Category Archives: Longshore

Pic Of The Day #1141

Longshore bench, tonight (Photo/Andrew Colabella)

COVID Roundup: Kayak, Paddle Rentals; Principal’s Personal Notes; Roly Poly; More


Longshore Sailing School opens today — in phases.

Phase 1 is kayak and paddleboard rentals online. Tomorrow (Monday, June 1), those rentals are available online, and for walk-ins.

Wednesday (June 3) is the first day for sailboat and catamaran rentals. Online reservations are suggested; walk-ins are first-come, first-served.

Click here to reserve. NOTE: Renters must present a license or photo ID at the office.

(Photo/Anne Bernier)


It’s been quite a first year for Staples High School principal Stafford Thomas.

No one could have predicted what happened in March — or since then. But in addition to shepherding the school through distance learning, keeping the lines of communication open with a series of warm, informative videos, and doing thousands of other things that no one ever taught in his education classes, the popular principal hand-wrote congratulatory notes to graduating seniors.

All 433 of them.

It doesn’t make up for what the Class of 2020 missed during their final 3 months. But if anyone still keeps scrapbooks, a note like that should go right in front.


As restaurants throughout Westport reopen, Roly Poly is closing.

Yesterday, employees were wrapping up the final wraps. The longtime franchise on Saugatuck Avenue could not make it through the COVID crisis.


The Fine Arts Festival was supposed to be this weekend. It’s been postponed. The new dates are October 17-18.

But you can still see and buy beautiful paintings, sculptures and photos from the artists who would have lined Main Street today.

Click here to browse. Then mark your calendars for the live event this fall.


One more piece of proof that Westport is on its way to reopening fully:

Our self-important, really obnoxious entitled bad parkers are back!

Compo Shopping Center (Photo/Michael Newman)

And finally … Tyrone Davis nails it:

COVID Roundup: Tennis, Golf, Fields News; Traffic Returns; Mexica Moves In; More


There’s plenty of good recreation news!

The tennis courts at Town Farm (North Compo Road) and Doubleday (behind Saugatuck Elementary School) open next Friday (June 5). Play is limited to singles, on only those courts with nets. For all tennis court rules and regulations, click here.

Beginning Monday (June 1), single rider and pull golf carts will be available at Longshore, through the 2 p.m. tee time. That ensures enough time for proper sanitation. Carts are limited, and available while supplies last. 

As of Friday (June 5), Longshore tee times begin at 7 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. They remain at 8 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Play is extended daily; the last tee time is 7 p.m.

And — to the delight of young athletes throughout town, and runners of all ages — fields at Wakeman, Staples High School (including the outdoor track) and Kings Highway Elementary School open for individual use and exercise on Monday (June 1).

No organized, competitive, pick-up team play, practices or games are allowed.  Groups can include no more than 5 people, and social distancing must be followed. Non-compliance may result in field closures, Parks & Recreation officials say.

NOTE: Jinny Parker (field hockey) Field at Staples, and PJ Romano Field at Saugatuck Elementary will be closed for the summer, due to construction.

Wakeman athletic fields


Every day you seen, sense and feel it: More and more activity, all around town.

Including traffic.

This was the scene yesterday on Wilton Road. A long line at the Post Road light — it’s almost a welcome sight!

(Photo/David Waldman)


It takes a lot of cojones to open a new restaurant in the midst of a pandemic

But that’s what the owners of Mexica are doing. The new spot — with similar cuisine — replaces Señor Salsa in the small Post Road West shopping center by Sylvan Lane.

Who doesn’t need a shot of tequila right now?!

(Photo/Cindy Mindell)

You know all those bottles and can you’ve been collecting since the coronavirus hit, and Stop & Shop closed their return center?

Bring ’em back. The doors are open once again.

Except 7 to 7:30 a.m., and 2 to 2:30 p.m. The room is closed then, for cleaning.


JL Rocks started at Bungalow. Now the luxury jeweler and home emporium are separate stores. But owners Jamie Camche and Wende Cohen still collaborate.

