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Saturday, March 29, 2008

03/29/08 - Rich Men Behaving Badly

Meet the super-rich, the dysfunctional class threatening American values.

Via Slate

For decades, social scientists, policy wonks, and politicians have studied and debated what's come to be known as the "culture of poverty." The consensus: A group of Americans is set apart from the mainstream by geography, class, and income. Its members adhere to norms that don't apply to the rest of society and engage in self-destructive behavior that imposes significant costs on the nation at large. The culture of poverty has made for potent politics (remember Ronald Reagan's fictitious welfare queen?) and spawned best-selling polemics from the right (Charles Murray) to the left (Jonathan Kozol).

We don't hear as much about the culture of poverty these days. Perhaps it's because the market turmoil is making us all feel a little poorer. Or perhaps it's because a highly visible group is now exhibiting all the outward appearances of the underclass: the overclass....

... that are sealed off socially from the rest of the world - the Hamptons on Long Island; Manhattan's Fifth Avenue; Greenwich, Conn. Because they rarely interact with people of middle-class means (save the odd doctor, lawyer, or interior designer), ...

...In his book The Age of Abundance, libertarian author Brink Lindsey boils down the difference between the desperately poor and the blissfully rich to an ability to focus on the long term. "Members of the underclass operate within such narrow time horizons and circles of trust that their lives are plagued by chronic chaos and dysfunction," he says. By contrast, elites are well-organized long-term thinkers. Riiiiight. "Modern Wall Street is a system," says Charles Morris—a former Chase banker and author of The Trillion Dollar Meltdown—"that rewards crazy risk-taking in the short term without regard for the long-term consequences."

Critics point to a pervasive sense of victimhood in the underclass. But listen to what Bear Stearns CEO Alan Schwartz told the troops after his firm succumbed to wounds that were almost entirely self-inflicted. "We here are a collective victim of violence," he said. Yep, just another case of the Man keeping the Man down.

Conservative critics constantly carp that the culture of poverty has encouraged a sense of dependency on Washington. Of course, in recent months, the bureaucracy—the Federal Reserve, the Federal Housing Authority, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac—has generally ignored the struggles of poor homeowners. Yet it vaulted into action to save the bankers from their own disastrous bets. When Bear Stearns, the nation's fifth-largest investment bank, approached insolvency, the Feds orchestrated JPMorgan's acquisition of it....

...The overclass is better connected, and it can cause more damage. "Poor inner-city kids selling drugs to suburban kids can harm people," Mayer says. "But financial markets can bring thousands and thousands of people to ruin."

The pernicious culture of affluence merits further study. When self-proclaimed rogue sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh sought to learn about the culture of poverty, he hung out in Chicago's notorious Robert Taylor Homes and befriended drug dealers. The tale is chronicled in his fascinating book Gang Leader for a Day. If he really wants to understand the workings of a dysfunctional class that's threatening American values and taxing national resources, Venkatesh, who teaches at Columbia, should move into a co-op on the Upper East Side and get a job on Morgan Stanley's trading desk. He can call his next book Hedge-Fund Manager for a Day.

03/29/08 - TICC Capital Group, of Greenwich, pulls the rug out from under Pulver Media, and shut down the company.

Is VON Creator PulverMedia Dot Gone?

Via GigaOM

Pulver Media, the New York-based company well known for VON, the trade shows for the VoIP industry and a magazine with the same name might be shutting down, joining the dot.gone club, according to sources.

The rumors of the shutdown of Pulver Media first started to show up on some VOIP Blogs....

... According to my sources, earlier this month when the Pulver Media executives were in San Jose, Calif. For the Spring VON, their investors, TICC Capital Group pulled the rug from under Pulver Media, and shut down the company. They also seized control of the bank accounts. As a result many folks saw their checks bounced.

TICC Capital Group, a Greenwich, CT-based investment group that trades publicly on the NASDAQ stock exchange had invested $11 million in Pulver Media in June 2007. The investment was senior secured notes with warrants, i.e. debt.

