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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

09/22/11 Introducing Town Residents To Ideas Not Yet Imagined, Issues Not Yet Confronted, Viewpoints Not Yet Expressed And To Articles Not Yet Written

Greenwich Roundup's daily aggregation of press releases, reports, and other news items from the web pages of 2,300 federal agencies, Capitol Hill offices, and interest groups (including thinktanks and watchdog organizations) of every imaginable purpose and persuasion.

Items that implicate a public policy issue are selected for the report without consideration of the viewpoints they express. No litmus test—partisan, ideological, theological or otherwise—is applied to the selection of news items.

Greenwich Roundup's daily reports consistently introduce town residents to ideas not yet imagined, issues not yet confronted, viewpoints not yet expressed and—most importantly—to articles not yet written.

Editor's Selections:

When you talk through a storm. The Federal Communications Commissionand the Federal Emergency Management Agency co-wrote a how-to guide for finding and communicating with family members during and after a natural disaster. Among other things, the agencies say it is much better to use Facebook and Twitter than to clog up the 911 emergency system. The list includes tips that are often overlooked when preparing for a disaster.

Palestine backgrounders. The Congressional Research Service released a pair of reports at the end of last month that provides Congress with background information about U.S. relations with Palestine, and the foreign aid that the U.S. has provided to Palestine. Note: CRS reports are not distributed to the public or the news media.


White House


President
Remarks with President Sarkozy of France

Remarks with U.K. Prime Minister Cameron

Remarks with U.N. Secy. General Ban Ki-moon

Remarks with President Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative

Remarks with Prime Minister Noda of Japan

Remarks with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu

Remarks to the U.N. General Assembly

Statement on the release of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal from Iran

Presidential Memorandum
Message to Congress regarding the continuation of the national emergency with respect to persons who commit, threaten to commit, or support terrorism

Presidential Proclamation
National Hispanic-serving Institutions Week

Press Secretary
Fact sheet: The U.S. commitment to breaking down barriers to women's economic and political participation

U.S. Trade Representative
Fifth meeting of the U.S. - Pakistan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Council

Federal Courts


2nd Circuit Court of Appeals
US v. al Kassar (Upholds conviction of three who were arrested in sting operation trying to sell anti-aircraft missiles to a terrorist organization)

4th Circuit Court of Appeals
al Shirami v. CACI International (Orders dismissal of case brought by four Iraqi citizens who claim they were tortured by civilian contractors at Abu Ghraib prison)

Taylor v. Kellogg Brown & Root Services Inc.(Revives lawsuit brought by Marine who was electrocuted when a civilian contractor threw open a switch)

al-Quraishi v. L-3 Services Inc. (Orders dismissal of complaint brought by 72 Iraqis who claim they were tortured by civilian contractors at Abu Ghraib and 20 other prisons)

9th Circuit Court of Appeals
Father M v. Various Tort Claimants (Confidential bankruptcy documents revealing priest's sexual abuse of children were properly disclosed)

11th Circuit Court of Appeals
Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. v. The Unidentified Shipwrecked Vessel (Vessel sunk in 1804 in international waters is a Spanish war vessel that must be returned to Spain under federal laws and foreign treaties)

Executive Departments


Commerce

Bureau of Economic Analysis
Spending on travel and tourism increased at an annual rate of 2.5% in the second quarter

Defense
Contract announcements for September 21

Air Force
Air Forces Africa commander shares challenges and concerns

Defense Casualties
Army Spc. Ryan J. Cook,29, of Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

Army Staff Sgt. Estevan Altamirano, 30, of Edcouch, Texas

Defense Security Cooperation Agency
Notified Congress of a possible sale of a pilot training program to Taipei

Notified Congress of a possible sale of retrofitting for F-16A/B aircraft to Taipei

Notified Congress of a possible sales order II (FMSO II) to Taipei

Notified Congress of a possible sale of howitzers, radars and ammunition to Saudi Arabia

Education
Federal partners pledge to continue work at second annual bullying prevention summit

Energy
Announces $17 million to bolster university-led nuclear energy research and development

