WCCA TV NEWS and INFORMATION Round Up: Sept 16, 2015


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10th Annual Beggar’s Bowl is Tuesday, October 13th from 5:30-7:30pm at First Baptist Church, 111 Park Ave., Worcester MA.

10 Soups for the 10th Anniversary, which will taste even better in our hand-thrown bowls with artisan bread and homemade cookies.

Call or email for tickets.

Frank Kartheiser
Lead Organizer, Worcester Interfaith
111 Park Ave.
Worcester, MA 01609
(508) 754 5001
E-mail: worcester.interfaith@verizon.net
Website: http://worcesterinterfaith.net/
Check us out on Facebook: facebook.com/worcesterinterfaith
Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/worcinterfaith

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The New York Times recognized that cord cutting is the wave of the future. They agree with the Coalition for Local Internet Choice, and other advocates for local telecommunications authority that the FCC should take steps to remove barriers to local Internet choice created by states on behalf of cable and telco lobbyists.

The Editorial Board notes that laws limiting municipal networks block the ability for consumers to take full advantage of this phenomenon:

Among other things, they should override laws some states have passed that make it difficult or impossible for municipalities to invest in broadband networks.

Even though consumers are moving away from cable TV subscriptions, large corporate providers are making up for losses by an increase in Internet access subscriptions. As a result, they still maintain a significant leverage and consumers still face the same old problem – a lack of competition. Striking down anti-competitive state laws blocking munis would create a healthier balance, argues the Times Editorial Board.

This is an opportunity to respond to customer demand and make policy changes the consumers need, argues the NYTimes. Time to act! READ MORE . . .


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Springfield Symphony Opens 72nd
Season with High Energy!

October 3rd

Opening Night Gala Includes Symphonic Workouts by Dvořák, Sibelius and Bartók

Antonín Dvorák described his work, Carnival Overture, as depicting a “wanderer reaching at
twilight a city where a festival is in full swing.” And in full swing it will be, as the Springfield
Symphony Orchestra rings in its 72nd
season with this famously celebratory composition!

On Saturday, October 3rd
, Maestro Kevin Rhodes will lead the orchestra in performances of works
by Dvořák, Bela Bartók, and Jan Sibelius. Each composition finds its roots deep in the composers’
native countries, providing the audience with a sonic tour of Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Finland
respectively. The Springfield Symphony Orchestra’s Opening Night Gala will be performed on
Saturday, October 3rd
at Symphony Hall in Springfield, 34 Court St., Springfield, MA 01103. Doors
open at 6:00 p.m., Classical Conversations (pre-concert discussion) begins at 6:30 p.m., and the
performance begins at 7:30 p.m.

An Evening of Challenges and Aspirations
The opening notes of Antonín Dvořák’s Carnival Overture will set an appropriately vibrant and
vital tone for this 72nd
season of classical music from the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. The
second in a triptych composed by Dvořák, Carnival celebrates life with Czech-flavored melodies
and infectious rhythms.

The centerpiece of this evening’s performance will be the Violin Concerto, Op. 47 by Jan Sibelius.
A famously complex piece, the Violin Concerto is said to reflect Sibelius’s lifelong (and unrealized)
ambition to become a concerto violinist. The composition presents a litany of technical challenges
to its soloist – challenges that will be met in this performance by internationally known violinist
Philippe Quint. Quint made his orchestral debut at age nine and has recorded Grammy-nominated
performances of works by William Schuman and Wolfgang Korngold. His eclectic career has
included leading his own chamber music festival in Mexico City, performing in independent film,
and appearing in several international music festivals. Says Rhodes, “The musicians and I are really looking forward to playing the landscape and drama that is the Sibelius violin concerto with
The evening’s closing composition, Bela Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, will feature each
member of the symphony – though all playing at once. Bartók explained that he considered his
work as a concerto rather than a symphony because it treated each member of the orchestra “in a
soloistic and virtuosic way.” Of this work, Maestro Rhodes said, “The musicians of the SSO will
take center stage for this work. Concerto for Orchestra is the ultimate orchestra musician showpiece.
Like an Olympic Games for musicians, each section of the orchestra is put through their paces one
after the other in what remains to this day, over 70 years after its composition, one of the most
challenging works a group of musicians can tackle!” The evening’s performance on a
Massachusetts stage will provide Bartók’s work something of a homecoming, as it first debuted in
Boston shortly after the composer fled Europe during World War II.

