Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Westport Girls Softball will hosts its free annual Softball Jamboree on Sunday at noon to 2 p.m. at the Staples High School field house.
Girls in kindergarten through fifth grade are eligible to attend the event that is hosted by the Staples varsity softball team. Additionally, the 2006 Westport Majors Softball All-Stars will be on hand.
Those attending will receive a free t-shirt and can win prizes in games such as base running races.
Mini coaching clinics will be offered to show girls the fundamentals of the game, and there will be information on hand for girls to sign up for the 2007 Little League season.
Judith Freedman: Giving a state Senate update. Contributed photoState Sen. Judith Freedman, R-26, will speak at the next Y’s Men of Westport Weston meeting on Thursday at 10 a.m. at Saugatuck Congregational Church.
Freedman will give an update on the state senate during her talk.
She is a Westport resident and represents a district that includes Westport, Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, and Wilton. Freedman was re-elected to her post last November.
She is the ranking member of the Government Administration & Elections Committee, which oversees legislation regarding the Ethics Commission, compacts between the state and Indian tribes, constitutional amendments, elections and campaign finance.
She is also the ranking member of the Select Committee on Children and is a member of the Appropriations Committees and the Legislative Management Committee.
Construction crews demolished the house at 4 Hawthorne Lane off Bayberry Lane this week and remained on site to remove the rubble. The 1954 house, which sold last month for $885,000, was the WestportNow Teardown of the Day on Jan. 27. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
113 Cross Highway before preservation work began. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow/WN file photo
By Jennifer Connic
The Westport Zoning Board of Appeals Tuesday night partially approved an application that would allow a couple to preserve some of buildings that once were Westport’s first gas station, the Cross Highway Garage at 113 Cross Highway.
Michael and Kim Ronemus were seeking variances to be able to use an old garage and barn as an office and guest house, which are not allowed under the zoning regulations in accessory buildings. The Representative Town Meeting last December designatated the house as historical based on its history as the town’s first filling station, an action which prevents its destruction.
The board approved the variances necessary to allow a home office to be installed in one of the buildings, but it denied a request to change one of the buildings into a guest room.
Board Chairman Jim Ezzes said there is evidence the barn where the home office would be located was once used as an office and therefore it would be appropriate to approve it. However, he said it would not be right to permit expansion of the building because the board does not approve expansions of uses such as a home office.
Temperatures in Westport—including along the Saugatuck River—reached 40 degrees on Tuesday and are expected to reach into the 40s again today. The warmer temperatures helped melt some of the snow from the recent storms. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn Miller for WestportNow.com
8 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Maintenance Study Committee
10:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – International Hospitality Committee
Noon - Westport Public Library - [email protected] library: Thrity Umrigar
4:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – School Building Committee
5 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – Board of Selectmen (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – TEAM Westport Committee
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Westport Community Gardens
7:30 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Literature: Mark Schenker
Tonight’s Conservation Commission hearing on the Westport Weston Family Y’s new facility focused on the sewage treatment system, which came the same week the Family Y received a preliminary state approval for the system.
Westport Weston Family Y officials are planning to move their facility from the corner of Main Street and Post Road East in the downtown area to Camp Mahackeno adjacent to the Merritt Parkway. The plans include a septic system—called FAST—that would handle 34,000 gallons of sewage and water per day.
The state Department of Environmental Protection issued a draft approval for the system this week (See WestportNow Today).
Tonight the commission heard from several experts about the septic system, including an engineer who reviewed the state draft approval document.
An estimated four gallons of diesel fuel spilled into the Saugatuck River from a fuel drum with a loose cap on the pedestrian walkway on the Metro-North Railroad Bridge spanning the river, Westport fire officials said tonight.
Someone had moved the drum onto the walkway, and there had been a previous attempt to secure the cap with black electrical tape, said Assistant Fire Chief Gene Maloney.
Firefighters discovered the leak when they responded at 7:32 p.m. to a report of a fuel spill on the pedestrian walkway.
On arrival, they found an oily substance leading from the commuter parking lot on the west side of the river across the pedestrian walkway to a concrete platform adjacent to the bridge tender’s shack mid-way across the span, Maloney said.
Hi, I’m Cyrus! Connecticut Humane Society
So, when the volunteers told me that they were taking my picture to help me get adopted, I posed perfectly. Hi, I’m Cyrus, a 2-year-old altered male chocolate lab mix. Just like, chocolate, I’m very sweet. I am also very well behaved, friendly and oh, so smart. I am everything you have been looking for in your new family pet. I give my doggie oath that I will be loyal, loving and do my best to listen. All you have to do is exercise me, feed me, and most of all give me lots of love. The love part will be very easy because I’m very lovable.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Construction crews demolished the house at 376 Greens Farms Road in Westport today. The 1920 house on .75-acre at the corner of Robin Hill Road not far from Bulkley Avenue South sold in November 2005 for $810,000. It was the WestportNow Teardown of the Day on Oct. 9. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Gloria Hunter, a longtime Westporter who worked as a journalist, teacher, author and columnist and taught reading and college test preparation skills to countless area students, died Sunday at her Westport home. She was 79.
Gloria Hunter: Westport resident since 1965. Contributed photo
Hunter had struggled valiantly to maintain a normal life with family and friends and in her community as she waged her battle against cancer, according to Thomas Hunter, her husband of 56 years.
Hunter was known to many Westporters for her “As I See It” column in the weekly Westport Minuteman newspaper for the last 13 years. Her last column, “Teaser Titles,” was completed just before her death.
Born in Chicago, Hunter was the daughter of the late Eleanore Kline and David Waldron Hunter. She spent her early married life in Ann Arbor, Mich., Summit, N.J., and Cleveland, Ohio before making Westport the permanent family home in 1965.
The state Department of Environmental Protection has issued a draft approval for the Westport Weston Family Y’s plan to move its facility to Camp Mahackeno.
The state agency reviewed the plans that included an on-site septic system that would handle up to 34,000 gallons of sewage per day, and it held a public hearing in Westport last fall (See WestportNow Sept. 14).
The Conservation Commission is scheduled to continue its hearing on the application—which includes a review of the septic system—tonight at 7 in Town Hall.
“The proposed wastewater treatment system would treat the wastewater to a level to prevent pollution of groundwater and maintain a high water quality,” the draft decision states. “The requested permit for discharge of wastewaters from the applicant’s facility would not cause pollution to the waters of the state.”
Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period Feb.19-23, 2007:
Regina Sender Levin to Heine Development Corp., lots 7A and A7A Turkey Hill Circle, $1,825,000
James A. Randel to Beryl D. Leifer, 3 Sylvan Road South, $1,300,000
Michael and Kathleen Mermey to Regina Sender Levin, 2 Berkeley Hill, $1,425,000
Linda Rogozinski to Christopher and Meredith Lederer, 23 Hickory Drive, $540,000
Estate of Adel A. Karam to Heritage 152 North LLC, 152 North Ave., $742,500
The 1930-built house situated on 0.16 acres and located at 840 Post Road East, adjacent to the Sherwood Island Connector, is on the agenda of the Westport Historic District Commission tonight. Town officials are reviewing an anticipated request for a demolition permit and potential replacement of the house with a bank. This is the last house standing on the former crescent-shaped street known as Beverly Place. Prior to the construction of the Sherwood Island Connector, the street curved around to the current location of Walgreen’s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
10 a.m. – Town Hall Room 307- Arts Advisory Committee
3 p.m. Westport Fire Headquarters -Public Site & Building Commission Levitt Pavilion Committee
6:30 p.m. Town Hall Room 309 - Board of Finance budget workshop
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Conservation Commission (cable coverage channel 79 and www.westportct.gov)
7 p.m. - Town Hall Room 206 - Historic District Commission
7:30 p.m. - Coleytown Middle School - Westport Weston Health District wildlife symposium
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Green Room - RTM Long-Range Planning Committee
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Zoning Board of Appeals
Monday, February 26, 2007
A grease fire at Westport’s Black Duck Café today damaged an interior wall before firefighters extinguished it, resulting in temporary closure of the restaurant’s kitchen, fire officials said.
A fire at Westport’s Black Duck Cafe today caused little damage but resulted in shut down of the kitchen. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
The fire department responded to a 911 call at 10:50 a.m. of a reported fire in the kitchen at the café at 605 Riverside Ave., in the Saugatuck area.
“Grease on the side of a deep fat fryer had ignited and started to spread up the interior wall of the kitchen,” said Westport Assistant Fire Chief Larry Conklin.
The head chef, Tim Miller, used a dry chemical fire extinguisher to initially knock down the flames, he said.
