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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

12/31/08 COMMUNITY EVENT: The Place To Be On New Years Eve


There Will be a church service at my church, Harvest Time Church, followed by a night of family fun to ring in the New Year.


After, the service everyone is moving over to Harvest Time's massive air dome. You have to see this place to believe it.


There will be a pie eating contest, Sloppy Joe's, music and other family fun events.

As usual Greenwich Roundup will be in charge of the coffee bar, because I am the Chief Beverage Officer of Harvest Time Church. So please stop by and have a free coffee tea or other beverage on Pastor Glen's dime. At many of there events there is also hot cider and soft drinks as well.

And just in case a Greenwich Time reporter wants to come and punch Greenwich Roundup in the nose at the coffee bar, I must warn any mainstream reporter that I am a firm believer in the Bush doctrine and have a notoriously strong preemptive first strike.

So please come for the fun, because my fellow church members hate it when I don't love others unconditionally. The night of fun starts at 7 pm at Wednesday and everyone is always welcome. Just tell them that Brian invited you.


Harvest Time Church
1338 King Street
Greenwich, CT 06830
(203) 531-7778

And if you do not believe that this is the funnest church ever, then please take at these YouTube Videos. So please come and have a family oriented new years that you wont soon forget.
Why hire a baby sitter and then go out and spend an outrageous amount of money to get a hang over, when you can have a night of family fun with your neighbors for free. You know what they say the best things in life are free.

I will see you there and will have your
favorite beverage waiting for you.
But if you must waste a huge sum of money
on a borring stuck up night i Greenwich.....

The info, from the newsletter, after the jump. Eating well in an elegant environment will always be acceptable. Reserve at (203) 622-8450.

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Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com for more information you can send an email to office@htchurch.com .

12/30/08 A Tribute To A Greenwich Arts Center Dance Teacher




From our early days at New Dance Group in NYC, to Scarsdale, NY to Greenwich, CT, Maralyn taught me so much. Her reputation endures, as seen by the many students that continue to flock to her classes. Thanks for all you have done for me.


Her barre is thorough and challenging, and her center is carefully choreographed to keep you focused and moving, with full attention to detail. From our early days at New Dance Group in NYC, to Scarsdale, NY to Greenwich, CT, Maralyn taught me so much. Her reputation endures, as seen by the many students that continue to flock to her classes. Thanks for all you have done for me, Maralyn


You can find her in Greenwich on Mondays & Thursdaysat 10:10 AM, and Sats at 1 PM, at the Greenwich Arts Center (203.862.6750).


12/30/08 It Will Cost 28 Million To Liquidate Madoff Fund. How Much Will It Cost To Liquidate Walter "Feeder Fund" Noels Fairfield Greenwich Group?



New York Post, NY


A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge on Tuesday approved the transfer of $28.1 million to cover expenses tied to the liquidation of Bernard Madoff's investment firm.


Madoff is accused of running an elaborate Ponzi scheme that duped investors ranging from individuals to charities to large banks out of potentially $50 billion.


Irving Picard, the trustee presiding over the liquidation of Madoff's investment firm, said he needed the $28.1 million to cover employee salaries and other costs, according to court documents. Bank of New York Mellon Corp. previously agreed to transfer the funds, but Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland first had to approve the transfer.


Richard Bernard, a lawyer with Baker Hostetler who was representing Picard at the hearing, said the transferred funds will not affect any recovery for investors. The funds are being transferred from one account that had already been frozen. Lawyers continue to investigate if Madoff had any other accounts that have not yet been frozen, Bernard added.


BNY Mellon already transferred about $883,000 to cover costs tied to the liquidation.


Picard will oversee the liquidation of assets from Madoff's investment firm as the Securities Investor Protection Corp. attempts to help investors recoup their money. SIPC was created by Congress in 1970 to protect investors when a brokerage firm fails and cash and securities are missing from accounts. Funds can be used to satisfy the remaining claims of each customer up to a maximum of $500,000. The figure includes a maximum of up to $100,000 on claims for cash.


Madoff faces a Wednesday deadline to provide the Securities and Exchange Commission with a written accounting of his assets, liabilities and properties. The report will likely provide insight into how much money investors could recover.


Madoff agreed to list all assets, funds or property he held and the names and locations of entities, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, investments or assets held by his business, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.


On Monday, a judge presiding over civil claims against Madoff said he may be willing to consider extending relief to those who invested in Madoff's business through third parties. To consider allowing investors who invested through third parties to file claims with SIPC, U.S. District Judge Louis L. Stanton said he needs a formal application and briefing from SIPC, the Securities and Exchange Commission, a trustee for Madoff's business and representatives of investors.


A Congressional committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Monday to review whether the SEC had the resources to investigate the alleged fraud by Madoff and determine new safeguards that need to be put in place to help protect investors. The SEC has come under criticism for not fully investigating fraud allegations against Madoff's investment firm.


Even SEC Chairman Christopher Cox said there were multiple failures by agency staff in looking into the allegations.


The Congressional hearing is part of the House Financial Services Committee's broader review as it undertakes overhauling financial markets regulation in the coming years amid the ongoing credit and housing crisis.


Madoff, 70, a former Nasdaq stock market chairman, has become one of the most vilified people in America since news broke Dec. 11 that he allegedly had been running a giant Ponzi scheme, paying returns to certain investors out of the principal received from others.


So far, investors have said that they have lost more than $30 billion, according to an Associated Press calculation.


Reports indicate Madoff was running the alleged scam for decades.

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12/30/08 Senator Dodd obtained two ‘jumbo’ mortgages for his townhouse in Washington and his place in East Haddam at interest rates of 4.25% and 4.5%


The Everyday Republican 201 Days and Counting on Dodd

More than 200 days have passed since Conde Nast Portfolio broke the story on Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd’s two sweetheart mortgage deals from Countrywide Financial but our Senior U.S. Senator has shown no signs of breaking his stonewall silence - even after all this time.
The facts, as we know them now, are clear: Senator Dodd obtained two ‘jumbo’ mortgages for his townhouse in Washington and his place in East Haddam at interest rates of 4.25% and 4.5%, sugared with waived fees and free floatdowns, the net savings of which has been estimated at $70,000 over the life of the loans. The man who is now Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee didn’t receive all these perks because he was a swell guy - he got them because he was a ‘Friend of Angelo’ ....


