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Thursday, June 26, 2008

06/26/08 Is Chris Fountain Going To Report On Real Estate Or What? This Guy Hasn't Posted In A Month


Yes those are real cobwebs!
In Chris Fountain's Computer

Okay, so I've been remiss


By Chris Fountain

I'm in the middle of what promises to be an exciting (to me, at any rate) new website with a number of webdesigners, columnists, reporters and editors (the free time of all of whom has been blessedly freed up by the ever-increasing rapidity of newspaper cut-backs, and blogging has been none-existent. Details forthcoming soon, but, if there are still any readers out there for this blog, here's some information you probably already knew: the market is in the tank.

A handful of houses have gone to contract in the past 21 days, some at impressive prices, but the trend is dismal. 215 house price reductions, some by millions of dolllars, vs. 44 contracts. Interestingly, and as a sign that sellers new to the market still don't get it, 205 new listings have come to market in that same period and, to my eye, the vast majority are grossly (which I define as in excess of 10% of their eventual selling price) over-priced. I've finally gotten smart and started refusing over-priced listings - why waste time and money marketing them when they aren't going anywhere? There are still agents out there who will take a listing, any listing, at any price. One house I turned down because I valued it at $1,495,000 to, in their dreams, $1,695,000, was just listed by another agent at $2,000,000. That's just crazy, and I want no part of it. A house I mentioned in an earlier column as insanely priced at $6,000,000 finally went to contract somewhere in the $3,000,000s. That agent spent over a year holding open houses, paying for full-sized ads and showing the damn thing when the only thing that was ever going to work was getting the price to its proper level. Buyers aren't stupid and in fact, they're growing more stubborn every day, no doubt because they go home each night and read more scary headlines about the housing market. We're not in a free fall, but if ever there was a time to aggressively price your house, this ain't it.

UBS Leaving Town?
That's the rumor that's reported in today's daily and if it's true (or even if the prediction of a 500 employee layoff s true), it doesn't bode well for our immediate future. Lots of the support staff for UBS probably lives in Shelton and points north, but a lot of the higher level folks bought homes in Greenwich. Just what we need: more inventory.

Here Are Previous For What It's Worth Blog Postings:


It Looks Like The Greenwich Post Created A Formidable Competitor By Kowtowing To Greenwich Realtors Who Want To Hide Market Weakness From Greenwich Post Readers.

The Publisher Of The Greenwich Post Should Ask Himself, "Was The Threatened Temporary Loss Of A Few Real Estate Ads Worth Having A New Newspaper Website In Greenwich?"

06/26/08 Estate Like Living With Condo Convienance Just Blocks From Greenwich Avenue


GREENWICH, CONN. REAL ESTATE

New York Post

By VICTOR WISHNA

$6.35 MILLION

When you hear "downtown" living, you probably aren't expecting a 5,870-square-

foot, two-level French-style home in a gated community. But this is downtown Greenwich, and the Lily's Path community offers estate-like living (with condo-like privacy, security and upkeep) just two blocks from the commercial center of Greenwich Avenue ("the Madison Avenue of Connecticut"). There are four bedrooms, 4½ bathrooms and all the large entertaining rooms and touches you would expect in the suburbs (like a paneled library, media room, eat-in kitchen and four fireplaces), plus two outdoor patios and an "exclusive" English garden surrounding the entire home. Oh, and it has its own elevator, too. That does seem a bit more downtown-ish.

Agent: Dianne Orlando

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

(203) 629-0040

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06/26/08 It's Going To Be Harder For The Hartford Courant To Scoop The Greenwich Time


The Hartford Courant Announces Deep Job Cuts
Hartford Courant

The Hartford Courant said today it will cut its newsroom staff and the number of pages of news by 25 percent as the newspaper struggles with an industrywide decline in advertising.

Nearly 60 jobs will be eliminated, most by July 31, as The Courant reduces its newsroom staff from 232 to about 175.

The cuts are part of a decision by The Courant's parent company, Chicago-based Tribune Co., to "right-size" the nine newspapers in its publishing division. Tribune said its newspapers must deliver to readers and advertisers more of what they want, including, in the news pages, more maps, charts and lists.

The number of pages devoted to news in The Courant will fall to 206 a week, from 273. At the end of September, the newspaper will roll out sweeping changes in design and presentation, including possible combinations of some sections. Those changes are still being worked out.

Newsroom employees will be offered voluntary buyouts to achieve the staff reduction, but layoffs are also possible. Four of the jobs are now vacant.

"Our newspaper has a long history and I believe a solid future, but only if we fully grasp that the business has changed fundamentally," publisher and CEO Stephen D. Carver said in a memo to the staff. "We're redesigning the newspaper with the goal of making it sleeker, smarter and more relevant to our readers' lives. Unfortunately, the redesign will impact news staffing levels in order to reflect our new business model." ...

