Sunday, February 18, 2007
Rotary Exchange Students Visit State Capitol
Rotary Youth Exchange students met in Hartford last week with state legislators, including Westport Sen. Judi Freedman and Rep. Joe Mioli. Among them were Westporter Stefania Urist, who is going to Brazil, and Westport-hosted Anita Joaquin, who is from Argentina, and Tony Huang, who is from Taiwan. Rotary Youth Exchange provides an opportunity for short (summer) and long-term (academic school year) exchanges around the world. Westport Rotary and Sunrise Rotary have sponsored Anita and Tony for the school year, placing each student with Westport families for three-month periods. Stefania Urist will be living in Brazil and another Staples senior, Jeremy Lawrence, will live in Japan for the 2007-08 school year. The Westport Rotary clubs are seeking Westport families willing to host students from April through June. For more information, contact Dan Long (203) 454-2194. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Another Artic Cold Wave on Way
The National Weather Service said today that Artic cold temperatures with wind chill values of 5 to 10 degrees below zero are on the way for Westport and the tri-state area tonight.
A weak clipper system just east of Long Island this morning will rapidly intensify as it tracks northeast of Cape Cod this afternoon and into the Canadian Maritimes tonight, an advisory said.
A tight pressure gradient will develop tonight between this departing low and high pressure building in from the Ohio Valley with northwest winds of 20 to 25 mph and gusts to 40 mph expected after midnight into Monday afternoon.
Meanwhile a strong cold front will cross the region late this afternoon ushering an Arctic air mass into the region for tonight into Monday. Temperatures in the wake of the cold front will drop through the 20s this evening and into the lower to mid teens by Monday morning.
Compo Mill View
Sunday, Feb. 18, 2007
1 p.m. - Earthplace - “An Inconvenient Truth”
2 p.m. - Westport Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre, “Spinning into Butter”
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Dem Presidential Candidate Kucinich Makes Westport Stop
Ohio congressman and Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich made a stop at the Westport Public Library today en route to three days of campaigning in New Hampshire. Saying “I can’t be bought and I can’t be bossed,” Kucinich pledged if elected to remove U.S. troops from Iraq and replace them with an international security force. “We’re moving toward fascism with the government we have now,” he said. Among those in the audience were Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff (c), Westport News columnist Dan Woog (arm on chair), and Elizabeth Kucinich, the candidate’s wife (partially hidden). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Hockey Without Skates
A father and son play hockey without skates today on Westport’s Round Pond off Compo Road South. With warmer temperature—it got to 32 today—some of the ice is very thin and residents should take caution on area ponds. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Snow and seagulls were the few things that could be found at Westport’s Compo Beach on Friday when temperatures were in the mid-20s. The temperature is expected to warm to the mid-30s today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Saturday, Feb. 17, 2007
8 p.m. - Westport Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre, “Spinning into Butter”
Clouds and Snow
Clouds and snow added to the scenics at Westport’s Longshore Club Park today as temperatures rose only to the mid 20 during the day. After several days below freezing, temperatures are expected to be in the mid-30s on Saturday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Friday, February 16, 2007
Driver Injured as Ice Smashes Windshield on I-95
The driver of a vehicle on I-95 in Westport suffered facial injuries today when a piece of ice from a passing truck flew off that vehicle and smashed through the windshield. The driver was traveling southbound on the Saugatuck River Bridge at the time of the accident just after 1 p.m. Westport firefighters and EMS responded along with state troopers, and the driver was transported to Norwalk Hospital. Drivers must remove snow and ice and from their vehicles under the law and maintain proper distances from other vehicles, said Assistant Fire Chief William Dingee. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
New Electronic Voting Machines Arrive in Westport
Westport took delivery today of 18 new electronic voting machines, and the town’s registrars of voters will now embark on an education campaign to familiarize voters with the machines.
Democratic Registrar Nita Cohen and Republican Registrar Judith Raines spent the morning opening boxes and testing the machines, which scan ballots, before taking ownership of them.
With the 18 new machines, the town now has 20 of the ballot scanners. State officials picked up cost of 19 of the machines, which cost $7,000 each. The 20th machine has been used for five years to scan absentee ballots, and it will be replaced with a new model, the registrars said.
In addition to the machines themselves—which are in canvas bags and locked away in the town clerk’s office—the registrars took delivery of the ballot bins that sit under the machines, battery packs, voting booths and DVD players.
Former Volunteer Coach Files Notice of Intent to Sue
A former volunteer assistant coach at Staples High School filed notice today that he intends to sue the Town of Westport, the Westport public schools and the Westport Board of Education for wrongful termination.
Jason Gladstone, a Westport attorney representing Westport resident David Alexis, filed the intent to sue in the town clerk’s office.
The papers state Alexis intends to sue for wrongful termination, discrimination, false accusations, defamation, slander, breach of contract and violation of municipal employment wages and state he will seek payment of back wages.
Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon said today he has no comment on the matter.
Westport Takes Delivery of Electronic Voting Machines
The Town of Westport today took delivery of 18 new electronic voting machines which will be used in the November elections. Checking out one of the new machines at Town Hall today were Democratic Registrar of Voters Nita Cohen (l) and her Republican counterpart, Judith Raines. There will be training sessions for the public on the new machines beginning in June. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Voting Machines Stored in Vault
Westport today took delivery of 18 new electronic voting machines. Town Hall employee Doug Meier stores the machines, each in a canvas bag, in a secure cabinet in the town clerk’s vault. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Water Main Breaks Affect Two Westport Neighborhoods
An early morning water main break at Westport’s Rayfield Road and Spicer Road shut down water in the area, police said.
Utility crews from Aquarion Water Co. responded to the 1:42 a.m. call and were still on the scene at 7 a.m.
It was not known how many homes were affected by the break which came as temperatures dipped to 13 degrees overnight in Westport.
Shortly before 7 a.m., police said there was another break near the end of Grove Point Road off of Hillspoint Road.
School Officials Reviewing Security Plans
There may be security changes at the eight schools in Westport soon, but most of those changes will not be noticeable.
Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon said a consultant recently completed a review of the school system’s security and issued a report to the Board of Education.
Because the matter concerns security in the school system, he could not give details what was included in the report, but each of the recommended items could be completed, Landon said.
“It all matters how much we want to spend,” he said.
Snow at the Shore
Snow was still on the ground in Westport on Thursday, including at Longshore Club Park along the Saugatuck River, which brought cold temperatures and even colder wind chills. Temperatures were around 20 degrees on Thursday and are expected to reach 25 degrees today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Friday, Feb. 16, 2007
9:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – Commission for Senior Services
6:30 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Opening Reception: William Schott, Motifs of the Bill
8 p.m. - Westport Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre,“Spinning Into Butter”
With Westport’s roads cleared today, children hit the hills at Winslow Park to sled for the first time this winter. Temperatures were colder today with a high around 20 degrees. Tonight they dipped down to 12 degrees. Temperatures are expected to climb to 25 degrees on Friday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Earthplace to Host “An Inconvenient Truth”
Westport-based Earthplace will host three three screenings of “An Inconvenient Truth,” the documentary exploring global warming and humans’ effect on it.
The first showing will be Sunday at 1 p.m. The other screenings will be on Thursday, March 1 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 25 at 1 p.m.
The movie will be shown in the auditorium at Earthplace, which is located at 10 Woodside Lane, and there will be a discussion following the film on how to reduce carbon footprints and an impact on the environment.
Seating is limited. Call Frank Grazynski at (203) 227-7253 ext. 109 for more information or to reserve a seat.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
School Officials Mull Kindergarten Savings
The Westport Board of Education now faces a large surplus in its budget after approving a plan for full-day kindergarten, and Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon hopes his original budget proposal is restored.
The board approved a plan this week to have three full days of kindergarten and two shorter days for students, and the plan could bring $390,000 in transportation savings because there would not need to be the mid-afternoon kindergarten transportation run.
Landon said the school board will need to have discussions on what to do with the savings because some of it could be used to accomplish transportation goals.
“One of the board’s goals is to look into tracking systems for the vehicles,” he said. “We may also look at (Global Positioning Systems) and sensors for the buses. And then there is the question of maintaining a sufficient number of drivers for the long-term.”
I-95 Accident Backs Up Local Traffic
Traffic was still backed up southbound at 2 p.m. today on the bridge over the Saugatuck River in Westport following clearing of the accident in Norwalk. DOT photoTraffic on Westport local roads was backed up today during the morning rush hour and into the afternoon as drivers sought a way around I-95 which was snarled in the southbound direction following a fatal accident near exit 14 in Norwalk.
Traffic on Post Road East and other Westport roads following the 5:53 a.m. accident was heavy with delays, according to police.
It was eight hours before the accident, involving a tractor-trailer which rear-ended a car, was cleared and traffic flowed freely again.
The fatality was a 49-year-old Norwalk woman who was a passenger in the car which had pulled off the roadway about a mile north of exit 14, according to police reports.
Town Plan Meeting to Air This Weekend
Westporters will have the opportunity to watch on the town’s cable access channel this weekend the final public workshop for the update to the Town Plan of Conservation and Development.
The meeting will be on cable channel 79 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 8 p.m.
The Jan. 29 meeting, which was held at Bedford Middle School, focused on infrastructure issues including community facilities, utilities and transportation (See WestportNow Jan. 29).
In addition to the town’s cable access channel, the meeting can be viewed over the Internet via the town’s Web site.
Westport Schools on Two-Hour Delay
Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon said that Westport public schools will open on a two-hour delay today due to the weather.
All buses will run on a two-hour delay.
The Stepping Stones preschool a.m. session will be canceled, he said.
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Snow blanketed Westport’s Longshore Club Park on Wednesday as several inches fell as part of a winter storm that also brought ice. Temperatures dipped into the teens overnight and will stay there today. A wind advisory remains in effect until 6 a.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
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