Monday, October 06, 2003
Eight-Year-Old Hit by Car Reported Improving
An 8-year-old Westport boy hit by a car Saturday evening near his home in the Coleytown area is improving at Yale-New Haven Hospital, police said today.
The youngster, who was not identified, was struck by the car at the intersection of Silver Brook Road and Bonnie Brook Road shortly after 6 p.m.
Arriving officers found the youngster lying in the roadway behind the car. He was treated at the scene for head injuries and transported to Norwalk Hospital. He was later flown to New Haven by Life Star helicopter, police said.
Preliminary indications are that the youth ran into the roadway into the path of the northbound vehicle,Ӕ a department press release said. It added, At this time, the accident is under investigation.Ӕ
Witnesses said the youth appeared to have bounced off the cars windshield. The driver was said to be a nearby resident.
Westport Town Attorney: Court Ruling on Wetlands Not “Earth-Shaking
Westport Town Attorney Ira Bloom views with great interest a state Supreme Court ruling on the authority of local wetlands commissions.
But unlike some other experts who said FridayԒs decision will have far-reaching implications, Bloom told WestportNow he does not share that initial assessment.
It is potentially important but doesnӒt strike me as earth-shaking, he said. ԓIt does, however, narrow the scope of conservation commissions.
A lawyer for the developer in the case said the ruling was significant because it would limit the authority of public agencies statewide to restrict development.
The court ruled that local wetlands commissions may not broaden their authority to protect wildlife in an effort to shield habitats from development.
The decision focused on the spotted salamander at the site of a proposed 119-unit apartment complex development in Wilton by AvalonBay Communities.
Many development plans in the state, including some in Westport over the years, have been held up, altered, or denied as local commissions considered the impact on creatures such as spotted salamanders.
Bloom, who is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association Planning & Zoning Executive Committee, said one of the arguments against development in the ongoing ARS Partners case in Westport focused on preserving wildlife.
But he declined to discuss the rulingԒs potential impact on it in detail as there is pending litigation.
I would advise the (Westport) Conservation Commission that once it goes beyond the issue of wetlands and setbacks, it would be on shaky grounds,Ӕ he said.
ThereӒs no doubt the court takes a more restrictive view of the rulings of conservation commissions.
Three months ago, the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission denied without prejudice the application by ARS Partners Inc. of Fairfield for a 22-unit clustered housing development abutting Partrick Road and Newtown Turnpike.
The commission, by a 7-0 vote, said the applicant needed to provide additional environmental testing information about its plan to develop the 56-acre parcel which contains about 36 acres of wetlands.
Theyre called foliage fans or leaf peepers. But whatever you call them, they mean dollars for Connecticut.
And thatҒs why the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is going all out to attract them. It knows very well that in this case, money does grow on trees.
The DEP, which has cut back services and hours at many of Connecticuts state parks, including Sherwood Island in Westport, due to budget reductions, has set up a special Web site to attract people who like to see the fall foliage colors in the state.
It even gives up-to-the-minute tracking of the best places to see the changing colors. Peak color is estimated to be between Oct. 12 and Oct. 18.
The site also suggests routes visitors can take on car trips around the state to see the foliage, including a 115-mile route called ғScenic Fairfield.
It starts at exit 38 of the Merritt Pakway in Norwalk, goes north toward Danbury, east to Woodbury, and eventually back to the Merritt at WestportԒs exit 42 on Weston Road.
The Web site also details hiking and biking routes and even explains why leaves change colors. Links to nine state parks and forests equipped with viewing towers or lookouts have been added to the site since last year.
The state effort competes with some private sites, including The Foliage Network, which also plots the color change across various parts of he country.
About 2.8 million people from out of state visit Connecticut in the fall, the second highest total in New England, Ed Dombroskas, executive director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism, told the AP.
“Leaf peeping is really a big part of it,” he said, adding that tourism is a $10 billion industry in Connecticut, with about 40 percent in the fall.
Missing Weston Girl Returns Home
A 16-year-old girl missing for six days has returned to her Weston home, police said today.
Police said Danielle Pietro had been missing since last Tuesday. They said she called her parents today after seeing a tearful plea for her return on television.
According to her family, she had left behind her ID and money as well as required medication.
Police initially said they feared she may have left with someone she met on the Internet.
Sunday, October 05, 2003
Todays Hartford Courant takes a look at real ways to measure the economy. One of them, it says, is hairstyling appointments in Westport.
ғKathy Sirico, whose husband co-owns Greg & Tony’s Salon in Westport, says clients have been stretching out their hair appointments, letting their roots get a little darker before coming back for highlights to save some dollars, the newspaper reported.
The TV version of the Westport Country Playhouse production of Our Town,Ӕ starring Paul Newman, gets another national exposure tonight at 9 p.m. on PBS ғMasterpiece Theater.
The James Naughton-staging of the classic was filmed for television following its nine-week Broadway engagement which ended last January. It was previously shown on Showtime on May 24.
The play marked Newman’s return to the Broadway stage after a 38-year break and proved to be a financial bonanza for the Playhouse. He received a Tony Award nomination for his work.
It largely mirrored last summerԒs Westport staging of the play, although no audience was present. Naughton said the film was shot for the camera and is not simply a recorded stage performance.
When the program aired on Showtime in May, it got upbeat reviews.
Newman, in his first Broadway role in 38 years, stars as the omniscient Stage Manager, and approaches this TV recording of it differently, subtly and superbly,Ӕ said the New York Daily News.
