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Thursday, March 12, 2009

03/12/09 Tennessee Boys Are Doing OK - Greenwich Resident Paul Tudor Jones


Greenwich Resident Paul Tudor Jones

FedEx chief stays on Forbes list despite drop in wealth
Commercial Appeal

FedEx founder and chief executive officer Frederick W. Smith remained on the Forbes list of billionaires, but like a lot of his peers, the Memphis resident saw his wealth diminished greatly since 2008.

According to Forbes, Smith comes in tied for 559th on the list of the world’s wealthiest, with an estimated net worth of $1.3 billion. The 53-percent drop in FedEx stock meant Smith lost $500 million in wealth, and he took another $300,000 hit when the company-wide cuts he ordered dropped his base salary from $1.5 million to $1.2 million.

That put Smith behind Michael Heisley. The Grizzlies owner came in at No. 522 on the list, and Forbes shows his net worth actually increased year-over-year, to $1.4 billion.

Forbes did write, “Industrialist’s fortune faltering in the past six months as steel and construction markets slowed.” And although Heisley has not seemed keen on acquiring refined NBA players, the magazine wrote, “His company, Heico, purchased two refinery maintenance companies last fall, looking to buy more.”

Another name with a Memphis connection is Paul Tudor Jones II, a Memphis University School graduate whose hedge-fund success puts him at No. 224 on the list, with a net worth of $2.8 billion. According to Forbes, Jones’ flagship fund is believed to have lost only 5 percent and another fund actually gained 36 percent. Forbes says the 54-year-old resident of Greenwich, Conn., “Hunts, fishes on private estate in Zimbabwe” and that his poverty-fighting Robin Hood Foundation raised $56.5 million in one night last May.

Another Tennessee resident on the list is Thomas Frist Jr. and family, at No. 430 with $1.7 billion.

In all, according to Forbes, the financial meltdown wiped out $2 trillion from the net worth of billionaires. The number of billionaires fell by one-third, to 793

03/12/09 PRESS RELEASE: Online Event Registration for Greenwich Churches & Ministries - EventBrite

Register thousands of people online for your church & ministry conferences, retreats, and events with ease. Create maps, custom emails, and even name tags.

Eventbrite helps you manage, promote and sell-out your events.

Get a free account now. Then create your events anytime.

Learn more by viewing the feature tutorials.

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03/12/09 UNPROFFESIONAL CONDUCT: Greenwich Risk Analysist, Lars Toomre, Wants To Know Why Bernard Madoff Was Taking His Accountants On A Ski Trip

Investigation Into Madoff Fraud Turns to a Small Circle of Accountants

HendersonvilleNews.com

As Bernard L. Madoff faces another big day in court Thursday, some details are emerging about how he operated his vast Ponzi scheme.

But many questions remain, including those surrounding a small group of accounting firms that represented many of Mr. Madoff’s investors — often at the behest of Mr. Madoff or those close to him. Some of these firms are being subpoenaed or questioned by regulators

A number of investigative agencies, for example, are making inquiries into Friehling & Horowitz, a three-employee firm based in a New City, N.Y., strip shopping mall, which provided auditing services for Mr. Madoff’s brokerage firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities. Andrew M. Lankler, a lawyer for David G. Friehling, declined to comment.

Another accounting firm that was involved with Madoff clients is Sosnik Bell, which produced year-end tax statements for Madoff investors based on information Mr. Madoff provided.

Unlike most brokerage firms, Mr. Madoff never prepared year-end statements for his clients. Instead, a business partner recommended that Madoff investors use Sosnik Bell, in Fort Lee, N.J., which provided Madoff investors with annual profit-and-loss statements for tax purposes.

From this connection, Sosnik Bell’s client roster stretched across the country and included family foundations with up to $50 million invested in the Madoff firm. Federal filings showed that these clients paid Sosnik as little as $700 for the work.

“The Sosnik Bell activities were totally simple and straightforward,” said Robert Anello, a lawyer for the firm, which he said was not under investigation. “It was all above board.”

