Daily Archives: August 3, 2009

Cuba shuts food stores, factories

Perhaps it’s vacation time in the People’s Paradise? Food stores shut down and apparently staying shut. Factories are shutting down across the island and, in an amazing break from tradition, the Cubans don’t blame Bush – they’ll let American liberals do that.

A report in official Cuban newspapers cited President Raul Castro as saying the island is struggling through a “very serious” crisis and hinted that further belt-tightening was on the way.

 President Raul Castro scolded Cubans in a national address Sunday to work harder because they have no one to blame but themselves.

He’s right, of course. So long as the Cuban people let blook sucking parasites like the Castros and their communist thugs run the country, they’ll continue to have food shortages and a miserable living standard.

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Would a liberal please explain this?

Australia arrests four Somali musslemen terrorists planning an attack on an Australian military base in Australia. I know there’s a reason why Somalians would want to kill Australians at home, but I just can’t see it. Help me out here, would you?

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Trump’s still second class compared to Ogilvy

The Donald has chopped $20 million from the price of a penthouse in NYC and is willing to let it go for just $31 million (hint: I’d negotiate a bit more). Here in Greenwich we laugh at suchfeeble attempts at price cutting because we hold the record, $50 million off Leona’s place. And by the time that deal is finally done and someone is paid to take the place off the Helmsley estate’s hands, we’ll be king of the world!

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Mean spirited and dangerous?

That’s what they’re saying about this Obama poster that’s popping up in LA. Funny, nothing was said when Bush was depicted as a Nazi, so why the outrage of calling the Messiah a socialist?

This

This

But never this!

But never this!

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Suicide is painless so we’re making it mandatory

Mickey Kaus, a liberal who supports (I think) ObamaCare, is amazed that the Democrats were dumb enough to slip a provision into the health care bill (that Jim Himes voted for but has yet to read) calling for voluntary, subsized suicide counseling for old folks who don’t want to burden their country with expensive end of life treatment. Kaus describes it as the camel’s nose under the tent, I say it’s the shape of things to come. Too bad the ice floes have all melted or we could just shove the old farts out on them and let them drift into oblivion.

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Well okay, I’m sure it’s news I can use, but why is it in Greenwich Time?

Wyoming soda ash mine to lay off workers. I’d prefer a story about Patriot Bank’s staving off collapse by finding a mystery investor with $55 million, but I suppose Wyoming’s soda ash problems will have to do.

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The trouble with short sales

They’re pure misery, as this article details.

UPDATE: the stove timer was bonging as I posted this and I didn’t have time to include the link to my favorite Arizona real estate blogger, Tucson Foothills, who originally came up with the story. Now I have.

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You got questions, we got answers

A reader asked whether anyone, aside from his mom and dad, remembered Paul Hicks serving as a Selectman (1987 – 91). In fact I do, dimly, but where is he now? Turns out he’s doing quite well at Ogilvy  (David’s dad’s place, not the real estate firm). Glad to hear it.

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It’s only August but she’s got my vote for mother of the year

It's just a modest batch of PCB but I think you'll be amused by its presumption

It's just a modest batch of PCB but I think you'll be amused by its presumption

Most of us don’t think to keep our PCP stash safe from our kids but this mom stores it in the freezer, next to the Popsicles, and the little darlings know they aren’t supposed to go near those!

STAMFORD — A 30-year-old city woman and alleged PCP dealer was arrested this week after police discovered the drug in her West Main Street apartment and found her two children upstairs, police said.

Kasawndra “China Black” Boothe, 30, of 511 W. Main St., allegedly tipped off narcotics investigators when she requested police while on the phone with her parole officer Wednesday afternoon, Narcotics and Organized Crime Lt. Jon Fontneau said. When the parole officer told police, narcotics investigators already had a search warrant for Boothe and residence because she was a known PCP dealer, police said.

They arrived at her home with uniform officers and forced their way inside, finding Boothe and a man in the living room and Boothe’s two children — ages 2 and 4 — upstairs, Fontneau said.

Fontneau said PCP was in the freezer next to ice pops. Police contacted the state Department of Children and Families and the agency removed the children. Fontneau could not cite the amount of PCP found in the apartment.

