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Town of Westport Survey: Safe Streets and Roads for All Safety Action Plan

<p><strong>Online Survey Launched - Safe Streets and Roads for All Safety Action Plan</strong></p><p>The Town has announced the launch of an online map-based survey aimed at gathering public input in support of the development of the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) Safety Action Plan project.</p><p>This project is being led by Westport’s Traffic and Pedestrian Task Force. Consultants Tighe &amp; Bond have been hired, with funding through the federal grant the Town was awarded, to formulate a comprehensive and strategic plan to improve road safety throughout Town. This survey is the first of multiple opportunities for the public to provide feedback on the SS4A Safety Action Plan.</p><p>The survey provides residents with an opportunity to share insights, experiences, and suggestions to help shape the future of road safety. By engaging with the community, Westport aims to identify key concerns, prioritize safety measures, and implement strategies to create a safer multi-modal transportation system for all residents and visitors.</p><p>To complete the online SS4A Safety Action Plan survey, please visit&nbsp;<a href="http://www.fhistudio-apps.com/westport-map" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">www.fhistudio-apps.com/westport-map</a>. The survey is mobile-friendly and can be completed in just a few minutes.</p><p>First Selectwoman Tooker stated, “This project emphasizes Westport’s continuing commitment to enhancing safety for all road users throughout our community. The Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Task Force has done incredible work over the last two years and will continue in its efforts in making incremental improvements on traffic issues. This SS4A project will run concurrently with the Task Force’s ongoing work, and&nbsp;will take it to the next level by providing a strategic plan for the Town. We value the input of residents and look forward to receiving feedback from individuals of all backgrounds and perspectives. Together, we can work towards creating a safer roadway system that benefits everyone in our community now and in the future.”</p><p>For more information about the Safe Streets and Roads for All Safety Action Plan project and other initiatives, please visit the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.westportct.gov/government/selectwoman-s-office/traffic-pedestrian-safety" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Town’s Traffic &amp; Pedestrian Safety webpage</a>.</p>

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VersoFest 2024 Lineup: Concerts, Conversations, Panels, Workshops & More

