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Thomas Green Awards honor 5 exemplary employees of Worcester, surrounding towns

WORCESTER ― The Worcester Regional Research Bureau hosted its annual Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards on Thursday evening, honoring three municipal employees from Worcester and two from surrounding towns.

June 1, 20242024-news newstelegram-com
‘Era of opportunity’: City Manager Eric Batista delivers State of the City address

WORCESTER — In his first State of the City address Wednesday, City Manager Eric D. Batista painted a picture of a city filled with opportunity. 

May 23, 20242024-news newstelegram-com
Batista’s state of the city address: ‘Housing is No. 1 priority’

WORCESTER—Worcester continues to grow, adding an estimated 1,100 residents since the 2020 Census, to boost the population in New England’s second-largest city to 207,621.

May 22, 20242024-news newsthe-worcester-guardian
Two nonprofits launch data platform detailing quality of life in Worcester County

The Greater Worcester Community Foundation and Worcester Regional Research Bureau have teamed up to launch a new platform designed to provide data regarding the quality of life in Worcester County.

May 2, 20242024-news newsworcester-business-journal
Central Mass. by the Numbers

The two buildings at Piccadilly Plaza will remain, as the owners say they will pivot from past intentions to demolish them and instead relist the available space for rent.

April 28, 20242024-news newsgardner-news
City manager to deliver state of the city address

WORCESTER—The City of Worcester and the Worcester Regional Research Bureau (WRRB) presents a State of the City Address on Wednesday, May 22, at the Jean McDonough Arts Center.

April 25, 20242024-news newsthe-worcester-guardian
See Worcester Job, Income, Population Changes over 30 Yrs.

WORCESTER – The Worcester City Council Economic Development Committee will take up a report the Worcester Regional Research Bureau (WRRB) published in September 2023. The WRRB submitted the report to city council soon after it was published. City Council sent the report to the Economic Development Committee, where it has sat since.

April 23, 20242024-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
Guest column: Remove legislative roadblocks to upgrade Worcester schools

Schools without cafeterias. Without auditoriums. Without playgrounds.

April 21, 20242024-news newstelegram-com
WRTA Board Approved Fare-Free Transit through June 2025

WORCESTER – The Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) Advisory Board voted unanimously on Thursday morning to continue its fare free program through June 2025. The board voted to approve the program last year through June 2024.

April 18, 20242024-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
Worcester Regional Transit Authority to extend free rides through June 2025

Worcester area residents can look forward to yet another year of fare-free bus rides as the Worcester Regional Transit Authority board voted to extend the gratuitous service for the fifth consecutive year.

April 18, 20242024-news newsworcester-business-journal
WRTA vote: Free bus rides in Worcester to continue into 2025

WORCESTER — The free rides will continue.

April 18, 20242024-news newstelegram-com
City Manager of Worcester to Deliver State of the City Address

WORCESTER, Mass. – The City of Worcester and the Worcester Regional Research Bureau (WRRB) will present a State of the City Address on Wednesday, May 22, 2024, at the Jean McDonough Arts Center.

April 9, 20242024-news newsworcesterma-gov
City Manager to Deliver State of the City Address on May 22

WORCESTER – The City of Worcester announced on Tuesday that City Manager Eric Batista will deliver the State of the City Address on May 22, at the Jean McDonough Arts Center at 20 Franklin St.

April 9, 20242024-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
Fare-Free WRTA Buses: Advisory Board May Continue Policy In New Budget

WORCESTER, MA — The Worcester Regional Transit Authority may continue the transit agency’s fare-free policy in the next fiscal year — welcome news for the 70 percent of local residents who support continuing the policy, according to a new poll.

March 26, 20242024-news newspatch
WBJ wins eight New England newspaper awards

Highlighted by its collaboration with the Worcester Regional Research Bureau on the legacy of redlining in the city, Worcester Business Journal took home eight awards at New England Newspaper & Press Association’s 2023 New England Better Newspaper Competition on Saturday.

March 25, 20242024-news newsworcester-business-journal
Paul Matthews Talks Worcester Schools’ Health

Paul Matthews, Executive Director of the Research Bureau, joins Talk of the Commonwealth for a deep dive into the maintenance of Worcester public schools.

March 14, 20242024-news newsradio-worcester
Chris Collins to receive Worcester’s Isaiah Thomas Award on April 5

J. Christopher Collins, of counsel at Mirick O’Connell, will be the recipient of the 2024 Isaiah Thomas Award.

March 4, 20242024-news newstelegram-com
Worcester Schools Face Urgent Need for Modernization Amidst Historical Charm

Worcester’s educational landscape is at a critical crossroads, with Superintendent Rachel Monárrez highlighting the dire need for modernizing schools that date back to the late 1800s and early 1990s.

March 4, 20242024-news newsbnn-breaking
J. Christopher Collins to Receive Prestigious 2024 Isaiah Thomas Award in Worcester for Community Service

On April 5, J. Christopher Collins, a respected figure at Mirick O’Connell, will be honored with the prestigious Isaiah Thomas Award at Mechanics Hall, recognizing his extensive volunteer work and contributions towards enhancing the quality of life in Worcester.

March 4, 20242024-news newsbnn-breaking
See the WRRB Review of Worcester’s Now | Next Plan

WORCESTER – The Worcester Regional Research Bureau’s most recent report summarizes the Worcester Now | Next Master Plan, a citywide long-range plan developed over the last two years that is now open to public comment until Feb. 25.

February 22, 20242024-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
Viewpoint: Leveraging intelligence for a smarter community

The implications from the use of artificial intelligence, or AI, is a pressing question facing every consumer, employer, and policymaker.

February 19, 20242024-news newsworcester-business-journal
Worcester Regional Research Bureau launches WPS data dashboard

WORCESTER – If you’ve ever wondered what percentage of students at your child’s school are high needs or the student-to-teacher ratio, the Worcester Regional Research Bureau has created a dashboard to help people easily find that information and more.

January 19, 20242024-news newsthe-worcester-guardian
A look back at top local news stories for 2023 in T&G

Inside the print edition of today’s Telegram & Gazette, you’ll find a special section highlighting some of the outstanding work that has been done throughout the USA TODAY Network, which includes the T&G.

January 7, 20242024-news news
AI in Worcester: Risk and reward as city expands use of technology

WORCESTER ― Artificial intelligence has “extraordinary promise” and “extraordinary risk.”

December 12, 20232023-news newstelegram-com
Worcester Regional Research Bureau considers using AI in future

WORCESTER – Data is the lifeblood of Artificial Intelligence, Professor Renée Cummings told the crowd gathered for the Worcester Regional Research Bureau’s annual meeting Monday.

December 12, 20232023-news newsthe-guardian
Worcester Regional Research Bureau Annual Meeting Preview with ED & CEO Paul Matthews

Worcester Regional Research Bureau Annual Meeting Preview with ED & CEO Paul Matthews.

December 11, 20232023-news newstalk-of-the-commonwealth
Worcester attorney Collins to receive 2024 Isaiah Thomas Award, revived after 6-year pause

WORCESTER — What do several former newspaper publishers, numerous company presidents, philanthropists, Worcester’s first city manager, a former Worcester bishop who later became a cardinal and the man behind Spag’s “Home of Spag-tacular Values” have in common?

November 19, 20232023-news newstelegram-com
It’s Election Day, Massachusetts. Here’s what to know, the races to watch

Voters across the state, from Pittsfield to Boston, and all points in-between, are headed to the polls this Election Day to cast their ballots in a host of consequential contests.

November 7, 20232023-news newsmasslive
Worcester mayor’s race: Learn more about the candidates

The first thing voters will be asked to decide on the Worcester ballot is who the city’s next mayor should be, with five candidates, including the incumbent, running for office.

November 2, 20232023-news newsmasslive
Who is running for city council, mayor, school committee in Worcester’s election?

The second-largest city in Massachusetts could see an overhaul of its city government on Election Day. Come Nov. 7, all 11 city council seats have multiple candidates running for office, GBH reported. And that’s not including candidates running for the city’s eight school committee positions.

November 2, 20232023-news newsmasslive
Understanding Worcester’s charter: WRRB releases clarifying brief

WORCESTER—Worcester’s charter has been raised several times during the debates leading up to the city’s Nov. 7 municipal election. In response, members of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau last week released a brief on the topic.

October 30, 20232023-news newsthe-worcester-guardian
Debate: Where do mayoral candidates stand on taxes, police, etc.?

WORCESTER – Six terms as mayor of the city of Worcester gives Joseph M. Petty an advantage over his four rivals for the position going into the Nov. 7 municipal election.

October 26, 20232023-news newsthe-worcester-guardian
Haxhiaj-Rivera fisticuffs carry over to district seats’ debate

WORCESTER – Incumbent District 5 City Councilor Etel Haxhiaj and local boxing luminary Jose Antonio Rivera earned reputations as fighters in two very different arenas. This was fully apparent on Wednesday, Oct. 18, in the sparring that took place between them during a district city councilor seats’ debate at Mechanics Hall.

October 19, 20232023-news newsthe-worcester-guardian
At-large city council candidates assert ‘renaissance’ falls short

WORCESTER – An aging industrial metropolis has undergone remarkable progress in recent years, but that transformation has not touched all people and all neighborhoods. This was the unmistakable message delivered by at-large city council candidates Guillermo Creamer Jr., Maydee Morales, Bill Coleman, Domenica F. Perrone and Johanna Hampton-Dance during a debate at Mechanics Hall Wednesday night.

October 12, 20232023-news newsthe-worcester-guardian
No love lost between candidates in School Committee district race

Much of the sparring that took place during a debate at Mechanics Hall on Oct. 4 between candidates running for contested Worcester School Committee district seats involved no knockout punches – just a lot of dodging and feinting broken up by the occasional jab.

October 5, 20232023-news newsthe-worcester-guardian
Debate schedule for Worcester municipal election candidates

WORCESTER – Worcester’s municipal election season is in full swing, with candidates campaigning for multiple contested races, including seats for mayor, district school committee at-large, and city councilor for Districts 1 through 4. 

September 26, 20232023-news newsthe-worcester-guardian
Video: Candidates for Worcester at-large City Council seats debate in Mechanics Hall

WORCESTER — Most candidates running for at-large City Council seats met at Mechanics Hall Wednesday to discuss political compromise, evaluating the city manager, housing and police accountability, among other topics.

October 12, 20232023-news newstelegram-com
Video: Candidates for Worcester School Committee district seats debate in Mechanics Hall

WORCESTER — Candidates running for School Committee seats in District C and District E gathered at Mechanics Hall Wednesday to discuss school safety and cellphone policies, family involvement in school curriculum and the admission policy at Worcester Technical High School, among other topics.

October 5, 20232023-news newstelegram-com
Video: Candidates for Worcester at-large School Committee debate in Mechanics Hall

WORCESTER — School safety, district cellphone policies and members’ stipends were among the several different topics the four Worcester School Committee candidates running for at-large seats debated Wednesday evening.

September 28, 20232023-news newstelegram-com
Series Of Debates Announced For Worcester City Elections

Candidates in the upcoming city elections in Worcester will engage in a series of debates, with the first debate set to take place on September 27. The debates will be held at Mechanics Hall on successive Wednesdays leading up to the election on November 7.

September 25, 20232023-news newstickertv-news
Worcester: What you need to know about the Nov. 7 municipal election

WORCESTER – A five-way race for mayor and the first School Committee district-seat election headline the ballot for the Nov. 7 municipal election.

September 21, 20232023-news newstelegram-com
Worcester Police Chief Steven Sargent retires

Worcester Police Chief Steven M. Sargent has retired, the city announced Friday, ending a nearly four-decade-long long career in law enforcement.

September 1, 20232023-news newsmasslive
Research Bureau Releases New Report on Worcester’s Changing Demographics

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau released a new report entitled “Reinventing Worcester,” which looks at the city’s demographics and economy. Executive director Paul Matthews said the changes the city has undergone in recent years go beyond the skyline’s appearance.

August 28, 20232023-news newsspectrum-news-1
Worcester Recognized For Policy Achievement And Transformation

Worcester, a small community in Massachusetts, recently hosted the annual conference of the Governmental Research Association (GRA), bringing together top governmental researchers from across the nation. The conference focused on the challenges confronting government, including transit, housing, education, public workforce shortages, and federal financial relief.

August 20, 20232023-news newstickertv-news
National Association of Researchers Study the Most Pressing Public Problems Facing Our Communities

At the end of July, the Worcester Regional Research Bureau (WRRB) hosted the nation’s top governmental researchers at the annual conference for the Governmental Research Association (GRA).

August 28, 20232023-news news
Guest column: Census points to dynamic growth in Worcester over past 40 years

At the end of July, the Worcester Regional Research Bureau hosted some of the nation’s top governmental researchers, who wanted to see firsthand our city’s changing development in the modern economy. 

August 20, 20232023-news newstelegram-com
Opinion: Panelists Talk Districts’ Challenges and the Looming Fiscal Cliff

As school districts nationwide face a federal funding cliff, government researchers from independent think tanks around the country met in Worcester, Massachusetts, to discuss how municipalities and states are preparing.

August 9, 20232023-news newsyahoo
Panelists Talk Districts’ Challenges and the Looming Fiscal Cliff

As school districts nationwide face a federal funding cliff, government researchers from independent think tanks around the country met in Worcester, Massachusetts, to discuss how municipalities and states are preparing.

August 9, 20232023-news newsthe74
Districts and states are ‘on their own’ ahead of federal funding cliff

As school districts nationwide face a federal funding cliff, government researchers from independent think tanks around the country met in Worcester, Massachusetts to discuss how municipalities and states are preparing.

July 27, 20232023-news news
WRRB report: Many eligible for food help in Worcester County don’t ask for it

About 40 percent of Worcester County residents eligible for government food benefits don’t receive them, according to findings presented on an interactive website from the Worcester Regional Research Bureau.

May 21, 20232023-news newsmasslive
Worcester County coalition aims to reduce barriers to food access

Food insecurity is a complex problem, and reducing barriers to food access isn’t as simple as putting up food pantries or creating government nutrition programs, according to advocates and researchers.

May 21, 20232023-news newsmasslive
5 Worcester public employees honored with Research Bureau award for community service

WORCESTER – On Wednesday evening at Mechanics Hall, the Worcester Regional Research Bureau gathered to honor this year’s recipients of the Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards, which recognize public employees who have gone above and beyond in their duties. 

May 19, 20232023-news newstelegram-com
The Senate makes bold investment in regional transit

Inadequate public transportation has long been a shared concern for Gateway City leaders across the state. Many of their residents are simply trapped on nights and weekends, when bus service is either extremely infrequent or entirely unavailable.

May 15, 20232023-news newsmassinc
Worcester Regional Research Bureau names recipients for 2023 public service awards

WORCESTER – The Worcester Regional Research Bureau on Wednesday announced the 2023 recipients of the Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards in recognition of exceptional work by civic employees in the Worcester area.

April 29, 20232023-news newstelegram-com
Worcester to look into feasibility of municipal broadband despite high cost

While a municipal broadband system in Worcester could cost the city upwards of a quarter billion dollars, officials are still considering the feasibility of such a project to address gaps in digital access among residents.

April 25, 20232023-news newsmasslive
Worcester Broadband Task Force: $250 Million Cost For City Network

WORCESTER, MA — A task force in Worcester has been studying the possibility of setting up a city-owned broadband internet network for two years, and for the first time this week revealed some of its findings.

April 25, 20232023-news newspatch
Verizon preparing to make internet connections in Worcester

WORCESTER — With many Worcester residents expressing their unhappiness with Charter/Spectrum, the challenges and potential plans to achieve municipal broadband and Verizon’s plans to install fiber in the city were topics of discussion during a City Council meeting Monday.

April 25, 20232023-news newstelegram-com
What change to the WRTA do you most strongly support?

The Worcester Regional Transit Authority zero-fare bus program will continue at least until June 2024 per an announcement from the WRTA board.

April 24, 2023newsworcester-business-journal
Let’s make free fares in Worcester permanent

THE WORCESTER Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) has solidified its place as a leader in the fare-free public transportation movement, with the WRTA Advisory Board voting unanimously on April 20 to continue operating fare-free through June 2024, thereby becoming the longest-running fare-free transit system in the state and among the longest-running fare-free transit systems in the country.

April 22, 20232023-news newscommonwealth-magazine
Healey replaces 3 MBTA board members — including chair

These shortened holiday weeks tend to get real busy in a hurry, and I’m feeling a bit like a northern elephant seal. But on the bright side, the weekend is within reach and we’re ending on a sunny note.

April 21, 20232023-news newswbur
Free fares extended for the Worcester Regional Transit Authority until 2024

Riders served by the Worcester Regional Transit Authority won’t have to worry about paying fares until next year.

April 20, 20232023-news newswbur
WRTA approves zero-fare extension

The Worcester Regional Transit Authority zero-fare bus program will continue at least until June of 2024.

April 20, 20232023-news newsworcester-business-journal
WRTA staying fare free until June 2024

The Worcester Regional Transit Authority is staying fare-free until June 2024. The WRTA advisory board voted unanimously this morning to keep rides free for passengers for another year. This move makes the WRTA the longest-running fare-free regional transit system in the nation.

April 20, 20232023-news newsspectrum-news-1
Worcester area buses to remain free for at least another year

Buses around Central Massachusetts will remain free for another year after an advisory board for the Worcester Regional Transit Authority voted Thursday to continue its no-fare policy.

April 20, 20232023-news newswgbh
WRTA to extend free fares through June 2024 following board vote

Worcester Regional Transit Authority buses will continue to be free to ride through June 2024 after the agency’s advisory board voted to extend the program for another year on Thursday.

April 20, 20232023-news newsmasslive
City Manager Batista Says Municipal Broadband Impossible in Worcester

WORCESTER – City Manager Eric Batista declared municipal broadband “impossible” on Thursday, April 13, during an interview on “Talk of the Commonwealth” with Hank Stolz.

April 18, 20232023-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
Fare-free service on WRTA extended to June 2024

WORCESTER — The Worcester Regional Transit Authority Advisory Board voted unanimously on Thursday to extend fare-free service until June 2024.

April 20, 20232023-news newstelegram-com
WRTA to vote on extending fare-free bus service amid high ridership

The Worcester Regional Transit Authority is expected to vote Thursday on an extension of fare-free service that has been in place since the start of the pandemic.

April 19, 20232023-news newsspectrum-news-1
WRTA is the only urban transit agency in Mass. to surpass pre-COVID ridership, report says

The Worcester Regional Transit Authority, which is expected to vote later this week to extend fare-free service for another year, is the only urban regional transit authority in Massachusetts that has not only met but exceeded pre-pandemic ridership levels on its fixed-route buses, according to a new report out Wednesday from the Worcester Regional Research Bureau.

April 19, 20232023-news newsmasslive
Regional Research Bureau’s report on WRTA cites ‘exceptionally speedy ridership recovery’

WORCESTER – The Worcester Regional Transit Authority recovered quickly from ridership lows during the pandemic and is on track to meet its ridership peak in 2016, the Worcester Regional Research Bureau details in its latest report.

April 19, 20232023-news newstelegram-com
WRTA Had Best Pandemic Rebound In MA, MBTA Included: The new report on Worcester Regional Transit Authority rider trends comes ahead of a vote Thursday to keep fares free

WORCESTER, MA — Worcester Regional Transit Authority ridership experienced an “exceptional” pandemic recovery compared to similar bus system in the state following the records lows of the first months of COVID-19, according to a new study.

April 19, 20232023-news newspatch
Running Low On Pandemic Relief Funds, Fare-Free Buses Need Gov. Healey’s Help

Since 2020, the bus routes of the Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) have been free for anyone to ride, a policy that’s helped the agency attract new riders and reverse a long-term decline in ridership.

April 11, 20232023-news newsstreets-blog
East-West Rail would give an economic boost to Worcester and Central Mass., experts say

A project proposing a railroad line running from Boston to Pittsfield is seen by many in Western Mass. as a key step to advancing the region’s economy. But in Central Massachusetts, experts say, East-West Rail could be just as important.

March 31, 20232023-news newsmasslive
Fare-free WRTA buses could be in for the long haul

WORCESTER – A Worcester Regional Transit Authority panel unanimously recommended that buses remain fare-free for the next year, with money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act making up for a lack of passenger revenue.

March 29, 20232023-news newstelegram-com
Shei: Keep WRTA buses fare-free

In the coming weeks, starting with the Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) Advisory Board Audit and Finance Committee meeting Wednesday, the advisory board has an opportunity to continue this RTA’s leading role in providing fare-free transportation.

March 26, 20232023-news newstelegram-com
Committee advances more progressive inclusionary zoning policy to City Council

WORCESTER — Following a discussion of two proposals of an ordinance to mandate affordable units in new housing developments, the City Council’s Economic Development Committee voted 2-1 Wednesday to send an amended ordinance to the City Council — one with higher affordability requirements.

March 16, 20232023-news newsgardner-news
Report: Free WRTA rides more economical than collecting fares

A new report by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau, Inc. encourages the Worcester Regional Transit Authority to continue with its fare-free program, arguing the cost of collecting fares would be more expensive than simply not having them.

March 15, 20232023-news newsworcester-business-journal
Worcester free bus service has increased employee retention; supporters hope WRTA extends it

As a talent acquisition coordinator for FedEx, Sydney Ocran said one of the major reasons his company loses employees is because they don’t have an affordable way to get to work.

March 10, 20232023-news newsmasslive
New routes for continuing fare-free WRTA service explored

WORCESTER — With fare-free buses set to expire in June of this year, city leaders and organizations, such as the Worcester Regional Research Bureau, are pushing for the Worcester Regional Transit Authority Advisory Board to continue to extend the services for a longer period of time.

March 10, 20232023-news newstelegram-com
Webinar: Worcester’s Redlined History in partnership with Worcester Regional Research Bureau & WHM

Webinar: Worcester’s Redlined History. Presentation of the Bureau’s report “Static Income, Rising Costs” followed by keynote remarks about redlining and the Worcester map of 1936 from Dr. Robert Nelson of the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab and Mapping Inequality Project.

February 27, 20232023-news newstelegram-com
What tech companies like about downtown Worcester

With its historic buildings lining Main Street and surrounding its common, downtown Worcester has an old feel to it recalling the days when shoppers and workers crowded the sidewalks.

February 20, 20232023-news newsworcester-business-journal
As protests sweep US, Worcester council to discuss police body cameras, equity audit

As body camera footage of the brutal attack of Tyre Nichols by five police officers in Memphis sparks protests across the country, the Worcester City Council will discuss policing closer to home at its Tuesday meeting.

February 2, 20232023-news newsmasslive
DOJ Probe Of Worcester Police May Take Many Years: Past Cases

WORCESTER, MA — The U.S. Department of Justice in November launched a “pattern-or-practice” investigation into the Worcester police department, digging to find possible evidence of unconstitutional policing.

January 27, 20232023-news newspatch
How long until the DOJ investigation into Worcester PD is closed? Average case takes 2 years to show findings

The Worcester Police Department is among only 74 law enforcement agencies out of over 18,000 in the nation to be investigated by the Department of Justice for pattern or practice, according to a brief issued by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau Thursday.

January 27, 20232023-news newsmasslive
Report: Worcester PD Reform Could Take Over 6 Years

WORCESTER – The Worcester Regional Research Bureau (WRRB) released a new report on Thursday which surveys the history of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) Pattern or Practice Investigations, and their outcomes, since the 1994 Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act authorized the investigations.

January 26, 20232023-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
Worcester renters bear larger burden of rising housing costs, report says

It’s no secret that Worcester, like the rest of Massachusetts and the country, is seeing rising housing costs, but for renters, who make up the majority of the city’s residents, those struggles are even higher.

December 12, 20222022-news newsmasslive
Editorial: Use measured progress to fix the rental crisis

At the end of its 31-page report detailing the many, many ways the 80% spike in Worcester rental prices over the past seven years is impacting the economy, neighborhoods, and residents, the Worcester Regional Research Bureau laid out a series of recommendations on ways to improve the situation.

December 12, 20222022-news newsworcester-business-journal
From the editor: Looking back, so we can move forward

Nothing just happens for no reason. Every decision ever made compounds on each other, to create the situation we’re living in. And, once in a while, a key moment in history shapes much about the future.

December 12, 20222022-news newsworcester-business-journal
Trapped: Worcester neighborhoods still suffer from the legacy of redlining

Worcester is built on its hills. There’s Grafton Hill, Vernon Hill, Hancock Hill, Green Hill Park, Bell Hill, Chandler Hill. The hills define the city.

