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Monday, March 31, 2003

Area Elected Officials Wary of

Area Elected Officials Wary of War Resolutions
As Westports Representative Town Meeting prepares to take up a resolution opposing the war in Iraq, other area communities are also considering resolutions regarding the conflict, according to the Connecticut Post.

It is a delicate, sometimes controversial, balancing act for those municipal councils or boards that choose to take up the issue, the newspaper reported.

At Monday night’s Town Council meeting in New Milford, Conn., emotions ran high and there was a standing-room-only crowd, reported The Spectrum.

The anti-war resolution, put on the RTMҒs agenda by petition from more than 20 electors as required by the town charter, will be taken up at its meeting on Tuesday.

Submitted before the start of the war, it calls on the United States to use diplomatic efforts before launching a preemptive strike.

Update: At the April 1 RTM meeting, no action was taken on the anti-war resolution. The lead petitioner told members she would not object to their not considering it in its outdated form but said it would be updated and resubmitted.

Meanwhile, a petition proposing a resolution in support of U.S. troops has been submitted for RTM consideration at its May meeting.

Michael R. Crabtree, Owner of Toyota of Westport, Dies in Auto Accident

Michael R. Crabtree, owner and general manager of Toyota of Westport, died Saturday in the Bronx, N.Y. from injuries received in an auto accident. He was 33.

The Stamford residents death was reported in an obituary in The Advocate of Stamford.

Crabtree, whose family owns a number of automobile franchises, was a familiar figure in his dealership’s advertising.

He is survived by his parents, June Langran Crabtree and Robert E. Crabtree Sr. of Greenwich.

Among three sisters surviving him is Constance “Pinky” Markey of Greenwich, also familiar to area television viewers for her ads for the family’s Lexus of Westport dealership.

   

03/31/03 12:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Emergency Preparedness: Much Remains to be Done

Congressman Chris Shays held a forum on regional emergency preparedness Friday. It was not encouraging. Among those attending Westport First Selectwoman Diane Farrell and Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon.

Farrell told the gathering: “Please don’t hamper us for not having a county government. Look at us in the aggregate. When it comes to homeland security, we don’t see ourselves as individual municipalities.”

According to The Hour newspaper, some in the audience feared that, with the focus on police and fire departments, the role of schools, health departments, emergency medical personnel and hospitals was being ignored.

“We have thousands of kids under our jurisdiction for many days a year,” said Landon. He said issues such as how to deal with a situation where parents cannot reach their children, or staff cannot return home, must be examined.

Here We Go Again: Dogs

Here We Go Again: Dogs at the Beach
The Hours Jen Connic takes a look at the dogs-at-the-beach controversy now that the winter rules are about to expire and are up for renewal.

The bottom line: some say it is working fine, but a few say it needs some fine tuning.

Westport Miscellany: Panic Rooms and Sales Tax

With the increased terrorism threat, Westport has seen an upsurge in installation of panic rooms, those places tucked away in homes where the homeowners can survive all kinds of attacks (except probably the munchies).

The town is cited by Richard Soloway, chief executive of NAPCO Security Systems in New York, who told the Hartford Courant newspaper that sales are also up in Weston, Greenwich and Stratford.

The business is so hush-hush, he says, that often domestics who work in the homes don’t know the safe rooms exist.

“Lots of times, even the help in the house doesn’t know about it. People who install the rooms are brought in when nobody else is there, or on the weekend,” Soloway said.

More "Westport Miscellany: Panic Rooms and Sales Tax"

   

03/30/03 12:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, March 29, 2003

Fatal Crash After Dinner at Longahore Gets Woman Two Years in Prison

Westports Splash restaurant at the Inn at Longshore played an unwitting role in a fatal car crash on I-95 that led to a two-year prison sentence Friday for a New York woman.

According to an account in the Advocate of Stamford, the woman, Jan Jepsen, 38, had dinner there with her boss on May 8, 2001. During the meal—appetizers and three bottles of wine that ran up a $410.26 tab, her boss told her she and her entire department were being laid off.

The court heard that following the meal, she got on I-95 the wrong way. She drove up an exit ramp, then went northbound in the southbound lanes for one to two miles before smashing into a car driven by Sidney Davi, 27, who worked at Fairfields transfer station. He died instantly.

