Monthly Archives: January 2012

Snow Money

As a complement to today’s story”Worcester short on funds, but it’s not so bad“, we’d like to direct readers to Andrew Sullivan’s post “The Economics of Snow“, especially the link to “Zen and the Art of Snow Plow Maintenance.”

Worcester’s already spent

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more than a million dollars on snow removal this winter, but that’s only a third of its budget. (And most years the budget does not cover the full cost of snow removal.) While the Telegram doesn’t mention the snow situation, ending the year with the snow budget in the black would not be the worst thing to happen to the city.

If you wonder where Worcester would fall on the chart in the Zen post, we use 10.36 snow plows per square mile — but that number includes contractors, and it’s unclear whether the chart is only looking at city-owned plows. If we only count city-owned equipment (60), it’s 1.55 plows per square mile, which is similar to Buffalo. We have an average snowfall of 67.6 inches, far less than Buffalo’s average of 93.6 inches.

Also of note: Chicago and DC have snowplow-tracking apps.

The most popular address in the city

The WPD conducted prostitution stings on Saturday.

Of the four females arrested for prostitution, three gave 701 Main Street as their address.

A few months ago, on an episode of 508, Mike noted that a suspect in another case gave his address as 701 Main even though there was not currently a shelter at that address.

One of the women in question was arrested on the same charge (common nightwalker) in December and gave 701 Main as her address; when she was arrested just a few months before, she gave a different address.

With a shelter-like facility back at 701 Main Street, we may see more arrestees claiming that location as an address.  But it’s dubious whether that address is really where all of them are living.

The Week in Worcesteriana

A large photoset from Worcester Art Museum’s Flora in Winter.


“I was shocked to hear that Worcester was listed as one of the happiest places to work,” said Amelia Eimert, a senior at Clark. “I wouldn’t get that from what I see every day.”


“The place might be gray, especially in the winter, but its people and stories never fade into the background.”


“Worcester native George Bancroft founded the US Naval Academy among countless other accomplishments. His ‘friend and admirer,’ Stephen Salisbury III thought he was such a cool guy that he decided to build an exceedingly random mini-castle type thing upon one of Worcester’s many hills. Because how else would you commemorate a friend?”


Worcester Barbie: “This model is only available after dark and must be paid for in cash (preferably small, untraceable bills).”


“Of course, I had to have my hot dogs the way they are meant to be had at George’s Coney Island – with mustard, homemade chili, and chopped onion.“; [Boulevard Diner] “might be the restaurant I miss the most when I move to Texas.”


Nancy Holt, “pioneer in the Land Art movement”, was born in Worcester.

Worcester activists get Globe shoutout for SOPA protests

Worcester’s own Tiffiniy Cheng and Holmes Wilson, aka Fight for the Future, get some well-deserved recognition in today’s Globe for helping kick-start and coordinate the (so far) successful battle against SOPA. (The small FFTF team has included various other Worcesterites as well.)

Fight for the Future came up with the idea of an online demonstration more than two months ago, which evolved into last week’s event. It is also credited with helping to organize businesses and Web users against the legislation, which until then appeared to be speeding through Congress. It also built some of the software that allowed websites to go dark.

The T&G seems to have missed this local angle until today; Womag has been on it since November.

(Might as well point to this interview with Holmes from 508 last year.)

GoLocalWorc is hiring

GoLocalWorc is hiring: is looking for an experienced journalist that has at least five years of experience and knows Central Massachusetts.

We are looking for a self-starter that will enterprise stories daily. This person must have experience covering investigative stories. This is a full time position. We are looking for someone that has great social media skills. The reporter will be required to shoot and edit video.

(via Twitter)

We’re #147!

The Atlantic Cities blog points us to the 8th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, which “bases its affordability measure on the ‘median multiple,’ which is found by dividing the median home price by the gross annual median household income before taxes.”

The Worcester housing market was ranked 147th (out of 210) nationally in terms of affordability. Our median multiple was 3.4, which places us in the Moderately Unaffordable category. (That’s based on a median housing price of $213,500 and a median household income of $61,900.)

In Massachusetts, both the Barnstable Town and Boston markets are in the Severely Unaffordable category. Springfield (with a median multiple of 4.0) and Providence (median multiple = 4.3) is in the Seriously Unaffordable category; Hartford (median multiple = 3.7)

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is, like Worcester, just Moderately Unaffordable.

The study is worth a read if you’re interested in housing bubbles and affordability.

Lt Gov asks for state McLaughlin investigation

T&G: Murray asks for state investigation of political supporter

Questions about Lt. Governor Timothy P. Murray’s fundraising efforts

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by disgraced former Chelsea Housing Authority Executive Director Michael McLaughlin have prompted Mr. Murray to seek an investigation by the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

If you are new to town, note Tim Murray was formerly Worcester’s mayor. (And apparently was on the Library Board.)

Perspectives on Congress lecture

The public is invited to Congressman Neal’s lecture “Perspectives on Congress” as part of the Franklin

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M. Loew Lecture Series at Becker College.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
10 am
80 William Street, Worcester