March 25 eEdition

Sentinel Greenwich If you can do something good, you should. l Ma rch 25 , 2 016 $1 . 75 B y r a m B a n k s v i l l e C o s C o b D o w n t o w n G l e n v i l l e O l d G r e e n w i c h


Inside in brief


S M.J. Rose, an award-winning writer of historical fiction, advises aspiring authors to write only if you love to write—and it’s obvious she takes her own advice. PAGE 2 EDITORIAL: PAGE 4 S Wha t w i l l i t t a ke for t he Connecticut Legislature to wake up and get serious about getting our state’s financial house in order? S Letters: Remembering Georgia Ashforth; In Praise of Witherell; About Parkway School. STORIES S Hair is Chopped for a Good Cause, Shattering Records. Lunchtime was far from ordinary in the Greenwich High School student center last week, as students, teachers and coaches lined up to donate their hair for a cause that fights children’s cancer by funding research. PAGE 2 S Purim Carnival: A Day of Joy at Temple Sholom . It’s not every day that Temple Sholom is filled with little princesses and pirates running around with prizes and cotton candy, but last Sunday was no ordinary day. PAGE 9 S Tr i n it y Chu rch Thr ive s at Ea ster t ide , Even w it h Pa stor Sidelined. There is a church in Greenwich with no walls, with a missi ng senior pastor, t hat nevertheless on Easter Sunday morning is expected to fill the 750-capacity Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency twice over in its 9:15 and 11 am services. PAGE 9 S Greenwich Native Thrives in Second Act at Patt y ’s Portico . Pat t y DeFelice got into the business world by unfortunate circumstance, but has stayed in it for the love of the game. PAGE 11 S Students Honored at 30th Annual Commun i t y S e r v i c e Awa rd s . Celebrating 30 years of community service in the Public School system, the annual community service ceremony honored students from every school in the district. PAGE 14 S Greenwich Boy Scouts Lead Lost Family to Safety. The Perez family set out on a hike they thought would last less than two hours. But as dusk closed in, they found themselves separated from the rest of their group with very little food—lost in the woods. PAGE 14 S BET Approves $431 Million Budget for 2016-17 . The Board of Estimate and Taxation approved a $431.3 million town budget for fiscal year 2016-17, representing a 4.9 percent increase over the prior year’s spending. PAGE 11 OUR NEIGHBORHOODS S Our Neighborhoods has moved! Check out what’s happening in your neighborhood. PAGE 3 LOCAL MOVIE TIMES & COMMUNITY CALENDAR S Comprehensive calendar of events and deadlines. PAGE 5 WORSHIP: PAGE 6 S Schedule of services this weekend. STOCK MARKET S Publicly Traded Companies in Greenwich. PAGE 11 OBITUARIES: PAGE 8 S Audrey Kohler, Julia Myder Kordas, Ann B. Shepard, Proctor S. Waterman, Nancy Minyo, Donald A. Hartmann SPORTS: PAGE 12 S Skate Park, Girls Basketball, Swimming Championships REAL ESTATE: PAGE 16 S Does My Finished Basement C o u n t i n My F l o o r A r e a Calculation? S Commercial Real Estate: A Matter of Time? S Real Estate Dashboard: SOLDS and NEWLISTINGS.

It was quite a weekend for Greenwich High School athletics. On Saturday afternoon, the GHS boys swimming and diving team completed the triple crown by picking up some stellar times from Alex Jahan, Jack Montesi, Nick Hyden and others to win the CIAC state open championship. Earlier in the week Big Red won the class LL meet in commanding fashion. On Sunday, the Greenwich High girls basketball team kept the good times rolling by competing in the class LL finals at the Mohegan Sun Arena. This was the first time in school history that the Lady Cardinals battled in the championship game. Although they were defeated 50-45 by Stamford High School, the season will go down as one of the finest in team history. To read more on the two teams, check out the sports section on page 12. (photos by Paul Silverfarb) BET Approves $37M New Leb School Rebuild A rebuilt and enlarged New Lebanon Elementary School took item in the largest capital budget in town history. BET chairman Michael Mason expressed skepticism about how New Lebanon would function as a prospective magnet school. School Building Committee had already done a good deal of “value engineering,” as Democrat Jeffrey Ramer put it, getting the number to where it was. speaking in favor of Drake’s motion. “This is an amendment that won’t change the quality of school, but might make the footprint of the building more feasible for this site,” Tarkington observed. By Bill Slocum Contributing Editor

