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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Rell Signs Pet Evacuation Bill

Gov. M. Jodi Rell has signed a bill requiring the inclusion of the evacuation of pets and service animals in state and local emergency plans of operation, her office announced today.

Even before passage of the bill, Westport officials had said they would include pets in their evacuation plans.

“In the past, no provisions were made to safeguard animals and their owners,” Rell said in statement.

“This law will do so. The elderly and the disabled are the least likely to have the proper means to help themselves and their animals. Special consideration will now be paid to their needs. Many states have passed similar legislation and it is time for Connecticut to do the same.”

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United Way to Host Family Fun Day

The United Way of Westport Weston will hold a Westport Family Fun Day on Saturday, May 19 at noon-4 p.m. on Jesup Green.

Admission to the event is free, and it will feature family activities throughout the day.

Entertainment includes the Magic Genie, live music by Lou Bibler, Midi and the Modern Dance and Protocol, face painting, bounce houses, an inflatable obstacle course and children carnival games.

There will be craft and art vendors, refreshments from Bobby Q’s restaurant and the Redding Creamery ice cream truck. Representatives from Celebrate Westport, the Community Inclusion Task Force, Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities and other agencies will also be available at the event.
   
For more information, contact Kim Noll at United Way of Westport Weston at (203) 227-1743 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

05/08/07 04:24 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Talking Transportation: Wires Down!

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

Metro-North commuters take a lot for granted. Sure, the trains are crowded and you can’t always get a seat. Yes, the fares are the highest on the continent. We all know the bathrooms stink and the cars are being patched with gaffers tape. But at least they run on time—usually.

talkingtransportation250.jpg

Wednesday April 25 was anything but “usual.” As the first train of the morning, the 4:12 from New Haven rolled through Cos Cob, its aging pantograph snagged the overhead power wire. A following train, maneuvering around the stranded train, also caught the caternary, bringing down further power lines. 

It was the worst of all complications at the worst of all times—the beginning of the morning rush. “Wires down” went out the call, at least to some.

While many parts of the New Haven line have caternary dating from the administration of Woodrow Wilson, this section of power lines had recently been replaced. The fault, it seems, was with the 35-year-old car. Nevertheless, the morning rush was going to be a nightmare.

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05/08/07 03:38 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Bridge Street Bridge Closed for Maintenance

As announced last week, state workers closed Westport’s Bridge Street Bridge today for maintenance.WestportNow.com Image
A truck turns off of Bridge Street on to Imperial Avenue during today’s Bridge Street Bridge closure. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The Department of Transportation Bridge Maintenance Division closed the bridge shortly after 10 a.m. and reopened it at 3:40 p.m.

The closure will occur on Wednesday and Thursday as well to perform routine mechanical and electrical maintenance.

Signs were posted to detour traffic to the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge in Westport’s center.

05/08/07 03:08 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Early Morning Winslow

WestportNow.com Image
Temperatures were cooler again on Monday,  but there was plenty of sun like there was last weekend at Winslow Park. Temperatures are expected to get close to 70 degrees today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Hamilton Laux for WestportNow.com

05/08/07 04:26 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


8:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Human Services Commission
10 a.m. - Westport Public Library - Jobseekers Resource Seminar
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 307 – Planning & Zoning Commission work session
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Historic District Commission
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Representative Town Meeting annual budget meeting (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – Zoning Board of Appeals
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - authors@the library: Jim Cullen

05/08/07 04:04 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

RTM Approves Selectman’s Budget

By Jennifer Connic

The Westport Representative Town Meeting tonight approved the selectman’s 2007-08 budget, which is $56.8 million, after debate on how to vote and on the fire department budget.

The proposal is a 4.7 percent increase over the current budget. The RTM is scheduled to discuss and vote on the proposed school budget—a $88.7 million proposal that is a 7.8 percent increase—on Tuesday.

The vote came after over 90 minutes of discussion on how to debate and vote on the budget, including a motion on passing the budget without any changes from Michael Gilbertie, RTM District 9.

Gilbertie said he wanted to save time in approving the budget, but after a hour after debate he left.

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05/08/07 02:22 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Teens Desire Movie Theater, Longer Compo Hours

By Jennifer Connic

The Westport Planning and Zoning Commission tonight heard the wants of the town’s teenagers—including the desire for a movie theater—as addressed in a survey administered at Staples High School.

Teenagers from the Youth Commission and the Staples Student Assembly presented the results of two separate surveys tonight, and about 400 students answered each of the surveys.

The two surveys were done to gain input for the update to the Town Plan of Conservation and Development, and the two surveys essentially confirm each other.

Overwhelmingly, the two surveys showed that teenagers want a movie theater in the community and also better parking downtown.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Here Come the Brides

WestportNow.com Image
Continuing the celebration of its 100th anniversary, the Westport Woman’s Club today presented a nostalgic modeling of wedding gowns, most from members. The oldest gown was used in a wedding in 1900 while the newest gown was from a wedding last October. Many members were still able to wear their wedding gowns, but some slim teens did the honors in other gowns. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

05/07/07 10:09 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Checking the River

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Temperatures hovered around 60 degrees today, but with the sun shining it was perfect weather to feed the ducks on the Saugatuck River near the Westport Public Library. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

05/07/07 09:21 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Former Staples Coach Files Discrimination Complaint

By Jennifer Connic

A former Staples High School coach has filed a complaint with the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities against the Westport School District stating he was fired from his position because of racial discrimination.

David Alexis, a Norwalk resident, filed the complaint with the state in April, and town officials received it last week. He was a coach in the Staples athletic program for four seasons and is an African American, according to the complaint.

