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Thursday, September 30, 2004

Former Westport Stop & Shop Employee Alleges Job Discrimination

A West Haven man has filed a discrimination lawsuit claiming he was the target of bias on the job at Westport’s Stop & Shop as well as one in Bridgeport because he is a Muslim.

Mohamed Arshad, who is from Malaysia, claims that his former supervisor at a Bridgeport Stop & Shop called him a “Muslim idiot” and told him that “we do not want any foreigners at this company,” the New Haven Register reported.

The lawsuit also alleges that fellow employees called Arshad “Bin Laden” in his supervisor’s presence and accused him of talking to Osama bin Laden on the telephone.

Arshad’s lawsuit also claims that supervisors at the Westport store put him on probation after a bad review and that he was passed by for promotions when co-workers “who are not Asian, Muslim and/or Malaysian, but who lacked Arshad’s tenure and his relevant knowledge and experience,” were promoted.

Stop & Shop spokesman Rob Keane declined comment on the suit.


09/30/04 02:57 PM Comments () • Permalink

Too Bad There’s No Siren on This Buggy

Former Westport Police Chief William Stefan (l) and former Inspector Robert L. Hallock Jr. take part in the recent golf tournament at Longshore Club Park raising funds for the Westport Police Athletic League. The tournament is named in honor of former Police Chief Samuel Luciano who died in 1970 at the age of 57 and is remembered by longtime Westporters as one of the communitys finest police commanders. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


09/30/04 01:56 PM Comments () • Permalink

Board of Selectmen Postpones Decision on Controversial Sewer Plan

In a meeting that ended in the early morning hours today, the Westport Board of Selectmen decided to postpone a decision on rescinding approval of a sewer plan for a controversial housing project on the Westport-Norwalk border.

After first voting 2-1 to turn down a motion by Selectman John Izzo to rescind the approval, First Selectman Diane G. Farrell and Selectman Carl Leaman voted with Izzo to postpone any decision.

They then unanimously approved a “sense of the meeting” resolution calling for a meeting with Norwalk officials to try to resolve the issue. Farrell said she hoped the meeting could be held sometime in October.

The selectmen, acting in their role as the town’s Water Pollution Control Authority, last year had approved the plan allowing extension of a Norwalk sewer line for the 22-unit housing development by ARS Partners in the Partrick Wetlands.

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09/30/04 12:31 PM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, Sept. 30, 2004

7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Sherwood Mill Pond Committee
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Planning & Zoning Commission
7:45 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - RTM Finance Committee


09/30/04 03:03 AM Comments () • Permalink

In the Middle

Jon Zimmerman prepares to shut down Stamford’s midfield, in Staples’ 2-0 win today in Westport. Amy Lamb for


09/30/04 12:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Staples Boys Soccer Shuts Out Stamford 2-0

The Staples boys soccer scored twice in a minute and a half span today en route to a 2-0 shutout over Stamford. 

The goals came midway through the first half.  Keeper Sean Milligan’s outlet was skip-headed along by Ross McGibney to Chris Meinke.

The senior tri-captain cruised in alone for a breakaway, and scored with authority.  Almost immediately, sophomore Keaton Cristobal pounced on a loose ball, for the first goal of his varsity career.

The Wreckers got strong defense, particularly from sweeper Colin Nangle, who headed a near-certain goal off the line.

Staples is now 5-0-1. They face New Canaan away (Connor Field) Friday, at 3:45 p.m.


09/29/04 11:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Teardowns: Creating a Digital Record

With the pace of Westport teardowns at a record level, WestportNow decided to feature some of the demolitions that are causing such an upheaval on the real estate scene. We welcome reader contributions to this occasional photo feature, which is intended to create a digital record of some of Westport’s history. This house was at 161 Compo Road South. Dave Matlow for


09/29/04 05:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Arts Center Jazz Series Opens Sunday

Jazz pianist Bill Charlap: performs in Westport Sunday Contributed photo
The Westport Arts Center’s jazz series, after several years of concerts in Southport, returns to Westport Sunday with a concert featuring Manhattan’s popular jazz pianist Bill Charlap and vocalist Sandy Stewart.

The 4 p.m. event takes place at Greens Farms School. Other concerts in the series will be held at Greens Farms as well as the Seabury Center.

Following last year’s sold-out solo concert, this year Charlap appears with Stewart, who also happens to be his mother. 

