Tag Archives: revitalizing Worcester

Worcester news for you! … Dickens and (CDBG) demo!

First the fun stuff!

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pic: R.T.

From Doherty High School

Highland Street

December 7 and 8

Next week the Doherty Performing Arts Department will be presenting “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens

The show will be performed by more than 70 Doherty students, 1 Forest Grove student and 3 Midland Street School students!

We will also be performing an elementary school matinee December 7 for students from Midland, Tatnuck and May Street schools.

The bulk of the show will be performed by the Theatre 2-3-4 classes, with help from the Madrigal Singers and the Jazz Band.

The show starts promptly at 6:45 p.m. and tickets are a mere $5.

Hope to see you there.

Jim Fay
Theatre Director

********

Now the muckety muck …CDBG DEMOLITION GOALS, the process …

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Cece says: Can’t we all just chase string and cuddle?? pic:R.T.

From the City of Worcester …

FYI

(Rose has made some sentences bold.):

TO THE WORCESTER CITY COUNCIL

FROM THE WORCESTER CITY MANAGER

Re: Council Questions Concerning the Recommended Finance Item for Demolition Purposes

In response to the City Council’s questions regarding the recommendation to transfer 126 190 00 from and to various CDBG accounts to provide sufficient funding for anticipated project costs for the demolition of six buildings, please accept this report.

List of [the CDBG-demo] Properties:

11 Dixfield Road —The Estate of Amelia and Lincoln Crozier

15 Uxbridge Street The Estate of Rose Jordan

147 Belmont Street S. Paquette, Trustee of Belmont 147 Realty Trust

20 Alvarado ROLLO The Estate of Rocco and Lame Mercadante

18 Charlton Street Edilson Souza

89 Austin Street Iglesia Cristiana de la Communidad

The city has a responsibility to maintain safe neighborhoods. The demolition of dilapidated, dangerous or decadent buildings falls under that role.

Demolition of such properties is an eligible expenditure of block grant funds because one of the national objectives of the ONES program is the elimination of spot slum and blighted properties.

The annual block grant allocation includes a sum set aside for demolition of eligible properties.

The City [of Worcester] places a lien in the amount of the demolition expenses on the property by recording a lien in the Registry of Deeds shortly after demolition.

The lien is then included with the annual tax bill, just as any outstanding water, sewer charges and betterment assessments are included in the tax bills).

The city tax lien takes priority over any mortgages on the property.

Therefore, the bank or person taking a mortgage on a property subject to a demolition order, not the city [of Worcester], takes the risk that there will be no surplus value after the city lien is paid.

(In the case of tax exempt property, the demolition lien is committed to the treasurer who treats the property as taxable for purposes of either collection or foreclosure to satisfy the lien).

The city [of Worcester] uses two avenues to assess fines to property owners who fail to maintain their property in compliance with building, health and safety codes:

The first is the ” clean and lien” process whereby the city causes repairs to be made and then records a lien on the property for the amount expended.

This process is used to address emergency situations (no heat, imminent structural failure, etc.), where the property is in foreclosure, or, where the responsible party fails to appear in court.

This process is also used to clean weeds and trash from properties creating a nuisance to the neighborhood.

Secondly, the city fines property owners for code violations through the code enforcement/housing court process. That process involves a sequence of code inspections and enforcement orders, a referral to the law department for housing court action, the imposition of a preliminary injunction commanding that repairs
be made, and, if necessary, a series of court actions where the court imposes
fines on the owner to secure compliance and, failing that, the court will hold the owner in contempt and commit them to jail until repairs are made.

While properties with debilitating code violations can be condemned to demolition, properties without any pre- existing code violations, but which have
suffered substantial, structural damage due to fires are eligible for demolition.

(In fact, four of the six properties listed above are being demolished because of structural fire damage).

It would be fair to say that, in all cases, the property involved is “made safe” per order of the [City of Worcester] Code Commissioner.

This is typically accomplished by boarding windows and keeping people at a safe distance with fencing.

The policy in this program is to make every effort to save properties from
demolition through private rehabilitation.

There is usually a period of several
years between the recording of a demolition order and the actual demolition of a property.

Cases with extreme deterioration or fire damage move to the top of the list and, to the extent that funding sources allow, are demolished more quickly.

Except to determine the owner for purposes of the issuance and service of
orders, the city [of Worcester] does not perform periodic title examinations of properties condemned to demolition.
As noted earlier, the city lien takes first priority over encumbrances recorded both before and after the recording of the demolition
order. The economic risk falls substantially with the private financier.

