Category Archives: Green Island Grrrl

Thursday wrap-up, starring Dorrie!

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Dorrie’s kitty luxuriating…
pic: D.M.

Fall Musings

By Dorrie Maynard

Autumn will be officially here tomorrow, even though, as most of we New Englanders know, it could still be hot and steamy in October – or it might just be snowing! Either way, New England weather is always something that people like to talk about and have a common interest in, especially when it comes to excessive heat or lots of snow!

I always look forward to the fall: I love the cool breeze, my wind chimes chiming away on my back porch, and putting on sweats when coming in from being outdoors. I keep my windows open as long as possible and always keep the one behind my bed open year round, if only a crack. We can never get too much fresh air!

The smell of fires burning in fireplaces/fire pits and picking out a pumpkin are all things I look forward to in autumn. Oh, and I can’t forget the changing of the leaves, mother nature’s way of displaying beautiful colors on your basic green leaves.

On one of my journey’s to Vermont in the fall, I saw a bus load of Asian people stop at a bridge and take photos of the water and the leaves, and when I had some Asian college students stay with me, they were so excited to see the colors in the leaves. It never occurred to me that some people have never had the NE experience! I guess growing up in Rochester, New York, and living on Lake Ontario has made me a lover of the seasonal changes and all its glory – the good and the bad!

There are many folks I know who look forward to heading South before the cold and snow start flying around here. I just could never live some place where the seasons didn’t change and you have to live in air conditioning year round. People who know me well, know that I am so not a lover of the heat and humidity. Give me a cool, breezy day and I am happy as clam! Throw me a hot and humid day and I feel like the wicked witch of OZ, “melting away!”

I guess if you decide to stick out the seasonal changes of NE, whether you love it or hate it, you own it! NE has so much to offer when it comes to the weather! And like I always hear: if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute – it will change! Rain, hail, snow, sleet, hot, humid, thunder showers and lighting – it is all just nature’s way of keeping us all connected!

Stay happy, friends;

Comments or questions can be directed to djmbytheelm@aol.com

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FYI:

Smile:

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Rose in Piedmont, yesterday: She had a doctor’s appointment at Family Health Center, on Queen Street…
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pics: Rose T.

… and saw this Father and Son walking home after their visit to Family Health. Their love for each other overwhelmed Rose! The little boy curious and cute! The man protective and proud of his son.

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And the day before she spotted one of the infamous yellow bikes in the ‘hood.

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Utilitarian and decorative! She wishes they came with bike helmets – Woo drivers are the worst!

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Rose lovin’ her music:
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So beautiful:

Rose delivering CECELIA and enjoying diverse Worcester!

…Coolio!!!

City leaders MUST WORK TO INCLUDE AND PROMOTE ALL FOLKS of ALL COLORS, ALL BACKGROUNDS in the new Worcester. In our city schools, libraries, housing, big and small biz …

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Rose, yesterday, before heading out to deliver CECELIA. pics: Rose T.

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Jett wanted to be our cover boy!

DIVERSITY!!!!

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Afro-sporting kids are the latest – they can be spotted all over Worcester! Here, in Vernon Hill, Viviane looks so beautiful!

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Here’s a kid riding by Worcester City Hall. Dig his Afro!
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Joey’s Gigi trying on a potential Halloween costume! Go, Princess Gigi! Go, Papa Joey!!
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Go, Boa and SEAC, go!
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Then there’s the old Polish guy who lives next door to Rose. No matter how crazy the ‘hood gets, he is always sweeping his little corner of lower Vernon Hill and planting pretty things. He doesn’t speak much English but knows beauty:
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Rose is heartbroken: downtown’s gorgeous Notre Dame church slated to be demolished …
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But she is still excited for her city, being reborn every day…
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CECELIA columnist, Imalay Guzman, left, and her Mom and babe…photo: I.G.

Saturday wrap-up, starring Imalay!

Like Mother, Like Daughter

By Imalay Guzman

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Imalay, right, and her mom and children

Growing up in a big family and being the only girl was difficult. I am the fourth child out of six – and the only girl! Considering that my mother was accustomed to all her boys, raising a girl was confusing. I have always been emotional and awkward. When it came to talking to my mom I always wrote her letters of explanations of how I felt and slid them under her bedroom door!

My mother and I have a unique relationship. It hasn’t always been that way, but over the course of time it gradually changed. Hard to accept that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree! I’m glad that our relationship has matured to the point of having open conversations: we have our disagreements but respect our differences. Although my life choices haven’t always been the best, my mother always supported me and advised me of the consequences.

One thing that my mother and I always connected over was cooking. My best memories are in the kitchen with her and my brothers. It’s a tradition! All my brothers and I can cook a good-tasting meal. All in the grace of my momma and the talks that we had when we sat down to eat dinner. All I remember is the laughter and different stories of how everyone’s day had gone. On occasion we have potlucks challenging my mother’s original recipes, which is fun, but no one can do it like my Momma!

