Category Archives: InCity Feature

Choosing the NEXT city manager of Worcester – special Worcester City Council meeting today! 3:30 p.m. Be there!


Thursday, September 11

City Hall – 455 Main St.

Esther Howland Chamber  – 3:30 P.M.

Joseph M. Petty
Morris A. BergmanTony Economou – District 1
Michael T. GaffneyPhilip P. Palmieri – District 2
Konstantina B. LukesGeorge J. Russell – District 3
Frederick C. RushtonSarai Rivera – District 4
Kathleen M. ToomeyGary Rosen – District 5
David J. Rushford
Edward M. Augustus, Jr. CITY AUDITOR
Robert V. Stearns






4a. Peter Graczykowski, Edgartown, MA – 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

4b. David M. Moore, Worcester, MA – 5:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

4c. Oscar Rodriguez, Taos, NM – 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

Kitten season! All over again!!!!

By Rosalie Tirella

Here I am back in District 4 again and into the saving stray kittens and cats crusade. AGAIN. Last time around, here in the hood, I fed and cared for two feral cat colonies for 10 years. 10 YEARS! HEARTBREAKING. A decade of trapping, spaying/neutering, feeding and watering wild, scared, suffering cats/kittens every day. In all kinds of weather. In sickness and in health. Til death did us part. And death always did us part! Feral cats, even cared for in colonies by nice middle-aged ladies like moi, usually have lifespans of only two or three years. And their deaths are always brutal: usually (true for mine) run over by zooming cars. Sometimes poisoned – unintentionally and intentionally.

Sometimes I could smell one of my “ferals” dying…I’d be there to feed them and I’d smell the pus and infection of a huge wound or broken something…The cat would be mewing softly to itself. Then I would have to dig through the junked auto parts and garbage and put a blanket over it and drive it to be put down. Sometimes I’d think a cat was pregnant, trap it and then learn from a vet that it had to be euthanized cuz its stomach had been penetrated with a sharp object, or a bb gun pellet and the cat’s big tummy was not filled with kittens but with pus-fluid. Infection. Death by drowning in the pus fluid…It’s called peritonitis. Euthanasia is a blessing.

Like I said in my previous posts, living for three years at 159 Greenwood St. was like being semi-retired. AARP-ville.

Now I’m back in the inner city, and things are fucking HEARTBREAKING all over again!!!!!! The vulnerable beautiful homeless felines are back my life. Or: they never went away – it was just me who went away. On mini vaca.


These past few weeks were filled with frantic calls and negotiations, on my part, in order to get two cats in my neighborhood – one adorable kitten and her not much bigger adorable mom, practically a kitten herself – homes. Safe. Off the streets. The kitten’s screeching and desperate screams in the middle of the night as she stumbled into and sidestepped one deadly situation after another proved too much for me! Her cries pierced my heart! I had to jump into action. So I worked the phone and got them off the streets and put them in cat carriers and put them in my car with me and my trusty husky mix Jett and drove them to safety. PLACED BOTH CATS! The kitten really lucked out. I gave her to a young family that owns a beautiful home out in the country. She became the birthday gift for my friend’s little girl. A family who will spay, vaccinate, love, love, love her. A definite HAPPY ENDING. Or should I write HAPPY BEGINNING?!



Here’s a great PETA op-ed:

By Daphna Nachminovitch

Recently, two teenage boys were hanging out by a creek in Clendenin, W.Va., when they saw a man pull off the road and toss two bags into the water. The boys were close enough to hear squeaking sounds coming from the bags, so one of the teens immediately jumped into the water and grabbed the bags. Inside, they found five tiny kittens, not even a week old. “The fact that someone would be so cruel as to do that!” said one of the boys. “Times are tough—I understand that. But there’s always a better answer than that. Always.”

He’s right, but even though there’s a simple and easy solution to animal overpopulation—spaying and neutering—some people still refuse to do the right thing and animals suffer as a result, especially at this time of year.

