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Friday, January 29, 2010

New Haven Line On or Close to Schedule

UPDATE Metro-North said New Haven Line trains are on or close to schedule after earlier experiencing delays inbound between Stamford and New Haven due to wire damage.


01/29/10 04:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 18 Sunnyside Lane Image
An application is in process to acquire a permit to demolish the house at 18 Sunnyside Lane, off Meeker Road. Built in 1959, the one-story split level has 1,842 square feet and is situated on a two-acre lot.  Because it was built more than 50 years ago, the application will be reviewed by the Westport Historic District Commission. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


01/29/10 03:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Along the River Image
Thursday’s snow made for a pretty picture along the Saugatuck River opposite the Westport Arts Center. CLICK TO ENLARGE) Alyssa Crouse for


01/29/10 05:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, January 29, 2010

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “The Judge: Jazz Photographs by Musician Milt Hinton”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Westport Modern: When Cool Was Hot!”
10:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Board of Finance Audit Subcommittee Special Meeting
1:30 p.m. - Westport Senior Center - “Ethics in Business,” David Schmidt
6 p.m. - 9 p.m. - Rockwell Gallery (15 Myrtle Ave.) - heART Artist Fundraiser for Haiti
7 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - The Overunder w/ Someone Say Something, Love Via Dance Machine, White Rose
8 p.m. - Music Theatre of Connecticut (246 Colonial Green) - “The Story of My Life”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


01/29/10 05:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Comings and Goings: Then Again Opens on Post Road East Image
Then Again, an upscale women’s consignment shop featuring clothing, accessories and art has opened at 993 Post Road East, across from Arby’s, in Westport.  Alison Danzberger, a Southport resident since 1985, said she has an extensive background with New York advertising agencies before entering a field in which she marketed gold embroidered apparel to retailers prior to opening her own shop in Westport.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


01/29/10 03:39 AM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Radio and Television to Air Saturday Track Meet

On Saturday, WWPT and Staples Television Network (STN) will broadcast live the 2010 FCIAC Western Division Indoor Track Championships at Westport’s Staples High School.

The event can be heard on WWPT 90.3 FM and watched on cable Channel 78 in Westport as well as seen online at and

This will be the first multiple-camera shoot for WWPT, Staples’ nationaly honored high school radio station, and STN.

The pre-game will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the meet will begin at 10 a.m.


01/29/10 02:28 AM Comments () • Permalink

Collecting Crutches for Kids Image
Students at Westport’s Bedford Middle School are engaged in a “Crutches 4 Kids” program in which they are collecting used crutches to help underprivileged youths in disaster areas such as Haiti. The program began this week and according to Blue and Gold Council Advisor Mary Martinik, 35 pairs of crutches have been collected. Westporters are asked to bring crutches to the school lobby where the collection is prominently displayed. The project is being coordinated between eighth grade counselor Lisa Weitzman, and several physicians from Columbia University and the Hospital for Special Surgery. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for


01/29/10 01:06 AM Comments () • Permalink

“Dinner With Friends” Rounds Out Playhouse Season

The Pulitzer Prize-winning comic drama, “Dinner with Friends” by Connecticut’s Donald Margulies, has been announced as the second production in the 2010 season at the Westport Country Playhouse.

Scheduled for June 1 through June 19, “Dinner with Friends” will be directed by David Kennedy, Playhouse associate artistic director.

It is the last of the five shows to be announced this season, the Playhouse’s 80th and first official season of artistic programming by Mark Lamos, who was appointed as the Playhouse’s artistic director a year ago. The others were announced last August. (See WestportNow Aug. 11, 2009)

“Dinner with Friends” is about Gabe and Karen and Tom and Beth, two couples who have been close friends for years, and who participate in all the familiar and comfortable rituals of shared vacations, good conversation and great food. When Tom abruptly walks out on Beth, it threatens more than just their marriage.

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01/29/10 12:59 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, January 28, 2010

J.D. Salinger – the Westport Connection

Legendary author J.D. Salinger, whose “The Catcher in the Rye” made him one of the major literary figures of the 20th century, lived in Westport when the novel was published in 1951. His instant notoriety eventually caused him to leave Image
J.D. Salinger: moved to Westport in 1949. File photo

Salinger lived here from 1949 for an unknown period before moving on in 1953 to Cornish, N.H., where he died Wednesday at the age of 91, according to biographers. Some biographers say “The Catcher in the Rye” may have been written here, although this is uncertain.

