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Thursday, August 24, 2006

On the Way Home

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A sailboat ends a day of sailing Wednesday by heading in to dock at Westport’s Ned Dimes Marina at Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Thursday, Aug. 24, 2006


10 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - Farmers Market
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “The Archbishop’s Ceiling”
8 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion -  Jodi Keogan & Company: Silver Screen Sensations

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Solar Panel Contract Awarded

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Town officials have secured a nearly $100,000 grant to install solar panels at Westport Fire Headquarters, and now they have hired a firm to install the 23.6 kilowatt system.

The Board of Selectmen tonight approved a contract with Montpelier, Vt.-based Solar Works, Inc. to install the system for approximately $191,600. The Board of Finance and Representative Town Meeting still need to vote on the funding.

About $100,000 of the project, however, will be paid for by a grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, said Public Works Director Stephen Edwards.

The firehouse was chosen for the project because it would make the system visible at the public, especially at the annual fall open house, he said.

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A Lonely Beach

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Westport’s Compo Beach was largely empty this morning except a pail left from Tuesday’s activities and a sea gull. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

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Selectmen Vote for Possible Sewer Eminent Domain Taking

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The Westport Board of Selectmen tonight unanimously approved the taking of property on Harbor Road via eminent domain if necessary for the Saugatuck Shores sewer project.

Town officials plan to use a portion of the undeveloped waterside strip property for a pump station for the project.

Before the 3-0 vote, Assistant Town Attorney Gail Kelly said Westport does not have a long track record of using eminent domain.

“It is a last resort,” she said. “We have been negotiating for some time without success, so we are recommending approval because nothing will happen right now.”

Kelly said there is a long court process before the town would actually take the property, she said, so there is still more time for town officials to negotiate with the property owner.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

B-25: Another WWII-Era Flight Over Westport

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The skies over Westport’s Compo Beach and adjacent Long Island Sound today were full of World War II-era airplanes making a “Wings of Freedom Tour” stop this week at Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y. This is a B-25 Mitchell medium bomber owned by The Collings Foundation of Massachusetts. Also seen were a B-17 Flying Fortress and a B-24. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

08/23/06 11:44 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Connecticut United Ride Rolls Through Westport Sunday

Connecticut United Ride will hold its annual Sept. 11 Memorial Charity Ride, which will roll through Westport, on Sunday starting at 11:30 a.m.

The motorcycle ride starts at Norden Park in Norwalk and will cross into Westport on Saugatuck Avenue traveling north up Riverside Avenue, crossing Post Road West and continuing on Wilton Road into Wilton.

Westport police issued a traffic alert today about the event, sponsored by the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut.

Last year about 2,300 motorcyclists participated in the ride, and police said they expect similar numbers this year.

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Westport Property Transfers Aug. 14-18, 2006

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period Aug. 14-18, 2006:

American National Red Cross to Red X Holdings LLC, 36 Church Lane, $1,636,000WN property.jpg

Steven and Ashley W. Sikora to Cheryl J. Moore, 9 Lakeview Road, $749,900

Mark L. McMillen to Peter D. and Marisa Fearon, Unit 2, 90 Main St., $369,000

Michael Steinrueck to Michael D. and Mariella G. M. Trager, 10 Norwalk Ave., $1,625,000

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Going for a Ride

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A visitor to Westport’s Longshore Club Park Tuesday gives her sister a ride on the smiling whale at the playground near the park’s pool. The largely undiscovered playground gets few users. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Staples Grad Dances the World to Web Fame

Matt Harding grew up in Westport, graduated from Staples High School in 1994, and didn’t do a whole lot of traveling except for the occasional family trip to Disney World.WestportNow.com Image
Matt Harding dances with friends in Luang Prabang, Laos. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo by wherethehellismatt.com

Maybe that has something to do with his now becoming an Internet sensation known for his world travels dancing a little jig one newspaper described as “something in between a tap dance and a seizure.”

