July 29, 2011

Harry's letter to the editor

Following the recent collision of two Delta jets at Boston’s Logan Airport, famed pilot Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger went on CBS News to talk about the recent taxiway collision at Boston’s Logan International Airport and the growing concern over tarmac safety. Mr. Sullenberger stated this accident was most likely due to small, commuter airlines cluttering up the tarmac, and larger jets not being able to see them.

There is a simple solution here for Massport to avoid future embarrassments such as these and hopefully save lives in the process. Move the commuter air jets out from Logan to Worcester Airport and Hanscom.


July 28, 2011

$ pack Cig tax to pay for mass healthcare reform

Saw this recently in Boston Globe story:

The state has needed new revenue sources to fill the gap. In fiscal year 2009, the state pushed through a $1-a-pack increase on the cigarette tax to raise an estimated $150 million to $175 million annually .....

The cigarette tax, however, has fallen well short of estimates. It raised $130.5 million the first year, and has been tracking still lower through the first 10 months of this fiscal year, according to the Office of Administration and Finance.

July 25, 2011

Worcester Common Ground Board Finale

There are some really good people on the board and an addition of a member of the Chandler Business Association should have been an easy thing and , I feel, would have made for a stronger board.   At this point, I just don't see us pursuing this anymore.

In the end, maybe we will get more done without being on board?

Worcester Common Ground Board Part 5

1 )  If you can only add directors at the annual meeting, we are fine with that. When is the next annual meeting.

2)    51% of the board must be residents of the the census tracts withing the CDC's area.  O'kay, there are currently 2 people,as far as I know that live in the census tracts below.  Since we were never given a list of the current board of directors, I can not say for certain but I believe there are 6 current board members.   That comes to 33%.  If you were to add someone like a Paul Collyer, it would actually get the board closer to the 51% that they need.  

Since Common Ground is reviewing their by-laws, maybe they should check the provision addressing how long someone can serve on the board?    Typically most boards put a limitation on how long you can serve.

3)  Huh???

4)  Let me get this straight.   The Chandler Business Association, with an annual budget of 0, is suppose to hold community meetings to see what the neighborhood wants.   Common Ground, however, only wants board members to support their projects without any input from the business community.

I can safely say a representative from our group would support an abandoned/foreclosed  three family that was rehabbed and sold, assuming of course money was on hand to fund said project.   On the other hand, a member from our group would not support the purchase of a burnt out buiding (84 Piedmont Street), that was wanted by an abuttiing business, that has sat idle now for 5+ plus years because no money is available to do the work. Neither would we support a 48 unit apartment building (May Street) with no market rate housing without adequate parking.

In "good conscience", we could not support projects that do not advance the neighborhood.  Evidently, that disqualifies us?

July 24, 2011

Worcester Common Ground Board Part 4

On July 12th, 2 1/2 months after our initial discussions adding one member of the CBA to the WCG board, we received an e-mail basically telling us that it is a good idea but it can not be done now until a few points are resolved:

  1. Common Ground by-laws do not allow addition of board members in between annual meetings.   We can only replace resigning board members between annual meetings.
  2. CDC regulations require 51% of the board be consituted by residents of the census tracts with the CDC's area.   In addition we are currently discussing changing our by-laws to increase that percentage.  Consequently any new board members in the near future will probably have to reside with the census tracts we serve.
  3. It is important that business representation on our board be balanced to include the voices of businesss throughout our area.  While this is not a concern of yours, as an internal matter, if we are to give CBA a voice on the board, we need to ensure that other business corridors in our area are represented as well.
  4. Last, but not least it is important that board members be able to fully support, endorse and publicly promote the mission and objectives of the organization as currently stated.  If the CBA and the indivdual representing the organization fell they can in good conscience do so we should continue to discuss the representation on the board.  If not it may be more appropriate to have the organization's voice heard within out committee structure.

