Tag Archives: Westport Police Benevolent Association

Roundup: Real Estate, Trash, YMCA …

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July’s real estate numbers are in.

According to Brown Harris Stevens, while the total number of closed homes declined from 96 to 69 from last year’s frothy July numbers — still the 2nd-highest number of closings for  the month since 2001 — the average closing price rose 19%, from $1,627,253 to $1,929, 908. That’s the highest for July since 2008.

Houses sold, on average, for 101% of the list price. That’s the 5th straight month the figure has surpassed 100%.

As of July 31, there were also 103 pending sales. Another 178 were listed as “active inventory.”

As for condos: 31 closed in July 2021, up from 22 the previous July. The average closing price for condos in the first 7 months of 2021 was $628,002, a rise of 34$ since the comparable period a year ago.

The total volume of house house and condo closings since January 1 is $644,692,685. That’s up a whopping 45% since the first 7 months of 2020. (Hat tip: Chuck Greenlee)

This 4-acre property on Beachside Avenue — once part of the JC Penney estate — is listed for $6,495,000. One drawback: It is not actually on the water.

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Lou Weinberg is best known as the chair of Westport’s Community Gardens.

But the Westporter’s stewardship of the earth extends to the water. He writes:

“A recent walk along Burying Hill Beach yielded an astronomical amount of garbage. The bag on the right was what my wife and I picked up. The garbage on the left was left by a generous donor or donors.

(Photo/Lou Weinberg)

“As I’m sure you can guess, there were plenty of single-use plastic bottles, bottle caps, aluminum cans, balloons, fishing line, food wrappers, etc. On this walk, we even saw a used diaper and the leftovers from somebody’s lunches.

“What one can do: The Burying Hill lifeguards gave us the bag. Perhaps others who are taking a stroll along the beach and beyond could bring their own bags, or get one from the guards. Any effort to bag the garbage may result in one less piece of plastic ingested by wildlife, and a cleaner environment. Nature deserves better.”

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Several years ago, the Saugatuck Harbor Yacht Club ordered a historical plaque, commemorating its Westport Historic District Commission Preservation Award of 2018 for the heritage of its building.

Delivery problems delayed the ceremony until this week. Westport Museum of History & Culture house historian Bob Weingarten — who made the presentation to former commodore Paul Rosenblatt — provides the backstory:

The SHYC clubhouse was originally a stable. It was built circa 1887 by Henry C. Eno, as part of his Queen Ann seaside summer estate.

The SHYC was established 1959 by J. Anthony Probst. He remodeled the stable into a clubhouse, with the help of landscape architect Evan Harding. During the 2018 presentation, the HDC noted that underwater marsh land was dredged to create a harbor. It was the first of its kind on the eastern seaboard to feature an underwater bubble system, allowing boats to remain moored year-round.

Former commodore Paul Rosenblatt, the Saugatuck Harbor Yacht Club plaque, and the historic clubhouse.

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As I walked out of the Y yesterday, a man approached.

“Is this the YMCA?” he asked.

Duh! I thought. What else would it be?

Then I looked around. There is virtually no signage anywhere.

There’s nothing on Wilton Road, or Merritt Parkway Exit 41 — the only 2 ways to enter the parking lot — that say “Welcome to the Westport Weston Family YMCA!”

The sign above the entrance reads “Bedford Family Center.” Who — including most members — knows that’s the name of the Y building.

High above the entrance — where no one looks, and besides, it’s very hard to make out — is the “Y” logo. But that’s it. It doesn’t even say “YMCA.”

I guess there really is no such thing as a dumb question.

Can you see the “Y” above the “Bedford Family Center” sign? (Photo/Dan Woog)

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No one likes to see a police cruiser in their rear view mirror.

But everyone should support the Westport Police Benevolent Association’s 3rd annual Car Cruise. It’s tomorrow (Saturday, August 21, 4 to 8 p.m., Saugatuck train station parking lot #1).

Cars of all years, makes and models are welcome. It’s a family-friendly event, with music, food trucks and a raffle.

The fee to enter and display a car is $20, with the funds earmarked for causes like the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, Special Olympics, and Veterans & Families of Fallen Officers.

The first 100 cars receive a gift bag. Trophies will be awarded too.

A previous Westport PBA car rally

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In 2017, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey broke a story about Westporter Harvey Weinstein in The New York Times. The smoldering #MeToo movement suddenly caught fire.

The 2 journalists will speak at the Westport Library’s inaugural fundraising event, “The Exchange: Conversations About The Issues of Our Time.” The October 5 (10 a.m.) event will be moderated by Westport corporate executive Joan Gillman,

Click here for more information, and tickets.

Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey.

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The other day, “Westport … Naturally” featured a snowy egret enjoying a meal. Today, we show one in flight.

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

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To purchase tickets or a table for this special event go to

And finally … speaking of the YMCA (as we were above): Maybe we need these guys as greeters in front.

Roundup: Ear Piercing, Car Show …

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The Asian American and Pacific Islander group of Westport invites everyone to a free outdoor family event tomorrow (Friday, August 13, 4 to 6 p.m.), at MoCA Westport.

There’s an art presentation by local artist Rosie Jon; music with Westporter Stacie Morgain Lewis (Glenda from “Wicked”), and more.

This will be a very lucky Friday the 13th!

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Need your ear(s) piereced?

Rowan — already established in New York — opens in Westport location on Saturday. The store — at 47 Main Street — boasts “licensed nurses.” They also make home visits.

Click here for details.

(Photo courtesy of Westport Moms)

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Don’t care to get your ears pierced? Or looking for something to do afterward?

The Westport Police Benevolent Association hosts their 3rd Annual Car Cruise this Saturday evening )August 14, 4 to 8 p.m., Lot 1, Saugatuck train station).

All years and models are welcome (entry fee: $20). There’s music, JR’s good truck, Micallizi’s Italian ice, trophy awards and tons of raffle prizes. The first 100 cars receive goodie bags.

Funds raised help the PBA support non-profit organizations like the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, Special Olympics, veterans and families of fallen officers.

Westport PBA car rally

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Speaking of police: The Westport department teamed up with ASF Sports recently, to collect items for the Gillespie Center. Cops and business doing something wonderful for folks in need: May the Force be with you!

Donations gratefully accepted.

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Today, “Westport … Naturally” shows chick #3 about to leave the Burying Hill Beach osprey nest.

(Photo/Peter Swift)

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And finally … today in 30 BC — a mere 2,051 years ago — Cleopatra died. She was 39.

Roundup: Toy Drive, Y Pool, More


If it’s Thanksgiving, it must be time for the Westport Police Department’s annual Toy Ddrive.

Local union 2080 and the Westport Police Benevolent Association are sponsoring the event. Each year, thousands of toys are distributed to underprivileged children throughout Fairfield County, and at Bridgeport and St. Vincent’s Hospitals.

Westport police officers will accept new, unopened and unwrapped toys at the ASF parking lot (1560 Post Road East) on the first 2 Saturdays and Sundays in December (5, 6, 12 and 13), from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In addition, collection boxes will be set up now through December 14 at:

  • Age of Reason, 9 Post Road West
  • ASF Sports & Outdoors ,1560 Post Road East
  • Awesome Toys and Gifts, 429 Post Road East
  • The Toy Post, 180 Post Road East

Questions? Email anowinski@westportct.gov, or call 203-341-6000.

What a great gift for a kid!


Swimming at the Y has been my COVID happy place. Nothing like a pool-ful of chlorine to keep the coronavirus at bay.

No longer. The Westport Weston Family Y announced yesterday that effective immediately, both the lap and warm pools will be shut down indefinitely.

The decision was based on updated guidelines from the governor’s office. Under those rules, only 4 swimmers could be allowed at any time.

The wellness center, gymnastics center, group fitness classes and school-age childcare programs remain open.

The Westport Y pool will look like this for a while.


And finally … c’mon! You didn’t really expect anything different today, did you?

4 Ways To Make A Difference

Westporters care.

We care about our friends and neighbors. We care about kids and older folks in need, here and in nearby towns and cities.

We want to help — particularly in this holiday season.

But we don’t always know how.

Here are a few great ideas.


The Westport Police Department Local Union #2080 and Police Benevolent Association host an annual Holiday Toy Drive. Thousands of donations benefit underprivileged children throughout Fairfield County, and beyond.

Westport police officers will accept new, unopened and unwrapped toys — and cash donations — in the ASF Sports parking lot (1560 Post Road East) on Saturdays and Sundays, December 8, 9, 15 and 16, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Collection boxes will also be set up from Monday (December 3) through December 16, at:

  • Westport Police Department, 50 Jesup Road (24 hours a day)
  • Westport Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue (weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
  • ASF Sports, 1560 Post Road East (weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Sundays 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

Questions? Email jruggiero@westportct.gov, or call 203-341-6017.

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Westport’s Department of Human Services annual, confidential Holiday Giving Program helps over 400 residents each year.

Donors contribute gift cards to local stores, supermarkets and gas stations. Cash donations are welcome too; Human Services staff uses them to make purchases for clients.

