March 25, 2008

Open Question on The Commons

Most of these things are set-up so that the monies being spent on the skating rink is mostly Federal and State monies. I could argue that those are our monies, but technically very little of the cost of the skating rink is from the City of Worcester General fund. At the same time lets not underestimate the cost to maintain the skating rink.

That said, I personally feel the skating rink should go the same way the Skybridge and the new City Hall Chambers. Assuming we use it or lose it, does anyone have any better alternative ways to spend the money on the Common, versus a skating rink?


Anonymous said...

1. Pave Streets

2. Pave sidewalks

3. Plant trees

and all 3 are very, very politically popular as opposed to a skating s/b an easy sell for a council that never tackles and real pressing issues.

We have a tree crew that does nothing but remove dead trees .........I'd be curious to know how many they take down on average every month and then how many are re-planted .......b/c at the rate we're going will the city be possibly stripped of trees in the future?

Anonymous said...

how about temporary benches and trash containers for the Canal District to make the area m ore attractive to newcomers-St. Paddy's was not a huge success down there this year..many pubs quiet as can be?? A sign in Kelley Square indicating where the Canal District is..we have an area of the city that is getting city hype but seemingly little city help..the biggest comment from out of towners after the Canal Diggers 5Km in September was how dirty the area was and why was it so dirty considering such a high profile event...I could only roll my eyes as I am doing now over this skating rink.

How about hiring a new "Problem

David Z. said...

Didn't they add trees along Grafton Street a couple of years ago? In fact, not long after they planted the new trees, I seem to recall a "Letter to the Editor" in the T&G complaining about the tree plantings. The letter writer complained that the businesses were going to be blocked from view from the passing traffic.

Overall attendance was down for the parade this year because of the cold weather with police estimating it was half what it was last year. I was at the Irish club for the day and their attendance wasn’t nearly as strong as last year but I think that was a direct reflection of the down attendance for the parade itself. If the weather was better, the crowds would have reflected that along Park Avenue and at the various watering holes.

As for the skating rink on the common, I listened to City Manager Mike O'Brien this morning on WTAG and he talked to George Brown about the city's need to continue investing in downtown. He said this will dovetail nicely with City Square and other downtown investments. And he reiterated that in spite of what people are hearing City Square is going to happen.

Anonymous said...

I don't buy the cold issue..I am an events director and my two biggest events of the year are in the wintah and I had record participation this year-all the ski mountains saw record year..we have less and less folks in this city who are participating in the events within the city or folks traveling to it - winath, spring, summer & fall...St. Paddy's is one of the biggest themes of the year in Massachusetts..that was a very nice parade from what I saw on the tube and I know the folks involved worked real hard on it

Anonymous said...

pUALIE, i THINK YOU HAVE TO REALIZE THAT THe canal district is/was at least partly a gritty industrial area and until the canal district is re-built it will remain that. FWIW, I am opposed to the Canal District or build a smaller version at the Blackstone Vistiors center where the thing really belongs.

Also, park benches that you propose for Canal District somehow have a habit of attracting Pajama People. The old city hall common had ooodles of park benches and often those working in city hall were forced to avoid them during lunch hour b/c of the cast of characters occupying the benches. Also the 15 year old park that is (was) in front of the Hand It Over Theatre had benches that were removed so that when the theatre goers from the Montvale Historic District attend events, they dont have to worry about

a. Pajama People

b. or the proletariat

c. or (heaven forbid) American Antiquarian Society fellows& scholars

which above characters might be chillin' on those benches on theatre night.

We cannot open the pools in city parks yet we're going to build another pool (skating rink) & a canal district park. T&G says we dont know where the money is going to come from to run the rink.......and........the city is going run a skate rental operation there, too. Now, I have to ask , does the city belong on the skate rental business and dont most people who are going to make a skating rink their destination bring their own skates? What's next renting golf clubs at Green Hill Park and hockey sticks and basketballs at Council meetings?

Another rinky dink operation the city should not be getting involved in. I agree with Bill, time to put this idea on ice.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with you on the park benches Jahn..lot of guys and gals making huge investmenst down in the Canal District..I envision that area more in the mode of Davis Square/downtown Haverhill/Newbury Street..minus the water..

It is time for the city to step up to the plate on cleaning and capital improvements..within the Canal District

As for the skating rink..should be low on the city priority list..another idea for the money..a "Worcester Promotion" campaign outside the city:>) we need people with jobs to enjoy some of these grand ideas..and to settle down this urban decay

Anonymous said...

