Monthly Archives: February 2015

That’s more than guns!

C. diff infections attacking 500,000, killing 29,000 Americans per year – caused by antibiotics. Let’s see if Obumski uses his executive power to ban them.

Fighting C. diff. costs hospitals up to $4.8 billion each year, CDC says.

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This ought to be of interest to lawyers and real estate brokers, among others

Don't try this at home!

Don’t try this at home!

Supreme Court rules, 6-3, that dental board can’t regulate teeth whitening

The high court ruled Wednesday that a North Carolina state dental board cannot exclude nondentists from offering teeth whitening services.

In a 6-3 vote, the justices said the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners violated anti-trust laws by pushing out their competition, which often provides the same service at a lower cost at malls and spas.

Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his majority opinion that board members — who were involved in their own private dental practices — were “confusing their own interests with the state’s policy goals.”

The case was brought forward by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in 2010, after the board sent cease-and-desist letters to malls where nondentists operated teeth-whitening kiosks in 2006, the Associated Press reported.

“These actions had the intended result,” Kennedy wrote. “Nondentists ceased offering teeth-whitening services in North Carolina.”

Consumers were forced to have their teeth whitened by dentists, who often charge between $300 and $700 for over-the-counter kits.

The FTC said board members could not decide who whitens teeth because they had a financial investment in the market. The board acted as more of a trade association than a state board.

Justice Samuel Alito dissented in the Supreme Court ruling, warning that the decision “is likely to have far-reaching effects on the states’ regulation of professions” because many boards are composed of working professionals.

Since this case was heard by the court, I’ve read several horror stories about non-professionals ruining patients’ teeth, but regardless, how many “professional” boards around the country are run by members of the profession they regulate? Certainly lawyers and real estate brokers, probably barbers, accountants and interior decorators too. As Drudge would say, “Developing ….”

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Readers, don’t let this happen to you

It's the sort of thing that just ruins a home's resale value

It’s the sort of thing that just ruins a home’s resale value

Oregon: House stolen right off its foundation.

A 1,200 square foot Oregon home disappeared from its foundation, and no one has any idea where it is.

Klamath County Sheriff Frank Skrah confirmed the incident at a press conference on Tuesday. So far, there do not seem to be any leads as to the house’s location or how it seemingly vanished overnight.

“We had a complete home stolen. This isn’t a motor home, this isn’t a mobile home and this is a ‘home,'” Skrah said, according to local NBC affiliate KOBI.

 

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What kind of sick perverts would invite this lady to a foursome?

Even if paper bags were mandatory, would you, could you ...?

Even if paper bags were mandatory, would you, could you …?

PA cow arrested for drunk driving after she drives her toddler to an orgy.

There’s drunken driving, drunken driving with her young son in the car, taking said child to an orgy, and taking her clothes off in front of another young boy at the home where the alleged orgy was to be held.

Pennsylvania mother Heather Young, 34, faces a slew of charges after police found her shouting in the hallway of an apartment complex in the wee hours of Tuesday, authorities said.

Responding to a call of a domestic fight, officers in Chartiers Township were told Young had driven drunk to a home where she intended to engage in a sexual foursome, KDKA-TV reported.

But an argument erupted after Young and another woman began shouting at each other because Young started to strip in front of the other woman’s child, a witness told the cops.

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I had no idea they could be transplanted, let alone that someone might want to

Whoa, doggie!

Whoa, doggie!

Man wakes up to discover that someone has stolen his testicles.

Police in Russia are tracking a gang – apparently including a doctor – who drugged a TV soap actor and removed his testicles.

Dmitry Nikolaev, 30, had a drink with a ‘young blonde woman’ who approached him at a bar after he finished a performance at a small Moscow theatre.

Flirting with him, she invited him to a sauna, and though he was married, he agreed to go with her.

‘They kissed and had some more beer and after that the actor remembers nothing,’ said a police source.

He woke up next day at a bus stop, feeling acute pain, and with blood on his trousers.

[Police] fear a gang seeking to sell human organs on the black market [was responsible].

That takes balls.

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Mike Finkbeiner o tannenbaums on last night’s P& Z session

No boats, no house, no nothing, and no compensation

No boats, no house, no nothing, and no compensation

He addresses the Audi decision (discussed in an earlier post,) but also criticizes a ruling that essentially renders an entire property useless. It’s an exercise in eminent domain, without compensation.

