Daily Archives: August 20, 2013

Hudson Falls goes to Washington

Greenwich Democrat BOE appointee Sampradama Tamm has no opinion on anything whatsoever, she promises

Greenwich Democrat BOE appointee Sampradama Tamm has no opinion on anything whatsoever, she promises

Inspired by the example of that Hudson Falls Chief Librarian who switched from choosing winners of a reading contest on the basis of who read the most books,  to a lottery, with the winner decided by luck, our national government has decided to do away with “right” answers in math.

[U]nder the Common Core program implemented in public schools across the nation—promoting faulty logic is encouraged. Facts and reality along with critical thinking skills are suppressed. Reality is no longer crucial as long as you can explain imagined conclusions.

As an example of how the new “Common Core” math system will work, a curriculum director recently noted that even if kids get the wrong mathematical result, as long they can “explain” how they arrived at their answer, then that is still a good outcome for the Common Core teachers.

Speaking on the evening of July 17 to a room of administrators and interested citizens at Grayslake School District 46, in the northern suburbs of Chicago, Curriculum Director Amanda August said that in the new system the correct answer is less important than “the procedure” of arriving at that answer.

In response to a question of how the new Common Core math teaching system will work, August said that “the reasoning” is a main goal, not just correct answers.

“But even under the new Common Core,” she says “if even if they said 3 X 4 was 11, if they were able to explain their reasoning and explain how they came up with their answer, really in words and oral explanations and they showed it in a picture but they just got the final number wrong; we’re really more focusing on the how and the why.”

If this lunacy is the result of stupidity and error then there’s hope, because that can be corrected. If it’s a deliberate attempt to destroy the country, then we’re in even more trouble than we thought. Interesting that just when we as a local town get rid of this sort of math curriculum the federal government steps in to force us back. I lean increasingly toward a conspiracy theory of our political enemies.

 

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Corey Kupersmith’s former Cowdray Road auction coming up August 25th

Here’s how to bid – basically, you must place your bid before hand and the three highest bidders will be invited to duke it out on the 25th.

Cheytac 408-M200

Cheytac 408-M200

We’ve written about Kupersmith before, most recently just this past July. In response to that article I received this interesting email. Apparently there was – is- more to Mr. Kupersmith than just a rapacious, failed real estate developer.

Hi Chris:

I was one of Corey’s partners for about five years when I founded Cheytac * and my other partners voted him in as an additional partner.  He and his criminal gang of hangers on from NYC were interesting fellows.
From never paying their taxes to outright defrauding [or attempting to] their partners, they were the gang that couldn’t shoot straight, literally.
When the little prince got involved with  Cheytac he determined that we didn’t need process control on weapons manufacturing…..  We could discuss that for hours….  We have enough damaged clients out there from that.
He also tried out various fully automatic weapons in Arco, ID and once shot a School Bus, fortunately coming back empty, no kids…….  I guess there is a God some where.
Crocco died under suspicious circumstances [no mention of that in Keith Crocco’s obituary – it was a motorcycle accident- Keith C rear-ended an SUV – Ed] after Corey stated that he was going to send him to his grave as he didn’t trust him any more…..  Most of the Greenwich cops partied at his Cowdray mansion or the Jupiter FL mansion…..
Real Estate?  Chris, you have barely scratched the tip of the iceberg…..
Interesting about the GPD partying with the man, here in Greenwich and in Florida. Any readers want to contribute to that angle?
UPDATE: Googling around, I found this mention of Kupersmith’s involvement with Jamison International. “In 2003 Marc Jamison teamed with the owner of Greenwich Ballistics, Corey Kupersmith, who had recently acquired Cheyenne Tactical (CheyTac USA).”
Patent suit brought by Greenwich Ballistics against Jamison bankrupted Jamison (or it shut down as the result of the expenses of defending against the suit). Here’s the original complaint.

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Filed under Back Country, Buying/Selling Greenwich Real Estate, Foreclosure, Neighborhoods

Maybe we can give them a heart from Chancey Luna or one of his accomplices

 

Cry me a river

Cry me a river

Illegal Mexican aliens demand free organ transplants from US hospitals.

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Sale and a contract

Another sale on Valleywood today, #91, and a contract on 2 Lauder Way.

91 Valleywood

91 Valleywood

Ninety-One Valleywood asked $1.850 million, sold for $1.7 which places it, I think, second on the ranks of selling prices on that street – Tops is #94, which got $1,876,950, back at the height of the market in 2007.

2 Lauder Way

2 Lauder Way

And 2 Lauder Way, $6.995, has a contract. A beautiful house, on two acres close to town. It tried for $7.995 back in 2012 which produced no result but a million off and voila.

