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Sunday, July 13, 2008

07/13/08 “Sen. Weicker, when you're in Havana, would you mind picking up a box of Cuban cigars for me?”


Two Senators With Very Different Views

The Day

Lowell P. Weicker was just two years into his Senate career when the liberal Connecticut Republican ran into Sen. Jesse Helms, the arch-conservative North Carolinian.

Thud!

Weicker, the free-swinging liberal blueblood from Greenwich whose passion for the Constitution had been stirred at Yale and in the University of Virginia School of Law, took on any cause that jarred him; Helms, the country politician educated at Wake Forest, played on the fault line of racism and never apologized for his extremist views on AIDS, prayer in schools and other issues. The two were destined to clash.

Helms, who died a week ago....

....”The important thing is, I managed to beat him on almost every amendment he proposed to alter the Constitution,” Weicker said. “More often than not, I had Barry Goldwater (the conservative Arizona senator and presidential candidate) as my ally. Whether it was prayer in the schools, or court stripping or not allowing the Supreme Court to use busing as a remedy in the desegregation case. Goldwater didn't go for that stuff.”

Weicker's wife Claudia recalled an uncomfortable moment with Helms. Weicker and Helms had been beating on one another in debates in the Senate just before the Senate hosted a dinner for President Ronald Reagan on Capitol Hill several weeks before Christmas.

Sen. and Mrs. Weicker came out of a driving rain and into the building to encounter Sen. Jesse Helms and his wife Dot just inside the door. The scene was awkward. No one spoke at first. Then Helms said to Weicker:

”My wife says that you have a very nice wife.”

”Well, Claudia says the same thing about your wife,” Weicker replied. The group laughed and the ice was broken.

One of Weicker's stirring battles with Helms concerned efforts to develop the drug AZT which, combined with other drugs, could help AIDS victims. A surly Helms opposed helping AIDS victims, saying “There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy ...

...When Helms' protests failed and Weicker's trip was imminent, Helms walked up to the towering Weicker in the Senate cloakroom and said, “Sen. Weicker, when you're in Havana, would you mind picking up a box of Cuban cigars for me?”...

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07/13/08 USA Baseball will use the Futures Game as a reference in selecting the Olympic team


D'Antona on the all-star circuit this week

By Sarah Trotto
Arizona Daily Star

After the Sidewinders wrapped up a rain-soaked, extra-inning victory around 10:15 Friday night, Jamie D'Antona had little time to spare.

He had a 5 a.m. flight to catch. Destination: The Big Apple.

"So, I'll be working on pretty much no sleep," he said with a laugh while tending to his belongings in his locker. "Whatever. Sleep when you die, right?"

Thanks to a career season and a .375 batting average that ranks second in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, D'Antona was chosen for the U.S. team in today's Futures Game at Yankee Stadium....

... All kidding aside, the game will have its perks. D'Antona, a Greenwich, Conn., native who has numerous family and friends on the East Coast, will play in Yankee Stadium before it is demolished. In ...

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07/13/08 The Abominable Sandmen of Provincetown


There's been a serious outbreak of 'rumpy-pumpy' in the dunes. Oh, no! Not again! Well, this seems to be a recurrent theme - and, perhaps, it's just summer re-run time.

This is the funniest bit of prose I've read in

By The Phantom Cyclist

Cape Cod Today

... Now, let me state that nudity doesn't bother me. In my youth I once streaked a Baskin- Robbins in Greenwich, Connecticut. That was because ...

...The most egregious display of the "Sandman Circus" (as some locals call it) happened last year when a nice family, just like yours or mine, was hiking in the dunes. Their little boy was running ahead and then darted off into the bushes to play 'hide and seek' - and pop out at his parents and siblings as they strode by. What he got was the surprise of his life - because he had just stumbled upon a group of 'sandmen' en flagrante delecto.

He literally bounded over the bushes - hair standing on end, arms flailing like helicopter blades - and ran up to his family screaming those words a parent never wants to hear: "Mommy, there's a bunch of naked men behind the bushes - and they're playing Twister!"

