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Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Westport Autograph Expert Tips Off Israelis

Todays Washington Post reports that well-known Westport autograph dealer John Reznikoff tipped off Israeli authorities about some stolen documents from an Israeli archive housing the papers of Chaim Weizmann, the founder of modern Israel.

The newspaper said Reznikoff, who runs University Archives on Richmondville Avenue, became suspicious after he paid thousands of dollars for a half-dozen historic letters, including two 80-year-old handwritten notes from Albert Einstein to Weizmann.

He contacted the Weizmann archives about the material and the director confirmed that the letters were missing.

   

05/13/03 05:54 PM Comments () • Permalink

Newman Nominated for Best Actor

Newman Nominated for Best Actor Tony for “Our Town”
Westport’s Paul Newman, returning to Broadway after 37 years, has been nominated for a Tony Award for best actor in a play for his role in the Westport Country Playhouse revival of “Our Town.”

Also receiving best actor nods Monday were Brian Bedford (“Tartuffe”), Brian Dennehy (“Long Day’s Journey Into Night”), Eddie Izzard (“A Day in the Death of Joe Egg”) and Stanley Tucci (“Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune”).

Proposal Seeks to Make RTM

Proposal Seeks to Make RTM Sense of the Meeting Resolutions More Difficult
Todays Hour of Norwalk reports WestportҒs Representative Town Meeting will still welcome residents and its members to submit sense of the meeting resolutions, but it may soon be more difficult for the body to actually take up the non-binding opinion proposals.

Farrell: IӒm Trying Very Hard

Farrell: IӒm Trying Very Hard to Keep the Tax Increase at 9 Percent
Westport First Selectman Diane Goss Farrell told fellow Democrats Monday night she hopes to keep the tax increase for the next fiscal year at 9 percent.

Following up on a comment at a Democratic Town Committee meeting by Board of Finance Chair Steven L. Ezzes that taxes ԓmost likely will rise by 9.3 percent, Farrell said, ԓIm trying very hard to get to 9 percent.Ҕ

As stated previously, she said she hoped more revenue income than earlier anticipated would help keep the rate lower.

She said the town budget was going up by about 2.9 percent and the education budget by about 5.1 percent, for about a 5.6 percent overall increase. A higher tax increase was due to no reserves being available this year as in past years to keep the increase down.

No one likes to pay more taxes, including her, said Farrell. She said her family, like other Westporters, faced increased tuition costs and other rising expenses. We are taxpayers as well,Ӕ she said.

The First Selectwoman said in addition to taxes, Westporters faced another round of revaluation of real property next year, but added, the sticker shock wonӒt be as dramatic as four years ago.

As for attempts by former Representative Town Meeting member Michael Gilbertie to win a referendum to cut $5 million from town spending, Farrell said should he be successful and voters approve the proposal, one of the more interesting debates will be how a reduction would be apportioned.

She said the referendum does not specify from which budget Ԗ the town side or education side the cuts would come. ֓It should be a very interesting spring, Farrell said.

Democratic Board of Finance Chair

Democratic Board of Finance Chair Predicts More GOP GrandstandingӔ
The next election may be six months away, but already Westport Democrats, who hold a majority on the towns boards and commissions, are getting ready for the increased partisan wrangling.

At Monday nightҒs Westport Democratic Town Committee meeting Board of Finance Chair Stephen L. Ezzes denounced recent Republican attempts to seek a 5 percent reduction in the ranks of town employees as GOP grandstanding.Ӕ

He said the three Republicans on his board never raised the issue of reducing headcount through attrition by that amount in meetings in December and January, then raised it suddenly as the board was preparing to pass this years budget.

ғIt was classic grandstanding without any basis, said Ezzes. He added, ԓIt would appear as we go into the upcoming election, well hear more grandstanding statements (from Republicans).Ҕ

Ezzes also criticized former Representative Town Meeting member Michael Gilbertie, a Republican, for seeking a referendum to cut $5 million from town’s 2003-2004 budget.

He said neither Gilbertie nor Republican Board of Finance member Robert D. Graham. who led the attrition reduction effort, “has any clue what that (the effect of a $5 million cut) would mean.”

Ezzes and fellow Democrat Kevin A. Connolly are up for re-election this fall as are Republicans Graham and R. Gavin S. Anderson.

