March 30

Sentinel Greenwich March 30 , 2018 $1 . 75 Made possible by readers like you, our advertising partners, & support from the GREENWICH SENTINEL FOUNDATION



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BET Approves '18-'19 Town Budget By Richard Kaufman

Our Neighborhoods

Fellow Republican board member, Karen Fassuliotis, agreed with Mason. "I've heard many times on this board that we shouldn't be micromanaging departments and, by the very nature of this condition, we could be seeing this as micromanaging a department," she said. Much of the discussion in the early goings of the budget meeting centered around the Board of Education's $160.3 million budget. Mason put forth a motion to cut funding by $166,699 to put it within BET guidelines, but it eventually failed along party lines. Mason, and the other Republicans, said that it's time for the BOE to reexamine headcount growth and the rising costs of schools, and that the BOE needs to work with the BET to find more efficiencies

funding Think Greenwich, a town marketing program supported by First Selectman Peter Tesei. However, with a vote of 7-6 after the tie-breaker from chair Jill Oberlander, the board approved a motion set forth by Jeff Ramer, which stated that Tesei must first present the BET with a "full economic development plan for the town" before the funds are released. A debate surrounding a suitable economic plan has been going on between Tesei and Selectman, Sandy Litvack. Republican BET member, Michael Mason, argued against Ramer's motion. "I don't think the BET should be part of a debate that's been going on in the Selectman's office about an economic development plan for the town," Mason said. "I think when, and if they decide they want one, we should make the decision about whether we want to finance it or not."

DOWNTOWN S Wednesday, April 4, 11 a.m. Former Ambassador to Canada and the European Union, TomNiles, will speak at the Retired Men’s Association of Greenwich on the United States’ international relations, the current world situation, and how it affects our national interests. The program is free and open to all, and will be held at First Presbyterian Church, 1 West Putnam Ave. Visit for more details. S Thursday, April 5, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Join Greenwich Community Gardens for a free event about the Future of Food. There will be a screening of Unbroken Ground , a film from Patagonia Provisions, followed by an interactive discussion with local farming a n d f o o d e x p e r t s . T h e event is free. Register via greenwichcommunitygardens. org or S Wednesday, April 9, 10:30 a.m. The YMCA of Greenwich will be holding a free Spring Break Swim Clinic for Special Needs children, ages 3 to 12, fromApril 9 to 12. The focus of the free clinic is to teach basic water safety and swimming concepts to children with spe c i a l ne ed s . For more information, contact Betsy Culeman at 203-869-1630 ext. 306 or bculeman@gwymca. org BACKCOUNTRY S Thursday, April 5, 5:30 p.m. The Greenwich Women's Golf Club (GWGC) invites any woman golfer to join their club. Interested golfers are encouraged to attend their opening meeting at Birdies Restaurant at The Griff, 1300 King St. You must be over the age of 18 and have five signed and attested score cards of 125 or less. Residents and non- residents are welcome. For more details, contact Amanda at amanda.oliva@amwins. com or Cecilia Bowers at S Sunday, April 8, 2 to 4 p.m. Join the Greenwich Tree Conservancy as they explore the vernal pools of the Babcock Preserve and the forest that sustains them. Meet in the North Street parking lot of the preserve. The walk is free, but RSVP to JoAnn Messina at COS COB S Tuesday, April 3, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Come to Performance PT, located at 35 River Rd., for a discussion titled "Teenage Spor ts: Break t hrough vs. Burnout." Parents will be able to gain valuable insights on how to create a positive and rewarding athletic experience for their children. Seating is limited, RSVP at teensports. GREENWICH S Neighbor to Neighbor and Greenwich High School ’s Former At tire Club team up for 'Prom Project' drive. Donations of new or gently used gowns, tuxedoes and accessories are now being ac c ept ed at Nei ghbor to Nei ghbor, on t he Ch r i s t Church Greenwich campus at 248 E. PutnamAve. Greenwich High School students may also donate at GHS. For more information, contact Nancy Coughlin at 203-622-9208 or

A fter eight hours of discussion and debate, the Greenwich Board of Estimate and Taxation unanimously approved the town's 2018-2019 budget at the stroke of midnight this past Tuesday morning. The $426 million budget will now go to the Representative Town Meeting in May for final adoption. BET members worked through nearly 50 motions in the Town Hall Meeting Room late Monday afternoon into the night, as the now Democrat-controlled board used the tie-breaking vote numerous times. The Democrats won control of the board last fall in the town election. On the operating side of the budget, the board approved the allocation of $30,000 to continue

