Category Archives: Fashion

REC – always in style! 28 years and still “growing”!🌸

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REC headquarters, on Castle Street, in Main South pics: R.T.

By Edith Morgan

For 28 years, volunteers have been assembling on the day designated as “Earth Day Clean up Day” at so many sites around Worcester, to spend the morning (usually a Saturday, come rain or come shine) cleaning up the public places in the neighborhood, filling hundreds of sturdy yellow bags to be picked up by City of Worcester DPW trucks promptly at noon.

And that is one of my regular contacts with the activities of the Regional Environmental Council (REC). This year 1,000 volunteers collected 100 tons of trash at 68 sites around Worcester!

Founded in 1971, REC has grown its way into all parts of Worcester and created generations of growers, cleaner-uppers, and gardeners.

I would have expected that, like so many organizations that are over 45 years old, by this time there would be a fancy, up-to-date office building with many employees at computers. But a visit to the headquarters of REC is a testament to its steadfast clinging to its humble and service-oriented beginnings: the offices are located on the first floor of what could be a historic brick building, with Victorian mansard-type roofs, on Castle Street in Main South – in the midst of an area in constant transition, with “works-in-progress” all around. Sidewalks are nearly non-existent, and the street is pitted and narrow.

But appearances are deceiving, as is so often the case. In these simple quarters a great deal of important and useful community work is hatched, coordinated and maintained.

It’s spring, and our thoughts turn to growing and planting. In the city, opportunities for gardening are often limited, especially in the densely populated areas where yards a small or non-existent, and where children grow up believing that produce and milk come from stores. Those of us who are teachers know of the children’s joy in watching a seed grow in a tiny cup, or tending a school-yard garden.

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Trying to fulfill its mission to help “build healthy, sustainable and just communities” has brought REC members and volunteers into work not only in Main South, but throughout the city. From establishing community gardens in parks, at schools, at the Worcester Senior Center – wherever there is a public space that could support something to grow. The ultimate goal is to establish a sustainable, local food system.

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REC hosted free urban gardening classes at the Worcester Public Library this summer!

And as an “extra” benefit, this system enables our inner-city younth to find employment, learn to grow their own healthy and nourishing food, and in the process acquire good eating habits and an appreciation for the bounty of nature.

REC’s “UGROW” (Urban Garden Resources ofWorcester) network, which began with just one volunteer and one garden in 1995, has grown to more than 60 community gardens throughout Worcester with more than 500 gardeners, and at some point involving 2,000 Worcester students!!

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A Woo urban gardener! pic: REC

There are so many ways that REC programs reach into the community: the network provides for delivery of compost, soil testing services, gardening workshops, organic seedlings and other forms of technical assistance for would-be gardeners.

With the aid of government funding, the youthGROW program employs up to 40 High school teens who receive on-going training while they tend to the community gardens scattered throughout the city.

To experience one of REC’s many activities, drop in some Wednesday between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the YouthGROW Farm at 63 Oread St!

Or shop at their farmers market at Crystal (University) Park every Saturday morning. Or buy fresh produce and more from their mobile market van … or attend their plant sale and community festival every spring!

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REC FARMERS MARKET SCHEDULE

Grow your community! Shop the
REC COMMUNITY FARMERS’ MARKETS

WORCESTER, JUNE 19 – OCTOBER 28

UNIVERSITY PARK FARM STAND

Saturdays, 9 AM – 1 PM
965 Main St.

BEAVER BROOK PARK FARMERS’ MARKET

Mondays & Fridays, 9 AM – 1 PM
306 Chandler St.

And don’t forget:

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Workers’ rights – always in style! … and WPS community input meeting!

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NEWS FLASH – UPDATE – NEWS FLASH – UPDATE – NEWS FLASH – UPDATE!

We just heard late on Friday that Worcester’s Mayor and State Representatives will be
standing with the Worcester Carpenters at tomorrow’s big rally!!!🔨🔨

Tomorrow! Tuesday, July 11

at 145 Front St.

3:30 pm – 5 pm

Help us send our loudest message yet that wage theft and harassment against workers by P & B Partitions working at Mack-Cali’s 145 Front St. luxury apartment project will not be tolerated!

Be there!

🔨🔧🔩🔌🚪🔨🔩🔧🚪

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Building the Vision for Education in Worcester: A Strategic Plan
Community Forum

Monday, July 17

Fuller Conference Room

6 pm

at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy
and Health Sciences University

25 Foster St., 9th Floor

Worcester Public Schools (WPS) is a model of success and innovation that stands out among urban districts in the Commonwealth.

