Tag Archives: community access media

WCCA TV News and Information Round Up: August 10, 2015

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WCCA TV is a regional leader serving Worcester’s community media public access needs and an anchor institution that stands for Media Democracy, Media Literacy and Creative Innovation. Learn Create and Connect at WCCA TV
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NOTE this blog may be updated
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In deal with HUD, Worcester to repay $3.4 million for not meeting grant regs From the Worcester Telegram.

WORCESTER — The city has agreed to repay $3.4 million to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for community development block grant allocations it made for contracted activities over a three-year period that did not comply with federal regulations.

City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. said Friday the city will repay that money by Sept. 1.

He said the full tab will be picked up by the city, adding he does not intend to go after any of the agencies or programs that received the block grant funding in question to have them repay their share.

Upon receiving the city’s payment, Mr. Augustus said, HUD will return the full amount of the audit repayment to the city’s line of credit for this year’s block grant program.

That means the city will have additional block grant funding to spend on projects, such as public facility improvements, including streets, sidewalks, parks, water and sewer infrastructure in eligible low-and moderate-income neighborhoods of the city.

“We are finally ready to call it a day,” Mr. Augustus said in an interview regarding the HUD audit. “We feel this is the cleanest and best way to put this to rest. The city will do the repayment for this because the logic is that the city bears responsibility for it.

“We learned some painful lessons from this, but HUD is satisfied that the city has put into place the proper oversight to proceed going forward, to prevent something like this from happening again,” he added. “At the end of the day, city of Worcester taxpayers will not be out any money.”

Robert Shumeyko, director of HUD’s New England area office, said since publication of the audit report in July 2013, the city has worked with his office to develop a corrective plan to address identified deficiencies and to implement recommendations detailed in the audit.

“Throughout this process the city has been an open and enthusiastic partner in implementing the corrective action plan, and has proactively addressed policy and practice deficiencies in their program,” Mr. Shumeyko said. “HUD is confident that the city has implemented the proper administrative measures to assure compliance and meet all federal grant requirements.”

Former City Manager Michael V. O’Brien asked HUD officials in the summer of 2012 to audit Worcester’s block grant program, after an initial audit faulted some local nonprofit housing agencies for a range of noncompliance issues.

The HUD audit cover calendar years 2009-2012.

Under HUD rules, block grant money must be spent directly on housing production or on other services that help low-income residents, such as foreclosure counseling.

There were instances when the city provided block grant funding to an organization to plan and construct housing, but because the housing did not come online or secure occupancy until after the contract period, the funding was deemed ineligible.

Mr. Augustus said the HUD audit originally identified nearly $6.5 million worth of ineligible activities.

He said Andrew Taylor, assistant chief development officer/grants management and compliance, and the city’s Executive Office of Economic Development worked extensively with HUD to reduce its original exposure amount.

Through those discussions, the city was able to reduce the financial exposure by $3.5 million, meaning that $2.98 million would have to be repaid to the agency.

But during the audit resolution period, city officials and HUD identified additional activities that were deemed non-compliant, totaling $436,975, the manager said.

Mr. Augustus said that is money that would also have to be repaid at some point. As a result, the city has decided to include the additional financial exposure amount into the overall payment, which stands at $3.4 million.

Mr. Taylor said once HUD receives the city’s payment, which must come out of non-federal funds, it would likely take only a couple of days at most before the city’s line of credit for its block grant program would be increased by a corresponding amount.

Thomas F. Zidelis, the city’s chief financial officer, said the additional line of credit cannot be used to fund social service organizations and programs that fall under the 15 percent block grant allocation cap.

Each year, no more than 15 percent of the city’s annual block grant entitlement can be spent on those types of programs and the city has already reached that cap.

Even though the city’s line of credit will be increasing, Mr. Zidelis said that does not mean more money will be available for those programs. Instead, he said, the money must be spent on projects like public works and parks improvements in eligible block grant areas.

With the city acknowledging and accepting all finding identified in the HUD audit, Mr. Augustus said it is time for the city to put the matter behind it.

He said attempting to make the agencies that received the money repay it could end up putting some of them out of business and create a legal struggle that could drag on forever.

Contact Nick Kotsopoulos at nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com.


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Comcast PEGs looking to go HD:
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newbay/gv_20150708/index.php#/18 from Donna Liu

Maybe Worcester will someday follow suite. WCCA TV’s Executive Director fought hard to have our PEG channels seen in HD. The licensing authority (City) was not successful in negotiating for that unfortunately. Well, maybe next time.

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Berkshire Hathaway buying Wyman-Gordon parent, Precision Castparts
By The Associated Press ( Posted Aug. 10, 2015 at 7:40 AM Updated Aug 10, 2015 at 9:20 AM)

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is buying Precision Castparts Corp. for about $32.36 billion.

Precision Castparts is the parent company of Wyman-Gordon, which has operations in Worcester and Grafton.

The announcement ended a weekend of speculation that a deal was in the works between the legendary investor and the maker of components for aircraft, power plants and other industrial uses.

Berkshire will pay $235 per share in cash for Precision Castparts’ outstanding stock. The deal is valued at about $37.2 billion, including debt.

Precision Castparts will keep its name and continue to be based in Portland, Oregon.

Berkshire Hathaway is known for being involved in large transactions, among them the combination of Kraft and Heinz. It owns various businesses, including insurance and railroad companies, utility, clothing, furniture, brick, carpet, jewelry and pilot training firms. Berkshire Hathaway also has major investments in such companies as Coca-Cola, IBM and Wells Fargo & Co.

Precision Castparts does a lot of business with the energy sector, and it’s taken a hit with oil prices now nearing a six-year low.

Buffett told CNBC that he would have bought the company even if he knew that energy prices were in the midst of a multiyear slump.

