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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 3 Nappa Drive Image
The Westport Building Department is processing an application to demolish the house at 3 Nappa Drive. It is located off of Valley Road, which is near Hillspoint and Greens Farms roads. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


02/28/06 07:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Railroad Parking Fees May Increase

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Parking permit and daily fees may increase this summer at Westport’s two train stations—Saugatuck and Green’s Farms.

Police officials are studying the fees in comparison to those at surrounding train stations and plan to bring a proposal to the Board of Selectmen this summer.

Deputy Police Chief David Heinmiller told a Board of Finance meeting Monday night that there is a three- to four-year waiting list for a parking permit, and it had been stagnant because of the construction project at the Saugatuck station.

With construction complete and the post office moving its operations, new permits are now being issued, he said.

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02/28/06 07:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

No One Hurt in Kitchen Fire

No one was hurt and there was no major damage after a kitchen fire in a Yankee Hill Road home Monday night.

Westport firefighters responded to the scene at just before 8 p.m., and a police officer arriving earlier to the scene was able to extinguish the fire with a fire extinguisher.

According to a Fire Department press release, a pot of heated oil flared up on the stove when a lid was removed.

The homeowner attempted to move the pot outside, according to the release, but she dropped it on the floor.

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02/28/06 04:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Playhouse Sponsors Student Writing Contest

Westport Country Playhouse invites students to participate in an “Exploring Language” writing contest as part of the March production of “On the Verge (or The Geography of Yearning).”

The contest is open to middle and high school students attending schools in Fairfield County.  Participants are asked to choose a word—or make up a word of their own—define and explain its origin, and use the word in a story about exploration that is 400 words or less.

Students may accompany their essays with a drawing or collage no larger than 8 ½” x 11”.

All essay entries, and optional artwork, must be postmarked by Friday, March 3, and sent to:  “Exploring Language” Writing Contest, Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, Westport, CT 06880.

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02/28/06 03:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

On Ice Image
A group of seagulls landed on a patch of ice that was floating Monday along the Saugatuck River in Westport.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


02/28/06 06:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

A Westport Sight Image
An oversize load of a section of a pre-built home captured the attention of passing motorists and many others Monday as it turned on to Imperial Avenue from Westport’s Post Road East. The last of four 14x60 foot sections of the home was delivered to the parking lot next to the Westport Woman’s Club. This morning they will be moved to 155 Compo Road North where a concrete foundation has been prepared. Construction will take three to four weeks. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


02/28/06 05:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

R.I.P. Trike Image
Trike, a three-legged Husky mix well known to Westporters who frequent Winslow Park and Compo Beach, died Thursday at the age of 18. Trike, who lost his right rear leg due to an accident as a pup, was adopted from a shelter in 1990 by Peter McCulloch, who moved with him to Westport in 1997. They were everyday visitors to Winslow and, in the off season, to Compo. Messaged WestportNow reader Scott Wilder: “Mostly it was because of Trike’s outgoing personality and love for life that endeared him to everyone. Trike always had a happy, inquisitive look on his face and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


02/28/06 05:10 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2006

6:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – Board of Finance Budget Workshop
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Zoning Board of Appeals


02/28/06 05:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Fairfield University President to Speak Image
Fairfield University President Jeffrey von Arx. Contributed photo
Fairfield University President Jeffrey von Arx will be guest speaker at the Westport Rotary Club meeting on Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. at the Inn at Longshore.

Von Arx became Fairfield University president in July 2004 and is the eighth Jesuit to hold the position since the institution’s founding in 1942.

He was appointed to the Fairfield University board in 2002 and continues to serve as a trustee as president.

Guests are welcome to attend luncheons, which cost $20.  For information, call Westport Rotary Club President Peter Powell at (203) 226-3426.


