Sunday, September 21, 2003
Saturday, September 20, 2003
Westporters Yellow Submarine Featured in Stamford Event
TodayҒs The Advocate of Stamford/Norwalk spotlights Westporter Alan Winick and his one-man yellow submarine.
Winick’s dream machine is on display today at Cove Island Park in Stamford for SoundWaters’ Conservation & Family Day.
Winick. 47. is science education director at Bridgeports Discovery Museum.
James Brown, known as The Godfather of Soul, starred at reopening gala Friday night for Mitchells of Westport.
Partygoers paid between $100 and $300 to see Brown in a fundraiser for the Connecticut Center for Child Development in Milford and the Greenwich-based National Alliance for Autism Research.
The party, held inside a large white tent alongside the store on Post Road East, celebrated the remodeling of the 27,000-square-foot retailer.
Famed Life magazine photographer George Silk stands before his photos at tonight’s opening reception of the Westport Arts Center’s “A Community of Artists” exhibit. Silk, 86, worked as a staff photographer for Life from 1943 until the close of the magazine as a weekly in 1972. WestportNow.com photo
Friday, September 19, 2003
Power Restored to All Westport Customers
Power was restored to all Westport customers today in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isabel.
As of 4 p.m., Connecticut Light and Power reported all Westport customers had power. One hour earlier, it said 13 customers were still out.
For about an hour this morning, the figure was over 1,000. Fire officials speculated a wider area had to be shut down briefly in order to repair downed wires.
Winds that gusted up to 38 miles per hour kept Westport police and firefighters busy overnight and earlier today responding to fallen trees and power lines.
While the high winds were accompanied by occasional heavy rain, there were no reports of flooding.
Greens Farms Academy closed for the day but Westport public schools were operating normally.
The National Weather Service at mid-day ended its wind advisory for the region.
A jailed Westport man is at the center of an indictment of a state Superior Court judge on charges that the judge obstructed and lied to FBI agents who were investigating an allegation that he was willing to take a bribe.
The indictment of Daniel E. Brennan Jr., 60, of Trumbull, by a federal grand jury in New Haven was announced Thursday by the U.S. Attorneys office. He is believed to be the first state judge in Connecticut history to be criminally prosecuted, according to the Hartford Courant.
The case against Brennan includes information that FBI agents videotaped a May 2001 meeting between him and William A. Trudeau Jr. at Trudeau’s Pritchard Lane home in Westport.
At the meeting, Trudeau tried to give the judge $52,500 in cash, but the judge declined, the indictment said. It said the judge instead accepted checks from Trudeau at other times.
Trudeau, 40, was sentenced to 22 months in prison on July 15 and ordered to pay $458,000 in restitution in connection with federal charges involving failure to pay taxes and other acts of financial fraud.
Hurricane Watch: Extra Personnel on Hand for Overnight Duty
Westports emergency management team met today to review the progress of Hurricane Isabel and ordered extra personnel on duty during the overnight hours tonight and early Friday just in case.
ғWell have extra manpower on hand to be sure we can respond rapidly to any emergency,Ҕ said Fire Chief Denis McCarthy. We think itӒs going to be more like an ordinary storm, but were taking no chances.Ҕ
McCarthy told WestportNow he has been in touch with National Weather Service representatives in Upton, N.Y. and they told him to generally expect winds in the 35 mile per hour range although there may be higher isolated gusts.
Local forecasters also warned of the increased danger of tornadoes during the day Friday.
The fire official said Connecticut Light and Power representative Chris Swan told him CL&Ps ғwar room would be open as of 5 a.m. Friday. He said the utility has assured local officials they will be able to respond promptly to any outages.
Weather stations at the Longshore Sailing School and Bedford Middle School reported wind gusts up to 34 miles per hour during the day and this evening.
Just before 11 p.m., police and fire units responded to a call of a tree and wires down on Church Street South off Post Road East. The winds gained strength throughout the evening.
