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Monday, November 24, 2003

Westport Awaits Latest No Child Left Behind Report With Nervousness

Theres a new report coming from ConnecticutҒs Department of Education on compliance with the No Child Left Behind law and Westport educators are nervous that Staples High School might be cited as in need of improvement.

Inklings, the Staples newspaper, reported in its latest issue that Staples had already been put on notice that it had failed the latest round of student achievement testing because not enough students had taken the test.

But Schools Supt. Elliott Landon told WestportNow the Inklings report was premature. We are still awaiting the official report,Ӕ he said.

Sandra Urist, chair of the Board of Education, said she had been told that whether Staples was in compliance depended on whether enough students who were required to take achievement tests actually did so.

It is my understanding that it could go one way or another,Ӕ she said.

In August, Bedford Middle School ended up on a state Education Department list of schools in need of improvement because one student did not take a test, according to Landon.

A spokesperson for the Education Department told WestportNow scores were to have been forwarded to schools and made public by Nov. 15.

They ran into problems and itӒs been delayed for a couple of weeks, she said.

ԓNo Child Left Behind affects Staples because state goals have not been achieved, according to the Inklings report.

ԓMany students at Staples have failed to meet the goals of the Connecticut standardized test known as the Connecticut Academic Performance Test. The actual test scores were not the problem.

The problem was that not enough students took the test, because some of them chose to protest against standardized testing.Ӕ


11/24/03 02:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Man Burned by Bogus Bidding for JFK Car

After receiving two dubious $1 million bids on the Internet, Westport antiques dealer John Reznikoff has changed the rules for bidding on a 1963 Lincoln Continental that John F. Kennedy rode in on the day he was shot. (See WestportNow Nov. 11, 2003)

Reznikoff, owner of University Archives on Richmondville Avenue, is offering the restored convertible on eBay. It had been listed with an option to “buy it now” for $1 million.

After two deals fell through, however, the sale was changed to allow bids only from preapproved buyers. That means interested buyers must contact Reznikoff before bidding. The new sale ends Dec. 10.

Kennedy used the white four-door convertible during a motorcade in Fort Worth on Nov. 22, 1963, before flying to Dallas.  It is being offered in conjunction with Southports Classic Car Gallery.


11/24/03 01:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

Martha Stewarts Westport Home to be Full of Christmas Trees

Martha Stewarts Westport Home to be Full of Christmas Trees
TheyҒll be plenty of twinkling lights in a certain home on Turkey Hill Road South this holiday season. Martha Stewart says she is putting a tree in every room of her Westport home.

Stewart, in Chicago recently to promote her branded products in Kmart, said when it comes to decorating for the holidays, too much isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

“I don’t like to restrain people,” she said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “If you want to look like Santa’s village, I’m all for it. To me, that’s part of the fun, whether it’s over the top or chic.”

The newspaper said two feather trees decorated with birds will adorn the porch of her home. A gold and silver metallic tree will grace the dining room. There will be a blue tinsel tree in the living room.

The library will feature bronze metallic. And her “major” real tree will be in the kitchen, decorated with giant sparkling paper ornaments.

“I found French cards of puppet figures,” Stewart said. “I color copied them, cut them out, put them on adhesive cardboard backing, covered them with silvery black glitter and attached ribbons in different colors.”

She told her Chicago audience that last weekend the outside of her Westport home already was decorated—for photography. She has lighted wreaths in each of her 34 windows.

“I wanted to do swags along my front walk,” she said later. “But I didn’t know how to attach them—there was nothing but pachysandra.

“I found these wonderful iron stanchions—they’re also called bollards. We put them up along the wide brick walk to the front door and wrapped with lighted evergreen garlands, all along the path.

“On the front door is a giant wreath filled with fruits, eucalyptus, berries, pomegranate, boxwood Douglas fir, a kind of gray balsam and chamaecyparis pisifera [a chartreuse evergreen otherwise known as `Golden Mop’].”

This year, Stewart said she will be entertaining, but “not very much.”

“It will be quiet,” she said. “I always have a Christmas Eve gathering, with all of my closest friends.” She will serve stuffed cabbage and potato pancakes (acknowledging her Polish roots), with country ham, eggnog and cookies, all laid out on her kitchen counter.

“It’s an open house,” she said.


