Worcester, we need SOLUTIONS!
Let’s hope tonight’s Worcester City Council meeting, during which time city councilors evaluate our city manager, does not devolve into a Gaffney-Hate-Fest with City Councilor Michael Gaffney lashing out at CM Ed Augustus and the CAC because the Gaffer and Turtle Boy’s buddy Margaret Melican got a big NO THANKS! from the CAC when she applied for the city ZBA gig. Gaffney and Melican and TB would have loved the opposite – for the city to have rejected progressive socialist Margolies for the library board. But it did not. Why? Cuz the guy embraces all members of the Worcester community and does not seem crazy hateful/reactionary – the way Melican does. The city chose the right fringe-y person! Gaffney and Melican and Turtle Boy need to SUCK IT UP and MOVE ON! Of course, they didn’t. They pooped all over the guy on social media – just the way they believe they were pooped on by the other side. No way was the pro-Margolies chatter as nasty and creepy as Melican and Gaffney’s! Which is why Melican, Gaffney and Turtle Boy are relegated to … somewhere else… Definitely not the City of Worcester!
Text and photos: Rose T.
By Lindsay Pollard-Post
There will be plenty of “oohs” and “aahs” during the July Fourth fireworks celebration in Costa Mesa, California, this year. But there won’t be any bone-rattling booms and bangs. That’s because the city is putting on a silent fireworks display—and other cities should, too.
Noisy fireworks aren’t fun for everyone. For many dogs, cats, wildlife and veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), they are terrifying and can even be deadly.
Countless dogs and cats panic at the sound of explosions—their hearing is much more acute than humans’, after all—and bolt from their homes, sometimes tearing through screens, digging under fences or even crashing through windows. Animal shelters across the country brace for an influx of lost and injured animals following every July Fourth.
Some animals never make it to a shelter and are killed after running into traffic. Others go missing, never to be reunited with their guardians. Those who remain at home may spend the nights following Independence Day trembling in fear, panting, hiding under beds or couches or clinging tightly to their guardians, desperate for comfort.
When “bombs” start bursting in air, sensitive wildlife also flee for cover. Birds who are terrorized by fireworks have abandoned their nests—sometimes orphaning their fledglings—and crashed into buildings, power lines and even each other in frantic attempts to escape in the dark. Many have been severely injured or killed.
In the Netherlands, where fireworks are ignited on New Year’s Eve, a team of international researchers used weather radar to track birds and found that tens of thousands of them took flight just as a fireworks display began. They continued flying for 45 minutes—roughly the duration of the show.
The sound of explosions can also be extremely traumatic for veterans who have served our country and are suffering from PTSD. The gunshot-like noises can trigger combat flashbacks, hypervigilance, intrusive thoughts and even suicide.
In 2015, a Georgia veteran who was suffering from the disorder reportedly became so agitated and distressed by fireworks that he ran home and fatally shot himself. One veteran who served in Somalia and Afghanistan described the feeling this way: “Fireworks for us is like a bomb going off. I want to hit the ground. Take cover. … It sounds and feels like incoming [fire].”
The Fourth of July should be festive, not frightening, and that’s one reason why more cities are modernizing their celebrations by switching to silent fireworks or other dazzling displays such as laser-light shows. The town of Collecchio in Northern Italy made headlines recently when it passed a law requiring that fireworks be silent, and in Britain, many venues that are close to animal farms, wildlife habitats or residential areas permit only quiet displays.
Silent or quiet fireworks displays can be even more colorful and mesmerizing than noisy ones, because the large explosions needed to create the huge booms destroy some of the chemical compounds that create fireworks’ brilliant colors. Quiet displays often emphasize artistry and choreography and can be timed to accompany music.
If you aren’t lucky enough to live in a quiet-fireworks community, there are still ways to make the holiday less stressful for your animals. Staying with them during fireworks displays, closing blinds and curtains, keeping the lights on and playing classical music will help keep animals calm and safe. Special recordings for dogs, such as Through a Dog’s Ear, can help, as can a ThunderShirt—a snug, stretchy garment that can alleviate anxiety.
Always keep animals indoors unless they’re on a leash and harness or under constant supervision in a fenced yard, and ensure that they’re microchipped and wearing collars with current identification tags, just in case.