Trucks on the Merritt? A

Trucks on the Merritt? A Train Alongside?
Fridays discussion at Yale University about the future of the Merritt Parkway touched on a number of possibilities. Among them trucks on the roadway and a train track alongside.

According to the Connecticut Post, the occasion was the annual meeting of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.

Keynote speaker was Peter Szabo, director of the Merritt Parkway Conservancy, who addressed the future of the parkway.

Meanwhile, the Post reported that safety issues will take center stage when the State Department of Transportation holds informational meetings about using the breakdown lane of I-95 for traffic during rush hours. One is scheduled for Westport on April 16.

Losers in Staples High School

Losers in Staples High School Principal Selection Comment
We know the local reaction to the selection of John Brady as principal of Staples High School (overwhelmingly positive). But what about the two other finalists who didnt make it?

Both commented in interviews with their local newspapers. Assistant Superintendent Tom Mulvihill of New Milford, Conn. told his local paper:

ғThere is no shame in losing out to someone with his record, Mulvihill said of Brady. ԓHes a great guy.Ҕ

Peter Sack, who is retiring as a high school principal in Swampscott, Mass., told his newspaper:

“I’m both disappointed and relieved. It would have been a great challenge. I think I’m up to the challenge, but it would have been disruptive having to move.”

Bernhard and Others Bash Siting

Bernhard and Others Bash Siting Council
Theres no love lost between Connecticut municipalities and the state agency overseeing placement of cell towers, the Connecticut Siting Council.

Some of those feelings spilled over in Hartford Friday as Connecticut legislators, including WestportҒs State Rep. G. Kenneth Bernhard, told agency members they should keep their opinions about policy matters to themselves and let lawmakers shape policy.

According to an account in the Advocate of Stamford, Bernhard, a Republican, said city and town governments have long held the belief, right or wrong, that the Siting Council does not listen to their concerns and possibly has its own unknown agenda.

“You have reinforced that perception by coming here today and testifying,” Bernhard said.

Friday, March 28, 2003

Fairfield, like Westport, Debates Revising

Fairfield, like Westport, Debates Revising Fees; Cuts Directors Salary
As municipalities struggle with rising costs and rising taxes, they are eyeing fees charged for specific services. Westport is revising its Conservation Department and Planning and Zoning fees, but neighboring Fairfield has yet to do so.

So last night, the townҒs Board of Finance cut the salary of the Conservation Department director by $50,000 to give him a little added incentive to revise the fees.

According to the Connecticut Post, the board member proposing the cut told the director it was nothing personal but that he knew of no other way to convince the Conservation Commission to raise the administrative fees it charges to developers.

Westport֒s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) will consider ordinances revising such fees at its May meeting after completing work on the annual town budget.

Update: At its April 2 meeting, Fairfield’s Board of Finance voted to restore the $50,000 to the official’s salary after the town’s Conservation Commission agreed to vote on increasing its fees within several months.

NY Times: Corrupticut,Ӕ Connection-icut,Ӕ CriminalicutӔ

NY Times: Corrupticut,Ӕ Connection-icut,Ӕ CriminalicutӔ That֒s Us
In case youve been riveted on war news, you may have missed The New York Times story today on corruption in Connecticut. ItҒs worth a read.

Fortunately, Westport is not mentioned anywhere in the story thank goodness. It֒s one category we should be thankful that we’re not taking the lead in the state.

Nevertheless, the repeated cases of Connecticut corruption give all Nutmeggers a black eye. Its an argument for even more vigilance and openness on the part of all local officials, even those whose salary begins and ends with zero.

And for an especially watchful press corps.

Update: Saturday’s New York Times commented editorially on Connecticut’s scandals. After recounting the players and their deeds, it focused on Gov. John Rowland and concluded: “This is no time for a governor who is simply interested in trying to run out the clock.”

Area Resident Was Connecticuts First Suspected SARS Victim

No one will comment on the record, but area health officials are relieved that the mysterious global respiratory disease that has claimed deaths and illnesses worldwide has not spread in southwest Connecticut.

Concern was raised when the state determined that an area resident who came down with a cough and fever last month after traveling to an Asian country experiencing the illness was likely the states first confirmed case of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS.

The individual suspected of having SARS recovered without hospitalization, and there is no evidence that he or she infected others in the state, according to the state Department of Public Health.

