Thursday, January 19, 2006
Coleytown’s May to Retire
Flashback: Kaye May welcomes a youngster back to school in September 2004. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Kaye May, principal of Coleytown Elementary School, will retire at the end of the current school year, ending a 36-year tenure in Westport.
May has spent her entire educational career in the Westport school system, coming here in 1969 fresh from college with a new bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University.
She has been Coleytown principal since January 1998 when she replaced an interim principal who had served for six months following the departure of Dan Sullivan.
Prior to stepping into the top position, May had been the assistant principal for three years, following a two-year stint as an instructional specialist there.
A tree was knocked over by high winds Wednesday at Greens Farms Academy on Westport’s Beachside Avenue, and it fell onto and through a stone wall. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Thursday, Jan. 19, 2006
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Overcoat Series: “Burden of Dreams”
5:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201A – First Selectman Committee for 99 Myrtle Avenue
7 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Third Thursday: Jim Kempner
7:15 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Youth Commission
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Planning and Zoning Commission public hearing
8 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Representative Town Meeting committee chairs meeting
Volunteers Train With Ladders
Westport volunteer firefighters trained on ladders tonight under the direction of Deputy Chief Mark Amatrudo. The drill took place outside Westport Fire Headquarters on Post Road East. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Residents Question Mahackeno Bridge
Westport residents tonight questioned the use of a new vehicular bridge at Camp Mahackeno, the property owned by the Westport/Weston Famiily Y that it hopes will be the site of its new home.
Discussion at tonight’s Conservation Commission meeting centered on the role the bridge may play in future development of the property. Y officials said the bridge is needed regardless of a planned facility on the property.
Y officials are seeking approval to install a vehicular bridge to replace a bridge that has been damaged. The bridge is used mainly for the camp with small vehicles transporting supplies and campers walking across it.
The commission made no decision tonight, and a second hearing is scheduled for Feb. 6.
Westporters Face Another Night Without Power
Thousands of Westporters were in the dark tonight only hours after most homes got power back after a weekend storm.
Connecticut Light & Power Co. said it could be days before some homes in the state get their lights on.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell held an emergency conference call and offered National Guard help to municipalities to help clear roadways of downed trees so power could be restored.
CL&P said 2,325 of its 11,914 Westport customers were without power as of midnight, or about 20 percent.
Playhouse Announces 2006 Season Productions
By Jayde Levesque
Westport Country Playhouse Artistic Director Tazewell Thompson today announced eight new plays for the 2006 season.
Making the announcement: Playhouse Artistic Director Tazewell Thompson addresses the press today as Anne Keefe, associate artistic director, looks on. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Although Thompson declined to reveal the name of a ninth play in the works, he said he was allowed “to dangle” the prospect of a secret play which he said will be announced in a few short weeks.
The only information he did leak was the ninth play is connected with a well-known actor.
Thompson, who was named artistic director Jan. 1, has already begun plans for auditions in New York City to cast the plays.
Residents Express Revaluation Concerns
A handful of Westport residents attended today’s Revaluation Working Group meeting to express concerns that some properties were overvalued during the reassessment.
Assessor William Gaffney said he plans to file the new Grand List at the end of February after reviewing information provided by residents during informal hearings and through his office. He had originally planned to submit the Grand List at the end of this month.
Vision Appraisal representatives gave a presentation on how values were compiled in Westport, and the committee and residents had an opportunity to respond.
Mike Laux, committee member, said he believes the $475,000 per acre base value used in the model was very low because properties would not sell for that little.
