September 30, 2010

Rod Madnick's Answers

    1) Do  you support or oppose the repeal of sales tax on alcoholic beveragesOPPOSE.  I am not opposed to user taxes, where a person can make a decision to use or not use.

    2)  Do you support or oppose the cut in the sales tax from 6.25% to 3%?    OPPOSE.  It is too drastic a change.

    3) If the voters approve rolling back the sales tax or the income tax, will you honor the voters wishes?   I have to first do the study I describe below! My interns from Holy Cross, Clark and other colleges will come with me to Boston. We will go over the budget line by line and examine every department to see where we can save money and where we should spend money. Only after that, will I make a decision on taxes. Some taxes are more regressive then others. I favor a reduction in some taxes and an increase in others. This is not a simple issue. This is not an issue you can address with just a yes or a no. I will issue a report on taxes if elected, in May 2011.

     4) Small business is a key part of the economic recovery in Massachusetts, what are your plans to facilitate effective support of small businesses?   This in on my web in detail. Frankly I need to listen to your organization and see what you think should be done.

     5) Grassroot Community Based Organizations (CBO) are an integral part of community development, what will you do to secure funding for local CBO’s and prevent 9C cuts during the budget process?    I am opposed to across the board cuts. Some programs are more important then others, CBO programs are important. I am not opposed to the Governor giving a report in writing.   When it comes to raising additional revenues the Governor is going to have to convince me that it is needed. I am not opposed to using the Common Wealth Stabilization Funds for worthy programs. The only tax that I might consider is a progressive income tax rather then the present flat rate, but again on taxes, I want to wait until the study is done that I have mentioned above

I     I will not make a tax increase pledge. We all remember George Bush Senior’s statement; “read my lips no tax increases.” After he became president he had to increase taxes. I am sure he meant it when he said it. 

Chandler Business Association Candidate Questions--2010

Please give answers to the following questions limiting you answer to 100 words.   We will post answers as they come in.

  1. Do you support or oppose the repeal of sales tax on alcoholic beverages?
  2. Do you support or oppose the cut in the sales tax from 6.25% to 3%?
  3.  If the voters approve rolling back the sales tax or the income tax, will you honor the voters wishes
  4. Small business is a key part of the economic recovery in Massachusetts, what are your plans to facilitate effective support of small businesses?
  5. Grassroot Community Based Organizations (CBO) are an integral part of community development, what will you do to secure funding for local CBO’s and prevent 9C cuts during the budget process?

Local Meals Tax

The most recent numbers are in click here and open the file entitles Local Meals Tax Dsitribution.   City of Worcester's qtrly collection


Congress punts

story here    here is a small part

WASHINGTON — A deeply unpopular Congress is bolting for the campaign trail without finishing its most basic job — approving a budget for the government year that begins on Friday. Lawmakers also are postponing a major fight over taxes, two embarrassing ethics cases and other political hot potatoes until angry and frustrated voters render their verdict in the Nov. 2 elections.

As a last necessary task before leaving, both the Senate and House passed a temporary spending measure needed to keep federal agencies operating when the new budget year starts.  As Congress moved toward a messy end to a session fraught with partisan fire, President Barack Obama campaigned for Democrats in Iowa and Virginia, accusing Republicans of being dishonest about what needs to be done to revive the economy and restore middle-class dreams.

With their House and Senate majorities on the line, Democratic leaders called off votes and even debates on all controversial matters.

September 29, 2010

Sutner Blog

I like it and would like to put it on the blog log but

  1. if you are not a subscirber can you access it?
  2. does it have the feed feature like all the other blogs?


September 28, 2010

Chevalier Furniture

I need to set the record straight on this on.   Initially I was not crazy about this project but the more I have been looking at it I have changed my mind, which I believe I have been saying?  Just in case this will be a good project --why?

  • The city has given some money, 750,000 in HOME funds to help but not an outrageous amount like some of the other projects
  • Good balance between market rate and low-mod income (50/50)
  • Off street parking is being provided, not to mention the availability of the Union Station Garage
Driving by the project I can see this adding alot to the neighborhood and being a springboard to maybe more market rate housing.  I see none of this potential when I drive by Southgate Street, May Street or the Hadley.

