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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Green Energy Task Force to Meet Tuesday

By Jennifer Connic

One of the charges for the Westport Green Energy Task Force is to educate residents on how to reduce their fossil fuel intake, and this week it will start discussing how to do that.WestportNow.com Image
Carl Leaman: heads town’s green energy effort. WN file photo

The task force’s first meeting is Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Town Hall.

Task Force Chairman Carl Leaman said the group will organize for the first time Tuesday and hear where the town has been going with green energy, including initiatives he started while he served as selectman under former First Selectwoman Diane Farrell.

There are two initiatives the town already has started, which are to have 20 percent of its power as green energy by 2010 and a program where town officials will receive solar panels for every 100 residents who sign up for green energy on their electricity bills, he said.

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Sunday, Feb. 4, 2007


1-4 p.m. - Center for Senior Activities - Super Bowl tailgate party
2 p.m. - Westport Community Theatre - “Spinning into Butter”

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Cold Weather Advisory Issued

The National Weather Service today issued a cold weather advisory for Westport and the tri-state area.

It said very cold conditions with sub-zero wind chills are expected across the tri-state from tonight through the middle of next week.

An Arctic front will cross the tri state from mid-evening to around midnight with Arctic high pressure building in behind it through the middle of next week, the advisory said.

Behind the front, overnight blustery west winds of 15 to 25 miles per hour with gusts as high as 35 mph will usher in amongst the coldest air masses of this winter.

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02/03/07 11:32 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

It’s a Puzzle: Library Crossword Event Draws Crowd

By Larry Untermeyer

Visitors were across and up and down at the McManus Room of the Westport Public Library today for the library’s eight annual crossword puzzle contest.WestportNow.com Image
Eric Berlin of Milford (r) chats with Will Shortz, crossword puzzle editor of The New York Times, after winning today’s eighth annual crossword puzzle contest at the Westport Public Library. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

There were 117 entrants in the event organized by the library’s Joan Hume and run by Will Shortz, crossword puzzle editor of The New York Times.

Westport’s David Rubenstein served as moderator for the contest which took place in three parts of 15 minutes each.These entries were scored to determine the three finalists.

Scoring was based on time taken to complete the puzzles and the accuracy of the participants’ responses.

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02/03/07 11:11 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Science Students Show Off Work at Fair

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Staples junior Antonella Lisanti (r) talks today about her science project during the annual Southern Connecticut Invitational Science and Engineering Fair. She took first place in the physical science category. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
By Jennifer Connic

Some of the region’s top young scientists gathered at Westport’s Staples High School today for the annual Southern Connecticut Invitational Science and Engineering Fair.

The fair hosted over 70 projects from students from Staples, Darien High School and Greenwich’s Convent of the Sacred Heart, and prizes were awarded to students in life sciences, physical sciences and research proposals.

Standing near boards displaying their work, the students spoke to judges and members of the public who visited Staples about their work today.

Staples Junior Antonella Lisanti, who took top prize in the physical sciences category, said it was difficult to break down her project “Images of AGN In The MUSYC Survey” into a few sentences.

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02/03/07 08:18 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Save the Children Collects 282,000 Baby Caps

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Westport Brownie Troop 552 and Junior Troop 1008 pose with the 282,000 knitted baby caps at Westport-based Save the Children today. The troops helped finish the caps, and four girls lobbied in Washington for Save the Children last week. Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
By Jennifer Connic

Save the Children officials expected to receive 30,000 knitted baby caps in one of their recent efforts to raise awareness on the infant mortality rate in developing countries, but in the end they received over 280,0000 caps.

The caps are bagged according to what state the knitter sent the cap from and are stored in a large room just off of the main lobby of the Westport-based nonprofit organization’s headquarters on Wilton Road, and today Save the Children celebrated the culmination of the project.

Since last summer, Save the Children has sponsored a program where knitters and crocheters from across the country were invited to create a baby hat that would be sent to new mothers in Malawi and Bangladesh.

The effort was to raise awareness that two million infants die in the first 24 hours after birth in developing countries and that their lives could be saved through being kept warm. Save the Children officials and the knitters visited Washington last week to lobby on Capitol Hill and at the White House for the cause.

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02/03/07 05:57 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Famed Artist and Musician Eric von Schmidt Dies at 75

Eric von Schmidt, a renowned Westport artist and pioneering figure in the folk music explosion of the late 1950s and early 1960s whose works touched the lives of generations of musicians, died Friday at a Fairfield convalescent home. He was 75.WestportNow.com Image
Eric von Schmidt (c) posed with Westport artist Howard Munce (l) and Mollie Donovan of the Westport Historical Society in September 2004 prior to the debut of an exhibit of his paintings from his “Giants of the Blues” series. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

His daughter Caitlin von Schmidt of Westport said her father had been in ill health since suffering a stroke in September. She said a memorial service will be announced later.

