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Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Westport’s Hotel Data Systems Signs With International Travel

Westport’s Hotel Data Systems (HDS) announced today that its Magellan Reservation Services group had signed a comprehensive multi-year partnership agreement with Ft. Lauderdale-based International Travel Services (ITS).
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The company is an outbound reservations provider for more than 400 hotels and 20 car rental companies throughout Europe, Australia, the Caribbean and Africa.

The agreement calls for ITS to use the Magellan ERS for providing a wide range of reservation services.

More "Westport’s Hotel Data Systems Signs With International Travel"

   

01/27/04 03:26 PM Comments () • Permalink

Prosecutor: Martha Stewart Lied and Committed Serious Crimes

The stock fraud trial of Westport’s Martha Stewart got underway today with the prosecutor saying she lied and committed “serious federal crimes” by selling off almost 4,000 shares of stock based on a tip no one else had.

“She was told a secret that no other investor had,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Patton Seymour said in opening statements at the trial in a Manhattan courthouse.

Seymour, addressing the jury, said Stewart had lied to federal agents, and “multiplied that lie by feeding it to investors in her own company.”

One count accused Stewart of deliberately trying to prop up the stock of her own company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, by saying in 2002 that she had done nothing wrong and was cooperating with investigators.

More "Prosecutor: Martha Stewart Lied and Committed Serious Crimes"

   

01/27/04 03:03 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Reval Snapshot: $oundview Drive Residents Take Hit

They might as well change the street signs from Soundview Drive to $oundview Drive. soundviewsign.jpg

The picturesque street with to-die-for views along Westport’s Compo Beach—to the surprise of few—is one of the hardest hit by the new 2003 property assessments. soundview01260401.jpg Residents of Soundview Drive are seeing some of the largest assessment increases. (CLICK TO ENLARGE PHOTO) WestportNow.com photo

Of the 14 homes on the street, the largest valuation increase was 219 percent—No. 19, which was given a $2.32 million market value.

The smallest was 137 percent—No. 25, which was given a $2.8 million market value.

The increases occurred in the four years since the last property assessment.

For the owner of No. 19, that’s equivalent to a 54.75 percent annual jump. For No. 25, a relatively paltry 34.25 percent annual increase.

More "Westport Reval Snapshot: $oundview Drive Residents Take Hit"

   

01/27/04 04:43 AM Comments () • Permalink

Board of Finance to Consider $50,000 Allen’s Clam House Demolition Request

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The Westport Board of Finance will consider a $50,000 appropriation at its Feb. 4 meeting to demolish the former Allen’s Clam House restaurant on Hillspoint Road. The Zoning Board of Appeals rejected a design for a scaled-down restaurant on the now town-owned property in November. It said it was not in harmony with the neighborhood. WestportNow.com file photo

   

01/27/04 04:23 AM Comments () • Permalink

Board of Finance to Consider $50,000 Allen’s Clam House Demolition Request

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The Westport Board of Finance will consider a $50,000 appropriation at its Feb. 4 meeting to demolish the former Allen’s Clam House restaurant on Hillspoint Road. The Zoning Board of Appeals rejected a design for a scaled-down restaurant on the now town-owned property in November. It said it was not in harmony with the neighborhood. WestportNow.com file photo

   

01/27/04 04:23 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, January 26, 2004

Westport Daughter of Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg at His Wedding

U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, who at age 78 won back a Senate seat in 2002 after retiring a year earlier, has also rejoined the newlywed ranks, with his second marriage on Sunday.

Among those in attendance was his daughter, Ellen Lautenberg Hendel, of Westport.

Lautenberg, now New Jersey’s junior U.S. senator at age 80, married Bonnie S. Englebardt on Sunday, at her apartment in Manhattan, his Senate office announced today.

