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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Police Step Up Patrols

Westport police will be patrolling the streets more this weekend checking for those who may be driving while intoxicated.

Police Sgt. Jerry Shannon, department public information officer, said no sobriety checkpoints are planned this holiday weekend, but there will be more officers on the roads.

Those officers will be not only checking for those who may be driving drunk, he said, but also looking for those violating other motor vehicle laws like speeding.

Shannon said drivers should allow plenty of time when traveling this weekend, he said, and to drive safetly.

More "Police Step Up Patrols"


11/23/05 09:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

More Funds Sought for Staples Project

By Jennifer Connic

The Staples Building Committee will seek over $1 million to complete the high school’s construction project, but the exact figure is unknown at this time.

Dan Kail, building committee chairman, said a session is planning with the Board of Education on Dec. 5 to discuss the requirements to complete the project.

The figures on how much is needed are not finalized at this time, he said, but should be ready for the building committee’s meeting next week.

“I’m going to hold off on saying how much we need until we see the numbers,” he said.

More "More Funds Sought for Staples Project"


11/23/05 06:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tiffany’s Benefit for Earthplace Set

A Peregrine Falcon with a broken wing isn’t the first image that comes to mind when one hears the words Tiffany & Co. Nor do thoughts arise of woodchip trails along a 62-acre preserve and displays showcasing mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles.

But on Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m., the Westport Tiffany’s on the Post Road plans to host an invitation-only cocktail reception benefit for Earthplace, Westport’s nature center located at 10 Woodside Lane. Titled “Keys for a Cause,” the event aims to raise funds for the renovation of Earthplace’s Exhibit Hall. When completed, Earthplace officials say, the 3,200-square-foot hall will include more interactive, real-life animal displays.

Frank Grazynski, Earthplace’s development manager, added that the event will also offer guests a chance to win Tiffany gifts. “Guests can purchase keys that may open a golden-padlocked vitrine,” Grazynski said. “Vitrines will display Tiffany Blue Boxes filled with wonderful treasures.”

For further information, contact Earthplace at 227-7253.


11/23/05 06:35 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Businesses To Be Alerted in Emergencies

The Business Council of Fairfield County is working with communities—including Westport—and businesses throughout the region to provide emergency alerts to companies.

The Fairfield County Business Alert allows businesses to receive information directly from the local community’s public safety departments in the event there is a crisis.

Both Police Chief Al Fiore and Fire Chief Christopher Ackley said the system will help the businesses and public safety workers in more frequent emergencies like storms and flooding.

During recent blizzards and snow storms, Fiore said, the governor has asked business owners to give their workers the day off so the roads can be cleared more easily.

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11/22/05 09:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

Woog To Sign Book at Historical Society

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Pictured at the Westport Public Library unveiling earlier this month are (l to r) Betty Lou Cummings, author Dan Woog, Historical Society executive Director Denise Torv, Jo Woog, and Jo Fuchs Luscombe. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Longtime Westport News columnist, author and educator Dan Woog is scheduled to sign copies of his latest book, “Staples High School, 120 Years of A+ Education,” at the Westport Historical Society (WHS) on Saturday, Nov. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The book, which sold out at its debut at the Westport Public Library in early November, is now in its second printing and on sale at the society.

Woog, who has spent years as a Staples High School substitute teacher and soccer coach, choreographs the public high school’s history from 1884 through today, with an inside look at educators and students.

In addition to the WHS, the book can be purchased online at www.StaplesHistory.com and www.ItascaBooks.com. For further information about the event, call 222-1424 or visit
www.westporthistory.org. Woog will also be signing copies of the book on Friday at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Westport-Weston Family Y on the corner of Post Road East and Main Street.


11/22/05 06:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Reflections on the Saugatuck

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Despite the overcast skies, there was still a brilliant reflection on the Saugatuck River. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


11/22/05 02:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2005

7:30 p.m.—Town Hall Auditorium—Zoning Board of Appeals


11/22/05 05:27 AM Comments () • Permalink

Joseloff Takes Office

By Jennifer Connic

Led by new First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, a slate of new faces took office tonight in the town’s inaugural ceremony.
WestportNow.com Image
Outgoing First Selectwoman Diane Farrell administers the oath of office tonight to Gordon Joseloff, new first selectman, while new Selectwoman Shelly Kassen looks on. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Hamilton Laux for WestportNow.com

Twenty-seven new people—some returning after a stint away from elected office—filled the 52 positions tonight after being elected just two weeks ago.

In his address, Joseloff said he was overwhelmed by the turnout at the event and the support he has been given.

“I was elected by all whether they were Democrat, Republican or Independent,” he said. “I ran the RTM as non-partisan, and I will run the town as non-partisan.”

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11/22/05 03:43 AM Comments () • Permalink

New Board of Education Members

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Marjorie Cion, Donald O’Day, Jim Marpe and Kristin LeFleur all take the office as new Board of Education members tonight during a ceremony at Town Hall. Marpe is the only incumbent on the school board. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Hamilton Laux for WestportNow.com


11/22/05 03:43 AM Comments () • Permalink

Posing for Photographers

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Outgoing Westport First Selectwoman Diane Farrell poses with her successor, Gordon Joseloff, and Second Selectman Shelly Kassen, at tonight’s Town Hall ceremony. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Hamilton Laux for WestportNow.com


11/22/05 03:32 AM Comments () • Permalink

Waving Goodbye

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Outgoing First Selectwoman Diane Farrell waves to the crowd after officially leaving office tonight. She administered the oath of office to new First Selectman Gordon Joseloff and then left the stage with a wave. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com


11/22/05 03:31 AM Comments () • Permalink

Special Chanuka Program

Beth Israel of Westport-Norwalk plans to host a Chanuka program for children and teens with special needs on Sunday, Dec. 18 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the temple at 40 King Street in Norwalk.

The event, being sponsored by the Circle of Friends and Sunday Children’s Circle, has scheduled an afternoon of sports, dance and crafts led by professional therapists and leaders, and each participant will be teamed up with a teenage volunteer, officials said.

The Circle of Friends is an affiliate of the national organization YACHAD and a beneficiary
of the UJA Federation of Westport, Weston, Wilton and Norwalk.

For further information contact Freida Hecht at 203-866-0534 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


11/22/05 03:13 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, November 21, 2005

Green Energy Could Mean Solar Panels

By Jennifer Connic

Selectman Carl Leaman is making one last plea for residents to switch to green energy before he leaves office.

Leaman is again promoting a program from Connecticut Light and Power that allows users to switch to green energy for a slightly higher cost per month.

“Everyone should give careful thought to converting,” he said. “It’s under a penny increase per kilowatt hour.”

At the increase per kilowatt hour, he said, it would be an increase of $8 to $10 per month for each user.

More "Green Energy Could Mean Solar Panels"


11/21/05 05:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

Letter from WN Founding Editor Gordon Joseloff

Dear WestportNow Readers:

Tonight I will be sworn in as Westport’s first selectman and that will mark the end of my editorial relationship with WestportNow.

In the coming weeks, I will distance myself from direct financial involvement in the publication as well. The almost two weeks since the election has not been enough time to complete these arrangements.

My motive in founding WestportNow in March 2003 was to create a reliable, independent real-time source of news and information for Westport. I think I have proved its value both to readers and advertisers and am grateful for its reception locally as well as nationally.

More "Letter from WN Founding Editor Gordon Joseloff"


11/21/05 05:33 AM Comments () • Permalink

Compo Boat Watching

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Sunday’s warm temperatures brought out these youngsters who watched sailboat races in Long Island Sound off Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


11/21/05 05:13 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, Nov. 21, 2005

8 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Inauguration ceremony for town officials (live coverage cable channel 79)


11/21/05 05:03 AM Comments () • Permalink

Patagonia Opens in Former Westport Bank Building

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Patagonia, a designer of outdoor clothing and gear, opened a Westport branch today in the former Westport Bank & Trust Co. (more recently Hudson United Bank) bank building in Westport�s center. Developer David Waldman preserved the mural scenes of Westport by artist Robert Lambdin as well as the entrance to the old bank vault. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ron Malone for WestportNow.com


11/21/05 03:34 AM Comments () • Permalink

Woman’s Club Fund-Raiser Nets $7,500

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Saturday night’s 1960s musical extravaganza “Let the Sun Shine In” by the Westport Woman’s Club raised about $7,500 for the Southwestern Connecticut chapter of the Alzheimer�s Association and the Circle of Care. Among those performing were (l-r): Carrie Pine, Eva Rawiszer and Lois Leftwich. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


