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Saturday, December 24, 2005

12/24/05 - News Clips - Legislative committee OKs civil unions bill

Source: Greenwich Time - Greenwich, Conn.
Author: Tobin A. Coleman; Staff Writer

...The victory is complicated because Love Makes a Family, the gay rights group most active on the issue, has said nothing less than a law granting full marriage rights for gays is acceptable. The group has vowed to lobby against the bill passed yesterday that would allow gay couples to form civil unions, nearly identically to the law in Vermont...

...Love Makes a Family President Anne Stanback said she has mixed feelings because many of the lawmakers who voted for civil unions said during the debate that they wanted to vote for a full marriage bill, but went for civil unions instead because they did not think a gay marriage bill has a chance to pass the General Assembly this year....

..."I do have mixed feelings . . . because of the really wonderful tone of the debate in support of marriage and very explicitly stating civil unions is not enough," Stanback said. "While we don't support civil union we would ask them to support us as we move forward with our marriage struggle."...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

September 21 2005: Greenwich Time - Hurrah for hors d'oeuvres! Newbie judges pick .....

Greenwich Time - Hurrah for hors d'oeuvres! Newbie judges pick ...

Carolyn and Jerry Anderson have a unique way of
thanking the clients of their real estate business,
Anderson Associates of Greenwich.

Annually, they host a "best of" tasting under a huge
tent on the grounds of their backcountry Greenwich
estate and invite 200 or so new and old friends who
act as food critics for the night. On a recent Friday,
with the hint of fall in the air, these newly appointed
judges sat around large round tables, sipping
glasses of wine and eagerly awaiting the first of 20
hors d'oeuvres - provided by 10 of our area's top
caterers - that would be nibbled, dissected,
discussed and finally judged.

Behind the scenes

This is the third time the Andersons have held this
event. They started with pizza, judged truffles and
vanilla ice cream last year, and decided to tackle
hors d'oeuvres this night. Each caterer was asked to
provide one hot and one cold nibble that would be
dropped off before guests arrived. The caterers were
not allowed to stay because this was a blind tasting.....

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Tuesday, August 9, 2005

08/09/05 - Kissel Fraud Case

Banks, builders file suit in loan fraud
Greenwich Time - Greenwich, Conn.
Author: Hoa Nguyen; Staff Write

...The developer is accused of fradulently obtaining $25 million in bank loans. Federal prosecutors contend Kissel filed fradulent mortgage releases that appeared to free him from loans that he still owed. Kissel then used those releases to persuade other lending institutions to issue him new mortgages on the same property, according to the federal complaint...

...The companies provided insurance policies to the lending institutions that issued new loans to Kissel, Stewart Edelstein said. Because the institutions lost money, they are seeking compensation from the title insurance companies, which in turn want to hold Kissel financially liable, according to the lawsuit....

...Timothy Mulroy, according to land records, filed a $48,985 lien on 58 Quaker Lane, where he said he built Kissel a library. Although Mulroy received a deposit for the work, Kissel missed one payment and then issued him a check that bounced, said Mulroy, adding that based on what he knows now, he fears he may never be paid...

Monday, August 1, 2005

08/01/05 - Report From U.S Attorney for Connecticut Kevin O'Connor.

Three weeks after George Smith IV, 26, of Greenwich, was reported missing while on a honeymoon aboard a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship on July 5, investigators are busy conducting interviews and reviewing evidence, according to U.S Attorney for Connecticut Kevin O'Connor.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

07/31/05 - First Selectman Spotlight - Neighborhood Associations

Since First Selectman Jim Lash urged residents to be active citizens, especially through their neighborhood associations, more than 60 such groups - large and small, old and new - have followed Lash's advice, and it may be changing the way Greenwich does business.

07/31/05 - According To Press Reports - Steven Seeger said the test results will be provided to police as evidence that one or more of the ......

Steven Seeger said the test results will be provided to police as evidence that one or more of the youths who were with Bria the night before he died provided the drugs and should be arrested on drug charges in connection with Bria's death, Seeger said.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

06/29/05 - News Clips - Developer charged in bank fraud

Greenwich Time - Greenwich, Conn.
Author: Hoa Nguyen; Staff Writer

...Kissel allegedly would file a fraudulent document releasing him from a mortgage from one institution and then use that same property to seek a new loan from a different institution. One such property named in the complaint is 43 Burning Tree Road, where Kissel was building a nearly 8,000-square-foot residence....

...Kissel had agreed to invest in the horse riding and boarding facility on Riversville Road. According to the federal complaint, Kissel's $1 million investment came from a loan that was secured with the help of fraudulent mortgage release documents....

