Friday, January 01, 2010
2009 In Pictures
Once again, WestportNow presents as a New Year’s gift to our readers a review of the past year through the eyes of Westporters who contributed photos, video and illustrations to WestportNow in 2009.
The year 2009 was unusually busy, and we are pleased to have been your No. 1 source for breaking and ongoing news coverage of Westport for the seventh successive year.
Dozens of persons contributed news stories, photos, and illustrations to WestportNow over the past year. The 2009 review, with video and drawings for the first time, includes almost 350 entries and represents the work of 30 photographers by name and one illustrator.
In 2009, WestportNow continued to record remarkable growth. This last week alone, while unusually busy, WestportNow had more than 90,000 page views and more than 15,000 unique visitors. No other Westport news source, print or online, delivers as many daily or weekly readers to its advertisers.
We urge you to patronize our advertisers and spread the word about WestportNow. We continue to be grateful for the public trust shown in us and look forward to continuing to serve Westport in 2010. Best New Year wishes to all WestportNow readers.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
High Winds Targeted Small Area at Compo
By James Lomuscio
The storm was as local as local storms get.
Westporter Karen Sherman and her son, Justin Schwebel, pick up their kayak and put it back in place on the rack at Compo Beach today. It was one of numerous kayaks knocked off its rack by the storm. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Monday’s 2:30 p.m. downpour and lighting left Westport’s Ned Dimes Marina at Compo Beach unscathed, but dealt a sucker punch to the dry dock boats and water crafts a stone’s throw away between the marina and South Beach.
There, concentrated winds knocked over more than a dozen kayaks, canoes and sailboats, snapping the masts of two Hobie Cats and blowing boats out into the roadway, said Rick Giunta, administrative manager for the Parks and Recreation Department.
The boats were all in the street,” he added about the road that circles the boat stands.
Working on National Hall
The National Hall building, built in 1873 and once part of the thriving 19th century Westport waterfront, was getting some touch up work today. In 1993, the building was transformed into a 15-room luxury hotel by developer Arthur Tauck. The hotel closed in 2010 and last year the Planning and Zoning Commission approved plans to turn it into an office, retail and restaurant complex. Plans are in the works to once again have a restaurant on the first floor, according to P&Z Director Laurence Bradley. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com
CL&P: Prepare Now for Hurricanes
Even though hurricanes typically do not bear down on the state until early fall, Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) officials announced today that they have begun gearing up for the storm season.
“Emergency preparedness is a focus for CL&P year-round as New England can experience a wide range of severe weather conditions, including devastating hurricanes,” said Bill Quinlan, CL&P’s senior vice president of emergency preparedness.
“We learned a lot from Superstorm Sandy that will help us prepare for future hurricanes,” he added, “but no utility can stop the wrath of Mother Nature, so we also encourage our customers to prepare in advance for the hurricane season.”
Westport Fire Chief Andrew Kingsbury, Westport’s emergency management director, noted that while most associate September and early fall with bad storm, “the hurricane season does start June 1.
Levitt Temporary Stage Getting Ready
Finishing touches are being put on the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts temporary stage at Westport’s Jesup Green. The summer season kicks off with the Levitt gala benefit Saturday night at Staples High School headlining Foreigner. The free summer season on the temporary stage opens Tuesday, June, 25, with Mystic Bowie. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Blumenthal Headlines DTC Fundraiser
Westport’s Democratic Town Committee’s (DTC) will host a Saturday morning fundraiser June 29 at Tavern on Main featuring U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, state Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and state Attorney General George Jepsen, DTC Chairman Jim Ezzes announced today.
“We couldn’t be more pleased that Dick Blumenthal, Nancy Wyman and George Jepsen will be joining us for our annual event,” said Ezzes. “They always share valuable insight as to what is happening in Washington and Hartford.”
The breakfast fundraiser, which runs from 9 to 11 a.m., is being sponsored by Ann Sheffer, Bill Scheffler, Linda and Michael Gordon, Betsy and Kieran Costello and Joe Scordato. The cost is $50 per person, and seating is limited.
For further information or to made reservations, visit westportdemocrats.org or call Ezzes at 203-227-4861.
