Tag Archives: International Hospitality Committee

Roundup: Affordable Housing, Advisory Committees, Beach Grooming …

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Tonight (Wednesday) is the night for the first of 3 community conversations on Westport housing.

“Drafting Westport’s 5-Year Affordable Housing Plan” is set for 7:30 p.m. at Temple Israel.

The sponsor is the Westport/Weston Clergy Association. Moderators include Rabbi Michael Friedman, Pastor Heather Sinclair and Reverend John Morehouse.

Among Westport’s affordable housing options: Sasco Creek Village. Tonight’s meeting will explore what’s ahead.

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Bored?

Or just looking for a board to serve on?

Westport needs registered voters to serve on 5 advisory bodies:

  • Arts Advisory Committee: advises on the preservation of Westport’s legacy as an arts community, provides oversight of the Westport Permanent Art Collections, and helps increase visibility of the arts in town.
  • Maintenance Study Committee: the Committee recently completed studies of all major town buildings, and reviewed buildings recently purchased by the Town, or under consideration for purchase and/or demolition.
  • International Hospitality Committee: advises town officials about local activities related to the United Nations and international visitors.
  • TEAM Westport: advises town officials about achieving and celebrating a more welcoming, multicultural Westport community.
  • Wakeman Town Farm Committee: helps WTF serve as an educational demonstration center for sustainable living.

Registered voters seeking an appointment should click here for an application. It must be emailed (selectwoman@westportct.gov) or mailed (110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport, CT 06880) by April 15.

With few exceptions, non-elected members of town boards, commissions and committees are appointed by the First Selectwoman.

First Selectwoman Jen Tooker ways, “Westport’s electorate is dynamic and diverse. This community could not run successfully without the many citizens who willingly and enthusiastically give of their time to benefit us all.

“Among the many appointed boards, commissions and committees, there are a number of vacancies that may filled by the members of our community who seek an opportunity to volunteer, gain knowledge of their municipal government, and provide service to the town. Some boards have minimal commitments, others are more hands-on and skill-driven, but all play an important role in keeping our community strong and vibrant.”

Click here for a list of all town boards, commissions and committees.

Those alpacas didn’t fall from the sky. The Wakeman Town Farm Committee helps oversee activities there. (Photo/Cathy Malkin)

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It’s springtime.

Flower beds get mulched. Poodles get shorn. And Westport beaches get groomed.

Crews were out yesterday, smoothing the sand at Compo …

(Photo/Karen Como)

… and Old Mill.

(Photo/Matt Murray)

Meanwhile, work began on the Burying Hill jetty/groin restoration project.

(Photo/Chris Swan)

Our shoreline is beautiful.

Thanks to these folks, they’ll soon be even more beautiful.

And safer.

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Wayne Blickenstaff — aka “Blick” — was a key member of the Eighth Air Force, part of the England-based World War II air campaign against Germany.  Rising to lieutenant colonel, flying P-47 Thunderbolts and P-51 Mustangs, he flew 133 destroyed 10 enemy aircraft.

After the war, Blickenstaff settled in Westport. For many years, he was part of Famous Artists School.

Now he’s written a book. “Ace in a Day” will be published in September.

Amazon calls it “Blick’s honest and gritty personal memoir of his air war in Europe. His vivid writing places you in the cockpit as he and his comrades battle the enemy in the skies or attack ground targets across Europe. His account conveys a true sense of just how dangerous flying World War II fighters, in all weather conditions, really was.

“It was not just the enemy that could kill you. A moment’s inattention, overconfidence or simple mistake could be deadly. As a keen observer of character, Blick’s pen portraits of those around him, including many of those who sadly did not survive the war, offer a poignant and deeply moving tribute to those with whom he served.” Click here for more information. (Hat tip: Laurie Woog)

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Staples High School sophomore Grace Power has a big role in Amy Schumer’s new series “Life & Beth.” It debuted on Hulu this month.

Grace — who was part of last year’s Staples Players radio shows — is seen in 7 episodes, as “Young Liz,” the best friend of Amy’s younger version of herself.

The New York Times says: “The straightforward, emotionally grounded acting that much of ‘Life & Beth’ requires isn’t Schumer’s strength, but … Grace Power (is) also good as Beth’s best friend in the flashbacks.” (Hat tip: Nicole Mayr)

Grace Power

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This Sunday (March 27, noon to 5 p.m., 190 Main Street), the CAMP Gallery hosts “Sip and Shop for a Cause.” It’s a closing event for the current exhibition: “Not Dior’s New Look III.”

20% of the gallery’s commission will be donated to Fashion Fights Cancer. The organization provides design-oriented therapeutic programs to cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones.

In addition, all participating brands — Kristi Vosbeck, Rosie Assoulin, The Hidden Gem, Johnny Was, Boho Prep and Le Rouge Chocolates — will contribute a percentage of all event sales towards Fashion Fights Cancer, and efforts in Ukraine.

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No, it’s not the Serengeti. But these deer grazing locally — today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature — do have something to do with Africa.

They’re at Nyala Farm. The corporate headquarters between the Sherwood Island Connector and Greens Farms Road, just north of I-95 Exit 18, was once part of the vast Bedford estate.

E.T. Bedford’s son Fred gave the house and farm its “Nyala” name for the spiral-horned antelope that had captivated his attention during a safari.

(Photo/Nico Eisenberger)

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And finally … speaking of the Serengeti, and Africa:

RTM Ordinance Writer Says: TEAM Westport Always “Advisory Only”

In the wake of threat of legal action against TEAM Westport, one of the original sponsors of the town’s multicultural commission says: Not so fast.

As a member of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) in August 2005, Ann Sheffer says she and her husband, Bill Scheffler — a fellow member — wrote the ordinance establishing the organization.

They authored 2 others during their tenure too — for the Arts Advisory Committee, and the International Hospitality Committee.

All were approved by the RTM. What all 3 share, Sheffer says, is that they have “absolutely no authority or even membership requirements.” All are “completely advisory.'”

The language adopted by the RTM reads:

The Together Effectively Achieving Multiculturalism (TEAM) Westport Committee is hereby established, to be appointed by the First Selectman, in order to advise the appropriate Town officials as to specific actions that may be taken to achieve and celebrate a more welcoming, multicultural Westport/Weston community. This Committee’s recommendations shall not be binding but shall be of an advisory nature only.

TEAM Westport was accepted by the RTM on August 2, 2005, and became effective 10 days later. It had been established as an ad hoc group by First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell in 2003. Her successors — Gordon Joseloff, Jim Marpe and now Jen Tooker — have supported the committee.

The Arts Advisory Committee was established in 1997. The RTM adopted this language:

The First Selectman is hereby authorized to establish an Arts Advisory Committee in order to advise the appropriate Town officials as to the preservation and promotion of the artistic heritage of the Town. This Committee’s recommendation shall not be binding but shall be of an advisory nature only.

The International Hospital Committee language says:

An International Hospitality Committee is hereby established, to be appointed by the First Selectman, in order to advise the appropriate Town officials as to activities in the Town related to the United Nations and international visitors. This Committee’s recommendations shall not be binding but shall be of an advisory nature only.