Thursday, September 30, 2010
Renowned Westport pianist Frederic Chiu entertained about 50 invited guests at a private home in Westport’s Greens Farms area today to help raise funds to purchase a new piano at Staples High School. Hostess Maureen Whiteman said when Chiu heard about Staples’ need to replace its existing piano he asked Whiteman what he could do to help raise funds. He offered to perform a recital which led to today’s event. The Staples Music Parents Association is only a “few thousand dollars away” from the goal of raising $30,000 to purchase a new Yamaha C3 grand piano. Donations are welcome and checks should be made payable to the Staples Music Parents Association and mailed to Staples MPA, P.O. Box 223, Westport, CT 06881-0223. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
UPDATE A tree down across wires blocked Westport’s Whitney Street today near the intersection of Roseville Road. Utility crews said they would have to cut power to the area to clear the wires so a tree crew could remove the tree. At 4:15 p.m., CL&P said 72 Westport customers were without power. The road was reopened at about 4:30 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
High winds brought down a tree in front of 324 Greens Farms Road today, forcing motorists to make a detour. Forecasters said winds could gust up to 60 miles per hour this afternoon and tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Michael Smollin, an acclaimed artist and illustrator who called Westport home for almost 40 years, died Sept. 23 in Fort Meyers, Fla. He was 85.
Michael Smollin: Westporter for almost 40 years. Smollin.com photo
Smollin was most widely known for his first concept illustrated to become Sesame Street’s best selling book of all time, “The Monster At The End Of This Book,” a classic now in its third printing, which captured the hearts of children and adults since its release in 1971.
His illustrations graced a variety of magazines and publications for 30 years.
In a varied career, Smollin also won an Emmy for his work on “The Great Space Coaster” television program. Baby Boomers have all seen television commercials he directed between 1951 and 1968 such as Milkbone’s Doctor Spot, an original Smollin character, who warned that tooth-tartar is the main cause of “Bad breath in dogs!,” and the Triple S Blue Stamps’ trio of dancing vaudevillians.
Westport-based Bridgewater Associates, already the biggest U.S.-based hedge fund, pulled in more new money in the 2010 first half than any of its rivals, industry magazine AR reported today.
The firm, which employs more than 800 persons in four Westport locations, now oversees $51 billion in assets, the magazine said.
It said during the first half, the firm took in $7.3 billion in new money, boosting its assets by almost 17 percent. A year ago Bridgewater had $37 billion.
JP Morgan’s asset management unit ranks as the industry’s second-largest U.S.-based fund with $41 billion in assets, the magazine said. This was a $2.7 billion gain since January, thanks to strong inflows into the firm’s fund business.
Artist John Held Jr.‘s whimisical 1921 map of Westport is among those on display. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
The Westport Historical Society on Sunday debuts two exhibits that highlight Westport on paper and from the air.
Both exhibits—with an opening reception from 3 to 5 p.m.—continue the celebration of Westport’s 175th anniversary of becoming a township.
“Putting Westport on the Map,” curated by Bob Weingarten, takes a look at Westport using maps old and new, while “Zoom in on Westport” looks at the town today from the air, on the ground and through the eyes of children.
Included in the Betty & Ralph Sheffer Gallery map exhibit are an introduction to where the oldest maps were found, rare antique maps of pre-Colonial America and early American maps from private collections.
Because of predicted bad weather this evening, the Westport Library’s scheduled [email protected] Library talk tonight by Ann Brashares has been canceled and will be rescheduled at a later date.
The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for the Westport area until 6 a.m. Friday.
An advisory said southerly winds will continue to increase throughout the day.
Sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 60 mph are expected as early as late afternoon lasting through this evening, it said. The winds will diminish from west to east tonight.
Wind gusts of this magnitude will be capable of producing minor property damage as well as downed trees and power lines.
UPDATE Westport police reported a tree down at 119 Hillandale Road involving wires.
The road was reopened at 2:15 p.m.
Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff today ordered partial activation of the town’s Emergency Operations Center as forecasters predicted heavy rains and high winds will affect the area throughout the day and into Friday.
“We’ve been through this several times already this year and we want to make sure we are at peak readiness to respond to whatever may develop,” he said.
He ordered the center at Westport Fire Headquarters to open to accommodate department heads and staff as well as to better coordinate with Connecticut Light and Power Company representatives on power outages.
Joseloff said a mid-morning conference call with Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) officials included a weather briefing that said southwest Connecticut could expect the highest winds between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Connecticut’s Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) said today Gov. M. Jodi Rell has ordered activation of the state’s Emergency Operations Center in Hartford to coordinate storm response.
