Tuesday, May 30, 2023

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Westport Had Six Unhealthy Air Quality Days This Summer

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says Westport registered six unhealthy air quality days this summer.
In a preliminary report on air quality for the region, the EPAs New England office said its monitor at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport registered six days in June, July, and August when average particle levels exceeded healthy standards.
The New England region as a whole registered 14 unhealthy days this summer, down from 36 the previous year.


This map shows unhealthy air quality on June 26, the day Westport had its worst air quality reading this summer. Yellow is moderate, orange is unhealthy for sensitive groups, red is unhealthy, and maroon is very unhealthy. EPA graphic


The EPA said the decrease in the number of days with unhealthy ozone this year was directly related to the decrease in the number of hot days this year.
The agency said ground level ozone, the main ingredient of smog, is unhealthy when average concentrations exceed 0.08 parts per million over an eight-hour period.
The Westport monitor exceeded those amounts on June 25 (0.112), June 26 (0.113), June 27 (0.093), July 4 (0.108), July 26 (0.091), and Aug. 21 (0.097).
The EPA said the long-term trend in the number of unhealthy days in New England is downward and peak ozone concentrations have significantly decreased over the last 30 years.
Meanwhile, the EPA said that it will now issue its daily alerts for smog and soot pollution year-round, not just in the summer.
And it has added six areas in Connecticut, including Bridgeport, Danbury, Hartford, New Haven, New London-Groton and Torrington, for which individual alerts will be issued.
The EPA hopes its expanded “air quality index” becomes as popular and widely used as the statements from the National Weather Service.
The expanded forecasts for both smog and soot, or particle pollution, will help millions of people – especially those with heart or lung disease, older adults and children – protect their health, EPA Acting Administrator Marianne Horinko said.
They will be posted daily on an EPA Web site with color-coded forecasts.

Westport Playhouse Benefit Auction Offers Movie Roles, Trips

If youve always wanted to be in a movie with Paul Newman, now you can—if you are willing to pay top dollar for the opportunity.

All you have to do is make a winning bid at next weekҒs all-star benefit event to raise funds for the renovation of the Westport Country Playhouse.

Walk-on movie roles are among the auction items at the Oct. 9 “Breaking New Ground: A Celebration!“event at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich featuring Newman, Carole King, and Robin Williams. Newmans wife, actress Joanne Woodward, is the playhouseҒs artistic director.

Newman and Woodward are long-time Westport residents.

Tickets for the gala range from $500 to $2,000 per person. Once in the door, youll get a program with a bidding number on the back cover, enabling you to participate in the live auction.

Among the auction items announced by the Playhouse is a walk-on role in NewmanҒs new film, Empire FallsӔ being made for HBO.

The film, based on the novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Russo, is about economic, social and moral power struggles of a small working-class town in Maine. It also stars Woodward.

A Playhouse announcement said the winner will be an extra in the film on a date to be determined before shooting ends in Maine on Nov. 9. Travel and hotel arrangements must be made by the winner.

Another extra role is offered in a Miramax film being made in London as part of a travel package that includes airline tickets and tickets to London plays.

Other auction items include a week on the French Rivera, a ringside seat at an HBO pay-per-view boxing match, two airline tickets to the 2004 Athens Olympics plus choice NBC VIP seating at Olympic events, and a week in Hollywood with visits to the Golden Globe awards, plus entry to tapings of the Tonight Show,Ӕ Friends,Ӕ and Will and Grace.Ӕ

If you dont win the live auction for the walk-on role in NewmanҒs movie, you can always make a silent auction bid for dinner and a night at the Metropolitan Opera with Woodward. No word on whether Newman will attend as well.

Board of Finance Session Televised Tonight

Board of Finance Session Televised Tonight
For the first time, the town’s cable television channel tonight broadcast live a session of the Board of Finance.

Meetings of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) have been broacast on the town channel 79 since last year.

There was no advance announcement of the decision to broadcast the meeting live.

With only three items on the agenda, the meeting was unusually short, lasting only about 10 minutes. The cameras showed an almost empty Town Hall auditorium.