December 12, 20222022-news newsworcester-business-journal
Redlining map: Discrimination from 1936

As part of the then-new Federal Housing Administration’s effort to give out more home loans, a 1936 assessment of the neighborhoods in Worcester was commissioned by the Home Owners’ Loan Corp.

December 12, 20222022-news newsworcester-business-journal
Worcester has a rent problem

Rising rents in Worcester are hitting residents at every income level.

December 12, 20222022-news newsworcester-business-journal
5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester – December 9

In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

December 9, 20222022-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
Verizon Launch Opens New Service Option in Worcester, Mass.

The company announced this week that it was bringing Fios fiber Internet to Worcester customers, as well as some of the surrounding towns.

December 9, 20222022-news newsgovernment-technology
Verizon announces launch of high-speed internet in Worcester

After a long time with only one option for internet in Worcester, Verizon is launching high-speed internet in the city.

December 7, 20222022-news newsmasslive
Worcester voters approve Community Preservation Act

In Tuesday’s election, Worcester voters approved the Community Preservation Act 18,976 to 17,426, according to unofficial results posted at 10:35 p.m. by the City of Worcester.

November 9, 20222022-news newsworcester-business-journal
Worcester says yes to Community Preservation Act

Worcester residents let their voices be heard Tuesday and voted yes on Question 5, according to unofficial results from Worcester City Hall.

November 8, 20222022-news newsmasslive
5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester – November 9

In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

November 9, 20222022-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
Massachusetts Allocates $50M in ARPA Funding to Expand Internet

(TNS) — Not having access to Internet service impacts people’s ability to get jobs, develop skills and participate in remote learning. To help address digital inequity, the state earmarked $50 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to boost access to broadband.

November 4, 20222022-news newsgovernment-technology
Mass. has started spending $50M in American Rescue aid on internet access

Not having access to internet service impacts people’s ability to get jobs, develop skills and participate in remote learning. To help address digital inequity, the state earmarked $50 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to boost access to broadband.

November 3, 20222022-news newsmasslive
5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester – November 2

In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

November 2, 20222022-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
A guide to Worcester’s Ballot Question 5 and the Community Preservation Act

This election, there’s more on Worcester voters’ ballots than candidate races and statewide referendum amendments.

November 1, 20222022-news newswgbh
Pre-K, diversifying teachers among top Worcester priorities for state funds

A new report from the Worcester Regional Research Bureau details how the Worcester Public Schools fiscal year 2023 budget will use funds from the Student Opportunity Act to close disparities in outcomes and experiences among low-income students, English learners and students of color.

October 14, 20222022-news newsmasslive
Community Preservation Act on city ballot Nov., supporters say it will fund needed projects

WORCESTER — With the Community Preservation Act on the ballot in November in the city, supporters said the added surcharge on the annual assessed property tax will support initiatives that the city needs that other communities are already doing.

September 29, 20222022-news newstelegram-com
If Worcester passes the Community Preservation Act, how much would it cost you and how would the city benefit?

When Worcester residents get their ballots in November, the fifth question will ask them if they’re in favor of adding the Community Preservation Act to the city’s general laws.

September 27, 20222022-news newsmasslive
Free service on WRTA extended to next summer

WORCESTER — The Worcester Regional Transit Authority Advisory Board voted Thursday to continue fare-free service until June 2023.

September 22, 20222022-news newstelegram-com
WRTA May Extend Free Bus Policy Into 2023

WORCESTER, MA — Free buses in the Worcester area may continue for at least six months past an upcoming expiration date under a new proposal in front of the Worcester Regional Transit Authority board this week.

September 20, 20222022-news newspatch
The Community Preservation Act with WRRB Director Paul Matthews

The Community Preservation Act with WRRB Director Paul Matthews. (August 8th, 2022).

August 9, 20222022-news newstalk-of-the-commonwealth
5 Things You Need To Know Today In Worcester – August 3

In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

August 3, 20222022-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
The Worcester Regional Research Bureau created a tool to show how the Community Preservation Act would impact voters

WORCESTER, Mass. – A report from the Worcester Regional Research Bureau looks at how funds from a Community Preservation Act would be used, should city voters approve it.

August 2, 20222022-news newsspectrum-news-1
With Worcester residents to vote on Community Preservation Act this fall, report says city could raise $3.7 million in first year

The city of Worcester could raise over $3.7 million in fiscal year 2023 for open space, recreation, housing and historic preservation if residents opt in to the Community Preservation Act this fall, according to a new report by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau.

August 2, 20222022-news newsmasslive
WRRB: Community Preservation Act would improve Worcester’s livability

In November, Worcester voters will have a chance to vote on the Community Preservation Act, which uses a 1.5% property tax surcharge to fund community projects beginning in fiscal 2024.

August 2, 20222022-news newsworcester-business-journal
How much would Worcester ballot question cost you? This online tool will tell you

WORCESTER — The Worcester Regional Research Bureau has created an online tool to calculate the financial impact of the proposed Community Preservation Act on individual properties, urging voters to decide for themselves whether they can afford a 1.5% property tax surcharge to fund open space, affordable housing and historic preservation in the city.

August 2, 20222022-news newstelegram-com
Report shows stark disparities in broadband access across Worcester

Worcester city officials say they’re reviewing a recently released report that highlights sharp disparities in broadband access across the city.

May 13, 20222022-news news
5 Things You Need To Know Today In Worcester – May 11

In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

May 11, 20222022-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
Buck Bus 2022

Buck Bus is back! MassLive has partnered with the Worcester Regional Research Bureau, WRTA, Niche Hospitality Group and Preservation Worcester to bring back the Worcester trivia game as part of Jane Week in the Woo. Watch as reporter Tom Matthews finds out how well WRTA riders know Worcester.

May 6, 20222022-news events news other-eventsbuck-bus collaboration transportation
How well do you know Worcester? WRTA riders play Buck Bus and answer Worcester trivia questions for Jane Week

MassLive has teamed up with The Worcester Regional Research Bureau, Worcester Regional Transit Authority, Niche Hospitality Group and Preservation Worcester to bring back Buck Bus — a Worcester trivia game show played on Worcester buses in honor of Jane Week in the Woo!

May 6, 20222022-news newsmasslive
WBJ honored for history, diversity reporting among nine New England journalism awards

The New England Newspaper & Press Association has given nine journalism awards to Worcester Business Journal at part of the 2021 Better Newspaper Competition, honoring stories on the legacy of slavery in Central Massachusetts, housing discrimination in Worcester, and attempts to narrow racial and gender pay gaps.

May 3, 20222022-news newsworcester-business-journal
One-third of Worcester students have no internet at home, but COVID relief funds provide opportunity to boost broadband access, Worcester Regional Research Bureau report reveals

The disparity in broadband access across Worcester households has never been more clear, the Worcester Regional Research Bureau writes in its latest report…

April 28, 20222022-news newsmasslive
Jan Yost, who oversaw $50 million in grants over two decades, awarded upon retirement

WORCESTER — When Janice B. Yost got a call in 1999 from some city she had never heard of in Massachusetts asking if she was interested in helming a new health foundation, she was a bit surprised.

January 31, 20222022-news newstelegram-com
WPI President Laurie Leshin departing for directorship with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

WORCESTER — Laurie Leshin, president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, has been named director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a California-based space-exploration organization affiliated with NASA.

January 27, 20222022-news newstelegram-com
Can Mayor Wu really make the T free?

It was Michelle Wu’s signature proposal in the Boston mayoral race — and the central metaphor of the entire campaign: Free the T.

January 7, 20222022-news newsboston-globe
5 Things You Need To Know Today In Worcester – December 14

In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

December 14, 20212021-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
City Council Preview: ARPA, Facial Recognition And SROs

The Worcester City Council meets on Tuesday, December 14, with a full agenda and three items certainly of significance to Worcester residence.

December 14, 20212021-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
Now we’re getting somewhere with free public transit

Regular readers will be familiar with a frequent lament in this space: The pandemic that should have changed everything about life as we know it altered very little, indeed.

December 4, 20212021-news newsboston-globe
Searching for Excellence: Considerations for the Worcester Public Schools

Event listing from Worcester Education Collaborative: Wednesday, December 1 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

November 29, 20212021-news newspatch
WRRB Executive Director Paul Matthews talks School Committee District Representation

WRRB Executive Director Paul Matthews talks School Committee District Representation (11/29/21).

November 29, 20212021-news newstalk-of-the-commonwealth
Worcester Schools superintendent search topic of virtual panel event

WORCESTER — The challenges of superintendent searches in urban districts will be the focus of a panel during a virtual event Wednesday co-hosted by the Worcester Education Collaborative and the Worcester Regional Research Bureau.

November 28, 20212021-news newstelegram-com
Worcester is changing the way it elects its school committee: Here are three options on the table

Following a federal lawsuit filed earlier this year, Worcester is changing the way it elects its school committee, moving away from an at-large system.

November 23, 20212021-news newsmasslive
MA: No fare: Worcester Regional Transit Authority backs free rides through 2022

WORCESTER — The Worcester Regional Transit Authority Advisory Board voted unanimously Thursday to continue fare-free service until January 2023.

November 19, 20212021-news newsmass-transit
5 Things You Need To Know Today In Worcester – November 19

In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

November 19, 20212021-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
Another Year Of Zero-Fare Worcester Bus Service Approved

WORCESTER, MA — The Worcester area will get another year of free bus service while the Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) works on a permanent new fare policy that might include eliminating fares permanently.

November 18, 20212021-news newspatch
Near Universal Support For Free WRTA Buses Ahead Of Key Decision

WORCESTER, MA — The Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) board this week will discuss whether to keep bus fares free — a policy that has almost universal support from elected officials in Worcester.

November 16, 20212021-news newspatch
‘Buffering’: Worcester residents slam Spectrum for internet outages, price increases and poor customer service

The residents of Worcester were loud and clear Monday night: they are tired of Charter Communication’s Spectrum being the only internet and cable option in the city and they want something cheaper and more reliable.

November 9, 20212021-news newsmasslive
Taxes on the agenda as Worcester mayoral candidates debate ahead of Tuesday’s election

WORCESTER — When the City Council sets the tax rates every year, councilors often lament that the issue of whether the city should keep its dual tax rate for residents and businesses or move toward a single rate is used as a political weapon during election season.

October 27, 20212021-news newstelegram-com
Tonight: Candidates for Worcester mayor in debate at Mechanics Hall

The fourth and final debate at Mechanics Hall will be held Wednesday evening as candidates make a final push before the muncipal election on Tuesday.

October 27, 20212021-news newstelegram-com
Police, taxes, neighborhoods: Candidates for district city councilor have their say

WORCESTER – The candidates for three contested district seats on the City Council faced a variety of questions about police funding, taxes, traffic and Duffy Field during a debate at Mechanics Hall Monday night.

October 25, 20212021-news newstelegram-com
Mayoral hopefuls and council district candidates set to square off in debates at Mechanics Hall this week

WORCESTER — Two more debates will be held at Mechanics Hall this week as candidates make the final push before the Nov. 2 municipal election.

October 24, 20212021-news newstelegram-com
School Committee candidates take up many topics at debate: new superintendent, sex ed., buses

WORCESTER — The candidates in this fall’s citSchool Committee race squared off Wednesday night in a debate that often found them on common ground on the most pressing district issues.

October 13, 20212021-news newstelegram-com
Worcester Regional Research Bureau releases ‘Questions for the Candidates’ report ahead of City Council and School Committee debates

The last day to register to vote in Worcester’s 2021 municipal election is Wednesday, Oct. 13.

October 12, 20212021-news newsmasslive
Hank Stolz / Talk of the Commonwealth on Debates & Questions for the Candidates

An interview with Executive Director and CEO on the Debates and WRRB report Questions for the Candidates.

October 11, 20212021-news newshank-stolz-show-talk-of-the-commonwealth
Candidates for at-large city councilor debate at Mechanics Hall in Worcester

WORCESTER — Candidates for the six at-large City Council seats in November let voters know Wednesday where they stood on everything from perennial Worcester issues to the impact of, and recovery from, the COVID-19 pandemic.

October 6, 20212021-news newstelegram-com
Monday Manual: New Subdivision, Indigenous Art, Apartment Pause

MILFORD, MA — Welcome to the Oct. 4 edition of Monday Manual, where we highlight important events coming up during the week (plus a local fact) in seven Patch communities between Framingham and Worcester.

October 3, 20212021-news newspatch
Viewpoint: Budget for action on housing

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau was honored to continue our proud history of collaboration with the Worcester Business Journal this May with our coordinated focus on homeownership issues.

September 27, 20212021-news newsworcester-business-journal
Thomas S. Green award winners went above and beyond in a time when others were struggling

WORCESTER – The common thread linking the six recipients of the 2021 Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards is that all of them thought they were simply doing their jobs when they stepped up to improve the lives of others.

September 16, 20212021-news newstelegram-com
Muni Broadband Wave Washes Across Massachusetts

We have covered on numerous occasions the fiber-to-the-home boom underway in the rural hill towns of western Massachusetts.

July 16, 20212021-news newsmuni-networks
WRTA fares suspended until next year, but where does public transportation in Worcester go from here?

Full and original article posted on …

May 29, 20212021-news newsmasslive
Free buses, paid for by other revenue sources, can help make Worcester a big little city

As a native son of Worcester, I grew up in a city that didn’t know whether it wanted to be Wormtown or the “Paris of the 80s.” We’ve always had a bit of a complex. Do we even want to be a city? Or do we want to be a town?

May 26, 20212021-news newstelegram-com
5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester – May 20

In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

May 20, 20212021-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
Free rides for WRTA passengers will continue another six months

The Worcester Regional Transit Authority Advisory Board voted overwhelmingly to continue fare-free service for the next 6 months while a new fare-collection system is implemented, a compromise reached after discussion of the effort revealed deep divisions among board members

May 20, 20212021-news newstelegram-com
‘They’ve got the money’: Rally calls on WRTA to listen to riders, keep free fares

Members of the Zero Fare Coalition rallied outside the Worcester Regional Transit Authority Hub Monday in support of using millions in federal relief funds to continue free bus service for another year.

May 17, 20212021-news newstelegram-com
Worcester Regional Research Bureau honors six with Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards

A Fitchburg police officer and Worcester’s liaison to the movie industry are among those being recognized with Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards.

May 13, 20212021-news newstelegram-com
The WRTA’s Fare-Free Bus Experiment Was Popular, But Won’t Last Without Funding

Worcester’s public transit system was able to retain a significantly higher share of ridership during the pandemic relative to other public transit agencies in the Commonwealth, and a StreetsblogMASS analysis of ridership data suggests that its fare-free policy, which is expected to expire at the end of June, may be a key factor in the agency’s success.

May 7, 20212021-news newsstreets-blog
Last Call with Eleanor Gilmore and Joyce Mandell, Jane Week Organizers

Jane Jacobs was an urban design pioneer, widely celebrated for her 1961 landmark text, “The Death and Life of Great American Cities.”

May 5, 20212021-news newstelegram-com
Data shows a racial demographic divide among Worcester students returning to in-person learning

Read more.

May 3, 20212021-news newsmasslive
Gaps Seen In Worcester Students Returning To Classrooms Full-Time

WORCESTER, MA — Thousands of Worcester Public Schools (WPS) students returned to classrooms full-time on Monday for the first time in a year, but a new report shows demographic gaps between those students and students who will continue with remote learning.

May 3, 20212021-news newspatch
Jane Week: In ‘Escape from Worcester City Hall’ you can put your puzzle-solving skills to work to break free from municipal government

Municipal governing can be tedious and boring at times, but hopefully your virtual escape from Worcester City Hall goes better than a typical board meeting.

May 5, 20212021-news newsmasslive
Worcester K-8 students finally return to full-time, in-person learning

WORCESTER — For the first time in more than a year, the city’s elementary and middle schools returned to full-time, in-person learning Monday.

May 3, 20212021-news newstelegram-com
Fare-free advocates press WRTA to continue free bus service

The experiment in fare-free bus service is scheduled to end June 30, but members of the Zero Fare Coalition said they are not giving up their hope or their advocacy.

May 2, 20212021-news newstelegram-com
Free ride to end for users of WRTA buses; fares waived since early days of pandemic

Free public bus service will end June 30, as members of the Worcester Regional Transit Authority Advisory Board passed a $28 million budget for 2022 that includes fare income.

April 29, 20212021-news newstelegram-com
Officials In Worcester Agree Public Transportation Is A Lifeline For The Community, So Why Is It In Such Rough Shape?

Read more

April 18, 20212021-news newsmasslive
It’s time to consider a hybrid model for Worcester School Committee

Earlier this year, Worcester Interfaith, the Worcester Branch of the NAACP and group of individuals plaintiffs filed suit in federal court alleging that Worcester’s method of electing School Committee members is unfair and in violation of the Voting Rights Act.

April 16, 20212021-news newstelegram-com
Politics and the City: Rescue Plan Act gives city “awful lot” of spending options

The meat of the fiscal 2022 budget discussion is still about a month out, but with an estimated $230 million due to come the city’s way from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, it’s going to be a budget season like no other.

April 4, 20212021-news newstelegram-com
Data Shows 44 Percent of Worcester Public Schools Students to Continue Remote Learning

WORCESTER, Mass. – Many students in Worcester returned to their classrooms this week for the first time in more than a year, but not all families are choosing the hybrid learning model.

April 1, 20212021-news newsspectrum-news-1
Report: Younger, white students more likely to opt for in-person learning

WORCESTER – A new report by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau shows younger, white students were more likely to return to schools for in-person learning this month.

March 31, 20212021-news newstelegram-com
Editorial: Spending the state’s rescue money wisely

The first federal coronavirus relief plan – the $2.2-trillion CARES Act from March 2020 – provided much-needed calm in the early phases of the coronavirus pandemic.

March 29, 20212021-news newsworcester-business-journal
As Worcester Public Schools transition to hybrid learning, far fewer nonwhite students are returning to the classroom

Far fewer nonwhite students in the Worcester Public Schools have opted in for a return to in-person classrooms with hybrid learning than their white counterparts, according to a new briefing from the Worcester Regional Research Bureau.

March 29, 20212021-news newsmasslive
Are free buses closer than they appear?

Free buses may be the bold idea Massachusetts needs to rebuild a culture of public transportation as we emerge from the pandemic in 2021.

March 18, 20212021-news newsmassinc
5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester – March 22

In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

March 22, 20212021-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
Northampton launches surveys to identify residents’ internet needs, determine city’s next steps on municipal broadband

The city of Northampton launched two online surveys Wednesday with the goal of both identifying residents’ internet needs and determining the community’s next steps in terms of whether it should implement a municipal broadband system.

March 10, 20212021-news newsmasslive
Charter/Spectrum ups company’s minimum wage to $18 an hour, says it’s hiring for 3,000 positions

The broadband company Charter/Spectrum announced it is hiring for thousands of positions and has raised its company’s minimum wage to $18, part of the business’s efforts to get to a $20 starting wage for all employees in the next year.

March 10, 20212021-news newsmasslive
Millions of Students Got Free Home Internet for Remote Learning. How Long Will It Last?

After COVID-19 forced the nation’s schools online, thousands of districts scrambled to partner with internet service providers to cover the cost of broadband for low-income students. The result was a patchwork of temporary agreements that connected millions of families, often via innovative public-private partnerships.

March 10, 20212021-news newseducationweek
5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester – March 2

In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

March 2, 20212021-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
WRTA: Free public buses in Worcester until July 1

WORCESTER — The Worcester Regional Transit Authority Advisory Board voted overwhelmingly Thursday to continue fare-free service until June 30, the end of the fiscal year.

February 18, 20212021-news newstelegram-com
Broadband concerns put private providers in spotlight

In a pandemic that has forced many aspects of daily life online — from work to school to doctor’s appointments — efforts to build out broadband infrastructure still face challenges, with private providers hesitant to invest in some unserved areas and lawmakers calling for the internet to be treated more like a public service going forward.

February 18, 20212021-news newsberkshire-eagle
WRTA board votes to extend fare suspension through June

The Worcester Regional Transit Authority Advisory Board voted Thursday morning to extend the suspension of fare collection through June.

February 18, 20212021-news newsmasslive
Residents of color in Worcester, advocacy groups file federal voting rights lawsuit against city, claim system for electing School Committee members is discriminatory

Several residents and advocacy organizations in Worcester are suing the city over allegations its system for electing members to its School Committee discriminates against communities of color.

February 8, 20212021-news newsmasslive
Support for zero-fare WRTA continues to grow as Mass. Audubon Society urges city to extend fare suspension

More support continues to roll in for an extension of the Worcester Regional Transit Authority’s suspension of fares.

January 26, 20212021-news newsmasslive
‘Let’s help them out’: Worcester City Councilor Gary Rosen calls for three-month extension of WRTA fare suspension policy

“Let’s help them out,” were the pleading words of Worcester City Councilor Gary Rosen to the Worcester Regional Transit Authority Advisory Board during a meeting Thursday.

January 22, 20212021-news newsmasslive
Worcester Buses Will Remain Free, But Not For Long

WORCESTER, MA — A pandemic-era policy of not collecting bus fares in the Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) system will remain in place, but agency leaders are looking forward to collecting fares soon due to budget concerns.

January 21, 20212021-news newspatch
WRTA to continue free service into March

WORCESTER — The Worcester Regional Transit Authority will continue its zero fare policy until mid-March, but advisory board members sought more information on federal funding before making a decision on the future of fare-free service.

January 21, 20212021-news newstelegram-com
Worcester School Committee requests more timely and transparent information on internet outages from Spectrum

Members of the Worcester School Committee on Thursday night voted to request that the city demand more transparency and timely information about internet outages from Spectrum, weeks after an hours-long outage left students without a way to access remote classes.

January 21, 20212021-news newsmasslive
WRTA To Vote On Extending Free Fare Policy

WORCESTER, MA — The region’s bus commuters will find out Thursday if the Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) will begin collecting fares again.

January 20, 20212021-news newspatch
Worcester, Spectrum reach agreement in effort to secure better internet for students learning remotely

As remote learning continues during the coronavirus pandemic, the city of Worcester and Charter/Spectrum have reached an agreement in an effort to provide better, low-cost internet for students.

January 12, 20212021-news newsmasslive
Internet outage in Worcester revives municipal broadband discussion

WORCESTER — A “network fiber break” that knocked out the internet for a good chunk of the city Monday has leaders refocused on improving local broadband connectivity and the option of municipal broadband, saying that the future depends on fast, reliable internet.

January 5, 20212021-news newstelegram-com
Public service heroes: 5 to receive Thomas S. Green awards from Worcester Regional Research in virtual ceremony

WORCESTER — The unsung heroes of public service will be honored at a virtual ceremony Thursday by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau.

December 2, 20202020-news newstelegram-com
Panel brainstorms strategies for pursuing a fare-free WRTA

Panelists at a virtual forum Monday night brainstormed how to fund, implement, and recruit support for a fare-free Worcester Regional Transit Authority, saying now is the time for free bus service in Worcester.

November 30, 20202020-news newstelegram-com
With cuts to MBTA commuter rail service looming, Worcester officials asks agency to work with city

In a letter sent to the MBTA last week, officials in Worcester hope to work with the agency after it announced proposed cuts to commuter rail service in 2021 that would suspend all of weekend service.

November 30, 20202020-news newsmasslive
5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester – Nov. 24, 2020

In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

November 24, 20202020-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
Rosabeth Moss Kanter tells Worcester Regional Research Bureau members success beyond COVID relies on focusing ‘outside the building’

Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a professor at Harvard Business School who was named one of the 50 most powerful women in the world by the Times of London used the advice of Yogi Berra for businesses navigating the pandemic.

November 19, 20202020-news newsmasslive
Worcester Zero Fare Group Renews Push For Free WRTA Buses

WORCESTER, MA — A group advocating to eliminate fares on WRTA buses will host a forum this month featuring elected leaders from across the state, marking the reemergence of a movement sidetracked by the coronavirus pandemic.

November 19, 20202020-news newspatch
More funding, classes are needed in Worcester for adults looking to learn English as hundreds sit on waitlists, report says

The current state of classes needed for people seeking to learn English is overwhelmed with high demand and fraught with inadequate supply due to lack of funding, a new report from the Worcester Regional Research Bureau reveals.

November 17, 20202020-news newsmasslive
Research Bureau tackles funding for fare-free buses

Since the Worcester Regional Research Bureau first proposed fare-free bus service, the reaction from most transportation experts and officials has been the same: Sounds great, but how do we pay for it?

November 11, 20202020-news newstelegram-com
WBJ Podcast: Why the restaurant scene thrives in Worcester

In Central Mass., the restaurant industry is more developed in places like Worcester, Sturbridge and Marlborough, which have eschewed the state liquor license cap law in favor of having unlimited bars and eateries in their communities.

