Wednesday, March 31, 2010
By James Lomuscio
UPDATE Several residents living near a proposed Connecticut Light & Power Company substation in Westport’s Greens Farms area tonight asked the Connecticut Siting Council to postpone any action on the application until they can get more information about the effects on health, safety and property values and possible alternative sites.
S. Derek Phelps, executive director of the Connecticut Siting Council, addresses the audience before tonight’s hearing got under way. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
“We should spend another 30 days to analyze the site,” said James Burke, who lives at 91 Turkey Hill Road South. He said he and other residents had only learned about the proposed facility last week.
“Did anyone put up a flyer at the railroad station?” he asked.
Burke said that in addition to health concerns over electromagnetic fields generated by the substation, there would be an impact on expensive homes in the area during a down market. He said sarcastically that a prospective buyer might be prompted to say to a spouse, “Oh, look, Honey, we have a view of the substation.”
John M. MacDonald, 77, of Westport, husband of Florence (Anastasia) MacDonald, passed away Sunday, March 28 at home in the company of his family.
John was born Nov. 13, 1932, in Norwalk, son of the late Arthur and Ann (Lamb) MacDonald and has been a resident of Westport for the past 50 years.
Prior to retiring in 1982, he had been employed by Nash Engineering in Norwalk for 26 years in the Quality Control Department as an inspector.
John was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War and a member of the Frank C. Godfrey American Legion Post No. 12 in Norwalk.
Westport Tax Collector Peggy Klein reminds taxpayers that the fourth quarter real estate and personal property taxes are due Thursday and will be subject to an 18 percent (1.5 percent/month) penalty charge if paid after May 3.
Westport tax payments can be made at any Westport Bank of America branch or by visiting the Tax Collector’s Office in Room 109 at Town Hall. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily Monday through Friday.
Failure to receive a bill does not abate the charges or interest, Klein said.
Taxes can also be paid by credit card by telephone or on line at the town Web page.
Westport’s Old Town Hall at 90 Post Road East, most recently a branch of TD Bank, has been sold to a Westport developer for $2.325 million. Built in 1908, the building served as Westport’s municipal center until the current Town Hall opened in 1983 in the former Bedford Elementary School at 110 Myrtle Ave. The sale by TD Bank, N.A., was to Old Westport Town Hall, LLC. A check of the Secretary of the State’s database showed the principal is Westport developer Robert Haroun, who has built numerous homes in the community. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow file photo by Dave Matlow
Planning & Zoning Director Laurence Bradley announced today that the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission has set April 29 for a public hearing on a commission-generated proposed text amendment that will provide a major relaxation of outdoor eating standards in Westport.
Amendment No. 610 is intended to promote more outdoor dining for both restaurants and other retail food establishments throughout the town, a news release said.
The proposed text of the amendment is available on the town’s Web site or by contacting the Planning & Zoning Office.
At the public hearing, the application will be presented and the public is invited to provide testimony and comments on both the overall concept and the details of the proposal.
The West Branch of the Saugatuck River near Westport’s Crooked Mile Road became a raging waterway Tuesdaay after two days of rain that soaked the area with more than 5 inches. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Westport Modern: When Cool Was Hot!”
3 p.m. and 7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Connecticut Siting Council public hearing on CL&P Greens Farms substation application
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar
The March 13-14 nor’easter followed by more heavy rain and wind Monday and today played havoc with Westport’s beaches, washing away a lot of the sand. The hig tide and the surf sent sand across adjacent roads and parking lots. Despite today’s wretched weather conditions, a lone worker was busy recovering and smoothing the sand in order to return Compo Beach to its prestorm condition. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
A pot hole stretch along Post Road East near Roseville Road in Westport led to warning signs for drivers today. The road is a state roadway and awaits repair by the state Department of Transportation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Milller for WestportNow.com
Even as flood-causing heavy rains hit the Westport area today, work went on at Sherwood Island State Park grinding up trees that fell during the March 13-14 storm. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
UPDATE With almost 5 inches of rain in two days, Westport today experienced moderate flooding of roadways, parking lots, back yards, and basements.
Round Pond off of Compo Road South was one of numerous Westport waterways overflowing their banks. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff said it could have been a lot worse. “No one likes to be flooded, but this was not as bad as the nor’easter of April 2007,” he said.
“The good news this time was that the heavy rains came in waves, giving everyone a bit of a pause before the next wave.”
But there was damage nevertheless. Many residents spent the day monitoring sump pumps in their basements, hoping the power would not go out.
