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Westport Property Transfers Feb. 23-27, 2004

Property transfers as reported by the Westport Town Clerk’s office for the period Feb. 23-27:

Seiler Lu E. to Terence J. Brannigan and Laurie Cizek, 1 Blue Coat Lane, $679,000.WN property.jpg

Nicholas and Elisabeth R. Lombardo to Willys D. Devoll Jr., 2 Vineyard Lane, $672,500.

Brian Slater and Lourdes M. Fuentes to John A. and Jeffica Swanciger, 361 Wilton Road, $720,000.

Arturo Guillermo Massa and Maria A. Torti to Victor Teicher and Heidi Ann Liebermanvict, 81 Easton Road, $10,000.

Duskin Jasper to Christoper Kaminski and Valerie Vernay, 7 Sue Terrace, $569,000.

John J. and Patricia J. Horrigan to Linda M. Durakis and William R .Green, 27 Greenacre Lane, $905,000.

Izzo Votes Against Five-Year Forecast: “It Goes Against My Grain”

boardofselectmen03030403.jpg The Board of Selectmen tonight approved by a 2-1 vote the administration’s five-year capital forecast. First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell and Selectman Carl Leaman, both Democrats, voted for it while Republican Selectman John Izzo (r) voted against it. “I’m not willing to spend this kind of money,” Izzo said. “It goes against my grain. I’m not willing to go into that kind of debt.” (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE). WestportNow.com photo

Westport First Selectwoman Comes Under Tough Questioning on Reval

In what may have been her toughest brown bag lunch since coming to office in 1997, Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell today came under persistent criticism over the town’s controversial 2003 property assessment.

At the end of more than 90 minutes of alternately listening and responding to her critics, the normally cheerful chief executive who is running as the Democratic candidate for congress in the 4th District was clearly exasperated.

“It’s a lousy process,” she said, referring to the state-mandated revaluation of the town’s properties. “It’s no fun for any of us. We’re trying to do the best job we can.”

At another point she said, “There is no reason anyone wants to do a bad job here,” and “You’d be crazy to think that I wouldn’t be responsive.”

Farrell was asked repeatedly about a revised property assessment list which was approved by Assessor Glenn Werfelman Saturday to meet a state deadline but which has yet to be made public in full via the Internet as the initial version was Jan. 20.

Westport Iraq War Vet Visits Brown Bag Lunch


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Westport Iraq War vet Sgt. Alex Chung, 25, visited today’s citizens brown bag lunch at Town Hall and received a standing ovation from attendees. Chung, whose mother Sonny (sitting next to Police Chief Al Fiore) works in the records division of the Westport Police Department, returned home Jan. 24 after almost a year in Iraq. Asked by a lunch guest whether the U.S. war against Iraq was worth it, Chung replied, “I think it was definitely worth itfor us to quit now would be a waste.” (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE). WestportNow.com photo

School Bus Driver, Unfamiliar With Route, Gives Kids a Scare

A Westport school bus driver, a last-minute substitute who was unfamiliar with his route, gave some Saugatuck Elementary School pupils and their parents a scare Tuesday, police said today.

Police said they were alerted to a problem at 3:45 p.m. by a parent who said her 9-year-old daughter had called from her school bus to say the driver was behaving erratically and may be drunk.

Investigating officers instead found driver Francisco Valiente, 55, of Stratford, was simply confused about his route.

“He was not familiar with the streets, he was holding a map and trying to drive, and the kids were trying to help him by shouting instructions,” said Sgt. David Kassay, a police spokesman.

“Some of the kids were upset and crying.”

Martha Stewart Trial: Her Fate is Now in Hands of the Jury

The fate of Westport’s Martha Stewart is in the hands of jurors today.

Following instructions from the judge, the 12 jurors and six alternates are deciding whether she is the innocent victim of overzealous prosecutors or if she engaged in a criminal coverup of a stock trade, tripped up by her own arrogance.

The jury got the case shortly before noon.

The jury made requests twice in its first few hours to review voluminous evidence from the trial, including segments of the testimony of Douglas Faneuil, the star government witness.

But jurors ended the day without reaching a verdict. Their deliberations were to resume Thursday morning.

Westport Goes for Kerry in Big Way

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Workers at the Long Lots Elementary School had plenty of time on their hands Tuesday as Westport Democrats went to the polls in the party’s presidential primary. Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry easily carried the town with 73 percent of the vote. The Town Clerk’s office said 2,105 persons voted, about 43.5 percent of the 4,839 registered Democrats in town double the turnout four years ago. WestportNow.com photo

Wednesday, March 3, 2004

10:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – International Hospitality Committee
Noon – Town Hall Room 309/307 – Citizens Brown Bag lunch
4 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Beautification Committee
6:30 p.m. Westport Police Department classroom – Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) information session
6:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Special Board of Selectmen meeting
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Water Pollution Control Authority public work session
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Flood and Erosion Control Board

Kerry Easily Carries Westport With 73 Percent of the Vote

Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry easily carried Westport today in the state’s Democratic presidential primary, winning 73 percent of the vote. North Carolina Sen. John Edwards was a distant second with 16.5 percent.

The Town Clerk’s office said Kerry had 1,536 votes while Edwards had 347.

It said 2,105 Democrats cast ballots, or about 43.5 percent of the approximately 4,839 registered Democrats in Westport—about double the figure of four years ago.

The final totals were:

1536 John F. Kerry
347   John Edwards                
81   Howard Dean
63   Dennis J. Kucinich
30   Joe Lieberman    
28   Wesley Clark
15   Al Sharpton
2     Lyndon H. Larouche, Jr.
3     uncommitted