Category Archives: InCity Feature

Go, Worcester kindergartners, go!

From the fabulous folks at the Massachusetts Farm to School Project!!   Hooray for Woo’s wee ones!    – R. T.

Where does our food come from? What kinds of foods can we find in Massachusetts during the fall? Why can we grow tomatoes, but not bananas, in our Central Massachusetts backyards?

These are just a few of the questions the students in the Worcester Kindergarten Initiative(KI) ponder over the course of the school year. The Kindergarten Initiative, a collaboration between  Massachusetts Farm to School and the Worcester Public Schools, is a food education program that teaches young students about healthy eating, local agriculture, and how things grow. Each fall, Kindergarten Initiative students are visited by the Regional Environmental Council’s (REC) Mobile Farmers Market to kick off their explorations of these themes.

The Mobile Farmers Market, a refurbished Worcester Regional Transport Authority (WRTA) van, was developed by the REC in 2012 as another means to combat food insecurity in Worcester. While there were already two farmers markets running in the city, studies showed that many residents could not purchase from these facilities as they lacked the transportation to reach the markets. A mobile market, however, would be able to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to neighborhoods across the city.

mobileDuring its first year, the Mobile Farmers Market ran two days a week, carrying fresh produce to ten stops around the city. During its second year, the REC was able to partner with students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) who outfitted the van with a self-designed solar-powered refrigeration system, allowing the REC to sell eggs, dairy, and meat, as well as produce. Today, the Mobile Farmers Market is in its third season, running three days per week and making fifteen stops around Worcester.

This year, Kindergarten Initiative Mobile Market visits begin in the classroom. Nutrition educators from UMass Extension lead an introductory activity that prepares students for a scavenger hunt. Students talk about their favorite fruits and vegetables …

To read entire story, click here!

Lead poisoning prevention week: Oct. 19 to 25. … Worcester making great strides!

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The REC’s  Mobile Farmers Market van will be all over Worcester this week helping to educate folks about lead poisoning prevention!!!

Childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children, yet approximately half a million U.S. children have blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter, the reference level at which Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommends public health actions be initiated.

In Massachusetts, Health and Human Services and the MA Public Health Department consider lead levels of 10 micrograms per deciliter or more to be unsafe. A simple blood test can prevent permanent damage that will last a lifetime. Every child in Massachusetts must be tested for lead. The first test must be done between the ages of 9 and 12 months and again at ages 2 and 3.

Since 2005, the Worcester Green and Healthy Homes Coalition has committed to eliminating lead poisoning and elevated blood lead levels in Worcester. Our work has contributed to significant drop in elevated blood lead levels and lead poisoning rate in Worcester. The city of Worcester through the Worcester Lead Abatement Program (WLAP) also provides free lead-based paint removal for eligible homeowners and renters. There are still many families that may qualify for this great community resource.

Partners of Worcester Green and Healthy Homes Coalition will be celebrating lead week, and creating awareness during lead poisoning prevention week set by the U.S Congress in the week of October 19th to 25th.

The theme for this year’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is ”Lead Free Kids for a Healthy Future”. Partners of Worcester Green and Healthy Homes Coalition have planned different events in recognition of the importance of eliminating lead poisoning during lead poisoning prevention week.

We will be focusing on the importance of many ways parents can reduce children’s exposure to lead, and also connect families to available resources. Mentioned below are events scheduled by partners of the Worcester Green and Healthy Homes Coalition during lead week.

Lead Poisoning Prevention Week Activities.

October 18th Lead Paint Awareness Proclamation- Councilor Economou (scheduled)

Halloween Outlet Lead is Scary theme at Halloween Outlet. We will have table at Halloween Outlet 12pm-8pm-

October 22nd Lead Week outreach with REC’s Farmers Market Van: Stops at Crompton

Park, Belmont Towers, Plumely Village and Elm Park. From 2:00pm – 5pm

October 23rd Lead Week outreach with REC’s Farmers Market Van: Stops at St Vincent

Hospital and YWCA at 1 Salem Street.  From 2:00pm – 5pm

October 24th Lead Week outreach with REC’s Farmers at City Hall. From 2:00pm – 4pm

October 26th Worcester Sharks Game “Lead is Scary” Promotion 3PM game start

We will need to have volunteers arrive by 2pm to setup

Have any questions? Please feel free to contact Koby from REC at 508-753-2303 or at ehj@recworcester.org

PLEASE PARTICIPATE! DO IT FOR YOUR KIDS!!!

