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Monday, June 11, 2007

Sound Sailing

WestportNow.com Image
It was overcast and chilly at Westport’s Compo Beach today. A few drops of rain also fell. The weather, though, didn’t keep people away from outdoor activities. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

06/11/07 03:10 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkDigg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

School Board to Make Final Budget Vote

By Jennifer Connic

There may be more budget cuts for Staples High School on the way as the Westport Board of Education prepares to make its final vote on the 2007-08 school budget Monday night.

The Board of Finance cut $500,000 from the school board’s budget, and the school board has a $88.7 million education budget, which is a 7.8 percent increase over the current budget, for the next fiscal year. The school board will vote on the budget during its meeting on Monday at 8 p.m. at Staples.

During budget deliberations in February, the school board made reducations in teaching and administration staff at Staples (See WestportNow Feb. 6).

Landon proposes in a letter to the school board for the largest cut to come from the insurance fund at $300,000, which is at the suggestion of the Board of Finance, but he also has proposed a further cut at the high school.

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Police Capture Man Threatening to Jump from I-95 Bridge

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After a three-hour standoff, Westport and state police managed to grab a man (white shirt) threatening to jump off the I-95 bridge over Westport’s Franklin Street tonight. The man, who was not immediately identified, was taken into custody after a unit from the Rocky Hill, Conn., fire department set up a giant air bag under the bridge. He was taken to Norwalk Hospital.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Would-be Jumper Draws Crowd

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A crowd gathered on Westport’s Franklin Street late today as Westport and state police negotiated with a man threatening to jump off the I-95 bridge over the street in the Saugatuck area. He was finally grabbed after a three-hour standoff. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Two Adults Die, Two Children Hurt in Merritt Car-Tree Crash

UPDATED An evening ride on the Merritt Parkway in Westport turned into tragedy Saturday night when a car carrying a New York couple and their two young sons was struck across the windshield by a falling tree in the southbound lane, authorities said.WestportNow.com Image
State police closed off the Merritt Parkway for almost four hours after the Saturday night crash near the Clinton Avenue overpass in Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo ©2007 WestportNow.com

The male driver and woman in the passenger seat of the Volvo station wagon were killed and two young boys in the rear seat area were injured and trapped by the crash, fire officials said.  Police later identified the victims as Joseph J. Stavola, 46, of Pelham, N.Y., and his passenger, Jeanne C. Serocke, 44, also of Pelham.

Stavola was a prominent pediatrician and Serocke, his wife, was an attorney, according to information found on the Internet.

Firefighters used rescue tools to free the children from the wreckage, and they were taken to Norwalk Hospital. Their injuries were described as not serious, and they were later released. The Westchester Journal News said they were the couple’s children, James, 8, and William, 7.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007


9 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - Outdoor Garden Marketplace
10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - Hidden Garden Tour
2 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre: “Lend Me a Tenor”
3 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Souvenir”
5 p.m. - Staples High School Black Box Theater - “The Heidi Chronicles”

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Two Die in Merritt Parkway Tree and Car Collision

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A man and a woman were killed tonight as the result of a tree falling on a car on the Merritt Parkway in Westport, fire officials said. Two young boys in the rear had to be extricated by Westport firefighters and were taken to Norwalk Hospital. There was no word on their condition. The accident happened at about 9:20 p.m. in the southbound lane just south of the Clinton Avenue overpass between exits 41 and 42. The tree covered about half of the right hand lane and the car, a Volvo station wagon, ended up parallel to the fallen tree. State police closed both southbound lanes until shortly after 1 a.m. A tree fell across the northbound lanes in the same area last month, but there were no injuries. (See WestportNow May 5, 2007)  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo ©2007 WestportNow.com

06/10/07 02:41 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkDigg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Fixing Up the Compo Beach Playground

WestportNow.com Image
A few rain showers did not deter volunteers doing maintenance on Westport’s Compo Beach playground today. It’s been a year since volunteers rebuilt the playground as a community effort. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Sandblasting

WestportNow.com Image
A volunteer shovels sand today during the maintenance day for Westport’s Compo Beach playground. The effort marked the first anniversary of the playground being rebuilt by community volunteers. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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Westport Youth Charged in Norwalk Graffiti Vandalism

Norwalk police have charged a 16-year-old Westport youth with graffiti vandalism at Calf Pasture Beach.