11/24/03 01:52 PM Comments () • Permalink

Man on the Run

It’s back to the classroom today for the Staples Wreckers, still savoring Friday night’s 35-0 win over Danbury for the first Wrecker FCIAC title since 1997. Senior Jimmy Hughes added three more touchdowns to his record. Staples next meets Fairfield at 10:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day at Fairfield. photo


11/24/03 04:32 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, November 24, 2003

Monday, November 24, 2003

7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Planning & Zoning Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals Training Session


11/24/03 04:03 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Ted Hoskins Returns to Westport

The Rev. Ted Hoskins addresses a Saugatuck Congregational Church audience today as delivers the first of its George Mangold Lecture Series. The popular clergyman served as pastor of the church from 1967 to 1994 before moving to Maine. Thom Burrows for


11/23/03 11:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Wine Bottles into Cheese Boards

Among exhibitors attracting attention today at the Westport Creative Arts Festival at Staples High School was the Original Wine Bottle Cheese Board Co. selling cheese boards from recycled wine bottles. photo


11/23/03 07:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Stirring the Pot

There was plenty to be had inside at the Westport Creative Arts Festival this weekend at Staples High School. But one of the most popular attractions was the fresh popcorn outside the main entrance. The Westport Young Woman’s League annual effort raises money for local charities. photo


11/23/03 07:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Food Drive Wraps Up

Members of the Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service Explorer Post work on their last load of their holiday food drive today at Shaw’s Supermarket. They are Zack Klomberg, Kim Roberts, and James Gray. The joint effort with the Westport Police Benevolent Association on behalf of the Connecticut Food Bank collected more than 3,300 pounds of food for the needy. photo


11/23/03 06:43 PM Comments () • Permalink

A Ducky Morning on Canal Road

This morning’s hide tide sent water over Canal Road in the Saugatuck Shores area, much to the delight of some residents. photo


11/23/03 06:24 PM Comments () • Permalink

More on Those Darlin Clementines

Clementine price war erupts. File photo
By Fran WestportNow Consumer Correspondent .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Still on the subject of those seedless miniature tangerines from Spain, it seems we’ve got a little price war going on in Westport.  Both Shaw’s (Friday) and Stop & Shop (today) just lowered their price of a 5-lb box to $4.99.  Ready to counter, Stew Leonard? Here’s an even more interesting tidbit: the grocer at Stop & Shop confided to me that he’s paying $6.50 for the carton he selling this week for $4.99.  It’s what’s known as a “loss leader.” So go for it.


11/23/03 01:18 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Where Were You? Part 2

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy one of those historic moments when people always remember where they were when they heard the news.

To mark the event, WestportNow is presenting a series of articles detailing where WestportNow readers were on that fateful Nov. 22, 1963. This is Part 2. See Friday for Part 1.

Diane Goss Farrell

I was in second grade at Burr Farms Elementary School and an announcement came over the intercom.

We were sent home early that day, and I recall there being no school the day the president was buried, which for some reason, I remember as having been a rainy day in Connecticut.

The reactions of my parents obviously had a big impact on the way I remember the events at that time. They were deeply concerned about the Kennedy family and somewhat fearful of threats from our then enemies.

The shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald on television by Jack Ruby seemed a surreal event, and yet it was the first time I understood the power and impact of news breaking in front of the public in such an instantaneous fashion.

In the years since the tragedy, I have come to realize that that was the first major news event I experienced as part of a human collective.

The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, as well as the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan, seemed more familiar each time they occurred, as if repeating the experience of President Kennedy֒s assassination.

Pete Wolgast

In November, 1963 I was working as an economic and financial analyst for Standard Oil Company(New Jersey), since renamed the Exxon Corp., in the RCA Building (now the GE Building) at 30 Rockefeller Center in New York City.

On the afternoon of Nov. 22, I was in a conference room with about 20 people. At about 1:40 p.m someone entered the room and slipped a note to the chairman of the meeting.  He announced that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas and that no details were known. 

About 30 minutes later the same person entered the room with a second note.  We were then told that President Kennedy had died from the shooting, the company offices were closing down immediately and everyone was to go home. 

The chairman of our meeting said that of course the announcement did not apply to us and our meeting continued.  About 4 p.m. our meeting concluded and I returned to my office and then left.

On the way home, I was most concerned as I still did not have the details of the shooting and who was involved. At home, we learned what had happened in Dallas and followed the events of the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald.

We were watching TV when he was brought into the police station and to our horror shot.  I clearly remember watching the sadness of President Kennedys funeral on a black and white 10-inch TV at our home. 

Everyone in the country was hit by this tragedy. It was a total shock. Events in my mind are so clear about what happened on Nov. 22, 1963, and the following days that it seems like it happened just yesterday.