When the days get longer, female cats’ reproductive cycles peak, leading to two or even three litters per cat before winter sets in. For cats without homes, the season brings even more than the usual amount of fear, worry and hardship. Pregnant females search for safe places to give birth. Abandoned buildings, drain pipes, corners of seldom-used garages and crawl spaces under houses, porches and sheds are often all they have to choose from, affording no real comfort or safety. Internal and external parasites, along with scorching temperatures in summer, are a struggle even for strong and otherwise healthy cats and are often deadly for nursing mothers and newborns.

For animal shelters, “kitten season” brings a flood of abandoned and homeless kittens, but with the increasing popularity of so-called “no-kill” policies, some shelters are simply refusing to accept cats when they run out of room and are promoting trap-neuter-return programs rather than trapping and sheltering feral cats. Even proponents of these policies admit that they are sentencing cats to death (and not a peaceful, painless one in an animal shelter). In Mesa County, Ariz., for example, the Roice Hurst Humane Society uses the euphemism “letting nature run its course” to describe its policy of allowing cats to die lingering, painful deaths on the streets. 

Kittens are perhaps the most vulnerable of homeless animals. Tiny and helpless, they frequently fall prey to predators, inclement weather, deadly contagious diseases and cruel people. One study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association found that 75 percent of free-roaming kittens died or disappeared before they turned 6 months old. Trauma was the most common cause of death.

PETA’s fieldworkers receive even more calls than usual this time of year about kittens who are in trouble, unwanted and/or abandoned. Our fieldworkers often arrive on the scene to find kittens who are desperately ill, dying or, in some cases, already dead.

For example, one tiny kitten, only about a week old, was already suffering from ear mites, fleas, worms, anemia and an upper respiratory infection. Three others were all suffering from upper respiratory infections so severe that their eyes had developed ulcers, and they were all blind. Another kitten was mortally wounded after being hit by a car, but was still alive when our fieldworkers stumbled upon her on the way back from another call. And a Good Samaritan brought yet another severely injured newborn kitten to PETA’s Norfolk, Va., headquarters after waiting more than an hour for local animal control to respond.

These kittens are just a small sampling of the millions who lost the battle to survive a harsh life on the streets. Those who do survive, even for just a year, can go on to breed and continue the cycle of suffering and death. That is why it is vital to spay and neuter all cats, never to allow cats to roam outdoors unattended and to pick up strays and take them to reputable, open-admission shelters that accept all animals and don’t turn them away to let “Mother Nature” do the dirty work.


Vegan lunch-bag ideas – for kids and adults!

Written by PETA !

Whether you’re packing lunch for school, work, or a picnic, we wanted to offer up some deliciously vegan options for filling that lunchbox.

1. Bento box: Homemade vegan bento boxes can contain any number of fun dishes, including Japanese Radish Salad, Vegan Sushi, Miso- and Citrus-Glazed Eggplant, and Sesame-Soba Noodle Salad.

2. Vegan chicken salad sandwich: Try this Back-to-School “Chicken” Salad recipe to make this delicious sandwich.


Vegan Chicken Salad Sandwich

3. Fruit-based tropical lunch: Combine Banana–Peanut Butter Rolls, a Fruit Skewer With “Yogurt” Sauce, Blueberry and Wild Rice Salad, and Mango Salad for the win!

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Experience the lovely (32!!) horses at Blue Star Equiculture! Visit them this weekend!! (or during a fall-foliage jaunt!)


By Pamela Rickenbach, executive director

photos by Rosalie Tirella (This is my new fave place! A little over a half hour drive from Worcester – beautiful ride on Rt. 9, west – to Palmer, Blue Star is the place to feel GREAT! Feed the horses! pat the horses! learn all about the different breeds of working horses at this amazing resuce farm for all kinds of working horses. Carriage horses from New York  City, draft horses … Volunteers wanted, $ donations always accepted.  BEAUTIFUL!  – R. T.)


Blue Star Equiculture of Palmer is a draft horse sanctuary for retired, homeless and disabled horses. We specialize with “working” breeds or those that have worked in harness; Belgians, Shires, Clydesdales, Percherons and Standardbreds. BSE was created as a way of showing gratitude for what horses have shared with us for the past 6,000 years and in particular America’s relationship with working horses.


