October 31, 2010

Another video

Sunday Telegram

If John Kerry or the late Ted Kennedy had come to Worcester for a rally at Institute Park to support Democratic candidates, do you think the story would be on page 7?   No way it would have been all over the front page.

October 30, 2010

Charlie Baker

Good turn out --good event at Institute Park today.

Diamond Chevrolet

Lot getting very very thin.

October 29, 2010

Franco Video getting picked up

Fleming and Hayes just posted the Franco video. Click here.

October 28, 2010

Another Good Video

State Rep James O'Day

Article in Herald regarding a Rally to Vote No on 1,click here.   here is a small part.

State Representative James O’Day, a West Boylston Democrat, said he had been sober for 12 years thanks to receiving treatment for alcoholism, and he warned that addicts who do not get help will be out on the streets.

“We’re going to have people dying on the streets.’’ O’Day said.

Baker & Brown

This Saturday, as part of their statewide bus tour, Charlie Baker will be having a rally with Scott Brown at Institute Park in Worcester (on Salisbury St across from WPI). Please arrive by 1:15 - the program will begin promptly at 1:45pm. Spread the word!!! 

Tax rates

Isnt the setting of the property tax rates coming up soon?

Chamber Of Commerce Debates?

I was thinking today, but can you think of a bigger business question then the 3rd question on the ballot this year.    An issue that is very important to businesses...    Maybe the Chamber could have hosted some type of debate on the Question 3, where the various candidates for state offices could express their opinion.

What about the Chamber endorsing candidates??

October 27, 2010

Yes on Massachusetts Question 1. It's a Double Tax.

Young Boozer

He is my favorite candidate


Good blog today.  Link to you right on the bottom 

Business Expo

Dave Zimage has pointed out to that there are two airlines going to be there.  Direct Air and American Airlines?????? 

Illegals Medical bills top 37.5 million

Jim Polito on WTAG referred to this great story in the Boston Herald story. 

October 25, 2010

Paul Franco Video

Tom Foley Video

October 24, 2010

Telegram Endorses Baker

Now that is a shocker

October 23, 2010

Setting Modular House

If you are bored and nothing else to do. Check out the setting of the modular on Joppa Road today.

October 22, 2010

Barney Shuffle

RFP's and LDA's

Why does the City of Worcester bother doing RFP's and LDA's if nobody enforces the terms.   Mason Street and Canterbury Street parcels have made a mockery of the whole process.  These two parcels are poster childs for just putting the properties out for bid like the Courthouse.

Rumor mill

Rumorhas it that a frequent commenter on this blog may be moving back into D4?

Telegram Endorsements (Franco and Ferguson)

In the newspaper today WOW!!  Alot of Republicans including Franco and Ferguason locally !!!

October 21, 2010

Joe Salois As I see it

His stance on Question 1

Juan Williams fired by NPR

Juan Williams was fired from his job as senior news analyst from National Public Radio for remarks regarding Muslims and terrorism on “The O’Reilly Factor,” said The Washington Post.

Host Bill O’Reilly asked Juan Williams on Monday’s show if he thought the U.S. was facing a “Muslim dilemma.” Juan Williams said he becomes “worried” and “nervous” when he sees people in Muslim-style dress on airplanes. NPR said in a statement that Juan Williams’ comments “were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.”

Bill O’Reilly also said on Monday’s show that it was “the cold truth” that “jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet,” according to The Guardian.  Juan Williams, who is African American, often writes on racial issues.

Webster 5

Park Ave ranch to move behind Walmart (correction Walgreens) on Chandler Street

October 20, 2010

3 Maine Newspapers stop on-line commenting

Good story

Mike Elfland hope you read

Pharmasphere Terms of Conveyance

It is expired September 1st,  Remember this (the TOC) gave them 2 years to get their house in order to take title to the property that they won in Janaury of 2008.    Are we putting the property back out via an RFP?

Nope, I heard that we have given Pharmasphere more time.   Three years this January and we have nothing .  Not the dollar for the winning bid, not one penny in property taxes and not one job. 

Yes on 1 Video

October 19, 2010

Rumor Mill

Austin Liquors has been sold to the son of Yankee Spirits owner.

October 18, 2010

Herald Story on video below and YES on 1

click here

And Boston Herald says Yes on 1 click here 

Frank's partner heckles Beilat

October 17, 2010

Ronald Reagan was and is right

Telegram says YES on 1

Story here.

