Friday, December 28, 2007
Westport Public Schools are closed.
11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Vacation Family Films: “The Brave Little Toaster”
7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “A Christmas Carol”
With just a few days remaining in the 2007 tax year, individuals looking to maximize the value of their year-end charitable donations can have their gifts to Westport’s Save the Children matched by Sam Simon, co-creator of “The Simpsons” and writer, producer and director of some of TV’s most popular shows such as “Cheers” and “Taxi.”
The Sam Simon Challenge promises to match donations up to $1 million to support the work of Save the Children, a humanitarian organization serving children and families in need in the United States and worldwide. Donations must be made before midnight Eastern Time on Monday, Dec. 31, 2007 through Save the Children’s Web site.
“Supporting Save the Children’s mission is a powerful way to help change children’s lives around the world,” said Simon.
“I’ve seen Save the Children in action in Latin America and the Himalayas, and I’ve met children and families whose lives were transformed and whose futures hold great hope because of your support. Donations through the Sam Simon Challenge will help the organization respond to children’s urgent and ongoing needs - not just during crises, but every day.”
First Night Westport Weston 2008 previewed its “We Are Family” photo exhibit tonight at the Westport Arts Center. Rozanne Gates, executive director of First Night, welcomed guests to the reception, including the photographers who donated their time to put together the exhibit. The public can see the photos at the annual New Year’s Eve event. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Robert A. “Red” Graham, Jr., a Westport resident since the early 1940s, died on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2007. He was 94.
Graham, who was known as the “Charitable Emcee” for more than two decades, from 1972-1996, for devoting his services to many of the country’s top charitable organizations by performing benefit shows with his wife, Peggy, and never accepting a dime, was also owner of Red Graham’s Minuteman Travel, a business that ran for more than 50 years in Westport, and also co-owner of Westport-based WMMM-AM radio for more than 10 years.
Graham was a multi-talented athlete, entertainer and businessman along the way. His theatrical background goes back to his early childhood when he appeared in school plays at Fordham Prep and Mount Saint Michael’s Academy, both in the Bronx, New York. He was also listed as the Mount’s first quarterback in 1932.
His show business flare followed “Red” through college. While at Rutgers University, where he played freshman football in 1933, he was the recipient of the “Queens Players Award,” an honor that afforded him the chance to make guest appearances with Ozzie Nelson, George Olsen and Johnny Long orchestras.
A worker cleaning the inside of a cement truck became trapped by a large piece of concrete today while working on Metro-North project on Maple Lane in Westport. Westport firefighters, using skills learned in their confined space rescue training, put a harness on the man and lifted him out through a truck opening. He did not appear to be seriously injured and was transported by Westport EMS to Norwalk Hospital. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Westport firefighters today rescued a construction worker who had become trapped beneath a piece of concrete inside a cement mixer truck in Greens Farms alongside the Metro-North tracks.
Friefighters rescue a construction worker from a cement mixer truck today on Maple Lane. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
The worker, who was not identified, was inside the mixing drum in the area of 19 Maple Lane chipping hardened concrete from the side walls, according to Assistant Chief Larry Conklin.
“A large chunk of concrete approximately 2 feet by 4 feet became dislodged hitting the worker in the leg,” he said.
Firefighters responding to the 11:08 a.m. 911 call found that the worker had managed to free himself from the 200- to 300-pound piece of concrete but was still inside the drum, Conklin said.
We found a dog near Long Lots School and we are hoping to find its owners. One of its eyes is permanently closed and it has problems with its back legs.
WestportNow received this message Thursday evening:
“We found the dog’s owners with the help of Westport’s Animal Control Officer, and the dog is now home with his owners.”
Robert A. “Red” Graham, a Westport resident since the 1940s who owned the Minuteman Travel agency and co-owned WMMM-AM radio, died today, his son, Mark, said. He was 94.
“Red” Graham: longtime Westporter. File photo
Graham spent more than two decades performing benefit shows for many of the nation’s top charities with his wife, Peggy, and was known as the “charitable emcee.”
A multi-talented athlete, entertainer, and businessman, Graham got his start entertaining in school plays at Fordham Prep and Mount Saint Michael’s Academy, both in the Bronx, N.Y. A full obituary is on the WestportNow obituary page.
Visting hours will be Sunday at the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East, Westport from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday at 10 a.m. at the Church of the Assumption, 98, Riverside Ave. Internment will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.
A worker cleaning the inside of a cement truck became trapped by a large piece of concrete today while working on Metro-North project on Maple Lane in Westport. Westport firefighters, using skills learned in their confined space rescue training, put a harness on the man and lifted him out through a truck opening. He did not appear to be seriously injured and was transported by Westport EMS to Norwalk Hospital. Firefighters and workers are pictured cleaning up after the rescue. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westport firefighters today credited training in confined space rescues for the successful rescue of a worked pinned by a piece of concrete inside a cement truck on Maple Lane. The worker for an electrical contractor working on a Metro-North project was rescued by firefighters who put a harness around him and lifted him out through a hole in the truck’s mixer. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Westporter Fred M. Dressler, a veteran programming executive at Time Warner Cable, died Monday of pancreatic cancer. The longtime Compo Parkway resident was 66.
Fred M. Dressler: longtime Time Warner Cable executive. File photo
In a statement, Time Warner Cable Chief Executive Officer Glenn Britt, also a Westporter, paid tribute to Dressler, saying he “was responsible for much of what Time Warner Cable stands for today.”
