… as brilliant and abrasive as ever!💖💖💖💖
By Lindsay Pollard-Post
The historic “bomb cyclone” and ensuing cold snap buried the Northeast in snow, knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes, forced airports to close, flooded streets and caused temperatures to plunge to record lows — down to -45 Fahrenheit in parts of Maine and New Hampshire!
It was so cold that a frozen water pipe burst at New York’s JFK Airport and a terminal flooded, the ocean froze on the Atlantic coast, snow fell on Hawaii and even ski resorts closed down.
Yet despite these extreme, unforgiving conditions, countless dogs were stuck outside on chains or in backyard pens as if they were nothing more than lawn ornaments. They shivered violently, curling themselves into the smallest possible ball in a desperate attempt to conserve body heat while their ears and feet froze and their bones ached from the unrelenting cold.
In Detroit, a man abandoned a small dog in a cage outside an animal-rescue facility in the middle of the night. When shelter workers returned in the morning, they found the dog frozen to death, still inside the cage.
In Toledo, Ohio, a cruelty investigator found a female pit bull curled up on a porch, frozen solid. The dog had only a pillow and some blankets — which offer no protection from the cold — and no food or water.
A dog in Flint, Michigan, who had apparently been hit by a car and sustained a broken femur, had to be pried from the ground after he froze to it. Dogs in Ohio, Connecticut and Virginia have been found frozen to death inside their doghouses.
Cats, too, are suffering and dying outdoors in these temperatures. One cat was found near a bowling alley in Manitoba, screaming in pain because his tail, which had to be amputated, was severely frostbitten. So far this winter, at least 25 animals have died after they were left outside, and many more animals’ deaths have surely gone unreported.
Before, during and after the bomb cyclone, PETA’s fieldworkers raced to prevent more animals from ending up like these unfortunate ones. They urged people to allow their dogs inside, filled water buckets for dogs who had only a block of solid ice (or nothing at all) for hydration, gave a good meal to dogs who looked like they hadn’t eaten in days and delivered free, custom-built doghouses stuffed with straw to provide some insulation against the cold.
As PETA’s fieldworker piled straw into a doghouse for a dog named Cuba, she was showered with kisses before the grateful pup quickly dove inside to hunker down for warmth.
At another stop, the fieldworkers found seven puppies left out in the cold and snow. Their owner agreed to surrender them, and after giving them a much-needed warm-up, the fieldworkers delivered them to a local shelter for a chance at finding cozy, loving homes.
Animals are simply not equipped to survive these temperatures. They will die if left outdoors without proper shelter. Frostbite, hypothermia and dehydration (when water sources freeze) are constant threats in cold weather.
Please! Let your animals stay inside and urge your friends and neighbors to do the same. If necessary, offer to take their animals into your own home to prevent them from freezing. If you see stray or feral animals, keep them indoors until you can find their guardians or take them to an animal shelter. If they’re unapproachable, set out food, water and a temporary shelter (such as a small doghouse stuffed with straw for stray cats) and call your local animal shelter for help humanely trapping them and getting them out of the cold.
If you see any animal deprived of adequate shelter, food, water or other basic necessities, please notify authorities immediately. [Worcester Animal Rescue League – 508.853.0030 or Animal Control – WPD – 508.799.8606]
The frigid weather may be an uncomfortable inconvenience for us, but for forgotten animals who have no escape from it, it’s deadly.
…Then to work on CECELIA. We hit stands next week!
My 2018 wish for Worcester: the Worcester Public Schools instructional aides AND substitute teachers are paid a LIVING WAGE BY THE CITY OF WORCESTER. One of our aides was homeless! Our “subs” can barely pay their bills! Both groups of educators make little more than minimum wage – and they love kids, schools, education, Worcester! Why exploit them, City Manager Augustus and Woo School Committee?
Needed now! Respect for Worcester County’s working men and women (like in the bad old good old days!). Some photos of my uncles/aunts and grandpa’s work lit:
GOOD-PAYING JOBS FOR WORCESTERITES START AT CITY HALL! City Councilor Candy Carlson is RIGHT ON!: ALL City Employees must be paid at least $15/hour by the city! Worcester County Food Bank’s Executive Director Jean Murray and so many in the social services are also FIGHTING FOR $15!
This $$$💜😘 is key to REDUCING POVERTY IN WORCESTER! ONE IN FOUR OF OUR CITY’S KIDS IS FOOD INSECURE, social-worker-speak for HUNGRY!!
How can we be great, if our citizens are sick from hunger?
– pics+text by Rose T.
P.S. My immigrant grandparents came to Worcester with the clothes on their backs and big tin and wood trunks (one per family) filled with everything they loved in the world. They believed in America and her promise to the forsaken of the world. They built good lives here in the Woo…
They got hard but good-paying, union factory jobs; sent their kids to our once solid, no-nonsense public schools; lived in affordable housing they could even buy (three deckers)!!! This city built them, they built the city!
200,000 Massachusetts families depend on the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) each year!
