From The Editor’s Desk: Still More Opinionated Potpourri — Long Lots, Groin Pains, etc.

Jan 17, 2022 | Community, Education, Government, Opinion | 3 comments

by Jarret Liotta

WESTPORT — So little time, so much nonsense …

Burying Hill Beach Water Barrier

Whatever Westport decides about the decaying marine wall at Burying Hill Beach, we need to stop calling it a “groin.”

It’s only making things worse. And, frankly, it can only prejudice some of the more delicate townspeople, who probably already have misgivings about funding a groin.

“Whose groin is it, anyway?”

“It’s OUR groin! Yours AND mine!”

(Cue Music) … “This groin is your groin, this groin in my groin …”

Do The “Right” Thing

But seriously folks, I believe Westport needs to step up and do the right thing — completely disregard state and federal laws (or perhaps more accurately, state and federal permitting mores) and just replace the stupid thing with a permanent cement jetty.

I understand that technically there are dusty regulations and a process, but given the state of our country, I sincerely don’t think anyone will notice or care.

I also have faith that our beloved consulting town attorneys can find the perfect loophole to allow us to just construct whatever the hell we want if they search hard — perhaps three feet to the right or left of the existing mess (the jetty, I mean, not the search) — and leave it at that.

A grand cement jetty at Burying Hill would be a lovely walking destination — where courting lovers could stroll at sunset without the vaguely disturbing knowledge that they were risking the dangers of trespassing on a precarious groin.


Speaking of groin pains, did you hear about Long Lots Elementary School?!

Yes, hard as it is to believe, we are now looking at another intense renovation project — at least $22 million, according to the paid consultant … or the potential for a teardown and new building, which I’ll guess would be around $70 million at least, if older estimates to rebuild Coleytown Middle School are fair comparison …


For starters, I sincerely do not know how the school administrator in charge of facilities manages to keep their job! I mean, I really, really, really don’t understand … I won’t elaborate, but I just … Well, I just really, really, really don’t understand …  I mean, I just really, really don’t get it … (Seriously! … I just don’t get it … Really!)

Seriously, I Don’t …

But I’m just a dumb writer and ineffectual wag, so I can only assume that these are issues quite beyond my understanding in relation to dry wall and HVAC and blow back and lintels and lallies …

That’s what we do, isn’t it — let the experts handle these things.

I’m only glad in this case that school officials finally reacted to many years of ongoing public pressure and concern to finally bring in some experts to tell them what, apparently, the public has been telling them for many years …


(Watch this space for more LLS-related waggish commentary in the future …)

Coley Middle: Lest We Forget …

Meanwhile, the BOE gave AOK for CMS return to WPS … and they lived HEA … (happily ever after) …

But not so fast!

I wouldn’t be a successful wag if I believed in the joy and ignorance of happy endings …

You see, I think it’s very important to remember the past or you’ll be condemned to repeat it. (Either Richard Burton or Elizabeth Taylor said that, while the other stood by nodding vigorously and drinking scotch.)

I spent several years covering the trials, tragedies and triumphs of the CMS situation for the now-defunct WestportNOW website. A great deal happened, beginning under the questionable reign of then-superintendent Colleen Palmer, and throughout a sometimes confusing and emotionally volatile time in the town.

Remembering the Refugees

At that time many parents were furious with the overcrowding and resultant issues relating to instruction at BMS after the displaced CMS students were sent there. In some quarters tensions were high — especially amongst the social media manure — and in weird ways the tension had some of the unfunny irony of a mild international incident.

Speaking of that history, I was always annoyed that several (ignorant) parents took exception with my use of the word “refugees” in an article to describe those displaced CMS students who were forced to flee to BMS.

Moreso, I was seriously disappointed that their blustering prompted the WestportNOW editor to change the word in a story (and headline), even though the dictionary clearly defines a refugee as one who flees to a refuge or place of safety following, amongst other things, a natural disaster.

And while I still don’t know why these dodos were so put off by the word, (as if it were a derogatory insult), in a gallant effort to keep the records of history straight, I hereby restate that there were, in fact, CMS refugees resettled at BMS!

I stand by that statement and now, as executive editor of this noble rag, I will say to those people who bitched away the truth, “Nyah, Nyah, Nyah!! I’m the editor now!! Nyah, Nyah, Nyah!!” (And I’m hoping that establishes my professional credibility once and for all!)

The Long Term … The Looooooong Term!!

Beyond that, I think it’s important that, as it gets dragged into the unavoidable upcoming Long Lots project, the BOE go back and revisit the many ideas and extensive information that was gathered surrounding educational models and approaches in terms of potential realignment and redistricting, among other things.

There were important tasks and issues that were in the air, but put off by the pandemic. They could easily be forgotten for another generation …

Per chance, this whole Long Lots thing stinks not only of water-related fungi, but opportunity as well …

The worm can is open again, so let’s try to step back and really think about the WPS in the long term.

Alright, I’m done!



  1. Robert Giunta

    Unfortunately there. Are laws and regulations that must be followed the department of public works has worked on this project for some time . As a contractor this gorin has lasted 70 plus years . A concrete gorin will be very expensive to build . concrete and salt water don’t mix together well at all . There are different types of concrete that will work in salt water again cost.
    Robert Giunta

  2. Donald Bergmann

    So many important issues, though expressed with hyperbole. I wish people would comment as they so often do on “06880”

    • Jo Shields Sherman

      Donald Bergmann, I was thinking the same thing. So there!


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