.....MSNBC revealed that the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity section has been investigating the matter, including spending several hours interviewing Robert Feinberg, the Countrywide employee who was primarily charged with handling the VIP mortgages. The possibility of criminal prosecutions for Dodd seems farfetched at this point, especially with the new boss of the Justice Department being none other than Eric Holder, the Clinton-era attorney who ran his own VIP program for President Bill Clinton - only he dealt in trading favors for Presidential pardons......


......Mr. Dodd would be wise to drop the foolishness and start giving answers. The people of Connecticut are tiring of Dodd’s games, as is evidenced by the latest Q Polling data. A whopping 41% of Nutmeggers told Q that they disapproved of Dodd’s work as U.S. Senator - his highest unfavorable rating ever. Grassroots activists are standing up in opposition - spanning from a ‘Dump Chris Dodd’ movement to a wonderfully articulate anti-Dodd blog “The Artful Doddger“.


And with Dodd’s 2010 election just over the horizon, candidates are starting to line up. The first announced candidate seems like to be an advisor to 2008 GOP Presidential candidate Ron Paul. Peter Schiff of Darien has a campaign website which is laden with his television appearances and writings, a Wikipedia page, and a Facebook group. Ron Paul’s followers made up a fiery band in 2008 and seem likely to do so again in Connecticut via a Schiff candidacy.


After 201 days, it is time for Senator Dodd to stop the stonewalling and start telling the truth. For our part, CTGOP will stay on our Dodd Watch vigil until he comes clean or we defeat him in 2010 - whichever comes first.


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12/30/08 Even Frank Trotta At "Our Greenwich Is Scooping The Greenwich Time


BREAKING NEWS: GPD Warns Residents Along Merritt Corridor

The Greenwich Police are warning residents along the Merritt Parkway corridor to make sure their second story windows and balcony doors are locked.

GPD’s Burglary Clearance Squad is investigating several residential burglaries and burglary attempts in proximity to the Merritt. In those crimes, apparently the perpetrator(s) is gaining access through second floors, specifically windows and doors off balconies. Such second floor windows and doors are typically not alarmed. The perpetrators often use lawn furniture, and downspouts to help them get to the second floor. According to police, it is generally high-end jewelry and cash which is stolen.

GPD is asking residents to lock all doors and windows, and to store their valuables in a safety deposit box or a home safe bolted to the floor.

The police are also asking residents to be alert, and to report any suspicious activity promptly to 911. Less immediate information (“passive leads” or incidents that are not in progress) should be forwarded to Detective Tim Powell of the GPD Burglary Clearance Squad, 622-8075 or tpowell@greenwichct.org.

Source: Our Greenwich - http://ourgreenwich.com/

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12/30/08 PRESS RELEASE:New York Law Firm Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling, LLP Investigating “Feeder Funds” in Madoff Fraud Case


Press release from:


NEW YORK – The New York law firm of Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling, LLP, has been retained by clients that have asked the firm to investigate so-called “feeder funds” that helped deliver billions of dollars to investment adviser Bernard L. Madoff before the recent collapse of his investment businesses.

Reports indicate Madoff has admitted to operating what amounted to a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

Feeder funds, such as the Fairfield Sentry Fund, part of the Fairfield Greenwich Group, provided a pathway for individuals to deliver their money to Madoff. Fairfield Sentry reportedly had all of its $7.3 billion in assets with Madoff. Overall, Fairfield Greenwich had more than $14.1 billion in assets under management before Madoff’s business collapsed.

In addition to Fairfield, the firm believes there could have been dozens of other entities in the United States and overseas acting as Madoff feeder funds and collecting huge fees for their efforts.

The question will be whether the Fairfield Sentry Fund and others like it basically functioned as enablers, and made a profit by creating an environment where Madoff was able to do what he did,” says Jeffrey Zwerling, a founding partner of Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling.

Mr. Zwerling and his firm represent investment partnerships, individuals and companies that lost significant amounts of money in Madoff’s scheme. The firm will be taking a close look at third parties, such as Fairfield Greenwich and others that may have played a role in the scheme.

We’re going to be very interested in feeder funds that made money by bringing Madoff the victims” says Robert S. Schachter a senior partner of the firm. “We have been contacted by victims in Mexico, Argentina, Austria, Spain, Switzerland and Ireland that delivered significant funds to Madoff through what we believe to be feeder funds in those countries.”

Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling, LLP, currently is investigating the appropriate legal approaches available to its clients from firm offices in New York City, Garden City, N.Y., and Seattle. The investigation and any litigation that ensues will be undertaken on a contingent fee basis, meaning the firm’s clients will pay no legal fees unless there is a financial recovery. The firm currently plays a leading role in numerous major securities cases and complex commercial litigation matters pending in federal and state courts across the nation. The firm has been recognized by courts throughout the country as highly experienced and skilled in complex litigation, particularly with respect to federal securities class-action litigation.

For more information or to speak with Jeffrey Zwerling or Robert S. Schachter about the Madoff matter, please contact Mark Annick at 800-559-4534 (office), 214-213-1754 (mobile) or mark@androvett.com.


Other Litigation Handled By Zwerling Schachter & Zwerling:


















COMMENT:

Perhaps The Valerie and Jeffrey S. Wilpon Foundation should have Greenwich Country Day School and Brunswick School contact Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling, LLP.

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Please send your comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com or click on the comments link at the end of this post.

12/29/08 Let's Take A Little Peek At Some Of Walter Noel's Greenwich Fairfield Documents

Keeping An Eye On Greenwich Resident Walter Noel:

Take A Look At The Fairfield Sentry Semi-Annual Review
Henry Blodget Clusterstock

As we review more documents from Fairfield Greenwich Group, we are developing a better understanding of how the firm explained Madoff's returns to itself and its clients. We still have yet to see evidence that FGG knew Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme.

