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Thursday, April 3, 2008

04/03/08 - Chief Ridberg called the case “a good story that’s missing a plot.”

Motive still unclear in Kissel murder; April 24 hearing set

Breaking News Via The Greenwich Post

The warrants for the two men arrested in connection with the 2006 murder of backcountry resident Andrew Kissel will remain sealed for at least the next few weeks, after a hearing today at Stamford Superior Court.

Judge Richard Comerford scheduled an April 24 hearing to review whether to unseal the warrants, which have been viewed by all attorneys but not released to the public. Unsealing them would allow defense attorneys a chance to move that their be redactions within the documents.

Mr. Kissel was found dead in his backcountry home two years ago today. An autopsy determined he had been stabbed to death, but so far, police have not said what motive the two men had for the killing. That information is included in the warrants....

Judge Comerford said he is open to the idea of having Mr. Culligan submit a redacted version of the warrant for the court’s review, taking out the supposed prejudicial information. Mr. Culligan was recently assigned to the case and Judge Comerford said he deserved a chance to review the document.

Judge Comerford said he is looking for a “middle ground” between Mr. Culligan’s concerns and the public’s right to know. He said that information will be publicly revealed when probable cause hearings are held in the case.

“Sealing the information is going contrary to the trend of where we’re going in these proceedings,” Judge Comerford said. “The public does have a right to know.”
At the end of the hearing, he added that sealing the warrants “is not serving anyone’s interests.”

Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Paul Ferencek, who is prosecuting the case, also asked for redactions. He said the warrants contain information about 30 potential witnesses, 10 of whom, after being contacted by Greenwich Police, asked that their names and personal information not be released for fear of their “safety, privacy and security.”...

...Outside of court, Mr. Urso said he didn’t object, though, to Mr. Ferencek’s motion to redact the names or what Mr. Culligan termed “admissions” in the documents. Mr. Urso said he will review the warrants again but doesn’t foresee asking for any redactions on April 24.

“All the information is going to be out there at some point,” he said. “Carlos has nothing to hide. It is what it is.”

Mr. Urso said his client insists he had nothing to do with the murder but because the attorneys are under a gag order not to discuss the contents of the warrant, he cannot comment on what admissions Mr. Culligan wanted blocked from public view.

Since the documents have not been viewed by the public, there has been speculation about what police learned during the investigation. Mr. Urso previously said police pressured Carlos Trujillo’s family members to give information.

Today, Mr. Urso said, “Without Leonard Trujillo, Carlos would still be out and about and working.”

While the two men were presented jointly at the hearing, Mr. Urso said he doesn’t believe they will end up being tried together. When asked why, he said he couldn’t get into the specifics. Mr. Urso did say, though, that it would be “useful” for him to work with Mr. Culligan as much as possible.

“There’s a lot still up in the air about the case, including the motive,” Mr. Urso said.

He then referred to a comment made by Greenwich Chief of Police David Ridberg at the time of the arrest that the warrant would be a “good story” once people saw it...

See Also:

Judge extends seal on Kissel warrants

A state Superior Court judge this afternoon agreed to have arrest warrants in the Andrew Kissel murder case remain under seal to allow a Massachusetts man charged in the crime a chance to have damaging statements attributed to him deleted. Judge Richard Cumerford granted a three-week extension to the seal so that a lawyer for Leonard Trujillo, 21, of Worcester, Mass., can appear in court April 24 to urge redactions from the warrant on the grounds the material would prejudice his right to a fair trial.

Trujillo is charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the April 2006 death of Kissel, who was found in the basement of a home he rented on Dairy Road, stabbed repeatedly and bound.

Trujillo, represented today by Special Public Patrick Culligan, has not entered a plea.

His cousin, Carlos Trujillo, 47, is also charged with conspiracy to commit murder in the case. He has entered a not guilty plea.

The warrants were ordered sealed last month at the request of prosecutors, who said the investigation into the murder has not been completed. They were expected to be unsealed today, with the judge to decide whether to withhold the names of six witnesses who had expressed concerns about their safety.

Cumerford did not rule on that request, but turned down a motion to keep the warrants sealed until the case goes to trial....


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04/03/08 - Independent? - Word Is That Fairfield Based Architect John Brice Recommended Navigant Consulting, formerly known as The Metzler Group

Mike "There's No Cover Up Here" Bodson, a Board of Education member who checked on the Navigant Consulting's background is pleased to report that....

