The Longshore Capital Improvement Plan — including pickleball courts; a new golf clubhouse; renovations to the tennis courts, pool and playground, and more — will take 10 years to complete.
If it’s approved by the appropriate town bodies, funded, and not altered along the way.
Of more immediate concern are Longshore’s trees.
Alert reader Clarence Hayes writes:
I am perplexed by the seemingly random cutting of trees at Longshore Park this winter.
Virtually all of them were healthy. When I examined the cut trunks, there are no signs of disease. They were not interfering with the road.
Some seemed entirely gratuitous exercises in tree mutilation, in which main branches I knew to be fully healthy were cut off for at best someone’s idea of symmetry, in locations where no people or traffic go.
I know that at least a couple were selected by Westport’s tree warden, since there were notices posted on the trees saying the warden had condemned the tree. All of them appear to be on Longshore park property, which leads me to conclude that all of them were based on the tree warden decision, or if not the warden, then the Parks & Recreation Department.
There are several cuts of 150-plus-year-old trees just off the golf course parking lot that are not near anything. It is bizarre why they were cut.
“06880” emailed Parks & Recreation Department director Jen Fava, and tree warden Ben Sykas, for comments. Neither replied.
(“06880 keeps an eye on trees — and the rest of Westport. Please click here to help support our work. Thank you!)
This story has been updated, to include a correct rendering of the proposed new golf clubhouse. The previous image did not show the location near the 1st tee.
When the Parks & Recreation Commission meets on Thursday (March 2, 7:30 p.m., Town Hall), they’ll vote on a long-awaited Capital Improvement Plan for Longshore.
A much-derided idea of turning the entrance into a 2-way road has been scrapped.
But many other elements presented earlier — including a new golf clubhouse; pickleball courts; relocation of the maintenance facility to the brush dump; improvements to the platform tennis and tennis area, pool and playground, plus construction of shoreline and pedestrian paths — are in the plan.
Changes will be coming to Longshore.
Parks & Recreation Department staff has approved the recommendation. It’s the culmination of work done by the Stantec consulting firm. Beginning in January 2022, they held meetings with 14 user groups and town departments; conducted a community survey; held 5 open houses; sent out a second survey, and held several public meetings.
Parks & Rec calls the plan “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make improvements to connectivity, pedestrian and vehicular circulation, safety, functionality, support of uses, accessibility, aesthetics, capacity, ease of use, and recreation opportunities for an increasingly diverse population of park enthusiasts.”
Among the specifics:
A new golf clubhouse by the 1st tee will provide:
Restrooms and locker rooms for golfers, and restrooms for other park users
A pro shop
Indoor instruction and club fit
Golfer check-in and payment location
Golf cart paddock area
Grill room and patio.
The golf plan includes a clubhouse and golf cart storage (orange), and pedestrian paths (dotted lines).
The current poolsare outdated. The improvement plan will include a zero entry pool and splash pad. The redesign will capture water views currently blocked by mechanical systems.
Playground replacement and redesign will separate it from the Sailing School congestion, and improve safety.
Realigning the platform tennis and tennis areawill move the platform tennis courts closer to parking, add up to 12 parking spaces, and allow for the possible installation of a bubble in the future.
Plans show changes to the racquets are (blue), the relocated playground (pink), and the pool complex.
Relocating the parks maintenance facility to the brush dump will:
Remove an eyesore from a high-use area
Create space for platform tennis
Reduce maintenance vehicular traffic within the park
Add up to 30 parking spaces.
A new traffic circlewill improve vehicular circulation, especially for drivers unfamiliar with Longshore, and improve usability of the Cuttings Lane loop road.
Modifications and changes could be made during the design phase.
The Parks & Rec Department recommends a timeline beginning with the “much-needed” pickleball and platform tennis facilities to be built first.
“While we understand the golf community has been waiting for a longer period of time,” officials say, “the golf operations can continue to function while the other uses do not have facilities available to meet the demand.”
The improvement plan is projected to take 10 years. The projected cost is $47,099,000.
Looking for a historic speakeasy in Westport, featuring jazz, food, drink and gambling?
Head to the Suzuki Music School in Colonial Green on March 4 (7 p.m.). The basement will be transformed into the type of illicit space F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald knew well from their time here.
The Rich Goldstein Trio and Joe Carter Trio will perform. Tickets ($125) include food and drink, and $25 of (charity) gambling chips. Click here for tickets, and more information.
Proceeds benefit the Suzuki Music Schools, and Westport Museum of History & Culture.
The evening marks the mid-event of the 2023 Connecticut Guitar Festival. Opening night at MoCA Westport (Friday, March 3) features classical guitarist Rene Izquierdo and contemporary Guitarist Jordan Dodson.
The Saturday daytime lineup includes education for young and old guitar students at MoCA: master classes, lectures, an open mic and a 3 p.m. showcase concert by the Yale Guitars.
The Guitar Festival ends Sunday at MoCA with a free children’s pillow concert headed by festival artistic director Mak Grgic, and an honors concert of young area students.
Click here for full details of the Connecticut Guitar Festival.
Westport Police report 2 custodial arrests between February 16 and 22.
