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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

08/19/08 Journalism Ethics: What To Do About A Former Greenwich Resident Con Man Whose Lawyer Makes Reporters Sign An Agreement

Frank Girardot: Rockefeller to be `interviewed'

Whittier Daily News

I read somewhere that the Boston Globe and "Dateline NBC" would interview Clark Rockefeller, aka Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, in his Boston jail cell this week.

The caveat?

Reporters will only ask questions about his daughter and ex-wife.

My problem?


Of course I also have another problem with the arrangement. Speaking for myself, I think it's extremely bizarre that supposedly legitimate news organizations would agree to any terms simply to get an interview with Rockefeller.

But then again I don't know if there's a right answer here. What's unclear about the arrangement is whether the news organizations have also agreed not to report a slip of Gerhartsreiter's tongue that might get him in trouble in Los Angeles County.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get any insight. Neither the Boston Globe nor "Dateline" responded to inquiries about the purported interviews.

Rockefeller/Gerhartsreiter, aka Chris Chichester, is not only suspected of assault and parental kidnapping in Massachusetts, he is also a person of interest in a 23-year-old missing persons case and homicide that occurred in San Marino.

As Chichester, authorities said Gerhartsreiter lived in the back house of a home on Lorain Road in 1985. He's probably the last person to have seen newlyweds John and Linda Sohus alive.

Authorities also said fingerprints tie Rockefeller to Gerhartsreiter and Chichester.

Bones recovered from the Sohuses' backyard in 1994 are probably the remains of John Sohus, although DNA testing and a lack of dental records have yet to confirm that.

(There's a whole back story here about what's left of the bones - basically the cranium - but that's another column for another day. If you're curious, Google "Sohus remains destroyed.")

Anyway, back to the Globe and "Dateline NBC." Other than ratings for television and eyeballs for Web sites, what's the value in such a limited interview? It seems that Gerhartsreiter's attorney, Stephen Hrones, who still calls his client "Rockefeller," has openly discussed a lot of the case, and already proclaimed his client's innocence.

Another question I had: Why a reporter would allow him- or herself limited access?

So I asked a couple.

Both said they would grant the request in hopes that Gerhartsreiter would say something newsworthy.

I'm not sure I would, but then again I wasn't asked. Admittedly, my ethical benchmark is somewhat compromised.

This is definitely a gray area. There have been times when I've entered into agreements with sources to withhold information - especially if it would jeopardize a criminal investigation.

But honestly, this arrangement smells more like a contrived interview with Angelina Jolie or Britney Spears.

And isn't that the sort of notoriety Gerhartsreiter has sought all along?

Frank Girardot is metro editor of the San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group. Visit his blog at http://www.insidesocal.com/sgvcrime

Please Also See:

08/16/08 Crockeffelah Lawyer Says Former Local Resident Is Not Guilty Of Kidnapping, Because Marrage Was Invalid


Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com


What's Ron Going To Be Doing Stevie

Greg Newton
wants to know what exactly Failed Hedge Fund Guy Ron Insana is going to be doing for Stevie Cohen. . . .

Please See:

08/19/08 Tv Reporter Gets Stomped When He Tries To Be A Hedge Fund Big Shot

Please send comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

08/18/08 This Just In - Former Valbella Chef Is A Murder Victim

Valbella's reputation as the Greenwich area's premier Italian restaurant may soon be known for having hired a recently murderered and temperamental chef

Nephew charged in killing of Vuli restaurant partner

By Ethan Fry

Stamford Advocate

Staff Writer

DA NBURY - More than four years after investigators found the dismembered corpse of Stamford restauranteur Zef Vulevic in a wooded area in New York, Vulevic's nephew stood accused of the execution-style murder for the first time in Superior Court Tuesday.

The nephew, Marash Gojcaj, 32, was arraigned on a single charge of murder in the case. A judge doubled his bond and continued the matter to next month.

Vulevic ran Vuli, the rotating restaurant that once occupied the 17th floor of Marriott Hotel & Spa in Stamford. His body, shot twice in the back of the head and cut into seven pieces, was discovered in a wooded area of Bedford, N.Y., during an Earth Day cleanup three weeks after he was last seen. Gojcaj, whose last known address is in Ossining, N.Y., was arrested Tuesday morning at police headquarters. Police announced in March that they had obtained a warrant to arrest Gojcaj in the case, but had to wait for him to finish serving a jail sentence for drunken driving in New York to formally charge him in the 2004 murder....

...Details of the state's murder case against Gojcaj are unclear. The warrant charging him has been sealed for 14 days, a Superior Court clerk said. Those who knew him called Vulevic, 41, a gifted but temperamental chef who honed his talents in both restaurants owned by his family and other premier establishments in Fairfield County, among them Valbella in Greenwich....

...Gojcaj's lawyer, Mickey Sherman, asked Sommer to leave the bond at the $2 million amount set by the warrant in the case. He said Danbury police took Gojcaj's passport and that his client would have fled the country before if that were his intention.

"This happened about four years ago," Sherman said. "His uncle was killed, he was the prime suspect, he's always been the prime suspect. He hasn't gone anywhere. If he was going to go to Montenegro he would have gone a long time ago."....


Please send comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

08/18/08 Residents don't want to put a stop to the construction but simply wants a compromise the would cut down on the hours of noise

Wolfgang Luthe and his wife Luise stand in their backyard. They are complaining that the noise coming from a neighboring construction project on Orchard Place is too loud.
(Helen Neafsey/ Greenwich TimeStaff photo)


As a result of Wolfgang Luthe's complaints First Selectman Peter Tesei has asked the Board of Health to review the town's noise ordinance.


