Monday, December 11, 2023



Restaurant Scene: Fairfield County Weekly Likes Blue Lemon Because Advocate Didnt

This weeks Fairfield County Weekly gives a positive review to WestportҒs Blue Lemon restaurant in Sconset Square, pointedly citing a poor review in The Advocate of Stamford.

Excerpt: Don’t believe what you read. Especially if it’s a restaurant review written by a ӑspecial correspondent for the Stamford Advocate, who shall remain nameless, and who writes as if her palate and food sensibilities were forged by an affliction for tuna casseroles and Chicken a la King.

ҔHowever, a bad reviewer can be a good reverse barometer. Which is what I told my husband and son when they wondered why I wanted to give Blue Lemon a try after the Advocate panned it.

Well-Known Westport Building Changes Hands for $5.3 Million

A well-known Westport building at the intersection of Post Road West and Riverside Avenue has changed hands for $5.3 million. The building, 5-23 Post Road West, was sold this week by an investment group, Riverside Corners LLC, to another investment group, 5-23 West Post Road LLC. The building previously changed ownership in 1998 for $4.7 million. Tenants include Bridge Cafe and Age of Reason toy store. The second floor contains apartments. photo

Judge Denies Prosecutor Request to Delay Civil Cases Against Martha

Prosecutors getting ready for Januarys trial of WestportҒs Martha Stewart on federal criminal charges related to insider trading have suffered a setback.

The prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge John E. Sprizzo to delay civil cases against Stewart, arguing that the litigation could damage their criminal obstruction of justice case, according to the AP.

In denying their request, the judge said Martha Stewart is no John Gotti.

In public documents obtained Wednesday, Sprizzo ruled prosecutors cannot stop civil lawyers from interviewing 15 witnesses. Prosecutors claim the interviews will give Stewart’s criminal defense lawyers an unfair advantage.

“This is not the strongest obstruction case I have ever seen, just going by your own U.S. attorney’s comments on it,” Sprizzo, who is presiding over the civil cases, told lead criminal prosecutor Karen Seymour at a Sept. 30 hearing. “This is not John Gotti.”

Gotti, who died last year, presided over the Gambino crime family before he was prosecuted on charges that put him in prison for life.

Stewart has pleaded innocent to charges of obstruction of justice and securities fraud. Her criminal trial is set to begin Jan. 12. No date has been set for the civil trial.

Martha Stewart Makes Bid to Toss Out Charges

Westports Martha Stewart asked a federal judge today to toss out two of five counts against her in an indictment surrounding her sale of ImClone shares in 2001 just before the stock plunged.
Stewart, in papers filed in Manhattan federal court, asked the judge to dismiss one count of securities fraud and one count of obstruction of justice. She is also charged with two counts of false statements and one of perjury.

Martha Stewart’s mom celebrated her 89th birthday on Sept. 16. Stewart and niece Sophie Herbert made a white birthday cake with Italian meringue frosting and fresh red raspberries. photo

The indictment accuses Stewart of selling shares of ImClone stock on Dec. 27, 2001, because she had been illegally tipped that the family of company founder Sam Waksal was planning to sell shares.
Stewart and stockbroker Peter Bacanovic, who was indicted with her in June, have pleaded innocent.
The securities fraud count alleges Stewart deliberately deceived shareholders in her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, when she declared in 2002 that she was innocent and was cooperating with investigators.
“This charge is unprecedented in the 70-year history of the federal securities laws,” Stewart’s lawyers, Robert Morvillo and John Tigue, said in a statement.
The lawyers also say the obstruction count should be dismissed because none of Stewart’s statements to investigators hindered the federal investigation into her stock sale.
The government has until Nov. 5 to respond to the filing. Arguments are set for Nov. 18, and Stewart and Bacanovic are to go to trial Jan. 12.
Continuing her public defense, Stewart posted the court filing on a Web site she has used to air her side of the story. Stewart also posts supportive e-mails from fans and newspaper columns that argue she is innocent.

