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Saturday, March 25, 2006

Holding the Gold Image
Staples football co-captains taking part in the fashion show and auction festivities tonight at Mitchells of Westport iincluded (l- r) defensive linesman Wyatt Moss, linebacker and center Matt Dicesare, quarterback, D. J. Stefkovich, and wide receiver Brian Levine. The players are holding their signed state championship team footbal which was auctioned for a record $1,500. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


03/25/06 03:48 AM Comments () • Permalink

Varsity Vogue Fashion Show and Auction Draws Crowd Image
There was a large turnout tonight for the Staples High School Varsity Vogue Fashion Show and Auction at Mitchells of Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


03/25/06 03:45 AM Comments () • Permalink

Eric von Schmidt Paintings on “Indefinite Loan” to Town Image
The Westport Schools Permanent Art Collection Committee today installed several large-scale paintings by renowned Westport artist Eric von Schmidt in the hallway outside the Staples High School Auditorium. The paintings are from Schmidt’s “Giants of the Blues” series which were exhibited in September 2004 at the Westport Historical Society. In a fine arts coup for the town, the committee received seven of the paintings on “indefinite loan.” The series by Schmidt, a Staples graduate who is a pioneering figure in the folk music explosion of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, portrays American jazz, blues and folk musicians. Committee members Molly Donovan (l) and Nancy McNerny discuss the placement of the paintings. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Hamilton Laux for


03/25/06 02:11 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, March 24, 2006

Paul Newman, Others Urge Protection of Images

Westport’s Paul Newman and several other southwest Connecticut actors traveled to Hartford today to lobby lawmakers to help protect their images.

Newman, along with Christopher Plummer of Weston and Charles Grodin of Wilton, appeared before the legislature’s Judiciary Committee to endorse legislation that would limit the ability of others to use technology to create likenesses of them. 

“There’s a kind of cult of piracy that seems to be prevalent,” Newman told the legislators. “This cult of piracy has a new gorilla in the room, which is technology.”

Newman, who was accompanied by two Westport attorneys, said technology makes it possible to make an image appear to be something that really isn’t.

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03/24/06 10:32 PM Comments () • Permalink

“Art of the Birdhouse” Preparations Underway Image
Preparations were under way today for tonight’s 11th annual “Art of the Birdhouse” fund-raiser and auction at Westport’s Inn at Longshore to benefit Project Return.  Jeff Cook (l) and Lou Rolla, Project Return volunteers, are pictured as they surveyed “The Castle,” a birdhouse created by Jim Rooney of Easton.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/24/06 08:36 PM Comments () • Permalink

First Signs of Spring Image
A crocus cluster sprouted on Westport’s River Lane today. Crocuses are one of the first flowers to bloom in spring. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


03/24/06 02:32 PM Comments () • Permalink

“Touch-a-Truck” Event Saturday

The Westport-Weston Cooperative Nursery School will host a “Touch-a-Truck” event Saturday at Coleytown Elementary School.

The 10 a.m. to 2 p.m event provides children with a unique opportunity to climb aboard a selection of construction vehicles, emergency vehicles, a school bus, garbage truck and giant dump truck, organizers said.

“Touch-a-Truck” is open to the public and all proceeds will benefit the Westport-Weston Cooperative Nursery School. The cost for admission is $15 for a family of up to six members.

For more information contact Pat Rackliffe, director of the school,  at (203)226-5052.


03/24/06 12:31 PM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, March 24, 2006

6:30 p.m. Mitchells of Westport, 670 Post Road East - Staples 9th Annual Varsity Vogue Fashion Show
6:30 pm. - Inn at Longshore - Project Return Birdhouse Auction
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “On the Verge”


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

Board of Selectmen Approves Synthetic Fields

By Jayde Levesque

If all goes well, football players at Westport’s Staples High School will be playing on synthetic turf in the Image
The Board of Selectmen Wednesday night approved two contracts for synthetic turf fields. Shown are (l-r) (seated) Selectmen Shelly Kassen, Gordon Joseloff, and John Izzo, and (standing) Verne Sedlaceck, Westport Field of Dreams Committee, amd Lee De Freitas, Eastern regional manager, Sportexe. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dan Gelman for

The Board of Selectmen Wednesday night approved two contracts that will make that possible.

One contract is with the Sportexe, a synthetic turf firm with U.S. headquarters in Round Rock, Texas. The other is with the Westport Football Association of Connecticut, acting on behalf of the Field of Dreams Committee.

The committee has agreed to raise the $1.5 million needed to complete two fields – and the town agreed to front the funds.

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03/24/06 01:53 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Shays: Troops Leaving Depends on Iraqis Image
U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays speaks with a Y’s Men member after today’s speech to the group. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, R-4, told the Y’s Men of Westport/Weston today that U.S. withdrawal from Iraq depends on the Iraqis themselves.