November 10, 20202020-news newsworcester-business-journal
Restaurant revenue plunged 33% during six months of the pandemic

Restaurants are bringing in far less money for food and drink during the coronavirus pandemic – and it’s showing both the hit the industry has taken this year as well as the financial toll declining tax revenue will have on cities and towns.

November 9, 20202020-news newsworcester-business-journal
No limits: Lifting liquor license caps produces vibrant restaurant districts

When a would-be restaurateur approaches Worcester city officials with a plan to open a new eatery, not so much stands in the way procedurally – at least compared to most Massachusetts cities and towns.

October 26, 20202020-news newsworcester-business-journal
Editorial: Pull out all the stops for the restaurant industry

A lively restaurant scene is vital to the economies of Central Massachusetts communities like Worcester, Marlborough and Sturbridge. As shown in WBJ’s “No Limits” story on page 8 – our latest collaboration with the Worcester Regional Research Bureau – these communities have helped build this buzzy industry thanks in part to their eschewing of the traditional Massachusetts law capping liquor licenses.

October 26, 20202020-news newsworcester-business-journal
Report: 18% of Worcester residents have no internet access

WORCESTER, Mass. — The City of Worcester is wading into a battle over broadband service after years of what residents say has been spotty service, with internet deserts making school and work a daily struggle.

October 5, 20202020-news newsfox25-news
Disagreement Over Just How Wired Worcester Is

It’s a tale of two connectivity perspectives in Worcester.

October 4, 20202020-news newswgbh
5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester – Oct. 1, 2020

In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

October 1, 20202020-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
Should Worcester invest in municipal broadband? MassLive to speak with the Worcester Regional Research Bureau in live interview Thursday

As coronavirus limits Worcester students to remote learning, internet has dominated much of the conversation surrounding the difficulties of creating an equitable and accessible remote learning experience for all students.

September 30, 20202020-news newsmasslive
Municipal Broadband. Is It An Answer To Worcester’s Internet Challenges?

George Russell’s internet connection was not cooperating. And that was a challenge for the Worcester City Councilor during a recent public meeting.

September 30, 20202020-news newswgbh
5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester – Sept. 23, 2020

In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

September 23, 20202020-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
Charter offering 60 days of free Spectrum internet to new customers in households with educators or students as remote learning continues

Charter Communications has announced that it is relaunching its Remote Education Offer, which provides free Spectrum internet and WiFi services for 60 days to new customers in households with educators or students from kindergarten to college.

September 22, 20202020-news newsmasslive
WRTA extends free fares to end of year

WORCESTER — The Worcester Regional Transit Authority will remain fare free at least until the end of the year, as advisory board members worried that reinstituting fares may be premature if COVID-19 surges in the fall.

September 19, 20202020-news newstelegram-com
Worcester proposes task force for city-owned broadband service

WORCESTER — Looking to address the digital divide that exists in the city, the City Council Urban Technologies, Innovation and Environment Committee Thursday night called for the establishment of a task force to look at the feasibility of implementing a municipally owned broadband network.

September 17, 20202020-news newstelegram-com
‘Offline’ students need in-school learning access

As the state’s public schools begin to open, many urban systems will do so entirely online. That can be problematic for many low-income students who don’t have internet access at home. Districts that will offer some degree of in-school instruction, like Lowell, have given those children with special needs and other specific learning needs priority for in-person classes.

September 15, 20202020-news newssentinel-enterprise
Schools seek municipal broadband; court weighs pandemic case

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — The state’s highest court heard arguments Friday in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of emergency powers used by Gov. Charlie Baker during the pandemic.

September 11, 20202020-news newsap-news
Worcester school panel seeks exploration of municipal broadband

WORCESTER — After the district had to scramble this summer to provide internet to families to support its remote learning model, a school panel on Thursday voted to ask city leaders to look into bringing municipal broadband to Worcester.

September 11, 20202020-news newstelegram-com
Worcester is leaving low-income students behind

THE COVID-19 CRISIS has thrown into relief the need for us to reassess the use of technology in education, public access to digital devices, and robust, reliable broadband as we make the shift from face-to-face to remote solutions for teaching and learning.

September 9, 20202020-news newscommonwealth-magazine
Worcester’s middle class is shrinking, report finds

Worcester’s middle class has shrunk in the past decade, with more households often finding themselves in or near poverty, according to a report by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau.

September 1, 20202020-news newsworcester-business-journal
Worcester continues negotiating with Spectrum for student internet ahead of school year start

A lack of reliable, consistent internet access has been an issue for many in Worcester for years, but the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, forcing employees and students to work and learn from home, has put a spotlight on the issue.

August 16, 20202020-news newsmasslive
Municipally run broadband network urged at Worcester forum

WORCESTER – A Worcester Regional Research Bureau forum examining the possibility of municipal broadband internet service began Thursday afternoon with participants testing their download speeds.

August 13, 20202020-news newstelegram-com
Downtown Worcester glass tower half full as $10M-$15M renovation underway

WORCESTER — The economy is in tatters.

August 2, 20202020-news newstelegram-com
Talk of the Commonwealth with Hank Stoltz – Worcester Municipal Broadband with Paul Matthews & Tom Quinn of the WRRB

Hank Stoltz discusses Worcester Municipal Broadband with Paul Matthews & Tom Quinn of the WRRB.

July 30, 20202020-news newstalk-of-the-commonwealth
Massachusetts school system best in the country according to WalletHub study

In a new study by WalletHub, Massachusetts ranked as having the best school systems in the country.

July 27, 20202020-news newsmasslive
As Worcester Public Schools weigh online-only versus hybrid education, teachers worry about health and equity

Chris Brennan, an English teacher at Worcester Technical High School, doesn’t want to rely on remote learning. It’s impersonal and difficult for the students, Brennan said. But, when thinking about his own health, remote learning may be the best option for the upcoming school year.

July 20, 20202020-news newsmasslive
Worcester Voter Registration Initiative aims to increase youth participation in municipal elections

The average voter age in the 2019 Worcester municipal election was 58.2 years old, according to a report from the Worcester Regional Research Bureau. If you find that number shockingly high (for a city with thousands of high school and college students,) you’re not alone.

July 13, 20202020-news newsmasslive
Worcester Municipal Broadband Could Boost Students, Economy: WRRB

WORCESTER, MA — Worcester should be a little more like neighboring Shrewsbury, at least when it comes to internet service.

July 9, 20202020-news newspatch
5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester – July 8, 2020

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau has released a new report on the state of internet access in the state.

July 8, 20202020-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
Nearly 1 in 5 Worcester households lack internet access

In some pockets of Worcester, including in areas off Shrewsbury Street and in Main South, roughly one third or more of households lack internet access, according to a report by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau.

July 8, 20202020-news newsworcester-business-journal
Worcester is urged to set up municipal broadband network

WORCESTER – Worcester should seriously consider establishing its own municipal broadband network that could lead to faster, more affordable, more equitably distributed internet access, the Research Bureau suggested in a new report released Tuesday.

July 7, 20202020-news newstelegram-com
Municipal broadband internet? New Worcester Regional Research Bureau report argues Worcester needs it

Is internet accessible in Worcester? Should broadband be in the hands of the private sector? These are questions wrestled with and answered in a new report from the Worcester Regional Research Bureau released Tuesday afternoon.

July 7, 20202020-news newsmasslive
Rep. Pressley, Sen. Markey Introduce Legislation to Fund Fare-Free Transit

Massachusetts Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and Senator Ed Markey today announced a new bill – the “Freedom to Move Act” – that would provide grant funding to help states and local transit agencies eliminate fares.

June 26, 20202020-news newsstreets-blog
WRTA’s future after COVID-19 crisis is uncertain

WORCESTER — Worcester Regional Transit Authority Administrator Dennis J. Lipka envisions a future with more dispensers of hand sanitizer, enhanced cleaning of buses, and a lot of uncertainty as the bus system tries to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

May 3, 20202020-news newstelegram-com
WRRB Update on today’s Executive Order from Governor Baker

Thank you for your support of The Research Bureau, and for the comprehensive community response in Greater Worcester to the COVID-19 crisis.

March 23, 20202020-news news
Update with COVID-19 Resources

We recognize that everyone in both the private and public sectors are taking unprecedented actions to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. To assist in these efforts, the Bureau has assembled some guidance and online links that could be helpful to raise awareness of responses by national, state, and municipal government.

March 18, 20202020-news news
Who is Voting and Not Voting (Yet) in Worcester with Paul Matthews & Tom Quinn

Who is Voting and Not Voting (Yet) in Worcester Municipal Elections? Well, Paul Matthews and Tom Quinn of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau dug deep into the numbers to find out.

March 11, 20202020-news news
‘Never been a better time’ for fare-free public transit in Worcester, Massachusetts Senate President Emerita Harriette Chandler says in letter of support

The benefits of providing regional transit authority services without charging a fare are clear but hard to quantify, Senate President Emerita Harriette Chandler said in a recent letter to the Worcester City Council.

March 10, 20202020-news newsmasslive
Worcesteria: Worcester wins on weed

PRIMARY BREAKDOWN: Woohoo! Worcester went for Bernie Sanders in the state Democratic Primary election last week. The rest of what we might consider the Worcester area, save for Northbridge (arguably Worcester area), did not. No, every town surrounding Worcester went for Joe Biden, despite his complete lack of ground game here and, seemingly, everywhere else.

March 10, 20202020-news newsworcester-magazine
5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester – March 6

In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

March 6, 20202020-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
Who’s deciding Worcester’s elections? New Worcester Regional Research Bureau report finds small portion of ‘supervoters’ determine city’s municipal elections

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau released a report Thursday morning analyzing the demographics of the electorate in Worcester municipal elections. According to the bureau, the report confirms preconceived notions of a lack of diversity in local voter turnout, and details new information including average ages, “supervoters,” voter housing, racial disparities and polling locations.

March 5, 20202020-news newsmasslive
A free route to economic opportunity

We hear “free this” and “free that” being bandied about by certain progressive Democratic presidential candidates, without ever mentioning who’ll pick up the tab for their government largesse.

March 4, 20202020-news newslowell-sun
Report Shows Downtown Worcester Occupancy Rates on Rise

WORCESTER – A new report by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau shows occupancy rates for downtown office space in Worcester are on the rise.

February 28, 20202020-news newsspectrum-news-1
What Could Happen If We Had Free Public Transit?

Public transit has often been hailed as a green way to lower your carbon footprint. When I lived in Atlanta back on 2007, the public system there, MARTA, capitalized on its name with the catchphrase “Marta is Smarta,” meaning that it is smarter to use public transit than it is to drive and be stuck in traffic.

February 28, 20202020-news newscleantechnica
Study suggests Worcester can attract businesses considering a move out of Boston through affordable office space

A recent study that examined office occupancy in downtown Worcester shows that the city continues to experience positive growth since the recession.

February 28, 20202020-news newsmasslive
Report: Downtown Worcester office space in demand

WORCESTER — Occupancy rates for downtown office space are on the rise, according to a report by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau.

February 27, 20202020-news newstelegram-com
Downtown Worcester office vacancy at 12%

A new report gives a rare picture into downtown Worcester’s office market.

February 27, 20202018-news newsworcester-business-journal
Fare-free bus idea gains traction in Worcester

WORCESTER – Advocates for a fare-free Worcester bus system filled the City Council chamber Monday night to make their case.

February 24, 20202020-news newstelegram-com
Free public transit? Lowell and Fitchburg watching Lawrence and Worcester

In an unusual move, the city of Lawrence announced in September it would pay the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority $225,000 from its free cash reserves to operate three bus routes free of charge to riders for the next two years.

February 24, 20202020-news newslowell-sun
Worcester Fare-Free Monday Movement Goes Public sanmori paniya

WORCESTER, MA — The movement to make Worcester Regional Transit Authority buses fare-free goes public on Monday as a City Council committee holds its first hearing on the idea. Activists acknowledge there’s plenty of work left to be done, but say they are looking forward to showing how much support the movement has.

February 24, 20202020-news newspatch
Here’s What Happens When Public Transit Is Free

Candria Gray and her two children live in Worcester, Massachusetts, where they rely on city buses to get nearly everywhere: college classes, elementary school, the pediatrician’s office. By 2017, when the Worcester Regional Transit Authority raised fares from $1.50 per ride to $1.75, Gray was spending as much as $12 a day on transit — a good chunk of her budget as a single mom. And the increased fare was not accompanied by improved service. 

February 22, 20202020-news newshuffpost
Fare-free WRTA buses not happening this year

WORCESTER — Worcester Regional Transit Authority officials say the system will not go fare-free this fiscal year.

February 20, 20202020-news newstelegram-com
5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester — Thursday, Feb. 20

In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

February 20, 20202020-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
MA: State East-West Rail project could deliver more economic growth for Worcester

WORCESTER – Advocates call it a “win-win-win,” an economic development tool and an “absolute game changer.”

February 17, 20202020-news news
State East-West Rail project could deliver more economic growth for Worcester

WORCESTER – Advocates call it a “win-win-win,” an economic development tool and an “absolute game changer.”

February 15, 20202020-news newstelegram-com
5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester — Friday, Feb. 7

In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

February 7, 20202020-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
As I See It: Worcester renaissance, a neighborhood perspective

We celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday. Like Dr. King, I too have a dream. Someday I want my neighborhood, and all neighborhoods in Worcester, to experience and be a part of the current “Worcester Renaissance.”

January 23, 20202020-news newstelegram-com
Should Public Transit Be Free? More Cities Say, Why Not?

LAWRENCE, Mass. — Dionisia Ramos gets on the 37 bus twice a day, rooting through her handbag to dig out the fare and drop it into the slot, so it came as shock several months ago when the bus driver reached out his hand to stop her.

January 14, 20202020-news newsnew-york-times
Scoring the Sidewalks: Worcester Research Bureau Updates ‘Walkability’ Factor

WORCESTER—The proof is in the pedestrian, as illustrated by a Lincoln Street “walk audit” conducted earlier this year by the Worcester Research Bureau.

January 10, 20202020-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
As I See It: Will making the WRTA fare-free solve Worcester’s transportation woes?

Would you be in favor of the WRTA going fare-free? That is the question asked by the Worcester Free Fare Task Force in August and September of 2019 and now being being proposed for public hearings by City Counsilor Gary Rosen (chair of the Public Service and Transportation Committee).

January 9, 20202020-news newstelegram-com
Public asked to grade neighborhood pedestrian safety in Worcester

WORCESTER – The Worcester Regional Research Bureau has taken steps to encourage the public to weigh in on the walkability of their neighborhoods.

January 9, 20202020-news newstelegram-com
Report says Worcester’s commitment to walkability could be stronger

A report released Thursday by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau says Worcester is trailing five other Central Massachusetts communities in its commitment to creating a walkable city.

January 9, 20202020-news newsworcester-business-journal
Worcester Considering Fare-Free Bus System

City leaders in Worcester, Massachusetts, plan to examine whether a free bus system could work in the community.

January 8, 20202020-news newsnecn
Worcester Considering Fare-Free Bus System

City leaders in Worcester, Massachusetts, plan to examine whether a free bus system could work in the community.

January 8, 20202020-news newsnbc-boston
City Hall Notebook: Hearings on free Worcester Regional Transit Authority bus rides could get jump-start

It’s been roughly eight months since the Worcester Regional Research Bureau broached the idea of a fare-free bus system for the Worcester Regional Transit Authority, but not much has happened at City Hall to follow up.

January 8, 20202020-news newstelegram-com
Free Buses In Worcester: Councilor Wants To Move On Idea

A Worcester Councilor wants to study making WRTA bus service fare-free, an idea that is gaining traction among transit activists in cities across the U.S. In Worcester, the idea has been talked about for months, and even has support from the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce.

January 6, 20202020-news newspatch
Worcester Regional Research Bureau releases its newest brief to encourage resident involvement in walkability issues

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau (WRRB), an independent Worcester headquartered nonprofit organization focused on regional public policy research, released a new Brief today on walkability in the Worcester area, accompanied by a scorecard intended to allow residents to measure the pedestrian-friendliness of their neighborhood.

January 4, 20202020-news news
C’mon and take a free ride: Kansas City busing move excites Worcester advocates

When leaders in Kansas City, Missouri, got rid of bus fares earlier this month, they made headlines across the country and the decision was roundly hailed as an innovative investment.

December 19, 20192019-news newsworcester-magazine
Massachusetts must be national leader on immigration

The history of our country has been shaped by immigrants, and Central Massachusetts is no exception.

December 9, 20192019-news newsworcester-business-journal
Chamber backs free bus service in Worcester

TUCKED INSIDE this week’s transportation funding proposal from the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce was an unusual request.

November 13, 20192019-news newscommonwealth-magazine
Solutions Abound

A March 2017 Worcester Regional Research Bureau report found setting city tax rates is often “not a fact-based policy decision.” Thereport calls for development of criteria and a strategic approach that would encourage the city council to put forth its own rate proposals.

November 1, 20192019-news newschamber-exchange
Central Mass. has received $1.7B in NIH funding since 2010

Behind Central Massachusetts biotechnology research taking place to improve brain tumor procedures and genome editing techniques, or better treat addiction or pancreatic cancer, there’s one common element without which the work would be impossible.

October 28, 20192019-news newsworcester-business-journal
WNT 10pm News – October 28th, 2019

Watch Video Here

October 28, 20192019-news newsworcester-news-tonight
Business, residential tax rate issue tops Worcester City Council debate

WORCESTER – With one week to go before the municipal election, the 13 at-large City Council candidates gathered at Mechanics Hall Monday night to debate a wide-range of issues facing the city.

October 28, 20192019-news newstelegram-com
Politics and the City: How many will vote, and how many care?

Nearly eight months after it officially began with the first availability of nomination papers, the 2019 municipal election season is heading into the home stretch.

October 26, 20192019-news newstelegram-com
WNT 10pm News — October 24th, 2019

Watch Video Here.

October 24, 20192019-news newsworcester-news-tonight
Watch: Worcester City Councilor Wally, challenger Honeycutt square off in District 5 debate

WORCESTER – The two candidates vying for the District 5 City Council seat squared off in a spirited 40-minute debate Thursday night that brought out sharp differences between them.

October 24, 20192019-news newstelegram-com
Watch: Worcester School Committee debate at Mechanics Hall

WORCESTER – Candidates running for School Committee clashed on their assessment of the superintendent’s job and the recent renewal of the district’s busing contract at a debate at Mechanics Hall Tuesday night.

October 23, 20192019-news newstelegram-com
WPS School Committee Debate — October 22nd, 2019

Watch Video Here.

October 22, 20192019-news newsworcester-news-tonight
Coveted younger demographic increasingly calling Worcester home

When Worcester has attracted new residents in the years since 2010, it’s very often been in one segment of the population: the 20- and 30-somethings often sought after for the energy and spending they bring to a community.

October 15, 20192019-news newsworcester-business-journal
NIH chief praises Worcester biotech ecosystem

WORCESTER – The director of the National Institutes of Health told the 34th annual meeting of the Research Bureau on Thursday he’s optimistic that biomedical breakthroughs in several areas are tantalizingly within reach.

October 10, 20192019-news newstelegram-com
Survey says people all aboard for free WRTA bus service

WORCESTER – A recent survey by a group pushing for free Worcester Regional Transit Authority bus service found 90 percent of respondents would support their cause and that free service would encourage more ridership.

October 8, 20192019-news newstelegram-com
Few policy differences among mayoral hopefuls

WORCESTER – The four candidates for mayor squared off in a fast-paced debate at Mechanics Hall Thursday night, and when all was said and done they ended up sharing more common ground on the issues than differences.

October 3, 20192019-news newstelegram-com
WNT 10pm News – October 3rd, 2019

Watch video here.

October 3, 20192019-news newsworcester-news-tonight
Politics and the City: Wanted – more to vote in city elections

It has often been said that all politics is local. But you would never know that in Worcester, or many other communities for that matter, where a vast majority of voters seem to have little interest, at most, about their elected local officials.

September 17, 20192019-news newstelegram-com
5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester – September 17, 2019

WORCESTER – In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, will explore five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

September 17, 20192019-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
The next generation of leadership

Back in March, we wrote in this space about how pending retirements among longtime CEOs and executive directors at more than a dozen key businesses and nonprofits like Edward M. Kennedy Health Center in Worcester, the YMCA of Central Mass., Main Street Bank in Marlborough and the Worcester Community Action Council were going to create a leadership vacuum in the region’s business community, especially with the loss of such significant institutional knowledge in such a short period.

September 16, 20192019-news newsworcester-business-journal
Lawrence eliminates fares on 3 bus routes

IN A BID TO BOOST public transit ridership, Lawrence on Monday started allowing residents to ride three downtown bus routes for free.

September 12, 20192019-news newscommonwealth-magazine
34th Annual Meeting

Attend the 34th Annual Meeting of The Research Bureau

September 12, 20192019-news news
Worcester Transit Agency Considers Fare-Free Buses

A Massachusetts public transit agency is considering a fare-free bus system.

August 20, 20192019-news newsnbc-boston
WRTA to consider fare-free bus system

WORCESTER – The Worcester Regional Transit Authority Advisory Board voted unanimously Thursday to conduct a fare analysis that includes consideration of a fare-free system.

August 18, 20192019-news newstelegram-com
Matthews announced as new executive director for Worcester Regional Research Bureau

Worcester – The Worcester Regional Research Bureau (WRRB) has announced that Paul F. Matthews, executive director of the 495/Metrowest Partnership, has been appointed to the position of executive director of the WRRB, following Timothy J. McGourthy, who left the Bureau in February to pursue a new role with the Baker-Polito Administration as Deputy Secretary for Housing and Economic Development.

August 12, 20192019-news newscommunity-advocate
5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester – August 8, 2019

WORCESTER – In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, will explore five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

August 8, 20192019-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
Matthews Named Executive Director of Research Bureau

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau (WRRB) announced that Paul Matthews has been named to the position of Executive Director.

August 7, 20192019-news newsgolocal-worcester
Paul Matthews of 495/MetroWest Partnership named to lead Worcester Regional Research Bureau

WORCESTER — Paul F. Matthews has been named the new director of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau, an independent public policy research group.

August 6, 20192019-news newsmetrowest-daily-news
Paul Matthews of 495/MetroWest Partnership named to lead Worcester Regional Research Bureau

WORCESTER — Paul F. Matthews has been named the new director of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau, an independent public policy research group.

August 6, 20192019-news newsmilford-daily-news
Worcester Regional Research Bureau Appoints Longtime 495/Metrowest Partnership Leader, Paul Matthews to the Position of Executive Director

Director of the 495/Metrowest Partnership, has been appointed to the position of Executive Director of the WRRB, following Timothy J. McGourthy, who left the Bureau in February to pursue a new role with the Baker-Polito Administration as Deputy Secretary for Housing and Economic Development.

August 6, 20192019-news news
Matthews of 495/MetroWest Partnership named to lead Worcester Regional Research Bureau

WORCESTER – Paul F. Matthews has been named the new director of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau, an independent public policy research group.

August 6, 20192019-news newstelegram-com
Research Bureau names Matthews new executive director

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau has named Paul Matthews as its new executive director, it announced late Monday.

August 6, 20192019-news newsworcester-business-journal
5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester – August 5, 2019

WORCESTER – In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, will explore five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

August 5, 20192019-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
Advocates push for free WRTA bus fares at forum

WORCESTER — Riders and advocates at a public forum Thursday were all in favor of a fare-free Worcester Regional Transit Authority, seeing the proposal as a way to increase ridership and get people out of cars and into buses.

August 3, 20192019-news newstelegram-com
Proposal for free WRTA service carries a $3M problem

WORCESTER — Riders loved the notion.

“I think that would be a great idea,” said Ashley Knittle when asked Wednesday about the Worcester Research Bureau’s recommendation to make the Worcester Regional Transit Authority fare-free in order to increase ridership.

July 27, 20192019-news newstelegram-com
WRTA future: Fare-free or new fee-collection system

WORCESTER — Are low fare revenues a sign that the Worcester Regional Transit Authority needs to go fare-free? Or do low fare revenues mean the bus system needs a new fare-collection system?

July 27, 20192019-news newstelegram-com
Worcesteria: Trash talk at City Hall

TRASH SHOWDOWN: Well the plastic-bags-for-recycling debacle finally came to a head at council this week. Many, many people came out in opposition, most notably a particularly articulate 13-year-old, who made the case for the contradiction of using single-use plastic bags for recycling while working to ban single-use plastic bags from Worcester stores.

