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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

No Flooding, Few Accidents Accompany Winter Storm

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Most people stayed off the roads today with the snow and ice that covered Westport and its roads, which led to few accidents. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
By Jennifer Connic

There have been no reports of flooding during today’s winter storm, said Westport Fire Chief Christopher Ackley.

Snow, rain and ice have been pelting Westport throughout the day, and the forecast has called for high winds and the potential for flooding. A ice storm advisory is in effect until 5 p.m., and a wind advisory is in effect until 6 a.m. on Thursday.

“We’ve been monitoring the forecast and our models, and it appears we have avoided the flooding that we had anticipated,” he said.

The number of car accidents police and firefighters have responded to today has also been low.

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02/14/07 07:45 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Three Finger Poi to Play at Westport Arts Center

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Three Finger Poi will perform Hawaiian music at the Westport Arts Center on Thursday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Three Finger Poi will present Hawaiian singing, music and dance as part of Westport Arts Center’s “Third Thursday” series on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the arts center on Riverside Avenue.

The acoustic trio will play hulas, 1920s and ‘30s hot instrumental swing/Hawaiian pieces, mellow Island ballads and novelty numbers from the ‘40s and ‘50s. The trio’s instrumental sound is that of the ukulele and the acoustic national steel guitar played in the “authentic” old time style from the “Golden Era” of Hawaiian music

Three Finger Poi band will be joined by two hula dancers from the Hawaii Cultural Foundation in New York, Eleanor Trilliana and Eleia Cooke, who recently performed with Bette Midler.
“Third Thursdays” are casual monthly gatherings including wine and hors d’oeuvres from 7 to 7:30 p.m. followed by informal performances from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. featuring talented musicians and artists.

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02/14/07 04:51 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

IHA Receives $20,000 Grant

The Fairfield County Community Foundation has awarded Westport’s Interfaith Housing Association with a $20,000 grant to support the Bacharach Community’s program director.

The Barcharach Community works with women and children who seek support, stability and a safe place to stay in the shelter.

The women are given training and counseling to develop skills necessary to begin leading stable lives.

The Fairfield County Community Foundation promotes the growth of philanthropy to strengthen local communities and the region. The foundation issued $7.5 million in grants last year.

For more information about the Interfaith Housing Association, visit www.ihawestport.com.

02/14/07 04:30 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Ice Storm Warning Issued

The National Weather Service today issued an ice storm warning for Westport and the tri-state area until 5 p.m. The winter weather advisory is no longer in effect.

Freezing rain possibly mixed with sleet at times will fall through most of this morning and into this afternoon. The heaviest precipitation will fall during the morning hours, an advisory said.

Ice accretion of one-half to three-quarters of an inch is possible. As colder air flows back into the area toward evening the precipitation may mix with or even change to wet snow before ending in the evening.

An ice storm warning means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of ice accumulations will make travel dangerous or impossible, the advisory said.

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Center for Senior Activities Closed Today

The Westport Center for Senior Activities is closed today due to the weather.

All activities including the home delivered meals program are cancelled for the day.

For more information, call the center at (203) 341-5099.

02/14/07 03:18 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Former Westporter Ellen Hanley, Broadway Star, Dies at 80

Former Westporter Ellen Hanley, 80, a stage actress best known for playing Fiorello LaGuardia’s first wife in the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical “Fiorello!” in 1959, died of a stroke Monday at Norwalk Hospital after a long battle with cancer, her family said.

Hanley was honored last October at a Westport Town Hall ceremony with an award from the Westport Arts Advisory Committee.

Born May 15, 1926, in Lorain, Ohio, Hanley made her Broadway debut in “Annie Get Your Gun,” starring Ethel Merman, in 1946. The following year she appeared as Clothilde Pfefferkorn in “Barefoot Boy With Cheek,” a zany collegiate musical featuring Nancy Walker and Red Buttons.

In the 1952 revue “Two’s Company,” which starred Bette Davis, Hanley introduced the Vernon Duke-Ogden Nash song “Roundabout.”

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Going Down: 29 Burr Farms Road

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Construction crews demolished the house at 29 Burr Farms Road in Westport on Tuesday. The 1954 house sits on 1.1 acres and sold in January for $1 million. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/14/07 11:20 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Westport Schools Closed

Westport Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon said Westport public schools will be closed today and all activities canceled due to the weather.

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Wintry Mix to Change to Rain During Day

The National Weather Service said early today that a winter weather advisory remains in effect for Westport and portions of the tri-state area until 10 p.m.

