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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

07/29/08 We Hate To Say We Told You So, But......


School Board Delays School Year.

GLENVILE STUDENTS TO BE BUSED ALL OVER TOWN


The Greenwich Board Of Education finally officially admits that Hamilton Avenue School project being finished by the official Aug. 27 start of the school year.

Incompetent school board members voted to delay the school's academic calendar by one or as much as two weeks ago order to give construction crews additional time to wrap up their work.

The Greenwich Board of Education on has voted to bus Glenville School students, to six other schools.

Hamilton Avenue School students will be sent back to the hellhole known as the "temporary modular classrooms"

Greenwich Roundup was the only media outlet that told you that this was definitely the action that the Board of Education would be taking.

Please see:


07/28/08 Parential Insiders Say: Greenwich BOE Going To Temporarily Disperse Western Greenwich School Children All Over Town

07/23/08 Is Frank Mazza A Nut Case?



BOE TRIES TO FOOL THE PRESS

In a move to confuse local media, the school's building committee announced that it is planning on asking for hundreds of thousands of dollars to reward the contractors if they will finish by the NEW deadline of August 15th..

The BOE hopes that the local media will all be reporting tomorrow that the school contractor is getting $300,000 to finish "On Time" and that there is a "New" deadline.

The local media will ignore how those poor Grenville students need to get up earlier and learn to sleep on a bus as the go to an unfamiliar school.

The local media will focus on school board spin and ignore how Western Greenwich families are affected.

The local media doesn't care how parents feel and what they think of their children being bussed all over town.

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07/29/08 Greenwich Boy Busted In Southampton Bushes Or More Greenwich Athletes Behaving Badly


East Hampton Town Police Reports

The Southampton Press

... Scott Lawson, 19, of Greenwich, Connecticut, was charged with possession of a forged instrument in the second degree at 2:35 a.m. on Saturday, July 26, at the intersection of South Erie Avenue and South Euclid Avenue. Police tried to pull him over for driving 10 mph over the speed limit and said the defendant refused to yield. Eventually, police found the defendant hiding in the bushes and said he was highly intoxicated...

Please Also See:

07/28/08 Greenwich Time Reporting Is So Bad You Can't......


AND:


What The BLEEP?



....a little birdie whispered to me some disturbing news out of Cardinals' Land.

He was calling me about something else and said, "did you hear about...?"

Well, no...but wow!

Read here.

Full disclosure - I know Phil Tarantino and he's a stand-up guy (not to mention an "Exit 55" reader). I'm sure he's strict with athletes, though I've never seen him in action. So what exactly drove somebody to this?

There just has to be more to this story, so I guess "stay tuned.".....

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07/29/08 Town of Greenwich's building department Is Going To Cost Taxpayers Millions



Who knew a pool could kill?

Greenwich Time reports that the president of Shoreline Pools claims he never knew that a child could be sucked into a drain and injured, let alone killed. Well gee, sir, isn't that why they put drain covers on the things in the first place? It's a tragedy that the one you installed fell off, but its presence in the first place implies that you had some sense that danger lurked within.

But as bad or grossly negligent as Shoreline Pool's actions were, I do sympathise with the man's other argument: what was the Town of Greenwich's building department doing when it inspected this pool and granted it a certificate of occupancy? That the town gives its approval does not excuse Shoreline, but the parents of Zachary Cohn were let down twice, once by Shoreline and again by our town. They are now suing both the town and Shoreline and I shudder for my pocket book. If a fat dentist can turn a broken leg into $6,000,000 by merely waving the red flag of "Greenwich" in front of a Bridgeport jury, what will happen when another jury is presented with real culpability and the wrongful death of a beloved child?

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07/29/08 PRESS RELEASE: Himes and Statewide Officers Call for Change in Washington

Jim Himes for Congress

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 29, 2008
Contact: Michael Sachse, 646 265-0556, Michael@HimesforCongress.com

HIMES AND STATEWIDE OFFICERS CALL FOR CHANGE IN WASHINGTON

Connecticut Democratic leaders gather to endorse Jim Himes for Congress

Connecticut Democrats Endorse Jim HimesBRIDGEPORT, CT - Leaders from across the state gathered with a large crowd of enthusiastic supporters today on McLevy Green, just across from Bridgeport's City Hall, to discuss the need for change in Washington and endorse Jim Himes, Democratic candidate for Congress.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, and State Comptroller Nancy Wyman were unanimous in endorsing Himes as the person best equipped to bring real change to Washington.