We still have yet to see evidence that FGG knew Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme. The documents do suggest, however, that FGG:


  • Closed its eyes, shoved its fingers in its ears, and hummed as Madoff made the firm $500 million of fees in the past five years (and more before that).

  • Took all the credit for the trading strategy and based its fees on the premise that FGG, not Madoff, was the brains behind the operation. The firm almost always spoke as though it managed its primary Madoff fund, Fairfield Sentry, itself. If Madoff ever came up in FGG's marketing materials, he was described as a "broker."

  • Knew that the key driver of the fund's stated returns was NOT the "split-strike conversion strategy" but market timing. The firm never explained, however, how this superb market timing was supposedly executed.


As investigators dig through the FGG wreckage, therefore, one of the key questions will be how partners like Walter Noel, Jeff Tucker, and Andres Piedrahita explained Sentry's astonishing market-timing ability to themselves and their clients.


If the best answer is "proprietary models," FGG may well be found to have been negligent in its failure to conduct adequate due diligence. Consistent market timing is extraordinarily difficult, and Madoff's claim that he could do it when others couldn't should have set the same alarm-bells clanging at FGG as it did elsewhere.


We suspect that the more likely answer is "We thought he was front-running." Lots of other folks on Wall Street thought Madoff was front-running, including some major Madoff investors, and, for most folks, this seemed to explain his preternatural timing ability. The trouble for FGG with this explanation is twofold: First, front-running is illegal. Second, the firm doesn't mention front-running it its fund documents. If FGG did rationalize Madoff's performance on the suspicion that he was front-running, the firm will likely be exposed to charges of fraud.


FGG itself is almost certainly toast regardless of what investigators find. The legal distinctions will come into play with respect to victims' ability to go after the personal assets of Noel, Tucker, Piedrahita, et al.


Fairfield Sentry Semi-Annual Review


As you can see from this excerpt of a February 2008 semi-annual review of the Fairfield Sentry fund below (full document embedded beneath), FGG clearly acknowledges the importance of market timing to the fund's success. It does not, however, offer any insight into how this timing is achieved.


To put this in the terms of another competitive endeavor: This is akin to a football coach explaining his team's success by saying that the strategy is to run for short gains up the middle...and then casually mentioning that that half the time it just throws (and completes) 100-yard bombs.


The other obvious absurdity here is the idea that you would ever need to run a "split-strike strategy" if your timing was this good. The split-strike strategy limited gains in bull markets, so if you could always see these bull markets coming, why would you ever implement it? Why wouldn't you just switch between an S&P 500 index fund and Treasuries? To again put this in football terms, why would a coach ever run for short gains up the middle when he knew that, at will, he could just complete 100-yard bombs?

As many of our investors know, Sentry applies a synthetic index replicator and options trading strategy known as the split strike conversion (“SSC”) and alternates between periods of time invested in this combined stock/options position and time invested in a cash stance consisting of short-dated U.S. Treasury Bills. As such, the Fund typically spends more than half of the trading days in each year exposed to movements in the S&P 100 Index, albeit on a hedged basis. For the rest of the year, the Fund assumes a “risk-free” Treasury position and earns short-term money market rates of return as it seeks to protect capital during unfavorable market conditions for the SSC.

The key to switching between these stances boils down to a question of timing – and timing, in its various forms, is the principal source of alpha in this strategy...


As one might expect, consistently delivering positive performance across different market environments requires some adaptation. Bull markets of the sort seen in the late 1990’s (and even as recently as 2006) are ripe with entry and exit opportunities conducive to bull-spread investing. Conversely, bear markets characterized by negative momentum, skittish investor behavior, and poor liquidity pose additional timing and trading challenges. Over the 17 years it has been in existence, Sentry has recognized and adapted to a number of these regime shifts.

For example, in the momentum and liquidity rich equity markets of 2006, Sentry accurately identified four major trend reversals during the year and implemented the SSC strategy around these periods of positive market directionality. Each of these four implementations lasted more than two months (longer than its long-run average holding of about four weeks). In contrast, weaker equity markets in 2007, characterized by relatively fewer periods of sustained positive market directionality (especially during the latter half of the year), meant that trading had to be more nimble and the SSC had to be constructed around shorter-term perceived trading opportunities. In fact, of the seven implementation cycles in 2007, all but one lasted fewer than four weeks.


Here Is Today's Madoff Roundup:


Bespoke Investment Group Seeking Alpha

Stop the Presses: SEC Halts a Ponzi Scheme!

In what could possibly be the biggest 'too little, too late' moment of the century, the SEC announced today that it halted a $23 million Ponzi scheme targeted at Haitian-Americans.

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John Carney Clusterstock

Judge Approves $28 Million For Madoff Firm

Employees of Bernard L. Madoff Securities, the business run by arch-Ponzi scheme Bernie Madoff, just got a small boost today when a judge approved $28 million to pay salaries and expenses while the firm liquidates.

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Henry Blodget Clusterstock Dan Slater WSJ.com Law Blog

Madoff Civil Case Moving Swiftly; The $50 Billion Question

Beginning tomorrow, Manhattan federal judge Louis Stanton will preside over three big issues in the civil case against Bernie Madoff, accused of running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

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TheNewsTribune

Madoff investors could get help

NEW YORK – A judge presiding over civil claims filed against disgraced financier Bernard Madoff says he may be willing to consider extending relief from an investors' fund to those who invested in Madoff's business through third parties.

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Eddy Elfenbein Seeking Alpha

Social Security: A Ponzi Scheme?

Jim Cramer says it is. To everybody in the press, who's calling Bernie Madoff's alleged $50 billion scam the 'largest Ponzi scheme ever,' I say give me a break, Cramer said on his Dec. 17 show.

