Tag Archives: Compo Beach benches

Pic Of The Day #1916

Compo Beach benches (Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

Roundup: Iain And Linda Bruce, Hotel Marcel, Bayberry Bridge …

Dozens of Iain and Linda Bruce’s many friends, colleagues and fellow civic volunteers gathered at the Westport Library last night to say thanks and farewell.

After 33 years in Westport — and countless contributions in all areas of town life, from the Westport Weston Family Y and Library to music, schools, religion and RTM — the couple are moving at the end of this week.

They head to York, Maine where they’ve had a second home for years. They’ll jump right into community activities there (and Iain will pursue a master’s in history at his alma mater, Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario).

Iain and Linda have made Westport a much better place. Our loss is Maine’s gain. Thank you both. And of course, we look forward to seeing you whenever you want to head south.

Iain Bruce — always proud of his Scottish heritage — wore a kilt at last night’s event. His wife Linda shared the stage, as both made very brief remarks. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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Every I-95 driver knows the former Armstrong Rubber/Pirelli headquarters in New Haven. That’s Marcel Breuer’s 1960s-era concrete box on the left as you head north, just before the I-91 merge.

It was vacant for quite a while. But 3 years ago, Westport architect/developer Bruce Becker bought the Brutalist building.

After extensive renovations, this spring he’ll open the Hotel Marcel. The 165-room boutique hotel runs generates and manages all its own power, thanks to solar panels, storage batteries and state-of-the-art energy-saving technologies.

It’s called the first zero-net-energy hotel in the U.S.

Connecticut Magazine has published an in-depth, fascinating story on Becker, and the hotel.

It quotes architect Duo Dickinson: “Bruce Becker is changing architecture more than any other practitioner in New England and perhaps America.”

The story notes: “a structure created a half-century ago by an innovative designer (Marcel Breuer) is returned to vibrant life by another innovative designer bent on changing the way we think about energy, built environments and our future.” Click here for the full story. And click here for an “06880” on Becker’s zero-energy Westport home. (Hat tip: Dennis Jackson)

PS: One more Westport connection: Saugatuck’s LANDTECH is the Hotel Marcel’s site/civil engineer.

Bruce Becker, in front of his new Hotel Marcel. (Photo/Ned Gerard for Connecticut Magazine)

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They’re not big news. But a couple of agenda items for the next Parks & Recreation Commission meeting (Wednesday, April 27, 7:30 p.m., Zoom) seem interesting.

Commissioners will be asked to disband the Levitt Pavilion sub-committee. The agenda says: “As part of her review of the Town’s various sub-committees, the First Selectwoman has decided that she would like the Levitt Pavilion committee to report directly to her office. In order to do so, the sub-committee of the Parks and Recreation Commission must be disbanded.”

More impactful may be a proposed moratorium on bench donations.

According to the agenda: “Many of our beach and park facilities are over-saturated with memorial benches. Staff are presently reviewing the current policy while we also work to create standards that will be used going forward for any new installations.

“Until we have more detailed information that we can provide to the Commission, we request a moratorium be placed on all new bench requests until further notice.”

Click here for the full agenda, and meeting information.

Compo Beach memorial benches (Photo/Anne Ziff)

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The Bayberry Lane Bridge over the Aspetuck River will be closed for construction. The project starts Thursday, and is slated to run through November 30 (fingers crossed)

So that means — according to the sign below — Bayberry Lane #2 is closed.

There’s just one problem. There is no road called “Bayberry Lane #2.”

In fact, there’s not any road in Westport ending in “#2.”

Or probably anywhere else in the country. (Hat tip: Bill Dedman)

(Photo/Bill Dedman)

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Yesterday’s post-Easter and pre-Arbor Day festivities at Jesup Green included egg hunting and a tree giveaway.

Bartlett Tree Experts donated red maple saplings. Westport Tree Board members handled the rest.

Westport Tree Board members on the left are Dave Lowrie and Dick Stein. Ed Picard is on the right.

