Tag Archives: Old Mill Beach

Pics Of The Day #1176

Last night’s full moon, as seen from Old Mill Beach … (Photo/Lauri Weiser)

… and Saugatuck Shores (Photo/Debra Levin)

Pics Of The Day: Special Rain Clouds & Rainbow Edition

For the 2nd straight day, rain clouds gathered over Westport this afternoon …

(Photo/Stephanie Mastocciolo)

(Photo/Matt Murray)

(Photo/Katherine Ross)

… and then the rains came …

(Photo/Ellen Wentworth)

followed by (of course) a (double) rainbow!

(Photo/Seth Goltzer)

(Photo/Chris Tait)

(Photo/Janine Scotti)

(Photo/Jeanine Esposito)

Even I-95 looks great! (Photo/Seth Goltzer)

Roundup: MyTeamTriumph; Old Mill; Mr. Woods’ History; More


COVID has hit MyTeam Triumph hard. The great program pairs children, teens and adults with disabilities (“captains”) with volunteers (“angels”) who help them participate in triathlons and road races. But close physical contact during the crisis is forbidden.

So the Westport chapter has created a new event. On Sunday, July 12, at any time between 4 and 5 p.m. captains are invited to the Charles Street railroad station parking lot across from Mystic Market.

They, their families and caregivers can drive, walk or run through the lot. MyTeam Triumph angels will line both sides, honking and cheering — and remaining socially distant.

There’s a special gift for captains too, at the end.

For more information, click here or email tehrlich@myTeamTriumph-ct.org.


The newest beach beautification project is a joint effort between Parks & Rec, and local residents.

Old Mill neighbors LaVonne and Lynn Kramer (shown with grandson Cooper) and the town teamed up to add flowers at the Old Mill Beach entrance. They’ll maintain them together too.


North Woods graduated from Staples High School in 2015, then from Indiana University 4 years later with an honors degree in history.

That doesn’t always pay the bills. So — with a minor in French, and a longtime passion for the culture — he landed a teaching position with France’s Ministry of Education.

He spent the last 9 months teaching in Le Puy en Veley. While waiting out the pandemic there, he started listening to podcasts.

North loves both history and talking. So he created a podcast: “Mr. Woods’ History 101.”

He’s recorded 12 episodes so far. Topics range from the Tour de France and American flag to Nazi uniforms. The most recent topic: the Statue of Liberty.

Click here to listen.

North Woods


And finally … what goes up must come down. That includes the number of COVID cases, for sure. Wear your mask!

Roundup: Reopening; Juneteenth; Renters’ Rebates; More


Phase 2 of Connecticut’s reopening plan began yesterday with indoor restaurant dining, fitness facilities, all personal services and many other business sectors allowed to welcome customers again.

2nd Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker says that business owners are “empowered to make the decision to open their doors. If they do, the ReOpen Westport team is working diligently to support them through this complicated process.  We are taking this seriously. It is our goal to build confidence throughout the entire community during this reopen period.”

For a complete list of Connecticut’s Phase 1 and Phase 2 business sectors and rules, click here. For ReOpen Westport Advisory Team information and FAQs, click here. To contact the ReOpen Westport Advisory Team, email reopenteam@westportct.gov.

While local COVID-19 transmission rates continue to be low, Westport Weston Health District director Mark Cooper says, “following safety protocols like wearing masks, maintaining social distance, and good hygiene practices are all critical. I urge residents to use common sense and to take advantage of testing, especially if experiencing symptoms.”

St. Vincent’s Behavioral Health Center on Long Lots Road is a local testing site option with open time slots. Call 860-972-8100 for an appointment.

2nd selectman Jennifer Tooker


The Westport Museum for History & Culture and TEAM Westport are partnering for a special Juneteenth Zoom program.

Tomorrow (Friday, June 19, 5 p.m.), theater professor and playwright Kyle Bass discusses his play Possessing Harriet. It’s the story of enslaved woman traveling with her captors from the South to upstate New York, who finds refuge in the home of an abolitionist where he meets his young cousin Elizabeth Cady (later Stanton).

Bass will also discuss his play in progress about his ancestors Tim & Lill Bennett. They were slaves in Westport, in a home on Compo Road South.

The event is free, but registration is required. Click here to join.

Kyle Bass (Photo/Brenna Merritt)


Elderly and disabled Westport residents can apply for the Connecticut Renters’ Rebate Program. Qualifications for the program include:

  • Age 65 as of December 31, 2019, or totally disabled and collecting Social Security disability income.
  • The maximum gross income for the program is $37,000 for a single person, $45,100 for a married couple.
  • One year of residency in Connecticut is required. People renting an apartment, room or mobile home, or living in cooperative housing, may be eligible for this program.

