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Thursday, January 15, 2009

1/15/09 Public Payroll: Are You Rich Like These Educrats And Bureaucrats? $92000.00 Puts Them in Top 10% Of The Nation



Deputy Superintendent Of Schools Kathleen Greider Was The Second Highest Paid Town Greenwich Employee At $196,471. Her Boss, Betty Sternberg, Was The Town's Highest Paid Employee.

First Selectman Peter Tesei, paid $110,000 annually, did not even make the top 100 list highest paid town employees


School boss tops list of 100 highest wage earners in 2008


For the second year in a row, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Betty Sternberg is the queen bee on the Town's paycheck honeycomb.

At $287,288, the superintendent of schools made more in 2008 than U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings - $192,300....

....Greenwich's widely awaited annual list of 100 top wage earners was distributed Tuesday by Human Resources Director Maureen Kast. At $143,241, Kast is No. 24.

A former head of human resources for the New York City Police Department, Kast noted that while top educators dominate the 2008 Greenwich list as they did in 2007, there is a strong presence from the Greenwich Police Department. In an interview she attributed this to cops putting in much overtime ....

....Accident Car Patrolman Joseph Rondini, at $156,760, is 10th on the earnings list; Lt. Mark Kordick, at $148,307, is 18th on the list, while Police Chief David Ridberg, at $145,243, checks in at No. 21.....

.....Mario Gonzalez, who resigned as head of Greenwich Library at the end of the year, No. 3 at $180,880; and William O. Kowalewski, executive director of The Nathaniel Witherell, No. 4, at $169,283.

Kowalewski runs the Town-owned 202-bed skilled nursing home......

....Spots 99 and 100 on the list are pinned down, respectively, by police Lt. James Heavey, at $118,503, and North Street School Assistant Principal Karen Vitti at $117,953.

First Selectman Peter Tesei, paid $110,000 annually, did not make the top 100 list.....

.....For the complete list of the Town of Greenwich's top 100 wager earners and their annual salaries, please see our print edition.

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1/15/09 Fancy Nancy Stores On Greenwich Avenue Are In Trouble.

A reader asks,
I have recently heard that many stores will be closing on the Ave. including Baccarat (no surprise there) Tiffany, J. Crew and Saks - I doubt that one.Have you heard those rumors?
What do I know from Greenwich Avenue, except to speed across it in my Hummer? Anyone know anything about the health of these stores?

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1/15/09 Dumb Greenwich Decorator Gets Caught By Police. She Could Face Up To Ten Years In Prison. Ryan Is Out On A $75,000 Bail


U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas: "Ms. Ryan, please don't tempt fate"

Police: Stamford hedge fund swindler's girlfriend sent cash to him ...
Norwalk Advocate

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The girlfriend of Stamford hedge fund swindler Samuel Israel III, already accused of helping him try to avoid a prison sentence, attempted to send him $300 in jail, officials said Wednesday.

The cash was "secreted in the pages of a magazine" that had been mailed to Israel last month at the Westchester County jail, county police spokesman Kieran O'Leary said. He did not know the name of the magazine.

The money was discovered during routine screening and did not reach Israel, O'Leary added. Prisoners are not permitted to receive cash.

The magazine was traced to the girlfriend, 45-year-old Debra Ryan of Armonk, N.Y., and she was arrested on Friday, O'Leary said. She is due in local court later this month.

Ryan is a decorator who rented a house on Highland Avenue in Greenwich. Israel founded the hedge fund Bayou Group in Stamford in 1996.

The arrest was first disclosed in federal court after Ryan pleaded not guilty to the charge she helped Israel go on the lam rather than begin his 20-year prison sentence last June.

Israel surrendered a month later and was recently transferred to a federal medical prison in Massachusetts for physical and psychological tests ordered by U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas. The judge is unsure that Israel, who has been addicted to painkillers, is competent to plead guilty to the charge of failing to report to prison.

Ryan's lawyer, Richard Strassberg, declined comment on the contraband charge, which is a misdemeanor with a maximum one-year sentence upon conviction. She could face as much as 10 years in prison if convicted on the original charge.

The judge warned Ryan to have "no contact of any kind" with Israel in the future and added that to the conditions of her $75,000 bail.

"Ms. Ryan, please don't tempt fate," he added

Though Ryan pleaded not guilty to the charge of aiding and abetting Israel's failure to report to prison, negotiations on a plea bargain are under way. Prosecutor Nicholas McQuade told the judge lawyers were in talks "likely to result in a disposition of the case."