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Maybe this time they should honeymoon in the Oyster Bar

Jennifer Smith, having lost her first husband overboard, plans to remarry.

UPDATE: breaking news from 2005. Search launched for missing cruise ship passenger. His name was Bob.

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In case you needed still another reason to avoid France

Hold out Bridget Bardot

Hold out Bridget Bardot

Topless sunbathing losing favor with French women.

 

 

UPDATE: And now there’s another reason to avoid NYC: the Oyster bar has lost its liquor license. 

My advice is pack up a case of cold ones and a thermos or two of Tom Collinses and head for Nantucket’s Miacomet Beach for the rest of the summer.

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Waiting’s fine for those who can but otherwise it hurts you

I post below on two examples of houses withdrawn when their owners presumably decided to wait for their price. And that’s fine if you have the luxury of time. But here are two houses that, in my opinion, ought to be slashed to the bone and moved immediately – waiting has hurt their sellers, not helped them.

228 Stanwich

228 Stanwich

Here’s a nice – enough lot on Stanwich, purchased for $1.7 million in 2007 (oops!) and back up for sale ever since, at a slowly decreasing price that’s now reached $1.5. The house is certainly habitable but the value here is the one acre lot – down from the road but otherwise pretty flat and usable. There’s no reason to believe any home buyer is going to pay $1.5 for a building lot right now and ‘d say that the value of land is falling, not staying the same. I’d try to get ahead of that fall by whacking this one’s price and hoping to move it.

 

 

23 West End

23 West End

If the value on Stanwich is the land, this prefab on West End Avenue had some value as a house when it was built a few years ago. That’s diminishing quickly. You can’t tell from the picture, taken when the shadows conveniently hid things, but the trim on this place is bubbling with rot. Drive by (in the sunlight) and even from the road you’ll see the place disintegrating before your very eyes. It hasn’t helped that there’s a sewage pumping station on one side, the railroad behind and a swamp pretty much around the whole lot, nor did the inept builder contribute much when he stripped the place of appliances and fixtures, but possibly the real culprit in this fiasco is the short seller in Florida who has put it out to bid, rejected them, put it out again at a higher minimum price and got nothing. Now he’s trying a third time but still holding on to the idea that this is worth $1 million. I think you’d be over-paying at $750 and if it sits through one more winter we’re back to land value which is probably $450. Ugh.

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If you can’t get your price, quit

That’s not a bad idea if the market’s against you and you don’t have to sell. 62 Mooreland was asking $4.194, couldn’t get it and rather than drop its price the owners yanked it. Why waste their time? Assessed value is $2.222 but the owners bought it for $3.525 in ’06, so you can undersatand their reluctance to drop much lower.

Same thing with 2 Gray Oak, which started a year ago at $4.950, dropped to $4.276 awhile ago and just dropped off entirely today. Interesting to note that this house, priced just about where 62 Mooreland is, has an assessment of $3.706 and the owners paid $3.610 for it in ’02. I think this one would have been a decent buy but obviously no one else did.

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25 Keofferam sells

25 Keofferam

25 Keofferam

Original list price $5.995, last list price $4.850, selling price, $4.375.  Remember that 27% discount off asking price next time our Board shows it as 90% of ask. Zillow valued this at $3.27, assessed value was $3.144 but since this was completed and assessed in 2008, the 70% off rule wouldn’t apply. The town’s estimated full  value was $4.5 million less than a year ago and I’d say they did a good job. Myself? I liked it in the high 3s.

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Mass confusion at Riverside Shopping Center

Cops attack fellow officers! Here’s the photo:

You want overtime, Car 48? I'll give you some overtime!

You want overtime, Car 48? I'll give you some overtime!

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Breaking news from 2003

Obama’s been advocating the elimination of private medical insurance since at least 2003 and here’s the video to prove it. Frankly, what’s the big deal? The man was elected by people who want exactly that to happen and he’s in more trouble if he doesn’t do it than if he does. “Public Option” is code for single-payer government medical care and that’s why the left is going apeshit at the prospect that it might be compromised away. This will be interesting.

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What on earth is going on in England?

