January 6 eEdition

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Sports | Page B2 Brunswick School squash expectis its usual success.

News | Page 3 GSC Hosts Girl's Ice Hockey Open House Jan. 21.

STATE BUDGET | Page 6 Editorial.

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Sentinel Greenwich Bu i l d i ng a St rong Commun i t y Toge the r l Janua r y 6 , 2017 $1 . 75 OPM Cuts Greenwich Share of State Education Funding by 90 Percent By Evan Triantafilidis Sentinel Reporter 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 R i v e r s i d e

B y r a m

Our Neighborhoods DOWNTOWN S Monday, Jan. 9, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Free Blood Pressure Screening: Greenw ich Hospit a l St a f f at Greenwich Library (101 W. Putnam Ave) Free blood pressure screenings conducted by a registered nurse from Greenwich Hospital. No appointment necessary. S Wednesday, Jan. 11, 11 a.m. James Heavey speaks at RMA Greenw ich held at t he Fi r s t Presbyterian Church, Lafayatte Place. Titled, “Training at the National FBI Academy”, Chief Heavey will discuss their crucial role s , a nd i n pa r t icu l a r t he interesting training he received at the National FBI Academy, covering among other things, response to terrorism. S Saturday, Jan. 21, 3:25 p.m. Girls Hockey Open House held at the Greenwich Skating Club (9 Cardinal Rd.) Calling all 3rd, 4th and 5th Grade Girls! Do you want to play Girls Ice Hockey? Come out and give it a try! Meet and Skate with NWHL player Shannon Doyle and her CTWhale Teammates! BACKCOUNTRY S Sunday, Jan. 8, 1 to 3 p.m., H i l f i g e r L e a r n i n g C e n t e r Grand Reopening at Greenwich Audubon (613 Riversville Rd.) Bring the entire family out for an afternoon of learning, and fun at as we celebrate the reopening of the Hilfiger Learning Center at Audubon Greenwich! Festivities will include live animals, backyard birdwatching, nature crafts, a puppet-theater, and other activities. Hot cocoa and snacks will be served as well. Children and seniors $3, adults $6. For more details or to RSVP, contact greenwichcenter@ audubon.org S Saturday, Jan. 14, 6 to 8 p.m., Save Safe Rides Fundraiser held at 49 Byfield Lane. If Safe Rides wishes to operate for the remainder of the 2016-17 school year, we must raise $30,000. Otherwise, Safe Rides will shut down as of February 1st. BYRAM S Saturday, Jan. 7, 1 to 2 p.m.. Saturday Fun with Chess with Master Rich held at Byram Shubert Library (21 Mead Ave.) Monthly feature at Byram. Come and learn the basics, or learn new strategies, or merely come to play with an award winning champion. Pieces will be provided. S Monday, Jan. 9, 3 to 4 p.m. Yoga for Kids with Kristin DeGroat held at Byram Shubert Library (21 Mead Ave.) Join Kristin for a fun session. Some of the ways yoga benefits children are improved focus, study habits and sleep. COS COB S Thursday, Jan. 12, 7:30 p.m.. Free presentation from local test prep expert Lynn Carnegie held at Cos Cob Library (5 Sinawoy Rd.) As founder of local test prep company Carnegie Pollak, Lynn Carnegie has helped prepa re Fa i r f ield County students for standardized tests for more than thirty years. Carnegie will give a presentation at the Cos Cob Library on Thursday, Jan. 12 at 7:30 p.m. to help students and parents navigate the changing landscape of standardized testing. S Saturday, Jan. 14, 2 to 3 p.m.. Celebrate National Hot Tea Month at the Cos Cob Library (5 Sinawoy Rd.) After a one year hiatus The Cos Cob Library and Friends welcome a return visit by Betty Johnson, from the Bigelow Tea Company in Fairfield, CT! Call us at 203-622-6883 to reserve a spot, and, bring your favorite teacup when you come. Contents Community Calendar..................... 2/5 Editorial............................................ 6 Business.......................................... 11 On Faith....................................... 8-10 Sports............................................. 12 Gift Guide....................................... B4

