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Thursday, June 30, 2005

Rell Says 11 Lifeguards to Report to Sherwood Island Friday

Gov. M. Jodi Rell said today that the lifeguard shortage at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport has been successfully addressed just in time for the busy 4th of July weekend.

“Eleven fully-trained lifeguards will report to duty at Sherwood Island on Friday and I couldn’t be happier with the public’s response to my special appeal,” Rell said in a statement.

“I want to publicly thank each of the lifeguards for responding to this call to public service, and I want to publicly thank our staff at the Department of Environmental Protection for their speedy response in solving this problem.”

The governor praised Commissioner Gina McCarthy, saying she “has done a remarkable job under a tight deadline.  She has done her agency proud.”

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06/30/05 10:21 PM Comments () • Permalink

Rumors of Demise of Westport Italian Festival are False

By James Lomuscio

Rumors that Westport’s 22nd Annual Festival Italiano next week will be the final one due to a dearth of young blood and volunteers are false, according to the festival’s coordinator.italianfest07080401260.jpg
Westport’s Italian Festival: still going strong. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com file photo

“Not at all,” said Roberta Delladonna Troy, for the past six years the coordinator of Festival Italiano, also dubbed the Italian Festival.

“It’s a rumor. The Italians are strong, and we’re going to go for it. It’s certainly not going to be my last festival.”

Scheduled to kick off Thursday evening, July 7, with a parade down Riverside Avenue to Luciano Park off Franklin Street, the festival is set to run through Sunday night, July 10.

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06/30/05 03:33 PM Comments Closed • Read Existing Comments (2)Permalink

Rell to Mark First Year in Office With Open House Friday

Gov. M. Jodi Rell said today she will mark her first anniversary in office by holding a public open house Friday at the State Capitol.

Rell will greet visitors on the first floor of the Capitol from noon to 2 p.m.

“This is an opportunity for me to say �thank you’ to the people of Connecticut for the confidence and trust they have placed in me,” Rell said in a statement.

“I have had so many wonderful experiences during this past year and I want to personally express my deepest gratitude to the public.

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06/30/05 03:09 PM Comments () • Permalink

Richard Foot Resigns as Westport/Weston Y CEO/Exec Director

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Dick Foot: will be consultant to Connecticut YMCAs. Contributed photo
Richard A. Foot, exercutive director and CEO of the Westport/Weston YMCA since 1996, has submitted his resignation to become a consultant to 25 YMCAs around Connecticut.

“I just felt it was time to look at other opportunities,” Foot, 58, said today. His resignation becomes effective Aug. 15.

Foot, who has been among the Y’s leadership planning a controversial move from its downtown headquarters to its Camp Mahackeno site in northwest Westport, said he would remain for the time being in Westport in the new post.

“I’ll be employed by the national YMCA organization serving as a consultant to 25 YMCAs in Connecticut,” he said. “It is something I am looking forward to.”

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06/30/05 02:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Beach Gathering

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This week’s unfriendly beach weather did not deter some visitors to the marina area at Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

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06/30/05 03:13 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Today’s Westport Teardown: 263 North Ave.

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Today’s WestportNow teardown is 263 North Ave. near Coleytown Middle School. The home was built in 1840. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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06/30/05 03:08 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, June 30, 2005

2 p.m. and 8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Finian’s Rainbow”
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Planning and Zoning Commission
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - RTM Environment Committee
8 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - The Two Tenors, a program of Italian and Irish classical and romantic favorites

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06/30/05 03:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Westport’s Eckerd Drug Store Closing?

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There are rumors that Westport’s Eckerd drug store at 1086 Post Road East, next to Barnes & Noble, will close its doors next week. A WestportNow reader said she had been told presciptions have been sent to the Stop & Shop pharmacy. A manager on duty at Eckerd said she was not authorized to comment. A source at Stop & Shop confirmed that the supermarket was getting customer prescriptions from Westport’s Eckerd. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

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06/30/05 02:12 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday Car Wash to Benefit Homeless

The Rev. Peter Powell hopes those who want their cars clean and sparkling this 4th of July weekend will head to Westport Wash & Wax Friday for the car wash’s fifth annual Good Neighbor event.

