Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Westport officials hope to expand a program that brought security cameras to the Saugatuck Metro-North train station by making the images available in a live feed to police headquarters.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced in October that 16 cameras would be placed at the station (see WestportNow Oct. 7, 2006) and they were installed earlier this month. But under the state plan, the images are stored on a computer hard drive at the station so they can be reviewed after any incidents.
First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said town officials are working with the Department of Transportation to install technology that would bring the images back to police headquarters for real-time viewing.
“We may be unique to any of the places that have these cameras,” he said.
For the second consecutive year, the engineering team at Westport’s Staples High School has made it into the final round of the National Engineering Design Challenge.
The team will travel to Washington Feb. 15-17 to present its final design. The Staples team placed second last year and first in 2001 in the competition, which is sponsored by the Junior Engineering and Technical Society (JETS).
The challenge for this year was to design a device to improve life for people with disabilities, and the team designed a retractable shelving system that would enable a person in a wheel chair to utilize the upper and lower shelves with ease.
Although targeting users in wheelchairs, the device would also be useful to those too short to reach upper shelves without a step-stool and also to those for whom bending or crouching to reach the lower shelves is not possible or uncomfortable.
The Westport Public Library will be offering a program for residents to learn the latest in the federal tax laws on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 10 a.m. in the library’s McManus Room.
IRS Revenue Agent Joseph D’Agostin will share the most up-to-date information and talk about new tax-law changes and tips that might affect your tax return.
This will be D’Agostin’s ninth IRS update at the Library, and he’ll take questions from the public.
D’Agostin has more than 30 years experience in public accounting and small business, and is currently an audit-team member with the IRS, where he has worked since 1987.
The program is free and open to the public. For more information, call (203) 291-4840 or visit www.westportlibrary.org.
Temperatures warmed up into the 30s Tuesday bringing people to Westport’s Compo Beach, but there was still a chill in the air. Forecasts called for snow tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
10:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – International Hospitality Committee
6 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM Environment Committee
7:30 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Curator´s Talk: Still Missing beauty absent social life
Westport Arts Center Executive Director Eileen Wiseman, John Shea, Westport Country Playhouse Artistic Director Tazewell Thompson, Isaiah Sheffer and and Symphony Space Director of Literary Programming Katherine Minton share a conversation before tonight’s performance of “Selected Shorts” at the playhouse. Shea, Sheffer and Thompson read short fiction pieces in the performance, which was taped to be aired on National Public Radio. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The Westport Board of Education and Board of Finance clashed tonight over the proposed 2007-08 school budget.
Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon has proposed an $89.2 million 2007-08 budget, which is a 8.8 percent, or $7.2 million, increase over the current budget.
The discussion ranged from a battle over all-day kindergarten to the needs at Staples High School, but the two board chairmen argued when Board of Finance Chairman Jeffrey Mayer suggested the school board hold off its budget vote.
The Board of Education is scheduled to vote on its proposed budget on Feb. 5, which is its next scheduled meeting one week from tonight.
Former Westport Deputy Fire Chief David A. Sanford died today in Danbury Hospital after a long illness, fire officials said. He was 62.
Sanford, a West Redding resident, served Westport from May 1980 through May 1988. He was fire marshal of the West Redding Volunteer Fire Department as well as a former chief there and was also a former deputy chief in Wilton.
Fire Chief Christopher Ackley said Sanford is responsible for the success of a lot of firefighters who have served in Westport.
“Without him, we wouldn’t be the experienced, professional department we are today,” he said. “Our department is what it is today because the people in leadership positions were under his tutelage.”
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Two persons escaped serious injury today in a two-car crash on Westport’s Post Roasd West at Kings Highway South. Police said a westbound Audi driven by a female driver collided with a BMW driven by a male as he was exiting an office building driveway at 300 Post Road West at about 3 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
John Fabrizi: Speaking on Bridgeport’s future. Contributed PhotoBridgeport Mayor John Fabrizi will speak at the next Y’s Men of Westport Weston session on Thursday at 10 a.m. at Saugatuck Congregational Church.
In his talk titled “Building a Better Bridgeport,” the mayor will outline the progress that Bridgeport has made over the last three years and outline his plans for the future of Connecticut’s largest city.
Fabrizi, a lifelong Bridgeport resident, was City Council president when he became mayor in 2003 when former Mayor Joseph Ganim resigned when facing jail on federal corruption charges.
