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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

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: Masha Hamilton
2 & 8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “All About Us”
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 309 – RTM Planning & Zoning Committee
7:30 p.m. – Westport Public Library McManus Room – Library Board of Trustees
8 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – RTM Parks & Recreation Committee


04/25/07 04:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Morning Walks

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Temperatures reached 75 degrees in Westport today, and the warm weather has brought many out for morning walks and runs in the Compo Beach area. Among them was Colleen Oppenheimer who took her son, Andrew, out for a morning stroll. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


04/24/07 10:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

Earthplace to Hold Green Earth Fair

By Jennifer Connic

Westport’s Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center is planning its biggest Earth Day celebration ever with a four-day Green Earth Fair that will feature children’s activities, learning opportunities and music.

The Green Earth Fair takes place Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday with a variety of events each day. Most events take place on Saturday and Sunday, and the full schedule is available on Earthplace’s Web site.

Frank Grazynski, Earthplace assistant development director who is heading the fair, said the organization—which is located on Woodside Lane—has always had the Earth Festival to celebrate Earth Day, but they wanted to step it up to make the community more aware of environmental issues and steps they can take to be more eco-friendly.

“I want everyone to step away and do one simple thing to change their habits whether it’s (an environmentally-friendly) light bulb or a hybrid car or something else,” he said. “If we all do one thing, I feel we have accomplished much.”

More "Earthplace to Hold Green Earth Fair"


04/24/07 09:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

Young Woman’s League Winds Up “Kids on the Block” Shows

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Members of the Westport Young Woman’s League today wound up another spring of performances of the “Kids on the Block” diversity puppet program with shows at Long Lots Elementary School for second and third graders. Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff posed before today’s show with co-chairs Michelle Saunders and Kristin Ehrlich and members of the cast. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/24/07 06:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

No Injuries Reported in Bonnie Brook Road Fire

A ceiling fire today in a third floor laundry room of a home on Bonnie Brook Road caused minor damage and no injuries, fire officials said.WestportNow.com Image
A nanny watches with a 4-year-old as firefighters work at a house fire today at 3 Bonnie Brook Road. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

Westport firefighters responded to the fire shortly after 8 a.m. at 3 Bonnie Brook Road. A nanny who was in the house with a 4-year-old discovered the fire and called 911.

Firefighters extinguished the flames after gaining access to the attic above, officials said, and the damage was limited to a ceiling-mounted recessed light fixture, electrical wiring, wood sheathing and structural wood framing adjacent to the light fixture.

Officials said the laundry room had some some damage and minimal water damage, and an adjacent child’s playroom was subject to smoke damage.

The home’s occupant called an electrician to restore electrical service, officials said. Firefighters were on scene for about one hour.


04/24/07 04:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

Police Identify Victim in Garbage Truck Death

Police today identified the employee of the Westport garbage collection company who was found dead in his truck on Monday.

Police said he was Ronald Booth, 50, of Bridgeport, who worked for Malone Refuse of Westport for 19 years.

A contractor found him wedged inside the compactor at a home on Greens Farms Road on Monday (See WestportNow April 23).

Malone Refuse also issued a statement today about the loss of a “valued friend and employee.”

More "Police Identify Victim in Garbage Truck Death"


04/24/07 04:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Martha Stewart “Depressed” After Selling Westport Home

Martha Stewart sold her longtime Westport home on Turkey Hill Road South last week and was “very depressed” after the transaction, the New York Daily News reported today. WestportNow.com Image
Martha Stewart originally asked $9 million for her 4-acre Westport “Turkey Hill” home at 48 Turkey Hill Road South. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) File photo

She disclosed the sale of the 1805 farmhouse during an appearance Sunday night at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan.

“I collect houses like other people collect paintings,” she said, according to the newspaper. “I finally did sell my (Westport house) last week. I was very depressed after I signed the contracts and had to go home and go to sleep.”

Stewart did not disclose the sale price, and the Town Clerk’s office said today the sale had not yet been recorded in its books.

