Sound And Fury, Part II

Much to the chagrin of certain “06880” commenters — who believe that the “rich” Compo Beach residents should repair the Hurricane Irene-damaged seawall at their own expense — the town has undertaken the project.

Just like the town should — and will — do any time there’s damage to public property.

No matter where in Westport it occurs.

48 responses to “Sound And Fury, Part II

  1. Two good things:
    Funds were available.
    Kowalsky will do the job.

  2. Amen to all of the above (and you, too, Dan). 🙂

  3. “Should and would do – and will- do any time there’s damage to public property. No matter where in Westport it occurs”? Not entirely true…. after 8 years.. “the town” still will not and will never replace the structure known as the “halfway house” at longshore. It took to many years and hard work by to many westporter to get it in the works, raise several hundred thousand dollars, have a great fund raiser this past thursday… which will finance the building of a new structure that was “damaged beyond repair” and then…… it will be “DONATED” to the “town” of westport. I guess this example is the exception to the “should and would do”

  4. I would think there is a difference between a seawall on the beach that is used (and can be used) by nearly every Westport resident, and an extra food stand/bathroom in the middle of a golf course that, while public, is used by a very limited number of people.

    • Tubulus maximus !

      Some Golfers are single minded:
      “We take your money to improve our course.”
      They have the BEST PAC in town.
      Plus insiders everywhere… think about it.

      This town has overspent millions repairing, re-fixing, and removing [trees and earth]. They promised that if we spent millions, more Westporters would want to play here. WRONG. They had to open the course to non residents and group charity / benefits. If the costs were properly allocated, I’d guesstimate a round could cost hundreds.

      Anybody out there done the math ?

  5. Westporter Since '03

    To Anonymous:
    Did not know there was a structure known as the “halfway house” but then again, I’m not a golfer…

    Bet 90% of Westport doesn’t know, or care, cuz they’re not golfers either…
    (just my estimate – but that would make it about 2639 people who do know/care/golf – and that sounds generous – but does anyone know how many people in Westport actually use Longshore to golf ?) I’m not saying there is anything wrong with having a halfway house, but how many residents of Westport are truly going to use it ?

    BUT, who in Westport doesn’t use the beach, or walk or drive along Soundview Drive, or attend the fireworks, or drive visitors past it, or go down for a picnic, or walk their dog, or take their kids to the playground, or watch the sunsets, or go to watch or join in an event like the Minuteman race or Penguin Plunge, or go swimming in the waters, or …

    • Try to get a tee time on a weekend at Longshore (when non-residents can not obtain such) and I think you will learn that far more than 10% of the population enjoy the links of Longshore if not the tennis courts, pool and other amenities that make the site the greatest asset the town owns. The “9 1/2” house is being constructed by private funds. You are comparing apples to oranges.

    • Westporter since '87

      “03”: I have been a realtor here since the 90’s and I can tell you that Longshore is the crown jewel of people looking at houses here. I drive them by Staples (nice), Bedford Middle (okay), Compo (“we have nicer beaches in the Hamptons than this”) and finally Longshore where they inevitably say “We can play golf here for how much???” or “My daughter can get married here?” Every nickel into that course or facilities is a plus on your market value of your home.

      • Westporter Since '03

        JAM: You mean to tell me that 2600+ Westport residents play golf ? Doubt it.

        And, I’m talking about GOLFERs playing golf – not swimmers or tennis players, walking the links to get a hot dog in their bathing suit or tennis whites at the halfway house (not gonna happen).

        I’m not saying Longshore isn’t wonderful – I’m answering “Anonymous” above who says the halfway house should get equal treatment from the town same as the seawall repair in terms of funding.

        ’87: funny, I’m also a realtor and I get a different response from clients: Westport schools (FAB), Compo (FAB – you mean I can go to the beach – walk it, swim it, bring my kids – and still commute to work 5 days/week ?! Can’t do that with the Hamptons), Longshore (nice).

        Point being: everyone – and their family and friends – can use the beach, 365 days/year (and yes, “their daughter can even get married there !” I’ve seen many weddings and attended a couple myself)…

        Longshore also fab but used only if you golf, swim, play tennis – let’s not forget – ice skate in winter or moor your boat. But not everyone does all those things, or even half of them.

        AGAIN, my point is “halfway house not equal to seawall, BECAUSE
        halfway house not used by nearly the same number as beach users.”

        Agree with Veteran and the Dude.

        • 50 million golfers in America. That is roughly one out of six people. Apply that to affluent Westport, probably 1 out of 5 play golf. That is 1/5 of 26,000 = 5,320 golfers in Westport. Taking into consideration the private clubs in the area, subtract a 20 % ratio and that is roughly 5,000 left. With about 25,000 rounds of golf at Longshore played a season, I would say that 5,000 is fairly accurate. Do you need a lesson???

          • Westporter Since '03

            CAS: If you refer to the 2010 Census figures on the Town’s website:
            there is a TOTAL of 26,391 PEOPLE in Westport, of which only 18,524 are 18 and above. The National Golf foundation cites 26.2 million “golfers” (which is only 12% of the U.S. population). Apply 12% to 18,524 who are eligible to use Longshore w/o restriction (2223), subtract your 20% of private club goers (1778) …throw in a coupla junior players…like I said, doubtful you’d hit 2600…

            Perhaps it’s you who needs a lesson ?

            • Who is the National Golf Association? If it is not the USGA, it ain’t flying with me. I give lessons, don’t need one.

              • Westporter Since '03

                “…America’s 27 million golfers”
                source: PGA

                “How many golfers are there in the U.S.?
                There are 26.2 million golfers in the United States. A golfer is
                defined as anyone ages 18 and above who played at least one regulation
                round of golf in the past 12 months.source: National Golf Foundation

                (if you reread my comment, I quoted National Golf FOUNDATION)

                • PGA is a bunch of greedy morons and defines a golfer as 18 or older. Battle of Google: My site says 61 million worldwide, 37 million in America. Since golf has become an affluent sport these days, the percentage is probably higher in Westport. I will stick to my 5,000.

                  • Westporter Since '03

                    CAS: But your 5,000 figure is based on the ENTIRE population of Westport: men, women and children… you can’t count those who aren’t eligible or physically able (babies for example) to play.

                    • Tiger started at 2 so why not? You win. I love golf.
                      Been playing since 6 years old and at Longshore since
                      1960. You should try it. With your competitive nature,
                      you would be hooked real quick.

  6. The Dude Abides

    It is an unfair comparison between a sea wall for safety and an overpriced hot dog stand at Longshore. “Veteran” is correct that many incentives have not increased golf play including non-resident privledges and cut rates after 2:00 p.m. I think this has more to do with the economy than anything and the post-Tiger boom in golf that has fissled. However, in my mind, the best model is the Staples Gridiron Club that helped raise 1.5 million for artificial fields at Wakeman, Doubleday and Staples. If “you want to play, you pay” is not a bad motto (and prevalent in some states) with municipalties strapped for cash. Even though I think the $300,000 for a hot dog stand would be better spent, I applaud their efforts and energy.

  7. Half-way house? You poor dears. How much does that slow play? 4 folks to order, wait, then eat on the run? Why not put a NYC Sabrett Hot Dog cart there with an umbrella? Invest the rest in Obama Solar Energy. Add a Gordon charging station. Or build a McMansion 1/2 way house… let the homeless sleep there at night.
    You folks need to keep your eyes on the ball [It’s the economy].

    • As the Dude pointed out, they are spending their own money. The cause may be misguided but at least the taxpayer is not being asked to build the burger palace.

    • The Dude Abides

      Indeed, Veteran, I agree with you. My initial suggestion to the LMGA was to buy two beverage carts, employ two ex-Bogey waitresses and one could have a hot dog at any hole throughout your round. Slow play is a definite issue with many probably only playing (and paying) for 9 holes which decreases green fee revenue. I can tell you are not a golfer so I won’t elaborate but certainly money could be better spent on other areas of the course. The response was and is: it is our money and we are gonna do what we want.

  8. Greens Fees at Longshore go into the towns general funds. Why cant the fees raised BY the course go to benefit the course. All golfers are asking is to use the fees they are willing to pay go back into the course (approved by a town appointed committee). First project is the halfway house, which will come in waaaay below $300k (the number has already been revised downward).

    • Greens fees have nothing to do with the 9 1/2 house. This is private money with an upfront grant of $130,000. I would dare to say that the Longshore golf is losing money. Maintenance is normally huge and with rounds down nationwide, 1 our of 3 courses are underwater. My complaint is the priority and not the source of the revenue: we need a driving range and decent practice facility.


      FUNNY you should suggest that !

      It has been also proposed that the (huge) revenues from the sale of resident beach stickers and day passes be used maintain Compo Beach. Understanding is that all Park revenues (Compo, Longshore) go into a “slush fund” to be appropriated as seen fit…

      Net effect: while Compo is a giant cash cow for the town, it does not derive its “fair share” of the revenues that IT HAS PRODUCED to be reinvested in its upkeep.

      If anything, it is “maintained” on Level II Standards (meaning cleaning & repair is “subjective” or “as needed”), whereas other facilities, Town Hall, Longshore are kept at a Level I with specific standards and time schedules for cleanliness & maintenance.

      Why does this make sense ? And where does that money go ???

      • How much can it cost to upkeep a beach? Other than cleaning it up six months out of the year and the infamous wall, how could you possibly argue that it is entitled to its percentage share of the revenue? It probably goes to the pay for the losing golf maintenance which is not uncommon in many areas.

        • There is more to the upkeep at Compo than you might imagine. For example; every season sand must be moved around and replenished. There are stuctures and roads that need to be maintained. Whatever the costs are, the uses of the revenues generated by Longshore and the beach facilities should be matters for public debate. BTW your assumptions about the losses at Longshore may not be accurate.

      • WANTS A CLEAN COMPO: Bet you didn’t vote for Obama.

  9. Put in a call box to order burgers when on the 8th tee. If that is too ugly, post the number and golfers can use their cell phones. That will take care of added slow play. Its done all over the country.

    • Just what we need, more cellphones on the golf course but the call box is a good idea. Still slows play.

  10. Outsource the golf maintenance. It can be done cheaper (less benefits to workers). Add more fundraising outings on weekdays to increase rounds. Allow for “early bird” discounts on weekday mornings. Raise fees on high demand (weekend morning) tee times.

    • That has been done by countless courses across the country to such corporations as American Golf. They tend to have tourney after another and skimp on the maintenance. End result, is a wore out, torn up courses with “members” unable to play when they want. As a senior, I pay $75.00 a golf pass and 18 bucks for 18 holes. I am perfectly willing to pay more. Outsourcing is the devil.

      • I say we offer up a “premium handpass” which allows golfers the option to pay, say $2-$5 more per round. Proceeds go directly towards course improvements and NOT to the general fund.

        • Good idea. And those who do, get preferential tee times? I also have the idea that they convert the Westport Rec office to the pro shop with men’s/ladies locker rooms upstairs. Tear down the trailer park white whale and have the driving range back up to the parking lot. Put up some lights and boom, $$$ and the kids have something to do at night. Westport Rec can move to the Town Hall. They don’t need all that room. Anybody out there know what that building was originally???

          • It would cost the town (or golfers) roughly $50k to do a feasibility study of the entire grounds at Longshore. I think this would be a wise investment once momentum picks up (and funds are secured) to make changes. Who knows, maybe we combine 12 and 13 and make it a par 5, then have golfers finish on a par three over water (where the current range is) with the clubhouse overlooking some of the best real estate in Westport. Sell $2.50 beers on tap to generate revenue…

            • I agree, pay more for preferential times. Once again, the issue is all funds still go to the town’s “slush fund”. And there are plenty of structures and houses that the town owns on the course that are rented below market rates. The town should not be a landlord. Sell those houses to generate funds. Who wouldn’t like to own a home on the course? Alos, assess whether the structures are needed or could be better utilized (why the is the town’s maintenance shed inbetween the 18th fairway and tennis courst???)

              • That used to be the pro shop and should be eliminated and moved to 16th tee area. Good point on the houses. Not sure why that is but usually connected if you live there. I think the intent was to give town employees a benefit like the Wakeman house (and that turned out well). The boys at the YMCA steam seem to think that the golf course is making money but I will have to see it. Maintenance is terribly high. Need to toughen up the course. Could use about 15-20 more bunkers.

  11. 3000 + westporter’s buy a golf hand pass. (more than the # of kids in the school system) 32000 + rounds are played each year…. several years back that was 50,000. Not one taxpayer ever paid for the improvements in the golf course, yet all the proceeds go into the general fund and pay for everything else in town. Good to see that you all know how the only revenue source in town, (the beach and the golf course) other than taxes is treated like a second class citizen, or worse. Enjoy the deteriorating conditions at the beach and Longshore! The Inn at Longshore is a for profit facility, the town makes a good buck off that. and his flowers are watered every day, the grass is perfect, they sweep the streets in front every day because they take care of the place that brings in the Revenue…. something should be learned from that!

    • Westporter Since '03

      (as per Westport Public School website

      School Population 2010-2011 Enrollment (10/01/10)
      Total enrolled in Westport Schools 5,819
      (and the 2011-12 number went up – according to Elliot Landon)

      Well exceeding your alleged “3000+ westporter’s buy a golf handpass”

      Dan Woog: suggest you require Commenters to corroborate their “facts” here… ??!

      • The golfers pay enough to cover the costs of their activities, the students and their families do not.

      • The Dude Abides

        Commentators corroborate facts? LOL. Are you for real? Your facts are all from various websites that may or may not be correct. One can find anything on the internet to back anything they say. Chill and take a tote.

        • Westporter Since '03

          So, pass da doob… [why not ? seems like there’s a lot folks smokin’ somethin’ on this blog…]

          Hey, glad you think I’m funny.

          But, FYI, I AM for real…
          and at least I cite my sources.

          • The Dude Abides

            I welcome you to the blog. No disrespect. But I find those who cite everything to be very selective in their selections. The blog is a wild ride of tangential mindsets. I try not to take it too seriously. My suggestion is for you to do the same. Just enjoy the ride. What is real?

            • Westporter Since '03

              “What is real ?” you ask…

              I’m assuming that is a rhetorical question.

              Hey, I can sling rhetoric with the best of them
              (w/o the “benefit” of a “tote” !)…
              BUT I prefer to keep things closer to the truth.

              Ah, but “what is truth?” you ask…

              Oh, and did you know that “tote” has 19 meanings according to Urban Dictionary:

              BTW, how’m I doin’ on the “tangential ?”

              Thanks for the advice, Dude…
              (I usually like what you have to say).

              The ride has just begun 😉

  12. The Dude Abides

    A+. Stick around, please. It can really get fun at times. As Twain said,
    the truth is stranger than fiction.

  13. Wouldn’t it be nice if our “Town Leaders, RTMers, and Appointed Commissioners” actually read this blog and then implemented some of the excellent suggestions? DUH !
    But these well intentioned folks wind up being advocates for the Departments they were supposed to supervise, because they don’t know enough to make suggestions and they ain’t got enough testosterone to issue orders, so they roll over. FUBAR forever !

    The chickens rule…

  14. The chicken can be FUBAR’s mascot.

    Miggs can even make the Veteran a flag 🙂

  15. Westporter Since '03

    Me thinks the Veteran doth take da cake for both “tangential” AND da TRUTH (as in “stranger than fiction”)…

    Luv the “chicken” analogy, Veteran !

    Glad I made the grade, Dude…
    This IS fun !