Tag Archives: 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker

Roundup: Thanksgiving 2022, I-95 Exit 17 …

Scenes from yesterday’s Thanksgiving, all around town:

Homes with Hope provided two festive meals — lunch and dinner — for clients of their emergency homeless shelters and community kitchen yesterday, at the Gillespie Center.

The Thanksgiving feast was created by Aux Delices, and donated by the Smith family.

Homes with Hope director Helen McAlinden was awed by the generosity of Westporters. In addition to the Smith, residents stopped by all day with bags of groceries, and homemade pies and treats.

Diners ate off fancy dishes, with silverware — “as it should be,” Helen says.

Among the volunteers: 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker.

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Homes with Hope director Helen McAlinden (3rd and 4th from left), with staff members before yesterday’s Gillespie Center Thanksgiving.

At the annual Turkey Trot, the Levys were one of many families cheering the hundreds of runners on their route through Greens Farms (and to a well-deserved Thanksgiving dinner).

(Photo/Bob Levy)

On High Point Road, residents revived the tradition of a holiday walk. That’s another way to work up an appetite:

Jennifer Herbert-Coste’s dog Louis spotted a raccoon stuck beneath a flooded street drain on the corner of Compo Beach and Quentin Roads. Westport Animal Control and the Westport Fire Department took time out of their holiday to lift the 75-pound grill, and help the critter live another day.

We assume he was quite thankful.

(Photo/Jennifer Herbert-Coste)

Then, after a big meal, these kids headed to the Compo Beach playground …

(Photo/Patricia McMahon)

… while others romped on the sand, for some late-afternoon fun.

(Photo/Jonathan Prager)

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At least they waited until the end of the holiday:

The I-95 southbound Exit 17 on ramp will be closed at night on Monday and (if necessary) Tuesday (November 28 and 29). The Exit 17 off-ramp from I-95 southbound will be closed Wednesday and *if necessary) Thursday (November 30 and December 1). Workers will install conduits for the Incident Management System.

For more information, click here.

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Several readers have noted the enormous number of gulls at Sherwood Mill Pond this year.

Matt Murray provided proof, in today’s “Westport … Naturally” image.

(Photo/Matt Murray)

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And finally … in honor of the animal (above) freed by our excellent Animal Control and Fire Department employees:

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(Happy Black Friday! If you’re looking for another way to spend money, please consider a donation to “06880.” Just click here — and thank you.)

Roundup: Wreaths, War, WPD Toys …

Each Christmas season, the Wreaths Across America program honors fallen servicemembers, and all who serve. Over 2 million volunteers take part, in all 50 states and overseas.

This year, for the first time, Westport joins in.

The date is December 17. The time is noon. The cemetery is Assumption, on Greens Farms Road.

It wouldn’t have happened without Patty Kondub. The popular Westport Family YMCA and Senior Center (and Staples High School girls golf coach) is the local coordinator.

As part of her many other Westport activities, she’s also vice president of the VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399 Auxiliary.

Click here to sponsor a wreath (the deadline is November 29). To designate a wreath for a specific veteran at the Assumption cemetery, email Patty: nortonpk@aol.com. You can also email her to volunteer to mark graves before December 17, and place them on that date

For Patty, the project is personal. Her father — John Kondub — was a World War II Marine, and VFW Post 399 member. He earned a Purple Heart, for hand-to-hand combat in the Japanese Islands.

He is buried at Assumption Greens Farms Cemetery — almost across from the farm where he was born, before I-95 was built.

“There are over 200 veterans buried in this cemetery,” Patty says. “I hope they all get wreaths.”

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Liz and Richard are true heroes.

She’s from Florida, and speaks 5 languages. He’s a German attorney. They met and formed a group that braves drones and missiles to drive desperately needed supplies to the front lines in Ukraine. Their supplies include water filtration systems and wood burning stoves for civilians, who are starving and bracing for a cold winter.