Navigant Consulting At 140 Sherman Street In Fairfield Won't Have To Walk Far To Investigate Greenwich School Architect John Brice Of The Geddis Partnership At 71 Old Post Road In Fairfield.

Is Mike "There's No Cover Up Here" Bodson sure that their no conflicts of interest or undisclosed relationships, between Geddis Partnership?

For example, these two Fairfield firms, have for years been on the same New York City Department Of Design And Construction Pre-Qualified Consultants List.

DDC - Pre-Qualified Consultants List

ddcftp.nyc.gov/inet/html/prequallist.asp - Cached


"I couldn't find anything wrong with them," says Mike "There's No Cover Up Here" Bodson


By Hoa Nguyen
Greenwich Time - Staff Writer

A Fairfield firm known for its expertise in construction disputes has been chosen to investigate what caused mold to grow at the Hamilton Avenue School modular building....


"Navigant Consulting worked with the hospital in 2000 to help clarify discrepancies with contractors, subcontractors and architects in the closeout of our Helmsley building project," spokesman George Pawlush said. "That's pretty much as far as I want to go into it."


Anthony Byrne, the district's facilities director, warned the costs may escalate because as the firm investigates the building, their work may help spread the mold spores inside the classrooms. He said once that happens, the district will have a harder time cleaning mold spores from the classrooms if it ever decides to reuse the modular building.

Shame on

03/31/08 - "What irks me about the formaldehyde is it could be a good five years before my kids get diagnosed,"

03/28/08 - MABS - Mad Mothers Against Betty Sternberg

03/27/08 Hamilton Avenue Parents Say Frank Mazza Was Publicly Caught in Lie

03/27/08 - Letter To The Greenwich Citizen Editor About Betty "You Can Trust Me" Sternberg

03/26/08 - Things that make you go "hmmmmmmmmm?"

03/26/08 - The Domino Effect - Don't Cover Up School Administration Failure By Over Stessing A Few Positive Achievements

03/26/08 - Hot Off The Press - Breaking News From The Greenwich Post

03/23/08 - What No Heartfelt Thank - You For Betty "You Can Trust Me Sternberg?

03/21/08 - Your representation that I stated or implied this situation was due to any design or construction flaw is 100 percent false.

03/20/08 - Why Won't Betty "You Can Trust Me" Sternberg Let Hamilton Avenue Parents Independently Test The Contaminated Modular Classrooms?

03/19/08 - May God Bless The Children Of Hamilton Avenue School Who Never Get To Compete On A Level Playing Field.

03/18/08 - Hey Betty, Who In The heck Is Away Testing Anyway - Are These Guys Qualified To Do The Job.

03/17/08 - "It's not just one classroom, it's the whole school," Tom Hardman of the Modular Building Institute said, "It's a bad situation all around.

03/17/08 - The Truth Is Betty Sternberg has failed to properly plan, organize, resource, lead, direct, and control the Greenwich Public Schools

03/14/08 - More testing is needed to determine the safety of the classrooms before architects and engineers will go in to investigate the mold

03/14/08 - Sternberg Received A Report On Air Quality Of The Modular Classrooms That Showed A Higher Level Of Mold Spores Than Previosly Released

03/14/08 First Selectman Peter Tesei: "I'm at the point of frustration. These issues keep recurring."

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

More Information On How The Parents And Taxpayers Are Not Being Told The Truth:

In early February Greenwich Roundup was contacted by a Greenwich Parent who was concerned about the health and safety of their child.

No other media outlet would take these parents seriously until their concerns started being published at Greenwich Round up.

Early Hamilton Avenue School Coverage


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04/03/08 - Greenwich Post News Headlines

Pesticide ban to come early in Greenwich?

With the state poised to extend the ban of pesticide use from elementary schools to middle schools in summer 2009, Greenwich is considering getting a year’s head start.

Blue skies ahead for Greenwich after studio move is set

Blue Sky Studios’ move from White Plains, N.Y., to Greenwich is a go after the state Bond Commission approved an $8-million loan last Friday.

Parents demand independent review of mold in modulars

Hamilton Avenue parents, charging that the Board of Education and district administration have not been open and transparent, are demanding their own mold expert be allowed to thoroughly examine the modular classrooms their children used for close to three years.

04/03/08 - More on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's decision to aid JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s purchase of the struggling Bear Stearns Cos.