The judge set Feb. 10 for the next court session.

Ryan's original arrest came in June, 10 days after Israel faked his suicide on the Bear Mountain Bridge and fled the day he was supposed to begin the sentence he received for swindling investors in his Bayou hedge funds. Prosecutors said at the time that Ryan admitted helping Israel pack up the RV that he used to flee.

Ryan's statement was the first big break announced in the case after Israel's SUV was found abandoned on a Hudson River bridge with the ominous words "Suicide is Painless" etched in dust on the hood.

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1/15/09 More Fallout From Greenwich Resident Walter "Feeder Fund" Noel: Spanish Bonds Go On Rattings Watch

S&P's Puts Spanish Sovereign Debt On Ratings Watch Negative

RGE Monitor, NY

Spain yesterday became the third euro zone country within a week to be warned by rating agency Standard & Poor's that its credit rating (currently the highest - AAA) is under threat from the deterioration.......

Santander Under Investigation

....Well, as we say in English, it never rains but it pours (sempre plou sobre mullat) - and if only to confirm the validity of the old adage I simply can't end this post without mentioning that we have learnt today that Spanish prosecutors are currently investigating Banco Santander's loss of more than 2.3 billion euros of its clients' money by investing with alleged swindler Bernard Madoff. Just what Spain and its badly mauled banking system needed at this moment in time - a crisis of confidence in the professional judgement of Emilio Botin.

According to the Wall Street Journal yesterday Spain's anticorruption prosecutor is set to examine the relationship between Santander, Fairfield Greenwich Group, and the Madoff funds. Fairfield Greenwich Group is an investment fund, whose clients stand to lose $7.5 billion in the alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

According to the Journal, investigators are looking into why Santander Chairman Emilio Botin sent his head of risk management operations to visit Madoff weeks before the scheme fell apart. Investigators are also reported to be looking into whether several people who managed money at Santander funds were aware of problems at the Madoff funds.

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1/15/09 Laura Grondin Trys To Clean Up The Mess Scott Franz Left Behind

Journal Inquirer, CT

The Connecticut Development Authority suffered a net asset loss of $9.4 million in the 2008 fiscal year after losing $10.3 million on its lending and economic development investments, according to its latest available audited financial statements.

The loss is the fourth in as many years for the quasi-public agency, which also experienced net losses of $7.3 million in fiscal 2007, $2.07 million in fiscal 2006, and $2.9 million in fiscal 2005.

CDA officials told their outside auditors that the latest drop in the agency’s net assets was primarily due to its investment losses, including $10.1 million of real-estate-backed investments.

But they also said that the losses were “alleviated” in part by “core lending and economic development operating income” of $430,537 and by another $528,279 in net operating income at the XL Center.

The auditors, meanwhile, reported that the CDA had made a total of $47.4 million in loans, including $9.4 million they characterized as “current” and $38 million as “non-current.”

They said the agency had a recorded balance of “impaired loans” of $16.2 million in the last fiscal year, an increase from the $15.3 million in fiscal 2007.

A loan is “impaired,” according to the auditors, when based on current circumstances and events a creditor expects to be unable to collect all amounts contractually due in accordance with the terms of the loan agreement.

Similarly, the auditors reported that as of June 30, 2008, the CDA had “non-performing loans” — which include loans over 61 days past due — with a “carrying value” of $1.1 million and a “fair value” of $557,131.

They also reported that the agency in the last fiscal year had paid $353,978 in guarantees — payments for which it was responsible when the company primarily liable for the debt failed to perform.That marked a nearly threefold increase over the previous fiscal year, when the CDA paid $90,291 in guarantees.

The CDA’s losses on its investments have been controversial, and agency officials told lawmakers several years ago that while it never “forgives” loans, it only recovers about 10 percent of the failed loans and guarantees it charges off.

Those comments came as the authority, as well as Gov. M. Jodi Rell, caught political flak over its bad loans and some lawmakers criticized the CDA as one of the state’s “candy store” economic development agencies, adding that they suspected politics had played a role in its decisions.

Rell last month named a Haddam resident, Laura Grondin, as the new chairwoman of the CDA. Grondin, president of Rocky Hill-based Virginia Industries, succeeded L. Scott Frantz, a Republican from Greenwich who was elected to the state Senate in November......

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1/15/09 The Raw Greenwich News Feed

Peter Leone of Lionshare's first win at WEF
... and credited his crew for their organization and attention to detail. Leone's Lionshare Farm, located in Greenwich, Connecticut, prides itself on creating an atmosphere that exemplifies the standard of excellence to which all show barns aspire ...

