WSJ: Gamblers are throwing their money away, study shows. Hope they didn’t pay much for that conclusion.
Monthly Archives: October 2013
Beninati, one of two partners of Antares, the Greenwich developer that failed so spectacularly here, is back in the game,with new investors’ money and a NYC building he just purchased for $24 million.
The Antares Boyz went down owing hundreds of millions of dollars, wasted on cars, maxi-pads and general incompetence.* They’re being sued by pension funds and other investors, ex-wives and just about everyone who doesn’t like them on general principle yet here they are – or here’s one of them, anyway, scrubbed, clean and ready to go again. That someone would give him money to “invest” in real estate is like the monkeys in Chinese zoos fidgeting just before the earthquake arrives; it’s a bad sign.
*(The definitive article on the Greenwich crash remains Nick Paumgarten’s 2008 New Yorker piece, “A Greenwich of the Mind”).
One Jenny Li has demonstrated the fruits of her Ivy League education by shutting down a speaker with views opposite her own lest any of her peers hear him and be harmed. This, Li and her fellow Brown students assure us is “free speech”. Some ideas, these elites say, are simply too dangerous for others to be exposed to.
This sort of thuggery occurs at many once-respected academic institutions, like Swarthmore, and Amherst , and the suppression of ideas runs the gamut from homosexuality to the environment to the existence of corporations to, last night at Brown, NYC’s former “stop-and-frisk” policy, but it’s all the same thing: shut down free speech on campuses and keep them safe from uncomfortable ideas.
I’ve been reading about the rise of Nazism these past couple of months, for no particular reason other than general interest, and I’ve been struck, again and again, by the similarities between then and now. Appeasement of our enemies, weak, feckless leaders, the rise of a strong man, increasing police violence against citizens, and, today, the German Student Association and its book banning movement of 1933. Back then, they collected and burned authors like Hemingway, Victor Hugo, and Hellen Keller (!) as well, of course, Jewish authors, all in the name of purification of thought. Jenny Li and his cohort are too stupid, too uneducated and too solipsistic to recognize what they’re doing, but they’re just part of the rising forces of tyranny.
The useful idiots always are. The funny thing is, they are used by people who convince them that they’re being daringly radical when in fact, they’re just tools of their masters.
I wonder whether Jenny Li’s parents came to this country with the dream that they’d raise a student adept enough at testing to get into a top university, only to become a mouthpiece of repression with dreams of a government job? Probably not.
Deer are safe, at least temporarily.
A bunch of real estate news came in during my sojourn, none of it particularly interesting except to the parties themselves, but here it is anyway:
545 North Street sold for $6.238 million; there’s still money in the buying pool, obviously.
18 Roosevelt Avenue finally sold, for $1.755. It started off at $1.895 204 days ago.
Accepted offers reported include 6 Lita Drive, lower North Street. A rather unimpressive undersized lot, asked $1.395 and, rumor has it, it got it.
3 Parsonage Lane, started at $3.675 in September, 2012 and now that its price came down to $3.155, it’s found a buyer.
93 Orchard Drive, in Milbrook, asking $3.295 million, has an accepted offer. It sold in 2008 for $3.225.
And 18 Spezzano is back again with another buyer. Now asking $487,500.
296 Stanwich Road is a new listing, $6.750 million. It sold new in 2006 for $6.5, but that was at the height of the market. It’ll be interesting to see how this fares.
And 76 Cat Rock, $2.999 million, isn’t really a new listing, it just switched agents after a year – same price that didn’t sell it during the past 12 months. I think this is a great house, and I’m surprised it hasn’t sold. It’s beautifully built, has a great layout and isn’t so buried in Cat Rock that getting there is burdensome. It sold new in 2006 for $3.725 million, so how much of a discount do you want?
Wednesday, November 6, Town Hall,7:00 PM.
I’ll be out of town for the next few days, with Internet access, maybe, by Sunday. Other than perhaps a few iPhone posts, you guys are on your own for a while. Behave yourselves.
Anticipating a large crowd for next Wednesday’s meeting on the new FEMA regulations and how they affect Greenwich home owners, Town Planner Diane Fox tried to reserve the large conference room at town hall, only to discover that another town agency has preempted the space. Stay tuned for its new location and, possibly, date.
- FEMA: Overview of NFIP
- FEMA Information on changes to the policies and rates of the NFIP
- NFIP Specific Rating Guidelines
FEMA’S Rate Relief Programs
In anticipation of increasing flood insurance rates, FEMA identifies several options that may directly or indirectly result in flood insurance discounts to policyholders.
