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Report: Westport to Pay at Least $2.7 Million in Superfund Case

Westport and six other Connecticut communities have reached the end of the line in court appeals and must pay cleanup costs at two contaminated landfills, the New Haven Register reported today. Westports share is at least $2.7 million.

The almost 20-year-old case centers on two so-called Superfund sites in ConnecticutҒs Naugatuck Valley. Westport and the other communities hauled their solid waste to the sites until the 1980s, only to find later that the sites had become contaminated.

After years of litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a final appeal last month, the newspaper said, quoting a Hartford attorney, Ann Catino, who represented six of the seven communities in the suit. It said the court gave no reason.

A spokeswoman in First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrells office today confirmed the town had been informed of the ruling. Farrell was unavailable for comment.

The Register quoted Farrell as saying: ғ“Its unfair to municipalities that didnҒt do anything wrong. The price is very troubling but the principle behind it is more troubling.”

More than a decade ago, several private companies were forced to clean and cap the landfills and later sued more than 400 parties for contributions to the $80 million cleanup costs.

Defendants, except for Westport and the six other municipalities, had reached out-of-court settlements. Six of the seven communities decided to pursue their appeals. Naugatuck did not.

Westport officials had tried to get the courts to stop the clockӔ on interest building up on the judgments against the communities, but had failed.

The other communities besides Westport and Naugatuck which will now have to pay include Seymour, Middlebury, New Haven, Orange, and Plymouth.

Trying to determine who pays for cleanup costs for Superfund sites has kept courts and lawyers busy for years. Legal scholars have made the complex litigation the subject of numerous law review articles and books.


07/17/2003 12:40 pm Comments (0)Permalink

Westport Oyster Applicant Goes on Offensive

With a week to go before an Army Corps of Engineers public hearing on his controversial application to harvest oysters in Long Island Sound, a Westport doctor has gone on the public relations offensive.

Dr. John M. Garofalo, 49, took out a full-page ad in todays Westport News and contributed a commentary defending the proposal, which involves using suspended traps off of Westport.

Recreational boaters have opposed the application, saying it causes safety concerns as well as disrupts sailboat races.

In the ad, headlined ғSave the Oyster! GarofaloԒs company, Mariculture Unlimited, LLC, said the project, which also involves a larger area off of Milford, Conn., is aimed at saving the New England oyster industry.

Without new technologies and successful grassroots enterprises, natural oyster populations on Long Island Sound will become a pleasure of the past,Ӕ it said.

In his commentary, which is also published on Maricultures Web site, Garofalo said, ғI think that some of the oppositions tactics have been to exaggerate the scope and effects of our initial proposal.Ҕ

He said he had offered a compromise proposal to the Cedar Point Yacht Club but that it was rejected.  It included an offer to decrease the size of the requested oyster farm from 366.8 acres to approximately 25 acres, Garofalo said.

MaricultureӒs compromise proposal is reasonable, non-threatening and, in fact, advantageous to our community, he said.

Garofalo said he is not proposing a nuclear power plant and does not represent any outside corporate developer. 

ԓI am simply your neighbor and I have been for 20 years, he said.  “I live and work in our community. 

ԓMy family and I sail, fish, dig clams and play on our water with you—and we care as much as you do about protecting everyone֒s recreational water activities.

The Army Corps of Engineers hearing is scheduled for July 23 in Milford.

Westport Republicans Nominate New Faces

Westport Republicans Nominate New Faces for November Elections
Westport Republicans, once a dominate power in town politics but now a minority on all elected boards and commissions, Tuesday night nominated a November election slate of mostly new faces they hope will turn the tide.

Of nine GOP incumbents whose terms are expiring this year, only three chose to run again R. Gavin S. Anderson, 65, on the Board of Finance, Elizabeth Y. Wong, 48, on the Zoning Board of Appeals, and Garson F. Heller Jr., 67, on the Board of Assessment Appeals.

Choosing not to run again were Robert D. Graham, 55, on the Board of Finance; Cheryl A. Bliss, 51, on the Board of Education; William A. Crowther, 79, Elizabeth Kuechenmeister, 51, and Duane Nelson, 49, on the Planning and Zoning Commission; and Lisa K. Wexler, 43, on the Zoning Board of Appeals.

In addition to Anderson, the Republlicans nominated for the Board of Finance Thomas C. Bloch, 58, and Charles W. Haberstroh, who will be 53 next Monday. Haberstroh is a first-term member of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM).

