Tag Archives: Joe Tacopina

Roundup: Easter Sunrise, Real Estate, Rotary …

Happy Easter!

Nearly 100 worshipers greeted the sunrise with a beautiful service at Compo Beach.

Green’s Farms, Saugatuck and Norfield Congregational, and the United Methodist Church of Westport and Weston, joined in the celebration.

(Photo and hat tip/Dale Najarian)

(Photo//Saugatuck Church)


A few real estate statistics from March:

  • Unit sales: 18 (down 47% from March 2022)
  • Median sales price: $2,011,000 (down 19%)
  • Median sales price per square foot: $509 (up 5%)
  • Inventory: 93 (down 5%)
  • Days on market: 105 (up 91%)

56% of the properties sold within 90 days of listing.

And 78% sold for at least 95% of the listing price. (Hat tip: Meredith Cohen)

The most expensive home on the market is this 11,000-square foot, 6-bedroom, 7 1/2-bath property on 3.45 acres on Charcoal Hill Road. It is listed for $12.5 million.


Good Friday was a great one, for members of the Westport Rotary Club and Bridgeport families striving to become homeowners.

Rotarians participated in a service day with Habitat for Humanity. They hammered, sawed, and helped their neighbors realize dreams.

Westport Rotary Club, with Habitat for Humanity in Bridgeport.


When it comes to road races, no one beats the Pequot Running Club.

Though based in Southport, they’ve got a strong Westport presence.

For 45 years, thousands of participants have whetted their appetites at the Thanksgiving Day 5-Milel Race. Half of the course winds through our town.

Pequot also initiated, and strongly supports, the Laddie Lawrence Scholarship Fund. Named for the longtime (and legendary) Staples High School coach, it has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars to deserving athletes.

Pequot also assists with the Staples track and field program, and Westport Road Runners Summer Series.

The other day, Pequot Running Club stepped out of its lane. They presented a check for over $100,000 to First Serve Bridgeport. The organization provides tennis, educational and growth opportunities to underserved youngsters in Bridgeport.

Congratulations, Pequot — and may you run forever.

Pequot Running Club founder Packer Wilbur presents a check to Charley Briggs, First Serve Bridgeport board member.


New York Times story this morning on former President Trump’s lawyers included the man at his immediate left in Tuesday’s historic arraignment, Westporter Joe Tacopina.

A photo caption said that Trump praised Tacopina for his television appearances.

The piece concluded: “(Trump’s) former attorney general, William P. Barr, shook his head at the sight of the defense table on Tuesday.

“Mr. Barr, who sat for an interview with the House select committee investigating Mr. Trump’s efforts to stay in office, explained that lawyers working for Mr. Trump tend to come to one conclusion.

“’Lawyers inevitably are sorry for taking on assignments with him,’ Mr. Barr said on Fox News. ‘They spend a lot of time before grand juries or depositions themselves.’”

Click here for the full Times story.

Attorney Joseph Tacopina sat at former President Trump’s left hand, at yesterday’s arraignment. (Photo/Curtis Means for EPA)


Plants are “springing” back to life. Mark Mathias provides today’s “Westport … Naturally” image, from Deadman Brook just south of Evergreen Cemetery.

(Photo/Mark Mathias)


And finally … Happy Easter!

(Happy Easter, Passover and Ramadan, to all who celebrate. Whatever your faith — or none at all — “06880” welcomes everyone. Please click here to support our work. Thank you!)

Roundup: Tacopina, Addarios, Autism …

Westport was represented at yesterday’s historic arraignment at the Manhattan Criminal Courts Building.

Directly next to former President Trump at the proceedings was one of his key attorneys, Joseph Tacopina.

Attorney Joseph Tacopina sat at former President Trump’s left, during yesterday’s arraignment. (Photo/Curtis Means for EPA)

The Westporter — founder and lead trial attorney of Tacopina Seigel & Deoreo — is no stranger to big cases.

