Roundup: Kayak Thefts, Hurricane Ida, School Calendar …


Kayak threats from Compo Beach — first reported on “06880” in July — continue.

Mousumi Ghosh is the latest victim. Her red Eddyline Equinox is gone from the storage area. She writes:

“We are devastated. It was one of the few recreations that we were able to enjoy as a family during the last year, not to mention the cost to replace it.

“I was away for a month for a family emergency. It could have happened any time during August.

“From speaking with others, I am discovering that this is not an isolated event. Many believe that crime is on the rise at the beach. Neither the police nor Parks & Rec are hopeful that the kayak can be recovered, or that there is much they can do to help.”

If anyone sees it (the rack emblem is #39), please call Westport Police. Meanwhile, another victim contacted “06880,” suggested security cameras. They’re installed elsewhere at the beach already. Perhaps it’s time to extend their range.

Kayak racks at Compo Beach. They look lovely — but they’re not secure. (Photo/Lauri Weiser)


Among Wednesday night’s Hurricane Ida flood victims: The Toy Post.

The store at 180 Post Road East (near Imperial Avenue) has no flood insurance. They’re offering 50% off anything wet. (Hat tip: Jonathan Alloy)

Part of The Toy Post’s flood.


Sure, you can have a January-to-December calendar. But in Westport — where the rhythm of life is attuned to the school year — you really need the Public Schools’ September-to-September version.

Plus, it’s decorated with artwork by local students, from kindergarten through 12th grade. Some very impressive stuff there!

And: It’s a fundraiser, for the Westport Public Art Collections. Paintings, photos and more hang in every school and municipal building in town.

Click here, then scroll down to order. The cost is $20 (pick up) or $23 (mail). It’s available too at ASF, Colonial Druggists, and the Westport Library.


For many years, the small shop on Maple Avenue South was Mario & Mike’s barber. Then it became Bill’s. After that, Salon Juljen.

Now it’s vacant. A sign says they’ve moved to Southport. No word on whether a new hair place — or some other business — will move in to the mixed commercial-residential building. (Hat tip: Chris Grimm)


It’s been 2 years since CLASP Homes’ last in-person, inside event.

But the Westport organization — which serves people and families with autism and developmental disabilities — is returning to live fundraising in a big, fun way.

Band Central brings the best of Motown and soul to a benefit concert (October 15, 6:30 p.m. Fairfield Theatre, Company).

Click here for tickets, and more information. To volunteer, email

In other CLASP news: Throughout September, the Westport Book Shop will exhibit the works of 4 participants in its art program. The used book store is on Jesup Road, across the green from the library.

CLASP art, at the Westport Book Shop.



Another organization serving people with disabilities — STAR Lighting the Way — has good news too.

A grant from the Drew Friedman Arts Center will help them provide art classes to people with intellectual and developmental differences. The 6-week sessions cover a range of mediums — including photography, watercolor, acrylics, collage, dance, improvisation, acting and more — and engage local artists.

Some have already begun, at One River Art School in Westport.

Artists — including Drew Friedman Arts Center director Miggs Burroughs (far right) and STAR officials.


Carl Addison Swanson’s 49th book has just been published. And it’s already been optioned by HBO.

A husband whose wife dies after a botched birth delivery stalks the guilty doctors and nurses — slowly and methodically.

Click here to order, and for more information.


Today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature shows a praying mantis. Peggy Lehn spotted 2 of the cool-but-creepy-looking creatures on her garage.

(Photo/Peggy Lehn)


And finally … today is the 80th anniversary of the birth of Tompall Glaser.

Though less well known than his fellow country “outlaw” singers Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, he had quite a career before dying in 2013.

Among my favorites: this decidedly tongue in cheek tune from 1976.

11 responses to “Roundup: Kayak Thefts, Hurricane Ida, School Calendar …

  1. I think we need a vastly more extensive system of security cameras in the Compo neighborhood. Over the past couple years there has been a rash of car break-ins and thefts, as well as kayak and paddle board thefts. Within the past week there have been two reported home burglaries, which present a whole different level of risk and fear for our community The town needs an aggressive plan to address this urgent situation. An extensive camera system plus a dramatically increased police presence between midnight and 5 AM would provide a solid start.

    • Cameras aren’t the solution. This uptick in stolen cars and now residential burglaries is directly related to this states relaxed stance on crime, the juvenile reform from years ago, and becoming more restrictive on what the police can do. The large majority of people committing these crimes are juveniles and face minimal penalties. They are simply handed a court summons and released if they’re caught stealing cars. New state policies make it so the police are not allowed to pursue for property crimes, which includes stolen cars and when they break into your house in the middle of the night. Until the state gets its act together and changed things on the legislative level no amount of cameras will fix the issue

      • I agree. And from a security perspective, cameras are typically a detective control, not a preventive control. Their effectiveness is typically challenged due to poor lighting, image quality, people covering their faces (which is even easier with mask wearing), etc. You can spend a ton of money on cameras and a system and it very well might have little-to-no impact. Have to get down to the root cause and find out what will make the best impact, in preventing crime.

  2. Thanks Dan. it is one of my all time favorites as well. I wonder why it is never in any karaoke collections…

  3. We’ve had 3 praying mantis (manti?) in and around our house in the last two weeks (or perhaps the same one 3X.) Despite being “cool-but-creepy” (Dan’s words) they also offer a deeper interpretation, as such: “The spiritual meaning of a praying mantis represents trust, introspection, new perspectives, intuitive abilities, and spiritual connection. It is often a sign that the energies from other dimensions are sending you a message to trust your own inner guidance and to be patient to wait for the flow of the universe to sort everything out.” (source:

  4. David J. Loffredo

    We put a Kayak there 20 years ago and kept it there for more than a decade – get a bike lock and wrap it around the rack. Shocked that people don’t do that, this isn’t Mayberry. Same people leave their keys in their parked cars.

  5. Thomas L. Broadbent

    David, we locked our two beautiful ocean kayaks on lock and sturdy chain, like you, and one was stolen within two months. As Jim says, at least within the beach, why can’t we have a camera and recording in place at the entrance/exit? Not a perfect solution but it might help deter thefts and help police catch kayak thieves coming from land.

  6. Seems odd too me that Drew named the gallery after himself…it was Bobbie who was the artist and cared deeply about it. Yeah, Drew’s money, but Bobbie’s interest and talent. I had hped he honor that and not himself.
    Just sayin’.

    • Bill Strittmatter

      Just googled the corporate records. Seems it was just “Community Arts Center” from 1977 to 2017. “Drew Friedman” wasn’t added (at least legally) to the name until 18 months after he died. I have no clue why it was changed…maybe it was in his will…but non-zero chance he had nothing to do with the renaming since he was long gone.

  7. Wendy Crowther

    I recently discovered that the Praying Mantis is Connecticut’s State Insect!

  8. Hmmmmm; Bill, I believe, though Drew was long gone when the place was renamed, that Drew left $ for the renaming….If I’m wrong, my apologies to them who might give a damn.