Westport-educated Tyler Hicks, a staff photographer for The New York Times, was named the newspaper photographer of the year by the Missouri School of Journalism’s Pictures of the Year International contest, the newspaper reported today.
Flashback: Tyler Hicks discusses his book of photographs at a Westport Public Library meeting in November 2004. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
It was the second time in less than a month that a Westport native has won a top photojournalism award.
On Feb 9, Spencer Platt, a 1989 Staples High School graduate who roams the world for the Getty Images photo agency, won the World Press Photo of the Year award, considered the top prize in photojournalism. (See WestportNow Feb. 9, 2007)
Hicks, 37, was honored for five series of photographs that he took in 2006 in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Israel, Camden, N.J., and other places., the Times said. In 2004, Hicks spoke at the Westport Public Library about his work as he introduced a book of his photographs. (See WestportNow Nov. 28, 2004)
The Westport Center for Senior Activities is closed today due to the weather, and there will be no home delivered meals.
The staff is in should anyone have any questions or concerns, and they can be reached at (203) 341-5099.
Westporter Eve Green was one of several of the Saugatuck Rowing Club’s members to compete in the C.R.A.S.H.-B World Indoor Rowing Championships Sunday at Boston University. Green, a passionate rower who only took up the sport in her early 60s, came in second in the lightweight veterans women category (ages 70-74) racing 2000 meters. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
11:30 a.m. - Westport Weston Family Y - Westport Public Library Director Maxine Bleiweis addresses Y’s Women
6:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – Board of Finance Budget Workshop
Westport Schools Superintendent Elliot Landon tonight canceled Monday’s scheduled staff development day for teachers because of the snow.
Students, who have been on February break along with their teachers, had not been scheduled to return to school until Tuesday.
All school activities scheduled for Monday have been canceled, Landon said.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
By Jim CameronSpecial to WestportNow
It’s busy, busy in Hartford these days as the legislature considers hundreds of bills, many of them promising long overdue investment in mass transit. But one of the more interesting proposals, HB717, calls for free bus and rail tickets for senior citizens.
The bill’s sponsor suggests that by offering seniors free tickets they would flock to mass transit filling empty seats and forming an important advocacy group for this important service. Seniors, he argues, have “earned” a free ride.
Respectfully, I disagree.
As I testified to the legislature’s Transportation Committee studying the plan, the bill is a “feel good” measure based on a false premise. But who could argue against giving seniors a break? Me, because the numbers just don’t add up.
The National Weather Service today issued a snow advisory for Westport and the tri-state area in effect from 10 p.m. this evening to 6 p.m. Monday.
Light snow could begin across the eastern lower Hudson Valley and Fairfield County early this evening, the advisory said. However, the steadier snow will move into the area late this evening and continue into Monday morning.
Lighter snow is expected to continue through much of the day on Monday. By the time the precipitation tapers off Monday evening, total snow and sleet accumulations of 3 to 7 inches are expected with locally heavier amounts possible, the advisory said.
There is still some uncertainty as to the track and intensity of the storm. This will have an impact as to the type of precipitation and how much falls across the region, the advisory said.
Maxine Bleiweis: will talk about library expansion plans. Contributed photoMaxine Bleiweis, director of the Westport Public Library, will address the Y’s Women of Westport Weston at the group’s weekly meeting Monday.
She will talk on “The Prediction of Trends: Meeting ‘Customer’ Needs” as well as tell the audience about the new and expanded plans for the library.
In addition, Bleweis, director of the Westport library since 1998, will cover aspects of the Patriot Act and how it affects libraries and those who use them.
The meeting at the Westport/Weston Family Y begins with coffee and conversation at 11 a.m. followed by the formal presentation at 11:30 a.m.
2 p.m. Westport Public Library - McManus Room - “Who’s Afraid of Tom Stoppard? Navigating The Coast of Utopia”
The Westport Country Playhouse announced today that Monday’s scheduled reading of “A Strange and Separate People,” a new play by Jon Marans, has been postponed to Monday, April 23 at 7 p.m.
No reason was given. Marans also wrote “Old Wicked Songs” which played last fall at the Playhouse.
In “A Strange and Separate People,” a young Orthodox Jewish woman is unexpectedly caught up in a love triangle that involves herself, her husband and her husband’s new alternative love interest.
The play reveals the challenges she now faces in her life, her faith and her place in a new and different world.