Hyper Local News Pages

Web Stats Provided By Google Analytics

Thursday, December 4, 2008

12/04/08 Becker Chicaiza, owner and founder of Becker Salon in Greenwich, recently won second place in the 2008 Coiffeur Mondial Paris


Becker Chicaiza, owner and founder of Becker Salon in Greenwich, recently won second place in the 2008 Coiffeur Mondial Paris, hosted by the Alexandre School in Paris. He competed with hairstylists from around the world and was the only American out of 55 contestants to place in the top three.

Becker entered the competition in conjunction with the L'Oreal Professional World Education Tour, which brings hairdressers to Paris to participate in a special academy program and attend the Mondial Coiffeur Beaute, a fashion and beauty exhibition.

Every five years, the Alexandre School presents a competition to honor top talent in hairdressing. Judges included beauty and style experts from companies such as Christian Dior and Chanel.

Reports on new businesses, company relocations, awards, job changes and special appointments. Information can be submitted by e-mailed to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com . Photographs are accepted and encouraged.

12/04/08 Could Danbury Be Safer Than Greenwich ??? = Danbury Is Much Safer Than Gov Wanna Be Dan Malloy's Stamford !!!

Crime Does Not Pay In Danbury

Danbury takes crown as state’s safest city

Good news for Danburians - you live in Connecticut’s safest city:

Danbury tops the list of the safest cities in the state, according to a ranking of the safest — and most dangerous — cities in the nation.

The rankings of cities with populations greater than 75,000 were recently released as part of the “City Crime Ratings” book published annually by CQ Press. Danbury came in at No. 55 of all cities in the nation and first in Connecticut.

“Danbury is fortunate to employ some of the best police officers in our area, who show a deep commitment to the safety of our city’s citizens and visitors,” Mayor Mark Boughton said.
“Our city is proud of this ranking, and we will continue focusing our efforts and commitment to our officers and their needs.”

Stamford came in second of Connecticut cities and No. 71 in the nation. Hartford brought up the rear as the most dangerous city in the state; its national rank is 359 of 385.

Police Chief Al Baker said Danbury has consistently done well on the rankings over the years and often fell in one of the top two spots for the state. Stamford, however, has come out ahead of Danbury in past years.

Read more here. Continue to pray for Hartford and New Haven, which reportedly was not ranked because it does not report certain categories of crime to the FBI.

Was Greenwich Included In This Database Of Statistics?

Would Greenwich Compare Favorably With Other CT Towns?

How does Greenwich Stack Up Against New Caanan, Darien, Westport and Fairfield?


More Blog Posts From The Raw Greenwich RSS And Blog Feed

Bloggers Who Are From, Work In Or Used To Live In Greenwich

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter
Even Buddhists Get the Blues - Of course we Buddhists aren't supposed to expect. We only are supposed to do the footwork and without expectations. Bad Buddhist me expected all the footwork...

John Ferris Robben - T-shirt Philosophy Page At Our Greenwich
December 5, 2008 - A birds nest is more easily seen when the leaves are gone. Notice the red berries in the branches. I have this type of grass around my house, I found this ...

Greenwich Diva
Both Mayor Mark Funkhouser and his wife Squitiro Funkhouser are running Kansas City, but only one was elected by the people to do so - I think the Mayor has health problems. He is not well and he does not want anyone to know and that is why he wants to keep his wife very close to him. He ...

The Blonde Excuse
Cookies - Every now and then I get the crazy idea in my head that I know how to cook. Worse yet, that I know how to be a professional pastry chef (if you need proof, ...

Rock Star Diary
Darren & Tim baby picture - Nothing makes me happier than finding this picture of Darren, Tim and Darrens brother on Facebook last night. Where did they get those clothes? It's just too...

Exit 55 By Rob "WGCH" AdamS
Ho Ho Ho...or something like that - The goofy things us dads do. Enjoy. Send your own ElfYourself eCards

The Daily Spurgeon
Preach Christ, and see dead bones live - But still, the main thing which we have to preach about is Christ. Depend upon it, dear brethren, the best sermons which we ever preach are those which a...

Greenwich News
Connecticut Family Reaches $2.3M Settlement in Drunken Driving Case - The estate of a Greenwich, Connecticut teenager killed in a drunken driving accident in 2005 has been awarded $2.3 million in a settlement reached in Sup...

