Vacationeers take advantage of price slump in Vernon

From the NY Times:

On Vacation at Home, All Year Long

WITH ample opportunities to ski, golf, swim, hike and bike, life in this rural township in the New Jersey Highlands can feel like a year-round resort, residents say.

“I call it ‘being on vacation’ living here,” said Allison Callow, a real estate agent who has lived in Vernon Township for 16 years. She and her family traded in a three-bedroom colonial on one-tenth of an acre in Bergen County for a four-bedroom bilevel on more than an acre abutting a state park, which they bought for $158,000.

Activities in Vernon center on nine lake communities and the Mountain Creek ski resort, the state’s largest. Ownership of Mountain Creek has recently changed hands, and the new proprietors are spending an estimated $20 million on projects that include a 50,000-square-foot day lodge at the base of the 167-acre ski facility off Route 94.

“I see the investment being made by the resort industry as palatable proof that we’re moving ahead,” said Vic Marotta, the town’s first elected mayor, who took office on July 1. “We have a golden opportunity here. How we nurture it and see it through will determine what Vernon looks like in the future.” Mr. Marotta had also served as mayor when it was an appointed position.

Another change that may shape Vernon’s future are new sewer lines, which will largely serve Vernon’s commercial and recreational centers and could attract new businesses and retailers.

The real estate slump has had the effect of bringing in a new wave of second-home buyers and investors to the 1,500 condominiums at Mountain Creek. “We discounted very heavily, and we sold them,” said Andrew Mulvihill, the president of real estate investment at Mountain Creek, noting that his group sold 80 units this past winter.

Among the beneficiaries were Milo Chan and Winnie Donahue, who closed last month on a furnished three-bedroom town house in the Black Creek Sanctuary area, paying $170,000 for a unit that sold for $524,950 in 2004, according to Carol Williams, an agent at Prudential Gross & Jansen Highlands Realty. The couple and their two children, who live in Manhattan, plan to use the town house for weekend getaways in the summer and during ski season. While they weren’t actively looking to buy a second home, Ms. Donahue said the price, and the fact that it was furnished, made the deal irresistible.

“We wanted something turnkey, but this was ridiculous,” said Ms. Donahue, an advertising consultant. “It was a great buy at a great time that just fell into our laps.”

Mark and Julie Bush were able to take advantage of those dropping prices by waiting it out to buy their new-construction four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath house on 3.2 acres. Mark Bush, 30, grew up in Vernon, but was most recently living in a condo here with his wife and two children. For a year and a half, he said he had been keeping his eye on a new house with great views of the mountains.

“Contracts had fallen through and I saw the price keep dropping every couple of months,” said Mr. Bush, a certified public accountant. In January, the Bushes moved into their new house, paying $355,000 for a house originally listed at $499,900.

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88 Responses to Vacationeers take advantage of price slump in Vernon

  1. grim says:

    This one is for you Mike.

    Good morning!

  2. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  3. Mike says:

    Top O’ The Mornin’ To Ya Grim

  4. gary says:

    Unemployment has climbed for three straight months and is now at 9.2 percent. There’s no precedent, in data going back to 1948, for such a high rate two years into what economists say is a recovery.

    http://news.yahoo.com/flat-jobs-data-signal-weakest-recovery-decades-211320802.html

    Yes… We… Can!

  5. freedy says:

    Bojangles is tied up today. Playing golf

  6. freedy says:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/us-taxpayers-just-paid-780-million-fund-latest-greece-bailout-tranche

    Question.How much are we sending ? We’re broke lets help another country out

  7. 3b says:

    #276 cobbler (from yesterday) I know it is not scientific but every one I know with Stud Ln debt has a minimum of 75K Most are 100k and over, a couple more 150K. And the grandaddy of them all 250k. Even at 50K that is still a sizeable amount to pay much better than 100k or more of course. Also it would be one thing if there were good jobs out there for these kids to start paying that 50K, but there are not. ALso lots of kids are runnin into grad school taking more debt and deferring the original loans. Take a look at how that interest accrues when deferred. In a word ugly.

    Also in my day in the 80′s nobody had anywhere near 50k in debt. Did you start out after college with 50k in stud loan debt.

  8. Kettle1^2 says:

    Shore, Juice

    regarding space program spending.

    I have a copy of the operations manual for the orbiter. My uncle was a diretor fo the shuttle program in the 90′s. You should see the stuff that they had the engineers deve;loping basically as “busy work” that never left paper.

    In terms of funding:
    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was founded and first funded by the federal government in 1958. In it’s 50 year history, NASA has put men on the moon, launched space probes that have visited all the planets of our solar system, orbited space telescopes, space shuttles, and space stations, and has funded basic space-science research, training thousands of students. NASA has been allocated a total of about 800 billion dollars over the past 50 years. This is in 2007 inflation-adjusted “constant” dollars.

