Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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Westport to Mark Wear Red Day

Westport will participate in the American Heart Association’s National “Wear Red Day for Women” on Friday, Feb. 2 with a number of events, including health screenings at the Westport Weston Health District.

First Selectman Gordon Joseloff will issue a proclamation at 9 a.m. on the front steps of Town Hall on that day.

As part of the day’s events, the health district will offer cholesterol screening and blood pressure testing at 9 a.m. to noon in Town Hall Rooms 201/201A.  Screenings include total, LDL, and HDL, cholesterol levels, blood sugar and triglyceride levels.  Fasting and an appointment are required for cholesterol screening.

The cost for the screening is $20 with only cash payments accepted.  Call (203) 227-9571 ext. 242 before Feb. 2.

Playing Badminton

WestportNow.com Image
Visitors to the Westport Weston Family Y got to get a taste of badminton today as three world class champions played. Yie San Eun, a former member of an elite Korean cvic team, and Kevin Cunningham, longtime Westport resident, partnered for the game. Emi Tollefson, Westport resident who was the top player in Japan a few years ago, and Kang Kye Bun, a former national Korean badminton team member, also played in the game. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Westporter Featured in Norwalk Symphony Concert

A student at Westport’s Staples High School will be featured in the Norwalk Symphony’s “Three Prodigies Concert” on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m.WestportNow.com Image
Carlyn Kessler: Staples sophomore plays the cello. Contributed photo

Sophomore Carlyn Kessler, 15, who plays the cello, is the oldest of three young musicians performing in the event. Also playing are violinist Jenny Liu, 13, of Orange and pianist Ann-Frances Rokosa, 10, of Rhode Island.

In 2005, Kessler was awarded the Stamford Symphony Orchestra Roger Nierenberg Young Musician Commendation Award. From 2001 to the present, she has been a member of the Norwalk Youth Symphony and served as the principal cellist of the Concert Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra.

At Staples, she has performed as part of the Staples High School Symphonic Orchestra.

Concern Over Arrest at Rell Inaugural Parade

To the Editor:

The recent arrest of journalist-activist Ken Krayeske at Gov. (M. Jodi) Rell’s inaugural parade is the latest in a growing series of government covert actions that make modern life feel more and more like a spy thriller.

Krayeske’s arrest brought to light the existence of a secret “suspicious persons” list provided to state police by the little-known Connecticut Intelligence Center.  Apparently Krayeske got on the list because he was campaign director for Green Party candidate Cliff Thornton, and because he criticized Rell for refusing to debate Thornton.

This list may or may not be the same as the Violent Gang and Terrorist Organization File (VGTOF) maintained by the FBI.  The VGTOF has included, among others, the American Friends Service Committee, a pacifist organization.  And then there is the secret “no-fly” list which bans people from airplanes based on their political affiliations.

These secret lists, we are told, are a necessary tool of law enforcement, along with warrantless wiretapping and, as of last month, the opening of sealed mail without court orders.

In Stamford, the police department, with support from the Board of Representatives, is planning to install video surveillance cameras throughout the city to monitor people’s behavior in public places.  This is already widespread in London and New York.

Secret lists, eavesdropping, hidden cameras.  And we also have midnight deportations to secret overseas prisons (“extraordinary rendition”), indefinite detention without trial at Guantanamo, and the use of approved forms of torture to extract information.

Not very pretty.  And not very effective, either. How can these heavy-handed, clandestine, and centralized methods of gathering information keep up with a world of burgeoning print media, the Internet, cell-phones and digital cameras?

Perhaps we need a new national security paradigm, based not on obscure government operations but on the collective intelligence of an informed citizenry. 

Imagine, instead of J. Edgar Hoover and his G-men, a whole society armed with cellphones and computers, combing publicly available information sources and reporting their findings on blogs.  Imagine, instead of a Central Intelligence Agency, a Citizen Intelligence Network. The young hackers will run circles around the old spies.

This is the concept behind Open Source Intelligence, a movement founded by former Marine and CIA officer Robert Steele.

To learn more about the movement, the Fairfield County Green Party will show and discuss a film about Robert Steele, “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Spying and Intelligence,” on Thursday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. at the Westport Public Library.

We need to start treating bloggers like Ken Krayeske as a national resource, not a national threat.

David Bedell
Stamford