The New And Improved "For What It's Worth" (Wordpress Edition)
I wasn’t from Dubai, so I remained silent… - Now Canadian real estate’s in the tank, too. November was not a good month for greater Toronto’s real estate market, as sales dropped by half over the prev...

Greenwich Forum
Ham Ave. is far from a textbook project - Greenwich Time - 1 Comment, last updated on Thursday Dec 4 by Ham Ave

The Perrot Memorial Library Blog
New York Times Notables Lists - The *New York Times'*... - 10 Best Books of 2008 - 100 Notable Books of 2008 - Notable Children's Books of 2008

Tribune Company's Greenwich News Feed
W&M gets $6 million for career center - Sherman Cohen, a Manhattan real estate developer who attended the College of William & Mary in 1938, has committed $6 million to build a new career center ...


Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

12/04/08 READER SUBMITTED COMMENTS: Dan the man rhymes

Greenwich Roundup,

How can you doubt MAYOR DAN MALLOY reading poetry in Greenwich? This is something so bizzare, no one would make it up.

I think Ms. Susie Costaregni dished that out somewhere.....though backtracking through heaps of garbage....I can't seem to find it.

But yes, it is true. MY JOE appears to be bending over for Dan Malloy.....it's like they found a new IDOL to worship.

Now, I was forced to look at John Ferris Robben's NEWS WITH NO WORDS....or is it " Photography 101" or is it "HEY DO I HAVE AN EYE FOR PICTURES OR WHAT??" I was forced to look at some of the same old formor columists patting themselves on the back for good deeds....knowing all the right people....and being at the right place at the same time.

You owe me. I NEED TO KNOW THE SAUSAGE MTYSTERY!!!!!!! Was that you making sausage, Brian????? Your muscular arm???Did you save me any?

Does Dan Malloy like sausage?

Gosh.......Look what this blog has done to me !!!!!!!

On the Bell Tower




Was that you making sausage, Brian?????

No it was Greenwich Post Editor Kristen Zimmer.

Your muscular arm???

No once again that was editor Zimmer popping out press releases after press release after press release.

Did you save me any?

Don't worry Ms. Zimmer publishes tons of press releases every day.

As far as Dan Malloy coming to Greenwich or planning to come to Greenwich I can't seem to find anything.

I tried to find out Dan Malloy's trip to come to Greenwich and read poetry, but I could not find any reference to it. It seems that no one is covering the Governor Wanna Be's Frequent Trips Into Greenwich To Gain Support And Exposure.

I did several Google searches and came up with nothing.

I went and took a quick look at Our Greenwich and somehow over looked it.

Which Ex-Greenwich Time reporter wrote about Dan Malloy coming to Greenwich?

Please send me a link to the story, because Ex-Greenwich Time Editor Joe Pisani's hot new blog called our Greenwich has a very low traffic and search engine page rank.

I would have looked around Our Greenwich more Yesterday, but I was very tired and busy. I was at the District 4 Byram RTM Meeting and had to work the night before.

I met a lady who had a great deal of information about some things going on in Greenwich for a long breakfast in Greenwich.

Then I had to give a demolition contractor access to a site in White Plains and get a roofing crew on top of a block of stores.

After that I had to get a squirt out of another place before finally getting to come home just after it started raining and slept like a bear.

I have an inbox loaded with emails to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com and will try to get to them later today or tnight. answer

12/04/08 Byram Republican Trying To Force Developers Sons Off The Representative Town Meeting (RTM)



Town Clerk Carmella C. Budkins

Is Once Again Involved In Another Shady Special Election Scheme

That Would Give Potential RTM Canidates

Less Than 100 Hours To Run For Vacant Legislative Seats.

Byram District 4 RTM Chairman Robert J. McKnight Jr., a retired landscaper has sent emails to James and John Wabba's Champion Development email account asking them to resign thier repective legislative seats.

McKnight claims he has gotten a responce indicating that the sons of the powerful Byram developer will resign from the RTM in disgrace. The Wahba brothers have multiple parcels of land on South Water Street and have built a luxury condo complex on the property.

Just before last nights RTM meeting Robert McKnight dispatched RTM District 4 Vice Chairman and Parks employee Thomas Greco to Town Clerk Carmella C. Budkins office to see if she had posted a last minute notice of a special election in the newspaper, so that McKnight could get two of his buddies on the Representative Town Meeting.