The Westport event will feature pieces from his new CD, “Somewhere: The Songs of Leonard Bernstein,” released six months ago and warmly received.

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

Westport’s Martha Stewart Ordered to West Virginia Prison

Westport’s Martha Stewart has been ordered to report to a prison in West Virginia to serve her five-month term, a source close to Stewart said today.

Stewart had hoped to serve her time in Danbury so she could be close to her 90-year-old mother, or in a prison facility in Coleman, Fla., where there are good transporation links.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons told Stewart last week to report to jail by Oct. 8. The source said Stewart had been told to report to the federal prison camp for women in Alderson, W. Va.

Stewart’s lawyer, in a Sept. 15 letter to a federal judge requesting she be allowed to serve her sentence for obstruction of justice as soon as possible, specifically asked that she not been assigned to Alderson because it is not readily accessible by air or rail.

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09/29/04 01:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Hartford Courant: Analyst Says Farrell Campaign Strategy is “Risky”

Today’s Hartford Courant revisits the Fairfield County 4th Congressional District race and quotes a Washington analyst as saying Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell’s campaign strategy portraying her opponent Christopher Shays as a tool of conservatives is “risky.”

“In the increasingly contentious clash for Fairfield County’s 4th District congressional seat, Democratic challenger Diane Farrell has taken to linking Shays to conservatives, including President Bush, House Speaker Dennis Hastert and the bane of liberals, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.,” the newspaper said.

Amy Walter, an analyst who follows House races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, said it is a risky campaign strategy for the newcomer Farrell to attempt to tie Shays to DeLay, the Courant reported.

“Even in this district, with well-educated voters, I don’t think a lot of people are paying attention to Tom DeLay,” Walter said. “That’s a hard argument to make.”

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09/29/04 11:55 AM Comments () • Permalink

Threatened Strike Today at Westport Nursing Home Averted

Union workers have called off a strike planned for today at seven Connecticut nursing homes, including one in Westport, with more than 1,000 residents.

The strike was averted late Monday when the owners of the homes agreed to end efforts to set aside union contracts.

They said they would pay $750,000 to employee pension, education and uniform allowance funds, according to officials at the New England Health Care Employees Union, District 1199.

More than 850 workers had voted last weekend to strike.

The nursing homes include Westport Health Care, formerly known as Mediplex of Westport, at the intersection of Post Road West and Burr Road just across from Kings Highway Elementary School. It has 120 beds.

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

State Clarifies Sewage Plant Concern as Board of Selectmen Meets Today

With a new clarification from the state in hand about funding, the Westport Board of Selectmen today considers two previous actions affecting a planned $37.7 million upgrade to the town’s waste water treatment plant.

A letter received Monday from the state Department of Environmental Protection said the agency did not intend to hold up state funding for the plant.

But it said it wanted the town to address issues concerning a possible extension of a Norwalk sewer into northwest Westport for a controversial housing project.

The board’s 2003 approval of a plan to hook up the Norwalk sewer to the housing development in the Partrick Wetlands had prompted a letter from the DEP in August saying the action complicated funding of the plant.

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09/29/04 03:19 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2004

7:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309/307 - TEAM Westport Committee
10 a.m.  - Town Hall Auditorium - Arts Advisory Committee
10:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - International Hospitality Committee
Noon - Town Hall Room 309/307 - Citizens brown bag lunch
5:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - School Building Committee Staples Subcommittee
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309/307 - Board of Selectmen
7:30 p.m. - Westport Arts Center, 51 Riverside Ave. - Mark Schenker on Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream


09/29/04 03:06 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Westport’s Pequot Capital Management Expands its Management Team

Westport-based Pequot Capital Management, a superpowerful $7 billion hedge fund that is one of the nation’s largest, today announced that it has expanded its investment management team by adding two seasoned professionals.

The fund, which is based in the Nyala Farm office complex off of Greens Farms Road and I-95, said Michael M. Takata, co-founder and former general partner of Ulysses Partners, and Ramu Thiagarajan, a former managing director of Mellon Capital, have joined Pequot Capital as a managing director and a principal, respectively.

Pequot also announced today that Peter Dartley, former director of trading and a managing director of Pequot, has rejoined the firm as vice chairman and director of business development.

Employee-owned, Pequot Capital offers funds that focus on technology, health care services, and small-cap firms to institutional investors and wealthy individuals.

