Daily Archives: August 7, 2013

Chris R resurrects a goodie

This was posted here last year, but it’s always time for a classic.

 

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Sad ending for Nina

Happier days

Happier days

The search for the 1928 schooner Nina, which I noted here last June, was called off early last July and it’s presumed that she went down with all hands. A sad ending for a fabled ship and a tragedy for the people who drowned, including the seventeen-year-old son of the owners. But in looking up the status of the search for Nina, I came across this critical assessment from someone who sounds experienced enough to know what he’s talking about: the ship was doomed before it left shore.

Nina, the 85-year-old American schooner presumed sunk in the Tasman with seven aboard, was unseaworthy and sailed by a traditionalist skipper who refused to have “gadgets” aboard, experts familiar with the boat say.

It had no long-range (SSB) radio and it appears its emergency locator beacon (Epirb) was not switched on.

The 21-metre Nina had not been out of the water for three years and, while it was moored in Whangarei, experts had noted that its hull had warped. It would have failed the standard “Cat-1” inspection Maritime New Zealand imposes on all locally flagged vessels leaving, lifelong blue-water sailor Russ Rimmington said.

He said it was known in sailing circles that while Nina looked good above the waterline, it had become hogged, meaning the hull of the boat bends upward. “It is a tragedy. People should learn from this. The vessel was not seaworthy,” he said.

If Nina had been overturned it would not have floated because it had about 10 tonnes of metal weight on its keel, said Rimmington, a former Hamilton mayor. “Nina was a lead mine – it would have gone straight down.”

The Rescue Co-ordination Centre (RCC) formally ended the search for the boat yesterday.

Of course even tragedy can offer the solace of a bit of good irony, and that can be found here:

“Also aboard was Matthew Wootton, 35. A leader of the British Greens, he refused, on environmental grounds, to fly.”

If Mr. Wooten had insisted on having an EPIRB aboard, the search planes could have saved a lot of fuel looking for him. Enough, in fact, to have flown Wooten and the rest of the crew to Australia and back many times. So it goes.

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Geography are hard

My president says he was born right here, in Kenya

My president says he was born right here in the 57th state, in Kenya

Obama vows to deepen our “Gulf of Atlantic” ports . 

THE PRESIDENT:  [You know], the Panama [Canal] is being widened so that these big supertankers can come in.  Now, that will be finished in 2015.  If we don’t deepen our ports all along the Gulf — places like Charleston, South Carolina, or Savannah, Georgia, or Jacksonville, Florida — if we don’t do that, those ships are going to go someplace else.  And we’ll lose jobs.  Businesses won’t locate here.

In the past two days our leader has channeled Sarah Palin by, yesterday, calling for abolishing Fannie Mae and now demonstrating a keen grasp of geography. Will the media ridicule him for this as it did Palin? Don’t hold your breath.

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I don’t think so

Cos Cob bungalow, $975,000

Cos Cob bungalow, $975,000

Received an inquiry from an LA casting director, looking for house-hunting couples to sign up for one of those reality shows in exchange for infamy and some amount of financial compensation. I rather doubt any of my clients would be interested, but before I inquired of them I thought I’d clarify the house search parameters the show’s producers set: “$300,000 to $600,000”. I’ve written back, suggesting that they add zeros to that number set or plan on following people around as they look for pool cabanas.

I’ll let you know their response.

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Sale prices reported

Four sales, one accepted offer.

12 Meadowcroft

12 Meadowcroft

12 Meadowcroft has sold for $9.850 million, down a bit from its 2011 ask of $12.850 but considering its builder paid $3.625 for its 2-acre lot in late October, 2010, there’s plenty of margin here to compensate for the long wait trying to get rid of it. By Steve Mariani, who has made Meadowcroft what it is today.

2 Horseshoe

2 Horseshoe

2 Horseshoe, off Cognewaugh, sold for $1.275 million, not quite its asking price of $1.385 but well within where I think most of us guessed it would sell. Nice house.