Surrounded by Bridgeport community and political leaders, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal described Himes as a "unique and historically qualified candidate," who suits "this unique and historic opportunity."

"Jim Himes has worked for everything he has. He brings dedication and distinction as a result of those experiences. I'm very proud to stand here supporting Jim Himes."

State Comptroller Nancy Wyman seconded Blumenthal's endorsement. "I look at Jim's background and I know that he understands that we need to change what's going on in Washington when it comes to our fiscal future."

"When we talk about a candidate of change, we've got to talk about Jim Himes," added Wyman. "Jim Himes will take the American dream and make it an American reality."

Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz described Himes as a "candidate with tremendous energy." Pointing out the crowds of young Himes supporters in attendance, Bysiewicz noted, "Young people are leading the way. They know we're at a critical point."

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch argued that only Democrats deliver results for the middle class, "My family is a middle class family. And the Finches never did better than in the 1990s, when we had a Democratic president and a Democratic Congress."

Himes, who attended public schools and went on to become a Rhodes Scholar and Vice President at Goldman Sachs before running the New York office of a national affordable housing non-profit, stated that he can deliver results for the middle class.

"I'm running to bring new energy to the American dream," said Himes. "As someone who grew up in a small town with a single working mother and managed to achieve success, I know that opportunity is at the heart of the American dream. Yet, for families today, opportunity is slipping away. Health care costs, energy costs, and struggling schools are urgent problems that need federal attention. That is particularly true here in Bridgeport, and it's why I'm so proud to stand here with Bridgeport leaders and our constitutional officers to work together for real change. Issues that matter to Connecticut's families will be a priority for me in Congress."

The unified group of political and community leaders who attended to support Jim Himes included Mayor Bill Finch, Judge of Probate Paul Ganim, State Senator Ed Gomes, State Representative Bob Keeley, State Representative Don Clemons, State Representative Andres Ayalla, Democratic candidates for State Senate Anthony Musto and Marilyn Moore, and Ezequiel Santiago, Lydia Martinez, and Michelle Mount, Democratic candidates for State Representative.

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07/29/08 Reader Submitted Comments - Neighbors Should Mind there own business

Don't Be A Nosey Neighbor

About the Lorna J. Williams report.

(Greenwich Time - Police Blotter)

Ms. Williams and her son's argument should not be in the local newspaper.

Whether anyone wants to admit it - or not - mothers and their sons do argue and perhaps there should be more of that going on.

The mother was probably trying to either talk her son out of doing something awful.

That's the problem these days - you can't yell at your kids, can't smack them on the behind and basically, parents are losing ALL control over their children.

I say neighbors, mind your own business, unless you see or hear something that is harmful to anyone or you truly believe that it would escalate towards bodily harm, let people argue.

Sometimes people need to get out their frustrations or make a point. Something that obviously these two people were trying to do.

Please see:

Police blotter

Lorna J. Williams, 35, of 30-31 Armstrong Court, was arrested Wednesday night and was charged with second-degree breach of peace in connection with a verbal argument with her son, according to a police report.

Upon arrival, police were told that Williams had argued loudly in the roadway in front of 47 South Water St. with her 17-year-old son, according to the report.

The 17-year-old also was charged with second-degree breach of peace, according to the report. Police withheld his name because of his age.

Both were released on promises to appear Thursday in state Superior Court in Stamford, according to the report.

Please Read The Greenwich Time Story

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07/29/08 For Some Reason Lee Whitnum Scares Democratic Die Hards To Death




From: My Left Nutmeg

by: AndersonScooper

(Looney! - promoted by ctblogger)

(x-posted from 4th Street News!)

The painful truth is that Lee Whitnum's 2008 Personal Financial Disclosure reveals her to be essentially unemployed.

A quick break-down of Ms. Whitnum's 2007 earned income, in its totality. (less than $4,200 in all):

  • $2,414 Board of Ed-- (substitute teaching)
  • $ 285 Great Stuff
  • $ 815 Home Depot
  • $ 665 First Choice Staffing

Granted another blogger points out Ms. Whitnum brought in somewhere between $10-15,000 in unearned income. But I'm curious as to how she manages to afford Greenwich on seemingly less than $20,000/year? Is Lee hypocritically living off of inherited family wealth, at the same time she labels Jim Himes, "out of touch".

