July 31, 2009

Cash for clunkers

This ais a program through the Federal Gov't whereby if you trade your "clunker" in for a new car that improves your gas mileage, you can get up to a $4,500 tax credit. I was seriously thinking about it since I have a ten cylinder mid-90's truck that would have given me the whole $4,500. Although the program was suppose to go through November 1st, the program is out of money in 4 days--story here.

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

Pharmasphere Update

Remember last January (2008) the City of Worcester awarded this parcel to Pharmasphere for $1, although an abutter had offered 50,000. Click here for that story. Construction was to begin last March on a 5.5 million dollar building and they were suppose to move in next year (NOW).

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

Chandler NRSA

We have worked real hard on this the past couple years and it has not been easy. One of the things that we have worked on his the safety and security of the area. If people do not feel safe, they will not come to the area, the businesses and the underlying tax base will suffer.

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.

Think about.

  • 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.

Baseball in a Liquor Store

Ran across this the other day and laughed. Also need a change of pace. Never play baseball in a liquor store

Wormy Blog

Click here on affordable housing

NorthEast Display

Well that is the last company I can remember there and maybe a Churchill coatings? It is right over the Worcester line in Auburn along the driveway to the old T-Bird bowl and Atlas Distributors. There is a huge building being built. Anyone know anything about this???

Could it be a major expansion by Polar in Auburn??

Midstate Insurance

Sorry, made a mistake.

It is not Worcester Insurance, but Mid-State Insurance that is moving out of downtown to Stafford Street in a buiding next to Christo's.

July 27, 2009

Main South Neighborhood

I have had more people make comments to me about the story in the Sunday paper, like "gee didn't realize how bad your area is down here." Thanks South Worcester Neighborhood Center??

Sunday Telegram

Going up to $2.50 per issue

Winn Management

I heard a radio about about something along the line of 100 restaurants. To be honest I was not listening very closely until the end and one of the sponsors was Winn Management. Maybe someone else can give me details and I will listen for it today, but it looks like Winn is starting to grease the skids in Worcester.

July 26, 2009

Trouble Spot

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;
  1. duplex on the corner of Douglas and Grand. One of the home buyers has moved out as detailed in the Telegram story.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

Chandler NRSA Summer Work Crew

Working through the Budhist Temple on Dewey Street we contracted with 15 teenagers (15-20) to work throughout the Chandler NRSA cleaning up sidewalks, parks, etc. I can not tell you how impressed I am with these kids and the work that they have done.

July 24, 2009

Will From Worcester Wonderland

He has some great comments today. Check out his blog.. Pretty amazing how tough people can be anonymously...

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.

Note to Rep O'Day

In Winchendon today and I saw an ad for Bud 30 pacs in New Hampshire for 13.99. Now keep in mind there is neither a deposit nor sales tax.

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..

Homeowners Insurance

Caught a radio show today with Councilor Rosen and Germain. One of the items that they touched on was home-owners insurance. Maybe you guys should have an insurance expert (not me either) on to discuss an important issue like this??

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.

Buy Local

Spending time recently at Paul's for the Jazz Festival, Evo and as my President of the Chandler Business Association I have been trying to buy more right on Chandler Street and the immediate vicinity.

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

Home Rules Petition

The two home rules petitions that the City of Worcester to Boston got rejected. What does that mean? According to Levy show yesterday that means the City of Worcester needs to come up with 8 million in additional cuts?? That is going to hurt.

July 22, 2009

Sewer Back Up Insurance

Although this is not my expertise, I have heard many people on the radio say to get flood insurance and a sewer back will then be covered. I know for a fact it will not.. I m 99% sure you need to specifically require sewer backup insurance.

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

Springfield Forward Part 2

Hi Worcester! Springfield Forward here again. Reading the comments posted above tells us that many of you in Worcester "get it." New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, DC, Charlotte, Detroit, Buffalo and hundreds of other Cities also "get it" and are changing the way they build and provide affordable housing. Holyoke now builds Hope 6 - affordable HOME OWNERSHIP housing. That, combined with an incredible Police Chief who believes in strict enforcement of laws and ordinances, may be why Holyoke is experiencing a renaissance, albeit a slow renaissance, but a renaissance nonetheless. Holyoke is rebounding because Holyoke's leaders "get it!"

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: contact@springfieldforward.com


Check out Paul's blog for the story, click here. Rumor has it he showed up looking for a low to mod income apartment on the Mason Street Site.

July 20, 2009

Springfield Forward Interview

email address: springfieldforward@yahoo.com
website: http://www.springfieldforward.com/

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?

Ellen Pappas

July 19, 2009

9 May Street floods again

There is an artcile in today's paper, although I can not find on-line? Friday night the first floor apartment, as well as the parking lot flooded again. I feel bad for the renters, but am surprised that steps were not taken to somehow alleviate this problem since it obvious that this line must be a shared water/drain line. Anytime that it rains hard there is going to be a problem.

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

Mayoral Race

Many times on this blog we have discussed that buildings can not change this city, but it is the people. One of the major issues that determines who comes to live in Worcester is the development of low to mod income housing.