As we watched the funeral on TV, I was building my daughter a doll house

Lisa S. Rome, M.D.

I was in the fifth grade at the time at Albany Academy for Girls. I remember coming home in the afternoon and being excited about getting ready to go to dance class.

This was a coed dance class where we learned the fox trot and the cha cha. We wore white gloves and had dance cards. If we behaved properly our treat would be the opportunity to dance to “Sugar Shack.”

As I was changing my clothes from my school uniform the phone rang. I learned that dancing school was canceled for that afternoon because President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. I remember wondering why President Kennedy being shot in Dallas would affect my dance class in Albany, N.Y.

Today I am serving my fifth term on the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) in Westport

Tom Feeley

I was an Infantry Platoon Leader, 3rd Infantry Division, drinking with my buddies in the Officers Club near Wurtzburg, Germany.

The Officer of the Day strode into the bar ғcovered. He was therefore packing a loaded .45-caliber Colt automatic (wearing a hat in an officers club, unless armed, is such an etiquette breach that the offender must buy the bar a round).

He pointed at the bartender: “The bar is closed. He turned to us: Red Alert.”

This lieutenant was our drinking buddy, so we thought it was a joke and started laughing.

He looked us dead on: “I’m not kidding—THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN SHOT! THIS BAR IS CLOSED! RED ALERT!”

At the motor pool, my four APCs (armored personnel carriers) already had live ammo on board, and we roared into the forest to begin our advance to pre-selected defensive positions near the East German border.

We sweated till dawn awaiting the probable Russian attack; doubtful we could hold, even if we used our (then TOP SECRET) battlefield nuclear weapons. Yeah, we were ready. You were safe.

Jo Fuchs Luscombe

I was living in Libya (part of the oil community) at the time of President Kennedy’s assassination, and, like you (and probably most Americans), I can vividly recall the shock at hearing the news on short wave radio. 

It was early evening and we remained glued to the radio for hours and hours.  I can still close my eyes and remember all the details of the tragedy and the confusion that followed. 

It seemed to me a travesty to be so far away from home.  The sense of loss was enormous.

The entire community attended a funeral mass at the Roman Catholic Cathedral in downtown Tripoli.  Although Libya is a Moslem nation, at the time many nationalities and religions co-existed. 

The cathedral was packed and large crowds had to content themselves with gathering in silence on the nearby streets.  All were grief stricken and in total disbelief.

For weeks afterwards, the international community found ways to extend sympathy to Americans.  I was very touched by this.

I experienced the same emotions on 9/11.  Once again, I was away from home, visiting in Santa Fe.  Maybe I should never wander far from home

Michael Beecher

I was 7 years old and in the third grade at Bedford Elementary School (located in the building that now houses the Westport Town Hall).

I assume the school administration and teachers had decided not to announce JFK’s assassination so as to not upset the students. 

I didn’t find out about it until I stepped aboard the school bus at about 3 p.m. The bus driver stood up and faced all of us and said, “President Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas today. I’d appreciate it if you could all be quiet on the ride home.” 

We were all stunned.  Sure, some of us were too young to understand the full import of this news, but every kid back then knew who Caroline and John John were and we knew they had just lost their father. 

I remember spending that weekend glued to the TV set and witnessing Lee Harvey Oswald’s murder broadcast live on Sunday while I visited my friend, Peter Blau. 

It’s cliche to say that America lost its innocence that day, but I do believe that, on a personal level, I saw the world differently from that day forward.

Alice Shelton

I vividly remember the day. I was five years old. I came home from kindergarten to find my mother in tears.  It was probably the first time Id ever seen her cry.

In 1999, while I was researching the RTMҒs history for our 50th anniversary celebration, I found it comforting to read in the minutes that our RTM had remembered President Kennedy. 

On Jan. 7, 1964, the RTM passed a Resolution of Tribute,” which read:

ӓThe Representative Town Meeting of Westport, Connecticut, herewith pays tribute to the memory of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, President of the United States, 1961-1963.

“It pays its deepest respect to his idealism and courage as exhibited in his efforts for civil rights, for youth programs, for a strong America in a world of peace.

“It deplores his tragic and untimely death and the violence of spirit which caused it.

“It hopes that from this tragedy there will emerge a spirit of devotion to the true principles of our nation:  freedom, justice, and a decent respect for the opinions of mankind.

The RTM agreed that a copy of the resolution would be sent to Mrs. Kennedy.

