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Letters

Letters

WestportNow welcomes letters from readers on matters pertaining to Westport and Westporters. Those of 300 words or less are given preference. Letters are edited for grammar, clarity, and accuracy. Publication shall be at the sole discretion of WestportNow. Third-party or anonymous letters, those signed with a pseudonym, or letters appearing in other publications are not published.

A postal address, e-mail address if available, and day and evening telephone numbers are required for verificiation purposes, although this information is not published. Letters may be submitted by e-mail to , via fax at (203) 286-2099, or by mail to 150 North Ave., Westport, CT 06880.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Letter: Summer Noise Makes Resident ‘Pray for Winter’

To the Editor:

The noise in my neighborhood between Long Lots and Cross Highway over the past few years has become unbearable. Being outside during the summer before 7 p.m. is pretty much a no-hoper, at least where I live.

It is either a chain saw, a huge tree shredder, the reverse alarm on a large truck, a leaf blower, a lawn mower or somebody getting their septic drained. It never seems to stop and has me eager to get out of town or praying for winter, which is weird.

Maybe we have just had some bad luck and it will change. Maybe it is not so bad in other parts of Westport. But it seems a helluva way to live, particularly given the price of living here.

I am curious if others have a similar experience and if there is anything that might be done.

Gerard MacDonell,
Westport

   

08/16/17 06:17 PM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Letter: Senior Activities Committee Issues Invitation

To the Editor:

The Enhancement Committee of the Westport Center for Senior Activities, 21 Imperial Ave., is excited to invite you to an ice cream social on Tuesday, July 11 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. 

Following the social, we hope you will join us at the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) at Town Hall at 7:30 p.m. as the RTM considers our request for funding for our enhancement/expansion project. This is the last step in funding approvals as we inch our way towards groundbreaking. 

The Enhancement Committee would like to thank everyone who has supported this project to date; whether it was writing a letter of support, calling an elected official, attending a meeting or by making a donation. Thank you. We look forward to seeing you on July 11.

Stan Nayer, Co-Chair
Lynn Goldberg, Co-Chair
Leslie Wolf. Vice - Chair
Westport

   

06/28/17 03:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, June 12, 2017

Letter: Thanks From the Superintendent

To the Editor:

Education and the pursuit of learning have been my lifelong profession. Last Friday night, at the Westport Pops Concert, I had an epiphany that dramatized and clarified our educational mission in Westport.

In its aftermath, I am still processing the profound impact that event had on me and on the entire audience.  Beyond the exquisite music performed, the evening sent powerful messages to our students. 

They were told that their music is cherished, their hard work to perfect their talent is honored, and with such distinguished guest host, James Naughton and Lincoln Center’s Andrew Wilk as their guest conductor, they were told that they could be anything they wished to be.  This evening under the stars taught each one of them that the stars are reachable.

Too few students in public education are afforded such extraordinary pathways to success. To everyone who contributed to this extraordinary evening, I extend the gratitude of the Westport Board of Education and our entire district. 

Colleen Palmer
Westport Superintendent of Schools

   

06/12/17 09:58 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Letter: Support Your Local Firefighters

To the Editor:

The Board of Finance and First Selectman have written a few notices lately regarding the town budgets, and I just feel a few things have gotten lost in the shuffle. 

My husband went to Town Hall the other day so his fellow firefighter could turn in his retirement papers. He has served this town for 38 years. He did this not because he wants to retire, but because he has to. 

It was a sad moment for everyone. This is years of experience walking out the door, and he is not alone. They are all facing significant reductions in benefits.

The Firefighters Union and the town are still in arbitration over their contract. My husband has been a firefighter in this town for over 20 years. He did not take this job to be wealthy. He took this job because he cares about this town.

More "Letter: Support Your Local Firefighters"

   

05/23/17 11:06 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Letter: BOE Says RTM Vote Investment in Future

To the Editor:

This week’s vote by the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) is an investment in the future of our town, our schools, and our children It also sends a strong signal of support to Dr. Palmer, our outstanding new superintendent, and her vision for an academically-thriving, fiscally-disciplined, and kind organization.