The announcement, which came from the state’s Office of Policy and Management (OPM) last week, calls for the reductions to be made in a needs-directed manner, “whereby the ECS grant is reduced between 25 percent and 90 percent for the 25 wealthiest communities, and the 68 poorest communities in the state will lose only 1 percent or less of their ECS grant.” In response, Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei released a statement the following day. “I don’t think the ECS cuts are equitable and they seem punitive,” he said. “I think that all students in the state should be looked at equitably. Greenwich, which has the largest Grand

List in the state, sends a significant amount of money to the state. But as time goes on, what it gets in return continues to diminish.” Neighboring towns like Darien ($368,850) and New Canaan ($339,255) will be among the largest cuts in the state, each taking a roughly 50 percent hit to their expected ECS grant money. Included in the announcement from the state was a “circuit breaker” designed to cap harm to an expanded list of 48 municipalities at a maximum of a 2 percent cut

A mid-year cut in state education funding, totaling $20 million statewide, will take away 90.5 percent of Greenwich’s own Education Cost Sharing (ECS) funds for the current fiscal year. An August 2016 estimate of the grant money the town was scheduled to receive was set at $1,444,752. That figure will now drop to $136,859. The just-above 90 percent hit was the largest reduction percentage to any town in the state.

See EDUCATION on Page 11

Taking a New Year's Plunge into Long Island Sound...

The cold winter's weather had little effect on some brave souls, as residents from Greenwich and the surrounding areas took to Tod's Point for the annual Polar Bear Plunge. The New YEar's Day event, that took place at noon, benefitted Kids in Crisis. T-shirts were sold at the event, and the proceeds also went to benefit Kids in Crisis. Hot cocoa was the big hit after the plunge, as plenty of people needed to warm up. (John Ferris Robben photo)

Peter Sherr Named Board of Ed Chairman By Evan Triantafilidis Sentinel Reporter

G reenwich’s Board of Selectmen (BOS) appointed Peter Sherr as the new chairman of the Board of Education (BOE) on Dec. 22. Sherr, a Republican and the board’s longest-serving member, was chosen by the BOS after the BOE held three separate officer elections that turned up no majority decision. According to state statute, since the BOE had been unable to seat a chairperson and secretary within one month following elections due to tie votes, the BOS had the final say in appointments. First Selectman Peter Tesei said the appointment was the first of its kind in modern memory. “I’ll try to do the best job I can for the children of our town,” said Sherr. “I’m pleased to tell you that all eight of us are deeply committed to the success of children in this town.” Tesei and Selectman John Toner c a l l e d i t “u n f or t u na t e ” t ha t t he BOE members could not resolve the chairmanship themselves. “They a lways seem to work to and come to a resolution,” said Tesei. “Unfortunately, for whatever reason, that did not happen after multiple tries. It is unfortunate that we have to deal with this, because it’s about people. We all generally like each other, but we have to make judgments.” Before the motion for Sherr to chair

O n January 14 at 6pm Peter Negra will be co-chairing an event quickly organized in order to save Safe Rides, an organization that provides teens with “no-questions-asked” rides home on weekend evenings and on which he served as president last year before heading off to Fordham University. Along with GHS student Julia Moch, current president of Safe Rides, and Chad Silver, a sophomore at Hobart, Peter and the event committee are hoping to raise the money needed to keep Safe Rides operating for the rest of the 2016/2017 school year. For the past few years, the future of Safe Rides has often been in peril as it struggled to find a home after the Red Cross discontinued its support in response to nationally mandated service streamlining. For thirty-two years, Teens from Safe Rides are making an effort to raise money to fund the organization. Future of Safe Rides Again Uncertain

Peter Sherr

the BOE, Selectman Drew Marzullo asked his fellow board to join him in supporting the current BOE Chair Laura Erickson. Marzullo said that when he found out the Board of Selectmen had the duty of choosing a BOE chair, he asked to meet with all members of the board. “I requested such because my vote, speaking for myself, should not be made in a vacuum,” said Marzullo. “It was important for me to gauge from the board members, which I did, the thoughts, opinions, concerns and input for the next year.” Ma r zu l lo c ited a “ dec ade-old , unofficial rule,” in his motion to name Erickson as the education board chair. “For the last decade, if not more,

See SHERR on Page 3

See SAFE on Page 13

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