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Thursday, December 18, 2008

12/18/08 Go Get The Sleds In The Attic - No School On Friday

Breaking news

Posted 9:21 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, 2008

Convent of the Sacred Heart, Greenwich Academy and Brunswick School school will be closed tomorrow due to pending snow. For more information, click on the schools' Web sites.


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12/18/09 BERNIE'S BRAVADO: He Tried To Get Even More Money Out Of Greenwich Resident Walter Noel's Fairfield Greenwich Fund (Updated - Corrected)

Why Isn't Walter "Feeder Fund" Noel Under Arrest ?

Greenwich Resident Walter Noel Was Helping Bernard Madoff Attract New Suckers Until The Bitter End.

Walter Noel Was Telling Fairfield Greenwich Investors That They Would Be Shut Out Of Madoff Funds In The Future If They Opted To Withdraw From His Existing Funds

Noel Even Told Fairfield Greenwich Investors If They Took A Pass On Participating In Madoffs New Funds Being Set Up To Extend His Ponzie Scheme

New York Post, NY
In a desperate bid to keep his sinking business afloat, disgraced Wall Street big Bernard Madoff demanded that friends and investors pump even more funds into his failing firm right up until the feds put the cuffs on him, The Post has learned.
Sources said that leading up to his shocking arrest on fraud charges, Madoff hit up good friend and business partner Robert Jaffe. He also asked for help from garmento Carl Shapiro, the first person to invest in Madoff's business and who's Jaffe's father-in-law.
Madoff's desperate, last-minute pleas for more money also extended to his hedge-fund investment partners, including Walter Noel's hedge-fund firm Fairfield Greenwich, a major Madoff promoter, sources told The Post.
Carey O'Donnell, a spokeswoman for the Jaffe-Shapiro family, was unable to confirm the amounts invested, but confirmed with The Post that the family "made an additional, significant investment" in recent weeks with Madoff's firm.
Madoff last Thursday was arrested after allegedly making the brazen confession that his investment-management business was a giant Ponzi scheme, triggering billions in losses. He is currently under house arrest.

In addition to being Madoff's buddy, Jaffe also was a promoter for Madoff, and was known in some circles as "the Recruiter" as part of his job running Cohmad Securities, a firm whose sole purpose was to market Madoff's investments.
It's unclear how much Jaffe and his wife, Ellen Shapiro Jaffe, invested with Madoff, but he's already under fire for his personal ties to the rogue investor.

According to some reports, Nine West founder Jerome Fisher, who is said to have lost $150 million as a result of Madoff's alleged misdeeds, exchanged heated words with Jaffe at a black-tie birthday party Saturday.

Meanwhile, the 95-year-old Shapiro has been reported to be among the biggest losers in the Madoff scandal given he has $400 million invested with Madoff, as well as $145 with his charitable foundation.

Madoff was also working with Fairfield Greenwich and other hedge-fund firms to raise money for a new batch of funds to attract more investors.
The new funds promised returns in the ballpark of 16 percent - higher than the existing Madoff funds - because they used more leverage than the 3-to-1 ratios that Madoff used in existing funds, one source said, adding that the plan was in the works as recently as Dec. 11 - the day Madoff was taken into custody by authorities.

One potential investor told The Post that Fairfield was telling investors on behalf of Madoff that they would be shut out of Madoff products in the future if they opted to withdraw from his existing funds or took a pass on participating in the new funds being set up.
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12/18/08 Will The Lawyers Becoming After Greenwich Residents That Got Out Of Madoffs Ponzie Scheme Early? (Updated - Corrected)


New York Post, NY

IF you think the Bernie Ma doff scandal is messy, just wait. Pretty soon Madoff's victims could be suing each other

New York attorney Barry Slotnick tells me that he soon expects to be representing 20 clients of Madoff, who allegedly admitted to running an elaborate, $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

And Slotnick anticipates filing lawsuits against other investment firms, lucky clients of Madoff who already got their money back, as well as Madoff himself.

Going after Madoff, of course, could be futile if he doesn't have enough money to cover the damages.

And it's not likely that the evildoer has anywhere near that sort of scratch.

"It's worse than sad," said Slotnick. "It's astounding."

One of his clients, the lawyer claims, lost $500 million in the con.

"There are some very rich people last week who are [now] very, very poor," he said.
OK, that much has been adequately documented already.

But Slotnick's contention that other investment firms (and maybe even the US government) were to blame makes the situation even more interesting.

Maybe TARP money can cover these losses, too!

Slotnick, whose firm is Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, wouldn't give away his strategy, but he did indicate that the usual class-action route might be followed as well as going after customers of Madoff who received "preferential treatment."


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12/18/08 Peter Dunay Reports From North Street School

North Street School Chorus singing
"Snow begins to Fall"

North Street School Chorus singing


12/18/08 REAL ESTATE NEWS: Dealbreaker Has A Little Fun With Steve Cohen Of SAC Capital In Stamford And Valery "26 Toilets" Kogan Of Greenwich

How About A Potty Shaped House?

