Daily Archives: March 2, 2012

Absolutely disgusting and why we should exit Afghanistan right now



Soldiers said to face punishment for Koran burning. Officers will have their careers terminated over the destruction of terrorist’s code books? It’s what the grand mullahs demand but since when did America knuckle under to filthy killers? Since Barak Hussein Obummer took office.

Our leadership has lost the will to fight in this benighted country and we shouldn’t be there now that it has. All were doing is harming the careers of good men and women and getting young kids crippled for an abandoned cause. Time to go home.


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You can relax now, the NAR says everything is fine

Time to buy a house!

We’re heading back to the surface!

And that’s not all: Realtors will all be given new Chevy Volts by Obama.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said this is a hopeful indicator going into the spring home-buying season. “Given more favorable housing market conditions, the trend in contract activity implies we are on track for a more meaningful sales gain this year. With a sustained downtrend in unsold inventory, this would bring about a broad price stabilization or even modest national price growth, of course with local variations.”

“Movements in the index have been uneven, reflecting the headwinds of tight credit, but job gains, high affordability and rising rents are hopefully pushing the market into what appears to be a sustained housing recovery,” Yun said. “If and when credit availability conditions return to normal, home sales will likely get a 15 percent boost, speed up the home-price recovery, and thereby significantly reduce the number of homeowners who are underwater.”

Although Yun declined to say how he can look himself in the mirror each morning he insisted that his mother still loves him.  “Still”, he admitted “she’s a little cheesed about that house in Las Vegas I told her to buy.”

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Thanks to P&Z, I figure you can now add $50,000 in professional fees if you want to build that swimming pool or deck

Planning & Zoning Commission takes over the asylum

The “Required Green Area” (full text here) is upon us as of Thursday night and it will further reduce your ability to use your property as you see fit. Most Greenwich residents are in favor of the Floor Area Ratio requirements (which is why they have survived the tenure of the late FAR Czar, Franklin Bloomer) until they go to add a deck, a sunroom or any other small improvement to their house and discover that they have to hire a surveyor, soil expert, and a friend of Tesei to get a permit. Then they squawk.

This new rule is a huge extension of the existing FAR requirements and shrinks your property further. Here’s a small part of what it controls:

(B) The following is not permitted within the Green Area Requirement: Surface
development on a site or lot occupied by buildings, structures, parking areas,
driveways, tennis courts, porches, swimming pools and pool coping, and
patios and/or decks that are in some way covered [[such as]] by a second
floor or roof, porous asphalt, porous concrete, permeable inter-locking
concrete pavers, concrete grid pavers, plastic turf reinforcing grids and
similar man-made materials and products. Any underground structure or
impermeable surface that is covered by less than 3 feet of friable fill shall
[[is]] not be permitted in the Green Area Requirement.

And here’s your property, reduced. By the way, you may think this doesn’t affect you but it sure affects the value of your property. Closings will delayed for months while buyers hire experts to tell them what they can do with the place and sales will curdle if the experts come back and answer, “nothing”.

PURPOSE – The purpose of adding the words ‘lot coverage’ and ‘minimum green
areas’, under 6-131(a)(5) and 6-131(a)(6) is to make it clear that the area of access way shall be excluded from lot coverage calculations for rear lots. The area of the access way shall not be included in the area used to calculate the minimum green area.
Amend Section 6-205(a) to add Minimum Percent Green Area Requirements:
Zone: Minimum Percent
Green Area
RA-4 84%
RA-2 78%
RA-1 72%
R-20 62%
R-12 55%
R-7 50%
(single and two-family)


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Speaking of Pilgrims

One of my favorite movies (Fargo and Get Shorty are on the list too) is Christopher Guest’s Best in Show. And one of the funniest bits is when Fred Willard interviews the head of the Mayflower Kennel Club.

nb: you have to click through to Youtube, for some goddamned reason. Do it, it’s worth it.


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The more things change …


Where's that open bar at?

Neanderthals were ancient mariners

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This was the week that was

Market’s closed and we had one sale reported, one accepted offer and six “new” listings, all properties that failed to sell last year.

For the week, we saw 8 sales, two in the fours ($4.970 and $4.495), three in the ones ($1.375, $1.150, $1.050) and three below ($845,000, $740,000 and $479,000).

That’s it. Welcome to busy week.


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The perils of 5% down

A condo came on for sale today asking a little less than it was purchased for in 2005 – they won’t get what they’re asking because prices at this project have been dropping straight to the bottom, back to where they should have been all along. Ah, 2005, when so-so construction in marginal areas sold like hotcakes.

