Weekend Open Discussion

This is the time and place to post observations about your local areas, comments on news stories or the New Jersey housing market, open house reports, etc. If you have any questions you wanted to ask earlier in the week but never posted them up, let’s have them. Also a good place to post suggestions, requests for information, criticism, and praise.

For readers that have never commented, there is a link at the top of each message that is typically labelled “[#] Comments“. Go ahead and give that a click, you might be missing out on a world of information you didn’t know about. While you are there, introduce yourselves to everyone.

For new readers that have only read the messages displayed on the main page, take a look through the archives, a substantial amount of information has been put online in the past year. The archives can be accessed by using the links found in the menus on the right hand side of the page.

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190 Responses to Weekend Open Discussion

  1. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Store vacancies rise above 8 percent in parts of N.J.

    Store vacancies along Northern and Central New Jersey’s highways rose 57 percent over the last year, but things aren’t as bad as expected, a New Jersey retail real estate group said yesterday.

    The vacancy rate rose from 5.21 percent in July 2008 to 8.18 percent this July, said The Goldstein Group.

    Landlords are working with tenants to keep them on board, and some retailers have moved into spaces deserted by companies that went bankrupt last year.

    In its survey, the company covered 95.5 million square feet, 7.8 million of which is vacant.

    Companies such as HomeGoods, Ashley Furniture, PC Richards and Sixth Avenue Electronics have taken over spaces that previously belonged to retailers such as Circuit City, Linens ‘N Things and Levitz Furniture, Goldstein president Chuck Lanyard said.

  2. grim says:

    From the Record:

    Baker’s ‘mortgage cake’ opens a new career

    Mortgage Apple Cake is magic for Angela Logan.

    Seven weeks after she started baking the decadent confection in her kitchen and asking friends to buy it, Logan has met her original goal: saving her Tudor-style Teaneck home from foreclosure.

    Now, the actress and divorced mother of three — focus of a media tsunami that began with an article in The Record — has a new career.

    Logan recently trademarked the name of her signature cake and signed a two-year licensing agreement with Bake Me A Wish, an online seller of special-event cakes.

    The company is producing Mortgage Apple Cake according to Logan’s recipe at its Long Island plant, and Logan is developing a line of other cakes under her name for Bake Me A Wish, while serving as spokeswoman for Mortgage Apple Cake. Five percent of the apple cake proceeds goes to GreenPath Debt Solutions, a non-profit credit counseling service that helps consumers in the sort of financial predicament in which Logan found herself.

  3. grim says:

    From the Harford Courant:

    House Sales Rise, Prices Keep Falling In State

    he number of single-family house sales in Connecticut rose by 4 percent in July compared with the same month a year earlier, the first increase since 2007 and another sign that the housing market here, as nationally, is entering a healing phase.

    But prices continued to drop by double digits — 11.7 percent from a year ago — showing that a healthy market remains far away, according to a new report Thursday from The Warren Group, which tracks real estate trends in New England.

    Real estate agents said Thursday that they have seen a noticeable increase in house purchases this summer, propelled by low mortgage rates, the first-time home buyer tax credit and more buyer confidence that the market is bottoming out.

    “Overall, I see light at the end of the tunnel,” said Leslie Bajorski, an agent at Re/Max Precision Realty in Newington.

    Timothy M. Warren Jr., Warren Group’s CEO, said the sales increase was significant for Connecticut, where sales have slumped for more than two years. The last increase was in July 2007, and that was a blip in a year dominated by monthly declines.

    “Still, declines in monthly median prices continue to exceed 10 percent, a clear sign that the real estate market is still struggling,” Warren said. “We won’t see stabilization in home prices until there are consistent gains in home sales.”

    Even with the uptick in sales, the number is still 20 percent below July 2007 — and that was well past the peak in the market.

    Median prices are still falling because foreclosure sales and short sales, in which a lender accepts a sale price less than the mortgage, are prevalent. And more sellers are pricing their homes in line with today’s lower prices, agents said.

    The median sale price fell to $255,000 from $288,750 in July 2008. The median fell in all eight counties in Connecticut. In Hartford County, median prices fell 7.2 percent, to $232,000 from $250,000 a year ago.

  4. grim says:

    From the Economist:

    Where it all began

    HE IS hardly your typical distressed seller. Hugh Hefner recently sold his personal residence in Holmby Hills, California, next door to the Playboy mansion, to a 25-year-old entrepreneur for $18m—some 36% below the asking price. It will come as little solace to the ageing Lothario that the discount looked about right: house prices have fallen by one-third from their peak nationwide, and by much more than that in the worst-hit states, such as California, Florida and Nevada.

    Although global financial sickness first erupted in American residential property, thanks to ludicrously lax subprime lending, policymakers have recently seemed more worried about asset classes to which the infection subsequently spread. When the Federal Reserve this week extended the life of a facility to support asset-backed securities, for instance, it was more out of concern for commercial property than for housing. Nevertheless, observers agree that America’s economy—and all those banks still saddled with underperforming mortgages—will struggle to recover while house prices are still falling. The Obama administration’s economic successes “will be for naught” if the housing free-fall continues much longer, says Mark Zandi of Moody’s Economy.com.

    Dig deeper, however, and the recovery’s foundations look shaky. Rising joblessness will continue to weigh on demand for homes. The unemployment rate, currently 9.4%, is expected to peak at more than 10% some time next year. The economic effect of unemployment is wider: as more and more of those still in work know someone who has lost their job, they will think twice before buying a property. Consumer confidence remains fragile.

    For those seeking a mortgage, credit is still hard to come by. The two main federally backed mortgage agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have tightened their standards for new loans (though mortgages handled by their sibling, Ginnie Mae, have fallen in quality). A Federal Reserve survey of loan officers, released on August 17th, suggested that banks will remain tight-fisted for some time. They are still grappling with growing losses from residential mortgages. These will not peak until early next year, reckons Betsy Graseck of Morgan Stanley.

    Moreover, the positive signs in housing are partly driven by short-term factors. One is the tax credit for first-time buyers that was included in Mr Obama’s stimulus package: some are rushing to buy now because deals must close by November 30th to qualify. Annual tax refunds, handed out in recent months, may also have given the market a temporary lift. Attractive mortgage rates helped, too. But these have climbed off their historic lows, despite efforts to keep them down through the Fed’s purchases of mortgage-backed securities. Many expect them to rise further as ballooning government borrowing puts upward pressure on Treasury yields.

    Given these downside risks, the recent pop in house prices will probably fizzle. Most economists expect them to fall by a further 5-10 percentage points, to their long-term trend line at roughly 40% below their peak, and not to reach bottom until some time in 2010. The pessimists predict they will go crashing through the trend-line to as little as half their 2006 high.

    Analysts at Goldman Sachs, no fools when it comes to housing, hint at several years of stagnation. They argue that the rate of home ownership, currently just over 67%, will fall back to the 64-65.5% level that prevailed before prices took off in the mid-1990s, cutting deeply into demand for properties. This view is supported by a recent Fed study, which found that more than half of the boom-era rise in ownership was due to “innovative” mortgage products, many of which are now history.

    It could be even worse. Now that the myth of ever-rising house prices has been shattered, it may be time to embrace another inconvenient truth: that prices can take decades to recover, at least when adjusted for inflation. A study in June by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, a regulator, pointed out that in parts of Texas house prices still languish some 30% below their 1982 peaks in real terms. Mr Hefner may not have got such a bad deal after all.

  5. grim (2)-

    Great. Now she can do a cash-out refi.

  6. Deflation, in one easy lesson.

    “Does that chart look like the Fed is in control? If so, control of what?”


  7. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    A Member of the Delusional Set Slips Up
    Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.
    –Philip K. Dick

    Anyone who’s been paying attention knows that the reality described by those who operate in Washington and on Wall Street is usually far different than the one most people are familiar with.

