Roundup: Christmas Tree Pick-ups, Dawn Swim, Playground Fun …

If it’s New Year’s, it’s time to … get rid of the Christmas tree.

It can be disposed of online — well, the registration is done that way, anyway. Scout Troops 39 and 139 will happily pick up yours. Click here for the form. 

You’ll get a confirmation email. Then, this Saturday (January 7 — by 6:30 a.m.), put your tree by your mailbox.

There’s a suggestion donation of $20 per tree. Tape an envelope with cash or check (payable to “Boy Scout Troop 39”) to your front door.

NOTE: All Christmas trees are mulched into wood chips, and donated to the town. So no wreaths or garlands (the wires ruin the machinery).

Boy Scout Troop 39 to the rescue!

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Like many Westporters, you probably spent yesterday’s dawn in bed.

Maybe you were arriving home from a late party, eager to crash (metaphorically, of course).

If you were one guy though, you went for an early morning, greet-the-new-year swim at Compo Beach.

(Photo courtesy of John Karrel)

Fortunately, the weather was nice.

For January 1, anyway.

PS: Let’s see if he can keep this up for the next 364 days.

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The sun was high a few hours later. The temperature climbed to the mid-50s.

And the Compo Beach playground looked (almost) like a mid-summer day.

(Photo/Karen Como)

Can the rest of the year continue on such an upbeat note?

Fingers crossed …

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Also seen at Compo Beach: this message to “rock” (ho ho) 2023.

It’s the handiwork of Ross and Wendy McKeon. And the “rock” part can be taken literally: They’re the parents of 2000 Staples High School graduate Drew McKeon. Among his many talents, he’s the longtime drummer in fellow Westporter Michael Bolton’s band.

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Yesterday’s Roundup included a photo of a utility pole on Hillandale Road. An “06880” reader explained why it’s hard to get broken ones fixed, or obsolete wires or cables removed.

The example shown was hardly the worst. Michael Lonsdale noticed more, on the short stretch of Kings Highway North between Main and Canal Streets.

(Photos/Michael Lonsdale)

It will not be easy to address the issue. Each pole has multiple “owners” — Eversource, Altice and Frontier, for example.

Low hanging wires and excess poles are low priorities. They’re prime candidates for buck-passing.

But the lower the wires droop, and the more old poles tilt and rot, the more dangerous they are.

When they come down in a storm, excess poles and obsolete cables make clean-up that much harder.

Our electric and telecom companies have lots to do. Removing unsightly — even dangerous — wires and poles are not at the top of their lists.

And unlike weeds or brush, this is not something we can take in our own hands.

Thoughts? Click “Comments” below. Please be constructive, not nasty. And be sure to use your full, real name.

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Photographer Lauri Weiser calls today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo “my holiday friend.”

Check out her friend’s claws!

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)

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And finally … on this day in 1788, Georgia became the 4th state to ratify the Constitution.

The next? Connecticut.

(Wherever you live — Westport, Georgia or anyplace else — you can contribute to “06880.” Please click here. Thank you!)

6 responses to “Roundup: Christmas Tree Pick-ups, Dawn Swim, Playground Fun …

  1. Susie Swanson Millette Staples '58

    I have fond memories of a New Year’s dip at Compo!

  2. Karen Kristensen Wambach

    We had a tree come down on the wires from the street to the pole on our driveway….The tree was taken care of by Westport public works, the electricity was hooked back up by the third frigid day….now how do I get those low hanging wires restrung?
    Any ideas?

  3. Re: low hanging utility wires, the culprits are almost always Frontier (phone) and Optimum (cable.) Power companies keep their wires tidy because of the dangerous voltages involved — at least 5,000v for the primary wires on top of the pole.

    In terms of the solution: in the utility business, what’s regulated gets done, so our state’s Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA) is the place do go.

    Don’t expect miracles: the PURA Chairwoman is a former industry lobbyist, and if she wants to go back to making the big bucks after her term is over, she’s not going to make her former clients unhappy.

    PURA has recently issued some new regs about unsafe poles, but I cannot see anything about the sagging and/or jury-rigged phone and cable wires that are often left that way indefinitely after a storm.

    https://portal.ct.gov/PURA/Press-Releases/2022/PURA-Establishes-Standardized-Process-to-Address-Structurally-Compromised-Utility-Poles

  4. I don’t have a Christmas tree but each year I donate to the boy scouts and would like to do that again this year. Can anyone provide the address to send the check.

  5. Carolanne Curry

    It’s interesting about “double poles”….I’ve had the dedicated assignment for the past few years of dealing with this situation in Bridgeport, where I work for the City. It certainly has made me aware of the problem here in Westport.
    There is a systematic method towards a solution but it requires a constant updating and scheduled meetings with the two principals, Eversource and Frontier.
    There is also the systematic focus on the other companies that use these same poles.
    There are timelines, but often we must recalibrate these timelines. Many times I have visited physical “double pole” sites because the timeline gets blurred..
    Never mind PURA for now. Make your connection with the pole owners.
    If anyone needs further information about our process, there’s the reply access for you to use.

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