Tuesday, August 09, 2022


Greenwich First Selectman Says Westport Imperils Residents’ Health by Pill Distribution

Greenwichs First Selectman, under pressure from residents for not distributing radiation-protecting potassium iodide pills in his town, says WestportҒs distribution of the pills puts the health of Westporters at risk.

At least thats according to an account in Greenwich Time of a meeting on emergency preparedness Friday at the Greenwich YMCA involving First Selectman Richard Bergstresser and other town officials.

According to the newspaper, Bergstresser defended the town’s decision not to hand out potassium iodide pills—which can help reduce radiation-induced thyroid cancer—by saying Westport and other municipalities that have distributed them are putting residents at risk because the pills could be harmful if taken prematurely.

Footnote: Ruth Steinkraus Cohens Veteran

Footnote: Ruth Steinkraus Cohens Veteran Connection
Martha Gilson wants Westporters to know that Ruth Steinkraus Cohen had an important link to a war veteran Җ one going back more than 225 years.

Gilson, a member of the Weston chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), said Steinkraus-Cohen was a direct descendant of Revolutionary War veteran Jeremiah Tibbetts of New Hampshire.

Gilson called me as Moderator of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), after reading newspaper accounts of the April 1 RTM debate and controversy about naming the Post Road bridge after Steinkraus Cohen, a longtime Westporter who died last year.

Although the RTM, by a vote of 26-5, endorsed a proposed state bill naming the bridge in Steinkraus Cohens honor, several of those who spoke in opposition said they preferred the bridge to be named in honor of veterans.

That would be more fitting, they said, than after someone long associated with the United Nations, especially now.

ғShe has every right to be included with folks who wanted it to have something to do with the veterans, said Gilson, 79, former regent of the Weston chapter of the DAR. ԓKnowing this might make them feel better.

Gilson said Steinkraus Cohen joined the Weston chapter after WestportԒs Compo Hill DAR chapter disbanded in the late 1970s due to dwindling membership.

ғShe wasnt active in recent years,Ҕ Gilson said. But Westporters should know she had a direct link to those who fought for our country.Ӕ

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If You See Increased Construction

If You See Increased Construction Debris Dumped Randomly Heres Why
Local contractors say the townҒs abrupt removal of a solid waste dumpster from Westports public works facility has left them in the lurch.

Contractors who normally do small jobs that donҒt require an on-site dumpster for debris for years have taken small loads of plasterboard and old plumbing fixtures to the towns recycling center on the Sherwood Island Connector.

But recently the dumpster has disappeared and town workers have told the contractors they have to go to Norwalk or somewhere else out of town to dump their loads. The workers said they were not told why the dumpster was removed.

One contractor, who asked not to be identified, said he has had to raise his rates for debris removal because it is more costly in time and mileage to take the debris out of town.

ғLocal contactors wont dump their stuff in Westport randomly,Ҕ he said, but those from out of town wonӒt have the same reluctance.

The contractor said the dumpster removal could end up costing the town more money Ԗ not to mention making things more unsightly—as debris is dumped randomly on beaches or other off-road areas.

He said the dumpster removal could account for an old toilet being found near the Greens Farms railroad station in the early morning hours of March 20, briefly setting off a security scare as U.S. troops moved into Iraq.

Public Works Director Steve Edwards was not available for comment. First Selectwoman Diane Farrell said she was unaware of the dumpster removal but would look into it.

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Business Down in Westport as Residents Glued to TVs

It is purely anecdotal and not scientific, but random checks of area retailers and restaurants show business in Westport noticeably reduced in recent days, apparently because people are staying close to home watching developments in Iraq.

More parking spaces at Barnes and Noble, increased shoppers at supermarkets, and reduced numbers of diners at area restaurants are consistent with reports nationally about more people staying home watching television war coverage.

At Matsu Sushi on Jesup Road last evening, the restaurant was half empty during what normally is a busy dinner hour.

I was wondering where everybody is,Ӕ said restaurant owner Marty Cheng.

There was a big crowd on Main Street last night for the champagne opening of Talbots Mens in space previously occupied by The Limited. But otherwise the town center seemed even quieter than usual.

