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Friday, August 30, 2013

Staples Grad Completes West Point Basic Training

Cadet Peter Hugh Bonenfant, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Bonenfant of Westport, Conn., completed Cadet Basic Training at the U.S. Military Academy.

Bonenfant entered West Point on July 1 and has successfully completed six of CBT. CBT is one of the most challenging events a cadet will encounter over the course of their four years at the academy.

The initial military training program provides cadets with basic skills to instill discipline, pride, cohesion, confidence and a high sense of duty to prepare them for entry into the Corps of Cadets. Areas of summer instruction included first aid, mountaineering, hand grenades, rifle marksmanship and nuclear, biological, and chemical training.

Bonenfant began classes Aug. 19. The West Point curriculum offers 37 majors balancing physical sciences and engineering with humanities and social sciences leading to a Bachelor of Science degree.

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Saturday, November 03, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Relief: How to Help Image
A couple living at the corner of Bridge Street and Imperial Avenue are accepting donations of food, water, clothing, blankets, garbage bags, and other goods and will be delivering these goods to victims on Staten Island tonight and over the next few days. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mary Sikorski for

The Connecticut Food Bank has launched launched a “Hurricane Sandy Virtual Food Drive” to respond to the rapidly growing need for food assistance as well as seeking food donations and volunteers.

Stamford-based AmeriCares is seeking donations to support its provision of medical and other aid to Sandy victims in the United States and the Caribbean.

The American Red Cross is seeking donations of money and blood. The Fairfield County Blood Donation Center is located at 596 Westport Avenue in Norwalk (you can schedule a donation time online).

The Salvation Army is serving those impacted by Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic with food, clean-up kits, and emotional and spiritual care.

This list will be updated. If you know of additional resources, please send them to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

11/03/12 10:15 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Volunteers Move the Election Process Along at Town Hall

Volunteers matching records for ballots received against those distributed
Volunteers are busy matching the records for ballots that were distributed against those that have been received by the Town Clerk office at Westport Town Hall. According to Town Clerk Patricia Strauss, 2,357 absentee ballots were distributed through Friday and 1,738 completed ballots have been returned. She said as of this morning, there were approximately 75 ballots distributed, most of which were completed on site. Strauss said the deadline for distribution of ballots is 4:30 p.m. on Monday and completed ballots must be returned to the Town Clerk office by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday. Sealed ballots will be opened in Room 201 starting at 10 a.m. on Election Day, and that process is open to the public, according to Strauss. “This will be the first presidential election voting process without the use of levers,” she said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

At Levitt, a Religious Service Under the Stars

Three Conservative synagogues are set to converge on Westport’s Levitt Pavilion Saturday evening Sept. 8 for a special “service under the stars” prior to the high holy days of Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur. Image
Pharaoh’s Daughter Band members include (l-r) Basya Schecter, Uri Sharlin, Daphna Mor, Mathias Kunzli, Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz, Meg Okura and Yuval Lion. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Officials at the Conservative Synagogue of Westport, Weston and Wilton say they will co-host the event with Congregation Beth El of Norwalk and Temple Beth El of Stamford. Set to begin at 8:30 p. m., the evening is free and open to the public, and blankets or chairs and flashlights are recommended, synagogue officials say.

They add that the evening will feature the music of acclaimed artist Basya Schechter and her band Pharaoh’s Daughter. The band’s music has been cultivated by Schechter’s Hasidic music background and a series of trips to the Middle East, Africa, Israel, Egypt, Central Africa, Turkey, Kurdistan, and Greece, according to a spokeswoman for the Conservative synagogue.

Clergy from all three synagogues will be officiating the service: Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn and Cantor Laura Berman of the Conservative Synagogue; Rabbi Joshua Hammerman and Cantor George Mordecai of Temple Beth El of Stamford; and Rabbi Ron Fish of Congregation Beth El of Norwalk.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Birdhouse Auction Set for Friday Image
Birdhouse “Rockin’ Robin” by Lou Rolla. Photo by Lorin Klaris

Westport-based Project Return’s 17th Annual Birdhouse Auction featuring more than 160 original birdhouses created by artists from all over the country is set for Friday evening from 7 to 10 at the Rolling Hills Country Club in Wilton.