The problem these sellers have is that they purchased their unit with two Wells Fargo mortgages, first and second, that came to 95% of what they were buying. That might have worked had prices gone up – as it is, this smells of short sale to me. Which might not be such a bad thing because,given what’s happened to values at this place, they’d have lost even more had they put in 20% of their own cash.


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Another unnecessary drug tragedy

The nice taxi man will see you safely home

If you believe the story, and there are clearly two sides to it, a Morgan Stanley big cheese tried to stiff a NYC cabbie who’d driven him home to Darien and wanted to get paid. According to the driver, after refusing to pay the tab the banker slashed him with a pen knife and said rude things about his mother back in the home country, where the banker encouraged him to join her.

The 45-year-old  banker, named W. Bryan Jennings (and of course he is – he went to Williams) has been suspended from his duties at Morgan Stanley and faces a court trial with possibly a lengthy prison sentence. What could have caused this? He tells us, in his own words:

Jennings later admitted to cops that “he’d been  drinking throughout the day” at a Morgan Stanley charity auction and holiday  party at a West Side hotel before getting into the cab “but didn’t feel he was  highly intoxicated.”

Too bad.


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Pop quiz

Swedes living in Denmark?

Swedes living in Denmark?

A band of fellas has been intercepted on their way to shoot up a Danish newspaper that, years ago, ran cartoons depicting Mohammad in a mocking light. The Associated Press describes those arrested as “Swedes living in Denmark”. I’ve posted two pictures of two different couples on the left – can you guess which is more likely to be, as the Danish Police called them, “militant Islamists with relations to international terrorist networks”? If you pick the girl in the red apron, you’re a Democrat.


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If you work for Sears, you’re screwed. Owning it’s a different matter

Eddie Lampert in contract to buy $40 million Florida mansion. When I grow up I want to ruin a company and get rich, just like this guy.


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Go figure

3 Cross Ridge in Havemeyer has sold (in a bidding war!) for $849,500. The house is a teardown (town assesses its value at $53,000 which says everything you want to know) and, while it’s on an oversized lot, 0.47 acre in the R-12 zone, I don’t believe you can drag two building lots out of it. So what do you do with this land, other than build a big honking house on it?

Okay, so you build that house – allowable FAR is just under 5,000 sq. ft. Maximum value in Havemeyer is probably $1.650 or so. Even 4,000 sq. ft. @300 per foot means you’re into this place for $2 million plus. That rules out builders so I assume a private party purchased this. I’d suggest that he plan on staying here for a looong time but the fact that there was at least one other buyer interested in this location suggests that I’m wrong. I’m pretty sure my numbers are right so what am I missing?


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Just in time, too

Your tax dollars up in smoke

Chevrolet abandons goal of selling 45,000 Volts in 2012, “How about 30,000, instead?” How about it? Still pie in the sky, because just 1,023 were sold in February. That’s an improvement over the 600 or so sold in January but if you take out your abacus and multiply 1,000 by 12, you don’t get 30,000. Or I don’t anyway – your mileage may vary.

Nissan unload just 478 copies of their version of this boondoggle.

Discussion here wondering why the damn things won’t sell. Hmm, let’s see – $39,000 price tag despite the $7,500 taxpayers’ subsidy (with an extra $1,500 pitched in by those poor long-suffering Californians), tiny, slow (0-60 in 9 seconds – even Fred Flintstone would be embarrassed) and a driving range that will get you half-way to Grandmother’s house, assuming she lives around the block and downhill. Who wouldn’t want a car like that? Obama says he does, and promises he’ll buy one in five years. Hang in there until then, guys.

UPDATE: A reader sends this along, apparently released just as I was setting grubby fingers to keyboard: Chevy suspends Volt production.


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12:30, nothing doing in the Greenwich market

Off to get my clamming permit renewed. Low tide’s at 1:30 or so tomorrow. Forecast is for rain, wind and temperatures in the 30’s. See you there!

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Myles Standish to Pocahontas: Get outta here, broad, we was here first!

Back to Siberia with you, interloper!

Europeans beat the Indians to America by 5,000 years. Does this mean we can close those goddam casinos?


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Had to happen some time, I suppose

35 Winding Lane reports an accepted offer. I don’t know what its final sale price will be (it’s recently been asking $1.995 million) but I was absolutely positive it wasn’t worth its requested price of $3.250 back two years ago, when it first came on for sale. Two years with an empty house seems like a long time to get religion, but perhaps that’s just me.


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Here’s a pretty house

111 Patterson Ave

No sales or contracts to report on but there’s this new (returned to market, actually after being pulled last June): 111 Patterson Avenue, asking $1.895 million. I didn’t see this last year but I’ll definitely go to its broker open house next Tuesday. It didn’t sell at $1.995 so maybe this $100,000 price cut isn’t enough but it looks charming and Patterson’s a good street, so I’m hopeful. I need decent houses to show buyers, just like every other agent in town.

