Category Archives: Fashion

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Michael Moore’s new movie: a must-see!

A letter from filmmaker Michael Moore:

Friends,

Thank you to all who have written to me about my stay this past week in the intensive care unit. Unfortunately, as you may have heard, I came down with pneumonia. Truth be told, it was pretty serious, and other complications arose. But then, five days later, I was still alive — thanks to a combination of Directors Guild insurance, two I-V drips of alleged legal drugs, and a hospital TV that only got FOX News. I was released on my own recognizance, which I tried to explain may not be the best idea. I am now at home resting and binging on the Real Housewives of The Walking Dead. All my appearances this week and last week supporting the release of my brand new movie, “Where To Invade Next” (Conan, Bill Maher, Charlie Rose, NPR, etc.), plus a special primary eve screening tonight in New Hampshire, were and are cancelled.

Needless to say, I’m pretty devastated. This film means a lot to me. To be sidelined – I can’t fly, I can’t travel, I can’t leave the house – in this, the most important week before it comes out… well, you can imagine what I’m going through. Trying to get back to just breathing is enough of a burden. To think that my film may now not reach the audience I made it for, let’s just say that doesn’t help the healing process.

Many of you have asked if there’’s anything you can do to help me. I have thought about it – and, yes, actually, there is something you could do to help me.

I need you to be part of a quickly cobbled-together “army” of grassroots “ambassadors” who can do the work I was going to do this week to let people know abut the movie and convince as many as possible to go see it.. I realize you haven’t seen “Where To Invade Next”, so I’m asking you to do this based upon my past work and your hope that I’ve made a compelling film that might affect change in this country, that will inspire people to think about things in a different way. I believe that’s exactly what I’ve done, and many who’ve seen it agree. I also believe this movie can have a huge impact on the elections this year. It’s won a bunch of film festival prizes, it’s made the Oscars shortlist, and some have called it my best film ever. Possibly, just possibly.

But forget all that. Here’s what I will tell you: You are going to be seriously f***ed up by this film. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done. It will truly make your head spin for two hours while you “laugh AND cry — in the same exact moment,” as an audience member said to the cameras on the way out of the movie’s premiere.

Last week, laying in the hospital, I watched one Presidential candidate attack the candidate from Vermont for his ideas being “unrealistic,” “pie in the sky,” and “ideas that sound good on paper, but aren’t going to happen.” The truth is, all these great “ideas” – free universal health care, free university, free day care, taxing and policing hedge fund millionaires – have already happened in nearly every other industrialized country in the world! And I have the evidence – and the film — to prove it!

Throughout “Where To Invade Next”, I invade a whole bunch of nefarious countries, from Slovenia to Germany to France to Norway, and pry loose from them the tools they’ve been using to make their countries happy, shiny places.

My goal: to show millions of Americans what these countries have been hiding from us so we can catch up and be #1 again! Remember “WE’RE #1!!”? Don’t you miss being #1 and waving those big foam #1 fingers at patriotic rallies? In my invasions, I don’t use any weapons, and no one gets droned.

I show how to actually make all universities free (and great); how to give all workers five to eight weeks PAID vacation (which increases productivity and betters the economy); how simple and easy it is to give mothers (or fathers) up to a year of PAID maternity leave (which in turn benefits the company overall); how in the societies where woman have achieved true equality and power, everything just seems to get better for everyone; how to reduce the crime rate by ending the war on drugs and having a humane prison system (our recidivism rate is as high as 80%; theirs is 20%); how the economy bounces back faster and is safer when bankers are put in prison; how students in countries without standardized tests and needless homework perform better than our students (and that countries which have more arts and music in their schools do better in math and science)… and on and on and on.

By the end of the movie, you’ll want to go live in one of those countries. But instead, I’ll show you how we can make all of that happen right here in the USA, right now.

So, what do you think? Can you be a virtual ambassador for “Where To Invade Next”? I know you can’t go on “Good Morning America” for me, but there are a few easy things you could do:

First, go see it!

Text some friends right now and say, “hey, let’s go see this Friday night!”

Commit now to go to a theater that’s playing it this coming weekend. It’s opening in every major and mini-major city in the country. If you live in a place the size of Binghamton, NY, or Grand Rapids, MI, then they’re going to be playing “Where To Invade Next.” The final list of theaters will be out later.

Thank you!

In fashion: President Obama … and the ALA

Congressman Jim McGovern Applauds $1.1 Billion in President Obama’s Budget to Address the Opioid Epidemic

McGovern Welcomes Proposal to Ensure All Who Seek Treatment Can Get Help They Need
 
Congressman Jim McGovern applauded this week’s announcement that President Obama’s FY 2017 Budget includes $1.1 billion in funding to address the opioid epidemic that is impacting so many families in Massachusetts and across the country.
 
“Today’s announcement that President Obama’s budget will dedicate more than $1 billion to address the opioid epidemic is a critical step in this fight,” Congressman McGovern said. “In the past year, I have worked tirelessly to make sure the voices of Massachusetts families are heard in Washington, co-sponsoring three different bills and joining my House Colleagues to call on Administration officials to ensure all of our communities are receiving the federal funds needed to address this crisis.
 
