Thursday, April 22, 2004
It was lights, camera, action at Bedford Middle School today in honor of the Westport Schools Permanent Art Collection winning a 2004 Governor’s Arts Award given by the Connecticut Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film. Mollie Donovan, historian and a senior committee member for the collection, was interviewed by Karen Zeitlin, a producer for New Haven station WCTX, in preparation for the June 15 awards ceremony in New Haven. The Westport collection was one of seven recipients of the prestigious award. (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE) Emily Laux Roche for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
By Jessica Bram and Dave MatlowWestportNow Community Correspondents
Westport has lost another independent bookstore Hannslik & Wegner International Bookstore on Railroad Place.
Johanna Straczek has closed her popular Hanneslik & Wegner bookstore on Railroad Place after 17 years. (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
“It just got too much,” said Johanna (ne֩ Hannslik) Straczek, who has run the store with her late husband, John, at the site opposite the Westport railroad station since 1987. She closed it last week.
For almost two decades, it has been a reliable and unique source for Westports many inquisitive global travelers, as well as mail order customers around the world.
Its surprisingly tranquil storefront facing the busy station was prized by customers for its exhaustive inventory.
Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell today accepted on behalf of the town a new ambulance donated by the Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service. The $125,000 vehicle is the 10th ambulance and 17th vehicle the volunteers have purchased and given to the town through their fundraising efforts in their 25-year history. Joining her at today’s presentation at the weekly brown bag lunch were (l to r) WVEMS volunteers Diane Salvo, Pasquale Salvo, president of the group, and Alan Stolz. (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
10:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - International Hospitality Committee
Noon - Town Hall Room 309/307 - Citizens Brown Bag Luncheon
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Conservation Commission
Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period April 12-16, 2004:
Bernard S. Berkoff to J. Brooks and Joyce Colburn, Unit 44 Whitney Glen, $305,000.
Estate of Stephen W. Lindemann to Residential Development Group Pheasant Lane, 2 Pheasant Lane, $750,000.
Antony J. and Stephanie M. Lantier to Christian Lum and Rachel Haber, 10 Maplewood Ave., $512,000.
Vesta Development Corp. to Summer Hill Associates LLC, 17 Summer Hill Road, $1,580,000.
If you have ever tried to cross the street at the busy intersection of Post Road East and Compo Road North and South near Winslow Park you know it’s a tricky and often dangerous feat. But help is on the way.
The Board of Selectmen, acting in its capacity as the Traffic Authority, will take up a motion at its April 28 meeting to request the Connecticut Department of Transportation to include an exclusive pedestrian phase on the traffic signal at the intersection.
The Westport Board of Selectmen will consider a $50 increase from $175 to $225 ֖ for an annual permit to park at Westport’s railroad stations.
The board will take up the almost 29 percent increase at its Wednesday, April 28 meeting at 5 p.m. in Room 309 of Town Hall.
According to an agenda for the meeting, the increase was requested by the Westport Police Department and would take effect July 1.
The date is also when a proposed 5.5 percent fare increase takes effect on the Metro-North New Haven Line.
10 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Administrative Review Committee
5:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Tree Board
Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell got plenty of attention at tonight’s Democratic Party fundraiser in Southington, including some advice from New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, prominently mentioned as a vice presidential candidate.
Many of the 1,200 guests attending the 56th annual Jefferson-Jackson-Bailey dinner at the Aqua Turf Club sported blue and white “Diane Farrell for Congress” stickers and Richardson called attention to her during his keynote address.
“Look around you, future Congresswoman, don’t forget those people who are supporting you, remember them when you are elected,” said Richardson, a former member of Congress, U.N. ambassador, and secretary of energy under President Clinton.
The first-term Democrat is considered to be on the short list of running mates for presidential candidate John Kerry.
Today’s summer-like weather with the temperatures in the upper 70s brought Westporters to Compo Beach until late in the evening. Some sat on the beach, some walked, and this youngster enjoyed a sunset skateboard session. (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE) Emily Laux Roche for WestportNow.com
Monday, April 19, 2004
The Westport Country Playhouse announced today that tickets are now on sale—with the purchase of a subscription—for its production of “Trumbo” with Gordon MacDonald and Paul Newman.
