Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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Westports White Barn Theater May be Razed

Westports White Barn Theater, a town landmark for more than 50 years, may be razed to make way for a housing development.
The trustees who control the theater and surrounding property on the Westport-Norwalk line will begin seeking proposals from developers, according to The Advocate of Stamford/Norwalk.
The proposals could mean razing of the theater which was founded in 1947 by Lucille Lortel to develop the talents of new playwrights, composers, actors, directors and designers. Lortel died in 1999.


Lucille Lortel File photo


Frank Zullo File photo

The prospect of loss of the theater was cited at a Norwalk City Hall meeting Thursday by Frank Zullo, a trustee for the White Barn Theater Foundation.
Zullo, a former Norwalk mayor, had approached residents of NorwalkҒs Cranbury neighborhood and the city last summer with a plan to build about a dozen homes on 12.5 acres off Newtown Turnpike and deed the playhouse and 5.5 remaining acres to the city.
But reaction from neighbors was lukewarm, he said, so the foundation plans to seek proposals from developers, the newspaper said.
Up to 23 homes could be built on the Norwalk and Westport portions of the property, he said.
“If there is no interest by the city, then I have been authorized to move forward,” Zullo told members of the Mayor’s Cranbury Neighborhood Task Force.
He said plans have been on hold for six months in hopes of reaching an agreement. “We can’t afford to wait five, six, seven, eight more months,” Zullo said.
Zullo said although the foundation plans to preserve the White Barn Theater’s mission as a venue for new and established actors and artists, it doesn’t have to remain in the current playhouse. Instead, the trustees would find an alternative spot “in this region,” he said.

P&Z Recommends Demolishing Allen’s Clam House


In a meeting that ended early today, the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission voted 7-0 to recommend demolishing the former Allen’s Clam House building. A developer had sought to reopen a smaller restaurant on the town-owned property while many area residents advocated demolishing the main building to make open space. WestportNow.com photo

Allen’s Clam House Long Subject of Controversy


The decision early today by the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission to recommend demolishing the former Allen’s Claim House building came after lengthy controversy. Town boards long debated what to do with the popular restaurant following purchase of the land by the town with assistance of public contributions. WestportNow.com photo

RTM Committee Assignments Announced

RTM Committee Assignments Announced
Committee assignments for the 2003-2005 term of Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) have been announced by RTM Moderator Gordon Joseloff.

The first name listed is the appointed committee chair.

Education
Mary Gordon Webber
Gwen Campbell
Chris Grimm
Velma Heller
John Klinge
Bill Meyer
Hadley Rose

Employee Compensation
Lynn Abramson
Allen Bomes
Marla Cowden
Velma Heller
Margaret McHenry
Michael Rea
Lisa Rome
John Watson

Environment
Michael Rea
Diane Cady
Jo Ann Davidson
Helen Garten
Janet Horowitz
Joe Mioli
Judy Starr

Finance
John Booth
Lynn Abramson
Helen Garten
Jorgen Jensen
Ronald Malone
Michael Rea
Lisa Rome
Lois Schine
Alice Shelton

Health & Human Services
Lisa Rome
Lynn Abramson
John Booth
Diane Cady
Valerie Fischel
Velma Heller
Richard Lowenstein
Kim Mathias
Margaret McHenry
Bill Meyer
Wally Meyer
Jonathan Steinberg

Information Technology
Gordon Joseloff
Marla Cowden
Elizabeth Kuechenmeister
Helmut Krause
William Scheffler
Alice Shelton
Jonathan Steinberg

Library, Museum & Arts
Ann Sheffer
Gwen Campbell
Valerie Fischel
Ann Marie Flynn
Janet Horowitz
Ron Malone
Alice Shelton
Jonathan Steinberg

Ordinance
Alice Shelton
Valerie Fischel
Helen Garten
Kim Mathias
Gordon Joseloff
Wally Meyer

Parks & Recreation
Bill Meyer
Allen Bomes
Diane Cady
Anne Marie Flynn
Chris Grimm
John Klinge
Wally Meyer

Planning & Zoning
William Scheffler
Jo Ann Davidson
Ann Marie Flynn
Elizabeth Kuechenmeister
Lois Schine
John Watson
Mary Gordon Webber

Public Protection
Richard Lowenstein
Ann Marie Flynn
Elizabeth Kuechenmeister
Helmut Krause
Kim Mathias
Joe Mioli
Judy Starr
John Watson