We’d like to thank the many, many members of the Westport community, including our wonderful students, who were engaged and effective throughout this budget process.

We also would like to thank all of the hard-working, thoughtful volunteers on the PTA, RTM, and Board of Finance who help keep our schools on a track of continuous improvement.  Most importantly, we’d like to thank the truly excellent staff of the Westport Public Schools who meet the mission for our children every day.

Westport Board of Education

Michael Gordon, Chair
Jeannie Smith, Vice Chair
Elaine Whitney, Secretary
Karen Kleine
Mark Mathias
Vik Muktavaram
Candice Savin

Westport

   

05/04/17 10:13 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Letter: Thank You for Restoration of Educational Funds

To the Editor:

I want to send out two massive thank you messages to our town. All of our town.

First, thank you to the RTM for delivering this rare supermajority vote to restore more money back to our great schools than the Board of Finance was willing to do. Secondly, a big heartfelt shout out to all the parents, PTA, and especially the students for engaging in this process.

I am proud that our petition, just one month old, gave people a voice. In that short time to secure over 1,700 online signatures and more than 500 written signatures is an achievement for the community — not for me.

To have more than 500 written comments from the public in one document was more than we expected or asked for. To see our students stand up to speak, one after another last night, made me proud for all of our town and its future.

More "Letter: Thank You for Restoration of Educational Funds"

   

05/03/17 01:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Letter: Signs Gone But Campaign More Active

To the Editor:

It was great to see our signs on WestportNow today.

Unfortunately, every single sign about the school budget on North Avenue was removed — presumed stolen — overnight. I contacted the police, and they were clear they would not have removed them.

WestportNow.com Image
Some of the signs on North Avenue before they disappeared overnight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

It’s great that you were able to post a picture before these signs that were intended to promote a local issue and tonight’s public meeting were removed.

Rather than get angry, our campaign is getting more active. We don’t have time or the money to print and replace the signs. So we are getting creative and doing everything we can to promote tonight’s important town meeting.

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05/02/17 01:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Letter: Let the Coyotes Be

To the Editor:

Nature and its wildlife are under siege.  We also are witnessing a new generation of children who regard the outdoors as “a place that doesn’t get Wi-Fi.”

WestportNow.com Image
What appeared to be a coyote was spotted last month by a surveillance camera outside a house on Woodside Avenue in Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

When Richard moved to Fairfield County almost a decade ago, he was told by neighbors not to leave his young children outside at dusk because coyotes might eat them.

At the time, this sounded amusing—-who leaves their two-year-olds alone anywhere, much less outdoors.

Fast forward to the present. Not a day goes by where someone confesses that they are afraid to go outside because of the “coyote problem.” Worse yet, some are even arming themselves just in case.

More "Letter: Let the Coyotes Be"

   

04/18/17 09:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, March 31, 2017

Letter: Despite Budget Cuts, ‘We’re in Good Hands’

To the Editor:

Budget cuts or not, we’re in good hands.

Recently many have been worried about the future of our schools. I’ve been looking for a way to explain why I’m not worried about the future of our schools — not yet anyway, and tonight I found it.

I don’t know what will happen with our budget, but I know that our students will always be in good hands and in great schools regardless.

In support of fellow WEMS volunteer Ben Frimmer and several kids that I’ve watched over the years, I went and saw Coleytown Company’s performance of “Cinderella” — directed by Ben and put on by the kids of Coleytown Middle School.

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03/31/17 07:59 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, March 27, 2017

Letter: Town ‘Remains Committed’ to Providing Excellent First Responder Pensions

(Editor’s note: The following letter is in response to one earlier today from the wife of a Westport firefighter who, in turn, was responding to a letter from Board of Finance members.)

To the Editor:

The Town of Westport respects the important and challenging role that its firefighters play in keeping our citizens safe.

Unfortunately, in the face of recent, unprecedented increases in pension and retiree health insurance costs in recent years, the town had to ask the fire union to consider adjustments to several pension provisions that appear to go beyond what is typically found in a municipal fire pension. 