Historically, America depended on horsepower.  Essentially, we are all “horse people” with ancestors that lived and worked with horses, not that long ago. Today, all over the world, humans use horses and the horses continue to define them culturally. Over half the world’s population of humans still depends on horsepower to help them in their daily struggle to survive. This relationship is ancient and with it, we believe, there is a responsibility to care for retired work horses appropriately and compassionately.\


Ann Norton Greene, in her important book Horses at Work, Harnessing Power in Industrial America states, “They hauled streetcars, omnibuses, drays, delivery wagons, and private vehicles. Horses delivered raw materials to factories and trucked away finished products. Horses delivered building materials to construction sites, dug foundations, powered cranes, and hauled away the dirt from excavations. They loaded ships, dredged harbors, and hauled fishing nets. Horses brought produce, dairy products, meat, grain and hay from surrounding areas into city markets to feed urban consumers and returned stable manure to the farmlands.


Horses conveyed baggage and packages, carried freight to and from railroad depots and shipping piers, distributed coal, milk, ice, bread, and produce, delivered furniture and other consumer goods to homes and beer to saloons. They pulled fire engines, ambulances, street sweepers, and garbage wagons. Horses provided nearly all the power for the internal circulation of the city life because no other prime mover could compete with them technologically.”


Horses were integral to nineteenth-century industrialization. The horse population in America went from approximately 7 million in 1860 to nearly twenty-five million in 1900. Most of those horses resided east of the Mississippi River. Horses powered almost every aspect of urban life. Horses jammed the streets of our early cities, working in transit, industry, construction, shipping, commerce, and municipal government.  We like to say that horse built this country.


Where are we now?  In 2013, over 160,000 horses were shipped to slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada. From anywhere in the country the horses are transported tightly packed for over three days with no food or water or relief to arrive at facilities that could not be considered humane for any animal, never mind our beloved companion. Horses see better, smell better, sense better and have the second best memories in the animal kingdom. They are not dumb and without emotion. Their emotions are highly evolved, while not exactly like ours, they suffer nonetheless just as terribly.


Currently there are just over 10 million horses in America and approximately 30,000 in Massachusetts, down from the nearly 50,000 in 2009 when BSE opened. A bad economy and rising costs for the equine care have forced loving owners to send their horses away. Sadly in America from the 50’s and on, we have grown to see horses as luxury or status objects. While horses throughout time reflected our “status” socially, today they are considered expensive hobbies and past times and when the economy worsens so do their chances for having a loving forever home.


All over America, there are equine rescues struggling to help deal with the current homeless horse crises and nearly every single one is under supported or struggling to keep their doors open. As a community, we have forgotten what horses really are to us. At the same time in America we struggle to find sustainable ways to move forward into a better future. We like to say at BSE that we are “drafting” a better future for horses, humans and mother earth. We are all connected and our horses need us to care about them more than they ever have.


We welcome all to visit BSE, meet our horses and become a part of the solution in our community for our community’s horses in need. We have a “Join the Herd” program where we ask folks to become and “Herd Member” for any amount monthly to help ensure the daily care our herd needs. This could work for equine rescues anywhere.


For as little as 33 cents a day, interested folks can become a part of a solution that is desperately needed right now for our horses. We invite volunteers to help on the farm and we teach draft horse driving for urban or agricultural use on the farm. We also grow food with our horses. We share informative workshops in the community.  We teach “Draft Horse Husbandry” at UMass Amherst Stockbridge School. We are advocates for working horses internationally, we communicate clearly and honestly about what possibilities exist for horses today in our modern world.


We sincerely believe that we need our horses alongside us for our own wellbeing. Horses have a profound effect on human psyches. They refine us and help us connect to other life and to ourselves. They are mirrors for us in that they reflect who we are honestly and this helps us see ourselves more clearly. Horses can help us carve out a more peaceful, sustainable and restorative way forward in this troubled world.


An old English proverb says: “Show me your horse and I will tell you who you are.” As a community we can take pride in loving and caring for our horses in need. Like with our dogs and cats, our horses need us to stand up and protect their right to be alongside us, where they belong, loved and cared for and partnered with in an ancient mutually beneficial survival system.\



Please visit our website




… or better yet our farm! Become a herd member. Join us in honoring our ancestors, horse and human, for all they have shared in bringing us the possibilities before us today!