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Announces a new energy efficiency milestone

Health and Human Services

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Preparing for America's next flu challenge

National Cancer Institute
Stanford discovery of gene fusion in ovarian cancer could lead to earlier diagnoses

Study finds blood pressure drugs may lengthen lives of melanoma patients

Beth Israel study shows candid discussion regarding sexuality can improve the quality of life for prostate cancer survivors

National Center for Health Statistics
Early release of estimates on health insurance coverage from the National Health Interview Survey, January - March 2011

Early release of selected estimates based on data from the National Health Interview Survey, January - March 2011

National Institute on Aging
Landmark studies reveal genetic mutation is linked to inherited forms of ALS and dementia

Homeland Security

Federal Emergency Management Agency
Reconciling the Endangered Species Act and the National Flood Insurance Program in Puget Sound

Unveils with the FCC a new tip sheet for consumers on how to communicate during disasters

Housing and Urban Development
Awards $8.8 million to improve housing and services for AIDs families

Interior
Announces release of Klamath Dam removal studies

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement
Awards $500,000 for technical study on Arctic Sea ice

Fish and Wildlife Service
Proposes to repeal exemption of generic tigers from registration under the captive-bred wildlife program

Justice
Atty. General Holder speaks to the Institute of International and European Affairs

Testimony before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism

Texas correctional officer pleads guilty to using excessive force

Civil Division
Alabama defense contractor to pay $200,000 to resolve False Claims Act allegations

NASA contractor to pay $800,000 to resolve False Claims Act liability in service-disabled veteran-owned small business fraud

Civil Rights Division
Sends to Congress legislative proposals to strengthen existing laws protecting service members

Criminal Division
Ten Miami residents plead guilty in $25 million home health Medicare fraud scheme

Rhode Island Mafia member is sentenced in murder-for-hire case

U.S. Attorney - Maryland
Police officer pleads guilty to extortion scheme involving the distribution of untaxed cigarettes

U.S. Attorney - New York Southern
Man is sentenced to prison for insider trading

Labor

Occupational Safety & Health Administration
Sues Massachusetts dentist for firing employee who raised concerns about contaminated needle disposal

Issues updated whistleblower investigations manual

State
Secy. Clinton statement on the release of Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal from Iran

Interest Groups


Agriculture
Public Interest Research Group
Farm subsidies pay for 19 Twinkies per taxpayer but only a quarter of an apple apiece

Climate

Earth Justice
Bills exempt cement plants, industrial boilers, and waste-burning plants from pollution safeguards
Union of Concerned Scientists
TRAIN Act is a colossal waste of money and an attempt to delay regulations

Crime

RAND Corporation
Crime rises when medical marijuana dispensaries close

Economy

National Association of Realtors
Existing-home sales increased in August

World Economic Forum
Confidence is severely lacking in the state of the global economy

Education

Council for Exceptional Children
Ignoring top-performing students impacts America’s prosperity

Fordham Institute
Report: Do high flyers maintain their altitude? Performance trends of top students

Energy

Natural Resources Defense Council
Modest improvements can extend life of Alaska pipeline by decades

Lives are at stake in House GOP’s campaign to strip basic environmental protections

Ethics

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
Seeks dismissal of Sen. John Edwards' indictment; being loathsome isn't illegal

First Amendment

Public Citizen
Law school has not justified unmasking identity of critic

Radio Television Digital News Association
Milwaukee police needs to drop charges against photojournalist

Rutherford Institute
Challenges biometric photo requirement for Oklahoma drivers’ licenses

Freedom of Information Act

Brennan Center for Justice
New York City Police Department needs to hand over records on the department’s domestic intelligence gathering operations

Health & medicine

Generic Pharmaceutical Association
Savings from generic prescriptions reached $158 billion in 2010

Homeland security

American Civil Liberties Union
Federal appeals court allows ACLU challenge to warrantless wiretapping law to proceed

Housing

National Low Income Housing Coalition
Senate should act on voucher reform legislation

