Daily Archives: October 15, 2013
UPDATE: he should have emulated another California man, 72-year-old Gene Penaflor, who survived three weeks in the wilderness dining on lizards, frogs and squirrels. “Tastes like chicken”, he (might have) observed.
Two weeks ago, a 17-year-old Massachusetts girl got a text from a friend at a party saying she was too drunk to drive, and could she come get her? Erin Cox, who is an honor student by the way, went to the home, but the cops showed upbefore she could find her friend.
She was cleared by the police, who said she was not in possession of any alcohol, but officials at North Andover High School claim she violated their strict zero-tolerance policy. She was stripped of her role as captain of the volleyball team and suspended for five games.
So this will encourage what sort of behavior, exactly? Don’t call a friend if you’re too drunk to drive, don’t drive a drunk friend home if she does call, and…and?
When people recount the advanced degrees in education that some of our own school administrators hold, I’m reminded by stories like this that the entire teacher education system is a fraud.
Libertarian Advocate sends along this link: ObamaCare’s website design was awarded without bids to a single company. Fortunately, everything turned out beautifully with the launch and every American who wants it can now log on any buy his government insurance effortlessly, but there was at least the danger that this friend of Barry’s might screw things up:
As the Examiner previously reported, CGI in Canada also suffered embarrassment in 2011 when it failed to deliver on time for Ontario province’s flagship project a new online medical registry for diabetes patients and treatment providers.
Ontario government officials cancelled the $46.2 million contract after 14 months of delay in September 2012. Ontario officials currently refuse to pay any fees to CGI for the failed IT project.
2 Lauder Way sold for
$6.7 $6.2 million. Less than the $7.995 it originally asked a year ago, but an impressive amount of dollars nonetheless. I really liked this house, and its location. Biggest problem was that first price tag but once that was corrected, it sold.
And 16 Dingletown Road reports a contract. It was purchased new for $5.6 million in 2011, so this price of $5.095 must have been a disappointment, but there you have it: real estate is a depreciable asset.
British school forbids handing out birthday party invitations in class unless everyone is invited. It’s being played as another example of political correctness but I see it as just good manners: you don’t hurt the feelings of other people (unnecessarily) – in fact, it’s discouraging that the wealthy parents of these children don’t know that.
Kingswood Preparatory School in Bath, which charges about $31,500 a year in fees, says just inviting a few friends is “divisive and unkind” and goes against the school’s inclusion policy.
Head teacher Mark Brearey sent a letter home to parents advising of the new rule.
While some parents at the exclusive school are likely to resist hosting a kids’ party for dozens of children, Mr. Brearey stands by the rule.
“We consider kindness to be one of the key values of our school,” he said. “What we are saying is that actually handing over party invitations to some of the group in front of people is not the way we would like it to happen.”
He said if parents just want to invite a few friends, they should do it privately.
“Do it by email, not in a public place where you find one or two or three people are left,” he added.
Chris R provides a link in the comments to an aerial shot of Juergen Bartel’s starter mansion at 88 Conyers Farm and I suppose it’s impressive enough, for the struggling middle class, but here’s (part) of Steve Cohen’s place on Crown Lane.
The open house tour today did give me the opportunity to revisit Bedford Road and my, how the Westchester builders have been busy. They’ve brought their brick/frosted glass/ turretey thing across the border and littered lower Beford Road with them. Quite a change.
But my reason for heading over there, in part, was to see a house on Cutler Road and it was on my way there that I noticed 86 Cutler Road, forlorn, abandoned and overgrown. I just looked up its mortgage history and it provides as neat a summary of the days before the crash as I’ve seen.
86 Is a very modest 1960 house with some improvements dating back to the mid-80s. At the peak of its condition, at the top of the market, I’d estimate its value as somewhere between $1.250 million and $1.350. In April, 2005, Washington Mutual, now defunct, loaned $1.875 million on the property, and that was followed one year later with a refinancing for $1.985 from something called “Americas’ Wholesale Lender” [ a reader informs me that that was Country Wide) and a second mortgage of $350,000 from “Country Wide Mortgager”, also now defunct.
In 2007 the owner refinanced again, this time taking out a $2.265 million mortgage with Washington Mutual and, a month later, replacing the original second with another $350,000 loan from National City Bank, now defunct.
In 2012 the house was listed for sale for $2.3 million and quickly dropped to $1.1 million. The listing expired, house unsold. Deutsche Bank, which now owns many of these almost-worthless loans, has speeded up the foreclosure suit and just last week defaulted the defendant and has moved for strict foreclosure. That should be granted soon and by the end of the year this property will be ready to be put on the market again.
After a year of abandonment, I doubt the structure has any value but even so, four acres of reasonable land, even on Cutler, should be worth $900,000 or so. Maybe. What is certain is that this property was never worth $2.615 million, yet that’s how much was loaned on it. Whoever made those loans was engaged in willful fraud.
We taxpayers got stuck with the bill on this. Chris Dodd, one of the main characters who made it all possible, is now the chief lobbyist for the Motion Picture Association of America, pulling down millions. Barney Frank is retired and living comfortably, probably being diddled by Countrywide’s owner Angelo Mozilo, and not a single executive of any of the other lenders involved ever saw the inside of a cell.
