Fighting the battle against transparency

39 Patterson Avenue - to be demolished

39 Patterson Avenue – to be demolished

39 Patterson Avenue, which I mentioned last week as having sold (price was finally reported today as $3.695 million) is pretty much locked away from the public – the Greenwich Multiple Listing service is cutting off access to sold listings as soon as they close. That must seem like a good idea to the monopolists running the Greenwich Association of Realtors because now only members like myself will have access to this information, but it strikes me as a losing, and harmful battle. The future is transparency  in fact, until our new system was installed this past February, the future had arrived.

That said, I’m amazed that someone would pay this much for an 0.8 acre lot on a busy street like Patterson. The most recent land sale I was involved in, 0.63 acre on Martin Dale, around the corner and on a quieter street, closed in September, 2012 for $2.225 million. I’ve seen no indication that land prices in this area have almost doubled since then. Or no evidence, at least, until this sale, and I wouldn’t use its price to value your own land because it has to be, I think, a unique set of circumstances.


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Nothing’s fishy, ’cause there are no fish left

RioGrandeSilveryMinnowRobersonWestern drought and the Endangered Species Act collide, and not just in California.

As water managers in the Southwest parcel out the scarce commodity to cities and farmers in a prolonged drought, environmentalists are threatening to sue them for not leaving enough for a tiny fish called the Rio Grande silvery minnow.

WildEarth Guardians maintains that the minnow’s numbers are dramatically shrinking because water users in Colorado and New Mexico are siphoning off too much water before it reaches the fish’s main remaining habitat on the Rio Grande.

Farmers upstream say they don’t have a drop to spare, pointing to their idled fields. They fear their crops will suffer even more if water curbs are put in place to protect the fish.

The minnow dispute is one of many challenges federal and state officials face as they try to balance the legal rights of critters protected under the Endangered Species Act with the realities of the drought.

In February, WildEarth Guardians notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation it planned to sue them for failing to prevent damage to the silvery minnow’s habitat. The group also notified the Colorado Department of Natural Resources the previous month, saying its water distribution was harming the minnows.

The Colorado natural-resources department and the two federal agencies declined to comment. Mike Hamman, a Bureau of Reclamation manager in Albuquerque, said his office has taken steps to protect the fish, including leasing water to increase downstream flows, but can only do so much due to the dry conditions. “We did everything we possibly could for the benefit of the species under the resource constraints,” he said.

Still, in the last three years there hasn’t been sufficient water to trigger mass spawning. In October, service biologists found only three silvery minnows in a 120-mile stretch, down from thousands in previous years.

Three minnows in 120 miles? Maybe it’s time to declare the war over and resume feeding humans.


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Laub Pond

Laub Pond

33 Laub Pond (off Cliffdale) $1.575 million, $1.595 asked, fourteen days on market. Four very attractive acres with what will probably prove to be a tear down, 1962 house.


14 Perry Ridge

14 Perry Ridge

14 Perry Ridge Road, $$1.785 ($1.849 ask). This sold for $1.715 in July, 2013.





79 W. Brother Drive

79 W. Brother Drive

79 W. Brother Drive, Milbrook, $4.160 ($4.495 aak). Sold privately for $4,053,312 in April,2004)


31 Chapel Lane

31 Chapel Lane

31 Chapel Lane, Riverside, $2.025 million. Sold in 2004 for $2.270


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He’ll swing by India on his way home, to pick up ideas for this fall’s elections

It just might work

It just might work

Obama’s in Asia, studiously avoiding the rapidly-rearming China, but while he’s in the area, he’ll be stopping in India for new gift ideas. Over there, they’re offering goats, fans and bicycles for votes. A free cellphone and a cheap box of condoms hardly compare.

Every poor Indian household would get four goats, a cow, solar panels and cable television if the party takes power. Poor women will get blenders, fans and — if they get married — 4 grams of gold along with about $400 in cash.

“Goats for fertilizer, solar panels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” White House spokesman Jay Carney explained to FWIW.”We’ll call it the new Green Revolution.”


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You just know one of these will be coming to Greenwich


Baby LeRoy does summer camp

Baby LeRoy does summer camp

New school chain opening in NYC to teach babies how to nap and play@$33,500 per year.

A private ‘arts orientated’ school for infants aged three to 23 months old will launch in New York this fall with annual fees topping a staggering $33,492.

Explore+Discover, located in Manhattan’s affluent Gramercy Park neighborhood, has eight classrooms and a recreational area, catering for roughly 80 babies.

The school day starts at 8am and finishes at 6pm with the schedule including ‘morning explorations’, ‘music sessions’, ‘story time’, ‘outdoor play’, ‘napping’ and the ‘development of self-feeding skills.’

During the next few years, Mr Koffler plans to open more than 20 other centers in New York City.

The company’s mission statement reads: ‘Our approach to early childhood education is focused on releasing the natural curiosity of infants and toddlers.

All of the teachers sourced by Explore+Discover have a master’s degrees in early childhood education. There will be three for every class of eight to 12 infants.

‘Teachers will be constructing the curriculum with the children,’ said Jacqueline Marks, director of the Gramercy location.

‘Let’s say the teachers notice that the child keeps going back to the same basket of rocks day after day. 

‘They’ll watch to see what they’re doing with them. Are they knocking them together or lining them up?’

‘Teachers will see what the infants are interested in and will use that as clues for how to provide more opportunities to further explore,’ she continued. 

I guess I can understand the upper class English custom of spawning children and immediately shipping them off to a boarding school – it was seen as the responsibility of that class to breed the next generation of inheritors of the earth. But over here in the Colonies, why on earth does a power couple go through the inconvenience of pregnancy and owning a child if they have no interest in being involved in the process?


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One of our (many) readers in Bovina writes to suggest I punch in “45 Meadow Wood Drive” in Google Maps, then click “street view”. I did, and here’s what pops up:

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 7.41.14 PM


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OMG! Pajama Boy busted!

News of the prepster drug dealers caught down in Philadelphia stirred up quite a reaction, but it was only while looking over the pictures of the perpetrators that I realized that I, and the media, had missed the real story: That’s Obama’s Pajama Boy in the red onesie and handcuffs!




Pjaama Boy


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