The application deadline for the Renters’ Rebate Program is September 28.

Qualifying Westport residents should call the Human Services Department for an appointment: 203-341-1050.


Carol Alexander took this photo at Old Mill. She writes:

As more people come to enjoy this beautiful neighborhood beach, we need to treat it with respect. Please clean up before you leave!


Playwright/director Tazewell Thompson is familiar to area residents. In 2006 and ’07, he was artistic director at the Westport Country Playhouse.

When his opera “Blue” premiered last summer at the Glimmerglass Festival, New York Times critic Anthony Tommasini called it “one of the most elegant librettos I’ve heard in a long time.”

Thompson wrote about a black family — the father of a police officer — that is torn apart when the son is killed at a protest by another officer.

“Blue” has now been named Best New Opera by the Music Critics Association of North America. The Times calls the honor “sadly timely as the nation is roiled by unrest over police brutality and race relations.” (Click here for Thompson’s story on how he wrote the opera. Hat tip: Nina Sankovitch.)


As an Ivy Film Festival screenplay staff member, Brown University senior Elena Levin reads scripts from undergrad and grad students across the country. Each spring, the staff holds a screenwriting workshop for high schoolers.

Now the Westport resident is bringing the experience to her home town.

Elena offers an “Intro to Screenwriting Workshop” for rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors (no experience required). It meets outdoors at 4 p.m. every Wednesday in July for 2 hours. By the end of the 5th session, everyone will have written — and workshopped — a script.

Click here for more information. Questions? Email elena_l_levin@brown.edu.

Elana Levin


And finally … Patti Smith has power. She knows that people have it too.

Pics Of The Day #1140

Weekend water scenes in Westport:

Early morning fishing off Compo Beach (Photo/Karen Como)

Cockenoe, with a Gilligan’s Island-type vibe (Photo/David Dellinger)

The view from Grace Salmon Park (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Late afternoon, Old Mill (Photo/Matt Murray)

Sunset, Compo Beach (Photo/Tomas Curwen)

Norwalk Avenue neighborhood (Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

Pics Of The Day #1125

Four beaches, six scenes:

Old Mill sunrise, this morning (Photo/Ted Horowitz)

Another early view of Old Mill (Photo/Roseann Spengler)

Old Mill, from Hillspoint Road (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Sherwood Island State Park, from Burying Hill (Photo/Nico Eisenberger)

Canal Beach (Photo/Gene Borio)

Compo Beach (Photo/Patti Brill)

Actually, It’s Not Just Dog Owners Who Should Clean Up

The sign says: “Dog Owners, you are required to clean up after your dog.”

Judging by the mess left by humans yesterday at Old Mill Beach — the first really nice spring day since the coronavirus struck — we’re right back to our old habits.

(Photo/Richard Webb)

PS: The part that says “No animals beyond this point”? That doesn’t mean you can act like animals in front of it either.

Longshore, Beach Lots May Open May 15

As the weather turns — in fits and starts — toward spring, outdoor recreation may be just the thing to cure cabin fever.

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

Golfers will face tight restrictions. For example, carts will not be permitted. The driving range, pro shop and halfway house will remain closed. Porta-potties will be on site.

This may be more than a pretty sight soon. It will once again be an open golf course — with restrictions. (Photo/Tom Cook)

Parking at Compo and Burying Hill beaches will be limited to 50% capacity. Emblems will be available for Westport and Weston residents only. No daily parking will be available.

The Soundview and Compo Beach lots will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Boat slip and dry stall holders must have a special parking pass, along with their emblem, but will not count toward the 50% capacity. Restrooms will remain closed, but porta-potties will be available.

Grills and tables will not be available.

A familiar scene may return — in limited form — soon. (Photos/Larry Untermeyer)

Parking at Burying Hill is anticipated to open Memorial Day weekend, and will also require a valid 2020 Westport or Weston beach emblem.

Beach emblem parking restrictions and regulations at Longshore Club Park will take effect May 15. The Old Mill lot remains open for residents of Old Mill and Compo Mill Cove only.

The Parks and Recreation office remains closed to the public. All beach emblems must be purchased online (click here). For more information, call 203-341-5152.

Parks & Recreation Department director Jennifer Fava noted that all opening dates and details may be modified, if circumstances to change.

If guidelines are not followed, officials “may make changes as appropriate, such as in capacity or whether to keep facilities open altogether.”

First Selectman Jim Marpe adds, “Compo Beach and Longshore are clearly Westport’s most popular outdoor destinations. We are doing everything we can to safely open them for at least limited use.

“We will continue to work toward opening other sports and recreation facilities, but will do so cautiously so as not to undo our efforts to combat the virus.

