The arrogance displayed by Ron Corwin, chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z), at last Thursday night's meeting of the P&Z was unbelievable.

He, along with commission members Eleanor Lowenstein, David Press and Howard Lathrop apparently do not appreciate the fact that the decision by the RTM to overturn the P&Z's text change amendment that permitted office space at the National Hall property represented the will of the people of Westport.

His persistent refusal to abandon a plan for a legal challenge to the RTM's decision rather than pursue discussions and perhaps negotiations concerning the issue as repeatedly suggested by Town Attorney Ira Bloom at the meeting was deplorable. In addition, this approach will also result in an unnecessary financial burden for legal services on the tax payers of Westport.

All four members of the P&Z who voted in favor of this approach have done a disservice to the residents of Westport.

Albert S. Beasley, M.D.


Thank you

A great, big thank you to Matthew Mandell, the RTM P&Z Committee and all of you RTM members who voted to overturn the bad decision made by the Planning and Zoning Commission, with regard to National Hall.

We in Westport are fortunate to have a legislative body that is on its toes and willing to put in the hours of hard work and dedication needed to prevent a bad application from slipping through.

Good job, guys.

Anne Fogel


WHS success

The Westport Historical Society celebrated the opening of a new exhibit yesterday with an exuberant crowd of fans of Modernist Architecture. The committee of talented volunteers began the process of developing this show at least as far back as spring of 2009. Kudos were given to a few of the committee members at the opening event, but were under cited in recent newspaper articles.

Credit for the heart and soul and energy behind the huge task of developing and mounting this show which was a first of its kind for the WHS must go to Mollie Donovan, Anne Levine, Ellen Naftalin and Sue Kirby. Also, numerous hours and photographic work must be credited to Larry Untermeyer who was part of the committee from the earliest months right up until the last moments of developing this exhibit. Not only did he photograph many of the houses seen in the Main Gallery and Little Gallery, he also documented the committee process and helped to promote awareness of this upcoming exhibit.

These folks did a fabulous job of supporting the creative vision of curators Morley Boyd and Mark Halstead, A.I.A., when they provided expertise in creating exhibits in the WHS building, their incredible organizational skills, and their understanding of and enthusiasm for the subject matter.

Thank you to everyone who set forth to educate and entertain our community with visions of the future from our past, it is my hope that this exhibit successfully highlights the great opportunity that lies in acquisition and maintenance of a Modernist home which allows its inhabitants to experience life inside a work of art.

Carla Schine


`Light' fraud

The Westport News has been had. The letter supporting President Obama published Jan. 13, under the heading "Governing is hard work," is a fraud. The ostensible writer, one "Ellie Light," purportedly of Bridgeport, is a fraud.

The same letter appeared in the Danbury News-Times and the Stamford Advocate, where "Ellie Light" claimed to be from Greenwich. But don't worry, it's not only Hearst papers that were hoodwinked. When the letter appeared in the San Francisco Examiner, "Ellie Light" was from Daly City, Calif. When it appeared in the Mansfield (Ohio) News Journal, "Ellie Light" claimed to live in Mansfield; in the Daily News Leader of Staunton,Va, "Ellie Light" claimed to live in Waynesboro; in USA Today and the Washington Times, "Ellie Light" claimed to live in Long Beach, Calif.

This story was broken by the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Jan. 22, and follow-up research by others has shown that to date, the identical letter has appeared in at least 40 newspapers in at least 20 states, all signed by "Ellie Light" and claiming addresses all over the country.

The Westport News has a policy of requiring full name, address, and phone number on letters to the editor, so that the paper can verify that the writer actually wrote the letter. Or, I suppose, that the writer actually exists. Years ago, when I was an active letter writer, I was accustomed to phone calls from the editor asking whether I had written my letters.

It sounds like it's time to get back to basics.

Iain H Bruce


Editor's note: As a matter of policy, letters are confirmed either via e-mail or phone. An e-mail was sent to "Ellie Light" confirming an address, and the reply sent indicated the address of a residence in Bridgeport.

Women in Power

On January 20, 2010 Women in Power hosted an extraordinary gathering of talented, bright and accomplished women at our "Living on Purpose: How to Maneuver Your Business in 2010" event, held at the Westport Woman's Club, Westport, CT. Our sincere thanks and appreciation go to each of the almost 200 women who attended this standing-room only, business development meeting. Perhaps most remarkable and memorable was the energy of learning, love and helpfulness which filled the room and inspired all of us to take the next step in building our best businesses in 2010.

We especially thank our strategic panelists, Kathy Caprino, Kathy McShane, Diane DiResta and Anne Evans who contributed their unique business expertise with warmth and humor- offering up actionable and can-do solutions, appropriate to business women at any level.

Many thanks as well to the Westport News for helping us bring Women in Power forward in our community.

As a reminder, our WIP series continues on May 20, including a segment on "The Book is Your Hook." We anticipate a lively discussion on why and how authoring articles, blogs, books, etc., can advance your business goals and profession. Look for us again, Nov. 4, for the last in the 2010 series.

Carolina Fernandez,

Dr. Ellen Mahony, Margaret

Wagner, Lisa Wexler

Women in Power Founders


The members of the Westport Police Union and Westport Police Benevolent Association would like to extend our sincere gratitude for the extremely generous contributions we received during our 2009 Holiday Toy Drive.

The toy drive which is held annually, sponsored by the Westport Police Union and the Westport Police Benevolent Association, and run by its members, has historically been tremendously successful. This year was no different.

We were able to donate gifts to several hundred children throughout Fairfield County who otherwise would not have received toys for the holidays. Toys were distributed to organizations such as the Interfaith Housing Association (Westport), Carver Community Center (Norwalk), Norwalk Community Health Center (Norwalk), Bridgeport Council of Churches (Bridgeport), St. Charles Urban Center (Bridgeport), Burroughs Community Center (Bridgeport), the New Haven Domestic Violence Shelter (New Haven), and local individual families in need.

The project would not be nearly as successful if it weren't for the individuals and local businesses that show their support, concern, and generosity toward the underprivileged in our area.

Each year as the members of the Westport Police Department collect the donations, we are deeply touched by the generosity and caring that is displayed. To see not only adults demonstrate the true spirit of the holidays, but children as well, is truly heartwarming.

Special thanks to the Athletic Shoe Factory, Vautrin Auto, 95.9 The Fox Radio, and Sign Smarts, for their assistance in the logistical aspects of our efforts and their generosity. Without them, we couldn't have done it!

With thanks from the bottom of our hearts,

Sgt. Jill Ruggiero and the men and women of the Westport Police Department