First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell has said she hopes to expand live television coverage of meetings of boards and commissions as the current budget will allow.

Westport Doctor Featured on TVs ғBaby Story

Westport obstetrician and gynecologist Marc Storch is featured on the cable television program A Baby StoryӔ which airs Thursday on the The Learning Channel (TLC).

It is the second appearance on the program for the 57-year-old Storch.

“The first baby I did the show with sort of fell out,” Storch told The Advocate of Stamford/Norwalk. “This one was a little trickier. She made me a little nervous.”

The episode, taped six months ago at Norwalk Hospital, features mother Lauren Abdulrahman of Newtown giving birth to her daughter Leena.

Westport Firefighters Respond to Propane Gas Leak

Westport Firefighters Respond to Propane Gas Leak
Landscapers accidentally damaged an underground propane tank valve today at a Town Crier Lane residence in the Coleytown area of Westport, fire officials said.

The tank released propane into the air for about 30 minutes before firefighters could shut it down. There were no injuries.

An engine company from the Coleytown fire station happened to be on a public education session at the nearby St. Paul Lutheran Church on Easton Road when the accident happened and summoned additional units shortly before 11 a.m.

Firefighters set up a protective water spray to help dissipate the propane gas cloud,.

At 11:25 a.m., fire offiicals reported that they had stemmed most of the leak from a damaged relief valve and were awaiting gas company representatives to transfer any remaining propane.

Police diverted traffic from Easton Road in the area while firefighters worked to control the leak.

A Fairfield engine company responded on a mutual aid call to provide additional Westport coverage while the Westport units were tied up at the Town Crier Lane incident.

The last fire unit left the scene shortly after 1 p.m. with the situation reported under control.

Westport-LookӔ Coming to Times Square for Christmas?

Westport-LookӔ Coming to Times Square for Christmas?


The savemartha.com Web site includes this animated graphic soliciting funds for a Times Square billboard.


Todays New York Post reports that Martha Stewart supporters want to erect a Times Square billboard in time for Christmas with a ғWestport, Conn., look to it.
The newspaper said that John Small, operator of the savemartha.com Web site, is leading a campaign to buy a “Save Martha Stewart” billboard in time for StewartԒs Jan. 12 trial on charges related to insider trading.
It said his Web site has raised $2,000 so far – with only $18,000 more to go.
“We’ve gotten a lot of $10, $20 donations,” Small said told the Post. “Howard Dean-size donations.”
The newspaper said it will take at least $20,000 for Small to erect the “If the Stock Sale Was Legit, You Must Acquit” billboard in Times Square, listing the names of all the donors with a “honk if you love Martha” tagline.
Small is confident he’ll get the money by the holidays, though, which means the billboard can have, ӑa Christmas/choral theme, with a Westport, Conn., look to it,Ҕ the Post said.
Small is a New York marketing consultant who started his Web site shortly after the Stewart investigation began.

If it’s Oct. 1, it

If it’s Oct. 1, it Must Be…Dogs at the Beach


Westporter Skip Crane with friends Ben (foreground) and Ditto renew their acquaintance with Compo Beach today. Dogs on leash and off leash in designated areas are permitted Oct. 1 until April 1. The town and dog owners will monitor off-season usage of the beach with an eye to possible additional adjustments to the dog regulations.  WestportNow.com photo

I-95 Gridlock Sends Traffic to

I-95 Gridlock Sends Traffic to Local Streets


An overturned tractor-trailer in Darien snarled traffic in both directions on I-95 during today’s morning rush hour. As always when the highway is gridlocked, traffic spilled over to local Westport roadways, causing local backups. View of southbound traffic is from the Hillspoint Road overpass.  WestportNow.com photo

New Fire Assistant Chiefs Sworn

New Fire Assistant Chiefs Sworn In


The Westport Fire Department swore in four new assistant chiefs tonight in ceremonies at Town Hall. Taking the oath (l. to r.) are Christopher Ackley, Larry Conklin, Robert Kepchar, and Eugene Maloney. Four new lieutenants also took the oath along with five new firefighters. A sixth was absent because of illness.  WestportNow.com photo