    For example, what might look like a recessionary ball of dung to someone who has his (or her) eyes wide open can easily be mistaken for — or twisted into — a “green shoot” by the often conflicted souls in financial or political la-la land.

    Every so often, however, a member of the delusional set slips up and acknowledges the cold, hard truth, as Agence France-Presse reveals in “Real US Unemployment Rate at 16 Pct: Fed Official”:


  8. Time for CNBC to show Becky the door and make Amanda the permanent Squawk chick.


  9. PGC says:

    I’m with this guy

    “They ruined a perfectly good landfill.”

  10. chicagofinance says:

    8.Cyclonic Action Vacuum says:
    August 28, 2009 at 7:57 am
    Time for CNBC to show Becky the door and make Amanda the permanent Squawk chick.


    Dedicated to chip…..
    skip to minute 2:00

  11. gary says:

    chicagofinance [10],

    LOL! Good stuff!

  12. Randy says:


    I know there’s a picking farm that you like going to (a lot!)… could you tell me the name of this farm again? thanks a bunch (get it?)

  13. leftwing says:

    Any views on AIG outside of the CNBC tripe?

    Who needs AC, just wrote a bunch of Sept 75 calls at $2.20 and $2.30.

    Wish me luck….

  14. Anon E. Moose says:

    “The company is producing Mortgage Apple Cake according to Logan’s recipe at its Long Island plant…”

    Fire whoever is in sales and marketing there. They missed the biggest target in decades by a country mile when the picked the name.

    It should have been the Mortgage Apple UPSIDE DOWN cake…

  15. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [204][last thread] morpheus

    Sorry, refer to post 7 above. We are only rich because the democrats in DC and Trenton say that we are. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make it so in the real world.

    I tried to get a Bentley the other day and they wanted a lot of money for it. I told them I was rich (Obama said so), but didn’t have that kind of dough. They just kind of looked at me funny until I left.

    I could avoid being rich by getting separated. Then, according to the Dems, and by operation of the Internal Revenue Code, I would no longer be “rich.”

  16. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [206] [last thread] Cyclonic

    Already there. Daughter 1 already acts like Thing 1.

    I cannot imagine what sort of cabin fever I have to look forward to after the rain predicted for the next two days. Good thing I have scotch.

  17. NJGator says:

    Lost 12 – We go to Wightman’s Farms. http://www.wightmansfarms.com

    They’re picking apples and peaches now.

  18. Bystander says:


    It looks like us fence-sitters just missed the best “investor” opportunity of the century. We could have pooled our money together and offered a proper site gathering.

  19. leftwing says:

    “Although global financial sickness first erupted in American residential property, thanks to ludicrously lax subprime lending,…”


    …thanks to ludicrous subprime borrowing…

  20. leftwing says:


    Absolutely hilarious.

    “I tried to get a Bentley the other day and they wanted a lot of money for it. I told them I was rich (Obama said so), but didn’t have that kind of dough. They just kind of looked at me funny until I left.”

  21. gary says:

    Comrade Nom Deplume [17],

    Along with that scotch, try crushing up 100 mg of xan@x and cutting it into two lines. You’d swear you just picked your toes with the finest P-funk direct from East 4th Street and Avenue D.

  22. morpheus says:

    JOKE. I was merely suggesting that if you keg the homebrew, it will taste better and you do not have to wash all those bottles.

    No offense intended. I was trying to be funny. Obviously, I should not look forward to a career change to do stand up comedy.

  23. lostinny says:

    18 Gator
    That’s not me. Thats another poster named Randy. But thanks for the info anyway. :)

  24. NJGator says:

    Sorry Lost – I am on West Coast time and have not had any caffeine yet. Have an ambitious day in Napa planned.

  25. skep-tic says:


    the Hartford Courant conveniently left out this bit from the Warren Group’s press release:

    “Only Hartford and Fairfield counties had declines in July home sales. A total of 12,470 single-family home sales traded statewide through July, a 15.5 percent drop from 14,758 a year earlier.”

    sales overall still down 15.5% for the year vs 2008. One up month may be a reversal in trend or just noise.

    Also, the most expensive housing markets in CT continue to fall unabated.

  26. Stu says:

    So Gator…were you planning on calling me sometime this morning?

  27. lostinny says:

    If you happen to find Vineyard Estates Winery, specifically Block 213 Merlot. Please bring me some back!!!!

  28. chicagofinance says:

    NJGator says:
    August 28, 2009 at 10:19 am
    Have an ambitious day in Napa planned.

    Oh please stop posting….I am going to punch a hole in the wall….no updates

  29. relo says:

    Miles – “I am not drinking Merlot!” – Sideways

  30. freedy says:

    anybody started drinking yet for the weekend

    after trading aig,c,cit,fne,fnm,all week

    and dont forget srs

  31. chicagofinance says:

    freedy says:
    August 28, 2009 at 11:06 am
    anybody started drinking yet for the weekend
    after trading aig,c,cit,fne,fnm,all week
    and dont forget srs

    pesche: It is freakin’ unbelievable…..

  32. Ben says:

    Bernanke dying to fight transparency after losing his lawsuit to Bloomberg. The prices of everything in the markets are irrational right now. My guess is, Bernankesan’s emergency lending program is a proxy for getting private banks to pump up his assets of choice. How else do we explain the S&P being so overbought despite it’s mediocre earnings? Hell, even I sold all my petroleum stocks on Monday, despite the fact that I’m a permabull on oil for the next 40 years. Let us see the books Bernanke. What are you so afraid of?

  33. freedy says:

    yes these are all quality institutions.
    well run, well capitalized, and all with the best interest of the shareholders in mind, who just happen to be us.

    im from the gov , i’m here to help

    and dont forget Corzine is hosting an event for the Muslims

  34. freedy says:

    but housing is on the upswing, just ask grim

  35. BC Bob says:

    “after trading aig,c,cit,fne,fnm,all week”


    Since 99% are buy and hold for the long term, the long time holder has been crushed. All the shorts have vanished, with a boat load of dough.

    Enjoy the wave until mid Sept. Get ready for the vol in Oct/Nov. Fun times ahead.

  36. BC Bob says:

    Can somebody tell me how a long time holder, AIG, is faring after a 20-1 reverse split. Pre-split equates to $2.60, based on today’s price. BOOYAA.

  37. freedy says:

    these have become daytrader specials,quants
    long term, ya, right.

  38. BC Bob says:

    “these have become daytrader specials,quants”


    I agree, that’s all they are good for, short term trading vehicles. How about those that wore their Dow 10K hat, 10 years ago?

    Can’t understand why the sheeple love to buy and hold. Doesn’t anybody teach sell and fold?

  39. JS says:

    Judging from AIG’s share price, one has to wonder if they’ve discovered the cure for cancer and a way to end world hunger all in one shot.

  40. freedy says:

    ON aig hank greenberg coming back.

    its the new normal recessions over

  41. leftwing says:

    “Can somebody tell me how a long time holder, AIG, is faring after a 20-1 reverse split. Pre-split equates to $2.60, based on today’s price. BOOYAA.”

    Who cares. I’m up 55% on my options trade of two hours ago as this thing vraters.

    Oh, and CNBC is talking how AIG is leading the financials UP with it at $50. Forget that it opened at $55 and people are off 10%…

    Can’t watch these yahoos any more…

  42. Clotpoll says:

    freedy (31)-

    You need to drink before trading those stocks, not after.

  43. Clotpoll says:

    Ben (33)-

    Two words: Maiden Lane.

  44. BC Bob says:

    JS [40],

    If you were long 10,000 shares at $20, pre split, you now are now long 500 shares at $400. Your 200K investment is worth 26K, base on today’s price. Hopefully, that drug will aid the stupefied?

  45. freedy says:

    we got a dead zone shake out here on c and aig ,, they may rally em into the afternoon got to keep it going .

    hit the stops, take it back up.

    plus we got a dead kennedy

  46. BC Bob says:

    left [42],

    I agree. I was short a long time ago and covered at 1.74. It’s simply the walking dead.