“Words cannot adequately express the sense of loss we all feel at this time,” Britt said. “His legacy will be felt for many years, not just in our programming department but throughout our organization and the industry. ... Fred was revered for his intellect, his wit, his perspective, his vision and his humanity. We will miss him very much.”
Dressler, who worked for 30 years at Time Warner Cable and its predecessor, American Television & Communications, retired in December 2006 as executive vice president, programming. See full obituary on the WestportNow obituary page.
Fred M. Dressler of Westport, a prominent and well-regarded executive in the cable industry, died on Dec. 24, 2007, after several months of battling pancreatic cancer. He was 66.
Fred M. Dressler: cable television executive. File photo
Recently retired as Executive Vice President of Programming at Time Warner Cable, Mr. Dressler first joined the cable TV business in 1976 and spent the next 30 years in various executive positions with Time Warner Cable and its predecessor company, American Television & Communications Corporation (ATC).
In his early years in the business, he managed cable systems in Shreveport, Los Angeles, Fresno, Calif., and Denver, Colo., before rising through the executive ranks at the company’s corporate offices.
He had a reputation as a tough, but honest and fair negotiator with programming networks seeking distribution on cable, which earned him various sobriquets within the industry, including the dean of MSO programming executives.
George Michael Lowell born Feb. 15, 1932, died on Wednesday Dec. 26, 2007, of pancreatic cancer at the Richard Rosenthal Hospice Center in Stamford.
He celebrated 75 wonderful years of life and was grateful for each day.
George, most recently a resident of Ridgefield, also had resided in Weston, Houston Tex., and Tendoy, Idaho, over the years.
His love of people and his photography gave him much joy. His happiest moments were spent taking pictures of the mountains in Idaho and of his many experiences out West.
A study released today by a Westport firm found that the majority of baby boomers to turn 62 in 2008 report that they are retired or will be fully retired by age 65.
The study by MetLife’s Mature Market Institute also found that they’ ll collect Social Security by age 65, that they’ ve been married only once and that they have 2.4 children on average.
Of those who have children, 78 percent have grandchildren (66 percent of total). Conservatives outnumber liberals by two to one.
“Contrary to what most of us have believed about the baby boomers who came of age in the turbulent 1960s, the group is very much like the ‘Silent Generation’ that preceded them,” said Sandra Timmermann, director of the institute, which conducted “Boomers Ready to Launch,” a profile of the first baby boomers as they turn 62.
Westport Public Schools are closed.
11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Vacation Family Films: “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh”
2 p.m. and 7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “A Christmas Carol”
A young man spent an hour racing around the Westport Police Athletic League Ice Rink at Longshore Club Park, leaving watchers to wonder whether they were seeing a hockey player or speed skater in the making. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Mrs. Barbara B. Kuhn, 64, wife of Gasper F. Kuhn, passed away Saturday evening at Saint Vincent’s Medical Center, Bridgeport.
Mrs. Kuhn was born May 15, 1943, daughter of the late Ernest and Mary (Northrop) Billings and has been a lifelong resident of Fairfield. Prior to retiring in 2003, Mrs. Kuhn served as the Parish Secretary at Christ and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Westport for 18 years.
A sports enthusiast, she was a devoted New Yankees and New York Giants fan. Mrs. Kuhn also enjoyed traveling, especially her trip to Australia, as well as a return trip to Australia, which included New Zealand. While she enjoyed sports and traveling, she loved most the time spent with her family.
Survivors in addition to her husband of 41 years, include one daughter, Gretchen Kuhn and one son, Alex Kuhn both of Fairfield, one sister, Martha Ford of Naples, Fla., one brother, Robert Billings of Yarmouth, Maine, several nieces and nephews, along with several cousins.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Westport’s Brooks Brothers store was overflowing with customers today, many returning or exchanging Christmas gift items, others attracted by the after Christmas sale. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Shoppers were out early on Westport’s Main Street today, including a crowd waiting for the 10 a.m. opening of Banana Republic. MasterCard said holiday retail spending was up 3.6 percent from a year earlier, led by luxury goods and electronic commerce purchases. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The Greater White-fronted Goose, which breeds in Alaska, far northern Canada, and Greenland, is rarely seen on the East Coast. But this one flew into Westport on Christmas Day and landed on the Kings Highway Bridge. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Westport Public Schools are closed.
11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Vacation Family Films: “Aladdin and the King of Thieves”
7 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “A Christmas Carol”
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
By Jim CameronSpecial to WestportNow
The Commuter Council’s recent battles with the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Metro-North to keep winter service from the existing platforms was prompted by the multimillion dollar catenary replacement program—like trying to change the fan belt on a moving car. But why fix this flawed system instead of converting to third rail? Here’s the story.
Ours is the only commuter railroad in the United States that operates on three modes of power—AC, DC and diesel. On a typical run from, say, New Haven to Grand Central, the first part of the journey is done “under the wire,” the trains being powered by 13,000-volt AC overhead wires, or catenaries.
Around Pelham, in Westchester County, the conversion is made to 660-volt DC third rail power for the rest of the trip into New York. Even diesel trains must convert to third rail as their smoky exhaust is banned in the Park Avenue tunnels.
And there’s the rub: Connecticut trains need both AC and DC, overhead and third rail, power pickups and processors. That means a lot more electronics, and added cost, for each car. While the DC-only new M7 cars running in Westchester cost about $2 million each, the dual-mode M8 car being designed for Connecticut will cost $3 million each.
Merry Christmas from WestportNow!
Westport Town Hall, Public Schools, and Public Library are closed.
12:45 p.m. - Saugatuck Congregational Church, 242 Post Road East - 37th Annual Pot Luck Community Christmas Day Feast: all are welcome