Ms. Budkis told Tom Greco that she was unable to put the last minute legal notice in the newspaper, because the Wabba brothers were standing up against McKnight and insisting on retaining their legislative seats and not sending in their resignations to the town clerk's office.

In fact, Ms. Budkis is well known in Greenwich and the state of Connecticut for these last minute "Wham Bam Thank You M'am" special ellections that are designed to limit full community partisipation in the electorial and legislative process.


In fact, according to town clerk documents, the Wabba brothers were placed on the Byram RTM Board in a McKnight / Budkis "Wham Bam Thank You M'am" so-called special election just last January. Apparently, the Wabba brother had to resign from their legislative seats. The word on the streets of Byram is that there were some election irregularities and the Wabba brothers were quietly told to resign by the Town's Republican party and not to worry because McKnight and Budkis would arrange on of those last minute special elections they are so famous for.

What Greenwich Town Clerk Carmella C. Budkins Fails To Realize Is That She Is Corrupting The Electorial Process With These Quickie Special Elections That Fail To Give Potential Resident A Reasonable Of Notice.

There should be at least one months notice of a RTM special election so that all citizens have an equal chance to partisipate. The game should not be rigged for political insiders on a legislative body that is supposed to be non-political.

However, there may not be a special election in Byram after all.

Apparently, the Wabba brothers have reconsidered resigning from the RTM and are insisting on finishing out the remainder of the legislative term. However, some Byram RTM members privately said that John and James Wabba are little two weak boys that were born with little silver spoons in their mouths and they will eventually obey the ruogh and tough Robert McKnight.

The Wabba brothers should be forewaned that McKnight is hell bent on getting his new "insiders" in the Wabba's RTM seats. For the last two meetings he has had two mystery canidates waiting in the wings and in the RTM audiance in hopes of getting them elected in a quickie "Wham Bam Thank You M'am" special election.

Unfortunately, Republican Chairman McKnight is not giving others in Byram who might like to serve the community a fair chance of learning about and applying to fill the seats that he is trying to force the Wabba Brothers to vacate in shame.

But, the Wabba Brothers just might beat McKnight after all, they have not came to the last couple of meetings and technically are not required to attend any meeting for the rest of their terms. In fact, they can stand up to McKnight's power play and prevent his quickie special election without ever leaving their homes.

Apperently there was a great deal of email traffic between certain Byram RTM members and others about getting the Wabba Brothers to vacate their legislative seats. These emails are now public documents and can be obtained by filing a freedom of information request in Town Clerk Carmella C. Budkins' office. Later, Greenwich Roundup will publish the emails here so that citizens will know the rest of the story about these quicky special election.

Person's involved in producing or receiving these emails should not delete them, as of today unless the wish to liable to face litigation.

In the recent past, the Wabba's father owned land that housed a heating oil company on Water Street that received shipments by water, and that part of Byram, just south of the bridge going into downtown Port Chester, still have a gritty feel to it. At a nearby marina, boats are stacked high, there is a lumber business and there's was an empty lot where the heating oil company used to be.

James Wahba, 29, who, with his brother, John, 25, owns Champion Development in Greenwich claimed to be trying to bring up the value of the Byram neighborhood. But RTM District Chairman McKnight said recently in a public meeting that the Wabba's father had lied to him about sidewalks and public access to the Byram waterfront.

Chairman McKight mocked the Wabba's recent plans for a building that would house a bank and a pharmacy, that he claimed would be a CVS. According to RTM Chairman McKnight both the bank and CVS would each have a drive in windows making an "unsafe" and ridiculous traffic situation".

McKnight also said the Wabba's hotel proposal has been severly cut back and is all but dead on the Byram waterfront.

Robert McKnight and other Byram legislators openedly joked about the what he called "the overpriced" Greenwich Landing Project saying that no one has even bought one unit to date. One Byram legislator said there was a big "In Contract" sign in a couple of the units windows, to which McKnight shot back, "Yeah, that means they got no money and can't get a loan."

This caused the temporary RTM meeting room in the Western Junior Middle School to break out in laughter at John and James Wabba.

Both Wabba brothers grew up in Byram and claim that they are trying to put in top-notch quality project in Byram and really bring it up to the state of the rest of Greenwich.