Valery Kogan May Resubmit Revised Mansion Plans To

The Greenwich Panning And Zoning Board


Are you working out of 72 Cummings Point Road? If you answered yes, do not order lunch today because there will be celebratory sheet cakes at noon on the house. What's there to celebrate, you ask? I know it might seem like nothing, what with the money, yours and investors', walking out the building, but au contraire my little she-males. There is MUCH to pump fists, bump bitch tits, and gorge yourselves on flour and water slathered in sickeningly sweet frosting over.

First: after over a month of struggle and adversity, the big guy has finally, finally been granted permission to add 1,145 square feet to his 35,000 square foot home which, I'm sorry, assholes, were previously attempting to begrudge him. At a town meeting earlier this week, the Planning and Zoning Commission voted 5-0 in favor of Big Daddy SC's application for the special permit. Though early accounts rumored that the extra space would go toward a room devoted exclusively to the playing of Candyland, the Times's Peter Applebome hears the addition will afford Stevie extra room for "more storage, a garden room, a breakfast room, and an expansion of the "his" dressing room." Once the double-decker Sub-Z's and extra George Foremans are installed, you will all be invited for a tour and BBQ.

Second, and way more importantly: it's looking like papa bear will not be out-toileted afterall. At the same town meeting, the Kogan family, they of "we want 26 toilets in our Greenwich, CT home" fame, seem to have cut off at the knees.
Greenwich Time
Board delays vote on second estate

Town billionaires: Think modest.
That was the message the Planning and Zoning Commission sent this week, approving investment magnate Steven Cohen's application for a mere 500-square-foot addition to his 35,000-square-foot home at 30 Crown Lane, while postponing a vote on Russian airline tycoon Valery Kogan's plans to build a 21,000-square-foot home on his seven-acre property at 18 Simmons Lane.
While Cohen's initial application for an expansion attracted national press, its review by the commission on Tuesday passed with nary a pointed finger.

"Does anyone have any questions?" Chairman Donald Heller asked after a short presentation from Cohen's attorney detailing plans for a new "his" dressing area.

After a short period of silence, Heller closed the application, which the commission later approved with similar expediency.
Olga Kogan, wife of Valery Kogan, was not so lucky. Despite a presentation from architect-to-the-affluent Richard Granoff detailing the care a construction team would show in building the mansion, to include Turkish and Finnish baths, servants' quarters, an indoor swimming pool and 15 toilets, a decision on the application was postponed until Jan. 20.

The commission wants more information on the traffic impact of the proposed 18-month construction period on narrow Simmons Lane. Despite their offer to hire a full-time police officer to direct traffic during that time, the Kogans have not put forth a worst-case-scenario estimate of truck trips per day down the lane.

The only available figure, Granoff said, is more than 300 truck trips to bring in fill to submerge the basement of the mansion not included in its square footage.
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12/18/08 PIVEN'S FISH TALE: Greenwich Doctor Carlon Colker Explains Jeremy Piven Mysterious Fatigue

Jeremy Piven

Jeremy Piven Stricken by Toxins from Sushi, Chinese Herbs


By Alexis Chiu

Jeremy Piven suffered "shocking levels" of mercury in his system from eating too much sushi and Chinese herbs, forcing him to leave the Broadway play Speed-the-Plow, his doctor tells PEOPLE. "

I pulled Jeremy from the show," says Dr. Carlon Colker. "I'm an unpopular character right now."
Responding to skepticism over the decision to leave the play – playwright David Mamet joked that Piven was leaving show business to "pursue a career as a thermometer" – the doctor says the decision was purely medical, and one that Piven, 43, initially resisted. "

He's disappointed that I had to pull the plug," says Colker. "But I think he's hurt more by the comments that he's not trying or that he walked away. He's been working straight for 30 years. He doesn't walk away; I tore him away from it."

Colker, an internist and attending physician at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City and Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut, says Piven initially came to him after the show's run began in late October, complaining of severe fatigue. "

This was very, very unusual for him," says Colker, who is also CEO and medical director of Peak Wellness in Greenwich, Conn., with another facility in Beverly Hills. "He's known as the iron horse – he's been working nonstop for 30 years, and he works 17-hour days."

After a battery of tests failed to reveal what was ailing the three-time Emmy winner, Colker checked his "heavy metals" and was "absolutely stunned" to find mercury at a level "almost six times the upper limit of normal and allowable," says the doctor. "It's the highest level I've ever seen."

Colker attributes the high mercury count to Piven's habit of eating sushi, often twice a day, compounded by certain Chinese herbs he was taking "for general health." Piven was ordered to put a moratorium on the fish and the herbs, and his doctor sent a letter on Dec. 10 revealing the health problem to the Speed-the-Plow production staff.

