May 31, 2008

Street Sweeping

In the Canterbury Street area, there is street sweeping going on. Off street parking is vital in these neighborhoods and you can not pick a worse time then to see the streets full of cars (Saturday and Sunday). If you lived in any of these three deckers would you think that the signs that have been up on the street for five days would kick in on a Saturday morning?

Seriously I can not tell you how many cars I saw towed around the block so that the streets could be cleaned and then slapped with a tickert ($50 I believe). I know that nobody is ever happy with some services but it does not make sense to me to clean streets on week-ends where there is no off street parking to begin with.

May 30, 2008

Avports Update

E-mail from our airport liaison that I received today:

Mr. Randell:

I am in receipt of your e-mail. We will work on providing Mr. Harden with the information he is requesting directly.

Philip J. Niddrie


Since the rumor mill is working today. Rand-Whitney planning big expansion, but not in Worcester--Boylston...

Would have been nice to have them expand where they are, Wyman Gordon parcel or the South Worcester Industrial Park.

Jahn Rumor

According to deepthroat, aka Jahn, Consigli Corporation, is looking to buy the Aud and they want Higgins Armory to move there.

May 29, 2008

49 Cities Losing Scheduled Service

Story below in today's paper or click here, thanks Dave Zimage. Sorry, but we blew it with Allegiant. In the story 49 cities are losing scheduled service!!! Lets face it, we have no chance of getting commercial service in the short term. We need to stop being Part 139 certified, downgrade to General Aviation and put the airport up for sale. I forwarded the information that Avports requested to our Airport Liaison, but have not heard anything back.

Here is the story:

Air service is facing cutbacks

As Delta Air Lines Inc. and US Airways Group Inc. drop flights to trim record fuel bills, passengers in regional business centers such as Pittsburgh and Cincinnati are being hit hardest. Pittsburgh, home to 12 Fortune 1000 companies, lost nonstop service to London, Paris, Frankfurt and 19 U.S. cities when US Airways scrapped a third of flights at its former hub this year.

Delta’s Comair cut back by 10 percent in Cincinnati, the headquarters of Procter & Gamble Co. The result is a scramble by corporate fliers who used to take connections for granted. Airports in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati are among 120 where airlines reduced seating capacity at least 10 percent in the past year, and more cuts are likely with the cost of jet fuel up 83 percent in 12 months.

Regional business centers are feeling the pain most as airlines abandon routes, shift to smaller planes and fly less frequently. Forty-nine cities are losing scheduled service entirely. This includes three state capitals — Trenton, N.J.; Topeka, Kan., and Santa Fe, N.M. From wire service reports

May 28, 2008

Crompton & Knowles Building

Just remembered that will also be another low income project by Main South CDC .

  1. Burwick Building
  2. Aurora
  3. Odd Fellows
  4. Benefit (1st building on left from Main)
  5. Standish
  6. Piedmont Street lot
  7. May Street project
  8. Cambridge/Hacker Street
  9. Crompton & Knowles on Grand Street
  10. City Builders site on Armory Street

The RKG study said that we needed to stop putting such an emphasis on low-income housing. IMG even told us to downgrade the airport, if no commercial carriers came. Makes you wonder why we pay consultants to producce reports that we did not listen to.

May 26, 2008

Airport Privatization

Here is the plan by Midway to privatize and the path ORH should take a very close look at. Imagine the press and interest that we can get by just being mentioned in the same sentence as Midway, as another airport seeking to privatize!!

May 25, 2008

Low Income Housing Week

From the Boston Globe, "Affordable Housing Also Feeling the Pinch", click here. Here is a line from the story, "The development of affordable housing remains fairly strong in area communities, officials say, but they also note there has been a noticeable slowdown in the sale and rental of the income-restricted units."

In Worcester, on the home ownership side we have Main South CDC has numerous empty units for sale on Kilby an Hollis Street. Oak Hill CDC has units (forgot the name of the street), East Side CDC has a two family for sale on Lyons Street asking 120,000, Worc Communty Housing Resources has Quincy Street and South Worcester walked from their project on Cambridge/Hacker leaving Holy Cross with the note as the guarantor. On the rental side, we have May Street with Common Ground and the Burwick/Hadley under construction. On the sideline we have several projects on the drawing boards. Maybe we should stop building these units?