Westport’s Save the Children Ready

Westport’s Save the Children Ready to Enter Iraq
Workers from the Westport-based charity Save the Children have received word from the military that they can begin bringing trucks full of food and supplies into Iraq, according to an AP dispatch.

Save the Children has 26 staff members stationed in Iraq’s neighboring countries, and another 60 workers from the charity’s British counterpart are preparing to enter northern Iraq, the report said.

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Tauck Leaves Westport for Norwalk

Tauck Leaves Westport for Norwalk
After three decades in Westport, Tauck World Discovery is doing a little traveling itself—over the border into Norwalk.

The nationally-known travel company that arranges trips to more than 100 world locales said it needs to consolidate its 175 employees into one location instead of the several it has in Westport.

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Tired of Aerials of Iraq?

Tired of Aerials of Iraq? How About Longshore or Compo Beach?
If your eyes are tired of aerial and satellite shots of Iraq, perhaps you’d like some birds eyes views of something closer to home—Westport.

Joe Melanson of Wareham, Mass. has been shooting aerials of the United States for 15 years and has built up an online collection of more than 6,000 pictures, including 11 of Westport. Most are areas near the water, including Longshore and Compo Beach. (I’d link to the individual pictures but he asks visitors not to.)

His Skypic.com Web site describes the photos as taken with 2 x 3 inch negatives for ғsuperb clarity and sharpness. Enlargements are hand printed and color corrected with sizes ranging from 16 x 20 inches ($98) to 30 x 40 inches ($350). Shipping and handling extra.

If Westport aerials are not your thing, there are plenty of other choices, including Yankee Stadium and lower Manhattan with the World Trade Center twin towers. And if none of his 80,000 stock pictures interests you, Melanson offers custom aerials of the site of your choice. Say cheese.

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When Will Cablevision Roll Out

When Will Cablevision Roll Out Its Digital Service? Dont Ask the Area Cable Council
If among war worries and terrorist concerns you happened to wonder when Westport might get CablevisionҒs new digital cable service, dont bother asking the Area Nine Cable Council.

Members appointed by area towns to represent their communityҒs interests to cable providers know but wont tell us Җ at Cablevisions request.

At least thatҒs what the council—established by state legislation and therefore a public agency says in the minutes of its Jan. 10 meeting in Weston.

During a discussion, Cablevision representative Tad Diesel provided details of the digital rollout to members, but the minutes do not reflect what he told them, saying instead:

֓TD discussed CVs plans for the roll-out of digital cable, but noted that they were not for publication. The comments will be reflected in the minutes approved at a future meeting.Ҕ

For more on the council, visit its Web site; for more on Cablevision’s new digital service, visit its Web site.

Update: The council’s Feb. 12 minutes—only recently available on its Web site—lifted the secrecy a bit, saying, “The rollout of iO will be staged over a six-week period with full implementation scheduled for April 8.”

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Look Out Starbucks: Librarys No.

Look Out Starbucks: Librarys No. 1 Want is Bigger Cafҩ
Theres no doubt the Westport Public Library, one of the busiest in the state, is high tech Җ plenty of computers and Internet access, including the wireless kind. But library officials say their biggest demand isnt technical Җ its for increased cafҩ space so patrons can talk over a cup of java one-on-one.

Thats a finding from a consultantҒs interviews, focus groups and surveys, according to Library Director Maxine Bleiweis.

Bleweis, preparing for a town meeting April 8 on the librarys future, told The Hour that changing times and changing trends require the library to re-examine its services and connections with the community frequently.

“We found out that the sense of community that we can reflect in this space is paramount,” she said. “The ability to find information on the Web had not replaced the need to come together.” The number one suggestion of those surveyed, Bleiweis said, has been for a bigger cafҩ area.

“We have a lot of individual spaces and spaces for large gatherings, but we don’t have anything in between for a casual conversation,” she said.

David Rubinstein, Westport Public Library board of trustees president, said the number of people who want a larger cafe area for casual conversation is overwhelming.

“People feel isolated and anxious during these hard times,” he said. “This is a special place for them where they can feel safe.”

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