Something’s wrong here.
One nice house, slightly overpriced, one dreadful house, over priced, and one pretty-god-awful house, laughably overpriced. That’s a lot of time and money wasted, but we agents indulge in this nonsense so that our clients don’t have to.
Two new listings today, same agent, same property: 88 Conyers Farm Drive, Ml. #86578 and #86580. One asks $14,000,000, the other $13,500,000, so here’s your chance for a quick score.
Of course, it may not matter. This house was purchased for $7 million in 1998 and it’s been looking for another buyer ever since 2002, when it hit the market at $19,000,000. It’s had so many brokers, each with different prices, that they’ve run out of the top names and have started recycling them. It’s obvious after twelve years that no one particularly likes this house.
Oddly enough, the builder of that house is now an agent himself, and his listing at 44 Glenville Road, $4.450 million, was reported October 10th as having an executed contract, just 20 days after it hit the market. Now, five days later, it’s back on the market as active again. No idea what’s up with that.
29 Cliffdale Road, last asking $5.245 million, reports an accepted offer. This started as new construction years and years ago asking $5.9 million (2005-2006), then $6.295 (2011-2012), and came back on just a few weeks ago at this price – that did the trick. Not at all a bad property for those who like this much house (9,000 sq.ft.), and an encouraging sign for homeowners in the neighborhood who’ve been looking for signs of life out on our western border. This makes at least the second high-and sale reported in just the past week – the other was around the corner on Riversville.
538 Round Hill Road, on the other hand, is not faring as well. This sold for $3.750 in ’05, a price that surprised some of us because the house was old and dated (albeit with very nice views) had some money put into it and returned to the market in June, 2011 at $6.250 million. Three years, three brokers and a slew of price cuts later, it is now asking $4.995. Maybe.
One Michael P.Mayko, an individual identified by his employer as a “reporter”, is out with what purports to be a news article about the possible shutdown of Connecticut’s federal courts. It’s a press release instead. Here’s what’s buried in the middle of the supposed objective reporting.We start off with an actual recital of facts:
What the shutdown has already meant is that civil lawyers, as well as support staff in Acting U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly‘s office, have been home since Oct. 1. Her office is hamstrung in recovering restitution and turning it over to crime victims.
The shutdown also means criminal prosecutors are being asked to work at no pay.
“It’s demoralizing,” (U.S. Attorney)Daly said.
And here’s his own editorializing – no quotes, because he stops reporting what the U.S. Attorney said and moves into his own explanation of the meaning of what she said :
Demoralizing because some employees are labeled essential and others are not.
Demoralizing because Daly’s office more than funds its $20 million budget by last year alone collecting more than $60 million in fines, settlements and forfeitures.
Demoralizing because the U.S. Department of Justice cutbacks slated for this fiscal year probably will require her to furlough employees without pay during 2014.
And demoralizing because when you add this all together, some of Daly’s people probably will seek other, more permanent jobs.
That’s advocacy, not reporting, and there’s nothing wrong with advancing an opinion; this blog has been known to occasionally indulge in it itself, but traditional news reporting used to separate advocacy from its reporting by labeling the former “editorial” or even “analysis”. The Ct. Post has moved into “advocacy journalism”, a hybrid creation that blends the two. Whatever they call it, it’s not journalism.
So says Forbes and even the HHS spokesman himself.
A growing consensus of IT experts, outside and inside the government, have figured out a principal reason why the website for Obamacare’s federally-sponsored insurance exchange is crashing. Healthcare.gov forces you to create an account and enter detailed personal information before you can start shopping. This, in turn, creates a massive traffic bottleneck, as the government verifies your information and decides whether or not you’re eligible for subsidies. HHS bureaucrats knew this would make the website run more slowly. But they were more afraid that letting people see the underlying cost of Obamacare’s insurance plans would scare people away.
HHS didn’t want users to see Obamacare’s true costs
“Healthcare.gov was initially going to include an option to browse before registering,” report Christopher Weaver and Louise Radnofsky in theWall Street Journal. “But that tool was delayed, people familiar with the situation said.” Why was it delayed? “An HHS spokeswoman said the agency wanted to ensure that users were aware of their eligibility for subsidies that could help pay for coverage, before they started seeing the prices of policies.” (Emphasis added.)
The federal government’s decision to force people to apply before shopping, Weaver and Radnofsky write, “proved crucial because, before users can begin shopping for coverage, they must cross a busy digital junction in which data are swapped among separate computer systems built or run by contractors including CGI Group Inc., the healthcare.gov developer, Quality Software Services Inc., a UnitedHealth Group Inc. unit; and credit-checker Experian PLC. If any part of the web of systems fails to work properly, it could lead to a traffic jam blocking most users from the marketplace.”
Jay Angoff, a former federal official at the agency that oversees the exchange, told the Journal that he was surprised by the decision. “People should be able to get quotes” without entering all of that information upfront.
At Barryworld, an ignorant consumer is our best customer.