December 28, 2012

Vacation over

Took a couple days off...   

Still wondering when the final HUD report will be released?   

Maybe we should wait for that before we have any meeting with the Economic Development Committee?    

Can I please say this for the 1000th time, there is nothing anyone can do to limit the amount of affordable housing!!!!    Nohting!!!

December 24, 2012

Brick in from Vegas

My right hand man, Fran Brick, moved out to Vegas couples year back and we all miss him.  Comes home for Xmas, but watches the news in Worcester from Vegas and bought me a clown nose..

Merry X-mas !! 

December 21, 2012

Caravan lot on Main Street

new sign

5 May Street

There are alot of questions on the 1,900,000 and the accounting as to where the monies were spent and I am sure we will hear alot more about.    The projected cost, City Hall Council meeting, for these units is 266,538.    Think in the end that will be the cost when completed.

My point is that many people are upset about the cost.   If someone is upset with the cost of 5 May Street then should they not be ten times more upset with the cost of 9 May Street and the literally millions that were spent on sewer upgrades.

I am not trying to defend 5 May Street, since I do not know all the facts.  All I am trying to say is that if you want to complain about the monies spent on 5 May Street then you should be doing the same with these other projects?

  1. 5 May Street 266,538
  2. 9 May Street 414,539
  3. 15 & 17 LaGrange 200,792
  4. Austin Corridor II 355,553
  5. Hadley 514,679
  6. KGH 1 & 2 331,369
  7. KGH 3A 299,610
  8. KGH 3B 365,999
  9. KGH 4 325,995

December 19, 2012

South Worcester Industrial Park

20 years!!!
Let me say that again 20 years!!!

Bet you there has to be 10 million invested in land takings and clean-ups.    Not even calculating the lost tax revenues.     Now we want to take on the Wyman Gordon parcel?

The City is going to end up getting sued by Wyman Gordon.  I watched last night and I did not hear one "public use" reason as to why the city should look into this property for eminent domain....     

Wyman Gordon lawsuit

If I am Wyman Gordon and I had a potential buyer and the City Council starts talking about eminent domain and I lose my buyer....

I would seriously consider a lawsuite against the City Council.

December 18, 2012

Eminent Domain and Wyman Gordon

Konnie hit it out of the park!!!

  • what is the public good
  • what is the development plan

December 16, 2012

Affordable housing projects done right

As I have pointed out on this blog many times and at a recent meeting of the Chandler Business Association, look at the Chevalier Building on Water Street.   I believe this has a 25% "affordable" component, reminds me of the Royal Worcester on Grand Street-a great project which has a similar "affordable" component.

The developer uses these grant monies for the portion of the portion of the project dedicated for "affordable" to make the numbers work.   These are great projects and make the City of Worcester a better place to live.    On the other hand projects like the Hadley, 9 May Street or Southgate Place which have 100% affordable are not.   Imagine being turned around to rent a unit at any of these places because you make too much money?  

We need to put a limit on any of these projects in the future in order to received any funding from the City of Worcester.    A 25% limit per project seems very fair to me.      If you want to do a project that is 100% affordable, there is nothing anyone can do to stop you.  Just the City of Worcester should not give any tax-payer assistance. 

5 May Street

There are alot of questions right now as to whether the $1,900,000 of NSP (Neighborhood Stabilization) actually was invested into the property or not.    Evidently by a recent article I read in the newspaper, there was not proper documentation and the City of Worcester will need to pay these monies back.  At the same time the article indicated that these monies would be funneled back to the City of Worcester. 

The bottom line is that there was shoddy record-keeping and I am sure employees, who no longer work for the City of Worcester will be blamed for this.   Surely there will be more on this over the coming months.  Needless to say monies distributed need to have better checks and balances, but that is not the purpose of this blog.    Lets look at the numbers.

From what I have heard I would estimate that the cost to finish the project would be between $40,000 to $50,000  per unit.    In the end the total cost would be approximately $310,000.  Don't get me wrong this is ridiculous, but this would end up being the 3rd cheapest of the 9 development projects listed in the City Council agenda Tuesday  in my post below. 

All I am trying to point out is that it is pretty hard to say that this project was a waste of tax-payer monies when your project even costs more?    The average cost of the 6 projects that were higher comes in at $384,000 per unit.  In actuality 5 May Street at $310,000 will be a deal.

  1. 5 May Street    266,538
  2. 9 May Street   414,539
  3. 15 & 17 LaGrange     200,792
  4. Austin Corridor II   355,553
  5. Hadley     514,679
  6. KGH 1 & 2     331,369
  7. KGH 3A    299,610
  8. KGH 3B  365,999
  9. KGH 4  325,995

December 15, 2012

TDC (total development cost) per unit

Check this out and pay attention to page 3 the line that says TDC (total development cost) per unit:

  1. 5 May Street    266,538
  2. 9 May Street   414,539
  3. 15 & 17 LaGrange     200,792
  4. Austin Corridor II   355,553
  5. Hadley     514,679
  6. KGH 1 & 2     331,369
  7. KGH 3A    299,610
  8. KGH 3B  365,999
  9. KGH 4  325,995

These are the costs to develop ONE rental units.    If you see nothing wrong with this, then I guess we should simply keep doing it. 

Worcester Properties

Right now the City already controls the South Worcester Industrial Park.   For all practical purposes they are involved, although they do not own, Mason Street.  In the spring, they will foreclose on 5 May Street.

Add into this the fact the City of Worcester will be taking back countless other properties that commercial property-owners are walking away from.   The City of Worcester will have quite alot of property under their control that will be paying no property taxes. 

The last thing the City of Worcester need to do is take back Wyman-Gordon.... That said if I was Wyman-Gordon, I would write up an offer with the prospective buyer for 10 million dollars and tell the City of Worcester, it is all yours just give me 10 million dollars.

Most importantly what "public use" could possible be used as the reason for this eminent domain?? 

December 14, 2012

Eminent Domain-Wyman Gordon

I am speechless....

On what ground exactly should the City of Worcester propose that they should take this property via Eminent Domain???
I am truly amazed that anyone on the City Council has proposed this and actually supports it..   Couple of questions:

  1. What message does this send out the developers?
  2. I can only imagine the legal bills the City would incur to pursue this not to mention the purchase price of the parcel!!!

December 13, 2012

Great day for a skate on the Oval today

Boston to Phlly

jetBlue blog

Brady Quinn

Good point by Jahn

The developers of "affordable" housing have not only gotten hard dollars for their developments, but there are literally millions of dollars of "soft" costs that have been:

  1. insane variances for parking, frontage and just about anything else you can think of.
  2. city owned lots that took year to get title to through Land Court given away through direct negotiations for pennies on the dollars
  3. although I have never been able to confirm, I got to question if they have been charged all the permitting fees anyone else would have been.  In particular water and sewer connection fees

Again let me emphasize for the third time,  there is nothing in the RKG report that recommends the closure of any CDC's or limits the amount of "affordable" housing that can be built in Worcester.  

December 11, 2012

Soarin with Santa

Clarification Repeated

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts puts a target for each town and city of 10%.  If a town or city does not have the 10% level, a developer can come into the town or city and call a project 40B and circumvent local zoning ordinances.  This is an over-simplication, but the general point is correct.

Nobody, but nobody can limit the amount of "affordable" housing and there is nothing in the RKG report that will stop "affordable" housing developments.  The report does say that we have enough and should focus on City dollars in other areas.     That is all it says and I agree.

The developers of "affordable" housing can keep building more units until we become the highest of any town or city in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  The RKG report only says that the City should stop subsidizing these units and invest their monies elsewhere.   Makes perfect sense.

The only ones who really hate the report are the ones who are currently getting City dollars to build "affordable" units. 

