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Letters

Letters

WestportNow welcomes letters from readers on matters pertaining to Westport and Westporters. Those of 300 words or less are given preference. Letters are edited for grammar, clarity, and accuracy. Publication shall be at the sole discretion of WestportNow. Third-party or anonymous letters, those signed with a pseudonym, or letters appearing in other publications are not published.

A postal address, e-mail address if available, and day and evening telephone numbers are required for verificiation purposes, although this information is not published. Letters may be submitted by e-mail to , via fax at (203) 286-2099, or by mail to 150 North Ave., Westport, CT 06880.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Proud Member of Compo ‘Flash Mob’

To the Editor:

In the Westport News recent article announcing the review of proposals for Compo Beach, they reported that committee member, Skip Lane, referred to the vocal, outspoken Westporters who do not agree with some of the proposals as “the same flash mob” who sometimes disrupted the committee workshops.

I am a proud member of that “flash mob” and I resent being labelled this way. Mr. Lane should realize we are part of an active, intelligent, community minded group who turn out to let our views be known before definite lines are drawn which don’t necessarily represent the majority will of our Westport community.

We do not want our parking on the beach disturbed. We like our small town beach and its foibles and imperfections. Do we want bathrooms on South Beach - yes we do. Do we want a little shade pavilion, with seating for shade (and no other frills) yes we do. Do we want our committee members to listen to us and respond intelligently, even if they are not in accord with us, yes we do. 

If Mr Lane does not like the heat, he should stay out of the kitchen. His inappropriate comments make this “flash mob” member wonder at his fitness to be on this important committee.  I hope all interested and vocal “flash mobbers” and other Westporters will attend the Sept. 29 Town Hall meeting to express their views. I think this is called democracy in action, is it not?

Doris Forest
Westport

Posted 03:29 PM
(0) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Coalition for Westport Outlines Compo Views

To the Editor:

The Coalition For Westport (CFW) has been following the debate over Compo Beach, and CFW members have attended the Compo Beach Site Improvement Committee planning meetings held so far. Since the project is in the planning stage and the Committee is still actively seeking public comment, now is an excellent opportunity for all to submit opinions and suggestions.

The planning forecast calls for spending at least $6 million with improvements in three phases.

The first phase will cover improvements to the entrance way pavilion and drop off area, a new restroom pavilion at South Beach, a pedestrian walkway along the parking lot area of the beach, and redesign of the bathhouse and picnic pavilion. This will be followed by bathhouse and pavilion construction and finally shoreline stabilization, vehicle circulation, and parking enhancements.

There is much that residents can support. Even those who have urged abandonment of the plan begrudgingly list a number of improvements that could be made. The fact is that Compo Beach is one of our town’s jewels and is sorely in need of repair. Unlike many of our specialized facilities like golf, tennis and boating, Compo is enjoyed by vast numbers of residents of all ages not only in the summer, but all year round.

More "Coalition for Westport Outlines Compo Views"

Posted 09:51 PM
(0) CommentsPermalink

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Royce Tribute An ‘Eloquent Elegy’

To the Editor:

When Linda Hall came from Westport to the City to write for New York Magazine, I wrote [she] “may be the smartest and most talented young woman to hit town since the young Joan Didion.”

And her eloquent elegy to David Royce (“Guest Opinion,” WestportNow, April 17, 2014) underscores my prescience.

Noel E. Parmentel Jr.
Greenfield Hill
Fairfield, Conn.

Posted 09:07 PM
(0) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Police Captain Responds to FOI Story

To the Editor:

With regards to the story “Survey Grades Westport Police ‘F’ on FOI Compliance” (WestportNow, March 19, 2013), we have conducted an investigation as to what may have occurred. It appears that our emergency dispatchers were approached by someone during a busy time asking for an arrest log. Our dispatcher told them to wait until they could clear the emergency calls. The requester did not wait.

Our records system is computerized and an arrest log must be generated from our computer system. It is not a hard copy written log. Our records clerks were not approached and asked for this information. Had our clerks been approached they would have been able to obtain it for the requester. Our clerks and personnel receive FOIA training and we take our responsibility of complying with the law seriously.

