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Banks Receive Merger Approval

Fairfield County Bank and Bank of Westport have received regulatory approval for their merger, it was announced today.

The approvals were received from the Connecticut Department of Banking, primary regulator of both banks, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The merger was announced Feb. 10.

“This represents a strategic opportunity to expand our brand of community banking to Westport,” said Fairfield County Bank chairman Paul S. McNamara.

“It brings an extensive range of banking, brokerage, investment and insurance services to Bank of Westport customers.”

“We are extremely pleased to unite with Fairfield County Bank,” said Bank of Westport president and CEO Keith Lyon.

Westport Property Transfers May 24-28, 2004

Property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period May 24-28, 2004:

David A. and Victoria Vance Harrell to Peter Jiser, 21 Guyer Road, $624,900. WN property.jpg

Kenneth and Jacqueline Gattoni to John C. and Amanda J. Wilson IV, 5 Pebble Beach Road, $899,000.

Irene E. Cosgrove Trust to William G. Cohen, 19 Baker Ave., $381,250.

Irene E. Cosgrove to William G. Cohen, 19 Baker Ave., $381,250.

Michael and April Book to Royal Bank of Scotland, 1 Crawford Road, $2,010,000.

Comment on WestportNow Martha Stewart Story Draws Attention

A comment made on a WestportNow story by the ex-wife of a Secret Service employee charged with perjury after testifying in the stock fraud of Westport’s Martha Stewart is drawing national attention.

A gossip column on the MSNBC Web site carried a story about the comment posted Tuesday as did the SaveMartha.com Web site.

Under the headline “Was the Secret Service employee who testified against Martha Stewart set up?,” MSNBC reported that “Larry Stewart (no relation to the domestic diva) was recently charged with perjury in connection with his testimony against Martha Stewart. But now Stewart is getting defended from an unlikely defender: his ex-wife.”

It continued: “‘The person who came forward alleging that Larry Stewart lied at Marthas trial is the same person who filed complaints about Larry approx. 3 years ago.’ Larry StewartҒs ex-wife wrote in a letter to WestportNow.com.”

NY Times Spotlights Staples Grad’s NY Dining With Kids Venture

Today’s New York Times spotlights Staples grad Dan Lowenstein’s new venture that eases some of the strain of dining out with the kids.

Called PlayDine, the company operates adult-supervised play centers at New York City restaurants.

The centers relieve parents of “the usual burden of distraction while waiting for the food (‘Don’t eat the whole bread basket!’) to the missed entre (‘But Dad, I have to go to the bathroom now!’) to the post-entre whining (‘Can’t we have dessert at home?’),” the newspaper said.

Lowenstein, a 1986 Staples grad and son of Westporters Dick and Ellie Lowenstein, has now expanded the venture to several Manhattan restaurants, winning plaudits from harried parents, the Times said.

Lowenstein, 36, is the father of two boys—Ben, 5, and Arthur, 4. They are pictured together in a photo accompanying the Times story. More information is available at the PlayDine Web site.

RTM Approves $2.45 Million to Expand Long Lots Parking Lot

The Long Lots Elementary School parking lot, long a safety concern for school administrators and parents, is closer to being fixed following Representative Town Meeting (RTM) approval of $2,447,502 to expand it.

The town’s legislative body acted at its monthly meeting Tuesday night only hours after the Board of Finance, meeting in special session, had approved the expenditure.

During the RTM debate, there were several failed attempts to reduce the appropriation on issues not directly related to enhancing the safety of the lot and providing more spaces.

Dick Lowenstein, District 5, proposed a symbolic $14,000 cut that related to a house that was being torn down as part of the project.

Wednesday, June 2, 2004

7:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – TEAM Westport Committee
10:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – International Hospitality Committee
10:50 a.m. – Staples High School, Room 963 – Board of Education hearing for SHS students on school start time
Noon – Town Hall Room 309/307 – Citizens brown bag lunch
4 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Beautification Committee
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Flood and Erosion Control Board

RTM Okays Reval Postponement; Farrell Promises Independent Assessor Audit

The Westport Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight approved postponement of the towns real property revaluation to 2005.

It acted by unanimous vote after First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell, in a reversal of her previous position, promised an independent, third-party audit of the assessorҒs office.

It was discovery of a backlog in building permits in the assessors office Җ some going back to 1998— that prompted Farrell to announce March 4 that she would seek to postpone the revaluation.

Since then, Gov. John G. Rowland has signed a law enabling Connecticut municipalities, by action of their legislative bodies, to postpone revaluations for up to three years.