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Saturday, December 13, 2003

Hands-On Advertising



Some retailers resorted to sign-carrying pedestrians to attract attention of Saturday shoppers today in Westport’s downtown area. WestportNow.com photo

   

12/13/03 07:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, December 12, 2003

P&Z Recommends Demolishing Allen’s Clam House



In a meeting that ended early today, the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission voted 7-0 to recommend demolishing the former Allen’s Clam House building. A developer had sought to reopen a smaller restaurant on the town-owned property while many area residents advocated demolishing the main building to make open space. WestportNow.com photo

   

12/12/03 05:32 AM Comments () • Permalink

Allen’s Clam House Long Subject of Controversy



The decision early today by the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission to recommend demolishing the former Allen’s Claim House building came after lengthy controversy. Town boards long debated what to do with the popular restaurant following purchase of the land by the town with assistance of public contributions. WestportNow.com photo

   

12/12/03 05:29 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, December 08, 2003

Report: Westport Oyster Proposal Scaled Back

A controversial proposal to harvest oysters off the Westport coastline using suspended cages goes before state regulators next week in a scaled-down version, according to the New Haven Register.

The newspaper said the proposal by Westport-based Mariculture Unlimited will be submitted to the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Dec. 15.

The company earlier this year applied to conduct operations on 366 acres of waters off of Westport and 155 acres off of Milford.

The reaction was swift and mostly negative. Westport boaters said it would seriously jeopardize their recreational activities on Long Island Sound.

The DEP told the firm to scale back its plan and, on Dec. 15, the revised proposal gets put on the table.

The revisions are substantial, said Peter Francis, a DEP analyst.

The Westport portion of the project is down to 91 acres and the Milford area is down to 83 acres, the newspaper said.

And unlike the original application which called for the deployment of all of the cages all at once ח the new proposal calls for the oyster cages to be submerged just below the surface of Long Island Sound over a three-year period, Francis said.

Mariculture is now proposing setting out 20 acres of oyster cages in Westport in the first year, about 25 acres the second and 46 acres in the final year.

The Milford deployment would be 15 acres in the first year, 12 acres in the second year and 56 acres in the third, the newspaper said.

   

12/08/03 04:09 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, November 28, 2003

Rainy, Foggy Weather Cuts into Main Street Sales



The hearty shoppers were out there, but Westport’s Main Street definitely suffered a slowdown in traffic today due to rainy, foggy weather on what normally is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. WestportNow.com photo

   

11/28/03 07:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, November 24, 2003

Smith & Hawken Set for Westport Debut


 

Workers busily prepare for Tuesday’s 10 a.m. opening of Smith & Hawken, the newest arrival to Westports commercial scene. The California-based chain will open its 55th garden and home accessories store in the building formerly occupied by KidsҒ Wear at 1045 Post Road East. The Westport store will be the third in Connecticut, in addition to one in New Canaan opened in 1995, and Glastonbury in 1999. WestportNow.com photos

   

11/24/03 07:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Judge Refuses to Dismiss Securities Fraud Charge Against Martha Stewart

With eight weeks to go before her trial, Westports Martha Stewart lost a round in federal court today in connection with insider trading-related charges against her.

U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum refused to dismiss a securities fraud charge against Stewart on First Amendment grounds, saying the government was entitled to prosecute her for statements she made.

Cedarbaum read the ruling from the bench at the start of a hearing. The government had insisted all five charges should be preserved.

The judge said she could not dismiss the securities fraud charge that accused Stewart of making false statements to protect the value of her company’s stock.

“Such false factual statements are not protected by the First Amendment,” Cedarbaum said.

Stewart, 62, is accused of conspiracy, obstructing justice, securities fraud and two counts of lying to investigators in connection with her Dec. 27, 2001, sale of about 4,000 shares of ImClone Systems stock. The judge also refused to throw out the obstruction charge.

The judge said the defense had challenged the obstruction of justice charge prematurely. She said it would be appropriate to do so only after the government had presented its case to a jury.

Stewart’s defense team claims the securities fraud count, in which the government accuses her of deceiving shareholders in her own company by saying she was innocent and was cooperating with investigators, is unconstitutional.

