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Friday, April 30, 2004

Martha Stewart’s Brother Selling Childhood Items on eBay

The brother of Westport’s Martha Stewart said today he plans to sell on eBay some of her belongings that date back to childhood.

Among them: A Singer sewing machine used by Stewart to sew her wedding dress in 1961.

Frank Kostyra, 59, who lives in the Alabama community of Fairhope near Mobile, said he got the items in 1987 from their mother with Stewart’s
“blessings’’ and hoped to have more than 200 items posted on the eBay site by tonight.

While Stewart awaits sentencing June 17 for her conviction in a stock sale case, Kostyra said he’s selling the items partly to raise money for a self-published book, “My Life with Martha The Making of Martha Stewart.’’

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04/30/04 09:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

New Haven Advisory: Service Normal After Wire Damage Caused Delays

Wire damage in New Rochelle disrupted Metro-North New Haven Line service today but by mid-afternoon the railroad said normal service had been resumed in time for the evening rush hour.

“Normal service has resumed on the New Haven Line,” the railroad said in a 3:23 p.m. advisory.

Earlier, at 12:30 p.m., it had said normal off-peak outbound service from Grand Central to New Haven had been restored with scattered delays.

At 9:22 a.m., Metro-North said the wire damage was causing 15-20 minute delays on trains into Grand Central.

At the same time, it said outbound trains were being combined, making all local stops from Grand Central to New Haven, resulting in delays of about an hour on outbound service.


04/30/04 06:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport’s Martha Stewart Gets $500,000 Bonus from Her Company

Despite her legal problems, Westport’s Martha Stewart got a $500,000 bonus from her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., last year, according to a federal filing.

It was about 67 percent more than required by her employment contract.

Stewart was convicted in March of lying to investigators about a stock sale and will be sentenced in June.

She received her regular salary of $900,000 last year from the company as well as the bonus, a Securities and Exchange Commission filing showed.

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04/30/04 04:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

It’s My Last Day!

Betty Bowes gets a surprise photo taken as she enters the Westport Town Clerk’s office today her last day on the job after almost 20 years. “It’s bittersweet for me,” she said. “I’m going to miss all these people.” (See WestportNow April 27, 2004). Ruth Cavayero for


04/30/04 01:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Community Correspondent Report: The Stranger at Your Door

Every year at this time, door-to-door magazine salesmen appear in Westport.
They tell you they are not selling you anything” but want you to give them a chance to ӓhelp them, help themselves. See STORY by WestportNow Community Correspondent Cherie Tripp Lejeune.


04/30/04 03:22 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, April 30, 2004

4 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Rock the Vote: Connecticut presents a forum on Iraq
5 p.m. - Saugatuck Elementary School—“Museum Night” school art show


04/30/04 03:03 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Police Chief Expresses Reservations about Revising Noise Ordinance

Westport Police Chief Al Fiore expressed reservations tonight about revising the towns noise ordinance if it takes away his officersҒ prerogatives in the field. He told a Town Hall public hearing that use of noise meters to try to enforce an ordinance would be a complicated issue, no doubt about it.Ӕ The meeting on “noise nuisance” was sparsely attended about 15 people showed up. (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE) Thom Burrows for


04/29/04 11:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

Customer Slightly Injured as Car Crashes into Store

A customer at Stile’s Farmers Market on Post Road East suffered a knee injury today when a motorist lost control of her car and it crashed into the store, causing a cabinet to fall on the customer. The motorist was not injured. Here a firefighter backs the car out of the store. (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE) photo


04/29/04 09:42 PM Comments () • Permalink

Klein’s Closing After 67 Years

Klein’s of Westport, a Main Street landmark for 67 years, announced today it is closing next month.kleins60s.jpg
Klein’s of Westport was a Main Street landmark for 67 years. This is a circa 1960s view. File photo

Klein’s owner Robert Hertzel took out a newspaper ad to announce the move and also issued a statement to the media.

“To everything there is a season,” Hertzel said. “It is now our season to close our business forever.”

For many Westporters, Klein’s disappeared more than five years ago after leasing its first floor space to Banana Republic.

It continued to operate on the building’s upper floors but never regained its former glory as a haven for books, personalized stationery, photographic materials, electronics and gift items.


04/29/04 07:18 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Property Transfers April 19-23, 2004

Property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period April 19-23, 2004:

Pamela Burke Camarda to Richard V. and Maureen Dooley Bortolot Jr., 14 Mill St., $563,000.WN property.jpg

S & L Homes Inc. to Michael A. and April L.. Book, 28 Crawford Road, $3,512,500.

Estate of Elvira McCarthy aka Louise to Elizabeth Shelton, 9 Cedar Road, $550,000.

Alice E. Friedman to Michael O. and Ann W. Pettee, Unit 66 Regents Park,  $667,500.

