Wednesday, June 19, 2024


Shays to Observe Iraqi Elections, Participate in World Economic Forum

Rep. Christopher Shays will travel to Iraq again to observe the Iraqi elections, his office announced today. He also will visit Switzerland where he will participate in the World Economic Forum.

The 4th District congressman, who represents Westport and much of Fairfield County, is chair of the Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations. He will make the trip as part of his panel’s oversight work of key military, diplomatic and humanitarian efforts.

Embarking on his seventh trip to Iraq, Shays will observe the first election in Iraq since Saddam Hussein’s regime fell. He will also meet with Ambassador John Negroponte, Prime Minister Allawi, and other Iraqi government officials, an announcement said.

Shays is scheduled to appear on CNN’s “Larry King Live” to discuss Iraqi elections Sunday between 9 and 10 p.m.

Board of Ed Puts Off Action on Additional $2.5 Million for Staples Project

The Board of Education Monday night put off recommending an additional $2.5 million requested by the School Building Committee for the $74 million renovation and expansion of Staples High School.

The board acted after receiving a memo from project director Susan Chipouras saying it would cost $900,000 to make 746 windows throughout the school able to open and close as was specified in the original educational specifications for the project.

The board was told that the Staples Subcommittee had decided to eliminate operable windows as part of its “value engineering” that reduced the cost of the project by $500,000.

Earlier, committee officials had told the board that making all windows operable was not necessary because of the modern air-handling technology installed in the school.

Staples Principal Outlines Strict “No-Food-Outside-of-Cafeteria” Policy

John Dodig: Health order will “completely change how we do business at Staples High School.” photo
With limited exceptions, the days of students snacking on foods in hallways and teachers celebrating special days in the classroom by bringing in food are over at Westport’s Staples High School.

In an announcement to students and an e-mail message to parents today, Staples principal John Dodig outlined a strict “no-food-outside-of-the-cafeteria” policy. He said it would “completely change how we do business at Staples High School.”

Dodig said the policy was in response to an order from the Westport/Weston Health Department aimed at ridding the school of vermin.

“Recently, Staples High School was issued an order from Judy Nelson, Health Director of the Westport/Weston Health Department, requiring us to cease consuming food in unauthorized areas of the building,” he told parents in the e-mail.

Westport’s Save the Children Expanding Tsunami Relief Efforts

Westport’s Save the Children said today it is expanding its relief efforts in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India almost a month after an earthquake and tsunami killed tens of thousands of children and left hundreds of thousands homeless.

“Save the Children has stepped up its efforts in providing life-saving food, clean water, shelter and medicine to thousands of children and families in need while also moving rapidly to reunify separated children with relatives,” the charity said in a statement.

It said it has helped distribute almost 500 tons of food and other health and relief materials to tens of thousands of tsunami survivors.

“In many Asian locations, where Save the Children has operated for decades, the agency has increased staff and resources dramatically,” the statement said.

Metro-North Survey Shows Commuters More Dissatisfied

The latest Metro-North customer satisfaction survey shows a precipitous decline in commuter ratings for train service in Connecticut, it was announced today.

Only 83 percent of those asked said they were satisfied with the trains in Connecticut (a 4 percent decline) compared to a 90 percent approval rating given by riders of the Westchester lines.

It is clear that the aging equipment operated in this state is taking its toll on riders, especially in light of recent fare hikes,Ӕ said Rodney Chabot, chairman of the Stamford-based Connecticut Metro-North Rail Commuter Council.

Until we get new rail cars, as they have on the Harlem and Hudson lines, customers wonӒt be happy.”