Monthly Archives: June 2010

City council live blog: 6/29/10–the “council’s out for summer” edition

Posted by Jeremy Shulkin

Get your fill of city council coverage tonight because there are only going to be a couple of sessions over the summer. I know the withdrawal will be tough, but we’ll get through it together. Agenda. Cover it Live.

7:14: A rep. from National Grid is here to request the installation of a pole on King Philip Road.

7:16: The Worcester Senior Center is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

7:21: Recognizing the importance of the work done to the Robert Goddard memorial. “He’s still here. He’s buried in Hope Cemetery.”

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Your favorite general is…

Posted by Brittany Durgin

Worcester, you spoke, and here is what you said:

Who is your favorite Wu-Tang general?

RZA 49 38%
GZA 29 23%
Method Man 19 15%
Raekwon 16 12%
Ghostface Killah 9 7%
Inspectah Deck 0 0%
U-God 0 0%
Masta Killa 0 0%
Ol’ Dirty Bastard 7 5%

With Worcester’s public pools in high demand with a low supply this summer, we ask you: how long would you wait in line to swim in a city pool? Vote on http://www.worcestermag.com.

In celebration of the first and second place winners, we give you a scene from “Coffee and Cigarettes” featuring Worcester’s favorite members of the Wu-Tang Clan and Bill “Ground Hog Day Ghostbustin’ Ass” Murray.

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Holidays cancelled

Posted by Jeremy Shulkin

The state’s fiscal situation has gotten so dire that not only are services and state positions being cut, but so are holidays.

According to State Senator Harriette Chandler, in the 2011 state budget both Bunker Hill Day and Evacuation Day, two holidays big in Suffolk County, are “no more”–meaning they’ll still be commemorated, but public buildings would stay open.

State Rep. Lew Evangelidis (R-Holden), who wrote a critical op-ed in the Telegram about closing the public sector on Bunker Hill Day, should be pleased with this decision.

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Scott Brown and the $600 million budget hole

Posted by Jeremy Shulkin

That $600 million hole in the state’s FY11 budget (which, by the way, has to be balanced in a week) doesn’t seem to be closing anytime soon. Patrick’s administration was banking on receiving the money from congress, but the bill that would send the state the extended medicaid and unemployment money, called FMAP funds, has yet to go up for a final vote.

A release sent out by MA House minority leader Brad Jones quoted the state’s Administration and Finance Secretary Jay Gonzalez as saying there was no timetable to receive the funds, predictably, had Republicans criticizing Patrick. Shrewsbury State Rep. and state treasurer candidate Karyn Polito said “the budget is held together with baling wire and bubble gum,” and gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker got in the mix, raising the $600 million figure to $700 million and calling it “poor planning.”

Scott Brown has entered too, telling the State House News Service that he warned the Governor that those funds wouldn’t last. Patrick’s people “dispute” this, writes the news service, and claim that they were essentially “given assurances from the Obama administration” that the funding would be there.

Adding more drama to this is Brown would be one of the people who could vote yes and get Massachusetts those in-limbo funds–except it sounds like he won’t. He essentially voted against continuing debate over the funding about a week ago, and it doesn’t sound like he’s going to change his mind.

“I feel very badly but I also have an obligation to make sure we hold the line on spending,” he said to the news service.

Also, Brown’s Facebook page is blowing up with pleas for him to vote in favor of extending the benefits.

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Franco comes home

Posted by Jeremy Shulkin

The Democrat and independent sides of the District 13 State Representative race have been making noise for months now, but the lone Republican, Paul Franco, has just returned from his Army Reserve stint working as a Soldier’s Counsel at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.

Chris Pinto, who’s helping Franco with his campaign, says the signs are out on the west side, a campaign bank account is open and door knocking will start next week.

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A little more about inmate fees

Posted by Jeremy Shulkin

It’s Thursday, which means there’s a brand new Worcester Mag on the stands today. Our cover story this week is about inmate fees–charging prisoners in county jails a $5/day fee while they’re in jail, among other fees for doctors visits and medical prescriptions.

The House and Senate each passed bills (attached to the FY11 budget as amendments) regarding the measure, which reached a committee who would have been charged with reconciling the two and readying a final version to go back before the House and Senate for a final vote.

Except after we went to press yesterday that committee dropped the amendment, and instead replaced it with “a special commission to study the feasibility of establishing inmate fees,” explains Jim Pingeon, a lawyer with Prisoners’ Legal Services.

This is bad news for inmate fee proponents. It delays any momentum for the measure until March 1, 2011 when the results of the study are due. On the flipside, Prisoners’ Legal Services, which is against the measure, now has a larger say in the matter because the language in the FY11 budget mandates that a representative from that group serve on the commission.

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You said airport transfer

Posted by Brittany Durgin

This past week we asked our online readers which economic development project will benefit Worcester the most. With over 100 votes the results are…

Airport transfer 43%
City Square 27%
CSX 13%
None of the above 14%

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