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Friday, May 21, 2010

05/21/10 - 05/23/10 VIDEO: Crisp And Clean These Greenwich High School Student Pranks Have No Caffine (UPDATED WITH CORRECTION)



ortixx May 21, 2010A short video of what went down May 13th and 14th when the Class of 2010 at GHS did their senior prank. Longer extended version with interviews is coming soon.

These Lame Set Of Greenwich High School Pranks Will Never Go Down In Greenwich History

Thank God For YouTube, Because You Will Never Ever Hear About These Greenwich High School Pranks At Cablevision's News 12 Or At The Greenwich Time

Back In The Good Ole Day's Greenwich High School Students Were Bold And Imaginative And Pulled Off Pranks That Were Remembered And Talked About For Years.

Today's Latch Key Kids Who Grew Up Going To Play Dates Have No Idea What A Real High School Prank Is.

Back in the 1960's High School seniors disassembled a beat up Volkswagen Beetle, and dragged the pieces up to the second floor of the old Greenwich High School (Now Town Hall).

The VW, which was bought at a junk yard for a hundred bucks, was reassembled in the hallway and surprised the whole school.

After the VW Bug was discovered by a janitor, the Greenwich Police Department was called, and the principal went ballistic threatening students over the intercom. A teacher turned in the students who were interrogated and told this is going to go on your permanent record and ruin your life.

Old copies of the Greenwich Time from June of 1966 reports that eight Greenwich High Schoolers were arrested by the Greenwich Police Department and who charged them with disorderly conduct.

The case was later dropped after a cool headed judge ruled "No Crime, No Foul"

There had been no harm done to the school, except for the disruptions by freaked out school administrators.

Over the years year, students have

  • Built a huge airplane and hung it in of the old school building's auditorium
  • Walked out of class at a prearranged time, while a student used a security guards walkie talkie to send out a warning about a student protest.
  • Painted their names on the outside of the school building
  • Removed all doorknobs in the school building
  • Tons of crickets have unleashed during a prearranged food fight
  • Parking 20 Cars in the student center.
  • Filled the headmaster's office from floor to ceiling with thousands of balloons.
  • Setting off set off fireworks during lunch in the student center
UPDATE:

When Greenwich Roundup Types

The Greenwich Time Listens

Greenwich Roundup Was Wrong

The Greenwich Time Would Cover This Years Lame High School Prank

They Even Showed The Week Old You Tube Video

Originally in the Sunday paper: From VW bugs to Post-it notes: The evolution of the GHS prank


Published: 05:03 p.m., Monday, May 24, 2010

This article originally appeared in the Sunday print edition of the Greenwich Time

Students have constructed a cement wall in the student center at Greenwich High School. They've removed all but one seat in the auditorium. They've even coaxed a cow up to the top floor of the old high school where Town Hall is today, only to be frustrated when the spooked bovine refused to go back downstairs.

Many high schools have a tradition of student pranks that alumni love to reminisce about and educators might want to forget. GHS has been no exception, as the student body has carried out often good-natured and occasionally destructive shenanigans through the decades.....

"I've seen some really good creative pranks, and some others that have gotten out of control," said Terry Lowe, boys swimming coach at GHS who began working at the high school back in 1966.

Last week, members of the GHS Class of 2010 carried on this tradition. Dozens set up a 20-foot-tall "2010" sculpture made of painted cardboard boxes in the student center. Others decked the windows of the central corridor with multi-colored Post-it notes arrayed in different patterns......

....Students carried on the tradition in some clever ways during the late 1960s and 1970s, long-time educators said.....

.....John Whritner, superintendent from 1990 to 1997, said pranks evolved into much more disruptive and costly situations that decade.....

....Elaine Bessette, who served as GHS headmistress from 1999 to 2005, said the were few organized pranks and only a handful of disruptions during her tenure, in large part, because the seniors started having something to do -- internships.

Under her watch, the senior internship program expanded dramatically from serving a couple dozen students in the late 1990s to several hundred by the time she stepped down as headmistress.....

....Lowe believes a strong rapport between students and administrators will keep disruptions to a minimum in the future.

"When kids have a very positive, cooperative relationships with the headmaster, you can expect positive results," he said.

PLEASE NOTE:

Greenwich's Tradition Of Crappy Journalism Continues

That No Current Greenwich High School Student Was Interviewed For The Greenwich Time Article That Was About Them And Their Lame Prank Of 2010

========================

Please send your comments, news tips and press releases to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com



05/21/10 New Milford Shopping Plaza Sold To Urstadt Biddle Properties Inc. of Greenwich

GREENWICH REIT CONTINUES TO EXPAND

The New Milford Shopping Plaza at 194 Danbury Road, home to anchor stores Stop & Shop and Wal-Mart, changed hands again when it was recently acquired by Urstadt Biddle Properties Inc. of Greenwich (NYSE: UBA and UBP) for $22.5 million, excluding clo sing costs, according to The Commercial Record.

Other retailers doing business at the shopping center are Dollar Tree, Radio Shack, Hallmark and GameStop, as well as Union Savings Bank.

The 22-acre site on Route 7 was sold by GRE New Milford LLC (Guggenheim Real Estate LLC), which had purchased the shopping plaza, built in 1970 and renovated in 1990, for $20.69 million from FNM Associates LLC in late 2006.

Urstadt Biddle, a self-administered real estate investment trust (REIT), had acquired Veterans Plaza at 1 Kent Road (Route 7), home to Big Y and other retail stores over a year ago,

The REIT’s general area of interest, or core marketplace, ranges from south of Hartford through Fairfield County and into Westchester.

Urstadt Biddle recently acquired Village Commons in Katonah, N.Y., and a majority interest in Putnam Plaza Shopping Center in Carmel, N.Y., according to a statement Mr. Biddle made to The Commercial Record.