Public Works
Judy Starr
Janet Horowitz
Jorgen Jensen
John Klinge
Ronald Malone
Margaret McHenry
Hadley Rose
John Watson

Rules
Gordon Joseloff
Alice Shelton
William Scheffler
Mary Gordon Webber
Hadley Rose
Margaret McHenry
Richard Lowenstein
Jo Ann Davidson
Lisa Rome
Lois Schine
Joe Mioli

Transit
Elizabeth Kuechenmeister
Marla Cowden
Chris Grimm
Richard Lowenstein
Joe Mioli
Mary Gordon Webber

Special Ethics
Ronald Malone
John Booth
Gordon Joseloff
Lisa Rome
Alice Shelton
Mary Gordon Webber

Special Long-Range Planning
Jack Klinge
Allen Bomes
Jo Ann Davidson
Chris Grimm
Gordon Joseloff
Wally Meyer
Michael Rea
Lois Schine
Alice Shelton    

Special School Building Administrative Committee
Gordon Joseloff
Alice Shelton
John Booth
Mary Gordon Webber

Editor’s Note: Gordon Joseloff is editor and publisher of WestportNow.

New Asthma Study Finds Westport Children Among Lowest at Risk

A new study has found that children in Westport schools and Connecticut towns with similar socioeconomic characteristics have the lowest risk for asthma.

The report was conducted by a North Haven nonprofit organization, Environment and Human Health, Inc.

Among its authors was Nadine Schwab, supervisor of health services for the Westport school system. She is also an associate clinical professor of nursing at Yale University.

After conducting interviews with school health nurses across the state, the group found Windham County has the highest rate of asthma among elementary school children in Connecticut.

Children from urban school districts, such as Bridgeport and Hartford, also have high asthma rates. Westport and other towns in its education reference group (ERG) had the lowest rates.

The statewide rate is 9.7 percent, or one in 10 Connecticut children— higher than the 7.8 percent rate found in a 1999 study.

“Children in urban areas get more asthma as do children in the poorest areas of the state,” Schwab said.

The federally funded report calls on school districts, the state as well as the federal government to do more.

“The federal government needs to fund more research and send more money for treatment to states with the highest rates of asthma in the country,” Schwab said.

Dr. Mark Cullen of the Yale University School of Medicine, said, “The most striking thing that we were able to show is an extension of what we learned last time; which is that schools in poorer school districts have more asthma.”

He added, “Our study did not address home or community environments, but did demonstrate that a high proportion of Connecticut’s schools have environmental problems, such as water damage, roach and pest infestations, indoor renovations, pesticide use and idling buses, which may contribute to or exacerbate asthma.”

“If one extrapolates the percentage of students from K-5, who have been found in this study to have asthma, to the entire student body in Connecticut in grades K-12, then one can estimate that approximately 64,000 school children in Connecticut have asthma,” said Nancy Alderman, president of the nonprofit group which made the study.

“These are extraordinarily high numbers to which attention must be paid.”

The complete report is available at the Environment and Human Health, Inc. Web site.

Staples Coach Petroccio: Nothing Can Take Away the Spirit of Our Young MenӔ

Staples football Coach Marce Petroccio, coming off of a 13-1 season that saw the team win the FCIAC title and end up in the state championships, has issued a public expression of thanks to the community for its support.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their tremendous support this year,Ӕ he said in a message posted Tuesday on the Staples football Web site.


Flashback: Coach Marce Petroccio with senior Jimmy Hughes in September. WestportNow.com photo

Students, teachers, administrators, parents and the community have been such a big part of our success.
“The coaches on this staff have done an incredible job and are without a doubt the best assistants in the country. We couldn’t have done it without them.
ӓAlthough things didn’t turn out quite the way we would have liked, nothing can take away the tremendous spirit of our young men.
The trust, loyalty and unselfishness that was exhibited time and time again this season by our players are lessons we can all learn from.
ӓTo them, the program always came first. Their unselfishness is what I am most proud of. They are a tremendous group who learned a lot about themselves and each other.
You can’t learn these lessons from a book or a computer, you learn them through experience.
ӓFinally, I know the memories of yesterdays (MondayҒs) game are painful, but in time we will talk about all of your unbelievable accomplishments and how you rallied an entire town together for 14 weeks. I love you men.