Thank God, Bernanke Doled Out The Corporate Welfare To JP Morgan Chase, Because We Certainly Don't Want Former Bear Stern's Wall Street Excutives Jumping Out Of Windows.

We certainly don't want the families who are losing thier homes thinking that we are in some kind of depression or something.


"People are listening, trying to get a general understanding of the role the Fed played with Bear Stearns," Weeden & Co.'s Steven Goldman said. "But I don't think it's swaying trading."


Stocks Drop After Rise in Jobless Claims

Via Kiplinger's Personal Finance

... economists predicted. "We're still holding up," said Steven Goldman, chief market strategist at Weeden & Co. in Greenwich, Conn. "We've had a big rally." Meanwhile, Wall Street was cautiously listening for new information about the economy and ...

04/03/08 - The Senior Center Is Vital To The Town, Because Over One-Fourth Of Age 70-Plus Households Will Have Incomes Under $25,000

Historically, senior centers have served needs of the older (age 76 and up) and less well-off segments of society across America.


"We have all the information from the consultants and we are waiting for a meeting with Mr. Tesei," Town of Greenwich Commission on Aging led by Executive Director Sam Deibler said.

"The decision about the Senior Center site will be coming from him."


Future Senior Center to be Far Cry from Old Town Hall

Via Connecticut Post

Men and women in the golden years were smartly line-dancing to prompting from an instructor at the Senior Center in the Old Town Hall on Greenwich Avenue Monday.

Two steps fore; two steps aft; two steps to the right, two steps to the left - the instructor directed as a recorded waltz filled the lunch, activity, lecture, exercise all-purpose dog-eared room on the first floor.

Across the hall, in upholstered chairs of a certain age, a few seniors lounged in the books on their laps. A TV was on and others gazed at the program on the screen.

The library and TV room opened on another room with card tables, and stacks of boxed board games nearby. A foursome was playing bridge.

Downstairs, a pool table was not in use. Access to the lower level was via steep stairs of a rickety elevator that could win a prize for being the slowest on planet earth.

The short tour of the current Senior Center put into focus the subject of a recent survey conducted by Gerontological Services Inc. of Santa Monica, Calif. Its subject: Greenwich's Future Senior Center.

The survey was done for the Town of Greenwich Commission on Aging led by Executive Director Sam Deibler. The Senior Center, now a Town Department, is under his baton.

Conducted last January among 4,000 men and women 60-to-80 years of age, the survey was triggered by the fact that the Greenwich Senior Center is at a pivotal moment in its history, according to Deibler.

For these reasons:

1. The older adult population is growing and will continue to do so over at least the next 25 years. By 2030, some 23,573 in Greenwich will be over 60. Projections are 9,676 will be between 60 and 69; 8,793 between 70 to 74; 5,103 ages 75 and over.

2. At the same time....


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0403/08 - Greenwich Post Photo Of The Day - G'day, mate!

Taylor LeLievre displays his costume before the start of Saturday’s YWCA Preschool Multicultural Fair parade. The fair featured games, activities and crafts from around the world. — David Ames photo

Via The
Greenwich Post


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04/03/02 - Editorial - Please give me a penny!

... to add a penny to the sales tax, ...


"This is pinching the folks severely who are in the lowest income tax bracket, and we don't want that." says Greenwich senator William Nickerson

County Fair: Take a Penny

Fairfield County Weekly

Looking for a way to bring additional money to their municipalities, local mayors are asking state legislators to allow them to levy a city sales tax in order to fatten up their fiscal budgets.

House Bill 5929, also known to as the "Penny Tax," was introduced by the finance committee last month and could give municipalities the choice to impose an additional local tax either on sales, property or income; Fairfield County politicians are only supporting an additional sales tax. One proposal would limit the local sales tax to one cent while another left the amount open ended. That tax, separated from what residents already pay, would go strictly towards each town or city.

Mayors Dannel Malloy of Stamford and Bill Finch of Bridgeport agree an additional sales tax is needed to boost their budgets. "I know that people don't want to see sales tax go up, but they don't want to see their property tax go up either," says Malloy.

Finch admits that putting an additional sales tax on residents is "a bad choice," but it's "far less bad" than cutting essential services and raising property taxes. "What we want is to give some power to the city," says Finch. "Basically, we want legislators to allow municipalities to construct a sales tax that would stay here."