“Our other formula is to buy retail next to a mall,” Mr. Biddle said in the interview, pointing out that the REIT has purchased two shopping areas in Danbury that fit that description.

Regarding Urstadt Biddle’s acquisitions in Connecticut - Stop & Shop leases a space at five of the shopping plazas

This is UB's first Wal-Mart acquisition.

Having two properties two route 7 properties less than two miles apart should help to maximize operational cost savings due to economies of scale.

There are two retail vacancies—formerly Fashion Bug and The Hobby Store, at the New Milford Plaza, according to the company president, who pointed out that a vacant 15,000-square-foot warehouse at the back is also available for lease.

The leases for these vacant spaces are priced for today’s market.

Apparent vacancies at Veterans Plaza are somewhat misleading, because Big Y leases two stores next to it for possible expansion.

Urstadt Biddle Properties Inc., which is traded publicly on the New York Stock Exchange, owns 49 properties containing approximately 4.4 million square feet of space and has paid 161 consecutive quarters of uninterrupted dividends to its shareholders since its inception.

05/21/10 Dan Debicella Wins Congressional Nomination Handily - Now He Sets Sites On Greenwich Resident Jim Himes

Dan Debicella Staves off Republican Primary, Sets Sites on Jim Himes

Dan Debicella of Shelton is now the Republican nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives in Connecticut’s Fourth Congressional District, which is currently represented by Democratic Congressman Jim Himes. Debicella won the Republican convention, which took place Friday, May 21st, with 77% percent of the vote, far surpassing all others seeking the nomination. No other candidate qualified for a primary.

In accepting the nomination, Debicella said, “Now is the time to chart a new course for America. It is time for a better way. We will restore fiscal responsibility to Washington. We will strengthen homeland security. We will get out of the way of entrepreneurs and small business owners and restore the principles of small government, free enterprise, and individual liberty that have made our country great. We will get the job done so that our children are afforded the same opportunity to live the American dream that we all enjoy.”

Debicella was nominated by John McKinney, Repubican leader of the State Senate (R-Fairfield), whose late father, Stewart McKinney represented the 4th District in Congress from 1971 until his death in 1987. Senator McKinney said, “Dan is unquestionably the right person to represent the 4th District in Congress during these challenging times. What I admire most about Dan is his willingness to stand on principle and philosophy and fight for what he believes in. Dan is the kind of principled, independent leader the 4th District has become accustomed to, and is in desperate need of once again.”

Debicella, a second-term Republican State Senator representing the eastern part of Fairfield County, including Shelton, Stratford, Monroe, and Seymour, also outlined his reasons for opposing Himes. “Jim Himes is a rubber-stamp for Nancy Pelosi’s agenda and Fairfield County families have suffered because of it. He has voted lock-step with her over 95% of the time. Despite his desperate claims to the contrary, Jim Himes is no moderate. He is not independent. Whether voting for the $1.4 trillion dollar deficit, the originally proposed government-takeover of healthcare, or over $5 billion in new taxes on Fairfield County residents, Jim Himes has consistently voted with his party’s leadership and against middle class Fairfield County families.”

He grew up in Bridgeport where his father was a police officer and his mother was a secretary. He was the first in his family to go to college full time, attending the Wharton School and receiving his MBA from Harvard Business School. He has spent most of his career in business, having worked for management consulting firm McKinsey in Stamford, as Director of Strategy at PepsiCo in Purchase, NY, and currently as Assistant Vice President of Marketing at The Hartford Financial Services.

In the State Senate, Debicella has served as the lead Republican on the budget-writing Appropriations Committee. He recently co-authored a budget proposal that cut the size of Connecticut government by 5% through combining or eliminating agencies, privatizing social services, and resetting program spending to 2007 levels. Debicella also led the fight against the budget that ultimately passed, which raised taxes by $1 billion and borrowed $1 billion to balance the budget.

“Dan’s record in Hartford shows the type of Congressman he will be in Washington—one who brings real solutions to shrink the size of government and help small businesses create jobs,” said Senator McKinney.

Debicella’s economic proposals have included replacing the unspent stimulus money in favor of a temporary cut in the payroll tax that small businesses and middle class families pay, and creating a federal spending cap to rein in the nation’s $1.4 trillion deficit. “We need to stop growing government, and start helping the small businesses that will lead us out of this recession,” said Debicella. Debicella added that most families have not received anything directly from the federal stimulus package, while his tax cut would give $1,500 directly to middle class families and reduce the deficit. He has also proposed a federal spending cap, to eliminate the deficit by forcing politicians to lower spending and prioritize programs.

The Fourth Congressional District comprises most of Fairfield County, including seventeen towns from Greenwich in the west, to Shelton in the east, and Ridgefield in the north. The seat was held by Congressman Christopher Shays from 1987-2009.

Dan Debicella's Republican
Convention Acceptance Speech:

Thank you all! And thank you to John McKinney and Rob Russo for your wonderful nominating speeches.

Thirty years ago, a strong fiscal conservative was elected President in the face of economic recession, threats from abroad, and uncertainty at home. He brought back to Washington the values that made this country great—common sense values about government living within its means, support for small business and free enterprise, and an undying belief in the value of individual liberty. Like Ronald Reagan 30 years ago, today we American face those same challenges again. The “Great Recession” is threatening middle class jobs in Fairfield County, we are building inconceivable levels of debt for future generations, and terrorism threatens the safety of our families.

The Party of Reagan, our party, needs to rise to face these challenges once again. Democrats in Washington have shown us their answers—increased government interference in our economy, increased government interference with healthcare, and increased spending on pork-barrel projects. We Republicans need to once again become the party of ideas, the party that brings common-sense solutions to Fairfield County families that will actually improve their quality of life.

