She didn’t sugar-coat it

Written by admin on August 23rd, 2014

By Rosalie Tirella

The woman at the City of Worcester Public Health Department felt bad, when I called to tell them about the used syringe in my backyard. And to tell them TAKE IT – SOME JUNKY’S TOOL – AWAY. (I didn’t see the used needle last night when Jett and I returned home from work. So I assume city workers with gloves and sharp boxes came by…)

She told me: The city’s health dept got phone calls a few days ago from people in my neighborhood. They too had stumbled upon dirty drug addict needles.

How unsettling. You are running what you believe to be your mundane, predictable little life and then this symbol of everything dirty and desperate and deadly and illegal pops into your fairly well modulated world, the world you try so hard to create for yourself, your pets, your kids. A reminder that YOU have no control over anything. The universe, your neighborhood – it’s all about entropy, life coming undone, breaking apart. You and your neighbors try so hard to keep it together. But it’s a farce. People lie. People cheat. People behead other people. People kill 18 year old black boys. People lose themselves in heroin. It’s a wonder we’ve created all these amazing civilizations, the anti-dote to entropy!

Maybe the deadly heroin that killed a bunch of people in my city has finally been used up, bought up…Now Worcester is back to the regular smack. The beat goes on…

The Worcester city worker told me this, too: The City of Worcester Health Department gets phone calls like mine every day from people all over Worcester. Discarded syringes are found EVERYWHERE in Worcester. EVERY DAY.

Who wants to buy, renovate and live in one of Worcester’s inner-city three deckers, if he or she has to contend with drug addicts and their “issues”? Who, after a hard day’s work, wants to contend with filthy syringes?

After I blogged about the syringe in my backyard yesterday I got an email from an ICT reader who said she knows how I feel. She wrote she was sick of the junkies behind her building defecating in her building’s back parking lot.

I’ll say!

What made the email especially sad is the person sounded resigned to living with drug addicts and them taking a shit in her parking lot.


Found a used needle in our …

Written by admin on August 22nd, 2014

… backyard. Just now. A foot away from the lovely squashes my neighbor is growing.


Just when I felt my hood was on the upswing. Three days ago I spent time picking up the trash people throw in front of my pad.

I am not touching someone’s shitty used syringes! Right by our neighbor’s beautiful garden we are all so proud of. Right in the yard where my other neighbor’s two and three year olds splash around in the cute dolphin wading pool their dad filled for them.


On road delivering ICTs. Have to stop working to call city health department. They HAVE TO PICK IT UP.

I am too crest-fallen, too angry to enjoy what is normally a fun day driving around my beloved city, delivering my beloved InCity Times.

I am not letting this go …

This city doesn’t have a handle on its heroin problem. Hopefully, the new state opioid law will begin to make a dent IN ALL THE PAIN … all the collateral damage just one drug addict creates.

- Rosalie Tirella

Looking good!

Written by admin on August 21st, 2014

The lamp I found on the side of the road …


… has been transformed by the OIF. He spray-painted the hell out of it! Here it is sitting on his much loved, shiny red dump truck.  – R. T.


“I’ve got a dog and he’s got me. We get along so easily.”

Written by admin on August 21st, 2014

- sung by Dwight Yoakam (he didn’t write the tune!) – R. T.


JETT! August 21, 2014

The hardest part. The easiest part.

Written by admin on August 21st, 2014

By Rosalie Tirella

So I moved back to Worcester’s District 4 after three years of living at 159 Greenwood St., Worcester. Back then, living on Greenwood Street, living at the edge of Quinsig Village, I felt, for the first time!, almost semi-retired. Heaven! I was born and raised in the inner city and lived in all kinds of sketchy pads in sketchy hoods most of my life. The edge of the Village, near the Millbury line, was like joining AARP.

In the Village, I could truly unwind… across the street from my digs there was a big park, next door a business that closed up at 5, every night…and next door, on the other side of my place, my human neighbors were two old Swedes and their old son who would inherit their antiseptic little house and existence and keep the cycle spinning, keep things blessedly quiet. …Greenwood Street is wide and busy with zooming traffic – no chance of small talk with neighbors across the street!!!

