Category Archives: Beach

Pic Of The Day #865

The classic Compo pavilion shot (Photo/Fred Cantor)

Pic Of The Day #864

Mobi-Mat at Compo Beach (Photo/Larry Silver)

Pic Of The Day #862

It’s a dog’s life (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Pic Of The Day #861

Compo Beach fisherman, earlier tonight (Photo/Caroline Walshon)

Pic Of The Day #860

Nearing the end of summer, at South Beach (Photo/Amy Schneider)

Photo Challenge #243

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:

(Photo/Bill Dedman)

Police Step Up Bike Traffic Enforcement. Resident Sees A Larger Issue.

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.

Beautiful — and not much room.

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 scene yesterday, at Soundview Avenue by Hillspoint Road.

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.”

Not Westport. But to some people, it feels like this.

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.

He realized how much they fear biking next to an SUV driver preoccupied with his or her cellphone (which the Police Department also addresses).

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.”

Pic Of The Day #858

Pure joy yesterday, at Sherwood Mill Pond (Photo/Merri Mueller)

Pics Of The Day #856

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.

(Photos/Robin Tauck)

Unsung Heroes #112

As summer winds down, this week’s Unsung Heroes is a no-brainer.

Everyone — and there’s a ton — who made this year’s Compo, Burying Hill and Old Mill Beach and Longshore experiences so wonderful: Take a bow!

If you are a:

  • Parks & Recreation maintenance worker, who cleans up our messes so conscientiously and professionally
  • Parks & Rec gate attendant, who waves us in, collects our fees and deals so smilingly with a not-always-smiling public
  • Parks & Rec Department staffer or Commission member, who helped shepherd the new improvements (South Beach sidewalk and bathroom, new tables and grills) through from conception to completion
  • Lifeguard, who keeps us safe, provides first aid, reunites lost kids with panicked parents, and endured a few very boring days in the chair watching the water when the beaches were closed (special shout-out to directors Heidi List Murphy and Danilo Sierra)

  • Marina worker (and of course Westport Police marine unit member), who do so much good stuff the public seldom sees
  • Joey Romeo or part of his youthful “By the Shore” staff at Compo and Longshore, who serve great food and never get mad even when we have no idea what to order despite standing in line for 10 minutes thinking about it

(Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

  • Longshore golf course, tennis court or pool attendant, who we see every day, in all kinds of weather and seldom even nod to
  • Early-morning employee like Drew Grega, who grooms the beach so well and unobtrusively we never even know you’re there …

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

It would not have been a wonderful Westport summer without you.

PS: I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone. If I have — aaargh! Just add those Unsung Heroes in the “Comments” section.

(To nominate an Unsung Hero, email dwoog@optonline.net)