11/21/05 01:25 AM Comments () • Permalink

His Door Is Always Open

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Bridgeport Mayor John Fabrizi told a crowd of about 100 people at Toquet Hall today that his door is always open and he’ll always return phone calls from people who have concerns or ideas to improve the city. He also spoke about changes he has made and wants to make to make Bridgeport better. He joined Bridgeport Schools Superintendent John Ramos and Economic Planning and Development Director Nancy Hadley on a panel. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ron Malone for WestportNow.com


11/21/05 12:46 AM Comments () • Permalink

Bridgeport Officials Outline a Bright Future

By Jennifer Connic

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Bridgeport Schools Superintendent John Ramos speaks about his plans to improve the city’s school district during a forum at Toquet Hall today. He joined Bridgeport Mayor John Fabrizi and Economic Planning and Development Director Nancy Hadley. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ron Malone for WestportNow.com
A crowd of about 100 people crowded into Westport’s Toquet Hall this afternoon to hear about the future of the state’s largest city, Bridgeport.

The League of Women Voters—working with the Y’s Men, Y’s Woman, PTA Council and its sister chapters in Wilton and Bridgeport—sponsored the event, which featured presentations from Bridgeport Mayor John Fabrizi, Schools Superintendent John Ramos and Economic Planning and Development Director Nancy Hadley.

Ramos said there is a perception that Bridgeport’s school district is horrible, but he sees incredible things happening in the classrooms each day.

“We need to expect great things,” he said.

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11/21/05 12:45 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Westport Playhouse Receives Governor’s Art Award

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The Westport Country Playhouse recently was awarded a 2005 Governor’s Arts Award as part of the inaugural Governor’s Conference on Culture and Tourism in Hartford. The award recognizes significant achievements in the fields of the performing, visual and literary arts and film; tourism; and heritage preservation within Connecticut. It is sponsored by the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism. Shown (l-r) are Beth Huisking, marketing/group sales associate; Christi Goins, patron services manager; Jameson Gilpatrick, director of administration; Elisabeth Morten, chairman of the board; Alison Harris, executive director; Ann Sheffer, board of directors’ member; Robin Valovich, development manager; and Cheryl Bochniewicz, publications manager. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo



11/20/05 08:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Country Playhouse Earns Governor’s Arts Award

Westport Country Playhouse was among those honored by the 2005 Governor’s Arts Award recently held at the Bushnell-Belding Theater in Hartford to recognize achievements in the fields of the performing, visual and literary arts and film, as well as tourism and heritage preservation in Connecticut.

“Connecticut is home to a rich and diverse tapestry of cultural resources,” said Governor M. Jodi Rell. “We take great pride in the exceptional numbers of talented artisans, innovators and socially aware institutions Connecticut has produced over the years, in particular those who have contributed to promoting and preserving the state’s heritage, cultural assets and many unique attractions. “

Westport Country Playhouse was established in 1931 in a converted antique barn. It is the oldest continuing summer theater in Connecticut. During its first seven decades, the Playhouse staged works by leading contemporary playwrights such as Geroge Bernard Shaw, Thornton Wilder, and Eugene O’Neill, and produced more than 700 plays with cast lists featuring the likes of Helen Hayes, Ethel Barrymore, Tyrone Power, Gene Kelly, and Olivia de Havilland. During its prime, the Playhouse launched 35 productions that transferred to Broadway.

In June 2005, a 16-month, $17.8 million renovation was completed and officially reopened the Playhouse as a year-round facility replete with a new rehearsal barn. The Playhouse celebrates its 75th Anniversary Season this year. “We are sincerely pleased to publicly applaud such initiative, vision and achievements,” Rell said.

Other recipients were Sam Waterston, actor; Doug Hughes, director; Jeanine Basinger, Wesleyan University; and Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz, musicians.


11/20/05 08:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Historical Society Plans Holiday House Tour

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Holiday House Tour Chair David F. Kneisel of DFK Properties, Chef Matt Storch of Match, and Chris O’Dowd of The Cantering Caterer spent an afternoon at Match in South Norwalk planning for the upcoming Holiday House Tour (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Andrea Maritzer Fine for WestportNow.com
A Day of Architectural and Culinary Riches awaits visitors to the Westport Historical Society’s 19th Annual Holiday House Tour.

The tour, which is one of the largest fund-raisers for the historical society, is slated for Dec. 4 at 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Five Westport homes, chosen for their architectural uniqueness, history and style, are dressed up for the holiday season by creative florists and stylists.

