Roundup: Compo Lanternflies, Compo Lockers, LGBTQ+ 101 …

Dave Briggs headed to Compo Beach yesterday. He expected to enjoy the first dogs-allowed day of the season.

It was ruined by creatures of a different kind. There were spotted lanternflies everywhere — “all over everybody” — Dave reports.

Leigh Gage adds: “I did my part in eradicating about 100 of this invasive species at Compo. There’s a tree of heaven out on the spit of land past the kayaks, and they’re all over it.

“Perhaps some others can come squash these bugs too. I felt a little funny/ murderous killing so many — but my understanding is it’s my environmental duty.”

Spotted lanternflies on the Compo Beach cannons … (Photo/Dave Briggs)

… and nearby. (Photo/Dana Kuyper)

Bruce McFadden adds:

“Although I know lantern flies are not new to Westport, my wife and I and many others were surprised to find them everywhere on Sunday.

“During our paddle they were all over the water surface and on sea grasses just out of the E.R Strait Marina into Gray’s Creek.

“They were on our picnic table at lunch, and all over our car and tires as we departed for Compo. All sidewalks at Compo were spotted by the less fortunate members of the species.

“The Lanternfly Stomp was clearly big at the beach today, and probably all over town!”

Spotted lanternfly on the water. (Photo/Bruce McFadden)


And another “ugh” report from Compo:

On September 26, a reader got this email from the Parks & Recreation Department:

A reminder…Our policy states that all bathhouse assignees are to clean out their lockers no later than September 30th.

You may use Sunday, October 1st to make sure that your bathhouse has been cleaned out and your lock has been removed. Any locks remaining as of Monday, October 2nd, will be cut off and the contents will be removed and discarded.

Thanking you in advance for your attention in this matter. Have a great day!

The bold items were there in the original message.

Yesterday — October 1 — he went to the beach to remove his lock.

It was already gone.

“They cut off locks and started removing everyone’s things today,” the reader says.

“Seems like a huge mistake. It’s going to cost people lots of money in ruined locks and trashed property.”

Another teed-off beachgoer posted on social media:

Our lock was cut as of 12 p.m. We found most of our stuff in a pile by the bathrooms, but there was a tractor carting piles of stuff away. There was a lot of nice stuff being removed. I believe our email said this would happen tomorrow, not today.

Compo lockers cleaned out, with contents ready for removal. (Photo/Jason Stiber)

Jason Stiber was more blunt. He told “06880”: “I have never understood logic of having no grace period. This year, even worse, they removed stuff one day early to their email.

“We’re talking thousands of dollars lost collectively, and such a waste of good, expensive beach furniture, sand toys, umbrellas, boogie boards and beach wagons.”


But there’s good news from Compo Beach. Jo Shields Sherman reports:

“I imagine you probably got quite a few doggy pictures from yesterday, the first day dogs were allowed back on the beach.

“But here’s a nighttime one. Buggy, my service dog, has battled lymphoma for a little over a year now. Most days she feels like a puppy, and acts like one too.

“She actually started swimming this summer. She loves the beach. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?”

(Photo/Jo Shields Sherman)


October 11 is National Coming Out Day.

But the dedication of the rainbow crosswalk is not the only LGBTQ+ event on the calendar.

Westport Pride, the Westport Library and Triangle Community Center are offering a 2-part community education series. The aim is to address an abundance of misinformation about the queer community.

The October 11 event — “LGBTQ+ 101” — covers basic vocabulary concepts and history.

The November 9 session applies information from the first training to real-world examples. Participants will brainstorm ways to be inclusive and affirming, and how to address bias.

Both are from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Registration is required; click here.


“Bad Influencer” — the new immersive fiction podcast whos stars include Deuxmoi, Kristen Doute, Perez Hilton and Christy Carlson Romano debuts tomorrow (October 3).

The 9-episode romantic comedy is told through the eyes of a 20-something wannabe living in New York. She makes a wish and wakes up a famous
influencer, but finds that the glitzy, glamourous world is not always what it seems.

Bad Influencer” was written by Staples High School Class of 2005 graduate Gabi Conti. She’s the author of “Twenty Guys You Date in Your Twenties.”

It was co-created by fellow Westporter and international best-selling author Jane Green.

To listen on all major streaming platforms, click here.

