Daily Archives: January 27, 2014

Maybe it’s time to rethink this whole “ethnicity is destiny” thing

You picked a fine wine to dine me, Lucille - Jeremy Kaye, Gallo Hearty Burgundy and Escargot a la Miami

You picked a fine wine to dine me, Lucille – Jeremy Kaye, Gallo Hearty Burgundy and Escargot a la Miami

One of my two closest friends, Jeremy Kaye (the other is his brother Joel, but don’t tell him that or he’ll try to get me to buy him lunch) told me a few years ago during the land crash that he was condo shopping in Florida “because I’m Jewish, so I know I’ll end up down there eventually; why not get a bargain now?” That kinda, sort of made sense, before I heard of the cow-throttling pythons infesting the place and, now, foot-long, sex-crazed giant snails that pierce tires and devour houses. Oh, and just to make them even more appealing, they carry rat lungworm, which is surely as bad as it sounds.

Today, Miami is simply overrun with the things. Not only do the giant snails chow on some 500 economically important plants in the area, they’re devouring houses. It seems they have a taste for stucco, which contains precious calcium. Without a ready supply of the stuff to fuel their amazing growth, they’ll simply turn on each other — at least in captivity.

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Eddie Lampert, this was not; not even slumlord Menachem Stark

Nobody was willing to pay $800 for ME - how come?

Nobody was willing to pay $800 for ME – how come?

FWIW’s official crime beat correspondent Cos Cobber sends along this story: Port Chester villains kidnap fellow citizen, hold him for $800 ransom.  By telling the victim’s family the exact  time and place they’d be waiting for the loot, police were able to apprehend them after just six days searching.

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Remember those flood – relief applications you spent thousands of dollars to prepare? Never mind.

Hartford to homeowners: "drop dead."

Hartford to homeowners: “drop dead.”

State has rejected every single homeowners’ application for financial assistance in raising their storm-damaged houses and will instead divert all the money to the cities of Bridgeport and New Haven. Why the farce? “We were bored,” Governor Malloy admitted.

This is the Diane Fox/Denise Savageau school of apocalyptic planning at work: sea level’s due to rise 100′ in 50 years, so we must clear out everything standing in the path of the wrath of Mother Ghia.

Out of dozens of coastal property owners from Greenwich to Milford who applied for grants to raise the elevation of their homes in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, not a single application was approved by the state, according to a decision letter that went out today.

Sources say the money is instead going to New Haven and Bridgeport to harden their infrastructure, a decision that has inflamed emergency management officials in a number of shoreline towns.

The municipalities expended considerable resources because they had to submit the applications on behalf of the homeowners.

“It was definitely eye-opening that no municipality had a single applicant granted,” Daniel Warzoha, Greenwich’s emergency management director, told Hearst Connecticut Newspapers on Monday. “That’s very disappointing. I think it sends some pretty poor messaging from the state to the people who pay taxes in this state.”

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Well at least we know who’s the better Olympics organizer

The deciders

The deciders

Last week Mitt Romney acknowledged what everyone already knows, Putin’s a better president than Obama, but what about the real test, who can run a better winter Olympics game? Latest cost estimates, before further overruns, for Sochi is $51 billion. Romney’s Salt Lake City fiesta cost $2 billion.

“President Obama could have done it for $102 billion,” White House spokesman Jay Carney boasted to reporters this afternoon, “and those would have all been snow shovel-ready jobs. We blame Bush.”

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Market’s still slow, but there’s one contract reported

396 North Street

396 North Street

396 North Street, asking $4.2 million. Owners paid $3.825 for it in 2004, totally renovated it and put it back up for sale in 2007 for $5.495. There were no takers so it retreated from the market until last spring, when it reappeared at $4.795. Its latest price cut did the trick. It’s a great house, and at around $4, nice price – all those renovations for “free”.

Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 3.39.22 PM

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LEDs – the next battle in house wars?

The art of darkness

The art of darkness

I mentioned this before, but as incandescent bulbs disappear and are replaced by $20 LEDs, I’d think that who gets the pricey new bulbs  – seller or owner – will become an issue in contract negotiations. A large house might have 200 or so bulbs, and at $20 a pop, that’s a substantial amount of money. Sellers have been known to take 20¢ rolls of toilet paper with them when they go; how much more likely that they’ll be tempted to keep $4,000 worth of illumination?

Just asking.

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The lights are going out all over Europe

 

So we'll use solar power - big deal!

So we’ll use solar power – big deal!

Just like we lucky Americans, the subjects of the European Union are discovering that their EU mandated,  £40LED bulbs, supposed to last 40 years, are already failing.

Just like the horrible CFL bulbs. “But our intentions were good!”

It is estimated that five million LED light bulbs were sold in the UK in the past year. Which? researcher Matt Clear said: ‘LED light bulbs have a tendency to make grand claims about their lifespan – it’s common to see manufacturers promise bulbs will last 25,000 or even 50,000 hours. But we’ve found many failing well before this.

‘One of the attractions of LED light bulbs is that they’re supposed to last a long time. So if you’re shelling out for these bulbs – typically more expensive than other types of light bulb – you’ll want to be sure that they’ll live up to those claims.’

LEDs create light by passing electricity through a semiconductor. They can fail if they are made from poor quality materials, and are also more prone to burn-out from power surges.

They are also liable to fail due to over-heating if the heat from the light emitting diodes is not dissipated efficiently. Brighter LED bulbs with a greater lumen power are particularly prone to this problem.

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