Tuesday, March 02, 2004
Westport Town Attorney Ira Bloom has urged a state legislative committee to approve a bill clarifying a court ruling that he said placed administrative burdens on municipal land planning agencies by requiring them to enforce obsolete and out of date regulations.
Bloom testified Monday before the legislature’s Planning and Development Committee about a court ruling on Wilton’s Poirier v. Zoning Board of Appeals case.
The case “broadly interpreted” state statutes, Bloom said, and found that a home on a 1954 subdivision was permanently exempted from all zoning changes enacted subsequent to 1954.
“As a result of this case, municipalities are faced with requests from property owners and developers to build upon their lots or expand their existing homes based upon standards from the regulations in effect when the subdivision was originally approved,” he said.
If you are wondering why theres a cake and a balloon in our masthead and stars tumbling down on your WestportNow today, wonder no more Җ its our birthday!
Today WestportNow turns one year old.
In an age where startups, especially Internet ones, sometimes never make it beyond the first couple of months, weҒre happy to get the first year behind us—and look forward to many, many more.
We are grateful for the way Westporters—and those interested in Westport have taken to us. We now have thousands of regular readers not only in Westport but around the country and around the world.
RUBB Natural Bath and Beauty, the latest addition to Westport’s natural products scene, opened Monday in the Compo Shopping Center. Owned by Westporter David Potsubay, RUBB offers a wide variety of natural skin care, makeup, soaps, aromatherapy and bath products as well as a customer lounge with complimentary South American teas. WestportNow.com photo
10 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Administrative Review Committee
5:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201- Human Services Commission Mental Health Committee
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309- Shellfish Commission
Westport’s Gail Barzilay mixes up her chicken soup during the “Best Chicken Soup in America” competition in New York sponsored by the National Jewish Outreach Program.(See WestportNow Feb. 12, 2004). Barzilay was one of five finalists in the recent contest, which was won by Rosely Himmelstein of New York. The winning recipe is available here. Contributed photo
Gov. John G. Rowland and legislative leaders today announced plans to accelerate the purchase of $60 million in rail cars for Metro-North’s New Haven Line.
But a longtime advocate for commuters, Jim Cameron of the Connecticut Rail Commuter Council, said the plan made barely a dent in the problem.
The plan, announced by Rowland and House Speaker Moira Lyons, D-Stamford, includes $35 million in funding previously planned for new rail cars and adds $25 million in additional state bonding.
The money will be used to immediately purchase 20 cars, adding 2,000 seats to the railroad - a project that would not otherwise have been fully funded for 18 months.
“The patient is dying and Doctors Lyons and Rowland slap on a bandage and say ‘we’ve done all we can,’” said Cameron.
Monday, March 01, 2004
Westport firefighters clean up after a head-on accident this afternoon on Wilton Road near Partrick Road. Four persons in one car a mother and her three children ֖ were taken by Westport EMS to Norwalk Hospital. Their injuries were not believed life threatening. Occupants of the other car were treated at the scene. (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE). Thom Burrows for WestportNow.com
A brief power outage hit the Saugatuck area this afternoon. Power company workers initially feared it would take hours to restore service, but it was back within the hour.
The exact cause of the outage was not known, but one resident reported some kind of an explosion on the west side of the Saugatuck River between the I-95 overpass and the railroad bridge.
The affected area appeared to be south of Bridge Street and perhaps concentrated in the Charles Street area of Saugatuck, according to fire officials on the scene.
The Westport Police Department placed portable stop signs in the area as traffic lights went black.
In a sure sign of spring thaw in New England, John Reznar empties maple sugaring sap buckets at dawn today on the Wakeman family property on Cross Highway. The sap of sugar maple trees begins “running” when temperatures are above freezing during the day but still below freezing at night. (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE). Emily Laux Roche for WestportNow.com
The prosecution began its closing arguments today in the trial of Westport’s Martha Stewart, telling the jury that Stewart knew going into a meeting with federal authorities in 2002 that she would lie about her sale of ImClone Systems stock.
“She would conceal from the FBI and the (Securities and Exchange Commission) the true reason for her sale,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Schachter. “Martha Stewart would lie.”
His summation took about three hours and ended with him urging the jury to use common sense in their deliberations. He said if they did, they would find the defendants guilty on all counts.
Schachter argued that Stewart and her co-defendant, broker Peter Bacanovic, hatched a cover story claiming that they had a prearranged agreement to sell ImClone shares when they fell to $60.
“Martha Stewart probably thought she would never get caught,” said Schachter.
But she “left behind a trail of evidence,” including an altered phone log, which combined with the testimony of brokerage assistant Douglas Faneuil, proves her guilt, he said.
A revised 2003 Westport property assessment list was completed over the weekend and notices went out today to about 900 residents informing them whether any changes were made in their property’s valuation, according to Assessor Glenn Werfelman.
“I signed off on it Saturday in the Town Clerk’s office,” he said, completing a review of assessments that had sparked controversy since the original list was published in mid-January.
Werfelman said “900 plus or minus” notices were sent to all residents who had raised issues with J. F. Ryan Associates, the firm hired to do the assessment. The list contains more than 10,000 properties.
He said notices also were sent to those whose assessments had changed, up or down, as a result of the review but who did not personally come forward.
Staples senior Reggie Yemma, 17, makes her way down the rough terrain in the 13th annual U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Championships in Crested Butte, Colo this weekend. Yemma came in a close third in the junior girls division. See story below. (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE). Contributed photo
There are new lights illuminating the night at Staples High School not on the football field but on the steel structure that is part of the school’s $74 million renovation and expansion project. The first phase is due to be ready for the 2004-2005 school year. (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE). WestportNow.com photo
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Golf Advisory Committee
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