March 31, 2008
To show my appreciation to all the bloggers and readers of your flyorh.com website and blog, come this Wednesday ... April 2 for anyone interested in attending the fundraiser in honor of my boy at the Dzian gallery on April 19th:
I will PERSONALLY courier the tickets to anyone in the immediate Worcester (and maybe 1 town out) area who wants to buy them. Yes, in this age of $3 +/gallon gas ... from noon until 03:00pm ... anyone who wants a ticket just send me an email prior to 11:30am telling me how many tickets they want and where should I stop by to deliver the tickets and in turn receive payment ... either in cash or checks made out to Dzian Gallery (in memo line, put in Ride with Pride fundraiser). The email address to get me the amount of tickets and drop off site is firstname.lastname@example.org. I am only offering this service up for 1 day only. Remember the tickets are
Unfortunately credit card customers have to call the gallery and arrange pick up as I'm not credit card capable.
March 30, 2008
This had a ton ot potential, but was never realized. I completely disagree with the City Manager's assessment that many of the goals set forth in the task force report. If that was the case, why then would we be dissolving it? The wrong guy was put in charge and nobody in the City of Worcester knew who or what the UniverCity Partnership or Armand Carrier was? If you read the report, hardly any of the recommendations were ever implemented.
Chalk this one up under lost opportunites and what a waste of time the whole task force was. The only good thing is maybe someone will start looking at the effectiveness of the Worcester Chamber of Commerce.
Sorry, this one has me fuming. Do you think any City Councilor will ask "Why are we shutting it down if many of the goals were met?" Better yet why has the ProvPlan, which the InCity Partnership was based on, founded in 1992 is still operating today?
March 29, 2008
- Last Year there was an RFP for some land at the airport, nobody bid. There was a second RFP and one person bid to lease a parcel, but asked for an extension which expired this month. Since I have heard nothing I assume, the option has not been exercised.
- Monies are coming out of the General Fund to pay for the airport this year. We are, however, hoping that if MassPort does in fact long-term lease or outright buy that they will reimburse us for the monies that the airport are costing us this year.
- Not all secondary airports are struggling. True some are, but there are others like Rockford and Stewart (amongst many others) that are thriving. Let us also not overlook Westover or Portsmouth.
- Hosting events at ORH. This may not be a bad idea, but let me remind everyone that the Saw Doctors wanted to perform at ORH a few years back, but I believe MassPort said no way! Instead the Saw Doctors went to Shrewsbury Street.
- Wind farm, housing development etc. I agree with the IMG report, this is not a good idea. Since closure of the airport would result in the paying back of some 30 plus million that has been invested in the airport by the Federal Government.
Right now we simply need to downgrade to a General Aviation airport like IMG recommended, until we can find an airport management company to long-term lease or outright buy ORH.
Incentives such as waived landing fees or marketing dollars could help lure Skybus, which added flights to its three Florida destinations this month.
Melbourne International was awarded an $800,000 grant in 2006, through a U.S. Department of Transportation program aimed at developing air service in small communities. Booker said the majority of that money is still available on a "first come, first served" basis to airlines coming into Melbourne. To attract USA3000 late last year, she said, the airport has so far waived all airport fees other than ground handling charges.
March 28, 2008
Do me a favor walk around the Commons some day and even walk into the street level of City Hall. Do you feel safe, or better yet would you want your mother walking around by herself? I would not.
Versus spending the monies on a skating rink, we need to put security cameras on Common and around the entrances of City Hall. In addition we need to move the bus stops directly in front of City Hall. Having a constant group of 100 people standing in front of City Hall acts like a blockade.
If we have Federal monies to spend on the Commons, lets spend on stuff like this that will make a difference throw in some benches and other amenities and maybe people will come to the Commons.
March 26, 2008
March 25, 2008
That said, I personally feel the skating rink should go the same way the Skybridge and the new City Hall Chambers. Assuming we use it or lose it, does anyone have any better alternative ways to spend the money on the Common, versus a skating rink?
March 24, 2008
Skybus Airlines Inc. Chief Executive Officer Bill Diffenderffer is stepping down as the discount airline's financial chief steps in to lead the company. The Columbus-based airline on Monday said Diffenderffer told the company's board he was resigning effective immediately to return to the writing career he left in 2005 to help launch Skybus.