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Imalay, her mom and daughter

Now that I have children of my own, I can totally understand why she was the way she was during my childhood. I admire and respect her so much. So I do as much as I can to help. I am simply grateful for her. I know it wasn’t easy to raise six children on her own. It takes hard work to be a mother of that many children! She is prepared for anything, one of the many great qualities I inherited from her — besides the cooking skills.

Here’s a recipe for you:

A traditional dessert after a home cooked Puerto Rican meal is “flan.’’ It is a sweetened egg custard with a caramel topping, an open, tart-like pastry, which my mother makes.

She also makes it calibrated – mixing it with cake and calling it “Flancocho.” A recipe I will gladly share with you:

“Flancocho”

To make a small sized flancocho, gather:

Eggs (6)

Evaporated milk (1)

Condensed milk (1)

Vanilla cake (½ box)

Vanilla (3 tsp.)

Sugar (1 cup)

First step is preparing the cake mix. (Use only half a box.) For a larger Flancocho, double the ingredients listed.

Next, you’re going to mix the eggs with the evaporated and condensed milk and 3 tsp. of vanilla flavoring.

The next step is a little more complicated because we’re going to melt sugar to preciseness: heat and stir 1 cup of sugar on a stove top until it turns to what looks like dark, liquified caramel.

Using a baking pan of your choosing, you are going to put the ingredients into this exact layered order:

The caramel goes first, then the flan mix and lastly the cake mix.

Then, you’re going to put the baking pan inside of a bigger and deeper baking pan full of water while trying not to mix the three mixtures of layers – which are very sensitive.

The baking pan full of water allows the mixture to bake without sticking.

Lastly, bake at 350 for an hour.

This is an amazing dish! And it’s even more special when it’s passed down from generation to generation – for example, my mom to me. Sharing similar interests in cooking made it possible for our relationship to grow and progress, making it easy to keep an open line of communication.

This recipe can be used for any occasion. You can make it for yourself or for your family. …

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Imalay’s family = love!

Either way I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. This recipe can be difficult to perfect, but if you manage to successfully prepare it, be ready to add it to your favorites! Always remember that food is love – especially when you share it!

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FYI:

Clark University to host award-winning author for lecture on tyranny, Sept. 25

Leading American historian and author Timothy Snyder will give a lecture on the topic of his latest book, “On Tyranny: Lessons from the Twentieth Century” at 5 p.m. Monday, September 25, in Room 320 of Jefferson Academic Center at Clark University, 950 Main St.

This lecture is part of the Harrington Public Affairs Lecture Series.

It is free and open to the public.

Snyder is an expert on tyranny and has written at length about fascism, communism, and the Holocaust. His six award-winning books include “Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin” and “Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning.” The Guardian states that his latest book is “The perfect clear-eyed antidote to Trump’s deliberate philistinism” and that it provides “a brief primer in every important thing we might have learned from the history of the last century, and all that we appear to have forgotten.”

Snyder is the Housum Professor of History at Yale University and holds a permanent fellowship at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship.

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Rose immersing herself in the boss…She forgot how great he is!

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pic: R.T.

The WPD and dogs on the roof … and … Kate in Rose’s space … The new Worcester Dog Park in Vernon Hill park: a review

From Rose:

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See? Two little black poodle dogs on the pitched roof. Thrown out last night on that pitched roof! It’s the white building on the corner of Ward and Richland streets! Before St. Mary’s school. Right outside Rose’s window!

Rose has freaked! She has called the police 10 times! And the city animal control dept.-dog officers. She has told authorities: The little dogs were put out the window! They are barking, begging to come into the apt! There is no fence. They run to the end of the pitched roof yelping. They will slip,tumble off and die!

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The WPD sent Police Officer Vegas to the scene last night.

He did nothing.

The dogs are still slip sliding on the pitched roof – crying.

What a loser police department we’re saddled with…Cops so unwilling to truly engage with the community…educate, illuminate …The WPD dispatchers so nonchalant, uncaring, unhelpful. …

Kudos to the State Police dispatchers – they were compassionate when Rose called – they tried to be helpful!

text+pics: Rosalie Tirella

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THE NEW WORCESTER DOG PARK IN VERNON HILL PARK: A REVIEW

By Kate Grady

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Yay!! photos by Kate Grady

On August 21 Worcester opened up its first ever off leash dog park at Vernon Hill Park. I visited the park, without a dog, Tuesday afternoon. It’s located on 400 Providence St. It was quiet while dog owners were taking advantage of the last summer days and a little late summer sun.

Walking up to the fenced in area, three dogs alternated running the perimeter of the space and digging large holes in the dirt patches.

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Planted on the side of the hill next to the playground, the playing canines were the only indicators of the dog park from a distance. Dog owners in the City of Worcester have high hopes for this new addition to Vernon Hill Park, providing a first-time opportunity for dogs to engage in off-leash play.

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I sat down at one of the two benches located by the entrance for the “Dogs under 30-lbs” side.

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While the bench provided comfortable supervision for humans, the lack of shade on an 80-degree day proved to be a bit too hot. Dog owner Jennifer, sitting next to me, agreed a canopy or some sort of tent to provide shade for such days is a necessary addition to the dog park.