While Piven decided to continue with the show, his symptoms did not abate – and after a spell of dizziness led to a three-day hospitalization, Colker says he decided to put the curtain down on Piven's Broadway run. The actor will be replaced by Norbert Leo Butz and William H. Macy.

"It is very serious. Mercury can kill – it can absolutely cause cardiac arrest, kidney failure, even psychiatric problems," says Colker, who was first interviewed by Entertainment Tonight. "He is going to be OK. This is completely reversible," adds Colker, who believes Piven will be "rockin' and rollin' and ready to be his old self for Entourage" by March. He just needs to really lay low and rest."

This "Sick Sushi" Story Is From A Wacky Greenwich Doctor Who Is Part Of Priven's Entourage.
Just Wait Till The Party Boy Actor's Producers Discover The Truth About This Controversial Greenwich Doctor.
Soon Doctor Carlton Clocker Sushi Excuse Is Going To Start To Stink Up All Of Those Cable Entertainment Shows.
"Speed The Plow" Investors Will Become Skeptical When They Discover That Greenwich Doctor Carlton Clocker Was The Target Of Lawsuits, In My Hoe State Of Missouri. The Lawsuits Were Over Tests Preformed By The Good Doctor, That Were Intended To Downplay The Dietary Supplement Ephedra.
Ephedra has been used as an herbal remedy in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of asthma and hay fever, as well as for the common cold.
A review of ephedra-related adverse reactions, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2000, found a number of cases of sudden cardiac death or severe disability resulting from ephedra use, many of which occurred in young adults using ephedra in the labeled dosages
Steve Bechler, a pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles, died of complications from heatstroke following a spring training workout on February 17, 2003. The medical examiner found that ephedra toxicity played a "significant role" in Bechler's sudden death
Escalating concerns regarding the safety of ephedra supplements led the FDA to ban the sale of ephedra-containing supplements in the United States in 2004. This ban was challenged by supplement manufacturers and initially overturned, but ultimately upheld. However, the FDA ban only applies to ephedra-based dietary supplements that contain ephedrine alkaloids.
Clocker Was Also Taken To Court In West Virginia And Illinois.
If Someone Was Truly Suffering From A Massive Dose If Mercury Poisoning Wouldn't They Be In Greenwich Hospital Instead Of Colker's "Wellness Center" Taking Herbal Remedies.
Earlier There Were Reports That Priven Had Taken The Unusual Step Of Trying To Find A Replacement To Get Him Out Of His Contractual obligations To "Speed The Plow" Producers And Investors. When That Failed He Apparently Went And Found The "Wacky" Doctor Of Greenwich.

Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

12/18/08 The Raw Greenwich Blog And RSS Feed For Thursday

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

Greenwich Diva
Former Lehman Brothers salesmen Matthew Devlin and Frederick Bowers charged with insider trading - Dec. 18 (Bloomberg) — A former Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. salesman passed secret tips from his wife, who worked at public-relations firm Brunswick Group...

EDDIE "Greenwich Native" ROSS
Hostess Mostess - Gourmet foods like good cheese, beautiful olives and specialty teas make great hostess gifts, especially when you pair them with inexpensive finds from the f...

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter
Rielle Hunter, Now a Jersey Girl [yeah, South Orange] - Times are tough all over, even for John Edwards's former mistress Rielle Hunter. The NATIONAL ENQUIRER reports today that Hunter is now a Jersey Girl. She's ...

The Blonde Excuse
Elf Yourself - Cathy just sent me THIS, it's a really hilarious video of a bunch of our friends dancing as elves. Definitely worth watching....

Rock Star Diary
El Cholo - I went to La La land over the weekend. On Friday night we had dinner at El Cholo's, since 1923 some pretty damn good Mexican food. I used to be a big fan of ...

The Daily Spurgeon By Pastor Nick Of Harvest Time Church In Greenwich
The folly of the backslider - Is it not a gross mistake to attach so much importance to this poor body of clay, and forget the priceless jewel of the immortal soul? Why think so much ...

Cos Cob Blogger Iggy Makarevich At High Strangeness
Duck, You Sucker... - A big round of applause for Mr. Muntadar al-Zeidi.I am appalled that his fellow countrymen beat him up, and badly. Doesn't make sense to me.I do fully agree ...

Exit 55 By Rob "WGCH" Adams - The Sports Voice Of Greenwich
Solved! - Looks like John Walsh has found his most wanted after all these years. Good for him and his family. Now if they could solve the Etan Patz case. I'm not ...

The New And Improved "For What It's Worth" (Wordpress Edition)
Here’s a poser - 5 Meadow Wood Drive is a relatively new renovation on a back lot in Belle Haven. Unfortunately for its developer, that back lot backs all the way up to ...
Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

12/18/08 Victims Of Greenwich Resident And Bernie Madoff Middle Man Walter Noel Are Contacting High Powered Lawyers.

