Saturday, January 20, 2007
Sportswriter Describes Boxing Days of the 1920s
By Dave Matlow
Veteran sportswriter Jack Cavanaugh described for Westport Sunrise Rotary Club members today the colorful days of the 1920s when boxers Gene Tunney and Jack Dempsey transfixed the nation.
Veteran sportswriter Jack Cavanaugh addressed the Westport Sunrise Rotary Club today about his biography of fighter Gene Tunney. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
“He was the greatest Irish athlete who ever lived,” the former New York Times journalist and longtime Wilton resident said of Tunney.
“Tunney,” Cavanaugh’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated biography of the legendary athlete, was published by Random House in November and has won widespread positive reviews.
The author reviewed Tunney’s stunning boxing career in which he notched a 77-1 record as a prizefighter, including 48 knockouts. His only loss was a 15-round decision in 1922 to a fearless and unorthodox fighter named Harry Greb.
Friday, January 19, 2007
Westport Fifth Graders Graduate from DARE Program
Westport’s elementary schools in recent days have been hosting graduation ceremonies for fifth grade students who participated in the town’s DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program sponsored by the Westport Police Department. Today’s ceremony was at Saugatuck Elementary School and Police Chief Al Fiore (at microphone) participated along with First Selectman Gordon Joseloff and Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon. DARE officers Chris Proudfoot and David Wolf (seated) presided over the ceremonies. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Annual Music Festival Canceled
Westport school officials have canceled the annual all-town band and orchestra festival, but they are seeking alternatives to the event that could include smaller concerts at individual schools.
Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon said he decided to cancel the event—which features bands and orchestras from all of Westport’s schools—for a variety of issues, but he has asked for recommendations on how to move forward.
“I’ve asked the teachers how we should proceed,” he said. “We could have a showcase at each school.”
One of the issues with the annual event was its size and the number of people who attend, he said.
Science and Engineering Foundation Seeks Support
The Westport Science & Engineering Foundation (WSEF) is seeking to raise $50,000 to support the annual Southern Connecticut Invitational Science & Engineering Fair (SCISEF).
This year’s fair is scheduled for Feb. 3 at Staples High School, and it is open to students from the region.
In the past, there have been entries from Westport, Darien, Greenwich and Wilton.
“We’re delighted that SCISEF continues to grow and that’s why we’re looking for donations in many forms – financial contributions and corporate sponsorships, food for the event and printing of materials,” said William M. Foster II, WSEF President. “And, we have a need for additional judges. In the last five years, we’ve gone from 10 to 60 and still we require more.”
Before the rain and snow on Thursday, Monk parakeets flocked to a bird feeder near Round Pond. Snow showers moved into Westport Thursday afternoon, and more snow showers were forecast to fall before this morning’s commute. Predictions do not call for a large amount of snow. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Friday, Jan. 19, 2007
9:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Commission for Senior Services
8 p.m. - Seabury Center - Singers & Songwriters: Jimmy LaFave
P&Z Rejects Gorham Avenue Affordable Housing Application
The Westport Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously tonight to reject the plan to build an affordable housing project in the middle of the Gorham Avenue Historic District.
Red Coat Development has 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. The application falls under the state’s affordable housing statute, which switches the burden of proof on a zoning decision to the commission.
The commission spent nearly two hours reviewing and making grammar and word changes in a 20-page resolution that stated its reasons for rejecting the proposal.
Officials representing Red Coat Development have stated in the past they would appeal a decision if the commission denied the application.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
First Snow of the Season
Snow showers moved through Westport this afternoon leaving a dusting of snow on grassy areas. More snow is expected overnight, but forecasts say there should not be much of an accumulation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com
Crews Preparing for Light Snow
Snow plows are ready this afternoon in Westport as the first snow of the season was beginning to fall.
Snow showers started moving through the area this afternoon, and more is expected tonight and early Friday morning. Weather reports say little accumulation is expected.
Westport Public Works Director Stephen Edwards said, however, his crews stand ready no matter how much snow may fall.
“We’re not anticipating a major (snow) event tonight, but we will be prepared,” he said. “We are on alert and the plows are ready to go.”
Speaking on Judicial Activism
Westporter and U.S. District Judge Alan H. Nevas spoke at the Y’s Men of Westport Weston today on the subject “Judicial Activism: Is It Good or Bad?” Nevas was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as U.S. Attorney for Connecticut. In 1985 Reagan appointed him as a U.S. District Judge. Nevas was also served as Board of Finance chairman and on the Westport Public Library Board of Trustees. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Request to Remove School Library Book Denied
Elliott Landon: Denied request to remove “The Lovely Bones.” WN file photoWestport Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon has rejected a request to remove a book from the Coleytown Middle School library.
A parent last month requested “The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold be removed from the library, and the Challenged Materials Committee spent several meetings reviewing the request (See WestportNow Dec. 18).
