September 8 eEdition


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Sentinel Greenwich

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The Gre enwi ch Sent i ne l Founda t i on l SEPTEMBER 8 , 2017

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

R i v e r s i d e

BET Candidates Agree: Challenges Lie Ahead O n Tue sday n i g ht at Town Hall in front of a standing- room only audience, the seven By Richard Kaufman

Our Neighborhoods DOWNTOWN S Saturday, Sept. 9, 12 to 4 p.m. The Greenwich Skate Park will celebrate the grand reopening of its all new cement Skate Park at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park on Arch Street. The grand opening will feature free skateboard lessons as well as a skateboard competition for intermediate and advanced skaters. Pre-registration is encouraged. The park will open officially on Aug. 26 from 12:30 to 7 p.m. For more information, call the Recreation Supervisor at 203-622-7821. S Saturday, Sept. 9, 12 to 3 p.m. The YWCA of Greenwich will hold its annual "Fabulous Family Fair" at 259 E. Putnam Ave. Children will get to play softball and baseball with Greenwich’s only Pitching Machine and Batting Cage system; sample classes in Dance, Gymnastics, and Tennis. There will be a Bouncy Castle for the little ones. Weather permitting, children can splash around in Greenwich’s only Water Playground. There will also be face painting, games, music, and arts and crafts both indoors and outside. For more information, call Michelle Pennino at 203-869- 6501, ext. 100 or email m.pennino@ COS COB S Monday, Sept. 11, 5 p.m. The annual Greenwich remembrance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks will take place at the 9/11 memorial in Cos Cob Park. Included this year will be members of the Greenwich Police, Fire and EMS Honor Guards and the Greenwich High School Chamber Si ngers. Pa rk i ng is available at the park, with additional parking at the nearby Cos Cob train station and commuter lots. OLD GREENWICH S Saturday, Sept. 9 and Sunday, Sept. 10, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Art Society of Old Greenwich will hold its 66th annual Sidewalk Show on Sound Beach Avenue. Local artists will be displaying their work on stands and at tables, and there will be seasoned artists who paint with oils, acrylics, watercolor and mixed media. For more information email artsocietyoldgreenwich@ RIVERSIDE S Saturday, Sept. 9, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be a sale of household items and ba ked goods at 15 Owenoke Way to benefit those affected by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. Any questions on how you can help please email Paige Shockley at paige.shockley@ or Angela Kilcullen at S Sunday, Sept. 10. 7 p.m. Sen. Ch r i s Mu r phy a nd Rep. Jim Himes will speak at the Indivisible Greenwich meeting at Eastern Middle School. Doors will open at 6:45 p.m. For additional information contact indivisiblegreenwich@ S Tuesday, Sept. 12, 6:30 to 8 p.m. The Greenwich EMS Explorer Post 911 high school club will have an open house. High school students and their parents who are interested in learning about prehospita l emergency medicine, health and wellness are welcome to find out more about this energetic club. Any questions, please contact Eirinn Rickard: 203-637-7505, gems.

Republican Board of Estimate and Taxation candidates sat down for a forum held by the League of Women Voters of Greenwich. I nc umb ent s Mi cha e l Ma s on , Leslie Tarkington, Bill Drake and Nancy Weissler joined newcomers Karen Fassuliotis, Debra Hess and Andy Duus to present their views and opinions regarding BET-related topics and issues. Ove r ne a r l y 9 0 mi nu t e s , t he candidates responded to submitted questions from the public as well as from the League. Kay Maxwell, a former Greenwich resident and current member of t he Stamford League, moderated the forum. The candidates spent perhaps the greatest amount of time addressing the question of what will be the most controversial issues the BET must face over the next several years. The overwhelmi ng cons ensus among the candidates was that dealing with remediation of fields throughout town will be especially challenging. “We ne e d t o ge t pu s h i ng on [remediation]. We need to get our fields open, and we have three schools that need it. The BET has been planning for this for five years; we’ve been putting money away,” Mason said, who has served on the BET since 2004. “That’s going to be a very, very tough situation to get aligned with the state, so we can get our fields back looking like they should look in Greenwich.” Tarkington and Fassuliotis both pointed to their prior experiences with remediation and cleanup, which they said would be good assets to the board. “I would hope we have someone on the BET that could help navigate the complex issues that it will be facing,” Fassuliotis said. Drake and Duus brought up the future of Nathaniel Witherell and the issues it would bring. “There are 169 towns in the state of Connecticut and one of them takes the burden of a money-losing nursing home and places that burden on the taxpayer— that’s Greenwich,” Drake said. “That’s probably not sustainable over the long term. It’s a challenge.” Hess said the board will need to consider the issues at the state level and any further impact it could have on the community and keeping taxes low. She also discussed the challenge of retaining the town’s grand list. “What’s going to happen with the values of our property? I think the BET is going to have its hands full over the upcoming years,” she said. Tarkington said that in addition to the other issues, continued decline in school enrollment and the implications for schools around town and how they’re managed will need to be looked at. “That’s a Board of Education issue, but these kind of topics become all of our topics working together,” she said. We i s s l e r s a i d t ha t g i ven t he pressures the town is seeing at the state level and given the current economy, residents want to see mill rate increases below the rate of inf lation. “We’re going to have to reflect what services we really value,” she added. Candidates were asked: If they could change three things about how the BET operates, what would they be and what would be No. 1 on their list? Ma son s a id t hat t he BET ha s changed many times over his tenure, and that it has entered the IT age. He pointed out that being a BET member

