Roundup: Sustainable Westport Candidate Survey, Bridge Slide, Sharks! …

Sustainable Westport — the town’s non-profit advisory environmental committee — recently surveyed all candidates running for the Representative Town Meeting, Board of Education, Board of Finance and Planning & Zoning Commission.

36% of candidates responded. Click here to view their answers.


Last weekend’s first “bridge slide” — replacement of the I-95 Saugatuck Avenue bridge, with resultant closures and diversions of the highway — went smoothly.

Until Sunday afternoon.

The second (and final) slide is set for next weekend. It begins at 8 p.m. Friday, November 3, and is scheduled to end at 6 a.m. Monday, November 6.

Last weekend’s work ended sooner than expected. Fingers crossed …


On Wednesday (November 1, 7:30 p.m., Town Hall auditorium), the Board of Finance holds a public meeting.

Most items are routine: financial reports, status updates, appropriation requests.

Tucked into the agenda — #4, of 8 items — is “Long Lots Building Project (Discussion only).”

The meeting will be livestreamed at Meeting materials will be available there too.

The Board of Finance will discuss the Long Lots Elementary School project on Wednesday. It faces further review from other town bodies too.


Wednesday’s Roundup included a plea from a reader to golfers to stop chipping balls into water. She recently fished over 100 out of Long Island Sound, at Burying Hill Beach.

Yesterday brought a different kind of fish to the same beach.

Three baby sharks washed ashore. Nicholas Eisenberger — who sent along this photo from his Greens Farms neighbor, Margaret Schwabe — wonders if this is very normal, somewhat normal, or quite unusual.

Marine biologists: Click “Comments” below!

Sharks, at Burying Hill Beach. (Photo/Margaret Schwabe)


Speaking of beaches: The raising and moving of the 1917 house on Compo Cove continues to fascinate everyone who lives at or walks by Old Mill Beach.

Here’s a photo from yesterday:

(Photo/Matt Murray)


The Westport Farmers’ Market is all about healthy eating.

As part of their mission, next Thursday’s market (November 2, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Imperial Avenue parking lot) includes a Health & Wellness event.

Dharma Massage will discuss the value of massage, and provide 10-minute chair sessions. Zion Physical Therapy will teach shoppers proper stretching plans.  Pause + Purpose has teamed up with GWell to offer Gu Shaw treatments, and will speak to the benefits of meditation.

In addition, Mae Farrell — head of WFM’s”Get Growing” program — will show attendees — including children — how to make healing bath salts.

And nutrition and recipe expert Terry Walters will share recipes and answer questions on how to best nurture bodies with healthy food.

All that is in addition to the usual vendors — and healthy food.


Three new exhibits have been unveiled at the Westport Library.

Suzanne Benton’s “All About Color” is featured in the Sheffer Gallery. Norm Siegel’s “Visual Curiosities” is in the South Gallery, while “Showtime!” — a series of selections from the Westport Public Art Collections — can be seen in the Jesup Gallery.

They run through January 8, 2024. Each includes a special artist reception: November 1 for BentonNovember 8 for Showtime!, and November 20 for Siegel. The Benton and Siegel events include artists’ talks.

From left: “Yanone C” by Hiromitsu Takahashi, courtesy WestPAC; “Tilted Finish” by Norm Siegel; “Continuum” by Suzanne Benton.


With rain predicted tomorrow, La Plage has postponed its Patio Closing party.

The Inn at Longshore restaurant begins winter hours this week. They’ll be open Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. They’re closed Monday and Tuesday, through April.

Beginning Wednesday (November 1), they’ll offer a 5-course tasting menu for $85. A wine pairing menu will also be available. 


As Breast Cancer Awareness Month ends, Chocolatieree reminds “06880” readers of their fundraiser.

They created a “Save the Tatas” collection. 50% of all sales will be donated to Pink Aid Westport.

The collection includes a $20 ruby (pink) chocolate tata pop, and 6 pink heart palettes in dark chocolate.

The collection can be ordered (and shipped) through their website, and can be shipped or picked up at their Church Lane shop.

There is also an option for the chocolates to be sent to a location like a cancer center or food insecurity site. Click here to see.


Today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature wanders over the border, to Weston.

It’s definitely worth the trip, for this shot:

(Photo/Pat Weist)


And finally … well, you knew this was coming:

(Where else but “06880” can you learn where candidates stand on the environment, AND be warned about sharks? Please click here to help us continue covering all this stuff. Thank you!)


15 responses to “Roundup: Sustainable Westport Candidate Survey, Bridge Slide, Sharks! …

  1. Lee Caney, Chairman Board of Finance

    On all of our agendas for our regular monthly meetings we will have an update on LLS. The updates have been on prior agendas. We did the same thing with The Coley Middle updates. This month there will probably be no discussion as we just had a meeting. This is not our second meeting on LLS, which will take place at a date to be determined. I would never try to sneak in an important meeting as I welcome and encourage community participation.