The performances are on July 13-15 and July 19-20 at the Ridgefield Playhouse, home of the Playhouse productions while the Westport facility is undergoing renovation. Tickets are priced at $90 each.
Tickets are also available for a special benefit performance of “Trumbo” on Wednesday, July 21 at 8 p.m., the announcement said.
“Trumbo” benefit tickets are $750 and $500 for orchestra seating, which includes admission to a post-performance reception with special guests.
An early morning fog covered the Westport area today. This was the scene at about 6 a.m. on I-95 in the Saugatuck River Bridge area as seen from a Department of Transportation camera. DOT photo
6:30 p.m. - Staples High School, Room 516 - School Building Committee Staples Subcommittee
Westporter Harold Levine has been elected chair of the Music and Art Center for Humanity (MACH), headquartered in Bridgeport.
MACH was established 26 years ago by Patricia Hart to provide arts enrichment in music, art, dance and theater for children with special needs in Bridgeport.
Levine, a retired advertising executive, was chair of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for many years, and was responsible for bringing Ailey Camp to Bridgeport with the Music and Arts Center as the sponsor.
On Saturday evening May 1, the Ailey II Company will perform at the Klein Auditorium to benefit MACH and Ailey Camp. Tickets may be purchased by calling 203-345-4800, ext 150.
Sunday, April 18, 2004
3 p.m. Westport Public Library—Poet’s Voice: Ruth Stone
Saturday, April 17, 2004
A construction accident involving a natural gas line at Staples High School today forced evacuation of the school while workers shut down the line and repaired the leak. There were no injuries and the school was reopened after about two hours, according to the Westport Fire Department.
WestportNow Consumer Correspondent
Maybe its just suburban legend, but itҒs been said that Westport has the highest per capita pizza consumption of any town in Connecticut. And that surely must have something to do with our towns high ranking in SAT scores.
Planet Pizza is one of WestportҒs newest pizza places. Contributed photo
Heres what it will cost a Westporter to order up a pizza:
Price of a large cheese pizza (prices do not include tax or delivery):
(Plain /One topping)
Four Brothers Pizza $9.95 / 10.70
AngelinaҒs Trattoria $10/ 11.35
San Remo Westport $10/ 12.15
Johns Best Pizza $10.50 / 12.25
Dominos Pizza $11.12/ $12.72
ElviraҒs Market $11.40 /13
Pizza Thyme $11.66 / 14.66
Planet Pizza $12.95 / 13.70
Westport Pizzeria $12.95/ $14.50
Bertuccis Brick Oven $12.99/ 15.99
Something different, but call it pizza nevertheless:
Vine Mediterranean Grille & Pizza $7.95 for a 12-inch; $1 more for a vegetable topping, $1.50 for meat topping.
A teacher at Westports Temple Israel religious school recalled for a Hartford audience today how as a 4-year-old Hungarian Jewish girl she lived on the streets and in ramshackle homes, posing as a Protestant to escape the Nazis.
Agnes Vertes, who now lives in Weston, ultimately survived the Holocaust along with her sister and her parents. She has dedicated herself to producing independent documentary films based on the horrific events she experienced as a young child.
Today the 63-year-old was the keynote speaker at the 26th Annual Statewide Holocaust Commemoration at the state Capitol. Holocaust survivors and their families from around the state attended the solemn ceremony, held at the Senate chamber.
This year’s theme, “Days of Remembrance,” was in memory of the hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews who were deported 60 years ago during the final stages of World War II.
A former state Superior Court judge was put on probation today and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine for making a false statement to FBI agents about his financial dealings with a convicted felon from Westport.
Daniel Brennan Jr., 61, was accused of borrowing money from Westporter William A. Trudeau Jr., a former client of his law practice, and writing a fraudulent invoice to help him disguise his finances from federal authorities.
In a negotiated plea agreement, Brennan, now living in Madison but formerly of Trumbull, admitted in January to accepting a $10,000 loan from Trudeau, but said he refused a loan for $52,500. (See WestportNow Jan. 5, 2004)
Brennan could have faced prison time, but prosecutors did not oppose probation, citing Brennan’s failing health and his resignation from the bench and the bar. Brennan suffers from heart ailments and lupus and walks with a cane.
