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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Rell: Statesmen Replaced by “Partisanship” and “Nastiness”

Gov. M. Jodi Rell, in a reflective look at her political career, said today she is leaving office because Connecticut needs a new face at a time when there is “so much partisanship and so much nastiness” in government. Image
Gov. M. Jodi Rell told the Westport Weston Y’s Men today she hoped to spend more time with her grandchildren. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for

“We do not have statesmen any more,” she told a meeting of the Westport Weston Y’s Men, a group of retirees. “We have politicians who look out for themselves and the next election.”

Rell said when she was first elected to the state legislature in 1985, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle would debate the issues of the day and afterward shake hands and go out for a beer together. But no longer.

“If I’m being cruel, I don’t mean to be,” she said.  “And that’s why in my heart I knew it was time for me to leave because we need a fresh face.

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03/11/10 08:13 PM Comments () • Permalink

Longshore to Open for Play Friday, Weather Permitting

Westport Parks and Recreation Director Stuart McCarthy announced today that the Longshore Golf Course will open for play on Friday, weather permitting.

“Temporary tees and greens will be in use and winter rates will be charged,” said McCarthy.

Play will be on a walk-up basis.  No reserved times will be available until the greens are open, he said.

Friday’s forecast calls for cloudy skies with a chance of light rain with areas of drizzle. It also says breezy conditions are expected with high in the upper 40s.


03/11/10 07:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Man Gets 27 Months on Conspiracy Charge

A federal judge in New Haven today sentenced a Westport man to 27 months in prison for conspiring to falsify company records while serving as its chief financial Image
John N. Milne: also agrees to disgorge $6.25 million. File photo

John N. Milne, 50, was also ordered by Senior U.S. District Judge Ellen Breen Burns to undergo three years of supervised release following his prison term and to perform 200 hours of community service.

Milne is former president as well as chief financial officer of Greenwich-based United Rentals Inc.

He pleaded guilty last October to falsifying company records to hide the true nature of payments made to settle obligations incurred as part of minor sale leaseback transactions entered into with Westport-based Terex Corp. (See WestportNow Oct. 13, 2009)

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03/11/10 07:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

Connecticut’s Wealthy Get Wealthier But Will it Last?

By Keith M. Phaneuf

Despite losses as the recession set in, Connecticut’s wealthiest households came through 2008 with a six-year record of income growth more than five times greater than that of the average taxpayer. Image

Buoyed by a five-year stretch during which their collected adjusted gross income shot upward by more than 230 percent—a growth spike unmatched in the 19-year history of the state income tax—filers earning more than $1 million reported a total adjusted gross income for 2008 more than double that of 2002.

For those who didn’t top the $1 million mark, 2002 through 2008 offered more modest growth of 21 percent, according to new data from the state’s tax agency.

And with legislators laying the groundwork now for a landmark debate over Connecticut’s tax system after Election Day, advocates on all sides are trying to frame the relative positions of Connecticut’s upper and middle classes.

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03/11/10 12:32 PM Comments () • Permalink

Twilight on the Saugatuck Image
A twilight portrait looking east across the Saugatuck River in Westport’s center with Jesup Green and the Westport Public Library in view. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


03/11/10 05:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, March 11, 2010

8:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – PIC Downtown Plan Subcommittee
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Westport Modern: When Cool Was Hot!”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Found: Making Art from the Material World”
1 p.m. - Hall-Brooke (47 Longs Lots Road) - Westport Garden Club meeting and lecture: “Designing with Flowers from the Supermarket,” Miriam Landsmen
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – Planning & Zoning Commission Work Session
7 p.m. – Westport Fire Headquarters – Public Site & Building Commission
8 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – RTM Education Committee

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


03/11/10 05:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Democratic Gubernatorial Hopefuls Meet in Westport Image
The Democratic Town Committees of Westport, Weston, and Wilton tonight hosted four Democrats hoping to be the state’s next governor at a meeting at the Westport Town Hall auditorium. Taking part were (l-r) First Selectman Rudy Marconi of Ridgefield, former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy, businessman Ned Lamont of Greenwich, and First Selectman Mary Glassman of Simsbury. All agreed that creating jobs and reducing Connecticut’s high cost electricity would be among their priorities as governor. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


03/11/10 03:22 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

State: Westport Unemployment Rate at 6.5 Percent

Connecticut’s Department of Labor reported Westport’s unemployment rate in January was 6.5 percent, up from 5.5 percent the previous month.

