Friday, June 04, 2004
About 60 persons turned out Thursday night to hear technology consultant Mark Mathias speak at the Westport Public Library about home automation and wireless technologies. Using a table lamp and other props, he demonstrated how anyone can set up a home system that can turn lights on or off, view each room in the house, and open and close gates from wireless remote controls. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
4 p.m. - Staples High School - Staples Boys Volleyball Team, winners of their second consecutive FCIAC title, begin their defense of their state titlle with a quarterfinal match against Joel Barlow
8 p.m. - Westport Town Hall - Community Theatre presents “The Laramie Project”
One of Westports best known landmarks, the former Westport Public Library building, was sold today for $11.95 million, according to a filing in the Town ClerkҒs office.
The old library: pricetag $11.95 million. WestportNow.com photo
A Westport-based partnership, whose principals include real estate investors David Waldman and Drew Friedman, sold the building at the intersection of Post Road East and Main Street to Winwest Library LLC of Greenwich.
The Winwest group also owns the former Eddie Bauer building diagonally across the street where a new Tiffany store will open in the fall.
The old library building tenants include Starbucks, a furniture store and a clothing store.
Thursday, June 03, 2004
A woman motorist was slightly injured today when she drove her car into the side of the Cedar Brook Caf at Cedar Road and Post Road East. The bar was not open at the time. Cause of the accident is under investigation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
A Westport firefighter surveys the damage after a woman motorist drove her car into the side of the Cedar Brook Caf today on Cedar Road. Building officials said the bar would be closed until repairs are made. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
A report of smoke coming from a roof which turned out to be steam—sent Westport firefighters scurrying today to a home near the Fairfield line when the caller said there was a wheelchair-bound person in the house.
The call came in shortly after 9 a.m. to a home on Pheasant Lane, off of Meeker Road. As with all calls of a possible structure fire, off-duty personnel were summoned as well.
The call took on added urgency when the caller said there was a person in a wheelchair on the second floor of the home who was unable to get out.
Police and firefighters were on the scene within a few moments. They quickly discovered that what appeared to be smoke was actually steam coming from the roof, fire officials said.
Popular childrens author Judy Blume had Long Lots Elementary School students spellbound Wednesday as she talked about her works, including ғAre You There God? Its Me, Margaret.Ҕ Susan Bachman for WestportNow.com
The Westport Community Theatre Friday debuts its final production of the season, “The Laramie Project.” The work by Moiss Kaufman and members of The Tectonic Theatre Project is directed by David Roth, artistic director and theatre teacher of Staples Players at Staples High School. The play is about the savage murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyo. in 1998. Performances run Fridays and Saturdays June 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 and 19 at 8 p.m., and Sundays June 6, 13, and 20 at 2 p.m, and Thursday June 10 at 8 p.m. More information is available at the company’s Web site. Contributed photo
The newly-formed Fairfield County Preservation Trust (FCPT) held the first of three planning sessions Wednesday at the Westport Public Library.
Preservationists met at the library. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Representatives of 11 of the 23 towns and cities in Fairfield County met to discuss preserving the architectural heritage of the communities. Jim Leahy, a strategic planning consultant, led the session.
Additional meetings will be held June 16 and July 7.
The FCPT’s primary mission is to educate and advocate the preservation of historically significant houses, buildings and landscapes and to preserve the unique New England character of these communities that are threatened by sprawl.
John Lupton, former executive director of the Westport Historical Society, is the founding president of FCPT.
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Planning & Zoning Commission
Fairfield County Bank and Bank of Westport have received regulatory approval for their merger, it was announced today.
The approvals were received from the Connecticut Department of Banking, primary regulator of both banks, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The merger was announced Feb. 10.
“This represents a strategic opportunity to expand our brand of community banking to Westport,” said Fairfield County Bank chairman Paul S. McNamara.
“It brings an extensive range of banking, brokerage, investment and insurance services to Bank of Westport customers.”
“We are extremely pleased to unite with Fairfield County Bank,” said Bank of Westport president and CEO Keith Lyon.
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
Property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period May 24-28, 2004:
David A. and Victoria Vance Harrell to Peter Jiser, 21 Guyer Road, $624,900.
Kenneth and Jacqueline Gattoni to John C. and Amanda J. Wilson IV, 5 Pebble Beach Road, $899,000.
Irene E. Cosgrove Trust to William G. Cohen, 19 Baker Ave., $381,250.
Irene E. Cosgrove to William G. Cohen, 19 Baker Ave., $381,250.
Michael and April Book to Royal Bank of Scotland, 1 Crawford Road, $2,010,000.