“We’re going to be in this business for 100 years, so it doesn’t really make any difference what oil and gas does in the next year,” Buffett said.

The boards of Precision Castparts and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. unanimously approved the transaction, which is expected to close in 2016’s first quarter.

Shares of Precision Castparts surged $38.37, or 19.8 percent, to $232.25 in Monday premarket trading.

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EVENTS for upcoming week(s):

Latin Festival on August 15 behind City Hall in the common.

India Festival on August 15th at Mr. Carmel Parish Recreations / Italian Cultural Center Mulberry St. Worcester, MA

Summer Gospel Festival on August 15 Institute Park, Worcester, MA

Mt. Carmel Parish announces it’s Parish / Italian American Festival August 21 through 23rd on the Parish campus. Mulberry Street, Worcester. It promises to have great tasting homecooked food, concessions, music and entertainment, fun for the whole family.

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Stand Up for a Child Who Needs You

The CASA Project is looking for new volunteers to work with us on cases involving abused and neglected children who have been removed from their parents’ care and are currently residing in foster care throughout Worcester County. CASA volunteer advocates fact-find on behalf of the judges of the Worcester County Juvenile Court (WCJC) in order to help ensure the optimal permanent placement decision for each child. Our volunteers also advocate for needed educational, medical, mental and behavioral health services for the children throughout litigation. We believe that every child has the right to a caring, consistent adult who is willing to stand up and represent their Best Interests in court proceedings so that a safe, permanent home can be found as quickly as possible.

Our next new volunteer training starts on September 14, 2015. Please call Sinead Fitzmaurice at (508) 757-9877 x11 or visit our website at www.casaworcestercounty.org for more information. All upcoming training cycle dates and times are listed below.

September 2015

Monday & Wednesday, 9:30am-1:00pm

September 14 & 16

September 21 & 22

September 28 &30

October 2015—**NEW** schedule, I full day Saturday class plus 4 additional evening classes

Saturday, 9:00-am-4:00pm (All day Saturday class)

Tuesday & Thursday, 4:00pm-7:30pm

October 24
October 27 & 29

November 3

Sinead Fitzmaurice

Coordinator, Volunteer Recruitment & Retention/Grant Writer Tel: (508) 757-9877

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Who will you nominate as the 2015 Great Guys Award ?

It’s that time of year. The YWCA is currently accepting nominations for the 2015 Great Guys Award. This award is presented annually to men of good conscience who have demonstrated a commitment to domestic violence services in our region, local community or on college campuses.

All nominees must show a commitment preventing domestic violence and promoting health relationships – and meet a certain set of criteria as outlined on the attached nomination form.

Who do you know that is worthy of a nomination? Who do your colleagues, friends or family know that has done amazing things to help end domestic violence?

Attached you will find the 2015 Great Guys Award nomination form. You can also submit your nomination on line at http://www.ywcacentralmass.org/2015/10/19

Please consider nominating someone who meets the criteria and truly makes a difference in our community. We ask that you pass along this email to your networks and encourage them to share this email with their own networks. This year self-nominations also will be accepted.

Those candidates that are selected as 2015 Great Guys Award recipients will be honored at the 2015 YWCA Daybreak Breakfast held Monday, October 19, 2015, at the College of the Holy Cross Hogan Center. Mark your calendar now and save the date for this truly inspiring event.

Don’t hesitate. Nominate a worthy candidate now and together, we can all make a difference toward protecting the rights and lives of those impacted by domestic violence.

Any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

Thanks in advance for sharing this information with your e-networks.

Evelyn Cabrera Director Of Residential Services YWCA Central Massachusetts Administrative office: 1 Salem Square, Worcester, MA 01608 Leominster office: 54 Main Street Suite 001, Leominster, MA 01453

C: 978-407-8778 F: 508-755-1191 E: ecabrera@ywcacentralmass.org

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Friday, August 14. Presented by Preservation Massachusetts with local host Preservation Worcester, and
with the support of the Massachusetts Preservation Coalition, this event allows attendees to share ideas,
network, discuss challenges, and learn from each other to strengthen our collective preservation efforts
across the state.
An expected crowd of 400 attendees will begin the day at Mechanics Hall, host for the opening plenary
activities for the conference. Keynote speaker Theodore (Ted) Landsmark, Boston Redevelopment
Authority Board member, will set the tone of the day with his opening address on the theme of
“resiliency.” Over 60 speakers and panelists will carry that theme throughout their interactive
discussions on topics that include: How to Finance Your Project, When to Hire a Professional for Added
Value, Preservation Techniques and Technologies, Protecting Heritage Landscapes, Gateway Cities
Program, and Preparing for Climate Change. Presentations and panel discussions will take place at the
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Worcester campus at 10 Lincoln Square.
In addition, attendees can join one or more of six guided tours of historic preservation sites, including
Lincoln Square, Crown Hill local historic district, Canal District, Hope Cemetery, Washington Square
and Union Station, and Hanover Theater. Attendees get the chance to see up close the results of local
preservation projects, talk with some of the architects and planners involved, and ask questions relating
to their own preservation projects. The conference will come to a close with an entertaining networking
reception at Mechanics Hall at the end of the day.
The 2015 Massachusetts Historic Preservation Conference is made possible by the contributions of the
Keen Charitable Fund, conference venue hosts Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
as well as Mechanics Hall, the City of Worcester, and our many generous sponsors. It is with great pride
and appreciation that we look forward to hosting a comprehensive and meaningful historic preservation
conference on the 14th of August.
Registration is now open for attendees. General admission: $50 ($65 after July 31). Students: $35 (with
valid ID).
Visit the conference website to register, learn more about the schedule and sessions offered,
speaker biographies, and our sponsors and donors. www.mapreservationconference.org

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Congratulations to Dolly and best wishes