Hartford Courant from Hartford, Connecticut on January 1, 2010 · Page A01
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Hartford Courant from Hartford, Connecticut · Page A01

Hartford, Connecticut
Issue Date:
Friday, January 1, 2010
Page A01
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3at1Jbrolgourant 2 PREDICTING GROWTH UTC Boss Looks To Make His Mark By ERIC GERSHON egershoncourant.com If 2009 was a year of ruthless cost-cutting by United Technologies Corp. and it was 2010 is supposed to be the year that all those cuts, and more to come, help reverse the company's uncharacteristic profit decline. Nobody is predicting that profits will grow by leaps and bounds not necessarily by the double-digit percentages that came to seem customary during George David's tenure as chief I I executive. But they just might, I jffi" ' according to David's successor, Louis Chenevert, who has promised K i ' that the profit slide will end this year. On the job as CEO for 20 months now, Chenevert, 52, becomes chairman of UTC's board of directors today, fully eclipsing David, who had continued in that role since stepping down as CEO in April 2008. David will serve as a paid consultant to UTC. "We will grow earnings in 2010," Chenevert told Chenevert Wall Street investment analysts gathered at the New York Historical Society on Dec. 10. Few CEOs at any giant companies are likely to eclipse David's financial record any time soon, but as he moves ahead without David in the chairman's seat, Chenevert is optimistic. He told analysts that earnings per share will grow between 7 percent and 13 percent this year, after falling an anticipated 16 percent in 2009. (UTC, which has remained solidly profitable during the recession, hasn't yet reported final fourth-quarter or year-end earnings. The company was on holiday UTC, A8 COMPANY'S GLOBAL REACH China: Opened 275,000-squarefoot engine maintenance factory. Expects $3 billion in sales in China for 2009. Turkey: Opening a new engine overhaul center. Singapore: Pratt & Whitney intends to move some work now done in Connecticut to Singapore. India: Expects $500 million in 2009 sales. CT STORIES OF THE DECADE What were the top stories of the decade? Courant editors picked 10, and they were highlighted on Page 1 for the past two weeks. More than 1,500 readers also voted for their top stories, and today we have the results. Go to www.courant. com top 10 to see the rest of the stories that readers voted for. Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. Gov. John Rowland resigns. Cheshire home invasion. Allegations of child abuse by Dr. George Reardon. Avon Mountain truck crash. UConn's dual national basketball championships in 2004. Sexual abuse of children by priests. Park Street hit-and-run accident. Sen. Joe Lieberman. Eminent domain battle in New London. MARK MIRKO mirkocourant.com JOHN NICOL of the Guitar Center in Manchester examines a guitar being traded in by Dave Spencer of Plymouth. The store reported stronger sales this past Christmas season than in 2008. RETAIL REBOUNDING REGION'S MERCHANTS SAY IT WAS A GOOD SEASON By MARA LEE maraleecourant.com For many of Greater Hartford's retailers, this Christmas was far better than the last one, even more than they had hoped. "We absolutely thought this would be a catastrophic Christmas season," said Risa Becker, co-owner of Becker's Diamonds and Fine Jewelry in West Hartford. The recession seemed endless, with unemployment as high as it has been in 27 years. But, instead, Becker said, "We were very pleased with our increase." Nationally, retail sales in November and through Dec. 24 increased by 3.6 percent from the same period in 2008, according to MasterCard Advisors' SpendingPulse, which tracks cash sales and debit and credit card purchases. ShopperTrak, which tracks retails sales at more than 50,000 outlets, estimates that sales rose by 1.6 percent during the holiday season. The National Retail Federation HOLIDAY SALES Retailers saw slightly better-than-expected sales this holiday season, with the biggest rise in online sales. Change In National Retail Sales From The Same Period Last Year eCommerce 15.5 Nov. 1 -Dec. 24 Black Friday: Dec. 24 SOURCE: SpendingPulse, Specialty Apparel -0.4 I 1 2.3 Women's Apparel -0.3 I 1 1.5 Men's Apparel 3.9 