Daily Archives: February 11, 2010

Going out on a limb

So here, for the record, are my predictions of sale prices for the larger estates currently for sale:

Leona Helmsley: 521 Round Hill Road : $27.5 million

Mel Gibson – 120 (?) Old Mill Road: $19.5 million

30 John Street: $18.5 milion

North Street (whatever the address, the big brick mansion place with land, across from Dingletown): $8.5 million


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Democrats kill their own jobs bill

Which is fine, but notice the reason: tax cuts!

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she’d like fewer tax cuts and more provisions increasing lending to small businesses.

“It is my belief that tax credits only go to people who are making money, and they generally keep it,” she told reporters.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) argued that if lawmakers plan to extend corporate tax breaks, they would also extend employment insurance.

“He’s trying to keep it simple,” Harkin said of Reid. “But what I think ought to be in the package is unemployment insurance for one year.”

Baucus had loaded his bill with tax cuts in the hopes of attracting Republican votes — a decision that outraged many Democrats who thought his bill would do little to create new jobs.

Under Democrat rule, allowing people to keep what they earn is an anathema – you come crawling to the party for a handout or don’t apply at all. But remember, the Democrats are the party of small business!

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I’m awfully impressed that they tried

GT photo - fireman with dog

A fire on Palmer Hill killed two pets, despite firemen’s efforts (well,on the family dog, at least – sounds like the chinchilla was left to fend for itself)

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I like this woman

Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is saying no dice to bailing out Greece. You go, girl! Too bad she wasn’t running our country when TARP came up.


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Good heavens, even the BBC has discovered climate fraud – can the NYT be a year behind?

It ‘s going to be tough explaining to its readers what they’ve missed in the past 36 months, but I’m confident the Times will rise to the occasion, if it’s still around.

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Greenwich budget message from Peter Tesei

I’m waiting for permission from First Selectman Tesei to post what he sent me but I thought I’d take the opportunity to praise the people in town who put the effort into managing our finances. I’m the type to stand on the sidelines doing nothing while they work and then take potshots at their efforts. And that’s easy to do: I’d love to spend your money on what interests and concerns me, but the committed people do the work and try to come up with reasonable allocations. Democrat or Republican – I tip my hat to the Fudruckers, Krumeichs and Tesei’s of this town who spend huge hours trying to make Greenwich work. I tend toward the cynical side, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate true citizens.

Geeze, if I stay in this maudlin vein, I might say something nice about our police force, so I’d better quit now.


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Leona’s place and assessments

A reader close to my heart claims that the tax assessor knows nothing about Greenwich values so I thought I’d check out what the assessor has to say about the late Leona Helmsley’s estate at 521 Round Hill Road, which I estimated to be worth $40 million when it was first listed some years ago at $125 million. The listing broker took the largest price cut in Greenwich history: $65,000,000, but still couldn’t sell it at $60,000,000 and now it’s off the market while the estate regroups and decides what to do with the place. My advice would be to hire me but that’s not likely, so let’s see what the Town of Greenwich thinks it’s worth:

Turns out, $47 million or, at 70%, $33,437,000. I rest my case.

UPDATE: checking out my old posts, I see that I started at $40 million on this place but as the years passed without a sale I dropped my estimate to $27 million. That seems about right to me. Which makes 30 John Street’s price laughable, but only if you listen to me – my  brother Gideon will probably sell it at full price.

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Greenwich Time website improves, sort of

Our local paper has done a good job reviving itself lately, adding columnists like Bob Horton and financial reporter Teri Buhl, and I think its website is a huge improvement over its predecessor. But it is still littered with pictures of harelips, “Greenwich Moms” with yellowed teeth and the very same “Greenwich” mom, this time with a fat belly. These ads are so cheaply made, surely they don’t pay enough to justify including them on what’s obviously an intensive effort to re-do a website.


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Cherry picking

Does this mean we're gonna be tested on his goddamned State of the Union Address??