The department has refused to disclose anything about those believed to have contracted the virus, including gender, age or hometown. But word that a southwest Connecticut resident was involved reached area medical officials who were asked to be especially vigilant about suspected cases.

Since the department announced the first suspected case last Monday, it has said at least two other suspected cases have been found in the state Җ a University of Connecticut student who is now listed in fair condition and another person who had traveled to Guangdong province in southern China and to Hong Kong.

That person is not seriously ill and is recovering at home, officials said, according to the Hartford Courant.

   

03/28/03 03:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Stamford Advocate: Now is the

Stamford Advocate: Now is the Time to Copy Westports Action on Pills
WestportҒs decision to purchase and distribute potassium iodide pills to its residents in case of a nuclear incident ought to be duplicated in the Stamford region, says The Advocate of Stamford.

In an editorial headlined Precaution Against a Nuclear Incident,Ӕ the newspaper said: Westport’s action well before the latest heightened terrorism alert and the Iraq invasion in hindsight should make officials in other communities consider a similar commitment. Now seems the time to do so.Ӕ

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Westporters Son-in-Law First Connecticut Iraq

Westporters Son-in-Law First Connecticut Iraq War Casualty
ConnecticutҒs first casualty in the Iraq War is the son-in-law of Westporter Jay Paretzky, president of the towns volunteer ambulance service.

Master Staff Sgt. Phillip Jordan, 42, and eight other marines were killed in an ambush near An Nasiriyah on Sunday.

Paretzky said Jordan, married to his stepdaughter, Amanda Jordan of Enfield, Conn., visited Westport regularly with their son Tyler, 6.

Paretzky said funeral services are pending. He said the family has been comforted by calls from friends and strangers. Among those calling Җ Gov. John Rowland and Westport First Selectwoman Diane Farrell.

Rowland today requested that all flags in the state be flown at half-staff through Jordan’s funeral.

The Hartford Courant was among state newspapers reporting on the death.

Update: Jordan’s body was returned to Connecticut Monday, March 31. Funeral services were held Wednesday, April 2, at Holy Family Church in Enfield, followed by burial in St. Patrick King Street Cemetery.

Memorial donations can be made to the Tyler Jordan Education Fund, care of Fleet Bank, 777 Main St., Hartford, Conn., 06115, attention Millie Gonzalez.

Area Residents Stock Up on

Area Residents Stock Up on Gas Masks; Ask About Protection for Animals
Area retailers are doing brisk sales in gas masks and other war and terrorist-related items, reports The Advocate of Stamford.

Eve Rothbard, the co-owner of Liberty Army and Navy with stores in Westport and Norwalk, said she has seen a resurgent interest in gas masks, water purification kits, chemical suits, survival blankets, ready-to-eat meals and other survival gear since talk of war heated up earlier this month.

She said she has sold about 150 gas masks in the past week between her two stores.

A sales associate, Jennifer Green, told the newspaper: “They are mostly housewives who are paranoid. We even have people asking for gas masks for their animals.

The Advocate said she noted that she’s not aware of any products suitable for family pets.

Woody Kleins Westport History Tops

Woody Kleins Westport History Tops Amazon Uniquely Popular in Westport Best Sellers
ItҒs always fun to see what Westporters are ordering from Amazon.com. Harry Potter books are the most popular books overall (what does that tell us?) but Woody Kleins ғWestport, Connecticut: The Story of a New England Town’s Rise to Prominence tops books ԓuniquely popular in Westport.

It is followed by Westporter Mary McKay MaynardԒs My Faraway Home: An American FamilyӒs WWII Tale of Adventure and Survival in the Jungles of the Philippines.

