Monday, March 03, 2003
Congressman Shays Westport Town Meeting Now on Web
No matter your views on a possible (likely?) war in Iraq, you had to be impressed with the “town meeting” Rep. Chris Shays (R-Conn.) hosted last week (Feb. 23, 2003) at Westport’s new Bedford Middle School.
Despite the frigid night, several hundred turned out for the four-hour meeting. Unknown thousands more watched the first two and a half hours live on C-SPAN. The complete recording of the session is available on the C-SPAN Web site.
Few people seemed to know in advance that the session was to be nationally televised. First Selectwoman Diane GossFarrell says she didn’t know and got a scolding from her parents who found out afterward they missed her on TV.
One viewer from Cody, Wyoming, sent a note to me as Moderator of the Westport Representative Town Meeting saying how much he enjoyed the session and how impressed he was with questions from Westporters and others.
“Great comments and insight by all,” he wrote. But he added: “It is a shame that one lady had to lower the quality of the program by venting her own personal vendetta against the President.” (He apparently confused “town meeting” and RTM, but his comments were interesting nevertheless.)
Don’t hold me to it, but the session may have been the longest nationally televised live broadcast from Westport since Edward R. Murrow interviewed Martha Raye on CBS-TV’s “Person to Person” in the 1950s—and that was only 15 minutes.
Westport Memorabilia on the Net
If you’re nostalgic for Westport of the ‘70s, check out John Johnson’s Web site which includes Westport memorabilia for that period.
He includes other Westport-related on another page.
Of course, for real Westport nostalgia, you’ve got to go to Evan Stein’s Staples alumni site which includes pictures, multiple discussion threads and lots of memories.
Sunday, March 02, 2003
Here a Levitt, There a Levitt
Pasadena, Calif., gets a Levitt Pavilion, too.
According to Pasadenastarnews.com, Westporter Mortimer Levitt donated funds to Pasadena to create a Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts.
It’s said to be modeled on Westport’s Levitt Pavilion. The newspaper says similar Levitt Pavilions are planned in Harrisburg, Pa., and Lenox, Mass.
Be interesting to see whether the Westport clones have as much trouble with their benefactor as Westport did. But then again, we seem to have controversy over everything.
Brookstone Does Westport Westport’s Main
Westport’s Main Street welcomes another national retailer—Brookstone.
The store opened March 1 in the long vacant site at the end of the street leased but never occupied by Ralph Lauren. Handsome store. Those knowledgeable about Westport commercial real estate say with the signing, Westport’s Main Street hangs out the “no vacancy” sign.
The nation’s slowed economy has taken its toll on Westport like many other places, but local retailers say the town’s upscale residents have softened the impact.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be howls aplenty when a double-digit tax increase goes into effect July 1.
NYT Highlights Westport
First up, a link to an article in the Friday, Feb. 28, 2003, New York Times, about Westport by my very talented sister-in-law, Joanne Kaufman. Here is the link (registration may be required if you have not signed up for New York Times Web access before.)
WestportNow.Com Blog Begins
By Gordon Joseloff
I’m not sure how many blogs (short for “Web Logs” for the uninitiated) there are related to Westport, Conn., but thought I’d give one a try.
I’m also not sure whether Dan Woog’s site qualifies as a blog, but he does write regularly about Westport—both online and in print.
A bit of my background. I am a longtime Westport resident and I currently serve as Moderator (chief honcho) of Westport’s local governing body, the Representative Town Meeting (RTM). (For more on the RTM, go to Westport’s official Web site.)
I began my journalism career in Westport as a teenager working for the now defunct Westport Town Crier. After several decades working for a news agency (UPI) and a network (CBS), mostly as a foreign correspondent, I’m back where I started, observing events in Westport. The more things change etc.
I intend this to be news snippets and some random musings about Westport as well as items I think will interest fellow Westporters (and those anywhere with an interest in our town). It is not intended to be a site for all Westport news; there are local newspapers for that.