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Staples Student Selected for MIT Internship

Staples High School student Zach Effman has been selected for an internship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Research Science Institute, the Westport schools office has announced.

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Staples High School teacher Nicholas Morgan with Staples junior Zach Effman. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

He is one of just 80 students selected from a worldwide pool for the prestigious internship at MIT, an announcement said. He will spend six weeks working one-on-one with a professor, developing and carrying out an intense research project. Many students enter their work in the Intel Science Talent Search.

As a Staples freshman, Zach heard Nicholas Morgan talk about the Authentic Science Research course he co-teaches.

Over the next three years, he learned he could hone in on an important topic, discover how to truly research it, then follow it through the many inevitable highs and lows of hands-on science.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Westport Historical Society – “Cover Story: The New Yorker in Westport” & “Can’t Tell a Book by its Cover … “
10:30 a.m. – Westport Senior Center – Talk by Westport Probate Judge Lisa Wexler
4 p.m. – 6 p.m. – Westport Library – Drop-in Tech Help
7 p.m. – Westport Library – New Technology for People with Visual Impairments and Dyslexia
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Zoning Board of Appeals (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Architectural Review Board

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

Emotional Pleas to Retain Anti-Bullying Program

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Linnea Jagenberg, 10: program has made her “less shy and more confident.” WestportNow.com photo from School Television

UPDATE Parents and students made emotional pleas to the Westport Board of Education tonight to retain the Kool To Be Kind (K2BK) anti-bullying program for third graders.

A high school mentor in the program told of being bullied in elementary school and having his lunch stolen every day. Another said his tormentor made “Greens Farms Elementary School my own living hell.” They both said they gained immense satisfaction helping today’s third graders cope with bullying.

Linnea Jagenberg, 10, a fifth grader at Long Lots Elementary School, said the program “has made a great impact on my life” and taught her “many ways to stand up for people and myself.”

“It has made me less shy and more confident,” she said. “I don’t feel I will get bullied for standing up for what is right. I’ve started to look at my life at a different point of view after third grade.”

Downtown Committee Moves to Phase II

By James Lomuscio

With its Phase I, town wide, baseline traffic and parking study completed, Westport’s Downtown Steering Committee (DSC) met today to kick off Phase II focusing on infrastructure and aesthetic improvements in the wake of current and planned development downtown.

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Dewey Loselle (l), chair of the Downtown Steering Committee, said the emphasis today was about getting community involvement, (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“We have a lot of opportunities to build on something that’s good and to make it great,” said Dewey Loselle, chairman of the 14-member DSC.

In addition to committee members, present at the meeting were Mark Keener and Victor Minerva, planners for the RBA Group, the Norwalk-based consultant hired by the town to come up with a master plan of development for the downtown. RBA was engaged by the Downtown 2020 Committee, the DSC’s predecessor advisory group formed by the previous town administration.

Loselle said results of RBA’s traffic and parking study will be presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) at its April 10 meeting. Phase II should be completed by late summer he said.

Metro-North Says It Completed Signal Upgrades

Metro-North Railroad said today it has completed permanent changes to its signal system to ensure automatic speed enforcement at five critical curves and five moveable bridges in New York and Connecticut, including one in Westport, more than five months ahead of schedule.

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Metro-North employees work on the Saugatuck Bridge earlier this month. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

It said with the completion of work at the Devon Bridge in Stratford on Thursday, all the signal modifications ordered by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in December are now complete, well before the Sept. 1, 2014 FRA deadline.

“The complete implementation of the requirements of the FRA’s Emergency Order 29, issued on December 8, 2013, brings us another step closer to a safer railroad, which is our number one goal,” said Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti, who started on Feb. 10. “We will continue to take all necessary steps to restore Metro-North to greatness.”

Signal engineers first designed modifications to the circuitry at each location by calculating where and when speed limits should be reduced, Metro-North said. Then signal maintainers had to reconfigure wiring along the tracks that sends the signal to the train to control its speed. Finally, extensive testing was then performed to confirm that the changes were working as designed.

Ill Will at Goodwill

A Norwalk man arrested last week for stealing $500 at Westport’s Goodwill in January was released after posting a $500 bond and is scheduled to appear on a charge of sixth-degree larceny in Norwalk Superior Court on Monday, March 31, Westport police said today.

Rony Gonzales of 11 Fern St. in Norwalk turned himself in on an active arrest warrant stemming from the January incident in which he allegedly removed $500 in cash from a coat that had been put down at the Goodwill store on Post Road East, police said.

According to Capt. Vincent Penna, video footage shows Gonzalez picking up the coat, trying it on and putting his hands in the pocket that contained the cash.

Gonzalez was processed with out incident, police said, and was able to post his bond in the amount of $500.

Betty E. Ohlin, 84

Betty E. Ohlin of Harrisville, R.I. a former teacher in the Westport schools, died March 21 in Overlook Nursing Home, Pascoag, R.I. She was 84.

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Betty Ohlin: former Westport teacher.  Contributed photo

Born in Fairfield, she was the daughter of the late Paul E. and Ruth A. (Nelson) Ohlin. She started as a teacher in Westport and then moved on to be a professor at Rhode Island College, retiring in 1991.

A graduate of New Milford (Conn.) High School, she received a BA from Bethel College, St. Paul, Minn., her Masters from SUI, Iowa City, Iowa and doctoral studies from Pennsylvania State.

She is survived by three sisters, Phyllis Gammons of Southport, Doryce Smelter of Shelton, Gail Osborne of Oakham, Mass., and 19 nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by a brother Paul E. Ohlin Jr., and two sisters, Pearl Juris and Ruth Steeves.

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 6 Dexter Road

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 6 Dexter Road is in process. Built in 1946, the 1 1/2-story cape has 1,075 square feet and is situated on a .30-acre property.  Because the house was built more than 50 years ago, the application will be reviewed by the Westport Historic District Commission. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Analysts: Malloy’s Budget Was Never Was Balanced

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Just one month from adopting the next state budget, legislators have learned the $19 billion spending plan they got from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has a $70 million hole in it, according to a new report from nonpartisan analysts.

Republican legislative leaders subsequently charged that this shortfall exists because the administration dismissed a warning about rising health care costs five months ago.

While the governor’s staff insisted Friday that its $19 billion proposal is balanced, the new deficit projection also sets up a showdown between Malloy and advocates for more spending on social services and education – with the constitutional spending cap at the center.

“It is clear now that the governor disregarded what people in his own administration presented to him in their budget requests last October and November, months before he put out his budget,” House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero, R-Norwalk, said. “We know now the budget was out of whack the moment he dropped it and exceeded the spending cap.”

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