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. 

October 2002 RKG Housing report

From conclusion. Ten years ago next month!!   How accurate was this?  When the new Housing Policy is released will the conclusion be followed this time?  I have the entire two page conclusion if nayone wants it, I can e-mail it to you:

The City's policy of using the many CDC's to develop low income housing should be reconsidered.  While the renovation work has helped stabilize some of the neighborhoods, especially at a time when the redevelopment was needed, their subsidized redvelopment has alienated some local builders/developers.   In adition, this policy has little, if any, affect on the owner-occupancy rate. 

Another alternative to renovating triple deckers would be to thin out selectively some of these buildings and make the sites ready for single family homes in a townhouse style, and market the sites to private developer for construction.

The CDC's in the future should be considered more of a developer of last choice, and the focus of the CDC's should shift to creating necessary amentiies that are lacking in some of the densely developer areas in the submarkets.   In addition, the CDC's should facilitate with future residential planning, site assemblage and land banking if needed.   Managing condominium associations for

September 18, 2012

Post video contest follow-up video to jetBlue


I have not published a couple, but please keep them coming.  Forwarding them to someone who will look into these allegations

Home Ownership Center

Received a couple comments about this that I did not post.     Can anyone enlighten me on this place??  How is it funded-how irt works, etc??



September 16, 2012

Telegram Comments

Have not read them in months, what a joke.  The Telegram should be embarrassed by their whole comment section and should require people to have a registered name, just like a letter to the editor.  Until then these comments are a complete waste of time and you can tell reading them who exactly they are from and do nothing to advance the story.

As journalists, Mike Efland should raise the standard to make the comment section something worthwhile to read.

Blistering report takes city, CDC's to task

Headline in today's newspaper.  The thing that is interesting about this headline, and what I have been saying for years, is that the city is partners with the CDC's.  In fact not only partners, but the buck actually stops with the city (the PJ - Presiding Jurisdiction), not the CDC's.   Let me explain.

Mr McGhourthy after requiring three years of documentation.  Wait a second, three years of documentation??!!
  • Does this mean money was given to them without any documentation?
  • How can this all be Jackie Vachon Jackson's fault when she was not there three years ago?
Evidently money was given out without documentation and now we are asking for three years of receipts and financial audits.   Jahn, imagine running a business like this??  We will give you whatever money you request for three years and then we will ask for the reports later.

Then he goes on to say "If we are unable to justify certain costs disallowed by HUD, the impacted sub-recipient will be required to pay the disallowed cost."   Although these sub-recipients may show net asset value, they typically do not have much CASH, especially when their Executive Directors receive compensation in the mid-$100,000s.  If the sub-recipient does not have the cash, who pays HUD back?
  • In the words of Bruce Almighty , if you said the PJ, the presiding jurisdiction, or the City of Worcester
  • BINGO Yahtzee .   You are right!!!
There is a great chart in the newspaper showing the average cost per unit of 6 different projects averaging about 350,000 per unit and that is all Jackie Vachon Jackson's fault too?  Hey, why not blame George Bush while we are it.  Don't get me wrong she was involved with some questionable dealings, of which we are sure to hear more, but she surely is not responsible for this scathing audit.

I could go on and on about this, but it is a beautiful Sunday morning and the Pats first home game today. At  the same time you got to love the quote from Mullen Sawyer "The city does not build affordable housing, we build affordable housing".  That's great then you do not need the City of Worcester giving you any more money then?     

Lets hope this audit sheds some light on the systemic problem that has existed in the City of Worcester for at least the past ten years.
  1. An over reliance on CDC's as the developer of choice in the City of Worcester.
  2. We need to evaluate, if we really need more low income housing when we are well above the target set by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

Lets hope also that the new RKG Housing Report, that will be coming out soon, will be listened to this time unlike it was ten years ago. 

September 14, 2012

93 Grand Street

great 94 more affordable housing units

Total cost of $22,500,000--that is a frggin bargain in this city on 240,000 per rental unit

Does it ever end?

September 10, 2012


Harry I was going to write something but then changed my mind. What I was going to say, is that I drove by these new houses built by Main South CDC on Hammond and Kilby Street all the time...

They are very nice but I can't help think to myself:

  • probably cost 300+ to build each one
  • even at a hugely subsidized cost say at 129K, they will not sell

Meanwhile there are empty bank foreclosed multi families throughout the neighborhood.  Imagine if they took that same money and used it to help a home-owner buy the bank foreclosed property, while requiring them to move in?   

Chicago Public Schools Strike

I noticed this line in this story.  

A $5.73 billion budget for 2012-13 emptied cash reserves to cover a $665 million deficit, and the school board also increased its share of the Cook County property tax by as much as the law allows.  

Couple key parts:

  1. 665 million dollar deficit
  2. emptied cash reserves
  3. increased property taxes as much as possible

September 08, 2012

Defined Benefit Plans

Spag's unfunded pension liability is $6 million.  City of Worcester is, I believe, over 600 million!!!

Right now we need to jump through hoops to balance budget never mind give monies towards this unfunded liability and the unfunded health insurance liability....    Bottom line the City of Worcester needs to make dramatic changes in their daily business activities to avoid the fate breing suffered by Spag's.

No changes will be made and the City of Worcester will be in bankruptcy in 5-10 years.

September 07, 2012

Spag's pension

unreal story Thanks Harry T

Click here

September 05, 2012

Missed Video

September 03, 2012

JetBlue break

Think we all need a little break, although I am not backing off.  Next three days the blog will be a jetBlue free zone.

Nick K

I have been trying to focus solely on JetBlue until an announcement, which I feel is coming in October. That said... Read Nick K article in the Sunday Telegram.

  1. Great story
  2. 650,000,000   million unfunded health insurance liability
  3. it is this amongst other unfunded olbiglations that concern

Mike O'Brien has done a great job.   I know some people may disagree, but I really believe he has done a good..     Boys and girls, if there is not something real dramatic that happens in our futue over the next ten years, there is no escaping the fact the City of Worcester will be in bankruptcy.

City Council, I hope you are listening!!!!!      Versus worrying about stuff that simply does not matter, we are the Titantic heading for the iceberg.    Do you want to call out an alert, roll up your sleeves and make changes to avert the iceberg or do you want to simply do nothing and keep getting elected every two years??