In Ukraine they met Brian Mayer. The Westporter spent several months helping coordinate relief efforts. He also helped fund Liz and Richard’s work.

After several months of non-stop work, the pair needed a rest. Brian invited them to Westport, for a few days of R&R.

On Monday they met with 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Ken Bernhard, another Westporter deeply involved in humanitarian aid.

Liz and Richard were taking a breather. But they did not stop working. The group discussed how Westport can be even more helpful in the global fight against Russian aggression.

(From left): Richard, Brian Mayer, 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, Liz and Ken Bernhard discuss how Westport can aid Ukraine.

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One of Westport’s favorite toy drives takes place soon.

The Police Department Benevolent Association and Westport Police Athletic League will again collect gifts for underprivileged children in Fairfield County.

Officers will accept new, unopened and unwrapped toys — plus cash donations — in the ASF Sports & Outdoors parking lot (1560 Post Road East), on Saturday and Sunday, December 3-4 and 10-11, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Toy collection boxes will also be available at:

  • Westport Police Department, 50 Jesup Road
  • ASF Sports & Outdoors, 1560 Post Road East
  • PAL ice rink, Longshore
  • Awesome Toys & Gifts, 429 Post Road East
  • The Toy Post, 180 Post Road East.

Questions? Contact Officer Craig Bergamo: 203-341-6000; cbergamo@Westportct.gov.

Westport Police accept toy donations at ASF.

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Speaking of police: As they do every year just before Thanksgiving, dozens of Staples High School students dodged cops.

The teenagers and officers had a ball.

The event was the annual Dodge-a-Cop dodgeball tournament. Each team of students included at least one member of the Westport force.

They hurled dodgeballs at each other. They protected their teammates.

The event — sponsored by the Westport Youth Commission and Staples’ Teen Awareness Group — was for a great cause. Entry fees supported the Toys for Tots holiday drive.

Staples school resource officer Ed Woolridge (back row, white shirt, blue headband) was on the winning Dodge-a-Cop team. The winners posed with Andrew Colabella — longtime Dodge-a-Cop referee, former Youth Commission member, and current RTM member. (far right).

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The poster evokes the Roaring ’20s:

That’s appropriate. Longshore — the site of this Saturday night’s first-ever Café Noir — is said to have been the setting for nearby resident (okay, renter) F. Scott Fitzgerald) when he later wrote “The Great Gatsby.”

But the music and vibe will be “classic house, funk and disco” at 9 p.m., when a pair of Westport DJs (self-described “middle-aged British dudes, aka “Bangers and Mash”) host the event at Longshore’s La Plage restaurant.

“We’re looking to introduce a bit of suave and sophistication to the evening,” says Phil White, who is Banger.

Tom Fielding is Mash. He’s also an accomplished house DJ. He founded London’s famed dance club The End back in the late 90s.

White DJed in college, then toured Europe putting on raves. before getting sucked into “the big bad world of global advertising.” (Hey, at least he’s advertising Café Noir well.)

The pair will run their Saturday night events at La Plage through Christmas. In the spring, they’ll take their act out on the terrace.

“So get out,” White urges. “Get your groove on. And dress to impress!”

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Westporter Jen Dennison and her colleague Kelly Gipson (who grew up here) are teachers at the Learning Community Day School on Hillspoint Road.

Recently, their class read “Pearl and Squirrel Give Thanks.” (The plot, if you don’t have a preschooler, is about 2 homeless pets.)

The class talked about people who have no homes, or money for food. They decided to help.

The children took home a letter about donations. In 3 days, they collected a truck full.

“They were so proud,” Kelly reports.

On Tuesday, they brought their donations to Operation Hope in Fairfield.

It’s never too early to learn about giving. Thanks and congratulations — you are a true Learning “Community.”

Giving back, at the Learning Community.