<p>Westport, CT - Since its inception in 2022,&nbsp;<a href="https://westportlibrary.org/services/verso-studios/versofest-2024/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">VersoFest&nbsp;</a>has been building to become one of Connecticut's premier music festivals and conferences, featuring a diverse array of local and global talent that has included The Smithereens, Sunflower Bean, renowned producer Steve Lillywhite, Norton Records/Kicks Books/Kicksville Radio co-founder and original Cramps drummer Miriam Linna, Alice Cooper Group Rock &amp; Roll Hall of Famer Dennis Dunaway, Aretha Franklin/Ray Charles songwriter Joshie Jo Armstead, Psychedelic Furs frontman and painter Richard Butler, and hip hop pioneer DJ Grand Wizzard Theodore.</p><p>Spanning five days for this year's edition, April 3 through April 7, The Westport Library's annual music and media festival and conference features Verso Visionaries:&nbsp;<a href="https://westportlibrary.org/musician-activist-and-author-chuck-d-leads-versofest-2024-at-the-westport-library/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Chuck D</a>&nbsp;in conversation with Akashic Books publisher Johnny Temple (Wednesday, April 3), and David Bowie, T. Rex, and Thin Lizzy music producer&nbsp;<a href="https://westportlibrary.org/legendary-music-producer-tony-visconti-to-headline-versofest-2024-at-the-westport-library/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Tony Visconti</a>&nbsp;in conversation with WFUV's Paul Cavalconte (Saturday, April 6, at 1 pm), both previously announced, and now adding&nbsp;<a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/versofest-2024-john-densmore-in-conversation-with-alisyn-camerota-tickets-846443163287" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">music legend John Densmore in conversation with CNN's Alisyn Camerota</a>&nbsp;Saturday afternoon at 4:30 pm.</p><p>Densmore<strong>&nbsp;</strong>is the drummer for the legendary rock band The Doors, which has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide. In 1993, he was inducted into the Rock &amp; Roll Hall of Fame, and since then, he has earned a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Densmore's latest book,&nbsp;<em>The Doors Unhinged</em>, details his conflict with bandmates over the right to use The Doors’ name, revealing the ways in which this struggle mirrors and reflects a much larger societal issue.</p><p>Tom Waits said of the book, "There are some of us out there who still have principles and cannot be bought. John Densmore is one of them. He is not for sale and that is his gift to us.”</p><p>Camerota joins Densmore, returning to The Westport Library on the heels of her&nbsp;<a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/alisyn-camerotas-combat-love-tickets-817388861087?aff=oddtdtcreator" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">March 27 memoir launch event of&nbsp;<em>Combat Love.</em></a><em>&nbsp;</em>While known for her reporting presence, Camerota came of age during late 1970s punk rock, forming close bonds with Red Bank, New Jersey band Shrapnel. The band's 1979 single "Combat Love" features backing vocals from Shrapnel confidant Joey Ramone and is being reissued as a limited 7-inch record with Camerota's memoir.</p><p>VersoFest 2024 concerts and performances include recent&nbsp;<em>Tonight Show</em>&nbsp;featured rockers&nbsp;<a href="https://westportlibrary.org/electric-power-pop-rockers-the-lemon-twigs-to-headline-versofest-2024-kickoff-concert/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">The Lemon Twigs</a>&nbsp;with DJ HYSTERICA on Thursday April 4, and '90s hitmakers&nbsp;<a href="https://westportlibrary.org/thirty-years-and-going-strong-iconic-rockers-the-spin-doctors-to-headline-friday-night-concert-at-versofest-2024/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Spin Doctors</a>&nbsp;with singer-songwriter Nick Depuy on Friday April 5.</p><p>Rooted in Connecticut's burgeoning music and arts scenes, VersoFest also features panels and workshops all day Saturday and Sunday. Highlights include a midday Saturday Verso Book Club event featuring&nbsp;<a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/versofest-2024-i-thought-i-heard-you-speak-women-at-factory-records-tickets-841781229317" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Audrey Golden</a>, author of&nbsp;<em>I Thought I Heard You Speak: Women At Factory Records</em>, in conversation with&nbsp;<em>New Haven Independent's</em>&nbsp;Karen Ponzio; a Sunday panel on the wild lore of&nbsp;<a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/versofest-2024-panel-ct-wplr-the-birth-of-buckinghamnicks-era-tickets-841798882117?aff=oddtdtcreator" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">WPLR's 1975 Fleetwood Mac broadcast</a>&nbsp;from Trod Nossel Studios featuring an early incarnation of the Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham era with broadcaster Dick Kalt and special guests, moderated by singer-songwriter Dr. Jennifer Dauphinais; and a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/versofest-2024-workshop-pitch-your-podcast-with-connecticut-public-tickets-841748802327?aff=oddtdtcreator" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Pitch Your Podcast Panel by CT Public</a>&nbsp;with on-air personality Meg Dalton and Peabody Award winning&nbsp;<em>Uncivil</em>&nbsp;podcaster and writer Jack Hitt.</p><p>Sunday, April 7, features the return of VersoFest's popular live music oral history podcast with&nbsp;<a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/842045038377?aff=oddtdtcreator" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">"Glam to Punk — A Fashion Round Table: Alice Cooper, Bowie, Blondie and Beyond"</a>&nbsp;featuring Cindy Dunaway, Tish &amp; Snooky (Manic Panic), and special guest Dennis Dunaway (original Alice Cooper Group bassist), moderated by SNL Band singer and frequent Westport Library collaborator Christine Ohlman.</p><p>“From a first-year participant in 2022, I’ve watched VersoFest’s super-cool evolution, spreading&nbsp;its colorful wings in an increasingly unique way to touch and enrich the artistic life of the community," said Ohlman.&nbsp;"And in the process, to offer some phenomenal, top-of-the line entertainment. I'm delighted to once again be a part of VersoFest 2024.”</p><p><br></p><p>Dunaway served as costume designer to the Alice Cooper Group from their formative Phoenix, Arizona, days to stadium shows. The band's Liberace- and Busby Berkeley-inspired glitter wear caught the eye of David Bowie and Elton John, cementing the style and aesthetics of the "glam" era. In a parallel universe, Tish and Snooky's gorgeously&nbsp;Punk’d&nbsp;costumes — self-designed, razor-bladed, safety-pinned and schoolgirl-skirted — lit up stages (along with their vocals, beginning with the earliest lineup of Blondie), in NYC and beyond, leading then to open the nation’s first punk boutique and found the&nbsp;groundbreaking&nbsp;Manic Panic cosmetic line.&nbsp;Saturday and Sunday also feature a record fair curated by Record Riots, set up in the Hub on the Library's main floor. In addition, collector and curator Paul Brenton is bringing a "Diamond Dogs at 50" David Bowie exhibit, featuring the original stage models from the 1974 Diamond Dogs tour and other rare ephemera. Pioneering stage designer Mark Ravitz will be in attendance, having designed numerous Bowie tour sets (Diamond Dogs, Glass Spiders, and Serious Moonlight tours) as well as stages for KISS, Whitney Houston, and Backstreet Boys.</p><p>The festival concludes with a celebration of hip hop's first motion picture,&nbsp;<em>Wild Style</em>, featuring Tony Tone of the Cold Crush Brothers, the return of Grand Wizzard Theodore, as well as Prince Whipper Whip, DJ Ultamite, Grand Master Caz, JDL, Easy AD, Almighty Kay Gee, and Rodney C.</p><p>Food trucks will be on site throughout the weekend in the library parking lot to supplement the many offerings of&nbsp;<a href="https://westportlibrary.org/services/cafe/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">the Library Café</a>.</p><p>All VersoFest performances, panels, and workshops are free or at market rates thanks to the generous support of donors, community partners, and Library programming funds. A selection of events will be recorded by Verso Studios Crew Call and available on-demand at a later date.</p><p><strong>Details:</strong></p><p><strong>VersoFest 2024: Five Days of Music, Media, and Creativity</strong></p><p>April 3-7</p><p>The Westport Library</p><p>Full story:&nbsp;<a href="https://westportlibrary.org/announcing-the-versofest-2024-complete-lineup-full-slate-of-panel-discussions-workshops-and-more-plus-saturday-conversation-with-the-doors-john-densmore-and-cnns-alisyn-camerota/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">here</a></p><p>Tickets &amp; registration:&nbsp;<a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/cc/versofest-2024-3003799" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.eventbrite.com/cc/versofest-2024-3003799</a></p>