All of the day’s gross sales will be donated to Powell’s Interfaith Housing Association (IHA) of Westport-Weston, Inc., a nonprofit social service agency that serves the town’s homeless.

“Last year they did $6,030 on the day of the car wash, and they gave the gross amount to Interfaith Housing,” said Powell, IHA’s president and CEO. “Their cost was not taken out at all. It makes a statement on their commitment to the community.”

Scott and Laila Tiefenthaler, owners of Westport Wash & Wax, quietly and without fanfare five years ago approached Powell with the offer after learning about IHA’s mission and services.

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06/30/05 01:03 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Rell Says Progress Being Made in Sherwood Island Lifeguard Shortage

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Gov. M. Jodi Rell:“resources must and will be provided.” File photo
Gov. M. Jodi Rell said today that progress is being made in addressing the lifeguard shortage at Westport’s Sherwood Island State Park.

In a statement, Rell expressed optimism that lifeguards will be on duty at the park by this 4th of July weekend.

“I am pleased to announce not only that DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) is interviewing seven interested lifeguard candidates for Sherwood Island, but also that we plan to pay the lifeguards who are hired between $9 and $9.50 an hour,” Rell said.

A number of the lifeguards who quit last weekend cited lower pay compared to other area beaches and not receiving promised pay raises.

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06/29/05 10:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Doctor Sentenced to Probation

A Westport pediatrician was sentenced today to three years probation and a $10,000 fine on charges of defrauding the Medicaid program and private health insurance companies as well as on tax evasion charges.

Suvarna Shah, 63, of 5 Pier Way Landing, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Christopher F. Droney in Hartford, according to Kevin J. O’Connor, U.S. Attorney for Connecticut.

Shah, who practiced in Norwalk, as a result of her conviction faces likely deportation, O’Connor said. She is a native of India. He said she will also likely be barred from submitting claims to the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs.

The physician had previously entered into a civil settlement agreement in which she agreed to pay $317,925.88 to the federal and state governments, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

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06/29/05 09:18 PM Comments Closed • Permalink

Rell Calls Transportation Bill “Historic Step Forward”

Gov. M. Jodi Rell today called the General Assembly’s approval of her transportation initiative a “historic step forward for Connecticut.”

“This initiative hits the fast lane as soon as the bill hits my desk,” Rell said in a statement.

“This is the boldest transportation proposal in Connecticut in two decades, and these desperately needed improvements are crucial to our economic success.

“I will be working closely with the Department of Transportation and other state agencies to make sure these improvements are felt as soon as humanly possible.”

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06/29/05 05:43 PM Comments Closed • Permalink

Talking Transportation: New Trains on Track

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

There’s finally good news for Metro-North commuters. New trains are on the way!

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In special session, the Connecticut Legislature has approved Governor Rell’s bold initiative to spend more than $1 billion on almost 350 new rail cars. But don�t expect to ride these new cars until 2008 or, more likely, 2009.

Consultants are already drawing up the engineering specs for the proposed M8 twin-car sets, one car powered under the wire (in Connecticut) with its sister-car relying on third rail power (in Westchester and into Grand Central Terminal). 

Each car will power the other in its respective territory. Mind you, this is just the concept and has yet to be proven on paper or on the tracks.

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06/29/05 05:09 PM Comments () • Permalink

Hazy Westport

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A view looking west across Westport’s Saugatuck River Tuesday. That’s Assumption Church through the haze.The weather forecast called for more patchy fog in the morning today with a chance of showers and thundershowers later in the day. Humid with highs in the mid 80s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jonathan Thrope for WestportNow.com

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06/29/05 03:23 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

10:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - International Hospitality Committee
2 p.m. and 8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Finian’s Rainbow”
7 p.m. - The Levitt Pavilion - The Hall Family returns for the 14th year

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06/29/05 03:04 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

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