If Bridgeport was given the green light to create an additional one-cent sales tax, Finch calculates the city would receive about $8.2 million in additional revenue annually. In Stamford's case it could generate $19 to $20 million, Malloy says.

But if a city had an extra sales tax, wouldn't it send shoppers to neighboring areas? "We don't think that is a fair assumption to make," says Finch. Although exact items to be taxed have yet to be determined, Finch says, they would likely be "items of convenience" that shoppers tend to buy in their own neighborhoods.

The ball is in the court of the State Senate Finance Committee, where Greenwich senator William Nickerson is the ranking Republican. Nickerson says the bill is "floating around" and a decision could be expected this week. He warns the proposal could "create a conflict of war" between neighboring municipalities looking to attract developers.

"What the developer will do, if this were to go through, is decide to locate their facility where there is no [additional] tax in order to attract residents from other towns that do have this tax." Nickerson also feels it could hurt those who are already living paycheck to paycheck. "This is pinching the folks severely who are in the lowest income tax bracket, and we don't want that."


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04/03/07 - Lin Lavery, said children who have to use the restroom have to get back in line after they’ve used the bathroom, and that was unacceptable

A group of Greenwich residents is looking to give the Greenwich pool at Byram Shore Park a makeover in the near future. — David Ames photo


“It’s critical for the community to have an outdoor place for residents to gather, for people to be able to go swimming,”


Plans for Byram pool going swimmingly

The summer may be getting a little cooler, but not because of climate change. Greenwich residents may be getting a revamped community swimming pool as the town is expected to accept a gift of $100,000 to begin survey work on the Greenwich pool at Byram Shore Park.

On Monday, April 14, the Board of Selectmen is expected to accept a gift from the Parks and Recreation Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

The current pool in Byram is a residential pool that holds 40 people at a time, and often people have to wait in line 20 minutes to be able to use it....

.... Mr. Pecora was born and raised in Byram and moved to Chickahominy after he got married.

He said he spent much of his summer growing up at Byram Beach and never had a swimming pool he could use during low tide when the swimming at the beach wasn’t good. The idea of four of his grandchildren who live in Greenwich being able to have a pool they can use is very exciting, he said.

The park is 29.6 acres of waterfront property with a lighted baseball field, tennis courts and a marina.

While the Boys & Girls Club and the YMCA both have new pools, what this group is looking for has a different focus — being outdoors and in the fresh air, Ms. Lavery said.

Mr. Pecora said the project is something people have talked about but never really had the opportunity to discuss in detail until Ms. Lavery began to push for it while she was campaigning for selectman.


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04/02/08 - 21 Million In General Obligation Bonds Gets Are Rated AAA BY Fitch

Fitch Rates Greenwich, CT's $21MM 2008 GO Refunding Bonds 'AAA'

Via BusinessWire

Fitch Ratings has assigned an 'AAA' rating to the town of Greenwich, Connecticut's approximately $21 million general obligation (GO) refunding bonds, issue of 2008. The bonds are expected to sell via negotiation the week of April 7, with proceeds refunding the series 2003 bonds. In addition, Fitch affirms the rating on the town's approximately $11.4 million of outstanding GO bonds at 'AAA'. The Rating Outlook is Stable.

Greenwich's superior 'AAA' rating reflects a considerable resource base, highlighted by exceptional wealth levels. The town's sizeable unreserved general fund balance deficit is due to its atypical method of funding capital projects on a modified pay-as-you-go basis, and Fitch believes a planned increase in debt financings will result in a positive fund balance within four fiscal years. Low overall debt ratios, resulting from a long history of funding nearly all capital expenditures from current resources, will increase with this change, but expected debt issuances are manageable and expected to be retired promptly.

Greenwich is located in southwestern Connecticut, only 28 miles from New York City, and is one of the most affluent communities in the nation. Per capita money income levels are more than twice that of the state and three times that of the nation. Many of the town's 62,077 residents (2006 estimate) are executives and professionals working locally, in surrounding Fairfield County communities, or in New York City. The unemployment rate as of January 2008 was 3.3% (preliminary), well below the state and national rates, reflecting the depth of employment opportunities. The town's $33.8 billion tax base, the largest of any municipality in Connecticut, is chiefly residential, although a substantial commercial component is made up of office space and higher-end retail properties. Underlining the substantial tax base is a $2.2 million average home price and a very high market valuation per capita ratio of $778,677.

