Category Archives: Beach

Minuteman Speaks Up For Autism Awareness

The Minuteman has been many things during his 100-plus years in town: Santa Claus. Easter bunny. Anti-war protester.

Today, however, may be the 1st time he’s an advocate for autism awareness.

Minuteman - Autism Awareness 2

Our town hero looks very sharp — and committed — with his Autism Speaks hat, sweatshirt, bag and water bottles.

(Hat tip: Stacey Henske)


As The Fog Settles In…

…Betsy P. Kahn makes Compo Cove look more like a painting than a photo.

Old Mill fog - Betsy P. Kahn

Remember The Compo Beach Site Improvement Committee?

If you haven’t heard much from the Compo Beach Site Improvement Committee in a few months, there’s a reason:

It no longer exists.

After the group sent its report to the Parks & Recreation Commission in October, the committee was dissolved.

Now the commission is ready for next steps. A hearing is set for for Tuesday, March 31 (7:30 pm, Town Hall auditorium). The meeting will include public comment.

Parks and Rec chair Charlie Haberstroh says, “The Commission is anxious to move forward and make recommendations to the First Selectman, so the town can implement appropriate improvements to one of Westport’s most popular recreational facilities.”

The meeting will be televised (Channel 79 Cablevision, Channel 99 Frontier), and livestreamed at

Compo Beach: a town jewel, beloved by all.

Compo Beach: a town jewel, beloved by all.


Tearing Down A Teardown Sign

The stretch of Hillspoint Road from Hales Road to Old Mill is not an official historic district. But plenty of older, handsome homes line both sides of the street, as it dips gently from I-95 and the railroad down to Elvira’s.

For a long time, a “demolition” sign seemed to doom 158 Hillspoint Road. But the other day, Fred Cantor — who in addition to being an alert “06880” reader is also a very alert neighbor — noticed the sign was gone.

He spotted contractors’ trucks on site. So on one of his walks he talked to a next door neighbor, and a worker. Both confirmed that the home was sold, and will stay.

Score one for preservation!

158 Hillspoint Road is no longer a teardown. (Photo/Fred Cantor)

158 Hillspoint Road — built in 1803 — is no longer a teardown. (Photo/Fred Cantor)

Fred is not content to just spread the good news. He also passes along the history he’s dug up.

According to tax assessor records, Fred says, the original portion of the home was built in 1803.

Fred found information from former owner Sue Braley on WestportNow in 2013, when it was first slated for demolition. Sue — who sold it in 1996 — said it was originally an outbuilding of the Sherwood House at 160 Hillspoint, then modified for human occupation in the early part of the 20th century, when artists and others began coming to Westport for the summer.

Sue writes:

Oral tradition claims that it was a tea room for the tourists, perhaps operated by Edith Very Sherwood, who lived at 160 and was the Westport librarian.  (A subsequent owner was) Richard Seyffert, a portrait and landscape painter who began construction of the studio toward the rear of the property.

Felice Holman Valen (the author of over 20 children’s books, including “Elisabeth and the Marsh Mystery” and others clearly inspired by the nearby mill pond) and Herbert Valen (who worked in advertising and later as a “gag” writer for the New Yorker) owned the property from 1955 to the late 1980s.

Westport’s old homes are disappearing at an alarming rate. How nice to read of at least one that escaped a very imminent wrecking ball.

Two doors away from 158 Hillspoint is #170. It bears a plaque, dating it from 1870. (Photo/Fred Cantor)

Two doors away from 158 Hillspoint, this house bears a plaque dating it from 1870. (Photo/Fred Cantor)


Thanks To Daylight Savings Time…

…we have an extra hour to appreciate scenes like this:

Beach scene - Betsy P Kahn

Betsy P. Kahn captured these fantastic colors earlier this afternoon, on Hillspoint Road near “Fiona’s Island.”

Only 10 days to the start of spring…

So How Cold Was It This Morning?

Facebook is filled with photos of Westporters showing their car dashboard/thermometers: -6, -8, -5525 degrees.

And everyone’s seen those shots of the frozen Saugatuck River.

But only  “06880” has an exclusive image of a very frigid Old Mill Beach. It was so cold today that…

Old Mill Beach

Exactly One Month Until Spring…

Hang in there, Westport!

(Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

(Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

Living Proof: CPR Saves Lives

The life-saving rescue happened last spring. The Red Cross honored the life-savers last week. But good news never gets old.

On May 31, Joey Bairaktaris and David Ellis were working the main gate at Compo Beach. Walking across the basketball court, Joey saw security guard Doc Kashka. They chatted briefly. (If you know Doc — a popular figure from his work at many local restaurants — it’s no surprise that he stopped to talk.)

Joey headed to the marina. A woman ran by, to the basketball court. He followed, and found Doc lying on the ground.

Ian Chasnow — another town employee — was already giving Doc chest compressions. Joey — who had recently completed EMT training — helped. David called 911, and also assisted with CPR. When emergency responders arrived with an AED, they took over.

Doc spent 6 nights in intensive care. Today, he’s alive and well.

Joey Bairaktaris (left) and David Ellis (center) with Doc Kashka, at the recent Red Cross awards ceremony. Joey holds a certificate from Governor Malloy. (Photo/Jaime Bairaktaris, via Instagram)

Joey Bairaktaris (left) and David Ellis (center) with Doc Kashka, at the recent Red Cross awards ceremony. Joey holds a certificate from Governor Malloy. (Photo/Jaime Bairaktaris, via Instagram)

Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe cited the group’s “extraordinary composure,” along with their swift, professional actions. He said that their “high level of excellence” made Westport “forever grateful.”

The Red Cross added their own thanks. At the 16th annual county-wide Community Heroes Breakfast, Ian, David and Joey were honored as “Life Saving Heroes.”

In the right place at the right time, they were just what the “Doc”-tor ordered.

Just Another Day At The Beach

Westporters love Compo in all seasons.

Even — maybe, especially — during winter.

The crowds are gone. There’s a different — more raw — kind of beauty.

This frigid afternoon, alert “06880” reader Cheryl Scott-Daniels captured a side of Compo that real Westporters know and love.

Compo 2 - Cheryl Scott Daniels

Compo 1 - Cheryl Scott Daniels

(Photos/Cheryl Scott-Daniels)

(Photos/Cheryl Scott-Daniels)

Baby, It’s Cold Outside …

… but Betsy P. Kahn’s Old Mill sunrise photo will warm any Westporter’s heart.

Betsy Kahn - sunrise at Old Mill