"We live in a high-rent neighborhood and I have to sit outside with earplugs. I might as well move to the Bronx," Wolfgang Luthe said, the clatter of jackhammers prevalent in the background. "Sometimes, you feel like a prisoner in your own home."

"There's little that I can do about it,"
First Selectman Peter Tesei said. "There's limitations on what you can regulate."

"It's not illegal,"
said Justin Shaw,, owner of JCS Capital LLC, a Greenwich-based development company. "It's loud as hell. For someone that's right there, yeah, it's going to suck."


Complaints lead to noise ordinance review

Greenwich Time, CT

By Neil Vigdor
Staff Writer

Wolfgang Luthe threw his hands up in disgust one recent afternoon while sitting on the patio of his home at 95 Oneida Drive in Indian Harbor.

Just over the fence line, a symphony of jackhammers, earth-moving equipment and power tools played in steady unison.

The commotion, he said, is coming from Orchard Place, a public street that runs along the perimeter of the gated Indian Harbor neighborhood, where there have been a number of recent tear-downs of smaller homes and new construction.

The noise has been fairly constant for about five or six months, according to Luthe, 72, who said he has asked for the town's intervention but hasn't gotten very far...

...At Nos. 50 and 56 Orchard Place, the owner of the carpentry business working on a townhouse project there said his workers have limited their activities from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays and from 8 to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.

Told by the newspaper that the town's noise prohibition is in effect until 9 a.m. on Saturdays, Marcel St. Pierre of Danbury-based Marellie Carpentry said he "had no idea" about the hours allowed.

"(We) don't make a lot of noise," St. Pierre said, explaining that the only noise from the carpenters came from nail guns and electric saws.

As St. Pierre spoke Monday, an excavation machine dumped rocks into a large pile on the property. A message seeking comment was left Monday for Gorski Mason Contractor, the Stamford excavation company doing the project....

Please Read The Full Greenwich Time Story


Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

08/19/08 However, Tom Gallagher has not been charged with any crime.

Not All Greenwich Police Department Documents Have Been Released To The Public

Wifflegate Resurfaces

By WSTC/WNLK Newsroom

Greenwich officials plan to survey the property of one of the Riverside residents who complained to the town about the infamous wiffle ball field. They will be looking at whether Tom Gallagher's driveway and picket fence spill over onto that same piece of land which would be in violation of the same rules that forced the field to close.

Town officials shut down the field because they said the parcel needed to remain clear for drainage purposes. First Selectman Peter Tesei says in light of the wiffleball field controversy it would be a good idea to determine what exactly the boundaries are of the property.

Meanwhile, an internal affairs report suggests Gallagher is also the person who sent confidential police reports about one of the teen's alleged past crimes to other neighbors of the field. However, Tom Gallagher has not been charged with any crime.

Please Also See:

08/19/08 GREENWICH TIME WHITEWASH: Newspaper Provides No Proof That A Police Employee Did Not Illegally Release A Juvenile Police Report To Thomas Gallagher.


Please send your comments and any information about "Wifflegate" to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

08/19/08 Greenwich Post Sports Update

Greenwich 13s fall in late innings to Bryant, 6-5

Written by Paul Silverfarb
Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Updated 4:46 p.m.

The Greenwich 13-year-old Junior Babe Ruth All-Star team, representing New England in the Babe Ruth World Series in Jamestown, N.Y., fell to Bryant, Ark., the Southwest Regional champs, 6-5.

Although Ricky Ozakaki was able to draw a walk in the bottom of the seventh inning, Greenwich was unable to push across the tying run......


Tuesday Greenwich lost to Bryant, Arkansas 6-5

~ Good game, Greenwich! ~

Click for another recap

NEXT GAME: WED 8/20 @ 12:00PM

vs. Thurston Co., Washington


For more information, go to the

World Series website


Please send your comments and sports reports to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com.

08/19/08 A Few Words From Bloggers Who Are From, Work In Or Used To Live In Greenwich

Please send your comments and blog post links to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

08/19/08 Judge John Kavanewsky Jr. to excuse the jury and threatens to bar the Dinnertime Bandit from the courtroom


Call Him The "Dumbbell" Bandit

Explosive Dinnertime Bandit Tries To Destroy His Own Public Defender's Well Presented Case

Startled Jurors Ordered To Leave The Courtroom


"Why should you believe Mr. Liebman?" Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Valde asked the jury, "Well, he corroborated that specific pieces of jewelry were stolen by Golder."

"Yeah, after you showed him the list!", Golder shouts as he rises from his chair.

The Story:

Golder blows up at 'Dinnertime' trial

By Martin B. Cassidy/ Greenwich Time Crime Writer

Alleged Dinnertime Bandit Alan Golder exploded at a prosecutor Tuesday during closing arguments that centered on the believability of an alleged accomplice, who said he took part with Golder in a series of Greenwich burglaries more than a decade ago.

Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Valdes asked the jury to give extra weight to the testimony of Robert Liebman .....

Please Also See:

Greenwich resident testifies of being attacked by 'bandit'

Stamford Advocate, CT

Golder, 53, has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, burglary and larceny in four early evening break-ins of Greenwich mansions in 1996 and 1997. ...