Gordon Joseloff, Editor and Publisher, WestportNow

I was a freshman at Syracuse University and had just completed a class and was walking to the campus radio station where I worked in the news department. As I crossed the campus quad, I saw people gathered around someone who had a radio and several girls crying.

Upon learning the news, I sprinted to the radio station where we suspended all programming, put on funeral music, and began gathering reaction from people at the university and the city.

As a teen journalist the year before, I had attended JFK’s now-famous 45th birthday party at Madison Square Garden where Marilyn Monroe sang Happy Birthday to him.

Like many other Americans, I felt inspired by his youthfulness and the promise of his New Frontier. His death was a crushing blow.

But by a quirk of fate, my horror at this attack on one of our leaders later became very personal.

As a reporter for United Press International, I happened to be in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968, when Robert Kennedy was assassinated.

Two months earlier, I had worked the streets of New York getting reaction for UPI when Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn.

Seven years after that, still working for UPI, in another strange coincidence, I was outside the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco on Sept. 22, 1975, when Sara Jane Moore attempted to assassinate President Gerald Ford.

Having been a witness to attacks on our leaders from a close vantage point, this 40th anniversary of JFKs death is as painful as ever.


11/22/03 08:40 AM Comments () • Permalink

They’ll Go Down in History

Coach Marce Petruccio and his Staples Wreckers show off the FCIAC award Friday night following their 35-0 win over Danbury at Stamford. Dave Nissim/ photo


11/22/03 07:17 AM Comments () • Permalink

A Piece of Cake

A volunteer from the Westport Young Woman’s League works into the early morning hours getting ready for today’s opening of the two-day Westport Creative Arts Festival 2003 at Staples. The show runs today from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Proceeds go to local charities. Contributed photo


11/22/03 05:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Saturday, November 22, 2003

8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. - Staples High School - Creative Arts Festival
8 p.m. - Staples High School Auditorium - Staples Players “Oliver!”


11/22/03 04:03 AM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Defeats Danbury 35-0 to Take FCIAC Title

There was a good crowd on hand in Stamford tonight to watch Staples defeat Danbury 35-0 to win the FCIAC championship for the first time since 1997. photo


11/22/03 02:46 AM Comments () • Permalink

Plenty to Cheer About

The Staples cheerleaders had plenty to cheer about tonight as Staples easly overpowered Danbury 35-0 for the FCIAC title. The game was played at Stamford’s Boyle Stadium. photo


11/22/03 02:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, November 21, 2003

Arthur Miller: “Playwriting is Auditory Art, the Sound of Language”

A Westport audience Thursday night had the rare treat of hearing Arthur Miller, one of the greatest playwrights of our time, talk about himself, his work, and his views on the contemporary arts scene. The Malloy Lecture in the Arts featured a conversation between Miller, who turned 88 last month, and friend and fellow playwright Tom Cole.
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Arthur Miller (r.) listens as friend and fellow playwright Tom Cole addresses the audience Thursday night at Saugatuck Elementary School. photo
The lecture at Saugatuck Elementary School was presented by the Westport Public Library in cooperation with the Westport Arts Center. Tickets for the event sold out almost as soon as it was announced. For those unable to be there, WestportNow presents some excerpts of Arthur Miller talking about Arthur Miller. *    What motivates him and how he does it: “A feeling that is intolerable until it is expressed.” * Playwriting is “acting without embarrassment.”  He does it because “playwriting was a way to speak to people.  It is a mix of journalism and art.” * He said he “thinks in terms of scenes” and called playwriting “auditory art, the sound of language.”  He contrasted it to novels, calling them “visual art.”  *      He characterized playwrights of the 30s, 40s and 50s as “artists who were saying something, not just entertaining.”  Regarding today’s theater, he said, “It’s money, and it’s a pity.” *      Regarding “The Crucible,” he characterized the dynamic as “paranoid terror” and said that “it’s probably going to happen time after time.” *      On common themes, he said, “There is one human race, our habits are different, but if you dig a little, you find common lives.” *      On people, he said, “People prefer the myth they have to anything.” *      On critics, he said, “The mood of the critic is vital to the viability of the play.”  He lamented the fact that there are fewer critics today than when he began years ago. *      He is currently working on a play called “Finishing the Picture” and read a passage from the play. *      He criticized politicians, saying that “once in office, they seem to forget the arts in favor of the bottom line.”  He pointed out that “in fact, politicians create the bottom line,” suggesting that politicians have the ability to make arts’ funding part of their priorities.