Every Ticket Includes Free, Secure Parking
Single tickets & subscription packages are available now – with adult tickets starting at $22, and $10
for full-time college students and children aged 4 – 17. You can also save up to 25% on a variety of
subscription packages, which allow you to lock in your preferred seating, and help the symphony
sustain their community enrichment programs throughout the region.

This year’s parking arrangements will prove as accessible as in years past. “We have plenty of
parking, all very close to Springfield Symphony Hall,” said Marketing Director, Ann Rasmussen.
“We’re working closely with our parking partners to ensure that SSO concertgoers are not
inconvenienced. Even during the I-91 viaduct and MGM construction work, ticket holders should
find it easy and convenient to get downtown and park.” According to Rasmussen, all ticket holders receive free-of-charge parking at the I-91 South and I-91 North Springfield Parking Authority
(SPA) garages, as well as the Tower Square / Marriott garage – all of which will remain open and
accessible, all season long.

Easy, Convenient Ordering
For live, helpful assistance with single tickets & subscriptions, contact the Springfield Symphony
Box Office at 413-733-2291 or in person at 1350 Main Street, Springfield MA 01103 (facing Court
Square, next to Palazzo Café). The SSO’s online ticketing service is also available for easy
ordering, 24/7 – at www.tickets.SpringfieldSymphony.org. All concerts begin at 7:30pm in
Springfield Symphony Hall (34 Court Street, Springfield MA 01103). MassMutual Financial Group
is the official sponsor of the 72nd concert season. To preview the upcoming concert season, visit the
SSO’s website at www.SpringfieldSymphony.org.

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SHREWSBURY – Treasurer Deb Goldberg and members of her statewide committee on wage equality are hosting a Greater Worcester Regional Roundtable to get input from businesses and the public on how to close the wage gap. These best practices will be used to develop a wage equality tool kit for businesses and organizations committed to closing the pay gap.

WHEN: Thursday, September 17, 2015
TIME: 2:00 – 3:30 pm
WHERE: UMass Medical School, Commonwealth Medicine
333 South Street
Shrewsbury, MA 01545
WHO: Treasurer Deb Goldberg

Alayna Van Tassel, Deputy Treasurer and Executive Director of Economic Empowerment

Kristin Lewis, Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy at Tufts Health Plan

Paul Matthews, Executive Director of the 495/MetroWest Partnership

Joyce Murphy, Executive Vice Chancellor of Commonwealth Medicine, UMass Medical School

Maeghan Silverberg, Chief of Staff of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative

Steve Tolman, President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO

Reverend Liz Walker, Pastor of the Roxbury Presbyterian Church

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You’re Invited to PPAL’s Open House

Please join our PPAL Staff & Youth Leaders in celebrating our new Worcester Office location!

Who: Parent/Professional Advocacy League and

Youth M.O.V.E Massachusetts

When: Tuesday, September 22, 2015 from 3:00-6:00 p.m.

Where: 40 Southbridge Street, Suite 310 (next to Hanover Theatre)

Parking: Federal Plaza Municipal Garage and Street Meters

Questions: (508)767-9725


Light refreshments will be served

Great raffle prizes will be given away

No RSVP required-Stop on by!!!!!!