(The listing doesn’t have pictures up yet so I used one from the withdrawn listing, but I’d imagine there will be more images later in the day.)


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Old doesn’t sell in Riverside except as land

Since a reader points out that my brother Gideon, a/k/a “The Kool-Aid Kid” takes me to task for, he says, erroneously asserting this proposition, I thought to waste a little time this morning to see what he’s been smoking. Result? I know where next year’s “Greenwich Realtor of the Year” award is going.

First of all, let’s dismiss most of Gideon’s “2o sales” in our fine section of town that went to contract since October 1st of 2011. No one – I wasn’t anyway – is talking about antiques built in 1802 or even 1905. I’m referring to the houses that went up in the post-war boom, and what I said about those is that they’ve fallen to land value only, because no one wants to live in them anymore.

Here are some numbers for houses built between 1945 – 1997

October 2011 – March 2, 2012

Yr. Blt.    Address      Sales/contract price

1956      10 Miltiades       $875,000

1952       16 Pierce Rd.     $999,000 (ask)

1954        25 Druid            $1.095

1956        19 Weston         $1.050

1958        25 Hearthstone $1.330

1954        44 Winthrop       $1.250 (demo sign posted)

1954        25 Bramble         $1.399 (ask)

1987        35 Chapel            $1.450 (ask, bank sale)

8 Total

Now let’s look back to a sunnier time, 2002 through 2006 . I chose just 3 streets to compare: Bramble, Druid and Hearthstone because they adjoin each other, they were all built around the same time and I really don’t care to spend my entire morning on this.

1954           39 Bramble         $965,000             2002

1957            31 Druid              $1,070,000          2002   (bidding war)

1957            15 Hearthstone   $1,170,000           2002

1957            48 Druid              $1,235,000           2003

1952           16 Druid                $1,230,000          2003

1952            42 Bramble          $1,540,000          2003   (renovated 1993)

1953             28 Druid             $1,300,000           2004

1956             50 Bramble        $1,354,000            2004

1957              22 Bramble        $1,525,000           2005  (bidding war)

1957              26 Bramble        $1,611,000            2006  (bidding war from $1.495 asking price)

1957              30 Bramble        $1,600,000          2006


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Oh please, must every discussion of anything include this global warming stuff?

Heading for higher ground

Governor Malloy and his crowd are trying to respond to the state’s perennial power outages. That’s fine and it’s a good idea because that’s what we all expect of a government, to address real problems. And the Gov’s right, we do have a lot of trees in the state which, when they fall, cause difficulty. But this? Give me a break.

Joe McGee, co-chair of Gov. Dannel Malloy’s two-storm panel, said Connecticut has one of the most dense tree canopies in the country, and when coupled with the relatively high population density, rising sea levels and lengthy coastline, the state is in a particularly vulnerable position to be hurt by strong storms.

Where’s your evidence for that, Joe McGee, and “An Inconvenient Truth” doesn’t count.

Last week the warmists were touting earthquakes and volcanos as direct results of Al Gorism, today it’s floods. Cry me a river.


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Chicago-style voting comes to Hartford

Of COURSE I'm Thurston "Chip" Cadwallader - you sayin' I ain't?

State Democrats bringing in same day voter registration. Democrat spokesman Frankie Fudrucker explains why:

“It just makes it easier,”  Fudrucker said when interviewed by FWIW’s intrepid reporter Scusie. “It’s hard enough to round up all the crack we need, wrap it up as party favors – get that? “Party Favors”? Huh huh huh – pass it out and get these yokels to the polls to vote for the team. And sure, we got rid of the i.d. requirement but proving they’re registered? Come on, how ya gonna get some drug-addled bum to remember the name we gave him six months ago? And then, what happens if between registering him and the actual election he gets picked up and deported? Bam! All that effort wasted. No no, we want a ‘slam bang, thank you ma’am’ process – quick, easy and all in one day.”

“Look,” he continued, “to succeed, we need a base of uneducated po ‘folk who are completely ignorant of the issues, and the place to find them is in the ghetto not, for Christ’s sake, in white suburbs; well, there’s this guy we know in Greenwich, ‘Dollar Bill’ who votes six or seven times each election but we need more than just him or people will see right through our scam and vote us out of office. Then, what, we have to work for a living? Like that’s gonna happen.”


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I guess that’s okay then

Under the covers work

Cop: “I didn’t sexually assault the lady, I just removed her panties” Great moments in law enforcement.

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