July 31, 2010

Converted Organics

Click here for the Form 10-K.

Page 15

We expect to incur significant losses for some time, and may never operate profitably.

From inception through December 31, 2009, we incurred an accumalted net loss of approximately $49.9 million.   The revenues that we began to generate from our Gonzales facility in Feburary 2008 and from our Woodbridge facility have not yet resulted in our earning a profit, and we will contibue to incur significant losses for at least the near future.  There is no assurance that our operations will ever become profitable.

Jahn, would you sign on as a guarantor for 2.5 million for this company?  The City of Worcester ahs. 

July 30, 2010

Wade's Opinion

Friend of mine just started a blog all about real estate in the Punta Gorda area

Click here.

Mores Destinations

Worcesteria quotes Phil Niddrie that more locations to be announced over the next couple of weeks.  My top two:

  1. Melbourne
  2. San Juan 

July 29, 2010

Pharmasphere Just Established

Huh??? Yep remembered they were bought out recently by Converted Organics.  Now Converted Organics announced today that they established Pharmasphere???    This thing never made sense from the very beginning.   Two years this parcel has been tied up for $1, that was never paid, and not one penny of tax revenues has been collected.

Clicke here for the press release.  here is part:

BOSTON, July 29, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Converted Organics, Inc. (Nasdaq:COIN) today announced that TerraSphere Systems, LLC, a leader in the vertical farming market, has established PharmaSphere Systems, LLC as a biotechnology company that will produce and market high-value, plant-based compounds to the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and cosmeceutical markets, through the use of TerraSphere's vertical farming technology.

Summer Work Crew

The summer crew will be working the NRSA area around my office today.  You can even watch them on the videos:

  1. advantage.everfocusddns.com
  2. allow the add-on to run
  3. wpd (small letters)
  4. wpd (small letters)

Dick Chernisky Letter to the Editor

Worcester needs a 10 percent cap on affordable housing. The only exceptions should be affordable homeownership and quality senior housing. And the Chamber of Commerce should support the 10 percent cap.

The 10 percent cap is just as important as commuter rail. In fact, the positive effects of commuter rail will be greater with the 10 percent cap. The cap offers investors more security, attracting new industry, and expanding Worcester’s tax base. The cap will dramatically increase Worcester’s customer base with higher disposable income, and nothing is more important to business than a growing customer base.

The Chamber of Commerce has done nothing for Worcester. Over the last 50 years, it’s watched our downtown go from the number one retail center to a ghost town. It watched stores like Sears, Jordan Marsh (Macy’s) and Filenes leave Worcester, and did nothing to stop this tragedy. It watched towns like Auburn and Westboro go upscale as Worcester went downscale. Today, the second-largest city in New England doesn’t even have a Macy’s.

Remember, what good things that are happening to Worcester today have nothing to do with the Chamber of Commerce.   The Chamber of Commerce now has the opportunity to do something for Worcester besides trying to tax homeowners to death. There are many ways to help business without shifting more tax burden onto homeowners, and the 10 percent cap is one of them. If the Chamber of Commerce truly supports Worcester, it will rally in favor of the 10 percent cap.

July 28, 2010

Chandler NRSA Video Cams

  1. type evo.everfocusddns.com    (no www)
  2. run the add-on from everfocus
  3. name          wpd (small case)
  4. password    wpd   (small case)
Pretty good!! 

Worcester AIrport Fan Page

Click here

Kerry will pay taxes now

Great article in the Boston Globe

Peter Blute had a great line today on the radio.  Ironic isn't that the Republican Senator is known for his $30,000 pick-up truck that he drives around the Commonwealth, while the Democratic is known for his $7,000,000 yacht that he stores in Rhode Island to avoid the Massachusetts sales tax. 

July 27, 2010

Kerry's Yacht

Telegram Story

Story in the newspaper today, regarding Main South.     Not sure how this was really different then the bus tour a couple months ago.

It is good, however, to sign the private investors (Russell Haims) are recognized  as partners in the development of Main South.  

July 25, 2010

Christie on gambling

Interesting video, especially in light of the fact Massachusetts looking more into gambling.

July 24, 2010

MassPort Balancing Act

The more I think of it, the more I know ORH is going to be a viable airport sooner then later.  Over the next couple of months, I expect to see more announcements to leisure destinations.  Also think you will see, no offense to Direct Air, but better carriers.    The one that makes the most sense is JetBlue.

Although the ideal situation would be a daily shuttle with multiple flights to a major hub, where you could then connect directly anywhere.  I just don't see that happening right away, but this time next year?  Definately.