More "Westport Daughter of Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg at His Wedding"

   

01/26/04 10:31 PM Comments () • Permalink

Calm Before the Storm

compobeach01260401.jpg A man and his dog had Compo Beach in Westport all to themselves today in 18-degree weather. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch from Tuesday night to Wednesday morning. Some forecasters said the Connecticut coast could get a foot of snow or more. (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

   

01/26/04 08:39 PM Comments () • Permalink

Metro-North Makes More Weather-Related Changes

Metro-North said today is has been able to restore several trains to service, but its fleet is still not up to full strength and announced new service changes aimed at extending train lengths.

An advisory said the changes were necessary because of the number of cars still out of service due to the impact of the recent snow and sub-freezing temperatures, and in anticipation of the snowstorm predicted for later this week.

Only one Connecticut-related change was announced on the New Haven Line effective from this evening’s rush hour to the morning rush hour of Monday, Feb. 2.

It was combining the 5:23 p.m. train to Bridgeport and the 5:28 p.m. train to South Norwalk into one train departing at 5:28 p.m.

“There will still continue to be crowded conditions and some delays,” the advisory said. “If conditions improve, we will be able to increase service.”

   

01/26/04 05:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Jury Chosen in Martha Stewart Trial

A jury of eight women and four men was chosen today to hear the stock fraud trial of Westport’s Martha Stewart.

Lawyers for the government and defense were expected to present their opening statements beginning Tuesday.

Six alternates—four men and two women —also were selected.

More "Jury Chosen in Martha Stewart Trial"

   

01/26/04 05:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport First Selectwoman Campaigns in New Hampshire for Lieberman

Westport First Selectman Diane Goss Farrell, a Democrat who is challenging Republican Rep. Christopher Shays in November for his 4th District congressional seat, got a weekend taste of what it’s like to campaign on the national level she stumped New Hampshire for Sen. Joe Lieberman.

With the New Hampshire primary only two days away, Farrell was among several Connecticut Democrats called on by the Lieberman forces to help bolster the Connecticut senator’s chances in the Democratic primary.

“I’m proud of Joe,” Farrell told WestportNow today. “He’s one of Connecticut’s favorite sons and I was pleased to lend a hand.”

More "Westport First Selectwoman Campaigns in New Hampshire for Lieberman"

   

01/26/04 04:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, January 26, 2004

8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Non-Union Non-Supervisory Pension Board
7:30 p.m. - Staples High School, Room 516 - Board of Education anticipated executive session
8 p.m. - Staples High School Library - Board of Education

   

01/26/04 04:26 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Best Sellers for Week of Jan. 25-31

1.  Snow in August by Pete Hamill
2.  Hug Your Customers by Jack Mitchell
3.  The Phenomenon of Life by Christopher Alexander
4.  The Kite Runner: A Novel by Khaled Josseini
5.  The Namesake: A Novel by Jhumpa Lahiri
6 .  Middlesex: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides
7. The Confessor by Daniel Silva
8.  Moneyball by Michael Lewis
9.  Charlie Wilson’s War by George Crile
10. Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Source: Amazon.com

   

01/26/04 03:06 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, January 25, 2004

New Eagle Scout Honors His Mom

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New Eagle Scout Brian Mayer, 16, honors his mother, Nancy Diamond, during today’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony at the Green’s Farms Congregational Church. Brian’s father, Jeff Mayer, looks on. WestportNow.com photo

   

01/25/04 08:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Finally He’s an Eagle Scout

brianmayer01150402.jpg Mary Taylor sings “God Bless America” to open today’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor Ceremony at Green’s Farms Congregational Church. New Eagle Scout Brian Mayer (wearing neckerchief) is flanked by his father, Jeff Mayer, and mother, Nancy Diamond, along with Rabbi Robert Tobin of the Conservative Synagogue. (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

   

01/25/04 08:53 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Hot Tea for a Cold Town


By Fran

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

Since its too cold for Ben & JerryҒs and too early in the year to have completely gone off the ֓I-swear-Im-going-get-healthy-in-2004Ҕ plan (see Frans List Jan. 2, 2004, Back to the Gym) I find myself drinking a lot of herb tea on these cold winter nights.
tea01140401.jpg Stop & Shop: Celestial Seasonings tea is $2.69. WestportNow.com photo

What I truly find amazing about Westport Җ as you may have noticed in previous Frans Lists Җ is how you can end up paying wildly different prices around town for the exact same item. (Think: rent per square foot.)