At the same time, the fire union also sought enhancements to its pension. After months of negotiations, the town and fire union were unable to reach agreement.

More "Letter: Town ‘Remains Committed’ to Providing Excellent First Responder Pensions"

   

03/27/17 07:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

Letter: Response to BOF Members Letter Re BOE Budget

Dear Board of Finance Members:

I’ve read your letter dated March 26 posted on WestportNow.com. I am … it’s hard to put into words. Disgusted? Confused? Disheartened? Although perhaps not for the reasons you would hope to have accomplished by publishing this letter.

I agree that Westport residents should not have to pay for the mistakes made by the state. That being said, do the Westport residents know the whole picture of what else is going on in our town? “Education” is a big trigger word for this town, for myself as well.

I have a child in the Westport Public School system, and am disheartened every year by budget cuts. I would get into the details regarding those disappointments, but that isn’t what this letter is about.

Do the residents realize what is happening with our local first responders? Do they know that this town, with all it claims to offer, is asking that the new contract for our first responders cancel benefits to their families in case of a line of duty death? And this is only one of many items listed.

More "Letter: Response to BOF Members Letter Re BOE Budget"

   

03/27/17 11:43 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Letter: BOF Members Say Tell State Westport Is Not Its Piggy Bank

(Editor’s note: The following letter is from six Board of Finance members. Member John Hartwell decided not to participate)

Dear Westport Resident:

Westport has worked hard to prudently manage its finances and tax base. All branches of our town government, many elected officials and volunteers, have worked collaboratively, on behalf of all residents, to ensure we have a high quality of life at a cost all residents and businesses can afford. Sadly, maintaining this balance will be more difficult in the future.   

Today we are faced with grim economic news from the State of Connecticut. This is not a one-off problem and it will continue for years to come. Because of our state government’s inability to manage its budget and to control spending resulting in a projected deficit of over $1.5 billion next year alone, Westport finds itself in a difficult position.

Instead of tackling a state government that has grown too large and too expensive for the residents of Connecticut, the state is largely trying to solve its budget problems by shifting costs to towns. 

First, the state is decreasing or totally eliminating payments it has made to Westport for either education or other services which equals $3 million-$4 million in 2018 alone. We assume this revenue from the state, which directly supplemented our operating budgets, is permanently gone.

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03/26/17 11:10 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, February 10, 2017

Letter: Thank You to Public Works

WestportNow.com Image
To the Editor: Thank you Westport Department of Public Works for the job it does in removing snow from our streets. Just one block away from my home (and one town away-Norwalk) the roads are treacherous. — Pipa Bell Ader, Westport (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo by Pippa Bell Ader

   

02/10/17 10:29 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, November 11, 2016

Letter: More Taxes Next Year for CT Residents

To the Editor:

In a recent memo to the agency heads in Connecticut from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s Budget Director Benjamin Barnes, he details his projections for the upcoming fiscal budget in 2018 (July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018).  These projections show a deficit of over $1.1 billion. Based on information I was able to find, the budget deficit will be much higher.

Driving the huge upcoming budget deficit is significant growth in fixed costs the state cannot avoid. The increase comes from rising costs in debt service, teacher pension plan, state employee fringe benefits and OPEB, Medicaid and other entitlements and pay increases forecasted for the new collective bargaining agreement. 

Adding to the upcoming deficit, the budget director is also forecasting a drop in state revenue, due to the continuing decline in Connecticut state income tax receipts.  His total projected budget deficit starting July 1, 2017 is $1.162 billion.

However, based on several recently published reports, the upcoming budget deficit will be much higher than the budget director’s projections. Just last week, in a new actuarial analysis of Connecticut’s teacher pension plan, state contributions need to increase by an additional $47 million more than what is in the budget director’s projection. 