Human History is Written in Hoofprints!


 Rosalie’s appaloosa!!!!!!!!!

Pony dreamin’!CAM00227

For summer’s last hurrah … try GRILLING without Killing!


I was cleaning/clearing up my desk/dining room table and found this ELVIS BBQ sauce recipe. How did it get there? Where did it come from? Well, anyways, looks pretty good … Brush your tofu, mushroom, summer squash, green pepper kabobs with it! Serve on brown rice! Yum yum yum.

Here are some great veggie grilling recipes from PETA cuz I am not a very good cook !     – R. Tirella


Grilling season is here! Grilling is one of our favorite cooking methods. In addition to providing the smoky flavor that emanates from the coals, grilling caramelizes the natural sugars in the vegetables and makes them taste extra sweet. Just about anything that sprouts from the ground or grows on a tree can be suspended over coals, including corn on the cob, zucchini, potatoes, onions, pineapples, mangoes, and mushrooms. Meat alternatives, such as veggie burgers, veggie dogs, and soy chicken, as well as seitan and tofu are other delicious grilling options.

We’ve assembled a collection of our favorite recipes that are bursting with flame-grilled goodness for you to try:




  • Try experimenting with tofu, seitan, and meat alternatives for your next cookout. Check out our list of favorite products!
  • Add some spice to your veggies with dry rubs and marinades. A dry rub is just a mixture of dry spices that you can rub onto tofu, portobellos, eggplant, or meat alternatives. Once you’ve rubbed in the spice mixture, cover the food tightly with plastic wrap and let it sit for an hour in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to penetrate.
  • Marinades are usually made up of oil, some sort of acid (such as vinegar, wine, or juice from a citrus fruit), and fresh or dried herbs and spices. There is a wide variety of pre-made vegetarian marinades available in stores, but making your own is easy and fun. Try adding spicy dried chilies or chipotle peppers for a smoky flavor, or sweeten things up a bit with maple syrup, brown rice syrup, or agave nectar (available in most health-food stores).
  • Allow food to marinate for at least three hours but up to 24 hours for denser protein foods, such as mock meats. Using a sealable plastic container or bag will allow you to shake food as it marinates without making a mess. Marinades can also be basted on the food as it grills.
  • What would a barbecue be without the traditional side dishes? Baked beans (sans the pork), coleslaw, and potato salad can be healthy additions to your meatless feast. The latter two can be made vegan by using a creamy, eggless mayonnaise such as Vegenaise or Nayonaise

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We were gonna save these photos for the next issue of InCity Times, but they are …

… so vivid, they deserve to be presented in LIVING LOVING COLOR! A special “thank you” to Parlee Jones for taking them!

The Caribbean CARNIVAL parade made its joyous way down Park Ave last weekend –  HUGE TURNOUT! Photos by Parlee Jones. (We WILL run some pics in the paper, too!)           – R. T.CAM00811


WCAM00831oCAM00829rcCAM00806esCAM00814ns @130pm at 305 Chandler st

In Piedmont and Elm Park neighborhoods! Two new community orchards for Worcester!

By Derek Lirange, Assistant Program Coordinator, Worcester Tree Initiative

EAT Center Orchard and Gardens on Jacques Ave

The first was planted on Jaques Ave on May 27th and the whole affair was a huge success! Several groups collaborated in support of the orchard. TD Green Streets gave a grant which funded the fence built around the open lot to protect the trees from vandalism and ultimately to allow for a full harvest by the farmers tending the lot. The grant also paid for the trees that were planted and a translator who will work with the farmers. Worcester Common Ground purchased the lot at 7 Jaques from the City of Worcester, which abutted a lot they already owned, 9 Jaques. The whole site is being designated as an EAT Center site by the partners who collaboratively manage the EAT Center Initiative: Worcester Common Ground, Lutheran Social Services and the Regional Environmental Council. The orchard and future gardens will be tended by two families from Bhutan who come to the project from Lutheran Social Services’ New Lands Farm.

