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Sunday, August 30, 2009

08/30/09 RECESSION BUSTER: Save Seventy Five Cents - Read Monday's Greenwich Time On Sunday Night For Free

Charlene Abdal is retiring after 34 years with the town. She has served as an executive assistant to 11 first selectmen. (Keelin Daly/Greenwich Time Staff Photographer)

Charlene Abdal, 'the fourth selectman,' calls it a career
Not once did her name appear on the ballot.

Yet through multiple regime changes, controversies and changes to the face of Greenwich, Charlene Abdal, the executive assistant to the first selectman, has never abdicated her power and influence on the affairs of the town, say those who know her best.

Abdal, 57, who has served as an aide to 11 first selectmen over 34 years, will call it a career on Monday......

.....A lifelong town resident who grew up at Armstrong Court in Chickahominy, Abdal started out as a clerk for Lewis in the first selectman's office. She was later promoted to administrative secretary, executive secretary and finally executive assistant to the first selectman.

Abdal rattled off the list of bosses she has worked under during her career -- Rupert Vernon, Ruth Sims, Rebecca Breed, Roger Pearson, John Margenot Jr., Ragland, Lolly Prince, Richard Bergstresser, Jim Lash and Tesei......

......"Part of the reason I've been here so long is I've been so neutral," Abdal said, who's served under eight Republicans and three Democrats.

For nearly 29 of her 34 years in the first selectman's office, Abdal has worked alongside Paula Belmont, an administrative assistant.

"She's like family," Belmont said of Abdal. "She's taught me everything. It won't be the same.".....

.....An open house will be held at the office for Abdal from about 10 a.m. to noon on Monday, her last day on the job.
Joined by upward of 100 button-wearing supporters and Democratic top brass, town native Drew Marzullo kicked off his campaign for selectman Sunday by touting his experience as an emergency responder.....

....While the Democrat's bid could be an uphill battle in a Republican-leaning town like Greenwich, Himes said he believed a victory was still well within reach for his party's ticket.

"We've always fought against the odds. We've always fought the current and operated in the headwind as Democrats in Greenwich," said Himes. "If we make a commitment today that we're going to work hard for these two, they will win. They will win."

Blumenthal hailed Marzullo's work as an emergency responder, saying his ability to work under pressure was on display recently when the candidate responded to an accident scene in which the attorney general's college-age son sustained minor injuries on his bike after hitting a car.

"He is first of all a professional, a consummate professional, in an area where people literally save lives," Blumenthal.....
STAMFORD -- Gus Bertolf Jr. and his father returned to their Cos Cob dock last week with about $200 worth of conch, their new cash crop in the continued aftermath of a lobster die-off that began in the late 1990s, they said.

State DOT considers selling Route 7 property
Want to buy a home along a never-built expressway? The state Department of Transportation has outlined to the governor the benefits of selling off 14 residences purchased years ago by the state for the expansion of the old Route 7 connecting Norwalk and Danbury.

Return of swine flu: What's ahead for Americans?
WASHINGTON -- The alarm sounded with two sneezy children in California in April. Just five months later, the never-before-seen swine flu has become the world's dominant strain of influenza, and it's
Concerns about the recession have led more public school families to put off enrolling in private school this year, contributing to a surge in enrollment a town schools, district officials said.

As Internet turns 40, barriers threaten its growth
NEW YORK -- Goofy videos weren't on the minds of Len Kleinrock and his team at UCLA when they began tests 40 years ago on what would become the Internet.
LOS ANGELES -- Wildfire threatened 12,000 suburban homes and rained ash on cars as far away as downtown Los Angeles on Sunday, spreading in all directions in hot, dry

Japanese election upends long-ruling party
TOKYO -- Japan's opposition swept to a historic victory in elections Sunday, crushing the ruling conservative party that has run the country for most of the postwar era and assuming the daunting
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