Since 2012, WPS has consistently increased the number of students who successfully earn their high school credentials and are prepared for the future: college and career options.

In addition, Worcester is a leader in the Commonwealth when it comes to community engagement, with strong partnerships and a deep culture of collaboration.

Yet Worcester is not immune to the challenges of urban schools systems as they work to address the impacts of limited resources, poverty, family instability and language of the student population.

Based on our strengths and with an understanding of our challenges, the district is launching a strategic planning process to further understand the Worcester education experience and establish an improvement plan focused on the future.

Please join us on July 17 for an open conversation on building the vision for education in Worcester Public Schools.

Attendees will learn about the strategic planning process and have the opportunity to contribute to the future design of education in the district.

All community stakeholders are encouraged to attend this event.

Sessions will be offered in English with simultaneous Spanish interpretation.

Light refreshments will be served.

For questions about the event, please contact strategicplanworcester@gmail.com

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Gawumpki! Always in style!

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Chef Joey is featured in CECELIA! This Joey Yum Yum column ran in our first issue of CECELIA!❤

Polish Cabbage Rolls!

Text, photos and recipe by Chef Joey

A quick “Galumpki” recipe for you to try out! These “cabbage rolls” are not just for the Polish – virtually every culture has a similar dish. The Arabs have nalfoof, the Yiddish have prakas, the French have choux farci and the list goes on and on. These rolls are a hearty peasant food that dates back hundreds of years. In this country they are mostly connected to the Polish community and are traditionally a Christmas dinner or served at weddings – and, of course, they are enjoyed at family get togethers.

There is an old Polish myth that the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, Casimir IV, fed his army with galumpki before a key battle of the Thirteen Years’ War outside of Malbork Castle against the Teutonic Order. Victory was attributed to the meal before the start of the war! So move over, Popeye, there’s new muscle in town!

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Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef

1/2 pound breakfast sausage roll

1/2 cup cooked rice (stretch for parties)

1 egg

1 onion shreaded (cheese grater)

1 tsp poultry seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste

1 can of tomato soup

Mix all the ingredients together, except for the soup. This is your cabbage “stuffing.”

Core the cabbage that has been parboiled for approximately 20 minutes or until the cabbage leaves can be easily separated.

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Save the water and set aside the outer leaves for lining the pan.

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Fill the cabbage leaves with the meat mixture aka the “stuffing” …

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… and roll up like you see in the picture:

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Line the roasting pan with the outer leaves of the cabbage, making sure the sides and bottom are covered. Fill the pan with rolled galumpkis.

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Cover the galumpkis with more cabbage leaves. Any remaining leaves may be put over the golumpki, as it’s very tasty!

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Cook the saved water, mixing three cups with the can of tomato soup. Pour over the rolled cabbage and cover the pan with foil.

Cook 350 degrees for 2 hours. Take them out and let them set for at least 6 hours or more, then bake an additional 2 hours at 350 degrees for the most delicious stuffed cabbage you’ve ever eaten!!

Shelter from the storm

Text and pics by Rosalie Tirella

I am prepping my shack for the city’s July 4th celebration.  It’s super, stupid early – like most Woo civic festivities – TONIGHT. Grrrr!

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… My critters, always the cute, if sometimes unwilling, holiday props, are scooped into the silliness:

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Then I see …

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… a picture painted by “Joe,” an alcoholic, sometimes homeless guy, who was living in a Worcester flophouse the day he gave his painting to me a few years back. Very sweet and graciously. I said “thank you!!” and gave him a big hug and later mailed him a pretty thank you card. I think Joe was drunk when he painted his little masterpiece.

Joe was/is a creative guy! He paints on the cheapest canvas – cardboard he finds – and his pictures are usually pretty small in size – for economic reasons. The one shown above, now hanging on my bedroom wall, is the biggest he has: a foot by a foot and a half. He makes his own simple wood frames, too. He tries to sell his paintings – framed – for 10 and 20 bucks. Very affordable prices!

I don’t think Joe, who can get so drunk that he stumbles and slurs his sentences, has sold one of his paintings.

Even though they are all colorful and happy: paintings of animals – wild and domesticated. Paintings of city scapes and nature … sunsets. No one wanted to go up to his little gallery/studio in his room in the flophouse to check out his work. He had his paintings tastefully mounted on one of his room walls…waiting…

I thought of Joe when I took the photo of this homeless girl on Green Street the other day …

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… a regular there, under the bridge.  Always with a book by her side – her armor. I drive down Green Street every day – often I see her reading her books. I think: a soulmate…a fellow lover of words.

I took  the photo in the middle of a heat wave. She, like the other young people who hang out peacefully under the Green Street bridge, was wilting in the heat.

