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Westport Public Shred Day Set for May 9

Westport will hold a public shred day on Saturday, May 9, from 9 a.m. to noon, at 180 Bayberry Lane at the Westport Weston Health District. 

Residents may shred up to five boxes (12” x 18”) per household free of charge.

“This is an opportunity for Westporters to dispose of personal, confidential and sensitive papers such as bank statements, canceled checks, credit card statements, tax papers, medical records,” said First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff. 

“Shredding personal papers helps insure protection against identity theft, in addition to spring cleaning file cabinets.  Our environment also benefits since all material will be recycled.”

Don’t Eliminate Collab Course

To the Editor:

My name is Katie Cioe and I am a student at Staples High School. My father, Crispin Cioe, is a renowned musician and my mother is a retired reporter and currently owns her own business. We live on 4 Valley Road in Westport. I want to thank you for being an entertaining source of information and every time I visit your Web site I am thoroughly informed of recent happenings in Westport.

I wish the sole reason for this letter could be to express how I love when a picture of myself is posted when I am involved in a town event or how I want to publicize a new club or event. However, unfortunately I am writing to you on the more serious manner of the education budget cut that Westport is faced with today.

I am currently a student in the Collab (Collaborative) course which is a class that has been affected by this horrific budget cut. Collab is a non-traditional U.S. history course where students are engaged in-depth discussions and exposed to important texts such as “A Peoples’ History of the United States” by Howard Zinn and “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood.

This is a course where U.S. History Honors and English Two Honors are combined and students learn educational units as a collaboration of both Social Studies and English. Students learn how to synthesize information and at the end of each quarter write an in-depth analysis of their performance.

According to the new budget, Collab will not be available to students next year. Along with this course, Robotics, Latin American Studies, Senior Option, and many other unique classes will be erased from the Staples curriculum. I am deeply saddened by this drastic cut because it affects my future and my career at Staples. Collab has helped me realize my serious inclination toward government.

Through exposure to current events, Collab is a place where my critical thinking skills have developed. Due to this, I have joined Junior Statesman of America and will participate in my first debate at Staples High School on Saturday, April 25 against prestigious schools like Hunter, Horace Mann, High School of Math and Science, and many various other esteemed private schools. One of the reasons a public school can go up against such highly ranked private schools is because of the dedication this town has to education.

Staples High School was recently ranked No. 1 in the state and the entire Staples community was thrilled at this fact. However, this budget cut seems to disagree with our status because we are cutting the classes that make our school “the private school with no tuition” anomaly it is. Robotics, Collab, and other unique courses are vital to helping students realize their interests and helping them gain the drive to pursue their interests in the future. It would be a shame to let our children’s future go to waste.

Staples High School is one of the crown gems of Westport society. From Wreckers football games to Players’ Productions to Teacher of the Year ceremonies, there is a lot to be proud of at Staples. We truly deserve our No. 1 ranking, or at least we did. I realize we are in a deep economic recession and no one understands this more than students at Staples. We are the ones who are going to have bills to pay and have to try and restore our country in the future.

Clearly, we, as the youth, feel this burden as much anyone in Westport. However, if this budget is replenished, it comes out to a mere $12 a household a month, and $144 per household a year. We need to invest in our children’s future and make this sacrifice.

It is these classes that make Staples what it is. If we let the value and reputation of Staples High School, then other aspects for Westport will decline as well. Housing prices will drop and town will lose many important members of our society. The youth will lose trust in the board and will exude less Westport pride

The main reason my parents moved me here from Fieldston Ethical Culture Private School in New York City was the education system. If we instate this budget cut, then house prices could go down and we could no longer have the same Westport pride. I implore you to make this decision and help the future of our children and the future of America. Thank you for your time.