The lawyers are beginning to circle around Walter Feeder Fund Noel

You Wont Read This In Hearst Media's Greenwich Time

Victims Of Bernie Madoff's 50 Million Dollar Fraud Have Another Target For Their Anger Greenwich Resident Walter Noel.

Financial Insiders Are Doubting That Madoff Insider Walter "Feeder Fund" Noel Did Not Know That The SEC Had Investigated "Credible And Specific Allegations".
Some Angry Fraud Victims Are Speculating That The SEC Investigators Had Contact With Walter "Feeder Fund" Noel About Madoff.

With Wall Street Icon Bernard Madoff facing possible prison time and and his empire of fraud in ruins, lawyers for duped investors are looking at the so-called feeder funds such as Walter Noel's Greenwich Fairfeild group, which steered it's client's cash to Madoff's closed investment fund.

The victims of Madoff's scheme are prepping to flood the courts with a wave of lawsuits against local investment firm Greenwich Fairfield and Walter "Feeder Fund" Noel. in a desperate effort to recoup their massive hedge fund losses.

For the record, we must say that Walter "Feeder Fund" Noel claims to be one of Bernie Madoff's victims and plans to defend himself against potential multiple multi-billion dollar lawsuits while seeking redress for himself.

Lawyers say that some investors had entrusted their entire retirement accounts with Greenwich resident Walter "Feeder Fund" Noel. These investors allegedly suffered losses of $500,000 to tens of millions of dollars.

Some victims are telling their lawyers that Walter Noel defrauded them and they were not told that Greenwich Fairfield was just a feeder fund - and that 100% of their investment was being handled by Bernie Madoff, who was a stranger to them.

However, those close to Walter "Feeder Fund" Noel claim that Greenwich Fairfeild investors were given a prospectus that the hedge fund could use third party investors.

Victims Lawyers Say Bernie Madoff Sent
Walter "Feeder Fund" Noel "Dated" Information
One lawyer says performance statements that Wall Street fraud Bernie Madoff 's firm sent to Greenwich Fairfield appear to be riddled with inaccuracies and other suspicious signs that should have raised red flags with Walter "Feeder Fund" Noels.
One major New York newspaper reports that a November of 2008 performance statement sent to Walter "Feeder Fund" Noel reports that Madoff's Fraud Fund bought Apple Computer shares on November 12th for $100.78. This was not possible, because even while allowing for a three day clearing period the stock never traded at $100 per share.
Why didn't Walter Feeder Fund" Noel notice something as glaring as the price of Apple stock?
The article further reports, and victim lawyers confirm, that these type of inaccuracies appear throughout the performance reports month after month. The November statement sent to Walter "Feeder Fund" Noel also says that Citigroup was purchased at $12.50 a share on November the 12th, but New York Stock exchange records show that the stock traded between $9.62 and 10.63 range.
Further, lawyers are saying that the reports sent to Greenwich Fairfield lack details and Walter "Feeder Fund Noel should have demanded more disclosure.
Victim's lawyers want to know why Walter "Feeder Fund" Noel was not dissatisfied on the quality of the reporting on the multi-million dollar investments entrusted to Greenwich Fairfield.
Walter "Feeder Fund Noel is going to have to explain how he accepted such bad and incomplete statements from fraudster Bernie Madoff.
Victim's lawyers say there is very little information in the reports. Forexample, there is virtually no information about any unrealized or realized gains.
Lawyers want to know why did Walter Noel easily accept incomplete statements and reports since he always told his investors that he was a huge supporter of full disclosure?
One lawyer said that the statements received by Greenwich Fairfield appear to be printed with a very outdated impact printer which hasn't been in use since laser printers came on the scene.
This type of printer even pre-dates the old dot matrix printers of the 1990s.
It very odd for Walter "Feeder Fund" Noel to be accepting Billion Dollar statements prepared on this type of antiquated technology.
But the biggest red flag that Walter "Feeder Fund" Noel should have caught was the deficiency in Bernie Madoff's overall investment strategy. Madoff claimed to be getting out sized gains from the bluest of the blue chip stocks.
Any student of Microeconomics 101 will tell you that the largest of the large capitalized stocks move the least, because they have all of the market information factored into them.
Walter "Feeder Fund" Noel knew full well that investing in blue chip stocks is not a strategy that produces above market returns.
This is causing Fairfield Greenwich fraud victims to wonder if Walter "Feeder Fund" Noel was blinded by greed or in on the massive
Madoff Ponzie Scheme.

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - GhostwriterMadoff - The Musical: "I'm so special" - No question the Bernard Madoff Caper is going to become a musical. The theme song for how so many at such high levels were conned will be: "I'm so special." ...

The New And Improved "For What It's Worth" (Wordpress Edition)One more odd Bernie Madoff story - From the 1992 Wall Street Journal, an article on a mystery money manager who was somehow beating the Street. That would be Bernard Madoff, of course. Update...

