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Friday, February 6, 2009

2/6/09 The Reverend Bill Clark Gives His "Hearst Newspaper" Sermon At Greenwich Gossip

Joseph's Dream Comes True...

By The Scribe Of Greenwich

And we're not talking about the pathetically marginalized Joe Pisani here, the failed and fired former editor of the Local Rag, more generally known as Yellowwich Time. No, dear reader, your scribe is referencing the Biblical Joseph, eleventh son of the Patriarch Jacob, who was sold into slavery by his brothers as a last-minute alternative to killing him outright (good thing that caravan showed up when it did!). The reason for the brothers' actions was that they didn't like Joseph's dream, vividly recounted by him in front of them all, in which his brothers' sheaves of wheat bowed down and paid homage to Joseph's sheaf. What a sanctimonious whippersnapper young Joseph was! Clearly what his brothers were contemplating would have been deemed justifiable fratricide in any modern (or ancient) court of law.

But God had other plans. As you no doubt remember, Joseph then had many adventures in Egypt, including his non-affair with Potiphar's wife, which nonetheless earned him a long stretch in prison (sort of like the late unlamented prior management of Yellowwich Time, Potiphar tended to go with the woman's side of the story, regardless of where the truth lay). There, of course, Joseph carried on in the dream business, interpreting those of his fellow prisoners. Eventually, his talent came to Pharoah's attention, and the rest, as they say, is legend. Including, of course, Joseph's brothers bowing low and doing him homage when the wheat supply ran low back home in Canaan. So there. Who says that dreams don't come true?

The relevance of all this to 21st-century Greenwich is that the once proud and mighty Yellowwich Time has now knuckled under to the once-puny Greenwich Citizen. Just as in Pharoah's dream the lean cattle swallowed up the fat ones, and just as David bested Goliath, our longtime local weekly paper's boss, Michelle McAbee, has replaced the ousted John Dunster as publisher of Yellowwich Time and The Advocate. Go, Michelle! About time Hearst got around to cleaning house in our neck of the woods.

The downfall of the Local Rag can be traced to 1974, when it was sold to the family who owned The Advocate in Stamford. They then sold it to Times Mirror a few years later, who in turn sold it to Tribune, who in turn sold it to Hearst. Under the inauspicious leadership of Bill Rowe (who named his yacht the "Rowe Boat" - isn't he just too cute for words?), the paper lost any semblance of impartiality, and began to slant and/or ignore any news that suggested Greenwich might not be Disneyland East. From there, it was a short step down the slippery slope to the point where truth no longer mattered, and then it was that your scribe told Bill Rowe just to go ahead and change the color of the masthead from green to yellow to reflect the quality of the journalism he was publishing. Rowe choked on his martini, and has never spoken to your scribe since that day.

But it's a new day in Town, part of the "100 Days of Change" promised by Hearst. As loyal readers of this column know, April 1st is the drop-dead date for those who don't take the proffered buyout, and one certainly hopes that retread editor Bruce Hunter, widely known as an alter ego of Joe Pisani, will fade back into obscurity by then, if not before.

And thus, dear reader, we may all hope to see some semblance of truth-in-journalism restored to our fair Town this spring. True, the Local Rag will no doubt die, to be resurrected as a local edition of the Connecticut Post, and true, the Citizen will likely take over as the real estate newspaper of record here in Greenwich. But finally, the citizens of our fair community will no longer be able to joke about the Local Rag being published in the basement of Town Hall, since it will be printed in Bridgeport instead - as, in fact, it already is.

Your scribe wishes Ms. McAbee well in her new position. One hopes she will restore journalistic integrity to Greenwich, where it has long been absent, and perhaps find us some reporters who know how to use and spell the English language. If they can also show some independence of thought and action, that would be a bonus. Too long has the real news gone unreported in this Town. Perhaps, dear reader, that is about to change. Your scribe devoutly hopes so.

More From Greenwich Gossip:

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Holiday Choral Concert at Greenwich High School

The Countdown Begins...

Betty Sternberg For Editor!

Vermont Dodges a Bullet...

The Rafters Ring at Christ Church

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

2/6/09 Greenwich Post News Links

Himes says stimulus may help businesses
Written by Ken Borsuk, Staff Reporter

Web Exclusive

As Congress continues to debate the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, local business groups have told U.S. Congressman Jim Himes (D-4) that they want small businesses to get the help they need to stay afloat, and for government spending to be reined in.

The bill, which is designed to serve as a stimulus package for the economy, will give an immediate boost to the economy through spending, Mr. Himes told a crowd at a breakfast meeting organized by the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce last Thursday. It has a five-year carryback for net operating losses, giving businesses more time to claim a loss and having the ability to reduce those net losses by 10%.

Tax breaks for businesses are a part of the bill to encourage long-term investment with short-term spending incentives, Mr. Himes added, but congressional Republicans are demanding more. He said there needs to be tax incentives for businesses, but they have to make sense.

“The reality is that some kinds of tax cuts and some spending can provide a stimulus and other kinds of tax cuts and spending do not provide a stimulus,” said Mr. Himes, a Cos Cob resident. “Small businesses employ the majority of people in the country and it’s fair and wise to look at ideas that will help small businesses keep and expand their staffs and help the people who own those small businesses.”


Financiers aim to spare schools from budget cuts

Written by Ken Borsuk, Staff Reporter

Facing a $5-million shortfall, the Board of Estimate and Taxation’s Budget Committee is looking for cuts, but aiming to avoid taking money from the public schools.

In December, the school board approved a $127-million budget, and while the possibility exists that cuts could be made to it, budget committee chairman Michael Mason said he hopes to avoid that, instead finding savings in other departments. The proposed townwide budget for 2009-10 is $341 million.

“You know we have a $5-million window,”Mr. Mason told school officials last week. “We’re going to be looking for help from other areas of the town to try and make all of this work,” he added.
Please send yor comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

2/6/09 Business Meetings: Mark Your Calanders

Wednesday, Feb. 11

The Public Relations Society of America Westchester/Fairfield Chapter will hold a lunch presentation, "Gearing Up for Web 3.0: What PR Practitioners Can Expect," at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich. The event will begin at noon. Jeffrey Barrett, a veteran Web developer and chief architect of BurrellesLuce, will speak. Cost is $35 for members, $40 for nonmembers. Walk-ins will be charged $50. For reservations, e-mail events@prsa-wf.org or call Dover Secretarial at (603) 742-1971.

Thursday, Feb. 12

Greenwich Chamber of Commerce will hold a free business roundtable on employee practices at the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich, beginning at noon. For more information, call Adam Weissman at 869-3500 or e-mail adweissman@greenwichchamber.com.
Please send your business meeting anouncements and press releases to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

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