UPDATE: Wednesday August 20, 2008

Martin Cassidy has added to and reposted his article here:

Golder blows up at trial

By Martin B. Cassidy
Staff Writer

..."Stop!" Public Defender Howard Ehring, Golder's attorney, said as he reached up to quiet his client.

The outburst prompted Judge John Kavanewsky Jr. to excuse the jury briefly to warn Golder that he could be barred from the courtroom for the remainder of the proceedings.

"He better put a lid on it," Kavanewsky Jr. said...

...Golder also got a break yesterday when Kavanewsky dismissed two counts of first-degree larceny against him, one in connection with the burglary of an Otter Rock Drive residence in Belle Haven, and another the theft of a Jaguar that was later foundabandoned after a Round Hill Road burglary.

"I don't find sufficient evidence that a reasonable jury could use to convict him of those charges," Kavanewsky Jr. said.

Before deliberations began, Kavanewsky Jr. instructed the jury not to speculate about Golder's past or references to him being on parole, while touching on concerns that Liebman's contradictory statements were legitimate grounds to question his truthfulness.

Liebman, rightly or wrongly, might have testified in hopes of special treatment from police and authorities, Kavanewsky Jr. said.

"You should consider the importance and weight of any inconsistency to decide to what extent you believe his testimony, whether it be wholly, partially, or not at all," Kavanewsky Jr. said....


'Bandit' case suspect yells at prosecutor

Norwalk Advocate

08/20/2008 01:00:00 AM EDT

...Kavanewsky also explained that Golder's flight from the United States also was significant, and could be construed as evidence of guilt.

"Flight, when unexplained, can offer a consciousness of guilt," Kavanewsky said. "When he purportedly learned law enforcement officers had an interest in his whereabouts, he left."

Deliberations will continue today.

Tuesday afternoon, the jurors requested that certain portions of the testimony be played back...

Please send your comments or news tips to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

08/19/08 GREENWICH TIME WHITEWASH: Newspaper Provides No Proof That A Police Employee Diddn't Illegally Relased Juvenile Report To Thomas Gallagher?


Once Again The Local Rag Sells Out It's Readers Right To Know To The Powers That Be In Greenwich

Forget About "Let The Chips Fall Where They May" The Greenwich Police Department Is Giving Special Consideration And Playing Favorites With Anti-Wiffle Ballers.

The Greenwich Police Department should know that youth cases are shielded from the public by law to prevent minors from being stigmatized by the crimes they commit.


"No child grows up to perfection,"
said the mother, who Greenwich Time agreed not to name because it would reveal the identity of the juvenile. "I just want them to know how hurtful adults can be. What kind of lesson are they trying to teach by doing this?"


Wiffle woes dog neighbor

By Neil Vigdor / Greenwich Time Staff writer
Article Launched: 08/19/2008 12:48:07 PM

First Neil Vidgor Dutifully Reports On The Town's Smoke And Mirror Activities Designed To Distract Citizen's From A Serious Breach Of Conneticut State Law....

A Riverside man's complaints to the town about an unauthorized Wiffle ball field that sprouted on a municipally owned lot next to his property may come back to bite him.

First Selectman Peter Tesei has ordered the Department of Public Works to survey the area near town Lot 5A on Riverside Lane to see if any of the abutting residential properties encroach on the parcel.

The directive comes after several of those who tried to save the ill-fated field from being shut down last month questioned whether a picket fence, bushes and driveway belonging to the homeowner at 100 Riverside Lane are located on town property.

"I think it's a good idea, in light of all the controversy, to delineate what the boundaries are," Tesei said...

Now Towards The End Of The Article Neil Vidgor Sheepishly Brings Up The Problem That A Juvinile Police Record Was Illegally Disimenated In Greenwich.

Please Read How The Ameturish Vidgor Whitewashes The Towns Handeling Of The Crime....

...Gallagher also declined to comment about the release Monday of an internal affairs investigation by the police department, implicating him in the unauthorized distribution of a juvenile criminal report on one of the teens who built the Wiffle ball field.

The report, which was sent anonymously to those who live near the field, related to the alleged burglary of fireworks from a residence in May by one of the teens, who is under 18. Several of the recipients complained about the public disclosure of the report to police, prompting an internal investigation into a potential leak....

....According to the 15-page internal affairs probe, which the newspaper obtained through a Freedom of Information request, Gallagher sent a copy of the report to Tesei, the first selectman, on July 15, by e-mail....

Did The Greenwich Police Department Honor Thomas Doyle's Freedom Of Information Request, Or Did They Officially Notify Him That Dispersing Such Information About Youthful Offenders Is Against The Law?

The Greenwich Time Story Continues....

....According to the investigation, Gallagher obtained the report from the victim of the burglary, Patricia Doyle, who lives on Halsey Drive. During a visit to the field, Doyle informed Gallagher about the burglary, leading him to request a copy of the police report, according to the investigation....

Why Is The Greenwich Police Department Choosing Sides In The Wiffle Ball Controversey Fall Out?

The Greenwich Police Department Needs To Stop Playing Favorites.

Patricia Doyle admitted to The Greenwich Police Department that she illegally disiminated a juvinile police report?

Why wasn't Doyle charged in the crime she admitted too?

The Greenwich Time Article Continues...

...In the police investigation, it said that Doyle was "willing to take blame for the incident" and "never anticipated the report would have been used in this manner."....


Who The Hell, Is Paying Stamford attorney
Edward Nemchek To Illegally Release Juvenile Police Reports. This Attorney Has No Excuse - He Should Know Better!!!

