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Thursday, January 22, 2009

1/22/09 PRESS RELEASE: XL Insurance Unveils Pollution Insurance for Property Owners and Managers, a New Program for Commercial Real Estate Portfolios


XL Insurance, XL Capital Ltd's (NYSE: XL) global insurance operations, today unveiled Pollution Insurance for Property Owners and Managers, a suite of pollution insurance endorsements and claims and risk management services to help protect the value of commercial real estate (CRE) portfolios in the U.S.


Rich Corbett, head of XL Insurance's Global Environmental unit, said: "Environmental risks are always a big concern in real estate. An environmental incident can severely impact a property's value and interrupt business operations. Fortunately, environmental risk management providers. like XL Insurance, can pool decades of environmental management knowledge into developing a program like the Pollution Insurance for Property Owners and Managers, which takes a sophisticated and proactive environmental risk management approach to CRE portfolios."


The program combines pollution insurance, loss prevention services and dedicated environmental claims handling, Mr. Corbett explained.


"We advise clients on what they can do to prevent an environmental incident. In the event that a pollution incident does occur on any property in the portfolio, a portfolio manager not only has the pollution coverage to pay for clean up, but is supported by dedicated environmental claims professionals to make sure the situation is handled quickly and economically," he said.


Pollution Insurance for Property Owners and Managers provides a consolidated suite of coverage endorsements aimed at managing the environmental liability concerns faced by commercial real estate managers. It was developed to help real estate owners and managers protect their cash flow and property asset values; to satisfy corporate, investor and financier requirements; as well as create an efficient acquisition/divestiture process.


Available with liability limits up to $50 million, the Pollution Insurance for Property Owners and Managers is available with XL Insurance's Pollution and Remediation Legal Liability insurance policy and is underwritten by XL Specialty Insurance Company, Greenwich Insurance Company and Indian Harbor Insurance Company.


About XL Insurance


"XL Insurance" is the global brand used by member insurers of the XL Capital Ltd (NYSE: XL) group of companies. More information about XL Insurance is available at http://www.xlinsurance.com/. Through its operating subsidiaries, XL Capital Ltd is a leading provider of global insurance and reinsurance coverage and services to industrial, commercial and professional service firms, insurance companies, and other enterprises on a worldwide basis. More information about XL Capital Ltd is available at http://www.xlcapital.com/.


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1/22/09 The Greenwich Citizen Has Not Updated Since Friday, But Greenwich Roundup Is Here With The Raw Greenwich News Feed (Updated All Day)

Here Are A Few Greenwich News Stories That Hearst Newspaper Editor Don Harrison Missed At The Geeenwich Citizen ......

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT"S GOING ON IN GREENWICH READ THE OUT OF TOWN PAPERS

TOP STORY:



Greenwich based Duff Capital Advisors, which once employed as many as 100 people, cut its staff by almost 80% last month, the New York Post reports...



Tough Times for Duff Lead to 80% Job Cuts
New York Post
... hiring a posse of hedge-fund management teams as well as constructing new office space at 100 West Putnam Ave. in Greenwich, Conn., spurring insiders to criticize Duff for having spent too much money before his firm made even a single investment....

Nymex Gas Declines on Reduced Demand for Energy as U.S. Recession Deepens
Bloomberg
... is making it difficult to quantify how far gas use may deteriorate, Tom Orr , research director at Weeden & Co. in Greenwich, Connecticut, said in a telephone interview. Industrial Users Demand from chemical makers and other large consumers of gas ...

$10.6 million will be used for New Haven line signalization upgrade
Stamford Plus Magazine
The $10.6 million to be approved by the Bond Commission will cover signal work on the line in Greenwich, from the New York state line. ...

Madison Man Admits to Fraud Scheme
TheDay, CT
Documents filed with the court and statements made in court show that in late 2002 Safdie approached Acorn Capital, a Greenwich-based assets lending firm, ...

Port Chester residents critique plan for village growth
The Journal News
... to the plan before approving it. "We must remember we are a unique community," she said. "We are not Rye or Greenwich or White Plains. We are who we are. The comprehensive plan was built around what the people of Port Chester want and need." ...



Boys hoop: Warriors struggle in rough FCIAC
Wilton Bulletin
... leaving the Warriors with a 2-8 record with 10 games left — and powers like Trinity Catholic, Bridgeport Central, St. Joseph, Greenwich and Staples, ...