Paulie, you said you watched St Pats Parade on the I assume you were not in attendance at St Pats b/c you were out of town for an event? FYI, I did not attend either and probably havent been there in at least 5+ years and probably even longer. Last time I was there state Rep. Matt Amorello was tooling down Park Ave in an old Oldsmobile convertible and the kid standing next to me screamed at him that he needed a job!

So I assume if attendance was off 50% that police detail costs for the parade were also halved?

Who puts that parade on? The city I assume or AOH?

I recall about 10 or 15 years ago we had about 101 feet of snow just days before the parade and the Mass Pike Authority was called in to remove the snow to make way for the parade crowd.

Actually, I think the wind didnt help things much on parade day....not that it isnt somewhat artificially windy on parade day anyway... what with all the pols and hacks who walk in the parade.

I tend to disagree with O'Brien re: a skating rink "dovetailing" nicely with City Square. We had the Worc Center Mall and another skating rink there for years and I dont think that on ecomplemented the other?? Of course City Sq is supposed to have condo's/apts which is different from just a shopping venue like Worc Center Mall was.

I am getting more nervous about St Gobain..... hate to repeat myself, but a publically traded European
buyout firm (most buyout firms are private co's) has taken a 21% equity position in St Gobains parent company. These financial gunslingers dont take this kind of a position just to collect quarterly dividends or to reap a gain from selling the stock at a profit a few years down the road. I suggest they have ulterior motives.

Anonymous said...

I was on the Charles River that day on business..I don't recall it being that cold to keep folks away in huge numbers..I live one block off of Park (see burnt orange house next to John & Son's) always cold here:>)

New Years Eve in Boston is packed every year and the weather on First Night is usally much colder..same here in Worcester..not sure what the attendance records were for this years Worcester First Night..folks go out in the cold

I think the current census report that Konnie hinted is going to be an eyeopener is a real reason..the Hispanic Festival numbers were down, as were a number of events in the city..we can't keep expecting the west side population to support everything..we need a urban population doing some of the heavy lifting..the current demographics are not positive for events, booming business growth unless you own a Dollar Store or high end housing development..skating on fancy downtown ponds either:>)

No one wants to chat about this...Konnie threw it out last week at the City Council meeting..I have thrown it out on a bunch of reference "Paulie's Pajama" gang often so I can't say no one is but this is a huge problem for this city..the mummy dumies are arriving in huge numbers and the brains our local intelligensia institutions are priming are leaving..

The three deckah next door evacuated this past fall..every family on Section 8..grown men living in the units..drinking all day..trash everywhere..few ever working..once inawhile some day work..they moved cause I put to much pressure on them over tresspassing, excessive drinking, trash..anyway..all that moved back in was the same..well I don't know fully as it has been the wintah and I will find out about the trash and drinking once the good weather comes..but the same.three one working all section 8..this has been the same sad story for my entire 17 years of ownership here..

Again, look at all these low income projects..they manage them like prisons so folks do not get out of line..the one at the corner of Piedmont & Chandler offers little life to the houses folks who rarely leave..the check gets mailed, the food stamp ticket gets the monthly never see any of them down at the neighborhood pub, diner,ballgame at BeaverBrook of Foley one brooming the lot, raking the think these folks walk a few blocks for a parade:>)

Anonymous said...

pAULIE , WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE The 101 units of low income housing that will soon be rising on Mason St just around the corner from you at the site of the old Institutional Linens........unless they are on hold due to the housing market.........More of P.P.P. ..........any complaints can be taken to Worc Common Ground............over on Bellevue sure you ask them how many units of low income housing they have planned for the Nelson Place/Grove St area.

Anonymous said...

I believe that townhouses style rowhouses are being built there..I am not sure what is better there..the dormant Institutional Linen Bldg or all the noise we have had to deal with for a year sure took along time to get that bldg down and site cleaned

I've had my dealings with the folks in that location..lots of do gooders with few living amoungst the souls they are saving:>)

Little news has come out on this issue lately in the neighborhood..our City Councilor has very poor communication with the electorate..especially the ones who donate and vote for her:>) I have been around Pols along time...very disappointed in the return from my councilor who I have suppported with my vote and hard earned money..and both commodities in District 4 are hard to find or get!

Anonymous said...


Looks like you have more of a landlord problem (absentee I would imagine)

You need to focus your attention on the landlord because until that's solved you'll be fighting the same problem over and over again.

