Wednesday, April 17, 2024


Coffee and the Church: Competing

Coffee and the Church: Competing With Westport Starbucks
Todays Sarasota Herald Tribune spotlights WestportҒs Christ and Holy Trinity Church and its divine intervention with Starbucks.

Excerpt: When the Rev. Maryetta Anschutz arrived at Christ and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Westport, Conn., three years ago, she noticed a disturbing trend at coffee hour.

ӓPeople were sneaking off to Starbucks down the street,Ғ she recalled. Some would even return with their decaf mocha latte shamelessly in hand. I was the first to call them on it,ђ she added. I’m the church coffee cop. ё”

The 28-year-old Anschutz knows exactly what’s wrong with her church’s coffee.

“ԒIt’s sludge! she says.Ҕ

Anschutz found the perfect solution, the newspaper reported.  She got Starbucks to donate pots of regular and decaf each Sunday, and sold coffee to parishioners at $3 a cup. The proceeds went to the high school outreach group she’s taking to build homes in Jamaica this summer.

It reported in two months, she raised more than $2,000 from coffee hour alone.

Westporters Turn Out to Protest Oyster Application

Several hundred people, including many Westporters, turned out an Army Corps of Engineers hearing in Milford Wednesday night to voice opposition to a Westport doctors application to harvest oysters off of Westport and Milford using suspended cages.

Several hundred people, including many Westporters, turned out at an Army Corps of Engineers hearing in Milford Wednesday night to voice opposition to a controversial oyster farming application involving waters off of Westport and Milford. photo

State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell were among those opposing the plan by Dr. John Garofalo and his Mariculture Unlimited LLC.
It calls for raising Eastern oysters over 522 acres of Long Island Sound off the Milford and Westport coastlines using cages suspended 10 feet below the surface.
Blumenthal said the shellfish industry was important to ConnecticutҒs economy but that the proposed oyster farm locations were not the right places.
As the saying goes, location, location, location, but I believe there is a better alternative,Ӕ he said. The state official pledged to work with the applicant, state environmental experts, and towns bordering Long Island Sound to find that alternative.
Farrell said she had met with many of the interested parties in the controversy and also said she would work to find a solution. I ask you to consider denying this without prejudice,Ӕ she said.
Westports Conservation Department director, Alicia Mozian, said it is not that she and Westport do not support aquaculture. ғIt is the wave of the future, she said.
But she added that the Corps and state lawmakers must come up with a master plan for Long Island Sound first. ԓYou need to look at the larger picture and do it now, not later, Mozian said.
Garofalo opened the hearing with a brief presentation in support of his application. He said the system was not risky and had been successfully done elsewhere. Concerns about safety and interference with sailing in the areas were exaggerated, he said.
Ending his slide show with a picture of his daughter water skiing, Garofalo said he had great respect for the waters of Long Island Sound as a 20-year resident of Connecticut.
More than 80 people signed up to speak at the hearing, including a parade of speakers from WestportԒs yacht clubs. They pointed to the widespread use of the proposed oyster farm area by sailboats and recreational boaters for more than 100 years and said there was no reasonable alternate location for their activities.

State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell were among those stating their opposition to the oyster farm proposal at Wednesday nights hearing. photos

Lee Weiner of the Minuteman Yacht Club said he questioned the seriousness of GarofaloҒs application because the number of buoys and lines involved seemed to be constantly changing.
John Gillespie of the Keep Westports Waterways Open group said Mariculture UnlimitedҒs application was smack in the middle of WestportӒs Main Street for boating.
He said he had great concerns about the health impact of a high mortality rate of oysters that would result from the operation. ԓThe state needs to develop a long-range plan to accommodate all interests, Gillespie said.
If the application were granted, said Martin Levin of the Milford Yacht Club, ԓthis is an accident waiting to happen.
One of the few speakers to support the oyster plan was a Milford aquaculture consultant, Edwin Rhodes. He said he had spoken to 10 people involved in similar suspended cable ventures and none had reported any problems with recreational boaters.
ԓWhen damage does occur, he said, ԓit is usually to the shellfish operation and not to boats.
Robert Byrne, acting deputy district engineer for the Corps, said the agency would continue to accept public comment on the application until Aug. 2. There was no indication when it might issue a final ruling.
Representatives of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, which will also have input into the decision, also attended the hearing. It lasted almost three and a half hours.
Westport Town Attorney Ira Bloom, who was also present but did not speak, told WestportNow the town was prepared to initiate legal action if the application were approved.