Mr. Anello said that Sosnik Bell had no inkling of Mr. Madoff’s deception, and that Scott M. Sosnik and Larry Bell had personally lost millions of dollars.

In New York, the most prominent accountant in Mr. Madoff’s inner circle was Paul J. Konigsberg, head of a midsize firm, Konigsberg Wolf & Company, with 13 partners.

Mr. Konigsberg, who has known Mr. Madoff for over 25 years, was the only nonfamily shareholder in Mr. Madoff’s London operation. In addition, a principal in Mr. Konigsberg’s firm was Steven B. Mendelow, who had settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission more than a decade ago for having funneled clients to a Madoff fund outside of federal regulations.

Clients were often directed to Mr. Konigsberg by Mr. Madoff and his family. Mr. Konigsberg prepared the tax returns for two Madoff family foundations and his name appeared on the tax returns of foundations of six other families, many of which have lost millions, even hundreds of millions, of dollars, according to the foundations’ federal tax filings. He also represented scores of individual Madoff investors.

Mr. Konigsberg was so close to Mr. Madoff that when Mr. Madoff and his brother, Peter, organized a 2004 ski trip to Zermatt, Switzerland, to attend a weeklong event sponsored by the SWX Swiss Exchange, Mr. Konigsberg and his wife were part of Mr. Madoff’s 13-person group.

“Who takes their accountant on a ski trip?” said Lars Toomre, head of Toomre Capital Markets, a Greenwich, Conn., financial risk analysis firm that maintains a Web site on the Madoff scandal. “Konigsberg is always around Madoff.”

Charles A. Stillman, the lawyer for Mr. Konigsberg, said that his client engaged in no wrongdoing and, in fact, lost money as well. Mr. Konigsberg has received a grand jury subpoena and he is being “totally cooperative with anybody investigating anything,” Mr. Stillman said.

Mr. Stillman added that Mr. Konigsberg did not steer his clients into Madoff investments. But, he said, Mr. Madoff made payments to Mr. Konigsberg for accounting services to some Madoff clients, who represented 5 percent of the firm’s business.

Mr. Konigsberg’s Madoff-related clients included Carl and Ruth Shapiro, Boston philanthropists whose foundation lost $145 million, and whose son-in-law Robert M. Jaffe is a Madoff business partner now under investigation. The Shapiros, through a spokeswoman, declined to comment.

Another prominent client was Jeanne Levy-Church, a philanthropist whose Madoff losses forced her to shutter her JEHT Foundation. Mr. Konigsberg also signed the tax returns of her parents’ foundation, the Betty and Norman F. Levy Foundation, which lost $244 million. Ms. Levy-Church declined to comment.

In London, Mr. Konigsberg held a small ownership position in Madoff Securities International, a brokerage firm that Mr. Madoff maintained in the wealthy Mayfair section. That firm is now under investigation as part of the British Serious Fraud Office’s inquiry into Mr. Madoff’s overall business operations in Britain.

Mr. Konigsberg “has come up in the investigation but is not the focus of the inquiry,” said one official in London who has been briefed on the inquiry, which he said was in its early stages.

The stake in the London operation was given to Mr. Konigsberg by Mr. Madoff in the mid-1980s, according to Mr. Stillman, as payment for work done by Mr. Konigsberg for the London firm. The stake paid no dividends, and Mr. Stillman valued it at $35,000.

Mr. Mendelow has also been subpoenaed and is cooperating, according to his lawyer, who said he engaged in no wrongdoing. In 1993, Mr. Mendelow settled with the S.E.C. after setting up a firm, Telfran Ltd., that raised $89 million and gave it to the accounting firm of Avellino & Bienes, which handed it to Mr. Madoff. Telfran and Avellino & Bienes had to close shop as a result of the settlement.

“I don’t think he has done anything to promote Mr. Madoff since the 1992, 1993 decree,” said Stanley S. Arkin, Mr. Mendelow’s lawyer.

