Saturday, July 23, 2005
2:30 p.m. - Jesup Green - Japanese Folk Dance Festival
4 p.m. and 8:30 p.m . - Westport Country Playhouse “Dear Brutus”
8 p.m . - Levitt Pavilion - HooDoo Blues Band
The Levitt Pavilion was packed tonight for a performance by the “DNR” band made up of area physicians. The evening was one of 50 free nights of summer entertainment at the Westport locale. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Friday, July 22, 2005
Westport’s Jesup Green will be the site of a Japanese “Bon Odori” folk dance festival Saturday.
Taiko Masala: Japanese drums highlight Bon Odori. Contributed photo
The Japan Society of Fairfield County is sponsoring the event, which features Taiko drum performances, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Japanese food will be available at the Matsu Sushi Japanese restaurant on Jesup Green. Or guests may bring picnic lunches along with chairs or blankets to sit on. The event is free and open to the public. Free parking is nearby.
Taiko Masala, a group of Japanese Taiko drummers from throughout the tri-state area led by Hiro Kurashima, will give two performances at the festival.
Westport’s Stew Leonard Jr. and his daughter, Blake, 19, were at the Westport Weston Family Y today to read excerpts from his latest book on water safety, “Swimming Lessons with Stewie the Duck.” Audience members were children enrolled in Y swimming lessons. Sixteen years ago, Leonard and his wife, Kim, lost their 21-month old son in a drowning accident. Since then, they have been involved in efforts to help educate parents and children about the importance of water safety. The new book, the Leonards’ second, is aimed at children ages 2 to 7 and addresses the skills and fears children face when they first start taking swimming lessons. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westport physicians Robert Altbaum (r, keyboard) and Fred Kaplan (rear, drums) are part of the “DNR” band made up area doctors who perform tonight at the Levitt Pavilion. WestportNow.com file photo
8 p.m . - Levitt Pavilion - DNR, Fairfield County’s all-physician rock band
8:30 p.m . - Westport Country Playhouse “Dear Brutus”
Zachary Kampler, 22, of Westport, will lead the Eastern Festival Symphony Orchestra in a July 30 performance at the Norwalk Concert Hall. The orchestra, made up of local high school and college students, including several from Westport, will perform the children’s favorite “Peter and the Wolf” narrated by Westport First Selectwoman Diane Farrell. Also on the program are Tchaikovsky’s “Violin Concerto” and “Overture to Egmont” by Beethoven. This is the third consecutive year that Kampler, a 2001 Staples grad, has led the orchestra. The 8 p.m. concert will benefit the Hudson Valley Cerebral Palsy Association. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students and senior citizens, and free for children 12 and under. For further information call (203) 454-2556. Jonathan Thrope for WestportNow.com
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Workers today restored Rocky, the sheet-metal rooster mascot of the Westport Country Playhouse, to his place atop the newly renovated Playhouse building. He received a makeover at Westport Auto Craft, thanks to Bob Martin. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
New Westporter: Cerena, a 2-year-old bald eagle, recently arrived at Earthplace. Contributed photoA female bald eagle named Cerena is the latest resident in the growing “Birds of Prey” collection at Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center, in Westport, and on view in a large outdoor enclosure.
The 2-year-old bird comes to Westport from Michigan, where an injury as a young bird necessitated a partial amputation of her left wing. This left Cerena, a member of a threatened species, non-releasable, said Linda Roberts, Earthplace’s director of animal care.
Roberts said Cerena was transported as cargo to Earthplace in a specially modified, airline-approved dog kennel. Transportation costs were underwritten by a grant from Northeast Utilities.
Cerena now has a brown head and tail, but as she approaches 4 to 5 years old, Roberts said, she will gradually acquire the white head and tail feathers and yellow beak that are characteristic of adult bald eagles.
By Dave Matlow
The Westport and Fairfield Fire Departments held a getting-to-know-you session Wednesday.
Westport firefighters check out equipment on a Fairfield Fire Department rescue truck Wednesday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Although they have a mutual aid agreement and often respond to fires together, the departments for the first time held a formal equipment familiarization meeting.
The session, which took place in a Westport shopping center parking lot near the Fairfield line, was prompted by increased concern about homeland security and the need for improved cooperation among area fire departments.
“Since 911 there’s a major initiative toward regionalization of firefighter resources in Fairfield County,” said Westport’s Lt. Ken Lombardi. “This will strengthen the delivery of our service to our respective communities.”