Real Health Insurance Relief

There was an article in the newspaper regarding the Lieutenant Governor's debate.   One of the issues that came up was the cost of health insurance premiums.

The Commonwealth Division of Insurance rejecting the rates did not very little to lessen the increases that employers in the merged makets have received.  In fact , in the case of Fallon it did absolutely nothing.   There are many things, which I have mentioned here many times the Commonwealth of Massachusetts could do to provide real relief.

  1. Stop the never ending open enrollment.  Currently people can sign up have coverage and drop the next day.   Actually there is legislation pending to limit open enrollment to two months per year.  It should be one month. 
  2. Enable people to buy health insurance that does not require you to have prescription coverage to meet MCC (minimum credible coverage) to avoid the State Penalty.  Walmart and Hannafords have a great list of prescriptions you can buy at unreal costs without needing any underlying prescriptoin coverage.
  3. This one would be tought but enable groups to opt out of all the state mandated benefits like larger companies that self-insure do.
  4. Need to increase the amount of the penalty not to have health insurance.
  5. Lastly--the state subsidized CommonwealthCare is a mess.   We should audit that to make sure subscribers are not eligible for group health insurance with their employer and add an asset test like we do for Medicaid.
If any of these were actually done, they would provide real rate relief for small employers.

September 27, 2010

Southwest buys Airtran


Southwest may seriously now take a look at Worcester

New blog link

Holly Robichaud writes for the Bostone Herald and writes a blog called the Lone Republican.  

Hadley Parcels

Two parcels abutting Hadley:

  1. Caravan Building
  2. Ionic Boys Club
Both listed on the auction block in yesterday's newspaper.

September 26, 2010

Nemeth Article Today

Robert Z Nemeth wrote a story about Eric Stoltz today.  Bottom is that he praised Eric on his community involvement and how he was the most qualified man to take over Harvard-Pilgrim after Charlie Baker.  I too commend Eric on all his community involvement.

I see his move to Harvard-Pilgrim a little like Pete Carroll leaving USC for the Seahawks.   As a Worcester tax-payer, I am very concerned about the future of Fallon.  They are a great company to have in downtown Worcester, but I see the next couple of years being very rough on them.  As much as Eric may have been the most qualified person to run Harvard-Pilgrim, he also may have seen leaving Fallon now as the right time to get out.

September 24, 2010

Governor Cristie

McGovern-Lamb debate

September 23, 2010

Jahn takes Nick K to task

I am sorry but I have to take Nick K. to task for lack of a more detailed analysis of the Clark pilot payment (CCP) agreemetn. Nick, please, you're touting this CPP as 262k the city will take in every yr plus the 2.5% annaul increase in the payment over the 20 yrs term of. You re not doign even the most basic deatiled analysis here. By your own writing on Tuesday yuo state the CPP will allow Clark to remove "some 20 properties" from teh city tax rolls. According to my 1/2 hr of research, Clark owns 21 tax paying properties in Worc ranging from the rrestaaut at Downing and Park Ave (former site of Pipins?) to 3 deckers to MT lots to nicely refurbished store fronts on Main St. Total taxes paid by these 21 properties now is 156k. Thats 156k the city will not receive in the future Bottomline that is not being said here is the city will only realize the 262k CPP LESS the 156k loss in property tax revenune. Net to the city in thsi deal is therefore 106k per year plus the 2.5% increase over the 20 yrs. of teh hell of far cry from teh 262k news stories of late. Nick if you doubt me please go to city website for the treasurer's office and enter Clarks name then click on every property listed as being owned by Clark and if it is a taxable property note the amt of tax they pay annually & then tally up the lost taxes....156K by my count. I mean to call thsi 262k to teh city is like saying a 120M$ powerball win is really 120M$ to the winner...The reality is it's more like about $35-40M$ to the winner. Money paid out over time has a decreasing value every year. Similarly, money not paid out every yr. (Clark's Property taxes) has an increasing value every yr. Why do you think Clark agreed to the 2.5% increase each yr........b/c thats the maximum amt their property taxes that will not now be paid woulda gone up every yr. on average. Then take the 106k that remains and assume the lions share of that will go to fix up Clark and its immediate area.......and it's even more of a win for Clark. And gee i almost forgot, whats that stretch of real esate called Downing St the city will hand over for free to Clark really worth........i'd argue it's pricless to Clark. kinda how that stretch of Putnam lane is Pricelsss to CSX (a tax paying entity).