The lawyers also say the obstruction count should be dismissed because none of Stewart’s statements to investigators could have hindered the federal investigation into her stock sale.

The government says both charges are proper. And prosecutors have defended the securities fraud count by saying Stewart engaged in a pattern of lying to her own shareholders while the government was investigating the ImClone sale.

The charges against Stewart carry a potential prison term of 30 years, although she would get far less if convicted under federal sentencing guidelines.

   

11/18/03 09:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

Mutual Fund Probe Results in Westport Resignation

The widening investigation into mutual-fund trading agreements that hurt small investors has hit Westport.

The Denver-based Janus Capital Group said Janus International chief executive Richard Garland, 42, resigned on Monday. While not widely known to many Westporters, Janus International is headquartered on Westports Riverside Avenue.

Janus offered no formal explanation of why Garland left, in a statement equally lacking in praise for a hard-charging executive who built up $5.9 billion in overseas assets for the group, according to the Denver Post.

“Both Janus and Mr. Garland came to the view that it would be best if he left the company,” Janus spokesman Blair Johnson said. “We have accepted his resignation.”

Garland was at the center of a market-timing scandal that enveloped Janus and three other mutual-fund groups in early September.

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer alleged that Janus had allowed a New Jersey hedge fund, Canary Capital, to make short-term trades in the Janus High Yield and Mercury funds.

Market timers like Canary were allowed to trade quickly in and out of mutual funds, skimming returns that might have otherwise gone to long-term investors and adding costs.

More than 40 mutual-fund industry executives have either been fired, forced to resign or suspended because of their involvement in late trading or market timing, according to Bloomberg News.

   

11/18/03 12:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, November 16, 2003

NY Times Takes a Look at Newmans Own

Todays New York Times notes the publication of a new book tracing the history of the founding of the highly successful profit-for-charity food company NewmanҒs Own by Westporters Paul Newman and A. E. Hotchner (see WestportNow Oct. 26, 2003).

The lengthy business section piece covers familiar ground but also includes a few nuggets from both about their decades-long friendship, politics, Westport, and a public encounter with fellow Westporter Martha Stewart.

Hotcher relates that he has at times been pushed to the cusp of despair by Newman’s whims and high jinks.

“Oh, I’m beyond complaining,Ғ Mr. Hotchner says with a theatrical flourish. But he complains anyway, the report said.

The Times quotes Hotchner as saying the idea of watching Newman’s Own double in size over the next few years is particularly appealing. “Think of what we could do with the money,” he says.

Newman adds, ԓI just want to be able to give away more than Dick Cheney got in tax relief. That’s what I want.” The newspaper said after a slight dramatic pause, he and Hotchner burst out laughing.

The Times reporter was there as Hotchner, Newman, and his wife, Joanne Woodward, attended last months charity benefit and auction in Greenwich for the Westport Country Playhouse where Woodward is artistic director.

ғAt the auction, the two stars make their entrance before a pack of photographers, the newspaper said.

ԓMr. Hotchner arrives later and immediately announces that he is ready for a gin and tonic. He takes a look around and pronounces the crowd the other side of Westport, the money side, the WASP-y side. I don’t know anyone here.ђ

Just then, a woman runs up to give him a bear hug. It is Martha Stewart, who, as a caterer in Westport years ago, organized a successful taste testing for Newman’s Own salad dressing before it went on the market.

ӓThe founders credit her with a pivotal role in giving them the confidence to go forward.

They chat for a few minutes and make tentative plans for dinner. Perhaps, Ms. Stewart tells him, she could have the two men on her television show to talk about their book and their business.Ӕ

   

11/16/03 02:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, November 14, 2003

Halloween Castle Becomes Christmas Village


Last month it was Halloween Castle. Now it’s Christmas Village. The former Eddie Bauer store at the intersection of Main Street and Post Road East houses a temporary tenant until a permanent one can be found. WestportNow.com photo

   

11/14/03 04:28 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, November 10, 2003

ZBA: Allen’s Clam House Plan Not in Harmony with Neighborhood


The Zoning Board of Appeals, in rejecting an application today for variances related to erecting a small restaurant and outdoor eating deck on the former Allen’s Clam House property, said the plan was not in harmony with the neighborhood. The property has sat idle since the restaurant closed on the now town-owned land. WestportNow.com photo

   

11/10/03 08:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

ZBA Turns Down Allen’s Clam House Development Plan


The Zoning Board of Appeals, meeting in an unusual daytime session, today rejected by a 5-0 vote an application by a developer for a small restaurant and outdoor eating deck on the former Allen’s Clam House property. The town bought the property and had endorsed the application for variances. WestportNow.com photo

   

11/10/03 06:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Martha Stewarts New Turkey Hill Collection Shown

Martha Stewarts new Turkey Hill collection, named after her Westport home, drew much interest at the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, N.C.

A Knight-Ridder Tribune columnist reporting from the show said after making her furniture debut last year with a 250-piece line for Bernhardt Furniture, StewartҒs new 115-piece collection includes two bedroom, two dining room and 10 home-office pieces.
One of our favorites from the new collection is Irvington, a nickel-plated bed ($1,280 for queen size) that shines like mercury glass,Ӕ the report said.  It reflects the colors of the room and was shown with a mahogany dresser and chests, making for an inspiring study in contrasts.Ӕ

The Turkey Hill collection celebrates easy, comfortable living, where rooms are multifunctional and suited for various decorating options,Ӕ according to a Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia announcement of the new collection.

The inspiration for the collection is an 1805 farmhouse in historic Westport, Connecticut, which has been Martha Stewart’s home for more than 30 years.Ӕ

It added that traditional pieces have been updated in striking materials, rich colors, and soft, comfortable fabrics that enhance gathering places and workspaces alike. ӓ

“With our new Turkey Hill collection, consumers can enjoy modern interpretations of classic and traditional furniture styles that offer tremendous functionality and unlimited decorating possibilities,”  Stewart said in the announcement.

“Using beautiful, distinctive and practical materials—from lush upholstery fabrics to polished nickel finishes and porcelain enamel surfaces—we offer the homemaker an eclectic collection of furniture that works in any room in any home.”

The AP reported Stewart was present to show the collection to industry buyers and told them she was attached not only to her Westport home, but other properties she owns elsewhere.

“Some people like to collect paintings or dogs,” Stewart said. “I collect houses. It’s also because I can’t sell any of them, because it’s just too painful.”

The new collection will be available to customers at furniture retailers nationwide in April 2004.

   

11/08/03 02:43 PM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Martha Stewart ABC Interview: Sometimes I Have a Bad Temper

Westporter Martha Stewart says she sometimes has a bad temper. But in an ABC News interview airing Friday she insists she is innocent and should not be lumped with corporate fraud cases like Enron and WorldCom. “What I did was not against the rules,” Stewart told ABC’s Barbara Walters in a “20/20” interview, excerpts of which were released by the network today.

Martha Stewart chats with Barbara Walters. ABCNews.com photo
Asked whether she ever thought she would be considered a corporate criminal, mentioned in the same breath as Enron and WorldCom, Stewart said: “Absolutely not, and I certainly don’t belong in that category.” Stewart goes on trial Jan. 12 on charges she obstructed justice and lied to investigators about her sale of ImClone Systems stock on Dec. 27, 2001. In the interview, Stewart said she “sometimes, but not always” has a bad temper and can occasionally be insensitive and driven. But she said she does not know why some of the public does not like her. “Those traits and that behavior, if it were applied to a man, would be admirable. Applied to a woman, you know, she’s a ‘beetch,”’ Stewart said, according to the ABC transcript. “The people you think hate me don’t know me,” she tells Walters, “I don’t know why people don’t like me. I’m not perfect. “The perception that I am perfect I think got kind of mixed up with the idea that what we’re trying to teach is the best possible standard out there. So, if we’re going to make a cake, Barbara, my cake can’t be a flop. People won’t watch my show if I make a flop. I’m not a comedy show. I’m a how-to show.” The excerpts were released as Manhattan federal prosecutors filed court papers urging the judge overseeing the case to preserve all five counts in the criminal indictment of Stewart returned in June. Stewart had asked U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum to dismiss an obstruction-of-justice charge and a securities fraud charge that accused Stewart of deceiving her shareholders when she spoke about the investigation last year. The prosecutors said Stewart’s motion to dismiss the securities fraud count was “frivolous,” was without legal precedent and “flies in the face of common sense.”

