Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2006
10:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – International Hospitality Committee
2:30 p.m. – Westport Senior Center – Policy and Planning Board
5:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – Board of Selectmen (live coverage cable channel 79)
5:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – RTM Planning & Zoning Committee
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Conservation Commission
8 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM Long Range Planning Committee
Shays Claims Victory Over Farrell
U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, R-4, was claiming victory in tonight’s election, but Democrat challenger Diane Farrell was not ready to concede at just before midnight.
Rep. Christopher Shays celebrates his apparent victory tonight with his mother Peggy at the Norwalk Inn. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Hamilton Laux for WestportNow.com
Surrounded by her family on the stage in the grand ballroom of Westport’s Inn at Longshore, Farrell said she wants to allow the “amazing election process” to play out since there is a significant number of absentee ballots that had yet to be counted.
“It appears Chris may have won,” said Farrell, Westport’s former first selectwoman.
“But a significant number of votes have not been counted yet. If the Congressman’s lead holds up and there is no automatic recount I will of course graciously concede this election. I will congratulate him and I will of course wish him the very best of luck. But we’re not quite there yet.”
Farrell Says She’ll Concede if Shays’s Lead Holds
Democrat Diane Farrell told supporters tonight that she will concede in her race against incumbent Republican Rep. Shays if his lead holds up. The former Westport First Selectwoman said: “It appears that Congressman Shays may have won this election. But there are still a significant number of votes that have not been counted.” She spoke at Westport’s Inn at Longshore. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Mioli, Freedman Retain Seats
State Rep. Joseph Mioli, D-136, of Westport and state Sen. Judith Freedman, R-26, won re-election tonight although Freedman lost her hometown of Westport where Democrats swept all races on the ballot.
State Rep. Joe Mioli (4th r.) celebrates with family members at Westport’s Inn at Longshore tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Mioli, who defeated Republican Rep. Kenneth Bernhard two years ago in the district long held by Republicans, won over GOP opponent Bill Harris 7,078 to 3,571 in unofficial votes.
Freedman lost in Westport to Democrat challenger Craig Rebecca Shiavone, a three-year Westport resident, 5,689 to 5,565 in unofficial votes, but she won in other parts of the district in order to retain her seat.
Mioli earned about 500 votes less than Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who also won a new term tonight, and he said he was speechless about the vote count.
Farrell Crowd Listens to Shays
Supporters of Democrat Diane Farrell at Westport’s Inn at Longshore listen to incumbent Republican Rep. Christopher Shays claim victory tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Shays Claims Victory Over Farrell
Official Final Westport Election Results
(UPDATE)All votes counted—official results (click here for full PDF version)
Governor and Lieutenant Governor
7531 Rell and Fedele
4151 DeStefano and Glassman
19 Zdonczyk and Garcia
46 Thoornton and deSmet
694 Alan Schleshinger
5081 Ned Lamont
9 Timothy A. Knibbs
29 Ralph A. Ferrucci
6229 Joe Lieberman
U.S. House 4th Congressional District
5626 Christopher Shays
6356 Diane Farrell
101 Philip Z. Maymin
Westport Voter Turnout Slows
Voter turnout at the Westport polls slowed down this afternoon and evening with about two-thirds of Westport’s voters visiting the polls before 6 p.m.
About 30 percent had visited the polls before noon today, but Republican Registrar of Voters Judy Raines said about 64 percent of voters had cast a ballot by 6 p.m.
“We’re predicting a turnout of in the low 70s,” she said. “If people were going to vote, they voted early.”
There were long lines at the polls, but everyone was processed quickly, she said.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Flash Flood Watch Issued
The National Weather Service today issued a flash flood watch for Westport and the tri-state area from 3 a.m. Wednesday through Wednesday night.
An advisory said an area of low pressure will strengthen as it lifts northeast from the northeast Gulf Coast to near Cape Hatteras by Wednesday morning.
This low will continue to slowly lift northeast and strengthen, reaching near Cape Cod by mid-Thursday morning.
Moist southerly flow ahead of this low will pump large amounts of moisture into the region, producing 1.5 to 2.5 inches of rain with locally higher amounts in the watch area, the advisory said.
Lining Up to Vote
Lines at the various polling places were a familiar site throughout Westport, including at Long Lots Elementary this morning. The polling places have been busy all day with nearly one-third of the town’s registered voters having voted by noon. The polls remain open until 8 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Hamilton Laux for WestportNow.com
Staples Football Field Vandalized
The Staples football team practices this afternoon on the school’s football field. Someone spray painted a portion of the field, which is made of synthetic turf, last weekend. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Police are searching for vandals who spray painted the new synthetic turf football field at Westport’s Staples High School last weekend.