Family fun! TOMORROW! Sun., Oct. 19 – Free ice-cream sundaes at the library!

Great stuff happening in Worcester for our little kids and young families!!  – R.T.

Sunday, Oct. 19

Worcester Public Library

Salem Square

FREE ICE- CREAM sundaes!

… to celebrate the SUNDAY opening of our grand public library!

1:30 p.m

Fun for all! Whoopy!

Read more:

HOORAY! NOW I …

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… can fill my “guitar” book stand with some library books!

Worcester Public Library will begin Sunday hours at the Main Library on Sunday, October 19.

The library will be open from 1:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. 

Please visit our website for additional information www.worcpublib.org

 Please note, there will be some Sundays the library will not be open due to proximity to holidays.  

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WORCESTER PUBLIC SCHOOL KIDS AND HEALTHY EATING!!

Where does our food come from? What kinds of foods can we find in Massachusetts during the fall? Why can we grow tomatoes, but not bananas, in our Central Massachusetts backyards?

These are just a few of the questions the students in the Worcester Kindergarten Initiative (KI) ponder over the course of the school year.

The Kindergarten Initiative, a collaboration between  Massachusetts Farm to School and the Worcester Public Schools, is a food education program that teaches young students about healthy eating, local agriculture!

Cooking in the Classroom: Shaping eating habits at the right age In late September, students from the Worcester Kindergarten Initiative (KI) delve into one of the most exciting parts of their farm to school program: cooking! As part of an activity about Johnny Appleseed, kindergartners prepare applesauce and apple chips in their classrooms using slow cookers and dehydrators. They carefully arrange sliced apples on the dehydrator trays, take turns using the apple corer, gently chop apples, and carefully add cinnamon and just enough sweetness to make delicious applesauce. Students are eager for a chance to participate in the process and even more excited to taste their creations at the end of the day.

To read entire story, CLICK HERE!

The days are winding down … Visit the REC farmers markets before it’s too late!

ALL HAPPENING UNTIL NOVEMBER 1

… in Main South (Saturdays 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.) in the cute little park (Fuller Family Park) behind the YMCA Main South branch, on Main Street …

… and across the street from Foley Stadium, Chandler Street, Monday and Friday mornings …

also, there’s the REC mobile farmers market BLUE VAN!

and … the Oread Street community garden!

Here are some photos of the coolest young folks in town, working to make great, fresh, locally grown vegetables and fruits available to ALL WORCESTER PEOPLE – especially those folks who may not have a lot of dough and/or live in the inner-city. SNAP, WIC, senior citizen farmers market coupons accepted at all REC sites!

Education a specialty! Ask farmers and REC staff for information about gardening in the inner-city, cooking, preserving your produce and more!!   To learn more, visit their great website:

 

– R. Tirella

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DAYS AND TIMES of the REC mobile farmers market blue van!

Tuesday

  • WORCESTER SENIOR CENTER

128 Providence Street

9 am – 10:30 am

  • Elm Park Towers (WHA)

426 Pleasant Street

11 AM – 12:30 PM

  • Family Health Center of Worcester

26 Queen Street (Behind Building)

1 PM – 2:30 PM

  • Lincoln Village

Parking lot between 40 & 50 Pleasant Valley Drive

3 PM – 4:15 PM

  • Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center

19 Tacoma Street

4:30 PM – 6 Pm

 Wednesday

  • LINCOLN TOWERS

11 Lake Avenue

8 am – 9:30am

  • Webster Square Towers

1050 – 1060 Main Street (Behind Building)

10 AM – 11:30 am

  • Seven Hills Foundation*

81 Hope Avenue

  • S even Hills Foundation**

12 PM – 1:30 PM

799 West Boylston Street

12 PM – 1:30 PM

  • St. Vincent’s Hospital

Corner of Mercantile & Foster Street

Across from UNUM & DCU

2 PM – 3:30 PM

  • YWCA

1 Salem Square

3:45PM – 5:00Pm

 Thursday

  • SEABURY HEIGHTS

240-244 Belmont Street

9 AM -10:30am

11 AM – 2 PM

  • Crompton Park

Corner of Canton & Harding Street

2:30 Pm – 3:30 PM

  • Belmont Towers & Plumley Village

16 Laurel Street

4 PM – 5:30 PM

PETA sues Massachusetts

STATE SUED FOR IDENTITIES OF LABORATORIES IMPORTING MONKEYS FOR EXPERIMENTS

PETA Argues That Massachusetts Is Unlawfully Concealing Which Companies Imported Monkeys Possibly to Be Poisoned, Infected, and Killed

 Boston — PETA filed a lawsuit today in the Suffolk County Superior Court to compel the state’s Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) to release information on the companies, universities, and individuals involved in the importation of 141 monkeys into the state in 2013, many of whom were likely headed to laboratories for invasive and painful experiments.