Connecticut DEP Knows Where the Money Is: It Grows on Trees

Theyre called foliage fans or leaf peepers. But whatever you call them, they mean dollars for Connecticut.

And thatҒs why the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is going all out to attract them. It knows very well that in this case, money does grow on trees.

The DEP, which has cut back services and hours at many of Connecticuts state parks, including Sherwood Island in Westport, due to budget reductions, has set up a special Web site to attract people who like to see the fall foliage colors in the state.

It even gives up-to-the-minute tracking of the best places to see the changing colors. Peak color is estimated to be between Oct. 12 and Oct. 18.

The site also suggests routes visitors can take on car trips around the state to see the foliage, including a 115-mile route called ғScenic Fairfield.

It starts at exit 38 of the Merritt Pakway in Norwalk, goes north toward Danbury, east to Woodbury, and eventually back to the Merritt at WestportԒs exit 42 on Weston Road.

The Web site also details hiking and biking routes and even explains why leaves change colors. Links to nine state parks and forests equipped with viewing towers or lookouts have been added to the site since last year.

The state effort competes with some private sites, including The Foliage Network, which also plots the color change across various parts of he country.

About 2.8 million people from out of state visit Connecticut in the fall, the second highest total in New England, Ed Dombroskas, executive director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism, told the AP.

“Leaf peeping is really a big part of it,” he said, adding that tourism is a $10 billion industry in Connecticut, with about 40 percent in the fall.

Measuring the Economy: Fewer Westport Hair Appointments

Todays Hartford Courant takes a look at real ways to measure the economy. One of them, it says, is hairstyling appointments in Westport.

ғKathy Sirico, whose husband co-owns Greg & Tony’s Salon in Westport, says clients have been stretching out their hair appointments, letting their roots get a little darker before coming back for highlights to save some dollars, the newspaper reported.

Main Street Gets a New Deli: Katzenberg Kafe

Downtown deli aficionados have long had one destination Oscar’s Deli. But now there is another deli on the other end of Main Street—Katzenberg Kafe.

The cafe and full-service deli is located at 22 Main St. in space long occupied by Coffee Tree and then Moonstruck.

Boasting of “specialty coffee and very special food,” Katzenberg’s is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and offers free delivery. There is also a special menu for kids, Katzy’s Kids Club.

Other Katzenberg Kafes are in Greenwich, Darien and Scarsdale, N.Y. Proprietors are Mark Katzenberg and Bruce Katz.

Internet Journalism Site Praises WestportNow

The Internet journalism site has cited as a model for community publishing in a Weblog format.

“It is an excellent example of how the Weblog format can be used to deliver original, valuable information to an interested audience—and offers a great model for local community publishing,” its report said.

Westport Firm Mourns Colleague Killed in Sky Dive Accident

Colleagues at Westports Greenfield Consulting Group today are mourning the death of Jan Chandler, a 46-year-old managing director of the firm killed in a California sky diving accident.

Chandler, who lived in Trumbull and who was an experienced sky diver, was killed Friday in Perris, Calif., during a jump at a World Cup sky diving event.

She was part of a 124-member group of experienced skydivers that was doing a series of jumps, Dan Chenfeld, general manager of Perris Valley Skydiving, told the Press-Enterprise newspaper in Riverside.

“The jump went great,” he said. “It was a very controlled and staged procedure. Everything was fine. We don’t know what happened.”

He said ChandlerҒs parachute opened and there were no obvious signs of distress from the veteran skydiver.

Eyewitnesses reported that she landed at a high rate of speed, Chenfeld said.

She was found on the ground, beneath her parachute.

Chandlers husband Christian was jumping with her as part of the large group of skydivers.

Andrew Greenfield, CEO of Greenfield Consulting, which has its offices on Riverside Avenue, told the Connecticut Post: ғJanice was a magnificent person. She lived life to its fullest and was taken away at much too young an age.

At Greenfield, Chandler specialized in marketing research. Prior to joining the Westport firm, she was senior brand manager for Heublein, Inc., where she managed the company’s largest brand, Smirnoff vodka.

She received a bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic State University and an M.B.A. from the University of Connecticut.