Monday, May 12, 2003

Mark Twains Forgotten Play: The

Mark Twains Forgotten Play: The Westport Connection
TodayҒs New York Times makes prominent mention of a long forgotten Mark Twain play that is causing a stir in the literary and arts world thanks to former Westporter Shelley Fisher Fishkin.

The 1967 Staples grad and 2002 recipient of a lifetime achievement award from Westports Arts Advisory Council unearthed the play, ғIs He Dead?, during her research for a book about Twain and race at the University of California at Berkeley.

Fishkin, who lauded her Westport teachers in her remarks at last yearԒs awards ceremony, is a noted Twain scholar and currently a professor of American studies and English at the University of Texas at Austin.

The Times quoted her as saying that although Twain was not especially noted for his skills as a dramatist, she was surprised to find the play well thought out, well structured and, most important, funny. The newspaper said a Broadway producer has already optioned it.

Fishkin, a graduate of Yale, regularly returns to Westport to visit family members. She and her husband are both on the faculty at the University of Texas.

Fishkin is series editor of the Oxford Mark TwainӔ and among her works is Was Huck Black?: Mark Twain and African-American Voices,Ӕ a controversial 1992 book that argued that a 10-year-old black child played a modeling role for Twain’s Huck Finn.

Sunday, May 11, 2003

WestportNow Scans the Sunday Papers

WestportNow Scans the Sunday Papers
The Hartford Courant takes a look at the Westport Country Playhouse and its efforts to remain a vibrant enterprise at a time when its rough going for many theaters. Excerpt:

ғJoanne Woodward is saving the hydrangeas. While this may not seem like a newsworthy event, it’s important to Woodward - not to mention the hydrangeas, which are planted outside the Westport Country Playhouse, where she is artistic director.

The Hour of Norwalk spotlights Staples High School junior Sam Sagnella, 16, who operates his own weather Web site. Sagnella follows in the footsteps of the late Stuart Soroka, a 1961 Staples grad who went on to become a nationally known weatherman for CNN and others (see tributes to him on the Staples alumni site.) Excerpt:

ԓSam Sagnella some day wants to chase storms much like the characters in the movie Twister, but for right now he’s working to help keep his classmates at Staples High School safe.

The New York Times, in its Sunday Styles section, highlights the romance and wedding of Westporter Darin McKeever, a 1992 Staples grad who went on to Harvard and then a job in Washington heading an organization that runs after-school and summer programs for schoolchildren. Excerpt:

When Darin Michael McKeever went condominium-hunting in the fall of 2001, he had no inkling he would fall in love, especially not with the girl next door.Ӕ

Saturday, May 10, 2003

WestportNow Hears That members of

WestportNow Hears
That members of the Wakeman family are asking the town to designate the Wakeman Farm at 134 Cross Highway a local historic landmark. Isaac Wakeman died May 7, 2000, at the age of 88 after having sold the land to the town 30 years earlier. He retained lifetime use and his wife Pearl continues to live thereŅ

That this years Memorial Day parade on May 26 will take on added significance for a number of Westport police officers and firefighters. It will be the last such event for some of them as they retire at the end of the month before a new police and fire pension plan kicks in later this year҅

That many of the local political figures attending Fridays summit on the economic development of Bridgeport gave high marks to Westport First Selectman Diane Goss Farrell for organizing the event. Many of them, Democrats and Republicans alike, wondered aloud what higher office the Westport Democrat may be setting her sights on҅

That among the absences noted by a number of attendees at the Friday summit were Congressman Christopher Shays, a Bridgeport resident who sent his regrets that the House was still in session, and Norwalk Mayor Alex Knopp, who said he had an unavoidable conflict that kept him away.

That friends of Paul Bray Jr. were upset that The Hour of Norwalk took little note of the longtime Westporter’s tragic death last Monday in a New Jersey plane crash other than a brief wire service story. The newspaper finally ran a detailed obituary in Friday’s edition under the headline “Family still grieving over loss of Paul Bray, 75.”

Friday, May 09, 2003

Westporter Leon Hirsch Funds Birds

Westporter Leon Hirsch Funds Birds Eye View
ThereҒs a new birds eye view at the Connecticut Audubon Coastal Center in Milford thanks to Westporter Leon Hirsch.

The New Haven Register reported the center has installed a camera that peeks into an osprey nest on an elevated platform perched high above Charles E. Wheeler Salt Marsh.

