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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Staples Senior is Semi-Finalist in Intel Competition

Staples High School senior Miles Lubin is among 300 young scientists that were named semi-finalist in the Intel Science Talent Search.

Lubin will receive a $1,000 scholarship and Staples will also receive $1,000 to enhance math and science programs.

The Westport student was chosen for his statistics project entitled “A Parametric Statistics-based Heuristic for Finding the Nearest Neighbor in Metric Space.”

The project grew out of his earlier project that developed a better grammar checker for computer programs.


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01/24/07 10:48 PM Comments () • Permalink

Dog Walk Image
Temperatures crept up to around 40 degrees today, which made for better weather for dog walkers at Westport’s Compo Beach. Temperatures are expected to drop down into the teens by Friday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


01/24/07 10:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Author Discusses Segregation Problems in Education Image
Author Susan Eaton signs copies of her book “The Children in Room 4E: American Education on Trial” following her talk at the library today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jennifer Connic for
By Jennifer Connic

The author of a new book on segregation in public education today called the landmark Connecticut Sheff v. O’Neill desgregation lawsuit a small case that points to the American dream of everyone wanting to do better.

Susan Eaton, author of “The Children in Room 4E: American Education on Trial,” spoke at the Westport Public Library about the book that details segregation in the Hartford public school system.

Eaton said the Sheff v. O’Neill case struck her when it was filed in 1989 and she was a reporter with the Stamford Advocate. She said she wanted to get beyond the daily stories and write about what the case really meant.

In its 1996 ruling in the case, the Connecticut Supreme Court found that students in the Hartford public schools were racially, ethnically and economically isolated and that, as a result, Hartford public school students had not been provided a substantially equal educational opportunity under the state constitution.

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01/24/07 09:39 PM Comments () • Permalink

Woman’s Club 100th Anniversary Kicks off Saturday

The Westport Woman’s Club will kick off its 100th anniversary celebration with a benefit performance of the Alfred Lord Tennyson epic poem/love story, Enoch Arden, set to music by Richard Strauss on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at the woman’s club’s building on Imperial Avenue.

A reception begins at 6:30 p.m. with the performance at 7:30 p.m. There will be coffee and desserts following the performance.

Tickets are $60 and the proceeds will benefit Camp AmeriKids and Caroline House.

For more information, call (203) 227-4240 or visit


01/24/07 08:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

“Anne of Green Gables” to Visit Playhouse Image
“Anne of Green Gables” is coming to the Westport Country Playhouse in February. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
ArtsPower National Touring Theatre will bring its musical production of “Anne of Green Gables” to the Westport Country Playhouse on Sunday, Feb. 11 at 1 and 4:30 p.m.

The story is of a young, orphaned girl whose spirit transforms her adoptive family, and the production is appropriate for ages seven years old and up. It is part of the playhouse’s Family Festivities series.

One hour prior to each performance children can color and draw their favorite vegetables and plant them in the Playhouse’s “Green Gables Arts and Crafts Garden.”

Tickets are $15 each, and the production runs about one hour.

For ticket information, call (203) 227-4177 or 888-927-7529, purchase online at, or visit the box office at 25 Powers Court. 


01/24/07 08:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

Y’s Men to Hear About Hubble Space Telescope

The Y’s Men of Westport Weston will hear about a documentary on the Hubble Space Telescope at their next meeting on Thursday at 10 a.m. at Saugatuck Congregational Church.

Cinematographer, David Gaynes, will speak on “Saving the Hubble Telescope: The Relevance of the Cosmos in a Troubled Time.”

He will talk about his documentary film, “Saving Hubble,” which recounts the recent history of Hubble, explores how the telescope became ensnared in a debate over the future of US Space Policy, and celebrates the accomplishments of the spacecraft that came to ask questions not just about the universe but of its inhabitants as well.

For more information, call Bill Meyer at (203) 226-3704 or Jon Fox at (203) 227-2679 or visit


01/24/07 11:09 AM Comments () • Permalink

Chilly Sunset Image
Temperatures were above freezing in Westport on Tuesday. They’re expected to dip into the teens on Friday. View is of Compo Beach Soiuth.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


01/24/07 05:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2007

10 a.m. - Westport Public Library - Investment Resource Seminar
10:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – International Hospitality Committee
Noon - Westport Public Library - [email protected] library - Susan Eaton
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Board of Selectmen (live coverage cable channel 79 or
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – TEAM Westport Committee
7:30 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Literature: Mark Schenker
7:45 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – RTM Finance/Parks & Recreation Committees
8:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – RTM Special School Building Admin. Committee
8:45 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – RTM Employee Comp/Finance/Parks & Recreation Committee


01/24/07 05:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Westport Blackout Image
Westport’s Main Steet was darkened tonight by a power outage traced to a feeder line in Weston. The power went out shortly before 5 p.m. and came back at about 5:46 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


01/23/07 11:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Widespread Power Outage Hits Downtown Area

A major power outage hit Westport’s downtown area shortly before 5 p.m. today. It was restored about an hour Image
Traffic edges through the intersection of Westport’s Main Street and Avery Place during this afternoon’s power outage. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

A Connecticut Light & Power Company official said a fault in a line in Weston knocked out a circuit in Norwalk that fed Westport’s power substation at Main and Canal Streets.

As a result, there was a blackout in the area from Post Road East at Myrtle Avenue west to Kings Highway South, from the Post Road to Canal Street, and north along Wilton Road to the area of exit 41 of the Merritt Parkway.

Fire units responded to a report of smoke in the building at 125 Main St. The problem was traced to the power outage and there was no fire, according to Deputy Chief Jonathan Gottfried.

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01/23/07 09:54 PM Comments () • Permalink

Canal Street Substation Offline During Blackout Image
Westport firefighters check the Connecticut Light and Power Company substation at Main and Canal Streets late this afternoon after a power outage hit the area. Utility workers managed to restore power after about an hour. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) John Bryans Fontaine for


01/23/07 09:52 PM Comments () • Permalink

Updating on the Town Image
Selectwoman Shelly Kassen (l) spoke at the Democratic Women of Westport’s Super Soup Luncheon today. She explained how she advises First Selectman Gordon Joseloff and does research. She also reviewed a number of the administration’s accomplishments, including a new senior citizen tax relief program, signing a long-term lease for the Inn at Longshore, and the inauguration of a Celebrate Westport initiative that includes the Westport Farmers Market. She also said the administration is drafting an ordinance that will create an ethics advisory panel to help with proper ethics procedures.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


01/23/07 08:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Artist Receives State Grant

A Westport artist is among those receiving a fellowship from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, the commisson announced today.

Westporter Matt Debenham, 36, received a $5,000 fellowship from the commission in fiction.

Grants in the amounts of $5,000 and $2,500 were awarded to 34 artists across the state in the categories of choreography, fiction, film/video, music composition, playwriting and poetry.

The commission’s Artist Fellowship program provides monetary support to encourage the continuing artistic development of the state’s artists who are seriously committed to their art form and who have a demonstrated history of professional activity in the state. The program allows artists to devote full attention to the creation of new work and to further their careers.


01/23/07 07:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

Longtime Westporter Clark G. Ford Dies at 76

Clark G. Ford, an accomplished advertising professional and Westport resident since 1959 who was active in numerous community endeavors including designing award-winning floats for the town’s Memorial Day parade, died Friday in Westport. He was 76. Image
Clark G. Ford: ad man who designed parade floats. Contributed photo

Ford, a former member of the Westport Country Playhouse Board of Directors and member of Westport’s Yangzhou, China Sister City Committee, was also active in the Y’s Men of Westport Weston and the Saint Luke Church Ushers Group. 

He was perhaps best known locally for the award-winning floats he designed and helped construct for Westport’s Memorial Day Parade on behalf of the Playhouse and the Y’s Men between 1993 and 2006.

Ford put the finishing touches on the Y’s Men float for the most recent Memorial Day parade while at Norwalk Hospital, according to his son, Jeff, a Westport resident, who took photos and a video of the work in progress to his hospitalized father.

