December 31, 2009

Apple Computer Again

Can you buy an Apple Computer at Best Buy or any store? Or can you only buy at one of the Apple Stores?

Chernisky Nails It


The Chamber of Commerce says that the dual-tax rate is stagnating Worcester’s commercial growth. Not true. What’s undermining Worcester’s commercial and residential tax base isn’t the dual tax rate, it’s the growing poverty rate. Jordan Marsh (Macy’s), Filene’s and Sears didn’t leave Worcester because of taxes. They left because of the growing poverty population, and because they couldn’t get customers to come to Worcester. And now, Diamond Chevrolet is following Sears to Auburn. Why? Customers!

Worcester’s galleria had the best stores in New England, yet couldn’t get enough customers. Many suburbanites and even Worcesterites would shop the Auburn Mall, and malls to the east of Worcester to avoid dealing with the poverty people downtown. Worcester lost its entire retail center to surrounding towns, and the Chamber of Commerce said nothing.

Under Judeo-Christian law, we are mandated to help the poor, but we aren’t mandated to destroy Worcester with poverty housing, which is driving out our upper-income residents to the suburbs. Upscale retail and other industries will follow the upper-income to the suburbs.

I’m disgusted with the Chamber of Commerce because it refuses to speak the truth. The truth is, to expand the tax base we must do three things.

  • First, initiate a moratorium on the production of low-income rental housing.
  • Second, upgrade the entire inner-city, starting with downtown.
  • Third, get rid of the Chamber of Commerce that has done nothing for Worcester, and bring on the Worcester City Chamber of Commerce that will represent Worcester exclusively apart from the towns.


December 30, 2009

Loans report

The Chandler Business Association may petition ourselves for a report on all outstanding loans from the City of Worcester.

Winner of the Major Taylor RFP

Click here

Apple Computer

In Boston on Sunday bought an MAC computer for the house from the Boston Apple Store. So far I got to say the price was great and the ease of use is pretty unbelievable and the set-up is ridiculously easy.

Zimage Challenge

Looks like Dewey will be losing our year end bet for that drink. Dave, double or nothing? Give you until the end of January for UNUM to sign their lease with Berkeley. You game?

T-day Direct Air delay

I got three or four e-mails on this from people complaining. Good job Direct Air! Story in today's Telegram.

Also gotten some e-mails about problems on X-mas day? Anyone know anything about this?

December 29, 2009

Chandler NRSA Update

After reviewing the numbers from the City of Worcester and the fiscal agent for the Chandler NRSA, I have noticed some discrepencies. I am confident, however, that we should be able to clear these up over the next week or two and have a clear, concise picture of the finances withing the Chandler NRSA.

Once we have it nailed down, I will post the income and expense statement here and hope the city administration requires the other 4 NRSA's to do the same so we all know exactly how all the NRSA's are investing these CDBG funds.

A & E Distributors

Looks like they have been bought out by Atlas.

Facts, and nothing but the facts

Guest blogger, Dave "Dewey" Zimage

I decided to get some facts from the U.S. gov't about Worcester, Somerville, Springfield, and Providence. I chose these 4 cities because most of us DO NOT think we should "aspire" to be Springfield but rather use Providence and Somerville as examples of where we should be going as a city. BTW, I concur with that thought process.

Here is the link to the site -

To be honest, I think what you, Paul and others do in the city is admirable but I don't think Worcester is nearly as bad as the recent tone suggests in some of the posts. Granted some of the data from the government is "old" but this is the type of data that prospective business owners look at when deciding if they want to locate in a particular community. I only looked at the city proper not their defined metropolitan areas which in the case of Somerville wouldn't be comparing apples to apples because they are part of the Boston metropolitan area. In fact, I believe that accounts for some (if not all) of the higher median family home price in Somerville (its proximity to Boston). I think Worcester would look substantially better statistically as a metropolitan area in all of the categories.

I highlighted some lines that I believe sheds some rather positive light on Worcester when compared to the others.

1) We are outclassed by Somerville in the number of persons 25+ with a Bachelor's Degree or higher but we're fairly close with Providence.

2) We were the leader in total retail sales and sales per capita by a quite significant amount of all 4 cities. So much for the perception that a store would not want to locate here or could actually be successful.

3) The poverty rate in Providence was 29% vs. 18% in Worcester and our median income is higher than Providence. Somerville was way ahead of both cities in this category and I applaud them for it. However, I have to wonder, is this because young professionals started discovering Somerville 20 years ago as a natural extension from the higher housing costs in Cambridge? Even Paul has to admit that Somerville didn't happen overnight.

I truly believe Worcester has a perception problem more than anything else and we constantly sell ourselves short. The locals (especially those that have lived their entire life in Worcester) don't see the positives as quickly as an outsider because we tend to focus on what isn't working. We need to sell what is good about Worcester while working on the issues that are before us.

For example, some of the good stuff, an incubator for Biotech - MCPHS - Hanover Theatre - Centrum/DCU Center which put us on the entertainment map - world renowned Mechanics Hall - world renowned Worcester Art Museum - St. Vincent Hospital relocating to downtown instead of the suburbs - our colleges - Union Station finally beginning to hit its stride - Worcester Academy - Mayo Group's aggressive makeover of downtown (have you seen their rehabs on Portland Street yet?) - locally owned 4 star restaurants (why does success have to be defined by having an Abe & Louie's, Capital Grille, or Morton's) - Canal District being driven by private investment - Paulie's NOLA Fest - First Night (we are the oldest New Year's Eve First Night after Boston) - our proximity to Boston, the seashore and the mountains - Worcester's affordable housing stock. And the list could go on and on and on...

That is why I truly believe that CitySquare will help us (locals) focus on some of the positive stuff. If everything Berkley Investments has promised comes to fruition with CitySquare ( and I'm realistic enough to know that the project scope could change significantly over the next couple of years), what a positive story to shout from the rooftops.

Wormie on Pharmasphere

Good post Nailed it!

December 28, 2009

Walmart on Route 146

As you know I am 100% sure that Best Buy is moving to Route 146. I am 99.99% sure that they will close Greendale, no move to Lincoln Street.

That leaves me with Walmart in Quinsig Village. I am 100% sure, as everyone else, that there is another major tenant. I am, for now, 90% sure it it Sam's Club. Actually think it is more then 90%, but for now I will say 90%.

Telegram reporters, we need you

Here are some stories I would like you to consider:
  1. The above-ground sewer line from May Street over to Main Street, is that legal.
  2. The closing off a public street next to the newest low to mod income project on Piedmont Street.
  3. The status of all the loans from the City of Worcester to the various tenants at Union Station.
  4. Exactly what price are we selling ORH to MassPort.
  5. Best Buy, although any reporting is way too late
  6. What is exactly going on with the former Royal Linen property on Mason Street, 4 years after it was sold via RFP
  7. Pharmasphere, the company who was suppose to start building in the spring of 2008 that has not even taken title to the property as we enter 2010. The latest story from the Telegram reporting Planing Board approval was more of a press release then reporting.
Who am I kidding let's have another story on the guy, who built the tree house a few months back who was ordered to tear it down. Now that is real news.


My wife, daughter and I went to Copley Square Sunday night to do a little shopping and eating staying at the Marriott cashing on my Marriott points. During one walk, we walked by:
  1. Abe & Louie's
  2. Capital Grille
  3. Morton's

Very expensive, very good steak houses. Now do you think the City of Boston Economic Development Office should get credit for three great steak houses like this? Why do you think there are three great steakhouses like this in one neighborhood? Maybe there is alot of low mod income housing on Newbury and Boylston Street The more and more we talk about this on the blog, the more I know that it is the people. We need to get people with money to come back into the City of Worcester's downtown core and low mod income housing development is not doing it.

$75 Ticket

Just got a ticket in the mail. Next to my building is a parking lot that I do not own. Last storm the sidewalk was not shoveled, but since I own the building closest to it I get a ticket for $75 in the mail today. I commend the City for taking the shoveling of sidewalks as a serious matter, but they should do a better job checking to see who the owner of the sidewalk is before mailing a ticket.

December 27, 2009

Best Buy Greendale

I was in their Christmas Eve buying this new netbook and talked to the kid who waited on my about the Millbury move. He told me that they were definately moving but was not sure what they were going to do in Greendale. Told him that if they move to Millbury, like he told me that they were doing, and they have Solomon Pond Mall, there was no way in hell Greendale would stay open. It would make no sense. Although not official, it looks to me that it is extremely highly unlikely that Best Buy in the Greendale Mall will be there in 6 months,.

City of Worcester, a bank?

