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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Stem Cell Research Topic of Community Conversation

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A Connecticut Health Center chair said tonight she believes the country’s debate on stem cell research needs to move beyond the status of an embryo.

Audrey R. Chapman is the first holder of the Healey Endowed chair in Medical Humanities, Law and Ethics at the University of Connecticut Health Center, and she led a community conversation at the Westport Public Library tonight on the issues surrounding stem cell research.

She said the controversy over embryotic stem cell research is because embryos are needed.

Many believe life begins at conception, she said, and feel the embryos should not be destroyed.

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Staples Boys Soccer Earns Another Shutout

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Wrecker Greg Bachman moves upfield against Fairfield Warde. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Amy Lamb for WestportNow.com
The Staples boys soccer team played its patented short-passing game well today, earning a 4-0 victory at Fairfield Warde.

Now 5-0-1, the Wreckers travel to New Canaan (Friday, 4 p.m.) for a showdown with the defending state champions.

Preston Hirten scored the middle two goals, both off assists from Eric Meyer. One was a clever chip over the goalkeeper’s; the other was a hard, low rocket. Matt Lamb started things off with a penalty kick, while Greg Bachman blasted in the final tally.

“This was a nice effort,” said head coach Dan Woog. “We knocked the ball around; we found people’s feet; we went forward with numbers, and we created some nice chances. Week by week, we want to add different elements to our game.”

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Westport Y Trustees Approve Building Sale

The Westport Weston Family Y Board of Trustees voted Tuesday night to proceed with the sale of their downtown building complex, the Y said today.

The unanimous approval of the sale, recommended by the organization’s board of directors, enables authorized representatives of the Y to conduct negotiations with finalists in a bidding process that began last spring, according to a news release.

The Y is proceeding with plans to construct a new 100,000-square foot facility at its Camp Mahackeno site off Wilton Road, a project that has drawn opposition from neighbors and other Westporters.

“The Family Y will continue to operate in its current Post Road location for a number of years to come as our new facilities plan moves forward,” the announcement said.

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Broadway Talk

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Actors Brian Murray and Marian Seldes, two of Broadway’s leading artists, took part Monday night in the Westport Arts Center “Artists in Conversation” series at the Seabury Center. The two, who have played together in some of the 20th century’s most daring plays, talked about their careers, their friendship and their process of creation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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County Assembly and Red and White Ball Signups Saturday

The 69th County Assembly Charity Ball and Red and White Charity Ball Committees are holding information sessions and signups Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at Westport’s Toquet Hall.

The committees will be collecting names and addresses of Westport junior and senior girls who wish to receive an invitation to subscribe to these dances, an announcement said. 

Due to liability issues, the invitations to these dances can no longer be mailed directly to the junior and senior girls from an official Staples’ class list, organizers said.

The names generated from signups at Toquet Hall will determine this year’s list. Formal invitations will be mailed on Nov. 9.

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Westport to Receive $166,489 CL&P Refund

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has announced that his office has a won a court case that requires Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) to pay 81 towns and cities about $8 million in refunds for overcharging them for streetlights.

Westport will receive $166,489 as part of the settlement.

Blumenthal’s office successfully defended a June 2005 Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC) decision ordering CL&P to pay the refunds plus interest, reduce its streetlamp rates and provide municipalities with more information so they could better decide whether to buy or lease streetlights.

The DPUC found that CL&P had overcharged towns and cities since 1986.

CL&P appealed the ruling to Superior Court. On Aug. 29, a Superior Court judge upheld DPUC’s ruling. CL&P has decided not to appeal, according to a news release Tuesday from the Attorney General’s office.

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Shady Walk

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It’s been cool times for those walking in the shade at Westport’s Winslow Park with temperatures dropping as fall has set in. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2006


10:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – International Hospitality Committee
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – Board of Selectmen (live coverage cable channel 79)
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Community Conversation: Stem Cell Research

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Westhill Edges Staples 2-0 in Girls Soccer

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Allie Walsh (r) pressures her opponent in today’s Staples girls soccer game against Stamford’s Westhill High School. Staples gave up two goals and lost 2.0.  The girls are now 3-3-0 on the season. Their next game is away at Greenwich High School on Thursday at 4 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mary Cooperman for WestportNow.com

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Start Time Issues Brought to School Board

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West Hartford high school students will have the opportunity to start school later, but Westport students already have a similar luxury.

