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Thursday, February 03, 2005

Fiery Saugatuck Accident Sends One to Hospital

A fiery three-car accident tied up evening rush-hour traffic in Westport’s Saugatuck section tonight and sent one person to the hospital.

The accident occurred at the intersection of Saugatuck Avenue and Treadwell Avenue at about 5:35 p.m.

The Westport Fire Department responded to what was intially described as a car fire at the location but upon arrival found that it was a three-car accident.

One car smashed into a utility pole and fire broke out in the engine compartment, according to reports from the scene.

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02/03/05 10:23 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Kiwanis Club Hears About Children’s Nutrition

Kirsten Osterland, nutritionist and personal trainer at Westport’s Saugatuck Rowing Club, talked about children’s nutrition at Wednesday’s meeting of the Westport Kiwanis Club. Her appearance coincided with members’ participation in the Kiwanis International’s “Skip-a-Meal” program in which the cost of a luncheon is donated to the Kiwanis Children’s Fund which supports children and youth programs. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kim Cooper for


02/03/05 07:26 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport’s Terex Corp. Updates Outlook

Westport’s Terex Corp., the world’s No. 3 maker of construction equipment, indicated in a statement issued today “in response to market rumors” that it could beat earnings expectations in 2005.

The company—located at 500 Post Road East—said it expects earnings in the range of $3.40 to $3.60 per share on revenue of $5.4 billion to $5.6 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call forecast 2005 earnings of $3.50 on revenue of $5.13 billion. Wall Street is expecting the company to report earnings for 2004 of $2.47 per share.

“As previously reported, many of our businesses are experiencing increased demand and we expect that demand to continue in 2005,” said Ronald M. DeFeo, chairman and chief executive, in a statement.

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02/03/05 04:54 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Property Transfers Jan. 24-28, 2005

Property transfers as reported by the Westport Town Clerk’s office for the period Jan. 24-28, 2005:

Lloyd Lyman Mahone Trust to Rina K. Pianko, 270 Hillspoint Road, $2,950,000 WN property.jpg

Joseph R. and Melissa R. Signorile to Leigh Overland, 173 Roseville Road, $746,000

John J. Giunta Sr. Revocable Trust to Robert J. and Lou Ann Giunta, 283A Saugatuck Ave., $1,500,000

Mary H. Singer to Mohonk Education and Neuropsychological Foundation, 66 Weston Road, $500,000

Floyd B. Conlin Jr. and Mary E. Conlin to Michael and Christine Carey, 7 Windrush Lane, $1,795,000


02/03/05 02:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport’s Top 10 Taxpayers Listed

The top 10 taxpayers in Westport—all but one an office building or shopping center—accounted for almost $2.3 million of taxes collected in 2004, according to Tax Collector George Underhill.

The sole non-office building or shopping center was Connecticut Light & Power, the power utility that serves Westport. It was taxed on its power substations and utility poles in the community.

The list:

1. Nyala Farms Inc. $790,687.74
2. Connecticut Light & Power Inc. $411,660.93
3. 55-57 Greens Farms LLC $203,291.10
4. Nyala Farms Inc. $153,463.32
5. Irving Byelas Irrevocable Trust $133,438.56
6. Westport View Corp. Center LLC $125,267.07
7. Gorham Island Associates $121,175.91
8. Compo II LLC $118,700.82
9. Compo Acres LLC $115,400.70
10. Samuel J. Heyman Trustee $109,314.93

Total Tax: $2,282,401.08


02/03/05 05:00 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Grand List Up 3.2 Percent in 2004

Westport’s grand list the full-value estimate of all taxable property in the community including real estate, motor vehicles, and personal property—increased 3.2 percent in 2004 to almost $6 billion, according to town officials.

“It’s a healthy increase,” Finance Director Don Miklus said Wednesday.

He said the $185.7 million increase as of Oct. 1, 2004 to $5,978,015,659 was partially due to the addition of a backlog of building permits that had been included in the year’s total.

The properties were added after it was discovered that the assessor’s office had a backlog of permits involving about 1,200 properties ֖ some dating to 1998—that had not been included in the list.

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02/03/05 04:59 AM Comments () • Permalink

A Winter Walk

Bright sunshine and brisk temperatures were just right for a walk in Westport’s Sherwood Island State Park. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Laux for


02/03/05 04:26 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Police Alerted Following Fairfield Robbery That Killed Two

Westport police were alerted Wednesday night following a brazen early evening armed robbery of a Fairfield jewelry store that left the two owners dead, a police source said.

Westport patrol officers especially those in the Greens Farms area—were told to be on the lookout for a dark-colored SUV possibly containing the suspect, a white man in his 20s, with a stocky build, 5-foot-8 with curly hair.

