Doesn’t get worse than West Orange

From the NY Times:

Property Taxes Inhibit Sales in West Orange

FOR many years this community enjoyed popularity as a less expensive alternative to those Essex County towns on the direct train line to Manhattan. These days, however, something uncomfortably close to gridlock has the real estate market in its grip. The cause seems to be runaway property taxes.

There are currently 533 homes listed for sale, according to In April, the last month for which sturdy statistics are available — and a very strong month for sales statewide — West Orange had just 47 sales.

The backlog of homes would take eight and a half months to sell if no new listings were added, according to the Otteau Valuation Group, a market research company. That compares with a little over six months for the county, less than three months for nearby Glen Ridge and Livingston, and less than four months for Maplewood and Millburn.

Meanwhile, brokers say, prices are off 20 to 25 percent from the heights reached in the housing boom. “I can’t believe what some of these same houses that I have sold in the past are going for now,” said Roberta Plutzik Baldwin, a broker with Keller Williams Towne Square of Montclair. “Incredible deals. And yet, I have sold fewer houses in West Orange this year than I have in any of the last 15 years.”

Many brokers, buyers and sellers echo the people who protested on the steps of Town Hall during the municipal election in April: Property taxes are farther “out of whack” in West Orange than almost anywhere else.

“The taxes are breathtaking,” said Scott Hazen Mueller, who with his wife, Marty Mueller, recently bought a three-bedroom ranch in the Rock Spring neighborhood as a short sale from a bank for $280,000, taking on an annual tax bill of $13,000.

In the same West Orange neighborhood, Adam and Ruth Kraemer own a four-bedroom house they bought six years ago, newly built, for $699,000. It is worth perhaps $500,000 now, Mr. Kraemer said. They paid $25,972 in taxes this year. Taking into account the newly adopted town budget, they expect to pay $27,300 next year.

Jeffrey G. Otteau, who heads the market research firm that calculated inventory levels, did a calculation to illustrate the heavy impact that this tax burden can have on home value:

The monthly tax bill on a $350,000 house in West Orange would be $286 greater than in Livingston. The yearly tax bill would be $3,432 greater — $10,012, as opposed to $6,580. Assuming the house had a 30-year mortgage, that would mean $48,000 more in taxes over the life of the loan.

“Theoretically, at least, that means that much off the market value for the West Orange home,” Mr. Otteau said.

Mr. Kraemer said he felt the middle class was being forced out of West Orange, which also has some exclusive sections, including the historic gated community of Llewellyn Park, where the comedian Whoopi Goldberg bought a house earlier this year. (Mr. Kraemer looked up her tax bill: $72,000 a year.)

“I love my neighborhood, and I love my town,” he said. “But with our equity declining, and tax bills like this, my wife periodically sits me down in the kitchen, and asks, ‘Can we really afford to stay here?’ ”

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120 Responses to Doesn’t get worse than West Orange

  1. grim says:

    West Orange isn’t an outlier, it’s a model for things to come for the rest of NJ.

    It is coming, make no mistake. The rest of the state it catching up quickly.

  2. grim says:

    Lots of Essex county agents pushed buyers who couldn’t quite afford what they were looking for in Montclair over to West Orange. More for your money they said.

    That has got to hurt. Not only did they take a much higher hit on the value, they are getting f’ed over with taxes. Probably not much love for Burgdorff out there.

  3. crossroads says:

    seems like West Orange has a revenue problem

  4. Shore Guy says:

    What load of garbage. West Orange is not for everyone and not everyone who wants to livethere can afford it. Frankly, those who can look with pride to the fact that they overpaid both for the house at the outset and now yearly with taxes.

    One caa buy a cheeapo purse at K-Mart or a bag at Coach. They do the same thíng. Nobody NEEDS a Coach bag, but those who can afford to pay for one are happy to do so.

    If people are such economic failures that they can’t afford West Orange’s taxes, well, they are free to find some lesser town, one more in keeping with people in their class.

    I hear Ocean County has many places in the woods that may work for them, as does West Virginia.

    I guess those who are angry at “overpaying taxes” are really just angry at themselves and their failure to earn enough money to live in a town full of successful people.

    Next life, work a little harder folks.