02/28/06 04:35 AM Comments () • Permalink

Board of Finance Begins Budget Discussions

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The Westport Board of Finance tonight began its discussions of the proposed 2006-07 selectman’s budget, which carries a 4.9 percent increase over the current Image
The Westport Board of Finance tonight began the first of two nights of budget worskhops on First Selectman Gordon Joseloff’s proposed 2006-07 budget. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ron Malone for

First Selectman Gordon Joseloff’s budget proposal is $53.7 million, which is a $2.5 million increase.

Combined with the Board of Education budget, the proposal is $151.2 million, which is a 4.9 percent increase.

Joseloff said his proposal includes a number of improvements to the town’s technology system—including new people in the Information Technology Department—and a new paid staff person at EMS.

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02/28/06 03:47 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, February 27, 2006

Westport Police Add Two Recruits Image
The Westport Police Department added two new recruits to its ranks today. Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff (l) swore in Richard Bagley III, 26, of Stratford (2nd l) and Anthony Prezioso, Jr., 26, of Fairfield, (3rd l) at a Town Hall ceremony. Police Chief Al Fiore joined them in posing for pictures. The new officers will join the patrol force in July after completing police academy training. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


02/27/06 11:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

New Staples Wing Opens, Library Remains Closed Image
The remainder of the new Staples High School academic wing opened today as students returned to school for classes. The wing includes world language and math classrooms. The renovated media center, pictured above, will not be completed for another two weeks. Remaining on the $77.5 million project is the demolition of the 5 and 6 buildings and the revamped parking lot. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jonathan Thrope for


02/27/06 10:03 PM Comments () • Permalink

Author to Speak on “Stars of David”

Author Abigail Pogrebin will speak tonight at 7-9 at Toquet Hall about her new book, “Stars of David.”

The book is a collection of 62 prominent figures speaking about being Jewish.

Porgrebin interviewed names such as Dustin Hoffman, Richard Dreyfuss, Kyra Sedgwick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Natalie Portman, Mike Nichols,  Ed Koch, and Diane Von Furstenberg for the book.

The event is open to the public with a suggested donation of $5. For more information, call Monica Chusid at (203) 226-4480 or Cynthia Steckel at (203) 227-9040.


02/27/06 04:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Y’s Women to Feature Nussbaum

Actress Muriel Nussbaum will speak to the Y’s women on Monday, March 13 at 11 a.m. at the Westport-Weston Family Y.

Nussbaum presented her one-woman show “Van Gogh and Jo” for the group in 2002, but now she will recreate the story of another artist, her late husband Ervin Nussbaum, a painter and sculptor whose works are in the permanent collections of many museums.

Muriel Nussbaum has had a long and successful career as an actress, director and writer and is a member of the Theatre Artists Workshop. Her husband, Ervin, died in Norwalk in 1996.

His painting, “The End of John Brown,” was shown at the San Francisco Museum, the Butler Art Institute, the Philadelphia Academy and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington. It is now in the permanent collection of the Historical Society in Torrington, Conn., the birthplace of John Brown.

For more information, call Ann Lloyd, Y’s Women first vice president, at (203) 226-4515.


02/27/06 03:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, Feb. 27, 2006

6:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – Board of Finance Budget Workshop


02/27/06 05:03 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Actor Darren McGavin, Former Westporter, Dies at 83 Image
Darren McGavin: former Old Mill resident. File photo
Film and television actor Darren McGavin, a former Westporter who got involved in a dispute with town officials over the height of his Old Mill home, died Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 83.

McGavin appeared on many television series and shows and set a standard for cynical and hard-boiled gruffness as a reporter in “The Night Stalker” and a detective in “Mike Hammer.”

McGain lived in Westport in the 1960s and is remembered by longtime residents for the zoning fight he had with the town over adding an extra story to his house on Old Mill Beach.  It is still the tallest house in the area.

McGavin, who is survived by four children, perhaps had his most memorable role as the grouchy father in the film “A Christmas Story,” originally released in 1983, but a television staple on holidays ever since.