10:30 a.m. � Town Hall Room 102 � Historic District Commission
7 p.m. � Toquet Hall � Youth Commission
7 p.m. Senior Center - RTM Health and Human Services Committee
7:30 p.m. � Senior Center � RTM Finance/Health & Human Services Committees
7:30 p.m. � Town Hall Auditorium � Planning & Zoning Commission Public Hearing
8 p.m . - Levitt Pavilion - Michael Coppola Trio, jazz
8 p.m . - Westport Country Playhouse “Dear Brutus”
It was a fun night for the entire family at Westport’s Levitt Pavilion tonight as Kevin O’Keefe performed his Circus Minimus one-man-in-a-suitcase show. From his suitcase emerged an entire circus—tent, band, lights, a boisterous ringmaster a magician, and a juggler, among others. Jonathan Thrope for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Property transfers as reported by the Westport Town Clerk’s office for the period July 11-15, 2005:
David G. Call to Grace Cho, 24 Morningside Drive North, $1,189,000
Bank of America N A Trust to Peter M. and Madeline A. Stone, 5 Wakeman Road, $950,000
Francesco and Marily D. Pozzuto to Jordan and Dorothy Kaplan, 3 Peaceful Lane, $630,000
Laurelbrook I Associated LLC to Thomas L. and Nancy Broadbent, 126 Morningside Drive South, $2,800,000
Laurelbrook I Associated LLC to Thomas and Nancy Broadbent, 251 Greens Farms Road, $1,200,000
Workers using a backhoe severed a gas line today at a home on Westport’s Roseville Road, officials said. Police shut down the road and firefighters stood by as representatives of the gas company worked on the damaged line.
The incident happened at mid-day in the area of 155 Roseville Road. Traffic was diverted around the area through Joann Circle for about an hour before the line was shut down. No injuries were reported.
Traffic on Westport’s Post Road East near Mitchells was tied up today by survey work being done for the 69-mile Middletown to Norwalk power line. Surveyors are marking exisiting underground untilty lines as the 5.5 mile portion of the line through Westport will be underground. (See WestportNow July 12, 2005) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jonathan Thrope for WestportNow.com
2 p.m. and 8 p.m . - Westport Country Playhouse “Dear Brutus”
5:30 p.m. Town Hall Room 201 - SBC Staples Subcommittee
7 p.m . Town Hall Auditorium - Conservation Commission
7 p.m . - Levitt Pavilion - Circus Minimus
Westport Democrats tonight nominated Gordon Joseloff and Shelly Kassen as their candidates for first and second selectmen in November’s election. Joseloff has served 14 years on the Representative Town Meeting, the last 10 as moderator. Kassen has served eight years on the Board of Finance and was recently elected its chair. (Editor’s note: Joseloff is also editor of WestportNow.com.) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westport Republicans tonight nominated John Izzo (l) and Robert Lasprogato as their candidates for first and second selectmen in November’s election. Izzo has served as third selectman for four years, having been defeated in 2001 by incumbent Democrat Diane G. Farrell who is not seeking re-election. He also served two years on the Representative Town Meeting. Lasprogato is a member of the Republican Town Committee. Emily Laux for WestportNow.com
Westport Republicans tonight nominated their slate of candidates in the November election. Pictured are (l-r): John Fitzgerald (Board of Assessment Appeals); Peter Thorner (Zoning Board of Appeals); Robert Lasprogato (Second Selectman); John Izzo (First Selectman); Abraham Avi Kaner and Richard Benson (both Board of Finance); James Marpe, Robert Chasin, and Kristin LaFleur (all Board of Education). One additional candidate for Planning and Zoning will be nominated later. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Laux for WestportNow.com
Westport Democrats tonight nominated their slate of candidates in the November election. Pictured are (l-r): Elaine Arnow (Board of Assessment Appeals); Jacqueline Masumian (Zoning Board of Appeals); David Krauss (Board of Assessment Appeals); Jeffrey Mayer (Board of Finance); Shelly Kassen (Second Selectman); Donald Day (Board of Education); Gordon Joseloff (First Selectman); Marjorie Cion (Board of Education); Helen Garten (Board of Finance); Bruce Kasanoff and Howard Lathrop (both Planning and Zoning Commission); and Douglas Bowen (Zoning Board of Appeals). Ronald Corwin (Planning and Zoning Commission) was not able to attend tonight’s meeting. (Editor’s note: Joseloff is also editor of WestportNow.com.) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
How hot was it today? So hot that at mid-afternoon Westport’s Compo Beach was not very crowded. But many who did go to the beach, immediately headed into the water. Westport’s Coleytown Middle School recorded a high of 95F during the afternoon while it reached 85F at the Longshore Sailing School on Long Island Sound. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
As Westport deliberates how to update its noise ordinance, the Town Council in Southington is taking steps to add some noise to Town Hall to discourage eavesdropping.
In an effort to protect against eavesdropping outside closed-door executive sessions, the Town Council has decided to install a $1,200 sound system to pipe music into hallways outside Town Council chambers, the Record-Journal of Meriden reported.
The measure, however, was left in limbo when the finance board deadlocked on a 3-3 vote. Town officials were uncertain how the finance board’s action would affect the town council’s plan and were looking into the issue, the newspaper said.