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Town of Westport Public Meeting to Discuss Muddy Brook Bridges on March 7

<p><strong>Public Information Meeting Scheduled for Muddy Brook Bridges – Hillandale Road to Green’s Farms Road on March 7 at 7:00 PM</strong></p><p>The Town of Westport will host a Public Information Meeting (PIM) on Thursday, March 7, 2024, at 7:00 p.m. in the Auditorium in Town Hall (110 Myrtle Avenue) to discuss flood mitigation measures and bridge replacements planned along Muddy Brook from Hillandale Road to Green’s Farms Road.</p><p>&nbsp;The meeting will be an opportunity to review the Hillandale Road Bridge Replacement Project, currently in design, and to learn about additional improvements being considered at the Center Street and Green’s Farms Road crossings of Muddy Brook. Discussion will include the extent of flood mitigation that is achievable through the proposed improvements. There will also be time to discuss and ask questions regarding any proposed impacts to the neighborhood.</p><p>&nbsp;The meeting will include residents and Town of Westport representatives, including Department of Public Works Engineering staff, and the Design Engineer, who will present their most recent design plans and findings.</p><p>&nbsp;Please contact the Town Engineer, Keith Wilberg, at <a href="mailto:kwilberg@westportct.gov" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">kwilberg@westportct.gov</a> or (203) 341-1128 should you have any questions regarding this project.</p>

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Westport Country Playhouse Joanne Woodward Internship Program: Apply Now!

<p>Westport Country Playhouse announces that applications are now being accepted through Friday, March 8 for the 2024 Joanne Woodward Internship Program for&nbsp;theater career aspirants. </p><p>Interns enhance their professional skills&nbsp;and gain on-the-job experience&nbsp;working directly with Playhouse senior staff during summer months.</p><p>Named in honor of actress, director, and the Playhouse’s former artistic director, the Joanne Woodward Internship program is one of the nation’s preeminent theater training opportunities for emerging professionals. Internships have formed a vital part of the Playhouse’s mission since the 1940s. Among the alumni of the Playhouse’s program is the late composer Stephen Sondheim.</p><p>The 2024 Woodward Internship Program will run from May 28 through July 31. Applicants must be age 20 or older and have a high school degree (or equivalent). Stipend is $630 per week (equivalent to minimum wage for the State of Connecticut). Housing will be provided with interns assigned to their own rooms. Transportation is the responsibility of the intern.&nbsp;For more information and&nbsp;an application, visit&nbsp;<a href="https://www.westportplayhouse.org/education/internapplication/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.westportplayhouse.org/education/internapplication/</a></p><p>&nbsp;In-person internship opportunities are available in marketing, development/fundraising, general production, and community engagement. In addition to working in their respective departments at the Playhouse, interns will attend weekly seminars featuring a variety of guest speakers, including Playhouse staff members, visiting designers and artists, commercial producers, and more.</p><p>The Playhouse also supports the&nbsp;Staples High School Internship program, designed for seniors&nbsp;to gain a comprehensive overview of an organization and get real-world experience for four-weeks prior to graduation.&nbsp;</p><p>Sponsorships to support the Woodward Internship Program are available by contacting Catherine MacKay, operations and special events coordinator, at&nbsp;cmackay@westportplayhouse.org.</p><p>For more information on Woodward Internships, contact:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:education@westportplayhouse.org" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">education@westportplayhouse.org</a></p><p>Westport Country Playhouse’s&nbsp;2024 schedule is available at:&nbsp;<a href="https://www.westportplayhouse.org/whats-on/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.westportplayhouse.org/whats-on/</a></p>