Steve Walko, chair of the New Lebanon School Building Committee, said after the meeting that he was pleased with the BET’s approval. “It absolutely in my mind validates the work we are doing, as well as the town’s commitment to the school,” he said. He added he was confused by the $300,000 cut. “It was unclear whether the BET was looking to reduce the square footage of the school or not. Some indicated they were, others said no. We’re just going to address the $300,000. What they made clear was that it should not come from the contingency fund. So our charge is to reduce the cost.” At the meeting, Republican BET members Jim Lash and Leslie Tarkington specifically mentioned building size as a concern in

“I said to this board in a work session: ‘Can someone please find me magnet students that are going to come across town and go to that school?’” Mason said. “Someone has to make this conversation public.” Mason also questioned whether the state will come through with their promised reimbursement funds for New Lebanon School even if it meets conditions for that reimbursement set by Hartford. “I’m really concerned about the state,” he said. The cut went through in a 6-6 party-line vote, with Mason as chair casting the deciding vote. Drake argued the cut was less than one percent of the totality of the project, and represented sensitivity to taxpayer concerns. Democrats countered that the New Lebanon

Democrat Mary Lee Kiernan countered that the BET, by favoring the motion, would insert itself into the design phase of the project, a point Drake addressed. “The intent is not to reduce the square footage,” Drake said. “You can’t do that. That’s the Building Committee’s task. It’s to reduce the financing. That’s our task.” Walko said the next steps are clear, and include submissions to the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Inland Wetlands & Watercourses Agency, and the Representative Town Meeting, all before a June 30 deadline. What is not clear is the level of reimbursement Greenwich can expect from the state,

a large step toward reality Monday night, when the Board of Estimate and Taxation approved a $37 million appropriation—with some skepticism and a cut. “This project has got strong support,” BET member Bill Drake noted. “We are going to build a superb new school.” Drake then moved to take $300,000 from the appropriation, triggering discussion between Republicans like Drake and Democrats on the board. The discussion allowed Republicans on the BET to express skepticism about elements of the project, including its proposed 62,000 square-foot size, while agreeing a new school was needed. New Lebanon School, it was observed, is the largest single capital

continued, see NEW LEB on Page 14

Examining Later Start Time Options C ould Greenwich High School start classes an hour and fifteen minutes later? Could an elementary school day of concerns were addressed at the committee meeting, including elementary-school students travelling toor fromschool in twilight conditions, and the difficulty of coordinating new bus times around the established schedules of local private schools. Greenwich High School Headmaster By Bill Slocum Contributing Editor

begin at 7:30 a.m.? Last Friday a panel charged with reviewing public school start times exa.m.ined these and other options, seven in all, for reworking the current public-school day in line with concerns of teenagers losing sleep. “There are a range of options you can consider,” explained school transit expert TomPlatt of School Bus Consultants, who is advising the School Start Time Steering Committee. “The cost can go from zero to a third higher than as is.” The cost was only part of the concern. A range

Christopher Winters urged the panel consider an eighth option to move start times up just one day a week, a so-called “recharge” day that he noted could be less costly and disruptive than a full-week scenario. But Schools Superintendent William McKersie pushed back, saying the committee needs to move forward with the seven options on the table. “These are the seven options that get us into different categories,” McKersie said. “Once we can get to that, we can sidebar.”

Tom Platt of School Bus Consultants explains the seven options for moving start times at Greenwich public schools at a meeting of the School Start Time Steering Committee last Friday.

continued, see START TIMES on Page 14

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