December 10, 2012

December 6 Chandler Business Meeting

To: Chandler Business Association (CBA) & City Council

The Chandler Street Business Association would like to extend a special thanks to Worcester City Councilors Sarai Riviera, Konnie Lukes ,Tony Economou , Worcester State Representative John Fresolo and City of Worcester Business Development Director, Phil Niddrie for attending our meeting on December 6, 2012 at Baba Sushi.

The purpose of the meeting was to hi-light the millions of dollars of private investment that has taken place over the past five years and that is also in the pipeline from Main Street to Parke Avenue and from Pleasant Street to Chandler Street

This development and civic efforts are a community effort of diverse individuals and organizations including but not limited to:
• Arthur Mooradian Construction

• Richard Kazarian – Keystone Plaza

• Andrew Serrato – Serrato Sign

• Bill Randell – Advantage Benefits

• Maykel Family – Living Earth & EVO Restaurant

• Greg Larno

• Worcester House of Pizza

• Community Healthlink

• Pho Hein Buddhist Temple

• Ed Hyder Mediterranean Market

• Bahnan’s

• The Raven

• Dunkin Donuts

• Paul Collyer-Residential Development

• Sharon Doherty – Neighborhood Resident

• Baba Sushi

• Kozara

• Gary Gaffin Accounting

• Rocco’s Men’s Clothing

• Suney’s Pub

The RKG Housing Report which has been the subject of positive and negative discussions, details the current housing conditions in the City of Worcester and it gives specific recommendations that if followed over a period of time will positively reshape and revitalize the urban core of the city. The Chandler Street Business Association supports the RKG Housing Report and it looks forward to working together with all in accomplishing these recommendations set forth in the report.

The Chandler Street Business Association has a history of working together on important urban issues as evidenced by the success of its involvement in the HUD sponsored Neighborhood Revialization Strategy Area program( NRSA) and its involvement in the placement in its neighborhood of the Triage and Assessment Center formerly known as the notorious “PIP SHELTER”.

The Chandler Street Business Association believes that there is a new dawn upon the City of Worcester and its urban core and that what was perhaps needed 20+ years ago is not necessarily what the City of Worcester needs today. It further believes that CDC development at the level it has been at the past 20+ years is no longer needed and that more reliance on private development should be encouraged and pursued.

The Chandler Street Business Association looks forward to a healthy dialogue on the issue that effects it’s membership and others greatly and it looks forward to the city sponsored hearings.

Andy Davis interview

Heard this on radio last night

December 09, 2012

Diane Williamson--kudos!

Nice story today on her skating at the Oval.   If you have not had a chance to go , you should.  Last paragraph....      

Thanks Diane, what a good sport.  Must read.    Here is the last paragraph.

Which is why I am writing about my own debut, to congratulate the city and encourage folks to head to the oval.  Also, documenting my injuries in print will make it that much easier when I apply for worker's comp. 

December 08, 2012

December 07, 2012

Soarin with Santa

Hope to see everyone up the airport tomorrow

Yelp defamation lawsuit

very interesting, click here

December 03, 2012

December 02, 2012

Nick K

Good story today!

December 01, 2012

The Oval

Kudos to the City of Worcester, in particular Christina Andreoli for the opening of the Oval.  Daughter and I had a ton of fun and will back.  Urge anyone to support this.  Absolutely fantastic for downtown.   live cam

good turn out today too!!!!

Don't forget Santa lands next saturday at the airport

Tax Rates


The dual tax system has simply pitted residential property owners against commercial property owners.   What has happened? 

  • The Commercial tax base has eroded
  • As a result Residential and Commercial property owners end up  having to pay more taxes when the base erodes
  • Residential Property tax owners feeling the pinch, want the  "lowest residential" each year.  Since they have more votes they get it,
  • The Commercial tax base erodes further
  • Both Residential and Commercial property owners get him harder
  • Residents sceam "lowest" residential and get it
  • The Commercial tax base erodes more
Right now we are in an endless cycle that only everyone, both Commercial annd Residential.     The answer is we should have a "single" rate but there is absolutely no way to get there from here.

The next best thing is that we pass any increases or decreases along in the same percentage.   That way we end this Residential versus Commercial property owner.   The truth is we are all in this together and an equal increase or decrease would facilitate this.. 

Instead of fighting of rates, we can address issues that will increase the tax base thus lower any increases next year.   Like what:

  1. Philly Plan
  2. Support RKG Housing Plan
There are many more but these two alone would help the tax base.    Jahn, you need to look at this in the big picture.      Opposing forces now working together to increase the tax base is a huge win!!! 

The Oval

Great night at the Oval. Daughter with my friend's son Michael St Pierre.

November 30, 2012


Another RKG Clarification

There is absolutely nothing in the report that suggests we should close not one CDC!    Nothing....   The only recommendation is that we should look into other ways we can allocate monies that are given to the city for Housing..  

Chamber & Shrewsbury Street

I hope nobody underestimates these two groups coming together to agree on a tax rate!!!   The amount of time we will save versus having to go through the same annual ritual....

Instead now we will have time to address the real issue--the eroding tax base.   Lets hope this is the first of many thing that these two groups, who only have the best interest of Worcester in mind, will work on together that will increase the tax base and reduce the tax bills for both commercial and residential property owners. 

Great job Stuart and Gary!!!  

November 29, 2012

Chamber of Commerce and Shrewsbury Street Neighborhood Association Reach Agreement on Taxes

WORCESTER – The Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Shrewsbury Street Neighborhood Association announced today a joint position for the upcoming Worcester City Council Tax Classification hearing, scheduled for Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 7 pm at Worcester City Hall.

In an effort to present a unified position and to mobilize the community as one, the Chamber and Shrewsbury Street Neighborhood Association, met to find common ground. Facing the reality of increasing tax bills, both sides sought to ease the burden as equally as possible. The newly minted collaboration is putting their collective support behind Line 185 from the tax table being considered at the hearing. Line 185 sets a residential tax rate of $18.58 and a commercial tax rate of $30.85, both representing a 4% increase to each tax class.

“I was happy to work with Gary on this issue and delighted that we could come to an amicable agreement,” stated Richard B. Kennedy, President and CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce. “This is a significant step in the direction of progress with the community, residents and businesses, working together to improve our city.”

“The Chamber has been a voice for businesses for many years, as I have tried to be a voice for the residents,” began Gary J. Vecchio, President of the Shrewsbury Street Neighborhood Association. “Now, we can both be voices for the entire community of Worcester. This rate ensures that both sides share equally in helping to provide for the needs of City Government.”

The Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Shrewsbury Street Neighborhood Association each encourage their members to contact their city councilors and urge them to vote for Line 185.
Buoyed by the successful conversations between the Chamber of Commerce and the Shrewsbury Street Neighborhood Association, several other groups have joined in the chorus of voices supporting the parity of Line 185. They are: the Worcester Citizens for Business; William T. Breault, Chair of the Main South Alliance for Public Safety; the Shrewsbury Street Merchants Association; Edith Morgan; the Webster Square Business Association; Leonard Ciuffredo; and James Magay of the Lincoln Street Area Business Association.

November 28, 2012

Chander Business Association President

Dear Worcester City Council Members:

It is not the Chandler Street Business Association's fault that the CDC's in the city are being investigated by HUD or that HUD money is being withheld to them as stated by Mr. Teasdale last night-not following rules that HUD has in place are the reason-these are the same rules that the Chandler Street Business Association has had to follow with it's NRSA funds.

It is also highly insulting for Mr. Teasdale to refer to residents and business owners who have invested thousands of hours of their own personal time and millions of dollars of their own hard earned dollars into the neighborhoods to be referred to as a few business men who have a grudge against the CDC's. This comment last night is indicative of how some of the CDC Directors have treated people who do not agree with them or have other opinions on how our neighborhoods should be redeveloped.

