Friday, December 31, 2004
Dancing to New York, New YorkӔ today at the Westport Center for Senior Activities was Glenna Rohan, 76, of Bronx, N.Y., a member of The SteppersӔ dance group from New York City. The act was one of many New Years Eve activities sponsored by Westport/Weston First Night 2005. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Gloria Brown, 73, of Manhattan, entertains the crowd at the Westport Center for Senior Activities today as part of First Night Westport/Weston 2005. She is a member of the New York-based The SteppersӔ senior dance troupe. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Funds pouring into Westport’s Save the Children for its Asian earthquake relief fund total about $6 million so far and, with donations from other countries, might eventually top $50 million, a spokeswoman said today.
“The response has been breathtaking,” said spokeswoman Dianne Sherman. She also praised the response to an appeal issued Thursday for volunteers to help man the phones. (See WestportNow Dec. 29, 2004)
“We are very appreciative, especially to people locally,” she said, adding that those interested in helping should call (203) 221-4000.
She said donations are coming in from the charity’s Web site, over the phone, and through corporate and private donors and amount to about $6 million so far. “The total might even reach $50 million, counting funds coming through other countries,” she said.
The First Night Film Festival is a new addition to tonight’s First Night Westport//Weston 2005.
The First Night Film Committee—Will Berk, Alix Bregman, Dan Lance and Brian Mayer—caution that some of the films, to be screened at Westport’s Town Hall, may contain content considered inappropriate for young children.
Screenings begin at 7:30 p.m. and run until 11 p.m.
Title: Melchinger: Impossible
Filmmaker(s): Brian Mayer*
Description: A teacher, Mr. Melchinger, falls victim to the clever antics of his students as they try to steal the next day’s test from…but will they succeed?
Title: Danes World
Filmmaker(s): Michael Bloom, Dane Foster, Andrew Knopp
Description: This film is a parody of the comedy WayneҒs World.
Thursday, December 30, 2004
Saying she was tired but feeling well, Gov. M. Jodi Rell left Danbury Hospital today, three days after undergoing breast cancer surgery.
“I feel great. I feel fine,” the 58-year-old Republican governor told reporters.
Rell left the hospital shortly after 5 p.m. with her daughter. She was wearing a light green sweat suit. She underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery Monday.
Rell’s recovery is on track and final tests results received just before she left the hospital were clean, the governor’s office said.
Westport’s Inn at Longshore, damaged in a Christmas Day fire, reopened today in time to host an evening wedding reception.
Bride Deborah Lacy of Fairfield was ecstatic to have the reception go off on time despite the fire. “My initial reaction was shock,” she said. “It left me speechless.”
“It was a lot of hard work, but everyone pulled together to get it done,” said Fire Marshall Fred Baker, who did a final inspection today. “The Health Department has cleared it and the banquet kitchen is ready to go.”
The Saturday fire, which began when an old basement steam pipe overheated and ignited adjoining wood, spread upwards through voids and hidden ducts.
A third floor science classroom looks ready for students today in the new Staples High School. In all, 34 new classrooms will be put into use beginning Monday after the holiday break. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
With less than four days to go before the end of the holiday school break, it was a race against time today to get a portion of the new Staples High School ready for students. Only one wing of the new $74 million structure will be put into use beginning Monday. View is of the main lobby. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Workmen today raced to complete piecing together the Staples High School seal in the lobby of the new main entrance of the school set to open for use on Monday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Gov. M. Jodi Rell is asking people across the state to take some time on Friday to pause and honor Connecticut’s war dead.
Rell, who left Danbury Hospital this afternoon where she underwent breast cancer surgery, has requested a statewide moment of silence and tolling of bells at noon in memory of the men and women with Connecticut ties killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2004.
“Before this year ends it is appropriate that we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice,” Rell said in a statement. “Our freedom comes at a price that is - at times - almost unbearably tragic.
In the past year, a dozen members of the military with ties to the state have been killed in the Middle East.
Westports Save the Children charity is inundated with phone calls from across the country from people wishing to donate to its Asian earthquake relief fund and today appealed to Westporters to help come in and man the phones.
ғWe can use people today and through the weekend, said spokeswoman Dianne Sherman. ԓWe can teach them very quickly how to answer the phones. Its a very rewarding experience.Ҕ
She said the charitys headquarters on Wilton Road has received about $2 million in online donations in the past few days with more money being pledged every minute.
Those who have some time to donate to the charity to help with answering phones are asked to call (203) 221-4000.
