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Wednesday, July 22, 2020


Westport Town Offices, Schools, & Senior Center are closed.
9 a.m. – Electronically – Board of Selectmen: live streamed on http://www.westportct.gov, Optimum ch. 79, Frontier ch. 6020. Email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Noon – 4 p.m. – MoCA Westport – “Helmut Lang: 41.1595° N, 73.3882° W”
1 p.m. – Virtual Westport Library – Upping Your Professional Image Virtually
2 p.m. – 6 p.m. – Westport Library – Open for limited services
4 p.m. – Virtual Westport Library – Camp Explore: Deep-sea Explorer Bob Ballard

Westport Senior Center YouTube Channel
Westport Library Event Calendar
Westport Library YouTube Page
Earthplace YouTube Channel
Virtual Westport Museum for History & Culture
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar

Lamont Signs COVID-19 Order for Travelers

Currently, there are 31 states that meet this criteria and are included in the travel advisory. Full information on the travel advisory, including the list of impacted states, which is updated on a weekly basis, can be found online by visiting ct.gov/coronavirus/travel.

“With infection rates out of control in much of the South, Midwest, and Southwest, and many tourists coming to Connecticut for summer vacation, I have made the determination that we need an enforceable quarantine order to keep Connecticut residents as safe as possible,” Lamont said.

“In taking this action, I am empowering the Department of Public Health to hold travelers accountable with significant fines for anyone not following the rules. While we do have a very low COVID-19 positivity rate in our state right now, that can change very rapidly, and this is no time to relax about taking every precaution we can to slow down the spread of the virus.”

Signs with information on the requirement to fill out the travel form will be on display in Connecticut airports, train stations, highway rest areas and travel centers, and ferry terminals.

DPH personnel are being deployed to Bradley International Airport to inform incoming travelers about the requirement and direct them to fill out the form. The Connecticut Department of Transportation will also be posting new electronic highway signage communicating the requirement.

Exemptions to the quarantine rule remain in place for essential workers on work-related travel. The quarantine does not apply to anyone arriving to Connecticut from a connecting flight from an impacted state, so long as their state of origin is not subject to the quarantine order.

Currently, there are 31 states that meet this criteria and are included in the travel advisory. Full information on the travel advisory, including the list of impacted states, which is updated on a weekly basis, can be found online by visiting ct.gov/coronavirus/travel.

“With infection rates out of control in much of the South, Midwest, and Southwest, and many tourists coming to Connecticut for summer vacation, I have made the determination that we need an enforceable quarantine order to keep Connecticut residents as safe as possible,” Lamont said.

“In taking this action, I am empowering the Department of Public Health to hold travelers accountable with significant fines for anyone not following the rules. While we do have a very low COVID-19 positivity rate in our state right now, that can change very rapidly, and this is no time to relax about taking every precaution we can to slow down the spread of the virus.”

Signs with information on the requirement to fill out the travel form will be on display in Connecticut airports, train stations, highway rest areas and travel centers, and ferry terminals.

DPH personnel are being deployed to Bradley International Airport to inform incoming travelers about the requirement and direct them to fill out the form. The Connecticut Department of Transportation will also be posting new electronic highway signage communicating the requirement.

Exemptions to the quarantine rule remain in place for essential workers on work-related travel. The quarantine does not apply to anyone arriving to Connecticut from a connecting flight from an impacted state, so long as their state of origin is not subject to the quarantine order.

Granger at the Movies: Best Olympic Movies

“Foxcatcher” (2014), directed by Bennett Miller is the riveting tale of Mark (Channing Tatum) and Dave (Mark Ruffalo), high-ranking wrestling brothers falling under the influence of John du Pont (Steve Carell), who was determined that they bring glory to the 1988 Olympics. In real life, John DuPont murdered Dave Schultz eight years after Mark Schultz lost in the Seoul Olympics. According to Mark Ruffalo, “John du Pont was repellent, so that’s the way they designed Steve Carell’s look. You never felt comfortable around him.”

“I, Tonya” (2017), directed by Craig Gillespie, examines the ill-fated rivalry between top figure skaters Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding with Allison Janney winning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar as Tonya’s cruel mother. Although Margot Robbie trained extensively to play Tonya, she could not perform the triple axel, nor could her skating double, so that jump was filmed using visual effects.

“Jim Thorpe — All American” (1951), directed by Michael Curtiz, stars 36 year-old Burt Lancaster as the multifaceted Native American athlete who won medals at the 1912 games. FYI: Thorpe was not a full-blooded Native American since he was part-Irish on his mother’s side. Although Thorpe served as technical adviser, there are many errors, like depicting Glenn S. “Pop” Warner as an avuncular figure when, in truth, Warner betrayed Thorpe when Thorpe’s non-amateur status was discovered. The story combines athletic prowess and racial prejudice.