Hartford Courant to cut staff and pages
United Press International

Hartford Courant plans job cuts
WTNH

Courant plans job cuts
SunJournal.com

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06/26/08 Hartford Courant: Lawsuit accuses the Miltons and Weyand of mismanaging SageCrest and failing to provide audited financial for several years


Investor accuses Greenwich hedge fund of siphoning off money

Hartford Courant

An investor has sued a Greenwich hedge fund management firm, accusing its operators of siphoning off money and enriching themselves at the expense of investors.

Westerly Capital sued Windmill Management LLC, manager of SageCrest hedge fund, and operators Alan and Philip Milton and Richard Weyand in Stamford Superior Court earlier this month.

It is demanding an accounting of money that has been lost and accuses the operators of Windmill of overvaluing fund assets "in furtherance of a scheme and/or course of conduct designed to personally enrich themselves even if this proved detrimental to the fund and its investors."

Full Story: Hartford Courant

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06/26/08 Hartford Courant: Greenwich Entertainment Coverage


"Climate Change: From Snowball Earth to Global Warming" at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich explores the extinction of some plants and animals like the Golden Toad, pictured here.


Global Warming Exhibit At Bruce Museum

Hartford Courant

In a Courant editorial in 1897, editor Charles Dudley Warner wrote: 'Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.' The Bruce Museum in Greenwich is talking about it and illustrating it, too, in its exhibit "Climate Change: From Snowball Earth to Global Warming."

The show, which opens Saturday and runs through Nov. 9, looks at theories of climate change and the science used to create models of global warming.

Weather changes day to day, but climate looks at the averages expected over a longer period.

The show looks at climate changes over millions of years, from "snowball Earth" 700 million years ago to the subtropical temperatures that lasted for 60 million years and ended about 45 million years ago. A model of the museum's "Ecosphere," above, will be on display, showing the interdependence of plant and animal life....

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06/26/08 Greenwich Time News Headlines For Thursday





By Stephen P. Clark, Wynne Parry and Alexandra Fenwick
Staff Writers

As motorists endure record gas prices, lower Fairfield County municipalities are locking in rates to save money on fueling public vehicles.

While area gasoline prices have topped $4.50 per gallon, Stamford, Norwalk and Greenwich and other municipalities are paying as little as $2.57 per gallon for gas and $2.62 per gallon for diesel fuel.

These municipalities are part of a joint bidding program that lowers prices, reduces administrative costs, and improves quality control....

...That's what Greenwich did this month for diesel fuel. It will pay $4.06 starting July 1. Greenwich still uses gas purchased through SWRPA. In January, the town renewed its gasoline contract and has been paying $2.69 per gallon since February, which is locked in until the year's end.

Greenwich Director of Purchasing and Administrative Services Joan Sullivan said she waited to lock in a diesel price because it typically drops later in the year.

"We kept hoping that the market was going to improve for diesel, and it didn't," she said....

STAMFORD - Local and state officials were taking a wait-and-see approach yesterday to rumors of a potential takeover of banking giant UBS AG - a cornerstone of the city's financial industry - by British rival HSBC Holdings....

Byram building plan stalls

Lingering concerns helped to stall a developer's plan to bring a new office building to Byram. The project failed to gain the support of the Planning and Zoning Commission late Tuesday night after several commissioners cited concerns over the potential traffic, building design and public access to the waterfront....

Although tennis players may be pleased to have an off-season facility, a number of residents are not happy with the prospect of a bubble rising in their neighborhood...

A perfect season in Cos Cob

Andrew McCausland is good at math but he has no plans to be a mathematician. Instead, the 11-year-old Cos Cob student has his eyes set on becoming a financial investor...

As the Fourth of July weekend approaches, First Selectman Peter Tesei is ordering additional police patrols and increased staffing out at Island Beach and Great Captains Island...

Questions remain in boy's drowning

Whether Zachary Archer Cohn's drowning after getting caught in a suction drain in his family pool will result in criminal arrests or was a terrible accident remains unanswered by Greenwich Police investigating his death...

A parks supervisor who was fired by the town last summer for ordering a swastika to be painted on the desk of a subordinate has been awarded his job back with back pay by an arbitrator...

Teufel gets call to hall

Some may be jumping off the New York Mets' bandwagon, but Tim Teufel isn't one of them. Teufel, the Greenwich native who went on to play six seasons for the Mets and was a member of the 1986 World Series championship team, still bleeds orange and blue...

Connecticut Light and Power Co.said Wednesday it will begin $6.5 million in upgrades to the town's electrical system to provide more reliable service for Greenwich customers...

In the playoffs, where every game and each passing inning can bring a team a step closer to a championship, there's not a huge need for additional motivation....

Two memories - one about a father, the other about a grandfather: In the afternoon, it grew dark. The cartoonist looked out of the school windows at the dancing trees, then turned back to the easel and stared at the paper...

