September 30, 2009

September 29, 2009


Starting to take shape

Worls War 2 Planes At ORH

Golfing at Holden yesterday had a chance to watch these fly overhead many times. Prety impressive.

Telegram story.

September 28, 2009

Neighborhood Stabilization Funds

I hope that a City Councilor asks for monthly reports on these funds to track who gets these funds. My bet is that very few private investors or new home-owners receive these funds. Monies will go mainly to the CDC's or companies like Winn.

September 27, 2009

93 - 95 Grand Street

Story in today's paper about monies being invested in the City of Worcester to stabilize neighborhoods by helping people buy vacant and foreclosed properties in targeted areas. Couple of things you need to know.

First, there are income restrictions. If you are going to be owned-occupied , you need to be low to mod income. Or if you are going to rent the units, you need to rent to people of low to mod income. Bottom line more low to mod income developments?

Second, there was mention of how monies will be used to demolish 95 Grand Street. This property abuts 93 Grand Street, which is owned by the Main South CDC who has used nearly all of their NRSA monies to date on 93 Grant Street, and I would imagine that this will somehow be awarded to the Main South CDC to compliment 93 Grand Street. More monies for low income housing.

Sounds good on the surface when you read about $12 million for neighborhood stabilization. The title should really be $12 million for more low to mod income development.

Direct Air Being Sued By Pace

First Direct Air lost Virgin and now Pace, leasor of planes, is sueing Direct for an unpaid bill of 1.45 million. Click here for full story.

September 26, 2009

CVS Park Ave & May

Anyone know why this has not opened yet?

September 25, 2009

South Worcester Business Council

First meeting this week attended, and supported, by District 4 Councilor Barbara Haller and State Rep Fresolo. Going to be easy getting this going utilizing the Chandler Business Association (CBA) as our model. Should be alot of fun.

Our number priority is to kick start the storefront program on Southbridge Street through the South Worcester NRSA.

September 24, 2009

Womtown Coverage of Candidate Night

Click here



Rosen WCRN Friday 11-Noon

Listen in he will have Councilor Germain and Nick K, who has been writing some great stuff lately. Guy could not have been any more right on his common story.

Chandler Street Candidate Night

For the first time, we ever did something like this?? I thought it went pretty well. Really want to thank all the candidates and press (Gary Rosen, Wormy and Channel 3) for attending, Evo for putting out a great spread and Paulie deciding it was a good idea and just doing it.

Stay tuned-- Paul is working on debates now.

September 23, 2009

National Autism

Final tally 10,485. Copies from Paul's site

Candidate Night

Tonight!! Evo, located within Living Earth, on the corner of Dewey and Chandler Street. Get the oppotunity to meet pretty much everyone running for City Council, Mayor and School Committee.

Please note we also unveil the official amount that we raised for the National Autism Association from Paulie's NOLAFest. Zimage, if you show I will buy you a beer although you have not technically won the bet.

Hosted by the Chandler Business Association
Between 5:30 PM and 7:30PM



September 22, 2009

Worcester Charter School

Very interesting story in the Boston Globe

Candidate Night

Chandler Business Group invites anyone reading this blog to come to EVO (within the Living Earth building) tomorrow (Wednesday, September 23rd) to meet the candidates between 5:30 --7:30PM.

So far the following have committed to this Wednesday candidate meet and greet at EVO Restaurant at 232 Chandler Street, Worcester, MA from 5:30-7:30PM....light bit complimentary of EVO Restaurant and first refreshment courtesy of the Chandler Street Business Association.

District 4 City Councilor - Barbara Haller
District 4 City Councilor candidate - Grace Ross
City Councilor at Large - Joe Petty
City Councilor at Large candidate - Kola Akinde
City Councilor at Large candidate- Mary Keefe
City Counselor at Large candidate - Joe O'Brien

School Committee candidate - Tracy Novick
School Committee candidate-- Rob Diaz
School Committee Member - John Monfredo

School Committee Member - Brian O'Connell

City Counselor at Large - Kate Toomey
City Councilor at Large Gary Rosen is not running for re-election but he will doing political commentary for radio station WCRN

We hope you all can attend.


Paul Collyer

September 21, 2009

Harry T post

According to this website:

Can Am Baseball Championship Series attendance:

Game 1 in Worcester: 642
Game 2 in Worcester: 741
Game 3 in Quebec: 5011
Game 4 in Quebec: 3744

642 and 741 for a championship series? Once again...where was the Chamber of Commerce? ... where was the Visitor's bureau? ... a chance to showcase the city to a Canadian province and we can't even fill the stadium at 20% capacity? A 2 for 1 deal ... a discount for city employees ... public unions... St. V's employees, UMASS employees, etc would have filled the stadium. Where was the marketing for this? the team? the city?...Chamber of Commerce? ...visitor's bureau?

An embarassment if you ask me...

Just my 2 cents...

Harry T(wo cents)

1:12 AM

September 20, 2009

Hadley Facade

Just drove down Main Street, complete mess in front of the Hadley and old Mart. The sidewalks were full of trash. It got me to thinking about the NRSA reports last week and that there is one facade pending for the Hadley.

Lets think about this after the millions and millions of dollars that they already got from the government to build this low to mod income project that we do not need, we are going to give them our City CDBG monies to fund a facade program. Considering the state of the entire street, I can think of 100 facade that need work done more then the Hadley?

September 19, 2009

Boon for Buiness

Telegram Article today on the movie crew at ORH. Absolutely hilarious. Paulie's NOLAFest had more economic spin-off then this. Best line

Richard P. Walsh, spokesman for the Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates Worcester Regional Airport, said that because Direct Air — the charter air carrier that flies out of the airport — did not have any flights scheduled during the week, there was no interruption of commercial air traffic at the airport.

September 18, 2009

As I See It

Great one in today's Telegram.

September 17, 2009

New website

Check out my new website set up by my friend Chris Johnson, who I met through the Citizens for Business. In particular our new construction project on Weden Lane. Slideshow a little weak right now, but will get better daily.

September 16, 2009

NRSA Update

City Council meeting Tuesday night had a summary of the NRSA activity for the five NRSA's from inception to the current date--click here then look up 7.5 A). One thing was missing from the report. Economic Development listed all the completed and pending projects along with ownership, public investment and private investment. Neighorhood Services did not have the same report so we neither know the owners were of the housing projects nor the public and private investment.

I will rank these from 5 (worst performing) to number 1 (the best performing)

5) Although Beacon NRSA has spent 301,436 of the 313,661 that it has been allocated, where has it been invested. There has been one storefronts completed listed at 927 Main Street with Mains South CDC as the owner and there is one application pending for the Hadley Apartments.

The only Housing Rehabilitation/Blight control has been on properties owned by Main South CDC (93 Grand Street, pre-development costs for a future 46 unit housing project) and the abutting property (95 Grand Street) controlled by EONS for clean-ups. As far as I can tell by this report, pretty much all of the 301,436 was invested back into properties owned by the Main South CDC.

4) South Worcester NRSA has spent only 46,470 of the 285,686 that has been allocated to them. Not one facade facade and only two housing projects have been completed leaving a balance of 239,216 not invested.

3) Grafton Hill NRSA has spent 87,275 of the 245,200 that it has been allocated. Not one facade has been completed, but 7 housing projects have been done.

2) Lincoln Street NRSA has spent 146,096 of the 285,000, leaving a balance of 138,903. They completed one facade and 7 housing projects.

1) Chandler NRSA. We have spent 251,860 of the 326,000 that has been allocated. Although 74,139 remains, we have it all earmarked for projects over the next month or two.

  • Completed 6 facade projects not 3. Chandler NRSA has completed more facade projects then the other four NRSA's combined.
  • There are 3 pending facade projects not 2
  • We have installed 5 video monitoring systems on 5 privately owned businesses (not listed)
  • 5 housing projects have been completed, 5 (not 1) in progress and 18 pending
  • 23 neighborhood residents trained at MLK
  • Summer Youth programs the past three years to clean up the area
  • 6 benches and 12 planters

I would personally like to thank Councilor Rosen for getting us this report in a timely fashion. This should be a monthly report and there needs to be a better break-out of how the monies are spent to effectively judge how each NRSA is performing. Obviously I am biased, but numbers do not lie.