Middle East

Statements regarding President Obama's call for resumption of direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks during address to the United Nations General Assembly:

American Jewish Committee

Americans for Peace Now

Anti-Defamation League

B'nai B'rith International

Human Rights First

National Security Network

Military

Pew Charitable Trusts
Department of Defense is accelerating clean energy innovation to save lives and money

Report: From barracks to the battlefield: Clean energy innovation and America’s armed forces

Public lands

Center for American Progress
Report: The jobs case for conservation: Creating opportunity through stewardship of America’s public lands

Regulations

Business Roundtable
Reforming the federal regulatory process will expand business and create jobs

Report: Achieving smarter regulation

National Federation of Independent Business
New Dept. of Labor rule threatens small business access to legal counsel

Sexuality

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Attacks on Defense of Marriage Act threaten marriage and church-state relations

Independent Agencies

Broadcasting Board of Governors
Alhurra TV nearly doubles its audience in Egypt

Federal Communications Commission
Tip sheet: Tips for communicating before, during and after disasters

Federal Reserve Board
Announces plan to purchase $400 billion of Treasury securities to contain inflationary pressures and put downward pressure on long-term interest rates

National Science Foundation
Awards $21 million in grants for studies of coupled natural and human systems

Securities and Exchange Commission
Charges Goldman Sachs employee and father with insider trading

Tennessee Valley Authority
Seeks public comment on environmental review of Kansas wind site

U.S. International Trade Commission
Institutes patent infringement investigation on certain digital photo frame and image display devices and components

Congressional Agencies

Congressional Research Service
The Palestinians: Background and U.S. relations (August 30)

U.S. foreign aid to the Palestinians (August 29)

Oman: Reform, security, and U.S. policy (August 26)

Government Accountability Office
Inspectors General: Reporting on independence, effectiveness and expertise


Federal departments (continued)

Transportation

Federal Highway Administration
New freight traffic data point to more congestion on key highways

Federal Railroad Administration
Announces $31 million to improve rail service in Washington State

Treasury
Announces public offerings of warrants to purchase common stock of SunTrust Banks, Inc.

Announces sale of four SBA 7(a) securities

Testimony before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade

Internal Revenue Service
Issues guidance to further implement tax return preparer oversight

Announces new worker classification settlement program for employers

09/21/11 The Raw Late Night Greenwich News Feed

News
Greenwich girls soccer team blanks Warde
Greenwich Time
Greenwich High School girls soccer coach Danny Simpson during match between Greenwich High School and Fairfield Warde High School at Greenwich High School Wednesday Sept. 21, 2011. GHS won 3-0. ...
Choate girls soccer ties Greenwich Academy with late goal
Stamford Advocate
Through 79 minutes, the Greenwich Academy girls soccer team dictated the pace and controlled the time of possession against visiting New England power Choate. The Gators had jumped out to a one-goal advantage into the first half and the GA defense had ...
Deputy Mayor Robert Steel's Conn. Job?
New York Daily News (blog)
Steel asked when the Daily News confronted him in the driveway of his extravagant Greenwich mansion. "I'd rather live here." NYC law requires all top city officials to live in the city. Although most major unions have negotiated the right for members ...
Greenwich High water polo slips past Greenwich YMCA in closing seconds.
Greenwich Time
The Greenwich High School water polo team edged their crosstown rivals from the Greenwich YMCA acquatics team 15-14 Tuesday night. Tied at 14 with just 12 seconds remaining, Greenwich High's Will Klingner tossed a backhand bast the YMCA goalie for the ..
Fairfield County home to 10 billionaires
Danbury News Times
The wealthy elite of Fairfield County are not a threat to unseat Bill Gates as the nation's richest individual, but Forbes magazine's new list of the 400 Richest People in America reveals that the county -- and Greenwich in particular -- has a near ...
Patch Picks: Great Cupcakes!
Patch.com
For every Cardinal cupcake purchased, $1 is donated to the Quarterback Club of Greenwich High School. And $1 of every Pink Ribbon cupcake purchased will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Coalition during the month of October. ...

