Tag Archives: Compo Beach

Roundup: Bear, SUP, Marco (Polo!) …

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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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I’ve seen plenty of things in Westport.

But never — ever — have I seen anyone swimming off Schlaet’s Point, the area just north of the Soundview Avenue jetty.

Clamming and fishing, yes. Wading out at low tide, sure. Couples making out on the rocks, check. But people swimming? Not a chance.

Okay, so playing water polo is not actually swimming. But that’s what’s gone on recently. An area water polo club has put up a portable court in the public, lifeguard-less inlet. Young players have been practicing there, preparing for a tournament in Dallas.

Which, presumably, will be indoors. The Gulf of Mexico is 600 miles from there.

(Photo/Kathleen Fazio)

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Speaking of Compo: Yesterday’s beach story was about vandalism of benches. Today’s is about a paddleboard theft.

This year, for the first time, Mitch Raboy has stored a standup paddleboard near the kayak launch area.

On Sunday, his wife took it out on the water. She then secured it to the rack with a heavy-duty cable lock.

Now it’s gone. Only the security metal loop and chain remain.

The Raboys called the police. An officer said this kind of theft is not common.

There are no security cameras in the area, Mitch says. He’d like “06880” readers to be aware of what happened — and hopes the town will install cameras there.

My wife went out in the board on Sunday and secured it to the rack with a heavy duty cable lock afterward. On Sunday we went to check on it and found it had been stolen. The security metal loop and chain remained.

A cable (lower left) is all that’s left of the Raboys’ standup paddleboard.

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We (you) did it!

Sustainable Westport surpassed its goal of $7,500 in challenge grant donations.

That earns them over $15,000. They’ll use the funds to inform, educate and engage residents about food scrap recycling, decreasing food waste. and diverting edible food from the incinerator to food insecure residents.

Congratulations, Westporters. And thanks to Sustainable Westport, for all you do.

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If you’re a Star Wars fan — and who isn’t? — mark next Monday (August 2).

“Star Wars IV: A New Hope” descends on the Remarkable Theater.

Showtime is 8:30 p.m. Gates open at 7:30 for tailgating. Click here for tickets and details.

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There’s a great back story behind today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo.

Dorothy Fitton writes: “We spotted this bald eagle overlooking a gathering of Boston College students in our yard last week. It may be a sign that our BC Eagles will have a great senior year!”

(Photo/Dorothy Fitton)

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And finally … in honor of today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo above:

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Classic Compo (Photo/Eric Taylor)

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Ned Dimes Marina …

… and nearby kayak launch (Drone photos/Daniel Johnson)

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Kids at play, Compo Beach … (Photo/Tom Kretsch)

… and fishermen at work (Photo/Pam Kesselman)

Grand Theft Auto: Westport Edition

Lots of cars look alike these days. Lots of them don’t even need keys to start. And lots of us have lots of things on our minds.

That can be a dangerous combination, as Evan Stein learned this weekend.

Here’s his car theft story — with a part-O. Henry, part-Westport twist.

I went to the beach on Saturday. Put on sunblock, had a nap and listened to podcasts. My wife Jenny went for a walk.

Evan Stein took this selfie Saturday at Compo Beach.

At 2:45 my alarm went off. I packed up our stuff and put it in the back seat of my parents’ car, which I borrowed because I don’t have a beach sticker this year.

When the stuff was in the car, Jen got back from her walk. We did a lap around the marina, and walked back to our car.

We headed across town to my parents’ house, about 10 minutes away. As we pulled into the driveway, I reached up to open the garage door buttons.

The buttons weren’t there.

I puzzled over this for a moment, then said to Jen, “I think this might not be our car.”

She said, “Of course it isn’t. We borrowed your parents’ car.”

I said, “No. I mean, I don’t think this is their car!”

I had driven to the beach in a Toyota SUV. I now drove an Infiniti SUV.

Evan Stein sent along this approximation of the 2 SUVs.

It was the same color. Same basic shape. But there had been clues. There were more cameras as we backed out of the space at the beach. There was a map on the screen as we drove home. There were 2 beach stickers. My father does not leave extra stickers on the windshield.

And as we looked around, we saw children’s seats in the back. Thank G-D there were no sleeping kids!

Then there was a purse by Jen’s feet. It was not her purse.

The culprit.

Presumably, there was a key fob in the purse. How else could the car have started?

I pulled into the driveway. I told my parents we were home. But I said we had to go back to the beach. We had taken someone else’s car.

My dad followed us to Compo. When we arrived, the couple whose car we had taken were talking to the Westport Police.

I pulled into a spot by the showers. I got out and apologized for taking the car.

The officer took my name and phone number. He seemed more focused on reminding the couple to not leave their keys in the car.

My father and I walked back to his car. I drove us home.

“Grand Theft Auto” challenge unlocked. Fortunately, without an arrest.

The morals of the story: Don’t leave your key fob in your car. And pay attention!

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Cruising at Compo (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Happy Horseshoe Crab Day!

Today is Fathers Day. If you’re a father: enjoy! If you’re honoring a father: try to do it the other 364 days of the year too.

But fathers are not today’s only honorees. Today is also Happy International Horseshoe Crab Day!

So — whether you got your favorite horseshoe crab a gift or not — read on. Alert “06880” reader/Friends of Animals communications director Scott Smith writes:

I know today is International Horseshoe Crab Day because Friends of Animals’ latest campaign is a call for Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to ban the harvesting of horseshoe crabs in the state. (Click here for details.)

We heard quickly from State Representative Joe Gresko of Stratford, who 2 years ago got Connecticut to ban harvesting on his local beaches. He said he’d heard that DEEP is considering restrictions this season. They may be around the next high tide — June 24 — when horseshoe crabs are most active in spawning.

Horseshoe crabs at Compo Beach.

Friends of Animals will proceed with legislation to ban harvesting next season. I’m sure we’ll work with State Senator Will Haskell on that.

Connecticut Audubon is part of this effort, as migratory shorebirds rely on horseshoe crabs to fuel their journeys further north. We’ll also work with Jennifer Mattei, a Sacred Heart University professor who runs Project Limulus, which does an annual community-based counting and tagging project.

Perhaps there’s interest among “06880” readers in forming a Westport group to count horseshoe crabs. It seems like a fun way for families to engage. If so, click “Comments” below.

Personally, I try to swim at Compo Beach nearly every evening in summer. On Thursday I went to the rocky beach at the entrance to the marina. Few people swim there, which might explain why several sets of horseshoe crabs were doing their thing.

Other stretches were pockmarked with shallow holes made earlier by females. I saw several smaller males park themselves in the depressions for a minute, so it seems a lot of egg-laying is going on.

Otherwise, my sightings of horseshoe crabs this year elsewhere at Compo have been few and far between.

A closeup (Photos/Scott Smith)

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Yesterday’s Shabbat service, at Compo Beach (Photo/Amy Schneider)

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Today was graduation for Staples High School’s Class of 2021. Before the ceremony, a group of seniors gathered at Compo Beach. Their parents captured the moment. (Photo/Doris Ghitelman)

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Future Staples High School stars, at Compo Beach (Photo/Ed Simek)