Now for the City of Muncie Indiana, click here, " The city of Muncie will lose $465,634 in HUD aid during the fiscal year beginning June 1 after a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development audit determined the city lacked adequate control over its federally funded HOME Investment Partnerships Program in 2006-07." I think you will see alot more of these HUD audits.

Here is my favorite story on the Progressive Southeast Arkansas Housing Development Corporation, click here. We need to stop any more of these projects and do an audit to really determine the success, versus the cost, of the projects that we have built.

May 23, 2008

Hadley/Burwick Furniture Building

I have held off a couple days on this one, but click here for the story, if you have not read yet. First we should thank the state delegation for bringing money to the City of Worcester. That said, we really need to take a closer look at this incessant need to create more low income housing.

Lets look at the math, 20 million for 45 units equates to $444,444 per apartment. Actually the cost is less since there is 5,000 square feet of retail space in the first floor, but you get the picture. Out of these 45 apartments, however, 40 need to go to low income residents. We need more low income apartments?

  • Common Ground has a development on May Street that has another 50 units of apartments for low income under construction (not enough off-street parking).
  • Main South CDC has about 10-15 units empty for low income homebuyers, that just received a subsidy from the Commonwealth to lower their prices, that are still empty.
  • Mason-Winfield is another project for low-income homebuyers, with another 10-15 units on the drawing boards
  • WCHR has a project on Congress Street (think that is the street) with another 10 units for low-income homebuyers that is empty.
  • Common Ground has a project on Piedmont street with another 10-15 units on the drawing board that I think are for apartments (no off-street parking).
  • South Worcester Neighbor Center has a project on Cambridge/Hacker that is suppose to have 11 units for low-income homebuyers, of which only 3 have sold.
  • South Worcester Neighbor Center owns the the Old City Builders property that is trying to get monies for 20-25 apartment for low-income residents.
  • Recently we saw the completion of the Odd Fellow Buildings next to the Old Mart and the Standish Building.

My WAG (wild a-- guess) is that this represents approximately 60,000,000 in investments. Do you think we got out monies worth?

This is just a quick snapshot in a very small area of the City. When is enough enough??? My favorite line is from Mr Rodriguez-Pinzon "Our objective is to attract people with disposable income." A building with 40 out of 45 units intended for low income residents is attracting people with disposable income.

Gentrification is one thing and the City of Worcester is the furthest possible thing from it. In actuality we have been able to create a business friendly city for low income developers. Jahn, you are right this is the truly one growth business in Worcester.

Tale of Two Parking Garages

I was driving on the road behind the Worcester . Is that Major Taylor, Worcester Ctr Blvd or Francis McGrath???

On one side 21,500,000 is being spent on Garage Mahal. On the other side 34,500,000 is being spend to tear down a garage. Could not help but see the irony. Some 56,000,000 on garages. The Construction trade unions must love Worcester.

May 21, 2008


A few months back I put a post about regarding a company called Avports and the privatization of Coleman Airport in Detroit. Click here for story. Since that time I have been able to talk to Avports a couple time about ORH. Here is an e-mail that I received today from their Airports and Business Development VP John Harden:

Sorry I have not been more attentive. We have rebid two or our contracts. We won the rebid for ACY (Authority voted unanimously in our favor) and we are submitting tomorrow on a longer term contract at SWF. Been busy.

Had promised you a list of things we typically look for when considering an opportunity. Hopefully this will provide us with a baseline understanding of the airport, its strengths and its challenges.

· Financial Statements for the last 5 calendar years
· Airport Master Plan Update
· Airport Layout Plan
· Airport Capital Improvement Plan (ACIP)
· Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants received over the last 5-years
· Business Plan for the airport
· Current airport staffing plan
· Tenant Roll
· Asset listing
· Current Schedule of published rates and charges
· Debt Service schedule
· Environmental impact statements, concerns or
· Rule and Regulations
· Minimum Standards

I have forwarded this e-mail to our airport liaison, Phil Niddrie.

May 20, 2008

$6,100,000 in DIF Bonds To Date

The more I try to figure out City Square financing, the more I get confused. Tonight City Manager O'Brien explained that the City of Worcester has spent $6,100,000 in DIF bonds to date. How are we paying that back now? What additional net revenues has been generated to pay these bonds?