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Stress of World Events Has People Looking for Healing at Westport Studio

<p><strong>&nbsp;</strong>You might walk by the meditation and yoga classes at Westport’s Pause + Purpose and do a double take - because people are chatting. A lot.</p><p>Isn’t everyone <em>supposed</em> to be quiet?</p><p>Not here. In fact, founder Emily Tuttle says the mindfulness center’s focus on “everyone having a voice” is why more people are flocking to her sanctuary. The innovative space combines healing modalities like meditation and yoga with the power of listening and talking.&nbsp;</p><p>“I started Pause + Purpose because I felt anonymous at every other meditation or yoga studio I went to,” she said. “We have a sharing circle at the end of every single class. That ability to listen to others and to speak your truth is so healing in itself. So we fill a void that was there -- because so much research shows that living spiritually in community is the number one antidote to depression and anxiety.”</p><p>Tuttle is trained in trauma sensitivity, which she completed in the Trauma Research Foundation run by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, author of <em>The New York Times Bestseller</em> “The Body Keeps the Score.” The book highlights how trauma isn’t just experienced by soldiers in a war – but by regular people who suffer loss, betrayal and hurt by life’s events. Pause + Purpose seeks to bring this to life by validating every person’s experience.&nbsp;</p><p>Tuttle and her team have seen more people reaching out since the pandemic to find a deeper spiritual practice and a place to speak about their feelings – especially these past few months after the violence in the Middle East.&nbsp;</p><p>“We have built a safe place and community for people to come to,” Tuttle said. “Our members tell us ‘I never thought I would find a place where I belonged so fast. I can’t believe you’ve created a space where we can be ourselves.’”</p><p>Some of the classes incorporate primal rage screaming where you free your voice. Others focus on moon circles, sacred sound or somatic healing. All incorporate some kind of journaling or discussion. The center’s yoga classes are a contemporary take on traditional yoga asana where fluid, intuitive movement is married to deep, wholesome breathing techniques. Pause + Purpose infuses science backed practices into its classes - plus ancient techniques that our ancestors developed before they understood why they were helpful. These practices help release emotional pain from the body, help us process things faster and help us connect with ourselves, each other and nature?”</p><p>In September, Pause + Purpose collaborated with the Westport Library to host New York Times best-selling author Lisa Miller, PhD as part of its Self-Checkout series. Miller is the Founder of the Spirituality and Mind Body Institute at Columbia University. Her groundbreaking research is the focus of her book "The Awakened Brain: The New Science of Spirituality and Our Quest for an Inspired Life," points to the mindfulness Pause + Purpose cultivates as the key to a healthy, deeply meaningful life.</p><p>“There is one spiritual brain and we all have it,” Miller told the crowd, noting how spirituality makes us more resilient. “When you choose to practice your spiritual life, when you’re on a quest day in and day out…there is a change in our brain through which our awakening becomes neuroprotective when what we want is not what we get.”</p><p>Miller said every one of us is intuitive – but we have to engage our awakened brain. She asked a series of provocative questions: “Are we less radically makers of our path and more discoverers of our journey? Where in your road of life is your higher power? Might it be that you have been on a spiritual path all along?”</p><p>Pause + Purpose seeks to guide people on this journey. Ultimately, founder Tuttle said, “It’s built on the idea that a whole person’s well being encompasses more than fitness and relaxation. It’s about community – and we hope to continue making that community larger.”&nbsp;</p><p>In September, Pause + Purpose will launch a Full Body Meditation Teacher Program which will be offered online for five months and will help spread the center’s mission to others. To learn more about membership or try a class at Pause + Purpose, click here: <a href="https://www.pauseandpurpose.com" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.pauseandpurpose.com/</a></p>

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Local author Aline Weiller debut book launch March 3 at Saugatuck Rowing Club

