Category Archives: Fashion

The pointless Coreen Gaffney! … Or: Where does District 4 City Councilor Candidate Coreen Gaffney stand on THE TOUGH ISSUES, THE REAL CHALLENGES of Worcester’s District 4? … She is NO WHERE!

Text + pics by Rosalie Tirella

MIA! Parading around our D 4 streets (where does Coreen stand on the proposed 25 MPH inner-city speed limit?!)…


… planting fuckin’ flowers. Oblivious. When we need solutions to OUR INTENSE HEART-BREAKING, DEADLY District 4 Challenges!!:

Like the homeless, opioid problems … . I took this photo on Millbury Street a few days ago. You see folks struggling like this every day on Millbury Street, the beginning of the gentrified Canal District.

So many homeless men and women in the Canal District …

… hanging out under the Green Street bridge …

Sleeping on Green Street …


District 4 cries out for help! Coreen Gaffney plants pansies!!

The Canal District – a district of the well off and very poor/homeless! No middle! Like a mini NYC or Boston!

… Then there are the homeless, the bereft, in Main South!

Where is Coreen’s caring-for-the-homeless/drug-addicted blue-print?

“Canning” at Endicott Street:



Where is her plan to employ the thousands in D 4 who would be employed in factories, if we had an abundance of factories, like the good old days?! There is no longer this economic engine for the uneducated/undereducated in D 4! No factories to lift people out of intense poverty!

Where does Coreen Gaffney stand on FIGHTING FOR $15 – the minimum/living wage issue? WORKERS IN D 4 need a living wage!

Where are Coreen’s blue prints for D 4’s forgotten workers? Do not ask her! She is too busy posting happy pappy photos of puppies and kittens and public relations photos from D 4 AGENCIES WE ALL KNOW AND LOVE IN WORCESTER!

Sucking ass is not the solution, Coreen!

We do not need a gardener or calendar event listings person!

Are you brain dead? Heartless? So stupid that you don’t SEE what we here in D 4 see every day? That’s right – you and Mike just moved here two years ago to jumpstart our political nightmare!!

If elected, will you follow the lead of your toxic husband CITY COUNCILOR MIKE GAFFNEY and vote the way he does on the tough issues that impact District 4? Your evil hubby has been ANTI: people of color, refugees, sanctuary cities, street level social service agencies, the homeless, the drug-addicted…HE HAS BEEN PUNITIVE, DESTRUCTIVE…NO ANSWERS. Truth be told, Michael Gaffney has used all of the above as wedge issues to garner votes from the angry, confused, bigoted…

Will you follow his lead? If elected to the city council, will you vote the way your evil husband does?

Your husband hates Woo being a sanctuary city…

You seem to echo his statements/beliefs when tough issues come to the forefront of city life!

Fuck your flowers!
They are pretty, but we have REC, urban gardeners, college interns, teens in church groups who do/can do what you’re doing. And they do not expect to be elected to public office!

Your urban flora escapade is a pretty smokescreen … just cheap, feel-good publicity for you and Michael in an election year. We need answers to OUR OPIOID problem, to our malnourishment/health problem, to our jobs problem, to our obesity problem …

So many folks in D 4 are overweight or underweight – either way: MALnourished. D 4’s poverty rate is the highest in the city! But on your FB page you post pics of you and hubby eating at Woo’s finest restaurants. Michael posts photos of his white Porche…

You two suck.

But you have highjacked my beloved city because a la Donald Trump you VALIDATE the socio-economic, racial prejudices and fears of so many in Worcester. People who are not adjusting to the new diverse, multicultural, urban, global world …

Kids in our city who need understanding…


… not hatred and ignorance. The kind that pours out of Turtle Boy-Aidan Kearney and your husband Michael Gaffney.

D 4 is MY District…



I love D 4 so much! And I can tell you, Coreen, you DO NOT GET HER, understand her complicated beauty! For one nanosecond!

You do not deserve to represent District 4 because you are clueless …

I hope to see you planting evergreens this Christmas season in D 4 – AFTER YOU’VE LOST THE ELECTION!

But I won’t be waiting for you outside the Main South CDC or Mahoney’s…cuz you’ll be gone.

Helen S. – always in style! An unsung heroine!


One of Worcester’s Own

By Parlee Jones

2016 Unsung Heroines in the Great Hall of the Massachusetts State House

Peace, Worcester People! Five years ago, I wrote an ICT article about Helen Sakovich, a local woman who has served as a school Crossing Guard at the corner of Elm and West streets for the past 30 years.

Well, five years later, the State of Massachusetts has decided to award Helen with the Unsung Heroines of Massachusetts Award.

“Each year the Commission gathers nominations from across the state for women who make outstanding contributions to their organizations and communities. The Honorees are nominated by state legislators as a means of recognizing women for their previously unnoted yet valuable community contributions.

“The Unsung Heroines are women who don’t always make the news, but truly make the difference. They are the women who use their time, talent and enthusiasm to enrich the lives of others and make a difference in their neighborhoods, cities and towns. They are mentors, volunteers and innovators who do what needs to be done without expectations of recognition or gratitude. These women are the glue that keeps a community together and every community has them.” 

~ Massachusetts Coalition on the Status of Women

Helen grew up in Worcester, on Greenwood Street where her dad built a home for her mom as a wedding gift. She remained there until her 20s. Her mom, Eva, was born there and dad Jack was from Belarus, Russia. Her dad passed away when she was 12, and her mom raised four children in the home built from love.