As I look at this room, I see Republican leaders—mayors, first selectmen, legislators, and local elected officials— who have worked so hard to advance our party’s common sense commitment to fiscal conservatism and personal responsibility. I am reminded that the fourth congressional district was represented by Republican statesman for 40 years from 1969-2009. John McKinney’s father, Stewart McKinney held the seat for 16 of those years. Chris Shays, who is with us here tonight, represented us with honor, patriotism, and a fierce independent streak that served our families well. Thank you Chris.

Unfortunately, we have had Nancy Pelosi representing us in the seat for the last two years. Together, we can change this in November.

I am running for Congress because I know that we can get America on the right track again. I know that there is a better way for our nation—one that will create jobs, reduce our deficit, and improve the quality of life for families.

Family, after all, is the foundation of our country, and I would not here without mine. I would like to introduce to you two very special women in my life. First, my wife Alex, who is smarter, funnier, and more beautiful than I deserve. There is no one I would rather be making this journey through life with then you. I want you all to meet my mom, Maggie. Together with my father Cal (who is no longer with us), they raised a family of four kids as a two-career couple. I stand here today because of the values they gave me and the love they provided. Mom, thank you.

My family has been lucky enough to live the American Dream—a dream that is now being threatened by Washington. My family came through Ellis Island in the 1890’s, and every generation has built on the one that came before it. My father was a cop in Bridgeport. My mom is a secretary in the judicial system. I was the first person in my family to attend college full-time. My brothers and sisters did the same. I have led a successful business career, while living a meaningful life of public service. Only in America could a working-class kid growing up in Bridgeport and Shelton end up standing before you today running for Congress.

But today that American Dream is threatened by Washington.
For the first time in history, our youngest generation of Americans may be worse off tomorrow than we are today. Instead of the promise of a bright future, what are we leaving to them? Backbreaking debt, gut wrenching joblessness and shrinking opportunity.

This is the legacy that Jim Himes and Nancy Pelosi are creating for America.
Jim Himes is a rubber-stamp for Nancy Pelosi’s agenda and Fairfield County families have suffered because of it. He has voted lock-step with her over 95% of the time. Despite his desperate claims to the contrary, Jim Himes is no moderate. He is not independent. In fact, he is a true liberal believer. He truly believes that government is the answer to all our problems. Whether voting for the $1.4 trillion dollar deficit, the originally proposed government-takeover of healthcare, or over $5 billion in new taxes on Fairfield County residents, Jim Himes has consistently voted with his party’s leadership and against middle class Fairfield County families.

But it does not need to be this way, and it is not too late to set America in the right direction again. There is a better way, and that is what this campaign is going to be about: a fundamental choice about the direction of our nation.

If you believe that Nancy Pelosi and Washington are getting it right, then Jim Himes is your man. But if you believe as I do that there is a better way to help the middle class by creating jobs, cutting spending, implementing true healthcare reform, and defending our families from those who wish to harm us—then it is time to return a true independent voice to Washington.

There is a better way to grow our economy. Whether taking over the auto industry, supporting the pork-barrel stimulus, or bailing out his ex-employers at Goldman Sachs, Jim Himes’ plans have failed to create jobs at every turn. Unemployment still sits at 10% and Jim Himes’ solution has burdened every Fairfield County family with $10,000 in additional debt.

Instead, I propose we repeal what is yet unspent of the bloated stimulus package, and replace it with a payroll tax cut. My tax cut would give every middle class family $1,500, give every small business a chance to create jobs, and still reduce the deficit by $150 billion. Helping out middle class families and small businesses will do more to create jobs than pork-barrel government spending ever could.

There is a better way to reduce government spending to eliminate our federal deficit. To be fair, Republicans need to be honest with ourselves on this issue. After all, when Republicans were in the majority earlier this decade we spent too much and cut too little. That is why I believe we need a federal spending cap to force politicians of both parties to cut spending. By capping the size of government at 20% of GDP, we will force politicians to prioritize spending by reforming entitlement programs, being smarter about defense spending, and reducing discretionary spending.

And there is a better way to reform healthcare. Who can forget Jim Himes’ blind embrace for the “public option” that would have resulted in a government take-over of healthcare. He rubber-stamped a new healthcare law that will hurt the 94% of us with insurance to cover the 6% without. We need to focus instead on reducing costs in healthcare, so we can help the middle class and cover the uninsured—not pit them against each other. Ideas like tort reform, interstate competition between insurance companies, incentives for preventative medicine, and low-cost, high deductible plans for young people can lower healthcare costs by 10-20%-- helping every family in Fairfield County and giving us the ability to cover the uninsured without hurting the middle class.

And, there is a better way to keep America safe. Jim Himes has supported civilian trials in New York for the 9/11 terrorists, has failed to support Israel’s right to self defense, and has taken a soft-line approach on nuclear weapons in Iran. We need a Congressman who knows that a hard-line stance against terrorists and enemies of our nation is the only answer. We need a Congressman committed to putting your family’s safety above the civil rights of terrorists.

Just as Ronald Reagan did 30 years ago, now is the time to chart a new course for America. It is time for a better way. We will restore fiscal responsibility to Washington. We will strengthen homeland security. We will get out of the way of entrepreneurs and small business owners and restore the principles of small government, free enterprise, and individual liberty that have made our country great. We will get the job done so that our children are afforded the same opportunity to live the American dream that we all enjoy.

We know there is a better way. The people of Fairfield County know there is a better way. This November we will return a congressman to Washington who speaks for our families, not Washington insiders.

I am proud of our Republican party. I am proud of our great nation. And today I am proud to accept your nomination to face Jim Himes this November and return the values of Ronald Reagan to Washington!

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

=================================
Please send your comments, news tips and press releases to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com

05/210 CT Lt Gov.Fedele Says Business Failure Casts Doubt On Greenwich Resident Tom Foley And Claims Foley Made Millions 'On The Backs Of' Employees

Republican Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele Friday said that a Courant story "raises serious questions" about sweeping claims of business success by his leading rival for this weekend's Republican gubernatorial nomination, Greenwich multimillionaire Tom Foley.

