Tuesday, March 05, 2024

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Single Use Plastic Bag Fee Returns Wednesday

Among Gov. Ned Lamont’s COVID-19 precautions in March was an executive order suspending Connecticut’s 10-cent fee on single-use plastic bags.

The order is set to expire Wednesday — July 1 — when retailers again are required to collect the fee.

Early in the pandemic, some retailers set policy preventing employees from bagging groceries in reusable bags brought from home by the customer.

“According to guidance from the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), given the most current scientific information available, reusable bags do not serve as a significant source of infection for COVID-19,” the Department of Revenue Services said in a statement last week.

Granger at the Movies: Patriotic Movies to Celebrate 4th of July

By Susan Granger

Special to WestportNow

Patriotism means loyalty to one’s country, so here are some of America’s most patriotic films — old and new — that you can stream at home (in alphabetical order):

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“1776” (1972), directed by Peter H. Hunt. Adapted from the Broadway musical, it chronicles the signing of the Declaration of Independence by the Founding Fathers (William Daniels, Howard da Silva, Ken Howard, John Cullum, Blythe Danner). Streaming on Amazon, iTunes, Vudu.

“Air Force One” (1997), directed by Wolfgang Peterson. After making a speech in Moscow stating that he’ll never negotiate with terrorists, the plane carrying the U.S. President (Harrison Ford) is hijacked by Kazakhstani terrorists. It’s an edge-of-your-seat popcorn thriller. Streaming on Apple TV, Fandango & Vudu.

“Born on the Fourth of July” (1991), directed by Oliver Stone. Based on Ron Kovic’s memoir, this realistic, powerful drama follows Kovic (Tom Cruise) from his naive teens to serving as a Marine in Vietnam, where his spine is severed. Paralyzed, he becomes an anti-war activist in the mid-70s. Ron Kovic is in the opening parade sequence, and Oliver Stone plays a TV reporter. Streaming on Netflix, Prime Video, Apple TV & Vudu.

Marpe Names Civilian Review Panel

Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe announced today he has appointed a three-person Civilian Review Panel (CRP) to aid in the first responder hiring process and provide feedback in the civilian complaint process.

Two of its members are fellow selectmen Jennifer Tooker and Melissa Kane as well as Harold Bailey, chair of the town’s diversity body, TEAM Westport.

Westport, unlike many surrounding communities, including Weston and Fairfield, has not had a Police Commission, which is authorized under state statute. The law gives such commissions the power of appointment, promotion, and removal of officers.

In announcing formation of the CRP, Marpe said: “In light of recent events around the country, the elected leadership of the Town of Westport and the Westport public safety departments recognize the need to continue to foster and maintain the public’s trust in its personnel.”

For Ted and Carol Diamond, Still a Wonderful Life

By James Lomuscio

Westporters Ted and Carol Diamond celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary recently at home with Champagne, caviar and a multitude of phone calls and emails from family and friends.

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Ted and Carol Diamond on their 74th anniversary last week. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

And on Friday, July 3, the Diamonds will share another milestone. Ted, who served two terms as second selectman from 1973 to 1981, turns 103.

For a man who has lived through two world wars, not to mention two pandemics, Ted, interestingly, does not seem old. Just talk to him. His voice is authoritative yet welcoming, and he still seems robust despite breaking his hip four weeks ago and having a new one put in.

“All the doctors always told me never to fall, but I went down like I was shot,” Ted said. “I was just going out for a walk in the driveway, and I tripped over my walker.”

More States Added to CT Quarantine List

Gov. Ned Lamont today doubled the number of states from which travelers to Connecticut are directed to self-quarantine for two weeks.

Connecticut now advises travelers from 16 states with high COVID-19 infection rates to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival or obtain a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours.

The states are California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee, in addition to Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.

In Connecticut, there won’t be any fines or penalties if travelers don’t comply. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said there may be fines in his state for violators, suggesting $2,000 for the first offense and up to $10,000 for repeat offenses.

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 16 Sunrise Road

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 16 Sunrise Road, in the Saugatuck section, is in process. Built in 1948, the 1-3/4-story cape has 1,861 square feet and is situated on a .27-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

Comings and Goings: Le Penguin Closes

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Le Penguin, a French bistro at 15 Myrtle Ave. in Sconset Square, has closed after almost four years. A sign in a window thanked customers for their patronage and memories, adding: “We tried.” The owners urged customers to visit their other restaurants—Le Penguin in Greenwich and Le Fat Poodle in Old Greenwich. The space was formerly occupied by Blue Lemon, which closed in April 2016 after 13 years. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Police Ask Help in Finding Suspect

Westport police are asking the public’s help in identifying a male driver in a red sports vehicle who stopped a woman in the Compo Beach area asking for directions and she realized he was masturbating.

The incident occurred at about 5 p.m. Monday on Compo Road South in the area of Bluewater Hill South, said Lt. Jillian Cabana.

“The female fled and the suspect left traveling northbound towards the Minute Man statue,” she said.

The driver was described as a Hispanic male between the ages of 40 and 50 with light brown skin, brown eyes and short spiked black hair. The victim stated he was wearing a silver chain, black tank top and sunglasses.

BOE Hears Early Reopening Plans

By Jarret Liotta

The Board of Education (BOE) got its first official look at some of the plans and protocols to potentially be put in place for bringing the school population back to school in the fall.

Last week the state announced the edict that it wants to see all Connecticut students back in school in person for the 2020-21 school year.

Monday night members of Westport’s School Reopening Committee gave detailed reports on facets of their work over the past month with the proviso that they haven’t had the chance to incorporate new state guidelines, including more details that came from the state only Monday afternoon.

“This is a work in progress,” said Anthony Buono, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, who co-chairs the committee.