Daily Archives: March 22, 2012

Will no one rid me of this turbulent chief?

Fire Marshall Benoit and modern municipal employment practices.  Forget, for a minute, this latest report of the now retired (February) marshal and former deputy chief and enjoy the saga of how Greenwich could not get rid of the guy. In 2007 or earlier,  Jim Lash fired him and we lost when he sued for reinstatement  (check out the article for hints of bribes taken from Greenwich Avenue shopkeepers and building applicants) and since his reinstatement he was subjected to daily monitoring, one-on-one “counseling” by his chief, etc. and he still couldn’t shape up.

If there’s any irony in this it’s that Benoit replaced Daniel Warzoha who was fired for showing up drunk at fire scenes and trying to command firefighters while a wee bit unsteady on his feet. After a lengthy stay at rehab Warzoah returned and let’s hope the rehab worked, because he’s now head of our Emergency Response team.

But that makes two losers in a row who received huge salaries for years and will be receiving even more generous retirement packages all while defying every attempt by the town to dislodge them. Tesei’s lucky that he can just fire Boris the IT guy, who has no union protection – he has fired him by now, hasn’t he?

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Greta Garbo would hate this

A nice note from a newcomer to Riverside:

Today, our neighbor stopped by to welcome us to the neighborhood. She explained that our other neighbors were traveling and I will meet them next week. We lived in North Stamford for 1.5years and nobody ever came to welcome us to the neighborhood.
We may be on the “wrong side of the tracks,” and have I-95 background sound, but it feels as if anywhere is a great place to live in Riverside!

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Still funny

My pal Joe Barbieri just reminded me of this cartoon – I think I posted it last year but it can always stand another airing. “I want you to sell my house”

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The cat in the hat came back!

Timbuktu, or whatever his name is,  my friends’ missing Siamese cat I wrote about yesterday, made it back home by himself just now. Thanks to all who kept an eye out for him. He’s securely locked away now.

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Watt’s up with that?

Summoning the God of Electricity, Green style

While waiting for the scientific (Dr.) Dollar Bill to compile his list of successful “green energy” projects world wide, I decided to Google around for myself. The only project I could find even remotely close to being completed (estimated to finish construction December, 2013) was this one being built in Nevada by SolarReserve. The company claims that, if and when it is operating, it will produce 110 megawatts of energy.

So okay, I don’t really know how much that is so I Google that up as well and came across this interesting table:

megawatt (106 watts)

  • 1.3 MW – tech: power output of P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft
  • 1.5 MW – tech: peak power output of GE’s standard wind turbine
  • 2.4 MW – tech: peak power output of a Princess Coronation class steam locomotive (approx 3.3K EDHP on test) (1937)
  • 2.5 MW – biomed: peak power output of a blue whale
  • 3 MW – tech: mechanical power output of a diesel locomotive
  • 10 MW – tech: highest ERP allowed for an UHF television station
  • 10.3 MW – geo: electrical power output of Togo
  • 12.2 MW – tech: approx power available to a Eurostar 20-carriage train
  • 16 MW – tech: rate at which a typical gasoline pump transfers chemical energy to a vehicle
  • 17 to 80 MW – tech: approximate maximum power output of a Nd:YAG laser used in Particle Image Velocimetry (100mJ over 6ns to 400mJ over 5ns, both at 532 nm)
  • 26 MW – tech: peak power output of the reactor of a Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine
  • 75 MW – tech: maximum power output of one GE90 jet engine as installed on the Boeing 777
  • 140 MW – tech: average power consumption of a Boeing 747 passenger aircraft
  • 190 MW – tech: peak power output of a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier
  • 900 MW – tech: electric power output of a CANDU nuclear reactor
  • 959 MW – geo: average electrical power consumption of Zimbabwe in 1998

The productive capacity of electrical generators operated by utility companies is often measured in MW….

For reference, about 10,000 100-watt lightbulbs or 5,000 computer systems would be needed to draw 1 megawatt. Also, 1 MW equals approximately 1360 horsepower. Modern high-powered diesel-electric railroad locomotives typically have a peak power output of 3–5 MW, whereas a typical modern nuclear power plant produces on the order of 500–2000 MW peak output.

So, hmmm – looks like this 540′ tower with miles of mirrors around it wouldn’t come close to powering a single 747, not that I can think of a practical way to mount a 540′ tower and miles of mirrors on the fuselage. So air travel will disappear from the future as envisioned by Dr. Bill. What else?

