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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Irwin Donenfeld, Veteran RTM Member and Comic Industry Giant, Dead at 78

Iriwn Donenfeld: giant in comic industry. Westport Historical Society photo
Irwin Donenfeld, one of the longest-serving members of Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) but better known outside of his hometown as a giant in the comic book industry, died Monday night at Norwalk Hospital. He was 78.

His wife, Carole, said he had been in ill-health for some time. Donenfeld was forced to retire from the RTM in 2003 after 22 years because of health problems. Only two others in the legislative body’s 55-year history had served the same period or longer.

“The town has lost a treasure,” said Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell. “He always had Westport’s interests at heart. He kept his sense of humor and on many occasions brought discussions back to the right perspective. He will be missed.”

Gordon Joseloff, Moderator of the RTM (and editor and publisher of WestportNow), said as longtime chair of the RTM’s Public Protection Committee, Donenfeld had left Westport a much safer place.

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11/30/04 10:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Update: Farrell Announces She Will Not Seek Re-Election, to Explore “Options”

Less than a month after making an unsuccessful but strong run for Congress, Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell announced today she will not seek re-election and will explore “other options that may arise in the public and private sectors.”farrellleamanmeyer11300401260.jpg
First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell confers today with Selectman Carl Leaman (l) and Representative Town Meeting member Bill Meyer a short time after announcing her intention not to seek re-election. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

Farrell, a 49-year-old Democrat, informed her staff of her decision in a morning meeting and then issued a press release.

“I have no immediate plans,” she said. “I will explore other options that may arise in the public and private sectors.

“I will be talking over time with some of my advisers from my recent campaign to whom I owe a great deal people in and out of public office that supported me.”

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11/30/04 04:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport First Selectwoman Tells Staff She Will Not Seek Re-Election

Westport First Selectman Diane G. Farrell, narrowly defeated in her bid for Congress earlier this month, notified her staff today that she will not seek re-election, staff members said.

Farrell’s office said an official statement will be issued later in the day.

The 49-year-old Democrat has been First Selectwoman since 1997. She was re-elected to a four-year term in 2001. Her running mate, Carl Leaman, has said that he has no plans to seek the top office if she decided not to run again.

Farrell was narrowly defeated by popular incumbent Republican Rep. Christopher Shays in the Nov. 2 election. She carried the district’s major cities but did not do well in suburban towns but did manage to carry Westport by a slim margin.


11/30/04 03:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

Irwin Donenfeld: Giant in the Comic Industry

Westporter Irwin Donenfeld, who died Monday night at the age of 78, was best known to his neighbors as a longtime town legislator. But his notoriety outside of Westport was as a giant in the comic book industry. He was the son of Harry Donenfeld, founder of DC Comics, and later became editor and publisher there, overseeing Superman and other super heroes. Donenfeld often boasted that he was the first kid in the country to see a Superman comic. He is shown visiting a Westport Historical Society summer camp for youngsters in 2002. Private funeral services will be held Thursday with a town memorial service in January. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Westport Historical Society photo


11/30/04 03:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Longtime RTM Member Irwin Donenfeld Dies

Irwin Donenfeld, a 22-year veteran of Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) who retired from the legislative body in 2003, died Monday night at Norwalk Hospital. He was 78 and had been in ill health for some time. First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell called him “a true Westport treasure” and ordered town flags lowered in his honor. They are pictured together last January. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


11/30/04 03:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westporter Tells of Photo Assignments in Afghanistan and Iraq

Westporter Tyler Hicks, a New York Times photojournalist, tells a Westport Public Library audience tonight about his experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq, chronicled in a new book seen on the screen behind him. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


11/30/04 02:48 AM Comments () • Permalink

A Westporter Signs Books for His Hometown Fans

Westporter Tyler Hicks signs copies of his new book at the Westport Public Library tonight. The book is a collection of his photos taken in New York, Afghanistan and Iraq while on assignment for The New York Times. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


11/30/04 02:44 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, November 29, 2004

Martha Stewart Readers Renewing Magazine at Good Pace

She may be in prison and away from the editorial operation, but the legal troubles of Westport’s Martha Stewart apparently are not negatively impacting subscriber renewals to her flagship magazine.

A new survey found that readers are renewing their subscriptions at a pace well ahead of industry norms.

That faithful readership may help encourage the return of advertisers who haven’t demonstrated the same loyalty since the magazine’s founder became tainted by a stock-trading scandal in June 2002.

Almost 70 percent of Martha Stewart Living subscribers said they planned to renew their subscriptions, according to a September survey conducted for WPP Group PLC’s Mediaedge:cia.

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11/29/04 07:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

Mitchells Hosts Benefit Wednesday for the Westport Country Playhouse

If you want to do your holiday shopping and at the same time make a donation to the Westport Country Playhouse, Mitchells is the place to be Wednesday evening.

