Daily Archives: March 19, 2012

What makes teachers so special that they deserve lifetime employment when no one else does?

 

too dumb to sit in a chair

Governor Malloy has proposed changes in the tenure system for teachers and is being shouted down by the teachers and their political allies in Hartford. At a hearing held to explain the proposal to teachers at least one teachers representative complained of  ”hurt feelings”.  Only someone working in a system that punishes as  “bullying” a student’s use of a mean word, that considers a pointed finger a violation of the “zero tolerance” weapons policy,  could possibly think that the feelings of an adult are somehow relevant to a contract dispute, but never mind, I have a better proposal: abolish tenure entirely.

Why is there tenure at all? As I understand it, tenure was originally established to protect college professors ability to speak and teach freely and gradually worked its way down to kindergarten, but does a teacher really risk her livelihood by introducing a novel method of stacking blocks? I think not.

Good teachers, and we all know who they are, have job security because no administrator wants to lose them – they don’t need tenure. The bad ones: the stupid, the lazy and the mean would be quickly removed in any sane scheme, just as incompetents are eliminated in private industry and even, gosh, private schools. so what makes these overpaid, under educated dummies entitled to a guaranteed job for life? Beats me.

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Not much in the way of accepted offers reported

I mentioned the two of note this morning (“of note” still under $3 million”) but the other seven reported today are just properties previously recorded as accepted offers and now reporting in as having contingent contracts. That’s not a firm deal by any means, today and is already old news anyway.

On the other hand, I’m heading out to show some more houses and I’m sure I’m not alone, so I do see stirrings. Tell you what, though: if this is what’s passing for the spring market, you’d better get your house into play now (assuming it’s for sale of course) because summer promises to be a good time to take that long-delayed trip to Wyoming.

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Mike Bloomberg, food nanny

Mike and Michelle protect the poor

Hungry? Homeless? No soup for you!  Bloomberg bans food donations to homeless shelters because it might be “too salty”. Sterno-slurping hobos and crack heads everywhere sing alleluia.

DHS Commissioner Seth Diamond says the ban on food donations is consistent  with Mayor Bloomberg’s emphasis on improving nutrition for all New Yorkers. A  new interagency document controls what can be served at facilities — dictating  serving sizes as well as salt, fat and calorie contents, plus fiber minimums and  condiment recommendations.

The city also cites food-safety issues with donations, but it’s clear that  the real driver behind the ban is the Bloomberg dietary diktats.

Diamond insists that the institutional vendors hired by the shelters serve  food that meets the rules but also tastes good; it just isn’t too salty. So,  says the commissioner, the homeless really don’t need any of the  synagogue’s food.

 

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The Lord giveth, the banks taketh away

31 Mallard Drive, asking $875,000 and reported as having an accepted offer on March 8th, is back on the market.

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Busy weekend, apparently

Two accepted offers reported already this morning.

169 Valley Rd

169 Valley Road, an 1850 antique directly on the Mianus and asking $1.700 (down from original price of $1.890), 188 DOM. Looks like a neat house, but I somehow missed seeing it.

99 Overlook also has found a buyer. It was, I am informed by the listing agent, bought out of a foreclosure and put back up for sale at $2.555 million just eleven days ago. The builder who lost it tried to get, originally, $3.795 back between 2008 and 2011 but that obviously didn’t work.

99 Overlook

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What did you know and when did you know it?

I had what shouldn’t have been, but was, a painful moment Saturday when showing 12 Rocky Point to my clients. They loved the house, which I thought they would, but they’re really central Greenwich types and worried about driving there to the schools their children attend. That was their chief – only, actually – stumbling block and I’ll admit to a little hesitation before I volunteered the information that the main exits from Old Greenwich, Sound Beach Avenue and Tomac, are going to be closed down for four years beginning next year. Ouch. That did it, unfortunately.

But two considerations here: the first was that I really didn’t want people I’ve grown to like to sit stewing in traffic for four years and cursing me for not warning them of what was in store. The other was that it was the right thing to do – if I were still lawyering I wouldn’t have had a second’s doubt about what I should do and if I want to keep any shred of self-respect as “a peddler of dirt”, as Walt so succinctly puts it, I had to do it. So I did, but it hurt. I like to think my father would have approved, because he still spoke well of the real estate agent who in 1954 warned them that, much as they liked the Bush Holly house, which was then for sale, there were rumors that I-95 was going to be routed right overhead. If that unknown lady could be honest with my family, I can do the same for someone else.

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What was I saying about pricing? Oh yeah.

8 Witherell Drive (or maybe 19 – history is a bit confusing) is back again, now at $5.250 million. The would-be sellers paid $5.2 million for the place in 2003, renovated it and put it back up for sale in 2007 for $8.695. Five price cuts and three brokers later it expired unsold in 2009 (545 DOM) with a last asking price of $5.450. So now it’s back, at that 2003 price.

The house is sort of eccentric and I thought it overpriced back in 2003. Maybe now, with all those free renovations added, it’s a better deal. Good location, at any rate.

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