Monday, August 08, 2005

More Public Access for Long Island Sound? Not Near Me, Please

There’s no Long Island Sound issue that gets people as riled up as public access does. If you live near the shore, you don’t want the rabble coming in and ruining your idyll. If you don’t live near the shore, you look at the Sound, which you as a resident of New York or Connecticut own, and you say, “Why can’t I get there more easily?”

It’s an issue in Greenwich, in Greenport, in Clinton, and many other places. The Hartford Courant has the latest story on the situation in Clinton, where the town is looking for ways to increase public access and the people who live near the beach don’t want any part of it.

A guy named Tom Callinan argues that the town shouldn’t increase access because “America is a free country.”

Someone named Cynthia Stulpin worries about “these people” who might want to visit the shore – as in, “We start getting nervous when you start inviting these people in…”

If you read the Courant story, by the way, you can take part in its poll. As of about 10:30 a.m., 54 people had voted – 56 percent said there’s enough public access to the Connecticut shore, 37 percent said there’s not enough, and the rest said they didn’t know (which raises the tangential question of why you’d bother to participate in a poll like that if you had no opinion?). I voted with the 37 percent in the minority.


Blogger sandy said...

Thanks for posting this article. I voted and "more access" is winning with 48%.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having been a reporter yourself, you should know that taking a statement out of context often leaves it open for misinterpretation. In the conversation with the Hartford Courant reporter, I (Cynthia Stulpin) was talking about how so many people are "slobs" and litter the beach (please refer to the Ocean Conservancy website and their International Coastal Cleanup information) or vandalize property. I then talked about inviting "these people...". Ergo, I was not referring to non-shoreline people, but to that subset of the general population that "ruins it for everyone".

Also, you suggest that our situation in Clinton is like the Greenwich one. This is not the case as the Clinton Town Beach is already open and accessible to the public.

Last of all, it would probably be of interest to your readers to know that not one person showed up at any of the three public hearings or wrote to say that they wanted access at this location, or that this area was suitable for public access.

7:58 AM  

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