The Chandler Street Business Association has bent over backwards the past ten years attempting to work with Worcester Common Ground over issues related to 48 Mason Street,properties on Piedmont Street and properties on Dewey Street that have greatly effected the quality of life and business in our neighborhoods-some of you have attended our community meetings with WCG hoping for us to find common ground and resolve.

There is page after page of Worcester Inspectional Services reports on code violations associated with the above properties Worcester Common Ground owns or has owned-these housing violations as stated greatly effecting our neighborhoods quality of life and business pocketbooks. This is not a "he said she said" issue-the failure to follow community rules that are expected of others is very real and it needs to be addressed as part of this proposed new housing policy.

Our efforts working with SMOC this past year on the relocation of the Triage and Assessment Center is indicative of our strong commitment to our neighborhood and our willingness to constructively work together with others on tough urban issues-SMOC treated us like stakeholders not peasants and the project got completed responsibly for the benefit of the city, SMOC constituents and the neighborhood.

Many in the Chandler Street Business Association were also here 20-30 years ago and were also investing in the same neighborhoods with their own hard earned capital-it is incorrect to suggest by some last night that the CDC's redeveloped these neighborhoods single handedly-I personally was buying and rehabbing in the Main South/Piedmont section of the city since the late 1980's and I live in the Piedmont neighborhood not elsewhere as most CDC Directors do-see house below.

There were numerous statements made last night by Mr.Teasdale about monies his CDC has invested in the neighborhood-he should be reminded that those monies are tax payer dollars not his or the CDC's and it is our right as tax payers to be able to question how those dollars are spent especially tax payer dollars spent in our neighborhoods that many in the Chandler Street Business Association live in, work in and play in.

The Chandler Street Business Association has never advocated for the elimination of the CDC's but it has advocated for a trimming of the amount in District 4, from three CDC's to one CDC.

The City of Worcester is not unlike many Massachusetts cities such as: Charlestown, South Boston, Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, Chelsea, Everett, Somerville & Haverhill that at one time had many tough neighborhoods that are now on the rebound - conversations presented last night that revisited decade's past lack of private development that the above cities also experienced is not beneficial to today's discussion of middle class urban renewal in Worcester-if this was the case then Shrewsbury Street and the Canal District would not be on the path they are on today because they to were tough urban neighborhoods not to long ago.

In conclusion, the City of Worcester and most particular District 4 have evolved from when I bought the house below on Chandler Street and rehabbed it in 1992 but the CDC's have not operating on the same argument that the urban neighborhoods of Worcester in 1992 are the same Worcester urban neighborhoods of 2012 and many more than just 5 or 6 business people disagree.

Please reserve a spot at the committee hearings for members of the Chandler Street Business Association that includes business owners and residents. Thank you for your time.


The Executive Director of the Main South CDC challenged anyone to visit their properties and see the quality of their work.   

For the record, the Main South CDC does quality work and I have never questioned the workmanship .   I have, however, always questioned the monies that are spent per unit, averaging 300k per unit.     Also, as George Russell pointed out last night, deed restricted home ownership is not true home ownership. 

Look forward to the Economic Committee meetings and the implementation of the recommendations in the report, which again nobody questioned. 

November 27, 2012

Council Meeting on Housing

Did not have a chance to attend, but watched on television.  It was a great discussion and now it will go to the Economic Committee.   Great to see this conversation finally being had.   

One of the most interesting things was that everyone agreed with the recommendations from the report.  Seriously not one recommendation was questioned.   There is absolutely no reason that CDC's, private developers and anyone else cannot work together to meet the recommendations (THAT AGAIN EVERYONE AGREED TO) in the report.  

This is not about the past, but the future.    Look forward to moving forward to see the recommendations in the report become a reality!  

Hanover Insurance

Rumor that they are buying property on the Common heating up...  

Soarin with Santa

Worcester Flight Academy
Advantage Benefits
DJ Martin Foley
Jenn Roy &  Barry Gadbois

Startin to really shape up click here.    Come watch Santa fly in and have a free picture taken with Santa

Hope to see you all there!!  

RKH Housing Report

Let's hope people stick to the facts and say exactly what recommendation that they do not like in the RKG report and why?

This is not a battle over whether we should stop building "affordable" housing or not.    Nobody can do this..    The is a question as to what the City should do with their monies

We have two options:

  1. Continue what they have been doing and keep subsidizing more "affordable" housing projects.
  2. City of Worcester stop subsidizing "affordable" developers and put them on a level playing field with any other property owner/developer.  If we did this then we could make changes; for example, give monies directly to qualified home-owners in targeted districts to do their own repairs.
It is really that simple...   My vote is for option 2).

November 26, 2012

Daughter preparing for the Oval

We hacve done alot of roller skating first time on skates Sunday on Lake Ave...

The Oval and Advantage

We are putting down some cash to be have our company listed on the boards as a sponsor.

Live cam

November 25, 2012


Here are some points we discussed:

  1. RKG study is dam good.   If you do not think that it is, then point out one conclusion that you do not like and explain what is wrong with it.
  2. Affordable units are not below market rents.
Let's now talk about 40B.    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts targets each city/town to have 10% "affordable" units.  If a town or city does not have the 10% threshold, a developer can come in,  propose to build "affordable" units and basically escape the local ordinances regarding developing.  

Let me give you an example, say you have a town with only 5% "affordable" number.  A developer comes into that town and proposes "affordable" units,  that does not meet what is required by the local zoning authority (lot size, frontage,  etc).   If the local zoning tries to deny the permit, the developer, as a 40B project, can go to the Commonwealth and get approval.     Typically this does not happen, since the developer usually sits down with the town and makes a deal and then everyone calls it a "friendly" 40B.    Truth be told there is nothing "friendly" about it . 

This is an oversimplification, but it it gets the point across.   In Worcester, a developer can not claim 40B status and supercede the local zoning boards, since we already the 10%. That it a moot, since developers of "affrodable" housing, not Dodge Park, get pretty much everything they ask for locally and do not have to appeal to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.    

Here is my point the City of Worcester can not cap "affordable" housing.   Developers can keep building all the "affordable" units that they in Worcester even though we already exceeded the 10% threshold.  The Commonwealth of Massachusetts does not have a cap for each town and city.  We can have 100% "affordable", if you want.'  

The only thing the city can do is control the purse strings!     In other words, follow the money.  This is not an arguement about the level of "affordable" units we should or should not have, but whether the City of Worcester should continue to subsidize their construction.  

I feel these monies could be used better elsewhere.  Namely let's target qualified home-owners in targeted districts with grant monies to improve their houses?    Two years ago the Chandler NRSA had approximately 15 people (at an average of about 15K per house) who took advantage of the program and invested in the owner-occupied houses.    I say we do more of that, versus spending 300,000 to construct one rental unit. 

Proposed Ice Skating rink at library

I am totally confused.   It was my understanding was that the colleges were going to mainly pay for it???    Can anyone direct me to budget numbers/proposals. 

November 24, 2012

Freakonomics on Park Privatization

Click here

Privatize Parks


Check this out

Affordable Housing 101

Lets take an example of a 3 unit building that will cost an agency 500,000 to redevelop:
  1. buy the property
  2. then sit on it up two years or more
  3. apply everywhere for grant monies to build afforable housing
  4. assemble on average 90% of the monies you need in grants (450,000)
  5. 50,000 of your own money into the project

3 years later the project is done and the agency only has 50,000 invested and need to rent the three units out to tenants that meet the "affordable" guidelines so as to not have to pay back the 450,000.