In its latest statewide survey of towns, the department said of Westport’s labor force of 12,751, there were 833 persons out of work.

The comparable figures for December showed 12,622 in the work force with 695 out of work.

A year ago, the state said Westport had 12,682 in the labor force with 693 unemployed, or 5.5 percent.

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03/10/10 09:19 PM Comments () • Permalink

Penguin Plunge Raises Record-Breaking $130,000

Saturday’s Penguin Plunge at Westport’s Compo Beach raised a record-breaking $130,000 for the Special Olympics, organizers said Image
This year’s Penguin Plunge attracted 475 entrants. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

The event, which took place under sunny skies with temperatures in the 50s, had 475 people registered to participate.

The 2009 plunge drew 424 plungers and raised more than $100,000 to support Special Olympics’ year-round sports training programs and competitions for individuals with intellectual disabilities and their peers.

“The Westport Penguin Plunge continues to be the largest plunge in the state for Special Olympics Connecticut and the largest fundraiser for Special Olympics Connecticut, Southwest Region of the year,” said staff members Lisa Vane, Debbie Horne, Jen Williams and Marie Domack.

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03/10/10 08:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Rock Art Image
Some rock art sculptures appeared at Westport’s Compo Beach today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kathy Muro for


03/10/10 07:14 PM Comments () • Permalink

Smoke Detector, Alarm System Alert Residents to Dryer Fire Image
Westport firefighters today credited a fire alarm system and smoke detector for alerting residents of a Bayberry Lane home of a dryer fire in their basement. The occupants of the home were able to evacuate safely and firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze at 25 Bayberry Lane shortly before 7 a.m. “The fire was confined to the dryer to the credit of a working fire alarm system and the metal dryer vent hose,” said Assistant Chief Robert Yost.  “The combination of a working smoke detector and the monitored fire alarm system also gave the homeowner and her children the time to get out of the house before the smoke made the house untenable.” Cause of the blaze is under investigation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


03/10/10 03:49 PM Comments () • Permalink

Reels in Motion: Seeking a Return of Movies to Westport

By James Lomuscio

When it came to movie houses, Westport had “an embarrassment of riches” into the late 1990s, says Jonathan Steinberg. Image
Film buffs meet at the Westport Historical Society on Tuesday night. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for

With five theaters throughout town, the community was both a cultural and commercial draw for those who flocked to first-run films and dinner afterwards.

But with the rise of multiplexes in Fairfield and Norwalk, the last Westport picture show came to the end of its reel by 2000, leaving a hole in town, to hear Steinberg, a member of Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM), tell it.

On Tuesday night, Steinberg assembled more than two dozen community members at the Westport Historical Society to launch a film society aimed at bringing movies back to town.

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03/10/10 05:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

Solo Voyage Image
A Long Island Sound voyager makes his way home at dusk off Westport’s Compo Beach on Tuesday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributd photo


03/10/10 05:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Westport Modern: When Cool Was Hot!”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Found: Making Art from the Material World”
10 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – UN Hospitality Committee
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Board of Assessment Appeals
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – RTM Library, Museum & Arts Committee

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


03/10/10 05:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Budget Transparency Web Site Catching On

By Jacqueline Rabe

A fresh idea is catching on at the State Capitol: budget transparency. A searchable database of the state’s checkbook. Available online for free. Image

Kind of like the one set up a month ago by a conservative think tank.

The new Web site created by the Yankee Institute for Public Policy showing all state expenditures, including payroll, has drawn thousands of viewers since it appeared Feb. 8. It also has drawn complaints from some, including legislators, of inaccuracies.

Rep. Demetrios S. Giannaros, D-Farmington, said the site overstates his wife’s salary as a part-time teacher at Tunxis Community College by $130,000. Similarly, the legislative salary of Rep. John E. Stripp, D-Weston, is over-reported by about $12,000.

More "Budget Transparency Web Site Catching On"


03/09/10 10:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

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