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03/12/09 PRESS RELEASE: Rob Mathes Performs in Greenwich - Benefit Concert for Dana's Angels Research Trust

Dana's Angels Research Trust Rob Mathes Benefit Concert
Rob Mathes Benefit Concert
in Greenwich for
Dana's Angels Research Trust

8:00 p.m., Friday, April 17, 2009
Greenwich High School
10 Hillside Road, Greenwich, CT

Group Sales - call 203-861-2063

One Show Only, General Seating
Dana's Angels Research Trust (DART), a 501(c)(3) organization with strictly charitable purposes, was founded by Phil and Andrea Marella to fund medical research, medical education, or medical or hospital care for the treatment or cure of Niemann-Pick Type C disease (NPC) or other similar genetic diseases.

From the age of five, it was apparent that the Marella's daughter Dana, a happy, caring and energetic child, had visual and learning difficulties. Since that time, Dana's visual and cognitive abilities, and her balance have become progressively worse. After years of searching for answers to her challenges, Dana was diagnosed in 2002 at the age of eight with NPC, a genetic disorder that prohibits the metabolism of cholesterol and other lipids. In 2004, at the age of 5, Dana's brother Andrew, the Marella's 4th child, was also diagnosed with NPC.

DART aims to help all of those (adults and children) suffering from the disease of NPC. DART's efforts may also help millions of people suffering from heart disease, strokes, Alzheimer's disease and other disorders that appear to be related to the metabolism of cholesterol.
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For More Information On Dana's Angels:
Dana's Angels Research Trust 15 East Putnam Avenue, #117 Greenwich CT 06830

03/12/09 PRESS RELEASE: 10% Shareholder Deems Kona Sweetheart Deal to Chairman's Father Unfair

In a letter sent today to director Mark Zesbaugh of Kona Grill, Inc. (NasdaqGM: KONA), Mill Road Capital, L.P. strongly objected to the insider dominated financing that Kona Grill announced on March 6th. Mill Road noted:

The Company's press release failed to identify James Jundt, the father of CEO and Chairman Marcus Jundt, as the primary investor.

The Company offered and granted materially better financing terms to insiders than were made available to Mill Road and other outside shareholders.

This financing could enable James Jundt and director Richard Hauser's wife to buy nearly 10% of the Company at below market prices through oversubscription rights.

The Company's fundraising process was skewed by a consistent pattern of misrepresentations and fiduciary breaches.

Mill Road noted that it strenuously objects to continued fiduciary breaches and the Company's heavy-handed attempt to sell discounted Company stock to the Chairman's father and his business associates at the expense of all outside shareholders.

March 11, 2009

Mark Zesbaugh
Kona Grill, Inc.
7150 East Camelback Road Suite 220
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Dear Mark:

Mill Road Capital objects in the very strongest terms to the insider-dominated financing that the Company announced on Friday, March 6th.

We have previously noted to you with grave concern that the Company's CEO and Chairman Marcus Jundt explicitly stated to us that his objective in the current fundraising process was to secure low price stock for himself and related parties. In my letters to you on February 20, 2009 and March 6, 2009 (both to be filed in our amended 13D), we outlined 14 specific misrepresentations, irregularities and material breaches in the fundraising process. Most significantly, we noted to you Marcus Jundt's continued involvement in this process despite his vested interest in ensuring that a related party (his father, James Jundt) would lead the financing.

We explicitly warned you several times that we believed that the process was structured to favor Marcus Jundt's relatives and business associates. As far as we can tell, none of our complaints were investigated or taken seriously.

Instead, the Special Committee voted twice - first in December and again in March - to allow James Jundt to invest $1 million in the Company and be given access to discounted shares.

In December, the Special Committee voted to sell to Marcus Jundt's father $1 million of Company stock at the deeply discounted price of $1.19 per share. He was offered this stock in an entirely non-competitive process. When shareholder opposition prevented you from closing that transaction, you initiated another skewed fundraising process that rendered a nearly identical result.