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lotsa lotsa kids egg hunting!  Here’s a pic of some interested neighbors acquiring a red maple sapling, donated by Bartlett Tree Co.  (sorry didn’t know the pic was being taken so didn’t get their names.)   Tree board members left to right are;  yours truly, Dick Stein and Ed Picard far right

Congratulations and thanks to the Westport Police Department, Westport Womans Club, Sunrise Rotary and Homes with Hope, for collaborating on yesterday’s food drive at Stop & Shop.

Thanks too to all who donated, to support the Gillespie Center food pantry, and Westport Human Services.

Volunteers at yesterday’s food drive. From left: Marty Berger, Paul Keblish, Anna Rycenga, Rob Hauck, Andy Berman, Tom Lowrie, Joe Watson.

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Can there be anything more natural than the tides?

Jonathan Prager contributes today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo: timeless tides, and their aftermath at Compo Beach.

(Photo/Jonathan Prager)

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And finally … in honor of the photo above:

 

Pics Of The Day #1796

Waiting for summer …

… at Compo Beach (Photos/Lauri Weiser)

Pic Of The Day #1631

Compo Beach benches (Photo/Tomoko Meth)

Pic Of The Day #1570

Compo Beach benches (Photo/Anne Ziff)

Roundup: Bear, Piglet, Poles …

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Westport’s most famous bear is dead.

Westport Local Press reports that “Bear 211” — the black bear tagged with that number by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and reported at various sites in northern Westport and environs over the past 2 months — was struck by a car and killed yesterday, on Route 136 in Easton. The driver left the scene.

Click here for the full story.

This was the scene off Weston Road recently. The bear has now been struck and killed. (Photo/Denny Galindo)

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The Westport Public Art Collections includes an astonishing array of 1,500 paintings, illustrations, photos and more. They hang in every public school, and buildings like Town Hall, the Parks & Recreation Department office, even fire headquarters.

But not everyone has access to schools. Town Hall is still pretty much closed. And when was the last time you were at the fire station?

This winter, there’s an exciting opportunity to see 40 or so outstanding works.

MoCA Westport and the Westport Arts Advisory Committee are collaborating on an exhibit, at MoCA’s expansive gallery space.

Two of the works are shown below. As for the few dozen others: well, you’ll have to see for yourself!

“Don’t Judge Me 2020” (Christa Forrest

From Larry Silver’s “Yangzhou, China 1997-2000” collection.

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“06880”‘s favorite Piglet is actually a dog.

Piglet is the name of a deaf, blind pink dachshund/Chihuahua mix. He was rescued by Westport veterinarian Melissa Shapiro. (Click here for a 2017 story.)

She’s just written a book. “Piglet: The Unexpected Story of a Deaf, Blind, Pink Puppy and His Family” will be published August 3. Simon & Schuster calls it “a charming, inspirational memoir about empathy, resilience, kindness, and an adorable deaf blind pink dog.”

Click here for details. And watch “Good Morning America” this Saturday (July 31), for an interview with Melissa. (Hat tip: WEndy Bouthillier)

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It’s a little bit of vandalism: a couple of benches overturned by Ned Dimes Marina, off Compo Beach Road.

But the benches are memorials to real, much-loved human beings. Richard Webb — who says this is the second time it’s happened this month — notes that the perpetrators “might as well be turning over headstones.”

(Photo/Richard Webb)

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Mark Mathias writes:

“As I’ve been walking my dog recently, I noticed wood shavings at the bottom of most of the telephone, power, cable and such poles around town.

“I also recently saw a truck with 2 guys drilling holes in a pole, and wondered if it’s related.

“Upon further investigation, it appears that at least 3 holes have been drilled and then plugged.

“I also noticed a metal tag nailed into each pole saying “Maverick Inspected 2021 Cobra Rod.”

Any idea what this is for?

Nope. But I’m sure at least one alert “06880” reader does. Click “Comments,” to let us all know.

Plugged hole (below) and metal tag (above). (Photo/Mark Mathias)

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These sunflowers graced Peter Wormser‘s memorial service Sunday, at Cedar Point Yacht Club. The architect, cook, outdoorsman — and avid gardener — died earlier this month.