   

11/06/03 02:10 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Westporter Bursts into Tears at Rosie ODonnell Trial

A Westport cancer survivor burst into tears in a New York courtroom today when she testified that Rosie O’Donnell had suggested she was lying about goings-on at her now-defunct magazine and told her that liars get cancer.

Cindy Spengler, a Hillspoint Road resident who was head of marketing at the glossy monthly, said O’Donnell made the remark after a meeting to discuss the magazine’s problems, according to an AP report.

Spengler said O’Donnell called and told her that her silence in the meeting was tantamount to lying.

“You know what happens to people who lie,” the witness quoted O’Donnell as saying. “They get sick and they get cancer. If they keep lying, they get it again.”

Spengler testified in Manhattan’s State Supreme Court, where O’Donnell and “Rosie” publisher Gruner+Jahr USA are suing each other for breach of contract.

She told O’Donnell, “Your mother died of breast cancer. Was she lying?”

“Yes,” Spengler quoted the entertainer as replying.

O’Donnell said her mother had lied about a “childhood incident” involving the entertainer, according to the testimony.

O’Donnell’s publicist, Cindi Berger, said Spengler was talking about lies the actress’ mother told about O’Donnell being molested by a male relative as a child. She refused to give details, but said the incident is in “Find Me,” her autobiography.

Berger said O’Donnell later apologized for the remark to Spengler, who testified that she herself had survived breast cancer. Spengler is now a G+J marketing vice president.

   

11/05/03 08:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

It’s Already Beginning to Look a lot Like ...


The leaves are still falling off the trees but for this Main Street store it’s not too early to think about the holiday season. WestportNow.com photo

   

11/05/03 04:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, October 26, 2003

A Westport Restaurant Almost Doomed Newmans Own

Westporters Paul Newman and A. E. Hotchner almost opened a restaurant in their hometown instead of starting Newmans Own two decades ago. And charities would have been millions poorer.

ThatҒs one of the tales from a new book the actor and writer have authored about their successful food venture and highlighted in this weeks Newsweek.

Called ғShameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good, the book tells how the two became accidental entrepreneurs and launched a company that now sells dressing, pasta sauce, popcorn and more in eight countries, all to the benefit of charities.

They were interviewed by NewsweekԒs Jennifer Barrett.

Excerpt:
   
      Barrett: Why write this book now?
      Newman: Well, were passing one landmark. [This month] weҒll be giving away our 150 millionth dollar. So, a lot of the book people have asked us to do some kind of history about this business.
     
      Youve been quoted as saying, ғThere are three rules for doing businessfortunately, we donגt know any of them.
      Hotchner: Actually, my favorite is: ԓIt is useless to put on the brakes when youre upside down.Ҕ
      Newman: The one I like best is, When things look darkest then they go black.Ӕ 
   
      You mention in the book that you originally intended to open a restaurant in Westport, Conn., called Newmans Own, but were talked out of it by a former restaurant owner. Any thoughts still about opening a restaurant?
      Newman: We can barely handle what weҒve got.
      Hotchner: How close were we then?
      Newman: I dont think we were more than 28 percent there.
      Hotchner: [Laughs] Well, we are never more than 28 percent there. Seriously, if there had been a really good location, we might have done the restaurant instead of all of this.

   

10/26/03 04:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Ed Mitchell Stars in High Price Home Movie

Todays Wall Street Journal cites the family of Ed Mitchell in a story about baby boomers, faced with aging parents, scrambling against time to make a permanent record of the family lore.

But instead of picking up a video camera and firing off a list of questions, the newspaper says some boomers are hiring production companies to turn these tales into glossy documentaries.