The well-known retailer on Post Road East will host a gift-giving evening of exclusive shopping to benefit the Playhouse from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Ten percent of customers purchases will be rebated as a tax-deductible donation to the Playhouse.

Many of Mitchells accessory vendors will be in the store to present their collections, including: furs from Ann Dee Golden, personal appearances by jewelers Michael Beaudry and Robin Rotenier, Pomellato fine jewelry, and fine time-pieces from Anonimo, Franc Muller, Buccellati, and Cartier.

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11/29/04 06:13 PM Comments () • Permalink

Staples-Newington Game to Broadcast Live on WWPT-FM

When the Staples Wreckers take the field Tuesday night under temporary lights against the Newington Indians in the Class L semifinal, all the action will be broadcast on the Staples student-run radio station, WWPT-FM. Coverage will begin at 6:20 p.m. and will be available at 90.3 on the FM dial.


11/29/04 05:19 PM Comments () • Permalink

Fellow Inmate says Martha Stewart Getting “Kid-Gloves” Treatment

A pacifist nun serving time in West Virginia’s Alderson Prison says Westport’s Martha Stewart is getting “kid-gloves” treatment from prison guards and is very much in demand as a dining companion.

Details about Stewart’s doings at the prison were mentioned by Carol Gilbert in a letter to her attorney and reported by Denver’s Rocky Mountain News.

Gilbert is serving 33 months for her April 2003 conviction on one count each of felony sabotage and destruction of government property.

Stewart started a five-month sentence Oct. 8 at the same facility for lying to investigators about the circumstances of a now notorious 2001 stock sale.

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11/29/04 04:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

Want to Stay Fit While You Sit? Kiwanis Speaker to Tell You How

If you’ve been meaning to exercise but somehow end up doing more sitting than working out, a speaker a Wednesday’s Westport Kiwanis Club luncheon might have the answer for you.

Dr. Patrick Guerin, D.C., a co-owner of Westport Chiropractic and Acupuncture, will speak on the subject “Staying Fit While You Sit.” The 12:15 p.m. event will be held at the VFW Post, 465 Riverside Ave.

Guerin has serviced residents of Fairfield County for more than 15 years. Previously, while working as a sales representative for a major corporation, he developed debilitating back pain. After experiencing the benefits of chiropractic care, Guerin decided to pursue a career as a chiropractor.

He is a graduate of St. Johns University and received his Doctorate of Chiropractic at New York Chiropractic College in 1988. For more information, contact Kim Cooper at 259-4843.


11/29/04 04:24 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport’s Bridge Street Bridge Closed for Repairs

The state Department of Transportation closed Westport’s Bridge Street Bridge for repairs today.

The shutdown was expected to last until mid-afternoon.

The state has been periodically closing the bridge since May to carry out maintenance work.


11/29/04 03:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport to Afghanistan and Iraq: Tyler Hicks Tells His Story

Up close in Iraq.(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Tyler Hicks/New York Times photo
When he graduated from Westport’s Staples High School in 1988, Tyler Hicks had no idea he would be returning home 16 years later an accomplished photojournalist for The New York Times and with a new book featuring his work.

Hicks, 35, tells his story tonight at the Westport Public Library in a discussion about the book, “Histories and Mirrors: The Path of Conflict through Afghanistan and Iraq” (Umbrage Editions, $29.95). The program begins at 7:30 p.m. in the McManus Room.

Hicks went through the Westport school system the old Hillspoint Elementary School, Long Lots Junior High, and then Staples. “I wasn’t a big student then,” he admits. “I wasn’t very applied and I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do.”

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11/29/04 04:28 AM Comments () • Permalink

Cape Compo

It may look like Cape Canaveral, but it’s actually Westport’s Compo Beach where a local resident carried out some rocket launchings Saturday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Julia Mally for


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

Before the Rain

Before Sunday’s rain, there was Saturday’s sunshine and a good day for activities along the beach at Westport’s Sherwood Island State Park. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Laux for


11/29/04 04:06 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, Nov. 29, 2004

7 p.m. - Staples High School, Room 516 - Board of Education anticipated executive session
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - New York Times photojournalist Tyler Hicks discusses his new book of photographs from Afghanistan and Iraq
8 p.m. - Staples High School Library - Board of Education


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

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Calmer Compo

After the wind and rain died down today, Westport’s Compo Beach took on a much calmer look at sunset. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Richard Barnett for


11/28/04 09:53 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Photojournalist Tyler Hicks Featured in Library Talk Monday

Staples High School graduate Tyler Hicks, a photojournalist for The New York Times, returns to Westport Monday for a talk at the Westport Public Library about his new book, “Histories are Mirrors: The Path of Conflict through Afghanistan and Iraq.” The 7:30 p.m. event will include a visual presentation of some of his evocative and haunting photographs. He took this photo during the fall of Baghdad in 2003. Tyler Hicks/New York Times photo


