August 30, 2009

John Gatti Comments to Nemeth Article

Must say--well said.. Click here or read here

And now some brief overlooked facts being left out as the continuous one sided non objective special interest, catering to political elites, and leaving out all facts or drowning or demeaning, or dismissing the sincere who strive fairness in reporting.This so called editorial column did not fully disclose the fact that the former editorial board emeritus and editorial writer did not disclosed he has been a member of the airport authority. Is he blameless for the multi million dollar debt to city taxpayers?

The writer has not solved the problem to an out of control failure of the Worcester regional Airport.He advocates a pilot program mixture with the Secretariat of Transportation and Massport? Is this another band aid to deal with a long series of booboos to deal with continuous failed hemorrhages that does not offer a final solution the writer must take some ownership with his allies?

Giving praise of the Secretary of Transportation who will is recalled as an integral part of the 'Big Dig' culture and failure as turnpike lawyer and later private contract lawyer with expensive billing practices that have been questioned? Perhaps, this is why the writer always dismisses those who have tried to come forward to sincerely question inefficiency, waste, and mismanagement on government transportation iussues.

The writer is part of this long term problem and is not certainly a solution.The writer should fully disclose his conflicts as any respected journalist would do prior to writing a column. The Telegram should clarify and have a better policy when self interest or conflicts are apparent. I challenge the writer to review his own archive writings to leave no doubt he is not an enabler for the Massachusetts Failed transportation Policies and his enabler role in reporting or as a columnist?

-John Gatti Jr

July Airport Commission Meeting

Click here. They don't even discuss loads of the one airline that we have there, never mind any potential airlines.

Nemeth Article

Finally,click here.

First thing first. What has always bothered me was that Mr Nemeth completely dismissed our idea to pu out an RFP for the entire airport. Why didn't we at least try? Was there not a fiduciary responsible to the tax-payers of Worcester to ensure we received the highest and best price for ORH? In the end that is what we did (privative the airport), but we only talked to one buyer-MassPort. This made not sense and was a mistake.

Nothing we can do now, lets move forward. The outright of sale of ORH to MassPort looks like it is on track for December and that is good news for the future of ORH. Lets look at some facts of the deal that are being leaked out:

  • don't expect any cash windfall from the sale
  • be happy we are out of the aviation and don't have to pick up the annual deficit
  • MassPort will most likely just make an annual PILOT payment
  • we should just be happy that MassPort will turn ORH into the airport that we all that it can be and hopefully produce the same results that it has at Hanscom Field.

Again although I think we dropped the ball during this sales process, I can not disgree with any of the above. How can we exppect to get a windfall, when we never looked for another bidder? Under MassPort ownership I feel ORH will turn into a "real" aiport, since they do in fact have the expertise and capital to do what needs to be done.

Lastly there was a mention of a new airport adivsory commission to include representatives from neighboring communities? I want in.

August 29, 2009


What happened to him?

Chandler NRSA

Quick updates:

  • yesterday was the last day for the kids rom the Buddhist temple. They did a great job.
  • work has begun on the Living Earth/Evo facade. Two applications pending.
  • we are working on 4 differnt homes currently and have about 15 applications pending
  • 4th video surveillance system should go in this week with one more to go
  • working on budget for Year 3

August 27, 2009


Great piece in the Worcester Business Journal

Philadelphia Inquirer

Also, the editorial board of the Philadelphia Inquirer on the Philadelphia Tax Abatement program.

The abatement program is perhaps the most effective tax incentive that City Hall has to offer. Sure, the incentive is generous, essentially eliminating property taxes for 10 years on any new residential or commercial construction or major renovation.

However, that enticement is sorely needed in a city that has so many deterrents that keep away developers and residents, including high construction costs, a Byzantine development bureaucracy, an exorbitant tax structure, plus a pay-to-play culture. Until the city eliminates those barriers, the tax abatement is a necessity.

August 26, 2009

Why Isn't Anyone Running?

I tell you right now this District Council stuff does not work.

Take a second and look at the District Councilors:
  1. Eddy
  2. Haller
  3. Clancy
  4. Palmieri
  5. Smith

It is really tough to beat a sitting district councilor and alot of people may not want to run since they really need to go after a sitting district councilor. Seriously how many times has a sitting district councilor ever been beaten? Other then Joff knocking off Tom White and didn't Steve Abraham beat one, but name me one other time a sitting district councilor that has lost. Bottom line these people are tough to beat.

