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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Early Morning Fire Hits Unoccupied Saugatuck Shores Home

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Fast work by Westport police officers and firefighters saved an unoccupied Saugatuck Shores home under renovation from being destroyed by fire early today. An off-duty police officer going out to fish from Compo Beach spotted flames coming from the home at 135 Harbor Road shortly after 4 a.m. He alerted colleagues and the first arriving police officers attacked the second story fire with fire extinguishers before firefighters took over. There were no injuries and damage was confined to an area around an exterior wall. Cause of the blaze is under investigation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

06/02/07 10:15 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Checking the Damage

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Westport firefighters check the damage to the second floor of an unoccupied Saugatuck Shores home at 135 Harbor Road following a pre-dawn fire today. Cause of the blaze is under investigation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

06/02/07 10:08 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Orphenians End-of-Year Concert Set for Tuesday

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The Orphenians of Westport’s Staples High School will present their end-of-year concert Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Staples. The concert is open to all. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Compo Sail

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Thunderstorms rolled through Westport Friday night, but the sun shined most of the day with temperatures nearly 90 degrees, including at Compo Beach. Temperatures are expected to be in the 80s again today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

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Saturday, June 2, 2007


9 a.m. - Westport Community Gardens, Hyde Lane - Ribbon cutting ceremony
8 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre: “Lend Me a Tenor”
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Souvenir”

06/02/07 04:05 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Anna Videler,  Co-founder of Videler Photography, Dies at 75

Longtime Westport resident Anna Videler, founder with her late husband Cornelis J. Videler of Videler Photography in Westport, died Thursday at Connecticut Hospice in Branford. She was 75.WestportNow.com Image
Anna Videler: Westport resident 50 years. Contributed photo

Born in Amsterdam, Holland, she was the daughter of the late Johann and Anna Maria (Hammers) Hennen and has been a resident of Westport for 50 years.

She and her husband emigrated to the United States in 1957 where they settled in Westport and founded Videler Photography.

First and foremost in her life was her love for her family, especially her grandchildren. She adored the outdoors and gardening, and her treasurered dogs, Lexus and Lucy, her family said.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Westport Prepares for Hurricane Season

By Jennifer Connic

Hurricane season officially kicks off today, and Westport officials plan to be prepared no matter what weather may hit Connecticut’s coast.

“It’s not our job to handicap the weather,” First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said of the potential for a hurricane hitting Westport. “It’s our job to be as prepared as possible.”

Fire Chief Christopher Ackley said every year the weather forecasters say Westport and Connecticut is overdue for a hurricane.

“It shouldn’t be a surprise if it happens, but I hope it’s not the case,” he said.

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06/01/07 09:51 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Severe Thunderstorm Warning Issued

The National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning to remain in effect until 6:15 p.m. in east central Fairfield County, including Westport.

The storm—which was located near Fairfield and Bridgeport moving southeast—could produce hail and winds up to 60 miles per hour.

“This is a dangerous storm,” the advisory stated. “If you are in its path, prepare immediately for damaging winds, destructive hail and deadly cloud to ground lightning.

“People outside should move to a shelter preferably inside a strong building but away from windows.”

06/01/07 09:23 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Rell Signs Bill to Grant Shellfish Stewardship to Westport

Westport has officially gained jurisdiction over the Cockenoe Flats shellfish beds.WestportNow.com Image
Joe Mioli: “all residents will have same rights.” File photo

Gov. M. Jodi Rell signed a bill transferring the stewardship of the shellfish beds earlier this week, Westport state Rep. Joe Mioli announced today. Mioli sponsored the bill to bring stewardship of the beds to Westport

“I can say with the utmost confidence that the town of Westport will operate these beds indiscriminately,” Mioli said in a statement. “All Connecticut residents will have the same rights and responsibilities as Westport residents.”

The legislation allows Westport to resume charging people to dig for clams in the area. Permit fees were suspended in 1994 when sportsmen from Bridgeport and Stratford sued the town for trying to regulate state lands.