Fedele issued a statement saying: "Today's Hartford Courant story that Tom Foley's business practices contrast sharply with his campaign rhetoric raises serious questions about his job creation claims and it suggests that Tom has distorted his record as a job creator."

The Courant reported that one of Foley's claimed success stories -- his ownership of The Bibb Co., a textile manufacturer that he bought through a junk-bond-financed leveraged buyout in 1985 -- ended with him relinquishing executive control and most of his 95 percent stake in Bibb 11 years later.

Bibb -- whose Bibb City plant on the outskirts of Columbus, Ga., was once known as the largest cotton mill in the world -- went through a "prepackaged bankruptcy reorganization" in 1996 that removed Foley from executive control. It never recovered and was sold in 1998 by its new management, and the renowned Bibb City plant closed forever in 1998.

Foley's Greenwich-based holding company, the NTC Group, collected management fees from Bibb of $4 million each year from 1992 to 1994, then $3.4 million in 1995, even as Bibb struggled and began losing money in 1994, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He estimates he personally collected about 20 percent of those fees.

Fedele also said in his statement Friday: "I hope he will explain how he can justify making millions of dollars on the backs of long-time employees of this company which failed under his leadership. We certainly don't want what happened to Bibb City to happen here in Connecticut."

While Foley has enjoyed success in business overall, his Bibb venture contrasts starkly with the rosy-hued picture painted in his campaign literature. In an interview carried in the Courant story, Foley defended both his campaign's positive characterization of the Bibb deal and the collection of the multimillion-dollar management fees from Bibb by his Greenwich-based holding company, the NTC Group.

Here is part of a 2009 Foley campaign biography that dealt with the Bibb venture: "Tom's record in business is impressive. His primary operating companies, The Bibb Company, T.B. Woods, Inc., and Stevens Aviation, each more than doubled in revenues and each expanded employment by more than fifty percent while under Tom's leadership," said one of his campaign biographies. "Tom believes the same expertise and problem-solving skills he uses to manage and grow businesses can be used to help government improve the economy and expand jobs for Connecticut citizens."

Foley said he didn't think his campaign account was misleading "because when I bought The Bibb Co. it was losing $14 million a year, and shortly after I acquired it we got it turned around and we were earning money. And the company was doing quite well in 1988 so we bought a bigger ... textile business from J.P. Stevens." That acquisition increased the number of the company's employees, he said.

But then things turned sour for the business, whose main products included towels and sheets.

"In the late '80s, valuations on businesses were pretty high -- the economy was very good -- and we overpaid for that part of the business," he said. "We integrated the two businesses. ... I think from a management point of view things were doing pretty well. ... But we just couldn't bear the weight of the debt that had been taken on, and so that was the reason for the [bankruptcy] restructuring."

"Over the 10-year period I owned The Bibb Co., the textile business was under tremendous pressure from products coming in from overseas," Foley said. "I think we certainly did much better than the management team that was in place before I bought the business would have done. So I think you have to compare the performance [on the basis of] how long we were able to keep business and hold on under different circumstances."

Foley said the annual management fees of up to $4 million, which were collected by NTC as the Bibb Co. struggled, were for "a lot of employees ... helping to run the company" out of NTC's Greenwich office.

Foley said he is "not really a finance person by background" and instead has specialized in managing companies he buys and improving their performance.

"I think the image of a slash-and-burn person is more of a trader, somebody who comes in and buys something, and does a quick fix-it-up or face-lift and then tries to sell it for a quick profit or sell of the parts and make money -- and that's done quickly," Foley said. "I was an investor. I came into these companies, and I tried to make them perform better. I was involved with developing plans to ... meet the challenges they were facing."

Source: http://blogs.courant.com/capitol_watch/2010/05/fedele-says-business-failure-c.html

05/21/10 Internationally Acclaimed Jean-Pierre Bagnato Joins Greenwich Landmark Versailles Restaurant as General Manager & Executive Chef

Internationally acclaimed Chef Jean-Pierre Bagnato has joined Versailles Restaurant as General Manager and Executive Chef, restaurant owner Ingrid McMenamin announced today.

Versailles, located on Greenwich Avenue, is one of the few restaurants on "The Avenue" to claim nearly 30 years of continuous service to the community.

Jean-Pierre comes to Versailles with a resume that spans the globe in some of the world's most prestigious restaurants and hotels. He most recently served as Private Chef for a local family and prior to that was Executive Chef of the acclaimed Mark Hotel in Manhattan. Before beginning his culinary journey in the U.S., he held the position of Chef Patron at Margaux at the five-star Kowloon Shangri-la Hotel in Hong Kong as well as Group Executive Chef of the Lan Kwai Fong Entertainment Group.

Jean-Pierre received his professional culinary degree in Nice, France and early in his career headed the kitchens at La Perouse on the French Rivera. He has won several awards throughout his career including Best French Chef by Tatler, Finalist in the Wedgewood's World Master of Culinary Arts Competition in 2001, and the title of Commandeur/Culinary Advisory of Les Cordons Bleus de France, the first French chef in Asia Pacific ever to receive this title.

"We are thrilled that Jean-Pierre has come to Versailles," said Versailles' owner Ingrid McMenamin. "Jean-Pierre will carry on our proud traditions while bringing a new vibrant approach to the Versailles dining experience."

"As a fellow Greenwich resident I fully appreciate Versailles as an address where people know they can still receive our tradition of quality food and service," said Chef Bagnato. "I am truly excited about Versailles' continued success and hope that our community will enjoy what we have in store for them." He added, "Our friends and neighbors can take comfort in the fact that everything they love about Versailles won't change."