Business Briefs - Jan. 22
Jackson County Pilot
... facilities in Arlington, Texas, and had expanded beyond its current capacity. Farleya s and Sathers is owned by Greenwich, Conn.-based Catterton Partners. The company has sales of more than $600 million following a series of acquisitions in recent ...

Apple Pops, Volatility Drops
Forbes, NY
Andrew Wilkinson is senior market analyst at Greenwich, Conn., based Interactive Brokers. Reach him via e-mail: ibanalyst@interactivebrokers.com .

Lady Wreckers stay on a roll, beat Cards
Westport News
... falls on the balance beam and many of its gymnasts had personal bests Monday in its 134.85-127.55 road win over Greenwich High at the Greenwich YWCA and raised its record to 4-0. The Lady Cardinals dropped to 2-2. "We did outstanding on beam and ...

Boys swimming: Wilton evens record with win over Trumbull
Wilton Bulletin
The Warriors were coming off a 132-48 loss to conference and state power Greenwich last week. Ross Gormley, Dan Mangan and John Craig all won two individual ...

Toyoda Said to Plan Replacement of Most of Toyota's Top-Level Management
Bloomberg.com - Asia
... to let Akio bring in new people,'' said Maryann Keller , an independent auto analyst and consultant in Greenwich, Connecticut. ``A new CEO wants to put together his own team.'' Keller, a Toyoda family acquaintance, said she hasn't discussed the ...

Skiing: Greenwich deals RHS teams rare double loss
Ridgefield Press
But any way you look at it, the Ridgefield High ski teams were jolted by a rare double loss to Greenwich in biting cold conditions at Mount Southington last ...

Injuries to Ankle, Knee and Shoulder Face Recreational Football Players
PRESS RELEASE PRWeb
... MD, MS, FACS, FAAOS, a leading orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine expert with offices in Manhattan and Greenwich, Conn., specializes in helping football players of all levels to avoid damage, reduce the number of injuries and improve the ...

Dartmouth Hockey Ties In Worcester
WMUR-TV Manchester
... Andrew Owsiak (Moose Jaw, Sask.) at 7:33, firing over netminder Adam Roy's shoulder for the 1-0 lead. Peter Boldt (Greenwich, Conn.) also assisted. Dartmouth had some penalty trouble in the early goings but its penalty killing unit was up to task as ...

News > Unternehmensnachrichten > Ocean Tomo Releases Catalogue for ...
Ad-Hoc-News (Pressemitteilung), Germany
Headquartered in Chicago, Ocean Tomo has offices in Greenwich, San Francisco, Palm Beach, Orange County and Washington DC. Subsidiaries of Ocean Tomo ...

THE WEALTH REPORT
Wall Street Journal Blogs
Remember that proposed Greenwich, Conn., mansion with 26 toilets? Well its Russian owner, rejected by town planners on the first plan, downsized the home ...

Local Towns Attack Water Supply Issue
New Canaan News Review
The "back country" of Greenwich does not have a municipal water supply for fires, so the town has set up initiatives to build dry hydrants on public and ...



ECONOMIC REPORT Housing starts plunge to another record low
MarketWatch
... shockwave felt in the fall has clearly brought the housing industry to its knees," wrote Stephen Stanley, chief economist for RBS Greenwich Capital. ...



This Weekend
Bridgeport News
More than 40 masterpieces of modern sculpture, drawn from local collections in Greenwich and its environs, will go on exhibit Saturday, Jan. ...

Greenwich swimmers dunk New Canaan
Stamford Advocate
By David Fierro
Greenwich High School's Eric Minowitz swims to a first-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle during Wednesday's meet against New Canaan. ...



SWRPA outlines 2009 priorities
DarienNews-Review
One of 15 regional planning agencies in Connecticut, SWRPA provides regional planning services to the cities of Norwalk, Stamford, Darien, Greenwich ...



'Free and appropriate'
DarienNews-Review
...Special Education Attorney David Shaw said that the state has made it more cost-neutral for schools to out-place a student at a another public facility, whereas it used to be even more cost-effective for the schools. Shaw was the leading prosecutor in P.J. et al vs. the State Board of Education, a landmark Connecticut case dealing with the inclusion of children with intellectual disabilities....

....He said that when children are sent to "segregated schools," they rarely return to their home school district. "It is pretty much a one-way street, especially for children with severe disabilities.".....