21 Mackenzie Glen

21 Mackenzie Glen

21 Mackenzie Place, off North, $2.9 million. Meh.

22 Shady Brook

22 Shady Brook

22 Shady Brook, Old Greenwich, $1.675. My reaction is somewhere between “meh” and “wow, really?!”. Good neighborhood, and I suppose this price is what you should expect to pay to get into it.

6 Lake Drive (Raveis has apparently quit bothering with interior pictures for Riverside homes)

6 Lake Drive (Raveis has apparently quit bothering with interior pictures for Riverside homes or even taking new ones)

And over in Riverside 6 Lake Drive South reports an accepted offer, $2.495. It tried $2.650 in 2007, came back for a year in 2009 at $2.495 without success and then returned just last month and in this market, sold immediately. I’m no longer surprised by any Riverside price.

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Hard to see how Obumpski gets out of this one regardless of outcome

So Al Qaeda's really going to come out punching, eh?

So Al Qaeda’s really going to come out punching, eh?

Shuts down a swath of US embassies stretching 6,700 miles across the Middle East, Africa and India, then acts as though nothing’s wrong. Which is it, imminent threat, or a perfect time to jet to California at the taxpayers expense to do the Tonight Show and get in a little more golf as a warmup for the Vineyard? If it all blows up, he’ll look like the dilettante that he is, fiddling at the 19th hole while Cairo burns, and if nothing happens he’ll look like the dilettante he is, rushing around flapping his arms about nothing.

The paradox is dizzying: The new “on its heels” al-Qaida, whose charismatic leader “Osama bin Laden is no more,” as Obama boasted during last year’s campaign, may no longer be as centralized, and CIA director John O. Brennan may claim al-Qaida has its eyes on regional preoccupations rather than on attacking us.

Yet this supposedly weakened “network of local-actor organizations,” as German Marshall Fund analyst Hassan Mneimneh described it to USA Today, has managed to shut down U.S. diplomatic facilities indefinitely in a strategically vital region stretching 6,700 miles by 1,700 miles, as the State Department frightens thousands of Americans out of traveling.

Who is really “on its heels” or “on the run,” to use the president’s campaign rhetoric last year — the terrorists or the U.S.?

American Enterprise Institute scholar Frederick Kagan, a key architect of George W. Bush’s successful “surge” in Iraq, testified to Congress last month that “al-Qaida affiliates in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and West Africa have dramatically expanded their operating areas and capabilities since 2009 and appear poised to continue that expansion.”

The Obama administration’s near-frenzied response … suggests it believes neocon hawks like Kagan’s assessment of the state of al-Qaida more than its own.

Other Middle East experts are baffled.

If ordinary Americans are confused, they’re in good company. Analysts who’ve devoted their careers to studying al Qaida and U.S. counterterrorism strategy can’t really make sense of it, either. There’s general agreement that the diffuse list of potential targets has to do with either specific connections authorities are tracking, or places that might lack the defenses to ward off an attack. Beyond that, however, even the experts are stumped.

Take this sampling of reactions from prominent al Qaida observers:

“It’s crazy pants – you can quote me,” said Will McCants, a former State Department adviser on counterterrorism who this month joins the Brookings Saban Center as the director of its project on U.S. relations with the Islamic world.

“We just showed our hand, so now they’re obviously going to change their position on when and where” to attack, said Nada Bakos, a former CIA analyst who was part of the team that hunted Osama bin Laden for years.

“It’s not completely random, but most people are, like, ‘Whaaat?’ ” said Aaron Zelin, who researches militants for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and blogs about them at Jihadology.net

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Price war in Cos Cob!

57 Gregory Road

57 Gregory Road

57 Gregory Road, asking $890,000, sold for $905,000. And to think I scoffed when Obama said illegal immigrants would boost property prices.

Over by the Merritt Parkway 7 Wyckham Hill Lane has come on the market at $12.950 million. Place your bets here for when it will sell and for how much. Just to start the game, I’ll suggest 2015, $5.795, but I’m always an optimist in these matters; it’s my sunny disposition, I suppose.

