July 31, 2009
I ask you this if the gov't gets these numbers so wrong, what makes anyone think the numbers that they have for health insurance can be any better.
July 30, 2009
As of last September, they had not purchased the property, but had signed an LDA (Land Disposition Agreement) that stated that they would take title as soon as they got the appropriate permits. The kicker was the City was given them until September of 2009 to get the permits, but this could be extended until September of 2010 as long as they were "diligently" working on the permit. At that time and since then I have questioned how does one enforce a "diligent" standard.
Now in today's paper, I read the City of Worcester has granted a 2.5 million HUD Section 108 loan to Pharmasphere, who has yet to take title of the property for $1 and pay one penny in real estate taxes. The long and the short of this is that the City of Worcester has more or less cosigned on a loan for Pharmasphere, who by I was told last year had all their financing in place. Granted there is some collateral, but it looks like the lien will be on some assets of the company and the any lien on real estate most definately will not be in a first position.
The long and the short of it is that this parcel has been sold for $1 with 2.5 million loan from HUD guaranteed from the City of Worcester. If you think that these guaranteed loans can not come back to cost the City of Worcester, look no further then the HUD Section 108 loan for Gardner-Kilby-Hammond.
Makes you wonder if we put out an RFP for the parcel in the first place that stated a sale price of $1 and a 2.5 million HUD loan guaranteed by the City of Worcester, who may have bid on the parcel.
July 28, 2009
I personally think the Worcester Police are the best, but the police can only do so much. To sit back and complain about the police is, I feel, inaccurate and pointless. The first ones that need to do the policing are the people themselves.
No lie almost two years ago, we started talking about cameras. It took alot of time, but we were able to utilize NRSA monies and Weed/Seed monies to install cameras on five businesses in the area that tape up two took weeks and can be viewed remotely. Over the past few months we have had problems with car break-ins, but over the past week we were able to tape the "suspects" doing it twice and one was arrested.
- Scenario a) you call the police, complain about the car break-ins and what are they going to do about it.
- Scenario b) you call the police and tell them you have a video of the suspects breaking in to cars twice. Tell me, which one is the example of community policing.
Instead of a front page story in the newspaper complaining about how bad the neighborhood and asking for more help from the city. The Chandler NRSA took action and working with the police are making a difference. Kudos to the Chandler NRSA for taking steps to solve problems not staying back and pointing fingers at others to do the work.
Could it be a major expansion by Polar in Auburn??
July 27, 2009
July 26, 2009
That is the title of a story in the newspaper today, click here.
What is the South Worcester Neighborhood Center doing, other then getting press, doing about it? This building has been a problem for years, why didn't they push for the receivorship years ago? Although I am property rights person, buildings like these kill neighborhoods and need to be placed in receivorship.
Note the picture, the police are walking on the sidewalk next to City Builders owned by the South Worcester Neighborhood Center. Now look at the sidewalks and how they are manicured or how the fence leans into the sidewalk never mind the piles of rubbish inside the property. If this property was owned by me or you, we would have people picketing us. Jeff, next time drive by and take a picture of the building.
What does the South Worcester Neighborhood Center propose for this location, a 7 iron away from 1 and 3 Douglas Street? A 28 unit high low to moderate income apartment building. In a neighborhood that needs more pride in ownership as outlined by the RKG study 5 years, the South Worcester Neighborhood Center is building a 28 unit low income apartment builing?
Now for this poor lady. I do not know this woman personally but I know exactly who she is. As bad I feel for her, she bought this unit (one of two --duplex) ironically enough from the South Worcester Neighborhood Center. She really should have done her homework and if it was me, I never would have moved my family in across this building. I know that must sound harsh but she has complained about this building since the time she moved in. Again this begs the question as to why receivorship was not pushed by the neighborhood center before now?
To date the South Worcester has been directly involved in 3 development projects;
- duplex on the corner of Douglas and Grand. One of the home buyers has moved out as detailed in the Telegram story.
- corner of Cambridge and Hacker. Another disaster. Think only 3 units have been sold and Holy Cross has taken over the note that they guaranteed.
- proposed development of City Builders in 28 low to mod income apartments
I am telling you my number one issue for candidates this year is what are they going to do about these developers of low to mod income housing in our urban core.
July 25, 2009
July 24, 2009
Must be tough to go through life anonymously and then once you realize that your identity may be unveiled, you need to take down your blog. Good bye Will from Wonderland.
After August 1st, the cheapest you will be able to buy a Bud 30 pac around here will be 18.49 (wholesales cost) plus sales tax (6.25%) then deposits and you pay 21.68. A difference of 7.69. Now divide that by 30 beers and that comes to an extra .25 per beer. Rep O'Day in his editorials said the difference is about a penny a can??? He was only off 2,500%..
Based on this difference how many sales do you think we will lose to New Hampshire. Now consider the people who came from Rhode Island and Connecticut (Yankee Spirits businesses are based on these people in Sturbridge and Attleboro) that will not come to Mass??? This sales tax will result in lower collections just like the increased sales tax on cigs did last year..