His successor is Mike Hodge, 35, who has served as the company's chief financial officer for a year after a stint as managing director at Tiger Management, a New York-based hedge fund that provided equity financing for Skybus. C. Robert Kidder, chairman of Skybus' board, said in a statement that Diffenderffer "feels that now is the time for others in the organization to take the lead in moving Skybus forward."
Diffenderffer in 2005 published "The Samurai Leader," a book about business leadership. He stepped in as CEO of Skybus after spending 25 years in the travel industry. He began his airline career in the early 1980s as an attorney for Eastern Air Lines. Since then, he has served as CEO of SystemOne Corp. and SystemOne Amadeus, the computerized reservation division of Continental Airlines. He also spent three years through 2001 as chairman and CEO of Xtra Online, a developer of travel-planning and reservation software. Before coming to Skybus, he was a partner in IBM Corp.'s global transportation business consulting practice.
March 23, 2008
Not really, but sort of, so keep reading. This is the story. A little bird (actually TheAirDB) told me that Skybus is going to start offering service from "Boston" (Portsmouth, N.H., really) to "New York" (Newburgh, N.Y., which is really about 80 miles north of Manhattan for all of you geographically-challenged types).
What? You've never heard of Skybus? (You're so ignorant sometimes you're like embarrassing to hang with.)
They're the guys who started up last year and they set aside 10 seats for $10 on every flight. And the real fares are pretty low, too. How do they do it? Well, first of all they fly into places that don't get used much or at all (but are sort of close to places where you might want to be). And they charge for EVERYTHING: Water costs $2 a bottle; checked luggage $5 a bag per flight; and pillows $12 each.
My pal Nicole Wong wrote a cool story last month about what it's like to fly with these guys.
OK, so you don't care about the "Boston" to "New York" deal. Well, they're also planning to start flying from Springfield (you know, like Western Mass.? Like Basketball Hall of Fame?) to Punta Gorda and St. Augustine, Fla. Ultra-cheap flights to Florida. Hmm. Sound better? OK, now, you CAN'T get these deals just yet because, well, they're not soup yet. But I'm predicting in the next few days....(so shake yourself and start paying attention to Current Events, OK? Sha.)
(By Paul S. Makishima, Globe staff)
March 22, 2008
The discount carrier will run daily round-trip flights to St. Augustine in northeast Florida and to Punta Gorda in the southwest area of the Sunshine State. The Florida destinations are in addition to a Skybus flight schedule that includes a daily round-trip flight to Greensboro, N.C., and a daily round-trip flight to Columbus, Ohio.
March 21, 2008
My only question is another grocery store. Don't get me wrong this is a great addition for Southbridge Street, but I think a grocery store somewhere else in the City of Worcester will need to close. The Price Chopper on Cambridge Street will get killed when this opens.
March 20, 2008
March 19, 2008
1) Looks like we may finally see the Master Plan soon. That is good.
2) Meant to say "lease" not "sale". My mistake. That said it looks to me that the "lease" is not going to happen since I could have sworn the 6 month extension expires this month?
3) 300,000 left in grant. We should have invested all of these monies into Allegiant when we had them. Imagine if the DOT does not give us another extension in September, we then would have in essence wasted $300,000!
4) This one confuses me and I will follow-up with an e-mail to our Airport Liaison tomorrow. I understood that as a Part 139 Certified Airport, that we can apply from monies to the FAA for various AIP eligible projects. Even if we have no passengers, we can apply for these monies.
What confuses me is "Unless we have 10,000 passengers in a given year, the 1 million in FAA financing is reduced." I will find how much the 1 million is reduced if we have 0 passengers.
1) When will the Airport Master Plan be released?
The City Manager does a monthly ED Report and this project is one of those reports. We reported to the City Council this past month that the Master Plan is at the printer and we expect the availability to be in a few weeks. The release of this document will be at the direction of the City Manager.
2)The deadline for the extension on the one parcel of land that went out to RFP ends shortly, has the winning bidder decided to purchase the land or not?
