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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Changing Westport: A 21-Year-Old’s Perspective

Tom Haberstroh is a 21-year-old college student from Westport who recently mused about his changing hometown in his blog, Tom’s Bombs of Thought. He listed 50 Westport stores that he remembers having changed since 1990.

“Everyday I feel like I remember on old store in Westport that is no longer,” Haberstroh wrote.

Here are his entries on his “Westport’s Used-To-Be’s (and Now is’) Circa 1990 A.D. List”

  1. Herman’s. (Trader Joe’s)
  2. Shawmut Bank. (Wachovia Bank)
  3. Bank of Darien. (Lafayette-American Bank to Hudson United Bank and now, TD Banknorth)
  4. Westport Bank & Trust (Patagonia)
  5. Fuddruckers (Post Corner Pizza to ??)

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07/24/07 05:21 AM Comments () • Permalink

Dems Announce Candidates for Fall Election

Westport Democrats Monday night selected their candidates for the fall election. The six nominees include four incumbents and two newcomers.

Jim Ezzes, chair of the Democratic Town Committee (DTC) and himself a candidate for re-election on the Zoning Board of Appeals, said the slate was especially strong and would continue the party’s dominance of town boards.

“We have been successful for the past 10 years because we have fielded the best candidates,” he told a meeting at Town Hall. “This year is no exception.”

The two Democrats retiring from boards at the end of the term are Mary Parmelee, chair of the Board of Education, and Kevin Connolly, a member of the Board of Finance.

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07/24/07 04:21 AM Comments () • Permalink

Storm Fun Image
The rain, wind, and high waves kept most people away from Westport’s Compo Beach Monday—but not everyone. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


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

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

8:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Planning & Zoning Commission Affordable Housing Subcommittee
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Group Show I
10:30 a.m. - 11 a.m. -  Evan Harding Point at Longshore - Storytime at Longshore
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Architectural Review Board
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall -  Volunteers Fugitive Kind and Kevin D
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79 and
8 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - 100 Years of Broadway
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “Relatively Speaking”


07/24/07 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Westport Democrats Nominate Candidates Image
Westport Democrats tonight nominated their candidates for the fall election. Four incumbents are running along with two newcomers. Board of Education Chair Mary Parmelee will not seek re-election, nor will Board of Finance member Kevin Connolly. Pictured after their nomination are (l-r, incumbents marked “i”): Allyson Stollenwerck (i), Board of Finance: Jim Ezzes (i), Zoning Board of Appeals; Faith Taylor, Board of Education; Ken Wirfel, Board of Finance; Ellie Lowenstein (i), Planning and Zoning Commission, and Mark Mathias (i), Board of Education. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


07/24/07 02:37 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, July 23, 2007

President Clinton to Visit Westport for Hillary Fund-Raiser

President Clinton will attend a fund-raiser in Westport Aug. 2 in support of his wife Hillary’s presidential campaign.

The $2,300 per person event will take place at the Bayberry Lane home of longtime friends Bob and Yvette Rose who have hosted previous fund-raisers for the president and his wife.

While president, Clinton made three fund-raising visits to Westport: a March 10, 1998, event at the Inn at National Hall hosted by the Roses; a June 8, 1998, Rose-hosted event at Martha Stewart’s television studio on Newtown Turnpike, and a June 28, 1999, event at the Judy Point Lane of Fran Goldstein and Sandra Wagenfeld.

Hillary Clinton made two visits to Westport in 2004 and 2006 to support former Westport First Selectwoman Diane Farrell in her two unsuccessful bids for Congress, and she attended an April 3, 2004, fund-raiser for herself at the Rose’s home.


07/23/07 11:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

Stormy Compo Day Image
Wind gusts up to 30 miles per hour, steady rain, and temperatures in the 60s kept most visitors away from Westport’s Compo Beach today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


07/23/07 10:39 PM Comments () • Permalink

U.S. “Food Fight” Comes to Westport

By Ed Kiersh

Activists hoping to change U.S. farm and food policy met today at the Westport Country Playhouse to discuss pending federal legislation that impacts $25 billion in annual farm Image
U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (l), a Democrat representing Connecticut’s 3rd District, was among speakers at today’s Farm Bill symposium at the Westport Country Playhouse. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for

Westport’s Dressing Room chef/owner Michel Nischan, who helped establish the town’s twice-weekly Farmers Market, urged the almost 100 people in attendance to “bring healthy food into your life. Vote with your fork.”

Nischan said the current “food fight” is a battle between large agribusiness in commodity food-producing states where wheat, soybeans and rice predominate, and small, family farms growing sustainable fruits and vegetables.

“Right now the majority of all subsidies go to less than 25 percent of all farmers, and the average subisdy payment to a farm is $365,000 a year,” he said.