Checks (payable to “DHS Family Programs,” with “Holidays” on the memo line) and gift cards may be mailed to or dropped off at: Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Room 200, Westport, CT 06880.

For more information, email hsyouth@westportct.gov, or call 203-341-1069. Individuals and families needing extra support during the holiday season should call 203-341-1050.


A new online option helps Westport’s most vulnerable residents this season — and beyond. Over 400 individuals and families in town meet the federal poverty level.

The “WeCare Westport” portal provides access to 7 funds:

The Barbara Butler Fund connects at-risk youth with enrichment opportunities.

The Residents in Need Fund provides emergency financial assistance for food, shelter, utilities, medical expenses and other critical needs to Westport residents meeting income guidelines.

The Senior Client Needs Fund serves seniors on limited or fixed incomes during periods of financial hardship.

The Family-to-Family Fund supports offers help with unforeseen expenses during times of financial hardship.

Toquet Hall, located downtown, offers social, cultural and recreational opportunities to teenagers.

Prevention and Educational Programming gives free education and awareness events addressing substance abuse, mental health and parenting education.

Donors who want to help but have no preference of which population to assist can direct funds to the Area of Most Need. This assists residents of any age, when most urgently needed.

To donate to any of these 7 funds, click here.


In recent years, Bridgeport’s Cesar Batalla School has become a favorite destination for Westporters hoping to help youngsters enjoy the holidays.

The school serves children in high poverty brackets. Some live in shelters. 100% are fed breakfast and lunch at school.

Their families have no money for basic necessities — let alone holiday gifts.

Westporters can provide some of those gifts, for children in pre-K through 3rd grade.

It’s easy: Click here to order online from Amazon. Orders from the Wish List will be shipped directly to the school. They are also accepting donations at the Family Resource Center in the school (606 Howard Avenue, Bridgeport).  Call 203-579-8526 for drop-off times. For more information, email blabrador@bridgeportedu.net.

In addition, Lucy’s (23 Jesup Road, next to Green and Tonic ) is taking donations for the Cesar Batalla School. Unwrapped new toys can be dropped off Mondays through Saturdays (10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays noon to 5pm).

If interested, act now! Gifts will be given by Santa on December 20.

In 2016, Westporters donated these gifts to the Cesar Batalla School.

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(These are only a few ways to help. To add your own favorite cause, click “Comments” below.)

 

Man In Blue Wears Pink

Foti Koskinas — Westport’s popular police chief — is a firm believer in the importance of community involvement. Under his leadership, the department is involved in a broad array of good causes.

As a leader, he knows the importance of walking the talk.

So it’s no surprise he’s part of Real Men Wear Pink. He’s honoring a friend fighting breast cancer — and advocating for his wife and 2 young daughters.

Foti’s goal is to raise $10,000. As of this morning, he’s nearly 40% there. (Click here to help.)

But he’s not the only cop raising awareness of the disease.

For the next few weeks, a pink Maserati will roll through town.

It’s not there to pull you over.

The eye-popping vehicle — courtesy of Maserati of Westport — reinforces that this October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

You can see it tomorrow at the Saugatuck train station (Sunday, October 1, 8 a.m. to noon). The Concours d’Caffeine is a fundraiser for the Westport Police Benevolent Association Scholarship Fund.

What goes around, comes around.

Cops Collect Toys For Tots

As the holiday season roars into overdrive, we’re (happily) overwhelmed with ways to help the less fortunate. All across town, organizations do their part to bring a little joy to those who truly need it.

“06880” can’t mention all of them. But if you’re looking for one particularly worthy cause, here it is.

The Westport Police local union and Police Benevolent Association are holding their annual toy drive. Each year, they distribute thousands of gifts to children who otherwise would have none, in Fairfield County and beyond. It runs through December 16.

Collection boxes for new, unwrapped toys are set up at several locations:

  • Police headquarters, 50 Jesup Road, 24 hours a day.
  • Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • ASF Sports & Outdoors, 1560 Post Road East, store hours.
  • Whole Foods, 399 Post Road West, store hours.
  • Renato’s Jewelers, 1765 Post Road East, store hours.

In addition, police officers will be in the ASF parking lot the next 2 weekends (December 10, 11, 17, 18, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) to accept toys and cash donations.

And to personally thank you for your generosity.

Westport Police

 

Help For The Holidays

The holiday season has begun.  Local stores have “Christmas” (can I say that?) decorations up, and Wal-Mart — thankfully not a local store — has announced it will open at 10 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.