Former Planning and Zoning Member

Former Planning and Zoning Member Robert MacLachlan Dies at 85
Robert H. MacLachlan, an outspoken former member of Westports Planning and Zoning Commission, has died. He turned 85 on Saturday.

His wife, Emily, said he passed away Tuesday at home after a long battle with cancer. ғHe was sick for two years, she said. ԓIt was a blessing for him to go. He was surrounded by his family.”

A retired Mobil Oil executive, MacLachlan was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and was a graduate of the University of Glasgow School of Law and studied at the University of London School of Oriental Languages.

During World War II, he served in the Royal Artillery in both the European Theater and Burma, retiring as a major. In 1946, King George decorated him for valor.

He was a Westport resident since 1969 and served as a Democratic member of the commission for 14 years. He was also a member of the Save Westport Now party.

Known for his meticulous research on issues and lengthy handwritten memos, MacLachlan was very vocal about the P&Zs right not only to pass zoning regulations but to enforce them. This often put him at odds with the town attorneyҒs office.

“He took a keen interest in enforcement issues and stuck with it,” said Kathy Barnard, director of Planning and Zoning. “He did not let go until they were resolved.”

She said MacLachlan picked up on loopholes and things not clearly stated in the zoning regulations. “They now read much better largely through his efforts,” Barnard said.

Eleanor Lowenstein, chair of the P&Z Commission, said MacLachlan was very thorough in his research and persistent in getting issues addressed that he felt were important.

“Bob spent a lot of time fulfilling his role as a commissioner, whether researching, serving on subcommittees, or participarting in the public hearings,” she said. “He was always concerned about what was best for Westport.”

Lowenstein added, “As a new chair of the commission, he was very helpful to me.”

Survivors include his wife; three children, Robert G. MacLachlan of Cincinnati, Ohio; Mary Ann MacLachlan Mallonee, of San Carlos, Calif.; Emily M. Balch of La Grange, Ill., and six grandchildren.

Mary Ann is a 1973 Staples grad and Emily graduated in 1978.

A funeral mass will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 26, at St. Luke Roman Catholic Church, 49 North Turkey Hill Road, Westport.

The family would appreciate contributions to the Mid-Fairfield Hospice, 180 School Road, P.O. Box 489, Wilton, CT 06897.

07/23/2003 12:52 pm Comments (0)Permalink

NY Times Cites Westport Moms

NY Times Cites Westport Moms and Kids on Sleepover Camps with Weekend Breaks
Sending kids away for sleepover summer camp has always been traumatic for parents and kids. But an increasing number of the camps are alleviating the stress by allowing kids home for weekends.

Its a notion that appeals to a number of Westport families cited in todayҒs New York Times.

07/22/2003 17:06 pm Comments (0)Permalink

Westporters to Lose Another Nearby Bowling Alley

Years ago, Westport has its own bowling alley on Post Road East. But that was before the developers took over. So many Westporters have made Fairfields Circle Lanes their bowling destination choice. But now thatҒs going, too.

Todays Connecticut Post reported that after 44 years, the owner of Circle Lanes and property received an offer from a developer ғthat was just tremendous.

The newspaper, which cited no purchase price, said the Kings Highway bowling alley was likely to become an office building. It wil close Aug. 3.

07/22/2003 16:31 pm Comments (0)Permalink

Westport Playhouse Hosts Multicultural Group Discussion

The backdrop was Harlem of the 1940s. The discussion was Westport of 2003.
Trying to bridge the decades and differences held the attention of dozens of Westporters late Monday evening following a performance of the Westport Country Playhouses latest offering, ғThe Old Settler.
The play, by the late John Henry Redwood, is the story of two middle-aged sisters living together in a 1940s Harlem apartment. They are reminded of the importance of family following the visit of a handsome Southern gentleman.

Anne Keefe, associate artistic director of The Westport Country Playhouse (L), introduces “The Old Settler” company Monday night. They include (L-R) director Tazewell Thompson, actors Brenda Thomas, Tina Fabrique, Edward O’Blenis, and Cherise Boothe. photo