Police later said they were looking for Christopher DiMeo who is wanted in connection to a series of jewelry store robberies in Westchester, Rockland, and Nassau counties in New York.

The gunman walked into the Donnelly Jewelry on Fairfield’s Post Road at about 6 p.m .and shot the owners ֖ Timothy Donnelly and his wife Kimberly Ann, both 52, police said.

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02/03/05 04:06 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, Feb. 3, 2005

7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Planning and Zoning Commission work session


02/03/05 04:04 AM Comments () • Permalink

Getting a Peek at the New Staples Wing

Members of Westport’s Representative Town Meeting and other officials toured the new wing of Staples High School today. Staples Subcommittee chair Dan Kail (r) said the heating and cooling system of the $74 million project was still in its “start-up phase” and acknowledged that a few problems had been encountered. But he said none was major and that they were being cleared up quickly. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


02/03/05 02:24 AM Comments () • Permalink

Correction: Ex-Westport Broker Pleaded Guilty to Willfully Filing Late Return

In a story on Oct. 2, 2004, WestportNow quoted a Connecticut Post article which incorrectly reported on a federal court appearance of a former Westport real estate broker.

The newspaper said that Linda Landan, 48, had pleaded guilty to failing to file a 1999 federal tax return. The next day the newspaper issued a “clarification” saying that the charge actually was that she willfully failed to file her 1999 tax return on time.

In an e-mail message to WestportNow today, Landan called our attention to the newspaper’s clarification and said she had paid the government $214,000 in fines and penalties. WestportNow regrets the delay in publishing a similar clarification and has corrected the story.


02/03/05 12:10 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Westport’s Martha Stewart to Star in New Version of “The Apprentice”

With little more than a month to go in her jail sentence for obstructing justice, Westport’s Martha Stewart’s post-prison life is becoming a little clearer. NBC said today she will star in a new version of Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice.’‘

Stewart will do a spin off of the reality program which will have contestants competing for a job at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., NBC Universal President Jeff Zucker said on a conference call.

Mark Burnett and Trump will be executive producers. They did not say when the show will start.

“She is an amazing woman,’’ said Trump today. “She will do an amazing job.’’ Trump said he has been in contact with Stewart and that “her mood is fantastic.’’

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02/02/05 09:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Playhouse Entering Community Fund-Raising Phase

Attendees at today’s Town Hall brown bag lunch got an update from the Westport Country Playhouse on its $30.6 million renovation and endowment funding project. Alison Harris, Playhouse executive director, said the Playhouse has another $3 million to go and is beginning a community fund-raising phase that it hopes will attract smaller gifts from Westporters and other neighbors. She said the Playhouse is on schedule to mark its 75th anniversary in its renovated home in June. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


02/02/05 06:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

RTM Postpones Action on Underage Drinking Ordinance

In an almost four-hour meeting Tuesday night, Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) postponed action on a controversial underage drinking ordinance. The legislative body heard several dozen citizens in favor and opposed to the ordinance which, for the first time, would permit police to issue tickets to underage drinkers on private property. The RTM will take up the ordinance again at its March 1 meeting. (Editor’s Note: The editor of is also RTM moderator.) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Laux for


02/02/05 04:31 AM Comments () • Permalink

Listening to the Debate

Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell (3rd l) listens to the RTM debate Tuesday night about the underage drinking ordinance. Farrell, who strongly supports the measure, told the audience she understood the difficulty people were having with deciding their position on the controversial proposal. She is seated with members of the Westport Youth Commission, which had been working on the ordinance for three years, and members of the Westport Police Department, which would oversee its implementation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Laux for


02/02/05 04:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Students Deliver Anti-Ordinance Petition to RTM

Staples High School sophomores (l-r) Stefania Urist, 16, and Jordan Zarrilli, 15, tell the RTM Tuesday night they oppose the proposed underage drinking ordinance . They presented the body with a petition containing 430 signatures of students also opposed to the measure they said they collected over two days. Urist’s mother, Sandra, a member of the Board of Education and its former chair, said she, too, was against the proposal “because I think it is flawed, the language is flawed, and it intrudes on the rights of parents to make decisions for themselves.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Laux for


02/02/05 04:27 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Youth Commission Co-Chair Favors Underage Drinking Ordinance

Staples High School senior Allison Perrin, co-chair of the Westport Youth Commission, tells the RTM Tuesday night why she and the commission favor an underage drinking ordinance. RTM Moderator Gordon Joseloff listens. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Laux for


02/02/05 04:26 AM Comments () • Permalink

“Many Students Wish We Had as Many Parties as You Think We Do”

Audience members, including many Staples High School students, listen to the RTM’s debate Tuesday night on the underage drinking ordinance. One student told the legislative body: “I know many Staples students wish we had as many parties as you think we do.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Laux for


02/02/05 04:23 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2005

7:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - TEAM Westport Committee
10:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 102 - International Hospitality Committee
Noon - Town Hall Room 309/307 - Citizens brown bag lunch


02/02/05 04:04 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Westport Schools Release Connecticut Mastery Test Results

Westport school officials today reported the latest results of the Connecticut Mastery Tests, given to fourth, sixth and eighth graders this past fall.