Police Sgt. Jerry Shannon said today no arrests have been made and an investigation is ongoing into the matter.
Parks and Recreation Director Stuart McCarthy said it could cost hundreds of dollars if the field only needs to be cleaned, but if a portion of the field needs to be replaced it would cost $5,000.
The Field of Dreams Committee raised $1.5 million to install the synthetic turf on several fields throughout Westport, and workers completed installing the turf last September in time for the Staples football season to start.
Westport Voter Turnout Strong Early
Parents with their children in the voting booths were a common sight across Westport today. Turnout has been heavy for today’s election, including at Coleytown Middle School where more than 1,200 people have visited the polls. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
By noon today, approximately one-third of Westport’s registered voters had already visited the polls, and one registrar of voters said it was busier than a presidential election.
As of noon, 5,330 voters had visited the different polling locations in Westport. The largest turnout had been at Coleytown Middle School, which saw 1,230 voters before noon.
Both Long Lots Elementary and Saugatuck Elementary had also seen more than 1,000 voters each.
“It’s been crazy,” said Democrat Registrar Nita Cohen. “It’s never been this busy. Even a presidential election isn’t this busy.”
Farrell: “This is Going to Be a Great Day”
Former Westport First Selectwoman Diane Farrell, accompanied by her husband Win, is the center of attention today as she greets election workers at Coleytown Middle School where she voted at 6:30 a.m. “This is going to be a great day,” said the Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican Rep. Christopher Shays who votied later in Bridgeport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Where to Vote Today
Polls are open in Westport today 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., and voters can cast a ballot in federal and state races. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Polls are open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. today throughout Westport.
The registrars of voters sent cards to each Westport family with a registered voter listing the polling place.
Following is a list of polling places. For more information, call the Registrar’s Office at (203) 341-1115.
State District 136-1 (RTM Districts 1 and 9)—Saugatuck Elementary
State District 136-2 (RTM Districts 3 and 8)—Coleytown Middle School
State District 136-3 (RTM Districts 6 and 7)—Long Lots Elementary
State District 136-4 (RTM District 5A and 4)—Green’s Farms Elementary gym
State District 136-5 (RTM District 2)—King’s Highway Elementary
State District 133-1 (RTM District 5)—Green’s Farms Elementary auditorium
Connecticut’s 4th CD Has Not Had a Democrat in 37 Years
If former Westport First Selectwoman Diane Farrell defeats incumbent Republican Rep. Christopher Shays and is elected to Congress today, she would become the first Democrat elected from Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District in 37 years.
Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District (yellow) stretches from Greenwich to Oxford. Contributed graphic
The last Democrat elected to Congress from the district was Donald J. Irwin, who served from 1965 to 1969. He later went on to become mayor of Norwalk. Leroy D. Downs, another Norwalk Democrat, served from 1941 to 1943.
Farrell would also become the third Westporter to represent the 4th District since the start of the 20th century.
The others were Stewart B. McKinney, who served in Congress from 1971 to 1987 and whom Shays succeeded, and John Davis Lodge, who served from 1947 to 1951 before becoming governor in 1951. Both McKinney and Lodge were Republicans.
Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2006
6 a.m. - 8 p.m. - Various Locations - Voting polls open
10 a.m. - Westport Public Library - Jobseekers Resource Seminar
School Board Approves New Teacher Contract
The Westport Board of Education tonight approved a new three-year teachers contract that both school officials and teacher union representatives say is indicative that all had the best interest of students in mind.
The pact now goes to the Representative Town Meeting for final approval.
The deal carries wage increases of 2.85 percent, 2.82 percent and 2.89 percent in each of the three years. It goes into effect on July 1, 2007, and runs through June 30, 2010.
Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon said the negotiations were long, difficult and tedious. The process had gone through mediation and was headed to arbitration before the deal was struck.
Monday, November 06, 2006
All Gone: 32 Burnham Hill
The house at 32 Burnham Hill in Westport was demolished over the weekend. It sold in September for $1.6 million. It was the WestportNow Teardown of the Day on Oct. 12. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Staples Shuts Out Manchester 1-0 in Tourney Soccer Contest
Brendon Cristobal’s goal lifted the Staples boys soccer team to a 1-0 win today over Manchester in the first round of the state “LL” (extra large schools) tournament.