Well, let’s go back to Google and see how much energy the United States consumes.

Wow, Bill, it’s a lot! 3,471,000,000 megawatts! At a measly 110 megawatts per plant we’re going to need millions of these things! Where we gonna put them? They can’t possibly all fit in your back yard, not even Joe Kennedy’s back yard.

And Dr. Bill, you aren’t going to believe this, but there’s still another problem: By SolarReserve’s own estimate, they’ll only be able to store electricity for “10-15 hours”. That’s better than windmills, which have zero storage capacity but Bill, unless we want to start looking like Russia or Zimbabwe, we’re going to want to continue to enjoy electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Factories need it, and all that. So ten hours might work overnight, assuming they really can reach the goal of ten hours, but what happens when things cloud over for a few days? Who you going to call on for power then, assuming you’ve shut down all those coal and natural gas and nuclear power plants? The Ghost Busters?

So here’s the problem as I see it, Dr. Bill: you’re a man of faith, not of science. In fact, you remind me most of those rag heads in the desert (not our deserts, yet, but the deserts in Pakistan and all those sordid countries over there). They say, “you combine two molecules of oxygen and one molecule hydrogen and, God willing, water is produced”. You and your friends say, “we put our hearts in the right place and simply will the repeal of natural laws and, Gore willing, we will have clean, abundant energy because we want it so!” That doesn’t sound very scientific, does it?

Anyhow, it’s taken me a bit of time to assemble all these links for you, time enough, I’m sure, for you to have compiled that list I asked for. I’ll go check the comments section and see how you’ve done.

UPDATE: Oops! Nothing from Bill. He’s probably out on the streets doing a bit of queer-bashing but let’s give him til morning, shall we?

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Our real estate sales are beginning to resemble Minnesota’s

But at least our sales in this price range require less upkeep. 1 Fitch Lane is the only sale reported today as of 4:10 – there’s still time – for $635,000, from an original 2010 asking price of $849,000. $635,000 is probably about right (of course it is, because that’s what someone was willing to pay for it), but I do wonder at the optimism of that 2010 price. I sold a house just like this one, right next door, for $660,000 in 2006 and prices had hardly improved since then.

66 Cat Rock

UPDATE: A second sale snuck in before the bell: 66 Cat Rock, (sale today,January contract) sold for $1.150 million. I loved this house when I saw it in 2006 because parts of it dated back to 1760 and felt it. What I didn’t love, and obviously no one else did, was its price tag at the time of $2.195. It was on and off the market after 2007 but on uninterrupted since 2010 (with time out for some unspecified “renovations” in 2009) and all in, spent 785 days actively on the market. I keep pointing out that’s an awful disruption to your life to keep your house up for sale for so long but obviously some homeowners enjoy it.

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Deaf cat bounce

Deaf cat survives fall from 19th-floor.

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Oh hell, I can’t resist

Herewith a collection of quotes demonstrating that Democrats “we can’t drill ourselves out of our problem” date back forever.

2008: Richardson (D. NM) “we can’t drill our way out of the problem”

2008: Reid (D. NV) Pelosi (D. CA) : We can’t drill our way out of this problem”.

2004: John Kerry (D. MA) “We can’t drill our way out of the problem”

We only have 3% of the world’s oil reserves. There is no physical way for the US to drill its way out of this problem. We have to invent our way out of this problem. The sooner that we commit America to the science & discovery of renewable alternatives, the better off America will be, the better our health will be, the more effective our economy would be, the better our national security will be, and the better world citizen we will be. We need to commit ourselves to energy independence now.

UPDATE: Reader Spencer Ogden writes, “I like your game – first mention of ‘we can’t drill …etc.'”

How about these? Last two are behind a paywall unfortunately.

From March 16, 2000:     “But even as we  wince at today’s numbers on the gas pump, most of us understand  that we can’t drill our way to a short-term solution, given the years it takes to bring new wells into production. We know it’s not a long-term answer, either, for at some point the oil will run out.” http://www.commondreams.org/views/031600-101.htm

From Aug 22, 1990:   A Letter to the Editor: “Second, we can’t drill our way out of any oil crisis. Even    if our offshore and remote wilderness areas are opened to oil    development, we will soon use the oil and be back to depending on    foreign sources. Conservation, efficiency and renewable resources are the only real solution.” http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_docid=0EAFF3EC20CDDAF2

From Feb 22, 1991:     Maybe Donna Moffitt, then spokeswoman for Gov James Martin (R) is the first government official?     “You have to wonder why there is so much emphasis on drilling. We  can’t drill ourselves into energy independence,” Moffitt said.