We can also ask our local legislators to ban booming pyrotechnics in favor of silent fireworks or other beautiful and peaceful displays that all Americans can enjoy.
Grrrr…Recycling day and our recyclables were NOT picked up at 48 Ward St. because some fathead ILLEGALLY DUMPED THEIR GREEN CONTRACTOR BAG in the thick of it!
On the road, Rose called Mayor Joe and his office and City of Worc. Inspectional Services – their #:(508)799-8576 – and whined!!!
Rose came home to a pristine door step! THANK YOU, ALL!💚💙💗
Go, Sam, go!!!🚲🚲🚲
By Jennifer O’Connor
Summer is here, and every single day, countless moms and dads make decisions that can actually cause their children to get hurt — or worse. I’m not talking about letting them ride skateboards without kneepads or play ball in the street. I’m talking about the risks involved every time a family visits a petting farm, takes an elephant ride or stops at a roadside zoo.
A trip to a petting zoo can result in a trip to the emergency room. Whether they are set up in a mall parking lot or on the midway of a county fair, petting zoos are hotbeds of E. coli bacteria, and numerous children have been infected after visiting such displays. Symptoms can include bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps, vomiting and fever. It can even be fatal.
In 2015, a toddler died after falling ill with hemolytic uremic syndrome just days after visiting a petting zoo at a Maine fair. This little boy wasn’t the first child to die from an illness acquired at these events, and countless others have suffered from serious health problems, including kidney failure.
Children and adults alike have contracted E. coli after petting animals or simply touching the areas around an exhibition. The bacteria have been found on railings and bleachers and even in sawdust. Yet parents still encourage their little ones to pet the animals.
Roadside zoos aren’t any better. They are little more than backyard menageries or dilapidated facilities where animals are typically kept in barren cages constructed from chain-link or wire fencing. Many enclosures look as if they haven’t been upgraded in decades.
Some of these zoos even dupe visitors into believing that they rescue animals by calling themselves “sanctuaries.” But no legitimate sanctuary offers elephant rides or photo ops with tiger or bear cubs, as many roadside and traveling zoos do.
Two visitors to an Indiana roadside zoo, including a young girl, were bitten by tiger cubs in at least two separate incidents during public interactions. A 4-year-old Florida girl sustained severe cuts to her head, and her ear was partially severed by a cougar at a children’s birthday party. And 14 students were bitten by a 3-month-old bear cub in a petting zoo at Washington University in St. Louis.
Profit-hungry exhibitors might be able to deceive parents into believing that interactions with little cubs are safe, but it’s genuinely baffling that parents would think it’s OK to allow their children to ride on top of the world’s largest land animal — the elephant.
When a captive elephant goes rogue — and they often do — chaos ensues. At least 15 children were injured when an elephant being used for rides at a Shrine circus in Indiana was startled, then stumbled and knocked over the scaffolding stairway leading to the ride. While carrying children on her back at a state fair, an elephant with the R.W. Commerford & Sons petting zoo panicked, throwing a 3-year-old girl to the ground.
At a Shrine circus in Missouri, three elephants escaped from their handlers near the children’s rides and were on the loose for about 45 minutes.
With so many other fun summer activities to choose from, why put your family (and animals) at risk? National Parks are treasures within reach. Interactive virtual reality displays at natural history museums appeal to a generation that grew up with technology. IMAX theater documentaries can open up a whole new world to the viewer. We can’t protect our children from all of life’s dangers, but when it comes to deciding on family outings, the kinder choices are also the safer ones.
By Dorrie Maynard
As most of my readers already know, I volunteer for Central Mass Kibble Kitchen. CMKK rents a garage stall at Worcester Animal Rescue League, so I am there quite often. I can be found bagging pet food for our weekly visits to pass out pet food at the Mustard Seed soup kitchen in Piedmont then twice monthly at St. John’s church on Temple Street.
