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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Staples Girls Lacrosse Team Opens Season With Scrimmage

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The girls lacrosse team at Westport’s Staples High Shool today launched its 2007 season with an invitational “Play Day” scrimmage hosted on the turf field at Staples. The Staples varsity squad won all three of its scrimmages played against Notre Dame, Greens Farms Academy and Bethel High School. Pictured is Staples junior Colby Mello as she evades her opponents from Bethel before scoring in today’s scrimmage. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Hamilton Laux for WestportNow.com


03/31/07 09:49 PM Comments () • Permalink

Registration Opens for Parks and Rec Programs

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Hundreds of people lined up at Bedford Middle School this morning as the Westport Parks and Recreation Department opened registration for this year’s spring and summer programs. Registration continues during regular business hours at the parks and recreation office at Longshore Club Park. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Stephen Rubin for WestportNow.com


03/31/07 09:18 PM Comments () • Permalink

Toaster Fire Quickly Extinguished at Health Care Center

WestportNow.com ImageA Westport firefighter tends to a fire sprinkler set off by a toaster oven fire today in the kitchen of the Westport Health Care Center. There were no injuries reported, and the building was not evacuated. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
(UPDATE)A fire touched off by a toaster oven in the kitchen of the Westport Health Care Center early today was quickly extinguished by the building’s fire suppression system, fire officials said.

The incident just before 6 a.m. at the elderly health care facility at 1 Burr Road on the corner of Post Road West also set off the fire alarm, but the building was not evacuated.

Assistant Fire Chief Larry Conklin said the 85 patients in the complex were “protected in place” while firefighters ventilated smoke from the kitchen area.

Firefighters checked all floors of the building, and there were no injuries to any of the staff or patients, he said. Fire officials said later that two plastic dishwasher trays left on top of the commercial toaster oven ignited, starting the fire.

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03/31/07 04:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Last Dog Day of Winter

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Today is the last day dogs are allowed at Westport’s Compo Beach for the season. Animals are banned on all town beaches April 1 until Oct. 1. Many pet owners and others were out taking advantage of today’s sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-50s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com


03/31/07 04:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Provence Documentary Featured at Library

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Sumner Glimcher: talks on French trip. Contributed photo
Filmmaker Sumner Jules Glimcher will screen his documentary “A Taste of Provence: Art, Culture & History” on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Westport Public Library’s McManus Room.

Professor emeritus of New York University and a Westport resident for 30 years, Glimcher rented a villa outside Aix-en-Provence in July 2005 and drove almost 2,200 miles to visit and film towns, villages and historical sites in Provence.

The film features footage of musical events, including Aix’s annual July music celebration, which was devoted that year to Mozart, and sequences on two of the province’s most famous artists, Paul Cezanne and Vincent Van Gogh.

For more information, call (203) 291-4840 or visit www.westportlibrary.org.


03/31/07 03:13 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sharing the River

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Many are sharing Westport’s Saugatuck River whether they are in a boat or have feathers. Temperatures reached into the 60s on Friday, and temperatures are expected to be in the mid-50s this weekend. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com


03/31/07 05:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, March 31, 2007

2 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - This Old House: Historical Plaques
6:30 p.m. - Unitarian Church, 10 Lyons Plains Road - A Better Chance of Westport fund-raiser
7 p.m. - Coleytown Middle School - “High School Musical” (sold out)
8 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre: “Born Yesterday”


03/31/07 05:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

PAL Hosts Fund-Raiser

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The Westport Police Athletic League hosted its annual fund-raiser tonight at Staples High School. The fund-raiser featured a basketball with the Court Jesters versus the PAL All-Stars. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Stephen Rubin for WestportNow.com


03/31/07 03:24 AM Comments () • Permalink

PAL Basketball Fund-Raiser Draws Crowd

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Westport’s Police Athletic League held its annual basketball fund-raiser tonight at Staples High School. A full house cheered on as the Court Jesters played the PAL All-Stars. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Stephen Rubin for WestportNow.com


