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First Sunny Summer Sunday Draws

First Sunny Summer Sunday Draws Crowds to Compo
It was the first sunny summer Sunday of the year and scores of Westporters and their guests plopped down on the beach and took the waters of Long Island Sound at Compo Beach.


Everyone into the water on first sunny summer Sunday at Compo Beach. WestportNow.com photo

The parking lots filled quickly during the day as morning rain showers gave way to picture postcard skies in the afternoon. The temperature at the beach stayed in the comfortable low 80s.

Compo Beach goers had the opportunity to purchase car passes for this ThursdayҒs annual fireworks display sponsored by the Police Athletic League (PAL).

The fireworks were held last year at nearby Sherwood Island State Park, much to the disappointment of many Westporters who liked the more intimate and crowded ֖ Compo Beach venue.

PAL was forced to relocate the display to Sherwood Island last year after being unable to secure a barge for launching of the fireworks. This year the group has hired a unit of the well-known Grucci fireworks family, which arranged for a barge.

Rain date for the fireworks is Monday, July 7.


06/29/2003 18:10 pm Comments (0)Permalink

Merritt Parkway Day Marked with

Merritt Parkway Day Marked with Classic Car Parade.


Just like the old days on the Merritt. WestportNow.com photo

They didnt go too fast and traffic backed up behind them, but more than two dozen classic cars tooled along the Merritt Parkway today to mark the 65th anniversary of the parkwayҒs opening.

The Merritt Parkway Conservancy, a group dedicated to revitalizing and celebrating the parkway, sponsored the parade. The drive was topped off with a luncheon at Westports Three Bears Restaurant.

Gov. John G. Rowland marked the anniversary by proclaiming today Merritt Parkway Day in the state.

The group hopes to improve the parkwayҒs appearance by bringing architectural, conservation, and landscaping expertise to complement the knowledge and resources of the Connecticut Department of Transportation.

The groups part-time executive director is Peter S. Szabo, a former deputy commissioner in the department.

One of the projects planned by the group is a demonstration effort to light a Merritt Parkway bridge for several months this fall.

It says the goal is to ғheighten public appreciation of the Merritts beauty by drawing attention to the parkwayҒs remarkable bridges.

The Conservancy plans to select one bridge and give it ԓsubtle, architectural lighting during the evening hours.


06/29/2003 15:26 pm Comments (0)Permalink

Media Fascination with Post-Indictment Martha

Media Fascination with Post-Indictment Martha Continues:  At Home in Westport
Todays New York Daily News takes a look at Martha Stewart and her life following her federal indictment on obstruction of justice charges in connection with her insider-trading case. Its conclusion—sheҒs happy tending her Westport garden.

Excerpt: Last week, she went about her usual high-octane schedule, checking her Turkey Hill garden in Westport, personally feeding her chow chows, Paw Paw and Zu Zu, and working the cell phone, friends and co-workers said.

“ӒShe’s going about working and living her, I guess, normal life, said one friend. ґShe’s not curled up in a fetal position somewhere. That’s just not her style.”


06/29/2003 13:14 pm Comments (0)Permalink

jUNe Day Flags Fly on

jUNe Day Flags Fly on Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Memorial Bridge
Westport flew the flags of the United Nations today on the newly named Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Memorial Bridge to welcome visitors to town from the international body.

The annual jUNe day was begun by the late Westporter as part of her personal diplomacy efforts to break down barriers among peoples of different cultures and background.

The towns hospitality committee planned a day-long series of events for the visitors, including swimming, sports, and picnics.

Due to the large number of member states of the United Nations Җ 191 at the latest count   town public works employees had to erect extra flagpoles in both parking plazas on the east side of the bridge to accommodate the overflow.

The bridge was named for Steinkraus Cohen by an act of the state legislature last month.


06/28/2003 12:50 pm Comments (0)Permalink

Dog Days of August Come

Dog Days of August Come Early for Town Clerks Office
For the Westport Town ClerkҒs office, the dog days of August come in June so far about 1,300 times.

That֒s how many dog licenses the office has issued so far this month, according to Town Clerk Patricia H. Strauss.

The old licenses expire June 30 and anyone renewing after Monday, must pay a $1 per month penalty for each month the renewal is late. The price is $16 for each male or female and $8 for a neutered male of spayed female.

We usually issue about 2,300 licenses a year,Ӕ said Strauss. So we have a ways to go.Ӕ

All dogs six months or older must be licensed and wear a collar and tag at all times. The tags are especially useful when the dogs stray from their homes, as Strauss knows first hand.

Two years ago, the town official got a call in her office from a nearby resident who said she had found a dog with an unusual tag number No. 1.

֓I said, Oh my goodness, thatђs my dog, thats my Lucy,Ғ Strauss remembers telling the caller.

It seems her Portuguese water dog, adopted from the Bridgeport pound, is afraid of thunder and lightening, and jumped the fence one day. She was quickly returned home.

Strauss said issuing the low-number dog licenses for her pets (her other dog Red gets No. 2) is the only town perk she reserves for herself.

But she shares her insider influence with the neighborhood Ԗ Lucys good friend Mookie gets No. 3, another friend Jack, gets No. 4, and Zulu down the street gets No. 5. Other neighboring dogs round out the top 10 license holders.

They donҒt call Lucy Strauss top dog in her neighborhood for nothing.


06/27/2003 22:57 pm Comments (0)Permalink

Former Westporter Alexander Platt Selected

Former Westporter Alexander Platt Selected as Maverick Music Director
Alexander Platt, who grew up in Westport and is a Staples High School grad, has been selected as musical director of Woodstock, N.Y.s Maverick Concerts, the oldest continuous summer chamber music series in the United States.