The Greenwich Time Article Continues....

According to the police investigation, Doyle received a copy of the report from Stamford attorney Edward Nemchek, the lawyer for one of the other juveniles involved in the burglary. A message seeking comment was left Monday night at Nemchek's law office...

Can The Greenwich Police Department Show Proof That They Officially Denied Thomas Gallagers Freedom Of Information Request As Required By Conneticut State Law?

The Greenwich Time Article Continues....

Police Chief David Ridberg said the investigation puts to rest any theories that the report was leaked by a member of his department.

"I'm happy to find out that we maintained a professional demeanor and didn't take sides in this argument and also didn't violate policy and statute by releasing confidential information," Ridberg said. "I recognize there are some that might believe I don't want to find someone responsible within the department, but we invite anyone to request a copy of the investigation."

Can We Also Request A Copy Of The

Greenwich Police Department Letter

Officially Dening Thomas Gallagers

Freedom Of Information Request?

Everyone Knows That The Greenwich Police Department has an official policy that all requests for documents must be made in witting.

The Connecticut Freedom of Information Act gives you the right to obtain records of all public agencies with certain exceptions.

Open Records LawConn. Gen. Stat. §1-18a et seq.

Exempt: Fifteen total exemptions including: Personnel, medical and some law enforcement files; juvenile records; some witness and victim identification records; pending litigation files; and real estate documents.

All Public Agencies, including the Greenwich Police Department, are required to respond or fill Freedom Of Information Requests with in 4 business days.

As usual, Neil Vigdor And The Greenwich Time's News Story Is Woefully Incomplete.


Any Person's Freedom Of Information request is a public document and can be legally requested by another person.

Two quarters will buy anyone in town, including Neil Vidgor, a copy of Thomas Gallager's Written Freedom Of Information Request And The Greenwich Police Department's Official Written Response to Mr. Gallager.

Thomas Gallager's Written Freedom Of Information Request And The Greenwich Police Department's Official Written Response To Mr. Gallager's request are both public documents that a "professional and competent" reporter would have routinely requested copies of.

But, Ameture Reporter Neil Vigdor And The Greenwich Time Blindly Trust Greenwich Police Cheif David Ridberg Who Has A Vested Interest In Trying To Vindicate His Department Knowledge Of The Illegal Release Of A Juvinile Report.

If Police Cheif David Ridberg Has Nothing To Hide He Can Send A Copy Of Thomas Gallager's Written Freedom Of Information Request And The Greenwich Police Department's Official Written Responce To GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com And We Will Post The Documents Here At Greenwich Roundup.

Or, Better Yet Police Cheif David Ridberg can release Greenwich Police Department Computer Logs showing that the specific juvinile file had not been downloaded in the past 120 days.

More Information:

The mission of the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission is "to administer and enforce the provisions of the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act, and to thereby ensure citizen access to the records and meetings of public agencies in the State of Connecticut."
For additional information on the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission, go to www.state.ct.us/foi or contact the Commission by phone at (860) 566-5682 or via email at foi@ct.gov.


Neil Vidgor was the reporter who did not publish copies of the fake beach passess he received last February, thus assisting the Greenwich Police Department in yet anither Whitewash.

Criminals in Greenwich are safe as long as Niel Vidgor is responsible for reporting on and keeping Police Chief David Ridberg accountable to the public.

Please send your comments or copies of
Thomas Gallager's Written Freedom Of Information Request And The Greenwich Police Department's Official Written Responce To Mr. Gallager's request
to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

08/19/08 PRESS RELEASE: Himes Campaign Says Shays Is Partisan When It Counts

Jim Himes for Congress

August 19, 2008
Contact: Michael Sachse, 646 265-0556, Michael@HimesforCongress.com

Campaign releases study showing Shays supported Republicans on 89% of close votes

BRIDGEPORT, CT: Statistical analysis of Chris Shays' votes reveals that when it counts, Shays has been a loyal servant of the Republican Party. On the closest votes - when his vote has the most power to affect the outcome, when the Republican Party most needs his support, and when 4th District residents most need him to make the right choice - Shays has lined up behind his Party's leadership 89% of the time, or nine out of ten times. The Himes campaign released the following statement:

"This finding shows that Shays is not moderate but is, in fact, a true Republican partisan," said Dana Houle, senior advisor to the Himes campaign. "Political courage means voting the right way when your vote really matters. This shows that when it really counts, Chris Shays doesn't cast his own vote, he turns his vote over to the Republican Party."


- The analysis and methodology may be found at: http://www.himesforcongress.com/9outof10

- The narrow votes where Shays has been a reliable supporter of the Republican agenda include key measures such as:

- Voting against tax cuts for the middle class, including voting against extending credits for college tuition and voting against exempting middle class families from the Alternative Minimum Tax (HR 3996)
- Voting against a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq (HR 1591)
- Voting to allow torture by CIA interrogators (HR 2082)


Please send your comments and press releases to: GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

08/19/08 The Current Financial Crises Could Be Much Worse Than The Savings And Loan Meltdown Of The 1980's

Another bomb about to go off in the financial system?

Los Angeles Times

By Tom Petruno

All of the talk in the credit markets this week is that another big bomb is about to go off in the financial system.

That helped pull the stock market down today for a second session, led (again) by bank and brokerage stocks.

What kind of financial-system bomb? That’s the problem: The fear is very generic, not specific.

From the acrossthecurve bond-market blog by John Jansen:

Participants are poised for some sort of crack up and trade accordingly. They suspect that there is some crisis lurking in the wings and they are waiting for it to happen.