Happy B-day Paul & Thanks Nick K

For Paul's birthday I am taking him back to Slumerville to discuss the NRSA with their city leaders. Should be fun.

Great coverage by Nick on the Citizens for Business press release, click here.

September 15, 2009

Rosen & Germain Radio Show

This Friday Beth Proko and I will be appearing on our WCRN show Friday, 11 AM, 830 AM. Call in to comment or question us at @ 508-438-0965 on the Citizens For Business Press Release below.

Acorn Baltimore

Telegram Editorial

If you ask me Nick K was 100% right not sure what to make of this editorial from the Telegram??

At noontime last Friday, public officials, veterans and a grateful public gathered in the rain on Worcester Common for the rededication of the city’s World War II memorial. The moving, hourlong ceremony was an appropriate and welcome reminder of the role that so many of this nation’s men and women played in defending freedom. Sadly, however, the Common has in recent months all too often been host to less dignified activities.

Anyone who lives or works in Worcester’s downtown — or regularly passes through the area — has seen and heard all too much in the way of inappropriate language, crude gestures and unruly behavior. Panhandling, loitering, drug dealing, assaults, and allegations of illicit sexual activity have all contributed to a coarsening of the city’s public spaces. Worcester remains a very livable city, and her problems are a far cry from some beleaguered urban areas in the country, but she is not immune from the activities and trends that cause many to think twice before venturing downtown.

It is too easy to attribute the trend to the reduction in police foot patrols in the area, or the closing of the Police Department’s substation on Front Street. Police presence certainly has a deterrent effect, but so too does the presence of ordinary citizens shopping, walking and going about their legitimate business. In time, a recovering economy and projects such as CitySquare should serve to change the dynamics of downtown, drawing more would-be shoppers and residents to the core of the city to bolster the efforts of the patient — and sometimes long-suffering — entrepreneurs and residents already there.

But a weak economy is no reason for law-abiding residents not to blow the whistle on crassness and crime. We encourage the public to patronize downtown businesses when they can, and to notify police and public officials when they observe, or are the targets of, inappropriate behavior. No one should have to think twice about crossing the Common or taking their lunch on a park bench in the Heart of the Commonwealth.

September 14, 2009

Citizens for Business Press Release

13 September 2009
For Immediate Release

Philadelphia Comes to Worcester

Hundreds of buildings in Worcester are vacant. In a recent Worcester Research Bureau study it was identified that only 15% of the Worcester tax base which the city depends on to pay for critical services is made up of businesses. Over the last 25 years Worcester has had a drastic reduction in businesses in part due to the dual tax rate which was enacted in 1984. The dual tax rate means that a different tax rate is used for residential and commercial properties, an approach that differs in stark contrast to the one that exists in most of our surrounding towns. An increasing number of buildings in Worcester are vacant, abandoned or deteriorating.

Other cities have experienced similar problems. After watching the downtown population of their city decline steadily over 40 years, the City of Philadelphia decided to take action and reverse this trend. In 1997, they decided to lock-in the assessed value of residential conversions at their predevelopment level for 10 years. In 2000, new construction of residential units was added and began enjoying the benefits of locked in predevelopment assessed values for 10 years. As result, more than 8,000 converted and new units have been added to the tax base. Now that the abatement period is over for some of the early adopters, Philadelphia is reaping the rewards of a larger tax base. Since inception, the City of Philadelphia estimates that tax abatement program:

· Produced 2/3rds of the development that otherwise would not have occurred.
· Generated $4 billion in additional economic activity.
· Will yield a cumulative gain of $285 million over 25 years.

