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Monday, March 3, 2008

03/03/08 - Bill Clark At Greenwich Gossip Speaks Out

Same Old, Same Mold

The boondoggle that ate Greenwich, laughingly known as the Hamilton Avenue "building" project, is reaching new heights - or is it depths? - of depravity. The latest news is that the modular buildings are infested with mold. Since mold was one of the purported reasons (accounts of its factuality differ) for closing and renovating the old building, it is ironic but totally in keeping with the project's horrendous karma that mold is once again driving the students from their classrooms.

So far none of the local media have mentioned - if they even know - that these modular units were originally intended to be leased by the Town. But the Board of Education, in its infinite wisdom (yes, folks, the same board that brought you the Larry Leverett follies and the Betty Sternberg non-stop train wreck), persuaded the Town Fathers to buy the suckers instead. So now we're stuck with millions of dollars' worth of useless mold-infested junk. Just to get rid of them will cost us all hundreds of thousands more.

In any other community, heads would have rolled long before now. In Greenwich, of course, the taxpayers are the ones being rolled.

The unspeakable Betty Sternberg has given the Ham Ave students a week off while she and her lapdog Board of Ed try to do damage control. What does this mean for the working parents of the Ham Ave community, dear reader? Disruption, unexpected day care costs, and the knowledge that unlike all the other kids in Town, theirs will not be allowed to take the Connecticut Mastery tests this week. As always, it seems, the victims will be paying the price for Betty and the Board's sheer and utter incompetence.

There is little doubt around Town that the Ham Ave "building" project is the most notorious disaster in our community's history. Inept planning, lack of oversight, huge overruns in costs and enormous delays - it's a blueprint of how to do everything wrong. But Betty and the Board of Ed roll on as before, oblivious and clueless about every aspect of running a school system.

Greenwich used to have one of the best school systems in the state, if not the country. It wasn't broke, so the Board of Ed decided to fix it. They hired Leverett, and then Sternberg, to oversee the wholesale multilation of a once-fine program with their ignorance and incompetence. And, of course, they will want us, the taxpayers, to come up with the money to pay for their blunders, even as they continue to ask for more money to add more positions to an already top-heavy bureaucratic empire.

Is it time for a taxpayer revolt? Should we sack all the feckless administrators and give their salaries to the teachers instead? Well, why not? The teachers are the ones who get the job done, while the administrators sit around all day throwing roadblocks in their way and digging ever-deeper financial holes for the Town. Who needs them?

Small wonder that a group of Ham Ave parents and students were picketing the Board of Ed building this morning. The general message was shame on Betty and shame on the Board of Ed. In your scribe's opinion, that about sums it up.

More From Bill Clark's Blog

03/03/08 - Parents Bring Protest To The "Oldie Moldie" School Administrators

Greenwich Roundup Photo


Parents protest school construction delays


Ken Borsuk


Greenwich Post - Greenwich,CT


“The Board of Education and town have failed us as a community,” PTA member Mina Bibeault told the Greenwich Post outside of the Havemeyer Building Monday morning. “They’ve failed us in so many ways. We want answers. Our kids mean something to us. We’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, literally.”


With the modular classrooms closed for at least a week and the prospect of their children being dispersed to other schools, Hamilton Avenue School parents took to the streets in protest Monday morning.

More than 30 parents and children picked up signs and picketed outside the Board of Education offices in response to the news that the modular classrooms the students have been in since spring 2005 would be closed for at least this week due to mold concerns from a leaky roof. Hamilton Avenue parents and children walked with messages such as “Deja Vu, Shame on You,” “No More Lies,” “Rich Town, Poor School” and “This is Greenwich?”

An emergency school board meeting is scheduled for tonight at 7 p.m. in the Greenwich High School auditorium to discuss plans for the school. Nothing has been announced other than the school closure.

Ms. Sternberg and Board of Education Chairwoman Nancy Weissler could not be reached for comment before the meeting. The relocation plan is expected to be revealed tonight.

Parents have raised the point that the original building was deemed educationally unsound because of mold problems.

Construction problems have plagued the project since its inception and completion, which was originally expected in time to open the school last September, is now not expected until June, leaving parents visibly frustrated. Though the protest was not sanctioned by the school’s PTA, it was organized by PTA member Mina Bibeault. She said the effort was organized starting Sunday morning and a group of six parents made the signs....

“This could have all been avoided,” Ms. Bibeault said. “I don’t think we’re being told the truth and we really want the truth and the answers about what’s really happened. We have been in serious violation of fire codes since the beginning of the school year and that has not been addressed... This is being covered up by the mold issue. The mold issue definitely could have been addressed. We’ve had leaky roofs for almost a year now. We were putting band-aids on it because we thought we would be going to the new building. Shame on the Board of Education. Shame for not taking us more seriously and not taking the risk to our children more seriously.”
Ms. DiBella said she felt the board was not listening to the community. She said the community had received no information other than the school was closed and the meeting will be held tonight.