(UPDATE: In fairness, I can see where this price came from – 11 Skyridge sold for $13 million in the past year and the two homes look to be roughly comparable in size and quality. To my mind, and previous house sales support my opinion,Wykham Hill is no Skyridge, but I’m sure this owner would disagree).

7 Wyckham Hill Lane

7 Wyckham Hill Lane

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How much of the financial situation of a landlord must his agent disclose?

634 North Street

634 North Street

Yesterday’s open house for 634 North Street, that house bracketed side and rear by the Merritt Parkway and now seeking $24,500 per month rent, set me pondering this, because the place is mired in litigation and, sooner or later, is going to end up in its lender’s possession. What happens to the tenant then?

The owner of this structure, Richard Caires, paid $1.4 million for the land it sits on back in 2006, a purchase entirely financed by Washington Mutual- now defunct, and we all wonder why-$1 million first, $280,000 second. It was refinanced in 2007 to the tune of $5.5 million (WTF!?), and when Caires couldn’t sell this spec he filed a preemptive lawsuit against WaMu’s successor, JP Morgan Chase alleging, basically, that WaMu should have known better than to lend him money.

That case has been kicking around since 2009, with every imaginable pleading tossed about, and just last week Caire’s attorneys claimed it for a jury trial, thus ensuring another four-year delay. That all bodes well for someone who might rent this property, but what happens if the case is speeded up or, God forbid, moves toward settlement?

A valid lease should be proof against eviction, but there might be appraisers demanding access, foreclosure committees and bank representatives crawling down the chimney and who knows? I think if I were a tenant I’d want to know about all this, but I’m not sure the owner’s representative has an obligation to disclose it. The renter’s agent should probably do that investigation but to be honest few agents. including myself, check the financial situation of a rental property unless something or someone tips us off.

Consider this a tipoff.

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For this I should sacrifice my children’s welfare? My retirement savings? My golf vacation with Barry?

♬ I put a hex on you ...

♬ I put a spell on you …

Haitian woman in Cadillac, charged with DUI after forcing truck off a 40-foot-high overpass, has three EBT welfare cards in possession, tells arresting officer he’s “a dumb f ” for paying for food when she gets it free and threatens to “voodoo your white ass”.

A Cadillac-driving OUI suspect — charged with running a Boston Globe delivery truck off Interstate 93 and onto the Leverett Connector — was carrying three EBT cards, mocked a cop “for paying for food when she gets it for free” and threatened to put a voodoo curse on him, according to a police report.

“I questioned her as to why she had other peoples (sic) EBT cards and she 
began screaming that I was a ‘dumb (expletive)’ for paying for food when she gets it for free,” trooper William Koko­cinski wrote of Vivencia 
Bellegarde, 25, of Everett, noting she had her own electronic benefits transfer card and also the cards of two other people.

“She repeatedly called me a racist and told me she was from Haiti and she was gonna ‘put voodoo on my white (expletive),’” Kokocinski wrote. “(She) told me to Google her name and find out who I was ‘(expletive) with’. She further explained that her name translated means ‘give life take life’ and she emphasized ‘TAKE LIFE’. She then shouted that she was ‘coming for all you white (expletives).’”

Bellegarde, who is listed as unemployed in court 
papers, is being held on $10,000 bail on charges of drunken driving causing serious injury. Surveillance video of the 3:13 a.m. Monday crash shows a car slamming into the Globe truck, forcing it off the roadway and into a frightening 40-foot free fall. The truck came apart on impact with the Leverett Connector 
on-ramp below.

Bellegarde told cops she’d left a party prior to the crash, and “didn’t care about the guy she hit because he isn’t dead and that all she cares about is smoking a cigarette,” the report says. Her mood fluctuated greatly during booking, the report says, and at one point she began crying about her 5-year-old child.

