Sunday, March 03, 2024

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Irving Berlin Music Featured at Arts Center

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Irving Berlin: Music featured at the Westport Arts Center. Contributed photo
“Broadway Songbook,” a new series presented by the Westport Arts Center, kicks off on Monday at 7 p.m. at the arts center with a performance featuring the early music of Irving Berlin.

The evening includes food and wine, plus the 90-minute musical program.  Tickets are $30. Student tickets with valid identification are $5.

Sung by Westporter Susan Terry and Ivy Austin, the series is conceived by Westporter Max Wilk. Stephen Stout will serve as narrator, and Michael Lavine is pianist.

Focusing on the music Irving Berlin composed from 1912 to 1913, songs include “When I Lost You,” ”If That’s Your Idea of a Wonderful Time, Take Me Home,” “I’m Telling You I’m Choking on That Five Cent Cigar You’re Smoking,” “Cohen Owes Me Ninety-Seven Dollars,” and “That International Rag” sung with its counterpoint, “When I Get to the U.S.A.”

For information and tickets, call Westport Arts Center at (203) 222-7070, purchase online at www.westportartscenter.org, or visit the gallery on Riverside Avenue.

Train Station Camera Feed to Go Live to Police

By Jennifer Connic

Westport officials hope to expand a program that brought security cameras to the Saugatuck Metro-North train station by making the images available in a live feed to police headquarters.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced in October that 16 cameras would be placed at the station (see WestportNow Oct. 7, 2006) and they were installed earlier this month. But under the state plan, the images are stored on a computer hard drive at the station so they can be reviewed after any incidents.

First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said town officials are working with the Department of Transportation to install technology that would bring the images back to police headquarters for real-time viewing.

“We may be unique to any of the places that have these cameras,” he said.

Engineering Team Reaches National Final

For the second consecutive year, the engineering team at Westport’s Staples High School has made it into the final round of the National Engineering Design Challenge.

The team will travel to Washington Feb. 15-17 to present its final design.  The Staples team placed second last year and first in 2001 in the competition, which is sponsored by the Junior Engineering and Technical Society (JETS).

The challenge for this year was to design a device to improve life for people with disabilities, and the team designed a retractable shelving system that would enable a person in a wheel chair to utilize the upper and lower shelves with ease.

Although targeting users in wheelchairs, the device would also be useful to those too short to reach upper shelves without a step-stool and also to those for whom bending or crouching to reach the lower shelves is not possible or uncomfortable.

Library Offers Tax Update Program

The Westport Public Library will be offering a program for residents to learn the latest in the federal tax laws on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 10 a.m. in the library’s McManus Room.

IRS Revenue Agent Joseph D’Agostin will share the most up-to-date information and talk about new tax-law changes and tips that might affect your tax return.

This will be D’Agostin’s ninth IRS update at the Library, and he’ll take questions from the public.

D’Agostin has more than 30 years experience in public accounting and small business, and is currently an audit-team member with the IRS, where he has worked since 1987.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information, call (203) 291-4840 or visit www.westportlibrary.org.

Selected Shorts

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Westport Arts Center Executive Director Eileen Wiseman, John Shea, Westport Country Playhouse Artistic Director Tazewell Thompson, Isaiah Sheffer and and Symphony Space Director of Literary Programming Katherine Minton share a conversation before tonight’s performance of “Selected Shorts” at the playhouse. Shea, Sheffer and Thompson read short fiction pieces in the performance, which was taped to be aired on National Public Radio. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Boards Battle Over School Budget Proposal

By Jennifer Connic

The Westport Board of Education and Board of Finance clashed tonight over the proposed 2007-08 school budget.

Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon has proposed an $89.2 million 2007-08 budget, which is a 8.8 percent, or $7.2 million, increase over the current budget.

The discussion ranged from a battle over all-day kindergarten to the needs at Staples High School, but the two board chairmen argued when Board of Finance Chairman Jeffrey Mayer suggested the school board hold off its budget vote.

The Board of Education is scheduled to vote on its proposed budget on Feb. 5, which is its next scheduled meeting one week from tonight.

Former Deputy Fire Chief Dies

Former Westport Deputy Fire Chief David A. Sanford died today in Danbury Hospital after a long illness, fire officials said. He was 62.

Sanford, a West Redding resident, served Westport from May 1980 through May 1988. He was fire marshal of the West Redding Volunteer Fire Department as well as a former chief there and was also a former deputy chief in Wilton.

Fire Chief Christopher Ackley said Sanford is responsible for the success of a lot of firefighters who have served in Westport.

“Without him, we wouldn’t be the experienced, professional department we are today,” he said. “Our department is what it is today because the people in leadership positions were under his tutelage.”

Two Escape Injury in Post Road West Crash

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Two persons escaped serious injury today in a two-car crash on Westport’s Post Roasd West at Kings Highway South. Police said a westbound Audi driven by a female driver collided with a BMW driven by a male as he was exiting an office building driveway at 300 Post Road West at about 3 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com