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

09/21/11 The Raw Greenwich Blog Feed: This Just In ...

Blog Posts About Greenwich, CT
Greenwich Rail Riders Cheer Quiet Cars | The Daily Greenwich
By Anthony Buzzeo and Anna Helhoski
GREENWICH, Conn. — Are you tired of being forced to listen to someone else's conversations while taking the train back and forth to work? Soon ride ...

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

09/21/11 Yet Another Brooklyn Man Used A Fake Credit Card To Try To Buy A Rolex At Betteridge Jewelers On Greenwich Avenue

A Brooklyn, N.Y., man used a counterfeit credit card in an attempt to buy a $30,000 Rolex watch from Betteridge Jewelers Tuesday afternoon.

The man had presented an HSBC credit card along with a New Jersey driver's licence in the name of John Neill, in the attempt to buy the $30,665 watch.

Suspicious Betteridge staff members called the Greenwich Police Department, who responded with close to ten Greenwich Police officers at two in the afternoon.

The Greenwich Police Department says the credit card is a counterfeit and the man's driver's licence was also a forgery.

James D. Wilson, 51, of 629 Throop Ave., Apt. 1, was charged with illegal use of a credit card, illegal reproduction of a credit card, first-degree identity theft, first-degree forgery, second-degree forgery and criminal attempt.

He couldn't post $50,000 bond and was held in custody in Bridgeport, CT.

PLEASE ALSO SEE:

"Its Like Deja Vu All Over Again"

09/12/11 Man Arrested At Betterdige Jewelers on Greenwich Avenue For Credit Card Fraud


A man is facing charges after being accused of fraudulent credit card use at a Greenwich jeweler

Police say 32-year old Emeli Kwasi Attipoe of Brooklyn, New York tried to buy a $23,000 Rolex watch from Betterdige Jewelers on Greenwich Avenue using fake credit cards.

Investigators say the two cards he was trying to use didn't process and the security holograms on them didn't seem right.

They say he also had a fake Illinois license.

Attipoe is being held on $50,000 bond and is due in court later this month.


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

09/21/11 Brave Women And Men Are Standing In Harm's Way In Afghanistan And Iraq, Facing Bullets, And Budkins Can't Stand In A Room & Answer Questions

THE DEBATE ABOUT THE DEBATES IN GREENWICH

I always have like debates.

I've never liked to debate about debates.

If the Greenwich Town Clerk Carmella Budkins can't handle a simple interaction with the opponent, how is she they going to handle the continued pressures of office?"

Maybe Ms. Budkins has been there a bit too long.

Greenwich residents deserve the direct, face-to-face confrontation on the issues that a local serious debate provides.

We've got women and men, like my son, standing in harm's way in Afghanistan and Iraq, facing bullets and land mines, and Ms. Budkins certainly can stand in a room and answer questions and discuss the issues.

I am sorry but this is wrong on so many levels.

First Selectman Peter Tesei has always received kudos from both sides of the aisle for his willingness to always engage with the opposition during an election.

Personally, I would advised Greenwich Town Clerk Carmella Budkis to get out of this debate over debates and join the nonpartisan political forums that focus on the issues Greenwich that voters are really concerned about.

Carmella whole attitude has became has stupid political move that hurts the Republican party, because she has caused voter to focus on her campaign tactics.

The Town Clerks race has became a meta-campaign -- a campaign about the campaign -- and that's never good for the town of Greenwich or the local Republican party.

Ms. Budkins should want her campaign to be about the voters.

Greenwich homeowners deserve a full and frank airing of the issues.

Everyone is asking,"Why is Ms. Budkins afraid to debate Mr. Ng.

Mr. Ng has focused on how to make the town clerks office more efficient and transparent.

Personally, I do not that think that Ms. Budkins is not a good debater.

Perhaps it is just that she can't defend the fact that her office has not kept up with the times.

I guess if I had that record as Town clerk, I wouldn't want to defend it either.