Then you look city wide and you have 6 people

  1. Lukes
  2. Rosen
  3. Rushton
  4. Petty
  5. Toomey
  6. Germain

One it is pretty hard to run city wide if you have never run before so maybe in a best case you replace one. Since Gary has backed out we can guarantee one new councilor. Now consider this what if all 11 spots were simply at large.

Forget about any more pay raised to get more people, lets scrap this whole district councilor idea, which actually I think hurts more then helps. Anytime I ask anyone about an issue, they always defer to the district councilor since they do not want to offend him or her. If we just opened the council up to the top 11 vote getters, we would get more people running and the turn over that we need to make the city council work better for the people.

Worcester Center Demo

Not to copy Jahn, but should we not be hearing something on this soon???

By the way the demo of the Standard Foundry in the South Worcester Industrial Park (SWIP) is progressing nicely.

August 25, 2009

November 22

Marks the one year anniversary for Direct Air. I give them about as much chance or reaching this date as I do the Red Sox taking first from the Yanks.

August 24, 2009


Click here

For the record, Jennifer Egan was great. Not only does she have to do the interview but she does all the camera work. The whole spot is done by a crew of one, Jennifer. I tried to plug the JetBlue codesharing arrangement with Cape Air, but it did not make the cut, and how it should come to Worcester like it has in:
  • Hyannis
  • P-town
  • Martha's Vineyard
  • Nantucket

What completely confused me about the interview was Dick Kennedy saying "Direct Air has the ability and is willing to grown into other cities??" Simply put they do not. We are going to have to just worry about keeping Direct Air flying into Sanford and Punta Gorda, never mind adding new cities. Maybe if we are lucky we get Myrtle Beach back in March. Sorry, but an airline like Allegiant now that it has turned public and has the capital can expand into other cities. Not Direct Air.

Maybe the most telling part of the interview was Ed Warneck saying that "some flights have had 8-12 person per flight and that they have lost a few million dollars." Direct Air can not lose a few more millions and if we don't have better loads in the fall, they will be done at ORH.

Channel 3

They are stopping by to ask me questions about Direct Air cut in service. If anyone has any questions for them, let me know.

The more I think about it, although it is not a good sign that Direct Air has cut service and lost the Virgin planes. My biggest concern are the flights that remain. Take a look at the flights that were cut:
  • 10 flights to Myrtle Beach only effecting 150 people that means only 15 tickets per flight
  • 5 flight to Florida effecting 177 employees that means ony 5 tickets per flight

That is not a good sign!!! Based on 149 seats that is not good. Maybe we should focus on the two remaining flights per week to Florida and that they adequate loads to keep flying out of Worcester.

August 23, 2009

Today Editorial on the NRSA

Click here

It’s a mouthful to say it: “Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area.”

But let’s just say, you know a potential NRSA when you see it. These neighborhoods need a little “TLC” — trash and litter control. And time, labor and cash.

Three years ago, Worcester designated five low-income neighborhoods as recipients of $2 million worth of federal Community Block Grant money, which was to be used in revitalization efforts. The areas chosen were Chandler Street-Park Avenue; Beacon Street in Main South; Grafton Street; lower Lincoln Street; and South Worcester.

About a quarter of the city’s residents live in one of these five areas, and about 80 percent of them are at or below the median income level, according to Dennis Hennessey, the city’s director of neighborhood and housing development.

He said that, so far, $900,000 of the $2 million has been spent on the pilot program.

The initiative aims to bring residents, nonprofits, city officials and business people together to tackle the myriad problems that grow, fester and that no one ever seems to get around to. That includes removing debris, pulling weeds, and fixing up storefronts and properties. In the longer view, the program seeks to help create affordable housing units, and jumpstart after-school and job development programs, among other improvements.

Wednesday evening, members of the City Council’s Public Health and Human Services Committee took a tour of the Chandler Street-Park Avenue NRSA, and heard feedback from some of those who have been involved, in preparation for a midway report on the program that is expected to be provided to the council in the fall.

Officials say the Chandler-Park NRSA has been the most successful of the five. Among those who have quietly done their part, or more than their part, are teenagers from the Buddhist Phohien Temple on Dewey Street, who have worked on weekdays all summer long, without pay or complaint, on cleanup in the neighborhood.

Andrew Serrato, owner of Seratto Signs on Dewey Street, told Wednesday’s tour-takers that in addition to various repairs, plantings and other betterments participants can point to, there has been a noticeable boost in civic pride. “This project is nudging people to reinvest,” he said.

That needed, potent nudge is the essence of the NRSA program’s goal. We hope the nudge keeps pushing for a nicer, more productive place for people to live and work, long after the grant money moves out.

