Monthly Archives: July 2013
Another round of food poisoning attributed to salad greens – 400 sickened, and counting. “Triple-washed”, “organic”, “never touched by Mexicans”, none of this matters: you eat contaminated greens (and meat) you’ll pay.
The FDA approved irradiation of bagged lettuce and other vegetables in 2008, but I’ve yet to see it in stores. That “Treated with Radiation” sticker scares off consumers, who prefer to get sick and die from fecal material. Doesn’t bother me: I douse all my greens with 100% DEET, light up a cigarette and have at it, but I do wonder at the scientific illiteracy of the population.
In Old Greenwich, $2,937,500. “First floor compliant with 2013 FEMA regs”, says the listing, so I guess the new owners don’t have to tear it down. Great views, busy road (just before Tod’s), 1/2 acre in the R-12 zone. So there’s some sort of comp, if you’re looking for one.
18 Welwyn Road (off Indian Head Road in Riverside) sold for $2,309,250 (a figure that suggests a certain tension in the negotiations, no?). A 1954 home that, when I saw it looked nothing like its pictures. My clients weren’t impressed, and we had it figured as a land sale, which made its asking price awfully high. But it’s on a half-acre and as understand that the buyers intend to rehabilitate the existing structure, so ….
320 Valley Road, Cos Cob, new construction asking $1.749, has an accepted offer. the pictures of the house look promising, so I understand the allure of this much new space for a relatively small number. It’s not where I’d want to live but I’m not proposing to live there, someone else is.
The Gateway Pundit adds this perspective:
For the record, a $15 an hour wage is more than local EMT workers, substitute teachers and correctional officers make in St. Louis.
Of course, those people all have some kind of education or skills, so they don’t qualify for government intervention; only the worthless.
36 Montgomery Lane, a bank owned property, sold for $2.825 million, which isn’t a bad deal. For the buyer, that is. Patriot Bank loaned $3.4 million on this project and presumably its builder put in some money of his own, so there was blood on the water when this closed.
21 Mackenzie Glen appears to have done much better, probably because it wasn’t a spec house. Owners paid $2.260 for it in 2007 but did an extensive renovation, so its asking price now of $3.1 million wasn’t ridiculous by any means and it went to accepted offer status after just 30 days. Today it’s reported as “executed contract”, meaning all inspections have been completed and mortgage and any other contingencies have been satisfied. One-and-a-half-acres, pool, quiet little dead end street, close to town: try finding that in Riverside for this price. And I’m not bad mouthing Riverside: as I’ve noted here many times, I grew there, raised my family there and am still there – I get it: but you get a lot more in mid-country.
67 Winding Lane also has an accepted offer, asking $2.995.
Jehovahs’ Witnesses seek to build their church on King Street. While I’m not especially moved by the Witnesses’ interpretation of the bible (or that of the Mormons, by the way, but that’s not my business), I’ve always been grateful to them for demanding that their right of free speech be recognized; some of the most important First Amendment cases came from the persecution of Witnesses during much of the last century. Our nation owes them a huge debt, even if some of us are annoyed to find them at our door on Sunday afternoons.
But that’s not my point. I’d like to know who gave the Greenwich Time reporter the following information: it probably didn’t come from the Witnesses themselves:
If the Jehovah’s Witnesses can gain Planning and Zoning’s approval, the subsequent construction will be a far cry from the land’s agrarian roots. The plan calls for three buildings, two sizeable congregational buildings and an 800-square-foot, cottage-style home for an on-site minister. To accommodate worshippers for meetings, the congregation plans to vastly expand current available parking, adding over 140 spaces and replacing farmland with more than 2 acres of impervious surfaces. [emphasis added]
First of all, since all of Greenwich has “agrarian roots” that were dug up (covered over, actually) by residential development at an accelerating pace since WWII, the attachment to this particular scrap of land seems suspect, and the Greenwich Time’s editorialization hypocritical. And who performed that calculation on lot coverage and “impervious surfaces”? That number might be found, I suppose, in the church’s application to the P&Z: my guess is that the town’s P&Z staff came up with it and passed it on the reporter.
We’ll see. Before I discovered the fun and profit in chasing stock brokers, I spend a fair amount of my career using land use laws to my clients’ advantage, and having seen the leverage it gives in opposing or promoting a particular project, I have a jaded view of the process and the motives of those employing it. As an aside, I’ll point out that those currently opposing the Cos Cob synagogue have repeatedly suggested King Street’s northern reaches as a more suitable location for a church – thats where the Witnesses want to build.
Described as “The Worst Carmen Ever”, this Swedish production lives up to its billing. Without further ado, we present “Carmen”, courtesy of Swedish taxpayers (with, probably, an assist from the European Union). We treat our prisoners at Gitmo better.
Fifty Shades of Grey, the salacious best-selling E. L. James novel often referred to as “Mommy Porn,” is the most popular reading material among Guantanamo detainees in the secretive Camp Seven, Rep. Jim Moran learned last week.
“Rather than the Quran, the book that is requested most by the [high-value detainees] is Fifty Shades of Grey. They’ve read the entire series in English, but we were willing to translate it,” the Virginia Democrat, who advocates for closing Guantanamo, told the Huffington Post. “I guess there’s not much going on, these guys are going nowhere, so what the hell.”
Maybe we should just speed up their journey to the 72 virgins awaiting them in paradise; all that pud-tugging can’t be good for their souls.
Certain black politicians are pressing Obama to name Rep. Shirley Jackson Lee our next head of Homeland Security. Ms. Lee’s qualifications for the position seem to be that she is both black and a female, so I guess that sews it up.
I was curious who this lady is, and found a number of interesting articles, such as this one, from the Daily Caller, “Congressional Bosses from Hell”.
Capitol Hill is famous for its demanding, insensitive bosses. Yet even by the harsh standards of Congress, Sheila Jackson Lee stands out. She may be the worst boss in Washington. “It’s like being an Iraq War veteran,” says someone who worked for her. Strangers may say, “‘oh I know what you’ve been through.’ No, you really don’t. Because until you’ve experienced it…. People don’t tell the worst of the stories, because they’re really unbelievable.”
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas also hands out nicknames to the people who work for her. The Houston Democrat addressed one of her employees as “you stupid motherfucker.” And not just once, but “constantly,” recalls the staffer, “like, all the time.”
Another Jackson Lee aide recounts the time her parents came to Washington to visit: “They were really excited to come to the congressional office. They’re small town people, so for them it was a huge deal. They were actually sitting in the main lobby waiting area….[Jackson Lee] came out screaming at me over a scheduling change. Called me a ‘stupid idiot. Don’t be a moron, you foolish girl’ and actually did this in front of my parents, of all things.”
Of course, there’s more – there’s always more. The Examiner asked, seriously, whether she was the stupidest member of Congress. That’s a tough hurdle, but she’s certainly in the running.
On a visit to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2005, Rep. Lee made embarrassing news by asking if the Mars Pathfinder had taken an image of the flag planted there in 1969 by Neil Armstrong. She has also urged better relations between the U.S. and Venezuela, which she describes as a friendly nation. She said the U.S. should reconsider its ban on selling F-16 fighter jets and spare parts to that country.
This week, Rep. Lee gave a speech at the NAACP convention, and told an enthusiastic crowd that the Tea Party participants were nothing more than Ku Klux Klan members without their robes:
All those who wore sheets a long time ago have now lifted them off and started wearing [applause], uh, clothing, uh, with a name, say, I am part of the tea party. Don’t you be fooled. [voices: “That’s right.”, applause] Those who used to wear sheets are now being able to walk down the aisle and speak as a patriot because you will not speak loudly about the lack of integrity of this movement. Don’t let anybody tell you that those who spit on us as we were walking to vote on a health care bill for all of America or those who said Congresswoman Jackson-Lee’s braids were too tight in her hair had anything to do with justice and equality and empowerment of the American people. Don’t let them fool you on that [applause]….
Certainly the folks in Houston thought they were getting an intelligent, educated representative, when they elected Lee to follow in the footsteps of Rep. Barbara Jordan. Lee obtained a B.A. in political science from Yale University in 1972, followed by a J.D. from the University of Virginia Law School in 1975*. Jackson Lee moved to Houston after her husband, Dr. Elwyn C. Lee, took a job at the University of Houston. Her husband now Vice President of the University of Houston. With her Polysci degree from Yale, you’d think she would know that the K.K.K was founded bysouthern Democrats.
* This is the trouble with affirmative action: black idiots with a pedigree from good schools tarnish the accomplishments of their betters.
557 Round Hill Road, started at $4.1 million back when the world was young, sold for $3.275.
28 Stag Lane, not a bad house but in a very bad location, sold for $2.6 million which, location or not, isn’t at all a bad price for this much house. Built by (the good) Rick Harris, who sold it new in 2007 for $4.250 million, and lucky Rick: the bank that took it in foreclosure from that buyer didn’t fare as well.
11 Macarthur Drive sold for $930,000. The sellers paid $750,000 for it a year ago, put in central air, new appliances and a paint job then flipped it. Maybe not a home run, but better than the going rate on CDs.
Housecat sent this along: Congressmen and their staffers must buy ObamaKare. They aren’t happy.
7 Binney Lane, Old Greenwich, has taken another price cut and is now asking $4.195 million. That’s pricey, certainly, but far better than the $5.995 it looked for in 2009, and less than the owner paid for it new in 2007, $4.950 (using a $5 million mortgage, oh weren’t those the days). After purchase, they added a pool and a lot of other extras, so there’s some real money in here. Excellent location, 1/2 acre, large for this part of Old Greenwich, and a good looking house. As I said, it’s looking better all the time.
The doomists keep wailing, the scientists and entrepreneurs keep discovering new methods to power the world’s economy. But the battle isn’t about “energy independence” or running out of scare resources, it’s about political power: the progressives want it.
