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Lighting the Bridge

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Police were on Westport’s Bridge Street Bridge Monday night directing traffic as workers installed Christmas lights on the bridge over the Saugatuck River. The bridge lights are sponsored each year by Westport’s Al’s Angels charity group. For more information, go to www.alsangels.org. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2006


10 a.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Arts Advisory Committee
10 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Westport-Weston Health District – Flu Clinic
6:30 p.m. – Fairfield Warde High School – Staples football Class L semifinal playoff vs West Haven
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Zoning Board of Appeals
7:45 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – RTM Education, Finance & Employee Compensation Committees
8:45 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201/201A – RTM Finance Committee

Finance Board Gets Jump on Budget Discussions

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The Westport Board of Finance won’t officially review the proposed town budget until March and April, but it got a head start tonight in a meeting to discuss priorities, ideas and questions about the process.

Tonight the board discussed budget matters with First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, Selectwoman Shelly Kassen and Finance Director Donald Miklus. Next Monday the board will meet with the Board of Education on its budget priorities.

Jeffrey Mayer, finance board chairman, said the discussions about the need for an additional person at the Center for Senior Activities came up late during budget discussions, and it was too late to do anything.

“Now we can get those issues out early enough to do something,” he said.

Sternberg Addresses Education Gap

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Betty Sternberg, former state education commissioner, touched on a number of education issues—including closing the learning gap—during a talk with the Y’s Women today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
By Phyllis Groner

Betty Sternberg, former state commissioner of education, touched on how educators need to close the educational gap during her talk with the Y’s Women today.

Sternberg served as education commissioner from 2003 through 2006, and she is now the superintendent of schools in Greenwich.

She said she believes the emphasis on testing as laid out under the federal No Child Left Behind Act is the wrong way to educate.

It’s a waste of money to test children who know little English or come from a home environment that does not encourage learning, she said, and there is a large educational gap between the rich and poor.

Westport Police Busy Over Holiday Weekend

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Westport police officers were busy making vehicle stops over the holiday weekend, but there were no major incidents on the road between last Wednesday through Sunday.

Police Sgt. Jerry Shannon, public information officer, said officers made 117 motor vehicle stops, made two driving while intoxicated arrests and responded to 15 accidents over the course of the long weekend.

Officers handed out a variety of citations, he said, including speeding, cell phone violations, seat belt violations and stop sign violations.

Officers also wrapped up the Click It or Ticket program last weekend, Shannon said, and handed out 137 seat belt citations over the course of the two weeks of the program.

Ceremony Planned for Democracy Cup

Residents are invited to a ceremony when town officials will receive the 2006 Democracy Challenge Cup trophy from Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 10 a.m. in the Town Hall auditorium.

Westport won the award in the mid-size town category for the second time for having the best voter turnout in the November election among towns its size.  In addition to 2006, the town was awarded the trophy in 2000.

“We are delighted to win this award again,” said First Selectman Gordon Joseloff.  “It’s a reflection of the interest and the involvement of Westporters in local, state, and national politics.”

Town Clerk Patricia Strauss said it is an honor to win the award for the second time in six years.

More Residents Seeking Historic Property Designation

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More Westporters, including the owners of 88 Roseville Road, are seeking to designate their homes as historical to protect them from the wrecking crews. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
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Bulldozers have become a familiar site throughout Westport over the last decade, but some residents are hoping to keep them away from their homes.

The Representative Town Meeting is considering adding 113 Cross Highway to the town’s historic property ordinance, which would protect the house from destruction, and it’s part of a recent trend of Westporters seeking to designate their homes as historical.

Morley Boyd, a Historic District Commission member, said more people are contacting commission members about the designation, which he finds unusual.

“I think it’s a reaction to the fact that homes that were once considered untouchable are being torn down,” he said. “People are feeling a sense of vulnerability.”