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: Thank You Westport Police

To the Editor:

I work a few hours per week at Sweet Frog here in town. Last Wednesday I locked the store up at 1:30 p.m. for the owner Jennifer to reopen around 2 p.m. 

Leaving a note on the door stating this, customers became concerned when at 3:30 p.m. she still was not there. They started contacting the Police Department thinking something was terribly wrong. 

Now our Police Department is very busy and could have just told these customers not to worry and she was probably just running late, but they didn’t do that. Instead they contacted her alarm company and asked them to page her.

When she did she was told to contact the Westport Police and let them know she was alright so they could reassure all her customers when they called in.

Letter: Wants ‘Truthful Dialogue’ on Coyote Ordinance

To the Editor:

My name is Art Buckman. I filed the petition to allow the trapping of aggressive coyotes in Westport. Since filing the petition, I have heard from residents about many dangerous encounters with coyotes. 

These encounters range from stalking to aggressive behavior toward people to attacks on pets and sadly, the killing of pets.

One item I find disturbing is the misinformation out in the public. Information is “put out there” as fact or the norm, when it is the exception or a rare occurrence. 

An example of this, is the use of foot hold traps. The traps used in Connecticut meet international standards for humaneness. They are designed to catch and hold an animal, not injure it. 

Letters: Westporters Speak Out on Proposed Coyote Ordinance

To the Editor:

As a Westport voter, I take pride that we ban hunting and trapping. We are the only town in Connecticut that does, due to special statutory authority granted many years ago.

Other towns should be able to ban hunting trapping if they so choose. I was happy to hear that this year, for the first time, a bill was introduced that would allow municipalities to ban trapping.

The bill, proposed by a Fairfield County Representative, the Honorable Fred Camillo, was blocked from even having a public hearing by DEEP, and now DEEP is working hard right here in Westport to try to overturn our community’s long-standing ban on trapping.

The head of DEEP’s trapping program even showed up at our last ordinance committee meeting (in his DEEP uniform), despite the fact that this meeting provided no opportunity for his input.

Letter: Summer Noise Makes Resident ‘Pray for Winter’

To the Editor:

The noise in my neighborhood between Long Lots and Cross Highway over the past few years has become unbearable. Being outside during the summer before 7 p.m. is pretty much a no-hoper, at least where I live.

It is either a chain saw, a huge tree shredder, the reverse alarm on a large truck, a leaf blower, a lawn mower or somebody getting their septic drained. It never seems to stop and has me eager to get out of town or praying for winter, which is weird.

Maybe we have just had some bad luck and it will change. Maybe it is not so bad in other parts of Westport. But it seems a helluva way to live, particularly given the price of living here.

I am curious if others have a similar experience and if there is anything that might be done.

Gerard MacDonell,
Westport

Letter: Senior Activities Committee Issues Invitation

To the Editor:

The Enhancement Committee of the Westport Center for Senior Activities, 21 Imperial Ave., is excited to invite you to an ice cream social on Tuesday, July 11 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. 

Following the social, we hope you will join us at the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) at Town Hall at 7:30 p.m. as the RTM considers our request for funding for our enhancement/expansion project. This is the last step in funding approvals as we inch our way towards groundbreaking. 

The Enhancement Committee would like to thank everyone who has supported this project to date; whether it was writing a letter of support, calling an elected official, attending a meeting or by making a donation. Thank you. We look forward to seeing you on July 11.

Stan Nayer, Co-Chair
Lynn Goldberg, Co-Chair
Leslie Wolf. Vice – Chair
Westport

Letter: Thanks From the Superintendent

To the Editor:

Education and the pursuit of learning have been my lifelong profession. Last Friday night, at the Westport Pops Concert, I had an epiphany that dramatized and clarified our educational mission in Westport.

In its aftermath, I am still processing the profound impact that event had on me and on the entire audience.  Beyond the exquisite music performed, the evening sent powerful messages to our students. 

They were told that their music is cherished, their hard work to perfect their talent is honored, and with such distinguished guest host, James Naughton and Lincoln Center’s Andrew Wilk as their guest conductor, they were told that they could be anything they wished to be.  This evening under the stars taught each one of them that the stars are reachable.

Too few students in public education are afforded such extraordinary pathways to success. To everyone who contributed to this extraordinary evening, I extend the gratitude of the Westport Board of Education and our entire district. 

Colleen Palmer
Westport Superintendent of Schools

Letter: Support Your Local Firefighters

To the Editor:

The Board of Finance and First Selectman have written a few notices lately regarding the town budgets, and I just feel a few things have gotten lost in the shuffle. 

My husband went to Town Hall the other day so his fellow firefighter could turn in his retirement papers. He has served this town for 38 years. He did this not because he wants to retire, but because he has to. 

It was a sad moment for everyone. This is years of experience walking out the door, and he is not alone. They are all facing significant reductions in benefits.

The Firefighters Union and the town are still in arbitration over their contract. My husband has been a firefighter in this town for over 20 years. He did not take this job to be wealthy. He took this job because he cares about this town.

Letter: BOE Says RTM Vote Investment in Future

To the Editor:

This week’s vote by the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) is an investment in the future of our town, our schools, and our children It also sends a strong signal of support to Dr. Palmer, our outstanding new superintendent, and her vision for an academically-thriving, fiscally-disciplined, and kind organization.

We’d like to thank the many, many members of the Westport community, including our wonderful students, who were engaged and effective throughout this budget process.

We also would like to thank all of the hard-working, thoughtful volunteers on the PTA, RTM, and Board of Finance who help keep our schools on a track of continuous improvement.  Most importantly, we’d like to thank the truly excellent staff of the Westport Public Schools who meet the mission for our children every day.

Westport Board of Education

Michael Gordon, Chair
Jeannie Smith, Vice Chair
Elaine Whitney, Secretary
Karen Kleine
Mark Mathias
Vik Muktavaram
Candice Savin

Westport

Letter: Thank You for Restoration of Educational Funds

To the Editor:

I want to send out two massive thank you messages to our town. All of our town.

First, thank you to the RTM for delivering this rare supermajority vote to restore more money back to our great schools than the Board of Finance was willing to do. Secondly, a big heartfelt shout out to all the parents, PTA, and especially the students for engaging in this process.

I am proud that our petition, just one month old, gave people a voice. In that short time to secure over 1,700 online signatures and more than 500 written signatures is an achievement for the community — not for me.

To have more than 500 written comments from the public in one document was more than we expected or asked for. To see our students stand up to speak, one after another last night, made me proud for all of our town and its future.

Letter: Signs Gone But Campaign More Active

To the Editor:

It was great to see our signs on WestportNow today.

Unfortunately, every single sign about the school budget on North Avenue was removed — presumed stolen — overnight. I contacted the police, and they were clear they would not have removed them.

WestportNow.com Image
Some of the signs on North Avenue before they disappeared overnight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

It’s great that you were able to post a picture before these signs that were intended to promote a local issue and tonight’s public meeting were removed.

Rather than get angry, our campaign is getting more active. We don’t have time or the money to print and replace the signs. So we are getting creative and doing everything we can to promote tonight’s important town meeting.