The parents later wrote a letter of complaint and were responded to with an official apology, plus tickets to all the events at the next Provincetown Carnival Week. The little boy has been receiving counseling and seems to have readjusted to his normal life....

...There seems to be no end in sight of these rude 'doings in the dunes.' But, perhaps some kind of public forum could address the problem. In the meantime, the P-town police are at a disadvantage - and they'll be even more so, when the sandmen start to complain about 'profiling.'

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07/13/08 "One thing really exciting thing we're hearing from more individuals is they don't have to be wealthy to run for office,"


Campaign finance laws make impact

By KEN DIXON

Connecticut Post

... Crisco has been ruled ineligible for the CEP, but because he doesn't have a primary next month, he'll have all summer to gather contributions from throughout and outside his district, pioneering the approach that those who don't join the public-financing program will have to take, including a Republican Senate candidate from Greenwich.

Crisco can also take amounts in excess of $100 and expects to receive money from political action committees within Senate Democratic leadership aimed at keeping the current 23-13 majority, at least. "The message here is the Citizens' Election Program is vibrant, the candidates are taking to it and we're getting a positive reaction," said Jeffrey B. Garfield, executive director of the SEEC. "The reliance on special interests and state contractors is no longer there."

So far, the CEP has awarded funding for 33 House candidates and eight Senate candidates. Among the eight candidates approved for funding last week included first-term Rep. Kim Fawcett, D-Fairfield, and veteran Rep. Patricia Dillon, D-New Haven, who are both running for re-election, and six-term Rep. Antonietta Boucher, R-Wilton, who is running for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Judith G. Freedman, R-Westport.

Beth Rotman, the SEEC's director of public campaign financing, said the cleaner campaign rules are attracting more interested candidates.

"One thing really exciting thing we're hearing from more individuals is they don't have to be wealthy to run for office," she said last week. "That's something that could bring new life to politics."

...

07/13/08 Deadly Motorcycle Crash On The Merritt


Motorcyclist Dies In I-95 Crash

Hartford Courant

He was thrown off the bike and landed against the guard rail. Gomez was taken to Stamford Hospital, where he died later in the morning, police said.

Deadly motorcycle accident on Merritt Parkway

WTNH

... was killed in a deadly motorcycle accident on the Merritt Parkway early this morning. It happened near Exit 28 in Greenwich. State police say 30-year-old Eddy Gomez of Brooklyn struck a wooden guard rail and was thrown from his bike ...

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07/13/08 The Greenwich Citizen And The Greenwich Post Fail To Update Thier Websites On Saturday And Sunday (Updated)


No News Is Bad News
(For People Who Want Change)


No Wonder The Greenwich Board Of Education Is Never Held Accountable


The Two Weekly Newspapers Are Once Again Ignoring The Plight Of Western Greenwich School Children.

Greenwich Time Reporter Hoa Nguyen Usually Only Reports About Parental Concerns When Called Out By Greenwich Roundup.


Please see:

07/10/08 You Wont See This In The Greenwich Time - Failed Board Of Education Gives Our Children Facilities Like This - Glenville School Pics

07/10/08 Parents are sending e-mails and letters. They are organizing and trying to get community leaders to stop the failed Board Of Educations latest plan.

07/09/08 Reader Submitted Comments About Glenville School.

Once again Greenwich Roundup has brought the single family home-owners breaking news about the failed Board Of Education and Greenwich Time Reporter Hoa Nguyen has to play catch up.

If the Greenwich Board Of Education sends a press release to Hoa Nguyan, then the lazy Greenwich Time reporter runs the press release through the spell checker and publishes the item the same day.

But if concerned parents send Hoa Nguyen emails, letters, pictures about the failed Greenwich Board Of Education, the Greenwich Time reporter repeatedly ignores the plight of innocent school children day after day after day.

Glenville parents don't want fate linked to Ham Ave.