At the same time, Connecticut Light and Power Company (CL&P) said it is opening its Emergency Operations Center in Berlin and had more than 250 contractor line and tree crews ready to restore power to customers who may be affected by outages.
UPDATE A heavy band of rain passed through the Westport area shortly after 7 a.m. today causing scattered flooding at the start of what forecasters said would be 24 hours of potentially damaging heavy rains and winds.
Traffic was slowed southbound on I-95 at Westport’s Exit 17. View is from a traffic camera. DOT photo
Flooding was reported at the I-95, underpass on Compo Road South, along Cross Highway near Roseville Road, along Post Road East at Wilton Road, Wilton Road near the Red Barn restaurant, and Main and Canal Streets. The flooding abated as the bands moved eastward.
Forecasters said rains in the afternoon and into the evening could bring as much as 3 to 4 inches to the Westport area.
Wind gusts this morning were reported as high as 34 miles per hour and forecasters said they could reach as high as 60 mph later in the day and evening.
An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 24 Marine Ave. in the Saugatuck Shores area, is in process. Built in 1965, the two-story colonial has 1,920 square feet and is situated on a ,12-acre property. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
By Ina B. Chadwick
If you are headed to the Westport Country Playhouse at any time in the near future, not just for the stellar new production of “The Diary of Anne Frank,” but for any production, I advise you to sit far away from me, if you know me by sight.
Why? I am an eavesdropper, especially in our town’s homey, pretty fabulous looking theater. I am always a writer and reporter, trying to listen in on “everyman’s” thoughts to take the pulse of the Zeitgeist, you might say.
I like to write down people’s comments, just like that! Just as I heard them. Don’t worry, you may be shamed but you won’t be named.
I am not in the theater to critique the show, but rather to incorporate relevant social opinion as it pertains to the arts in this era—a snapshot of how as a town we relate to art, to culture, to each other. Your dialogues make me think. Make me react.
10 a.m. - Earthplace - Sasco Brook Pollution Abatement Committee
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Memory”
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. -
Imperial Avenue Parking Lot - Westport Farmers Market Canceled
5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. - Westport Senior Center - “Taking Charge of Your Wealth: Take Control of Your Portfolio”
7 p.m. - Town Hall Auditorium - Planning & Zoning Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7:15 p.m. - Town Hall Room 201/201A - Youth Commission
7:30 p.m. -
Westport Public Library - [email protected] Library: Ann Brashares, “My Name is Memory” Canceled
8 p.m. - Town Hall - Westport Community Theatre: “Enter Laughing”
8 p.m. - Westport Country Playhouse - “The Diary of Anne Frank”
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar
By James Lomuscio
Family and friends today described longtime Westporter Maura F. Marden who died at 53 Monday after a four-year battle with cancer as a heroic, inspirational and loving mom.
Maura Marden posed with her Team Pride II teammates at the Swim Across the Sound fund-raiser for St. Vincent’s Medical Center of Bridgeport last month. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Whether running for selectman, swimming across the Long Island Sound, fund-raising for Al’s Angels or cheering on her three boys at swim meets, she always evoked courage and optimism in spite of her health problems, they said.
“She was a fantastic candidate and a fantastic human being,” said John Izzo, the Republican candidate for first selectman who chose Marden as his running mate in 2001. “She was compassionate, thoughtful and a great friend, and she was a courageous woman.
“It took a brave candidate to go up against the highly popular (incumbent Democratic First Selectman) Diane Farrell,” he added about the election that Farrell won.
Staples Boys and Girls Cross Country triumphed today at a quad meet at St. Joseph’s in Trumbull. The girls took the top 11 spots to improve to 6-3 on the season. The boys were equally strong, taking the top nine and improving to 8-1. Pictured are the top seven girls finishers (l-r) Emily Harris, Emily Hanrahan, Rachel Myers, Ingrid Johnson, and Caroline Smith, and, blocked by their teammates, Judy Feng and Alex Popkin. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Staplesrunning.com photo
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
The Staples boys soccer team went ahead, fell behind, then roared back with three unanswered goals today in Stamford.
Mikey Scott fires a shot against Stamford today. He assisted on the game-winner in Staples’ 4-2 victory. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Carl McNair for WestportNow.com
The Wreckers’ 4-2 victory gives them plenty of momentum going into tomorrow’s match against undefeated, No.1-in-the-state Norwalk. That game is set for Thursday (4 p.m.) at Staples’ Loeffler Field, weather permitting.