City Square Update

I watched the presentation tonight during the City Council meeting on TV. The initial public cost will be 34,500,000 for phase 1A. The good news is that the Commonwealth's $25,000,000,or should I say the GREAT NEWS, is going towards it right up front so the City of Worcester is on the hook for 9,500,000 in DIF bonds. We already, however, have 6,100,000 on DIF bonds invested for a total of 15,600,000 in DIF bonds.

The question is will Building H and 135,000 of leased space produce enough additional revenues to pay $15,600,000 in bonds, since the underground garage will, I do not believe, will be built under phase 1A or will we have to dip into the General Fund? Believe me I want this project to happen, but I just do not see how the development through Phase 1A will generate the "extra" tax revenues to pay 15,600,000 in bonds, without having to take monies from the General Fund.

Hope I am wrong.

May 19, 2008

Johnson Golf Mgmt Blog Interview

Blog Interview with Doug Johnson of Johnson Golf Management Blog Interview

1) Tell me a little bit about yourself and your company?

Please visit our website at, this will give you more info on us.

2) Understand you manage Pakachoag Golf Course in Auburn, can you tell me a little bit about your winning bid specifically how much you have paid to the town of Auburn each year?

We have been at Pakachoag for 12+ years. We won a ten year contract from 1997 to 2006. We are currently operating Pakachoag on a year to year basis due to litigation with the last contract. Under our ten year contract we paid the town an average of $50,000 per year plus did approx. $200,000 in capital improvements.

3) You are responsible for all maintenance, employees at Pakachoag?

Yes. We are responsible for all employees for the total operation.

4) Would you be interested in running Green Hill Golf Course in Worcester ?

Yes, but they need to get their act together and do what is right for the taxpayers. By this I mean the golf course is a city asset and should be making money for the city. The facts have shown that the best way for a city or town is to privatize and lease the facility and get a return for the taxpayers.

5) Do the other courses that you manage sell alcohol?

Most of our course do sell alcohol. We have held as many as six liquor licenses at a time in Masssachusetts. We have lots of experience in the F&B area including functions and weddings, . see website.

If anyone has any questions please leave a comment and hopefully Mr Johnson will get back to us.

.Thank you

DIF Part2

If the lowering of the leased space only deals with the $25,000,000 million from the Commonwealth then it is a no brainer, we take the monies. If this also triggers the $64,000,000 of bonds from the City of Worcester, I have reservations.


If the original budget portrayed a 100% reimbursment of the operating deficit, how did we save money when the percentage was recently increased from 68% to only 79%?

Original budget presentation, page 14 did not include the airport deficit.

May 18, 2008

District Improvement Financing (DIF)

What is it? Click here for an explantion.

Here is my explanation of DIF. Cities and Towns are given money (Bonds) for infrastructure improvements to lure businesses to expand the tax base. The theory is that without these infrastructue improvements, the project would not be feasible for the developer.

The City or Town must then prepare a plan showing how once the infrastructure is done and the developer finishes their project, the increased tax revenues will pay off the bond. In other words, if all goes well, the bonds are paid by new revenues from the project thus costing the underlying City or Town nothing, while expanding tax base. Make no mistake about it, however, the City or Town must pay back the bond, even if there is no increased tax revenues so there is RISK.

Here is analogy. Assume you have a business, but decide to build an addition that will cost $200,000 or $2,000 per month for 10 years. You build the addition and your profits go up $2,000 per month. Theoretically the $200,000 loan cost you nothing, since your profits went up and eventually the business will be more profitable when the debt is paid back. There is RISK to the business-owner. If the business does not increase with the addition, the owner still has to pay back the $200,000.

Just like the business who takes out a $200,000 note, there is risk for the City of Worcester with District Improvement Financing, but it is to the tune of $64,000,000. Originally the Commonwealth required that the underlying project had to have 300,000 square feet leased. Why? The Commonwealth wants to make sure that there will be additional tax revenues to pay the bond. This week I read the Commonwealth has dropped this requirement to 140,000 of square feet. This concerns me. Where will the increased tax revenues come from to pay some 64,000,000 in DIF bonds if there is only a commitment of 140,000 square feet to be leased?

Here is a real good summary of the project, click here. Bottom line is we need alot of increased taxes from this district and new revenues from the parking garage to pay back 64,000,000 in bonds. If we do not come up with the additional revenues, the payments still need to be made from the General Fund.

