Category Archives: Fashion

Drug-free always in style! Congressman Jim McGovern Applauds Obama Administration Efforts to Expand Treatment and Education for Opioid Addiction

Congressman Jim McGovern applauded the announcement this week from the White House that it is calling for an expansion of specialized treatment for prescription painkiller and heroin addiction and training of medical school students using the newly released Centers for Disease Control and Prevention prescriber guidelines for opioids.

President Obama spoke at this week’s National RX Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta.

“… President Obama announced new public and private sector actions to strengthen efforts in Massachusetts and across the country to tackle the opioid crisis. Massachusetts families are seeing the devastating impact of the opioid crisis every day, and we need strong national leadership to help our communities recover and come back from the brink,” McGovern said.

He continued:

“Prevention and treatment must be at the heart of our approach. [This week’s] actions are essential steps to do just that by expanding access to treatment, preventing overdose deaths and increasing community prevention strategies. With President Obama’s already announced proposal for $1.1 billion in new funding to ensure that all Americans can get the treatment they need, it’s clear that the White House is ready to rise to the challenge.

“Nearly 30,000 Americans died from opioid overdose last year – more than 1,300 in Massachusetts – and the need for action has never been greater.

“I urge my fellow members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to come together to make the serious investments needed to end the opioid crisis once and for all and ensure that every American can get the help they need to recover.”

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BACKGROUND ON THE WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCEMENT:

Increasing access to a key drug for medication-assisted treatment:

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is issuing a proposed rule to increase the current patient limit for qualified physicians who prescribe buprenorphine to treat opioid use disorders from 100 to 200 patients with the goal of expanding access to this evidence-based treatment while preventing diversion.

The proposed rule aims to increase access to medication-assisted treatment and behavioral health supports for tens of thousands of people with opioid use disorders.

Why this matters: Buprenorphine is an FDA-approved drug that, because of its lower potential for abuse, is permitted to be prescribed or dispensed in physician offices, which significantly increases its availability to many patients. When taken as prescribed, buprenorphine is safe and effective. Existing evidence shows that this lifesaving, evidence-based treatment is under-utilized.

Updating the regulations around the prescribing of buprenorphine-containing products, as proposed, would help close this treatment gap. Learn more here.

Preventing opioid overdose deaths:

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is releasing a new $11 million funding opportunity to states to purchase and distribute the opioid overdose reversal drug, naloxone, and to train first responders and others on its use along with other overdose prevention strategies.

SAMHSA is also releasing a new $11 million funding opportunity for up to 11 states to expand their medication-assisted treatment services. SAMHSA is distributing 10,000 pocket guides for clinicians that include a checklist for prescribing medication for opioid use disorder treatment and integrating non-pharmacologic therapies into treatment.

Why this matters: In 2014, nearly 21,000 deaths in the United States involved prescription opioids, and more than 10,500 involved heroin. Naloxone is a prescription drug that can reverse the effects of prescription opioid and heroin overdose, and can be life-saving if administered in time.

Addressing the substance use disorder parity in Medicaid:

HHS is finalizing a rule to strengthen access to mental health and substance use services for people enrolled in Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) plans by requiring that these benefits be offered at parity, meaning that they be comparable to medical and surgical benefits.

Why this matters: These protections are expected to benefit more than 23 million people in Medicaid and CHIP. These actions build on the President’s proposal for $1.1 billion in new funding to help every American with an opioid use disorder who wants treatment get the help they need.

Edith parked in fashion! … Worcester Earth Day clean ups? The city’s most equitable/best farmers markets? Community gardens and more? REC’s been a Woo shining star for decades!

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Garden with REC!

By Edith Morgan
 
It’s that time of year again: Worcester’s citywide Earth Day Clean-up happens April 9, and on that Saturday morning, from 8 a.m. to noon, we expect more than 1,000 volunteers to fan out throughout the city to pick up trash in public places. 

So, in preparation for the event, there was a gathering at the Worcester Senior Center last night, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., to get ready – and to eat and see friends, and take care of “business.”  
 
Earth Day has been observed here in Worcester by the REC and all our neighborhoods since 1989, and yearly we have gotten together to celebrate the successes of the REC projects, plan for the future, and pass out the materials needed for the clean-up.
 
A lively and excited group filled the large meeting-eating area at the Senior Center. After a brief welcome from REC Board President Julie Orozco, we got down to the business of eating the great assortment of “pot-luck” foods that attendees had brought.
 
Then, down to business business: President Orozco  gave a brief summary of her involvement with the organization,  and  Treasurer Ted Hudson summarized the year’s finances, which were detailed for all attendees in the annual report booklet that we all were given.
 
To complete the formal part of this annual meeting,  elections were then held (the slate was at each of our seats,  and everyone was duly introduced, sworn in, and welcomed by the group.)

The Regional Environmental Council has greatly impacted the Worcester Community:

Thywill Opare summarized the accomplishments of the YouthGROW program and its impact on the young people involved with it.

Rafaela Morales-Rosa talked about the Community Gardens program.

Winifred Octave spoke about how she came to be involved, not only in the yearly clean-ups but also in advocating for the great improvements to Grant Park, directly across the street from where she lives. Together with Deb Bolz she founded the Green Hill Neighborhood Association, which carries on improvements year-round.
 
Finally, Steve Fischer, REC executive Director, spoke about some of the accomplishments of these programs:

Steve said there were 50 sites throughout the the city, that last year, 50 tons of trash were collected, involving more than 1,000 volunteers.

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Trash all over our streets! Here’s a bunch of refuse illegally dumped, on Ward Street heading into the Canal District! pic:R.T.

He thanked the many great corporate and community organization sponsors.