Surveying the Damage
Gas Meter Sheared Off
A tree that fell on a house on Westport’s Moss Ledge Road today sheared off a gas meter. Firefighters managed to shut off the spewing gas befoe arrival of utility crews. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Tree Crashes Through Roof
A relative of homeowner photographs the damage to a home on Westport’s Deletta Lane today after a tree crashed through the roof. It was one of numerous homes damaged by trees in today’s storm. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Tree Blocks Edge Hill
A tree fell across Edge Hill Road at King’s Highway North and knocked down some power lines. Westport is facing another round of power outages due to the weather. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Miggs Burroughs for WestportNow.com
High Wind Warning, Flood Watch in Effect
High winds knocked down trees and power lines today throughout Westport just as the region began to recover from a severe weekend storm.
The Westport Fire Department responded to numerous reports of trees on wires or trees down beginning shortly after 7 a.m.
Connecticut Light & Power Co. said 2,776 of its 11,914 Westport customers were without power as of 7 p.m., or about 23 percent.
The Westport Fire Department issued a general recall, summoning every available firefighter as calls poured in of trees and wires down.
“It looks worse than the weekend storm as far as trees down,” said First Selectman Gordon Joseloff who toured the hardest hit areas of the town at mid-morning with Fire Chief Chris Ackley.
Diversity Celebrated at Long Lots
By Jayde Levesque
Westport’s Long Lots Elementary School is continuing its tradition of promoting diversity.
In a new project that teams Long Lots with Bridgeport’s Elias Howe Elementary School, students are learning racial and cultural understanding.
The school has received a two-year $64,000 state diversity grant that “promotes literacy, confidence, and joy,” but it may have many other benefits.
Mary Misevich, Long Lots vice principal and active participant in the diversity grant, said school officials have adopted the state Department of Education goals of “reducing racial and ethnic isolation and promoting multi-racial and multi-cultural understanding.”
Dawn Dog Walk
Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2006
10:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – International Hospitality Committee
Noon - Westport Arts Center - Lunch, Look & Listen: Brooklyn Exhibition
2 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium (room change) – Revaluation Working Group (live coverage cable channel 79)
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Conservation Commission
7:30 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Wild Women”
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Energy Consortium Keeps School Electricity Prices Down
Westport school officials were able to keep projected electricity costs down in the proposed 2006-07 school budget by entering into an energy consortium with other school districts and municipalities.
The Board of Education spent tonight discussing the proposal from Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon that carries a 5.4 percent increase.
The $4.2 million increase would bring the budget to $82.9 million if approved. The current budget is $78.6 million.
School officials are projecting to spend $1.6 million on electricity in the next fiscal year, and Assistant Superintendent for Business Nancy Harris said it could have been more.
Most Power Restored to Westport Customers
Connecticut Light and Power Co. tonight reported power had been restored to all but a few Westport customers.
As of 11 p.m., the utility reported 14 of its 11,902 Westport customers were without power.
More than 4,000 Westport customers were in the dark at one point following the weekend storm.
CL&P Lists Westport Areas Still Without Power
Connecticut Light and Power Co. said late today its crews were still working to restore power to the last Westport homes in the dark from the weekend storm.
The utility gave town officials a list where service was still out as of 4 p.m. The outages included:
Pine Tree Drive neighborhood (3 customers)
Florian Court neighborhood (5 customers) *Restoration expected by 6pm.*
Kings Highway North at Woodside Avenue (3 customers)
Homeland Security Grant Funds Drying Up
Westport officials, like many across the state, will need to look for a new avenue to fund homeland security equipment and training as the federal grant money has practically dried up.
The news came not long before the town suffered power outages that affected up to one-third of the homes last weekend. As of 5 p.m. today, 226 homes were still without power as Connecticut Light and Power crews continued working.
First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said town officials will now need to look for local funding to help pay for equipment and training to prepare for incidents like last weekends and emergencies.
“The money is trickling through,” he said. “The spigot is tight. This is something that will affect the whole state.”
Fire Marshal Warns of Chimney Sweep Calls
Westport Fire Marshal Fred Baker is warning residents about people calling homes allegedly representing themselves as chimney sweeper, and offers advice for those who want such a service.
