Beaches Close for Obama Visit: Reports - NBC Connecticut

Beaches Close for Obama Visit: Reports

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    The president will be in Connecticut on Monday and two beaches will be closed.

    President Barack Obama will be in Fairfield County to attend two fundraisers on Monday and it appears that a state beach and park and a town of Westport beach will be closed all day, on a day forecast to be near 90 degrees, because of the visit.

    Obama will be at a $500-per person reception at the Stamford Marriott and then at a $35,800 per person dinner at the Westport home of powerhouse movie producer Harvey Weinstein, apparently prompting the closure of Burying Hill Beach and Sherwood Island.

    First Selectman Gordon Joseloff issued a news release on Monday stating that Burying Hill Beach, a 2.4 acre park in Westport, is closed afterWestport Police Department relayed a request from the Secret Service late last week because Obama will visit a nearby home.

    Vogue editor Anna Wintour, Anne Hathaway, Aaron Sorkin and Joanne Woodward are all expected to attend, according to Westport Now.

    “My understanding is that they asked for Sherwood Island to be closed and for Burying Hill Beach to be closed,” Joseloff said in an e-mail. “And we have complied with the request.”

    The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection issued a release on Friday that Sherwood Island State Park, which includes 235 acres in Westport, will be closed to the public on Monday due to “a special event at the park.”

    Westport Now reports that the Secret Service requested both closures. Comments on the local Web site include calls for state government to prohibit closing public places for campaign reasons.

    The Connecticut Post reports that the special event is for Sherwood Island to be used as a staging area for the presidential helicopter and security detail, which will take Obama from Stamford to Westport. 

    NBC Connecticut has left a message with DEEP about Sherwood Island.

    The fundraisers could add about $2 million to Obama's coffers.

    Obama led Romney 50 to 38 percent in a Quinnipiac poll in June.

    A polling expert said Obama is in a strong position to win Connecticut again. A Republican leader said Romney could close the gap and make the race competitive.r o