For more information about the Y’s Men, call Bill Meyer at (203) 226-3704 or Jon Fox at (203) 227-2679 or visit www.ysmenwestportweston.org.
Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff is still reviewing budget proposal from the various town departments, but he today he said he needs to give serious consideration to a fire department proposal that could include more firefighters.
Joseloff said he has finished half of the budget sessions with the department directors and everyone is doing their best to keep their costs down.
“But we have told them to let us know their needs, and we will look at them carefully,” he said.
One area is with the Westport Fire Department, he said, which is expected to bring forward a renewed request to increase the number of firefighters on the variety of engines.
Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period Jan. 22-26, 2007:
Michelene Spencer to Vincent R. Petrecca, 25 Owenoke Park, $5,565,000
Peter and Karen Coveney to Elizabeth Belkonen, 6 Birch St., $849,000
Catherine R. Campbell Est. to Martha Ben-Shahar, 35 Bridge St., $170,445.50
Carol Reynolds Est. to Arthur Nager, 5 Lowlyn Road, $375,000
The National Weather Service said today that light snow with minor accumulations is expected in the Westport and tri-state area through early Wednesday.
A weak clipper system will be moving across the area this evening before moving over eastern Long Island by midnight, then east of Cape Cod by Wednesday morning, a mid-afternoon advisory said.
Light snow will be developing over western portions of northeast New Jersey and the lower Hudson Valley early this evening before spreading east over New York City, southwest Connecticut and Long Island, the advisory said.
Light snow will begin to taper off over western portions of the area after midnight as it continues to spread east into eastern Connecticut and Long Island.
Jennifer Seirup: New director of family and youth programs at Mahackeno. Contributed photoJennifer Seirup became the full-time director of family and youth programs at the Westport Weston Family Y’s Mahackeno Outdoor Center earlier this month.
Seirup began her Mahackeno experience as one of the campers and joined the staff in the summer of 2002.
After working her first summer at Mahackeno, Seirup taught in the Family Y School Age Program. She was tapped to assume the position of head teacher in 2004 and promoted to summer program director at Camp Mahackeno in 2006.
Now working full time at the Family Y, she is energized by her expanded role in the organization and her program responsibilities, including Adventure Guides, a venerable YMCA initiative, and Building Bridges, an inter-generational program between seniors and children. She also is pursuing her degree in Human Development and Family Services at the University of Connecticut.
“I believe in providing experiences which are not only educational but also adhere to the core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility,” she said.
Westporter Judi Heath, Geoffrey Gilbert, Linda Gilmore and John Pyron (l-r) appear in the Westport Community Theatre’s production of “Spinning into Butter,” which opens this weekend. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
The Westport Community Theatre opens its next performance “Spinning into Butter” on Friday at 8 p.m.
The performance, which is directed by Ruth Anne Baumgartner, runs on Fridays and Saturdays Feb. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17 at 8 p.m. and Sundays Feb. 4, 11, and 18 at 2 p.m. There is also a performance scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 8 at 8 p.m.
A Fairfield County premiere, “Spinning Into Butter” is about a New England college campus rocked by the dangers of racism and political correctness.
Tickets cost $12 and $16. The theater is located at Westport Town Hall on Myrtle Avenue.
For more information, call the WCT Box Office at (203) 226-1983 or visit www.westportcommunitytheatre.com.
Temperatures dipped into the 20s on Monday making for a cold sunset at Westport’s Compo Beach. Temperatures are expected to be in the 30s today and closer to the freezing mark. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
4:15 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Art Factory: Hearts & Portraits: A Valentine Workshop
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – RTM Long-Range Planning Committee
7:30 p.m. – Staples High School Cafeteria B – Special Meeting of Board of Education and Board of Finance (live coverage cable channel 78)
7:30 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Selected Shorts”
Glenn Chalder, planning consultant, (r) speaks with a small group during tonight’s final workshop on the update to the Town Plan of Conservation and Development. Planning and Zoning Director Laurence Bradley (l) looks on. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.comBy Jennifer Connic
Groups huddled over maps and diagrams in Bedford Middle School this evening, but it wasn’t students doing their homework.
It was groups of residents examining infrastructure issues during the last of the public sessions that will be used to build the update to the Westport Town Plan of Conservation and Development.