City Square is very important to the future of downtown, but do we not want to be in the real estate speculation business? I think we are taking a big business taking on this debt not having at least 300,000 square feet (as originally planned) in a good market. Now that the real estate market has turned, we are willing take this risk with less commitments?

Reminds me building a train station without parking? Seriously we need to think twice about reducing the initial development requirements, especially when we are on the hook for $64,000,000.

March & April Board Minutes

March and April Board Minutes. Per usual not much here.

May 16, 2008

MassPort Increases Subsidy from 68% to 79%

Click here for story in the Telegram. Couple points:

  1. I believe the City budget was based on MassPort eventually cover 100% of the subsidy of the operating deficit retro-active. A vote like this makes it somwhat clear to me that 100% is not going to happen.
  2. a 9% increase in the subsidy saves 250,000. That means the operating deficit would need to be $2,777,778? City of Worcester share (21%) is 583,333 plus some 600,000 in debt service so our cost is approximately $1,200,000 per year or $100,000 per month.
  3. Tom Kinton talks about an extension at the end of the year , what happened to the long-term lease or sale? It looks like he wants to wants to wait on the Worcester Regional Mobility Study. Lets hope this comes out faster then the 20 year Master Plan that has been worked on for four years.
  4. Here is the best line "It may not be passenger service initially. In may be corporate and general aviation activity..."

Let me ask this why then are we keeping ORH open as a Part 139 Airport. Think is what it is called when an airport needs to have certain standards to accept commercial passengers. Why don't we downgrade to a General Aviation airport yesterday, as IMG even recommended, and start cutting the loses now?

Johnson Golf Management

Private company that does golf management for alot of municipalities including Pakachoag next door in Auburn. Check them out, click here.

May 15, 2008

City Exec Payraises

I just read today's paper completely blown away by these payraises! You need to read the story by Nick K today and read the comments. We probably have the highest paid golf pro in Central Massachusetts making 87,182 per year for how many months of work?

Guest Post--David Zimage

I received an e-mail that was real good and thought it was worthy of a post, after getting the sender's permission. If anyone ever wants to have a guest post, just let me know.


I agree with some of the posters on your blog that you need to rethink the criteria for your business closed list. For example, you list Zoots on Grafton Street but that one is a direct result of the failings of the chain itself. Take a look at this link from today's -
Also, Kangaroo Crossing is still located at 180 Main Street. They closed their retail location but are transitioning to a web based business model. Their website is currently under construction -
Seeing your closed list does not seem to have a specific timeline involved, how about the following few that I can think of that have opened and/or made a commitment to Worcester:
1) St. Vincent Hospital's decision to build Med City instead of moving to a new location in Boylston (which was the original intent of the hospital trustees - Imagine what downtown would look like without their presence)
2) Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (I believe they now own the entire area between Commercial, Mechanic, Foster & Norwich Streets for future expansion)
3) The redevelopment of Lincoln Plaza and the stores that have a city presence because of it - think about it, would some of these tenants have locations in Worcester were it not for this project I.e. Target, Lowe's, Barnes & Noble, etc. (IMHO, no they wouldn't! They would have just surrounded the city with suburban locations)
4) Hilton Gardens on Major Taylor Blvd.
5) Fedex Kinko's on Front Street
6) Worcester Dental Group's move to larger quarters on Front Street
7) WCRN's commitment to stay in Worcester (soon to be moving to Franklin Street in one of the Mayo group buildings). Where's our other dominant media outlets, WTAG/WSRS located? That's right, Paxton.
8) Citadel Broadcasting Group Stations (WXLO - WWFX - WORC-FM) on Front Street. In case you forgot, WWFX & WORC-FM used to have their offices in Shrewsbury & Webster respectively)
9) For that matter, let's not forget the Mayo Group itself and their commitment/investment in our downtown core
10) WPI's joint venture with the WBDC for the Technology Center off of Grove Street

And on another note, Konnie Lukes in an article today in the T&G, actually voiced optimism on the future of City Square. This is very significant in my eyes because she has long been a very vocal critic of the project. In the article "Mayor gives Impromptu City Tour <> ", she is quoted as saying, "And the mayor, who far from a starry-eyed cheerleader for the city and who has been publicly skeptical over the years about the $565 million CitySquare project planned for the empty urban outlet mall between Washington Square and City Hall, also expressed some uncharacteristic optimism about CitySquare. As the bus drove by the mall's sprawling, clumsily designed parking garage - most of which is slated to be torn down - she declared: "That mall will not be here a year from now." "It appears to be in the works," Mrs. Lukes said of the long-delayed CitySquare undertaking."