Neighbors came out to watch today as a home at 2 Angora Road, off of High Point Road, came down. The house, featured as the WestportNow teardown of the day on Nov. 8, was bult in the 1960s and, according to a neighbor, won an award for its architecture. The owner of the property is planning to rebuild. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
The scheduled Jan. 11 meeting of Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) has been canceled and the legislative body will next meet Feb. 1.
RTM Moderator Gordon Joseloff said with action on a proposed underage drinking ordinance postponed until February and no Board of Finance meeting in December, there were no pressing matters on the RTM agenda.
The 36-member nonpartisan body usually meets once a month. Several RTM committee meetings, however, have been scheduled in January, including a Jan. 3 session with the Board of Education to discuss budget matters.
Editor’s note: Gordon Joseloff is also editor of WestportNow.com
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s doctors want her to remain at Danbury Hospital for at least another day to recuperate from Monday’s breast cancer surgery, her office said today.
The Republican governor had been expected to leave the hospital today and rest at home for several days.
“I may be the governor, but around here it’s the doctors who run the show, and I’m going to listen to their advice - most of the time, anyway,” Rell said in a statement issued by her office.
Rell, 58, underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery on Monday afternoon. According to Rell’s staff, her doctors are pleased with her progress and say she is healing well.
The Westport Tax Collector’s office today sent out 486 letters of apology to Westporters who received delinquency notices for sewer use tax bills they never received.
“The Town of Westport apologizes for this error and the inconvenience it has caused you,” wrote Tax Collector George W. Underhill.
The vendor error came to light earlier this month after several WestportNow readers who received the notices wrote letters to the Web site complaining that they had not received a bill.
Others then reported similar experiences, leading to an investigation. (See WestportNow Dec. 21, 2004)
Signs all over Westport remind residents of Friday’s New Year’s Eve First Night activities. They begin in the afternoon, mark the New Year with fireworks, and continue with a post-midnight concert. Organizer say button sales are brisk. Details at the First Night Westport/Weston 2005 Web site. Ron Malone for WestportNow.com
From the January swearing in of a new police chief to the Christmas morning fire that almost devastated one of Westport’s landmarks, WestportNow was on the scene throughout 2004, often exclusively.
Dozens of persons contributed photographs to WestportNow throughout the year and we are proud to present a sampling for year-end review.
We are grateful to them and look forward to having them and many others contributing to WestportNow’s coverage in 2005.
It is through their efforts and those of other WestportNow contributors that WestportNow has recorded remarkable growth in 2004 and now is often cited nationally as a trend-setter in Internet citizen journalism.
Best New Year wishes to them and to all WestportNow readers.
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Property transfers as reported by the Westport Town Clerk’s office for the period Dec. 20-22, 2004:
Julia M. Kondub to Nancy A. Harris et als, 10 Oak Ridge Park, $400,000
Land Group Inc. to Joseph Martens and Kimberly D. Sholty, 5 Highland Road, $1,475,000
Arlene J. Macrios to Elliot and Syvil Bergman, 28 Turkey Hill Road North, $1,020,000
Harry R. and Roberta Barber Eggart to Michael Goldberg and Susan Mastropietro, 41 Spicer Road, $1,480,000
Fung Chin Chu to Annie Chu, Riverside Walk Unit 8, $286,400
Staff members of Westport-based Save the Children are mourning the deaths of two colleagues who died Sunday in Indonesia as a result of the earthquake and tidal waves that devastated south and southeastern Asia, the charity said today.
It said three other staff members were missing.
Save the Children USA, which has operated health, nutrition and job-creation programs in the Aceh province of Indonesia since 1976, is the largest international humanitarian agency working in the province.
The agency has intensified its efforts to provide food, water, shelter and medical care to children and their families impacted not only in Indonesia but throughout the Asian region, the agency said in a statement..
Gov. M. Jodi Rell was resting comfortably today after surgery Monday for breast cancer, her office said.
Rells doctors said Monday evening that her mastectomy and reconstructive surgery at Danbury Hospital was successful and ғeverything looks very good,” a statement said. Rell is expected to remain in the hospital until Wednesday.
The governor expressed her deep gratitude for the outpouring of good will from the people of the state, according to the release.
She said she was eagerly looking forward to celebrating the University of Connecticuts 39-10 victory over the University of Toledo in Monday nightҒs Motor City Bowl in Detroit.
The sun was out, but the temperature struggled to get above freezing today in Westport. Forecasters predicted a warming trend by the end of the week. View of the Saugatuck River is along the riverwalk near the Westport Public Library. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo