August 31, 2008
Also there was an interesting interview with Brendan Melican in the last issue of WoMag on blogging.
- We need to work on some program where downtown residents get "FREE" access to municipal garages from 6:00PM to 6:00AM during the week and on week-ends.
- Waive all permitting fees for developers who will build market rental or home ownership opportunities.
- Lock assessed values of any proposed development for 7 years.
- Encourage all colleges and other non-profits to offer downpayment and rental assistance to any employees living downtown.
- Work closely with all the colleges to have some presence downtown. We could even market the city for parents of high school children to come to Worcester and learn about all our different colleges by one trip to downtown.
- If we downgrade to General Aviation, how much will we be able to save.
- The 300,000 remaining in the Department of Transportation Grant to recruit and retain air service which expired last September was extended for one year. Did we get another one year extension or did we lose the monies.
- We need to put together an RFP to outright sell or long term lease ORH.
- What did Avports say after we mailed them the information that they asked for?
- When will we know the results of the current negotiations with the airline interested in ORH?
August 30, 2008
WHERE TO?: When you leave the garage on the first floor and cross over into Union Station, you end up facing a wall in what used to be Union Station’s back hallway. Now, it’s a main entry point. There’s zero signage there about where to go if you want to find the busport. To your left is the sign that reads “Parking Lot,” to the right is a security office with a hallway that leads to the general station — but nothing tells you that. If you don’t know your way, it could become a guessing game.
I GOTTA PAY FOR THIS?: Yes, the parking costs are clearly displayed when you enter the garage. But on the way out, the sign reminding and directing customers to pay in the garage “lobby” is located on a support beam ten feet above your head. So while we noticed it, the eight cars that were clustered at the exit trying to get out without paying (or figuring out how to pay) obviously weren’t as observant. Mayhem. And it wasn’t just them. At least four other people asked directions to get to the “lobby,” which was right in front of them.
HOW AM I GONNA PAY FOR THIS? Worcesteria went to the pay lobby, walked up to the automated machines and — wait a minute. No credit cards accepted at this time? “Sorry for the inconvenience.” OK, no biggie. There’s still the ATM in Union Station. Back to the doors to the station and — wait a minute. They’re locked. If you take the last train in from Boston on a Saturday night and get in at midnight and don’t have cash on you, get ready to explore the Canal District looking for an ATM. (For the record, we’d like to thank the stragglers leaving the station who, sensing our frustration, held the doors for us to get back in.)
August 28, 2008
August 27, 2008
Also how about the sidewalk on Main and Pleasant Street, is that City money and was there anything wrong with the sidewalks to begin with? Lastly lots of work going on at 915 Pleasant Street.
August 26, 2008
Mayor Scott W. Lang is trying something that might not fly: He's lobbying small, regional airlines to launch service from here to Boston's Logan International or Warwick's T.F. Green International airports. To some, it might seem absurd to fly for 20 to 25 minutes between New Bedford Regional Airport and Boston instead of driving the 60 miles, and even more so for the 40-mile trek to Warwick, R.I.
But commercial air service from New Bedford to one of the two cities would mean South Coast residents could catch connecting flights in Boston or Warwick and avoid traffic, expensive airport parking, and long lines at security checkpoints. Not to mention, it could turn New Bedford's tiny airport into a better economic engine for an old whaling town trying to attract more biotechnology manufacturing, alternative energy, and marine science and technology companies.
"It adds a tremendous amount of convenience," said Lang, who in his State of the City address proclaimed 2008 would be the "year of the airport." The airport already is being used more: Corporate jet operations are up 66 percent in the past year and Bridgewater State College is opening a flight academy there this fall.
"There's a real niche for a place like New Bedford, to go through a smaller airport to a hub."
But starting new service may not be on the radar for an industry crushed by record-high fuel prices and huge losses. "Carriers, if anything, are trying to determine which airports and routes to eliminate, rather than add," said Darin Lee, aviation economist for consulting firm LECG. "It would be difficult to make it commercially viable with today's fuel costs."
Still, there's some demand for the service. Agostinho Amado commuted between his Taunton home and Boston office - which could take two hours one way during rush hour - before opening an immigration services business in New Bedford in 2007. "I wouldn't mind paying $150 to $200 round trip" to fly between New Bedford and Boston, said Amado, 57. "Traffic makes you upset
August 24, 2008
I can not be on the board of the Worcester "Regional" Airport because I do not live in the City of Worcester. Live in Holden. On the other hand you can be a State Senator and live in Boston.
This really needs to be looked at. We need to consider making eligible applicants either be city residents or owning property in the City of Worcester. If all things are equal, then the position should go to the city resident.