    (said with voice dripping with scarcasm and a twinkle in the eyes)

  5. freedy says:

    this can’t happen in Bergen, to close to NYC. Besides, they all have money in BC

  6. gary says:

    “The taxes are breathtaking,” said Scott Hazen Mueller, who with his wife, Marty Mueller, recently bought a three-bedroom ranch in the Rock Spring neighborhood as a short sale from a bank for $280,000, taking on an annual tax bill of $13,000.

    It’s for the children.

  7. Shore Guy says:


    Bleeding money, I hear.

  8. gary says:

    West Orange is not West Orange anymore. It is quickly being sucked into the vortex of Orange and East Orange. Indentured servitude in a community that now includes twenties of buddah and glock nines.

  9. grim says:

    Bleeding money, I hear.

    Burning is more likely.

  10. chicagofinance says:

    The end is nigh….imagine raining oil on NOLA…..

  11. chicagofinance says:

    Another example of how NYC has become Disneyland for transplanted douchebags….

  12. LoveNJ says:

    Got a letter from town, our tax will be $3,000 higher this year, short hills. Need to show my boss asking for a raise, since last yr we had a freeze and who knows how much if any comming jan.

  13. grim says:

    Need to show my boss asking for a raise, since last yr we had a freeze and who knows how much if any comming jan.

    What did you say? Praise? Sure, sure, you are doing a great job, now get back to work.

    Oh, by the way, we had to let Dan go this afternoon, I’m going to need you to help out. He was working on a very important report for the board, due Monday, shouldn’t be a problem for you, I’ll stop by your cube on Monday morning to pick it up. Thanks.

    Oh, and have a great weekend.

  14. NJGator says:

    Looking through the WO listings in the GSMLS is fun. $385K colonial in the Gregory section – and not even the Upper Gregory section with the NYC views (2751085) comes with a tax bill of $15,106. And I’ll bet that is last year’s taxes before the huge 2010 increase. Almost making Montclair and Glen Ridge look like Morris County!

    Can’t wait till their reval comes and people realize they are paying a higher rate of taxes than Millburn and Glen Ridge. Fun times.

  15. NJGator says:

    Perusing the GSMLS you see that tax assessments are all over the map for homes in the same price range. I have a money saving idea for you. Let’s fire the tax assesors in every rown in NJ. They apparently do jack between revaluations. And every town hires an independent appraisal firm to conduct a revaluation or reassessment. Can’t we just program a database for with an algorithm for assessment increases when permits are closed out? We are apparently getting no better than this by employing actual people.

    On second thought, how do I get this job? I can read People Magazine for the next 25 years and then collect a pension and free lifetime health benefits.

  16. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    I’d like to know what the tax bill is for all those Golf Courses in West Orange ?? How much do they pay, do they offset the residential tax bill ?

    I was up there yesterday, and I counted at least 5 Golf Courses. Crestmont, Essex Fells, Francis Byrne, Essex County. Is Rock Spring GC in West Orange ??

  17. NJGator says:

    Rock Spring is in WO.

  18. gary says:

    Public and municipal jobs are fading out. Benefits for life, full health coverage and pensions are dissolving. Eventually, all services will be per diem or through private contractors. Everything from animal control to education will be through a company. Then, I want to see the justification for a $16,000 property tax for a piece of sh1t on a 40 X 100 lot.

  19. gary says:

    My advice to all young adults: either learn a specialized trade or become an Orthodontist; there is no in between. If you think you’re going to get a hangout job in Woodland Park with wall to wall perks because your Uncle’s “connected”, think again. That ship has sailed and it’s every man for himself. Watching the UFC and drinking a six pack will render you permanently useless. Pick up a UNIX or Java book, take a course to get your Electrician’s license and don’t lease an Infinity Coupe because you want to belong.

  20. Jason says:

    Regarding the sky-high property taxes in West Orange: To think much of it was self-induced makes it that much more puzzling. What were the voters thinking when year after year, taxes continued to rise? Why didn’t people speak out years ago about getting the town’s excessive spending under control?

  21. Dink says:


    Doesn’t WO already pay a higher rate than those towns?

    Ouch, WO doesn’t even have a good school system. At least you can try to justify the ridiculous taxes in other towns by pointing to the schools.

  22. still_looking says:

    OT (and sure to start more immunization argument – thread misery – but I’m off to work soon, so hash it out all you like. I’ll be too busy enduring human misery for 12 hrs.)

    This is only one example of why vaccinations are important.