A monitor to view the video feed of the breeding and nesting rituals of the birds also is set up in the center, next to a large window overlooking the marsh, said Milan Bull, senior director of science and conservation for Connecticut Audubon.

The video feed is also available at www.ctaudubon.org.

The camera and monitor, which cost $4,000, came to the center courtesy of Hirsch, former chairman of U.S. Surgical Corp., a Tyco Corp. subsidiary that makes medical devices. Hirsch is now a partner in JHK Investments, a Westport-based investment group made up of former U.S. Surgical executives, the Register said.

Blumenthal Calls for Suburbs to

Blumenthal Calls for Suburbs to Support Urban Areas, Pledges Support
State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal told a meeting on Bridgeports economic development today that the survival of Bridgeport and other Connecticut cities depends on gaining support from their suburban neighbors.

ғRegional solutions must be sought for all of Connecticut, said Blumenthal, often mentioned as a leading Democratic Party candidate for governor. ԓWe must make the suburbs aware of the role needed to support our urban areas.

Blumenthal, a resident of Greenwich, said the problems faced by Bridgeport residents were akin to those suffering from the effects of recent tornadoes in the Midwest.

ԓSometimes the people of Bridgeport feel they have been hit by a political and economic tornado, he said.

Blumenthal, who congratulated Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell for organizing the summit, recalled that soon after he became attorney general 12 years ago, one of his first jobs was to prevent Bridgeport from going into bankruptcy.

ԓI pledge to you that we will join in those taking a regional approach (to the cities problems),Ҕ he said. Join us in this powerful and historic alliance.Ӕ

Developer: “The Secret of Bridgeport

Developer: “The Secret of Bridgeport is the Secret of Keeping the First Wife - it’s Cheaper
Property developer Robert Scinto told a forum on BridgeportԒs economic development today that he didnt think much of efforts to attract new residents to the stateҒs largest city.

Talk of bringing people into Bridgeport is puppy talk,Ӕ said Scinto, chairman of R. D. Scinto, Inc., of Shelton, Conn. ItӒs not going to happenWe need to find people in Bridgeport who are doing well and can do better.Ŕ

Then, in a line that drew the biggest laugh at todays meeting organized by Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell, he added: “The secret of Bridgeport is the secret of keeping the first wife - it’s cheaper.Ҕ

Later, Farrell referred to Scintos remark, telling delegates as she thanked them before breaking up into small discussion groups: ғI plan to go home to my husband and remind him of the advantages of a first wife.

Bridgeport Mayor Urges Suburbanites to

Bridgeport Mayor Urges Suburbanites to Visit City
Bridgeport Mayor John Fabrizi, on the job only five weeks following the conviction of his predecessor on federal corruption charges, called on his suburban neighbors today to spread the word that times have changed for the better in his city.

Tell friends about your positive experience here,Ӕ Fabrizi told attendees at forum on Bridgeports economic development at Housatonic Community College. ғIf you can get the word out, thats half the battle.Ҕ

Addressing the meeting organzied by Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell, he said suburban support for the city was essential to its economic recovery.

Come visit our zoo, baseball games, and restaurants,Ӕ the mayor said. He invited everyone to attend Rediscover Bridgeport DayӔ on Saturday, May 17, and said details of the celebration could be found on a new Web site, www.rediscoverbridgeport.com.

At the end of the session, Fabrizi pledged in remarks to one discussion group of attendees to take steps to end corruption with a series of initiatives to be announced next week.

And he had a special message to those attending the meeting from the west of here Ӗ the so-called Gold Coast, a reference to wealthy Fairfield County towns such as Westport, Darien and Greenwich: ԓDont forget IҒm looking for buyers for a couple of Persian rugs and an SUV.

Fabrizi was referring to two expensive carpets and a Ford Excursion purchased by his predecessor, Joseph P. Ganim, that the city is now trying to auction off.

Bridgeport Economic Summit Attendees Praise

Bridgeport Economic Summit Attendees Praise Farrell, Call for End to Corruption
Attendees at todays summit meeting of regional political, business and non-profit organization leaders to discuss BridgeportҒs economic development repeatedly praised Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell for calling the meeting.

About 150 persons attended the three-hour event, the Bridgeport as a Regional Asset Forum,Ӕ at the Housatonic Community College just off I-95 in the citys downtown area.