More "Letter: More Taxes Next Year for CT Residents"

   

11/11/16 07:07 PM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Letter: ‘We Have to Change Our Attitude as a Community’

To the Editor:

Last Wednesday, I dropped my kid off at Staples High School at 7:25 a.m. and headed for the Merritt. The traffic has been extra heavy due to the construction at Cross Highway and Compo Road North, so when I turned onto Weston Road I was in bumper to bumper stop and go traffic. 

Gazing into the Audi convertible in front of me, I realized that there were moving images on the GPS display. I looked more carefully and saw that the driver had his cell phone propped up in the display area and was live streaming a talk show to watch while “driving.” 

Sitting there in traffic, I watched the eyes of the Audi driver in his rear view mirror and he was barely glancing at the road: so much so that when the car in front of him took his turn at the stop sign, the Audi driver coasted right through behind almost getting t-boned by the car from Main Street, who had the right of way.

Even more alarming is that the Audi driver got on to the Merritt, pulled into the left lane and sped away.  I prayed that he got to his destination safely and without hurting anyone else.

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09/18/16 10:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Letter: Backs Westport Contractor in Norwalk Dispute

To the Editor:

Today I attended a rally in Norwalk in support of A. J. Penna & Son. The Pennas own a third-generation family business that employs 50 people. They are emergency contractors who serve CL&P, Aquarion Water, and the towns of Norwalk and Westport, among others.

The CT Department of Transportation wants to replace the 120-year old Walk Railroad Bridge in Norwalk at a cost of roughly $1 billion.

As part of the plan, they want to take the Penna property as well as the property of 16 others, by eminent domain. 

The price being offered as compensation to the Pennas is virtually nothing. Alternatives to this costly plan are being dismissed out of hand. The Pennas’ small but strategically vital business is being threatened.

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09/07/16 02:57 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Letter: Unhappy With Sound Levels at Levitt

To the Editor:

Growing up in Westport, we took vacations with Mortimer Levitt and his family.  He was an honorable and gracious man who loved Westport, hence his gift of the music pavilion.

Unfortunately, his dream has failed to manifest, particularly since the redesign, the way he’d envisioned. And Mortimer would roll over in his grave of he were a half mile away as I am tonight.

Families have had to check into hotels because they couldn’t get their kids to bed. When I along with two others who reside in downtown Westport met with the first selectman, chief of police, the man who runs the soundboard at the Levitt, and the two women who administer the Levitt, they promised to monitor the noise level. We told them all that story of families faced with an untenable situation.

The administrators said they’d not yet acquired the decibel monitor, and I shared with them an app on my phone which does just that. This summer new guidelines were instituted. Supposedly. Those guidelines and monitoring should have happened from the day the Levitt opened.

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08/27/16 10:02 PM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Letter: Developer’s Letter Re Center St. ‘Inaccurate’

Editor’s note: this letter is in response to one by Robert Haroun published on Aug. 15. (See WestportNow Aug. 15, 2016)

To the Editor:

The Historic District Commission (HDC) has worked successfully with Rob Haroun of SIR Development on a number of successful preservation efforts and he has been the recipient of Historic Preservation awards from our annual program.

WestportNow.com Image
This house at 21[-25] Center St. is scheduled for demolition. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The HDC worked diligently with Mr. Haroun and his architect, Mr. William Achilles, to refine and encourage the adoption of their amendment No. 711 to Supplementary Use Regulation 32-18 intended to encourage the preservation of historic residential structures, to permit them to subdivide a non-conforming property to establish a third lot and to save one historic house.

Mr. Haroun has written a letter to the editor published in WestportNow that inaccurately describes the outcome of the latest review of his plan to redevelop the property at 21 Center St. 

That review was conducted by the Joint Committee of the HDC and the Architectural Review Board (ARB) as required by the Zoning Ordinance, not the ARB alone. That Joint Committee is made up of three representatives of the ARB and three of the HDC. 

More "Letter: Developer’s Letter Re Center St. ‘Inaccurate’"

   

08/18/16 04:59 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, August 15, 2016

Letter: Developer Says Nothing to Show for ‘Good Intentions’

To the Editor:

I have lived in Westport for 25 years and am president of SIR Development, LLC a new construction luxury home builder. I have noted that historic structures and their place in this town have been a constant debate.