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The Seattle Times elap

Civil case against Madoff to tackle investor issues

Beginning Wednesday, the federal court in Manhattan will be the forum for three important issues affecting investors caught in the widening scandal surrounding Bernard Madoff, accused of operating a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

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Henry Blodget Clusterstock

Frenchman Who Killed Self Honest About Secret To Madoff's Returns

As we've discussed, many folks on Wall Street assumed Bernie Madoff was cheating--they just thought he was cheating by front-running instead of by operating a Ponzi scheme. Mark Stein Portfolio.com:

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Daily Brief

Madoff Trustee Starts the Clock

Turns out that someone may actually make some money off of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme. Unfortunately for investors trying to recoup their money, it will be the trustee presiding over the liquidation of his investment firm.

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John Carney Clusterstock

Madoff's Employees To Get $28 Million

Investors may be left with nothing but the employees of Bernard Madoff's firm need another $28 million in pay.

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BMI Headlines

Dear NY Times: Speaking of Ponzi Schemes

Social Security is 'identical' to Madoff's 'scheme,' so Americans should stop being duped.

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Cityfile

A Few Highlights from the Madoff Collection

From left to right (click photo to enlarge): 1. Madoff Canvas Tote Bag; 2. Madoff Securities Cap; 3. Bernard Madoff Gray Fleece Blanket, 4. Bernard L. Madoff Backpack; 5. Bernard L. Madoff Emergency Kit; 6. Bernard L. Madoff Golf Umbrella; 7.

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Stephen J. Dubner FREAKONOMICS

The Madoff Tax Advantage

I just received the following e-mail from my accountants, who have several clients invested with Bernard Madoff.

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Stefan Blog for Democracy

Is Social Security a Ponzi scheme?

BusinessWeek thinks so. Of course, Ponzi schemes only collapse when the the plan cannot get enough new people in to offset the payments to the old, but social security requires enrollment, so if it is a Ponzi scheme, it's a perfect one. Thoughts?

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CrankyProfessor The Cranky Professor

Whatever happened to 'don't put all your eggs in one basket'?

From an interesting Madoff article at Bloomberg.com: U.S. foundations that invested with Bernard Madoff donated more than $73 million to nonprofit organizations in 2007...

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Steve Young The Huffington Post

2008's Biggest Coincidence: Kevin Costner and Me

For all those who took America to the cleaners this year, you can be pretty sure if anyone of them end up in court, there will be a high paid attorney pleading...coincidence.

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Tom Kuntz Ideas

'Is Social Security a Ponzi Scheme?'

Economics In the wake of the Bernie Madoff scandal, a lot of people are saying Social Security is a Ponzi scheme too.

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Mo Rocca Political Machine

My New Years Resolutions ... for Jennifer Aniston and Bernie Madoff

Here is a piece I did for celebrity? (Why do so many stars only date each other?!)And do you think that Bernard Madoff can be redeemed? If so, what would Madoff have to do to be forgiven?

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Charles H. Green Trust Matters blog

Smoking Guns in the Rear View Mirror: Madoff and the SEC

Experienced bloggers tell me to lead with the headline, as in newspaper stories. So here it is: read this link. It's the document sent to the SEC in 2005 accusing Bernie Madoff of running a gigantic Ponzi scheme.

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Sox First

Madoff's insanity defense

The legal fallout over Bernard Madoff has taken a new turn with a judge ruling that Madoff must provide a list of all investments, lines of credit, loans, business interests, brokerage accounts, and...

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Bill Zielinski Seeking Alpha

Where Is Madoff's $50 Billion?

Based on Bernard Madoff's own estimation, he lost approximately $50 billion of investor funds. Every since this disclosure, the biggest questions are where did the money go and how much of the $50 billion remains.

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Merv PrairiePundit

Did Madoff stash cash offshore?

NY Post: Investigators believe that Bernard Madoff has stuffed hundreds of millions of dollars in Ponzi profits into offshore tax havens from which they could prove tricky to recover.

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Reilly Mcshane Hollywood Newsroom

Is Social Security a Ponzi Scheme?

In the aftermath of the Madoff implosion, quite a few people have pointed out the parallels between a Ponzi scheme and Social Security.

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Lita Epstein BloggingStocks

Money losers of 2008: The many investors with Bernard Madoff

This post is part of our feature on Money Losers of 2008. See all 20.

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jjn1 Memex

The Madoff lifestyle

Good picture gallery in Fortune magazine. Don't think much of the yacht, though. Not a patch on Paul Allen's.

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12/30/08 A Letter To The New York Post Post Editor


Is this the time to take more away from the working class? Hey Brodsky, you still have a job. How is your benefit package doing, jerk?



Dear Greenwich Post Editor,


Let me get this straight: Because 401k pensions are taking a bigger hit, due to the upheavals in the market, than traditionally defined benefit plans, Brodsky says that we should be encouraging government to put more of its eggs into the even-riskier defined-contribution basket?


Largely due to the shenanigans of Wall Street, Americans, through no fault of their own, have taken a pounding on their retirement accounts in the past year.


Given the economic uncertainty, the last thing we should be doing is encouraging a race to the bottom, which is what abandoning our defined-benefit system would do.


Brodsky seems to think that shrinking the social safety net enjoys some widespread support among his readership, but he's wrong.


Bill Gaston
Greenwich, Conn.


HERE IS THE BRODSKY EDITORIAL MR. GASTON IS REFERING TO:


PUNTING ON PENSIONS


December 22, 2008


GOV. Paterson and Mayor Bloom berg may be about to blow the biggest chance in a generation to fix New York's long-broken, budget-busting public-pension system. Indeed, their planned remedies fall so far short, and come with such a steep political price, it may be wiser for them to simply hold their fire - and do nothing - rather than waste a precious opportunity. Without a doubt... MORE >

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12/30/08 The Raw Greenwich Blog And RSS Feed (Updated)


Watch Out Greenwich Bloggers And Citizen Journalists Are On The Move.....