On one of my recent visits I stopped into the Worcester Animal Rescue League to visit the dogs. I fell in love with Rosie, the large pit bull with a bad eye. I honestly thought about adopting her! I even set up and an appointment for her to meet my dogs. However, when I walked her (and she had just come from a three mile jog with a volunteer), I realized she was way too much for me to handle. I need to stick with my small, compact dogs that don’t care if they go for long walks, (as they are happy to roam in my very small city backyard). My friend Cheryl was behind the counter and said that she was surprised that I was considering such a large dog as she has always known me to be a small dog person. She then mentioned that they might be in need for a hospice situation for a small female dog and she thought I would be a perfect candidate. She discussed it briefly with Alie and they both agreed.
So off to meet Peggy Sue I went! She was a very small odd looking dog that breathed funny. She was a pekinese, I had never had the opportunity to meet one before. She had recently had a very large tumor removed from her belly that they were assuming was cancer, and at the same time she was also spayed. The poor little girl had been through so much. She had a belly full of staples but her spirit was spunky and I felt like she was such a little trooper.
While she continued to heal, I visited her several times and did bring my dogs to meet her. I just wasn’t sure I could deal with her breathing as it kind of freaked me out a bit. It is a common condition in the pekinese breed and they assured me it was nothing to be afraid of. After her staples were removed I made the leap and brought little Miss Peggy Sue home. They had also informed me that her results came back and the tumor was not cancer so she would not be a hospice foster after all. I had her for almost a week and had to bring her back for a dental. They were removing some of her teeth as she had issues! I was a nervous wreck leaving her although I knew she was in good hands. I had fallen head over heals for little Peggy Sue and worried all day. When I finally got there to pick her up, she was “drunk” from the drugs but as they brought her to me, her little tail was wagging away and her little tongue was hanging to one side, it was the cutest thing ever!!!
Peggy Sue will be going back for a follow up to be sure her mouth is healing. I have been playing nurse, giving her pain medicine and ClinDrops. I have even managed to get her to eat something besides Little Caesar dog food, she is going to be getting the good stuff from now on whether she likes it or not. It did take her a few days of putting her nose up to it but she eventually realized it was that or nothing. I did cave a bit when she was sick and did give her some Little Caesar to make her feel better but she is back to eating the good, grain free stuff that my other dogs eat.
Peggy Sue was found as a stray on the streets of Worcester and was brought to WARL by an animal control officer. I was told she had poop hanging out of her butt and a very large tumor protruding off her little belly. She was placed on hold for 7 days as is the case when a dog comes to WARL as a stray. Unfortunately (or fortunately, for Peggy Sue💙) no one came to claim her. I hate to think that someone just booted her out to fend for herself in the condition that she was found.
Well, truth be told, Peggy Sue landed into a much better life. She will be well loved, taken care of and sleep on the best of dog beds and pillows from now on. And as I mentioned, she will be getting good food and on occasion, I give my girls a special bowl of my coveted bottled evian water. It is one of my few splurges, I highly doubt they can tell the difference but I so love my evian water and want to share with my kids!
As always, we are always seeking donations of pet food for CMKK. We are in great need of dry cat food now and always.
You can drop off at WARL and ask them to put it in the CMKK space or you can drop at my house. If you live in Worcester, I am willing to pick it up!
And please support WARL and all the wonderful work they do for the cats and dogs that are found as strays. You can visit their website for weekly “wish list items”. They are very fortunate to have great staff and awesome volunteers. Best of Luck to Alie on the birth of her recent second baby boy!
All is well that ends well!
I can be reached at email@example.com for comments and or questions.
By Heather Moore
Are you concerned about animal welfare? Do you believe that “cage-free” eggs and “free-range” chicken are humane options? Then you’ll be interested in a recent Popular Science article revealing that up to 86 percent of hens on “free-range” egg farms incur broken breast bones – largely because “cage-free” birds are about as “free” as the inmates at the county jail.
It turns out that even so-called “cage-free” birds spend much of their time in crowded sheds with no access to the outdoors — they aren’t given the space they need to develop strong bones and muscles.
And farmers manipulate their food and the lighting in the warehouses to force their bodies to produce more eggs than they would naturally.
Eggshells require calcium, so the nutrient is leached from their bones, which become brittle as a result. Both of these factors lead to weak, fragile bones that break easily.
Scientists are looking for a solution to this problem, but I’ve already got one: Stop eating chicken eggs and flesh.
