The Noels hit the road
Between losing their Manhattan apartments and the cottage on Round Hill, it was expected the Walt, Monica and the Fabulous Five would be moving to a homeless shelter by Memorial Day. Now comes the devastating news that the City has begun charging to stay in shelters. No wonder Walter was spotted at the head of the line at the Madoff trustee Picard’s office when he began accepting applications for hardship payments.
The EPA is drawing closer to approving an increase to 15% of mandatory ethanol in our gasoline, despite protests from engine makers, car manufacturers, gasoline dealers and even the Union of Concerned Scientists, for God’s sake. Remember that ethanol contributes nothing to clean air (it’s useless in fuel-injected engines, which have been standard since 1988), is at best a break-even proposition for energy used versus energy consumed to produce it, and must be shipped separately from gasoline because it absorbs water, so costs consumers more. The only reason for mandating its use is to placate Midwestern politicians and farmers, yet, as noted earlier, Obama is contemplating abandoning his pledge to put science ahead of politics and ordering the EPA to increase its use. Hope and change.
This rooming house at 90 Riverside Avenue (corner of Bayside Terrace) has been put to that purpose at least since I attended Tiny Tots in 1956 – 57, yet I have never met anyone who lived there nor am I sure I’ve ever seen anyone going in or coming out. Odd, eh? Tax records show that it was built in 1830, which is kind of neat, but who lives there? The rooms aren’t listed with the GMLS, either. I’m a man of deep thought, as must be obvious by now, and after fifty years of pondering, I believe I’ve puzzled it out:
This is clearly a safe house for Japanese saboteurs , smuggled in before Pearl Harbor by Dick Cheney and the Tri-Lateral Commission to wreak havoc on our country. The snuck out in the 60s to put fluoride in our water, then came out again on September 11 to place explosives in the World Trade Center under the direct supervision of Bush. What else do these dirty bastards have up their sleeves?Only Cheney knows.
And to think that these people are just a stroll away from pre-schoolers.
I heard a fascinating bit on the radio today about an Estonian beatnick turned Maine artist, Andrew Winter, and the sorry tale of his painting “Gulls at Monhegan”. He painted it in 1935, someone in Humbolt County, California ended up with it in 2003 but when she tried to auction it the Treasury Department sued, and won, on the ground that it was created and paid for during the Depression’s WPA program, the progenitor of Obama’s present day stimulus fun.
As I say, it was interesting, but what really piqued my interest was the old narrative NPR played by a WPA apologist explaining that “artists and writers, being of too sensitive a nature for hard manual work, have been put to work creating art”.
Well. Am I not sensitive? Do my hands not bleed when forced to handle a shovel? Am I not a writer (stay out of this, Walt). I want what Andy Winter got, and more of it. Digging around, I see that he painted a nice little ditty, “Apartment on St. Croix, 1937”. Heck, I’ll go to the Caribbean, if that’s where my services are needed. I stand ready to serve.
Chrissy's WPA cottage
George MacChimp Bush hates polar bears and is a dumb puppet for Dick Cheney, evil tool of the oil companies. So when Bush objected to extending extra protection to polar bears under the Endangered species Act it was obviously because he wanted polar bears dead and oil companies to prosper. But now Obama has decided to follow the Bush doctrine . Unlike Bush, Obama went to Harvard and is really, really smart, plus he loves polar bears, and hates oil companies. So why is he doing this? Could Cheney have gotten to The One? Oooh, this is realy hard to figure out! What will we do, what will we do?!
UPDATE: These are the whores employed by the anti- polar bear crowd, as exposed by Mother Jones.
“researchers from Wharton and Harvard have found that none of the models”—forecasting a rapidly declining polar bear population—”meets accepted scientific standards.” The researchers the PLF is referring to are J. Scott Armstrong and Willie Soon. Armstrong, for his part, is not a scientist but a professor of marketing at Wharton and an expert on forecasting methods. (He has previously blasted the forecasting approach used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). Soon is an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and a darling of the global warming denial crowd. And there’s just one more thing about Willie Soon: His work has been funded by the oil industry, which most definitely has a dog in the global warming and polar bear fights. In a 2007 study (published as a “viewpont” since it didn’t pass muster under peer review) that Soon co-authored, disputing the climate change explanation for the polar bears’ habitat loss, the researcher acknowleged that his work was “partially supported by grants from the…American Petroleum Institute, and Exxon-Mobil Corporation.”
World Health Organization warns that “2 billion people might get swine flu”. Then again, they might not – they might all get wiped out by a meteor before they have a chance to mingle with pigs. I’m sure a pandemic of any kind – bubonic plague, measels, chicken pox, would be unpleasant and even dangerous, but the sense I have of these professional alarmists is that they’re taking time off from worrying about melting icebergs to protect their day jobs. Can’t get the bucks without something scary out there to panic folks – just ask Al Gore.
So far this year, a third of the way through, twelve houses priced at $4.5 million and up were sold, eight of which were spec houses. That compares to forty-six in that range sold in 2007, twenty-one of which were spec. As of today, we have sixty-one spec houses actively listed at $4.5 million or above. If no more come on (dubious, if you look around town and see all the houses nearing completion), we have only 2 1/2 years inventory. Of course, not all those houses have to be sold – a number of the more solvent builders are renting their projects out, hoping for better times to come, when (they hope) a used house will be worth more than it is today. Maybe.
Yes, we still have policemen directing traffic, and yes, every reporter who tours Greenwich feels compelled to comment on it. The story today is that stores along the Avenue are closing. Doesn’t worry me – rents more than doubled the past ten years and surprise, it’s impossible to make money paying those rates. Same thing has happened in Old Greenwich. Eventually, unless these landlords are the same home sellers I’m dealing with, they’ll figure out that some payment is better than no payment and will drop their rents. Until then, we’ll have some empty storefronts. Life will go on, either way.
Private golf clubs in the region are feeling the pinch, but don’t you dare end the tradition of serving free fruit at the ninth hole turn! There’s suffering, and then there’s unbearable misery. Fore!