03/31/07 03:06 AM Comments () • Permalink

Hundreds Turn Out for Project Return’s Birdhouse Auction

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Hundreds of visitors turned out tonight for Project Return’s 12th annual birdhouse action held at Lillian August in Norwalk. Project Return is a Westport-based therapeutic, residential home for teenage girls aged 14 to 18 in crisis. Since it opened its doors 20 years ago, more than 115 girls have stayed at Project Return, ranging from three months to several years. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Juliet Balian for WestportNow.com


03/31/07 02:26 AM Comments () • Permalink

“High School Musical” Plays to Sold-Out Audiences

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The production of “High School Muscial” is playing to sold-out audiences this weekend at Westport’s Coleytown Middle School. The show opened Friday night under the direction of Dodie Pettit, Tickets to all four shows sold out in record time. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) David Dreyfuss for WestportNow.com


03/31/07 01:51 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, March 30, 2007

Cambodian Writer Tells of Life Under Khmer Rouge

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      Cambodian writer and activist Luong Ong spent the day at Westport’s Greens Farms Academy today talking with students about her childhood under the Khmer Rouge.  Her book, “First They Killed My Father,” gives an unblinking view of war and loss through the eyes of a child. Ong talked with students about her journey from a child of war to a woman of peace. Contributed photo


03/30/07 10:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

Library Offers Travel Services to Families

The Westport Public Library has a new service for parents planning trips with their children called [email protected] Public Library.

Those interested in using the service should contact the children’s library at (203) 291-4810 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with the children’s names, ages, grades, travel dates, destination and purpose of the trip.

Parents should provide their e-mail address and phone number, and they will receive a message about when to pick up materials to prepare their children for their travel destination packed in a colorful travel backpack, an announcement said.

The backpack’s contents vary for each destination but might include stories, music, films, art books, and audio books related to the trip. The items need to be returned to the library, but the family can keep the backpack.

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03/30/07 09:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Community Theatre Opens “Born Yesterday” Tonight

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The Westport Community Theatre opens its newest production, “Born Yesterday,” tonight at 8 at the theater, which is located at Westport Town Hall. Directed by Richard Mancini, “Born Yesterday” is part comedy, part romantic satire. It is a funny look at 1940s “influence peddling” in Washington through the intellectual and romantic awakening of a beautiful but uneducated woman. The play runs on Fridays and Saturdays from tonight through April 14 at 8 p.m., Sundays through April 15 and on Thursday, April 5 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12-$16. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (203) 226-1983 or visit www.westportcommunitytheatre.com. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


03/30/07 08:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

Conservation Commission to Deliberate Y Plan Wednesday

By Jennifer Connic

The Westport Conservation Commission has scheduled its first work session to deliberate on the Westport Weston Family Y’s application to move its facility from downtown to Camp Mahackeno.

The commission will meet at 7 p.m. on Wednesday to start its work on rendering a decision, and Conservation Director Alicia Mozian said it could be the first of four sessions on the topic.

While the sessions are open to the public, the commission’s work sessions are closed to public comment and submissions. The meeting will be televised on the town’s cable channel 79 and streamed on its Web site.

Mozian said the commission will need to tell the staff at its first meeting how it may want to vote or what issues they have with the application.

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03/30/07 05:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

Earthplace to Take Over Partrick Wetlands

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Christopher Tymniak (r), representing Gov. M. Jodi Rell, presented a proclamation from the governor to Matthew Mandell (l) and Sean Timmins (c), Partrick Wetlands Preservation Fund directors, honoring the effort to preserve the wetlands during a ceremony in January. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WN file photo
By Jennifer Connic

The Partrick Wetlands Preservation Fund is planning to transfer its 22 acres of property along Partrick Road in northwest Westport to Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center, and the nonprofit organization will become steward for the property.