His firm’s website says:

Mr. Tacopina is one of the country’s most respected high-stakes trial attorneys, having successfully tried more than 100 cases in his distinguished career. He frequently represents clients in high-stakes civil, criminal and commercial litigation, zealously advancing their interests and often recovering substantial money damages.

In 2011, he was the featured speaker at Staples High School’s baccalaureate ceremony, the night before graduation.


Last year, New York Times photojournalist Lynsey Addario captured an image that shook the world.

The 1991 Staples High School graduate was in Irpin, Ukraine, shortly after the Russians invaded. She was just a few yards away, when a mortar killed a woman, her 2 children and a friend.

The grim photo was published worldwide. It brought home the viciousness of the Russian attacks, and remains a defining image of the war.

Lynsey Addario’s photograph of the carnage in Irpin.

Addario — a previous Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur Award winner — will no doubt earn many honors for that shot. She’s already won one: a George Polk Award for photojournalism.

Established in 1949 by Long Island University to commemorate a CBS correspondent murdered the previous year while covering the Greek civil war, they highlight “investigative and enterprising reporting that gains attention and achieves results.” 

Polk Award winners will be honored April 14 at the New York Athletic Club, the day after a seminar on LIU’s Brooklyn campus. “When Covering War Gets Personal” will feature several winners, delving more deeply into their stories.

But Lynsey is not the only Addario woman in the news.

Her sister Lauren — a 1984 Staples grad — plays drums in a band called mineral Hill. They’ve jusd been nominated for an award for original music, by the New Mexico Music Awards.

ZZ Top will perform at the ceremony, next month in Albuquerque.

By day, Lauren teaches media arts and technology, and directs the Cultural Technology Internship Program at New Mexico Highlands University.

Congratulations, Lynsey and Lauren!

Lauren Addario


April is Autism Acceptance Month. The Westport Police Department is using the event to promote education, and a greater understanding of autism.

They note: “Rates of autism have grown steadily in Westport and nationally, as early diagnosis has become more accessible. Autism touches most of our lives, and is a part of our community. Westport Police are committed to supporting those with autism and their family members, year-round.”

Many officers have bought Autism Acceptance Badges. They’ll wear them on their uniforms throughout April.

Autism Acceptance Month is a good time for a reminder about Westport’s Disability Registry, a combined effort of the Westport Disability Commission, Human Services and Police Department.

The confidential registry provides information to assist police and other emergency workers to address the needs of residents of all abilities. Click here for more information, and to sign up.

In 2021, Westport Police officers showed off their autism badges.


Last week’s “Evening of Africa” at Wakeman Town Farm was a smash.

Attendees raised $37,000, close to the $50,000 Unite needs for its food program in Tanzania this harvest season.

The funds will help purchase maize from over 300 small-scale farmers, providing them with fair prices as well as 2 hermetic bags each, so they can safely store some of their harvest pest-free to use throughout the year.

Money will also increase the fleet, to transport raw maize from remote villages to to United Food Program’s headquarters in Dar es Salaam. There it will be cleaned, processed and packaged as final maize flour products, for retailers, wholesalers and consumers.

Finally, Unite can purchase, retrofit and install and 40-foot container, to serve as extra storage for its grain inventory.

Click here, here and here for videos from the event. Click here to contribute. Click here to commission an oil painting by Unite’s partner artist Maliondo Amini.

Attendees at the Unite for Africa event.


By day, the 2nd floor at 11 Riverside Avenue is a normal art gallery (though one with exceptional work, and a great old-building vibe).

Every so often at night, it turns into a salon.

Owner Michael Chait invites very cool people, to lead informal conversations with in a warm, learn-from-each-other atmosphere.

His next one is even more intriguing than usual.

Tim Manners — a Westporter, and author of “Schoolboy: The Untold Journey of a Yankee Hero” will discuss his subject, legendary 1927 “Murderers’ Row” pitcher Waite Hoyt.

