Daily Archives: January 24, 2014

The difference is that Amy Winehouse could sing, and lived until 28

REHAB_Dan_Morrell_REMIXJustine Bieber is partying with his drug-addict/alcoholic father and refusing to go to rehab. He’s 19 – no way he makes it nine more years.


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Sales reported

I’m paying someone to redesign my blog site so I can have real, non-expiring links, and that should be up and running soon. Until then, the old MLS site is still (until Feb. 1, I believe) still operating, so here’s a link to all four sales.

19 Hendrie Ln

19 Hendrie Ln

19 Hendrie Lane (that little dead end off Hendrie Avenue, across from Eastern Middle School), sold for $1.330 million. Not much of a house but, for Riverside, not much of a price, so this makes sense. Sold in a bidding war in 2004 for $1.111 on an asking price of $995,000 – not much price movement since, and no bidding war.

2 Roberta Lane

2 Roberta Lane

On the other hand, 2 Roberta Lane did generate a bidding war this year, and sold for $2.150 million; $1.895 original ask. Down a steep hill from North Street, absolutely no usable yard, but very nicely finished inside. Obviously, that combination appealed to several would-be buyers; go figure.

19 Crescent Rd

19 Crescent Rd

19 Crescent, Riverside, $2.3 million, sold for $2.225 in 2008. Highway noise, nice street.

22 Perkins Rd

22 Perkins Rd

And my favorite, 22 Perkins Road sold for $4.150 million after originally asking $7.350 (what do you bet that the Greenwich Time real estate expert will report exultantly that it sold for “almost its full asking price!” ?). I wrote about this last fall when it had dropped to what proved to be its final asking price of $4.550, and detailed its charms and drawbacks then, so check that link for the discussion. At the time, I noted that the owners had paid $5 million for it and poured a lot of money into partially renovating it. I opined that $3.5 million would be an absolute steal but that $4.6 was still too high. $4.150 sounds just about right.


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From the agency that cooperated with Obama in shutting down parks to punish citizens, this


Here's to you, America

Here’s to you, America

Park Service cracking down on souvenir hunters in newly-exposed lake beds. The drought in the west has caused reservoirs to recede and old mining camps and such not are resurfacing. Naturally, the Park Service is forbidding anyone to remove artifacts. It was the federal government itself that dammed up these rivers, made these reservoirs and flooded towns, waterfalls and Indian ruins hundreds of feet under water. So who’s the vandal here?



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As I predicted

Paul Palmer (Greenwich Time)

Paul Palmer (Photo credit, Bob Luckey, Greenwich Time)

The teens who told 89-year-old Paul Palmer to mind his own business when he warned them not to go out on the ice, and then fell through, attend Country Day. Nothing like a private school for inculcating a fine sense of entitlement and superiority in its students. Too bad the world’s full of thin ice.


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And another pyrrhic victory for parents


I'll tell you what to do and when to do it, so STFU

I’ll tell you what to do and when to do it, so STFU

Responding to parent dissatisfaction, the BOE voted to reinstate the full five-day winter vacation for next year. It’s not a long lived victory, though, because as of 2016 Hartford, rather than local towns, will schedule vacations. Why let ignorant parents decide these things when we have experts available to decide for them?


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Board of Education plays delaying game on racial redistricting

Childish sport

Child’s play

Vote 7-1 in favor of submitting a racial balancing plan that will do nothing except kick the can down the road. I understand that sentiment, but cheers to the sole dissenting BOE member, Peter Von Braun (for whom I’ve had a mostly critical view of until recently) for stating that the Emperor has no clothes.

“I find that the racial-balance law has no educational virtue whatsoever and that we should focus on improving the educational achievement of the minority kids in the community and not perpetuate the silliness of thinking that moving kids on a percentage basis is going to have any benefit whatsoever,” he said.

“I find that irrelevant to the document presented to the board,” replied Jennifer Dayton, the board’s vice chairman. “I do not find mention of that. I’d like to know if you could please point out in the document where you see that discrepancy.”

“I find the whole process defines the intent that I discussed,” von Braun responded.

And while we’re praising men of principle, here’s to someone I don’t know, but admire:

Harry Fisher, a former Board of Estimate and Taxation member and the father of a Greenwich High School sophomore, argued for a more combative approach.

“I think it’s time to stand up to the state and just say no,” he said. “This does nothing for achievement. Moving kids around does nothing for achievement. We should put achievement first. We should concentrate on those aspects that bring achievement and forget about the arbitrary nature of racial balance.”


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Greenwich Democrats plant story in Businessweek

Drew Mazullo Memorial Pool, Byram

Drew Mazullo Memorial Pool, Byram

Cos Cobber points out this story from BloombergNews/Businessweek: “Mean ol’ Republicans refuse to go long on borrowing despite our infrastructure “crumbling”. Notice the picture of the drained Byram pool, a pet Democrat project. Also notice the ice. Ice in July, or a recent photo?

Home to billionaires such as Ray Dalio and Thomas Peterffy, the top-rated town returned to credit markets in 2007 to sell bonds after a 74-year, self-imposed hiatus. It operates under a policy of limiting debt backed by its general fund to maturities of five years or less. The approach reduces interest payments while constraining the scope of projects that can be done at once.

[Greenwich Democrats] point to aging structures like the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center, which the town acquired in 1966, and which has cracks in its facade and chunks of concrete missing from exterior walls. They also note the seaside Byram Shore Park, where town documents say the pool has a “continuous leak.”

From the Fox Butterfield is that you? Department*, the article notes that “Greenwich is among the nation’s wealthiest towns with a top credit rating, with $719,873 of taxable property per capita, according to Standard and Poor’s. The median figure for top-graded communities is $157,536.”

How’d that top credit rating come about? The article doesn’t say, which is funny, because one of the reporters on the Greenwich story, Ms. Michelle Kaske, recently penned an article, “Puerto Rico’s Borrowing Binge Could Rock the Muni-Market”. Guess she didn’t read it.

* NYT reporter Butterfield is the eponym for “The Butterfield Effect”, used to refer to a person who “makes a statement that is ludicrous on its face, yet it reveals what the speaker truly believes”, especially if expressing a supposed paradox when a causal relationship should be obvious. The particular article that sparked this was titled “More Inmates, Despite Drop In Crime” by Butterfield in the New York Times on November 8, 2004


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If driving proficiency were a requirement, our realtor ranks would drop by (at least) half


Collateral damage in the war for listings

Collateral damage

Massachusetts: Real estate agent who ran stop sign and smashed into ambulance charged with negligent homicide.  Just like the caution to never get between Dick Blumenthal and a camera, a realtor on her way to grab a listing is a very determined animal.


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Dissatisfied with the minimum wage? Try a little self-help

Counting chickens while they hatch

Counting chickens as they hatch

Georgia school cafeteria cashier stole $1.35+ million over her career.

An estimated $500 a day, every day, for 15-20 years while manning a cash-only, registerless cafeteria line. That’s probably inappropriate behavior, but someone explain to me how administrators didn’t notice the theft for twenty years?

I wonder what else is going on at that school.


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