  47. I am truely excited about The Real estate market in the Phoenix area. Multiple offers on properties below $200k is the norm. With 2 years of limited new builds and the population growth that we have I can see a hiusing shortgage by the end of 2010.

  48. HEHEHE says:

    Hey the dow’s almost down 1%, time to tank the dollar.

  49. BC Bob says:

    “I am truely excited about The Real estate market in the Phoenix area.”

    This is your captain speaking, there is good news. The Titanic will soon stop sinking, we are about to touch bottom.

  50. skep-tic says:

    if I lived in phoenix, I’d be excited too. it is a relatively affordable city now after a 50%+ drop. more reason than ever now for businesses to move south and west. although there is a nasty violent crime problem there

  51. freedy says:

    perhaps Arizona could make a deal with Mexico housing related. forget the jobs
    welfare will take care of that .

  52. Clotpoll says:

    skep (51)-

    I’d love to live in Phoenix now. Hell, I could probably afford to be neighbors with Charles Barkley. He was my hero for a helluva long time.

  53. BC Bob says:

    “Giants Look To Recover $300M Lehman Fumble”

    Obviously, Hammerin Hank is no Gint fan.


  54. freedy says:

    aig c on the comeback trail,, hurry

  55. Qwerty says:


    August 28, 2009 12:34 AM PDT

    Bill would give president emergency control of Internet

    Internet companies and civil liberties groups were alarmed this spring when a U.S. Senate bill proposed handing the White House the power to disconnect private-sector computers from the Internet.

    They’re not much happier about a revised version that aides to Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, have spent months drafting behind closed doors. CNET News has obtained a copy of the 55-page draft of S.773, which still appears to permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector networks during a so-called cybersecurity emergency.

  56. d2b says:

    $1.6B really doesn’t buy much of a stadium these days. Plus, there are no land aquisition costs.

  57. BC Bob says:

    Since it is BFF, what’s the over/under(weeks/months) before there is a new offer; banks for clunkers?

  58. relo says:

    56: This is a leap. Clinton only wanted access to Red Tube.

  59. relo says:

    53: Phoenix is a nice place. To visit. While recouping from Vegas.

  60. #56 – Qwerty – Well, if they were going to stop a DDos from bot-net they would need to seize private networks, so not much of a worry.

  61. stan says:

    I wonder what Dean Baker has to say about the internet takeover plan.

    Sounds a little too much like terminator/ skynet for my liking.

  62. Ben says:

    Krugman on the deficit:

    “If we assume 2.5% real growth* and 2% inflation, by 2019 that would rise to $4 trillion. So debt service costs due to the next decade’s deficits would be less than 6 percent of revenue under current law.”

    There you have it, assume 2% inflation for 10 years straight and you effectively have no problems at all. Hell, lets assume 0% and make the projection even better.

  63. Uncle Jay says:

    I am interested in hearing people’s opinions on how much further housing has to all PERCENTAGE-WISE, or if you believe the media in that we have hit bottom? I know there is no right answer to this, but just am curious as to the thoughts on this board. I think we have another 20% further to fall by next summer. I don’t believe all the talk about all-time affordability right now…Prices are still way too high and real estate taxes only keep going up.

  64. LTLV says:

    The discussion regarding hitting bottom, is assumed/based on a national level, not specific to NY/NJ metro area.

    And the same with affordability levels (talk not geared to NY/NJ metro area).

    Prices have at least another 15-20% fall in our area before they become affordable. Real estate taxes will continur to rise dramatically.

  65. crossroads says:

    I would like to see prices at a level equal to what the property could rent for. In other words if I put %20 down could I rent the property for the mortgage + taxes + insurance. I dont think we’re close but I cant put a # on how much further we have to fall.

  66. Uncle Jay says:

    So the article in the Economist doesn’t pertain to NY/NJ? The estimates are the same as yours…15-20%. Whereas I don’t think Florida and California have much more room to fall another 20%? I agree with you that NY/NJ will fall another 20%. Would you say that they have fallen that much already from peak?

  67. LTLV says:

    Numbers say that prices in our area have already fallen somewhere between 16 to 20%.

  68. Shore Guy says:

    Just returned from a RE scouting trip from Delmarva to VA beach and rhen to OBX. When I recover from the trip, I will post some observations. Overall, despite its flaws, the Jersey Shore looks better to me today than it did last week.

  69. Shore Guy says:

    Are you hearing any complaints from partnerships who have even a single NY partner who have now gotten sucked into the pit of NY taxation via Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax (the “Mobility Tax”) earlier this year. The tax is intended to support NYC’s subway and bus system. The way the law is drafted, however, all individual partners of any business with a location in NYC must pay the tax — whether those partners live or work in NYC or not.

  70. NJGator says:

    Sorry Chifi! Am at Frog’s Leap now waiting to tour and taste. Ealier today we went to Sterling (for the tram view), Clos Pegase and lunch at CIA’s Greystone restaurant. Still to go – Silver Oak, Hess Collection (for the art – friend does not drink), Trefethen and the a fouffy vegetarian dinner at Ubuntu before heading back to San Fran. Will scout out Valley properties if I win the Mega Millions tonight.

  71. grim says:

    Am at Frog’s Leap now waiting to tour and taste.

    Ah! Damn you! Was just talking to my brother about that.

    Ask to taste the late harvest Riesling! And enjoy the Rutherford as well, they save that for the end.

  72. chicagofinance says:

    AUGUST 28, 2009, 6:08 A.M. ET

    The Absent-Minded Chairman
    Charlie Rangel wins the personal lottery.

    When normal people happen to “find” their own money, it might mean a twenty left in a winter coat, or discovering change beneath the sofa cushions. But if you’re Charlie Rangel, it means doubling your net worth.

    Earlier this month the Chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee “amended” his 2007 financial disclosure form—to the tune of more than a half-million dollars in previously unreported assets and income. That number may be as high as $780,000, because Congress’s ethics rules only require the Members to report their finances within broad ranges. This voyage of personal financial discovery brings Mr. Rangel’s net worth for 2007 to somewhere between $1.028 million and $2.495 million, while his previous statement came in at $516,015 and $1.316 million.

    When you’re a powerful Congressman and working diligently to increase tax rates to pay for President Obama’s health-care plan, we suppose it’s easy to lose track of one of your checking accounts. That would be the one at the federal credit union with a balance somewhere between $250,001 and maybe as high as $500,000. And when you’re crunched for time and pulling together bills to pass in a rush, we guess, too, that you might overlook several other investment accounts, even if some of them are sizable, such as the ones Mr. Rangel missed at JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, Oppenheimer and BlackRock.

    Oh, and those vacant properties in Glassboro, in southern Jersey? Everybody in Manhattan tries not to think much about New Jersey, so those lots and their as-much-as-$15,000 value must also have slipped down the memory hole. (The New York Post reported yesterday that Mr. Rangel failed to pay property taxes for two of the lots, according to the county clerk’s office.)

    The Chairman probably isn’t doing a lot of dining at KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell or Long John Silver’s, either, which may explain why he didn’t disclose the $1,001 to $15,000 in stock he owns in Yum Brands, the conglomerate that runs those chain restaurants. Compared to his undisclosed portfolio stake in PepsiCo—$15,001 to $50,000—that’s practically a rounding error.

    All lawmakers amend their financial reports from time to time, though rarely are the errors this extensive. Via email, a Rangel spokesman declined to offer details about how the errors occurred, noting that “Once the Ethics Committee completes its work, then we can answer questions in more detail.” He added that Mr. Rangel is now “confident that his records have been subjected to an exhaustive and complete review, and that the amendments accurately reflect his financial interests.”

