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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Drawing the Sinking Titanic is a Political Cartoonist’s Cliche

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Matt Davies, a Pulitizer Prize-winning political cartoonist for the Gannett and Hearst newspapers, tells a Westport Arts Center audience tonight that it is a cliche for political cartoonists to draw the sinking Titanic or the airship Hindenburg going up in flames. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


04/29/10 01:50 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ice Cream Crowd

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There was a large crowd on hand today at the Westport Baskin-Robbins on Post Road East shortly after the 5 p.m. start of the Baskin-Robbins fourth annual 31-cent Scoop Night to honor the nation’s firefighters and their families. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


04/28/10 11:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

A Treat for All Ages

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The young and not so young turned out today at Westport’s Baskin-Robbins on Post Road East for the fourth annual 31-cent Scoop Night to honor the nation’s firefighters.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


04/28/10 11:18 PM Comments () • Permalink

Volunteer Firefighters Turn Out for 31-Cent Scoop Night

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Among those on hand for today’s fourth annual 31-cent Scoop Night at Westport’s Baskin-Robbins to honor the nation’s firefighters were (l-r) Volunteer Deputy Chief Ken Gilbertie, volunteers Max Burns and Paul Spinnatto, Frank Szivos of the Connecticut Burns Care Foundation, and volunteer James Dellicorpini. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


04/28/10 11:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

In Support of Firefighters

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Westport twins Caroline and Lauren Russell, who turn 7 next month, have a taste of ice cream today with Westport First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff (also a volunteer fireman) atop a Westport antique fire engine outside Baskin-Robbins on Post Road East. Westport volunteer firefighters were on hand as the company held its fourth annual 31-Cent Scoop Night to honor the nation’s firefighters and their families. The Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation is donating $100,000 to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


04/28/10 11:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

All Taped Up

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Principal John Dodig of Westport’s Staples High School found himself securely taped to a wall during lunch time today, all for a good cause. Members of the Staples chapter of the Junior State of America asked for a $1 donation to place a strip of tape across Dodig in support of the Nothing But Nets fund raising campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


04/28/10 09:18 PM Comments () • Permalink

Up Against the Wall

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Sophomore Michael Ljunberg adds another strip of tape to the body of Staples High School Principal John Dodig today in support of the Nothing But Nets fundraising campaign at the Westport school aimed at eradicating malaria in Africa. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


04/28/10 09:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Expanding Westport’s Community Gardens

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Work got under way today on expanding Westport’s Community Gardens at Long Lots Elementary School on Long Lots Lane. Workers from Westport’s Kowalsky Brothers construction prepared the soil to add an additional 50 plots, according to Don Kowalsky, a machine operator. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


04/28/10 08:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

Getting Ready for the Gardening Season

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Westport’s Community Gardens are ready for the growing season at Long Lots Elementary School as work progresses on expanding the gardens to meet growing demand. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


04/28/10 08:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

Bills Aim to Make Roadways Safer

By Jacqueline Rabe


As the legislative session nears its end, proponents are pushing for passage of several bills they say will crack down on dangerous driving in Connecticut.

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“Most of them are ready to go,” said Rep. Antonio Guerrera, D-Rocky Hill, co-chairman of the legislature’s Transportation Committee. “Let’s look at the big picture, these are public safety bills.”

Guerrera said the bill raising fines for cell-phone violations and barring texting while driving has drawn the most attention from leaders and “has a good chance” of becoming law this legislative session.

The bill would end the policy of giving first-time violators a waiver if they buy a hands-free device, and instead imposes a $100 fine. It also increases fines for subsequent violations.

More "Bills Aim to Make Roadways Safer"


04/28/10 03:39 PM Comments () • Permalink

Baskin-Robbins Offers 31-Cent per Scoop Ice Cream Today

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Baskin-Robbins will host its Fourth Annual 31-Cent Scoop Night today from 5 to 10 p.m. at all Baskin-Robbins locations nationwide, including the Westport store at 180 Post Road East. Baskin-Robbins is partnering with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, an organization that honors America’s fallen fire heroes and their families. Members of the Westport Volunteer Fire Department will be there along with a Westport Fire Department fire engine. Pictured is a past event. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


04/28/10 10:35 AM Comments () • Permalink

Weather Service Warns of Increased Fire Spread Risk

The National Weather Service in Upton, N.Y. said there is an increased risk of rapid spread of any fires in the Westport and tri-state area today.