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Why low ball bidding is so popular

304 Taconic is back on the market, now asking $8.5 million. It started off three years ago in September, 2009 at $15.950.

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The loonacy of the left as expressed by Dollar Bill

DB has written in this morning from his perch on his toilet to call libertarians “teabaggers” and supplements that “slur” (Bill thinks it is)  with all his usual homophobic rants. Nothing new there, of course, but I was amused to see that he twice repeated, in one short paragraph, the Democrat mantra, “we can’t drill our way out of this problem”. Amused because that has been exactly the Democrat war cry for at least a dozen years (and undoubtedly longer, but ten will serve for our purposes.

The “logic” behind the Democrat’s ban on exploration and drilling was that, they claimed, it would take at least ten years for any activity then to alleviate the shortage. Twelve years later, they’re still saying the same thing. Hmm.

What Dollar Bill and the other useful idiots can’t appreciate is that the real goal of their masters is to destroy the oil economy which, with no substitute available, will destroy modern civilization. Bill may cheer this concept in theory but when his Greenwich hovel loses heat and electricity and he’s huddled around a few candles seeking warmth and light he may regret it. But by then, of course, it will be too late, because anything that might be done to reverse course and alleviate the problem “will take at least ten years”. What a bozo.

If you care to, you can Google “we can’t drill our way out of this”: and find 11,000,000 hits. But for just one example, dating back to 2002, there’s this.

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Riverside’s back, at least for newer construction

272 Riverside Avenue was built in 2007 and sold in 2008 for $3.850 million. The buyers couldn’t sell it in 2009 even though they eventually reduced it to $3.695 so they pulled it and kept it off until this year when they brought it back at that same $3.850. Accepted offer in 34 days. As I mentioned before, new construction just a few doors away that I sold for $3.850 in 2008 resold (relocation sale) in 2010 for $2.8. So prices have resumed their crazy path.

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Off to open houses

Once again, not much out there and this is the second (?) day of spring.280 Stanwich looks interesting, Cal Darula’s offering lunch, so I’ve developed a keen interest in 27 Sound Beach Avenue under the Thruway and I suppose I should see Ellen Mosher’s Ledge Road house now that I’ve blasted its price twice and she’s nagged me once. Other than that, eh?

One tip for aspiring agents: if you’re going to hold an open house in the farthest reaches of town, don’t shorten your showing to just 11-12. I’m probably not the only agent who figures that if the owner can’t be inconvenienced for more than that, I won’t be inconvenienced wasting gas to drive there.

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Hey, here’s a surprise!

The family man selling his dead and dying kin

John Edwards first name to surface in the “Millionaire Madam” whore house tapes.

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You want affordable housing, we’re getting affordable housing

162 Putnam Park, new listing, asks $275,000. In 2005 – 2007, these units started at $350,00 and went up from there. Going price now seems to be well below $300,000. Of course, this project seemed old when it was built and it certainly isn’t improving with age. Euthanasia for buildings can be a good thing.

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The patient’s condition is stable

Peter Tesei - far from the madding crowd

Greenwich’s data base is gone, gone, gone

The information had been stored on a hard drive that crashed Sunday, not an uncommon occurrence, but one that the town’s information technology director Boris, “Rasputin” Hutorin said was compounded by the simultaneous failure of a backup hard drive.

Hutorin said his staff in the IT office in the bowels of Town Hall has been working around the clock to try to mitigate the damage caused by the defective equipment.

“When things run good, people forget about our existence,” Hutorin said.

So where is Peter Tesei during this disaster? What steps has he taken to either find someone who knows about IT to replace Hutorin or send ol’ Boris back to computer 101 school? Not a peep from our leader.

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Is there really any question in anyone’s mind, except their own, that teacher tenure should be abolished?

Illiterates R us - look for, the union label

CALIFORNIA UNION TO PARENTS:  STOP VOLUNTEERING!

In Culver City, Calif., a local union wants to force unionization of — get this — parent volunteers at the local public schools. At several schools in the city, parents have banded together to form non-profit booster clubs to fundraise for and hire part-time teacher’s helpers, who also mostly come from the ranks of the parents themselves.