The blogging community should place bets as to when the Greenwich Time, the Stamford Advocate, the Norwalk Hour, and the Connecticut Post will share with their readers and soon to be voters the following pertinent information about Ms. Whitnum:

  • 1) She's essentially unemployed.
  • 2) The FEC has put her on notice for Failure to File her campaign finance reports.
  • 3) She spent "a couple of thousand dollars" paying canvassers to help her collect signatures, (which explains #2, she's hiding that ugly truth.)
  • 4) In reality LeeWhitnum2008 is a one-woman show, plus a website.
  • 5) Cycle-to-date she's raised all of $200!

How can the 4th's print media continue to report as if Ms. Whitnam has genuine support and legitimacy?

Well, as we head into the final two weeks before the August 12th primary, we must hope that the district's journalists will come to their senses and let their readers know the truth. Whitnum isn't ready to be dog-catcher, let alone handle the job of Congresswoman.

If the papers don't snap to, we may need to do a call-in campaign, directly to the editors. I mean imagine if Jim Himes or Chris Shays were cited by the FEC for failing to file their finance reports. Or if it turned out Himes resume was sheer puffery! The dailies would be all over them...

Comment:

THE SKY IS FALLING

Mean Spirited Democratic party loyalists are so scared of Ms. Whitnum that they need to organize a "call-in campaign" to the Greenwich Time, the Stamford Advocate, the Norwalk Hour, and the Connecticut Post editors.

Is Ms. Whitnum such a threat that vicious Democratic insiders need to make sure that "journalists will come to their senses" about Ms Whitnum.

It is amazing that a candidate with a few thousand dollars can cause this much panic and hysteria in the Jim Himes campaign.

What's Mr. Himes going to do when he goes up against the politically seasoned and well financed Christopher Shays.

These democratic advocates of the poor are screaming that Ms. Whitnum earned less than $20,0000 and is there for not rich enough to be qualified to run for congress.

The sad fact is that a Ms. whitnum could possibly be paying a hirer percentage of her total income to Uncle Sam, because she dosen't get the tax breaks that hedge fund guys get.

Democrats bow to Wall Street, saving tax break for billionaires

By Bill Van Auken

The Democratic Party leadership in the US Senate has effectively killed proposals put forward earlier this year to close a tax loophole that allows billionaire managers of hedge and private equity funds to enjoy tax rates on their income that are far lower than those imposed on average American workers.....

.....As recently as 1980, income over $215,000 was taxed at 70 percent, and throughout most of the 1950s and early 1960s, income over $200,000 was taxed at 91 percent.

The Wall Street executives have claimed that they are entitled to the 15 percent rate because of the risks they take on investments. In fact, the vast bulk of the money at risk is that of their investors, for whom they provide a service as money managers, and are compensated for it, just as others who pay ordinary income taxes.

The main legislative proposal put forward in the House of Representatives would have compelled the super-rich fund managers to report their earnings as regular income and pay the 35 percent rate. It has been estimated that the measure would have created at least $6 billion in additional federal revenues.

According to the Washington Post, however, the Senate’s Democratic leadership has already assured the billionaire and multi-millionaire financiers that would be affected by the measure that they have nothing to worry about....

....Behind all of this orchestrated hand-wringing, the Democrats’ climb-down on closing the tax loophole for the country’s wealthiest is merely one more confirmation that this party—no less than the Republicans—represents and defends the interests not of working people, but those of the ruling elite. Just as the Democrats in Congress have proven unwilling to carry out any action to end the war in Iraq, so too they will do nothing to ameliorate the unprecedented inequality that pervades every facet of American society.

Hedge-fund managers' tax break should go to teachers

Sunday, June 29, 2008.

BY LEO HINDERY JR. AND BOB KERREY.

One of the bedrock principles of our free and open society is that all of us obey laws and follow rules as they are written. The more universally we as citizens voluntarily submit to the rule of law, the greater our security and the less costly the efforts to protect us from those who choose to ignore it.

One set of laws where voluntary compliance is critical involves the collection of taxes. Right now, we have the most efficient tax collection system in the world because most Americans scrupulously obey these laws. They do so even though:

Congress continues to pass laws that make taxes ever more complex while giving speeches about simplification.

An individual taxpayer's effective tax rate is often inversely proportional to his ability to hire tax lawyers.

