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Saturday, August 27, 2005

CAPT Scores Highest in Five Years

The Westport school district’s Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) scores are the highest they have been in five years.

Staples High School sophomores did best last spring in reading with 89 percent of the class passing that portion of the test.

In writing, 86 percent of the class passed the test, and 79 percent of the class passed the math portion of the test.

In science, 76 percent of the class passed the test.

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08/27/05 08:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

Getting Help from Neighbors Image
Roadrunner competitor Ann Shaffer gets an assist from neighbors in the Green’s Farms area today. The weekly summer runs wind up next weekend. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ron Malone for


08/27/05 03:24 PM Comments () • Permalink

Fishing at Compo Image
Westporter Jerry Finch and his daughter enjoy some fishing Friday night at Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ron Malone for


08/27/05 03:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Final Solo Show of Summer Opens at Westport Arts Center Image
The final solo show of the Westport Arts Center’s summer season opened Friday night and runs through Sept. 2. On display are pastels by Southporter Janine Brown; Norwalk resident Katharine Draper’s monotypes; murals by Joan Gardner of East Haven; New Canaanite Leigh Leibel’s black and white photography and mixed media drawings by Woodfin Wood of Wilton. Pictured: a couple examines Katharine Draper’s work. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


08/27/05 03:35 AM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, Aug. 27, 2005

4 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - Journey’s End
6:30 p.m. - Westport Historical Society, Veterans Green - Canteen Night
8 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Doc Wallace Trio


08/27/05 03:03 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Friday, August 26, 2005

Timely Reminder Image
A reminder on Post Road East that school starts Sept. 6, courtesy of the Westport Police Athletic League.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ron Malone for


08/26/05 02:14 PM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, Aug. 26, 2005

8 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - The British Beat
8:30 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - Journey’s End


08/26/05 03:03 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Surprise Twist in Visit to Daughter Image
A car drove through the front window of Party Harty today on Post Road East. Although there was damage to the storefront, no one was injured. The driver, Marilyn Conway, 75, of Lakewood, N.J., (seated in chair, rear) said she hit the accelerator instead of the brake. She and he husband, Hank, 85, stopped by the store to visit with their daughter, Sue, who owns Party Harty. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/25/05 11:46 PM Comments Closed • Permalink

“Canteen Night” Saturday at Westport Historical Society Image
With commemoration this month of the 60th anniversary of VJ Day and the end of World War ll, the Westport Historical Society and the Mid-Fairfield County Chapter of the American Red Cross are getting “in the mood”  with their 1940s themed Canteen Night Saturday. The fund-raising event will feature 1940s style dinner and dancing, with music by swing band Eight to the Bar, dance lessons, and specialty martinis of the era. Pictured polishing their moves are (l to r) Denise Torv, Westport Historical Society executive director, Carol Fishman, Mid-Fairfield County Red Cross director of special events, and Janet Filling, Mid-Fairfield County Red Cross executive director.  For more information visit  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


08/25/05 10:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

Today’s WestportNow Teardown: 6 Pumpkin Hill Image
Today’s WestportNow teardown is 6 Pumpkin HIll off North Avenue. The house sold this month for $1,073,000. A demolition application is pending. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/25/05 05:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

“Got Blood? Image
The Westport Country Playhouse and the American Red Cross are sponsoring a blood drive Monday from 1 p.m to 5:45 p.m. m. Donors can register at using sponsor code “wplayhouse. Donors will receive a buy one-get one free ticket offer to the current Playhouse production of “Journey’s End” and a Playhouse t-shirt. Pictured (l-r) are: Brenda Wagner, account manager, American Red Cross; George Taylor, actor; Janet Filling, executive director, Mid-Fairfield County Chapter, American Red Cross; Trevor Vaughn, actor; Mark Shanahan, actor; Beth Husiking, Playhouse marketing and group sales associate; Kieran Campion, actor; Daniel Freedom Stewart, actor; Anne Keefe, Playhouse associate artistic director; Alison Harris, Playhouse executive director; Andrew Weems, actor, and Tommy Schrider, actor. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


08/25/05 03:48 PM Comments () • Permalink

A Manhattan View from Westport Waters Image
Wednesday’s clear weather made for good viewing of the Manhattan skyline from waters near Westport’s Cockenoe Island. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


08/25/05 03:06 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, Aug. 25, 2005

8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - Journey’s End
8 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Mill River Band, acoustic rock, country blues, and western swing