“Our customers told us they would rather stay up late to shop than get up early, so we’re going to hold special events on Thanksgiving and Black Friday,” Walmart’s chief merchandising officer said.  (No word on what Walmart’s hard-working, non-unionized workers associates think about punching in late on Thanksgiving night.)

While “06880” cannot become a bulletin board for every worthy help-the-less-fortunate endeavor this winter (bah, humbug!), 3 special events have caught our eye.

First:  Once again, the Conservative Synagogue is partnering with gourmet bakers, caterers and fine food outlets to provide Thanksgiving pies — while making a donation to Homes With Hope.

The “Share the Pie” fundraiser offers apple, pecan and pumpkin pies for $20.  The deadline to order is this Wednesday (November 16); pies can be picked up Tuesday, November 22 at the synagogue parking lot.

Click here to order, or call 203-454-4673.

Second:  The Department of Human Services is again sponsoring a holiday giving program for Westport residents.

Those who can contribute — gift cards for food, gas and discount department stores, for example, along with tax-deductible donations of money that’s used to fulfill last-minute requests — do so.  Human Services acts as a facilitator, protecting the confidentiality of donors and recipients.

To donate — or request help — email humansrv@westportct.gov, or call 203-341-1069.

Third:  The Westport Police Department local union 2080 and Police Benevolent Association are again sponsoring a toy drive.  New, unopened and unwrapped toys — as well as cash donations — will be collected at police headquarters any time through December 18.

There are plenty of ways to do good this holiday season.  These are just 3.

And none require a trip to Walmart at 10 p.m. Thanksgiving night.

Haiti Hits Home

For many Westporters, the news from Haiti is devastating, despondent — and distant.

For Wilgins Altera, it’s immediate, visceral, and all too real.

Wilgins Altera (Photo by Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com)

Born in Brooklyn to Haitian immigrants, at age 7 he moved with his family to Providence, Rhode Island.  He graduated from Southern Connecticut State University in 2007 with a degree in criminal justice, psychology and accounting.

Last February 2 — almost exactly a year ago — he was sworn in as an officer of the Westport Police Department.

Over 30 members of his extended family live in Port-au-Prince, or nearby.  All are accounted for — but 2 died in the earthquake’s rubble.

Many of his fellow officers did not know of Wilgins’ Haitian background.  As soon as they heard, they rushed to help.

“Everyone has been very concerned and supportive,” he said.  “They ask all the time how my family is doing.  They really care.”

A captain discussed the possibility of sending Wilgins to Haiti, to help.

The Police Benevolent Association raised funds for relief.  Many members donated generously.

Of course, help — through organizations like Save the Children and the Red Cross — is still needed.

“Every day there, people still need food and medicine,” Wilgins said.  “It’s great to see so many people involved.  And it’s not just Westport, but around the nation and the world.”

Police Benevolence

This month’s greening of Pasacreta Park shined a spotlight on both the Riverside Avenue hideaway and its namesake, a much-loved police captain who died at age 50.

Many volunteers helped turned the park into a place of beauty; many donors’ dollars helped too.  Among the contributors was the Westport Police Benevolent Association.  That’s natural — Eugene Pasacreta was one of their own.

Westport PBAIt’s natural too that the PBA donated $6,000 for the renovation of Luciano Park.  That spot — across from Jasmine Restaurant, adjacent to the railroad station parking lot — is also named for a beloved cop who died too young (former chief Sam Luciano).

But the PBA does much more than hand money to parks named for policemen.  In just the past 3 years, the organization has helped fund:

  • Field of  Dreams
  • The American Cancer Society
  • Disabled American Veterans
  • Camperships through Westport’s Human Services Department
  • Governor’s Horse Guard
  • March of Dimes
  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving
  • Sportsmen of Westport
  • Hole in the Wall Gang
  • St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital
  • The Hundred Club of Connecticut (for families of cops killed in the line of duty)
  • Special Olympics
  • Staples Gridiron Club
  • Westport Rotary Club
  • PAL
  • At least a dozen police officers, firefighters and EMTs who were injured or ill (including $5,000 to an officer with a tumor; they then raised an additional $12,000 for her at a fundraiser)

In addition, the PBA:

  • Donated a new bike and helmet for a local teenager
  • Collected donations for veterans in hospitals
  • Collected toys for kids each holiday season
  • Paid for Westport Inn accommodations for a cross-country bike rider
  • Provided Halloween glow sticks to children
  • Helped pay for their own Honor Guard’s new uniforms

There’s more.   But you get the idea.

The Police Benevolent Association is one of Westport’s most consistent, lowest-profile benefactors.  Think of that the next time you get a low-key appeal for funds.

Or they pull you over for yapping on your cell phone.