….Ole’s is an historic boatyard, built out over public trust land (meaning it has water under the docks.)

If you remove the water dependent boatyard use, the state says you must remove the docks and allow the banks to revert to nature. Residential docks are limited to 100 sq.ft. Ole’s has 1000’s.

But the Town zone is residential single family.  But there is not enough actual land to make a decent lot.

Therefore, in the end, it’s abandon the historic use and lose the land, the history, the water access and a usable lot.

Zoning by itself fails when there is no effective plan in place to guide and decide the Commission.

But bravo to Heller and Alban for insisting that the duck must both waddle and quack. Now back to the drawing board.

Mike Finkbeiner lives in Greenwich . He is a professional forester and licensed sand surveyor at the company he founded, EarthImage.net

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Dang, there goes Obama’s Job Corp program for the Middle East

Obama: "Terrorism springs from lack of opportunity and poverty"

Obama: “Terrorism springs from lack of opportunity and poverty”

“Jihadi John” identified 

The British Islamic State militant known as “Jihadi John” was identified Thursday as Mohammed Emwazi by a report in The Washington Post.

“Jihadi John” has appeared masked, but speaking with his British accent, in ISIS hostage-beheading videos, leading some who knew him before he left for Syria in 2012 to identify him to the newspaper.

The Guardian confirmed Emwazi’s identity as “Jihadi John,” and two US government sources confirmed the same to Reuters.

Emwazi, 27, was reportedly born in Kuwait. He was from a “well-to-do” family, lived in London, and was described as polite and stylish. He is also educated, with a degree in computer programming, according to the Post.

Emwazi occasionally prayed at a mosque and was known to adhere to his faith while he lived in London, but it wasn’t until he planned a post-college graduation safari trip to Tanzania that he started to radicalize, sources said.

So: No hardscrabble existence, no deprivation, a full education and access to well paying jobs. Is there anything Obama understands about Islamic terrorism and its roots? Either he doesn’t, which is scary, or he does and is deliberately lying to the American public, which is even scarier.

 

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This should excite the neighborhood

Bob Luckey for Greenwich Time

Bob Luckey for Greenwich Time

CL&P wants to build a new substation on Railroad Avenue

Eversource, the energy company formerly known as Connecticut Light and Power, will host an open house at Greenwich Town Hall on Tuesday to present plans for a new power substation on Railroad Avenue.

“Building a new substation is not something we do frequently,” Eversource spokesman Frank Poirot said. “It happens when customer demand for electricity continues to grow, and we’ve been marking that trend in Greenwich in particular for years now.”

The current bulk substation, in Cos Cob, was built in 1964, when there was less demand for energy in American’s daily lives. Eversource anticipates the need will exceed its capacity at some point in 2017, Poirot said this week.

The energy company filed a municipal consultation earlier this month, outlining a multiyear plan to bring a new substation into town at 290 Railroad Ave., a building the company has owned since the 1970s. That location is home to Pet Pantry, a pet store, which recently bought the old Baang property on East Putnam Avenue for $2.7 million.

The first step of that process is the open house, which will be held in the Town Hall Meeting Room from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, where representatives from Eversource will explain plans for the project and invite questions from the public.

Poirot said if it’s approved, construction would likely begin as soon as August 2016, kicking off a process he said is estimated to cost $104 million.

The property has been owned by the utility for decades: one of my after-school jobs in high school was working for Jack Cohen, owner of Pet Pantry, and when we moved here from Mason Street in 1971, Jack got, I think, a 30-year-lease in what was already an old building. At the time, Jack told me CL&P didn’t foresee an immediate use for the property – hence the long lease, but was holding on to it for the time they’d need it. That time has come, apparently.

There should be no argument about the need for this new capacity, and the location, surrounded by other commercial buildings and the railroad tracks, with no immediate residences nearby should, in a rational world, raise no objection, but it’s Greenwich, so I foresee a lengthy battle, just because.

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A year wasted

An optimistic Peter Berg before last night's appeal hearing - sadly, he lost

An optimistic Peter Berg before last night’s appeal hearing – sadly, he lost

After long ranging battle over what was always a permitted use in the commercial zone of Route One, the P&Z Board of Appeals has finally approved a parking deck for Audi of Greenwich. I don’t own an Audi, don’t want one, and don’t expect to ever own one, but these perennial fights against businesses on the Post Road, which is zoned for commercial use its entire length, really annoy me.