An advisory said a combination of northwest winds gusts of up to 30 to 35 mph and relative humidity levels falling to 30 to 40 percent are responsible.

It said the danger is especially true of fine fuels such as those found in marshes and grassy fields.

The advisory said residents should keep vehicles out of grassy areas and ensure proper disposal of any smoking materials.


04/28/10 10:24 AM Comments () • Permalink

RTM Panel Okays Town, Not School, Budget Restorations

By James Lomuscio

After hours of deliberations Tuesday night, the Finance Committee of the Representative Town Meeting voted to recommend a total restoration of $598,163 cut from the town budget by the Board of Finance.

The Board of Education, however, had no such luck as the nine-member RTM Finance Committee voted 5 to 3 with one abstention not to restore any of the $500,000 the school board wanted back in its proposed $96.6 million 2010-2011 budget.

Despite the RTM Finance Committee’s substantial give back to the town—nearly half of the $1.23 million First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff had requested of the $3.6 million cut by the finance board—town officials had no illusions about it being a done deal.

“It still has to pass 70 percent of the full RTM,” said Joseloff about the 36-member, legislative body’s meetings scheduled for Monday, May 3, and Tuesday, May 4.

More "RTM Panel Okays Town, Not School, Budget Restorations"


04/28/10 04:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

A Bit of Sun After the Rain

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A day of mostly rain on Tuesday ended with some sunshine. Scene is the channel near the Longshore Club Park. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com


04/28/10 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Westport Modern: When Cool Was Hot!”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Divine Comedy: Drawings by R. Crumb & Roz Chast”
2 p.m. and 8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “She Loves Me”
5 p.m. - 10 p.m. - Baskin Robbins - “31 Cent Scoop Night” to benefit the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
6 p.m. - Toquet Hall Teen Center - “On Your Own,” A health and wellness program for students and parents
7:30 p.m. – Westport Public Library Seminar Room – Library Board of Trustees
8 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM Parks & Recreation Committee

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


04/28/10 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

A Sweep for the Staples Boys Track Team

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Westport’s Staples High School Boys’ Track team today won all three of its dual track and field meets with Darien High School, Stamford High and Harding, which were held together at Darien High School. The meet ended with a narrow win by the Staples Boys 4 x 400 relay team. Pictured is Staples junior Jack Roche handing off the baton to junior Rafael Ray, the final runner or “anchor” of the track team’s 4 x 400 relay team. The wins leave Staples Boys Track and Field undefeated at 8-0 so far this season. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Hamilton Laux for WestportNow.com


04/28/10 01:27 AM Comments () • Permalink

Comings and Goings: Westport Writers’ Workshop in New Digs

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The Westport Writers’ Workshop is opening a teaching and event space at 3 Sylvan Road South. The new space will be officially launched with an open house reception on Friday, May 7 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The new 800 square-foot combination studio and classroom will accommodate the record number of writing workshops being offered for the 2010 spring session. Author and award-winning commentator Jessica Bram, a WestportNow contributor, is founder and president of the Westport Writers’ Workshop. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


04/28/10 01:04 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dodig Addresses Westport Rotary

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Principal John Dodig of Staples High School told the Westport Rotary Club today that 21st century education requires students to gather information, to formulate it and present solutions in a compelling manner that is better than the solutions of any others. Compared to the education process of the past, Dodig said the time for memorizing dates of specific historic events takes a back seat to today’s need for problem solving. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


04/27/10 11:21 PM Comments () • Permalink

John D. Zeoli Sr., 85

John D. Zeoli Sr., 85, of Daytona Beach, Fla., died April 19 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

He was a native Westporter born in Saugatuck on July 11, 1924, as were his parents, the late Dominic and Olympia (Valiante) Zeoli. He was predeceased in 1965 by his wife, Sara (Scordo) Zeoli.