11/21/03 06:42 PM Comments () • Permalink

Where Were You? Part 1

Saturday marks the 40th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy one of those historic moments when people always remember where they were when they heard the news.

To mark the event, WestportNow is presenting a series of articles detailing where WestportNow readers were on that fateful Nov. 22, 1963. This is Part 1.

Claire Shumofsky

That momentous Friday 40 years ago, I was a college student at NYU and was walking along sedate Madison Avenue browsing at the lovely shops lining the street.

Suddenly I became aware of the bells of St. Patrick’s Cathedral chiming solemnly and noticed clusters of people at parked cars listening to their radios.

I learned quickly why Madison Avenue had changed and knew that our world had changed as well.

Ira Bloom, Westport Town Attorney

I was sitting in Mrs. Wolf’s fifth grade at Davis Street School in New Haven.  It was sometime in the early afternoon, and Mrs. Wolf was in and out of the classroom talking with people, probably other teachers or the principal.

Eventually, they canceled school and sent us home early, telling us the very sad news.  I next remember sitting in our living room with my mother glued to the television (black and white images, of course). 

My mother, father, brother and I sat there for most of the weekend, viewing the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald on Sunday, and then JFK’s funeral. 

Although I did not realize it at the time, this was the first major television event that I recall, where most of the nation focused nonstop on television coverage of a major national event.

Bill Scheffler, Ann Sheffer

We remember vividly: we were in home room, which was, then as now, room 509, at Staples—home rooms were assigned alphabetically, and Scheffler and Sheffer were together.

We had just gotten our report cards (a more trusting generation gave them to the kids for transport home) and were preparing for the Thanksgiving break.

After the news, lots of walking around on the interior courtyard (where we were allowed to smoke), teachers giving updates and students listening on transistor radios. Slow dispersal home to watch TV for a long, long time.

Very difficult to explain to our CNN-raised youth how utterly astonishing it was to actually see Jack Ruby shoot Oswald a few days later.

You didn’t ask, but we also remember Kennedy’s inauguration on a bitterly cold day when we were home from school on a snow day, Robert Frost assisted by the president—it was a really extraordinary to be able to watch this stuff live, something we now take for granted.

Miggs Burroughs

I was a freshman in the drama department at Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh (now Carnegie-Mellon University), and I had just returned to my dorm from morning classes.

I sat at my desk and began sketching the face of JFK as he peered down on me from the photo I had taped to my wall when I first arrived in September.

I turned on the radio to KQV, as was my habit, and heard Frank Sinatra singing, “Fairytales can come true, it could happen to you, when you’re young at heart….”

No sooner had I finished sketching the outline of his face, when the song, and the fairytale and the dream and my own youth were all interrupted in one stunning blow by that horrifying news bulletin.


11/21/03 04:17 PM Comments () • Permalink

Coach P: Don’t Expect a Blowout Tonight

Staples football coach Marce Petruccio says tonight’s FCIAC championship game against Danbury at Stamford will be hard fought. “Anyone who expects a blowout—it’s not going to happen,” said Petruccio, seen here following last Saturday’s 28-0 win over Greenwich. photo


11/21/03 02:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

Those Darlin Clementines

By Fran WestportNow Consumer Correspondent .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Shop carefully for Clementines. File photo
If something is healthful my kids will usually stay away from it.  But Clementines, those miniature, easy-to-peel and most important to my kids ֖ seedless nectarines from Spain have a way of disappearing around here.  The secret is to scope out the prices around town because what youll get from store to store is pretty much identical. HereҒs the price of a 5-lb. box of Clementines today.  Ill give you an update Sunday when many of the prices change. So check back if your first box disappears like mine will. 5-lb. box of Clementines Costco $5.49 Stew LeonardҒs             $5.99 Shaws   $7.99 Stop & Shop $9.99 Wild Oats                       $9.99 Compo Farm $10.99 Hay Day             $14.99 For my past Fran’s List columns, click here.


