Greenwich Might be Loosening its Access Policies for its Beaches; Broadwater, Security & Secrecy
Here (according to the Greenwich Time) are some of the recommendations:
Lower the daily fee to $1 (from $10) for pedestrians and bicyclers.
Lower the daily fee to $1 (from $10) for guests of residents.
Raise the nonresident vehicle fee to $25 (from $20) but allow nonresidents to buy a pass for 10 visits rather than having to buy a pass on the day of the visit.
The parks board said it was making the changes so it would be easier for residents to bring guests to the park. But of course the real reason was the challenge to the entry fee policies made by two Stamford residents --- Brendan Leydon several years ago, and Paul Kempner last year.
Leydon successfully sued to force Greenwich to open its beaches to out-of-towners; Kempner made a point of riding his bike in and not paying the $10 fee; when police charged him, the state attorney refused to prosecute.
Admittedly yesterday’s recommendations are limited. If you live in Stamford, for example, and want to drive to the beach with your family, it’s still going to be expensive: $25 to park and $10 for each person in the car. That’s an unacceptably big cost for a day at the beach, particularly when you can go to Westport’s Compo Beach, which is just as nice, for $15 on weekdays.
But there might be ways around the high fee. For example, you can put your bikes on your car, find a place to park in Old Greenwich, don your backpacks, and ride to Greenwich Point, for $1 each. Are there places to park for the day in Old Greenwich? I don’t know for sure, but I’d be surprised if a little searching didn’t turn up something.
Broadwater: Secrecy and security … I was away over the weekend and missed this New York Time story, which says the public won’t be able to review and comment on proposals to keep Broadwater’s huge LNG plant safe because of post-9/11 security concerns. Some people in Connecticut and on Long Island think that should be enough to kill the proposal.
I learned about the Times article from the Energy Outlook blog, which is written by an energy consultant from Connecticut named Geoffrey Sykes. He argues that it’s an absurd leap of reasoning to say that because the security plans will remain secret, that means the Broadwater plant is inherently unsafe. But he does acknowledge that the secrecy issue is a tough one to deal with:
As a resident, I share the frustration of those seeking to understand how Broadwater might affect the area, particularly in a worst-case scenario. Under our system we have come to expect full public scrutiny of such proposals as part of our Constitutional rights, honed by legislation such as the Freedom of Information Act. But we also shouldn't lose sight of the responsibility of the government and of businesses acting under government license to safeguard information, the release of which might be harmful in wartime. The Broadwater project must find a way to navigate the gap between those poles, if it is to go forward.
Read it here.