September 22, 2010


O'Day Sticker Campaign

I was talk to a friend of mine, who is a police officer that worked a polling district that is represented by John O'Day.   He mentioned to me that there was a sticker campaign run by someone else??    Was this in the newspaper.  Anyone know anything about that? 

September 21, 2010

BioTech in Worcester

Very interesting story on the WBRU website.

Here is another one

Congressman McGovern

Stopped by Paul's place yesterday to get an update on what we have been doing.  He was great and I want to personally thank him.     Paul-where are the pcitures.

Chandler NRSA Accomplishments

450,000 of CDBG monies

Facades completed

1 38 Chandler Street Alan's
2 54 Chandler Street Roland's
3 208 Chandler Street Matt Dumas
4 210 Chandler Street Suney/Katch
5 216 Chandler Street Suney
6 232 Chandler Street Living Earth
7 344 Pleasant Street Bahnan's


8 150 Chandler
9 438 Pleasant Weagle
10 222 Chandler Vasken
11 455 Pleasant Johnny Mac's

Home Improvement

1 23 Newbury Street
2 20 Newbury Street
3 36 Newbury Street
4 24 Hawley Street
5 210 Chandler Street front
6 210 Chandler Street back
7 40 Mason Street
8 21 Preston Street
9 100 Piedmont Street
10 85 Piedmont Street
11 12 Congress Street
12 18 Bluff Street
13 174 Austin Street
14 98 Chatham
15 8 Hollwood


1 MLK workforce development (approximately 15,000)
2 summer work crew 2007 (WCAC reimbursed except Miller)
3 summer work crew 2008 Rick Miller
4 summer cwork crew 2009 Paul
5 planters and benches
6 5 camera systems
7 2 summer interns in 2007
8 sponsored 2 earth days
9 master plan

CDBG-R monies 250,000
Economic Stimulus monies Approximately

1 18 Mason Street
2 17 Mason Street
3 33 Newbury Street
4 28 Newbury Street
5 97 Piedmont Street
6 18 Winslow Street
7 107 Austin Street
8 16 Merrick Street
9 20 Hawley Street
10 26 Bancroft
11 100 Chatham
12 9 Bancroft
13 5 1/2 Bluff
14 5 Parker
15 13 Larch
16 11 Larch
17 21 Pemberton
18 16 Congress
19 13 Merrick

City Manager O'Brien

Few years back, I remember thinking "strong" mayor would be a good idea in Worcester, but I am not so sure anymore.  Thought this may be as good a time as any to point out what a good job our City Manager is doing and this may be one of his best weeks yet:

  1. Negotiate a PILOT with Clark.   Believe this is the 3rd on (Mass College of Pharmacy and WPI being the others)
  2. Check register going on-line
  3. Last week, or the week before, the RFP for the new Housing study was put on-line
  4. Administration public opposition to the repeal of 40B, realizing that this would result in even more no-lo housing in Worcester.

September 20, 2010

Rumor Mill Cranking

Big law firms hurting right now.   Specifically one in Wocester that rhymes with D & D may be hurting more them just a little.

Joppa Road

Not much blogging lately--kind of busy.   Joppa Road starting to take shape.  To date approximately 8,000 in fees and permits. 

September 17, 2010


Ther terms of the original RFP for the Pharmasphere parcel specified that you had to take title to the property within I believe it was 90 days.   In this case the winning bidder was, however, was able to negotiate terms of conditions (TOC) that allowed him to put off actual purchase for 2 years.   Even at the expiration of the TOC, the winning bidder is given even more time.  Did I also mention the 2+ million dollar HUD loan that the city has guaranteed.

My point is next time the city has a bid, I should bid.  If I win, completely disregard the terms as laid out in the RFP and ask for 2 years to close on the property an inquire about a HUD loan.   My point is the terms of an RFP should be followed not negotiated with the winning bidder, it is not fair to the other bidders who lost or prospect who chose not to bid based on the terms of the RFP. 