Bellegarde’s driving record
includes 10 suspensions, many for failing to pay citations. Last year, her license was suspended for 30 days in connection with a first-offense drunken-driving charge in Lincoln from September 2011. Her license will be suspended for three years because she refused a Breathalyzer test in Monday’s crash, according to the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Vivencia 
Bellegarde is exactly the type of human being that liberals feel justified in forcing me to support. I should do without, my children should incur student loan debts so that my money can keep this woman in Cadillacs, cigarettes and booze and permit her to breed the next generation of moochers? Call me just a tad callous, but I couldn’t care less whether this woman lives or dies, and I decline to accept a moral code that imposes any such obligation.

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The only place he IS welcome is Russia, but he won’t go there

FOO (Friend of Obama) house where he'll be staying the next two weeks. Chilmark, MV

FOO (Friend of Obama) house where he’ll be staying the next two weeks. Chilmark, MV

Martha’s Vineyard residents think our Golfer in Chief “needs to find another place to go. He treats people here terribly.”

If the adoring White House scribes (that would be mainstream media “reporters”) could step outside their appointed role of Obama apologists, they might see the irony of a president who has campaigned twice against “the 1%”, and demanded that the rich “pay their fair share”  spending an inordinate amount of time vacationing and schmoozing with those very people and spending taxpayer money as though it were his and he was wealthy. Ski vacations to Aspen twice a winter, with separate flights for Mama and the girls, Christmases in Hawaii, Michelle and the kids and two dozen friends on a junket to the Costa del Sol, African safaris, Florida golf weekends with Tiger Woods, Martha’s Vineyard vacations and, always, golf (when on the Vineyard, Barry prefers the private course at Edgartown). Obama and his family make the greediest capitalist look like St. Francis of Assisi.

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Real estate news

Sale, accepted offer.

11 Owenoke Way

11 Owenoke Way

11 Owenoke Way, Riverside, asked $3.450 million, got $3.350 in mere days.

15 Sylvan Lane

15 Sylvan Lane

15 Sylvan Lane, Old Greenwich, priced at $2.790, has an accepted offer. It sold for $2.240 in September, 2010.

Owenoke last sold for $2.195 in 2006, and was extensively renovated; Sylvan, not at all. In either event, these two neighborhoods have moved into an entirely new level of affordability for those seeking to live here.

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Finally, Ramadamadingdong Tamm’s qualifications to sit on the Board of Education are revealed

“Samarpana is a former Montessori teacher and one of our Early Childhood Specialists. She conducts Giggles & Rhymes and can help anyone navigate our Picture Book collection!”

Hmm: A cult follower, Greenwich Academy parent, former private school employee and master of giggles and rhymes. Discussing her appointment to the BOE, Democrat Chairman Francis Fudrucker admitted that “we can’t do any better” – that’s a sad commentary on the state of his party.

Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 6.22.44 AM

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Illegal immigration – is there anything it can’t do?

Put 15 fruit pickers in here at $900 per, imagine what this'll be worth!

Put 15 fruit pickers in here at $900 per, imagine what this’ll be worth!

Just a week after promising that opening our borders would send our economy soaring, the Golfer in Chief  promises that it will also raise home values. In all modesty, if you need advice on real estate, check here first.

President Obama on Tuesday argued that enactment of the Senate’s immigration reform bill would boost home values across the country.

“It’s pretty simple: when more people buy homes, and play by the rules, home values go up for everybody,” Obama said during a speech on home ownership in Phoenix.

Obama conceded that immigration was “something you don’t always hear about when it comes to the housing market,” but he said the two things go hand in hand.

“According to one recent study, the average homeowner has already seen the value of their home boosted by thousands of dollars, just because of immigration,” the president said.
Cecilia Munoz, the director of the White House Domestic Policy council, tweeted during Obama’s speech that it was a “fact” that immigration reform “will substantially increase home values.”

And if you like your present insurance plan, you can keep it (providing you’re a member of Congress or union boss).

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Yet among the uninformed, PETA is considered an honorable organization

Following up on its last ad campaign that depicted a battered, bruised woman in a neck brace claiming that her boyfriend was much more active since giving up meat. PETA  is back with posters glorifying under-aged sex. The term “unhinged” comes to mind.

Peta Poster

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