30 to 35 years ago the atmosphere you speak of existed w/ college kids soliciting the downtown area and spending money (yes they were spending money drinking as they do in Boston, Somerville etc.)
Slowly the upscale establishments and outsider friendly entrepenuers were slowly replaced w/ what you see downtown today.

I think it would be a hard sell to gentrify Worcester. No one wants to buy at any price (ex lofts unsold at auction).

People have been promished the moon in Worcester and have become jaded. Fool me once shame on you. Fool mee twice shame on me.

Anonymous said...

how does a citizen go after a landlord local or "absentee"..I find the owrd "absentee" to be quite negative cause there are many landlords like myself who do not or did not live in the city that they own in and are good landlords..I have owned in the city for 17 years but have only lived here first 12 I was still a responsible property owner.

This is the city's job not mine-they enforce law not me..the problem in this city is the extreme lack of quality tenants in the "tenant pool".

Lets face it not many want to live in the "urban core" of the city..most of our leaders do not, most of our city employees do not, many of social do goodies do not:>) is a shithole of litter, broken down houses, unnessary noise, crime and can be a fairly unstimulating urban environment to be in and this is why the intelligensia do not live here,wealthy do not live here nor the middle class as all do in other cities actually on the move..

The reality is the reality..and I am not a negative person..I am quite upbeat..and I am hopeful for the city..but am less hopeful when I hear our Congressman grilling the Fed Chief about even more food stamps, all the low income housing that is being built in the city and how powerful the social service groups are in the city...the city is at it's max for poor folk and many of the losers that are just plain that..losers taking advantage of the system which is even more rampant than I realized after living in the hood and Worcester.

I have lived thru gentirfication in Charlestown, Somerville & Cambridge..I do not expect this in Worcester on such a large scale..but I do hope for a diverse community that lives like a community..a community that lives like human beings, contributes like human beings, celebrates like human beings and pays their own way like men & women should:>)

We have one..yes one modern day bookstore in this city..ONE!! this should be would be in most cities of this size elsewhere.

I fully agree with you on the $$ mentality in this will only change with new folks moving in that expect more urban stimulation than is being offered..I understand that I am one of a very few living in the urban core of the city demanding what I am demanding..some have to bear the early heavy be it:>)

Anonymous said...

I forgot to address the college atmosphere aura in Boston, Cambridge & Somerville is far more than drinking:>)....the cafes, park benches are filled with kids on their laptops, enjoying coffee together..walking about all over the city..the influence is felt in so many ways thay you do not feel in this city because they are either not encouraged to engage themselves about the city, they are afraid to engage themselves about the city or they just do not wish to engage themselves about the city...I am trying to remember the last time I saw hordes of college kids entertaining themselves on the park across from Clark..lovers, frisbee playing and like kind..

When was the last time one heard of three WPI grads starting a business in this city after graduation?? It may happen but not Somerville, Cambridge & Boston we hear about it every day...

Anonymous said...

How is it the cities problem?
No one is saying you're a bad landlord, but who keeps renting to these "people " you don't like....the owner of the property.

Anonymous said...

I was in Utica, New York about 10 years ago runing the Utica Boilermaker 15Km...after the race I was having beers with a guy..we started talking about real estate..I asked him hoe the market was in Utica..obvioulsy quite distressed..he asked me how much money I had on me..I stated about $200.00..he stated we would go buy 20 houses tomorrow with it:>)I asked who my tenants would be..he told me hookers, pimps, drug addicts and housing certs..have you been to Utica lately?

If a landlord no longer has a quality pool of is everyones problem mate...just drive around the urban core of the city, read the blogs, listen at coffee shops..go outside the city sometime and ask folks their opinion of WormTown..listen to our City Councilors..poor tenant pool = lower property values, loss of business, loss of middle class, brain drain,I'd go on but the ole lady just knocked on the door and I have to go..I'll let you figure out on your own how this is a city problem:>)

Anonymous said...

BTW Anon;

This has nothing to do with liking a tenant even tho having a cordial-friendly relationship doesn't hurt as it doesn't in any business is about changing demographics that are not positive for the city..if you think having a urban core 60% and possibly increasing dependent on support by the government and we are not talking about an elderly population is not a city problem well we disagree:>)

Anonymous said...

And just wasn't so long ago we saw signs "Irish need not Apply" . The more things change...the more they stay the same