It’s an in-depth book, written with the help of Hoyt’s son.

An organist will play baseball-themed music. “Gates open” at 7 p.m. on April 27.

Tickets are $20. Seats are limited. Click here, or Venmo @Michael-Chait. Questions? Call 203-243-1995.


Over the past year, Jazz at the Post has become a Westport institution.

Now a new musical event debuts at VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399: “First Folk Sunday.”

Starting May 7, and continuing the first Sunday of every month (12:30 to 2:30 p.m.), longtime and very talented Westport singer Suzanne Sheridan will offer music of the 1960s, ’70s, and “good songs from all time.”

Guest artists will join her. Next month, it’s keyboardist Bob Cooper.

There’s a $10 cover. Brunch and a cash bar are available too. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Suzanne Sheridan


Five whiskeys from around the world will be featured at the Weston History & Culture Center’s April 29 fundraiser (7 p.m.).

Tasting will be led The Academy Drinks CEO Jessica Spector. Also on the menu: appetizers from Old Mill Grocery, specialty cocktails, beer, wine and a silent auction.

Tickets are $100 each. and can be purchased at: Click here to purchase, and for more information.


Johanna Keyser Rossi spotted the first migrating white crane of the season the other day, by the Westport Library Riverwalk.

Her photo is perfect for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Johanna Keyser Rossi)


And finally … in honor of the first Roundup item above …

(From the courts of New York to the war in Ukraine, “06880” connects the Westport dots. Please click here to support our work. Thank you!)

Roundup: Joe Tacopina, Steve Shackelford, David Briggs …

VersoFest 2023 is in the “record” books.

Thousands of visitors enjoyed 4 days of music, workshops, panels,talks, displays of the Grateful Dead’s Wall of Sound and Alice Cooper artifacts, and much more, at the 2nd annual Westport Library event.

Yesterday’s highlights included a vinyl swap, DJ Grand Wizzard Theodore (the man who created scratching), and a tribute to the 50th anniversary (!) of hip hop in Connecticut.

DJ Grand Wizzard Theodore shows — much larger than life — how he works his turntables. (Photo and hat tip/Matthew Mandell)

VersoFest was a great way to show off the Library’s Trefz Forum, killer sound system and 19-foot screen — and innovative, informative programming.

“Legends Beats and Grooves” panelists, at VersoFest. (Photo/Dinkin Fotografix)


Two Westport lawyers are on opposite sides of cases involving — directly and indirectly — former President Trump.

Attorney Joseph Tacopina — whose clients have included the NFL Washington Commanders and team owner Daniel Snyder, Michael Jackson, Alex Rodriguez, Sean Hannity, Don Imus, Kimberly Guilfoyle and rapper A$AP Rocky — has been a zealous defender of the former chief executive.

Speaking on CNN yesterday as a member of his defense team yesterday, Tacopina said he would likely move to dismiss charges. They are expected to be unsealed tomorrow, when Trump is scheduled to be indicted for crimes related to paying hush money to a former porn actress.

His remarks were made remotely from Westport, as a graphic on Dana Bash’s “State of the Union” show noted.

Meanwhile, Stephen Shackelford continues as co-lead counsel for Dominion Voting Systems, in its $1.6 billion defamation suit against Fox News.

The Westport RTM member was not on CNN yesterday. But he has been interviewed by them — and other media outlets — as the screenshot below shows.

Stephen Shackelford, on CNN.


Speaking of TV: Yes, that was David Briggs you saw on HBO’s “Succession” this weekend.

He had a cameo role, playing a new anchor for the fictional conservative news network ATN.

The Westporter — who in real life has had a long career in television, including CNN — was part of several long days of shooting, at CNBC.

He did not have any lines this time. But — spoiler alert — he will have a speaking role later this season.

David Briggs in “Succession.”


Last month, “06880” reported on Lynda Bluestein.

