Tuesday, May 28, 2024


Special Reports

Paul Newman Dead at 83

UPDATE Paul Newman died at his Westport home Friday night. He was 83.WestportNow.com Image
Paul Newman: A Westporter for almost 50 years. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WN file photo

Newman had been ill for some time with what published reports said was lung cancer. Publicist Jeff Sanderson said he was surrounded by his family and close friends.

“His death was as private and discreet as the way he had lived his life,” Sanderson said in a statement. He said that a week ago, Newman sat with one of his daughters in a garden, took in the late summer beauty, and said very quietly, “It’s been a privilege to be here.”

An actor, film director, entrepreneur, race car driver, racing team owner and humanitarian, Newman won numerous awards, including an Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Cannes Film Festival Award, and an Emmy award.

Commentary: Maybe We Should Ban Paper Bags, Too

By David Pogue

Special to WestportNow

I generally write about technology. But this week, I got to be part of the government process in Westport in a small way, and I thought I’d write up my experience.

See, last week, in my blog, I wrote about how hard it can be to make the right environmental choices. Every product has upstream and downstream ecological costs, and sometimes they’re impossible to calculate. I used, as one key example, the paper-vs.-plastic shopping bag debate.

Imagine my surprise when, a couple of days later, a reader let me know that the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) right here in Westport was considering an outright ban on plastic shopping bags, and that the public would be invited to speak before the vote.

Personally, I can’t stand the thought of what these 500 billion plastic bags are doing every year. On average, you use a plastic shopping bag for *12 minutes*—and then you throw it away. (It’s always driven me crazy when the drugstore clerk tries to give me a plastic bag when all I’m buying is a pack of AA batteries.)

Commentary: A Westporter’s Diary of the GOP Convention

By Michael Rea

Special to WestportNow

St. Paul , Minn.—Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin proved her mettle as a “bull dog with lipstick” Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention.
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At one point, she commented to the press that she was not going to Washington to live up to their expectations but rather the peoples’. With that, the assembled delegates pointed to the media boxes and chanted “You, you.”

Some political commentators smiled. Others, like Anne Compton, glared.

Most of the Connecticut delegates had political hangovers this morning. One shot of Romney, one shot of Huckabee, triple shot of Rudy, and then all hell broke out as Sarah took to the podium.

Commentary: Comparing the Conventions

By Brian Reich

Special to WestportNow

St. Paul, Minn.—Having attended the Democratic National Convention in Denver and now the Republican one in Minneapolis/St. Paul, there is a stark contrast—and not just because the issues and rhetoric are different.

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The Democrats and Republicans throw very different conventions, with very different goals and purpose.

I have been on the road for the past two weeks—first in Denver where I was on staff as a member of the Democratic National Convention’s online content team, and more recently in Minneapolis, where I was attending, and blogging, the RNC as special press, aka credentialed new media.

Why would anyone want to go to both conventions? Lots of reasons, actually: First, I love politics—and national conventions are as big as it gets in politics. 

Westporter Among GOP Delegates Attacked

Special to WestportNow

St. Paul, Minn.—Westporter Michael Rea was among Connecticut Republican Party delegation members who came under attack from protesters as the delegates attempted to make their way to the Xcel Convention Center on Monday.WestportNow.com Image

The 56-year-old Rea, a member of Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) and the 4th Congressional District coordinator for Sen. John McCain, said the incident involved pushing, shoving, and the protesters locking arms and physically cornering and intimidating delegates.

“It was finally broken up by the members of the Connecticut delegation as hapless police looked on,” said Rea, who was uninjured in the melee.

“They (the police) were either intimidated by the protesters cameras recording the attack or completely unprepared for the confrontation.”

Commentary: The Life of a Convention Groupie

By Kimberly Lake

Special to WestportNow

Denver—You know what I love about conventions? If you know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone, who knows someone, (pause, inhale, then say as fast as you can in one breath) who knows someone, who knows someone, who knows someone, who knows someone, (inhale!) you can usually get a ticket for something.  WNDemCon.jpg

If we were deep sea fishing, we’d call it trolling (flash to image of large, sleek, well-outfitted fishing boats cruising up and down the broad avenues of Denver trying to hook the Big One).

So my convention companion (I’ll call him C.C.) and I, feeling like Charlie Bucket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, manage to get our fingers onto a precious floor pass to go along with our general admission tickets.

We then look at our watches and realize that if we don’t start now (it’s noon), we’ll never get to the Pepsi Center on time.  But don’t panic! The efficient convention planners have thought of everything when it comes to moving the masses.

Commentary: Breaking Up With Hillary is Hard to Do

By Jessica Bram

Special to WestportNow

Denver—Several readers and people back home have asked me whether I’m finding it true here at the Democratic National Convention that there’s division among the Democrats. WNDemCon.jpg

Is it true that there is unrest among Hillary Clinton supporters over ceding the nomination to Barack Obama? Were the hurt feelings real? And could there be an insurrection on the floor, as some have predicted?

Or was all this just the usual hype by the press, seeking to stir up controversy in the age-old ploy to boost ratings?

Westport’s Martha Aasen, one of Hillary’s pledged delegates among the Connecticut delegation, expressed a common perspective. “I really feel that the press in exaggerating the idea of a disgruntled opposition. What does exist is a minority,” she said.

Democratic Convention Notes: Caught in the Crush

By Jessica Bram

Special to WestportNow

Denver—I’m not easily ruffled, but even I was shook up by trying to navigate the jam-packed Democratic Convention floor tonight.

As the crush of bodies inched along, shoulder to shoulder, I caught full breaths full of chewing gum and plenty of sweat. Floor marshals yelled at people to keep moving – as though we had a choice in the mêlée.

It was more than a little unsettling. Not since being caught in a body-crushing crowd trying to get into a Crosby Stills concert at college in 1972 have I ever been so glad to see an exit.

But in my 40 minutes on the floor, I had quite a bounty of celebrity sightings. To wit: Katie Couric, about three inches away, in about 16 layers of pancake makeup. On the NBC platform, David Gregory with his long legs wrapped around a stool.

Commentary: Denver is Surreal for DNC

By Jessica Bram

Special to WestportNow

Denver—Surreal is the word that first comes to mind to someone arriving at this year’s Democratic National Convention in Denver. Four years ago when I attended the DNC in Boston, that first post-9/11 national convention was most striking in the prominence of heavy security.WNDemCon.jpgWestportNow.com Image
Jessica Bram in Denver: “No sense of a city on edge.”  WN photo

Commenting back then for WestportNow and in a piece that aired on WSHU Radio, I recounted the very visible, overwhelming signs of security that not only surrounded Boston’s Fleet Center, but also permeated the city.

There were long lines of police in riot gear, muscled FBI agents in tight black tee shirts and earpieces clustered at every chain linked checkpoint and hotel entrance; and fire trucks poised around the perimeter of the convention compound, fire hoses unrolled and at the ready.

It gave the sense of a city on edge, but at the same time, banded together in an almost cheerful, self-protective cluster.

WestportNow Presents Memorial Day Photo Collection

WestportNow offers its readers more than 130 photos of today’s Memorial Day events.WestportNow.com Image

Some of the photos can be seen on this main page, while a special Memorial Day page contains these photos as well as series of photos contributed by six photographers. Click here.

We are grateful for those who shared their photos with us.