Daily Archives: November 3, 2015

Farricker wins in a landslide



[UPDATE: Tesei actually squeaked out a win. FWIW regrets its error]

A surprisingly low turnout by Greenwich Republicans has opened the door to the town’s first Democratic town leader in nearly 40 years, Town Clerk Mike Harris has told FWIW. “Just 12%,” he marveled, “we’ve never seen that kind of apathy and clearly, it opened the door for Frank and his party to make a clean sweep.”

Reached by phone, the soon-to-be-deposed Peter Tesei was still shell shocked, and furious. “I know who did this,” he screamed at our FWIW reporter, “and it wasn’t fucking frank farricker – it was Campbell, Jim Campbell, who’s been after my job since he first slithered into town and onto the Republican Town Committee. Campbell, Ian Macmillan and Peter Von Braun. But I’m going to get them all, just you wait. The bastards!”

The successful candidate Farricker was more conciliatory: “Peter’s had a rough day, and he’s doubtless having trouble accepting serving as Third Selectman as Drew and I lord it over him. Three words of advice, you loser: suck it up.”

Farricker is now at Democratic headquarters, where he is expected to announce a doubling of the town property tax on all homes assessed at $3 million and more, free day care and public school education for all town employees’ children, and a full opening up of Tod’s Point to all visitors.


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And in Old Greenwich, the perils of overpricing

393 Sound Beach Avenue

393 Sound Beach Avenue

393 Sound Beach Avenue, priced at $3.1 million in 2014, has finally sold, for $2.130. Sometimes it takes awhile for an owner to get real.


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Bidding war in mid country!

104 Husted Lane

104 Husted Lane

104 Husted Lane, 2 acre building lot with a tear down, dropped its price from $1.895 to $1.8 and generated a bidding war back in August and closed today at $1.905 million. I always liked this land, despite it’s being comprised of rocks and swamp, and it seems that at least two other buyers did too.

We’ve discussed this property before here, many times, as it was neglected, rented out, ridden hard and put away wet and gradually eroded in value as the house itself became worthless. The seller bought it as a house back in 2002 for $1.805 in her own bidding war: it had listed for $1.729, but back then it was a desirable residence. As she neglected it, her asking price fell from $2.495 (2008), $2.295(2014), to $1.950 (2015). When she undershot a little and dropped to $1.8, she got some interest, and voila – a sale.

Demonstrating, once again, that it’s hard to underprice a home, but it can be deadly to overprice it.

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Real estate news

35 Pine Ridge

35 Pine Ridge

35 Pine Ridge (off lower Stanwich), asking $1.695 million, reports a pending deal after just 37 days on the market. There’s nothing not to like about this house, in my opinion. A 1937 home on over an acre, nice yard, and a convenient location. It can certainly use some updating, but at this price there’s room to do that without over improving it past the market.

306 Stanwich Rd

306 Stanwich Rd

306 Stanwich Road, $2.850 is also pending. I like its setting on the pond, but when I last saw it in 2011, it was looking pretty tired, and it’s been rented out since then. Still, pretty nice land.


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Tuition: $61,400. Parents, are you friggin’ crazy?

Back when Vassar students were open minded

Back when Vassar students were open minded

Vassar dean literally shreds the US constitution after undercover reporter posing as student complains that it’s oppressive and a trigger.

The video was produced by Project Veritas, a non-profit established by conservative journalist James O’Keefe, and employs a similar style to the undercover ACORN videos that first brought him to prominence.

“Last week something kinda happened on campus that kind of really upset me and I ended up having a panic attack,” the reporter tells Vassar College Assistant Director of Equal Opportunity Kelly Grab. “It’s just I’ve been kind of hiding out in my room ever since kind of scared, so, finally somebody told me I should maybe come talk to you about it and see if there’s anything that can happen or anything … They were handing the Constitution out on campus.”

“Oh, CATO Institute,” Grab murmurs while looking the booklet over.

“They were handing it out and as soon as I saw it you know I started to not be able to breathe, hyperventilating,” the reporter elaborated. “My vision went blurry and I just—kind of just lost control.”

After establishing that the reaction was triggered merely by the offering of copies of the Constitution and not by anything the group had said, Grab offers her sympathies to the reporter.