This time, you voted to allow James Jundt to invest $1 million in the Company. For making this investment, he will be granted preferential oversubscription rights in the Company's expected right's offering. Assuming a rights offering of $3 million with 30% of rights unsubscribed, these preferential rights would allow James Jundt to buy approximately $1 million in shares at a discounted price, likely in the $1.19 price range. This result is so appalling that only a fool would count it as a coincidence.

We were further stunned to note that the terms in the definitive documentation as disclosed in the Company's March 9th 8K were fundamentally different and significantly more investor friendly than the terms offered to Mill Road and other outside shareholders.

As a fiduciary, you have now twice failed to run a fair process and twice failed to reach a fair outcome. On behalf of all outside shareholders, we demand that you terminate this unfair insider-dominated deal and develop a financing plan that serves the best interests of all shareholders.

Sincerely,

Thomas Lynch
Senior Managing Director
Mill Road Capital L.P.
2 Sound View Drive, Suite 300
Greenwich, CT 06830


Main Number: (203) 987-3500


ABOUT MILL RIVER CAPITAL

Mill Road Capital was founded by a group of highly experienced investment and operating professionals as a “Berkshire Hathaway for small companies.” We focus exclusively on friendly investments in high quality, publicly traded companies under $250 million in size.

Mill Road has $250 million of capital under management. Our largest investors include a blue-chip group of insurance companies, public employee retirement funds, charitable institutions, and family offices. Our investors have committed their capital to Mill Road for 10 years, which allows us to have a very long investment horizon. We invest in and support companies that focus on long-term value creation, regardless of short-term performance.

Mill Road has flexible capital with the ability to purchase shares in the open market, buy large block positions from existing shareholders, provide capital for growth or acquisition opportunities, or partner with management and sponsor going-private transactions.

Similar to Warren Buffett, our preference is to directly own “a diversified group of businesses that generate cash and consistently earn above-average returns on capital. Our second choice is to own parts of similar businesses, attained primarily through purchases of marketable common stocks.” Regardless of the percent of a company we own, our guiding principal is to invest in high quality companies and support management’s focus on long-term value creation.

Mill Road’s portfolio consists of companies in a broad range of industries, including retail, manufacturing, business services, and consumer products.

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03/12/09 The Raw Greenwich News Feed: This Just In .....

The Latest Greenwich News Briefs:

Greenwich lacrosse coach suspended
Greenwich Time
By Debra Friedman Greenwich High School has suspended its longtime boys varsity lacrosse head coach after he was charged in a drunken-driving incident in ...

PLEASE SEE:

03/11/09 Breaking News Greenwich Public Schools Superintendent Suspends Drunk Driving Lacrosse Coach Paul Burke

Fund investors see slump continuing to 2010-survey
Reuters - USA
Greenwich Roundtable is an organization for investors who allocate capital to alternative investments, with members representing more than $6.4 trillion in ...

PLEASE SEE:

O3/11/09 PRESS RELEASE: Greenwich Roundtable and Quinnipiac University Survey Finds Alternative Investors Negative on Regulators and the Markets

US 10-year Treasury note auction a success-analysts
Reuters - USA
The amount of indirect bidders was "strong for a reopening," said Ian Lyngen, interest rate strategist at RBS Greenwich Capital in Greenwich, Connecticut. ...
Greenwich lawyer defends bill for oversight of church finances
Stamford Advocate
(AP) HARTFORD -- Tom Gallagher, a resident of the Riverside section of Greenwich, is the son of a former Catholic schools superintendent who attended law ...

PLEASE SEE:

03/11/09 “I love the church, but there is a need for reforms,” John Lucarelli a member of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Greenwich which lost 400K

03/11/09 READER SUBMITTED COMMENTS: Catholic Church

Greenwich students win C-SPAN film contest
Greenwich Time
By Meredith Blake Greenwich High School seniors Eliza McNitt and Charles Greene received first prize in C-Span's national 2009 "StudentCam" video ...