Katie Cioe
Westport

300th Volleyball Victory for Staples Coach Bruce Betts

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Bruce Betts (c), head boys volleyball coach at Westport’s Staples High School, achieved his 300th career coaching win Monday with a 3-0 victory over Harding at Staples. Betts, who started the volleyball program in 1987 but did not play official matches until the FCIAC recognized boys volleyball as a varsity sport in 1991, has a 300-52 career record. After the match, players, parents, and fans gave him two signed volleyballs and a banner. Rob Goddu for WestportNow.com

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


8:45 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. – Staples High School – Ekiwah Adler Belendez, Poet
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Westport Historical Society – “Presidents, Politicians & Popular Heroes”
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Westport Historical Society – “The Art of the Birdhouse”
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – “Home”
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – “Not Picture Perfect”
Noon – Westport Public Library – Authors@the Library: Robert Sullivan, “The Thoreau You Don’t Know”Canceled
7 p.m. – Staples High School Auditorium – Free screening of documentary “No Kidding, Me Too!” by Joe Pantoliano about mental health disorders
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – RTM Finance Committee
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 102 – RTM Transit Committee
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79 and westportct.gov)
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Architectural Review Board
8 p.m. – Westport Country Playhouse – “Around the World in 80 Days”

Westport Youth Festival Holds Fundraiser

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Zach Bomes, a Staples sophomore, and Ann Lupo, a Weston senior and a volunteer for the Westport Youth Film Festival, purchase tickets tonight at the Bow Tie Cinema in Norwalk from Westporter Sandy Lefkowitz, coordinator of the Westport Youth Film Festival. Tonight’s fundraiser preview film performance featured Sam Mendes’ “Away We Go.” Mendes’s works include “American Beauty” and “Revolutionary Road.” The Westport Youth Film Festival will be held on May 9 with 60 selected short films to be shown at Town Hall and Toquet Hall. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Westport News Moves to Fairfield, Makes Staff Changes

The Westport News has moved from its Norwalk office to Fairfield and will be published from the office of the sister Hearst Corp. weekly newspaper the Fairfield Citizen, a source at the newspaper said today. Callers to the Westport News number in Norwalk today were told to call Fairfield.

Hearst announced Friday the elimination of 44 jobs at its Connecticut newspapers and among those affected were Will Rowlands, Westport News editor since 2004, and Carol King, Lifestyle Editor, the source said. (See WestportNow April 24, 2009)

The company said it plans to eliminate another 80 positions within three months as part of a consolidation and cost-cutting effort.

Also leaving Hearst was Patricia Hines, the 23-year editor of the Fairfield Citizen. Taking over as editor is Frances Moore, a Fairfield resident and a graduate of Sacred Heart University who will also oversee the Westport News, the source said.

Happy 80th Birthday Bill Meyer

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Longtime Westporter Bill Meyer (shown with wife, Carolyn) got an 80th birthday surprise today at the girls softball game he was umpiring—a birthday cake. Meyer has been involved in Westport Little League, Y’s Men, Sunrise Rotary, the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), and myriad other organizations and causes during his tenure in Westport. The Parks and Recreation Commission later honored him at its meeting and Westport First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff (next to Meyer in baseball cap) read a proclamation marking his birthday.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

Firefighters Quickly Extinguish Greens Farms Roof Fire

WestportNow.com Image
Westport firefighters today quickly extinguished a roof fire on a Greens Farms Road home near where workers had earlier been soldering a gutter. Assistant Fire Chief Robert Kepchar said firefighters responded to a 4:29 p.m. 911 call from 253 Greens Farms Road reporting smoke in the stairwell to the second floor. Firefighters opened up the roof area to get at the flames while others inside opened up the interior wall and extinguished the fire that was traveling up the rafter bays on the interior of the roof, he said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Westport, Weston, Wilton Review Flu Outbreak Preparations

The leaders of Westport, Weston, and Wilton said today they have reviewed emergency pandemic flu preparations with their emergency management officials as well as the director of the Westport Weston Health District following outbreaks of swine flu in the United States.

The three communities are grouped together by the Connecticut Department of Public Health for purposes of responding to pandemic flu and other health emergencies.

“We have had emergency plans in place for some time and are confident that our towns and Health District are prepared and will be able to respond appropriately should there be a need,” said Westport First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff.

“It is vital that our residents be familiar with the flu symptoms and follow the instructions of the health professionals in the case of illness,” said Weston First Selectman Woody Bliss.