Roundup: Holidays Are Here; Bathrooms Are Closed …

Holiday garlands are up on Main Street. As always, they’re courtesy of the Westport Downtown Association.

And — right on cue — I heard my first Christmas carol yesterday.

For the record (ho ho ho), it was “Joy to the World,” at Fresh Market.

Only 37 shopping days left …

(Photo/Dan Woog)


A reader writes:

“A walking friend and I just learned that all the bathrooms at Compo are closed. Even the one at Ned Dimes Marina is locked.

“With all the active people who love walking around Compo, can’t we find the extra money to keep at least one set of restrooms open all year?

“A mother at the playground is not going to want her kids going inside that germ-infested port-o-potty, nor are senior citizens who have difficulty getting into and safely out of it.

“People need real restrooms, and ones that are open until at least 8 p.m. so we can workout outside after work

“Can we get this situation turned back to the way it always was, with restrooms open all year, or at least keep the new handicap accessible restrooms open and pay a cleaning company to maintain them?”

I asked Parks & Recreation Department director Jen Fava about this. She said:

“While I understand the comments from your reader, the bathrooms were not designed for year-round use. The pipes would freeze and burst if left open, which is why they get blown out each winter.

“The only ones that had heat were at the marina. But we have had consistent vandalism, and have therefore closed them in the winter over the past few years.

“We provide porta-johns, so there are facilities available.”

The bathrooms at Compo’s South Beach — and others by the pavilion, playground and marina — are closed until spring. (Photo/Miggs Burroughs)


Six members of the Representative Town Meeting received a standing ovation, at Tuesday’s meeting.

The members — who either did not run for re-elected, or were not returned to office — are from left, in the photo below: Harris Falk, Brien Buckman, Stephen Shackleford, Jamie Bairaktaris, Liz Milwe and Lori Church.

They received thanks, and proclamations, from RTM moderator Jeff Wieser.

(Photo/Andrew Colabella)


Three local women have organized a “Bring Them Home!” event, drawing attention to the plight of hostages held by Hamas.

Set for this Sunday (November 19, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) near the Compo Beach playground, the aim is to set up seats for each of the missing men, women and children. The visual image would represent the plight of the 240 hostages.

Supporters can drop off chairs, or stay at the beach.

Speakers include Rabbi Zach Plesent of Temple Israel and Carin Savel, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Fairfield County.

Questions? Text Inda Sade: 917-440-6067.


Restoration of the stormwater detention pond at Wakeman Town Farm has completed its first phase.

Located on the farm’s north side, the rehabilitation protects nearby Deadman Brook and other downstream waterways from the pond’s storm water runoff, excess nutrient impurities and mitigate urban pollutants.

Phase I included site surveying, debris clearing, mowing, water testing, pond and flora mapping, planting cover crop, and installing a fence with gate between the Farm and the pond.

Westport’s LandTech donated time and expertise, for a bathymetric survey of the pond and its surrounding property. LandTech also teamed up with Staples High School senior interns for water quality testing.

The 1-acre wooded pond was built in the 1990s by the town. Over time, the pond fell victim to invasive vegetation and sediment accumulation.

A grant from Patagonia was instrumental in the project’s success.

Wakeman Town Farm storm water detention pond. 


A cappella fans: Rejoice!

Two Westport favorites — the Dartmouth College Brovertones and Staples High School Orphenians deliver delightful, melodic holiday cheer on December 4 (7 p.m., Saugatuck Congregational Church).

Admission is free, though goodwill donations are accepted to support the church’s concert series.

Staples High School Class of 2021 graduate/current Brovertone senior (and musical director) Sam Laskin is happy to return to his home town for the show.

The group has many connections to Westport, from former members who grew up here (or lived here now), to singing impromptu at a wedding proposal near the Compo Beach house where they stayed on a previous tour.

The group also took a photo on the Compo jetty that was used on an album, “Bro Ties.”

This is the 3rd straight year Sam and the Brovertones will sing here. They were at Christ & Holy Trinity Church in 2021, and at a private MoCA party last year. They also performed at Staples for the choral groups, and described how great an extracurricular experience a cappella has been for all of them.

Staples’ Orphenians, meanwhile, need no introduction. The holidays are their busiest time of the year, and they’ll be in fine form under new director Lauren Pine.


James Comey may have left Westport — and Bridgewater Associates, which brought him to town — for the equally shark-like waters of the FBI.

But he hasn’t forgotten his former home town.

The New York Post reports that his second murder mystery novel, set for publication in May, is about a “make-believe hedge fund called Saugatuck Associates, billed as the world’s largest.”

The teaser from Mysterious Press reads: “A red canoe sits abandoned on Seymour Rock, right where the Saugatuck River hits the Long Island Sound. The elegantly dressed corpse of a woman lies inside….”

The Post adds:

The book is called “Westport,” a posh Connecticut town which, it turns out, is not only where the headquarters of the fictional Saugatuck hedge fund lies, but also that of Bridgewater Associates, the giant hedge fund founded by billionaire Ray Dalio.

And while the protagonist of Comey’s book is a woman, she previously worked as a federal prosecutor before becoming general counsel at Saugatuck – just like Comey did before he became general counsel at Bridgewater.