Others on the “uniquely popular in Westport” list:

3. Reprise: A Complete Review Workbook for Grammar, Communications, and Culture
4. Suburban Renewal: Transforming Standard Capes, Ranches, and Builders’ Colonials into Classic Homes by Tom Connor
5. The Shell Game: Reflections on Rowing and the Pursuit of Excellence by Stephen Kiesling
6. The Hidden Ivies: Thirty Colleges of Excellence (Greenes’ Guides to Educational Planning) by Howard Greene, Matthew W. Greene
7. The Amateurs by David Halberstam
8. In Transition: From the Harvard Business School Club of New York’s Career Management Seminar by Mary Lindley Burton, Richard A. Wedemeyer (Contributor)
9. When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management by Roger Lowenstein
10. Peterson’s Private Secondary Schools 2000-2001 : The Smart Parents’ Guide to Private Education (Peterson’s Private Secondary Schools, 2000-2001) by Peterson’s
11. The Dress Lodger (Ballantine Reader’s Circle) by Sheri Holman
12. The Entertainment Economy: How Mega-Media Forces Are Transforming Our Lives by Michael J. Wolf
13. The Pact: A Love Story by Jodi Picoult
14. The Collected Poems of Stanley Kunitz by Stanley Kunitz
15. Steichen’s Legacy: Photographs, 1895-1973 by Edward Steichen (Photographer), Joanna Steichen
16. Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey, Robert Barnard (Introduction)
17. The Hiding Place by Trezza Azzopardi
18. World At Night by Alan Furst
19. Pioneering Portfolio Management: An Unconventional Approach to Institutional Investment by David F. Swensen
20. Brand Warfare: 10 Rules for Building the Killer Brand by David F. D’Alessandro, Michele Owens (Contributor)

War Stirs Concern for Staples

War Stirs Concern for Staples Grads
Evan Steins Staples alumni Web site has started a thread about Staples alumni who may be serving in the Iraq War.

Westport Country Playhouse 2003 Season Gets Lots of Press

The recent announcement of the 2003 Westport Country Playhouse season got lots of ink, thanks to local luminaries Joanne Woodward and James Naughton.

Playbill Online noted that the Playhouse had its biggest season in two decades last year when a revival of Our TownӔ starring Paul Newman transferred to Broadway.

Playbill said, It was the casting coup of Paul Newman, of course, that put Westport back on the theatrical map.Ӕ

Full details plus subscription information can be found on the Playhouse site.

Washington Post: Westporter Strongly Supports Bush War Policy

The Iraq War continues to stir strong passions among Westporters, including Nitzy Cohen-Fitzgerald who made her views supporting the war known to the Washington Post in a call from Jerusalem.

The High Point Road resident was cited by the newspaper in a story headlined The Silent Majority Speaks Up; On Left and Right, Making a Cautious Case for War in Iraq.Ӕ

“I’m extremely in support of the war, she told the Post. ԓThe world is a different world. It’s not the Disneyland a lot of people want to believe it is.”

The newspaper said Cohen-Fitzgerald was in Jerusalem visiting her mother and teaching her nieces and nephews how to wear gas masks.

The Post account said Cohen-Fitzgerald, 44, grew up in Israel but has lived in America for the past 20 years. It continued:

She is the mother of three and she runs International Basics, a multimillion-dollar corporation, from her Westport home, which she says is an ӑoutrageous contemporary with a 32-foot living-room ceiling.

ғShe oversees projects abroad, such as food processing plants in Africa. Her husband, Tom, is the CEO of Educational and Institutional Cooperative Service, a gigantic purchasing co-op for colleges and universities.

Iraq under Hussein, Cohen-Fitzgerald says, ӑis a very real threat. In these instances, when you wait, you are just increasing the odds of some conflict that is tremendous in magnitude and style. A war five years from now would be a nuclear war. That’s not some kooky gut feeling.

ғShe says, People say, ‘Show me the smoking gun.’ If the smoking gun is a burning American city with 100,000 dead, nobody wants to see the smoking gun.ђ

She adds, ӑI trust the president. He’s made a very, very difficult decision.Ҕ

   

03/26/03 12:25 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, March 21, 2003

Only in Westport: U.S. Flags on Post Road Bridge Stir Controvery

Westport has flown the American flag on flagpoles on the Post Road Bridge for several years now.

They usually go up April 1 and remain there until the fall. But First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell ordered them up early this week as U.S. troops moved into Iraq and immediately received protest calls.

Farrell, a Democrat, said after the flags went up Wednesday one caller told her flying the flag was a partisan gesture in support of President Bush and his Iraq policy and that they should come down.

Another said the action was not in keeping with the spirit of longtime Westporter and United Nations supporter Ruth Steinkraus Cohen in whose name the bridge is to be renamed under a proposal submitted to the state legislature.

Steinkraus Cohen died last year.