Highlights this year include an architectural classic styled for the day with Frank Lloyd Wright inspired pieces by Pina Signorello, and the historic arts and crafts home of Westport interior designer Robin Liotta. Designers Kerry Brock, Kim Caravella, and Carlin Ray Edwards will style two waterfront classics and a Post Modern original.


11/20/05 01:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Avian Flu Program Rescheduled to Dec. 6

The Westport-Weston Health District’s program on the avian flu—also known as the bird flu—has been rescheduled to 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 6 in Westport Town Hall.

The program had been postponed from Monday because of the town’s swearing in ceremony.

Health officials will provide the latest information on avian flu and will show residents how they plan to protect them if there is an outbreak in the United States. Dr. StuartSteinman, the district’s medical adviser, will be the guest speaker.

Avian flu is a contagious disease of animals caused by viruses that normally infect poultry, waterfowl, and other birds. While it is unusual for humans to acquire influenza virus infections directly from birds, human infections and deaths have occurred in Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

For more information, call the health district at (203) 227-9571.


11/20/05 05:38 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, Nov. 20, 2005

10 a.m. - Staples High School - Westport Creative Arts Festival
3 p.m. - Toquet Hall - Westport League of Women Voters presents “The Reawakening of Bridgeport” panel discussion
4 p.m. - Steinway Piano Gallery 501 Post Road East - Stamford Symphony Orchestra presents “Mozart and Friends” recital


11/20/05 05:03 AM Comments () • Permalink

Christmas Ornament Shopping

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One of the many items on sale at today’s Westport Creative Arts Festival were ornaments of all types. Here, people check out ornaments from New Hampshire-based Weed House. The festival continues on Sunday at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Staples High School (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jennifer Connic for WestportNow.com


11/20/05 03:32 AM Comments () • Permalink

Raffling Crafted Treasures

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Westport Young Woman’s League volunteers sell raffle tickets during today’s Westport Creative Arts Festival at Staples High School. The prizes in the raffle were donated by the crafters featured at the festival. The festival serves as the league’s top fund-raiser for the year, and the proceeds are used in grants to improve the community. The 30th annual festival continues on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the high school. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jennifer Connic for WestportNow.com


11/20/05 03:25 AM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Romano Field Dedicated

By James Lomuscio

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Joan, Robin, Mary Kate and Peter Romano, Jr. gather under the scoreboard bearing the name of the late Peter “PJ” Romano at a dedication ceremony at the Saugatuck Elementary School this morning. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for WestportNow.com
The expanse behind the Saugatuck Elementary School was officially named the Peter “PJ” Romano Field this morning as hundreds gathered in the cold to share warm memories of a man who gave Westport generations of good sportsmanship.

“It couldn’t be a better honor for him because a good part of his life revolved around this 100-yard area,” said Peter Romano, Jr. as he stood in front of the scoreboard bearing his father’s name.

This was the field where his father played football as a boy and spent 45 years of his adult life orchestrating events for the Police Athletic League (PAL), of which he was director for more than 30.

“It’s a happy time and a very memorable time,” said Joan Romano, PJ’s wife, who recalled being a cheerleader when PJ starred as a Staples halfback. “We spend a lot of time here.”

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11/19/05 07:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Hotchner Hemingway Redux

A. E. Hotchner: Westporter recalls days with Hemingway. File photo
Westport author/biographer A.E. Hochner’s longtime friendship with Ernest Hemingway is choreographed in the new book, “Dear Papa, Dear Hotch,” recently released by University of Missouri Press.

The 382-page hardcover edited by Albert J. Defazio III and with a preface by Hotchner is appropriately subtitled, “The Correspondence of Ernest Hemingway and A.E. Hotchner,” as it includes more than 160 letters, cards and cables between the two from 1948 to 1961. It begins with their first meeting in Cuba and ends with their farewell when Hemingway was a patient at the Mayo Clinic.

“Rereading these letters, after all these years, fills me with sadness, exhalation, and the realization that an extraordinary man infiltrated my life with wisdom, love, fortitude, and an indomitable spirit that I now gladly share with others,” Hotchner writes in the book’s preface.

One of Hotchner’s most famous books is “Papa Hemingway,” a personal memoir that details Hotchner’s role as a friend and an informal agent to the literary giant. It was first published by Random House in 1966.


11/19/05 05:42 AM Comments () • Permalink

For the Birds

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Friday’s chilly temperatures left Westport’s Compo Beach mostly to the birds. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


11/19/05 05:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

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