Category Archives: Longshore

Woodman Does Not Spare Longshore Trees

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!)

[UPDATE] Longshore Plan Ready For Parks & Rec Vote

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
  • Practice green
  • 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 pools are 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 area will 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 circle will 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.

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Longshore reflections at Gray’s Creek (Photo/Claudia Sherwood Servidio)

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Longshore Sailing School — closed for the winter (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Roundup: Parker Harding, Longshore, Speakeasy …

The Downtown Plan Implementation Committee’s project has begun.

Public Works Department employees assisted town engineers and Langan consultants yesterday, as they dug test pits for the renovation.

Site work downtown. (Photo courtesy of Town of Westport)


Westport’s Parks & Recreation Commission will hold a special meeting next Thursday (March 2, 7:30 p.m., Town Hall).

The one agenda item is the Longshore Capital Improvement Plan.

Longshore Club Park


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.



A Westport woman is having a hard time finding a handyman.

The work involves basic repairs, including painting, screens and other things.

She’s not on Facebook (the usual place to search for such things), and has had no luck finding one on her own. If you know of a good handyman — or you are one yourself — click “Comments” below.


Many Westporters are away this week, for the public schools’ winter break.

These guys stuck around, and posed for today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo:

(Photo/Liza Emilio)


And finally … you knew this was coming, right?

(“06880” is your non-profit, hyperlocal blog. Contributions are tax-deductible. Please click here for details. Thank you!)

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Longshore golf course (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

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Westport PAL Longshore skating rink … (Photo/Teona Pipiya Johnson)

… and capturing the scene (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

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ER Strait Marina, Longshore (Photo/Jay Petrow)

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Longshore lines (Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

Roundup: Wreaths, War, WPD Toys …

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: 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.”


Liz and Richard are true heroes.

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.

In Ukraine they met Brian Mayer. The Westporter spent several months helping coordinate relief efforts. He also helped fund Liz and Richard’s work.

After several months of non-stop work, the pair needed a rest. Brian invited them to Westport, for a few days of R&R.

On Monday they met with 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Ken Bernhard, another Westporter deeply involved in humanitarian aid.

Liz and Richard were taking a breather. But they did not stop working. The group discussed how Westport can be even more helpful in the global fight against Russian aggression.

(From left): Richard, Brian Mayer, 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, Liz and Ken Bernhard discuss how Westport can aid Ukraine.


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.

Toy collection boxes will also be available at:

  • Westport Police Department, 50 Jesup Road
  • ASF Sports & Outdoors, 1560 Post Road East
  • PAL ice rink, Longshore
  • Awesome Toys & Gifts, 429 Post Road East
  • The Toy Post, 180 Post Road East.

Questions? Contact Officer Craig Bergamo: 203-341-6000;

Westport Police accept toy donations at ASF.


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).


The poster evokes the Roaring ’20s:

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!”


Westporter Jen Dennison and her colleague Kelly Gipson (who grew up here) are teachers at the Learning Community Day School on Hillspoint Road.

Recently, their class read “Pearl and Squirrel Give Thanks.” (The plot, if you don’t have a preschooler, is about 2 homeless pets.)

The class talked about people who have no homes, or money for food. They decided to help.

The children took home a letter about donations. In 3 days, they collected a truck full.

“They were so proud,” Kelly reports.

On Tuesday, they brought their donations to Operation Hope in Fairfield.

It’s never too early to learn about giving. Thanks and congratulations — you are a true Learning “Community.”

Giving back, at the Learning Community.


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)

Ryan Smith


Westport’s founding fathers did not wear t-shirts. And they sure didn’t have mouse pads.

But you can sport a tee (or tank top, sweatshirt or hoodie), wrap yourself in a fleece blanket, drink from a mug or use a mouse pad that commemorates 1835 — the year Westport became its own town.

Those items are part of Finding Westport’s newest offerings. There are 2 lines: the 1835 Collection, and one called Westport Est.

Daniel Nash would be proud.


The Y’s Men of Westport and Weston took a brisk 5-mile walk Monday — in Manhattan.

The group headed out from Grand Central to the United Nations, Sutton Place, Rockefeller University, Carl Shurz Park and Gracie Mansion.

It was the 7th in their series of New York City explorations. Many Y’s Men spent their careers working there. They seldom had a chance to be tourists, though.

Y’sMen at the New York Daily News building. (Hat tip and photo/Dave Matlow)


It’s not even Thanksgiving, but the raccoons are scavenging.

Jill Grayson went to fill the back yard bird feeder, and found a skunk. A short time later, these 2 guys appeared.

All creatures, great and small — and smelly — are part of our “Westport … Naturally” world. Happy Thanksgiving1

(Photo/Jill Grayson)


And finally … Michael Butler, the wealthy financier and producer who brought “Hair” to Broadway in 1968, died earlier this month in a nursing home in California. He was 95.

He was hardly a hippie. But he made his mark on American theater with the “tribal love-rock musical.” Click here for a full obituary.

(“Easy to be hard …” — and easy to support “06880.” Just click here. And thank you!)