The gist of it is that "No reason to trust Legislature on tax use."   There are many opponents of question 1, who like to say how that these monies are earmarked to fund programs to help those addicted to drugs or alcohol.   As the Telegram points out the Legislature does not have a good track history when it comes to follow through on promises like that:
  1. Cigarette Settlement
  2. Fuel Tax
The Legislature facing multi-billion-dollar budget gaps, do you really think this money would not be tapped into?    In addition the sale of alcohol already has very high excise taxes, why not dedicate a portion of those monies to fund addiction services.

October 16, 2010

Trivia Saturday

Where was the first Ryder Cup played?

October 15, 2010

Worcester Airport is a No Man's Land

For the hell out it I searched Google News for Worcester Airport and came up with this story from September 21, 2010.

WORCESTER, Mass. — There is very little going on here at the Worcester Regional Airport. There are a couple dozen cars parked in the open-air parking lot. But no people.

At the parking attendant booth, the sign says “Stop For Attendant,” but there’s no one in the booth. When you pull a few feet up to the machine that dispenses parking tickets, you can’t get a ticket, because the electronic guts are hanging out of the machine.

Inside, plenty of parking spaces.

Inside the terminal, it’s very, very empty. Not one passenger in here. Not one passenger in front of the airline ticketing counter. No one to take the tickets. The escalators aren’t running.

There are no passengers down the way waiting to rent cars at the car rental counter, although there does seem to be someone staffing the counter. On one end of this football-length long terminal is a sign that reads “Welcome to Worcester.” On the other end, there’s a huge sign that reads “Air Capital of the World.”

Not here.

October 14, 2010

Cigarette Sales in Massashusetts

Interesting article, cliik here from the DOR   Quick summary....    Revenue Collections for cigarettes
      • fiscal   2007  --     419.7 million
      • fiscal   2008  --      pretty much the same
      • fiscal  2009 -- a buck per tax excise tax was added and revenues increased to 569 million
      • fiscal  2010  --  estimated to come in at  547 million
It is also estimated that the Commonwealth currently sells 217 million packs per year.  A 22% drop in sales the past two years since the new excise tax was added.

October 12, 2010

Question 2--- my answer (YES)

Should we repeal 40B?

YES!!   Let me explain what 40B is.   40B is a tool available to developers, but they can only utilize it if, only if the underlying Town/City has less then 10% affordable housing, to get project approval.    Since most cities, like Worcester, have more then 10% affordable, designating a project 40B is not available in cities.    It is, however, it is a tool for developers in the surrounding towns that have not reached the 10% affordable housing level; for example:
Why would a developer want a project to be 40B?

ANSWER:       They are able to circumvent any. and all, of the local zoning regulations as long as 25% of the proposed units are considered "affordable",  under auspices that it will help reach the magical 10% level.     Although some of these projects may be called "friendly" 40B projects on the surface, the truth is that there is not much the planning boards in these towns can do to stop or change any of these projects once they are deemed 40B.  Why?  The developer can simply go to the state and have any decisons of the local planning board reversed.

Even worse, a developer, who maybe never intended to have any "affordable" units, may actually include 25% "affordable" units to just bypass the local board.    There is a great story in the Milford Daily News how Fafard Development was trying to build a 100 unit project (none affordable) in Bellingham that was rejected.  They came back and made 25 units "affordable" and called it a 40B project and there is not much the local planning board can do.   Here is a great quote from the Chairman of their local Planning Board Patricia Buckley, "Whatever comments we make, the (the developer) does not have to abide by them."

For more information on repealing 40B, click here.    

A "YES" vote on Question 2 has absolutely no effect on Worcester since 40 B, since it is not available now!!!!!       It will, however, give power back to local planning boards (mostly towns), who do not meet the current 10% threshold.

Store Closings

In the last couple of weeks:

  1. D'Angelo's West Boylston Street
  2. Ping's Garden
  3. Boston Billiards

Record Liquor Sales in New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Liquor Commission recently reported unaudited income for fiscal year 2O1O ending June 3O. Net sales for the year topped the half billion dollar mark at $511.4 million, an increase of 4.8 percent over the previous fiscal year. Spirit sales increased 5 percent and wine sales increased 4.5 percent over last year. These results include a 6 percent increase in retail store sales, a 2.6 percent increase in grocery store sales and a 1 percent increase in restaurant sales over the previous year. Net profits from liquor operations grew to a record $12O million, an increase of more than 1O percent over the previous fiscal year, exceeding all national growth trends in the industry. This level of performance translates into over $1 billion in net profits over the next eight years for New Hampshire taxpayers.

October 11, 2010

Question 1--my answer (YES)

Should we roll back the tax on the sale of alcohol on package stores?