03/29/08 - Reader Contributed Content: An Open Letter To The Community - 63 cents

Dear Greenwich Residents,

Last week, Chris Shays returned from his 20th trip to Iraq. And just like after his 6th trip in 2004, and his 11th trip in 2006, he once again said the "progress" he saw meant it was too soon to bring our troops home - over 900 of whom have been killed since the surge began. Meanwhile, the economic problems we face here at home because of the disastrous fiscal policies of George Bush and Chris Shays continue to grow more and more serious.

After all these long, painful years of supporting failed Bush policies, Chris Shays is still stuck in the past.

The good news is this: you can finally turn the page on the Bush/Shays era:


Please become invested in what Jim Himes doing in this campaign - in repairing the damage that Chris Shays and George Bush have caused, and refocusing our priorities by bringing a stronger progressive majority to Congress.

Here's how you can do it, today.

There are only a few days left before the critical fund raising deadline on Monday - days left for you to show how much you want to see real leadership and meaningful change in Congress.

The Jim Himes campaign has set a goal of 100 new contributors by midnight Monday. Can you help us reach that goal by contributing $20.08 for change in 2008 today? That's only sixty-three cents per week until election day:


There are so many things they want to do in this campaign.

They can put a final and decisive end to the era of George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Chris Shays. They can put America back on track to regaining our lost
Together, we can do all of these things. We can finally turn the page on eight years of inaction in the face of the historic corruption and mendacity of the Bush Administration, and towards something new and better.

Contribute $20.08 today for your hopes in 2008, and say it loud and clear - it's time to turn the page:



from a concerned citizen

PS. For only 63 cents a week from now until election day, you can help turn the page on Chris Shays. Contribute before the reporting deadline on Monday night at midnight.


Please send comments and / or postings to


03/29/08 - "Document, document, document," said Peter Tesei. Unless it's documented, he said, "It doesn't happen."


"I am proud to be a resident of Cos Cob and your neighbor," Tesei said, "where everything is in walking distance."


Tesei's First 100 Days


By Anne W. Semmes


Since taking office last December, First Selectman Peter Tesei has been highly visible out and about the community. But within Town Hall he and his selectmen have been dealing with a number of inherited legal actions involving those employed by the Town. Perhaps those actions have played a part in Tesei's new efforts to make town employees more accountable.

"I felt there was a hemorrhaging, a need to develop relations with management, to work toward some of these goals," he said.

Tesei addressed those goals before an open forum at the Cos Cob Library on his 100th day (March 12) since taking office. He chose to give his review of those 100 days in his own neighborhood of Cos Cob where he lives with his wife Jill and toddler daughter Caroline...

First Selectman Peter Tesei's maxims were, "Be accountable and honest in your actions," and "Tell the truth and you don't have to remember what you said."

03/29/08 - It looks like the Greenwich Time And Advocate Papers Are Taking Notice Of Chris's Blog Posts

Chris told the Greenwich Time And Stamford Advocate what he thought of their annoying CANCER pop ups.


"Ironically, under the giant white pop-up reads ‘Tell us what you think of our new design’. In the survey, I described it as malignant"


Stamford Advocate Website Replaces Icon With Giant Cancer

Posted by Chris

On Monday I gave the Stamford Advocate, Norwalk Advocate (which according to my count is one too many Advocates), and Greenwich Time (a mean pun that results in millions of frustrating Google results for Britains bi-annually) a hard time about never replacing the original Sun icon which came with their webservers.

Well, they didn’t take that laying down. Not only have they removed the offending icon, but they have given their sites a facelift as well, replacing their boring old white-text-on-color banners with exciting new white-text-on-GRADIENT-color banners.
I think someone got Photo-shop for Christmas!)

More From Chris.....

Please also see...

03/25/08 - Beat The Press - The kissel Murder Is Starting To Cause News Readers To Examin If Local News Coverage Is Fair And Complete

03/27/08 - Greenwich Time Removes The Purple Sun From It's Web Page

03/28/08 - The Greenwich Time Wants To Here From Hamilton Avenue School Parents

03/28/08 - What Single Family Home Owners Are Worried About In Greenwich

The Most Emailed Greenwich Time News Story

Will delay affect others?

Please send comments to

A news sense is really a sense of what is important, what is vital, what has color and life - what people are interested in. That's journalism.

Burton Rascoe quotes

03/29/08 - "It's ridiculous to think this type of guy would have the backbone to kill himself for his children or that he would do so in such a ......

Police Chief David Ridberg, with a battery of detectives behind him Monday in Town Hall, provides details about the two arrests in the 2006 slaying of real estate developer Andrew Kissel.
(GREENWICH CITIZEN photo / Anne W. Semmes)

Attorney Lindy Urso, said "One of their primary tactics is to pressure people - immigrants in particular. It may well be that Leonard had immigration or other legal problems that could make him likely to say what the police want to hear."


Ex-Driver, Cousin Arrested in Kissel Slaying


Anne W. Semmes


A double arrest has been made in the 2006 murder of fraudulent real estate developer Andrew Kissel, 46, in his rented BackCountry home on Dairy Road....

Ridberg cited in particular the efforts of six Greenwich police detectives, Lt. Mark Marino, Pasquale Iorvino, Pierangelo Corticelli, William Weissauer, Steve Hickey and Timothy Hilderbrand.

Their investigative trail began early on April 3, 2006 after movers discovered Andrew Kissel's body in the basement of his rented mansion. He was bound hand and foot and had been stabbed repeatedly.

Kissel, who Ridberg described as a drug user at the time of his death, was facing a jail sentence for state and federal charges for swindling and defrauding banks and financial institutions in the multi-millions. His financial crimes had put before police a hefty number of defrauded, potential suspects...

"It's ridiculous," said Urso, "to think this type of guy would have the backbone to kill himself for his children or that he would do so in such a painful, gruesome manner."...


03/27/08 - "I think what really put it over the edge was some of the knowledge that Leonard had of this case," Worcester Capt. Edward McGinn said

03/28/08 Cops: Suspect in Developer Slay Knew Crime Details

03/28/08 - Another Unfolding Millionaire Murder Mystery In Greenwich

03/29/08 - The Police Blotter

Police Watch:

Via The Greenwich Post


New Rochelle, N.Y., man Jermaine Francis, 24, was arrested March 27 and charged with possession of marijuana under four ounces and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police were sent to the municipal parking lot on Pemberwick Road at Glenville Road on the report of someone possibly trying to steal a car. At the scene, officers reportedly saw Francis in a car with a woman and it was determined the car belonged to his father and he had permission to have it. During the investigation, though, police allegedly saw a clear plastic bag containing marijuana sticking out of the map holder attached to the right front seat back. A check of the vehicle then reportedly found three assorted types of smoking pipes used for narcotics. Francis was released on a $500 cash bond and is due in court April 3.


Jhordan Vasquez, 18, of 330 Delevan Ave. was arrested March 27 and charged with violation of probation. Police had received orders from the state probation office to arrest him and did so when he turned himself in on the warrant. Vasquez was released on a $1,000 surety bond and is due in court April 4.


A 32-year-old Port Chester man was arrested March 27 and charged with third degree assault. He reportedly turned himself in on a warrant that stemmed from a domestic violence incident that occurred at a local address on Dec. 4. The man was released on a $250 cash bond and is due in court April 4.

03/29/08 - Good News! - Since When Is A Tax Increase Good News For The Single Family Home Owners Of Greenwich?

It's Time To Once Again To Beat The Press:

Superintendent Betty Sternberg spins it. Communications Director Kim Eves delivers it and of coarse, the Greenwich Citizen runs it through the spell checker before publishing it.

Objective Reporting Paragraph Of The Day:

"On a parallel track over at the Board of Education in the Havemeyer building on Greenwich Avenue, the school budget was shaping up for months and then gone over with a fine-toothed comb. And, after all those processes, the final product was fine-tuned."

This Is Complacent Reporting At It's Worse:

And there is not one word in the story about unnecessary and high expenses that were caused by Betty "You Can Trust Me" Sternberg's incompetent screw ups.

Nothing about how failed school administrators increased the single family home owners tax bill by
KNOWINGLY allowing the contaminated modular classrooms to fester for over one year.

Nothing about the tax ramifications of the unnecessary diaspora of 400 small school children.

It looks like the Greenwich Citizen is totally unaware of the tax consequences of the Hamilton Avenue School cover up has on this
record-breaking $371 million budget.


Tax Hike for Fiscal '09 Won't Top BET's 3.5% Goal




Good news.