This is the parcel, whereby the winning bidder, Pharmasphere, was awarded the parcel for $1 over an abutter who offered $50,ooo and was suppose to start construction this past March.
This is the most interesting part:
He said the board recognized the value to the city of the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts by offering the theater 400 parking spots in Federal Plaza for 80 nights a year at $1 per space. He said the theater charges $10 for those parking spaces, which he said allows the theater a potential profit of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
I would have no problem with this if the Hanover turned around and rented these spots for $1, but to mark them up 1000%. Keep in mind this is the same entity that claimed that had all their permitting fees waived and the assessed value of their properties locked in for 7 years.
Here is a quote from Mayor Lukes:
. “It’s clear the city has to give incentives to anyone willing to invest downtown. We have been discussing the development of downtown Worcester for the last 20 years.”
We do?? The only one , who has got incentives to invest downtown is the Hanover Theatre. What if they were able to work out a program whereby downtown residents could access the city owned parking garages from 6:00PM to 6:AM for free during the week and on the week-ends? What if the City of Worcester waived permitting fees and locked in assessed values for 7 years for everyone??
August 23, 2008
August 22, 2008
First program at 62 Elm St. First, you don’t put a flophouse for drunkards in the middle of an up-and-coming neighborhood that’s needed to expand the city’s tax base.
Second, you don’t give free food and shelter to drunkards who refuse to submit to mandatory treatment or do one day’s work.
Third, there’s nothing Christian about dumping all social misfits on Worcester and letting surrounding towns escape doing their fair share.
The task force’s plan to end homelessness is a stupid plan. Why? The answer is that the plan calls for the development of 600 units to be dumped in Worcester. None will be located in surrounding towns. Six hundred units is on par with the number of units at the Great Brook Valley housing project. Dumping 600 units, housing drunks, junkies, prostitutes and welfare families into our neighborhoods is absolutely insane.
Remember, SMOC, Healthlink, Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts and the Housing Alliance want to trash city neighborhoods. The City Council is wondering why Worcester is losing its city employees to the towns. Service providers and housing mongers are driving out our productive people.
For example, a writer talked with a firefighter who lives in Worcester. This firefighter informed me that he worked with seven other firefighters, all of whom live outside of Worcester. Worcester is also losing the people who finance the city. Councilors should wake up before Worcester ends up like Springfield.
RICHARD L. CHERNISKY Worcester
August 21, 2008
To be honest I have no idea, who ran any of them or even who their customers were. They did a great job at all of these places and fit right into the fabric of the neighborhood. Once the three decker around the corner from me had a problem and they sent a note out apologizing to everyone.
Before anyone accuses me of being against all of these programs, I am not. There are alot of good social service programs that serve a need and make our community a better place to live. On the other hand, there are others that are not run so well!!!
I do feel, however, that tax-paying neighbors need to know exactly what is going on. Matter of fact I think one of the main recommendations of the task force for sitting social service programs was the notification of abutters as to exactly what is being proposed.
Lastly, in retrospect I may have jumped the gun on this by posting the contents of this e-mail from my source without doing more homework. My fault and it will not happen again.
Heard a social service agency bought the house and plans on housing a program there. Not substantiated--anyone know about this??
August 20, 2008
I have never done this ,but this may change. Yesterday and today I deleted about ten comments from Will from Wonderland, aka Chris, aka anonymous--all the same person. Basically he calls me a hypocrite and asks why do I do this since there are only 5 people reading this blog, while attacking various city councilors personally.
He keeps trying to post it time and time again, while making other disparaging comments about me. My mother in law is in town and I have had pretty much my fill of disparaging comments this week.
Do not expect everyone to agree with me, in fact it is actually more fun when people disagree and make some real good arguements. In the end I may need to add "comment moderation".
Timothy McGourthy, Worcester’s director of economic development, told BioRegion News last week the study was intended as a long-range guide to “looking at those spaces in terms of their potential for higher and better uses.”
The strategic plan offered two redevelopment options for the city’s police HQ, a low-rise, modernist-style concrete fortress completed in the 1970s:
- Two buildings containing 220,000 square feet of R&D space, plus 200,000 square feet of offices, 32,500 square feet of retail space, and 1,044 parking spaces; and
- Three buildings containing 147,000 square feet of R&D space, plus 214,900 square feet of offices, 16,000 square feet of retail space, and 875 parking spaces.
The city could not advance either scenario without first acquiring a site for a new police home base, a process McGourthy acknowledged would likely take several years given its cost and the need to relocate all police functions somewhere else.