Zeoli left Staples High School in his junior year and, in 1942, enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served in the Pacific Theater during World War II from 1942 to 1946.

Immediately thereafter he went to work for the Perkin-Elmer Corp. and was employed there for more than 35 years, engaged on projects involved with NASA and the U.S. Defense Department.

More "John D. Zeoli Sr., 85"


04/27/10 11:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

RTM Committee Okays Health District Budget Restoration

UPDATE The Representative Town Meeting (RTM) Finance Committee voted 6-3 tonight to recommend restoration of $13,793 cut by the Board of Finance from the 2010-11 requested budget of the Westport Weston Health District.WestportNow.com Image
Mark A. R. Cooper: cuts will affect emergency response. File photo

The vote followed a warning from the District’s director that unless there is restoration of funds cut from its budget, there will likely be a series of health-related repercussions affecting Westport beaches, schools, farmers markets, septic systems, and the District’s response to emergencies.

Mark A. R. Cooper outlined the possible effects in a letter to Michael Rea, chairman of the RTM Finance Committee.

Cooper said the cut will actually mean a hit of $19,115 to the District budget because by state statute, the District would have to simultaneously reduce Weston’s budget contribution by $5,323.

More "RTM Committee Okays Health District Budget Restoration"


04/27/10 08:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

Rell: State to Appeal Obama Denial of Individual Storm Aid

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M. Jodi Rell: “Decision is wrong.” Dave Matlow/WN file photo
Gov. M. Jodi Rell today announced that President Obama has denied the state’s request for individual aid to homeowners, renters and employers affected by severe storms and flooding in March.

Rell said she has immediately started gathering information to file a formal appeal.

“The storms that battered our state last month left a trail of astonishing devastation in their wake – crushed cars, homes struck by trees, week-long power outages and staggering flooding,” Rell said.

“People and businesses all across Connecticut were left with millions of dollars in damage. They need help. This decision is not only disappointing – it’s wrong, and I will appeal it.”

More "Rell: State to Appeal Obama Denial of Individual Storm Aid"


04/27/10 07:19 PM Comments () • Permalink

Man Admits Robbing Westport Bank

A 49-year-old man today admitted in federal court that he robbed four banks in the state in 2008 and 2009, including one in Westport.WestportNow.com Image
Anthony Hall: admits Hudson Valley Bank robbery. Contributed photo

Anthony Hall, 49, of Montville pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Vaness L. Bryant in Hartford to one count of armed bank robbery stemming from his robbery of a Waterford bank in June 2009, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

According to court documents and statements in court, Hall admitted robbing the Hudson Valley Bank branch at 420 Post Road West in Westport on July 10, 2009. Prosecutors said he made off with more than $9,000 in the robbery.

Hall admitted he pointed a firearm at a teller during robberies of a Putnam Bank branch in Ledyard on Jan. 30, 2008, a Webster Bank branch in Waterford on June 11, 2009, and a New Alliance Bank branch in East Haven on June 24, 2009, prosecutors said.

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04/27/10 07:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Police Identify Mahackeno Victim

UPDATE Police today identified a man found dead Sunday on Sunny Lane at Westport’s Camp Mahackeno as William R. Bleakley, 48, of Wilton.  (See WestportNow April 22, 2010)WestportNow.com Image
William Bleakley: Taekwondo instructor. File photo

“At this point, the department is awaiting the results from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and the toxicology lab to determine the cause of death,” said Lt. Vincent Penna, commander of the Detective Bureau.

“There are no indications of foul play regarding Mr. Bleakley’s death,” he said.

“However the investigation will stay open until the information is received from the aforementioned parties.”

More "Police Identify Mahackeno Victim"


04/27/10 06:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Rell Announces Federal Grants for Firefighters

Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced today that $390 million in federal grants is now available for local fire departments and paramedics to help pay for training and new equipment and vehicles—something Westport Fire Chief Christopher Ackley says is sorely needed in light of municipal budget cuts statewide.

“They really provide stimulus to departments that don’t receive adequate funding,” said Ackley. “They’re a big help, but they’re very competitive.”