... they can place the child in a private educational facility, such as Eagle Hill in Greenwich, Benhaven or Cedarhurst in Hamden, or High Road School of Norwalk, among many other private special education facilities in the state. ...

AllShows.com Named the Primary Ticket Seller for the Heirloom Arts ...
MSNBC
GREENWICH, CT - In yet another partnership developed to provide New York tri-state area consumers with unique entertainment experiences, AllShows.com today ...

Sure we're in bad times, but chin up, we are still Americans
Stamford Advocate
... adds still a lot more to the glass. Greenwich resident Carla Wallach is an author who has written numerous articles in national publications.....

Suzette Smith: From Hedges to the Heights
Shelter Island Reporter, NY
... Stars in the Heights, was born in Chingola, Zambia (a grandfather was CEO of a mineral company) but grew up in Old Greenwich and Milford, Connecticut. ...

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1/22/09 Greenwich Time News Links

The swearing in of President Barack Obama received a standing ovation at Town Hall, including, from front left, Barbara Fortunato, Roy Carey, Gracie Smith, Monique Christie and Pat Maranan. — Ken Borsuk photo



Tuesday was a day of celebration in Greenwich as people of all ages, colors and political viewpoints came together to mark the inauguration of President Barack Obama.




Just days away from presenting the municipal budget to the town, First Selectman Peter Tesei repeated that job cuts in town departments could sadly become necessary.


Mr. Tesei’s presentation, which is officially to the Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET), but the public is invited to attend, is set for 6 p.m. Monday night in the Town Hall Meeting Room. In an interview with the Post on Tuesday, Mr. Tesei said despite the best efforts of town departments to curtail expenditures, the job cuts could still be looming. However it is too early to tell how many there will be, if any, and it won’t be determined until the BET starts working on it and more finite numbers become available.


Mr. Tesei first brought up the prospect of the job cuts at the Jan. 14 Board of Selectmen meeting as something the town was looking at, but not necessarily something inevitable. He said he would not be looking for cuts in the police or fire department or at The Nathaniel Witherell.


“It is certainly not something we take lightly,” Mr. Tesei said at the meeting. “We have approximately 1,020 town employees and we’re focused on that area. If you exempt Witherell and you exempt fire and police, you lower your base to reduce from but we’re looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 positions, just to put it out there as of today. It could change. It could be less.”


On Tuesday, Mr. Tesei told the Post town departments had submitted their operating budgets, including contractually mandated salary increases, with a 1% increase compared to last year. Mr. Tesei praised town department heads and the Board of Education for reducing non-salaried costs to make that possible, but despite that, the town is still facing having to raise the mill rate beyond the annual 3.5% growth the BET has called for to meet costs.....


.....When asked if he would be willing to simply raise the mill rate beyond 3.5%, Mr. Tesei said he wasn’t.


“In good times we held it to 3.5% at the time when we were addressing many of our capital needs but the reality is people are not in a position to pay more today,” Mr. Tesei told the Post. “I believe I was elected, quite candidly, with a mandate in terms of the vote and one of the things that I said I would do is have modest and predictable tax increases.”




Greenwich could be on the verge of finding a greener way to clean up after the introduction of a new policy requiring the use of more environmentally friendly cleaning and sanitizing products.


The policy, which is being considered by the Board of Selectmen, was put together by members of the Environmental Task Force. It requires that no cleaning product may be used inside a town building unless it has received the certification of Green Seal Certified or EcoLogo. This includes disinfectants, disinfecting cleaners, sanitizers and any antimicrobial products regulated by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.


If the new policy is implemented, any existing cleaning supplies would be used until empty and then replaced by the environmentally friendly products. Companies that have cleaning contracts with the town would also have to use the green products.


The state of Connecticut already has a similar policy in place for cleaning in all of its buildings.


Elizabeth Bittner, a task force member and co-chairwoman of its cleaning products committee, presented the resolution to the board at its Jan. 14 meeting.


Before developing the proposal, committee members spoke with the town’s purchasing department and the various town departments, such as public works, parks and recreation and the Board of Education that use cleaning products, to solicit their ideas and feedback. Ms. Bittner said that everyone the committee met with “seemed receptive” to the idea of making the change and some have already started to consider the more environmentally safe products......




