Monthly Archives: November 2008

FOX Undercover hammers Worcester Airport

Go figure. Days after the first real commercial service from Worcester Regional Airport in two years, FOX takes the opportunity to do a “undercover” report on how the “Empty airport [is] costing you millions.” The report focuses on the millions of tax dollars spent, the lack of access, etc…basically everything we’ve been writing about in town for years.

Check out the video and undercover reporter Mike Beaudet’s blog for more.

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Worcester City Council liveblog 11/25/08

7:15: And off we go.

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Rushton: Release the records!

Councilor Rick Rushton is staying the course, once again hammering the City Manager in regards to public records requests from the Telegram.

He has filed an order for tonight’s meeting, asking the City Solicitor, “what basis the City is using to deny the public records request by the Worcester Telegram.”

We wouldn’t be surprised if, like last week, Rushton gets heat from his colleagues for pressing the issue.

Tonight’s council meeting could be a long one, especially with the tax classification hearing.  Though a done deal in almost every respect, we’re sure all 11 councilors will put their two (or ten) cents in for why the lowest residential rate is a necessity.

We’ll be liveblogging the meeting here as usual, though a special edition of Worcester Magazine is already at the presses.

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Are the Surge powering down?

The New England Surge, Worcester’s own low-rent indoor football team, has certainly had its share of problems since their initial season two years ago.

And with a poor financial picture for the team and the league there’s been a lot of speculation about the future of Worcester’s Surge.  An announcement today just raises more questions.

The release from the team highlights “major challenges that may result in a canceled New England Surge 2009 season.”

Majority shareholder Roy Lucas Jr. will reportedly meet in the near future with other shareholders to discuss a “suitable resolution and an action plan that will incorporate the best interest of the fans, the city of Worcester, and the New England Surge vendor community will be reached.”

Check out the full release after the jump.

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Irish Times and Nick Fiorillo, together at last

Since the Irish Times building was bought at a foreclosure auction last month, the bar and its upstairs club REHAB has lain dormant.  And over that time, there’s been a lot of speculation of who would take over the space and what would happen.  And although legal proceedings are reportedly still underway for Irish Times itself, the speculation ends this week, with a sneak preview of its newest incarnation on Wednesday, and a grand opening this weekend.

And things are a-changing, even if the personnel behind the redo is a Main Street familiar.

While Irish Times will remain the same for now, the old REHAB space is being reinvented as “Mansion House” by frequent club opener, Nick Fiorillo. Fiorillo, the VP of Worcester Events, who is handling the operation of the space (they’re also the company booking the function space at Giovanni’s at the GAR Hall), says that Mansion House will be a totally upscale space with an over-the-top luxury décor, including a $35,000 crystal chandelier.

“It looks like a Newport Mansion meets Alice in Wonderland and Caesar’s Palace,” he says. “The space is amazing.”

A flier for the club promises “Sweeping staircases, classic fireplaces, ornate mirrors, dramatic chandeliers, exposed brick and venetian plaster meld with lavish furnishings, so-comfortable couches” and advertises the club as “a place entertainment meets elegance: Created with Ireland’s capital city, Dublin, as it’s main inspiration, steeped in Irish history and youthful energy we bring you an unsurpassed lux-lounge nightclub experience right from the streets of Dublin.”

Check out the club (and the annual VIP membership) here.

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Clark prof. to be named Commissioner of Higher Education

Clark University professor Richard Freeland, the former President of Northeastern University, is set to be named the next Commissioner of Higher Education for Massachusetts after a search committee unanimously recommended him this morning.

Freeland holds an endowed chair at Clark, where he has worked, int part, to help the Mosakowski Institute “establish a presence within the higher education community and beyond.”

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Worcester: A kind-of safe city

CQ Press has released their annual – and annually controversial – list of the cities with the most and least crime in the United States.

And Worcester….well, we’re just about average.  Of the 385 cities over 75,000 people ranked, Worcester is the 222nd safest city, finishing just behind Seattle, WA and just ahead of Gresham, OR.

How did other Massachusetts cities fair?

  • Newton, #4
  • Quincy, #68
  • Cambridge, #80
  • Lowell, #212
  • Bedford, #250
  • Lynn, #280
  • Boston, #286
  • Springfield, #346

Of course, this is the study despised by police departments, criminologists and the FBI for using hard to compare data, so take it with a grain of salt.  Especially since Lowell beat Worcester out.

Still, better than Boston and Springfield?  Works for us.

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