Friday, April 16, 2004
By Juliet BalianWestportNow Community Correspondent
More than 20 Westporters met Thursday night with Community Garden organizers Tor Spore and Cris Singer to sign up for the long-promised community garden plots.
It’s not Westport ‘s Community Gardenbut one day ours could be like this. Contributed photo
Meeting at the Westport Public Library, the attendees approved the groupŒs mission statement and rules and regulations for gardening at the community plots when and if they become available.
The Westport Community gardens were displaced four years ago from the Wakeman Farm and since then have been waiting for a new place to plant their roots.
Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell, an advocate for the gardens, has promised on numerous occasions to find the gardens a home.
Conditions imposed by Westport’s Zoning Board of Appeals are likely to return the case involving Daybreak Nurseries and its use of its land back in court, a Town Hall source said today.
The ZBA decided at its meeting this week to impose additional conditions beyond a settlement reached by the town and the business following legal action begun by the town. (See WestportNow Jan. 15, 2004)
Details of those conditions have yet to be published, but the source said they are likely to result in Daybreak returning to court.
Lawrence P. Weisman, an attorney representing Daybreak, was not available for comment today but has said his clients reserved the right to take further legal action.
The town has contended that Daybreak is using a residential area for business purposes, including use of noisy equipment that has prompted repeated complaints from neighbors.
Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell and members of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) will hold a public meeting April 27 to discuss the future of the Sherwood Mill Pond.
Farrell said in a news release that she and RTM members from District 4 invite members of the pubic to attend the 7 p.m. meeting in Room 201 of Town Hall.
Discussion will include the establishment of an advisory committee to study long-term issues relative to the Mill Pond, similar to the Cockenoe Island Steering Committee, Farrell said.
The proposed advisory committee would make recommendations relative to the initiation of educational programs on the Mill Pond, and the formation of a Friends of the Mill PondӔ organization as a funding source, she said.
9:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Commission for Senior Services
The state House of Representatives today approved a bill that authorizes $25 million in bonding for purchasing new rail cars for Metro-North’s New Haven Line. The proposal now goes to the Senate.
House Speaker Moira Lyons and Gov. John G. Rowland announced a $60 million plan in March to upgrade the aging line. Along with the $25 million in bonding, it includes $35 million in funding that was previously planned for new cars.
The money would be used to immediately purchase 20 cars, adding 2,000 seats to the line’s inventory.
Many cars in the New Haven Line fleet were sidelined this winter because of snowstorms, cold weather and age. During the week of Jan. 19, 140 of the 343 cars on the New Haven line were unavailable.
Thursday, April 15, 2004
Even the swans and Canadian geese on the Saugatuck River near Westports downtown probably welcomed todayҒs sunshine after days of torrential rains. (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE) Emily Laux Roche for WestportNow.com
Garson Heller, a member of the Board of Assessment Appeals, announced his resignation today from Westport’s Revaluation Working Group which is reviewing the postponed 2003 property assessment.
In a letter to First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell dated Wednesday and distributed at today’s second meeting of the now nine-member panel, Heller said, “In order to avoid the appearance of conflict, I am resigning from the Revaluation Working Group effective immediately.”
Heller, who was at the meeting, said he had been asked by Finance Director Don Miklus, chair of the working group, to act “in an advisory manner which I am happy to do.”
The longtime member of the Board of Assessment Appeals said he planned to attend committee meetings but would not participate when the group evaluates the assessment model used to determine values.
Property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period April 5-9, 2004:
Vavel Enterperises Inc. to William Dudley and Betty Jo Schleier, 84 Roseville Road, $1,800,000.
Melvin Howard Suc Tr to Fergal and Susan McGillion Moore, 42 Red Coat Road, $1,595,000.
John and Marie Garofalo to Robert C. and Leslie Q. Wheeler Jr., 11 Surf Road, $5,900,000.
RFK Development LLC to Bruce and Celeste Amlicke Trust, 6 Cob Drive, $2,212,500.