I hear rumors that 542 North Street, $3.995 million, has an accepted offer already (listing date was July

542 North Streert

542 North Street

30). I wrote about it just last week , and although my own client had described it as “her dream house” (she still chose to look further in Riverside), I expressed doubt that the owners could get $300,000 more than they paid for it a year ago July, improvements or not. Clearly, I was wrong. Beautiful house, so I’m not surprised.

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Two Merritt Parkway homes go begging

A couple of houses on the broker open house today that merit discussion, if not an actual visit, because neither is selling and both are right on the Merritt Parkway. Coincidence? I think not.

329 Riversville: lights on, no one home

329 Riversville: lights on, no one home

329 Riversville Road is literally in the shadow of the parkway, and long ago brought down its builder, who lost it to foreclosure in, I think, 2010. It sat empty for years before the lender sold it off (at a great discount, I hope) to a third party. It’s been unsuccessfully auctioned (no takers), priced at $2.799 million (expired unsold) and now it’s back for a third attempt, at $2.695. Someone’s bound to want this at some price, but between the issue of sitting vacant and unfinished for so long and the looming presence of the Merritt overhead, I don’t know what that price will be.

PorchuckA bit further east, there’s a house on Porchuck that’s been reduced, again, to $5.8 million. It started at $9.5 million in 2012, and I’m sure its listing broker could have profitably read this weekend’s profile of David Ogilvy on the proper selling of a high-end home. He obviously didn’t, so it sits.

UPDATE: checked the tax card for the history of 329 Riversville, and here are some more details: IndyMac bank loaned $2.6 million for it in 2007, foreclosed on it and the successor to the failed IndyMac sold it off to the present owners for $1,489,952 in February, 2012. It’s the current owners who finished it, so it’s been empty for five years now (notwithstanding the listing’s claimed construction date of 2010, it was in fact built in 2008).

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Filed under Back Country, Buying/Selling Greenwich Real Estate, Foreclosure, Neighborhoods, pricing, Real estate agents, spec houses

Sale and a haircut

111 W. Lyon sells, 543 Stanwich keeps going down.

W. LyonThe Lyon Farm condo sold for $700,000. Last sale was back in 1994, for $512,500. According to the government’s CPI index, that 1994 price should be $807,813 today, so no home run here, but twenty years of shelter is certainly worth something.

543 Stanwich

543 Stanwich

And 453 Stanwich, which originally asked $4.225  in 2009 has been reduced yet again today, to $2.590 million. It’s a 1966 house “renovated” in 2007, and being marketed primarily as a four-acre building lot. Nice land, but how much better is this than the 4 acres on Mohawk, a mile south on Stanwich, that sold yesterday for $700,000? Stanwich has flat lawn, Mohawk is woods and swamp, so Stanwich is worth more, but how much more? If you built the 10,800 sq.ft. house touted in its listing as the maximum size permissible here, you’d probably pay $400 (or higher) to get the quality and level of finish work demanded by such a size house, so …(gezuntagezunta…) $4,320,000, plus pool, plus etc. Pay $2.5 for the land and be all in at $7 million. That could actually work, economically, but I wouldn’t plan on moving soon.

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Cos Cob sale reported

 

74 Valleywood Road

74 Valleywood Road

74 Valleywood Road, $1.1 million. It sold for $1.140 in 2005, when it had been newly renovated.

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Young killers

Killers

Chris Lane

Chris Lane

Three Oklahoma teens fatally shoot Australian jogger “for the fun of it” and “because we were bored”.  Not surprisingly, and understandably, the Australian press sees this as proof that the US needs stricter gun control laws, “like background checks”. I disagree: these killers were too young to own a gun, and the odds are excellent that, notwithstanding their parents’ protestations that “they’re innocent” [they’ve already confessed and boasted about the killing on Facebook], and “are good kids”, they have criminal backgrounds that would have barred them from legally obtaining a weapon when they reached legal age.

Black murderers, white victim; hate crime? Probably not, just rabid sub-humans in need of execution themselves, but you can be sure that we won’t be hearing our half-white president claiming any familial resemblance to poor Christopher Lane.

Which doesn’t bring back the life of the 22-year-old young man they killed, of course.

If I had a son, he'd look like Chancey!

If I had a son, he’d look like Chancey!

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Where’s our legal opinion on racial balance?

I have the memorandum of law but you can't see it!

I have what you paid for, but you can’t see it!

Back on July 5th, our BOE retained independent counsel to study and give an opinion on the constitutionality of Connecticut’s racial redistricting law and the likelihood of a successful challenge to that law (I have the emails setting forth the retainer, including the legal fees of both the senior partner overseeing the research and the (named) associate he’d be assigning the work to; I’ll release them down the road, if necessary). The retainer agreement anticipated a fairly modest cost – $8,000 tops, 10-20 hours of an associate’s time, 5-10 hours of a partner’s – so shouldn’t that memorandum of law be finished by now? Where is it? Aren’t we, the taxpayers of Greenwich, the clients of this outside counsel? Let’s see what we paid for.