The City Manager has done a real good job. One of the things he says alot is that we should not be in the airport business and should stick with the core responsibilites of city government. I agree. My only problem with the sale of ORH is that we did not do an RFP for the entire airport and solicit proposals to, literally, the world. Instead, we only talked to MassPort, who I still think will make ORH a great airport.
  • Then why are we going into the lending business?
  • Do we have a credit department that analyzes the credit worthiness of the said applicant?
  • What type of billing department do we have?
  • What steps do we take if a loan goes into default?
  • How is our current loan portfolio performing?

December 26, 2009

Major Taylor Loan

I have been thinking about this.. Trust me I have become quite familiar with some of the City of Worcester internal accounting practices as a member of the board of directors of the South Worcester Neighborhood Center and with the Chandler NRSA. Jahn, not only is having two sets of books (on completely different platforms) common practice, but actually reconciling them to make sure that they are in agreement is seldomly done. My point being, before the City of Worcester does any more loans a City Councilor should request an update on:

  • all existing loans
  • status (current, behind etc)
  • amount owed

Before any more loans are considered.

December 24, 2009

Chistmas Wish List

Merry X-mas to all

  1. A task force is convened to look at the dual rate tax system and review options like Citizens for Business Philadelphia Plan
  2. I lose my bet with Dave Zimage
  3. Al Maykiel is reimbursed for his facade project by the City of Worcester before 2010
  4. No more low-mod income housing developments in 2010
  5. The Chandler NRSA receives more monies to continue the good work that we have been doing
  6. The Chamber of Commerce does something, anything

December 23, 2009

National Geographic on Worcester

Great article on the City of Worcester from National Geographic 's February, 1955 courtesy of Steven Jones-D'Agostino?

Major Taylor Boulevard Build-up

I watched Council last night about the new RFP for the commercial space and how there would be up $250,000 in loans available to the winning bidder to do the build-out. Not sure if I like this idea.

Let me explain, We have done this twice at Union Station and both restaurants failed owing the City of Worcester money. True, both have been replaced by realtively (I think) successful new businesses. Does anyone know how much money is owed, however, on these prior loans? Did the new tenants take over payments? I do not know the answer to either.

Councilor Palmieri suggested that the loan was good and would help spur economic activity. I agree, the loan does spur economic activity so why not offer to any business looking to do a build out? The reason we are doing these loans for Union Station and the Major Taylor parking garage is because these are city assets and the city is trying to get tenants to help pay down their debt. Imagine the commercial spaces for the Union Station parking garage will be next.

In the end I do not think the City of Worcester should be giving out loans to businesses to do build-outs, just like we should not be in the airport business. Micro-loans for facades/storefronts should be the extent of the City of Worcester's lending portfolio.

December 22, 2009


As was so aptly pointed out by 4rilla, the walks have not been shoveled. Technically it is not their responsibility since they have not taken title to the property, although I believe that the LDA that they signed that they were suppose to.

Imagine if this happened on Montvale.

Worceser Plaza

This is what the ORIGINAL plans for the glass tower on Pleasant/Main. It called for, a 50 story 211.84 meter highrise which would have been the third tallest building in New England:


Harry T

Commercial Activity

If we see Best Buy move to the Route 146 Mall and Sams to the new Wal-Mart Plaza, we just seeing a perpetuation of what has been happening the past 10 years. People with money are moving to the towns thus you see developments like the Route 146 Mall, Solomon Pond Mall in the surrounding towns. Same, I guess, goes for the car dealerships.

What do you expect to happen when you fill the inner core of the City of Worcester with low-mod income developments?

December 21, 2009


Sorry been busy. Couple misc thoughts

  • Direct Air flew in and out of ORH yesterday. Kudos to ORH and Direct Air.
  • Rumor mill cranking. Major chain announcement coming soon to the new Wal-Mart on Route 146
  • My bet with Zimage looking good
  • Another rumor mill item Heard Punta Cana in the Dominican from ORH?

December 18, 2009


Nick K had an update in the Telegram today, click here.

Couple points were left out that I would like to add. This bid was awarded in January of 2008 (almost two years ago) with construction to start last Spring. To date the winning bidder has yet to take title. In addition the the City of Worcester is guaranteeing a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Section 108 loan program administered by the city in the amount of 2.5 million that was never in the initial RFP.

Bottom line nearly two years later,

  • title has not transferred
  • lot itself is still a mess
  • no taxes have been paid
  • City of Worcester is now on the hook on a 2.5 million dollar loan.

December 17, 2009

Chavez at Copenhagen Climate Summit

As reported from Gateway pundit

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez painted capitalism as the enemy of the earth — not to mention the cause of AIDS, poverty and war — in a speech to the UN Summit on Climate Change that invoked Mohammed, Jesus Christ and Simon Bolivar.

“The cause of all this disastrous situation is the destructive capitalist system,” the Venezuelan socialist leader told delegates Wednesday.“Capitalism is the road to hell.” “I would exhort the government and the people of the earth … to say that if the destructive nature of capitalism exists, let’s fight against it and make it obey us,” he said. “If capitalism resists, then we have to give battle against capitalism and open our way to save mankind.”

But, the Venezuelan leaders attacks on capitalism did not bother the leftist representatives at the summit meeting.They gave him a rousing ovation.Andrew Bolt reported: President Chavez brought the house down.

When he said the process in Copenhagen was “not democratic, it is not inclusive, but isn’t that the reality of our world, the world is really and imperial dictatorship…down with imperial dictatorships” he got a rousing round of applause.

When he said there was a “silent and terrible ghost in the room” and that ghost was called capitalism, the applause was deafening.

Wet Lab at Gateway Park

30 million dollar contract awarded to William A Berry & Sons of Danvers. Do any Worcester contractors ever get any bids for public construction projects in Worcester?

December 16, 2009

Somervile condo project

Good read

Thanks Harry T!!

State Payroll


Click here

State Payroll

Great story in the Boston Herald

Critics slam Deval Patrick over hiring spree
1,300 jobs filled in ’09

December 15, 2009

Illegal Signs hurt Worc revenues and local businesses

Queston. Wonder why a person is putting this sign up at dusk?

Answer. They figure by doing at night they will can avoid any permitting fees or engineered plans that may be required.
Question. How does an a sign company that pulls permits and does what is required (engineered plans) compete with this?
Answer. They can't.
Not only does the City of Worcester lose revenues, but sign companies that follow the rules lose business and may end up having to lay off employees. I suggest that the City of Worcester go around and check out signs that suddently appear like this one put up last week and make sure that the appropriate permits have been pulled and that they are in compliance with all zoning requirements.

Joe Lane

On a personal note, it is sad day for any Saint john's Alum. I always thought of Mr Lane as being Saint John's. Great dedication on their website.

December 14, 2009

Commercial Activity

  1. CVS on Park Ave satarted to get stocked. Appears that January 1st could be the opening date.
  2. Major retailer in Worcester rumored to be leaving after the 1st of the year. Details forthcoming as I hear more.

Telegram Story

Click here for the story. Good story, but a couple things that were not able to make the story. First Steve Foley was able to download numbers from the Department of Transportation site for the first 7 months of this year.

  1. January, 2009 26 flights 1615 passengers 3874 seats
  2. February, 2009 24 flights 2248 passengers 3576 seats
  3. March, 2009 25 flights 1898 passengers 3347 seats
  4. April, 2009 31 flights 2401 passengers 4106 seats
  5. May, 2009 24 flights 1726 passengers 3171 seats
  6. June, 2009 20 flights 1720 passengers 2656 seats
  7. July, 2009 9 flights 971 passengers 1341 seats

12,579 passengers out of a possible 22,071 seats equates to a 56.99% load factor.

Secondly, I tried to emphasize how Cape Air with their JetBlue code sharing would have been perfect for ORH like it has been for Hyannis. Would have like to have seen some answers from the Airport Director as to why this has not happened.

December 13, 2009

48 Mason Street

The City of Worcester sold this property on November 5, 2005 and here are some of the terms in the deed:
  1. Commence land development within one year
  2. Complete development within two years
  3. Land shall not be used for the storing or dumping of trash or refuse

It has been four years, development has not started although the land was used to store fill when the new Worcester Sttate Parking garage was built.

RKG Housing Study

If you have never read it, please read the 2 page conclusion:

  • The City of Worcester should find a balance in its affordable housing needs that benefits all of its residents. Demographic indicators suggest that the increase in rental assisted living housing during the 1990's, coupled with the high supply of low value units, has attracetd lower income residents to the City. This, in turn, has not helped the residential tax base!
  • The City should be less aggressive in providing rental assisted housing if the object of the residential housing stategy is to improve the tax base.
  • Off street parking should be the priority for any vacant lot or available tax title property.
  • The CCDC's in the future should be considered more of a developer of last choice.

Looking back at this study it is amazing how right they are and startling how we did the exact opposite of what they recommended in 2002.