A perfect example is those ubiquitous 20-bag boxes of Celestial Seasonings herb teas.

For comparison purposes I priced the popular Lemon Zinger.  (My own personal favorite is Bengal Spice.)

More "Hot Tea for a Cold Town"

   

01/24/04 07:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Just Another Saturday on I-95

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Westport and Norwalk firefighters responded to a multi-car accident on I-95 near exit 17 today. None of the injuries was believed serious. View is southbound from a Department of Transportation camera. DOT photo

   

01/24/04 04:24 PM Comments () • Permalink

Boys Varsity Basketball: Harding Defeats Staples 63-54

Bridgeport’s Harding High School defeated Staples 63 - 54 Friday night in a game in which Harding’s patented pressure defense caused numerous Staples turnovers—17 in the first half. 

Playing at Harding, Staples had a chance to win it as they tied the game in the fourth quarter but were unable to capitalize on several opportunities. 

John Baumann had 29 points and 11 rebounds. Joe Forbes had 11 points in the losing cause. 

Both teams now have identical 8-2, 5-2 (FCIAC) records. Next game is home against Westhill of Stamford on Tuesday.

   

01/24/04 01:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Artist to Artist

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Westport artist Karen Heffner greets artist Wolf Kahn Friday night at the opening of the Westport Arts Center’s “Wolf Kahn: A Celebration of Color” exhibit. Emily Laux Roche for WestportNow.com

   

01/24/04 05:49 AM Comments () • Permalink

Picture at an Exhibition

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Visitor views a work by artist Wolf Kahn at Friday night’s Westport Arts Center opening of “Wolf Kahn: A Celebration of Color.” Kahn is widely regarded as America’s most masterful living landscape artist. (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE) Emily Laux Roche for WestportNow.com

   

01/24/04 05:27 AM Comments () • Permalink

Artist, Photographer and Fire Inspector

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Westporter Nate Gibbons explains his tintype antique photographic method (over his shoulder) at tonight’s Westport Arts Center opening of its “Landscapes in Black and White” exhibit. When he is not wearing his artist/photographer gear, Gibbons serves as a fire inspector with the Westport Fire Department. His wife, Lizz Marasciulo, is with him. WestportNow.com photo

   

01/24/04 01:00 AM Comments () • Permalink

Studies in Black and White

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Westport artist Linda Merk-Gould is among eight artists featured in the Westport Arts Center’s “Landscapes in Black and White” exhibit which opened tonight.  In addition to being a landscape painter, sculptor, and monument restorer, Merk-Gould also serves on the Westport Board of Education. WestportNow.com photo

   

01/24/04 12:45 AM Comments () • Permalink

Martha Stewart Jury Almost Complete

There was more questioning today in a Manhattan federal courthouse of prospective jurors in the insider trading-related case of Westport’s Martha Stewart.

The questioning began today with 40 potential jurors qualified for the next round, according to transcripts of questioning from earlier this week. Sources have said the judge wants a pool of about 50.

Stewart was back in court for the fourth straight day watching juror questioning in the private robing room of U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum.

In 12-degree cold, Stewart arrived at the courthouse wearing an overcoat and cream-colored scarf, along with black ankle boots. She briefly glanced to her right, at a man who was shouting encouragement to her.

Leaving court in the evening, she briefly raised her eyebrows at reporters but did not answer questions. “Good night,” she said.