August 22, 2009

Springfield Forward

Love this guy from Springfield Forward, George Pappas, going after the Mayor of Springfield about another low income housing project by Winn Management.

Section of the story from the Springfield Intruder

As the final act began to play out in a drama that has torn apart a community, George Pappas of the neighborhood group Springfield Forward stood before the members of the Springfield Finance Control Board this past Tuesday and directly addressed Mayor Domenic J. Sarno. In what may be his final words on the matter in a public meeting setting, Pappas ripped the mayor for his role in clearing the way for a low income housing project to be developed on the southern gateway to the city of Springfield. “You have now become a builder, Mayor Sarno,” said Pappas. “You have become the developer of Sarno’s Ghetto at Longhill Street.

For the next 30 years, residents in Forest Park and Springfield will have a memorial to your disdain for the citizens of Springfield, your disregard for our community voice and it will be you who will be remembered as the Mayor who did not show courage, compassion or intelligence. You are the Mayor without clothes. Mayor Sarno, your decision not to build a school at Longhill Gardens but instead to build a 100% low income housing project is disgraceful.”

August 21, 2009

Polar Corp

Remember I keep saying there is a huge building going up in Auburn just over the line where the former NorthEast Display use to be. Confirmed--it is Polar Corp.

15 Flights Cancelled

Not good. Telegram story here. Not good news for ORH.

August 20, 2009


Another great report, click here.

Commercial tax bases as a percentage of total tax base dropped from 30% in 1984 to 15% in 2009. That is a 50% drop in less then 25 years. I heard Joe O'Brien on the radio today say that the tax rate is 4th or 5th on a company's decision as to where they will locate? I wonder what these numbers looking like in the surrounding communities that have a single tax rate. My bet is that it has not only been stable but most likely increased the past 25 years.

Can someone please tell me what is going in just over the line in Auburn in the old NorthEast Display Building.

Chandler NRSA

We had a great walk and meeting about the Chandler NRSA. Click here for Telegram story. I would like to personally thank Gray Rosen for bringing his committee down to see what we are doing.

August 18, 2009

Cape Air code sharing with JetBlue

Still think Cape Air will be coming to Worcester: Click here.:

JetBlue Airways is proud to partner with Cape Air, the largest independent regional airline in the U.S. offering year-round service to some of the most beautiful destinations in the world.

Now JetBlue customers can enjoy smooth, simple connections from Boston's Logan International Airport to Nantucket (ACK), Martha's Vineyard (MVY), Provincetown (PVC), Hyannis (HYA) and Rutland, Vermont (RUT) on Cape Air

Heard of Allegiant Air? Why It's the Nation's Most Profitable Airline

Story from on-line website Fast Company, click here.

Route map above

August 16, 2009

Weden Lane

Dawson all wrapped up moving to Weden Lane, off Greenwood to build and sell another split before the December 1, 2009 deadline for the first time home buyer 8,000 tax credit deadline.

I will keep updates on the right.

Boston Globe Story

Great story on the Globe today, click here. President Obama shifting 4.25 billion to build affordable housing.

Considering the fact the City of Worcester already has the reputation as a low to mod income housing friendly environment coupled with this news, we are going to see even more of these projects.

August 14, 2009

WoMag Pharmasphere Part 2

Think it is important to look at last January's story in the Telegram when Pharamsphere was awarded the bid--click here..

The long and the short of the article was that they were awarded the bid for $1 versus the abutter at $50,000 since there was more upside. Pharmasphere plans to invest 5.5 milion to build and equip a 50,000 square foot facility employing about 40 people. The key being that construction would start in March. When I say March, I mean March of 2008 and Pharmasphere would be moved in this year. On the surface I felt bad that the abutter at 50,000 lost to a bid of $1, but a 5.5 million dollar facility with 40 employees is not a bad deal either.

Here is the problem. It is some 18 months later, the winning bid has yet to take title, has not done a very good job maintaing the site as required in the LDA (land disposition agreeement) and has not even pulled any permits to start work. Remember according to the article last January this should have been open by now.

Now for the WoMag article yesterday. Maybe it was unfair to say Pharmasphere has benefitted from $10 million in public funds. Technically 6.9 million has been invested in infrastructure and clean up at various sites. Any winning bidder at this parcel, future parcels and the neighborhood in general has benefitted from the 6.9 million. It is not unfair, however, to say that Pharmaspere now benefits from a 2.5 million HUD guaranteed loan, which will require that 51% of the employees be low to mod income.