Norwalk Man Held On Child Pornography
WSTC-AM Norwalk
Greenwich Police Lieutenant Dan Allen said authorities originally began investigating Brown for threatening a former girlfriend
, but the probe uncovered pornography on his computer.

Stocks nose-dive with retail, banking worries
Washington Times
... lead the sell-off, and they're down 5 percent today," Steven Goldman, chief market strategist for Weeden & Co. of Greenwich, Conn., told The Washington Times. "It makes it difficult to have a sustained rally. The retail sales report didn't help, ...

Local historian recounts Rochambeau's march through Connecticut
Westport Minuteman
... might not well have been a United States of America." As a historian, Savage knows of what he speaks. The Old Greenwich resident taught at both the University of Connecticut and Fairfield University, and for years was a professional filmmaker for ...

a Lasting Debt to Schools
New York Post
... bonds because it's cheaper than borrowing from banks and there is demand from investors, said Laurence Allen, the Greenwich, Conn.-based managing member of Nyppex Holdings LLC, a firm that trades stakes in private- equity funds and often works with ...

Exclusive: Piven Defends Play Departure
ABC News - Brian Ross and the Investigative Team
... condition. "This is a situation of mercury toxicity," Colker, the medical director of Peak Wellness of Greenwich, Conn., told ABCNews.com. "His level [of mercury] was quite high, almost six times the normal limit. a In this case, it's either because ...

Tax season launches Friday
Connecticut Post
... jointly is around $22,000. A clear sign that the need is out there is that "It's [the average AGI is] lower in Greenwich" than in some of the other county towns, Pfann said. This, he added, might be due to a number of servants or service people who ...

Revolution Tour Hits
Transworld Motocross
... Brennen Swanson (Stillwater, MN) and Ross Baker (Squaw Valley, CA) as well as Chris Mahaney (Greenwich, CT) who was fourth at Junior World Championships in 2008, and Kim Krahulec (Silverthorne, CO). "I can't wait to see what tricks ...

Nymex Gas Falls as U.S. Retail Sales Report Signals Further Drop in Demand
... are extremely concerned about the drop-off in demand,a said Tom Orr , research director at Weeden & Co. in Greenwich, Connecticut. a oeWe were anticipating a 3 percent decline in gas use in 2009.a Natural gas for February delivery fell 21.4 cents, ...

Lucille Albee
Newton Daily News
... Park Rapids. Lu was born and raised in Latimer. She and her family lived in Wayzata, Minn., Kansas City, Kan., Old Greenwich, Conn., and Deephaven, Minn. After a successful career as a teacher, realtor, church and community volunteer and housewife, ...

1/15/09 Greenwich Post News Links

The 1963 March on Washington included Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous 'I Have A Dream' speech.

Arts, crafts and song: Town marks civil rights leader’s 80th birthday

Today marks what would have been the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 80th birthday. The civil rights leader, who was assassinated in 1968, months before his 40th birthday, will be honored around town today and Monday, its national day of observance.

Celebrating with scholarship awards and an art show reception, the YWCA of Greenwich will host Richard “Cookie” Thomas, who will speak today at 5:30 p.m. about his meeting Mr. King. He will also help present the YWCA Racial Justice Scholarship Awards to high school seniors Elizabeth Huebner and Asia Sanders.

The art exhibit, “Living and Dreaming: Original Art Work Inspired by the Life and Times of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” features works by Kwame Henry Jones and Donna Hargrove. The program is free and open to the public.

Those interested in attending the reception may RSVP to 869-6501, ext. 104, or e-mail p.dileo@ywcagreenwich.org.

On Monday, the Bruce Museum will open its doors with the theme “Celebrating a Life of Love.” The annual celebration of Mr. King’s life will feature performances by the Messiah Baptist Gospel Choir from Bridgeport at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Kids of all ages and abilities will have the opportunity to make “I have a dream …” buttons and add their self-portraits to the Circle of Friends mural. The events are free with museum admission.

Young volunteers at the museum will help with the activities commemorating the holiday, as a part of the national King Day of Service initiated by the United States Congress in 1994. Those interested in volunteering should contact Volunteer Program Manager Mary Ann Lendenmann at mlendenmann@brucemuseum.org.

At the schools

The town’s private schools are also gearing up to celebrate Mr. King and his message of equality and kindness.

