Saturday, February 24, 2024

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Westport Schools to Get $66,000 in Federal Funds

Westport schools will receive $66,000 under the 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act, Congressman Jim Himes said today.

The bill, which encourages energy efficiency and the use of renewable resources in schools to help create healthier, safer learning environments, passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 275-155, the 4th Congressional District Democratic freshman said.

Himes said the legislation would bring more than $8.5 million to Fairfield County schools and create local construction jobs.

“Improving schools will help us meet our goal of giving every child a world class education, which will lead to a world-class workforce and sustained American prosperity,” he said.

“Don’t Become a Statistic”

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Spring time is prom time at Westport’s Staples High School—the junior prom is Saturday night and the senior prom June 6—and today was a day to remind students of the dangers of drinking and driving with Grim Reaper Day. Sponsored by the Teen Awareness Group, the day involved about 50 students who played the part of “victims.” Every half hour, an EMT entered a classroom, took a student out of the room, and then explained to the rest of the class exactly how the student “died.” The students, who wore a red “Don’t Become a Statistic” t-shirt and makeup to show show cuts and bruises, then returned to the classroom and neither spoke or was spoken to for the remainder of the day. The students understood that they had symbolically “lost” one of their classmates. Pictured is TAG member senior Justin Sherman standing next to a demolished vehicle parked in front of the school. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

Historic Torah Scroll to be Unveiled at Westport Synagogue

For the first time since World War II, a Torah scroll that was rescued from the Nazis will be unrolled and dedicated on Sunday for use at Westport’s Conservative Synagogue sanctuary.

The Holocaust-era Torah, once part of a thriving Czech Jewish community, had been desecrated by the Nazis.

With the letters literally falling off the parchment, the synagogue undertook the effort to restore and re-kasher the scroll so that it could once again be unrolled and used for prayers. 

With the help of a man known as the “Raider of the Lost Arks” for his work in rescuing and restoring Holocaust-era Torah scrolls, the Torah has been restored to life. 

Comings and Goings: Rochester Big Morphs into Casual Male

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Casual Male Retail Group, a Canton, Mass.- based chain of specialty clothing retail stores, is changing the name of its Rochester Big & Tall men’s apparel store at Westport’s 1505 Post Road East (next to Blockbuster) to Casual Male XL on July 1. It will be Connecticut’s 10th Casual Male XL location. Rochester Big & Tall has occupied its current location since July 2008. Eulia Tsanatelis, assistant store manager, said the new Casual Male XL store will carry the same type of merchandise that is carried by Rochester Big & Tall. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

NY Post Cites Westport as Area’s No. 41 Top Destination

The New York Post today published its top 100 destinations within a six-hour drive or one-hour plane ride of New York City and listed Westport as No. 41.

“Why?,” the story said. “A lovely setting—nature preserves, rivers and beaches—a mix of cosmopolitan sophistication, coastal charm and proximity to New York. Big win.”

The Post noted that “there’s been a strong Hollywood connection to this affluent town for some time: It was the fictional residence of Ricky and Lucy Ricardo (‘I Love Lucy’) and Darrin and Samantha Stephens (‘Bewitched’), and the real home of many a celebrity, most famously, Martha Stewart and the late Paul Newman.”

It said “lots of money has translated into lots of culture” and urged readers to “grab a picnic basket and a blanket or lawn chair and head to the banks of the Saugatuck River for one of the 50 free summer concerts at the Levitt Pavilion.” It also touted the Westport Country Playhouse and the adjoining Dressing Room restaurant.

Sculptor Says Missing Golda Meir Work Was Her Best

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Westport Sculptor Steffi Friedman today wrapped up the last “Conversations with the Artists” series at the Westport Center for Senior Activities. Working in many mediums, including terracotta, glass, bronze, alabaster and marble, she has sculpted many pieces both very large and some small. Among those she cited was one of a former Israeli leader. “The sculpture I did of Golda Meir is the best sculpture I ever did,” she said. “It was 9 feet by 9 feet and weighed well over 100 pounds.” But she added, “It was stolen and never recovered.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Bank Robber Hits Saugatuck TD BankNorth Branch

UPDATE For the second Friday afternoon in a row, a bank robber made off today with cash from a Westport bank. WestportNow.com Image
The TD BankNorth branch at 50 Charles St. was robbed at about 5:45 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Police said the lone male walked into the TD BankNorth branch at 50 Charles St. in the Saugatuck area shortly before 6 p.m. and made off with an undetermined amount of cash.

“The suspect passed a note to the bank employee demanding money. The bank employee was unable to produce the money immediately and the suspect fled the bank running west on Charles Street,” said Sergeant Sam Arciola.

A K-9 unit responded and conducted a dog track for the suspect. The dog track ended at the Saugatuck railroad parking lot southwest of the bank, he said.

Children’s World at Playhouse

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Today was the fifth and final matinee performance at the Westport Country Playhouse of “Around the World in 80 Days” especially for elementary school children. More than 2,500 children from area schools have seen the production with cost of the tickets for many partially offset by the Theatre Access Fund,which is supported by grants and foundations. Today’s audience was comprised of students from three schools—Holland Hill in Fairfield, Our Lady of Fatima in Wilton, and Westport’s Bedford Middle School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Westport Announces Road Paving Schedule

Westport Public Works Deputy Director John Broadbin has announced that milling and paving of local roads began today and will continue into next week.  The work includes approximately .8 miles of roadway.WestportNow.com Image
Milling is under way on Burnham Hill Road. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The milling and paving schedule, weather permitting, is: today – milling on Burnham Hill Road, Sherwood Drive; Monday - paving on Burnham Hill Road, Sherwood Drive, and Tuesday- milling on Compo Hill Road, Buena Vista Drive, and Sterling Drive.

Also, Wednesday—milling on Compo Hill Road, Buena Vista Drive, Sterling Drive; Thursday- paving on Compo Hill Road, Buena Vista Drive, Sterling Drive; Friday- paving on Compo Hill Road, Buena Vista Drive, and Sterling Drive.

The normal start time for road work is 7 a.m. On-street parking will be eliminated on the days the roads are to be milled and paved, and will be reopened directly after the workday ends at 5 p.m. All vehicles will need to be moved if they are parked on the roadway.