State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Bridgeport Mayor John Fabrizi were among those citing Farrell for her vision in organizing the meeting.

Farrell, who leads a Fairfield County coalition opposing casinos in Bridgeport, said her goal was promoting Bridgeport as a regional center as well as increasing cooperation between the city and its suburban neighbors.

The Westport official, along with many other speakers, said it was essential that Bridgeport do everything it can to shed its image of corruption.

“Bridgeport’s future must include an active commitment to open and transparent government that radiates from the top down,” she told the meeting.

At the same time, she said it was necessary for suburbs to come to the assistance of Bridgeport and other cities. “It’s in our enlightened self-interest,” Farrell said. “We on the outside of cities must provide support. We must make cities more self-sustaining.”

She praised efforts Bridgeport is making to change its image. “Good things are happening in Bridgeport,” Farrell said. “The problem sometimes is to break through the negative noise.”

The Westport Democrat promised to compile a list of ideas and suggestions made by conference participants in breakout discussion groups and forward them to Bridgeport’s mayor as well as all those at the meeting.

Among other Westporters attending the event were State Rep. G. Kenneth Bernhard, Representative Town Meeting members Gerald Bodell, Lois Schine, and Gordon Joseloff, and Louis Gagliano, a retired business executive who does volunteer work in Bridgeport.

States Plan to Cut Back

States Plan to Cut Back Park Services Spares Sherwood Island
The stateҒs plan to strip many state parks and recreation areas of site amenities and services due to budgetary cutbacks spares Westports Sherwood Island State Park.

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Deputy Commissioner David K. Leff said the cost-saving plan announced this week allows continued funding for Sherwood Island and Madison’s Hammonasset State Park, according to a report in the Norwich Bulletin.

He said these primary recreational areas will be the department’s main focus as far as personnel and funding are concerned.

The DEPҒs reduced spending plan allows some parks to revert back to “natural conditions” and limits access to others by restricting vehicle traffic. It also eliminates lifeguard stations at some parks, the newspaper said.

Fifty properties, many local recreation areas, will no longer have site amenities such as picnic tables, toilets and drinking water, according to a department statement.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Forty percent of Westport Households

Forty percent of Westport Households Earn $200,000 Annually
Sifting through the 2000 census data, the lobbying group for Connecticut cities and towns has come up with the statistic that more than 40 percent of the homes in Westport earn more than $200,000 per year.

According to the newsletter of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, one of every two households earns $200,000 per year in seven percent of Connecticut communities, but in others, less than one in 100 households earns that much.

The newsletter said Westport ranked fourth in municipalities in the state having the highest percentage of households earning more than $200,000 annually.

Those ahead of Westport: New Canaan 49.19 percent; Darien 48.02 percent, and Weston 43.37 percent.

In Westport, 40.44 percent of all homes, or 2,898 households, earned more than $200,000 annually.

Behind Westport in the top 10: Wilton, Greenwich, Easton, Ridgefield, Redding, Avon and Woodbridge.

Compo Beach Fireworks Fund-Raiser Underway

Compo Beach Fireworks Fund-Raiser Underway
This years Westport Police Athletic League (PAL) invitation to its biggest annual fund-raising event is going out to thousands of Westport homes with some good news Җ the Independence Day fireworks display will be back at Compo Beach.

The fireworks, which had been held last year at the state-owned Sherwood Island State Park, will be held Thursday, July 3 at 9 p.m. with a rain date of Monday, July 7. Car passes are $25 and will be $30 after June 6. Public sale of the passes will begin next week.

PAL was forced to relocate the display to Sherwood Island last year after being unable to secure a barge for launching of the fireworks. This year the group has hired a unit of the well-known Grucci fireworks family which arranged for a barge.

Bernhard Rejects Budget Plan as

Bernhard Rejects Budget Plan as Too Heavy on Tax Hikes
Westports State Rep. G. Kenneth Bernhard says he opposes a new budget plan offered by the Democratic majority in the legislature as too heavy on tax increases.

The plan, according to the Republican legislator, would increase income taxes, sales taxes and business taxes on top of the stateҒs already heavy tax burden.

In a news release, Bernhard said the plan would boost spending above Gov. John Rowland’s proposed budget by $353 million over two years, and require additional tax increases of about $1.7 billion.

