Monday, February 20, 2006
Rell Likely to Seek Federal Aid for Snowstorm
Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced today that, pending the results of an end-of-the-month impact assessment, she will request federal aid to help reimburse the state as well as Connecticut towns that were adversely affected by this month’s northeaster that dumped record amounts of snow around the state.
Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff welcomed the possibility of federal help. “We had exhausted our snow funds for the year with last month’s storms so we were in the red going into this month’s,” he said.
The storm set several records, including the all-time highest snowstorm total at Bradley International Airport with 21.9 inches. While Westport had 16 to 19 inches from the Feb. 11-12 storm, several other communities had more. Danbury had more than 24 inches, Farmington had 24, and West Hartford registered 22. There were higher unofficial amounts reported in Fairfield.
“I know that municipal budgets are already stretched thin, and this massive weekend storm brought with it significant new costs in terms of overtime,” Rell said in a statement. “I want to be sure we are doing everything possible to get our towns the assistance they need.
Workers for Vertical Structures of Kentucky, a Motorola sub-contractor, continue their work today on the communications tower at Post Road East and the Sherwood Island Connector, site of the former state police barracks in Westport. Cold weather has made the work difficult. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ron Malone for WestportNow.com
Malcolm Beinfield, Longtime Westport Physician, Dies at 84
Malcolm S. Beinfield, a longtime Westport physician and surgeon who served as sideline doctor to the Staples High School football team for 38 years and never missed a game, died today at his Westport home. He was 84.
Malcolm Beinfield:Westport doctor for almost 50 years. Contributed photo
Beinfield, Westport’s first board-certified surgeon, had been ill for some time, according to a family spokesman.
The Brooklyn-born, Yale-educated Beinfield headed a Westport practice that at one point included four physicians, a staff of 20, and had 543,000 patient charts. In almost half a century of practicing medicine in Westport, there were few longtime residents who did not come to know “Doc” Beinfield.
In 1951, Beinfield became chair of Red Cross medical services in Westport and medical director of the town’s civil defense unit. The same year he became surgeon to the Staples athletic program, running out to assess injuries on the football field for every home game until 1989.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Large Turnout for Historical Society Winslow Exhibit
There was a large turnout today for the opening reception of the new Westport Historical Society Exhibit “The Life and Times of Winslow Park 1835-2006” and “The Dogs of Winslow.” The exhibit, which runs through May 12, features the contemporary photography setting of dogs romping through Westport’s Winslow Park with a companion exhibit that features the history of Winslow Park and Compo House, one of Fairfield County’s most elegant mansions of yore. Pictured is Wally Woods, Westport Historical Society Exhibit co-director, as he welcomed visitors. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Ria Freydl and her daughter, Morgan, 3, visited the Westport Historical Society’s “Dogs of Winslow” exhibit today and viewed a photo, captured by local photographer David Kalman, of Morgan and the family pup, Bella. Morgan’s dad, Tom, is on the left. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
One of the victims of Friday’s windstorm was this tree which fell on the fence surrounding the pool at Westport’s Longshore Club Park. The tree’s fall startled parents and employees at the Longshore Sailing School building 20 feet away where enrollment was under way for summer sailing classes. This picture was taken today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) John Kantor for WestportNow.com
Sunday, Feb. 19, 2006
3 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - Opening reception for “The Life and Times of Winslow Park 1835-2006 Featuring The Dogs of Winslow”
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Welcoming Historical Society Volunteers
Earlier this week the Westport Historical Society announced a reduction in its staff and a transition to a volunteer oriented operation. This afternoon approximately 50 people, responding to the call for volunteers, met at the Society to sign up for specific duties central to its operation. Pictured is Dave Matlow, recently elected co-president of the Society (and a WestportNow contributing photographer), as he welcomed the volunteers and introduced some board members and some longtime volunteers. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Andrea Maritzer Fine for WestportNow.com
Save the Children Aiding Philippine Mudslide Victims
Westport’s Save the Children today appealed for private donations to assist children and families who survived a deadly mudslide that buried hundreds of houses and a school in the central Philippines Friday.
Save the Children plans to work with other humanitarian organizations and the government of the Philippines to ensure adequate food, water, clothing, shelter and other essential items are available to survivors of the catastrophe, an announcement said.
Save the Children is seeking $480,000 in private donations to support its efforts.
Triggered by two weeks of heavy rains, the mudslide appears to have killed several hundred people including many school children in an elementary school. As many as 1,800 are reported missing and feared dead.
Final Day for Westport’s Swezey Jewelers
Today was the last day for Westport Main Street’s Swezey Jewelers. The store, which has been a Westport mainstay since October 1956, announced its closing in December. (See WestportNow Dec. 8, 2005) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Spinning for Joy
The miniature train that Swezey Jeweler featured in its window for 40 years was auctioned off at noon today, the last day for the Main Street business of 50 years. The winning bid of $1,000 came from Michael and Donna Brody of Westport. Donna, shown spinning with joy, immediately announced that the train will be a gift to the Westport Historical Society, whose mission includes the preservation of Westport’s history. She is a new member of the organization’s board. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Better Times at Food Pantry But Still in Need
By Jayde Levesque
Spirits were high this week at the food pantry at Westport’s Gillespie Center homeless shelter. Valentines from Saugatuck Elementary students decorated a wall and bags of food lined the floor.
Westport’s Gillespie Center food pantry has more food now but donations are still needed. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jayde Levesque for WestportNow.com
It was a far different picture from the beginning of this month when shelves were bare and the outlook was bleak. (See WestportNow Feb. 1, 2005)
Now, say officials of the Interfaith Housing Association (IHA), which operates the center and its community kitchen, there is enough food to be hopeful about.