By Hoa Nguyen
Greenwich Time Education / Staff Writer

....Through e-mails and letters sent this week, parents and community leaders are lobbying the Board of Education to focus its energy finishing the Hamilton Avenue School building and starting the Glenville School reconstruction project, rather than holding up one for the other.....

...But parents and community leaders say conditions at Glenville School are unfit for students or staff, citing the building's history of leaks and maintenance problems....

....Those rumors set off a firestorm of opposition from Hamilton Avenue School parents who said they would rather delay the start of the school year rather than have to send their children to Glenville School....

... officials decided it would remediate the modular and temporarily move in the Glenville students and staff while their school undergoes reconstruction.

Under one scenario, if the new Hamilton Avenue School is not ready, the students and staff there could temporarily move into Glenville School - an option that doesn't sit well with parents....

Alicia Budkins, co-president of Glenville School's parent-teacher association, said parents were tired of discussing what-if scenarios....

Parents from Glenville and Hamilton Avenue School have to start reading between the lines.

The Greenwich Board of Education and their operatives are experts at getting parents to attack each other. The BOE is afraid that the parents of Western Greenwich school children wil unite and go after failed school board members and incompetent school administrators.

Alicia Budkins, co-president of Glenville School's parent-teacher association, is just doing the Board of Education's bidding when she says that Western Greenwich Parents were tired of discussing what-if scenarios.

Hey Alice, maybe we should start focusing more on what-if scenarios.

  • What if Glenville Students and Hamilton Avenue Students recieved the same resources that other Greenwich School children receive?
  • What if we got rid of some of Alicia Budkins pals on the Greenwich Board Of Education?
  • What if we fired some of some of the incompetent school administrators that Alicia Budkins supports?
PTA leaders are either going to be part of the solution of getting Western Greenwich School children equal access to Greenwich educational resources or they are going to be identified as part of the problem.

Innocent Western Greenwich School Children Have Been Denied For Far Too Long. It Is Time For Everyone In Greenwich To Standup For These Traditional Disadvantaged Members Of Greenwich Society.

"To keep saying what if, what if, what if - how about finish it, finish it, finish it," she said. "Instead of talking in circles, get it done."

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0713/08 Greenwich Time Newslinks For Sunday


Little field of dreams creates media nightmare in town
Vincent Provenzano and his friends fielded almost as many calls last week from reporters, politicians and other bigwigs as ground balls.

More:

The group of teens that commandeered a town lot in Riverside for a Wiffle ball field is already mired in a work stoppage.

Town students choosing NCC

Seventeen-year-old Riverside resident Luis Garcia had his sights set on attending the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, while 18-year-old Pemberwick teenager Tori Rippel had thought about skipping college altogether.

Sand castle fest is a Blast

Mark Nielsen arrived at Greenwich Point Park yesterday with a large shovel and a purpose - to create a giant sand sculpture.

With less than a month remaining until a primary that many Democrats didn't expect, congressional hopefuls Jim Himes and Lee Whitnum are ramping up their efforts to connect with voters across the Fourth District.

Fire department tackles balcony blaze
A third-floor apartment balcony at Old Greenwich Gables was engulfed in flames yesterday morning by a fire that caused minor property damage.

The group of teens that commandeered a town lot in Riverside for a Wiffle ball field is already mired in a work stoppage.

Little field of dreams creates media nightmare in town
Vincent Provenzano and his friends fielded almost as many calls last week from reporters, politicians and other bigwigs as ground balls.

By Martin B. Cassidy Staff Writer A Greenwich resident yesterday could not identify the alleged Dinnertime Bandit as the masked burglar she grappled with 11 years ago in her backcountry home.

Channel 79 moves to the Witherell
The Nathaniel Witherell, the town-owned nursing home, has a new tenant. Greenwich Community Television, the town's government-access cable channel, will be moving into the facility on Parsonage Road over the next few weeks.

Ferry ridership in Greenwich is up just two percent from last year, initial evidence that debunks theories that droves of out-of-towners would flock to Island Beach and Great Captains Island.