An increasing number of Americans believe the tax laws are rigged against them.

Our political leaders, however, cannot expect such ready compliance to go on forever. And it is not an exaggeration to say that tax provisions that blatantly favor those with high incomes over the middle class now threaten to bring down the confidence needed to sustain our experiment of self-government.

One such provision that has garnered a lot of attention lately has to do with what is known as "carried interest." Highly paid tax lawyers discovered a provision in current law that allows the managers of special investment partnerships to pay a much lower rate of tax on the preponderance of their income than other type managers pay on all of theirs.

Much of the performance-based management income earned by these few thousand private equity and hedge fund managers -- which income is called "carried interest" -- is taxed as capital gains, when by form, substance and logic it should be taxed as ordinary in come, just like the management in come and bonuses of all other managers.

And because the 15 percent capital gains tax rate is less than half the 35 percent maximum ordinary income tax rate, the cost of this loophole to the Treasury is huge.

The annual loss of tax revenue from this unfair treatment of carried interest is about $12 billion a year, or $120 per American household per year. It really is as if Congress had decreed that each year $120 out of the income of every household is to be diverted to the bank accounts of some of the wealthiest Americans.

We believe this has to change, and we believe that it would be desirable to convert carried interest into public interest by redirecting this annual $12 billion tax break to people who actually need it, namely America's K-12 teachers.

That $12 billion is just about enough to waive all the income taxes on those who choose our most important profession, which is the teaching of our children. And it would also allow us to give refundable tax credits to K-12 teachers based on their qualifications and teaching specialties, in order to increase the pool of teachers in critically important areas such as languages, math and sciences, and instructing students who are economically disadvantaged or have disabilities.

Our country has a long and successful record of using the tax code to reward what we as a society determine are desirable social actions. In the 1960s, for example, we gave income-tax relief to VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) and Peace Corps volunteers be cause their work was deemed so important -- and today we give substantial relief to our courageous and patriotic active-duty military personnel.

But teachers are just as patriotic and important, their contributions to our nation's vibrancy and economic well-being are exceptional, and vis-à-vis all other municipal professions (police, fire, general services) they are far and away the most difficult public servants to recruit and retain.

All informed citizens, starting with teachers themselves, want high teaching standards and accountability. But when asked, they also want the needed fixes to our nation's education travails to start with easing the economic plight of our K-12 teachers. Federal income tax relief for teachers would be a powerful response to this demand, and a powerful step toward assur ing the long-term vibrancy of our society, the health of our national economy, and our global competitiveness.

So let's remove the huge tax break going to those who don't de serve it, and give it instead to those who need it. We promise that kids everywhere will be the beneficiaries.

Leo Hindery Jr., is the managing partner of InterMedia Partners, a private equity firm, and a director and former chairman of Teach for America. Bob Kerrey, a former U.S. senator from Nebraska and earlier its governor, is president of New School University in New York City.

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07/29/08 Is The New York Post Trying To Shakedown A Down On His Luck Pornographer Who Has Hired A Team Of Hackers?


Just Asking

WHICH formerly wealthy Greenwich, Conn., gent, a victim of the economic malaise, saw the horse he bought for one of his kids get repossessed? When the red-faced dad threatened to call the cops, the repo man said, "Go ahead. It's our horse." ....WHICH businessman is hiding his past as a pornographer now that his kids are being teased by private-school classmates?

The ex-sleaze purveyor hired a team of hackers to flood the 'Net with bogus posts, so now the porno is buried under layers of fluff.

07/29/08 Stephen Scialo of Dellwood overcame a wayward tee shot to win The Journal News/WGA Tournament of Champions on the first playoff hole.


Scialo, Algiero win WGA titles

Journal News

GREENWICH, Conn. - The moment Stephen Scialo hit his tee shot, he sensed he was in trouble.

Then he chased after it and he was certain of it.

It was the first playoff hole of The Journal News/WGA Tournament of Champions at Tamarack Country Club, and the 18-year-old Scialo had just pulled a drive way left and into the adjacent fairway. When he approached what he thought was his ball, with no reasonable shot into the green, he figured the rest of the playoff with Sleepy Hollow's John Ervasti would only be a formality.

"I saw where that ball was and I figured I had no chance," said Scialo, the club champion at Dellwood Country Club in New City, who along with Ervasti posted the day's low score at 3-over-par 73.

