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WestportNow welcomes news and notices from Westport community organizations and individuals. Please send them to editor@westportnow.com for consideration for publication. Be sure to include the Westport connection, date and time of event, if appropriate, as well as contact information. WestportNow reserves the right to edit submissions to conform to our editorial style.

Town Clerk Is Now a Click Away

By Jennifer Connic

Westport residents who want to look at information in the Town Clerk’s office now have some access from home if they have an Internet connection.

The indexes for land records, maps, and marriage and death certificates are now available on the town’s Web site.

Town Clerk Patricia Strauss said she has been working with the town’s information technology staff for the last 18 months to get the information online.

There were initial concerns over security, she said, and fear that hackers could gain unauthorized access and change records. However, the information has been placed on its own, secure server to prevent such invasions, she said.

Library Book Sale Set for This Weekend

The Westport Public Library’s Holiday Book Sale is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 4, from 1 to 5 p.m. in the hallway of the building’s Riverwalk Level. Library officials boast there will be more than 1,000 “gift quality books” of different genres for children and adults.

The event is sponsored each year by the Friends of the Library, a volunteer group that uses all proceeds to benefit the library and its programs. This year the Friends Book Sale Committee noted a recent donation “of hundreds of brand-new books on gardening, cooking, nature, history and transportation.”

For further information call 291-4840 or visit http://www.westportlibrary.org

Charter Oak Gives $60,000 to Bridgeport Groups

The Charter Oak Foundation, a Westport-based, nonprofit organization aimed at Bridgeport area families and children, recently made grants totaling $60,000 to three area organizations. The recent grants bring Charter Oak’s gifts to more than $1.5 million over the past two years.

Among the Bridgeport recipients were: Career Resources, which offers basic education classes to help adults earn their GEDs; the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center, which runs clinics at Bridgeport Hospital and at its Fairfield office; and Original Works, an outlet for teenagers interested in drama involving plays, television documentaries and song and dance performances.

“All of the organizations funded during our fall grant cycle have previously received grants from Charter Oak and proven that they efficiently and effectively empower some of our area’s most disadvantaged individuals and their families,” said Westporter Andy Boas, the foundation’s president.

According to Boas, Charter Oak was founded in 2001 to help children and families who have the ability to succeed but need financial support to realize their potential. He said that foremost among the foundation’s goals is to reduce poverty in the Bridgeport area.

Library Taps Seven Top Advisors

By James Lomuscio

Seven movers and shakers, some with enough credentials for a presidential cabinet, have joined the Westport Public Library’s 25-member Advisory Coucil, a body that offers insight on how the library can define its mission and reach its goals.

The new members include: Arthur Levitt, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission; David Komansky, chairman emeritus of Merrill Lynch & Co, Inc.; Lawrence Grossman, former president of NBC News and PBS and current co-chair of the Digital Promise Project; Ann Sheffer, a community arts patron and member of the Connecticut Commision on Culture and Tourism, as well as a board member of myriad foundations; Evelyn Kossak, president and co-founder of Jolen Creme Bleach Company; Ian Bremmer, columnist and commentator who founded Eruasia, a research and consulting firm; and Venetia Kontogouris, managing director for Trident Capital, a venture capital and private equity firm.

The new council members join a powerhouse roster that includes Joseph A. Califano, Jr., U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare from 1977 to 1979, and John Sias, former president of the San Francisco Chronicle and president of NBC Network Group.

Tiffany’s Benefit for Earthplace Set

A Peregrine Falcon with a broken wing isn’t the first image that comes to mind when one hears the words Tiffany & Co. Nor do thoughts arise of woodchip trails along a 62-acre preserve and displays showcasing mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles.

But on Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m., the Westport Tiffany’s on the Post Road plans to host an invitation-only cocktail reception benefit for Earthplace, Westport’s nature center located at 10 Woodside Lane. Titled “Keys for a Cause,” the event aims to raise funds for the renovation of Earthplace’s Exhibit Hall. When completed, Earthplace officials say, the 3,200-square-foot hall will include more interactive, real-life animal displays.

Frank Grazynski, Earthplace’s development manager, added that the event will also offer guests a chance to win Tiffany gifts. “Guests can purchase keys that may open a golden-padlocked vitrine,” Grazynski said. “Vitrines will display Tiffany Blue Boxes filled with wonderful treasures.”

For further information, contact Earthplace at 227-7253.