July 25, 20192019-news newsworcester-magazine
Worcester School Committee notebook: Superintendent gives strategic plan progress report

Nearly a year after approving the district’s new long-term strategic plan, the School Committee on Thursday heard Superintendent Maureen Binienda’s first progress report on her administration’s efforts to meet the document’s biannual benchmarks.

July 19, 20192019-news newstelegram-com
Tom Quinn Featured on “Voice of Business”

June 21, 20192019-news newsvoice-of-business
MIT Study: High Fares Limit Low-Income Households’ Mobility

A team of MIT researchers today announced the results of a study that concluded that a discounted transit fare for low-income households could offer significant benefits to those households without necessarily contributing to peak-hour crowding in the MBTA system.

June 10, 20192019-news newsstreets-blog
Your Turn: Become Part of Worcester’s Transportation Planning Process

The transportation scene in Worcester is a dynamic one. There’s construction going on everywhere and new businesses sprouting up all over the place. Trains, planes, buses, taxis, private cars, bikes, scooters, wheelchairs, etc. are all moving people in and around our city. Transportation is the lifeblood of a city. We need to be involved in our transportation landscape and one of the best ways to do that is by being a part of the transportation planning process. Here are some of the recent activities in the world of transit to considered as we plan the city’s transportation future.

June 6, 20192019-news newsworcester-magazine
Tom Quinn, Research Associate at The Research Bureau, discusses the implications of a Fare-Free WRTA

Watch video here.

June 5, 20192019-news news
Report: Worcester Transit Agency Considering Going Fare-Free in Bid to Boost Ridership

In response to a recent report by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau, the head of the Worcester Regional Transit Agency said the agency is looking at going fare-free as it considers new fare collection technology.

June 5, 20192019-news newsbanker-tradesman
Worcester’s Transit Agency Considers Ditching the Farebox

A new study suggests the public benefits of dramatically increasing transit ridership would outweigh the costs of lost fare revenue.

June 3, 20192019-news newsstreets-blog
Can a fare-free bus system work in Worcester?

When the Worcester Regional Research Bureau dropped a report last week advocating for the Worcester Regional Transit Authority to move to a fare-free system, the idea seemed to take hold in the community.

May 30, 20192019-news newsworcester-magazine
MA: Worcester Councilor Gary Rosen: WRTA ‘possibly obsolete’

May 30–WORCESTER — The City Council has agreed to have one of its standing committees hold a public hearing on whether the Worcester Regional Transit Authority is serving the public transportation needs of residents.

May 30, 20192019-news news
Split vote on “possibly obsolete” WRTA comment shows transit divisions on Worcester City Council

City Councilor Gary Rosen is pushing for public hearings on whether or not the WRTA is, in his words, “possibly obsolete,” and whether the city should continue to fund it. He opened the conversation at City Council Tuesday night, but not without opposition.

May 29, 20192019-news newsworcester-magazine
Tom Quinn of the WRRB on a Fare-Free WRTA

Tom Quinn of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau talks with us about their report that came out just a week or so ago that talked about the implications of a fare-free WRTA.

May 29, 20192019-news newstalk-of-the-commonwealth
Worcester Councilor Gary Rosen: WRTA ‘possibly obsolete’

WORCESTER — The City Council has agreed to have one of its standing committees hold a public hearing on whether the Worcester Regional Transit Authority is serving the public transportation needs of residents.

May 29, 20192019-news newstelegram-com
5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester – May 23, 2019

WORCESTER – In our latest daily feature, will explore five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

May 23, 20192019-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
A new report looks into the possibility of removing fares on city buses

Gretchen LaRosa of Worcester News Tonight reports – A new report looks into the possibility of removing fares on city buses.

May 22, 20192019-news newsworcester-news-tonight
No fare: Research Bureau calls for free WRTA bus service

WORCESTER – They’ve crunched the numbers, looked at ridership trends, and examined the potential problems.

May 22, 20192019-news newstelegram-com
Research Bureau: Eliminating WRTA fares would increase ridership, efficiency

Most adults pay $1.75 per trip on Worcester Regional Transit Authority buses, but even that is too much of a disincentive to make use of the city’s only public transportation option, the Worcester Regional Research Bureau said in a new report.

May 22, 20192019-news newsworcester-business-journal
Going Nowhere: How to Fix the Painful Worcester-Boston Commute

If your daily commute takes you from Worcester to Boston and back again, you know how painful it can be. One bad crash on the Massachusetts Turnpike can back things up for miles.

May 9, 20192019-news newsnbc-boston
4 employees of Worcester and Douglas receive Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards

WORCESTER — The Worcester Regional Research Bureau sang the praises of four “unsung heroes of municipal government” Thursday at the 31st annual Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards night at Assumption College.

April 26, 20192019-news newstelegram-com
March Madness: City businesses, groups get in on the fun

Ah, March Madness. That time of year when even the most casual sports fan gets a little extra giddy-up in their step. We’re talking, of course, about the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. A time when employees hide their printed tournament brackets from the boss’s view and put off filing that report on deadline to instead do the important work of determining the ultimate national champion.

March 26, 20192019-news newsworcester-magazine
Worcester Regional Research Bureau Announces Recipients of Thomas Green Public Service Awards

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau has announced the recipients of the 2019 Thomas S. Green Public Service awards.

March 22, 20192019-news newsgolocal-worcester
Worcester Research Bureau Announces 2019 Public Service Award Winners

WORCESTER – On Wednesday, The Worcester Regional Research Bureau [WRRB] announced the four recipients of the 2019 Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards.

March 21, 20192019-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
Worcester, Douglas employees to receive Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards

The Worcester schools’ coordinator of buildings and grounds, two Worcester Public Works and Parks Department employees, and a foreman in the Douglas Highway Department are this year’s recipients of the Thomas S. Green Public Service Award, the Worcester Regional Research Bureau announced Wednesday.

March 20, 20192019-news newstelegram-com
Could ranked choice voting work in Worcester?

In Worcester, the argument we have a problem with our local elections is easy to make.

March 14, 20192019-news newsworcester-magazine
As I See It: The time for design review is now in Worcester

Want to explore some fun places on a weekend? Some destinations might collectively come to mind. Downtown Northampton, the North End of Boston, Newburyport on the Massachusetts coast and Portland, Maine, to name a few, are all examples of happening places that follow the four-part recipe urban theorist Jane Jacobs described for building vibrant neighborhoods.

February 26, 20192019-news newstelegram-com
Worcester gets ‘aggressive’ on affordable housing

WORCESTER — The affordable housing crisis plaguing many areas of the country as incomes fail to keep up with the cost of housing has not bypassed New England’s second largest city.

February 11, 20192019-news newstelegram-com
Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards Nomination Announcement

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau serves the public interest of Greater Worcester by conducting independent research and analysis of public policy issues to promote informed public debate and decision-making.

January 31, 20192019-news newsthomas-s-green-awards
Worcester Research Bureau names recipients of Municipal Leadership Award

WORCESTER – The Worcester Regional Research Bureau is pleased to announce that at its 33rd annual meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at the DCU Center, the Bureau awarded Philip R. and Gale Y. Morgan its Fairman C. Cowan Municipal Leadership Award.

December 19, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Fairman Cowan Municipal Leadership Award Presented to Morgans

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau announced it awarded Philip and Gale Morgan its Fairman Cowan Municipal Leadership Award.

December 13, 20182018-news newsgolocal-worcester
Babson president Kerry Healey tells Worcester Regional Research Bureau of the importance of women’s role

WORCESTER – From teaching resilience through failure to recommending a women-only business incubator, Babson College President and former Lt. Governor Kerry Healey offered a number of strategies to increase diversity and female representation in politics, academia and business during her keynote address Tuesday to the Worcester Regional Research Bureau.

December 11, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Editorial: Split tax rate not good for Worcester’s long-term health

Worcester city councilors don’t have to research ancient history to help them with their upcoming vote on tax reclassification.

December 9, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
MA: ‘Many opportunities’ seen to improve Worcester County transportation

Nov. 28–WORCESTER — Early bird specials on the Pike? Traffic signal prioritization for buses? Dogs traveling to chiropractor appointments in self-driving cars?

November 28, 20182018-news newsmass-transit
As I See It: Information expertise can make a ‘smart city’ work for all

Recently I filed an order at a City Council meeting requesting the city manager to identify strategies on how Worcester can better utilize data and technology to improve the delivery of city services in Worcester’s residential neighborhoods. This request derives from the manager’s recent decision to elevate Worcester’s chief information officer (CIO) to a position within his cabinet.

November 28, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Worcester Research Bureau promotes clear plastic bags for recycling

WORCESTER – The Worcester Regional Research Bureau is talking trash in its latest brief, praising a recent pilot program using clear plastic bags for disposing of recyclables and recommending the city investigate both stricter penalties for illegal dumping and a free trash drop-off site.

November 28, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
From better commuter rail service to self-driving cars, a look at the future of transportation in Worcester

Worcester’s accessibility made it a hub of commerce and innovation during the Industrial Revolution, with the north-south Blackstone Canal connecting the city to Providence, Rhode Island, and an east-west rail line to Boston.

November 27, 20182018-news newsmasslive
‘So many opportunities’ to improve Worcester County transportation, says Karyn Polito

WORCESTER — Early bird specials on the Pike? Traffic signal prioritization for buses? Dogs traveling to chiropractor appointments in self-driving cars?

November 27, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Worcester Trash Issues

Brittany Schaefer reports- A new report by the Research Bureau is looking at ways to tackle littering and dumping in Worcester.

November 27, 20182018-news newsworcester-news-tonight
Report: Stricter penalties, free drop-off part of solving Worcester’s trash problem

Worcester should not trash its Pay As You Throw trash collection model and, no, a return to the days of pigs eating the city’s garbage is probably not the way to go. Instead, as the city struggled to clean up its streets and sidewalks, and deal with illegal dumping, more stringent penalties for violators could help. A free trash drop-off site might also boost compliance.

November 26, 20182018-news newsworcester-magazine
Annual tax rate battle looms in Worcester

One of the most significant and most contentious actions the City Council takes every year is just around the corner, and while the city does not yet even have the information it needs to provide for debate, the battle lines are being drawn.

November 21, 20182018-news newsworcester-magazine
Five things you need to know today, and they’ve been lying to us all along

In a joint research effort published by the Worcester Business Journal, the WBJ and Worcester Regional Research Bureau report that immigrants are more likely than native citizens to start their own businesses and obtain bachelor’s degrees. They make up 36 percent of the business owners in Worcester, New England’s second-largest city.

November 20, 20182018-news newsboston-business-journal
Wall & Main: Immigrants keep helping local economy

There are so many ways that I disagree with Donald Trump. For example, he demonizes immigrants, and I think immigration is the bedrock of America.

November 19, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Worcesteria: On a positive note

CITY OF IMMIGRANTS: Love, love, love this research project by the Worcester Business Journal and Worcester Regional Research Bureau. Released earlier this week, the study shows foreign-born Worcester residents are more likely than native citizens to own businesses and have bachelors degrees.

November 15, 20182018-news newsworcester-magazine
Worcester Research Bureau Releases Immigration Report

The Worcester Research Bureau has released its latest report “The Immigrant Entrepreneur in Worcester.”

November 13, 20182018-news newsgolocal-worcester
Research Bureau: 36% of Worcester entrepreneurs are foreign-born

WORCESTER – About 36 percent of Worcester’s 2,050 entrepreneurs were born outside the United States, according to a new report from a local public policy research group.

November 12, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Helping immigrant businesses: Foreign-born entrepreneurs aren’t as familiar with their available resources

When the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and the city of Worcester held a focus group for immigrant businesses this summer, they found many foreign-born entrepreneurs weren’t as connected as they could be to resources and had a hard time navigating the agencies available to help them.

November 12, 20182018-news newsworcester-business-journal
Coming to Worcester: The city’s immigrant population has shifted in the last decade

For a century starting in the 1870s, immigrants moving into Worcester almost exclusively came from Europe and North America.

November 12, 20182018-news newsworcester-business-journal
Foreign-born residents have unusually large impact on Worcester’s economy

Emmanuel Larbi was 7 years old when his family immigrated from Ghana to Worcester in 2002, leaving behind a country with too few opportunities for families to live comfortable lives.

November 12, 20182018-news newsworcester-business-journal
Autonomous Cars in Worcester

Brittany Schaefer reports – Could self driving cars be the future? Researchers at WPI are looking at the possibilities and others are looking at the potential impact on Worcester.

November 6, 20182018-news newsworcester-news-tonight
Worcester on the road to driverless vehicles

WORCESTER — Fewer parking spaces and fewer cars per household. More demand for road maintenance, more congestion and more miles traveled per vehicle.

November 4, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Research Bureau Urges GPS Trackers on Worcester, Mass., Fleet Vehicles

(TNS) – The Worcester, Mass., Regional Research Bureau is recommending equipping city vehicles with GPS tracking capabilities, saying in its most recent report that this would save money, be better for the environment, and provide more oversight over employees, among other benefits.

November 1, 20182018-news newsgovernment-technology
GPS Tracking on City Vehicles

Chandler Walsh reports- The Worcester Regional Research Bureau is recommending GPS tracking devices on city vehicles.

November 1, 20182018-news newsworcester-news-tonight
Research Bureau urges GPS tracking for Worcester fleet

WORCESTER – The Worcester Regional Research Bureau is recommending equipping city vehicles with GPS tracking capabilities, saying in its most recent report that this would save money, be better for the environment, and provide more oversight over employees, among other benefits.

October 31, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Worcester gears up mass transportation, but long road lies ahead

WORCESTER – Twenty years ago, Union Station was vacant, its roof had collapsed and trees were growing in the grand, main concourse.

September 29, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Falling behind: Worcester median income drops nearly 6%

The median income for a Worcester household fell by nearly 6 percent last year, according to Census data released this month, appearing to show the city being left outside of broad economic gains felt by the rest of the county and state.

September 19, 20182018-news newsworcester-business-journal
Forum explores ways to foster, manage Worcester’s growth

WORCESTER – Imagine 20,000 more people living and around 7,000 more people working within a half-mile of Union Station. Imagine trains that run reliably and with the frequency of subways dropping off crowds to walk to a Worcester Red Sox game and a bite to eat in the Canal District. And imagine not having to commute to Boston on the Pike.

September 13, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
As I See It: Assessing the new Worcester stadium proposal

For nearly 150 years, America’s pastime has been Worcester’s pastime. Professional baseball’s first “perfect game” occurred on the Worcester Agricultural Fairgrounds back in 1880, when Worcester fielded one of only eight National League teams.

September 12, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Worcester School Committee approves new strategic plan for district

WORCESTER – After wrapping up a series of public discussions about the document that took place over the summer, the School Committee at its meeting Thursday unanimously voted to accept and begin implementing a new long-term strategic plan for the system.

September 6, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Wall & Main: Worcester Regional Research Bureau needs data before it backs WooSox project

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau, a 30-year-old organization that conducts public policy research and analysis, is not sure whether the benefits of bringing the Red Sox Triple A affiliate to Worcester will exceed its costs.

August 27, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Wall & Main: New noncompete law makes Massachusetts more startup-friendly

On Aug.10, Gov. Charlie Baker made history by signing an economic bill that changed the state’s noncompete law, which had blocked employees from going to work at competing firms or starting their own companies for a period of six months or more.

August 20, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Community Preservation Act won’t go on Worcester ballot this year

With city councilors not approving a request to automatically place it on the November election ballot, the group behind an effort to have Worcester join the Community Preservation Act has decided not to gather signatures and required to place the question on the ballot.

August 2, 20182018-news newsworcester-magazine
City Council votes against putting CPA on ballot in 5-6 split

Advocates hoping for the City Council’s help in getting the Community Preservation Act on the November ballot left the meeting Tuesday jilted and perhaps a little stunned as the measure died by a close split vote.

June 27, 20182018-news newsworcester-magazine
Worcester’s Overhyped Renaissance

Long caught in Boston’s shadow and for decades trying to forge a new reputation for itself, Worcester is eager to find reasons to tout its economic progress – even if it is just a new restaurant or construction project start.

June 25, 20182018-news newsworcester-business-journal
Effort to put Community Preservation Act on Worcester ballot meets resistance

WORCESTER – With the City Council set to decide Tuesday night whether to place the Community Preservation Act question on the November ballot, the proposal is receiving pushback in some quarters.

June 25, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Worcester School Committee receives proposed strategic plan

WORCESTER – Described by school officials as aspirational as well as challenging, the long-awaited next strategic plan for the district finally landed Thursday before the School Committee, which will now embark on long-term deliberations to determine whether and how to implement the document.

June 21, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Worcester school board takes careful approach to strategic plan

WORCESTER – After nearly a year of crafting the document, two city groups are poised to submit the district’s first long-term strategic plan in a quarter-century to a School Committee that, according to some members, may not be completely sure yet what to do with it.

May 16, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
“Buck Bus” – Video Trivia with the WRTA and Worcester Railers

The Worcester Railers HC teamed up with The Research Bureau and the Worcester Regional Transit Authority to bring you Buck Bus—a Worcester trivia game show played on the Worcester buses —in honor of Jane Week! Watch the 4-part video series now!

May 14, 20182018-news events newsbuck-bus collaboration transportation
Battling perceptions, Worcester may be moving from ‘gritty mill town’ to ‘up and coming’

In the 1980s, when The New York Times called Worcester a “gritty central Massachusetts mill town,” it wasn’t the first time – or the last – that the city’s image was slammed.

May 12, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Do all state offices need to be in Boston?

THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS is one of the largest commercial office tenants in the state, leasing just under 5 million square feet of space for employees throughout its various agencies and departments. Nearly 1.7 million square feet, approximately 35 percent of the state’s rental space, is in Boston, the region’s most expensive office market. Worcester, the next largest location of state offices, hosts 350,000 square feet – approximately 7 percent.

May 12, 20182018-news news
Worcester educators look to Springfield model as they refine ‘incubation hub’ proposal

WORCESTER – City school and community leaders last week heard a presentation by the architect of the Springfield schools’ Empowerment Zone, a unique initiative aimed at improving the district’s struggling schools.

May 11, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Efforts to keep college grads in Worcester paying off, local leaders say

WORCESTER – When this year’s local college graduates step across the podium to receive their degrees, they won’t just be saying goodbye to their alma mater – they’re also more than likely bidding farewell to Worcester.

May 5, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Worcester sets the stage for its next master plan

WORCESTER – From addressing LULUs – locally unwanted land uses – to providing pizza at meetings, a panel of city planners Thursday offered suggestions large and small as the city embarks on its first master planning process in three decades.

May 3, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Tuesdays With Tom: Buck Bus Episode 1

The Worcester Railers HC teamed up with the Worcester Regional Research Bureau and the WRTA to bring you Buck Bus — a Worcester trivia game show played on the Worcester buses —in honor of Jane Week! Here is Episode 1. Stay tuned for a new episode each day this week!

May 1, 20182018-news newsworcester-magazine
Making the bus cool again – City councilor starts conversation on bringing trolleys in Worcester

One of the benefits of adding new faces to the Worcester City Council can be an infusion of fresh perspectives for tackling existing issues, even – as in this case – a new idea that has a distinctly retro look. Retro, as we know, can be the next big thing. Take, for instance, the resurrection of vinyl records and the return of turntables. Or in this case, trolleys.

May 1, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Monfredo: Worcester Public Schools Moving Forward With Strategic Plan for Education

The Strategic Plan for education, two years in the making and twenty-five years since the last plan, was unveiled by the two organizations involved in its implementation… the Worcester Regional Research Bureau and the Worcester Education Collaborative. The final version of the plan must be approved by the School Committee when they receive the final report in June.

April 29, 20182018-news news
Walking tours, pop-up park and more: here’s what’s coming to Worcester for Jane Week April 30-May 6

Themed walking tours, a pop-up “parklet” and Worcester’s own version of “Cash Cab” are a few of the activities coming to the city during a week of urban planning-themed events.

April 22, 20182018-news newsmasslive
Editorial: For Worcester, why not the best in public education? Strategic plan comes at the right time for a rising city.

It’s taken nearly a year to complete a new strategic plan for the Worcester Public Schools, the first such plan in a quarter century. It was unveiled last week. And if approved by the school committee after a formal presentation expected in June, the hard work truly begins.

April 22, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Jane Week to Bring a Focus on Urban Planning to Worcester

Jane Week, a series of events focused on improving the city’s vibrancy and making it more livable, is coming back for a second year.

April 19, 20182018-news newsworcester-magazine
Long-term strategic plan unveiled for Worcester schools

WORCESTER – More than 25 years since the last one was adopted, city schools are finally on the brink of having a new long-term strategic plan. Two local organizations that have been developing the document released it Wednesday.

April 18, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Worcester wants Cannabis Control Commission in Union Station

Worcester may kill two birds with one stone as it is angling to offer up space in the underutilized Union Station to the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission.

April 6, 20182018-news newsworcester-business-journal
Five employees to receive Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards

WORCESTER – Five public employees have been named as recipients of the annual Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards.

March 30, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Last Call With Emilee Cocuzzo SGA president

Emilee Cocuzzo is the president of the Worcester Student Government Association, a student-led organization dedicated to crossing campus lines among the city’s 10 colleges and universities. Last November and December, Cocuzzo spearheaded the association’s partnership with the Worcester Regional Research Bureau in administering a 23-question survey to more than 500 local college students.

March 29, 20182018-news newsworcester-magazine
Strategic plan for Worcester schools nearing completion

WORCESTER – The group putting together the city schools’ next long-term strategic plan say the document should finally be ready for public view in a few weeks.

March 28, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Worcester forum examines ups, downs of minimum wage hike

It would give nearly 1 million Massachusetts workers a raise, including 41 percent of workers in Worcester. But while raising the minimum wage to $15 may sound like an easy thing to support, experts Tuesday morning cautioned that the issue has more complex repercussions.

March 27, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Should state offices move from Boston to Worcester?

Boston is home to both a range of state departments and some of the country’s most expensive office space.

March 21, 20182018-news newsworcester-business-journal
Worcester Regional Research Bureau Seeking Nominations for Thomas Green Public Service Awards

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau is seeking nominations for the Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards.

February 22, 20182018-news newsworcester-magazine
Clive McFarlane: Chief Lavoie’s motivation was fueled by deadly fire

As a kid growing up in the Tatnuck Square area of Worcester, Fire Chief Michael Lavoie never entertained the idea of becoming a firefighter. When it was time to put food on the table, he started a painting business and figured it would be his lifelong career.

February 16, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Survey: Worcester college students say city needs to improve

A new survey of 520 Worcester-area college students found city life for students needs some work.

January 29, 20182018-news newsworcester-business-journal
Worcester Student Government Associations Releases Results from Student Life Survey

WORCESTER – Late last week, The Worcester Student Government Association (WSGA) released the results of a survey on student life in Worcester.

January 29, 20182018-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
News and notes from Worcester Fire Department, St. Peter-Marian, the Research Bureau + more

The Worcester Fire Department received grants totaling $60,000 to pay for 02X Human Performance Training. The Leary Firefighters Foundation contributed $20,000 and AT&T, $40,000.

January 27, 20182018-news newsworcester-sun
Sina-cism: At a minimum, think about the economics of wages

Imagine that you are among the 2.7 percent of Americans who make exactly the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Would you like an increase in pay? Sure you would. Even minimum-wage workers in Massachusetts earning the state’s $11 per hour rate would likely answer the same way.

January 27, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Worcester’s Timothy McGourthy: state panel likely to look at ‘shared transit’

BOSTON — The Research Bureau Executive Director Timothy McGourthy has been named to a new state commission created to examine the future of transportation in the state, a future that Mr. McGourthy predicted would include “shared transit” such as public transportation and better urban planning and land-use planning.

January 27, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Survey shows college students like Worcester, but not exploring it

WORCESTER – A new survey of local college students conducted by the Worcester Student Government Association reveals that while a majority of students like the city, a lot of them aren’t getting to see much of it.

January 26, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Worcester Regional Research Bureau opens nominations for Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards

WORCESTER — The Worcester Regional Research Bureau has invited residents, business and civic leadership, government employees, and elected officials to submit nominations for the Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards.

January 24, 20182018-news newstelegram-com thomas-s-green-awards
New apartments in heart of Worcester rock rental market

WORCESTER — Ryan O’Connor approvingly noted the high ceilings, exposed brick, stainless-steel appliances and granite countertops of the loft off Shrewsbury Street. He also cited the geographic amenities: a walkable neighborhood with nearby restaurants and bars, and easy access to highways and Union Station.

January 20, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
$15 minimum wage would have significant Worcester impact

WORCESTER – Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would have a significant impact on Worcester, directly changing the pay of nearly one-third of all local wage earners, according to a local research organization.