“We understand the desire for our residents to get back to some normalcy, especially as the weather gets warmer. In order to relax our restrictions, we need the cooperation of everyone to adhere to the guidelines so that we can keep facilities open.”

Burying Hill Beach opens Memorial Day weekend. (Photo/Yvonne O’Kane)

Happy Easter!

As the sun rose this morning, Westporters celebrated Easter in the new COVID-19 world. Church doors were closed — but the spirit was strong, here and across the globe.

Saugatuck Congregational Church services were canceled. But Rev. Alison Patton was live on Facebook, as morning broke at Compo Beach. The beach and full service are both available at http://www.facebook.com/saugatuckchurch. (Photo/Craig D.B. Patton)

Totney Benson spent a quiet moment at home on Compo Hill, overlooking Old Mill. (Photo/Rick Benson)

Meanwhile, at the bottom of Compo Hill, Joey’s by the Shore — featuring Elvira Mae’s coffee bar, whose opening has been delayed by the virus — offered this welcome message to all. (Photo/Matt Murray)

Not far away, another view. (Photo/Karen Como)

Bedford Middle School special education teacher Marianne Santiago was a college art major. Every year she decorates Easter eggs. This year, there’s a special theme. (Photo/Jim Honeycutt)

 

COVID-19 Roundup: Arlen Road Neighbors; Old Mill Parking Lot Closed; “Distance Learning” Help For Parents; Driving School Open; More

Jack Washburn turns 90 years old today. Family had planned to come from around the country to celebrate.

Now of course, they can’t. That’s just one of countless small side effects of the coronavirus.

But Jack’s milestone will not go unnoticed. Just before noon, he and his wife got a joyful surprise.

His Arlen Road neighbors — adults and kids — gathered on the front lawn. Spaced appropriately apart, they sang “Happy Birthday.”

The provided lunch and cake (and wine).

Then they strung a line on the porch, where they hung birthday cards they’d all made. That way he could look at them, without touching.

Speaking of touching: This is Westport at its best!

Washburn 90th


Many Westporters have offered to donate items during the coronavirus crisis.

Town officials say, “The unique circumstances and complications due to potential virus transmission, including the time needed to quarantine donations and equipment, require detailed coordination. Items that do not assist with the response and recovery cannot be accepted.”

Westport is accepting the following response and recovery donations at your curb by appointment, between 9 a.m. and 12 noon only:

  • Plastic face shields and goggles
  • Packaged medical masks
  • Packaged N-95 masks
  • Packaged medical head coverings
  • Packaged medical gowns
  • Tyvek suits
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Packaged Nitrile or nylon disposable gloves

Items that are not pre-packaged cannot be accepted.

Click here to fill out a brief form. You will be contacted to set up a time for curbside pickup.

And, officials emphasize: Do not drop off donations at town buildings!


Old Mill Beach has joined the list of parking lots closed to visitors. Compo Beach and Burying Hill had previously been closed.

Sherwood Island State Park remains open. So do the 44 trailed preserves operated by Aspetuck Land Trust.

(Photo/Molly Alger)


Distance learning has begun. Students are adapting well. Parents — well…

Successful Study Skills for Students — a local organization — is offering a 30-minute interactive seminar: “8 Ways to Keep Your Student Focused, On Track and On Task in the New E-learning Environment.”

Delivered via Zoom, it helps parents learn how to establish and maintain accountability, and help minimize distractions and reduce stress.

Sessions are Tuesday, March 31 and Thursday, April 2 (7 p.m.) and Wednesday, April 1 (10 a.m.).

It’s free, but registration is required. Each seminar is limited to 25 people. Click here to enroll. For more information, call 203-307-5455 or email info@S4StudySkills.com.


Inspired by Wednesday’s “06880 Pic of the Day” showing a heart in a mailbox with the message “Smile!”, the Theisinger family decided to do something similar for the people who help them.

Youngsters Grant and Blair put on gloves, and packed up treat bags. They printed out messages of thanks, and left them for their mail carrier, UPS deliverer and refuse collector.

“Just a small token to show our gratitude!” says their mom, Kristy. “We 💜 Westport!”


When Governor Lamont ordered many businesses shut, driving schools were among those hit.

Now, however, the Department of Motor Vehicles has allowed them to offer something previously prohibited: online classes. (Schools must meet certain guidelines for testing and attendance tracking.)

Westport’s Fresh Green Light begins soon. The schedule will closely mirror the existing one of after-school hours and weekends.

Classes are open to all current students, and new enrollments (16 and older). Click here for details.


So how did Jim and Nancy Eckl celebrate their 37th wedding anniversary?

They donned masks and gloves, and served their loyal, beloved customers at Gold’s.


Finally, today’s Song of the Day comes via the great Suzanne Sherman Propp, and her Sing Daily! project that brightens hundreds of Westporters’ days: