Thursday, July 07, 2022

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Letters

WestportNow welcomes letters from readers on matters pertaining to Westport and Westporters. Those of 300 words or less are given preference. Letters are edited for grammar, clarity, and accuracy. Publication shall be at the sole discretion of WestportNow. Third-party or anonymous letters, those signed with a pseudonym, or letters appearing in other publications are not published. WestportNow does not publish letters endorsing or opposing any political candidates.

A postal address, e-mail address if available, and day and evening telephone numbers are required for verification purposes, although this information is not published. Letters may be submitted by e-mail to [email protected], via fax at (203) 286-2099, or by mail to 150 North Ave., Westport, CT 06880.

Letter: ‘Whatever Happens This Week — it’s OK’

To the Editor:

For many families, last week was hard.

It was hard to stay home, it was hard to enjoy their new lives, it was hard to stay positive.

Today starts another week.

Many parents are feeling the weight of this new life, while many kids are feeling the absence of their old life.

Letter: Visiting Nurse & Hospice Offers Thanks

To the Editor:

On behalf of our board, staff, volunteers, and especially the patients and families we serve, I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has so generously supported Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County during this public health crisis.

As a nonprofit home health and hospice agency, we have always counted on the generosity of those in the communities we serve. We are overwhelmed with gratitude by the outpouring of support for our COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund at this time of great need.

Our COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund helps to provide our clinicians with such vital resources as Telehealth equipment, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and emergency funding to care for those who are uninsured or underinsured. 

We have also introduced our Ask a Nurse hotline to answer questions about health concerns during the pandemic. Members of the community are welcome to call 203-834-6341. ext. 500 or email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and a nurse will respond as quickly as possible.

This is a challenging time for everyone. Please be assured that Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County is committed to remaining open and continuing to provide essential health services to the patients and families in our care. Thank you for your support.

Sharon M. Bradley, RN, MSN, DNP
President and CEO
Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County
Wilton

Letter: How to Deal With Children and the Virus

But there are ways to prevent that.

First: talk to your kids about why they aren’t in school. Be calm — be honest. Answer their questions, and explain the data that pertains to kids so they know that they’re relatively safe from the virus. If your child has an internet device — they already know the headlines, so fill in those blanks.

Second: build a structure for your kids to thrive within. Allow them their day or two to wake up late, but set a wake-up time and a written schedule that may mimic their school schedule would work (if you don’t know their daily schedule at school, find out).

Include movement activities (online yoga videos, and GoNoodle activities are fantastic), music, read books, and give them tasks to do around the house. Make specific times for educational items from school so it can be expected each day.

Whatever you do — remain consistent. A babysitter texting on your couch for several weeks will wreak havoc on their esteem and their brain, so if you’re required to work — assure whoever they’re left with remains consistent, too.

Third: stay calm; show love and compassion, they will be as stressed as you are. Limit news updates — but keep them updated and help them understand that this is not permanent.

Allow them to act out, or allow them to decompress and shut down, as they may not be able to process some changes. 

Your children will grow up with the phrase “when the Coronavirus happened…”. You are the people who will help finish that sentence for them.

Be kind, stay safe, wash your hands, and take care of this community.

With support,

Jaime Bairaktaris
Westport

Jaime Bairaktaris is a Westport resident and volunteer EMS Crew Chief. He is the Connecticut State Department of Education’s 2020 Paraeducator of the Year and serves on the State Paraeducation Advisory Council through his work at Redding Elementary School.

Letter: Vacancy in RTM District 8

To the Editor:

A seat on the RTM in District 8 has become available due to the imminent move out of state of our colleague Lee Arthurs. We appreciate his work and his leadership on the many issues presented to the RTM for review. All RTM members join us in extending best wishes to Lee and his family for their next adventures.

His departure leaves a vacancy in District 8. In accordance with the Town Charter, (Section C5-8C3), the vacancy must be filled by a registered voter living in RTM District 8. No party affiliation is required since Westport’s RTM is non-partisan. The term expires in November 2019.

Residents of RTM District 8 interested in being considered to fill the vacancy are encouraged to remit their resume by July 5 to the Town Clerk, Patricia Strauss by email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or by mail, 110 Myrtle Ave., Westport, CT 06880. A meeting to conduct interviews will be scheduled at a future date.

Any questions can be directed to the remaining district members listed below. Contact information and a district boundary map are available on the town’s website at https://www.westportct.gov/departments/elected-officials/representative-town-meeting.