The other new hot rumor is San Juan.   This one makes alot of sense too.   Large Puerto Rican population in Central Massachusetts, that travel back to PR all the time.  Many people in Central Mass own property in PR and they travel back and forth constantly.  

A problem I see MassPort facing is if they get too much commercial business too fast, the question may start to be asked "why did this not happen until now?"   I have always maintained that we made a mistake only talking to MassPort and that we should have RFP the entire airport, but too late for that now.   MassPort has ownership, lets support their efforts and move forward.

Exciting time right now for ORH.  In April I predicted to new commercial carriers at ORH by the end of the year and I stick by that one. 

July 23, 2010

Direct Air to West Palm

Great introductory specials but you need to act now!!!

Click here for information on the $79 flight.

July 22, 2010

184 Main Street TIF

After reading through everything I do have a problem with this.  Let me explain.   The TIF itself, I like alot!!!  Infact the Citizens For Business is pushing to target properties in advance whereby a developer, who hits a certain threshold of improvements would:
  1. Lock in assessed value for 10 years
  2. waiver permitting fees
  3. waive water and sewer connection fees
The problem I have is who were the other bidders?   Their underlying property should be given the same TIF.  Let me explain.   Say I own a property somewhere else on Main Street and I got beat out on this RFP by 184 Main Street.  I would be upset now that 184 is going to get a TIF to, in essence, win the bid.  

Bottom line is that the developer should have gotten the TIF in advance of the RFP for the DA's office to level the playing field with the other bidders.   Bottom line is that this TIF after the RFP was awarded gives them an advantage over anyone else who bid. 

Direct Air to West Palm

Staring in November.   By the way, this was predicted here..    Still feel Melbourne is coming too.   Click her for the Telegram article.

July 21, 2010

City Manager Pay

Lets just hope he does not make as much at the City Manager of Bell, Ca.

Click here

Cape Air

I paid for a ride in (110) and to be picked up (110) for my trip last week.   Total of 220 for three people.   The three tickets round trip to San Diego was approximately 1,200.    I would have gladly paid Cape Air to fly me to Boston from ORH with a code sharing agreement with JetBlue. 

Avoid the security check at Logan.   I just see how this would not work for Cape Air and JetBlue? 

July 20, 2010

Laguna Niguel

Away last week with the family.  Great JetBlue flight direct to San Diego out of Boston both ways.   The worst part of the trip is gettinig to and from Boston.   Would gladly pay Cape Air to fly me out of ORH to connect.  

Paul Pierce got married next door while I was out there, but I was not invited. 

Direct Airlines

Surprised that we have not heard any announcement yet on the new destinations?   If they are going to make some changes in Florida, they are really going to have to announce them no later then the end of August. 


Think I have the Curve with the trac ball.  Get use to a phone so I keep buying the same one, but this is the 3rd one in a row where the trac ball is starting to guy.  I need to make a change. 

Need some help.   What would you guys suggest as a replacement.  

July 19, 2010

South Worcester Industrial Park (SWIP)

great summary by Nicole, click here

Philly Plan

Story in today's paper.  Sounds like the Philly Plan to me.

  • 10 year freeze on assessed value
  • not sure if permitting fees were waived
  • don't need any new water & sewer connections so they do not have to worry about these

Hank's Show today

Today, on Hank Stoltz’ radio show between 11:15-12 a.m., we’ll be discussing the status of the Gateway Cities legislation. Tim McGourthy will be on, as will Ben Forman from MassINC. Both have them have been following this issue very carefully, so it should be an informative and stimulating discussion.

Again, that’s 830AM between 11:15 and 12, and the call-in # is 508 438-0965.

July 17, 2010

Kudos to the Mayor of Fitchburg

Click here

Paulie's NOLAFest

Starts at noon today.  Come meet Senator Scott Brown! 

July 16, 2010


In the end we may not agree on everything on this or any other blog, but I hope everyone has a chance to stop by Paulie's either tonight or tomorrow.  

Click here for more information. 

Crative Economy Initiative Part III

My point was that any business that opens a storefront (not a 2nd floor or above office) should be eligible for this grant.  Whether it be an insurance office or any other type of professional office.  These offices put on the street also and buy art for their offices as well as go out to eat?   A nice professional office in any of the named locations would be a great addition to their neighborhoods, but would not be eligible for a grant?

That said, I personally would rather see the $40,000 invested into events in these targeted areas to bring people downtown to create exposure for the existing businesses.  Obviously I am a big fan of Paulie's NOLAFest but a $5,000 investment into this event is well worth the City of Worcester's investment. 

In the end I would rather have seen an RFP looking for people to run events in these areas.  It could be a Flower show (sprout), road race, who knows .  Now that would truly be creative.   

