Monthly Archives: January 2013

Is there any facet of life too small for governmental interference?

She wants to mind your business

She wants to mind your business

Of course not, but here’s the “Fairness Act” that creates a federal right for an employee to discuss her salary with another employee. I thought that’s what water coolers were for.

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Attention builders – head for mid country!

This has been discussed before but I just went to do a very preliminary search for a client looking in about the $3-$4 range, with a preference for “newer” construction, more than an acre and in the North Street-to Round Hill – to Merritt Parkway zone. There.Is. Nothing.

Really – three houses built 2001 or later, none of which I’m wild about, and all away from the so-called golden triangle area.  And that’s it – even eliminating the built-by parameter there isn’t much but everything built in the past ten years has sold and, presumably because the crash cut off their credit, little has been built.

Builders have been rushing into Riverside to build $3.4 million homes but I’ve said before and I’ll say it again now, you guys are chasing yesterday’s news. You want to get ahead of the curve go buy some one and two acre lots and start building  $3.5 homes in the mid-country. Your competitors in Riverside will be sitting on unsold inventory while you’re signing contracts with buyers.

Which is bound to be an improvement over 2010.

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Depends how you see things

Half full or half empty, depending on what that clear liquid is

Half full or half empty, depending on what that clear liquid is

The Mickster, always a cheerful chap, writes that January has seen $300 million in “sales and accepted offers” and says that’s evidence that the market’s booming. Whatever

There were 80 single family homes that reported accepted offers this month, and their asking prices, and inventory left, breaks down as follows:

<$1 million: 20/44 (20 sold, 44 still to go)

$1-$1.5:  14/42

$1.5-$2: 13/55

$2-$3: 15/68

$3-$4: 5/58

$4-$5: 4/31

$5-$6: 2/28

$6-$7: 3/21

$7-$8: 3/12

$8-$9: 1/11

$9+ : 0/49

Make of that you will. Also note (a) asking isn’t getting, and (b) some of these sales reflect some serious markdowns. Mohawk Lane, for instance, reported as having an accepted offer, last listing price $5.450 million, sold new in 2008 for $7.5 million and has been up for sale since 2009, when it started at $7.850.

And finally, our inventory of 451 homes is a typically low January supply – the next three months or so usually sees another 150 new competitors. The good news for sellers with stale listings is that almost all these new listings will be way overpriced by agents eager to get the business and clueless owners, so yours won’t look quite so bad.

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Jon Corzine was busy in Washington and couldn’t be reached for comment

 

Yes we can and yes we did!

Yes we can and yes we did!

Russell Wasendorf, 65, sentenced to 50 year years for $216 million financial fraud that brought down the house of Peregrine.  Democrat and Obama fund bundler Corzine, who was responsible for the collapse of MF Global and the loss of $1.6 billion, continues on, untouched. Mr. Wasendorf obviously made a poor choice of friends.

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Okay, banning handguns didn’t work, what’s next? Ski masks worn by bandits!

It's lucky for you you're standing in a robbery-free zone, my friend. Otherwise ...

It’s lucky for you you’re standing in a robbery-free zone, my friend.

D.C., land of the strictest gun laws in the nation yet somehow  swamped with gangs of armed bandits (paging Fox Butterworth), moves to make wearing ski masks illegal.  Well sure, I get it – just about anyone will violate laws on owning guns or using one to commit robbery and mayhem, but would a criminal dare don a ski mask if it were forbidden by law? Not hardly, especially if the city also establishes “ski mask free” zones near schools and liquor stores. And banks, and homes and ….

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Off to open houses

Still not much – I’m growing increasingly convinced that people can’t afford to move.

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Somehow I don’t think she’ll grow up to be a Greenwich Magazine subscriber

girl-shooting-a-machine-gun-634x423

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January 31, 2013 · 9:11 am

A different philosophy in municipal spending

The "Cos Cobber" model

The “Cos Cobber” model

Our Irish correspondent who so far as we know has never set foot in Cos Cob nonetheless found this article and sends it along: Bozrah (it’s a town in Connecticut, apparently)  buys surplus truck from state for $900 and converts it to snowplow. Total cost, $28,000 vs. $150,000 new.