RTM District 8 Members:
Wendy Batteau
Carla Rea
Lois Schine

Letter: Thanks From P.A.L. Float Committee

To the Editor:

The Westport P.A.L Float Committee would like to thank the following people for their help and support in constructing our Memorial Day Float:
Vinnie Penna (Penna Construction) allowing us to assemble and disassemble our float in his garage.
Kowalsky Construction for years of use of their truck.
Ken Lozyniak for all his time, help and “safe” driving.
Butch Slingo (Butch’s Landscaping) for his craftsmanship, building and welding skills.
Bernie Izzo (Izzo’s Garden Mart) for allowing us to use his beautiful flowers and bushes to help beautify.
And last but not least,
Lew Wirth (Wirth Plumbing) Joe Nixon, and Bob Fox (R W Fox Transportation), for giving us many years of time, support and patience in making our ideas a reality.
We could not have done it without you all.

P.A.L Float Committee
Pamela Betts Wirth
Kathy Nixon
Paula Mikesh
Westport

Letter: ‘Troubled’ by Portable Classrooms

To the Editor:

As a Westport resident and taxpayer, I am deeply troubled by the usage of portable classrooms for Westport Public Schools without a Certificate of Occupancy and building permits for public utility connections.

Dr. Palmer and the Westport Board of Education propose many portable classrooms at most elementary schools and Bedford Middle School. On December 19, 2018 I spoke with Mr. Dave Kopjanski, a Connecticut State Building Inspector, who suggested contacting the media about this disturbing trend.

Based on my call with Mr. Kopjanski, Westport public schools are not exempt from building permits, and a final Certificate of Occupancy is required before the building may be used in whole or in part [Connecticut State Building Code 111.1.]

Public utility connections are required for all modular buildings including portable classrooms, and the Bedford Middle School plans have four portable classrooms without running water restrooms which clearly lacks the public utility connection mandated by Connecticut State Building Code 111.7. 

Coalition Wants Signs on Properties Before P&Z

Regulations require that signs be posted on properties to be demolished or applying for a liquor permit. Now a Westport group wants similar signs posted for many other requests.

The Coalition for Westport (CFW), a political party aimed at responsible growth in town, filed an amendment to Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) regulations with that requirement affecting applications to land use bodies so that neighbors will have a heads up.

The CFW has proposed text amendment 754, which will be reviewed by the P&Z on Thursday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. in Town Hall.

If adopted, 754 will require the placement of a temporary free-standing sign on a property subject of a proposal submitted to the P&Z or the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). It will include applications seeking approval for site plan, special permit, variance, subdivision or re-subdivision, town officials said.

Letter: Grateful for Neighbors’ Leaf Vigilance

To the Editor:

I would like to take a moment to offer praise to the many vigilant homeowners in my neighborhood who stand guard against the risk of a leaf crashing into their lawn.

As I try to work from my home office, I am reminded forcefully of their unceasing efforts.

To me, it is truly the sound of responsible citizenship.

Gerard MacDonell
Westport

Letter: ‘Start Teaching This Week’

To the Editor:

Start teaching this week. There’s no bus, no homework, no early morning alarms. But your kids are already in the classroom; their room, the couch, your kitchen table. You are the teacher. Start teaching this week how to survive and thrive when school starts.

Unpack the summer. Unpack camp, summer jobs, vacation — unpack the friendships that changed. Teach them how to be on everybody’s best list — and that they won’t be on everybody’s best list — and that’s OK.

Hold them to their highest standard and not to anyone else’s. Teach them that believing “I’m not smart enough” is the only stupid thing they’ll do. Teach them that a poor grade or bad experience is the most important part of learning.

Teach them how to control and understand their emotions, their anxieties, their worries, and their strengths. But don’t teach them before you teach yourself the same.

Letter: RTM Vacancy in District 8

To the Editor:

A seat on the RTM in District 8 has become available due to the imminent move out of state of our colleague Liz Moriarty. We appreciate her work and good cheer and will miss her. All RTM members join us in extending best wishes to her and her family for their next adventures.

Her departure leaves a vacancy in District 8. In accordance with the Town Charter, (Section C5-8C3), the vacancy must be filled by a registered voter living in RTM District 8. No party affiliation is required since Westport’s RTM is non-partisan. The term expires in November 2019.

Residents of RTM District 8 interested in being considered to fill the vacancy are encouraged to remit their resume to the Town Clerk, Patricia Strauss by email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or by mail, 110 Myrtle Ave., Westport, CT 06880. A meeting to conduct interviews will be scheduled at a future date.

Any questions can be directed to the remaining district members listed below. Contact information and a district boundary map are available on the town’s website at http://www.westportct.gov/index.aspx?page=151 .

RTM District 8 Members:
Wendy Batteau
Lee Arthurs
Carla Rea