Start of a New Day
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Bird’s-Eye View”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “5 Generations of Yankee Ingenuity: The Gault Family” & “Tracy Sugarman, Citizen-Artist”
10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - PageTurners: “Carry the One,” by Carol Anshaw
6 p.m. - Rolnick Observatory - Westport Astronomical Society Pre-Summer Solstice Potluck Picnic & Elections
6:30 p.m. - Wesport Country Playhouse - Books Worth Talking About: “Why Do Funny Plays and Movies Make Us Laugh”
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – Citizens Transit Committee
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “The Show-Off”
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar
Monday, June 17, 2013
Board Renews, Raises Landon to $292,937
By James Lomuscio
UPDATE Westport’s Board of Education tonight voted unanimously to extend School Superintendent Elliott Landon’s contract through June 30, 2016, and 5 to 1 raise his 2013-14 salary to $292,937, a 1.75 percent increase.
Elliott Landon: begins 14th year in July. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Board member Mark Mathias was the lone dissenter on the raise.
“I believe he is well compensated with his current salary level,” Mathias said, adding that he was in full support of extending Landon’s employment contract, which expires next year, an extra two years.
Landon’s current compensation—$287,899—already makes him the highest paid schools superintendent in Connecticut, according to reports. Landon, 73, has served as superintendent since July 1999.
Making the Farmer-Chef Connection
Threats of thunderstorms could not dissuade the crowd of 200-plus foodies, farmers, chefs and farm fans who turned out for tonight’s Farmer-Chef Connection event at Wakeman Town Farm. The event featured a lively discussion about the importance of supporting the local farming community, and featured an array of sustainable hors d’oeuvres and local wines. Farm steward Michael Aitkenhead welcomed the crowd. Seated next to him is Bill Taibe, of Westport’s leFarm and The Whelk restaurants and standing is Elizabeth Beller, town farm chair. Contributed photo
Farm Foodie Crowd
Some of the more than 200 persons who attended tonight’s Farmer-Chef Connection event at Wakeman Town Farm. Contributed photo
New Haven Delays
Metro-North said trains traveling into and out of Grand Central Terminal are now operating on or close to schedule after earlier delays due to switch problems in the vicinity of Harlem-125th.
Making the West Bank Westport Scene
With warm weather and the recent opening of Bartaco (foreground) at 20 Wilton Road and the earlier debut of Cafe Moja (background) next door at 12 Wilton Road—plus Arezzo Restaurant on the other side of Post Road West—Westporters have ample choices for drinking and dining outdoors on the west bank of the Saugatuck River. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlowfor WestportNow.com
Preston Hirten Memorial Soccer Tournament Set
Preston Hirten: annual soccer tournament in his honor. Staplessoccer.com photoSoccer players are set to honor the memory of Westporter Preston J. Hirten, a 2007 Staples High School graduate, by playing “the game loved so much” on Saturday, July 6, at 11 a.m. at Wakeman Fields, according to his mother, Lisa Hirten.
Hirten, a midfielder, collapsed and died Aug. 18, 2009 while practicing with his University of Mary Washington teammates in Fredericksburg, Va. (See WestportNow Aug. 18, 2009)
His mother said the 2013 Preston Hirten Memorial Soccer Tournament, designed “for high school and older players from Fairfield County area,” marks the fourth year of an event in his honor.
NTSB Urges Greater Safety After Metro-North Death
The National Transportation Safety Board today issued an urgent safety recommendation to Metro-North Railroad to provide redundant protection for track maintenance crews who depend on train dispatchers to provide signal protection.
On May 28, a Metro-North track foreman was struck and killed by a Metro-North passenger train traveling at 70 mph in West Haven. The foreman had requested the section of track be taken out of service for maintenance.
Two Metro-North rail traffic controllers, one of whom was a student controller, placed the section out of service. But the student controller reopened the track a little more than an hour later without the appproval of the qualified controller or the foreman, the NTSB said.
Prior to this collision, on May 4, another Metro-North rail traffic controller mistakenly placed out-of-service track back in service. Two days later, Metro-North instituted additional operations control procedures, but these procedures did not prevent the May 28 fatal collision, the NTSB said.
Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport