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Thursday, August 04, 2005
Editor’s note: the following was broadcast on WSHU public radio. Jessica Bram is Westport writer.
By Jessica Bram
When my son David e-mailed me that his summer college internship had him living across from the Madrid train station where 89 morning commuters died during rush hour last year, I had only the briefest moment of unease. After all, I told myself, the simultaneous explosion of 10 bombs in Madrid’s public transportation system 16 months ago was now long in the past. Then I quickly turned my attention to David’s jubilant report of his host family’s perfect location two blocks from the Prado, of strange and wonderful Spanish customs such as dinner at 11, and discovering that eight years of classroom Spanish finally paid off. “I can understand them!” he marveled.
I rejoiced for my 19-year-old son at the prospect of this wondrous experience when he would leap into the world, unjaded and unafraid, to encounter strange customs and unfamiliar sounds, while stretching his young legs into adulthood. It brought back with crystal clarity my own summer after college in 1974, when I crisscrossed Europe with only a backpack, Eurailpass, and ripped-apart copy of Harvard’s “Let’s Go Europe.” I sometimes marvel at my own courage to have ventured out alone that way so young. But I don’t remember courage � only a dizzy intoxication at being footloose and utterly on my own in strange and wonderful foreign lands.
Monday, April 25, 2005
The Westport/Weston YMCA’s plans to move from its downtown Westport location to its Camp Mahackeno facility will be the subject of two talks before the Y’s Men and Y’s Women groups this week and next.
Richard A. Foot, YMCA executive director and CEO and members of his staff will address the Y’s Men of Westport/Weston at the group’s weekly meeting on Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Saugatuck Congregational Church, 245 Post Road East.
He will make a similar presentation on Monday, May 2, to the Y’s Women at their weekly meeting at 11 a.m. in the Board Room on the second floor of the YMCA’s Bedford Building, 59 Post Road East.
In both addresses, Foot will talk about the Y’s “Imagine the Possibilities” campaign to build a new full-facility Y to be located on the Y’s 32-acre Mahackeno campus and how it will serve the community now and in the future.
Foot will discuss the selection Robert A. M. Stern Architects to design the new Y and will present preliminary site concept drawings, according to announcements from the groups.
Sunday, April 24, 2005
Volunteers helped fix up the Compo Beach playground today to get it ready for the summer season. Many of the workers were from the original Compo Beach Playground Committee that worked to make the playground a reality in 1989. A new committee has been formed to update it next year. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Stephen Rubin for WestportNow.com
Among the volunteers helping to get the Compo Beach playground ready for the summer today were Toni Rubin (l) and Betsy Wacker. They both served on the original Compo Beach Playground Committee 16 years ago that built the present playground, which will undergo a makeover next year in a similar community-driven effort. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Stephen Rubin for WestportNow.com
Friday, April 22, 2005
To mark National Volunteer Week, the Voluntary Action Center of Mid-Fairfield tonight honored area volunteers, including seven from Westport, at a reception in Wilton. On behalf of the town, Westport Representative Town Meeting Moderator Gordon Joseloff presented certificates of appreciation to the honorees, including Sue Messervey of the Westport-based Music Theatre of Connecticut. She has been a volunteer with the group for more than 10 years, serving as parent producer, fund-raising chairman, and board member. Other Westporters honored included Geneva Bentley (Westport Health Care Center); Sally Berry (Girl Scout Council of South West Connecticut); Robert Halloran (Home Delivered Meals); Peter Silkowitz (March of Dimes); April Tome (Earthplace), and Jean Wells (Norwalk Hospital). (Editor’s note: Joseloff is also editor/publisher of WestportNow). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
While a new Compo Beach Playground Committee is busy preparing for design day to create a new playground at Compo Beach next April, the “original” Playground Committee headed by Jim Bennett and Rick Benson is organizing a maintenance day Sunday.
The work is needed to ensure the continued safety of the playground for the forthcoming summer season, said Benson, coordinator of the event.
“This will be a joint effort of the original playground committee, the Parks and Rec. Department, the Westport Young Women’s League, and the new playground committee to provide a hands-on experience of all working together for the new generation of children in Westport,” he said.
Volunteer sign up will be 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., work will be done 10 a.m. to noon, and then Joey’s by the Shore will be serving lunch noon until 2 p.m.
Monday, April 18, 2005
Sunday, April 17, 2005
Three Greens Farms Elementary School students did brisk business today along Soundview Drive across from Westport’s Compo Beach. The temperature hit 73F during the afternoon, drawing crowds of beachgoers.. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Friday, April 15, 2005
Two longtime Town of Westport employees are retiring soon and their friends and colleagues will honor them at a reception next month.