WestportNow.com Image
This house at 25 Center St. was the subject of lengthy negotiations with developer Rob Haroun and the town. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

During this time, hundreds of older homes have been demolished to make room for larger ones leaving a small inventory of older structures that retain the character of yesteryear. Some efforts have been made to create incentive programs for saving these structures through the existing 32–18 zoning regulations, but clearly the existing regulations fall short.

After seeing that 32-18 was deficient, we embarked on an effort to amend Section 32-18. With a specific property in mind, 25 Center St., we saw an opportunity to save an historic structure and provide a win-win for both the town and preservationists.

Knowing that the process was quite protracted, we proceeded in good faith with the town and the community to accomplish this goal.

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08/15/16 06:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Letter: Longshore Assistant Golf Pro Says Goodbye

To the Editor:

After 17 great seasons at Longshore Club Park, my wife and I have decided it’s time to move out of state.  I want to thank all my dedicated golf students for their loyal support.

I would publicly thank the longtime head and new PGA Master Professional, John Cooper, for his faith in me.  John, I learned so much from you about teaching and the golf business I never would have received elsewhere.

The staff John has assembled to represent Longshore, the cashiers, starters, and rangers are the best and most professional I have ever worked with and do a thankless job cheerfully.  A round of golf at Longshore flows so well due to a team effort.

Longshore golfers,  John and the staff have your best interests at heart. Trust in them today and down the road.

Best wishes.

Christopher Carriero
Longshore Golf Professional
Westport

   

08/15/16 07:37 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Letter: Don’t Blame GOPers for Transportation Woes

To the Editor:

In a recent opinion piece, lawmakers were blamed for the deep budget cuts impacting transportation and increasing Metro-North fares. (Talking Transportation: Don’t Blame Malloy for the Fare Hikes, WestportNow, Aug. 1, 2016)

That blame is half misplaced.

You see, the op-ed wrongly grouped Democrat and Republican lawmakers together, and failed to recognize the stark differences in our approaches to improving transportation in Connecticut. 

The Democrats sat back and decimated our state’s Special Transportation Fund for years by taking transportation money to balance their ill-conceived budgets. The Republicans want to make transportation a priority.

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08/04/16 01:55 PM Comments Closed • Read Existing Comments (13)Permalink

Poetic Tribute to Oscar’s Owner

To the Editor:

Editor’s note: the author wrote this poem to Lee Papageorge, owner of Oscar’s, which closed on Aug. 1.

What genuine joy and endless glee,
You gave with your iconic restaurant – Oscar’s deli –
To Westporters, ‘out of towners’, those from N.Y.C.,
To so many others …
Decades of the W.F.D., W.P.D., town employees,
And generations of families,
From kids of all ages, fathers, and mothers,

Extraordinary sandwiches, food, drinks, desserts,
Oh - so fine, each time,
And topped off with priceless memories.
This will never be surpassed – or ever be beat,
On downtown’s ‘Main Street’.

Year after year, for those people
‘On the go’, and did not know –
You gave ‘the community’ more and more –
Always with such loving kindness, Lee,
From your legendary store for free,
With charitable contributions of your food,
That was delicious, nutritious and galore.

When God made you, he broke the mold,
Mr. Papageorge – your heart’s made of gold,
For all of your giving
Teaching by example, each day,
How ‘we all should be living’.

I give you thanks,
Praise, and three cheers,
For providing the town with Oscar’s,
Forty two glorious years!

May you find God’s love in each day,
By those who now help you along your way.
Sending you special prayers,
For healing and fortitude,
With my kindest regards and sincerest¬ gratitude.

Annie Fasanella          
Westport

   

08/04/16 11:49 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, August 01, 2016

Letter: Praise for ‘Incredible’ Sherwood Island Lifeguards

Editor’s note: The writer of the following letter requested anonymity and while we do not normally publish anonymous letters, the reason for making an exception in this case will be clear.