PETA sought this information in February through a Freedom of Information Act request. The DAR withheld the information on documents it released to PETA, and PETA’s lawsuit argues that it failed to provide an adequate justification for doing so. PETA contends that access to information about the origin and destination of these animals is critical because primates in laboratories are sometimes imported to the U.S. unlawfully, can carry infectious diseases such as herpes or Ebola, or are sometimes supplied by dealers who have violated animal welfare laws. 

“Thousands of monkeys are cut into, sickened, and killed in Massachusetts laboratories each year, and the public has a right to know where these animals came from, where they went, and how they got there,” says PETA Director of Laboratory Investigations Justin Goodman. “PETA wants the state of Massachusetts to stop insulating universities, drug companies, animal dealers, and others from much-deserved public scrutiny about the use of monkeys in deadly experiments.”

Each year, thousands of monkeys are taken from the wild or bred on squalid breeding farms in Asia and Africa, crammed into tiny wooden crates, transported on long-haul flights to the U.S., and trucked across the country to laboratories in Massachusetts and elsewhere. In recent studies, monkeys confined to Massachusetts facilities had holes drilled into their skulls, were addicted to cocaine, and were restrained and forced to pull burning-hot metal levers heated to 140 degrees.

According to the most recent federal data available, thousands of primates were confined to Massachusetts laboratories in 2011, including at Boston University, Charles River Laboratories, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During recent inspections, the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited Massachusetts laboratories for dozens of violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

A copy of PETA’s complaint is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

Boys and Girls Club of Worcester special event!

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A blast from the past!  Boys playing checkers at the old club house on Ionic Ave. Today, thanks to the Main South CDC, Clark University and the City of Worcester,  city kids have a beautiful, new, state-of-the-art club house on Tainter Street in which to play, swim, box, learn, get homework help, make life-long friends, make life-long memories!!      – R.T.

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Please support this inner-city gem!!

ARTS IN THE EVENING

Saturday, October 18

at the Boys and Girls Club of Worcester

65 Tainter St.

5:30 p.m – COCKTAIL PARTY

Enjoy listening to the Linda Dagnello Jazz Quartet

Shopping at local boutiques

and viewing Club kids’ artwork

7:30 p.m. – CELEBRITY FASHION SHOW

featuring Worcester City Councilor Sarai Rivera and many more!

Tix: $25 in advance

$50 at the door

To purchase tickets or for more info, please contact Liz at lhamilton@bgcworcester.org

I haven’t eaten pork since I was 17 years old …

… living with my Ma and sisters on Lafayette Street in Green Island. Went away to college and dumped meat, Catholicism, authority, being a “nice” girl – everything that society tells you is good for you. … It’s been a great ride!!!!

Please! Dump the Sunday breakfast staples like bacon strips and sausages! Save a pig’s life! They’re just grand! …Remember piggies in America lead horrendous lives!!

Learn more…From PETA.ORG.

– R. Tirella

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The Pork Industry

Like the beloved characters in Charlotte’s Web and Babe, real pigs are intelligent and sensitive, each with his or her own unique personality. But pigs raised for food in real life are treated far more cruelly than their fictional counterparts in these tales.

Almost all of the millions of pigs killed for food in the U.S. every year are raised on extremely crowded, filthy factory farms. These intelligent social animals are deprived of natural sunlight and the feel of grass beneath their feet, until the day when they are shoved and prodded onto a truck bound for the slaughterhouse.

Mothers Abused

Most mother pigs in the U.S. spend their entire adult lives confined to cramped metal crates. They never feel the affectionate nuzzle of a mate, and they are thwarted in their natural desire to build a cozy, comfortable nest. Instead, they are surrounded by cold metal bars and forced to lie on wet, feces-covered floors.

When they are old enough to give birth, these sows are artificially inseminated and imprisoned for the entire length of their pregnancies in “gestation crates,” cages that are just 2 feet wide and too small for them even to turn around or lie down comfortably. The pigs often develop bedsores from lack of movement.

After giving birth, mother pigs are moved to “farrowing crates,” enclosures similar to gestation crates, with only a tiny additional concrete area on which the piglets can nurse. One worker describes the process: “They beat the shit out of [the mother pigs] to get them inside the crates because they don’t want to go. This is their only chance to walk around, get a little exercise, and they don’t want to go [back into a crate].”