The individual is not looking to purchase the land. Airport land on the airfield is not for sale. He would be leasing it from us. I am not a liberty to release any more information at this time.
3) What is the balance left in the Small Community Air Service Grant from the DOT?
Approx $300,000. As you know, we are limited in the use of these funds. We are only able to use them to recruit and retain commercial air service through marketing efforts. These funds cannot be used to subsidize any airline. We were successful in extending the grant last September for one year. We will certainly try to extend it again, although it will be more difficult this year.
4)Since we did not have 10,000 passengers in 2007, have we lost our status as being a "primary airport"?
We are eligible to receive the funds from Allegiant this Year because of the service in 2006. Unless we have 10,000 passengers in a given year, the 1 million in FAA funding is reduced. However, regardless of what we are “guaranteed” we are always eligible, and we consistently apply for, significant funding from the FAA because we are a Part 139 airport- capable to handle commercial traffic because of our services, runway, ILS, etc. We have many projects eligible for Airport Improvement Funds (AIP) planned beginning this year and continuing for the next few years all identified and outlined in the Master Plan and all for major infrastructure work.
March 18, 2008
4) Tatnuck Boookseller
5) Morgan Construction (sold)
7) TiNova (I have a gift certificate)
8) Allegiant Air
9) Salter School
10) Barbers Crossing
11) EB Luce
12) DeScenza Jeweler
13) Bancroft Tire and Car Sales
14) Applebee's downtown
15) Mayfield Plastics to Millbury
16) Palsons Office
17) Union Station Restaurant
18) Blues Club at Union Station
19) Vincent Jewelers
20) Bob's at Webster Square
22) Parker & Harper on Dewey Street
23) Manoog Plumbing
24) Fidelity on Belmont
25) Sheraton Lincoln on Lincoln
26) L Hardy
27) Shaws on Grafton Street
28) Java Hut
29) Marshall's Greendale Mall
30) FDR Library
31) Plumber's Museum
34) Struck Cafe
35) KB Toys
36) Friendlys on Lincoln Street
37) Blackstone Harvest
38) Bancroft Liquors
39) 80's Club
40) Stowe & Degon
41) Woodfire barbeque
42) Zoots on Grafton
43) Hollywood Video on Grafton
44) African Museum on Canterbury Street
March 16, 2008
Ultimately, if 1) a partnership with MassPort should prove unattainable by the end of the Small Community Air Service Development Grant funding program to which the City and the Airport have committed to until June, 2007, and 2) the Airport is unable secure commercial or charter service to regain is Primary Airport Status, with at least 10,000 annual enplanements, then the City should begin to take steps to downgrade the airport to a General Aviation facility. The operation of ORH as GA facility is the most fiscally prudent course of action if Primary Airport status can not be achieved within a reasonable time period.
Although we received a one year extension on the Air Service Development Grant through June, 2008 since we were unable to spend the monies, we already know that a partnership has been attained as the current operating agreement has been extended through June of 2009. In addition we did not have 10,000 emplanements last year and have no chance of getting it this year. It looks to me that we should downgrade to a GA facility, if we are to follow the recommendations as laid out by IMG.
- When will the Airport Master Plan be released?
- The deadline for the extension on the one parcel of land that went out to RFP ends shortly, has the winning bidder decided to purchase the land or not?
- What is the balance left in the Small Community Air Service Grant from the DOT?
- Since we did not have 10,000 passengers in 2007, have we lost our status as being a "primary airport" ?
I have e-mailed them today and will put them in the mail tomorrow.
Right now CSX still owns the tracks and lets the the state use it on a limited basis, with a no fault liability provision. Any claims are paid by the Commonwealth, no matter who is at fault. Since its inception in 1995, some minor claims have been filed although the story does not detail who was at fault. The only way CSX will sell the line is that a no-fault liability provision must be included.
Can you blame them? First CSX is not hurting for money so they do not have to sell it. Second if they do sell it and there are now twenty communter lines traveling this stretch each way the chances of claims occuring ten fold. Is it worth the risk for them? Obviously it is not and they will not sell it until this happens.
Our politicians can say whatever they want, but this sale is not going to happen without a no fault liability provision and you can not blame CSX.
March 15, 2008
Jahn is right, low income housing is one of the only growth businesses in Worcester.