    • Q. Isn’t Nov 1 the second meeting of LLS discussion at the BOF since the Selectwoman accepted the recommendation? You mentioned you would have three meetings; the first has already been held. This would be #2.

      Q. Is it appropriate to have LLS on the BOF agenda now that there is an accepted committee recommendation but no 8-24 from the PZC? BOF discussion on LLS is out of sequence. Many of us have been told to wait for the process to unfold (PZC -> BOF -> RTM and somehow the P&R Commission gets a swing at the ball). You have jumped the queue.

      Q. Is three minutes enough time to ask questions and get answers on very complicated matters? Your last meeting was not interactive with your constituents. It was a one way dump of statements from people who have a lot of questions.

      Q. What exactly is the funding request for the next phase of this project and what does it include? If you don’t have a request, how can the Board and citizens ask informed questions?

      Q. How about 10 minutes per citizen for questions?

      As you know, I’ve submitted a written statement and several questions, which I hope will become part of the public record on this topic … when and if this topic becomes official.

  2. As to the Sustainable Westport survey. The rankings are not included, but should have been. Many candidates, including myself, made reference to them, but they are not there to see that they meant. This makes the answers disjointed.

    • Matt, I am confused and suspect that I am not the only candidate for town office who did not receive this survey. In my District 9 there are 7 candidates running for the RTM but only the 3 incumbents are quoted here as responding. Is it possible, did this survey only go to candidates who were incumbents?I have checked my email inbox and spam folder but there is nothing there from Sustainable Westport about a survey request. It is a shame if that turns out to be the case for I would have been most interested in participating in it if but given the chance.

      Best, John F. Suggs

  3. People are hitting golf balls into the Sound? You gotta be joking. Maybe you need a golf driving range on the Post Road that you had from 1954 to 1983! Of course it’d probably be blocked by zoning. This ain’t 1954. Coincidently, that’s the year Long Lots Junior High opened.

  4. (Insert Greg Norman, golf ball joke here.)

  5. Robert Harrington (Board of Education)

    I enjoyed sitting down with my BOE colleague and Sustainable Westport recently. I know other BOE members have done the same.

    It would be great if the First Selectwoman would consider putting Sustainable Westport on Long Lots Building Committee with immediate effect.

  6. Wendy Goldwyn Batteau

    Regarding the Sustainable Westport survey – to be clear, I am in District 8 (not 7). Thanks for the good questions.

  7. I don’t believe it is a usual thing for sharks to wash up on a beach. So maybe these sharks ingested some golf balls and washed up on the beach to die?!?

  8. Jimmy Izzo RTM 3

    Robert, I don’t believe Sustainable Westport belongs on the Longs Building Committee anymore than adding local chefs to the LLBC to help design the cafeteria.

    At last weeks Planning and Zoning meeting on Parker Harding, where parking was the big winner amongst our Planning and Zoning commission. Sustainable Westport was nowhere to found.

    Sustainable Westport had a BIG seat the Parker Harding table, as they were on the committee. Yet, not a word from anyone of the 62 residents and stakeholders in attendance, or members of Sustainable Westport talking “green.”

    I personally found this very troubling. I want to see Sustainable Westport succeed on a bigger scale than just “education.” The opportunity to be on the “big stage” with a big “seat at the table” at P and Z, and come up silent, was befuddling.

    My suggestion with a sustainable school is simple. If a sustainable school is the route the BOF chooses to travel, Sustainable Westport should be on the hook for finding grant money to subsidize half of the costs.

    We have to remember, we have the highest per capita rate in the state of seniors (38% ish) in our town. With a big “capital wish list” forecast, we simply can’t just go “sustainable” with a school without considering other community needs.

    I do look forward to working with Sustainable Westport, and all stackholders, as LLS project continues to evolve through our open, transparent process.

  9. Mr Izzo
    Regarding “We have to remember, we have the highest per capita rate in the state of seniors (38% ish) in our town. With a big “capital wish list” forecast….”

    Thank you for pointing the demographics of our town. It is an important fact that I have also tried to point to.

    However, Your next sentence scares me. That are these other large capital projects? Can you elaborate? As Bobby Axelrod says, “I’m wide awake now.”

    • Toni,

      The capital forecast is what many of us call a “capital wish list.” These are projects put on a 5 or 10 year plan for capital improvements like schools, municipal buildings, which may include a new Fire House or Police Station.

      Our town does an excellent job of balancing these projects so not to over burden the taxpayers of Westport. There is a reason we have maintained our Triple A bond rating.

      Trying to do too much at one time would be a huge burden on the taxpayers of Westport, especially our seniors, where many have paid to put two generations of kids through our school system.

      Always happy to chat over a coffee!

  10. Shark looks like what they call a dogfish, a small non-aggressive species. To my knowledge sharks typically don’t wash up on shore. They may have gotten stranded during an ebb tide as they are mostly bottom dwelling, or injured nearby. I’ve seen them on Block Island and Cape Cod where I saw them close to shore when ill/dying. That’s my best guess.

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