Friday, February 09, 2007
Celebrating Black History Month
Staples High School students celebrated Black History Month today with a performance by the Vissi Dance Company from New York City. Funded by the Westport PTA Cultural Arts Committee, the dance program surveyed Black American history from the Slave Auctions to Emancipation, from Jim Crow to Civil Rights. The finale was a duet danced to Staples 12th grader April Rose singing “Amazing Grace.” Following the performance, students participated in a workshop with the dancers. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Westport’s French Restaurant to Close its Doors
Westport’s Chez Stephane, the town’s only French restaurant, will be closing its doors on Wednesday after 16 years.
Stephane Raveneau, the restaurant’s owner, sent a letter to customers dated Jan. 31, but he could not be reached for comment today.
“From the time I arrived in Westport in the early 1990s until now, it has been an exciting journey and a great pleasure to share it with you,” he wrote in his letter. “I had some great times and rougher times during my years but I made it because of your support, your respect and your loyalty.”
He also thanked his wife, Annie, in his letter for working by his side and supporting him since the day he opened the restaurant.
The letter states the expected final day for the Bay Street restaurant is Wednesday, which is also Valentine’s Day.
Westport’s Spencer Platt Wins Photo of Year Award
For Spencer Platt, a Westport native who roams the world for the Getty Images photo agency, winning the World Press Photo of the Year award has always been a dream.
Spencer Platt: “It’s definitely a shock.” Contributed photo
Today that dream came true.
Platt was announced as the winner of the 50th annual World Press Photo contest, based in Amsterdam and judged by an international panel of photographers and editors. It is considered the top prize in photojournalism.
Platt’s image of a group of young Lebanese driving a car through bombed-out south Beirut last summer beat out 78,083 images from 4,460 professional photographers in 124 countries.
Masked Man Robs Westport Bank; Officers Injured in Crash
Westport police released this security photo of the bank robber. Contributed photoA man wearing a mask and displaying a gun robbed a TD Banknorth branch on Westport’s Post Road East late today, police said.
The robbery at the branch at 1111 Post Road East at the corner of Morningside Drive North occurred at 5:35 p.m., according to a time code on a security photo of the suspect released later by police.
A police car responding to the robbery was involved in a crash not far away at Post Road East near Maple Avenue North. The two officers were transported to Norwalk Hospital for treatment of minor injuries and later released.
Westport Native Wins World Press Photo of Year Award
Westport native Spencer Platt, a 1989 Staples High School graduate, today won the world’s top photo prize, World Press Photo of the Year, for his iimage of a group of young Lebanese driving a car through bombed-out south Beirut last summer. Platt, who works for Getty Images Inc., said he was elated with the honor, which includes an award of 10,000 euros ($12,990) to be presented at an awards ceremony in Amesterdam in April. “It’s something you dream about,” he said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Gorham Developer Files Appeal
Redcoat Development officials filed an appeal in Stamford Superior Court today of the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission’s decision to reject its proposal to construct condominiums, which would include some affordable housing, in the Gorham Avenue Historic District.
The commission rejected the proposal from Redcoat Development—which is owned by Richard Montanaro—with a 20-page resolution during a meeting last month (See WestportNow Jan. 18).
The applicant had 15 days after the decision was published to file an appeal, and the deadline was today.
Redcoat Development had proposed to build 20 condominiums at the 1.5 acres at 296 Main St. and 5 Gorham Ave. Six of the units would be deemed “affordable” under state statutes.
Downed Power Line Shuts Wilton Road, Knocks Out Power
A downed power line shut Westport’s Wilton Road for about half an hour early today and caused a power outage in the area, police said.
The power line was sparking in the area of 135 Wilton Road ahortly before 7 a.m.
Utility crews arrived on the scene near Ivy Knoll a short time later. Power was out along Wilton Road until shortly after 10 a.m.
Traffic along the busy roadway was shut down in both directions for about half an hour before the road was reopened at 7:15 a.m.
Ice on the Shores
Friday, Feb. 9, 2007
7 p.m. - Inn at Longshore - Levitt Pavilion’s 11th annual Winter Gala, “Midnight in Marrakech”
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall - Hotspur, Saturday Matinee and Picked on Sally
8 p.m. - Seabury Center - Composers Project: Kronos Quartet
8 p.m. - Westport Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre presents “Spinning Into Butter”
P&Z Approves Saugatuck Center Plan
The Planning and Zoning Commission tonight approved a plan that will bring a mix of retail space and residences, which will include affordable housing, to Westport’s Saugatuck Center.