Dirt dust clouds puffed at my feet around the body of her 5-month Pitbull mix, Alpha.

Following Alpha, another dog Bella, a 6-month old rat terrier mix, tumbled in front of her owner’s feet. “I’ve been here a couple of times, too,” said the pup owner. “I live right there. We walk here. I wish it was a little grassier. But I don’t have a backyard she can run around in.”

There was a small odor coming from the entrance of the gate.

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The dog lover added: “Maybe they could also change the trash. I don’t how often it’s changed.”

The trash barrel was full of garbage – up to its rim, beside of which there was an empty bag container for one of the three dog waste stations the City of Worcester provides for this site.

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Conveniently, Bella’s mom can walk her to the park. Pup owner Jennifer must take Alpha from Belmont Street, which is about a 10-minute drive.

Notably, the park is being used by residents from all parts of the Worcester. It appears that public knowledge of this new location is mainly circulated through Facebook and other social media platforms.

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The two fenced-in areas are separated by the weight of the dogs that come to the park. One side is meant for dogs under 30 lbs. and, the other side caters to larger dogs that weigh more than 30 lbs., in hopes of preventing any accidental injuries during play.

Even though large and small dogs are separated, incidents can still occur. “I had problems on the first day,” Jennifer said. “My dog got attacked, but I found the owner on Facebook. This is my third time here and it’s been great.”

Different ropes hung on the fence and water dishes sat in-front of them. “And people are nice,” Jennifer said. “They leave toys and water dishes behind for other dogs to use.”

It is surprising that there is no water source available to the dogs, while they are playing at the Park, even if there are available water dishes left behind to use.

While the site includes all the fundamental components of a dog park – fencing, double-gate system, benches, trash-cans and waste stations – dog owners feel as though a liite more is needed to make it a more suitable environment for their pets. However, in the meantime Worcester’s first dog park provides a safe space for people to socialize and excersise their dogs. The dogs love to play! Folks get to meet and make friends with fellow dog-lovers.

Cheers to our happy canine companions in Worcester!

Ron in Rose’s space … Politically speaking, Coreen Gaffney = bleh … and you ain’t gonna win if you don’t have the dough re mi

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Worcester politicians Coreen and Michael Gaffney are against a living wage for all workers and workers’ unions.    photo: Rose T.

By Ron O’Clair

My interests lie in the 700 Block of Main Street in Main South and the quality of life issues that affect the people who live and work in this area.

I have been a vocal advocate of citizen activism – and a neighborhood activist – for many years. I’ve worked with all of our District 4 city councilors since the late great D 4 Councilor Janice Nadeau. I worked especially closely with former District 4 City Councilor Barbara Haller (and now Worcester Zoning Board of Appeals member). Barbara loved her job and  passionately  served the people.

I have come to work with our present D 4 city councilor – Sarai Rivera – on issues affecting MY District after a period of inititial dejection because she won the race against my favorite Worcester city councilor, Barbara Haller.

Now we have a challenger to the District 4 seat – Coreen Gaffney, wife of toxic Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney. Coreen comes with major political connections via marriage to Mike Gaffney, also head of the city Republican committee, and she has the silver spoon effect: plenty of money to spend to finance a decent battle for the District 4 seat. Her husband spent $40,000 of his own money in advertising to win his election two years ago.

Barbara Haller’s defeat came as a surprise to veteran councilor Haller and myself. I believe it was due in large part to Sarai garnering a substantial voter base of her own ethnic background, working with the get out the youth vote and registering many neighborhood voters who previously did not participate in city elections. It was a masterful piece of political saviness for a heretofore unknown politician.

Now many of you know that I ran for a Worcester city councilor at-large seat in the last election. What hampered me most, besides my relative obscurity as a political candidate, was the lack of a  nice little nest egg$$$ to buy airtime, campaign literature, mailings and the other gimicks that politicians use to get their message out to the voters in time for election.

I relied on my own record of service to the community and my obvious success in transforming the most blighted area of my District – the area around the former PIP wet homeless shelter – into a cleaner, safer and QUIETER place for my tenants and me here at 707 Main St. It’s a rooming house I have managed since June of 2003. I have actually resided here since July  1996 and have worked, as I say, with ALL of the DIstrict 4 Councilors, many city officials, the Worcester Police Department and WFD firemen and women. My issues, from years of living with and dealing with these challenges: grime, safety, the opioid crisis, the PIP, prostitution, noise…

I naively believed that my years of work in a very challenging part of the city, LIVING ACROSS from the PIP, the popular articles I wrote for over a decade for InCity Times would have been enough to show the voters my level of committment to District 4. I thought that perhaps the people who reside in my District would see that I was the RIGHT person.

Last election cycle when I ran for office I did manage to pull in 580 votes – so there were at least that many people who agreed with me. My years of work have paid a few dividends here in what was once the absolute most crime-infested spot in the City of Worcester.

