Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Martha Stewart Wins Legal Victory

Martha Stewart won a legal victory today with a federal court judge ruling that prosecutors may not use an e-mail she wrote to her lawyer last year as evidence at her forthcoming trial on insider trading-related charges.

U.S. District Court Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum ruled the Westport resident did not waive the e-mail’s protected status when she forwarded it to her daughter, Alexis, a day after sending it to her attorney.

The e-mail, dated June 23, 2002, contains Stewart’s account of why she sold ImClone Systems stock in late 2001. The sale was under investigation in 2002, and Stewart was later indicted on five criminal counts.

A federal prosecutor came across the e-mail earlier this year in preparation for Stewart’s trial, scheduled for Jan. 12, and asked the judge to clarify whether it could be used as evidence.

Cedarbaum ruled the e-mail deserved the legal protection of attorney work product —a designation that means the government cannot use it as evidence at her trial.

The judge said the e-mail does not disclose Stewart’s legal strategy, but she rejected the government’s argument that the e-mail “would have taken the same form if created for a nonlitigation purpose.”

In an affidavit, Stewart called her daughter “the closest person in the world to me.”

“She is a valued confidante and counselor to me,” Stewart said. “In sharing the e-mail with her, I knew that she would keep its content strictly confidential.”

The government says Stewart sold ImClone shares on Dec. 27, 2001, because she was tipped that the family of ImClone founder Sam Waksal, a Stewart friend, was trying to sell its shares.

Martha Stewart at Yankee Stadium Again as New Kmart Ads Debut

Martha Stewart at Yankee Stadium Again as New Kmart Ads Debut
Westports Martha Stewart was back again at Yankee Stadium Sunday night as a new Kmart ad campaign featuring her debuted during television coverage of the second World Series game between the Yankees and Marlins.


Martha Stewart (second from bottom) chats with Sharon Patrick, president of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, during Sunday night’s second game of the World Series. Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Mayor Michael Bloomberg(top, wearing hats) occupy seats closest to the Yankee dugout. WestportNow.com photo

Stewart sat where she did for last Thursday nightҒs seventh game of the Yankees-Red Sox ACLS series in the front row near the Yankee dugout a few seats away from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
Stewart brought her digital camera and snapped pictures as the Yankees took the field. She raised the camera again each time Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter took some practice swings in the on-deck circle near her seat.
At one point, Stewart smiled and waved at Jeter. He returned the smile and turned and faced her as he took some swings so she could get some pictures.
Bundled against the 45-degree cold, Stewart munched on a hot dog with sauerkraut and washed it down with some Evian water. As she did Thursday, she left early, this time at the end of the sixth inning with the Yankees leading 6-0.
As she walked up the aisle, a few fans snapped pictures of her and one asked if she would stop and pose for a picture with a friend. She readily agreed and then made her exit.
The Daily News reported that earlier Sunday, Stewart tried to grab the lens of one of its photographers as he tried to take her picture during a Central Park charity event.
The AP quoted Kmart officials as saying nothing has changed in their approach to Stewart and her well-selling line of home furnishings.
After Stewart was indicted in June on insider trading-related charges, a Kmart spokeswoman said the matter was between law enforcement and Stewart.
“We still continue to carry her (Stewart’s) product, and it continues to sell very well. There has been no change there,” Kmart spokesman Jack Ferry said.
The “Kmart, Right Here, Right Now” campaign, complete with rerecorded music of the same name by ‘90s pop artist Jesus Jones, has an urban theme and features takes of the pitch people for Kmart’s exclusive product lines – Stewart, Joe Boxer dancer Vaughn Lowery and Latin singer Thalia Sodi.
In the new ads. Stewart shows up in the towel aisle, surrounded by her namesake brand. In one 45-second spot, she beams, flashes the letter K in sign language, and says, “It’s in the K!”
Two other spots show her more or less dancing in the aisle, with the same smile and the same blue sweater tied over her shoulders, the New York Times reported.

TV Neighbors: Love in the Afternoon


The Westport Historical Society today kicked off its discussion programs in conjunction with its current “TV Neighbors” exhibit. Today’s “Love in the Afternoon: Will Roger Come Back?” panel spotlighted soap operas. Participants included (l. to r.) writer Juliet Packer, actors Tom Wiggin, Dorothy Bryce, Scott Bryce, and Bobra Suiter, and director Harry Eggart. WestportNow.com photo

Westport Bridge Naming Issue Revisited: State to Put All New Names on Hold?

Westport Bridge Naming Issue Revisited: State to Put All New Names on Hold?
Todays New York Times Connecticut section spotlights the proliferation of legislation this year naming Connecticut roads and bridges, including perhaps the most controversial Җ the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Memorial Bridge in Westport.