Saturday, October 04, 2003
Friday, October 03, 2003
Downtown deli aficionados have long had one destination Oscar’s Deli. But now there is another deli on the other end of Main Street—Katzenberg Kafe.
The cafe and full-service deli is located at 22 Main St. in space long occupied by Coffee Tree and then Moonstruck.
Boasting of “specialty coffee and very special food,” Katzenberg’s is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and offers free delivery. There is also a special menu for kids, Katzy’s Kids Club.
Other Katzenberg Kafes are in Greenwich, Darien and Scarsdale, N.Y. Proprietors are Mark Katzenberg and Bruce Katz.
The Internet journalism site CyberJournalist.net has cited WestportNow.com as a model for community publishing in a Weblog format.
“It is an excellent example of how the Weblog format can be used to deliver original, valuable information to an interested audience—and offers a great model for local community publishing,” its report said.
Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon today issued a detailed response to the latest criticism by two parents studying a controversial copier contract. He said the allegations were incorrect and showed a lack of understanding of negotiating strategy.
He made the statements in a memo to members of the Board of Education, which he copied to other town officials.
Landon said the latest analysis of the issue by Louis Gagliano and Stanley Alintoff alleging that the district unnecessarily paid $8,000 in interest was wrong.
The allegations are incorrect and demonstrate lack of understanding of a negotiating strategy that was instrumental in saving the Town of Westport $36,500,Ӕ Landon said.
The school official then presented a detailed rebuttal to the charges made by the two parents in a Sept. 24 letter, which they copied to town officials and the news media.
It is unfortunate that Messrs. Gagliano and Alintoff continue to make allegations to our local newspapers that, through their lack of thorough understanding, result in a distortion of the facts, so as to raise issues of credibility involving the school administration and the school board,Ӕ Landon said.
The facts speak for themselves.Ӕ
Thursday, October 02, 2003
If youve always wanted to be in a movie with Paul Newman, now you can—if you are willing to pay top dollar for the opportunity.
All you have to do is make a winning bid at next weekҒs all-star benefit event to raise funds for the renovation of the Westport Country Playhouse.
Walk-on movie roles are among the auction items at the Oct. 9 “Breaking New Ground: A Celebration!“event at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich featuring Newman, Carole King, and Robin Williams. Newmans wife, actress Joanne Woodward, is the playhouseҒs artistic director.
Newman and Woodward are long-time Westport residents.
Tickets for the gala range from $500 to $2,000 per person. Once in the door, youll get a program with a bidding number on the back cover, enabling you to participate in the live auction.
Among the auction items announced by the Playhouse is a walk-on role in NewmanҒs new film, Empire FallsӔ being made for HBO.
The film, based on the novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Russo, is about economic, social and moral power struggles of a small working-class town in Maine. It also stars Woodward.
A Playhouse announcement said the winner will be an extra in the film on a date to be determined before shooting ends in Maine on Nov. 9. Travel and hotel arrangements must be made by the winner.
Another extra role is offered in a Miramax film being made in London as part of a travel package that includes airline tickets and tickets to London plays.
Other auction items include a week on the French Rivera, a ringside seat at an HBO pay-per-view boxing match, two airline tickets to the 2004 Athens Olympics plus choice NBC VIP seating at Olympic events, and a week in Hollywood with visits to the Golden Globe awards, plus entry to tapings of the Tonight Show,Ӕ Friends,Ӕ and Will and Grace.Ӕ
If you dont win the live auction for the walk-on role in NewmanҒs movie, you can always make a silent auction bid for dinner and a night at the Metropolitan Opera with Woodward. No word on whether Newman will attend as well.
Wednesday, October 01, 2003
Board of Finance Session Televised Tonight
For the first time, the town’s cable television channel tonight broadcast live a session of the Board of Finance.
Meetings of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) have been broacast on the town channel 79 since last year.
There was no advance announcement of the decision to broadcast the meeting live.
With only three items on the agenda, the meeting was unusually short, lasting only about 10 minutes. The cameras showed an almost empty Town Hall auditorium.
First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell has said she hopes to expand live television coverage of meetings of boards and commissions as the current budget will allow.
Westport obstetrician and gynecologist Marc Storch is featured on the cable television program A Baby StoryӔ which airs Thursday on the The Learning Channel (TLC).
It is the second appearance on the program for the 57-year-old Storch.
“The first baby I did the show with sort of fell out,” Storch told The Advocate of Stamford/Norwalk. “This one was a little trickier. She made me a little nervous.”
The episode, taped six months ago at Norwalk Hospital, features mother Lauren Abdulrahman of Newtown giving birth to her daughter Leena.
Westport Firefighters Respond to Propane Gas Leak
Landscapers accidentally damaged an underground propane tank valve today at a Town Crier Lane residence in the Coleytown area of Westport, fire officials said.
The tank released propane into the air for about 30 minutes before firefighters could shut it down. There were no injuries.
An engine company from the Coleytown fire station happened to be on a public education session at the nearby St. Paul Lutheran Church on Easton Road when the accident happened and summoned additional units shortly before 11 a.m.
Firefighters set up a protective water spray to help dissipate the propane gas cloud,.
At 11:25 a.m., fire offiicals reported that they had stemmed most of the leak from a damaged relief valve and were awaiting gas company representatives to transfer any remaining propane.
Police diverted traffic from Easton Road in the area while firefighters worked to control the leak.
A Fairfield engine company responded on a mutual aid call to provide additional Westport coverage while the Westport units were tied up at the Town Crier Lane incident.
The last fire unit left the scene shortly after 1 p.m. with the situation reported under control.