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

WoMag Blog Log

I always read this section and have to admit get a kick out of seeing one of my blogs. This week I was in it and my comment regarding the anonymous comments on the Telegram on-line newspaper was printed.

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?

Mom's Myrtle Beach Trip

She got back yesterday. Flight was full, a few empty seats, and the service could not be better. She gives the whole trip back and forth and "A" and would definately fly again.

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

Banner Theft From NolaFest

About 2:00AM this Saturday after Paulie's NolaFest ended two individuals were caught on the cameras installed through the Chandler NRSA program.. Here is a video of the two of them taking the banners. We will be posting another video shortly. Any help would be appreciated. Please note the camera system was installed by a local business, Forsberg and Carlson on Chandler Street.

Mayoral Announcement

Rumor has it that there may be someone, male from D4, making an announcement shortly for Mayor...


Have not checked up on Rockford for some time. They have three ailines there:

  1. Allegiant--had them, lost and doubt we can get them back
  2. Direct--we have them
  3. Apple Vacations

Apple would be a great fit at ORH.

July 14, 2009


Nice job by Andy Davis keeping the airport in the news. Check out today's Telegram. He has brought more press to ORH in 6 months then the prior Airport Director during his entire tenure. The more press--the better for ORH.

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


Pictures click here

City Clerk Rushford

Finally had a chance to flip through the papers yesterday, let me make a few comments about the story on the City Clerk.

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


What a day. What else can you say? Check out these blogs for some great pictures and their summary.



Paulie, although as of right now I think he may still be sleeping..

July 10, 2009

Christ Fitz Tomorrow

Weather looks good!!!

Jazz Festival Tomorrow

Paulie's NOLA Jazz Festival
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


NolaFest TV Interviews

Put up on the blogs...

New England Cable News...Worcester News Tonight ...05:30pm on NECN

then on WCTR-TV3 at 06:00 , 06:30 , 09:00, 10:00 & 11:00pm

July 08, 2009

Nola Fest

I bought some tickets through Randell Package Store. If any regular readers of the blog want a free ticket, put a comment here and I will make arrangements to get you a free ticket. First ask first get.

July 07, 2009

Rutland Vt has JetBlue

Now they have JetBlue via a code sharing agreement with Cape Air. I predict, we will have the same option within the next 12 months.

Click here

Cape Air and JetBlue® are moving mountains.
With daily flights serviced by Cape Air to and from Boston, flying out of Southern Vermont Regional Airport is as easy as ever …and more practical than you think!
The airport is less than 30 minutes from central and southern Vermont locations such as Manchester, Brandon, Castleton, Killington and Okemo.
When you fly out of SVR versus other airports, you’ll save time, drive less, and avoid all the lines and hassles.
*When visiting airline websites, please remember to use the code “RUT.”It’s a great value anytime, and even more so this June with the
“buy one, get one free” promotion!-->

July 06, 2009

Virgin Planes

As Ben pointed out, it looks like Direct Air is starting to use other planes (USA Jet and Xtra Airways). Although it is good to see the plane is full, this is not a good sign.

Lottery sales will be hurt

Two great minds that think alike, Jahn and Harry send me this link.

July 05, 2009

Sunday with Nemeth

Last time I will write about this. No story about the airport. I believe that MassPort taking over ORH will be good for Worcester. Can not believe, however, that we gave it up with talking to any other buys and really have no idea how much we sold the airport to MassPort for?

July 04, 2009

Nola Fest

One week from today. Send me an e-mail if you want tickets or come by the store, Randell Package Store. It is really start to take shape. Check out Paulie's Blog, he has about five updates.

July 03, 2009

Rumor Mill

Can not confirm so let me stress this is rumor, but I received an e-mail that after the new School Superintendent's first week of work, she is taking three weeks off?? Can anyone confirm this...

Rumor was confirmed but explained away... No big deal-read comments

CSX Donates 5K to NOLAFEST!!

Check out story

Welcome to SWIP

Ironically one day after the latest ribbon cutting, here is a picture to the entrance of the South Worcester Industrial Park after some 2 million, maybe even 3 million was spent on infrastructure improvements such as lowering the bridge, sidewalks and the road itself. Although flooding has always been a problem in this spot, evidently it was not addressed.

July 02, 2009

9 May Street Apartments Flood

In the Telegram. Ironically the individual in the picture, Tim Niles, is the person that I know who moved from apartments run by the Worcester Housing Authority on Addison Street (I think) to this new housing project.
Evidently the rain surge we got last night backed up into these apartments, which should have had a check valve.

4Rilla on SWIP

check out his blog , link to NECN coverage

South Worcester Industrial Park

I found the picture from a
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

Worcesteria--2nd story today from another blog

Check out Scott at Worcester Mag..

Great story on RFP of retail space at Union Station Garage.

New Sales Tax on Alcohol

Currently there is no sales tax on Alcohol now there is one and it will be 6.25%. Assume you like to buy a case a beer for the week and it runs you $21 plus deposit and the total is 22.50. Now add 6.25% to the $21 and you have a sales tax of $1.31 so now your new total; is 23.81.

Bottom line is the cost to buy alcohol just went up 6.25%. New Hampshire must be lovin this.