The four points above come directly from the e-mail.  Tomorrow I will give my final thoughts. 

July 23, 2011

Worcester Common Ground Board Part 3

After a couple of months, we heard nothing back regarding one of us from the Chandler Business Association being on the board.   I dropped the director we had met with at the Pickle Barrel what the status was.

The answer was that it really had not come up yet at any of the board meetings.  I, in turn, suggested that maybe one of us should show up at the next board meeting to make it a point to discuss.  Instead I was told that it will come up and they will get back to us.   No need to come to a meeting.

Final part tomorrow.  

July 22, 2011

Worcester Common Ground Board Part 2

Before questions we asked about us, we had asked Worcester Common Ground who were their current board members and that we wanted to address them at one of their meetings about some of our concerns.  Our request was countered with offer for a sub-committee to meet with us and we were not given the names of the current board.

This went on for about a year, until we were finally told if we wanted to be put on their agenda to call the Executive Director.   After some discussions, we were all busy and none of us could go so no call was made to have a placed on the agenda.  Irregardless we were placed on the agenda and some board members were upset with us.  Don't blame them, but again we never asked to be put on the agenda.?

In fact we met with two board members for breakfast to explain what happened, discussed how we could work together and had a great time.  Our goal, to make our neighborhood better, is the same.    We asked, or they suggested (forgot which), that maybe one of us from the Chandler Business Association should be on the Worcester Common Ground Board.   I volunteered, but in all actuality it could be any of us.  

Everyone left and was excited that we could work together and that a member of the Chandler Business Association would be on the Worcester Common Ground Board.  Part 3 tomorrow. 

July 21, 2011

Worc Common Ground Board Part 1

One member of the Worcester Common Ground Board about 5 or 6 months ago asked several questions about the Chandler Business Association:
  • what exactly is our formation
  • when do we meet
  • why we dont invite him
  • where do we do community outreach
Make a long story short, he asked alot questions all beginning with the word "W".   We answered every single question. let me stress every single question!!!, and even held formal community meetings to appease his concern that we did not reach out to the community.

In fact we have another community meeting Monday to address all the concerns regarding SMOC moving into the MLK building.  

Part 2 tomorrow,

Flying car one step closer to being a reality

Click story here.

July 20, 2011

Joppa Road

On record yesterday.  Really expected this to be closed 3 months ago.    Good house, good neighborhood at a great price.      Very tough real estate market, mostly due a very tight mortgage market.

July 19, 2011

Message from Paulie

The Martin Luther King Business Empowerment Center @ Chandler Street & Dewey is being disolved due to insolvency and all assets including the building are possibly if not already being aquired by South Middlesex Opportunity Center also known as SMOC.

SMOC currently owns the former PIP Shelter (People in Peril) building that is now for sale on Main South and they operated the PIP Shelter for many years. I suggest you all do your own google searches of PIP Shelter & SMOC.

The PIP Shelter was closed because after twenty plus years of wreaking havoc on the Main South neighborhood it was clear that putting a full blown wet shelter in a dense business & residential urban neighborhood was not the correct course of action-WHY HAS THIS THINKING CHANGED and is putting in a urban core neighborhood clearly on the rebound the right thing for Worcester?

The Below are just a few of the incredibly POSITIVE organizations, business & residential happenings in this neighborhood that will be effected by this move....we are talking about an incredibly VIBRANT diverse urban neighborhood on "The Move"...and happening organically NOT via huge subsidies, grants or even massive city intervention!