March 14, 2008
Now take a second and review the February Board Minutes again. My guess is that the airline that the City Manager met with, that is not coming to ORH or anywhere else in the NorthEast, was Skybus.
Skybus has now picked Chicopee, MA, Portsmouth, NH and Gary, IN over ORH. The last commercial flight that left ORH has now been 18 months. Since we missed this season and not a chance anyone will start service during summer, we are now looking at the fall of 2008.
For the 103rd time we blew it with Allegiant.
The Airport Commission needs to review each and every one of these leases.
March 13, 2008
In order to entice businesses to locate here very good deals were offered for land leases, but there were terms in the lease that the leasee had to comply with . This is good business and I am fine with that.
February 11, 1986 Book 9227 Page 372
20 year lease is signed between the Airport Commission and Kennedy Family Trust for a nominal amount (240 per year) for Kennedy Die. The lease will be renewed at the end at the end of 20 years (2006), and for a 2nd time (2026) for another 20 years assuming the terms of the lease are in compliance. Two terms oif the lease being that 1) property taxes need to be current and 2) you can not sublet the property.
May 25, 2005 Book 36401 Page 270
Kennedy Family Trust sublets 15 Coppage Drive to Thermalcast for 3 years.
November, 2005 Airport Board Minutes
Kennedy Family Trust gets approval to sublet the property, 6 months after the sublet began, stating that Thermalcast was merely a name change. Wasn't there an ownership change too??
February 1, 2006
The first 20 year lease ends. Although property taxes are not current and the property has been subletted to Thermalcast, albeit with the approval of the Airport Commission 6 months after it began, it looks like the lease continues for 240 per year.
Septemeber 18, 2007 Book 41810 Page 386
PCI Property Holdings forecloses on a $1,550,000 from 2002. It is called a foreclosure deed, but the City of Worcester retains ownership. I am not sure what was put up as collateral--the lease maybe equipment???
February, 2008 Airport Board Minutes
PCI now the owner of the lease from Kennedy Family Trust attempts to sub-let the property to Triangle Cable but the Airport Commission votes against it.
Right now I am totally confused. As a tax-payer it seems to me that the original intent of this lease has not been upheld by the leassee, who is now PCI, and there is some $280,000 in back taxes, while the City of Worcester charges $240 per year??
March 12, 2008
In 2006 at the end of the first 20 year lease on 15 Coppage Drive, the Airport Commission should never have renewed the lease. There were plenty of violations including subletting of the property and property taxes being in arrears.
Airport Liaison Niddrie refers to Property Casualty Initiative (PCI) as the holding company for Kennendy Die??? I believe that they are the mortgagee who foreclosed on the lease and is now the current owner of the lease and now they want to sub-lease to TriCab?? Congrats to Airport Commission for voting against this lease to PCI, which they should have done again two years ago to the Kennedy Family Trust. Airport Commission should take back the building and lease it themselves.
Again kudos to Commissioner Reynolds. All the current airport industrial park leases should be reviewed. In fact I saw a listing for the O'Coins distribution center for lease, can they sublet?
March 11, 2008
Lastly how can you reimburse for 50% of the job? I could see alot of fake inflated invoices..... You would need to set a standard like $15 per feet.
March 09, 2008
That said, does it make any sense that I can not be eligible to be on a board? True, I do not live in the City of Worcester, but as a business-owner or more importantly someone who pays property taxes in the City of Worcester am I not a stake-holder?
By the looks of the number (57) of vacancies, the City of Worcester may need to consider this sooner then later.
- Home Section for sold and auction listing
- Nick K
- "Super Bore" Nemeth
- Browse throught the editorials
- Flip through the Sports
Honestly at the most 15 minutes. When was the last time you ever read a true hard hitting investigative story? Oh yeah, another task force was discussed in Nick K's story. Maybe there should be a task force to review all past task forces to see if any of the recommendations of prior task forces have been implemented.
This task force confuses me. We need a task force to identify problem properties. I can easily supply the addresses on what I consider the ten worse properties in the Canterbury Street area and I imagine someone like "Paulie" could do the same in his hood. Why are we wasting time??