Board of Education nominees included Edward M. Bowers, 45, and Lewis D. Brey, 34. Brey is a former RTM member who previously ran unsuccessfully for both the Board of Education and Board of Finance. He had served for 18 months on the finance board filling an unexpired term.

Nominated for the Planning and Zoning Commission were Helen Martin Block, 57, James R. Cochrane, 52, David B. Press, 56, and Sean M. Timmins, 39.

Nominated for the Zoning Board of Appeals in addition to Wong was John M. Hudock, 57. The Republicans could have nominated a third candidate but did not.

The Democrats will hold their nominating meeting July 21. Democratic officials have said only one incumbent has chosen not to run again ֖ Neil K. Gerhardt, 61, on the Board of Education.

In his place, party sources said the Democrats will nominate newcomer Mark H. Mathias, 45.


07/16/2003 00:39 am Comments (0)Permalink

Three Men Rob Westport Pet

Three Men Rob Westport Pet Store


Three men with guns robbed Pet Supplies Plus on Post Road East Monday night of about $1,200. WestportNow.com photo


Three men with guns robbed a Westport pet store Monday night, making off with about $1,200, police and store workers said.
The men locked three employees and one customer in a bathroom at Pet Supplies Plus, 1870 Post Road East, before making their escape.
The employees and customer managed to get out and called police about 15 minutes after the incident, which occurred about 9 p.m.
The suspects, described as three black males wearing ski masks, took off in an unknown direction, police said.
“The manager was pretty shook up,” a store employee said.
No one was injured in the incident.
The store is located in a busy shopping center near the Fairfield town line. Other stores in the complex include Walgreens and Toys R Us.

07/15/2003 18:31 pm Comments (0)Permalink

Westport’s Mini ‘Big Dig’ On Schedule

They’ve tunneled under the railroad tracks at the Saugatuck Railroad Station and Westport’s $7.8 million mini “big dig” project is on schedule. Using technology copied from Boston’s multi-year, multi-billion dollar highway and tunnel epic, construction workers have not disrupted rail traffic while building the new pedestrian tunnel. WestportNow.com photo


07/15/2003 16:20 pm Comments (0)Permalink

Lets Go to the Hop:

Lets Go to the Hop: Staples Invites ґ60s Grads to Reunion


Staples High School alumni from the classes of 1965 and 1966 are holding a reunion next weekend and invite all Staples grads from the 1960s to join them.

The celebration kicks off Friday, July 25, with a welcoming reception by Dunvilles with check-in at 6 p.m. at the new addition to the Westport Historical Society opposite Town Hall (the old Bedford Elementary School).

SaturdayҒs event is a 5:30 pm. to 11 p.m. barbeque dinner by Ash Creek Saloon at the Westport Womens Club on Imperial Avenue.

Organizers say there will be live ґ60s music by the Old School ReviewӔ band featuring all star Staples alumni musicians.Ӕ

On Sunday, its down to Compo Beach at noon Җ bring your own food, drinks provided.

The cost is $50 per person or $75 per couple for all events.

RSVP to Gail Latimer Gorian at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Johno Lupton at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or call 203 222-1424.

Send checks to SHSAA, c/o Westport Historical Society, 25 Avery Place, Westport, CT 06880.

All proceeds after costs go to help fund the Staples Alumni Association.


07/15/2003 15:37 pm Comments (0)Permalink

Westport-Based Nationally-Syndicated Radio Web Site Featured




Not many Westporters know when they hear Dick Bartley count down the tunes every week on American GoldӔ or Rock & RollӒs Greatest Hits via the ABC Radio Networks, he does it from a studio above WestportԒs Main Street.

But a few more of them, and others,  might know because Bartleys Web site, DickBartley.Com is featured in The Advocate of Stamford/NorwalkҒs business section today spotlighting the areas hottest Web sites.

Oldies music fans can request a song on the programs, find programming schedules for the shows, sign up for an on-air trivia contest and read Dick BartleyҒs biography at the site.

Bartley, whose DB Productions Inc. is based directly across the street from where Westports now-defunct WMMM-AM radio station once was housed, has hosted and produced oldies shows since 1973. He entered the Chicago-based National Radio Hall of Fame in 2000.


07/14/2003 16:38 pm Comments (0)Permalink