Saturday, March 02, 2024

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Westport Fails in Bid for Federal Grant for Emergency Communications

Westport Fails in Bid for Federal Grant for Emergency Communications
Westports application, in cooperation with Wilton, for millions of dollars in federal funds to improve regional emergency communications has been rejected, according to First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell.

She said neither community had received official notification of rejection of the $6.1 million bid.

But she told WestportNow that Westport and Wilton were not on a list of approved applicants released late last month by the Department of Homeland Security which awarded $79.6 million in grants.

Under the application, submitted before an Aug. 1 deadline, Westport would have been responsible for funding $1 million of the plan and Wilton $525,000, according to Deputy Police Chief Al Fiore.

The communities applied under a federal pilot program aimed at helping municipalities develop interoperable communications systems for fire, police and EMS services.

The program is jointly run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of JusticeҒs Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS).

Under the joint proposal, which required lengthy meetings and hours of work to hammer out, the two towns would have taken six separate and distinct radio systems and combined them into one system to achieve interoperability.

The system was designed to enable it to be expanded to as many as 13 other communities currently in Westport and Wiltons mutual aid compact, Fiore said.

Farrell said she had hoped the federal funds would have eased the burden for Westport taxpayers in upgrading the Police Department communications infrastructure.

She expressed disappointment that Westport had not received official notification of rejection of its application and said she planned to indicate her displeasure to members of the stateҒs Congressional delegation.

Two New England applicants received grants under the program—Narragansett, R.I. was awarded $3,041,942 and Grafton County, New Hampshire, got $2,176,168.

Fine Living Cable Channel Spotlights Westport

The Fine Living cable channel spotlights Westport on Saturday as one of its 10 More Perfect Places to Live in America.Ӕ

But youll need access to satellite television to view it as the newest of the Scripps Networks lifestyle-oriented television networks is not available on Cablevision. The 3 p.m. broadcast can be seen on DirecTv channel 232.

ғWestport could be the best suburb in America, proclaims the channelԒs Web site promotion of the program.

It’s an accessible, vibrant bedroom community to New York City with fabulous housing stock ӗ and a great beach scene with all kinds of water activities on Long Island Sound. The schools are about the best in the country.

It lists these attributes:
ӕ  Westport’s economy is based on retail and professional services.
  Its median household income is $119,872.
Օ  The average public school class size in Westport is 21 students.
  Its crime levels are far below the national average.
Օ  Westport’s Compo Beach is a one-mile stretch on Long Island Sound.

The network, which is a sister channel to HGTV, The Food Network, and The Do-It-Yourself Network, placed Westport at No. 10 on its list for the program.

Its other nine best places to live are: 9. Santa Fe, N.M.; 8. Stockbridge, Mass.; 7. Charlotte, N.C.; 6. Las Vegas, Nev.; 5. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.; 4. Kihei, Hawaii; 3. Madison, Wisc.; 2. Boston, Mass., and 1. San Francisco, Calif.

“These choice residential spots represent months of research, and include the large and the small, back roads and big towns, plains and deserts and beaches,” the Fine Living Network said.

“Certain selection criteria were hard and fast—all 10 boast a vibrant city economy, access to nature and outdoor recreation, a solid school system and reasonably priced housing.

“But beyond that, these places all have the intangible, the attitude and character that quite simply make them great places and great places to live.”

The network’s crew was in Westport last spring, doing interviews and taping scenes at beaches, Longshore, the downtown area, and at the Staples High School graduation.

Westport Names Utility Executive Special Police Advisor

Westport Names Utility Executive Special Police Advisor
In an innovative way to increase community security, Westport today named Connecticut Light and Power Co. executive Christopher Swan, who grew up in Westport, a special advisor to its Police Department.


First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell today swears in CL&P executive Chrisopher Swan as a special advisor to the Police Department. WestportNow.com photo

Swan, general manager for the utilitys Stamford/Norwalk district, was sworn in during todayҒs police promotion ceremonies at Town Hall by First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell.
Police Chief William Chiarenzelli explained that Swan long has been closely involved in emergency preparedness meetings and planning sessions.
But he said Swan often had to leave the room when the discussions turned to classified matters, especially involving planning for possible terrorist attacks.
By making Swan a sworn adviser to the department complete with his own badge ֖ he said this problem was eliminated.
Chiarenzelli said he was especially happy to have Swan a sworn member of the police department team.
He said it was Swans late father-in-law, Samuel Luciano, who was chief of the department when he first joined 40 years ago. Swan, a 1967 graduate of Staples High School, is married to LucianoҒs daughter Carol.
Luciano died in 1970 at the age of 57 and is remembered by longtime Westporters as one of the communitys finest police commanders.

Westport Adds to its Finest

Westport Adds to its Finest


First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell swears in three new police officers today in ceremonies at Town Hall. They are (l. to r.) Howard E. Simpson III, 37, of Seymour, Laurie A. Huzina, 27, of Norwalk, and Marc D. Heinmiller, 25, of Stratford, son of Deputy Chief David Heinmiller. Police Chief William Chiarenzelli is at podium. WestportNow.com photo

Well-Known Westporter Peter PJӔ A.

Well-Known Westporter Peter PJӔ A. Romano, Sr. Dies at 71
Peter PJӔ A. Romano, Sr., a native Westporter who was active in numerous community organizations over the years, including chairing the Police Athletic League (PAL) annual fireworks event, died Monday at Norwalk Hospital. He was 71.

Romano was an employee of Home Oil for 40 years before retiring in 1995. A former director of the PAL, he headed the fireworks annual fundraiser for the organization for 35 years. He also oversaw the annual PAL Halloween and Christmas events.

He was a longtime member and past president of the Westport Sons of Italy and has been honored as Westports Volunteer of the Year as well receiving a citizenship award from the Sportsmen of Westport.

Romano and his son, Peter T. Romano, were among the YMCAҒs Faces of AchievementӔ honorees in 1998.

Westporters Make Way to Boston for Latest Red Sox-Yankees Game

Westport may be closer to The Bronx than Boston, but that didn’t stop Westporters from making their way to Fenway Park for the latest game of the Red Sox-Yankee American League Championship Series.

It’s impossible to know just how many, however.

We do know Westporter Michael Bolton was there tonight to sing the national anthem before the fourth game of the series.

And also probably there, but we don’t know for sure, another Westporter—Jeff White. White is an advisor to the Red Sox president and former senior vice president and chief financial officer of Major League Baseball.

Martha is Scared but Doesnt Think SheҒll Go to Jail


Barbara Walters interviews Martha Stewart. ABC News.com photo

Westporter Martha Stewart, in her first interview since she was indicted in a stock-trading scandal in June, says she is scared but does not believe she will go to prison.
The comments, released today by ABC News, came in an interview conducted over the weekend by Barbara Walters that will air in November, two months before Stewart’s scheduled trial.
“Who wouldn’t be scared?” Stewart said, according to the ABC excerpt. “Of course I’m scared. The last place I would ever want to go is prison. And I don’t think I will be going to prison, though.”
ABC did not release further excerpts or say where the interview took place.