January 19, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Report: $15 minimum wage impact 40% of Worcester workers

Raising the Massachusetts’ minimum wage to $15 per hour would hurt business and result in 40 percent of Worcester’s workforce getting a pay raise, according to a report released Thursday from the Worcester Regional Research Bureau.

January 18, 20182018-news newsworcester-business-journal
Worcester comeback seems for real

MARS IS THE LIMIT for robotics engineer Kevin Harrington. Harrington, 32, wants to build a machine that would harvest the sun, soil, and atmosphere of the Red Planet to produce food, building supplies, and robots for human colonies in the future. “Let’s say we want to go to Mars and we want to survive on Mars with no supply chain. What do we need?” he asked. “We need a machine that can take in the raw materials in the environment.”

January 9, 20182018-news newscommonwealth-magazine
Politics and the City: Attention turns to long-neglected issue: housing

Housing doesn’t receive the kind of attention from the Worcester City Council that it deserves.

January 6, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
Education: Simplifying the college application process

Applying to college can be challenging, to say the least. Many students begin to apply before entering their senior year, and while expectations are often high, having an educational path set to lead a student to the determination of their future career is a tall order all on its own. With college enrollment at an all-time high through the teens of the 2000s at record highs, applying is more important now than ever.

January 4, 20182018-news newsworcester-magazine
Another public forum set for strategic planning for Worcester schools

WORCESTER – The local organizations developing a new strategic plan for the city school system will hold an extra listening session later this month.

January 3, 20182018-news newstelegram-com
As I See It: Behind the education strategic plan and how it’s progressing

In the winter of 2016, the Worcester Education Collaborative and the Worcester Regional Research Bureau produced a report – the Urgency of Excellence – that provided an overview of the Worcester Public Schools. Recognizing the significant changes in the work of teaching and learning, the needs of students as they prepare for life in an increasingly interconnected and technological world, and the changing demographics of both our city and our public school students, the report called for the development of a strategic plan for the schools.

December 1, 20172017-news newstelegram-com
Tax Classification Hearing Set for Tuesday’s Council Meeting

WORCESTER – Fresh off the Thanksgiving holiday, the Worcester City Council will hold its tax classification hearing for the Fiscal Year 2018. This is an annual contentious topic as two local organizations have differing opinions on the matter.

November 27, 20172017-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
Remaking Worcester: Next year will be crucial for CitySquare

When Worcester set out to remake itself, the obstacles were great, but the optimism was greater.

November 25, 20172017-news newstelegram-com
Worcester City Council hopefuls face off ahead of next week’s vote

WORCESTER – Seven of the eight at-large City Council candidates appearing on next week’s municipal ballot were peppered with a wide array of questions for some two hours at a forum Monday night at Mechanics Hall.

October 30, 20172017-news newstelegram-com
Duffy created a roadmap for women in finance

A chief executive’s corner office has so long been dominated by men, it isn’t always a place where a woman can feel she belongs.

October 30, 20172017-news newsworcester-business-journal
Equitable treatment, cultural understanding stressed at forum for Worcester schools

WORCESTER – Ensuring equitable treatment and services for all students was the prevailing theme Thursday night as audience members gave input on the district’s next long-term strategic plan at a school forum at Worcester East Middle School.

October 26, 20172017-news newstelegram-com
Editorial: A mayoral debate about issues, not personalities

Without the personal attacks that characterized the mayor’s race two years ago, Joseph M. Petty and Kontantina B. Lukes engaged in a substantive mayoral debate on Tuesday night across a gamut of issues.

October 25, 20172017-news newstelegram-com
Lukes, Petty spar in Worcester mayoral debate

WORCESTER – The two mayoral candidates squared off in a debate at Mechanics Hall Monday night and predictably offered contrasting views about the state of the city and the direction it is heading.

October 23, 20172017-news newstelegram-com
City Council Candidates Spar Over Issues at Research Bureau Forum

WORCESTER – Six of the eight candidates campaigning for District City Council seats this election met at Mechanics Hall on Thursday night in the second of four candidate forums sponsored by the Worcester Research Bureau.

October 20, 20172017-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
District 5 candidates argue split tax rate at debate

The two candidates for District 5 City Council, Matt Wally and Paul Franco, have radically different ideas on what to do about the city’s split property tax rate.

October 20, 20172017-news newsworcester-magazine
Worcester City Council hopefuls spar in debate

WORCESTER – District 5 hopefuls Matthew Wally and Paul Franco sparred the most at a debate Thursday night for the City Council district races.

October 19, 20172017-news newstelegram-com
State education chief says Mass. must regain ‘urgency’

WORCESTER – Issuing a call for urgency in the face of complacency over the success of the state’s public education system, Massachusetts Secretary of Education James A. Peyser on Thursday outlined the state government’s efforts to improve career training, early childhood education quality, and other key areas.

October 12, 20172017-news newstelegram-com
Research Bureau Releases 2017 Foreclosure in Worcester Report

“Foreclosures can have a devastating effect on individuals and families, but properties slated for foreclosure, experiencing significant disinvestment and a lack of maintenance, also “present a danger to the safety and welfare of public safety officers, the public, occupants, abutters and neighborhoods and…constitute a public nuisance” (Worcester’s Vacant and Foreclosing Property Ordinance),” says the Research Bureau in its report.

October 5, 20172017-news newsgolocal-worcester
Worcester Research Bureau to Hold 32nd Annual Meeting at DCU Center

The Research Bureau is set to host their 32nd annual meeting focused on Building on a Strong Foundation.

October 5, 20172017-news newsgolocal-worcester
Worcester Regional to recognize former Shrewsbury town manager

SHREWSBURY — The Worcester Regional Research Bureau has announced that it will present Daniel J. Morgado, former town manager of Shrewsbury, with the Fairman C. Cowan Municipal Leadership Award at its 32nd annual meeting at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 12 at the DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester.

October 3, 20172017-news newswicked-local-shrewsbury
Seven School Committee Candidates Discuss School Safety, Diversity and Building Upgrades

WORCESTER – The seven candidates for School Committee participated in the candidates forum on Monday night at Mechanics Hall.

October 3, 20172017-news newsthis-week-in-worcester
Editorial: Decision 2017: Tonight’s School Committee debate

To have a great city you need a great school system, renewing the community as it educates new generations for careers and for roles as future leaders, and in attracting new residents and businesses drawn by the strength of its schools.

October 2, 20172017-news newstelegram-com
Worcester school board candidates stake out priorities

WORCESTER – With only one new challenger in the race for School Committee this year – and one overarching challenge facing the district – discussion was tempered Monday at a debate at Mechanics Hall.

October 2, 20172017-news newstelegram-com
Dan Morgado, retired Shrewsbury town manager, to receive Fairman Cowan Award

WORCESTER – Recently retired Shrewsbury Town Manager Daniel J. Morgado will be presented with the Fairman C. Cowan Municipal Leadership Award.

September 30, 20172017-news newstelegram-com
Mechanics Hall to host Worcester candidates debates next month

WORCESTER – Mechanics Hall will host a series of debates next month with candidates for Worcester municipal elections.

September 27, 20172017-news newstelegram-com
As Worcester development picks up steam, panel discusses urban design

WORCESTER – As large cranes and construction workers become a part of the downtown landscape, and optimism about the city’s future grows, a new question emerges.

September 26, 20172017-news newstelegram-com
The Research Bureau To Present Fairman C. Cowan Municipal Leadership Award to Daniel J. Morgado

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau is pleased to announce that it will present Daniel J. Morgado, former Town Manager of Shrewsbury, with the Fairman C. Cowan Municipal Leadership Award at its 32nd Annual Meeting on October 12, 2017 at 4:30p.m. at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA.

September 26, 20172017-news news
Politics and the City: Rating employees no simple test

Let’s be honest, job reviews are not among most people’s favorite job-related activities. City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. lightheartedly acknowledged as much a couple of weeks ago when the City Council gave him his annual performance evaluation.

July 16, 20172017-news newstelegram-com
As I See It: Worcester schools: A strategic advance

Worcester is embarking on a strategic planning initiative toward making the Worcester Public Schools one of the best urban systems in the country. While we do better than most urban systems in the state, there is much more that can be done to meet the needs of our students and the community.

June 25, 20172017-news newstelegram-com
New strategic plan in the works for Worcester schools

WORCESTER – Fulfilling a request made more than a year ago by elected school officials and local research and policy groups, Superintendent Maureen Binienda on Friday announced her administration will develop a strategic plan for the district over the remainder of the year.

June 16, 20172017-news newstelegram-com
Not much known about Worcester schools strategic plan

Worcester Public Schools Superintendent Maureen Binienda spoke Friday afternoon, June 16 about the new Strategic Planning Task Force to create the best schools in the state. The Rennie Center, based out of Boston, will be assisting the public schools during the six-month plan, helping gain research by working closely with the public schools.

June 16, 20172017-news newsworcester-magazine
Worcester schools to craft strategic plan

The Worcester Public Schools Strategic Planning Task Force will announce a strategic planning initiative Friday, June 16.

June 14, 20172017-news newsworcester-magazine
Editorial: Taxes: Who pays and how much?

Thoughtful, meaningful discussions on tax policy are rare.

This is understandable, of course. The global, post-industrial age has changed the economic circumstances of a wide swath of the middle class. Concurrently, over the past 30 years the narrative that broad-based tax cuts spur economic growth has gained wide adoption.

June 1, 20172017-news newsworcester-sun
Editorial: Tax rate game-changer – Bringing more informed decision making

While the Worcester City Council, at last, is beginning to address new revenue options in the Mayor’s Tax Policy Committee report, a report from the Worcester Regional Research Bureau last week offers a different sort of game-changer for navigating the painful annual process in determining the city’s property tax rates.

June 1, 20172017-news newstelegram-com
Worcester researchers outline dual-tax rate elimination

As a follow up to its 2016 analysis highlighting the negative impacts of Worcester’s dual-tax rate, the Worcester Regional Research Bureau on Tuesday outlined ways for the city council to transition into a single rate.

May 24, 20172017-news newsworcester-business-journal
BUS MA: Worcester City Manager Optimistic, but Says Transit Needs Work

May 10–WORCESTER — City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. delivered a wide-ranging State of the City address Wednesday evening that was replete with optimism, while acknowledging that the city is not without its share of problems.

May 11, 20172017-news newsmass-transit
Worcester city manager: ‘The state of our city is strong’

WORCESTER – City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. delivered a wide-ranging State of the City address Wednesday evening that was replete with optimism, while acknowledging that the city is not without its share of problems.

May 10, 20172017-news newstelegram-com
Urban renewal should embrace Worcester’s quirks, experts say

WORCESTER – Why is the city of Worcester considered second fiddle to Providence? Is the Heart of the Commonwealth suffering from an inferiority complex?

May 2, 20172017-news newstelegram-com
Worcester employees recognized for distinguished service

WORCESTER – The Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards are a chance, for one day at least, to thrust into the spotlight municipal employees who distinguish themselves in quieter ways.

April 26, 20172017-news newstelegram-com thomas-s-green-awards
Jane Week in Worcester events, presented by Jane Jacobs in the Woo

Jane Week gives Worcester residents and visitors a chance to connect with each other, explore Worcester by foot and participate in interesting discussions on how we can enhance the design and function of our city.

April 16, 20172017-news newsworcester-sun
Editorial: Summit seeks to improve Worcester graduation rates

Faced with a problem, it never hurts for educators, leaders, agencies and parents to put their heads together.

March 12, 20172017-news newsworcester-sun
Worcester’s unfunded employee benefits total $861M

The city of Worcester is behind by $861 million on what it owes retired city workers and is slated to owe current employees for health care and other benefits, according to a new report.

March 10, 20172017-news newsworcester-business-journal
Editorial: Pay now or pay later

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau recently released a report, “Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB): Holding Government Liable.”

March 8, 20172017-news newsworcester-sun
City Council preview – 3/7/17 meeting

Thinking of attending the March 7 City Council meeting at 7 p.m. at City Hall? Here’s a look at some of the more eye-catching items on the agenda. The full document is here. This week is a City Council Agenda.

March 6, 20172017-news newsworcester-magazine
Worcester’s retiree health costs ‘unsustainable’

WORCESTER – An independent research group is sounding an alarm about the city’s long-term liability for retiree health insurance, saying its current funding system is “unsustainable.”

March 6, 20172017-news newstelegram-com
Wall and Main: Can Worcester catch up with state, nation?

The Massachusetts economy grew faster than the nation’s in 2015, the most recent year for which statistics were available as of December. Unfortunately, Worcester’s growth lagged the state’s and the nation’s.

January 31, 20172017-news newstelegram-com
Worcester valedictorians discuss motivators, support, challenges

WORCESTER – Valedictorians from Worcester public schools provided some insight Monday into what it takes to become a top-performing student, as well as gave advice on what the school system could be doing better to help.

January 23, 20172017-news newstelegram-com
Homeowners win another Tom Quinn round in tax rate debate

The homeowners appear to be gaining power, as for the second year in a row, the City Council shifted responsibility for the city’s property tax fulfillment to businesses – this time with a wider margin of victory. The impact for everyone will be lessened, though, by a budget maneuver that will alter previously conservative projections from another revenue stream, saving the city’s taxpayers, collectively, nearly a half-million dollars this year.

December 22, 20162016-news newsworcester-magazine
Research Bureau focuses on risks of increasing revenue estimates

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau has weighed in on a budget maneuver that would save taxpayers money this year by increasing the optimism of revenue estimates, saying “past performance is not an indicator of future success” and urging caution when assuming local receipts will continue to remain high.

December 20, 20162016-news newsworcester-magazine
Clive McFarlane: Single tax-rate debate takes dual paths

Given the timbre of our politics during President Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House, it is not news to most of us that the communal spirit necessary for a democratically elected body to govern responsibly has been hijacked by selfishness and personal agendas.

December 16, 20162016-news newstelegram-com
Gaffney offers way out of annual tax classification boondoggle

Is Worcester’s business community in a tailspin, with companies abandoning the city in droves for greener pastures? Or is that something people only bring up once a year to try to get a better commercial tax rate? And do tax rates have to go up at all? All those questions and more were left unanswered by the City Council when they requested numbers for an alternate way to meet the city’s revenue needs and pushed a tax classification vote off by a week.

December 15, 20162016-news newsworcester-magazine
From the Right: Roberta Schaefer — Death to the dual tax rate

In 1984, the Commonwealth approved legislation allowing cities and towns to adopt different property tax rates for different classes of property: commercial/industrial/personal (CIP), residential, and open space. Worcester was one of the first communities to adopt this “local option.” Its effect over more than three decades, according to The Research Bureau’s latest report, has been that “business owners have subsidized Worcester’s residential taxpayers to the tune of more that $650 million.” Is this arrangement beneficial for Worcester?

December 13, 20162016-news newstelegram-com
Editorial: Mayor’s Tax Policy Committee Report — Money grab or smart policy?

Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty convened a 16-person committee in April 2015 to begin a conversation about municipal tax policy.

November 30, 20162016-news newsworcester-sun
Clive McFarlane: Worcester trying to balance tax options

The Worcester Research Bureau backs a single tax rate for the city’s commercial and residential properties. If you are looking to develop a business in the city, or to relocate one here, that proposed tax initiative should be appealing. That is the case the Research Bureau makes in a November report titled “Tax Classification: Passing the Buck$.”

November 23, 20162016-news newstelegram-com
Worcester’s split tax rate doesn’t add up

A few weeks before the Worcester City Council goes into its annual exercise of setting the property tax rates, the Worcester Regional Research Bureau released a report in mid-November detailing the pitfalls of the city’s split rates for residential and commercial payors, a system first introduced in 1984 as a response to Proposition 2 ½.
The report “Tax Classification: Passing the Buck$” makes a strong case for a single tax rate.

November 21, 20162016-news newsworcester-business-journal
As I See It: Ending the tug-of-war over property taxes

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau’s latest report, Tax Classification: Passing the Buck$ – Ending the Tug-of-War Among Worcester Taxpayers, explores the influence of property tax rates on Worcester’s residential, commercial, and industrial properties.

November 15, 20162016-news newstelegram-com
Letter: Make city an example of engaged citizenship.

Sometimes it’s tough to remain positive during election season. As a result, many Americans feel frustrated and, in some cases, think it’s easier to avoid getting involved and stay home on Election Day.

November 7, 20162016-news newstelegram-com
Clive McFarlane: Worcester needs plan to ensure excellence in all its schools

There is a difference between a high school principal getting the best she can out of the ninth-graders who walked through her doors and a superintendent making sure that the students who get to the ninth grade are accomplished enough to get the best out of their high school education.

October 19, 20162016-news newstelegram-com
EDITORIAL: The Worcester Compact – Challenges and opportunities for the Worcester Public Schools after “The First 100 Days”

At the conclusion of School Superintendent Maureen Binienda’s presentation Wednesday on “The First 100 Days” of her tenure, replete with tables and charts of events and statistics of where we are now and the road ahead, the superintendent began to read from a document, “A Compact for Public Education in Worcester.”

October 16, 20162016-news newstelegram-com
As I See It: The Worcester Plan — Education initiative for the city’s future

Worcester’s future success is directly related to the quality – and perceived quality – of its system of public education, as well as the belief that if we establish the best urban school system in America, success will be ensured. Quality public education stimulates economic opportunity, grows our tax base, improves the quality of life for all of our citizens, provides a highly educated next generation of Worcester citizens, and fulfills our most important obligation to our children.

October 9, 20162016-news newstelegram-com
Sununu talks ‘local politics,’ and Trump

WORCESTER – He’s a New Hampshire guy who came to national prominence as chief of staff in the George H.W. Bush White House and then as the co-host of CNN’s “Crossfire.” But former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu came south to Worcester Thursday night to discuss the adage “all politics is local” and found it to be a challenge.

October 6, 20162016-news newstelegram-com
Study suggests Worcester’s public parking needs a tune-up

WORCESTER – Worcester’s front and back door could use a new paint job, maybe even a new frame, according to a research report published by a Worcester nonprofit.

August 19, 20162016-news newstelegram-com
As I See It: Parking in Worcester – free and easy?

Somewhere between the extremes of the city of Worcester owning and operating all of its on- and off-street parking assets for the purpose of economic development and a full privatization of those assets which would maximize profitability, lies the city’s solution for Worcester in optimizing public assets. The Worcester Regional Research Bureau, in its recent study of Worcester parking assets chose the former, by adding yet another layer of government by recommending a politically-chosen Parking Commission and parking czar. This is the wrong recommendation.

August 3, 20162016-news newstelegram-com
Worcester parking rates will have to be raised to keep up with city’s Renaissance, research bureau says

A report released in June by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau urged the city to create a master-plan to revamp public parking.

August 1, 20162016-news newsmasslive
Politics and the City: Keep plans for downtown parking in gear

Contrary to popular public belief, there appears to be sufficient parking in downtown Worcester to meet its needs.

July 31, 20162016-news newstelegram-com
Worcester superintendent developing strategic plan for school district

WORCESTER – The School Department plans to raise funds of up to $100,000 to develop a strategic plan for the district.

July 19, 20162016-news newstelegram-com
Evaluating the price of parking in Worcester

Downtown Worcester is at a tipping point, where the city needs to be less concerned about incentivizing businesses, residents and visitors to the area and more concerned about providing a positive experience for those going downtown, said Timothy Murry, president and CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce.

July 18, 20162016-news newsworcester-business-journal
Worcester health initiative to serve African immigrants

WORCESTER – Sometimes acting globally sparks ideas that have an impact locally.

July 15, 20162016-news newstelegram-com
Research Bureau: Worcester needs parking division

A report released Thursday from the Worcester Regional Research Bureau recommends the city create an independent parking division and raise parking rates, so a dedicated staff can give the proper attention to the infrastructure, service and technology improvements necessary for parking to complement the city’s redevelopment plans.

July 1, 20162016-news newsworcester-business-journal
Research Bureau wants Worcester to make parking a priority with new department

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau is urging the city to create a dedicated Parking Division following the release of a report that concludes the available downtown parking’s “location, condition, and design limit its ability to support an aggressive economic development agenda,” and that its “position within City government—well down the hierarchical food chain—limits its ability to compete for attention and resources and adapt to new technologies that are improving the relationship between parking and cities globally.”

June 30, 20162016-news newsworcester-magazine
Worcester Research Bureau Raises Questions About Worcester’s Budget

The analysis by Worcester Research Bureau educates and raises warning flags over issues ranging from the percentage of the City’s property that is exempt because it is held by non-profits to the threat of unfunded liabilities — the long-term pension and healthcare costs tied to city workers.

June 29, 20162016-news newsgolocal-worcester
As I See It: Getting the best value for health care dollars

Since the Education Reform Act of 1993, public school funding has been determined by the Commonwealth’s Foundation Budget, a formula intended to ensure that every school has adequate levels of funding from both state and local governments to ensure universal access to quality public education. In the two decades since its formation, the Foundation Budget formula has considered the number of students, the characteristics of the student body, the characteristics of the community, and the costs of education to establish minimum local and state contributions.

May 11, 20162016-news newstelegram-com
Aaron Nicodemus: Public-fund loan pool could incentivize historic renovations into housing

Full and original article posted on A major developer of mixed-income housing told a forum at the DCU Center last week that it cannot rehabilitate old buildings in Gateway Cities like Worcester without public funds. Gilbert J. Winn, chief executive officer of Boston-based WinnCompanies, discussed his company’s Worcester projects at the forum hosted by The Research Bureau Wednesday. The company has successfully converted the former Chevalier Furniture building on Water Street into the Canal Lofts and the former Worcester Voke-Tech High School in Lincoln Square into the Voke Lofts. Both projects received millions of dollars in public funds as part of their construction. Mr. Winn said the projects were success stories for WinnCo., in that the market-rate apartments have significantly increased in value, even in the short amount of time since they were built. Market rate apartments at the Canal Lofts go for $1,500 a month, he said, while the Voke Lofts has market-rate apartments that fetch $2,000 to $2,500 per month. Click here to read full …

May 9, 20162016-news newstelegram-com
5 municipal employees honored with Green Awards

WORCESTER – Five municipal employees were honored Thursday night at Assumption College with Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards.

April 14, 20162016-news newstelegram-com
Peter S. Cohan: Is Worcester unhappy?

A recent report by 24/7 Wall St. LLC concluded that the metro Worcester area is one of the unhappiest places in America.

April 10, 20162016-news newstelegram-com
Panel debates in Worcester: Smarter spending or more money for schools?

WORCESTER – State Education Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester said at the start of his speech Wednesday on school funding that he would be provocative, and he apparently succeeded, stating that more attention needs to be paid to how schools are spending money, not just how much they spend.

April 6, 20162016-news newstelegram-com
Worcester Airport presents a path for future progress

I WAS disappointed to read Megan Woolhouse’s article “Still waiting for business to take off.”Worcester Regional Airport, known by its call letters as ORH, is a critical element of Central Massachusetts’ transportation tripod of road, rail, and air.

March 17, 20162016-news newsboston-globe
Worcester School Committee member John Foley says opportunity missed during new superintendent search

WORCESTER – The city missed an opportunity to engage the community during the selection of a new Worcester Public Schools superintendent and also lost out by limiting the candidate search to internal applicants only, School Committee member John Foley said Monday.

March 14, 20162016-news newsmasslive
Protected reservoirs Worcester’s first line of defense against drinking water contamination

WORCESTER – When it comes to drinking water, Worcester and other New England cities have an edge that helps keep the resource clean and clear, according to local and federal officials: Good sources.

March 1, 20162016-news newstelegram-com
Worcester needs to unlock airport potential

The largest single transportation facility in Worcester, and arguably that with the most potential, Worcester Regional Airport (airport code ORH) is a critical element in Greater Worcester’s transportation tripod of road, rail, and air.

February 29, 20162016-news newsworcester-business-journal
Worcester Schools – Can They Be Fixed?

Worcester Schools have been under criticism for a range of shortfalls including in school crime, poor test score, and lack of leadership.

Now, the Worcester Research Bureau has published a major report calling for immediate action to improve the Worcester Schools — titled, “The Urgency of Excellence.”

January 15, 20162016-news newsgolocal-worcester
A Vision for Worcester Public Schools

The members of the new School Committee were sworn in on Jan. 4 and have their first meeting scheduled for Jan. 21 (­committee/meeting­dates).

January 13, 20162016-news newsworcester-sun
Research Bureau, education group to release report on Worcester’s superintendent search

WORCESTER – The Worcester Regional Research Bureau and Worcester Education Collaborative are scheduled to present on Wednesday a joint report on the district’s upcoming superintendent search.