    Among other issues, Mr. Rangel is currently under investigation regarding his use of four rent-stabilized apartments at New York City’s tony Lenox Terrace and soliciting donations with his official letterhead for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College of New York, which was itself built with a $1.9 million earmark. Yet another part of the probe is his failure to report $75,000 in income from a rental villa at the beachfront Punta Cana Yacht Club, in the Dominican Republic.

    Mr. Rangel blamed that last one on the language barrier because he doesn’t speak Spanish. We can only imagine what language he speaks with his accountants and tax attorneys.

  73. chicagofinance says:



    NJGator says:
    August 28, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Sorry Chifi! Am at Frog’s Leap now waiting to tour and taste. Ealier today we went to Sterling (for the tram view), Clos Pegase and lunch at CIA’s Greystone restaurant. Still to go – Silver Oak, Hess Collection (for the art – friend does not drink), Trefethen and the a fouffy vegetarian dinner at Ubuntu before heading back to San Fran. Will scout out Valley properties if I win the Mega Millions tonight.

  74. lostinny says:

    Just came back from the local Key Food. They had Abita Amber! :)

  75. Breaking into my last bottle of Kentucky Gentleman and firing up a Swanson’s salisbury steak.

  76. New in NJ says:

    I know it’s in the wrong valley, but swing by Adler Fels if you get a chance. I went there probably 20 years ago. The site is beautiful. Steep, rocky hills with scattered trees all missing the foliage and branches up to a certain level above the ground (wild goats? deer?). Surreal looking, as I remember it, although I had tasted at several wineries before I got there….
    I don’t know whether the winery is open to visitors now that they have a tasting site on Sonoma Highway in Kenwood now.
    Their Adler Fels branded whites are outstanding.
    Enjoy your wine tour!

  77. ruggles says:

    Two buck Chuck and homemade Korean bbq

  78. Seneca says:

    Does anyone know a good accountant/attorney combos that specialize in lottery winners? I plan to win the MegaMillions tonight.

    When I win, I will buy a home in Short Hills immediately and use whatever is left over to pay the property taxes.

    Remember, the lotto is only a tax on the stupid if you don’t win.

  79. lostinny says:

    78 Seneca
    I’m sorry but I have dibs on the lottery tonight. :)
    In all seriousness, would you stay/buy in Jersey if you won? I’m always curious to hear what people would do if they had that much money.

  80. chicagofinance says:

    79.lostinny says:
    August 28, 2009 at 8:28 pm
    78 Seneca
    I’m sorry but I have dibs on the lottery tonight. :)
    In all seriousness, would you stay/buy in Jersey if you won? I’m always curious to hear what people would do if they had that much money.

    I would buy Chung King Studios….

  81. Cindy says:


    “I would buy Chung King Studios….”

    80 – I knew it had something to do with DM.

  82. yo'me says:

    Bank closure friday

    Regulators shut small banks in Maryland, Minnesota; makes 83 US bank failures this year


  83. Hello, world, there’s a song that we’re singin:

    “The number of banks on the FDIC’s confidential “problem list” jumped to 416 at the end of June from 305 in the first quarter. That’s the highest number since June 1994, during the savings-and-loan crisis.”

    Whoops! Somebody just peed on another green shoot.

  84. BFF is my favorite day of the week.

  85. Seneca says:

    lost [79]

    >> In all seriousness, would you stay/buy
    >> in Jersey if you won?

    Absolutely I would since I could finally afford it. And I am not joking about what I would do with it all.

    If I buy a multi million dollar house in Short Hills, I will likely burn through whatever is left over (lump sum payment, after taxes) by covering my property taxes for 20 years (10 if we do see the inflation that seems to be a near guaranty).

  86. lostinny says:

    80 ChiFi
    Ever been in Electric Lady Studios? I’m partial.

  87. lostinny says:

    86 Seneca
    At least you’re thinking about covering the taxes. That’s something I really never thought of. I’ve thought of where and what to buy but not taxes. Thanks for the really good idea. :) I promise if I win, I owe you something.

  88. Stu says:

    On the lottery tip…

    If I ever won the lottery, I wouldn’t stay anywhere. I would buy a yacht and would spend the rest of my life cruising around the world.

  89. Pat says:

    Uncle J…I’m thinkin 14%.

    As for leaving NJ? Do it for a few years just to appreciate NJ and then go back.

    You all know you need some hate to appreciate luv. I miss the L U V.

    If I won the lottery, I’d buy a place on LBI, beachfront. It would be a nice little 2fer, so I could sit out downstairs and meet new people every week. I wouldn’t let on that I was the owner, ’cause I wouldn’t want them to think I was on patrol.

    When it was a bunch of partiers, I’d shout up at 2 am, “STFU!”

    If it was some quiet couple, I’d make a lot of noise, throw a party and piss them off…then refund all of their money at the end of the week.

    That is my idea of THE LIFE.

  90. I’d hire somebody to out Frank.

  91. I’d also buy lots of firearms.

  92. Fascination Street says:

    Pat – Go to Manasquan at 2AM… your experience is there without winning the lottery.

  93. alia says:

    i’d invest in a thinktank working on bluegreen algae that would fart out biofuel. (even if it didn’t work immediately, burying the algae after you dried it out would sequester carbon dioxide– should make money from carbon trading eventually. i happen to know of some empty mines in PA) after i bought a tesla and a cottage, anyway. with goats.

  94. Pat says:

    What would happen to the algae and the CO2 if you sequestered it in a mine that’s connected to one on that happens to be on fire? If it’s something interesting, then I know somebody who maybe could sell you some land in Laurel Run, PA.

  95. alia says:

    i was thinking wilkes barre, actually. just ’cause i have fond memories of getting the hell out of there. ;)

  96. cobbler says:

    The goats will gobble up all the profits from carbon trading (all ruminants belch methane which is several times worse vs. greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide); also, they stink. Better get peacocks – they will protect your cottage… And btw, ExxonMobil will sue you for the patent infringement re. hydrocarbon-farting algi.

  97. cobbler says:

    The goats will gobble up all the profits from carbon trading (all ruminants belch methane which is several times worse vs. greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide); also, they stink. Better get peac0cks – they will protect your cottage… And btw, ExxonMobil will sue you for the patent infringement re. hydrocarbon-farting algi.

  98. Pat says:

    Does anybody remember where the graph the money pulled housing bubble gains, 2003-2007, graphed against savings for the same period?

  99. Pat says:

    the graph was posted that showed gains..

  100. chicagofinance says:

    87.lostinny says:
    August 28, 2009 at 9:37 pm
    80 ChiFi
    Ever been in Electric Lady Studios? I’m partial.

    lost: I’ve done the next best thing…I saw Rocky Horror at the 8th Street Playhouse on a break from college (Cornell that is). When I got outside, it was 2AM and I had to piss like a racehorse. It was basically 5 degrees, so there was no one on the street. I took a leak on the front door.

  101. alia says:

    peacocks scream. and they scare me. tiny bullying dinosaurs think they’re so clever…

  102. alia says:

    oh, you can delete the first/either response, grim. it didn’t come up as being moderated until after i hit submit the second time. silly peagoose that i am…

  103. yo'me says:

    Aug. 28 (Bloomberg) — Honda Motor Co.’s withdrawal from Formula One racing in December to save money may give it an advantage over rivals: fresh blood from an elite cadre of engineers to improve its Civic compacts and Odyssey minivans.

    The automaker reassigned the racing team’s 400 engineers to speed up development of new technologies to improve fuel efficiency and emission levels for mass-produced cars.

    “F-1 was all about pursuing the best energy efficiency to achieve speed,” Kazuo Sakurahara, who led Honda’s team of F-1 engineers, said in an interview at the company’s research center in Tochigi prefecture, north of Tokyo. “In that sense, the approach to our new job is exactly the same as it was then.”


