Daily Archives: November 12, 2015

It should have happened before this, but if it derails his plan to be our next chief of police, then fine

I think my brain was placed in a secure lockbox somewhere around here

I think my brain was placed in a secure lockbox somewhere around here

Chief Detective Mark N Kordick placed on administrative leave for some unspecified personnel matter. Tesei should have fired him after he was found to be monitoring and reporting on the activities of an opponent of Common Core (“he was counseled not to do that again”, Tesei says), but that’s a lot to expect of our junior executive.

What could Kordick have done that was worse than violating several of our Constitutional rights? Whatever it was, it must have been a doozey to force Tesei’s hand. I’m guessing he parked in Peter’s reserved space at Town Hall.


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Now it can be revealed: Hillary is Dick Blumenthal’s evil twin sister

Celebrating their successful co-captaincy of the UConn men's basketball champions

Celebrating their successful co-captaincy of the UConn men’s basketball champions

It appears (duh) that she did not try to join the Marines, and therefore, neither was she rejected by them.

In her defense, of course, let it be remembered that she always was a Yankees fan, and she dodged the sniper fire in Tuzla, Bosnia in 1996.

Greenwich’s own, Dick Blumenthal, also suffers from memory lapses: he did not serve in Viet Nam, although he has a recalled memory of doing so, and, as first revealed here at FWIW back in 2010, he was not only not the captain of the 1967 Harvard swim team, he wasn’t on the team at all.

Funny how that all fits.

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When you encourage little tyrants, it only goads them on

Michael Diamond is a senior in the College of Arts and Science. He can be reached at michael.s.diamond@vanderbilt.edu.

[Petitioner] Michael Diamond is a senior in the College of Arts and Science. He can be reached at michael.s.diamond@vanderbilt.edu. Demands that Professor Swain undergo “diversity retraining”. She’s obviously forgotten that she’s black, and Mr. Diamond will show her how to regain that.

Vanderbilt students renew demands that (black) conservative professor be fired for an op-ed column published last January.

The sustained protests at the University of Missouri, which led to the ouster of a system president and campus chancellor, are inspiring minority students at many campuses. …

At Vanderbilt, many minority students have in recent days renewed a push for the university to take action against Carol Swain (right), a tenured professor of political science and law, over a column she wrote in January after the terrorist attacks in Paris against the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

In the January column, Swain asked, “What would it take to make us admit we were wrong about Islam? What horrendous attack would finally convince us that Islam is not like other religions in the United States, that it poses an absolute danger to us and our children unless it is monitored better than it has been under the Obama administration?”

Many students and others said that the column stereotyped all Muslims in a way that was profoundly biased, but the university defended Swain’s right to free speech.

In the last week, students started a new petition to have her fired, saying that she engages in name-calling, that her use of the word “Professor” on her Facebook page suggests that she speaks for Vanderbilt and that her biases may lead to discrimination against minority students who are not Christian or straight. (Swain is black, but her conservative political views have angered many black people.)

The organizers of the petition then amended their request, calling for Vanderbilt to suspend Swain, not fire her. This change, the petition organizers announced, was “made to more clearly address Swain’s right to free speech.”


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Good news for Round Hill residents. I mean, if THIS guy can get off …

I want you to go up to Noel's house - 197 Round Hill Road, wish him a very special Merry Christmas, unnerstan' me?

I want you to go up to Noel’s house – 175 Round Hill Road, wish him a very special Merry Christmas, unnerstan’ me?

“Goodfella’s” gangster acquitted.

An aging mobster who stayed mostly in the shadows for decades by adhering to the Mafia’s strict code of silence was acquitted Thursday of charges he helped plan a legendary 1978 Lufthansa heist retold in the hit film “Goodfellas.”

A federal jury reached the surprising verdict at a Brooklyn racketeering trial where it heard testimony that portrayed 80-year-old Vincent Asaro as a throwback to an era when New York’s five organized crime families comprised a secret society that committed brazen crimes and settled scores with bloodshed.

Asaro jumped up, pumped his fist and clapped after the verdict. When he walked out of the courthouse, he threw his hands up in the air and hollered: “Free!”

“I was shocked, I was really shocked,” Asaro said outside. “I’ve got two years in, and I’m dying to get home.”

He said he would be headed home to have a good meal with his family.

“Right now I’ve been eating bologna sandwiches,” he said.

It was a stunning defeat for the federal government in a courthouse where prosecutors over the years have won convictions of major mob figures like Gambino family head John Gotti and Genovese crime boss Vincent “chin” Gigante. The U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment after the verdict.


