Daily Archives: June 14, 2010

Larry King to be fired, replaced by Dan Rather

"Fake but true"

Communist News Network has grabbed a liar to present their news – not really Dan Rather,

but his British equivalent, Piers Morgan.

Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan has been sacked after the newspaper conceded photos of British soldiers abusing an Iraqi were fake.

In a statement the Mirror said it had fallen victim to a “calculated and malicious hoax” and that it would be “inappropriate” for Morgan to continue.

The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment (QLR) said the Mirror had endangered British troops by running the pictures.

Roger Goodman, of the QLR, said the regiment now felt “vindicated”.

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Greenwich real estate: prices down, sales up

So says Prudential’s John Cooke and Russ Pruner of Shore & County Real Estate. I have no argument with either.

During all of 2009, the town’s worst year for real estate in decades, two single-family homes were scooped up for under $400,000.

As of last month, that number doubled.

It’s a sign of a market where sales have picked up, but values continue to decline.

There were 197 single-family home sales through May, up 163 percent from 75 during the same time last year, according to data released Monday by Riverside-based Shore & Country Properties and Prudential Connecticut Realty.

The lowest sale price this year was close to $230,000 for a 725-square-foot home at 180 Hobart Ave., built in 1924 in the Pemberwick/Glenville area.

That is compared with 2008, when there was one sale in the lowest price range, and with 2007, when there were none, according to John Cooke, a broker who compiles data for Prudential.

Sales in the $750,000 to $1 million range rose to 32 in the same five-month period, compared with just eight a year earlier. The median sale price dropped from $2.1 million in 2007 to $1.4 million through May.

“It’s showing that the value of real estate in town is down 10 to 20 percent over the last two to three years,” Cooke said.

While bank sales made up all but one of the sub-$400,000 transactions, Russell Pruner, owner of Shore & Country, said it doesn’t look like such situations dominate the approximately 680 single-family homes currently on the market.

Pruner also said he didn’t know how much of a so-called “shadow inventory,” or homes facing foreclosure, Greenwich would see. Banks, he said, don’t want to own property, and would prefer to work with homeowners on troubled mortgages.

“It’s not going (to) all come at once, they’re going to come over time,” said Pruner of bank-owned properties. “Anything they can do, if the people can afford, they want to do that.”

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Franklin Bloomer succumbs to Alzheimer’s

But I know my FAR limits!

Bloomer, champion of ever-more-draconian FAR regulations, has lost his mind and lost his battle against Don Heller’s reappointment as Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The Representative Town Meeting reappointed the head of the town’s planning and zoning commission on Monday, after he denied investing in town real estate while a member of the commission.

Donald Heller, chairman of the zoning commission, keeps his position after the RTM voted 124 to 49, with 29 abstaining, to reappoint him.

Heller faced criticism from Franklin Bloomer, District 5/Riverside, who said he had been told that Heller and fellow zoning commission member Frank Farrickerdiscussed a real estate investment deal, a deal that didn’t proceed.

Bloomer said that alone should disqualify Heller.

“A vote for approval condones” real estate transactions in the future by zoning commission members, Bloomer said.

Heller, who spoke after Bloomer, denied he invested in town as he appealed for the RTM’s support to continue on the commission.

“I have not invested in or participated in a real estate investment in Greenwich,” he said. “I am not in the Greenwich real estate business.”

But Bloomer’s opposition went further, claiming that Heller and the commission is too pro-development.

He also said the commission is too heavily slanted toward people involved in real estate. There are no conservationists or preservationists on the commission, Bloomer said.

He also criticized Heller’s comments in the RTM’s land-use committee on Monday, June 7. Heller said that when he made zoning decisions he took into account that homes are the single biggest asset residents have.

“I think that is the wrong slant for a commissioner of the planning and zoning commission,” said Bloomer, who said that position doesn’t take into account neighboring residents.

I’ve always considered Bloomer to be the nastiest and most deluded resident of Greenwich, but as he ages, he gets even more annoying. It is time to eliminate the listing of RTM candidates by alphabetical order, which is why the man has remained a representative so long. Or perhaps someone can intervene on his behalf and change his name to ZZXXwaoskosi.

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The advantage (or disadvantage) of living in a small town

A man arrested and charged in March with driving while intoxicated had the bad luck to have the same officer spot him driving on Steamboat Road Saturday, even though his license was suspended.

Robin H. Plasencia, 34, of 8 Moshier St., was arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle while under suspension. The state suspended his license on April 8 following his March 3 arrest in Greenwich on the drinking and driving charges.

On Saturday he produced a New York driver’s license that was issued March 11. The address on that license was a Port Chester post office box, said Lt. Kraig Gray. A spokesman for the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles could not be reached late Monday.

Police said Plasencia was stopped while driving a taxi and had two fares onboard.