The market research firm Packaged Facts apparently agrees, saying that the food industry can’t ignore animal-welfare concerns and should invest in plant-based meats.
Memphis Meats comes to mind. The Bay Area startup recently unveiled the world’s first chicken strip that was grown in a laboratory. Laboratory-grown meat requires only 1 percent of the land and 4 percent of the water that conventional meat uses, and it produces up to 96 percent fewer greenhouse-gas emissions. Clean meat, as it’s sometimes called, is also expected to help stop the spread of bird flu and other animal-borne diseases, which flourish on filthy, crowded chicken and turkey farms.
This is promising news that will benefit us all — but especially the chickens who would otherwise be confined, killed and devoured.
Chickens aren’t even included in the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act, the only federal law that offers any sort of protection to farmed animals.
They’re often scalded and dismembered while they’re still conscious. And that goes for “cage-free” birds as well as those raised on conventional factory farms.
But many people are beginning to understand that chickens need space and have interests and feelings that must be protected. Hopefully soon, everyone will realize that there’s no good reason to eat them at all.
Chickens are self-aware and have complex social structures, empathy for one another and distinct personalities, just as humans do. Male chickens often strut around trying to impress females and show other males who’s boss.
Like us, chickens form strong family ties and mourn when they lose a loved one. When they’re not confined to filthy egg farms, hens will lovingly tend to their eggs and “talk” to their chicks, who chirp back, while they’re still in the shell.
A scientific review published earlier this year illustrates that chickens are a lot smarter than most people realize. They communicate constantly and have at least 24 distinct calls to convey information and warn one another of predators. Researchers have found that they can count, anticipate the future and demonstrate self-control. I can’t say that for some humans I know!
When undergraduates at the University of Adelaide were instructed to train chickens as a way to learn about psychology and cognition, one student commented, “Chickens are a lot smarter than I originally thought.”
So the next time someone calls you a “bird brain,” take it as a compliment. And when you’re grocery shopping, make the smart choice: Opt for healthy vegan foods. If you want something that “tastes like chicken,” try Beyond Meat’s vegan chicken strips or Gardein’s meat-free “chick’n.”
Because no one who believes that kindness is a virtue, as we all say we do, can argue that it’s acceptable to be cruel when we have the option to be kind.
There will be a MPS meeting on Monday, June 15 at 7 PM
at WCCA TV studio, 415 Main St.
See you there!
There is also a Vigil on Sunday, as usual at 10 AM at the Mount Carmel Apartments!
Please attend! We have updates and events to share with you!
Mark you Calendar JULY 16!
Sign up for the Worcester Public Library Summer Reading Program 2017 “Build a Better World”!!
The program runs June 23 – August 19 and is for all ages!
Track your time spent reading, listening to a book or attending library programs, and earn prizes!
This year the adults can even win a Worcester Wares t-shirt!
Also, be sure to join us for the Summer Reading Kickoff Events – they are fun for the whole family!
The kickoffs will be held at all WPL Branches on Friday, June 23, and at the Main Library at Salem Square, downtown, on Saturday, June 24.
Visit http://www.mywpl.org/article/summer-reading-program for more info and to sign up for the Summer Reading Program!
This Saturday, June 10, the Worcester Public Library is once again hosting Un-Common Cinema.
If you are unfamiliar with the series, it is a film discussion group seeking to bridge touchy subjects with an open heart.
These films are chosen to strike a chord, in order to talk later about whoever we are, however we feel and whatever we believe.
This coming film is a doozy. Birth of a Nation 2016 pokes the bear twice.
The name, artfully chosen, is shared by another film, back in 1915. Also racially charged, the 1915 version of Birth of a Nation glorifies the Klu Klux Klan.
We will not be watching this film.
We will be watching , 2-4 pm in the Saxe Room, of the Main Library, Salem Sq., Birth of a Nation 2016.
This is not your Grandfather’s Birth of a Nation. The Director, Nate Parker turns the film upside down, and instead focuses on the historical slave rebellion of 1831, orchestrated by slave Nat Turner.
The film is controversial from the beginning. So come to the library,
relax, enjoy the movie, stay for the discussion if you want,
and let it all out.
Jillian M. Parsons
Worcester Public Library
And MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!!