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Friday, July 25, 2008

07/25/08 Greenwich Time News Links For Friday


TOP STORY

HEADLINE:

CT State Attorney Valdes Argues That His Case Against The Dinner Time Bandit Is So Weak That He Needs AP Reporter Christoffersen Testimony To Save The Day

QUOTES:

"The defendant made incriminating admissions to Mr. Christoffersen," State Attorney Joseph Valdes' motion said. "The state is requesting that the court order Mr. Christoffersen to testify to the relevant and admissible admissions by the defendant."

"It is a very strong law from the media's standpoint and demands the party seeking the testimony or demanding documents to make a showing that they need it in order to make their case," Dave Tomlin, associate general counsel for the Associated Press said. " I don't think they meet that."

"I liked the planning," alleged Dinnertime Bandit Alan Golder said in the interview. "I liked the execution. I liked the reward."

STORY:

Reporter ordered to testify

By Martin B. Cassidy Staff Writer

In a challenge to a 2006 law expanding protection of journalist's sources and other information, prosecutors want to subpoena a reporter to testify about what they say are incriminating statements made by alleged Dinnertime Bandit Alan Golder during a February prison interview.

In the motion filed earlier this week in state Superior Court in Stamford, Assistant State Attorney Joseph Valdes requested that Associated Press reporter John Christoffersen be ordered to testify about his conversations with Golder for a Feb. 10 article.

In the motion, Valdes argues that Christoffersen's testimony is "critical" to the prosecution of the 53-year-old Golder and not available by other means...

...Christoffersen interviewed Golder at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Facility in Suffield earlier this year about his time spent on the run in Europe after Greenwich issued a warrant for his arrest in 1998...

...Gary Farrugia, publisher of the New London Day and the current president of the Connecticut Daily Newspaper Association, said Valdes' motion is the first challenge to the 2006 law's protections he has heard of.

Farrugia said he believes the law puts a high burden of proof on the prosecutor to show they have exhausted other avenues to obtain the information they seek from Christoffersen.

"It pretty much flies in the face and the intent of the shield law," Farrugia said. "The way I read it this AP reporter is comfortably under its protection."

A hearing on the motion has been scheduled for Aug. 1
Greenwich Roundup Predicts That Assistant State Attorney Joseph Valdes Will Soon Be Reading The Following Associated Press Headline:

Judge Declines To Order Reporter To Testify In Dinner Time Bandit Case

Please Read The Full Greenwich Time Story

More Greenwich Time News Links:

West Nile virus found in town

Mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus have been found at a location near the Greenwich Civic Center.

The Bruce Museum is set to receive $750,000 from the state for its expansion plans. Gov. Jodi Rell announced the state funding yesterday.

Police blotter

Loire A. Squillini, 40, of 411 East 88th St., New York, N.Y., was arrested by warrant Wednesday afternoon and charged with second-degree harassment and second-degree threatening, according to a police report.

Squillini allegedly made harassing phone calls to her former boyfriend, according to the report.

She turned herself in at the Greenwich Police Department after being notified about the warrant, according to the report.

She was released on $250 bond, and is scheduled to appear Wednesday in state Superior Court in Stamford, according to the report.

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Lorna J. Williams, 35, of 30-31 Armstrong Court, was arrested Wednesday night and was charged with second-degree breach of peace in connection with a verbal argument with her son, according to a police report.

Upon arrival, police were told that Williams had argued loudly in the roadway in front of 47 South Water St. with her 17-year-old son, according to the report.

The 17-year-old also was charged with second-degree breach of peace, according to the report. Police withheld his name because of his age.

Both were released on promises to appear Thursday in state Superior Court in Stamford, according to the report.

Technology keeps hospital a step ahead

Digital wristbands, wireless Internet and voice activated communication devices are just some of the technology that has enabled Greenwich Hospital to be recognized as one of the "Most Wired" hospitals in the country.

The art of a gallery owner

There are brightly colored paintings of athletes evoking American painter Leroy Neiman. Amidst those paintings are more luminescent works reminiscent of the great masters.

This unique blend of antique and contemporary is what Mark Blechman says draws collectors to Galerie Zama, his latest effort in the local arts and antiques scene. The 62-year-old Blechman has been on the local scene for about two decades. He established the International Fiduciary Inc. (IFI), an auction house in the Shippan section of Stamford, in 1986. It also was there that for many years he operated the Shippan Center for Arts & Antiques. Last year he closed the antiques center where dealers rented booths to display and sell their wares.

The aftereffects of a brutal crime

It was a crime shocking not just for its brutality, but for the way it diminished our sense of safety. No one is immune to violence, but residents of well-to-do suburbs like Cheshire probably thought they'd put some distance between themselves and the worst of the danger. However, the killings of three people in that town one year ago contradicted that notion.

Last July 23, Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, Hayley Elizabeth and Michaela Rose, were slain in a home invasion. In the year since, state residents have struggled to cope with the idea of crime being so random and unanticipated, and the realization that we can never be protected from every danger.

The critics of school projects will not go away

To the Greenwich Time editor:

How embarrassing for the town of Greenwich. Here we are in the spotlight again, not down one school building but two!

To the members of the Board of Education and our first selectman: Do not think we, the parents of Hamilton Avenue and Glenville schools, will accept your continued nonsense.

Our children will not be victims any longer. We will not be dispersed nor will we go into the already-deemed-unsafe Glenville School building. It is time for officials to get their acts together and get our schools done. Stop the games!

How many millions of dollars has this incompetence already cost the taxpayers of Greenwich? Every Greenwich resident should be as outraged as I am.

The town can install pretty brick crosswalks and demolish Wiffle ball fields, but can't get its schools done. Something is terribly wrong.

Kerry Dunn

Greenwich

The writer is a Hamilton Avenue School parent.

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