“The mood is definitely better,” said Heather Cavanagh, IHA director of community relations. “There’s so much more than we had before. It’s really hard when we have to tell someone who needs food that we don’t have any.”
Old Mill Dawn
Friday, February 17, 2006
Winds Down Trees, Power Lines But Damage Limited
A fierce wind storm that swept across the Midwest and then into the Northeast today caused relatively minor damage to Westport, downing some trees and power lines.
Connecticut Light & Power Co. reported 24 Westport customers were without power as of 5 p.m. An hour later, the number was down to 16.
A weather station at the Longshore Sailing School in Westport recorded gusts up to 52 mph during the afternoon. The temperature dropped from the mid-50s earlier in the day to the 30s by late afternoon.
“We had some scattered trees down and a couple of dozen power outages,” said First Selectman Gordon Joseloff. “We got off relatively unscathed. CL&P tells me that they hope to have everyone back by this evening.”
High Winds Sweep Through Area
High winds swept through the Westport area at mid-day today, knocking down several trees, including this one in front of the Westport Inn on Post Road East. The tree initially fell on power lines, knocking out power to the inn. Wind gusts in excess of 50 mph were recorded along the shoreline. Forecasters said the winds would diminish in the afternoon as temperatures dropped. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
High Wind Warning for Today
The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for today for Westport and the tri-state area. It warned of possible downed trees and power lines.
The advisory is in effect from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Southwest winds of 20 to 25 mph with gusts up to 30 mph will be felt through the early morning across the tri-state area ahead of a potent cold front,” the advisory said.
“However, there will be a window of opportunity for damaging wind gusts on the order of 50 to 60 mph along and just behind the front which will cross the region from west to east late this morning into early this afternoon. The best chance for damaging winds will be during this time frame.”
Westport Man Pleads Not Guilty to Federal Fraud Charges
A Westport man was among four former top executives of insurance companies General Re and American International Group (AIG) who pleaded not guilty to federal fraud and conspiracy charges Thursday in Alexandria, Va., and pledged $1 million in bond.
Their trial was set for May.
The Westporter, Robert D. Graham, 57, a former senior vice president and assistant general counsel of Stamford-based General Re, served as a Republican member of the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission from 1995 to 1999 and was on the Board of Finance from 1999 to 2003.
The Justice Department has accused the four of orchestrating an audacious fraud, putting together a sham reinsurance transaction that allowed AIG to falsely report some $500 million in reserves against losses and thereby mislead shareholders, Wall Street and regulators.
Friday, Feb. 17, 2006
9:30 a.m. - Center for Senior Activities - Commission for Senior Services
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Everyone Into the Water
Library Expansion Needed
The Westport Public Library will need to expand for it to continue to serve the community, said Library Director Maxine Bleiweis today.
Bleiweis spoke to the Y’s Men today about the future of the library, which she said will need an expansion in the near future.
Library officials are talking with an architect about expanding the building, which is along the Saugatuck River in the downtown area, she said.
“We don’t know what it will look like or where we’ll put the space,” she said. “We know there will be places for books, programs and discussions. It’ll be a place to stimulate thinking.”
Soaking Up the Sun
It was a good day today to soak up the sun at Westport’s Compo Beach as spring-like temperatures soared into the 50s. The warmth will be short-lived, however, with the forecast of plunging temperatures Friday accompanied by high winds. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Police Investigating Swastika Vandalism
Westport police are investigating a series of vandalism incidents that involved swastikas and other associated symbols in a neighborhood near the Norwalk border.
Police Sgt. Jerry Shannon, department public information officer, said police received a report of the vandalism in the vicinity of Sylvan Road North, Cranbury Road and Stonybrook Road on Feb. 9.
There were swastikas and other symbols painted on trees and public street signs, he said.
“The incident appears to be random,” he said. “It wasn’t directed towards one person.”
Y’s Men Hear of Library Plans
Westport Library Director Maxine Bleiweis addressed the Westport Weston Y’s Men today and reviewed current library offerings and plans for the future. Bill Meyer, Y’s men president, is on stage with her. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Strong Winds, Low Temperatures Forecast Friday
After a couple of days of thawing out, forecasters are warning of chillier temperatures and gusty winds Friday for the Westport and tri-state area that could bring down trees and power lines.
A morning advisory from the National Weather Service said a developing area of low pressure over the central United States will track up the western Appalachians and into the eastern Great Lakes region through Friday morning.
“The pressure gradient will tighten as the storm deepens overnight and a strong cold front associated with Arctic air moves across the region early Friday afternoon, bringing an end to the unseasonably warm weather,” an advisory said.
“Southwest winds will increase to 15 to 25 mph after midnight tonight, then become west to northwest and increase to 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph Friday afternoon and evening.
Going Down: 7 Sandpiper Road
The house at Westport’s 7 Sandpiper Road has been demolished. It was the Jan. 30 WestportNow Teardown of the Day and sold in September for $3.8 million. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, Feb. 16, 2006
9 a.m., 10:45 a.m., & 1:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Planning and Zoning Commission interviews for consultants on town plan
2 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - Memorial service for former Parks and Recreation Commission Chair Mark Smith; reception to follow at Saugatuck Congregational Church (CORRECTED)
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Planning and Zoning Commission public hearing
7 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Songwriters’ Circle
7:15 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Youth Commission
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – RTM Public Works Committee
8 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201A – RTM Library Committee
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Page 1076 of 1266 pages
Singer/songrwiter Amy Rogell delighted guests today at Westport’s Green’s Farms Nursery School, a non-sectarian school owned by the Congregational Church of Green’s Farms. A Weston resident, Rogell has performed in musical theater, recorded vocal tracks for films, and produced two children’s albums, “Come To The Playground” and “Balloons.” Contributed photo
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