“And so what I think you’re sharing with me is that your interaction in receiving this was harming, right?” Grab confirms. “And that’s what we certainly want to avoid; we don’t want to limit people in exchanging ideas or having opposing viewpoints, but when it’s disruptive or causing harm…”

“Yeah, which I think the Constitution does,” the reporter interjects. “I mean, it’s not just me, it’s—I mean I thought that Vassar wanted to create like a safe place here, you know a place that … where students could walk around and not be scared of seeing discriminating things on campus.”

Noting that “I’m sure there are also some people who, who maybe don’t understand the impact that this might have on folks,” Grab asks the reporter whether there is anything that can be done to create an “educational moment” regarding the issue.

“Yeah, I guess, maybe,” the reporter responds, suggesting that “maybe the Constitution should be removed from campus permanently.”

Grab stops short of endorsing that idea, but asks the reporter if there is anything she can do with the copy of the Constitution that was brought into the office.

“Honestly, can we just like destroy—like is there a shredder or something? Like I think it might be really therapeutic,” the reporter offers.

“Cathartic … Yes, I think we have a shredder in the front office there,” Grab replies. “Did you want to do it with me?”

The video then show Grab and the reporter enter another office, where Grab proceeds to shred the entire Constitution, page by page.

“Thank you, that made me feel better,” the reporter says, to which Grab replies, “[g]ood.”

A narrator then asserts that when the reporter tried the same story at Oberlin College, several professors made similarly shocking statements.

Carol Lasser, Professor of History and Director of Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at Oberlin, likewise concurred that “[t]he Constitution is an oppressive document” because it intentionally makes change a slow process.

“I think birthright citizenship is right,” she whispers. “And you know that if that was up for a vote today we would lose it under the craziness of Trump and his seven dwarves.”

She then observes that “[t]he Constitution is not a sacred document in that sense,” citing the Second Amendment as an example and asking, “[w]hat could be clearer than, I mean at least from my point of view, that the founders never envisioned giving people carte blanche to own assault rifles?”

Colleen Cohen, Faculty Director of Affirmative Action and a Professor of Anthropology at Vassar, is even more indulgent of the reporter’s complaint, saying, “[i]t’s horrible that this is something that has caused you such pain,” and despairing that “unless the people are from off campus,” there is nothing the college can do to prevent the Constitution from being distributed.

“Can I destroy this?” she asks the reporter, referring to the Constitution. “Or did you want to hold on to it?”

“Well, could you destroy it?” the reporter says. “Maybe it will feel, you know, therapeutic for me.”

“I’ll put it through a shredder,” Cohen offers. “Yeah, I’ll put it in a shredder.”


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While we wait for broker open houses to end and real estate reporting to resume, here’s an old chestnut that resurfaced yesterday

43 Doubling Road

43 Doubling Road

43 Doubling Road. New in 2004, it sold for $5.075 in 2006, $5.155 in 2008, failed to sell in 2012-2013 despite its price dropping as low as $4.2 million, now it’s back at $4.495.

I’m not sure what might have happened to mid country prices in the past two years that would account for raising the price above a  failed one, but perhaps the dust bunnies have been swept from under the beds.


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? I thought it was already a prerequisite

Here's a nickel for your vote

Here’s a nickel for your vote

Obama makes it easier for felons to become federal workers.

I guess I was thinking of Hartford.


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So bring them to Greenwich

Surely there's room at the Greenwich Country Club

Surely there’s room at the Greenwich Country Club

NYT: refugees flooding the west, and the worst is yet to come.

“Throughout Europe, xenophobia and open racism are running rampant, and nationalist, even far-right parties are gaining ground,” Joschka Fischer, the former German foreign minister, wrote recently in an article that appeared on Project Syndicate, an online news service.

“At the same time, this is only the beginning of the crisis, because the conditions inciting people to flee their homelands will only worsen. And the E.U., many of whose members have the world’s largest and best-equipped welfare systems, appears to be overwhelmed by it — politically, morally and administratively.”

Those stresses pose a challenge for the future, experts say, because the flow is unlikely to ebb anytime soon.