    Its all a very sick black comedy.

  9. Kettle1^2 says:

    Hobo,

    That huge amunt of student debt is odious debt at best. If we begin to see unrest good luck getting that paid back.
    The disturbing aspect is that i here a fair number of people verbally recognize the situation but state that it just wouldn’t be “right” to renege on debt, despite the fact that they recognize that the government is essentially waging war on them.

  10. mrdenis says:

    But aren’t these the kids that are supposed to buy those POS capes in train towns?

  11. Kettle1^2 says:

    Gary 4

    <i.After all that will eliminate all the intrayear seasonal adjustments, leaving just two clean numbers at the beginning and end of the full year sequence. This works like a charm when looking at June 2010 and June 2011 numbers, on both a Seasonal and Non-Seasonally Adjusted basis. The difference in the NSA series is 1,171K jobs, while the SA is 1,036K, almost a perfect match. And after all we have been hearing for so long how the administration has added 1 million jobs in the past year.

    Luckily, now that we have a benchmark that does not need a seasonal adjustment, we can determine precisely what the Birth-Death contribution to the "jobs added" over the past year has been. The result: 606K, or 52% of the NSA jobs added (and 58% of the actual, seasonally adjusted jobs).

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/birthdeath-adjustment-was-responsible-over-50-payroll-gains-past-year

  12. Kettle1^2 says:

    Gary

    254,000………the breakeven number of jobs that must be created per month to restore (not surpass) the jobs that the US economy had back in December 2007.

    In short we have to create 254k jobs per month for 65 months just to break even.

    YES WE CAN!!!!!!

  13. chicagofinance says:

    The end is nigh (Penmanship Edition):

    WSJ
    The Handwriting Is on the Wall
    Learning cursive is going the way of the quill pen.
    It’s only the end of civilization as we know it.

    By THEODORE DALRYMPLE

    Fifty years from now, no one in Indiana—or at least, no one born and raised in Indiana—will be able to write cursive. On the other hand, everyone there will be able to type, and by then technology might have made the ability to sign your name redundant. If it has not, perhaps you will be able to hire an out-of-stater or immigrant to sign your will or marriage certificate for you.

    State officials recently announced that Indiana schools will no longer be required to teach children to write longhand, so that students can focus on typing. This is because writing by hand is so very—well, so very 4000 B.C. to A.D. 2010. We have now entered a new era: A.H., After Handwriting.

    The schoolchildren of Indiana—and those of an increasing number of other states—will therefore never know the joys of penmanship that I experienced as a child. In those days, we still had little porcelain inkwells in the tops of our desks. The watery blue ink eventually evaporated to a deep blue gritty residue, and we used scratchy dip-pens with wooden handles, whose nibs were forever bending and breaking.

    Our whole world was inky. Our desktops were soaked in ink; it got into our skin, under our nails and into our clothes. We even began to smell of it. For those of us who were even slightly academically inclined, the callus that formed on the skin of the side of the middle finger as it rubbed against the wood of the pen was a matter of pride: We measured our diligence by the thickness of the callus and longed for it to grow bigger.

    I still remember my pride in my first full-length handwritten composition: an eight-page account of crossing the Gobi Desert in a Rolls-Royce, accompanied by blots, smudges and inky fingerprints. To my chagrin and everlasting regret, my teacher was not impressed by my formidable effort. She said that I must keep to reality and not be so imaginative.

    Despite many hours first of tracing, then of copying copperplate examples, my handwriting never became other than serviceable at best. I was left-handed, and this made things more difficult because, whether I pushed or pulled the pen, smudges followed my writing across the page. Luckily, though, we had emerged from the dark ages when left-handers were forced to use their right hands. Little did we know, it was the beginning of the pedagogic liberalism that has now brought us to the abandonment of writing altogether.

    Another character-building joy that may be denied to Indiana schoolchildren is the handwritten exam. They will never know that peculiar slight ache in the forearm, produced by fevered scribbling as thoughts rushed through your mind in answer to questions such as “Was Louis XIV a good king?” (my answer was a firm and uncompromising “no”) and struggled to find written expression, only to slow down once it became clear that there were not enough of those thoughts to fill the allotted time. So then you deliberately made your handwriting deteriorate to make it appear that you could have written much more if only you had had the time, but unfortunately you did not. This kind of game continued into my early 20s.

    Were my teachers ever taken in by it? I doubt it, but even then I knew it was all really a rite of passage, a slow induction into the adult world that I so longed to join. Since the need for such rites seems to be permanent in human societies, no doubt new such rites will develop for those who focus on the keyboard, but I do not know what they will be. Having reached the age when pessimism is almost hard-wired into the brain, I think they will not only be different but not as beneficial to the developing character.