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09/28/04 11:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

Former Fairfield High Principal Named Interim Replacement at Staples

John Dodig: interim Staples principal. WN photo
The recently retired principal/headmaster of Fairfield High School, John M. Dodig, has been named interim principal at Westport’s Staples High School, replacing the departing John J. Brady, it was announced today.

The appointment was announced to school staff by Supt. of Schools Elliott Landon in an e-mail.  Landon said Dodig will serve for the remainder of the school year.

Brady is expected to report to his new job in the Amity Regional School District Oct. 18. His hiring was confirmed tonight by the Amity Board of Education which said he had agreed to a three-year contract.

Landon told staff members that Dodig “comes to us with a great reputation among teachers, administrators, students, and parents who have had the opportunity to know and work with him at Fairfield High School over the past 11 years.”

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09/28/04 10:09 PM Comments () • Permalink

A Good Day to Stay Inside

The remnants of Hurricane Jeanne brought heavy rains to Westport and much of the tri-state area this afternoon. Traffic moved slowly across the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Memorial Bridge in Westport’s center. photo


09/28/04 09:52 PM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Homecoming Pasta Dinner Friday

The Staples High School Homecoming Pasta Dinner takes place Friday in the Staples cafeteria from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door, $5 for senior citizens.

The event is sponsored by the Westport Kiwanis Club and the Staples PTA. Proceeds will benefit the Staples High School/Kiwanis scholarship program and the Senior Class of 2005.

Further information is available from Sue Colasurdo at 227-0103 or Beth Hagan at 226-8245.


09/28/04 03:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

News-12’s Tom Appleby to Host IHA Auction Saturday

Cablevision News-12 anchor Tom Appleby will wield the gavel for Saturday’s third annual fundraising auction by Westport’s Interfaith Housing Association.Appleby100.jpg
Tom Appleby: wielding the gavel. Contributed photo

The event at Christ and Holy Trinity Church in Westport begins at 5 p.m. It will be followed by a dinner honoring community leaders Barbara Butler, Westports director of Human Services, and Richard Foot, executive director /CEO of the Westport/Weston YMCA.

Tickets for the auction and reception only are $100, $250 including the dinner.

ғWere delighted that Tom agreed to help,Ҕ said Peter Powell, IHAs president.

In the 20 years that Appleby has been news director and co-anchor of News-12, the cable channel has won more than 400 major awards.

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09/28/04 02:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Broadway Bound

The Westport Community Theatre has opened its 2004-05 season with Neil Simon’s “Broadway Bound.” It runs through Oct. 10, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m., and one Thursday performance, this Thursday, Sept. 30, at 8 p.m. More information at .Contributed photo


09/28/04 01:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

A Sure Sign of Autumn

Leaves are beginning to blow into the bathhouses at Compo Beach, a sure sign that autumn is here. Emily Laux for


09/28/04 03:12 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2004

9 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Code Enforcement Committee
10:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - P&Z Committee to Develop Zoning Regulations for Affordable & Work Force Rental Housing on Town-Owned Property
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Zoning Board of Appeals
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Architectural Review Board
8 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - RTM Health & Human Services Committee


09/28/04 03:03 AM Comments () • Permalink

Gerry Kuroghlian Named Westport’s Teacher of the Year

Dr. Gerry Kuroghlian thanks his colleagues after he was named Westport’s Teacher of the Year tonight in a ceremony at Staples High School, where he teaches English. The 38-year veteran of the school system said he was humbled by the selection, adding, “I’ve received a lot of awards over the years, but when you get it from your peers, it takes on a whole different meaning.” His said his “C” hat stands for “classroom, connection, curriculum, and concern.” A colleague added, “And tonight, celebration.” photo


09/28/04 12:03 AM Comments () • Permalink

A Standing O for Dr. K

Gerry Kuroghlian gets a standing ovation tonight from colleagues, parents, and community members after being named Teacher of the Year. Among those applauding is Jennifer Giudice (c), a Staples High School math teacher who was also among this year’s six nominees. On the right (striped shirt) is Frank Corbo, a Staples teacher who won the award in 1997. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


09/28/04 12:02 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, September 27, 2004

Working Magic

Ross McGibney works his magic in Staples’ 5-0 victory today over St. Joseph at Trumbull. Brian Kennedy backs up the play. Melanie Nangle for


09/27/04 10:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Boys Soccer Subdues St. Joe’s

The Staples boys soccer team scored five minutes into today’s game at St. Joseph in Trumbull, then tacked on four second-half goals to shut out the Cadets 5-0.

