508 is a show about Worcester. This week’s guest is Jim Kersten. This week’s show was taped on a raft floating in Worcester’s Indian Lake. We talk about blue-green algae in the lake, the search for a new head librarian, the American Antiquarian Society and Wormtown Brewery winning national awards, and openings on Worcester’s municipal boards and commissions.
508 #247: Indian Lake
How’s the T&G doing?
Last year, tycoon John Henry bought the Worcester Telegram & Gazette from the New York Times in a package deal. This year, Florida-based Halifax Media bought the T&G from him.
Documents leaked during the first sale showed T&G daily circulation at 57,000 and annual revenue at $49M, down 20% over 5 years. As a business, the T&G was fading fast.
Henry bought $70M of properties from the NYT. The T&G’s value was estimated at $7M. Surprisingly, Halifax possibly paid $19M for it. With Halifax in charge, there was a massive round of layoffs. 29 of 80 newsroom staffers left the paper, mostly layoffs with a few resignations.
It’s hard for an outsider to understand the real effect of these layoffs, and the other newsroom layoffs they’ve had in recent years. So let’s see if there’s been a change in the crudest journalistic metric, the number of Worcester stories printed each day.
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508 #246: Wayfinding
508 #245: NewsBitz
508 is a show about Worcester. This week, we talk about what we need to research before discussing the T&G resale, the push for a strong mayor, state political races, panhandling, local drones, SWIP, marijuana, veg food, and maker spaces. We forgot to talk about West Tatnuck.
Obama’s motorcade, 2009 and 2014
His motorcade zoomed down Pleasant and Highland Streets on its way downtown. Lots of folks were out to watch. It was nice, like a little parade.
I was with some friends, holding a “Close Guantanamo” sign. Funnily enough, I saw this motorcade a few times in 2009 in DC just before Obama’s first inauguration, always while I was with friends holding “Close Guantanamo” signs. Everything changes, some things more slowly than others.
Speaking of holding signs along the route: Glorious Hippies From Amherst Showed Up To Protest Obama For Being An Anti-Weed Fascist At Worcester Tech Graduation
Items: Worcester activist updates
Today’s the anniversary of Edward Snowden’s first NSA revelations. Worcester’s own Tiffiniy Cheng and Holmes Wilson were in NYC today speaking at the Personal Democracy Forum, not long before Snowden himself took the stage via Skype.
Cheng & Wilson are co-founders of the digital civil liberties group Fight for the Future. FFTF today launched the “Reset The Net” campaign, aimed at resisting mass government surveillance by spreading more secure technology. Reset The Net participants include Reddit, Google, Mozilla, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and this blog.
More on the Chris Horton arrest
Worcester Magazine has a long article about anti-forclosure activist Chris Horton getting arrested at a Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team demonstration, for blocking the entrance to a foreclosed building.
According to a police spokesperson, Horton was charged with trespassing, resisting arrest, disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, interfering with a police investigation and intimidation of a witness.
The attempt to evict the Flores family last month marked the first time [activist Grace Ross] could recall things getting out of hand during an eviction protest. She and others on the scene say the constable and movers dumped items out onto the floor that had been packed in boxes and smashed some of Flores family’s belongings. The family ended up being able to stay in the apartment Thursday night because [WAFT's Jon] Marien says he was able to obtain a temporary stay of eviction, and at a court appearance on Friday, he says [residents] Jose and Dinora Flores were given a two-month stay.
Horton also appeared in court and was given another court date of July 23.
This might be the first time someone was arrested in Worcester as part of a political action since Occupy Worcester three years ago.
508 #244: Between Two Dumbcanes
508 is a show about Worcester. This week, Mike and Brendan talk with Mauro DePasquale, Executive Director of WCCA TV13, Worcester’s cable access station (and the home of the 508 show). Mauro had just finished interviewing some guests for his own show, Soapbox, so we taped 508 on the Soapbox set.