Excerpt: ғEd Mitchell, who started a clothing store in Westport, Conn., back in the 1958, just finished appearing in the movie version of his life, Second to None: We Started with Three Suits; The Ed Mitchell Story.ђ

His family hired Reel Biography to make the film, as a tribute to the 98-year-old family patriarch.

ӓA crew of four spent two days taking footage of the shop and interviewing Mr. Mitchell’s family, friends and customers. The result was two videos, 10-minute and 30-minute versions.

Filming for the ӑSecond to None had some of the trappings of a Hollywood shoot, from the makeup and hair touchups to the tedious set arranging.

ғAt one session, Mr. Mitchell’s two sons, Bill and Jack, redo again and again what will be the introduction to the film.

Take one: Bill stumbles over his words. Take 2: The cameraman tells Bill he is smacking the microphone with his gesticulations, ruining the sound.

ӓTake 3: The more gregarious Bill hogs the spotlight. We want Jack to say something too,Ғ the producer says. Take 4: They nail it. It is beyond words and my capacity to thank you, Dad,ђ Bill begins.

   

10/23/03 03:41 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, October 20, 2003

Martha Stewart Wins Legal Victory

Martha Stewart won a legal victory today with a federal court judge ruling that prosecutors may not use an e-mail she wrote to her lawyer last year as evidence at her forthcoming trial on insider trading-related charges.

U.S. District Court Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum ruled the Westport resident did not waive the e-mail’s protected status when she forwarded it to her daughter, Alexis, a day after sending it to her attorney.

The e-mail, dated June 23, 2002, contains Stewart’s account of why she sold ImClone Systems stock in late 2001. The sale was under investigation in 2002, and Stewart was later indicted on five criminal counts.

A federal prosecutor came across the e-mail earlier this year in preparation for Stewart’s trial, scheduled for Jan. 12, and asked the judge to clarify whether it could be used as evidence.

Cedarbaum ruled the e-mail deserved the legal protection of attorney work product —a designation that means the government cannot use it as evidence at her trial.

The judge said the e-mail does not disclose Stewart’s legal strategy, but she rejected the government’s argument that the e-mail “would have taken the same form if created for a nonlitigation purpose.”

In an affidavit, Stewart called her daughter “the closest person in the world to me.”

“She is a valued confidante and counselor to me,” Stewart said. “In sharing the e-mail with her, I knew that she would keep its content strictly confidential.”

The government says Stewart sold ImClone shares on Dec. 27, 2001, because she was tipped that the family of ImClone founder Sam Waksal, a Stewart friend, was trying to sell its shares.

   

10/20/03 08:52 PM Comments () • Permalink

Martha Stewart Wins Legal Victory

Martha Stewart won a legal victory today with a federal court judge ruling that prosecutors may not use an e-mail she wrote to her lawyer last year as evidence at her forthcoming trial on insider trading-related charges.

U.S. District Court Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum ruled the Westport resident did not waive the e-mail’s protected status when she forwarded it to her daughter, Alexis, a day after sending it to her attorney.

The e-mail, dated June 23, 2002, contains Stewart’s account of why she sold ImClone Systems stock in late 2001. The sale was under investigation in 2002, and Stewart was later indicted on five criminal counts.

A federal prosecutor came across the e-mail earlier this year in preparation for Stewart’s trial, scheduled for Jan. 12, and asked the judge to clarify whether it could be used as evidence.

Cedarbaum ruled the e-mail deserved the legal protection of attorney work product —a designation that means the government cannot use it as evidence at her trial.

The judge said the e-mail does not disclose Stewart’s legal strategy, but she rejected the government’s argument that the e-mail “would have taken the same form if created for a nonlitigation purpose.”

In an affidavit, Stewart called her daughter “the closest person in the world to me.”

“She is a valued confidante and counselor to me,” Stewart said. “In sharing the e-mail with her, I knew that she would keep its content strictly confidential.”

The government says Stewart sold ImClone shares on Dec. 27, 2001, because she was tipped that the family of ImClone founder Sam Waksal, a Stewart friend, was trying to sell its shares.

