2nd Petition: Time To Re-Open Beach, Golf Course

A petition to halt the May 15 opening of the Compo Beach parking lots and Longshore golf course made the Westport rounds yesterday. An “06880” story generated dozens of comments — and signatures.

 Organizer Drew Ferrara says, “For the past 2 months, Westport officials have worked hard to keep us safe. They’ve had to make tough decisions in the best interest of the town.  Some of those decisions were unpopular but necessary at the time in order to flatten the curve and keep those at risk safe.

“We need to continue to trust in our elected officials. We understand that life as we know it will be different for the foreseeable future, and that people will need to follow precautions.”

Compo Beach (Photo/Dan Woog)

Titled “We trust in our elected officials and people to make the right decision — open Westport!,” Drew’s petition says:

We know it’s an uncertain time but we need to start to go back to a sense of normalcy, opening up our beaches and golf courses will do that.

We understand that we’re not out of the woods yet BUT we want to be able to make our own choice and not have a small percentage of the population speak for the entire town. If you don’t want to go to the beach or golf course and feel unsafe, please stay home. Westport officials have done a great job of managing this crisis and we need to start opening up again with the proper precautions.

Unfortunately this is necessary as another Petition.org was created and has gained signatures even though the majority of the discussion in the Facebook post has been against it.

It’s time to re-open Westport beaches and the golf course.

Social distancing at the Longshore golf course. (Photo/Mary Sikorski)

28 responses to “2nd Petition: Time To Re-Open Beach, Golf Course

  1. Pam Kesselman

    I see the distance waning left to right. Pay attention.

    • Mary Schmerker

      That is a very astute observation. Pay attention and be careful. Your life could depend on it.
      I don’t live in Westport any longer. So in a way I shouldn’t comment. But I feel compelled to share this. When the beaches near Houston, Texas were opened last week they were crowded. People were not distancing and many were not wearing masks. I understand that some beaches in Florida were also very crowded. With a two week incubation time period it is too soon to know what the results of the opening will show and I still have seared in my minds eye the overflow of trash at Compo pictured on this wonderful blog. Be careful what you wish for and make your own personal decisions.

    • Caryl Beatus


  2. Jack (slice) Backiel

    The way I play golf now, I’d spend 75 percent of my time, in the woods, looking for my golf ball. I’d be the master of social distancing!

  3. Rich Vogel

    Thanks for your effort Drew!

    • Arline Gertzoff

      Yes thanks Drew .Nobody is telling anyone fearful to go to the beachStay home if you think it’s the best idea for you and your family.Sherwood Island and the dog park have remained open I know Sherwood Island is a state facility.I do not recall any petitions to close the dog park? I f people would just follow the rules the beach can be safely opened Perhaps the town can use the auxiliary police to gently remind people to follow social distances not litter and act responsibly.Keeping the beaches closed is not the answer and I do not believe it is the choice of the majority .

      • John D. McCarthy

        Because viruses respect majority rule. That is what they taught at Trump University, or so I’m told.

  4. Raymond F Skidgell

    The virus does not like fresh air sunshine and warmth.
    Open the beaches
    Continue physical distancing
    Continue to wear masks where appropriate.
    Have a wonderful summer!😎

    • Russell Gontar

      Really? How’d the sunshine and heat work out in New Orleans?

      • Mary Schmerker

        Or in Houston. cases are still rising in Houston and in Amarillo

        • Bill Strittmatter

          Actually, the pandemic is relatively benign in Florida aside from Miami-Dade/Broward County areas, the hotspot there probably heavily influenced by travelers and folks escaping the northeast.


          On top of that, no income tax.

          • Bill Strittmatter

            Strangely, that was supposed to be a reply to Adrian Lottle

          • Russell Gontar

            The numbers reported from the DeSantis administration cannot be trusted. Let’s wait until they count those living alone at home who did not make it, an independent assessment of the count from nursing homes and the aftermath of the reopening of hair and nail salons. Love to see how they social distance in those shops.

            • Jay Walshon MD

              It has also been reported that DeSantis decided to omit non-Florida residents who die in Florida from his Florida statistics.

              • Bill Strittmatter

                For a backward state, Florida does seem to provide pretty good transparency with respect to what’s being reported on COVID-19. While it is certainly possible that the evil DeSantis “is lying”, it would probably need to be a pretty big bi-partisan conspiracy, particularly since Miami-Dade and several other areas are controlled by Democrats who would likely be overjoyed to unearth and disclose any deceit. Of course, I suppose it’s possible that they, for their own reasons, are lying.

                Anyway, Florida provides detailed updates every day. Click through the various links on the first link below and you can get data by county as well as town, not to mention which senior facilities have cases as well as death by death data. Curious if CT provides this sort of transparency?




                All sorts of interesting data and trends are readily available. Oh, and yes Jay, they do break down the data between residents and non-residents, both of which are reported. Doesn’t matter much since the bulk are residents. You guys really need to get out more and maybe listen to a few more sources that wherever you get your info.

                • Jay Walshon MD FACEP

                  Thanks for that information Bill.

                  However in Florida it has been widely reported that DeSantis’ DPH has omitted non-resident DEATHS from his statistics. The link that you provided serves to illustrate that fact, as well is the following ones:




                  Non-resident TESTING and the number of non-resident CASES have been reported separately, but not DEATHS. THAT is what I stated.

                  OUTCOMES and CHARACTERISTICS and RISK FACTORS of only FLORIDA RESIDENTS is what is being reported on these links.

                  Over 1,000 positive non-resident cases, and likely 40+ deaths, might represent a statistically smaller group of people, but hardly insignificant to those who were impacted. It would be nice to know the true numbers and characteristics of those non-Florida residents particularly as it might constitute a large number of elderly and minority workers at even greater risk, and provide insight into their travel history.

                  In addition, it took the threat of litigation before DeSantis ultimately released the NAMES of the Nursing Homes impacted by COVID-19 deaths. Up until that threat he refused to comply with the FOI request, leaving Florida residents in the dark as to which ones were infected and whose loved ones were at risk. There was even a report (perhaps unsubstantiated) that DeSantis’ office went so far as to apply pressure in their attempt to squash that litigation rather than comply with the FOIA request to release those names.

                  Perhaps the TOTAL COVID-19 deaths in Florida (including “snowbirds” and other non-residents) is being reported somewhere – but it is not readily apparent.

                  To your advice: “You guys really need to get out more”. You know nothing about me or how often I “get outside” – but your “concern” (as pejorative and insulting as it was intended) is much appreciated.

                  Stay safe

      • Jack Backiel

        How did it work out in Miami? It was one of the hottest months of March in southern Florida! It was 97 one day recently in Miami.

  5. Luke Garvey

    I’ll repeat what I said about this on Facebook: I couldn’t disagree more. And if it were just your own health you were jeopardizing, I’d say have at it. Perhaps you could add a pledge not to seek medical care if you get sick.

  6. I don’t think it’s a risk worth taking.

  7. Isabelle Breen

    My understanding was the beaches were opening for walking only. Congregating is not allowed…yet.

  8. Adrian Little

    If heat and humidity were virus killers then Florida should be clean.


  9. Kevin Ferrara

    Dan thank you for sharing both sides of this issue. I personally am excited to enjoy Compo and Longshore this summer while still adhering to the recommended safety precautions. I think these actions to open up both sites is a smart middle ground as the prospect of opening all of Westport is not realistic or safe yet.

  10. Jay Walshon

    I didn’t realize that crucial health and safety decisions in Westport should be based upon someone’s “petitioned opinion” and “resident desire” rather than by adherence to prudent guidance of science, factual data and the recommendations of those who are most knowledgable. What a frightening prospect that is.

    BTW, this particular petition is unnecessary as the Town has already steadfastly decided to reopen Compo Beach in a restricted fashion. What remains to be seen is if Town residents will be responsible in their usage – unlike those who recently replaced the basketball hoops with milk crates, cut locks, and climbed over fences – and the impact this decision will have.

    We shall see if “Party Zero” Town residents have yet learned lessons. Hopefully adequate and meaningful monitoring measures will be in place, and prudent appropriate triggers enforced – but I have yet to see any of them published. Without adequate testing and surveillance I cannot imagine they yet exist.

    And even if you still subscribe to the “Hoax” theory, the “Down with Trump” conspiracy, or believe in the “Selection of the Fittest”/”Culling of the Herd” approach, just remember and please understand that YOUR actions can and will impart serious consequences upon others in our common Westport family.

  11. Chris Grimm

    “If you are worried about getting sick by coming into contact with me, stay away from me, because I am going to go anywhere I want.”

  12. Anna DeVito

    seriously, why can’t everyone just do as they are told? For the time being – just follow the darn rules – there can be a million personal opinions about all this but really folks you are all just whining – enough already – as i write this i am hearing on the news that several children have died from some infection which is a form of the covid virus – are you all kidding? Everyone is an expert and the experts /scientists don’t know what they are talking about? Stop please and take a step back – remember the 40-something group who gave the ‘famous Westport party” back at the beginning of this and many there got very sick and were out and about in the community before they found out they had the virus – ? there was a smart move so maybe we should all do the same thing – NO – as adults shouldn’t we at least have learned by others mistakes and stop the whining – grow up and act responsibly – think of others besides yourselves. Of course we are all disappointed that our summer will be different and the children as well but children are alot less to complain as loudly as the adults – set an example – and explain that sometimes things happen and even though we are disappointed it is for these very reasons we need to be safe – pull out a hose and slip and slide and they will be fine – and why don’t you jump on it yourselves and have fun.

  13. Wendy Batteau

    Please see Dr. Choi’s letter on Westport Now. I thank him for debunking the bunk. I thank him for facts, reason, and the reminder of the dictates of ethical behavior based on both.

  14. Adrian Little

    Dan – good morning and thank you so much for being a conduit for information about COVID 19 and our community.
    We are in Naples Florida for the moment and our beaches opened last weekend – and CLOSED today because of a complete disregard for social distancing and safe behaviour.
    We rushed to get it done under some pressure from residents but without limits or restrictions so we now have a lot of East coast Florida folk here as their beaches are closed as well as a re-influx of residents who have returned from their northern, more restrictive states. Time will tell if we have a spike of infections here in a city that so far has been spared being a hot spot.

    Please let this be a cautionary tale for those that think they can just throw open Westport’s beaches and parks without enforcement of social distancing and not have consequences .