The Mianus Bridge and state DOT


With the anniversary of the Mianus River Bridge collapse 25 years ago this week, it is important to respectfully remember the individuals who were killed, and how people from all sectors responded to the tragedy and its aftermath....

Issues involving ferry access being blurred

To the editor:

Greenwich Time, June 15:

" 'I don't think the lifting of the restriction had anything to do with the Kempner case or concerns about the town's standing legally on the beach policy - or any restriction which was in conflict with the Supreme Court case,' [Town Attorney John Wayne] Fox said.

Greenwich Time, June 17:

"Reverting to a policy that restricts nonresidents from riding town ferries unless they are accompanied by a resident would be impossible to justify if challenged in court, First Selectman Peter Tesei said yesterday."

Any questions?

I'm so glad that our then-first selectman and town attorney got together in secret last year to decide what is the best policy for Island Beach. I'm equally happy that the new first selectman chose to implement the policy.

Now seriously, what does Peter Tesei mean by "reverting?" Is he saying that if we had never changed the policy (at that point only two days old), it would be OK, but reverting is a problem? Would "maintaining" the policy be a problem? (No, according to the town attorney.)

Lots of questions about this policy change. Nitpicking like this would not be necessary if this policy were debated publicly, but all our officials have provided are snippets.

The way this was handled is disgraceful.

John Bowman

Byram



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06/26/08 Greenwich Post News Headlines for Thursday


Graduates say goodbye to Greenwich High School


Despite gray skies that opened up to rain on Wednesday night, there was cause to celebrate as Greenwich High School held its 139th commencement ceremony.

The rain forced the ceremony indoors, splitting the class in two graduating groups, but each of the celebrations was upbeat as the gymnasium filled with relatives carrying balloons and flowers.

Please Read The Entire Greenwich Post Article

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06/26/08 Editor Don Harrison Says Thay He Can't Update Greenwich Citizen Website For A Week, Because He Is Too Busy Writing This Weeks Editorial


Greenwich Citizen Editor
Don Harrison

Wants To Brand

Greenwich Democrats


Greenwich Residents have flooded Greenwich Citizen Editor Don Harrison with email complaints about having to read the same news stories over and over at the Greenwich Citizen for 7 days.


These complaining Greenwich Residents were shocked when Mr. Harrison responded that he had not updated the website, because he had been working hard on his latest editorial calling for the branding of registered Greenwich Democrats.

In fact, the always late newspaper editor was so proud of his latest editorial that he gave the residents who complained about his rarely updated website a sneak peek at this Friday's Greenwich Citizen Editorial.

It's Time To Start Branding Greenwich Democrats

When are the Republican's in this town going to start requiring that registered Democrats be branded with a letter 'D' in order to tell them apart from "real Greenwich residents."

The number of Democrats in town are increasing. Everyday, they are even walking among us on Greenwich Avenue, and we don't even know it.

Democrats send children to our schools. They ride the beach ferry. They pee in Town Hall toilets.

They even voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama!!!!

The Greenwich Citizen thinks that is high time that every voting district in Greenwich would be assigned a District Branding Officer, who would be equipped with a red hot branding iron containing a 2 1/2" high big letter 'D' on a 12" long safety handle.

As Greenwich voters declared their party affiliation at the polls this November, Democrats would be branded before being allowed to vote.

This branding proposal is really not as radical as it sounds, because a lot of these Greenwich Democrats already have tattoos already.

To be fair Democrats should be able to pick where they want the branded.

Greenwich Democrats should not have a District Branding Officer slap a big 'D' on their forehead if they don't want it there.

Further each voting district should have on ambulance from GEMS on hand in case things don't go well with the branding.

Of coarse, they should be Registered Republican - GEMS Emergency Medical Technicians.

The Greenwich Democratic Chairman will probably file a federal lawsuit alleging that the practice "may violate the civil rights of some Democrats.

Don't worry Town Attorney John Wayne Fox will spend hundreds of thousands of your tax dollars to fight any legal challenges.

The town attorney has plenty of legal friends who are more that willing to get big bucks for defending the towns right to give town Democrats a red hot iron to the ass.

If the town successfully implements the Greenwich Citizen's branding proposal, then the Citizen will advocate a second proposal to castrate all Green Party men next year.

There is no reason to use public funds for the branding and castrations.,

It will be easy to raise back country Republican private money for the efforts.

Greenwich must remain Republican at all Costs !!!!

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06/26/06 Greenwich Library News


Fairfield House Condos

When: Thursday June 26th, 2008 - 06:00 PM
Where: Greenwich Library at Meeting Room

Annual meeting

This event is neither sponsored nor endorsed by Greenwich Library.

Greenwich Library | Today's Events - http://www.greenwichlibrary.org

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