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07/13/08 Sandlot Squabble in Greenwich Continues


Wiffle ball teens create a ruckus in Greenwich, Conn. - Connie Schultz

Cleveland.com

... it comes to evaluating the woes of the wealthy. Kids are good at this. Especially teenagers. This brings me to Greenwich, Conn., and the crisis there among some of the landed gentry. Greenwich is a town of roughly 62,000 people; most of them are ...

Greenwich seeks solution to Wiffle ball squabble

Thehour.com

GREENWICHAssociated PressA group of Greenwich teens who built a makeshift Wiffle ball field on an empty town-owned lot say they just want a safe place for their summertime fun.But neighboring homeowners say ...

Teenage Boys Build Wiffle Ball Stadium in Worst Place: Greenwich, CT

R. Enochs

Normally such initiative by youthful teens in this age of television and video games is welcomed with open arms except that these boys decided to build their crafty stadium on a lot in affluent Greenwich, ...

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07/13/08 Tudor Investments. Founded by Paul Tudor Jones II, the fund was one of the biggest winners in the Black Monday market crash of 1987


Jones's house of Tudor

By

Times Online

... Tudor also owns one of the largest private houses in Greenwich, Connecticut, with lots of marble, sweeping views and loads of jungle pictures....

...His greatest publicity coup came with a one-hour television documentary called Trader that was aired in America in November 1987. A camera followed him for five months while he managed about $250m in assets for 300 clients.

Reviewers described Jones as a young Gordon Gekko, Michael Douglas’s notorious character in the film Wall Street. He is shown losing $6m in a day and making almost as much another.

Very few copies still exist, and, according to the film’s director, Jones asked for the documentary to be removed from circulation in the 1990s. His reputation was also tarnished by an $800,000 fine in 1996 for improper short-selling....

....He is also a leading light in American political and charity circles. Last May Jones used his home for a fundraiser for US presidential candidate Barack Obama, and he is one of New York’s most prominent philanthropists through his Robin Hood Foundation....

ALSO:

Hedge funds post worst first half ever

The $2 trillion industry put in its worst performance during the first half of the year since most credible records began



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07/13/08 Hartford Courant Editorial


The Mianus Lesson

A grim anniversary for Connecticut residents should not pass unnoticed.

Twenty-five years ago, on June 28, 1983, a section of the I-95 highway bridge over the Mianus River in Greenwich collapsed, killing three people and seriously injuring three more. The tangle of bodies and mangled vehicles that fell 70 feet to the peaceful little river sent a horrific message that Connecticut's transportation infrastructure was in dire need of repair.

Gov. William O'Neill and legislative leaders created a Special Transportation Fund to support what was initially a 10-year, $5.6 billion reconstruction plan.

A decade later, the program had become a national model. Among other things, workers repaired or replaced nearly 1,500 bridges and repaved more than 4,000 miles of roadway.

The roads and bridges need work once more. In a statement issued on the anniversary of the Mianus collapse, the nonprofit Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a regional transportation policy group, urged the state to invest in existing roads and bridges.

"The Connecticut Department of Transportation spends only 22 percent of its transportation dollars on maintaining existing infrastructure, while 36 percent is dedicated to highway expansion projects, a dangerous allocation of funds in a state with some of the worst bridges in the country," said Ryan Lynch, Connecticut coordinator for the Tri-State group.

He said his organization's analysis of federal data shows that 1,400 of Connecticut's 4,175 bridges — more than a third — were structurally deficient or functionally obsolete in 2007. This is higher than the national average of about 25 percent.

The data urge a "fix it first" policy of bringing the state's existing roads and bridges up to standard before embarking on new highway projects. With the price of gas well north of $4 a gallon, "fix it first" needs to be coupled with transit improvements and other smart growth initiatives.

But fix the bridges. We should have learned a hard lesson in Greenwich a quarter-century ago. We cannot allow another bridge to collapse.

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