Obama restricts migrant labor. Bad news for farmers and food eaters, great news for American lazers-about who, by all accounts, don’t want the work.


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Hirshhorn estate back up for sale

30 John Street

This is a gorgeous old (1930?) house with spectacular views from  its 23 acres on the highest point in Greenwich but I was taken aback at its list price of $38 million  in 2008 because the place was pretty much a wreck,and how much is a view worth? Especially when the entire Hirshhorn sculpture collection had been removed to its new gallery in D.C.

But as usual, I was wrong, and someone paid $30 million for the place 0n an assessed value of $8 million. They’ve done some renovations and have relisted it for $33 million. Will lightning strike again? Stay tuned. Assessment today is $9 million.


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Get it before the bank does

59 Old Mill Rd

This owner paid something like $1.3 million for a run down house, completely renovated it and put it back up for sale in 2008 at $2.375. He’s under severe financial pressure, or so I hear, and he’s now dropped the price to $1.2 million. That’s a bargain. Yes, its 2 1/2 acres are right on the  (lightly traveled) north-bound entrance to the Merritt, but if you want a discount for that nuisance, you have it now.


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No woman, no try?

Save me from myself, Hoops!


Would men care about big bucks if they didn’t have to impress women? In a word, no. Not this womanless slacker, anyway.


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Seriously: the only answer is to toss them all out and start again

I've placed my hand on your tush

Democrat Baucus and Republican Grassley attempt to pass worthless “jobs” bill. No one believes this is a spending bill that will produce new jobs, but it’s all traditional pork-trough politicians know how to do.

UPDATE: Related thoughts from VodkaPundit. He coins the term, “unscrupulous incompetence” – I like it.

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Well then, we just won’t screen muslims

Say goodbye to your mamma, Akbar

Body scanners violate Muslim law, says bomber group. “It is most unfair, indubitably! They seek so to trap us and foil our efforts to restore the caliphate!”

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Read my lips: more new taxes

Obama decides that middle class tax hikes just might be needed after all. You cut spending or you raise taxes and, so far, the man and his party are most definitely showing no appetite for cutting spending.


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Heh – funny

From the comments section of a NYT article on school closings:

“ Wimps. Send ’em to school and let the custodian teach ’em how to shovel! When I was a kid, it snowed six feet every night, and we had to tunnel under it for miles to get to school. Then we had to tunnel back to get home again. Kids today.”

— Eric, Maine
Schools Closed Tomorrow

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I’m not sure of the merits of this claim but I do know that had Bush asserted it ….

Obama’s Justice Department: no reasonable expectation of privacy for a cellphone’s location. Warrantless tracking! I blame Cheney/Hitler/Bush.


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Sno Woevel, con’t

1888: "we're going to have to invent Cos Cob, Wilfred."

So I was out around town just now (off to see a new listing on the open house tour that, annoyingly, was cancelled without notice – wasted trip) and got to thinking more about this Sno Wovel gadget a reader mentioned yesterday. Amazon’s reviewers are mostly positive while The Duke is not.  I have never used one.

But watching homeowners dig out the sidewalks in front of their properties, it seemed to me that the tool would be an excellent choice for that task. Fortunately there are no sidewalks abutting Chez de la Fountaine but residents on Lockwood Road, say, with their brand new sidewalk, might want to look into it. They can probably cut a deal with The Duke and pick one up cheap.


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Not maybe, should

Cato Institute: Maybe Greece should go bankrupt

2. Bailing out Greece will reward greedy and short-sighted interest groups, particularly overpaid government workers. Greece is in trouble because the the people riding in society’s wagon assumed that there would always be enough chumps to pull the wagon. In reality, Greece is turning into a real-world version of Atlas Shrugged. Government has become such a burden that the job creators and wealth generators have given up and/or moved their money out of the country. Should taxpayers in other nations reward the greed and narcissism of Greece’s interest groups by being forced to pull the wagon instead?


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Tough love

Surgeon reprimanded for yelling at fat lady patient after she instructs him to use the term “lifestyle change” instead of “diet”.

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