Look how Paul Curtis at at Greenwich Community Television (Channel 79) has kept up to date, ,you can watch all of the town meetings on live your iPad or on your android phone the next morning as you take the train into work.

http://gctv.greenwich.org/node/80

How cool and transparent is that?

Paul Curtis would never ever, be afraid to debate and defend his long held RTM seat, because he strongly believes that town officials should be held accountable Greenwich voters.

Ms. Budkins wants voters to take 45 minutes out of their day and vote for her on election day, but she can't find 45 minutes to be held accountable in a nonpartisan public debate.

Something is wrong here and Greenwich deserves better than this dirty trick from Carmella Budkins.

Shame, Shame, Shame On Greenwich Town Clerk Carmella C. Budkins For Refusing To Debate - Greenwich Deserves Better Than This!!!!
· · · 14 hours ago near Greenwich
    • Greenwich Roundup
      The Greenwich Time Might Not Be Aware That Carmella Budkins Is Afraid To Debate In Front Of The Voters Of Greenwich Connecticut

      But The Topix News Website, Which Is Owned By The McClatchy Newspaper Company, The Tribune And Gannett Media Co...See More
      www.topix.com
      Town Clerk Carmella C. Budkins cannot commit 45 minutes to a debate held by a bipartisan committee, even though they proposed a few different dates.
      13 hours ago · ·
    • Andrew Melillo What is there to debate? Mrs Budkins has dutifully and with great care and skill performed her job in the past. Merits not words are needed, I vote for Budkins. This attack is a shameful and distastefully artful attempt to skew perception and fraud voters' understanding. I vote for the candidate with Proven Experience.
      8 hours ago · · 1 person
    • Greenwich Roundup
      Dear Andrew,

      I was putting my support behind Ms. Budkins. As I said above I like Carmella. She handled a DBA statement for another business I have, gave me the paper work to run for the RTM and swore me in when I served on the RTM.

      But, I am quickly losing respect for her now that I have discovered that she is refusing to participate in a 45 minute nonpartisan debate.

      As a reporter my curiosity starts to go up, when I hear that a town official is refusing to debate and be held accountable.

      I am an independent and do not blindly support one party or the other. I vote on the merits of each person.

      As you can see from my blog I support Carmella's running mate Peter Tesei's bid for first selectman.

      And I must say that I am very disappointed in Carmella.

      Carmella's arrogant stance that she will not debate, has only made me take a closer look at challenger who says he wants to modernize the clerks office and make it more accessible and accountable to town residents.

      sincerely,

      Brian
      7 hours ago ·
    • Andrew Melillo
      Brian,

      I respect the grievance you take with Ms. Budkins not wanting to debate, but that does not equate to her pushing aside accountability. She is always accountable to her actions As town clerk, and her merits should be the primary focus to her qualifications for office.

      Wanting to modernize the office is a feasible option, and who better to do that than the person who knows all the ins and outs of the current office? The debate is an arbitrary issue in the grand scheme of the entire argument of accountability and qualifications for the position.

      I say lets vote Ms. Budkins and then push for modernization of the office. She is a much more qualified person to help the process of upgrading the office than someone completely new and blind to the entire operation.

      We must push for great ideas, but we must seek the most efficient ways to go about implementing them.

      -Andrew Melillo
      7 hours ago ·
    • Greenwich Roundup
      Dear Andrew,

      You got to set standards, and be willing to be held accountable if you want to hold public office and serve the town.

      As I said above, I am originality from the show me state of Missouri, home of "Give em Hell Harry Truman" who said,"If you can't stand the heat, then get the hell out of the kitchen."

      I support first selectman Peter Tesei, who has agreed to not one, but multiple debates with his challenger.

      Mr. Tesei is not afraid of his record and is willing to be held accountable.

      I don't know how Mr. Tesei's running mate Ms. Budkins can expect support from myself or others in town if she will not even agree to one debate.

      Call me crazy, but this Jew says,"Something is not kosher here."

      I have never supported, or never will support a candidate who refuses to be held accountable or debate.

      Ms. Budkins has been very well compensated by the homeowners of Greenwich and will receive a top tier retirement package funded by taxpayers of Greenwich.