02/26/06 11:09 PM Comments () • Permalink

Library Winter Book Sale Features “Pampered” Collection

The Westport Library’s annual winter book sale, which opens Saturday, features a “pampered” collection of more than 400 mass-market paperbacks, mostly mysteries, from one collector, as well as a very large selection of children’s books.

The sale, which runs through Tuesday, March 7, will be held in the library’s McManus Room located on the riverwalk level. With more than 14,000 items, this sale is one of the biggest area winter book sales, according to organizers.

The sale also includes fiction in hardcover, trade paperback, and mass-market paperback; nonfiction in mass-market paperbacks only; videos; LP records; music cassettes. Almost all are priced at $1 or less.

Sale hours are Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, March 5 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Monday, March 6 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. when everything is half price; and Tuesday, March 7 from 9 a.m. to noon when everything is free with cash donations appreciated. Visa and MasterCard are accepted.

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02/26/06 01:03 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Red Fox in Red Coat Area Image
A red fox was spotted Friday in her yard by Westporter Nancy Jones Beard in the Red Coat Road area. The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection Web site says foxes, especially red foxes, commonly live in close association with human residences and communities. It adds, “Healthy foxes pose virtually no danger to humans. Foxes can grow accustomed to human activity but are seldom aggressive toward people.” It says they will prey on small livestock such as ducks, chickens, rabbits, and young lambs, and also cats. Nancy Jones Beard for


02/25/06 06:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Playhouse Names David Wiltse Resident Playwright Image
David Wiltse: Westonite named to Playhouse post. Contributed photo
David Wiltse of Weston has been appointed resident playwright of Westport Country Playhouse. The announcement was made by Tazewell Thompson, artistic director.

Wiltse has had four of his plays produced at the Playhouse, with a fifth, “A Marriage Minuet,” scheduled for the 2006 season in August.

Wiltse has written 11 plays, published 12 novels, and produced more than 50 projects for film and television. A resident of Weston and Westport since 1972, he is married to Anne Keefe, the Playhouse associate artistic director.

According to Thompson, Wiltse will also choose and mentor lucky and deserving young, serious students of playwriting.


02/25/06 05:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Local Actors Open Independent Film Company

Two Westporters are involved in a new Norwalk-based independent film company and its inaugural Image
Colleen Murphy of Westport and James Noble of Norwalk are co-founders of Norwalk-based Open the Gate Pictures. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Open the Gate Pictures will begin shooting its inaugural production, “Glacier Bay,” on the site of the Norwalk’s Lockwood-Mathews Mansion in March, an announcement said.

Founders and co-producers of the film company are Colleen Murphy of Westport and Hollywood veteran James Noble of Norwalk. Both are members of The Theatre Artists Workshop of Westport.

“Glacier Bay” is a 28-minute screenplay that features Noble and veteran actress Dorothy Bryce of Westport. They play a pair of seniors “as familiar as old furniture: a bit wobbly perhaps, certainly frayed around the edges, but stuffed with history,” the announcement said.

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02/25/06 05:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

Library Inaugurates 2006 Westport Reads Program

The Westport Public Library will feature “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon in its 2006 Westport Reads annual townwide book Image
Westport Reads 2006 launches March 8. Contributed photo

The first of six events in the program kicks off Wednesday, March 8 at 7:30 pm, in the library’s McManus Rood with Jeff Woodman, reader of the audio-book.

The debut novel by Haddon, first published in hardcover in 2003, is written from the point of view of an autistic 15-year-old who investigates the murder of a neighbor’s dog. Publisher’s Weekly said it “brims with touching, ironic humor. The result is an eye-opening work in a unique and compelling literary voice.”

On Thursday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m. Daniel Stashower, author of the award-winning “Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle” will discuss the life and legacy of the creator of Sherlock Holmes.