The town owns and maintains four large dump trucks for plowing and hauling. The vehicles require commercial licenses to drive, and cost in the range of $150,000 to $160,000 to buy new, Ballinger said.

“The town has never bought one of these things new, nor do we have any plans to do so in the future,” he said.

Besides being cost prohibitive, their use is limited mostly to winter plowing and some material hauling in the summer.

“Even if we could afford to buy new ones, that would not make sense economically,” he said.

Last fall, the town bought a used truck from the state that was in very good mechanical condition for $900. But it needed work on the frame, and the dump body needed replacing.

The town is using the mechanical skill of its public works employees to get the work done during regular work hours. Once complete, the replacement truck should last close to 10 years, Ballinger said.

Even with the purchase of a new dump body for $22,266, the cost of putting the vehicle into service will be less than $28,000, which is in line with what the town has paid for used vehicles, Ballinger said.

The work should be complete in several weeks.

The trucks have a limited life span because they operate in a very corrosive environment during the winter, causing rust and corrosion on top of wear and tear from plowing.

The economy has forced the town to use ingenuity and its own time and skills to find a solution.

I’m guessing Greenwich doesn’t do this.

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As a thinker, Greenwich Magazine’s Jack Moffly is a pretty good sailor

When dummies fall in love(Greenwich Look photo)

When dummies fall in love
(Fairfield County Look photo)

Abolish the NRA! Confiscate “assault rifles”. I’d expect better from Moffly who, unlike Barry Hussein really has gone a skeeting in the past, but there you have it: a man who considers himself part of the media establishment feels it necessary to editorialize like it too.

A ban on the sale of assault rifles and high- capacity clips [Ah, Jack? These are magazines, not clips.  I take back what I said about you  knowing something about guns - Ed] would not eliminate those already in circulation, and with the threat of new laws that might restrict their sale, both have recently been flying off dealers’ shelves. Therefore, their ownership, not just their sale, must be restricted by federal law, just as the manufacture and possession of submachine guns is restricted [completely prohibited, as Moffly should know and probably does - Ed] , for there is very little difference in killing capacity between the weapons.

The reader who sent along this link calls for Greenwich residents to cancel their subscriptions to Greenwich Magazine but at least in my case that would entail first subscribing to the fluff rag and then quitting – that’s a lot of work just to tell Moffly I’m displeased. Besides, why go to that bother when I can blog?

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If only OSHA didn’t require scissors to have blunt tips

Duck and Cower

Duck and Cower

Fresh from its triumph advising citizens to dress warmly in cold weather, our Department of Homeland Security is out with another means of defeating terror: if a madman shows up with a gun, hide under your desk, cower behind locked doors and attack with scissors. Anything but use a gun.

And that’s how governments want their sheeple: defenseless, afraid, and dependent on the same type of cops who sat at the end of Doctor Petit’s driveway for thirty minutes while the poor man’s wife and daughters were raped a final time and then burned alive.

No chile for you!

No chile for you!

In India, they’re passing out chile powder and 3″ knives to poor women so they can protect themselves against rapists. For those women able to afford it, however, buying guns and learning how to use them is an increasingly popular means of self-defense. The ladies don’t seem to share their government’s faith in the efficacy of chile dust. That’s an option our elected representatives want to eliminate here. But we’ll always have scissors, won’t we?

Not necessarily, and women might want to really be afraid, of rapists and their government alike. England, which forbids its citizens to own guns (or sharp scissors, come to think of it) has twice the number of rapes as the United States.

There are alternatives:

In Texas, a mother just shot a trio of home invaders as they were unrolling the duct tape to bind her. The mother and her six-year old child are fine, the would-be rapists are not.

And in Florida, a gun was used to drive off five home invaders. One attacker dead. Hey, five men, six shot magazine (Bloomberg wants three), who needs more, if you’re an expert shot and can remain ice-cold in emergencies?