    Indeed, my first reaction to the news from Indiana was visceral despair, not only because the world I had known was now declared antediluvian, dead and buried, but because it presaged a further hollowing out of the human personality, a further colonization of the human mind by the virtual at the expense of the real.

    When I scrawled and blotted and smudged my way across the page, I had the feeling that, for good or evil, what I had done was my own and unique. And since everyone’s writing was different, despite the uniformity of the exercises, our handwriting gave us a powerful, and very early, sense of our own individuality. Those who learn to write only on a screen will have more difficulty in distinguishing themselves from each other, and since the need to do so will remain, they will adopt more extreme ways of doing so. Less handwriting, then, more social pathology.

    —Theodore Dalrymple is the pen name of the physician Anthony Daniels. He is a contributing editor of the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal.

  14. Juice Box says:

    re #13 – Kettle1 – This chart puts things into perspective on the Jobs and Recovery as we bounce along the bottom.

    http://cr4re.com/charts/chart-images/EmployRecessAlignedJune2011.jpg

  15. Barbara says:

    We out to see some houses…and for the first time in three years I saw houses that I didn’t just like, but loved. They aren’t cheap, but they were exceptional. The price reflected what was in front of me, so, not cheap but not the 150K overpriced “we want YOU to pay for the potential too!” houses I have been subjected too since….well, longer than I even want to get into today. My offers were fair but low enough to leave some room for negotiation. I will keep you all posted.

  16. Barbara says:

    we WENT OUT

  17. still_looking says:

    barb, 16

    where?

    sl

  18. Shore Guy says:

    Ket,

    I have done work with some NASA folks and I would love ti see their budget trippled.

  19. Kettle1^2 says:

    Juice,

    And i as considered a nutjob for the following projections i made in 2009. It was suggested i was being wildly pessimistic. go figure.

    http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/19872781?access_key=key-16rogj2zgqxjdnjdsnbg

  20. Kettle1^2 says:

    One of my favorite projections:

    http://www.scribd.com/full/15233800?access_key=key-20oukzaajkm338kqvd26

    Artwork inspired by Sue Adler and grim.

  21. Kettle1^2 says:

    Shore,

    We should get a few billionaires to fund a new project orion as the main booster for a one way generational ship. Imagine the tech boom that would result from that!!!! You would probably end up with some astounding medical advances as a result due to the needed bio/physiological tech development the project would need. perhaps something along the lines of H2S-induced hibernation, radiation vaccines / repair, etc.

  22. All I need to induce hibernation is a fifth of Knob Creek.

  23. Barbara says:

    SL,
    I’ll let you know if we get it. Its a tight market, but one that isn’t talked about much on this board because it is in South Jersey.

  24. Barbara says:

    I always hated the Space Shuttle. Looks like a Tomy toy, and not a cool one either.

  25. Shore Guy says:

    C’mon in. The water is great, but has a bit of a nip to it:

    http://travel.yahoo.com/p-interests-40447719

    America’s Most Shark-Infested Beaches

    Deadly attacks are rare, but watch out for fins on these shorelines.

    By the time a lifeguard got to him, it was too late. Stephen Schafer was kitesurfing 500 yards off an unguarded part of Stuart Beach, in Martin County, Fla., last February when he was attacked by a swarm of sharks. “He got bit after he presumably wiped out, a very serious bite,” says George Burgess, director of theInternational Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Schafer was rushed to a local hospital, where he died of his wounds.

    snip

    Surf Beach, north of Santa Barbara, California
    snip

    New Smyrna Beach, Florida

    snip

    Topsail Island, North Carolina

    snip

    Fripp Island, South Carolina

    snip

    Lyman Beach, Kona, Hawaii

    snip

  26. Shore Guy says:

    it seems there are almost as many shark attacks in the ocean as on Wall Street.

  27. Mr Hyde says:

    Shore

    Are you suggesting we start serving banker fin soup? And selling their other body parts as part of Chinese medicine?
    Shark liver Oil is a common component of hemmroidql creams and similuar products. Perhaps we could substitute banker liver oil?

  28. Shore Guy says:

    Grim,

    Here is a potential future topic :

    Homeowner associations foreclose on residents

    The Inlet House condo complex in Fort Pierce, Fla., was once the kind of place the 55-and-older set aspired to. It was affordable. The pool and clubhouse were tidy, the lawns freshly snipped. Residents, push-carts in tow, walked to the beach, the bank, the beauty parlor, the cinema and the supermarket. In post-crash America, this was a dreamy little spot. Especially on a fixed income

    But that was Inlet House before the rats started chewing through the toilet seats in vacant units and sewage started seeping from the ceiling. Before condos that were worth $79,000 four years ago sold for as little as $3,000. And before the homeowners’ association levied $6,000 assessments on everyone — and then foreclosed on seniors who couldn’t pay the association bill, even if they didn’t owe the bank a dime.

