Daily Archives: October 24, 2014

The NYT nails it: “Affordability in Danbury, and just over the border”.

(What's left of) the Amphenol factory - Danbury: Ready to rock and roll!

(What’s left of) the Amphenol factory – Danbury: Ready to rock and roll!

Good God in heaven – Danbury? Over the border from what, Pawling? No jobs, 30% of the homes underwater, and I’m not referring to Candlewood Lake, and at least 40 minutes from Stamford, assuming no traffic. Even the Times can’t find anything real to support its claim that this is a fine place to live but tries valiantly anyway, citing 10 Dunkin Donuts, a Main Street “that time’s left behind” and this:

Danbury is something of a hub for upper Fairfield County, where people go for work, shopping and cultural events and to visit inmates at the low-security federal correctional institution on Route 37. (Piper Kerman, whose memoir was the basis for the Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black,” served her sentence at a satellite camp adjacent to the prison.)

People flock to that prison, I’ll bet, and it must be those visitors who are keeping all those Dunkin Donut shops busy; prosperity!

Nice place to visit, perhaps, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

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A little more news on minimum wage jobs, and it’s more ominous than Wacky Hillary might think

Your burger is ready

Your burger is ready

McDonald’s, which suffered a 30% drop in profits this past quarter, is looking for ways to improve profitability and boost sales. One of those ways, the company says, will be to allow customers to place orders via computer tablets, rather than deal with (minimum wage) counter staff. While that in itself is a tad threatening, of more significance, perhaps, is that McDonald’s CEO, Don Johnson, is an electrical engineer by training with experience designing robotic food preparation machinery.

I suspect we can guess where Mr. Johnson might put his skills to work in his search to restore profits.

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Breaking news from Bizzarroland

Senile dementia

Senile dementia

Hillary Clinton: “Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs; that has been tried, and it’s failed spectacularly.” You know, Yale Law grads keep speaking like this and I’m going to start questioning whether the school actually teaches its students anything .

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Fear not, Homeland Security is on the streets, protecting all of us from evil

Putting terror behind us

Putting terror behind us

They just confiscated a dozen pairs of Kansas City Royals underpants, for instance. “We may have missed the last underwear bomber,” HSA spokesman Adam Yahiye Gadahn told FWIW, “but not the next one. We’re the bomb, so to speak.”

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Slow week

Back in town, and I missed nothing, it seems. There were six new pending deals reported this week, compared to 9 the same week last year and 11 the year before that (2012). This is always a slow time of year for real estate sales, but this year is exceptionally slow.

We also saw 7 “contingent contracts” reported, which I can’t compare with previous years because of GML’s record keeping, but of those 7, 2 were for more than $2 million, one was for a house asking $1.185, and the remaining four were under $1 million.

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Cobb Island price cut

27 Cobb Island

27 Cobb Island Drive

27 Cobb Island Drive (Exit 4, I-95), is back with a new broker, Shore & Country, and priced at $3.295 million, dauntingly close to the $3 million its owner paid for it in 2001. It started off in 2013 at $4.199, with the result you see today.

I’m sort of ambivalent about both the house and this development, but the ever-dropping price does increase my enthusiasm.

Oh, to sale away ...

Oh, to sale away …

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I’d be more impressed if he travelled to Bellevue and hugged Craig Spencer

Gimme some love

Gimme some love

Obama brings Nina  Pham, the Dallas nurse who has recovered from Ebola and is no longer contagious, into the Oval Office for a hug.

Obama spokesman Mary Mallon claims that her boss extended the invitation for a hugging so he could “thank her for her service” – he has not yet hugged Amber Vinson, the other nurse from Dallas, presumably because she hasn’t yet been certified 100% safe to touch.

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Desperation at Democratic Headquarters

Yes, I'm topless under this hoodie - boo!

Hello, I’m Gloria Steinem, I think

Exhume 87-year-old Gloria Steinem to exhort the troopettes.

