Beach Bans

A recent “06880” post on stone walls generated 90 comments (and counting).

This one could surpass that.

The Parks & Rec Department has announced 2 measures intended to make Compo more enjoyable for the majority of beach-goers.

It will enrage a minority of them.

  • The existing alcohol regulations — it’s permitted only on South Beach, and glass bottles are prohibited everywhere — will come under renewed enforcement.
  • Folks attending the July 4th 2nd fireworks are requested not to reserve spots.  In the past few years — and not only for the fireworks — this practice has evolved from placing a tablecloth on a desirable picnic table, to roping off broad swaths of sand with official-looking yellow tape.

Is this a long-needed move to civilize the beach?

An odious intrusion by the nanny state into our inalienable right to do whatever we want, wherever we want to?

Is 1 idea reasonable, the other cockeyed?

If there are 2 things “06880” readers share, it’s a love of the beach, and the willingness to express opinions.

Let ’em rip.

54 responses to “Beach Bans

  1. I want to be there the first time they enforce the no glass bottles regulation. Should be quite a show. If they enforce the bottle ban during the July 4th celebration, the fireworks likely will be on the beach.

  2. Richard Lawrence Stein

    The bottle ban has existed for years and makes a lot of sense… New England beaches ie. Compo are exceptionally rocky and if you were to drop a glass it could break and cause a hazard…. I know many people who have cut their feet on errant glass…. This rule seems to make fair and doable. But the banning of adult beverages is a bit much… The reserving of space doesn’t bother me… First come first serve… Let them wrestle for it or have a best of competition…

  3. Innocent Bystander

    Well I haven’t been to the fireworks since 1958. I have heard some from that year are still waiting in traffic. Second, I haven’t had a drink since 1987 so the confinement to drunks to South Beach is of no concern. I would, however, like to see the return of the submarine races that were held at Compo every weekend night at midnight.

  4. First they close the beaches at night. Then they ban our dogs. They have errected so many signs down there that it makes your head spin. ” Do this, stop here, not beyond this point”. And now I can not have my favorite Merlot on the second
    picnic table down from the cannons of which I reserved last week. A fine example of micro-anal governmental intrusion.

  5. Jane Philpott

    Outraged: Everyone knows that you can’t reserve a picnic table until a full seven (7) days before the 4th of July. And I have had that table for the past three years and I will be down there at 5:45 a.m. tomorrow morning to do my yoga!

  6. Is beer considered alcohol?

  7. Why is South Beach always favored? Tables, cannons, dog crap during the winter and now booze. I prefer the kiddy land area and I feel it unfair discrimination to not be able to share a little bubbly with my family.

  8. Addison Fletcher

    Who is going to enforce these regulations?

  9. For those gripe artists out there, why don’t you hop down to Louisiana for an enjoyable beach holiday over the 4th. Might get a little taste of reality when the firecracker ignites the entire Gulf. Actually, now that I think about it, that might be a cure to the spill.

  10. it suppose to be day of freedom. I dint take one in the Dessert so they could take away my longneck lager away from me. Damn communists I say. Just let one of dem high school punks try to rip my Pabst from my fingers. Over my dead body, i say.

  11. Typical example of where our tax dollars are going. To pay some police officer or college kid to patrol our every movement.

  12. Ida Mai Millstein

    I wish we would have another parade. Far more civilized. I am not sure why we have to celebrate our birthday by loud noises, ca-booms, strobe lights and all such shennigans. And the fireworks are worse.

  13. Why allow booze at all? That doesn’t make any sense to me to extend it to South Beach. As for reserving a table, just bring your own. You have enough room in that house on wheels that you drive to put a pretty good banquet table in there.

  14. The Dude Abides

    Best spot to watch is the 12th or 13th tee at Longshore. Avoid the messy traffic, drunks and compulsions of the A-types. Sit back on Joey Karmonsky’s or John Allen’s bench and burn one.

  15. No Dude, the best place to watch the fireworks is from your 48′ cabin cruiser out in the sound purchased from your TARP bonus funds. Dang fat cats!

  16. Staples 2011

    Does this mean we can’t drink?

  17. Dude, as the son of the deceased John Allen (1917-74) whose commemorative plaque (thanks, Y’s Men!) decorates the bench at Longshore’s 13th hole, I say, burn one indeed, or two, with a dry martini chaser in his memory. He’d appreciate the gesture and the company.