The New And Improved "For What It's Worth" (Wordpress Edition)
Something for everyone on this blog - Hiram writes, “Beachbum’s one of those obsessive types who relates everything to the Bushes. He probably thinks more about them than about sex”. Is he ...

Greenwich Forum
Madoff scheme touches private schools - 2 Comments, last updated on Tuesday Dec 30 by grizzle


Greenwich Blog :: The Blog of Greenwich, Connecticut :: USA
Happy New Year! - May the dawning of this New Year, fill your heart with new hopes, open up new horizons and bring for you promises of brighter tomorrows. May you have a ...


Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter
Michael Roston, unemployed, 31, "I feel like I'm waiting for a sign," quoted in NEW YORK Magazine - Manhattan, once the land of opportunity, has become the land of lost jobs - and the lost professional class. Since August, reports Mara Altman in the current...
2 hours ago

Rock Star Diary
Jason & Dr. Strangelove xmas visit - On Friday night I was blessed with the presence of Jason & Dr. Strangelove! Jason was my frist roommate at the BDL and Dr. S.L is his sexy boyfriend....and y...
6 hours ago

EDDIE "Greenwich Native" ROSS
Happy 2009! - A bright new year is about to begin, everyone, so why not ring it in with style? First, I have a quick, easy hors d'oeuvre so elegant and good, your guests w...

Greenwich Diva
One of the “Jena 6″ boys Mychal Bell accidentally shot himself - CNN) — A teenager whose arrest in a racially charged assault case drew thousands of protesters to his rural Louisiana hometown was in a hospital early Tues...

John Ferris Robben
It’s warm enough to play tennis in the daytime and snow in the night. - [image: Almost 60 degrees and tennis at Binney Park! In the night at 11PM flurries in Riverside and shoplifting at CVS.] Almost 60 degrees and tennis at ...

Cos Cob Blogger Iggy Makarevich At High Strangeness
TFD Article of the Day: Transient Lunar Phenomena - Well, here's the other link I was just talking about from the Free Dictionary's sidebar posting of two Forteanesque listings today... Although nowhere near a...

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12/30/08 Here Is Another Greenwich School News Report That Greenwich Time Cub Reporter Colin Gustafson. Blumenthal Did Not Send Colin A Press Release?


BREAKING NEWS

PTAs Urged To Stop Payments To CMI

Blumenthal: Count Out Count Me In

WFSB-TV Hartford

GREENWICH, Conn. -- Attorney General Richard Blumenthal issued an urgent warning Tuesday to parents and school groups against making payments to register their children for sports and other programs through Count Me In, a recently bankrupt company.

Count Me In, a Washington state-based company recently forced into Chapter 7 bankruptcy, has allegedly failed to transfer tens of thousands of dollars, and possibly more, to several Parent-Teacher Associations in Connecticut and organizations elsewhere, he said.

Blumenthal said he began an investigation after complaints from five PTAs in Greenwich that they were denied $75,000 collected in their name. They and other organizations contracted with CMI to administer registration for sports and other programs, police said.

As part of CMI's service, they said, it accepted online credit card payments from parents to enroll children in these programs. Registration payments collected by CMI should have been transferred to the organizations that contract with CMI, they said, but CMI reportedly has failed to forward the money.

Three of CMI's clients out of Alaska filed an involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition against the company on Dec. 22, Blumenthal said. The case is pending before a bankruptcy court in Washington.

Blumenthal said several organizations nationwide also claim CMI owes them money. He urged parents and PTAs to stop using CMI for online registration payments and challenge credit card payments, if possible.

"Parents and PTAs should count out Count Me In," Blumenthal said. "We will fight to recover any money misused and now missing, but parents should avoid this organization for now.

"Count Me In has no right to retain or redirect money -- tens of thousands of dollars or more -- that belongs to PTAs and other organizations serving our children," Blumenthal said. "Count Me In has endangered vital sports and other extracurricular activities by failing to forward significant sums of money collected from parents. Money that Count Me In should have simply held safely and then forwarded has now vanished without explanation.”

Blumenthal said those who paid the company by credit card should call the credit card company immediately to try and reverse the charges. He said there's a time limit so it must be done quickly.

He said he also wants to hear from anyone who paid the company or any PTA that may have lost money in the deal.

Let The Record Show:

That Greenwich Roundup Was The First Connecticut News Outlet To Report That CMI was ripping off Greenwich School Parents.

Furthermore, weeks ago we were asking why the Greenwich PTA's had not contacted Blumenthal office and criticized the PTA's for hiding the $75,000 loss and not advising them to call their credit card company immediately reverse the charges.

PLEASE SEE:


The PTA's Are Missing A Lot Of Money
Where Is The Parents $75,0000?


IS DAN KULLY AND HIS SISTER TRYING TO SWEEP THIS THEFT UNDER THE RUG ?????
SHOULDN'T PARENTS HAVE BEEN INFORMED BEFORE DAN KULLY HOPPED ON A PLANE TO WASHINGTON ?????

WHEN WERE GREENWICH PTA LEADERS GOING TO TELL THE PARENTS THAT THEY HAD BEEN RIPPED OFF ?????

SHOULDN'T SOMEONE CALL THE GREENWICH POLICE DEPARTMENT AND REPORT THIS MISSING $75,000 ?????

MAYBE SOMEONE SHOULD BE CALLING THE CONNECTICUT ATTORNEY GENERAL ?????

SHOULDN'T PTA LEADERS BE SENDING OUT A MASS EMAIL TELLING PARENTS TO DISPUTE THE CREDIT CARD CHARGES, SO THAT THEY WONT LOSE THEIR MONEY ?????

WHY HASN"T THE GREENWICH PTA'S PULLED THE PLUG ON THEIR COUNT ME IN WEBSITE, BEFORE MORE PARENTS LOOSE MONEY ?????

WHERE IS THE LEADERSHIP IN THE GREENWICH PTA"S ?????...........