Respectfully submitted,

Edward M. Augustus, Jr.
City Manager

Something more than pretty trees and sidewalks …

By Rosalie Tirella

… needs to happen in Worcester’s inner-city neighborhoods…

Here, in Union Hill, we have the newly planted trees, newly poured sidewalks …

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photos:R.T.

A few days ago I saw all the pretty new trees all in a row, straight as an arrow, planted down Providence Street …

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Paid for by the federal government. Also: a new municipal parking lot. And new programs for neighborhood families stressing healthy choices. And … a stronger community police presence.

I am not too hopeful.

A few folks may get it. Most won’t.

The INTRACTABLE problem?

The poverty is still here!!! The kids undernourished, their parents outside of society. Hence our trash dumping problem, our heroin problem, gun violence, hopelessness … even in creating more attractive Worcester inner-city neighborhoods.

Some folks, like poopy diapers Paul Collyer and Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney (Collyer’s political mentee) clamor for the Trump solution: KEEP ‘EM OUT! We can’t build a physical wall like Trump is promising, they say, but we can build others – invisible ones! –  just as impervious! No more section 8! No more low income housing!

They turn away from the people who come to cities to start life in America!

But Worcester, like New York, Boston, Lawrence or Lowell,  will always be a Gateway City!

LOCKING PEOPLE OUT IS NOT THE ANSWER!

GOOD PAYING JOBS for the undereducated is the answer – just like our factories provided our people decades ago.

They’re mostly gone now  …

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… and with them the leg up the poor and uneducated needed to achieve the American Dream: homeownership, security, safe neighborhoods. BELONGING. HAPPINESS.

All you needed was to work hard, like my Polish grandpa did in Dudley’s textile mills. The day he joined his Union was an IMPORTANT and CELEBRATORY day for his family!

His daughters thought they were the bees knees! They had hope!

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My mother (on the left, hugging my fave auntie) was whip smart; she was offered the opportunity to attend a junior college on scholarship! A terrific, impressive achievement for the daughter of a poor Polish immigrant mill worker in the 1940s! Most women did not attend college back then – especially poor ones like Ma.  But she had to work to help support her family.

She worked so hard, she deferred her dreams!!! … later to dream them through her daughters, through me: The fact that I am a pretty ok writer was never ever lost on my late Mom, who before her illness at 80, read every one of my stories and had something wise to say about each and every one of them. From the time I was 10!!! A life time of nurturing her daughter! Her American dream!

My mom had two doctor nephews (the sons of the above auntie!), one engineer neice (a trail blazer!) besides a daughter with a community paper! I’ll never forget: My old Ma in that wretched nursing home, in her wheelchair, with copies of InCity Times on her bony legs. Ma rolling around the east wing of the nursing home with ICT bouncing in her lap, giving out copies of InCity Times to the distracted nurses – actually pressing them on the LPNs and nurses aides! So pushy for my little rag, just days before her death! So proud of her favorite daughter!

It used to take a few generations to make it the way you wanted to make it in America, be it financially, artistically, whatever you chose to be. Now we Americans feel stagnant, stuck and anxious about our futures. Hence, Donald Trump on the right and Bernie Sanders on the left.

Candidate Hillary Clinton needs to make US BELIEVE!

Clinton needs to make good on her promises:

PAID FAMILY LEAVE

UNIVERSAL PRE-K

FREE TUITION AT OUR COMMUNITY COLLEGES

A HIGHER MINIMUM WAGE

A REVISED NAFTA and other global trade pacts

PAY EQUITY …

Hubby Bill says HILLARY CARES FOR US! Loves us strivers! The daughters and sons, grandsons and granddaughters of immigrants! The strugglers in poor inner city neighborhoods, working poor Americans! OF WHICH THERE ARE A LOT!!

WE HOPE THIS IS TRUE!!! BILL CLINTON SO INSPIRED US at the DNC! He gave a speech all right! MADE US WANT TO BELIEVE IN HIS WIFE!

We will need to believe – and have all of the above opportunities – like all of Western Europe has had for decades! – to make up for our lost factories, an America that worked for so many people.

America cannot be tweaked!

America needs an economic and social overhaul!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Trees and flowers in inner-city neighborhoods are beautiful – and always welcome. But the real work needs to happen … NOW!

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