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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

11/19/08 Greenwich Post Press Releases For Wednesday

Brita Daryani, center, with Meteorologist Bill Evans, left, and Florist Jim McArdle, right, at a recent fund-raiser.

Friends of Autistic People (FAP), and McArdle’s Florist and Garden Center, 48 Arch St., will hold three-day shopping event to raise money for the purchase of property for an organic farm for grown children with autism near Newtown.

Governor M. Jodi Rell, along with Governor David Paterson of New York and Governor John Corzine of New Jersey today urged U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao to approve a $48.2 million tri-state National Emergency Grant to address the needs of thousands of workers who are losing their jobs due to the financial crisis on Wall Street.

Metro-North will be operating on a special schedule along the New Haven Line around the Thanksgiving holiday next week. And the railroad is offering more seats on weekend trains through the holidays.

As the aging population continues to grow — the United States Census Bureau projects more than 88 million people age 65 and older in the country by 2050 — memory loss and dementia in seniors are posing a major public health burden. It’s often difficult for relatives to monitor that aging family members are getting the level of stimulation and socialization they want and need. But there’s hope: According to a recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health, researchers have found evidence that seniors in the United States with active social lives may have slower rates of memory decline and lower mortality rates.


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11/19/08 READER SUBMITTED COMMENTS: Killer impaired ?????

Dear Editor,

After reading a few of your recent headlines, I'm shocked at the blatent lack of professional behavior by certain Greenwich employees.

First, I don't believe the driver who killed Joey submitted to a field sobriety test. The law has loopholes. A driver doesn't have to take one, nor does he/she have to blow into a breathalyzer.

It was the responsibility of the Greenwich Police to videotape this man at the scene and send him to the hospital to be screened. Otherwise, he can only be found guilty of "driing while impaired".

Unfortunately "impaired" includes not wearing eyeglasses, DRIVING HAMMERED while mowing down innocent victims, and common fatigue. It doesn't seem fair, but that's the way the law is written.

I'm not a big fan of defense lawyers but our laws require guilt be proven and we SHOULD expect our police to do their share in protecting the public.

If this killer gets off, it is because Greenwich Police failed to do a thorough investigation.

My condolences to the family of Joey.

My thanks for bringing this story into the public eye.

A Greenwich legal eagle

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11/19/08 Greenwich Time News Links For Thursday

First Presbyterian Church parishioner David DeWahl First Baptist Church member Ruby Durante embrace after a service at the First Presbyterian Church Sunday.

(Helen Neafsey/Staff photo)

Churches trade traditions to raise money
First Baptist Church and the First Presbyterian Church are discovering the many common threads that bind them despite differences in size, tradition and culture.
Full Story

Osprey platform flap divides boaters
To some, the osprey that have flourished in Greenwich Cove over the last several years symbolize the renewed health of Long Island Sound and have the same right to be there as anything - and anyone - else.
Full Story

Resident moves fence off town land
Fences are apparently still being mended in the Riverside neighborhood where this summer's Wiffle ball controversy erupted.
Full Story

Judge denies YMCA injunction
A state Superior Court judge Tuesday denied a request for an injunction to force the Greenwich Family Y to immediately build a temporary ramp to provide wheelchair access to the building, but scheduled a December hearing to hear arguments in the case.

The suit filed by Gonzalez-Bunster's attorney Frank Peluso also sought an injunction to order the town to immediately issue a permit to install the ramp or, if not, to revoke the Y's temporary certificate of occupancy.

Adams decided that this too could wait and that more evidence needed to be presented on whether the YMCA is in violation of the American with Disabilities Act, he said.....

.....The new facility is part of a $40 million renovation and construction project which is to be completely accessible when the project is finished in June 2009. The Y has said it cannot provide handicapped access until them. The suit, filed Tuesday by Peluso, states that denying access to individuals with disabilities is discriminatory and in violation of town and state building codes, as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was passed in 1990.......

......Peluso said there is no reason that the YMCA can't build a ramp in 30 days for $18,000 to $20,000, which is not unfeasible in a project that has cost nearly $40 million to complete. .....

....John Wayne Fox, the town attorney, objected to the town's involvement.......

......Peluso said the town is held responsible for issuing a certificate to a facility that is in violation of the ADA codes

"They should never have given the certificate until the facility was wheelchair accessible," he said, "We will go as far as we have to prove a point."

The attorneys for the Y were pleased with the court's decision, Wells said following the case.