    Normally, it’s the bankers who go after delinquent homeowners. But in communities governed by the mighty homeowners’ association, as the sour economy leaves more people unable to pay their fees, it’s neighbor vs. neighbor.

    “What the board is doing is trying to foreclose on people to force people out the door,” says Mike Silvestri, 75, who stopped paying his dues at Inlet House in protest over what he considers unnecessary and unaffordable assessments.
    snip

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/2011-07-09-homeowner-foreclosure_n.htm

  29. Shore Guy says:

    Kettle,

    I think that would poison people.

  30. Shore Guy says:

    More from above, and an example of why I will never agree to buy property that is subject to “association” rulemaking.

    “In exchange for adhering to the rules, homeowners got safe communities with clubhouses, pools and tennis courts. But what many didn’t realize when they bought their homes was that the fine print gave the association the right to foreclose — even over a few hundred dollars in unpaid dues.

    “All the association board has to do is alert its attorney to place a lien on the property to start the process. The home can then be auctioned by the board until the bank eventually takes ownership. Homeowners typically have no right to a hearing.

    “In the past, housing associations have gained infamy for dictating everything from the weight of your dog (one mandated a diet for a hound) to whether you can kiss in your driveway (not if you don’t want a fine in one). Homeowners’ associations have served as the behavior police, banning lemonade stands, solar panels and hanging out in the garage. One ordered a war hero to take down his flag because of a “non-conforming” pole. Another demanded that residents with brown spots on their lawns dye their grass green.”

  31. Shore Guy says:

    But wait, there’s more:

    “Today, one in five U.S. homeowners is subject to the will of the homeowners’ association, whose boards oversee 24.4 million homes. More than 80% of newly constructed homes in the U.S are in association communities.

    “And of the nation’s 300,000 homeowners’ associations, more than 50% now face “serious financial problems,” according to a September survey by the Community Association Institute. An October survey found that 65% of homeowners’ associations have delinquency rates higher than 5%, up from 19% of associations in 2005.”

    snip

    “Before now, associations rarely, if ever, foreclosed on homeowners. But today, encouraged by a new industry of lawyers and consultants, boards are increasingly foreclosing on people 60 days past due on association fees, says Evan McKenzie, a former homeowner association attorney who is now a University of Illinois political science professor and the author of the book “Beyond Privatopia: Rethinking Residential Private Government.”"

    snip

  32. Shore Guy says:

    Off to the boards.

  33. Kettle1^2 says:

    Shore 3:

    they thought that they owned ( paid for property rights?)

    suckas!!!!!

  34. BC Bob says:

    Born in Pequannock, NJ. Summers in North Arlington, NJ, worked for his grandfather (Sonny), cutting the grass at Queen of Peace (Hint,Hint). 3,003 hits, 12 All Star games, 5 Rings, the only player in baseball history to win MVP of the All-Star game and MVP of the World Series in the same year.

    Cheers!

  35. jamil says:

    23 kettle ” Imagine the tech boom that would result from that!!!! ”

    Re NASA. It is a bloated government agency which apparently thinks its core mission is to fund global warming nuts like Jamie Hansen and to sponsor his global jet travel lecturing why we should embrace sosialism. His raw warming data at NASA is unavailable to taxpayers so independent study is impossible.

    NASA’s budget should be halved and it should focus (in collaboration with academia) on long-term R&D, e.g asteroid prevention. I vaguely think even Chairman Hussein rambled something like it.

    NASA had a clear role during the Cold War as the critical resources (read: captured Nazi rocket scientists, in addition to money) were available only for the government.

    Today, private sector can push space travel and space research with private money. This is potential real growth area and source of jobs and future innovation (as Kettle said). Government should reallocate the bogus “green jobs” subsidies (importing cheap solar panels made in China) to tax credits for space research.

    US could have silicon valley for space research.

  36. Kettle1^2 says:

    Jamil 37

    I agree that nasa in the form it has taken in the last 20 yrs was little more then political boondoggle. They still had phenomenal talent though.
    one of Nasa’s many problems was that it was also used as a military space program and it was forced to “dual purpose” many of their projects which usually means no one gets what they really wanted from the project.

    Unfortunately a space program like that that existed during mercury and Apollo is unlikely to occur in a government program again. As such you are probably right that any hopes along those lines would have to come from civilian operations.

    if someone was willing to work with a 20 year return on investment, asteroid mining could easily be a profitable venture if you are OK with losing a few astronauts along the way. Playing on the bleeding edge is risky.

    It could also be interesting to have someone run the numbers and see if private space telescopes & research satellites could profitable by selling the info to governments and universities. Without the politics they could probably get the projects up and running in less time and cheaper.