During Monday’s Board of Education meeting, Hadley Rose, RTM District 3, said the board should examine the West Hartford plan.

Under the plan, he said, school would still run 7:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. and there would be no impact on extra curricular programs, including sports.

In West Hartford, he said, juniors and seniors are being given the opportunity to schedule a study hall during first period.

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Well Known Westporter Ralph Sheffer Dies at 93

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Ralph Sheffer: shown celebrating his 92nd birthday last year. WN File photo
Ralph Sheffer, a key figure in the arts, politics, education, and business of Westport in a career that spanned 60 years—including a record 10 years as moderator of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) from 1959 to 1969—died today at his Westport home, his daughter, Ann Sheffer said.

Sheffer, who turned 93 last week, had been in declining health for some time.

“Westport has lost a leader and a treasure,” said First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, who ordered town flags flown at half-staff in Sheffer’s honor. “He truly was one of the ‘town fathers.’ We are deeply saddened by the news and extend our sincere condolences to the Sheffer family.”

Ann Sheffer said the family will be sitting shiva Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at her home at 19 Stony Point Road. A memorial service has been scheduled for Westport Town Hall on Monday, Oct. 9, at 11 a.m.

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Library to Hold Community Conversation

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Audrey Chapman: Discussing stem cell research. Contributed photo
With the debate about stem-cell research a continuing headline in the news, the Westport Public Library is presenting a Community Conversation on the topic on Wednesday at 7:30 pm, in the McManus Room.

Audrey R. Chapman will lead the discussion on the ethics of research on human stem cells.  She is the first holder of the Healey Endowed chair in Medical Humanities, Law and Ethics at the University of Connecticut Health Center.

The program is free and open to the public.

For more information, call 203-291-4840 or visit www.westportlibrary.org.

09/26/06 12:29 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon TwitThis Favicon

Side by Side With Sondheim

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Composer Stephen Sondheim (c) poses before Monday’s night Westport Country Playhouse tribute to him with (l-r) Judd Burstein, Laurie Lister, Suzanne and Bob Wright. Burstein and Lister of Westport were co-chairs of “The Ladies Who Sing Sondheim” fund-raiser. The Wrights of Fairfield were honorary co-chairs. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Taking a Bow

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Taking a curtain call Monday night at “The Ladies Who Sing Sondheim” fund-raiser at Westport Country Playhouse were (1st row, l-r) Barbara Cook, Patti LuPone, Kristin Chenoweth, Laura Benanti, and John Doyle; (2nd row) Donna Lynne Champlin, Diana DiMarzio, Angel Desai, and Lauren Molina.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributing Photo

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Westport Schools Add 64 New Teachers

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Westport school officials added 64 new teachers this fall, and of those almost 38 percent had no experience.

The Board of Education discussed a staffing report during its meeting Monday night.

Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon said the vast majority had experience before coming to Westport, and nine of the teachers had earned tenure elsewhere in Connecticut.

The number of new teachers added to the district, however, is down from previous years by at least 36 percent, he said.

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Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2006


9:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Historic District Commission
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Zoning Board of Appeals
8 p.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – RTM Ordinance Committee

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Joanne Woodward Injured in Fall, Misses Playhouse Gala

Joanne Woodward, artistic director emeritus of the Westport Country Playhouse, missed tonight’s Playhouse gala tribute to composer Stephen Sondheim because she was injured in a fall earlier today at her Westport home, organizers announced. WestportNow.com Image
Joanne Woodward: cuts required five stitches. WN file photo/Dave Matlow

“She required five stitches,” Anne Keefe, the Playhouse’s associate artistic director, told the audience from the stage at the start of the program. Many of the guests gasped when they heard the announcement.

Keefe said Woodward, 76, who was to co-host the affair with her husband, Paul Newman, took the fall while walking her two dogs, both Miniature Schnauzers. She said the cuts were to Woodward’s face.

Newman was also absent from the sold out performance of “The Ladies Who Sign Sondheim.” The tribute starred Laura Benanti, Kristin Chenoweth, Barbara Cook, and Patti LuPone. Sondheim was in the audience.