Now I AM IN THE THICK OF HUMAN HAPPENINGS HERE IN MY D 4 inner city hood! TONS OF PEOPLE ARE JAMMED IN HERE – most desperate around the edges, lots a pay-check or two away from being out on the street. Lots of folks here don’t work at all…

When I first moved here I was annoyed, ANNOYED, by all the messy human activity. Annoyed that the guy nearby decided to rip into his girlfriend one day as I was getting into my car to hit the road for InCity Times. The nerve of the guy! Calling his gal pal a cunt and rushing at her just as I was planning on where to buy my coffee…I am middle aged and I’ve been to this rodeo before. It’s as constant as the turning of the earth. It began with my father in Green Island decades ago! The guy loathes himself, believes deep deep deep down he’s shit, a loser. Lost and broken, he is. Then a woman takes him in (we always take them in) and it’s good for awhile but then the man who hates himself begins to transfer his self loathing onto his woman – rips into the woman to feel better about himself.

The morning I was thinking about my coffee, I sensed, without turning my head to look at the garish spectacle, that the guy who was screaming at his girlfriend and threatening to punch her was showing off…for me… The new lady neighbor with big sun glasses who always tries to look nice when she runs her business…and always takes her little husky dog with her wherever she goes …

I felt mad and ashamed. For them. For me. For the human race…

But that was several months ago…

Things change.

I have re-remembered that for every shitty experience that goes down in the inner city, 10 cool things happen. For instance, my downstairs neighbors are LOVELY. They love Jett and call him beautiful. One of them came upstairs with a box of doggie biscuits a few months ago, and the other gave me a teeny spider plant which I have replanted three times in successively bigger flower pots – making her little gift a big, sprawling, BEAUTIFUL testament to her good ways. Despite the poverty.

My neighbor next door has cleaned the yard and has planted an urban garden for all of us to admire, and it is fun to watch his squashes grow by the hour it seems! Squashes and tomato vines carressing our inner city yard – lovely. The little yard where his little dogs scamper about and try to mix it up with Jett my husky mix.

Yesterday I saw some plastic soda bottles and wrapping paper and other trash strewn in front of our three decker and I got indignant! No! My neighborhood, my home, is not your personal trash can! (Lots of people think it’s perfectly OK to throw their garbage onto inner city streets and sidewalks, as if to say let the paper and plastic refuse join the human kind. This is immoral! We WILL CHANGE THIS MINDSET, my neighbors and I!)

Sometimes taking pride in yourself, your jalopy, your neighborhood is catching and your neighbors start to clean up around their yards and plant pretty flowers in their front yards and joke with their dogs as they see you make your way to your car with your husky dog! Everybody walks a little taller.

And then sometimes inner-city life can be TRANSCENDENT…

A few months ago I was heading to my apartment after a long day’s work. I was tired. I had closed my car door, was putting the leash on Jett to lead him to the back yard to pee and then this: boom! Four or so boys, 12, 13 years old, were in my face…They looked dirty, rough, their hair knotty and when I looked up one of the boys put his hand out to me and said: LOOK!!!

In his hand a sparrow. A sparrow that he was cupping so he and his little gang could show me. The pretty little, tough little brown birds that you find every where in the inner city, the ones that make their nests in the eaves of old sheds or the condemned three decker you had given up on.

There sat the brown bird, so so still, in his hand, feathers dirty and ruffled. Perfect. The boys let me look long and close at this mystery.

The leader said: He got himself hit with our baseball!

I thought to myself: You mean the one you whipped at him. Now he’s probably in shock.

Still, I stared, grateful that they had thought of me, had guessed (correctly!) that I would love the sparrow.

And then FOOF! The sparrow FLEW OUT OF HIS TRAP and made mad little circles over head.

The boy yelled, laughing: YOU FAKER!

