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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Sliding Together

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After several days of colder temperatures, the temperature was around 50 degrees Friday in Westport. It brought children out to play at Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Saturday, Jan. 13, 2007


10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Earthplace - Recycling Day
2 p.m. - Long Lots Elementary - Music Theatre of Connecticut presents “Pinocchio”
2:30 - 3:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Wolf children’s program

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Leaving for Counties

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High school students (l-r) Amy Vickery, Brandon Davis, Lee Wacker, Sam Moritz, Zoe Sansted and Noah Witke get ready to take a limo to the Counties Ball held at Westport’s Inn at Longshore tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Josh Moritz for WestportNow.com

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Westport Arts Center Debuts New Exhibit

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The Westport Arts Center tonight held a reception to mark the opening of its new exhibit, “Still Missing: Beauty Absent Social Life,” which runs through March 4. The paintings explore the sense of isolation or disconnectedness that has come to define the modern era, according to the Center. Westporter Barry Hyman, a real estate photographer, studies one of five of artist Verena Landers’  ”Pass Over Series.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

01/13/07 02:08 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Friday, January 12, 2007

School Board Spends Day Discussing Budget

By Jennifer Connic

The Westport Board of Education spent today discussing the 2007-08 school budget proposed by Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon.

Landon has proposed a $89.3 million budget, which is a 8.9 percent, or $7.3 million, increase over the current budget.

The discussion today ranged from insurance to class size to guidance counselors.

The budget discussions will continue during the board’s next meeting on Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Staples High School.

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More Charges Filed on Westport Burglars

Westport police filed more charges against the two men arrested last month in connection to a series of burglaries.

Anthony Barbera, 22, of 18 Eno Lane in Westport, and Randal Weis, 26, of 450 Woodlawn Ave. in Bridgeport, were arrested by Westport police while they were in Norwalk Superior Court answering to other charges on Thursday.

Barbera was charged with two counts of attempt to commit a crime, four counts of second-degree burglary, two counts of sixth-degree larceny, fourth-degree larceny and first-degree larceny.

Weis was charged with three counts of second-degree burglary, two counts of sixth-degree larceny and fourth-degree larceny.

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Budget Questions

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Board of Education Chairwoman Mary Parmelee (l) asks a question during a board budget session today with Westport Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon (c) and Assistant Superintendent for Business Nancy Harris (r). Landon has proposed a $89.3 million 2007-08 school budget, which is a 8.9 percent, or $7.3 million, increase over the current budget. The board is spending the day at the Westport Public Library discussing the proposal. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jennifer Connic for WestportNow.com

01/12/07 04:26 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 173 Riverside Ave.

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Westport building officials are reviewing an application to demolish the house at 173 Riverside Ave. The 1935 house sits on .9 acres along the Saugatuck River, and because of its age, the Westport Historic District Commission will review the application. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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On Thin Ice

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With temperatures in the 20s and 30s, Westport’s Round Pond Thursday had patches of ice large enough for these vistors to stand on. Today’s forecast calls for highs in the upper 40s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Friday, Jan. 12, 2007


8:30 a.m. - Westport Public Library - Board of Education budget session
8:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Westport Transit District
10 a.m. – Senior Center – Coordinating Committee for Senior Services
6:30 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Opening Reception: Still Missing: Beauty Absent Social Life

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Demonstrators Protest Iraq Troop Decision

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Activists angered by President Bush’s decision to send more troops to Iraq staged a demonstration in Westport tonight on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge. It was one of many such protests across the nation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jerry Kuyper for WestportNow.com

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Candlelight Protest

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The Rev. Frank Hall (2nd r). senior minister at Westport’s Unitarian Church, was among those demonstrating tonight on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge in Westport’s center. The gathering was one of many across the country following President Bush’s announcement more troops willl be sent to Iraq. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jerry Kuyper for WestportNow.com

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All Gone: 151 Long Lots Road

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The house at 151 Long Lots Road, built in 1952 and sitting on a 1.6 acres, was demolished today. The property, which changed hands in October for $835,000, was the WestportNow Teardown of the Day on Nov 17, 2006. The new owner lives on an adjacent property known as the Joseph Jennings House which was built in 1871 and is on the list of Westport’s historic house inventory. The owner said she and her husband purchased the neighboring property to prevent any developer from building an “oversized house” on it and plan to keep it as open space. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Mirror Image

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Walkers were out today at Westport’s Compo Beach enjoying the recently arrived winter-like weather. Today’s high was 35 degrees after an overnight low of 22.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

01/11/07 11:36 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Affordable Housing Proposal Rumors Circulating

By Jennifer Connic

Many rumors about potential state-mandated affordable housing applications have surfaced in Westport, but no applications have been officially been made to the Westport Planning and Zoning Department.

WestportNow has been alerted of rumors that the applications may be filed for housing on Myrtle Avenue and Bayberry Lane, and those rumors have been mentioned at recent Westport Representative Town Meeting sessions.

P&Z Director Laurence Bradley said everything is a rumor until he sees an application.

