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Saturday, November 8, 2003



Saturday, November 8, 2003

1:30 p.m.  – Staples High School—Staples football vs Wilton
6:30 p.m. – Unitarian Church—A Better Chance fundraiser
6:45 pm. – Rolnick Observatory – Viewing of Lunar eclipse
8 p.m. – Greens Farms School – Westport Arts Center presents Leo Kottke in concert.

(For your events to be considered for the WestportNow Calendar, please e-mail details at least three days in advance to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).)

No Starch, Please: the Price of Getting Taken to the Cleaners



By Fran

WestportNow Consumer Correspondent
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The price is not the lowest but State Cleaners has Arnold and his dimples. WestportNow.com photo

Is there any man out there who still wears a nice crisp white shirt and tie to work these days?  Maybe not.  A pity, if you ask me.  But for this week’s Fran’s List I thought it would be interesting to survey Westport’s dry cleaners to compare the cost of laundering the near-extinct dress shirt.
In compiling this week’s List, I was surprised to learn that my own personal favorite, State Cleaners, is one of the most expensive in town.  But they will replace a lost or damaged shirt button, no charge.  Besides, the owner, Arnold, has the cutest dimples.
Here’s what it costs around Westport to launder one man’s dress shirt, on a hanger, no starch (Readers: please e-mail me if I have missed any!):
Fred and Dolly’s Cleaners 1.45
Maple Cleaners $1.75
Magic Cleaners 1.75
Swiss Cleaners 1.75
Community Dry Cleaners 1.80
Pembroke Cleaners 1.80
Belle Cleaners 1.85
Clothing Care of Westport 1.95
Final Touch Cleaner 1.95
Minute Man Cleaners 1.95
Sylvan Cleaners 1.95
Westport Cleaners 1.95
Pure Elegance 2.00
State Cleaners 2.00
Dean Cleaners 2.10
If you are not sure about the location of any of these establishments, just click here, enter the business name, and you’ll get an address and phone number.

Friday, November 7, 2003



Friday, November 7, 2003

7:30 a.m.  – Hunt Club – Westport/Weston Sunrise Rotary
6:30 p.m. – The Inn at Longshore – Sunrise Rotary 14th annual wine tasting
7 p.m. – Greens Farms Academy – Westport Chamber of Commerce’s “Westport Goes Western”

(For your events to be considered for the WestportNow Calendar, please e-mail details at least three days in advance to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).)

Women in Majority in RTM for First Time in Recent Memory

For the first time in its 54-year history, women are in the majority in Westports Representative Town Meeting (RTM) Җ if the outcome of a recount in one district does not change the winner.
Counting Valerie Fischel in District 4, who won by 13 votes over incumbent George Franciscovich pending a recount, there will be 19 women on the 36-member legislative body. This compares to 14 on the current RTM.


District 6 RTM member Ann Marie Flynn casts her ballot on Tuesday. She is one of 19 women elected to the RTM, giving females a majority for the first time. WestportNow.com photo

All 19 women running for the RTM this year if there is no change in District 4֒s result were victorious, including eight newcomers.
A review of RTM records showed no female majority since the RTM was founded in 1949. Of the 26 members on the first RTM, only four were women.
District 2 again has an all-female representation while District 5 has all males.
All nine RTM districts under the new redistricting plan now have four representatives each.
With the loss of three members over 80, and none over that age coming in, the new RTM also takes on a slightly younger look.
The new RTM members will be sworn in along with other elected town officials on Nov. 17.
The current RTM will hold its last session Nov. 12.
Editor’s Note: The editor of WestportNow is a member of the RTM from Distict 8 and also serves as RTM moderator.

Lending an Election Day Hand


Now that Election Day is past, WestportNow can publish some photos it would not run on Tuesday out of fairness to all candidates. This one shows Dr. Lisa Rome getting a hand with her sign from John Watson outside the Long Lots Elementary School polling place. Both were victorious in their bids for re-election in District 7 of the Representative Town Meeting—Rome getting the highest vote count of any RTM candidate, 416. WestportNow.com photo

Staples Soccer: Next Round Against Saugatuck Postponed to Friday

The next round of the Staples boys soccer quest for a state title has been postponed 24 hours due to unplayable field conditions, Dan Woog, the team’s coach, said today.

The Divsion LL match against Naugatuck will be played at 6 p.m. Friday at Naugatuck High School.

The 15th-ranked Wreckers (11-5-2) are fresh off their come-from-behind, first-round victory Tuesday over Westhill of Stamford. In Naugatuck (17-1-0). they are facing their first-ever match against the No. 2 team.

The View from the Republican Chair

By Pete Wolgast

Chair, Westport Republican Town Committee
Special to WestportNow.com

The 2003 election in Westport was the off year for voting in the four-year election cycle.  As usual, voters were relatively uninterested in spite of the efforts made by the League of Women Voters, the Democrat Party and the Republican Party to get them to vote. 

Only 42.5 percent of those registered turned out to vote. Four years ago in a similar election only 36 percent voted.  Next year is a presidential election and it is likely about 85 percent of Westport’s voters will vote as they did in 2000.

In 2005, we will have a First Selectman’s contest (50 percent voted in the last one in 2001) and in 2006 we will have a gubernatorial election (60 percent voted in the last one in 2002) which should bring out more voters than this year.

My congratulations to party chairman Martha Aasen and the Democrats for successfully maintaining control of all Westport town boards and commissions in the 2003 election. 

Even though Republicans have an advantage due to the larger number of registered Republicans, the Democrats had an advantage in this election because they only had to elect six candidates to maintain their control of the boards. Westport Republicans endorsed 12 candidates for the boards and commissions.

A further advantage for the Democrats was that five of their six candidates were incumbents while only two of the 12 Republicans were incumbents. 

Looking at each of the boards and commissions:

Zoning Board of Appeals
Since the Democrats have two incumbents on the ZBA with two more years remaining on their four-year term, the Town Charter only allows them to elect one more person on this five-member board. The Democrats only needed to re-elect their incumbent chairman to maintain control.

Planning & Zoning Commission
On this commission, the Democrats have three incumbents with two more years remaining on their four-year term. So they could only elect one more person on this seven-member board.  Here again, the Democrats only needed to re-elect their incumbent chairwoman to maintain control while the Republicans had to elect four newcomers.

Board of Education
On this board, the Democrats have two incumbents with two years remaining in their term so they needed to elect one incumbent and one newcomer to maintain control of this seven-member board. The Republicans ran two candidates.

Lewis Brey had served on the RTM and the Board of Finance previously and was soundly supported as he received the second most votes. Republican candidate Ed Bowers is very capable but is relatively new to Westport after living and serving in Norwalk for many years.

In spite of the fact that he was supported by several full-page advertisements by The Campaign for a Responsive Board of Education (presumably that group of parents who were unhappy with the earlier start time at Coleytown Middle School), he finished last of the major party candidates.

Board of Finance
Here again, the Democrats have two incumbents with two years remaining on their terms. To maintain control of this seven-member board, they had to re-elect two incumbents, including the chairman. 

Meanwhile, the GOP had to elect three candidates, incumbent Gavin Anderson, highly popular RTM member Charlie Haberstroh, who received the second most votes. and Tom Bloch, who is highly capable but completely new to Westport politics and finished behind the other major party-endorsed candidates.

With three unaffiliated candidates running for the Board of Education, the 2003 election was more interesting than usual. The unaffiliated candidates worked very hard.

One raised more money than any other candidate and was supported by The Campaign for a Responsive Board of Education. However, none of the three garnered enough votes to challenge any of the major party candidates. This election showed the difficulty of winning as an unaffiliated candidate. 

In the last 30 years in Westport, only Audrey Hansen, an incumbent Republican member of the Board of Education, who was not endorsed by the Republican Party, has won without the support of a major party.

(Editor’s Note: The chair of the Democratic Town Committee presented her views Wednesday.)