“Inspiration and originality have conspired with an astonishing variety of materials, including feathers, wood, clay, buttons, vintage records, bicycle parts, and shells, to showcase the vision of each artist,” says Project Return’s Laura Bard. “Some of this year’s designs are quiet and personal, while others are whimsical and sassy.”

Traditional and contemporary and designed for outdoor use or to enhance indoor spaces, all of the birdhouses reflect themes of home and sanctuary, according to Bard.

Project Return serves adolescent girls and young women in crisis through its group home facility and other programs that develop self-esteem, resiliency, and independence. Like birdhouses, the agency provides a safe haven for fledglings not yet prepared to leave the nest, noted Bard.

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Friday, January 06, 2012

Chowdafest IV Kick-off

Chowdafest IV Kick-off at Unitarian Church
Chowdafest organizer Jim Keenan (Chief Chowda Head) announced the details of Chowdafest IV at a press conference today at Westport’s Unitarian Church. Present were several representatives of sponsoring local restaurants who are contestants in the “food fight.” The football-themed event is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 4, the day before the Superbowl, at Bedford Middle School from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will benefit for the Connecticut Food Bank. The cost is $6 for adults, $2 for kids under 12. More information can be found here: (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

01/06/12 05:55 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Great Turnout for Police Toys for Tots Drive Image
Westport Policemen Dave Farrell (l) and Marc Heinmiller are all smiles during a successful turnout of generous people from Westport and neighboring communities who donated toys to the annual Toys for Tots drive in the parking lot of The Athletic Shoe Factory, 1560 Post Road East. The collection continues on Sunday and next weekend between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

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Sunday, May 01, 2011

Champing at the Beach

33rd Annual Minute Man 5K/10K Race
Ready to run, entrants in this year’s Minute Man Race waited eagerly at the starting gate at Compo Beach today to begin a 10K race, the proceeds of which go to local charities. Sponsored by the Westport Young Woman’s League, the race had 1,400 people entered, up nearly 200 from last year, and raised $40,000.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

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Norwalker Wins Minute Man’s 5K Men’s Race

Nordee Ab Delfateh
Norwalk resident Nordee Ab Delfateh, 29, won the 5K men’s division of today’s Minute Man Race at Westport’s Compo Beach in a time of 17:10. It was the first time he entered the annual Minute Man race. He moved to the United States from Morocco. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

05/01/11 05:58 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Weston 13-Year-Old Bests the Rest in Women’s 5K

Andi Rosenblatt
Andi Rosenblatt, 13, of Weston today won the 33rd Annual Minute Man 5K Race for females at Westport’s Compo Beach with a winning time of 21:54. Rosenblatt is in the seventh grade in the Weston school system. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

05/01/11 05:53 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Westporter Harding Wins Men’s Minute Man 10K Again

Tom Harding
Westporter Tom Harding, 45, was first over the finish line at today’s 33rd annual Minute Man Race at Westport’s Compo Beach. He has won the Minute Man 10K several times over the years. Harding finished today’s race in 35:51 and was in the lead from the first step. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

05/01/11 05:48 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Norwalk’s Sporre Wins Minute Man 10K for Women

Leslie Sporre
Norwalk resident Leslie Sporre, 34, was the first female to cross the finish line today in the 33rd annual Minute Man 10K race with a time of 44:04. She said it was the first time she entered the race. Her husband Ian also ran in the 10K and was among the leaders in the field. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

05/01/11 05:42 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Poking Fun at Westport’s Foibles

Westporters had fun raising funds for a serious cause performing in “Forbidden Westport.” The evening’s entertainment, sponsored by the Westport Sunrise Rotary, was a benefit for Homes With Hope. Larry Untermeyer for

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Al DiGuido Cheers On Angel Swimmers