Eric von Schmidt, a Westport native and 1949 Staples High School graduate, was the son of the late illustrator Harold von Schmidt whose rustic portraits of the American West appeared on Saturday Evening Post covers and in other magazines.

He perhaps became best known as a folk and blues singer-songwriter of the folk/blues revival of the 1960s, a key part of the East Coast folk scene and crowd that included Bob Dylan and Joan Baez.

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02/03/07 03:16 PM Comments (2) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Farrell, Enjoying Quieter Life, Has No Elective Office Plans

Three months after losing her second bid for Congress, Former Westport First Selectman Diane Farrell says she is enjoying a quieter life and has no immediate plans to run for office again.WestportNow.com Image
Flashback: Former Westport First Selectwoman Diane Farrell greets supporters on election night in November. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ted Horowitz for WestportNow.com

“As a politician, you never say never, but I have no plans to file campaign papers—that is not my focus,” she said in an interview published today in the Connecticut Post. “I truly believe voters prefer candidates who step out and do something else rather than be perennial candidates.”

The Washington-datelined report said Farrell is splitting her time these days between her home in Westport and the Watergate Hotel in the Foggy Bottom section of Washington.

Her husband, Win, is a management consultant with Kestral Corp. and works in Washington during the week, the Post said. Her days are filled networking as she plans her future.

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“Art from the Heart” Retrospective Debuts in Stamford

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Westport artist Naiad Einsel addresses Friday night’s opening reception of “Art from the Heart,” a retrospective exhibit of the Valentine’s Day creations of Einsel and her late husband Walter at the Stamford Art Gallery of the University of Connecticut. The exhibit runs through Feb. 24. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Library Hosts Floral Paintings Exhibit

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The Westport Public Library Friday night hosted a reception to mark the opening of its “Abstract Flora” exhibit of paintings by Westport artist Roe Halper (c). Introductions included one from Westport artist Howard Munce (r). The paintings will be on exhibit in the library’s Greath Hall through Feb. 28. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

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Before the Snow

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Before the snow fell throughout the region Friday night, ducks swam across the creek near Westport’s Compo Beach Road. Temperatures are expected to dip into the teens and remain there into next week. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

02/03/07 05:30 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Saturday, Feb. 3, 2007


11 a.m. - Staples High School - Southern Connecticut Invitational Science & Engineering Fair
1 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Eighth Annual Crossword Puzzle Contest (registration closed)
8 p.m. - Christ and Holy Trinity Church - Singers & Songwriters: Josh Ritter

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Westport Plastic Surgeon Gets 20 Months on Fraud Charges

A federal judge in Bridgeport today sentenced Westport plastic surgeon Steven Herman to 20 months in prison on tax evasion and health care fraud charges.

U.S. District Court Judge Janet C. Hall also ordered two years of supervised release for Herman, 63, who pleaded guilty to the charges last September. (See WestportNow Sept. 18, 2006)

Herman, who had a practice in Norwalk and earlier in Manhattan, waived indictment and pleaded guilty to charges of tax evasion, illegal structuring of financial transactions, and health care fraud.

In addition to the imposed term of imprisonment, Hall ordered Herman to pay a fine in the amount of $60,000, to pay approximately $150,000 in restitution to the Oxford Insurance Company for his health care fraud offense, and to forfeit $236,117 to the government for his financial structuring offense, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

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Firefighters Pay Respect to Former Deputy Chief Sanford

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Firefighters from around the state paid their respects today to former Westport Deputy Chief David A. Sanford at his funeral service at St. Patrick’s Church in Redding. Westport Fire Chief Christopher Ackley and Deputy Chief Jonathan Gottfried led the contingent of Westport firefighters at the event and were joined by First Selectman Gordon Joseloff. Sanford, who one time also served as Wilton deputy chief in addition to chief in West Redding, died Tuesday after a long illness at the age of 62. (See WestportNow Jan. 30, 2006) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/02/07 10:03 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Library Series Features “Born on the Fourth of July”

The Westport Public Library will feature “Born on the Fourth of July” as the fifth movie in the six-part Periscope Film series on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Oliver Stone’s Oscar-winning film was based on the searing autobiography of Vietnam vet and anti-war activist Ron Kovic.

After the film, Professor Martin Haas will talk about how the film reflects the U.S. value system that led to the Vietnam War while also exploring the struggle of a young man learning to accept the consequences of Vietnam for himself and the nation.

Haas is the Adelphi University History Department chairman and is on the board of directors of the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington, N.Y.