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Still going nowhere up on Conyers Farm

50 Guards Road

50 Guards Road

50 Guards Road is back on the market, still pretty firmly lodged at its original asking price of 2013. Then, it asked $7.950 million, and didn’t move, in price or in ownership, for 530 days. Now it’s asking $6.999, which is an improvement, but possibly not enough to do the job.

This is in fact a splendid house, to my taste. It’s relatively modest in scale, for Conyers, at 7,000 sq.feet, and it looks as though it belongs in the horse country. In fact, I was told by its original listing broker Brad Hvolbeck that it was the model of what Peter Brandt and his co-developers hoped to see go up in Conyers, back in 1988. As we’ve seen, that didn’t happen.

It’s on 10 beautiful acres overlooking the polo fields and meadows, so I’d think even as land it’d be an attractive buy, but it won’t sell, and I suspect that has more to do with the current market up here in the Banksville region than anything peculiar to this house.

Still, it’s been vacant all this time, and you’d think the owner, the successful founder of a local money management firm, would see better opportunities for his money than a depreciating house. I mean, isn’t a guy like that supposed to have some good ideas where to put people’s money? I don’t think this is one of them.


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Not-so quick sale (contract, actually) on Riversville Road

444 Riversville Road

444 Riversville Road

444 Riversville, asking $2.050 (with a $50,000 discount to buyer who signed contract before November 30, which this one has).

(A reader has corrected my original post, pointing out that I missed an earlier listing for this house that expired earlier this year. In fact, it was on the market since May, 2014. The owners did indeed purchase it back in 2010, for $1.940, after it had been on the market for 65 days, but they were not so lucky this time. Buy in haste, repent at leisure.)

All that said, this is still a good looking house. This far up Riversville (a little past the Merritt) is a bit of hike, but you also get a lot of house to compensate for that drive.


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Your tax dollars at work, overseas

Maybe Osama's hiding in Peking?

Maybe Osama’s hiding in Peking?

Government Motors will begin importing cars from China as labor costs here get too expensive.

General Motors Co., fresh off agreeing to a new union contract that is expected to drive up its U.S. labor costs, plans to become the first major auto maker to sell Chinese-made cars in the U.S.

The nation’s No. 1 auto maker by sales early next year plans to start selling the Buick Envision, a midsize sport-utility vehicle made in Shandong province, according to people familiar with the plan. The move would add a third SUV to Buick’s U.S. lineup at a time when such crossovers are among the best selling vehicles in the market.

Initially, the company expects to import a modest number—between 30,000 and 40,000—a year. But it signals the beginning of a strategic production shift for the Detroit auto giant and a bold experiment that will be closely followed by other auto companies that have said they would eventually consider such a move.


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Our college kids go retro

No unkind words here, just puppy dogs and chewy chocolate chip cookies

No unkind words here, just puppy dogs and soft, chewy, chocolate chip cookies

Bring back separate but equal schools! Bring back female campuses! Bring back proctors and house mistresses to protect our virginity!

The 70s are so over. Welcome back to 1962.


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Binney Lane spec house goes to contract

2 Binney Lane

2 Binney Lane

2 Binney Lane, $2.895 million. Busy road (Shore), and just 1/4 acre, but that’s the market these days.


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It’s also happening in Portland, Maine

Crossing paths

Crossing paths

A reader sent along this NY Post article from yesterday, which I’d missed: “Hipsters mad they can no longer afford Portland”.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland has been a magnet for young, creative adults for over a decade, beckoning droves with its quirkiness, liberal appeal and quality of life. But the city’s popularity has had another effect: Those who helped make it cool can’t afford to live here anymore.

A wave of evictions and skyrocketing rents are putting apartments out of reach of many, especially those working part-time, low wage or artistic jobs. It’s even harder to afford a house.

My son John, who’s spent a decade up here living on a musicians’ salary, which is to say, no salary at all, has long complained of being pushed out of neighborhoods he and his friends pioneered. I’ve pointed out to him that that’s just the way the world works, whether it’s SoHo, Alphabet City, or with both of the Portlands. Still, it does suck when the very people whose creativity brings an area (or an entire city, in Portland Maine’s case) alive make it so attractive that the squares move in, and drive them out.

But it happens, and not just to artists. Ogunquit, Maine, used to be a wonderful little community of fishermen. It attracted artists first, then Bostonians who wanted to join in the fun, then condominiums right on Perkin’s Cove, and by 2000 or so, the condo owners had passed ordinances against storing bait in barrels on the docks and driven prices so high that only their fellow Bostonians can afford to live there.