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07/23/07 09:24 PM Comments () • Permalink

Joseloff Investigating Mold Issue at King’s Highway School

Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said today the town is working to assure residents that the King’s Highway Elementary School air quality is Image
King’s Highway Elementary School is subject of mold concerns. File photo

In a statement issued in response to press inquiries about mold issues at the school, Joseloff said: “The Town of Westport, as owner of the King’s Highway Elementary School building, is taking steps to assure residents that the school’s air quality meets safe standards in time for the start of school.

“Last Thursday, I convened a meeting at the school with several town department heads, Sue Jacozzi, director of the Westport Weston Health District, and several school officials to review the situation. We also toured the school, including room 28, about which questions have been raised.

“Today, I met with two representatives of concerned parents and later with Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon, Town Attorney Ira Bloom, and Sue Jacozzi (who participated by phone).

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07/23/07 07:17 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Property Transfers July 9-13, 2007

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period July 9-13, 2007:

Anders F. Larsson AKA Larsson and Eva Bergman to Arnon and Vardit Dror, 14 Stoneboat Road, $1,270,000WN property.jpg

Julia L. Gross to James and Susan Iseman, 4 Watch Hill, $610,000

Philip G. and Stacey L. Casparius to Mark A. and Pamela A. Bernal, 22F Cross Highway, $1,250,000

Elfriede S. Parsons to Bernard McHugh, 7 Twin Falls Lane, $725,000

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07/23/07 04:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Tree Safety Program to Begin Next Month

First Selectman Gordon Joseloff announced today that Westport next month will begin a tree safety program following the tragic deaths of two motorists whose car was hit by a falling tree on the Merritt Parkway in Westport last month.

On July 11, the Westport Board of Finance rejected Joseloff’s request for a $30,000 appropriation to begin the program by failing to move a motion for approval. (See WestportNow July 11, 2007)

“The board was sensitive to the safety issues involved but at the start of the fiscal year, the members told me to find the money elsewhere in the budget and that is what we have done,” he said.  “If we need to go back for additional funds later in the year because of a shortfall that is what we will do.”

Joseloff said Public Works Director Stephen Edwards and Tree Warden Andy Puskus will oversee the program.

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07/23/07 04:26 PM Comments () • Permalink

Super Sunday Image
Sunday’s super weather—sunny skies, low humidity, and temperatures in the 80s—draw crowds to Westport’s Compo Beach, including this young man who walked on a jetty. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


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

Monday, July 23, 2007

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Group Show I
10:30 a.m. & 7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - The Play Club reads: David Wiltse’s Sedition
1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - Panel discussion on farm bill
2 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 Historic District Commission Work Session
4 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Jesup Green - The Story Wagon
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Wesport Public Library - Teen Gaming In The Afternoon (ages 12 and up)
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Conservation Commission (live coverage cable channel 79 and
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Jonathan Fanton: The Impact of Gaming on Society and Learning
7:45 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM Public Works/Finance Committees
8:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM Finance Committee


07/23/07 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Finding Shade Image
Visitors to Westport’s Compo Beach found shade where they could today as sunny skies pushed temperatures into the 80s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


07/22/07 11:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport’s Frazier Peters vs. McMansions

By Ed Kiersh

There were nine teardown applications approved in Westport during the last 12 days. That statistic, coupled with the virtually inevitable consequence these sites will become cookie cutter McMansions, alarms many Image
The Charcoal Hill home of architect Frazier Peters is for sale for $3.19 million. Contributed photo

It has also sparked a controversy among real estate agents grappling with Westport’s well-stocked inventory of 57 active listings in the $3 million price range and 337 houses overall.

What sells better in the current market: old or new construction?

“Young professional families moving to Westport typically prefer new, spacious homes with centralized living spaces,” said Prudential agent Darcy Sledge. “Most people go for traditional colonials with central gathering places and consolidated bedrooms.”

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07/22/07 04:55 AM Comments () • Permalink

On the Saugatuck Image
Saturday’s perfect summer weather brought out the beauty of this spot along the Saugatuck River in Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jennifer Jackson for


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

Sunday, July 22, 2007

10 a.m.-2 p.m. - Center for Senior Activities - Westport Farmers Market
noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Group 1 Show
3 p.m. & 8 p.m.  - Westport Country Playhouse - “Relatively Speaking”
7 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Sherry Winston Band


07/22/07 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Good Day for Boating Image
Today’s sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s made for good boating weather for big and small vessels. Scene is in the Compo Beach/Longshore area. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dorrie Harris for


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

Two Escape Injury in Pool Collapse

Two Westport residents narrowly escaped injury today when a metal side wall of a backyard above ground pool collapsed while they were enjoying a swim, fire officials said.

A portion of the side wall of the older pool at 95 Turkey Hill Road South gave way without warning at about 11:29 a.m., said Assistant Fire Chief Gene Maloney.

The force of the water rushing out the breach dislodged a propane-powered pool side water heater and carried it down hill approximately 30 feet away from the pool, he said.

The heater separated from its gas supply piping with a resulting propane leak in the area.