I do agree that we have a long way to go in Worcester but I don't have quite as a bleak perspective as some of the friends who post regularly on your blog.

David Zimage

New Businesses

Let me clarify. I feel all the new restaurants and bars in the Canal/Shrewsbury Street are a great addition to the City of Worcester. That said what concerns me is the shrinking commercial tax base that has caused all of our property taxes, water bills and other expenses to skyrocket.

Specifically the lack of development in places like:
  • South Worcester Industrial Park
  • Airport Industrial Park
  • Wyman Gordon Parcel

There are many many other parcels that I could list. My point here was not to diminish the benefits of the restaurants and bars, but to point out we are losing much of our commercial base and we need to do something to:

  1. keep and
  2. attract businesses back to Worcester.

We need to aggressively targets areas for commercial use and:

  1. lock in current assessed value for a certain period of time (5 or 10 years)
  2. waive all permitting, water/sewer hook-ups

We can call it the Hanover Theatre Treatment. So everyone understands where I am coming from. The restaurants/bars are great, but we need to make the City of Worcester attractive for business.

This goes with out saying, but we need to stop funding the CDC's yesterday.

May 14, 2008

New Business

Some have accused my list of not being fair. Lets work on a new business list then. Admittedly there have been alot of new restaurants/bars in the Shrewsbury Street/Canal area.

Please post here new businesses the past 2-3 years other then these restaurants and bars and I will list them here.

May 13, 2008

City on The Move

any suggestions:

1) Parker Companies
2) Pressmet
3) Woodmeister
4) Tatnuck Boookseller
5) Morgan Construction (sold)
6) O'Coins
7) TiNova (I have a gift certificate)
8) Allegiant Air
9) Salter School
10) Barbers Crossing
11) EB Luce
12) DeScenza Jeweler
13) Bancroft Tire and Car Sales
14) Applebee's downtown
15) Mayfield Plastics to Millbury
16) Palsons Office
17) Union Station Restaurant
18) Blues Club at Union Station
19) Vincent Jewelers
20) Bob's at Webster Square
21) Sh'Booms
22) Parker & Harper on Dewey Street
23) Manoog Plumbing
24) Fidelity on Belmont
25) Sheraton Lincoln on Lincoln
26) L Hardy
27) Shaws on Grafton Street
28) Java Hut
29) Marshall's Greendale Mall
30) FDR Library
31) Plumber's Museum
32) Emilia's
33) Luciano's
34) Struck Cafe
35) KB Toys
36) Friendlys on Lincoln Street
37) Blackstone Harvest
38) Bancroft Liquors
39) 80's Club
40) Stowe & Degon
41) Woodfire barbeque
42) Zoots on Grafton
43) Hollywood Video on Grafton
44) African Museum on Canterbury Street
45) Robert's Fish & Chips (Lincoln)
46) Duffy's
47) Bank of America (Front Street)
48) Prime Mortgage
49) Kangaroo Crossing

Cape Air Expands to NY

HYANNIS, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cape Air cut the ribbon today inaugurating their newest routes between Saranac Lake and Plattsburgh, New York and Boston’s Logan International Airport. The new service actually began flying passengers in February and Cape Air President Dan Wolf says the route is already a proven winner.”

Folks here in the Adirondacks are really responding to the service and we are very happy with our first few months here,” says Wolf. “With a flight time of less than an hour and some fares as low as $59, it is cheaper to fly than it is to drive. We are looking forward to a busy summer and fall season.”

“Cape Air is our hometown airline,” said Edward C. Freni, Director of Aviation for the Massachusetts Port Authority, which owns and operates Logan. "We are pleased Cape Air is connecting Boston Logan International Airport with upstate New York.”

By September 2008 Cape Air will add an Albany hub with three new routes between the state capital and the communities of Watertown, Ogdensburg and Watertown. “Thanks to the tremendous support of state and local officials Cape Air is establishing a niche here in New York’s North Country and we are proud to add this beautiful region to our route map

May 12, 2008

Rockford Update

From our friend Tom Bona, click here:

Chicago Rockford International Airport posted its 19th consecutive month of year-over-year growth in April, with 21,127 passengers.That’s an 8 percent increase from last April.It’s also the fifth-best month for the airport all time. All five of those months have been since last March. For the year so far, the airport has seen 21 percent growth. It’s on pace to break its 17-year-old single-year record or 221,006.