“The callers have used misleading, high-pressure sales techniques,” Baker wrote in a letter. “Any reputable company will offer estimates prior to commencement of work.”
Baker recomends residents require references before hiring a chimney sweep.
Residents can also call the Better Business Bureau or the fire marshal’s office at (203) 341-5020 if they want to investigate further, he wrote.
Buckwheat Zydeco to Headline Levitt Pavilion’s Fundraiser
Buckwheat Zydeco will perform at Carnivale 2006 to support the Levitt Pavilion Contributed PhotoBuckwheat Zydeco will be the star of the the Westport Levitt Pavilion’s Carnivale 2006 Saturday, Feb. 4 at the Inn at Longshore.
The four-time Grammy Award nominee has been lauded as “one of the best party bands in America” by The New York Times. The man and the band have an international following.
Fourteen zydeco and soul-flavored records and incessant touring have won the group a reputation for some of the hottest music since James Brown.
The live show alone has kept fans on their feet since 1979, when Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural first launched his zydeco career.
Rotary Meeting Moved To Peppermill
Today’s Westport Rotary Club meeting has been moved to the Peppermill Restaurant on Post Road East.
The meeting starts at 12:15 p.m.
The meeting is being moved because the Inn at Longshore, where meetings normally take place, is without power.
Still Some Without Power, New Storm Coming
While most Westporters had their power back on today, there were still scores of homes awaiting restoration. Forecasters warned of more bad weather approaching that could bring new outages.
Connecticut Light and Power Co. reported at 5 p.m. that 226 of its 11,902 Westport customers, or about 2 percent, were without power.
Among those out this morning were the Inn at Longshore and the town’s Parks and Recreation Department building located on the grounds of Longshore Club Park.
Chris Swan, municipal relations manager for CL&P, said a large tree pulled down a power line near the entrance to the park. He said it might be mid-day before power to the area can be restored.
Senior Center Flashes Back to 1920s
Maybeth Wirz shows off some of the vintage dress that will be welcomed at Saturday’s “Speakeasy Social” with a Roaring 1920’s theme at the Westport Center for Senior Activities. The event, from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., will feature a live performance by members of “The Golden Chordsmen” barbershop quartet and there will be awards for best costume and dancers. Light hors d’oevres will be served at the gathering which is open to seniors and their guests. Tickets are $5 per person, and reservations must be made by Thursday by calling (203)341-5099. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
All Gone: 14 Burr Road
The 1910 home at 14 Burr Road in Westport was demolished leaving rubble behind. The home was the WestportNow Teardown of the Day on May 22, 2005. Burr Road stretches between Riverside Avenue and Post Road West adjacent to King’s Highway Elementary. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
An Icy Saugatuck
Talking Transportation: Free Parking Isn’t Free
By Jim CameronSpecial to WestportNow
Our obsession with automobiles is not only creating gridlock and ruining the quality of our air, but it is eating up our real estate and sending land costs upward. Because, once we drive our cars off the crowded highways, we assume it is our constitutional right to find “free parking.”
For decades, city planners and zoning regulations have shared with Detroit in a conspiracy to deliver on that dream. Consider the following:
According to the industry standard-setting Institute of Transportation Engineers, there are 266 kinds of businesses which should be zoned to require a minimum amount of parking. Quoting from the ITE “bible,” convents must have one parking space for every 10 nuns in residence. Hello? The residents aren’t going anywhere. Why do they need parking? Couldn’t the convents find better use for their land?
Or consider hotels. Why are parking regulations based on requiring enough parking for the few nights each year when the hotel is sold out, rather than the majority of nights when occupancy is 50 percent or less? Would we require a movie theater to require parking for an every-seat-filled blockbuster when its more typical offerings fill far fewer seats?
Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2006
8:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Human Services Commission
10 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Arts Advisory Committee
5:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Tree Board
8 p.m. - Bedford Middle School - Board of Education (live coverage cable channel 79)
Monday, January 16, 2006
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