  37. Kettle1^2 says:

    The Mr Hyde post was due to a stray cookie.

  38. Shore Guy says:

    Perfect for getting to one’ s nompound in the event society collapses on the way home from work:

    http://m.cnet.com/Article.rbml?nid=20077249&cid=null&bcid=&bid=-1

  39. Kettle1^2 says:

    Shore

    I wonder how reactor 4 is holding up?

  40. still_looking says:

    Barb, 26

    okay!

    sl

  41. I want a pony and a flying car.

  42. serenity now says:

    I want a pony and a flying car.

    How about a unicorn and a flying car?

  43. xroads says:

    why not a flying unicorn?

  44. Outofstater says:

    Re: HOA’s We’ve been in one for 15 yrs and it’s pretty laid back. 400 bucks per year to take care of the pool and the landscaping at the entrance. There are only 48 houses in the neighborhood so everyone knows everyone else. Not many rules other than no kids under 12 w/o a parent at the pool and pay your dues by April 1. So far, it hasn’t been a problem.

  45. Shore Guy says:

    A bubble is a bubble is a bubble:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303544604576430122522509268.html

    Google Makes Facebook Look Socially Awkward

    Mark Zuckerberg might want to fast-track Facebook’s initial public offering.

    In what appeared to be a hasty response to the launch of Google’s rival social-networking product, called Google+, Mr. Zuckerberg on Wednesday unveiled Facebook’s new video-chatting feature. He called it “super awesome.” Too bad Google made the same feature available in 2008. Indeed, Facebook suddenly looks vulnerable. This could be bad news for investors who have recently paid top dollar for stock in Facebook in private sales.

    snip

  46. Shore Guy says:

    “So far, it hasn’t been a problem.”

    And I hope it never is a problem; however, the simple fact is that it can be, and can be a huge one, and there is NOTHING a homeowner can do about it. I know of many situations where people I know were either run over by a HOA board or were one of the board members who ran over others (for sport it mainly seemed). I suspect that others here could recount stories about HOAs running amok.

  47. Mikeinwaiting says:

    One day I am off line & Grim puts up one on my town, sh*t! That Black Creek unit 10k taxes plus another4 hundred a month HOA fee. They are suing the builder never put in half the stuff or finished original amount of buildings planned. The hotel rents them for over night guest , sure I want to live there. Our new Mayor is a good friend of mine he gets it will try to cut cost & be more business friendly. He has a tough road to travel but is headed in the right direction. As far as that 158k bi-level , you guys think I was kidding when I said it was blood bath up here. I sold my bi-level for 297k in 06, almost 50%! It is still getting worse we are very sensitive to gas prices they spiked in the spring selling season so they were dead. More declines to come here in the woods.

  48. Shore Guy says:

    I really resent what our policymakers haver done to this country the past 20 years. Here we are letting infrastructure decay because we have no money and yet we have every last dollar necessary to rescue bankers from their own folly and, one suspects, criminality:

    China vs. America: Which Is the Developing Country?

    From new roads to wise leadership, sound financials and five-year plans, Beijing has the winning approach.

    By ROBERT J. HERBOLD

    Recently I flew from Los Angeles to China to attend a corporate board-of-directors meeting in Shanghai, as well as customer and government visits there and in Beijing. After the trip was over, in thinking about the United States and China, it was not clear to me which is the developed, and which is the developing, country.

    Infrastructure: Let’s face it, Los Angeles is decaying. Its airport is cramped and dirty, too small for the volume it tries to handle and in a state of disrepair. In contrast, the airports in Beijing and Shanghai are brand new, clean and incredibly spacious, with friendly, courteous staff galore. They are extremely well-designed to handle the large volume of air traffic needed to carry out global business these days.

    In traveling the highways around Los Angeles to get to the airport, you are struck by the state of disrepair there, too. Of course, everyone knows California is bankrupt and that is probably the reason why. In contrast, the infrastructure in the major Chinese cities such as Shanghai and Beijing is absolute state-of-the-art and relatively new.

    The congestion in the two cities is similar. In China, consumers are buying 18 million cars per year compared to 11 million in the U.S. China is working hard building roads to keep up with the gigantic demand for the automobile.

    The just-completed Beijing to Shanghai high-speed rail link, which takes less than five hours for the 800-mile trip, is the crown jewel of China’s current 5,000 miles of rail, set to grow to 10,000 miles in 2020. Compare that to decaying Amtrak.

    snip

    Government Finances: This topic is, frankly, embarrassing. China manages its economy with incredible care and is sitting on trillions of dollars of reserves. In contrast, the U.S. government has managed its financials very poorly over the years and is flirting with a Greece-like catastrophe.