    It’s truly a wonder that I don’t drink more…


  23. NJGator says:

    Dink 22 – They do, but they likely don’t know it. The tax rate last year was 12.55, but the average ratio is 22%. Most folks can’t do math. Then factor in that assessments are all over the map. There are probably a fair amount of folks paying $10-12k, who are being subsidized by the $385k houses paying 15k. There are folks in the St. Cloud neighborhood that are appealing today and getting $3k+ reductions.

    Once the values are set to 100% for everyone, a real tax rate will be revealed and it won’t be pretty. Although if Clot got ringside seats, I think he’ll find it highly entertaining.

  24. grim says:

    Pick up a UNIX or Java book

    Don’t bother, I can get 4 qualified offshore contractors for the price of you.

    Dad told me to get into tech, so I wouldn’t have to dig ditches.

    Jokes on me, the ditch digger makes more money.

  25. gary says:

    grim [25],

    I agree. I get the same price as those offshore contractors and the business partners actually can understand me. In a 24 X 7 environment, there will always be on “onshore” as well, regardless of price. My point is: learn something that the masses need. The days of no-show jobs and perks is gone.

  26. grim says:

    Sorry, just bitter. Sad to see so many qualified colleagues axed in the name of cost savings.

  27. Outofstater says:

    #23 I’m with ya, sl. I received every immunization there was as a kid and today I follow my MD’s advice. If he says get the vaccine, we get it. My grandmother said you don’t know what hell is til you’ve nursed a child thru whooping cough.

  28. Jamal van Jones says:

    Sad to see so many qualified colleagues axed in the name of cost savings.

    Products of “linear” thinking. They deserve it.

  29. Mr Hyde says:

    Gary, 20

    I think this sums up your point.

  30. marilyn says:

    look they created it in West Orange so let them pay for it. The keep voting for little schumtzi to have it!! LITTLE SCHMUTZI needs it!! All for the SCHMUTZ!!! Go to Harding no schmutz.

  31. meter says:

    “Need to show my boss asking for a raise, since last yr we had a freeze and who knows how much if any comming jan.”

    If you are one of the lazy horde working for the state, should be no problem.

    Private sector you say? No dice.

  32. Scott Hazen Mueller says:

    Been reading NJ RE report for 3 years, thanks grim.

    The WO taxes stink. I had to drop my maximum price by 25K (versus Montclair/Bloomfield, where I had been looking previously) to account for the cash flow difference. I wouldn’t have jumped except that I got this “small ranch” – on top of Orange Mountain – for 1K less than it sold for in 2000 and 46K less than it sold for in 2002, so I hacked off the bubble premium and then some.

    And for my enormous taxes I get twice-weekly trash pickup, bulky item pickup once a week, and a “free” jitney ride to the train station. Such a deal! I’d pass on some of the trash service, to be honest.

    But I’m sure that the real issue is healthcare and pensions, and as far as the goes, all of NJ is pretty far gone. I’m not smart enough to solve that problem, but I’m sure it’s just like dieting, where the only answer to losing weight is to eat less and exercise more. NJ needs to spend less and take in more and the rest is details.

  33. meter says:

    @23 –

    Those who willfully avoid vaccinations for their kids deserve to be infected with polio, diptheria, pertussis, and typhoid fever simultaneously.

    While we’re at it, let’s lock them in closed quarters with the creationists and science deniers.

  34. stan says:

    Wow. THE ‘Scott Hazen Mueller’ from referenced article?
    Thanks for the followup and backstory.
    -Grim your reach is amazing

  35. Yikes says:

    Clot, that Uruguay team looks strong. nearly gave it away with that defensive-minded start to the 2nd half, but with Forlan and Suarez … that looks a brutal matchup for US in the semis (assuming US beats Ghana)

  36. Shore Guy says:

    “Need to show my boss asking for a raise”

    I do not say this to cause any offense, really, nevertheless it strikes me that your rising expenses are of little moment when it comes to your salary. If you are worth it, it should not matter whether your expenses are up, down, or flat.

    If someone came to me and said, “I need a raise, my property taxes just went up,” I would think they were a fool. “Cut your spending” or “stop living beyond your means” would be my initial thought. Even a $12,000 increase would be just $250 a week and it would not reflect well on many professionals that they would be unable to deal with an increase in expenses that were a fraction of that.

    Again, no offense intended; however, folks just need to consider how what they say may be heard when they are asking for a raise.