Tribune Company's Greenwich News FeedSwiss bank says it has $48M of client assets invested with US financier accused of fraud - GENEVA (AP) — A private Swiss bank says it has 56 million Swiss francs ($47.5 million) of client assets invested under the management of U.S. financier ...
Bernard “Bernie” Madoff arrested and charged with securities fraud- ponzi scheme - Dec. 11 (Bloomberg) — Bernard Madoff, president of Bernard Madoff Investment Securities, a market maker for hedge funds and banks, was charged with ......

Did Bernard Madoff act alone? Investors doubt it - NEW YORK - Bernard Madoff's contention that he pulled off one of the biggest financial frauds in history without any help is being met with disbelief by his investors and experts in the securities industry.
It normally takes a team of accountants, stock brokers, lawyers and more to operate the kind of multibillion-dollar investment fund that Madoff ran from the 17th floor of his Park Avenue headquarters. .....
....."Someone had to create them. Someone had to create the appearance that there were returns," said attorney Harry Susman, who represents several Madoff investors.
"The guy was 70 years old. Could he have done it himself? The computer systems would have needed to be extensive. Supposedly, he's selling puts, buying puts, selling calls, buying stocks. Somebody had to sit there and buy stocks. Where are these people?"
Federal investigators are still in the early stages of trying to answer those same questions as they decipher Madoff's operation. Already, they have discovered multiple sets of books and what appear to be fraudulent documents in his Manhattan offices, raising the question of who prepared them. It may take time before they can say whether he had accomplices.
Investigators have started serving grand jury subpoenas requiring witnesses to testify and seeking documents, according to an official familiar with the case. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, declined to identify who was served or specify what documents were wanted.
The investigation has been unfolding in a 17th-floor office in midtown Manhattan that was once Madoff's sanctuary but is now the site of a non-stop hunt for incriminating documents. The investigation is being led by the FBI and Securities and Exchange Commission _ agencies already challenged with unearthing other financial scandals since the Wall Street meltdown.......
.....Investigators were also expected to look at the potential involvement of several Madoff relatives who worked for his firm, including his brother, two sons and other relatives who worked for his various business entities. His wife has also come under scrutiny.
To date, however, they also have not been formally accused of any wrongdoing.
The law firm representing Bernard Madoff's sons, Andrew and Marc, released a statement saying they first learned of the fraud just days ago, when their father tearfully confessed, and immediately turned him in. The two are said to have worked predominantly in another division of their father's company, not in the secretive unit that handled investor money. ....
....Much of the recruiting of new investors to his funds was done informally, by friends, or through a group of large, independently managed feeder funds, who also took most of the management fees for handling the investments. They included the Fairfield Greenwich Group, which put all $7.3 billion of its Fairfield Sentry Fund in Madoff's hands.
It was unclear whether authorities were looking to see whether any of those funds, whose investors have emerged as some of Madoff's largest victims, may have been complicit in the scheme. Each has claimed no knowledge that anything was amiss. .....
....."He was still doing it the way you did it in the 1960s, with a paper ticket," said Suzanne Murphy, a hedge fund consultant who had examined Madoff's business two years ago before deciding not to invest in it.
"In most hedge funds, you have many partners in deals, but he was doing everything in a self-contained way," said Jake Walthour, head of advisory services for the due diligence firm Aksia LLC, which also examined Madoff's operation and decided something was wrong......

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12/18/08 Betty Sternberg Says Screw The Greenwich Building Department And It's Temporary Certificate Of Occupancy. HAS Starts Packing !!!!

Will The Building Department Give A TCO To An Elementary School With Air Flow Problems That Fank Mazza Has Not Been Able To Correct Since Last June?

A Lab Hired By The Greenwich Post Already Found Mold Growing In The "NEW" 30 Million Dollar Hamilton Avenue School Before Thanksgiving?

The School Superintendent Doesn't Care Of Air Flow Problems Allow Mold To Grow At The "NEW" 30 Million Dollar Hamilton Avenue School

She Will Be Long Gone When The Building Department Is Crucified For Knowingly Approving A School With Air Flow Problems

January move for Hamilton Avenue School proceeds

By Greenwich Time Cub Reporter Colin Gustafson
Article Launched: 12/18/2008 02:35:00 AM EST

Just hours after their plans to move into their newly rebuilt school seemed likely to collapse, Hamilton Avenue School staff late Wednesday received the green light from school officials to continue preparing for the relocation.

"I'm not calling off the move," said Superintendent of Schools Betty Sternberg on Wednesday evening, adding that she was "hopeful, given the efforts that are being made, that the (temporary certificate of occupancy) will be signed by the end of the day Friday."....

Frank "Bungling Fool" Maza's Confusion Would Be Funny If It Wasn't So Expensive To The Greenwich Taxpayers.....