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Emanuelson Named Teacher of the Year

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Karen Emanuelson: Long Lots math support teacher. WN file photo/Dave Matlow
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Karen Emanuelson spoke tonight of those who inspire her and support her as she was announced as this year’s winner of the Westport Teacher of the Year Award.

She is an elementary school math support teacher at Long Lots Elementary. Five other teachers were also honored for their nomination for the award.

Emanuelson will be Westport’s representative in the state competition for teacher of the year.

Also nominated were Marissa DeVito Haddad, Kenneth C. Hine, Ursula Malizia, Nancy Pennell and Gregg Winters.

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Staples Boys Soccer Shuts Out Harding 7-0

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Wrecker Matt Lamb moves the ball. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Amy Lamb for WestportNow.com
The boys soccer team of Westport’s Staples High School ran its record to 4-0-1 with a 7-0 victory over Harding this afternoon at Loeffler Field. 

Matt Sych celebrated his birthday with two goals, while Matt Lamb, Russell Oost-Lievense, Preston Hirten, Eric Meyer and Liam Bohonnon netted one apiece. 
Assists came from Lamb (2), Sych, Stuart and Eric Meyer.
The Wreckers travel to Fairfield Warde on Wednesday for a 4 p.m. match.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

NY Times Editorial Page Editor to Address Y’s Women Oct. 9

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Gail Collins: formerly worked as a journalist in Connecticut. Contributed photo
Gail Collins, editorial page editor of The New York Times, will address the Y’s Women of Westport/Weston on Monday, Oct. 9.

The meeting at the Westport/Weston Family Y will begin with coffee and conversation at 11 a.m. followed by the 11:30 a.m. meeting. All Y’s Women meetings are open to the public.

Before becoming editorial page editor in 2001, Collins had been a columnist for the Times, and before that, a member of the paper’s editorial board. 

Collins has a special interest in Connecticut. She founded the Connecticut State News Bureau, which provided coverage of the state capitol and Connecticut politics.

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Teacher of the Year to Be Announced Tonight

The Westport Board of Education will honor the 2007 Teacher of the Year during a ceremony before its regular meeting tonight.

The ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. in the Staples High School cafeteria.

Six teachers—Karen Emanuelson, Marissa DeVito Haddad, Kenneth C. Hine, Ursula Malizia, Nancy Pennell and Gregg Winters—have been nominated for the honor, and the winner will be in the running for the state’s teacher of the year award.

The ceremony is open to the public.

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Telling Secrets

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An overflow crowd attended the Y’s Women of Westport/Weston meeting today featuring Dan Burstein, author of the best selling “Secrets of the Code: The Unauthorized Guide to the Mysteries Behind The Da Vinci Code.” He talked about uncovering ancient mysteries from the Da Vinci Code to the latest findings about the Secret History of Mary Magdalene. Before the “Code” books Burstein had published technical books about China, Japan and other titles. He said it would take him three years to write one of the technical books and it would take a year of personal appearances to make a nominal sale of books. When it was decided to do the “Secrets of the Code” he and his co-editor, Arne J. de Keijzer spent three months of hard research and one month to get the book published.  It became an almost instant best seller helped, of course, by the popularity of the “Da Vinci Code.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 10 Fairfield Ave.

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A demolition application has been submitted for 10 Fairfield Ave. in Westport’s Compo Beach area. The house sold last December for $1,600,000. The 1935-built house is of 20th century vernacular style and is listed on the Westport Historic Resource Inventory. It is part of the Compo-Owenoke National Register Historic District. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Sunset Watcher

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Sunday’s weather was hot and humid with threatening clouds and a small rainstorm. The clouds still lingered but lightened up enough to allow another pretty sunset as viewed from Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Monday, Sept. 25, 2006


6 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “The Ladies Who Sing Sondheim” cocktails, performance, and dinner
7 p.m. – Staples High School Cafeteria B – Board of Education Reception for Teacher of the Year
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library McManus Room - Westport author Ian Bremmer discusses his new book “The J Curve: A New Way to Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall”
8 p.m. – Staples High School Cafeteria B – Board of Education

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