December 12, 2009

Update on diet

2 weeks later
227 pounds
3 pounds lost since 11/27/9

December 11, 2009

Housing Director Resigns

Read today in the Telegram that the City of Worcester Housing Director resigned. Let me say first that Scott is a very nice guy, doubt he did anything wrong and wish him luck in the future.

I do, however, disagree with his Housing policy that focused on dense concentration of low-mod income developments in concentrated areas mainly through the CDC's. We need to completely change the focus of our Housing policy and as the RKG study said place " More emphasis should be placed on attracting a higher class of people, who in turn would improve the commercial vitality of the City, and allow the City to leverage more private investment to increase the amount of upper-end products."

There are many cities that do not have the required minimum low income housing units that would benefit from the skills of our former Housing Director, who was actually incredible (no exaggeration), combining and leveraging the various sources to build "affordable" units while obtaining all the underlying variances.

December 08, 2009

Hadley Update

Lately I have had a few people, after talking to me, say something along the lines "don't put this on the blog". Let me take a moment to set the record straight. The goal of my blog is to make Worcester a better place, not to make anyone look bad. A place that I have invested my whole life and alot of money in to. The last thing I am want to do with this blog is to hurt Worcester. I know that sounds corny, but it is true,

Remember last year when I commented on the fact the most, if not all the apartments, were low to mod income and Gabe countered that the second phase would consist of market rate condos. Let me ask you a question, Gabe do anyone really think market rate condos are coming to this location???

For now, I will even settle for a parking lot for the apartments that have been built. Drive by and check out the parking lot. Trick question, there is no parking lot. Sure there is an empty area, where cars park, but a up to code parking lot is suppose to have set backs for green area sand property drainage.

This lot has none of this. Imagine if a private developer did this?? Once again, another example, of two sets of rules. How does one get an occupancy permit when there is no parking lot for the apartments?

December 07, 2009

December 05, 2009

National Low Income Housing Coalition

President, Sheila Crowley, of the National Low Income Housing Coalition was in the City of Worcester as the featured speaker at the annual meeting of the Central Mass Housing Alliance as reported by the Telegram today.

They only want 15 Billion, let me say that again BILLION over the next 10 years. If the Feds do not commit to that, then just 1 BILLION for this year. But there is more:
  • Limit the deduction of mortgage interest to end at $400,000, not the current $1,000,000. Can you imagine the effect this would have on houses priced over $400,000, if you could not deduct the mortgage interest?
  • Urged a federal tax credit for renters. Again effect would this have on the home building industry?
  • Double the number of the nation's 2 million Section 8 vouchers

The one the blows me away was her line "home buyer tax credits, will not stimulate new housing, she said, but is directed at upper income housing purchasers, most of whom would have bought those homes regardless of the credit." Nothing could be further from the truth. Home buyer credit has been the impetus for many first time home-buyers, who are not upper income, to buy a house.

Bottom line is that the National Low Income Housing Coalition wants to promte rentals not the American Dream of home ownership.

December 04, 2009

December 03, 2009


There is going to be a story in the Telegram on Direct Air. We should be happy to have them, but man we never should have lost Allegiant. Check out the latest from USA today, here is a small portion:

For years, flying to Orlando on Allegiant Air meant a flight into Sanford International (SFB), the metro area's secondary airport. Not any more. In a move that highlights increasing competition with low-cost rivals, Allegiant announced Tuesday it will begin flying into Orlando International (MCO) – the city's primary airport – as well as to its longtime base at SFB.

Actually Cranky has a good blog on it too.

$150 Million Fund from Gov Patrick

Click here We don't want it!!

BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick is rolling out a new $150 million loan fund designed to help create more affordable housing units in Massachusetts.
The fund, created primarily using private resources, is intended to fill the funding gap faced by affordable housing developers unable to get financing for their projects from traditional lenders.
The announcement follows Patrick's decision last week to sign a bill aimed at preserving the state's existing supply of subsidized housing units.
Patrick said about 17,000 units are at risk over the next three years as their owners pay off publicly subsidized mortgages and are able to seek higher, market-rate rents.
Some tenants groups say the new law is too weak and doesn't offer enough protections.

December 02, 2009

Zimage Bet

My bet is looking good. Unless there is a signed deal between UNUM and City Sqaure by the end of the month I am drinking on Zimage.

Tax Classification

Kudos to Rushton and Petty for seeing the big picture and not falling for the "I need to say lowest residential rate to get elected". For the record, personally I will save money since I have more residential then commercial holdings, but I realize this vote hurts all my holdings both commercial and residential.

Got to give Gary Vecchio credit for locking in councilors, up to 9 months, on this vote way before any numbers are ever released. Lets hope councilors realize their mistake, however, and wait for numbers to be released before they commit to anything? Truly believe some of the councilors last night realize they were making a mistake, but did not want to back off from a promise that they had made.

Lastly where is the Chamber of Commerce. Sure, they got up and talked last night, but this needs to be their number one mission (24/7) of the Chamber of Commerce. Today they should be on the front page of the Telegram, on all the radio shows and fighting the fight starting today not next year at tax classification time.

Bottom line Gary Vecchio is 100 times more powerful then our Chamber of Commerce.

Fitchburg refuses money

Worcester could learn from Fitchburg, click here for story in the Telegram. Key part:

Councilors were concerned that an affordable housing requirement would have led to more low income housing, saying the city really needs more commercial development. Also, there was concern that the rules would have made it difficult for abutters to challenge development plans.

December 01, 2009

Commercial Property Owner

To City Manager and Council,

I'm concerned that the elected officials only care about short term elections and appeasing the majority of homeowners (voters) in Worcester, instead of paying attention to the long term prosperity of the City as a whole. By rubber stamping a dual tax rate ("lowest residential"), Worcester is losing not just tax revenue, but the multiplier effect of jobs, higher home values, and fiscal budget sustainability that small and large businesses create. Without jobs (provided by private business), how can individuals afford to buy homes with the bonus side effect of increasing home prices/equity.

I'm the president of the Osgood Bradley Building at 18 Grafton St. I'm sick of watching my tax rate increase, while my tenants (unable to afford increases in rent to offset the increase in tax), go out of business. My building is now 80% empty. My tax bill is about $50,000. This is ridiculous on a building that loses about $75,000 a year. I have no spare money for maintenance or upgrades. There are few companies looking to move to Worcester, when they get a better lease rate in other towns.

I'm starting to examine selling my building, and non-profits seem to be able to pay the most. I wonder if it is because they will save $50,000 a year in taxes. How many vacant buildings and non-profits (not paying property taxes) do you want in the city?

Yes - you have a revenue problem in the City of Worcester, but the current dual rates compounds the problem, and doesn't lead towards a sustainable solution. As a elected official, you often have tough choices.

I would recommend a stepped program towards a single rate, and paying for it through complete wage/salary freezes for city workers (no cola, raises, or steps!), until the single rate is fully adopted. Also - I'd recommend rather than needing political favors, and time spent filling out paperwork for TIF's, that across the board, for all commercial property, that any improvements made in 2010-2012 will NOT increase taxable value of the property for 20 years. This would immediately spur investment, and start to restore jobs and prosperity in the city.

Your decision today on the Tax Rate, will help make my decision to shut down my building, sell to a non-profit, or explore investing in the property to land new tenants and businesses.


Bradford Wyatt
President Osgood Bradley Building Corporation

Pats Lose Pats Lose

Whats worse blowing a 17 point lead in the 4th qtr to the Colts or getting you a-- kicked by the Saints?

I think it is safe to say, after not winning a road game all year, the Pats are now in the 2nd tier of good teams. The Colts, the Saints and the Vikings are the top teams. Not saying the Pats can not pull this out, but they are going to have to improve alot and get lucky.

November 30, 2009

Boston Globe Sunday Editorial

"Housing Policies leave cities behind"
You would almost think it was written by Jahn or me, click here. You got to read this!!!

November 29, 2009

9 May Street

I have to file this under "different rules for different people"... Here is what I can figure.

The sewer line in May Street is a combo sewer and drain line, which when it rains is near full capacity. As a result sewerage from 12 May Street can not enter the line and backs up into the basement and we have all seen the damage that has done.

On the other hand the sewer line on Main Street has capacity to handle the sewerage from 12 May Street. What to do? Just run a sewer line above ground through an abutting property that neither you nor the City of Worcester owns and tap into the Main Street line.

Imagine a private developer doing this?? The more I think about this, this really is incredible.

November 28, 2009


Day after T-day, November 27th, tipped the scales at a all-time high of 230 pounds. Paul, you have inspired me. I have a goal of 210 by April 1st? Five pounds per month for four months.

Worcester Fitness and Jared's Subway diet here I come.

November 27, 2009

Telegram Story

There is a story in the newspaper today entitled "Holy Cross official lashes out at D4 Councilor".

