Daily Archives: September 26, 2013

Back, unscathed

I’m off to bed, but I’ll leave you with this photo, taken tonight by reader and fellow BOE-attendee Jonathan Olson; it seems as apt a summary as anything I could write.

image

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Off to take a bullet for you

We know who you are!

We know who you are!

Headed off to the BOE meeting for grins and chuckles. I pass along a suggestion from a reader that audience members post their own observations here.

Have fun.
Update: they just voted to take any redistricting off the table for any racial balancing. Victory.
Update: McKersie: October 29th deadline for (unspecified number, so far) unverified students. On that day, students parents are called and warned, the next day, students will not be allowed in class, will be placed under care of DCSF and not allowed back. MK insists that BOE is toughening, not weakening it’s stand. I’m waiting for the numbers, and whether verification will be extended to the higher grades.
GEA president reading a speech. Is there no one left in the education world who can speak in her or his feet? Just sayin’
Moved to Public comment stage: first up, another speech reader who unfortunately hasn’t the ability to edit on the fly, so we’re hearing about redistricting, although that’s now irrelevant.
Three north street school mothers now clustered around mike while one reads a speech expressing concern about using North Street as the solution to facility under utilization.
She’s done , now followed by a line of North Street ladies, all clutching their own speeches. It’s going to be a long nite.
Relief! The nine other ladies sat down, speeches unread. I applaud their decision in favor of brevity.
Ben Bianco up – no written notes (god bless lawyers). Postpone your decision on redistricting until AFTER you have final verification numbers- you don’t even know how many students you’re dealing with. Don’t make a pre-election decision that your successors will have to deal with.
Divide and conquer – by announcing, more or less, that only North Street was in its crosshairs, the BOE has reduced the potential protestors to North Street School parents. No one else seems to be here tonight.
Remember when Nixon created the draft lottery and promised that only the first 100 numbers would be considered? 2/3 of us angry war protestors no longer had skin in the game so we went on our merry way and told the unlucky 1/3, ” have a nice war”. Macheavelian but effective.
Hell, just noticed that even Chris Vi Keyserling isn’t here – the board knows its business.
CCF up:where is the legal opinion on constitutionality of racial redistricting law? If we discovered and expelled 20 non-resident students in 2004-2005 , how are we at 100-400 now? How confident are you even of these numbers? And, finally, if we do have 100-400 kids in elementary school who shouldn’t be there, why not extend verification program to middle and high schools?
It’s an aside, but I’m amused at a couple of speakers from North Street who have Spanish names, a skin color that would make even the most ardent Democrat’s heart bleed, and who speak flawless English and display, to my ear, experience in the adventure of higher education. In short, typical Greenwich parents, but Hartford labels them minorities. By the way, they oppose redistricting and shuffling North Street students, just like everybody else.
Drew Marzullo is the only one of our three selectmen who’s here, as always.

Final note: only one speaker addressed the issue if economic freedom and the right

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Riverside contracts

22 Oval Avenue and 40 Winthrop

22 Oval

22 Oval

22 Oval, $2.225 million.

40 Winthrop

40 Winthrop

40 Winthrop, $3.195 million, is on a 0.9 acre lot (in the R-12 zone, so build away, if you must)  on one of the prettiest, quietest street in Riverside. So far as I know, there isn’t as large a yard – certainly not a flat, level one, left in this area of Riverside. The house is quite plain, but could be dazzling for, say, $500,000?$750,000? And you’d have  house worth easily $4.5 million, so this should have been a no brainer. Missed one here.

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Oops! Another Madoff co-conspirator arrested in Greenwich

Feds showed up at Paul Konigsberg’s home on 19 Pinecroft Road at 6:00 AM this morning and hauled him away.

FBI agents arrested Paul Konigsberg at his Greenwich, Conn., home around 6 am Thursday. Konigsberg, 77, a longtime friend of Madoff, is expected to appear in Manhattan federal court later on Thursday.

“Konigsberg helped recruit new investors to Madoff’s Ponzi scheme,” a law enforcement source said.

