Monthly Archives: April 2009

Clear Channel layoffs hit WTAG

As part of a massive round of layoffs nationwide, Clear Channel canned two key staffers at WTAG yesterday.

Longtime Program Director George Brown, who did everything from hosting shows to covering news to running the ship, as well as news guy Tim Cooney were both let go.

Weekday editorial/on-air side personalities are now limited to Jim Polito, Jordan Levy, Mike Messina, and Sherman Whitman.

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Swine flu in Spencer?

As being reported widely tonight, authorities are saying it’s “probable” two Spencer school children have the swine flu.

If confirmed, they would be the first (or second, if Lowell’s cases are confirmed) cases in Massachusetts.

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Worcester Budget Hearing 4/28/09

7:17: INSPECTIONAL SERVICES

Commissioner of Inspectional Services Joe Mikielian is highlighting his department’s cuts

  • 70 positions last year; 17% reduction for FY2010 to 58
  • $463,000+ decrease in expenditures

Mikielian says the cuts are tough “personally and professionally.

  • Most services in housing will still be provided, including the property review team and handling of problem properties, neighborhood sweeps, and the nuisance team.

This is one of the departments that has gone through huge changes over the past year or two, and has gotten huge accolades for that transformation—several city councilors are hitting on that point, thanking the department for their efforts.

7:23: Haller: “I don’t want this department’s reputation tarnished by unrealistic expectations of what they can deliver.”

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City Council liveblog 4/28/09

4:24: Palmeri organized a walkthrough of the CitySquare project this morning with Berkeley Investments, and is talking about his observations. One issue is that Front Street won’t connect through to Major Tayor Blvd, at least in this first phase—Palmieri says he may request that a pedestrian walkway be opened, at least during daylight hours. “That will do as much for this project as anything.

There are CitySquare agreement pieces that need to be approved tonight in order to meet deadlines over the next few months; Unum and Berkeley are set to sign their final lease agreement in June, leading to a potential wrecking ball this fall.

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Swine flu edges closer…

It’s in Connecticut now.

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Telegram.com down?

Jeff noticed this morning that Telegram.com seems to be having some backend issues today; as of now, the site is down, showing a page registration placeholder.

2798_netsol-2-news

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State aid to be tied to tax rate?

In the game of taxes – especially during an election year – no politician wants to be the one that will make a move that will be perceived as the most taxpayer unfriendly.  Thus, the majority of Worcester city councilors have already indicated they will vote for the lowest possible residential property tax rate later this fall and have called on the state to do more to help the city in the way of aid.

But state legislators have privately and publicly complained about the lack of action from the city council, even as they passed the sales tax increase yesterday.

Now, the latest in the gamesmanship between city and state pols is word that state legislators are considering penalizing the few commonwealth communities -Worcester included – that don’t tax to the so-called limit.

State Representative Vincent Pedone says, “There’s serious discussion in Boston that ties additional state aid to levy limits. I don’t think that’s good policy or practice, but the reality of the situation is that it is being discussed.”

That move could theoretically force councilors’ hands to vote on a higher rate, though it would allow them to point the finger at the House and Senate.

More on this story in this week’s Worcester Magazine.

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