Reading the headline I assumed that during a public hearing a Holy Cross official went after Councilor Haller rudely. Then I read the story. The reporter was not even there; however, "several neighborhood residents told the Telegram that there was a private exchange after the meeting. How about the names of the neighborhood residents??? Do you really think "several neighborhood residents" called the Telegram about this exchange?

Then the reporter quotes comments from Mr Vellaccio, the Holy Cross official, from the person being "lashed out" it?? Wouldn't that be somewhat biased?? Did anyone else confirm these quotes? I would not even run this on the blog if someone reported this to me.

Next time Paul Colyer and I get into a heated arguement and he lashed out at me, I am going to call the Telegram and tell them how Paul "lashed out" at me and see if they run a story on it?

November 26, 2009

Neighborhood Stabilization Monies

For the hell of it I went on line to see how our Neighborhood Stabilization funds have been doled out. Looking up Neighborhood Stabilization Loan Fund on line, I have found 3 mortgages (grants):

  1. 10/1/9 Main South CDC $1,700,000 for 189 Beacon Street
  2. 9/21/9 Main South CDC $1,700,000 for 20 Charlton Street
  3. 9/6/9 Worcester Stabilization LLC (David Zisskind) $700,000 140 Eastern Ave

If I am reading this right Main South CDC has received 2 of 3 loans (which are really grants)granted for Neighborhood Stabilization to the tune of $3,400,000. I was told just the opposite that these Neighborhood Stabilization monies were suppose to be funneded to private property owners not just the CDS's.

In addition the Worcester City Economic Development

  1. 9/25/9 Main South CDC $400,000 for 93 Grand Street and 58 Gardner . Not to mention most of their NRSA monies went to this project also.

Over the last two months it looks $3,800,000 has gone to Main South CDC. What credit crisis? Ironically the Chandler Business Association, who has done ever thing that we were suppose to do regarding our NRSA, can get no monies for Year 3 funding when we have nearly $300,000 representing some 25 projects lined up.

A member send me a message today. Maybe we should call ourselves the Chandler Street CDC and we would get whatever we want? Starting to think he is right. Just another example of the unfair playing ground between the developers of low to mod income housing and the private developer in the City of Worcester.

Porter Airlines

New airlines out of Boston, Porter Airlines, could we get them to come to ORH?

Chicago Sun Times

Great story on how "Affordable housing units used by many to turn quick profit". This does not happen in Worcester since there is no market for condo resales, but who is making sure that the people receiving millions in grants are making sure that underlying tenants are in fact low to mod income and "qualify" during the affordable period.

Hadley Apartments

The Hadley project is suppose to have condos coming, but more importantly where is the parking lot/garage? The tenants in the apartment building and the new condos are suppose to have off street parking.

Does anyone know the status of this facet of the project?

November 25, 2009

Royal Institution Property

The Chandler Business Association has asked for a copy of the LDA (Land Disposition Agreement) for the parcel that was sold 4 years ago on November 5th, 2005. We have not received it yet.

November 24, 2009

1-7 Piedmont Street

Worcester's latest low-mod income property development. According to the website: This project is designed to serve single residents or couples through the construction of 12 one bedroom apartments on floors two to four at affordable rates in addition to providing 4 commercial/studio/retail spaces on the street level. There is a deficit of both in this target area.

How much is this going to cost? Appears to be two loans:
  1. Book 43717 page 1 Mass Housing/EONS 2,756,012
  2. Book 43716 page 343 Banknorth 520,800

In other words in the 3,200,000 - 3,300,000 million dollar range. Please note this project has absolutely no off street parking. Ironically I am listening to the D4 Councilor at the City Council complaining how a project on the corner of May/Woodland that has provided off street parking, but the tenants are parking in the street not the said lot, thus putting a strain on the neighborhood.

Where do you think the people who live at 1-7 Piedmont Street will park, when in fact there is no off street parking at all? ZBA waived all parking requirements here. Just another example of the double standard between private developers and developers of low to mod income housing.

12 Hollis Street


  1. bk 43126 pg 310 deed 130,000
  2. bk 43126 pg 323 bank mortgage 100,100
  3. bk 43126 pg 339 bank mortgage 26,000
  4. bk 43126 pg 348 city of worcester 66,519
  5. bk 43126 pg 353 city of worcester 4,500

10 Hollis St


  1. book 43126 page 188 deed 130,000
  2. book 43126 page 201 bank mortgage 100,100
  3. book 43126 page 217 bank mortgage 26,000
  4. book 43126 page 226 city of Worcester 66,519 (home funds)
  5. book 43143 page 244 city of worcester 4,500 (home funds)

10B Kilby Street


  1. book 43405 page 247 deed 130,000
  2. book 43405 page 260 bank mortgage 127,991
  3. book 43405 page 270 worcester mortgage 66,619.70
  4. book 43405 page 275 worcester mortgage 5717

November 23, 2009

8A & 8B Kilby Street

After reading about the Housing Director, I decided to check out some recent sales; for example 8B Kilby Street. All these transactions recorded the same day-- 11/13/2008

  1. Book 43505 Page 314 Deed 130,000
  2. Book 43505 Page 326 Mortgage 100,100 from Bank of America
  3. Book 43505 Page 342 Mortgage 26,000 from Bank of America
  4. Book 43505 Page 358 Mortgage 7,510 from Mass Housing Partnership

So far so good. Bottom line it is mortgaged to the hilt. Here is where I get confused there is a 4th mortgage

5. Book 43505 Page 365 Mortgage 66,519 from the City of Worcester

Jahn, help!!! Here you have a property sold for 130,000, but now has 4 mortgages in excess of 200,000? Bottom line it appears to me that the Main South CDC can sell a unit for $130,000 get it 100% financed and then get the city of Worcester to kick in another $66,000!!!! Bottom line Main South CDC gets about $200,000 for a unit that they sell for $130,000???

Same with 8A Kilby on 12/22/8

  1. Book 43615 page 289 deed 130,000
  2. Book 43615 page 301 mortgage Bank of America 100,100
  3. Book 43615 page 317 mortgage Bank of America 26,000
  4. Book 43615 page 335 mortgage City of Worcester 66,519

In total it looks like both side of this duplex were sold for $130,000 each, but the Main South CDC received about 400,000, not 260,000,, since the City of Worcester gave out over $132,000 in HOME funds? Worse part is that these mortgages helld by the City of Worcester are in last position. If the mortgagee ever goes into default on any of the "hard" mortgages and a non low to mod income person takes title during the affordability period, the presiding jurisdiction (City of Worcester) needs to pay back the HOME funds.

November 22, 2009

Housing Director

There is a story in the newspaper today about the City of Worcester Housing Director, Scott Hayman, being put on administrative leave. Before I comment, let me say how untrue it is when someone asks why I hate low to mod income housing. I don't!! My problem, however, is that in Worcester there is an over-reliance on low to mod income projects, when we are well beyond the Commonwealth of Massachusetts required level. We need market-rate housing!!

Same here, I like Scott Hayman, although I have questionned many of Scott's Housing policies and decisions over the past ten years. In fact, about 5 years ago an empty building went out for RFP on Gardner Street, right behind Moynihan's, that was awarded to Main South CDC. About 6 months after the award, I was told that Main South CDC was not interested and I could buy it through direct negotiations, since I owned the abutting empty lot.

About a month later, the Main South CDC changed their mind and now wanted to buy it? I questioned this since the initial RFP stated the winning bidder had to buy the property within either 30 or 60 days? It was now some 7 months later!!! The Executive Office of Neighborhood Services (EONS) disagreed with me and continued with the sale to the Main South CDC until I called the Inspector General, who agreed with me and ordered the property to be rebid. This prompted the Executive Director of the Main South CDC proceeded to call me a "pain in the ass" in Worcester Mag. Evidently asking for terms of an RFP to be enforced, which the Inspector General agreed was the right thing to do, is being a "pain in the ass"?

This one transaction exemplifies the whole problem with the City of Worcester Housing Policy and their over-reliance on CDC's, whose main function is to create more low to mod income housing in the City of Worcester. If Jahn, I or you had won the bid, you can bet that that we would not have gotten any extension to put up the cash to buy the property.

Exactly what the City of Worcester is looking into?? Don't know, but I have a couple of requests:
  • Review all LDA (Land Disposition Agreements) that have been signed the past five-seven years on properties conveyed via the RFP (Request for Proposal) process. Look no furter then the former Royal Linen property on Mason Street that was conveyed over 4 years ago, are they in compliance with the LDA?
  • Review the financial statements of the 5 NRSA's. How can the Beacon Brightly NRSA invest practically all of their monies to benefit the Main South CDC?
  • Review the policy, whereby a private party partners with a local non-profit partner, moves the property temporarily into the non-profits contol so that they can get EPA Brownfield Grant monies only to transfer it back when the clean-up is done. This was done on Mason Street and is proposed to be done at City Builders. Is this legal?
  • How do the same contractors time and time again get all the contracting work, who by the way, many of which are not based in Worcester?

