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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Playhouse Receives Grants

Westport Country Playhouse received a $10,000 grant from the Fairfield County Community Foundation and a $7,500 grant from the Greater Bridgeport Area Foundation.

The Fairfield County Community Foundation’s grant will support the Playhouse’s Playmaking project conducted at the Literacy Center in South Norwalk and at the Playhouse during winter 2006.

The Playhouse Playmaking project for fourth through sixth graders is designed to introduce students to the magic of the dramatic impulse through improvisation and writing exercises.

By the conclusion of the eight-week workshop, the participants will each have written a short play which will be performed in readings by professional actors at the Playhouse before an audience of family and friends.

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03/11/06 02:00 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Heading to the Beach

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A family took advantage of today’s warm temperatures to head to Westport’s Compo Beach—the fun way. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

03/11/06 01:55 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Program on Adapting to Middle School Featured

Many parents have discovered the transition from elementary school to middle school can be a challenging.

Positive Directions will present “Creating Lasting Family Connections,” a program geared for fifth-grade parents to cope with the challenges and preventing risky behavior on four consecutive Mondays starting March 27. The programs will be held 9:30-11:15 a.m. at the Positive Directions Westport office.

A professional counselor will lead each of the sessions. Each attendee will receive a copy of the “Raising Resilient Youth” workbook.

Reservations for the workshops are limited and it costs $100. Scholarships are available and requests are confidential.

For more information or to make a reservation, contact Positive Directions at (203) 227-7644 ext 127.

03/11/06 12:17 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Staples Soccer Co-Captains Announce College Choices

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Colin Nangle. WN photo
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Ross McGibney. WN photo
Ross McGibney and Colin Nangle, co-captains of the 2005 Staples High School boys’ soccer teams, have announced their college choices.

McGibney has accepted a full athletic scholarship to Division I Quinnipiac College, while Nangle will attend Division III powerhouse Middlebury College. 

The two Wreckers will join more than 250 Staples players who have played college soccer since the Staples program began 48 years ago. More than 50 have become college captains.

McGibney, who recently returned from California, where he competed with the Olympic Development Program’s Region I team, will be the first Stapleite to play at Quinnipiac.

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03/11/06 11:07 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Early Risers

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Rowers were out early today on the Saugatuck River in Westport. The forecast called for a high in the upper 50s today.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

03/11/06 10:36 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Thinking of Summer

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Friday’s warm temperatures had many people thinking of summer. This mother and son enjoyed the afternoon at Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

03/11/06 12:53 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Playhouse Opens 2006 Season Tonight

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The Westport Country Playhouse kicks off its 2006 season with tonight’s official opening of “On the Verge (or The Geography of Yearning)” by Eric Overmyer, playing through March 25. The comedy is directed by Tazewell Thompson, Playhouse artistic director. Pictured are (l-r): Laiona Michelle as Mary, Susan Bennett as Alex, Molly Wright Stuart as Fanny and Tom Beckett as Grover et al. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) T. Charles Erickson photo

03/11/06 12:41 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Saturday, March 11, 2006


8 p.m. - Staples High School - Staples Players present “Urinetown, The Musical”
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “On the Verge”

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Friday, March 10, 2006

Bittersweet Farewell to Fire Marshal Fred Baker

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Saying thank you: Fred Baker addresses a reception in his honor tonight. WestportNow.com photo

By Jayde Levesque

It was a festive and bittersweet scene tonight as Fire Marshal Fred Baker bid farewell to Westport. 

Baker, who served on the Westport Fire Department for more than 27 years, retired from his career in Westport last month to take a similar position in New Canaan.

“New Canaan is lucky to have someone with motivation,” said Fire Inspector Nate Gibbons. “They’re getting someone with more than a badge. They’re getting someone involved in the community.”

Baker began his career as a firefighter in Westport in 1978, when he was 22 years old. He joined the department the same day as a number of other longtime firefighters, including Chief Christopher Ackley, who was unable to attend tonight’s reception. 

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03/10/06 11:18 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

A Very Special Thank You

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A party tonight honoring retired Westport Fire Marshall Fred Baker (l) included a tribute from Rebecca Loeser, 14, and her parents Patricia and Ronald (4th and 5th l). Baker rescued Rebecca from their burning Bonnie Brook Road house on July 19, 1994, when she was a 2-year-old. One of the first on the scene, Baker rushed into the home and carried Rebecca from a smoke-filled second floor bedroom. Deputy Chief Mark Amaturdo (3rd l) introduced them and read a letter from Chief Chris Ackley who could not attend the event. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

03/10/06 10:10 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

A Memorable Reunion

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Among those on hand for tonight’s farewell to retiring Westport Fire Marshal Fred Baker was Alan Yoder, Westport EMS training director. He was on the ambulance crew that took Rebecca Loeser, then 2, to the hospital after Baker rescued her from her burning Westport home in 1994. Rebecca, 14, attended the reception with her mother, Patricia. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

03/10/06 10:07 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Summer-like Winter Day

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A late afternoon walk on Westport’s Compo Beach was a perfect way to end a day that seemed more summer-like than winter. The temperature climbed into the 70s in Westport during the afternoon. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

03/10/06 07:59 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Police Investigate Bank Robbery

Westport Police are investigating a robbery today at the Webster Bank, 244 Post Road East, in the Colonial Green shopping plaza.