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Spring is here!!! flower pics: Chef Joey
 

Before giving the assembled Earth Day Coordinators some tips for the Earth Day Clean-up activities, Steve mentioned some figures that gave us a better idea of the impact these programs are having in Worcester:

There are now 64 [REC] community and school gardens in Worcester;  

34 youth are employed
on two “urban farms” 

and the ever increasing number of REC farmers markets served 8,000 separate (unique) customers. Lest you get the idea that using these locally grown and sold foods are being consumed only by those who can afford the sometimes higher prices that fresh, pure fruits and vegetables bring, I was amazed to find that half of all sales went to users of SNAP benefits and the WIC Program – so people who need it most are getting great, healthy food, fresh and home-grown. That’s a real win-win!

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All Worcester families can afford to buy the fresh produce and more available at REC FARMERS MARKETS because the REC markets do not discriminate – keep some city residents out of the healthy food loop – AND ACCEPT SNAP cards! Some even double the amount of veggies you can buy with SNAP. FOOD JUSTICE NOW!! – R. Tirella pic: Ron O’Clair
 
So, I urge everyone to participate, join REC, help us make our neighborhoods pristine …

… and on April 9 – our city’s Earth Day celebration – fill as many of REC’s yellow trash bags as you can!

REC provides Earth Day clean-up site coordinators with bags, gloves, instructions, and advice.

If you want to help, or have questions, or want to know more, call REC at 508-799-9139. Or go to their website: www.RECworcester.org.
 

Snow day? No way! … Say! Why not head down to Unique Finds Antiques and more? Cozy up to some vintage toaster cozies, check out the vintage signs and toys, buy some furniture …

I visited this tres funky Webster Square antique, vintage, industrial, vintage toy/collectible shop yesterday and snapped away!

Unique Finds is OPEN TODAY! Even in the dead of spring!

OPEN EVERY DAY!

Until 7 p.m!!!!!!!

Located at 1329 Main St., Worcester! (corner of Henshaw and Main streets)
– Rose T.

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This spring hop on by to Unique Finds Antiques and Vintage gift store …

… for the BEST PRICES IN TOWN and the COOLEST STUFF! Located at 1329 Main St., Worcester.

Open 7 days a week until 7 p.m.

New stock in EVERY DAY!

Antiques, industrial, vintage, collectibles, vintage toys, furniture, musical instruments, lps, CDs and 45s, too! Woo hoo!!!!

text+pics: Rosalie Tirella
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Lots of musical instruments and vinyl! Dig the vinyl!

Unique Finds is all ready for YOU! Open ’til 7 p.m. tonight and every night! Best prices in town! … and a song …

Check out the treaures at 1329 Main St! The owner has a great eye and a wonderful ear (love his vinyl collection)! The shop is open 7 days a week. Pics+text: R.T.
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From the STAX CD BOX:

Gordy in fashion: Wrong Time for Meet And Greet of WPS Superintendant Candidates

By Gordon Davis
 
Last night’s meet and greet event for the candidates for the Superintendancy of our Public School District was mistimed. The event should have taken place after the announcement of the newly appointed Superintendant on March 14, 2016.

I only saw two Worcester School Committee members at the event. John Monfredo, who said that he would vote for candidate Maureen Binienda, and Brian O’Connell, who was noncommittal, came.

It is not entirely clear how the opinion of the people who came to this event could affect the opinion of the Worcester School Committee. This has not been the first meaningless political show put on by the City of Worcester.

Three of the candidates are qualified for the job: Dr. Rodrigues, Dr. Binienda and Dr. Allen. Dr. Mulcahy is not quite ready to be school superintendant, but I think she will, in the future, be a stronger candidate for a superintendency.

Dr. Rodriques presented the strongest credentials for running the Worcester School District. He said his experience as the interim superintendant of the WPS, assistant superintendant of our school district, and the manager of special education has shown that he knows and can run the complex Worcester School District. For every question I asked him, he was able to give me a detailed answer.

Dr. Rodrigues spoke of his experience regarding his moving to Worcester. He said that many students in the Worcester Public Schools are new arrivals to America, and sometimes English is not their primary language. He felt that he might be able to connect to the students in Worcester Schools in ways more associated with their circumstances. It is well known that the Worcester School System is transiting to a majority minority student body.

Candidate Binienda touted her years as principal at South High School and another Worcester school.  She was also a special needs teacher. Dr. Binienda has an interesting idea of collaboration between Worcester State University and the Worcester high schools, especially in the area of criminal justice education.
 
However, her answers to questions about the Worcester Schools were generalized without the details that, in my opinion, a person would need to hit the ground running as our school superintendant.

Candidate Allen talked about the need to make the Worcester Schools more efficient. She also touted her years as principal of Norback School. Like Dr. Binienda, Dr. Allen spoke in general terms. Nonetheless, I was impressed with her sense of organization and place.

I suppose there will be another meet and greet after the Worcester School Committee appoints Dr. Binienda as next Superintendant of the Worcester Public School District.

I think that Dr. Rodrigues will continue to work diligently and loyally as an Assistant Superintendant until the time some school system sees his abilities and experience and steals him away.
 
It is my opinion that Dr. Allen has the ability to turn around a school system in receivership.

I give Kudos to Dr. Mulcahy for throwing her hat into the ring.

Time will tell if Worcester will make a good decision on Monday.

The lives of our children depend upon it.

Good jobs – always in style!

WORCESTER DIESEL TECHNICIAN
PRE-APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM

Do you like to work with your hands?

Are you searching for a long-term career opportunity that can pay over $50,000/year?

The Worcester Diesel Tech Pre-Apprenticeship Program at South High is looking for qualified men and women who want to begin careers as skilled Diesel Technicians.

Classes held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons

at South High Community School
 
Offered by South High Community School

Classes starting this month!

For more information contact Sandy Kelly at: 508-799-3325