Obviously I am biased, but being in the middle of the state our customers do not drive out of state to avoid this tax.  In other words, if this was rolled back, we would not directly benefit.   I can tell you, however, about stores on the border of New Hampshire that have seen their sales drop 40% since this tax has been implemented.    It is not just the New Hampshire border, but the Rhode Island and Connecticut borders as well, that have seen their businesses drop.   The rumors of Yankee Spirits sales in Attleboro and Sturbridge during the recent sales tax holidays, even half true, were beyond belief.

The role of government is not to create jobs, but to create an environment that enables the private sector to flourish and create jobs, which then leads to those people with the jobs investiing their money back into their local economy and then the multiplier effect kicks in.    The fact that this tax has put businesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at a competitive disadvantage to surrounding states is reason enough to roll back this tax.

I have read, however, many editorials that explain how this tax goes to help people who have a dependency on alcohol.    I say don't all taxes start that way?  The fuel tax initially was suppose to go back into our infrastructure, has that happened?   Remember how the settlement with the major cigarette companies was suppose to go to help encourage people to stop smoking?   All taxes start based on a good reason, but they all end up in the General Fund.

Vote "yes" on Question 1 to put businesses that have chosen to do business in Massachusetts on a level playing field with surrounding states.  More importantly I believe that monies in the hands of the citizens that are actually paying these taxes do more for our economy to stimulate the economy, then to give these monies to the government.

October 10, 2010

Sutner's blog

The Chandler Business Group Candidate questions got a plug in Sutner's story today.  Check out blog link to your right.  His blog at the bottom since there are no "feeds".

October 08, 2010

Allegiant Airlines

Allegiant Travel Co., which operates an airline marketed to leisure travelers in small cities, said Friday its total traffic in September jumped 24 percent as the airline grew new routes.   Allegiant flew passengers 362.7 million miles last month, compared with 292.2 million miles the same month a year earlier.

Dick Chernisky Letter

Link Telegram

Worcester needs a 10 percent cap on affordable housing. The only exceptions should be affordable homeownership and quality senior housing for ages 61 and older.   We need the 10 percent cap because the overbuilding of affordable housing, and the poverty it generates, is undermining Worcester as a viable place to live, invest and go to school.

Suburban malls with free parking didn’t kill downtown Worcester. Poverty killed downtown. Suburban and Worcester shoppers didn’t drive 20 miles out of their way to avoid a downtown parking fee. They wanted to avoid the vagrants, social misfits, gangs of low-income youth and the stench of urine. Parts of the Galleria smelled like a cesspool.

CitySquare will face the same problems the Galleria faced. Without the 10 percent cap, CitySquare will not be able to give Worcester the upscale downtown it needs for a tax base. Upscale stores and affluent condo owners will not invest in a city that’s filling up with poverty from the Third World.

Poverty is also killing our neighborhoods. I not only see prostitutes walking Main Street, I see people walking June Street who look like they belong at the PIP shelter. The West Side isn’t getting wealthier like it should, it’s getting poorer. This isn’t progress; it’s destruction of a city.

Remember the 10 percent cap is the “silver bullet” that we Worcesterites have been looking for to begin the restoration of our city

Answers to our questions

I have been trying to keep everyone's answers up for two days.   The last set was from Paul Franco and the two days are up.    No other ones have come in, so back to our regularly scheduled programming.   If aother set comes in, I will post answers for two days.

Like to thank those who answered. 

October 05, 2010

Franco's Answers

1) Do you support or oppose the repeal of sales tax on alcoholic beverages?

Yes. The new taxes enacted last year on alcohol are form of double taxation. Right now our citizens are paying a tax on a tax. That’s wrong.   
Massachusetts does not have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem. Over the past year, state government has continued to increase its payroll and failed to cap spending. I believe that we should cap state spending to the rate of inflation which will force our state to live within its means. That way we will never have to face again billion dollar state deficits or the threats of having local aid cut.

2) Do you support or oppose the cut in the sales tax from 6.25% to 3%?
Yes. Taxpayers deserve to keep more of their hard earned paychecks. The money we pay the government in taxes is ours. I’m sure, like me, it bothers you when politicians talk about how they can’t support a tax cut because it costs too much. The implication is that allowing taxpayers to keep more of what they’ve earned costs the government. It’s not their money …it’s ours.
Moreover, I have signed the No New Taxes pledge and I am endorsed by Citizens for Limited Taxation.

3) If the voters approve rolling back the sales tax or the income tax, will you honor the voters wishes?
Yes, I will honor the wishes of voters. As a Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army reserves, I believe that it is important to restore integrity to Beacon Hill. One of the most crucial steps is to honor the will of the voters.
As the next State Representative, I will also be accessible. I will hold regular office hours, conduct town hall meetings and sending out newsletters (not at taxpayer expense.)