They’ve survived the Great Recession — and now, a retail apocalypse — by offering great quality, exemplary customer service, and a unique aesthetic.

Safe 1-on-1 appointments, FaceTime consultations, curbside pick-ups and shipping have kept their many loyal customers delighted.

Jamie and Wende are working together on a new project: the “City of Lights” collection. They created a series of slim, stackable rings, each highlighted with a stunning diamond. Available in 14K yellow, white and rose gold, the 5 rings are inspired by Parisian landmarks: the Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Palace of Versailles and Notre Dame.

So what if the coronavirus has canceled your European trip? It’s a lot less expensive to buy a beautiful ring. You’ll have it forever. And you’re helping 2 wonderful women, whose 2 stores — and close partnership — has brought joy to so many Westporters.

(The rings are available online at JL Rocks, and at Bungalow in Sconset Square.)

Jamie Camche and Wende Cohen .(Photo/Jen Goldberg for Private Portraits)


And finally … when Paul Simon wrote “America” in 1966, our nation was in the midst of convulsive change. Half a century later — battered by a pandemic, polarized by beliefs, ripped apart by race and class and so many other divisions — we’re still empty and aching. And we don’t know why.

Salons, Barber Shop Openings Delayed; Tennis Courts Open Soon

You’ve waited a long time for that haircut or coloring.

Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait a bit longer.

The opening of those nearly essential (to many) businesses was set for this Wednesday (May 20).

Today Governor Ned Lamont announced t– with Governor Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island — that those businesses will be pushed back to “early June.”

Lamont noted that after extensive discussions with owners and employees of these businesses, more time is needed.

“We’ve been hearing a lot of feedback from many owners and employees, and at this time I think the best approach is that we hit pause on the reopening of hair salons and barbershops, take a step back, and allow some more time as preparations continue to be made,” the governor said.

In other reopening news, Westport plans to open the Longshore and Staples High School tennis courts on May 27.

Play will be limited to singles, and allowed on courts 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 at Longshore, and 2, 4 and 6 at Staples.

Longshore tennis courts (Photo/Cliona Becker)

Additional restrictions will be in place, and posted here. The Longshore courts will require advanced reservations, with payment by credit card only; no walk-ups permitted.

Work is now being done on the Town Farm and Doubleday courts. When that’s completed, those courts will be open with similar restrictions.

Meanwhile, the Longshore pool opening is delayed until further notice. So is staffing of lifeguards at Compo and Burying Hill beaches, as the town awaits further guidance from the state.

Marpe: As Compo, Longshore Open, Cooperation Needed

1st Selectman Jim Marpe says:

Tomorrow we reopen the Compo Beach and Soundview parking lots at 50 percent capacity, for Westporters and Westonites with valid 2020 beach emblems. The golf course at Longshore Park will be open as well, with restrictions in place.

I’m excited that you’ll have more opportunity for being outdoors, and for enjoying our wonderful parks and beaches.

But for the reopening of our beaches and golf course to succeed, caution and mutual respect are essential.

Key requirements related to the reopening of our beaches will help keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible. Following these recommendations is imperative so that the state’s rules for social distancing and limiting group sizes are implemented.

Even at the beach, you must maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others who are not members of your immediate household. Face coverings are required if you are in a position where you are not able to socially distance. You should have a mask ready.

A typical scene recently: Compo Beach being groomed for a new season. The rules will be different though, when the parking lots open tomorrow. (Photo/Karen Como)

Be aware that beach capacity will be limited to 50 percent of the parking lot capacity.

Parks & Recreation staff will control traffic at the parking lot gates, so you may be denied admission into the lots when you get there. We will have signage at key locations on the approaches to Compo Beach to warn you of this before you arrive at the beach. You may have to make alternate plans, return at a later time, or visit on another day.

You may bring your own umbrellas, chairs, blankets and towels, and enjoy the beach. However, please leave tents, pop-ups, Frisbees and sports equipment at home. We are not allowing any type of activity that has the potential for people encroaching on others.

