Monthly Archives: October 2010

Worcester planning board to restrict lawn signs?

Telegram & Gazette:

Under the proposal, political signs would be categorized as “temporary signs with noncommercial speech” and homeowners would be allowed to put up no more than one freestanding temporary sign and one wall/banner temporary sign on their lot.

In effect, that means that homeowners would be allowed only two political signs on their property, though they would also be able to put signs in up to 50 percent of their window space if they wished.

See also: Yard Sign With Candidate’s Name On It Electrifies Congressional Race

City Council alternate liveblog

Worcester Magazine is off tonight at the Congressional debates. We offer this alternate liveblog in their absence.

The City Council has taken up as its first item tonight a recommendation from the retirement board (5-0) that the city adopt Adoption of Section 27 and 28 of Chapter 131 of the Acts of 2010. This expands city retirement benefits to those who retired prior to 1996 who were barred from opting for Section C in widow/er benefits.

Continue reading City Council alternate liveblog

Worcester by train

I always like reading visitors’ accounts of their experiences in Worcester.  Here’s one by a lady who’s traveling around the country via train.

The train yard was a bit in the middle of nowhere, with not very much around. There was however a new Walmart within walking distance which is always handy. It looks like they are doing quite a bit of building work here so I have a feeling when the show returns in a couple of years there will be a lot more here.

Worcester had loads of interesting buildings downtown.

It seemed a very industrial city but I quite liked it.

So often we worry about how things appear now, and what’s not right, but this writer was able to see a lot of things that are good about Worcester right now, and also see the potential we have the potential to realize.

(Image: Worcester Union Station Ceiling and leaded lights, a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 image from John Turner’s photostream.)

So McGovern is going to win, right?

The past few weeks I’ve been swamped with e-mails, Facebook status messages, and general advertising aimed at interesting me in the race between Rep. Jim “He has a picture of Archbishop Romero in his office” McGovern and challenger “Barf Bag” Marty Lamb.

So how close is this race? Should I be paying attention?

I went over to the FiveThirtyEight blog, where Nate Silver (the baseball statistician who took the political world by storm with amazing accuracy predicting the 2008 election results) has had McGovern at a 100% chance of winning for the entire campaign season.


I can see Mr. Lamb’s supporters would want to work hard to build their man’s name for future elections, however low his chances in this one. I can see Mr. McGovern’s supporters would want their man to have a solid mandate in this Tea Party year. But as for me, I’ll be staying focused on other issues.
Continue reading So McGovern is going to win, right?

Protest halts home auction in Worcester

I want to see some photos of this. Feel free to e-mail them to

Grace Ross via e-mail:

Congratulations to Marty & the dozen supporters who showed up to oppose Fannie Mae’s auction of Marty’s house – an action that would have guaranteed significant losses for Fannie as well as Marty and the surrounding neighborhood.

Instead, thanks to many hours from Luz and Marty getting a full sale and all the paperwork, last minute advocacy on many people’s part and a last ditch effort that got an injunction from the courts, we were able to stand together and protect Marty’s arrangement. Confronted with our crowd, the auctioneer was a bit intimidated and our presence halted them and made the bank’s representative address the injunction. After calling in to her supervisor, she called off today’s auction. Continue reading Protest halts home auction in Worcester

Mortgage auction protest scheduled for 2pm today

Grace Ross has been sending out e-mails about a planned foreclosure auction at 21 Huntington Ave today. The home is owned by Marty, “one of the active members of the Worcester Anti-foreclosure Team.”

A protest of the 2pm auction is scheduled, barring any last-minute resolution of the situation. In that area? Let us know what happens.
Continue reading Mortgage auction protest scheduled for 2pm today

City Council Agenda Items

Mike used to write these great posts highlighting the City Council Agenda items of interest; I thought I’d revive that but I welcome any reader comments and contributions.


9.1 APPOINTMENTS Non-City Council Confirmation
9.2 APPOINTMENTS City Council Confirmation
There are nine (!) people who are slated for appointment to various boards and commissions.  Why are some up for city council confirmation and others not?  If it’s an executive board, no council confirmation is required; if it’s advisory, council confirmation (roll call vote) is required.  (There are still openings, by the way.)


A. There’s going to be an interesting pilot program to see if larger recycling containers encourage residents to recycle more.   (info here)

B.  Rationale for Upper Blackstone Water Pollution Abatement District’s (UBWPAD) Appeal to the First Circuit Federal Court of Appeals.

There’s also a lot on graffiti: both regarding a graffiti partnership and regarding recent graffiti in Beaver Brook Park.

9.27 –  EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE CITY MANAGER – Human Services Division

The Human Rights Office has goals for the coming year.  Would that the City Council itself could come up with a similar document!

Barton Brook has a short term contract for kennel services; early retirement’s been a disappointment; and — as Tracy pointed out — the City Manager has a response to the social media question.  (To her question of how social media was used in the mercury spill, I can only respond with another question: why does it take until Monday to find out from the Worcester PD Twitter feed that five people were shot on Saturday night and Sunday morning?)

(Image: heart downtown Worcester, a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 image from kristina k. dymond’s photostream.  Inspired by this agenda item.)