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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Spring Creeping Closer

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A couple enjoys the view at Westport’s Compo Beach Tuesday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Wednesday, March 8, 2006


10 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Joint Workforce/Senior Housing Committee
Noon – Westport Public Library – Citizens Brown Bag Luncheon
2:30 p.m. – Westport Senior Center – Westport Center for Senior Activities
5 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – Board of Selectmen
5:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – School Building Committee
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Board of Finance anticipated executive session
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Westport Reads: Jeff Woodman
8 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Board of Finance - Selectman and Board of Education budget presentations (coverage on cable channel 79)

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

RTM Begins Tax Relief Discussions

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The Westport Representative Town Meeting began discussions tonight on revisions to the town’s senior tax relief program that the administration hopes is meaningful to senior citizens.

The RTM will vote on the program—which is part of a town ordinance—at the April meeting.

Second Selectwoman Shelly Kassen said she and First Selectman Gordon Joseloff wanted to craft a program that reached the neediest seniors, was meaningful, did not overly burden other taxpayers and was easy to understand.

The changes would increase the income limits of the abatement program from $40,000 to $55,000 per household. The largest tax discount would increase from $2,000 to $3,500.

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A Good Day for Clamming

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A clammer digs through the rocks and sand on Westport’s Compo Beach today while a seagull hopes for a meal. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

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Tax Appeal Process to Be Discussed

A forum to discuss the tax appeal process will be held Friday at 1:30 p.m. at the Westport Center for Senior Activities.

Fairfield Tax Assessor Thomas Browne will present on how to prepare for a meeting with the Board of Assessment Appeals. 

Westport Board of Assessment Appeals Chairman Garson Heller and Tax Assessor William Gaffney will also be available to answer questions.

“This is an opportunity for Westport residents to find out the type of information that is helpful when appealing a property tax valuation,” First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said in a written statement. “Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions about the tax appeal process.  I encourage all Westport property owners to attend.”

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Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round

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A Westport school bus carrying children home crosses the Bridge Street Bridge across the Saugatuck River Monday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Clarence Darrow Performance Comes to Westport

Step back in time and hear Clarence Darrow—the most hated and most celebrated attorney in America—brave the wrath of the nation in courtroom dramas that pitted one man against the establishment. 

Performances of “Clarence Darrow: The Search for Justice” are Friday, March 17 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, March 19 at 2:30 pm at the Unitarian Church in Westport.

Tickets cost $12 - $25 and are available by calling the ticket reservation line at (203) 256-8095 or at the door.

Gary Anderson will provide personal insights into Darrow’s character through anecdotes and courtroom excerpts.

Darrow was the lawyer famous for the Scopes Monkey Trial, Leopold-Loeb case and the Sweet case. He also defended labor leaders Eugene Debs and Big Bill Hayward. He was also involved in the famous Scottsboro Case, where nine young black men were falsely charged with the rape of two white women.

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Music Theatre of Connecticut To Hold Gala

The Music Theatre of Connecticut will present its annual benefit gala, “Music of the Night,” on Saturday, March 25 at 7 p.m. at Birchwood Country Club.

The benefit will feature cocktails, dinner, silent and live auction items, a piano bar and a musical revue by the MTC staff and advanced students in the theatre programs. 

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Westport-based Music Theatre of Connecticut.

For more information, visit www.musictheatreofct.com or call (203) 454-3883.

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Westporters Speak on Norden Project

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Planning and Zoning Commission Chairwoman Eleanor Lowenstein speaks to the Norwalk Zoning Commission Monday night. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Westport Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Eleanor Lowenstein told Norwalk Zoning Commission Monday night about Westport’s concerns with the proposed 328-unit Norden Park development on the Westport-Norwalk border.

Last week Conservation Director Alicia Mozian spoke to the Conservation Commission.

Lowenstein attended the meeting at the request of her fellow commissioners. The commission sent a letter to the Norwalk commission last month.