The Staples High School student, who was not identified because of his age, turned himself in Friday at Norwalk police headquarters. He was accompanied by his father and an attorney.

Police said he and others still being sought allegedly caused as much as $17,000 in damage over the Memorial Day weekend, repeatedly spray-painting and marking up the beach’s main bathroom. A search of his home produced spray paint, markers and graffiti stencils, detectives said.

He was charged with first-degree criminal mischief and conspiracy to commit first-degree criminal mischief. He was released to his parents’ custody. Norwalk officials said they would seek restitution and likely sentence him to community service.

06/09/07 01:30 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkDigg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Treasure Hunting

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It was 80 degrees in Westport on Friday, which made for good treasure hunting weather at Compo Beach. There is rain in the forecast for today with temperatures in the 70s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

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Saturday, June 9, 2007


9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - Compo Beach - Compo Beach Playground Maintenance Day
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - Open House with Tours
4 & 8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Souvenir”
7:30 p.m. - Staples High School Black Box Theater - “The Heidi Chronicles”
8 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre: “Lend Me a Tenor”

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Staples Volleyball Champions Again

WestportNow.com Image
The Staples boys volleyball team won another state champtionship tonight, sweeping Southington High School 3-0 at Conard High School in West Hartford. Celebrating the victory afterwards were (l-r) senior Tom D’Agostino, senior tri-captains Will Richardson, Austin Siegert and Ben King. Westport’s Wreckers finished with a perfect season and have now won six out of the last seven state championships. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lauren Siergert for WestportNow.com

06/09/07 03:37 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkDigg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Staples Boys Volleyball Gains Another State Championship

The Staples High School boys volleyball team overpowered Southington tonight 3-0 to capture the Class L state championship and finish a perfect
season in a match played in West Hartford.  WestportNow.com Image
The Staples team poses for a victory photo after tonight’s win in West Hartford. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lauren Siegert for WestportNow.com

Staples has now won six out of the last seven state championships with coach Bruce Betts at the helm. 

The top-seeded Wreckers defeated the sixth-seeded Blue Knights 25-17 in the first game and followed 25-18 and 25-20 to complete the match.

The undefeated Staples team was led by senior tri-captain veterans Ben King, Will Richardson and Austin Siegert. King and Richardson were previously voted First Team All-FCIAC hitters and Siegert was named Second Team All-FCIAC setter. Also graduating is senior Tom D’Agostino.

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06/09/07 03:33 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkDigg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Remembering Victorian Times

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Kandie Carle, dressed in authentic Victorian clothing throughout her one-woman show tonight, enacted the life of a woman in the late 1800s to celebrate the opening of the Westport Historical Society’s new exhibit “The Westport Woman’s Club 100th Anniversary.” She showed how women laced up their corsets and used smelling salts and demonstrated how fan gestures were interpreted by male suitors. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

06/09/07 03:18 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkDigg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Friday, June 08, 2007

Beach Day

WestportNow.com Image
Saugatuck Elementary School fifth graders headed to Westport’s Compo Beach today for the annual Beach Day. Eighty students will move from Saugatuck to middle school this fall, and to celebrate the end of the school year—which is June 21—they played kickball, capture the flag, building sand castles, tug of war and bucket brigade. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

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Off to Work

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A lifeguard makes his way along the sand at Westport’s Compo Beach today. The Friday beach crowd grew with sunny skies and temperatures forecast to reach the 80s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

06/08/07 06:32 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkDigg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Westporters React Differently to Rising Gas Prices

By Linda AlvkallWestportNow.com Image
Motorists fuel their cars at the Cumberland Farms station at the corner of Hillspoint Road and Post Road East. It is one of the busier stations in Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Rising gas prices are bringing mixed reactions in Westport.