Here is my question imagine if we were able to take the same 450,000 and:

  1. give it out to current home-owners (there are tons) who meet income guidelines to repair their houses like we did with the NRSA. There is a huge need.   
  2. give these monies in matching monies to qualified people to buy one of the many vacant houses in the city.

The question here is what is the highest and best use of the monies, in this example 450,000.

November 21, 2012

Common Skating rink

Not sure if I will be there for the opening, but I will definately spend some time there this winter with my daughter.

CDC rents

There is common misconception that CDC's rent apartments well below market rents.  I am not saying they should not get whatever rent the market bears.

Here are the facts check for yourself


Affordable housing is not synonmous with below market rents.   It only means the renter meets certain income guidelines so that the developer does not have to pay back the grant monies that were given to build or rehab the project.

November 20, 2012


Pushed off another week? 

November 19, 2012

Kudos to Walter Bird

Here is his story on the Housing Report !  

Note his factual approach.

Again RKG are very good at this , they base their report completely on facts and statistics.  I hope that we follow their lead and approach this together and improve the City of Worcester..

Housing Policy tomorrow night

There will be alot of hyperbole tomorrow night.  Words like gentrification will be thrown around.

I have one request.  Can someone, anyone specifcally site a recommendation in the entire report that they do not like?

Just one and why.... 

Skating Rink

Can someone forward costs and who is paying what for it?


MassPort Bid

CAT III ILS & Taxiway Improvements

Contract: W212-D1

Location: Worcester Airport

Opportunity Type Professional

Advertised Date 10/25/2012

Bid Date

Sub Bid Date

Qualification Due 11/29/2012 12:00 PM

Qualification Location Capital Programs Dept One Harborside Dr Suite 209S E Boston MA

Pre-Bid Conference

Bid Opening

Sub Bid Opening

Bid Info Bid Info

Sub Bid Info


Description Implementation of a CAT III Instrument Landing System and associated taxiway improvements at Worcester Airport.

Project Manager Richard Bessom

Links PlanHolders

Scope of Work:

Runway 11-29 is 7,000 feet long and 150 feet wide. At present, Runway 11-29 is equipped with FAA instrumentation referred to as Category I (CAT I) which allows arrivals during poor visibility down to 1,800 feet runway visual range (RVR). Massport has determined that seeking to upgrade ORH’s all-weather capability including needed supporting technical and taxiway infrastructure is a safety and operational priority for the airport. Additionally, access to the Runway 11 end currently requires back-taxiing approximately 3,000 feet on the runway itself. Likewise, this main runway must serve as a taxiway after arrival on Runway 29. New supporting taxiway infrastructure for access to and from Runway 11 is essential for facilitating the installation and operation of a CAT III system. A critical component of this effort is extensive coordination with the FAA given the goal that the FAA will take-over and maintain the ILS/CAT III system once installed and accepted by the FAA. The consultant shall demonstrate experience in several disciplines, including but not limited to, federal and state environmental permitting, aviation planning, FAA regulations, civil, structural and electrical engineering, cost estimating, construction phasing, sustainable design, and community outreach. The scope of work shall include, but not be limited to data collection, aviation industry analysis, computer modeling and simulations, preliminary design, prepare and file all applicable environmental permit applications including a joint MEPA/NEPA review, and conduct public outreach and meetings. Consultant will be required to prepare and assess alternatives to the proposed project including environmental impact assessments with careful consideration to avoidance, minimization and mitigation strategies

Awarded To:

General Contractor

Contract Value

Contract Awarded Date

Projected Completion Date


W212-D1 (20.7k) updated Wednesday, October 24, 2012

November 17, 2012

Soarin with Santa

December 8th


DJ Martin Foley will supply music

Worcester Flight Academy will fly Santa in to ORH 

Skating Rink

Been reading about this alot.     The idea of the colleges getting together and pooling resources to build a skating rink is not a bad idea..   Take a look at the rinks in Marlboro.   Six skating rinks constantly rented out, imagine how many people go there that end up shopping somewhere else on Solomon Pond Road???

I will admit, however, the more I look at it -- I am not too sure about the library parking lot.   What about Wyman Gordon Parcel or South Worcester Industrial Park??  

As far as a office/retail building in the library parking lot?  Just do not think downtown Worcester has a need.    The other day I was in the Harvard-Pilgrim offices at Harrington Corner.  The offices are amazing!!   Other then that the rest of the building is pretty much empty and there is already alot of office space and retail space already available downtown.

Bottom line the colleges wanted to build a skating rink should be supported, but lets find another location. 

Frontier Airlines

Very interesting article

November 13, 2012

Soarin with Santa

great event

  • pictures of your children with Santa
  • 100% of monies to a great charity
  • airport Open House
  • meet all the tenants at the airport

More to follow as this all comes into place

Housing Study



The night the Council is going to discuss the recommendations from the RKG Report that the market rate housing developments that we need, Dodge Park, is in the newspaper today?

Dodge Park

50 lot subdivsion on 20 acres "in for fight"?    Obviously it should have to deal with wetlands appropriately, as well any traffic issues.  That said aren't developments like this exactly what we need in Worcester?

Not saying that the neighborhood should not have input as to buffer zones, making the develop put up trees and dealing with traffic, but the headline should be "work with developer"?  

I find it ironic that 50 rental units are placed on lots less then an acre with relief on parking requirments all the time in Main South for affordable housing with the red carpet rolled out....  

November 12, 2012

Housing Policy

On the South Worcester Neighborhood Center Board, I opposed the construction of Southgate Place .  We had just lost Cambridge Street , when Holy Cross stepped in and took over the mortgage payments.  

I could go on and on, but read Boston Globe editorial on the gateway Cities Initiative.  It is spot on, read this.   It will take one minute to read it .  Please do.  When I opposed Southgate, the developer from Newton and 50% owner of Southgate Place asked me "why do I hate poor people?"

I bring this up since as we discuss the recommendations from RKG, this same comment will most likely come up again as well as gentrification.    Nothing could be further from the truth.  

Last paragraph of the editorial:  

Affordable housing remains a vital need across the Commonwealth, from Boston to Springfield to Pittsfield. But it won’t bring the upper middle class back to gateway cities, and it won’t create enough new customers for the shops and restaurants that give life to Main Street. At this moment, the ability of the gateway cities to serve their current citizens depends on a larger tax base, and there are signs that higher-income people want to come back to city centers. The state owes its gateway cities programs that help them to seize this opportunity now.

November 11, 2012

Telegram Bill Fortier

Flipping through some newspapers and ran across his last article as he has retired from the Telegram.

Good read.  Hope you enjoy your retirement.


MassPort to date

Would I have wanted more?  Of course but that said:

  • Rectrix is a huge improvement
  • jetBlue looks like a definate
  • CAT III landing system is coming

Not bad first 18 months under full control and ownership of MassPort. 

RKG Housing Report Tuesday

If you look at the report  and recommendations...

What exactly can someone disagree with???    The City Mgr has a summary (1-3) and then Economic Development has their own summary (4-11).  

Kind of tought to read the whole report, but flip through first 11 pages and tell me what recommendation is bad?  


How many puff stories can you write about SWIP?   Guess there is no end in sight with the cover story from WoMag this week.  

Try this for a story, how did Worcester miss out on Quest?   Think about it.   Quest is a national firm that specializes in lab testing.  They are moving in big to Massachusetts, where in Central Mass their biggest competition was UMASS.

Why did I say was?  They bought them out.  When they bought out UMASS they mentioned how they were looking to build a big facility in Central Massachusetts.   Can you say Worcester, can you say Wyman Gordon parcel, can you say SWIP??
Well, don't instead say Marlboro.  October 25, 2012-- Read it and weep.     Meanwhile back at the ranch SWIP is working on a marketing plan some 20 years after creation.