Snow, sleet and freezing rain will become heavier and change over to just a sleet and freezing rain mix during the morning commute and then mix with or change to all rain by around midday as warmer air continues to move into the region, the advisory said.

As the storm moves to the northeast this evening and colder air flows back into the area, the precipitation will change to wet snow before ending early this evening.

Total snow and sleet accumulations by the time the precipitation ends could range from 1 to 3 inches with ice accretion of a tenth to one quarter inch possible, the advisory said.

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02/14/07 09:39 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Fortune Finder

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Despite temperatures in the mid-20s Tuesday, a treasure hunter ventured into the cool waters of Long Island Sound off of Westport’s Compo Beach. Winter weather with a mix of rain, sleet and snow moved into the area early today and will continue into tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

02/14/07 05:14 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2007


8 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Maintenance Study Committee
10:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – International Hospitality Committee
Noon - Westport Public Library - authors@the library: Judith Marks-White
4:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – School Building Committee
5 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – Board of Selectmen (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
6-9 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Teen Valentine’s Day Party (grades 6-9)

02/14/07 05:05 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

ZBA Considering Plan to Preserve 113 Cross Highway

By Jennifer Connic

Westport Zoning Board of Appeals members said tonight they believe the owners of 113 Cross Highway are using the wrong method to gain approvals to preserve the structures on the property, site of the town’s first gas station.WestportNow.com Image
113 Cross Highway before preservation work began. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow/WN file photo

Michael and Kim Ronemus are seeking variances to be able to use an old garage and barn as an office and guest house, which are not allowed under the zoning regulations in accessory buildings. The house was designated as historical by the Representative Town Meeting last December, which prevents its destruction (See WestportNow Dec. 5)

Peter Gelderman, who is representing the Ronemuses, said the historic nature of the property and trying to preserve it presents a hardship. A hardship is required in order for the board of appeals to grant a variance, or waiver from the town’s zoning regulations.

“They are trying to do something that otherwise would be allowed if they were not in accessory buildings,” he said. “It would be easier and cheaper for them to take them down and build an addition on the house or just tear it down and start over. They want to try to preserve the buildings.”

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Wildman Addresses Rotary Club

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Dianne Wildman, Cablevision’s News 12 award-winning editorial writer and presenter, addressed the Westport Rotary Club today at its weekly meeting at the Inn at Longshore. The former deputy press secretary for President Bill Clinton talked on the wide variety of editorials she has broadcast over the last 10 years.  She spoke about the emergence of blogs and applauded WestportNow for its pioneering role in local news coverage on the Internet. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/13/07 11:12 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Town Readies for Winter Storm

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Westport’s plow crews stand ready to clear the roads if snow starts falling tonight as predicted, but Public Works Director Stephen Edwards said he wouldn’t be surprised if the storm changed to all rain.

A winter weather advisory has been issued for the region calling for snow to begin falling this evening and on Wednesday. The advisory states snow will mix with rain and sleet with an expected accumulation of two to three inches of snow.

Edwards said he anticipates the weather to be ugly, but not because of the volume.

“It’s going to be a mix of rain and ice, and it’s going to be a real mess,” he said.

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02/13/07 10:50 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Westport Property Transfers Feb. 5-9, 2007

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period Feb. 5-9, 2007:

Sherwood Diner Inc. to Connecticut Light & Power Co., easement, 901 Post Road East, $137,500WN property.jpg

Gregory H. and Patrice Ambrose to Cartus Financial Corp., 12 Tupelo Road, $1,187,500

Cartus Financial Corp. to Karl M. Lintel, 12 Tupelo Road, $1,187,500

Carol G. Fumo to George Reichhelm, 263 Wilton Road, $780,000

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02/13/07 10:26 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Woman Injured in Newtown Turnpike Crash

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A woman was transported to Norwalk Hospital complaining of chest pains after she crashed her car into a tree on Newtown Turnpike around 4 p.m. today. She reportedly lost control of her car when traveling eastbound near Wilton Road. She was traveling with her dog, which was also reportedly injured. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/13/07 09:56 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Girls Ice Hockey Team to Hold Fund-Raiser

The girls hockey team, in its first season at Westport’s Staples High School, will hold a fund-raiser titled Icetravaganza on Saturday, March 3 at 8-10 p.m. at the Wonderland of Ice in Bridgeport.

The money from the evening will help defray the cost of ice time for the team.

The evening features a broom hockey game between the girls hockey team, which is in the middle of its first season, and teachers from all of Westport’s schools.