The old WPD, under now retired Chief Gary J. Gemme, would have liked to contain all the nefariousness/crime in my immediate vicinity, which of course made it easier for them but very unfair for poor residents, biz folks, families, kids.

So now we have  Coreen Gaffney running against the indomitable spirit of Sarai Rivera because Mr. & Mrs. Gaffney have moved into MY district and think they are going to take credit for accomplishemnts that were the result of many years of hard fought battles beginning with William Breault and continuing with myself and many other people who worked tirelessly to put a clamp down on illegal behavior regarding illicit drug sales and prostitution in this Main South area that comprises District 4.

City Councilor at-Large Michael Gaffney and now Coreen Gaffney – who declined my request for an interview prior to my authoring this story – are the interlopers here.

They believe they have rights because they have begun a “beautification” project, cleaning local weeded sidewalks and picking up trash here and there. They think this is a new and novel approach! Ha!!!

Well, they aren’t doing anything new and special. We District 4 residents, business owners and volunteers have done all this many times in the past – to not too much in the way of success long-term, or appreciation in the near-term. I myself picked up litter on my Main Street 700 block for a number of years on end –  and got physically attacked while doing it. This happened more than once.

To me, Coreen Gaffney comes off as mini me carbon copy of her husband Michael Gaffney whose support of the offensive Turtle Boy blog belittles his very own constituency. This speaks volumes about his character as a city councilor.

That is why I urge my readers to consider carefully who they vote for in the mayoral race (Michael is running for mayor) and the District 4 race.

A vote for Coreen Gaffney would be a great disservice to District 4.

Re-electing D 4 incumbent Sarai Rivera would be a good thing.

That is as fair and impartial as I can be under the circumstances – Coreen refused to be interviewed by me.

Quite the snub from the little grub!

Saturday wrap-up: Why not take a September stroll through Webster Square’s Unique Finds Antiques and Vintage gift shop …

… and find those autumnal goodies for your autumnal abode? The store is located at 1329 Main St., Worcester. On the corner of Main and Henshaw streets.

Hours: Mon – Sat, 2 – 8 p.m.

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Back at her shack…Rose got these cute planters in the FREE section of Unique Finds:

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Ron and Sue gave Rose this boombox so she could play her cassettes! Her boombox’s cassette player is busted! Thank you, my friends!

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Rose, today, in her shack…she will be playing this spare beauty…

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Or: Go out and enjoy your neighborhood, like this dad and his little girl!

Yesterday!

Green Island!

The toughest urban-scape, the prettiest pink bike helmet!

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The poorest people, the best memories!

The bleakest intersection …

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… the most adept riding!

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Past the junked cars, sloping three decker porches, cracked pavement, dirty clotheslines, high fences topped with barbed wire.

Under the ugly bridge to …

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… dead factory world.

No matter!

Memories are made here, too!

THEY COUNT!

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Make your childhood memories, lil’ girl!! Ride through the weeds and the poverty. Wearing your pink bike helmet!

Your father loves you so! I can see that from my car window, on my way home to my nearby apartment: You wear the helmet, daddy doesn’t. You ride in the inside, daddy on the outside, with traffic. He is smiling – broadly – having fun! So proud of you!

Little city angel riding your bike so fast with daddy! With such confidence! The way city kids do!

Home soon…to supper? Snacks?… In the late fall and winter the kitchen windows fog up with all the frying and boiling… That’s the way it was in our Lafayette Street tenement when I was a little kid. I’d ride my little bike with its rusty handle bars through the streets of Green Island. I named my bike “Rusty”!

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You are so strong, little girl in the pink bike helmet, pedaling past the big trucks! You have no idea how resilient you are – and will be!

pics+text: Rosalie Tirella

Parlee in Rose’s space! … When Women Gather

When Women Gather

By Parlee Jones

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Parlee, in green blouse, with her “crew”

“When women gather, great things will happen.”
~ Leymah Gbowee

Peace Worcester People! Hoping all is well in your world. I am not very fond of big crowds, but in order to maintain some sort of socialization with the world, I do enjoy spending time with positive people!

I am so blessed to have many amazing people in my life. A lot of my circles connect in one way or another. Some do not connect at all. They consist of men, women and children from all walks of life. I truly enjoy them all, but I find that I gain amazing energy and do wonderful things when women gather! And as much as I love my brothers and building with them, today I am talking about what happens When Women Gather.

Women have been gathering since the beginning that never was. To celebrate womanhood, to celebrate marriage, to deliver children, to call blessings and bring blessings, to honor the ancestors, to become the ancestors, to cook, take care of babies and all the other things we do now.

From the many woman warriors and queens in ancient Africa to the sewing circles with Sojourner and Harriet to cooking for the masses during the 60’s and 70’s. In between we have wedding showers, baby showers, reunions, birthdays, girls’ nights and all other hosts of gatherings. Today, you can become part of a group on Facebook. Although, you never really know who is on the other side.