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Given the alleged nature of La Plage at Longshore ( the original millionaires party venue for the Great Gatsby?)…we’re looking to introduce a bit of swarve and sophicats to the evening proceeding and get 06680’s well healed and otherwise housebound cognoscenti to get out and get their groove on!

No shoe? No problem!

Ryan Smith — Bates College’s men’s cross country captain, and a Staples High School running star with the Class of 2019 — lost a shoe in the first mile of the 8K NCAA East Regional Championship, at Bowdoin College.

When his shoe was stepped on, there were 100 runners behind Smith. He could not slow down to fix it, so he kicked it into the woods and kept going.

He finished 11th out of more than 200 runners, helping the Bobcats to 2nd place overall. That helped them qualify for the NCAA Championships, (Hat tip: Brian Strong)

Ryan Smith

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Westport’s founding fathers did not wear t-shirts. And they sure didn’t have mouse pads.

But you can sport a tee (or tank top, sweatshirt or hoodie), wrap yourself in a fleece blanket, drink from a mug or use a mouse pad that commemorates 1835 — the year Westport became its own town.

Those items are part of Finding Westport’s newest offerings. There are 2 lines: the 1835 Collection, and one called Westport Est.

Daniel Nash would be proud.

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The Y’s Men of Westport and Weston took a brisk 5-mile walk Monday — in Manhattan.

The group headed out from Grand Central to the United Nations, Sutton Place, Rockefeller University, Carl Shurz Park and Gracie Mansion.

It was the 7th in their series of New York City explorations. Many Y’s Men spent their careers working there. They seldom had a chance to be tourists, though.

Y’sMen at the New York Daily News building. (Hat tip and photo/Dave Matlow)

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It’s not even Thanksgiving, but the raccoons are scavenging.

Jill Grayson went to fill the back yard bird feeder, and found a skunk. A short time later, these 2 guys appeared.

All creatures, great and small — and smelly — are part of our “Westport … Naturally” world. Happy Thanksgiving1

(Photo/Jill Grayson)

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And finally … Michael Butler, the wealthy financier and producer who brought “Hair” to Broadway in 1968, died earlier this month in a nursing home in California. He was 95.

He was hardly a hippie. But he made his mark on American theater with the “tribal love-rock musical.” Click here for a full obituary.

(“Easy to be hard …” — and easy to support “06880.” Just click here. And thank you!)

“Westport … What’s Happening?” Jen Tooker Talks Downtown Details

This week, 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker discusses downtown: Parker Harding Plaza, traffic, cost and more.

When will it be shovel ready? Click below to find out.

“Westport … What’s Happening?” is a service of the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston. Click below to listen.

A Gift From Marigny

Last spring, officials in the French town of Marigny gave Westport a great honor.

In a ceremony that included — via Zoom — 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, our sister city across the sea named a room in their Town Hall for Charlotte MacLear.

She was the head of the French department at Staples High School. A graduate of prestigious Sorbonne Université, in the years after World War II she led a campaign for Westport to “adopt” Marigny-le-Lozon, and help its recovery.

The relationship had its roots during the war itself. Right after D-Day, Westporter Bob Loomis — a gun sergeant — was there. It’s just 25 miles from Utah Beach.

A couple of weeks later another Westporter — heavy machine gunner Clay Chalfant — moved through Marigny with his company on their way to Belgium.

Sparked by MacLear a year later, our town sent clothes, money and Christmas gifts.

In return Marigny created the “Westport School Canteen,” and named the town’s largest square “Place Westport.”

“Pharmacie Westport,” in Marigny.

We forgot the relationship. Marigny never did.

But in June 1994 — as part of the 50th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy — town officials invited 3 Westport middle school students and 2 Westport veterans to stay in the homes of residents. They visited “Westport Gift Shop” and “Pharmacie Westport.”

The 2 veterans were, of course,  Loomis and Chalfant.

Marigny: C’est marveilleux!

