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Rell Says 11 Lifeguards to Report to Sherwood Island Friday

Gov. M. Jodi Rell said today that the lifeguard shortage at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport has been successfully addressed just in time for the busy 4th of July weekend.

“Eleven fully-trained lifeguards will report to duty at Sherwood Island on Friday and I couldn’t be happier with the public’s response to my special appeal,” Rell said in a statement.

“I want to publicly thank each of the lifeguards for responding to this call to public service, and I want to publicly thank our staff at the Department of Environmental Protection for their speedy response in solving this problem.”

The governor praised Commissioner Gina McCarthy, saying she “has done a remarkable job under a tight deadline.  She has done her agency proud.”

Rumors of Demise of Westport Italian Festival are False

By James Lomuscio

Rumors that Westport’s 22nd Annual Festival Italiano next week will be the final one due to a dearth of young blood and volunteers are false, according to the festival’s coordinator.italianfest07080401260.jpg
Westport’s Italian Festival: still going strong. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com file photo

“Not at all,” said Roberta Delladonna Troy, for the past six years the coordinator of Festival Italiano, also dubbed the Italian Festival.

“It’s a rumor. The Italians are strong, and we’re going to go for it. It’s certainly not going to be my last festival.”

Scheduled to kick off Thursday evening, July 7, with a parade down Riverside Avenue to Luciano Park off Franklin Street, the festival is set to run through Sunday night, July 10.

Rell to Mark First Year in Office With Open House Friday

Gov. M. Jodi Rell said today she will mark her first anniversary in office by holding a public open house Friday at the State Capitol.

Rell will greet visitors on the first floor of the Capitol from noon to 2 p.m.

“This is an opportunity for me to say �thank you’ to the people of Connecticut for the confidence and trust they have placed in me,” Rell said in a statement.

“I have had so many wonderful experiences during this past year and I want to personally express my deepest gratitude to the public.

Richard Foot Resigns as Westport/Weston Y CEO/Exec Director

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Dick Foot: will be consultant to Connecticut YMCAs. Contributed photo
Richard A. Foot, exercutive director and CEO of the Westport/Weston YMCA since 1996, has submitted his resignation to become a consultant to 25 YMCAs around Connecticut.

“I just felt it was time to look at other opportunities,” Foot, 58, said today. His resignation becomes effective Aug. 15.

Foot, who has been among the Y’s leadership planning a controversial move from its downtown headquarters to its Camp Mahackeno site in northwest Westport, said he would remain for the time being in Westport in the new post.

“I’ll be employed by the national YMCA organization serving as a consultant to 25 YMCAs in Connecticut,” he said. “It is something I am looking forward to.”

Westport’s Eckerd Drug Store Closing?

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There are rumors that Westport’s Eckerd drug store at 1086 Post Road East, next to Barnes & Noble, will close its doors next week. A WestportNow reader said she had been told presciptions have been sent to the Stop & Shop pharmacy. A manager on duty at Eckerd said she was not authorized to comment. A source at Stop & Shop confirmed that the supermarket was getting customer prescriptions from Westport’s Eckerd. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

Friday Car Wash to Benefit Homeless

The Rev. Peter Powell hopes those who want their cars clean and sparkling this 4th of July weekend will head to Westport Wash & Wax Friday for the car wash’s fifth annual Good Neighbor event.

All of the day’s gross sales will be donated to Powell’s Interfaith Housing Association (IHA) of Westport-Weston, Inc., a nonprofit social service agency that serves the town’s homeless.

“Last year they did $6,030 on the day of the car wash, and they gave the gross amount to Interfaith Housing,” said Powell, IHA’s president and CEO. “Their cost was not taken out at all. It makes a statement on their commitment to the community.”

Scott and Laila Tiefenthaler, owners of Westport Wash & Wax, quietly and without fanfare five years ago approached Powell with the offer after learning about IHA’s mission and services.

Rell Says Progress Being Made in Sherwood Island Lifeguard Shortage

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Gov. M. Jodi Rell:“resources must and will be provided.” File photo
Gov. M. Jodi Rell said today that progress is being made in addressing the lifeguard shortage at Westport’s Sherwood Island State Park.

In a statement, Rell expressed optimism that lifeguards will be on duty at the park by this 4th of July weekend.

“I am pleased to announce not only that DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) is interviewing seven interested lifeguard candidates for Sherwood Island, but also that we plan to pay the lifeguards who are hired between $9 and $9.50 an hour,” Rell said.

A number of the lifeguards who quit last weekend cited lower pay compared to other area beaches and not receiving promised pay raises.