11/28/04 07:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Compo Covered

Weather forecasters issued a wind advisory for the Westport area today as a low-pressure area moved northeastward off the coast. They said winds of 25 to 30 miles per hour with gusts up to 45 mph can be expected into the afternoon. The winds pushed Long Island Sound waters at Compo Beach almost to the wall of Soundview Drive. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Richard Barnett for


11/28/04 04:39 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sea Spray on Hillspoint Road

A low-pressure area off the northesast coast brought windy, rainy conditions to the area today. Waters of Long Island Sound smashed up against a stone wall of a home on Hillspoint Road. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Richard Barnett for


11/28/04 04:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday NY Times Focuses on F. Scott Fitzgerald and His Westport Connection

Famed author F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda lived in Westport for only a brief time in 1920, but their six-month stay here is now part of their—and the town’s—legend and is highlighted in today’s Sunday New York Times Connecticut section.fscottfitzgeraldwestport112804260.jpg
F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda in front of their Westport house. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Princeton Unversity Library photo

The newspaper, in a front-page story on how Connecticut seems to have long attracted literary types, said Fitzgerald is in a category of his own.

On June 4, 1920, a small item in The Westporter-Herald announced his bigger-than life arrival in Westport: ‘F. Scott Fitzgerald, a writer, has leased the Wakeman Cottage near Compo Beach,’’ the Times reported.

“Fitzgerald, 23, was the toast of Manhattan for his first novel, ‘This Side of Paradise,’ published three months earlier by Charles Scribner’s Sons. In April, he had married Zelda Sayre, who was 19, and the couple had planned a long New York City honeymoon.”

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11/28/04 12:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Riding the Wind

Kiteboarders found the strong winds made for excellent water riding off of Westport’s Compo Beach Saturday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Julia Mally for


11/28/04 04:09 AM Comments () • Permalink

A Good Day for a Walk on the Beach

Saturday’s mild temperatures were ideal for a walk along the beach at Westport’s Sherwood Island State Park. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Laux for


11/28/04 04:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Protesting in Westport

Westport’s Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Memorial Bridge across the Saugatuck River was the scene today of a political protest. Residents from Westport, Fairfield, and Monroe waved placards reading “Recount in the Ukraine,” “And Ohio” “And Florida” and “The Votes Dont Add Up.” The protesters urged those interested to find more information to visit, home page of the Voting Integrity Project. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


11/27/04 06:18 PM Comments () • Permalink

Hey, Get Your Hot Pop Corn Here

Members of Westport’s Boy Scout Troop 36 were on Main Street today selling popcorn and accepting donations for their annual fund-raiser. Among those taking part were (l-r) Alex Nitkin, 12, Michael Bregman, 14, and Marshall Knutsen, 12, Scoutmaster Jack Berry (r) supervised. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


11/27/04 06:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, November 26, 2004

Westport Downtown Does Brisk After-Thanksgiving Business

Westport’s Main Street was crowded with shoppers today on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Downtown merchants reported brisk sales on the day after Thanksgiving. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


11/26/04 09:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Barbeque Restaurant Opens in Onion Alley Space

Just in time for the holiday season, a new barbeque restaurant has opened on Westport’s Main Street where Onion Alley was a mainstay since 1985 until its closing earlier this year. (See WestportNow Jan. 7, 2004). Bobby Q’s Barbeque & Grill offers barbeque cooking along with salads, sandwiches and wraps. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


11/26/04 09:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Will Meet Newington in CIAC Football Semifinal Tuesday

The Staples Wreckers, 9-1 on the season, will meet the Newington Indians, also 9-1, Tuesday night under the lights at Staples in a Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) semifinal.

Staples won its right to advance to the semifinal with Thursday’s 38-0 lopsided win over Fairfield Warde while Newington defeated Wethersfield 44-21 for a berth in the Class L game. Staples is ranked No. 2 in the class while Newington is No. 3.

The game will begin at 6:30 p.m. using temporary lights. Members of the Staples Gridiron Club Inc. donated $15,000 to install the lighting, which has been approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals.


11/26/04 07:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saluting Wall of Famers

Westport’s Staples High School inducted four new members into its football “Wall of Fame” during halftime ceremonies at Thursday’s game against Fairfield Warde. Among them was 1942 athlete Walt Melillo who acknowledged applause from the fans. Melillo was a stalwart two-way player who was one of the Wreckers’ first great running back/receivers. Others honored inlcuded Glenn Hartman, who captained the 1975 Paul Lane-led squad to a perfect 11-0 mark; Mark Brockwell, who captained the 1979 Wreckers to a 7-2 mark, and Mike Ungari, a two-way starter at fullback and linerbacker in 1992-95. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


11/26/04 02:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

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