Actually, Harding, now 29 and living in Seattle, has starred in two Web videos showing him doing his goofy dance around the world – every place from Prague to Palau, Red Square to Rwanda.

The first journey he paid for. The resulting video led to the second that covered six months and 39 countries with the Stride chewing gum company picking up the tab.

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Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2006


10:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – International Hospitality Committee
5 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – Board of Selectmen
7 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Spaghetti Cake

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Westporter Wins Admirers in Cairo

By Dave Matlow

Chloe Hartwell is a hot commodity these days – an American who is fluent in Arabic.WestportNow.com Image
Chloe Hartwell presents Rick Benson with a Cairo Rotary flag at today’s meeting. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

A graduate of Westport’s Staples High School and Georgetown University, Chloe spoke today to the Westport Rotary Club about her Rotary cultural scholarship that enabled her to study Arabic in Cairo, Egypt.

“It s really impossible to overstate the importance of speaking Arabic in Egypt, particularly being able to speak the Egyptian dialect,” she said.

“People in general will show much greater respect to you because you have undertaken what they consider the huge task of learning Arabic. Most Arabs don’t believe that foreigners can actually learn Arabic.”

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Colorful Sails

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A crew sails a catamaran on Westport’s Saugatuck River today. With sunny skies and gentle breezes, it was good sailing weather. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

More Town Plan Meetings Scheduled

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With the results of the first public session on the Westport Town Plan of Conservation and Development update in hand, town officials have scheduled two more public sessions on specific issues.

The Planning and Zoning Commission held a public hearing about the town plan update with consultants Planimetrics where residents were able to give feedback on their biggest issues with Westport (See WestportNow June 26).

A booklet is now available in the Planning and Zoning Department and on the town’s Web site that show the results, said P&Z Director Laurence Bradley.

The booklet—called Booklet 2A—shows the things people said they were proud of, like Compo Beach, and the things they are sorry about, like teardowns.

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Putting On the Rush

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Workers today rushed preparation to put down the the first synthetic turf at Westport’s Staples High School football field as part of the “Fields of Dream” project. The Wreckers hope to have the field ready for their opening game Sept. 16. Eventually four Westport fields will get the treatment. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

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Senior Center Opens Photo Gallery

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Several people check out the new photo gallery at the Westport Center for Senior Activities, which is sponsored by the center and the Y’s Men Camera Club. The center will begin accepting submissions for its next show—Westport Scenes—on Wednesday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Senior citizen photographers have a place of their own to show their work at the Westport Center for Senior Activities.

The center and the Y’s Men Camera Club have created a photo gallery at the center to give senior photographers an opportunity to show their work.

The gallery’s inaugural exhibit was “Manhattan Scenes,” a collection of 10 photographs produced by members of the Y’s Men Camera Club who participated in a field trip to Manhattan.

The current exhibit is “Festival Italiano – 2006,” which consists of 10 photographs produced by Camera Club members.

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Garbage Truck Fire and Explosions Rattle Westporters

Several Westport residents near the Sherwood Island Connector called 911 early today as exploding tires from a burning garbage truck rattled the neighborhood.WestportNow.com Image
A large garbage truck awaits a tow truck following an early morning fire on the Sherwood Island Connector. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Police closed off a portion of the Connector as firefighters doused the flames in the truck between the Hillandale Road overpass and Post Road East shortly after 4 a.m. There were no injuries.

Assistant Chief Jonathan Gottfried said there were three large explosions caused by the tires and batteries located in an external compartment.  The explosions could be heard a quarter mile away, he said.

The driver of the truck Alex R.Gomez of Bridgeport said he pulled over when he smelled smoke in the cab. He initially tried to put out a fire in the rear of the engine compartment with a bottle of water he had in the cab, Gottfried said.