Helen’s sisters are Annie and Sonia.They are the lights of her life. Her brother, Dmitri, passed away in 1984. Her parents were married for 14 years when Jack passed away.

Helen was raised in a home of love and her parents were kind. Helen went to Quinsigamond grammar school and Grafton Street Junior High School. She graduated from North High in the Class of ’69, “the real North,” as she calls it.

Helen started working as the Cross Guard at Elm and West on September 21, 1987.
When asked why she has stayed so long in this job, Helen says that she has loved this job from the beginning. She enjoys watching the school kids growing up from year to year. “It’s nice to watch the kids start off in kindergarten and then to see them on their way to sixth grade graduation. I’ve seen a lot of children in this neighborhood. … My job fulfills me – I love children.”

Helen has also seen her kids, who have grown up now, come back with their own children, some attending the same school as their parents and still living in the same neighborhood. “In the last week I must have seen 10 kids that have grown come back with their kids.” Sometimes the students who have grown up will come back and say hi! Thanking her for kind words in the morning and afternoon.

“When summer comes I miss my job,” Helen says. “I start counting down the days once they start showing the “Back to School” [TV] commercials. I have had all cultures of kids and I love it. If you love what you do it’s easy. I love children.”

She adds: “Another thing I enjoy is watching the moms walking the little ones to school on the first day. Sometimes the moms are crying and sometimes the kids are crying. … to see the kids on the first day of school with their little bow ties and pretty shoes. Some clinging to mom and some running from mom.”

Helen truly enjoys seeing the loving moms cry as they leave their babies for the first time. “I love to see the looks on their faces,” she says.

Helen was nominated by State Rep. Mary Keefe. Helen says that she is undeserving, that she does not like the title “Heroine” because that honor should be reserved for “cops, medical and fire people.” Workers who put their lives on the line for people, workers who save folks’ lives.

Helen said she won’t make the ceremony at the State House because it is the last day of school, and she does not want to miss any of her kids!!!

Elm Park School is lucky to have such a protector!

Congratulations, my friend! No one is more deserving!

CECELIA – always in style!

By Rosalie Tirella

Delivering my spirited little rag …

pic: R.T.

Named after my lovely, late, great Mom💙!

A wee Rose, her beautiful mom and the first boy Rose ever crushed on! So pushy!

One of Rose’s mother’s favorite singers:

Rose’s mom loved Billie so much she used to wear a flower tucked behind her ear a la Billie and her famous orchids …

See the flower? (Rose’s mom, left)

Above: Rose’s mom and her sister “May” on the roof of “The Block,” on Bigelow Street, in Green Island during World War II. They grew up in a tenement in The Block, a huge, ugly brick box – hence the nickname The Block – comprised of scores of tenements. Home to poor Polish immigrants, many of whom lived on Bigelow, Scott, Lodi, Siegel, Lafayette and Endicott streets, in Green Island.

One of May’s favorite songs, by John Denver (written for his wife):

Rose loves this song, too! As a teen hearing it (that’s when it was on the radio) she thought it was cornball. John Denver! Eeek! Too uncool!! Now Rose loves the cliche-ridden love song for what it says, how it sounds, and the memories it evokes. For its cliches!! They say FAMILY to her!

May, unlike Cecelia, married a good man and had a great life with him❤! During their youth and young motherhood, Cecelia and May were best friends! True sisters! Here they are, a couple of cute snow bunnies!💚, when they lived in Springfield and worked as live-in housekeepers (starting at just 14 and 1/2 years old!) for the Bishop of Springfield.


It was during the Great Depression – everyone was out of work – sons and daughters had to be farmed out to employers far from home to help support the family and to be fed, clothed! Ma and May were sent by my Bapy to the Bishop’s big house in Springfield to be maids, cooks to make money for the family back home and to be able to eat well, dress well, be safe in lean times. Back then, among Catholic immigrants, it was an honor to have anyone in your family working for the Catholic church. Of course, having your kid become a priest or nun was the be all to end all – gave you instant cachet in the Polish, Italian or Irish ghetto!! And a free ticket to Heaven!

Happy Saturday!

Here is Rose, not at all looking like her Mom. Maybe a little like May …


Here is one of Rose’s fave artists. She LOVES the late great Bill M! Was a Bill groupie as a young gal! Saw him several times – even in Worcester, when he played our First Night, with Patty Larkin💚! WOW.:

Chef Joey’s strawberry shortcake biscuits – always in style!!

Chef Joey – Chef Dreamy!!

Strawberry Shortcake Biscuits

Recipe and photos by Chef Joey


2 cups of flour

pinch of salt

1 stick soft butter


2 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup sugar

Add up to 1 cup of milk to bring up to dough consistency. Scoop into a cup cake tin, or make small biscuits with an ice cream scoop, for consistency in size.

Bake at 375 for 12 – 15 mins.


Take the tops off the berries.


Slice and add to a pan with a little bit of water to prevent burning.

Cook strawberries down, about 15 mins.

Adjust flavor with sugar, but this time of year they should taste great!

Cut your biscuits in half.



Add the berries and their sweet juice…



Garnish with whipped cream.


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

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.


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.

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!!

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!



Grow your community! Shop the



Saturdays, 9 AM – 1 PM
965 Main St.


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

And don’t forget:

Farmers Market 1-1-2-1

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




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!



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


Gawumpki! Always in style!

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!



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.


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


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


… and roll up like you see in the picture:


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.


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


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!


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


Then I see …


… 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 …


… 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:


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


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!


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…