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04/29/04 02:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

Firefighters Quickly Douse House Fire Linked to Bird’s Nest

Westport firefighters quickly doused a fire at a Compo Parkway home Wednesday night that fire officials said was touched off by a bird’s nest near an outside light fixture.fire04280402.jpg
Westport firefighters battle a blaze on the second floor of a Compo Parkway home Wednesday night. photo

No one was injured in the blaze which damaged a small portion of the second floor exterior of the two-story home at 5 Compo Parkway.

A father and three children in the house at the time escaped unharmed.

The man told fire officials that he was on the second floor when he smelled smoke after an exterior light was activated.

He went outside to investigate and spotted flames. He then led his children outside and dialed 911.

Arriving firefighters reported flames coming from around a second floor window.

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04/29/04 03:10 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, April 29, 2004

7:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Human Services Workforce Senior Housing Subcommittee
10 a.m. - Earthplace - Sasco Brook Pollution Abatement Committee
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Public Meeting on noise nuisance
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Youth Commission


04/29/04 03:04 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport House Fire Linked to Bird’s Nest

Westport firefighters check for hot spots after quickly extinguishing a house fire tonight on Compo Parkway. The fire damaged a small part of the second floor exterior. A father and three children were home at the time and escaped unharmed. Fire officials said the fire appeared to have started around an outside light fixture that had a bird’s nest on it. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


04/29/04 02:26 AM Comments () • Permalink

Another Free Ice Cream Promotion Draws Crowds

For the second day in a row, Westporters had a chance for free ice cream. The crowds were out the door tonight as Baskin Robbins on Post Road East and Bay Street offered a free scoop to all comers between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


04/29/04 02:02 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Board of Selectmen Approves $50 Parking Fee Increase

The Westport Board of Selectmen tonight approved a $50 increase to $225 a year to park at Westport’s two railroad stations. The Police Department requested the increase to pay for increased costs of security and maintenance. It goes into effect July 1. (See WestportNow April 20, 2004)


04/28/04 10:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

Evergreen Clipper

Crews from Connecticut Light and Power Co. finish bracing a leaning utility pole today at the intersection of Evergreen Avenue and Evergreen Parkway. Someone clipped the pole about half way up and it will have to be replaced in the next few days, according to the workers. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


04/28/04 07:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

Shays Marched for Abortion Rights, Too

Rep. Christopher Shays, Westport’s congressman,  marched in Sunday’s abortion rights march in Washington, D.C., too. WestportNow Tuesday carried a picture showing his Democratic rival, Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell, at Sunday’s march and is happy to offer “equal time.” Here he is with wife, Betsi, (l) and another unidentified woman. Shays is a member of The Republican Pro-Choice Coalition. photo


04/28/04 06:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Fire Damages Vermont Home Owned by Westporters

A seasonal vacation home in Vermont owned by a Westport couple has been severely damaged by fire, according to a local newspaper.

The Caldedonian-Record said the second floor of the Cape-style home in Peacham, Vt., was gutted in Tuesday’s blaze with some damage to the first floor.

The home was unoccupied at the time, the newspaper said. A passerby noticed smoke coming from the attic and turned in the alarm.

The report quoted Peacham Fire Chief Jeff Berwick as saying the cause of the fire is undetermined, but there is no reason to believe it was suspicious.

The newspaper said the residence is a seasonal home owned by David and Mindy Mooney of Westport.


04/28/04 03:14 PM Comments () • Permalink

Workers Hit Gas Line on Old Road

Construction workers hit a gas pipeline on Westport’s Old Road today, causing police to evacuate nearby homes and stores and to shut down the road for almost an hour.

Fire units responded to the break in front of 23 Old Road and gas company repair crews were summoned after the 11:40 a.m. incident.

Fire Assistant Chief Christopher Ackley said upon arrival, firefighters found a 1-1/4-inch pipeline releasing high pressure gas into the area directly behind 1375 Post Road East.

“As a precaution, all adjacent businesses and residential structures were evacuated until the gas was shut off,” he said.

Police shut down the roadway at Post Road East where it connects to Old Road and well as the intersection with Maple Avenue North.

Residents were allowed back into the homes and customers and workers into the stores, including Anthropolgie and HayDay, shortly after the line was shut down at 12:30 p.m.

No injuries were reported.


04/28/04 02:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Down by the River

When Ben & Jerry’s had its free ice cream day Tuesday, this Westport mother and son decided to eat their ice cream on a nearby bench overlooking the Saugatuck River. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


04/28/04 03:17 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport’s Sean Mulcahy: “The Tough Work is Ahead”

Westport’s Sean Mulcahy, drafted Sunday as a free agent by the Cleveland Browns, appreciates all the congratulatory calls and notes from his hometown but cautions that the toughest part is still ahead making the team.

“I’ve gotten a lot of phone calls and e-mail,” Mulcahy, a 2000 Staples grad and standout defensive lineman at UConn, told WestportNow. “I really appreciate everyone’s support.”