So it goes. There’s always Corea, Maine, but that does have its drawbacks, including a decent coffee shop. Of course, if good coffee were to arrive, could the Massholes be far behind?


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Quick sale in Old Greenwich

18 Highview Avenue

18 Highview Avenue

18 Highview Avenue, $2.050 million, reports a pending (meaning all contingencies met) in just 9 days. Nice house, on a very nice street, and priced, basically, no higher than the $1.905 paid for it in 2011. The owner might have been better off renting, rather than buying, but it’s possible that circumstances changed, as they have a tendency to do in life.

Listing agent is Jackie Chamandy, who always gets these things right.


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I wish they’d broken it down by those Democrats who’ve had the benefit of a college education, too. The neo-Nazi number would probably be 85%

Orig.src_.Susanne.Posel_.Daily_.News-doha-climate-conve_2422375bRasmussen Poll: 27% of Democrats favor prosecuting “scientists and other individuals, including corporations, who question global warming”.

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So maybe we should be focusing on technology, rather than shutting down the economic machine that makes technology possible

Bad enough he was caught, and had to pay $500,000 in property tax, John Kerry's sloop Isabel is now almost useless

Bad enough he was caught, and had to pay $500,000 in property tax, John Kerry’s sloop Isabel is now almost useless

Scientists have created revolutionary new material that can turn salt water potable.We’ve had desalinization plants for decades, of course, but taking advantage of nanotechnology, this can filter out impurities cheaper better and faster. And that’s much cheaper, because it uses far less energy.

If, as global warmists would have us believe, the coming hot age will cause droughts that will threaten world security, then shouldn’t we be trying to do something about drought? It’s a far easier solution, unless your goal is to return humanity to the Stone Age. Of course, if that is your goal, then all is explained.

And admitting that there might be technological solutions to the various and assorted end-of-world scenarios would take attention away from the goal of further centralizing governmental power, well that’s a bad thing too.

There’s filtration and then there’s filtration.

Engineers in the US have been working on the latter, coming up with a new markedly more energy-efficient way of taking the salt out of seawater, which could deliver huge advantages in terms of providing people with access to drinking water and help combat problems like drought.

The researchers have developed a material that allows high volumes of water to pass through extremely tiny holes called ‘nanopores’ while blocking salt and other contaminants.

The material they’re using – a nanometre-thick sheet of molybdenum disulphide (MoS2) riddled with these nanopore holes – is the most efficient of a number of thin-film membranes that the engineers modelled, filtering up to 70 percent more water than graphene.

“Even though we have a lot of water on this planet, there is very little that is drinkable,” said Narayana Aluru, a professor of mechanical science and engineering at the University of Illinois and leader of the study. “If we could find a low-cost, efficient way to purify sea water, we would be making good strides in solving the water crisis.”

Molybdenum disulphide coupled with nanopores could be that solution. While desalination isn’t a new concept, the efficiency gains with this kind of new material – both in terms of the energy required to make the filtration work, and also the cost of keeping a desalination system running – could make a world of difference when it comes to processing large amounts of seawater.

“Finding materials for efficient desalination has been a big issue, and I think this work lays the foundation for next-generation materials,” said Aluru. “These materials are efficient in terms of energy usage and fouling, which are issues that have plagued desalination technology for a long time.”

Conventional desalination relies on reverse osmosis to channel seawater through a thin plastic membrane, but the process suffers from a number of bottlenecks. While the membrane appears thin to the eye, from a microscopic perspective it’s more tube- or tunnel-like than a sheet that’s only a nanometre in thickness, which means it requires more pressure (and thus energy) to operate. They’re also susceptible to more clogging, which ramps up operational costs.

In comparison, the extreme thinness of the molybdenum disulphide membrane allows water to pass through with much less resistance, lessening or negating many of the above drawbacks. But the ingenuity behind the system isn’t just in its engineering.

“MoS2 has inherent advantages in that the molybdenum in the centre attracts water, then the sulphur on the other side pushes it away, so we have much higher rate of water going through the pore,” said Mohammad Heiranian, first author of the study. “It’s inherent in the chemistry of MoS2 and the geometry of the pore, so we don’t have to functionalise the pore, which is a very complex process with graphene.”

The next steps for the researchers are partnering with manufacturers who can bring their modelled desalination technique to life. The first step will be testing, but they’re confident their findings – which are published in Nature Communications – could be applied on an industrial scale for everybody’s benefit.