On Friday, the 775 girls of Convent of the Sacred Heart will participate in an all-school prayer service with their teachers and school administrators. The theme of the event is Langston Hughes’ poem “A Dream Deferred.”.....

Skakel files new appeal

Charging that the defense was not properly provided evidence during his 2002 trial, attorneys for Michael Skakel have filed a new appeal of his murder conviction and asked that a bail hearing be held.

Weather could impact Hamilton Avenue completion

The critical work seen as the last remaining obstacle to getting students in the new Hamilton Avenue School is underway and could be complete soon, provided there’s cooperation from an unpredictable factor... the weather.

Hospital expands ambulatory services

To meet the demand for surgical services, Greenwich Hospital christened its new ambulatory surgical facility at 55 Holly Hill Lane Monday night.

Court to rule on request for Smith transcript

A Jan. 28 date has been set to determine whether the transcript of Greenwich Probate Judge David Hopper’s May hearing upholding Jennifer Hagel Smith’s $1-million settlement with Royal Caribbean International may be made public. The Post asked Judge Hopper this week to unseal the transcript, taken during a hearing closed to the press and public.

Town considers bigger safety net for Griffith E. Harris golf course

Approved in the 2008-09 budget as a $1.56-million project, the redevelopment of the administration building and pro shop at the Griffith E. Harris Golf Course is looking to add more of a safety net to its plan.

Revised tax relief ordinance up for vote

Replacing an existing ordinance with one approved by the town this Tuesday could mean more tax relief for eligible elderly residents.

Representatives selected for key committees

State Representatives Livvy R. Floren, (R-149), Lile R. Gibbons, (R-150), and Fred Camillo, (R-151), have been selected to serve on key committee positions in the House Republican caucus for the 2009-10 legislative sessions by House Republican Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr., (R-142).

Police Watch


Roderick Boyd, 40, of 54 Sinoway Road, Cos Cob was arrested Jan. 9 and charged with second degree failure to appear. Boyd reportedly turned himself in on an outstanding warrant after he allegedly failed to answer charges in court. He had been arrested on Feb. 16, 2006 and charged with driving while under suspension, not having insurance and failure to obey a traffic control signal. Boyd was released on a $500 cash bond and is due in court Jan. 16.


Larcenio Brown, 37, of Norwalk was arrested Jan. 10 and charged with three counts of first degree possession of child pornography. Brown was arrested as part of an unrelated investigation when it was allegedly determined he had numerous images of child pornography on three computers. Brown was being held in lieu of a $10,000 cash bond and is due in court Jan. 20.


Atigio Sierralta, 37, of Port Chester, N.Y. was arrested Jan. 12 and charged with second degree failure to appear. Police reportedly saw Sierralta traveling 50 mph in a posted 35 mph zone on West Putnam Avenue and when he was pulled over, officers discovered there was a warrant for his arrest. Sierralta had allegedly failed to appear in court to respond to an Aug. 17, 2001 arrest for traveling fast, misuse of plates, operating an unregistered motor vehicle and not having insurance. Sierralta was released on a $500 cash bond and is due in court Jan. 21.


A 17-year-old Riverside boy was arrested Jan. 13 and charged with breach of peace. The boy reportedly turned himself in to police custody on an active warrant. He had allegedly punched another student at Greenwich High School on Oct. 22. The boy was released on a $1,000 cash bond and is due in court Jan. 21.

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

1/15/09 Greenwich Time News Links

Gov. M. Jodi Rell during a roast of former state Sen. William Nickerson Wednesday night. (Keelin Daly/Greenwich Time photo)

Former Greeenwich state senator roasted by lawmakers, friends
Gov. M. Jodi Rell and Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele had to decide who would attend Wednesday night's farewell party for the newly departed state senator from Greenwich, William Nickerson.

Klein backs pay incentives in Greenwich talk
The only realistic way to close the achievement gap between poor students and wealthier ones is to set higher standards for teachers and offer pay incentives for good performance, New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein told town educators Wednesday.

Tesei seeks cuts in Greenwich work force
First Selectman Peter Tesei will seek to cut as many as 70 jobs from the town's non-school work force of 1,020 employees -- some through layoffs and others by attrition -- to make up for declining revenues.

Teacher in running for national award
A special-education teacher at the town's alternative high school has been named one of four national finalists for the federal education department's 2009 "Teacher of the Year Award.

In Town Briefs: Former Ms. America to discuss health
Ex-Ms. America discusses health Susan Jeske, former Ms. America, will speak at a morning coffee event, hosted by the WGCH radio show "The Health Secret," at 10 a.m.

