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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

RTM Likely to Delay Plastic Bag Vote Until September

Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) is likely to delay a vote on a proposed ban on retail distribution of plastic shopping bags until its September meeting.

The RTM Tuesday night reviewed a revised proposed ordinance on the bags. Moderator Hadley Rose said there were requests to delay a final vote until the Sept. 2 meeting as many people will be on vacation in August.

Two members of the public spoke out in favor of the proposed ban Tuesday, including Louis Pietig, who is employed at the Patagonia outdoor clothing store in Westport. 

He said Westport clearly has citizens concerned about the environment and that is demonstrated by the number of people who decline bags in his store.

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07/02/08 03:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

Robert Lewis Shayon, 95

Robert Lewis Shayon, who worked in radio, wrote several books and was a longtime professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, died June 28 at his home in Frankfort, Ky. He was 95.

He was born in New York City on Aug. 15, 1912, and worked as a writer, producer and director for WOR-Mutual and the CBS Radio Network. He later became a television critic for the Christian Science Monitor and spent more than 20 years as television critic for the Saturday Review.

Shayon was appointed an associate professor at Annenberg in late 1964 and became a professor of communication the following year. He was with the school until 1990, except for a brief leave of absence in the early 1970s to work on some television projects. The school created an endowed professorship in his name.

Shayon wrote a number of books, including “Television and Our Children” and his 2001 memoir, “Odyssey in Prime Time.”

His first wife of 47 years, Sheila Russell, died in 1983. He remarried, and is survived by his wife, Nash Cox; daughters Diana Shayon, of Westport, and Sheila Shayon, of New York City; and three grandchildren.


07/02/08 01:46 PM Comments () • Permalink


WestportNow.com Image
Once a year the Westport Women’s Longshore Golf Association and their guests provide humor on the Longshore Club Park Golf course. Before teeing off on Tuesday, the women adorned the putting greens with amusing decorations such as the “lady” buried in a sand trap. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com


07/02/08 11:34 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Man Named Carnegie Hero

A Westport man who tried to save two people caught in a Florida rip tide is among the 26 newest recipients awarded Carnegie medals for their heroic acts.WestportNow.com Image
H. Lee Cooper: Westporter honored for Florida rip tide rescue. Contributed photo

H. Lee Cooper, 45. was named by the Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Hero Fund Commission for his actions while on vacation in Palm Beach, Fla., on May 27, 2007, with his wife. (See WestportNow June 1, 2007

Lee, a sales executive and father of six, was among those who helped rescue a 12-year-old Miami girl in the Atlantic Ocean. Two men had entered the water before Cooper and he then entered the water to save the two men who had gone to save the girl.

He pulled one of the men from the water, but the second man was pulled from the water unconscious and could not be revived by lifeguards.

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07/02/08 11:14 AM Comments () • Permalink

Coach Accused of Drunken Driving Pleads to Reduced Charge

A Staples High School lacrosse coach arrested by Westport police on drunken driving charges pleaded guilty Tuesday in Norwalk Superior Court to reduced charges of two motor vehicle infractions, The Hour reported today.

It said Scott Smith, 24, paid $327 in penalties and court fees and will also enroll in alcohol education classes.

The Wilton resident, head coach of varsity lacrosse, was arrested May 12 and sources later told The Hour he went on a “profanity-laced tirade” at police headquarters.

His attorney, John Thygerson, told the court that his client was so embarrassed about how he acted that the next day he sent a letter of apology and a fruit basket to the Westport police department, the newspaper said.

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07/02/08 09:22 AM Comments () • Permalink

Traffic Stopper

WestportNow.com Image
Traffic was backed up in all directions Tuesday at the traffic light at Saugatuck Avenue and Bridge Street in Westport’s Saugatuck section while several ducks slowly waddled across the road one by one. These little traffic stoppers took five to six minutes to complete their crossing while motorists waited patiently. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com


07/02/08 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Westport Library Looks Back at 100 Years” exhibit
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “A Town’s Treasures” photo exhibit by Tom Krestch
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Solos Show”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Cover Story”
7 p.m. - UPDATE Levitt Pavilion - Magic of Lyn - moved indoors to Saugatuck Elementary School, 170 Riverside Ave.
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Planning & Zoning Commission Work Session (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Flood & Erosion Control Board
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - [email protected] Library: Todd Bryant Weeks, “Luck’s In My Corner: The Life and Music of Hot Lips Page”


07/02/08 04:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Westport Police Arrest Three on Counterfeit Charges

Westport police today arrested three New York men found with counterfeit $100 bills in their possession.

Police responded to Walgreen’s at 1870 Post Road East on a complaint that a man was attempting to pass a counterfeit $100 bill, said Sgt. Sam Arciola. On arrival, police learned that the suspect had two accomplices waiting outside in a car.

Officers stopped the car as it was leaving the parking lot and found one man inside. A third man had fled on foot, but he was located a short time later at the Southport train station, Arciola said. 

In addition to the counterfeit $100 bill at the Walgreen’s, the trio passed a counterfeit bill at the Pet Supply Plus supply store in the same shopping center. A total of 19 counterfeit $100 bills were recovered from the suspects and the vehicle, police said. 

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07/02/08 01:45 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Severe Thunderstorm Warning Issued

The National Weather Service office in Upton, N.Y. has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Westport and nearby areas until 7:45 p.m.