Update: A resolution endorsing the proposal, submitted by State Rep. G. Kenneth Bernhard, a Republican, was approved 26-5 by the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) at its April 1 meeting.

Still another caller told Farrell Westport should cancel its annual ֓jUNe Day celebration in June, which Steinkraus Cohen led annually.

The town flies flags of U.N.members from the Post Road Bridge flagpoles to welcome U.N. delegates, mission members and staff who spend the last Saturday in June in Westport enjoying the townԒs hospitality.

Farrell said she ordered the Public Works Department to put the flags up early this year as a show of support for U.S. troops at risk in Iraq.

She said it is not an endorsement of President Bushs Iraq policy, which she has publicly criticized for failing to win diplomatic support from the U.N. Security Council.

She said she has no intention of removing the flags or canceling ғjUNe Day. ԓThe last time I checked, she said, ԓthe United States is still a member of the United Nations. Only in Westport.

   

03/21/03 03:03 PM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Westport on Alert: Object Found

Westport on Alert: Object Found Near Greens Farms Railroad Station
Westport police, like their counterparts across the country, have been told to look for suspicious people or objects near strategic targets as a war with Iraq breaks out.

Shortly after reports of a U.S. surgical strike on a Baghdad ғtarget of opportunity Wednesday night, one Westport police officer spotted some suspicious activity near the GreenԒs Farms Railroad Station.

Westports train stations have long gotten high-profile police coverage to protect against car thieves or other criminal activity near the important Northeast transportation link. But now that has been stepped up.

Upon investigating, the officer found that instead of a terrorist situation on WestportҒs doorstep, the problem was much more mundane. He radioed it in as a dumping complaintӔ meaning someone had illegally dumped something near the station. It turned out to be a toilet.

Hours later, a cardboard box on the Post Road Bridge (to be known as the Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen Memorial Bridge?) also brought investigation. It was found to be harmless.

Meanwhile, a number of Westporters said they heard a low-flying helicopter overhead in the early morning hours. There was no word on its identity, but Gov. John Rowland announced Wednesday that National Guard helicopters would be patrolling the state’s skies, especially near strategic installations.

Westports Tauck Watching Iraq Developments

Westports Tauck Watching Iraq Developments Closely
As the airline and travel industry battens down the hatches with bombs flying in Iraq, WestportҒs nationally known travel operator, Tauck World Discovery, says it is conducting business normally but with a watchful eye.

֓We have been preparing for many weeks to meet any challenges which may arise as a result of war in Iraq, said Robin Tauck, head of the 78-year-old family-run travel company, in a statement issued before the war got underway.

ԓAll of our tours and cruises are running as scheduled, since we do not operate trips anywhere in the vicinity of the impending conflict.

We will continue to work closely with our trained crisis management team and appropriate authorities to determine if any alterations are warranted.Ӕ

The company said it continues to monitor news reports and information from its network of employees and partners around the world and will provide updated information through its Web site and media contacts.

Tauck, which has more than 100 tours and small ship cruises to all seven continents, was recently named WorldӒs Best Tour Operator & Safari Outfitter” for the third time by readers of Travel and Leisure Magazine.

Spotlight on Westports Freighter Travel

Spotlight on Westports Freighter Travel Specialist
Ask a Westporter about a well known travel name in town, and youҒre likely to hear the name Tauck. After all, Westport-based Tauck World Discovery (once known as Tauck Tours) has been around for more than 30 years. (But not much longer. See update below,)

But those truly in the know might also mention Maris Frieghter Cruises, at 215 Main St., MSNBCs travel column spotlights the local agency as a good source for those interested in meandering freighter cruises.

ғRanko Zunic, a retired Croatian freighter captain is the owner, and he puts out a monthly magazine detailing the itineraries and onboard life of one freighter in each 10-page issue., MSNBC reports.

ԓThe cost for a years subscription is $27, but Zunic will give subscribers a $45 refund on any cruise booked within that year.Ҕ

Visitors to the agencys Web site, find that not only is Westport home to 10-year-old Maris and its Maris Magazine, but also that Maris, since last year, is allied with the 45-year-old Freighter Travel Club of America.

Another example of a niche Westport-based business that many Westporters may not know shares their hometown.

Update: Tauck announced April 2 it would be consolidating its three Westport locations into one office in Norwalk.

