Roundup: Bear, SUP, Marco (Polo!) …


Westport’s most famous bear is dead.

Westport Local Press reports that “Bear 211” — the black bear tagged with that number by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and reported at various sites in northern Westport and environs over the past 2 months — was struck by a car and killed yesterday, on Route 136 in Easton. The driver left the scene.

Click here for the full story.

This was the scene off Weston Road recently. The bear has now been struck and killed. (Photo/Denny Galindo)


I’ve seen plenty of things in Westport.

But never — ever — have I seen anyone swimming off Schlaet’s Point, the area just north of the Soundview Avenue jetty.

Clamming and fishing, yes. Wading out at low tide, sure. Couples making out on the rocks, check. But people swimming? Not a chance.

Okay, so playing water polo is not actually swimming. But that’s what’s gone on recently. An area water polo club has put up a portable court in the public, lifeguard-less inlet. Young players have been practicing there, preparing for a tournament in Dallas.

Which, presumably, will be indoors. The Gulf of Mexico is 600 miles from there.

(Photo/Kathleen Fazio)


Speaking of Compo: Yesterday’s beach story was about vandalism of benches. Today’s is about a paddleboard theft.

This year, for the first time, Mitch Raboy has stored a standup paddleboard near the kayak launch area.

On Sunday, his wife took it out on the water. She then secured it to the rack with a heavy-duty cable lock.

Now it’s gone. Only the security metal loop and chain remain.

The Raboys called the police. An officer said this kind of theft is not common.

There are no security cameras in the area, Mitch says. He’d like “06880” readers to be aware of what happened — and hopes the town will install cameras there.

My wife went out in the board on Sunday and secured it to the rack with a heavy duty cable lock afterward. On Sunday we went to check on it and found it had been stolen. The security metal loop and chain remained.

A cable (lower left) is all that’s left of the Raboys’ standup paddleboard.


We (you) did it!

Sustainable Westport surpassed its goal of $7,500 in challenge grant donations.

That earns them over $15,000. They’ll use the funds to inform, educate and engage residents about food scrap recycling, decreasing food waste. and diverting edible food from the incinerator to food insecure residents.

Congratulations, Westporters. And thanks to Sustainable Westport, for all you do.


If you’re a Star Wars fan — and who isn’t? — mark next Monday (August 2).

“Star Wars IV: A New Hope” descends on the Remarkable Theater.

Showtime is 8:30 p.m. Gates open at 7:30 for tailgating. Click here for tickets and details.


There’s a great back story behind today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo.

Dorothy Fitton writes: “We spotted this bald eagle overlooking a gathering of Boston College students in our yard last week. It may be a sign that our BC Eagles will have a great senior year!”

(Photo/Dorothy Fitton)


And finally … in honor of today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo above:

12 responses to “Roundup: Bear, SUP, Marco (Polo!) …

  1. John D McCarthy

    Very sad, unbearable.

  2. India van Voorhees

    I wish Bear 211 had just stayed around here where people try to be mindful of the wildlife. I feel so silly, but I can’t seem to stop crying.

  3. Thomas L. Broadbent

    We had an ocean kayak stolen the same way, “securely” locked, in the racks, in our case the police were totally indifferent, I was unpleasantly surprised.

  4. Linda Montecalvo

    Now there are plenty of reasons to not speed through any point in Westport but the overwhelming fact is that we are now living close to many animals (including until recently bear 211) solely because we have taken up their habitats by building houses, some that are much too big for any human beings to ethically occupy. We need to adjust our driving speeds because animals have no bearings in their nourishing habitats – they are forced to live where cars & roads are instead of the habitat they once occupied & have been forced out of by humans. The problem is – as humans we don’t like to share & have little real interest in co-inhabiting!! Human beings can be wonderful and also – the most horrid beings to ever inhabit the earth.

  5. rosemary milligan

    I know I will be sad for a long time over this – I don’t suppose there is any way the person who did this miserable thing can be caught, Don;t worry India, you are not the only one crying.

  6. Trisha Jumper

    Regarding the SUP theft, we had a similar issue early in the season (May/early June). My son’s Sunfish dolly ($600 to replace!) was stolen from Compo. It was chained heavily next to where the racks are. They cut the heavy straps and likely took off the tires to take it. Pieces of the straps were left behind. I called Parks and Recs, and then made a police report. The office met me at Compo and I showed him what happened. The officer said that the Town keeps it hush hush and that they (WPD)have asked cameras to be placed there for years. I suggested signage saying it was as monitored by cameras, at least an easy small deterrent. I know from talking to others, that this happens more often than reported. Maybe a petition for this?? We lock down everything we have there while I see many who don’t?! Any idea to help this, would be appreciated!

  7. Regarding the paddle board theft, I have a friend who stores a kayak there and at least twice this season it has been tampered with. Back in the day the WPD had a cop (me) dedicated to the Compo Beach,Longshore and Old Mill area. Coverage by the PD went to 2am. There was a security guard at the marina as well all night. Thus there were very few problems and I can’t remember any thefts. I would make sure that Parks and Rec is aware of these incidents.

    • Pegeen Gaherin

      To India and Linda,

      I share your feelings completely…

      We humans are horrible stewards of this planet.

      The injury to wildlife is excruciating to witness.

      Pegeen Gaherin
      Staples 72

  8. joshua stein

    Cameras are generally not a preventative control. They are detective in that they can capture a crime after the fact. However, a crime should be prevented, if possible. Look at Florida where entire motor boats, engines, and electronics get stolen from yards with fences, security cameras, etc. Great that its captured on camera but most of the time the footage is useless. Now people wear face coverings and can obscure themselves so they are not identifiable. The thing that should be done is prevention. Lighting helps. Security/police posted/patrolling are another. Is there a camera at the gate? Perhaps that could catch someone leaving with something as large as a kayak/paddle board along with a license plate? Any chance the thieves are arriving by boat?

  9. Trish Jumper

    Dave- I did call the Parks and Rec to report the theft. They told me to make a police report. Too bad there is no one posted at the gate and I hardly ever see police there regularly. I think a police car drives through once a night , if I remember correctly. When I called the WPD they said the police concentrate on ” busier areas in the evenings.” Only at Compo on holidays etc. Tjere seems to be a lot of complacency. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️ I would doubt they are arriving by boat. They stole our Sunfish Dolly. It would have been very difficult to get it in a boat without taking it apart which would have not been quick or easy. Lighting could help, having a security guard would be great!!

  10. Seems to be an epidemic. I have an 18 foot sea kayak at compo. I had a lasso lock on it and someone cut it and took my kayak off the rack. I found it on a rack 15 yards away to I assume somone drove through as they were stealing it, or they couldn’t manage getting it on their car. They took the straps and dolly. I bought new locks and a dolly. Last week someone took the foam bumpers from under it and lifted it to the other side of the rack but they didn’t manage to get it loose. I reported this to the front gate folks and spoke to the dockmaster about it. They were polite and apologetic but they obviously can’t unilaterally take action to deter these criminals. They need the go ahead and resources from the town. Heck, we can’t even get water coolers on the golf course so i’m sure this isn’t a priority for them. After seeing i am not alone in this, hopefully someone who can do something about it, will do something about it.