The money man was a founding partner of Konigsberg Wolf & Company, a midtown accounting firm no longer in operation.

The five-count indictment that will be unsealed Thursday charges Konigsberg with conspiracy to falsify records of a broker-dealer and an investment adviser, falsifying such records, fraud, and conspiracy to commit fraud.

Konigsberg, the feds say in the indictment, directed the creation of false books and records at Madoff Securities, where a decades-long multi-billion investor ripoff was underway.

“… By December 2008, [Konigsberg’s firm] handled various accounting assignments in connection with more than 300 of Madoff Securities investment advisory accounts,” the indictment alleges.

Konigsberg through his arrangement with Madoff Securities also arranged for a relative to get a $20,000-a-year no show job that included benefits, the indictment alleges. The relative, listed as an unnamed co-conspirator, pocketed $320,000 plus health benefits from 1992 until 2008 when the firm collapsed.

Reed Brodsky, a lawyer for Konigsberg, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Well we can do that for you, Mr. Brodsky: “My client is completely innocent, and looks forward to his day in court”. Uh huh. My only question is, how come Walter Noel is still enjoying his pool up there at 175 Rond Hill Road?

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Off to tour houses

22 Perkins Rd

22 Perkins Rd

I’ll be back, so play nice while I’m out. One house I do want to see is 22 Perkins Road. It’s a gorgeous old house that was purchased for $5 million in 2003, had a lot of money put into it, and then returned to the market in 2011 asking $7.350. Dumb price.

Two brokers, three years and a few price cuts later, it’s down to $4.550. I liked it at its last price of $5.295 million, but not enough to recommend it to clients. We’ll see what it looks like now; sometimes, a few million shaved off a price makes a so-so house look beautiful. Beer goggles for the wallet, or something.

UPDATE: I see a lot of readers have already chime in on this property, all with points I agree with. The exterior’s rough: new cedar roof over the main structure, new copper, etc., but the roof over the (3 car-big) garage is failing. A lot of the railings, columns and so forth look as though they’re rotting. Windows are sort of hodgepodge, many are fairly new, some possibly date back to 1949, when this house was built. The “new” windows are Marvin, a good brand, but have those damn exterior storm panes on the outside, which means you can’t pull them off to wash them unless you climb a ladder. Further, the seals on those storm panes appear to have gone bad, allowing moisture to get in, so many of the windows are fogged. Marvins are two-piece sets, so the “seal” I’m referring to is really just weather striping around the frame, which can be easily replaced. The question I have is why haven’t they been replaced? At this price, and especially at its original price, buyers feel entitled to clear windows. Same goes for the terrace: it needs to be pulled up, stone dust re leveled and supplemented and laid back down. Not a very expensive job, but I’d have suggested to the owner that he do it before trying to sell. Little defects add up to an impression, fair or not, of general neglect.

Inside the ceilings, as noted, are low: 8′, I’d guess. That doesn’t bother me, because I grew up in a house with low ceilings (also built in this immediate post-war era, coincidentally); others may feel cramped. The downstairs layout is fabulous, though. Great entertaining space, with very well proportioned rooms that flow together. I could se hosting 100 people here effortlessly (in terms of space – the caterer would have to deal with the other stuff). Kitchen is serviceable but you’d almost certainly want to do it again – as one reader points out, at this price range, what’s a kitchen?

Upstairs is a little quirky: great master bedroom suite (although whoever painted the ceiling missed a few spots) modern bath (all the bathrooms are in excellent shape and could be left exactly as they are) huge closet space, a private study and views over that beautiful back yard. It’s a bit of  a hike to the other two bedrooms on this floor, and there are two more bedrooms on the third. So it’s broken up a little, but perfectly useful.

All in all, I really like this house, and I love its 3 acres and its location on Perkins, which is lightly trafficked and a short hop to town. At, say, $3.5 million, it would be a steal. At its current price, I’m less enthusiastic. It’s a winner, but needs work. Totally redone, I could see it selling for $6 million, so there’s room to put some real money into this and bring it back.

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