William Maxwell, author and New Yorker fiction editor, interviewed Salinger for the Book-of-the-Month-Club News in July 1951 when “The Catcher in the Rye” was the club’s selection.

“He is now living in a rented house in Westport, Connecticut, with, for company and distraction, a Schnauzer named Benny, who, he says, is terribly anxious to please and always has been,” Maxwell wrote.

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01/28/10 09:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

Questions About Sealant Odor

To the Editor:

Parents of children at the Hillspoint School that was evacuated due to fumes from a roofing sealant need to ask these questions:

  * Did anyone ask for the name of the chemical in the roof sealant?

  * What are the Material Safety Data information for these chemicals.

  * Was the contractor advised not to use the chemicals in the vicinity of children?

  * How long were the children and teachers exposed to the chemicals before they were evacuated?

  * Who authorized the application of the roof sealant during the school day?

  * Was that person qualified to make a decision that exposed children to hazardous substances? Who oversees the use of toxic substances at schools?

I was seriously and permanently injured by a roofing sealant applied during the school day at the school where I was teaching in Mississippi. School officials lied to the media that no one was seriously injured. 

It only takes a short time to cause injury to respiratory, eye and brain tissue. It sometimes takes a lifetime to diagnosed that toxic chemicals caused the damage.

Fumes from roofing sealant have caused injuries to school children all across the nation. Even though the EPA recognizes that children are more vulnerable to toxic injury, there are no laws preventing the use of toxic chemicals like roofing sealant while school children and personnel are present.

When I asked the questions above, the school and contractor attempted to cover it up. School officials at my school were more concerned with their liability and politics than with providing medical care for the injured.

I am now an activist to protect children from toxic injury and for healthier schools. For stories about toxic justice, news and resources about schools and toxic risks, visit and follow me on Twitter at

Nancy Swan
Mobile, Ala.


01/28/10 07:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

Schools Cancel Afternoon and Evening Activities

Westport schools have canceled all afternoon and evening activities because of the weather, the District announced today.


01/28/10 07:31 PM Comments () • Permalink

Surprise Snow Image
A surprise snowstorm turned Westport roads into sheets of ice early today, creating havoc with the morning commute. Police reported many minor accidents during the snow. They had to close Newtown Turnpike for a while because of the inability of cars to make their way up and down inclines.  After a mid-day respite, the forecast called for more show squalls later in the day. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for


01/28/10 07:03 PM Comments () • Permalink

Gorham Island Snow Image
The entrance to the Gorham Island office building in Westport’s center after today’s snow. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


01/28/10 06:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

“Nikki” Stone, 99

Genevieve Marie Nichols “Nikki” Stone, 99, of Westport, died Dec. 28, 2009.

The youngest of five children, she was raised in New Canaan and attended Normal School in Stamford, where she graduated with honors and was the salutatorian of her class.

She received her bachelor’s degree from The Teachers College of Connecticut (now named Central Connecticut College) in 1934. She then taught at Center School in New Canaan until her retirement 50 years later. Many students still remember her fondly as their first grade teacher.

In 1938, she was married to William “Bill” E. Stone, past vice president of The Westport Bank and Trust, who predeceased her in 1980. An avid bridge player, Stone was active in the Westport, Weston and Norwalk senior centers. She will be remembered as a loving wife, caring teacher and compassionate friend.

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01/28/10 04:56 PM Comments () • Permalink

Robert B. Meny, 85,

Robert Blake Meny, 85, of Trinity, Fla., a resident of Westport for 30 years, died Jan. 8 in Clearwater, Fla., after a long illness.

He was the husband of 55 years of Vera M. Meny, 82, of Palm Harbor, Fla.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on March 24, 1924, he was the son of Louis and Lillian Meny of Ozone Park and Point Lookout, N.Y. He graduated in 1940 from John Adams High School, Queens, N.Y., as valedictorian. In the same year, at the age of 16, he was accepted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

While at MIT he was captain of the track team and, in 1942, qualified for the Olympic Trials in the 220- and 440-yard relay dashes at the Millrose Games in Madison Square Garden, New York City.

