Letters to the editor
World War II veterans:
If you are a World War II veteran and wish to ride or walk in the Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 31, please call me at 203-227-7680 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If Bell was not qualified, who is?
It is very disturbing to see that a town that beams with pride over its education system still devalues diversity in that system. Westport had the opportunity to select a highly qualified, talented and vastly proven principal for Bedford Middle School. The candidate brought high quality skills, diversity and leadership, the whole package. The candidate was already performing in that role as acting principal, in which he stepped in under emergency circumstances, and from all accounts performed in an exemplary manner, so much so that he was vetted and asked to apply.
He goes through the whole interview process only to be dismissed for a non-diverse candidate with no middle school and upper school qualifications, just loads of elementary school experience. How does that make sense? The candidate was already in the job and performing. Yet you choose to destabilize a school (Bedford Middle) that has already had a huge turnover problem, when you had an excellent candidate already getting the job done. Now, you have started the cycle again, and added Coley Town Elementary to the list of Westport destabilized schools, too.
Here was an opportunity to enhance an almost completely racially non-diverse school system. It is a very well known fact that the Westport school system is one where most students will never see or interact with a non-white school administrator or teacher. It's also well known that many diverse families leave Westport, taking their tax dollars with them, because of this issue. By not appointing Cary Bell Principal of Bedford Middle School the Superintendent and the Board of Education is deciding to reinforce its own negative stereotype. What's the result? Westport continues to be one of the most non-diverse systems in the state, and seemingly looking to keep it that way. If Cary Bell was not a "qualified enough" diverse candidate then who will ever be? It's 2010 of a diverse and global world. It's a shame that Westport students will not benefit from the richness of that diversity.
Mom and Public School Participant,
open every day
My husband and I are at the Westport Library at least twice a week. We use the library for research for my business, Away for the Day. We also use it to borrow books for pleasure and book club.
I hope that the town can see its way to keeping the library open every day of the year including the 16 Sundays. During the first northeaster in March 2010, the library was a valuable resource for many who had lost electrical power. In fact, the staff set up tables for people to work during that disaster.
Memorial Day beach rules
This is for all the people who are either (1) new to Westport or (2) need a review of the rules and etiquette of the beach prior to Memorial Day.
First and foremost, reserving a table by throwing your tablecloth over it and sprinkling around some chairs expecting to reclaim it at a later time is not permitted (as noted by the obvious metal signs riveted to the tables).
However, if even one person stays with the table, it is an acceptable practice and serves to hold it for the group. (Anecdote: a few years ago, I dutifully denuded an unmanned table and its environs, carefully placing the belongings neatly in a pile near the road. I took over the spot and my friends and family filed in within the hour. Five hours later, the previous "reserver" came by expecting to claim the table!)
Secondly, parking spots are not reservable. You may not sit in one, place a chair in one and read, put a "reserved" sign on it nor wave people away from it. This, too, has been an occurrence in the past.
Third, I didn't think this was necessary, but no dogs are permitted after April 1. Last year, the group next to me (not Westporters) brought a dog to their Memorial Day picnic. Needless to say, Parks & Rec gently informed them of this breech and they left.
And, finally, glass is not permitted on the beach in any form. No wine glasses, champagne flutes, salad dressings, beer bottles, etc. Last year, I took my granddaughter to the water's edge to play and was appalled to find three large shards of glass within feet of us.
It sometimes seems as though I'm the only one out to enforce these rules.
Others stand idly by and let the scofflaws get away with it. I've endured all sorts of name-calling and almost came to fisticuffs with one gruff beachgoer, but I stand my ground (and have the phone number of the Parks & Rec guy in my pocket if I need it). If everyone would see to it that these breeches are halted, they wouldn't happen so frequently.
So, that said, have a safe and happy Memorial Day at Compo. See you down there!