Saturday, June 15, 2024


Services for Domestic Violence Victims Stretched Thin

By Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

On any given day, dozens of women in Connecticut seeking help to get out of abusive relationships will be denied services or put on a waiting list for assistance with housing, counseling, transportation or legal services.

Many of them have children.

“Domestic violence has deep and lasting effects on children,” Joette Katz, commissioner of the state’s child welfare agency, said today. “We have very complex and difficult work to do.”

Child advocates say that these unmet needs –- mapped out annually in a census of Connecticut’s network of programs—show that the state still has a lot of work to do to ensure that children are shielded from family violence.

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Y Tops Off New Home Image
About 40 friends and top donors attended the topping off beam ceremony today at the new Camp Mahackeno home of the Westport Weston Family Y, according to Family Y president Rob Reeves. Many signed the beam today and over the past few weeks, about one-third of them under 10 years old, said Dan Drake, Turner Construction project manager.  He said the beam will be visible even when the structure is completed because it is in an overhead area of the mechanical room where there is no ceiling. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Signatures for History Image
Signatures adorn the final beam hoisted into place today at a “topping off” ceremony at the new home of the Westport Weston Family Y at Camp Mahackeno. Steve Halstead, chair of the Construction Committee, called it a “milestone event.” His wife, Rosemary, a member of the Family Y Board of Trustees and chair of the capital campaign said, “This is the Y for the 21st century.”  She said the Y’s 90th birthday is on Sept 5 and will be formally celebrated at the downtown Y on Sept.  18. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

RTM Approves Four-Year Police Contract

By James Lomuscio

After 13 months of working without a contract, Westport Police Local 2080 got a four-year pact approved by the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) Tuesday night, an agreement Finance Director Gary Conrad says will save the town $550,000 in insurance costs due to revamped deductibles.

The RTM voted 23 to 0 with member Don Bergman abstaining from voting on the contract, the first year of which is retroactive to the past fiscal year.

According to Conrad, the contract, which runs from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2016, calls for no increase the first year, a 2 percent increase the second year and 2.5 percent jumps the third and four years.

“We got the insurance changes in,” Conrad said about the new health savings account (HSA) benefits, for which the town will pay half of the deductibles, the union members responsible for the other half.

Minute Man Monument Historic Designation Sought

By James Lomuscio

Despite the sentinel’s 100th anniversary three years ago, a celebration replete with a Colonial reenactment of a Minute Man firing a black powder musket, Westport’s Minute Man statue is not listed as a historic property. Neither is the stonewall-lined, 20-diameter island on which it is perched. Image
The Minute Man statue will be officially designated the “Minute Man Monument” by the proposed ordinance. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Because of that, the Historic District Commission (HDC) at the urging of First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, is asking the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) to grant the statue and and island historic preservation status and to have it called the Minute Man Monument. HDC Chairman Francis Henkels appeared before the RTM Tuesday night to make his pitch in the legislative body’s first reading of the proposed amendment.

“Last night was clearly about establishing it as a local, historic property,” Henkles said.

“There are two basic reasons for it,” he added. “The first is to have Historic District Commission oversight to any changes. The second is to have access to restoration funds from the state.”

Virginia A. Arnett, 87

Virginia A. Arnett of Shelton, a former Westport resident, died July 29. She was 87.

The wife of Charles Arnett, she was born in Chicago on Sept. 16, 1925, daughter of the late Michael and Anna (Hadzima) Malata.  She lived in Shelton for more than 27 years after moving from Westport.

She is survived by daughters Carolyn A. Shillington and her husband Jerry, Catherine A. D’Aulizio and her husband Tom, Cynthia A. Pleasant and her husband John, and Cheryl A. Zebendon and her husband Randy. She also leaves nine grandchildren, Steven and Nina, Cara and Craig, Veronica and Ian, Andrew, Alison, and Scott, as well as four great grandchildren, Nicolas, Anilyn, Antonio, and Adrian, and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by several brothers and sisters.

Friends may greet the family at the Riverview Funeral Home, 390 River Road, Shelton, on Thursday, Aug. 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.  Her funeral procession will then leave for a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Lawrence Church at 11:30 a.m. Burial will be private. Memorial contributions can be made to Birmingham Foundation-Back to School, PO Box 658, 435 East Main St., Ansonia, CT 06401 in support of The Umbrella Center “Adopt a Child” program.