More "Martha Stewart “Depressed” After Selling Westport Home"


04/24/07 11:32 AM Comments () • Permalink

Second Day for Farmers Market Planned

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A look back: Last summer’s farmers market drew young and old. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer/WN File
By Jennifer Connic

The first year of the farmers market at the Westport Country Playhouse was successful enough to bring it back this year, but there was one consistent complaint.

“The one criticism we heard over and over was about how we didn’t have the market on a weekend,” said Katherine Dyer, market manager. “We had a lot of working people who said they couldn’t come.”

That may change this year as Wholesome Wave and the Celebrate Westport Committee plan to bring the market to the Center for Senior Activities on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Board of Selectmen will vote on the second market day during its meeting on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at Town Hall.

More "Second Day for Farmers Market Planned"


04/24/07 10:26 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Girls Softball Opens Season

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The Westport Girls Softball League opened its season Monday with First Selectman Gordon Joseloff throwing out the first pitch on a ballfield behind Westport Town Hall. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Matthew Mandell for WestportNow.com


04/24/07 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

10 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Arts Advisory Committee
5:30 p.m. – Westport Fire Headquarters – Public Site & Building Commission Levitt Pavilion Committee
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Architectural Review Board
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - [email protected] library: Carter Wiseman
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “All About Us”


04/24/07 04:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Conservation Commission Plans Family Y Approval

By Jennifer Connic

Updated After months of hearings and controversy, a poll of Westport Conservation Commission members tonight showed an approval of the Westport Weston Family Y’s application to move its facility to Camp Mahackeno.

The members gave their preliminary votes twice tonight, and voted 5-1 the first time and 6-0 the second time with one member abstaining both times. William Blaufuss was the member who said he’d vote against the application, but in the second straw vote he reversed his vote.

The commission is expected to cast its final vote on Thursday.

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.

More "Conservation Commission Plans Family Y Approval"


04/24/07 01:50 AM Comments () • Permalink

Library Honoree David Halberstam Killed in Crash

David Halberstam, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author who was to be honored at the Westport Public Library’s Booked for the Evening fund-raiser next month, was killed today in a car crash south of San Francisco, a coroner said. He was 73.WestportNow.com Image
David Halberstam: was to be honored May 27. Contributed photo

Halberstam, a New Yorker, was a passenger in a car that was broadsided by another vehicle in Menlo Park, south of San Francisco, San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault told reporters.

The Westport Public Library Award to Halberstam, which was announced in March, honors those whose work furthers the goals of the library. The event had been set for Sunday, May 27. (See WestportNow March 12, 2007)

Previous recipients of the award have been Tom Brokaw, E.L.Doctorow, Calvin Trillin, Wendy Wasserstein, Pete Hamill, Martin Scorsese, Arthur Mitchell, and Doris Kearns Goodwin.


04/24/07 12:39 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, April 23, 2007

Man Found Dead in Garbage Truck

An employee of a Westport garbage collection company was found dead on Greens Farms Road today, police said.WestportNow.com Image
Westport police, fire, and EMS personnel investigate today’s fatality at 243 Greens Farms Road involving a garbage truck (l). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

A contractor at the scene called police after he found the male employee wedged in the compactor of his garbage truck at 243 Greens Farms Road, police said.

The truck was owned by Malone’s Refuse of Westport, and the employee was dead when police, firefighters and EMTs arrived at the scene, police said.

Police said the next of kin need to be contacted before the name of the victim is released, and police continue to investigate the incident.

Officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Office of the Medical Examiner were also at the scene.