Here’s a thought experiment: Given the billions being spent by oil companies to find and develop new sources and forms of energy, is it likely that they’re holding off developing wind and solar energy because of greed, rather than technological barriers? The greeniots say yes but as always, they have neither logic nor reason to support them.
Scientists in Japan and the U.S. say they are moving closer to tapping a new source of energy: methane hydrate, a crystalline form of natural gas found in Arctic permafrost and at the bottom of oceans.
At room temperature the crystal gives off intense heat, earning it the nickname of “fire in ice,” and making the estimated 700,000 trillion cubic feet of the substance scattered around the world a potentially major fuel source, containing more energy than all previously discovered oil and gas combined, according to researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey.
Successful development of methane hydrates could throw a wrench into liquefied-natural-gas megaprojects such as Australia’s $50 billion Gorgon development led by Chevron Corp., experts say.
“It would make me have pause about investing billions of dollars in an LNG export terminal,” said Christopher Knittel, an energy economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.
Not all observers think that the costs can come down enough to make methane hydrate viable. But plenty of countries, particularly in Asia, are planning to try.
China plans to host an international conference on methane hydrate in 2014.
India is contemplating a push to develop the vast quantities of methane hydrate discovered off its coast in the Indian Ocean in 2006, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, a part of the U.S. Department of Interior that conducts scientific research.
In the U.S., scientists explored the northern Gulf of Mexico in May to map some of the 6.7 quadrillion cubic feet of methane-hydrate clusters believed to be underwater there. The Consortium for Ocean Leadership, a nonprofit group of researchers, is now trying to convince the Department of Energy to lend it a research drilling ship to do more tests.
“There are a huge amount of people internationally working in this area,” said Carolyn Ruppel, head of the gas hydrates project at the USGS. “A lot of national governments have gotten into the game.”
12 Linwood, a building lot in Riverside, was priced at $679,000 and sold for $756,000. Brother gideon’s listing, who pointed out to me years ago that in Greenwich, it’s impossible to underprice a property because there’s always a demand and if the price is right, that demand will materialize in the form of multiple bidders. Overpricing is quite a different story.
104 Old Stone Bridge has an accepted offer. Owner asked $1.845 million which was a bit steep, I thought, but he got it, so someone disagreed with my assessment.
And 496 Valley Road, $1.525 million also has a buyer. I liked this house very much and thought that it was fairly priced. Too bad my own clients (and I showed it to at least three different couples) disagreed.
Members of the tribe participating in the Unity Ride — a trip of healing and education — will visit and ride in Newtown, Danbury, and with luck Washington, Conn., in early August.
They’ll continue on to the United Nations before completing their journey in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 17.
The core of their ride is down through New York state and the Hudson River Valley.
The Rev. John Nelson, of Woodstock, N.Y., who is acting as a liaison for the Sioux riders, said the main purpose of the trip is “a healing journey for all who take part in it.”
That healing includes attention to and reverence for the environment, Nelson said.
“Their values include protecting land and water and all the natural world.”
In Newtown on Aug. 6, their message of healing will include presenting the town with 26 ribbons they will have carried with them, said Bob Young, president of the board of directors of the Danbury Museum andHistorical Society.
Each ribbon represents one of the people killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December.
“All of us need healing,” he said.
I read the first part of this story thinking, “if you wanna go on a horse trip, why don’t you just do it, and leave the horse shit behind”, so to speak, but then I got to the part where they bring the school kid massacre into it – oh, come on: no group in our nation’s history terrified children more than the Indians, who’d come down from Canada to kill their fathers, rape their mothers and drag the children – those they didn’t bash to death against trees- back across the border. If they’ve come to say they’re sorry, fine; apology accepted, now go back home. But to attach themselves, lampray like, to a recent tragedy just to glean a little publicity is disgusting; Al Sharpton on horseback.
Striking fast food workers demand that their pay be doubled, but to what effect?
The robots were already preparing to replace these unskilled people; doubling wages will only hasten the transformation. And what will liberal arts graduates do then?
No longer will they say, “He’s going to end up flipping burgers.” Because now, robots are taking even these ignobly esteemed jobs. Alpha machine from Momentum Machines cooks up a tasty burger with all the fixins. And it does it with such quality and efficiency it’ll produce “gourmet quality burgers at fast food prices.”
With a conveyor belt-type system the burgers are freshly ground, shaped and grilled to the customer’s liking. And only when the burger’s finished cooking does Alpha slice the tomatoes and pickles and place them on the burger as fresh as can be. Finally, the machine wraps the burger up for serving.
And while you fret over how many people you invited to the barbecue, Alpha churns out a painless 360 hamburgers per hour.
San Francisco-based Momentum Machines claim that using Alpha will save a restaurant enough money that it pays for itself in a year, and it enables the restaurant to spend about twice as much on ingredients as they normally would – so they can buy the gourmet stuff. Saving money with Alpha is pretty easy to imagine. You don’t even need cashiers or servers. Customers could just punch in their order, pay, and wait at a dispensing window.