This month I had the pleasure of celebrating the upcoming marriage of my beautiful friends M and D. A beautiful event where we were able to share and celebrate the union of these two wonderful souls. Delicious food is usually a staple when women gather, because food brings people together. We love sharing our delicious recipes. “Mama Bear” created such a beautiful place in her home. There were many women I consider allies in this space, and as usual, when socially aware folks get together, there will always be that corner of the space where conversations around politics and work we are doing, nationally and locally are being held. Even though, we vow not to talk about “all that,” it’s hard when activism is how you live your life. Not just your job. Glad to be a part of such a pleasant energy.

Growing up, we all have that group of friends that will be friends forever. We go off and do our thing and are lucky enough to pick up where we left off when we meet again. This is the best thing about Facebook. To be able to glimpse friends lives as we continue on our own paths. My friend Jeni came up for an aunts funeral and we were able to come together with myself and my sister, Jeni, Laurie, Allise and Charmaine. I don’t think that group of women has been together, collectively in over 20 years. Catching up on babies, and grands, the men in our lives, past and present and what we have been up to. The good and the bad, because that is what life is made up of.

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Family gathering and cook-out!

And then … the photo albums!!! All those old pics from when we were younger, care free and had the world at our feet! What a great evening. Wine, also a very vital part of some gatherings, along w/ other spirits if desired. We, definitely have to do this again, with many more from that era who are still around. Best memories of the evening involved the Black Debutantes, the Rainbow / VIP, concerts at the Providence Civic Center and some brothers we are glad were avoided!!!

And last month … Celebrating the 92nd Birthday of Ms. Elease Moses. My children’s great grandmother on their father’s side. You all know how important Sankofa is to me, knowing the past to move forward in the future, so being in Brooklyn was a priority!

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Parlee and Athena, Abby’s House heroines!

Five generations of the Moses Family celebrating their Matriarch at Seaview Park in Canarsie Brooklyn. It was wonderful. All the cousins and babies and food and elders, and friends, new and old! So nice to see folks I haven’t seen in years. And again, we were able to see the gifts of the women. How easily we can engage in conversation and at the same time, have your eye trained on the children and where they are and are they safe. Naiema, Julie, on point!!! Our gift of prayer and meditation, bringing energy and spirit to ciphers, along w/ ancestor energy.

MacPhine, Francis, Yvonne. Always love. Tamika, so beautiful! Born, Supreme, DaShon, Eleasa Refine, Nashon, Naquan, Lil Naquan, Dupreme, Jameena. Ella Mae’s team. My children’s grandmother, who made a way for me when I needed to get out of dodge. Made a way for me on my journey to find myself. I miss you much.

Women. When Women Gather.

Nothing but love.

I have a few other circles very near and dear, but I will keep them to myself for now because that is another thing we women do: we know when to Knowledge and when to Wisdom. Always to bring about an Understanding. For where two or three are gathered together … there I am in the midst of them. Because the greatest of these is love.

I will end with a quote from my sister, Tracy: “When women gather … just to be together … with or without an agenda a beautiful thing happens. They connect to each other and to the invisible feminine and their energy combined has no choice but to create something beautiful because women ~ whether they have physical children or not, are creators and when they gather just to be together … spirit is moved, energy is lifted and love is born!”

Peace!

Family ~ Five Generations

Family ~ Five Generations

Gathering of Women ~ Good Friends

Gathering of Women ~ Good Friends

Leymah Roberta Gbowee is a Liberian peace activist responsible for leading a women’s peace movement, Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace that helped bring an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate.

“We are tired of war. We are tired of running. We are tired of begging for bulgur wheat. We are tired of our children being raped. We are now taking this stand, to secure the future of our children. Because we believe, as custodians of society, tomorrow our children will ask us, ‘Mama, what was your role during the crisis?’

“The Liberian women peace movement demonstrated to the world that grassroots movements are essential to sustaining peace; that women in leadership positions are effective brokers for peace; and the importance of culturally relevant social justice movements. Liberia’s experience is a good example to the world that women — especially African women — can be drivers of peace.”

Sunday wrap-up … starring Dorrie!

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This found kitty was quite the find!

Found Cat

Text and photos by Dorrie Maynard

A friend of a friend called me a month ago about a friendly, stray and pregnant cat that she had been feeding in her neighborhood. She was concerned that the cat would
have her kittens outside and they would be lost.

Knowing that I am involved with rescues, they decided to give me a call. After reaching
out to Karen Powers, the co founder of Spay Worcester,who in turned
reached out to Melanie at WARL, they came up with a space for this cat to be safe and to have her
kittens in.

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One of Dorrie’s babes – a rescue!

I got up very early the next morning to go and get the cat into a carrier and take her to WARL. The woman who I picked the cat up from
was so upset! She was crying when I took the cat; She wanted to be sure that the cat would be alright. I assured her that WARL would keep the cat and her kittens until they were all ready to be neutered or spayed, and then they would all be adopted out.

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Another Dorrie kit-kat…

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He’s a tramp but Dorrie loves him!!

The poor cat screamed the entire car trip to WARL. In my car, driving, all I kept telling her was: “Don’t worry, Momma! You and
your kittens will be safe now! No more roaming the streets, looking for handouts.”