Maybe this is a good time for the City of Worcester to review the whole direction of our Housing Policy. In 2003, we paid RKG some $25,000 to do a Housing Study and it was awesome. They nailed it and told the City of Worcester it was over-reliant on the CDC's and their quest to build low to mod income housing developments everywhere. RKG even suggested that we tear down three deckers to provide off street parking for the neighborhood, versus spending $600,000 to rehab a three decker.

At that time their conclusions were attacked, by those with a vested interest to see the current policy continue, and the City of Worcester caved, disregarded all the recommendations in the study and continued to do everything that RKG told us not to do. Check out my map. City Manager O'Brien and the City Council should not pay for another study, but merely dust off the RKG study, read the conclusion and change the whole direction of our Housing policy.

Lastly get ready for the wave of people, the same ones who attacked the RKG Study without knowing any of the facts that need the gravy train of Federal and State monies to keep building more low to mod income housing to support their livelihood, come to Scott's defense .

November 19, 2009

CitySquare Financing

The rumor mill is cranking today. Remember how financing was with, I believe, Starwood. New financing now–believe it or not- Hanover Insurance Co.

On the reliability meter I give it a 8.5 out of 10

Today is officially ground hog's day

The Chamber letter on abolishing the dual tax system in the paper, click here, although I got to like the plug on the Chandler NRSA

Bay State Bank

There was a story in the Telegram today about how they changed the bank into a loan center, click here. Why do you think they did this????

Now this is completely unconfirmed but my opinion, but how many times had this bank been held up the past 3-4 years? How much business do you think the retail tellers actually did here??

I would chalk this up as closed business.

November 18, 2009

Project Status

  • Blackstone Visitor Center
  • Pharmasphere
  • UNUM move
  • Sale of ORH
  • the property across from Elm Park



DIrect Air and Dulles

Direct Air will offer service to Dulles International Airport from Melbourne, Fl, six days a week, twice a day beginning Jan. 11.

UNUM comments on CitySquare

In today's Telegram, click here. Here is one quote

“I think we’re very focused on getting the lease settled. So again, I want to assure, we are absolutely committed to that project. We’re very excited about that project and, again, getting the development under way.”

Please note the absence of a date. My January 1st deadline bet is looking with Dewey.

November 17, 2009

Anonymous COmment

Want to make sure everyone see this to my post below that was e-mailed to me

Anonymous said...

This was the only time since Direct Air has been at the airport that passengers had to be bussed to Hartford. It does not happen a lot as was stated. Also, I just tried to book a flight around Xmas, and it looks like Direct Air has added many flights to the schedule! Great sign!

Larry Johnson

Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis said Monday the team would meet with Johnson, cut last week by the Chiefs, but added Johnson would be a backup to Cedric Benson if he signed on.

November 16, 2009

Tosh O

Absolutely hilarious on Comedy Central. Here is one of his skits for "web redemption". Click here and check out the current video on the guy whose ladder collapsed during an infomercial.

Here are the other web redemptions.

Pats Game

How did that happen???

We can go back and forth, but if Maroney does not full the ball at the goal lie the pats win. Do you remember Antwone Smith? Give me Larry Johnson. Now that Taylor and Morris are hurt, we need a solid running back.

November 14, 2009

Lew E

You know the State Rep from Holden with an "R" after his name. He sent out an e-mail today that, more or less, if Glodis runs for State Auditor he would seriously consider a run at the Sheriff.

Good e-mail and Lew is a good man, I would consider him for my vote and I would not even have to change my address to Worester.

Airport Customer e-mails (3)

Hi Bill,

Sorry I took so long but do not think we will use this airport again. It was foggy so we had to be bused to Hartford. From what I hear this happens a lot. The computers were down at the airport also. We also had bought our seats but they said that did not matter it would be open seating. But I must say it sure did seem like a good idea and a very nice airport.

Hi Bill,

I was impressed with the planes, very clean, very spacious and modern. The crew was good too. I just think it is the fact that I can not depend on them if it has rain or fog.

They did give me a $100 credit to fly if I book again within a year because they did change our flight dates also as we were supposed to leave on Thursday and they cancelled Thursday flights.

November 13, 2009

Salter School

Gret story by Clive today, click here. The thing the Salter School need to go was to rename themselves Salter School CDC and add in some low to mod income housing and they would have gotten anything that they wanted from the Zoning Board of Appeals.

On a serious note I don't really know the whole story so I am not taking sides. My point is I only wish the ZBA was as tough when a CDC comes in front of them asks for 100 different variances and gets them? The people on the board are all good people and they think they are doing the right thing (low to mod income housing), but they really need to take a step back and rethink this.

November 12, 2009

Residency Rules

There is a story in the newspaper today that the Mayor wants to be more lenient on the residency rules. Click here.

I agree with her. In fact I already thought we had been doing this:

  • some politicos vote whereever no matter where they live
  • State Senators live in Boston while representing Worcester
  • city councilors change to voting addresses to their mom's house

On a serious note maybe we should consider letting people who do not live in the City of Worcester serve on boards? The only requirement being that they must be a tax-payer in the City of Worcester.

Direct Air Adding Melbourne

Note this article from the Niagara Gazette. Here is part of it:

FALLS AIRPORT: Direct Air adding flights to Melbourne
Service between Falls and Florida will appeal to cruise and theme park travelers

November 11, 2009

CVS Update from Councilor Rosen

Here's information regarding the CVS.

I talked to CVS' Director of Real Estate for this region. She said that, with the acquisition last year by CVS of the over 500 California based Long Drug Stores for $3 billion, CVS now has over 7000 stores to manage in the USA.

CVS intends to open the new Park Avenue (at May St.) store on January 24, 2010. Thats more than two months away for a store that appears to have been completed a few months ago.

This new CVS store will be replacing the small store doing business now on Park Avenue near Pleasant St. At first I was told that there might be some legal issue with the lease at the small store, issues that require CVS to keep that store open for so many months more before a new store can replace it within such close proximity. Perhaps the landlord receives more rent if the store's sale figures reach a certain plateau. She said if that's the case, the lease could have a clause in it to protect the landlord from decreasing sales caused by the actions (closing) of this CVS. This issue was one that she was not completely sure of.

She also suggested that, with the acquisition of Longs stores, their limited number of setup teams have been working hard on those transitions and probably haven't been available to the Worcester and other new stores around the country. In scheduling Worcester's new Park Avenue store for setup and opening, they also didn't want to disrupt the Christmas and Hanukkah shopping season at the present small store.

I asked her why the word "Pharmacy" is covered on the new store. She said that laws provide that a pharmacy can't be advertised at any new store until the MA Board of Pharmacy has officially licensed a pharmacy to operate at that location. That won't happen until much closer to the grand opening in January.


Last night city council meeting

You know the one that starts at 7:00PM? Started last night at about 7:38PM!!!

CVS on Park

Why has it not opened yet? Anyone know???

I have been told it has something to do with their occupancy permit?? Strictly unconfirmed, but something along the lines if they get an occupancy permit now they need to pay taxes for the whole year but if they wait until January 1st--they will save alot of money????

Again strictly rumor. Anyone out there know what is going on.

November 10, 2009

Worc Community Healthlink

This is what I am hearing, talked to some of the contractors.. The work be done up there is outside is to expland the parking lot. Inside, however, work is being done on the 5th floor to house PIP customers overnight. Why they need an expanded parking lot is beyond me???

Also work may continue on other floors. 25???


Maybe it is me but I am not sure how I feel about taking a problem like the PIP and saying that we are making it all better by spreading their clients throughout the City of Worcester?

WCRN Tomorrow 11AM

Chandler Businss Group will be on with Gary tomorrow

November 09, 2009

Come to New Hampshire

Check out

El Deliciosso

They are no longer mobile. They have set up shop on the corner of Park Ave and Chandler. Rumor has it that it already a hot spot for trouble at night with one shooting.

Woo Card

Check out the Woo Card website. I got a flier in the mail today regarding a kick-off event on November 23rd 11:30AM at the Hanover hosted by Jim McGovern.

I have note read the flier and have reviewed the website. Is this card free or does it cost money to earn the discounts through the WooCard. If it does cost money, how much? Actually, I just found it costs $20 bucks to start wooing.

Here are some of the benefits:
  • 50% discount off the Christmas Carol at the Hanover
  • Ecotarium $2 off adult and $1 off children tickets
  • Music Worcester $3 off regular admission
  • Museum of Russian icons-buy one ticket get one free
  • Fruitlands-buy one ticket get one free

Too bad restaurants could not sign up and off a discount if you use the WooCard?

Open Question

Restaurants next to Hanover.. Anyone noticed that not much work has been going on there. Anyone know a status?