Gerrit Argento, a nearby property owner, said opposition has been growing to the project and that it was in violation of both existing zoning regulations [it isn’t] and the spirit of the town’s Plan of Conservation and Development.

“The feeling of lack of control, of the spoiling of our town, of economic motives driving maximum build-up in every square foot of land, of increased traffic and of increased helplessness despite our guidelines, regulations and public authorities is the feeling raised in many of us by the Audi expansion,” Argento said.

Peter Berg, [local communist, leader of the Greenwich Democratic Committee and]  chairman of the Representative Town Meeting’s Land Use Committee, spoke as a private citizen and said the application was inappropriate for Greenwich. He asked the commission to consider the question: “What’s in this for Greenwich residents?”

“Our Plan of Conservation and Development says Greenwich is and wishes to remain primarily a residential town,” Berg said. “You have zoned properties for commercial use but we expect these commercial uses to be primarily for the benefit of Greenwich residents. We don’t seek to be a regional center for retail as Stamford, White Plains or Norwalk seek to be. Regional centers welcome traffic. Greenwich does not like traffic. We welcome shoppers from other towns but we expect Greenwich business to be scaled for the needs of Greenwich residents.”

Look: we’re a nation of laws, not “spirits” (except when our chief executive is a black Democrat), and if the law permits a certain use on a particular property, then the owner of that property is free to engage in that use, regardless of whatever penumbras and spirits that other people feel. As for Cos Cob resident Peter Berg, who lives nowhere near this auto dealership, he simply can’t be serious: a car dealership restricted to selling cars solely to Greenwich residents would go broke before it opened. Berg probably knows this, but as a commie rat cum environmentalist, he probably thinks that’s a great thing. Turn Greenwich into a small village, offering hemp sandals and locally made bongs, and Peter’s a happy man. The rest of us may not be.

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What, they planted a hawk?

Greenwich Time: Red shouldered hawk siting.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 6.22.19 PM

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More contracts reported

5 Pilot Rock

5 Pilot Rock

5 Pilot Rock Lane, Riverside, asking $3.095 million. I always liked this location and the house, and have discussed it several times as it sat on the market. It was also listed as land, which I understand, but the house is quite nice. Owners paid $3.175 million in 2003.

111 Parsonage Rd

111 Parsonage Rd

111 Parsonage, $1.250 million. A land sale, 1.6 acres in the R-1 zone indicates, at this price, a severely compromised lot. Wetlands? There’s a lot of that over here, but regardless, not a bad price for a building lot on Parsonage.

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Pending sales

14 Tinker Lane

14 Tinker Lane

14 Tinker Lane, $3.975 million. This same house spent a year on the market in 2008-2209 at $4.395, without success. I doubt the lower price had as much to do with its sale this time in just 40 days as did the recovering market.

97 Deep Valley Road

97 Deep Valley Road

97 Deep Valley Road, Stamford, $3.250 million. I don’t know who’s to blame for the catastrophe here, the first broker, who listed it at $8.5 million in 2013, or the second one who, taking over the listing in 204, after it had dropped to $5.9 and still wouldn’t sell, jacked its price up to $6.475. Regardless of fault, the owner threw in the towel on February 9th of this year and dropped it to $3.250, whereupon a buyer immediately appeared  (I predicted this sad fate last July).Big loss on what it cost to build, considering that the owner paid $3.4, just for the land. Talk about a free house.

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Cos Cob sale

2 Gregory Road

2 Gregory Road

2 Gregory Road (corner of Valley), new construction, $2.075 on an asking price of $2.150 million. Four thousand square feet. Seems about right.

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Back from showing houses

My clients found one “intriguing” , but the other, priced as though there was a house on it, was disappointing. I’d last seen it in 2002, and I remembered it as a decent house on wonderful land. It’s been rented out since then and, thirteen years of neglect later, the house is worth nothing. Termites have invaded the interior, window seals have failed, water stains indicate a roof failure, and so on. The owner made a costly mistake leaving this house to deteriorate because the house is far beyond being salvageable – or, it makes no economic sense to restore it, so the only value left is the land. That would be fine, if it were priced to attract a builder or someone interested in building anew, but for clients like mine, looking for a house, it has no appeal. I think that, for perhaps $25,000 saved on maintenance in the past years, the owner lost $500,000 in value. That was a short-sighted decision.