“There has been a lot of talk, but until something is submitted, we can’t say something is happening,” he said.

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WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 6 East Meadow Road

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Westport building officials are reviewing an application to demolish the house at 6 East Meadow Road off of Old Hill Road. The 1926 house sits on .9 acres of land, and because of its age the Westport Historic District Commission will review the application. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

01/11/07 11:31 AM Comments (2) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Winter at the Dock

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Winter temperatures settled into Westport Wednesday. Temperatures registered in the 30s with a cold wind. Temperatures are expected to stay in the 30s today, but they go up into the 40s this weekend. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Thursday, Jan. 11, 2007


7 p.m. – Westport Fire Headquarters – Public Site & Building Commission
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Composers Project: The 21st Century Composer

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Finance Board Begins Budget Reviews

By Jennifer Connic

Budget proposals for 2007-08 from various town departments may not have been submitted to First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, but the Westport Board of Finance discussed the health and transit during a meeting tonight.

Representatives from the Westport-Weston Health District and the Norwalk Transit District met with the finance board about budget issues they face, including community health activities and advertising in local buses.

John Cimarosa, health district consultant, said district officials are always looking for new community health programs based on needs, and the programs are the one area that is not mandated by law.

One example is the Meals for One program, he said, which helps senior citizens learn how to cook well for themselves.

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Selectmen Approve Use of Lot for Power Line Project

By Jennifer Connic

The Westport Board of Selectmen today approved an easement for Connecticut Light and Power Co. to use the lower Imperial Avenue parking lot to lay a high-voltage power line under the Saugatuck River, but power company officials and the construction crews were told to be sensitive to neighbors.

Construction crews would use the entire lower lot temporarily to allow workers to dig a trench under the river for the power line. It is part of the project for 345-kilovolt transmission line from Middletown to Norwalk by Northeast Utilities.

The lot will also permanently contain a vault for electric equipment. Construction will also be suspended in June in order to make way for the Westport Woman’s Club’s 100th annual Yankee Doodle Fair.

Town officials have negotiated a deal to receive $297,500 for the easements.

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Y’s Men to Hear from IBM Executive

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Michael G. Hill: Speaking to the Y’s Men Thursday. Contributed photo
The Y’s Men of Westport Weston will hear about the changes in business innovation during its session on Thursday at 10 a.m. at Saugatuck Congregational Church.

Michael G. Hill, IBM global telecommunications industry general manager, will speak on “Business Innovation and the Telecommunications Industry Challenge.”

In his position, Hill is focused on helping IBM’s telecommunications industry clients succeed in a converging business climate comprised of telecommunications, media and entertainment, IT and consumer electronics industries.
For more information, call Bill Meyer at (203) 226-3704 or Jon Fox at (203) 227-2679 or visit www.ysmenwestportweston.org.

01/11/07 01:55 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Westport Photographer Sues Playhouse

A Westport photographer is suing the Westport Country Playhouse and Yale University Press for what he says was illegal publication of 12 of his photographs in a book about the Playhouse.

Jayson Byrd alleges theft, copyright infringement, unlawful conversion, unjust enrichment and intentional infliction of emotional distress in the suit filed Monday in New Haven Superior Court. He is seeking unspecified damages.

The photos appear in “An American Theatre: The story of the Westport Country Playhouse 1931-2005,” which was published in 2005 and sold for approximately $40, according to a news release.

Pat Blaufuss, Playhouse spokeswoman, said the matter has been referred to the theater’s attorneys and there is no further comment on the matter at this time.

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Little Joins Board of Finance

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Republican Thomas Little (l) officially joined the Westport Board of Finance tonight. Town Clerk Patricia Strauss (r) administered the oath of office before tonight’s finance board meeting. The board voted earlier this week on Little to fill a vacancy created when R. Gavin Anderson retired from the board in December (See WestportNow Jan. 9). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jennifer Connic for WestportNow.com

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

All Gone: 8 Sprucewood Lane

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Crews are completing the clean-up of the house at 8 Sprucewood Lane, which was demolished this week. The one-story ranch was built in 1960 and sold in November for $1.2 million. It was the first demolition permit issued of 2007 and was the WestportNow Teardown of the Day on Dec. 6. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

01/10/07 09:27 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Baron’s South and Jesup Green Study Moves Forward

By Jennifer Connic

Town officials have secured the funding to plan for the future of Baron’s South and Jesup Green, but some Westport Representative Town Meeting members said they worried about the future costs.

The RTM approved nearly $50,000 for an engineering study of Baron’s South and Jesup Green during its meeting Tuesday night.

First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said the study will look at the area with consideration of the 2001 Downtown Plan, the Westport Public Library’s plans for expansion, the Levitt Pavilion’s plans for expansion, the Downtown Merchants Association recent plans to expand downtown parking and the need for workforce housing.

The Westport EMS has requested to expand police headquarters, he said, but perhaps the headquarters should be moved into a new public safety building with the potential of being constructed on Baron’s South, he said.

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