The Minister of Childhood or some such personage with the astonishing name of Ed Balls has ordered the “worst 20,000 families” in England to be monitored 24 hours a day in order to reduce their children’s delinquent behavior and make sure they do their homework.

THOUSANDS of the worst families in England are to be put in “sin bins” in a bid to change their bad behaviour, Ed Balls announced yesterday.

The Children’s Secretary set out £400million plans to put 20,000 problem families under 24-hour CCTV super-vision in their own homes. They will be monitored to ensure that children attend school, go to bed on time and eat proper meals. Private security guards will also be sent round to carry out home checks, while parents will be given help to combat drug and alcohol addiction. Around 2,000 families have gone through these Family Intervention Projects so far. But ministers want to target 20,000 more in the next two years, with each costing between £5,000 and £20,000 – a potential total bill of £400million.

I’ve always worried that the worst ideas in the world, hatched in California, make their way east. Now I worry about what’s wafting here from across the Atlantic.

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Bad news for the Noels of Greenwich and Mustique

Does Aida's still sell penny candy?

Does Aida's still sell penny candy?

Irving Picard, trustee of the Bernie Madoff estate, has persuaded a judge to put Ruth on a strict allowance and she must now report all expenditures over $100. By funny coincidence, Picard is suing Walter Noel on the same legal theory of unjust enrichment and imagine the disruption to the Noel family if the same limits are imposed on them. How will Walter pay his greens fees? (I think Greenwich’s municipal course falls under the spending threshold, but can Walter even find the place?). How utterly degrading to have to ask that horrible man Irving for permission to jet off to Mustique. Or the Hamptons, for heaven’s sake – no helicopter flight across the Sound can possibly be had for such a paltry sum.

Of course none of this has happened to the Noels, yet. But if she were wise, Monica might want to stock up on must-haves now, while her credit card still works and Picard is busy ruining what’s left of Ruth Madoff’s life. Pre pay the Round Hill dues, for instance, book flights for the Thanksgiving holidays to your villa and, just in case, get that Viagra prescription filled for Walt – I can just imagine the glee with which Picard would turn that down. How the mighty have fallen, so to speak.

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Extension on life

The listing for 717 Riversville Road, currently asking $10.something million, has been extended again. And that’s good; I worried that it was headed for bank ownership but obviously not. I really like the house, even though 15,000 sq. ft. is not my cup of tea, and I’ve met the builder several times. He’s proud of his work, as he should be, and put far more into this house than perhaps he should have. It’s got more steel in it than most skyscrapers, beautiful landscaping over all five acres (and it’s got Audubon and Conservation land on three sides) and it’s a thoughtfully designed, beautiful house. That said, when I first saw it back in 2007 priced at $14.5 million I thought to myself, “maybe $7″). Not because of the house, but because of its location – to reach this place you drive all the way up Riversville, pass the Audubon and then keep going another half mile or so. If you reah the Armonk line, you’ve missed it by a hundred feet. Nothing on Riversville has ever sold for even $6 million and while a handful on John Street did ($17, $14 and $12) those sales were during the glory days.

So I don’t know what this one will finally sell for but I wish the builder the best of luck. He’s done a beautiful job but his timing was bad and I fear that he’s too far north to reap the benefit of his hard work. I am delighted, though, that he still has it to sell.

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Waterford Condos

I’ve always wondered at the (belated) success of this project. The developer went bust thinking that condos in Cos Cob would sell like condos on the upper East Side if they were priced lower (he really said that in a newspaper interview. I wasn’t in the business then but I remember thinking, “what a jerk”.) But after he went overboard, the units began selling and at ever - higher prices. Two sold for $4.675 million and $4.4 million in 2006, so you can’t blame the seller who’s put this unit on at $3.950, even if that works out to $1,300 sq. ft. He paid $3.250 for it in 2006, completely gutted and rebuilt it and I’m sure it’s very, very nice. There are great views from these units down Cos Cob Harbor and there’s no denying the convenience of the train station behind them, but other than that they’re pretty much in the middle of nowhere. And there’s no access to that water view – you can admire it from your terrace but that’s it. So will the prices hold? Will this seller earn back his expenditure? Sit back and watch as … the world turns.

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