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Out of shape female cops now excused from physical endurance tests

That's not a baton, it's a deep-friend Twinkie - twice as deadly

That’s not a baton, it’s a deep-friend Twinkie – twice as deadly

In Colorado Springs, a dozen fat, aging girl cops sued the force for discrimination because they were required to demonstrate that they could do 52 push ups in 2 minutes, 45 sit-ups in 2 minutes, and jog around a track. They won, of course, and have now moved from desk duty back to patrol, where they will waddle after teenaged rapists, car thieves and purse snatchers.

This is a great day for woman’s equality, successful litigant Officer Donya Davis (might have) told FWIW. “For womanly and all the poor, confused young criminals our bullying brothers have been putting in jail. Now they’ll have the run of our fair city.”>

Here are some data to prove her point, and why a police force capable of actually catching criminals is so unnecessary

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 12.25.45 PM:


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On the other hand, maybe the ol’ Game Cock IS stirring

Convenient to water taxis

Convenient to water taxis

4 Game Cock, the neighbor of 36, has sold, and for $2.750 million. Poor Jean Ruggiero carried this listing for 1,544 days, starting at $4.2 million in 2006 to $2.895, then the owner dumped her and hired another agent who kept that $2.895 price sold it to an unrepresented buyer in just 170 days. That’s not lack of skill on Jean’s part – she’s one of the most successful agents in town – that’s inflation finally catching up to the 1999 purchase price of this place, $965,000.

Property’s entirely in the VE and AE flood zones, which should make for exciting times during Nor’ Easters and hurricanes.


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Maybe not so game after all

36 Game Cock Road

36 Game Cock Road

In fact, the longer it stays out there, the more its appeal seems to shrink.

36 Game Cock Road Road’s listing has been extended, after 519 days at $18.5 million (town appraises it, 100%, at $6.7), price still unchanged, buyer yet to take a big gulp and pay that.

One acre direct waterfront (to the south – Byram Yacht Club and beach to the east, I-95 to the north), VE and AE zone, 1936 home, detached garage.

Nice view, though.

(Ogilvy listing)


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One bargain, sort of, maybe, one …meh

16 Jada Lane

16 Jada Lane

16 Jada Lane, $1.175 million. That seems to be lower even than its land value (town appraises its land at $1.585, house an additional $254,800). We’ve discussed this property before, and readers mostly seemed to believe it was martial land and a less-than-marginal house, in a great location.

17 Steeple Chase

17 Steeple Chase

Way up yonder in the Indian nation, 17 Steeple Chase sold at foreclosure auction for $1.570 million. Even if it were worth that much, and I have my doubts, it certainly isn’t worth any more, as its owner found out when she tried to sell it for, first, $2.350 and eventually $1.899, so why bother?


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Ed Driscoll asks an interesting question: why are “progressive” institutions supporting rape a la ISIS?

Ms. Magazine says they are, and that’s close enough to the truth for me.

MS. MAGAZINE: “While ISIS endorses rape, American college administrations similarly facilitate the rape of women on campuses:”


96% of all Ivy League presidential donations this past election went to Obama. Why the war on women?

An overwhelming majority of Ivy League college faculty and staff that donated to a presidential campaign this year, gave money to President Barack Obama’s campaign, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Ivy League schools donated over $1.2 million in total to Obama, but only $114,166 to Romney.

A whopping 99 percent of donations to presidential campaigns from Brown University and Princeton went to the Obama campaign.


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She must know that she’s got the nomination locked up, so adios, Scooby Van, welcome, Queen Lear

When the phone rings at 3:00 AM, it'll be her pilot

When the phone rings at 3:00 AM, it’ll be her pilot

Hillary jets out of New Hampshire in her Lear jet after receiving the endorsement of the Conservation League for her fierce stand against global warming 

She said Monday when she received the group’s presidential nod that ‘we have to use every tool we have’ to save the environment. ‘There is no Planet B. This is it.’

The $13.3 million Learjet 60 cruises at a top speed of 525 miles per hour, according to Jet Advisors, a firm that counsels America’s 1 per cent on aircraft purchases.

It also consumes 203 gallons of jet fuel for every hour it spends with its twin engines running.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, burning a gallon of jet fuel produces 21.1 pounds of carbon dioxide.

That puts the Learjet 60’s hourly carbon footprint at 4,283 pounds – more than 2 tons.

“Vans are for the little people and the unwashed”, Clinton Spokesman Louis-Auguste de France told FWIW, “and Mrs. Clinton is obviously not one of them; not little anyway.”


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