“Great-Great-Grandmothers vote too,” Steinem insisted to FWIW, “and we’ll be organizing a wheelchair brigade to get them to the polls. Victory will be ours!” Asked if any woman under 65 would have ever heard of, let alone remember her, Steinem lashed out at our FWIW reporter with her walker and screamed, “get the hell out of here, you whippersnapping ageist!”

 

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Liar liar

Man claims iPhone 6 set his pants on fire

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If this is true, it’s probably a good time to buy the stock

Fei on Wall Street!

Fei on Wall Street!

Business Insider claims that “Investors are getting fed up with Amazon”.

Increasingly, I look to Amazon first when looking for something and almost invariably, it has it, and at a good price. Forget the stupid iPhone “competitor” – the company seems to be otherwise expanding in all directions and has certainly grabbed most of my consumer dollars. If it’s a choice between the wisdom of Bezo’s long term view and Wall Street “investors'” fifteen-minute horizon, I’d bet on Bezos.

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Here’s a surprise

18 Ebola Drive

18 Ebola Drive

18 Perryridge Road, cheek-by-jowl to the hospital, has dropped its price for the 4th time since starting off at $4.145 million and is now down to $3.495. We’ve been discussing this house since it was first built and put up for sale for $4.650 million in 2010, and neither ours, FWIW readers’, nor buyers’ opinion has changed: Perryridge is not ready for this price range.

It’s a nice house, provided you don’t want a back yard, but it’s gone from that $4.650 in 2010 to as low as $3.875 in 2011, back up to $4.275 in 2012, then $4.145 this year to, as noted, $3.495. If there were a buyer within that $ million-plus price range, surely he would have shown up by now.

It’s interesting to see that it also can no longer command the rent it once did. In 2012, they found a $16,000 tenant, but this year they’ve started at $17,000 and today dropped it to $14,500. Buildings depreciate.

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Stupid liberals, again

Obama EbolaE.J. Dione, WaPo’s resident liberal flake, sees Ebola as his president does: a political issue.

It is normal for the party that doesn’t control the White House to be critical of how the incumbent has handled a crisis. And President Obama himself, according to the New York Times, was frustrated with aspects of the government’s handling of the episode, one reason he called on Ron Klain, the Washington veteran, to coordinate the response.

But it’s something else again to stoke alarm and to set up an unrealistic policy demand as a test of “toughness.” Thus did many Republicans call for a travel ban from the countries affected by Ebola, even though there are no direct flights from them to the United States. This raised the prospect of grounding connecting flights from European cities, and the administration argued that the ban would encourage people to lie about their travel history, making screening for the disease much harder.

One would like to hope that Ebola posturing will not be decisive in either the Moulton-Tisei race or in the larger campaign. There are signs that the issue is fading as reality catches up with the pandering.

Michael Gerson, also writing in the Washington Post, has a different view:

The Ebola virus has multiplied in a medium of denial. There was the initial denial that a rural disease, causing isolated outbreaks that burned out quickly, could become a sustained, urban killer. There is the (understandable) denial of patients in West Africa, who convince themselves that they have flu or malaria (the symptoms are similar to Ebola) and remain in communities. And there is the form of denial now practiced by Western governments — a misguided belief that an incremental response can get ahead of an exponentially growing threat.

So is Ebola it a real danger or merely a political problem for our poor, besieged president? Take your pick, but up at Yale, doctors are warning that the disease is “about to explode”. They probably didn’t reach that conclusion by conducting a poll.

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Since it’s a close up of his skull, I wonder if the Greenwich Time is mocking our First Selectman with its photo caption

First Selectman Peter Tesei shows his muscle at a recent meeting in the Cone Room at Greenwich Town Hall.

First Selectman Peter Tesei shows his muscle at a recent meeting in the Cone Room at Greenwich Town Hall.