The National Weather Service in Upton N.Y. has extended the flood warning for Westport and area until 10 p.m. It had been scheduled to end at 4 p.m.
A mid-afternoon advisory said light to occasionally moderate rainfall will fall across the area through this evening. While the rain has diminished in intensity—3 to 7 inches of rainfall has already fallen.
Unofficial readings in late afternoon in Westport showed just under 5 inches since Sunday.
The advisory said to expect continued moderate flooding across Fairfield County.
Westport’s Muddy Brook was among waterways running over their banks today. This view is off of Hillandale Road in Westport’s Greens Farms area. Westport has had almost 5 inches of rain since Sunday night. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ned Hardy for WestportNow.com
“Someone at the Westport Board of Ed may need to keep a better eye on their radio station paperwork.” That’s how the trade publication Radio World reported on a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) action against WWPT.
The student-operated FM radio station at Staples High School licensed to the Board of Education has been hit by the FCC Media Bureau with a notice of apparent liability for a $7,000 fine, the publication reported.
It said the FCC found that the station failed to file for renewal and subsequently operated for three years before filing last summer, when it also asked for special temporary authority (STA) so it could stay on the air while its application was considered.
“To make matters worse, when that STA expired earlier this month, the board did not file for an extension, according to the commission,” Radio World said.
Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that she has activated 150 Connecticut National Guard troops to assist towns and cities in eastern Connecticut with flood control efforts as streams and rivers continue to rise and crest over their banks.
The governor also announced she has directed the Department of Public Safety to reassign all available troopers in the field and from headquarters to eastern Connecticut to assist with road closures and other emergencies as they arise.
The governor also noted that her declaration for a state of emergency that was put in place in the wake of the March 13-14 nor’easter remains in effect.
“The relentless rain has created extremely dangerous situations, especially in eastern Connecticut. The Yantic River is expected to reach record flood levels and we are closely monitoring that situation,” Rell said.
Water lapped at the parking lot behind the Westport Arts Center as the Saugatuck River overflowed its banks along Riverside Avenue at mid-day’s high tide. There was a lull in the rain at about 2 p.m., but radar showed more showers on the way. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
At mid-day’s high tide today, the Saugatuck River was just under the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge in Westport. Minor flooding was reported throughout town as more than 4 inches of rain has fallen since Sunday night. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
A motorist gets into his Subaru at 257 Riverside Ave. in Westport today as the Saugatuck River overflowed its banks, flooding low-lying parking lots at mid-day’s high tide. He drove it safely to higher ground. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Barbara Dunlap for WestportNow.com
UPDATE Connecticut Light & Power Co. said 20 Westport customers were without power as of noon today as heavy rains hit the area.
It said all had power restored by an hour later.
Numerous Westport roadways—as well as basements—were flooded today as heavy rains continued to pelt the area. About 4 inches has fallen since Sunday night. View is of Myrtle Avenue near Post Road East. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The National Weather Service in Upton, N.Y. has issued a flood warning for Westport and area until 4 p.m. today.
An advisory said heavy rain will continue to move across the warning area through this afternoon. Three to six inches of rain has fallen across the area and an additional two inches is possible by this evening.
Rainfall rates of a half an inch in one hour are possible through this afternoon.
Moderate flooding is expected across Fairfield County.
Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that she has placed the Connecticut National Guard on alert to assist with local flood control and sandbagging efforts if they are needed.
The state already has a stockpile of 180,000 sandbags, however, Rell has also directed the state Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security to secure an additional 300,000 sandbags.
The additional sandbags will be brought into the state from Massachusetts by the Connecticut National Guard by noon today.
The Town of Greenwich has requested 1,500 sandbags and the city of Norwich has requested 4,100 sandbags.
Rudolph Richard Trautmann, of Westport died on March 28 at his home. He was 86.
Born on May 9, 1923 in what was then Breslau, Germany, Rudi, as he was affectionately known by friends and family, attended the Breslau School of Art and after World War II moved to Paris, France where he met and married his wife of 58 years, Jacqueline Pierrot.
Rudi and Jacqueline immigrated to the United States in 1955, crossing the Atlantic on the SS Constitution, settling in Westport in 1959.
He had a long and rewarding career as a graphic artist in Paris, Los Angeles, New York, and eventually in Westport working with William Field Agency on a long list of local, national, and international blue chip accounts.
Bright yellow bushes of golden forsythia are blossoming across Westport, another sure sign that spring is here. A drive along Compo Road South will take one past this splash of color. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com