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Thursday, March 6, 2008

03/06/08 - "It is becoming more of an issue, with less and less land, and construction continuing," Fire Inspector John Fronio said.


Blast Indeed

Class addresses construction blasting safety

Greenwich Time - Staff Writer

Town fire marshals yesterday took readings with a seismograph to check the magnitude of ground vibrations after blasting at a Perkins Road construction site.


The demonstration was part of a class hosted by the Fire Marshal's Office emphasizing the need for builders to measure the impact of their blasting operations and properly use explosives to prevent damage to homes nearby, Fire Inspector John Fronio said......

...
"With all the blasting going on in town we want everybody to be on the same page about what is expected," Fronio said. "Blasting is part of all the construction in town but we are trying to protect the residents of Greenwich."...

....
Fronio said the department also plans to use its own seismograph to conduct spot checks of construction sites in town that have generated complaints.

"We are stricter than many other towns and we have the power to shut down a site if we consider it unsafe," Fronio said. "We want to reassure homeowners we are out there making sure things are done correctly."

Usually residents who fear that blasting will damage their home are mistaken and can be convinced that the explosives are being used safely if they are shown enough information, said Thomas A. Germolino, president of Vet's Explosives Inc. of Torrington, said after the meeting.

Germolino said he uses an outside firm to monitor his blasting, which helps protect him from liability if a homeowners sues him.

"I think there was a lot of excellent information and the blasting contractors have been put on notice about what is expected," Germolino said.

03/06/08 - Do You Trust Betty Sternberg When She Says The Air In The Classroom Modulars Was Safe?


Betty Sternberg says: Air quality tests revealed no mold in the air, and no health problems have been reported by students. However, the workers that demoloshed the walls and carted off the evidence wore protective suits and resporators.

Architect: Design wasn't followed


Greenwich Time - Staff Writer

A vapor barrier appears to have been placed in the wrong position in the walls of the Hamilton Avenue School modular buildings, creating a breeding ground for mold, according to an architect hired by the school district to inspect the site.

"It looks like whatever they built in the factory used a different system than what was used in the drawing," said Southport-based architect John Brice, who inspected the modular buildings yesterday and compared what he found with design drawings of the structures.

A vapor barrier is designed to seal out moisture and keep condensation from forming and mold from growing. In cold-climate states, it is usually installed on the interior side of insulation, while in hot and humid areas, the barrier is placed on the exterior side, architects said.

While the manufacturer submitted drawings showing the barrier placed in the correct position, Brice found material, which appeared to be a type of vapor barrier, in the wrong position.....

But he can't be sure because his employer (The Greenwich School System) demoed the walls and carted away the evidence.

....(Greenwich Time Article Continues)...Meanwhile, an official from the company that installed the modular buildings is angered that district officials blame the problems on construction, but refuse to talk to him about what they uncovered.

"I'm getting all second-hand information and I wish somebody would contact me," said Bill Carpenter, vice president of the Milford-based Carp Building Structures. "I don't know where to go from here.".....

Would someone please tell
"Poor Old Bill Carpenter"
that
Superintendent of Schools Betty Sternberg and Facilities Director Tony Byrne have been advised not have any contact with any potential scapegoats.

Why doesn't
"Poor Old Bill Carpenter"
realize
that he will most likely be blamed for all these unfortunate events and provide school administrators with a way of distracting attention from the real causes of this
school administration disaster.

...(Greenwich Time Article Continues)... Bill Carpenter said he was involved with installing the prefabricated modular buildings in Greenwich, but that Miller Building Systems built the structures in its Leola, Pa., plant....

Bill needs to wakeup and understand that the Greenwich School Administrators need someone to bear blame for this calamity. Scapegoating is a refined art form in the
Greenwich Public School System.


Greenwich School administrators are experts at holding a person, group of people, or thing responsible for a multitude of problems.

Bill, related concepts about your situation include frameup, patsy, whipping boy and fall guy.