    Technology and Innovation: To give you a feel for China’s determination to become globally competitive in technology innovation, let me cite some statistics from two facilities we visited. Over the last 10 years, the Institute of Biophysics, an arm of the Chinese Academy of Science, has received very significant investment by the Chinese government. Today it consists of more than 3,000 talented scientists focused on doing world-class research in areas such as protein science, and brain and cognitive sciences.

    We also visited the new Shanghai Advanced Research Institute, another arm of the Chinese Academy of Science. This gigantic science and technology park is under construction and today consists of four buildings, but it will grow to over 60 buildings on a large piece of land equivalent to about a third of a square mile. It is being staffed by Ph.D.-caliber researchers. Their goal statement is fairly straightforward: “To be a pioneer in the development of new technologies relevant to business.”

    All of the various institutes being run by the Chinese Academy of Science are going to be significantly increased in size, and staffing will be aided by a new recruiting program called “Ten Thousand Talents.” This is an effort by the Chinese government to reach out to Chinese individuals who have been trained, and currently reside, outside China. They are focusing on those who are world-class in their technical abilities, primarily at the Ph.D. level, at work in various universities and science institutes abroad.

    snip

    Let’s face it—we are getting beaten because the U.S. government can’t seem to make big improvements. Issues quickly get polarized, and then further polarized by the media, which needs extreme viewpoints to draw attention and increase audience size. The autocratic Chinese leadership gets things done fast (currently the autocrats seem to be highly effective).

    What is the cure? Washington politicians and American voters need to snap to and realize they are getting beaten—and make big changes that put the U.S. back on track: Fix the budget and the burden of entitlements; implement an aggressive five-year debt-reduction plan, and start approving some winning plans. Wake up, America!

    Mr. Herbold, a retired chief operating officer of Microsoft Corporation, is the managing director of The Herbold Group, LLC and author of “What’s Holding You Back? Ten Bold Steps That Define Gutsy Leaders” (Wiley/Jossey-Bass, 2011).

  49. Shore Guy says:

    One can get a good sense of how the press sees a president by the photos they choose to run. In this one from the BBC, either they are conveying that the Empty Suit in Chief is out of his depth or that he is preparing his cheeks to audition as a sax player:

    http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/53977000/jpg/_53977053_53977050.jpg

  50. tbiggs says:

    #51 shore –

    Is that guy blind to how much funny money China has printed to keep its dream alive? Has he not seen the photos of the many ghost towns and malls built with their bubble money? China is going to crash hard, and I suspect it might even be worse than here in the US.

    I do respect their commitment to building out infrastructure. But I don’t know if their plan is sustainable.

  51. Mikey (50)-

    The restaurant bagged their sommelier a few months back. Heard they cut a lot of other jobs, too. They could pay the whole nut for that place by just selling all the Chateau Latour in their cellar.

  52. biggs (53)-

    IMO, China is the proof that all growth in this economy is an illusion.

    If the world is indeed flat and we’re all interconnected, it just means China is a giant sham and will be the last to fall.

  53. Mikeinwaiting says:

    CLOT YES A 4 STAR RESTAURANT WITH PRICES TO MATCH (50$ & UP ENTREES) UP HERE IN THE STICKS. THEY ARE OPEN 4 DAYS A FOR DINNER THAT IS IT.

  54. Shore Guy says:

    Biggs,

    I do not disagree with your assessment but, given their long history of isolation, a willingness to crack down on the population, willingness to steal technology plants and raw materials to produce goods, and no need to borrow from overseas, they can get away with things we cannot.

  55. mikey (56)-

    Who the f eats at that joint? Do they have BBQ foie gras?

  56. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Clot the food is good but not good enough for what they charge. Check out the menu online from what I have read in reviews they are weak on pairings on their set course deal cheeping out on the wine & charging top dollar. I do not know enough about high end wines to say myself.

  57. Juice Box says:

    3b another glorious beach day water is 70 degrees.

  58. Al Mossberg says:

    53,

    biggs,

    I agree. China has a serious water problem. They are going to crash hard but 60% of the worlds GDP will be coming from East Asia over the next century anyway.

  59. Would you care for a spoonful of ebola on your spaghetti, sir?

    “As was reported last week, Europe has suddenly found itself shocked, shocked, that the bond vigilantes decided to not pass go and go directly to the purgatory of the European core, in the form of the country that, at €1.5 trillion euros, has more debt than even Germany, but far more importantly, has a debt/GDP ratio of over 100%, and has the biggest amount of net notional CDS outstanding (not to mention that it has dominated Sigma X trading for the past several weeks). Italy. On Friday we explained why things are about to get really ugly for the boot as a flurry of bond auctions is now imminent. Which is why it was not surprising to read that tomorrow morning the European Council has called an emergency meeting “of top officials dealing with the euro zone debt crisis for Monday morning, reelecting [sic; we assume Reuters means reflecting] concern that the crisis could spread to Italy, the region’s third largest economy.” Newsflash: the crisis has spread to Italy.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/europe-scrambles-deal-italy-contagion-fallout-calls-emergency-meeting-former-ecb-official-sa

  60. Mike (59)-

    Not bad wine pairings on the tasting menu, except for maybe the Australian shiraz. You’d expect something a little more grand with the heavy duty meat course.