As you pointed out in your story “The newspaper’s F grade to Westport came despite frequent distribution –- usually weekly but often several times a week—to local media of a complete list of all arrests, including motor vehicle infractions, with additional details provided in a synopsis of all criminal arrests.” We appreciate you pointing this out in your story. We make every effort to cooperate with the media and the public in providing information as required by FOIA.  Our daily arrest log is available by e-mail to those who request it.

Thank you.

Capt.  John A. Calka
Staff Commander
Westport Police Department

Posted 10:17 PM
(2) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Applauds Save Westport Now Stance

To the Editor:

At last night’s Planning & Zoning Commission hearing, Save Westport Now embellished its long-standing standing reputation in the community by showing flexibility and by suggesting modifications to proposed Amendment No. 672.

The amendment, put forward by the P&Z Commission itself, is designed to help preserve Westport’s small-town character—a goal that SWN supports. But SWN also recognized that some of the proposed language needed to be refined in order to avoid some illogical and unfair results.

By suggesting specific modifications that would allow for commercial development, while still protecting the scale and character of our Downtown, SWN once again demonstrated its integrity and commitment to doing what is best for Westport.

SWN’s proposed refinements will enable the Commission to move forward with the amendment to the satisfaction of both the public’s interests and the needs of downtown owners and tenants. We should applaud SWN for its proactive role and input on this important issue.

Janet and Howard Rubel
Westport

Posted 03:52 AM
(0) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Promoting Fairfield County Giving Day March 7

To the Editor:

I’m writing to encourage my neighbors and friends to join in supporting the first-ever Fairfield County Giving Day on Friday, March 7. Whether you give $10, or $100 or even $1,000, you’ll be helping to support the work of local nonprofits making a real difference in the community – and helping them compete for prizes and matching funds.

Giving is fast and easy through the secure website http://www.fcgives.org, and you may donate anytime between 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on March 7.

Our local nonprofits feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, care for the sick, strengthen our schools and arts and cultural programs, protect our environment, train the unemployed for new jobs, and more. But they need our support to continue strengthening the community we call home.

Whatever your favorite cause, I hope you’ll join in helping Fairfield Giving Day – presented by Fairfield County Community Foundation in cooperation with Bank of America – reach the goal of raising $1 million to benefit hundreds of local nonprofit organizations in only 24 hours! 

Michael Lubell
Westport
Mortgage Loan Specialist, Bank of America

Posted 01:01 AM
(0) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Thanks From Police Officers on Toy Drive

To the Editor:

The members of the Westport Police Union and Westport Police Benevolent Association would like to extend our sincere gratitude for the generous contributions we received during our 2013 Holiday Toy Drive.

The toy drive which is held annually, sponsored and run by the members of the Westport Police Union and Benevolent Association, has historically been tremendously successful. This year, during the last weekend of our two weekend drive, we had a significant snowstorm which made donating difficult.

While we remained hopeful that the storm would not completely hamper the toy drive, we were definitely concerned that we would fall short in our donations this year. What we saw that weekend cannot be described as anything short of amazing. To say that we saw the true spirit of the season is an understatement.

We received as many donations that weekend, if not more, than in previous years without a storm! The roads were treacherous and the temperature was chilling, yet, our loyal donors made it a point, even a mission for some, to get to us and make sure their toys were donated.

More "Thanks From Police Officers on Toy Drive"

Posted 11:55 AM
(0) CommentsPermalink

Monday, December 23, 2013

Likes Dan Woog

To the Editor:

I am writing to publically thank Dan Woog for all that he does for the Westport community.  He is the thread that ties this Westport community together.  Through his brilliant writings, he weaves connections by sharing your community stories of history, politics, new and old businesses, stories from the elders in this community, as well as the energy, good deeds and passion of it’s young people.  He is the vessel in which you all are able to share the life of your vibrant community.  He is a gift.

I am lucky enough to live in Newtown and I know just how important these threads are to the health of a community and to individuals.  Last year at this time, my 87 year old father, a retired school principal, asked to pay his respects at the children’s memorials in Sandy Hook. With great difficulty he struggled to walk to the memorials.  One of your Westport policeman ,who was supporting our town by his service, came to assist my father.  Without speaking, this officer supported my father as he walked to the many tree memorials for the children.  As he returned to the car, my Father was overcome by grief.  This Wesport policeman just held my father and the two wept together.  In that moment my two worlds converged for I am a teacher in Westport.  At that point I have never felt more connected with community.

This is Dan’s gift to you all.  He builds connections within your community and creates that common thread of support. Whether he writes about Westport’s compassionate individuals or the more obscure unknown events , his message is always the same.  He loves this town and celebrates all of the uniqueness within its boundaries.

So please when you see Dan, please thank him for his many talents and gifts.  Most of all thank him caring enough about your town that he takes the threads of this community, and binds them together with love.

Linda McClary
Newtown, Conn.

Posted 03:53 PM
(0) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, November 17, 2013

United Healthcare Cuts ‘Toxic’

To the Editor:

The Fairfield County and Hartford County Medical Societies are to be congratulated for bringing this critical issue to the public’s attention.

I have been in general practice in Bethel since 1975.  As I said at the Town Hall meeting on Nov. 9 (“Doctors protest United Healthcare cuts,” WestportNow, Nov. 9. 2013) ever since the early 1990s when large insurers began to intrude in the healthcare system, medicine has become dominated by their marketplace strategies as much or more than by medical science.

Rules regulating the ordering of CAT scans and blood tests and referrals to specialists and the steady decrease in the services and drugs that insurers will pay have slowly but surely diminished the ability of doctors to treat patients in a humane and compassionate way.

This sad state of affairs continues unabated and insurers emboldened by their freedom from the discipline they so rightly deserve unabashedly keep pushing the envelope As a result, the physician workforce is demoralized and many express burnout because of the excessive administrative and clerical drudgery that insurers force upon them.

More "United Healthcare Cuts ‘Toxic’"

Posted 10:30 PM
(0) CommentsPermalink

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thank You from New Probate Judge

To the Editor:

Thank you to the voters of Westport and Weston for putting your trust in me and electing me your new Probate Judge. I am scheduled to be sworn in this Wednesday morning at Westport Town Hall at 8:30 a.m. You are more than welcome to be there.

I have already attended four hours of judicial instruction; there are at least another 40 to come. My first matter on the calendar is a hearing for an involuntary commitment to a mental hospital- one of the most serious decisions any judge has to make. I am looking to my faith and my community for guidance and wisdom to do this job well.

On Tuesday nights from 7:30- 9:30 p.m., I will be at Probate Court to answer your general questions about estate planning and probate procedure. Please do not ask me questions or tell me facts about a particular case- I am not allowed to discuss anything involving a specific matter unless it is in front of all interested parties. Night hours will begin on Dec. 10 at Westport Town Hall.

Of course, I will be also be at Court during the day with the rest of the staff, so please stop by and say hello. 

Thank you again for the great honor you have given me. I will do my best not to let you down.

Lisa K. Wexler
Westport

Posted 03:13 PM
(0) CommentsPermalink

Monday, August 26, 2013

Longshore Golf: Whether to Outsource Not the Question

To the Editor:

A week ago, the Parks and Recreation Commission met jointly with the Golf Advisory Committee to decide a single issue: whether to enter into serious negotiation to outsource maintenance of our Longshore golf course.  I attended this meeting to try to answer this question: “What is the problem we are trying to solve?”

In the business world, we define a problem, then look at all the ways we might solve it or live with it, consider the cost/benefit of the proposed courses of action, and decide.  But here, we Westporters are asked to choose sides on the issue of whether to outsource the maintenance of our golf course without the benefit of knowing exactly what is the problem that we’re trying to solve.

Certainly, the poor condition of Longshore makes it a public embarrassment.  Outsourcing is a possible solution.  But what’s the problem?

The discussion at the joint meeting was centered on the single topic for the evening: yes or no, basically, on the issue of “to outsource, or not to outsource”. Defining the problem to be solved was not part of the discussion.  However, from the presentations, and from the question/answer session, I gleaned the following non-exhaustive list of possible parts of the problem (potentially) to be solved by outsourcing.