Al DeGuido, Founder, Al's Angels, Westport Connecticut
An estimated 100 swimmers participated in “24 Hours of Laps,” the Al’s Angels fundraiser that began at 10 a.m. today at the Westport Weston Family Y Stauffer Pool. Al’s Angels founder and Westport resident Al DiGuido said this event raised approximately $50,000. Swimmers of all ages swam as many laps as they could for 30 minutes to raise funds to provide holiday meals and gifts for children and families within the tri-state area suffering from life-threatening illnesses, cancer, rare blood diseases, and severe financial hardship. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

04/30/11 06:24 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Swimming for Al’s Angels Image
Swimmers participating in “24 Hours of Laps,” the Al’s Angels fundraiser that began this morning. Each swimmer pledged to swim laps for 30 minutes. (l-r) Will O’Sullivan, Finn Johnston, Charlie West, Justin Bacon, Sean Rogers, Cameron Purdy, Sarah Grinalds, Kaitlyn Esse, Michelle Kennedy, Marissa Healy, Caroline Sandhaus, Annie Bowens, Kaela Dockray. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Suzannah Rogers for

04/30/11 06:13 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Turning in Unwanted Drugs Image
Westport police officers Linda Vena (c) and Sharon Russo (r) welcome Westporter Bertha Mathis today at Westport Town Hall as she dropped off her expired and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs during the annual Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) collection event. This program is conducted by local police departments throughout the country to give people a safe way to dispose of medications they no longer want or need and to help prevent these drugs from being stolen, abused, or dumped into local water supplies. In 2010, Americans turned in 121 tons of unwanted medications to more than 3,000 local police departments. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

04/30/11 05:50 PM Comments (1) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sprucing Up Camp Mahackeno Image
Twenty-five volunteers, including board members and staff, spent the morning today giving the Westport Weston Family Y’s Camp Mahackeno a major spring cleaning to get it ready for the upcoming summer activities. In addition to tidying the grounds, they repainted the benches in the amphitheater. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

04/30/11 05:40 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Bird Count Begins at Midnight

By James Lomuscio

Cardinal by Townsend Dickinson
Cardinals brighten up gray winter days. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Townsend P. Dickinson

While birders do not expect to find any calling birds or French Hens, compilers for the 64th Annual Westport Christmas Bird Count (CBC)—which runs from midnight tonight to midnight Sunday—may spy “geese a laying,” and even an occasional partridge.

But a partridge would be rare, says Mardi Dickinson, who with her husband Townsend Dickinson, will captain one of the 10 teams comprising 45 volunteers recording species and bird numbers over the 24-hour period.

A good number of birds spotted will be bluebirds, cardinals, titmice, and chickadees, she said. Some volunteers will work shifts of several hours, while diehard birders will go the full stretch. Night owl birders will record exactly that, owls.

“The purpose is to count the birds for statistical purposes, for science,” says Dickinson. “If it weren’t for these counts, nobody would know how many birds there are at this time of the year. All of it goes into a national database.”

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Commission for Senior Activities Has a “Thank You” Party Image
Bill Meyer celebrated with Arlene Bloom (left), past president of Y’s Women, and state Sen. Toni Boucher at the Commission for Senior Services’ “Thank You Luncheon” today for members of local commissions credited with making Westport “a wonderful town.” Among those in attendance were Barbara Butler, director of Westport’s Department of Human Services, Sue Pfister, director of the Center for Senior Activities, First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, and newly elected state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Field of Flags Demonstrates Heroism, Loss, and War’s Toll

By James Lomuscio

They are the small-sized American flags people joyfully wave along parade routes on national holidays, only these had a more somber message as they were planted throughout the day today on the lawn of Westport’s Saugatuck Congregational Church. Image
Vets placing their flags in the Field of Flags. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

Side by side and in military fashion, each flag represents the American war dead in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past nine years. By 5 p.m., the time a memorial ceremony was about to begin, the flags totaled a sobering 5,516, including 52 fallen soldiers and Marines from Connecticut.

“It looks so beautiful,” said Toni Rubin and she and her husband Stephen Rubin waited at the end of the honor guard procession. “But, when you think of what it is ... ”

“It’s ugly,” Stephen Rubin chimed in about the toll war takes.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Westport Woman’s Club Names Board of Directors Image
The Westport Woman’s Club has installed its new board with Mary Vickery leading the club for 2010-2011. Front row (l-r) Officers: Anne Hunt (treasurer), Susan Cugliari (third V.P.), Mary Vickery (president), Leah Scherzer (first V.P.), Wynne Abrams (second V.P.), Pat Voris, (secretary). second row: Barbara Levy (programs), Denise, Kuendig (communications), Rose Jordan (rentals), Brenda Sciarra (grounds), Conchita Cassell (house), Carol Goetz (Curio Cottage). Clare Clark (membership). third row: Joyce Netherton (parliamentarian), Kathy Groener (programs), RuthAnn Carroll (house), Jo Fuchs Luscombe (community services). Absent from picture: Mitzi Lyman (programs), Yankee Doodle Fair. The Westport Woman’s Club is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of charitable, cultural, educational and public health services. In addition to supporting numerous community services, the Club offers a great number of social activities for its members and for the community at large. For membership information, call the Club office at (203)227-4240 or visit (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lorraine Felicino for

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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

LWV Awards Scholarship Image
The League of Women Voters of Westport today presented a $2,000 scholarship to Staples High School senior Alyssa Ruggiero through the Staples Tuition Grants program. The presentation was made by past League president Pippa Bell Adler at the League’s annual meeting at Christ and Holy Trinity Church. Ruggiero will attend Hofstra University in the fall where, as an accomplished dancer, she plans to major in dance and business in the hopes of achieving her dream job—to work in the finance area of a major dance company. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

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Friday, June 04, 2010

WHS Receives Generous Donation from Bank of NY Mellon Image
Westport Historical Society Executive Director Susan Gold received $10,000 donation from the Bank of NY Mellon to be used for on-going programs including exhibits, archives, and a youth scholarship program. Pictured are (l-r) Jeffrey Burns, BNY Mellon Team Leader Westport; Katia Friend, Senior Director BNY Mellon; WHS President Dorothy Curran; WHS VP-Finance Elliott Netherton; Susan Gold; and WHS VP of Sponsors Dave Matlow. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Neighbors Assail Zoning Change for Linxweiler Property

A proposed zoning amendment that would allow the construction of at least 12 units of supportive housing for individuals battling mental illness or substance abuse at a Post Road East property in Westport was laid bare at tonight’s Planning and Zoning Commission’s public hearing.

Linxweiler Homestead
The Linxweiler Homestead, bequeathed to the Town of Westport by Joanna Linxweiler upon her death in 1981. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Richard Redniss, the Stamford land use consultant who wants to develop the 1.3-acre, town-owned Linxweiler property for Homes for Hope, formerly known as Interfaith Housing Association, at 655 Post Road East began his appeal by trying to clarify supportive housing to the 60 residents who had gathered in the Town Hall auditorium.

“Child molesters and sex offenders are not allowed to be in supportive housing,” Redniss said. “They must be able to live independently, and conducting any illegal activities on the property is grounds for release.”

His assurances, as well as his conditional site plans for the development of the property did little to quell myriad concerns from residents who live on nearby Crescent Road and Sue Terrace. From 1984 to 2008, Interfaith Housing had operated Linxweiler House as a home for men recovering from alcoholism and substance abuse.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Going to Beautiful Lengths for Cancer Patients

By James Image
Westporter Ann Karrick is sending her hair to Beautiful Lengths. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Just for the record, Westporter Ann Karrick likes her long hair, those brown, wavy, bouncy locks that not only frame her face but flow down past her shoulders. In fact, she likes her hair so much she wants to share it—with a less-fortunate woman who has lost hers while undergoing chemotherapy. So today Karrick, media consultant and former host and producer of “For the Record,” a national weekly talk show on ION Media Networks, is scheduled to have her signature locks shorn at Westport’s Greg & Tony Salon, 231 Post Road West. She plans to have her hair donated to Beautiful Lengths, which makes wigs free of charge to cancer patients. “The reaction from others surprised me at first,” said Karrick. “Typically with long hair, when you mention cutting it, there are gasps of horror.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Trust Fund for Bill Palladino, Staples ‘68, Seeks Donations

By Michelle Sciarappa

If Bill Palladino could speak, what would he tell you? About the throat cancer that stole his trachea? About his wife’s tragic death from a heart attack not even two weeks ago? About his expected loss of health insurance for the chemotherapy he is receiving at Danbury Hospital?