  104. lostinny says:

    Clot this is exactly what I was talking about the other day.
    Cindy you might find this article interesting. What’s amazing to me is a teacher can be written up for anything and everything. However, a principal can defy rules set by the chancellor. And no, all these teachers are not incompetent.

    Amid Hiring Freeze, Principals Leave Jobs Empty

    Published: August 28, 2009


  105. lostinny says:

    100 ChiFi
    That’s sacrilege!

  106. BeachBum says:

    Info on MLS 20932974

    500 block in Bradley Beach, but only 460K on a nice size lot. 500 block is still half a mile from the beach tho, so maybe too far.
    5 Bedrooms
    2 Bathrooms
    Seems priced to sell

    Unlike MLS # 20932927
    300 block and asking 950K. NJCoast had posted the info on that one – if I recall not much debt outstanding from what she saw. This just came up again tho as a new listing: maybe they didn’t like their agent?

  107. BeachBum says:

    Sorry – hit send too fast
    Seems like there is some pressure in these beach towns to actually sell the houses. If someone could let me know the history on the first one, that would be great – thanks.

    PS: Shore did you move forward on that short sale you were looking at?

  108. Cindy says:


    Thanks Lost – I’ll read it…This is what I have been reading this AM – Warning -6 pages.

    “An Ounce of Prevention” Sept/Oct. Harvard Magazine

    I like this idea. Provide stringent regulations on systemically significant institutions so you discourage their existence. As it is, there is an incentive to reach “too big to fail” status.

    I found this to be a well-written, thoughtful piece – solutions oriented.


  109. Cindy says:

    103 – Lost

    We have an absolute mess in my district just now. The cost to bus overflow students is too high, so we are to house all students at our campus. We are in the process of combining classrooms. Many upper grades now have 40 students.

    Many teachers have been moved to new schools and new grade levels. Our situation is handled by the area superintendent. They have the final say – not the principal. They have a view of the “big picture” so it seems to be working for now. We are non-union and I’d bet that matters just now. The teachers are not complaining – they have jobs.

    I seriously do not see where we can cut next year. We have lost 16% of our budget over the last two years. Because of retirements, we have lost no teachers yet. But as they combine classrooms and increase class sizes, that will be the next step I am sure.

    There is an outside chance that they will offer an “early retirement” package to encourage more “expensive” teachers to exit the profession early next year. We shall see.

  110. lostinny says:

    108 Cindy
    I cannot believe that they are putting 40 kids in a class at the elementary level. Do I understand that right?
    Supposedly the superintendent has the final say here too. But the reality is that if the school is performing, they let the principals do whatever they want.
    My father works in the revenue dept. for the NYC system. He told me that they are going to try to force layoffs in September. I’m not sure how that will work since we have a no lay off clause in our contracts. But when the City claims a fiscal crisis they can do whatever they feel they need to do. I’m sure I’ve mentioned that back in the 70’s they wiped the counselors out completely for a year. I expect the same will happen again. I just found out I do have a job for September in a school much closer to home. This will allow us to move to Jersey. However, I still want to see what happens with possible lay offs.
    I expect that they will offer buy outs here as well. They usually do when things don’t look so good. However, this chancellor doesn’t think buy outs for early retirement are cost efficient so I’m not really sure what will happen.
    Please keep us posted on what goes on there. Or get my email from Grim too.

  111. Cindy says:

    Lost – my post is lost…

    Oh well….

    Feel free to get my email from Grim as well. Glad to hear you are set come September. Yes, you heard correctly – 40 in 5th and now maybe 6th grade classrooms….

  112. NJCoast says:

    Beach Bum- MLS#20932974- Brinley Ave

    Last sale-7/96-$120,000
    Block-43 Lot-19
    Assessed-land-298,000 improv.-$205,000=$503,000
    Lot size-50×91
    Mortgage history- Looks like somebody’s been using their home as a piggy bank

  113. BeachBum says:

    Thanks NJC – are the mortgage amounts cumulative or do you add them together (I hope not for all of our sakes!)

    Nothing can change the fact that it is a half a mile from the beach! We were 2 blocks to the Belmar beach (despite all the rumors – we did NOT see John)for vacation and loved being so close.

    I’m gona send my mom on house patrol to take a look anyway. These shore towns have pricing all over the map – hard to get a clear idea of value and I’m sure it’s dragging down the appraisals!

  114. NJCoast says:

    Beach Bum-

    They are refi’s with prior mortgage paid but sapping the equity from the house none the less.

    You’re right about prices all over the place.

  115. BC Bob says:

    “Mortgage history- Looks like somebody’s been using their home as a piggy bank”


    Let’s cut them a break. After all, the price of a reuben, at Kelly’s, has increased over this time frame.

  116. Cindy (107)-

    The whole aim of financial America is now to grow to “too big to fail” status, then become bacon rind, Twinkie-engorged corporate welfare niggaz.

    We have- in an act of twisted, perv@rse genius- created an underclass of moneyed and ostensibly intelligent corporate drones. It remains to be seen whether we can convert it to a permanent underclass.

  117. The only problem with creating a new American underclass is that it will completely bugger and impoverish the few steady, honest and hardworking people who are still left.

  118. Roy G Biv says:

    I hear 55+ housing is tanking, but does anyone know where renting a 55+ apartment low? Or is just in the low income category this is true for seniors ?? Thanks

  119. NJCoast says:

    BC Bob-

    Yeah you’re right, especially if you add a Long Island Iced Tea with that Rueben.

  120. BeachBum says:

    So, just to make sure I understand: if they sell for the asking price, despite having made a killing in real estate (quadrupled their money in 13 years), they’ve lost it all?

  121. BeachBum says:

    Other than the Reuben and and ice tea of course!

  122. yo'me says:

    So, just to make sure I understand: if they sell for the asking price, despite having made a killing in real estate (quadrupled their money in 13 years), they’ve lost it all?

    Of course not.The house was upgraded.
    sarcasm off

  123. yo'me says:

    London’s Luxury Homes Sell at the Fastest Pace Since July 2007


  124. yo'me says:

    Macroshares Major Metro Hsg


    On the move up


  125. yo'me says:

    Macroshares Major Mtr Hsg Do


    Going down


  126. veto that says:

    Robert Shiller 100 Yr Home Price Chart – Updated this July


  127. JS says:

    Reluctance to Spend May Be Legacy of Recession


    some highlights:

    ““We’re at an inflection point with respect to the American consumer,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy .com, who correctly forecast a dip in spending heading into the recession, and who provided data supporting sustained weakness.

    “Lower-income households can’t borrow, and higher-income households no longer feel wealthy,” Mr. Zandi added. “There’s still a lot of debt out there. It throws a pall over the potential for a strong recovery. The economy is going to struggle.””


    ““The only time you do a lot of business is when you throw a sale,” said Pat Bennett, a salesman at a Macy’s in north Austin. “You see very little impulse buying. They come in saying, ‘I need a pair of underwear,’ and they get it and leave. You don’t really see them saying, ‘Oh, I love the way that shirt looks, and I’m just going to get it.’ ”

    Mr. Bennett attributes frugality to a general uneasiness about the future.

    “Our parents had the Depression,” Mr. Bennett said. “This is like a mini-shock for the baby boomers after the go-go years.”

    At a mall devoted to home furnishings, many storefronts were vacant, and survivors were draped in the banners of desperation: “Inventory Clearance,” “50% Off,” “It’s All On Sale.”

    But at the Natural Gardener — a lush assemblage of demonstration plots that sells seeds, plants and tools for organic gardening — business has never been better.

    Sales of vegetable plants swelled fivefold in March over past years. The company added a public address system and bleachers to accommodate hordes showing up for vegetable-growing classes.”

  128. JS says:

    Guess we now know what green shots the government is talking about: Vegetable gardens!

  129. yo'me says:

    2 things can bring it to 100-110 level.Either prices will come down or gradual inflation will bring it to that level.Gradual inflation brought it back to that level in previous boom times.

  130. JS says:

    Here it is folks, the deal of the day. Grab your significant other and your checkbook, because this one wont last!!


    Seriously. I think this listing has to be some kind of joke. One has to imagine the home owner didn’t bother to look at the homes in the same price range.

  131. scribe says:

    lost, #109

    Did you see the story in the Times …close to 2,000 teachers with no assignments??

    It was today, or maybe yesterday …

  132. scribe says:

    Lost, #103

    Sorry, that was the story. Was scrolling back so didn’t see it until after that post.

  133. Barbara says:

    “Seriously. I think this listing has to be some kind of joke. One has to imagine the home owner didn’t bother to look at the homes in the same price range.”

    naw, they just totaled up their debt, added commissions and priced it up another 10% (for negotiating!) and slapped the bad boy up on the mls.

    This is why I stay away from cheesy people holding folders and driving 4 door sedans with air fresheners.

  134. lostinny says:

    Scribe 131 & 132

    Yeah its amazing how much waste there is because of bureaucracy.

  135. Samivel says:

    119 Beach Bum – they didn’t lose anything. They continually cashed out the equity in the house. At closing those secondary mortgage holders will be paid.

  136. chicagofinance says:


    Nudist Property Market Survives U.S. Housing Disaster, FT Says

    Share | Email | Print | A A A

    By Chris Bourke

    Aug. 29 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. naturist property market has survived the global recession because the majority of house- buyers in unclothed communities are older and don’t need mortgages, the Financial Times reported.

    Naturism has grown to a $450 million industry from $400 million five years ago, primarily because of real estate values, the newspaper said, citing a spokeswoman for the American Association for Nude Recreation.

    House prices in naturist communities haven’t dropped as much as those in the general market, the FT said, citing Marc Seligman, who manages a naturist real estate Web site.

    To contact the reporter on this story:

    Last Updated: August 29, 2009 06:59 EDT

  137. Seneca says:

    Sure is quiet here.

    Guess everyone is out spending money like all the people causing traffic jams at Menlo Park and Woodbridge Malls tonight. 45 minute wait for a table at Cheesecake Factory… at 5pm!

    Folks might be down in the dumps elsewhere but not around here… too close to Manhattan I guess.

  138. Pat says:

    Naw. I was at a 40th birthday party.
    Took homemade macaroni salad and wine.

    And now I’m perusing..doing my weekly (used to be daily) mls cruising.

    I just saw this Brady modern with a pool in the basement. As is. The price was 314. Where I live, that’s like ghetto, or WAS. Tax assessment is almost 600k. Whassssup?

    Anyways, as I’m checking zillow and some tax records, I cruise back to x underwriter’s suggested site for my state, and BAM – DOM is 1 day, and the price drops to 275.

    So what’s going on? I’m thinking insider deal that’s already been done but the damn scammers have to post the house for one day to say it was done on some sort of disclosure. I detest this insider garbage. I wish I knew how to fight it to the core and kill it with my bad breath.

    The longer I live near DC, the more garbage I smell.

    It’s the former honest accountant/ auditor in me. Some kind of need to fix the unfairness for all those schmucks who still think they are getting a fair deal somehow.

  139. snuggler says:

    I’m tired of looking at shit inventory day in and day out. No one wants to put their house on the market… and the ones on the market, think their home is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Things were better in 2008…..inventory and sale prices

  140. sas says:

    “188 CAROL JEAN WAY, Branchburg NJ 08876 – Home for Sale for $657,000”

    ha ha.

    good luck with that one.

    I once made a wish in one hand, and took a #2 in the other hand, to see which one would happen first. Guess what happened?


  141. sas says:

    “I’m tired of looking at shit inventory day in and day out”

    -take a break for awhile.

    “No one wants to put their house on the market… and the ones on the market, think their home is the greatest thing since sliced bread”

    I think many future/upcoming sellers think the market will make a quick recover with in the next year. Sadly mistaken. They want the shell game to continue.

    Where will such future buyers come from?
    Get we get then on loan again from the future, like we did on the runup?


  142. sas says:

    now, back to drinking my atrazine & trace pharmaceuticals tainted tap water from my local NJ municipality.


  143. MSP says:


    I’m tired too. Feeling like the 8k tax credit really did stop the fall in prices (for now). Two houses on my street that had been on the market for over a year finally sold. One for 450 (originally listed at 549) and the other for 550 (originally listed for 719). Both were bought by first time homebuyers. In my opinion, neither was worth what they paid. We are move up buyers looking for a bigger house (bigger, not big) and there isn’t anything out there in our town. Just the same old crap thats been on the market forever.

  144. EWellie says:

    I hope that 8K tax credit ends when it’s supposed to, period. It did keep prices higher here, I’m sure. I’m still staggered by the number of people who are overpaying in order to get that so-called deal.

  145. SG says:

    Unlearned Lessons from the Housing Bubble

    There is a lot of misunderstanding about home prices. Many people all over the world seem to have thought that since we are running out of land in a rapidly growing world economy, the prices of houses and apartments should increase at huge rates.

    That misunderstanding encouraged people to buy homes for their investment value – and thus was a major cause of the real estate bubbles around the world whose collapse fueled the current economic crisis. This misunderstanding may also contribute to an increase in home prices again, after the crisis ends. Indeed, some people are already starting to salivate at the speculative possibilities of buying homes in currently depressed markets.

    But we do not really have a land shortage. Every major country of the world has abundant land in the form of farms and forests, much of which can be converted someday into urban land. Less than 1% of the earth’s land area is densely urbanized, and even in the most populated major countries, the share is less than 10%.

    There are often regulatory barriers to converting farmland into urban land, but these barriers tend to be thwarted in the long run if economic incentives to work around them become sufficiently powerful. It becomes increasingly difficult for governments to keep telling their citizens that they can’t have an affordable home because of land restrictions.

    I think the citizens of NJ and some state like FL, CA are live in Rental homes are not vocal enough about these issues. I did not see enough supply side response when the bubble was forming in NJ. Granted prices will decline in NJ, but the process will be very slow.

  146. sas (140)-

    I have a house around the corner from that one under contract for 460K.

    Some people never get it.

  147. Cindy says:


    The pipeline – upstream part of discoveries needed to generate high-value jobs has broken down….

    “Where Have You Gone, Bell Labs?

  148. freedy says:

    nj will have plenty of jobs. mostly state,and local. of course all towns will have to add police.

    and of course watch for Sonic to expand.

    who will pay for all this,the high paying jobs NJ is attracting?

    NJ has been a welfare state for many years now.

  149. yo'me says:

    There is abundant land.The problem is building a community with companies and everything that the population needs are on it.
    In Japan people are abandoning their homes moving to Tokyo for work or travelling 3 hours one way to work in Tokyo.Some pay to sleep in this coffin size bed for the night everyday and go home to their homes in the weekend. Guess how much it cost to rent this coffins a night.

  150. rebear says:


    Clients say Edison jewelry store failed to deliver precious metal they purchased

  151. Frank says:

    Buy now, before price go up like in 2005.

    Contract Signings Rise, and Deal-Watchers Exhale


  152. Qwerty says:

    rebear @ 9:33 am:

    “Then, several months ago, Aabhushan’s checks began bouncing and customers weren’t getting their gold. In June, the 46-year-old owner, Sushil Bhalla, was found dead in the bathroom of his store. Authorities ruled the death accidental and caused by cyanide poisoning.”

    Accidental cyanide poisoning?

  153. CAIBC says:

    rebear, qwerty, all….you have to read the commments attached to that news article! its getting personal!!!

    really funny….

    besides who pays a gold shop cash for gold that will be delivered LATER? that is just asking for a scam!!!