The longtime and very active 75-year-old member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Westport has terminal fallopian tube cancer.

She had just reached a settlement with the state of Vermont. She will be the first non-resident to take advantage of a law that allows people with terminal illnesses to end their own lives.

The New York Times has picked up Lynda’s story, and used it to illustrate the national debate about aid in dying laws. Click here to read the piece.

Lynda Bluestein and her husband Paul. (Photo courtesy of NBC Connecticut)


Wakeman Town Farm gave incorrect dates for its Mother’s Day spring bouquet sale.

It’s May 14 — not May 7, as they previously said. Orders will be taken through May 10. Pickup is Saturday, May 13, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Farm

Each spring bouquet comes in a Mason jar tied with gray leather criss-cross cord, designed by Sarah Shaw Floral Design exclusively for WTF.

A portion of the proceeds supports Wakeman Town Farm programs. Click here to order.


Mark your calendars: The Westport Library’s spring book sale is May 5-8.

They’ll have thousands of gently used books for children and adults in over 50 categories, plus vintage children’s and antiquarian books, music CDs, and movie and television DVDs.

Of special interest:

Books donated from the homes of former US cabinet member Joseph Califano; NBC Sports producer Ricky Diamond, and philanthropist and educator Elisabeth Luce Moore, sister of Henry Luce (Time-Life founder). Many of the books in the Califano collection have been signed political, journalist, literatary and entertainment figures.

A collection of works by or about James Joyce.

An extensive collection of history books, especially US and world politics, and World War II.

“Fiction for $1” room: back by popular demand, filled with hardcover fiction, mystery, science fiction, fantasy and young adult fiction, plus paperbacks, just $1 each.

Vinyl records, graphic novels and manga will be available at the Westport Book Shop, across Jesup Green from the Library.

  • Friday, May 5: Noon to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 6: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 7: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; almost everything half-price.
  • Monday, May 8: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: fill a logo bags for $8 (or fill your own equivalent-sized bag for $5), or purchase individual items for half price
  • Early Access Hours (paid ticket-holders only: Friday, May 5 (8:45 a.m. to noon): Only 125 tickets will be sold; $35 each; online purchase only, beginning April 10, 9 a.m. (click here).

For more information, including high-volume purchases, click here.

To volunteer, click here or email volunteers@westportbooksales.org.

Westport Library book sale.


“06880” has featured plenty of interesting creatures in our “Westport … Naturally” series.

But this is our first seal.

Billy Cohen spotted it on a Harbor Road dock, in Saugatuck Shores.

It quickly slithered back into the Sound — but not before he “captured” it for posterity.

With his camera, not his hands.

(Screenshot from video by Billy Cohen)


And finally … “naturally,” today’s featured song is:

(Just when you think you’ve heard or seen it all … “06880” comes up with something different. Please click here to support our work. Thank you!) 

Roundup: State Of The Town, Summit Saugatuck …

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What’s the state of the town?

Westport First Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Board of Education chair Lee Goldstein offer their thoughts next Sunday (February 5, 2 p.m., Westport Library).

The “State of the Town” event is free. It will also be live-streamed here.

After a review of town and school accomplishments, and a preview of what’s ahead, the officials will answer questions. Westport Rotary Club past president Tony McDowell will moderate.

The event is a joint initiative of the Westport Sunrise Rotary and Westport Rotary Club.

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Board of Education chair Lee Goldstein, at last winter’s “State of the Town” event.


Summit Saugatuck — the 187-unit development on Hiawatha Lane Extension, near I-95 Exit 17 — has plowed ahead.

Last summer, what seemed to be the final steps for construction occurred. The last tenants left their homes, and heavy equipment moved in.

For 2 decades, neighbors have fought the proposal. Yesterday, after countless setbacks, Carolanne Curry — one of the most dogged opponents — sent this message:

“For 20 years we’ve been living with the bad news — the disrupting presence of developer Felix Charney wrecking havoc and and uncertainty in our lives. But today there is good news for all of us who want to Save Old Saugatuck.