The interesting part of the WoMag article is that the cost now is pegged at $17 million? Last year it was 5.5 million? I feel that when Pharmasphere was unable to get the financing that they anticipated that they would get to start construction, at no fault of theirs, the bid should have simply be redone.

Instead we:
  1. signed an LDA that in essence gives them until September of 2010 to take title to the property (almost 3 years from the award)
  2. co-signed on a 2.5 million dollar loan

Let me ask you this, what if we rebid the property and said:

  1. sale price $1
  2. you have until September 2010 to take title
  3. City of Worcester will help get you a 2.5 million HUD guaranteed loan

Do you think we would have gotten some bids?? In the end I just do not think it is fair to put out an RFP and then after a bid is awarded come up with special financing. It is simply not a fair bidding process .

August 13, 2009

WoMag on Pharmasphere

Click here

  • Pharmasphere's top executive is a political lobbyist from RI who serves as chairman of the RI Turnpike and Bridge Authority and the New England Trade Adjustment Assistance Center
  • company exists in name only, and was established solely on the basis of yet-to-begin operation in Worcester.
  • will be benefit from $10 million in public funds (6.9 million clean-up and 2.5 HUD guaranteed loan).

Sale price $1, but has not taken place yet?

August 12, 2009

More Taxes

I don't know what to say... Now a local meals tax. How is this handled?

  1. Does the restaurant remit 7% to the Commonwealth and the Commonwealth kicks back .75% to the City of Worcester?
  2. Does the restaurant remit 6.25% for the Commonwealth and .75% to the City of Worcester with two seperate checks?

Understand the premise that we need more revenues, but maybe making a statement holding the line on these taxes would send a better message to the public? Does anyone know if any of the surrounding towns have added this tax?

It is almost like the commercial tax rate?

August 10, 2009

Kate Toomey Video

Here was the number 1 related video???

August 09, 2009

Silly Bloggers

Remember that classic comment? Ask Charlie Baker how silly his Lets Take HealthCare blogwas at Harvard/Pilgrim. Now take a look at Mayoral candidate Joe O'Brien's blog , his YouTube Video:

But my favorite is Send Joe a Question

Telegram Quinn Bill

Shaun Sutner is getting better and better.

Great story on the Quinn Bill. Shaun how about a story on low income housing projects in the City of Worcester??

In case anyone has been wondering Mr Robert Z Nemeth has still not written about the sale of ORH.

August 07, 2009

Gary Rosen

Just heard the news. I was told earlier today that he may be dropping out of the Mayor race, which did not surprise me but the at large race also?

Forgetting about politics, Gary Rosen is simply a good man and I respect his decision although I personally will miss him on the council.

Rumor Mill

Did someone drop out of the Mayor's race today?

Ordering a Pizza in 2010

Click here

August 06, 2009

Virgin Planes

I heard months ago that Direct might be losing the Virgin planes. Well, it looks like (thanks Harry), they have. Click here.

At the same time, I have heard Direct Air has been doing well out of ORH this summer. Losing the Virgin planes, no matter how you look at it though, hurts.

August 05, 2009

40B Update

Boston Herald thanks Dave Z

Congressman McGovern

There was a story in the Telegram today. In particular this one line caught my eye:

Mr. McGovern added that a government plan, the so-called “public option,” is needed to create competition with private insurance carriers to hold down costs.

This could not be further from the truth. Let me make an analogy with health clubs.

  1. Lets say the government said that there was a health crisis and people were not working out enough and once they are out of shape, they get sick, ring up medical bills and costs all of us money.
  2. That we need a "public option" health club that did not charge exorbitant rates like the privately owned health clubs who pay their CEO's exorbitant salaries.
  3. Not only would the rates of these health clubs be much less, but when they bought equipment they could buy the piece of equipment much less then the privately owned health club.
  4. If this "public option" health club loses tons of money, who cares the tax-payers will pick up the debt.

Let me ask you this what do you think would happen to all the "privately owned" health clubs. Do you think this would create more competition?

Just the opposite, the private health clubs would eventually go out of business and we would have one "public option" health club.

August 04, 2009


Hearing all good news from e-mails about the flights and load factors out of airport. Lets hope this leads to some new annouced services.

August 03, 2009


Kind of busy but not to sound like Jahn:

  1. Garage demo? When is this going to happen
  2. Standard Foundry demo--could be the slowest demo I have ever seen
  3. City Builders demo? When is this going to happen, maybe the Commonwealth of Massachusetts does not have the money to fund this project