Community News: Online programs at the senior center; Playhouse shows postponed; and more
— There will be two public hearings to discuss proposals for a Community Development Block Grant in Westport, the first of which will be April 14 at 6 p.m. Pursuant to the Gov. Ned Lamont’s executive order, there is no physical location for this meeting. It will be held electronically by calling 646-876-9923 and entering the meeting ID: 890047282.
The town of Westport is proposing to submit a grant application by April 17 to the Connecticut Department of Housing for the Community Development Block Grant Program Services Set Aside program year 2020-2021. This program supplements DOH’s existing efforts to end homelessness in Connecticut.
Westport will hold a public hearing announcing a grant proposal for funding Diversion Specialists employed throughout the Fairfield County Coordinated Network Area for shelter diversion. The town anticipates applying for a grant amount up to $500,000 under the eligible activity of public services.
All interested citizens are invited to attend these public hearings.
— The Department of Human Services has announced that, in light of the current COVID-19 distancing guidelines, VITA, the IRS’s companion to the AARP free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, is now offering virtual tax preparation to residents without in-person contact.
The new virtual platform is available to taxpayers by connecting them via a secure portal to a remote certified tax preparer. The site and requisite document exchange mechanisms are encrypted for safety, and the methodology conforms to IRS policy and procedures.
Participants will need a smartphone or a computer, access to Wi-Fi, and a working phone number and email address to complete their return. The simple process includes an online intake survey, the uploading of tax forms, and a phone or video appointment. A tax counselor will confirm receipt of documents and prepare the return, followed by a second counselor who will perform a quality review before e-filing.
— Kayla Shah and Robert Zyskowski, of Westport, were named to the winter honors list at Pomfret School.
— The Westport Center for Senior Activities has over 30 programs available online for their spring 2020 quarter. Programs include Yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, Essentrics, low impact and high impact exercise classes, French language, current events, religion class and studio art. The spring quarter classes began April 1.
To take an online class a participant needs a computer, an email address and access to the internet. For a full list of online classes visit www.westportct.gov/seniorcenter.
— Westport Country Playhouse has announces changes in its upcoming 2020 season, with the official opening now scheduled for July instead of the previously announced April kickoff, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The revised 2020 lineup includes a total of three productions: Two musicals, “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “Next to Normal,” and a new comedy, “Tiny House,” instead of the originally scheduled five productions. The three shows were part of the initial 2020 season plan, although two have had date shifts.
“Antigone” and “Blues for an Alabama Sky,” originally scheduled in the 2020 season, have been postponed to future seasons.
The modified three-play season will run from July 14 through Oct. 24, under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos. This year marks the historic, professional theater’s 90th season.