The day couldn’t have been better; despite dire weather forecasts the rain held off for the most part and gave us wonderful conditions to plant in. The volunteers from TD Bank and our friends, Buddha and Ganesh, refugees from Bhutan who will ultimately be tending the lot with their families, arrived early to get the planting started with WTI staff. We were able to plant all 19 trees (a variety of apples, pears, peaches, plums, and cherries) before 2:30 PM, when our guest speakers arrived.

The ribbon cutting ceremony featured speakers Congressman James P. McGovern, Senator Harriette Chandler, City Manager Ed Augustus, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Tim Murray, TD Bank Senior Vice President Rob Babcock, Worcester Tree Initiative’s own Mary Knittle, Worcester Common Ground’s Yvette Dyson, and New Lands Farm’s Ashley Carter. It was noted that this site is another landmark in Worcester’s progress toward integrating agriculture into its landscape. This is not the only place one will find fruit in Worcester but it is among the first orchards of its kind.

Besides the trees, one of the most joyous sites of the day was at the end of the ceremony, as students from Chandler Elementary School across the street were released from school and shared cupcakes with us. The kids were so excited to see the new space and eat some sweets. Thanks to Worcester Common Ground’s donation of the cupcakes, every face left with frosting around their mouths, the first of many sweet treats that will come from this wonderful grove.

Edward Winslow Lincoln Memorial Grove on Newton Hill

The second orchard planted was at the top of Newton Hill on June 5th. The orchard was planted for the benefit of the community and as a memorial to Edward Winslow Lincoln, a longstanding Commissioner of Parks in Worcester who tirelessly worked to better Elm Park and Newton Hill in his 30 year tenure. The memorial grove was conceived by Rick Miller and the Friends of Newton Hill with the assistance of Worcester Tree Initiative. Worcester Tree Initiative staff and Doherty High School Environmental Science students and teachers planted the trees in the rain and not one complaint was heard from anyone! We planted apple, pear, plum, peach, and cherry trees around the perimeter of the open space at the top of the hill and have two more to plant in the fall. The trees were provided by the Worcester Tree Initiative and will be maintained by the Friends of Newton Hill led by Rick Miller, and by Doherty High students supervised by their teacher, Stacie Hill.

The Friends of Newton Hill and Worcester Tree Initiative would like to extend their thanks once again on this occasion to Congressman James P McGovern, Senator Harriette Chandler, State Representative John Mahoney, City Manager Ed Augustus, Asst. Commissioner Rob Antonelli, and our own Co-Chair Mary Knittle for speaking at the memorial ceremony at Doherty High School in celebration of this community orchard. Their tone was set by an introductory history of Newton Hill given by Brittany Legasey and a gracious welcome from Rick Miller who personally introduced each speaker as a friend.

The fruit on Newton Hill will be available for harvest by anyone who comes to the park so be sure to make the walk up for a visit!

Tomorrow! Saturday, August 16! INCREDIBLE LIVE MUSIC at Worcester’s Latin American Festival!

Hooray, for Dolly V! She puts on the best fest every year!

In downtown Worcester! A whole new world of music for you to discover!

FREE!  Check out the performers! Click here! to see it all!

 A Worcester tradition!

Noon – 9 p.m.

City Hall area, Main Street

Live Latin music on stage!

Latin American cuisine!

Beer garden!

Children’s tent and crafts!

Information tables!

Don’t miss Woo’s best fest!

For more information, please call 508.798.1900

– R. T.

Crompton Park – Green Island’s “jewel”


By Lorraine Michele Laurie

The Green Island Neighborhood or “The Island” as longtime residents call it, has a jewel in its midst. It’s not a diamond or a sapphire or an emerald. It’s not something that you can wear or just admire. It’s something that everyone can visit and enjoy – a little piece of country in the city. It’s Crompton Park located in the southern part of the neighborhood and boarded by Endicott Street, Harding Street, Canton Street and Quinsigamond Ave.

Crompton Park is not a new park. Its history goes back to 1888 when the City of Worcester purchased 12.73 acres from Mrs. Mary C. Crompton for $44,350. The property was named Crompton Park in honor of its original owners. Mary Crompton was the widow of George Crompton, the world famous loom maker, who had his Crompton Loon Works on Green Street. The building is still there and is now known as “Crompton Place.” The family lived on Union Hill overlooking the “Island” in their estate named “Mariemont.” We know this land as the former location of St Vincent Hospital.