July 15, 2010

Creative Economy Initiative Part II

Over the past ten years, if not more, I have attended meetings of the South Worcester Industrial Park (SWIP).    I don't go anymore?   Why?

Three years ago SWIP put a pacel of land that the city assembled and decided to award the 13 acre parcel to Pharmashpere for $1 when an abutter offered 50K.   Myself I liked the 50K offer from the abutter versus the one dollar offer?

I even asked a represenaitve from the City of Worcester what weight our input, the neighbohood who met monthly or whenever a meeting was called, had? Answer--none!      No BS the representative told us we had no input. So why do I take time out of my day to help SWIP move forward? I don't anymore and Pharmasphere has yet to take title to the property for $1.

Why do I bring this up?   The City of Worcester comes up with $40,000 to give out in areas that  I feel myself and others can have an input as to how it should be packaged and nobody asks us??? 

July 14, 2010

Creative Economy Initiative

Jahn, I got to admit that I am a little confused on this one too.  Click here for the story.

This one line "have their origin in individual creativity skill and talent."   We started our own insurnace agency downtown 15 years ago and it took alot of creativity, skill and talent but an insurance agency is not eligible, although we put people (ourselves), clients and carriers that call  us on the street. 

In order to "creative" you need to be a "art gallery, cafe, gaming stores, music schools, performance spaces and restaurant".   What the hell is a gaming store?    I would rather see this $40,000 invested into Festivals like Paulie's NolaFest and the many others that wll bring people into these areas???  Wouldn't that make more sense??

Earl Philbrook For Mayor

Letter to the editor

The article regarding funding for housing in the city (“The O’Briens’ differing views,” Sunday Telegram, May 16) raises many questions. Are these “nonprofits” really not for profit? Stephen Teasdale, head of the Main South Community Development Corporation, earned a $104,000 salary plus $14,000 in benefits last year. Also, there seems to be too many political connections on our hard-earned tax dollars.

Mr. Stephen Patton, ex-city councilor, has now turned developer as executive director of Worcester Common Ground. He is the one who made the paper on the May Street project that had flooded units, putting people in hotels. He is the one who came out and said that it would not happen again. Then, two months later, another flood happened, and at whose expense? The taxpayers. I remember him tooting his horn when his $17 million (36 nonprofit units at $472,222 each) project opened.

Now comes the South Worcester project at $6.3 million ($230,000 per unit). This is the price, today, of a single-family home. These are our hard-earned, ever-rising, tax dollars being given away.

Someone is getting rich here on the taxpayers’ dime. The project at Main and Chandler streets has spent millions, and the first floor is totally vacant with only a few apartments rented. The owner/developer of that building was listed as owing thousands of dollars in back taxes. Why, he made his money, like all these other supposedly “not for profit” developers, up front.

We the taxpayers will be burdened with the failed projects.

Let’s tell these politicians on Nov. 2 we’ve had enough and we do need change.

July 11, 2010

Asian Beattle

When this started I told anyone, who would listen, that if anyone thinks that the Asian Beatle would be contained.  There is just no way.  Think about it just one tree limb that contains the beatle escapes, there goes your containment.

Three times last week driving up Chester, I saw guys pulled over on the side of the road cutting tree limbs down from the ice storm two years ago.  Most likely to take home and burn during the winter.   Now they have been found in Boston.

What makes anyone think they are now not in Shrewsbury, Westboro or Northboro?    They are there are now there too and each week there will be a new discovery.   What I found interesting about this story was the City of Worcester has received 41 million dollars.     Can we get an accounting of how 41,000,000 million dollars is being spent?

July 08, 2010

Pharmasphere Update--I think

Press release yesterday.   Converted Organics buys out Terrasphere  Systems.   The reason I mention this is that

  1. Converted Organics
  2. Terrasphere Systems
  3. Pharmasphere
All three of which are based at 7A Commercial Wharf West Boston, MA controlled by the same ownership group.    Reading the press release, I am more confused then ever and highly doubt, more then ever, Pharmasphere will ever become a reality in the South Worcester Industrial Park. .

Bottom line the Orioles now have a better chance of winning the ALCS then Pharmasphere has of putting one shovel in the ground in the South Worcester Industrial Park.

Main South Project

Another ribbon cutting story in today's paper, click here.    Before I get called negative, let me say that the project really does look good and I support these home-owner occupied townhouses units before recently densely constructed 100% affordable rental projects with no parking like May Street, Southgate Place or Piedmont Street.

What never ceases to amaze me, however, are the costs
  • 2.7 million for 10 units
  • $270,000 per 1,250 square foot town house
  • 216 dollars per square foot. 
That is real expensive.  