“They’re going to do what they’re going to do and to hell with what everybody else feels,” Ms. DiBella said. “There’s been no consensus. There’s been no discussion. There’s been no agreement. They haven’t even attempted to get us on board with whatever plans they have.”

A special meeting was held Sunday morning to discuss the issue. The meeting was called by Ms. Sternberg and was neither an official board meeting (because of an absence of enough board members to make a quorum) nor an official PTA meeting though Hamilton Avenue Principal Damaris Rau and Glenville Principal Marc D’Amico and PTA members from both schools attended. Press was not permitted to attend.

Greenwich police officers kept a watch on the protest to make sure pedestrian traffic wasn’t impacted. Officers were also deployed to the modulars to make sure all parents dropping off children knew the school was closed. Public Information Officer Lt. Daniel Allen said there were no incidents.


Mold closes CT school for week
7Online.com, NY


-- A school in Connecticut was shut down because of mold. The Hamilton Avenue School will be closed all week while school officials try ...

School officials scramble to put together relocation plan

Board of Education officials said they are furiously working on a relocation plan for Hamilton Avenue School, with the goal of presenting an overview at tonight's public meeting and the details by Wednesday and Thursday. "We've got people working around the clock," district spokeswoman Kim Eves said. "There are so many details to work out in order to be able to logistically pull that off."

What next for Ham Ave.? Board of Ed tries to keep homerooms, grades together

After closing Hamilton Avenue School for the upcoming week because of mold discovered in the walls of temporary classrooms, education officials will reveal a plan tonight to discuss their plans to relocate students to other schools for the remainder of the school year.

03/03/08 - News Reports From The Greenwich Time

Tesei delays P&Z picks
First Selectman Peter Tesei is taking the unusual move of holding up appointments to the Planning and Zoning Commission unless the nominees pledge to change regulations to address drainage problems and other development complaints residents told him of when he campaigned for their votes last year.

Suspect's lawyer says Rubins reports are unavailable
The attorney for a man accused of causing a Greenwich plastic surgeon's fatal overdose last month faulted prosecutors for failing to turn over police reports.

Tractor-trailer slams into Merritt bridge
NORWALK - A tractor-trailer driving illegally on the Merritt Parkway about 7 p.m. yesterday hit the Grumman Avenue overpass in Norwalk, collapsing the truck, state police said.

Athletes spin to help fight breast cancer
NORWALK - After six hours and five water bottles, Karen Oert still pedaled her stationary bike vigorously yesterday to the beat of music, as did hundreds of others at the Fitness & Tennis Club.

State plugs Web site on long-term care
Gov. M. Jodi Rell and health care advocates are encouraging Connecticut residents to visit a state Web site that provides information about long-term care, including legal assistance, housing and home care.

A sweet success: Maple syrup draws record crowd
STAMFORD - Sunny weather, the opening of a LEGO exhibit and, of course, gooey maple syrup brought a record 4,900 visitors yesterday to the Stamford Museum & Nature Center's Maple Sugar Sunday.

03/02/08 - Greenwich Newswire For Monday

More than 500 teens danced the night away

at the "Pink and White" party.

Greenwich News Reports

For Valentine's Day Junior Committee raised money for breast ...
Greenwich Post - Greenwich,CT
More than 500 teens attended, including students from Greenwich High School, Brunswick School, Greenwich Academy, Greenwich Country Day School, ...

Parents protest school construction delays
Greenwich Post - Greenwich,CT
An emergency school board meeting is scheduled for tonight at 7 pm in the Greenwich High School auditorium to discuss plans for the school. ...

Concerns over access to Greenwich beach delay historic listing
Newsday - Long Island,NY
GREENWICH, Conn. - Greenwich preservation officials have curbed their attempts to get historic designation for a local park, prompted by people who ...

'Julius Caesar' selected as outdoor production for Rowayton/Greenwich
Norwalk Plus Magazine - USA
The nine-performance run in Greenwich is an extension of last season's four nights in the community when the festival extended its roots from its Rowayton ...

Scholastic scoreboard
Danbury News Times - Danbury,CT
Greenwich/Daniel Hand winner at Lou Astorino Arena, Hamden, 3/5, Time TBA; No. 8 North Haven (12-8-0) vs. No. 9 Notre Dame-Fairfield (11-8-1) at Northford ...

72 middle school students honored in essay contest
Greenwich Time - Greenwich,CT
By Andrew Shaw

Seventy-two sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students from the Greenwich Public Schools were recognized Greenwich Laws of Life Essay ...

COLLEGE NOTES: Stinchfield stars for Bryant
Stamford Advocate - Stamford,CT
Kiera Heath (Greenwich) was named Women's Most Outstanding Performer as Gettysburg won its 10th Centennial Conference title. Heath won the 500 freestyle ...

Greenwich Blog Post

Lawn Applicator ( Greenwich, CT US )
LAWN APPLICATOR WANTED CT Licensed Lawn Applicator wanted for large landscape contracting co. in Greenwich area. Qualified applicants will be responsible for lawn fertilization application under the direction of a supervisor. ...
Beyond.com - Available Jobs In: CT - http://www.beyond.com/MKT/RSS/

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