Too bad that many states forbid their citizens to take their gun outside the home to practice with but this is America, where we’re not only born with an innate right of self defense but come from the womb clutching a flintlock that we know how to shoot. And if those genes passed us by, we can always throw a 16 oz soda can at the bad guys – except, of course, in New York City; there, you’ll have to call Mayor Bloomberg’s office and ask him to send over one of his own armed bodyguards.

But the narrative is set, the fix is in:

Poor old Gabby Giffords, paraded before the cameras yesterday to recite a speech “composed and in her own handwriting”, turns out to have been stumbling through a missive drafted by her speech therapist and written out – in long hand – so touching – by a staffer.

Neil Heslin (not) being heckled

Neil Heslin (not) being heckled

And for the third time in a year,NBC “News” (you in the back – stop laughing) is “investigating” how they could have edited a tape to create an entirely false story – this time, the supposed heckling of a Sandy Hook parent by gun owners. Like the doctored audio tape in the Zimmerman matter, this is an investigation that will last only until the heat is off, whereupon life at the networks will resume, and continue as before.

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Pelosi: you’ll have to pass it to see what’s in it

And then you’ll hate it. Unions, once enthusiastic backers of ObummerKare, no longer like what they see. Look to shed members with least seniority, dump them into general pool.

Union leaders say many of the law’s requirements will drive up the costs for their health-care plans and make unionized workers less competitive. Among other things, the law eliminates the caps on medical benefits and prescription drugs used as cost-containment measures in many health-care plans. It also allows children to stay on their parents’ plans until they turn 26.

Of course, Obamakare was never intended to work; it serves only to drive the wedge into the existing health care system  and when it proves a fiasco, as designed, advocates for a government-run system will drive that wedge home. All is proceeding as planned.

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Such a deal

12 Tyler Lane

12 Tyler Lane

12 Tyler Lane in Riverside has sold for $2,425,000. I liked this house very much inside, though the exterior was not to my taste (or my clients’ which is what’s relevant). No back yard, but it backs up to Eastern’s playing fields, it has a really appealing open floor plan and a good location on a dead end street. Owners paid $2.150 for it new in 2000 and did some work to it, so this price seems right.

23 Ridgeview

23 Ridgeview

I’ll reserve judgement on the price of a new listing at 23 Ridgeview, which came on today at $5.8 million. There has been just one sale on this street in the high $4s, so this will break that barrier, if it gets what it’s asking. Good looking house, the owners bought it new in 2005 for $4.2 million. I’m sure they don’t think this property in central Greenwich has appreciated $1.6 million since then so I assume there’s been a lot more money poured into it. Many buyers are nervous about buying the highest-priced home on any street, even this one, so I’ll be interested to watch how this progresses.

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For a culture that has yet to discover toilet paper, this is no surprise

 

Who would have guessed?

Who would have guessed?

Tallest building in Arab world shares a feature with its smaller kin: forgot the sewage system. The accumulated camel dung must be removed by truck, thousands of tons a day. “Oops! Well never mind; next year in Jerusalem” says the building’s chief architect Mufthafi Ahmed.

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Biggest boob in the universe explains everything: it’s all caused by climate warming

 

Do these ears make me look stupid?

Do these ears make me look stupid?

Christie Hefner, former Playmate in Chief and now director of leftist think tank, Center for American Progress, says Chicago’s murder rate is so high because global temperature’s heating up the streets. This is what passes for serious discussion among the intellectual elite of the climate warmists, because it’s all they have.

For the record, 4,200 + individuals, almost all young black men, have been murdered in Chicago since the start of the war in Afghanistan; that’s twice the number (2,100) of soldiers killed in that benighted, hot place during the same period. And unlike Chicago, the adversaries in Afghanistan use fully-automatic assault rifles.

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Hey, even the most depraved criminals are permitted to advocate for their own self interest

Leader of group calling for banning of semi-automatic weapons is a convicted rapist. “If I’m breaking into a house after midnight cause I got some lovin’ on my mind,” Jerome McCorry (might have) said, “I’ve got a right to know I’m safe. Let’s ban all these things, and let’s ban kitchen knives too!”

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At a low enough price, houses get interesting

I was prowling through tomorrow’s preliminary open house list (not much that’s promising, but it’s still early) and noticed two houses that seem to be approaching realistic pricing and maybe even bargain status, depending on where negotiations ended up.