“With the proposed funding announced today by President Obama, it is clear that our voices are being heard and Massachusetts can count on the White House to be a strong national partner in this fight,” McGovern added. “We must do all we can to ensure that treatment is available to those who seek it and by prioritizing treatment and prevention, this proposal takes the smart and comprehensive approach we need to help all of the families and communities touched by the opioid epidemic. This is a national priority and I look forward to working with both parties in Congress to securing the funding and resources we need to win this fight in Massachusetts.”
 
President Obama’s proposal includes $1 billion in new mandatory funding over two years to expand access to treatment for prescription drug abuse and heroin use.

This funding will boost efforts to help individuals with an opioid use disorder seek treatment, successfully complete treatment, and sustain recovery. 

This funding includes:
 
·         $920 million to support cooperative agreements with States to expand access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders. States will receive funds based on the severity of the epidemic and on the strength of their strategy to respond to it.  States can use these funds to expand treatment capacity and make services more affordable. 

·         $50 million in National Health Service Corps funding to expand access to substance use treatment providers.  This funding will help support approximately 700 providers able to provide substance use disorder treatment services, including medication-assisted treatment, in areas across the country most in need of behavioral health providers.

·         $30 million to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment programs employing medication-assisted treatment under real-world conditions and help identify opportunities to improve treatment for patients with opioid use disorders.

This investment, combined with other efforts underway to reduce barriers to treatment for substance use disorders, will help ensure that every American who wants treatment can access it and get the help they need.   
 
Second, the President’s Budget includes approximately $500 million — an increase of more than $90 million — to continue and build on current efforts across the Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Health and Human Services (HHS) to expand state-level prescription drug overdose prevention strategies, increase the availability of medication-assisted treatment programs, improve access to the overdose-reversal drug naloxone, and support targeted enforcement activities. A portion of this funding is directed specifically to rural areas, where rates of overdose and opioid use are particularly high. 

To help further expand access to treatment, the Budget includes an HHS pilot project for nurse practitioners and physician assistants to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid use disorder treatment, where allowed by state law.

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American Lung Association’s ‘State of Tobacco Control 2016’ Gives Massachusetts Mixed Grades for Efforts to Save Lives by Reducing Tobacco Use

The American Lung Association released this week its 14th annual “State of Tobacco Control” report that finds that in 2015 Massachusetts made progress on tobacco control policies that will save lives.

The report also finds that most states and the federal government earned poor grades, and the high level of youth use of tobacco products other than cigarettes threatens to undermine the United States’ overall progress in the fight against tobacco-caused death and disease.
 
“While we celebrate successful tobacco control policies in Massachusetts like its efforts to regulate e-cigarette use by restricting sales to those 18 years and older, we still must face the reality that young people are using tobacco products like e-cigarettes and little cigars at an all-time high,” said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “Nearly a quarter of high school students nationwide are using tobacco products, and it is essential that Massachusetts continue to  take aggressive action to reduce all tobacco use – the #1 cause of preventable death and disease in our nation.”
 
The “State of Tobacco Control” report documents the progress and failure of the states and the federal government to address tobacco use. The report assigns grades based on whether federal and state laws protect Americans from the enormous toll tobacco use takes on lives and the economy.
 
“State of Tobacco Control 2016” finds Massachusetts mixed grades show that progress is possible, although even more needs to be done by our Governor and State Legislature to pass proven policies that will reduce tobacco use and save lives:

Tobacco Prevention and Control Program Funding Grade – F

Tobacco Taxes – Grade A

Smokefree Air – Grade A

Access to Cessation Services – Grade D

The American Lung Association of the Northeast calls on Massachusetts to act on increasing funding for the state’s tobacco control program to $9 million per year, include e-cigarettes and all other tobacco derived products as part of the state’s definition of tobacco and increase access to tobacco cessation treatments and services.

As of January 31, 2016, the Obama Administration had not yet given the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight authority over all tobacco products including cigars, e-cigarettes, little cigars and hookah (commonly referred to as the deeming rule). The grade of “I” for Incomplete for FDA Regulation of Tobacco Products is assigned because the final rule is expected at any time. Other federal grades include a “C” for Federal Cessation Coverage, an “F” for Tobacco Taxes and a “B” for its Mass Media Campaigns, a new grading area in this year’s “State of Tobacco Control” report.

“It’s not a secret how we can reduce tobacco use in this country. ‘State of Tobacco Control 2016’ looks at proven methods to save lives and prevent our children from becoming the next generation hooked on tobacco,” said Casey Harvell, Director of Public Policy for Massachusetts. “We must demand that our elected officials in Massachusetts urgently act to implement these proven policies to save lives.”

Worcester City Councilor King – a class act! Always in style!