“Miracle” (2004), directed by Gavin O’Connor, celebrating the U.S. men’s hockey team, coached by Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell), that defeated all rivals to win gold at the 1980 Winter Olympics. Members of Team USA were chosen primarily for their hockey skills; acting ability was secondary. At the tryouts, one player greets the goalie, saying, “What’s up, you sieve?” In ice hockey slang, a sieve is a goalkeeper who allows too many shots to go into the net. The real Herb Brooks died in a car accident during filming, so there’s a dedication before the ending credits.

“Munich” (2005), directed by Stephen Spielberg, is a political thriller, based on Operation Wrath of God, chronicled in George Jonas’ book “Vengeance.” It’s the Israeli government’s secret retaliation against the Palestine Liberation Organization’s slaughter of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics. The word “Sabra” is used several times, indicating a Jew who was actually born and raised in Israel.

“The Other Side of the Mountain” (1975), directed by Larry Peerce, based on the true story of ski racing champion Jill Kinmont (Marilyn Hassett), who suffered a paralyzing accident. As technical adviser, Kinmont spent three days on Mammoth Mountain, where many of the races were filmed; she was transported on a mechanical “snowcat” with her wheelchair strapped to the back. Olivia Newton-John’s song “Richard’s Window” during the concluding credits was Oscar-nominated as Best Original Song.

“Prefontaine” (1997), directed by Steve James, chronicling the life of the outspoken American long-distance runner Steve Prefontaine, played by Jared Leto. It was released one day before Steve Prefontaine’s 46th birthday. This was the first movie to relate his story; the second was “Without Limits” (1998) with Billy Crudup.

“Race” (2016), directed by Stephen Hopkins, who emphasizes that Jesse Owens (Stephan James) was sent to the 1936 Berlin Olympics as an American protest against Hitler’s Aryan supremacy/racist policies. This conventional biopic profiles America’s greatest track-and-field athlete. In 1990, when President George H.W. Bush posthumously presented the Congressional Medal, he acknowledged: “It was an unrivaled athletic triumph. But more than that, it really was a triumph for all humanity.”


WestportNow.com Image

(Editor’s Note: Westport resident Susan Granger grew up in Hollywood, studied journalism with Pierre Salinger at Mills College, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. In addition to writing for newspapers and magazines, she has been on radio/television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic for many years. See her reviews at www.susangranger.com.)

“Foxcatcher” (2014), directed by Bennett Miller is the riveting tale of Mark (Channing Tatum) and Dave (Mark Ruffalo), high-ranking wrestling brothers falling under the influence of John du Pont (Steve Carell), who was determined that they bring glory to the 1988 Olympics. In real life, John DuPont murdered Dave Schultz eight years after Mark Schultz lost in the Seoul Olympics. According to Mark Ruffalo, “John du Pont was repellent, so that’s the way they designed Steve Carell’s look. You never felt comfortable around him.”

“I, Tonya” (2017), directed by Craig Gillespie, examines the ill-fated rivalry between top figure skaters Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding with Allison Janney winning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar as Tonya’s cruel mother. Although Margot Robbie trained extensively to play Tonya, she could not perform the triple axel, nor could her skating double, so that jump was filmed using visual effects.

“Jim Thorpe — All American” (1951), directed by Michael Curtiz, stars 36 year-old Burt Lancaster as the multifaceted Native American athlete who won medals at the 1912 games. FYI: Thorpe was not a full-blooded Native American since he was part-Irish on his mother’s side. Although Thorpe served as technical adviser, there are many errors, like depicting Glenn S. “Pop” Warner as an avuncular figure when, in truth, Warner betrayed Thorpe when Thorpe’s non-amateur status was discovered. The story combines athletic prowess and racial prejudice.

“Miracle” (2004), directed by Gavin O’Connor, celebrating the U.S. men’s hockey team, coached by Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell), that defeated all rivals to win gold at the 1980 Winter Olympics. Members of Team USA were chosen primarily for their hockey skills; acting ability was secondary. At the tryouts, one player greets the goalie, saying, “What’s up, you sieve?” In ice hockey slang, a sieve is a goalkeeper who allows too many shots to go into the net. The real Herb Brooks died in a car accident during filming, so there’s a dedication before the ending credits.

“Munich” (2005), directed by Stephen Spielberg, is a political thriller, based on Operation Wrath of God, chronicled in George Jonas’ book “Vengeance.” It’s the Israeli government’s secret retaliation against the Palestine Liberation Organization’s slaughter of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics. The word “Sabra” is used several times, indicating a Jew who was actually born and raised in Israel.

“The Other Side of the Mountain” (1975), directed by Larry Peerce, based on the true story of ski racing champion Jill Kinmont (Marilyn Hassett), who suffered a paralyzing accident. As technical adviser, Kinmont spent three days on Mammoth Mountain, where many of the races were filmed; she was transported on a mechanical “snowcat” with her wheelchair strapped to the back. Olivia Newton-John’s song “Richard’s Window” during the concluding credits was Oscar-nominated as Best Original Song.

“Prefontaine” (1997), directed by Steve James, chronicling the life of the outspoken American long-distance runner Steve Prefontaine, played by Jared Leto. It was released one day before Steve Prefontaine’s 46th birthday. This was the first movie to relate his story; the second was “Without Limits” (1998) with Billy Crudup.

“Race” (2016), directed by Stephen Hopkins, who emphasizes that Jesse Owens (Stephan James) was sent to the 1936 Berlin Olympics as an American protest against Hitler’s Aryan supremacy/racist policies. This conventional biopic profiles America’s greatest track-and-field athlete. In 1990, when President George H.W. Bush posthumously presented the Congressional Medal, he acknowledged: “It was an unrivaled athletic triumph. But more than that, it really was a triumph for all humanity.”


WestportNow.com Image

(Editor’s Note: Westport resident Susan Granger grew up in Hollywood, studied journalism with Pierre Salinger at Mills College, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. In addition to writing for newspapers and magazines, she has been on radio/television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic for many years. See her reviews at www.susangranger.com.)

Comings & Goings: Manna Toast Opens

WestportNow.com Image
Manna Toast, a casual all-day cafe at 29 Church Lane across from the Spotted Horse Tavern, opens Wednesday.  Manager Jennifer Molden (above) said the menu features a variety of tasty offerings on toasted sourdough bread, a range of salads and non alcoholic beverages as well as beer and wine. “Consistent with pandemic guidelines pickup service is available in addition to sidewalk seating,” she said. Owner/chef Molly Healy, in partnership with Yvette Waldman and Stacy Bass, said hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Slice of Saugatuck Canceled

The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce today announced the cancellation of the 9th annual Slice of Saugatuck Festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The annual food tasting and retail experience that promotes local Saugatuck businesses was scheduled to run on Saturday, Sept. 12.

“While we would love to promote our Saugatuck restaurants and businesses at this very important time, we just can’t run this event in a socially distant and safe manner,” said Matthew Mandell, executive director of the Chamber.

Run eight out of the last nine years, the festival has become a mainstay in the fall with over 2,300 attendees and 60 participating businesses. Over $30,000 had been donated by the Chamber to Homes with Home from proceeds from the event.

Letter: Supports Police Accountability Bill

To the Editor:

I am writing in complete support of the bill regarding police accountability. Lawmakers will debate next week in a special session on four bills one of which includes improving police accountability.

The bill includes community policing and increased training for officers for interactions with members of minority communities. A 90-day pause in additional military equipment has also been enacted by the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association as lawmakers have begun to question the need for police to have high powered weapons.

The bill calls for all municipal officers to wear body cameras and avoid car searching when occupants are stopped solely for motor vehicle violations.

Law enforcement has a recurring theme of structural racism and bias. With this bill, police who act with bias and prejudice will finally be held accountable for their actions.

After meeting with legislative leaders, Governor Lamot says, “you can move the ball 95 yards down the football field, it’s just that final five yards where you have to see wha consensus we can reach, but i think we’re broadly there.”

If this bill is passed and implemented in the law, this will create a safer and more accepting environment for people of color and different ethnic groups. Police officers need to be held accountable for their actions and by passing this bill accountabilit will be bette implemented.

Sophie Kessler
Westport

Tuesday, July 21, 2020


Westport Town Offices, Schools, & Senior Center are closed.
9 a.m. – Electronically – Reopening of Schools Steering Committee: live streamed on http://www.westportps.org, Optimum ch. 78, Frontier ch. 6021
10 a.m. – 646-876-9923 ID:  86976843366# – Planning & Zoning Commission
2 p.m. – 6 p.m. – Westport Library – Open for limited services
4 p.m. – Electronically – Zoning Board of Appeals: live streamed on http://www.westportct.gov, Optimum ch. 79, Frontier ch. 6020. Email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
7 p.m. – 646-876-9923 ID:  88331699715# – Westport Transit District
7 p.m. – Virtual Westport Library – “Poisoned Water: How the Citizens of Flint, Michigan, Fought for Their Lives & Warned the Nation”
8 p.m. – Zoom Link– Westport Astronomical Society: ISS Flight Controller Joshua Nelson—from WAS to Bennu

