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If Your House is Pretty

Martha Stewarts place may not be the only game in town. Westporters with picturesque homes looking for a little added income can now add their homestead to the stateҒs list of potential location sites for filmmakers.

The casting call for homes has been issued by the Connecticut Film, Video & Media Office which is updating its database of available production crews, companies and support services for its print production guide, CD-ROM and Web site

Connecticut residents who want to make their homes available as locations to potential filmmakers are welcome to list their homes with the film office to become part of its library of Connecticut location sites.

Those interested are asked to fax a residential listing form to 860-721-7088 and see guidelines for Taking Your Location Photographs. Single snapshots are also accepted.

You can send hard copies to the Connecticut Film, Video & Media Office, 805 Brook St., Building 4, Rocky Hill, CT 06067 or e-mail images (at 150 dpi) to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


04/10/2003 00:40 am Comments (0)Permalink

Retirements in Police and Fire

Retirements in Police and Fire Depts. Expected Before New Pension Plan
Look for a wave of retirements in the ranks of Westports police and fire departments in advance of new changes in the departmentsҒ pension plan.

Like most municipalities, Westport is trying to reduce costs in the face of increased expenditures and declining state aid. So it has served notice to the police and fire departments to expect reduced medical benefits in the next revision of their pension plan.

As a result, a number of veteran police officers and firefighters have decided to retire before new the plan takes effect. They include several assistant chiefs in the fire department and a number of senior officers in the police department.

It’s not known which members have already filed formal notification of retirement or when they will take effect.

Update: The Hour reported on April 13 that at least seven firefighters and shift commanders planned to retire this summer as a result of pension plan changes along with an unknown number of police department members.


04/10/2003 00:01 am Comments (0)Permalink

Longtime Westporter Anthony F. Slez Dies at 84

Longtime Westporter Anthony F. Slez Sr. died Monday in Norwalk Hospital. Slez, who had been in declining health in recent years, was 84.

A veteran of World War II, Slez was a standout athlete at Staples High School, where he won 15 varsity letters. He held several school records in track and was captain of the 1937 state championship basketball team.

Slez operated Slez Garage, formerly known as Slez-Benos Garage and Service Station, with his brother-in-law Art Benos for many years at 791 Post Road East, near the intersection of Long Lots Road (now Westport Car Wash). Friends remember him as saying, We didnӒt have customers, we had friends.

Survivors include son Tony Slez Jr., daughter-in-law Peggy, a member of the Representative Town Meeting, brother Bernardin and grandson Adam.

Services are scheduled Thursday, April 10, at 10 a.m. at St. Luke Church in Westport. Friends may call at the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East, today from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Westporter Tim Manners Turns Cool News into Book

Twenty years ago, Tim Manners used to write news copy for Westports WMMM radio station. And then he rewrote it. And rewrote it. For every newscast, he tried to come up with a new angle of the same story to make it sound fresh.

He had to. There wasnҒt enough money to send a reporter to cover local events. So he had to repeatedly rewrite news from the local papers for his newscasts.

Fast forward to 2003. WMMM is gone (at least morphed into WSHU-AM), but Westporter Tim Manners is still rewriting copy. But with a difference. For five years, he has been doing it for his e-mail marketing newsletter Cool News of the Day, part of the online marketing magazine Reveries.com where Manners is editor

And now Cool News is a new book, published by Xlibris in hardback, trade paperback and e-book formats.

“The book is a compendium of every edition of Cool News published in 2002,” says Manners, who explains that he wakes up each morning at five o’clock to decide what is “cool news” that day.

“I look at a variety of newspapers and magazines, select two stories that harbor useful insights and tell my readers about them. The hope is that my interpretations of these stories will make people think and crack open a little more creativity for them.”

When he isn’t doing Cool News and Reveries.com, the Tar Rock Road resident serves as president of Westport-based David X. Manners Company, Inc., which a news release describes as a “thought-leadership content development and communications company.”

Cool, Tim.

Westporter Tim Manners Turns Cool

Westporter Tim Manners Turns Cool News into Book
Twenty years ago, Tim Manners used to write news copy for Westports WMMM radio station. And then he rewrote it. And rewrote it. For every newscast, he tried to come up with a new angle of the same story to make it sound fresh.

He had to. There wasnҒt enough money to send a reporter to cover local events. So he had to repeatedly rewrite news from the local papers for his newscasts.

Fast forward to 2003. WMMM is gone (at least morphed into WSHU-AM), but Westporter Tim Manners is still rewriting copy. But with a difference. For five years, he has been doing it for his e-mail marketing newsletter Cool News of the Day, part of the online marketing magazine Reveries.com where Manners is editor

And now Cool News is a new book, published by Xlibris in hardback, trade paperback and e-book formats.