But then came the break of the tournament. When Scialo examined the ball, he realized it wasn't his. Then he looked to the left and saw his ball was far enough into the second fairway that he actually had a shot over the trees.

Given new life, the incoming freshman at the University of Delaware sent his pitching-wedge approach to 5 feet, and claimed the Tournament of Champions title with a par against Ervasti's bogey. Just moments earlier, Scialo had been lamenting his position stuck behind a tree. But it ended up being a wayward drive that led him to the title.

"I think I was a little nervous with that first tee shot, but after that, I just realized you have to have no fear," Scialo said. "I couldn't try to do much. All I could do was try to hit it over the trees. I cleared it, but not by much."

With the win, Scialo joined women's winner Laura Algiero of Westchester Hills, who....

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07/19/08 Greenwich Post Newslinks For Tuesday


State offers passes so no child is ‘left inside’


As part of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Conservation’s “No Child Left Inside” program, Greenwich Library is offering park passes to Greenwich resident cardholders.

Please Read more

Murphy gets awards




Jim Murphy, a Greenwich resident for more than 20 years and one of the newest members of the Bruce Museum Board of Trustees, received two awards last month for lifetime achievement in marketing.



Sponsors donate to ‘cause’



Vineyard Vines and other local companies have donated more than $40,000 in products and services to Kayak for a Cause VIII, which takes place on Saturday.


Police Watch


The following are July 28’s released arrests:

DUI

Henry Quintanilla, 35, of Stamford was arrested July 26 and charged with driving under the influence. Police said officers saw a tan minivan driving on Mill Street weaving across two lanes as it drove toward the intersection with Mead Avenue and then driving up onto the curb along the southeastern shoulder. When police questioned Quintanilla he allegedly had red, glassy bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol. Police said he was unable to pass field sobriety tests, and arrested. He was also charged with operating a motor vehicle without a license. He was released on a $250 cash bond and is due in court Aug. 11.

LARCENY

Police had been sent to Anne Fontaine on Greenwich Avenue on the report of a shoplifting. Diane Franklin, 55, of Albuquerque, N.M. was arrested and charged with fourth degree larceny. Franklin had allegedly tried on three blouses, left two in the store and left with the third one. Police determined she had the blouse along with several other items taken from stores on Greenwich Avenue. Franklin was released on a $1,000 surety bond and is due in court Aug. 7.

ASSAULT

A 58-year-old White Plains, N.Y. man and 36-year-old Riverdale, N.Y. woman were arrested after a reported domestic incident July 27. According to police, the woman told officers she had gotten into an argument with her boyfriend and he had slapped her in the face. A witness reportedly told police they had noticed the argument and saw the man slap the woman. They were both charged with breach of peace and the man was also charged with third degree assault. They were both released on $250 cash bonds and were due in court July 28.

BURGLARY

Police arrested six people July 27 after responding to the report of a burglary. Vincent Hord, 20, of Yonkers, N.Y., Russell Sandler, 18, of Port Chester, N.Y., Vladimir Lemite, 19, of Yonkers, N.Y., a 17-year-old Yonkers boy and two 16-year-old Port Chester girls. Police had been sent to a Glenville home on the report that someone was selling stolen merchandise from that location. According to police, Sandler is the estranged stepson of the homeowner and does not live there. Sandler and five other people were having a party at the house and allegedly ransacked the house from attic to basement, taking several electronic items, including a big screen TV and jewelry, and putting them into bags for removal. Officers spoke to the homeowner, who was vacationing in New Hampshire, and she said none of them had permission to be on the property. Police said officers found several bags of marijuana. Hord and the three youthful offenders were charged with possession of marijuana under four ounces, second degree burglary, first degree criminal mischief and possession of drug paraphernalia. Sandler and Lemite charged with second degree burglary, possession drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana under four ounces and first degree larceny. Sandler was also charged with first degree criminal mischief. They were all released on $25,000 cash bonds and are due in court Aug. 4.


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07/29/08 Grenwich Time News Links For Tuesday - Whitnum was 20 minutes late for the taping, which she later blamed on Interstate 95 traffic


News 12 moderator Tom Appleby, center, prepares for a debate between 4th District congressional rivals Jim Himes, left, and Lee Whitnum, at the News 12 studio in Norwalk yesterday.
(Bob Luckey Jr./Greenwich Time photo)

TOP STORY

HEADLINES:


The greatest area of disagreement between the two candidates was over the war in Afghanistan

Himes says the U.S. military should focus its efforts and resources, not on Iraq.