... (Greenwich Time Article Continues)....Building regulations require that an outside inspector be hired to inspect work done at the factory where the modular structures were built. Town records indicate that Carp Building, which was the primary contractor, did submit the necessary special inspection reports, and that these did not indicate any problems.

"I didn't build this building," Carpenter said. "It was bought and we installed it and the installation process is correct....

MORE INFO:

03/05/08 - The Unionized (Teamstewrs) School District Custodial Staff Are Suggesting That There Might Be A School District Coverup At Ham Ave School


03/05/08 - "I don't think they looked into the water problem," Mina Bibeault said. "We've put up with a lot and they've put our kids at risk."

ALSO:

Hamilton Avenue students to enter new classrooms today
Stamford Advocate, CT
By Andrew Shaw GREENWICH - Hamilton Avenue School teachers will move into new locations around the district beginning today, after days of frenzied ...
Mold forces Ham Ave kids from school, parents blame district
Greenwich Post, CT
Emotions ran high at a packed emergency meeting of the Board of Education Monday night after it was officially announced the 313 Hamilton Avenue students ...
Greenwich superintendent takes responsibility for closed school
Stamford Advocate, CT
By Andrew Shaw GREENWICH - Betty Sternberg, the town's superintendent of schools realizes her job could be in jeopardy if the Board of Education decides she ...
Ham Ave. students to be scattered throughout district
Greenwich Time, CT
By Hoa Nguyen Hamilton Avenue School students will spend the rest of the year assigned to Old Greenwich , North Street, Glenville, Parkway, ...
Was it maintenance or design flaws?
Greenwich Time, CT
By Martin B. Cassidy After the sudden closing of Hamilton Avenue School after the discovery of mold throughout temporary classrooms, Mina Bibeault wondered ...

03/06/08 - Greenwich Newswire (Smith Hearing Update)

Mother And Father Sue Smith's Widow

A Greenwich News Report From

The Greenwich Post

Smith hearing continues in Greenwich Probate Court
Greenwich Post - Greenwich,CT,USA
Judge David W. Hopper continues to hear arguments in Greenwich Probate Court over the $1-million settlement reached by Jennifer Hagel Smith with Royal ...


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03/06/08 - Shame on Betty Sternberg - Pre-K Children are going to be carted 10 miles across town


Why can't pre-k students go to St Rochs?
The YMCA Daycare has been there for years and they are not even using half the building.


Schools make space available for Ham Ave.


Hamilton Avenue School teachers will move into the new locations around the district beginning today, after days of frenzied preparation following the closure of their temporary modulars because of mold.

At Western Middle School, Principal Stacey Gross said the four fourth- and fifth-grade classes coming in have been assigned to classrooms in a separate parts of the building to minimize interaction with middle school students. Several classrooms in relocation schools have been converted from art and music rooms, and so those classes will be held using a traveling cart, instead of a dedicated classroom.

"It's a tough situation. They're definitely making sacrifices," Gross said of displaced teachers.....


03/06/08 - Greenwich Sports Report From The Greenwich Post

Greenwich High School freshman Michael Dustin competes in the 100-yard butterfly during Thursday’s FCIAC championship meet. The Cards reclaimed the FCIAC crown this year, beating rivals New Canaan.
— Scott Mullin photo

Greenwich Sports Report

Reclaiming the title Greenwich swimming and diving team wins FCIAC ...
Greenwich Post - Greenwich,CT
It was a complete effort that brought the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference swimming and diving championship back home to Greenwich High ...


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03/06/08 - Some P&Z members appeared reluctant to grant the time extension, a majority supported it, and the matter was continued to a future meeting.


LUCA JUST CAN"T STOP ANNOYING
HIS NEIGHBORS


Neighbors slam Luca's over zoning


Luca's Steakhouse is trying to avoid fixing its premises to meet zoning codes by perennially submitting land-use applications that have little chance of gaining approval, neighbors said.

"This should not be allowed to continue," Church Street resident Kathryn Payne told the Planning and Zoning Commission Tuesday night at Town Hall. "These continual planning and zoning filings are merely an effort to keep this pot boiling.

Every year for the past several years, Luca's has submitted a new zoning application for permission to alter its building. In each case, the zoning commission has denied the application, saying the Church Street restaurant and banquet hall seeks to build too much. After a few months, sometimes after trying unsuccessfully to appeal the zoning commission's decision in state Superior Court, Luca's then starts the process over again and submits a new application with a slightly different request.

On Tuesday, Luca's owners were at the zoning commission again to present yet another new plan to slightly enlarge its 35 Church St. building to add a new rear entry and replace two apartments that had been removed from the second floor without the town's permission....

....
Jane Hogeman, the neighbors' lawyer, said the plan was another delay tactic Luca's was using to avoid having to tear down a dance floor the restaurateur built without permission several years ago to replace the two apartments that were removed.

"This is the sixth application since the zoning violations were discovered at Luca's Steakhouse," Hogeman said. "There's been a scramble over the last five years to try and come in with something that's going to allow him to keep the great big dance floor that he pulled out the apartments in order to put it in, and keep on with his big parties."

Hogeman asked the zoning commission to revoke Luca's right to use the second-floor space for banquets, saying the restaurant had "abused" its permit privileges. The neighbors Hogeman represents are unhappy with what they say is an increase in traffic and noise from the restaurant in recent years.....


Neighbors oppose larger Luca's


Jun 12, 2003

"
You have a whole bunch of people that come out of this boom- boom party atmosphere (in Luca's)," she said. "I really want you to understand what a nightmare this atmosphere has been for the people who live there."

In its first public hearing at the meeting at Town Hall, Luca's proposal drew nearly three dozen condominium and nearby property owners who voiced disapproval of the restaurant's current operation and opposed expansion plans. Most complained of noise and rowdy customers who they said leave Luca's late at night.

Her main argument was that Luca's is not only in violation of zoning laws, but has a history of disobeying them, such as eliminating two apartments without seeking a building permit for the change. In the past, the restaurant has received zoning commission approval over neighbors' objections, [Jane Hogeman] said.

Residents lend hands to displaced family


Jun 8, 2004

Town officials had evicted them from their Church Street apartment days before, after determining the unit in the basement of Luca's Steak House was unsafe and lacked proper permits. [Jessica Dorneles]'s parents, [Jose Dorneles] and Laura Dorneles, both 41, were praying for a stable home for their three children: Jessica, a 14-year-old Greenwich High School freshman; Edward, 11, a fifth-grader at Julian Curtiss School; and Keziah, 3.

"Laura was asking me, 'What's this thing on Jessica's neck?' " [Annie Brown] recalled.

Greenwich High School guidance counselor Anthony Smokovich arranged for a tutor to help Jessica, who has been out of school since February, study at home so she can return to high school in the fall. Jessica, who will start three weeks of daily radiation treatment today, said she enjoys drawing and wants to be a fashion designer - but her favorite subject is biology.

Restaurant again denied permit to expand

May 25, 2005

"Definitely, it was not a surprise," Danny Gabriele, who runs Luca's Steakhouse, a family-owned restaurant and banquet hall, said last night after listening to the zoning commission's unanimous denial of the proposal.

This is the third time in two years the project was rejected or withdrawn following an unfavorable reception during zoning commission hearings. This time, the application asked for a more modest expansion of the banquet hall, but zoning commissioners said the plans still fell short of certain zoning requirements.

Town considers hiring another zoning inspector

Feb 6, 2005

About a year after First Selectman Jim Lash pledged to tackle the issue of illegal housing in Greenwich, town officials are closer to approving money to pay for another zoning inspector.

This week the Board of Estimate and Taxation's Budget Committee will discuss hiring a zoning inspector whose primary job will be to root out illegal dwellings or units built without the required town permits or that violate town codes.

There is currently a zoning enforcement officer and two other town employees who spend most of their time reviewing plans submitted as part of a building permit application, making sure zoning regulations are met.

