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
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 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.
In a memo today to the City Manager, Commissioner Moylan responds to the Rhode Island Attorney General. Text of the memo after the break.
Continue reading The view upriver
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.)
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)
is, like Worcester, just Moderately Unaffordable.
The study is worth a read if you’re interested in housing bubbles and affordability.
T&G: Murray asks for state investigation of political supporter
Questions about Lt. Governor Timothy P. Murray’s fundraising efforts
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.)
Today’s Globe featured an article on the Worcester/EPA standoff.
Madeline Fleisher, a Justice Department attorney representing the EPA, told the judges she had ‘‘serious doubts’’ about the value of the new computer models and worried that negotiations would only further delay efforts to clean the river.
‘‘This could end up taking years,’’ Fleisher said.
The public is invited to Congressman Neal’s lecture “Perspectives on Congress” as part of the Franklin
M. Loew Lecture Series at Becker College.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
80 William Street, Worcester