About Versailles

Founded in 1980 by Maurice Clos-Versailles, the bistro and patisserie Versailles has been a Greenwich landmark and meeting place for almost 30 years. Following Maurice's untimely passing in 2008, Ingrid and Steve McMenamin, long time Greenwich residents and loyal patrons of Versailles, took over Versailles and vowed to continue its tradition of offering fresh and exceptional reasonably priced food, in a comfortable setting.

For further information contact:

Sue Stone – Tel. (203) 862-0432

05/21/10 Greenwich School Students May Still Be Viewing Viral "Child Porn Video" - Larchmont Patch

UPDATE: Teens Fear Reprisals in Rye Middle School "Sexting" Incident


Sources told Patch that school officials have told students they could face child pornography charges for texting and emailing a September photo of a half-naked 12-year-old Rye Middle School student.


Despite school officials describing it as handled and done, an incident involving a Web cam "sext" message sent by a Rye Middle School student in September is far from over, sources say, with teens still receiving and forwarding the image as recently as this weekend.

On Wednesday Rye Patch learned a 13-year-old classmate was just told by the school this week she could face felony child pornography charges for seeing the image over the weekend and sending it to her friends. Several students interviewed by Patch said the sexually explicit image has spread like wildfire through Rye and neighboring schools, landing in the inbox of "hundreds of students."

It featured a then-11-year-old girl exposing her breasts on a Web cam for a boy she liked and who was also recognizable in the image, several sources said. The case is far from the first of its kind—"sexting" has become a popular term for distributing revealing photos and sexually explicit messages via mobile text messaging.

Rye Schools Superintendent Edward Shine said his administrators reacted appropriately as soon as they learned of the image.

"This happened in the fall. It was dealt with and went away," he said Thursday, adding that the incident emerged outside of school and that technology has created more opportunities for children, but also more dangers. The picture has already been made public by students sending it to their friends, so there is very little the district can do to stop it from being on the Internet, he said.

But some parents and teachers are wondering why the issue wasn't communicated to the school community at the time, considering students were told they could face felony child pornography charges for viewing and possessing the image. Such a charge could land them on public sex-offender registries for life, however unlikely a conviction may be.

They also wonder why the district is painting the case as long over when the image is still being forwarded among students.

One teacher in the district, who did not want her name used for fear of reprisal, said Thursday the district would not have been willing to go public with the incident for fear of bad press. She heard about the incident from her babysitter.

"Usually if there's something significant, they do send a global e-mail to the teachers, but that I have not heard about at all. [Officially] I would not have had a clue about it, for sure," if her babysitter had not told her, the teacher said.

Shine confirmed school officials told students that distributing the image could be considered child pornography, but rejected any notion it amounted to scare tactics.

"Is that bullying if we tell them there are dangers with doing this?" he said.

The school district has talked to students and organized programs about the consequences of certain online activities, Shine said. When told that many students informed Patch they were afraid they could be facing legal or criminal consequences, Shine said that it could help them learn from their mistakes.

"Well that's good, if they feel afraid that they could be charged, then that's good," he said. "Maybe they'll have some second thoughts about doing that in the future."

The incident at Rye Middle School stemmed from a picture taken in September 2009. The now 12-year-old girl involved in the incident was chatting on a Web cam with a 13-year-old boy, also a student at Rye Middle School. It quickly went viral through email and texts in Rye Middle and High School and then onward to Rye Country Day School and in the Harrison, Rye Neck, Blind Brook and Greenwich school districts, sources said.

School officials confiscated students' cell phones to see whether they had the picture and then deleted the photo from several students' phones and returned them, sources said. It was not clear if those parents were notified if their children were caught with the image.

What is also not known is the extent of the involvement of police, though the 13-year-old has been in contact with the Rye Police Department to discuss the matter.

Multiple phone calls to the Rye Police Department on Wednesday and Thursday were not immediately returned.

It's unclear why that may be, but the law involved is just as murky.

Several high profile cases have sparked a national call for clarity when it comes to handling the fallout when teens create sexual or suggestive images and share them with other teens. Should teens be treated the same as a 50-year-old man possessing the same image? What if a very liberal interpretation of the law simply encourages more teens to make foolish mistakes that could haunt them for decades to come?

In most states, teens can certainly face felony child pornography charges and be listed on sex offender registries for passing along sexually explicit photos by cell phone or computer, a punishment many deem excessive.

Last year, then-18-year-old Philip Alpert of Brevard County, Fla. was convicted of child pornography after distributing a revealing photo of his 16-year-old girlfriend after they got into a verbal fight.

He will be labeled a "sex offender" until he is 43 years old.

05/21/10 Greenwich Resident Tom Foley Campaign Material Glosses Over Company's Failure In 1990s

Thomas Foley, a leading contender for the Republican gubernatorial nomination at Saturday's party convention, says his 25 years of experience as a business owner and executive will enable him to "fix our economy and our broken government in Hartford."

But one of Foley's claimed success stories — his ownership of The Bibb Co., a textile manufacturer that he bought through a junk-bond-financed leveraged buyout in 1985 — ended with him relinquishing executive control and most of his 95 percent stake in Bibb 11 years later.

Bibb — whose Bibb City plant on the outskirts of Columbus, Ga., was once known as the largest cotton mill in the world — went through a "prepackaged bankruptcy reorganization" in 1996 that removed Foley from executive control. It never recovered and was sold in 1998 by its new management, and the renowned Bibb City plant closed forever in 1998.

Foley's Greenwich-based holding company, the NTC Group, collected management fees from Bibb of $4 million each year from 1992 to 1994, then $3.4 million in 1995, even as Bibb struggled and began losing money in 1994, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He estimates he personally collected about 20 percent of those fees.