The Latest Greenwich Blog Posts:

Steppin' Out Calendar - Norwalk News - The Hour
By The Hour Staff
Greenwich Symphony Orchestra, Greenwich High School, Hillside Road, Greenwich. 869-2664. March 14-15: violinist Sirena Huang will play Lalo's Symphony espagnole. 14-year-old Taiwanese-born Huang is a winner of top prizes in many ...
The Hour Headlines - http://www.thehour.com/
Catholic solidarity crushes proposal- The New Haven Register ...
Tom Gallagher, an active Greenwich Catholic and member of the Knights of Columbus who pushed for the changes, pointed to the shared laity-clergy governance at St. Thomas More Chapel at Yale University as a good model to follow, ...
News from nhregister.com - http://nhregister.com/



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03/12/09 The Raw Greenwich News Feed - Greenwich Post News Links

Town retirees: Program to give new incentives

Written by Sara Poirier, Assistant Editor

Trying times call for a little incentive.

Town officials are hoping that with Monday night’s Representative Town Meeting 115 to 66 approval of the 2009 Retirement Incentive Program, they will be able to save money in this difficult economy. How much will be saved depends on the number of people taking advantage of the program, which provides a maximum pension payout of almost 73%, versus the almost 67% maximum payout now on the books. The incentive also increases the town’s four-year payout for medical benefits to those retirees who chose to take part.....

Irish tale sets sail overseas

Written by John Kovach, Hersam Acorn Newspapers

As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, many Irish-Americans — no matter how little of the Emerald Isle is in their blood — think of their heritage across the sea.

Students, legislators call for exemption for Safe Rides

Written by Ken Borsuk, Staff Reporter

Fearing the impact state restrictions on teenage drivers will have on what they consider to be a success, students and legislators are strongly supporting a legislative exemption for the Safe Rides program.

Honulik motions for reconsideration of State Supreme Court ruling

Written by Ken Borsuk, Staff Reporter

Lt. Gary Honulik’s fight against the town will go on after his attorney filed a motion Friday asking the State Supreme Court to reconsider its decision overturning the Superior Court decision that he had been unjustly denied promotion to captain.

Witherell sets conservative goal

Written by Sara Poirier, Assistant Editor

The town-owned nursing home has seen a number of changes in the past two years, from turning a profit to starting plans for a complete renovation to creating a more person-centered model of care.

St. Patrick’s Day festivities planned

Written by Anna Crist, Post Correspondent

St. Patrick’s Day has become known as a day for beer, parades and of course, the color green, representing Irish culture and pride.

Planners deny power plant redesign

Written by Sara Poirier, Assistant Editor

A 3-2 vote in favor was not enough to carry the Cos Cob Power Plant redesign project forward at the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting Tuesday, essentially killing the application, which had planned for an artificial turf athletic field, an amphitheater, walking paths, a passive recreation meadow, a children’s playscape and picnic areas near the Cos Cob train station.

A four-vote majority is needed to move an application forward.

“Our job is to examine the application in terms of regulations, not opinions or views otherwise,” Commission Chairman Donald Heller said, alluding to resident comments on lighting, waterfront access and safety, among other issues, throughout the hearing. “Our decision has to be made on the issue before us.”

The dissenting votes from commissioner Frank Farricker and alternate Margarita Alban came following their own comments concerning lack of waterfront access, excessive lighting and maintaining the environmental cap over contaminated soil.

Ms. Alban said while she would have liked to support the application, a number of “troubling questions” had arisen as time went on.

Aside from use of the field, Mr. Farricker said he had “little understanding” about the purpose and function of the park, and while he said he knows of and appreciates the need for more athletic fields in town, his concerns were too great to ignore.

