Tag Archives: Andy Moss

Compo Beach Improvement Chair: “We Hear You Loud And Clear”

Town Hall’s Room 201 was jammed like the fireworks today, as the Compo Beach Site Improvement Committee met for the 1st time since Mike Calise’s public letter lamenting the proposed elimination of perimeter parking.

Chairman Andy Moss opened the meeting by acknowledging the SRO crowd. He said that the committee — whose charge is to “refresh our much-loved town asset” — would define its success by achieving compromise.

“We have no illusions we will please everyone,” the former Parks and Recreation Commission chair added.

Moss noted that the committee was examining issues relating to safety, traffic flow, improving South Beach, pedestrian and bike access and more.

Early arrivals examined a proposed Compo Beach site plan, before today's meeting.

Early arrivals examined a proposed Compo Beach site plan, before today’s meeting.

An unidentified consultant to the committee described the new beach plan. It includes a new entrance area opposite Bradley Street; a roundabout; an “activity area,” and 700 paved (“or gravel,” she quickly added) parking spaces.

A self-described 52-year resident of the town shouted, “Have there been many pedestrian accidents?”

Parks and Rec director Stuart McCarthy described the desire to keep cars and pedestrians separate. He emphasized that the plan was “conceptual,” and that the town and various boards would make the final decision.

Several speakers noted the importance of easy access to the beach for elderly users, and families with small children. A comment about New Yorkers taking “all the early spots” drew applause.

Committee member Skip Lane compared the new plan to a state park like Hammonasset or Sherwood Island, with centralized parking. In response, several speakers said that what is right for a state park does not work well for a town beach.

That caused an audience member to yell, “We’re fixing a problem that doesn’t exist. Please tell me the problem. I’ve been here since 1970, and I came because of Compo. It’s spectacular!”

Westporters never tire of the views from Compo.

Westporters never tire of life at Compo.

Moss pointed out various areas that need improvement: the brick wall near Joey’s destroyed by Hurricane Sandy; traffic that backs up to Owenoke; port-a-potties on South Beach.

“Rather than fixing things piecemeal, we’re looking at the big picture,” he said.

When RTM member Jack Klinge said that he was very pleased with the proposed new entrance and bathhouse, but had been asked by “hundreds” of seniors to protect convenient access to the bathhouse, Moss reiterated: “That’s coming through loud and clear.”

The back-and-forth continued. Bob Driscoll said, “I’ve been coming to the beach for 80 years, and it’s worked out pretty damn well.”

Every day at the beach is not, well, a day at the beach.  But even storm clouds can be beautiful.

Every day at the beach is not, well, a day at the beach. But even storm clouds can be beautiful.

A self-described “traffic and logistics guy” claimed the committee was taking a traffic and safety problem, and turning it into “a major reconstruction.”

Moss repeated, “I hear the concerns about parking along the beach. That’s very important to hear.”

Recent Staples graduate Hannah Dickison had the last word. “I’ve seen a lot of changes here in 10 years,” she said. “Please don’t chip away at the beach too.”

After most of the crowd left, the committee turned its attention to policy issues. Among other things, they discussed the removal of the skate park, and the importance of parking revenue from out-of-towners.

(The committee’s next meeting is Wednesday, April 23, at 5:30 p.m. in Town Hall Room 201. To follow the progress of the committee, and make comments, click here.)

 

 

 

Young Athletes Get In The Zone

Peer pressure is a dangerous thing.  And it’s everywhere a kid turns — including, these days, the internet.

Andy Moss thinks that’s a good thing.

At least, it can be.

Andy Moss

He envisions an online social networking site where student-athletes can help each other.  Positive peer pressure, he says, can provide both mentors and mentees with role models, solutions to problems on and off the field — and prizes.

Now he’s put his pixels where his mouth is.

ESMZone.com went live last week.  Although he spent 17 years with Microsoft — launching new businesses, tracking digital media and working with social media — the Westport resident was as excited as a kid on baseball’s Opening Day.

The ESMZone concept is this:  Young athletes sign up, then fill out a profile indicating their athletic and academic interests.  They can ask or answer questions — about sports, school or anything else.  There is a “like” button for questions and answers.  (No “dislike” — that’s too negative.)

Points are awarded for “likes.”  At the end of each sports “season” (fall, winter, spring), the winners in 3 age groups (7th-8th grades, 9-10, 11-12) earn rewards.   They could include a VIP pass to a pro football training camp, gift certificates to a sports store, even textbooks for college.

There are 2 ways to ask questions:  public and private.  Topics range from finding the best cleats and the difference between NCAA Divisions I, II and III, to help with algebra homework.

Of course, Moss admits, “You never know what will happen.  We don’t encourage or discourage anything.  We just create an environment where people feel comfortable — and have fun.”

Fun is nice.  But how will someone show Moss the money?

The site will including advertising and sponsorships.  Eventually, Moss says, there will be an annual user subscription fee.  He’s talking with Westport groups like the  WSAPAL and Gridiron Club — offering a 10% donation for every registered athlete.

But for now, ESMZone.com is free.  And “06880” readers are invited to click here, then register using a special code:  woog2010-1.