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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Severe Thunderstorm Warning Issued

UPDATE The National Weather Service in Upton, N.Y. has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Westport and parts of the tri-state area until 7:30 p.m.

An advisory at 6:55 p.m. upgraded a severe thunderstorm watch issued an hour earlier to a warning.

It said thunderstorms in advance of an approaching cold front will move across the area this evening. Some thunderstorms could produce damaging winds and large hail with perhaps an isolated tornado.

Some of the thunderstorms would also produce very heavy rain with localized flash flooding as well as frequent lightning, it said.


05/31/08 10:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Landon: “Feeling of Dismay” Over Nude Photos Image
Elliott Landon: “Feeling of failure this could happen.” Dave Matlow/WN file photo
Westport Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon says there is a “feeling of dismay” among Westport educators and parents over nude photos circulated electronically by middle school and high school students.

Breaking a silence on the matter he first reported in a letter to parents earlier this month (See WestportNow May 15, 2008), Landon told The New York Times: “There’s a feeling of dismay and a feeling of failure that this could happen.”

Landon, who has refused to comment to local news media about his letter, told the Times Sunday Connecticut section that parents and school officials are working to develop more effective teaching tools to warn Westport students of cyberspace dangers.

He said it was too late in the school year to launch new programs but that the Westport schools would beef up their cyberspace initiatives in the fall.

More "Landon: “Feeling of Dismay” Over Nude Photos"


05/31/08 07:31 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Volunteers Help in “Great Park Pursuit” Image
Westport members of Friends of Sherwood Island State Park were among volunteers helping out today at the park as families from across the state took part in “The Great Park Pursuit – The Connecticut State Parks Family Adventure” sponsored by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. DEP Commissioner Gina McCarthy was on hand to welcome guests for the event, part of the department’s “No Child Left Inside” campaign. The statewide initiative is designed to raise awareness for state parks and forests and build enthusiasm for the outdoors among children. Pictured (l-r) are: Sheila O’Neill, Hope Hageman, Marilyn Bakker, Winnie Balboni and Liz-Ann Koos. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


05/31/08 06:13 PM Comments () • Permalink

“Hold on, There’s Someone on My Other Line” Image
A fisherman talks on his cell phone while casting out his line at the jetty off of Westport’s Old Mill Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


05/31/08 03:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Cartoonist Legend Mel Casson Dies at 87 Image
Mel Casson: 40-year Westport resident. King Features photo
Cartoonist legend Mel Casson, the writer and illustrator of the comic strip “Redeye,” died on May 21 at his Westport home. He was 87.

Casson was a 40-year Westport resident and lived on Guyer Road. For almost 20 years Casson illustrated “Redeye,” a parody strip about a 19th century tribe of Native Americans, for King Features Syndicate.

When cartoonist Bill Yates, who wrote the “Redeye” scripts, retired in 1999, Casson assumed full writing and drawing duties of the strip.

“King Features has been very fortunate to represent the work of Mel Casson over the years,” said Brendan Burford, King Features comics editor. “He put great care and craft into his cartoons, adding to the beauty of the comics page every day. He will be sorely missed.”

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05/31/08 01:13 PM Comments () • Permalink

Pizza at the Cannon Image
Pizza at the cannons at Westport’s Compo Beach was a perfect way to end the day for this youngster on Friday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


05/31/08 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, May 31, 2008

10 a.m. - noon - Westport Weston Health District - Rabies Vaccination Clinic
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - 70 Sanford St., Fairfield (across from Fairfield Metro North station) - Farmers Market
11 a.m. - east of the Norwalk Islands - Minuteman Yacht Club hosts King Cup Sailing Regatta
Noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Color in 3D”
Noon - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Found”
2 p.m. and 8 p.m. - Seabury Center - The Center Stage Theatre Company: “Les Miserables, School Edition” with Ivan Rutherford
2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. - Black Box Theatre at Staples High School - Staples Players: “Lucky Stiff”
4 p.m. and 8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “The Pavilion”
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Eric Hnatow w/ Logrythm and Pattern Driver
8 p.m. - Westport Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre: “A Few Good Men”


05/31/08 04:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Compo Clouds Image
The clouds made for dramatic skies today at Westport’s Compo Beach. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


05/31/08 02:46 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, May 30, 2008

Compo Romance Image
Weston artists Drew and Audrey Klotz renewed their wedding vows on their 10th anniversary today near the cannons at Westport’s Compo Beach.  Barbara Stein of Weston, a justice of the peace, officiated. The bride wore the same dress she wore at her wedding. Applause rang out from nearby groups who were enchanted with the whole romantic idea. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


05/30/08 11:43 PM Comments () • Permalink

Swanning on the Saugatuck Image
A pair of seemingly kissing swans was part of a flock of over a dozen that swam along the Saugatuck River just below the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge at low tide looking for food at the bottom of the river. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


05/30/08 07:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Talking Transportation: Metro-North’s New M8 Rail Cars

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

I have seen the future and it is cool—very cool.

Metro-North has finally unveiled a full-scale, unpowered mockup of the new M8 rail car it designed and Kawasaki is building for Connecticut commuters. All I can say is “Wow!”