McKnight has been very critical of Diane Fox the town planner in the past.

He has been especially perturbed that the town has hired Crosby Schlessinger Smallridge L.L.C. of Boston, a landscape architecture, planning and design consultancy , to study options and costs of various ideas for improving the public infrastructure in Byram, including sidewalks, vest-pocket parks, new parking, speed bumps and even burying utility lines for some of the blocks in the downtown area in order to make it more attractive to shoppers.

The Byram RTM Chairman has repeatedly claimed in public meetings that there work has been substandard and grossly incomplete and he has blamed Ms. Fox who he claims has a conflict of interest.


Many Byram residents are starting to say that Byram Republican Robert McKnight's big fat mouth often chases developers and philanthropists away from Byram as he has opined and made remaks about the financial viability of Greenwich selectwoman Lin Lavery's private public partnership to build a new public pool in Byram.


Byram residents are begining to grumble that the 240-acre community in the southwest corner of town and sits across the Byram River from Port Chester, has gotten progressively worse and worse since McKnight took over the reigns of the District 4 RTM.

In fact, the little village has been a horriffic tail spin of drugs, gangs, graffitti and violence as Mcknight and other ineffective leaders like Michael Bocchino, the chairman of the Byram Neighborhood Association have failed to move Byram forward.



Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

12/04/08 Greenwich Time News Links (updated)

Greenwich High School students Amy Hansen and Kelli McCabe work on thank you notes for special forces servicemen in Iraq at the Red Cross offices Monday evening.
(David Ames/For Greenwich Time)

Greenwich High School senior Melody Kim organizes school dances to raise money for impoverished children in Darfur.

Her classmate, Isabelle Goossens, trains on weekends to become a certified emergency medical technician.

Other students volunteer at soup kitchens, hospitals and seniors centers, while still more set their sights farther afield, rebuilding homes in New Orleans, teaching English in India, or going on service-learning trips in Haiti, Colombia and France.

Students are often encouraged to document these experiences in college applications and admissions essays as a way to put their best foot forward and stand out from their peers. However, while pressure to participate in community service grows stronger for this very .......

Regis Philbin's insurer pays for damage to police car

Regis Philbin's insurance company will be shelling out $2,700 for a recent accident in which the celebrity backed into a police car after attending a party and dining on Greenwich Avenue, according to the town's Fleet Department.

The police car was out of service for nearly two weeks after the Nov. 12 accident as the town's Fleet Department worked to repair the minor damage on the vehicle.
"The vehicle has been repaired and is already back in service," said Jeff Wash, fleet operations assistant for the town.

Philbin discussed the accident on his television show, "Live with Regis and Kelly," the morning after, telling the audience how embarrassed he felt after bumping into the police vehicle.
"I smacked right into a police car," .....

By Debra Friedman

Staff Writer

The Juvenile Review Board pilot program is up and running, allowing first-time juvenile offenders in Greenwich an alternative to the court system.

"It is playing out really well," said police Sgt. James Marr.

Marr is a co-chairman and creator of the board along with Jenny Byxbee, youth coordinator at the United Way of Greenwich. The program is intended for first time offenders under the age of 16 who have committed misdemeanor crimes such as shoplifting or trespassing and want the chance to avoid criminal charges.

The board, composed of 20 people from community groups, had their first session in early November.

"We all left the first session thinking, wow, we can really make a difference with this program," said Byxbee. "I think the families were very receptive."

The first session involved the case of a 14-year-old boy who was caught trespassing with older teenagers who were in possession of drug paraphernalia, according to Marr.

Marr said the boy's mother elected to go through the program.

"He had to explain what happened and give his side of the story. He was put in the hot seat," said Marr. "He got a contract and has to write letters of apology, keep his grades up and do volunteer work."

During each session, a juvenile goes before a panel of five people from the board who determine their action plan, or contract, which details their alternative punishment.

"Every action plan is different and community service is a main component," saud Byxbee. "We also want to make sure that the punishment fits the crime." If a youthful offender successfully completes the alternative punishment, the charges are dismissed, Marr said. If they do not, their case goes back to court. .....

School officials are moving forward with plans to re-open Hamilton Avenue School early next month, on the assumption that the necessary approvals for occupancy will be secured.