The commission unanimously voted in favor of the plan for 553, 570 and 580 Riverside Ave. and 9 Ketchum St. that was proposed by Hamilton Development. The property is owned by William Gault.
The plan calls for seven buildings on the combined property—which spans across Riverside Avenue—with a mix of residences and retail and office space.
There would be 27 rental units, and five of them, which is 20 percent, would be deemed as affordable housing per state statutes.
Dem Presidential Candidate Vilsack Visits for Fund-Raiser
Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, a hopeful for the 2008 Demoratic presidential nomination, visited Westport today to attend a fund-raiser at a private home. Westport Democratic Town Committee Chairwoman Martha Aasen looks on during a press conference before the event. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
By Jennifer Connic
Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack hopes Democrats vote for what he views as rock solid over the rock star when they head to primaries and caucuses to pick a candidate for the 2008 presidential race.
Vilsack, who served two terms as Iowa’s chief executive before leaving office last month, was in Westport today to attend a fund-raiser reception at a private home. He met with the press before the event at a local office building and addressed subjects from the war in Iraq to education.
In a crowded field for the Democratic nomination, he said he’s not a rock star, but he’s rock solid.
“We’re in what I call the American Idol stage of the nomination process,” he said. “The focus is on the better known people. If I keep talking, I’ll get plenty of attention. I believe when people head to the primaries and the caucuses they’ll vote for rock solid over rock star.”
Playhouse Playwright Speaks to Y’s Men
Westport Country Playhouse playwright in residence David Wiltse (c), a Weston resident, spoke to the Y’s Men of Westport Weston today at their weekly meeting at Saugatuck Congregational Church. Wiltse, who recently was awarded an artistic fellowship by the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism. has lived in the Westport and Weston area for 35 years. His latest work “Sedition” will be performed at the Playhouse Aug. 2-18. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Watching the Show
Green’s Farms Nursery School students were treated to a performance from Amy Rogell on Wednesday. Rogell is a Weston resident and each February performs for the nursery school. She has been doing the small concerts for the school for five years. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Playhouse to Host Reading of New Marans Work
The Westport Country Playhouse will play host to the reading of a new play, “A Strange and Separate People,” on Monday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m.
The new work is written by Jon Marans, who also wrote “Old Wicked Songs” that played last fall at the playhouse.
In the play, a young Orthodox Jewish woman is unexpectedly caught up in a love triangle that involves herself, her husband and her husband’s new alternative love interest. The play reveals the challenges she now faces in her life, her faith and her place in a new and different world.
“I had a friend who had a distressing, but fascinating dilemma,” Marans said. “He was an Orthodox Jew who both loved his religion and loved who he was as a person. However, the two were incompatible. And yet, he didn’t want to give up either one. And wouldn’t.”
Working on the Golf Course
Maintenance crews at Westport’s Longshore Club Park were burning the high grasses around the golf courses bunkers today. The intention of burning the high grasses is to cut down on the weeds and encourage grasses to grow, and it is done instead of using pesticides. Fire extinguishers were on hand, and the Westport Fire Department approved of the practice. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Walking in Freezing Temperatures
There was a lone walker at Westport’s Compo Beach Wednesday despite temperatures well below the freezing mark. Temperatures were in the low 20s and dipped into the teens during the night. Temperatures are expected to stay in the 20s today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Thursday, Feb. 8, 2007
10 a.m. - Westport Public Library - New Tax Law Changes; Joseph D’Agostin, IRS revenue agent, will speak about new tax laws and tips
2 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Overcoat Film Series: “Dr. Strangelove”
6:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Overcoat Film Series: “Dr. Strangelove” (for teens)
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201– Planning & Zoning Commission work session
7 p.m. – Westport Fire Headquarters – Public Site & Building Commission
8 p.m. - Westport Community Theatre - “Spinning into Butter”
Capital Forecast Shows $45 Million in Potential Projects
The Westport Board of Finance tonight expressed concerns over significant projected costs that are included in the preliminary five-year capital forecast.