The event for Kathy Barnard, Planning and Zoning director, and Judy Nelson, director of the Westport Weston Health District, will be held Tuesday, May 24 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Inn at Longshore.
There will be hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Cost is $25 per person. Those wishing to attend are asked to RSVP by May 17 to Lorrie Tremonte, Westport Weston Health Distirct, 180 Bayberry Lane, Westport, CT 06880, or Nancy Curcio, Westport Planning and Zoning Department, 110 Myrtle Ave., Westport, CT 06880.
Please make checks payable to the Westport Weston Health District.
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Here is the text of a news release issued today by four Westporters on a telephone survey they commissioned about the location of a new home for the Westport/Weston YMCA:
OPINION SURVEY LOCATION OF PROPOSED WESTPORT Y APRIL 14, 2005
Survey results show Westporters Want Y at Baron’s South
Results of an opinion survey (“Survey”) by The Marketing Network of North Haven, CT were presented at the Westport Historical Society today. Survey results showed that:
72% OF THOSE WITH A PREFERENCE SUPPORT A SITE OTHER
THAN CAMP MAHACKENO
59% OF THOSE SURVEYED SUPPORT THE LEASE OF TOWN LANDS
AT BARON’S SOUTH TO THE “Y” AND ONLY 28% WERE OPPOSED;
AMONG “Y” MEMBERS SURVEYED, 67% MORE WERE PREPARED TO
CONTRIBUTE MONEY IN SUPPORT OF A NEW “Y” AT BARON’S SOUTH
THAN AT CAMP MAHACKENO.
(Click here for detailed results)
Westporters favoring the Y on Baron’s South today released this graphic showing results of a telephone survey they commissioned on the issue. Asked whether they had a preference for location of a new Y, 32 percent said Baron’s South, 20 percent said Mahackeno, 10 percent said along the Saugatuck in the commuter lot, 11 percent said “other,” and 28 percent had no preference. Click here for detailed results. (CLICK TO ENLARGE ) Contributed graphic
Four Westporters who favor Westport’s YMCA moving to the town-owned Baron’s South property held a news conference today to release the results of a telephone survey of 400 Westporters last week on the issue which they said showed most residents agreed with them. Pictured (l-r) are Andy Lozyniak, Ted Diamond, Roy Dickinson, and Donald Bergmann. Click here for detailed results. (CLICK TO ENLARGE ) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Dick Foot, executive director/CEO of the Westport/Weston YMCA, today discussed details of the Y’s planned move from its downtown headquarters to its Camp Mahackeno property. He told a forum for Y members that the organization’s plans for safe and uncongested access to the site include smart signalization to enhance traffic flow, two widened stacking lane connectors from Wilton Road, and a widened Sunny Lane. He said there will be no access to the site via neighboring streets, Rice’s Lane and River Lane, and that all access will be through Sunny Lane. (CLICK TO ENLARGE ) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
In a sure sign of spring, skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) have emerged in the woody wetlands along Westport’s Sturges Highway, south of Cross Highway. The skunk cabbage blooms long before any other spring wildflower. The name comes from the odor they release when moved. (CLICK TO ENLARGE ) Emily Laux for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Monday, April 11, 2005
More than 100 volunteers fanned out Sunday across Westport, Norwalk and Fairfield from Temple Israel to do “good deeds” as part of Temple Israel’s annual Mitzvah Day. They painted, planted and cleaned for organizations in Westport, Norwalk and Fairfield, including A Better Chance (spring cleaning and planting); Dress for Success and Operation Hope (painting and cleaning);and Habitat for Humanity (work in the group’s Bridgeport warehouse). At Temple Israel, volunteers scrubed, cleaned and restocked the kitchen.(CLICK TO ENLARGE ) Contributed photo
Sunday’s Court of Honor for three Eagle Scouts of Westport’s Troop 39 at Greens Farms Congregational Church was attended by three regional political leaders Bridgeport Mayor John Fabrizi, Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell and Norwalk Mayor Alex Knopp. (CLICK TO ENLARGE ) Lawrence Zlatkin for WestportNow.com
Westport’s Boy Scout Troop 39 held a Court of Honor today for new Eagle Scouts Codey Fitzgerald Foster, Dulany Foster IV, and Jeffrey Edward Philbin at Greens Farms Congregational Church. For their Eagle projects, the Fosters worked on improvements to the public footpath into Westport’s Winslow Park from Evergreen Avenue while Philbin worked on the beautification of Fairfield’s Fairchild Wheeler golf course. Those attending the ceremony included Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell, Mayor John Fabrizi of Bridgeport, and Mayor Alex Knopp of Norwalk. (CLICK TO ENLARGE ) Lawrence Zlatkin for WestportNow.com
Sunday, April 10, 2005
Thursday, April 07, 2005
Touched by the death of a young father at a local gym, teenagers at Westport’s Temple Israel are raising funds to purchase automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in an effort to create a safer community.