“I don’t think this wave can stop,” said Sonja Licht of the International Center for Democratic Transition. “It can maybe from time to time be somewhat less intensive, we simply have to prepare. The global north must be prepared that the global south is on the move, the entire global south. This is not just a problem for Europe but for the whole world.”

The west’s leaders lack the will or the intellectual capacity to protect their countries – maybe their subjects do.


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It’s election day – vote early and often for Farricker

peter Tesei - deer in the headlights

peter Tesei – deer in the headlights

Could Frank possibly win? Probably not, but the Republican Town Committee has been mismanaging our town for decades from a smug position of power, and they need a sharp blow upside the head – a large turnout for – gasp – a Democrat might deliver that.

I’d call Tesi and his masters “Democrats Lites” but is there really any difference at all? Not in speeding, certainly: under them, we’ve seen the wildly over budget music palace be erected, a police station that would put the wealthiest Balkan nation to shame, a firehouse on the way, and a Byram recreational center for the Mexicans of Port Chester get approved, all by Tesei.

Tesei claims that he has no responsibility for many matters in town because of our town’s charter, but that’s not true: he holds the bully pulpit. Rather than merely bow out as our schools’ implementation of the Common Core curriculum, for instance, he could be leading the charge against it. He won’t, probably because he hasn’t even thought about the issue. Tesei’s biggest concern over the past years has been his feud with the town’s $600-a-year harbor master, Ian MacMillan, who doesn’t give Little Lord Fauntleroy the respect he claims to deserve. Leadership at its pettiest.

frank’s got lots of ideas for improving town government and the town itself; me of which I agree with, most of which I don’t, but at least he has ideas, and is vocal about them. Tesei and the RTC are content to stay mum, keep power, and oversee the gradual decline of Greenwich.

Did you get your next tax bill yet? Welcome to the town as run by your Republican Town Committee.


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The UN’s “climate justice tribunal” – it can’t happen here?

Todd Stern: "Do we have a surprise for you!"

Todd Stern: “Do we have a surprise for you!”

When I posted on this yesterday, several readers pointed out that, just s it refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol treat, the US Senate would never agree to turn our sovereignty over to the tender mercies of the United Nations and the Third world. Well, according to The Hill, Obama’s figured that out too, so he’s planning an end run around the problem, and is working on drafting it in such a way that it won’t be considered a treaty, and he won’t have to get Senate approval.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), chairman of a Foreign Relations Committee subpanel, said at a Tuesday hearing that any deal negotiators reach at the talks in Paris in December needs to go through Senate ratification.

“Just like the Kyoto Protocol and the United Nations framework convention on climate change, any agreement that commits our nation to targets or timetables must go through the process established by the founders in our Constitution. It must be submitted to the United States Senate for its advice and consent,” Barrasso told Todd Stern, the State Department’s top negotiator for the deal.

“The president has made clear that he doesn’t see it that way, as was the case with the Iranian nuclear deal,” he said.

Barrasso was the only Republican at the hearing, which was dominated by Democrats who thanked Stern for his work.

…. Republicans have long accused Obama of working with international leaders to craft a deal that would not require Senate approval, as treaties generally do under the Constitution.

Stern said whether the deal would go through the Senate hinges largely on whether countries’ individual contributions are legally binding — a factor that has not yet been finalized in the negotiations.

“We don’t know yet what the elements of the agreement are going to be and so it’s hard to speculate at this time,” he said. “We’re pushing hard for an agreement that does not include binding targets.”

Inhofe had planned to have a joint hearing with the committees that would have included Stern and representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Council on Environmental Quality.

Those agencies declined to send representatives because they do not have primary authority over the talks, Inhofe’s office said, a decision that disappointed him.

Meanwhile, the panel’s Democrats were very happy with [Obama’s Climate Tsar Todd] Stern’s efforts.

“The Paris agreement takes us in the right direction, signing up countries, developed and developing, to halt the climate crisis,” said Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), the panel’s top Democrat. “The United States must lead and set an example for other countries. This is the right thing to do to protect our economy in the long term.”

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) accused Republicans of denying science in their opposition to the deal.

“They say they’re not scientists and I would agree with them,” she said. “They ought to be listening to the 97 percent of scientists who tell us human action and activities is causing too much carbon pollution.”

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