Details about confidential executive sessions have occasionally appeared in newspapers, leading to suspicion that an unidentified reporter was eavesdropping, the report said.
Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon has named Richard A. Leadem, the newly-retired principal of Holland Hill Elementary School in Fairfield, interim principal for Westport’s Long Lots Elementary School, it was announced today.
He also announced that Catherine Carmona will be assistant principal at King’s Highway Elementary School.
Leadem will replace Barbara Lasher, who retired at the end of June. Leadem had served at Holland Hill for 15 years. Previously, he served 10 years as principal of Manchester Elementary/Middle School in Manchester, Vt.
Leadem will begin his interim assignment Aug. 15 and is expected to remain at Long Lots through the end of the current school year, a school statement said.
Air quality today: orange is unhealthy for sensitive groups. EPA graphicAir quality throughout Connecticut is predicted to be unhealthy today due to elevated concentrations of ground-level ozone, commonly called smog.
The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Protection Agency also said they expect elevated levels of particulate matter.
While anyone can be affected by ozone, groups particularly sensitive include children and adults who are active outdoors, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, the agencies said.
When particulate concentrations in the ambient air are elevated, people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children are the groups most at risk.
One man was slightly injured shortly before 8 a.m. today when his car struck a stone wall at 129 Cross Highway and flipped over. The driver, who was taken to Norwalk Hospital by Westport EMS for evaluation, told police he reached down to pick up something off the car floor and hit the wall. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Gordon Joseloff/WestportNow.com photo
Michael McGovern:New board member debuts. Stephen Rubin for WestportNow.comBy Jonathan Thrope
Overcoming a last-minute glitch, the Westport Board of Education Monday night approved an agreement with the manufacturer of synthetic turf playing fields for new fields on school property.
The board accepted a gift from Sprinturf towards the installation at the Stadium Field and Jinny Parker Field at Staples High School. The company will also construct new fields adjacent to Saugatuck Elementary School and at Wakeman Park.
The Wayne, Pa.-based company agreed to make a matching grant to the money raised by the Field of Dreams Committee for the project, whose total value is estimated at $2.85 million. The company said it had reduced the cost to $1.55 million in exchange for a branding agreement.
Earlier, Mary Parmelee, board chair, raised some issues regarding the branding agreement. She also had concerns about the appropriateness of a plaque that would be placed at each field as well as an exclusivity clause within the contract that would restrict the board from purchasing turf in the future from any company besides Sprinturf.
8:30 a.m. � Town Hall Room 201 � Human Services Commission
9 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Jesup Green - Friends of Library Book Sale (all books free, cash donations appreciated)
10 a.m. � Town Hall Room 201 � Administrative Review Committee
10 a.m. � Town Hall Room 309 � Arts Advisory Committee
11 a.m. � Town Hall Room 201 � Planning & Zoning Big House Committee
8 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Westport Democratic Town Committee nominating convention
8 p.m. Town Hall Room 201 - Westport Republican Town Committee nominating convention
8 p.m. Levitt Pavilion - Paul Rosenthal and Bluegrass Union
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Dear Brutus”
John Dodig: Thanks Board of Education for his appointment tonight. Stephen Rubin for WestportNow.comBy Jonathan Thrope
The Westport Board of Education tonight unanimously approved John Dodig, who served as interim principal for much of this year at Staples High School, as the school’s new principal.
The vote followed the unanimous approval of Dodig by the Principal Search Committee as well as an interview the board held with Dodig in executive session before the public meeting.
Dodig was first publicly announced as a principal candidate July 6 when he held three question and answer sessions with the public. At these sessions, he vowed that he would remain as Staples principal for five years. (See WestportNow July 6, 2005)
Board Chair Mary Parmelee said that in Dodig, Staples will be gaining a principal with a “passion for education which is clear to everyone who has met John.”
She described him as well-rounded, intelligent, and an excellent problem solver.
Monday, July 18, 2005
A house at 9 Blind Brook Road off of Woodside Avenue in the Old Hill section of Westport came down today. The property, built in 1952 and featured as the WestportNow teardown of the day April 28, 2005, sold this month for $750,000. The developer and his family were among those watching the demolition. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The National Weather Service today issued a flash flood warning for Westport and other parts of southern Fairfield County.
It said Doppler radar indicated that thunderstorms with torrential downpours were moving into the area. Rainfall rates of over 2 inches per hour are expected in southern Fairfield County with these thunderstorms.
The worst flooding is expected to to occur north of Interstate 95 between
the towns of North Greenwich and New Canaan.
A flash flooding warning means that flooding is imminent or occurring. If you are in the warning area move to higher ground immediately. Residents living along streams and creeks should take immediate precautions to protect life and property. Do not attempt to cross swiftly flowing waters or waters of unknown depth by foot or by automobile.