Bill Palladino and wife Janice Anne McClenathan Palladino
During happier times, Staples High School graduates Bill Palladino and wife Janice Anne McClenathan Palladino. A fund has been set up for Bill, who remains hospitalized with throat cancer. Janice Anne, his sole caregiver, died of a massive heart attack Feb. 11. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo.

No. He would probably tell you about his two beautiful daughters, Michelle and Sarah, who are both in college. And he would probably tell you about his supportive friends, Staples High School alumni whose bond transcends time as they recently have set up the Billy Palladino Trust Fund at the Danbury branch of Newtown Savings Bank. “I’m trying to reach out to as many people as I can to help a friend from Staples High School (who) is going through a really tough time,” said Shelby Goodlett Pike, who is spreading the word about the fund. Palladino, Staples Class of 1968 and a resident of Sandy Hook, was first operated on in November, and then again Feb. 6 when throat surgery left him without the ability to speak. He has been at Danbury Hospital ever since. Compounding his illness, he lost his wife and sole caregiver, Janice Anne McClenathan Palladino, Staples 1983, to a massive heart attack Feb. 11.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Cub Scouts Visit Westport EMS Image
In preparation of their Readyman Pin, the Webelos from Westport’s Cub Scout Pack 192 had the honor Monday night of being trained by Alan Stolz, a longtime member of the Westport Volunteer Emergency Service and Special Events Crew Chief. Stolz is an Eagle Scout and continues to have an active role in the Westport Boy Scouts. Webelos in attendance were Sean Hanrahan, Aiden Flaherty, Charlie Nadel, Nick Openshaw, Aiden Weir, Corey Hausman, Alex Carl, and Den Chief, Alex Flug. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

02/02/10 11:23 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

UJA Honors Two with Woman of Valor Awards Image
Wendy Cohen (l), co-president of UJA/Federation Westport Weston Wilton Norwalk, left, presented Sandy Lefkowitz (c) of Westport and Barbara Schwab of Weston with Woman of Valor awards, at the organization’s annual gala on Saturday at The Loft in SoNo. The event raised funds for The Jewish High School of Connecticut, the Children’s Village in Israel, and humanitarian relief for elderly Jews in the former Soviet Union, reflecting UJA/Federation’s mission to help those in need locally, in Israel, and around the world. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ted Horowitz for

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Supporting the Burn Center Image
Westport Assistant Fire Chief Andy Kingsbury (2nd r) accepts a $1,500 check today from Bob LeRose, owner of Westport’s Bobby Q’s Restaurant, and entertainer Frank Bergonz of Westport. LaRose said that this is the fifth consecutive year that Bobby Q’s has raised funds for the Connecticut Burn Center to whom the Westport Fire Department forwards the funds and that the total contributed is now more than $10,000. The funds were raised last summer when the Lost in the Flood musical group with Bergonz as lead vocalist performed an all-Bruce Springsteen program at the restaurant.  Bergonz, who has participated in the fundraising event every year since 2002—when the restaurant site was known as Onion Alley—said it honors the memory of 9/11 firefighters. Pictured (l-r) are Firefighters Chris Carroll and James Workman, LaRose, Bergonz, Kingsbury, and Firefighter Brendan McHugh. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

12/29/09 09:16 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Monday, December 07, 2009

Lifeguard Training Course Set for Dec. 26-30

The Connecticut Chapter will be conducting an American Red Cross lifeguard training course at the Westport Weston Family Y on Dec. 26–30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The course teaches the skills and knowledge needed to prevent and respond to aquatic emergencies. 

Participants will receive certification in first aid, CPR for the professional rescuer, automated external defibrillation and lifeguard training.

To enroll, participants must be at least 15 years of age. Cost is $300. For more information and/or to register, contact Jack Harder at (203)683-4292 or register online at

12/07/09 11:14 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

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