Notably, these jitters were intensifying last week, even before the weekend article in Barron’s magazine that effectively dug the grave for the common stocks of mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Because their shares already have crashed in recent days, Fannie and Freddie don’t seem to fill the bill as potential market surprises, although they’re obviously adding to the heightened state of concern.

Michael Darda, economist at MKM Partners in Greenwich, Conn., notes that nervous investors have been demanding higher yields in recent days to buy high-quality mortgage-backed bonds and corporate bonds, widening the "spread" between those yields and Treasury bond yields.

"When the spreads widen out, there are stresses brewing" in the system, Darda says. "Previous surges have preceded bank failures or other collapses." As with the demise of Bear Stearns in March, for example.

Fears of a mega-failure were amplified today after Kenneth Rogoff, former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund and now a Harvard economics professor, predicted in a speech in Singapore that a huge U.S. bank was certain to collapse in the near future -- although, of course, he wasn’t naming names.

"The worst is yet to come," he said, according to the BBC. "We're not just going to see mid-sized banks go under in the next few months. We're going to see a whopper, we're going to see a big one, one of the big investment banks or big banks.

Given that kind of good cheer, it’s a wonder the credit markets are still functioning at all.

Yet Freddie Mac today sold $3 billion in five-year notes, and although the annualized yield of 4.17% was 1.13 points over five-year Treasury note yields -- the highest spread in at least 10 years, according to Bloomberg -- there was enough demand to get the deal done.

"Buyers still showed up," said Tony Crescenzi, bond market strategist at Miller, Tabak & Co. in New York.

The markets’ bad case of nerves may partly stem from memories of what happened a year ago this month. Just as much of Wall Street was packing up for summer vacation last August, the first major explosions occurred in what was to become the credit crunch.

That should remind us of something: In financial markets, it often works out that you get a crisis when nobody’s expecting one -- not when everybody’s looking for it.

08/19/08 Eat Kosher At Home And When You Are Away At College

Unexpected Suitors

Reform Judaism

Admissions 101: Unexpected Suitors

Today, a great number of little-known colleges and universities are interested in increasing the number of Jewish students on campus as part of their commitment to wider diversity. In addition, many of them support their Jewish students in campus programming, providing Jewish Studies courses, offering kosher eating plans, and actively engaging in Jewish student recruitment. Here’s what you need to know about some schools you may not have considered.

Why would colleges encourage Jewish applicants?

The strong emphasis that Jewish tradition places on education is appreciated by many college admissions officers. Greg Zaiser, dean of Admissions at Elon University in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, told me in a telephone interview that “Jewish students seem to have a high propensity for success in college.” Gordon Gee, the former chancellor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, said in a 2002 Wall Street Journal interview that the school wanted to “boost Vanderbilt’s status and academic rankings....” And Lou Hirsh, director of admissions at the University of Delaware, wrote to me: “A Jewish applicant who has a significant leadership position in Jewish organizations is going to have an edge.”

Are smaller colleges demonstrating particular interest in Jewish applicants and/or students on campus?

Yes. Here are four possibilities.

At Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, Hillel advisor Yana Geyfman is also an admissions officer who visits high schools and fairs where a great number of Jewish students are in attendance. On campus, Rabbi Ron Bernstein-Goff from West Virginia teaches three courses and holds office hours. And well over 100 students attended the Passover seder this year.

Oglethorpe University in Atlanta has made a change in direction. No organized religious activities—either Christian or Jewish—existed on campus when President Lawrence Schall arrived in 2005. Soon thereafter, Jewish high school senior Nathaniel Goldman told him that he was considering the school but was concerned about its paucity of Jewish life. Dr. Schall responded by encouraging him to come to Oglethorpe and start a Jewish student union. Goldman did just that, as the college president discovered when he ran into the freshman holding several “Come to a Meeting September 6” signs under his arm. Today the Jewish group is very visible on campus, sponsoring Shabbat dinners, a “Break Fast” at the end of Yom Kippur, and many more activities.

While Elon University is affiliated with United Church of Christ, it has a growing Jewish student population because it is actively promoting diversity in faith within its student body. A new brochure touts Jewish life at Elon, Elon’s website links to Hillel, and a part-time rabbi is on staff. Parents are very active and make direct contact with Jewish students. And last year, for the first time, Elon participated in the college fair for Jewish families in the D.C. area.

And Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, affiliated with the Lutheran Church, has a long history of being welcoming to and enrolling significant numbers of Jewish students. A few years ago, the Hillel director, Patti Mittleman, was named “National Hillel Director of the Year.” With her input, Muhlenberg schedules its fall break around Yom Kippur.

How can I find out about other colleges that are supportive to Jewish students?

Check out this magazine’s chart of schools Jews choose (PDF). Click on the links colleges provide to Jewish activities, services, dining options on campus. Search the Hillel website (www.hillel.org). Email the admissions office with additional questions. And when you’re on campus, ask yourself: Would a Jewish student be comfortable here?

—Claire D. Friedlander, college consultant to Jewish Family Service in the greater Stamford and Westport areas of Connecticut and Jewish Family Services of Greenwich, and former vice president of Temple Sinai in Stamford


Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

08/19/08 Greenwich Time Newslinks For Tuesday

The Best Teachers Get The Most Pay.

Is This The First Step Towards Merit Based Pay
In The Greenwich Public Schools?