STAMFORD - Isaiah Walden-Butler likes football and basketball, watching professional wrestling on television and playing video games. Full Story

To give or not to give - Answer: Give
All families are feeling the effects of the current economic crunch. For those scraping to make ends meet before, conditions have only worsened.
STAMFORD - At a time of unprecedented upheaval in the financial markets, the city must come up with a strategy to finance $40 million in infrastructure improvements.

State: Close Wright Tech for 2 years
STAMFORD - Even as it seemed poised for a turnaround, J.M. Wright Technical School again has a precarious future as the state Board of Education voted Wednesday to recommend closing it for two years.
Full Story

Greenwich Academy hockey blanks Kingswood
Greenwich Academy hockey coach Moe Tarrant classified Wednesday's 3-0 season-opening win against Kingswood-Oxford School as 'a B game.

Sleeping Beauty on ice
The idea to bring "Sleeping Beauty on Ice" to Stamford started as both a lofty dream and a necessity to Maria Schlover, founder and president of Maestro Artist Management, a Stamford-based touring and promotion company.

Historic company moves to area
A private equity firm that traces its roots back to Thomas Edison and his invention of incandescent lighting has moved its headquarters from New York City to 1700 E. Putnam Ave., in Greenwich, joining a growing list of financial services firms in the region.

Formerly located at 535 Madison Ave., in New York City, Spencer Trask & Co., is has signed a long-term sublease for a 17,350-square-foot space, previously occupied by Valero, a San Antonio, Tex.-based oil company,

The space is more than eight times the size of the 2,000 square feet occupied by the company's 40 employees at its former offices. The business relocated three weeks ago to capitalize on the area's concentration of finance professionals, said William Clifford, chief executive officer of the firm, whose founder, Spencer Trask, financed Thomas Edison's invention of the light bulb.

"This is the Silicon Valley of the financial services industry," he said. "It seems like the locus of private equity, hedge funds and financial management. We think this would be a great way to attract the people we need."

The Greenwich location is also "ultra high-tech," compared with the Manhattan office, where the firm has been located since 1991, Clifford said.

"We're going to be able to demonstrate to our investors that we're in lock step with them," said Clifford, whose company has been a major investor in businesses involved in stem cell and human genome research, AIDS vaccine, fiber optics and medical

The news from Hartford keeps getting worse. As the state deficit grows, officials are running out of ways to keep pace without making debilitating cuts.
State Comptroller Nancy Wyman on Monday said the state's projected operating deficit has dramatically increased in the last month due to sharply declining tax revenues. She said the problem calls for another special session of the legislature. But with the year nearly over, that prospect is unlikely.

If a special session doesn't happen, that puts even more pressure on the start of the regular session on Jan. 7. Gov. M. Jodi Rell said Monday that she will put together a new deficit-reduction plan, and Democratic leaders will also need to examine every option for addressing the growing gaps between revenue and spending plans.

Ms. Rell and other governors have stated their case to President-elect Barack Obama, which in part involves federal funding for public works projects. Mr. Obama has expressed a desire to help, and has indicated that he wants to see an economic stimulus package on his desk shortly after his Jan. 20 inauguration. But the federal government has needs of its own. To count on substantial help from above to help balance Connecticut's budget may not make much sense.

A stimulus plan would be helpful, but there is much more the state legislature will need to tackle. As the economy worsens and consumer spending fails to hit expected levels, tax .....Blah .....Blah ...... Blah ...... Blah ...... Blah ...... Blah ......

To the editor:

Before the election, I felt like a wolf in the wilderness. Many of my Greenwich neighbors and even a few of my friends looked askance as I persisted in bemoaning the atrocities of the Bush administration.

While the election results were not a total surprise, they certainly were a tremendous relief. The voting majority had clearly perceived a contrast between George W. Bush's uncritical support for whatever the upper crust of our military-industrial complex thought would add to its power and profits, versus Barack Obama's analytical intelligence and dedication to the general welfare.

How misguided the Bush administration has been! The consequence of its selfish, short-sighted policies has hit us before GWB is even out of office. And the news gets worse by the day. We will be lucky if we aren't in for a long, deep, worldwide recession.

The only good news I see is that our president-elect is fully aware of the situation and its urgency, and is already taking steps to deal with it by appointing outstanding staff to work with him on our problems. Also, he is making his moves totally transparent to the public because he knows that transparency is vital if the public's trust in our national economy is to be restored.