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

02/02/07 09:58 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Working on the Town Plan

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Planning consultant Glenn Chalder (l) and Westport Planning and Zoning Director Laurence Bradley (r) today reviewed information gathered from the public workshop on the update of the Town Plan of Conservation and Development held on Monday (See WestportNow Jan. 29). Chalder is the head of the Avon-based Planimetrics consulting firm hired to help the Planning and Zoning Commission complete the town plan update. The information from the meeting will added to a booklet being developed for the commission and already available in part on the town’s Web site. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/02/07 09:38 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

P&Z Examines How to Promote Affordable Housing

By Jennifer Connic

The Westport Planning and Zoning Commission is starting to examine ways it can promote the development of affordable housing.

P&Z Director Laurence Bradley said commission would like to create initiatives and incentives to promote more affordable housing, including allowing for the town’s accessory apartments to be deemed as affordable housing under state statutes.

“We have to look at the process,” he said. “There are things we need to do before they would qualify. That would include deed restrictions and yearly income reviews.”

Additionally, the owners of the apartments—which can only house people ages 62 years old or older per zoning regulations—would need to be willing to allow for the restrictions, he said.

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02/02/07 08:19 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Declaring Wear Red Day

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Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff reads a proclamation this morning declaring today “Wear Red Day” while surrounded by Town Hall workers wearing red. Wear Red Day is a program sponsored by the American Heart Association to bring attention to the fact that heart disease is the number one killer among women.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

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School Board May Cut Landon’s Budget Proposal

By Jennifer Connic

The Westport Board of Education is preparing to deliberate and vote on the proposed 2007-08 school budget, and its final decision may be something less than what Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon has proposed.

Landon has proposed an $89.2 million 2007-08 budget, which is a 8.8 percent, or $7.2 million, increase over the current budget. The board is scheduled to vote on the proposal during its meeting at 8 p.m. on Monday at Staples High School.

During a meeting with the Board of Finance on Tuesday night, Board of Education Chairwoman Mary Parmelee said the board most likely would present the finance board with something different than what Landon has proposed.

“I imagine we will make changes to the budget,” she said on Thursday. “I only know of potential requests to lower it.”

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Wintery Mix in the Forecast

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Temperatures were in the 30s on Thursday with mostly clear skies, but forecasters predicted a wintery mix of snow and sleet for today. The view is of the sunset Thursday from Westport’s Longshore Club Park. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

02/02/07 05:30 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Friday, Feb. 2, 2007


9 a.m. - Town Hall front steps - Wear Red Day proclamation reading
9 a.m. - noon - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Cholesterol and blood pressure screening
8 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Singers & Songwriters: Jim Kempner
8 p.m. - Westport Community Theatre - “Spinning into Butter”

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Kicking Off Celebrate Westport’s Second Year

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The town kicked off the second year of its Celebrate Westport initiative this morning at a Town Hall meeting. Among those addressing the session attended by representatives of many of Westport’s nonprofit organizations were (l-r) Susan Witkow, chair of the Celebrate Westport Committee, Selectwoman Shelly Kassen, and the town’s webmaster, Carrie Makover. During its first year, Celerate Westport helped launch the Westport Farmers Market at the Westport Country Playhouse, which will continue later this year. The initiative this year includes an online calendar of events. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/02/07 04:17 AM Comments (1) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Wintry Mix Forecast for Tonight and Friday

The National Weather Service said today a wintry mix is on tap tonight and Friday morning for Westport and portions of the tri-state area.

Developing low pressure over the Carolinas will track northeast and will find itself well south of Long Island by Friday morning, then will continue northeast towards Cape Cod and the Gulf of Maine, an afternoon advisory said.

Light snow will be developing later this evening—mainly after midnight—before increasing in intensity during the pre-dawn hours.

Along the coast, snow will mix with and change over to rain during the morning commute on Friday, then rain will spread into much of the tri-state area before tapering off by midday Friday, the advisory said.

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Fabrizi Talks on Bridgeport’s Successes and Challenges

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Bridgeport Mayor John Fabrizi thanked Westporters during his talk to the Y’s Men of Westport Weston this morning. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
By Jennifer Connic

Bridgeport Mayor John Fabrizi today outlined for a Westport audience his plans to pave a bright future for the city, but he also acknowledged the challenges city officials face in order to turn Bridgeport’s fortunes around.

Fabrizi, speaking before the Y’s Men of Westport Weston at its weekly meeting at Saugatuck Congregational Church, thanked the Westporters in the audience for their contributions to the city.

“No other community does more for Bridgeport through volunteerism than Westport and Weston,” he said.

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02/01/07 06:43 PM Comments (3) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 185 Imperial Ave.

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Westport building officials are reviewing an application to demolish the house at 185 Imperial Ave. The 1910 house is on .5 of an acre, and the Historic District Commission will have to review the application because of the home’s age. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/01/07 06:25 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon
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