PLEASE ALSO SEE:


PTA Mothers Start Searching For Their Missing Money

ONCE AGAIN HEARST NEWSPAPER
CUB REORTER COLIN GUSTAFSON
IS BEHIND THE TIMES WHEN IT COMES TO
EDUCATION REPORTING IN GREENWICH


By Colin Gustafson
Greenwich Time Staff Writer
Posted: 12/27/2008 01:00:00 AM EST
Everyday About 1,000 People Read Greenwich Roundup Because They Want To Know What Is Really Going On In Greenwich.
If you read Greenwich's three mainstream newspapers then you will be somewhat informed about what is happening in Greenwich.
If you read Greenwich Roundup you will be in the know and everyone will look up to you, because you are very informed about Greenwich.
However if you start reading Greenwich Roundup And The Other Great Local Citizen Journalist Like Chris Fountain And Bill Clark You Will Be Exceptionally Well Informed About What Is Going On In Town.
But we must warn you that if you only read Ex-Greenwich Time Editor Joe Pisani's blog that is littered with fired Hearst Newspaper reporters, then you will be totally clueless about what is going on in town.

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12/30/08 Breaking News From The Greenwich Post (Updated)




Breaking news
Posted 2:02 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008


The Greenwich Board of Education announced that they have selected Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates, Ltd. (HYA) to conduct the search for the District's Superintendent of Schools.


“HYA is a nationally-recognized Superintendent search firm that combines national reach, strong local knowledge and a skill set that can help us reach our goal," said Steve Anderson, chairman of the superintendent search committee.


Hazard, Young and Attea have already begun the search process and direct anyone interested in applying to visit Hyasupersearches.com, write to Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates, Ltd. at 1151 Waukegan Road, Glenview, IL 60025, call 847-724-8465 or fax 847-724-8467.


The Board of Education is currently accepting applications through Hazard, Young and Attea and will conduct interviews throughout the spring with the intent to appoint a superintendent by July 1.


UPDATE:


7:50 PM


Greenwich Time Cub Reporter Has Been Totally Unaware Of This New Developement At The Greenwich Board Of Education.


Let's see how long it takes the cub education reporter to report on who will conduct the search for the school district's new Superintendent.


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12/30/08 Greenwich Post News Links

Second graders Jacob Buehler, Andrew Stern and Cole Peterson presented findings about toy overpackaging and encouraged classmates to join a letter-writing campaign to toy manufacturers asking them to stop toymaker overpackaging.

Boys encourage environmentally friendly toy packaging

Kids love toys, but they don’t love the packaging toys come in — especially when the toys are encased in hard-to-open plastic.

Three students at Whitby School are encouraging their classmates and friends to S.T.O.P. and think this holiday season about toy packaging — or overpackaging. S.T.O.P. is an acronym for Stop Toymaker Over-Packaging.

Jacob Beuhler, Cole Peterson and Andrew Stern are second grade students at Whitby School in Greenwich. After seeing a presentation on recycling last year, the three were moved to try to do something about what they saw as excessive and unnecessary packaging of kids’ toys. Working together, the three recently developed a presentation to inform other Whitby School students about what happens when all that holiday toy garbage hits the local landfill.

Church ‘adopts’ preschool

The congregation of the First Presbyterian Church in Greenwich got into the spirit of the season by spreading holiday cheer to a number of low-income children and families living in town.

At Thanksgiving, as a way to give back to the community, the church parishioners gave each family a basket filled with vegetables, stuffing, cranberry sauce and coupons for free turkeys. A food drive helped Head Start families with their Christmas dinners.

The First Presbyterian Church also collected children’s books for preschoolers.

The First Presbyterian Church first established a relationship with the Head Start Preschools through its own preschool last fall. Led by preschool director Pat Case, the church collected books and food and invited Head Start students to join the First Presbyterian Church Preschool at a number of special events.

Art society presents ‘artful audience’ film series

How do you watch a great film and understand it as an artistic statement? Renowned critic and lecturer Robert Masterson will share both his enthusiasm and his unique perspective on how to artfully appreciate movies in a film series presented by the Greenwich Art Society in collaboration with the Greenwich Arts Council Wednesdays from Jan. 7 to March 25.

The series, which meets 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., will teach participants how to engage in the art of watching film classics and discuss the elements and issues crucial to understanding and appreciating the work......

Are your pets ‘Red Cross ready’ for emergencies?

Would you know how to care for your pet if injured or in an emergency that forced you to leave home? A recent poll, conducted by the American Red Cross and the Council for Excellence in Government, found that more than one in three Americans said they would delay or ignore a mandatory evacuation to save a pet. What would happen if your pet were injured or your neighborhood was hit by a severe storm or flood and you had to evacuate? The Greenwich chapter of the American Red Cross has pet products and information to help.

Fischetti joins Gemm Learning

Gemm Learning, a learning intervention service and the largest provider of Fast ForWord in the U.S., recently announced that Tara Fischetti has been named director of Gemm’s Greenwich learning center.

A resident of Riverside, Ms. Fischetti joined Gemm in the summer as its “community liaison.” Ms. Fischetti is very active in the Greenwich community, as a board member of Riverside Elementary School PTA, a committee member for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Gala and volunteer for the Red Cross Ball. She is a graduate of the University of Delaware who, before having a family, worked at Witco Chemical Corporation in Greenwich and at Citibank in New York......

Police Watch, Dec. 30

DISORDERLY

A 56-year-old Greenwich woman was arrested Dec. 29 and charged with disorderly conduct. Police had been sent to the scene of a reported domestic incident. The woman had allegedly thrown a glass of wine into her husband’s face and then struck him with an open fist, giving him a small cut on the inside of his lip. The woman was issued a misdemeanor summons and released on a promise to appear. She was scheduled to appear in court Dec. 30.

DUI

Timothy Devitt, 39, of 124 Halstead Ave. was arrested Dec. 29 and charged with driving under the influence. After receiving reports about a motor vehicle accident, police were sent to the Wendy’s parking lot on West Putnam Avenue. The investigation reportedly revealed that Devitt had backed into a parked vehicle. While being interviewed by police, Devitt allegedly was agitated, slurred his speech and was unsteady on his feet. Police said officers saw an open and empty can 12 ounce can of Budweiser in his car and Devitt refused to take field sobriety tests. Devitt was released on a $1,000 cash bond and is due in court Jan. 12.

