November 30, 2009
November 29, 2009
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
November 27, 2009
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
- 10/1/9 Main South CDC $1,700,000 for 189 Beacon Street
- 9/21/9 Main South CDC $1,700,000 for 20 Charlton Street
- 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
- 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.
Does anyone know the status of this facet of the project?
November 25, 2009
November 24, 2009
How much is this going to cost? Appears to be two loans:
- Book 43717 page 1 Mass Housing/EONS 2,756,012
- 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.
November 23, 2009
- Book 43505 Page 314 Deed 130,000
- Book 43505 Page 326 Mortgage 100,100 from Bank of America
- Book 43505 Page 342 Mortgage 26,000 from Bank of America
- 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
- Book 43615 page 289 deed 130,000
- Book 43615 page 301 mortgage Bank of America 100,100
- Book 43615 page 317 mortgage Bank of America 26,000
- 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
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
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
“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
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!
November 16, 2009
November 14, 2009
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.
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.
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
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
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.
November 11, 2009
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.
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
Also work may continue on other floors. 25???
November 09, 2009
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?
November 07, 2009
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
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.
Just got to work and the newspaper had the Yankees winning the World Series.. Must have been the Holden edition.
November 04, 2009
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.
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
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
November 01, 2009
- 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.
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.