Bernhard also predicted that the budget also would exceed the states constitutional spending cap that was approved overwhelmingly by voters in 1992.

“My response to this budget plan can be summed up in four words: Too many tax hikes,” said Bernhard.

“No one disputes that we need to meet the needs of the people we serve,” Bernhard said, “but doing it right requires balance.

ғHow can we justify voting for a budget that promises to restore state aid to cities and towns, but does so by raising taxes by an average of $1,000 per family? I can’t support that.

Town Clerks Office Releases Budget Referendum Text

The Town Clerks office has released the text of a petition being circulated by former Representative Town Meeting member Michael Gilbertie who is seeking a $5 million cut in the townҒs $128.6 million budget for the next fiscal year.

The petition asks signers to endorse the following language for a referendum to be held if 1,592 signatures of registered voters are obtained in the next two weeks:

Shall an appropriation approved by the Representative Town Meeting in the sum of $128,626,779 to meet operating expenditures in the Town of Westport annual budget for fiscal year 2003-2004 be decreased by $5,000,000 to the sum of $123,626,779?Ӕ

If the required number of signatures is obtained, the Board of Selectmen, under the town charter, must call a special election as soon thereafter as practicable.Ӕ

The charter further requires that the Board of Finance extend by five days after the referendum vote the date for determining the town tax for the year following the appropriation.

The charter requires that any referendum must be decided by a vote of at least 20 percent of registered voters, which is 3,184.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Westports State Rep. Ken Bernhard

Westports State Rep. Ken Bernhard Votes for Smoking Ban
WestportҒs State Rep. G. Kenneth Bernhard was among House of Representatives members who voted today for a smoking ban in Connecticuts bars and restaurants.

After almost four hours of debate, the House voted to ban smoking by a 103-43 vote. The state Senate passed the same bill last week.

Gov. John G. Rowland said he is not happy with the legislation, but said he would sign it into law.

Once Rowland signs the bill, the ban on smoking in restaurants will begin on Oct. 1. The ban on smoking in bars takes place on April 1, 2004. Private clubs, such as Elks clubs, are exempt.

Former Westporter Convicted of Mass Murders Found Dead

Geoffrey K. Ferguson, a former Westporter convicted of killing five people at a house he owned in Redding in 1995, took his own life today by strangling himself in his Newtown prison cell, according to police.

The 52-year-old Ferguson, who graduated from Staples High School in 1971 at the age of 20 after several brushes with the law, was serving a life sentence for capital felony and arson convictions.

The crime was one of Connecticut’s worst mass murders in years.

Ferguson was found unresponsive in his cell by staff at the Garner Correctional Institution just before 3 a.m., the state Department of Correction said, according to an AP report. He was pronounced dead just after 4 a.m. at Danbury Hospital.

More "Former Westporter Convicted of Mass Murders Found Dead"

   

05/07/03 10:14 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westports Black Duck Cafҩ Seeks Permit to Construct Small Marina

It may soon be beer, burgers and boats—or, if you prefer, suds, salads and sails—at Westports Black Duck Cafҩ.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the well-known restaurant whose home is a one-time barge on the Saugatuck River is seeking a permit to construct and maintain a small commercial marina providing 11 slips for vessels up to 20 feet in length.

The Corps is asking for public comment on the proposal with a deadline of June 2.

Details of the application are available on the Corps Web site.

The Black Duck Caf, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, is located on a former sea-going refrigeration and ice storage barge that was built around 1840.

According to a history of the restaurant on the Black Duck Web site, the barge was refurbished in the early 1900s and had been anchored in Westport since 1961.

The restaurant is named for a legendary rumrunner that operated off the New England coast during the Prohibition era.

   

05/07/03 06:26 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westports Black Duck Cafҩ Seeks

Westports Black Duck Cafҩ Seeks Permit to Construct Small Marina
It may soon be beer, burgers and boats—or, if you prefer, suds, salads and sails—at Westports Black Duck Cafҩ.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the well-known restaurant whose home is a one-time barge on the Saugatuck River is seeking a permit to construct and maintain a small commercial marina providing 11 slips for vessels up to 20 feet in length.

The Corps is asking for public comment on the proposal with a deadline of June 2.

Details of the application are available on the Corps Web site.

The Black Duck Caf, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, is located on a former sea-going refrigeration and ice storage barge that was built around 1840.