The committee recommended to Landon he not remove the book from the library, and in a Jan. 5 letter he supported the committee’s decision.
In the first chapter of the book, which was published in 2002, a 14-year-old girl is walking home from school when she is abducted, raped and killed by a neighbor.
Fire Department Receives $152,000 Federal Grant
After four unsuccessful tries to secure a federal Assistance for Firefighters Grant, the Westport Fire Department has received $152,306 in funding for protective gear and other items from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The funding, announced Wednesday, will be used to purchase air tanks, turnout gear, vehicle intercom systems ear protection and fitness equipment.
First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said he was grateful for the funding after several failed attempts and having to spend increasing tax dollars on firefighter equipment.
“We’ve watched with envy as neighboring departments in Fairfield and Wilton received the funding,” he said. “This not only enhances the safety of our firefighters, but the safety for all of our residents.”
Temperatures were below freezing in Westport on Wednesday and are expected to be in the low 30s today. Snow showers are in the forecast for Friday. View is of the Ned Dimes Marina at Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Thursday, Jan. 18, 2007
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Planning & Zoning Commission public hearing (live coverage cable channel 79 and at www.westportct.gov)
7 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Third Thursday: Sharon Levin (flute) with Gene Pino (guitar)
7:15 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Youth Commission
Speaking on Life’s Challenges
Esther Jungreis, a Holocaust survivor, spoke tonight at a Chabad Lubavitch of Westport event attended by about 100 people. She signed copies of her book, “Life is a Test – How to Meet Life’s Challenges Successfully,” after her talk. Jungreis has made it her life’s mission to bring back Jews to Orthodox Judaism. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Volunteer firefighters Mike Acquino and Michelle Reiner work on knot training tonight at the Westport Fire Department. It was part of a state certification training course on rope rescues. The professional firefighters are also taking the training. The training is intended to help firefighters during the Northeast Utilities construction of the high-voltage power line if there are any problems. Workers are burying the power line under Route 1 in Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Y Officials Answer Questions
Helene Weir, Family Y CEO, listens to questions and comments during a forum tonight on the project to move the Y facility to Camp Mahackeno. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
By Jennifer Connic
A small group of Westporters gathered at the Westport Weston Family Y tonight to pose questions and hear the latest news on the progress towards the construction of a new facility at the Y-owned Camp Mahackeno near exit 41 of the Merrit Parkway.
Helene Weir, Family Y chief executive officer, said Y officials wanted to open the Y to anyone who had questions so there could be open communication. Family Y officials are working to move their facility from downtown Westport to Camp Mahackeno.
The discussion ranged from how many potential new members could be at the new Y facility to concerns about traffic to why town officials want to keep the facility downtown.
Weir said the number of members has dropped from 8,000 to 6,000 in the last 10 years, and that could be attributed to the poor quality of the current facility.
A walker at Westport’s Compo Beach dressed warmly today as the overnight temperature dipped to 16 degrees before warming up to the 20s during the day. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Closed for Power Line Work
Lincoln Street is closed during daytime hours this week as workers from Northeast Utilities bury the high-voltage power line under the road. The power line—which is part of the project that stretches the line from Middletown to Norwalk—will mainly be buried under Route 1 in Westport, but it will also go under the Saugatuck River from Lincoln Street to the Imperial Avenue parking lot. Once work is completed on Lincoln Street, the crews will move to Imperial Avenue to continue burying the power line. Work on burying the line under the Saugatuck River is not expected to start until the summer. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Landon Supports National Education Standards
Elliott Landon: Suports mandatory national education standards. WN file photoBy Jennifer Connic
U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., has proposed voluntary, national educational standards, but Westport Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon said he thinks the standards should be mandatory.
After five years, the U.S. Congress is planning to review the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
Dodd is the co-sponsor of the Standards to Provide Educational Achievement for Kids Act with Sen. Vernon Ehlers, R-Mich., and it would provide incentives to states who adopt national standards in math and science.
“Math and science skills are essential to establish and maintain academic competitiveness on the global landscape,” Dodd said in a written statement. “American students should have the same opportunities to learn and achieve success whether they study in large schools or small, or live in Connecticut or California.”
Budget Deficit Could Mean Spending Freeze
If a deficit in the school budget were to continue, Westport school officials would need to freeze accounts or ask for a special appropriation.
The Westport Board of Education discussed how there is a $171,000 deficit in the 2006-07 school budget during its meeting Tuesday night.
Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon said last week that the deficit is not a real problem at this point (See WestportNow Jan. 14).
Assistant Superintendent for Business Nancy Harris said Tuesday night a lot can happen with a number of accounts that would affect if there is a budget shortfall at the end of the fiscal year, which is June 30.
Winter’s Chill in the Air
Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2007
Page 1300 of 1650 pages
10:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – International Hospitality Committee
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Conservation Commission
7 p.m. - Westport-Weston Family Y - Mahackeno Forum
7 p.m. - Seabury Center - Anthony Rapp
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