Jahn was right

Months ago Jahn said that he heard Diamond Chevrolet was moving. Another blogger heard the ad and I heard it today. Diamond Chevrolet is off to Auburn.

November 07, 2009


In Nick K column before election he mentioned how Frank Raffa has started a write in campaign against Phil Palmieri. The reason being if Phil were to run for Pedone's seat and win, then Frank would be the next district councilor as the runner up.

What caught my eye was when Nick wrote Mr. Palmieri recently changed his voter registration address to 247 Shrewsbury St., which is where his mother lives, where he grew up and in Mr. Pedone’s legislative district. Mr. Palmieri’s previous voting address at 28 Buckingham St. is outside Mr. Pedone’s district and is instead represented by state Rep. James O’Day, D-West Boylston, whom Phil ran against and lost.

Say that again? You can just change you voter registration to your mom's address. Does this mean I can just change to my mom's address too and vote in the City of Worcester elections? Maybe I can do that and run for City Council.

Guess if we allow a person to be our State Senator for four years, who lived in Boston but declared his mom's address as residency, nothing should surprise us.

November 05, 2009

Worcester's Ground Hog Day

The annual right of fall when the Chamber of Commerce comes out complaining about the dual tax system is fast approaching.

Harrington Corner

Looking good

Mike Warshaw

Just was on Fox 25 news for a good 5 minutes talking about the Bay State's top 100 places to work. Looked and sounded good.


7:00AM Holden

Last night I go to bed with the Yankees leading game 6th in the 8th inning. Today I pick up newspaper and go right to the sports section and see a listing for Game 7 and time, Think to myself somehow the Phillies must have won only to see a subtitle under the picture with a score from the 6th inning.

For all my fellow bloggers, there will be no Game 7. The Yankees won last night 7-3 and are the World Series Champs of 2009. Maybe tomorrow the Worcester Telegram will have that on the front page of the sports section.

8:00AM Worcester

Just got to work and the newspaper had the Yankees winning the World Series.. Must have been the Holden edition.

November 04, 2009

Mayor O'Brien

Congrats to our new Mayor. Just heard that he won every single precinct. That is incredible.

$12 Million tax levy limit

Now that the election is over, this will be the big issue over the next three months. The philosophy will be how can we expect more money from the Commonwealth when we are $12 million under the tax levy.

Council will vote to tap into the last $12 million. Dewey, looks like I will win the UNUM bet which is less then two months away. Double or nothing on this one.

The day after

I would never make is a political pollster. Remember a few months back I wrote that we should just have 11 councilors, all at large, and no district councilors. Well, I am back on that again.

First, it is very difficult to beat a sitting district councilor.

Second, since there are only 6 at large spots it is pretty hard for someone to break in on a city wide basis.

In other words, at most we may get 1 maybe 2 new councilors every two years under the currrent system. If it was the top 11 , I think you would see more turn over and more interest.

November 03, 2009


15% voter turn-out today,

6:55PM..... Here is my other prediction, I think Casella stands a very good chance of beating Smith.. As far as the other races, I have no clue.

Editorial on Philly Plan

Click here

Put my comment on the Telegram website

Gardner Property Taxes

Story in Worcester paper, click here. Small section:

With the city struggling to attract new business in a slow economy, the City Council voted last night to continue to tax all property at the same rate.

During a public hearing before the vote, City Assessor Dennis Comee told councilors that charging industrial or commercial taxpayers more than residential ones would hamper the city’s economic development efforts.

November 02, 2009


Save the Date

Monday, November 23, 2009

11:30 a.m.

Hanover Theatre
for the Performing Arts
2 Southbridge Street
Worcester, MA 01608

Congressman Jim McGovern

invites you to

join him when he unveils

the Worcester Cultural Coalition's new WOO Card.

November 01, 2009

Royal Linen Building

Four years ago tomorrow, November 2, 2005, the City of Worcester deeded the former Royal Linen Property (48 Mason Street) to Mason Winfield LLC.
  • 11/2/5 book 37717 page 51 48 Mason Street 66,853
  • 11/2/5 book 37717 page 59 47 Mason Street 43,147
  • Total 110,000

Two months later Mason Winfield transferred 48 Mason Street to one of the minority owner stake-holders (Worcester Common Ground, a non profit entity) for $10,

  • 1/1/06 book 38185 page 55 48 Mason Street $10

Since that time Worcester Common Ground has received a grant in the amount of 170,000 from the EPA BCRLF to remediate 48 Mason Street. Since Common Ground is a non-profit they (Common Ground) will not have to pay the 170,000 back. It is grant.

Some four years later not a thing has been build on 48 Mason Street. Since this property was dispensed via an RFP (Request for Proposal), there must be a corresponding LDA (Land Disposition Agreement), which spells out the timeline of development that the buyer agreed to honor.

Lets hope the terms of the LDA are enforced.

Public Option

In a Wall Street Journal article, the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) estimates by the year 2019, 30 million will be insured through the new government run insurance exchange, while 6 million of which will have the public option. There is absolutely no way will this happen, look no further then the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' government insurance exchange, the Connector Authority, who had similar estimates. Lets look at what has happened here.

First, the private insurance sold through the Connector Authority has had very little success. Why? There simply is no savings for a person to go this route. Although alot of people complain about the cost of health insurance (including myself), the private carriers competing in the marketplace simply do not have the waste and extravagances that many allege. This begs the question why would anyone want to pay more to go through any of these government exchanges, if there is no savings? They will not and have not in Massachusetts unless of course it is the only place for them to get insurance which typically will lead to adverse selection, bad claims experience for the underlying exchange and even worse rates.

Second, the public option. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts offers a highly subsidized plan for people earning up to 300% of the Federal Poverty limit called Commonwealth Care, without any questions pertaining to a person's assets. An applicant can literally be worth millions of dollars, but if there income falls below the guidelines below, they can get Commonwealth Care.
  • 1 $32,496
  • 2 $43,716
  • 3 $54,936
  • 4 $66,156
  • 5 $77,376
  • 6 $88,596
  • 7 $99,816
  • 8 $111,036

A family of 4 earning under $66,156, even one of substantial wealth, qualifies for Commonwealth Care. These plans have good benefits and great rates, much less then the private marketplace. This has been wildly successful and far exceeded estimates with nearly 200,000 subscribers. The cost to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, however, has been hundreds of millions per year now rumored to be close to 1 BILLION dollars in the read, also far beyond initial estimates.

The Federally run public option will even have a larger pool of applicants since it increase the guidelines to 400% of the Federal Poverty limit! If 200,000 members costs the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 1 BILLION, what will 6 million members cost the Federal Government. Now keep in mind that the 6 million will most likely be 20 million, since the rates are cheaper then the marketplace and a person earning up to 400% of the Federal Income limit, without any regards to net worth, can qualify.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. The public option will merely see a huge migration from the private marketplace to a tax-payer subsidized option costing the Federal Government hundreds of billions of dollars.

October 31, 2009

Direct Air adds Fort Myers

The new Niagara Falls International Airport terminal has finally landed its first carrier for an inaugural flight to take off in mid-December.
Direct Air will fly from the falls to Ft. Myers, Florida .

October 29, 2009

Block 5

Drove by today
Now the Jewel Box--Asian


By the way thanks Dave for sending me that story in the last post. Just a reminder you have only two months left on our bet.

Sale of ORH

How many times did I say we should put the entire airport out to bid??

How many times did Councilor Rosen ask the same question??

Well here you go, Great piece with the Worcester Business Journal. The key line being

The city should not expect to make any money on the sale of Worcester Airport to Massport. In fact, the city may find itself putting any proceeds from the sale of the airport right back into the airport's operating budget, according to Ed Freni, Massport's director of aviation.

Freni spoke this morning during a panel discussion entitled Getting from Here to There: The Central Mass Transportation Network put on by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau. The city currently owns the airport and pays about 20 percent of its operating deficit with Massport paying the rest.

Freni said if Massport were to buy the facility, any profits gained by the city in the sale "would be placed back into the airport. Any funds paid to Worcester in the sale would be applied to the operations of the airport." He said the city and Massport could arrange a profit sharing partnership subsequent to the sale.

What push back do we have?? None!! We never tried to find another buyer to compete against MassPort so now we are really at their mercy.

October 28, 2009

Chamber of Commerce

Where is the Chamber of Commerce???? When was the last time anyone has heard anything from them?? Seriously anyone, who reads this blog, are you a member of the Chamber of Commerce???

In Boston do you have any idea how strong the Chamber of Commerce is? Or for that matter any of the Chambers that surround the City of Worcester, It is, however, tax classification time so we should be getting the annual letter to the Telegram, appearances on the local radio shows and a cameo at the City Council until the same time next year.