They said Westport students scored uniformly high, ranging from 81 to
94 per cent at or above the state goal.

An announcement said “year-to-year comparisons are not especially useful” because different groups of students are being examined.

It said this year such comparisons are particularly questionable since, in 2004, fewer special education students were exempted from the test or allowed to test out of grade level,” producing somewhat lower results in several categories.

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02/01/05 09:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

False Alarm, Connecticut Not Being Evacuated

Connecticut emergency management officials have apologized for an erroneous message sent to state broadcasters today saying an evacuation of the state had been ordered.

State emergency management officials believe someone pressed the wrong button.

Instead of running a test of the emergency alert system, midday television viewers and radio listeners were told that the state was being evacuated.

There is absolutely no evacuation or state emergency,Ӕ said Kerry Flaherty, of the Office of Emergency Management. It was an erroneous message.Ӕ

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02/01/05 08:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Red Cross Chapter Seeks “Unsung Hero” Nominations

The Mid-Fairfield County Chapter of the American Red Cross said today it is seeking nominations for “Unsung Heroes” from Norwalk, Westport, Wilton and Weston to honor at its 10th Annual Unsung Heroes Breakfast next month.

An Unsung Hero is someone who, in their own way, makes a difference in the lives of our residents and our community and does it out of the goodness of their heart, never expecting to receive any recognition,Ӕ said Erin Butler, director of community programs for the Mid-Fairfield County Chapter.

This event is a chance not only to recognize what they have done, but also to say thank you.Ӕ

Examples of an Unsung HeroӔ include, but are not limited to, an exceptional mentor or volunteer, going above and beyond the call of duty, saving a life, working behind the scenes,” a Good Samaritan, or caring for the ill or elderly as a volunteer.

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02/01/05 07:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

Mid-Fairfield County Red Cross Planning for April 30 Gala

The Mid-Fairfield County Chapter of the American Red Cross has begun preparations for its second annual fund-raising gala, Carnivale” in collaboration with the New Canaan Chapter Red Cross, the chapter announced today.

The event, to be held at The Westin Stamford on Saturday, April 30 from 6:30 p.m. to midnight, will feature dining, dancing, a ӓCopa Show by Broadway performers, as well as live and silent auctions.

Tickets are $250 per person and black tie is optional.

ԓMany people are unaware of the services the Red Cross provides, from responding to local house fires to training the lifeguards at our beaches, said Missy Iatesta, gala co-chair and Weston resident.

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02/01/05 07:17 PM Comments () • Permalink

More Honors for Staples Science Students

Two students at Westport’s Staples High School have been named winners in a national science competition, it was announced today.

Staples senior Amanda Zarrilli and junior Jon Sellon are two of the five national winners of this years American Academy of Neurology, Neuroscience Creativity Award, the announcement said.

The competition asks students to design a study based on current neuroscience research.

Amanda’s proposed experiment focused on studying the genetics of depression, and Jon’s research proposal focused on studying how music affects attention deficit disorder.

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02/01/05 07:12 PM Comments () • Permalink

Getting Ready for Saturday Night’s “Thespiagage 2005” Gala

Broadway veterans will take the stage with Staples Players members and alumni Saturday evening at “Thespianage 2005,” a fund-raising gala to benefit the award-winning Staples Players High School theatre club at the Saugatuck Congregational Church. The evening will feature cabaret-style performances like Mein Herr, from the Broadway show “Cabaret” (pictured), as well as live and silent auctions, and a champagne and dessert buffet. For tickets and/or further information, e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or call (203) 341-1310. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kerry Long for


02/01/05 04:06 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2005

8:30 a.m. - Town Hall Room 201 - Westport Transit District Directors’ Meeting
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - Shellfish Commission
8 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Representative Town Meeting (live coverage on cable channel 79)


02/01/05 04:04 AM Comments () • Permalink

Web Ready at Long Lots

The PTA at Westport’s Long Lots Elementary School has formally launched its class Web page project. Its goal is to support teachers in creating and keeping current class Web pages. The entire third grade teaching team at Long Lots is now represented with a”>Web presence. Shown are (l-r) Long Lots teachers Kerin Tighe, Francesca DeRosa and Beth Messler working on their class Web pages. Parent volunteer Beth Lloyd-Thomas offered her support. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


02/01/05 03:10 AM Comments () • Permalink

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