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12/30/08 PUBLIC RECORDS VIA: The Greenwich Time Police Blotter


Cesar H. Salazar, 21, of 263 Mill St., was arrested Sunday evening after he broke into his neighbor's home, according to a police report.

Police responded to Mill Street when a resident reported hearing someone outside climbing a ladder, said spokesman Lt. Dan Allen.

Salazar was found in an alleyway leaving the scene, police said. Police then found a sneaker print on the second floor ledge where the break-in had occurred that matched Salazar's shoes, according to the report.

Salazar had no stolen items on him, Allen said.

He was charged with burglary in the second degree, the report stated.

He was released on a $500 bond and is scheduled to appear in state Superior Court in Stamford on Jan. 5.

********************************************************************************
Matthew S. Pasternak, 58, of 63 Stanwich Road, was arrested following a one-car collision Sunday afternoon on Sheephill Road and charged with driving under the influence, according to a police report.

Pasternak crashed into the curb at Loading Rock Road. He was not injured. When police questioned him, he spoke with slurred speech and was asked to take a series of field sobriety tests, which he failed, the report stated.

He was also charged with unsafe movement, police said.

Pasternak was released on a promise to appear and is scheduled to appear in state Superior Court in Stamford on Jan. 12.

*******************************************************************************
Luis Efrain Pelaez-Gomez, 43, of 36 Stephen St., Stamford, was arrested on Lake Avenue Saturday morning and charged with driving under the influence, according to a police report.
Police responded to reports of a crashed vehicle, which was Pelaez-Gomez's. He had an odor of alcohol emanating from him. Police had him perform a series of field sobriety tests, which he failed, the report stated.

He was also charged with unlicensed operation and unsafe movement, police said.
He was released on a a $250 bond and is scheduled to appear in state Superior Court in Stamford on Monday, Jan. 5.

*******************************************************************************

A 17-year old male was arrested at 11 p.m. on Saturday and charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, the police report stated.

Police officers arrived at a residence on High Street on reports of a possible drinking party. Although there were no alcohol related violations, the 17-year-old, whose name was not released because of his age, was observed making "a suspicious movement," and placing a plastic bag in his pocket. He was searched and .08 gram of marijuana was found in one pocket and a glass bowl, known to be used for smoking pot, in another, according to the police report.

He was released on a promise to appear and is scheduled to appear in state Superior Court in Stamford on Jan. 7.

FOR THE RECORD:

Greenwich Roundup has for access to these public records and even asked for the Sargent's report to be emailed over for instant publication, unedited in Greenwich Roundup.

However, the Greenwich Police Department has declined to do so. They only like releasing police reports to the three very compliant Greenwich Newspapers.
In fact, there is a real problem with Greenwich town employees not releasing public information fairly and equally to all Greenwich media outlets. Many times we have asked the Greenwich Board of Education to put us on their press release list, but they have consistently refused.
They only pass out their press releases to the three very compliant newspapers.
The BOE is very happy with Cub Reporter Colin Gustafson regurgitating their press releases almost word for word. Unfortunately, this attitude is costing parents and the single family homeowners of Greenwich dearly.
When Glenville Parents came to the Zorba crew with pictures and stories about the conditions inside their school the Zorba crew could not be bothered with such trivial matters.
When The Complacent Reporter At The Three Local Rags Didn't Care That The Results Of The Harris Survey That Was Carried Out In May And June Of This Year Were Being Kept Under Wraps By The Greenwich Board Of Education. It Was Citizen Journalist Bill Clark Who Broke The Story.....
A week after Bill Clark's investigative report Ms. Strenberg told an enraged town that she was going to jump, before she was pushed overboard. Out of all of the town's reporters only citizen journalist Bill Clark went and filed the Freedom of Information request at the BOE.
Greenwich Time Cub Reporter Colin Gustafson couldn't file a Freedom of Information request, because he was very busy regurgitating a flurry of press releases that BOE communications director Kim Eves was sending out telling us what a great job Ms. Sternberg and the BOE were doing.
The BOE made Bill Clark wait five days for Harris Survey and everyday Kim Eves was telling Cub Reporter Colin Gustafson what a great job the school was doing. If you don't believe me, then go to the Greenwich public library and read each of the front covers of the Greenwich Time in during the last week of September.
In Fact, The Greenwich School Board Counts On The Greenwich Time And Other Local Papers Being Complacent. That's Why There Is No Accountability At The BOE:

When the "New And Improved" Hamilton Avenue Modulars were leaking AGAIN, the Greenwich Time could not be bothered.

Please See:

When a Greenwich parent got pictures of three heavily damaged classrooms in the "NEW" 30 Million Dollar Ham Ave School the Greenwich Time was not interested and still has not fully reported whats going on inside that building.

Please See:

School Parents And Taxpayer Understand When Greenwich Roundup Calls Greenwich Time Colin Gustafoson A Cub Reporter......
PLEASE ALSO SEE:
WHEN TOWN OF GREENWICH EMPLOYEES SELECTIVELY GIVE OUT PUBLIC RECORDS TO THE TOWNS MEDIA OUTLETS THE SINGLE FAMILY HOMEOWNERS END UP PAYING THE BILL IN THE END.
TRANSPARENT GOVERNMENT IS GOOD GOVERNMENT