  154. Cindy says:

    @148 – page 2

    “As a consequence of exporting good jobs that are not fully replaced, the U.S. demand engine is broken. Of the roughly 130 million jobs in the U.S., only 20% (26 million) pay more than $60,000 a year. The other 80% pay an average of $33,000. Tat ratio is not a good foundation for a strong middle class and a prosperous society. Rather than a demand engine, it’s a decay curve. As a nation, we have papered over our declining incomes by accepting the need for two incomes per household and by borrowing heavily, often against paper assets inflated by financial bubbles (dot-com. and housing). In recent years, personal debt has grown much faster than personal income. In 1985 the ratio of household debt to household income was 0.7 to 1; in 2000 it was 1 to 1; in 2008, it was 1.7 to 1. We earned less, so we borrowed more. In 2007, we reached the limit.”


    Mike Whitney “No Wage Growth, No Economic Recovery”

    We needs some jobs – We need some “wage growth” people….

  155. gary says:

    Does anyone know what “Arip Removed” means on a listing? Does this mean it is under Attorney review?

  156. BC Bob says:

    “As a consequence of exporting good jobs that are not fully replaced, the U.S. demand engine is broken.”


    We are no longer the engine, rather the caboose.

    Watch the TIC Data. It’s flashing red signals. Then again, when rule of law is abandoned, there are unintended consequences.

  157. Cindy says:

    157 – Hi BC – I miss you! You are one of my teachers.

    You know me…I’m looking for a way out of this mess.

    I found the BusinessWeek article informative. I had no idea MRIs were developed through research originally done with NASA.

    I’m tired of being the caboose. If we must spend money, can’t we at least spend it wisely. The end of the article was solution-oriented –

    I don’t know for “TIC Data.” But..I’m going to check it out…

    Just about time for football…..

  158. lostinny says:

    I truly wish all these reports and programs that talk about income would take cost of living into account. “As a consequence of exporting good jobs that are not fully replaced, the U.S. demand engine is broken. Of the roughly 130 million jobs in the U.S., only 20% (26 million) pay more than $60,000 a year. The other 80% pay an average of $33,000. Maybe 60k is a “good job” in another area of the country. Maybe 33k is middle class in those areas. Here in the Northeast, 60k is barely scraping by and 33k? How are people not asking for Section 8 and food stamps making 33k in this area?

  159. Cindy says:


    BC – Okay, so I find a 2007 article written by Brad Setser titled: “6 things to remember about TIC data.” So Setser was helping us decipher the info – but he recently took a job with the government – oh great….

  160. Cindy says:


    161 – BC – Whoa….
    Yeah, I found this with a link to the PDF file. Next report due 9-16-09.

  161. yikes says:

    re: bank failures … heard a crazy stat that there were something like 2400 bank failures in one year during the great depression.

    that probably isn’t exact, but im not at home to do the google. whoever was giving the #’s was making the claim that the bank failures in the last two years were nothing compared to the GD

  162. Qwerty says:

    RE: “Does anyone know what “Arip Removed” means on a listing? Does this mean it is under Attorney review?”

    Accidental Release Information Program (ARIP)

    EPA’s Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Office (CEPPO) leads the effort to deal with chemical accidents.


  163. Qwerty says:

    RE: “rebear, qwerty, all….you have to read the commments attached to that news article! its getting personal!!!”

    Quite a heated back and forth between who has a PhD, who works at a 7-11, who works at a car wash, and how many PhDs are required to work at either.

  164. chicagofinance says:

    164.Qwerty says:
    August 30, 2009 at 1:43 pm
    Quite a heated back and forth between who has a PhD, who works at a 7-11, who works at a car wash, and how many PhDs are required to work at either.

    Q: some of my favorite knockoffs…..
    (1) Fantastic cleaner knockoff called “Fabulous”
    (2) Dollar Store/99 cent store knockoff called “99 cents and more”….which I say is ineffective….
    (3) newest one is on Rte 79 in Malboro right before the entrance to 18…a 7-11 knockoff called “6-12”

  165. Barbara says:

    what? No 3 bedroom 1 bath palaces for 750k?
    I love those posts. You guys are slacking ;P

  166. BeachBum says:

    #135 Samivet – Of course you’re right – I just hope they were getting a better return on the equity than they were paying in interest. I see your point that it is a question of timing.

  167. cobbler says:

    Cindy [148]
    Re. Bell Labs: back in 1950s to 1970s we could survive and progress in technology without putting more of the budget money into R&D (though %% wise it’s still been more than today for every field except biomedical) because everyone paid an indirect tax to Ma Bell via high phone rates. Since Ma Bell was a regulated utility it had not been hurt financially when it plowed the billpayers money into Bell Labs research as the govt wouldn’t let them have a profit margin above certain level, anyway. Besides, it produced a ton of good publicity, too, with all the discoveries, Nobel prizes, etc. Since deregulation and AT&T breakup they can’t do such things, and the benefit the populace obtained via low phone rates, etc., eventually comes to haunt it when the cutting edge technology jobs move away from these shores, and we are left with Walmart.

    As a side note (and RE related one), decline of Bell Labs had been the key reason why the housing bubble of 2000-2006 had been much less pronounced around Murray Hill (that is New Providence, Berkeley Hts and Mountainside) – and probably around Holmdel, too, though I don’t know the area – then in the “comparable” towns elsewhere.

  168. Wag says:

    Could someone assist in finding the address for MLS# 2639336?

  169. willwork4beer says:

    #169 Wag

    45 Prentice Ln
    Mendham Boro

    OLP: 5.35MM

    LP: 4.875MM

    DOM: 212

    1997 SP: 2.33MM

  170. Wag says:

    ww4b, Thanks..property tax of $67390.22 per. Whew.

  171. lostinny says:

    Drove around Union today- Union, Springfield, a little bit of Westfield even less of Roselle Park. I wasn’t wowed by anything. Although I did like Westfie;d in general and I liked the little downtown area. I’m not sure any of these areas make me want to move and take on at least a 40 minute commute. I think we need to go drive around some more to get a better idea. I have to call a few rental offices tomorrow to see if they take dogs. This should be fun.

  172. firestormik says:

    Got my lease renewal yesterday. No hike and they are lowering my security deposit from 1.5 to month, returning the difference!

  173. firestormik says:

    And BTW, I still have my dish installed despite the fact they threatened me with eviction via certified mail. I just ignored them.

  174. lostinny says:

    Oh let me not forget to open house we stumbled upon in Springfield. It was in Troy Village. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, eat in kitchen. $270k Square footage not listed on the hand out. The agent said that there is some possible law that doesn’t allow for listing square footage. What kind of bs is that? Anyway, the agent said she thinks its 800 sq. ft. I just calculated it and its less then 650 sq. ft. I don’t know what these people are smoking.

  175. veto that says:

    “the agent said she thinks its 800 sq. ft. I just calculated it and its less then 650 sq. ft.”

    Lost, there is no bigger scam than the one that does not require sq ft measurements in NJ. We all know that the only thing nearly as important than sq ft is location. Im surprised they disclose addresses with each listing… most of the time.

  176. ruggles says:

    176 – this is prob misinformation but I’ll pass it along anyway. what I’ve heard is that square footage is not generally listed in NJ because we are too litigious and too many suits had come from incorrect measurements. Whether or not its true I believe the litigious part.

    also if you want to calculate sq footage you have to do it from the exterior walls not from the room sizes. in a condo, that might mean adding 2-3 inches all around for the wall thickness inside the building and the full wall thickness on the exterior walls.

  177. BC Bob says:


    Ever wonder why this imbecile was against the gold standard?

    “By a continuous process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method, they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some”

    John Maynard Keynes.

  178. chicagofinance says:

    The end is nigh…..

    AUGUST 31, 2009
    Per Capita Savings: Home Barbering Grows in Recession, With Hairy Results

    Clipper Sales Rise as Hairlines Recede at Salons, but Tonsorial Mishaps Invigorate Repair


    Jane Angelich used to joke about her husband, Mark, going bald. Then with one faulty flick of the wrist, she made it happen.