Quest Diagnostics Inc. has agreed to move into the former Hewlett-Packard office complex in Marlborough, moving more than 950 jobs to the city, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal.
The New Jersey-based provider of medical testing services will spend more than $75 million to create a Northeast laboratory facility on the former Hewlett-Packard site, which has been vacant for more than two years, according to the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly because the deal has not been announced.

Telegram story on airport

Click here

November 09, 2012

WoMag story on SWIP

In case you missed this:

In 2010, the nonprofit Worcester Business Development Corporation, reported $1.8 million in revenues from program services, grants and investments earned while the organization promoted economic development and job creation.

Salaries and benefi ts for WBDC’s 10-member staff were $1.1 million with then president

David Forsberg taking home $235,000 in regular pay and $42,000 in other compensation and then-VP and current president Craig Blais earning $167,000 with another $41,000 in added compensation.

In case you are wondering that is 485,000 in annual compensation between the President and Vice-President of the WBDC.   


WoMag cover story

How about three hard hitting journalistic questions:

  1. How long have we worked on SWIP?
  2. How much money has been invested?
  3. How many jobs have been created?

My answers

  1. 20 years
  2. 20,000,000
  3. 0

My god , please pull the plug on this!!  How about this--- auction off parcels and say Philly Plan:

  1. taxes will be locked in at purchase price for 10 years
  2. no permitting fees
  3. no water/sewer connection fees

 Instead we are  talking about an application for a  grant from the state towork on a marketing plan, some 20 years after we started??  Let me say that again we do not have a marketing plan !!!!!!!!  Or business plan and have worked on this for 20+ years and have invested $20 million dollars???  

 If we change the name of the park, it will make a huge difference.

November 07, 2012

Chamber of Commerce

I have been a long out-spoken critic of the Chamber of Commerce, sometimes referring to it as the sleeping Chamber.   Happy to say there are things changing over at the Chamber and the days of the once a year Letter to the Editor and the annual appearance at City Hall to advocate against the lowest residential rates are behind them.  They need to be  active 12 months per year.

Lots of good things are starting to happen that will truly represent the interests of businesses.   As a result for the first time, we have joined the Chamber of Commerce.    All I ask is that as see new programs roll out, please join the Chamber with us.

Application and check to Stuart Loosemore

November 05, 2012



1. Develop a program for rehabilitation and renovation of the existing housing supply to address code and maintenance issues and promote environmental improvements tolower annual energy costs. The program should focus on properties owned by income eligible individuals, with a focus on properties constructed before 1940.

2. Restructure existing Federally funded programs (i.e., HOME, CDBG) to focus on home purchase or rehabilitation financing assistance to eligible homeowners and new homebuyers.

3. Develop a Healthy Homes program and commit annual funding to support low- and moderate-income residents for core systems such as heating, roof repair, insulation, electrical, and plumbing.

Housing policy

The City of Worcester housing policy has  direct effect on :
  1. Schools
  2. Public Safety
  3. Economic Development
  4. Tax Base thus tax bills for home-owners

Pretty much everything...  

VIP coming to ORH

not jetBlue--sorry

VIP coming to ORH next month.

Stay tuned, more to follow..

Reuse vacant units


1. Strengthen existing pre-purchase and post-purchase education/counseling programs andforeclosure prevention programs for potential homeowners and tenants. This shouldinclude in-depth review of household needs, resources, financial literacy, and available housing options.

2. Identify incentives for individuals and families who purchase and rehabilitate vacant and/or foreclosed properties. For example, commit additional resources for downpayment assistance and rehabilitation assistance for vacant/ foreclosed properties.

3. Explore Rent-to-Own Programs for vacant unsold properties.

4. Explore emergency mortgage assistance program models that include counseling and direct lending services to prevent foreclosure.

5. Establish a property manager/tenant-based rental program that reduces the barriers to entry for qualified renters (e.g., property management education/counseling/ assistance).

6. Establish a purchase and refinancing program for property owners at risk of losing their home to foreclosure (example: Boston Community Capital’s SUN model).

November 04, 2012

Worcester Rubber Duck Hunt

Daughter and I today looked for 9 rubber ducks today on Shrewsbury Street.    Struck out but had fun and a great afternoon breakfast at the Boulevard. 

Check out the hunt.  Not bad if you have nothing else to do.  Picture of my friend Dave Carlson

Reduce the number of blighted housing units


1. Identify and map neighborhoods with high concentrations of “distressed housing” – house by house, street by street – with a focus on housing in “poor” and “very poor” condition.

2. Engage property owners (identified through M.G.L. 139 process), community-based corporations, neighborhood-based institutions, potential investors/developers, financial institutions, and others to identify financially feasible preferred re-use/ re-development, or reduction, scenarios for vacant properties.

3. Develop a city-wide plan with specific action items for each distressed property (e.g., maintenance, redevelopment, selective demolition, community garden/open space, parking, etc.). Engage financial institutions, education and corporate partners, neighborhood stakeholders, residents, and community-based organizations in the development and the execution of the plan.

4.    Create an interim management program of vacant, abandoned, or foreclosed properties (e.g., receivership, Foreclosure Ordinance) to assist in the acquisition and management of these properties. This program should include funding to assist with board-ups, and monitoring of these properties.

November 03, 2012

Housing Report

Here is an over simplification but if you like the direction the City of Worcester Housing Stock is going then we should keep doing what we are doing.

If you think we need to make changes, then you need to support the recommendations by RKG.  

Every day from now to the Council Meeting I will touch on one of the recommendations or points brought up in this report. 

Housing policy

The Housing Polidy adopted by the City of Worcester, I dare say is the most important policy a city has.  It has a direct effect on:

  1. Schools
  2. Tax Base
  3. Economic Development
  4. Public Safety
Versus waiting till tax rate time and saying you want the "lowest residential tax rate", we need a strong Housing market that creates a strong tax base and lowers everyone's tax bill.

Urge readers of this blog to contact their councilors and support the Housing Policy recommendation outlined by RKG.

November 02, 2012

My friend Paul Collyer on Housing Report

Hola Worcester City Council;

There is a lot happening in District 4 and it is happening privately.....Artie Mooradian has a new project at the ole Sunoco gas station at Piedmont and Main that is going to include retail and foodie (see pic attached)..he also has a new cafe on Main called Straight Up Cafe....over on Park Avenue Wilson Wang is opening his second restaurant at the former Store 16 and in between it and Baba Sushi he is putting in a Japanese garden (see pic below and attached) where there was once asphalt......Ed Hyder is developing on Pleasant Street and on Chandler Street.....EVO & Worcester House of Pizza are incredible new developments and I am turning a former drug haven into a New Orleans style cafe and have been developing quality privately financed housing that is now tenanted by Baba Sushi chefs & bartenders, Boynton chefs and a owner of a downtown cafe by the courthouse....there are many other examples that one can see just driving around- "the times they are a changin'" and it's time that the Worcester City Council take closer notice of these happenings....

The days of private investment being non-existent in District 4 are long gone....there are folks investing and more folks out there willing as long as they hear positive messages coming from city government and those investing about the city's urban core!

The proposed new housing policy makes sense....the city needs more middle class urban dwellars and we as investors need them also.....there are enough safety net resources for the needy in our District 4 neighborhoods-what these folks need are jobs and with our investments and future private investments we can provide these jobs....but we need customers who have jobs and disposable income.

This may be the city's last chance to attract back to the urban core the middle class-the next economic boom is around the corner-the city is ready and so is District 4 to take advantage of this but we need the Worcester City Council putting us in the right position....there are many urban zones around the region that are pushing forward...spending all of our time on more no-lo income housing in an area already doing it's part is not putting us in this's time that the Worcester City Council take the time to closely listen to those who have also been rolling up their sleeves but are reaching into their own pockets to make District 4 a viable exciting place to work and do business.. ...time to listen to those who own and live here, pay property taxes here, own business here over many who don't but always know what's better for the area.

