A personal touch for downtown
While city officials, state politicians and business executives gathered around the former Worcester Galleria to watch City Manager Michael O'Brien drop the veil over Front Street's new straight route, former Worcester mayor and current Lt. Gov. Tim Murray wanted it made clear that now was the time to promote Worcester the old-fashioned way: with personal visits and handshakes.
"The first foreclosure has a really big impact," says Grace Ross, author of economiccrisis book "Main Street Smarts" and a housing activist with the Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team and the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending. "At this point, the deeper issue is wherever they foreclose, it brings the value down around the foreclosure … It really downward-spirals the whole neighborhood," she told Worcester Mag in January.
Back on the Responsible Employer Ordinance wagon?
Among all the optimism city officials have foisted upon the massive CitySquare project, which is currently redesigning Worcester's downtown, one aspect of the construction phase continues to have city councilors looking for ways to maximize the project's impact on the local economy while city administration looks to avoid lawsuits.
While many of us still think we're making a cutting-edge contribution to the future of the planet by drinking water from a tap instead of a plastic bottle, the faculty and students at Worcester's colleges and universities are at the forefront of generating new eco-ideas and green innovations in a wide range of fields.