He added, “But the real test is the summer training camp in July and August. I’ll have to make the three or four cuts.”

Mulcahy and fellow UConn Husky Uyi Osunde, also drafted by Cleveland as a free agent, will travel to Cleveland Friday for a weekend minicamp. Then it’s back to Storrs to study for finals.

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04/28/04 03:08 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

10:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - International Hospitality Committee
Noon - Town Hall Room 309/307 - Citizens brown bag lunch
5 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309/307 - Board of Selectmen
7:30 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Walk and Talk” at “The Figure NOW” exhibit.


04/28/04 03:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wall of Art

Bedford Middle School tonight marked the opening of the “Art Cafe” featuring work by every student in grades sixth through eighth. Organized by BMS art teachers Pete DiFranco, Cecily Cowburn and Lynne Karmen, it was the first school-wide middle school art exhibit to be held in Westport in recent years. See another photo on ARTS & LEISURE page. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Laux Roche for


04/28/04 02:09 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Democratic National Committee Chair Aids Farrell in 4th CD Race

It’s only April, but the Democrats are already rolling out the big party guns for Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell in her uphill battle to unseat veteran Republican Congressman Christopher Shays in Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District.farrellmcauliffe04270401.jpg
Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell chats with Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, at a Westport fund-raiser tonight. photo

Today it was the turn of Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He joined Farrell in a conference call with reporters to talk about the race as he headed for a fundraising event in Westport tonight.

“This is going to be a spectacular year for Democrats in Connecticut,” McAuliffe said.

He said national Democrats had targeted the Farrell-Shays contest as a “top-tier race” that will mean big party names and national campaign funds directed to help her.

“We’re going to stand up and we are going to fight for her,” he said.

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04/27/04 09:54 PM Comments () • Permalink

Lining Up for Free Ice Cream

They gave away hundreds of free ice cream cones today at Ben & Jerry’s on Post Road East in an effort to draw young people to register to vote. The drive was organized by the “Rock the Vote” group. photo


04/27/04 09:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Free Ice Cream Draws All Ages

It was free ice cream day at Westport’s Ben & Jerry’s on Post Road East today in conjunction with the teen “Rock the Vote” voter registration drive. Here 3-year-old Emily waits for her mom to exit the store. photo


04/27/04 08:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport’s Gary Seevers to Receive MSU Honorary Degree

Michigan State University announced today that it will award an honorary degree May 7 to Westport’s Gary L. Seevers, an economist and financial market specialist.seevers72.jpg

The Morningside Drive South resident will receive an honorary doctor of business at the advanced degree ceremony.

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice will address approximately 6,000 undergraduate students at the event. She will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters.

In its announcement, the university said Seevers “is an accomplished economist and financial market specialist whose career has encompassed academia, government service and private sector financial markets.”

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04/27/04 03:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westporters March on Washington for Abortion Rights

Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell (c) poses with fellow marchers from Westport during Sunday’s abortion rights march in Washington (See WestportNow April 26, 2004). Joining her in this photo made available today are (l to r) Jane Fraser, Barbara Bernstein (of Weston), Manny Margolis, Carol Waxman, Valerie Wagenfeld, Sandra Wagenfeld, and Estelle Margolis. (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE) Jo Ann Davidson for


04/27/04 02:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

Farrell Details Stance on Iraq, Other Issues in Greenwich Talk

Westport’s Democratic First Selectwoman, Diane G. Farrell, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays in the fall election, told supporters Monday in Greenwich that Shays has lost touch with the concerns of voters in the 4th Congressional District, The Advocate of Stamford/Norwalk reported today.

“I’ve been here the past 10 years, eating, sleeping and breathing the issues of this district,” said Farrell, according to the newspaper. “Chris has been in Washington for the past 16 years.”

Farrell’s comments came during an hour-long lunchtime forum with about 40 people, including former Greenwich First Selectman Richard Bergstresser, at Town Hall.

The brief speech, followed by a question-and-answer session, was Farrell’s first public appearance in Greenwich since she announced her candidacy last month.


04/27/04 01:49 PM Comments () • Permalink

Daybreak Nurseries Case Back in Court

The case involving the Town of Westport and Daybreak Nurseries over its use of land at its Main Street location that has upset neighbors, as expected, is heading back to court..daybreaklogo.jpg

“The ZBA (Zoning Board of Appeals) put the kibosh on it,” Lawrence Weisman, attorney for the nursery, told WestportNow today. “They imposed draconian conditions that we could not accept.”

Weisman filed an appeal of the ZBA decision April 21 in Stamford Superior Court and notice of the action was received in the Town Clerk’s office Monday.

A Town Hall source had told WestportNow on April 16 that it was likely the case would end up back in court (See WestportNow April 16, 2004).

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04/27/04 01:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

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