The Planning and Zoning Commission will review the transfer during a work session on Thursday as required under a court settlement, and Earthplace will take over the property by the end of the month, said Matthew Mandell, fund co-director.

The court settlement requires that the fund donate the property to a land trust before the end of June. But Mandell said plans to transfer the property to Earthplace have been in place for some time.

The fund interviewed a number of organizations, he said, and Earthplace’s mission matched up well with what the fund’s members want to accomplish.

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03/30/07 10:12 AM Comments () • Permalink

Taking Flight

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Temperatures weren’t nearly as warm in Westport on Thursday as earlier this week, including at Ned Dimes Marina at sunset. Temperatures reached 50 degrees, but they’re expected to reach close to 60 degrees today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


03/30/07 05:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, March 30, 2007

8 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Historic District Commission/Planning & Zoning Commission Preservation of Historic Structures Subcommittee
6:30 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Artist Event: Artist’s Salon
7 p.m. - Coleytown Middle School - “High School Musical” (sold out)
8 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre: “Born Yesterday”
8 p.m. - Seabury Center - Westport Arts Center’s Composers Project: Ben Allison and Medicine Wheel


03/30/07 05:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Commission Considering Affordable Housing Changes

By Jennifer Connic

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Rick Redniss: explains affordable housing proposal. File photo
The Westport Planning and Zoning Commission tonight reviewed a proposal that would revise the town’s affordable housing regulations.

The proposal comes from Woodland Group, and the zone would be applied to a property on Indian Hill and Bradley Lane area. The commission will continue the hearing on April 5.

Rick Redniss, consultant for Woodland Group, said the regulations would split the affordable housing type into two parts.

Under the changes, he said, 20 percent of the units would have to be for those who make 80 percent of the state median income, and 10 percent would have to be those who earn 80 percent of the local median income.

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03/30/07 02:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Demonstrating in Hartford

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More than 65 members of Westport’s CLASP Homes joined 1,200 members of the private nonprofit community demonstrating at the Capitol in Hartford today seeking a cost of living increase for workers in the nonprofit sector. Tracy Flood, CLASP president, said nonprofit workers do the same work as state workers and receive 50 percent less. CLASP Homes provides support and opportunities to adults with developmental disabilities. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


03/29/07 11:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

Landon Considering Budget Cuts

By Jennifer Connic

Westport school officials are still determining how to react to a Board of Finance $500,000 cut to the proposed 2007-08 school budget and whether they should seek restoration.

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Elliott Landon: Torn on suggested budget cuts. WN file photo
Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon said today he is still reflecting on the cuts and if school officials can live with them, but the final decision on restoration needs to be made by the Board of Education.

“You always hope there will be no cuts, but once they are made we need to reflect on if we can live with them,” he said. “The Board of Finance was thoughtful in its decision, and we need to examine if (the suggested cuts) are what is prudent. We will need (school board) input.”

The finance board suggested $400,000 of the cut come from the insurance reserve and $80,000 come from the transportation savings generated by the all-day kindergarten program, but Landon said those may not be the areas that should be cut.

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03/29/07 08:48 PM Comments () • Permalink

Defibrillator Provided to Health District

The Westport Weston Health District is the latest facility to receive an automatic external defibrillator (AED) as part of the Town of Westport’s ongoing effort to protect its citizens and visitors by placing the devices in public facilities.

The health district facility at 180 Bayberry Lane joins Westport Town Hall, Westport Center for Senior Activities, Westport Public Library and all public schools in having the devices if there is an emergency.

First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said additional units are needed to continue to meet the town’s goal of having an AED available to anyone who has a heart attack within five minutes.

Westport has been recognized by the Connecticut Department of Public Health as a “HeartSafe Community” because of the CPR training provided to residents and the AEDs available in public facilities.