Although I do not know all the details, I can assure you that the insurance company did not call the sewer back-up that destroyed those poor people's home a flood. In fact if they had flood insurance, they would not cover a sewer back-up with a flood rider. You can get coverage, however, for this by adding this peril (sewer backup), just like any other peril.
I doubt it is very expensive but my only concern is that if you area has a history of sewer backups can you get it??? Don't know. Not a bad idea to advise people to review their policies to see what perils and covered and make sure their stated value guarantees full replacement.
First of my employees have been looking for new t-shirts. On the corner of Chandler and Dewey there is a place, HD Graphics (something like that), where I bought 24 T-shirts with the company name on the front for $200. Second, I had two suits that I bought from Lujon's tailored at Rocco's (on the corner of Park and Chandler) for $200.
The service, prices and final products were great. Especially recommend that you check out Rocco's. Could not believe how nice the place was inside and he has great stuff.
July 23, 2009
July 22, 2009
Now lets assume there is a history of backups in your neighborhood, I find it highly unlikely an insurance company would allow you to purchase it.
July 21, 2009
The way to alleviate poverty is to provide a hand up, not a handout; a job, not a welfare check; an incentive, not an entitlement. If building low-income warehouses and segregating, isolating, disenfranchising and marginalizing the poor is the best we can do, shame on us! And if we destroy surrounding neighborhoods and Cities along the way, we need to wake up to the fact that what we are doing is NOT working and we need to stop doing it. Pronto! If other Cities and politicians are intelligent enough to "get it" and change the way they do things, then we have evidence that enlightenment is possible. If our local politicians cannot or will not be enlightened, it is time to replace them. And shame on HUD and the developers who make millions off the backs of the poor and the taxpayers!
On another note, Springfield Foward, being a non-profit whose charter includes advocating for the betterment of our City, also volunteers in our local schools, has developed an educational program promoting reading and writing, we build at Habitat for Humanity, collect used books for local students, collect winter clothing for our local shelters, advocate for commuter rail, attend City Council meetings and advocate for better decisions in City Government and throughout our City. We are a grass roots organization, we are dedicated to changing what is not working and embracing what is, and we are growing by leaps and bounds.
What we are doing here can be done everywhere.
Anyone who wants to join our coalition or speak with us can email us at: email@example.com
July 20, 2009
email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. What are your backgrounds and occupation?
George D. Pappas, Esq. - Attorney and businessman. Education: Honors Degree in Economics (London School of Economics); LL.B (first law degree, University of London); LL.M (Masters of Law, Widener College School of Law); working on Ph.D in Law (Birkbeck College, University of London). Owner of law practice and co-owner of ICLS - The International Center for Legal Studies (http://www.legaltutors.com/)
Ellen P. Pappas - businesswoman. Education: Long Island University (bachelors); Camden County Community College (computers and technology); holds active real estate license. Co-owner of ICLS - The International Center for Legal Studies (http://www.legaltutors.com/)
Richard Carpenter - businessman. Education: I believe he attended college in Worcester, although I will have to ask him which one. Computer technology professional.
Nikki Manion - businesswoman. Education: New England College. Licensed elder aide. Founder and owner of Elder Aide company.
We have about 30 core members and several hundred who work with us on an as-needed basis.
2. How did we get involved in this?
We got involved because we heard rumors about something being built in our neighborhood that was being put together through back room deals. We did some digging and were appalled to discover that deal were being made for a low-income only project to be built in our neighborhood without any input from residents. We thought that was improper and that the neighborhood should be involved in any decision about what happens in the neighborhood. We demanded public meetings. When the developer and the "connected" people who were "in on the deal" kept manuvering to insure no public meeting would ever be held, we knew we had to organize and do something.
3. How is the battle going.
While we have been able to delay the project for almost a year, our so-called Mayor just signed over monies for the project. Winn has too many connections on Beacon Hill and in HUD. Winn has spent decades building up a network within the Massachusetts political system and HUD and Winn pulls strings all over the place. In our City Hall the Mayor is more concerned with appeasing Boston than in being the Mayor of Springfield. He is more concerned with Winn than with his own constituents. Money talks. Our Mayor just signed off on releasing funds to Winn for the project, despite OVERWHELMING opposition from the residents of the City and from City Council. Also, we have had a Finance Control Board here for several years, all of whom are from Boston and ... what a huge surprise ... They support Winn and his project!