While many members of the Worcester City Council – notably city councilors Gary I’ll-demagogue-an-issue-to-death-any-day Rosen and the weird, evil boll weevil Michael Gaffney – engaged in not so subtle race-baiting this Tuesday night as the city council dealt with the Mosaic group conundrum, brandy new Worcester City Councilor Khrystian King spoke truth to stupidity and (unfortunately) power.

Here he is at this week’s Worcester City Council meeting. Yes, Mr. King, these are the short-sighted, small-minded people with whom you’ll be working to run this city.

My condolences.

– Rosalie Tirella

Heroes! Always in style!

Worcester Fire Department Open House
 
Are you interested in a career as a firefighter?

If so, please join us for one of two Open House sessions that will provide you information on the upcoming April 16 Firefighter exam, introduce you to the Worcester Fire Department, and to learn:

“WHAT THEY DO AND WHY THEY DO IT!”

Topics To Be Covered:

Eligibility for Appointment: age and residency requirements.

Firefighter Exam & Entry Level Physical Abilities Test – Gain an understanding of the commitment that is required to successfully complete the written and physical abilities exam.

Overview of the Civil Service Process

Tour the Worcester Fire Department Training Facility

Meet our Firefighters and learn why they are so passionate about being a member of the Worcester Fire Department.
 
Open House Schedule:

Saturday, February 13, 10 AM – 12 PM

Wednesday, February 17, 6 PM – 8 PM

Both Sessions will be held at the Worcester Fire Training Division, located in the rear of 141 Grove St., Worcester

Firefighter Examination Announcement: www.mass.gov/civilservice
  
 

Voting – always in style! Register to VOTE! … Plus: New book by Clark U prof

Reminder: Last day to register for the Mass. Presidential Primary Election on March 1, 2016, is Wed. Feb. 10.  

To vote in the Democratic Presidential Primary, you must be registered as a Democrat, or as “No Party (unenrolled).”

If you’re not sure how or whether you’re registered, there’s no harm re-registering. 

Register online at https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ovr/ or …

call 617-727-2828 for a registration form …

or register in person at your town or city hall. 

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book cover

Clark University
950 Main St., Worcester
 
Clark U. professor pens new guide for parents: ‘When Your Gay or Lesbian Child Marries’

More than 70,000 same-sex couples have married in the United States since Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004. These marriages can pose unique challenges for both couples and their parents.

In “When Your Gay or Lesbian Child Marries:  A Guide for Parents” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), Clark University Professor Deborah Merrill examines how same-sex marriage changes relationships between parents and their gay or lesbian adult children.

“When Your Gay or Lesbian Child Marries” is the first book to look at the implications for parent and adult child relationships, which are a central part of family life and affect care giving in later life. It is particularly important as the passage of same-sex marriage gains momentum across the United States; all fifty states must now allow same-sex marriage as a result of national legislation in 2015.
 
This book is a guide for parents to help them understand the ways in which relationships with their gay/lesbian children might change—from a child’s “coming out of the closet” to a gay son or lesbian daughter raising his/her their own children. It aims to help parents better comprehend the nuances of same-sex marriage and the struggles their children face as they navigate their sexual orientation over time. 
 
Merrill’s book is based on intensive interviews with gay men and lesbians who were married at some point when their parents were alive, as well as with the parents of both a gay/lesbian married child and a heterosexual child, for purposes of comparison.
 
“Parents who are able to accept their child’s sexual orientation and incorporate their spouse into the family will find that they gain a second daughter or son and bypass much of the tension involved in a child’s heterosexual marriage,” said Merrill.
 
Merrill advises parents to separate their feelings about their child from their feelings about homosexuality, and to remember how much they love their child.

She writes, “Keep in mind that your child has turned to you for love and support, not censure. You alone have the power to retain the relationship that you have always treasured.”
 
According to Fran Goldscheider, professor emerita at Brown University, “Merrill’s new analysis of changes in parent-adult relationships when a homosexual child marries builds on her valuable and insightful parallel study of what happens to parent-child relationships when a heterosexual child marries. Its implications go far beyond the focal question about how to survive the marriage of a homosexual child, by raising questions about the ways gender structures so many family relationships.”
 
Merrill is a Professor of sociology at Clark University. Her research focuses on relationships between parents and adult children in later life as well as marriage.  Merrill is author of four books, including “When Your Children Marry: How Marriage Changes Relationships with Adult Children” (2011) and “Mothers-in-Law and Daughters-in-Law: Understanding the Relationship and What Makes Them Friends or Foe” (2007). She teaches courses in family, medicine, aging, and research methods, and is also affiliated with Clark’s Women’s and Gender Studies program. 

(Fashionably late?) … WPS Superintendent Search – open community forums

As you are aware, the School Committee has initiated its search for a new Superintendent.  

The Community Involvement Committee would like to extend an invitation to you to be a part of a very important step in this process which is to identify the qualities the members are seeking in our new Superintendent.

The open Community Forums will take place on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 7 p.m. in the Auditorium at Doherty Memorial High School and on Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 7 p.m. in the Auditorium at North High School.

We hope to see you at one of these two sessions because your input would be most valuable to this process.

– Helen Friel