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IHA Receives $1.7 million Grant

By Jennifer Connic

Westport’s Interfaith Housing Association now has in place the funding necessary to complete its project at 10 West End Ave. to provide supportive housing.WestportNow.com Image
Pete Powell: waiting for this for a year. WN file photo

Pete Powell, IHA president and chief executive officer, said today the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority approved the agency’s application for a $1.7 million grant to construct the housing in the Saugatuck area of town.

The Westport Planning and Zoning Commission approved the six units of supportive housing—which are used as a transition for homeless people—on West End Avenue last fall, and the Representative Town Meeting supported the approval after area residents appealed the decision (See WestportNow Nov. 15).

The grant will cover the costs to construct the new building, Powell said, and demolition of the current house may take place this summer with a ground breaking taking place this fall.

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06/01/07 07:20 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Fire Forces Evacuation of Westport Health Care

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A small fire in a rooftop motor forced the evacuation of some patients from Westport Health Care on Post Road West at Burr Road at mid-day today. Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze and the patients, some of whom were in wheelchairs, were able to return to the building. Assistant Fire Chief Robert Kepchar said a shorted electrical motor in a rooftop air handling unit was the cause. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

06/01/07 06:36 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Lights, Camera , Action in Winslow Park

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A film crew was in Westport’s Winslow Park today for a second day of filming of “Laws of Motion” starring Matthew Perry and Hilary Swank. The comedy, produced by Plum Pictures, Ideal Partners Film Fund and Hilary Swank Productions, also stars Ben Foster. Westport has received a number of applications from film companies to work here following the state’s granting of favorable tax treatment to the film industry. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

06/01/07 03:31 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Westporter Doesn’t Consider Himself a Hero

By Jennifer Connic

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Lee Cooper: Westporter saves two from Florida rip tide. Contributed photo
Westporters Kim and Lee Cooper intended to relax at the pool of their hotel in Palm Beach, Fla. last Sunday, but they couldn’t find an open chair.

Instead, they headed to the beach, and it was not long after they arrived when Lee Cooper, 44, of Michele Lane, found himself in the ocean saving a 12-year-old girl and another man from drowning.

While Lee Cooper, an executive with General Electric corporate finance, managed to battle the rip tide to save the Miami girl and a man who had gone in to rescue her, another man, who also had gone in to save her, died in the incident (See WestportNow May 29).

“We never thought of another option,” Kim Cooper said of the ocean rescue. “He did what he knew he had to do.”

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Quiet Compo

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Temperatures hit the 80s on Thursday, including at Westport’s Compo Beach where some took a quiet moment for reflection. Temperatures are again expected to be in the 80s today, but there is a chance of thunderstorms. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Friday, June 1, 2007


10 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Board of Finance Audit Subcommittee
7:30 p.m. - Staples High School - “The Laramie Project”
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Souvenir”
8 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre: “Lend Me a Tenor”
8 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Arts Center: Ying Quartet

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Thunderstorms Roll Through Westport

Thunderstorms rolled through Westport tonight, flooding at least one roadway and cutting power to dozens of homes.

The National Weather Service in Upton, N.Y., issued a severe thunderstorm warning shortly after 9 p.m. and the storm pushed through a short time later. A second storm cell passed through about an hour later.

The underpass under the railroad tracks on Compo Road South flooded from the heavy rains and firefighters erected yellow tape on both sides to divert traffic.

Connecticut Light and Power Co reported 41 customers in Westport were without power as of 11 p.m.

06/01/07 02:21 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Commission Discusses Town Plan Draft

By Jennifer Connic

The Westport Planning and Zoning Commission tonight went page by page through the second draft of the update to the Town Plan of Conservation and Development, discussing a range of different topics.

The commission received the second draft a week ago, and it is now available to residents for review at Town Hall, the Westport Public Library and on the town’s Web site.

While commission members said they like the newer draft of the town plan, they were concerned about how the plan showed prevention rather than things town officials could do.

Bruce Kasanoff, a commission member, said he sees the draft as more of a tool to prevent rather than make certain things happen.

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06/01/07 01:59 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Severe Thunderstorm Warning Issued

The National Weather Service in Upton, N.Y. tonight issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Westport and central Fairfield County until 9:45 p.m.