There will also be door prices including $200 gift certificates to Toys R US and a silent auction with that includes a variety of professional sporting events.

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02/13/07 07:19 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Going Down: 5 Charmers Landing

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The house at 5 Charmers landing off Westport’s Saugatuck Avenue, featured earlier today as the WestportNow Teardown of the Day, was demolished today. Built in 1997, the 7,200-square foot home is the most recently constructed Westport home ever featured as a WestportNow teardown. A WestportNow reader reported that it was deemed uninhabitable due to water damage and mold. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/13/07 07:06 PM Comments (1) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Getting Ready for Snow

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With the winter’s first potentially significant snowfall in the forecast, Westport’s hardware stores were doing increased business today. Neil Harding (l) looked at some snow shovels offered by A. J. Izzo at Ace Hardware on Main Street. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/13/07 04:59 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Board of Education Approves Full-Day Kindergarten

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Board of Education members Donald O’Day, Michael McGovern, Mark Mathias and Jim Marpe listen to a speaker on the full-day kindergarten program during Monday’s school board meeting. The board voted in favor of the proposal. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jennifer Connic for WestportNow.com
By Jennifer Connic

Updated The Westport Board of Education Monday night voted in favor of a controversial proposal that has kindergarteners attending three full days of school and two extended days of school.

The board voted just before midnight 5-1 with one member abstaining. Kristin LaFleur voted against the proposal, and Mark Mathias abstained.

Students would attend three days of school from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. and attend school for two days when the day ends at 1:15 p.m. More than 100 people attended Monday’s hearing.

The controversial proposal provoked an outcry from some parents who said they don’t think many children could handle a full day of school. (See WestportNow Jan. 8, 2007) Some parents repeated their objections in comments before the board voted.

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WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 5 Charmers Landing

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A demolition permit has been issued for the house at 5 Charmers Landing off Westport’s Saugatuck Avenue. Built in 1997, the 7,200-square foot house sits on 1.12 acres of a Long Island Sound subdivided property which changed hands in June 2006 for $8.5 million. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/13/07 01:16 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Winter Weather Advisory Issued

The National Weather Service early today issued a winter weather advisory for Westport and the tri-state area in effect from 6 p.m. this evening to 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Light snow is expected to begin late this afternoon, becoming steadier and heavier tonight, the advisory said.

As warmer air moves into the region Wednesday, the snow will be mixing with sleet and freezing rain Wednesday morning before changing over to all rain during the day.

As the storm moves to the northeast late Wednesday afternoon and colder air flows back into the area, the precipitation will be mixing with snow, sleet and freezing rain by Wednesday evening.

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02/13/07 09:31 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Bridgeport Man Injured in Parkway Crash

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Traffic was backed up on the Merritt Parkway Monday night when Westport and Fairfield firefighters responded to a car accident in the northbound lanes between exits 42 and 44 in Fairfield. The road had to be closed for 30 minutes as firefighters freed a 32-year-old Bridgeport man from a van that he was driving. He was taken to the hospital by Westport EMS. Westport fire officials said state police determined a Chevy Prism had broken down and been abandoned, and the driver of the van hit the car and rolled his vehicle over. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

02/13/07 06:13 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2007


8:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Human Services Commission
2 p.m. – Westport Fire Headquarters – Public Site & Building Commission Levitt Pavilion Committee
4:15 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Art Factory: Shape Up! Turning Shapes and Colors into a Stabile
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Historic District Commission
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201A – Longshore Men’s Golf Association
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – RTM Long Range Planning
8 p.m. - Westport Public Library - authors@the library: Roxanne Coady

02/13/07 05:11 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Aasen Retires as Democratic Town Chair, Ezzes Takes Over

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James Ezzes (l) speaks during tonight’s Democratic Town Committee meeting after he was elected as its new chairman replacing Martha Aasen (r). Marla Cowden (2nd l) was elected vice chairman. Lynn Hogan, secretary, looks on. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
By Jennifer Connic

Martha Aasen stepped aside tonight as Westport Democratic Town Committee chairwoman, and James Ezzes took her place.

Aasen announced her retirement from her post – a position she has held for 13 out of the last 15 years – and Ezzes was elected as chairman during the regular town committee meeting at Westport Town Hall.

Marc Marcus also resigned as vice chairman, and Marla Cowden was elected in his place.

“We think it’s time for someone else to take over the leadership,” Aasen said. “I will not be stepping aside from working, caring and devoting my time to the best interest of the party locally, on the state level and federally.”

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