“I want to go when the Iraqis want us to go,” he said. “We will leave tomorrow if the new government asks us to leave, or at least move our troops so they are out of harm’s way.”

Shays focused mainly on issues surrounding on the war in Iraq and terrorism during his approximately one-hour talk before a packed room at the Saugatuck Congregational Church.

As more non-commissioned soldiers join the Iraqi army, he said, U.S. troops will be needed less and some can be brought home.

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03/23/06 06:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westporters Hit by Power Outage

Some Westporters were without power for hours Wednesday night and early today as a massive power outage hit southwest Connecticut. But the utility said initial figures for the number of Westport customers affected were erroneous.

Connecticut Light and Power Co. said on its Web site that at its height, the blackout affected more than 18,000 customers, about 1,700 of them in Westport.

But Chris Swan, municipal relations director for CL&P, said that was an inaccurate figure.

“We may have had 1,700 or so out momentarily in Westport,” he said. “But the actual number of Westport customers without power overnight was about 100.”

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03/23/06 11:49 AM Comments () • Permalink

Longshore Golf Fees Increasing

By Jayde Levesque

With golf season just days away, the Westport Board of Selectmen has approved a small fee increase to all golf fees.

Effective July 1, all golf fees at Longshore Golf Course will be $2 more than last year.

Parks and Recreation Director Stuart McCarthy told the board Wednesday night that the fee increases, which are primarily for renovations and improvements to the course, should not be a surprise. 

Workers are only halfway done with the work, he said, and by the time the work is finished fees will be up $4.

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03/23/06 11:00 AM Comments () • Permalink

Compo Low Tide Image
Low tide at Westport’s Compo Cove was so low Wednesday that someone could walk across to Old Mill. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


03/23/06 06:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, March 23, 2006

10 a.m. – Earthplace – Sasco Brook Pollution Abatement Committee
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Board of Assessment Appeals
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Planning & Zoning Commission Work Session
8 p.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – RTM Ordinance Committee
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “On the Verge”


03/23/06 05:02 AM Comments () • Permalink

New Skate Park Fees to Help Improvements

By Jayde Levesque

Westport officials hope fee increases at the Compo Beach Skate Park will help fund improvements.

The Board of Selectman approved the new fees tonight.

Parks and Recreation Director Stuart McCarthy said the revenue generated from the fee increase will benefit improvements requested by the Compo Beach Skate Park association.

Bonnie Sinclair, a member of the Compo Beach Skate Park Association, said kids in the past have raised money with car washes to improve the park.

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03/23/06 04:21 AM Comments () • Permalink

The String’s the Thing Image
Andrew Miller and Priyanka Ramesh, Coleytown Middle School sixth grade cellists, perform during tonight’s Westport Public Schools Orchestra Festival. Students in orchestras from sixth through 12th grade performed with nearly 700 students involved. Anne Rupert was guest conductor, and about 1,600 people attended the performance. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


03/23/06 03:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

Power Outage Hits Westport, Norwalk, Wilton, New Canaan

A major power outage darkened about 18,000 homes in several communities in southwest Connecticut tonight, including parts of Westport.

Norwalk, New Canaan and Wilton were hardest hit by the blackout which originated in a Norwalk substation at about 9:30 p.m., said Chris Swan, municipal relations director for Connecticut Light and Power Co. (CL&P).

CL&P reported 1,704 Westport customers without power, or about 14 percent, as of 11 p.m.

The Westport outages appeared limited to areas closest to the Norwalk border, stretching from about Sylvan Road to the Norwalk line.

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03/23/06 03:25 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Schools Present Combined Orchestra Festival Image
The Westport schools held their bi-annual town-wide orchestra festival tonight at the Staples High School Field House. The concert involved the combined grade level orchestras in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades as well as the combined high school orchestras. Guest conductor was Anne Rupert, music director and youth symphony orchestra director of the Youth Orchestras of Prince William, Va. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


03/23/06 03:16 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Court Jester Promotes PAL Basketball Fund-Raiser Image
The Westport Police Athletic League (PAL) Faculty All Stars will take the court Friday, March 31 against the comedy basketball team Court Jesters. The 7 p.m. event at Staples High School is a major fund-raiser for PAL. Tickets, which will be sold only at the door, are $10 for adults and $8 for children. Each Westport school will be represented by several teacher players. “Rainbow” Montaqin, one of the Court Jesters, is pictured visiting a third grade class at Coleytown Elementary School. Known as the “King of Comedy Basketball,” he has been in show basketball for 25 years. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Neil Katz for


03/22/06 10:22 PM Comments () • Permalink

National Exposure for Westporters’ SUV Song

A country song by two Westporters about a suburban housewife driving her SUV is gaining more national attention, including exposure Friday on NBC’s “Today” Image
Westporters’ song will be featured Friday on NBC’s “Today” show. Contributed graphic

“It’s phenomenal, unbelievable,” said Rozanne Gates who, along with life partner Suzanne Sheridan, wrote the song, “90-pound Suburban Housewife Driving in Her SUV.”