The win ups the Wreckers’ record to 4-0-1, and adds important momentum to Wednesday’s match with 4-0-0 Stamford. That game is set for 3:45 p.m., at Staples’ Albie Loeffler Field.

The Wreckers beat returning All-FCIAC goalkeeper Tim Agvent early, thanks to their own keeper, Sean Milligan.

He punted long out of the back to Ross McGibney. The junior forward let the ball bounce once, then leaped high to head it over Agvent.

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09/27/04 10:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westporters Promote New Law Giving Tax Break to Hybrid Cars

A new law exempting gas-electric hybrid cars from Connecticut’s sales tax goes into effect Friday. It was proposed last spring by Westport’s state Rep. G. Kenneth Bernhard (l), shown here with Westporter Roy Dickinson and his hybrid car in front of the state Capitol today. Dickinson drove to Hartford to be on hand for a news conference Bernhard held to draw attention to the new law. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


09/27/04 09:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Oyster Farm Proposal for Westport Withdrawn

A controversial proposal to harvest oysters off the Westport coastline using suspended cages has been withdrawn, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers official said today.garofalo09270401.jpg
Garofalo: withdraws oyster application. WN photo

Cori Rose, senior project manager for the New England district of the Corps in Boston, told WestportNow that she received an e-mail notification Friday of the decision by Westport-based Mariculture Unlimited, LLC.

“It’s withdrawn without prejudice,” she said. “But they can resubmit it any time.”

Rose said she had heard unofficially earlier that the Westport proposal and a similar one for waters off of Milford was being pulled, but did not receive official notice until Friday.

The proposal by Mariculture Unlimited, headed by Dr. John Garofalo of Westport, touched off a storm of protest from sailboat owners and recreational boaters, many of whom spoke at a July 23, 2003, public hearing in Milford. (See WestportNow July 24, 2003)

Westport boaters had said the oyster operation would seriously jeopardize their recreational activities on Long Island Sound.


09/27/04 08:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

Warning: Suburban Sprawl May be Hazardous to Your Health

A new study says residents of suburbs such as Westport with a high degree of sprawl are more likely to report chronic health problems such as high blood pressure, arthritis, headaches and breathing difficulties compared to residents in less sprawled-out areas.

The differences remained even when researchers accounted for factors such as age, economic status and race.

“People who live in more sprawling areas are more likely to have chronic health problems over time,” said Roland Sturm, co-author of the report by Rand Corp., a nonprofit research group. “People drive more in these areas, they walk less.”

Researchers said the findings suggest that an adult who lives in a sprawling city such as Atlanta will have health characteristics similar to someone four years older, but otherwise similar, who lives in a more compact city like Seattle.

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09/27/04 07:49 PM Comments () • Permalink

Debates and Forums Set in Freedman-Ellison 26th State Senate Race

Democratic challenger Arlo Ellison today announced a schedule of forums and debates between the two candidates for Connecticuts 26th state Senate seat, both of whom are Westport residents.freedman56.jpgarloelliso56.jpg
Freedman and Ellison: debates and forums scheduled. File photos

Ellison called the debates an important opportunity to focus attention on issues long overlooked by his eight-year unchallenged opponent, Republican Judith Freedman.

Beginning with a ғMeet the Candidates Night on Thursday, Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Cider Mill School in Wilton, Ellison will square off against Freedman in a series of four public forums.

Subsequent debates will take place on Monday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. at the New Canaan Library; Tuesday, Oct. 19 at 7:45 a.m. at Ridgefield High School, and Monday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. at the Westport Public Library.

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09/27/04 06:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport’s Ken Bernhard Calls Attention to Hybrid Car Sales Tax Exemption

Bernhard at Hartford news conference today. Contributed photo
Westport state Rep. G. Kenneth Bernhard was among state lawmakers today drawing attention to a new law that will make Connecticut the only state to exempt gas-electric hybrid cars from the state’s sales tax.

The new law, proposed by Bernhard, takes effect on Friday.

Bernhard and other lawmakers held a news conference at the state Capitol in Hartford where some of the hybrid cars were on display. One was owned by Westporter Roy Dickinson.

The 6 percent sales tax exemption applies to certain hybrid vehicles that get an estimated 40 miles per gallon on the highway.

Bernhard said that hybrid cars reduce smog-forming gases by 10 to 15 percent and consume 21 percent less gasoline than similar, conventional vehicles.

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09/27/04 05:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

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