In the years since, many Westporters forgot again about Marigny. But our sister city never forgot about us.

The relationship was rekindled last May. Now our French friends have given us another gift.

After “Salle Charlotte MacLear” was christened, René Gauthier — who as a child benefited from Westporters’ kindness — and other residents created a book.

The cover of the Marigny book.

Its 43 pages document, in French and English. the 78-year relationship between the towns. A copy has been sent to 1st Selectwoman Tooker.

It describes the history of Marigny, from its first written reference in the 10th century (!), through the 100 Years’ War, French Revolution, Napoleonic Era, and the terrifying days of World War II.

It relates Westport’s history too. Ours is far shorter. But photos of the Minute Man Monument, Town Hall and the Saugatuck River show that the book’s creators definitely did their homework.

The text and archival images capture every highlight of our relationship. A particularly poignant page notes that every Christmas for 17 years, Westporters sent 200 to 300 packages of toys and gifts to Marigny. Every one was inscribed with the name of an individual child.

Many residents kept them for years. Some are now exhibited in the Charlotte MacLear Room.

Westport also helped rebuild Marigny’s Catholic church. The book notes that the project was initiated by a member of Westport’s Unitarian congregation.

There are reports too of Westporters’ visits to the French town in 1994, and the reciprocal trip here afterward.

There are also photos and accounts of the May 8 Charlotte MacLear ceremony.

The book that is so much about the past ends with an idea for the future. What if, it asks in 2 languages, the people of Marigny and Westport come together again — to help build a Ukrainian school?

It is a marvelous idea. “06880” is ready to help. If anyone wants to work on this project — or knows an organization that might take it on — click comments, or email 06880blog@gmail.com.

Eight decades after D-Day, war is still with us.

So, we hope, is our willingness to help.

Roundup: Clarendon Fine Art, Blues, Jazz …

Clarendon Fine Art has over 80 galleries across the UK.

But none in the US.

Until next month.

Clarendon’s very first American gallery opens at 22 Main Street. That’s the new construction on the right side, just north of Post Road East.

The world’s largest gallery group wants to make art “accessible to all.” They boast an eclectic portfolio of artists, across a broad range of genres. 

The new 3,200-square foot building will showcase an international portfolio of originals, collector’s editions, and sculpture from famous names, alongside emerging talents.

Works from artists like Picasso, Miro, Warhol and Hockney; cutting edge pop, street, and contemporary art; more traditional work including landscape, wildlife, still life, figurative and abstract art, is all on sale at Clarendon.

CEO Helen Swaby calls Westport “a thriving cultural and creative center (which), like Clarendon, has a strong commitment to the preservation of community, traditions and quality of life.”

A British Clarendon gallery.

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Yesterday was special not only because America voted.

There was also a lunar eclipse.

Maggie Dobbins was up early, to capture both it and the sunrise.

(Photos/Maggie Dobbins)

But wait … there’s more!

Twelve hours later, a full beaver moon rose over Compo. Seth Goltzer was there.

(Photo/Seth Goltzer)

And Rick Benson was at Sherwood Mill Pond …

(Photo/Rick Benson)

… while not far away was Seth Goltzer:

(Photo/Seth Goltzer)

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Mark Naftalin’s 3rd “Blue Sunday” rocks the Westport Library on November 20.

The keyboardist/producer/radio host/Rock & Roll Hall of Famer has curated a great set of blues musicians, for the latest in the monthly series.

The November Blue Sunday features “Beehive Queen” and “Saturday Night Live” chanteuse Christine Ohlman, blues and soul man Willie J. Laws, plus Naftalin’s already legendary Blue Sunday Band, with Crispin Cioe, Paul Gabriel and JD Seem.

The first 2 Blue Sundays drew packed houses to the Library’s Trefz Forum. The November 20 concert begins at 2:30 p.m.

You won’t be wailing over the admission price. Unbelievably, it’s free.