One followed a report that a family member was acting erratically. During a mental health emergency, a Westport resident swung at officers, causing minor injuries. He was charged with 2 counts of assault on a public safety employee.
The other arrest was for failure to appear.
The Police Department is still unable to report information on traffic and other citations.
One arrest last week was for failure to appear for a court date.
Wheels2U’s on-demand, group ride, door-to-train platform shuttle service is free tomorrow (Friday, February 24).
The normal fee to and from the Westport and Greens Farms stations is $2.
Riders use the Wheels2U Westport app to request a pickup between 5:45 and 10 a.m., and 4 and 9:30 p.m., for rides between either train platform and their front door. Pickups for trips to the stations should be requested 20 minutes before normally leaving to drive to the station.
For more information about Wheels2U, including how to download the Wheels2U app and book a ride, click here. For more information about the Westport Transit District’s services for the elderly and people with disabilities, click here.
Each Christmas season, the Wreaths Across America program honors fallen servicemembers, and all who serve. Over 2 million volunteers take part, in all 50 states and overseas.
This year, for the first time, Westport joins in.
The date is December 17. The time is noon. The cemetery is Assumption, on Greens Farms Road.
It wouldn’t have happened without Patty Kondub. The popular Westport Family YMCA and Senior Center (and Staples High School girls golf coach) is the local coordinator.
As part of her many other Westport activities, she’s also vice president of the VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399 Auxiliary.
Click here to sponsor a wreath (the deadline is November 29). To designate a wreath for a specific veteran at the Assumption cemetery, email Patty: email@example.com. You can also email her to volunteer to mark graves before December 17, and place them on that date
For Patty, the project is personal. Her father — John Kondub — was a World War II Marine, and VFW Post 399 member. He earned a Purple Heart, for hand-to-hand combat in the Japanese Islands.
He is buried at Assumption Greens Farms Cemetery — almost across from the farm where he was born, before I-95 was built.
“There are over 200 veterans buried in this cemetery,” Patty says. “I hope they all get wreaths.”
She’s from Florida, and speaks 5 languages. He’s a German attorney. They met and formed a group that braves drones and missiles to drive desperately needed supplies to the front lines in Ukraine. Their supplies include water filtration systems and wood burning stoves for civilians, who are starving and bracing for a cold winter.
One of Westport’s favorite toy drives takes place soon.
The Police Department Benevolent Association and Westport Police Athletic League will again collect gifts for underprivileged children in Fairfield County.
Officers will accept new, unopened and unwrapped toys — plus cash donations — in the ASF Sports & Outdoors parking lot (1560 Post Road East), on Saturday and Sunday, December 3-4 and 10-11, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Speaking of police: As they do every year just before Thanksgiving, dozens of Staples High School students dodged cops.
The teenagers and officers had a ball.
The event was the annual Dodge-a-Cop dodgeball tournament. Each team of students included at least one member of the Westport force.
They hurled dodgeballs at each other. They protected their teammates.
The event — sponsored by the Westport Youth Commission and Staples’ Teen Awareness Group — was for a great cause. Entry fees supported the Toys for Tots holiday drive.
Staples school resource officer Ed Woolridge (back row, white shirt, blue headband) was on the winning Dodge-a-Cop team. The winners posed with Andrew Colabella — longtime Dodge-a-Cop referee, former Youth Commission member, and current RTM member. (far right).
That’s appropriate. Longshore — the site of this Saturday night’s first-ever Café Noir — is said to have been the setting for nearby resident (okay, renter) F. Scott Fitzgerald) when he later wrote “The Great Gatsby.”
But the music and vibe will be “classic house, funk and disco” at 9 p.m., when a pair of Westport DJs (self-described “middle-aged British dudes, aka “Bangers and Mash”) host the event at Longshore’s La Plage restaurant.
“We’re looking to introduce a bit of suave and sophistication to the evening,” says Phil White, who is Banger.
Tom Fielding is Mash. He’s also an accomplished house DJ. He founded London’s famed dance club The End back in the late 90s.
White DJed in college, then toured Europe putting on raves. before getting sucked into “the big bad world of global advertising.” (Hey, at least he’s advertising Café Noir well.)
The pair will run their Saturday night events at La Plage through Christmas. In the spring, they’ll take their act out on the terrace.
“So get out,” White urges. “Get your groove on. And dress to impress!”
Given the alleged nature of La Plage at Longshore ( the original millionaires party venue for the Great Gatsby?)…we’re looking to introduce a bit of swarve and sophicats to the evening proceeding and get 06680’s well healed and otherwise housebound cognoscenti to get out and get their groove on!
No shoe? No problem!
Ryan Smith — Bates College’s men’s cross country captain, and a Staples High School running star with the Class of 2019 — lost a shoe in the first mile of the 8K NCAA East Regional Championship, at Bowdoin College.
When his shoe was stepped on, there were 100 runners behind Smith. He could not slow down to fix it, so he kicked it into the woods and kept going.
He finished 11th out of more than 200 runners, helping the Bobcats to 2nd place overall. That helped them qualify for the NCAA Championships, (Hat tip: Brian Strong)
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