One-car crash closes King Street
Greenwich police closed a nearly two-mile stretch of King Street on Wednesday night for about three hours after a one-car accident near the state line.

Bonding returns to front-burner
Long taboo in Greenwich because of the unwanted burden of interest payments, the practice of bonding for projects made a comeback Wednesday during a public hearing on the town's watered-down capital spending program. Full Story

Janitors score win in early state budget discussions
HARTFORD -- The General Assembly convened Wednesday to ostensibly further whittle down the current fiscal year's deficit, which some estimate is approaching $1 billion.

Sabbath Services
CHABAD LUBAVITCH OF GREENWICH: 75 Mason St. Tel. 629-9059. Web site: www.chabadgreenwich.org. Traditional prayer services.

Warming centers to open in Greenwich
Warming Centers. Greenwich Hospital Main Lobby Hours: Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 8a.m. - 6p.m. Location: 5 Perryridge Road Greenwich Library Hours: Thursday, Friday: 9a.m.

Landlord defends Cos Cob bank
Dave Sottini doesn't understand what's wrong with a bank. "Banks don't even have an outside Dumpster," said Sottini, a Cos Cob native who said he is surprised by the recent neighborhood protest against Chase Bank's pending move to the property his family has owned for decades at 371 E.

Westchester airport debuts electric-powered vehicles
RYE BROOK, N.Y. - Robert Funicello watched the new electric-powered baggage cart pull onto the tarmac at Westchester County Airport yesterday, another step toward lessening the 703-acre facility's impact on the environment

Greenwich High School upends Darien in boys swimming
DARIEN -- One of the reasons why the Greenwich High School boys swimming team regained the FCIAC championship and once again contended for the State Open title last year was the performance of its fabulous freshmen.

Guitar master Al DiMeola brings flavor of tango to Fairfield
After spending last year with reunited fusion pioneers Return to Forever, guitarist Al DiMeola is already back on the road with his World Sinfonia band, supporting an album recorded live in Italy.

Harman expands into India, Dubai
Continuing its push to develop operations overseas, Stamford-based Harman International Industries Inc.

This is in response to the unfortunate citizens of Greenwich who suffer from an irrational fear of unleashed dogs on town property, and who feel the need to "protect" the rest of us.

Dogs are friendly and intelligent creatures, often cleaner and better-behaved than the average human toddlers that are so coveted. When dogs are loose on the beach, they are far more interested in romping around with their fellow canines than they are randomly mauling joggers. In fact, I've never seen any instance of the latter.

In addition, for those who complain about dogs defecating on the beach: Clean-up is the owner's responsibility, not the dog's, as they are not potty-trainable. And personally, I find it far more disgusting and offensive when a human family leaves their food garbage all over the beach than coming across a stray pile of poo.

Alex Zizzi
Cos Cob

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1/15/09 Greemwich Roundup Has Just About Had It With Instapundit. However, Chris Fountain Is Saying,"God bless Instapundit!"


Every Blogger In Greenwich Has Spectacular Personal News, Except Greenwich Roundup.

First I Learn Bill Clark Of Greenwich Gossip Has Won The Byram Special Election And Became A Town Legislator.

Now I Find Out Chris Fountain At "For What Its Worth" Got 16,000 Unique Visitors Yesterday.

Yes It Is True ..... For What It's Worth Has Set A New All Time Daily, Weekly and Monthly Record Thanks To His Friends In High Places.

The local "For What Its Worth Blog" received 16,000 readers yesterday and this from a site counter that only logs visitors once every 24 hours - doesn't count those who log on 3-4 X a day.

Now this is starting to piss Greenwich Roundup off, because he has yet to break 2,000 Unique Visitors in a day. In fact, lately I seem to spend more time looking at Chris Fountain's web stats instead of my own.

First Chris got mentioned by the New York Times at had 3,000 some visitors in one day. Then his new buddy instapundit linked to him and he set a new 7,000 some record. Now, instapundit has helped Chris hit over 65o unique visitors per hour.

If Chris could just buy a permanent link from the Professor he could become very rich!

If Greenwich Time Managing Editor Bruce Hunter could buy a daily link from Instapundit, he could probably get Publisher John Dunster to promote him to Hearst Newspaper's Regional Business Manager for the Bridgeport, Danbury, Greenwich, Norwalk and Stamford daily newspapers.

For More Information About Chris "I Have Friends In High Places" Fountain Please Look Here....


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