More "Martha Stewart Jury Almost Complete"

   

01/24/04 12:06 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, January 23, 2004

Teens Dream Up Westport Businesses

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Coleytown Middle School students Taylor, Christina, and Margaret, all 13, explain their business plan for a Westport teen restaurant to a panel of judges today as part of their eighth grade computer class. Other student ideas for Westport businesses included a teen job center, an amusement park, and a lighting company that would light athletic fields. (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

   

01/23/04 03:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, January 23, 2004


6:30-8:30 p.m. Westport Arts Center—Opening reception “Wolf Kahn: A Celebration of Color” and “Landscapes in Black and White”

   

01/23/04 04:01 AM Comments () • Permalink

RTM Committees Recommend Approval of New Police Contract

Three committees of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) met tonight to consider a new police contract and members voted unanimously to recommend approval by the legislative body next month.

The police officers have been working without a contract since July 1, 2002. The new contract runs five years—from that date through June 30, 2007.

Overall, itӒs a good contract, Deputy Chief David Heinmiller told a joint meeting of the RTM Finance, Public Protection, and Employee Compensation Committees.

More "RTM Committees Recommend Approval of New Police Contract"

   

01/23/04 01:59 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Martha Stewart’s Lawyer Complains to Judge

Too many prospective jurors in the case involving Westport’s Martha Stewart wrongly think she is charged with insider trading, her lawyer complained to the judge, according to transcripts released today.

In the transcripts from the closed-door jury selection process, Robert Morvillo said Wednesday that U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum shared blame for the misunderstanding because of her own choice of words, according to an AP account.

The judge replied that she would make sure the jury is properly informed.

Stewart is charged with obstruction of justice and securities fraud—but not insider trading—over stock she sold in 2001.

In the transcripts, which cover the first two days of juror questioning, the judge appears to have given up on finding 12 people completely unfamiliar with Stewart, zeroing in on those who say they can be fair despite heavy pretrial publicity.

More "Martha Stewart’s Lawyer Complains to Judge"

   

01/22/04 06:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Transportation Issues Dominate Lt. Gov. Talk

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Transportation issues, especially congestion on I-95, dominated the question and answer session today with Lt. Gov. M. Jodi Rell at the weekly meeting of the Westport Y’s Men group. (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

   

01/22/04 04:42 PM Comments () • Permalink

Lt. Gov. Rell Tells Westport Group She is Ready to Assume Governorship

Lt. Gov. M. Jodi Rell told a Westport audience today she is ready to assume the governorship, if necessary, and is “seriously considering” a run for the office in 2006. rell01220401.jpg Lt. Gov. M. Jodi Rell tells Y’s Men she is ready to assume governorship if necessary.WestportNow
.com photo

Appearing at meeting of the Y’s Men group at the Saugatuck Congregational Church, Rell, did not comment directly on the problems faced by Gov. John G. Rowland.

But when asked whether she was ready to assume the office, she said she was.

“When any lieutenant governor, whether it is me or any lieutenant governor from any state across the nation, raises their right hand and takes the oath of office, they know what their job is and what their responsibility is,” she said.

“And I’ll be candid with you. No lieutenant governor wants to fill in for their governor under any adverse conditions, no matter what those conditions are.”

But Rell said she was “quite confident” in her ability as lieutenant governor and was ready to serve in any other capacity that might become necessary.

More "Lt. Gov. Rell Tells Westport Group She is Ready to Assume Governorship"

   

01/22/04 04:09 PM Comments () • Permalink

RTM to Take Up Property Reassessments

The Westport Representative Town Meeting (RTM) will discuss the towns 2003 property reassessments at its Feb. 3 meeting.

The informational item was added to the legislative bodyҒs agenda in response to requests from members as well as citizens, according to RTM Moderator Gordon Joseloff.

The town held an information session four years ago when the last revaluations took place, but it was not under the auspices of the RTM.

Under state statute, the RTM has the power to phase-inӔ any property reassessment in order to reduce the impact of a sharp jump in values and taxes.

More "RTM to Take Up Property Reassessments"

   

01/22/04 12:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, January 22, 2004


7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Planning & Zoning Commission
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Parks & Recreation Committee
7:45 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - RTM Finance, Employee Compensation & Public Protection Committees

   

01/22/04 04:04 AM Comments () • Permalink

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