September 16, 2010


Pharasphere won the bid for $1 in January, 2008, because they were suppose to "move forward quickly", but were given until September 1st, 2009 to obtain a building permit before they have even have to take title to the property within ten days for $1.

Even ithough they did not have the building permit on September 1st, 2009, the Terms of Conveyance (TOC) can not be terminated until September 1st, 2010 as long as Pharmasphere "has pending applications to obtain such permit and is diligently pursuing such permit."    Evidently they were in fact "diligent".

September 1st has passed, one would assume that the TOC has expired, but I have heard that they are being given more time.    It will be three years in January that this property has sat in limbo without one penny of taxes being paid.   Now we are putting all hopes on Converted Organics buying Terrasphere to make Pharamasphere happen, although it appears to me all three of these companies are in essence the same people?

Converted Organics Press Release today

Converted Organics Inc. (Nasdaq:COIN) today announced that its Shareholders have voted to approve the acquisition of 100% of the interests of TerraSphere Systems LLC pursuant to the terms of an agreement dated July 6, 2010 (the "Agreement").

The Company expects the acquisition to close in mid-November 2010, subject to closing conditions, which include the restructuring of certain of Converted Organics' debt to the satisfaction of TerraSphere's majority holders.

"We are pleased that our shareholders have approved the acquisition of TerraSphere and look forward to the closing of the transaction," said Edward J. Gildea, President of Converted Organics. "The acquisition of TerraSphere and its vertical farming technology would provide Converted Organics and our shareholders with an important new growth engine and would give the Company access to a market that we believe holds tremendous potential. We believe we are well positioned to continue developing TerraSphere's technology and expanding this business through the addition of new partnerships and licensees, while advancing the Company's position in this nascent market."

September 15, 2010

Governor Christie


Read alot about this and got to say this is a good thing for Worcester.  Obvious I know, but still a little disappointed that Front Street reconnecting to Washington Square.   You can even see a curb cut McGrath Boulevard showing where the road will come into Washington Square..  In fact, we should put a mural on that side to show people where the road would be?

Also I was very glad to see Nick K give Dan Benoit the credit he deserves for this idea.  Who knows maybe some of the low no developers will evern hire a local architect like Dan for their next project?

September 14, 2010

Randy Moss

September 12, 2010

JetBlue to Turks

Note press release below!!   JetBlue to Turks & Cacois.   Lets try to get one of these Boston departures out of ORH???

 JetBlue Airways Corp. said Wednesday that it will begin offering service from New York and Boston to the Turks & Caicos Islands in the Caribbean in February.   On Feb. 17, it will begin flying daily to Providenciales, the most populous of the islands, from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
On Feb. 19, it will begin weekly Saturday flights from Boston Logan International to Providenciales. That service will end in April and run in following years only in peak tourist season — November to April.
JetBlue expects to start selling tickets for the new Turks & Caicos service in October.

September 11, 2010

Real Estate Flippers

There was an article in the Sunday Telegram a couple Sundays ago.  I can not link in since I have yet figured out how to access the on-line edition myself.   The story detailed a mortgage scheme which I have explained many times on this blog.  It works like this:
  • You find a property and buy it
  • You sell it right away at an inflated price
  • Lets take an example where you buy for $125K and turn and sell for 200K
  • You really need an appraiser in your back pocket, who will say that your spent alot of money rehabbing the place etc to come up with a 200K appraisal but, in the day,--you could find one
  • You then find a buyer who will get a mortgage for 200K (many times from Long Beach Mortgage) and you make 75K, of which you give the buyer 10K since his credit is about to be ruined since no one payment will be made
The guy in the Sunday paper did this, but with a little twist.  He would buy a three decker, condo it and sell the units to straw buyers.   Bottom line it was fraud and was one of the many causes of the real estate crash.  As a result many changes have been made in the mortgage market to curtail this fraud especially the appraisal process.  They don't even let you know who it will be and you can not even talk to them. 

What killed me was they interviewed Ron Charette from the South Worcester Neighborhood Center, who went on to explain how real estate flippers like this killed the neighborhood?   This guy was not a real estate investor/flipper, he was an outright thief!!!!!!!!  