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01/23/07 04:48 PM Comments () • Permalink

Icy River Image
With temperatures hovering around the freezing mark in Westport on Monday, ice was forming on the Saugatuck River. Temperatures are expected to rise above freezing through Wednesday before dropping to much colder by the end of the week. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


01/23/07 05:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2007

10 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Administrative Review Committee
4:15 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Art Factory: Printmaking, Poetry, Writing, & Bookbinding
7-8 p.m. - Toquet Hall - Outward Bound information session
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Zoning Board of Appeals


01/23/07 05:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

School Building Projects Discussed

By Jennifer Connic

The Westport Board of Education focused on the accounts that pertain to its buildings during budget discussions tonight.

Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon has proposed a $89.2 million 2007-08 school budget, which is a 8.8 percent, or $7.2 million, increase over the current budget.

The board is expected to vote on the budget during its Feb. 5 meeting.

Tonight, Assistant Superintendent for Business Nancy Harris outlined $225,000 in building projects at various schools, including improving the ventilation in the Staples High School gymnasium.

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01/23/07 04:14 AM Comments () • Permalink

Conservation Commission Continues Y Hearing

By Jennifer Connic

The Westport Conservation Commission heard from the public tonight about the plan to move the Westport Weston Family Y facility from downtown to Camp Mahackeno.

The commission held another hearing on the matter, and those who both support and oppose the project filled many of the seats in the Town Hall Auditorium to get a moment to speak.

As part of the plan for the new facility on the portion of the property closest to the Merritt Parkway, Y officials would sell its downtown facility to Bedford Square Associates for at least $20 million.

Joe Jackson, who lives on Old Hill Road, said the commission should turn down the project because of the increase in traffic and a “questionable” septic system.

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01/23/07 12:46 AM Comments () • Permalink

Gathering Before “The Last Journey” Image
Emmy Award-winning actor Peter Strauss (l) and Sarah Grace Wilson (r) trade casual conversation before the start of the performance of “The Last Journey” tonight at the Westport Country Playhouse. Playwright Tricia Walsh-Smith and actors Patricia Conolly, Laila Robins and Molly Ward share conversations in the background. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


01/23/07 12:33 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, January 22, 2007

Talking about “Skinned Knees” Image
The Rev. Janet Waggoner (c) spoke to the Y’s Women of Westport Weston today on “Coping with Skinned Knees, Hard Work and Other Challenges.” She explained how Jewish teachings have helped the women in her Presbyterian/Episcopalian women’s group examine their own values and find answers to practical questions in their lives. The “skinned knees” reference comes from the 2001 book by clinical psychologist Wendy Mogel titled “The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children.” Waggoner is the rector at St. Paul’s in Shelton. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


01/22/07 09:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Schools to Hold Internet Safety Workshops

By Jennifer Connic

Westport school officials are ensuring parents are up to date on how to keep teens safe on the Internet by holding several workshops on the topic, which start this week.

For the second year in a row, the Westport school district will hold the Internet security classes. Six sessions will be held on Wednesday and Jan. 31.

Lynne Shain, assistant schools superintendent for curriculum and staff development, said the sessions are almost completely booked.

“We did them last year and wondered if we would have full participation,” she said. “It’s an ongoing issue. I’m happy parents find the information useful.”

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01/22/07 09:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Playhouse to Hold Love Poem Fund-Raiser

The Westport Country Playhouse will feature Joanne Woodward, Paul Newman, Eartha Kitt, Charles Grodin and others to be announced reading classic, contemporary and humorous love poems in “Come Be My Love. . .Love Spoken Here,” on Saturday Feb. 10 at 8 Image
Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman: reciting love poems. Photo by Miggs Burroughs

The performance will support the playhouse’s educational programing, and a reception of champagne and desserts will follow the performance.

Tickets are $300, of which $225 is tax deductible, and $175, of which $100 is tax deductible.

The group will read poems from authors that include Maya Angelou, Emily Dickinson, T. S. Eliot, e.e. cummings, Dorothy Parker, William Shakespeare, Robert Frost, Ogden Nash, Langston Hughes, Tennessee Williams and Noel Coward.

For more information and tickets, call (203) 227-4177 or 888-927-7529 or visit the box office at 25 Powers Court.