Meri Viano

Director of Community Outreach and Partnerships

Parent/Professional Advocacy League
The Massachusetts Family Voice for Children’s Mental Health

Educate Collaborate Advocate

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Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending

Contact: Grace Ross, 617-291-5591

Sep. 16, 2015 Homeowners Tell Their Story of Illegal Foreclosure: “STOP S1981 – DON’T LET THE TITLE COMPANIES TAKE AWAY YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS”

Wednesday, September 16, 2015, Boston, MA – This Wednesday, Sep. 16th, over a dozen homeowners will participate in a MAAPL event – “Story Day” – to speak directly with each of the majority of Senators about their stories with Massachusetts legislators – stories about how their homes were taken from them by illegal foreclosures, the pain and damage of losing a home against your constitutional rights and the time needed to win their ongoing fight. Many of these stories will be from families who have already lost their homes, while other stories will be shared by those who continue to be victimized and bullied by the banks with no relief in sight, often fighting for years in what can be an exhausting, seemingly endless battle with little or no support from the institutions that are supposed to help them.

This even is part of a grassroots action to defeat Senate #1981: An Act “Clearing Title” to Foreclosed Properties. S1981 dramatically shortens the centuries-old time limit during which one can sue to get property back if illegally taken. Historically, when an illegal foreclosure occurs, a homeowner has 20 years to sue to correct it. This has been a fundamental right of homeowners in Massachusetts for hundreds of years. However, the sponsors of are trying to take away the rights of homeowners so that they don’t have to deal with problems that are going to continue to plague us for decades into the future. The time limit would go from 20 years to 3 years for foreclosures in the future and a mere one year for those that have been foreclosed already.

Senate #1981:
· Steals our Constitutional right to protect our property in court from illegal bank practices;

· Refuses to notify people that their 20 year window to sue is slammed down to 1 year;

· Will codify illegal foreclosures and worsen the divide between white homeowners and people of color–already the worst in the US AND in violation of the 14th amendment.

68,000 Massachusetts residents were illegally foreclosed: Only a court can sort out this mess!

These 68,000+ households conservatively represent $20-$40 billion in wealth pillaged from their communities. The vast majority of that wealth has gone out of state. A significant percentage of those who lost wealth to foreclosures came from communities of color in Massachusetts. That wealth can only come back through lawsuits brought by the wronged homeowner.

The vast majority of subprime mortgages were foreclosed between 2005-2009. It will take an estimated 2 to 3 generations to recoup the 66% median wealth loss from Latino households; the 54% median wealth loss from Black households; and the 54% median wealth loss from Asian households between 2005-2009 unless we insure these mostly illegal takings can be reversed.

Senate 1981 strips homeowners of their private right to take action in response to illegal foreclosure of their property. These homeowners, from communities of color and more broadly, must retain their rights. They must have access to adequate legal redress. Denying them the ability to sue to regain title to their illegally foreclosed home is not justice.

MAAPL members and advocates are encouraging Massachusetts legislators to vote against S1981, and put S871 in its place. That bill creates a special Foreclosure Review Court. This court will clear title and do it fairly.

Homeowners will be at the state house available for interview TODAY, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015 or by phone.

To learn more about this issue or to speak with homeowners or advocates, please contact MAAPL at 508-630-1686 or maaplinfo@yahoo.com.

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WORCESTER – A Wellesley-based real estate development firm has entered into a purchase-and-sale agreement for a key swath of downtown Worcester office and retail property.

Franklin Realty Advisors of Wellesley has entered into an agreement with Boston-based Berkeley Investments Inc. to purchase Front + Center, a 640,000-square-foot office and retail complex located next to the CitySquare development and bounded by Front, Mercantile, Commercial and Foster streets. Included in the property are the 20-story Telegram & Gazette tower at 100 Front St., the 9-story People’s United Bank tower at 120 Front St., the 1,647-space Commercial Street Parking Garage, and retail space along Front Street. Berkeley has owned the property since 2004.

Charles F. “Chip” Norton, Jr., president of Franklin Realty Advisors, said he could not discuss a sale price, and the closing date of the sale has not been set.