What can we, the public, do to help? Live economically, save what money you can, follow a healthy lifestyle, think green, be patient. Urge your representatives in Congress to support our new president's policies as long as his national plans are helping the needy and his international strategies are developed in cooperation with leaders throughout the world.

We can help the world, and we need the world's help.

David Emery


Please send your comments to GreenwuchRoundup@gmail.com

12/04/08 Greenwich Post News Links

At right, Greenwich High School band members Palmer Foote and Leah Tagliarino kept perfect time during Thursday morning’s Thanksgiving football match-up between the Cardinals and Staples High School of Westport. Those who did come out for the game watched a blowout match with Greenwich beating Staples 27-0. — David Ames photo

Citing current economic conditions and a lack of progress, the Greenwich Center for the Arts (GCA) announced this week it was winding down nearly five years of efforts to renovate the Havemeyer Building into an arts center.

For about 8,000 to 10,000 Greenwich residents, now is the time to save some money or confirm that what you already have is good enough.

With completion seemingly more in sight than ever, the Board of Education is proceeding as though the new Hamilton Avenue School will be ready for students to enter on Jan. 5.

Though issues still have to be resolved and a temporary certificate of occupancy (TCO) has not yet been granted by the town’s building department, Board of Education Chairwoman Nancy Weissler said Wednesday morning that steps, including environmental testing, will go forward on the assumption the building will be ready. Building Committee Chairman Frank Mazza said the committee could seek a TCO this week, and even if it wasn’t granted this week, it likely could be soon after.

“We’re very close,” Mr. Mazza said at the meeting.

Originally Ms. Weissler had set a “drop dead date” of Dec. 5 to have a TCO because the board would need a month to get the building ready for occupancy and school resumes after the holiday break on Jan. 5. If the building wasn’t going to be ready by then, the board had been prepared to wait until April to make the move, but despite Mr. Mazza saying that the TCO would “probably not” be granted by Friday, Ms. Weissler said enough progress had been made to proceed.

“We’re assuming, based on what we heard today, that if we don’t have it by Friday, we will have it shortly thereafter,” Ms. Weissler told the Post after the meeting. “That will allow us to get the kids in over the Christmas break.”

The oft-delayed construction is more than two years behind schedule, and there have been many moments when a TCO seemed to be within the committee’s grasp before another issue emerged. But committee members were optimistic Wednesday morning that the project could finally be coming to an end.

“We feel more comfortable now than we’ve ever been,” committee member Syl Pecora said as the committee reviewed outstanding issues related to occupancy of the building at a meeting Tuesday afternoon between the architect, contractor and project manager.

The main issue remains air flow testing in the building, to be sure the right amount of air is getting to all the rooms. According to PinnacleOne, which serves as the project manager, exhaust fans for the bathrooms on the first floor adjacent to the administrative offices and on the second floor are not meeting the minimum requirements for ventilation. However, the project architect, Swanke Hayden Connel, believes that simply changing the ventilation grills will fix that problem because there is adequate air flow in the ducts. That work was scheduled to be done yesterday, and Mr. Mazza said he believed it could be resolved this week......

......Mr. Mazza and committee member Thomas Heagney have been meeting regularly with the town Building Department to resolve the outstanding issues. Mr. Heagney said at the meeting that if the TCO wasn’t granted by Friday, the committee could at least get a short list of what still has to be resolved to get it, so action may be taken quickly.

Cracks in the garage and an ineffective garage fan are also still unresolved, but are not thought to be obstacles to a TCO. It may result in teachers having to park off site temporarily, since the lower level of the parking garage might not be ready, but several nearby solutions, including using the field, an unoccupied lot controlled by Greenwich Hospital and nearby St. Roch’s Church, were all suggested as possible options.

“We’ll figure out a way to make it work,” Assistant Superintendent of Schools Susan Wallerstein said at the meeting, adding that the district would just need adequate time and notice to get an alternate parking plan in place......

Written by Ken Borsuk, Staff Reporter

Concerns about equal funding for all schools at a time of tightening budgets could result in cuts to the magnet program at Hamilton Avenue School.