04/23/07 11:03 PM Comments () • Permalink

Voluntary Action Center Honors Westport Volunteers

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The Voluntary Action Center of Mid-Fairfield tonight honored 85 persons who volunteer for various organizations in the area at a ceremony at Norwalk’s Brien McMahon High School. Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff presented certificates to a dozen Westporters or those nominated by Westport-based organizations, including Melody D’Alessandro, a sophomore at Greens Farms Academy. She was honored for her work with the American Red Cross Mid-Fairfield County Chapter. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Suzanne Sheridan for WestportNow.com


04/23/07 11:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

Municipal Storm Damages Total About $100,000

By Jennifer Connic

Westport officials said today that the town spent about $100,000 in efforts to respond to the nor’easter that pelted Westport and the region on April 15-16.

First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said, however, the major damage was to Westport’s private homes, and town officials do not know the total of those damages.

Westport was hit with extensive inland and coastal flooding during the two-day storm event. About 5 inches of rain fell as measured by Westport weather stations, and the storm surge along the coast and the Saugatuck River rivaled the one that caused extensive flooding in December 1992.

Joseloff said town officials are sending the bills to the state which is likely to seek reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which could authorize up to 75 percent.

More "Municipal Storm Damages Total About $100,000"


04/23/07 09:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

Adding to the Information Flow at the Train Station

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The town has installed a television in the waiting room of Westport’s Saugatuck train station as part of what First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said is an effort to keep commuters better informed. The town has also arranged for images from security cameras installed at the station by the state to be monitored in real-time at Westport police headquarters. In addition, Westport is extending its Wi-Fi initiative to the station and surrounding area.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/23/07 05:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Weir: Mahackeno Wasn’t the First Choice

By Jennifer Connic

Westport Weston Family Y Chief Executive Officer Helene Weir addressed the Y’s Women of Westport Weston this morning just hours after a confrontation with those opposing how Y officials are planning a move to Camp Mahackeno.

“I was told before I got here that it was a contentious process and people were emotional over it,” said Weir, who just celebrated the one-year anniversary of taking her position. “I could never describe it now that I know it because it’s so unbelievable. I’ve never been yelled at like I was this morning on the sidewalk.”

Weir said the move—which the Conservation Commission may vote on tonight—is a tough deal and she doesn’t want to make anyone upset.

Family Y officials have been looking for a solution for 12 years on where to move, she said, and Camp Mahackeno was not the first choice.

More "Weir: Mahackeno Wasn’t the First Choice"


04/23/07 05:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sides Speak Out at “Y Rescue Group” Press Conference

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Win Baum (l) and Tom Orofino spoke today about at the new “Westport Y Rescue Group” and trying to make the process surrounding the Family Y’s planned move more open. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
By Jennifer Connic

There was a clashing of ideas on the steps of the Westport Weston Family Y this morning.

The members of the newly formed “Westport Y Rescue Group” held a press conference about its formation and seeking a more open process on plans to move the Family Y to Camp Mahackeno. But also there were members of the Family Y leadership along with a number of community members.

The gathering led to a flow of questions and accusations between the two sides, including over the resignation of Win Baum, one of the rescue group’s founders, from the Family Y’s Board of Directors.

Baum recently resigned from the Board of Directors, he said, after he was accused of “misconduct and malfeasance” after he published an op-ed about his opinions on the decisions made by the board.

More "Sides Speak Out at “Y Rescue Group” Press Conference"


04/23/07 04:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

Enjoying the Weather

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Many were out in Westport on Sunday to enjoy the weather with temperatures around 70 degrees, including along the water at Sherwood Island State Park. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jennifer Connic for WestportNow.com


04/23/07 04:19 AM Comments () • Permalink

Talking Transportation: Highway Service Areas

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

With warmer weather comes the annual cry—“road trip!”


Now, most of us don’t think twice about the decrepit service areas on I-95 and the Merritt Parkway. Their nasty fast food and over priced gas are best avoided by knowing locals. 

But a study is underway by the Connecticut Department of Transporation (CDOT) to rehabilitate these service and rest areas, and, hey, there’s hope for the future.

Last year, I attended a focus group which examined the shortcomings of the 31 facilities, most of them in southwest Connecticut. The complaints I heard echo commuters’ gripes about Metro-North: facilities are too old, the bathrooms are dirty, and there’s not enough parking.