Closer to home, we have all seen the benefits of a similar program with the Hanover Theatre in downtown Worcester. In this case the property taxes have been held at the predevelopment assessed value for 7 years, not 10. In addition all permitting fees, which were approximately $200,000, were waived. We now have a beautiful building that is now heavily utilized that had been previously neglected.
Worcester Citizens for Business (WCB), a grassroots organization made up of residents and business owners focused on restoring economic viability to the City of Worcester, proposes that we focus on expanding the commercial tax base in Worcester using the model created to inspire development in Philadelphia in combination with the model we have already experienced success with at the Hanover Theatre. WCB supports a comprehensive plan to:

· Target the Commercial Area Revitalization Districts

1. Canal District
2. Downtown
3. Lower Lincoln
4. Main South
5. Pleasant/Chandler Street Corridor
6. Southbridge Street/South Worcester Industrial Park (SWIP)

· Freeze predevelopment assessed values for ten years on any commercial improvements or new construction.
· Waive all permitting and sewer and connection fees.

This program will provide an important new tool in a concerted effort to attract new businesses to Worcester as well as encourage renovations and development.

Let’s work together to lower taxes for residential and commercial property owners and restore city services by expanding our tax base.

For more information, contact Worcester Citizens for Business at 508-792-0112 x444 or Visit our website at

September 13, 2009

Nick K

He nailed this one, click here.

Downtown is a dump. It is the worse that I have seen it since I started working here since 1986. Can't wait for the next bus strike. It is then and only then that downtown is passable.

September 11, 2009

9 May Street

Saw Steve Patton at the City Council meeting the other night looking for the city to make improvements to the sewer line to alleviate the problems at 9 May Street. In fact I saw Tim Niles on behalf of the tenants.

It got me thinking. The problem is that the line there is a combo line for sewer and drain. Anytimg it rains heavily the line becomes full with drain water and no sewerage from the building can get in. At the same time the 48 tenants are sending water into the sewerage system that backs up into the basement apartments.

Why can you have a large tank, say 3,000 to 5,000 gallons that will contain any overflow that is also connected to the sewerage system.. In other words when it rains and nothing can go into the sewer system, the sewerage from the tenants goes into this tank versus the basement apartments. As soon as the sewer line has room the tank drain into the sewer system.

In a worse case scenario you can put an alarm on the tank that once it hits 90%, an alarm goes off and a company comes in to drain it. Total cost for the fix can not be more then 25,000.

Gov't Track History

The U.S. Post Service was established in 1775 - they've had 234 years to
get it right; it is broke, and even though heavily subsidized, it can't
compete with private sector FedEx and UPS services.

Social Security was established in 1935 - they've had 74 years to get it
right; it is broke.

Fannie Mae was established in 1938 - they've had 71 years to get it
right; it is broke. Freddie Mac was established in 1970 - they've had
39 years to get it right; it is broke. Together Fannie and Freddie have
now led the entire world into the worst economic collapse in 80 years.

The War on Poverty was started in 1964 - they've had 45 years to get it
right; $1 trillion of our hard earned money is confiscated each year and
transferred to "the poor"; it hasn't worked.

Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965 - they've had 44 years to
get it right; they are both broke; and now our government dares to
mention them as models for all US health care.

AMTRAK was established in 1970 - they've had 39 years to get it right;
last year they bailed it out as it continues to run at a loss!

This year, a trillion dollars was committed in the massive political
payoff called the Stimulus Bill of 2009; it shows NO sign of working;
it's been used to increase the size of governments across America, and
raise government salaries while the rest of us suffer from economic
hardships. It has yet to create a single new private sector job. Our
national debt projections (approaching $10 trillion) have increased 400%
in the last six months.

"Cash for Clunkers" was established in 2009 and went broke in 2009 - -
after 80% of the cars purchased turned out to be produced by foreign
companies, and dealers nationwide are buried under bureaucratic
paperwork demanded by a government that is not yet paying them what was

So with a perfect 100% failure rate and a record that proves that each
and every "service" shoved down our throats by an over-reaching
government turns into disaster, how could any informed American trust
our government to run or even set policies for America's health care
system - - 17% of our economy?