Included in the preliminary forecast is $45 million in “to be determined” municipal facilities and land acquisitions and $1 million towards a townwide wireless network. The forecast has three years with $15 million each to the unnamed projects.
While board members said they appreciate the planning, some said they had concerns about the funding already.
“You say you’re doing this so we’re not blindsided, and I’m still blindsided by the numbers,” said Avi Kaner, a finance board member.
Resident Suffers Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
A Westport resident suffered carbon monoxide poisoning today when the furnace malfunctioned in his home.
The Westport Fire Department received a report of fumes odor in a home on Lockwood Circle at just around 4:30 p.m. today.
Firefighters arriving on the scene found heavy smoke because of a furnace malfunction and carbon monoxide levels exceeding 120 parts per million on the first floor, fire officials said.
They shut down the furnace, extinguished any fire and ventilated the house with mechanical fans, officials said.
Students Analyze Town’s Top Issues
Fifth grade students from across Westport have been analyzing some of the toughest issues facing the town, and tonight they presented how they think the problems should be solved.
Discussing their project concerning relocation of the Westport Weston Family Y tonight were Katie Zhou (l) and Amanda Mezoff, fifth graders at King’s Highway Elementary School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
About 30 students in the elementary-level workshop program presented answers to issues such as affordable housing, emergency preparedness, the Westport Weston Family Y’s move to Mahackeno and open space.
Some of the town’s leaders attended the event at Coleytown Middle School including First Selectman Gordon Joseloff and Family Y Chief Executive Officer Helene Weir.
Several groups addressed the same issues, including affordable housing and the Family Y’s plans.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Town Strikes Deal with Women’s Club
Town officials have signed an agreement with the Westport Woman’s Club to provide a walkway from their clubhouse to the upper Imperial Avenue parking lot.
The lower lot—which has been designated for the club’s use for over 50 years—will be used by Connecticut Light and Power as part of the Middletown to Norwalk high-voltage power line project.
While most of the 345-kilovolt transmission line will be buried under Route 1 in Westport, it will also be buried under the Saugatuck River.
Town officials came to an agreement with the power company to use the lower lot as a “jacking pit” to bury the power line under the river and to install a vault, which will house electrical equipment once the project is completed.
Westport Property Transfers Jan. 29-Feb. 2, 2007
Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period Jan. 29-Feb. 2, 2007:
Dimity Linard and Lillemor Wallmark to Michele Knapp and Jules Jonckheer, 185 Imperial Ave., $750,000
Vera Spivack to Frank J. and Patricia O’Malley, 122 Regents Park, $795,000
B. P. Conn LLC and T. R. B. Conn LLC to Abbey 450 Post Road LLC, 450 Post Road East, $11,968,500
Nicola S. Coleman to John W. and Amanda E. Elliott, 4 Tamarac Road, $1,525,000
Ice is coating many of the water areas in Westport today with temperatures remaining below freezing, including at Compo Beach. Temperatures are expected to dip into the teens tonight and remain below freezing through the weekend. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Levitt Pavilion Winter Benefit is Friday
New York-based Soul Street will headline the Friends of the Levitt Pavilion’s 11th annual Winter Gala, “Midnight in Marrakech,” on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Inn at Longshore.
Tickets for the fund-raiser are $175 and help underwrite the pavilion’s summer of free entertainment.
The Morrocan-themed event will feature a champagne and hors d’oeuvre reception, lavish dinner buffet, ongoing entertainment, the Silent and Live Auction Marketplace and dancing with Soul Street performing.
With a repertoire from big band to rock, Soul Street has been the band of choice for for Robert De Niro, Billy Joel and the Royal Family of Morocco.
To charge tickets by phone, call (203) 226-7600. For more information, visit levittpavilion.com.
Parks and Recreation Union Receives New Contract
The Westport parks and recreation workers have a new five-year union contract that has a 3 percent wage increase in four of the five years.
The Westport Representative Town Meeting approved the new contract during its meeting Tuesday night.
The contract dates back to July 2, 2006 with a three percent wage increase in the first four years. There is a 3.25 percent wage increase in the final year of the contract, which starts July 1, 2010.
The RTM approval also ensures a $34,000 lump sum bonus that will be distributed among the 34 union members.Page 1291 of 1649 pages
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