    Mr. Angelich had begun cutting his own hair to save money. His wife offered to trim a spot in the back he couldn’t reach. So she picked up an electric razor, “put a little too much oomph into it,” and carved out a “giant chunk” of hair. The fix: She shaved his entire head.

    The downturn has created a nation of cost, and hair- cutters. To help pare their budgets, more Americans are bypassing the salon and opting to lop off their own locks. The results, can be shear disaster — clogged drains, fresh cowlicks and crooked trims.

    “It may look easy, but it’s not,” says Gordon Miller, executive director for the National Cosmetology Association, which represents more than 10,000 U.S. salons. He says that middle- and high-end shops are feeling the pinch, as consumers come in less frequently or go to lower-priced salons. In a January poll of 600 salons, about 72% said they have seen a dropoff in customer spending.

    Regis Corp. just reported its first negative quarterly same-store sales in the company’s 87-year history. Regis, which operates big salon brands such as Vidal Sassoon and Supercuts, expects to see more shrinkage in the next year, as opposed to the usual 2% growth. “We generally do okay during recessions,” says Chairman and CEO Paul Finkelstein. The drop in business this time around is “different than anything I’ve ever experienced.”

    The aptly named George Trimm, a 22-year-old graphic designer in Dana Point, Calif., has scissored his hair more than 20 times in the past year. He started a “I Cut My Own Hair” Facebook group shortly after his first trim, and it is now 145 members strong. “Hair is a work of art,” he says. “No one has mastered cutting it but me.”

    One commenter offers her secret for cutting long hair. “Make sure your hair is straight,” reads her post. “Then use a striped sweater, match all the hair to one of the stripes in the front and cut. It will layer very nicely in the back.”

    Saving time and money are the chief benefits of the do-it-yourself ‘do, says Mr. Trimm. His “multimillion-dollar secret” is placing a towel over the sink to catch hair clippings, thus ensuring an easy clean up and preventing drain clogs.

    Owen Watson, 4, receives what his parents call a recession haircut this summer in St. Paul, Minn. Nicole Watson purchased electric clippers and set up shop on the family’s back porch.

    Heather Barmore of Albany, N.Y., who used to spend $200 a month on hair cuts and various hair treatments, takes a different approach when shearing her curly locks: “I keep the Drano around.”

    Sales of electric hair clippers expanded as the U.S. economy contracted. Wahl Clipper Corp., which claims over half the consumer market, said sales of hair clippers rose 10% in 2008 and are projected to rise 11% in 2009. Normally, the clipper category moves only a percentage point or two, up or down each year, says Pat Anello, Wahl’s director of marketing.

    Last month, Nicole and Pat Watson gave their two four-year-old twins “recession haircuts.” Mrs. Watson purchased electric clippers and set up shop on the back porch, saving the St. Paul, Minn. couple the $25 they would normally drop every couple of weeks for the twins’ trims.

    Friends and neighbors watched as Owen and William took turns wiggling through their cuts. At one point, Mrs. Watson, who works at an art gallery, says one of the twins asked, “Are you sure you know what you’re doing?” She said she did.

    Other self-styled stylists are turning to devices like the RoboCut and the Flowbee, which combine vacuum suction and electric scissors. The RoboCut, priced at $44.99, has seen an uptick in sales since the recession began, according to RoboCut founder Alfred Natrasevschi, but he wouldn’t say how much.

    The Flowbee System goes for between $69.99 and $99.99. Micah Wojnowski started using one to save money two summers ago while between jobs. After two successful self-cuts, he made a “tic-tac-toe” board in the back of a friend’s head after an attachment to the clipper kept slipping. Flowbee declined to comment.

    Mr. Wojnowski posted the videotaped mishap on YouTube and overnight received over 25,000 views and hundreds of comments from angry Flowbee fans, he says. Most of them criticized the angle at which he approached his friend’s head. Mr. Wojnowski now spends $50 a month at a San Diego salon.

    Meanwhile, a mini-industry has sprouted up in salons: fixing botched at-home cuts.

    John Barrett has had many clients who take matters into their own hands, achieve miserable results — then quickly return for some tress relief.

    “I’ve seen women come in, crying hysterically,” over things like too-shorn bangs, he says. “It’s a big deal.” Sometimes, the scene at his eponymous salon, located on the penthouse level at Bergdorf Goodman on New York City’s Fifth Avenue, can resemble an emergency room: Clients with hair-dye hazards, wrecked layers, and visible signs of emotional distress. “It’s a psychological disaster,” says Mr. Barrett, who caters to socialites and “America’s Next Top Model” contestants.

    A few blocks away, at the Minardi Salon, co-owner Carmine Minardi warns against the “at-home” method. “We get a lot of people who screw up their hair,” he says. He estimates that roughly a third of all business now consists of “corrective” styling. There is no mercy reflected in the bill, which dings clients as much as 50% more for a corrective color than a regular dye job.

    In Idaho Falls, Idaho, Melodie McBride’s salon handles three or four repair jobs a week. One client “looked like his head had been through a thrasher,” she says. Another man came in with an eyebrow that had been mistakenly shaved off.

    The salon, called Lifes Balance, recently slashed eight inches of hair off a teary-eyed 18-year-old client’s head after the teen’s own creative attempts backfired. Huge chunks were missing, Ms. McBride says.

    Some areas, such as the back of the head, can be particularly treacherous for amateurs to navigate, notes “Haircutting For Dummies” author Jeryl Spear. “If you could just take your head off and put it in your lap, you’d be OK cutting the back on your own,” she says.

    As for Mark Angelich, he has kept his head shaved since his wife’s slip-up. “He’s still got a mustache,” Mrs. Angelich says. “But he’s not letting me anywhere near it.”

  179. Stu says:

    Yikes (162):

    The reason the number of bank failures now are not as great as they were during the Great Depression is due to FDIC insurance. Knowing that your 250K (recently raised from 100K) is insured by Uncle Sam has reduced bank runs to nil. Now imagine if your checking/savings account was not insured when IndyMac went under. I know I would have been first in line at my Chase branch the next morning. I’m surprised that when Glass-Stiegal was repealed, they didn’t try to remove FDIC insurance as well. Oh wait, that’s right. Goldman Sucks only become a commercial bank to accept a bailout. When they weren’t a commercial bank, they did not contribute to the FDIC insurance. Stupid me. Smart those crooks at Goldman are no? Lobby to remove limits on collateralized crapola was brilliant. Ruin the country and get rewarded for it. Not only are they too big to fail, but now they are significantly larger by market share. Can’t wait for the whole thing to f’in implode.

  180. sas says:

    “America Mortgage Loan Scams Still Going Strong For First Time Home Buyers, Refinances”



  181. yo'me says:

    LONDON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve has made $14 billion in profits on loans made in the last two years, The Financial Times reported on Monday, citing officials close to the matter.
    The U.S. central bank also earned about $19 billion from interest and fees charged to institutions that tapped liquidity facilities during the global financial crisis, the report said.

    If the Fed had invested the same amounted loaned out in three-month Treasury bills since August 2007, it would have earned $5 billion in interest, the FT said.

    This estimate excludes company bailouts and purchases of long-term assets as well as unrealized gains or losses on the Fed’s portfolio of mortgage-backed securities and Treasuries purchased as part of the $1.75 trillion asset purchase program

  182. Stu says:

    “This estimate excludes company bailouts and purchases of long-term assets as well as unrealized gains or losses on the Fed’s portfolio of mortgage-backed securities and Treasuries purchased as part of the $1.75 trillion asset purchase program”

    In other words, “The toxic crapola that would have brought our country to its knees, had we not willingly accepted it as collateral, is not included in this total.”

    Green shoots! We are in the hole for the potential loss of 1.75 trillion and so far we have made back 33 billion. Only the MSM could turn this into another green shoot.

  183. borat obama says:

    Hi fiveeee

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