At a morning meeting at the Havemeyer Building, building committee Chairman Frank Mazza revealed that architect Risa Rottenberg had recently identified additional problems with the facility's air-flow system, which officials previously thought were resolved.

He said the architect had submitted a report around 9 p.m. Tuesday identifying 16 new problems, mostly relating to ventilation in the bathrooms, that Rottenberg said would have to be resolved for the school to get a temporary certificate of occupancy.

As it turned out, the fixes listed in the report were actually prerequisites for a certificate of occupancy, which is not needed for students to return next month, rather than a temporary certificate, school officials and committee members confirmed Wednesday evening.

"That's why everybody was so upset at the meeting - these seemed to come out of nowhere," said building committee member Sylvester Pecora.

Mazza said he and fellow committee members were able to resolve the confusion later in the afternoon after placing calls to the architect's firm, Swanke Hayden Connell Architects.......



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12/18/08 Greenwich Post News Links

Written by Sara Poirier, Assistant Editor

Updated for the Web
Dec. 18, 2008

A main that conveys wastewater from Old Greenwich, Riverside, North Mianus and Cos Cob was back in service as of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, following four days of repairs and cleanup. The main broke on Friday on Sound Shore Drive, just outside the Cos Cob Power Plant site.

Department of Public Works officials had asked residents in the area to conserve water throughout the repairs. This was intended to minimize flow to the Old Greenwich, Chapel Lane and Cos Cob pump stations while repairs were conducted, which meant less wastewater being discharged to the environment.

It had also been reported that during repairs, raw sewage was dumped into the Mianus River. One neighbor complained, off the record, of sewage smell in his Riverside neighborhood.

Dan Warzoha, emergency management director for the town, said the bypassing of the pipes into the river stopped around the same time the main was back in service. He added that no cleanup is necessary because the wastewater had been diluted by rainfall, the river was at a high volume during the pumping and there were "astronomical" high tides.

With safety cited as a main concern, the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a six-month test program for residents-only parking on Josephine Evaristo Avenue on Dec. 11.

This is necessary,” Parking Services Director Allen Corry told the board. “We have a narrow street here and there are safety issues when vehicles are trying to pass through.”

Mr. Corry said eliminating the parking congestion on the street would eliminate the safety worries because cars would have more room to travel, which is especially a concern for school buses going to Hamilton Avenue School and emergency vehicles.

The selectmen also approved Mr. Corry’s suggestion that there be 300 feet of two-hour parking, from the Post Road onto Josephine Evaristo Avenue. Mr. Corry said this will provide room for six to eight cars for people using the nearby businesses. To further help the businesses, Mr. Corry said, he will issue decals for employees who will park in the residents-only spaces while at work.

Mr. Corry first proposed the program last month, but the board held off on a decision to further evaluate options and reach out to nearby car dealerships about freeing up spaces. Complaints have long been heard about dealership employees parking their cars in the neighborhood before going to work, making it hard for residents and those who work at small businesses nearby to find spots. First Selectman Peter Tesei said he sent letters to the four nearby dealerships and that dialogue is ongoing.

The 2009-10 school budget is set for a vote tonight, but the Board of Education has not finished tinkering with it.

The approximately $127-million budget will have at least two additions and could undergo several cuts to bring it within guidelines suggested by the Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET), which will consider the budget for approval next year. The board is considering several cuts to the budget, and dozens of parents attended last Thursday’s public hearing to urge members not to reduce the magnet program proposed for Hamilton Avenue School.

Previously the school’s kindergarten through second grade foreign language program had been cut, but more cuts could impact the physical education program, specifically off-site programs of skating at the Dorothy Hamill Rink and swimming at the Boys & Girls Club. The programs were put in place for Hamilton Avenue students, who are still taking classes in the modulars, but they could be cut when students go into their new building with their own gymnasium. The board considered cutting the school’s Suzuki music education program, but did not appear to have enough support from members last week.

According to district estimates, cutting the skating program would save the district $20,525, and the swimming program, $32,610.

Board of Education Chairwoman Nancy Weissler said the board remains committed to remaining below the BET’s guideline of a $127-million budget, and several parents spoke out at the public hearing, urging the board to find other solutions besides eliminating parts of the magnet program. Linda Cambareri, reading a note written by another parent, said eliminating the program “will only undo any progress the Greenwich school system has made in creating a balanced and diverse student population and erasing gaps in achievement for our children.”

Caroline Russell, a Glenville School parent who enrolled her children in the Hamilton Avenue magnet program, said making the cut now after the board promised the programs is “false advertising.”