Monday, March 17, 2003

WSJ: Former Westport Dry-Cleaning Worker Target of Hospital Bill Collector

Quinton White worked in Westport for many years in a dry-cleaning shop. Now retired and living in Bridgeport, the 77-year-old is a central figure in a Wall Street Journal story of how U.S. hospitals use aggressive collection tactics.

According to the Journal, White owes Yale-New Haven Hospital $40,000 for treatment his wife, Jeanette, received 20 years ago.

Jeanette White died in 1993, but it says, her debt lives on, growing like her cancer because of the 10 percent interest charged on her original $18,740 bill.Ӕ

The Journal says White worked as a spotter, or stain remover, for the dry-cleaning shop in Westport and notes, The occasional movie star would wander in, he recalls, including WestportӒs most famous resident, Paul Newman, whom he laughingly describes as that short, blue-eyed guy.’є

   

03/17/03 11:22 PM Comments () • Permalink

Fortune: Westport is Hedge Fund Central, Home of a “Wall Street Monster”

Westport is portrayed as ground zero for hedge funds in the latest (March 31) issue of Fortune magazine.

It paints a word picture for readers this way: Across a quiet, snowy field, through the trees and over the fence, lurks a Wall Street monster. The locale is Westport, Conn., about a mile inland from Long Island Sound across I-95.

ӓThe beast within those stark walls is Pequot Capital, a superpowerful $7 billion hedge fund that along with a dozen or so other mega-hedge funds many sprinkled among towns nearby ֖ is rocking mainstream Wall Street to its core.

Here in Fairfield County, the richest county in the richest state in the richest country in the world, vast fortunes are being created, and rules of finance are being rewritten.Ӕ

For Westporters who have never heard of Pequot Capital and dont know where it is, itҒs in the Nyala Farm office complex off of Greens Farms Road and I-95. (It also has offices in New York City and Menlo Park, Calif.)

Employee-owned, Pequot Capital offers funds that focus on technology, health care services, and small-cap firms to institutional investors and wealthy individuals.

But donҒt look in Fortune for much more about Pequot. After breathlessly introducing readers to Westport and Pequot Capital at the beginning of its story, Fortune makes no mention of either Pequot or Westport again—except in a sidebar story listing fund principals and their locales.

As they say in the newspaper biz, Westport makes good copy.

   

03/17/03 10:42 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, March 16, 2003

In the Papers: Greenwich Disses Westport

Newspaper stories that caught my eye:

Greenwich Time Greenwich doesn֒t think much of Westport distributing potassium iodide pills in the event of a nuclear event at Indian Point, nor of calling for a shutdown of the Westchester County facility as others have done.

Hartford Courant: If smallpox were to break out in Connecticut, there would be troops surrounding vaccination centers and the states borders would be sealed. A chilling scenario by reporter William Hathaway.

Hartford Courant: One town in Connecticut considers giving up its town meeting form of government but it would be tough in the ғLand of Steady Habits.

Danbury News-Times—Connecticut libraries are in a quandry over the Patriot Act; the question is how much privacy could shelter terrorists. Some libraries may ask users to sign up for computers using numbers, not names, and post warnings that e-mails are not secure.

Greenwich Time—Greenwich moves ahead with a redistricting plan for its Representative Town Meeting, but unlike Westport, is not aiming to do it on basis of population—something the town’s Republican registrar of voters says can get them sued.

   

03/16/03 02:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

Caught in the Headlights: A Deer Outside Martha Stewart’s House

As I drove by Martha Stewarts house tonight, there was a shadowy figure next to her stone wall along Turkey Hill Road South.

As I got closer, my headlights picked up a deer carefully eyeing me as I went by. There was no sign of Ms. Stewart.

Nevertheless, Ms. Stewart has been metaphorically caught in the media headlights for months now ever since the insider trading scandal emerged over her sale of shares of ImClone.

And now itҒs about to get worse, thanks to NBC and Cybill Shepherd.

NBC is rushing to finish shooting of a made-for-television movie about Ms. Stewart, starring Ms. Shepherd. The Stewart Westport home plays a central role in the scenes being shot in a studio in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

A story on the MSNBC site says, The care taken in casting extends to nearly every other aspect of the production, especially the decoration for the set of StewartӒs famed Turkey Hill estate in Westport, Conn.

