August 31, 2011

Allegiant and Bangor, Maine

Allegiant & Knoxville

Allegiant (Nasdaq:ALGT - News) announces seasonal, nonstop jet service between Knoxville, Tenn., and Las Vegas, Nev., will begin Nov. 18. The company, known for its exceptional travel deals, will introduce the new service to Eastern Tennessee residents with fares as low as $109.98* one way.
"We're pleased to offer another affordable and convenient way for our Knoxville customers to get away," Andrew C. Levy, Allegiant Travel Company President, said. "We are confident the Knoxville community will appreciate flying nonstop to Las Vegas and take advantage of the great deals we offer on hotels, car rentals and show tickets."
"We are very excited about Allegiant Air's continued commitment to providing low-fare air service to popular destinations from McGhee Tyson Airport," said Howard Vogel, Chairman of the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority's Board of Commissioners. "Today's announcement of new flights to Las Vegas offers nonstop service to one of our most visited destinations. While the service is starting as seasonal, we fully believe that it will be extremely successful and will become permanent service."

August 29, 2011


EPA website

Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB)

PCBs belong to a broad family of man-made organic chemicals known as chlorinated hydrocarbons. PCBs were domestically manufactured from 1929 until their manufacture was banned in 1979. They have a range of toxicity and vary in consistency from thin, light-colored liquids to yellow or black waxy solids. Due to their non-flammability, chemical stability, high boiling point, and electrical insulating properties, PCBs were used in hundreds of industrial and commercial applications including electrical, heat transfer, and hydraulic equipment; as plasticizers in paints, plastics, and rubber products; in pigments, dyes, and carbonless copy paper; and many other industrial applications.

Commercial Use of PCBs

Although no longer commercially produced in the United States, PCBs may be present in products and aterials produced before the 1979 PCB ban. Products that may contain PCBs include:
  • Transformers and capacitors
  • Other electrical equipment including voltage regulators, switches, reclosers, bushings, and electromagnets
  • Oil used in motors and hydraulic systems
  • Old electrical devices or appliances containing PCB capacitors
  • Fluorescent light ballasts
  • Cable insulation
  • Thermal insulation material including fiberglass, felt, foam, and corkAdhesives and tapes
  • Oil-based paint
  • Caulking
  • Plastics
  • Carbonless copy paper \
  • Foor finish
The PCBs used in these products were chemical mixtures made up of a variety of individual chlorinated biphenyl components, known as congeners. Most commercial PCB mixtures are known in the United States by their industrial trade names. The most common trade name is Aroclor.

Release and Exposure of PCBs

Prior to the 1979 ban, PCBs entered the environment during their manufacture and use in the United States. Today PCBs can still be released into the environment from poorly maintained hazardous waste sites that contain PCBs; illegal or improper dumping of PCB wastes; leaks or releases from electrical transformers containing PCBs; and disposal of PCB-containing consumer products into municipal or other landfills not designed to handle hazardous waste. PCBs may also be released into the environment by the burning of some wastes in municipal and industrial incinerators.

Once in the environment, PCBs do not readily break down and therefore may remain for long periods of time cycling between air, water, and soil. PCBs can be carried long distances and have been found in snow and sea water in areas far away from where they were released into the environment. As a consequence, PCBs are found all over the world. In general, the lighter the form of PCB, the further it can be transported from the source of contamination.

PCBs can accumulate in the leaves and above-ground parts of plants and food crops. They are also taken up into the bodies of small organisms and fish. As a result, people who ingest fish may be exposed to PCBs that have bioaccumulated in the fish they are ingesting.

Health Effects

PCBs have been demonstrated to cause cancer, as well as a variety of other adverse health effects on the immune system, reproductive system, nervous system, and endocrine system. See the Health Effects page for more information.

August 28, 2011


Add the Telegram Building to their list of properties which already includes Gateway Park, the old Trade School and the old Nissen Baking buildings on South Quinsigamond Ave.   

You got to love the financing:
  • City seeking $2,000,000 brownfields grant
  • City seeking $2,500,000 HUD loan guaranteed by the City
  • City Seeking $2,500,000 grant from the Department of Commerce
  • City seeking $200,000 from the EPA

August 27, 2011

Effect of freight railroad yards on property values

link       Conclusion  below

The results generated by the hedonic models for 1996 and 1999 are consistent with previous results in the literature. The structural variables are generally of the expected sign. For railroad-related variables, smaller houses of up to 1,250 square feet and located within 250 feet, 500 feet, or 750 feet of a railroad track experienced a statistically significant loss in sale price of $4,300 within 250 feet, $3,800 within 500 feet, and $5,800 within 750 feet from a freight track line; this is equivalent to losses of 5%-7% of sale price. For the medium and larger units, many had negative signs, but only the middle ring (251-500 feet away) was statistically significant at a 95% confidence level, with a discount of about 5%. The lack of a consistent declining pattern implies that markets perceive a zonal rather than gradient effect for this negative amenity when modeled with pure proximity.