   

10/20/03 08:52 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Eddie Bauer Becomes Halloween Castle


The former Eddie Bauer store on the corner of Post Road East and Taylor Place has taken on a haunted look as it reopened this week as Halloween Castle. The short-term occupants will sell holiday decorations beginning next month. WestportNow.com photo

   

10/18/03 01:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, October 13, 2003

Martha is Scared but Doesnt Think SheҒll Go to Jail


Barbara Walters interviews Martha Stewart. ABC News.com photo
Westporter Martha Stewart, in her first interview since she was indicted in a stock-trading scandal in June, says she is scared but does not believe she will go to prison. The comments, released today by ABC News, came in an interview conducted over the weekend by Barbara Walters that will air in November, two months before Stewart’s scheduled trial. “Who wouldn’t be scared?” Stewart said, according to the ABC excerpt. “Of course I’m scared. The last place I would ever want to go is prison. And I don’t think I will be going to prison, though.” ABC did not release further excerpts or say where the interview took place.

   

10/13/03 06:43 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Restaurant Scene: Fairfield County Weekly Likes Blue Lemon Because Advocate Didnt

This weeks Fairfield County Weekly gives a positive review to WestportҒs Blue Lemon restaurant in Sconset Square, pointedly citing a poor review in The Advocate of Stamford.

Excerpt: Don’t believe what you read. Especially if it’s a restaurant review written by a ӑspecial correspondent for the Stamford Advocate, who shall remain nameless, and who writes as if her palate and food sensibilities were forged by an affliction for tuna casseroles and Chicken a la King.

ҔHowever, a bad reviewer can be a good reverse barometer. Which is what I told my husband and son when they wondered why I wanted to give Blue Lemon a try after the Advocate panned it.

   

10/11/03 05:38 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, October 10, 2003

Well-Known Westport Building Changes Hands for $5.3 Million


A well-known Westport building at the intersection of Post Road West and Riverside Avenue has changed hands for $5.3 million. The building, 5-23 Post Road West, was sold this week by an investment group, Riverside Corners LLC, to another investment group, 5-23 West Post Road LLC. The building previously changed ownership in 1998 for $4.7 million. Tenants include Bridge Cafe and Age of Reason toy store. The second floor contains apartments. WestportNow.com photo

   

10/10/03 08:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Judge Denies Prosecutor Request to Delay Civil Cases Against Martha

Prosecutors getting ready for Januarys trial of WestportҒs Martha Stewart on federal criminal charges related to insider trading have suffered a setback.

The prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge John E. Sprizzo to delay civil cases against Stewart, arguing that the litigation could damage their criminal obstruction of justice case, according to the AP.

In denying their request, the judge said Martha Stewart is no John Gotti.

In public documents obtained Wednesday, Sprizzo ruled prosecutors cannot stop civil lawyers from interviewing 15 witnesses. Prosecutors claim the interviews will give Stewart’s criminal defense lawyers an unfair advantage.

“This is not the strongest obstruction case I have ever seen, just going by your own U.S. attorney’s comments on it,” Sprizzo, who is presiding over the civil cases, told lead criminal prosecutor Karen Seymour at a Sept. 30 hearing. “This is not John Gotti.”

Gotti, who died last year, presided over the Gambino crime family before he was prosecuted on charges that put him in prison for life.

Stewart has pleaded innocent to charges of obstruction of justice and securities fraud. Her criminal trial is set to begin Jan. 12. No date has been set for the civil trial.

   

10/09/03 05:09 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Cablevision Trivia Game Doesn’t Mute Brown Bag Criticism


Cablevision Area V.P. Tad Diesel brought a trivia game and a folksy presentation to today’s Brown Bag lunch at Town Hall. But it wasn’t enough to mute some harsh criticism of increases in the company’s cable and Internet service rates from many of those attending. WestportNow.com photo

   

10/08/03 05:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, October 06, 2003

Martha Stewart Makes Bid to Toss Out Charges

Westports Martha Stewart asked a federal judge today to toss out two of five counts against her in an indictment surrounding her sale of ImClone shares in 2001 just before the stock plunged. Stewart, in papers filed in Manhattan federal court, asked the judge to dismiss one count of securities fraud and one count of obstruction of justice. She is also charged with two counts of false statements and one of perjury.