I called my friend Dorrie M., a great friend to the homeless, to see what we could do to help.

Rose: Dorrie, does she have a place to shower and cool off?

Dorrie: Yeah, they do. All the kids there do…they’re fine.

Dorrie was not about to tell me where the secret showers were, she was not about to betray the kids’ trust.

I ended the call feeling reassured.

I often drive by “the girl reader” as I call her and wish there were FREE COMMUNITY COLLEGE COURSES FOR HER and her friends offered in our new downtown. Boston has just made its public colleges FREE TO ALL BOSTON KIDS. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has made ALL PUBLIC COLLEGES IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK TUITION-FREE FOR ALL OF THE state’s young people. He is wise. He knows: the global economy demands it. And NYC and Boston and other big world class cities cannot have a two-tier society: the very poor/homeless and very rich.

Look at this pic I took, another Canal District photo:

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On Green Street. The man is sleeping on the hard concrete!!, next to a Mercedes-Benz!!

America🇺🇸😥

This guy tucked inside a Kelley Square doorway – it was raining buckets of rain! – told me or any one who cared to notice that he was a Celtics fan! I took his photo with that in mind. He made me sad, but I smiled at his New England sports mania!

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Worcester, we need to, begin thinking of the summer heat waves yet to come and how we as a community are going to help our homeless – folks often mentally ill, runaways from abusive situations, addicted souls… They don’t want to be stuck in some shelter. They want to feel free! Their American right – as long as they don’t hurt other people. These kids and adults are hard core – the ones who refuse shelter and, for the most part, have their communities in and of the streets. They have their own beats …their own special places…their schedules. They don’t mind living outdoors in the summer…

How to keep these folks hydrated and their body temps regulated in 90 plus degree humidity?

How to keep the old ones from dying on Worcester streets.

How to give them more DIGNITY.

I suggest, and city leaders are looking into this: a city run campground for the chronically homeless. A clean safe space with cots, showers, porto-potties, water, donated food…a few caring city social workers and a cop with a big heart. America is Trumpland now. It will only get meaner.

Governor Cuomo and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh are bulwarks against the Trump Storm. Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus and the Worcester City Council must be the shelter in the Woo storm for our homeless, our street kids, my “reader girl,” who most days looks so pretty sitting under the Green Street bridge reading her books…

Showin’ 💖 for inner-city neighborhoods – always in style!

Sunday and today – Lukes’s old place in Green Island gets a new face! Shame on Worcester City Councilor Konstantina Lukes and hubby Jim for livin’ high but actin’ low-down when it came to their rental property on Harding/Millbury streets!

Kudos to the new landlord who recently bought their building and is making the oh-so necessary improvements!💐💐💐

Looking good! pics: R.T.

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Green Street, a 2-minute drive away:

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Chef Joey – always in style!🍷

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So debonair!

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Joey’s little girl, Gigi❤, is tres stylish, like her Papa!

Chocolate Strawberries

Recipe and photos by Chef Joey

You will need:

Strawberries

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Melting chocolate

Parchment paper

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Buy melting chocolate …

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… and melt over a double boiler, stirring until smooth …

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.. . dip your strawberries …

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… and place on parchment paper.

Let cool.

DO NOT REFRIGERATE, as the berries can no longer breathe the same!

Keep in room temperature (2 days MAX) – cover with parchment.

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Such a pretty dress!🌺🌺

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Go, little girl🌼🌼, go!

You can decorate with squeezable white chocolate sauce!

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No chocolates for you, Mikey! (Never feed your dog chocolates!)

An unconventional convention!🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

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pic: R.T.

By Edith Morgan

The 2017 Democratic State Issues Convention

June 3, 2017, at the Worcester DCU Center

I have been to many Democratic Issues Conventions: in Lowell, Springfield, etc, but this one was by far the most energetic, well-attended and positive!!

We have had these conventions in Worcester before. I appreciate the convenience of having only a 15-minute drive to get there. And this weekend was no different – and by great good luck, looking for a parking place, we found one right across the street from the DCU’s rear entrance, on Commercial Street.

Though the convention was slated to begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, there was partying the night before, giving the out-of-town delegates and guests a chance to experience a taste of the new Worcester.

Saturday began with several breakfasts on the 3rd floor of the Center. By the time we made it up there, the whole floor was already mobbed with hungry crowds, and long lines slowly snaked their way to the food.

We made our way to the convention floor, sat down in our assigned area, and watched the crowd.

The estimated attendance was around 5,000 – a much bigger group than I had ever seen at these issues conventions before! And the crowd seemed much younger – probably because there were 1,500 first-time delegates. The energy in the place was palpable!