Gestation and farrowing crates are so barbaric that they have been banned in several U.S. states as well in the U.K. and Sweden.

This intensive confinement, loneliness, and deprivation often causes mother pigs to go insane, which is manifested in repetitive behaviors such as neurotically chewing on their cage bars or obsessively pressing on their water bottles. After three or four years, their bodies are exhausted (despite the fact that the pigs are still quite young), and they are shipped off to slaughter.

Torn From Their Mothers and Mutilated

The piglets are taken away from their mothers when they are less than a month old. In nature, they would stay with their mothers for several months. The mothers are impregnated again, and the cycle of forced breeding and imprisonment continues.

The male piglets have their testicles cut out of their scrotums. Both males and females have their tails cut off, many of their teeth clipped in half, and their ears mutilated, all without any pain relief. They are crammed into pens crowded with many other piglets, where they are kept until they are deemed large enough for slaughter. The animals are given almost no room to move, because, as one pork-industry journal put it, “[O]vercrowding pigs pays.”

Awaiting Slaughter

Impeccably clean by nature, pigs on factory farms are forced to live amid their own feces and vomit—and sometimes even amid the corpses of other pigs. Extreme crowding, poor ventilation, and filth cause rampant disease. By the time they’re sent to slaughter, many pigs on factory farms suffer from lung lesions caused by pneumonia. At any given time, more than one-quarter of pigs suffer from mange. They are fed antibiotics as a growth promoter, but many pigs still die from infections.

Because of illness, a lack of room to exercise, and genetic manipulation that causes them to grow too large too quickly, pigs often develop arthritis and other joint problems. Many pigs on factory farms are forced to live on slatted floors above giant manure pits. Smaller pigs often sustain severe leg injuries when their legs get caught between the slats.

Many farmers simply kill sick animals instead of giving them medicine or veterinary care in order to save money. A PETA investigation found that a manager at an Oklahoma farm killed pigs by beating them with metal gate rods, and others were left to die without food or water. Unwanted “runts” were killed, as they are on most farms, by “thumping,” or slamming their heads against the floor.

You can help put an end to this cruelty. Read PETA’s free vegetarian/vegan starter kit online or order a free hard copy and start switching to delicious pork-free foods, such as veggie dogs, mock riblets, and tempeh bacon. We’ll send you all the tips and recipes you’ll need to help you make the transition to animal-friendly eating.

19-Oct Vote Now for peta2’s Most Vegetarian-Friendly Colleges Round 1
27-Oct Vote Now for peta2’s Most Vegetarian-Friendly Colleges Round 2
3-Nov Vote Now for peta2’s Most Vegetarian-Friendly Colleges Round 3
10-Nov Vote Now for peta2’s Most Vegetarian-Friendly Colleges Round 4
14-Nov Vote Now for peta2’s Most Vegetarian-Friendly Colleges Round 5



Read more: http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/factory-farming/pigs/pork-industry/#ixzz3Fws2068d

Hearty autumn warm-ups!

Savory soups, stews and other rib-stickin’ fare! You don’t add meat to any of these tasty autumn warm-ups. So many meals and soups taste great and have no animal fat in them! For instance, the best “meatballs” I’ve ever eaten in my life are vegan, made by pal Kathy. As I wolf ‘em down, I always ask her: Are you sure these are totally meatless? You didn’t slip a little meat in?   … They have flavor, texture, mmmmm … they are amazing. They are totally meatless.

Soups/stews are a yummy ways to ease yourself into a diet with less/no meat. – R. T.

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From PETA.ORG

There’s no better way to welcome the cooler months than with a hearty vegan stew but it’s important that the dish not only warm your soul and please your palate—it should also nourish your body with nutrients, minerals, protein, and fiber.

In her new book, Superfood Cuisine: Cooking with Nature’s Most Amazing Foods, natural-food chef Julie Morris shows us how to use nutrient-dense superfoods that will heal and energize the body and promote radiant good health.

Today we’re sharing from Superfood Cuisine . The recipe is a filling stew made with kale and black-eyed peas—a fitting tribute to the bounty of fall. Bon appétit!