  37. Shore Guy says:

    ” I’m sure that the real issue is healthcare and pensions, ”


    I have no doubt that you are correct. Also baked into the cost is likely county medicaid spending.

  38. Barbara says:

    34. meter

  39. Mr Hyde says:

    Easy solution to the issue at hand. Pass a state constitutional amendment allowing the state pensions to be cut retroactively is voted for in a referendum.

    That is the only way to nip this in the bud without making the next 2 or 3 generations that live in the state indentured servants to the state pensioners.

  40. Mr Hyde says:

    IF voted for in a referendum

  41. 250K says:

    MLS 2735441 in Westfield.

    New construction in 2005 sold for $1,495,000.
    Just resold on June 24th for $1,325,000.

    Now you can see the glass as half full or half empty.
    Half Full: See, Westfield ain’t immune! Price drop of 11.4% from what is arguably a peak/near peak price on new construction no less.
    Half Empty: After 8-9 years of home prices increasing (astronomically YOY at times), I get a 11.4% discount? That’s like asking me to get excited by something marked 10% off at Nieman Marcus after its already been marked up by 500%.

    I say, B.F.D.

  42. Yikes says:

    Ricardo Clark is starting in MF for the US. This will not end well

  43. gary says:

    1980, Lake Placid – USA vs. USSR – Do you believe in Miracles? Fast forward to now, in South Africa; I feel another miracle brewing.

  44. Cindy says:

    Son-in-law..born and raised in Ghana (lived there until he was 17 – long story) – anyway…I’m sort of rooting for them…

    He says chances are slim though – they never score ….only on penalty shots – we shall see….

  45. Scott Hazen Mueller says:

    @35 – Yeah, Marty met Toni Martin in an art class and they’ve been friends since. We’ve even chatted with her about grim and this blog.

    @38 – I bet you’re right.

  46. Fabius Maximus says:

    Drove down North Wyoming in South Orange yesterday. That was a road of Realtor Pron houses.

  47. borat obama says:

    I missed doom

  48. borat obama says:

    Hii fiveeeee

  49. borat obama says:

    Also i missed where is recession frank…

  50. borat obama says:

    This is for frank

    Where is……

  51. borat obama says:

    Hiiii fiveeee

  52. Salty Steve says:


    …worse yet… what do you tell/teach your kids?

    I grew up in a similar boat. Get an engineering degree (maybe even an advanced degree). Work for legendary Bell Labs. Life will be good.


  53. sas3 says:

    #54… A lot of freshly minted HTML “programmers” in ’00 and fresh realtors in ’05.

    Though Bell Labs was defeated from within — many guys left to lead startups taking with them entire teams.

  54. nj escapee says:

    55, many = ? the rest are simply fodder

  55. New in NJ says:

    I’m re-posting Doom’s early morning post – from the tail of the last thread – because it’s definitely worth reading.

    Final Doom says:
    June 26, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Nice to know I’m not alone:

    “I lived in Chile during the Pinochet dictatorship—I can spot a fascist police-state when I see one.

    The United States is a fascist police-state.

    Harsh words—incendiary, even. And none too clever of me, to use such language: Time was, the crazies and reactionaries wearing tin-foil hats who flung around such a characterization of the United States were disqualified by sensible people as being hysterical nutters—rightfully so.

    But with yesterday’s Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project decision (No. 08-1498, also 09-89) of the Supreme Court, coupled with last week’s Arar v. Ashcroft denial of certiorari (No. 09-923), the case for claiming that the U.S. is a fascist police-state just got a whole lot stronger.”

  56. Mr Wantanapolous says:

    “Meanwhile, brokers say, prices are off 20 to 25 percent from the heights reached in the housing boom. “I can’t believe what some of these same houses that I have sold in the past are going for now,” said Roberta Plutzik Baldwin, a broker with Keller Williams Towne Square of Montclair. “Incredible deals.”

    Roberta, you are a clown. Anybody, who truly believes that 20-25% off peak is an incredible deal, should immediately change their middle name to Putz. Those that buy, in this price range, are tomorrow’s bagholders, more HAMP statistics.

    50% off peak is not an incredible deal; it’s simply reversion to the mean. Unfortunately, after massive bubbles, markets don’t just reverse to the mean, they crash thru it, albeit in RE, at a snails pace. This one will be no different.

  57. Final Doom says:

    gator (24)-

    I don’t want a ringside seat.

    Unless the seat comes with an adjacent, handy vomitorium.

  58. Final Doom says:

    yikes (36)-

    If Ghana’s underpowered attack could open up the center of our defense the way it was done today, trust me that you wouldn’t want to see what Forlan and Suarez could do to it.

    Needless to say, I brain-farted ten minutes before kickoff and put a bundle the US at +120. Idiot me.

  59. Final Doom says:

    Uruguay will blow Ghana off the field.

    And my wallet thinks so too.

  60. Final Doom says:

    Seems to me that the real story in Essex Co. is how the overwhelming majority of homeowners have learned to take a butt-banging and like it.

    No damn fight in those people. I think they’ve just given up.

  61. Al "Fat Thumbery" Gore says:

    My heart is broken in todays defeat. Nevertheless. I will cheer harder when the Republic is inevitably restored. The rope is long and so is the list.

  62. Shore Guy says:

    World Cup?

    Is that a pottery store?

  63. Shore Guy says:

    I would be thrilled to see us slashing spending to achieve Harper’s goal but, who here expects we will even get close to one quarter of the goal?

    (this comes from the NY Times):


    Published: June 27, 2010
    TORONTO – Despite President Obama’s pitch at the summit meeting for developed nations here for continued stimulus measures to prevent another global economic downturn, the United States will go along with other leaders who are more concerned about rising debt and join in a commitment to cut their governments’ deficits in half by 2013, administration officials said on Saturday.
    That goal is the proposal of Stephen Harper, the prime minister of Canada and the host of the two-day Group of 20 conference of developed nations.


  64. Final Doom says:

    shore (66)-

    Our gubmint thinks nothing of lying to our neighbors…just as it lies to us on a daily basis.

    IMO, we will see another trillion in phony stim before the end of the year…maybe before the election.

    We have a printer. Until it breaks down- or we break into the Treasury and destroy the printer- it will keep spinning.

    My fear is that only a world war or final repudiation of our debt will stop the madness. Perhaps that’s the way it should be. Fight debt with more debt, and end madness with an even greater madness.

    Costanza Theory run amok.

  65. Essex says:

    Serenity now…

  66. t c m says:

    Salty Steve – and any other engineers……

    What do you do now? Did you get an engineering degree?

    What advice would you, or any other engineers, give to kids with newly minted engineering degrees? ( in particular – electrical)

    #54 “I grew up in a similar boat. Get an engineering degree (maybe even an advanced degree). Work for legendary Bell Labs. Life will be good”.


  67. grim says:

    chifi in the app this morning?

  68. gary says:

    A growing number of North Jersey school districts are imposing “pay-to-play” fees to save their sports programs during the state’s financial crisis.

    I think they should just raise property taxes. We do live in one of the wealthiest area’s in the country and besides, it is for the children.

  69. still_looking says:

    gary, 71

    Was just looking at that article about 3 minutes ago!

    Good times! Bodes well for things to come. Aw what’s a little bit of tax increase to nurture the team spirit of our groin fruit?



  70. gary says:


    Meanwhile, turn to the real estate section for a dose of Sunday morning comedy. A 3bd/1.5bth dump on top of 12K in taxes to go with that fee for Graydon’s lacrosse activities.

  71. nomad says:


    Good points you made below – I would also add that if your going to drop some weight, you also have to learn to live with a big of hunger.

    “But I’m sure that the real issue is healthcare and pensions, and as far as the goes, all of NJ is pretty far gone. I’m not smart enough to solve that problem, but I’m sure it’s just like dieting, where the only answer to losing weight is to eat less and exercise more. NJ needs to spend less and take in more and the rest is details.”

  72. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Re : Engineering Degree….

    Best career path available to you is to learn to speak one of the Chinese languages or any of the Indian dialects like Hindi or Punjabi. About the best job you’re going to get is a liason between the Engineering Dept Heads / Exec VP’s at HQ and the actual workforce overseas.

    Engineering ?? We don’t do that here anymore.

  73. Essex says:

    How do the myriad of other states fund their schools???

    Never before have i seen a place where school budgets are political fodder voted on yearly by a population of non-earners, over extended schmucks, and under employed douchebags.

  74. Essex says:

    Btw, West Orange is a really nice town. Someone needs to mention that. I’d pick it over the entitled white elite of Millburn where every child belongs in mensa and Montclair where every child is on an allergy-free macrobiotic diet.

  75. gary says:

    What advice would you, or any other engineers, give to kids with newly minted engineering degrees? ( in particular – electrical)

    Paste the engieering degree on a wall to display as a novelty. Purchase A Dunkin’ Donuts franchise instead. You could put one on every corner and still make money. I haven’t seen one that has closed yet. Subways? Buh-bye. Quiznos? Buh-bye. I see them come and go but Dunkin’ Donuts? Never. It seems that the fat f*cks can’t get enough of them.

  76. frank says:

    Anyone going to the REDC auction in NYC today?

  77. gary says:


    Or, even better, buy a distribution route like Boar’s Head or Pepperidge Farm. Currently, you’ll make a 150K per year on average and will have it for as long as you want it. Unfortunatley, Schmutzi (thank you for that great name, Marilyn) is in school loan debt for a loooong time and doesn’t have the money to compete for the route.

  78. meter says:

    Germany just scored goal #3. Game over. Turning point was that disallowed goal that was clearly over the line.

    On Mexico vs Argentina, I think 7 out of 10 times, Argentina wins. I have a feeling that Mexico steals this one.

  79. meter says:

    Wow, Germany now putting on a clinic.

  80. meter says:

    Not sure what’s worse, barely losing to a team like Ghana or being thoroughly schooled by the Krauts.

  81. Shore Guy says:

    “Re : Engineering Degree”

    I suggest a combined BS in engineering and MBA program followed by law school. One is then positioned to do both IP and corporate work in law as well as having the tools to be a top-level exec.

  82. meter says:

    Perhaps England would have performed better had they played Wayne Rooney.

  83. NJCoast says:

    Heading for the beach to enjoy the ocean now before the globs of oil arrive.

  84. Yikes says:

    I was rooting for England but what a blistering performance by Germany.

    Offense is so on point, always seems to be … shouldn’t the US just hire Klinsmann as coach?

  85. Yikes says:

    meter says:
    June 27, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Not sure what’s worse, barely losing to a team like Ghana or being thoroughly schooled by the Krauts.

    I’d say England performed worse at the Cup than the USA. Sure, USA only led for 206 seconds (or something like that) … England had expectations, only scored a meek 3 goals, and got embarrassed by Germany.

    Italy, France, England all bombed

  86. Shore Guy says:

    “Heading for the beach to enjoy the ocean now before the globs of oil arrive”

    When they come, one could always roll some in powdered sugar, and some in crushed nuts, and send them to BP to thank them dor all they have done to enhance the environment in North America.

    (NOTE: Dear DHS, this is humor and not a serious suggestion. It is what one calls speaking tongue-in-cheek, so don’t get your panties in a twist).

  87. Shore Guy says:

    That goes for DoJ as well.

  88. Hans und Franz says:

    Ya, ve took dose Englander girlie men and spanked dem but good.

    Go back mit your red sore and roundly spanked girlie man bottoms and get a banger while da pumped up men eat der real wurst.

  89. Mr Hyde says:

    I just got an email advertising an open house on a Wednesday afternoon in mendham. There will be an icecream truck there for the openhouse and the owner will be serving a lunch buffet…

  90. Mr Hyde says:


    I like your idea. I would imagine you would becoveted if you included a notedaying not for human consumption

  91. House Hunter says:

    Clot, what is the deal with the new Gloria Nilson name and ugly signs? did they have to remove the assoc with GMAC only or did they merge with some other entity?

  92. marilyn says:

    I love you GARY!!!! You made me laugh!

    Ok went to a graduation party for little schumtzi. Let me just say these Polish must have a mob. This house and the party were over the top. Well lets call him little potski, because he is polish. Well were do all these polish get this kind of money?? Let me say they really know how to party. I got a bad hangover today.

  93. grim says:

    Little Stashu

  94. Pat the Mediaeval Princess says:

    They got the money from Ciotke Helen and Ciocia Paula. Polish don’t need a mob. All the old ladies are loaded because they worked night shift for 40 years, smoked 5 packs of unfiltered cigarettes daily, and saved every penny.

    Just hit the VFW or the Legion Hall, and tell them you’re trying to find Uncle Simon.

  95. t c m says:

    Re: Advice for engineering graduates:

    Thanks for the input.

  96. NJCoast says:

    House Hunter-

    Here is how Gloria Nilson is spinning the story:

  97. Final Doom says:

    hunter (94)-

    Real Living is a franchise that is big in the fly-over country. Another Amway-like pyramid scheme, I’m sure.