    2006 Pradeaux rose might be an attempt to get rid of an oxidizing older wine. Great when young, but not the kind of thing you’d deliberately age for 5 years.

  61. Essex says:

    For all the folks out there who still care about the elderly (who helped to make this country great):

    http://act.boldprogressives.org/survey/gwa_survey_obamamedicaress/?source=gwa-i3&gclid=CMOZ26qz96kCFYne4AodSmV_cQ

  62. Shore Guy says:

    Oy!

    snip

    But beyond the slack economy is a profound change in the business of summer camp. As in just about every industry, slick, nimble upstarts are muscling in on the establishment. These newcomers hold out 21st-century promises: We can groom the modern organization kid, hone lacrosse skills, improve algebra, pad the high-school résumé.

    No more the quaint summer idyll of lake and volleyball and s’mores. Today, former Brazilian pros coach soccer camp, Oscar winners officiate at film camp, computer game developers teach tech camp — all the better, the pitches go, to get Holly or Howie into Harvard, or at least to sharpen their skills.

    All this at a time when the Pine Forests of the world are being squeezed on all sides. High or rising prices for basic items like food and gasoline are pinching profit margins. It is, industry analysts say, a matter of survival of the fittest.

    snip

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/10/business/summer-camps-are-facing-new-economics.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=general

  63. Shore Guy says:

    You mean NJ and the NY Metro area are not poised for the kind of growth that happens in busineff-friendly states? I am shocked! Shocked, I tell you:

    http://blogs.forbes.com/joelkotkin/2011/07/06/the-next-big-boom-towns-in-the-u-s/

  64. Shore Guy says:

    Just another example of how poor government policies and tolerance of criminal business behavior are sticking it to the middle class:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43645168/ns/business-eye_on_the_economy/

    Blacks’ economic gains wiped out in downturn

    A generation that played by the rules and saw progress falls out of the middle class

    BALTIMORE — Growing up black in the segregated 1960s, Deborah Goldring slept two to a bed, got evicted from apartment after apartment, and watched her stepfather climb utility poles to turn their disconnected lights back on. Yet Goldring pulled herself out of poverty and earned a middle-class life — until the Great Recession.

    First, Goldring’s husband fell ill, and they drained savings to pay for nursing homes before he died. Then Goldring lost her executive assistant job in the Baltimore hospital where she had worked for 17 years. The cruelest blow was a letter from the bank, intending to foreclose on her home of almost three decades.

    Millions of Americans endured similar financial calamities in the recession. But for Goldring and many others in the black community, where unemployment is still rising, job loss has knocked them out of the middle class and back into poverty. Some even see a historic reversal of hard-won economic gains that took black people decades to achieve.

    snip

    Economists say the Great Recession lasted from 2007 to 2009. In 2004, the median net worth of white households was $134,280, compared with $13,450 for black households, according to an analysis of Federal Reserve data by the Economic Policy Institute. By 2009, the median net worth for white households had fallen 24 percent to $97,860; the median black net worth had fallen 83 percent to $2,170, according to the EPI.

    Algernon Austin, director of the EPI’s Program on Race, Ethnicity and the Economy, described the current wealth gap this way: “In 2009, for every dollar of wealth the average white household had, black households only had two cents.”

    Since the end of the recession, the overall unemployment rate has fallen from 9.4 to 9.1 percent, while the black unemployment rate has risen from 14.7 to 16.2 percent, according to the Department of Labor.
    snip

  65. Shore Guy says:

    Ouch!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diqr921cx6A

    “Cornel West ‘Barack Obama Is The Black Mascot Of The Wall Street Oligarchs’”

  66. Shore Guy says:

    The first sign is that it is a house.

    http://money.msn.com/home-loans/signs-your-home-value-could-fall-weston.aspx?GT1=33032

    Signs your home value could fall

    Economists have made a hash of forecasting real-estate markets lately. Most failed to call the peak in home values, and many predicted we’d be in recovery mode by now.

    Instead, home prices fell 3% in the first quarter, the steepest drop since late 2008, according to real-estate website Zillow.com.

    “Economists are trying to get at the underlying supply and demand (for housing), which hasn’t been easy,” said Zillow.com chief economist Stan Humphries, who now predicts a 7% to 9% drop this year, with no bottom nationally until 2012 “at the earliest.”
    snip

  67. Shore Guy says:

    Future ghost town in the making, the Detroit of the desert:

    http://money.msn.com/home-loans/is-las-vegas-the-new-detroit-marketwatch.aspx

    Is Las Vegas the new Detroit?