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01/28/10 04:53 PM Comments () • Permalink

heART for Haiti Event Set for Friday and Saturday

Five galleries, including one in Westport, will be the focal point this weekend for the heART for Haiti fund-raiser for Westport’s Save the Children and its relief efforts in Image

Hundreds of works of art will be offered in the event on Friday and Saturday with all proceeds to go to Save the Children. There will be a gala reception Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. and sale continuing on Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. See some of the works here.

In Westport, Rockwell Gallery in Sconset Square off Myrtle Avenue is participating.

Other locations include Galleria d’Arte Ridgefield, 3 Bailey Ave.;Rockwell Fairfield, 1630 Post Road, Fairfield; Rockwell New Canaan, 9 Burtis Ave, New Canaan; and Rockwell Wilton, 379 Danbury Road, Wilton.


01/28/10 03:46 PM Comments () • Permalink

Snow, Slippery Roads Cause Multiple Accidents

Snow and slippery roadways played havoc throughout Westport Image
The snow caused traffic on the Merritt Parkway to come to a standstill for a period. A WestportNow reader e-mailed this photo of a snowman built by a fellow motorist while traffic was stopped. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

What forecasters described as snow squalls dumped an inch or more on roadways and temperatures near the freezing mark made them slick throughout the morning rush hour.

Newtown Turnpike in the area of Broad Street and Woodcock Lane was especially hard hit with multiple accidents reported, according to reports from the scene. Police were forced to close down a portion of the roadway.

Public Works Department sanders were having trouble getting to some of the roads because of stuck cars. Wilton Road was reported to be in gridlock because of the slippery conditions.

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01/28/10 03:30 PM Comments () • Permalink

Close Call on Cross Highway Image
A male driver escaped serious injury at about 1 a.m. today when his car went out of control on Westport’s Cross Highway at Pine Tree Drive and struck a utility pole. The impact of the collision split the pole in two. The driver declined medical treatment. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo


01/28/10 07:14 AM Comments () • Permalink

View From Burying Hill Beach Image
The view from Westport’s Burying Hill Beach at dusk on Wednesday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


01/28/10 05:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, January 28, 2010

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “The Judge: Jazz Photographs by Musician Milt Hinton”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Westport Modern: When Cool Was Hot!”
10 a.m. – Earthplace, Sasco Brook Pollution Abatement Committee
2 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Overcoat Film Series: “American Flyers” (1985)
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM, Communications Committee

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


01/28/10 05:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Westport-Weston Restaurant Week Set for Feb.28-March 6

A Westport-Weston Restaurant Week offering special fixed price lunches and dinners will he held Sunday, Feb. 28 through Saturday, March Image

Sponsored by the Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce, the week will feature lunches from $15 to $20 and dinners $25 to $35, depending on the restaurant.

There will also be a special family-style menu for a four-person minimum at varying prices, said Linda Kavanagh, a restaurant publicist working for the Chamber.

“The week will offer consumers great deals, the opportunity to experience some new restaurants, as well as revisit some of their favorites,” she said.

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01/27/10 08:34 PM Comments () • Permalink

Odor Forces Evacuation of Former Hillspoint School Image
UPDATE Westport firefighters today ordered the evacuation of dozens of pre-schoolers from the former Hillspoint School because of a chemical-like odor at the school. The youngsters were permitted to return to the school after about 20 minutes. None of those inside the pre-schools occuping the building complained of illness. Firefighters and town building officials traced the source of the odor to a roof sealant. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


01/27/10 06:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Chemical Smell Disrupts Pre-School Image
UPDATE Pre-schoolers at the former Hillspoint School in Westport had some unexpected excitement today as a chemical-like smell forced the evacuation of the building. No injuries were reported. Westport firefighters and town building officials said there had been recent work on the building’s roof and the smell was traced to a sealant on the roof. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


01/27/10 06:03 PM Comments () • Permalink

Staples Student Named Intel Semifinalist

A senior at Westport’s Staples High School, Jason Gandelman, has been selected as a semifinalist in the Intel Science Talent Search. the District announced Image
Jason Gandelman: Among 300 semifinalists. Contributed photo

A participant in the Staples Science Research program, Jason has spent the last two years working at Yale University studying protein modifications and their effect of homeostasis.  Potentially, this work has implications for diabetes and kidney disease, the District said in a news release.