Brendan Lesch gave Staples an early lead, off Lars Aanestad’s feed, but the hosts quickly equalized.
Stamford went ahead early in the second half, but strikes by Greg Gudis (from Frankie Bergonzi), Court Lake (off Mikey Scott’s long throw) and Gudis again (following Steve Smith’s pass) propelled the Wreckers to victory.
Sylvia S. Cooper of Westport, wife of the late Louis Cooper, passed away Sunday, Sept. 26 in Norwalk Hospital.
Mrs. Cooper was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. on May 13, 1913, daughter of the late Meyer and Regina (Gross) Siegler and has been a resident of Westport for 40 years.
Prior to moving to Westport, Mrs. Cooper was a resident of Wilton. During the 1950s, she owned and operated the Show of the Month Club. In 1960, Mrs. Cooper founded Fairfield County Show Bus and then Show Bus Tours.
Survivors include nieces, nephews and cousins. In addition to her husband, Mrs. Cooper was also predeceased by one sister and two brothers.
Westport officials today made preparations for what forecasters said could be a damaging wind and rain storm on Thursday.
“I was on a conference call two hours ago with the National Weather Service and we could get 3.5 inches of rain and wind gusts of 55 miles per hour or more,” First Selectman Gordon Joseloff told a late afternoon Board of Selectmen meeting.
He said forecasters said the heaviest winds could come between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. with torrential downpours of one inch or more per hour.
“This has the potential of being a very serious storm and Westporters need to take precautions,” he said.
Bernard X. “Mac” McGeady, 85, of Westport, husband of the late Lee (O’Connor) McGeady, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 28 at The Watermark, 3030 Park Ave., Bridgeport, surrounded by his family.
Mr. McGeady was born Feb. 23, 1925 in Brooklyn, N.Y., son of the late Bernard and Sarah (O’Donnell) McGeady and has been a resident of Westport 58 years.
He was a founding partner in the law firm of Toren, McGeady and Associates P.C. in New York City, retiring in 2008.
Mr. McGeady received his undergraduate degree in Engineering from Manhattan College and his Masters in Engineering from New York University. He went on to earn a law degree from St. John’s University
The Westport Board of Selectman today unanimously approved extending by one month the deadline for payment of sewer use fees from Sept. 1 to Oct. 1.
Without the extension, users would have incurred an interest penalty of 1.5 percent a month for payments made after Oct. 1
This is the first year the town has switched to charging users based on the amount of water used instead of the same charge for everyone. As a result about half of sewer users saw a decline in their annual bills while some reported more than a 200 percent increase.
The board met on Sept. 15 to review the charges (see WestportNow Sept. 15, 2010) and said it would look into the extension.
Westport’s Public Works Department removed the U.S. flags flying on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge today in advance of severe weather forecast for Thursday. Forecasters said Westport could get as much as 3.5 inches of rain and experience wind gusts up to 55 miles per hour. Most of the flags and flagpoles were destroyed in a severe thunderstorm in July. Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
UPDATE A Westport resident has tested positive for West Nile virus, the eighth Connecticut resident to contract the disease, state and local health officials said today.
The resident, who is between 50-59 years of age, became ill during the third week of September and is hospitalized for meningitis, the state Department of Public Health said.
The illness was characterized by fever, headache, nausea and vomiting, it said.
Laboratory tests performed at the Department of Public Health Laboratory identified the presence of antibodies to WNV in the patient’s cerebrospinal fluid, an announcement said.
The roads in the area of the Metro-North Westport station in Saugatuck near the Exit 17 northbound on-ramp are being resurfaced today by the state, resulting in a combination of one-lane traffic and detours away from Saugatuck Avenue. According to workers on site, the resurfacing will progress along Saugatuck Avenue toward Norwalk. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Maura F. Marden of Westport, a former Republican selectman candidate, died Monday at Yale-New Haven Hospital after a four-year battle with cancer. She was 53.
Maura Marden: fought four-year battle with cancer. Contributed photo
She was the running mate of First Selectman candidate John Izzo in the 2001 election against incumbent Democrats Diane Farrell and Carl Leaman. The Democrats won 71 percent to 29 percent.
The family provided the following obituary:
Maura F. Marden (aka Reenie to her family), age 53, of Westport, passed away peacefully Monday, Sept. 27, in the company of her husband, Bill (sometimes mistakenly known as “Big Bill”) her mom, and brothers and sisters, following a difficult battle with cancer.