There has been a media blitz about the announcement by American Airlines that they will be offering a flight from Worcester to Philadelphia with a return flight the next day.
However, Flyorh (which is “Fly Worcester” as ORH is the Worcester Airport designator) reports their concerns with the flight times as follows:
“8:00AM departs Philadelphia 9:05AM arrives Worcester 9:30AM departs Worcester 10:39 AM arrives Philadelphia”
They go onto report that they aren’t being negative, but the flight times are a set up to disaster: “As much as we support Worcester and want services, we cannot afford anymore failures. This is a great airline, but we see no possible scenario how these times will end with anything but failure. 1) Who will be on the 8:00AM Philly to Worcester flight? 2) How do you get home if you book a trip through Philly, stay overnight on the way back in Philly?”
It has been impossible to escape the news cycle about the new flight, which does little to generate jobs or revenue for the City; however, real news about business and employment has been hard to come by.
While the economy grew at 3.1% over the last three quarters and unemployment dropped to its lowest levels since before the Great Recession, in Worcester, jobs are vanishing as companies move out. Allegro Microsystems and Primetals Technologies announced they are both leaving the city taking with them tax revenues, business revenues from companies serving them and their employees, and approximately 665 jobs. Allegro is moving to Marlborough while Primetals is moving to Sutton. Both are moving due to the high tax rates in Worcester and better facilities.
Also buried in the local news stories about the Worcester Restaurant scene is that five restaurants that were pumped up by drug money, Broth, Hangover Pub, the Usual, the Chameleon and Blackstone Tap have closed. Yes, the Worcester restaurant scene was funded by drugs sold to our children, friends, and family. The City was also able to finally run John Fresolo’s establishment, Rocky’s, out as well.
Finally, there has been plenty of reporting about the high-priced apartments located downtown. They are coming up for rent! Massive tax breaks, combined with about $100k of taxpayer funds for a dog park to service the apartments, and additional monies to house a police unit in Union Station to help gentrify the neighborhood are all being funded off of the residents and the remaining business so those running the City and their friends in the media can continue to claim that there is a renaissance.
The truth is, while the restaurant scene was funded off of drug money, the City’s alleged renaissance has been funded off the taxpayer. Right now, the City is pushing the proposal of a Community Preservation Act and are holding meetings that the majority of the residents of the City are unaware. The idea stems from the City Mayor’s tax plan wherein the City shall impose an ADDITIONAL 3% tax increase on properties above and beyond the usual 2.5% to support “open spaces”, “historic preservation”, “outdoor recreation”, and “affordable housing.” Keep in mind that the item has to appear on the ballot OR 5% of the voters must sign a petition and then the City Council will vote on it. The likelihood of the item appearing on the ballot is less than zero, so it will be done by petition. Once the petition is in, the City Council will claim that a grass roots effort brought it before them and your taxes will increase. It is of little surprise that the local media hasn’t discussed this matter at length. Instead, they have focused on trivial matters of little importance.