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Joseloff Reflects on First Four Months in Office

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Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff told the Westport Rotary Club today that his first four months in office have been rewarding, challenging and often frustrating. “My frustration comes from not being able to solve as many problems as I would like in a timely manner,” he said. Joseloff said he worries about the town’s preparedness for emergencies such as a pandemic flu and urged all Westporters to educate themselves on how they can prepare at home. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

State Commissioner Promotes Energy TV Series

To the Editor:

Connecticut residents and businesses have recently experienced one of the largest energy rate hikes the state has seen in years. It is for this reason that I am writing you to as a Commissioner of the Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC). The DPUC has developed a variety of programs and services available to electric ratepayers that will help them understand and address the high increases in energy costs.

Most immediately, the DPUC has partnered with Connecticut Public Television and the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund to release a television series entitled “Connecticut Energy: On the Line.” This program features five 30-minute documentaries and a town meeting broadcast that will investigate power, price and performance while examining energy issues in Connecticut and unraveling the complexities of the energy marketplace.

Residents will find out how fuel costs are affecting their electric bills, how the electric grid operates and about the challenges of demand response and load control. There will also be information about renewable energy and ways to conserve and use energy more efficiently.

Each episode in the series will discuss a current energy topic in a simple and easily understood format. It will explore how we can, individually and as a whole, reduce our electric usage along with year round energy saving tips. The programs will take a close look at the next generation and what we all need to do moving forward to avoid a future energy crisis.

The next episode, episode 3, premiers Thursday, April 20 at 9 p.m. The remaining airdates are: Episode 4 on May 18 at 9 p.m. and Episode 5 in June 2006 (date to be determined.) There will also be a live town meeting to be aired on April 11 at 8 p.m.

The series is extremely informative and will help Connecticut residents not only manage their energy usage, but also explain the current increase in energy costs. I would urge all Connecticut ratepayers to please tune into CPTV to see this timely series.

For more information about the CPTV series and energy savings tips, visit The Department of Public Utility Control’s Web site at www.WattsNewCt.com.

John W. ‘Jack’ Betkoski III
Commissioner, DPUC
10 Franklin Square
New Britain, CT 06051
Phone (860) 571-6203

Westport Property Transfers March 20-24, 2006

Westport property transfers as reported by the Town Clerk’s office for the period March 20-24, 2006:

J. Christopher Jaffe to Nina Paris Jaffe, 10 Rowland Place, $150,000WN property.jpg

377 Greens Farms LLC to Todd V. and Nadia Middlebrook, 377 Greens Farms Road, $3,850,000

DIV Riverside Ventures LLC to Chari B. Polley, Unit 7B Riverside Green, $835,000

KC Lai LLC to Stornebridge Medical Arts LLC, 32 Imperial Ave., $1,350,000

Norwest Homes LLC to John and Nancy Munley, 10 Sycamore Drive, $2,025,000

Westport Ad Exec Ken Kaess Dies at 51

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Ken Kaess: Westport ad executive was responsible for “Muppet Babies.” File photo
DDB worldwide CEO and president Ken Kaess, who spent 30 years at DDB and rose to CEO in 2001, died Monday of cancer at his Westport home, the company said. He was 51.

“Like all of you, I will miss him very much,” wrote Omnicom Group CEO John Wren, in a memo that DDB shared with its employees. “He was the driver behind DDB’s success these last five years and, of course, I will miss him in that role. But I also will miss his friendship and positive spirit.”

Kaess took a medical leave of absence from the company in November.

A former chairman of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, Kaess was determined to diversify the industry and, in 1998, founded the Bill Bernbach Minority Scholarship Fund. In 2004, the New York Urban League honored him with an award in the name of Frederick Douglas for promoting diversity and opportunity.

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 39 Danbury Ave.

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Town officials are currently reviewing a demolition application for the house at 39 Danbury Ave. The home, which is in the Compo Beach area, was built in 1939 and sold last June for $1,730,000. Because of the home’s age, the Westport Historic District Commission will review the application.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Second Assistant Principal Leaves School System

Tricia Raneri is the second assistant principal to announce she will be leaving the Westport school system.

Raneri sent an e-mail to parents last week saying she will leave her post at Bedford Middle School.

She wrote she is taking the principal job at Old Greenwich Elementary School.

“I cannot say enough wonderful things about Bedford and about all the families I traveling with your children on their journey through middle school,” Raneri wrote to parents. “I appreciate all your support for me over the years and I look forward to finishing the year with you and your children.”

Finance Board Cuts $1 Million from School Budget

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The Westport Board of Finance voted unanimously tonight to cut $1 million from the proposed 2006-07 school budget, but members said the cut should not come from educational programs.

Instead, finance board members said the money should be taken from the school system’s insurance fund.

School officials will have a final opportunity to ask for some or all of the money be restored before the Board of Finance makes its final budget recommendation on April 5.

The finance board reviewed all of the town’s budgets tonight, but only made changes to the school board’s budget.

Talking Transportation: MTA’s Big Dig

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

We all know what happened when Boston decided to bury its downtown elevated interstate highway, known as the central artery. What was intended to be a seven-year, $2.5 billion project became a 10-year, $14.6 billion engineering nightmare.

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Well, heads up fellow commuters and taxpayers. The MTA has similar designs on our beloved Grand Central. Nicknamed the “East Side Access” project, the goal is to bring the Long Island Railroad into Grand Central.

The plan would see use of the lower level of the 63rd Street subway tunnel, allowing some LIRR trains from Queens to enter Manhattan and then follow a new, very deep tunnel under existing Metro-North tracks beneath Park Avenue. Trains would terminate 14 stories under Grand Central on eight tracks with up to 24 trains per hour. 

Exiting passengers, an estimated 162,000 per day, would be whisked upward on high speed escalators, to the west side of GCT, with an underground concourse complex stretching from 43rd to 48th Streets.