Martha Stewart’s mom celebrated her 89th birthday on Sept. 16. Stewart and niece Sophie Herbert made a white birthday cake with Italian meringue frosting and fresh red raspberries. Marthatalks.com photo
The indictment accuses Stewart of selling shares of ImClone stock on Dec. 27, 2001, because she had been illegally tipped that the family of company founder Sam Waksal was planning to sell shares. Stewart and stockbroker Peter Bacanovic, who was indicted with her in June, have pleaded innocent. The securities fraud count alleges Stewart deliberately deceived shareholders in her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, when she declared in 2002 that she was innocent and was cooperating with investigators. “This charge is unprecedented in the 70-year history of the federal securities laws,” Stewart’s lawyers, Robert Morvillo and John Tigue, said in a statement. The lawyers also say the obstruction count should be dismissed because none of Stewart’s statements to investigators hindered the federal investigation into her stock sale. The government has until Nov. 5 to respond to the filing. Arguments are set for Nov. 18, and Stewart and Bacanovic are to go to trial Jan. 12. Continuing her public defense, Stewart posted the court filing on a Web site she has used to air her side of the story. Stewart also posts supportive e-mails from fans and newspaper columns that argue she is innocent.

   

10/06/03 11:12 PM Comments () • Permalink

Connecticut DEP Knows Where the Money Is: It Grows on Trees

Theyre called foliage fans or leaf peepers. But whatever you call them, they mean dollars for Connecticut.

And thatҒs why the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is going all out to attract them. It knows very well that in this case, money does grow on trees.

The DEP, which has cut back services and hours at many of Connecticuts state parks, including Sherwood Island in Westport, due to budget reductions, has set up a special Web site to attract people who like to see the fall foliage colors in the state.

It even gives up-to-the-minute tracking of the best places to see the changing colors. Peak color is estimated to be between Oct. 12 and Oct. 18.

The site also suggests routes visitors can take on car trips around the state to see the foliage, including a 115-mile route called ғScenic Fairfield.

It starts at exit 38 of the Merritt Pakway in Norwalk, goes north toward Danbury, east to Woodbury, and eventually back to the Merritt at WestportԒs exit 42 on Weston Road.

The Web site also details hiking and biking routes and even explains why leaves change colors. Links to nine state parks and forests equipped with viewing towers or lookouts have been added to the site since last year.

The state effort competes with some private sites, including The Foliage Network, which also plots the color change across various parts of he country.

About 2.8 million people from out of state visit Connecticut in the fall, the second highest total in New England, Ed Dombroskas, executive director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism, told the AP.

“Leaf peeping is really a big part of it,” he said, adding that tourism is a $10 billion industry in Connecticut, with about 40 percent in the fall.

   

10/06/03 03:04 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Measuring the Economy: Fewer Westport Hair Appointments

Todays Hartford Courant takes a look at real ways to measure the economy. One of them, it says, is hairstyling appointments in Westport.

ғKathy Sirico, whose husband co-owns Greg & Tony’s Salon in Westport, says clients have been stretching out their hair appointments, letting their roots get a little darker before coming back for highlights to save some dollars, the newspaper reported.

   

10/05/03 08:57 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, October 03, 2003

Main Street Gets a New Deli: Katzenberg Kafe

Downtown deli aficionados have long had one destination Oscar’s Deli. But now there is another deli on the other end of Main Street—Katzenberg Kafe.

The cafe and full-service deli is located at 22 Main St. in space long occupied by Coffee Tree and then Moonstruck.

Boasting of “specialty coffee and very special food,” Katzenberg’s is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and offers free delivery. There is also a special menu for kids, Katzy’s Kids Club.

Other Katzenberg Kafes are in Greenwich, Darien and Scarsdale, N.Y. Proprietors are Mark Katzenberg and Bruce Katz.

   

10/03/03 08:19 PM Comments () • Permalink

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