January 13, 20162016-news newstelegram-com
Expert panel recommends Worcester build consensus for superintendent search

WORCESTER – Members of an expert panel on Wednesday suggested the city’s upcoming superintendent search should be preceded by a thorough investigation of what residents want from the district and its new leader.

January 13, 20162016-news newstelegram-com
Researchers say Syrian refugees depend on cellphones

WORCESTER – Shelter, clean water and food: These are the familiar necessities for those fleeing chaos in Syria.

December 9, 20152015 newstelegram-com
Clive McFarlane: Affordable housing gains in Worcester hurt by neighboring towns

Earlier this week, the Worcester Regional Research Bureau published a brief indicating that only 46 of 351 Massachusetts communities have achieved a state guideline (Chapter 40B) requiring at least 10 percent of their housing to be qualified as affordable.

November 30, 20152015 newstelegram-com
As I See It: Superintendent search, stakes, vision

With the announcement of Superintendent Melinda J. Boone’s departure, education in Worcester is at an important juncture, one that offers an opportunity to consider the state of our schools and what we must do as a community to ensure the best possible education for our young people.

November 24, 20152015 newstelegram-com
Young leaders program touted at Worcester Business Expo at DCU Center

WORCESTER – When it comes to good business leadership, mentoring, collaboration and networking are key watchwords to draw upon.

November 5, 20152015 newstelegram-com
Worcester City Council candidates stake out positions on development, education, safety

WORCESTER – Candidates in City Council district races at Mechanics Hall Monday night acknowledged similar views on some issues and carved out differences on other issues going into the final weeks before the Nov. 3 election.

October 19, 20152015 newstelegram-com
Councilor floats idea of Neighborhood Councils

Earlier this year the Worcester Regional Research Bureau recommended a pilot program to establish Neighborhood Councils to boost city’s abysmal voter turnout and encourage civic engagement.

October 8, 20152015 newsworcester-magazine
At Research Bureau meeting, Patriots president Jonathan Kraft flaunts Worcester cred

WORCESTER – He didn’t grow up here, but as the grandson of Jacob and Frances Hiatt, Jonathan Kraft visited often, and dropped some serious old-school Worcester on the audience at the Worcester Regional Research Bureau’s 30th annual meeting Thursday at the DCU Center.

October 8, 20152015 newstelegram-com
At-large debate 10/5/15

2 minute opening from each candidate. There will be 90 seconds to answer per question, 60 seconds for four candidates to respond, 30 seconds for original candidate to rebut.

October 5, 20152015 newsworcester-magazine
Councilor Gary Rosen says Worcester is overdue to create neighborhood councils

WORCESTER – Though Worcester’s Home Rule Charter – the blueprint for how the municipal government functions – has been in place for almost 30 years, one provision has yet to be implemented after all these years.

It is Article 8, which provides for the establishment of Neighborhood Area Councils.

October 5, 20152015 newstelegram-com
Worcester council candidates debate in snippets

WORCESTER – What was billed as a debate was more like a Twitter feed.

Twelve at-large City Council hopefuls sharing a long table at a candidates’ forum at Mechanics Hall on Monday night alternated on 90-second answers, 60-second responses and 30-second rebuttals in a format that lent itself to snippet-like replies but offered little room for substantive give and take.

October 5, 20152015 newstelegram-com
Mayoral Candidates Focus on Worcester’s Challenges and Priorities

On Monday night, the three candidates running for Mayor of Worcester took part in a forum at Mechanics Hall to discuss the city’s safety issues, concerns and economic priorities.

September 29, 20152015 newsgolocal-worcester
Worcester mayoral candidates square off in first debate

WORCESTER – For two hours, three mayoral candidates were peppered with 15 questions Monday night, covering a variety of topics related to the city government and the public schools, including public safety, community race relations, taxes, the role of the mayor and even local civic engagement.

September 28, 20152015 newstelegram-com
Mayoral Debate 9/28/15

There will be 15 questions total, 5 to each candidate, based on drawing names from a hat, with comment opportunities on each question.

September 28, 20152015 newsworcester-magazine
Worcester School Committee candidate wants ‘swift action’ from superintendent

Believing school safety has become a giant concern, Nick D’Andrea, a first-time candidate for School Committee, has launched a petition demanding swift action from Worcester Public Schools Superintendent Melinda Boone.

September 21, 20152015 newsworcester-magazine
Worcester School Committee candidates debate in Mechanics Hall

WORCESTER – The forum Monday night for the 10 School Committee candidates seemed at times like a “speed round” game show segment, but the six incumbents and four challengers on the Nov. 3 ballot still managed to draw some clear distinctions.

September 21, 20152015 newstelegram-com
Big party for downtown

WORCESTER – City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. looked down Front Street from the sidelines of the City Hall vs. local media kickball game Friday afternoon and ticked off the list of planned projects either planned or underway in the neighborhood.

July 24, 20152015 newstelegram-com
Worcester talks on race confront economic struggles

WORCESTER – Notions as to why some people of color struggle economically in Worcester abounded Monday at the latest federally facilitated dialogue on race, with solutions somewhat more elusive.

June 29, 20152015 newstelegram-com
Business leaders: Worcester ‘exciting city’ despite tight regulations

Greater Worcester is a good place for businesses to operate, but a looser regulatory environment could make the region even better, especially in the face of an increasingly competitive global marketplace, according to four business leaders who engaged in a panel discussion Wednesday morning.

June 17, 20152015 newsworcester-business-journal
Business leaders laud Worcester, stress continued development

WORCESTER – If Worcester is to continue to inch out of Boston’s shadow, it will need to keep easing restrictions on businesses and more fully develop into an urban center, top local executives said at a panel Wednesday morning.

June 17, 20152015 newstelegram-com
Multinational companies get involved in Worcester community

WORCESTER – Representatives from some of the region’s largest multinational businesses today listed the ways the companies and their employees get involved in Worcester, ranging from refinishing floors for nonprofits to funding scholarships.

June 9, 20152015 newstelegram-com
20 ideas for a better, more inclusive government in Worcester

WORCESTER — Almost half of Worcester’s 181,000 residents are registered to vote. But 86 percent of those residents chose not to take part in the most recent municipal election. For those who do vote, options are limited.

June 2, 20152015 newsmasslive
Representative government is focus of race discussions in Worcester

WORCESTER – What would a truly representative city government look like?

That question and other springboards of discussion got people talking Monday at the second of seven planned community discussions on race being held in the city through July.

June 1, 20152015 newstelegram-com
March Municipal Madness debuts in Worcester

As elite college basketball teams were vying for a national championship early this spring, the Worcester Regional Research Bureau put its own spin on March Madness: policy ideas competing against each other.

May 1, 20152015 newsmassachusetts-municipal-association
Are Minorities Finally Becoming a Political Force in Worcester?

Nine of the 10 members of Worcester’s City Council are white. Five of the six School Committee members are white. Looking at the list of possible candidates for the city council, six minorities are running for District seats and five are running for an At-Large seat. However, only two minorities are running for a school committee position.

April 29, 20152015 newsgolocal-worcester
Real-world research

Worcester has long exhibited an apparent paradox — given how many college students are here, why doesn’t it feel like a typical “college town”?

April 29, 20152015 newstelegram-com
Worcester faces mounting retiree pension and health costs

WORCESTER — The city has been wrestling the past few years with an issue often referred to as “the elephant in the room” at City Hall, namely, Other Post-Employment Benefits, also known as OPEB.

April 27, 20152015 newstelegram-com
Nick Kotsopoulos: Neighborhood council idea refloated to spur civic involvement

When it comes to public participation in Worcester’s municipal government, the numbers certainly leave a lot to be desired. In fact, they are downright poor.

April 25, 20152015 newstelegram-com
Research Bureau Reveals Worcester Owes $727 Million in Benefit Liabilities

On Thursday, the Worcester Research Bureau released a report Bureau Brief – Worcester’s Unfunded OPEB Liability that revealed the city of Worcester owes $727 million in unfunded post-employment benefit (OPEB) liabilities.

April 24, 20152015 newsgolocal-worcester
Research Bureau’s OPEB report predicts grim future

Worcester’s unfunded Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) liability is more than $727 million, which is common knowledge among city residents who don’t mind sitting through sometimes boring finance discussions, such as the one in last week’s City Council meeting. A Worcester Regional Research Bureau (WRRB) report released today supports a more proactive approach to dealing with the liability, predicting a $2.1 billion liability 30 years from now if the current method of payment continues.

April 23, 20152015 newsworcester-magazine
City Hall Notebook

When President Barack Obama spoke at the Worcester Technical High School graduation last June, he encourage the graduating seniors to engage and participate in government at all levels.

April 23, 20152015 newstelegram-com
Worcester’s less than optimistic civic engagement

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau (WRRB) has issued its “Don’t Boo. Just Remember to Vote.” Civic Engagement in the City of Worcester report today and civic engagements levels are abysmal.

April 21, 20152015 newsworcester-magazine
After officer arrest, Councilor Lukes suggests police oversight panel

WORCESTER— A city councilor is resurrecting the idea of a civilian police review board in the wake of a police officer’s arrest last week in which he was accused of assaulting a 48-year-old man in the cell room at police headquarters.

April 14, 20152015 newstelegram-com
Q&A with Timothy J. McGourthy, Executive Director, Worcester Regional Research Bureau

After several years in key roles in city government in Boston, and then Worcester, Tim McGourthy is in his second year of a position that seeks to influence government. After leading Worcester’s economic development office, he moved over to the Worcester Regional Research Bureau last year, succeeding the retired Roberta Schaefer as the organization’s leader.

April 13, 20152015 newsworcester-business-journal
Worcester panel tackles role of media in civic life

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau held a “Role of the Media in Civic Life” panel discussion at Holy Cross Tuesday, April 7 featuring several figures from the Central Mass news media, and while the topic focused on the media’s civic responsibility, other hot topics, including diversity in the news community, the future of print journalism, balance in local media coverage and the use of social media all were raised.

April 9, 20152015 newsworcester-magazine
At Holy Cross, panel tackles role of media in the community

WORCESTER – It was the media’s turn to answer questions Tuesday at the College of the Holy Cross, as a panel of news professionals discussed diversity, social media and the changing nature of the business at a forum moderated by Northeastern University Professor Dan Kennedy.

April 7, 20152015 newstelegram-com
Five municipal employees receive Thomas S. Green Awards

Five municipal employees were honored Wednesday night with Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards at Assumption College.

The awards are given annually by The Research Bureau for outstanding contributions to public service.

March 25, 20152015 newstelegram-com thomas-s-green-awards
Video gamers at the controls — of reality

Are we real, or are we “sims,” simulations living in a computer game?

Intellectually piggybacking on a perplexing concept surmised by Nick Bostrom, the director of the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford, Paul D. Cotnoir, Becker College’s director of design programs, said he feels humanity will keep its humanity, no matter how technologically advanced computer games become.

March 19, 20152015 newstelegram-com
What would you do if Mayor for the day?

Welcome to March Municipal Madness – a chance to pit your favorite local priority against all the rest!

Worcester’s current median residential tax bill is $3,454, while the median commercial tax bill is $8,716. For that price, the city’s taxpayers are purchasing an impressive array of services. Yet not all are happy – taxpayers rightfully make new demands on government and regularly call for more and better services. With limited resources, government leaders must determine a system to identify valuable new policies and initiatives, and weigh those new approaches against existing municipal demands.

March 16, 20152015 news
Ready for a little ‘madness’? Bracketing Worcester’s priorities

Worcester’s current median residential tax bill is $3,454, while the median commercial tax bill is $8,716. For that price, the city’s taxpayers are purchasing an impressive array of services, including:
• Universally accessible elementary and secondary education;
• Maintenance of nearly 450 miles of free roads supported by approximately 700 miles of public sidewalk;
• A safety network that provides police protection and fire response;

March 16, 20152015 newsworcester-business-journal
Anna Maria faculty address domestic violence in the area

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau held the second of its year long Fairman Cowan Collegiate Lecture Series this evening at Anna Maria College, with a focus on the far-reaching effects of domestic violence to local and regional communities.

The panel speakers on hand were Anna Maria faculty members Dr. Allen Brown, Dr. Dianne White and Professor Michael Donnelly.

February 24, 20152015 newsworcester-magazine
Intellectual capital

It would be easy to give in to the weather and to conclude that Worcester is a bleak winter wasteland with nothing going on but the sounds of snow-removal operations that will last for what feels like 30 more years.

February 20, 20152015 newstelegram-com
Assumption hosts Worcester Economic Index lecture

Professor Tom White reviewed his “Worcester Economic Index,” which has been in development since the summer of 2012, this evening at Assumption College as the first of a year long series called the Fairman Cowan Collegiate Lecture Series.

February 17, 20152015 newsworcester-magazine
Fairman Cowan lecture on domestic violence to be given at Anna Maria

PAXTON — On Feb. 24, join the Worcester Regional Research Bureau and Anna Maria College for the second Fairman Cowan Collegiate Lecture, which will highlight national, regional and local concerns regarding domestic violence and recent efforts to help victims in the Commonwealth and beyond.

February 16, 20152015 newstelegram-com
2015 recipients of the Thomas S. Green Public Service Award

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau today announced the 2015 recipients of the Thomas S. Green Public Service Award

February 16, 20152015 news thomas-s-green-awardsthomas-s-green-awards
Facts, figures abound in Worcester’s very own 2015 almanac

Enough already with all the snow and cold.

Enough with all the talk at Worcester City Hall about plowing streets and shoveling sidewalks — topics that have dominated recent City Council meetings.

February 15, 20152015 newstelegram-com
Worcester group names public service award winners

WORCESTER — The Worcester Regional Research Bureau has announced the 2015 recipients of the Thomas S. Green Public Service Award, which are given each year to public employees who have made outstanding contributions to public service.

February 15, 20152015 newstelegram-com
Worcester Research Bureau Releases Worcester Almanac 2015

The Research Bureau has released the Worcester Almanac: 2015. the Bureau’s inaugural effort to capture key data points about the city and region.

February 13, 20152015 newsgolocal-worcester
Research Bureau launches Worcester Almanac

WORCESTER — The Worcester Regional Research Bureau has released its inaugural edition of the “Worcester Almanac: 2015,” a new publication the organization calls “a compendium of useful information about the city and the region.”

February 13, 20152015 newstelegram-com
Common Core demands more

The Telegram & Gazette editorial board may have more questions after the Worcester Regional Research Bureau’s recent forum on Common Core featuring Superintendent Melinda Boone, Commissioner Mitchell Chester, Professor Richard Bisk and English Language Arts Curriculum Liaison Phyllis Goldstein (“Disconnected rhetoric,” editorial, Dec. 15, Telegram & Gazette), but the answers shine more light on local flexibility of the standards.

January 7, 20152015 newstelegram-com
Disconnected rhetoric

Few issues stir up a good debate as readily as education, and the sharpest debates are over money and curriculum. But while those with rival educational philosophies often cross swords, we wonder how often they communicate.

December 15, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Common Core concerns: Educators in Worcester dispel myths about national standards

WORCESTER — The Common Core State Standards dictate curricula, the study of literature is being phased out and students are being taught a new kind of math.

December 9, 20142014 newstelegram-com
The budget conversation

Yesterday’s forum on funding public education in Worcester — the second of a two-part collaboration between The Research Bureau and the Worcester Education Collaborative — didn’t achieve any financial breakthroughs or offer dazzling new education insights, but it did feature a welcome tone of cooperation between city and school officials.

December 4, 20142014 newstelegram-com
City, school budget-makers learn to speak each other’s language

WORCESTER — It started out with an acknowledgment that things had been less than “harmonious” in the past between city government and the public schools; it ended with a plan to move forward together.

December 4, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Panel to Discuss Education Funds and Needs of Worcester’s Students

On Wednesday, the Worcester Regional Research Bureau and the Worcester Education Collaborative will hold it’s second panel installment of ‘Funding Public Education.’ Wednesday’s panel, titled ‘Part II: Balancing the Needs of the Schools and the Needs of the City,’ will address the challenge of prioritizing funds among educational and other municipal operations.

December 2, 20142014 newsgolocal-worcester
A long overdue conversation

While it is common knowledge that the city’s demographics are changing, the change is more starkly represented in its schools, where the nonwhite population has increased by nearly 50 percent in the past two decades.

December 1, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Common Core article on target

Leicester School Committee member Tyler Keenan is right on target (“Depoliticizing Common Core,” ‘As I See It,’ Telegram & Gazette, Nov. 13) advising parents to listen to the opinions of teachers and school leaders who are on the front lines of Common Core standards implementation, rather than to those who argue about politics and ideology.

November 23, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Ebola experts in Worcester call for truth in reporting, better understanding of disease

A doctor who contracted and survived the Ebola virus. Another doctor well-versed in dealing with infectious disease. A man whose native country of Liberia has been ravaged by the virus.

November 21, 20142014 newsworcester-magazine
Panel aims to debunk Ebola myths with facts

WORCESTER — Accurate, balanced information may be the best medicine against Ebola hysteria, a panel of medical and cultural experts hosted by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau told a public audience Thursday.

November 21, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Discussion about town-gown symbiosis held at Worcester Academy

WORCESTER — There’s no “right” way to do collaboration, but one thing is clear: It’s a necessary and rewarding endeavor.

November 19, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Worcester panel aims to shed light on Ebola

WORCESTER — City leaders say there is a lot of confusion and concern about Ebola, particularly its potential impact if a case were to be confirmed locally. They want the community to know the facts.

November 16, 20142014 newstelegram-com
How do you make them stay in Central Mass.?

Central Massachusetts stakeholders are taking a hard look at how to woo more new graduates to stay awhile after they graduate from Worcester-area colleges and universities.

November 10, 20142014 newsworcester-business-journal
Worcester voter turnout is lagging

What do Boston, Cambridge, Lowell, Lawrence, Newton, Taunton, Quincy, Somerville, Revere, Lynn and Pittsfield all have in common?

November 9, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Worcester Research Bureau Looks At City’s Changing Demographics

Worcester is a city that is constantly changing, especially from a demographic and cultural perspective.

November 7, 20142014 newsgolocal-worcester
The full cost of education

Each year, the city of Worcester and the Worcester Public Schools come together to balance educational and other municipal needs with available funding. While minimum education spending is established by state law, the local debate focuses on the full cost of a large urban school system and the amount by which the city supplements required public school funding.

November 4, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Worcester winning

Worcester has a problem, and it’s one we’re glad to see: How to build upon the considerable successes the city has enjoyed over the last decade and more?

November 1, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Why don’t Worcester’s college grads want to stay here?

WORCESTER — The Worcester Regional Research Bureau has found that keeping college graduates in the city remains a problem.

November 1, 20142014 newstelegram-com
To keep more talent, panel calls for stronger ties between Worcester, college students

Greater Worcester is home to 12 colleges and universities that graduated 7,500 students in 2014. But for most, their time in Worcester is short lived.

October 31, 20142014 newsworcester-business-journal
Avoiding brain drain: Worcester panel seeks strategies for retaining graduates

WORCESTER – Keeping students in Worcester after they graduate from the city’s many colleges is a challenge that needs to be addressed on many fronts.

October 30, 20142014 newsmasslive
Worcester ponders how to keep college grads from leaving town

Above, Nic Guerra, who works for the office of U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern, and graduated this year from Assumption College, speaks at a forum at the school about how to keep college students in Worcester after they graduate. Listening are, right to left, Worcester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tim Murray, Nikki DiOrio of Assumption’s Career Development & Internship Center and Patrick Muldoon, chief executive officer of UMass Memorial Medical Center.

October 30, 20142014 newsworcester-magazine
Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards Nomination Announcement

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau serves the public interest of Greater Worcester by conducting independent research and analysis of public policy issues to promote informed public debate and decision-making.

October 14, 20142014 news
College Town

No! Wait! Don’t leave the Worcester area. This is what Assumption College and others want to say to those graduating from local colleges, and they are hoping to give these degree holders a reason to put down roots in Worcester and surrounding towns.

October 12, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Trying to come full circle

WORCESTER — Turn an urban redevelopment spotlight on different Worcester neighborhoods and options jump out.

October 5, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Does Worcester’s budget work?

When I was growing up on Old English Road in Worcester, I was studious and not popular among my classmates. But I was fascinated by books, particularly one called something like How Things Work.

September 29, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Officials, residents ponder Worcester’s problems, potential

WORCESTER — As Edward M. Augustus Jr. looks to become the city’s sixth permanent manager since 1950, the problems to solve and the potential to nurture growth seem as diverse as the city itself, civic leaders and residents said last week.

September 22, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Central Mass. panel discusses recipe for urban renewal

WORCESTER — Transparency, communication and clarity are among the key elements of urban renewal initiatives, according to speakers and panelists at a session presented by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau Monday afternoon. The presentation was part of the Central Massachusetts Business Expo at the DCU Center.

September 9, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Worcester Exploring the Importance of Urban Renewal

As the Worcester Redevelopment Authority and the City of Worcester work to establish an urban renewal plan focused on the downtown area, the Worcester Research Bureau has placed a lot of effort in informing the public about the importance of urban renewal to the city.

September 8, 20142014 newsgolocal-worcester
Can Worcester keep its talent?

The Research Bureau is out with a new study on Worcester’s ability to retain the talent it educates. Sadly it reports little progress.

September 3, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Report: Worcester not keeping college grads; officials say city making strides

WORCESTER – A report released by the Worcester Research Bureau Wednesday revealed that less than 20 percent of 2014 college graduates planned to stay in the city – almost the same amount as 10 years ago, but city, business and college officials said Worcester has made great strides in that time.

September 2, 20142014 newsmasslive
Worcester bureau studies ways to keep local college grads here

WORCESTER — When choosing a place to live after graduation, the city’s college students have a clear priority, one that’s not surprising given the debt many have racked up during their studies.

September 2, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Retaining talent

There is both good news and not-so-good news in The Research Bureau’s recent report “Central Massachusetts Talent Retention Project: A Survey of the Class of 2014.” The good news is that, when compared to a similar study conducted by the Bureau in 2006, things have not gotten any worse.

August 31, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Study: Worcester must work to keep college grads

Worcester is undeniably a college town. In the 2013-2014 school year, more than 7,500 students graduated from the 12 colleges in and around the city. But many of them may not stay here, and that could spell a lack of local talent as the city works to boost its economy, according to a study released Wednesday.

August 28, 20142014 newsworcester-business-journal
College Retention Efforts Revamped by Central MA Organizations

In an effort to retain more college students after they graduate, many organizations throughout Central Massachusetts are working to find solutions to the student retention problem in Worcester by creating internship and job opportunities to study graduating students to find out their needs.

August 28, 20142014 newsgolocal-worcester
Weight of history

It is difficult to know whether the current discussion about changing Worcester’s Plan E form of government amounts to a clamor among the populace at large or a mere whisper campaign among special interests. No rigorous public polls have been conducted, and we do not see any marching in the streets.

July 27, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Panelists match wits in Worcester version of ‘Wait Wait’

WORCESTER — With luck, Troy Siebels, executive director of the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, got the benefit of the doubt from the audience that he was just kidding when he couldn’t say the Burnside Fountain on the Common is more commonly known as Turtle Boy.

July 18, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Wait Wait … Worcester brings NPR-style game show to downtown Thursday

WORCESTER — On Thursday night a Worcester-focused quiz show in the style of “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me” will be held on the Worcester Common behind City Hall immediately before the Movies on the Common Series broadcast of “The Goonies.”

July 16, 20142014 newsmasslive
Monfredo: Charting a Course Through the Myths and Misperceptions of the Common Core

Congratulations to the Worcester Regional Bureau for their research on the Common Core…a set of national educational standards that was adopted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and 43 other states.

July 12, 20142014 newsgolocal-worcester
Worcester Needs More Citizen Input on Budget Process Says Report

A new report analyzing the Fiscal Year 2015 budget – which began on July 1st – for Worcester says that more citizens need to be involved in the process so that the city can better account for the wants and needs of its residents.

July 2, 20142014 newsgolocal-worcester
Somebody pinch me — Worcesterites work to keep a manager

There is something out of sync in Worcester. How else do you explain the fact that a local citizens group has launched an online petition drive to persuade City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. to stay beyond his nine-month contract.

June 29, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Research Bureau Examines Worcester By the Numbers in Latest Report

After a successful annual meeting last week, The Worcester Regional Research Bureau has released their 29th Annual Report, detailing the organization’s year in review.

June 10, 20142014 newsgolocal-worcester
Quest for business: Confidence breeds success

WORCESTER — In the never-ending quest to attract and grow their business sectors, leaders in Massachusetts’ Gateway Cities — a designation given to more than two dozen post-boom industrial sites such as Worcester, Lowell, Chelsea, Fitchburg and Leominster — are betting that economic development comes to those who offer convenience and predictability, even ahead of cost savings and location.