As a brutal winter storm bears down on the Northeast, Congressman Jim McGovern and the Massachusetts Congressional delegation today called for the immediate release of as much as possible of the remaining 10 percent of Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds for this fiscal year.
Nationwide, LIHEAP helps low-income households, veterans and seniors pay their energy bills during the cold winter months.
The Department of Energy forecasts that consumers across the Northeast will have to pay significantly more to heat their homes this winter.
Families heating their homes with heating oil are anticipated to pay 21 percent more this winter. In the Northeast, families using natural gas or propane are projected to pay roughly 10 percent more than last year, and it will cost families heating with electricity nearly three and a half percent more.
“Families in our state are in desperate need of the remaining LIHEAP funds to combat the deadly combination of sustained cold weather and high fuel prices,” write McGovern and the lawmakers in their letter.
They continue: “No family should have to choose between paying their energy bills or paying for other necessities, such as food or medicine during dangerously cold days, but a lack of additional LIHEAP funds means that thousands of families may soon have to face these terrible choices.”
Joining McGovern on the letter are Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, and Representatives Richard Neal, Michael Capuano, Stephen F. Lynch, Niki Tsongas, William Keating, Joseph P. Kennedy III, Katherine Clark and Seth Moulton
Full text of the letter:
January 4, 2018
Mr. Eric D. Hargan, Acting Secretary and Deputy Secretary
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
Dear Acting Secretary Hargan:
We are facing a home heating crisis in Massachusetts and the Northeast this winter. As families in Massachusetts face sustained low temperatures and high fuel prices this winter, we write to urge you to immediately release as much of the remaining 10 percent of Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds for this fiscal year as possible.
LIHEAP funding is indispensable to families in Massachusetts and across the United States during these frigid winter months, including seniors, children and individuals with disabilities. The program provides a crucial public safety and health service for millions of households across the country and hundreds of thousands in Massachusetts. Families in the Commonwealth will soon confront a home heating emergency as LIHEAP funds are exhausted while extreme cold weather continues to strike the region.
Families in the Northeast are also facing heating fuel prices that are significantly higher than last winter. No family should have to choose between paying their energy bills or paying for other necessities such as food or medicine during dangerously cold days, but a lack of additional LIHEAP funds means that thousands of families may soon have to face these terrible choices.
Because of the frigid cold combined with higher fuel prices, the Department of Energy (DOE) forecasts that consumers across the Northeast will have to pay significantly more to heat their homes this winter. Families heating their homes with heating oil are anticipated to pay 21 percent more this winter.
In the Northeast, families using natural gas or propane are projected to pay roughly 10 percent more than last year and it will cost families heating with electricity nearly three and a half percent more.
LIHEAP funds are quickly running out in Massachusetts. Families in our state are in desperate need of the remaining LIHEAP funds to combat the deadly combination of sustained cold weather and high fuel prices.
We urge you to immediately release as much of the remaining funding in the LIHEAP account as possible to help families in Massachusetts and across the country as we approach a home heating emergency this winter.
By Edith Morgan
How did we get to this point, waiting daily for another shoe to drop in the never-ending parade of distortions, lies, “walk-backs” and ”I forgot” statements? I thought we had hit rock bottom when the election results came in last November and Trump won the electoral college. But then we were treated to the daily shocks of watching, as one after another, persons were appointed to his Cabinet – people who had zero experience or knowledge in the field they were to lead and in several instances had said they wanted to eliminate their department.
I always thought that in order to head up a huge bureaucracy with specific tasks to perform that at least I could expect a modicum of background knowledge and even expertise and experience in the field. I have not always agreed with those who have been elected to govern us, but at least I believed they would listen to we the people and actually support our Constitution. While they may on occasion have favored their friends, they did not have their hands deep in my pockets and did not enrich themselves at the public trough.
Now all that has changed: Donald Trump TOLD us during the campaign that he would make major changes; that rules and laws did not apply to him, that he was not accountable to us and that he would do all that he promised by himself. He surrounded himself with people who were required to flatter him, display absolute loyalty and carry out the dismantling of our social safety net (even though he had told us he would make it all better).
In the 76 years that I have lived in the U.S. never has lying, emotional excess, greed at the expense of others brought about the resurgence of all that I thought we had overcome, or at least progressed up from. But now I find myself daily dreading the news out of Washington: the party of Abraham Lincoln is now headed by a man who boasts that he grabs women where and when he wishes, a man who boasted that he would get rich off the Presidency, a man who has affronted the leaders of every democratic nation with which he has been in contact – and who has only good things to say about the dictator of Russia.
Not only did Trump actually tell us he planned to do these horrific things, but he proceeded to surround himself with people who would carry out theses nefarious aims.
Trump has played into all the worst prejudices in us and, despite the fact that most of the American public is dissatisfied, he is nevertheless getting much of what he wants: He got his Supreme Court Justice, is appointing judges (for life!!) to key positions, and dismantling key agencies under the Executive Branch by simply not hiring needed personnel – and letting loose a barrage of name-calling whenever things do not go his way.