The Intel Science Talent Search is America’s most prestigious pre-college science competition. This year, 300 students and their schools were selected as semifinalists from approximately 1,700 applicants. 

From that select pool, 40 student finalists will be invited to Washington, D.C. in March to participate in final judging, display their work to the public, and compete for the top award of $100,000.

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01/27/10 04:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

P&Z Chair to Ask to Put Off Legal Action Against RTM

The chairman of the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission said today he will recommend that his body put off any legal action against the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) “at this time.”

In a statement, Ron Corwin also said he will recommend that the commission resume consideration of commission-generated text amendments.

Corwin said the recommendations to be made to the Feb. 4 meeting of the commission were the result of the intervention of First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff in trying to resolve the dispute that came about with the Jan. 13 vote by the RTM to overturn a zoning decision involving National Hall.

“The Planning and Zoning Commission’s goal in response to the result of the RTM meeting and decision of Jan. 13, 2010 has always been to help establish standards for public hearings to protect the due process rights of all of those involved in land use applications in Westport—applicants, the public, neighbors and the town itself,” Corwin said.

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01/27/10 03:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

Opinon: Minority P&Z Members Denounce Legal Action

(Editor’s note: The following commentary was submitted by two members of the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission who voted in opposition last week to taking legal action against the Representative Town Meeting following the RTM’s voting to overturn a zoning decision. Both are Republicans. The other commissioner opposed, Nora Jinishian, is a Democrat.)

By Catherine Walsh and Michael Krawiec

As Westport Planning and Zoning commissioners who voted in opposition to the resolution to sue the RTM, we are dismayed by the P&Z’s actions and embarrassed for the Town of Westport. This action makes a mockery of the P&Z Commission’s credibility. 

We support the RTM’s decision to overturn the P&Z’s recent decision. We welcome their review of any P&Z decision modifying the zoning regulations. The checks and balances of our political system are extremely important.

If a P&Z decision is overturned by a two-thirds vote of the RTM, then the P&Z Commissioners should take a deep breath and reevaluate their decision. 

Clarification of the RTM’s review process may be warranted, but the proper venue is not a courtroom but a public meeting amongst these elected bodies.
Residents should be aware of the following:

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01/27/10 12:13 PM Comments () • Permalink

Metro-North Running Close to Schedule

UPDATE Metro-North said shortly before 10 a.m. today that service on the New Haven Line is running on or close to schedule after earlier delays.

Shortly after 5:30 a.m., the railroad had temporarily suspended service between New Haven and South Norwalk due to wire damage in the vicinity of Fairfield.


01/27/10 11:06 AM Comments () • Permalink

River View Image
The Saugatuck River and I-95 as seen from a back yard along Wesstport’s Bridge Street on Tuesday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for


01/27/10 05:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “The Judge: Jazz Photographs by Musician Milt Hinton”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Westport Modern: When Cool Was Hot!”
10 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – UN Hospitality Committee
4 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Board of Selectmen (live coverage cable channel 79 and
7 p.m. – Westport Public Library – Library Board of Trustees
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM, Health & Human Services Committee
7:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - WestportREADS: Staples Math Team
8 p.m. – Town Hall Green Room – RTM, Public Protection, Finance and Employee Compensation Committees

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


01/27/10 05:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Caution for Postal Service Users

To the Editor:

Twice over the last few weeks, while walking our dog, I have found stamped, unpostmarked mail in strange places near the road. In both cases, within a mile of Staples High School, the mail turned out to be very important communications including significant personal checks.

Upon investigation, it turned out that in both cases, the mail had been left in personal rural mailboxes for pickup.

While I have, as has at least one of the parties involved, notified the US Postal Inspector, I would recommend that Westport residents not leave mail for pickup in their street boxes unless they won’t be inconvenienced if it doesn’t get to its destination.

Joel R. Hallas


01/26/10 11:49 PM Comments () • Permalink

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