A comment made on a WestportNow story by the ex-wife of a Secret Service employee charged with perjury after testifying in the stock fraud of Westport’s Martha Stewart is drawing national attention.
Under the headline “Was the Secret Service employee who testified against Martha Stewart set up?,” MSNBC reported that “Larry Stewart (no relation to the domestic diva) was recently charged with perjury in connection with his testimony against Martha Stewart. But now Stewart is getting defended from an unlikely defender: his ex-wife.”
It continued: “‘The person who came forward alleging that Larry Stewart lied at Marthas trial is the same person who filed complaints about Larry approx. 3 years ago.’ Larry StewartҒs ex-wife wrote in a letter to WestportNow.com.”
The Staples High School jazz concert Tuesday night started off with “Begin the Beguine” featuring a trombone solo by junior Robert Nitkin. See another photo on ARTS & LEISURE page. WestportNow.com photo
Today’s New York Times spotlights Staples grad Dan Lowenstein’s new venture that eases some of the strain of dining out with the kids.
Called PlayDine, the company operates adult-supervised play centers at New York City restaurants.
The centers relieve parents of “the usual burden of distraction while waiting for the food (‘Don’t eat the whole bread basket!’) to the missed entre (‘But Dad, I have to go to the bathroom now!’) to the post-entre whining (‘Can’t we have dessert at home?’),” the newspaper said.
Lowenstein, a 1986 Staples grad and son of Westporters Dick and Ellie Lowenstein, has now expanded the venture to several Manhattan restaurants, winning plaudits from harried parents, the Times said.
Lowenstein, 36, is the father of two boys—Ben, 5, and Arthur, 4. They are pictured together in a photo accompanying the Times story. More information is available at the PlayDine Web site.
The Long Lots Elementary School parking lot, long a safety concern for school administrators and parents, is closer to being fixed following Representative Town Meeting (RTM) approval of $2,447,502 to expand it.
The town’s legislative body acted at its monthly meeting Tuesday night only hours after the Board of Finance, meeting in special session, had approved the expenditure.
During the RTM debate, there were several failed attempts to reduce the appropriation on issues not directly related to enhancing the safety of the lot and providing more spaces.
Dick Lowenstein, District 5, proposed a symbolic $14,000 cut that related to a house that was being torn down as part of the project.
7:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309/307 - TEAM Westport Committee
10:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - International Hospitality Committee
10:50 a.m. - Staples High School, Room 963 - Board of Education hearing for SHS students on school start time
Noon - Town Hall Room 309/307 - Citizens brown bag lunch
4 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Beautification Committee
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Flood and Erosion Control Board
The Westport Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight approved postponement of the towns real property revaluation to 2005.
It acted by unanimous vote after First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell, in a reversal of her previous position, promised an independent, third-party audit of the assessorҒs office.
It was discovery of a backlog in building permits in the assessors office Җ some going back to 1998— that prompted Farrell to announce March 4 that she would seek to postpone the revaluation.
Since then, Gov. John G. Rowland has signed a law enabling Connecticut municipalities, by action of their legislative bodies, to postpone revaluations for up to three years.
Tuesday, June 01, 2004
WestportNow is pleased to present more pictures from Monday’s Westport Memorial Day parade these were inadvertently delayed in transmission to our news desk. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Laux Roche for WestportNow.com
Cats and dogs are being dumped in lower Fairfield County as the Connecticut Humane Society’s Westport shelter remains closed for renovation, local animal control officials and advocates say, according to today’s The Advocate of Stamford/Norwalk.
The renovated Westport shelter will be able to hold 300 animals and offer improved veterinary facilities, said Cheryl Rice, a Humane Society spokeswoman in Newington. The Westport shelter is scheduled to reopen this summer, she said.
The Humane Society, a private nonprofit organization based in Newington, operates shelters in Newington, Bethany and Waterford, which are too distant to accept pets from Stamford and Greenwich, animal control workers said.
Several animal control officials and welfare groups in lower Fairfield County said they are struggling to keep up with increased demand to accept abandoned pets, the newspaper said.
7:30 a.m. - Staples High School, Room 516 - Board of Education public hearing for SHS staff on school start time
8:30 a.m. - Staples High School Conf. Room - Board of Education Superintendent’s Curriculum Materials Review Committee
10 a.m. - Room 201 - Administrative Review Committee
6:30 p.m. - Town Hall Lobby - Long Lots parking lot video presentation
6:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - RTM Education Committee
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Shellfish Commission
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Special Board of Finance meeting
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - RTM Public Protection Committee
8 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - RTM (cable coverage channel 79)