...Kissel's wife, Hayley Kissel, filed for divorce in March, according to [Philip Russell]. The couple also had taken in two children from his brother's marriage. Kissel's sister-in-law, Nancy Kissel, is on trial in Hong Kong for the murder of her husband, whom she allegedly fed a milkshake laced with sedatives before beating him to death, according to news reports...

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Greenwich Real Estate News

Basic Instinct

from The Wall Street Journal

By LIONEL TIGER

They have an irrational enthusiasm for a rational model of human economic behavior, and therefore economists can coolly confuse apples with prickly pears and conclude that all asset classes are the same. Owning a house in which one lives and owning a thousand shares of last season's aerated dot-com are supposed to involve comparable economic decisions. If dot-com shares plummet because their companies do nothing anyone is willing to pay for, then that is fairly a bubble. But it's supposed to be a bubble, too, if housing prices rise persistently.

There are good reasons. The world is ever more efficient and produces more assets nearly everywhere which people want to use. Immigrants come to countries like this and want a deck and a rec room and work like a Dickens character to acquire them -- and house their relatives, too. There are now relatively few straightforward ways to earn generous interest and profits because current enterprise is more efficiently low-cost than ever and pricing is global. Some places like New York are discernibly more fun and intricate, and people like inhaling them whatever the ruckus and cost. Finally, people have to live somewhere -- it's a philosophically existential veterinarian obligation. They develop primitively firm affections about where they store their slippers and where the kids whoop when they surprise Dad.

Terms such as "housing bubble" are so self-evidently admonitory, and commentators so secure in their Deep Concern, that owners of modest castles of sheetrock now endure the fear that their prized irreplaceable haven is a birchbark canoe careening down a rocky rapids.

In his lively study, "The Mystery of Capital," Hernando De Soto shows how seemingly disorganized slums in poor countries maintain a precisely gauged metric of rights and obligations. People know their ground, stand their ground, and enjoy their ground. Mr. De Soto also advises to listen "for where the dogs bark," because that's where the boundaries are. Basic territoriality and allegiance thrive. The cumbersome legalism involved in securing a search warrant to ruffle through your bedroom reflects the severity of a home's importance.

The emotionality of a dwelling is primordial, economically wholly different from ownership of a stash in a Bermuda hedge fund or a tranche of a leveraged buyout or an ormolu desk at which Napoleon or de Villepin wrote poetry. The most popular recreation in America is gardening. People surround their houses with frilly plants and especially with lawns -- an astonishingly costly national extravagance. To an anthropologist's eye, lawns suggest a Paleolithic savannah-dweller eager to see fierce beasts and bad guys before they reach the front porch. And what else but emotionally nutritious satisfaction could induce an indolent and sanitized population to grub in mud for weeds and grin with pride at their perky thorny roses and their copious specimens of zucchini, the world's worst vegetable?

All assets are not the same.

Of course there are real issues in the housing market. The entrepreneurs who've problems placing their funds into profitable adventures have now created a host of new "products" (what a degraded use of the word) which permit marginal or intrepid borrowers to pay little or no principal on mortgages, adjust their interest rates, or put off a grown-up reckoning by postponing for years when they must repay principal at a higher rate of interest than they bought into. This may become a disaster about which neither borrower nor lender should have been so cavalier. But in a sense, no more a setback than paying rent and having to show for it only a notice about next year's 6% increase. Of course their income could rise too, as well as fall. There's always the real estate industry's Old Best Friend -- inflation. And to top or bottom it all off, the government subsidizes interest with a tax deduction. Housebubblers are using OPM -- Other People's Money.

However, there is no question many individual owners will be pained, evicted, wiped out, or in extended fiscal conniption. So may be their unduly experimental lenders who will have to mine for bread in a pile of stones. Some vain vendors have already had to reduce their colorful prices -- Jack Welch, Ozzy Osbourne, pick your starlet -- because buyers aren't wholly feckless. But again this is at the margins and in gossip columns. The broad flow of housing transactions offers countless people a decisively advantageous accomplishment of their life cycle. They root themselves in a place which is theirs and is illuminated with the clarity of genuine autonomy. The accidents are always too many and too poignant, especially among the buyers for investment (not shelter) -- who have made uncoerced adult choices.

Meanwhile the center holds. The national housing situation is a triumph overall. If other societies blow similar bubbles, too, it's not because they're foolish but because they have the itch for homes and the scratch for them as well.

Mr. Tiger, professor of anthropology at Rutgers, is author of "The Decline of Males" (St. Martin's, 2000).