      The least Ms. Budkins could do is take 45 minutes to be held accountable in a debate.

      If she really cared about Greenwich and was really proud of her record she would agree to all three of the debates.

      It is a very sad thing when a politician starts to think they are entitled to their position.

      All Ms. Budkins is doing is causing independents like myself to take a closer look at her challenger.

      sincerely,

      Brian
      7 hours ago ·
    • Andrew Melillo
      All valid points, but it is not feasible to link a 45 minute debate to accountability. We cannot succumb to determining qualifications for office based upon oratory ability and rather should look at candidates based on their effective merits.

      Modernize the office? Good idea, but do so with the person who will know how to do that best.

      Debating for 45 minutes is not shunning away from accountability, they are not interdependent whatsoever. Merits, record of experience, these are the items that should be at the forefront of this election for Town Clerk.

      There is not sense of entitlement. Ms. Budkins has done her job so successfully for years that her abilities should already be well known at this point. Anything else is a false skew of perception toward the voters of Greenwich.

      The argument of accountability in regards to the debate "misunderstanding" should be pushing independent candidates to take a closer look at the Actual qualifications of each candidate, and the uncertain motives of attempting to link government accountability with a 45 minute debate scheduled in one point in time.
      7 hours ago ·
    • Andrew Melillo I love the great state of Missouri, but I remind my honorable friend of the Greenwich Roundup, that Truman rose into politics by the most dishonorable means. Careful how you portray your politics, it might be tainted by the actions of questionable figures you wish not to associate with.
      7 hours ago ·
    • Greenwich Roundup
      Tu Shay Andrew, on Give em Hell Harry.

      But you seem to be blinded by party politics.

      That's why I am an independent.

      I vote for the person and not the party.

      And I need as much information as possible to make the best possible decision. That's why nonpartisan debates are critical in the selection process for so many independents like myself.

      As I said above ....

      I have never supported, or never will support a candidate who refuses to be held accountable or debate.

      Some people, feel comfortable voting a straight Republican or Democratic ticket. I don't.

      Far too many people have died on battlefields, so that I can vote in free and open elections.

      I take my responsibility seriously and need free and open debates to make an intelligent decision.

      My son who is a Sargent in the United States Army and survived three IED attacks in Iraq, did not put himself in harms way for politicians who refuse to debate and be held accountable.

      As I said above, I have lost a lot of respect for Carmella.

      Was Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Truman, Kennedy Reagan, Bush ever afraid to debate

      Shame, Shame, Shame on any politician that refuses to debate and be held accountable to the taxpayers.
      6 hours ago ·
    • Andrew Melillo
      Many thanks to your Son's service to the United States. Their sacrifices are appreciated everyday, at least on this end.

      I am loyal to my Party yes, but if there is a candidate that is not fit, then I will say so as well. Ms. Budkins, is qualified and accountable like all others, a debate is another story; however how long can we beat a dead horse?

      As for Truman, well I am sure he was forever thankful for people such as Tom Pendergast and the rest....

      Good talking to you, take care.
      6 hours ago · · 1 person
    • Greenwich Roundup
      Dear Andrew,

      I would just add.

      There are few traditions more central to political campaigns than debates between the candidates. In the biggest races, they're nationally televised events that journalists, pundits, activists, and the public eagerly anticipate and relentlessly cover.

      In Greenwich Connecticut, they're community gatherings where residents are able to get to know their would-be leaders.

      It is a shame that in gentile Greenwich this have gotten so bad that we have to debate about debates.

      Ms. Budkins is probably a bit shocked that she has made headlines this election season for either refusing to debate or to participating in such forums.

      She was probably counting on the lazy reporters at the Greenwich Time not to care one bit about the town.

      That's why the joke around town is that the Greenwich Time is printed in the basement of Town Hall and edited by the First Selectman.

      One other blogger in town refers to the Hearst owned newspaper as the "Yellowich Time" for this very reason.