More "Longshore Golf: Whether to Outsource Not the Question"

Posted 07:05 PM
(0) CommentsPermalink

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Longshore Greens ‘Deplorable’

To the Editor:

While it has always been a pleasure to play golf at Longshore in the past, I must say that my experience on Friday, August 23 were deplorable. The condition of the greens is the worst by far than at any time I have ever seen. The hierarchy at Westport town hall better wake up and see the glaring black eye that is situated off South Compo Road and Compo Beach.

Every green appears to have a fungus, or some one accidentally used “roundup” instead of “miracle grow” on all 18 holes. After bringing out of town guests to the course, I will think long and hard before doing that again. You get truer putts on the Compo Beach parking lots than you do on the Longshore greens.

Mark S. Graham
Fairfield

Posted 04:06 PM
(1) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, January 13, 2013

‘We Have to Protect Children Now’

To the Editor:

To the residents of Westport. Right now the Board of Education is going through the process of doing a “security audit.”

While this is well and good, and instead of taking the advice of the excellent police and fire chiefs at no cost, the board will spend money asking retired police officers for the same answers we can get at no cost from our existing staff; this is business as usual for the Board of Education.

However, in the meantime we have to take logical action and use the advice and knowledge of the excellent police and fire officials we have on staff.

Cutting to the chase, the odds of a copycat attack from another mentally ill person are high. Therefore we have to protect the children now. Not wait a year for the results of a study done by outsiders.

More "‘We Have to Protect Children Now’"

Posted 02:11 AM
(0) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

‘Ideal Time to Install Solar Energy’

To the Editor:

We are writing to advise your Westport readers that if they ever considered the installation of solar energy at their homes, this is an ideal time to do it.  But time is running very short on this opportunity to achieve significant savings.

Westport is one of four pilot communities which won state approval to participate in the SolarizeCT program which could reduce the cost of installing a solar photovoltaic system by as much as 30-40%. This savings, together with the federal tax credit of 30%, means that homeowners could install a system for well less than half of its actual cost, and reduce their electric bill to a fraction of what they’re paying now. 

To qualify for the rebate, you have to commit to the program by January 14th, but the system can be installed any time within six months of signing up.  An alternative lease agreement is also available, with low electric rates guaranteed for 20 years and no out-of-pocket expenses.

Both of us believe in the program and have signed up for solar installations, not only for the cost savings we will achieve but because we support the underlying agenda of using less commercial energy, which has a significant environmental impact.

To learn more, we suggest you call Encon, Westport’s selected installation vendor, at 203-375-5228 or visit EnconSolar.com.  If you’d like to see what a solar installation looks like, there will be a “Solar Raising” event this Saturday, January 5, from 10:00 to 2:00, at 1 Bushy Ridge Road (food and warm refreshments will be served!).

Jonathan Steinberg
State Representative, 136th District
Vice Chair, Energy & Technology Committee
Westport
       
and    
Ken Bernhard
Former State Representative, 136th District
Co-Chair, Board of Directors,
Connecticut League of Conservation Voters  
Westport

Posted 08:43 PM
(0) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Watching Sandy From Washington State

To the Editor:

It is strange what a storm can do. Damage. Hardship. No electricity.

I grew up in Westport though I haven’t lived there since 1949. I graduated from Staples High School when it was on Riverside. Probably not many of you remember. I still call it my home. Ed Mitchell and family moved to Westport shortly before we did. He later founded the clothing store by his name. The families were friends when we lived in Lansdowne, PA.

I knew the sons of many of the artists that lived in Westport – the Dohanas and Von Schmidts families among others. We used to brag that we had more artists per capita than any other town in the USA.

I lived in a brown house between the minuteman and Owenoke Park on Compo Beach Road. We didn’t have numbers on the houses then but it has now been torn down and the lot was empty the last time a Google satellite photo was taken (March 2012). I just happened to check the news of Westport online when it was being demolished. Sad!

More "Watching Sandy From Washington State"

Posted 08:01 PM
(0) CommentsPermalink
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