It is a new era, the days of boarded up buildings and empty trash strewn lots are the past-Worcester's urban core can be an exciting place to live and do business in but it is gonna take some common sense thinking and commitment-I know I have made a commitment as have many of my neighbors and fellow investors.


Paul Collyer

Chandler Street Business Association

November 01, 2012

Housing Study

pages 1 - 11 give a good summary

RKG Housing Report

Study needs to have an outside official Housing Report done to justify how they spend Federal (and I imagine) state funds on housing.  In other words, they can not just spend the money any way they want.  They need to follow the recommendations of the plan, assuming of course the City Council accepts the plan.

This past Tuesday the plan was brought up for the 2nd time and was tabled again until November 13th.   Personally I think RKG nailed it and te recommendations are spot on..

Lets hope the Council agrees.   I will post a link to the report as soon as I find it. 


Very interesting story in Boston Herald

October 28, 2012

Housing Authorities

Boston Globe, interesting read

Nick K today

This week you will hear alot of false statements regarding the Housing Policy written by RKG.   Obviously not many people have the time to read the report.  I ask you to read Nick K and yourself this question.

Do you like the statistics that you see?

If you do, then we should continue to keep doing what we have done the last ten years.    If you do not, then we need to change the Housing Policy. 

It goes back to what I said earlier.  If the current Housing Policy was working, nobody would support more then me.    Statistics do not lie. 

October 27, 2012

Who are RKG ?

This is the company who has completed the Housing Study for the City of Worcester.

Very impressive, check out their work

And awards.....  

Interesting Meeting

The November meeting of the Shrewsbury St. Neighborhood Association will take place on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at the Mt. Carmel Recreation Center, 28 Mulberry St. beginning at 7:00 P.M.
Do you know what would happen if there was a major chemical spill in your neighborhood or the CSX Freight Yard? What should you do during natural disasters, such as a flood or hurricane? These and other important questions will be answered in a Special Presentation by, Dave Clemens, of Worcester's Emergency Management Team,
Refreshments will be served. All our meetings are open to the public.  This is our last meeting of 2012. We will then go on our winter break until March of 2013.    Contact Gary Vecchio at for more information.

Canal Lofts

Slide show

I would support this project in a second versus the buildings that were built on Cambridge and Southgate through the South Worcester Improvement Corportation

Winn Development at Trade School

Winn did a great job on the Chevalier Building..  Good mix of housing and adequate off street parking.    Project looks great!

I am sure they will do a good job on the Trade School.  Some of these projects, especially an older building like the Trade School simply can not be renovated 100% with private dollars since the corresponding monthly market rental rates would not cover the costs. They utilize grant monies for "affordable" housing to leverage the project and make the project feasible.   These are good projects.  

Again these are good projects, spur investments into an area and should be supported.   Check out the Canal Lofts website and drive by this project, this a great project.

Current Housing Policy

If the current housing policy was working, nobody would be a bigger supported of it then me since I have a vested interest it's success!!

Simply look at the results of the Housing study from RKG??  Numbers do not lie.  We have invested 100's of millions of dollars into neighborhoods that have some of the worst conditions in the City of Worcester.

So we should invest another 100 million and hope to get different results?

Jay Givans Blog

Read this one

October 26, 2012

GKH latest phase -- 293,000 per unit

There was a story in the Telegram today that the last phase consisting of 22 units cost $6,450,000.    Lets just look at the numbers.  That equates to 293,000 per rental unit.    Assume for a second this is the way we address the Worcester Housing Policy.

How many units can we do when they cost nearly 300,000 per rental unit?  

October 25, 2012

RKG Newest Recommendations

1. REDUCE, REUSE, AND RECYCLE: This recommendation seeks to focus on eliminating blighted housing units; connecting homeowners/tenants with quality available properties; and renovating vacant or underutilized properties in poor condition into high-quality residential opportunities.

2. CONNECT THE HOUSING AND JOB MARKETS: This recommendation will look to incorporate private and public housing development strategies into a broader economic development plan and link the city’s existing employer/employee base to housing opportunities in the city.

3. STABILIZE NEIGHBORHOODS NOW: This recommendation seeks to promote homeownership opportunities, job creation, infrastructure improvements, and community needs in targeted, high-risk neighborhoods through short- and long-term

October 24, 2012

Nick K Telegram story

The city's overall housing vacancy rate jumped by more than 50 percent during the past decade, rising to 8.1 percent in 2010 compared to 5.2 percent in 2000, according to a housing market study done for the city.The study, prepared by RKG Consultants, also found that the city still exceeds the statewide mandate requiring that at least 10 percent of its housing supply be comprised of “affordable” units.

Of Worcester's nearly 75,000 housing units, 9,486 are so-called “income-based housing,” which accounts for 12.8 percent of the housing supply.  Based on projected needs, the consultant has suggested that the city should consider maintaining a supply of 9,000 to 9,600 income-based housing units over the next five years.  Between 2000 and 2010, the number of vacant housing units in the city increased by 2,340 units, to a total of about 6,000 units, according to the study. The dramatic jump in the vacancy rate was fueled in part by a growing number of bank-foreclosed properties that have yet to be made available for sale or rent.

Also, there are indications that a large number of units, especially those in older multifamily homes, are being kept off the market by owners to avoid factors such as strong tenancy laws, the decline of desirable renters, capital costs to bring units up to code, or general disinterest in being landlords. In addition, housing production in the city since 2000 averaged nearly 430 units per year, but household growth was unable to keep pace with that — it was sufficient to occupy only 40 percent of the housing that was created, with the remaining 60 percent representing “excess market supply.”

“Future housing production is likely to slow down over the near term in order for household growth to catch up, which is similar to what occurred during the 1980s,” the report said. “Alternatively, vacant units can be reduced through strategic demolition and consolidation.” The last time the city's vacancy rate came close to 8 percent was back in the1980s — an overproduction of housing that occurred back then led to a 7.9 percent vacancy rate by decade's end, according to the report.

Worcester's housing vacancy rate is also nearly double what it is in the region (4.4 percent) and more than double what is typically considered a “balanced” vacancy rate in the 3 percent to 4 percent range. The vacancy rate in the city ranged from 5 percent to as high as 16 percent, with the highest rates occurring in urban neighborhoods such as Green Island, Main South, the downtown and the East Side. Lower vacancy rates existed in the West Side, the Greendale/Burncoat area, Green Hill and Beaver Brook areas, all of which had rates of 6 percent or less.

The study pointed out that older, physically and economically distressed housing units had the highest vacancy rate, a factor it considers important to Worcester's future housing needs since 52 percent of its housing stock was built before 1940 and 78 percent was built before 1980.  “The concentration of (higher) vacancy in the urban core indicates a relative lack of demand for this area which may be a reflection of housing quality,” the report said.

City Manager Michael V. O'Brien said the study makes it clear that physically and economically distressed properties, including vacant buildings, bank- or tax-title properties, are eroding the quality of some neighborhoods.  He said the city finds itself at a critical crossroads in which it must strengthen and adapt its housing resources at a time when the economy is at a near standstill. “These great neighborhoods have been in a delicate balance of stability for some time and many have held their own, in large measure due to those who are and work hard to do so,” Mr. O'Brien said. “The challenge is far too great now, with far too much to lose. Great work has been done and hundreds of millions of dollars have been poured into many of these distressed neighborhoods and still ground is being lost every day.
“Our revitalization efforts must be undertaken in a much bolder, strategic way through unprecedented public-private partnerships — in a block-by-bock, street-by-street and house-by-house manner,” he said. “We must use this opportunity to revisit our existing policies and funding priorities.”