Comments Off on Since it’s a close up of his skull, I wonder if the Greenwich Time is mocking our First Selectman with its photo caption

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Relisted, again

122 Clapboard Ridge Rd

122 Clapboard Ridge Rd

122 Clapboard Ridge Road, back after a one-month time out, still priced at $3.6 million. This house has been a tough sell, starting with Prudential back in 2005-2006 for $4.950, Ogilvy from 2008-2010, starting at $4.650 and dropping to $3.995, Prudential again ($3s) and, for the past year, Ogilvy. I’ve always liked the house, although as I recall, there was some issue with its layout, the details of which escape me.

Still a good location and, although $3.6 hasn’t moved it in the past year, surely some lower price should. The owners paid $2.9 for it in 1999, and you’d think a number in the low $3s would be a pretty good deal today.

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This should help decide the next British election

On the other hand, these London twits must be delighted

On the other hand, these London twits must be delighted

EU demands an extra £1.7 billion from the UK because its economy is doing so much better than other countries. 

The bombshell, first reported by the Financial Times, was dropped into the middle of an EU summit in Brussels where Cameron and 27 other leaders were mired in tough negotiations over climate-change policy and attempts to agree big reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

A Downing Street source said: “It’s not acceptable to just change the fees for previous years and demand them back at a moment’s notice. The European commission was not expecting this money and does not need this money and we will work with other countries similarly affected to do all we can to challenge this.”

The prime minister on Thursday evening conferred with Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, as the Netherlands has also been ordered to pay more than €600m extra into the budget, while other countries such as Germany and France are likely to have excess contributions returned.

The commission told the various countries of the revamped figures on 17 October, EU officials said. They said the British had until 1 December to provide €2.1bn, roughly a fifth of the UK’s annual net contribution to the EU.

The demand for the money is political dynamite for a prime minister wrestling with dilemmas over Britain’s future in Europe and broadly seen to be making increasingly Eurosceptic gestures to the restless backbenchers who want to deal with Nigel Farage’s Europe rejectionists.

“The timing is far from ideal,” said Patrizio Fiorilli, spokesman for the EU budget commissioner. “But there are rules we have to follow.”

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Pandemic nightmare

Public health 2_thumb[2]The doctor who returned from Africa has Ebola, and wandered the city as he grew sicker. Maybe – maybe – the CDC is right, and the virus doesn’t spread through casual contact, but so far, they’ve lied about every other aspect of this disease, including the “fact” that you can’t get it if garbed in proper protective gear: doctors and nurses who have been treating Ebola patients are getting sick, and dying.

It seems to me that, as victims flee Africa and totter around Europe and the U.S., we’ll be seeing more of these cases. And if they infect strangers in large cities, and those strangers infect still more, well … gosh.

“We don’t want to give the impression he self-quarantined, but he did limit his contact,” claimed Dr. Mary Travis Bassett, head of the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

“He did attempt to self-isolate,” she told reporters.

Still, officials conceded that Spencer had also made numerous excursions around the city in the days before he was diagnosed.

That included riding the subway, walking the High Line, taking the Uber car and, on Wednesday night — even as he was already feeling fatigued, according to officials — taking a three-mile run and spending the evening bowling.

Spencer went to The Gutter, a popular Williamsburg bowling and music venue, sources said.

Spencer rode the subway in the past five days, traveling on the A, L and 1 lines, a law-enforcement source told The Post.

His stroll along the High Line also involved a meal at a nearby restaurant, sources said.

Spencer also visited Herald Square in his travels around town, sources added.

The NYPD’s Missing Persons Squad is pitching in, looking at Spencer’s Metro­Card, credit cards and bank statements to track all his travels and determine if any other locations need to be monitored, sources said.

“We haven’t alerted the president to this new development,” White House spokesman Mary Mallon told FWIW, “because he’s still sleeping. Once he’s up, finished his breakfast and returned from the course, I’m sure someone around here will mention it to him. Maybe that Czar guy, if we can find him”

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