From the Greenwich Time article I link to below:

When asked to comment on the test-score disparities, Board of Education Chairman Leslie Moriarty instead responded Monday with an overview of the board’s evaluation of the results. That process will include an in-depth review at the board’s Sept. 19 meeting.

“These discussions will include an interpretation of outcomes, implications for current academic strategies and action plans as we look ahead,” she said.

I have the suspicion that Chairman Moriarty doesn’t plan to include possible legal action as part of her board’s discussion of “strategy and action plans” at that September 19th meeting. I think she should.

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And busing in white kids to sit next to them in class will help how?

Greenwich Dems: "make every day a field trip for Riverside kids."

Greenwich Dems: “make every day a field trip for the Riverside elite.”

Greenwich: Black and Hispanic students rack up dismal test scores.

Greenwich Hispanic and black students’ 2013 state standardized test scores trailed their white and Asian peers’ results by wide margins, a trend highlighted by foundering performances among Hispanic pupils at the school district’s two racially unbalanced schools.

In every grade and in each of the four subjects tested by the Connecticut Mastery Test, the percentage of black and Hispanic pupils reaching the goal level fell short of rates for white and Asian pupils. Hispanic pupils also lagged well behind Asian and white students in goal-level scores on the Connecticut Academic Performance Test given to 10th-graders. Black students’ CAPT results were not available because the state Department of Education does not list score data for testing groups of fewer than 20 pupils.

Stark gaps differentiated white and Asian students’ scores from those for blacks and Hispanics in many cases, including the following examples:

In third-grade math, about 89 percent of Asian students and 83 percent of white students reached the goal-level, compared to 62 percent for Hispanic pupils and 38 percent for black students.

In fifth-grade reading, 87 percent of white and Asian pupils hit the goal range, compared to 66 percent for Hispanic pupils and 52 percent for black students.

In seventh-grade writing, 87 percent of Asian students and 84 percent of white students attained goal-level marks, compared to 53 percent for Hispanic pupils and 37 percent for black students.

In CAPT science, 79 percent of white students and 64 percent of Asian pupils scored in the goal range, compared to 44 percent for Hispanic students.

Minority students — including black, Hispanic, Asian and multiracial pupils — make up about one-third of the district’s population. At Hamilton Avenue and New Lebanon, the district’s two racially unbalanced schools, minority pupils account for about 70 percent of the populations.

We know Greenwich Time’s proposed solution to this: they hint at it twice in just the first few paragraphs of their editorial, but are other town Democrats on board? We already spend far more money on these schools than the rest, what’s next? Democrat School Board appointee Ramadamadingdong Tamm made herself unavailable for comment.

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Smart Diplomacy: U.S. demands rejected by those closest to the situation

U.S. allies Israel, Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. urge Egypt to tell Obama and his State Department pals to piss up a rope.

WSJ: The U.S.’s closest Middle East allies are undercutting American policy in Egypt, encouraging the military to confront the Muslim Brotherhood rather than reconcile, U.S. and Arab officials said.

The parallel efforts by Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have blunted U.S. influence with Egypt’s military leadership and underscored how the chaos there has pulled Israel into ever-closer alignment with those Gulf states, officials said.

A senior Israeli official called the anti-Muslim Brotherhood nations “the axis of reason.”

The Obama administration first had sought to persuade Egyptian military leader Gen. Abdel Fattah Al Sisi not to overthrow the elected government of President Mohammed Morsi and then to reconcile with his Muslim Brotherhood base [“reconciliation”, as of yesterday, to include the immediate release of all Muslim Brotherhood prisoners – Ed].

Gen. Sisi has done the opposite—orchestrating the president’s overthrow and a crackdown in which over 900 people have been killed since Wednesday—reflecting his apparent confidence in the Egyptian government’s ability to weather an American backlash, U.S. and Arab officials said.

Glenn Reynolds, in response to those who feared that Obama would be our worst president since Jimmy Carter used to warn that we’d be lucky if he proved only  as bad. Prescient fellow, our Reynolds.

Here’s the administration gang on the Sinai Peninsula just last Saturday:

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Christ, let’s at least hope they can double up in that helicopter

I got shotgun!

I got shotgun!

Obamas buy another Portuguese water dog, estimated cost, $1,500-$2,000.  Why not two more dogs, or a pack? “At a time when the President has called on the wealthiest,  most selfish of Americans to sacrifice” , White House Spokesman Jay Carney explained, “the First Family felt it important to lead by example.”

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