My point is the Executive Director of the South Worcester Neighborhood Center should be holding meetings inviting real estate investors/flippers and to come down and see the opportunities that are available in this area not calling real estate investors bad people?  Meanwhile, he has turned around and is working on a 7 million dollar project that will have all low-income rental units that nobody in the neighborhood wants?  

We need to roll the red carpet out to investors to come to Worcester and buy property.  Instead we roll the red carpet out to no low income developers and wonder why tax collections attack private developers as "flippers"and we wonder why revenues are down in the City of Worcester?

September 10, 2010


Last night I went to the Worcester Court Club to put in two miles on the tread mill.   Like it there since, I can put on the headphones and have my choice between 4 or 5 differnt channels to watch.   Last night I imagined that I would catch some pre-game hype for the Saints-Vikings.   Instead I watched Chronicle do a spotlight on Sommerville.

It was as if Paul was talking to me go through the headphones detailing the various projects going on throughout the City.  It made Worcester look pathetic and I could not help but think "why the hell does Paul not go back there?".   Truth is I have been getting the feeling that Paul is in fact going to spend less and less time in Worcester and that truly is sad. 

Amazing in this city we put the heads of CDC's on a pedestal, but a guy sinking his own private money into the City of Worcester is seen as no big deal.     Ever since Deval Patrick came to Worcester and touted Southgate Place, costig approximately $300,000, three days after a story in the Telegram detailing the Hadley apartment costing $510,000 each, I have never been so down on the City of Worcester and I can not blame someone like Paul moving back to Sommerville.

September 09, 2010

Holyoke HUD Audit

Update in the Springfield Republican August 31, 2010.  HUD feels that they should have spent 1.75 million on 7 duplexes not more then 2 million and they may want Holyoke to pay back $288,000.  Got me to thinking 7 duplexes at 1.75 million comes to 250K per duplex or 125K per unit.

Seems like a bargain to me (125K per unit) compared to the 510K for the Hadley.


Remember that station--great video

2010 Ballot Questions

It would be interesting to see where all the candidates stand on the three ballot question on the 2010 ballot.


I am votingYes on all three

September 08, 2010

Linear Air

Keeps cranking, article

Concord, Mass.-based Linear Air, an air-taxi service that features Eclipse 500 very light jets, increased its revenue growth 104 percent from the first half of 2009 to the first half of this year, the company has announced. “In 2009, we took our lumps along with everyone else, and more than many, given the bankruptcy and reorganization of Eclipse Aviation,” said CEO William Herp (in photo). “But so far this year, we have seen growing demand for business day trips and leisure travel.” The company, which has just acquired its fifth Eclipse 500, is expanding into metropolitan New York with aircraft, crew and sales staff now based at Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y. Linear Air has also announced a program under which it will manage aircraft and generate charter income for Eclipse 500 owners. The program requires no upfront cash outlay and no minimum monthly management fee and involves no markup on maintenance or other expenses.

City Square

I got to tell you--I am totally confused as to what has happened here?   Only half the garage is being torn down and now there is no new garage being built and there is no street being done..  Am I even right about that?  Bottom line is that all City Square seems to be right now is a new office building with one of the tenants being UNUM.  Other then that, there is nothing else--right?

Jahn, after you check out Mason-Winfield drive the Hadley-Odd Fellows (building next to old Mart) and say to yourself 30,000,000 dollars.   It is a complete mess.   What the hell happens to the Hadley now anyhow?  Are parking lots ever built for the tenants?  The IONIC boys club??  

September 07, 2010

Converted Organics

September 6, 2010

Shares of Converted Organics (NASDAQ:COIN) traded at a new 52-week low Friday of $0.37. Approximately 842,000 shares have traded hands Friday vs. average 30-day volume of 481,000 shares.
Converted Organics closed at $0.4, approximately 30.5% below its 50-day moving average of $0.57. SmarTrend will be monitoring shares of COIN to see if this bearish momentum will continue.
SmarTrend is bearish on shares of Converted Organics and our subscribers were alerted to Sell on May 20, 2010 at $0.83. The stock has fallen 52% since the alert was issued.

