Daily Archives: June 13, 2013

Scandal(s) got you down? How about we start a little war?

Obama declares war on Syria. While many pundits questioned both the timing and the wisdom of this decision, Greenwich Democrat spokespeople Bill Gaston was relieved. “Bush got us into Syria,” he told FWIW, “it will take a great leader like President Obama to end it – I am so very proud.”

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These are the leaders of the Free World – think about that one

Does this statement make me look dumb?

Does this statement make me look dumb?

Senator Mary Landrieu, D. LA, dismisses border fence as a dumb idea, pointing out that its proponent is from South Dakota, which ” just borders Canada”.

Miss Landrieu, who never worked a day in her life but went straight into politics at 23, has achieved her success by dint of a keen intelligence and sheer hard work, and made it to the top despite her father Moon being the former mayor of New Orleans and her brother Mitch being the current one.

She sits on the Senate Appropriations and Homeland Security committees, so you can be assured that your money and your children’s lives are in the very best of hands.

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Drip, drip, drip

Salvatore DaliYet another price cut for 30 Husted Lane today, dropping (almost) a million from $10.950 to $9.975. That’s a large number, admittedly, and the new price is considerably better than the $18 million originally asked (but not by me) in 2011, but unless someone falls in love with this house, and no one has in three years, it looks like land value only. So what’s five acres worth on a location close to town, on a great road and a pretty setting? $5 million? Tune in in 2015 and find out.

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For this, we could have a new weather satellite

"Couldn't you just stay there and send me fifty bucks?" George Omyango Obama waits dispiritedly for his brother to come home

“Couldn’t you just stay there and send me fifty bucks?” George Omyango Obama waits dispiritedly for his brother to come home

New Normal sends along this cheerful piece of news: Obama and family will visit his birthplace this summer at a cost to us of $60-$100 million. Of course once they return, exhausted, they’ll all have to head off to the Vineyard for three weeks to relax.

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Can’t miss this

Greenwich Realtors redistrict Superintendent McKerskie

Greenwich Realtors redistrict Superintendent McKersie

REALTORS’ Meeting with the Board of Education 

Join Superintendent Dr. McKersie, and Chair of the Board of Education, Leslie Moriarty for a special meeting solely for REALTORS to discuss the options the Board of Education is evaluating to deal with the facility utilization and racial imbalance issues of the Greenwich Public Schools.

Monday, June 17th
11am – Noon
Greenwich Town Hall

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NoPo’s high, dry, and hot

3 elizabeth3 Elizabeth Lane, built this year, sells for $1.850 million. In a display of great timing, the builder paid $590,000 for the land in early 2012 and sold at full price now. That’s a tidy profit.

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Accepted offer in OG’s flood zone

FEMA compliant, as determined by Greenwich P&Z

FEMA compliant, as determined by Greenwich P&Z

23 Shore Acre Drive, $1.599 ask, reports an accepted offer. The house couldn’t sell at $1.799 earlier this year (or $1.949 in 2011), so the owners dropped the price $200,000 to reflect the cost of raising it when next month’s flood requirements wash across this portion of town. Makes sense, I suppose, but I personally don’t look forward to seeing this entire neighborhood on stilts. And will happy grocery shoppers still be happy when they have to shlep Costco-sized bottles of Tide up fifteen feet of stairs? Guess we’ll see.

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IRS SWAT team – why?

Got your quarterly estimate filed?

Got your quarterly estimate filed?

Training with assault rifles. The IRS?   The government’s been buying billions of rounds of hollow-point ammunition (under applicable international treaties, good for domestic use only) for its Homeland Security branches, now the IRS is forming SWAT teams? Something’s happening here ….

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We are rapidly losing the ability to govern ourselves

Senate forces NASA to abandon new weather satellite system. And NASA’s “leadership” is no better. This comes on the heels of the failure of two current weather satellites, both of which were predicted a decade ago but no funding was ever allocated for their repair. We’ll spend billions on airport groupers to ostensibly make us safer and let hurricanes and tornados slam into us with no warning Only in D.C. could this make sense.

So what’s the cost of COSMIC-2? It’s estimated 10-year cost is $420 million, of which Taiwan would pay half. But even that’s misleading, says Cliff Mass, a University of Washington meteorologist.

The really silly thing is that Taiwan will pay for half of it, and the Air Force a quarter.  So their contribution is HUGELY leveraged.  The system is proven.  And an expanded COSMIC network could greatly mitigate the loss of a polar orbiter.  Any rational decision-maker would RUN to make this happen.  But not NOAA management … very dysfunctional.

Whether NOAA’s administration is dysfunctional or not, the agency is also constrained by politics. Politico reported:

Last month NOAA proposed to use an estimated $13.7 million from monies appropriated for improved forecasting after Hurricane Sandy devastated New York and New Jersey last year. But this ran into resistance from the Senate Appropriations Committee leadership, and now a second NOAA effort to scrape together about $1.5 million to begin data processing work this year appears to have been lost as well to avoid any furloughs.

Mass noted that after the Moore tragedy NOAA canceled furloughs for all of its employees, when they could have simply cancelled the furloughs for the NWS forecasters, which would have saved most of the money.

A forecaster within NOAA, himself subject to a furlough, called the decision to delay participation in COSMIC-2, which might ultimately lead to its cancellation, a “major mistake.”

“Losing the second generation of that satellite is very dumb,” he said. “You have to improve both the analysis component and computer abilities to make better forecasts. No COSMIC-2 potentially hurts all global models .”

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Heck of a price drop

1 North Street

1 North Street

One North Street (the Cos Cob North Street, off Valley, across from the water filter plant) took a price cut today from $775,000 to $630,000. This a nifty little street and the houses on it were, I believe, built for the middle-level managers of what was once a factory across the street in the late 1800s – early 1900s. A steep hill, with modest back yards, but loaded with charm. And $630,000 is a bargain, even without a garage. These owners paid $880,000 for it in 2008.

Into the wilderness

Into the wilderness

And up on the other North Street in Greenwich proper, 600 North is new today, offering either a variety of four two-acre wooded lots ranging from $1.789 to $1.999 million, or all nine acres @$7,796: no volume discount (yet). The listing says that wetlands approval has been obtained, so I assume that somewhere in this woodland a swamp lies waiting – certainly the Merritt Parkway does, but that’s pretty far away (the listing map shows the land on the west side of North Street but I’m pretty sure even numbers on North are on the eastern, highway side of the road). Two million for a building lot isn’t unreasonable at this location, but don’t forget you’ll be spending hundreds of thousands on site preparation, architectural and legal fees, so be prepared.

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