Using the playhouseԒs talk backӔ interactive format with the audience, a new group, Westport TEAM, sponsored the discussion. It was the first event held by the group whose aim is celebrating diversity in our community.Ӕ
The plays director, Tazewell Thompson, told the audience the play opened a window for Westporters on a life unfamiliar to many here.
ғIt allows a community like Westport to see a different kind of culture, he said. ԓThere are so many stories (in life) that come up over and over again. They can peer in and look and discover things through the theater.
Brenda Thomas, who plays one of the sisters, said the play was ideal for the eveningԒs discussion.
Diversity projects are successful when people identify the human element and the comedic element,Ӕ she said, implying that Old SettlerӔ did just that.
There is something deeply human about this play,Ӕ Thomas said. The appeal of the play is that people can really connect with the characters.Ӕ
Asked by an audience member if the cast members thought the play was getting to Westports mostly white audience, Thomas said: ғIf you sit and listen to the interaction of people, it doesnt matter what color they are.Ҕ
Harold Bailey, chair of the Playhouse Marketing Committee, is a founder and chair of TEAM Westport.  Founding members include Diane Goss Farrell, Westport’s First Selectwoman.
The Old SettlerӔ runs until Aug. 2.

07/22/2003 12:41 pm Comments (0)Permalink

Westport Democrats Nominate Candidates Westport

Westport Democrats Nominate Candidates
Westport Democrats Monday night nominated their slate of candidates they hope will help them retain control of the towns boards and commissions in NovemberҒs election. 
There were no surprises in the candidates selected. Five of the six incumbent Democrats up for election chose to run again.
The new face is Mark H. Mathias, 45, a candidate for the Board of Education, replacing retiring Neil K. Gerhardt, 61.

Westport Democrats pose following their nominations Monday night. They are (L-R) Mark Mathias, Board of Education; Eleanor Lowenstein, Planning and Zoning Commission; James Ezzes, Zoning Board of Appeals; Kevin Connolly and Steven Ezzes, Board of Finance, and Mary Parmelee, Board of Education. Contributed photo/

Running for re-election on the Board of Finance are chair Steven L. Ezzes, 56, and Kevin A. Connolly, 48; Mary R. Parmelee, 49, on the Board of Education; chair Eleanor S. Lowenstein, 62, on the Planning and Zoning Commission, and James C. Ezzes, 52, chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
James Ezzes is running uncontested on his board.
The Democrats did not nominate a candidate to face off against Garson F. Heller on the Board of Assessment Appeals because the Democratic vacancy to fill an unexpired term must be filled by board members.
In his acceptance speech, Steven Ezzes made clear that he felt the Board of Education should be able to find the funds to retain the 8 a.m. starting time at Coleytown Middle School.
The contentious issue has embroiled the Board of Education in controversy for months and opponents of the change in starting time have said the issue will be front and center in the November election.
Mathias, the new Board of Education nominee, is an information technology specialist with more than 25 years in business and technology. He said the school system was one of the primary items that attracted his family to Westport two years ago.
Westport Republicans nominated their candidates last week. (See WestportNow July 15, 2003).

07/22/2003 03:20 am Comments (0)Permalink

Woman on a Mission: Mass.

Woman on a Mission: Mass. Fire Survivor Stops at Westport Fire HQ to Say Thanks
Fourteen years ago, Lynda McNeil handed her 3-week-old baby to a firefighter atop at ladder in Andover, Mass., outside her burning home.
Sunday night she stopped in Westport on her personal walkathon in support of firefighters to say thanks for her daughters life and hers.

Lynda McNeil, 53, shares dinner Sunday night with Westport firefighters. The Andover, Mass., woman is on a 300-mile walk to New York City to emphasize the importance of supporting firefighters. photo

The 53-year-old grandmother began her 300-mile walk from Andover to New York City on June 16. Westport firefighters gave her a warm greeting, a firehouse dinner, and a bed for the night.
ғThese guys are great, she said. ԓIf it werent for them, I wouldnҒt be here. When people save your life, you owe them your life. But when people save your childs life, you own them your soul.Ҕ
Merely saying thanks to Andover firefighters wasnt enough for McNeil. In the years since, she has helped raise money for fallen firefighters and attended a New York City memorial service for firefighters killed in the World Trade Center tragedy.
She says her summer walk is intended to educate people about ғthe unmet needs of fire departments and those who serve in them.
A call that sent firefighters scrambling and left McNeil alone at the table interrupted Sunday nightԒs dinner at Westport fire headquarters. It turned out to be a false alarm.
It (the sound of sirens) takes me right back,Ӕ she said. ItӒs very difficult on the other side. But you know, that sound is the sweetest music you ever heard if you are in trouble.
Even though sheԒs got arthritis and fibromyalgia a disorder of the muscles and bones ֖ McNeil is determined to make it to New York City next week. And when she does, shell have fond memories of Westport and other stops along the way.

07/21/2003 01:44 am Comments (0)Permalink