Crompton Park has undergone many improvements over the years. There was a wading pool affectionately known as the “mud hole,” a tennis court, a basket court with lights named in 1963 in honor of basketball great Bob Cousy, playground equipment and softball fields. For many young Island residents, it was a real treat to slide down the “hill” in the winter. How the hill got there is still a mystery. It may be from the dirt from the digging of the Blackstone Canal or the earth from the cellar holes of the nearby 3-deckers or the molasses from the nearby brewery. Whatever it was, the hill is as historic as the park itself. There was also the Crompton Park Sanitary and Bath House which was completed in 1925. You could go there for 5 cents and take a shower and when you returned the towel, you would get your 5 cents back. This building was renovated in the early 1980’s and became the home of the Green Island Neighborhood Center on September 27, 1984 and the Center continues to call it “home.”

Other improvements were made in the following years such as walkway lighting, parking areas, new playground equipment and a state of the art pool. The $2.7 million pool complex was dedicated and opened on Friday, July 1, 2011. New playground equipment followed shortly after on the corner of Harding and Canton Streets.

In November of 2010, a planning session was convened to discuss future renovations.   As with the planning sessions held in the early 1980’s, the meetings were well attended.   Suggestions were made regarding new playground equipment , improvement to the ball fields, parking areas, enlarging the community building and providing bathroom facilities. The plans were approved by the Parks Commission on March 31, 2011 and by the Worcester City Council on February 28, 2012. What makes this planning session so special is that the master plan is available for viewing on the City Parks Department web site.

During a recent conversation, Assistant Commissioner for Parks Robert C. Antonelli, Jr. spoke about the next steps. Initial electrical design work is now underway especially for lighting. A PARC grant has been resubmitted to the State Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs for $400,000. The City of Worcester will match the grant with $600,000. If awarded the PARC grant, the scope of work will involve moving the tennis courts to near the corner of Canton Street and Quinsigamond Ave. The vacated space will become a new entrance and parking area. The present parking area and driveway will be shut off and turned into a grassy area that will be ideal for picnic tables and more play area. If the City is successful with this grant, work will begin in May 2015 and be completed in August of 2016.   Assistant Commissioner Antonelli pointed out that work would be done according to the park schedule so it would not interfere with the operation of the pool or the office hours of the Green Island Neighborhood Center.

State Representative for the 16th Worcester District Daniel Donahue offered his support to this worthwhile project. He summed it up this way, “I am happy to see the City re-applying for the PARC grant to fund renovations to Crompton Park. Crompton Park is a well used and well loved City park that is in need of infrastructure investment and improvements. We have seen recently the success of the new pool and playground and continuing with this work and investment, we will keep Crompton Park as the great resource it is to our neighborhoods and residents well into the future,’

Try vegan, and you won’t be left high and dry

By Ingrid E. Newkirk

When news hit that Detroit was cutting off water to thousands of residents who were behind in paying their bills, the critics, not surprisingly, came out in full force. What might surprise you is that some of those throwing stones were aiming not at city officials but at PETA—after one of our members hit upon a way to help both struggling families and animals. Thanks to our donor, PETA is able to pay outstanding water bills for 10 Detroit residents who agree to go vegan for one month.

Of course, PETA is not one to shy away from controversy, but there’s nothing controversial about this offer—or there shouldn’t be. Eating healthy plant-based foods saves money, both now and in the long-term; saves precious resources, including water; and saves animals. It’s a win-win-win situation.

Let’s clear up one oft-repeated misconception right off the bat: No one has to shop at specialty stores or buy exotic foods in order to go vegan. A lot of the foods that most of us eat every day are already vegan, and they’re low-cost. Do you have beans, rice and a bag of frozen veggies in your kitchen? Toss in some spices, seasoning or sauce and you have the makings of a filling, affordable dinner. What is more budget-friendly than pasta with marinara sauce or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Potatoes, couscous, grains such as barley and millet, and legumes such as chickpeas and lentils are certainly cheaper than the processed junk that many Americans live on, and they’re a lot better for us, too. Continue reading