Peluso said he is looking forward to the next court date and is pleased that the case was considered so quickly.

"They are denying access to an individual on the basis of disability and that's not right," he said .....

Full Story

Let's See How Pleased Greenwich Attorney Dougless Wells Is With State Superior Court Judge Taggart Adams Finial Ruling.

Score One Point For The YMCA Lawyers Who Want To Keep The Crippled, Infirm And Seniors Of Greenwich. Out Of The New 40 Million Dollar Swimming Pool Project. Let's See What State Superior Court Judge Taggart Adams At The Next Scheduled Hearing In 18 Days.

The Crippled, Infirm And Seniors Of Greenwich Have Had To Be On The Outside Looking In At The New 40 Million Dollar Pool Project For Little Over A Year Now. We Guess They Can Suffer Another 18 Days Of Watching Others Access The New Pool, In Order To Receive Justice And Have Their Rights Protected.

YMCA Lawyers Are Getting Rich Off Of Donated Funds.

What Is Wrong With The YMCA's Board Of Directors?

Instead Of Paying $18,000 For A temporary Ramp. They Will Pay Two To Three Times As Much On A Stable Of High Priced Lawyers To Argue Against The Ramp.

They Even Had Peter Tesei Arguing Against This $18,000 Ramp At A Planning And Zoning Hearing, And His Legal Services Don't Come Cheap.

The YMCA Board Should Full Disclose To The Public And It's Donors How Much Money It Is Wasting Fighting Against A Ramp They Are Legally Required To Build Anyway.

It Was Cruel And Insensitive Of The YMCA Board Not To Have Constructed This Ramp In Phase One Of The 40 million Dollar Project.

The YMCA Boards Stubborn And Bone Headed Actions Will Cost It Much More Than $18,000 In Future Donations

How Can Any Impaired Person In Good Conscious Donate Or Support An Organization Like The Greenwich YMCA, Which Excludes Them?

Hard-pressed to find ways to close a projected $10.5 million budget gap, town leaders want to put the kibosh on town employees traveling to out-of-state conferences on the taxpayers' dime. Full Story

Police blotter
Jorge Montes De Oca, 29, of 236 Hamilton Ave., was arrested Friday morning and charged with driving while under the influence, two counts of failure to obey a stop sign, failure to drive in an established lane and operating a motor vehicle without a license, police said.
W.R. Berkley acquires Norwegian firm
Greenwich-based insurance company W.R. Berkley has signed a letter of intent to acquire Norway-based insurance company NEMI Forsikring ASA, allowing it to expand its presence in the specialty insurance industry.
The only way to deal with state deficits projected to total nearly $6 billion is to cut spending, according to Gov. Jodi Rell. Few would disagree. But largely overlooked in getting Connecticut's financial house in order is demanding that government agencies operate more responsibly - and spend money less foolishly.
Another Greenwich Time Opinion Piece: Will we 'make the season bright' for stores?
Christmas promotions well under way and traces of premature snow helps enhance the mood. Only Thanksgiving stands in the way of the all-out Yuletide onslaught.
But there's a pall of apprehension over the scene as villagers of all types and stations wonder how this economic meltdown is going to affect us at the hometown level.

At the national level, localities are defined in the metaphor "Main Street." We have no such street - our principal drag is known as Greenwich Avenue......

To the editor:
The recent decision of the school board to meet as a "committee of the whole" to nominate a new superintendent, and the apparent desire to expedite the process, is in my opinion not in the best interests of the community. As a parent of two second-graders, I am going to have a long investment with whomever is appointed, and I want the board to make absolutely sure makes the kind of hire that is not the result of an over- compromise by eight board members who may place too much weight on internal politics and comity, as many decisions of this kind in all walks of life are made.

I believe it may be prudent to name an interim superintendent now, from within the ranks of our administration, to ensure a smooth transition, and publicly state that the board will not rush, but get it right with the goal of finding someone who might be there when my children graduate Greenwich High School.
I also want to add my support to the position taken by board member Marianna Ponns Cohen regarding the composition of a new school board. A seat on the board is an elected position, and therefore the board members are answerable first and foremost to the voters of Greenwich.

We have more issues at stake, such as lingering problems with class size, testing and scores, Hamilton Avenue and Glenville schools, upcoming budget cuts, and administration staffing. It would seem prudent to know what each member of the board believes is important in all those areas before they select a new leader to execute those strategies. If we are waiting for the right hire, we might want to wait for a new school board and see who might want to step forward as new members with potentially strong new ideas.