“We’ve put up with disappointment after disappointment in terms of our new state-of-the-art school, and whether you’re going to cut one or all of these programs, it truly makes no difference to me,” Ms. Russell said. “It is a bait and switch, and now I am left with a very difficult decision — stay in Hamilton Avenue, where we’ve all made friends and found a fabulous, diverse community we all enjoy being a part of, and keep our children in a potentially marginalized program or go back to Glenville, our district school where are kids can get solid programs and hop on the bus with their neighbors or, better yet, explore the private schools in our area, which, too, are struggling with cutbacks but would never, ever cut anything affecting the children.”

While most parents did not offer alternatives to where the money could be found outside of the magnet program, Bob McIntyre suggested salary cuts for Superintendent of Schools Betty Sternberg and other district cabinet officers. He said his suggestion was a serious one and not a personal attack, because cutting the educational programs at the school is “unacceptable.” He also suggested canceling any consulting contract that would be used to search for a new superintendent.......

Minnie Peggy Quatrone-White, a lifelong resident of Greenwich, died of a massive heart attack on Sunday, Dec. 14. She was 68.

Ms. Quatrone-White was an avid collector of antiques and collectibles, which family and friends said she “enjoyed in so many ways.”

“She was a source of strength and security to her family and loved ones,” they added. “She will be greatly missed and cherished by those who loved her for the special moments they shared.”

The daughter of Frank D. Quatrone Sr. and the late Irene Belanger-Quatrone, Ms. Quatrone-White is survived by her children, Patrick D. Quatrone of Norwalk and Wade M. White III and Tonya L. White, both of Greenwich; her sister, Margaret A. Pirrotta of Port Chester, N.Y.; a brother, Frank D. Quatrone Jr. of Greenwich; her grandsons, Wade M. White IV, Matthew A. White and Zachariah L. White; and many nieces and nephews.

Calling hours were on Wednesday, Dec. 17, at the Castiglione Funeral Home, 134 Hamilton Ave. Family and friends will gather at the funeral home today, Thursday, Dec. 18, from 11 to 11:30, at which time a procession will leave for a graveside service in St. Mary Cemetery.
Online condolences may be left at Castiglionefh.com.

12/18/08 Greenwich Time News Links For Thursday

Say Cheese !!!!

Beauty technician Lana Miller, top, uses a face rejuvenator on Inga Zotov of Greenwich recently at Allura Salon & Day Spa on West Putnam Avenue in Greenwich.
(Bob Luckey/Greenwich Time photo)

Town residents still love to be pampered, but day spa and salon owners say the financial crunch is forcing people to rethink the need for such luxuries as facials, manicures and pedicures.

The dozens of day spas and salons across Greenwich are reporting declines in business - one by as much as 70 percent - as the economy slides deeper into recession and people choose to either go longer between services or go without.

"Like anybody else, I have felt a slowdown," said Nassrin Shams, owner of Quintessence spa, 280 Railroad Ave., one of many independently owned spas in Greenwich. "I've definitely felt a decline in business, but to be honest, I've felt it for a year. It has been gradual."

Shams estimates business is down about 30 percent over last fall.

Empy Constante, owner of Empy's Day Spa, 179 Hamilton Ave., has seen about a 70 percent drop in business from last year.

"Thank God we have loyal clients," said Constante, whose full-service spa has been in business for 23 years. "It's been very hard for everybody, even more so in this town. A lot of our clients are very successful people."

Some of her clients have called to cancel their appointments to cut expenses, Constante said, while others are limiting their number of visits.

"Clients who were coming for two blow-dries every two weeks now come for one," said Constante, whose services include $38 blow-dries and a $58 manicure-pedicure package. "They wait a little more for their appointments.

Securities and Exchange Commission investigators discovered in 2006 that Bernard Madoff had misled the agency about how he managed customer money, according to documents, yet the SEC missed an opportunity to uncover an alleged Ponzi scheme.

The documents indicate the agency had Madoff in its sights amid multiple violations that, if pursued, could have blown open his alleged multibillion-dollar scam. Instead, his firm registered as an investment adviser, at the agency's request, and the public got no word of the violations.

Harry Markopolos - who once worked for a Madoff rival - sparked the probe with his nearly decadelong campaign to persuade the SEC that Madoff's returns were too good to be true. In recent days, The Wall Street Journal reviewed emails, letters and other documents that Markopolos shared with the SEC over the years.

When he first began studying Madoff's investment performance a decade ago, Markopolos told a colleague at the time, "It doesn't make any damn sense," he and the colleague recall. "This has to be a Ponzi scheme."


Why Hasn't Hearst Newspapers Given Greenwich Residents Any Local Coverage Of The Madoff Ponzie Scheme ?

Why Hasn't Greenwich Time Managing Editor Jim Zorba Not Asigned A Reporter To Report On Walter Noel And Greenwich Fairfield?

Greenwich defends sewer decision
In the aftermath of Friday's sewer main break, which caused raw sewage to be diverted into Long Island Sound over four days, town and state officials say they responded as quickly and as well as possible.