11/21/03 12:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sold-Out Westport Audience Included Gene Wilder

Among celebrities in the Saugatuck Elementary School audience Thursday night to hear playwright Arthur Miller was comedic actor Gene Wilder. He starred in a landmark 1966 TV version that Miller adapted of his “Death of a Salesman.” The production also starred Lee J. Cobb and Mildred Dunnock recreating their original 1949 Broadway roles of Willy and Linda Loman, and George Segal. Thom Burrows for WestportNow (inset)/ photo


11/21/03 11:07 AM Comments () • Permalink

Graduation Day

First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell,  Police Chief William Chiarenzelli, and Deputy Chief Don Brown (bottom row, right) join members of the Citizens Police Academy Thursday night for a group picture marking their graduation from the 10-week course. photo


11/21/03 04:22 AM Comments () • Permalink

Full House for Arts Lecture

There was a full house for tonight’s Malloy Lecture in the Arts at Saugatuck Elementary School. The event featured a conversation with playwrights Arthur Miller and Tom Cole. The lectures are presented by the Westport Public Library in cooperation with the Westport Arts Center. photo


11/21/03 04:06 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, November 21, 2003

Friday, November 21, 2003

9:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Commission for Senior Services
7:30 p.m. - Boyle Stadium, Stamford - FCIAC football championship Staples vs Danbury
8 p.m. - Staples High School Auditorium - Staples Players “Oliver!”


11/21/03 04:03 AM Comments () • Permalink

Playwright Arthur Miller Featured in Westport Event

Playwright Arthur Miller, perhaps best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Death of a Salesman,” ponders a question during tonight’s Malloy Lecture in the Arts at the Saugatuck Elementary School. Miller, who turned 88 last month, lives in Roxbury, Conn. photo


11/21/03 03:53 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Staples vs Danbury FCIAC Football Championship Postponed 24 Hours Due to Rain

Tonight’s FCIAC football championship game pitting Staples against Danbury has been postponed 24 hours due to rain.

The game will take place Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Boyle Stadium in Stamford.


11/20/03 04:49 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Rotary Honors Five for Heroism, Community Service

The Westport Rotary Club held its 45th annual Family Dinner Wednesday night and honored five individuals for heroism and community service. Among them was Kevin Slater, 39, of Stratford, who pulled Robert Paniccia, a 17-year-old Staples student, from a burning car wreck Aug. 1. Slater is a former Westport EMT and came upon the Hyde Lane accident on his way home from a summer school theater program where he is a technical director. The two had not seen each other since that night. Paniccia gave Slater a big hug before the overflow crowd of more than 400 in the Bedford Middle School cafeteria.
Robert Paniccia gives a hug to his rescuer, Kevin Slater. photo
Michael Garcia accepts award from Fire Chief Denis McCarthy. photo
IӒm here to thank Mr. Slater, Paniccia said, addressing the audience from the podium as his rescuer, a broker at the William Raveis real estate Westport office, looked on. ԓBetween the surgeries, recovering in the hospital, going to therapy, and catching up at school, I have been unable to meet you before tonight. ԓI know we have spoken on the phone, but I am glad to be here tonight to thank you in person. From what I have been told, it was a very scary scene, but you put your safety aside and rescued me from that burning vehicle. I donӒt know how many people would have done that. Because of your unselfish act, I am able to go on with my life. Thank you for what you did for me.Ӕ Paniccia, a member of the Staples soccer team, also thanked the Rotary Club and town emergency services for acknowledging Slaters act. Slater will be honored by the town at a Dec. 17 brown bag lunch and has also been nominated for a Carnegie Hero Fund Commission medal. Also honored by Rotary for heroism were Michael Garcia, the Westport/Weston YMCA aquatic director, and lifeguard Sabrena Lary. They helped rescue an 81-year-old swimmer who suffered a medical emergency in the YMCAҒs pool June 16. Lary was unable to be there for the ceremony so Garcia accepted the award from Fire Chief Denis McCarthy for both of them. The Rotary Club presented community service awards to Westporters Jeri and John Skinner for their leadership in the Builders Beyond Borders program for the past decade. The program offers high school-age youngsters the opportunity to participate in humanitarian construction projects in developing countries. Rotary Club members served as waiters, cooks, and clean-up help. Proceeds from the event are awarded to charitable organizations.


11/20/03 04:49 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Thursday, November 20, 2003

10 a.m. - 10 Woodside Lane - Sasco Brook Pollution Abatement Committee
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall - Youth Commission
Postponed Until Friday Due to Rain - 7:30 p.m. - Boyle Stadium, Stamford - FCIAC football championship Staples vs Danbury
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Planning & Zoning Commission
7:30 p.m. - Saugatuck Elementary School—Westport Arts Center 2003 Malloy Lecture


11/20/03 04:03 AM Comments () • Permalink

Rotary Family Dinner Attracts Hundreds

More than 400 people attended tonight’s Westport Rotary Club Family Dinner at Bedford Middle School. photo


11/20/03 01:23 AM Comments () • Permalink

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