“The book is a compendium of every edition of Cool News published in 2002,” says Manners, who explains that he wakes up each morning at five o’clock to decide what is “cool news” that day.

“I look at a variety of newspapers and magazines, select two stories that harbor useful insights and tell my readers about them. The hope is that my interpretations of these stories will make people think and crack open a little more creativity for them.”

When he isn’t doing Cool News and Reveries.com, the Tar Rock Road resident serves as president of Westport-based David X. Manners Company, Inc., which a news release describes as a “thought-leadership content development and communications company.”

Cool, Tim.


04/08/2003 13:43 pm Comments (0)Permalink

Staples Cited in AP Story

Staples Cited in AP Story on High School Newspaper Coverage of War in Iraq
Westports Staples High School newspaper Inklings gets prominent mention in an Associated Press story on how high school newspapers are covering the war in Iraq.

The AP story said high school newspapers across the country are finding ways to cover the world’s biggest news story without the benefit of embedded reporters, wire services or daily printing schedules.

Instead, it said, they are covering protests, sending reporters to military bases, writing editorials and talking to students whose parents are overseas.

ғAt Staples High School in Westport, Conn., the Inklings staff devoted the center spread of its March issue to the war, the AP said. ԓThe stories, written before the first bombs were dropped, included an explanation of Iraq’s demographics and an interview with a parent working as a U.N. weapons inspector.

Assignments for this month’s issue don’t include any stories about the war – although that may change as the printing date draws nearer, Inklings adviser Stephen Rexford said. Instead, students are writing about a decision to condemn the school’s bleachers and a school courtyard closed because of Frisbee throwing.

“‘It’s as if right now they’re shifting back to their school. Maybe they’ve had enough’ of the war, Rexford said.Ԕ

The March issue is available online.

The Staples parent who is a U.N. weapons inspector is Jose Salinas, a lieutenant colonel in the Chilean army who moved to Westport with his family in October 2000. Here is the link to the Inklings interview with him.


04/07/2003 21:25 pm Comments (0)Permalink

The Fairfield Review Features Westport

The Fairfield Review, a Fairfield, Conn.-based online literary journal, features in its latest edition Westport writer Jessica Brams essay ғA Foreign Country Called Boys.

The journal, published twice a year, this year marks its sixth year online under editors Edward Granger-Happ and Janet Granger-Happ.


04/06/2003 19:44 pm Comments (0)Permalink

Newspaper Highlights Westporters Controversial Role

Newspaper Highlights Westporters Controversial Role in Rescuing Puerto Rican Strays
Westporter Renee B. Makowsky flies to Puerto Rico to bring back stray dogs that take up residence in animal shelters Җ much to the consternation of breeders and pet stores.

According to the Providence Journal, there are plenty of critics of the efforts of the 68-year-old Red Coat Road resident and others who import dogs from Mexico, Taiwan and other countries. They say airlifting dogs from far away places is not part of the shelters’ mission and creates unfair competition for the sellers of dogs.

Makowsky, who serves on the national board of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), disagrees.

“We’re trying to save dogs that already exist,” she told the newspaper. And the presence of dogs from Puerto Rico as well as outside the United States actually helps shelters find homes for their hard-to-place tenants.

The imported dogs “are usually cute puppies that are adopted quickly,” she said. They bring people and fees into the shelters, making the work of moving the other dogs easier.


04/06/2003 16:05 pm Comments (0)Permalink

Report: Court Action May Let

A recent Connecticut court decision may cause chaos to zoning regulations in the states municipalities, including Westport.

ThatҒs the gist of a report in The Advocate of Stamford which said the action could also affect efforts of the communities to limit “McMansions.” It quoted land use attorneys and officials.

The newspaper said the legal issue began with a Wilton couple’s quest to add a garage and breezeway to their home.


04/06/2003 15:13 pm Comments (0)Permalink

Los Angeles Times Poll Cites

Los Angeles Times Poll Cites Westport Author
Westporters continue to pop up in the national news media as the nation debates the war in Iraq.

The latest is Brighfield Lane resident Christopher Hart, author of several books on comic book art. He responded to a Los Angeles Times poll on the war following recent U.S. battlefield successes.

“I had my own reservations about [the war] . . . but my feeling is at least I can trust that this president is trying to do the right thing for the country,” the newspaper quoted Hart as saying. “I do not believe he is doing this for any reason other than that he is convinced it is in our best interest.”

The newspaper said most Americans now express support for an expansive United States role in the Middle East—with a clear majority backing the war in Iraq and half endorsing military action against Iran if it continues to develop nuclear weapons,


04/05/2003 16:52 pm Comments (0)Permalink