4) Small business is a key part of the economic recovery in Massachusetts, what are your plans to facilitate effective support of small businesses?
Three out of every 4 news jobs are created by small businesses. With unemployment at 8.8%, we need to encourage small business development. As our next State Representative, I will work to pass policies and reforms that reduce government burdens. I have a plan that includes:
  • Rolling back the sales tax increase to make Massachusetts once again competitive with other states like New Hampshire.
  • Reforming unemployment insurance to reduce this heavy financial burden on small business
  • Keeping utility costs low and waive sales taxes on energy efficient equipment
  • Prohibiting more health care mandates that increase the costs of insurance
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 will work to make sure that funding that is in the best interest of the district is kept intact. Moreover, I will work to make sure that local aid is not cut and that municipal officials are told early enough for planning purposes about local aid funding.

October 04, 2010

John Fresolo's Answers

1) Do you support or oppose the repeal of sales tax on alcoholic beverages?
I support the repeal of the sales tax on alcoholic beverages. During the last budget deliberations (FY11), I voted against the entire budget because it included the increased sales tax on alcoholic beverages.

2) Do you support or oppose the cut in the sales tax from 6.25% to 3%?
I oppose the rollback of the sales tax to 3%;  however, I would support bringing the sales tax back to 5%.  I originally voted against the increase to 6.25%, feeling the sales tax should have been left where it was at 5%.
3) If the voters approve rolling back the sales tax or the income tax, will you honor the voters wishes?   
To know for certain, I would need to see some facts on the effects that a 3% sales tax would have on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.   However, I am leaning towards honoring the voters' wishes if they were to do so.

4) Small business is a key part of the economic recovery in Massachusetts, what are your plans to facilitate effective support of small businesses?
I've always supported any economic package that includes tax incentives for small businesses that put new people to work.  Small businesses that help to develop the workforce should be rewarded.  I also support limiting taxes in general.  The best thing I can do as a Legislator is to lower the individual tax burdens which enables people to spend more money in their local communities and 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?
I will speak directly with House Leadership to try to secure that funding for CBO's is included in the budget.  As for 9C cuts, the Governor has complete control over what is cut and what isn't.   My only ability as a Legislator is to advocate against such cuts by contacting the Governor and Lieutenant Governor's office to voice my opposition.

October 01, 2010

Steve Grossman's Answers

1. Do you support or oppose the repeal of sales tax on alcoholic beverages?
Oppose. I would have preferred that the legislature work with the existing excise tax on alcohol, but (see below) we cannot afford to lose the $100 million in revenues that the alcohol sales tax generates until our economic crisis abates and we see a sustained increase in tax revenues that would enable a reduction or elimination of this tax.
2. Do you support or oppose the cut in the sales tax from 6.25% to 3%?
I would like to see lower taxes and would support rolling back the sales tax increase when the economy improves and state revenues recover. I’d propose a phased-in reduction of the sales tax back to 5% based on economic growth. But the harsh reality is that – even with no tax cuts – we face a potential $2 billion deficit in the next budget. The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation warns that Question 3 would see the Commonwealth’s finances “over the cliff,” cutting essential services such as education, public safety, and human services by as much as 30%

3. If the voters approve rolling back the sales tax or the income tax, will you honor the voters’ wishes?
I will do everything possible to implement the measure if it passes. We must respect the will of the people, and a failure to do so would undermine public confidence in their government. In 2002 when I ran for governor I called for implementing the income tax reduction passed in 2000 even though I had opposed the cut originally, because when the people speak, we should listen.
4. Small business is a key part of the economic recovery in Massachusetts, what are your plans to facilitate effective support of small businesses?
For the last 35 years, I have run a fourth-generation family-owned small business creating jobs, managing money, meeting payrolls, and solving problems. I am the only candidate for Treasurer whose entire career has been all about creating jobs primarily within the small business sector of our economy. I intend to bring my experience and expertise as a small businessman to work as Treasurer. I have made it a top campaign priority to help small businesses grow by moving state money into banks that are willing to make business loans and to use the influence of the office to increase capital for small businesses. I also will use the bully pulpit of the office to push for giving small businesses greater clout in negotiating lower health insurance premiums.
5. Grassroot Community Based Organizations (CBO) are an integral part of community development, what will you do to secure funding for local CBOs and prevent 9C cuts during the budget process?
I commend your group’s efforts in helping to create a better Worcester. I support CBOs and will work to see that they are able to continue to play their role in community development. I must caution, however, that given the budget crunch I previously described funding cannot be guaranteed for any program. Deep cuts are inevitable whatever the outcome of the tax cut referenda.