Many fans know the interior of her home as well as they know their own. So the set decorator spent an estimated $100,000 renting and buying antiques to fill the rooms.

ӓThe details range from the green Jadeite dinnerware in the cupboards of Stewarts television kitchen to an inexpensive replica of a $40,000 high-back double Queen Anne chair from the 1700s.Ҕ

Not being as familiar as some with the intricacies of either her kitchen or her home (I was there once for a garden party tour sponsored by the Westport Historical Society), Im not sure whether NBC is duplicating Turkey Hill Road South or her made-for-television kitchen at her studio on Newtown Turnpike just over the town line in Norwalk.

In any case, it will be interesting to see if they attempt to duplicate any Westport exteriors in Nova Scotia as well.

If nothing else, the movie will remind millions of viewers that Westport is still StewartҒs home despite her now infamous New York Times Sunday Magazine article almost three years ago headlined ֓Martha Stewart Leaving.

The NBC project, set for May screening, is based on the biography ԓMartha, Inc. by New York Post business columnist Christopher Byron, who lives in Weston.

   

03/16/03 02:38 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, March 14, 2003

Did You Run into Paul Newman at Westport’s McDonald’s?

To hear Tom Indoe, tell it, he and Paul Newman spent a lot of time checking out the salads at Westport’s McDonald’s on Post Road East before launching their latest venture this week.

Indoe is chief operating officer of Newman’s Westport-based Newman’s Own food company and made his remarks in an interview with cable news channel CNBC.

Newman’s Own and McDonald’s on Monday announced an exclusive agreement in which Newman’s Own all-natural salad dressings will be served with McDonald’s new Premium Salads in restaurants nationwide starting March 24.

Asked by the interviewer whether Newman or his company had any hesitation linking up with the fast-food retailer, Indoe said any concerns they had went away after repeated samplings of salads at the Westport McDonald’s.

More "Did You Run into Paul Newman at Westport’s McDonald’s?"

   

03/14/03 09:09 PM Comments () • Permalink

Q: Id Like to Speak to the Deputy Chief A: Which One?

The Westport Police Department has quietly realigned its ranks. With longtime Chief William Chiarenzelli temporarily sidelined for health reasons, the town has promoted three captains to the rank of deputy chief.

Getting the additional stripes: Don Brown, Al Fiore and David Heinmiller. All are veterans of the department and all are highly regarded law enforcement professionals.

Each will be acting chief on a rotating basis until Chiarenzelli’s return.

Brown is service commander in charge of the detective bureau and records division.

Fiore is support commander in charge of public safety and railroad parking.

Heinmiller is the line commander in charge of patrol units as well as director of the Emergency Medical Service unit.

All are seen as possible successors to the top job some day. The department has not had a deputy chief since John Anastasia retired 14 years ago.

   

03/14/03 03:03 PM Comments () • Permalink

Ganim and Giordano: The Westport Connection

The trials involving indicted mayors of two Connecticut cities Joseph Ganim of Bridgeport and (now former mayor) Philip Giordano of Waterbury ֖ both have Westport connections.

Ganim, now awaiting his fate on federal corruption charges in a New Haven court, made several trips to Westport where some of the activities under investigation occurred, jurors heard.

He dined at the Bridge Caf, where he discussed business deals, and he shopped at Mitchells, where he subsequently demanded cash refunds for several purchases.

Giordano is facing federal charges in a Bridgeport federal court that he arranged sexual meetings by telephone with two girls, ages 9 and 10 at the time, and violated their civil rights.

The Giordano Westport connection involves key players in the courtroom drama.

Giordano钒s attorney, Andrew B. Bowman, has his office in Westport (but lives in Fairfield.) And U.S. Senior District Judge Alan H. Nevas is a longtime Westporter who once served as chair of the towns Board of Finance.

WaterburyҒs Republican-American newspaper last week did a Westport-datelined profile of Bowman. It described him as the kind of attorney who is as good at researching the law as presenting his case to a jury.Ӕ

Nevas, who maintains a low profile as a federal judge, is a native of Stamford who practiced law in Westport for many years before becoming a state legislator in 1970.

President Ronald Regan named him U.S. Attorney for Connecticut in 1981 and appointed him a U.S. District Judge in 1985.

   

03/14/03 04:38 AM Comments () • Permalink

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