The city of Worcester has assessed the six parcels that make up the property at $50 million.

The property also includes retail space that was once the Worcester Common Outlets, which faces Front Street on one side and on the other, a newly-renovated public walkway space called Mechanics Plaza, located between 100 Front St. and the Commercial Street Parking Garage. The property also includes the former Foothills Theatre, which closed in 2009. Current tenants in the former mall retail space include the Worcester Registry of Deeds, Reliant Medical Group, and CVS Pharmacy.

The 20-story tower at 100 Front St., which is nearly fully leased, has tenants that include the Telegram & Gazette; the law firm of Mirick O’Connell; Reliant Medical Group; and the Worcester offices of Boston-based EnerNOC, which purchased World Energy Inc. and kept its lease. The nine-story tower at 120 Front St. is about half leased, Mr. Norton said, to tenants that include People’s United Bank; Harleysville Insurance; and several federal agencies, including the IRS and FBI.

City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. said the city has worked with Mr. Norton and Franklin Realty in other projects and is familiar with his work.

“To us, this is evidence of the success of CitySquare, that the infusion of public dollars into this project has brought a response from the private sector,” he said. “We’re ready to work with someone who’s willing to join forces with the city and other property owners, and realize our goals for downtown Worcester. We’ve got a good partner here in Chip (Norton).”

Formed in 1988, Franklin Realty is “a regional real estate development and advisory firm with specific expertise in public/private partnerships and historic preservation projects throughout the United States.” Over the past 15 years, the firm and its affiliates “have developed, acquired and/or managed more than $1.25 billion of real estate projects throughout the United States,” according to its website.

In more than three decades working in Central Massachusetts, the company has invested more than $200 million in developing office and mixed-use projects in the region.

Among the projects Franklin Realty has been involved in is One and Two Chestnut Place, in downtown Worcester. In 1991, Franklin Realty completed a $42 million renovation of the office buildings at One and Two Chestnut Place with its then-partner, NYNEX. Franklin Realty sold its share of those buildings in 1997. The buildings are 180,000 and 45,000-square-foot office buildings whose current tenants include Fallon Health, UBS Financial Services and Sullivan Group insurance. Hertz Investment Group, a Los Angeles-based real estate development company, bought the buildings for $14 million earlier this year.

Also in Worcester, Franklin Realty renovated, has an ownership stake in, and currently manages the Worcester Business Center at 67 Millbrook St., the former Thom McAn shoe factory. The company also owns the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center, formerly an American Optical Co. factory building; and manages the Southbridge Business Center, a 1.2 million-square-foot office park once owned by the U.S. Department of Defense. The firm also owns and manages two medical office buildings at 300 Grove St. and 385 Grove St., whose main tenants are Reliant Medical Group and the Worcester Surgical Center.

According to its website, Franklin Realty has managed or developed projects in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Puerto Rico, Connecticut and New Hampshire.

Berkeley Investments, led by president Young Park, had purchased 20 acres of property in downtown Worcester – which at the time included the former Worcester Common Outlets – for $30.3 million in 2004.

Berkeley’s initial vision was to demolish the mall and rebuild the site as CitySquare, a mix of office, residential, retail and hotel developments.

But in 2010, Berkeley sold 10 acres, which encompassed most of the mall property, to a development entity financially backed by Worcester-based Hanover Insurance Group.

Under Hanover’s development, CitySquare is now home to an office tower for the Unum Group, a cancer center for St. Vincent Hospital, as well as an underground parking garage that is under construction and which will serve a 150-room Renaissance Hotel that is planned to open in 2017. A residential and retail development is also in the works, as is a public park.

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Reminder: CAR HOP – Wednesday, September 16 from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.MT.Carmel Parish

Remember HAPPY DAYS are here again. Join us with music from the 50’s, and good old fashion curb side service without getting out of car, as our waitresses serve hamburgers, hot dogs, French fries, milk shakes, soft drinks and a few surprises


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