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On Friday, the Westport Police Department’s 3rd annual Officer Awards ceremony recognized outstanding from 2021.

Among the honorees were 2 civilians: “06880” Unsung Hero Tucker Peters, for saving a friend from drowning after their boat tipped over last summer, and Jose Rodriguez, who helped a woman climb to safety after falling onto the train tracks.

Also recognized: Assistant Fire Chief Matthew Cohen and firefighter Michael Durette who assisted officers in locating a dangerous felon.

Westport Police Department officers were of course recognized for their success in a variety of incidents involving armed suspects, barricaded subjects, the mentally ill, and time consuming, in-depth investigations.

Detectives Ashley Delvecchio and Marc Heinmiller were co-recipients of the 2021 Officer of the Year Award, for their consistent and innate ability to solve investigative cases.

In all, 40 officers received awards. Many were multiple recipients.

Police Chief Foti Koskinas, with Marc Heinmiller and Ashley Delvecchio, co-Officers of the Year.

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The Westport Library’s Book Sale is (almost) here.

The upcoming event (Friday through Monday) features thousands of gently used books in more than 50 categories, including children’s, classics, fiction, mysteries, sci-fi/fantasy, art, photography, math, science, psychology, religion, biography, business, cooking, gardening, performing arts, travel, foreign language — to name just a few.

Items of special interest: leather-bound vintage book sets; extensive collections of history books and cookbooks; a new “Fiction for $1” room; from the personal library of Joseph Califano, former US Secretary of HEW, books signed to him by their authors, including one by Dr. Seuss. and a card from the Broadway show “In the Heights” signed by Lin-Manuel Miranda and other cast members.

Also on sale: a broad array of DVDs and CDs, and a limited selection of collectibles and artwork.

The book sale benefits both the Library and Westport Book Shop, the used bookstore on Jesup Green that provides employment for people with disabilities.

Volunteers are still needed. To help, email volunteers@westportbooksales.org.

Admission to the book sale is free (except early access Friday morning. Click here for more information, including times and daily specials.

The Westport Library Book Sale.(Photo/Dan Woog)

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It’s become a tradition: Because the Westport Rotary Club meets each Tuesday at noon, the 1st selectperson now address addresses the group every Election Day.

Westport First Selectwoman Jen Tooker did the honors yesterday, at Green’s Farms Congregational Church. She talked about traffic congestion, Longshore and downtown.

She also expressed concern about the state of public discourse in the US, and how it impacts who chooses to serve in positions like hers.

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker at yesterday’s Rotary Club. (Photo and hat tip/Dave Matlow)

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Westport Country Playhouse is going mobile.

The 91-year-old institution now brings live theater to schools, parks, community centers and other gathering spots.

They supply the fully staged play. Your group supplies the audience.

The first production –“Scaredy Kat Presents” — is designed for grades 5 through 9. But it entertains audiences of all ages, while fostering an understanding of social/emotional wellness.

The tour begins in January, with dates available for booking. School, religious institution, library and community space administrators can click here for more details, and booking information.

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Congratulations to Witt Lindau and Delaney McGee.

The Staples High School musicians participated in the National Association for Music Education conference, as part of the All-National Honor Ensembles. They were selected by video audition, from the top music students in the country.

Delaney played trumpet in the All-National Orchestra, while Witt Lindau was a drummer with the All National Modern Band) (aka known as a “rock band”).

Congratulations too (of course!) to Staples band director Phil Giampietro.

Witt Lindau and Delaney McGee.

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The recent HBO special on Paul Newman, and publication of his memoir, has brought Paul Newman back in the spotlight.

Nearly everyone in Westport has a story about our down-to-earth neighbor. Gil Ghitelman shares his:

“Kenyon College — Newman’s alma mater — is mentioned frequently in his new book.

“My son Nick (Kenyon ’94) gave me a hoodie I occasionally wear on spirited walks to town. Recently several Westporters asked if I knew Paul.