A lone black male entered the bank late this afternoon and demanded cash, according to police.

A clerk gave him an unknown amount of cash, according to police.

The man fled, but it remains unclear if he got into a car, according to police. Investigators were checking the bank’s security cameras for possible images of the suspect.

03/10/06 05:49 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Dog Day Afternoon

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Today’s warm temperatures attracted dogs and their owners to Westport’s Compo Beach. This is the last month dogs are allowed on the beach before the summer season begins April 1. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

03/10/06 05:30 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Assessment Appeal Process Explained

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Westporters today got a quick lesson in the tax assessment appeals process.WestportNow.com Image
Fairfield Assessor Thomas Browne addresses today’s forum at the Senior Center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ron Malone for WestportNow.com

Fairfield Tax Assessor Thomas Browne and Westport Board of Assessment Appeals Chairman Garson Heller teamed together to explain the process and answer questions at the Westport Center for Senior Activities.

About 75 people attended the event, which was being held to help those who may appeal their assessments, which were changed through the revaluation process. March 20 is the deadline for residents to file an appeal.

Assessor William Gaffney said several hundred people have already filed an appeal, but he is expecting many more with one week left before the deadline.

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03/10/06 04:30 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Kids and Seniors Sing “Green” Together

Irish eyes of all ages will be smiling together on St. Patrick’s Day as students from Coleytown Middle School entertain at the Westport Center for Senior Activities.

The school’s Camarata, a select singing group, will arrive at the center with choral teacher Amy Radomsky at 1 p.m. on Friday, March 17.  The Camarata is an extra-curricular activity open to students in grades 6-8.

The group of 11 youngsters will sing two traditional Irish songs alone, “Caleno Custure Me,” a Gaelic piece, and “The Lord Bless and Keep You,” a traditional Irish air, an announcement said.

They will then join the Melo-Dears and the Hoot Owls, the senior women’s and men’s choruses, respectively,  in such old favorites as “When Irish Eyes are Smiling,” “Wild Irish Rose,” and “McNamara’s Band.” Cookies and socializing will complete this intergenerational activity.

03/10/06 01:10 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Staples Players “Urinetown, The Musical” Opens Tonight

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Jacob Heimer and Mia Gentile are among those appearing in the Staples Players production of “Urinetown, The Musical” opening tonight at Westport’s Staples High School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

03/10/06 07:09 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Westport Property Transfers Feb. 27-March 3, 2006

Property transfers as reported by the Westport Town Clerk’s office for the period Feb. 27-March 3, 2006

Bruce I. Weiser and Tami J. Ganeles-Weiser to Suzanne Elizabeth Watson Trust, 5 Rainey Lane, $1,240,000WN property.jpg

Prudential Residential Services LP to Andrew A. Zipper and Christine Bourget, 10 Winding Lane, $2,200,000

Echo Valley LLC to Trace and Tracy Gallagher, 9 Sugar Maple Lane, $2,300,000

Candace D. Herbst to Jemnam LLC, 205 Main St., $1,950,000

Shirley L. Perry to Mildred H. Hohn, 35 Bridge St., Unit 303, $176,741.08

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03/10/06 06:02 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Westport Foundation Launches “World Kidney Day”

A foundation started by a Westport family has launched “World Kidney Day” to call for additional research—and answers—to a chronic disease that affects more than 20 million people.

The Halpin Foundation (www.halpinfoundation.org), founded by the Halpin family in 1989 after their 14-year-old son was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, is pushing for additional investigations in the field of kidney disease research, especially research related to membranous nephropathy, frequently referred to as MN.

“Our goal is to increase the research related to kidney disease as well as autoimmune disease and, ultimately, find better treatments and a cure for this condition,” said Joan Halpin, founder.

The Halpin Foundation issues grants to support training, education, research and projects that demonstrate the effective delivery of health care services, not only in the United States but globally when special opportunities arise. Previous grantees include hospitals and independent researchers, educational facilities, professional associations and community groups.

