Daily Archives: March 28, 2013

Just making sure

 

Belt and suspenders, always

Belt and suspenders, always

Saudi Arabia beheads sodomite, then crucifies him. It’s a religion of (two) pieces.

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Spring madness

Midget Castle

Midget Castle

Brother Gideon picked up a sale I missed, 128 Riverside Avenue, that just closed for $105,000 more than its asked-for-price of $995,000. It’s a house in a good section of Riverside, I suppose, albeit a bit cramped and a difficult structure to expand.

UPDATE: On reflection, and after reading a comment below, I realize that I missed what this house sale really illustrates: not necessarily a hot market, although this market is indeed sizzling, in this price range, but two different phenomena, one uncommon, the other not.

The uncommon event is that “the right buyer” showed up. We realtors hate this phrase because it’s usually used by owners of overpriced homes when we’re arguing for a price reduction. “All it takes is one buyer”, they whine, and we point out that if the right buyer hasn’t shown up after a year, he never will – drop the goddamned price!

But that seems to be what happened here. This is a lovely house, perfect for one, maybe two people (and I said as much when I first reviewed it). That’s not the usual buyer in Riverside these days, but of course they exist. In fact, if I’d had the money I’d have been happy to buy it myself. I’m single, don’t need a lot of space and this is a great, convenient location.

The second, more common event, although one that still strikes me as odd, is the sudden appearance of two different buyers for a house that has sat on the market for months with no one interested in it at all. This happens all the time, much to the consternation of buyers and the delight of the seller. Its occurrence here was undoubtedly helped along by the fact that $995,000 was not at all a crazy price, and even $1.105, given recent sales in, say, Havemeyer, was still a relative bargain.

So hot market? Yes, but here, I think “the right buyer” scenario is a more accurate description.

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Keep him away from the bad influence of Democrats and Bob Horton makes sense

(a different) Robert Horton

(a different) Robert Horton

Bob looks at the next boondoggle forming over at the skool adminstration building, “digital learning” and doesn’t like what he sees.

Before the school board leads Greenwich Public Schools through a $20-million, multi-year “digital learning” initiative, one question needs to be answered: What will success look like?

If we cannot answer that question with specific goals and measurable outcomes, then the town is doomed to spending the money, declaring victory in five years, and moving on to the next initiative without really knowing what, if anything, was accomplished.

Consider how much the description of the digital learning program has changed since Schools Superintendent William McKersie floated the idea a few months ago.

….

The new, new plan has as its “leading purpose” to “advance the transformation of teaching and learning in the Greenwich Public Schools in order to accelerate the academic achievement and personal well-being of all our students.”

It’s tough to argue with improving student performance and well-being, but aren’t those the vague objectives of just about everything schools do?

But the plan does not even begin to answer how digital learning will accomplish the desired transformation. Nor does it really define the changes needed or explain just what a digital learning environment is. That is why we need a definition of success before this program begins.

The school board may find the program too ambitious to be governed by one plan or accomplished by one initiative. Instead of trying to boil the ocean, as one CEO I know once said, it should consider dividing the project into more manageable pieces.

One critical component that needs immediate work, according to a consultant’s report, is the GPS Internet access and hardware infrastructure. While digital learning may seem new, in truth many Greenwich teachers have used elements of it for some time. But they are greatly frustrated by the slow speed and unreliable internet access in school buildings, which is at its worst during peak usage times, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. That seems like an easily defined problem with an easily measured solution, and probably a good place to start our digital revolution.

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And global warming is just one manifestation

From InstaPundit:

QUESTION ASKED: “Why do the young vote for dependency—when the essence of youth is a quest for independence?”, Robert Tracinski asks at Real Clear Politics.

“The answer is dogma — a belief system that transcends reason,” Dennis Prager wrote last year, adding that “You cannot understand the Left if you do not understand that leftism is a religion. It is not God-based (some left-wing Christians’ and Jews’ claims notwithstanding), but otherwise it has every characteristic of a religion. The most blatant of those characteristics is dogma. People who believe in leftism have as many dogmas as the most fundamentalist Christian.”

Posted at 5:57 pm by Ed Driscoll 

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Or maybe Michelle will be a shoo-in

S&P hits all time peak, recovering all losses sustained since 2008. A harbinger of good time to come or a sell signal? I wouldn’t know, but I find it a bit curious that nothing that’s so worried Wall Street these past few years: record unemployment in Europe, the pending collapse of the Euro, etc., has improved. To the contrary, things have gotten worse. But heck, I’m no financial guru and I’d much rather sell houses in a boom rather than a bust: it’s easier.

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God save us from ambitious spouses of failed politicians

 

Proud to be an American

Proud to be an American

Michelle Obama in Chicago drumming up support for a senate campaign in 2016? My guess is that by then, four more years of her husband’s stewardship will leave her less of a chance of succession than Jeb Bush had in 2008. In which case, another recession will prove to be a bargain.

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Nothing much on the open house tour today

No soup for you, today

No soup for you, today

Between private school vacation, the Easter holiday (“even” the board is closing early, a nearly unprecedented event that we haven’t seen in at least 21 days) and whatever else may be going on (Passover? I can’t keep track) nothing worth going out to see. A couple of retreads, a new listing down in a hollow off Stanwich – tough sell – and a 1961 house listed as land as well as residential, asking $2.7 million. I believe, given its location, that’s overly ambitious and I’ll wait until next year to see it, when perhaps the owners will have gotten real.

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So who will our own sovereign nation turn to for its bailout?

 

Mashantucket "Indians" march for dimes

Mashantucket “Indians” march for dimes

Having burned through all their money, Connecticut’s two faux-Indian tribes turn to United States of America for handouts.

According to the Associated Press, the once billion-dollar Pequot casino empire has, in the past, distributed stipends of more than $100,000 annually to adult tribe members. Now, however, the Pequots join other gaming tribes, including nearby rival casino Mohegan Sun, in the pursuit of more federal aid. The pattern is getting the attention of those who opposed the law that allowed Indian tribes to develop casinos, since the law was promoted as one that would assist tribes in becoming financially self-reliant.

What can’t continue, won’t.

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