And looking up into the sky, running helter skelter, their tee shirts ill fitting, greasy bangs in their eyes the boys ran out of my parking lot following the sparrow…The bird was high in the sky…We were all looking up at it! We were smiling. Happy.

The time to make up your mind about inner-city life is … NEVER!

“Will you let me see you smile before I turn you loose?”

Written by admin on August 20th, 2014

- Bob Dylan

Job Corps is celebrating 50 years!!!

Written by admin on August 20th, 2014

Job Corps is celebrating its

50th Anniversary Nationwide!

We cordially invite you to

Our Grafton Job Corps Center

100 Pine St.

North Grafton


Please Save Our Celebration Date:

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Lunch will be provided following the ceremony

Please RSVP and for more information, please contact:

Denise L. Perrault,

Business & Community Liaison

Cell: 978-902-7893

Webinar series!

Written by admin on August 20th, 2014

Wednesday Webinar Series at 12pm EDT




Join us this fall for our continuing Wednesday webinar series focused on state and federal policies that could improve our region’s food system.  The webinars explore in greater detail the policies and policy options described in our report, New England Food Policy: Building a Sustainable Food System.

To register for the webinars below, click on the webinar title and you will be routed to the registration page.  

September 3rd:            Agriculture and Climate Change:  The Needs of Agriculture in a Warming Climate

September 10th:          Promoting Access to Farmland for New and Established Farmers

September 17th:          Buying Regional:  State Procurement and Purchasing Policies

September 24th:          Policy Gaps and Needs in Meat, Poultry and Seafood Processing  

October 1st:                 Food Safety: The Elephant on the Farm

October 8th:                 Promoting Innovation in Agriculture:  Energy; Conservation; Research and Development

October 15th:               Growing the Region’s Farm and Food Workforce  

All webinars are recorded and will be available at You will find these four webinars already posted there:

May 14:          Introduction to the New England Food Policy Report and Project

June 18th:       Organic Waste:  Finding Uses for It in the Food System

July 16th:        Frameworks for Regional Food System Collaboration

July 23rd:         Reducing Farmland Conversion: State Land Use and Protection Policies


For a more detailed description of each of the webinars, please visit

One ICT reader writes …

Written by admin on August 20th, 2014
Hi, Rosalie.
Good question [see Rosalie's post below]  - Why would a doc prescribe addictive meds to an addict?
This is something I’ve questioned myself. You know how I feel about this whole messed up system from my many emails, not only to you but[to] many others (anytime an article about this is written I comment). I’m a mother who will never stop voicing my opinions, not caring who I piss off until awareness and change at all levels happen I’ll continue my fight.
…  I think you should do a story about addiction. I’d love to sit with you and help with an honest no bullshit kind of article really telling the whole screwed up truths about [drug] addiction and the recovery system that is just as messed up. The stories I could share would blow your mind. You are the only writer that wouldn’t be afraid of printing the truth, the whole messed up truth.
Let me know. I have a lot to say, and you have the gift of putting words on paper perfectly.
Robin Generelli
via the Internet

On the road today! The road is always easy with Jett and Dwight!

Written by admin on August 19th, 2014


Me – today!


Here’s poor lil’ Jett looking overwhelmed last week by the BIG lamp I found on side of the road. Like shape and size. Hate color. … The Old Injun Fighter (a good ol’ pal) is spray painting it white for me…

Here’s a fantastic DY song I have been listening to while driving all over the place! From THREE PEARS, his 2012 CD. He said John Lennon was the inspiration for title tune (three pairs of glasses in the John Lennon famous photo – Yoakam loves the  raw emotion in Lennon’s songs AND the famous Lennon/Beatles word play. So do I and everyone else on the planet! …)

JL – The best!!!

AND, finally: Here’s what seems to be an excellent list of Yoakam’s BEST efforts. Great singer, amazing songwriter, all around brilliant guy … EATS NO MEAT!!! WOW.  - Rosalie Tirella