Proximity to a gated railroad crossing at grade was associated with a reduction in sale price of about 5% under some circumstances, but results were not robust over all subcategories of sales.
Results improved substantially when freight train trip counts, separate from simple proximity to a track, were modeled. In 1996, prior to announced track reconfigurations, trip counts had little effect on prices, with only one cell having results indicating market awareness of trip counts. In 1999, after the announced changes, among smaller units each trip count was associated with a reduction in sale price of around $194 per additional average daily freight train trip within 250 feet. The reduction in sale price decreased to about $85 and $94 per trip within 500 feet and 750 feet away, respectively. Medium-sized units exhibited a gradient-type effect ranging from $262 to $72, at generally lower significance levels. Larger units also had a drop in sale price of $264 per trip at the closest distance. Thus, adding trip counts substantially improved pricing effects of train trips. It also represents more of a gradient, rather than zonal, pattern of impact.

To put this into perspective, for example, if a $100,000 house were located near a freight train track, and the daily train count were to go from 10 trains per day to 30 trains per day, this would imply a reduction in value of $5,000 (20 trips times $250/trip), or 5%. This is a new finding and represents a contribution to the literature.

In a recent financial settlement related to the train reorganization in the Cleveland area, the railroads negotiated with communities for mitigation of noise and safety concerns, but no funds were provided specifically to compensate residents for losses in property value. Of course, this research has not calculated the net effect (some lines gained trips, some lost), so there is no statement made here about the fairness of these payments, but loss in property values should be included in future negotiations of this type. The train-trip count impact was insignificant before the merger talks and accompanying newspaper publicity. After the publicity, significant modest price reductions were evident and these were consistent with theory. This is evidence that the markets were able to price the train volume data reasonably well, and that the talk of train line reorganization did have a substantial effect on the parameter estimates after the change in trip volumes.

The models appear to work better for smaller-sized units, regardless of distance from the tracks. One possible explanation could be that a higher percentage of the larger units are located in affluent suburbs outside the central city, where other locational amenities outside the model (e.g., school districts) may be affecting value. Smaller sales tended to be in the central city or in a few, inner-ring working-class suburbs.

The implication of this research for appraisers is that they should include proximity to rail lines, train trip counts, and potentially gated crossings in determining the value of residential property

August 26, 2011

Hurrican of 1938

August 24, 2011

Rep Maxine Waters

Rep Fredericka Wilson

August 13, 2011

Rick Perry loser pays


Gov. Rick Perry on Monday signed a bill that will implement a "loser pays" system to stop frivolous lawsuits in Texas.   House Bill 274 enacts several measures that supporters say will streamline and lower the cost of litigation in Texas courts, allowing parties to resolve disputes more quickly, more fairly and less expensively.
"HB 274 provides defendants and judges with a variety of tools that will cut down on frivolous claims in Texas," Gov. Perry said. "This important legislation will help make Texas that much more attractive to employers seeking to expand or relocate from countries all over the world by allowing them to spend less time in court and more time creating jobs."

August 12, 2011

New Garden Park


Worcester, Massachusetts
Worcester County
Street Address: 89 Shrewsbury Street, Suite 300
Zip Code: 01604

Congressional  District(s):   03

EPA ID #: BF96113001
Type of Funding: Cleanup Grant
Description [Back to Top]
New Garden Park, Inc. has received the following EPA Brownfields funding:
Grant Number Grant Type Amount Funding Type Year Awarded Status

BF96113001 Cleanup of the Former Worcester Vocational High School - Parcel B $200,000 Hazardous Substances 2009 Active
Cleanup of the Former Worcester Vocational High School - Parcel C $200,000 Hazardous Substances

Total $400,000

August 11, 2011

Felonious Munk

August 08, 2011

New blog format

Thanks for all of the comments.   Right now there is an issue that has been bothering me and it got me to think about one fo the comments (think Russ).  I am going to put some time into this and not blog every day and I am going to roll out my own "investigative" piece .     Bottom line you can expect a good once, at least I think it is, after Labor Day.    In the meantime, if anyone has ideas for my next piece, send it in. 

In the meantime, yes Dave I saw Bob Nemeth article, Telegram link.     Nobody reads him anymore, not one comment??   When Bob writes about National issue, I think he does a good job.  Anytime he writes about the airport, what the hell is he talking about!

Instead of taking MassPort to task for pretty much doing nothing the first year of ownership, he compliments them for using the terminal for trade shows and social events?   Not sure how the private tax paying businesses that try to attract trade shows and social events feel about this?     I expected huge returns when MassPort took over ORH one year ago.  To date, it has been extremely disappointing and there is no other way to look at it.  Let's hope this changes and maybe a group like the Chamber of Commerce starting a Travel bank can give ORH a kick start.

Next blog, my investigative piece, after Labor Day.  Enjoy the summer!

August 01, 2011

Blog sabbatical

I have had a ton of fun with the blog,but lately I got to admit--it has not been much fun.  Maybe I should have retired at 3,000 blogs??     Every day now I get comments like "We get it Randell, you hate poor people". I delete them, but when you see messages like these every single day, you start to ask yourself why am I doing this?

Who knows maybe a $1,2000,000 sewer line for 8 apartments, which cost almost $400,000 each, is the way to move the City of Worcester of forward and help poor people.    Funny if I hate poor people, does that mean I am "rich people"?  

Met alot of great people and made alot of friends, but now it seems like I am at the point of diminishing returns. This is not the end of the blog, but I am done for a while, or maybe I will resurface somewhere else?

Good luck to all my fellow bloggers geting their message out.  Right now I would rather focus on other things.  .