It said at 9:01 p.m., National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing nickel-size hail and damaging winds in excess of 60 mph. The storm was located near Wilton and moving southeast at 20 mph.

The severe thunderstorm will be near Westport and 6 miles northeast of Norwalk by 9:15 p.m. and Fairfield and 6 miles southwest of Bridgeport by 9:25 p.m., an advisory said.

In addition to large hail and damaging winds, continuous cloud to ground lightning is occurring with this storm. The Weather Service urged anyone outside to move indoors immediately.

06/01/07 01:11 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

June Proclaimed as Westport Woman’s Club Month

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In a ceremony today on the steps of Westport Town Hall, First Selectman Gordon Joseloff (c) proclaimed June as Westport Woman’s Club month in Westport. The proclamation was issued in recognition of the club’s 100th anniversary this year. Among the month’s events are a parade on June 16 and the Yankee Doodle Fair June 14-17. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Arts Center to Open Student Art Show

The Westport Arts Center will hold its 2007 Student Art Exhibition June 9-17, and there will be an opening reception on Saturday, June 9 at noon-2 p.m.

The exhibition will feature artwork by students from Westport, Norwalk and Bridgeport.

The majority of the artwork on display will work by 19 high school juniors and seniors from Staples High School and Greens Farms Academy.

They include Erica Adler, Ben Bangser, Emily Black, Nick Burrows, Lindsay Chandler, Kylie Collins, Will Denton, Jaclyn Foster, Flora Greenberg, Lauren Gesswein, Brendan Lee, Audrey Miller, Scott Ritchie, Pillip Seo, Austin Arnold Siegert, Sarah Steinmetz, Zach Smart, Stephanie Urist and Alex Vincent.

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Joseloff Names New Assessor

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Paul A. Friia: Coming back to Westport. Contributed photo
Someone familiar with Westport has taken the position as Westport’s new assessor.

Paul A. Friia replaces William Gaffney, who resigned earlier this month after serving three years, First Selectman Gordon Joseloff announced today. (See WestportNow May 11, 2007)

Friia served as Westport’s deputy assessor from 1998 to 2002 and has been Weston assessor since 2003.

“I’m very pleased that Paul (Friia) has accepted Westport’s offer of employment,” Joseloff said in a statement. “I’m confident that his vast knowledge and experience in all aspects of assessing real estate in general and particularly Connecticut municipalities will be a real asset for our community.”

05/31/07 08:52 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Community Theatre Opens “Lend Me a Tenor” on Friday

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The Westport Community Theatre opens Ken Ludwig’s comedy “Lend Me a Tenor” on Friday. The production will be held on Fridays and Saturdays June 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 8 p.m. and Sundays June 3, 10 and 17 at 2 p.m. There will also be a performance on Thursday, June 7 at 8 p.m. There is much chaos in the Tony Award-winning comedy where confusion and mistaken identities tell the story of the Cleveland Grand Opera’s biggest fundraising night in history, where a world famous tenor is scheduled to perform the lead in “Otello.” Before his arrival, things unravel from start to finish, creating an uproarious evening of theater. Tickets are $12 - $16. Contact the Box Office at (203) 226-1983 for reservations or go to www.westportcommunitytheatre.com for directions. The theater is located at Westport Town Hall. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

05/31/07 01:57 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Relaxing at Compo

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Many spent time relaxing at Westport’s Compo Beach where temperatures hit 80 degrees on Wednesday. Temperatures are again forecast to be in the 80s today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Thursday, May 31, 2007


7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – Planning & Zoning Commission Town Plan Work Session
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Special Historic District Commission
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Sherwood Mill Pond Committee
7:30 p.m. - Staples High School - “The Laramie Project”
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Souvenir”

05/31/07 04:05 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Earthplace to Show Electric Car Film Thursday

Westport’s Earthplace will continue its Environmental Film Series on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the facility at 10 Woodside Lane.

The film “Who Killed the Electric Car” will be screened in the auditorium.

For more information, call (203) 227-7253 ext. 109.

05/31/07 03:32 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon
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