Lastly I read Brendan Melican's blog yesterday and I got alot more out of it then the Telegram today. Also clicked on a bunch of his links on the right hand side, very interesting stuff. Put down the Telegram and check out some of the local bloggers.
March 08, 2008
March 07, 2008
Billing adjustment of 85,539 last year and 35,365 this year. They are not abatements, what kind of billing adjustment totals over $120,000? Help anyone..
- UniverCity Partnership receives 35,000 from the City of Worcester. I disagree with Tony. This agency is exactly what they City of Worcester needs, but we have the wrong guy running it. If they do not change the Executive Director then I agree with Tony cut the $35,000
- Airport Liaison. Agree with Tony.
- School Department. I have no clue on this department
Let me add a couple good cuts by the City of Worcester already:
- $3,000,000 for City Hall renovations
Lets add a couple more:
- Skating rink on the Commons
- Chamber of Commerce: does the City of Worcester contribute any monies here
- Worcester Wayfinder, or wayfarer, program
- ADDED BY WORCESTERITE: Is there a City Square Liaison?
Lastly what is up with the Route 146 Visitors Center, aren't we suppose to start that soon?
March 06, 2008
One of the terms of the lease, however, is that you need to pay your property taxes. Check the city website, balance is now 280,488. The city should cancel the lease for non-compliance and put an RFP out for the building.
- Allegiant to Fort Lauderdale and Sanford
- Myrtle Beach Direct to Myrtle Beach and St Petes
- Cape Air to Boston
Check around the rest of the site including the FBO, SheltAir. Seems like a first class facility.
March 05, 2008
My wife was up at 4:30 AM today waiting for the Worcester Limo to drive her to Boston to catch a JetBlue flight to Fort Lauderdale to visit her mom and brother. Allegiant to Fort Lauderdale would have been perfect. For the 102nd time. we lost out big time when Allegiant. Picture of my wife's plane above from the Logan terminal.
PS Flight was $79 each way. with taxes $89.
March 04, 2008
March 03, 2008
The Worcester Regional Airport Commission, in an effort to encourage more Commercial and General Aviaiton activity at the airport, hereby rescinds the vote of August 15th, 1989 which recommended to the City Manager the adoption of Mass General Laws 64J section 13 relative to imposition, payment, collection and distribution of a tax on the sale or use of aircraft fuel in the City of Worcester and recommends to the City of Worcester that he request the City Council to do the same at their next meeting.
Before the issue could be brought up to the City Council, Allegiant was gone and I do not believe the issue was ever brought up to City Council. I assume then the the City of Worcester still charges a tax on the sale or use of aircraft fuel in the City of Worcester? One can only assume that based on fact this was considered the month before Allegiant left ORH, that it must have been an issue with Allegiant. Can anyone enlighten us as to what the rate of tax is?
Lastly please note this interview with Allegiant CEO Maury Gallager in Flight Global. In particular this comment:
That new approach must also apply to fuel services. "Fuel is a pain in the ass," says Gallagher, but it represents 40% of Allegiant's expenses. "So I'm in the fuel business." Airports should not "outsource and forget" fuelling services. "A monopoly fueller is a serious competitive handicap. We literally have a number of cities we won't go into because of this. They are not just making a living off us they are making a killing off us, and we are just not going to do it."
At ORH we have a monopoly fueller, Swissport, and the CEO of Allegiant not only calls it a "serious handicap", but "we won't go into" cities like these. Now add to the fact that fuel represents 40% of the Allegiant's expenses and City of Worcester added their own tax on the fuel, I think it is pretty clear why Allegiant left ORH.
It may seem like a small thing, but Mr O'Brien is constantly selling the benefits of his airport and and maybe has something to do with their success?
March 02, 2008
"If the City, because of its financial constraints, in unable to give priority to funding improvements at the Airport, then alternative forms of governing the Airport should be considered. The options include establishing an authority, leasing the facility to MassPort or a private company, contracting with a private company for management of the Airport, and selling the Airport to run it as a private facility. The City Manager should hire a consultant to determine which of these options is best to secure the future of Worcester Airport."
That was 15 years ago!!! We knew 15 years ago the City of Worcester should not be in the airport business and we did nothing?