We began with the usual ceremonies and a very moving rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.” Then we got down to business. After a welcome from our Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty, the speakers began – with a common theme, rendered with gusto: basically saying that the time to “Resist, Fight, and Win” (in the words of Senator Elizabeth Warren!) had come!

Speaker after speaker – including Congressman Jim McGovern, Senator Ed Markey and a whole bevy of political figures in local and state politics – delivered impassioned speeches, repeatedly interrupted by applause and standing ovations. After the obligatory criticisms of President rump and several critiques of Governor Baker, they launched into a list of what the Democrats of the future want to accomplish.

Added to the pages and pages of issues that Democrats will fight for, goals that were spelled out in the party platform (which was unanimously adopted after the speeches), the convention delegates also adopted 15 amendments, which included making Election Day a holiday, putting an end to private prisons, ending gerrymandering and many more.

The speeches did go on a bit long and seemed to be somewhat repetitive after a while, causing some of the delegates to become impatient, with shouts of “VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!” But the scheduled speakers got their chance to speak, although in less time than they had hoped. And we finally got the voting done, although a couple of hours later than expected. But the time was well spent, and we left our convention full of vigor and energy.

Much of the Democratic leadership on the state and local level was in evidence throughout, but I saw many NEW faces in the crowd.

And I added many pins and stickers to my ever-growing collection, to help me remember all these occasions!

Worcester news you can use – always in style!💗

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Downtown – behind Worcester City Hall!

The Out to Lunch Summer Concert Series!

And Farmers Market!

Farmers’ Market begins at 11 a.m., and runs to 2 p.m.

Concerts: noon to ?😉

During intermission local restaurants, farmers and crafters sell their goodies!

Farmers Market happening NOW! Concerts begin at the end of June!

June 22
Blue Light Bandits

June 29
Fergus

July 6
Ball in the House

July 13
Worcester Jazz Collective

July 20
Testify

July 27
Whitney Doucet and the Moonshine Band

Aug. 3
The Alchemystics

Aug. 10
Women of Worcester

Aug. 17 – Eduardo Ortiz Latin Jazz

Aug. 24
Boombox “The ’70s and ’80s Experience”

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Black Heritage Juneteenth Festival

“None of us are free until we are all free.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Celebrate Freedom”

June 17

noon – 8 PM

Institute Park, Salisbury Street

The “Celebration of Freedom” on June 17, 2017 commemorates two seminal events on the timeline of America becoming a more perfect nation; Quock Walker’s Massachusetts Supreme Court Decision in 1783 and General Gordon Granger reading of the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston, Texas in 1865.

For residents of Massachusetts the Supreme Court decision essentially nailed the coffin of legalized enslavement shut and with Juneteenth, emancipation from enslavement for all enslaved Africans became a reality.

The Black Heritage Juneteenth Festival is a celebration of freedom with individual and family-fun activities, music, history, and food. Attendees are provided the opportunity to participate in games and sack races and to define what “freedom is” to them which public artists will incorporate into a community painting.

There will be living history; authors including mystery writer Carrie H. Johnson; spirited music and dance from the various performance genres within the African diaspora including high life, drumming and dance from Akwaaba Traditional Drum and Dance Ensemble, soul music from the Chop Turner Band and many others. DJs Kimpa DJKb Barnes and Kool Chris will keep the sound flowing while our MC’s will keep the audience engaged and the program going.

www.blackheritagefestivalworcester.org

🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻

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Looking for a hands-on introduction to computers?

Register for our FREE COMPUTER LITERACY CLASS!

Learn how to use the basic functions of a Windows computer, set up and utilize an email addres Five Sessions Starting
NOW!

… 6/6, 6/13, 6/20
Tuesdays at 11:30 AM

Call Sarah at 508-796-1411 x 421 for more info.

At the Worcester Family Resource Center of YOU, Inc.

484 Main St., Suite 450

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Greater Lowell Community Foundation
Annual Meeting

TUESDAY, JUNE 6

5:30 p.m.

Tewksbury Country Club

1880 Main St., Tewksbury

EMBRACING OUR NEIGHBORS

Join the Greater Lowell Community Foundation at our Annual Meeting for a discussion on recent community needs data, a response to these indicators, and how each of us can support our neighbors and our community.

GUEST SPEAKERS:

Karen Frederick
CEO
Community Teamwork

Sheila Och, MPH
Chief of Community Health & Policy
Lowell Community Health Center

Greater Lowell Community Foundation, 100 Merrimack Street, Suite 202, Lowell, MA 01852