In conjunction with the housing study report, the city manager has come out with a strategy intended to ensure that Worcester remains an attractive place for people to live. His strategy focuses on the need to eliminate blighted housing units, renovating vacant or underutilized properties in poor quality into high-quality residential properties, incorporating private and public housing development initiatives into a broader economic development plan, and promoting home ownership opportunities.  “The work ahead will be complex and will be most challenging,” Mr. O'Brien said.
Other key findings in the study were:
•It is estimated that about $120 million in capital investment is needed to upgrade the condition of the 5,676 housing units that are considered to be in “below average” condition, or worse. The three-decker housing stock is in most need of capital investment, as 16 percent are considered to be in below average condition. Those houses in poor or very poor condition should be considered for demolition or replacement, given the city's excess supply of available housing.
•The city remains predominately a rental market, with homeownership increasing only marginally between 2000 and 2010 — 44.5 percent of the homes are owner-occupied.

•Over the last four years, petitions to foreclose averaged about 520 single-family homes and 150 condominiums per year. That represented 2.1 percent and 3percent of the single-family and condominium supply, respectively. In comparison, the number of petitions to foreclose in the region represented about 1percentof the respective housing supply there.

•It is estimated that about 33,600 households would qualify for income-based housing in Worcester which represents 49 percent of all households in the city.

October 23, 2012

Report slams distressed properties

That is the title in the Telegram today.  In the words of Yogi Bera, I am having deja vu all over again.  For the second time in ten years, RKH has provided a report on the state of the Housing markets in Worcester that is dead on.   For the second time in ten years the people who have a vested interest that the current Housing plan does not change will attack this report.   The only question is will the City Council a) cave to these factions or b) take the findings of the report seriously?

Here are some highlights:

  • City exceeds the state wide mandate of 10%
  • The city should MAINTAIN the current supply.  In other words do not ADD TO IT!!!
  • It is estimated that about 33,600 households would qualify for income based housing in Worcester which represents 49 percent of all households in the city.

Read that last bullett again!!!  Can't wait to watch the spin tonight at City Council or tomorrow in the newspaper on how wrong this report is and how we need to continue what we are doing.  

October 22, 2012

GoLocal Affordable Housing

Must read --thanks dave Z

Click here

October 21, 2012

Jetblue prediction

Time running out on October prediction???

October 18, 2012

Jay Givan Blog

Click here

I personally have never heard of this!!  

State rep candidate Winthrop Handy, an independent business owner of 36 years, in six simple words, got to the heart of this year’s election issue at GoLocalWorcester’s debate, asking incumbent democrat Jim O’Day “How do you create a job?”    O’Day didn’t answer despite the four day preparation time Handy gave when he said he was going to ask the question at the WB debate.

The answer is simple, but an issue raised by candidate Bill McCarthy may get traction. He asked if Rep O’Day is paying federal income taxes due to a federal law allowing legislators living 50 miles or more from the state house to deduct their federal income tax share for those days while in session. O’Day, by a Google Map directions search, places him 50.2 miles from Beacon Hill, and according to the original 2010 WCVB report, ‘Beacon Hill’ has technically been in session since 1988.

October 13, 2012


The City should find a way to offer the entire site (SWIP) to Polar Corp. for below-market value, with property tax incentives (a TIF deal, to promote actual development by Polar).   

if not Polar,  P &  W Railroad or what the hell CSX?     Or an Absolute Machine or a Dave Carlson!!        

Eighteen friggin years, bet you 15 million dollars?  and not one friggin job! 

South Worcester Industrial Park

The other night, against my better judgement, I went to a meeting of the South Worcester Industrial Park.  Before I go any further everyone there are very nice people and this is nothing against our new District Councilor, Councilor Rivera.  Read this link from Nicole's blog.    August 1994 was the initial proposal!


October 7, 1999 – “Stephen F. O’Neil, director of the city manager’s Office of Planning and Community Development, said an estimated 1,760 new jobs with a payroll of $45 million could be created at the blighted South Worcester Industrial Park, a 25-acre complex of old buildings. The city estimates it would need $27 million to clean the area

18 years later since the initial proposal and we have spent millions and have not created one job!!!  In fact we have lost jobs by having companies move out of some of these businesses that were torn down.   The other night the talk was about 1) a marketing plan, which we do not have and 2) a name change.  I say Metro-West Boston Worcester Industrial Park.

Bottom line is the South Worcester Industrial Park Task Force and the City of Worcester Economic Development office has had 18 years to work on this.  

It is time to give this project to someone else!!  Look no further then Gateway Park!!!!   This is no differen then the airport.  Just like the City of Worcester should not be in the airport business, we should not be in the Industrial Park business.

Eighteen years and we do not have a marketing plan and not one job. 

October 12, 2012

Worcester Editorial

The Worcester Election Commission last Thursday showed wisdom and restraint by putting off any call for investigation into alleged voter intimidation or other problems at certain polling spots during the Sept. 6 primary election.

The commission’s Sept. 10 meeting featured numerous speakers who raised the rhetorical stakes to absurd heights. The hyperbole included references to Selma, Ala., two declarations that Worcester is “not Ohio,” and one activist repeatedly tossing about the word “fascists.” We’re not sure what Ohio has to do with anything, and we haven’t seen any real-life fascists marching in Worcester.

The evidence presented so far paints a picture of organizations that, while on opposite sides of the political fence, share the goal of ensuring that everyone who is legally entitled to vote has the opportunity to do so. Add to that a bit of confusion over some of the finer points of election law, and you have a situation that calls for a re-emphasis on mutual respect and better training for poll workers and watchers.

That’s exactly the direction the Election Commission chose Thursday night. The result should be a hard-fought, but smoother and calmer Election Day ahead

October 10, 2012

Sound of Music

Wrap Replacement

Zig Zag has Cigarillos. What are these?  They are wraps now with tobacco in them.  People buy these, dump the tobacco and you have a wrap.

Picture Above

note the names

Worcester Common Ground now says they basically have nothing to do with this?? 

October 09, 2012


I was going to post a couple videos that I saw today, but I changed my mind.     Did not want to see comments like I did the last time I embedded  a YouTube video.  An embeded video without any comments--just an embeded video? 

"Sean Dacey said... Try reading the article I linked to. It explains the landlines for the poor, which was expanded to include cell phones, by Bill Clinton.   As for the trolling comment, I was saying nicely that you were race baiting and appealing to the lowest common denominator with that video clip. Stay classy, Bill. "

EPA Application

Wouldn't one have to commit perjury completing an application looking for 300,000 of grant monies from the EPA, when you are actually not the owner??   You are applying in name only and have a "pocket" deed  that you are going to record when the EPA leaves going back retro-active to the day you supposedly took control of the property back to the original owner, that now you say you have nothing to do with, although you were alledgedly minority owner at the time of the award?

Completely outrageous!!! 

Meeting with Common Ground

Last year (2011) we had a meeting with Common Ground Board members at the Temple on Dewey Street to discuss this property when it appeared that they were the owners of the property.  They assured this that they would address all of our concerns.

Would have been nice to have told us that they had a "pocket deed" in their possesion that they were sitting on that would eventually record when the EPA had signed off retro-active to 2005!!!!  The more and more you look into this, the more is amazes me.

Two deeds done the same day

Imagine if anyone else did this??

  1. Company A (for profit) says to Company B (non-profit), hey I need some helping gettting 300K from the US Govt.
  2. Company A wants to deed property to Company B so they can get 300K from the EPA and will not have to pay it back since Company B is a non profit.
  3. Company B is worried about any liabilities that could come back at them
  4. Company A says do not worry we will have another deed the same day deeded it back to me but we need to wait until we get all the monies and the property is signed off
  5. Once that is done then we can record the deed retroactively.    