Greenwich's financial strength stems from its deep, stable resource base. Officials have been able to plan multiyear capital and operating budget commitments with a high degree of certainty that resources will be available when needed. The fiscal 2007 unreserved general fund balance deficit equalled $43.4 million, or -11.9% of spending, and stems from the town's historical practice of appropriating the full cost of each capital project in one year and raising revenue to offset the appropriation in the same and subsequent four fiscal years. The town now plans to more broadly utilize debt financings and Fitch expects that planned 3.5% annual mill rate increases will provide sufficient funds to both eliminate the deficit over the near term and sustain balanced operations going forward. The town's substantial general fund operating surpluses ($33.8 million in fiscal 2007) provide a degree of financial flexibility during the transition period in fiscal years 2008-2011. Fitch does not believe the recent decision to increase debt financing of capital needs will reduce future financial flexibility, as the town has ample debt capacity and amortization should be very rapid. Annual budgets are designed to produce considerable operating surpluses and to provide for discretionary capital outlay. The fiscal 2009 general fund budget grew by 5.11% over the prior fiscal year and includes a 3.48% mill rate increase; officials expect to end the current fiscal year with a sizeable unreserved general fund balance gain.

The town's debt ratios are moderately low on a per capita basis ($1,395) and extremely low relative to taxable market value (0.18%). The strength of the latter ratio underscores Greenwich's considerable financial resources to meet expected debt needs. Principal amortization is very rapid at 75.4% within 10 years, reflecting a town policy to amortize almost all debt within five years. The town recently moved to a 15-year capital improvement plan (CIP) to facilitate long-term planning; the CIP anticipates $538.8 million of capital costs through fiscal 2023, which will be funded by pay-as-you-go sources, as well as the issuance of approximately $309 million of GO bonds through fiscal 2017. Pensions are fully funded, and the town's $17.4 million of other post-employment benefits fund assets partially mitigate a manageable $113.7 million liability.

Fitch's rating definitions and the terms of use of such ratings are available on the agency's public site, www.fitchratings.com. Published ratings, criteria and methodologies are available from this site, at all times. Fitch's code of conduct, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, affiliate firewall, compliance and other relevant policies and procedures are also available from the 'Code of Conduct' section of this site.

See Also:

Public relations, press release distribution, investor relations, SEC filing


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04/03/08 - The Greenwich Police Blotter

Via Greenwich Post


Hector Vera, 40, of Stamford and Ivan Jaramillo, 48, of 13 Wilbur Peck Court were arrested April 1 and charged with breach of peace. Police had been sent to the taxi stand at Greenwich Plaza on the report of an assault on a taxi driver. Jaramillo told police that Vera had attacked him and the investigation determined they were mutual combatants. According to reports, Jaramillo had a minor cut under his left eye but he refused medical attention. Vera told police that he fought Jaramillo in self defense. Both men were released on $250 cash bonds and are due in court April 9.


A 19-year-old Greenwich boy was arrested April 1 and charged with disorderly conduct. Police had been sent to a woman’s home on a domestic incident report. She told police that she had gotten into an argument with her son and that he punched an interior door, causing minor injury to himself. He was issued a misdemeanor summons at the scene and released. He was due in court April 2.


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04/03/08 - The Danbury Hatters Are Comming To Town

Hatters rally past Green Wave

Via NewsTimesLive.com

... one got some pitches in and hopefully next time they can worry about just pitching." NOTES: Danbury plays host to Greenwich on Friday at 4 p.m. in its FCIAC opener and New Milford plays today in a non-league battle with New Canaan at 3 p.m. Danbury ...

04/03/08 - Local News From The Greenwich Time

Greenwich Time RSS Feed

An unmarked police cruiser came barreling into Western Middle School's side parking lot yesterday, then came to a screeching halt. Full Story

Report: Center must be bigger
To get a senior center that the seniors want, they'll have to move out of the Senior/Arts Center on Greenwich Avenue. Full Story

By Hoa Nguyen Staff Writer A Fairfield firm known for its expertise in construction disputes has been chosen to investigate what caused mold to grow at the Hamilton Avenue School modular building. Full Story

Warrants to be open in Kissel slay
A judge will open arrest warrants for two men accused in the slaying of Greenwich millionaire Andrew Kissel today, though prosecutors will try to keep the identities of five key witnesses secret. Full Story

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