September 10, 2009

Weden Lane

Been busy. Broke ground on Weden Lane, off Greenwood. Updates will be posted on the right side:

  • 269,000
  • 4,000 closing credit
  • 3% broker fee
  • 1500 sq ft living space
  • 2 car underneath
  • 3 full bedrooms
  • 2 full baths
  • hardwoods upstairs
  • carpets in bedrooms and downstairs living area
  • tiles in baths
  • outside deck
  • granite counters
  • central air
  • done by the December 1st 1st time home-buyer credit

September 09, 2009

Rockford Airport

It has been a long time since i gave any updates on this airport, the role model for all secondary airports in the United States. Saw this piece in the Chicago Tribune:

From the standpoint of the Chicago-Rockford International Airport, you might think the economy is A-OK. Never mind that it's an outpost in a community with the highest unemployment rate of any city in Illinois. The airport is still keeping busy. Maybe because it had nowhere to go but up.

From a mere 1,400 passengers in all of 2002, traffic has climbed to 225,000 in 2007, the last full year of published numbers. Air cargo has expanded too, as the UPS trucks around the airport attest. And it has held its own during the downturn, off 4 percent last year compared to a 17 percent decline inair cargo nationally. Meantime, Wanxiang America Corp. has broken ground on a solar-panel manufacturing plant bordering airport property. The Chinese firm is proposing to establish one of the nation's largest "solar farms" for gathering power from the sun.

So no recession at RFD, right? "I am not so sure the recession is over," says Bob O'Brien, the airport's executive director. "I for one think it has peaked for the moment and it's going to fall again before it recovers." The airport is an example of how some businesses hold their own even while others tank. It's never all bleak. "What's going on at this airport is not the norm. It's a niche situation," he said. "We know there's a recession on."

September 08, 2009

Spellane out in 2010

Rumor has it a group e-mail went out to supporters that he will not run next year.

Tickets Tonight

Selling 4 tix to the Red Sox- Tuesday September 8th@ 7:05p against baltimore orioles
Sect 14
Box 111
Row AA
Seats 1-4
$95.00 each will sell all 4 or in 2 pairs.

Post here if interested

Kudos to Cape Cod Times

Click here

While we value the engagement of online comments and prize an unfiltered conversation with and among our audience, such discussions are only as valuable as the level of discourse. Put simply, when the conversation is littered with name-calling and personal attacks, it's not doing anyone any good. We want to encourage a civil discourse on our sites fitting of the high ethical standards we set for the Cape Cod Times.

Therefore, we are removing the forums entirely and will be moving to a new system where article and blog comments are moderated. This system will be in place by Oct. 31 at the latest

September 07, 2009

Can You Pick Harry?

Midland 2nd grade 1976

Worcester Free Cash is Zero

I saw this article last week in the Telegram, click here. Here is the most disturbing line:

•Revenue generated through the sale of city trash bags came in at $685,639 under budget and $303,115 less than what the city received in fiscal 2008.

Again I think this an another example, where if you just keep increase taxes, or trash bag fees, you do not necessarily mean more income. Charging 1.50 per bag is simply too much money and many people of low to mod income are simply not buying them. Think about it 303,115 less then last year that 202,076 less bags were bought-do you think we had 202,076 less bags of trash to be disposed??

The City needs to lower these rates to not only make it more affordable for people to dispose of their trash but they would raise just as much income.

September 04, 2009

NRSA Numbers

How long do you think it will take us to get the financials listing:

  1. expenses by project--thats it!

From the five NRSA's?? Considering the Chandler NRSA already has them, we only need them by the other 4. No reason we should not have them by the middle of September.

Blanchard's 101 Diner

Rumor has it that there was quite the motley crew having breakfast there this morning.

Road Trip to Sommerville

That's right Paul is taking me to Sommerville to meet their leaders,in particular the ones who run their successful NRSA programs. We hope to learn more about what types of programs have worked for them and duplicate them in the City of Worcester. Knowing Paul we will have videos and pictures of our road trip.

September 03, 2009

South Worcester NRSA Application

"South Worcester Business Council consists of approximately 80 organizations representing financial institutions, businesses, churches and education institutions in the nighborhood. The group was initiated in 2004 and has hosted 3 meetings since then, including a planning meeting to gain concensus on the South Worcester NRSA application. The South Worcester Business Council is an initiative that is alread in place to help advance the plans for the strategy area. The South Worcester NRSA decision making will primarily be made among this group, with input fromo the South Worcester Neighborhood Center who represents the neighborhood's voice......

