Monday, April 15, 2024

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Save the Children: Making Progress in Tsunami Relief

Westport’s Save the Children, in its third week of helping Asian children survive one of history’s worst natural disasters, said today it is making make progress in meeting the immediate health and nutrition needs of children left homeless by the earthquake and tsunami.

It said as of today, it has raised $29 million for the effort.

The charity is working to prevent serious outbreaks of disease that could kill even more children while expanding efforts to identify and protect children who suddenly have found themselves alone without parents or relatives, according to a summary released by the Westport-based organization.

In Aceh Province of Indonesia, where Save the Children has worked since 1976 and where an estimated 113,00 people have died in the disaster, hundreds of thousands of children and adults are currently being sheltered in temporary camps and remain in dire need of assistance, the charity said.

Winter Weather Advisory in Effect

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Light snow began falling at about mid-day in Westport today after a morning mixture of sleet and rain. The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory saying the snow will spread across the area this afternoon spotty at first but with a steadier snowfall later in the day. It said the snow may briefly mix with sleet at times and the final accumulation is likely to be 1 to 3 inches before ending this evening. View is of Westport’s center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

Blumenthal and Farrell Submit Petition to Reject Power Surcharge

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell today submitted a petition to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on behalf of 54 towns and cities to reject a plan to impose a $393 million electricity surcharge on Connecticut ratepayers.

Residents of power-needy southwest Connecticut would pay two-thirds of the federally-mandated charge, called Locational Installed Capacity (LICAP), that will appear on customer bills.

The money from the charge will be paid directly to electric generators as “a purported incentive to build new power sources,” according to a joint press release by the officials announcing the petition.

The announcement said numbers from the ISO-New England, the region’s power grid coordinator, “however flawed,” indicate that the entire state will have to pay LICAP charges of about $393 million in 2006 alone, and as much as $2.8 billion through the year 2010.

“Play With Your Food” Begins Third Season

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The Westport Arts Center and JIB Productions today began another season of their highly successful “Play With Your Food” theater-luncheon programs at Westport’s Toquet Hall. The readings of one-act plays by award-winning playwrights, buffet lunch, and discussions with actors is now in its third season. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

Westport Board of Education Begins Budget Discussion

The Westport Board of Education tonight began discussions on the superintendent’s proposed 2005-06 school budget which provides for a 6.5 percent increase over the current year.

The board will hold a all-day session to discuss the $79.5 million proposal Friday beginning at 9 a.m. at the Westport Library’s McManus Room.

The budget calls for a $4.8 million increase, 70 percent of which Superintendent Elliott Landon said is to maintain current services.

The proposal includes a $1 million increase in the insurance fund as well as eight new teaching positions at Staples High School, which is undergoing a $74 million expansion and renovation.

Paul Newman Donates $20,000 to Westport’s CLASP Homes

Westport’s Paul Newman, sole owner of Newmans Own, has donated $20,000 to CLASP Homes, a Westport nonprofit community organization serving adults with developmental disabilities, the charity announced today.

The donation will support CLASPҒs mission of community inclusion by providing homes and other professional services for people with developmental disabilities, the announcement said.

Newman donates all his profits and royalties after taxes for educational and charitable purposes and has donated more than $150 million to thousands of charities since 1982.

Founded in Westport 22 years ago, CLASP Homes is dedicated to increasing public understanding of people with developmental disabilities, and their ability to be contributing members of the community through work or volunteer opportunities.