Later that afternoon, I received a call from WARL: Not only was the cat not pregnant (just fat), she also had a micro chip and belonged to someone who lived on the next street over from where I picked her up!

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Dorrie’s spoiled kitties don’t go a-roving!

I learned something new: Melanie informed me that outdoor cats will travel up to ONE MILE to find food, and this woman had been feeding this roving cat regularly … . So the cat knew where she could get an extra meal!

I called the woman who had initially called me to tell her that the cat did in fact have a home and that she might want to consider not feeding it anymore – just give her a few treats when she sees her.

The cat was really fat! I honestly thought she was pregnant!

The cat was eventually returned to her rightful owner, and I assume she is still romping around the neighborhood looking for hand outs whenever she comes across a tender-hearted “feeder.”

I always say: “Cats are like men – they remember where they were fed and always come back for more!”

On another happy note, Pinkie Pie, the beautiful pit bull that I wrote about, has finally been adopted!! I happened to be at WARL doing
some pet food packaging for Central Mass Kibble Kitchen when the new owner brought her back to have her nails clipped. I met Pinkie Pie’s owner, and he seemed so in love with her! And she looked great! He said he takes Pinkie to work with him every day. Her allergies are still an issue, but he is staying on top of them and giving her all the love that she so deserves!

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WARL has many dogs looking for loving forever homes!

Happy Trails, Pinkie Pie!! I am cheering for you every step of
the way!

If anyone has any questions or would like to contact me with a story idea, please feel free to
email me at djmbytheelm@aol.com.

Sunday wrap up …🍒starring Edith!🌻🌻

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Donald Trump👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎

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photo: Ron O’Clair

Healing from War, Trauma and Torture Workshop

This workshop will take place on Monday, October 16th from 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM.

RSVP by October 1st to zaza@zsakhattherapy.com.

This October I will be facilitating a workshop that will involve group work with children who are refugee survivors from Middle Eastern countries.

It is crucial for clinicians, who work with immigrant and refugee children and families, to understand and empathize with the trauma survived by war.

This program has been approved for 4 Social Work Continuing Education hours.

Hope to see you there!

Zaza Sakhat, LICSW
Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychotherapist

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🎶Stone Soup Block Party and Cooperative Festival🎶

Musical and poetry performances

💐 Featuring: 4 Elements, Lucelia de Jesus and others!

🌷Free food

🐹Kids activities

❤Speakers, exhibits and local market promoting cooperatives and other community groups

Want to table? Contact us: stonesoupworcester@gmail.com tables are sliding scale / donation.
WHEN: Saturday, September 16th, 2017. 3-7pm
Rain date Sunday, Sept. 24th, 2017. 3-7pm

WHERE: Stone Soup Community Center, 4 King St.

WHO: Organized by Stone Soup Artists/Activist Collective and Community Resource Center – and Worcester Roots – a non-profit that sprouts up cooperatively owned and green initiatives for social and environmental justice.

Stone Soup’s mission is to build grassroots power by connecting and enriching groups and individuals in our communities who are working for social justice in Worcester. We are building community and economies based in cooperation and creativity while resisting oppression and gentrification.

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Worcester Interfaith presents The Beggar’s Bowl

12th annual fundraiser and arts event

Tuesday evening, October 10

5:30 to 7:30 pm

At First Baptist Church, 111 Park Ave., Worcester, corner of Park Avenue & Salisbury Street

Come enjoy artisan bread and a bowl
of homemade soup, served in a hand-thrown stoneware bowl which you get to take home!

Donation: $50

For more information, call Worcester Interfaith at (508) 754-5001
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Walking the mutts …

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photos+text: Rose T.

… a surprise!

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She let me photograph her while she was lunching!

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Her orange outfit was so much prettier than mine!

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With my lil’ Cece, the flower-puller-and-pee-pee-in-the-flower-pot girl, around this summer …
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... I’ve had to be very strategic re: plant placement. Out of Cece’s sight …

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… Out of Cece’s mouth and paws! (hopefully)

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Edith M. is the queen of urban gardeners!🌷:

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pics: R.T.

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Here’s her gardening column:

How Does your Garden Grow?

By Edith Morgan

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Edith and her husband, Guy

Remember the “Victory Gardens” Americans cultivated during World War II? Or, if you’re not old enough to remember the Victory Gardens, do you know about the community gardens scattered all over Worcester?

Or maybe you knew about the vegetable plots by the homes of Italians on Shrewsbury Street …

… or perhaps you have Vietnamese or Cambodian friends who raise giant cucumbers, almost bush-high oregano, and other herbs?

Or perhaps you have driven down Pleasant Street and noted that some single-family homes have eliminated their lawns in favor of Japanese gardens of sand, rocks and spaced plants? Or maybe they have just let Mother Nature fill in the area with a variety of flowers and herbs?

And maybe you have noticed that it does not take a single-family house with a large yard to do amazing things with flora. Every day I get pictures from various friends and acquaintances showing off their beautiful flowers, garden projects, and often close-ups of single spectacular blossoms.