The teens have already raised more than $700 toward their $2100 goal and on Sunday plan a walk-a-thon to support their efforts.
The students thought they might be able to make a difference after hearing the story of a 42-year-old father of four small children who had died after a workout at a local gym.
Learning that his life might have been saved if a defibrillator had been available, the seventh graders decided to dedicate a yearlong tzedahak (charity) campaign to raise funds.
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
“Design Day,” the kickoff event for the rebuilding of Westport’s Compo Beach Playground, is scheduled for Wednesday, April 27.
“Design Day” will begin with children from the five Westport elementary schools sharing their expert adviceӔ and ideas for the new playground with John Dean of Leathers & Associates, Inc.
The New York firm, a leader in the field of community-built playgrounds, was selected for the Compo Beach playground rebuilding.
John Dean will spend the morning with the schoolchildren and then spend the afternoon drawing the initial designs for the site based on their ideas, according to an announcement by the Compo Beach Playground Committee.
Sunday, April 03, 2005
More than 200 birdhouses will be auctioned off today at Project Return’s 10th annual “The Art of the Birdhouse” auction at Westport’s Inn at Longshore. Jane Horton (l), co-chair of the auction, confers with auction committee member Totney Benson about placement of the items. Since opening its doors in 1986, Project Return has provided a family-style therapeutic environment for more than 115 troubled adolescent girls. (CLICK TO ENLARGE ) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Did you change your clock at 2 a.m. today? It’s daylight savings time and the Westport Fire Depertment reminds residents to “change your clock, change your batteries.”
The department, in conjunction with the Town of Westport, the Westport Firefighters’ Golf Tournament, and the Westport Rotary Club, is offering free nine-volt batteries to residents for their smoke detectors.
Bring your old batteries to Westport fire headquarters, 515 Post Road East, and exchange them for new ones—maximum three batteries per household. If you need assistance changing batteries, call (203) 341-5010 to come to your home—no fee.
Fire Marshall Fred S. Baker said the Town of Westport is indebted to the Firefighters’ Golf Tournament and the Westport Rotary Club for their efforts to make the town a better, safer community.
Saturday, April 02, 2005
The state legislature’s Judiciary Committee has approved a bill making it an infraction for a minor to possess alcohol on private property.
The bill also would prohibit anyone from knowingly permitting a minor to possess alcohol on private property or failing to make “reasonable efforts to halt such possession.”
The measure passed by a 33-0 vote Friday. Nine committee members five Republicans and four Democrats ֖ were absent, according to a summary posted on the Connecticut General Assembly Web site.
Sen. Andrew McDonald, a Stamford Democrat who is co-chair of the committee, said he expected the measure to come to the House floor within a couple of weeks. He acknowledged the bill was controversial and said passage could be “an uphill battle.”
Thursday, March 31, 2005
A Westport teen with her own two-room suite in her parents’ 7,000-square-foot 1930s Colonial-style home is featured in today’s New York Times.
The story, by Westport freelancer Andre Brooks, quotes a researcher for a home builders group as saying that kids’ suites in their parents’ home is one of the most popular trends in upscale housing now.
The Times said that Westport architect Bob Jacobs created the two-room suite with bathroom two years ago for his daughter, Emily, then 13.
“We wanted to create a situation where the kids would want to come to us rather than go elsewhere,” he said.
A deer running across traffic headed for I-95 at exit 18 in Westport today had a close call. Ron Malone for WestportNow.com
The Golden Hill Paugussett tribe, which has long sought federal recognition and hope of opening a casino in Bridgeport, has suffered another setback in its bid for federal recognition.
Westport is among a number of southwest Connecticut communities that have opposed establishment of a casino in Bridgeport.
Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton upheld the rejection of the tribe’s bid for federal recognition in a letter dated March 18 and released Wednesday
The Bureau of Indian Affairs has twice rejected recognition bids from the tribe. The tribe appealed the second rejection in September. A month later, an appeals board referred the matter to Norton.
Thursday, March 24, 2005
A charity operated by talk radio host and Westporter Don Imus has come under scrutiny of New York’s attorney general, according to Thursday’s New York Times.
The newspaper said Elliot Spitzer was looking into the business practices of the charity that runs a New Mexico ranch for seriously ill children.
Quoting “people briefed on the matter,” the Times said Spitzer has been reviewing accusations that Imus used the ranch for his personal getaway.
Asked about the matter, Imus told the newspaper that he and his wife ran the charity from New York and spent time at the ranch primarily when children were there to participate in the charity programs.
“We have a $30 million estate on the water in Westport, Conn.,” he said. “We’re hardly looking for a vacation spot.”
Thursday, March 17, 2005