News Briefs: November 10


Firefighter Earns Promotion
Firefighter Adam Jakubowski has earned a promotion to the rank of lieutenant. Lieutenant Jakubowski has dedicated nearly 12 years of service to the department and is recognized as a highly respected and dedicated firefighter.

First Responders Compete in Battle of the Badges
In town, first responders from the Police Department, Fire Department, and Emergency Medical Service are participating in the annual Battle of the Badges competition to donate blood to the American Red Cross. Donors can select the department they wish to support, and the one with the most blood donations will be declared the winner. This year is noteworthy as Police Chief James Heavey marks his 100th blood donation. The blood drive is scheduled for December 2nd, and additional details can be found on the Red Cross of Greenwich and Metro NY North website.


Leaf Collection Schedule Update
Leaf collection in section 3 started this past Monday. The collection will expand to sections 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 13, 17, and 18 next Monday (11/13). Ensure your leaf piles are free from branches, sticks, or garden waste, and avoid placing them on pavements, sidewalks, catch basin grates, or open channels. Plastic bags should not be used, but biodegradable bags are acceptable. For more information, including the pickup schedule, call the 24-hour leaf collection hotline at 203-618-7698.


Veterans Day Celebrations in Greenwich
Veterans Day, celebrated on November 11th, honors those who have served in the U.S. military, originally known as Armistice Day after World War I and was renamed in 1954. This Saturday, there will be a community walk along Greenwich Avenue, leading to the World War I monument, followed by a gathering at the war memorial. Vietnam veteran Ed Vick will be the featured speaker, recognized for his military service and subsequent career in marketing. Events organized by the American Legion and the Byram Veterans Association will further commemorate veterans, with this year marking the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

NASA Confirms CT Fireball Sighting
Recently, NASA confirmed a fireball sighting in Connecticut and neighboring states that flashed through the sky at about 7 pm on November 2nd. Experienced and novice skywatchers reported the event via the American Meteor Society. NASA’s analysis tracked the fireball’s journey from 81 miles off Long Island, reaching 65 miles above the Atlantic Ocean, and disintegrating at a breathtaking 116,000 miles per hour, 49 miles above the ocean. There are four meteor showers currently active; the Orionids, Southern Taurids, Northern Taurids, and Leonids. The Northern Taurids are set to reach their peak on tomorrow, Saturday, November 11.


Volunteers Needed for Food Relief
Volunteers are needed for an Emergency International Food Relief Packathon organized by Christ Church on Sunday, November 12th, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. People of all ages are welcome to participate in packing nutrition packages for those in need during a two-and-a-half-hour shift. The goal is to provide practical assistance to international children and families experiencing homelessness and food insecurity in a cost-effective manner. No registration is necessary; you can join the members of Christ Church Greenwich in this opportunity to make a positive impact.

Ada’s Kitchen + Coffee Revival
Chef Mike Pietrafeso, who has operated Ada’s Kitchen + Coffee since 2016, recently announced his departure due to a rent increase. In response, the community launched an online petition with 1,500 signatures to preserve the heritage of Ada’s, a historic establishment formerly managed by Ada Cantavero. Despite Ada’s passing in 2008 and her nephew Kelly’s unfortunate death in 2014, the Romaniello family’s renovation brought a new lease of life to the Riverside post office building. Ron Romaniello, co-owner of the property, confirmed that Ada’s would continue under new management and announced plans for special events during its 75th-anniversary celebration in 2025.

Parsonage Cottage Raises $65,000 for Van
Parsonage Cottage Senior Residence raised $65,000 in a two-year campaign to replace their aging van. Executive Director Penny Lore thanked the Greenwich community for their support, emphasizing the importance of accessible transportation for residents’ off-site activities. Local businesses, an anonymous family, and The Resource Foundation made significant contributions. Younger community members also contributed through the Parsonage Cottage Junior Advisory Boards. The campaign resulted in the acquisition of a new Mercedes Sprinter van, enabling residents to enjoy field trips and activities.

Sharon Stone’s Art Exhibition Debuts in Greenwich
The C. Parker Gallery in Greenwich, Connecticut, is currently hosting an art exhibition featuring Sharon Stone’s paintings titled “Sharon Stone: Welcome To My Garden” until December 3rd. The gallery is located at 409 Greenwich Ave, and this is the first time Stone’s 19 paintings have been displayed outside of Los Angeles. The exhibition has received positive reviews from art critics and collectors. Sharon Stone is also recognized for her contributions to culture and humanitarian efforts, receiving numerous awards.