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03/12/09 The Raw Greenwich News Feed - Greenwich Time News Links

Greenwich lacrosse coach suspended
Greenwich High School has suspended its longtime boys varsity lacrosse head coach
after he was charged in a drunken-driving incident in 2008, officials said.....The suspension does not affect his teaching position, officials said. Burke teaches English at Greenwich High School.....Burke will be back to coach in April so long as he complies with all the stipulations of the agreement, which additionally restricts him from consuming alcohol and requires him to undergo weekly counseling and submit fingerprints each year.....
Full Story

GHS science team finds right formula for victory
In three seconds or less, these science buffs can tell you what color light is most commonly absorbed by water, identify four of Jupiter's moons and calculate the strength of the electrical current in a 200-watt light bulb from a 100-volt power source.
Full Story

Cos Cob teen arrested for drugs
HAMDEN -- A 19-year-old Cos Cob man was arrested Wednesday morning, along with six other Southern Connecticut State University students, during a drug bust by state and campus police, officials said. Christopher Marullo, of 27 Orchard St., was charged with sale of a controlled substance and given a bond of $50,000, police said......Police reportedly seized 242 assorted OxyContin-type pills with a street value of $12,000, as well as $3,500 worth of marijuana, $900 in cash and drug paraphernalia.,,,,,,
Full Story

Town feels shortchanged by stimulus funds
The recipient of about $4.7 million in stimulus funds that have started to trickle in to the town's coffers, Greenwich could be a victim of its own wealthy reputation, however, when it comes to squeezing more money out of Uncle Sam, elected officials say.
Full Story

Plan to replace state troopers at weigh station draws criticism
GREENWICH -- A cost-cutting proposal to replace state police troopers at the Greenwich weigh station with state Department of Motor Vehicles inspectors is sparking controversy.
Full Story

Catholics rally against church bill
HARTFORD -- More than 3,500 Catholics turned a protest on a doomed bill changing how churches are run into a celebration Wednesday, warning the General Assembly to stay out of their churches.
Full Story

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

Greenwich students win C-SPAN film contest
After weeks of collecting film clips of honey bee colonies and newsreels on rising food prices and then interviewing leading scientists in the field on colony collapse disorder, Greenwich High School seniors Eliza McNitt and Charles Greene felt ready to complete their documentary for C-SPAN.
Full Story

Green Scene: 5 ways to enjoy St. Patrick's Day
Parades. Beer. Corned beef. These are likely the images that pop into your head whenever the words "St. Patrick's Day" are uttered. And yes, many of the events held to celebrate the holiday --
Full Story

Declining home values open doors for new buyers in Greenwich
Last fall, Frank Baratta and his wife looked at houses in Ridgefield and Westport, never contemplating a move to Greenwich.
Full Story

Town's snow budget overspent by $400G
In a year when the town perhaps could least afford it, Greenwich has surpassed its snow removal budget by nearly half a million dollars during what has been an unforgiving winter.
Full Story

GE not giving up financial fight
Consider General Electric Co.'s recent pounding in the stock market as one bad round in a 12-round fight that this heavyweight is still favored to win.
Full Story

Greenwich shoplifter gets 9 months in prison
STAMFORD -- A Greenwich man who has a history of shoplifting was sentenced Tuesday to nine months in prison after a jury found him guilty of stealing from downtown department stores two years ago.
Full Story

Keeping politics out of justice system
In a bid to take politics out of what should be a process based on merit, the state's two U.S. senators are forming an advisory panel to consider federal Justice Department and related appointments.
Full Story

In Town Briefs
Woman doctors hold dinner The Women's Medical Association of Fairfield County invites all women physicians to attend the March dinner meeting to be held at 6 p.m
Full Story

Telling their story
Chuck Livingston, Chuck Standard, and Lee Davenport of the Greenwich Retired Men's Association recently spoke to more than 200 students at Greenwich High School about their experiences during World War II.
Full Story

Some memories, like friendships, don't fade
For many years, more than I wanted to guess, I've been searching for an old buddy of mine. We were students in the same classes at Hamilton Avenue School and then at Greenwich High School. ......
Full Story

Towns receive homeland security funding
Nearly $1 million in federal Department of Homeland Security grants approved for Fairfield County will pay for shelters for pets, mobile emergency kitchens, evacuation plans and other equipment and safety initiatives, officials said.
Full Story


Letters from Readers - Church and state
Church finance regulation bill was clearly illegal To the editor: I write this letter to voice my opinion regarding state legislative bill 1098, which would have sought to allow government authority to regulate finances of the Catholic Church.
Full Story

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