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Category Archives: Beach
Readers often stump me with Photo Challenge submissions. They send images of places I can’t quite recognize, have not noticed before, or never seen.
But I never thought I’d be stumped by a picture of Compo Beach.
Until I saw Matt Murray’s shot. His Photo Challenge last week showed an old-fashioned bottle opener — with a box underneath, presumably for the tops — mounted on what looked like wood. (Click here for the photo.)
Matt said it was on a utility pole at Compo Beach, on the Soundview exit road at Fairfield Avenue. I took his word for it.
I’m not the only one who noticed it — though not many have. Kathe Damman, Dan Aron (who lives on Soundview, and walks by it every day) and Michele Whybrow quickly checked in with the right answer.
So now, readers — including myself — want to know:
- Who put this bottle opener at Compo?
- Why? Was it a joke, a luxury — or a necessity?
- And when? Glass bottles have long been banned from that part of the beach.
If you can shed any light on this Great Bottle Opener Mystery, click “Comments” below. And do the same if you know where in Westport you’d find this week’s Photo Challenge:
It’s not quite Times Square. But certain parts of Westport — Hillspoint Road and South Compo from Elvira Mae’s to the Minute Man, say — attract a wide variety of folks.
Walkers, joggers, people with strollers and/or dogs, bicyclists, motorcyclists, drivers — all enjoy the beautiful, relaxing scenery.
And all battle for limited territory: roads, shoulders, sidewalks.
On Friday, the Westport Police Department — acting on “a number of complaints related to cyclists using town roads recklessly, with little to no regard for posted traffic control signage and other rules of the road” — announced a bicycle traffic enforcement campaign.
Officers — concentrated in and around Compo Beach — will be on the lookout for cyclists who blow through stop signs, fail to ride single file in the direction of traffic, or don’t use hand signals.
The stepped-up enforcement is not anti-biker, the department says. Rather, it’s to “educate and ensure the safety of cyclists, motorists and pedestrians alike while all must share our roads.”
A Compo Beach resident applauded the campaign. He’s tired of trying to enjoy the beauty of the area, only to have “a 10-person bike torpedo zoom through at twice the speed limit, not stopping at signs and crosswalks.”
However, he adds, cyclists should not bear all the blame.
“The bigger and sadder issue is the underlying anger and hate. Bikers are afraid of cars. Walkers are afraid of bikers. And on it goes,” he says.
“Everyone comes from fear and anger, rather than the gratefulness of walking or riding near our spectacular beach. In the short term, the town will address the danger that exists. But in the longer term, how do we as a society address the fear and anger that this issue is simply a symptom of?”
After being on the receiving end of rudeness from cyclists — and scared by them — he says he tried to put himself in their shoes.
His own sons love to ride. “I can’t default to the easy ‘bikers are wrong,'” the Compo area resident says. “So I see this as, short term, let’s enforce the road rules to make people safe.
“Longer term, let’s figure out how we can become more tolerant and accepting of others. Let’s be more grateful, and less grumpy.”
The other day, Robin Tauck counted 12 terrapin turtle nests on the beach at Compo Cove. Each nesting site has dozens of turtle eggs. Robin worries that walls on nearby properties confuse the mothers, making it difficult to find a place to nest.