Tuesday, May 28, 2024


Farrell Hosts Bridgeport Economic Summit Followup Meeting

Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell tonight hosted a followup session to a Bridgeport economic summit held last May. The event at Bridgeport’s Housatonic Community College attracted about 100 people who heard a talk on how Connecticut’s cities and suburbs can work more closely on common problems. Bridgeport Mayor John Fabrizi (lower right) listens. WestportNow.com photo

Expert Tells Meeting All Communities Hurt by Way Connecticut is Growing

Governmental planning expert Myron Orfield told a Bridgeport meeting hosted by Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell tonight that his “Connecticut Metropatterns” study had four key findings: 1) Simple contrasts between cities, suburbs and rural areas are out of date; 2) All types of communities are hurt by the way the state is growing; 3) All places would benefit from regional and statewide reforms; and 4) Reform is politically possible. WestportNow.com photo

Compo Beach Playground Going Plastic

Compo Beach Playground Going Plastic

Answering a question at her citizens’ Brown Bag lunch today, First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell confirmed that the aging wooden Compo Beach playground will be replaced with plastic furniture. She promised it wouldn’t look “like a McDonald’s playground” with lots of colors. No timetable has been set, she said. WestportNow.com photo

Westport Watching Hurricane Progress But Breathing Easier

Westport Watching Hurricane Progress But Breathing a Bit Easier
Westport officials watched intently today the progress of Hurricane Isabel toward the East Coast but breathed a bit easier as its path took it far from Westports shores.

First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell said she postponed a meeting of her emergency management team from Thursday morning to Thursday afternoon in order to get a better read of the stormҒs progress and intensity as it makes landfall.

WeӒre well prepared, she told WestportNow. ԓAt the moment we think it will be more like a tropical storm, like Floyd was a couple of years ago.

Hurricane Floyd had become a tropical storm by the time it impacted Southern New England on the night of Sept. 16, 1999. As much as seven inches of rain were reported in some Connecticut communities from the storm, along with some flooding and downed trees.

Farrell told her weekly Brown Bag luncheon today that preparing for the hurricane has been very beneficial for town employees.

“It’s advantageous for the staff to be refreshed on this,” she said. “(Parks and Recreation Dept. director) Stu McCarthy also pointed out at a staff meeting today that we have many new employees and it’s an opportunity to get them up to speed.”

Fire Chief Denis McCarthy said despite the stormԒs distance from the area, he is still concerned about the possibility of flooding.

There is a significant possibility for coastal flooding, especially as you get a shift to easterly winds and water piles up in Long Island Sound,Ӕ he told WestportNow. It could be a problem everywhere from New Jersey to Cape Cod.Ӕ

McCarthy said automated monitoring of tide levels at Compo Basin has enhanced the emergency management teams ability to precisely gauge changes in water levels in Long Island Sound.

The system was installed several years ago as part of a federal grant and also allows the fire dispatch center to tie into other nearby monitoring stations.

ғBefore we had to physically go down and watch the tide sticks, he said. ԓThat was difficult to do, especially in the dark of the night.

Not only does the system measure the waterԒs height, but it also gauges the rate of the rise and sets off alarms when it reaches a pre-set level, McCarthy said.

“It is a tool that we’ll use in making a decision to recommend evacuations,” he said. “We’re always reluctant to make that recommendation but now we’ll be able to make a decision based on timely, precise information.”

The fire official said he was pleased with planning efforts for the storm and praised the cooperation of all town departments.

WeӒve even looked at doubling the meals-on-wheels deliveries in anticipation of the storm, he said. ԓSo were down to that level of planning.Ҕ

Westport Officials Complete Hurricane Preparedness Plans

Westport Officials Complete Hurricane Preparedness Plans
Even though Westport may only feel the distant effects of Hurricane Isabel, the town today completed its emergency preparedness plans and called on residents to remain vigilant as tropical winds and coastal flooding could result even if the storm hits hundreds of miles away.

Fire Chief Denis McCarthy, in a news release detailing recommended precautions, said he anticipates that tropical winds will hit Connecticut Thursday or early Friday.

The impact for Westport is expected to include very high winds and flooding due to anticipated rainfall,Ӕ McCarthy said.  Coastal flooding is also expected due to the predicted track of the storm.

Fire Marshal Fred Baker told WestportNow that officials will meet again Thursday morning to make further adjustments to emergency preparedness plans depending on the track of the storm.

The town issued a list of 50 streets it said are prone to flooding, most of them in the Compo Beach and Saugatuck Shores areas. (See list below.)

Officials said they felt such a list could be helpful as many residents may have moved into town since the last major flooding in the norӒeaster of December 1992 and not be aware of the danger.