43 Doubling Road

43 Doubling Road

43 Doubling Road was purchased for $5.125 million in 2008 and is now asking $4.5. Good looking house that might be affected by the sale of the house next door for $2.9 last month but this one is not that one, so perhaps an appraiser will not downgrade its price. Back lot, which works for me because it removes the house from traffic noise, which is always doubling around here. It would be cruel to mention an offer extended for this a couple of years ago, an offer that was rejected by the sellers as ridiculously low and unworthy of even a counteroffer. As is always the case, I’m sure they’d like to see that buyer come back.

19 Terrace Ave

19 Terrace Ave

19 Terrace Avenue in Riverside is proof that not everything has recovered over there, although I’m not sure why not in this house’s case, because it’s quite nice. Owners bought it for $2.8 million in 2005, renovated it and put it back up for sale in 2008 for $3.495 and it’s been on and off the market since. Current price is $2.6, which seems like a good deal, but I haven’t seen it in years. In fact, I forgot it was still on the market. No back yard that I recall but that may not be so – I’ll stop by tomorrow and refresh my memory. But $2.6? There aren’t many decent Riverside houses for sale right now in that price range.

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The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.

 

reality triumphs over illusion

reality triumphs over illusion

French businesses ordered to switch off their lights.

The French government has ordered shops and offices to turn off their lights at night in a desperate bid to save vital resources as the country struggles to prevent a looming financial crisis.

From July 1, all non-residential buildings will have to switch off interior lights one hour after the last worker leaves the premises while all exterior and shop window lighting must be turned off by 1 am.

The announcement follows an embarrassing incident for President Francois Hollande yesterday  when employment secretary Michel Sapin admitted the country was ‘totally bankrupt’.

And the bankers continue to believe in miracles, the little darlings.

 

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Limp dishrag

Can't I at least sniff your panties?

Can’t he at least sniff your panties?

Study: husbands who do housework don’t get laid. The science is settled.

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C’est l’hôpital qui se moque de la charité

Ah, la belle Paris! Shopping for prom night

Ah, la belle Paris! Shopping for prom night gas masks.

Smelly French family ordered to leave museum.

As the group browsed a room with paintings by Van Gogh, security guards told them they had to leave the building because people were “complaining about their smell”.

The worker with the Act for Dignity charity said: “I argued with the security man, telling him the family were all decent and properly dressed.

“Not a single other person had complained about us so I refute the idea that it was their smell.

“We moved on to another room, but we were again met by four museum guards who ordered us out of the building.”

How could any Frenchman possibly notice this particular odiferous bunch of sweat hogs?  I smell a rat.

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If this were England, he’d have been cautioned, then knighted by the queen

cover300014115Cops handcuff, grill seven-year-old over missing $5.

The money, which was supposed to be used for a school trip that never happened, had fallen on the ground in front of Wilson and two other boys, and one of them scooped it up.

Wilson was falsely accused of taking it, and he scuffled with one of the kids.

Officers showed up at PS X114 on Dec. 4 at about 10:20 a.m., and handcuffed and held Wilson in a room there for four hours. They then hauled him off to the 44th Precinct station house for another six hours of interrogation and verbal abuse, according to a $250 million claim against the city and the NYPD.

The boy protested his innocence, to no avail.

“Reyes was handcuffed and verbally, physically and emotionally abused, intimidated, humiliated, embarrassed and defamed,” the documents say. He was then charged with robbery.

The legal papers say another classmate later admitted the theft.

But law-enforcement sources insisted that Wilson was treated like any other young suspect.

“We responded to a 911 call of a robbery and assault . . . Eventually, [Wilson] was taken back to the precinct and placed in the juvenile room,” a source said.

“He was charged with robbery. The allegation was that he punched the kid and took his money. He took the money forcibly.

“The kid came into the precinct a little bit after 3 p.m., and he was out by 7:45 p.m. . . . That’s standard for a juvenile arrest.”

You don’t catch these thugs at seven, they’ll be drinking 16-oz soda pops by eight.

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