June 8, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Manager school

It wasn’t billed as a primer on what to look for in Worcester’s next city manager, but the 29th annual meeting of The Research Bureau, held Thursday afternoon at the DCU Center, could certainly have been viewed that way.

June 8, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Worcester is urged to cast wide net for next city manager

WORCESTER — Proponents of the council-manager form of government say qualifications and experience should be the driving force behind the city’s search for a new city manager rather than one’s ZIP code.

June 6, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Experts: City manager must excel at politics, organizational skills

Worcester’s next city manager should be adept at overseeing a large organization, practicing long-range thinking and developing the political muscle to see changes through, according to a panel of experts.

June 6, 20142014 newsworcester-business-journal
Research Bureau Calls for Technology Funding for PARCC Test in MA

If PARCC testing is to be implemented in the Commonwealth, a greater access to technology is needed for students.

May 30, 20142014 newsgolocal-worcester
Research Bureau backs Common Core

WORCESTER — The Research Bureau released a report today endorsing the Common Core State Standards Initiative, but also offered recommendations it said would improve school standards adopted by Massachusetts and 43 other states.

May 29, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Worcester Research Bureau Releases Report Examining Common Core

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is the focus of the latest Worcester Regional Research Bureau report, which was released this Thursday.

May 29, 20142014 newsgolocal-worcester
Worcester Leaders: Who is the Perfect City Manager?

In an effort to help educate local citizens about the upcoming selection of a new city manager, The Worcester Regional Research Bureau has decided to assemble a group of current and former city managers for a panel discussion at their upcoming annual meeting.

May 13, 20142014 newsgolocal-worcester
A clear blueprint

It has now been four full months since Edward M. Augustus Jr. signed a nine-month contract to serve as an interim city manager for Worcester, yet the City Council remains in the starting blocks in its search for a permanent manager.

May 1, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Does Improved Job Market Bode Well for Worcester College Grads?

With just weeks until graduation, the job market is something that is closely examined by many college students ready to make their transition into their first real job. These students hope that they will be able to find a job that fits the subjects that they have been studying for the past four years.

April 24, 20142014 newsgolocal-worcester
Brushing up on Common Core

Depending upon whom you ask, the Common Core State Standards are either the coming savior of K-12 education, or an unnecessary intrusion of the federal government into a state and local function that can only dumb down curriculum and harm students.

April 22, 20142014 newstelegram-com
New WRRB chief ready to chart a course for the city

“If the facts are in question, there can be no informed debate.”

The above quote from its new executive director is a pillar on which the Worcester Regional Research Bureau is built.

March 16, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Where Your Money Goes: Worcester’s 25 Biggest Checks

Ever wonder where your taxes are going? GoLocalWorcester will report monthly on where the big checks are going from the City of Worcester’s coffers. Who is getting the biggest checks each month?

March 14, 20142014 newsgolocal-worcester
Dynamic Worcester: Report shows city remains a destination

An analysis of the 2010 Census prepared by The Research Bureau shows that Worcester continues to be a dynamic city, one that grew in size, youth, and diversity between 2000 and 2010. The report, “Worcester’s Demographic Trends: 2010 Census,” provides the kind of fundamental, unvarnished and unbiased data that can help inform and shape public-policy discussions.

February 21, 20142013 newstelegram-com
Schaefer to McGourthy: the Future of the Worcester Research Bureau

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau is busily transitioning through its first change of leadership in nearly three decades.

February 14, 20142014 newsgolocal-worcester
5 Worcester employees to receive Thomas S. Green awards for public service

WORCESTER — The Worcester Regional Research Bureau has announced the 2014 recipients of the Thomas S. Green Public Service Award, which are given each year to five city employees who have “made outstanding contributions to public service.”

February 11, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Research Bureau to lose a tough leader in Schaefer

Roberta R. Schaefer is a tough woman to interview, and I’m trying to explain why in a diplomatic way.

February 2, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Does Worcester Need an Academically Selective High School?

The topic of an academically selective high school in the Worcester Public Schools is being picked up again as the district enters budget season.

January 17, 20142014 newsgolocal-worcester
No time to rest

The latest report from The Research Bureau, “Worcester by the Numbers: Public and Charter Schools,” contains some eye-opening facts about the city’s public schools, including enrollment, achievement, teacher pay, and the relative performance of its only charter high school.

January 7, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Report: Worcester school enrollment up 4%, budget up 11%

WORCESTER — The Research Bureau has released its annual look at the Worcester public schools by the numbers, and it also includes facts about the two charter schools in the city.

January 7, 20142014 newstelegram-com
Research Bureau releases report on public, charter schools

A new report from The Research Bureau shines a light on public and charter schools by looking strictly at the numbers for everything ranging from teacher salaries to graduation rates and more.

January 7, 20142014 newsworcester-magazine
Massport bullish on Worcester

I read with interest Albert Southwick’s column “A look at JetBlue’s prospects” (Telegram & Gazette, Dec. 12) and felt compelled to respond.

December 19, 20132013 newstelegram-com
Worcester Tax Rate Showdown Pits Businesses Against Residents

Worcester’s dual tax structure is under fire again as the city council proceeds to set rates for 2014.

December 17, 20132013 newsgolocal-worcester
A look at JetBlue’s prospects

That certainly was a rosy picture of our airport’s future that the Massport director painted at the Research Bureau’s forum the other day: $360 million pumped into our regional economy over the next decade, seven nonstop flights daily, hundreds of new jobs.

December 12, 20132013 newstelegram-com
Tax classification remains Worcester’s big story

Forget about seismic changes taking place at Worcester City Hall.

December 8, 20132013 newstelegram-com
Has the Worcester Economy Become Too Dependent on Meds + Eds?

Some economists say future job growth can’t hinge on so-called “meds and eds” as those two sectors reach the end of their growth cycle.

December 4, 20132013 newsgolocal-worcester
MassPort: JetBlue Off to Good Start

Customers are filling Worcester’s JetBlue flights and leaving happy despite higher fares and diverted planes, the CEO of the Massachusetts Port Authority said Wednesday morning.

December 4, 20132013 newsworcester-business-journal
McGourthy good choice to succeed Schaefer

Timothy J. McGourthy last week became the latest official to announce he’s leaving the city’s employ.

December 3, 20132013 newstelegram-com
McGourthy Leaving City Hall To Lead Research Bureau

Timothy McGourthy, Worcester’s point man on economic development, will leave his City Hall post to become executive director of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau, the bureau announced Tuesday.

November 27, 20132013 newsworcester-business-journal
Tim McGourthy, Worcester’s chief economic development officer, to head Research Bureau

WORCESTER — Timothy J. McGourthy, the city’s chief economic development officer, has been tapped to take over as executive director of the Research Bureau next year.

November 27, 20132013 newstelegram-com
NEW: McGourthy To Head Worcester Regional Research Bureau

Today, the Worcester Regional Research Bureau (WRRB) announced that they have selected their next leader.

November 26, 20132013 newsgolocal-worcester
Worcester Research Bureau Seeking Public Service Award Nominations

Do you know a municipal employee deserving of thanks — and special recognition?

November 22, 20132013 newsgolocal-worcester
Could Retiree Benefits Bankrupt Worcester?

In April, the Worcester Regional Research Bureau issued a report that painted an admittedly grim picture for Worcester’s future retirees and budgets.

November 5, 20132013 newsgolocal-worcester
Worcester’s revival proving elusive

Ten years ago, Worcester’s downtown was going to hum. A consortium of city officials and investors pledged to turn 21 acres of blight into offices, stores, entertainment sites, and luxury residences. The $565 million project — to be privately and publicly funded — was named CitySquare.

October 15, 20132013 newsboston-globe
Questions on a city’s economy

For each municipal election cycle in Worcester, The Research Bureau prepares a report summarizing key economic, social and educational issues facing the city, and presents a series of detailed questions for the consideration of candidates for Worcester City Council, the job of mayor, and the Worcester School Committee.

October 10, 20132013 newstelegram-com
21 Tough Questions For Worcester’s School + Council Candidates

With City Council and School Committee elections fast approaching, the Worcester Regional Research Bureau today released its “Questions for the 2013 Candidates for City Council and School Committee in Worcester,” outlining key questions to ask those running for public office.

October 10, 20132013 newsgolocal-worcester
Fiscal Hawk Roberta Schaefer Urges State Aid For Worcester

Roberta Schaefer has been watching Worcester City Hall like a fiscal hawk since 1985.

October 8, 20132013 newsgolocal-worcester
Worcester’s self-satisfaction relieves pressure to change

Roberta Schaefer is pleased with Worcester’s economy. As president of The Research Bureau, which is financed by Worcester’s business establishment, she has spent decades developing policy analysis and information for Worcester’s civic leaders.

October 7, 20132013 newstelegram-com
Expo heralds Worcester’s fertile ground for manufacturing

WORCESTER — Worcester is among the top 50 cities in the United States in manufacturing activity, which is growing at a faster rate here than in the nation overall, according to a forum report Wednesday during the Central Mass Business Expo at the DCU Center.

October 3, 20132013 newstelegram-com
Product Development Key To Mass. Manufacturing, Forum Told

Central Massachusetts manufacturers should focus on product development as large firms shift operations out of the Bay State, employers and industry experts said Wednesday.

October 2, 20132013 newsworcester-business-journal
Founder leaving The Research Bureau in good shape

Roberta Schaefer, a founder and president of The Research Bureau — it produces public policy research for the public and public servants — announced her retirement on September 11, about 28 years after she helped get it off the ground. In a September 19 interview, I learned the reasons why The Research Bureau was established, who backed it, what it does, and what accomplishments make Ms. Schaefer most proud.

September 23, 20132013 newstelegram-com
True leadership

As a source of high-quality, independent research and analysis of public policy issues, The Research Bureau has been a key resource, as well as formidable influence on public life, in the greater Worcester region. Because its name is synonymous with that of Roberta R. Schaefer, the bureau’s founder and longtime leader, her retirement at the end of the year is cause for concern.

September 22, 20132013 newstelegram-com
Almost 75 Percent of Worcester Fire Dept. Calls Not Fire Related

You’re having a quiet, leisurely Saturday evening dinner with friends, when one of them passes out. You call 911. Within minutes, a UMass Memorial ambulance arrives. Great. Then, a Worcester Fire Department fire truck shows up. What’s that all about? After all, you didn’t report a fire.

September 16, 20132013 newsgolocal-worcester
Integrity over time

Few organizations are defined by one person, And Those That are Often run the risk of straying from Their mission. In Roberta R. Schaefer and The Research Bureau, Worcester has been blessed with a wonderful exception to that rule.

September 16, 20132013 newstelegram-com
Research Bureau Founder Retiring

Roberta Schaefer, who helped found the Worcester Regional Research Bureau nearly 30 years ago, and its president and CEO, will retire around the end of the year, the organization announced today.

September 12, 20132013 newsworcester-business-journal
Schaefer to retire from Research Bureau

Roberta Schaefer, president and CEO of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau, is retiring at the end of the year after spending 28 years with organization. Schaeffer made the announcement at a monthly Executive Committee Wednesday, Sept. 11 with Board of Directors Chair Karen Duffy. Schaefer says she plans to spend more time with her family and pursue other interests, but says she will remained active in civic affairs.

September 12, 20132013 newsworcester-magazine
Schaefer to retire from Research Bureau

WORCESTER — Roberta R. Schaefer, who has provided independent public policy research to city officials since 1985 as head of the group The Research Bureau, plans to retire at the end of 2013 or as soon after that as the organization can replace her.

September 12, 20132013 newstelegram-com
How Affordable Is Worcester Housing: New Research Bureau Report

Are non-profits adversely impacting the tax base in Worcester? According to a report released today by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau, the hospitals and colleges are becoming huge landowners and the impact is significant and growing.

August 6, 20132013 newsgolocal-worcester
Taking Worcester’s pulse

The latest report from The Research Bureau, “Worcester by the Numbers: Housing and Land Use,” is being issued today, and shows a city that, while subject to the same economic forces that have challenged communities throughout New England, retains a distinct personality, better-than-average affordability, and a hard-to-quantify but definite liveability.

August 6, 20132013 newstelegram-com
Facing facts

The city is on an unsustainable course financially, the Research Bureau states in its latest report.

June 17, 20132013 newstelegram-com
Worcester: On the Edge for More Business

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau, which retains its residence at Assumption College, recently held its annual meeting on June 5, 2013 at the DCU Center. The Telegram & Gazette covered the event, which focused on the City of Worcester and trends for the future.

June 7, 20132013 newsassumption-college
Economist touts Worcester’s future

WORCESTER — Harvard University economist Edward L. Glaeser said on Wednesday that Worcester has a lot going for it, including its ability to attract intelligent people to local colleges and its low cost of living.

June 6, 20132013 newstelegram-com
Harvard Economist: Trends Could Boost Worcester Business

Worcester’s economy could benefit from a nationwide trend of people moving into the downtown areas of smaller cities, a Harvard University economist told the annual meeting of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau on Wednesday.

June 6, 20132013 newsworcester-business-journal
5 Biggest Issues Facing City Budget with Slots Stopped in Tracks

The announcement by Rush Gaming that the proposed slot parlor for Worcester is not moving forward also mean the city will not hit the proverbial casino money jackpot for the city coffers.

June 5, 20132013 newsgolocal-worcester
Brainy Worcester

The difference between Worcester succeeding in the economic development game and the city Becoming a leading contender for business innovation may lie in retaining the bright minds that annually emerge from the halls of academia throughout Central Massachusetts.

May 28, 20132013 newstelegram-com
Confident Worcester leaders solicit ideas for development

WORCESTER — With a re-configured downtown and with a slew of ongoing “brick-and-mortar” projects, city officials confidently believe that Worcester is poised to become a regional mecca for development.

May 26, 20132013 newstelegram-com
Research Bureau Panel: Worcester Needs More Entrepreneurs

Worcester possesses many of the ingredients that could help it emerge as a nationally-known research and entrepreneurship hub, including research universities and access to Boston’s venture capital market, said Mark Rice, dean of Worcester Polytechnic’s business school.

May 23, 20132013 newstelegram-com
OPEB monster

It’s the creature that consumed Central Falls, the stalker that slew Stockton. And as surely as baby boomers are retiring, and retirees are living longer, this financial fiend is wending its wily way to Worcester, as well.

May 6, 20132013 newstelegram-com
Retiree Benefits Threaten to Consume 1/3 of Worcester Budget

Last week, The Worcester Regional Research Bureau released a report entitled “A Prescription for Retiree Health Care,” to address a crisis local governments are facing as to how to pay for “OPEBs” – “other post-employment benefits,” which includes retiree health benefits — that were promised to retirees in better fiscal times.

May 1, 20132013 newsgolocal-worcester
Say no to slots

It’s not too late to nip in the bud the latest attempt to bring big-time gambling to Worcester. It should be done without delay and in no uncertain terms.

March 31, 20132013 newstelegram-com
Assumption Senior Aids Research Bureau in Analyzing Worcester Demographic Trends

Assumption College student Joshua Boucher, a senior political science and Italian Studies double-major, has played a key role in compiling data for a new series of reports by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau that were requested by Worcester city officials.

March 27, 20132013 newsassumption-college
A shot at slots

Worcester now knows the who, what and where. The question is, why?

March 26, 20132013 newstelegram-com
Locals weigh in on pros, cons of slots casino in Worcester

WORCESTER — An army of one-armed bandits will rob us of more than just pocket change.

March 24, 20132013 newstelegram-com
Slots proposal stalls with no site designated

BOSTON — The CEO of the Chicago-based gaming company considering a slot machine casino in Worcester has run into delays in kicking off a formal review of the proposal, while local officials and some opponents are gearing up to debate the plans.

March 22, 20132013 newstelegram-com
Research Bureau Says Worcester Slot Parlor Would Do More Harm Than Good

With news of a possible slot parlor in Worcester, the Worcester Regional Research Bureau revisited the topic it first investigated in 2007 and found that advances in slot machine technology have made the gaming facility an even more harmful potential addition to the Heart of the Commonwealth than ever before.

March 22, 20132013 newsgolocal-worcester
Report Frowns On Slots In Worcester

The economic benefits from a slots parlor in Worcester would be overshadowed by the harm it will cause to the city’s quality of life, says a new report from the Worcester Regional Research Bureau (WRRB).

March 22, 20132013 newsworcester-business-journal
New report pans slots parlor in Worcester

A slots parlor does not match the vision city officials have for Worcester and would do more harm than good, according to a new report from The Research Bureau. The report, titled “Should Worcester Welcome a Slot-Machine Casino,” paints a gloomy picture of what could be expected if a slots parlor should open its doors near downtown Worcester. That is what is being proposed by Mass Gaming LLC, an offshoot of Rush Gaming, which has made known its plans to compete for the only slots parlor license being issued by the state and build a casino on the old Wyman-Gordon property along Madison Street in the city’s Canal District.

March 22, 20132013 newsworcester-magazine
Public servants feted at Green Awards

WORCESTER — Four municipal employees were honored Wednesday night with Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards at La Maison Francaise Salon at Assumption College.

March 21, 20132013 newstelegram-com
Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards

WORCESTER — Four municipal employees were honored Wednesday night, March 20, 2013, with a Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards. The event, held annually at Assumption College, is sponsored by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau.

March 21, 20132013 newstelegram-com
Forum explores private vs. civic budgets

WORCESTER — A Worcester Regional Research Bureau forum Tuesday at Assumption College was billed as a panel discussion on the differences between public and private budgets.

March 13, 20132013 newstelegram-com
Budget battles: Outlook for FY14 sobering

If you were looking for rosy economic forecasts, yesterday’s Research Bureau forum on the fiscal 2014 financial outlook was not the place to be. The takeaway from “Fiscal Fitness: What’s the regimen for FY14?” amounted to stark numbers and difficult choices at both the state and municipal levels.

March 13, 20132013 newstelegram-com
Worcester Reacts to Sky-High Police Payouts

A report from the City’s Human Resources Department that showed Worcester Police Department personnel dominating the upper echelons of City payroll in 2012 was met with little surprise by several officials and observers.

March 13, 20132013 newsgolocal-worcester
Worcester’s Most Expensive Neighborhoods

Thanks to data provided by a newly developed national infographic, GoLocalWorcester reveals the wealthiest and most expensive neighborhoods in Worcester, comparing rental cost and average household income to see where different areas fall in the Heart of the Commonwealth.

February 16, 20132013 newsgolocal-worcester
NEW: Research Bureau Announces 2013 Public Service Awards

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau announced the recipients for its 2013 Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards, which honor public employees for their exceptional service and commitment to the citizens of Worcester and the region.

February 15, 20132013 newsgolocal-worcester
Report: Minorities Driving Worcester’s Population Growth

The demographics of the City of Worcester underwent a considerable change between 2000 and 2010, according to a new report from the Worcester Regional Research Bureau.

February 12, 20132013 newsgolocal-worcester
Evaluating teacher performance focus of education forum in Worcester

WORCESTER — State Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Mitchell D. Chester has found a lot to like about Worcester’s schools, but he said more aggressive action on teacher performance is needed statewide.

January 31, 20132013 newstelegram-com
Classical heritage – Report favors exam school in Worcester

The Research Bureau’s latest report — “Academically Selective High Schools: Should Worcester Public Schools Have One?” — offers a ringing endorsement of bringing such a school back into Worcester’s education portfolio, modeled in part on the long and venerable history of the city’s Classical High School, which closed in 1966.

December 22, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Worcester Regional Research Bureau backs new schools for talented

WORCESTER — The Worcester Regional Research Bureau, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in the city, has released a report recommending the city establish one or more schools for academically talented students. The report, available at, arrives as an ad hoc committee appointed by the mayor considers whether to establish an exam school or an international baccalaureate program, or both.

December 21, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Why Worcester Needs a Selective Public School

A new report from the Worcester Regional Research Bureau makes the case for an academically selective public high school, sometimes referred to as an exam school, in Worcester and how it could benefit both students and the community at large.

December 20, 20122012 newsgolocal-worcester
Public sector unions faulted

WORCESTER — More debt, higher interest rates and higher costs are the woes City College of New York professor and conservative think-tank fellow Daniel DiSalvo laid at the door of unionized public employees yesterday in a forum at The Research Bureau.

October 24, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Public Unions Costing Local Governments Millions

A Research Bureau forum on Tuesday asked whether municipalities can afford public employee contracts, as public sector unions have overtaken their private sector counterparts in recent years as the majority in the American labor movement.

October 24, 20122012 newsgolocal-worcester
No limit urged for liveries – Research Bureau weighs in on taxi-livery tug of war

WORCESTER — The Research Bureau has recommended that the city should not limit the number of licensed livery vehicles because such action would only encourage the spread of illegal, unregulated livery services.

October 11, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Hail this solution – Worcester ought not limit livery

This past July, the Worcester City Council issued a temporary moratorium on the issuance of livery licenses so it can study whether to cap such licenses, as is done with taxi medallions.

October 10, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Bureau serves public well

It is regrettable that The Research Bureau, the city’s foremost source of public information and independent data-gathering, has come under attack. It is even more unfortunate that some of the sniping comes from members of the City Council who should appreciate the value of the work the bureau has contributed in the last quarter of a century.

September 30, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Worcester Councilor Lukes Rails Against City’s ‘Cement Ceiling’ for Women

Worcester’s paltry number of female city employees has frustrated her for years, but City Councilor Konstantina Lukes’ outrage has finally boiled over. On the heels of a council meeting during which one of her colleagues raised questions about an organization headed by a woman, Lukes called GoLocalWorcester and pulled no punches about what she sees as a city government environment overwhelmingly tilted toward men.

June 15, 20122012 newsgolocal-worcester
Worcester’s Business Tax Breaks Create Jobs – and ‘Inequity’

Tax incentives in Worcester have helped attract new companies and encouraged established businesses to expand. They have created jobs, but there is concern that the new jobs are coming at the expense of existing businesses.

June 8, 20122012 newsgolocal-worcester
Out of answers

Americans have grown accustomed to pessimistic economic forecasts, and one delivered by the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston last week was sobering. Yet, Eric S. Rosengren’s outlook may have been too optimistic.

June 6, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Safety by the numbers

In 2010, Worcester surpassed Boston and Providence in violent crime.

That’s a surprising finding in The Research Bureau’s eighth “Benchmarking Public Safety in Worcester” report, released last week. Of the 10 largest New England cities, Worcester ranks fifth.

June 3, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Speaking in Worcester, Boston Fed Reserve chief backs more stimulus

WORCESTER — The leader of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston said today he favors continued efforts from the U.S. central bank to stimulate the economy and bring down unemployment.

May 31, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Boston Fed chief predicts slow recovery

Eric S. Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, made gloomy predictions Wednesday for a slow economic recovery through the year, calling on policy makers to do more to lower the US unemployment rate.

May 31, 20122012 newsboston-globe
Worcester Fire Department’s Alarming Problem

Worcester firefighters are slower in responding to emergencies than 10 years ago, but officials insist public safety has not been compromised.

May 30, 20122012 newsgolocal-worcester
Worcester police chief takes issue with crime rank

WORCESTER — The use of outdated statistics and varying definitions of aggravated assault are just a couple of reasons Police Chief Gary J. Gemme questions the city’s violent crime ranking in a recent report by The Research Bureau.

May 30, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Boston Fed Chief: Growth Will Continue on Slow Track

The head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston says economic growth over the next year will continue, although at a less-than-robust pace for the rest of the year.

May 30, 20122012 newsworcester-business-journal
Fed’s Rosengren warns of unseen risks from Europe

(Reuters) – Unforeseen risks in struggling European countries have the potential to hurt the financial sector and the overall U.S. economy, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren said on Wednesday.

May 30, 20122012 newsreuters
City fifth in violent crime

WORCESTER — While the city’s property crime rate has gradually declined by more than 30 percent over a 15-year period, its violent crime rate has not changed, according to a new report by The Research Bureau.

May 29, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Days of Worcester’s 2-rate tax may be numbered

WORCESTER — There appears to be growing sentiment on the City Council that the 28-year practice of setting separate tax rates for residential and business properties needs to come to an end.

May 24, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Obedience key in tax-torture chamber

On a recent vacation I flipped through the soft porn blockbuster “Fifty Shades of Grey” per order of the middle-aged women’s travel handbook. Upon my return I attended the City Council meeting, where I penned the following racy novella, “Two Shades of Tax Classification.”