In addition to the usual reminders to have adequate food and water supplies on hand as well as extra batteries, etc. the town also made two suggestions where residents could move their cars if they live in a flood-prone area.

One is the Longshore Club Park parking area and the other is the auxiliary lot at exit 17 off of Saugatuck Avenue.

The town reminded residents that,  if necessary, a shelter operated by the local American Red Cross chapter would be opened at the Long Lots Elementary School.

The news release said the shelter will not accept pets and the town also issued a checklist for residents evacuating and leaving their pets at home.

The town also reminded residents that 911 is to be used only in the event of an emergency and that 341-5000 may be dialed to request non-emergency information.

Other sources of information include the Staples radio station, WWPT 90.3 FM, the towns government access channel 79, the town Web site at www.westportct.org, WestportNow, and Cablevision News-12.

The town said emergency warning sirens in the I-95 area and low-lying areas can also be used to disseminate verbal instructions.

Flood-Prone Streets Listed

Flood-Prone Streets Listed
The Westport Fire Department today issued a list of streets it said are prone to flooding and urged residents of these areas to be especially vigilant. They include:

Harbor Road
Plover Lane
Pebble Beach Lane
Promised Road
Rowland Court
Rowland Place
Conte Place
Scofield Place
Madeline Avenue
Swallow Lane
Canal Road
Spriteview Avenue
Marine Avenue
Sea Spray Road
Cross Way – Cockenoe Drive
Sandpiper Road
Cavanaugh Avenue
Bluff Point

Bermuda Road
Marsh Road
Marsh Court
Surf Road
Surf Lane
Surf Point
Blue Chip Lane
Newport Drive
Covlee Drive
Minard Drive
Duck Pond Road
Great Marsh Road
Driftwood Point Road

Compo Road So. below #260
Compo Beach Road
Owenoke Park
Quentin Road
Roosevelt Road
Appletree Trail
Bradley Street
Fairfield Avenue
Danbury Avenue
Norwalk Avenue
Westport Avenue
Bluewater Hill – Bluewater Hill South
Hidden Hill
Longview Road
Minute Man Hill

Compo Mill Cove
Lamplight Lane

Manitou Road
Manitou Court

Staples Wreckers Gaining Attention with New Canaan Win

Todays The Day of New London reviews weekend high school football action and says the Staples Wreckers are gaining increasing state-wide attention.

Excerpt: ғMarce Petroccio, head coach of Staples High School of Westport, never saw a rout over New Canaan coming.

Imagine, then, how the Rams felt when the Wreckers scored five touchdowns in the first 25 minutes of Friday’s Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference game at New Canaan. Staples turned a game between two defending state champions into a blowout as it won, 36-0.

ӓThe Wreckers, the defending Class MM champion, made quite an impression on the voters in The Day’s Top 10 state coaches poll. They earned two first-place votes this week, including a first-place vote that went to top-ranked Ansonia last week, and moved up one spot to No. 4.

The defending Class M champion Rams, who were No. 6, dropped out of the Top 10.

ӓAsked if he thought the game would be so lopsided, Petroccio said, Absolutely not. I think our kids were extremely ready to go. They were excited. We don’t get the opportunity to play at night (Staples does not have lights) and we don’t get the chance to play on Astroturf.

ѓThey turned the lights on and the kids were sky high. We scored on a pass play early and it just kind of snowballed for us.Ԓ

Meanwhile, the New Haven Register named Staples its team of the week, saying: “Staples-Westport: The most anticipated game of the season turned into a showcase for the Wreckers.

“Speedsters Jimmy Hughes and Matt Samela combined for five touchdowns, but it was the defense that stole the show in a 36-0 victory over New Canaan.”

Westport Emergency Management Officials to Meet Tuesday

Westport Emergency Management Officials to Meet Tuesday
Westport Police Chief William Chiarenzelli said tonight town emergency management officials will meet Tuesday morning to complete planning of preparations for Hurricane Isabel and its aftermath.

Speaking at a meeting of the Public Protection Committee of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), the police official said he expected First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell to issue a press release later in the day about the planning.

WeӒll tell the public what to do with their cars in the event of the threat of severe flooding for low-lying areas and well spell out details of our communication plan,Ҕ he said.

Chiarenzelli said unlike some communities, Westport will not order residents to leave their homes if severe flooding is threatened.

If we think it necessary, weӒll advise them three or four times to get out, but Im not going to order them out or risk the lives of my people for those who disregard our warnings,Ҕ he said.

WeӒll also ask them to fill out a form that, among other things, asks for names of next of kin, the chief said.