      Refusing to debate is a tired but traditional tactic employed by almost every political incumbent in American politics,

      The standard scenario: (1) Challenger calls on incumbent to mulitple debates; (2) incumbent claims busy schedule serving voters they represent; (3) challenger keeps pressure on suggesting incumbent is afraid to show up; (4) incumbent finally agrees to single debate held on a night and time that is difficult for the local paper to cover; and (5) incumbent wins reelection.

      We can only hope that voters have become hip enough to the game that they demand their Greenwich representatives debate early and often.

      It ain't the law, but it sure as hell ought to be an obligation.

      Personally, I think having debates is always good.

      There are few potentially unscripted moments in a campaign, and I think people ought to know.

      I understand when you don't want to give credence to your opponent, blah blah blah, but I think that's really kind of dumb for a local politican like Ms. Budkins.

      You know, the truth is, Ms. Budkins is an incumbent?

      If Ms. Budkins feels that she is in trouble.

      Then she ought to be able to go out there and defend herself.

      So I always like debates.

      I've never liked to debate about debates.

      If the Ms. Budkins can't handle a simple interaction with the opponent, how is she they going to handle the continued pressures of office?"

      Maybe Ms. Budkins has been there a bit too long.

      Greenwich residents deserve the direct, face-to-face confrontation on the issues that a local serious debate provides.

      We've got women and men, like my son, standing in harm's way in Afghanistan and Iraq, facing bullets and land mines, and Ms. Budkins certainly can stand in a room and answer questions and discuss the issues.

      I am sorry but this is wrong on so many levels.

      Maybe Stephen Ng should bring a cardboard cut out of Ms. Budkins to all of the debates that First Selectman Peter Tesei and Mr. John Blankley have agreed to.

      Maybe, Ms. Budkins can get a friend, relative or Republican political operative to debate for her.

      I remember last year seeing a California race where Democrat Ray Lutz and Libertarian Mike Benoit went on a hunger strike to protest Rep. Duncan Hunter's refusal to engage with them in a series of debates.

      Maybe Mr. Ng should go on a hunger strike too.

      Like Carmella and myself, Mr. Ng could afford to lose a few pounds.

      First Selectman Peter Tesei has always received kudos from both sides of the aisle for his willingness to always engage with the opposition during an election.

      Personally, I would advised Greenwich Town Clerk Carmella Budkis to get out of this debate over debates and join the nonpartisan political forums that focus on the issues Greenwich that voters are really concerned about.

      Carmella whole attitude has became has stupid political move that hurts the Republican party, because she has caused voter to focus on her campaign tactics.

      The Town Clerks race has became a meta-campaign -- a campaign about the campaign -- and that's never good for the town of Greenwich or the local Republican party.

      Ms. Budkins should want her campaign to be about the voters.

      Greenwich homeowners deserve a full and frank airing of the issues.

      Everyone is asking,"Why is Ms. Budkins afraid to debate Mr. Ng.

      Mr. Ng has focused on how to make the town clerks office more efficient and transparent.

      Personally, I do not that think that Ms. Budkins is not a good debater.

      Perhaps it is just that she can't defend the fact that her office has not kept up with the times.

      I guess if I had that record as Town clerk, I wouldn't want to defend it either.

      Look how Paul Curtis at at Greenwich Community Television (Channel 79) has kept up to date, ,you can watch all of the town meetings on live your iPad or on your android phone the next morning as you take the train into work.

      http://gctv.greenwich.org/node/80

      How cool and transparent is that?

      Paul Curtis would never ever, be afraid to debate and defend his long held RTM seat, because he strongly believes that town officials should be held accountable Greenwich voters.

      Ms. Budkins wants voters to take 45 minutes out of their day and vote for her on election day, but she can't find 45 minutes to be held accountable in a nonpartisan public debate.

      Something is wrong here and Greenwich deserves better than this.
      gctv.greenwich.org
      Greenwich Community Television, our local government access channel, has expanded it's broadcast reach to a second video provider. Verizon FiOS video service now carries GCTV programs on Verizon FiOS channel 24 as well as Cablevision channel 79.

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