More "Talking Transportation: Highway Service Areas"


04/23/07 04:18 AM Comments () • Permalink

Winslow Walk

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Sunday’s summer-like weather with temperatures in the 70s brought many visitors to Westport’s Winslow Park, including a man who enjoyed a slow walk along its pathways. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


04/23/07 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, April 23, 2007

7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – Conservation Commission Work Session (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “A Strange and Separate People”
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Title Swap: Something Special for Book Clubs
7:45 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM Finance/Education Committees
9 p.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – RTM Finance Committee


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

Riding Near Compo

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With temperatures in the 70s in Westport today, motorcyclists rolled through the streets, including near Compo Beach, enjoying the summer-like weather. Only a week ago Westport was hammered with a nor’easter that led to extensive flooding. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


04/23/07 03:41 AM Comments () • Permalink

Woman Injured in Hales Road Accident

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A car went into a a utility pole on Hales Road at Inwood Lane late today, severing the pole and sending a Westport woman to Norwalk Hospital. It took four hours after the 4:32 p.m. accident to fully restore electric, telephone and cable TV service to the area. Assistant Fire Chief Robert Kepchar said air bags and using a seat belt limited the injuries to the motorist, who was not identified. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/23/07 03:24 AM Comments () • Permalink

Komen Foundation Hosts Build for the Cure Home

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The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation hosted a Build for the Cure show home on Clapboard Hill Road, and visitors were able to tour the $5.6 million house. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jennifer Connic for WestportNow.com
By Jennifer Connic

Over the last two weeks people had the opportunity to take a peek inside of Westport’s newest homes while supporting the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

The foundation hosted tours of a show home for the Build for the Cure on Clapboard Hill Road, which was designed by Westport-based Robert Storm Architects and built by Coastal Construction Group.

Pauline Kezer, Komen Foundation Connecticut chapter Board of Directors president, said Home Magazine approached the foundation about forming a focus group of women ages 30-50 years old to design a home that they would want.

The ideas from the group—which included many breast cancer survivors—were incorporated in the $5.6 million home including a lot of storage room and quiet spaces. Additionally, there are gathering spaces for the family.

More "Komen Foundation Hosts Build for the Cure Home"


04/23/07 12:57 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, April 22, 2007

April Sunday at Compo: Bikinis and Ice Cream

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It was bikini and ice cream weather at Westport’s Compo Beach today as the Sunday crowd enjoyed sunny skies with temperatures in the 70s—more like July than April. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


04/22/07 10:36 PM Comments () • Permalink

Summer-like Boom at Joey’s by the Shore

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Joey’s by the Shore Restaurant at Westport’s Compo Beach did booming business today as summer-like weather brought sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


04/22/07 10:32 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sounds of Cole Porter at Senior Center

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William Thorpe and Nancy Fox shared the singing while William Merrill played the piano both as accompanist and soloist at today’s Cole Porter concert at Westport’s Center for Senior Activities. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


04/22/07 10:27 PM Comments () • Permalink

Packed House for Senior Center Concert

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There was a packed house at Westport’s Center for Senior Activities today as a concert of Cole Porter music attracted more than 300 persons. The concert was presented by the Friends of the Senior Center with a grant from the Mortimer Levitt Foundation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


04/22/07 10:22 PM Comments () • Permalink

Weir to Address Y’s Women

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Helene Weir: Speaking on the Family Y’s Mahackeno move. Contributed photo
Westport Weston Family Y Chief Executive Officer Helene Weir will speak at the Y’s Women Meeting on Monday at the Family Y.

Weir will speak about plans to move the Family Y’s facility from downtown Westport to Camp Mahackeno.

Coffee and Conversation starts at 11 a.m. with the meeting starting at 11:30 a.m.

Weir has been in her position in Westport for one year and has been with the Y organizations for 24 years.

For more information, call Ann Lloyd at (203) 226-4145.


04/22/07 07:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

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