Tuesday, August 09, 2022

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Online Sex Offender Registry Back

Online Sex Offender Registry Back and So is Criticism; Five Westporters Listed
The states controversial sex offender registry is public again, almost two years after it was ruled unconstitutional and pulled from the Internet. And so is the criticism of it.

Residents can now access the registry at local police departments and online at the state Department of Public Safety’s Web site.

A search of WestportҒs 06880 zip code shows five registered sex offenders who have been convicted of crimes ranging from first-degree sexual assault to risk of injury to, or impairing morals of, children

Federal courts shut down the public registry in May 2001 after sex offenders filed suit. They said they were denied the opportunity to prove they were not a danger to society before their names and addresses were made public.

But last month the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the earlier rulings and the registry went back online Monday.

Critics, including longtime Westporter Emanuel Margolis, called the site a “serious invasion of privacy rights,” according to The Advocate of Stamford.

“Without the finding of present dangerousness, this is just a form of humiliation that is unnecessary and unfair,” said Margolis, a legal adviser to the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union.


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Westporter Watts Wacker Says World

Westporter Watts Wacker Says World Entering Epoch of UncertaintyӔ
Westporter Watts Wacker, who makes a living pontificating about whats to come as a futurist, says the world is at a historical turning point.

In an interview with the Hartford Courant, Wacker said he sees the attacks of Sept. 11 and the Iraq war as historical “anchors,” but not necessarily as the causes of the shift.

Wacker, who heads Westport-based FirstMatter LLC, said the world is entering the “epoch of uncertainty” – a churning sea of incessant change with few islands of stability and security. The dominant organizational principle of this emerging age, he said, is paradox.

“Of course, you see that so brilliantly in what’s been happening in these past few days,” Wacker said.

“You have war protests with regular people like you could not imagine. These are not professional anarchists. These are everyday American people. At the same time, you’re seeing polls that show huge support for this war.”

With the pillars of business, religion and education crumbling under the weight of scandals, he said, anxiety is spreading.

“What’s whacking people out is that there is nothing to compare [our current situation] against that makes you know it’s going to be OK,” he said. “These periods of great change have huge disruptions and result in huge numbers of people being displaced physically, emotionally and spiritually.”


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Area Elected Officials Wary of

Area Elected Officials Wary of War Resolutions
As Westports Representative Town Meeting prepares to take up a resolution opposing the war in Iraq, other area communities are also considering resolutions regarding the conflict, according to the Connecticut Post.

It is a delicate, sometimes controversial, balancing act for those municipal councils or boards that choose to take up the issue, the newspaper reported.

At Monday night’s Town Council meeting in New Milford, Conn., emotions ran high and there was a standing-room-only crowd, reported The Spectrum.

The anti-war resolution, put on the RTMҒs agenda by petition from more than 20 electors as required by the town charter, will be taken up at its meeting on Tuesday.

Submitted before the start of the war, it calls on the United States to use diplomatic efforts before launching a preemptive strike.

Update: At the April 1 RTM meeting, no action was taken on the anti-war resolution. The lead petitioner told members she would not object to their not considering it in its outdated form but said it would be updated and resubmitted.

Meanwhile, a petition proposing a resolution in support of U.S. troops has been submitted for RTM consideration at its May meeting.


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Michael R. Crabtree, Owner of Toyota of Westport, Dies in Auto Accident

Michael R. Crabtree, owner and general manager of Toyota of Westport, died Saturday in the Bronx, N.Y. from injuries received in an auto accident. He was 33.

The Stamford residents death was reported in an obituary in The Advocate of Stamford.

Crabtree, whose family owns a number of automobile franchises, was a familiar figure in his dealership’s advertising.

He is survived by his parents, June Langran Crabtree and Robert E. Crabtree Sr. of Greenwich.

Among three sisters surviving him is Constance “Pinky” Markey of Greenwich, also familiar to area television viewers for her ads for the family’s Lexus of Westport dealership.

