Daily Archives: March 23, 2009

Is it just Byram or can’t anyone build a public building anywhere in town?

I’ve written about the long delay in building the new Byram library before but it’s still not completed and the Greenwich Library is still stonewalling residents. I can understand and even appreciate a touch of incompetency – the YMCA project comes to mind – but what is so difficult about admitting it? When you promise a building will be completed by September ’08 (months after the first estimate), can’t the Library find someone, a janitor perhaps, to pop up, shout out a real date and then run away? I realize that the Head Librarian herself would never allow herself to be placed in such an embarrassing position, but surely there’s someone who’ll take the heat. Heck, if they’ll give me the real date, I’ll announce it for them.

Here’s a taste of what’s being fed Byram residents:

Carol Mahoney, who took over as executive director of the Greenwich Library on Feb. 16, said she believes library officials have kept the community informed.

“I think the library has been pretty forthcoming ….  We are at the end game,” she said, declining to give a target opening date.

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Relevant to nothing at all, but kinda neat

A Greek fisherman has caught a 2,200 – year-old statue in his nets in the Aegean. Assuming that its from a ship of that era foundering at sea, you’d think there might be more where it came from. I wanna go look!

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A Greek fisherman must have been expecting a monster of a catch when he brought up his nets in the Aegean Sea last week.

Instead, Greek authorities say his haul was a section of a 2,200-year-old bronze statue of a horseman.

A Culture Ministry announcement said Monday the accidental find was made in waters between the eastern islands of Kos and Kalymnos. The fisherman handed over the corroded metal figure to authorities, who have started the cleaning process.

Dating to the late 2nd century B.C., the statue represented a male rider wearing ornate breast armor over a short tunic and armed with a sheathed sword. The trunk of the horseman and his raised right arm have survived.

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Just go away!

Jonathon Porritt, Britain’s leading tree hugger whacko and scientific advisor to the PM, wants England’s population cut in half. Unless done with skill, that would reduce the population to zero, which I believe would suit Mr. Porritt and his crowd just fine. They, of course, will be in Paris while the cutting takes place.

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Heh – a reader forwarded this

madoff-cartoon

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Connecticut pols grab money that doesn’t belong to them. That’s a first!

Connecticut lawyers have long been dunned to finance a  client restitution fund, which repays victims of crooked lawyers for their damages. Now the legislature, with an eye on balancing the budget, has cast a covetous eye on all that money “just sitting around” and decided to help itself to it. This money doesn’t belong to the Legislature, so far as I can tell. We lawyers paid into the fund not as a tax but as a condition of maintaining our license and with the intention of providing relief to specific victims. Hey guys, I understand the Red Cross also has a pile of money, just sitting idle until the next hurricane. Why not go knocking on their door, too?

The committee’s ability, however, to continue to pay the full amount of claims filed, and to make victims whole, will be jeopardized by recent actions taken by the governor and legislature as part of the recently passed deficit mitigation bill. That bill would transfer $2 million from the Client Security Fund to the state’s general fund, in spite of the specific purposes for which payments to the fund have been collected over the past 10 years.

The transfer also will leave the fund with no cushion against pending claims. At the end of 2008, the fund had a balance of about $7.8 million available against $5.8 million in pending claims. The actions of the governor and legislature place the fund at risk of being unable to fully pay claims if there is a large scale defalcation or an appreciable number of defalcations in the future.

In addition to reducing reserves, the governor and legislature have also violated the trust of members of the bar, who have paid the annual fee with the expectation that it would be used, as noted in the Superior Court rules, “to promote public confidence in the judicial system and the integrity of the legal profession” by reimbursing clients in rare instances when an attorney has violated the trust established within the attorney-client relationship.

On a daily basis, hundreds of attorneys and their clients engage in transactions involving hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the transactions are concluded without fanfare; indeed, since 1999, claims paid by the Client Security Fund have involved fewer than 100 attorneys. The fact that a theft or embezzlement of funds by an attorney is, however, a rare event is of little comfort to a client who learns that he has been the victim of such an act. It will be even less comfort for the client to learn that his losses may not be reimbursed fully because the governor and legislature have seen fit to use those funds for purposes that were never intended.