“The applicant (Spinnaker Development) says they will use deeper setbacks, but it does not say it in the regulations,” Lowenstein said. “We need to be sure they will.”

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A Wintery Saugatuck

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All was calm along the Saugatuck River in Westport Monday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Tuesday, March 7, 2006


8 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Maintenance Study Committee
9 a.m. - Westport Public Library - Friends Winter Book Sale (free with donation request)
10 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Administrative Review Committee
10:30 a.m. - Westport Public Library - WestportReads book discussion
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Shellfish Commission
7:30 p.m. - Toquet Hall - Play with Your Food
8 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium - Representative Town Meeting (live coverage cable channel 79)

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Monday, March 06, 2006

School Board Approves New Graduation Requirements

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The Westport Board of Education tonight approved new graduation requirements for Staples High School students so that they will need to pass more classes.

Students will now need to pass 25 classes in order to graduate. Previously students had to pass 22 classes.

Students will also need to take two world language classes and 1.5 arts classes, of which .5 will need to be in the fine arts and .5 in the practical or human arts.

The school board has not decided which graduating class will be first affected by the changes. It will vote during a meeting on March 13 if it should affect the current sophomores, freshmen or eighth graders.

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Westport Police Get New Communications Tower

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New sight in town: the 110-foot tower is part of a $3 million upgrade for Westport’s emergency services. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
A new 110-foot monopole communications tower was installed at Westport Police Headquarters today

It replaces a 105-foot lattice tower that has served the town for 30 years.

Erection of the tower completes another phase in the town’s $3 million public safety radio communications system upgrade project.

The new tower supports 10 radio antennas utilized in the new digital radio system that will serve the Westport police, fire and emergency medical services.

Along with emergency communications within Westport, the new tower will also support interagency communications with Norwalk, Fairfield, Weston, Wilton, Bridgeport and the State of Connecticut.

Five other tower sites located in Westport are also utilized in the new system.

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Snow Account Pushed Over Edge

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The Westport Public Works Department’s storm budget—which is used for snow clean-up—has been pushed into the red due to the most recent two storms.

Public Works Director Stephen Edwards said he is probably about $20,000 over budget in the account, which was budgeted at $350,000.

Before the blizzard last month, town officials were estimating to have spent $275,000 of the $350,000 budget.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell is seeking federal aid to reimburse communities for the clean-up costs associated with the blizzard.

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“Unsung Heroes” Honored

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A Norwalk breakfast today honored local “Unsung Heroes,” including 14 Westporters. The event was sponsored by the Mid-Fairfield County Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Kiwanis Clubs of Weston and Westport. Among Westporters receiving recognition were Jane Horton (l) and Katherine Sousa, seen here with Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff. Both were nominated for their work with the Westport Mentor Program. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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PAL Donates to Compo Playground Project

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Police Chief Al Fiore presents Suzanne Dodge and Rebecca Ellsley, Compo Playground Committee co-chairwoman, with a check for a donation to the project from PAL. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
The Westport Police Athletic League has donated money to the Compo Beach Playground Project.

The committee plans to rebuild the playground in April and it is getting closer to their goal to complete the project this spring.

It, however, still has not reached its fund raising goal.

Volunteers are also still needed with the construction project, which is slated for April 25-30.

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Republican Women Sponsor CAMAC Performance

The Irish musical group, CAMAC, will provide entertainment for the Republican Women of Westport’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 11.

The celebration takes place at the home of Tom and Nitzy Cohen-Fitzgerald at 28 High Point Road.

CAMAC plays all kinds of Irish music from jigs and reels to rebel songs and ballads.

The public is invited.  For further information, please call Rita Lener at (203) 222-7744 or Lillian Krause at (203) 227-6471.