Our current Chamber focuses on entertainment:
  • business after hours
  • recruitment of sport teams
  • tv shows

Where were they on:

  • the FOG ordinance, grease trap issue
  • bedroom hook-up fees for builders
  • parking over lay districts
  • facade program outside the NRSA districts

I don't know if any tax monies go towards the Chamber, although I bet we do, but we should consider to stop funding them.

Paulie's blog word for word

The Philadelphia Plan is really a very simple plan to initiate in WooTown and it will require some very simple things from it's citizens;
  1. have some pride....evah hear someone from Philly say they can't be Pittsburgh?
  2. support yer baseball team....even during lean times!elect officials who actually come up with idea's like the "real" Philadelphia Plan......leave the vendor and personal property leash law ideas to town officials from Weston, MA
  3. support yer hockey team.....even during lean times!
  4. start giving incentives to the's okay to be good to those who create and contribute!
  5. begin to work together instead of fighting like the little fiefdoms of past.....Philly & Pittsburgh didn't re-create themselves by squabbling about pools for 22 months:>)

Undoing the dual property tax system

Think people all agree that we made a mistake in 1984 when we switched to the dual tax system. Instead of commercial and residential tax-payers working together to come up with an equitable rate, we pit one side against the other.

Are we the only municipality in the country to have a dual tax rate? No!!

Here is a better question. Has there EVER been a municipality that had a sual tax rate that switched back to a single rate?


Answer to Jahn comment


Here goes. First you doadmit that the commercial base is leaving the city or worcester and costing residents on their annual taxes, right? Assuming you agree with that, my question is how do we reverse this trend? In other words, what is your plan?

Second, for some of your points. The final version of the Philly Plan are not done--obviously. The Citizens for business have targeted what are referred to as the Commercial Area Revitalization Districts in the City of Worcester:
  • Canal District
  • Downtown
  • Lower Lincoln Street Corridor
  • Main South
  • Pleasant/Chandler Streets Corridor
  • Shrewsbury/Arctic/Grafton Streets Corridor
  • Southbridge Street/South Worcester Industrial Park (SWIP)

Our initial plans were to merely target new commercial projects or expansions on existing commercial projects, not residential projects. Now for some of your questions (I changed some of your words around):

1) So if I own an existing commercial property that is not in one of these districts, I basically end up subsidizing these new projects more then ordinary because I now pick up some of the taxes that the new construction are not paying?

Jahn. look no further then Demers Goodyear and Manoog Plumbing. These were two properties in a CARD district, let me ask you how much do they now pay in property taxes? Answer--nothing!!! Both were bought by churches. Maybe if we had a Philadelphia type plan, a commercial entity would have bought these properties and kept the properties on the tax rolls.

Do not understand how attracting commercial development in targeting areas that have none can possibly increase the taxes of other commercial, or for that matter residential property owners.

2) Do we know if there is a nexus between reduced taxes and new construction?

We don't. Once we pass this type of plan, we will track results to see if in fact there is.

Jahn, the Phliadelphia Plan that the Citizens for Business is merely attempting to attract commercial development in targeting areas to help increase our tax base that will help all the current tax-payers, both commercial and residential. Again , I leave you with, if you do not like this plan, what is your plan?

October 27, 2009

Council Tonight

Request City Manager review the Philadelphia Plan and soon provide a recommendation to the City Council on what legal and legislative steps must be taken to implement it in the City of Worcester. The highly successful Philadelphia Plan allows residents and business owners the opportunity to apply for an abatement that freezes for a decade real estate taxes on new industrial and commercial construction, as well as on renovations to deteriorated properties. (Rosen, Clancy)

D4 highlight

A questionnaire from the audience posed a question to Miss Kelly, as in Grace Kelly....

October 26, 2009

Debate Tonight

The Chandler Street Business Association will be sponsoring it's final debate on October 26, 2009 - 7:00 P.M. at the Chandler Community School between District 4 City Councilor Barbara Haller and her challenger Grace Ross...the debate will be moderated by Gary Rosen & Brendan Melican.This Debate is open to the public and all who have a stake in District 4 are encouraged to attend.

October 24, 2009

Chernisky nails it

Worcester has too much rental housing. Worcester’s housing stock consists of 40 percent homeowners and 60 percent rentals. This isn’t good. Worcester should have 60 percent homeowners and 40 percent rentals.

Every problem Worcester has can be traced to its oversupply of rental housing. Problems like blight, crime, noise pollution, high taxes, no pools, no sidewalk repair and no tax base are the result of poor housing policy. For example, if Worcester increased its homeownership rate to 60 percent, the crime rate would plummet.

Voters must understand that housing policy controls everything about a community, and too much rental housing is a killer. In fact, it was rental housing that brought down the city of Springfield. The City Council needs to take action.

  • First, initiate a moratorium on the production of rental housing, the only exceptions being senior housing and mixed-use developments.
  • Second, push for the condominiumization of Worcester’s three-deckers. Worcester has about 4,000 three-deckers, and we need to condominiumize 2,000 of them, adding 6,000 new homeowners, strengthening and upgrading the inner-city neighborhoods.
  • Third, all three-deckers west of Park Avenue must be condominiumized to protect the integrity of the West Side as an upper-income area. City government should offer big financial incentives to condo converters to get the job done.

Remember, Worcester has many good rental people, but a lot of bad ones too, and the noise pollution alone from these bad guys can destroy a neighborhood. That’s why our goal should be 60 percent homeowners. RICHARD L. CHERNISKY

October 22, 2009

78 Pleasant Street

The sign is back!!!

We rent is out for the day at $25 a pop. Bday wished, political endorsements, etc let me know.


Still has not changed hands. Remember they bid $1 for the parcel last January and were to suppose to break ground last Spring. Maybe we should not worry about a parcel like this before we question Wyman Gordon and what they do with their property?

October 20, 2009



I believe Virginia Buckingham, ex Executive Director and CEO, still works for IMG. We are using them as our consultant in negotiations for the sale of ORH?

How about hiring a company like airport Jack Randal Poteet and Associates that specialize in airport valuations?

Kudos to Rosen

Great question on the sale of the airport.

The airport is transferred whether there is an agreement in place on June 30th of 2010. On our side handling the negotiations City Mgr, the Assistant City Mgr, Tom Z and David Moore with help from IMG. Come again??

The same guys who charged us 100,000 of thousands of dollars for a report and successfully recruited one airline are advising us at to how to structure the deal with MassPort??? In fact these guys even advised us in their recommendation not to put the airport out to bid and sell to MassPort..

Let me ask you this, lets assume IMG beats the hell out of MassPort during their negotiations, do you think MassPort would want to hire them? Wasn't an old head of MassPort work at IMG???

I am glad that the City of Worcester is out of the airport business. MassPort will be a huge improvement but I don't like the way this is being done and question whether or not the tax-payers will get the highest return for this asset.


Allegiant Travel Co. (ALGT: News ), parent company of Allegiant Air and Allegiant Vacations, reported that third quarter net income surged to $13.8 million or $0.68 per share, from $4.9 million or $0.24 per share in the year-ago quarter.Total operating revenue for the quarter rose 13.9% to $133.1 million from $116.9 million in the same quarter a year earlier.On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters estimated the company to report $0.63 per share for the quarter on $130.45 million revenue.

JetBlue Boston

NEW YORK — JetBlue Airways Corp. said Monday it was expanding its service at Boston's Logan International Airport.

The New York-based carrier said in a statement that five daily nonstop flights from Boston to Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport will begin on March 1, 2010.
The airline, on Sept. 9, launched new service to Baltimore with four daily flights to complement its existing six daily flights between Boston and Washington Dulles International Airport.

October 19, 2009

Quinn Bill

Confused by some of the comments (Jahn).

My point is if you (the city of Worcester) says you will pay what is provided under the Quinn bill in a contract, you need to pay it. Plain and simple?? I am not saying it is right or wrong, but I am saying is that a signed contract trumps.

It so happens that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, who paid a portion of the Quin bill, changes their mind and stops, the City of Worcester is on the hook unless the signed contract has provisions for this condition. Since they do not (as far as I understand), they need to honor the contract.

Again, I am not picking sides. Two parties who sign a contract, each side needs to honor it. If during the terms of the contract, either party is not happy with a provision then they deal with it at the next contract. You can not contest during the term of the signed contract.

Can someone tell me who represented the City of Worcester during the last contract, who failed to address this possibility, while other cities and towns did?

Board Openings

Click here

3 for the airport

Police Contract

It always bugs me when an athlete has a good year and tries to hold out for more money. Honor your contract!!

That is how I feel about the WPD. In the last contract negotiations, the City of Worcester made no stipulation as to what would happen if the Commonwealth of Massachusetts stopped funding their portion of the Quin bill. The City of Worcester needs to honor their contract.

