Friday, July 12, 2024

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Afghanistan: A Military Primer in Westport

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Westporters tonight had a military briefing about Afghanistan from Lt. Col. Tania M. Chacho, a West Point professor who is married to 1987 Staples High School graduate Lt. Col. Jonathan Liba, now serving in Afghanistan. The talk was part of the Westport Library’s Community Conversations series. She told of the many achievements the United States has made in Afghanistan. But she also spoke of the tremendous problems ahead, including how to win the hearts and minds of the populace, and how to influence the population to stop producing a good cash crop like drugs and instead grow such products as dates. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Staples Boys Track Team Remains Undefeated

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Staples junior Rafael Ray (l) flies across the finish line in the 300-meter sprint in today’s triple meet with Trumbull, Norwalk, and Westhill High Schools held at Trumbull High School Ray also won the 100-meter relay. The Wreckers remain undefeated for the season 14-0. The individual scores were Staples 99 – Trumbull 57; Staples 111 – Norwalk 39; and Staples 123 – Westhill 27. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Hamilton Laux for WestportNow.com

A Special Yankees Honor for a Westporter

By Phyllis Groner

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Julie Loparo with Rookie, a Lab and Pointer mix who is eligible for adoption. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
There will be a special ceremony Saturday at Yankee Stadium with Westporter Julie Loparo having a central role.

To mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Yankees will make Loparo, 48, who is battling breast cancer, an honorary captain.

The honor did not come out of the blue. Loparo’s husband, Mike, is general manager of concessions at the Stadium. But he says he is not sure who arranged it.

Before the first pitch against Minnesota at 1:05 p.m., Loparo and her Norwalk Hospital oncologist, Dr. Richard Zelkowitz, also a Westporter, will be driven on to the field in a golf cart.

Sunrise Rotary to Honor Five

Westport’s Sunrise Rotary Club on Friday will honor four Westporters and one Weston resident for their community service.

Martha Aasen, Julie Belaga, Jack Klinge, and Alan Stolz of Westport and Austen Doolittle of Weston will receive Paul Harris Community Service Awards at Westport’s Birchwood Country Club at an 8 a.m. breakfast.

The public is invited and those who wish to attend must reserve by calling Sunrise Rotary’s hotline at (203)454-6446, contacting any Sunrise Rotary member, or calling Club President John Hendrickson at 203-454-1982.

There is a $30 breakfast fee for the meeting. Birchwood Country Club is located at 25 Kings Highway South.

Sunday Farmers’ Market Marks Earth Day on June 6

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The Sunday Farmers’ Market at the Saugatuck Congregational Church on June 6 will “Celebrate the Earth” with a “Green Art Exhibition” featuring art from children, churches, synagogues, and local artists as well as music and family fun. Committee members working on the event include (l-r) Angela Belta, of Westport’s Belta’s Farm;  Mary Ann West, the church’s communications director; Dolores Bacharach, secretary, Interfaith Council; Co-Chairs Cece Saunders,  Rebecca Hayward, and Mary Attanasio, and Geri Zakoff, clinical nutritionist. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

P&Z May Give Westport Nightlife Shot in Arm

Westport’s nightlife is about to get a shot in the arm if the Planning & Zoning Commission passes new regulations affecting restaurants, liquor establishments, and evening and recreational activities.

P&Z Director Laurence Bradley said the commission will take up a text amendment at its May 20 meeting that will expand opportunities for these activities.

Among other things, the proposed amendment would modify current regulations which require 1,500 feet separating distance between patron bars and allow them to be established in places where they are currently not allowed.

The new regulations would also reduce parking requirements for restaurants.

Old Town Hall Hosts LWV Tag Sale on Friday & Saturday

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The 26th annual tag sale of the League of Women Voters of Westport will be held on Friday and Saturday at the Old Town Hall, 90 Post Road East, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The historic site, formerly occupied by TD Banknorth, is generously being provided for the event by the new owners of the property, Robert and Julie Haroun of SIR Development LLC and Westport Residential.The two-day sale will feature a wide variety of donated “treasures.” Proceeds from the fund-raiser will help the League’s community and educational programs. Pictured are (l-r) Ellie Lowenstein, tag sale co-chair, Robert M. Haroun, Julie Haroun and Karen Curtis, tag sale co-chair. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Casting Set for Playhouse’s “Dinner With Friends”

The Westport Country Plahouse has announced casting for its production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning comic drama, “Dinner With Friends,” written by Connecticut resident Donald Margulies and directed by David Kennedy, Playhouse associate artistic director, playing June 1 through June 19.WestportNow.com Image
Having “Dinner With Friends” are (l-r) playwright Donald Margulies cast members Mary Bacon, David Aaron Baker, Jenna Stern, Steven Skybell; and director David Kennedy. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo by Kathleen O’Rourke

The cast is comprised of David Aaron Baker as Tom, Mary Bacon as Beth, Steven Skybell as Gabe and Jenna Stern as Karen. 

Baker appeared in “All My Sons” at Westport Country Playhouse in 2003. On Broadway, he was in “A Raisin in the Sun,” “The Rainmaker,” “Once Upon a Mattress” and “Abe Lincoln in Illinois.”

Bacon was in “Children” at Westport Country Playhouse last season. On Broadway, she was seen in Tom Stoppard’s “Rock N’ Roll,” and off-Broadway in “Happy Now?”  Skybell’s work on Broadway includes “Pal Joey,” “Wicked,” “The Full Monty,” “Love! Valour! Compassion!” and “Ah, Wilderness.” 

RTM Says Yes to Conservation, No to Assessor

By James Lomuscio

In the final round of Representative Town Meeting (RTM) budget hearings Monday night and early today, the legislative body said yes to restoring $30,000 to the Conservation Department and no to restoring $44,000 to the Assessor’s office.

It set the municipal budget at $63.12 million, making overall Westport expenses including the Board of Education budget more than $173.72 million for 2010-2011.

By a vote of 28 to 5 in favor of the Conservation Department restoration, the RTM overturned its vote last week which was not to restore that amount to retain all five members of the department.

The vote came after the RTM voted by the same 28 to 5 margin to reconsider its previous vote in light of what was considered new evidence presented by department boosters who argued that preserving the town’s environment was priceless.