01/22/07 08:39 PM Comments () • Permalink

Author to Discuss Segregation in Education Image
Susan Eaton to discuss her new book. Contributed photo
Journalist Susan Eaton tackles if separate can ever be equal in education in her new book “The Children in Room 4E: American Education on Trial” and will discuss the topic at the Westport Public Library on Wednesday at noon.

The book analyzes the inequities in American public schools through the inner-city schools in Hartford.

Eaton, a former reporter for The Advocate in Stamford, will talk about her book, the students she followed for four years, and the 18-year landmark Connecticut civil rights case Sheff v. O’Neill that changed the Hartford School District.

For more information, call (203) 291-4840 or visit


01/22/07 05:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

Town Receiving $4,080 for Traffic Tickets Issued

By Jennifer Connic

A new law means Westport will receive more than $4,000 from the state from traffic tickets.

First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said he received notice the town will receive $4,080 under a new law that went into effect in October that adds a $10 surcharge to some traffic tickets. They money covers the first quarter the new law was in effect.

Westport is third in the state in how much money it is receiving back from the state, he said, with Greenwich and Trumbull the only two communities that rank higher.

Police Chief Al Fiore said nearly 30 years ago, the town would receive a portion of each traffic ticket fine the police issued, but that changed and all of the money goes back to the state now.

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01/22/07 02:52 PM Comments () • Permalink

Cloudy Skies Image
Clouds floated over Compo Beach in Westport Sunday, but no rain fell from the sky. A weather advisory, though, is in effect from 6 a.m. to noon today for freezing rain. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


01/22/07 05:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, Jan. 22, 2007

7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “The Last Journey”
7 p.m. – Staples High School Cafeteria B – Board of Education (live coverage cable channel 78)
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Conservation Commission (live coverage cable channel 79 and
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM Planning & Zoning Committee


01/22/07 05:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Property Transfers Jan. 8-12, 2007

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period Jan. 8-12, 2007:

Bernard P. Roesch and Dorothy E. Curran to 29 Burr Farms LLC, 29 Burr Farms Road, $1,025,000WN property.jpg

Frances and Roger Newman to Mary C. and Mark L. Friedman, 59 Compo Road North, $1,330,000

Andrea Toth to Kenneth M. Young and Heloisa Ulon, 3 Norport Drive, $2,220,000

Adam and Jennifer Goldberg to Rene Rensch and Nadja Kapellen, 1 Wild Rose Road, $558,500

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01/22/07 02:58 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Welcoming Exhibit Visitors Image
Cynthia Wallace stands in front of her painting today with her grandchildren at the opening of the new exhibit “Art and the Good Earth” at the Westport Historical Society. The society opened the new exhibit this afternoon with a gala. The exhibit features the work of many prominent Westport artists including The Pink House Painters who meet in the studio of Arlene Skutch. It runs through May 11. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


01/21/07 11:38 PM Comments () • Permalink

Freezing Rain Advisory Issued

The National Weather Service today issued a freezing rain advisory for Westport and portions of the tri-state area. It is in in effect from 6 a.m. to noon Monday.

A weak weather system is expected to spread light precipitation in the form of drizzle and very light rain across the region Monday morning from the west, the advisory said.

“At this time it appears that this precipitation will fall as liquid,” the advisory said.  “Unfortunately surface temperatures will be well below freezing and this precipitation is expected to freeze on impact.”

It said the result is that extremely treacherous travel conditions will develop during the morning rush hour.

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01/21/07 10:24 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport to Mark Wear Red Day

Westport will participate in the American Heart Association’s National “Wear Red Day for Women” on Friday, Feb. 2 with a number of events, including health screenings at the Westport Weston Health District.

First Selectman Gordon Joseloff will issue a proclamation at 9 a.m. on the front steps of Town Hall on that day.

As part of the day’s events, the health district will offer cholesterol screening and blood pressure testing at 9 a.m. to noon in Town Hall Rooms 201/201A.  Screenings include total, LDL, and HDL, cholesterol levels, blood sugar and triglyceride levels.  Fasting and an appointment are required for cholesterol screening.

The cost for the screening is $20 with only cash payments accepted.  Call (203) 227-9571 ext. 242 before Feb. 2.

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01/21/07 10:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

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