Friday, April 12, 2024


Finance Board to School Board: ‘Keep Budget Flat’

By James Lomuscio

Members of Westport’s Board of Finance tonight advised the Board of Education to keep its 2012-13 operating budget as flat as possible and to seeks consolidations wherever possible with the town government to cut costs.

The finance board and several members of the Representative Town Meeting had been invited to the meeting to get a clearer picture of expenses the school board will face over the next five years. The general consensus was that the quality of instruction and the maintenance of facilities not be sacrificed with fiscal belt tightening.

The preliminary budget discussions came on the heels of enrollment projections that student population would drop over the next five years by between 200 and 300 from the current 5,700.

The finance board also remained to hear a five-year capital forecast given by Assistant Superintendent of Business Nancy Harris. The forecast shows approximately $10 million in projects over that time period.

Florence J. Shook, 97

Florence James Shook, Westport resident for 63 years, died at her home on Oct. 26. She was 97. Image
Florence J. Shook: longtime Westporter. Contributed photo

She is remembered for her enormous love, friendship, and generous spirit, said her family. She co-founded a school, advocated for actors, adored dogs, and relished her family. 

Quick to come with chicken soup, a glazed ham, or easily add another place at the table, she possessed a particular affinity for those in trouble or with “broken wings.”

“There will always be people whose lives are in turmoil and need immediate help,” she said.

Snowstorm Potentially to Impact State on Wednesday

By Jacob Meisel

There is a potential for a snowstorm to blast through the region Wednesday night into Thursday morning that may significantly affect the Thursday morning commute. 

Current signs are pointing towards rain and snow which could begin as soon as 9 p.m. Wednesday and get heavier overnight into the early hours of Thursday morning. 

Since the storm is still around 55 hours out, many details remain foggy, but the precipitation may start as rain around 9 p.m. before mixing with and eventually changing to snow between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. 

The snow may fall heavy at times in the worst of the storm, which right now looks to happen anywhere between 2 and 6 a.m. Snow should begin to wind down by 7 or 8 a.m., and by Thursday afternoon everything should be completely clear. 

Lesser Known Staples Offerings Are Tops

Students in two lesser known areas of study at Westport’s Staples High School—child development and financial literacy—have recently won first place honors. Image
Staples students work with children in the child development course. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The awards were earned in the 2011 Connecticut Statewide Career and Technical Educational Assessment competition. Staples scored first in the state – as a group – on both the Early Childhood Education and Services, and Personal Finance, exams.

The wide-ranging tests – taken by computer – last 90 minutes. The school will be honored at the annual Career and Technical Education (CTE) Annual Conference on Dec. 14, in Farmington, an announcement said.

The CTE’s mission is to prepare students for both college and careers.

Board of Ed Joins Town in Internet Meeting Streaming

Five years after the Town of Westport added live streaming video of Town Hall meetings to its website, the Board of Education today is doing the same.

Beginning with tonight’s board meeting at Staples High School at 7 p.m., live video streaming of the meeting will be available on the school district’s website,, an announcement said.

The coverage is in addition to previously available broadcasts of the meetings on Cablevision’s Channel 78, and AT&T’s UVerse Channel 99.

The Town of Westport began live video streaming of Town Hall meetings on the Internet in 2006, the same year that WiFi became available in Town Hall.

Holiday House Tour a Hit

Sunday’s 25th anniversary Westport Holiday House Tour and Twilight Soiree was attended by more than 500 guests who enjoyed a delightful day and evening of architecture, art and antiques. The Westport Historical Society’s annual event took place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a docent-guided visit to five private homes all in Westport ranging from pre-Revolution to today, and varying in size from “Puritan intimate” to more than 10,000 square feet. The tour was followed by a Twilight Soiree, a fun relaxing celebration of wine, hors d’oeuvres, live music and a live and silent auction to benefit the Historical Society. Larry Untermeyer for