The NRSA Advisory Committee and Planning Team will formed within the South Worcester Business Council...

Decision making for longer term development projects will also be done through the South Worcester Business Council

It gets even better the South Worcester Neighborhood Center will establish accountability measures through reporting on its NRSA activities to the City of Worcester on a quarterly basis."

Flash forward--South Worcester Business Council does not exist

Kate Toomey Kick-off

Showed up a little late, but the place was packed and everyone said Kate did a great job with her speech. Based on the mood and the momentum I saw, don't expect Kate to back out of this Mayoral race.

September 02, 2009

Two New Development Projects in Main South

Good news right-two new development projects:

  1. Piedmont Street (Common Ground): Framing is going up for a 12 room single occupancy with retail on first floor with little to no parking.
  2. Benefit Street (Main South CDC): Framing three duplexes

Although we have:

  1. Hadley Apartments and first floor store fronts empty
  2. Cambridge/Hacker mostly empty
  3. Former City Builders property still not torn down
  4. Mason Street still fallow
  5. 9 May Street, I believe the basement tenants are still in hotels

The only two new development that we have in all of Main South is still more low to mod income housing projects..... I know people are sick of me saying this, but when do we finally say enough ie enough??? We need market drive, high end development projects to turn around Worcester not more projects that attract the opposite.

Isn't one of our goals to attract people with money to come to Worcester? Instead we keep building more low to mod income projects to attract non-high income people and we wonder why Worcester does not evolve.

Response to Ben

My interest in ORH was peaked four years ago, when I read about JetBlue's marketing idea to buy the Embraer 190 and feed their hub (JFK) from smaller feeder airports. I thought why not Worcester be one fo those airports. I started to make calls and do some research, what a mess thus the website and blog. Been alot of fun for me.

At the same time I have learned that ORH is like the Pats before Bill Parcells came and started to turn the franchise around. The management has been wretched and ORH will never became anything until the right mgmt is in place. Although I think we should have tried harder to find other bidders, I look forward to MassPort taking over. Until that happens, we may or we may not keep Direct Air, but that is irrelevant. When MassPort takes over, thie place is going to pop, but until then we really do not have much to talk about.

As for your question on the filming. The exposure can't hurt and I doubt it will affect any flights.... You are right, it should have been on the topic board-- here it is, click here.

Sales Tax

Just because you raise taxes, it does not necessarily mean you will get more income. Case in point, the dollar per pack increase on cigs last year. Now this year, we have the new 6.25% sales tax on aclohol.

In case you have not seen it, please read Howie Carr today. State Rep Michael Rodriguez (D-Westport), who voted for the sales tax, was seen loading up his car with personal House License Plate-29, with booze.

Not his fault, however, he has blamed the Masssachusetts Republican Party???? He went on to explain, "Unfortunately, I think that's why the Republican Party is in such bad shape in Massachusetts," Rodrigues told the newspaper. "The electorate here is smart enough to figure out what they're up to."

Kate Toomey

Had the pleasure to meet up with Kate Toomey over a cup of coffee yesterday.... Can not say it better then Paul already has click here. She was great.

The most interesting part was that we had five business owners and not only not members of the Chamber but laughed when asked how we felt the Chamber did representing the business interests in the City of Worcester. This is starting to become a real problem.


Couple weeks back, we went to Mystic, Ct and brought our daughter to the Dinosaur Place. She liked it, besides the dinosaur exhibits there was a maze, other activities and a spray park. Last year, same thing when we went to Boston, there was a spray park on the common and behind Faneuil Hall.

My daughter could not have had more fun. Myself, I looked at these parks as incredibily cheap to install, monitor and maintain. Versus spending a couple million bucks on one pool or an acquatic facility--lets install a couple spray parks like everyone else is doing????

September 01, 2009

Deutsche Bank

Two tickets. Don't see my being able to go.. Anyone want them for tomorrow? NO cost