While Foley has enjoyed success in business overall, his Bibb venture contrasts starkly with the rosy-hued picture of his career painted in his campaign literature. An upbeat campaign biography released in 2009 puts his Bibb years in this context:

"Tom's record in business is impressive. His primary operating companies, The Bibb Company, T.B. Woods, Inc., and Stevens Aviation, each more than doubled in revenues and each expanded employment by more than fifty percent while under Tom's leadership," said one of his campaign biographies. "Tom believes the same expertise and problem-solving skills he uses to manage and grow businesses can be used to help government improve the economy and expand jobs for Connecticut citizens."

In an interview this week, Foley said he didn't think his campaign account was misleading.

"No, I don't at all," Foley said, "because when I bought The Bibb Co. it was losing $14 million a year, and shortly after I acquired it we got it turned around and we were earning money. And the company was doing quite well in 1988 so we bought a bigger … textile business from J.P. Stevens." That acquisition increased the number of the company's employees, he said.

But then things turned sour for the business, whose main products included towels and sheets.

"In the late '80s, valuations on businesses were pretty high — the economy was very good — and we overpaid for that part of the business," he said. "We integrated the two businesses. … I think from a management point of view things were doing pretty well. ... But we just couldn't bear the weight of the debt that had been taken on, and so that was the reason for the [bankruptcy] restructuring."

"Over the 10-year period I owned The Bibb Co., the textile business was under tremendous pressure from products coming in from overseas," Foley said. "I think we certainly did much better than the management team that was in place before I bought the business would have done. So I think you have to compare the performance [on the basis of] how long we were able to keep business and hold on under different circumstances."

Foley said the annual management fees of up to $4 million, which were collected by NTC as the Bibb Co. struggled, were for "a lot of employees ... helping to run the company" out of NTC's Greenwich office.

Foley said he is "not really a finance person by background" and instead has specialized in managing companies he buys and improving their performance.

"I think the image of a slash-and-burn person is more of a trader, somebody who comes in and buys something, and does a quick fix-it-up or face-lift and then tries to sell it for a quick profit or sell of the parts and make money — and that's done quickly," Foley said. "I was an investor. I came into these companies, and I tried to make them perform better. I was involved with developing plans to ... meet the challenges they were facing."

"But in business ... it's by definition risky," Foley said. "And despite your problem-solving skills, the plans you put in place, factors out of your control make it so that you aren't able to attain your objective. ... We had a very good run for the first few years, but ultimately the global economic pressures made that business, no matter how good a manager or leader you are, unable to survive in the United States."

Foley, a multimillionaire who lives in Greenwich, says he is willing to pour millions of his own funds into his campaign. He has been active in national Republican politics and was sent by President George W. Bush to Iraq in 2003 as private sector development director, overseeing Iraqi state-owned businesses and trying to promote private-sector growth. Later, he was Bush's ambassador to Ireland.

Of the other two businesses mentioned in Foley's 2009 campaign biography — T.B. Woods and Stevens Aviation — he no longer owns T.B. Woods but still owns Stevens Aviation.

The 2009 biographical material was released when he was exploring a run for the U.S. Senate, before he switched last December to his current gubernatorial candidacy when Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced she would not seek re-election.

His current campaign website does not mention Bibb and is more general: "Tom started from scratch and made his own way in business. He started the NTC Group in 1985 to acquire under-performing businesses and turn them around. Within ten years, NTC Group grew to employ over 6,000 people. Tom knows what it takes to meet a payroll and keep a business going. Tom believes the same expertise and problem-solving skills he used to fix problems in his businesses can be used to fix our economy and our broken government in Hartford."

Foley's campaign blurb was of interest to people in Columbus, Ga., where hundreds lost their jobs with the decline and closing of the local Bibb City mill, which previously had been part of his holdings.

Speaking of the time Foley owned the Bibb City plant, John Lupold, a retired professor of history at Columbus State University, said Bibb was "contracting rather than expanding."

He said that was not unique; scores of regional textile mills were dying because of overseas competition.

"It was pretty universal," Lupold said. "But I don't know how you can say anything was doubling in employment."

On Columbus State University's website is a history of the plant, which was in what once was a separately incorporated district called Bibb City, a company town where the paternalistic management provided cheap housing for mill workers.

The final three entries in a 106-year historical timeline for the Bibb plant are: "1980s, brought change when Thomas Foley purchased The Bibb Company; 1998, Bibb Manufacturing closed its doors. ...; 2008, over 100 years of history was lost when Bibb Manufacturing went up in flames and burned to the ground leaving only the front facade."

Joyce P. Kendrick, 75, who lives across the Chattahoochee River in Phenix City, Ala., worked at the plant for 34 years. Among her jobs were "spinner" and "roller-picker."

"I know I was thankful to have a job when I was there," she said in a phone interview. "It hadn't closed at the time I went out [and retired in the 1990s] ... but it was in the last days. ... I wanted to retire, and I wanted to do it there. I could see it coming for a few years before that, because things were cutting back. It was just going down to nothing and we could see it."

"Yes, it was sad," Kendrick said. She did not lose her retirement but she and others are worried about reports that the funeral and burial insurance they'd bought, with $2,000 or $3,000 coverage, won't be available. There is talk of a court proceeding, but Kendrick and others are unfamiliar with details.

Kendrick said she liked working there. "My pension is $138," she said. "But I'm thankful for that. I'm very thankful. I've always been a workaholic. We got where we were dissatisfied with some of the decisions that were being made. But there was nothing we could do."

Other Republican gubernatorial contenders besides Foley are Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele of Stamford, R. Nelson "Oz" Griebel of Simsbury and Lawrence DiNardis of Hamden.

Source: http://www.courant.com/news/politics/hc-tom-foley-firm-failure-0520,0,714239.story

05/21/10 California Attorney General Jerry Brown Goes To The U.S. Supreme Court To Supports Greenwich Woman's Claim For Art Seized In WWII

California's attorney general filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday in support of a Greenwich woman who wants a Pasadena museum to return two 500-year-old paintings seized by Nazis during World War II.