Frank Farricker
Cos Cob
To the editor:
The time has come for the Republican Party to take bold action and to recruit a new generation of public servants to the process.
On Nov. 4 , those who presented fresh and new ideas claimed victory. In our own town, newcomers to elected office - Scott Frantz and Fred Camillo - offered bold and refreshing ideas to the voters and won. Republicans need to provide these ideas at the federal level as well.

With the 2010 election cycle bound to commence within the next six months, we need to seek out qualified and willing young candidates who are committed to reforming......
.....that the nation and the Republican Party have a prosperous future ahead. We must open our minds and seize the moment!

Aaron J. Kennon
Old Greenwich

David Noble
Old Greenwich
"You can accomplish whatever you put your mind to!" This was my parents' relentless creed throughout my upbringing......
.....Seeing a black man as president heightens the understanding of my parents' teachings. America's strength is the diversity of its people. My father, his fellow soldiers past, present and future, stand vigilant to protect this diversity. Out of respect for them and ourselves, it is up to us to preserve our strength in diversity by remembering that we are all brothers and sisters.
Our election choice is the sign that we, as a unified people, recognize this belief and must carry this message throughout the world.

Yes we can !

Tim Breen
Old Greenwich
To the editor:
We are delighted that the state has agreed to make a $750,000 grant to the Bruce Museum, one of the cultural jewels of Connecticut......
.....Second, the Bruce makes a major contribution to the community through its commitment to education (its educators teach 12,000 school children and offer 600 educational programs each year), the advancement of culture (14 to 16 exhibitions attracting approximately 100,000 visitors), and the economy of Greenwich and the region. One recent study calculated that a single show brought $1.2 million in revenues to the town.

Third, Gov. M. Jodi Rell and the Legislature have a long-standing commitment to support the arts and culture, recognizing that this is a needed function of government. The arts play a vital role in broadening our children's horizons and strengthening communities......

Peter Sutton
William H. Nickerson

The writers are director of the Bruce Museum and the state senator from the 36th District, respectively.
To the editor:
Carol Kana writes in her letter of Oct. 26, "... we can see the discrimination that continues in town against people with disabilities" ("YMCA wrong to deny access," GreenwichTime).....
.....Not only has Abilis (formerly ARC) been involved with their development and progress as young babies to the present day, but it has trained them for their present gainful employment.
The Greenwich school system has additionally given them outstanding preparation for living in the world as we know it.

The medical community has supervised their growth and well-being through hospitalizations requiring intensive care and routine check ups all these years, not to mention the support and caring provided to me as their parent.

The clergy in town have included them in worship services, and the congregations in the town churches have welcomed them enthusiastically......
.....All conditions have not been perfect in raising my daughters, nor have they ......
To the editor:
As part of a state bond issue, the Bruce Museum has been given $750,000. That means all state taxpayers, Greenwich residents included, and we pay the most, will chip in to give the Bruce $750,000 plus pay interest to "help expand its artistic, cultural and historical programs.
These kinds of expenditures are why our taxes are out of whack. It is because our state legislators are more anxious to spend our money than conserve it. Organizations like the Bruce have shown they can raise sufficient funds on their own without taxpayer money to maintain and expand, and the Bruce museum is not a core function of government.

If Greenwich felt the Bruce's need was so impor-tant, it should fund the $750,000 with our taxes. Fortunately our Board of Estimate and Taxation is not willing to add another three quarters of a million to the Bruce's budget, and if it did, I am sure the Representative Town Meeting would not approve.

This is the worst kind of earmark. In a time of budget constraints for core functions like schools, police, etc., we are borrowing and taxing ourselves $750,000 plus interest to "help the Bruce."

What kind of fiscally conservative representatives do we have? Gibbons, Nickerson, Powers and Floren made this expenditure happen. That is not what I expect from self-proclaimed fiscal conservatives who are supposed to be watching out for our taxes. And yes, I know the other towns do it, but the "you vote for mine and I'll vote for yours" needs to end. The faucet needs to be turned off.

Greenwich should set the example. Before we are taxed, legislators should answer two questions: Is the project a core function of government? And is it needed? If it is a "wouldn't it be nice to have" project, it should not qualify.

Sen. John McCain is right about this issue.

Donald Landsman
Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com


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