Community Channel: Rotary accepting grant applications, The dean's list...

The Westport Sunrise Rotary Club’s Charitable Giving Committee is now accepting applications for 2018.

Last year the Club awarded grants to 23 nonprofit organizations directly supporting individuals residing in Westport and surrounding communities in Fairfield County. Grants ranging from $500 to $3,000 were awarded primarily for program needs, rather than administrative or overhead expenses.

Some of the recipients last year were organizations serving children and young adults, providing housing for the homeless, assisting those with learning disabilities or coping with chronic illnesses, providing musical instruments to schoolchildren in underserved communities and assisting those transitioning into the community after incarceration.

To request an application, organizations should email They will be directed to a link to the online application form and to instructions for its completion.

All applications are to be submitted electronically and must be received, with all supporting documentation, by Feb. 16. In order to permit timely consideration of all applications, the committee will not accept applications received after that date.

Committee review will be completed by early May, and notification letters will be sent to each applicant.

Thirty-two Westport natives made the fall dean’s list at the University of Connecticut: Melissa Alvarado, Philippine Ancel, Christina Baker, Michele Beaudoin, Julia Brower, August Densby, Nathaniel Fanning, Ryan Fitton, Alexander Flug, Nathan Francis, Helena Giaume, Ryan Gilland, Wyatt Krone, Julia Lindwall, Lindsey Lozyniak, Katherine Machata, Alexander Makarainen, Ming Montgomery, Cathleen O’Brien, Siobhan O’Loughlin, Amanda Pan, Maria Pendarakis, Alyssa Perry, Gabriella Perry, Bennett Propp, Daniel Ruskin, Noel Sosnoski, Amelia Tavarnesi, Michael Terzian, Elaine Wehmhoff, Danielle Williams and Nicole Williams.

The UConn students were registered for at least 12 credits, received no grade below a “C,” had a grade-point average of at least 3.0 and were in at least the upper quartile of their school or college.

Kait Smithson, a member of the class of 2021 from Westport, has been named to the fall 2017 dean’s list at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass. Smithson is majoring in criminology and is a graduate of Staples High School.

To qualify for the dean’s list, students must have a semester GPA of 3.50 or better and must have completed successfully all courses for which they were registered.

Victoria Loiacono, of Westport, has been named to Southern New Hampshire University’s fall 2017 dean’s list. Eligibility for the dean’s list requires that a student accumulate an academic GPA of 3.5-3.699 and earn 12 credits for the semester.

Westport’s Benjamin Lovewell and Joshua Rosenberg have been named to the spring 2017 dean’s list at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I. Full-time students who complete 12 or more credits per semester and earn a GPA of 3.4 or higher are placed on the dean’s list that semester.

In Burlington, Vt., Westport’s Mary Purcell and Samantha Piccolino were named to the University of Vermont dean’s list. To be named to the dean’s list, students must have a GPA of 3.0 or better and rank in the top 20 percent of their class in their respective college or school.

The Westport Weston Health District has seen a significant increase in the local incidence of influenza activity and growing community concern with the flu.

Director of Health Mark A.R. Cooper stated it is not too late to get vaccinated and encourages residents to schedule an appointment using the “Book Now” button at

Influenza activity is continuing to increase in Connecticut and has been classified geographically as widespread. Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It is spread by coughing, sneezing, and nasal secretions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older should be vaccinated.

Cooper offered the following recommendations to help prevent the spread of the flu:

The most important step in preventing the flu is getting vaccinated especially high-risk persons, young children and people who live with and/or care for high-risk individuals.

If you feel sick, stay home for at least 24 hours after a fever is gone. Do not spread your germs to others.

If your children complain of “not feeling right,” keep them home. Symptoms can develop quickly.

If you are well, avoid contact with sick people and things they may have touched.

Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.

Wash your hands with soap and water frequently.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

The cost of vaccination is $45 for the standard vaccine and $70 for the high-dose vaccine. Most insurance plans are accepted for payment; be sure to bring your card.

The Fairfield Museum invites professional, serious amateur and student photographers from Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts to participate in the IMAGES 2018 Juried Photography Show.

They can submit up to 10 images under two designations — professional/serious amateur or student. A student must be an active student and under the age of 24.

Submissions will be accepted through Jan. 22. IMAGES 2018 provides an opportunity for artists to connect with prominent collectors, gallery owners, fellow photographers, and the public.

Two grand prize winners will be selected, one from each designation. The professional/serious amateur winner will have a gallery show in Southport Galleries. The student winner will receive a portfolio review with a professional in the photography field.

Photography categories are: landscape, portrait, architecture, nature and abstract. The photographs cannot be manipulated.

A jury of artists, photographers, and curators selects approximately 40 submitted photographs for exhibition in the show, which will be on display at the Fairfield Museum and History Center from March 1 to April 15.

For more details and to enter the contest, visit

The Westport Department of Human Services reminds seniors the department offers a list of middle and high school students willing to work small outdoor jobs such as raking leaves or shoveling walkways.

There is a suggested fee of $10 per hour.

Seniors needing assistance may contact the department at 203-341-1050.

Students interested in helping a senior and earning extra money can contact the department or email Students already registered for the program are requested to contact the department if they wish to remain on the list. Written permission from a parent or guardian is necessary.

PaintCare, a no-fee paint recycling program, is available to Westport residents at the Westport Transfer Station.

Residents may take advantage of this program by bringing latex paint, oil-based paint, primer, stain, sealer, varnish and shellac (no spray paint) to the Westport Transfer station, 300 Sherwood Island Connector, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon.

There is no charge for recycling paint at the Transfer Station site for Westport residents, nor are any local tax dollars expended. The program is funded by a PaintCare Fee of 75 cents per gallon, which is added to the purchase price of paint sold in Connecticut. This fee is used to fund all aspects of the PaintCare stewardship program. Collected fees pay for paint collection, transportation, recycling, public outreach and program administration.

The addition of this program to the town’s recycling efforts is expected to reduce annual hazardous waste processing by $3,000 to $4,000 annually.

The paint dropped off at the transfer station is packed into large, plastic-lined boxes and transported to PaintCare’s facility. If possible, the paint is recycled into new paint. If not, it may be turned into fuel or used to make another product.

PaintCare Inc. is a nonprofit organization established by paint manufacturers to plan and operate paint-recycling programs in states that have passed paint stewardship laws. Connecticut is one of only seven states in the country to pass the legislation.

Do you drive on the Merritt Parkway late at night or early in the morning between Fairfield and Westport? Then be prepared for some delays because of a $56.7 million project that won’t be finished until August 2019.

The project will focus on a five-mile stretch of the parkway between the Congress Street bridge in Fairfield to the Newtown Turnpike overpass in Westport.

The project will include new pavement in both the northbound lanes and work on 11 structures related to the historic bridges, built nearly 80 years ago.

There’s also upgrades planned for guiderails, drainage and restoration of the historic bridges. With all this work, lane closures are needed.

Northbound lane closures are planned from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. from Saturday to Wednesday and from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. on Thursday and Friday.

Southbound lane closures are from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Thursday; from 8 p.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Saturday and from 8 p.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday.