Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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Martha Stewart Trial: Defense Wraps it Up

The lawyer for Westport’s Martha Stewart today implored jurors to let her “return to her life” by acquitting her of federal charges.

“Martha Stewart’s life is in your hands,” defense lawyer Robert Morvillo said in closing arguments in Manhattan federal court. “I ask you to let her return to her life, and improving the quality of life for all of us.”

“If you do that,” Morvillo said, echoing Stewart’s well-known slogan, “it’s a good thing.”

Lawyers on both sides concluded their closing arguments, and jurors were expected to begin deliberating Wednesday after they receive lengthy legal instructions from the judge.

Westport Town Attorney Urges Passage of Planning Bill

Westport Town Attorney Ira Bloom has urged a state legislative committee to approve a bill clarifying a court ruling that he said placed administrative burdens on municipal land planning agencies by requiring them to enforce obsolete and out of date regulations.
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Bloom testified Monday before the legislature’s Planning and Development Committee about a court ruling on Wilton’s Poirier v. Zoning Board of Appeals case.

The case “broadly interpreted” state statutes, Bloom said, and found that a home on a 1954 subdivision was permanently exempted from all zoning changes enacted subsequent to 1954. 

“As a result of this case, municipalities are faced with requests from property owners and developers to build upon their lots or expand their existing homes based upon standards from the regulations in effect when the subdivision was originally approved,” he said.

Happy Birthday to Us: WestportNow Marks First Anniversary

If you are wondering why theres a cake and a balloon in our masthead and stars tumbling down on your WestportNow today, wonder no more Җ its our birthday!

Today WestportNow turns one year old.

In an age where startups, especially Internet ones, sometimes never make it beyond the first couple of months, weҒre happy to get the first year behind us—and look forward to many, many more.

We are grateful for the way Westporters—and those interested in Westport   have taken to us. We now have thousands of regular readers not only in Westport but around the country and around the world.

A New Addition to Westport’s Natural Products Scene

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RUBB Natural Bath and Beauty, the latest addition to Westport’s natural products scene, opened Monday in the Compo Shopping Center. Owned by Westporter David Potsubay, RUBB offers a wide variety of natural skin care, makeup, soaps, aromatherapy and bath products as well as a customer lounge with complimentary South American teas. WestportNow.com photo

Westporter Bested in Chicken Soup Contest

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Westport’s Gail Barzilay mixes up her chicken soup during the “Best Chicken Soup in America” competition in New York sponsored by the National Jewish Outreach Program.(See WestportNow Feb. 12, 2004). Barzilay was one of five finalists in the recent contest, which was won by Rosely Himmelstein of New York. The winning recipe is available here. Contributed photo

Rowland, Legislative Leaders Announce Rail Improvements

Gov. John G. Rowland and legislative leaders today announced plans to accelerate the purchase of $60 million in rail cars for Metro-North’s New Haven Line.

But a longtime advocate for commuters, Jim Cameron of the Connecticut Rail Commuter Council, said the plan made barely a dent in the problem.

The plan, announced by Rowland and House Speaker Moira Lyons, D-Stamford, includes $35 million in funding previously planned for new rail cars and adds $25 million in additional state bonding.

The money will be used to immediately purchase 20 cars, adding 2,000 seats to the railroad - a project that would not otherwise have been fully funded for 18 months.

“The patient is dying and Doctors Lyons and Rowland slap on a bandage and say ‘we’ve done all we can,’” said Cameron.

Wilton Road Accident Sends Four to Hospital

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Westport firefighters clean up after a head-on accident this afternoon on Wilton Road near Partrick Road. Four persons in one car a mother and her three children ֖ were taken by Westport EMS to Norwalk Hospital. Their injuries were not believed life threatening. Occupants of the other car were treated at the scene. (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE). Thom Burrows for WestportNow.com

Brief Power Outage Hits Saugatuck Area

A brief power outage hit the Saugatuck area this afternoon. Power company workers initially feared it would take hours to restore service, but it was back within the hour.

The exact cause of the outage was not known, but one resident reported some kind of an explosion on the west side of the Saugatuck River between the I-95 overpass and the railroad bridge.

The affected area appeared to be south of Bridge Street and perhaps concentrated in the Charles Street area of Saugatuck, according to fire officials on the scene.

The Westport Police Department placed portable stop signs in the area as traffic lights went black.