08/25/05 03:03 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Juggling at the Levitt Image
The Dazzling Mills Family electrified a youthful crowd tonight at Westport’s Levitt Pavilion with startling juggling tricks and unicycle riding. The family of four contains three national juggling and unicycle riding champions. Tonight’s performance marked the final family and children night at the Levitt this season and only four acts remain before the 32nd season of the Levitt Pavilion comes to a close. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jonathan Thrope for


08/25/05 12:08 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

On-Again, Off-Again Post Road East Work is On Again Image
The on-again, off-again work at the busy intersection of Post Road East and Compo Road North was on again today for some utility connections. The state is supposed to be installing a right hand turn lane for drivers heading south on Compo Road North. But town officials say the project has been delayed with no explanation offered. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ron Malone for


08/24/05 10:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Property Transfers Aug. 15-19, 2005

Property transfers as reported by the Westport Town Clerk’s office for the period Aug. 15-19, 2005:

David S. and Marjorie T. French to Ye Yang Sun and Yun Min Liang, 17 Wheeler Gate, $2,113,888WN property.jpg

Hilary Wechsler and William F. Gibson to Robert Grodman and Julia B. Norris, 2 Donald Drive, $1,067,220

Julia B. Norris to Silas and Melissa M. Abraham, Unit 22 Swarthmore Lane, $380,000

T. Anthony and Sarah L. and Denise Donato Howe to Patrick A. and Denise Donato McConnell, 4 Spriteview Ave., $1,200,000

Lisa M. Wilson to Kent R. Manning Jr. and Margarita Salas, 57 Sylvan Road North, $1,445,000

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08/24/05 07:49 PM Comments Closed • Permalink

Gas Leak Causes Evacuation of Children from Westport Y

Workers on a sewer construction project on Church Lane in Westport’s center severed a gas line today, forcing evacuation of children from the nearby Westport Weston Family Y until the line could be shut down, authorities said. There were no Image
Church Lane: workers hit gas line. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ron Malone for

Assistant Chief Gene Maloney said firefighters responded to a 10:54 a.m. call of a natural gas leak on the narrow street adjoining the Y.

“Upon arrival, fire department units observed uncontrolled gas releasing from a severed pipeline in the street excavation,” he said. “Equipment owned by Mark IV Construction operating at the site unintentionally struck and ruptured a two-inch gas line.”

He said firefighters positioned protective hose lines and monitored the interiors of buildings adjacent to the leak with meters to determine gas level concentrations.

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08/24/05 04:52 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport “Teacher of the Year” Nominees Announced

Candidates for Westport’s 2006 “Teacher of the Year” will be formally presented Monday following an all-staff breakfast which kicks off the 2005-06 Westport district school year, the district announced today. Image
Nominated teachers: (top, l-r):  Kathy Brunjes; Linda Johnson; Julia McNamee; Michael Pisseri, (bottom, l-r):  Suzanne Sherman-Propp, Christina Richardson, Robin Sacilotto, Adele Valovich (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photos

The district will also honor the nominees – chosen by their colleagues – as well as the “Teacher of the Year” at a program and reception preceding a Board of Education meeting in September.

The eight teachers nominated are: Kathy Brunjes, Bedford Middle School(BMS) Social Studies; Linda Johnson, Long Lots Grade 3;Julia McNamee, BMS English; Michael Pisseri, Coleytown Middle School Social Studies; Christina Richardson, Staples High School (SHS) English; Robin Sacilotto, SHS Math; Suzanne Sherman-Propp, Green‘s Farms Music; and Adele Valovich, SHS Music.

Sketches of the nominees and the reasons for their nomination by staff members follow.


08/24/05 03:58 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sailing Off Cockenoe Image
A colorful catamaran sails gently by Cockenoe Island Tuesday on one of the nicest days of the summer.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.


08/24/05 03:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2005

10:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – International Hospitality Committee
2 p.m. and 8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - Journey’s End
7 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Dazzling Mills Family


08/24/05 03:03 AM Comments () • Permalink

Petition to Overturn P&Z Action Fails by One Vote in RTM

An attempt to overturn a Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission change to its residential affordable housing regulations failed by one vote tonight at a special meeting of the Westport Representative Town Meeting (RTM).

The 23-4 vote was one shy of the required two-thirds of the 36-member legislative body necessary to reverse the P&Z action of July 28. One member abstained from the discussion and balloting

The P&Z text change allows a property in the Residential Affordable Housing Zone to revert to its previous zone if the project could not be completed.

Neighbors who petitioned for the reversal argued that the amendment opened the way for a developer to buy up adjoining properties at low prices and then revert to a residential use with a bigger house on the original property.