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If Perkins fetched $6.7, maybe this will move, too

15-wynnwoodI like this house at 15 Wynnwood and I like it more now that it’s been reduced from an original $8.650 to $7.395 million. Speak with its builder and you can hear the pride he takes in his work, from an 18 zone HVAC system to air conditioning units the size of Rolls Royces, mahogany trim (painted0 instead of cedar, for longer life, twin German super-efficient boilers, a German zinc gutter system impervious to being pulled down from ice, etc. etc. – and those are just the little details few buyers will notice (and fewer still alas, will pay extra for – they should, they just don’t). The back yard is huge, the street’s very nice and, as I said, the price is getting better.This sits on land bought for $2,800,000 in 2007, just as similar land on Wooddale did. Those days are gone, for now, but I think this new price reflects that previous overpayment (overpayment in retrospect)  for land. Good house.

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Hey, FGG investors – here’s a way to recoup your losses!

"Shhh! The money, it in Mustique is - tell no one!"

"Shhh! The money, it in Mustique is - tell no one!"

(Forwarded from a friend)

Mrs. Ruth Madoff
West, Liverpool,
London.
 
My Great Compliments,
 
I’m Mrs. Ruth Madoff, 67, wife to Mr. Bernard L. Madoff, of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, who pleaded guilty to operating a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, is worth up to $826 million, according to a document filed with a federal court on Friday 13th March 2009.
 
Just last week my husband pleading stealing billions from investment from his clients and he was ordered to jail Thursday 12th March 2009, after pleading guilty to all 11 criminal counts in one of Wall Street’s biggest swindles.
 
Now the Federal investigators in the USA are working around the clock to freeze all my assets, fearing that I’m trying to flee the country which I have done shortly after my husband was sentenced, I have $93 million in my name beyond their reach.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is working with federal prosecutors in Manhattan to prepare a filing asking a judge to formally freeze all of my assets as soon as possible.
 
My husband deposited the sum of (USD$17.000.000.00 Million) in a Finance Firm in Europe some years ago in my name, I need you to collect this funds and distribute it to both of us since the Federal investigators are working around the clock to freeze all my assets. Meanwhile all documents related to transfer of this fund to your account is with my attorney Mr. Peter Chavkin, who is willing to help us process the release order from the UK bank.
 
Presently, I’m in a hard out here in UK as the Federal investigators as well the Securities and Exchange Commission is looking for me to freeze my entire asset as well prosecute me like my husband.
 
Please reply back to me on this e-mail as I will like if you contact my attorney directly so that he will direct you on the way forward. Please due send to me all your contact details as I will like to speak with you before we commence on the transaction.
 
Please keep this confidential. You can read my story on this website: http://www.nypost.com/seven/03152009/news/regionalnews/ruth_in_crosshair_159631.htm
 
God bless you.
Best Regards,
Mrs. Ruth Madoff

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Still another sign of life

566 Riversville Road has just been reported as “pending”, which is a little short of “contract” – there are probably some contingencies still outstanding – but encouraging all the same. The sellers bought it for $3.5 million in 2003, performed some renovations and put it up for sale again in May, 2008 at $5.295. This past February they dropped its price to $3.695 and, as noted, a buyer has appeared. Not a home run, but a sale’s a sale or, as some wise person once observed, “when ya gotta go, ya gotta go”.

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Hope for spec builders – strong sale

80 Perkins Rd

80 Perkins Rd

This spec home by Jordan Saper, priced at $7.950 million, went to contract recently and the rumors of its selling price were dire: $5 million or, possibly, $6. It closed today and its price was just disclosed: $6.700 million. That’s very encouraging and ought to buck up some of the better spec builders whose own projects are languishing. Even in good times, a 15% reduction off asking price is respectable; in this climate, it’s astonishing.

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This may be a little late

abandoned-barnHedge fund investors hire private investigators to check up on fund managers.

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Drop and sell

77 Velleywood
77 Valleywood

This house sold for $1.230 back in 2005. It was put back up for sale for a little more than that last year but eventually dropped to $1.175 million and today it’s reported as under contract. Assuming that its accepted price is somewhere close to its final asking, that’s not a bad haircut for this market. Nice house, nice road, it just needed a price that motivated a buyer. I’m glad it found one.

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Cause and effect, ignored

The Wall Street Journal reports today that “House sales rose but prices plunged.”

This is similar to the New York Time’s constant puzzlement that “crime rates down, yet jails are full”. I expect liberals to miss obvious connections but I’ve come to expect better from the Journal. It must be Rupert Murdoch’s influence.

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