Monthly Archives: October 2008

WICN seeks a new GM

WICN is looking for a new GM to replace Brian Barlow.

Details here.

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Deja Destination Worcester

Destination Worcester just released their new promo video of all that is good about our city.

It does a pretty decent job of highlighting the city, but we couldn’t help but get a sense of serious deja vu.

And then it hit us: We’ve seen this stuff before.

One of those shots is from the Destination Worcester video, the other is from the “Worcester Rocks” short put out by the College Consortium in August 2007, seen below

There are a lot of those, er, similarities in shots between the videos, leading us to believe that there really exists only 10 minutes of b-roll footage in Worcester for promo producers to cull from.

So, to sum up: Destination Worcester’s video has Tim Murray; the Consortium’s video has rock music. Take your pick–it’s the same stuff, despite the different markets.

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Election Day Coverage

A year ago, Worcester Magazine accomplished the long overdue, and launched our first blog.

The idea was simple: An Election Day liveblog for readers to check in on what was happening at the polls and the parties without waiting for the next day’s paper.  We sent out a one person team who drove around the city, updating the election blog from his T9 cell phone every time he checked out a polling place, ran into a candidate, or saw something worth noting.

It was a huge hit.

That blog quickly transformed itself into the Daily Worcesteria which has, quietly and steadily over the past year, grown into the daily arm of Worcester Magazine and a must-read for those with a craving for a bit of Worcester news.  What we did in a month of traffic in November and December we now do in a week.

This Tuesday, Daily Worcesteria will come full circle, and once again be your go-to source for Election Day news.  Our team has grown: We will have multiple reporters and a photographer checking in throughout the day and night, letting you know about turnout, scandals, and candidate reactions.  While there aren’t as many local races to deal with this time around, this is obviously one of the biggest elections in recent history, and one we anticipate generating a lot of interesting news come Tuesday.

Thank you for your continuing readership here—we look forward to some exciting growth at the Daily Wuss in the coming months.

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From the print files: THE SHARPEST KNIVES IN THE DRAWER

Tuesday night’s City Council meeting was all about knives. The night started with a motion from Councilors Paul Clancy, Joe Petty, and Phil Palmieri, who wanted to add a “voluntary or mandatory” condition that would allow bars to use a magnetic wand to search for concealed weapons. But some bars in town already use the handheld metal detectors and, as Councilor Joff Smith later pointed out, the places that do use the metal detectors are a) the same bars that are having trouble and b) not the kind of bars that the city generally wants to be attracting visitors to.

• NO STATISTICS, JUST TALK: Not surprisingly, no councilors spoke against the new proposed knife ordinance, which would limit possession of knives over 1.5 inches, except for when used in some direct recreational or occupational situations. But a few councilors, including Michael Germain, Phil Palmieri, and Gary Rosen raised concerns about the enforcement of the new ordinance. Rosen also questioned DA Joe Early’s assertion that evidence proves similar laws reduce knife violence. Early admitted there were no firm statistics, just the anecdotal evidence he has heard from law enforcement sources in other cities.

• BLADE III: Essentially, Early’s responses were the same to each question he was asked by councilors about how he will apply any new regulations: He focused on the dangers of “4-, 5-, 6-, 7-inch blades,” despite the fact that the ordinance includes blades much shorter. He repeatedly said that, “Our focus is on … the [after-bar] crowd.” In other words, it’s not about the law, it’s about how it’s applied.

• ANOTHER TOOL IN THE SHED: In essence, with its exemptions, the knife ordinance, when officially passed in November, will be a tool for the police and the DA’s office, much in the same way many officers and DA’s say they use existing laws: It’s not about preventing people from having knives, it’s a tool for officers to use against someone when they suspect another crime, or want to bring multiple charges against a suspect. On Tuesday, DA Early admitted as much, talking about using discretion in the application of the new rules. But as a law based on discretion, it leaves a lot of room for interpretation: Any knife could be used for fishing, hunting, etc; a steak knife or filleting knife is still more dangerous than a 2-inch Leatherman. Do scissors ripped in half suddenly constitute two illegal weapons?

• GANGING UP: Germain and Early raised another specter not talked about in City Hall chambers recently: gangs. Germain question if the recent spate of violence was “mostly” due to gang violence and if knives have replaced guns. “Yes and yes,” answered Early. We are getting to where you’re seeing fewer guns…It is a gang problem. They do understand the problem is lighter with knives. But…it isn’t just gangs.”

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City Council Liveblog 10/28/08

7:10: About to get started here.

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City Council, tonight!

Lot of fun stuff on the agenda tonight, including the knife ordinance.  It should be advertised tonight, and voted on in the next few weeks, unless it’s somehow rushed.

Know this though: Daily Worcesteria will be at the meeting with a knife longer than the new legal limit.  We’ll let you know if we get fined.

See you back here at 7.

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Getting better, one step at a time

It seems the situation at 244 and 250 Pleasant Street, properties featured in our Oct. 8 cover story, “Joanna’s Story,” is finally getting better. Shortly after we ran an article that profiled tenant Joanna Dejesus, the mortgage company that holds the buildings decided to step up and manage the properties.

Yesterday, during a housing court hearing, Bayview Loan Servicing agreed that it would start major repairs on the buildings by Oct. 29, finishing work no later than Dec. 29, according to Steve Patton, Executive Director of Worcester Common Ground.

Two weeks ago, the mortgage company made some emergency repairs to the properties, primarily focusing on the apartment of our featured tenant, says Kevin Ksen of the Pleasant Street Neighborhood Network Center.

In addition to much needed repairs, Bayview will also attempt to fix the other issue that surrounds 244 and 250 Pleasant Street: rent. Since landlord Rene Reyes proclaimed the properties foreclosed five months ago despite that a complaint was never filed with the Registry of Deeds, tenants have lived in 244 and 250 Pleasant Street free-of-charge. Bayview Loan Servicing will begin collecting rent Nov. 1.

While it’s getting better, the situation doesn’t seem over. A status hearing regarding the properties is scheduled for Oct. 29, and there’s still a possibility that Worcester Common Ground will manage the properties through a receivership if Bayview doesn’t follow through. Only time, and a string of housing court hearings, can tell.

-Owen Skoler

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