Friday, February 17, 2006
High winds swept through the Westport area at mid-day today, knocking down several trees, including this one in front of the Westport Inn on Post Road East. The tree initially fell on power lines, knocking out power to the inn. Wind gusts in excess of 50 mph were recorded along the shoreline. Forecasters said the winds would diminish in the afternoon as temperatures dropped. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for today for Westport and the tri-state area. It warned of possible downed trees and power lines.
The advisory is in effect from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Southwest winds of 20 to 25 mph with gusts up to 30 mph will be felt through the early morning across the tri-state area ahead of a potent cold front,” the advisory said.
“However, there will be a window of opportunity for damaging wind gusts on the order of 50 to 60 mph along and just behind the front which will cross the region from west to east late this morning into early this afternoon. The best chance for damaging winds will be during this time frame.”
A Westport man was among four former top executives of insurance companies General Re and American International Group (AIG) who pleaded not guilty to federal fraud and conspiracy charges Thursday in Alexandria, Va., and pledged $1 million in bond.
Their trial was set for May.
The Westporter, Robert D. Graham, 57, a former senior vice president and assistant general counsel of Stamford-based General Re, served as a Republican member of the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission from 1995 to 1999 and was on the Board of Finance from 1999 to 2003.
The Justice Department has accused the four of orchestrating an audacious fraud, putting together a sham reinsurance transaction that allowed AIG to falsely report some $500 million in reserves against losses and thereby mislead shareholders, Wall Street and regulators.
9:30 a.m. - Center for Senior Activities - Commission for Senior Services
Thursday, February 16, 2006
The Westport Public Library will need to expand for it to continue to serve the community, said Library Director Maxine Bleiweis today.
Bleiweis spoke to the Y’s Men today about the future of the library, which she said will need an expansion in the near future.
Library officials are talking with an architect about expanding the building, which is along the Saugatuck River in the downtown area, she said.
“We don’t know what it will look like or where we’ll put the space,” she said. “We know there will be places for books, programs and discussions. It’ll be a place to stimulate thinking.”
It was a good day today to soak up the sun at Westport’s Compo Beach as spring-like temperatures soared into the 50s. The warmth will be short-lived, however, with the forecast of plunging temperatures Friday accompanied by high winds. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Westport police are investigating a series of vandalism incidents that involved swastikas and other associated symbols in a neighborhood near the Norwalk border.
Police Sgt. Jerry Shannon, department public information officer, said police received a report of the vandalism in the vicinity of Sylvan Road North, Cranbury Road and Stonybrook Road on Feb. 9.
There were swastikas and other symbols painted on trees and public street signs, he said.
“The incident appears to be random,” he said. “It wasn’t directed towards one person.”
Westport Library Director Maxine Bleiweis addressed the Westport Weston Y’s Men today and reviewed current library offerings and plans for the future. Bill Meyer, Y’s men president, is on stage with her. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
After a couple of days of thawing out, forecasters are warning of chillier temperatures and gusty winds Friday for the Westport and tri-state area that could bring down trees and power lines.
A morning advisory from the National Weather Service said a developing area of low pressure over the central United States will track up the western Appalachians and into the eastern Great Lakes region through Friday morning.
“The pressure gradient will tighten as the storm deepens overnight and a strong cold front associated with Arctic air moves across the region early Friday afternoon, bringing an end to the unseasonably warm weather,” an advisory said.
“Southwest winds will increase to 15 to 25 mph after midnight tonight, then become west to northwest and increase to 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph Friday afternoon and evening.
The house at Westport’s 7 Sandpiper Road has been demolished. It was the Jan. 30 WestportNow Teardown of the Day and sold in September for $3.8 million. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
9 a.m., 10:45 a.m., & 1:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Planning and Zoning Commission interviews for consultants on town plan
2 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - Memorial service for former Parks and Recreation Commission Chair Mark Smith; reception to follow at Saugatuck Congregational Church (CORRECTED)
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Planning and Zoning Commission public hearing
7 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Songwriters’ Circle
7:15 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Youth Commission
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – RTM Public Works Committee
8 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201A – RTM Library Committee
Singer/songrwiter Amy Rogell delighted guests today at Westport’s Green’s Farms Nursery School, a non-sectarian school owned by the Congregational Church of Green’s Farms. A Weston resident, Rogell has performed in musical theater, recorded vocal tracks for films, and produced two children’s albums, “Come To The Playground” and “Balloons.” Contributed photo
By Jim CameronSpecial to WestportNow
Oh happy day! Hartford finally seems ready to spend billions, investing in our transportation system and the state’s economic future.