Alexis’ attorney, Jason Gladstone, filed an intent to sue with town officials in February (See WestportNow Feb. 16).

Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon was not immediately available for comment.

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05/07/07 08:42 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Author to Speak on Imperfect Presidents

An author talk at the Westport Public Library on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. will focus on the imperfections of of a number of U.S. presidents.

Jim Cullen will speak about his new book “Imperfect Presidents: Tales of Misadventure and Triumph,” which analyzes the mistakes and bad decisions of 10 presidents including Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

He will talk about his the 10 presidents’ biggest mistakes. Copies of his will be available for purchase and signing after the talk. 

For more information, call (203) 291-4840 or visit www.westportlibrary.org.

05/07/07 04:40 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 9 Pumpkin Hill Road

WestportNow.com Image
Westport building officials are reviewing an application to demolish the 3,136-square-foot house at 9 Pumpkin Hill Road. The house, which was built in 1958 and sits on one acre, sold last month for $1.2 million. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

05/07/07 09:22 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Red Sky Night

WestportNow.com Image
Temperatures didn’t reach 50 degrees on Sunday in Westport, including at Compo Beach, from where this sunset was viewed. This week’s forecast, however, calls for much warmer temperatures in the 60s today and 70s beginning Tuesday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Monday, May 7, 2007


6 p.m. – Staples High School, Room 321 – Board of Education anticipated executive session
6:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – Town Plan of Conservation and Development work session
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Representative Town Meeting annual budget meeting (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - The SpokenWord Celebrates Greece: the Architecture of Greece
9 p.m. – Staples High School, Room 301 – Board of Education

05/07/07 04:05 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Westporter, 13, Wins National Scrabble Tournament

(UPDATE) Matthew Silver, a 13-year-old seventh grader at Westport’s Bedford Middle School, was one of two Connecticut students to win the 2007 National School Scrabble Championship Saturday in Providence, R.I. They took home the $5,000 top prize. WestportNow.com Image
Aune Mitchell, 14, of Ridgefield, and Matthew Silver, 13, of Westport, show off their trophies Saturday in Providence, R.I. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

“It’s a little bit overwhelming,” said Matthew today during a break from his homework. “When I found out we won, it was a moment of disbelief.”

Matthew and partner Aune (pronounced Ow-na) Mitchell, 14, of Ridgefield defeated Joey Krafchick, 12, of Roswell, Ga. and Dorian Hill, 13, of Lithonia, Ga., in a nail-biting final played before ESPN cameras in a small room of the Rhode Island Convention Center.

A large crowd in a nearby area followed the contest move-by-move as it was projected on a large screen. More than 20,000 fifth to eighth grade students nationwide took part in the run-ups to this weekend’s contest.

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Saugatuck Congregational Church Marks 175th Anniversary

WestportNow.com Image
Westport’s Saugatuck Congregational Church is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year with a series of events, including a dinner Saturday night. This morning, churchgoers found a model of the church’s steeple on the front lawn that was built by Rick Benson, a member of the congregation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Mathias for WestportNow.com

05/06/07 10:55 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Strolling at Cool Compo

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Brisk winds and temperatures in the 50s kept many away from Westport’s Compo Beach today. But those who did go found it perfect weather for a stroll along the shore. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

05/06/07 10:47 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Men Make Brunch

WestportNow.com Image
Celebrity chefs took part today in the eighth annual Pro-Choice Men Make Brunch event hosted by Ann Sheffer (r) and Bill Scheffler in their Westport home. Sheffer chats with Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (l) and freshman Rep. Chris Murphy of Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District.  The brunch was sponsored by NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, the state’s grassroots political arm of the movement for reproductive freedom and access for women’s rights. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

05/06/07 05:19 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Third Grade Girl Makes Little League Pitching Debut

WestportNow.com Image
Third grader Colby Siegel made her debut on the mound Saturday at Burr Farms east field. Siegel, one of a handful of girls participating in Westport Little League, helped lead the Athletics to a hard fought 22-21 victory over the Dodgers. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) David Dreyfuss for WestportNow.com

 

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Compo Beach “Mystery House Tour”

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Town Historian Allen Raymond led Westport Historical Society guests on a Compo Beach “Mystery House Tour” Saturday afternoon. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ron Malone for WestportNow.com

05/06/07 05:09 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Arts Center Opens New Exhibit

WestportNow.com Image
The Westport Arts Center held the opening for its new exhibit “Delicates” Saturday night. The exhibit shows off fiber art from Melanie Carr, a Westport Arts Center member, and will be on display through the end of the month. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Hamilton Laux for WestportNow.com

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Sunday, May 6, 2007


2 p.m. - Westport Public Library - music@the library: Guided Tour of Jazz with Libby Richman

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Celebrating 100 Years

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The Westport Woman’s Club held its 100th anniversary gala at the Inn at Longshore tonight. The club—which contributes to a variety of community organizations and projects—will hold its 100th Yankee Doodle Fair in June. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Hamilton Laux for WestportNow.com

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Fire Damages Home Laundry Room

A fire damaged a home laundry room today and caused smoke damage throughout the house, fire officials said. It was the second Westport home laundry room fire in 11 days.

Firefighters responded to a 911 call at 11:32 a.m. of smoke coming from a clothes dryer at 2 Stone Drive off Calumet Road.

Upon arrival, they found smoke throughout the house with fire and heavy smoke in the laundry room, said Assistant Chief Gene Maloney.

The firefighters, some of whom were sent from the Levitt Pavilion where they had been attending a fire training exercise, quickly extinguished the flames.

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