Much of the credit goes to renowned designer Cesar Vergara, who has commuted for years from Connecticut and spent many months riding the Harlem and Hudson line cars to learn from their successes and mistakes.

From the outside, our new cars will look much like those M7 cars running in Westchester and on the LIRR. But on the inside, it’s all first class, though it’s still two and three seating. The color scheme is deep burgundy and rich cream with frosted silver and aluminum.

More "Talking Transportation: Metro-North’s New M8 Rail Cars"


05/30/08 06:56 PM Comments () • Permalink

Woman’s Club Donates $10,000 for Missing Persons Tracker Image
The Westport Woman’s Club today presented the Westport Police Department with its annual Ruegg Grant—a $10,000 check for Project Lifesaver, a tracking system used to locate missing persons. Those enrolled in the program—often people with Alzheimer’s or autism—are given a personalized wristband that emits a tracking signal that can be picked up by police. Rose Jordan presented the check to Police Chief Al Fiore while First Selectman Gordon Joseloff looked on. Other Ruegg Committee members shown are (l-r) Barbara Szefc, Betsy Dickinson, Barbara Raffel, and Connie Case. At right is Lt. Thomas P. Casimiro. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


05/30/08 03:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Busy Day at Rowing Club Image
Thursday’s sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 70s made for perfect weather for those setting off from the docks at the Saugatuck Rowing Club in Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


05/30/08 04:12 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, May 30, 2008

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Color in 3D”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Found”
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - Saruman The Wise w/Radient District, Kyle Gilbride, Ethan Rothstein
7:30 p.m. - Black Box Theatre at Staples High School - Staples Players: “Lucky Stiff”
7:30 p.m. - Weston Public Library - Winners of the 2008 Westport Youth Festival
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “The Pavilion”
8 p.m. - Seabury Center - The Center Stage Theatre Company: “Les Miserables, School Edition” with Ivan Rutherford
8 p.m. - Westport Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre: “A Few Good Men”


05/30/08 04:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Man Arrested in Westport for Running Brothels Gets 5 Years

A Ukrainian citizen arrested in Westport on charges of running brothels was sentenced by a federal judge in Bridgeport today to more than five years in prison.

Senior U.S. District Judge Alan H. Nevas also ordered Aleksander Dubogryzov, 45, to forfeit more than $100,000 in cash that authorities seized during the investigation and another $200,000 from the future sale of property he owns in Ellenville, N.Y.

Dubogryzov will be subject to deportation to the Ukraine after serving his 67-month prison sentence. He lived in Brooklyn, N.Y., before his arrest in Westport in 2006. (See WestportNow Sept.. 21, 2006)

A jury convicted him last September of conspiracy to transport for immoral purposes, transporting for immoral purposes and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

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05/29/08 10:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Bird’s Eye View Image
Susan Farewell of the Saugatuck Rowing Club makes her way along the Saugatuck River in Westport today. A founding member of the club and a former co-commodore, she has been single skulling for the past 17 years six days a week throughout the year except when there is ice on the river. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


05/29/08 08:57 PM Comments () • Permalink

Smile for the Photographer Image
Westporter Susan Farewell has a smile for the photographer as she spots him taking her picture along the Saugatuck River today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


05/29/08 08:53 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Property Transfers May 5 - 9, 2008

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period May 5 - 9, 2008:

Peter Wormser and Elizabeth Milwe to Andrew Tsai and Purva Patel-Tsai, 66 Compo Mill Cove,$3,683,500 WN property.jpg

1900 Fence Row LLC to David L. Noorily, 323 Bayberry Lane, $2,350,000

Joyce Vitali to Norman Davis, 230 Saugatuck Ave. Unit 15, $525,000

Mark L. Yurkiw to Brendan Courtney, 40 Valley Road, $1,150,000

More "Westport Property Transfers May 5 - 9, 2008"


05/29/08 04:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

All Smiles After Record High Jump Image
Staples senior Ben Rosa is all smiles after winning the high jump and setting a school record Wednesday at the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference (FCIAC) competition in Danbury. Rosa jumped 6-feet-6 3/4 inches. Staples finished second in the meet behind Danbury. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) David Mortner for


05/29/08 04:52 AM Comments () • Permalink

Compo Beauty Image
Some of the beauty observed in Westport’s Compo Beach area on Wednesday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


05/29/08 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, May 29, 2008

9 a.m. - 3 p.m.  Bridge Street Bridge (William J. Cribari Bridge) closed for maintenance
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Color in 3D”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Found”
6 p.m. - 9 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Parent/Teen Movie: “Juno”
6:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Planning & Zoning Commission Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79 and
7 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Sherwood Mill Pond Committee
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “The Pavilion”


05/29/08 04:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Vet Gets His Medals Back

By Larry Untermeyer

Five years ago, Westporter Neil Croarkin lost everything in a house fire. Today he got back some of his prized possessions—two World War II Image
Congressman Christopher Shays presents medals to Neil Croarkin at Norwalk City Hall today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for

Congressman Christopher Shays presented Croarkin with the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star medal, both of which had been awarded to him while he was in the Pacific Theater. 