“Woodstock kind of reminds me of Westport 20 years ago,” Platt said in an interview with the Middletown Times Herald-Record. “Woodstock is just wonderful.”

Platt, whose parents Leatrice and Bernerd still live in the Greens Farms Road home where he grew up, takes over from the late Vincent Wagner, who was MaverickҒs music director for 16 years before his death last year.

Platt, 38, studied at Yale University and then Cambridge University in England before going on to conduct the Houston Symphony, Freiburg Philharmonic in Germany, City of London Sinfonia, and Aalborg Symfoniorkester in Denmark.

He lives in Chicago, where he serves as resident conductor of the Chicago Opera Theater. He is also the music director for three orchestras in the Midwest.

Platts twin brother Russell is a classical music editor at the “Goings On About Town” department of The New Yorker and is a noted composer of vocal and instrumental works.

A third Platt son, Spencer, five years younger than the twins, is a noted photojournalist who shoots for New York-based Getty Images and recently covered the war in Iraq.


06/27/2003 18:14 pm Comments (0)Permalink

Westport Wont Experiment With Touch-Screen

Westport Wont Experiment With Touch-Screen Voting Machines
Much to the regret of Town Clerk Patricia H. Strauss, Westport will not be among eight Connecticut communities testing touch-screen voting machines this fall in municipal elections.

The only Fairfield County community chosen for the experiment by Secretary State Susan Bysiewicz was Wilton.

The reason Westport was not among the finalists out of 21 towns and cities vying for the guinea pig role was that it did not apply.

ғIt was a decision by the registrars of voters, Strauss said. ԓThey were very busy updating the voter registration list as a result of the RTM (Representative Town Meeting) redistricting and they had a lot on their plate.

ItӒs unfortunate, but we will still benefit from the knowledge gained from the other communities participating.”

Westport two years ago was one of several Connecticut communities chosen to experiment with a barcode scanning system for absentee ballots. Strauss said the system has performed well and Westport will continue to use it.

Besides Wilton, the other municipalities that will experiment with the new technology include Middletown, Griswold, Hartford, Sharon, Southington, Tolland, and West Hartford.


06/27/2003 16:31 pm Comments (0)Permalink

Westporter Arrested in NY Dance

Westporter Arrested in NY Dance Club 75 Years Ago Remembered
Oh, the perils of a newspaper morgue.

New York Daily News columnist Michael Daly, in a column commenting on New York Citys efforts to revise its cabaret law, recalls an incident at a club 75 years ago involving a Westporter.

He noted that over the decades, the law became less and less an instrument of prejudice and more a means to shutter establishments deemed too loud or otherwise a nuisance.

ғA July 8, 1928, raid on the Pulman Cafe at 361 Lenox Ave. netted 37 colored and white patrons,’” Daly wrote.

“A newspaper reporter noted that the prisoners included the ёfemale impersonator Jack Melleno and David Feldman of Main St. in suburban Westport, Conn.

“ҒMr. Feldman said he had stopped by after missing his train, The News reported.Ҕ

A 1933 Westport telephone directory lists no Feldman on Main Street but there is a Mrs. Fanny Feldman at 39 Gorham Ave.


06/26/2003 14:11 pm Comments (0)Permalink

EPA Lists Todays Westport Air

EPA Lists Todays Westport Air as ғUnhealthy for Sensitive Groups
With summertime temperatures soaring into the 90Ԓs and return of hot, hazy, humid weather, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today listed Westports air quality as ғunhealthy for sensitive groups.

The EPA has 11 ozone monitoring stations in the state, including one at WestportԒs Sherwood Island State Park. Real-time readouts from the stations are available on the EPAs Web site.

As of 7:45 p.m. today,  the Westport station was orange, meaning ғunhealthy for sensitive groups. The EPA says that means active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.

The ranking was third worse on the EPA scale. shy of the worst air measurements of “unhealthy” and “very unhealthy.”

In last yearԒs data, the Westport station consistently registered as having the worst air quality in the state.


06/25/2003 22:58 pm Comments (0)Permalink

Westporters Opposed to Oyster Plan

Westporters Opposed to Oyster Plan Prepare for Hearing
A group opposed to a controversial plan to harvest oysters from Long Island Sound off of Westport using cages suspended above the bottom says it expects several hundred Westporters to show up at a federal hearing to voice their objections.

Recreational boaters say the plan, if approved, would obstruct public waterways used by thousands of commercial and pleasure boats.

A news release from the group, Keep Westports Waterways Open, said the Westporters are expected to attend a public hearing July 23 in Milford to oppose the 367-acre longline oyster farming business that would be located just off Compo Beach.

The group said more than 700 people have already written to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stating their opposition to the oyster farming plan of Mariculture Unlimited, LLC of Westport.

In response, the Corps agreed to schedule a requested public hearing, which is to be held at 7 p.m. in the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 70 West River Road, Milford.

Keep WestportҒs Waterways Open, representing the interests of commercial and recreational boaters along the towns river and Sound shorelines, formerly was known as Save Scenic Westport Harbor.

The news release said the groupҒs name change reflects the growing concern among many local residents that the oyster farming operation proposed by Mariculture Unlimited would pose an additional hazard in congested waters and sound the death knell for established boating events.

At the July 23 public hearing, the Corps also will receive comments on a Mariculture Unlimited application for a similar oyster-rearing operation off the coast of Milford. Speakers can sign in beginning at 6 p.m.

The opposition group urged residents to communicate their views on the Mariculture Unlimited plan to Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell and other local and state legislators.

Written comments may be submitted directly to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers until Aug. 2. Mariculture Unlimited will sponsor an information session from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. before the public hearing.


06/25/2003 21:51 pm Comments (0)Permalink