Emergency Preparedness: Much Remains to be Done

Congressman Chris Shays held a forum on regional emergency preparedness Friday. It was not encouraging. Among those attending Westport First Selectwoman Diane Farrell and Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon.

Farrell told the gathering: “Please don’t hamper us for not having a county government. Look at us in the aggregate. When it comes to homeland security, we don’t see ourselves as individual municipalities.”

According to The Hour newspaper, some in the audience feared that, with the focus on police and fire departments, the role of schools, health departments, emergency medical personnel and hospitals was being ignored.

“We have thousands of kids under our jurisdiction for many days a year,” said Landon. He said issues such as how to deal with a situation where parents cannot reach their children, or staff cannot return home, must be examined.


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Westport Miscellany: Panic Rooms and Sales Tax

With the increased terrorism threat, Westport has seen an upsurge in installation of panic rooms, those places tucked away in homes where the homeowners can survive all kinds of attacks (except probably the munchies).

The town is cited by Richard Soloway, chief executive of NAPCO Security Systems in New York, who told the Hartford Courant newspaper that sales are also up in Weston, Greenwich and Stratford.

The business is so hush-hush, he says, that often domestics who work in the homes don’t know the safe rooms exist.

“Lots of times, even the help in the house doesn’t know about it. People who install the rooms are brought in when nobody else is there, or on the weekend,” Soloway said.

Also reported by the newspaper—an upsurge in patriotic bills introduced in Hartford that would give additional benefits to those serving on active duty or veterans of past conflicts.

Among them was one introduced by Westport’s Sen. Judith Freedman. It would exempt military members on active duty outside Connecticut from having to pay sales tax on new vehicles.

Freedman, a Republican, said, “At a time when so many men and women are leaving their families behind to defend our nation, this is something we can do to show our respect and appreciation.”

Fatal Crash After Dinner at Longahore Gets Woman Two Years in Prison

Westports Splash restaurant at the Inn at Longshore played an unwitting role in a fatal car crash on I-95 that led to a two-year prison sentence Friday for a New York woman.

According to an account in the Advocate of Stamford, the woman, Jan Jepsen, 38, had dinner there with her boss on May 8, 2001. During the meal—appetizers and three bottles of wine that ran up a $410.26 tab, her boss told her she and her entire department were being laid off.

The court heard that following the meal, she got on I-95 the wrong way. She drove up an exit ramp, then went northbound in the southbound lanes for one to two miles before smashing into a car driven by Sidney Davi, 27, who worked at Fairfields transfer station. He died instantly.


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Trucks on the Merritt? A

Trucks on the Merritt? A Train Alongside?
Fridays discussion at Yale University about the future of the Merritt Parkway touched on a number of possibilities. Among them trucks on the roadway and a train track alongside.

According to the Connecticut Post, the occasion was the annual meeting of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.

Keynote speaker was Peter Szabo, director of the Merritt Parkway Conservancy, who addressed the future of the parkway.

Meanwhile, the Post reported that safety issues will take center stage when the State Department of Transportation holds informational meetings about using the breakdown lane of I-95 for traffic during rush hours. One is scheduled for Westport on April 16.


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Losers in Staples High School

Losers in Staples High School Principal Selection Comment
We know the local reaction to the selection of John Brady as principal of Staples High School (overwhelmingly positive). But what about the two other finalists who didnt make it?

Both commented in interviews with their local newspapers. Assistant Superintendent Tom Mulvihill of New Milford, Conn. told his local paper:

ғThere is no shame in losing out to someone with his record, Mulvihill said of Brady. ԓHes a great guy.Ҕ

Peter Sack, who is retiring as a high school principal in Swampscott, Mass., told his newspaper:

“I’m both disappointed and relieved. It would have been a great challenge. I think I’m up to the challenge, but it would have been disruptive having to move.”


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