  18. Jo Ann Miller

    As would Joey (1924-2006) indicated by his plaque message: “A good guy.” Sorry no booze but a pipe full of Mary Jane might be fitting.

  19. We’ll have a toke or two for your old neighbor, Joey K, JAM. The sentiment on my dad’s plaque is just as basic, and as fitting:

    “And officer and a gentleman.”

  20. Jo Ann Miller

    Nice. Rather Richard Gere-ish.

  21. Westport is full of people who want to ban cookies in schools, but won’t tolerate any intereference with their boos on the beach. You’ve got to love it. BTW Why don’t Westport’s finest pull over all of the drunks who are driving away from the beach after the fireworks? Because it might dampen their take the next year?

    • Innocent Bystander

      It is because they don’t have big enough jails.

      Speaking of our finest, I called to report the radio blasting at the construction site two doors down. They were playing the World Cup so loud that the entire street could hear it while making Tarzan yelps to every missed goal. WP’s response: Sorry can’t help you. Since when does disturbing the peace have time limits????????????

  22. Innocent: Do not expect any objective evaluation of the Westport Police Department, or the school system. Everything is just perfect; ask Joseloff. Has anyone ever asked why the police can shut down Compo and half of the town to raise money and no other organization is afforded that priveledge? I live on the beach, and the chaos, disruption, and boorish behavior that are evident every 4th of July celebration are testimony to someone’s incompetence.

    • Richard Lawrence Stein

      Jeff they have operated the 4th in the same manner for decades if not longer under both republicans and democrats… As well as the police dept and the schools…. If you are not a fan of the first selectman that’s cool… I really have no opinion of him… But you have to be fair and even handed when it comes Romulus gripes… Both sides of the aisle have let the fourth go the way they have

  23. Addison Fletcher

    Jeffxs: I concur especially on the school system of which goes on deaf ears. Perfect. Special. Except for the three kids on my block that flunked out of college their first year. But perhaps Mr. Stein has a point: maybe it is the police department that wags the dog.

    • The school system is the emperor’s new clothes. The majority of the people in Westport have no frame of reference from which to evaluate the peformance of the school system. They have drunk Landon’s Kool Aid. This is a school system that just eleminated classes in AP physics and AP calculus and replaced them with a course in mural painting. You can’t make this stuff up. The schools and the police department are run by the employees; there is no real management oversight.

      • Hush McCormick

        Staples has some excellent students. I am concerned about the kids at the bottom of the class who are just swept along the high expectational road to college by their overachieving parents who are convinced the school system is the best.

  24. Richard: I made no mention of Joseloff” party affiliation. I have been a resident of Westport long enough to have suffered through both Democrat and Republican incompetence. My observations with respect to the 4th do not represent a criticism of any one political party. The 4th is a fisaco no matter which party is running Westport. Let’s see if the current regime enforces its ban on glass and alcohol on the 4th. Any bets?

  25. Innocent Bystander

    Jeffxs: Your June 26 entry in reply to my comment refers to the police shutting down the beach in order to raise revenue. Is this in connection with the 4th of July?

  26. Hush: I think the problem is a bit different. Staples is not that special. it is just very very expensive.

    • Richard Lawrence Stein

      Jeff did you go to Staples and if you did what year did you graduate… I am puzzled at your hate of a school that seems to put out year in and year out some amazing students…

  27. Richard: Hate? You are a bit over the top. I don’t hate. Staples is about of average quality as far as high schools go, but the per student costs are far above average. As to the amazing students; they were amazing before they got to Staples. I did notice that you had no comment on the fact the Staples has eliminated AP physics and math courses to make room for a course in mural painting. Is that what a top flight high school does? Both of my two older children went to a private boarding school for high school. In one school, on average, between 35% and 40% of the graduating class went to Harvard, Princeton, or Yale. The per student cost, properly measured, was not that much different from that at Staples. In the second school, 45% to 50% went to one of the Ivy League schools. The people of Westport have drunk the Kool Aid.

    • The Dude Abides

      Jeffxs: Where were you when I was taking on Stein and all the Staples fanactics?? Lord, I said it was overrated and you would have thought I was committing heresey.

    • John McCarthy

      Overrated? Average? …..Do you have any objective basis for these claims or merely anecdotes and irrelevant comparisons to private schools? By the way, checked out the website for Exeter and they charge $29,920 per year for a day student, $38,720 for boarding students. Cost per student in Westport is around $15K.