Attorney General Jerry Brown filed a friend-of-the-court brief asking the court to consider an appeal by Marei von Saher of Greenwich, Conn., who sued the Norton Simon Museum for the paintings in 2007.

The pair of 16th century wood panels by German artist Lucas Cranach the Elder was seized from von Saher's relative, owned for a time by Nazi leader Hermann Goering and purchased 40 years ago by the museum. In 2007, the paintings were valued at $24 million in an insurance appraisal.

They feature Adam and Eve, and might have been the inspiration for the title sequence of ABC's "Desperate Housewives."

Brown's brief argued that California law extending the statute of limitations for heirs of Holocaust victims beyond the usual three-year limit that would apply to von Saher.

A trial court in Los Angeles tossed out the case, ruling that the law was unconstitutional because it interferes with the federal government's authority over foreign policy.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed last year, but ruled the lawsuit could proceed if von Saher can prove she inherited the art before the statute of limitations expired, under another state law not related to Holocaust survivors.

Brown argued that the California law is constitutional because there is no conflict between the federal government conducting foreign policy and the state regulating museums and galleries, which he said is a traditional state responsibility.

Von Saher's claim doesn't try to "redress the wartime wrongs of foreign governments," wrote Brown, who is running for governor.

The lawsuit is against a museum with no ties to the Holocaust or the Nazi regime. A call to the Norton Simon Museum was not returned Wednesday.

05/21/10 In praise of spiritually-guided mothers - Greenwich Citizen

In my family we joke that my mother's favorite Jewish holiday is Mother's Day. Over the years "Jewish mothers" have been the topic for many jokes and not enough expressions of appreciation. My mother was instrumental in forming the Jewish and moral foundation upon which I sought the rabbinate. Her positive Jewish dedication and commitment was omnipresent both within our family home and outside in the community.

Within my own home, my wife Roseanne occupies the center stage in helping our children feeling totally at ease with themselves and the world they interact with. When I'm too much the rabbi and not enough the parent, Roseanne helps me remember that our first role as parent is to be God's partner in raising our children with love, kindness and patience. These attributes lead to the spiritual health of our children more than anything else.

With the above said, both my mother and Roseanne embrace their Jewish motherhood consistent with our parenting tradition. There are times when you need to lovingly rebuke your child because this helps them learn to be morally upright. Love, kindness and compassion are appropriately balanced with the need to teach children self-control, responsibility, and moral character.

If you ask a lot of parents what they want most for their children, they will often respond that they hope their children will be "happy." While happiness is important, it is not the ideal desired by the traditional Jewish parent. Rather, the answer would be: "I want my child to be God-fearing."

The desire of the Jewish parent is that the core of their child's being will be centered on doing what is right, because this brings about meaningful long-term happiness for both the individual and all those they have contact with.

Desiring to raise moral children takes a lot of work. It means being hands-on and present, without hovering and interfering with the children's need to grow in their righteous autonomy. We seek partners in this effort: family, friends, school, etc. A primary reason to be actively engaged with a temple, or any other particularistic House of Worship where you belong, is to access a caring community that helps to raise all of our children in the tradition of menschlekeit -- full moral human beings.

As a child, my mother and father had me attend Hebrew School three days a week: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Shabbat. There, I was exposed to our holy language, sacred texts, awesome history, beautiful traditions and so on. Reinforced with home practice and discussion, Judaism became the foundation of my life and the anchor that holds me no matter how high the waves of challenge arise.

The most important lesson I learned in Hebrew School was poignantly taught by my fifth grade teacher. She wrote out in bold letters the three questions taught by our great sage Hillel: "If I am not for myself, who is for me?" "And when I am for myself, what am I?" "And if not now, when?" Every person needs to live a life where they appropriately find self-fulfillment and happiness. But, we can't neglect others and just focus on ourselves. We also can't put off our responsibilities for another time. They have to be acted upon immediately, never risking the consequences of a neglectful delay.

When I think of Jewish mothers, or any other religiously dedicated mothers, I perceive a parent who selflessly gives of themselves for their children. However, this maternal giving includes an ever-present ethical framework by which the child constantly is taught to live their life and interact with their world in a moral way.

In a world where we too often perceive watching out only for self, the parents who lovingly dedicate themselves to their children's ethical lives not only shapes their children's moral future, but also that of their grandchildren, great-grandchildren and so on. Love, combined with living a life by which we are guided by our awe of God's constant presence, will always change the landscape of the world for the better.

Rabbi Mitchell M. Hurvitz is senior rabbi at Temple Sholom in Greenwich and immediate past president of the Greenwich Fellowship of Clergy. E-mail: rabbimitch@templesholom.com. A collection of his columns may be found at www.templesholom.com/.

05/12/10 Bruce Museum’s Craft Festival Is This Weekend

The Bruce Museum’s 25th Annual Outdoor Crafts Festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday, May 22 and 23, on the grounds of the museum. The festival, which runs from 10 to 5 both days, features juried exhibitors specializing in ceramics, jewelry, wood, wearable and decorative fiber, metalwork, leather, paper arts and glass, all available for purchase. More than 80 artisans will be exhibiting and selling their wares. The Outdoor Crafts Festival includes educational activities for children, international cuisine, acoustic musicians and dance performances.

The festival is held rain or shine on the museum grounds at 1 Museum Drive. Admission to the festival is free to members, $8 for non-members, and free for children under five, and includes all festival activities plus admission to the Bruce Museum galleries, which are open to the public during festival hours.

For information, visit Brucemuseum.org, or call 203-869-0376.

05/21/10 GOP, Dems hold nominating conventions

After a week of scandal involving Connecticut candidates, Republicans and Democrats from across the state will converge on Hartford to hold their nominating conventions.

Usually we have drama in one or two races. This year, it seems to be all over the place. The nominating conventions today and tomorrow might end some of that drama, but probably not all.

