Monthly Archives: July 2012

MBTA to add more commuter rail trips this fall

From boston.com:

The MBTA expects to increase the number of weekday train trips between Boston and Worcester this fall, soon after the state closes on a $50 million deal with railroad company CSX Corp. to buy 21 miles of commuter rail track along the Framingham-Worcester line, officials said.

A total of seven weekday roundtrips are set to be added to the current 13 trips made between Boston and Worcester, according to T spokesman Joe Pesaturo.

The Framingham/Worcester line has experienced many delays over the past month; I’d be interested to see whether improved service is part of the plan.

Palladium: Around for another year

News from the Historical Commission hearing, via the T&G’s Steven H. Foskett Jr:

In case that was confusing, the Hist. Commission denied the Palladium’s app for a demo delay waiver. Must wait at least 1 year.

Updates

Nicole:

It’s easy to identify what we don’t want, but Worcester isn’t Sim City, and it’s a bit harder to execute the perfect plan when we’re talking about serious money. But here’s hoping that a year’s demolition delay will get us a bit closer to that perfect plan.

More T&G:

After the hearing, Mr. Fischer said the Palladium will continue to operate for at least the next year. He said the taxes have been paid, and he and his partner, John Sousa, are awaiting a decision on their tax abatement filing. He said there is a 50-50 chance the theater will survive beyond the delay period.

Stone Soup groundbreaking

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Worcester’s Stone Soup community center, closed for the past 3 years due to a fire, had a “groundbreaking” celebration today.

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Rebuilding has been ongoing for several months now, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony is slated for October.

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Stone Soup was pound-for-pound Worcester’s most important cultural institution, and touring the building today brought tears to my eyes.

RMV/WPD Checkpoint

We came across this video on Youtube of RMV employees (in conjunction with WPD) doing some sort of soft checkpoint at the former CVS location near the corner of Park Avenue and Pleasant Street

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today. It’s unclear exactly what they’re checking for, but it’s worth a watch.

Peregrine Falcons in Worcester

A Central Mass birder has been taking some awesome photos and videos of two juvenile peregrine falcons that have been making their home downtown.

So

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— next time you’re in the area close to City Hall, look up — you might see them!

(Image: Peregrine Falcon, a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic licensed photo from Guy Frankland’s photostream.)

Palladium worries

The rumors are coming closer to reality. The T&G reports the owners of Worcester’s metal palace, the Palladium, “have asked the Worcester Historical Commission to grant a waiver that would allow them to raze the landmark four-story building” soon in response to a tax increase on the property.

The Palladium, at 255 Main St., is not on the National Register of Historic Places. Officials said it is on the list put together by the Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System of structures considered to be historically or architecturally significant.

The city Historical Commission has scheduled a hearing on the Palladium matter on July 26. The owners said they are eligible for a waiver because the building now poses an “economic hardship,” a criterion allowing for demolition.

The Palladium website says:

Despite false rumors of The Palladium closing we are open and have no plans to close our doors. Yes Taxes are up 200% but our landlord is appealing. While the tax and rent increase will put us in a difficult position financially we will do our best to make things work while the tax appeal process plays out. We have been blown away by the groundswell of support we have received and want to thank everyone for reaching out. We will continue to bring great live music to Worcester so please check our events page for up coming shows and follow us on twitter twitter.com/palladiumshows

MASSter List has an elegant summary:

HEAVY METAL PARKING LOT: Worcester could soon wake up to the Day the Metal died. There’s got to be some kind of ancient scroll that curses anyone who dares tear down the Palladium to be haunted by Ronnie James Dio’s majestic ghost. (Actually, being haunted by Dio would be awesome. These guys will be damned to eternal juggalo gatherings or something.)

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Photo: Juggalos in Worcester, by Mike Benedetti

Worcester in Washington Post

It seems as if Worcester’s becoming the go-to spot for public heath reporting.

The city’s efforts to reduce smoking rates with a perennially shrinking budget appear on the Washington Post website.

Great quote from Derek Brindisi:

“I have this idea of coming up with a video of what cities used to be like in the 1900s just to show what a big impact public health departments have had,” Brindisi said. “Sometimes, I feel like we should just get a helicopter so people know we’re here.”

Upton Civilian Conservation Corps Camp

From Mass DCR:

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Historic Curatorship Program is pleased to invite proposals for the rehabilitation, reuse and maintenance of the historic Upton CCC Camp Cottage and Administration Building.   The Request for Proposals seeks to identify qualified parties interested in exchanging their skills and resources for a long term lease in one of the state’s most historically significant parks.

If this sounds like something up your alley, there will be an open house next Tuesday, July 10, 2012, from 4-6pm (please RSVP). Responses to the RFP are due on Friday, July 27, 2012 at 5:00pm.