The service was moving and memorable. And Nanette Hausman thought this “Naturally … Westport” photo epitomized Peter’s love of beauty and life.

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And finally … in honor of Melissa Shapiro’s new book (above):

 

BREAKING NEWS: Beach Benches Found!

For 2 days, Westporters grieved with Laurie Crouse over the loss of a Compo Beach bench dedicated to her husband.

Today, we can all celebrate!

This morning Westport Police — working with the Parks & Recreation Department — recovered Martin Crouse’s bench. It was in the channel, near Ned Dimes Marina.

Martin Crouse’s bench was found in this channel.

A closeup of the bench.

Recovered!

They found a second bench too. Spotted yesterday from afar by Tina Green, as she looked for birds, it had traveled all the way to Cockenoe Island.

A second bench recovered from Cockenoe Island

The plaque from the bench near Cockenoe Island had come loose. But it was found very close to the bench.

Both benches have been brought ashore. They’ll be cleaned, and put back in their honored spots.

The benches were probably thrown into the water as a thoughtless prank. Fortunately they floated for a while; they did not sink to the bottom.

Even more fortunately, our Police and Parks & Rec departments were there to help. Thank you, Chief Foti Koskinas, Deputy Chief Sam Arciola; your men and women, and the Parks & Rec crew.

If that doesn’t make you smile today, nothing will.

A closeup of Martin Crouse’s bench, this morning. (Photos/Courtesy of Westport Police Department)

Missing Beach Bench: The Sequel

On Friday I posted Laurie Crouse’s heart-wrenching story. The Compo Beach bench she’d bought to memorialize her late husband was missing.

But I had faith. I was sure it would turn up soon.

So did “06880” readers.

There are many benches, on every part of the beach. “They get moved around a lot,” wrote one commenter who had lost — and then found — her family’s bench.

Westporters promised to look carefully. Some said they’d make a special trip. A few folks theorized that a storm or exceptionally high tide had submerged the one with Martin’s plaque.

Martin Crouse’s bench

I did not realize that Laurie had sat on the bench earlier this month. There has been no bad weather since.

Now it turns out that hers is not the only memorial bench that’s gone missing.

Laurie writes that her good friend Vicki Mintz lost her husband Robert last year. She bought a bench, and had it placed next to Martin’s several months ago.

It too has vanished.

So are all the others that had provided such solace on the little peninsula between South Beach and the Ned Dimes Marina.

Laurie took a photo March 3. It shows Robert’s bench (left), moved from its original spot. Martin’s bench is further back. on the right. A third bench is in the shot too, behind the people.

Laurie Crouse’s March 3 photo.

All 3 benches are now gone.

The same scene, yesterday..

Vicki’s daughter investigated yesterday. She noted tire tracks on the sand

“It looks like a vehicle pulled up there,” Laurie says.

Tire tracks in the sand.

If this was an actual, premeditated theft: That’s awful. The benches are public property, sure. More importantly, they were purchased to honor people who loved Compo, and who themselves were loved.

Thieves stole more than benches. They tore out our neighbors’ hearts and souls.

Everyone does things they regret. If you’ve got the benches — or you know where they are — please do the right thing. Email dwoog@optonline.net, or text 203-984-9635. I’ll let Parks & Rec know where and how to pick up the benches.

Anonymity is assured. Getting the benches back is more important than making sure justice is done.

In the meantime, it’s come to this: Perhaps we need security cameras at the beach. Or at least at the entrance and exit roads.

It’s pretty clear those benches did not move themselves.

Pics Of The Day #1416

Compo Beach dog … (Photo/Nicola Sharian)

… and bench … (Photo/Lauri Weiser)

… and tree … (Photo/Nicola Sharian)

… and bikes (Photo/Amy Schneider)

… and Ned Dimes Marina (Photo/Rowene Weems Photography)

Pics Of The Day #1410

Sherwood Island State Park … (Photo/Molly Alger)

… and Compo Beach benches … (Photo/Amy Schneider)

… and lockers … (Photo/Lauri Weiser)

… and basketball court …(Photo/Lauri Weiser)

… and Ned Dimes Marina (Photo/Wendy Crowther)