"The reality is that there was no other option," said First Selectman Peter Tesei Wednesday, a day after contractors repaired the ruptured sewer main at Cos Cob's Sound Shore Drive, resuming delivery of sewage to the Grass Island Waste Water Treatment Facility.

After Friday morning's burst, sewage was pumped into the Mianus River at three separate points in Riverside and Cos Cob, including Cos Cob Harbor, until repairs were completed at about noon Tuesday.

Tesei said, "It's not something you choose to do, it's something you're forced to do."

The town will defend that position in a report to the state Department of Environmental Protection to be filed within the next few weeks. Due to the discovery of a natural gas line running adjacent to the sewage pipe on Saturday, the leak took longer than planned to fix.

Work to remove the dangerous section of the gas pipe did not begin until Monday evening. Tesei and Connecticut Natural Gas spokesman Bob Brennan each said they were waiting for word from the other before beginning work on the pipe.

"We were just waiting to get the go-ahead from the town," said Brennan, adding that Greenwich had finally granted that Monday morning.

Tesei said Connecticut Natural Gas had only agreed to remove the pipe on Sunday....

Himes meets the people

STAMFORD - Wasn't there supposed to be a honeymoon? Making one of his first major public appearances since his victory last month, Congressman-elect Jim Himes morphed into the role of chief trouble-shooter Wednesday night during a town hall-style meeting at Stamford's Yerwood Center organized by the Democrat's transition staff and several community groups.
Woman's Club holiday party

A Frosty the Snowman holiday party will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday at The Woman's Club of Greenwich, 89 Maple Ave.

The party is open to club members and their guests.
For more information, call 869-2046.


Skate with Santa
at Dorothy Hamill

Santa Claus will join ice skaters during public sessions from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink on Sherman Avenue.

Santa will be skating, talking to patrons and giving free candy to children. All Greenwich residents and their guests are invited to skate with Santa. Regular admission fees will apply.
For more information, call the rink at 531-8560.


Longest Night
service at church

A "Longest Night" worship service will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday at the First United Methodist Church of Greenwich, 59 E. Putnam Ave.

In observance of the shortest day and the longest night of the year, the Rev. Kenneth Kieffer will offer words and consolation and comfort to those for whom this may not be a season of joy and merriment. Under the direction of Bruce Kimball, special music will also be shared. All are welcome.

For more information, call 629-9584.


Film critic Masterson
to lead series

Film critic and lecturer Robert Masterson will lead a film series, presented by the Greenwich Art Society in collaboration with the Greenwich Arts Council, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Wednesdays from Jan. 7 to March 25 at the Greenwich Arts Council, 299 Greenwich Ave.
There will be no classes on Feb. 18 and March 4.

For more information and registration, call the Greenwich Art Society at 629-1533.


Former anchor
to discuss book, career

Former reporter, editor and anchor Al Primo will discuss his new book, "Eyewitness Newsman," and his life as a TV news innovator at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 8 at Greenwich Library's meeting room, 101 W. Putnam Ave.

Primo, an Old Greenwich resident, will sign copies of his book, which will be available to purchase through Diane's Books. The program is free and open to the public.

Primo, creator of ABC's "Eyewitness News," has worked in television since the 1950s.
For more information, visit www.greenwichlibrary.org or call 622-7900.


Toy donations invited
for children in need

The Bank of Greenwich, 165 Mason St., is serving as a drop-off center for Toys for Tots. Donations of new, unwrapped toys for newborns through teens may be dropped off at the bank through Tuesday.

For more information, visit http://www.toysfortots.org/.

Desire and effort. Those are the intangibles that have been the cornerstone of Brunswick basketball throughout the last half decade as they've they've stood atop the FAA.

A special General Assembly investigative committee has issued a blistering report on the taxi industry in Connecticut that cries out for action in the upcoming legislative session.

The report, compiled by the legislature's Program Review and Investigations Committee, concluded that the state's taxi industry has abnormal accident rates, and inconsistent and lax inspection procedures, which are supervised by state agencies.

In one eyebrow-raising finding, committee staff said the taxi cab crash rate is quadruple that of passenger car rates for Connecticut.

As part of its investigation, the committee also had personnel from the state departments of Motor Vehicles and Transportation perform spot inspections of taxis at the two busiest rail stations on the New Haven Line - Stamford and New Haven - and at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks. The results? Of 43 vehicles inspected for operational safety, 41 failed the inspection, and of those 41, six were so unsafe they had to be towed from the sites.

The committee undertook the probe earlier this year because of complaints from taxi riders and even taxi cab drivers about the conditions of the vehicles. Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, D-New Haven, said he had reports of problems in the aftermath of DOT retirements.

Clearly, such results are unacceptable and need to be remedied by lawmakers to ensure adequate oversight. We dislike having to point this out, but the situation represents another instance ..... BLAH ...... BLAH ...... BLAH ....... BLAH ...... BLAH ....... BLAH ...... BLAH ...... BLAH .....


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