Swastika Discovery Spurs Action
Following the discovery of a swastika at Greenwich High School, a group named “Greenwich Voices Against Antisemitism” collected over 900 signatures on a letter urging Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones to take decisive action. Principal Ralph Mayo reported disturbing incidents at the school, including derogatory comments and anti-Semitic symbols. Dr. Jones issued two letters, expressing her commitment to addressing the situation and investigating related incidents at middle schools. The curriculum was also discussed, focusing on Holocaust education and promoting understanding. The “Voices Against Antisemitism” letter called for staff training, curriculum adjustments, anonymous reporting options, and clear communication of a zero-tolerance policy, to which Dr. Jones responded with promises of action and curriculum review.

GHS Addresses Concerns Over Altercations
Greenwich High School has experienced several altercations and the sharing of violent videos on social media. Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones responded by meeting with school officials and the police to address these problems within and outside the school. The police confirmed that a small group of students initiated multiple fights, dispelling any claims of a larger gang involvement. Dr. Jones stressed a strict stance against violence, encouraged reporting incidents, and promoted responsible social media use. Efforts are being made to address disruptive behavior and enforce consequences for such actions, with an emphasis on community support and police collaboration.

GHS Students Host First Selectman Debate
Last Thursday, students from Greenwich High School organized a debate for the candidates running for the position of First Selectman. These students formulated and presented the questions for the debate. The initiative was led by the GHS “We the People” team and club, with guidance from their social studies teacher, Mr. Aaron Hull. They collaborated with the Greenwich League of Women Voters to plan the event. The two candidates who participated in the debate were incumbent, Mr. Fred Camillo, and challenger, Ms. Laura Erickson.

GPS Proposes 6.5% School Budget Increase
Superintendent Toni Jones is proposing a 6.5 percent increase in the 2024-25 school budget, amounting to $194,226,990. This increase is mainly driven by the need for additional funds for substitute teachers due to a shortage, escalating utility expenses, including a significant 32.7 percent natural gas price increase, and a growing special education student population, which has risen by 65 students. To address these budgetary challenges, Jones is considering program adjustments, such as modifying the preschool student-teacher ratio and streamlining Advanced Learning Program science hours. It’s worth noting that the town’s finance board has not yet provided specific budget guidelines for this year.

Attorney General Clears Boland Accusations
Former Cos Cob administrator Jeremy Boland faced allegations of discriminatory hiring practices following a Project Veritas video that accused Greenwich Public Schools of bias. Boland resigned amid the controversy. The State Attorney General’s office conducted a year-long investigation, but they were unable to access the original video. They shared 286 documents, detailing their efforts to obtain crucial evidence from Project Veritas. While Boland’s comments were acknowledged as offensive, the investigation found no evidence of illegal hiring practices, ultimately concluding that there were no substantiated claims of discrimination.


Sacred Heart Crushes St. Luke’s
In the FAA Field Hockey Tournament semifinal, Sacred Heart Greenwich dominated with an impressive six-goal first quarter, defeating St. Luke’s 8-0 and maintaining their undefeated FAA record. Junior captain Charly Nemec and Elle Corcoran led the scoring, each recording a hat trick for Sacred Heart. They will face second-seeded rival Greenwich Academy in the FAA Tournament final on Friday, with Greenwich Academy securing their spot by beating Greens Farms Academy 5-0.

Greenwich Country Day Stages Comeback
In a thrilling FAA Boys Soccer Tournament quarterfinal, sixth-seeded Greenwich Country Day School overcame a two-goal deficit to defeat third-seeded King 3-2. Calder Truesdale scored twice, and Dylan Ever added a goal for GCDS, avenging a regular-season loss to King. They will advance to the FAA Tournament semifinals against second-seeded Greens Farms Academy after drawing with them in the regular season.

Sacred Heart Soccer Dominates Quarterfinals
Sacred Heart Greenwich’s soccer team had a dominant start in the FAA Tournament, securing a convincing 9-1 victory over Masters School in the quarterfinals. Sophomore midfielder Anna Fullerton recorded a hat trick, while junior forward Eva Wilkerson and sophomore forward Dalia Si-Ahmed contributed two goals each to the Tigers’ impressive win. Sacred Heart, the top seed with an 11-0 FAA record, will face fifth-seeded St. Luke’s School in the FAA Tournament semifinals, displaying strong offensive prowess and confidence moving forward in the competition.

Greenwich Academy Stages Comeback Win
In a closely contested FAA Tournament quarterfinal match, Greenwich Academy staged a comeback to defeat Rye Country Day School 3-2. The deciding fifth set saw a remarkable turnaround for Greenwich Academy, as they fought back from a significant deficit, eventually winning 19-17. Greenwich Academy’s senior captain/outside hitter Casey Brower led the team with 10 kills and played a crucial role in their victory, which earned them a spot in the semifinals against King School.