In a statement, Rell touted the federal Asistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) as a means of enhancing “operations and training without burdening local taxpayers.”

“There is nearly $390 million in grants available nationwide, and I encourage Connecticut departments to evaluate their needs and apply,” said Rell.

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04/27/10 05:57 PM Comments () • Permalink

Michel Nischan in Walk-On Role in “She Loves Me”

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Michel Nischan will have a walk-on role in “She Loves Me” on May 14. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
He can cook but can he act?

Michel Nischan, owner/founder of Westport’s Dressing Room: A Homegrown Restaurant, will have a walk-on role as a chef in the musical “She Loves Me,” for one performance only, on Friday, May 14, at 8 p.m., at Westport Country Playhouse. 

Nischan was the highest bidder for the role, a prize in a silent auction benefiting the Playhouse at the theater’s 2009 gala last November.

For more information or ticket purchases, call the box office at (203) 227-4177.  Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.westportplayhouse.org.


04/27/10 01:51 PM Comments () • Permalink

Bridgeplates Back at Westport Station

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Commuters found bridgeplates back in place today at the New Haven Line’s Westport station at Saugatuck. The bridgeplates are used to gain access to the inner track and were in use for months during overhead line work. Why they have reappeared was not immediately known.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Andy Yemma for WestportNow.com


04/27/10 12:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sophie H. Crown, 84

Sophie H. Crown of Milford, formerly of Norwalk and Westport, wife of the late Arthur Crown, died April 25 in Lord Chamberlain in Stratford. She was 84.

Born on April 24, 1926, in Bedford, N.Y., to the late Wasslie and Sarah (Eisashak) Antoniuk, she was a renowned hairdresser for more than 40 years. Crown worked at several area salons, including Camille’s Salon and Philip’s Salon of Westport.

She is survived by her daughter, Janet Novak of Milford; her sisters, Ann Sobocinski of Milford and Helen Restucci, and her brothers, Alexander and Frederick Antoniuk, all of New York; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was predeceased by a brother, William.

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04/27/10 11:12 AM Comments () • Permalink

Time Running Out for Municipal Budget Relief

By Jacqueline Rabe


Town leaders are beginning to worry their budget needs have been placed on hold as focus at the Capitol seems to be on fixing the state’s budget first.

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“We are disappointed. We have made it very clear our towns need help,” said Jim Finley, executive director of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.

With just one week left in the legislative session, none of the 21 bills that would provide cash-strapped towns with some fiscal relief have been acted on by either the House or the Senate.

House Majority Leader Denise W. Merrill, D-Mansfield, said several of the proposals could be part of a larger budget agreement, but could make no guarantees which proposals would be included.

More "Time Running Out for Municipal Budget Relief"


04/27/10 09:12 AM Comments () • Permalink

“Pictures for the Pound” Benefit Photo Shoot Set for Saturday

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Westport’s Earth Animal and local award-winning portrait and fine art photographer Pamela Einarsen are teaming up for a “Pictures for the Pound” benefit photo shoot on Saturday. The special pet portrait event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Earth Animal, 606 Post Road East,  will benefit the Westport Animal Control Shelter. For a $75 donation, participants will get a 15-minute portrait session of them and their animal companion. Following the event, families will be sent five 5x7-inch unframed prints. Reservations are suggested and can be made by calling Pamela Einarsen Photography at (203)-221-1818. Walk-ins will be accommodated on a space-available basis. All donations go to the Westport Animal Shelter Advocates (WASA), a local rescue group dedicated to helping homeless and abandoned dogs. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo by Pam Einarsen


04/27/10 04:15 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Westport Modern: When Cool Was Hot!,” Jane Swergold
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Divine Comedy: Drawings by R. Crumb & Roz Chast”
1 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Classic Mid-century Furnishings, Still Hot!”
1:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – 191 Hillspoint Road Committee
6:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Architectural Review Board
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. - Westport Public Library - Teen Animé Night
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – RTM Finance Committee
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “She Loves Me”

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar


04/27/10 04:05 AM Comments Closed • Permalink

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