The playground, basketball courts, skate park, volleyball courts, pickleball courts and softball field remain closed. Port-a-johns will be available, and held to a stringent cleaning and sanitization protocol by our Parks maintenance staff.

There are no tables available in any location. Grills have been removed, and bringing your own grill is not permitted. All of this is being done in an effort to limit gatherings.

Tables and grills have been removed from Compo Beach. (Photo/Dan Woog)

These restrictions may be changed over time based on guidance from the governor, federal, state and local authorities, as well as community compliance and experience. We ask for your patience and adherence to the established rules.

Over the past several weeks, Longshore Club Park has been heavily used by walkers, joggers, cyclists and others. With the golf course open, these types of activities, even along the roadways, pose additional safety concerns from errant golf balls. For your safety, please take part in these types of activities at other locations. In addition, starting tomorrow, a valid 2020 beach emblem is required for parking in some Longshore Club Park lots.

Our top priority is the health and safety of our residents. A good rule of thumb: Act in public as if you have the virus, and that anyone you encounter has it too. We request that you follow the rules and guidelines closely. Remember that everyone in town is relying on your compliance. Strict adherence to social distancing and face covering requirements is imperative if we are to keep the beaches and golf course open.

During these unusual times we need to work together to ensure the health and safety of our community, as well as to ensure that the effort to reopen our parks and beaches is successful.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Pics Of The Day #1122

Springtime in Westport: “Gloria” in Gray’s Creek … (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

… and Myrtle Avenue downtown (Photo/Marcia Falk)

Photo Challenge #280

Once upon a time, there were weddings at Longshore.

Dozens of guests sat on folding chairs behind Pearl. Lovestruck couples exchanged vows, framed by Long Island Sound. The sun always shined.

That scene — without people, but evocative of those days — was last week’s Photo Challenge. Bobbie Herman, Stephen Pratt, Bill Kutik, Michael Calise, Cindy Zuckerbrod, Patti Brill, Antony Lantier, Cheryl Kritzer, Lynn Untermeyer Miller and Seth Braunstein all remembered the scene, captured nicely by photographer Leigh Gage. Click here to see.

This week’s Photo Challenge is colorful too. If you know where in Westport you’d see it, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Molly Alger)

Marpe: “A Good Week In Westport”

1st Selectman Jim Marpe says:

This has been a good week in Westport. The rate of growth for confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to slow, and across the state the number of hospitalizations continues to fall.

The RTM passed the town and school budgets for fiscal year 2021, resulting in an overall increase of less than half of a percent. The town’s AAA rating from Moody’s has been reaffirmed. We are also pleased to announce that the town’s tax collections this fiscal year are on target and have not been significantly impacted by the virus. As a reminder, you have until May 22 to apply for a COVID-19 related tax deferment on your April installment payment.

The state is working toward reopening much of the private sector. Later today, we expect new guidance from the state Department of Economic and Community Development, which will cover aspects of reopening salons, barbershops, restaurants, offices and other businesses.

Businesses like Joe’s Pizza, Le Rouge Aartisan Chocolates, Ron’s Barber Shop and Westport Wellness Massage look forward to new “reopening” regulations.

Westport will largely follow the state’s reopening strategy, as communicated by Governor Lamont. We have launched the ReOpen Westport Advisory Team, which held its first public meeting on Wednesday. Liaisons were named for each local business segment, and are actively reaching out to business owners.

The team is pleased to have Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Westport resident and former FDA commissioner, share his perspectives on reopening at the Monday, May 11 meeting (11 a.m.). Westport’s state legislative delegation will also attend, to update the team on the state’s plan. You can watch this meeting via live streaming on our website, or Cablevision channel 79.

A week from today we will open the parking facilities at Compo Beach at 50% capacity, and the Longshore golf course will be open for play (with certain restrictions). This is an opportunity to get out of the house, enjoy the warmer weather, and perhaps get some physical activity. But remember the importance of maintaining a social distance of at least 6 feet at all times, and you must bring or wear a mask if you anticipate difficulties achieving that.