  28. Dude: It’s the Kool Aid. The residents of Westport will tolerate no questioning of their sacred beliefs. Fortunately for people like Landon and Joseloff, Kool Aid is not one of the newly banned drinks on Compo Beach.

  29. The Dude Abides

    Amen brother Jeffxs. I have been preaching the same song since I graduated 44 years ago. Staples is a wonderful school but it is no way perfect and the sad fact is that the administrators will not admit it for fear of reprisal from the taxpayers who are attempting to live the perfect existance. It is refreshing to see a candid and practical discussion on the topic because not every kid is an “amazing student.” Matter of fact, from where I sit, the majority are just good mediocre young adults. And that ain’t bad

  30. Richard Lawrence Stein

    Dude and Jeff will just agree to disagree…. I don’t like Cool I’d never have….what I do know are the amazing kids…and their amazing talents….and I know many who went to private school that I am not impressed with….oh well!!!

  31. Richard: You refuse to deal with objective evidence. That is your choice.

  32. John: Not quite. the cost at Staples is far above the $15,000 number you have cited. That number does not reflect the total costs, which is why I said “properly measured.” And to think for that sum, you get to send your children to a school that substitutes mural painting for AP physics and calculus. The list of colleges to which Staples student are accepted is just ordinary. How do the SAT scores for Staple’s students compare to those the of boarding schools? If you have ever lived in another community similar to Westport, you might have a frame of reference for public schools. I have, and our schools are not special or unique. The feeling in this town is; the schools must be good, look at how much we spend on them. In reality, what is special and unique is the amount of money wasted in the pursuit of average results. The Emperor’s new clothes.

  33. The Dude Abides

    I don’t like the discussion on excellence being set by the average SAT score or how many Ivy League schools that the graduates gain entrance. Lord, perhaps the most successful graduate from my class flunked out of Dean Junior and became a Hollywood director. The barometer, to me, should be how well these kids are doing ten years after graduation. Staples is very good at getting students into colleges, at whatever level, but how are they doing at 30 years old? I realize that various factors enter into this but don’t preach excellence unless you are producing excellent graduates. My daughter’s prep school in Houston produced two Olympic gold medalists within four years and nobody batted an eye. And I still maintain, at 93% White attendance, they are learning in a vacuum.

  34. Dude: I agree for the most part, but public schools do not usually keep comprehensive data on the status of their graduates 10 years out. Moreover, to echo your point, in 10 years the impact of a Staple’s education might be minimal when compared to other variables. So all we have are near-term data. Right now we are in a situation in which we will spend $96 million on an effort the success of which is supposedly unmeasurable. And as the amount goes up, there are screams for more not matter the outcome of the process.

  35. The Dude Abides

    Jeffxs: It would be fairly simple to do consider the data computer bases on reunions. You are the math wizard. Sort of analogous to our present wars: no measure of success with an open-ended budget?? I should add that my experince at Staples was a happy one but hardly demanding. But I think the “WE ARE SPECIAL” mantra would be far more palatable if it wasn’t used as often and in a more realistic, subtle fashion. Listening to the principal or Mr. Stein is almost like hearing a used car salesman.

  36. Dude: Those who attend reunions wwould represent a biased sample. It is worse than a used car sealeman. In the case of used cars, you are not forced to buy.

  37. Richard Lawrence Stein

    Dude please just inhale deeply and just enjoy your dope…

  38. The Dude Abides

    Back on point, so the town charges for the 4th of July fireworks? And the revenue goes into the general town hoffer? Since ‘Nam, I hate firecrackers. Seriously.

    • No, the town does not charge. Westport PAL sponsors the fireworks — they’re a fundraiser for the PAL, which runs tons of youth-oriented programs in town.

      • All of which raises the question; Why the PAL alone? There are many worthy organizations that could benefit from control of the beach for a night.

        • Because they have been organizing it — and putting in the manpower to run it — for decades.

          • So what? It is a scarce resource owned by the town and the mandate for the PAL should be reviewed periodically. Moreover, given the finacial condition of the town one might ask the question Why isn’t the town reaping the benefits instead one special interest?

  39. The Dude Abides

    Mr. Stein: No comment. I think we all know who the dope is around here.

  40. Richard Lawrence Stein

    Anyone who advocates and promotes as much as you can rest that crown on top of your hazy dome and be rest assured that the dope is in.

  41. The Dude Abides

    Mr.Stein: By nature and by profession, I am a cynic. I am not advocating or promoting anything but questioning things that most seem to take for granted. Apparently that bothers you.
    And I wonder why?

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