To the Editor:

I would like to take a minute to give some credit where I think it’s due. In our profession, we get to see a lot of heroic acts by fellow firefighters, police officers and other emergency personnel where they are given either awards or public praise for their actions.

WestportNow.com Image
Sherwood Island State Park lifeguards in the water during Sunday’s rescue operation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Sometimes though, I feel it’s the ones who maybe aren’t in the public eye as often that can be left out—specifically the lifeguards who keep watch over and protect our beaches. 

Late yesterday afternoon, we received a call for multiple drowning victims at Sherwood Island State Park. My company was the the first fire department unit to arrive on scene. Two victims had been rescued by another beach goer.

A third victim was still reported to be in the water. Needless to say, the scene was chaotic.

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08/01/16 03:35 PM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Letter: Thanks From Stamford Health

To the Editor:

After 21 years, I am both honored and humbled that the community continues to rally around those who have been touched by cancer by supporting the Bennett Cancer Center’s annual Walk & Run. As the signature event for Hope in Motion, our year-round fundraising initiative, the Walk & Run gives families and friends a way to honor and remember loved ones. On Sunday, June 5, more than 4,800 community members, including many from Westport, braved the intermittent rain showers to participate in the event. To date, we have raised more than $824,000, 82 percent of our $1 million fundraising goal.

These funds go directly towards programs and services that benefit our patients and their families, such as: nutritional counseling; a post-treatment exercise program; integrative medicine (yoga, reiki, massage); patient transportation services; individual, family and group counseling; and survivorship programs. As the director of the Bennett Cancer Center, I witness every day the life-changing impact that these services have on our patients and their families.

On behalf of everyone at Stamford Health’s Bennett Cancer Center, I would like to thank our generous sponsors, event organizers, committee members and volunteers for their ongoing and tireless dedication and hard work. We could not do it without you!

From the bottom of our hearts, we are ever grateful for all that you do and for showing us what it truly means to put “hope in motion.”

See you all next year!

Liz Manfredo
Director, Bennett Cancer Center
Stamford Health
Stamford

   

06/15/16 11:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

Letter: BOE Issues End of School Year Report

To the Editor:

The Westport school district has just completed its most impactful year in a generation. Starting July 1, our two important new hires will begin their leadership posts: Dr. Colleen Palmer as superintendent and Mr. James D’Amico as principal of Staples.  Both have significant experience as academic leaders and will foster continuous improvement in our already-strong school district.

Connecting with Our Community

Stay tuned for a calendar of upcoming opportunities this summer and fall for members of the community to meet our new superintendent, Dr. Palmer. She is planning a host of informal coffees, meetings, and gatherings at which she would enjoy hearing perspectives on what is cherished most about our district and what are areas that might be explored for further enhancement. We encourage everyone to participate in one of these events and personally welcome our new superintendent.

Guiding Principles

Starting next year, our schools will be guided by four principles that embody the values we aspire to for our students and ourselves: social and emotional awareness, kindness with sincerity, principled in thought and action, and learning always. Known as the “Guiding Principles,” these are ways of being that will make up the fabric of everything we do in Kindergarten through 12th grade both in and out of the classroom. Having these clearly articulated guiding principles truly sets Westport apart in giving our children proven skills needed to succeed long after they graduate. 

New for Next Year

The budget we developed for next year saw the leanest increase in many years - and yet we are making many program improvements. Starting in September, Staples will introduce nine new courses across multiple subject areas. Each elementary school will have a half-time science coach and dedicated laboratory, further enhancing our commitment to that discipline. We also are incorporating new elements of strategic planning that align our budget closely with longer-term goals.  We want to thank our administrators who put together a budget that moved us forward academically while remaining fiscally disciplined. We also want to thank our outstanding teachers and staff who meet our mission for Westport’s children each day.

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06/15/16 10:43 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Letter: Thanks After a Fall

To the Editor:

We want to thank our fellow beach people, the lifeguards police, EMS for their concern and aid when my husband fell on his way to the beach this past weekend.