“For many months our attorney, Joel Green, has been preparing significant legal steps to appeal the recent court ruling. He has prevailed in submitting a formal filing with a 170-page plaintiff’s brief, taking our case from the CT State Superior Court to the CT State Appellate Court. This was no easy task as Charney’s attorney, Tim Hollister, created many delays and presented misinformation and intimidations.

“Once an appeal has been filed, no property development should progress until the appeal has been settled. Over the next several months Attorney Green will have the opportunity to present the compelling reasons that legally support retaining a single family neighborhood on Hiawatha Lane Extension, and simultaneously would protect every other home in our community of Old Saugatuck. (To read online or download a PDF file of the entire brief, click here.)

“This initial appeal is just the first step in the appeal process… and we will continue to take this as far as possible.”

Artist’s rendering of the proposed 187-unit apartment complex on Hiawatha Lane.


Rain gear has been added to the list of material being collected for Ukraine, at the next 2 Westport Farmers’ Markets (February 2 and 9, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center, 7 Sylvan Lane).

Also needed: gently used winter coats, mittens, hats and gloves. Cash contributions to help with shipping costs are welcome too.

Questions? Want to help? Email Mark Yurkiw: mark.think3d@gmail.com.

Mark Yurkiw is helping collect supplies for his native Ukraine.


Longtime Westporter Martin Rosenfeld died Monday at his home in Rockville, Maryland. He was 95 years old.

Living here from 1998 until 2021, he and Martha, his wife of 66 years, were active members of the community.

Together, they donated over 16,000 volunteer hours, during nearly 20 years of service at Norwalk Hospital. Countless area residents remember Martin from his help with patients, visitors and staff in the ambulatory surgical waiting room.

Longtime members of a synagogue in New Rochelle, when they retired they looked for a community where they could continue to be active. At The Conservative Synagogue of Westport they found a young community with many children, which they immersed themselves in.

They assisted in the office, shined the silver on the Torah scrolls, and provided Passover Seders for people without local families. Martin played a key role as a tutor in the synagogue’s B’Nai Mitzvah program.

At the age of 70, Martin learned to read Torah for the first time. Until the pandemic diverted synagogue services to Zoom, he was still going strong — in fact, he was the synagogue’s most prolific reader.

Martin and Martha Rosenfeld

He and his Martha were avid attendees at adult education programs, inspiring all. In 2018, the couple were honored by the Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County.

Born in the Bronx, Martin was a graduate of DeWitt Clinton High School and New York University. A veteran of World War II, he then attended Yale University where he became fluent in Japanese.

In addition to his wife Martha (Elowsky), Martin is survived by his daughter Elizabeth, son and daughter-in-law Reuben and Ora, and 3 grandsons.

His funeral and burial services were held Tuesday in Elmont, Long Island. Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn and Cantor Luis Cattan officiated.

(Hat tip: Howard Matson)


Longtime Westporter Joseph Crosby, Jr. died this week, after a brief illness. He was 82.

Raised outside Philadelphia, Joe entered the Navy as an officer after graduating from LaSalle in 1962. While stationed in Puerto Rico he met his wife of 55 years, Carmen I. Crosby (Brau).

They settled in Westport in 1969 and raised their family there, the greatest joy of his life.

Joe was a pilot with American Airlines, retiring as captain in 2000. His favorite trips were those that brought him home each night. His children called him “the only pilot who doesn’t enjoy traveling.”

Joe also loved sailboats, and purchased his first in 1976. Over the years the boats got bigger, and the family summer cruises longer. They traveled to Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

At home, Joe spent mornings discussing the New York Times, afternoons watching the birds, squirrels, chipmunks and ducks that graced their yard, and evenings in the living room with cocktails and snacks.

His favorite activities were watching sunsets on the boat, and spending time with his grandchildren.