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07/21/07 11:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Class of 1977 Holds 30th Reunion Image
The 1977 class at Westport’s Staples High School is celebrating its 30th anniversary this weekend with a series of events, including a cookout today at Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


07/21/07 09:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Perfect Beach Weather Image
Westport’s Compo Beach was crowded with visitors today taking advantage of the sunny weather, low humidity, and temperatures that barely got into the 80s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


07/21/07 08:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

Harry Potter Comes to Westport for Last Time

By Rachel Purcell and Ed Kiersh

The Harry Potter frenzy swept through Westport again Friday night for the last Image
Westport Public Library Director Maxine Bleweis (r) welcomes Sean Leary, the first in line for Friday night’s Harry Potter celebration at the library. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for

About 1,000 fans of the J. K. Rowling series attended simultaneous events at the Westport Public Library and Barnes & Noble booksellers on Post Road East celebrating the 12:01 a.m. release of the seventh and final installment of the Potter saga.

“I’m a Potter nerd, I’ve read all the books, and I can’t wait to read the last one (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows),” said Katherine Brandt, 17, of Fairfield who strolled around Barnes & Noble in black Hogwarts witchcraft garb.

Youngsters in similarly elaborate costumes posed for photographs next to a Potter cardboard likeness, played a video game with a store employee, had their fortunes told, and wrote adoring couplets to Harry on a makeshift message board.

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07/21/07 02:14 PM Comments () • Permalink

Shays Offers Apology for Spat With Officer

Rep. Christopher Shays said Friday he will apologize to a Capitol Police officer for his behavior Thursday during an incident at the Capitol.

Shays, the 4th District Republican who twice defeated former Westport First Selectwoman Diane Farrell for re-election, had been on his cell phone trying to find a family of his constituents caught in a rainstorm at the Capitol’s West Front, according to news reports.

He asked the intern guiding the family to hand a cell phone to the nearest Capitol Police officer, who could explain their location.

The officer refused, according to the reports, because officers are not allowed to speak on cell phones while manning their posts.

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07/21/07 05:27 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Library Hosts Harry Potter Fans Image
The Westport Public Library Friday night hosted Westport fans of Harry Potter as the midnight official release approached of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the seventh and final book of J.K. Rowling’s astoundingly popular series. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


07/21/07 05:26 AM Comments () • Permalink

Harry Potter Fans Gather at Westport’s Barnes & Noble Image
There was a party atmosphere Friday night at Westport’s Barnes & Noble as bookstores around the world unveiled their copies of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the seventh and final volume of the young wizard’s adventures. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phylllis Groner for


07/21/07 04:40 AM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, July 21, 2007

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Earthplace - Summer Fun Day
noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - Group 1 Show
4 p.m. & 8 p.m.  - Westport Country Playhouse - “Relatively Speaking”
8 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Rockin’ Roger’s BBQ Revue


07/21/07 04:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Arts Center Debuts Member Show I Image
The Westport Arts Center tonight hosted a reception marking the opening of the first of two exhibits this summer by member artists. Ulla Surland (l) presented the awards with first place going to Camille Eskell (c), an art teacher at Staples High School. for her resin sculpture “Comin’ Up Roses, Truncated Series.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Hamilton Laux for


07/21/07 01:26 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, July 20, 2007

Sprinklers Douse Fire at Westport Health Facility

A sprinkler system today quickly doused a fire that broke out in a closet at Westport Health Care on Post Road West, fire officials said. There were no injuries and the 110 patients were not evacuated.

It was the third fire at the elderly patient care facility at 1 Burr Road opposite Kings Highway Elementary School in four months. Neither of the two earlier blazes caused any injuries.

Assistant Fire Chief Larry Conklin said firefighters responded to au automatic alarm at the facility at 1:13 p.m. Moments later, the head nurse notified them of a fire in room 309 of the Sylvan wing.

On arrival, firefighters found the sprinkler system had activated and doused a fire in a closet in the room. There was no extension into other areas, Conklin said.

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07/20/07 11:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

State to Finally Grant I-95 Camera Access to Local Fire, Police

Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced today that 12 years after cameras were installed on I-95, local police and fire departments in Fairfield and New Haven Counties will finally have direct real-time access to their images.

Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, who led renewed regional efforts to gain access to the cameras, said he was pleased that the governor had recognized the “absurdity” of denying local first responders access to the images while allowing television stations to use them for their traffic reports.

Rell’s announcement following a meeting in Bridgeport Thursday in which Joseloff and Westport police and fire representatives, including Police Chief Al Fiore and Deputy Fire Chief Jonathan Gottfried, were among local officials pressing Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) officials on the issue.

The meeting at State Police Troop G headquarters was convened after chief elected officials in eight southwest Connecticut communities earlier this month postponed action on a DOT request to approve $40 million to upgrade the 100 cameras along the roadway from Greenwich to Branford.

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07/20/07 09:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

Summer Fun Image
A visitor to Westport’s Compo Beach Thursday enjoys some playground time. Today’s forecast calls for mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms this morning, then becoming mostly sunny. A slight chance of showers this afternoon. Highs in the lower 80s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


07/20/07 04:38 AM Comments () • Permalink

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