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08/24/05 02:01 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

MTA New Security Plan Includes Cameras on New Haven Line

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced a $212 million plan to improve security on subways, buses, bridges, tunnels, and commuter lines, including the Metro-North New Haven Line and its two stations in Westport.

A three-year contract with defense contractor Lockheed Martin calls for installation of 1,000 surveillance cameras, 3,000 sensors and other equipment to detect potential attacks.

“We hope (this) will detect the terrorists before an incident happens, not just be able to report for forensic purposes after an incident happens and identify who the terrorist is,” said Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Executive Director Katherine Lapp.

The new technology will use sensors, closed-circuit television and software to spot unattended packages that may contain bombs and alert transit employees to unauthorized intruders in its tunnels and other sensitive areas.


08/23/05 08:54 PM Comments () • Permalink

Learning What to Do in Emergencies Image
Scott Shields and his dog Theodore, son of Bear, the most celebrated rescue dog at New York’s World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, were welcomed today by the campers at the Westport Historical Society’s Time Travelers Summer Camp. Shields presented a program which teaches children to be safe and to know what to do in emergencies. Shields developed the “Lost in the Woods” program in honor of Bear, the first canine inside to search the rubble at Ground Zero. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed Photo


08/23/05 08:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

From Siberia to Westport Image
The Westport Rotary Club today greeted its latest exchange student—Yana Baeva, 15, from Biysk, a city in southern Russia located in the Altai Territory of eastern Siberia about 200 miles southeast of Novosibirsk. Yana, who showed off a native dress she said is more than 100 years old, is pictured with Viveka Kjellgren of Westport, the club’s student exchange coordinator. Добро пожаловать к Westport! (Welcome to Westport!) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/23/05 07:22 PM Comments () • Permalink

Getting into the American Teen Look Image
Russian Yana Baeva (c), the Westport Rotary Club’s newest exchange student, changed out of her native dress into something more akin to the American teen look today after addressing the club’s weekly luncheon. Yana, who turns 16 Sept. 25, arrived in Westport Friday. With her are club members Dennis Corsalini and Viveka Kjellgren. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


08/23/05 07:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Author Cautions on Use of Eminent Domain Image
Author (and WestportNow Contributing Editor) James Lomuscio, addressing today’s weekly meeting of the Westport Rotary Club, urged caution in municipal use of eminent domain to acquire private property for public good. Lomuscio, whose new book, “Village of the Dammed” recounts the 1930s seizure and flooding of parts of Weston for a reservoir, said a recent Supreme Court decision could open the way for uses of eminent domain that may create more revenue for a municipality but may not be in the public’s best interest. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


08/23/05 05:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Early Morning at Old Mill Image
An early morning start at Westport’s Old Mill Beach with a very low tide. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.


08/23/05 03:34 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2005

6:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM, Employee Compensation, Finance, Public Protection and Public Works Committees
8 p.m. Town Hall Auditorium - Special RTM Meeting (cable coverage channel 79)
8 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Connecticut Ballet
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - Journey’s End


08/23/05 03:03 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Monday, August 22, 2005

Staples Construction Workers Rush Ahead of School Start

By Jonathan Thrope

Just over two weeks remain until Westport public schools open their doors to students, and construction workers at Staples are busily working to make sure the high school is ready for students when they return. Image
K-Building: will be ready in February.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jonathan Thrope for

According to Project Manager Susan Chipouras, construction at Staples has gone according to schedule since the site was closed to the public on June 23 and it will be ready for students by Sept. 6, the first day of school.

When Staples students return, they will be met by a significantly different building than when they left. The most noticeable difference will be a new Fine Arts Building in the place where the No. 4 Building once stood as well as a renovated cafeteria.

Chipouras said that at the beginning of the school year, the new cafeteria will not be completely finished, and thus it will not be large enough to accommodate all students during their allotted lunchtime. As a result, she said that auxiliary lunch seating will have to be set up somewhere in the school, likely in the field house, until the end of October, at which point the cafeteria will be completely renovated.


08/22/05 09:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Emergency Workers Aid in Parkway Accident

Westport’s fire and EMS personnel aided today in a double roll-over accident on the Merritt Parkway in Fairfield, authorities said.

The accident occurred at about 11:42 a.m. in the northbound lanes just prior to exit 44 in Fairfield, according to Fire Department Assistant Chief Robert Kepchar.

“Upon arrival, two passenger vehicles were in the right lane on their roofs after colliding and rolling over,” he said.

“All four occupants from the two vehicles were treated at the scene and transported by to area hospitals by ambulances from Westport EMS and American Medical Response.”

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08/22/05 08:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

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