Airport officials say that’s notable at a time when airlines are cutting back and airports are losing service around the country.“Think about 19 months ago and how much has changed, yet RFD continues to produce record traffic,” said Mike Dunn, chairman of the Greater Rockford Airport Authority board of commissioners. “The streak which began in October 2006 continues to show RFD’s ability to fill seats from the Chicagoland area to high-demand destinations.”Planes in and out of the Rockford airport were on average 85 percent full.

May 11, 2008

CSX Deal Falls Through in Florida

From the Tamba Bay Business Journal:

CSX Corp.'s deal with the state to sell 61 miles of track in Central Florida for a commuter rail system is off after the Florida Legislature did not approve a bill with provisions that the proposed sale hinged on. It appears that the action won't affect the terminal being built in Winter Haven, said Gary Sease, CSX spokesman.

The deal CSX negotiated with the state runs until June 2009. That means that it still can be implemented with legislative approval. Lawmakers in the Orlando area are trying to forge a compromise that could win approval of both houses at a later date.

The commuter rail deal had faced opposition from officials and civic leaders in Lakeland and other communities that would have seen freight train traffic increase as CSX would have rerouted trains through the area to a proposed intermodal rail yard in Winter Haven. In the end, it also faced opposition from people wary of the legislation's provisions to shield CSX from liability in accidents involving passengers. CSX wanted the state to cover liability for the commuter rail operation and the equipment involved in that, while the railroad would continue to shoulder liability for all freight operations, Sease said.

In a statement to the press, CSX said it's disappointed that the Legislature "failed to endorse this important investment in Florida's future." While commuter rail in Central Florida will not happen, CSX also said it's "reviewing its timeline for rail infrastructure modifications in Florida and studying other implications" of the Legislature's action.

May 10, 2008


I truly believe a great deal of the future success lies in commuter rail service. If we had steady consistent fast service to Boston, it would make a huge difference to Worcester and make projects like City Square a reality.

That said much of the dicussion that I have heard on the radio and read in the newspaper concerns me. In the end private property rights is the basis of capitalism and can not be overlooked.

We should negotiate with CSX but talk of class action lawsuits or eminent domain do not seem fair in this case. CSX owns this section of rail and it is there right to sell or not sell their own property.

May 09, 2008

Worcester Scratch Ticket

Story in the Telegram today that Councilor Smith has proposed the idea of a Worcester Scratch ticket to only be sold in Worcester with all proceeds from the sales going to Worcester. Imagine the fun we could have with this. The wild card could even be a picture of Scratch and the prizes. Post your ideas here.
On a serious note maybe we should focus on some of the cost cutting ideas that the Worcester Regional Research Bureau suggested first. More importantly there is no way in hell the Lottery would allow this.

May 08, 2008

When Less Is More

This latest Cigarette Tax Increase is going to backfire on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Recently the state of New Jersey passed a rather large increase and not only did they not meet their projections, but they actually collected less then before the increase. There are four other states that I know of who have collected much less then projected with their last increase and the more recently the Governor of Florida actualy vetoed an increase from the the legislature, for fear it would hurt revenues.

The topic of today's post, however, is New Hampshire. Check out the story from the Boston Herald here. They are not going to pass an increase in light of the Commonwealth's most increase realizing that they can collect more by not passing an increase. The thing people never consider are the lost revenues from alcohol and lotter sales to New Hampshire and surrounding states when people cross the border to buy cigarettes.

These lost revenues to the Commonwealth have a direct effect of the City of Worcester when 50+ percent of our revenues come from the Commonwealth.

Worc Regional Research Bureau

Once again they have pretty much nailed it in their latest report. The question is will any of the recommendations be implemented. Too long to list here. Readers of this blog I highly recommend it to be read. Quick easy read.

May 07, 2008

Gateway Cities

Nick K wrote a story about how 11 cities around the Commonwealth, including Worcesterm and banning together to compete against Boston. To quote the story:

During the past year, City Manager Michael V. O’Brien said he has been working with chief executives from the other cities on creating the “Gateway Cities Compact for Community and Economic Development.” The other “Gateway Cities” are Brockton, Fall River, Fitchburg, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lowell, Lawrence, New Bedford, Pittsfield and Springfield.