May 24, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Worcester councilors narrow tax gap

WORCESTER — For the second fiscal year in a row, the City Council has narrowed the gap between the city’s residential and commercial-industrial tax rates.

May 23, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Worcester’s contentious tax debate

Whether they liked it or not, Worcester taxpayers finally found out what their tax rate is this year. On Tuesday, just weeks before the end of the fiscal year, city councilors set the residential rate for fiscal 2012 at $16.98 per $1,000 assessed value. The commercial-industrial rate was set at $29.08 per $1,000.

May 23, 20122012 newsgolocal-worcester
Worcester Shrinks Tax Rate Gap

Setting the tax rates for fiscal year 2012 last night, the Worcester City Council lessened the divide between residential and commercial-industrial rates.

May 23, 20122012 newsworcester-business-journal
Ease city’s business burden

It has recently come to light that Worcester’s Assessing Department has been undervaluing about 2,000 commercial and industrial properties — in some cases drastically —for several decades. Who is to blame? Will these costly mistakes be investigated? What will happen if values have to be adjusted?

May 17, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Parents seek more school funds

WORCESTER — The Citywide Parent Planning Advisory Committee, a parent group representing all city schools, started an online petition yesterday asking the City Council to fund the public schools at least 3 percent more than the state requires.

May 17, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Checking Worcester’s Business Climate

It’s not just in geography that the city of Worcester is the center of Central Massachusetts. Almost a third of workers in Worcester County are employed in the city. Major organizations headquartered in Worcester, such as UMass Memorial Health Care and Reliant Medical Group, have satellite offices throughout the region. Stores in the suburbs have customers who drive out from the city, and manufacturers have suppliers there.

May 14, 20122012 newsworcester-business-journal
Worcester’s Downtown Efforts Get Historical Perspectives

Does a new downtown Worcester have potential through a mix of commercial and residential development?

If some of the recent successes of Providence and Lowell can be imitated, then the answer to that question is yes.

May 2, 20122012 newsworcester-business-journal
In Worcester, panelists compare notes on city revitalization

WORCESTER — Most of the major cities in New England hit rock bottom at some point over the last four decades, as their manufacturing bases fled the high cost of doing business in the North and moved to more welcoming, and usually much warmer, states around the nation.

May 2, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Councilor Lukes ponders change to hiring process for fire and police chiefs

WORCESTER — Councilor-at-Large Konstantina B. Lukes is resurrecting an idea that City Manager Michael V. O’Brien brought up eight years ago — removing the police and fire chiefs from Civil Service.

April 24, 20122012 newstelegram-com
How Worcester Loses Out on $20 Million in Property Taxes Annually

Worcester has more than 1,500 nonprofits exempt from property taxes that would otherwise pump $21 million into city coffers. This puts the burden squarely on the shoulders of residential taxpayers.

April 20, 20122012 newsgolocal-worcester
A Different Approach to PILOTs

Most newspaper coverage of the issue of payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) applied to tax-exempt property owners reads like a boxing match: round after round of punches and parries about how much nonprofits cost a city in lost revenues, how much nonprofits contribute outside of paying property taxes, and so on. This article from Worcester, Mass. is different in the depth of its analysis, drawing on a report from the Worcester Regional Research Bureau (WRRB).

April 20, 20122012 newsnonprofit-quarterly
Massport aviation head: Airport is strategic asset

WORCESTER — Edward C. Freni, director of aviation for the Massachusetts Port Authority, told a City Council subcommittee last night that despite another loss of commercial flights out of Worcester Regional Airport, the authority still sees the airport as a strategic asset.

April 12, 20122012 newstelegram-com
On the job

What is The Research Bureau (Worcester Regional Research Bureau)?

“We are a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, which examines public policy issues that are of interest to area officials and residents. We look at subjects like public education, municipal finance and economic development. It’s really unusual to see an organization like ours operating in a city the size of Worcester.”

April 9, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Multiple solutions

An important lesson emerged from The Research Bureau’s panel discussion Tuesday afternoon at Assumption College on recruiting and retaining quality teachers: Just as with some algebra problems, there’s more than one solution that satisfies the equation.

April 8, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Project labor anomaly

Commenting on the construction of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in September 1999, an editorial in the Telegram & Gazette took a strong position against a Project Labor Agreement, an arrangement that favors trade unions at the expense of independent building contractors. Titled “Project labor blackmail,” the editorial stated: “The union says the agreement ensures labor harmony and uninterrupted construction. Translation: If you don’t have a PLA, we see to it that there will be interruptions. This utterly immoral arrangement is supported by spineless politicians because many of their campaign contributions come from organized labor.”

April 8, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Worcester schools look at teacher recruitment

WORCESTER — A Research Bureau panel yesterday on teacher recruitment will spill over onto a future School Committee agenda, at least as concerns two new-teacher programs.

April 4, 20122012 newstelegram-com
New Report: Worcester Runs on Housing, ServicesFull and original article posted on

A new report on Worcester’s economy paints a picture of a city becoming more residential and more centered on service industries like health care and education.

“Benchmarking Economic Development in Worcester: 2012,” by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau finds that the service sector represents 90 percent of jobs in the city and 85 percent in Worcester County.

March 22, 20122012 newsworcester-business-journal
Research Bureau’s new digs

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau held a wine and cheese reception March 8 to celebrate its new offices at Assumption College in Worcester. The Worcester Regional Research Bureau is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that conducts research about public policy issues of concern to the greater Worcester region.

March 18, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Four get Thomas Green Awards for outstanding public service

WORCESTER — Four municipal employees were honored last night with Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards at La Maison Francaise at Assumption College.

The awards are given annually by The Research Bureau for outstanding contributions to public service.

March 16, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Worcester airport’s only airline cancels flights

Direct Air, which offers the only scheduled service out of Worcester Regional Airport, abruptly canceled all of its flights through May 15, leaving the airport without commercial flights for the third time in nine years.
“This decision was made to address operational matters,’’ the airline said in a statement. “We are currently evaluating strategic alternatives.’’

March 14, 20122012 newsboston-globe
Sans REO, more opportunity

As I see it
Last week, Worcester City Manager Michael V. O’Brien notified the City Council of his intention to suspend enforcement of certain provisions of the city’s Responsible Employer Ordinance. Specifically, contractors who wish to bid on city work will no longer be required to maintain and participate in an apprenticeship training program and will no longer be required to provide health insurance to workers.

March 9, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Money marathon

Turning crisis into long-term management
When it comes to managing the economy, we’ve heard the word “crisis” bandied about for many months. By definition, crises eventually pass, leading to markedly better or markedly worse conditions. If the economic snapshots that emerged from The Research Bureau’s Wednesday morning forum on the economy are accurate, it may be time to replace crisis talk with something more descriptive of what appears to be an era when tax revenues are permanently constrained.

March 9, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Worcester police push for more manpower

WORCESTER — Police Chief Gary J. Gemme asked the city manager for at least 15 new police recruits last month, but it looks like he could end up with at least 20.

At a Public Safety Committee meeting yesterday, City Councilors William J. Eddy, Michael J. Germain and Philip P. Palmieri heard the chief’s projections of upcoming retirements and his recounting of past statistics and concluded that 15 new officers might not be enough to replace the 15 expected vacancies through 2015. In this fiscal year, for instance, there were five unexpected retirements already, Chief Gemme said.

March 8, 20122012 newstelegram-com
City Manager O’Brien talks budget at morning forum

WORCESTER — State revenues are rising, reforms are saving money on health insurance and public-private partnerships are restoring services such as the Worcester bookmobile, but both the city and state budgets still face massive structural challenges, officials said this morning.

March 7, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Investigation: Worcester’s Top Tax Offenders

The City of Worcester is currently owed $3.7 million in delinquent commercial and residential property taxes. GoLocalWorcester obtained the list of the top twenty most delinquent property tax bills for commercials properties.

March 2, 20122012 newsgolocal-worcester
Tour of Worcester schools shows flaws

WORCESTER — State Treasurer Steven Grossman, who is also chairman of the board of the Massachusetts School Building Authority, had this to say after touring Nelson Place School yesterday: “That school is going to be built,” he said of a new Nelson Place, something the city has been seeking for four years.

March 1, 20122012 newstelegram-com
Workers from Worcester, Southbridge to receive Green Award

WORCESTER — Four municipal employees will be honored next month with the Thomas S. Green Public Service Award.

The awards, sponsored by The Research Bureau, will be presented at 5 p.m. March 15 at Assumption College. The free event is open to the public.

February 15, 20122012 newstelegram-com
How to Boost Jobs in Worcester

Should the city require that local labor be used on major construction projects? This question was raised in a Telegram & Gazette article in October about the new St. Vincent Hospital cancer center and during the debate leading up to last month’s municipal elections, with several candidates pledging to push for jobs for city residents.

December 19, 20112011 newsworcester-business-journal
The ups and downs of Main Street

A funny thing happened to George Bastounis on his way to opening a café on either Main Street or Franklin Street: downtown property owners with available space pushed him away.

November 22, 20112011 newsworcester-magazine
Collaboration is a win-win

The agreement between the Research Bureau and Assumption College to collaborate on projects of mutual interest promises to benefit both institutions, as well as the greater Worcester community. The partnership enhances the bureau’s intellectual and physical resources while expanding opportunities for community involvement by the Catholic liberal arts college with a wide range of professional studies and research programs.

November 20, 20112011 newstelegram-com
Teacher union ends up on top

WORCESTER — It’s a rare year when all of the city’s major contracts get settled around the same time, and this year’s batch gave analysts the chance to compare teacher and public safety contracts side by side.

November 20, 20112011 newstelegram-com
Facts on per-pupil spending

Now that Worcester’s elections are over, citizens can engage in a serious discussion about one of the issues raised by both School Committee and City Council candidates: the adequacy of funding for the Worcester Public Schools. Let’s start with some important facts.

November 18, 20112011 newstelegram-com
Study: City Union Deals Saved $13.6M in 2011

A new study by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau finds that health insurance cost-sharing arrangements that were part of union contract agreements settled earlier this year in the city saved $9.1 million for the public schools and $4.5 million for other municipal departments.

November 15, 20112011 newsworcester-business-journal
Researchers move

WORCESTER — The Worcester Regional Research Bureau and Assumption College will work together on research projects, the bureau and the college announced yesterday.

November 11, 20112011 newstelegram-com
Research Bureau Moving to Assumption

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau announced a new partnership with Assumption College that will result in the WRRB moving from the Mechanics Hall building on Main Street to the college’s campus on Salisbury Street.

November 11, 20112011 newsworcester-business-journal
Election apathy hinges on pride

DOES ANYBODY CARE that elections for mayor, school committee, and city council in Worcester are next week? Alas, most people probably don’t, and it’s very unclear what can be done about this.

November 2, 20112011 newscommonwealth-magazine
Downtown Occupancy Steady in 2011

An annual report from the Worcester Regional Research Bureau found that the occupancy rate for office space in downtown Worcester is 79 percent, a statistically insignificant change from last year’s 81 percent, but lower than in 2006, when it stood at 89 percent.

October 31, 20112011 newsworcester-business-journal
Soaring health care costs a challenge

WORCESTER — It’s no secret to Massachusetts health officials that the Obama administration based its recent federal health care reform on what has happened in the Bay State.

October 25, 20112011 newstelegram-com
Health Officials: Cost is Next Major Hurdle

Massachusetts health reform has been successful in increasing the number of insured residents in the commonwealth, top officials of the state’s health care industry agree.

The next major challenge: controlling health care costs.

October 24, 20112011 newsworcester-business-journal
Candidates face cost of education

WORCESTER — Anyone looking for a seat on the School Committee will have to be adept at stretching a dollar or finding new ones as the district tries to serve a challenging student population during tight financial times.

October 19, 20112011 newstelegram-com
School committee candidate debate in Worcester tonight

WORCESTER — The 10 candidates for six seats on the School Committee will face off in a debate tonight, the first of four such events leading to the Nov. 8 election. Candidates for mayor and City Council will take part in future debates.

October 11, 20112011 newstelegram-com
Jobs, tax base, top next mayor’s agenda

The primary focus of Worcester Mayor Joseph O’Brien’s Task Force on Job Growth and Business Retention is seeking ways to improve the city’s economic viability. Many constructive proposals were recommended and the mayor should get much credit for his vision, and for understanding that economic growth means a strong commercial industrial tax base that creates jobs, along with a stable mix of residential properties and city services.

October 10, 20112011 newsworcester-business-journal
Administering our schools

The Research Bureau’s recent report, “Questions for the 2011 Candidates for City Council and School Committee in Worcester” offers voters an opportunity to become familiar with key issues faced by city officials. As a means of promoting civic awareness and involvement, the Telegram & Gazette today completes publication of selections from the Bureau’s report.

October 7, 20112011 newstelegram-com
Education policy in schools

The Research Bureau’s recent report, “Questions for the 2011 Candidates for City Council and School Committee in Worcester” offers voters an opportunity to become familiar with key issues faced by city officials. As a means of promoting civic awareness and involvement, the Telegram & Gazette today continues publication of the Bureau’s report.

October 6, 20112011 newstelegram-com
Focusing on fiscal policy

The Research Bureau’s recent report, “Questions for the 2011 Candidates for City Council and School Committee in Worcester” offers voters an opportunity to become familiar with key issues faced by city officials. As a means of promoting civic awareness and involvement, the Telegram & Gazette today continues publication of the Bureau’s report, which may be found in its entirety online at

October 5, 20112011 newstelegram-com
Economics quiz for Council

The Research Bureau’s recent report, “Questions for the 2011 Candidates for City Council and School Committee in Worcester,” offers voters an opportunity to become familiar with key issues faced by city officials. As a means of promoting civic awareness and involvement, the Telegram & Gazette will be publishing the questions and discussion points in a series of articles in this space in the coming days.

October 4, 20112011 newstelegram-com
Skills are called key to revitalizing cities

WORCESTER — News of the death of the city has been greatly exaggerated.

In fact, the 21st century has been marked by a return to the cities, making them more “vital, relevant and successful than ever,” economist Edward Glaeser said yesterday.

September 23, 20112011 newstelegram-com
Casinos: A bad bet for Mass.

With Wednesday’s vote by the House, the Legislature is on track to establish casino gambling in the commonwealth. This bill calls for three Las Vegas-style resort casinos and one slots parlor. Passage seems certain, where other gambling bills proposed since 2007 all failed.

September 16, 20112011 newstelegram-com
Ratings Agency Scrutinizes Municipal Debt

Ratings agencies say they are closely watching the credit-worthiness of cities and towns across Massachusetts and other states after a recent historic downgrade of the U.S. government’s credit rating.

August 29, 20112011 newsworcester-business-journal
Worcester Research Bureau reports on neighborhood goals

WORCESTER — The Research Bureau has released its eighth report on how the city is meeting its neighborhood goals.

The report, titled “Benchmarking Municipal and Neighborhood Services in Worcester: 2011” is available at

July 8, 20112011 newstelegram-com
Expert: Most public pension plans are solvent for the next 20-30 years

WORCESTER — The public pension system cannot be sustained, but it can be fixed. That was the consensus of panelists this morning at a forum sponsored by The Research Bureau and the Rappaport Institute at Harvard’s Kennedy School. The discussion was held at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences.

May 11, 20112011 newstelegram-com
Time for real pension reform

IN JANUARY, GOV. Deval Patrick filed a pension reform proposal that could save $5 billion over 30 years, through measures such as raising the retirement age and basing pension payments on an employee’s five highest years of salary, instead of the current three. The governor’s plan represents solid reform, but it doesn’t go far enough. Beacon Hill should take advantage of the unique opportunity created by the current budget crisis to transition state and local employees from a defined benefit to a defined contribution system.

July 5, 20112011 newscommonwealth-magazine
Budget bullet dodged

‘Municipal budgets are much more than an itemization of revenues and expenditures,” states the Research Bureau’s report on Worcester’s budget for fiscal 2012. “They are an indication of priorities as well as challenges a community is encountering.”

June 26, 20112011 newstelegram-com
In Worcester, Sen. Brown says voters don’t trust fed government

WORCESTER — U.S. Sen. Scott Brown yesterday assured several hundred people at The Research Bureau’s annual meeting that he loses no sleep over voting in Congress.

“If it increases taxes, increases the deficit, I’m not voting for it,” he told the audience at the DCU Center. “If it’s good for Massachusetts, creates jobs, I’m going to vote for it.”

June 1, 20112011 newstelegram-com
Clearing the waters

The Research Bureau’s May 18 report on storm water regulations in Worcester brings welcome clarity to a complex and contentious issue that has unnecessarily divided public officials and environmental advocates.

May 25, 20112011 newstelegram-com
Dual speakers offered

WORCESTER — Rex W. Tillerson, chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, offered more than 1,100 Worcester Polytechnic Institute graduates a bit of advice yesterday that he received from a mentor as a young engineer more than 30 years ago.

May 15, 20112011 newstelegram-com
Warning signs abound

Two recent reports give cause for concern about Worcester’s financial well-being in the years ahead. One is the five-year forecast City Manager Michael O’Brien submitted to the City Council. The other is an analysis by The Research Bureau, titled “Teachers Compensation Package + Worcester’s Finances = Do they Add Up?” Ignoring those warnings could have dire consequences for the community.

December 19, 20102010 newstelegram-com
Bad day for munis

November was a bad month for the $2.8 trillion municipal bond market, which means it was a bad month for state and local government.

December 4, 20102010 newsboston-herald
Research Bureau sees progress in Worcester schools

WORCESTER — The Research Bureau, a nonprofit research organization based in Worcester, has released its annual Benchmarking Public Education report on public education in the city and found that while scores are low, there are signs things are improving.

October 26, 20102010 newstelegram-com
CSX project still on track

WORCESTER — Though the local permitting process for the project seemingly crawls along, officials at CSX Corp. are hopeful that their $100 million plan to expand the company’s freight yard behind Union Station will be completed by 2012.

September 23, 20102010 newstelegram-com
Police get high grades in report

WORCESTER — Though Worcester police officers generally get good marks for their work, a significant number of residents feel unsafe walking alone in their neighborhoods at night, a recently released survey by The Research Bureau shows.

July 27, 20102010 newstelegram-com
MassDOT aims to win

In a column that appeared in this space on March 15, 2009, I compared transportation reform in Massachusetts with a soccer ball kicked around on a muddy field endlessly while nobody is scoring.

June 27, 20102010 newstelegram-com
City hall notebook

Chamber of Commerce onboard with CSX plan
The board of directors of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce has come out unanimously in support of CSX Corp.’s plan to expand its freight yard in Worcester.

June 7, 20102010 newstelegram-com
Sucker bet

Like lemmings blindly running toward the abyss, members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives rushed into a major expansion of state-sanctioned gambling.

April 25, 20102010 newstelegram-com
Issues, info for 25 years

When the Worcester Municipal Research Bureau was formed in the spring of 1985, no one could have predicted its longevity and success — least of all members of a group of business and civic leaders that raised $40,000 to launch the endeavor during a series of informal breakfast meetings.

April 4, 20102010 newstelegram-com
Is city anti-business?

WORCESTER — With an online survey and help from business organizations, a local group is asking commercial property owners and business people to weigh in on the issues vexing economic development in Worcester.

March 24, 20102010 newstelegram-com
Straight talk

Sen. Scott Brown’s address to the 26th annual meeting of The Research Bureau on Tuesday afternoon did not contain soaring oratory, political gaffes, or any bombshell announcements. As such it was most unlikely to lead a cable news broadcast or become the stuff of a viral video.

June 2, 20112011 newstelegram-com
Panel: Public Pensions Need Reforms

A panel of retirement-benefit experts gathered in Worcester this morning concurred that the public pension system in Massachusetts is unsustainable, but fixable.
“We’re not Wisconsin or New Jersey, but the fact is we are wrestling with the same issues,” said David Luberoff, executive director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at Harvard University.

May 11, 20112011 newsworcester-business-journal
3 city employees get Green Awards for public service

WORCESTER — Three municipal employees were honored last night with Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards at La Maison Francaise at Assumption College.

The awards are given annually by The Research Bureau for outstanding contributions to public service. Receiving the awards were Ronald Brown, Department of Public Works and Parks; Louise Clarke, Worcester public schools, and Officer John Mahan, Police Department.

April 1, 20112011 newstelegram-com
Above and beyond: City workers honored for excellence

Congratulations to the three city employees who are this year’s recipients of The Research Bureau’s Thomas S. Green Public Service Award.

They are:

•Ronald Brown, working foreman for the Department of Public Works and Parks;

•Louise Clark, grants development specialist for Worcester public schools; and

•John Mahan, a longtime city police officer.

March 8, 20112011 newstelegram-com
Communities facing shortfalls look to health care for savings

WORCESTER — The state and the city are looking toward health care savings to help with budget shortfalls in the coming fiscal year.

Jay Gonzalez, state secretary of administration and finance, said yesterday controlling health care costs, which make up 40 percent of the total budget, is crucial as Massachusetts emerges from the recession that has decimated revenue.

March 4, 20112011 newstelegram-com
State finance boss predicts cuts to local aid

While the governor’s new budget will not have any new taxes, that doesn’t mean Massachusetts residents won’t feel the pain of state spending – or lack of it – in the coming fiscal year.

March 3, 20112011 newstelegram-com
8½ fantasy

The Education Association of Worcester’s demand that teachers in the Worcester Public Schools receive an 8.5 percent raise over three years in return for modest concessions on bearing a greater share of their health care costs reminds us of another 8 1/2. That would be Italian director Federico Fellini’s famous movie, an autobiographical romp that mixes fantasy and reality until the viewer isn’t sure what the man was thinking.

January 1, 20112011 newstelegram-com
Classrooms get 50% of budget

WORCESTER — At least two startling figures came out of a community briefing on the school budget last night. The first was that only 50 cents of every dollar in the budget makes its way into the classroom. The second was that that figure likely matches the state average.

December 14, 20102010 newstelegram-com
Health care costs key in battle over teachers’ salaries, budget

WORCESTER — The teachers’ union is asking for money the school district simply can’t afford, according to a recent Research Bureau report, but the union argues it needs competitive wages to offer quality education that will, in turn, help the city’s economic health.

December 12, 20102010 newstelegram-com
Illegal aliens portrayed as boon to economy

WORCESTER — The United States gains far more than it loses from immigration, according to Jason Riley, author of the book “Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders.”

Mr. Riley spoke to about 100 people yesterday morning at the final event of The Research Bureau’s 25th anniversary lecture series. The event was held at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

December 8, 20102010 newstelegram-com
WSJ Editorial Board Member Advocates For Free-Market Immigration

The free market should govern how many legal immigrants are allowed into the country, a member of the Wall Street editorial board said during a discussion hosted by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau.

December 7, 20102010 newsworcester-business-journal
Businesses paying more of bill

The Research Bureau has issued its 10th annual “Benchmarking Economic Development in Worcester” report.

December 4, 20102010 newstelegram-com
Close the gap

A new Research Bureau report, “Benchmarking Economic Development in Worcester: 2010,” repeats some sound advice that city officials have been hearing for some time: For the sake of residents and businesses alike, it’s time to close the gap between commercial and residential tax rates in Worcester.

December 1, 20102010 newstelegram-com
An unsustainable course

The teachers union in Worcester is the largest public employee union in the city, as it is in most other municipalities.

November 5, 20102010 newstelegram-com
Complaint process is clear

The report, “Benchmarking Public Safety in Worcester,” authored by The Research Bureau, generated an article by a columnist and a letter to the editor by the head of the local American Civil Liberties Union.

September 8, 20102010 newstelegram-com
City police misconduct near zero

Kudos to the Worcester Police Department for having near zero misconduct among the ranks last year.

August 2, 20102010 newstelegram-com
Still strong

The Research Bureau’s seventh annual report on public safety in Worcester points to a few areas of concern — primarily with the safety of the city at night — even as the overall message is a positive one: Worcester remains safer than most other midsized cities in New England, and the public continues to express strong satisfaction with the service and professionalism of the city’s police officers and firefighters.

July 30, 20102010 newstelegram-com
Urban reality

The view from inside the Heart of the Commonwealth isn’t always and everywhere pleasing, but those who live and work in Worcester should know that the city is holding its own in comparison with much of the country.

May 23, 20102010 newstelegram-com
It’s do-or-die day on MCAS

Today is “D” day for more than 4,000 members of the class of 2010 — approximately 375 of them in Central Massachusetts — to try to pass the MCAS science and technology exam to receive their high school diploma with classmates.

April 14, 20102010 newstelegram-com
Municipal workers receive recognition for public service

WORCESTER — Five public service employees were recognized last night for their dedication and proactive approach to their work.

April 1, 20102010 newstelegram-com