There is not a single one of us who can not accommodate some kind of growing plant! The amazing thing is that plants are so very versatile that they will grow almost anywhere, given water, soil, and some sunshine. For these very humble demands, they give so much back!

Depending on the amount of time, energy and space you have, you too, living in a small space and on a limited budget, can become an urban gardener! Many Worcesterites are already very savvy about urban gardening: we have a plethora of community gardens scattered throughout Worcester, in our parks, on median strips, adorning monuments and in cement or ornamental pots on sidewalks. In recent years, they are surrounding our schools, which, to my great sorrow, when I first came here in 1967, were mostly devoid of color and plantings. What a difference a few years have made: with the replanting of our city trees, and with the efforts of so many home-owners and renters to “green up” our city!!!

If you are just getting started, here are some Starter Ideas.

Are you in a small apartment or a single room?

Do you get any sun at any time during the day?

Our house, unfortunately, faces North, and the neighboring houses are close by, and we are surrounded by very tall trees. Those are not ideal growing conditions, but there are plants that LIKE a bit of shade: there are so many different kinds of hostas, with small or large leaves, fancy or plain, and they like my northern exposure. And, best of all, they are perennials – coming up every year in greater profusion than the year before. And, they bloom!

If you love multi-colored displays and do not mind annuals, coleus leaves come in wonderful arrays of colors and sizes (I am always amazed that this plant comes in so many shapes and shades – the display at Tower Hill Botanical never ceases to amaze me), and for my taste they do not require beautiful blossoms because each leaf is almost blossom-like in its variations and beauty.

I am sure all of us remember the classroom plants: the sweet potato in water, sending out its tendrils and twining around on the windowsill; and the spring experiments with growing seeds (usually something fast germinating, like radish seeds) so we could see their day-to-day development.

Those lessons were especially important in urban schools, where often students were not exposed to growing things, nor taught how to care for plants (do we still take time for these things, amidst the horrors of testing?) If we recall these experiments, it is easy to replicate them, in more sophisticated forms: fruits and vegetables that have not been waxed or chemically treated will send out shoots: try yams, potatoes and avocado pits (be patient, they take six months to really get going!). I try out all sorts of seeds and pits to see if they will grow! I do not really hope to grow an orange or lemon tree here, but I have planted seeds from some that I have eaten and watched a few come up.

Salads are all the rage now, and you can easily grow the fixings. Lettuce is tricky outdoors; my friends tell me that there are various “nibblers” around – like rabbits – who feast on them. But I have noticed that they do not bother my garlic, chives and onions (all the same family), and those plants are easy to grow just about anywhere, and mine seem to survive the winter.

Two other plants that thrive on being cut down also and are great fresh in all kinds of dishes, are parsley and cilantro. And of course you need mint, which will take over your garden if allowed; depending on what your culture of origin is, you will want mint (there are many kinds), basil, oregano, onions, and garlic. These plants and herbs seem to be universal – I have found some or all of them in recipes from Europe and Asia. And if you have limited space, they can be grown in pots on your windowsill.

Try a variety – I have found that not all my experiments work out perfectly, but it is fun trying different things. Once you begin, all sorts of interesting things will occur to you. I rely a lot on the legendary Paul Rogers and books and magazines I have collected, plus ideas from friends and neighbors – and the little hints attached to vegetable purchases at the supermarket.

PESTO!

To get the novice started: how about making your own pesto?

Cut some basil leaves, some parsley sprigs and some garlic.

Use 1 cup of crushed basil leaves, 1/2 cup of parsley sprigs, cut up a garlic clove …

… and then add what you prefer: olive oil, cheese, your choice of either pine nuts (they are expensive!!), walnuts or almonds and follow your favorite recipe. Get creative, use what you have, and make enough for your serving and to freeze some for future use.

The main thing is to grow what you like, enjoy watching it thrive, eat it, and expand your interests! Nature is truly amazing and so very thankful for any attention!

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We’ll say goodbye with Freddy Fender:

Woo news for you🍒… and …our thoughts on Trump and Woo’s Trumpistas!😱

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We did it – thank you!

With your help, we were able to raise a grand total of $5,040 and earn a $5,000 matching gift from the Cahn Fund for Social Change to help support our move!

Thank you so much to everyone who helped to spread the word and made a donation – every dollar has a tremendous impact on our students!

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Join us for our Annual Meeting and Open House on August 30th!

We are thrilled to let you know we have finished moving into our new office space – Suites 350 and 355 of the Denholm Building in downtown Worcester.

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We would like to invite everyone to our Annual Meeting and Open House to be held from 6-8 pm on Wednesday, August 30th.

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RSVP to OPEN HOUSE!
Join us for our Annual Fall Fundraiser on October 12th!

Tickets are now on sale for our Annual Fall Fundraiser to be held from 5:30-9 pm on Thursday, October 12th at UMass Medical School.