T h e G r e e n w i c h P o l i c e De p a r t me n t u s e d s ou nd t r a i n i ng a nd pa t i enc e t o defuse two separate life threatening situations — one on March 8 and one on March 13 — involving emotionally distressed residents threatening to harm themselves with knives. “We had two instances where officers used extraordinary restraint in a situation that is potentially a deadly-force situation,” said GPD Capt. Kraig Gray. “Those present at the time realized how precarious and badly this could have gone.” According to Gray, on March 8, officers responded to a call on the west side of town to investigate a male subject who was threatening to harm himself. At some point, according to Gray, the man came out of the house holding a large kitchen knife. He began acting erratically, and made mention of wanting police units to shoot him. “This person was dealing with a GPD Training Showing It's Paying Off See BUDGET on Page 2 By Richard Kaufman

Spring's (Finally) In The Air

The calendar shows that it is spring in Greenwich, and its starting to feel like it! Thankfully there are visuals around town that are proving that the weather is changing. One of those signs, pictured above, is Crocus Hill, located near the Second Congregational Church. Every year, beautifully colored flowers sprout from the ground and change the brownish-colored grass to shades of purple, yellow, green and white. (John Ferris Robben photo)

See GPD on Page 2

Saving Man's Best Friends By Justin Grant

I t’s not something you often hear about at the scene of a fire – two firefighters rescuing a cat and dog from inside a burning house and saving their lives. And who exact ly were these heroic firefighters? They were Cos Cob’s Fire Police Patrol’s finest, Second Lieutenant Brett Atkinson and h is pa r t ner, Sergeant Ni k LaBorne. Lieutenant Atkinson and Sergeant LaBorne were not only facing an upheaval battle with the blaze in the home, but they were up against a deadly nor’easter on Friday, March 2, the monster storm which took the lives of at least nine people throughout the region. However, that didn’t stop them from conducting their searches in and around the house at 212 Bible Street and bringing the 10 year-old cat, Chelsea, and the 9 year-old dog, Hailey, to safety. So what exact ly caused t his inferno that demolished Jennifer and H. Shepard Boone’s rental house on Bible Street in Cos Cob? According to Second Lieutenant Atkinson, 26, of Greenwich, who’s been a firefighter for eight years, an electrical surge occurred after a tree fell down on nearby power lines. As a result, the surge then came back into the house and caused electrical problems. At the time they arrived at the house, Second Lieutenant Atkinson and Sergeant LaBorne didn’t know there was anyone inside the house, until, after conducting searches inside the smoking house,

Audubon Greenwich Environmental Education Specialist Ted Gilman, on right, receives the Mabel Osgood Wright Award from previous awardee, Connecticut Audubon Society Executive Director Patrick Comins, at the annual Connecticut Ornithologists Association meeting. (photo by Frank Mantlik) Ted Gilman Receives COA Award By Anne W. Semmes T he year 2018 is proving to be a banner yea r for Ted Gi lman, t he long-ser v i ng Environmental Education Specialist and Naturalist at the Audubon Center. On Apr i l 2 6 , Gi l ma n i s t o receive the Katie O’Brien Lifetime Achievement Award at Audubon Conne c t i c u t ’s Env i r onment a l Leadership Award dinner. But, last Saturday, Gilman found himself being honored anew at the annual meeting of the Connecticut

Cos Cob Fire Police Patrol Second Lieutenant Brett Atkinson, holding Hailey, and Sergeant Nick LaBorne rescued the nine-year-old dog and Chelsea, a 10-year-old cat from a fire that destroyed their home. (John Ferris Robben photo)

home or apartment, immediately exit, call 9-1-1, make sure if you have kids to get them out of the house, and then get yourself out of the house… you can fix a house, but you can’t fix a human being.” But, let’s not forget about the Boone family who couldn’t find the right words to describe their emotions because all they felt was blessed and were savor i ng t he moment after hearing of the amazing news. Homeowner, Jennifer, noted

they came upon Hailey and Chelsea. When asked how he felt after his rescue mission, Second Lieutenant At k i n s on s t a t e d , “[We] we r e definitely in awe, we were just trying to make sure the dog and the cat were okay; they got transported to a local animal hospital.” He recalled a few days after the fire broke out that Hailey and Chelsea made a dramatic turnaround and both were doing well. But as the night was wrapping up, he wanted to leave the residents of Cos Cob with a stern message. “If there is ever a fire in your

See GILMAN on Page 2

See CCFPP on Page 2

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