Compo Beach, this week. (Photo/Yvonne Claveloux)

In the coming week we will announce the specific rules and regulations related to the beach opening. We encourage you to follow them, and remind you that everyone in town is relying on your compliance. Social distancing and wearing masks is imperative if we are to keep the beaches and golf course open.

Public health experts have determined that wearing a cloth face covering may prevent transmission by an infected person. The use of appropriate personal protective equipment in public places is of critical interest to all of us. If you are in a public place and cannot maintain a safe social distance of at least 6 feet, then you must cover your nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face covering. The best advice is to have a mask available at all times if you are outside of your home, and most certainly when you are at our beaches and parks. I keep mine around my neck when I step outside so it’s ready to go if necessary.

The town of Westport has procured 25,000 face masks, with the help of the Grace Farms Foundation in New Canaan. We plan to distribute them to the general public Tuesday morning.  Further details will follow on Monday.

Please continue to stay connected with the town as the COVID-19 response and reopening evolves. For updates, please check the town website or the ReOpening site.

I want to wish all of you a great Mother’s Day weekend. Don’t forget: You’re not stuck at home; you’re safe at home.

Petition Pleads: Don’t Reopen Compo And Longshore Yet

Town officials plan to open Compo Beach parking lots, and the Longshore golf course, on May 15.

Not so fast, warns Holly Maybruck

The Westport resident thinks that’s too early. She shared her concerns in a letter to the 1st selectman, Parks & Recreation staffers, RTM members and others.

She also created a Change.org position. As of 9 a.m. today, it had received 112 signatures. She hopes for 200.

The petition says:

We are asking for the Compo Beach (parking lots) and Longshore golf course not to be opened on May 15, 2020. Please see our signed petition.

We are very concerned about the opening up of the parking lots and beach area even at 50% capacity. It is apparent to myself and others that we can’t trust people to be compliant with social distancing on the boardwalks, paths and beaches.

Compo Beach cannons, before social distancing rules went into effect.  (Photos/Larry Untermeyer)

Just this past weekend there were clusters of teenagers and people, who were clearly not immediate family, together on the beach. People were not wearing masks and walking way too close together on sidewalks and boardwalks on the beach.

I know people are anxious to get to our beautiful beach but this virus thrives in social settings and people are less likely to wear masks in outdoor public spaces.

I feel that more needs to be done before opening these public areas to large groups of people. There is so much unknown about this virus. I know that the beach stickers, restaurants and golf course brings revenue to the town, but I strongly feel that lives and safety should be the focus.

Two people practice social distancing at Compo Beach. (Photo/Bob Weingarten)

Anyone can be a carrier and takes this virus with them wherever they go. I have photos from last weekend of the beach area and it was disturbing to see the large numbers of people not social distancing. Aside from adults and teens not complying, young children cannot understand the concept and can infect others as well.

Please see this letter posted on Westport Now. On May 4 there were reports that Westport COVID cases and deaths are up.

It just took one party in Westport to get the fire started. I ask you to please consider delaying the opening up of these until we have the following:

Key elements for safely re-opening:

  1. Capacity/capability to execute and perform contact tracing.
  2. Provide adequate resources and means for those who need to self-isolate.
  3. Monitor and reinforce social distancing.

These are the 3 elements that the community at large can contribute towards a safe re-opening.

Compo and other public gathering places of similar nature pose the 3 biggest risks to community transmission (hence, a larger 2nd wave):

  1. Ability to distance at a minimum of 6 feet.
  2. Duration of social gathering (hours vs. seconds/minutes)
  3. Number of individuals that will exposed to others (infected or not).

Thank you in advance for the consideration of the health and safety of our community.

Can there be social distancing on a golf course? (Photo/Dave Dellinger)

Pics Of The Day #1113

Longshore Club Park … (Photo/Kathie Motes Bennewitz)

… and Winslow Park (Wendy Crowther)