September 03, 2010

Converted Organics

The parent company behind Pharmasphere press release--I dont see these guys being around much longer:

On August 16, 2010, we received a letter from the NASDAQ Stock Market ("NASDAQ") notifying us that we do not currently meet the minimum of $2,500,000 in stockholders' equity requirement set forth in NASDAQ Listing Rule 5550(b)(1) (the "Listing Rule") (the "Letter"). On our Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2010 that was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 13, 2010, we reported stockholders' equity of $2,152,450. In addition, the Letter states that as of August 13, 2010, we did not meet the Rule's compliance alternatives of either market value of listed securities of $35 million or $500,000 of net income from continuing operations in the most recently completed fiscal year or in two of the last three most recently completed fiscal years. As such, we are currently not in compliance with the Listing Rule.

Pursuant to the Letter, we have 45 calendar days, or until September 30, 2010, to submit a plan to regain compliance to NASDAQ and if NASDAQ accepts our plan, NASDAQ can grant an extension of up to 180 calendar days from the date of the Letter for us to regain compliance with the Listing Rule. The Company plans to submit a plan of compliance by the required deadline, such plan will include debt restructuring of the Company, as well as completion of the TerraSphere acquisition if such acquisition is approved by Company stockholders on August 31, 2010. Management and the Board of the Directors of the Company encourage all stockholders to vote their shares in connection with the TerraSphere acquisition.

Mayor's Task Force on Job Growth & Business Retention

Click here.    I have had a chance to flip through it and discuss it this morning.  There are basically 4 parts:

  1. Municipal Staffing and Organization
  2. Promoting a Fair and Equitable Taxation System
  3. Business Incentives
  4. Branding & Marketing
We need to increase our commercial tax base, we all know that.  Over the last 25 years, since the adoption of the dual tax rate, the value of the commercial/industrial portion of the tax base has declined from 35% to 19% 

Looking at the 4 categories, the emphasize should be place on #3--Business Incentives.    Go to existing businesses waive their permitting fees for any expansion, water/sewer connection fees, lock in assessed values for a certain period of time (Philadelphia Plan).   I also like #1 alot---Municipal Staffing and operations.  As far as #4) --Branding & Marketing?   If we do #1 and #3 correctly, the city will market itself.  Word will get out that Worcester is a place that welcomes business. 

I have a problem with #2.  Although we need to close the gap between Residential-Commercial tax rates, we need to close the gap by increasing the commercial tax base by following the recommnendations laid out in #1 and #3 and the gap will close all by itself.     Attempting to merely set the rates to close the existing gap, for example, 50% over 3 years, will never happen politically nor do I think it would attract the corresponding commercial growth as much as the other recommendations.

Lastly taxing 4+ units commercially will 1) never get approved on the state level and 2) is a horrible idea, sorry. .   We want to be attracting residential development not scaring them away with the possibility of a commercial tax rate.   Wonder how the owner of the Mayo Group feels about that idea?

Clive's Tea Party Story

The other day Clive wrote a story about the Tea Party, that I did not exactly agree with.  I had no idea that my support of Tea Party meant all of the different things that he mentioned.  At this point, I usually say something like "click here".    Since I have yet called the toll free number to access my articles on-line, I can not.   Even if I had, can you access a link that I post?

The thing that I found incredibly ironic, however, is that I can post a link to the New York Times article written by Jane Mayer on 8/21/2010, that appears to be the basis of the story written by Clive and a follow-up story by Frank Rich a week later in the New York Times.   I can not, however, link to the Worcester Telegram, that I subscribe to, story written by Clive?

Mike Elfland you seem like a nice guy, but this new business model seems to be destined for failure.

September 02, 2010

A Tale of Two Cities

Brought to you by Harry T as written in the Boston Herald. 

September 01, 2010

Hadley Fall Out && Zimage wins be!!

It truly amazes me how little discussion has ensued after it was revealed that the Hadley Apartments cost $510,000 each to develop.     At this point I am start to believe that this train has left the station and there is no stopping it.

Drove by the market of the Worcester Center today and one of the ramps is being torn down so Zimage officially wins a bet--FINALLY.  Congrats Dave.