Whitnum says the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks created a pro-Israel foreign policy of the U.S., saying that is inflamed Muslim extremists.


QUOTES:

"He talks a lot and says absolutely nothing," Lee Whitnum said after Himes commented about the impact of the war in Iraq on the economy and on middle-class families.

"The fight is in Afghanistan and Pakistan," said Himes, 42, who was endorsed in May during a party convention that Whitnum boycotted.

THE STORY:

Himes, Whitnum face-off

NORWALK - In their first and only debate before next month's primary, Democratic congressional foes Jim Himes and Lee Whitnum clashed yesterday over foreign policy, the war on terrorism and domestic spying programs.

The tension between the candidates, both from Greenwich, was palpable even before the start of the News 12 debate, which was taped during the afternoon at Cablevision's Norwalk studios and scheduled to air last night.

Whitnum was 20 minutes late for the taping, which she later blamed on Interstate 95 traffic. When she finally did arrive, she brusquely walked past the party-endorsee Himes and onto the set, where the rivals went back and forth for 28 minutes in a "open format" moderated by anchor Tom Appleby....

....At the end of their debate, the candidates diverged when asked how they felt about domestic spying programs.

Himes said that the Bush administration has thumbed its nose at civil liberties and hurt the nation's credibility when dealing with other countries such as Russia that suppress human rights or quash the press.

"How do we say that if we have not been true to our own values?" said Himes, a former chairman of the Democratic Town Committee of Greenwich.

Whitnum disagreed.

"I don't think we have given up our civil liberties that much," Whitnum said.

Please Read The Full Greenwich Time Story

More Greenwich Time News Stories:

Pool prez defends actions

The president of a Stamford pool company charged in the drowning of a six-year-old town boy could not have foreseen the boy getting trapped in a suction valve in the pool his company built, according to his lawyer.

Golfers hit the links for the Witherell

Bill Kowalewski couldn't have been happier with his performance on the golf course yesterday, even when he was lagging behind much of the competition.

A Port Chester man and five others were arrested on second-degree burglary and other charges Sunday for allegedly ransacking valuables from his parents' Riversville Road home, police said.

Gas prices begin rolling back

STAMFORD - Fairfield County drivers may be in for some eye-rubbing relief at the pump - gasoline prices, which have started sliding in recent weeks, may get down to as low as $4 per gallon at certain stations this week, according to one well-known expert.

A colleague calls it "The Great Wall of Greenwich." It's proper name is North Street, and it's a beautiful byway through the midcountry and stretching on into the backcountry, past Conyers Farm and Banksville to New York state.

It's misguided to hit Democrats on ANWR drilling

To the editor:

In his letter to the Greenwich Time on June 29, Edward D. Dadakis, former chairman of the Greenwich Republican Committee, blamed the Democratic Party for the high prices of gasoline. He particularly criticized Democrats for opposing oil drilling in the Alaska Natural Wildlife Refuge.

But in selecting energy policy to strike out at Democrats, Mr. Dadakis may not have made the most felicitous choice. For one thing, our current Republican congressman, Christopher Shays, states on his Web site: "I oppose drilling in the ANWR and for the past six years, I have been an active and vocal opponent of numerous legislative attempts to drill in ANWR."

Until now, I thought that only Democrats arranged their firing squads in a circle.

Anyway, the U.S. Energy Information Agency estimates that the price reductions that might follow full-scale ANWR production would range from only 1 cent per gallon to 3.4 cents per gallon.

On the demand side, conservation receives short shrift from the Bush administration. Vice President Dick Cheney dismissed it as nothing more than "a sign of personal virtue." Asked at his press conference on July 15, 2008, why he had not urged consumers to conserve, the president replied: "They're smart enough to know whether they want to drive more or less." Yet leadership in this area could accomplish a lot.

Regardless of politics, energy prices were bound to go up. The market for energy is global, and rapidly rising demand, particularly in China, has been the main culprit.

But members of the current administration could have done a great deal to moderate the impact of this development on American consumers. They have been in power for going on eight years while these developments unfolded. Theirs is a record of missed opportunities and failed leadership.

Gerald A. Pollack

Old Greenwich

The writer is a member of the Democratic Town Committee and a retired Exxon economist.

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