Gil Ghitelman, in his Kenyon hoodie.

“I never met him. But my wife had an encounter that is worth telling.

“They both were in the checkout line at Organic Market in Playhouse Square. Paul was buying, of all things, a couple of Newman’s Own peanut butter cups.

“Dispensing with the unwritten protocol to ignore local celebrities — let alone initiate a conversation — she said, ‘Excuse me. Are those any good?’

“Newman smiled and replied, ‘They better be.  I’m paying full retail for them.’”

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When Marisa Zer arrived home the other night, she could not get in her Greens Farms area driveway.

Two bucks fighting for supremacy blocked her way.

She did not get involved. Instead, she took a photo for “06880,” Day or night, anything can happen in our “Westport … Naturally” world.

(Photo/Melissa Zer)

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And finally … the day after Americans voted, all the results are not yet in. Some may take days to tabulate.

While the count goes on, let’s all heed Jackson Browne’s words:

We may lose, and we may win …
Take it easy.

“Westport … What’s Happening?” Jen Tooker & Foti Koskinas, Part 2

The previous “Westport … What’s Happening?” podcast — with 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker interviewing Police Chief Foti Koskinas — came on the heels of a Staples High School lockdown.

In this second part of the series, Chief Foti talks about the Westport Police Department’s neighborhood meetings, traffic (reasons and resources) and manpower.

“Westport … What’s Happening?” is a service of the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston. Click below to listen.

“What’s Happening, Westport?” Jen Tooker & Foti Koskinas

In the aftermath of last Friday’s lockdown at Staples, the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston’s podcast with Jen Tooker takes a different approach.

This week, the 1st selectwoman interviews Police Chief Foti Koskinas. He talks candidly about that day, including the importance of Staples’ school resource officer, and the emotional and psychological toll on staff, students and his officers.

Koskinas praises Staples principal Stafford Thomas and everyone at the school, while acknowledging how tough it was for all. It’s an inside look into a day that anyone who was there will not soon forget.

Tooker also asks Koskinas about Westport policing in general.

Click below for a very intriguing 9 minutes.

What’s Happening, Westport? Jen Tooker On River Dredging

The Army Corps of Engineers is beginning the Saugatuck River dredging project.

What’s involved? Where exactly will they dredge?

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker explains the process, with Dick Kalt of the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston.

This Y’s Men podcast is released every 2 weeks. Click below to listen. If you have a question for the next episode, email: westport@ysmenwestportweston.org.

New Police Traffic Unit Targets Aggressive, Distracted Drivers

When Jen Tooker ran for 1st Selectman last fall, one main issues was traffic.

This spring, she organized 9 meetings — one for each Representative Town Meeting — with high-level Police Department officials. Residents shared their biggest traffic concerns.

Tooker and Police leader separated the issues into 3 buckets: relatively simple fixes; those needing longer-term attention, and “sorry, unfortunately impossible.”

Starting soon, the Westport Police will have a tool for addressing one complaint they heard at every meeting: aggressive and distracted drivers.

A new Traffic Safety Unit will target “motor vehicle enforcement on area roadways.” Two officers — Scott Thompson and Dominique Carr — will devote all their time to traffic issues.

“Traffic safety has always been one of our top priorities,” says Police Chief Foti Koskinas.

“But our officers are very busy. They spend a lot of their time answering calls. We don’t want to assign someone to an hour at a particular location, then all of a sudden they have to respond to a call.

“So we’re re-allocating our resources. The Traffic Safety Unit officers will work strictly on this.”

AFter the 9 RTM meetings, Koskinas’ department identified 55 Westport sites where targeted enforcement could help. Some might be where drivers routinely plow through lights or stop signs; others might attract particularly aggressive or fast (even for Westport) drivers.

Rush hour — with commuter and school traffic — will be one of the highest priorities.