Board of Education member Marianna Ponns Cohen indicated at Tuesday’s board budget meeting that she would be requesting a cut in the school’s Suzuki music program so the money could be used elsewhere in the district. Board members also questioned the need for Hamilton Avenue students to continue offering ice skating at the Dorothy Hamill Rink and swimming at the Boys & Girls Club once the new building is complete. Cuts could be proposed at the board’s Dec. 11 meeting.

The 2009-10 school budget is currently proposed at $127 million. Current economic conditions have resulted in a call for belt tightening and for First Selectman Peter Tesei to ask for 10% reductions in non-salary accounts for all town departments. The board’s budget is within Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET) guidelines.

Hamilton Avenue School will have a Vanguard magnet program including such features as Suzuki music and a theater program to try to attract students from outside the Hamilton Avenue neighborhood to attend the school. Ms. Ponns Cohen said she worried the magnet programs were “too rich” and “... the rest of the district’s children were suffering as a consequence.”

“We have a set pool of resources, and we need to understand very clearly that by giving to A, what are we taking away from B,” Ms. Ponns Cohen said. “Based on what I have seen over the past year in terms of the academic performance across the district, we need to put our money in programs like reading and math. Programs like these [Suzuki music and theater] are a luxury.”

No price tags were attached to the features in the magnet program, and board members asked district staff for clarification on that before the Dec. 11 meeting.....

.....The board’s discussion came after a short public hearing about the budget, when the plan to have staff members cut again came under fire.

Calls to restore school social workers and high school guidance counselors to the budget were heard, as was the concern from parent Anna Saras that when it comes to money, not all the schools in the district were being treated equally. She said that because of the economic downturn, resources had to be distributed on a “need to have” and not a “would like to have” basis.

Ms. Saras has been a critic of the creation of new district magnet schools, which try to draw students from all over town, saying they receive preferential treatment over traditional neighborhood schools. She said her analysis of the budget showed there were, again, instances of inequality.

“Certain schools are funded and operated like boutiques, and others are stretching their dollars to try and offer supplemental programs to their student body,” Ms. Saras said.

“Many times they are not able to do so effectively. Many students do not receive the resources they need to succeed and must do so with the best they have. The consequences of inequitable funding have been evidenced by recent disappointing test scores and the results of the Harris Survey.”

The Harris Survey recently showed decreased satisfaction with schools among parents, teachers and students.

The Dec. 11 budget meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. at Cos Cob School, will include a public hearing, and any proposed budget changes will be discussed. The board is tentatively set to vote on the budget Dec. 18.

The planned expansion of Whitby School on Lake Avenue is on hold, pending approval by the town’s fire marshal, who the school’s attorney, Bruce Cohen, said is looking to add sprinklers to the proposal.
The following are Dec. 4’s released arrests:


Edward Denson, 42, of Stamford was arrested Dec. 2 and charged with second degree failure to appear. Denson had been taken into custody by Stamford police who then turned him over to Greenwich on the outstanding warrant. Denson had allegedly failed to appear in court Nov. 21 for misuse of plates, driving while under suspension, operating an unregistered motor vehicle and not having any insurance. Denson was released on a $500 surety bond and is due in court Dec. 10.


Nicholas Blatsiotis, 43, of 389 Farms Road was arrested Dec. 3 and charged with evading responsibility. Police investigated an accident in which the driver reportedly fled once he learned police were being called. Witness descriptions allowed police to track the license plate number, which led the police to Blatsiotis. He eventually turned himself in at the suggestion of his attorney. Blatsiotis was also cited for unsafe backing. He was released on a $1,000 cash bond and is due in court Dec. 10.


Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

12/04/08 ONS\Orthopaedic and Neurosurgery Specialists PC of Greenwich are celebrating its 10th year.


The firm was founded by Drs. Seth Miller, John Crowe and Mark Camel, who were former colleagues at Greenwich Hospital.

ONS has 18 physicians including four neurosurgeons, 11 orthopaedic surgeons and three no-surgical doctors. The physicians include specialists in the spine, shoulder, upper extremity, hand and wrist, hip and knee, and foot and ankle, as well as joint replacement, physiatry, sports medicine and trauma.

ONS, located at 6 Greenwich Office Park, has a satellite office in Tully Health Center in Stamford.
Please send your press releases and photos to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

The Raw Greenwich Blog And RSS Feed - Bloggers Who Are From, Work In Or Used To Live In Greenwich