The controversial naming of Westport’s Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Memorial Bridge may prompt a moratorium on all Connecticut road and bridge namings. WestportNow.com photo

As a result, some legislators are wondering whether the process has gotten out of hand and at least one, state Rep. Jacqueline M. Cocco, D- Bridgeport, co-chair of the legislatures Transportation Committee, said itҒs time for a moratorium.
There needs to be a moratorium on names,Ӕ Cocco told the newspaper. There are too many in my opinion.”
She said she had told her co-chair, state Sen. Biagio “Billy” Ciotto, D-Wethersfield, they should have as much as a five-year moratorium to sort things out.
The Times said the controversial Westport bridge naming issue earlier this year played a big part in CoccoӒs call for a time out on new names.
It said a record 30 structures were named this year, twice the number of last year.
The newspaper recounted how state Rep. Ken Bernhard, R-Westport, had proposed the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen bridge naming legislation, only to undergo criticism from some town residents.
They did not want to name a bridge after someone closely associated with the United Nations at a time when the nation was dealing with a war in Iraq that did not win U.N. Security Council approval.
Of all the things I initiated and cared for in my years as a legislator, I thought this was a no-brainer,Ӕ Bernhard told the Times.
But this was by far the most controversial thing IӒve ever done as a legislator.

Whats in a Name? If itҒs Westport, its High NYC Rent for Small Space

Whats in a Name? If itҒs Westport, its High NYC Rent for Small Space
TodayҒs New York Times takes a look at the Manhattan apartment rental market and cites a new building named Westport.

The newspaper tells the tale of financial planner Jodie Welkes who returned to New York this summer after being downsized out of a job in Chicago.

Finally, she found a one-bedroom apartment on the eighth floor of the Westport, a new 27-story building opened on Memorial Day weekend by the Related Companies on 10th Avenue and West 56th Street.Ӕ

It said the Westport has a grand lobby and all the latest amenities: granite counters, marble in the bathroom, a health club and valet service,

But, she said her new apartment is only 730 square feet, or 25 percent smaller than her last one, and has almost no closet space ӗ she would gladly trade in the stylish pedestal sink for an old-fashioned vanity with storage space below, the report said.

The posted rent is $2,525 a month. After receiving two months of free rent to close the deal, she is paying $2,164, plus $275 for parking.

ԓAs the busiest rental season draws to a close, Ms. Welkes’s experience at the Westport illustrates some of the changes and unchanging facts, in the market-rate rental market in Manhattan and beyond, the Times said.

Party Time for Westport Arts

Party Time for Westport Arts Center

Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon (l.) and Board of Education member Cheryl Bliss were among attendees at the Westport Arts Center fundraising gala Saturday night. Richard Kesselman looks on. The evening began with dinners across town privately hosted by Westport Arts Center board members. They were followed by dessert at the Bedford Middle School where a performance and silent and live auction raised many thousands for the organization.
WestportNow.com photo

Popular Hair Salon Recovering from Ceiling Collapse

Popular Hair Salon Recovering from Ceiling Collapse
A ceiling collapse at a popular Westport hair salon has all but put it temporarily out of business.

The collapse occurred last weekend at the Laura Bazante Salon, 580 Riverside Ave., while the business was closed and resulted in no injuries, according to salon workers.

But there was major damage to cutting chairs, mirrors, and furniture which were flattened by the falling debris, they said. The workers did not know the cause of the collapse in the small, former restaurant.

“It looked like ground zero in there,” said one employee, who asked not to be identified.

Building owner Sam Gault promised to expedite the repair process but so far aside from barricading the damaged areas, little action has been taken, the employee said.

Business resumed on a limited basis Friday in hallways and in the salon’s adjoining Bianca Place that normally caters to children.

Laura Bazante Salon has been open about five years and has become popular among many Westporters.

Travels With Larry: the Latest from Mary-Lou Weisman

Todays New York Times Sunday travel section features the latest travel adventures of WestportҒs Mary-Lou and Larry Weisman.

Todays subject is a quick getaway to Cap Juluca in Anguilla in the Caribbean.

Excerpt: ғIf you live in the North temperate zone, February is the cruelest month, breeding viral infections and a desire for warmer climes. For my husband, Larry, and me, it’s the perfect time for a quick Caribbean getaway.

With us, the emphasis is on ӑquick. We’ve learned from a lifetime of flunking relaxation, that any sybaritic vacation longer than five days is too much of a good thing.

ғWhat we want is to trade cold weather for warm, gray skies for blue, our cooking for theirs and most especially, our chlorinated, concrete lap pool at the Westport Y for their buoyant turquoise waters and white, sandy beaches.

Westports Sean Mulcahy Aggravates Neck Injury. Sits Out 4Q and Overtime

Westports Sean Mulcahy made it into SaturdayҒs UConn close win over Kent State but aggravated a neck injury and had to sit out the fourth quarter and overtime.

The UConn tri-captain had been listed as doubtful earlier in the week, but he told reporters he had no doubt he would play in the game. UConn beat Kent State 34-31 in overtime at Dix Stadium in Kent, Ohio.

Coach Randy Edsall said, WeӒll try to get as much out of him each and every week as we possibly can. He called the injury a ԓconstant stinger, according to the Connecticut Post.

ԓHe usually gets better by Wednesday, Edsall said. ԓBut I think hes going to have that situation, as a defensive linesmen, for the rest of the year.Ҕ

As for Mulcahy, he said, I have to play every week, so itӒs not going to heal properly. Its pretty frustrating.Ҕ