Dozens of Westporters visited Compo Beach tonight to watch the waves and experience the winds. Several young girls jumped into the waves as other beachgoers watched in almost a party-like atmosphere.
Earlier, the increased winds made for good surfing weather at Compo where several people were out on surf boards and windsurfers.
The National Weather Service issued an updated wind advisory issued shortly after 11 p.m.
“Tropical Storm Isabel will continue to move toward the northwest, passing over Virginia overnight and across western Pennsylvania and the eastern Great Lakes during Friday as it turns a bit more toward the north,” the advisory said.
“Elsewhere a strong high pressure system over northern New England will drift eastward. The pressure difference between these two systems has generated some very strong winds across our region.
“Although the east winds have slackened off a bit during the past couple of hours, sustained winds are expected to increase again to between 30 and 35 mph. Gusts between 40 and nearly 50 mph remain possible overnight into Friday morning.
“The winds will become southeast later tonight and south on Friday as they gradually diminish.
“These persistent and strong winds may down tree limbs and cause scattered power outages. Motorists in high profile vehicles should use caution, especially on bridges and overpasses, until the winds subside.”
Thursday, September 18, 2003
Wednesday, September 17, 2003
Westport Watching Hurricane Progress But Breathing a Bit Easier
Westport officials watched intently today the progress of Hurricane Isabel toward the East Coast but breathed a bit easier as its path took it far from Westports shores.
First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell said she postponed a meeting of her emergency management team from Thursday morning to Thursday afternoon in order to get a better read of the stormҒs progress and intensity as it makes landfall.
WeӒre well prepared, she told WestportNow. ԓAt the moment we think it will be more like a tropical storm, like Floyd was a couple of years ago.
Hurricane Floyd had become a tropical storm by the time it impacted Southern New England on the night of Sept. 16, 1999. As much as seven inches of rain were reported in some Connecticut communities from the storm, along with some flooding and downed trees.
Farrell told her weekly Brown Bag luncheon today that preparing for the hurricane has been very beneficial for town employees.
“It’s advantageous for the staff to be refreshed on this,” she said. “(Parks and Recreation Dept. director) Stu McCarthy also pointed out at a staff meeting today that we have many new employees and it’s an opportunity to get them up to speed.”
Fire Chief Denis McCarthy said despite the stormԒs distance from the area, he is still concerned about the possibility of flooding.
There is a significant possibility for coastal flooding, especially as you get a shift to easterly winds and water piles up in Long Island Sound,Ӕ he told WestportNow. It could be a problem everywhere from New Jersey to Cape Cod.Ӕ
McCarthy said automated monitoring of tide levels at Compo Basin has enhanced the emergency management teams ability to precisely gauge changes in water levels in Long Island Sound.
The system was installed several years ago as part of a federal grant and also allows the fire dispatch center to tie into other nearby monitoring stations.
ғBefore we had to physically go down and watch the tide sticks, he said. ԓThat was difficult to do, especially in the dark of the night.
Not only does the system measure the waterԒs height, but it also gauges the rate of the rise and sets off alarms when it reaches a pre-set level, McCarthy said.
“It is a tool that we’ll use in making a decision to recommend evacuations,” he said. “We’re always reluctant to make that recommendation but now we’ll be able to make a decision based on timely, precise information.”
The fire official said he was pleased with planning efforts for the storm and praised the cooperation of all town departments.
WeӒve even looked at doubling the meals-on-wheels deliveries in anticipation of the storm, he said. ԓSo were down to that level of planning.Ҕ
Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Westport Officials Complete Hurricane Preparedness Plans
Even though Westport may only feel the distant effects of Hurricane Isabel, the town today completed its emergency preparedness plans and called on residents to remain vigilant as tropical winds and coastal flooding could result even if the storm hits hundreds of miles away.
Fire Chief Denis McCarthy, in a news release detailing recommended precautions, said he anticipates that tropical winds will hit Connecticut Thursday or early Friday.