* EVO Restaurant

* Living Earth

* Baba Sushi Restaurant

* Pet Barn

* Walgreens

* DeAngelos

* Rocco's Fine Suits

* Suney's

* Dunkin Donuts


* Ted Williams Baseball League

* Worcester Youth Center

* TD North Bank

* John & Son's

* Beaverbrook

* Elm Park

* Pho Hein Buddhist Temple

* Crown Chicken

* new Halal meat market at Chandler & Dewey

* Keystone Plaza

* White's Cleaner Class A office space

* Webster Five

* tons of mom & pops on Chandler Street

In as much as many in the Chandler Street Business Association have been told by city officials that no definitive decision has been made as to what SMOC's intentions are for the MLK Bldg.....sources have told us that the PIP Shelter now called a triage center at the UMASS Hospital on Queen Street (where it should be kept for every reason the city and UMASS touted as a National Model to the citizens of Worcester & the Nation) is moving as of October 2011 to the MLK Building.....a full blown wet shelter for the most inebrient!

Three weeks ago we were welcoming 1500+ to Chandler Street for a music festival....NOW we are in for the fight of our lives economically and quality of life, if this full blown wet shelter triage aka PIP Shelter is moved to the MLK Bldg @ Chandler & Dewey Streets.

There will be a informational meeting on Monday July 25th 6:00 pm at the Pho Hein Buddhist Temple on Dewey Street to discuss this new development in the Village of Piedmont-Worcester, Massachusetts.   We encourage all to attend - this is a City of Worcester issue NOT a lone neighborhood issue! Please pass this on to all that you know.


Paul Collyer

Chandler Street Business Association

(617) 283-3292

City Council candidates

  • potential move of triage center to MLK center
  • 1,200,000 sewer lines

Good talking points for city council candidates to state their opinion and get their voices heard?

July 17, 2011

$1,200,000 Sewer Line

Telegram has story on the Common Ground sewer line.   The total cost was $1,200,000!!!!!!!!!   Of which $1,000,000 is being paid by us, the tax-payers.  This whole story is amazing, but I bet the City Council will not even discuss it.

Here is the bottom line. The City of Worcester becomes partners in all of these no-lo housing developments and have a vested interest in keeping these projects viable.   The original project cost $16,000,000 of which the City/State has given funds (grants to Common Ground) to build this no-lo project.  The developer, Common Ground, in turn, does not have to pay back these grants as long as they maintain the units as no-lo for a certain affordability period (typically 15 years).

If for some reason the projects goes under the City/State has to pay back all the grant monies that they gave Common.   Bottom line spending an extra $1,000,000 now on a sewer line will be cheaper then having to pay back all the grant monies that they gave Common Ground in the first place.   This sewer line has became a "community responsibility" , because the community has a s---load of money invested already here.

Let me make this very clear there was no "actual responsibility" for the tax-payers to kick-up $1,000,000 for this sewer line.    Next time a road is not paved, a pool can not be opened or there is no money for summer impact police, remember we diverted $1,000,000 to this sewer line.

My favorite line, however, "the city never put anything in writing about risks associated with basement units."     Are you kiddin me.   It is not the City of Worcester's job to warn a developer about risks in developing anything?     If the engineers assured Common Ground, why hasn't Common Ground sued their engineers?????

Also can not help but remember the poor guy up on Vernon Hill a couple years back when a sewer back-up in the street wrecked his house.   Bob Moylan, rightfully so, told him it was not the City's responsibility to repair the home-owner's house.  It was not a "community responsibility". 

This sewer line will not benefit the entire neighborhood, who already have sewer connections along this stretch?   Make no mistakes about the tax-payers had to pony up $1,000, 000 for a sewer line that benefits one party , Common Ground, to save their 8 basement units.      In other words we just spent $150,000 per apartment. 

July 16, 2011

Chamber of Commerce

The PIP shelter, oh I am sorry the Triage Center, may move to one of the busiest thoroughfares in Worcester (Chandler Street) next to one of the busiest intersections in the City of Worcester (Park Ave/Chandler St), where is the Chamber of Commerce???   No where to be found.

As I See it

One day we have SMOC running the PIP in a 33,000 square foot building on Main Street.   

After a study, we create a national model whereby we move the PIP to the old City Hospital run by Community Healthlink .  Instead of a shelter,  it is a called a triage center, where people are checked in by hopefully moved into some permanent housing fast.