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Compo Dusk

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Dusk at Westport’s Compo Beach Sunday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Monday, March 6, 2006


9 a.m. - 8 p.m. - Westport Library - Annual winter book sale (half-price today)
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – Boating Advisory Committee
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Golf Advisory Committee
8 p.m. – Bedford Middle School Cafeteria – Board of Education

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Sunday, March 05, 2006

Democratic Mayors Forum Rescheduled for March 19

A program sponsored by the Democratic Women of Westport and the Westport Democratic Town Committee featuring Mayor Dan Malloy of Stamford and Mayor John DeStefano of New Haven has been rescheduled for Sunday, March 19.

The program had originally been scheduled for February but was canceled due to weather. It will take place at the Westport’s Woman’s Club, 44 Imperial Ave., from 4-6 p.m. Westporter Lawrence K. Grossman, former president of NBC News and PBS, will serve as moderator.

Both mayors will describe why they have chosen to run for governor, what they think can be done to address rising property taxes, to create new jobs, and other issues, organizers said. A donation of $20 is suggested. Students are welcome at no charge. Refreshments will be served. 

Those attending are asked to bring non-perishable foods to replenish the Westport Woman’s Club food pantry which provides for those in need.

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Sunday, March 5, 2006


1 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Library - Annual winter book sale

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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Staples Runners Score in Boston Meet

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The Staples Boys 4x800 placed fifth at the New England Indoor Track and Field Championships Friday night in Boston. The team was the top finisher for all Connecticut 4x800 relays. Their fully automated time of 8:05.91 ties the 16-year-old hand held school record of 8:05.7. They plan to compete again this coming weekend at the National Scholastic Indoor Championships. Pictured (l-r) are: Brendon Cristobal, Will Caffrey, Jason Hanrahan, and Henry Kaplan. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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All for a Good Cause

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Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal emerges from today’s Penguin Plunge at Westport’s Compo Beach. The event was to benefit the Special Olympics. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Hamilton Laux for WestportNow.com

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Attorney General Joins the Plunge

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Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal poses for pictures with Westport firefighters before joining them in today’s Penguin Plunge at Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Hamilton Laux for WestportNow.com

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Fifth Graders Wrap Up Baseketball Season

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The Westport Basketball Association fifth grade wrapped up its season with a round robin tournament and exhibition at Saugatuck Elementary today. Pictured are winners of the individual skills tournament with Commissioner Rady Johnson. They are (l-r): Blake Radner, knock out winner, Morgan DiDonato, free throws, and Kerry Manion, lay ups. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Westport Property Transfers Feb. 20-24, 2006

Property transfers as reported by the Westport Town Clerk’s office for the period Feb. 20-24, 2006

DIV Riverside Ventures LLC to Ellen Kramer and Yuri Blyke, Unit 13 D Riverside Green, $599,000WN property.jpg

Jan A. and Janet S. Vanlaer to Bensoncook Properties LLC, 17 Salem Road, $940,000

Patricia H. King to 3 Nappa Lance LLC, 3 Nappa Lane, $650,000

Andrew A. Zipper and Christine C. Bourget to Ian P. and Annmarie McDonald, 6 Tall Trees Drive, $1,300,000

Land Group Inc. to Kathleen B. and Charles E. Carey, 33 Otter Trail, $1,900,000

Echo Valley LLC to David Wilson and Renee Yosco, 12 Sugar Maple Lane, $2,325,000

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Student Drill

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Many students participated in today’s Penguin Plunge at Compo Beach—most of them from Staples in Westport and New Canaan High School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Hamilton Laux for WestportNow.com

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Brrrr

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The air temperature was in the upper 30s and the water temperature was about the same for today’s Penguin Plunge at Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

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Penguin Plunge Attracts Hundreds

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Hundreds took part in today’s Penguin Plunge at Westport’s Compo Beach in support of the Special Olympics. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

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Making the Plunge

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Westport Fire Chief Chris Ackley (l) and Firefighter Andy Thompson were among Westport Fire Department personnel making today’s Penguin Plunge at Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

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