5.0 Electronics 5.9 6.0 Jewelry & Luxury 5.6 I 0.8 has predicted a 1 percent decline from last Christmas, which includes all of December. Retailers had prepared by buying less stock this winter. But it was more than careful planning that put a smile on faces here. Lyn Evans for Potpourri Designs' December sales were "strongly up," about 5 percent, said saleswoman Virginia Mumejian. "We don't have a whole lot left. Designers this year did not make a lot." "People left and right would buy for themselves, two or three things, when they came in to buy gifts," she said. Smaller items, like scarves, hats and jewelry, sold more than sweaters and pants at the West Hartford boutique. But not every small store benefited from loosening wallets. In Manchester, Cape Cod Crafters, open since 1995, closed Christmas Eve. Next door at Guitar Center, the salesmen said they felt lucky that their jobs were secure. Many, who work for base pay plus commission, had been working six days a week the last few weeks of the Christmas season, sales manager Chris Wilcox said. The store, part of a national chain, had better sales this SALES, A6 RASH OF FIRES 'Eerily Similar' Arson NORTHAMPTON, PTOWN LINK? By DAVE ALTIMARI daltimarcourant.com The fires came in clusters. First, loose trash was set ablaze, then trash bins, and finally homes. As the number of fires approached 20, officials announced the formation of a task force of local, state and federal investigators. A reward was posted, residents were asked to be vigilant and to report anything suspicious. Sound familiar? It isn't Northampton, Mass., where a spree of arson fires have occurred, killing two. This scene is Provincetown on Cape Cod, where residents were terrorized by a serial arsonist or arsonists starting in 2007. "As mysteriously as they started, they just stopped," Provincetown Fire Chief Michael Trovato said. "I know there were a few people who were so-called persons of interest, but no one has ever been arrested. ' ' Trovato said he hasn't heard from anyone involved in investigating the Northampton fires, but he acknowledged they "sound eerily similar to ours. " The fires were started with whatever was available such as loose trash occurred mostly in one area, and came in bunches. During one eight-day period in October of 2007, seven fires were set on the outskirts of Provincetown's commercial district. Provincetown never had a night like what happened last weekend in Northampton. Provincetown never had more than three fires in one night, and no one ever died, unlike Northampton, where Paul Yeskie Sr. and his son, Paul Yeskie Jr., perished when they couldn't ARSON, A8 Pick Your Poison What part of your life is a mess: Your house? Your finances? Your relationship? Maybe you need to get healthier. Whatever your New Year's resolution, we offer help to stick with it. Living, Page Dl Cloudy, Showers Possible Mostly cloudy, with rain or snow showers possible. High of 37. Forecast, Page A2 Good Intentions Organize, upgrade or glamorize your home. Decorators and designers give their advice on how to do it. At Home, Page HI 75 $1.00 in Fairfield County and outside Connecticut Copyright 2010 The Hartford Courant Co. 00101 04209 000757 . MARK MIRKO mmirkocourant.com Revelers Fill Streets From the family activities early in the day to the fireworks at night, Hartford's streets were alive for First Night. CTNow, PageBl LIVE SMART H1N1 Vaccine Available The H1N1 vaccine is now available to anyone who wants it in Connecticut, from pharmacies, health departments and community centers. Visit www.flu.gov for a flu clinic locater, searchable by ZIP code. The site also lists the phone numbers for each site; call ahead to make sure the site still has vaccine in stock. Although flu activity has fallen, experts still recommend getting the H1N1 vaccine and point out that the virus may resurface. COMICS D4, D5 LOTTERY A2 MOVIES D5 OBITUARIES B5, B6 OPINION A13 PUZZLES D5 SPECIAL PRICES New Year's Day Only! One day only savings Enjoy brunch with us Hourly drawings of Lillian August gift cards Enter to win $2,000 Shopping Spree Surprises for every kid! 1595 New Britain Avenue Across from West Farms Mall (860)561-4004 lillianaugust.com Friday January 1st 4 Stores 12-6

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