Gabi Conti


How much can I afford to pay at Saugatuck Sweets?

The ice cream-and-more shop, with outlets in Westport and Fairfield, is offering free classes on a wide range of financial literacy topics.

It’s a partnership with Merrill Lynch Fairfield and Junior Achievement. Sessions are scheduled for high school and middle school students.

The next one is this Saturday (October 7, noon to 1:30 p.m., 28 Reef Road). Parents are welcome to accompany their kids.

For more information or to RSVP, email

Finance workshop at Saugatuck Sweets in Fairfield.


The bad weather has moved on. But here’s one last “Westport … Naturally” look at Meghan Norris’ back yard the other day.

With a guest.

(Photo/Meghan Norris)


And finally … in honor of the Compo Beach lockers …

(There’s always lots of Compo news in town — and plenty more. “06880” is your source for whatever is happening. But we need your support. Please click here to contribute. Thank you!)





17 responses to “Roundup: Compo Lanternflies, Compo Lockers, LGBTQ+ 101 …

  1. I walked my doggie at Sherwood Island and noticed lots of SLFs – mostly dead ones everywhere. I wonder why there are so many at the beaches? Not seeing any at our home (thankfully) Such a mystery.

  2. What a massive screw-up at the Compo Beach lockers! Does the Parks and Rec department have an explanation, an apology, anything? Or will this incident just fade away into the mists of history, with no one held to account? How does the town do this to taxpayers?

    • Is it just me, or do we have a massively incompetent administration? The FS seems to do photo ops and little else. And then these stupid things seem to pop up out of nowhere, like the dumb Parker-Harding plan, an unpopular attempt to destroy the Community Gardens, and pickleball courts in properties adjacent to residences. Things that are introduced prior to publicly noticed discussion.

      I get that nobody ever likes everything a Selectperson does, but at some point we might consider the recall process that the Town Charter affords, before more damage is done.

      Chris Grimm

  3. India van Voorhees

    I commend all the people who, while angry about the beach lockers fiasco, are being so polite.
    If it were me? I’d be drafting a letter to the town with a list of my missing or damaged belongings and a dollar amount for reimbursement.

  4. Praying Mantises eat spotted lantern flies.
    “It’s possible to buy praying mantises for sale in many places across the US. Some people might want to keep them as pets. Gardeners might be interested in using them as an organic form of pest control. This might be especially desirable as a way to combat invasive pests like stink bugs or spotted lanternflies.” There is a downside though. They also eat pollinators but they don’t live very long.
    I used to let loose sacs of lady bugs at the roots of my rose bushes when there were aphids and by the morning the roses were practically free of aphids.
    Not sure if this link will work here but it could be copied.

    “Praying Mantis Care 101 & Why You Should Get Them's%20possible%20to%20buy%20praying,stink%20bugs%20or%20spotted%20lanternflies.”

  5. We have removed the the Tree of Heaven from the Long Lots Preserve, surrounding the Westport Community Gardens. Consequently, the Spotted Lanternfly population has decreased significantly. Removing the Tree of Heaven is an effective tool in decreasing SLF numbers. The Tree of Heaven is also invasive, non-native, takes over and outcompetes native plants and has very little wildlife value…except for SLFs!

    Unfortunately, the trees at the end of South Beach are Tree of Heaven.

    • We have wet lands across the road and I’ve been digging those trees out of our yard for years. The minute I see one. They grow so tall very quickly. The trees seem to thrive around wetlands.

  6. Parks n Recs is above the law from top to bottom.
    Get used to it ‼️

  7. The lanterfly situation at the beach is completely out of control. You would think town conservation would be monitoring and doing something to control this invasive pest on town property! …. Then again, maybe there is something to the comment above about the town administration?

  8. There were probably 400 people at the playground yesterday (and 10,000 lanternflies). Was Hook’d open?

  9. This invasion is ominous
    Our next pandemic from insects to humans
    Think about it
    It’s tragic

    Check your clothing and your animals and your car to not drag them into your home

  10. Something should be done to stop this from happening
    “ The Hellstrom Chronicles “ has become reality in 2023

  11. Another example of Parks and Rec not being run effectively. Sorry this waste of peoples property falls on the director Ms Fava. Maybe you employees could have killed lanternflies
    Instead of prematurely throwing residents property out. If you left your office you’d know this!😡

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