Daily Archives: November 16, 2008

Are you an idiot to keep paying your mortgage?

If you don’t have any equity left in it, you probably are. And with Greenwich house prices dropping down to 2003 levels and still falling, the group that no longer has equity is growing. 

(HT, Instapundit)

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More Skullduggery?

 

Would you lend money to this man?

Would you lend money to this man?

The revelations about Dominick DeVito’s fraudulent activity on Round Hill Road brought to mind at least two other projects I’ve wondered about over the past couple of years – over-priced, unfinished and with mortgages that made me wonder if there wasn’t a whiff of corruption about them and their builders. I’ll be exploring the subject this week and if I can turn up anything that won’t get me sued for libel, you’ll read about it here first.

A distant ancestor, Col. Albert Fountain, defended The Kid out New Mexico way. He lost the case, which was unusual for the man and that in turn led to the famous jailbreak that occasioned the poster above. Usually, the Colonel pursued crooks, so i don’t suppose he’d be too upset if we turn up a few out here.

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Who knew it had a government?

Somali leader warns government on verge of collapse.

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I find this off-putting

Having won the Scriptures Knowledge Contest, Bertie Wooster discovers a new use for religion
Having won the Scriptures Knowledge Contest, Bertie Wooster discovers a new use for religion

Christian Real Estate Referral Service. (It’s known as “His Move dot com – cute). If patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, what do you call a “Christian” outfit for real estate agents that charges $99 and a 25% referral fee for putting fellow Christians together? Ugh. Praise the Lord and pass the mortgage application.

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Aren’t they always described this way?

Mass killer described as devoted “family man”

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Another Global Warming scare debunked

 

Waiting for a ride on OwlGore's houseboat?

Waiting for OwlGore

Russia had the warmest October in recent history, according to NASA’s Dr. Hansen – only trouble is, he used September’s readings as October’s. It probably didn’t occur to him that Russia cools down in the fall.

 

If there is one scientist more responsible than any other for the alarm over global warming it is Dr Hansen, who set the whole scare in train back in 1988 with his testimony to a US Senate committee chaired by Al Gore. Again and again, Dr Hansen has been to the fore in making extreme claims over the dangers of climate change. (He was recently in the news here for supporting the Greenpeace activists acquitted of criminally damaging a coal-fired power station in Kent, on the grounds that the harm done to the planet by a new power station would far outweigh any damage they had done themselves.)

Yet last week’s latest episode is far from the first time Dr Hansen’s methodology has been called in question. In 2007 he was forced by Mr Watts and Mr McIntyre to revise his published figures for US surface temperatures, to show that the hottest decade of the 20th century was not the 1990s, as he had claimed, but the 1930s.

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Bernie Yudain to the rescue?

 

Maven and sex object, Bernard Yudain

Maven and sex object, Bernard Yudain

That ultimate source of Greenwich knowledge, Bernie Yudain, has answered my plea for help spelling Conyer(‘s) farm. The question: with or without an apostrophe? Bernie says without but he doesn’t address my ultimate trump card, a 1921 NYT article that referred to “Conyer’s Manor Farm”. Bernie has more faith in the unerring nature of that once proud newspaper than I do but he obviously thinks they got it wrong back in 1921 and, since I have far more confidence in Bernie than I do in the Times, I’ll defer to him. The apostrophe is hereby dropped, until new data change my mind.

But Bernie, what happened to poor deluded Araminta Sweeney who was accused of burning the place down? Inquiring minds want to know.

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Would someone please hire the YMCA a PR agent?

 

Trading Places

Trading Places

There are probably a number of good reasons why the Y can’t, and shouldn’t put up a temporary wheelchair ramp while it finishes construction. But why aren’t those reasons mentioned when the organization defends itself against charges that it’s indifferent to the plight of cripples? The latest brouhaha came before the Zoning Board when a wheelchair athlete complained that he can’t train for an upcoming triathlon because he can’t get his wheelchair to the Y’s pool. Leaving aside the issue of whether someone strong and fit enough to compete in a triathlon isn’t capable of getting to a pool, the Y could have, it seems to me, explained how much a temporary ramp would cost, its percentage of the total cost budget of making the new facility handicapped accessible, the interference with on-going construction,the availability of swimming pools in Stamford’s and Darien’s Ys, etc. 

The Americans With Disabilities Act requires “reasonable ” efforts to accommodate the needs of disabled citizens. I think most able-bodied folks would be sympathetic to an argument why it is unreasonable to make a temporary accommodation now. But we don’t get that: instead, we hear legal arguments as to whether the P&Z has jurisdiction over the Building Department’s decision to issue a permit. It doesn’t, but for public relations purposes it would have been better to add to that tactical attack an appeal to common sense. People appreciate that.

Look: if there are no good reasons not to build a temporary ramp, then the Y should say so and go ahead and do the right thing. If there are, then the Y should point them out. It’s already angered half of its (now former) members and jeopardized its financial support in town by a series of blunders. Dealing with this latest situation forthrightly and openly can’t hurt.

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More Pirates?

The NY Post is unimpressed with Realogy and Apollo Management’s financial security. What does that financial weakness portend for Realogy’s brokerages in Greenwich, Sotheby’s and Coldwell Banker? Nothing good, I wouldn’t think, but I’m not as smart as Apollo’s Leon Black, who saddled those companies with high-interest debt to begin with.

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Pirate Watch (update)

 

Which way to Mogadishu?

Which way to Mogadishu?

Those Somalis have captured another ship,this time South Korean. The Ukrainian freighter remains in their hands, still. The Times of London thinks that this Ukrainian grab was a mistake but so far, events have proved it wrong.

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Attention Antares Boys, Mayor Malloy:

 

Canary in a coal mine

Canary in a coal mine

This article may interest you. Financial firms disappearing from Canary Wharf.

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