I'm actually afraid to tell the neighbor who lost her husband
to cancer about the water as she doesn't have the money to do
anything about it, and the divorced one sharing the original
well who is drilling the new well, is hard to get a hold of.
So, I doubt I'll get much information, but, I'll try to
see what I can find out, as the turbidity means there is
"something" that turns the water gray (I'll look it up as
the well drillers don't, I don't think, test it, but maybe
the county does.)
bob haller wrote, on Thu, 07 Aug 2014 05:33:45 -0700:
That's what I would do, but it's not 'my' water, nor my
business, so, I'll stay out of that directly.
(The drillers didn't even like me taking pictures of the
water so I don't have a picture of it but I can try to
snap one from the other side of the fence if I'm over there
again soon; but I don't just go walking on other people's
property unless invited.)
Stormin Mormon wrote, on Thu, 07 Aug 2014 18:23:49 -0400:
Yea, that's what I meant.
I'll clarify that it had two 2-1/2 inch connections on the
passenger side, which are used together (one in, and one out)
to suck from hydrants.
The 1-1/2 inch connection on both sides (and in the front bumper)
was only an out, for the 500 gallon tank.
Likewise with the driver side, the same 2-1/2 and 1-1/2 inch
connections existed, but, in addition, there was a single 4-inch
suction connection on that side.
Seems similar to your NY trucks ...
In NY, I've had limited experience with fire trucks.
I was a fire explorer for 2.5 years, and a volunteer
FF for two, and took the pump operators course (about
1990 or so).
Generally the hydrant is used with either 2.4 or 4 or
5 inch connections, based on several factors. The pump
goes to valves, which go to discharge threads. Some FD
have preconnect lines, which are made to dump and run,
often 200 feet of 1 1/2 hose. Now they use 1 3/4, which
flows a lot more water with not much size. Grey hair
old guys like me holler "pull an inch and a half" which
gets blank looks from the kids.
Stormin Mormon wrote, on Thu, 07 Aug 2014 18:14:59 -0400:
One way you guys can help is to advise me what I should
advise the lady whose middle conjoined circuit breakers
appear to have the copper wire cut.
First off, WHY would anyone cut the joining wire?
Secondly, is it dangerous?
While I understand that each breaker is handling 120V,
and each can now trip individually, what does that mean,
with respect to what I should advise the homeowner?
If the pump is 220 volts, it should have two
breakers tied together. Maybe the pump is 110
volts, and the tie isn't needed any more.
If I was there, I'd pull the front of the panel.
See if the two center breakers wires go into the
same tube. Might be she needs a double breaker to
If the pump is 220, and if the breakers are separate,
there is safety risk.
This is true, I can't disagree. Steve is almost a neighbor, he's so close.
In fact, Steve, if you want, let me know if this is your true email (it's
not mine), and I'll send you an email, since we practically live next
If you've been in your house since, oh, say, the mid 90's, your taxes
are likely less than $10K per year, while if you've bought it since then,
your takes are easily double that.
It's an unfair system, which, can't even afford yellow school buses, but
which gives wonderful pensions to the San Jose police department.
I don't think a single school parcel tax measure has ever failed in
Cupertino, Campbell, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Willow Glen, Los Altos,
Mountainview, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Woodside, etc., do you?
They rebuild or renovate the schools about once every five years, or so,
it seems, so, I'm sure, as you noted, the bathrooms must be fantasatic!
Yet, after all that, they can't "afford" school buses.
Makes no sense at all, to me.
Does it make sense to you?
Did California *ever* have yellow school buses?
Stormin Mormon wrote, on Thu, 07 Aug 2014 21:09:28 -0400:
Yes. I think someone 'vandalized' the breaker (probably a workman who
felt his time was worth more than the lady's property).
There are four 120 volt circuit breakers in this picture:
The two outer breakers are labeled "WELL PUMP", while the two inner
circuit breakers are labeled "PRESSURE PUMP".
On one of "my" circuit breakers, you see something similar, with the two
inner breakers tied together while the two outer breakers are also tied
together (in this case, for the air conditioning system).
There is a copper wire connecting the two inner breakers, which is cut.
I'm pretty sure that copper wire didn't break on its own, so, someone cut
it. Why would they cut it? The only reason I can think of is that they
wanted to remove the panel, and the wire gets in the way (I've seen that
before), but in this panel, it seems that wasn't an impediment.
So, I don't know *why* someone cut the wire, but, what I need to know is
*what* to tell the homeowner about it since she has precious little money.
Double breakers are about ten bucks each,
for common panels like Cutler Hammer. I'd
be tempted to take out the quad setup, and
put in two doubles. A good worker could move
the wires around and swap out the breakers
in a few minutes.
I'd sure not want a 220 volt appliance on
separate breakers. Unsafe.
trader_4 wrote, on Fri, 08 Aug 2014 11:13:25 -0700:
An acre? Most land out here in Silicon Valley is sold by the square foot,
not by the acre.
Here's a lookup for Saratoga, where I think Steve hails from:
Taxes are roughly between 1.5% and 2% of the price you paid for the
house, so, the MEDIAN property taxes in Saratoga would be 2% of
$1,340,000, which is about $27,000/year, which sounds about right
for where I live also.
Given the almost 10% income tax in California, with a median income of
$150K, that's another $15 in California property taxes. Add to that a
sales tax of almost 10% and you get a whoppingly high tax burden, which
when you add the marginal 36% Federal (but average is probably around 40%
), you get a tax burden that easily exceeds 60% to 70% of your income.
Yet, they keep voting for higher, and higher, and higher taxes.
(I don't get it).
Back to your question, I'll look up the median property size (I'm not
sure how to find that information) but I'll also post the income and
property value cite from that site above:
"Saratoga, California is located in Santa Clara. Nearby cities and towns
include Campbell, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Loyola and Monte Sereno. Saratoga
is a suburban community with a population of 29,972. The median household
income in Saratoga is $145,807. 73% of residents are married and families
with children reside in 41% of Saratoga households. Half the population
of Saratoga commutes 26 minutes or more to work, with 83% of residents
holding white collar jobs and 17% residents holding blue collar jobs.
The median age of homes in Saratoga, CA is 35 years, with 82% of those
homes owned, 14% rented and 3% not occupied. In the previous year, 0
Saratoga properties were sold. The median sale price of a home in
in the previous year was $1,340,000."
On Friday, August 8, 2014 2:45:14 PM UTC-4, Danny D. wrote:
Well, funny thing that. I'm familiar with the heart of silicon valley,
been there many times. But while you were saying silicon valley, you also
were talking about 10,000 gallon water tanks, homes in the hills, etc, so
I thought you were probably a bit further out, where maybe there were some
bigger lots. In those earlier discussions I was having a hard time picturing
a 10,000 gallon tank on a hill in Santa Clara for example.
Well, it does make NJ look better. Here the house I described would be
worth more like $600K and paying more like $11K in taxes. And I presume
the recent real estate debacle worked itself through there and prices
adjusted a bit.
I guess your one of the folks that can add and thinks you're taxed too much. LOL That's what gets me. You have some folks running around talking about
a top Fed rate of 34% or 39%, pretending that it's not so much, like that's
all the taxes we pay. Or comparing it to Fed rates 50 years ago, when there
was no state income tax, sales tax, property taxes were very low, etc. Today
the combined effect is staggering.
Part of the problem is that you have more and more people who are riding in
the wagon, instead of pulling it and they vote too. But still, I agree, I
don't get it either. I guess it's like cooking a frog. If you threw the frog
in the pot of hot water, they would jump out. But when you just keep inching
it up, little at a time, people take it. We're getting hosed here in NJ good
too, but clearly it's worse for you.
So a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house is $1.3mil, taxes on it are $27K, and the median
income is $145K. That still doesn't compute.
73% of residents are married and families
trader_4 wrote, on Fri, 08 Aug 2014 11:13:25 -0700:
Saratoga California is a good sample city, as it is where at least one of
our members reside and it's representative of the white-collar
communities around it (Monte Sereno, Campbell, Cupertino, Los Gatos,
Santa Clara, etc.) here in Santa Clara County.
Here are the housing trends from Trulia:
For all homes in Saratoga, they list the median price at 1.85 million (so
the property taxes on that are about 1.5% to 2% of that, which is about
$30K to 35K (roughly) per year.
But for just a basic 3-bedroom home, the chart shows the average at $921
per square foot of living space. So, if it's a tiny 1,000 square foot
home, that's almost a million dollars right there, on average. For a
2,000 square foot home, we're looking at the 1.85 million median value.
So, that means, most likely, most homes in Saratoga were about 2,000
square feet (assuming 3 bedrooms), at almost 2 million dollars.
It's hard to find lot sizes in a chart, but here's a half-acre lot which
sold just recently for 3.5 million dollars (their property taxes alone
will be between $50,000 and $70,000 per year.
Danny D. wrote, on Fri, 08 Aug 2014 18:45:14 +0000:
If we look at the current homes for sale, in Saratoga:
This is the first one I find that is 3 bedrooms ...
