Tuesday, March 05, 2024


A Compo Moment Frozen in Time

The sun was out and skies were clear, but the mid-day temperature at Westport’s Compo Beach today was 16 with winds that made it feel like 2. Forecasters said tonight would be even colder with wind chill values as low as 14 below. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

Westport Sign of the Times

Westport properties destined for demolition are getting a new look a sign warning that the structure is unoccupied. The Westport Building Department is requiring posting of the signs in a prominent place so in case of fire, firefighters don’t rush into the building risking their lives to search for people. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Westport Man Named in Federal Securities Fraud Indictment

A Westport man who is a former executive of the Internet ad firm L90 has been indicted by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles on charges he fraudulently booked revenues to boost the companys performance.

Keith Jon Kaplan, 36, was charged with three counts of conspiracy, securities fraud and falsifying books and records. He faces a maximum of 25 years in federal prison and is expected to be arraigned on Feb. 22, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Kaplan is former senior vice president and chief of sales for the Internet advertising firm. It had been based in Marina del Rey, Calif., before merging with a unit of Doubleclick, changing its name to MaxWorldwide in 2002, and moving its corporate headquarters to New York.

Kaplan is alleged to have conspired with two other former executives to inflate revenues to meet analystsҒ fourth quarter 2000 projections, the U.S. Attorneys office said.

Joanne Woodward Bows Out as Westport Playhouse Artistic Director

Joanne Woodward, saying she is the same age 75 ֖ as the Westport Country Playhouse, today announced she is resigning her artistic director post at the historic facility at the end of the year.

Joanne Woodward : “I’m the same age as the Playhouse.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Woodward, who has served in the role since 2001 and who oversaw the Playhouse’s $30 million renovation and expansion, will become “Playhouse artistic director emeritus.”

“I’m the same age as the Playhouse. It got a renovation, but there’s not much they can do for me,” Woodward said.

The Playhouse said a search for a new artistic director will be led by the Playhouse board of directors, coordinated by Management Consultants for the Arts of Cos Cob.

Izzo Reiterates Opposition to Underage Drinking Ordinance

John Izzo: in no hurry “to turn our parental responsibilities over to the police.” WestportNow. com photo
Westport Selectman John Izzo today reiterated his opposition to an underage drinking ordinance.

He was the lone vote against a “sense of the meeting” resolution at a Board of Selectmen meeting tonight that endorsed the ordinance to be acted on by the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), the town’s legislative body, next week.

First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell and Selectman Carl Leaman voted in favor.

In a letter to WestportNow, Izzo said he agreed to a postponement of the non-binding “symbolic” resolution at the board’s Jan. 12 meeting to comply with Farrell’s request that he attend a forum on the subject Jan. 19 organized by the PTA Council.

Izzo Reiterates Opposition to Underage Drinking Ordinance

To the Editor:

At the Jan. 12, 2005, Board of Selectmen meeting a “sense of the meeting resolution” on the underage drinking ordinance was discussed. That simply means the Board of Selectmen has no legal authority to vote on such a ordinance only the RTM can legally implement it.

Because of my apparent lack of support, [First Selectwoman] Diane [Farrell] asked that I attend a forum on underage drinking before taking this SYMBOLIC VOTE. I did so on Wednesday.

For the public record, I am holding to my original position and do not support a new underage drinking ordinance for some of the following reasons in no particular order of the importance:

1. The police did not request this ordinance.
2. The PTA maintains a neutral position and did not endorse this ordinance.

Basically, this ordinance would allow the police to enter private property and ticket underage drinkers. If that drinker is under 16 he (she) must pay a $90 fine and must go to juvenile court. If over 16, pay a $90 fine only. No court appearance.

Here is a possible fallout: Perhaps only one or two children are drinking—do the police ticket everyone? Most likely, yes. So certainly innocent kids will be ticketed. A record will exist and newspapers may print their names if 16 years of age or older.

I have not seen any police records that indicate any frequency of such parties. Ordinances on the books already allow any adult to be ticketed for serving minors. The key words here are PRIVATE PROPERTY and POLICE POWER

I could go on at some lengt, but I see no need. My position remains the same, “parents should parent and police should police.”

When my sons were growing up my wife, Joan, and I had a curfew for the boys. It, of course, grew later as they grew older, but we always made sure we were awake when they came home. I’ll bet the same tactics will work today.

In my view, we shouldn’t be in any hurry to turn our parental responsibilities over to the police.

Selectman John Izzo

Westport YMCA Announces Architect, Details of Mahackeno Move

New YMCA Site Map200.jpg
New YMCA: nestled on northern part of property near Merritt Parkway. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed graphic
The Westport/Weston YMCA took another step today in its announced move from its crowded and costly 82-year-old downtown headquarters to its sprawling Mahackeno complex in northwest Westport long used as a summer camp.

At a morning news conference in the downtown building’s board room, officials announced selection of well-known New York-based architect Robert A. M. Stern Architects to design the Y’s new home on the 32-acre site.

Mindful of objections already voiced by neighbors, they said the new 95,000-square-foot facility would cost an estimated $35 million and sit on the northern part of the property near the Merritt Parkway, far away from residences on River and Rice’s Lane. It would be accessed by the Y-owned Sunny Lane.

The building would be of “New England character” and take advantage of the naturally hilly terrain to blend in with the surroundings, they said.

YMCA Discloses New Details of Proposed Move

In addition to announcing selection of an architect today (see photo below), Westport/Weston YMCA officials disclosed some new details of their plan to move from their 1923-built downtown headquarters to a 32-acre site near the Merritt Parkway. They said construction would take two to three years and cost about $35 million, no decision has been made on town sewer or septic, they have established a Web site for the project, and, if necessary, they are prepared to wage a legal battle to see it to completion. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo