By Rosalie Tirella
… last night voted for the harsh panhandler ordinance (voting against – bravo! – City Councilors Joe O’Brien and Sarai Rivera). A new low. Did burning down the Hoovervilles eradicate The Great Depression? Nope. FDR and World War II did. Sure, we will sweep these folks under the rug, but the problems will stay with us … and maybe a few extra thrown in for good measure. Like: folks getting robbed by desperate ex-panhandlers. Panhandlers who are homeless and without $$ forced to sleep in our streets or empty buildings and two or three … die from the 2-degree cold … or cause a fire somewhere. Worcester will make the Boston papers and we will not be called a city on the move. We will be called heartless.
On an up note: You all know how I feel about Allen Fletcher and his: fake canal, phony berets, beer-soaked-college-crowd Blackstone Canal District, etc. Well, last night Fletcher said something smart. It was during a meeting re: what Worcester wants to see happen with the Worcester Public Library municipal parking lot. Fletcher said parking (we agree), computer store (geeky), book store (we tried that with Ben Franklin and Ephraim’s), BUT he also said something totally brilliant: WHY NOT PUT A TRADER JOE’S food store in the lot?
Brilliant! I guess Allen’s brain pan isn’t as small as I once thought it was! Or maybe he just didn’t know that what he was suggesting would be a perfect fit for the area because:
1. First and foremost it would bring a nice little supermarket to the inner-city, a place where the folks of Green Island can shop and actually buy stuff like fresh oranges, apples, and other produce. A place where Green Islanders and other inner-city folks can buy organic produce, good tasty crackers, cereal, cheese, eggs, you name it! Even fresh flowers! All at low to very low prices. I shop at the Trader Joe’s in Shrewsbury and always wish for one in the city! Think of all the young families, poor, without a car, living around city hall and the beginning of Main South. Now they can go to Trader Joe’s … and the library.
2. Trader Joe’s has a ton of great stuff but it is smallish – not a huge box supermarket. Its “footprint” small, manageable. A perfect fit for the library parking lot, with plenty of room to spare.
3. College kids love Trader Joe’s because you can eat vegetarian if you buy your groceries there AND the prices are low and the place is … funky.
4. Trader’s would be a place where the middle class and the working class and the poor can mix and mingle, which means there will always be a ton of folks around … OUR DOWNTOWN. And our city core will be lively and diverse.
In short, Trader Joe’s is the perfect people magnet!
Again, I am psyched because Green Islanders have been wanting a nice grocery store for YEARS and are stuck with a crumby Honey Farms. The walk downtown is a snap! I made it as a kid with my mom and two sisters all the time, at least once a week, when I was growing up in the hood! And the buses go there!
TRADER JOE’S FOR THE LIBRARY PARKING LOT. A great anchor store.
Perfect, Allen. Perfect.
Just wondering: Did you get a new brain pan at Trader Joe’s?