Tuesday, November 23, 2004
8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Westport Transit District Directors’ meeting
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Zoning Board of Appeals
Lime Rock Partners, a Westport-based private equity firm focusing on the energy sector, today announced the first and final closing of its third fund, Lime Rock Partners III, L.P., with $425 million in capital commitments.
The fund, like its two predecessors, will target privately-negotiated investments in growth-stage companies in the conventional oil service, oil service technology, and exploration and production sectors of the energy industry.
Lime Rock also has offices in Houston Aberdeen, Scotland, and Calgary, Alberta.
Lime Rock closed its first fund in October 1998 with $105 million in capital commitments and its second fund in October 2002 with $320 million in capital commitments.
Jim Stablein, (l) owner of Bogey’s Grille and Tap Room in Westport, recently presented the proceeds of the restaurant’s 9th Annual Golf Tournament to Tracy Flood, CLASP Homes president, and George Taylor, president of the Westport Police Benevolent Association. With them is Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
State Sen. Judith G. Freedman of Westport has been named a member of the committee planning the Conference of Eastern Region Conference of State Governments annual meeting to be held in Connecticut next year. The conference was last held in Connecticut 15 years ago.
ғAs someone who has been involved with the ERC-CSG during my legislative tenure, I am thrilled to be able to show our colleagues from other states all that Connecticut has to offer,” Freedman said.
The Eastern Regional Conference includes the six New England states, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
“The regional conference is an opportunity for legislators and staff to network and learn what is happening in other states. said Freedman, who is a member of the executive committee of the Eastern Region Council.
The Conference of State GovernmentԒs Eastern Regional annual meeting will be held from July 23 to 27, 2005 at the Mohegan Sun Convention Center in southeastern Connecticut.
Monday, November 22, 2004
Today’s Hartford Courant, in a post-election profile of Republican Rep. Christopher Shays, said he is “like a congressman without a political anchor, a politician without a party.”
“He survived a close, ugly race to hold his 4th District seat in Connecticut, and returned to Washington to find his carefully arranged political world upended,” the newspaper said, referring to his narrow victory over Westport Democratic First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell.
“Now, as he heads toward his 18th year in Congress, Shays has to carve a new path for himself to accommodate the new political landscape around him—and perhaps to survive a 2006 campaign that may have already begun.”
The newspaper said Democrats he counted as friends turned on him during the campaign and are still snarling.
A new estimate by a consultant to Westport’s school district projects that the town’s high school population will top out at 1,687 in the school year 2010-11.
Staples High School currently is undergoing a $73.9 million renovation and expansion project that calls for the school to accommodate a maximum 1,800 students—several hundred lower than provided for in initial expansion plans.
School Building Committee members told the Board of Finance last week they may be facing as much as a $2.5 million shortfall for the project.
This prompted some questions whether it might be possible to scale back yet-to-be completed phases. But project officials said savings at this point would be minimal.
The projection by the consultant, the New England School Development Council (NESDEC), was contained in material distributed in advance of tonight’s Board of Education meeting.
7:45 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Finance Committee
8 p.m. - Staples High School Library - Board of Education
The Westport Fire Department responded to a mutual aid call tonight from Fairfield, fire officials said.
Westport sent one engine from fire headquarters on Post Road East initially to cover a Fairfield fire station while Fairfield firefighters battled the fire in a commercial building.
But soon after the call at about 9:30 p.m., the Westport unit was asked to aid at the blaze at 468 Tunxis Hill Road near Marlborough Terrace. A buillding containing a hair salon, a nail salon, and a financial firm was involved.
Additional help was also requested from the Bridgeport Fire Department while Fairfield summoned off-duty firefighters to the scene.
With students and staff about to move into a portion of the new Staples High School, educators have scheduled informational sessions about asbestos abatement plans as old buildings are torn down.
The meetings will be held Thursday, Dec. 2 at 2:30 p.m. for students and staff and at 7:30 p.m. for parents. Both meetings will be held in the Staples cafeteria.
Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon told Staples parents in a letter that the new portion of the school will be occupied shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday and the process of demolition of buildings 7 and 9 will begin soon afterwards.
A similar move and demolition process will occur in early February for buildings 6 and 8, he said.
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Westport’s St. Luke Church kicks off the holiday season with a Christmas fair and auction Saturday, Dec. 4.
The holiday event is part of an ongoing outreach program from the parish in support of programs for inner-city youths and adults in Bridgeport throughout the year
Proceeds have been used to sponsor English as a Second Language classes, build new computer labs at the Charles Smith Center; and assist women in developing skills to enter the workplace, a program sponsored by Caroline House.
The event will run from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and include crafts for children, games, photos with Santa, storytelling, and a magic show.
Westport’s Leslie Orofino tries on a hat at today’s Creative Arts Festival at Staples High School. All proceeds from the fund-raising event sponsored by the Westport Young Woman’s League are donated to local charities. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Brendan Armstrong, 6, of Westport is serious about getting his faced painted at today’s Creative Arts Festival at Staples High School. Brendan is a first grader at Greens Farms Elementary School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
All kinds of baked goods were on sale today on the second and last day of the 29th annual Creative Arts Festival at Staples High School sponsored by the Westport Young Woman’s League. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Westport’s Stop & Shop was busy today with shoppers getting ready for the Thanksgiving Day holiday. Members of the Staples boys swimming and diving team took advantage of the traffic to sell Wrecker athletic gear as part of its fund-raiser. Making a sale (l-r) are Gennady Gurevich, 15, a freshman; Thomas Martecchini, 16, a sophomore; Brandon Arias, 16, a junior; Jesse Shea, 17, a junior, and Ezra Okon, 16, a junior. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
The average Westport home sold for 19.9 percent more in the first nine months of this year compared to last year, according to statistics compiled by the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
The average price rose to $1,319,518, from $1,100,145, while the median price rose even higher—21.9 percent to $1.1 million, from $902,500. The final average list price for homes was $1,370,304.
Single-family sales soared 28.2 percent to 405, from 316 in Westport, the report showed.
Condo sales more than doubled to 45, from 21 the year before. The average price was up 36.7 percent to $718,027, from $525,076.
Saturday’s rain did not deter a group of Cub Scouts and their parents from learning a little about Westport’s history at the cemetery at Greens Farms Road and the Sherwood Island Connector. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ron Malone for WestportNow.com
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Staples High School - Westport Young Woman’s League presents Creative Arts Festival
4 p.m. Greens Farms School - Westport Arts Center presents jazz singer Stacey Kent
Saturday, November 20, 2004
Congress today passed a massive omnibus spending bill that allocates almost $30 million for Fairfield County projects that include transportation in Bridgeport and Stamford, dredging in Fairfield, Norwalk and Stamford, and a Wilton teen center.
Southport Harbor dredging project: gets additional $625,000 in federal funds. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ron Malone for WestportNow.com
None of the funding will go to Westport, according to news releases from the office of Rep. Christopher Shays.
But the town will benefit from $500,000 allocated to develop and implement a marketing strategy for the Stamford-Bridgeport corridor as an integrated business community for regional economic development
Also a Bridgeport non-profit project headed by Westporter Harold Levine got $280,000. The Music and Arts Center for Humanity, of which Levine is chairman, received the funds to relocate to a new facility for its community-based school of the arts.