She said she and Sheridan will appear on the NBC program between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. In addition, WABC-TV is sending a camera crew to their Westport home Thursday and the New York Times Connecticut section is likely to run a story Sunday, Gates said.

The song aired on NPR’s “Car Talk” program in January and earlier this month was added to iTunes, Apple’s online digital jukebox and music download store.  It costs 99 cents to download the song by singer Kira Small.

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03/22/06 09:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

Learning About Fire Safety Image
Preschoolers at Christ and the Holy Trinity Church learned about fire safety today when Westport firefighters came for a visit. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ron Malone for


03/22/06 08:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Orchestra Festival Tonight

The annual Westport Public Schools Orchestra Festival will take place tonight at 7 in the Staples High School Field House.

Students in grades six through 12 will be involved in the performance.

There will be 696 students performing.

Anne Rupert will be guest conductor for the event.


03/22/06 07:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

Compo Time Capsule Search Image
As part of the new playground project at Westport’s Compo Beach, organizers today went on search for a time capsule buried in 1989 when the current playground was built.  By mid-day, however, they had not found it.  Rebecca Ellsley, co-chair of the Compo Playground Committee, and James Starkey of Westport who is with the excavation team digging up Compo, are pictured seaching for the elusive capsule. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/22/06 05:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Fire Alarm Causes Long Lots Evacuation

Students at Westport’s Long Lots Elementary School briefly evacuated today due to a fire alarm caused by a science experiment, fire officials said.

Units responded to the school on Hyde Lane at about 10:15 a.m. after receiving an alarm.

On arrival, they found that the alarm had been set off by a science experiment being conducted, according to reports from the scene.

Students were quickly returned to classes.


03/22/06 03:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

Rabbit Hill Festival Coming to Library

The Westport Public Library will hold its sixth annual Rabbit Hill Festival for adult enthusiasts of children’s literature starting Thursday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the library.

The festival features well-known children’s book authors and illustrators, and the first event will be a presentation by Sharon McQueen on Robert Lawson’s 1936 picture book “The Story of Ferdinand.”

On Friday, March 31, at 10 a.m., there will be a tour of Weston Woods Studios in Norwalk, which is devoted to translating children’s literature into film, and at 2 p.m. there will be a docent’s tour of the James Daugherty Book Cover Illustrations Exhibit in the Library’s Great Hall.

Friday evening there will be a dinner with all of the authors and illustrators at Three Bears Restaurant. Reservations are required.

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03/22/06 10:00 AM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 391 Greens Farms Road Image
Several Westport departments are reviewing an application to demolish the home at 391 Greens Farms Road. The Westport Planning and Zoning Commission is reviewing drainage for the property so the lot can be split into two. It would then be used for two single-family homes. The home was built in 1950. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/22/06 05:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

2 p.m. and 8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse “On the Verge”
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Board of Assessment Appeals
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – Board of Selectmen


03/22/06 05:03 AM Comments () • Permalink

Gene Wilder in Arts Center Appearance April 25 Image
Gene Wilder: In conversation in Westport. Contributed photo
Actor Gene Wilder will discuss his career with playwright Tom Cole as part of the Westport Arts Center (WAC) “Artist in Conversation” series Tuesday, April 25, at 7:30 p.m., at Seabury Center, Westport.

The event is presented in association with the Westport Youth Film Festival, for which WAC is a sponsor.

Wilder and Cole, longtime friends, will center their conversation largely around Wilder’s memoir, “Kiss Me Like a Stranger : My Search for Love and Art,” published last year. The program also includes a question and answer session with the audience.

Wilder has been acting since he was 13. After a small role in “Bonnie and Clyde” pulled him away from a career onstage, he was nominated for an Academy Award as best supporting actor for his role as Leo Bloom in “The Producers,” which led to “Blazing Saddles” and then to another Academy nomination, this time for writing “Young Frankenstein.”

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03/22/06 01:47 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

All Gone: 4 Deepwood Lane Image
The Westport Building Department issued a demolition permit for the home at 4 Deepwood Lane on Monday. By this morning the home had been demolished. The home sold in June 2004 for $1.4 million. Deepwood Lane is off of Easton Road. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/21/06 08:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

“The Harder They Fall” Author Addresses Rotary Image
Westporter Gary Stromberg, co-author of “The Harder They Fall,” addressed the Westport Rotary Club this afternoon at the Inn at Longshore. Stromberg’s book reveals thoughts, feelings, regrets and beliefs of celebrities in recovery from drug or alcohol dependence.  He described his book as a series of stories that invoke the emotional range of humor, tragedy, heart-warming realities and eventually redemption. In the 1960s, Stromberg represented many rock stars including Jefferson Airplane.(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


03/21/06 08:09 PM Comments () • Permalink

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