Apparently Teachers in Greenwich have put their support behind a merit-based pay scheme,

Perhaps the teachers union now realizes that their members would stop leaving the profession or job-hopping between schools if their pay reflected their competence and qualifications.


Is This The First Steps Towards Merit Pay For Greenwich Teachers

The "Teacher Evaluation and Professional Learning,"program is slated to be enacted as a mandatory district-wide program in 2009-10


"We performed horribly,"
Bonnie Butera, principal of North Mianus School recalled. "It was a real wake-up call."

"The idea is to improve the classroom for kids by helping teachers,"
said Ellen Flanagan, the district administration's human resources director, who helped create the new system." Principals are saying, clearly and concisely, 'This is what we expect of you, and these are the tools we can give to help you achieve that.'"

"Getting feedback from other teachers and having the principal come in and see exactly how you're doing - it's invaluable,"
said Kathleen Ramirez of North Mianus, who participated in the pilot program last year. "I think my kids became more active learners because of this."


By Colin Gustafson/Staff writer
(colin.gustafson@scni.com or at (203) 625-4428)
Article Launched: 08/19/2008 12:23:35 PM

Alarm bells started sounding for Bonnie Butera, principal of North Mianus School, two summers ago as soon as she saw her students' standardized exam scores in reading and writing.

In spring 2007, less than half of her students performed at satisfactory levels in one of the Connecticut Mastery Test's four reading comprehension and reader-response sections; in another section, just under a third of her students passed, she said.....

...The benefits of the program were unmistakable, she said. By the end of the year, scores on the most troublesome section of the CMT section had jumped to 74 percent, from 32 percent, the prior year....

...This year, every principal in the district will participate in the program, the "Teacher Evaluation and Professional Learning," which encourages school administrators to take a more hands-on role in advising teachers and evaluating their performance...

....Critics say the new evaluation system, with its emphasis on regular meetings and classroom observations, is too labor-intensive and will make it difficult for principals to complete other administrative tasks. Some teachers, too, have said they worry about the time demands....

...Also this school year, the district will implement a pilot program for evaluating guidance counselors, school psychologists and speech and language pathologists, among other support staff.

Please Read The Full Greenwich Time Story


Why didn't reporter Colin Gustafson interview and properly cover the critics who say the new evaluation system, with its emphasis on regular meetings and classroom observations, is too labor-intensive and will make it difficult for principals to complete other administrative tasks.

Mr. Gustafson also should have quoted disedent teachers, who have said they worry about the time demands.

This article looks like Gustafson got a Greenwich Public School press release that said

"Ellen Flanagan's program worked wonders for
Bonnie Butera" and Ms. Butrea's favorite teacher, "Kathleen Ramirez confirms it"

Would it have been too hard to for Gustafson to pick up the phone and talk to the school teacher's union Representatives.

What do the guidance counselors, school psychologists and speech and language pathologists, among other support staff think of this program they are being mandated to participate in?

Update Wed. 20, 2008

Colin Gustafson has reposted the article here;

Teachers judged on

By Colin Gustafson
Staff Writer

....Under the old system, principals typically spent several days observing teachers in the classroom before writing evaluations, which ranged widely in length and detail, and did not use standardized benchmarks.

If a teacher was pursuing a specific goal - say, to become better at managing poorly behaved students - he or she was graded pass/fail. And there was no accounting for student performance - educators were largely rated on how well they appeared to be teaching during the observations....

Greenwich Time News Links Continue....

Sen. Lieberman leaving for Georgia visit

Article Launched: 08/19/2008 01:01:27 PM

WASHINGTON - Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman is traveling to the Republic of Georgia this week as talk continues about his being on Republican John McCain's list of vice presidential prospects. Lieberman is an independent who caucuses with Senate Democrats.

He said he was leaving Tuesday with Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham....

Pointing finger at the right target

To the editor:

For those town officials and Board of Education members who like to point the finger at the construction company for all the problems at Hamilton Avenue School and never accept any responsibility for their own actions, I would like to make some things clear:

The YMCA: complete; the Greenwich public safety complex: ahead of schedule and just below budget; Hamilton Avenue School: a year-and-a-half delay and $7 million over budget and counting.

Worth Construction had all three projects. What's the difference?

The difference with the YMCA and police station projects is that the school building committee and Board of Education did not have their hands on them. Those projects went smoothly and continue to go smoothly. Ask yourselves why. If they're looking to point fingers, they should be pointing the finger at themselves.

Mina Bibeault


Please send you comments and news tips to

08/19/08 Tv Reporter Gets Stomped When He Tries To Be A Hedge Fund Big Shot

A TV reporter gambles, and loses, on running a hedge fund

International Herald Tribune, France
Greenwich, Connecticut, - Do you remember a time, only a short while ago, when virtually anybody could start a hedge fund? It seemed so easy: Billions of dollars were being thrown around like confetti, even at first-time managers. Greenwich, Connecticut, the wealthy New York suburb that became an enclave for hedge fund managers, overflowed with multimillionaires and more than a few billionaires.

Anybody could make money with their eyes closed. Or so it seemed.

Ron Insana was one of the people who chased that dream. Insana spent more than a decade as one of the most prominent anchormen at CNBC, the financial news channel on cable television that has become a constant presence in just about every Wall Street office and trading room. He was a mere journalist, to be sure, but he regularly interviewed some of the titans in business, trying to make sense of the daily gyrations of the market.