To read more in the Post about Comey and Bridgewater — where he was “feared,” according to a new book, “The Fund,” by Rob Copeland — click here.

James Comey


The Weston History & Culture Center concludes its World War II lecture series with author Jeffrey DeWitt.

He’ll discuss his book “Connecticut Military Heroes of Pearl Harbor” on — appropriately — December 7 (1 p.m.), followed by a Q-and-A and book signing.

Guided tours of the Coley House, which represents life on the home front during World War II, will be available after the lecture.


Westporters Mia Khamish (a Duke University sophomore) and her sister Izzy Khamish (a Staples High School junior) both won gold medals at the 2023 Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston last month.

Both are coxswains, and products of Connecticut Boat Club.

The Duke 4+ crew’s winning time of 17:46 was 15 seconds ahead of silver medalist Radcliffe.

The next day, Izzy led her youth women’s 4+ to first place, in 19:12.

Mia (left) and Izzy Khamish, with Connecticut Boat Club head coach Liz Trond.


Staples High School Class of 2002 graduate Andrew Aster died unexpectedly on Sunday, in his native city of Dallas. He was 39.

At Staples Andrew was a wrestler, cheerleader, and track and field athlete (pole vault, 110m and 300 m hurdles).

He graduated from Lafayette College in 2006, with a BA in history (focusing on medieval European and French studies). He was president of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, and participated on the track team.

He then worked with Club Med, rising from a GO (Gentils Organisateur) to sports and entertainment manager in Mexico, Israel, France and the Dominican Republic. He was fluent in French, Spanish and Hebrew.

After returning to Dallas, where his family had relocated, he was employed in sales and management in retail and technology, and began a new, exciting opportunity in October.

Andrew is survived by his mother Paula; father Charles (step-mother Ellen); twin brother Jason; sister Raye; step-siblings Kristen, Jessica and Cara, and many loving friends and relatives.

in lieu of flowers the family requests that donations in Andrew’s name be made to a local youth sports organization of your choice, honoring Andrew’s commitment to sports and youth development.

To share a story, photos and condolences with the Aster family, email To read Andrew’s full obituary, click here.

Andrew Aster


Lucy Ambrosino does not have to go far to find “Westport … Naturally” beauty. This is the scene, in the back yard of her Crescent Road home:

(Photo/Lucy Ambrosino)


And finally … in honor of the “06880” reader searching for a bathroom at Compo Beach (story above):


(If you enjoy our daily Roundup — even just the song of the day — please consider a contribution. Just click here. Thank you!)

16 responses to “Roundup: Holidays Are Here; Bathrooms Are Closed …

  1. On bathrooms at Compo – here’s one possible solution. The town can install porta potty in two, maybe three locations. Not the ideal solution but if upkeep is employed they work and are a cost effective solution removed come Spring!

  2. 🎶Bathrooms on the right🎵

  3. $1.3 MILLION DOLLARS for THREE TOILETS lacking a handicap door operating system and sufficient pipe insulation?


    • I agree Jay,
      The price tag on those toilets was always breathtaking and mind blowing.
      You can build a 5,000 sq foot house for less.and make it ADA accessible.
      JUST how was that ever allowed and by whom ?
      That bathroom is worth a max of 150k

  4. This post is timely. I was at the beach today and was witness to several people who were frustrated and disappointed to see bathrooms closed so early in the season. It’s a glorious day, many people at the beach and the $1mm bathrooms locked tighter than a drum. How soon will pipes freeze? And why was this not anticipated in the planning?

    • not everything can be convenient and easy.

      • Colton Areneston

        Why isn’t the reader who submitted the bathroom whine identified? Does he/she fear for their safety?

        Suggestion ‘reader’. Wear a Depends.

        • Well maybe they do ! Fear for their safety. Very good point.
          As long as voting is private.. and we don’t get to chastise voters their right to privately vote..( example we’d all love to know who is voting or has voted for TRUMP) then seems fair people can remain anonymous.
          The facts do not change.
          There are walkers at the beach
          The four seasons priced bathrooms are closed
          The porta potty’s are vile.
          OH AND ANOTHER FACT ! We all shouted and screamed and questioned the price of the toilets…

  5. people are frustrated over a bathroom. I understand. I’m frustrated over the potential loss of USA democracy and USA values.

  6. Thanks for 2016, Comey. NOT!

  7. Valerie Ann Leff

    Yes, I’m worried about democracy, too, but it’s really ridiculous that Compo does not have a functioning insulated bathroom for winter. While we’re talking about Parker Harding and burying hill beach, I think this has to be a simple fix for the beautiful beach we already have. They don’t need to be open after dark in winter, and if there is an issue of vandalism, then put up a security camera—OUTSIDE!

  8. Again Jen Fava has said No to residents request to keep at least one clean bathroom open at Compo. That’s all she knows how to do! Never offering any solutions just her way or the highway mentality. Her stand on the community gardens is another example of her un-willingness to interact with the residents of Westport. Let her use the gross Porto potties. Let’s put one outside the P&R office.

  9. USA values and a loss of democracy is comical. That horse left the barn decades ago.

  10. I’m team bathrooms at Compo! I have a hard time believing we can’t figure out a solution to get them winterized. Compo is a central part of our community!

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