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03/10/06 04:35 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Taking Flight

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Milder weather is attracting more visitors to Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

03/10/06 12:23 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Friday, March 10, 2006


1:30 p.m. - Westport Senior Center - Forum on appearing before the Board of Assessment Appeals
8 p.m. - Staples High School - Staples Players present “Urinetown, The Musical”

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Reception Marks Publication of Birdhouse Book

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A reception marking publication of “The Art of the Birdhouse, Portraits of Artists and Their Creations” was held tonight at Westport’s Gault Inc. stone and brick showroom. The 128-page book celebrates 10 years of the Birdhouse Auction for Westport’s Project Return, a therapeutic group home residence for adolescent girls. Project Return’s 11th Birdhouse Auction will be held Friday, March 24, at Westport’s Inn at Longshore. Pictured are Sam Gault, as he welcomed guests, and Susie Basler, executive director of Project Return. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

03/09/06 08:37 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Birdhouse Artist

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Artist Bobbie Herman is among those featured in the new book “The Art of the Birdhouse, Portraits of Artists and Their Creations” that benefits Westport’s Project Return. She posed before the photo in the book at tonight’s reception at the Gault showroom. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Paul Cohen for WestportNow.com

03/09/06 08:35 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Staples Players Present “Urinetown”

The Staples Players will present “Urinetown, The Musical” the next two weekends at Westport’s Staples High School.WestportNow.com Image

Performances are planned for Friday and Saturday, and March 17 and 18 at 8 p.m. A matinee will be held at 3 p.m. March 18.

Tickets can be purchased at Staples between 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

For more information, call (203) 341-1310.

03/09/06 06:22 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Rell Asks for Emergency Declaration for February Storm

Westport could be reimbursed for snow cleanup costs as a result of Gov. M. Jodi Rell asking President Bush to declare an emergency for the entire state as the result of last month’s northeaster. 

Rell said in a statement today that she had informed the president in a letter Tuesday that the Feb. 11 – 12 snowstorm cost the state approximately $3 million and municipalities between $6 million and $12 million.

“As a result of this event and several previous storms in December and January, the State of Connecticut’s snow removal budget for this winter season has been severely impacted, as have the snow removal budgets of municipalities across the state,” Rell said in the letter. 

“Therefore, I am specifically requesting assistance for snow removal for the counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Litchfield, New Haven, New London, Middlesex, Tolland and Windham.”.

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WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 165 Bayberry Lane

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The Westport Building Department is reviewing an application to demolish the house at 165 Bayberry Lane, which is near the intersection with Cross Highway. The house sold in March 2005 for $1.2 million. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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McCarthy: Environmental Protection Part of Economic Growth

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State DEP Commissioner Gina McCarthy spoke to the Y’s Men today about sparking economic growth through preserving the environment. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Environmental Protection is an integral part of economic growth, said state Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Gina McCarthy today.

She spoke about environmental issues facing the state during a talk to the Westport/Weston Y’s Men at the Saugatuck Congregational Church.

Environmental issues need to be considered up front as communities and state officials examine how they should grow, she said.

“If there are issues of economic development, I want to be at the table,” she said.

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Festival Italiano Parade Concerns Raised

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Westport’s Festival Italiano will go on for another year this July, but police officials have concerns with the parade that kicks off the event.

They have agreed to work with festival organizers to ensure the problems do not continue.

The Board of Selectmen approved the use of Luciano Park for the event, slated for July 6-9, and closing some of the area roads for the parade.

Police Chief Al Fiore said the parade is always wonderful and he enjoys it, but there are problems with traffic back-ups on Saugatuck Avenue.

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Floating on the Pond

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A small boat bobs on Westport’s Old Mill Pond Wednesday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

03/09/06 01:30 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Talking Transportation: Highway Service Areas

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

Most of us don’t think twice about the decrepit service areas on I-95 and the Merritt Parkway. Their nasty fast food and over-priced gas are best avoided by knowing locals. But a major study is underway by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT) to rehabilitate these service and rest areas, and they want your views.

talkingtransportation250.jpg

I recently attended a focus group which examined the shortcomings of the 31 facilities, most of them in southwest Connecticut. The complaints I heard echo commuters’ gripes about Metro-North:  facilities are too old, the bathrooms are dirty and there’s not enough parking.

And what kind of first impression of our fair state do these 1950s eyesores (built to double as bomb-shelters) give to tourists, now the fastest growing sector of the state’s economy?  Even the New York Thruway seems more inviting.

And what about the truckers who ply our interstates and need to take a break?  A 2001 CDOT study showed there are 1,200 truckers who must park roadside at night, even on I-95, because there’s no place else—and do so with the complicity of the State Police.

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03/09/06 01:27 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon
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