07/01/08 11:08 PM Comments () • Permalink

Westport’s David Pogue Explains Web 2.0 to Rotary

WestportNow.com Image
Westporter David Pogue, New York Times personal technology columnist, CBS News contributor, author of opera, computer, and magic books in the “For Dummies” series, addressed the Westport Rotary Club today about Web 2.0—shorthand for Web sites with much of their content provided by visitors.  Pogue cited WestportNow as one of the prominent citizen journalism sites which often breaks news more quickly than traditional media. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


07/01/08 10:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Traffic Woes on Post Road East

WestportNow.com Image
Construction of a sidewalk on Post Road East between Playhouse Square and Compo Road has caused traffic jams this week. The traffic delays were compounded by the repaving and closure of a section of nearby Imperial Avenue. That work was completed this afternoon. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


07/01/08 08:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

Family Laments Loss of Tree

WestportNow.com Image
Westporters David and Marjorie French are lamenting the loss of their massive sugar maple tree that was estimated to be as old as their historic 1820-built house at 66 Compo Road North. The Frenches asked their arborist how to save it but learned it was dead and had to be cut down. According to Marjorie French, their arborist told them that the hot dry spell of last fall was probably the final straw. “We miss it already, but we plan to to plant something appropriate in its place,” she said. In 2005, the Historic District Commission awarded the owners of the house, known as the Gorham House, a preservation award. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


07/01/08 07:54 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Before and After: 9 Pumpkin Hill Road

WestportNow’s Before and After series presents transformed Westport properties. The house at 9 Pumpkin Hill off North Avenue was the WestportNow Teardown of the Day on May 7, 2007. The 3,136-square-foot, 1958 one-story ranch house sits on a one-acre lot and was sold in April, 2007 for $1.2 million. It was demolished on May 30, 2007. The replacement house was purchased in February 2008 for $3,121,826. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


07/01/08 04:58 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 70 Turkey Hill Road South

70 Turkey Hill Road South, Westport, CT 06880
The Historic District Commission will review the application to demolish the house at 70 Turkey Hill Road South at its monthly meeting next week because the house is more than 60 years old. Built in 1900, the two-story, 1,452-square-foot house is located on a 2.02-acre lot at the intersection of Turkey Hill Road South and Clapboard Hill Road. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


07/01/08 04:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

NY Times Editorial Cites WN’s “Teardown of the Day”

An editorial in today’s New York Times headlined “Holding Back the Wrecking Ball’ cites WestportNow’s “Teardown of the Day” feature as important in raising public awareness of issues raised by the proliferation of teardowns.

“Communities are properly wary of denying owners the right to build, but circumstances can demand action,” the newspaper said, adding:

“The most thoughtful approach increases public awareness and participation. In Westport, Conn., a popular Web site features Teardown of the Day, which publicizes planned demolitions as well as before-and-after pictures.

“Other towns have imposed mandatory demolition delays for houses older than 60 years to give time for the public to react and offer alternatives. That, at least, gives preservationists a fighting chance.”

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07/01/08 11:52 AM Comments () • Permalink

Drifting With the Tide

WestportNow.com Image
Westport’s Compo Cove was the scene Monday for these relaxed boaters who found a a unique way of providing themselves with a bit of shade while drifting with the tide. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com


07/01/08 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Westport Library Looks Back at 100 Years” exhibit
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “A Town’s Treasures” photo exhibit by Tom Krestch
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Solos Show”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Cover Story”
7:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – TEAM Westport Committee
8 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – RTM (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
8 p.m. - Levitt Pavilion - Jim Spinnato Comedy Hypnosis Show


07/01/08 04:05 AM Comments () • Permalink

Melting Away Four Decades With Sonny Fox

By Phyllis Groner

Four decades melted away tonight as a nostalgic Westport Public Library audience warmly welcomed former children’s television host Sonny Fox.WestportNow.com Image
Sonny Fox recalled his days as host of TV’s Sunday morning “Wonderama” show at the Westport Public Library tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Fox, 83, had been host of New York Channel 5’s Sunday morning four-hour “Wonderama” TV show from 1959 to 1967. He spoke about “The Next Chapter- From the Golden Age of Television to His Golden Age.”

Audience members sought autographs and took photos. He and his family had lived in Weston for many years, and he knew many of those attending. 

In addition to reminiscing, Fox showed film clips from some of his shows, demonstrating his easy going ability to get children to open up. His “Wonderama” guests included Bobby Kennedy who interacted with the children in the studio.

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07/01/08 03:26 AM Comments () • Permalink

Former Kids TV Host Sonny Fox Evokes Nostalgia at Library

WestportNow.com Image
Sonny Fox, host of the “Wonderama” TV show on New York’s Channel 5 from 1959 to 1967 and one-time Weston resident, received a warm welcome at the Westport Public Library tonight. Fox, 83, showed clips from some of his shows and found that many in the audience fondly recalled being studio guests more than four decades ago. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


07/01/08 03:07 AM Comments () • Permalink

Saugatuck Rowing

WestportNow.com Image
A couple of members of the Saugatuck Rowing Club get a boat handling lesson from a club instructor near the Westport Public Library today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com


07/01/08 01:36 AM Comments () • Permalink

Talking Transportation: New Haven Rail Yard Budget Mess

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

Once again, our elected officials in Hartford have outdone themselves. At a time when mass transit seems the only alternative to high gas prices (ridership is soaring and trains are jammed), they are nickel and dimeing our state’s transportation future.


The issue: the overdue rail yard maintenance facility in New Haven. In 2005, lawmakers approved $300 million for these vital shops and repair facilities for our soon-to-be-delivered M8 rail cars. Now, everyone in Hartford seems shocked, stunned or amazed that the project has grown to $1.2 billion.

Mind you—the cost quadrupled partly because the project more than doubled in size, so let’s keep our apples and oranges straight.

At recent hearings, legislators have suggested that the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT) slash its plan, and indeed, the agency itself came up with $11 million in cost cuts. “That’s no more than a ‘rounding error,’” grumbled one lame duck senator.

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07/01/08 01:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

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