Category Archives: Beach

Pics Of The Day #338

Celebrating the first full day of spring!

Beachside Avenue (Photo/David Squires)

Grace Salmon Park (Photo/Doris Ghitelman)

Compo cannons (Photo/Larry Untermeyer)

Longshore (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Norwalkers: Beach Sticker Price Increase An Insult To “Outsiders”

The weather outside may be frightful. Nevertheless, Westport beach stickers went on sale this week. 

There’s a small price rise for residents; a bigger one for Weston residents ($375, up from $250 for last year) — and a bigger one still for all others ($775, up from $490). 

Daily parking increases too: It’s now $50 weekdays, $65 on weekends. 

That news did not sit well with one Norwalk family. They write:

We consider your nearly 50% increase in non-resident parking emblems outrageous, and motivated by more than needs relating to upgrades to latrines. The sudden and dramatic inflation of the emblem tag is a naked and obvious way to cut down on “outsiders.”

Surely you are aware of the effect this has on the family budgets of hard working people. Your sudden price increase makes your beach, and neighbors mingling with neighbors, cost prohibitive.

For several years we have loyally contributed to Westport by spending time there in the summers with your already expensive decals. We paid for this without complaint. We always behaved well, and summered in a clean and friendly way — while contributing to your vendors and local economy.

For working people like us in Norwalk (both educators outside of our area), this was our yearly vacation. After many years, this loyalty has been rewarded with this unprovoked and inappropriate price increase — a thumb in the eye of your clients and long-time supporters.

You may wish to know why we are so eager to use your beaches, when Norwalk has its own lovely locations. The reason is that our friendships and our kids’ friends aren’t divided by town borders. Through Scouts, church, parades, athletics and community events — including at your own public library — we co-mingle.

Unlike the apparent exclusivity exhibited by your town’s politicians, most regular people are eager to spend time with those who aren’t their immediate neighbors.

Your decision-makers should be eager to lead in this rather than increasing barriers especially as you promote the “hate has no place here” themes and inclusive rhetoric.

A Norwalk family claims Westport’s beach policy is exclusionary — and hypocritical. (Photo/Brandon Malin)

Your town officials have spoken out on changing Westport’s “image,” and largely blame outside forces for any possible negative reputation. No need to look beyond your community — the image can be helped from within. This price increase flies in the face of that. Given this increased price point, it seems we can add hypocrisy on the part of the powers that be to the questionable motives.

Lastly, your lack of acknowledging (in original emails and posts, as well as subsequent email exchanges) the nature and effect of the cost prohibitive nature of your decision is insulting. Prices don’t go up for 300 to 400 “outside” families by nearly 50% (plus other fees for your own residents) to cover improvements to the bathrooms. This makes no sense on its face, and is insulting.

At best, your decision is an effort to keep Westport beaches closed to neighbors for misguided logistical reasons. At worst, it is motivated by race and class.

We plan to gather families inside and outside your town. We will contact the media to explore the nature, results and effects of your decision immediately.

Pic Of The Day #335

Compo Beach neighborhood (Photo/Katherine Bruan)

Pic Of The Day #334

Today’s strong winds were perfect for kitesurfing at Compo Beach (Photo/Nancy Lewis)

Pics Of The Day #324

Most of us stayed inside today, waiting for the nor’easter.

It arrived. As of 7:30 pm, over 1500 Westport customers were without power. Including yours truly. With many trees down, this could be a long restoration.

Earlier today, when it was quieter — and prettier — Betsy P. Kahn roamed around town. Camera in hand, she captured these beautiful scenes:

A bench at Grace Salmon Park.

One view of the tugboat in Ned Dimes Marina …

… and another.

Compo Beach surf …

… and sand.

And of course, the cannons. (Photos/Betsy P. Kahn)

Scenes From A “Storm”

Compo Beach jetty (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Nyala Farm, earlier today (Photo/Amy Schneider)

Late Arrival

Today’s “nor’easter” took its time arriving.

There were flurries all morning. Kids loved their day off from school. They didn’t even have to shovel. (Of course, there wasn’t enough snow to go sledding either.)

This was the scene around noon, at Compo Beach:

(Photo/Larry Untermeyer)

(Photo/Larry Untermeyer)

A bit inland on Imperial Avenue, snow dusted Grace Salmon Park:

(Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

By mid-afternoon, the snow was real:

(Photo/Larry Untermeyer)

Here was Wakeman Field, next to Bedford Middle School — often the windiest spot in Westport:

(Photo/Louise Lafontan)

Yet the winds were not as strong as forecast. The snow was not as heavy.

High winds and steady snow are still predicted, particularly from 5 to 7 p.m.

We shall see…

Parks & Rec Spring, Summer Signups Begin March 14

Back in the day, registration for Parks & Recreation spring and summer programs — including Camp Compo — meant driving down to Longshore, standing in line in a grungy office, going back home for whatever documents you forgot, then doing it all over again.

Eventually the offices were renovated. Mail-in registration was added. But folks still forgot stuff.

Now the process is all online. You know immediately what you’ve forgotten.

So mark your calendars. Online registration begins Wednesday, March 14 at 9 a.m. NOTE: Many programs fill quickly.

A login and password are necessary. Parks & Rec advises taking care of that now, if you don’t have one. Click here to create an account. Questions? Email before March 9.

If you still like the old ways — walk-in, mail or fax (!) — it begins Monday, March 19.

That’s the same day (March 19) that beach stickers — or “emblems,” as Parks & Rec calls them — go on sale online (and in person).

Usually that’s a ho-hum affair. But with fewer stickers on sale to non-residents — 350, down from 600 last summer — out-of-towners should mark the date on their calendars.

Otherwise, you might get left out in the cold.

And Parks & Rec employees who work in that office don’t want to feel your heat.

Pic Of The Day #322

Compo Beach cannons at night (Photo/Henry Wynne)

Pics Of The Day #321

Remnants of Friday’s nor’easter:

A swamped boat in the Sherwood Mill Pond … (Photo/Andrew Colabella)

… and benches on the still-swollen Saugatuck River. (Photo/Carolanne Curry)