The Gateway Cities Journal
News and information for leaders who care about Gateway Cities


A watershed moment


Gateway City leaders assembled yesterday before the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies to make the case for House Bill 311, legislation I filed with Senator Downing, my Gateway Cities Legislative Caucus co-chair.


One after another, those appearing before the Committee described how this bill could be a watershed moment for Gateway Cities. With the resources to overcome financial barriers, ambitious redevelopment plans all across the state would come off the shelves. By enabling the same kind of "transformative redevelopment" that Boston has benefited from in the past (investments that are now reaping huge returns), this bill will position Gateway Cities to drive regional economic growth.


This is not just about tomorrow. The imperative today is real. Five years of double digit unemployment -- unemployment that continues to rise as our state's recovery stalls -- is taking a toll on our communities. H. 311 would put thousands of people to work right away rebuilding our cities, while getting these urban centers ready to support the state's next wave of economic growth.


As we work to communicate the urgency as well as the opportunity, support from fellow Gateway City leaders is vital. Please help us make this watershed moment a reality.


Representative Antonio D. Cabral

Co-Chair, Gateway Cities Legislative Caucus



On Sept. 10, the Joint Committee on Economic Development & Emerging Technologies held a hearing in Springfield on a bill to provide tools to Gateway Cities pursuing "transformative redevelopment" projects. A host of Gateway City mayors including Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno, legislative leaders, and community leaders testified at the hearing, as did Ben Forman, Executive Director of the Gateway Cities Innovation Institute 


A new report co-written by Noah Berger of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center says an educated workforce, not low taxes or other incentives, is the key to a strong economy that pays high wages to workers.


In Lowell, Bridge Street revitalization continues as ground is broken for a new commercial and residential building. According to the developer, a native of the Centralville neighborhood, the plan includes two small storefronts that will likely be occupied by minority-owned businesses who will provide employment in the community.


Local inventors seek to locate a "makerspace" in Fall River, New Bedford, or other nearby towns.



Cultural grants, totaling $58,000 in state funding, will go to a number of North Shore communities including Gateway Cities Haverhill and Methuen.


Additional grant money comes at an opportune time in New Bedford, where the Zeiterion Performing Arts center opens its 2013-14 season with  two new co-directors. The directors, who have 45 shows planned so far, expressed gratitude for $200,000 in state funding that they say will enable them to continue programming, expand partnerships, and offer tickets to deserving families.


In Holyoke, a  youth mural project at Gateway City Arts helps draw attention to a drive to replace stained glass windows in City Hall. The mural project, conducted in August, drew participation from numerous nonprofits and government agencies.


Lowell Celebrates Printmaking, a two-month long celebration of printmaking art, further confirms the city's place in the art world, writes a Sun correspondent. The exhibit is in conjunction with the 2013 North American Print Biennial.


In other arts news, Worcester Music has newly refurbished offices and a new-ish executive director, who  discusses the new season's programming and the organization's goals of bringing visiting artists to local schools and making attending a concert "affordable for a family."




The ferry between Salem and Long Wharf in Boston carried 42,500 passengers through the end of August, up 49 percent compared to last summer, the Salem News reports.




Haverhill city councilors question why only the most expensive plan was presented for replacing a deteriorating middle school. The plan recommended Aug. 29 by the School Committee and the Hunkering Building Committee will cost an estimated $61.5 million, and it's unclear what portion of the cost the city will bear.


Holyoke Community College and Dean Vocational-Technical High School team up for a community education effort.



The last scheduled barge delivery of coal arrives at Salem's power plant, which is expected to be replaced with a natural gas plant next year, the Salem News reports.



CommonWealth magazine editor Bruce Mohl moderated a Lawrence mayoral forum where four candidates vowed to support anyone opposing incumbent William Lantigua in the November 5 election, the Eagle-Tribune  reports. Lantigua did not attend the forum, sponsored by the Eagle-Tribune, CommonWealth magazine, and Rumbo newspaper.


Pittsfield's new proposed charter was signed by Governor Patrick on August 22 and will go to the voters in November. Developed with assistance from Stephen McGoldrick and the Collins Center at UMass Boston, it calls for a four year term for the office of mayor.




The Lowell Housing Authority could be forced to repay the federal government more than $11.4 million because of deficiencies with its handling of major renovation projects and improper procurement procedures identified in a critical federal audit.


Four developers submit bids to build homes in Springfield in neighborhood stabilization effort 



Holyoke teens learn stages of pregnancy and how to hold babies and other parenting skills in a MSPCC program. The state-funded program helps first-time parents under the age of 21 until the child is three years old.


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