The impact for Westport is expected to include very high winds and flooding due to anticipated rainfall,Ӕ McCarthy said. Coastal flooding is also expected due to the predicted track of the storm.
Fire Marshal Fred Baker told WestportNow that officials will meet again Thursday morning to make further adjustments to emergency preparedness plans depending on the track of the storm.
The town issued a list of 50 streets it said are prone to flooding, most of them in the Compo Beach and Saugatuck Shores areas. (See list below.)
Officials said they felt such a list could be helpful as many residents may have moved into town since the last major flooding in the norӒeaster of December 1992 and not be aware of the danger.
In addition to the usual reminders to have adequate food and water supplies on hand as well as extra batteries, etc. the town also made two suggestions where residents could move their cars if they live in a flood-prone area.
One is the Longshore Club Park parking area and the other is the auxiliary lot at exit 17 off of Saugatuck Avenue.
The town reminded residents that, if necessary, a shelter operated by the local American Red Cross chapter would be opened at the Long Lots Elementary School.
The news release said the shelter will not accept pets and the town also issued a checklist for residents evacuating and leaving their pets at home.
The town also reminded residents that 911 is to be used only in the event of an emergency and that 341-5000 may be dialed to request non-emergency information.
Other sources of information include the Staples radio station, WWPT 90.3 FM, the towns government access channel 79, the town Web site at www.westportct.org, WestportNow, and Cablevision News-12.
The town said emergency warning sirens in the I-95 area and low-lying areas can also be used to disseminate verbal instructions.
Flood-Prone Streets Listed
The Westport Fire Department today issued a list of streets it said are prone to flooding and urged residents of these areas to be especially vigilant. They include:
Todays The Day of New London reviews weekend high school football action and says the Staples Wreckers are gaining increasing state-wide attention.
Excerpt: ғMarce Petroccio, head coach of Staples High School of Westport, never saw a rout over New Canaan coming.
Imagine, then, how the Rams felt when the Wreckers scored five touchdowns in the first 25 minutes of Friday’s Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference game at New Canaan. Staples turned a game between two defending state champions into a blowout as it won, 36-0.
ӓThe Wreckers, the defending Class MM champion, made quite an impression on the voters in The Day’s Top 10 state coaches poll. They earned two first-place votes this week, including a first-place vote that went to top-ranked Ansonia last week, and moved up one spot to No. 4.
The defending Class M champion Rams, who were No. 6, dropped out of the Top 10.
ӓAsked if he thought the game would be so lopsided, Petroccio said, Absolutely not. I think our kids were extremely ready to go. They were excited. We don’t get the opportunity to play at night (Staples does not have lights) and we don’t get the chance to play on Astroturf.
ѓThey turned the lights on and the kids were sky high. We scored on a pass play early and it just kind of snowballed for us.Ԓ
Meanwhile, the New Haven Register named Staples its team of the week, saying: “Staples-Westport: The most anticipated game of the season turned into a showcase for the Wreckers.
“Speedsters Jimmy Hughes and Matt Samela combined for five touchdowns, but it was the defense that stole the show in a 36-0 victory over New Canaan.”
Westport Emergency Management Officials to Meet Tuesday
Westport Police Chief William Chiarenzelli said tonight town emergency management officials will meet Tuesday morning to complete planning of preparations for Hurricane Isabel and its aftermath.
Speaking at a meeting of the Public Protection Committee of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), the police official said he expected First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell to issue a press release later in the day about the planning.
WeӒll tell the public what to do with their cars in the event of the threat of severe flooding for low-lying areas and well spell out details of our communication plan,Ҕ he said.
Chiarenzelli said unlike some communities, Westport will not order residents to leave their homes if severe flooding is threatened.
If we think it necessary, weӒll advise them three or four times to get out, but Im not going to order them out or risk the lives of my people for those who disregard our warnings,Ҕ he said.
WeӒll also ask them to fill out a form that, among other things, asks for names of next of kin, the chief said.