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Wednesday, May 21, 2003

AP: Staples Senior Gets Ready for Prom

If its almost June, itҒs time for the annual how-much-do-teens-spend-to-go-to-proms stories. This year, The Associated Press zeroes in on, natch, Westport. The lucky teen Staples senior Raquel Lucas.

The AP informs readers across the country (and the world): ֓Raquel Lucas is spending a small fortune on her senior prom.

Her dress cost $250; her shoes were $100; and there was $60 for a bottle of Christian Dior’s J’adore, her favorite perfume. A trip to the beauty salon will cost $70, the limo is $50 a person, and it will cost $90 just to get in the door.

ӓLucas, 18, who attends Staples High School in Westport, expects to spend more than $700 by the time the evening is over.

ӒWe’re going all out this year because it’s our last prom,’ said Lucas, who got a part-time job at a clothing store to help pay for the event.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Martha TV Movie Wins Big

“Martha Inc: The Story of Martha Stewart,” the NBC movie about the celebrity Westporter, averaged 14 million viewers from 9-11 p.m. and 5.2 rating/12 share in the most sought-after adults 18-49 category, according to preliminary results from Nielsen Media Research.

Overall, the two-hour movie Monday night scored a 8.8/13 share, making it the best-watched made-for-television movie among the 18-49 group this season. But it was not enough to give NBC the win for the night.

CBS averaged an 11.1 rating/17 share in primetime. FOX, 8.5/13, came in second, followed closely by NBC, 8.1/12, and ABC, 7.5/12.


05/20/03 10:23 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Breaks Ground for Senior Center—Finally

It took six years, countless meetings and hearings and lots of waiting, but Westport finally broke ground today for its new Senior Center on the Barons South property just off Imperial Avenue.

About 75 persons gathered in sunny, 75-degree weather for the brief ceremony on the rolling grounds of the 22-acre property purchased by the town four years ago.

The senior center currently is located at Staples High School but must move due to the expanding student population.

The estimated $4 million cost for the center was softened for Westport taxpayers by two $500,000 grants, one from a federal program and one from the state.

Construction is expected to take about a year.


05/20/03 09:42 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, May 18, 2003

NY Times: Where to Find

NY Times: Where to Find a Local Gadfly? Battling Taxes at the Town Dump
Sundays New York Times takes a look at Westporter Michael Gilbertie and his efforts to win a referendum to cut $5 million from the townҒs budget.

Excerpt: The town dump here may not look like much of a soapbox, but Michael Gilbertie leaps out of his folding chair like a man half his age when cars pull up with their trash. When the subject is taxes, every trip to the dump is suddenly an exercise in democracy.Ӕ

Saturday, May 17, 2003

Get Ready, Westport: “Martha Inc.:

Get Ready, Westport: “Martha Inc.: The Martha Stewart Story” Airs Monday
The strange cars, the slow drive-bys, the calls to the police they֒ve started again and are only likely to increase with Mondays airing of the made-for-TV movie “Martha Inc.: The Martha Stewart Story.”

The neighborhood around Martha StewartҒs house on Turkey Hill Road South has seen it all before but public curiosity about one of Westport֒s best known celebrities is ignited once again with the NBC premiere of the movie based on the bestselling book by Weston author Christopher Byron.

Weekend newspapers all across the country are carrying advance reviews of the production, starring Cybill Shepherd.

The Washington Times calls it a deliciously entertaining two hours.Ӕ The Wichita (Kans.) Eagle says, This unvarnished portrait with tirades, tantrums and tossed objects is more sympathetic than you might expect.Ӕ

The Hollywood Reporter says, Shepherd is a more-than-credible Stewart, but she is limited by a script that describes her character much more than it explores it.Ӕ

Westporters no doubt will be looking to see how their town is portrayed either in pictures or words. And they֒ll be amused to see Stewarts house variously referred to as ғTurkey Hill in Westport, Conn., or ԓStewarts Turkey Hill estate.Ҕ

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

State Department of Health Indirectly Confirms Suspected Westport SARs Case

Copyright 2003 by WestportNow.com

The State Department of Public Health (DPH), bowing to outside pressure to provide more information about suspected SARS cases in Connecticut, has indirectly confirmed a WestportNow report last month that the stateɒs first such case in February involved a Westport resident.

The person, who had traveled to Hong Kong on business and came down with a cough and fever after returning home, has now fully recovered. But uncertainty whether the person actually had SARS lingered for weeks.

In a news release, the department also said the number of suspected cases in the state has risen by one to nine. The latest case involves a resident of Hartford County who visited Toronto in April.

Connecticut has not yet had a confirmed case of severe acute respiratory syndrome, but state health officials have reported six suspected cases of the disease and three others classified as probable. Three of the suspected cases were in Fairfield County.