House For Sale: $1,150,000, Zestimate®: $1.23M
9 days on Zillow, Built in 1957
18256 Baylor Ave, Saratoga, CA
3 beds, 2 baths, 1,460 sqft, 8,189 sqft lot
That seems about right.
Let's say it sells for 1 million, so that would be $685/square foot,
which is way less than the average price per square foot of $921, so the
house, built in the fifties, must be a fixer-upper at that price.
The total land is 8,189 square feet (which includes the house).
What percentage of an acre is that? I don't know.
On Friday, August 8, 2014 3:10:08 PM UTC-4, Danny D. wrote:
About 1/5. Acre is like 43000 sq ft as I recall. Here, central NJ,
shore, about an hour from NYC, a 3000 sw ft, 3 bed, 2 1/2 bath on 1 acre
is about $600K. If you get real close to the shore, within 1/2 mile, it
the most exclusive areas, it could be $1.8 mil on your 1/5 acre type lot.
And it could be several million if it's waterview.
trader_4 wrote, on Fri, 08 Aug 2014 13:37:08 -0700:
Just up the hill, in the same town of Saratoga, are those 10,000 gallon
water tanks. Same town. Different topography.
The flatlands don't have these tanks nor the land.
The ridges have the tanks and the land.
There are no houses in the ridges less than about 2 million dollars.
The zoning is 40 acres, so, they don't want you to build there.
So even a run-down place will be millions of dollars.
trader_4 wrote, on Fri, 08 Aug 2014 13:37:08 -0700:
Actually I made a typo or two in those rates, but the point is that I do
agree with you that we're taxed tremendously.
Most we're taxed by:
- Property tax (average it to be about $10,000/year, but it varies) so
let's call that 10% of your income (give or take)
- Federal income tax (marginal is in the mid thirty percent, but let's
average around 25%, give or take)
- State income tax (here, it's closer to a flat 9.something so let's call
that 10%, give or take)
- Sales tax (here, it's roughly around 8.75% so, and assume you buy $5/
year, including your car, which is effectively sales-taxed every year,
and we can assume that's in the noise level at about 1/2% to 1% of your
- Gas tax (here's it's around 30.something cents per gallon, so if you
drive 15K miles a year, that's another 1/2% to 1% of your income).
And there's more. Every time you pay your Ooma bill, which is zero
dollars for your VOIP phone, you *still* have to pay almost $5 for
service taxes, so, let's assume service taxes are another 1/2% of your
I didn't even get to social security taxes, and the like, so, without
even adding that, when we add it up, it's certainly over 1/2 your income
goes directly to taxes in almost every case.
Yet, Californians seem to think they can never be taxed enough. Sigh.
On Friday, August 8, 2014 7:07:37 PM UTC-4, Danny D. wrote:
Agree with your analysis. And here in NJ, you can also add in things like
real estate transfer taxes. Sell your house and they hit you with taxes
of hundreds of dollars on that, just for transferring the title. Sell it for
more than it costs, they tax you at the state income tax rate, I think the max
here now is 8%. Take a loss on the house? Screw you, you can't balance
that off against
ordinary income, eg salary, only capital gains. Don't have any capital gains
the year you have the profit on the house? Screw you, you can't carry it
forward for state income tax. So, a year or two later you have a capital gain
on selling stock or a business, screw you, you pay income tax on that again. Recently they instituted a "millionaire's tax" on selling
properties over 1 mil. It's 1% of the total amount, so if the house is
$1mil and $1 dollars, you pay $10,000 on that. Then there are the DMV fees
they've jacked up. And the fines. They jacked up the fines for not having
a drivers license, registration, insurance card in your possession to like
$150 each. So, if you leave the house and forget your wallet, you're likely
going to pay at least $150, could be $450, and you have a mandatory court
appearance on the insurance card. Court appearance, so then in addition to
the fines, you have court cost fees. And for the peanut gallery, that's not for
not having insurance, a license, etc, it's for just not having the document
with you. And of course the cop that pulls you over can see what you actually
have or don't have right on his PC screen when he's pulled you over. So,
what's the grave offense here for not having a little piece of paper? OF
course if you're an illegal alien, well hell, then it's OK to not have any
papers at all, and a cop better not even ask.
BTW, how's that Ooma VOIP working? I wound up going with Nettalk 6 months ago.
I've had issues with Nettalk, and would not recommend it. If I had it to do all over again, I'd go with Oooma, seems like most people are happy with it. What's your bill? About $3.50 a month?
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