Luca's banquet proposal revisited

Jan 27, 2005

Tom Heagney, the [Luca Gabriele]'s lawyer, argued that although the proposal seeks to increase the number of people the banquet hall can serve, holding banquets at the restaurant is allowable.

After the meeting, some commissioners doubted whether they needed to review the recent proposal given that it still seeks to expand the "non-conforming" banquet space, one of the reasons for the prior denial. But chairman Harry LeBien said the proposal had been revised and the commission was obligated to hear the Gabriele's lawyer present the latest proposal.

Officials reject restaurant expansion deal

Nov 14, 2006

"The proposed settlement does nothing to lessen the impact of the original application," Stewart L. Napoleon, president of the Board of Directors for the Town & Country Condominiums, said in a letter of protest to the zoning commission. "Luca's did not get the approval for a banquet facility in 2005. But, his settlement proposal still calls for this facility with all its detractions from the quality of life on Church and Sherwood streets."

Zoning board hears restaurant bid again

May 10, 2007

"As we all know, what's being done there now is not legal," [Richard Maitland] had just told the lawyer for Luca's Steakhouse, which wants to double its second-floor banquet space at 35 Church St. over the objections of more than 100 nearby condominium residents. "It was not done under a building permit, which was not properly vetted by Planning and Zoning."

While Luca's application may have been one of the more controversial ones to come before the zoning commission during Tuesday's hearing, the accompanying drama seemed all too familiar. This is the fourth time in four years Luca's has sought permission for larger banquet space. Each time, town officials have denied the request and proprietors have appealed to the state Superior Court. Unsuccessful in its last legal appeal, Luca's has resubmitted another version to the zoning commission.

"They want to change the way the building is operated," said Greenwich lawyer Jane Hogeman, who represents condominium owners. "The parties are quite different because when people come in a group to celebrate a wedding or celebrate some kind of event, they behave differently. They all show up at the same time instead of staggered times. They stay later into the night. There's a DJ or a bandstand with a lot of noise, with a lot of music. When they all come piling out into the street at 1 o'clock at night, they're feeling happy. It's a nuisance. It's just a nuisance."

03/06/08 - Greenwich Post News Links

Victoria Gelling watches last year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade
from under a festive hat.
— David Ames photo

Greenwich News Reports

Parade brings the luck o’ the Irish to Greenwich
Greenwich Post - Greenwich,CT
When Joseph M. Gavin was told he’d be the grand marshal of the Greenwich Hibernian Association’s 34th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday, ...

Celebration of hope NBC stars come to Greenwich to support ‘Save ...
Greenwich Post - Greenwich,CT
Last Friday, Save the Children’s Greenwich Leadership Council, a group of Greenwich volunteers, hosted a “Celebration of Hope” dinner event to benefit ...


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03/06/08 - Opinion From The Greenwich Time - Buckley's life had scrapes and scraps that cheered his crowd, but made others wince.


COMMENTARY

A conservative champion not made of everyman material

Of course, William F. Buckley Jr. will be most reverenced and remembered as the avatar of modern conservatism. He was its brilliant star, shining in ways once more usually associated with or claimed by liberals: intellectual champion, political seer, droll debater, prolific writer, galvanizing and talent-spotting editor, novelist of heroic dash, and witty television smart-talk host.

Buckley was not made of everyman material. His mighty word hoard and agile bon mots, his eclectic knowledge, his delight in controversy and sending up an adversary, his convictions of faith and polity, his cool confidence and poise, at sea and on land, his voice and gestures, were the assets of an idiosyncratic, purposeful and confident aristocrat....

03/06/08 - Greenwich Sportswire For Thursday


Greenwich Sports Reports

Crosby takes on Greenwich
Waterbury Republican American
BY MARK JAFFEE Coming off a 50-point win over West Haven in the opening round of the CIAC Class LL Tournament, the Bulldogs host Greenwich tonight at 7 in ..

Boys Hockey: "DI Tournament: Opening Round."
Hartford Courant
1 Hamden lives to play another day against Greenwich Rundown: The Green Dragons entered the tourney clearly the top team. Over the last month, ...


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