4. Are you aware Winn has come to Worcester?
We know about Chevalier Furniture but are unaware of the Old Voke School. All we can say is "Watch out Worcester, you will be turned into another Springfield." Worcester has worked hard and turned things around this past decade, but these Winn projects can undo all that hard work. In 2008 Forbes Magazine named Springfield as one of the "top 10 dying cities" in America. Concentrated low-income housing is the cause. Because of the high influx and high concentration of low-income housing, businesses have left, middle income families have left, investors will not invest here and our schools are a mess. If Worcester is already above the recommended 10% threshhold, you need to stop any further subsidized housing from being built. It will kill Worcester. Just come to Springfield and look at what it has done to this City. Our Main street and intersecting streets have hundreds of boarded up buildings, both commercial and residential. Most existing businesses are social service providers. This used to be the City of Homes. We are now known as the City of Social Services and Crime. Very, very sad.
5. Are we making efforts to combine with other cities?
We are trying to connect with ANYONE, ANYWHERE who is fighting the same fight.
There is a need for subsidized housing throughout this country, no doubt about it. However, there is a way to build it and a way to NOT build it. Warehousing and concentration of low-income housing is the way NOT to do it. It has never worked and it never will - it only perpetuates poverty and crime. This past year Atlanta knocked down their last low-income development. They are now building mixed income with a 10% cap on subsidized housing to be MIXED IN with market rate - a 10% Cap of low income housing mixed in among market rate. Atlanta is now changing the way they do things by concentrating on affordable home OWNERSHIP - a totally different animal and a model that works. People take pride in what they own.
Warehousing the poor perpetuates poverty, a lifetime of dependency, breeds crime and blight, causes business and middle-income family flight, and drains a City of resources. A bad idea all the way around. There are better ways to take care of those who need a hand-up.
So, we keep on fighting for better solutions and better options with anyone who cares to join us.
Is there anything else you would like to know?
July 19, 2009
46 apartments .. This got me thinking there is about 100 bedrooms and the bedroom fee right now is 1320 per bedroom so that is $132,000 in fees, wonder if that was paid or if it was waived for low to mod income housing. Now take a look at the brand new sidewalk, wonder who paid for that.
More importantly who is going to pay for whatever changes that are going to need to be done to repair this problem? Imagine if this projected was done by a private developer---our elected officials would be picketing in front demanding that this be fixed.
July 18, 2009
My number one question to each of the four mayoral candidate based on the fact we are far above the minimum required by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will they stop this onslaught of low to mod income housing in the City of Worcester or will they continue to support these projects with ridiculous variances, waived permitting fees and sidewalks repaired at the City expense?
July 17, 2009
Below that, however, was part of a blog from anonymous blogger ripping a friend of mine. Does anyone else see the irony in this? Maybe WoMag should only include in their blog roll people who actually identify themselves?
The only thing that confused her was the pilot upon flying into Worcester mentioned direct flights to California? He must have been alluding to Virgin flying direct from Boston to California.
July 15, 2009
July 14, 2009
On a side note my mother flew Direct Air to Myrtle Beach Sunday. She had the Virgin plane, said the flight was perfect as well as the service. Most importantly she did not think there was one empty seat!!!
July 13, 2009
First of all I see no better arguement for the ridiculousness of the comment section of the on-line section of the Telegram then this. I have said this before I will not read these comments, but I could not help but notice 107 comments. I can predict what is being said anonymously without reading, so why bother. Until the Telegram forces a forces a person to register and uses the same policy as they do with the letters to the editor, I will not read any of these comments.
Second, the City Clerk's office is one of the best offices run in the City of Worcester. The information that they have on-line should be an example to other departments. I can not tell you how many times that I have accessesed the agendas or archives of the City Council meetings and public agency meeetings. Not to mention how many times I have e-mailed the City Clerk a question looking for this or that and he gets back to me quickly with accurate concise answers.
Third, the extra money he earns. If the City Clerk was not doing his job then I would definately have a problem with this. That said, I do feel the City of Worcester should get a portion of each fee when it is done in City Hall; for example, if the fee is $100 then $25 should go to the City of Worcester and $75 to the Justice of Peace who performs the ceremony.
In closing we need more public servants then Dave Rushford, not less.
July 12, 2009
July 10, 2009
When: Noon - 11 p.m. Saturday Where: John & Son's II Fairgrounds, 226 Chandler St., Worcester How much: $15
Triple Whammy of media coverage...
Telegram --- where the monies are going
Telegram -- story on the festival
NECN --- news report on where the monies are going
July 09, 2009
July 08, 2009
July 07, 2009
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July 06, 2009
July 05, 2009
July 04, 2009
July 03, 2009
July 02, 2009
previous ribbon cutting ceremony about 4 or 5 years ago:
Above is a picture from yesterday's cermony taken from Telegram today:
From the region
NEW INDUSTRIAL PARK — A large crowd gathered for the announcement of the South Worcester Industrial Park on Southgate Place in Worcester yesterday. The South Worcester Industrial Park is an 11-acre unused industrial property. The city is spending about $6.9 million in federal, state and local money to demolish old buildings, clean up pollution and extend Gardner Street. Demolition was scheduled to start after the ceremony. (T&G Staff/DAN GOULD)
July 01, 2009
Bottom line is the cost to buy alcohol just went up 6.25%. New Hampshire must be lovin this.