The local union — the Culver City Association of Classified Employees — is not OK with that kind of initiative. The union wants the parents to continue to fundraise, but to send the funds directly to the school district so the district can then hire union employees to fill the part-time positions. As the union’s scheme makes clear, the school district presently doesn’t have the money to hire anyone to fill the roles parents have voluntarily filled. The parent volunteers aren’t stealing existing jobs from union employees. . . .

If the union has its way, parents will have to raise even more funds to cover the additional costs of union dues, administrative overhead and higher union wages — but they’ll have no say over hiring, control, supervision or decision-making. What’s to incentivize the fundraising in that scenario? As likely as not, parents will just stop putting forth the effort to raise funds in the first place — and students will lose the benefit of the added help in the classroom.

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Obama is channeling Biden. See, I told you stupidity is contagious

Your limo's right over there behind that windmill

InstaPundit:

OBAMATEURISM:“We have subsidized oil companies for a century.  We want to encourage production of oil and gas, and make sure that wherever we’ve got American resources, we are tapping into them.  But they don’t need an additional incentive when gas is $3.75 a gallon, when oil is $1.20 a barrel, $1.25 a barrel.  They don’t need additional incentives.  They are doing fine.”

Ed Morrissey responds:  “First, oil is not $1.20 or $1.25 a barrel.  Today it was trading at $107 per barrel, or around 86 times what the President quoted here.  Besides, this is about as big a non-sequitur as one can possibly create on the cost of gasoline.  To the extent that this is coherent at all, it sounds as if Obama is claiming that the difference between the price of a gallon of gasoline and the price of a barrel of oil equals profit. That’s about as ignorant a claim on energy costs as I’ve ever heard.”  Good thing that dumb cowboy Bush isn’t President, or the media would be making a big deal about this.

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Hey, I know, let’s put on a photo-op!

Hussein frets that Americans outside academia don’t like him quashing oil production so he does something about it.

The president stages a photo-op in Oklahoma to take credit for the portion of the Keystone XL pipeline that doesn’t need his approval and for oil production on private and state lands beyond his jurisdiction.

If one of his aides some morning remarked on a particularly lovely sunrise, it wouldn’t surprise us if President Obama responded with a “thank you,” so gifted is he in taking credit for successes that he has nothing to do with and that occur despite, not because, of his policies.

So it will be Thursday, when Obama is scheduled to appear in Cushing, Okla., known as the pipeline capital of the world, to take credit for the southern half of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project announced weeks ago by TransCanada, the Keystone builder.

It’s the section that doesn’t need presidential or State Department approval since it does not cross an international boundary.

The part that does require State Department approval and a presidential blessing, and which holds as much as 24 billion barrels of oil, runs from the rich oil sands of Alberta, past the booming oil fields of the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota and down to Cushing. It is the portion Obama killed in January.

Obama’s base sees exactly what he’s up to, which is why they haven’t deserted him and nominated, say, Debbie Wsserman to replace him. And the Saudis are grateful too. Here’s hoping that the rest of America will grope through the protective fog thrown around this president by the media and see the same thing.

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Occupy Wall Street and its solidarity with the working man

Full employment (for others) brought to you by Occupy

Occupyers caught on video dumping barrel of human feces, urine down public stairway. Reached for comment, Greenwich’s Occupy spokesman, our own Dollar Bill, explained:

“It (the stairway) was in the Chase Building, so we were showing our contempt for capitalism, see, and bringing Wall Street to its knees. By the way, the guys who did this need jobs – five years out of college and they still ain’t president of some big company, or something. They deserve better because, because, well because!

Bill was a bit nonplussed to consider that it was a janitor, not the Chairman of Chase who would be cleaning up the stinking, hazardous waste. “Really? You sure about that? Sounds like some Fox propaganda to me. But,” he said, brightening, “we just raised the minimum wage for people like him so that’s cool, huh? Power to the people right on!”

UPDATE: One of the perps was Jordan Brooks Amos, of Philadelphia. Here’s his contact information:

Jordan Amos

(215) 242-2076

443 W Durham St

Philadelphia, PA 19119-2911

Age: 18-24
Associated: Carl B Amos

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And he doesn’t even have tenure

Second – year chemistry teacher at GHS gaining national attention with his invention of an iPhone app for students. He’ll probably go on to make a zillion dollars creating educational aps, find a floozy with big hair and flee to the Sierra Nevadas, but sounds like our high school and his students are lucky to have him while he’s here.  But my point is, does this sound like someone who’s going to need tenure to keep his job?

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