The indirect confirmation of the suspected Westport case came in a new department breakdown on its Web site of a listing of each suspected or probable SARS case in the state and the patient’s diagnostic and public health status. It gave the patients county of residence but not hometown.

The DPH has resisted calls from state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, some state legislators, and newspapers that it provide the hometowns of those suspected of SARS. The department said such information would violate patient confidentiality and potentially cause undue concern.

In its Web site listing, the DPH said the first suspected case occurred the week of Feb. 3 in Fairfield County to a person who had traveled to Hong Kong. It said that person was not hospitalized, did not have a known exposure to a person with SARS, had a final negative test for Coronavirus and was no longer being monitored.

The information matches precisely the details provided to WestportNow about the case in March by persons familiar with the case. In its first report on March 28 about the case, WestportNow said merely that the person lives in southwest Connecticut and that the partient had come down with a cough and fever in February after visiting an Asian country.

This was four days after the DPH made its first public announcement that there had been a suspected SARS case in Connecticut.

On April 12, WestportNow reported that it had subsequently confirmed that at least one of the suspected Fairfield County patients Җ there had been two at the time—was a Westport resident who travels abroad frequently for business and has fully recovered.Ӕ

WestportNow deliberately withheld additional information about the patient and the case. But the details provided today by the DPH leave no doubt that the first reported suspected Connecticut case by the agency and the one reported by WestportNow in March were the same one, involving a Westport resident.


05/14/03 07:32 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Business Pauses for Price

Westport Business Pauses for Price is RightӔ
The Westport headhunting firm of Lack & Daily Inc. on Post Road West took a special television break today at 11 a.m. so its employees could watch The Price is Right. Ӕ The reason: employee Deborah Winters was a contestant.

The 38-year-old Milford resident said she fulfilled a lifetime dream when she was chosen to appear on the program during a California vacation last month. She won a number of prizes but not enough to advance to a more lucrative round.

Winters told the New Haven Register she has had the fantasy of someday attending a taping of her favorite game show since she was seven years old.

Westporters Coupon Consulting Business Thriving

Westporters Coupon Consulting Business Thriving
In these difficult economic times, more people are using coupons in their daily shopping Җ and thats good news for Westporter Philip R. von Stade, Jr.

Von Stade and his Westport-based VSI Targeting help companies such as Krafts, Uniliever, Campbell Soup and others optimize their return on investment with coupons, according to todayҒs The Advocate of Stamford.

Westporter Judianne Denson-Gerber Dead at 68

Longtime Westport resident Dr. Judianne Densen-Gerber, a lawyer and psychiatrist who gained notoriety for founding a drug treatment program in New York and went on to give widely quoted but sometimes disputed testimony on subjects like child abuse and pornography, has died at the age of 68.

An obituary in todays New York Times notes Densen-GerberҒs often-controversial background, including her becoming a conspicuous figure at public hearings, society balls, and ghetto demonstrations with her bouffant hairdo, rhinestone-studded glasses and cigars.

The cause of her death was cancer, said her daughter Dr. Sarah Baden, who said her mother had traveled to New York for Mothers Day Sunday where she died. Densen-Gerber had been a Westport resident since the mid-70s.


05/14/03 11:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Westport Autograph Expert Tips Off Israelis

Todays Washington Post reports that well-known Westport autograph dealer John Reznikoff tipped off Israeli authorities about some stolen documents from an Israeli archive housing the papers of Chaim Weizmann, the founder of modern Israel.

The newspaper said Reznikoff, who runs University Archives on Richmondville Avenue, became suspicious after he paid thousands of dollars for a half-dozen historic letters, including two 80-year-old handwritten notes from Albert Einstein to Weizmann.

He contacted the Weizmann archives about the material and the director confirmed that the letters were missing.


05/13/03 05:54 PM Comments () • Permalink

Newman Nominated for Best Actor

Newman Nominated for Best Actor Tony for “Our Town”
Westport’s Paul Newman, returning to Broadway after 37 years, has been nominated for a Tony Award for best actor in a play for his role in the Westport Country Playhouse revival of “Our Town.”

Also receiving best actor nods Monday were Brian Bedford (“Tartuffe”), Brian Dennehy (“Long Day’s Journey Into Night”), Eddie Izzard (“A Day in the Death of Joe Egg”) and Stanley Tucci (“Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune”).

Proposal Seeks to Make RTM

Proposal Seeks to Make RTM Sense of the Meeting Resolutions More Difficult
Todays Hour of Norwalk reports WestportҒs Representative Town Meeting will still welcome residents and its members to submit sense of the meeting resolutions, but it may soon be more difficult for the body to actually take up the non-binding opinion proposals.

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