Several weeks ago, his son Tom, who lives in Fairfield with his wife and daughter, contacted Shays to see if the congressman could arrange to have the awards replaced as a special gift for his father’s 89th birthday on Monday.

With the cooperation of he Department of Army, Shays was able to secure the replacements which he presented to Croarkin in a special ceremony at Norwalk City Hall. Shays’s tight schedule did not permit a stop in Westport.

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05/29/08 01:36 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Richard J. Masiello, 71

Richard J. Masiello of Westport died May 28 at home. He was 71.

He was born in Norwalk on Aug. 30, 1936 son of the late James and Clara (Cassio) Masiello and had been a lifelong resident of Westport. Prior to retiring in 1994, he was the owner of the Masiello Bus Company of Westport.

He was a veteran of the U.S Army. His passions were antique cars, gardening, cooking and his red Corvette.

Survivors include his long-time companion, Eve Palmer of Westport, two sons, Tony Masiello and his wife Quan of Boston, Andy Masiello and his wife Lenay of Harrisburg, N.C., one daughter, Joanne Gardener and her husband Norman of Sandy Hook, one brother, William Masiello of Shelton, one sister, Diane Dorio of Norwalk, three grandchildren, Micheal, Jessie and Jonathan Masiello and former wife and dear friend, Margaret Clayton-Amey of Oxford.

IIn addition to his parents, he is predeceased by one brother, James Masiello.

Friends are invited to attend a funeral on Saturday, May, 31 at 9:30 a.m. from the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East, and 10 a.m. in St. Luke Church, 84 Long Lots Road, for a Mass of Christian Burial.

Interment will follow in Assumption Cemetery on Kings Highway. The family will receive friends in the funeral home on Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Contributions in his memory may be made to a charity of your choice.


05/28/08 10:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Save the Children Gets $1 Million from Gates Foundation

Westport’s Save the Children today announced a $1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its immediate and long-term relief and recovery efforts in cyclone-stricken Myanmar.

The grant was received within days after the cyclone hit, allowing Save the Children to quickly deliver humanitarian aid. Unofficial estimates from the United Nations report 102,000 people have died, and up to 1.9 million people have been affected since Cyclone Nargis hit the southwestern corner of Myanmar on May 5.

“Over the past three weeks, Save the Children has reached more than 208,000 children and families with life-saving items,” said Save the Children CEO and president Charles MacCormack.

“But many communities in the disaster-affected areas have yet to be reached, and more aid will be needed over the coming weeks, months and even years as families begin to piece their lives back together.”

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05/28/08 10:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport’s Playtex Sued Over Baby Bottle

An Arkansas woman is accusing Westport-based Playtex Products of using a dangerous chemical to make its plastic baby bottles.

Ashley Campbell’s federal lawsuit filed in federal court in New Haven is the latest legal challenge of the industrial chemical bisphenol A, which is used in everything from plastic water bottles to DVDs. Campbell says the chemical is linked to serious health problems.

The lawsuit seeks nationwide class-action status to represent thousands of potential plaintiffs.

Playtex spokeswoman Jacqueline Burwitz said the company does not comment on pending lawsuits. The company said in a statement that regulators in and outside the United States continue to deem the chemical safe.

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05/28/08 09:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

Fore! Image
Elisabeth McKenna, co-captain of the Staples girls golf team, takes a swing during today’s final home game of the season against Fairfield Warde. The Wreckers won and next week will defend their title for the second year in a row for the Connecticut state championship. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


05/28/08 08:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

Detour Image
Traffic on Bridge Street was detoured today as the Connecticut Department of Transportation did its annual maintenance on the Bridge Street Bridge, formally known as the William F. Cribari Bridge. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


05/28/08 05:22 PM Comments () • Permalink

Bummer Way to Start the Day Image
A car pulling out of Fox Fire Lane was broadsided today by a car traveling north on Imperial Avenue near the Westport Woman’s Club. Neither driver was injured although both vehicles sustained damage.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


05/28/08 02:36 PM Comments () • Permalink

Reminder: Bridge Street Bridge Closed Today and Thursday

A reminder that routine mechanical and electrical maintenance work will close Westport’s Bridge Street Bridge, formally known as the William F. Cribari Bridge, today and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The swing bridge and the roadway from Bridge Street and Riverside Avenue to Bridge Street and Imperial Avenue, about a quarter mile, will be closed intermittently with signs and markings for detour routes posted.

The annual maintenance work was announced May 19 by First Selectman Gordon Joseloff. (See WestportNow May 19, 2008)


05/28/08 10:00 AM Comments () • Permalink

Car Crashes Into Stone Wall

A car crashed into a stone wall early today on Greens Farms Road at the intersection with Morningside Drive South, Westport fire officials said.

By the time police and fire units arrived on the scene at 1:22 a.m., no one was in the car, according to Assistant Chief Larry Conklin.

He said emergency workers were told that the lone occupant had been transported to the hospital by passersby.

Firefighters remained on the scene until a tow truck could remove the Saab 93 from the wall. There was substantial front end damage to the car, Conklin said.


05/28/08 08:40 AM Comments () • Permalink

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