According to a history of the restaurant on the Black Duck Web site, the barge was refurbished in the early 1900s and had been anchored in Westport since 1961.

The restaurant is named for a legendary rumrunner that operated off the New England coast during the Prohibition era.

Longtime Westport Aviation Expert Paul

Longtime Westport Aviation Expert Paul Bray Dies in Crash
Whenever local or national media needed an expert to comment on a plane crash, they called Paul Bray Jr. of Westport.

He knew his stuff. As head of Westport-based Aviation Technical Consultants Inc., he was often called in to consult on plane crash investigations or searches for lost aircraft.

Monday Bray, 75, died in a plane crash near Howell Township, N.J. His son, Peter Bray, 48, of Norwalk, was listed in critical condition at Jersey Shore Medical Center’s trauma unit, according to an AP report.

Authorities said their single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza A-36 aircraft was trying to land at nearby Monmouth Executive Airport when it went down over a wooded area.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said the plane took off from Florida at about 10:15 a.m. and was bound for Stratford’s Sikorsky Airport. Preliminary reports indicate that the aircraft was trying to land in Monmouth to refuel when it went down about 3:15 p.m., the AP said.

Sikorsky Airport was Bray’s longtime base of operations. As an aviation consultant and pilot for more than 50 years, he often analyzed air crashes for the FAA and insurance companies.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash.

It was not immediately clear who was flying the plane, but authorities said the pilot had informed airport officials that he was low on fuel and was planning to land at the Monmouth County facility.

Bray was the husband of longtime Westport Board of Finance member Penny A. Bray. The couple had moved to Bradenton, Fla., some time ago, but friends said they still owned property in Westport.

Before moving to Florida, both Brays were active in local Republican Party politics.

Peter Bray operates Bray’s Tax Service, Inc., on Saugatuck Avenue in Westport along with his sister Doreen.

Update: A memorial service was held for Bray May 17 at Norwalk’s Grace Episcopal Church.

Memorial donations may be made in the name of Paul A. Bray Jr. to the Aeronautical Engineering Dept. at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 Eighth St., Troy, NY 12080-3590.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Westports Legislative Body Approves Town Budget

Westports Representative Town Meeting has given preliminary approval to a $46.1 million budget for the town portion of spending for the next fiscal year, a 2.65 percent increase.

Formal approval of the amount, along with consideration of the Board of EducationҒs requested $70 million operating budget, a 5.09 percent increase over last year, will come tonight.

First Selectwoman Diane Farrell told the RTM at Monday night’s session that she anticipated that the town’s tax increase for the next fiscal year will be under 10 percent, less than originally expected.

She cited a jump in revenues from real estate transfers as well as a higher than anticipated increase in the town’s grand list.

The towns Board of Finance approved the budget amounts last month and recommended approval to the RTM.

Update: The RTM, by unanimous vote, formally approved both the town and education budgets Tuesday night. An attempt to reduce the education budget by $117,300 failed 25-9.

Former RTM member Michael Gilbertie told the session he would start a petition drive for a referendum to reduce the approved amount by $5 million. He has two weeks to collect the required 1,592 signatures.

Westports Representative Town Meeting Thanks Troops

Westports Representative Town Meeting (RTM), in a unanimous action, has approved a resolution thanking U.S. troops serving at home and abroad.

The ғsense of the meeting resolution approved Monday night also expressed appreciation to allied forces serving side by side with American troops.

The resolution made no mention of the war in Iraq.

Last month, the RTM took no action on an anti-war resolution after a representative of the petitioners said events had overtaken the measure which was submitted before fighting began in Iraq.

Monday, May 05, 2003

WestportNow Offers E-Mail Notification At

WestportNow Offers E-Mail Notification
At the request of a number of readers, WestportNow is offering the capability of e-mail notification once a day when new content has been posted.

The e-mail will contain the headline(s) of the new content, not the entire item.

To sign up for the service, scroll down on the left side of the page and enter your e-mail address in the box below the words enter your email address below to subscribe to WestportNow.com!Ӕ

I am assured by the company providing this service that any e-mail addresses entered will be kept private and not shared with third parties or used for solicitations. But, like with anything, there is only the companys word on this.

Sunday, May 04, 2003

Tax Cheaters Beware: Investigators Patrol Parking Lots

If you are driving with out-of-state plates and attend public meetings at Town Hall, drop off or pick up your kid at school, or go the library, beware someone may be taking down your number.