Kale & Black-Eyed Pea Stew

1 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 cups diced white onions (about 1 medium onion)
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 tsp. chipotle powder
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
3 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
2 Tbsp. wakame flakes, ground or crushed into fine pieces
3 cups cooked black-eyed peas
1 head kale, stems discarded and leaves chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

  • In a large pot, melt the coconut oil over medium heat.
  • Add the onions and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the celery and bell pepper and cook for a few minutes longer.
  • Stir in the oregano, thyme, chipotle, and paprika and cook for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the vegetable broth, water, wakame flakes, and black-eyed peas.* Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes, adding more water if needed.
  • After the soup is cooked through, stir in the kale* and keep over the heat for a minute longer—just long enough to wilt the kale.
  • Add the lemon juice and turn off the heat. Top with parsley and serve.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

*Variation: Add 1 cup of diced smoked tofu when you add the black-eyed peas.

*Adding the kale at the end of the cooking process ensures that it’s softened enough to be enjoyed without destroying all its nutrients through heat.

Superfood tip: Using smoked ingredients like chipotle powder and smoked paprika add an impressive depth of flavor to recipes without compromising nutrition through overcooking.

Check out Julie’s blog for more tips and recipes, or download a free superfood booklet!

Other superfood recipes posted on PETA Living:

This just in …

Boston area firefighters to be honored at Sunday’s National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service

Boston – John T. Austin of of Quincy, Mass., David A. Brier of Middleboro, Mass., and Richard D. Mingolelli of Boston, Mass. will be among 107 fallen firefighters to be honored at the 2014 National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service, which is this Sunday, October 12.

The service begins at 10 a.m. (EDT) at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, M.d., and the event is open to the public.

Live streaming information—including satellite coordinates—is available at http://media.firehero.org.

Additional information on these firefighters can be found below:

John T. Austin http://www.firehero.org/fallen-firefighter/john-t-austin

David A. Brier http://www.firehero.org/fallen-firefighter/david-a-brier

Richard D. Mingolelli http://www.firehero.org/fallen-firefighter/richard-d-mingolelli

This annual tribute is sponsored by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s U.S. Fire Administration.

More than 5,000 people are expected to attend, including members of Congress, senior-level federal officials and other dignitaries, members of the fire service, and families, friends and co-workers of the fallen firefighters.

Additional details on the service and a complete list of fallen firefighters being honored is available at http://media.firehero.org

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FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders and to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. … 

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Fire Prevention Week live fire safety demonstration …

Saturday, October 11

11 AM – 3 PM

7 South St.,  Westminster

This week is National Fire Prevention Week, and in an effort to help educate MA residents and legislators, the National Fire Sprinkler Association will conduct a live Side-by-Side Burn Demonstration at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 11,  at 7 South Street, Westminster.

Dave Lafond, fire safety expert and NFSA regional manager will be in attendance and available for questions.

The fire in one rages out of control destroying the entire room, while the fire in the other room (containing a fire sprinkler system) is extinguished.

REC Mobile Farmers Market van – days and times! ‘Til Nov. 1

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Hooray!! This cool blue REC food van is all over Worcester! From it you can buy fresh veggies and fruits and more! SNAP, WIC and senior citizen farmers market coupons accepted! Until Nov. 1, 2014!  Thank you, REC, for caring about the folks who may not always have access to great, healthy food at low prices!   – R. T.

DAYS AND TIMES of the REC van:

Tuesday

  • WORCESTER SENIOR CENTER

128 Providence Street

9 am – 10:30 am

  • Elm Park Towers (WHA)

426 Pleasant Street

11 AM – 12:30 PM

  • Family Health Center of Worcester

26 Queen Street (Behind Building)

1 PM – 2:30 PM

  • Lincoln Village

Parking lot between 40 & 50 Pleasant Valley Drive

3 PM – 4:15 PM

  • Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center

19 Tacoma Street

4:30 PM – 6 Pm

 Wednesday

  • LINCOLN TOWERS

11 Lake Avenue

8 am – 9:30am

  • Webster Square Towers

1050 – 1060 Main Street (Behind Building)

10 AM – 11:30 am

  • Seven Hills Foundation*

81 Hope Avenue

  • S even Hills Foundation**

12 PM – 1:30 PM

799 West Boylston Street

12 PM – 1:30 PM

  • St. Vincent’s Hospital

Corner of Mercantile & Foster Street

Across from UNUM & DCU

2 PM – 3:30 PM

  • YWCA

1 Salem Square

3:45PM – 5:00Pm

 Thursday

  • SEABURY HEIGHTS

240-244 Belmont Street

9 AM -10:30am

11 AM – 2 PM

  • Crompton Park

Corner of Canton & Harding Street

2:30 Pm – 3:30 PM

  • Belmont Towers & Plumley Village

16 Laurel Street

4 PM – 5:30 PM