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Independent Baseball Insider to Speak

Bob Wirz, a sports public relations professional, will speak at the Westport Rotary Club meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 29 at 12:15-1:30 p.m. at the Inn at Longshore.WestportNow.com Image
Bob Wirz: to talk about independent baseball. Contributed photo

Wirz spent more than a decade running Major League Baseball’s media office as chief spokesman for Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth.

He is scheduled to talk about independent baseball. Wirz is publisher of the Independent Baseball Insider, a newsletter that details in-depth news and sidelights from every independent league. He also writes a blog about independent baseball, www.IndyBaseballChatter.com.

Guests are welcome to attend the luncheon, which costs $20. For more information, call Westport Rotary Club President Lois Schine at (203) 227-9290.

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Pretty as a Picture

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Clouds floated against the brilliant blue sky over Westport Monday as the area enjoyed a day with temperatures in the low 80s with low humidity. Similar weather is forecast for today. Two people checked out the view at Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2006


8 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Maureen Hamill &  Friends

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WWII B-17 Bomber Flies Over Westport

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A World War II B-17 bomber flew over Westport today and WestportNow reader Matt Murray snapped this picture. “I did the best I could with seconds of warning,” he e-mailed. “I heard the engines first.” The aircraft was possibly a B-17 owned by the Massachusetts-based The Collings Foundation whose “Wings of Freedom Tour” World War II aircraft are flying out of White Plains, N.Y. airport through Wednesday. But there was also the B-17 “Liberty Belle” in the area owned by the Tulsa, Okla.-based Liberty Foundation. It flew out of the Hartford-Brainard Airport over the weekend and will be at Danbury Airport next weekend. CLICK TO ENLARGE) Matt Murray for WestportNow.com

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Going Down: 3 Thomas Road

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The house at 3 Thomas Road off of Imperial Avenue, former home of the late Westport Minuteman columnist Pete McGovern, came down today. The property was featured earlier today as the WestportNow Teardown of the Day. It changed hands in February for $900,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Memorial Service Aug. 30 for Donald S. Levy, 79

A Westport Town Hall memorial service will be held Wednesday, Aug. 30 at 4:30 p.m. for Donald S. Levy, 79, a former Board of Finance and Representative Town Meeting (RTM) member who worked in the town’s tax collector’s office for the past 11 years.WestportNow.com Image
Don Levy: longtime Westporter served on Board of Finance and RTM. Contributed photo

Levy, a longtime Westport resident, died Thursday night of a heart ailment while driving on the Merritt Parkway between Fairfield and Westport, family members said.

Levy, a former member of the Democratic and Republican Town Committees, served on the RTM from 1971 to 1979, the Board of Finance from 1981 to 1985, and joined the tax collector’s office in 1995.

As chairman of the RTM Transit Committee, he was instrumental in the implementation of the Westport Minny Bus program. He was an early leader in the movement to limit further downtown development. 

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Yoga Time

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Participants at the Westport Historical Society’s Time Travelers Camp start the day with yoga led by Susan Gold, society education director. The third session of the camp kicked off today. Participants get to do arts and crafts, walking tours, outdoor treasure hunting, old fashioned lawn games, drama, cooking, historic field trips, meet special guest artists and make homemade ice cream. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Historic Preservation Awards are Sept. 16

The Westport Historic District Commission will hold its annual Historic Preservation Awards ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 10 a.m. at Town Hall.

The awards will be presented by First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff and members of the Historic District Commission in the upper lobby of Town Hall.

“As part of the its effort to encourage the conservation and adaptive reuse of local historic structures, the Historic District Commission presents its Preservation Awards annually to those Westport property owners whose preservation efforts are particularly meritorious,” said Donald Miro, commission chairman.

This year’s recipients—who were featured in a series on WestportNow—are owners of 1 Beachside Ave., 15 Bradley St., 24 Bridge St., 81 Compo Road South, 9-11 Evergreen Ave., 19 Evergreen Ave., 162 Greens Farms Road, 42 Myrtle Ave., 6 Old Hill Road, and 87 Post Road East

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