To top it off the sales proceed are suppose to come in at 1.3 million.    In other words, in the the end the project will be negative 1.4 million dollars.  Truthfully how can we afford to keep building projects when each time a unit is sold, we lose 140,000?

July 07, 2010

Airport Name

I was thinking the other day, what is the name of ORH??  In the newspaper it is always called Worcester Regional Airport but wasn't there a name change to Worcester-Metrowest-Boston Airport??
Latest Aiport Commission minutes on-line here. 

July 06, 2010


Acting kind of strange today??  It will say there are 5 comments for the Hanover Theatre post, but when you click on comments none are there??  Hopefully it straightens itself out. 

July 04, 2010

Hanover Theatre Story

In the Telegram, click here.

In 1987, I started working downtown in at 303 Main Street for the State Mutual sales office.  In 1990, the office moved to 10 Mechanic Street, where we ended up starting Advantage Benefits in 1992.  in 1997, we moved to our current location on Pleasant Street.  Bottom line we have been working downtown for over 20 years and have vested interest in the development of downtown Worcester.

In the newspaper today, I was quoted that "there is no economic spinoff to date" in regards to the Hanover Theatre.  I hope this changes over the next few years, but I stand by that quote.  The story goes on to quote city officials, who maintain that the theater has provided a considerable boost to restaurants around the city.  Let me get this straight we invested $4 million in tax breaks/subsidies and 13 million in federal/ state credits in this 32 million project to help the restaurants around the city?

Lets be honest.  There has not been the spinoff that was projected.  Not even close, but lets hope that the several major companies, who are interested in key buildings in the Federal Square area buy them and develop market rate housing as mentioned in the story.  Now if that happens, then that can be called "economic spinoff".

Here is a little problem that has been created.  The Goral block next to the theatre was bought for 1.2 million and some $1 million on renovations have been made, but the assessed value is $473,000?   Jahn, help me how do you buy a building for 1.2 million that is recorded in the registry two years ago, pull a permit and invest another $1 million and only get an assessment based on $473,000?   Meanwhile, one of the owners maintains that he did not over-pay and he has an appraisal to prove it.  Maybe he should send that to the assessor and get a higher valuation on his building? 

More importantly if I owned one of these key parcels on Federal Square and saw the Goral block sell for $1.2 million, what would I sell my building or parcel of land for to one of the major companies the City Manager mentions?  Answer--alot more then the market value.

What really bothers me more then anything, however, in this story is that the company that owns the Goral Block has been authorized for a $3 million federal "Recovery Zone" bond?  Personally I never ever heard of these bonds?   The Economic Development Office of the City of Worcester should hold an RFP and advertise these Recovery Zone Bonds, before they authorize anyone to get one penny of these monies.

Here is a press release on these bonds.   If you go to the bottom there is a link to allocations around the country (worcester has been allocated approximately 8 million).   In Billerica, for example, a Recovery Zone Bond, story here, is being used to attract a biotech firm to build a 70,000 square foot facility that will employ 75 full-time employees.   

In Worcester we intend to give $3 million of our Recovery Zone Bonds (almost 50% of our allocation) to an owner that can not yet find a "destination" restaurant as a tenant?  Not to mention owner just had another restaurant that they owned (55 Pearl) go bankrupt, another restaurant (City Park Grille) that they did not own just close within 4 months of opening  and the City of Worcester is about to sink some $250,000 (parking garage on MLK) into 3rd restaurant all less then a half mile away.  Seriously does anyone really think we should be investing 3 million dollars into another restaurant downtown???  

Maybe the next new growth business after affordable housing in Worcester will be subsidized restaurant development?   The only spinoff I really see from this project is now even more development projects subsidized with our tax dollars.

July 03, 2010


Here's my next ORH prediction.  Within one year we will have JetBlue out of ORH.  Stories like this make more confident every day.    Personally I would love shuttle service to JFK, where you can then connect to anywhere direct around the country.    Maybe it will be a direct Florida flight.

Either way, we will have JetBlue service out of ORH.  Put it this way we have a much better chance of this happening then Pharmasphere ever being built in the South Worcester Industrial Park and creating even one job. 

July 02, 2010

Chandler NRSA Master Plan

We have decided to take some of our NRSA monies and re-invest them into a Master Plan for Chandler Street.  Teaming with the a group of graduate students from Clark University, we have been able to complete a preliminary report.

Click here for the report, current status and updates on the Master Plan.

Crompton & Knowles

Article in the newspaper.    Once the lot is cleared there will be an RFP--guess who will be the winner after a long nation wide search?

Answer--Main South CDC