Gas prices across the state are climbing to record levels, according to AAA, and are currently at a $3.33 average. A record was set at $3.36 on June 1, according to AAA.

Elizabeth Donofrio of Westport said she is more conscious of her driving habits with the rise in gas prices.

“I started changing my driving habits when the price of gas exceeded $2.25 per gallon,” said Donofrio, who drives a sports utility vehicle.

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Gorham Avenue Historic District Events Planned

The Gorham Avenue Historic District will hold a sign dedication and sponsor the second annual Lee’s Canal and Wetlands Habitat and Cleanup on Sunday.

The sign dedication is scheduled for 11:30 a.m., and the cleanup is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. The Gorham Avenue Historic District may expand to include the canal (See WestportNow March 16).

The Aspetuck Land Trust owns the 5.31 acre Lee’s Canal Wetlands Habitat, which is located between Lee’s Canal and Main Street.

It was once a portion of the vast real estate holdings of the Lees Family, owners of the Lees Manufacturing Company.  In 2002, the Nevas Family donated it to the Aspetuck Land Trust.

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Racing

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Rowers from the Saugatuck Rowing Club raced on the Saugatuck River on Thursday. There typically are many rowers in downtown Westport each afternoon on the river. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

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Friday, June 8, 2007


6:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Y Rescue Group public meeting
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Souvenir”
8 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre: “Lend Me A Tenor”

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P&Z Straw Vote Supports Affordable Housing

By Jennifer Connic

WestportNow.com Image
Ronald Corwin: “no sinister manipulation.” File photo
UPDATED A Westport Planning and Zoning Commission straw vote tonight resulted in a bare majority in support of changes to its affordable housing regulations, and two commissioners got into a heated debate on the proposal.

The commission initially voted 3-3 in a straw vote with one member abstaining on an application from Woodland Group, which would be applied to the Indian Hill and Bradley Lane area. Later, however, Joyce Colburn, a commission alternate member sitting on the application, changed from abstaining to informally voting in favor of the proposal.

No official vote was taken, but the commission may make a decision at its next meeting. Under the proposed changes, 20 percent of the units would have to be for those who make 80 percent of the state median income, and 10 percent would have to be those who earn 80 percent of the local median income.

The state median income is $79,800 for a family of four, and 80 percent of it would be $63,840. The median income of Westport is almost $159,000, and 80 percent of it would be about $127,000.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Y Rescue Group Plans Public Sessions

The Y Rescue Group is planning a series of meetings at Westport Town Hall for people to present plans and discuss them on the future of the Westport Weston Family Y’s facility.

The first meeting is scheduled for Friday at 6:30 p.m. Two additional meetings are scheduled for Friday, June 15 and Friday, June 22 at 6:30 p.m.

The Westport Weston Family Y currently has plans to construct a new facility at Camp Mahackeno off of Sunny Lane, which gained Conservation Commission approval. The commission’s decision has been appealed to the Representative Town Meeting, and no application has yet to be filed with the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Friday’s meeting will focus on groups and individuals to present ideas on where the new Family Y facility should be located.

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Compo Playground Maintenance Day Slated for Saturday

It’s been a year since volunteers rebuilt the Compo Beach Playground, and now they will gather again on Saturday for a maintenance day for the playground.

Volunteer sign up will be held at 8:30-9 a.m., and the work will be done at 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The rain date is on Sunday.

The volunteers will check on the safety of the playground, and anyone of any skill level over 10 years old are invited to attend.

Volunteers should bring work gloves, sun or safety glasses for eye protection, hats and a full water bottle.

For more, information visit www.wywl.com.

06/07/07 06:29 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkDigg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Greens Farms Academy Seniors Graduate

WestportNow.com Image
Westporter Lexie Herman celebrates graduating from Greens Farms Academy today. Herman was the valedictorian of the graduating senior class of 50. She plans to attend Georgetown University this fall. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

06/07/07 05:42 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkDigg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon
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