- NFIP Community Rating System
The NFIP Community Rating System (CRS) offers insurance premium discounts (up to 45 percent) for individuals in communities implementing floodplain management practices that exceed the minimum requirements of the NFIP. By implementing CRS floodplain management best practices, flood losses are reduced, public safety is enhanced, and the cost of flood insurance is decreased.
- Elevation Certificates
An Elevation Certificate is an important tool that documents your building’s elevation. The below fact sheet provides valuable information for homeowners including guidance for obtaining an Elevation Certificate which is necessary for determining full-risk rates in high-risk zones. It may also show that you may be paying too much for flood insurance.
- FEMA Flood Map Appeal
If a person believes their property was incorrectly included in a NFIP-identified Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), they may submit an application to FEMA for a formal determination of the property’s location and/or elevation relative to the SFHA.
- Raise the Deductible
And like any other insurance policy, you can always raise the deductible.
- Interactive Map for NFIP Subsidized Policies by State and County
- Determine Your Flood Zone: “V” (high risk coastal), “A” (high risk river), “X” (low risk) or “D” (unmapped)
Additional Information & Research
- FloodSmart.gov – The official site of the NFIP, Residential Coverage
- FloodSmart.gov – Residential, Policy Rates
- FloodSmart.gov – Commercial Coverage
- FloodSmart.gov – Commercial, Policy Rates
- FEMA: Homeowner’s Guide to Elevation Certificates
- FEMA: Letter of Map Amendment & Letter of Map Revision – Based on Fill Process
72 Hillcrest Park Road, $2.495 million, 30 days on market.
15 Linwood, $1.599 million, took 5X as long, probably because of price: the first price of $1.725 was steep for what is essentially a three–bedroom house. Plus, when the owners moved out (this was a relocation move) they took with them the beautiful furnishings and decorations Mrs. Owner (friend of mine) had installed, and the house went back to looking as it did when I sold it to the sellers some years ago. When I sold it, it was bank owned and we got it for a song, so the barren walls and rooms weren’t so daunting; bump it up some hundreds of thousands of dollars and it’s not so inviting. My guess on final sales price? $1.450.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A retired New York radio personality has been charged in a sting operation with trying to transport a 7-year-old girl to the U.S. Virgin Islands for sex.
David Herman, 77, of Airmont, N.Y., and St. Croix, was arrested Thursday at the St. Croix airport, where federal authorities said he had expected to meet the girl and her mother flying in from New York.
Herman thought he’d been corresponding online with a woman about her child but was actually talking to an undercover officer from Bergen County in New Jersey, according to U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.
UPDATE: The NY Post, unsurprisingly, has more detail. Here’s a poser for the “moral relativists” teaching in our educational system: what, besides the alcohol involved, would offend a conservative Muslim about what Herman intended to do, and does that mean we mustn’t engage in “trans-cultural judgment”? What if he converted to Islam on the airport tarmac?
(Warning: probably not fit for early morning reading – make sure you’ve had your coffee, so you don’t spit it across your computer screen)
Herman — who once hobnobbed with rock superstars such as Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie and Pete Townshend — allegedly began his bid to bed the 7-year-old when he met the child’s “mom,” named Kris, in a Yahoo! chat room.
Under the handle “david121482,” he allegedly talked to the undercover officer about his lust for a girl “Lexi’s” age.
“Age 6 is the perfect time to start her being loved that way,” the Rockland County resident said, believing the girl was 6 at the time, according to feds. “I find girls that age incredibly sexy, soft, and their innocence is also a huge turn on for me.”
The DJ also vowed to be gentle with the girl.
“Herman promised he would not hurt ‘Lexi’ though he might have to be ‘forceful’ with her,” according to the complaint written by Homeland Security Special Agent Mark Lubischer. “Herman suggested that they could give ‘Lexi’ some alcohol to relax her.”
After the music man failed to arrange a tryst in New Jersey or New York, Herman allegedly suggested a hookup in the Virgin Islands, where he has a vacation home.
He allegedly hammered out the final details during a Sept. 30 phone call with “Kris.”
“During this conversation, Herman discussed how he wanted to ‘break’ Lexi’s hymen and also stated that he was looking to do a lot of ‘oral’ with her,” according to Lubischer.
Herman was charged with interstate transport of a minor for sex, officials said.
He faces 10 years to life in prison if convicted, in addition to potential fines of up to $250,000. He’s set to face a US magistrate in the Virgin Islands on Friday.
Not that there’s any hope of salvaging a health care plan that depends on suckering young healthy people to buy insurance for their parents, but the Democrats are now talking with Republicans to see about pushing off the mandate for a year.Don’t do it!
ObamaCare passed as a 100%- Democratic Party law; not a single Republican voted for it and they should keep that record intact. Delaying the start of the plan for a year will simply allow the Democrats to postpone the impending disaster for a year and get them past the 2014 elections. Why on earth would Republicans want to help them do that?