Democrats: Despite mis-speaking about his military service, everyone thinks Attorney General Richard Blumenthal will be his party's nominee for Senate, despite businessman Merrick Alpert's attempts to be a part of the convention.

Greenwich Businessman Ned Lamont and former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy will battle it out for the party's nomination for Governor. That race might not be settled at the convention tomorrow and may go to a primary vote.

Republicans: For the Republicans, you've got former wrestling executive Linda McMahon, former congressman Rob Simmons and money expert Peter Schiff battling it out for the nomination for Senator. That could end up in a primary.

The GOP has four people running for governor: Lt. Governor Michael Fedele, and former Ambassador Tom Foley, are the frontrunners. Oz Griebel and Larry DiNardis are also in the race.

And the drama continues further on down the ballot. There are three Republicans who want to be Attorney General -- Rep. Arthur O'Neill, who just announced his candidacy, Martha Dean, and former John Rowland attorney Ross Garber.

The Democratic frontrunner for the attorney general nomination, Susan Bysiewicz, is not eligible to run for that job and yesterday said she won't be a candidate for any race in 2010.

Here's another way to look at it -- Overall, there is no incumbent in the races for Governor, Senator, Attorney General, Secretary of the State or Comptroller, which could make for a very interesting party nominating conventions this weekend.

The Republicans are holding their convention at the Connecticut Convention Center on Columbus Blvd. in Hartford. The Democrats have their convention at the Connecticut Expo Center in Hartford.

On thing is for sure, you'll want to stay tuned to News 8 and WTNH.com to find out how it all shakes out.

05/21/10 Tea time: Local patriots gear up for election season - Greenwich Post

The Tea Party Patriots have been gathering steam on the national political stage this past month, throwing a wrench into the primary system by rejecting longstanding Republican politicians in favor of hard-line conservatives.

This week alone, the movement has been credited with helping Rand Paul, son of libertarian-hero Ron Paul and an early Tea Party favorite, charge to victory in Kentucky, receiving the Republican nomination for Senate handily beating GOP establishment favorite Trey Grayson. The Tea Party was also credited with rejecting Sen. Robert Bennett, a Utah Republican with an 84% lifetime track record of voting conservative, who was deemed “not conservative enough” for renomination.

The movement has vast implications on the national stage, but what does it mean locally, in Connecticut and in Greenwich specifically?



The Post sat down last week for some tea time —via conference call — with leaders of the Greenwich/Stamford Tea Party Patriots to find out.

Monique Thomas of Greenwich and Cathy Grippi of Wilton founded the group in January of this year, basing it on a “grass-roots alliance” that now links 27 Tea Party groups from around the state of Connecticut. Ms. Thomas and Ms. Grippi said they were both “fed up” with what they said is the federal and state governments’ disregard for the Constitution.

They met at a rally in Washington, D.C., last November after finding inspiration from Fox News host Glenn Beck and conservative Minnesota Congressman Michelle Bachmann, who were calling on their followers to voice their opposition to legislation including the bank bailouts and the universal health care bill.

The women linked up and decided to form a local group based on the Tea Party’s core values of “fiscal responsibility, small government and free markets.”

Although the movement claims to attract people from all political persuasions, the group leans heavily Republican. In an e-mail from Ms. Thomas that included a “Declaration of Tea Party Independence” from the Hartford Tea Party Patriots, the movement “declares itself independent” of both the Democratic Party with its “power drunk junta in Washington, D.C., which is currently seeking to impose a Socialist agenda on our Republic,” and the GOP, “which has in the past manipulated its Conservative Base to win election after election and which then betrays everything that base fought for and believed.”

In the same breath, the Tea Party declaration said the party does not support RINO (Republican in name only) politicians, saying “when Republicans are in accord with their conservative base as well as the independent voters who align with it, it wins. When they are not in accord with the conservative base and the independent voters who align with it, it loses.”

Ms. Thomas explained that the Tea Party doesn’t put forth its own candidates, instead supporting whomever is most closely aligned with the movement’s core values.

In Connecticut, these candidates include Rob Merkle, a Republican running for the 4th District congressional seat (see letter to editor on page 4), and Peter Schiff, a Republican running for Senate who served as an economic adviser for Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign. Both are businessmen, which Ms. Grippi and Ms. Thomas said makes them fit to get “excessive spending” in Washington and in the state under control.

“I recognize that in order for me to be part of any solution I need to align myself with one of the parties, because that’s how the system works,” said Ms. Grippi. “So it was for both of us the Republican Party because its platforms and values seem to resonate with both of us.”

Of utmost importance to the local Tea Party leaders is taking personal responsibility for oneself, Ms. Thomas said.

On the new health care legislation, Ms. Thomas said the Tea Party rejects it because it demands that people purchase a service.

“Where in the Constitution does it give the federal or state government the authority to tell everyone they need to do that?” she said. “If I drive a car, I take on the responsibility of owning and driving it, so I must purchase auto insurance. But it brings it to a whole new level that just because we are alive, we must purchase health care insurance.”

On unemployment wages and other government-provided support services, Ms. Grippi said the programs are becoming “unsustainable,” with people being paid now with “uncollected taxes.”

Locally, the group is focusing on getting out support for Schiff and Merkle, and is seeking candidates to run against “five uncontested incumbent Democrats” in state House and state Senate seats.

“The legislation that comes down from [Hartford] is just as bad, if not worse, than DC right now,” said Ms. Thomas.

The Greenwich/Stamford Tea Party Patriots hold a weekly rally every Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. in front of the Greenwich YMCA on East Putnam Avenue.

Their next major event is a Tri-State Liberty Summit bringing together Tea Party representatives from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut on Sunday, May 23, from 2 to 6 at the Italian Center of Stamford.

For more information about the group visit gstpp.org.

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