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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

It’s Meet the Parents for Staples Finalist

By James Lomuscio

UPDATE As Marjorie Almansi rushed toward the front door of Westport’s Staples High School today and the cafeteria where principal candidate Shelly Somers was about to be vetted by parents, she questioned the entire review process.

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Shelly Somers: Staples principal finalist acknowledges 20 years ago “I made a mistake” involving a child left sleeping on a bus. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“This is harsh,” she said. “I think it’s an impossible venue for any candidate to be interviewed by the public for a job when she’s not running for public office.”

Finalist Somers, principal of Greenwich’s Central Middle School, came prepared, explaining her past and bearing her soul for the penultimate judgment before the school board meets in executive session tonight to discuss her candidacy with a vote to come at a public meeting on Monday, June 1.

And she began by explaining what happened in March 1996 when she owned and operated Cornflakes Daycare Center in Granby. A child was left sleeping on the bus, while children attended a performance at the University of Hartford.

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Community Meets Staples Principal Finalist

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Westport Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon was all smiles today as he introduced Shelly Somers, the finalist candidate to succeed John Dodig as Staples High School principal. Somers, principal of Greenwich’s Central Middle School, met with parents and members of the Staples community in the Staples cafeteria. Her appointment was announced prematurely last week by Greenwich school officials, who later apologized to Landon and the Westport community. (See WestportNow May 20, 2015) Dodig is retiring at the end of the school year after 11 years at Staples. (See WestportNow Dec. 1, 2014)  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

05/26/15 11:17 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tough Audience

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Shelly Somers, principal of Greenwich’s Central Middle School who is the finalist candidate to succeed retiring Staples principal John Dodig, met with members of the Staples community today in the school cafeteria. Members of the Board of Education, who must approve her appointment, were in the front row. They will meet in a special executive session later today.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

05/26/15 11:05 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Staples Players Present ‘The Laramie Project’

In a production not only meant to entertain but inform, the Staples Players will tackle “The Laramie Project” for its major Black Box production this week.

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The Staples Players Black Box production will be performed for four performances beginning Thursday. Pictured are Colin McKechnie (l), Jacob Leaf, and Christian Melhuish in the background,(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo by Kerry Long

“The Laramie Project” is based on the story of Matthew Shepard—a gay Wyoming teen whose 1998 hate-crime murder was a dark milestone in tolerance and civil rights.

In a unique twist, next year the Players will produce the sequel to the first play, “The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later,” part of what is considered “The Laramie Project Cycle.”

“We feel it’s crucial that students be exposed to—and involved in—theater that has something important to say, and that can cause change and enlightenment in the world,” said David Roth, director of the Staples Players. The Laramie Project continues to do just that, even over 15 years since Matthew Shepard’s death.”

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State Police Issue Holiday Weekend Enforcement Stats

Connecticut State Police patrolling highways and roads this Memorial Day weekend investigated two fatal accidents and issued more than 1,200 speeding tickets, according to a statement released early today.

From the period beginning 12:01 a.m. Friday to midnight Monday, troopers used both traditional and non-traditional patrol cars. They focused on drunken driving violations, aggressive drivers, distracted drivers and speeding, the statement said.

Sobriety checkpoints and targeted DUI patrols were in place over the entire weekend.

The final statistics: speeding 1,254, seatbelt violations 1,454, other hazardous moving violations (unsafe lane change, following too closely, cell phone use, texting, etc) 549, DUI arrests 57, and accidents investigated 285 (with injury 49, fatal two).

05/26/15 12:30 AM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Compo Memorial Day Scene

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Sailing, walking, or sunning were among Memorial Day activities Monday at Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015


9 a.m. - Staples cafeteria - Staples community meets principal finalist candidate
9 a.m. - 9 p.m. - Westport Library - “Sherwood Island, 1975-2015: Photography by Larry Silver”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “SOLOS 2015” & “EAST meets WESTport: Marton Nemes”
2 p.m. - Westport Library - Oscar-worthy Films: “Into the Woods”
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Westport Library - Drop-in Tech Help
5:30 p.m. - Staples Room 1025C - Board of Education Special Executive Session
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Adults Read YA Fiction
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Firefighters Put Out Discarded Coals Fire

Westport firefighters tonight extinguished a small fire at the end of a driveway on Harbor Road in the Saugatuck Shores area involving charcoal coals, paper products, trash and a plastic trash can, said Lt. Brett Kirby.

They quickly extinguished the fire, which was reported at 7:30 p.m., he said.

“We would like to remind all residents and visitors that it is vitally important to dispose of any coals in the correct manner,” Kirby said.

“Allow the coals to cool completely before disposing of them in a metal container with a tight-fitting lid that is used only to collect coals.

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WestportNow Parade Photo Leads ‘ABC World News Tonight’

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A Westport Memorial Day parade picture today by WestportNow contributing photographer Lynn U. Miller showing Little Leaguer Grant Mandel, 7, greeting Westport veteran Larry Aasen was the opening image tonight on the “ABC World News Tonight With David Muir” story on Memorial Day celebrations around the country. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo from “ABC World News Tonight With David Muir.”