Westport Senior Center YouTube Channel
Westport Library Event Calendar
Westport Library YouTube Page
Earthplace YouTube Channel
Virtual Westport Museum for History & Culture
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar

Comings & Goings: Rio Bravo Closes

WestportNow.com Image
Rio Bravo Tacos & Tequila, a Mexican restaurant at 1460 Post Road East, has closed after four and a half years. “It is with heavy hearts that we announce that our Westport location is now permanently closed,” said a Facebook posting. “We would like to say thank you to all of our customers for constant support over the years. However, we hope to see you all soon at our Fairfield location where we are celebrating Taco Tuesday.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

CT Misdiagnosed Elderly Patients as COVID-19-Positive

But today’s announcement raised several huge questions about the scope of the problem.

Nursing homes routinely house COVID-19-infected patients together in a separate wing for weeks until they recovered and tested negative. Later in the pandemic the state and the industry established six locations to house only elderly residents who had tested positive for the virus.

State health officials could not say if any of these 90 “false positives” later contracted the coronavirus, though they conceded some likely were placed in close proximity to others with the disease. Representatives of the state’s two major, nursing home associations did not comment today.

All but one of those — 89 — were residents of nursing homes or assisting living communities, Gifford said., The other was in an acute care hospital when tested.

The state’s public health laboratory also is not the only one providing tests in Connecticut. The state is working with four private labs associated with Yale University, The Jackson Laboratory in Farmington, Genesys Diagnostics in Montville and Sema4 based in Stamford.

Connecticut health officials said they’re exploring but don’t know if these sites also had issues with false positive test results.

“I don’t want to jump to any conclusion about numbers,” Gifford said during a mid-afternoon news teleconference.”We are talking to partner labs in this state.”

Gifford said “I’m sure that they will be looking into and reviewing the data from their laboratories.”

But she added that Connecticut has tested thousands of individuals and health officials believe the number of patients who received inaccurate test results is a very tiny fraction of the overall pool.

Connecticut’s problems center on a coronavirus test developed by Waltham, Mass.-based Thermo Fisher Scientific, Gifford and Razeq said.

The manufacturer also must provide specific procedures for performing the test. But after discovering inconsistencies with test results Wednesday and Thursday of last week, Connecticut health officials learned that Thermo Fisher had “changed and tweaked some of the steps in the procedure” unbeknownst to the state, Razeq said.

Thermo Fisher spokesman Ron O’Brien said the company has made “a number of amendments” to its original procedure since it was established on March 13, but they all are posted on the company’s website and readily available to public and private laboratories.

“The details on how they run are all spelled out on that website,” he said.

Connecticut has since reported the flaw to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as to the test manufacturer, and has notified representatives of all of the affected patients.

But today’s announcement raised several huge questions about the scope of the problem.

Nursing homes routinely house COVID-19-infected patients together in a separate wing for weeks until they recovered and tested negative. Later in the pandemic the state and the industry established six locations to house only elderly residents who had tested positive for the virus.

State health officials could not say if any of these 90 “false positives” later contracted the coronavirus, though they conceded some likely were placed in close proximity to others with the disease. Representatives of the state’s two major, nursing home associations did not comment today.

All but one of those — 89 — were residents of nursing homes or assisting living communities, Gifford said., The other was in an acute care hospital when tested.

The state’s public health laboratory also is not the only one providing tests in Connecticut. The state is working with four private labs associated with Yale University, The Jackson Laboratory in Farmington, Genesys Diagnostics in Montville and Sema4 based in Stamford.

Connecticut health officials said they’re exploring but don’t know if these sites also had issues with false positive test results.

“I don’t want to jump to any conclusion about numbers,” Gifford said during a mid-afternoon news teleconference.”We are talking to partner labs in this state.”

Gifford said “I’m sure that they will be looking into and reviewing the data from their laboratories.”

But she added that Connecticut has tested thousands of individuals and health officials believe the number of patients who received inaccurate test results is a very tiny fraction of the overall pool.

Connecticut’s problems center on a coronavirus test developed by Waltham, Mass.-based Thermo Fisher Scientific, Gifford and Razeq said.

The manufacturer also must provide specific procedures for performing the test. But after discovering inconsistencies with test results Wednesday and Thursday of last week, Connecticut health officials learned that Thermo Fisher had “changed and tweaked some of the steps in the procedure” unbeknownst to the state, Razeq said.

Thermo Fisher spokesman Ron O’Brien said the company has made “a number of amendments” to its original procedure since it was established on March 13, but they all are posted on the company’s website and readily available to public and private laboratories.

“The details on how they run are all spelled out on that website,” he said.

Connecticut has since reported the flaw to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as to the test manufacturer, and has notified representatives of all of the affected patients.