Tuesday, March 05, 2024

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William Steinkraus: My Sister Really Believed in Bridges

Editor’s Note: Once called “the man who epitomized style on horseback, William C.  Steinkraus was the first United States rider ever to win an Olympic individual gold medal (Mexico City, 1968). A U.S. Equestrian Team member from 1951 through 1972, he competed in six Olympics. Following are excerpts from his remarks at today’s Westport bridge dedication honoring his sister, Ruth Steinkraus Cohen.

By William C. Steinkraus

Given her interest in the United Nations from its very inception, it was the most natural thing in the world for Ruth to think of somehow getting Westport involved in the U.N. and getting the U.N. involved in Westport.

WestportNow.com Image
William Steinkraus tells today’s Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Memorial Bridge dedication ceremony his sister would have cherished the honor Westport and the state bestowed upon her. WestportNow.com photo

This eventually occurred through the medium of the International Hospitality Committee of Fairfield County, an element of the United Nations Association of the USA and Westport’s own jUNe day and other special occasions.

Ruth was an initiator and driving force behind these activities and many others, enlisting the help of an army of dedicated volunteers, and in the past four decades, more than 50,000 U.N. diplomats, staff and State Department personnel have visited Westport for one or another of the Hospitality Committee’s special events.

Ruth would have been thrilled but not surprised that jUNe day and the rest of the committee’s activities are still continuing after her death, for they have surely meant too much to too many for them to be suspended.

Four Write-In Candidates Registered in RTM District 8

Four Write-In Candidates Registered in RTM District 8
Town Clerk Patricia H. Strauss said today she has been informed by the Secretary of the States Election Division that four Westport residents have registered as write-in candidates in the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) District 8.

The district has four seats up for grabs in the Nov. 4 election, but only three candidates Җ all incumbents are listed on the ballot.

To be eligible to be a write-in candidate, residents of the district had to register with the Secretary of the State֒s office by Oct. 21.

Those eligible for write-in status are: Dwight Wayne (Robin) Batteau; Benjamin G. Joseloff; Jonathan Steinberg, and John P. Vornle, Strauss said.

She said anyone else written in by voters will be disqualified. No other write-in candidates have been registered for any other Westport municipal office, Strauss said.

Editors Note:  The editor of WestportNow is an incumbent District 8 RTM member seeking re-election and father of write-in candidate Benjamin G. Joseloff.

Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Memorial Bridge

Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Memorial Bridge Dedicated


The Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Memorial Bridge across the Saugatuck River was officially dedicated today. Among those taking part were (l. to r.) First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell, William Steinkraus, the honoree’s brother, Aye Aye Thant, president, UNA-USA Southwestern Connecticut Chapter, and state Rep. G. Kenneth Bernhard, R-Westport, sponsor of the naming legislation. WestportNow.com photo

End to Daylight Savings Time Brings Free Batteries, Changes in Rail Service

End to Daylight Savings Time Brings Free Batteries, Changes in Rail Service
This weekends end of daylight savings time not only means an extra hour of sleep, but free batteries for your smoke detectors from the Westport Fire Department and increased rail service from Metro-North.

The departmentҒs change your clock, change your batteriesӔ campaign is aimed at reminding Westporters to make sure the batteries in their smoke detectors are operable, according to Fire Marshal Fred S. Baker.

Beginning Saturday, the department will offer free 9-volt replacement batteries to Westporters bringing their old batteries to fire headquarters, 515 Post Road East. There is a limit of three batteries per household.

Those needing assistance in changing their smoke detector batteries can request department help by calling 341-5010.

The free batteries are provided courtesy of the Westport Rotary Club and the Westport Firefighters Golf Tournament, according to Baker.

As Westporters set their clocks back at 2 a.m. Sunday, they will also wake up to a revised Metro-North train schedule. It adds a new early morning express train beginning Monday that departs Westport at 5:04 a.m. and arrives at Grand Central Terminal at 6:04 a.m.

To reduce a one-hour-and-10-minute service gap to outer New Haven Line stations in the evening, a new express train will depart Grand Central at 9:37 p.m. with a stop in Westport at 10:37 p.m.

On weekends, the 6:40 a.m. local train operating out of Grand Central on Saturdays and Sundays will now be split into two trains, saving customers who travel east of Old Greenwich up to 26 minutes of travel time. A new 7:07 a.m. express from Grand Central will arrive in Westport at 8:13 a.m. and Green’s Farms at 8:17 a.m.

On Sundays, a new inbound express train stops in Westport at 9:12 a.m. and arrives in Grand Central at 10:12 a.m. In the evening, a new express train will depart Grand Central at 4:34 p.m., arriving in Westport at 5:35 p.m.

For complete train schedules, click on the link on the left side of this page.

Ed Mitchell Stars in High Price Home Movie

Todays Wall Street Journal cites the family of Ed Mitchell in a story about baby boomers, faced with aging parents, scrambling against time to make a permanent record of the family lore.

But instead of picking up a video camera and firing off a list of questions, the newspaper says some boomers are hiring production companies to turn these tales into glossy documentaries.

Excerpt: ғEd Mitchell, who started a clothing store in Westport, Conn., back in the 1958, just finished appearing in the movie version of his life, Second to None: We Started with Three Suits; The Ed Mitchell Story.ђ

His family hired Reel Biography to make the film, as a tribute to the 98-year-old family patriarch.

ӓA crew of four spent two days taking footage of the shop and interviewing Mr. Mitchell’s family, friends and customers. The result was two videos, 10-minute and 30-minute versions.

Filming for the ӑSecond to None had some of the trappings of a Hollywood shoot, from the makeup and hair touchups to the tedious set arranging.

ғAt one session, Mr. Mitchell’s two sons, Bill and Jack, redo again and again what will be the introduction to the film.

Take one: Bill stumbles over his words. Take 2: The cameraman tells Bill he is smacking the microphone with his gesticulations, ruining the sound.

ӓTake 3: The more gregarious Bill hogs the spotlight. We want Jack to say something too,Ғ the producer says. Take 4: They nail it. It is beyond words and my capacity to thank you, Dad,ђ Bill begins.

Fire Department Adds New Recruit

Fire Department Adds New Recruit


First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell today swears in new Fire Department recruit Terrence Dunn. Jr., 21, of Shelton. The son of a retired state trooper, Dunn joins five other recruits sworn in last month to bring the department strength to 57. Fire Chief Denis McCarthy looks on. WestportNow.com photo

Westports Sean Mulcahy Wearing Neck Brace, Shoulder Harness

Westports Sean Mulcahy has added a neck brace and shoulder harness to his normal attire, reports todayҒs Hartford Courant, but the UConn starting defensive tackle and team tri-captain is still determined to play his remaining games.

“I’ve only got four games left,” Mulcahy told the newspaper. “I’m not going to wimp out now.”

The 2000 Staples grad has started 34 consecutive games. There was some doubt he’d play against Kent State last week after injuring his neck against North Carolina State Oct. 11.

He played against Kent State, but injured a shoulder and missed most of the second half. He is questionable for Akron on Saturday.

“It’s somewhat frustrating,” Mulcahy said. “I can’t really do the things I want to do because I don’t have as much mobility. With the injuries I can’t play as well as I want to. It kind of limits you. But I have got to be out there. I have to do what I have to do.”