Last year, Gov. M. Jodi Rell pushed the legislature to long overdue action, allocating $1.3 billion for new rail cars on Metro-North.
This year she wants to spend another $600 million on mass transit in the I-91 corridor, including commuter rail from New Haven to Springfield and a busway from New Britain to Hartford.
Not to be outdone, the Democrats are going the governor one better. House Speaker Jim Amann says it is time the state spent $6.2 billion to fund all of the recommendations of the Transportation Strategy Board.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Antonella Lisanti and Jonathan Sellon demonstrate the Staples High School Engineering’s Team cabinet at the Westport Center for Senior Activities today. The cabinet is designed to assist those suffering from arthritis. The team will be using the cabinet during a national competition in Washington, which they are headed to this weekend. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Susan Pfister for WestportNow.com
Property transfers as reported by the Westport Town Clerk’s office for the period Feb. 6-10, 2006
ET and Donna H. Buckenmaier Jr. to Maple Ave. Partners LLC, 61 Maple Ave. South, $1,700,000
Yoav S. Lorch to Mark Nickel and Robin Kane, 6 Signal Lane, $887,000
William R. Green and Linda M. Durakis to Donald and Pauline Rhoads, 27 Green Acre Lane, $3,340,000
Richard M. Hutchinson to David J. and Lauren J. Sussman, 33 Calvary Road, $1,760,000
Eighth-grader Rachel Upton hangs a banner at the Westport Post Office today. She and classmates hung postage stamp projects showing black musicians to celebrate Black History Month. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jennifer Connic for WestportNow.com
Eighth-graders at Westport’s Coleytown Middle School may not be listening to Kelly Clarkson or Eminem on their iPods.
Instead, they may be listening to music from black musicians from the 1950s and 1960s.
As part of a Black History Month project, the eighth-graders on Coleytown’s Mustang Team have been learning about the black musicians from the civil rights era. The result was postage stamps they created with a short essay about a musician.
A group of 20 students from the team visited the Westport Post Office today to hang the stamp projects, and they will be on display through early March.
Katie Campbell, a Coleytown Middle School eighth-grader, hangs a stamp created by one of her classmates today at the Westport Post Office. Coleytown eighth-graders created their own stamps of black musicians for their social studies and English classes to celebrate Black History Month. Each stamp is devoted to a black musician. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jennifer Connic for WestportNow.com
10:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – International Hospitality Committee
5:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – School Building Committee
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Conservation Commission
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – RTM Long Range Planning Committee
7:30 p.m. – Westport Public Library – Westport Library Board of Trustees
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Today’s Wall Street Journal highlights Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District race between incumbent Republican Rep. Christopher Shays and Democrat Diane Farrell.
The Journal refers to Farrell, Westport’s former two- time first selectwoman and Board of Finance member as a former “city councilwoman and then mayor.”
The newspaper focuses on Shay’s support of the war in Iraq and Farrell’s opposition. Farrell lost to Shays in November 2004.
8:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Human Services Commission
10 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Arts Advisory Committee
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Historic District Commission
7:30 – Town Hall Room 201 – Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Zoning Board of Appeals
Monday, February 13, 2006
Children have the opportunity to visit the animals at Earthplace during school vacation week. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Children can spend their upcoming winter vacation with the animals at Westport’s Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center.
Registration is ongoing for “Vacation Days,” a drop-off nature program for pre-kindergarten through third-grade children.
Each day includes a live animal program, trail treks, art projects, science exploration and activities with new friends, according to an annoucement.
Programs are scheduled for Monday, Feb. 20 through Friday, Feb. 24.
For a registration form or more information, visit www.earthplace.org or call (203) 227-7253. Registration and advance payment are required.
The Westport Historical Society has had to cut its staff because of a $650,000 construction debt. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westport Historical Society officials said today they have eliminated two top staff positions because of financial problems growing out of a now-competed building expansion program.
At a press conference, Allen Raymond, society co-president, said the society has been carrying a $650,000 construction debt since the 2003 completion of the project to expand the building on the corner of Avery Place and Myrtle Avenue. In addition, the society has a $375,000 annual operating budget, he said.
As a result, the society’s leadership decided to cut the director and associate director positions, he said, which saves approximately $90,000 annually in the operating budget.
Denise Torv, director, and Katie Otey, associate director, both will end their tenures this month, according to a release, but both will continue to be involved with operations.
Early morning drivers on I-95 at the Saugatuck River in Westport today had a roadway clear of snow. But police urged caution on local sidestreets, many of which remained covered by snow and ice. Westport schools today were on a two-hour delay and Metro-North warned of delays on the New Haven Line. DOT photo