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Lawyers for Westport’s Martha Stewart Ask for New Trial

Lawyers for Westport’s Martha Stewart asked for a new trial today.They said one of the jurors who convicted her lied about an arrest on assault charges.

In a filing made in a New York federal court, Stewart lawyer Robert Morvillo said he would have sought to exclude juror Chappell Hartridge had he known about his past.

“These facts, in and of themselves, establish that Ms. Stewart is entitled to a new trial,’’ Morvillo wrote, according to news agency reports.

On the day of the guilty verdict, the juror said publicly that he believed the decision was “a victory for the little guys.”

Farrell: Full Physical Reval is Possible

Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell said today that the town may choose to do a full physical reassessment of properties instead of the “statistical” reval done as part of the aborted 2003 property assessment.

Farrell’s comments at her weekly citizens brown bag lunch came one day after announcing appointment of a 10-member Revaluation Working Group to oversee the revaluation effort. (WestportNow March 30, 2004)

In response to a question, Farrell said there were a number of initiatives being made at the state level on property assessments and “homesteader” relief during the current legislative session.

She said requirements municipalities must follow regarding property assessments could change before the session ends.

The Future of Our Past

To the Editor:

I awoke this morning (March 30, 2004) to the sound of bulldozers and backhoes cranking up their engines to begin the demolition of Allens Clam House.  This is a very sad moment for all Westporters җ past, present and future.

With each demolition of a historic property, another small piece of the charm, the character and the soulӔ that makes our community so special is chipped away.

Over the last decade or more, we have lost dozens of historically significant buildings to demolition. 

Its not that the newly constructed homes that replace them are so bad, or even that every older building is worth saving. But we only have one New England, one Connecticut and one Westport.

When the buildings and homes that defined this unique part of our heritage are gone, what will there be for future generations to touch and feel and understand how it was here in our past? 

Sadly, it comes down to politics. Many of our local politicians have decided that demolition is often the first course of action when, in fact, it should be the other way around.

All other options should be fully explored before destroying any historically significant building.

What happened to AllenҒs and to so many other unique buildings and homes in Westport is acceptable under our current set of rules and ordinances. But this doesnt have to keep happening.

Laws are made to be changed and amended.

I invite you to join us in our efforts (www.fairfieldcountypreservation.org) to change the mindset of politicians throughout Fairfield County.

The 23 communities that call this region home can benefit tremendously by their leaders giving historic preservation the attention it so desperately needs.  Keep in mind, once our historic places are gone, they’re lost forever.

John M. Lupton, Westport native
President
The Fairfield County Preservation Trust
Westport

CQ: Shays Now Rated “Republican Favored” Instead of “Republican Safe”

The extra effort being mounted by Democrats for Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell in her race to unseat veteran Republican congressman Chris Shays has prompted Congressional Quarterly to change its re-election rating for Shays from “Safe Republican” to “Republican Favored.”

“Based on his past performances, Republican Rep. Christopher Shays looks pretty close to a sure thing as he seeks a 10th victory in Connecticut’s 4th District,” the respected Capitol Hill publication said in its updated assessment of the race.

“But there are not many vulnerable Republican incumbents nationally because of redistricting and other institutional factors.

“And Democratic strategists have sworn to broaden the playing field by challenging a number of seemingly entrenched GOP House members—one of whom is Shays.”

I-95 Southbound Opens at Tanker Accident Site

Traffic is flowing again southbound on I-95 in Bridgeport after it was shut down a week ago because of a fiery crash.

Chris Cooper, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said the three lanes were opened about 3:30 a.m.

Television coverage showed traffic moving slowly along the roadway in a light rain.

Crews had worked Tuesday and throughout the night to pave over a section of temporary bridge brought in to replace the overpass.

It was destroyed last Thursday night after the accident in which a tanker truck carrying heating oil struck a concrete barrier and burst into flames.

The northbound lanes of the bridge were repaired and reopened Sunday night.

Rowland: I-95 Southbound Lanes to Reopen Wednesday

Gov. John Rowland, back at the I-95 tanker accident site, said today the southbound lanes of I-95 in the area are expected to reopen in time for Wednesday morning’s rush hour.

Rowland said the exact timing of the reopening in the area of Bridgeport exits 25 to 27 would depend on how much the rain that was forecast for tonight interferes with paving work and painting road markings.

But all signs pointed to the highway being fully open by about 6 a.m. Wednesday, he said.

“Hopefully they will be going southbound on 95 first thing tomorrow morning,” he said.

The northbound lanes of the bridge were repaired and reopened Sunday night.

Westport Property Transfers March 22-26, 2004

Property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period March 22-26, 2004:

William S. Hemson III-aka et als to Annino Protano, 971 Post Road East, $1,200,000.WN property.jpg

Westport Home and Land Co. LLC to Susan Spivak, Unit 23, 32 Terra Nova Circle, $955,116.

Peter and Beth Hill to Wendy Decter, 41 Tamarac Road, $865,000.

Carollyn C. Kahler to Rita Kohn Chingas, Unit 306 Harvest Commons, $748,000.

C & C Development Enterprises LLC to Woodson and Kathleen H. Merrell, 77 Maple Ave. South, $2,075,000.

Raymond Bardani to Anne Lantz, Unit 3, 90 Main St., $317,900.