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Paul Palmer, r.i.p.

Mr. Palmer to the rescue, 2013

Mr. Palmer to the rescue, January, 2014

“Mr. Palmer”, as I always called him, was one of the people I most respected growing up and continuing to this day. Here’s his obituary, reprinted below, but there was so very much more to his life, including sailing down Ole’s Creek with his grandfather to the oyster house (he once told me that, in those days, the deep-draft oyster boats kept the creek navigable, even at low tide), to watching the Sugar Boat burn off Tod’s point when he was a young boy, to, basically, just being a wise, wonderful, quiet man. A descendant of one of the first settlers in Old Greenwich, the town’s lost a treasure.

Palmer, Paul P.
Humble, modest, selfless, simple, honest, loyal and unpretentious. A man of his word and a man of few words and a hero many times over. Paul Pierson Palmer was loved by all. Faithful, loving husband, brother, father, grandfather and friend. Paul is recognized and respected by all he touched. He was [honored] for his service in the U.S. Navy for his bravery at Normandy, he served as Chief of the Old Greenwich Fire Department and a member for 60 plus years, was a dedicated [Lions]  Club member, as well as a 62 year member of the Masons Acacia Lodge #85, recognized as the oldest living CT Eagle Scout, not to mention his compassion and love of animals. As [recently] as last year he came to the rescue of two young boys who had fallen through the ice; not the first time he was noted to rescue others. Paul passed away after a short battle with cancer, at his home with family and loved ones, bravely and fearlessly as the man he was. Paul leaves behind a legacy of the utmost heartfelt values that his sons will carry on to the next generation of Palmers and others. Paul proudly leaves behind two sons, Timothy Paul and Richard Nelson, two grandsons, Robert Pierson and Timothy David, his twin sister, Dorothy Crocket, several nieces and his beloved friend, Joan Crossman, who brought love and hope to him. Paul was predeceased by his wife of 60 years, Phylis Heusted Palmer and his daughter Linda Lee Palmer. A Memorial service will be held on Monday March 3, 2015 at 2 pm at the First Congregational Church of Greenwich.

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Gotta love Greenwich

Alexa Moses

Alexa Moses

GHS student athlete Alexa Moses shoots a clutch, game winning 3-pointer in the last seconds and her team advances to the finals. That’s good news for the girls and their fans, but what I was struck by was Alexa’s discussion of the play with a reporter afterwards: “The shot presented itself and I knew I had to take it.”

As a non-athlete myself, Alexa’s diction impresses as much as her obvious poise and athletic ability. Most athletes I know would have used Tammany Hall’s George Plunkett’s phrase to describe what they’d done: “I seen my opportunity and I took it.”

” The shot presented itself” – fabulous. Go Alexa – good luck in the championship.

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Wesleyan: $50,000 tuition, per year

From the Wesleyan Student Housing page– really.

<br /><br /><br />
     Photo of Open House

154 Church Street

Open House is a safe space for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Flexual, Asexual, Genderfuck, Polyamourous, Bondage/Disciple, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism (LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM) communities and for people of sexually or gender dissident communities. The goals of Open House include generating interest in a celebration of queer life from the social to the political to the academic. Open House works to create a Wesleyan community that appreciates the variety and vivacity of gender, sex and sexuality.

 

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Shocker of the day

Peter J. Tesei "temporary" Firehouse and campaign headquarters

Peter J. Tesei “temporary” Firehouse and campaign headquarters

New central firehouse is over budget and behind schedule.

The steel superstructure was due to be completed by last fall, but Lowest Selectman Peter Tesei says that couldn’t be accomplished by November because of all the snow this February.

Yet this guy keeps getting reelected? Boggles the mind.

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This has to have been planted by a matrimonial law firm looking for business

Someone's history

Someone is history

NY Post: Next time, tell your wife the truth if she really doesn’t look great in that outfit 

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That was quick

13 Center Road, Old Greenwich

13 Center Road, Old Greenwich

13 Center Road (not Center Drive, Center Road, south of the Village) reports a deal. Asking price was $1.650, and showings began just last Thursday. Bidding war? Start of the silly season?

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