What is to become of the America I used to know?
PETA commends Scotland for becoming the first country in the UK to ban wild-animal circuses.
A public consultation, which took place in 2015, found that an overwhelming 98 per cent of respondents supported a ban.
Following this consultation, more than 13,000 PETA supporters contacted the Scottish government, asking it to follow through by introducing the ban as soon as possible.
On 5 October 2017, the bill passed the first stage of voting in the Scottish Parliament. In May 2017, Scotland became the first country in the UK to introduce legislation banning wild-animal circuses.
And on 20 December 2017, members of the Scottish Parliament unanimously voted to pass the Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Scotland) Bill.
Captivity is a living hell for animals such as tigers and lions, and a circus environment can’t possibly meet their complex needs.
These animals understandably become frustrated, stressed, and depressed from a lifetime of being denied everything that’s natural and important to them, kept caged in trailers that are hauled around the country, and forced to perform confusing tricks under the big top for some Victorian-era sense of entertainment.
Let’s hope the progress in Holyrood serves to light a fire under the government in Westminster, which, despite years of promising to bring in such a ban, continues to sit back and do nothing as England falls further and further behind the growing number of countries putting a stop to these cruel exhibits.
And to all you procrastinating Santa’s out there: Make your last-minute holiday gifts cruelty-free!! – Rose T.
Text and photos by Ron O’Clair
The South Worcester Neighborhood Center held its annual Christmas toy give-away yesterday so that needy children in South Worcester could be assured of having gifts under their Christmas Trees this Christmas!
The toys were generously donated by many groups and individuals including: The Toys for Tots program of the United States Marine Corps Reserve; many local churches, including St. Mathew’s, Hadwen Park and Sacred Heart; various local businesses and non-profits, such as Fallon Community Health, Polar Corporation, Mass Save … and even local residents!
There were 700 children served this year, as opposed to the 610 served last year. Each parent received a two-pack of LED bulbs to lower the cost of their electricity bills whilst brightening up their homes for the holidays – sponsored by Mass Save.
There were five brand new bicycles provided by the Toys for Tots program of the United States Marine Corps Reserve that were put on raffle so that each child had a fair chance of winning a bicycle, as there were understandably not enough bikes for each child.
SWNC Executive Director Ron Charette decided the fairest way of distributing the bicycles was to hold a Raffle – which was a huge success.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!
By Jennifer O’Connor
Most brick-and-mortar retailers are feeling the squeeze of e-commerce, so getting shoppers off their devices and into the mall is priority number one. Yet, instead of offering fresh promotions to entice customers this holiday season, some malls are still resorting to displaying reindeer outside the food court or forcing beleaguered horses to haul carriages in the parking lot.
Today’s consumers are becoming more informed about the cruelty behind such animal displays, so it’s little wonder that malls across America are going dark.
Rudolph is a beloved movie character, but real-life reindeer don’t want to pull sleighs. In their natural environment, they live in large social herds and migrate over vast distances. They rely on their numbers for protection from predators and can run up to 50 miles an hour. Being bred in captivity doesn’t make all their instincts disappear like Santa’s cookies on Christmas Eve.
Businesses that rent out reindeer haul them from venue to venue, sometimes traveling for hours on end, subjecting these sensitive and skittish animals to harsh artificial lighting, blaring holiday music and groping hands.
Shoppers’ health may also be at risk. Reindeer can harbor tetanus, leptospirosis, Lyme disease, rabies, warts, tapeworms and ringworm. Nothing ruins a Christmas outing like a trip to the E.R.
And it’s hard to spin a carriage ride dodging traffic on slush-filled streets as nostalgic, so why do shopping centers and community associations still offer them? Horses don’t react well to unexpected noises. Havoc can ensue from something as common as a car horn or a distracted driver.
Last year, two horses pulling a carriage during a neighborhood Christmas light display got spooked and took off running for a mile with 15 passengers on board, mostly children.
The carriage eventually crashed, and the driver later died of his injuries. A year earlier, a Maine woman riding in a horse-drawn carriage had died after being critically injured when a car crashed into her on Christmas Day. Six other people were also injured.
The carriage driver told reporters, “I’m always worried about [crashing]. People fly by us like we weren’t there.”
Other mercenary promotions include camel rides and photo booths with tiger cubs. Forced to plod in endless circles or passed from one shopper to the next, these animals can quickly become exhausted and stressed.
For most people, the holiday season means a jam-packed schedule. But surely we can spare a thought for animals and how strange, stressful and frightening it is to them to be hauled around the country and exposed to noisy crowds.
Children don’t learn to respect animals or learn anything meaningful about them when they see them outside a food court or slogging across an icy parking lot.
Instead, they get the harmful message that animals can be forced to do whatever we want, as if they were nothing more than props or equipment.
Parents and grandparents can and must explain to their little ones why reindeer belong in the wild – not in the mall.
We should all open our eyes to the cruelty lurking behind the ribbons and bows and pledge not to support it. Goodwill should extend to everyone, including animals!