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03/29/07 07:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

Two Injured in I-95 Crash

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Westport and Fairfield firefighters worked together today at a mid-day accident on I-95 that sent two people to Norwalk Hospital. The firefighters responded to the two-car accident at 12:45 p.m. in the northbound lanes between exits 18 and 19. The accident involved a box truck driven by a Milford man and a Volvo driven by a New York woman. The left lane of the highway was closed to traffic for more than a hour. Firefighters cleared the scene at 1:55 p.m. when state police reopened the lane to traffic. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


03/29/07 06:43 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Hosts Sexual Assault Awareness Campaign Kickoff

By Jennifer Connic

The region’s leaders made it clear today they hope people will say it loud in tackling and ending sexual violence.

The Stamford-based Sexual Assault Crisis and Education center kicked off its 2007 “Say it Loud Campaign” at Westport Town Hall with a function that featured speeches from federal, state and local officials, and those in attendance included high school students and law enforcement officials.

“We need to call attention to this serious problem,” Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said. “We think it does not happen in places like Westport, but it does. It happens in places people cannot imagine.”

He cited a minor who was arrested last Friday on sexual assault charges (See WestportNow March 23).

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03/29/07 06:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Reads Concludes

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In the final event for Westport Reads 2007 Wednesday night, John Marchese (r), author of “The Violin Maker,” spoke about the craft and also introduced master violin maker Sam Zygmuntowicz.  Zygmuntowicz was the figure at the center of the book, which focuses on his building a violin for Eugene Drucker, of the Emerson String Quartet, to rival the Stradivarius that Drucker now plays. For Westport Reads 2007, Westporters read “The Soloist” by Mark Salzman and the Westport Public Library sponsored a number of events throughout March that were inspired by the book. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jayne Gottschalk for WestportNow.com


03/29/07 03:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Playing for the Chorus

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Michelle Anderson, a violinist from Bedford Middle School, takes a bow Wednesday night at the Westport school district’s annual town-wide chorus festival at Staples High School. She accompanied the 450 students who participated in the event. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com


03/29/07 05:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, March 29, 2007

5:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201A – Emily McLaury House Committee
6 p.m. – 4 Panhandle Lane, Westport – Green Energy Task Force Field Trip
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Planning & Zoning Commission Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Sherwood Mill Pond Committee
7 p.m. - Coleytown Middle School - “High School Musical” (sold out)
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - YouTube


03/29/07 05:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Town-Wide Chorus Festival Held Tonight

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The Westport School District held its town-wide chorus festival tonight at Staples High School. A group of younger chorus members watch the Staples Orphenians perform during the event. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com


03/29/07 02:28 AM Comments () • Permalink

Conservation Commission Closes Y Hearing

By Jennifer Connic

After a record five months of meetings on a single issue, the Conservation Commission tonight closed its public hearing on the Westport Weston Family Y’s controversial application to move its facility from downtown to Camp Mahackeno.

The audience applauded the vote to close the hearing, but the commission’s work is not done. It will not need to spend time in work session deliberating and rendering a decision on the application.

The commission held a record number of meetings on the application that started Oct. 18.

The commission spent tonight asking questions of the Family Y’s consulting team that is working on the project, including on the septic system, which some opponents have said has a high risk to fail.

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03/29/07 01:50 AM Comments () • Permalink

Selectmen Accept Solar Panels

By Jennifer Connic

The Board of Selectmen today approved what they hope is the first plan to accept free solar panels from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund.

The two-kilowatt system is available to Westport—which is a community that has agreed to have 20 percent of its energy use to come from renewable sources by 2010—because over 100 households have signed up for a renewable energy option thought Connecticut Light & Power.

Public Works Director Stephen Edwards said he hopes to bank the solar panels until more people sign up and there are more panels available to the town.

The plans are to install the solar panels on the roof of one of the Westport schools, he said, including Staples High School and Bedford Middle School.

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03/29/07 12:27 AM Comments () • Permalink

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