    All the franchises are worthless. They suck money for nothing in return. I’m about to give my own franchisor a big surprise.

  98. Final Doom says:

    I’d just as soon have the moniker “child moles@er” on my business card than “GM”, so I think Gloria Nilson had no choice but to affiliate with some other outfit.

    Surprised she didn’t have the guts to go it as an independent, though.

  99. Scott Hazen Mueller says:

    @74 – I know about losing weight. I dropped 100+ lbs six years ago and have kept it off.

  100. galgon says:

    Hopefully someone on here can answer this question: Can you sell a house in New Jersey that still has the old two prong electrical sockets?

    I have an older family member who can no longer afford the property taxes and needs to sell her place. She has lived there for 50 years and never had the electrical upgraded. I have been told that you can no longer sell houses in NJ if they still have the old style electrical plugs but I cannot find a answer online. Obviously this will affect the sale price of the house but we would rather not have to rewire the whole house just to sell it.

  101. nj escapee says:

    Finally, some good news on spill threat to Keys

    This has been worse than waiting for a hurricane.

    Ever since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded April 20, leaving a broken pipe spewing thousands of barrels of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico, the Keys have been in the “cone of danger” or “cone of error.” Really, it’s been a cone of terror.

    Just like when a hurricane is hundreds of miles away, but possibly headed in the general direction of the Keys, the oil spill has been a black cloud, distant but threatening everything we hold dear — pristine waters filled with valuable (and some very delicious) sealife, making possible a well-developed economy with jobs for thousands of residents. The sea and its bounty give us paradise and the means to live here.

    But, like an approaching hurricane that does damage even if it never arrives, the mere mention of a potential landfall by an oil slick has been deeply troubling.

    Being alert to the danger posed by hurricanes, or a distant oil slick — is always a double-edged sword. Taking action too early based on uncertain forecasts, having too many evacuations, or oil arrival warnings, hurts businesses and the local economy. Many locals never want to hear the words “hurricane” or “evacuation again,” and not because they’re sick of the storms, but because they think that the news and media focus is as bad as or worse than actual storms. We hope the same isn’t happening already with the oil spill.

    Ignoring the threat from the tropics isn’t an answer. Not sending tourists home early, not building strong buildings, not limiting growth to be sure evacuation is possible would be unreasonable and unwise. So would becoming complacent about the ongoing oil well disaster.

    No one can deny the sinking feeling, the wave of denial we all felt at the initial news, which seemed as bad as it could be. The headline “Not if oil arrives, but when” appeared on page 1 of the Keynoter, our partner newspaper in the Middle Keys, on May 5. The early forecasts were relatively certain that the Keys would be impacted. It seemed inevitable.

    The fact that some of the mess will head this way, reach the reef, foul our water and shores may still be true — really, is there any way to escape all the trillions and trillions of hydrocarbon molecules sprayed into the Gulf?

    But it appears more likely now that most of the crude oil will stay completely away from this string of pearls, and from most of Florida’s coastline.

    As Cammy Clark reported in another partner newspaper, the Miami Herald, on Tuesday, the risk of any oil reaching the Keys is now considered so remote — thanks to changes in currents and winds — that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has suspended daily mapping of what appeared to be tendrils of oil that could reach the Keys. Trained observers has since found that satellite readings weren’t correct, and no oil, not even a sheen, is heading this way.

    Clark quoted Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Michael Herring of Sector Key West: “It’s kind of like being taken out of the cone of uncertainty for a hurricane.” Although, he cautioned, “We’re temporarily out, but things could change.”

    This week, the Florida Peninsula Command Post in Miami reported that the closest documented oil was 385 miles from Key West. And NOAA marine sanctuary regional director Billy Causey said that because of the current and wind patterns, oil still coming from the well does not have a clear path to the Keys.

    A massive circular stream, the “Franklin” eddy, has separated from the Loop Current, the flow that sweeps from the Gulf around the Keys and joins the Gulf Stream flowing up the East Coast. The eddy now blocks the oil from reaching the Loop Current.

    Currents and wind patterns can and will change. As we keep one eye on the tropics during what is predicted to be an active season for topical storms, we’ll have to also keep an eye on the Gulf, for as long as the well keeps pumping out oil and until the last of the accumulated mess is cleaned up. But the news for now is better than it’s been for the Keys in two months.

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