What has it been a year maybe two?   Community Healthlink loses the contract back to SMOC.  Now SMOC is looking to merge with MLK and we fear move the triage center into the 20,000 feet of  unoccupied space in the MLK building.

If this were to happen, all we have really done is move a problem from one area to another.

July 15, 2011

Triage Center

Triage Center location

I truly believe the best place for a "Triage" center is a location like the old City Hospital.    Building itself, parking lot, off the Main Street while still centrally located makes the most sense.    Lets hope SMOC, the new operator of the Triage Ctr, can work a deal to stay at this location or find another similar location.

I got to ask this.  If this does not work out, why can't they merely go back to the empty building that they already own on Main Street (the location of the PIP shelter), versus moving it somewhere else?? 

July 14, 2011


It has been called to our, Chandler Business Association, that it looks like MLK will be bought out (or merged--not sure what the term is).  if it helps MLK keep doing the work that they are doing,we got no problem with that.

Here, however is our concern:
  1. SMOC is taking over the triage center currently run by Community Health Link located at the old City Hospital,
  2. In the newspaper it says SMOC will be moving the triage center
  3. The MLK building has alot of empty space
Connecting the dots does this mean SMOC wants to move the triage center to the MLK building.   We, again the CBA, had a meeting yesterday with reps from MLK, SMOC and the City of Worcester to discuss these happenings and our concerns.

Stay tuned.

July 13, 2011


July 12, 2011


An airline that connects small cities with leisure destinations has received federal certification to fly a bigger plane, a step toward providing future service to Hawaii.   Allegiant Air is aiming to add Hawaii as a destination by summer of next year, company spokeswoman Kristine Shattuck-Cooper said Thursday.

"Hawaii is a natural destination for us," she said. "We're always looking at new and different locations that fit our business model." She said it's not yet known which cities the Hawaii flights are to service.

The airline, part of Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel Co., announced Wednesday it obtained approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to begin operating Boeing 757-200 aircraft. To begin travel between the mainland and Hawaii, the airline also needs Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance certification and Flag Carrier status from the FAA for the 757-200.

The airline plans to first use its 757 on existing routes connecting Las Vegas with McAllen, Texas, and Rockford

July 10, 2011

9 May Street Sewer line

The work in street from Maria's kitchen to 9 May Street looks like it is done.   Now all that is left is that they will need to hook up to building, if not done alreardy.  next step will be to remove the above ground sewer line that runs to Main Street and remove the pumping station.

The more I think of this..  This had to cost 100's of thousands of dollars.  

July 08, 2011


New airline flyring from Trenton to Hanscom??

Streamline website

July 06, 2011

Airport Travel Bank

I had big hopes when MassPort took over last July, but figured they would go slow.   Now I just don't know.   Direct Air was a good start but just that I start.   After all the e-mails and phone calls I have gotten, personally I would not fly with them.

How we can not get any flights from Boston?   Leisure travel flights to cruises?  One flight per week to Florida?    We need to make something happen.    

Travel bank!!!   Click here for a story

Formal request

Mailing out formal requests for $200 today.  

July 03, 2011

Direct Air

Yesterday's flight?

Received two e-mails and two cell calls on the flight.  Does anyone know if it ever took off?

July 01, 2011

104 Armory Street

Notices are being posted around the neighborhood that this old City Buillders warehouse, currently owned by the South Worcester Neighborhood Center.   Gee wonder what will go here?

  • Leave property in South Worcester name
  • Apply for any EPA brownfields clean-up monies if there is any contamination
  • Apply as City Builders LLC, of which South Worcester is a minority owner, and apply for any grant monies for no-lo housing on a City, State and Federal level
  • get all sorts of waivers on permitting and water/sewer hook up fees
Who really does not think more no-lo housing will be proposed for the former Crompton and Knowles site?