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The Last Word On This Subject:
There is a time honored tradition in the American press corps, that when government officials allowed only certain reporters were to cover the event. All reporters boycotted the event until the excluded reporter was allowed access.
Moreover, all of the reported about the reporter, being excluded.
The public's right to know what was going on was paramount.
If Greenwich Roundup was ever given public information in press release, that town employees refused to give to the Greenwich Time you would read about the exclusion right here.
We would not bend over and prostitute ourselves like Greenwich Time managing editor Jim Zorba does when he has cub reporter Colin Gustafson regurgitate a BOE press release or when Martin Cassidy reprints the Greenwich Police Department police blotter.
Zorba knows that town employees exclude Greenwich citizen journalists from receiving the press release and reports that his lazy mainstream reporters get daily.
The fact is that Zorba is deathly afraid of citizen journalists getting the same access to public documents that his lackluster reporters receive.
Zorba knows that Greenwich Roundup would do the right thing and stand up and condemn Greenwich town employees if they ever excluded his mainstream reporters, whose only job qualification is that they have a pulse and be able to run a town press release through the spell checker before hitting the publish button..
Why would we stand up for Zorba's amateurish reporters?
Because Greenwich Roundup is not complacent like the Greenwich Citizen, Greenwich Post and the Greenwich Time. We are a lean mean truth telling machine that lets the chips fall where they may.
And that is why Greenwich Roundup and other local citizen journalist web sites are growing at a double digit rates and the local newspaper web sites are struggling at best.

12/30/08 Why Can't A Billion Dollar Corporation Like Hearst Newspapers Find A Web Master That Can Get Greeneich Time News Stories up By 6 AM In The Mo


READ YESTERDAY'S NEWS ONLINE TODAY
AT THE GREENWICH TIME !!!!!

Did you just get up this morning and think you might take a look at local Greenwich Time headlines, before catching the 8:15 into the city.

Well if your trains on time you can be to work by nine, and maybe by then the Greenwich Time Web Master might have the news up about your town.

When is Greenwich Time managing editor going to stop treating Greenwich's online news news readers like bald headed step children?

Zorba basically can't be bothered with providing his online customers with up to the minute local news, because he is much to busy preparing those boring "HARD HITTING" state editorials that he gets from the public access channels on cable TV.

Well maybe Jim Zorba Will get Tuesday's local news up by Wednesday morning at the latest.

Maybe we should go visit the CT Post website and see if they got Greenwich news stories up yet. Usually they get Greenwich news stories up a the night before.

UPDATE 8:19 AM:

The Greenwich Time Is Stating To Come To Life

Maybe Greenwich Time Managing Editor Jim Zorba should hire Greenwich Roundup To Wake Up His Lazy Reporters Every Morning.

Greenwich Residents Are Starting To Wonder Id Zorba Is Managing One Of Those Old Afternoon Daily Newspapers.


People slow to install radon systems

Meredith BlakeStaff Writer
Posted: 12/30/2008 07:56:43 AM EST


Town health officials said despite warnings of health risks, two-thirds of residents with high levels of radon in their homes still have not installed mitigation systems.

Madoff scheme touches two private Greenwich schools

By Colin GustafsonStaff Writer
Posted: 12/30/2008 08:05:08 AM EST

Two Greenwich private schools and a Stamford-based Hebrew school are among the hundreds of nonprofit organizations across the country that were partly funded by foundations invested in Bernard Madoff's allegedly fraudulent fund.


Greenwich first selectman felled by flu

By Neil VigdorStaff Writer
Posted: 12/30/2008 08:04:37 AM EST


First Selectman Peter Tesei is recovering from a Christmas Day fainting spell that he said was brought on by severe dehydration from the flu.

Town revenues plummet

By Neil VigdorStaff Writer
Posted: 12/30/2008 08:05:17 AM EST

The ball isn't the only thing that will be dropping this New Year's. So are town revenues, and in a big way.

BACK TO THE FUTURE

ONCE AGAIN THE GREENWICH TIME CAN'T KEEP TIME

HERE IS A BUNCH OF REGIONAL NEWS THAT HAS BEEN THROWN UP ON THE GREENWICH TIME WEB SITE THE TIME STAMPS ARE BETWEEN 1- 3 AM

BUT WE DID NOT SEE THIS REGIONAL NEWS UP ON THE GREENWICH TIME WEB SITE AT 6 AM THIS MORNING:

IS JIM ZORBA AND HIS WEB MASTER PLAYING TRICKS WITH THE GREENWICH TIME CLOCKS AGAIN.


Woman charged in '02 slaying: Suspect serving time for attempted murder of spouse


By Martin B. Cassidy and Jeff MorganteenStaff Writers
Posted: 12/30/2008 03:00:05 AM EST


STAMFORD - Six years after the stabbing death of a 32-year-old woman in her Shippan condominium, police have arrested a woman they say was entangled in a love triangle involving them and a co-worker.

Revelers expected to ride the rails

By Martin B. Cassidy Staff Writer
Posted: 12/30/2008 02:45:20 AM EST

A surge of bundled-up revelers are expected to travel by rail New Year's Eve, despite a significant ebb of ridership by shoppers last week, Metro-North Railroad officials said Monday.


Jersey exec named to DOT post

By Martin B. Cassidy Staff Writer
Posted: 12/30/2008 02:45:37 AM EST


The state has hired a longtime New Jersey Transitexecutive to run Connecticut railway and bus lines, including construction of the New Haven rail yard and a planned expansion of mass transit.
YOU MAY NOTICE THAT THESE RASH OF REGIONAL STORIES

ARE FILED BY

GREENWICH TIME / STAMFORD ADVOCATE REPORTER

MARTIN "I HAVE TROUBLE KEEPING TIME" CASSIDY

PLEASE SEE:

10/06/08 Breaking News (Updated): Greenwich Bike Rider Killed At 11:30 Last Night. ----- Or THE GREENWICH TIME CAN'T KEEP TIME


10/07/08 Hearst Newspapers Makes A Change: Debra Friedman Replaces "Martin "What Time Is It' Cassidy (Updated)

I Wonder What Martin Cassidy's Mean Old Daddy Thinks about this.....

12/24/08 The Daddy Of Greenwich Time Crime Reporter Martin Cassiddy Is Very Upset With Greenwich Round Up.

Once again we give a big two thumbs up to our Greenwich Time / Stamford Advocate insider that's helping keep Managing Editor Jim Zorba honest over at the local kitty liter liner.


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