They lined up early today to get into the 29th annual Creative Arts Festival organized by the Westport Young Woman’s League at Staples High School. Waiting patiently on line at 8 a.m. were (l-r) Patty Buckley with daughter Tatum and sister Kathy Downey. The show, the organization’s main fundraiser, runs until 6 p.m. today and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contributed photo
Students from Westport’s Bedford Middle School Friday night kicked off a three-day fund-raising event at Westport’s Barnes & Noble with a poetry reading. Seventh grade student Eric Wessan recited his contribution as classmate Chris Nicoletti waited his turn. The students read both well-known poems as well as original works created in class. The event continues today from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with more poetry reading and a display of student artwork. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Julia Mally for WestportNow.com
The Westport Arts Center Friday night hosted an opening night reception for its new exhibit featuring works by artists James Prosek and the late Maurice Freedman. Easton-based artist and writer Prosek’s renderings of the natural world of fishing exemplify the return to realism by some of today’s younger artists. This massive print of eels was created using an actual (dead) eel as the printing tool. The show runs through Dec. 23. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Laux for WestportNow.com
10 a.m. - 6 p.m. - Staples High School - Westport Young Woman’s League presents Creative Arts Festival
8 p.m . - Seabury Center, 45 Church Lane - Westport Arts Center presents Dvorak Centennial Concert with Chester String Quartet and Ralph Votapek, piano
8 p.m. - Bedford Middle School - Staples Players present “Cabaret”
Friday, November 19, 2004
Mary-Jane Foster: credits volunteerism for success. Contributed photo Mary-Jane Foster, an attorney, advocate for women and a co-founder and owner of the Bridgeport Bluefish professional baseball club, will be guest speaker Monday at the Westport Y’s Women.
Her 11:30 a.m. address at the Westport/Weston YMCA, which is open to the public, will be on the topic lessons learned as a volunteer.Ӕ
Foster said her services on the board of the Center for Women and Families in Bridgeport spurred her to get a law degree and eventually led her to become a principal in an investment firm and a co-founder and owner of the Bridgeport baseball team.
I learned that women canӒt be really safe unless theyre financially independent,Ҕ she said, so I practiced primarily family law which led to my current career, working to get private developers to invest in Bridgeport. Volunteering is the glue that holds what I do together.Ӕ
Consideration of a controversial underage drinking ordinance by the Westport Representative Town Meeting (RTM) has been put off until the legislative body’s Jan 11 meeting.
First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell said she asked for the postponement to allow additional time for members to gather information and have their questions answered.
The RTM had its initial “reading” of the ordinance Nov. 9 but under the Town Charter, all ordinances must hold over at least one meeting to allow for public discussion.
The Westport Youth Commission held a forum on the proposed law Thursday night. Many in the audience asked questions about its provision that allows police for the first time to issue summonses to underage drinkers on private property.
Marty Appel and friend: speaker at Dec. 5 meeting. Contributed photo The Yankees are licking their wounds and regrouping while the Red Sox Nation is still abuzz so what better time to talk baseball? That’s what the Men’s Group at Westport’s Temple Israel will do Sunday, Dec. 5.
Guest speaker at a luncheon will be noted sports author and former Yankees publicist Marty Appel.
Appel was the youngest public relations director selected to lead a major league baseball team—George Steinbrenner֒s first hire in that position and held the spot for nine years.
He also directed public relations for Tribune Broadcasting֒s WPIX-TV in New York and served as the Yankees executive producer.
Today’s WestportNow teardown is at 4 Smoky Lane off of Hillspoint Road. An application for demolition is pending. The owner has built a new house elsewhere on the property. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce Thursday awarded its 2004 Athena Award honoring women making a difference to Kathryn Sirico (l), owner of Westport’s Greg & Tony-Ouidad Salon. Opened in 1977, it is the longest existing salon in Westport with the same owner and same location. She was presented the award at a Norwalk luncheon by Patricia ORegan Brown, CEO and president of Westport’s Derma Clinic European Day Spa and a former Athena award winner. Looking on were Peter Harrington (3rd l) of Peoples Bank, chamber vice chairman, and Kevin Lally of the Westport News, chamber vice president of special events. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Members of the Westport Young Woman’s League prepare some goodies to be sold at this weekend’s Creative Arts Festival at Staples High School. The show, the organization’s main fundraiser, runs Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contributed photo