Friday, June 3, 2005

06/03/05 - News Clips - Ban on motorists' phone use OK'd

Greenwich Time - Greenwich, Conn.
Author: Tobin A. Coleman; Staff Writer

...Sen. William Nicker-son, R-Greenwich, said concerns raised by opponents do not stand up to scrutiny in the face of 36,000 annual deaths on the nation's highways, some traced to drivers distracted by using a cell phone. Nickerson said activities such as eating, combing one's hair or drinking from a can of soda are not the same...

...The bill was introduced on the floor by Sen. Biagio "Billy" Ciotto, D-Wethersfield, co-chairman of the joint Transportation Committee, who until this year was one of the bill's most ardent opponents. But he said his mind was changed this year due to the proliferation of cell phones, the coaxing of the bill's main sponsor, state Rep. Richard Roy, D-Milford, and statistics that suggest the ban would make streets safer...

...An amendment was defeated that would have also banned the use by drivers of other hand-held electronic devices, including Palm Pilots, text messaging devices, video games, laptops and DVD players. Ciotto told senators to vote against all five proposed amendments to keep from having to send the bill back to the House for another vote in the waning days of the legislative session. But he promised another bill soon will be used as a vehicle to consider most of them...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

05/17/05 - News Clips - Paul's and Andrew's contribution

Greenwich Time - Greenwich, Conn.
Author: Norma Bartol; Columnist

...When Andrew M. Kissel joined Paul Quirk as a partner of Epona Stables on Riversville Road, the horse community in Greenwich breathed a collective sigh of relief that another stable was not going down the drain along with old houses...

...From horses to dogs, and "a chance to howl and wine" with an evening of wine tasting, hors d'oeuvres, silent auction and raffle, that took place on May 13 at the Indian Harbor Yacht Club to benefit Adopt-a-Dog. Theresa Rogers was honorary chair, and Cynthia Ginter, Fiona Fahnestock-Roth, David Roth and Leona Levy were co-chairs....

...The committee included: Catherine and Jill Agonis, Jane Barr, Kelly Brennan, Samantha and Gene Cleaves, Kerrin Coyle, John Curran, Nina DeCecco, Judy Finch, Ellie Gerli, Brian Gordiski, Gilbert Herzberg, Ken and Rachel Hess, Meg Kelley, Donna Kozak, Catherine Ladnier, Tory Maiko, Ellie Mayer, Becky McCulloch, Cookie Murato, Donna and Fred Nives, Elsie Patrick, Claire Reed, Gary Silberberg and Sandy Strain....

Monday, April 18, 2005

04/18/05 - News Clips - Epona Stables becomes a place to date for TV show

Greenwich Time - Greenwich, Conn.
Author: Hoa Nguyen; Staff Writer

..."She watched as he showed his equestrian prowess," Epona Stables co-owner Paul Quirk, 43, of Greenwich, said last week, rolling his eyes as he recounted the scene....

...O'Connell got back on his horse, Vinkingo, and led him on a walk around the paddock. At one point, he gave Vinkingo a kick to get the horse into a canter, or a faster pace. That's when the perfect scene ran into a hiccup and O'Connell nearly fell off Vinkingo....

...On that day, Quirk was at Epona for hours helping to manage the horses and assist the crews setting up.In one scene, bales of hay were brought to the second-floor of a barn and lanterns were placed everywhere in preparation for the romantic dinner planned for the couple....

Thursday, March 10, 2005

03/10/05 - News Clips - Bill to abolish death penalty advances Committee OKs measure by wide margin; full legislature to take up issue

Source: Greenwich Time - Greenwich, Conn.

...Among lower Fairfield County lawmakers on the committee, [Andrew McDonald] and state Rep. Gerald Fox III, D-Stamford, voted in favor of abolishing the death penalty. State Reps. Lawrence Cafero Jr., R- Norwalk and Claudia "Dolly" Powers, R-Greenwich, both voted to keep current law and retain the death penalty....

..."It is in fact, in my estimation, a harsher penalty for him to sit in prison, or rot in prison, for the rest of his natural life," McDonald said during debate. "He is choosing death. I don't think he should have that right." McDonald said [Michael Ross] should have to spend the next 30 or 40 years behind bars. "He doesn't want it. I think he should have it," McDonald said....

...Cafero, arguing that the death penalty should remain in place, said state residents have made it clear through polls and through their representatives over the years that they want "a rarely used, incredibly difficult to obtain death penalty, in only the most severe, most serious, heinous cases imaginable. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what we have."...

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