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02/25/06 01:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

Today’s WestportNow Teardown: 6 Garden Lane Image
Today’s WestportNow teardown is 6 Garden Lane off Westport’s Post Road East near Barnes & Noble. A demolition application is pending. The property changed hands in December for $550,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


02/25/06 01:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Attorney Named to Best Lawyer List Image
Amy L. Y. Day: Named to best lawyer list. Contributed photo
Amy L. Y. Day of Westport, a partner in the Westport law firm Wake, See, Dimes & Bryniczka, has been selected to be included in the 2007 edition of “The Best Lawyers in America 7” in the trusts and estates area.

Inclusion in the publication is based on an exhaustive and rigorous peer-review survey, an announcement said.

Day, a past president of the Westport Bar Association, has served on the Executive Committee of the Estates and Probate Section of the Connecticut Bar Association for the past 20 years. She also is a member of the Advisory Committee of Connecticut Lawyer, a publication of the Connecticut Bar Association and a member of the Estate Planning Council of Lower Fairfield County. 

Day, Staples High School Class of 1970, is an honors graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law and received her bachelor’s degree from Smith College (A.B., cum laude, 1974) in Northampton, Mass., where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.


02/25/06 06:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

Brown Bag Lunch Set for March 8 at Library

First Selectman Gordon Joseloff announced Friday that a citizens’ brown bag luncheon will be held Wednesday, March 8, at noon at the Westport Public Library. 

Library Director Maxine Bleiweis and members of the library’s Board of Trustees will also attend. Library officials will provide an update on the library’s programs and activities as well as make a presentation about a proposed expansion/renovation project.

Joseloff anticipates holding a citizens’ brown bag luncheon monthly at various locations throughout Westport. Westport residents are invited to bring a sandwich and attend the luncheon at the Westport Public Library, 20 Jesup Road. Coffee will be provided, an announcement said.


02/25/06 06:09 AM Comments () • Permalink

Making Eye Contact Image
The Westport Arts Center Friday night debuted its “Hypervision” exhibit which runs though April 4. Picturted is Barry Katz, a member of the center’s board, as he makes eye contact with artist Janine Antoni’s super enlarged photograph entitled “Mortar and Pestle.”. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


02/25/06 05:37 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, February 24, 2006

Rough Waters Image
Today’s high winds kicked up the wates of Long Island Sound off Westport’s Compo Beach. Cockenoe Island is in the background. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


02/24/06 09:08 PM Comments () • Permalink

High Winds Down Trees, Power Lines

Winds gusting in excess of 50 mph hit the Westport area today downing trees and causing scattered power outages.

Connecticut Light and Power Co. reported 43 Westport customers without power as of 3 p.m. By 6 p.m., the number had been trimmed to one.

The National Weather Service said a high wind advisory would remain in effect until 6 p.m. with winds gradually diminishing after sunset.


02/24/06 05:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport’s Alan Abel in Iowa Powerball Hoax

Westport ‘s Alan Abel is just back from doing what he likes to do best – pulling off a hoax. This time it was in Nebraska, home to this week’s $365 million Powerball winners.

Abel, aided by several others, briefly convinced many in the media that the winner was a boisterous, unemployed trucker from Omaha, according to the Des Moines Register.

A man posing as the lottery winner, under Abel’s guidance, spent midday Monday buying lunch for a roomful of strangers at a Village Inn in Lincoln, the newspaper said.

It said Bob Pagani of Pacific City, Ore., 54, took the starring role in the hoax as the faux trucker/jackpot winner who walked into the restaurant with $2,000 cash and a photocopy of the supposed winning ticket.

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02/24/06 01:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

High Wind Advisory Issued

The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for today for the tri-state area including Westport. It is in effect from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The advisory said the area can expect sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts between 45 and 50 mph—strong enough to bring down branches or small limbs with resulting power outages.

In addition, it said temperatures lowering to around the freezing mark this morning may cause some patches of black ice to develop on roadways.

Winds should diminish after sunset, the advisory said.


02/24/06 11:49 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, Feb. 24, 2006

6:30 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Opening reception “Hypervision”


02/24/06 05:03 AM Comments () • Permalink

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