Saturday, July 31, 2010
Westport Firefighter Kevin Dumas today checks over food donations at Westport Fire Headquarters, one of several Connecticut fire stations designated as collection points in support of Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s announced statewide “Day of Caring & Compassion.” The donations of nonperishable food will help replenish the state’s two main food pantries, Foodshare and the Connecticut Food Bank. Dumas said by 10:30 a.m. “we’ve collected a lot of food contributions and we’re only half way through the morning collection period.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Good samaritan Westporter Joan Zimmerman rushes off to her Saturday morning schedule after dropping off packaged food contributions today at the Westport Fire Department in support of the statewide “Day of Caring & Compassion.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Gov. M. Jodi Rell today announced that applications are now available for a new federally funded health care plan specifically designed for individuals with pre-existing conditions that prevented them from getting health care insurance in the past.
The Connecticut Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, administered by the state Department of Social Services, will use $50 million allocated to Connecticut under the federal health care reform bill.
The governor approved launch of the program after her administration was able to successfully lower premiums by 35 percent over initial estimates to put costs within reach of many Connecticut residents, an announcement said.
Premiums for adults under the new plan start at $285 monthly for those under 30 and rise gradually by age to a high of $893 for adults 65 and older.
By James Lomuscio
The Westport Planning and Zoning Commission’s new decorum policy banning signs and T-shirts expressing a view is “problematic” according to an attorney for the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union (CCLU).
Supporters of the Westport Family Y’s move to Mahackeno wore yellow T-shirts at the opening of the Planning and Zoning Commission’s hearings on the application in March 2008. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
“Messages on T-shirts are often a constitutionally protected form of expression,” said David McGuire, the CCLU’s staff attorney based in Hartford.
“A ban on speech related to an item before a municipal body is problematic because it constitutes the most highly protected form of speech.”
McGuire was reacting to the new policy approved last week which says: “In order to minimize disruptions or distractions, the following behaviors will not be permitted at our meetings: displays of any kind on any surface including but not limited to clothing and signs.”
The Westport Fire Department today from 9 a.m. to noon is participating in a statewide “Day of Caring & Compassion” as fire stations around Connecticut collect donations of nonperishable food to help replenish the state’s two main food pantries.
“Mark it on the calendar. July 31 will be the day we can all help fill the shelves the shelves of Foodshare and Connecticut Food Bank,” Gov. M. Jodi Rell said in a statement last month. (See WestportNow July 14, 2010)
“Fire departments around the state made our 2009 campaign such a success that we are delighted to have them again this year as partners.”
The governor said the economy is still very volatile and the need remains great for many families who continue to struggle to make ends meet.
Dozens of Westporters and their guests stayed late at Compo Beach for Friday night conversation, cooking and cocktails and were treated to another pretty sunset show. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
9 a.m. - noon - Westport Fire Headquarters (515 Post Road East) - Collection point, non-perishable food for Connecticut food pantries
11 a.m. - noon - Earthplace - Woods Explore
Noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “The Kids’ Wall” 10th Anniversary
2:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. - Earthplace - Critters & Crafts (ages 3-10)
3 p.m. - Sherwood Island Nature Center - “Come Plant with Us”
7:30 p.m. - Staples High School - Staples Players Summer Theatre: “Rent”
8 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Washboard Slim & the Bluelights
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar
Friday, July 30, 2010
Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period July 12 - 16, 2010:
Antonio A. and Fatima Pugas to Michael and Mody K. Brown, 301 Main St., $970,000
R B Properties to 5 Flower Farm Lane LLC, 5 Flower Farm Lane, $4,750,000
Louise S. Couffer Est. to Amanda V. and Marc W. Rowley, 28 Woods Grove Road, $537,500
Richard Christopher Montanaro to Heidi Mitchell, 5E Gorham Ave., $1,345,000
Westporters were among thousands paying tribute today at funeral services in Bridgeport for two fallen Bridgeport firefighters. First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff, Chief Christopher Ackley and Deputy Chief Jonathan Gottfried led the Westport contingent that included many off-duty firefighters. Other off-duty firefighters helped man Bridgeport firehouses while their Bridgeport counterparts attended the services, including the one above at St. Augustine Cathedral for Lt. Steven Velasquez, 40. A later service was held for Firefighter Michel Baik, 49, at St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church. The two died Saturday while fighting a house fire. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal chats with Westport Fire Chief Christopher Ackley (l) and Deputy Chief Jonathan Gottfried today outside St. Augustine Orthodox Church in Bridgeport where a funeral service was held for Bridgeport Fire Lt. Steven Velasquez. He and Firefighter Michel Baik died fighting a house fire on Saturday. First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff was also at the funeral along with Gov. M. Jodi Rell, Senator Christopher Dodd, Congressman Jim Himes, and other state and local leaders. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
The AAA Travel office, located in the strip of stores at 20 Saugatuck Ave. in Westport’s Saugatuck area for the past 20 years, is closing its office at the end of the business day today. It is not leaving Westport, however. See below for its new home. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The Westport AAA Travel office is relocating from 20 Saugatuck Ave. to its new office at 419 Post Road East in the Compo Shopping Center. The new office opens on Monday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
9:30 a.m. - Westport Arts Center - ArtCafé
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “The Kids’ Wall” 10th Anniversary
7:30 p.m. - Staples High School - Staples Players Summer Theatre: “RENT”
8 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Cracked Ice
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar
By J. Michael Lomuscio
With Westport Police Deputy Chief Dale Call’s announcement that the department will begin issuing text message alerts to notify residents of downed trees and power lines, closed roads, and other traffic snags, Westporters will surely be able to save time behind the wheel and drive more safely during emergencies, too.
Putting in place the notification system, called Nixle, is a good step, and residents should sign up. The department’s plan however is missing a few components, namely Twitter and Facebook.
Chief Call decided against using these social media networks as notification platforms because of their Facebook’s accessibility and Twitter’s security, telling the Westport News:“The problem with Twitter is that it’s really easy to pretend to be somebody else. It can take very little effort for someone to pretend to be at the Westport police and send things out to people.”
He’s right to be cautious, but Twitter has taken a step to guard against these abuses by offering “Verified Accounts.” This system can establish the authenticity of government authorities so that users know who to trust - it’s something the department should consider.
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