Each group was handed one of four topics that were community facilities, utilities, transportation and how to better implement the town plan.
Conversations included sidewalks connecting community facilities downtown, providing a shuttle bus from Weston to the train station, drainage into Long Island Sound and improving the town’s power lines so there are less outages.
Westport residents gathered at Bedford Middle School tonight for the final session to help with the update to the Town Plan of Conservation and Development. The session focused on infrastructure issues including transportation, community facilities and utilities. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Monday, January 29, 2007
Tree crews were along Westport’s Compo Road South today cutting back branches from power lines. Crews regularly trim the branches so they do not fall onto the wires during a storm and knock out power. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
The Friends of the Westport Center for Senior Activities will hold its second annual Super Bowl Tailgate Party on Sunday at 1-4 p.m. at the center.
“Last year’s event was a tremendous success and lots of fun,” said Bill Meyer, co-chairman of the party. “We expect this year to be even better.”
There will be food and drink, music, and live streaming video of sports events on several TVs.
Staples soccer coach Dan Woog will act as master of ceremonies, as he introduces the Staples High School football team and soccer team, both of which finished No. 2 in the state last year.
A few caring, patient people are needed to help mentor Westport students.
Patti Haberstroh, who oversees the Westport Mentor Program, said the program has grown tremendously in the four years she has been in charge, and she is in a real need for mentors to work with young boys who have single moms.
“These moms do a great job raising their children, but once they hit puberty they want a male voice in their lives,” she said.
She has four elementary-school-aged boys who need male mentors, she said, but she has no one to match them.
Josh Ritter: Performing at the Westport Arts Center. Contributed photoJosh Ritter will perform contemporary ballads about love, restlessness and longing as part of Westport Arts Center’s Singers and Songwriters series on Saturday at 8 p.m., at Christ and Holy Trinity Church on Myrtle Avenue.
Following the concert, an after-party will feature singer/songwriter Laura Meyer at the Westport Arts Center Gallery on Riverside Avenue. Tickets for the Ritter concert are $35, and tickets for the Meyer after-party are $10.
Ritter recorded his most recent album, “Hello Starling,” in an old dairy barn in the French countryside. The 11 songs include “Kathleen,” a summer anthem about waiting around a party to drive a girl home, and “Baby That’s Not All,” suggesting an artist at the peak of his new-found powers.
Meyer’s “Love Isn’t Enough” was recognized as a finalist by VH1 as “Song of the Year” in the folk category.
For information and tickets, contact Westport Arts Center at (203) 222-7070, purchase online at www.westportartscenter.org, or visit the gallery on Riverside Avenue.
Westport’s Department of Human Services is accepting applications for fuel assistance programs.
“The Department of Human Services is currently offering Westport residents an opportunity to apply for energy awards through the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program,” said Human Services Director Barbara Butler.
The Connecticut Energy Assistance Program is administered through Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now, Inc. (NEON), a private nonprofit community action agency serving the greater Norwalk area.
Families who are eligible may receive an award of from $300 to $675. Eligibility is determined by income, and assets.
With temperatures around 40 on Sunday, children chased after the birds along the Saugatuck River near Parker-Harding Plaza in Westport. Temperatures are expected to dip back into the 20s today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
7 p.m. – Bedford Middle School – Town Plan Update Meeting
7:30 p.m. – Staples High School Cafeteria B – Board of Education budget workshop with Board of Finance—Canceled
There were no injuries tonight when a woman failed to negotiate a right turn from King’s Highway North on to Wilton Road in Westport. She ran her late model Honda Civic into a fence at the Willows Medical Center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Sunday, January 28, 2007
A Look Back: Crossword puzzle players compete in the annual contest at the Westport Public Library a year ago. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Hamilton Laux/WN File photo
Test your skills at Westport Public Library’s Eighth Annual Crossword Puzzle Contest on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 1 p.m. at the library.
New York Times Crossword Puzzle Editor Will Shortz will be on hand like in years past to watch the players and play word games between puzzles.
Both novice and veteran players are welcome.
The contest is free and open to all, but pre-registration is required. Registration can be done online at www.westportlibrary.org or by calling Joan Hume at (203) 291-4818).
Temperatures in Westport, including at Compo Beach, were closer to the freezing mark on Saturday. They’re expected to stay in the 30s today before dipping back into the 20s on Monday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com