Greenwich Academy Advances with 3-0 Win
Greenwich Academy’s soccer team secured a 3-0 victory over Greenwich Country Day School in the FAA Tournament quarterfinals, powered by three second-half goals. Gianna DeBono opened the scoring with a one-touch finish from a corner kick by Lola Tirabassi, followed by Tirabassi scoring with a long-range shot. Ruby Montanez sealed the win with a header off a cross from Chloe Huh. Greenwich Academy, the sixth seed, advanced to the FAA semifinals and will face second-seeded Greens Farms Academy.

GHS Girls Volleyball Sweeps Ridgefield
Greenwich High School’s girls volleyball team had a strong start in the CIAC Class LL Volleyball Tournament, sweeping past Ridgefield with set scores of 25-17, 25-12, and 25-13 in the opening round. Senior Kassidy Bonney led the team with 17 kills, three digs, three blocks, and two aces, while junior Alina Sarkissian contributed with 10 kills, six digs, three aces, and three blocks. Setter Sarah Bernann played a key role with 35 assists, four aces, 2 kills, and one dig. Greenwich High School will face Newtown in the Round of 16, aiming to advance to the quarterfinals.

Greenwich Girls Soccer Wins 5-0
Greenwich High School’s girls soccer team started the CIAC Class LL Girls Soccer Tournament strongly with a 5-0 victory over West Haven in the opening round. Senior forward Julia Acosta scored a hat trick, while senior forward Emma Abbazia and senior midfielder Anna Martschenko contributed one goal each. The Cardinals displayed strong teamwork and solid ball movement, earning them a place in the round of 16, where they will face 11th-seeded Southington.

Greenwich High Football Wins 43-8
Greenwich High School’s football team continued their dominant performance, defeating Westhill 43-8 in an FCIAC game. The Cardinals, ranked No. 1 in the GameTimeCT Top-10 Poll, improved their record to 8-0. Senior quarterback Rocco Grillo threw a touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Gavyn Gennarelli, senior Ian Kim ran for two touchdowns, and other Cardinals contributed to the victory, including senior linebacker/captain Sebastian Parra, who intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown. Greenwich High School’s defense has been outstanding in recent games, allowing fewer than 10 points in four of their last five matchups.

Greenwich High Wins 31st FCIAC
The Greenwich High School girls swimming/diving team secured the team title at the 2023 FCIAC Swimming Championships, winning their 31st FCIAC team championship. They amassed 465 team points, beating the runner-up, Ridgefield, by 66 points. The Cardinals claimed victory in five events, including setting a new meet record in the 200-yard medley relay. Senior Payton Foster received the FCIAC Outstanding Swimmer Award for her outstanding performances, winning the 200-yard individual medley and the 500-yard freestyle. The team is now looking forward to the CIAC Class LL Championships.

Greenwich High Falls Short in FCIAC Semifinal
In an exciting FCIAC Tournament semifinal match, Greenwich High School’s field hockey team played one of their best games but fell short to top-seeded Darien with a score of 3-2. Despite holding a one-goal lead with less than four minutes remaining, Darien managed to score twice in quick succession to secure the win. Greenwich received goals from Clara Ojea Quintana and Emilia Arroyo, while Darien’s Blake Wilks scored a hat trick, including the game-winner with just over two minutes left. Greenwich, now the 7th seed, is set to compete in the CIAC Class L Tournament, aiming to build on their competitive performance.

Greenwich Academy Loses in Overtime
Greenwich Academy’s field hockey team faced a tough Westminster School squad on Senior Day, resulting in a hard-fought 3-2 overtime loss in a NEPSAC game. The Gators took a 1-0 lead, with Westminster eventually tying the score in the fourth quarter. Georgia Schmitz briefly gave GA a 2-1 lead, but Westminster equalized again and secured the win in overtime with a penalty corner goal. Despite the loss, the team honored its four seniors – Brooke Bertrand, Caroline Busler, Gigi Caldero, and Devan Grills – during the Senior Day ceremony.


See Elf in Theaters
The film “Elf” is celebrating its 20th anniversary, having been released exactly two decades ago. Starring Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf, the movie recounts the story of a human raised by Santa’s Elves who journeys to New York City to find his biological father. With over $227 million in box office earnings, it’s one of the highest-grossing Christmas films. To mark the occasion, “Elf” will be screened in theaters across the U.S., including Connecticut, with multiple showings from November 24th to November 30th. There are also special events like a “Movie and a Meal” experience in West Hartford and live orchestra performances in Hartford.

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