In March 2006, Insana left the network to try his hand at becoming one of those titans, setting up a fund to help investors get into hedge funds, a so-called fund of funds. Paul Kedrosky, a writer and investor, said at the time that Insana's move "reminded him a little of Lou Dobbs going to Space.com at the peak of the dot-com bubble."

The adventure of Dobbs, a financial news anchorman on CNN, didn't turn out well; he's back on TV, now as an angry populist in the style of the Howard Beale ("I'm not going to take this anymore") character from the 1976 movie "Network."

And two weeks ago, Insana announced that he was throwing in the towel.

Though his career detour does not rank on the flameout scale anywhere approaching the Space.com debacle, it is an unusually instructive and cautionary tale.

One of the big raps against hedge fund managers is that their fee structure is so rigged that managers can get rich even if they never make a penny for investors.

Eric Mindich, a former whiz kid at Goldman Sachs, left the company in 2004 to start Eton Park Capital Management and immediately raised more than $3 billion. His firm charged a 2 percent management fee and 20 percent of the profits with a three-year lock-up - handing him a $60 million paycheck before he opened the door.

But most hedge fund managers aren't like Eric Mindich. They don't start off with $3 billion and they don't put out their shingle with a guarantee of riches. Instead, they're like, well, Ron Insana.

If there was one thing Insana had built up over the course of his career in journalism, it was great contacts. He knew everybody in the hedge fund business, which is why, when he started Insana Capital Partners, he chose to create a fund of funds

In his role as manager of Insana Capital Partners, he would act as a kind of hedge fund middleman, directing money to various hedge funds. The fund itself was grandiosely called Legends, which, while perhaps pretentious, made sense given the funds he could access.

His clients would be invested in SAC Capital, managed by Steven Cohen; Icahn Partners, managed by Carl Icahn; or Renaissance Technologies, run by James Simons, perhaps the most successful hedge fund manager on the planet. These funds are typically closed to the public.

In exchange for getting his investors behind the velvet rope, he charged a 1.5 percent management fee and took 20 percent of all profits. That may not sound like a bad deal - but consider that those fees come on top of the fees charged by the hedge funds themselves. In the case of Simons, in particular, the fees are astronomical: a 5 percent management fee and more than 40 percent of the profits.

Over the course of more than a year, Insana raised about $116 million. It was a respectable number, but it wasn't $3 billion. And here is where Insana ran into trouble.

As an investor, Insana didn't exactly have the wind at his back.

During the 14 months his fund of funds was up and running, the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell more than 15 percent. While some hedge funds managed to eke out gains, many did not. Ultimately, Insana's fund lost 5 percent.

In the mutual fund business, beating the S&P 500 would be more than enough to survive, and even prosper. Insana would have been a hero.

But the hedge fund business is far more cutthroat. For a small fund like Insana's, it is imperative to make money regardless of whether the S&P is up or down - and because he didn't, the 20 percent portion of his fee structure was worth nothing......

Please Read The Full International Herald Tribune Story

Please send your comments and sure fire investment ideas to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

08/19/08 Greenwich Post News Links For Tuesday

Fairfield County Community Foundation Board Chairman Michael Funck of Greenwich and Housing Development Fund Chief Executive Officer Joan Carty recently announced that the Housing Development Fund has received a $100,000 competitive grant from the Fairfield County Community Foundation to continue to provide affordable housing and an array of homebuyer assistance programs.

Chairman announces housing help through grant

  • The Housing Development Fund will receive $50,000 in each of the fiscal years 2009 and 2010, which will enable it to expand the reach of the Homebuyer Education and Counseling components of its First-Time Homebuyer Program that also provides financial assistance. Affordable housing and homeownership are priority areas for Fairfield County Community Foundation’s grant initiatives, which makes few grants of this size.

Library program aim to turbocharge Web research

  • Turbocharge your Web research with Mary Ellen Bates, one of the nation’s leading business researchers, at Greenwich Library on Friday, Sept. 12, from 11 to 1. This program is part of the Peterson Business Program Series.

    At 11 a.m., Ms. Bates will lead participants through 45 search tips in 60 minutes. This is a lively and fast-paced review of some of the key tips, techniques and resources for any Web searcher. It includes new sites, new tools and new techniques in the search engines, and Web resources.

    At noon, Ms. Bates will discuss advanced and hidden features of the major search engines. All of the leading search engines offer more than you see in their advanced search pages. This session covers the undocumented and hidden power search tools in Google, Yahoo, Live.com, and more. These techniques will enable you to search in ways you never could before....

Women take the lead at breakfast

  • On Friday morning, Sept. 5, guests at the fourth annual “Women of Achievement: Paving the Way Leadership Breakfast” in Greenwich will have the chance to hear from women who serve as role models for girls and young women. The event is sponsored by Girl Scouts of Connecticut, which recognizes that female leaders sharing their experiences about courage, confidence and character inspire a new generation to pursue far-reaching goals. The breakfast begins at 7:45 at the Hyatt Regency and ends at 10. Advance reservations are required, but all are welcome to register.
Police Watch

  • The following are released arrests from Aug. 16:


    Benjamin Mosley, 19, of Stamford was arrested Aug. 16 and charged with possession of marijuana under four ounces. Greenwich police received notice from Stamford police that Mosley was wanted in conjunction with an assault in the city. He was allegedly stabbed by a female during the assault. Greenwich police, who were given the description of Mosley’s car, found him driving the car on Stanwich Road. When Mosley was ordered out of the vehicle, police reportedly smelled burnt marijuana, and found a small bag filled with the substance within the center console. Greenwich police issued a misedemeanor summons for possession. Mosley was released on a promise to appear in court on Aug. 25, and turned over to Stamford police, who also responded to the scene.

  • More police reports can be found here in the Greenwich Post.
Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

08/19/08 Reader Submitted Comments: Thanks for the blog

Thanks for the blog on my dad's appointment to the OPEC board. In
regards to your comment on me being an entrepreneur. I am actually the
owner and founder of Belray Asset Management, so that makes me an

Warm regards, Greg

Gregory H. Skidmore

Belray Asset Management
125 Greenwich Ave, Greenwich, CT 06830
greg.skidmore@belrayam.com | www.belrayam.com

T: (203) 629-3300 | F: (203) 629-3375

Please See:

08/18/08 PRESS RELEASE: Philip M. Skidmore Becomes A Member Of The OPED Trust Fund Of Greenwich, CT

Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

08/19/08 Zebora explains how Lee Whitnum became the best friend Jim Himes had in the democratic primary campaign

We don't reject candidates; voters do
By Jim Zebora managing editor of Greenwich Time

All politics is local, and a lot of it is personal.

That was very apparent in the recent Democratic primary race between Greenwich residents Jim Himes and Lee Whitnum for the 4th District nod against Republic incumbent Christopher Shays of Bridgeport.

The Himes camp was upset - nay, offended - that Whitnum, using the existing democratic process, had petitioned successfully to force a primary against the party's endorsed candidate.

To Himes supporters, Whitnum was an expensive distraction who took focus off the real fight - to win the seat that Shays, the lone Republican from New England in the U.S. House of Representatives, has occupied for two decades.

In public and in private, Himes' people portrayed Whitnum as an erratic, fringe candidate with dangerous ideas. The constant undercurrent was that Whitnum should never have been on the primary ballot - that they had bigger fish to fry.

Whitnum, however, had won the right to engage Himes by soliciting enough petition signatures across the district, employing one of the great privileges of this nation to have a lone person's voice heard by the electorate at large....

...Still, supporters of Himes questioned why the media, this newspaper in particular, would give Whitnum a forum to speak her mind and make her ideas known. Their candidate was the one with the sane and sensible positions in this campaign, they said, and we should be telling that to our readers.

We didn't have to. Or readers could see for themselves....

...The newspaper's role in this, and in so many parts of the democratic process, was to report the truth and let the people decide.

This solemn duty is often misunderstood. It is not a reporter's or editor's place to determine if someone's ideas are worthy of someone else's vote, and we do not, by writing stories about those ideas, take any position on them.

Our job is to convey the information, the electorate's job is to make the choice.

The philosphy behind these has never been stated more elegantly than by Abraham Lincoln. I keep his words posted on a bulletin board near my desk.

"I am a firm believer in the people," the 16th president said. "If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts."

Please Read Mr. Zebora's Entire Article


Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

08/19/08 Anthony Rinaldi Is Lucky He Only Threatened To Shot A Business Owner. If He Had Thrown Water Ballons At Him He Might Have Got A $50,000 Bail

A Bullets Path Through A Human Head

Police arrested a town man Thursday night and charged him with one count of threatening for making phone threats to his partner in a West Putnam Avenue deli, according to a police report.

Anthony Rinaldi, 47, of 5 Pleasant St., Cos Cob, allegedly threatened to "put a bullet in the head" of his business partner in Rinaldi's Deli and Fast Pizza at 356 W. Putnam Ave., police said.

Rinaldi was released on $500 bond and is scheduled to appear in state Superior Court in Stamford on Friday, according to a police report.

Please See:

05/19/08 - 3 Greenwich Cops Give 140 Pound Boy 50,000 Volts And A $50,000 Bail For Not Going To A School Office Over A Water Ballon Incident

Here Are More Official Greenwich Police Reports As Published In The
Greenwich Time Police blotter

Cody N. Deaton, 24, of 950 International, Springfield, Ore., was arrested Saturday afternoon and charged with simple trespassing and peddling without a permit or tax stamp for selling books and magazine orders door-to-door, according to a police report.

Police were dispatched to Turner Drive, where they found Deaton, who could not produce a permit and said he was unaware that he was soliciting on private property, the report stated.

He was released on a $500 bond is scheduled to appear in Stamford Superior Court on Aug. 25.



Cody Got A $500 Bail And He Did Not Even Threaten To
"put a bullet in the head" Of Anyone.

There seems to be no Rhyme Or Reason To The Way Bail Is Administered At The Greenwich Police Department.

A Greenwich High School Boy Gets 50,000 Volts, A $50,000 Bail And Spends The Night In Jail, Because Of Water Balloons.

But A Very Angry Man Who Is Threatening "Put A Bullet In The Head" Of His Business Partner pays $500 and goes home.

This $500 Bail is routinely given out for out of towners who are going door to door and "peddling without a permit".

It looks like a Local Business Man Received Special Consideration, While A Hispanic Teenager Got A Severely Disproportionate Bail.

Bail is supposed to insure that a police suspect appears in court and supposed to punish someone the police don't like.

More over, there is nothing in the police report saying that police officers took steps to make sure that a very angry Anthony Rinaldi did not access to firearms at his home as he waited to see a judge next week.

Something Is Just Not Right With The Greenwich Police Department Bail Guidelines.

Please Also See:

Bill Clark Reports On Shocking Developments at Greenwich High School

please send your comments and reports of police activity to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

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