Anthony Boskello, owner of Greenwich Taxi, said Plasencia was let go following his March arrest. However, Boskello said, the man hadn’t returned the Greenwich Taxi stickers that are affixed to the vehicles.

Boskello said he didn’t know anything about the passengers and said they were not dispatched through his company. The drivers are independent contractors and own their own vehicles, he said.

Police said Plasencia also had two prior DWI convictions in New York.

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Seems fair to me

Bill in California would bar splitting assets with spouse if she hires hit men to kill you.

The wife of a Southern California police detective, distraught because she had lost custody of her children, tries to hire a hit man from the Vagos motorcycle gang to kill him.

Instead, gang members alert police, who disguise themselves as biker thugs and secretly tape a conversation with her, leading to the wife’s arrest and ultimate conviction for solicitation of murder.

But later on, in divorce court, she is awarded half the couple’s property, even though she tried to have her husband whacked. He then calls Sacramento, determined to change the divorce law.

A bill scheduled to be heard Tuesday in a state legislative committee seeks to close what its author says is a loophole in the state’s no-fault divorce code. In part, the legislation will specify that spouses who solicit the murder of their husband or wife are not entitled to collect financial rewards in divorce proceedings.

The bill was prompted by John Pomroy, a police detective in Pomona, about 30 miles east of Los Angeles. His wife collected about $70,000 from their estate after she was released from prison in 2004.

“If you commit arson on your house, you don’t get the insurance money. You go to prison and all sorts of things happen to you,” Pomroy said in an interview. “But if you try to kill someone that is your spouse, the current law allows you to collect something.”

State law says that if spouses are convicted of murdering or attempting to murder their husband or wife, they are not entitled to reap any financial benefits during divorce proceedings. But if they hire someone else to do the dirty deed for them, their victims’ assets are not protected.

The bill would amend the law to include husbands or wives who solicit the murder of their spouse.

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The poor dear just can’t help herself

The Grey Lady of Times Square started a new column on philosophy three weeks ago and after an interesting (to this philosophy major) opening article, shot straight into the gutter of left-wing wacko rubric. It’s true that the Times knows its base, but why drive off fringe readers,who once added to its subscription base?

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What we’ve been saying

The chickens come home to roost.

Here’s something I didn’t know, from financial blogger Bruce Krasting (via John Ellis): Social Security tax receipts for the first half of 2010: $346.9 billion; Social Security benefits payments for the same period: $347.3 billion. Before this year, projections have always been that Social Security wouldn’t cross that line into negative cash flow for five years or so. Now it’s a reality. Congress has been spending Social Security’s positive cash flow for years. Now there’s no positive cash flow to spend.

To see how the negative trend has accelerated, consider the same figures for the first half of 2009: Social Security tax receipts were $366.0 billion and Social Security benefits payments were $334.3 billion. A positive cash flow of $31.7 billion has disappeared in the course of just 12 months. Scary.

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Conyers Farm contract

I’ll post more details soon but there is a contact on a Lower Cross house somewhere in the $12’s, I believe. It’s nice to know that people with that kind of money are still around, but rumour has it that the seller turned down $18 million a few years ago. Ouch.

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This should prove interesting

FBI releases its Teddy Kennedy files. Mary Jo Kopechne was unavailable for comment.

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A blogger tax to subsidize newspapers? With luck, no.

But you never know with those crazy guys from D.C.

Steven Brill, who ran a news media watchdog publication and is now developing a system for newspapers to charge readers for access online, said journalists should find it uncomfortable that the government is considering ways to subsidize their work.

Mr. Brill, like others who have been following the commission’s work, doubts there will be any significant policy changes recommended, in large part because there is no public appetite for government intervention to save the news media.

“You’re going to create a fund so a bunch of kids from Ivy League colleges can get jobs going to zoning board meetings with pens and pads?” he said. “It’s like you’re living on another planet if you think this is going to happen.”

Other critics have taken a free-market approach: let the market, not the government, determine what outlets survive.

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Follow the money, as suggested by Riverside Dog Walker

Abby Sunderland’s dad had a reality TV show lined up for her.

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No wonder they won’t attend town hall meetings

Democrat Congressman Bob Etheridge assaults college student

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Ow – a trillion bucks to bail out Fannie Mae?

A chicken in every pot, a house for every family is getting expensive. Fortunately, Fannie Mae executives and the politicians who set this all up are doing just fine.

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Deal of the week, per Redfin

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

If you believe their website, you can pick up this Washington, D.C. mansion for a cool $10,000,000. I’d go for it.

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Nikki Haley , next Governor of South Carolina?

(NYT photo)

Interesting article here in the NYT on a rising star. And a note to the reader who questioned my earlier reference to this lady : I was mocking racists, not engaging in their hatred.

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When politics overwhelm common sense

Sand berms in Louisiana: won’t work, won’t last, divert resources. But we’re doing something!

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Big Bad John goes to the great sausage maker in the sky

Jimmy Dean dead at 81.


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