Despite a last minute attempt to postpone the decision until March, the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) voted overwhelmingly Tuesday night to provide more tax relief to eligible town seniors.


By a 153 to 4 vote, with three abstentions, the RTM approved a resolution allowing more seniors to be covered by the town’s existing tax relief program. Previously, seniors with a total income of no more than $39,000 were covered, but the new resolution will cover eligible seniors earning up to $60,000 a year, and will provide more money for those in lower tax brackets.


The motion to postpone consideration of the resolution was offered by District 12 member Michael Petrucelli. It was shot down by a voice vote.


Mr. Petrucelli, chairman of the RTM’s budget overview committee, said waiting until March would allow a court to first hear the appeals from North Mianus residents challenging sewer assessments. Those residents have not paid property taxes to the town because of the case.
Town Assessor Ted Gwartney said timing was a major issue with the changes because his department has a state mandated Feb. 1 deadline by which to issue notices to potentially eligible residents.


Before a vote was taken, a sunset clause was added to the resolution by the RTM’s legislative and rules committee, and approved by the full body, 150 to 19, with two abstentions. The resolution will come up for consideration again in 2013




With 1,500 schools, 136,000 employees and 1.1 million students under his direction, one would think that New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein wouldn’t have much time to concern himself with other districts’ students.


But last Thursday morning, Mr. Klein was the guest speaker at the Greenwich Alliance for Education’s enterprise council breakfast to discuss educational challenges facing the nation. He said all school systems, including Greenwich, are not serving students well enough and stressed accountability and reform as challenges that must be quickly tackled.


“We are not remotely demanding enough of ourselves in education at every level of the system, from our best schools to our most challenged schools,” Mr. Klein said during his remarks at the breakfast. “We need to take our game up more than a notch.”


Mr. Klein said for years people have been talking about all the things that should be done, including better curriculum, more pre-kindergarten education and more after-school help, but things aren’t being done because of “sacred cow” reasons. Mr. Klein said in the last 25 years real dollar spending on education had doubled, but achievement remains flat.




Making way for a hotel fitting the “mid-range family niche,” according to attorney John Tesei, the Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved plans last Thursday to demolish the former Howard Johnson Hotel in Riverside and build anew. While all members seemed accepting of the idea, the main hiccup prior to approval centered on the number of seats available in the restaurant and meeting room areas.


The new hotel will include 86 rooms at little more than 56,000 total square feet, down from 106 rooms and 48,513 square feet as a Howard Johnson. The plan also includes a restaurant with seasonal outdoor dining.


Blue Smoke, operated by Union Square Hospitality Group, is slated to open in the new space. The restaurant also has a location in New York City. As per Planning and Zoning Commission members’ request, seating in the indoor restaurant/bar, outdoor space, banquet area and board room will amount to no more than 342 seats.


“We’d like to get started for all the right reasons,” Mr. Tesei told commission members last week.


The owners of the new hotel also run the Delamar Greenwich Harbor hotel in Greenwich. Charles Mallory, general partner of the Delamar and founder of its operating company, told the Post last summer that the new hotel will “have a very different price point and less service” than the Delamar.




The town is proposing $20.5 million in capital projects in 2009-10, the bulk of which is slated for infrastructure repairs and construction.


“This year takes on an added challenge,” First Selectman Peter Tesei said at a public hearing last week, referring to the strained economy.


Mr. Tesei said the focus of this year’s proposed capital plan is on maintenance, completion of projects already started and items that are part of an overall plan.


Money for the remediation of the Cos Cob power plant site (a plan currently under review by the Planning and Zoning Commission), the town’s storm water master plan, a King Street fire station and roof replacement at the Old Greenwich-Riverside Community Center is included in the plan, among other items.


Citizens speaking out at last Wednesday’s public hearing — the second on the capital plan — suggested doing more for the drainage issues in town and turning to long-term debt through bonding to pay for some of the town’s projects. That is a departure from past practice of “pay as you go.”


“It’s not the time to spike the mill rate. It’s certainly not the time to add further burden,” Mr. Tesei said.


With a budget shortfall in the current year to be about $10 million, Mr. Tesei said, “we’ll have to find ways to cut back.” He said that the shortfall is due to the loss of income from the conveyance tax (due to lower sales of property), fewer building permits and applications, and losses due to “paltry” interest rates......

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1/22/08 The Raw Greenwich Blog And RSS Feed


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