On the other hand, there were other cities and towns in their contract negotiations clearly stipulated that they would not pick up the Commonwealth side of the Quinn bill if the Commonwealth stopped funding it. In those cities and towns, there is no fight since that possibility was covered in their contract.

Obviously this needs to be brought up in the next contract, but as far as not honoring the current contract? How can we not? Better yet, I hope that whoever we used in the last contract negotiations, who made this mistake, is not being used in there negotiations.

October 18, 2009

Today's Telegram

Good story from Nemeth, Nick K and Diane K. As a Saint John's gard another great story on Charlie Bibaud. Got to say one of the better Sunday Telegrams in some time.

Tim is right, City of Worcester entire website has a nice new look.

October 17, 2009

Ride Down 290

Noticed two things

  1. Big billboard for Green Airport
  2. Siemans Sign going up on Morgan Construction

Kind of speaks volumes about Worcester's commercial base?

October 16, 2009

Webster House

Changed hands October 1st

October 15, 2009

South Worcester Business Council

South Worcester Business Council starting to pick up some momentum, trying to duplicate the success of the Chandler Business Group and the Chandler NRSA. To date we have two meetings and already have three facades (two business-owners) starting the facade process.

Tomorrow we are meeting with Ron Charette of the South Worcester to:

  1. Review the monies spent from inception thru today in the South Worcester NRSA
  2. Work on future budgets

Will update here results.

Southgate Place Gets 3.8 Million

Excellent more money for another low to mod income housing project!!

click here

The state will put $50.3 million in federal stimulus money into 10 stalled housing development projects, including four in Central Massachusetts.

Gov. Deval Patrick's office said the money is intended to make up for the lack of equity in the low income housing tax credit market. The U.S. Treasury is providing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds and allowing states to convert tax credits into grants.
In Central Massachusetts, the Southgate Place project, which is part of the planned revitalization of the South Worcester Industrial Park, will receive $3.8 million.

Although the neighbors do not want the project, Worcester has way too much low to mod income housing, thee is no market for low income housing tax credits-- Southgate Place is getting 3.8 million dollars..

Council Pursues Public Sale of Surplus Property

Story in Telegram, click here. Could not agree more. In the past (2002 and 2003) the City of Worcester, when real estate was at a premium sold the following properties to the Main South CDC:

  1. 1 Hollis St (Bk 27314 pg 329)
  2. 196 Beacon St (BBk 30709 pg 148)
  3. 194 Beacon St (Bk 30709 pg 142)
  4. 190 Beacon St (Bk 30709 pg 137)
  5. 25 Hollis St (BK 30709 pg 131)
  6. 11 Gardner St (Bk 30709 pg 125)
  7. 19 Kilby St (Bk 30709 pg 118)

Total Sale price $6,410. Now that was not the average sale price but the grand total sale price for 7 buildable parcels.

October 14, 2009

Dewey Bet

If the deal is not signed by UNUM by the end of the year, you owe me that drink

Local Sales Tax

FYI… only 34 of 351 cities and towns in Mass. took advantage of the local option meals tax. The only other central Mass. community to do this besides Worcester is Auburn. This basically brings the total tax paid on a meal out to 7% in Worcester versus 6.25% elsewhere in Mass.

October 13, 2009

One Bum

I remember when right behind Faneuil Hall there was the Route 93 overpass and the Long Wharf Marriott seemed a hundred miles away. The Big Dig took that down and put the road underground opening up the whole area and realling bringing Faneuil Hall together with the North End.. It is incredible what they have done down there.

As I mentioned before I was amazed as to how many families there living. It really is nice and must be a great lifestyle.
I did, however, see one bum passed out. Don't worry I gave him a few bucks and told him that Pajama People are welcomed with open arms and that the housing opportunities were much better for a person with no income in Worcester. Also told him not to settle for anything but new construction and warned him not to take any basement apartments.

School Committee Debates

Kudos to Paulie:

  1. Summer work crew
  2. Nola Fest
  3. Candidate night
  4. now the debates

Also a big thank you to Brendan and Gary. I was there for about 45 minutes. Very well attended, mostly parishioners of the Buddhist Temple as well as some area business-owners. Check out Paul's blog for more details.

Got to be honest, I was actually impressed by all the School Committee Members and the 3 new people running.

October 12, 2009

Chandler Business Group

Paulie lives and works right on Chandler Street. We need more people like Paul in the area. Over the past several months, he has had many problems with neighbors as documented on his blog.

The other night after more trash was thrown in the planters that we put on the street, why buy city bags and Paul told them about it. Check this out. Makes you want to move there huh? The City Manager's office is well aware of these problems and lets hope they do something to assist good people like Paul and we somehow make our urban core a place people want to live, work and bring up a family.

Not a place to move from?

Harbor Towers garage project

click here

Harbor Towers Garage

There is a $900 million project underway to turn this garage into a 900 million three huge towers. Walked by and checked out some of the literature. In total there will be 18 "affordable" units. In Worcester we would have had 18 "market" units.

I know comparing Boston to Worcester is unfair, but the private monies that are bing invested in the core of Boston is unreal. Meanwhile in Worcester there are only public subsidized projects in the urban core. Right now I can count two projects in the CARD districts:
  1. Piedmont Street
  2. Kilby Street

Projects on deck:

  1. City Builders--South Worcester
  2. Chevalier--Winn
  3. Old Trade School-- Winn
  4. Mason Street-Common Ground and partner
  5. 93 Grand Street-Main South CDC

We need to waive permitting fees and freeze assessed values for privately funded market housing.

October 11, 2009

Friend of Christopher Columbus Park

Correct website

People make the city

Spending the week-end at the Long Wharf Marriott--Paul keeps telling me I need to get out of the City of Worcester. Ironically he happens to be in Charlestown.

Everyone knows about Faneuil Hall, but over the past couple of days I have found out how much the Back Bay/North End has changed. You can not believe the number of young families, walking their dogs spending their day hanging out at Christopher Columbus Park. Actually I am sitting here on the free wifi watching Vangella on the playground, waiting for the concert and parade (Joe's Grille in background).

You can build a pocket park, build a skating rink on the common, build a brand new pool on Crompton Park, pass street vendor ordinance but nothing will change in Worcester for the better until we get quality people (with income) that want to live in Worcester. The answer is not in low to mod income housing.

Councilor Rosen the playground and sidewalks in the park seem to be the rubber that I have heard you mention many times.

October 10, 2009

78 Pleasant Street

Years ago the City of Worcester placed a huge block in the sidewalk as a basement for a sign to direct people to the airport. ign never came, although the base concrete sat there for years. This week it was taken away.

October 09, 2009

Paul Link

Must read

October 08, 2009

9 May Street Variance

Just read it Book 40544 Page 48. Although there are 46 one, two and three bedroom units that would require at least 100 parking spots (not sure of the break-out), a variance was granted with only 32 parking spaces -- .695 cars per unit (which I do not even think they have). What was the reason given?

Additional units of affordable housing are needed in the area and the City of Worcester. The neighborhood will benefit from the development of this parcel because the property is often used for illegal activities, and therefore has become a source of insecurity for abutting neighbors and area in general. There is adequate on-street parking for which there is little demand from abutting parcels.

Say what?

1) Additional affordable units are need in the area and the City of Worcester?
2) The neighborhood will have less illegal activities with this development?
3) This one amazes me-- there is adequate on-street parking for which there is little demand from abutting parcels?

9 May Street

Wow-- what a story on WoMag!!

Before anyone says I have anything against Common Ground or any of the other CDC's, I do not!!! They have a valuable role to play in our community but we have invested way too much into these CDC's developing low to mod income housing. It needs to stop!!

We really need to look back and think about the variance we gave for this project. There is very little parking for these 46 units. Maybe we never should have given them the variance in the first place. By the way who did pay for the brand new sidewalk??? And how are the sewer betterments going to be paid?

I feel bad for Common Ground and the tenants having to deal with this, but maybe people will start finally asking questions about large variances to these high density low to mod income housing projects. If a person tried to develop this same project into high end condos, I doubt they would have gotten this variance, but would have most definately paid for any sidewalk and sewer repairs.

How many times has the City of Worcester dug up Main and Chandler Street the past 6 months in front of the Hadley?

Planned Parenthood

What do you guys think of the design of this building?

October 07, 2009

Urban Myths

I got three of them for you. My Dad would always tell me these stories, are they true? Dont know for sure--Jahn?

  1. On Southbridge Street years ago there were two huge piles of Sand/Gravel. Some kids were playing there and they were buried alive.
  2. The Route 290 Bridge over McKeown Rd near the Holy Cross Football field collapsed during construction.
  3. A bunch of kids built a fort with one exit. Somehow a fire started at the door and they got trapped, could not get out and were all killed.

I am 99 percent number 2 is true but 1 and 3???