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Tag Archives: Compo Beach
Compo Beach is a magical place all year long. In any season or weather, it attracts Westporters — past and present.
So naturally, when Jonathan Alter hosted his college a cappella group this weekend, he showed them the shore.
Jonathan — a 2017 graduate of Staples High School — now sings with the Dartmouth College Brovertones. They’re on an East Coast tour: Hartford Friday, Yale last night (go figure), the National Christmas Tree lighting in Washington, DC this coming Tuesday.
Staying at the Alters’ Compo-area home was fun. Yesterday afternoon, they wandered over to the beach.
It was a great place to rehearse. Jerri Graham — a talented local photographer — saw them having fun. She loved their energy, and spontaneously snapped some fun-filled shots.
She was not there randomly. Her secret mission: to photograph an engagement taking place momentarily at the water’s edge.
Matthew Cook had orchestrated a romantic beach stroll with his girlfriend Carlie Kleinman, and their dog April. The 2004 Staples grads live now in New York City. But both still love Compo.
Carlie had no clue that Matt was about to pop “the question” on their beautiful beach.
When Matt got down on bended knee — chivalry is not dead! — the Brovertones (watching from a distance) erupted in enthusiastic cheers.
As the couple headed to the jetty for capture-the-moment selfies, the singers came over.
And offered a congratulatory serenade.
(Hat tip: Lisa Marie Alter)
Parents with young kids want it. People with disabilities do too.
A few hundred Westporters don’t.
Earlier this month, the RTM approved $840,000 to construct a bathroom at Compo Beach’s South Beach. The vote was 26-8.
But the site — near the current pickleball courts — did not sit well with a number of avid players. They believe the facility — which would replace the port-a-potties there now — will ruin the view of the beach. It could also impede construction of more courts in the future.
Opponents hope for a townwide referendum. They’ve gathered over 600 signatures on a petition. Yet they face a tight deadline — 4:30 p.m. tonight — to find over 1,000 more. The town charter provides for a vote if 10% of all registered voters request one.
Bathroom foe Alan Schur believes many Westporters are unaware of the proposed bathrooms; that they oppose the cost, and that — despite 15 public meetings — they wanted more transparency in the process.
Parks & Recreation Commission chair Charlie Haberstroh says that the bathroom will “help everyone experience South Beach. There is a significant lack of facilities there. The port-o-potties are sub-optimal.”
Haberstroh notes that the entire beach is in a 100-year floodplain. Town and federal regulations require any new building to be waterproofed. That requires an 11-foot foundation.
Moving the site would add another $60,000 just for studies, he says. Servicing the debt for the $840,000 capital expenditure will cost $5 a year for each beach sticker holder.
The proposal went through many town bodies, Haberstroh adds. Besides the strong RTM vote, the Board of Finance approved it 6-1.
“We have smart, responsible people in government who have asked lots of questions,” he says. “They’ve studied this for a long time.”
Referring to both the approval process and the referendum petition, Haberstroh says, “This is democracy. I’m 150% for it. But it’s been a long, difficult road.”