Daily Archives: February 17, 2011

Tesei achives life-time ambition, denies Fudrucker new term on the P&Z

Peter Tesei

  We’ve known this was coming. The pale, weak-chinned First Selectman has been obsessed with his former political opponent at least since they ran against each other for First Selectman and probably all the way back to First Grade, when little Frankie pointed out to fellow classmates that Petie had wee wee running out his sorts.

Literally – Tesei has been consumed about Fudrucker these past years, saying preposterous things and making outrageous untrue allegations. Guess his selectman duties don’t take up all that much time. One good thing that will come out of all this is that I am now free to fire at will at the smarmy bastard, and boy do I look forward to that. This will be my last civil posting on the man.

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First of all, the horse was a mare – nothing queer about ol’ Marian

Lawyer for man accused of molesting horse says it’s no big deal

“If this was a guy and a sheep in Litchfield, and I’ve had a few of those cases, this would not have gotten nearly the media attention it has,” said Ralph Crozier, who represents 63-year-old Marian Wegiel.

Attorney Crozier is obviously enjoying a far more interesting practice than I ever did.

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Apple comes to Grand Central

Apple plans its biggest store ever for Grand Central Station. Until now, my favorite spot in Grand Central was the Oyster Bar, primarily because of nostalgia. When I was a very young boy, my dad would treat me to special trips into the city. To see the dinosaurs perhaps, or the original Abercrombie & Fitch when it was still about mounted animal heads and gun rooms. On the way back to Riverside we would always stop for a bowl of oyster stew. Funny – in those days, late 50′s, early 60′s, a trip to the city involved, if you were going with my father (born 1905) wearing a suit, even though it was Saturday. I remember my first was a blue and white seersucker, surely from Brooks Brothers, but I’m not positive on that detail.

A lot of things have changed since then, and Abercrombie’s and my father are long gone, but I often try to grab a stew when I’m in the station, just to remember and to thank my father. And now I’ll have an Apple store to visit, one floor up. That’s a combination that probably merits a special trip. And maybe I’ll continue on to see the dinosaurs.

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Jack, we hardly knew ye

Time Inc, chief Jack Griffin fired after five months on the job. Oops.

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Profiles in Courage

Wisconsin Demmerkrats, scared of the mean ol’ Republican Governor who wants to debate revoking the state’s circa 1959 collective bargaining act, flee the Capitol and hide underneath this lovely lassie’s kilt.

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Here’s a seller who’s going to be disappointed

26 Mohawk Lane

Erected between 2006 and 2007, this house finally sold for $7.5 million in 2008, and was returned to the market last year at a price of 7 something, I believe. It’s marked down to $6.3 today but I don’t think that’s going to do the trick – not after 54 Maplewood,  Rock Maple [thank you, readers] further down Stanwich, closer to town, with the pool this one lacks and otherwise pretty comparable, sold last week for $4.3. Hmm: better location, better or at least comparable house, better amenities, $2 million less. Can you guess where this is going?

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Global Warming doom sayers

 Last year on this blog I collected a bunch of warnings post – 1997′ s Coyote protocol, all predicting the tipping our climate past the reversal point by 2006, at latest. Since that year came and went without the world doing what these experts knew was best, they’ve revised their absolute certain knowledge and now concede we have a little more time, but by golly, not much! It astonishes me that otherwise intelligent people act like Charlie Brown when Lucy offers her football, yet again. What part about sucker don’t you get?

2006: 10 years or it’s all too late

2007: It’s already too late!

2008: 100 months, and we really,really mean it this time!

Prince Charles, 2009: less than 100 months. Ooh, the clock is ticking! 88 months now, Prince Charlie!

James Hansen, 2009. every single coal powered plant in the world must be shut down by 2029 or we’re doomed. Dr. Hansen, employed at taxpayers’ expense at NAASA, also advocates the jailing of all power plant executives and the use of the Global Warming “crisis” to redistribute our wealth to the Third World, but those are different issues.

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And neither a contract nor a sale, but a seller who won’t quit

249 Bedford Road

This house at 249 has sat in splendid isolation at the terminus of Bedford Road and the Armonk border since it was built in 2005 and put up for sale at $5.885 million. It has never found a buyer, but perhaps it’s been rented out since – it’s always appeared vacant the few times I’ve been that far north. It’s back on today, asking $4.395, a bump up from the last asking price of last October, $4.350 – go figure.

At some price, perhaps in the $3′s, this place should appeal to a Bedford resident seeking to escape Westchester County taxes. It’s not a terrible house, but obviously, it’s been burdened by a terrible price.

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And a contract in Old Greenwich

16 Benjamin Street

The sellers of this house on Benjamin paid $4.365 million for it in 2006 and tried selling it for $4.395 for it in 2009, which wasn’t a bad idea. But they had to drop it to $3.750 before they landed a contract yesterday.

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A sale on Taconic

306 Taconic road

A nice house on four acres in the nosebleed altitudes of northern Greenwich. Sold for $1.386 in 1996, the owners added a new kitchen, an addition and, I believe, a pool and put it back up for sale in 2008 at $$3.650 million. Sold yesterday for $2.075million. The assessment, which I think is the old assessment, was $2.145.