The Republican BET candidates squared off Tuesday night in the debate held by the League of Women Voters of Greenwich. (Richard Kaufman photo) A Hurricane, a Child and the Little Lemonade StandThat Could By Paul Silverfarb

A weather-loving, not to mention a kind- hearted, four-year-old from Greenwich wanted to give back. And his mom was more than willing to accept the challenge. After seeing the destruction in Texas from Hurricane Harvey, L.A. Pesce and his mother, Shannon, decided the time was now to help out the Lone Star State in any way they could. “It’s very rewarding. What we are going through in the world, there’s a lot of negative, unfortunately,” Shannon said. “It’s nice to have some positive coming, especially from a youth. He is a four-year-old boy that’s innocent and doesn’t know what’s really going on in the world. For me, it’s rewarding to see him want to help others.” Thanks to L.A. wanting to give back, Shannon helped set up a simple lemonade stand. But that simple stand last weekend raised over $1,100 for the American Red Cross in just three hours. L.A. Pesce is really into weather events, such as lightning, tornados, hurricanes and thunderstorms. It’s to the point where Shannon downloaded a weather app on L.A.’s iPad and he checks it every day. That’s where he got clued into Hurricane Harvey and its path to the coast of

Texas. “He saw a commercial on Nickelodeon where it had ‘We are thinking of you, Texas’ and had visuals of people hurt, people fleeing their homes and animals being rescued,” Shannon said. “He turned to me and said, ‘Mom, is this Texas where the hurricane was?’ When I told him yes, his face went blank and it scared him. He felt bad for the kids.” Four-year-old L.A. Pesce was hard at work getting funds for victims of Hurricane Harvey. (photo courtesy of Shannon Pesce)

See LEMONADE on Page11

Barbara Netter's Role In New Cancer

Treatment G r e enw i ch ha s a un i que conne c t i on t o s ome bi g news—a suc c e s s f u l new treatment for the most common cancer among young children. The FDA approved last week the By Anne W. Semmes

Barbara Netter is co-founder and honorary chairman of the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy that has, since its 2001 inception, given $28 million for gene therapy research. (Anne W. Semmes photo)

support of this gene therapy treatment through their Stamford-based foundation, the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT), the only non-profit dedicated exclusively to cell and gene therapy treatment for all types of cancer. “When other organizations, including the NIH, considered gene therapy too risky, ACGT believed in the science and funded us when no one else would. ACGT really kept us going and kept the research alive. Without them, we wouldn’t have had a clinical trial and I don’t think we’d be where we are today.” These are the words See CANCER on Page 2

first-ever gene breakthrough therapy for children and young adults suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia. “We’re entering a new frontier in medical innovation with the ability to reprogram a patient’s own cells to attack a deadly cancer,” is how FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb describes the new treatment. “My hope is that this treatment method will address itself to lung cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, all kinds of cancer,” says Greenwich’s Barbara Netter, who can hardly contain her excitement over the FDA’s approval. Netter and her late husband, Edward, early on pioneered

See BET on Page 11

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