    When hard times hit, single-industry towns are especially vulnerable. And the combination of the recession and housing bust has Sin City reeling.

    It was big news five years ago when Macau, the gambling mecca near Hong Kong, surpassed the Las Vegas Strip in gambling revenues.

    It’s no longer even close: Macau’s gambling revenues were four times those of the Strip in 2010.

    Iconic casino operators like Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts now get the lion’s share of their revenue and operating income from Macau and Asia.

    Macau’s gains have come in the years since Las Vegas’ housing and building boom turned to dust.

    Home prices here have fallen 58.1% from their 2006 highs, the most in the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price index. They’ve even lost 12.6% from the nationwide recession low in April 2009 — again the worst performance of any city in the index.

    The median home-sale price in the Las Vegas area at the 2006 peak was $313,500; in 2010, that fell to a stunning $138,100, according to the National Association of Realtors.

    Currently more than 70% of the homes in the area are “underwater,” ….

    snip

  68. Shore Guy says:

    Strategic defaults:

    “Credit scores are designed to predict the risk of default. If your scores are good, lenders see you as someone who is likely to keep paying your debts.

    But when it comes to strategic default — which is when people who can afford to pay their mortgages don’t, usually because their homes are worth less than their loans — analysts have noticed a reverse phenomenon: Good credit scores can indicate a higher likelihood a homeowner will voluntarily bail on a home loan.”

    http://money.msn.com/home-loans/savvy-borrowers-abandoning-homes-weston.aspx

  69. Shore Guy says:

    Back to the boards.

  70. renter says:

    Chicago
    #14 RE: Penmanship

    Only 15 minutes once or twice a week was devoted to teaching cursive in Franklin and only in the 3rd grade. I realized pretty quickly that this wasn’t enough instruction to achieve proficiency. I taught her over the summer and made her practice. She was one of only a handful of kids in her 5th grade class(new district) who can legibly and quickly write in cursive.
    This may not be the “official” policy in NJ but it might as well be. Kids are not receiving enough instruction to master writing cursive.

  71. shore (71)-

    I prefer my description of Bojangles: GWB in blackface.

  72. rent (77)-

    TPTB is really trying to render us stupid and illiterate. Makes us easier to control and more susceptible to simply following orders.

  73. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Coming to an Orwellian state near you:
    Reuven S. Avi-Yonah (Michigan) & Oz Halabi (LL.M. (International Tax) 2011, Michigan) have posted Real Time Audit – It is the Time to Act? on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

    The U.S. is facing one of its hardest economic crises. Its economy has not recovered from the 2008 downturn, and the light at the end of the tunnel is far, far away. The government and the IRS are seeking revenue sources in order to reduce its budget deficit. However, raising the income tax rates is politically difficult and may lead to further loss of jobs. In this political situation, it is important to try to find ways to raise more revenue without raising tax rates. One possibility of doing so is “real time audit”: Auditing transactions when they occur, rather than months or years later . . .”

    Got Cash?

    [In point of fact, many large businesses have "examiners in residence", meaning that the IRS literally sits in the building and monitors the goings-on. The implication is that this would be different, more of on-going information reporting. Think of Mastercard and Visa and ADP as information-collection services for the IRS.]

  74. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    I met and talked to two people in December one day: Nina Olson and Mark Shulman. I was the last person to ask Shulman a question and it was about the precursor to this program. Seems Nina doesn’t think any more of it than I did, and now we both told Shulman what we think.

    http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/2011/06/taxpayer-advocate-criticizes-irs.html

  75. vb says:

    question for you guys …

    There are a few houses on route 78 whose lot boundry starts 100-200 meters from the highway. You can still here the (faint?) sound of cars driving by. The sound doesn’t bother us, but is this something other average buyers will stay away from?

  76. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [82] VB

    FWIW, I refused to consider homes in Brigadoon that were in proximity to Route 22. It wasn’t just noise—it was air quality; potential for having to evacuate when a tanker turns over; the natural barrier effect on your commute, et al; and the fact that if you are thinking hard of the downside, so is your future buyer (you don’t really plan to stay in NJ, do you?)

    Also, FWIW, I consider buying a house in NJ to be the biggest mistake of my life. Note that moving to Brigadoon was a good move, but I shoulda rented.

  77. vb says:

    cnd,
    Thanks for the reply. We have a strong social network in NJ, that’s one of the main reasons why we want to stay here.

    Where is Brigadoon?

  78. vb (82)-

    Yes. Don’t buy next to a highway unless you are deaf or a life form that can subsist on toxic fumes.

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