Everyone was so kind and helpful.

Thank you very much. 

Gene and Roslyn Gans
Westport

   

06/01/16 02:40 PM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, May 27, 2016

Letter: Thanks P&Z Commission and Staff

To the Editor:

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission and Planning Director Steve Palmer and his staff for all of their hard work and efforts to help save the character and heritage of our town.

My wife Julie and I have lived in Westport for 24 years and during this time we raised our three children and built our business. We have always appreciated the unique nature of Westport and tried to help retain the character that makes Westport a special place that it is. 

WestportNow.com Image
This 1782-built house on Center Street was saved by a text amendment. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

We recently submitted a zoning amendment, along with our architect Bill Achilles to save a house built in 1782 on Center Street. The neighbors rallied behind us along with the help of many departments in town including Historic District Chairman Francis Henkels and Coordinator Carol Leahy. As we all know everything changes but it is how we manage the change that matters.  It was the diligence and forward thinking planning of the Planning and Zoning Commission that will enable us to save the antique house.

We hope that the amendment that we initiated will encourage builders and homeowners throughout the town to save historic buildings and maintain the unique and wonderful history of Westport.

Robert Haroun
SIR Development, LLC
Westport

   

05/27/16 12:00 PM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, May 20, 2016

Letter: ‘Outrage’ Over Fireworks Date

To the Editor:

We wanted to express our outrage and disappointment to PAL for choosing June 30 for the fireworks. It is a Thursday night with people having work the following day. We usually host a party of nearly 110-120 people and already have 20-30 cancellations right off the bat. PAL will be the loser and we are very sorry to see that happen. Everyone we have spoken to is just as disappointed as we are.

Charlene Girden
Westport

   

05/20/16 07:04 PM Comments () • Permalink

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Dale Call: ‘Beacon of Light’

To the Editor:

(Westport resident Annie Fasanella marked the retirement of Police Chief Dale Call after 35 years in verse:)

What paths you chose and did not yield,
For your quest to be best in your field.
To Westport’s police force, you dedicated your life,
Always focused and calm, despite any strife.

As a 1980s Staples grad,
You were brilliant and a lanky lad.
With your perseverance and your demeanor,
And years of hard work in graduate school,
You became a 21st century leader and a flawless jewel.

You “walk the talk” of “protect and serve,”
For the past 35 years.
I give thanks to you, with deep gratitude,
And “3 cheers!”

You’ve been a beacon of light-
Keeping Westport safe, both day and night,
In all kinds of weather,
Have made our town today, so much better.

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04/02/16 08:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, February 19, 2016

Healthy Alternative to Crumb Rubber Artificial Turf

To the Editor:

As one of the last schools in Fairfield County to make the move to artificial turf, Greens Farms Academy (GFA) felt some pressure to “keep up with the Joneses” and install a turf field, mostly to ensure our athletes would have comparable playing conditions and a safe, consistent surface.

Several of our parents, however, voiced concerns about the potential health risks of the typical crumb rubber used in artificial turf.  Listening to our parents, and not feeling completely confident about the current “industry standard” of crumb rubber, we began to research other options for artificial turf. Our trustees, always keeping both the health of our students and our surrounding ecosystem a top priority, looked into other options

In the end, GFA elected to use a greener alternative known as thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), a relatively new product in the United States. There was an initial hiccup, however. The TPE began to clump, so we needed to look for alternatives. In conversations with the manufacturer, FieldTurf, we decided that a cork composite would be the best option for replacement. However, although covered under warranty, the cork composite has to be manufactured overseas and took several weeks to arrive. We had a few weeks that fall of rescheduling games, and playing mostly away matches. But it was worth the wait and inconvenience. Once installed, the cork infill was tested for safety, and the results showed our field exceeded requirements within all parameters.

Our turf field has been up and running for four years now, and is used on a daily basis with positive feedback. It was and still is the most environmentally responsible and healthy option available, in addition to being cutting-edge in its design and in the use of cork as an infill.

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02/19/16 09:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

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