Joe is survived by his wife Carmen; daughter Tracy Crosby (Peter Vath); son Joe (Tricia Mulligan), and grandchildren Caleb and Leah Vath, and Samantha and Ryan Crosby.

His family expresses appreciation to all the healthcare professionals at Bridgeport Hospital, especially the Progressive Care Unit, Vitas, and the 7th floor team.

The family will receive visitors on February 4 (11 a.m., followed by a service at noon) at Harding Funeral Home.  In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Bridgeport Rescue Mission in Joe’s name.

Joseph Crosby, Jr.


It’s been nearly 2 weeks since we ran a “Westport … Naturally” photo of the black buzzards buzzing around the dumpster behind Gaetano’s and Shanghai Gourmet.

They’re still there, enjoying Italian and Chinese food to go.

(Photo/Jack Krayson)


And finally … mark your calendars for February 5: Westport’s “State of the Town” event at the Library (story above). See you there!

 (If there’s something going in my — okay, our — little town, “06880” covers it. Please keep here, to help us continue our work. Thank you!)

Joe Tacopina: All Westport Roads Lead To Roma

In the hard-hitting world of criminal defense lawyers, Joe Tacopina hits harder than almost anyone.

His website pulls no punches.

“Mr. Tacopina is to the defense bar what Donald Trump is to real estate,” reads a what-the-hell-does-that-mean? quote from the New York Times.

“That guy works magic. He is the real deal. He’s not to be messed with,” burbles Imus.

And this, from GQ:

Suspected of murdering that blond girl in Aruba? Having some problems with your appointment as homeland-security chief? Made the mistake of having sex with Christie Brinkley’s husband? Call Joe Tacopina, the best-dressed, smoothest-talking, hardest-working criminal-defense attorney going…

Joe Tacopina (Photo/Nancy Siesel for the New York Times)

Last June Tacopina — a Westporter and the father of 5 children, including a soon-to-be Staples graduate — gave the parent speech at baccalaureate. He described his rags-to-riches life, including an anecdote about working so hard for so little money early in his career that he took on a 2nd job: checking coats at Longshore. (The worst part: seeing other attorneys there — or clients.)

Now Tacopina is following the lead of the latest trend: what the Times calls “American moneymen” buying world-famous soccer teams. The list includes Malcolm Glazer (Manchester United) and Randy Lerner (Aston Villa).

Tacopina is part of a group that in August bought 60% of legendary Italian club A.S. Roma. The club is valued at $400 million.

According to a story in yesterday’s Times, Tacopina has a “life-long obsession” with Roma. Seven years ago, watching a match, he had an epiphany.

The scoreboard didn’t work; I wanted to buy my children some jerseys, but there were none on sale; and it was dirty,” he said. “I started writing notes to myself on a napkin that had been around a flatbread sandwich. Why not find a group to buy it?

Tacopina is now vice president of the club. He’s helped overhaul the team, adding youthful players to the mix of veterans that includes big names like Francesco Totti.

According to the Times,

the club’s new owners believe Roma is well positioned to emerge as the next big global brand in soccer. It is a club located at a unique intersection of global culture. The ownership’s idea is to increase revenue by investing in players who deliver results on the field that further increase revenue.

Part of the plan is a proposal for a new stadium, tied to Italy’s intention to bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics, to replace the crumbling, fan-unfriendly Estadio Olimpico, where a running track keeps the fans far from the action and another team, Lazio, shares the facility.

Tacopina is well positioned to help bring back Roma’s glory years. His father — who died last week at 94 — emigrated to the US from Rome. The club’s fans have displayed a banner that says: “Tacopina Uno di Noi, Grazie Joe“– Thanks, Joe. You’re one of us!

As a Westporter, I’m excited that one of us has taken a big step onto the international soccer stage.

As the Staples soccer coach, I’d be even more excited if he brings a 17-year-old player from Roma’s youth team to spend next fall in the Tacopinas’ Westport home.