Mason Street

  1. November  2, 2005, City of Worcester sells 48 Mason Street to Mason Winfield (bk 37717/pg 51) for 66,853.   At that time Common Ground's position was that they were the minority partner.   Dead dated 10/31/2005.
  2. January 10, 2006, Mason Winfield deeds 48 Mason Street to minority partner, Common ground for $10 (bk 38185/pg 55),but the deed is dated November 22, 2005.
  3. Why did they do this?  Since Common Ground  is a non-profit they  do not have to pay back and of the clean-up grants from the EPA.  Believe the grant was in the $300,000 range.
  4. May 6, 2011. Common Ground deeds 48 Mason Street back to Mason Winfield for $10 (bk 47367/pg 3), but the deed is dated November 22, 2005.

    Is it just me or does anyone else think this is wrong.    On November 2, 2005, the two deeds are signed one from Mason Winfield to Common Ground for $10 and the other from Common Ground back to Mason Winfield for $10 to be recorded after the EPA signs off, but was not recorded so they could fleece the EPA for 300,000..    

    Putting that all aside, it has been 7 years!!    The property sits a complete mess and us the tax-payers are out some $300,000 in EPA monies that were granted for clean-up here and Common Ground basically says they have nothing to do with the property???

    October 03, 2012

    A-1 Window

    Sorry bad picture

    5 newly privately renovated store fronts in Main South

    Go Local Coverage on HUD Report

    Click here

    October 02, 2012

    Hampton Properties

    Private developer in Main South

    Hampton Properties.   We should be congratulating private developers like this, instead we pretend that they do not exist?

    A-1 Window

    On Main Street, where A-1 window use to be, on corner of King Street.    Recently renovated--looks great!!

    Private development.  I will take a picture later and post.

    October 01, 2012

    What is a troll?

    Looked it up.   Now, I understand what a troll is...  

     Here is my question, how can I be a troll on a blog that I write?    Isn't someone, who posts a comment on a blog that I write, calling me a troll by definition a troll him or herself?

    2. troll 2990 up, 797 down

    1a. Noun
    One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.

    1b. Noun
    A person who, on a message forum of some type, attacks and flames other members of the forum for any of a number of reasons such as rank, previous disagreements, sex, status, ect.
    A troll usually flames threads without staying on topic, unlike a "Flamer" who flames a thread because he/she disagrees with the content of the thread.

    1c. Noun
    A member of an internet forum who continually harangues and harasses others. Someone with nothing worthwhile to add to a certain conversation, but rather continually threadjacks or changes the subject, as well as thinks every member of the forum is talking about them and only them. Trolls often go by multiple names to circumvent getting banned.

    2a. Noun
    Sometimes compared to the Japanese ‘Oni’, a troll is a supernatural creature of Scandinavian folklore, whose race was thought to have carried massive stones into the countryside (although actually the result of glaciers). Lives in hills, mountains, caves, or under bridges. They are stupid, large, brutish, hairy, long-nosed, and bug-eyed, and may also have multiple heads or horns. Trolls love to eat ...

    Gas Prices

    Allen Fletcher

    Central Mass Chronicles

    Why don't you get some priavte developers on your show who invest in Main South

    As far as 5 May Street goes, we agree.   The private developer in this case ripped off the City of Worcester and never should have been advanced monies as the projected progressed.

    Can someone find this episode on-line..  

    Revolution to Revere

    check this out

    September 30, 2012

    Central Mass Chronicles

    Just watched it.    Barbara Haller, Allen Fletcher, Robert a Schaefer and  Randy Feldman. 

    According to Allen-Barbara and Randy, the only people invest in Main South are the CDC's.   Somone better tell Russell Haims, Arthur Mooradian, Paulie, nader, Armand and myself to name a few that the CDC's are the only ones who invest in real estate in  Main South.   

    September 29, 2012

    Obama Phone lady

    West Side Business Network

    October 3, 2012
    Airport terminal
    6:00  to 7:15PM

    Briefing by the Airprot Director, Andy Davis.   

    • Airport Update
    • MassDOT Update
    • DPW Update

    I am going

    September 28, 2012

    Worcester Fest

    Ran into John Pranckevicius at the harvey ball award ceremony.  He told me that he had met with Dave Barger earlier in the week in Boston.

    Barger referred to his Auhgust 22nd visit as "Worceser Fest".  

    Hanover to buy more property downtown?

    That is the rumor??

    Thye have bids on a couple more properties withing a wedge of City Hall

    September 22, 2012

    Landing Equipment for ORH

    Story in newspaper yesterday of the MassPort meeting said:

    • access road not needed to get good quality airlines
    • upgrade in landing system will cost 30 million
    • take 6-7 years

    Here are my thoughts. 

    1. Good thing the City of Worcester was not in the airport business anymore since there is no way in hell we could ever consdier taling something like this on.   MassPort can do this and it fits into their budget no problem.
    2. Will do it.  They have to!!!  They bought the airport and they know to make ORH an airport that can actually improve MassPort's bottom line, they will have to do it.
    3. How often would an upgrade in the landing system actuallly improve the take-off and landing percentage.   I can only think of a handful of times that a plane was diverted to another airport because it was not able to land at ORH.  I have e-mailed Andy Davis, the director at ORH, for the exact numbers.
    4. What if I flew to Florida and on the way back was not able to land at ORH but was diverted to BOS. So what?  I go Boston already!!!
    5. MassPort should merely plan for this and hire 3 or 4 buses to load luggage right into a bus and drive people to Boston from ORH or to ORH from Boston when the current landing equipment is not sufficient
    6. Add $5 to each ticket sold for MassPort to cover these trips?

    Was this good news yesterday?   On one hand since it seems people are finally starting to accept the fact it is not access road that has hurt Worcester but the lack of quality airlines.  MassPort will invest the money to upgrade the facility to attract good airlines and in the meantime we can still attract an airline like jetBlue with leisure service to Florida and the Caribbean.

    September 19, 2012

    South Worcester Neighborhood Center memories

    I was on the board and they do a great job there with the public services component.  After being on the board a few years, the Executive Director wanted to get on the Housing Development gravy train.  I was deadset against it, since we had no housing experience whatsoever.

    We were able to get Holy Cross to co-sign on a loan and a building was built with, I think 11 or 12 condos on Cambridge Street.  At the sign time, the market crashed and the project basically tanked but thankfully Holy Cross was there to pick up the tab.  Bottom line this project has been a disaster.

    During board meetings,we could never get a budget or an exact feel as to where we stood on this project.  Again thankfully Holy Cross bailed us out and I thought it was the end of Housing endeavors, but I was wrong.  

    At this time we an employee there whose sole job was to do housing developments and she came to a board meeting and told us we could buy City Builders,as Holy Cross is bailing us out, could be bought with grant that we were getting from the state, forgot the name of agency.  The grant was something like 500,000 and the board approved it, although I was again against.

    About a week later another board member called me and told me that the grant actually was not a grant, it was a loan!!  We had another meeting now to do the vote over and Scott Hayman was there and basically told the board that they would be there to back us, if we could not pay.  The vote passed, although I voted against it again.    Needless to say I was now personna non grata at board meetings and was pretty much forced off the board.   

    Please note I did alot of work there working on the books and insisting we hire a CPA, Bill McCullough, to come to do our books and present an Income & Expense sheet and Balance statement at each meeting.

    I bring all this up since City Councilor Rivera brought up South Worcester last night at City Council.   For the record, they do a great job on public services and none of the City CDBG monies towards these services should be held up.   On the other hand, the Housing Development track history has been a complete disaster starting with Cambridge Street, 500K grants that were loans and the construction of a building at the former City Builders site that nobody wanted.