Westport Tax Collector George Underhill told The Advocate of Stamford these locales are among public places being monitored periodically by CT Tax Fraud Bureau, a firm the town hired three years ago to crack down on residents trying to avoid paying the town֒s automobile tax.

In Westport, the town notifies CT Tax Fraud Bureau when there are public meetings and investigators stake out the parking lots looking for out-of-state plates, Underhill said,Ӕ according to the newspaper’s story. It reported Stamford has hired the same firm.

He said investigators also look at plates while driving by the public schools when parents are picking up or dropping off their children and going through the library parking lot.

Not only have the efforts resulted in more auto tax money for Westports coffers, Underhill said, but there have been additional benefits from the snooping by the Monroe, Conn.-based firm founded by two former state troopers.

The newspaper quoted the Westport official as saying investigations have turned up a half-dozen cases in which students were attending public schools illegally and identified residents operating businesses out of their homes.

The town has since charged tuition of parents who want their children to remain in Westport public schools and has levied personal property taxes on business equipment in home offices, he told The Advocate.

“Our budgets are so tight around here that every nickel and dime helps,” Underhill said.

Martha Stewarts New Furniture Line Includes Some Westport-inspired Items

Martha Stewarts new furniture line has some items linked to her being a Westporter.

For example, you can buy her ғWestport Studio Armoire, which todayԒs Fort Worth Star-Telegram says is one of favorites.

(It is) a beautiful, carved piece with drawers and cabinets aplenty, inspired by a French Canadian antique that Stewart keeps stocked with craft supplies. A large piece, more than 7 feet tall and 6 feet wide, it sells for $3,599,Ӕ the newspaper said.

Theres also the ғTurkey Hill Chest, the “Westport Stool,” and “Westport Kitchen Island,” but her Web site doesnԒt give the prices. You have to go to a local dealer for that.

The new line of furniture, along with a collection of flooring, paint and fabrics, are part of Martha Stewart Signature, which Stewarts company describes as ғa complete decorating system of home furnishings.

Alas, there is no store carrying the line listed in Westport. The closest Martha Stewart furniture outlet is Huffman-Koos on West Avenue in Norwalk.

   

05/04/03 12:21 AM Comments () • Permalink

Martha Stewarts New Furniture Line

Martha Stewarts New Furniture Line Includes Some Westport-inspired Items
Martha StewartҒs new furniture line has some items linked to her being a Westporter.

For example, you can buy her Westport Studio Armoire,Ӕ which todays Fort Worth Star-Telegram says is one of favorites.

ғ(It is) a beautiful, carved piece with drawers and cabinets aplenty, inspired by a French Canadian antique that Stewart keeps stocked with craft supplies. A large piece, more than 7 feet tall and 6 feet wide, it sells for $3,599, the newspaper said.

ThereԒs also the Turkey Hill Chest,Ӕ the “Westport Stool,” and “Westport Kitchen Island,” but her Web site doesnt give the prices. You have to go to a local dealer for that.

The new line of furniture, along with a collection of flooring, paint and fabrics, are part of Martha Stewart Signature, which StewartҒs company describes as a complete decorating system of home furnishings.Ӕ

Alas, there is no store carrying the line listed in Westport. The closest Martha Stewart furniture outlet is Huffman-Koos on West Avenue in Norwalk.

Saturday, May 03, 2003

WestportNow Hears… ...that those unhappy

WestportNow Hears…
...that those unhappy with Schools Superintendent Elliott Landons management style are gearing up once again to lobby the Board of Education not to renew his contract҅

...that State Sen. Judith G. Freedman is telling friends that she will oppose a bill proposed by Westports State Rep. G. Kenneth Bernhard, a fellow Republican, to rename the Post Road Bridge after Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen—this despite last monthҒs Representative Town Meeting 26-5 vote endorsing the proposal

...that supporters of more lenient rules for dogs at the beach will ask the Board of Selectmen and Representative Town Meeting to modify the rules adopted this week by the Parks and Recreation Commission. They want to allow dogs off leash on the beach before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. from Oct. 1 through March 31…

...that former Representative Town Meeting member Michael Gilbertie is trying to rally enough Westporters for a referendum to cut $6 million from WestportŒs 2003-2004 fiscal budget

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