Dullard Bill accuses thinkers of hoping that ObamaCare will fail; his master King Barry actually accused Republicans of sabotaging his precious product yesterday. Neither is necessary because this abortion is going to die all on its own, and the smartest thing for the Republicans to do is stand back and let’er roll.
Town Hall, 7:00 PM. Town Planner Diane Fox will be there as well as a couple of local surveyor land use types to answer questions about how the new flood zones affect your property. Not the time to screech at anyone (unless, you know, you really have to) but a good place to receive the most up-to-date information on how you’ve just lost fifty-per-cent of the value of your home. Come on down, you’ll love it!
Obama orders military to convert to unisex uniforms, No money for troops or ammo but to strike a blow for sexual equality? Priceless.
A reader sends along this link to tonight’s BOE agenda. The more they can distract us with this, the less attention will be paid to the “CORE Curriculum” disaster and, of course, the $75 million music palace. Pretty smart, these BOE people.
Going forward, it is proposed that the Board work with the State Department of Education to identify a mutually acceptable resolution to address racial balance concerns. It should be noted that this resolution should also address the District’s overcrowding issues. The resolution should be accomplished as soon as possible so the District can have time to properly implement any solutions.
Facility Utilization Update: At the last meeting, the Board took action on several strategies to address the District’s facility utilization issues (see page 2). The Board discussed but did not take action on adding an additional school of choice at North Street School. The Board asked the Superintendent to provide more information on how that concept could be structured. That document is attached for the Board’s review and discussion.
Based on the need to determine a strategy to address racial balance, it is suggested that the Board not take action on the proposal to add another school of choice at this meeting. There is the potential that the Board and the Administration may need to coordinate any additional strategies to address facility utilization and racial balance.
59 Hillside Drive has sold for $2,647,500.
24 Midbrook, Old Greenwich, asking $1.150 million, has an accepted offer. I personally think there are more attractive homes/locations available but obviously a buyer, as opposed to someone who’s just observing the scene, disagrees.
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Obama brought the country to the edge of default to prevent the Republicans from doing what he’s now doing?
ObamaCare individual mandate headed for postponement. Just a week ago, the fate of the nation depended on the mandate kicking in immediately. Today well, ….
The state’s going to appeal, but the 136 decision by Superior Court judge Thomas Bishop looks pretty damning to me. Essentially, Mickey Sherman’s* failure to raise a “third-party-culpability” defense by pointing the finger at Michael Skakel’s older brother Thomas, was inexplicable and inexcusable (start at p.35 of memorandum of decision and read down – Thomas was clearly a far more likely suspect than his younger brother) as was Sherman’s failure to use readily available witnesses to destroy the state’s primary piece of evidence, the testimony of a man who claimed that Michael had confessed to him when they were in rehab – both witnesses, long after the fact, denied any such confession and this judge found them”entirely credible.” Third, Sherman failed to introduce testimony from a witness who could have provided a convincing alibi for Michael, as that witness was with Michel at the time of the murder.
Nothing I read during the trial convinced me that the brother Thomas couldn’t have just as easily committed the murder as Michael; JudgeBishop strongly implies that Thomas did, in fact commit the crime.
*Mickey was paid $1.6 million for that defense, by the way, according to the decision.
Senator Cruz was born in Canada to Cuban refugees. Neither country is usually associated with Mexico, but since by definition liberals can’t be racists (or homophobes – ask Dollar Bill) they feel free to be racists (or homophobes – ask Dollar Bill).
Never listed. 2 acre building lot, $4.350 million. That’s pricey, but seems to be the going price for this particular lot, because it sold for $4.040 million in September, 2011. It wasn’t listed then, either, although just as this sale, agents managed to get their commissions. Bless their hearts.
Interesting phenomenon here, by the way, and one I see increasingly: intra-office sales, one agent to another, without ever exposing a property to the competition of the MLS. This one hasn’t left Sotheby’s in the past two transactions, even though four different agents were involved. That’s a great deal for the agents involved because they don’t run the risk of another agent and her client horning in and, to be honest, this sale, at least, seems to have traded about where it should have, so no harm to the seller. My guess is that as the two or three huge firms in town swallow their smaller competitors they’ll have sufficient agents to create their own in-house market, and we’ll see a lot more of this. Eventually, that will hurt homeowners, because a transparent, open marketplace is the only thing that keeps agents honest.
On another note, 167 Bedford Road, reported as having an accepted offer just last week, has been returned to the market. Don’t know what went wrong. This property’s been kicking around a long time, having started at $5 million and now asking $3.695. Looks like it will be around a while longer.