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More on IB

Greenwich Time is promising an article Sunday entitled, “All About IB”. That’s nice but (a) it will only be available in the dead tree version @ $2.50, an amount I have never before been willing to spend on that paper,(b) it’s available just a few days before the BOE meeting on the subject – why so late? and (c), where the hell has the BOE been on this subject in terms of communicating with the taxpayers? Boy, the stench of dead rat just keeps growing.

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Oh,the humanity!

Dealer charging $65,000 for a Chevy Volt. I see nothing wrong with this, because a buyer stupid enough to pay that amount for such a useless vehicle deserves everything that’s coming to him  and, at this price, can obviously afford  a rear-end hosing, so where’s the harm? My only objection is that a portion of that price is being paid by us wiser, saner taxpayers, but I’ve grown inured to paying for federal boondoggles.

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About Greenwich real estate agents

I tend to rant about certain agents in town who, in my opinion, are either crooks or incompetent or both, and I’m sure those feelings are reciprocated, but I’m troubled by some of the hostility expressed in some of the comments posted here, calling agents scum buckets, crooks, etc. That’s pretty harsh, and uncalled for.

Almost every agent I know here came to the business after a business career (Cathy Adams, just as a for instance, was an IBM executive. Sandy Shaw, as I’ve said here before, is the woman I want covering my back in a knife fight : ) ). They bring a lot of savvy with them and I’d estimate that at least 3/4 of our agents are knowledgeable and completely, totally honest. The remaining quarter? Well, what are you going to do? But you really can’t go wrong dealing with the rest of us, and I certainly enjoy working with the vast majority of my peers. If I’ve  given a contrary impression, which I have,write it off to hyperbole and my anger at what I perceive to be shoddy business practices.

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For sale signs returning to Darien – their market must still be in the crapper

 Darien considering revising its for sale sign regulations because of pressure from realtors. Bill Raveis, a huge champion of the Internet for real estate, once told me that, despite the millions of dollars he’s invested in Internet services, 75% of all inquiries still come in from the for sale signs posted on the front yard.

Well we don’t allow them here in Greenwich and I’m glad we don’t but Darien is rethinking its own restrictions which, to me, is an indication that sales are still suffering up the road (Tom Goren once told me that, in our area, Greenwich is the last to feel a downturn while New Canaan is first, and Greenwich is the first to recover and New Canaan the last, with Darien in the middle. Tom’s got at least 40 years in this racket and has seen it all).

Here in town, things are picking up. I’ve been busy all week with showings even though it’s public school vacation, ordinarily one of the slowest weeks of the year, and my bestest friend Jeremy Kaye tells me that he and his fellow Kaye Brothers, Joel and Tom Ward (the latter being an honorary Kaye) are all busier than they have been in a long time. Which is great news for sellers but buyers, if you’ll accept my anecdotal evidence, you might want to get stirring.

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Does this make any sense at all?

MetroNorth is a complete shambles, threatening our economy, and is crippled with obsolete train cars, a century-old, failing overhead electric power supply and a track be so bad that it can’t carry high-speed trains from New York to Boston.

You might think that our state would want to address that problem but you’d be wrong. Due to politics, we are instead committing $billions for a rail line from New Haven to Hartford and then, by golly, all the way to Springfield! That’s a route that has no ridership and serves no purpose, so I conclude that our pols are planning to enrich themselves by selling off the right-of-way or some such nefarious means. There’s nothing new under the sun, of course: for a real treat, check out the oral history (Greenwich library) of the Merritt Parkway back in the 30′s. Our trusted civil servants would get advance notice of the proposed route, buy land along that route for peanuts and sell it to the state for gold. Then they’d change the route so they could do it again. And again.

If you can come up with any reason to build this line, other than corruption, when our existing rail service is failing, by all means suggest it.

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Oh, now they’ve gone and done it

For years, global warming bunkum artists have tried to differentiate between “weather” and “global warming” because they knew that the dummies they were trying to scare would be confused when they checked the temperature outside and noticed it was twenty-below. “Don’t see no global warming here”, the hick would mumble to hisself, and go back to bed.

So “no’, the artists would explain, in very small words, “you’re experiencing weather, and there’s no connection between the two.” An example of just this line of “reason” can be found here at ABC News. ABC even dug up a “scientist” who explains that “weather is infinitely variable – climate change is not.”

Which wasn’t working very well – according to recent polls, Americans remain far more worried about unemployment rates than global warming. Thus the bunkos went back to the books and have now announced that Al Gore was right all along: global warming does cause weather.

And that’s where they’ve finally blown it, because they are now going to have to explain every jot and tittle of our “infinitely variable” weather (infinite means well, infinite) and blame it, all of it, on Al Gore’s flatulence. And it won’t work. When it hits zero in New York, we clods are going to doubt them. When it’s twenty in Seattle, even the latte swillers are going to question why exactly they have to give up their Range Rovers. Admittedly, the previous strategy wasn’t working too well but they should have stuck with that one instead of assuming an obligation to provide a daily explanation for every city around the world.

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