The evening will be filled with African food, drumming performances, inspiring speeches from our students and alums, and, of course, silent and live auctions filled with items including African art, jewelry, pottery, and much more!

Purchase Fall Fundraiser Tickets!
Thank you for all of your support during these busy and exciting times. We are so grateful to have so many generous and thoughtful proponents of ACE. We look forward to seeing many of you soon!

All the best,
The ACE Team

Our mailing address is:
African Community Education
24 Chatham Street
Worcester, MA 01609

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❤BE THERE! SO IMPORTANT!❤

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Go, badass women, go!💐🌺🌻

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Impeach Trump! Worst POTUS eva!!!!!!😱

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Trump and Woo’s alt-right brigade

By Rosalie Tirella

Pres Donald Trump is a blip on our political scene, a big fat, dangerous transitional figure in American politics. The world has changed. America, too! The global economy has raised some up – but hurt others (read: under-educated Americans). The world grows more diverse – in 20+ years America will be a majority minority country. Lots of Americans can’t embrace these seismic economic and cultural changes! Out of fear, confusion and ignorance, they embrace  and endorse racist acts, classism, hatred for refugees, free speech and a more diverse and egalitarian America.

On the Worcester front, we don’t have a Mayor Trump, but we do have our alt-right figures:

Worcester City Councilor and mayor wannabe Michael Gaffney;

his political (but keeps it a secret) clone, wife Coreen Gaffney, District 4 councilor  wannabe;

local rogue lawyer Margaret Melican;

and Melican’s social media BFF, Turtle Boy hate blogger Aidan Kearney;

and Paul Collyer,  FaceBook pages “owner”/author of CHANGE WORCESTER and WORCESTER’S DIRTY SECRET.  

This group of peeps may think itself forward looking, but with all their blogging, comments, repostings and postings you get THE MOST RACIST, Worcester-harming political rants and political strivers this side of Steve Bannon’s office.

They are Worcester’s alt-right movement and Breitbart News rolled into one! Far right strivers hawking ideas that do not fit the Worcester of 2017.

But fear not! Like Trump, they are political flukes, too. Look around you! Don’t you see? This bunch cannot get any kind of political traction here, in Worcester. They are leaving our city/disappearing. Worcester is too racially and socially progressive for them…too willing to bring EVERYONE UP. We don’t traffic in their welfare queen and prince cliches, their “Petty” bashings etc.

Out they go!

For instance, by trashing our recent Worcester City Common anti-racism rally a la Donald Trump, Collyer, Gaffney and Turtle Boy show us how they have outlived their ability to thrive in Worcester. They have been called out by Worcester, they have been put on notice: they are Woo’s political old guard uttering their last, desperate syllables.

Like Trump, their “ratings” in Woo are low:

Paul Collyer has lost clout ever since his buddy former City Manager Mike O’Brien left his job, after HE realized he was no longer a good fit for a diverse, challenging, wonderful Worcester. Collyer is moving to the beautiful Hudson Valley in New York – miles and miles away😄 – with Susan to run a bowling alley. This permanent move will be good for Collyer and GREAT for the new Worcester!😄 Truly evolving cities go way beyond the installations of beer gardens and the scarfing down of fancy food and patronizing over-priced boutiques. That kind of economic development is just a small piece of the Woo puzzle, focusing on and catering to our upper-middle class. What we and most WORCESTERITES are talking about is SOCIAL JUSTICE, THE LIVING WAGE, POLITICAL MOVEMENTS WHOSE ARC BENDS TOWARDS OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL – not just the moneyed or politically connected.

City Councilor Mike Gaffney is, for Woo, a political anomaly. He is smart but duplicitous and a fraud. He will never become mayor of Worcester – even though he’ll try any DIRTY trick in the book to win, which usually entails lying about present mayor, Joe Petty, and shredding our community to bits as he throws wedge after wedge into sensitive city issues.

His wife Coreen knows how to be polite, but she’s dead in the political Woo waters, too. She’ll be another Mike Gaffney vote on the city council – no one will go for that. She has no chance of winning in majority minority, ever complex District 4. The best Coreen can hope for is a job with the DPW on its grounds maintenance crew.

Turtle Boy has moved to Jefferson because Worcesterites loathe him so passionately – and he’s got two kids to raise. They would be pariahs here – just like their daddy Aidan is. Aidan’s toxic Turtle Boy blog can no longer handle local stuff, so he Jerry Springers all of New England. It’s an emotionally ugly ride – his Turtle Boy blog. No one will publicly come out in favor of this racist, far right wing nut and his blog – except for Collyer, the Gaffneys and Melican who push the TB toxicity out into the community via their FB pages, etc…

It was great to see Mayor Petty and City Manager Ed Augustus at the anti-racism, anti-white-supremacy rally on the Woo Common a few days ago! They stood with the good folks at Charlottesville – not the Neo Nazis. They stood on justice’s side! Former CM Mike O’Brien would have tried to shut the rally down! Social justice is too messy and un-pretty for O’Brien, Collyer and crew. That’s why O’Brien’s gone, and his compadres will soon follow in his footsteps …