Staples tri-captain Matt Lamb works his magic in today’s 1-0 Wreckers state tournament win over Manchester. The victory advances them to Wednesday’s second-round match (2 p.m., home). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Amy Lamb for WestportNow.com
The Wreckers, now 15-1-3, face Xavier-Middletown on Wednesday (2 p.m.), in second round action at Staples’ Loeffler Field.
Cristobal won a hard tackle, drove to the corner, then powered through several defenders before slotting his shot home in the 31st minute.
The Wrecker defense of Nicky Hoberman, Ben King, Craig Wolgast, Alex Gendell and Greg Bachman, plus goalkeeper Dave Sharpe, then did their job, ensuring Staples’ sixth consecutive shutout.
Commentary: When Bad Things Are Said About Good People
(Editor’s note: The following commentary by award-winning Westport-based writer Jessica Bram was broadcast on Fairfield County Public Radio WSHU-FM.)
By Jessica BramSpecial to WestportNow
My mother always said that there was nothing worse than hearing my brothers and me fight. I used to think it was the noise that bothered her; but only when I became a mother myself did I realize that the truly awful thing about it is hearing terrible things said about the people I most love and cherish–-my own children.
That it’s other people I love just as much who are saying those things only makes it worse-–because the meanness of their words tarnishes them as well.
All this has frequently come to mind during this particularly ugly election season. Some months ago my commentary here applauded the civil tenor of Connecticut political discourse compared to the national mudslinging. “The Battle of the Huggers” is how I labeled Connecticut’s 4th District Congressional race between two highly popular public servants.
Well, boy, do I ever take that back. Goaded and financed, no doubt, by both Republican and Democratic national machines, the most irresponsible, God-awful things are being said in just about every Connecticut race both by and about some of the most important people in my life: my public servants.
Grant to Fund Reverse 911
Westport emergency workers will soon be able to contact residents with important information during a crisis at the push of a button thanks to a federal homeland security grant.
Emergency officials plan to use the $24,621 federal grant for this year towards reverse 911, and the Board of Selectmen will vote on the grant during its meeting on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
Police Chief Al Fiore said the system is a “great product,” but they are waiting for state officials to award a contract for the service.
The federal grant should cover nearly the entire cost of the service, he said, but some local money may be necessary to fund the project.
Players Prepare to Fly in “The Wiz”
Flying Director Alex Thompson of ZFX Inc. (l) demonstrates the correct way to snatch up prey to the Leader of the Winged Monkeys, played by Andy Friedland(c). Dorothy, played by Mia Gentile (r), is his victim in the Staples Players production of “The Wiz,” which opens Friday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Members of Westport’s Staples High School’s Staples Players theater group learned to literally fly across the stage in preparation for the many flying sequences planned for their production of “The Wiz” which opens Friday night.
The flying, performed by a number of the show’s characters, is a theatrical and technical feat that has not been performed by Staples Players since the 1967 production of “Peter Pan.”
Staples Players Director David Roth is excited about the drama added by the special effects, too.
“Dorothy is literally swept away by the tornado,” he said. “The Wicked Witch throws her servants through the air around her castle. We have a flying monkey that really flies. And we have a lot more surprises for the audience than that.”
Share the Pie Orders Being Taken
The Westport Interfaith Housing Association (IHA) and the Conservative Synagogue want residents to share the pie.
Residents can currently place orders for the annual Share the Pie fund-raiser that benefits IHA.
Interfaith Housing Association provides programs and services to help the homeless and families in need throughout Westport, including the Gillespie Center.
The fund-raiser also enables the Conservative Synagogue to fund many of its social/outreach programs both here and abroad.
Leaf Collection Begins Today
The Westport Public Works Department will start its annual curbside leaf collection program today, and it will continue through Dec. 4.
Bags of leaves await pickup on a Westport street. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Public Works Director Stephen Edwards, however, encouraged residents to compost leaves in their backyards.
“The department requests that homeowners consider the feasibility of backyard composting and suggests that they contact the Conservation Department or Earthplace for relevant information,” he said. “The ease and cost savings of backyard composting provides a viable alternative to either carting the leaves to the town yard waste site or filling of paper bags for the town’s curbside pickup.”
The Conservation Department can be reached at (203) 341-1170 and Earthplace can be reached at (203) 227-7253.
Page 1325 of 1649 pages
Despite unseasonably colder temperatures, Westporters are still taking to the water, including this vessel spotted returning home Saturday evening to the Ned Dimes Marina at Compo Beach. Temperatures, however, are expected to warm by the end of the week. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
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