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Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Longtime Westport Resident Ellen Street Ritter Dies at 91

Ellen Street Ritter, a longtime Westport resident who was among the founders of the Westport League of Women Voters in 1949, has died at the age of 91.

Family members said she died Sunday at the home of a son, Nicholas Street, in Gastonia, N.C.

Ritter, a former teacher at the Bedford Elementary School, lived for many years in a house on Myrtle Avenue opposite Christ and Holy Trinity Church.

Friends said it was in Ritters home in 1949 that several Westport women discussed forming a local chapter of the League of Women Voters.

ғSix women got together and started a provisionalђ League, according to an account in the LeagueԒs member handbook.

They were required to write a handbook about Westport before being accepted as a League with full status.

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12/23/03 01:24 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, December 22, 2003

Interfaith Housing Gets $321,535 Federal Grant

Westports Interfaith Housing Association (IHA) has received a $321,535 federal grant to expand its permanent housing offerings.

The grant was part of $1.3 billion in aid to thousands of local programs that house and serve the homeless announced Friday by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Acting Secretary Alphonso Jackson.

The Rev. Peter R. Powell, IHA president and CEO, said he received official notification today.

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12/22/03 05:08 PM Comments () • Permalink

State Increases Security,
Governor Talks to Municipal Officials

Westport commuters boarding Metro-North trains were greeted by a state police presence today as part of the states tightened security measures.

Meanwhile, WestportҒs top police and fire officers were among municipal and public safety officials on a statewide conference call this morning with Gov. John Rowland.

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12/22/03 04:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

Getting Ready for “Alice”


The Music Theatre of Connecticut’s “Alice in Wonderland” debuts Friday, Jan. 9 for a two-day run at Saugatuck Elementary School. It features (l. to r.) Casey Weiss, Weston, as TweedleDum; Annie Nelson, Westport, TweedleDee; Nevona Friedman, Weston, White Rabbit; Jordan Olson, Westport, Alice; Zoe Sheinberg, Weston, Cheshire Cat; and Jayne Smith, Fairfield, Queen of Hearts. Contributed photo

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12/22/03 05:10 AM Comments () • Permalink

NY Times: Westports Alan Abel Still a Major League Hoaxer

The New York Times says after four decades as a major league hoaxer, Westports Alan Abel is not through making news by faking news.

ғHe holds out the possibility of concocting new escapades to hoodwink the public and news organizations, the newspaper reported.

The Times said Abel ԓhas earned his bread as a writer and lecturer on problem-solving tactics, and he has earned a reputation as a duke of dupery since 1959, when he masterminded the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals.

The tongue-in-cheek group was taken seriously on network television and in newspapers across the country, the report said.

ԓOver the years, more than 30 other Abel fictions treated as fact by news publications and television and radio programs ח included a school for panhandlers, a bogus lottery winner and, most recently, Citizens Against Breast Feeding, which held that breast feeding caused oral fixations in infants, leading to adult smoking, according to the Times.

The newspaper said it contacted Abel by telephone to ask him about his future trickery.

ԓHow do we know it was really Mr. Abel on the phone? Well, the number dialed is listed in Alan Abel’s name in Westport, and the man on the line swore up and down that he was the master deceiver, the Times said.

ԓMore convincingly, though, he had at his command intimate details about past deceptions, which matched details from old news accounts.

Abel has his own Web site at www. alanabel.com.

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12/22/03 04:10 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday’s Events


5:30 p.m. - Staples High School, Room 516 - School Building Committee Staples Subcommittee

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12/22/03 04:03 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Martha Stewart Says Legal Problems Have Curtailed Her Holiday Plans



Westport’s Martha Stewart, facing trial in the new year on her stock-trading scandal, says her legal woes have curtailed her holiday plans.

“It’s the saddest holiday ever. It’s an unwelcome time for me, very unwelcome,” she told CNN’s “Larry King Live” in a taped interview scheduled for broadcast on Monday. “I generally have a Christmas party but this year I’m only having a small family party.”

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12/21/03 10:19 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westporters Surprised by Raising of National Threat Level

The government’s raising of the national threat level to orange, the second-highest, caught many Westporters by surprise today.

Westport’s Main Street was crowded with holiday shoppers when the government announcement was made shortly after 1 p.m.

“I knew there was a possibility of more terrorist attacks but I didn’t expect this kind of warning now,” said one woman shopper, who declined to give her name, when told of the action.

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12/21/03 06:09 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday’s Events


10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Toys R Us, 1850 Post Road East - Police union “stuff-a-cruiser” toys-for-tots drive

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12/21/03 04:03 AM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Putting on the Final Touches


Westport’s new Senior Center is getting ready for its official debut Jan.16. WestportNow.com photo

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12/20/03 06:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Almost Ready


The tables are out and the carpet is down as Westport’s new Senior Center gets ready to host visitors. WestportNow.com photo

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12/20/03 06:13 AM Comments () • Permalink

Just a Hallway


It looks like you could go bowling here but this is just the main hallway of Westport’s new Senior Center. WestportNow.com photo

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12/20/03 06:12 AM Comments () • Permalink

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