The traffic agent at Bedford Middle School may get some help from the new Traffic Safety Unit. (Photo/Adam Vengrow)

Officers Thompson and Carr will work regular shifts: 5 days on, 2 off. But those shifts will be staggered, so the Traffic Unit will operate 7 days a week. The officers will sometimes work alone, sometimes with other patrol cars.

“We realize traffic can be frustrating,” Koskinas says. “And coming out of COVID, we know that driving habits have changed.

“We think this Traffic Safety Unit will address what we’ve heard. And we continue to encourage feedback from residents about traffic, and how we address it.”

The new unit begins this week.

Senior Center’s Huge Loss: Sue Pfister To Retire

Susan L. Pfister — the only director the Westport Center for Senior Activities has known at its Imperial Avenue home — has announced her retirement.

She leaves the post she has made an enormous mark on, effective January 1.

Sue Pfister

Pfister has spent 35 years with Westport’s Department of Human Services. She was hired in 1987, after graduating from Sacred Heart University with a bachelor’s in social work.

She earned a master’s in social work at Fordham University, and dedicated her career to supporting Westport senior citizens.

The Senior Center had humble beginnings, and no permanent home. It bounced between the YMCA, Greens Farms Elementary School, Longshore and Staples High School.

Pfister helped lead construction of the Imperial Avenue facility in 2004, ahead of schedule and under budget. She also oversaw the 2016 expansion.

Westport’s Senior Center serves hundreds of people daily, thanks in large part to Pfister’s expertise and administration. “Sue’s Café” is just one honor. It was named in recognition of her establishment of the daily congregate meal program, complete with its own chef.

Westporters of all ages — along with town officials, and her colleagues around the state — admire Pfister’s creativity, resourcefulness and inclusive vision.

Sue Pfister (seated, right), at her beloved Senior Center.

She says:

I’m honored to have had the opportunity to spend my entire career with the Town of Westport. Westport truly values and recognizes the important role seniors play in the community.

I send heartfelt appreciation and thanks to the various administrations, boards and commissions, town departments and staff, instructors and volunteers, and most importantly, my staff for supporting me throughout my career. I will always call Westport my home away from home.

The Westport Senior Center.

First Selectwoman Jen Tooker adds:

Westport residents, and in particular our seniors and their families and caregivers, have been blessed with Sue’s presence. Through her due diligence and oversight, the Senior Center has become a crown jewel of Westport, offering comprehensive programs that enhance the lives of seniors and create countless opportunities for seniors and volunteers to enjoy friendships and daily enrichment.

Sue always has the best interests of those she cared for at the forefront. Her considerate nature and calm demeanor, coupled with a no-nonsense management style has been an enormous asset to this community.

On a personal level, when my mom and dad moved to town, my dad became enamored of the Center and its many activities. It was Sue and her staff who were sincerely welcoming and hands-on in helping with a difficult life transition for him.

I know she is the same with all her beloved seniors. Sue took the lead without fanfare – she just did it – and with a smile on her face. Of course, Sue will be sorely missed as the Senior Center director. But I also know that she will continue to be in service to others as she enters a new chapter in her life. We wish her only health and happiness in her retirement.

Carl Frey blew out birthday candles with (from right) his wife Iris, and Senior Center director Sue Pfister.

Human Services director Elaine Daignault notes:

Sue has a penchant for quick-thinking, organization, and collaboration, playing a critical role in the town’s emergency response efforts through countless storms and public health emergencies. She and her team offered essential respite and support by feeding, housing, and comforting emergency workers and residents during significant nor’easter storm events like Hurricanes Sandy, Irene and Isais, and the COVID19 pandemic.

Sue’s energy and dedication are inspirational. Her drive and compassion for others have been a tremendous source of reassurance to me, and those that she has helped along the way.

I am very grateful for her camaraderie and friendship, and I wish her a well-deserved retirement where she’ll continue to spread light and hope to others.