“Something like the police station building, we’re looking at 10 to 15 years [into the future], minimum,” McGourthy said.
Check out the story in the Telegram. I am speechless.
August 19, 2008
How is this then.... After everything I have read:
- Boston plan. If the abutting businesses within "x" amount of feet have no problem then allow a street food vendor to sell their products.
- $200 per year to operate a business in the City of Worcester is ridiculous. We need to increase the annual fee to $1,000.
- Enforce all the existing codes to ensure the existing food vendors are in compliance.
- If any food vendors have a track history of problems after midnight require a police detail.
If you want to be factually critical of someone that is fine, but you can not be anonymous.
I am not making light of this, since I am sure that Danny and others have sunk alot of time and money into their businesses. I have a couple questions maybe someone can answer:
- Are they subject to annual inspections by health & code?
- If they sell milk, or other items that require a permit by a convenience store, do they have to have a permit?
- What is the annual permit fee to operate this business?
- What do they do with the grease?
- Do they pay any taxes on their equipment like other businesses do?
This past week-end I went to Providence to see the Fire Water, although there were vendors selling lights and other items there was nobody selling food except in on specific area down by the financial district. Their reasoning must be that if you want to get something to eat, they want you to go to one of the restaurants. Can you argue with that?
I only wish the same coverage and attention was given to 1)City Square, 2) the Airport and the 3) the proliferation of low income housing that is taking over the core of our city. Stay tuned for tomorrow's story in the Telegram on a party on Southgate Place announcing the two million dollar grant for the seven million dollar three story 19 unit low income apartment building.
August 18, 2008
- "affordable" housing means low income
- 19 apartments will cost 7 million. Now add the purchase price of $500,000 and that comes to $7.5 million or 394,736 per apartment.
- no timetable has been set. In other words although $2 million has been committed there is still $5 million needed and nobody has any idea when this will come in.
- This is in fact the second project by SWNIC. The organization did recently complete complete a $2 million dollar project on Hacker and Cambridge, but only 3 of 11 units were sold and Holy Cross came in as the guarantor on the 1st mortgage
This project initially requested all sorts of variances, but when the neighbors came in opposition the project was scaled back to avoir any variances. Although better housing is needed in this area, a story story 19 unit low income apartment building is not what the neighbors had in mind.
I can state this not only as a "silly" blogger, but as the owner of a three family that directly abuts this project.
August 17, 2008
- Assuming we do not get the airline that we are talking with, how much would we save if we downgraded to General Aviation?
- Did we get another one year extension that is expiring this September to spend the remaining $300,000 of grant monies from the DOT to attract and retain commercial service?
- Why can't we put together an RFP to outright sell or long term lease the airport?
- What did Avports have to say after receiving the information from the City of Worcester?
I am sure, however, none of this will come up.
Towards the end of the night, one person on the other side of the Blackstone River jumped in, very much like Jenny in Forest Gump. This person was screaming something other then Forrest, but I could not make it out until the person next to me said that it sounded like "silly blogger" then I noticed the Z Cavarice Jeans. Thats right, yours truly Harry Tembenis.
Actually did not bump into him last night, but we did have breakfast with Harry and his wife on Federal Hill today. The possibilities are endless in Worcester, but if we could only straighten out this street vendor problem.
If you have never seen Fire Water, I strongly recommend it but stay over at one of the many fine hotels. We stayed at the Westin that had a walkway right into Providence Place. The weird thing about Providence, however, is that signs that say Art District, you can actually find art?
August 16, 2008
Big party Tuesday to announce the new location income housing project on Armory/Southgate.
- Burwick Furniture on Main Street
- May Street
- Gardner, Kilby & Hammond
- Mason Street
- Piedmont Street
- 93 Grand Street
- Cambridge Street/Hacker
- Odd Fellows
Amogst all of this low income housing projects, is there any private market driven new construction? Nope.
August 14, 2008
Today is August 14th and the terms of conveyance, a fancy way of saying working out the details once the award is given, have still no been signed although the underlying RFP required this to be done within 30 days. Even when the terms of conveyance have been signed, there is an additional 90 days allowed for the actual deed to be signed. In other words the parcel still has not been conveyed.
For full disclosure, I am biased on this since I thought the abutting mfg deserved the award since 1) they were an abutter and was 2) paying $50,000 versus $1. Putting that aside, this parcel should have been transferred by now earning tax revenue for the the City of Worcester as the terms specified or the RFP should have been redone.
August 13, 2008
I received a telephone call today from both Joanne McGuirk of DHCD and Senator Augustus's office to inform me the SWNIC has been awarded approx. 1.8 million in subsidies and 393,000 in low interest tax credits to construct the rental units on Armory Street.
