Newtown Turnpike.

Matthew Mandell, preservation fund director, said the property will be a showcase of what can happen when parties can work together for a common goal and common good.

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