05/25/15 07:37 PM Comments (1) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Westport’s Memorial Day Parade: The Short Version


Just as he has for the past couple of years, Westporter Nick Pisarro, Jr. created a short video version of today’s Memorial Day parade that runs for a minute. Video by Nick Pisarro, Jr.

05/25/15 06:21 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Ribbon-Cutting at New Courtyard at Homeless Shelter

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There was a ribbon cutting today to celebrate the renovation of the 26-year-old courtyard at Westport’s Homes With Hope homeless shelter for single men and women at 45 Jesup Road. The renovation was planned by Eva Chiamulera of Ganim’s Garden Center & Florist in Fairfield and assisted by Jack Foley’s Eagle Scout project through Troop 100 at Christ & Holy Trinity Church. With the help of former board member Brooks Sumberg as project manager, Penna and Sons landscaping, Gault Stone, and Navarro Masonry, the courtyard took shape over the past few months. The Staples High School Service League of Boys (SLOBs) put the finishing touches on the picnic tables, and the Westport Garden Club donated plants to create a true community project. Pictured are Homes With Hope Board Chair John Walsh, Program Manager Rob Lockhart, and Homes with Hope President Jeff Wieser looking on as Jack Foley, Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe, Sam Gault, and Brooks Sumberg cut the ribbon. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Reading Electronically at Compo

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A beachgoer at Westport’s Compo Beach today catches up electronically on some reading. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

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Dressed for Memorial Day

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Westport’s Minute Man statue today was draped in a flag in honor of Memorial Day. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

05/25/15 02:37 PM Comments (0) • Permalink Digg Favicon Email Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

‘Here To Honor Those Who Didn’t Come Back’

By James Lomuscio

Amid cheers, applause, flag waving, floats and nostalgic smells of classic car exhaust, Westporter Robin Custer remained firm of the meaning of Memorial Day as the parade wound down near Veterans Green today.

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Grand Marshal Bruce Allen appears overcome with emotion as he listens to Memorial Day speeches today with wife Marjorie. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

“It’s about remembering all those we served with that didn’t come home,” said Custer, dressed in the Army sergeant’s uniform he wore in Vietnam through 1968.

“The Boy Scouts put all these flags on the cemetery the other day, and I said to them, ‘Everyone who wears a uniform serves under that flag, but you’ll never see a flag on a uniform,’” he added. “The only time is when they put it on your casket.”

Westporter Robert Tirreno, a Vietnam War Army medic from 1967-68, also took a somber, less than celebratory view of the day’s ceremonies.

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A Wreath of Honor

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A wreath was placed at the doughboy statue on Westport’s Veterans Green today at the conclusion of the Memorial Day ceremony.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

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Memorial Day Parade Float Winners Announced

Winners of the best floats in today’s Memorial Day parade were announced during the post-parade ceremony on Veterans Green. The theme of this year’s parade was “Thank You, Veterans.” The winners:

Best Development of a Theme: Westport PAL
Best Youth Organization Float: Suzuki Music School of Westport
Most Creative Float: VFW Auxiliary
Best Community Organization Float:  Westport Library
Most Colorful Float: Hidden Tours, Westport Historical Society
Best Overall Float: Y’s Men of Westport/Weston  
Special Pep Award: Sea Stars (Westport Little League)
 
Judges were Betty Lou Cummings, Diana Heisinger, Ruth Whelan, and Nanette Hausman.

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Westport Marks Another Memorial Day


Scenes from today’s Westport Memorial Day parade. WestportNow.com photos

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On the March


More scenes from today’s Westport Memorial Day parade. Lynn U. Miller and Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

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A Thank You Across Generations

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UPDATE Grant Mandel, 7, a Westport Little Leaguer, shakes hands with Westport World War II veteran Larry Aasen and offers thanks at today’s Westport Memorial Day parade. Grant is a first grader at Long Lots Elementary School. His dad, Jason, said Grant’s “passion is history and current events, and he reads a lot about World War II. I think he truly wanted to thank these brave veterans for their service that he read about in books.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

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Thanks from the Grand Marshal

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Bruce Allen, grand marshal of this year’s Westport Memorial Day parade, recalled today his experiences as a 19-year-old in World War II, thanked those who served, and expressed the hope that young people will not die in future wars. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

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Remembering Those Who Served

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Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe today paid tribute to Westport veterans who have died since the last Memorial Day as well as Westporters who served their town in his Memorial Day address on Veterans Green.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

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A Flag Gift

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Westport Police motorcycle officer Craig Bergamo, leading today’s Memorial Day parade, stops to gift an American flag to a youngster along the route. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

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Double Flag Tribute

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Kristin and Alexa Heine, 4, of Westport, show the flag at today’s Memorial Day parade. CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

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Lemonade Break

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Cameden Teed, 12, a seventh grader at Bedford Middle School, offers up lemonade to thirsty passersby on Myrtle Avenue during today’s Westport Memorial Day parade. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

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Westport Police on Parade

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The Westport Police Department’s top brass lead members in today’s Memorial Day parade. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

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