This can not hurt Worcester. The story also mention that they 11 cities will meet to formally sign the pact. It is just me or is there some irony in the fact that instead of meeting in one of the 11 Gateway cities, they are meeting in Boston to sign it?

What really caught my interest is that the City Manager will be presenting "a five-year, coordinated commercial district development action plan that will focus on downtown". My guess is that it will look like what they did in Philadelphia and what was down for the Hanover Theatre. First, lock in current assessed value for time period certain and myabe even waiving of permitting fees, etc.

This is good news and I look forward to hearing what the City Manager has in mind.

May 06, 2008

Allegiant Passenger Numbers

Regional carrier Allegiant Air LLC said its total traffic rose 26.3 percent in April as it beefed up capacity and flew fuller planes. The company, operated by Allegiant Travel Co., said total system traffic, which includes scheduled service, contract flights and other flying, increased to 326.1 million revenue passenger miles, compared with 258.3 million a year earlier.

A revenue passenger mile is an industry measurement accounting for one paying passenger flown one mile. Capacity increased 19.9 percent to 382.9 million available seat miles, from 319.4 million a year earlier. Load factor, a measure of occupancy, increased 4.3 percentage points to 85.2 percent

Allegiant 1st Qtr Results

From Duluth News Tribune

Despite rising fuel prices, Allegiant Travel Co., parent company of Allegiant Air and Allegiant Vacations, posted $9.7 million in earnings during the first quarter of 2008, nearly matching its performance for the same period during the previous year.

With shrinking margins, Allegiant achieved this feat only by dramatically boosting its revenue 58 percent, from $84.3 million during the first quarter of 2007 to $133.1 million during the first three months of this year. “Our focus on achieving higher loads was successful — our scheduled system had the highest domestic load factor in the industry at 86.9 percent, a 4.4 percentage point increase from the first quarter of 2007,” Maurice J. Gallagher Jr., Allegiant’s chairman, CEO and president, said in a statement.

Based in Las Vegas, Allegiant operates a fleet of 37 jets on 103 routes. Its service includes twice-weekly direct round-trip flights between Duluth and Las Vegas.

May 05, 2008

Bank of America

On Front Street in closing. City on the move continues.

Bank of America

On Front Street in closing. City on the move continues.

Liability and CSX

Good story in the newspaper today from a local lawyer, Dennis Gorman, at Fletcher backing up CSX and their liability concerns:, click here. THIS IS A MUST READ!

May 04, 2008

Worester Airport Status

  • Master Plan?
  • G-13?
  • 300,000 left in DOT monies need to be spent by September?
  • IMG has been paid 100,000 --what are they doing?
  • Bidder for the one parcel of land?
  • Contract negotiations with MassPort?
  • Does the city still charge their own fuel tax?
  • Continue to lose millions each year

The situation is not getting better. Downgrade to General Aviation and get out of the airport business yesterday. The whole situation is simply ridiculous.

May 02, 2008

Anonymous Post

Paulie said... "not for nuttin'..if da service is dat bad..why not find another airport??

"Most have. Like I said, take a walk around and see the desolation.Just for fun, take a look at ORH through google maps, and click on the sattelite image. I count 12 planes in the tie-down area, one (jet?) in front of Dynair, and 8 at the radio shop.I count 38 planes in Fitchburg, 16 in Spencer ,12 in Sterling (along with 79 glider trailers with 8 outside the trailers) 23 in Stow, 23 in Southbridge, 9 in Gardner, and 14 in Barre.

Every privately owned airport in the area has more planes than Worcester, and of the publicly owned ones, only Gardner has fewer. I suppose ORH is simply a secret that us fly-boys haven't discovered yet. Otherwise, it woudl be loaded with little planes.

h yeah, if Patrick gets his way, Mass will join Maine as the only New England States charging sales tax on airplanes and parts, so you can say good-bye to the Radio Shop too.

May 01, 2008

Auburn--Southbridge Street

Last night I hit my first bucket of ball at the Auburn Driving Range and driving back I counter 11--13 signs that advertised space for rent, space or sale. That whole stretch is getting killed. My bet is that the 146 Mall put the big hurt on this stretch.