Your property tax bill for fiscal '09 will go up no more than an estimated 3.5 percent, meeting a goal set by the Town of Greenwich's Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET)....

On a parallel track over at the Board of Education in the Havemeyer building on Greenwich Avenue, the school budget was shaping up for months and then gone over with a fine-toothed comb. And, after all those processes, the final product was fine-tuned...


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03/29/08 - A daily photo journal. All photo's taken by pss515@gmail.com unless otherwise noted

Greenwich At Night

Greenwich Blogs Post:

Greenwich, CT March 20, 2008

Today's photo posting

you're in the right place - http://petesimmons.net/

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03/29/08 - Fun for a family of four is only $800 - Maybe it's cheaper than going to a Yankee's Game.

Symphony Soirèe

Greenwich Symphony holds its Fiftieth Anniversary Symphony Soirèe, 6:30 to 12, Saturday, March 29, Hyatt Regency; tickets start at $200.

Or you could .....

Puppets and fables

The Friends of the Greenwich Library hold a puppet show of Aesop’s Fables with puppeteer Jim West of TheatreWorksUSA, 2, Saturday, March 29, Cole Auditorium at the Greenwich Library; free assigned seating tickets available beginning at noon; doors open 1:50; 625-6550.

Spaghetti dinner, No Tux Required

New Lebanon Elementary School holds a Spaghetti Dinner, 5 to 8, Saturday, March 29, New Lebanon School; $8 adults, $5 children and seniors; 531-9139.

03/29/08 - Second Congregational Church Team Maintains Habitat Spirit, Work Ethic

The cement mixing crew from the Second Congregational Church of Greenwich works long and hard at a dwelling-in-the-making.


"There will be a lot of cement mixing," she said, "with shovels and a 6x6x6 septic hole to be dug. We have cement floors to be poured and a tin roof to put on the home."


Cementing Friendship in Dominican Republic


The coordinator of the national Habitat for Humanity office for the Dominican Republic looked at the building team from the Second Congregational Church of Greenwich with a leery eye.


Please send comments to

03/29/08 - Greenwich Time News Links

Local News

Nearly paralyzed with pain, Armin Schaper arrived at neurosurgeon Dr. Amory Fiore's office in Greenwich unable to get out of the car. Full Story

In town
Police forum to address teen drinking Greenwich police youth officer Detective Christy Girard will moderate a community briefing dubbed "Take it Back" on youth and alcohol at 7 p. Full Story

Parking enforcement officers have been giving out more than tickets recently in downtown Greenwich. For the past two weeks, they have been handing out plastic cards embedded with a chip that shoppers and other would-be users can use to pay to park at a growing number of meters in the central business district. Full Story

Judge delays jail time for Fay
The priest convicted of stealing $1 million from his Darien church does not have to report to prison for another seven weeks, a federal judge has ruled. Full Story

STAMFORD -- A city man is hospitalized with what may be a fractured skull after smacking his head against a curb during a brawl downtown Thursday, police said. Full Story

Virgin Atlantic offers
NORWALK -- Some Virgin Atlantic Airways customers will soon get a "green" ride to the airport. Late this year, the Norwalk-based airline plans to roll out zero-emissions hydrogen fuel cell cars that can transport business-class passengers to New York airports, the company announced yesterday. Full Story

HARTFORD -- The chief operating officer of Blue Sky Studios Inc. was at the capitol yesterday lobbying lawmakers to support millions of dollars worth of financial incentives to move the company to Greenwich. Full Story

Benoit to return to work
Seven months after being suspended, Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal Joseph Benoit will return to his old job on Monday, abandoning an earlier effort to fire the 34-year-department veteran for poor performance, town officials said yesterday. Full Story

The former church pastor sentenced to three years in prison for embezzling $1 million from his Darien parish will die there if he's not allowed to complete a clinical trial for a new cancer drug, his attorney said this week. Full Story

Panel votes to extend higher conveyance tax
HARTFORD -- A legislative committee yesterday voted 29-21 to extend higher real estate conveyance tax rates for two years with the potential of exempting financially strapped homeowners. Full Story

Some seniors want the Board of Education to reconsider taking over Western Greenwich Civic Center for use as a temporary home for displaced Hamilton Avenue or Glenville school students. Full Story

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