<p><strong>Launch Event for Author Aline Weiller’s Debut Book at Saugatuck Rowing Club, March 3</strong></p><p>From singing Partridge Family songs into a hairbrush, to sculpting her 80s bangs with Stiff Stuff hair gel, to performing Christmas Pageants in her parents’ living room, Aline Weiller captures it all in her debut book and relatable romp — FUN: Essays on a Life Embraced.</p><p>“Weiller delivers joy on the page in the special language of Gen X pop culture…take a ride with her, but hang on to your hats folks. It’s going to be great,” said Westport writer Anya Liftig, author of Holler Rat.</p><p>Nine-time Connecticut Press Club award-winner, Weiller, has penned a collection of humorous and hopeful personal essays, including “fun facts” and bonus content throughout. Full of her signature wit, poignancy, and zest, FUN offers readers a front row seat to Weiller’s World: be it performing stand-up comedy, prepping for a middle school swim test, or waxing poetic about discontinued bank pens. Both observant and clever, the carefully crafted pieces are all heart: whether spilling family tales that resonate, paying superfan homage to celebrities, or riffing on her decade apropos hairstyles, Weiller’s all in.</p><p>The book launch for FUN will be held on Sunday, March 3 at 2:00 pm at the Saugatuck Rowing Club, 521 Riverside Avenue, Westport, Connecticut. Weiller will be interviewed by her editor and award-winning writer, Marcelle Soviero, followed by a reading, Q&amp;A, and book signing. The event will also include light refreshments, trivia, goody bags, and a gift basket door prize.</p><p>“I’m thrilled to share my debut book with the community and hope readers will come away with wisdom, light, and joy. FUN has forever topped my bucket list: simply put, words are my jam,” said Weiller.</p><p>Weiller’s love affair with writing has been woven through both her career and personal life. Prior to running the public relations firm, Wordsmith, LLC, she worked in the marketing arena for The Coca-Cola Company, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., and Time Warner, Inc., where she wrote copy, developed marketing strategies, and spearheaded promotional campaigns. Since 2017, Weiller’s flexed her comedy writing muscle to boot, having performed stand-up at Gotham Comedy Club in Manhattan, The Ridgefield Playhouse, Milestone Restaurant, and at various fundraisers. In addition to accolades for her nonfiction and PR work, the author’s essays are contest-winners and been chosen for dramatic readings. Weiller’s been published nationally in Brain, Child Magazine, Grown &amp; Flown, and Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, among others, and her essays have been tweeted by The New York Times.</p><p>“Aline’s heartwarming, witty, and clever essays are a celebration of life,” said Clare Pernice, author and illustrator of Circus Girl</p><p>Follow the author on social media: Facebook (@alineweillerauthor); Instagram and X (@AlineCWeiller); and subscribe to her YouTube comedy channel (@alineweiller9262). FUN: Essays on a Life Embraced is available on Amazon here: <a href="https://www.amazon.com/FUN-Essays-Embraced-Aline-Weiller/dp/B0CSXLGHQS" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">here</a> and copies can be brought to the launch for personalization.</p><p>Email <a href="mailto:info@alineweiller.com" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">info@alineweiller.com</a> to save your spot for the March 3 book launch; RSVP by February 25. The celebration is open to the public and reservations are encouraged. The event is free and walk-ins are welcome.</p><p>To contact the author for appearances and book groups, visit <a href="https://www.alineweiller.com" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.alineweiller.com/</a>Join in the FUN on Sunday, March 3 at Westport’s Saugatuck Rowing Club — you won’t want to miss out.</p><p><em>*Photo credit Laura Alvarez Creatives</em></p>

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Westport First Selectwoman Reaffirms Commitment to Safe & Supportive Community

<p><strong>Westport First Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker issues statement, reaffirming commitment to ensuring a safe and supportive community</strong></p><p>“Every time I speak publicly, even as recently as last week at the State of the Town address, I state that one of my top priorities is to ensure Westport is a place where everyone feels like they belong - where people feel safe and seen and heard.&nbsp;I regularly acknowledge that we have more work to do as a community.&nbsp;</p><p>It is with shock and disappointment that I listen to the devastating comments made by parents at the Board of Education meeting this week. I want the residents and business owners to know there is no place for any form of hate in Westport. There is no place for racism in Westport. Our community strongly&nbsp;rejects hate in all forms.</p><p>We must all stand together and speak clearly and unequivocally on this issue. We should demand accountability.&nbsp;Westport has my unwavering commitment to continue to work with local&nbsp;leaders, including TEAM Westport and the school administration, to create a supportive environment where we, as Superintendent Tom Scarice said, treat each other with dignity and respect. We all want to feel like we belong. Every one&nbsp;of us deserves to feel valued. When one of us is harmed, we are all harmed.”</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><br></p>

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