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Merchants to Unveil Plan for Downtown

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The Downtown Merchants Association is planning to unveil a $15 million plan to upgrade Westport’s downtown area, including an increase in parking through a deck on the Elm Street lot.waldman11160401260.jpg
David Waldman, president of the downtown merchants group, is seen in front of the one-time Westport Bank & Trust Co. building after announcing he had purchased it in November 2004. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com file photo

David Waldman, association president, said the group will unveil its plan on Dec. 13, and it includes 150 new parking spaces and changes to Parker-Harding Plaza that includes beautification and better access to the Saugatuck River.

There would additionally be new sidewalks and improvements to the streetscape, he said.

The lack of parking was one of the main reasons that drove the merchants to craft the plan, Waldman said.

Federal Judge Rejects Indian Land Claims

A federal judge in New Haven today rejected all remaining land claims filed by the Golden Hill Paugussett Indians who have used the claims to try to force approval of plans to build a gambling casino in Bridgeport.

The land claims, repeatedly rebuffed by state and federal courts, involved tens of thousands of acres in southwestern Connecticut. At one point the claims made over a decade included some in Westport. The town has opposed a Bridgeport casino.

U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton, in dismissing three remaining federal land claim cases brought by the tribe, said the Golden Hill group lacks standing to take possession of so-called ancestral lands.

She said the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs has concluded that the group ceased being a viable Indian tribe more than 100 years ago.

Gramatky Named Among Top American Watercolorists

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Hardie Gramatky: Among the top American watercolorists. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
The late Westport artist Hardie Gramatky has been named one of American’s all-time great watercolorists by artist Andrew Wyeth.

Wyeth was asked to choose the top 20 American watercolorists in an interview with Watercolor magazine for its 20th anniversary issue this fall, and Gramatky was named on that list.

He was internationally known for both his fine art watercolors and his fourteen children’s books, which included “Little Toot.”

Gramatky’s grandson Andew Smith said the selection was like asking Mick Jagger to name the two all-time greatest rock bands.

“A Christmas Carol” Opens at Playhouse Tonight

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“A Christmas Carol” opens tonight at the Westport Country Playhouse, and it features Westporter Luke Sauer as Tiny Tim. The production runs through Dec. 23.  It is a musical adaptation of Charles Dickens novel.  Nick Cordileone, who is in the background, plays Bob Cratchit.  For information and tickets, call (203) 227-4177 or 888-927-7529, or visit the box office at 25 Powers Court. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Temple Israel Holds Gift Boutique Sunday

Temple Israel will hold its third annual Gift Boutique on Sunday at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the synagogue on Coleytown Road.

More than 40 vendors will be on hand to sell jewelry, ceramics, stationery and children’s clothing.

The event’s proceeds benefit the Temple Israel Youth Scholarship Fund.

Entry to the event is free and open to the public.

First Night Volunteers Sought

WestportNow.com ImageFirst Night of Westport-Weston is seeking volunteers for its 13th New Year’s Eve event, and will hold a party for people to sign up.

The event is scheduled for Monday at 7-9 p.m. at Spyglass Restaurant at the Westport Inn on Post Road East.

Volunteers can sign up at the party, but those who cannot attend can sign up through the First Night Web site at www.firstnightww.com.

Buttons, which serve as tickets to the event’s host of activities, are on sale through the Web site. They are $10 through Thursday before rising in price to $15.

For more information, contact Rozanne Gates, First Night executive director, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or (203) 341-1041.

Weather Service Issues Wind Advisory

The National Weather Service today issued an advisory warning of the potential for damaging winds Friday and Friday night in the Westport and tri-state area..

There is a potential for sustained wind speeds from 30 to 40 mph with gusts from 45 to 55 mph Friday afternoon and Friday night, the advisory said.

As a strong cold front moves slowly east toward a departing high pressure system moving off the Atlantic coast, south winds will begin to slowly increase during Thursday.

A wave of low pressure is forecast to develop along this front. It is forecast to intensify rapidly as it moves northeast passing north of the region Friday night, the advisory said.

Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2006


10:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – International Hospitality Committee
7 p.m. – Westport Country Playhouse – “A Christmas Carol”
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309/307 – RTM Public Works/Environment Committees
7:30 p.m. – Westport Public Library – Community Conversation: The Future of Longevity
9 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201A – RTM Health & Human Services Committee

Staples 24-7 Win Over West Haven Sets Up Saturday Final

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Junior Michael Samela hauls in a 30-yard touchdown pass from R. J. Marsilio in tonight’s 24-7 Staples win over West Haven in the Class L semifinal played at Fairfield Warde. Staples will meet Bunnell Saturday in the state championship game at a site to be determined. It will be the fifth straight state championship appearance for the Wreckers. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo