Wednesday, April 17, 2024


Westport Police Step Up Security Measures, Emergency Team on Notice

Al Fiore: security measures addressed. photo
The Westport Police Department, responding to the raising of the national threat level, has increased watch on possible strategic targets in town, Deputy Police Chief Alfred Fiore said today.

Fiore, who takes over as chief on Jan. 1, told WestportNow that he and Fire Chief Denis McCarthy participated in Mondays conference call on security matters with Gov. John Rowland.

ғHe really just told us basically what (Homeland) Secretary (Tom) Ridge had told the public the day before and yesterday as well, Fiore said.

ԓHe said they raised the threat level because of the increase in sources they consider credible—they dont really have any specifics for us.Ҕ

Longtime Westport Resident Ellen Street Ritter Dies at 91

Ellen Street Ritter, a longtime Westport resident who was among the founders of the Westport League of Women Voters in 1949, has died at the age of 91.

Family members said she died Sunday at the home of a son, Nicholas Street, in Gastonia, N.C.

Ritter, a former teacher at the Bedford Elementary School, lived for many years in a house on Myrtle Avenue opposite Christ and Holy Trinity Church.

Friends said it was in Ritters home in 1949 that several Westport women discussed forming a local chapter of the League of Women Voters.

ғSix women got together and started a provisionalђ League, according to an account in the LeagueԒs member handbook.

They were required to write a handbook about Westport before being accepted as a League with full status.

Judge Continues Daybreak Nurseries Case Until Jan. 12

A Superior Court judge today continued until Jan. 12 the Town of Westports request for an injunction against Daybreak Nurseries to stop using a residential area for its business operations.

Judge David Tobin approved the request in Stamford Superior Court submitted by DaybreakҒs attorney, Larry Weisman. He asked for the continuance because he was in the process of moving his office, according to Town Attorney Ira Bloom.

Interfaith Housing Gets $321,535 Federal Grant

Westports Interfaith Housing Association (IHA) has received a $321,535 federal grant to expand its permanent housing offerings.

The grant was part of $1.3 billion in aid to thousands of local programs that house and serve the homeless announced Friday by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Acting Secretary Alphonso Jackson.

The Rev. Peter R. Powell, IHA president and CEO, said he received official notification today.

Getting Ready for “Alice”

The Music Theatre of Connecticut’s “Alice in Wonderland” debuts Friday, Jan. 9 for a two-day run at Saugatuck Elementary School. It features (l. to r.) Casey Weiss, Weston, as TweedleDum; Annie Nelson, Westport, TweedleDee; Nevona Friedman, Weston, White Rabbit; Jordan Olson, Westport, Alice; Zoe Sheinberg, Weston, Cheshire Cat; and Jayne Smith, Fairfield, Queen of Hearts. Contributed photo

NY Times: Westports Alan Abel Still a Major League Hoaxer

The New York Times says after four decades as a major league hoaxer, Westports Alan Abel is not through making news by faking news.

ғHe holds out the possibility of concocting new escapades to hoodwink the public and news organizations, the newspaper reported.

The Times said Abel ԓhas earned his bread as a writer and lecturer on problem-solving tactics, and he has earned a reputation as a duke of dupery since 1959, when he masterminded the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals.

The tongue-in-cheek group was taken seriously on network television and in newspapers across the country, the report said.

ԓOver the years, more than 30 other Abel fictions treated as fact by news publications and television and radio programs ח included a school for panhandlers, a bogus lottery winner and, most recently, Citizens Against Breast Feeding, which held that breast feeding caused oral fixations in infants, leading to adult smoking, according to the Times.

The newspaper said it contacted Abel by telephone to ask him about his future trickery.

ԓHow do we know it was really Mr. Abel on the phone? Well, the number dialed is listed in Alan Abel’s name in Westport, and the man on the line swore up and down that he was the master deceiver, the Times said.

ԓMore convincingly, though, he had at his command intimate details about past deceptions, which matched details from old news accounts.

Abel has his own Web site at www.

Martha Stewart Says Legal Problems Have Curtailed Her Holiday Plans

Westport’s Martha Stewart, facing trial in the new year on her stock-trading scandal, says her legal woes have curtailed her holiday plans.

“It’s the saddest holiday ever. It’s an unwelcome time for me, very unwelcome,” she told CNN’s “Larry King Live” in a taped interview scheduled for broadcast on Monday. “I generally have a Christmas party but this year I’m only having a small family party.”