So many to thank for the effort in securing these funds. Sen. Augustus, Rep. Fresolo, the City, our partners at Horne and Johnson and of course the neighborhood support for this project.
Our Southgate Place project is moving! More and better details will follow in the coming days.
Ten years of dreaming about to come true!!
August 11, 2008
Should neighbors asking for no sex offenders and 24 hour supervision at the shelter be referred to as being implaccable? They sound pretty reasonable to me.
Some will call blogging silly but it can be quite powerful. Please check out the latest blog and the flooding in the basement would you buy a unit? By the way the flooding problem has been in existence for three years--at least.
August 08, 2008
Right now I am tired. This week I will hi-light a new blog each day and change the lings on my blog. Got to tell you, I am pretty impressed.
Keep up the good work.
"Nearly two thirds (65.2%) of Worcester's students are from low-income families. Ten years ago that percentage was slightly less then 48%. "
In ten years the percentage of students from low-income families has increased over 17%!! That is unreal. Do you think maybe we should stop building more low-income housing? Must read story!!
August 07, 2008
Before I comment. The reason this is an airport free zone this month is that the airport is in negotiations with an airline to maybe have service this winter season. If they decided to come then we should keep the airport Part 139 certified.
That said, this committee should be looking into:
- The cost savings to downgrade to General Aviation if we do not get this airline.
- Putting together an RFP to long-term lease or outright sell ORH and market it extensively.
Not saying that looking into long-term alternatives is a bad idea but what about short-term alternatives?
August 06, 2008
Maybe a better question will be what is going to happen to the space that they leave behind. Maybe a CDC will come in and turn it into low income/affordable housing. Best part is that the welfare offices are right next door.
On another note I walked downtown working late last night to grab a couple things from CVS. Tried to open the doors, but they were closed. What time was it? 7:15Pm--it closes at 7:00PM.
August 05, 2008
August 04, 2008
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|EJA885||H25B||Newark Liberty Intl (KEWR)||04:30p EDT||05:06p EDT|
|N530PU||P28R||Boire Field (KASH)||12:26p EDT||12:53p EDT|
|SGB147||B732||Manchester (KMHT)||11:10a EDT||11:27a EDT|
|N8135V||SR22||Laurence G Hanscom Fld (KBED)||09:29a EDT||09:35a EDT|
- target an area downtown, or anywhere in need of development, and clearly delineate the boundaries
- lock in current assessed values for any approved project for ten years
- waive all permitting fees and water & sewerage connection fees
- if there are any monies from the State or Federal Gov't that require any portion of the project to be low income, the project is not eligible
- 80% of the project must be residential
- require minimum size for the project
- encourage the colleges and other non-profits to provide down payment assistance for anyone buying into any of these projects
Something like this would truly give someone a reason to Buy Worcester.
August 02, 2008
Although I was thinking of a peaceful quiet walk, comparing the current Boston versus the Boston I remembered when I went to college between 1982-1986, it was the complete opposite. The sidewalks may not have bussled with people going to work, but every single block had construction. This is no exaggeration I could not find a block that did not have construction workers, sidewalks blocked to raise steel beems, a crew were filming a motion picture (The Surrogates with Bruce Willis) and cranes were everywhere.
There was one major difference between this construstion and the construction that goes in Worcester. This was private construction!! Think about it-- Federal Courthouse, local Courthouse, Union Station, Parking Garages, Centrum, Convention Center, Gateway, Hanover Theatre, CDC projects or Ice skating rinks on the Common. All public.
The combat zone was entrenched in this area for years and now you can not see a trace, except for the Glass Slipper down the same side street. Maybe the big difference between Boston and Worcester is the reliance on private, not public, investments?
Coming back to Worcester I saw a sign on 290 that said Worcester Cultural District Exit 16-18, can anyone tell me what this means? If someone pulled up to on the sidewalk and ask how to get to the Worcester Cultural District what would you say?
August 01, 2008
Tonight and tomorrow night, my wife, daughter and I have come down to Boston right on Faneuil Hall. Real nice and I have walked around here at noon, this afternoon and at night. I simply amazed by the number of people.
When all the projects are done on May Street, the Burwick Furniture Building, Piedmont Street, Mason-Winfield, Grand Street, Armory and whatever low income projects that are on the drawing are done (trust me there are more this is big business), nothing will improve. We are literally talking 100 million dollars.
RKG said 6 years that we need to build upscale housing and to stop the over reliance on CDC's and low income housing. They were so right. When will anyone listen??