Category Archives: InCity Feature

A note from filmmaker Michael Moore

One of my favorite films! Funny, heartbreaking … prescient. WATCH IT AND WATCH THE BETRAYAL OF WORKING CLASS AMERICA. (love how  Moore used the Beach Boys’ WOULDN’T IT BE NICE!) … I’ve made some sentences bold.    –  R. Tirella



[Today] is a big day for me. Warner Bros. is releasing to you, the public, the completely restored, newly-remastered 25th anniversary edition of my very first film, ROGER & ME. It’s the first time this has been done for any movie of mine, a full 4K digital restoration from my original 16mm negative. The result is a mind-blowing version that now should live on for, well, for as long as the planet lets us stick around.

In addition to supervising this restoration, I’ve recorded an all new director’s commentary track to go along with it. It’s completely uncensored and straight from the gut. I do not talk about “how I lit” the little bunny rabbit. I do name names and candidly tell you about the unlikely history of a film that should never have gotten made.

There are three ways you can see this newly-mastered version of ROGER & ME:

1. Purchase the Blu-ray from a site like Amazon today.

2. Download it from iTunes (available tomorrow).

3. See it in a movie theater this fall. It played in NY and LA last week and will play other cities. Ask the local theater owner in your area when it is coming. Also, you or your group can arrange a special one-night screening in your town by contacting

ROGER & ME is the movie, as many of you know, that began my career as a filmmaker. It is, shockingly, every bit as relevant today as it was when it came out in 1989. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, it foretold the systematic elimination of the American middle class and, in its wake, the so-called American Dream — the dream that promised if your hard work made your boss rich, you would be rewarded with a few simple comforts like your own home, a college education, affordable medical care, and a nice, long paid vacation.

ROGER & ME, through my telling of the story of GM and my hometown of Flint, warned that the wealthy had other plans for you in the 21st century — the crux of which was “no more sharing of the pie.” A few would still get to be rich, I predicted; the rest of the citizenry would fight over the remaining crumbs when not distracted by inflated fears of foreign threats or scary domestic events like gays marrying or a President who faked his papers at birth.

And what has happened since ROGER & ME? Well, Wall Street’s wealth multiplied three times over — while workers’ wages remained stagnant or decreased, and benefits and pensions became nothing but fond memories of a bygone era.

Twenty-five years ago I saw the beginning of this, and instead of screaming from the mountain top, I made ROGER & ME. It (along with “Do the Right Thing”) was the most acclaimed film of 1989. As one critic wrote, “It has ignited a modern-day documentary movement.” It was the first nonfiction film shown in mainstream multiplexes and shopping mall cinemas — 1,300 of them. This had never happened before with a documentary. ROGER & ME set the all-time box office record for a doc (a record that was later broken by “Bowling for Columbine” and then again by “Fahrenheit 9/11″).

Two years ago, Lincoln Center wanted to have a special night honoring ROGER & ME. They discovered — to their horror and mine — that all the existing prints of my film had been ruined by time and the elements. That set me and Warner Bros. into motion and, after the Library of Congress designated ROGER & ME a “national treasure” last December (which placed it on the federally-mandated list of films that must be preserved), Warner Bros. spent tens of thousands of dollars not just to preserve my film, but also to bring it into the digital era. The results of their restoration are nothing short of stunning. I sincerely hope you get your own copy of it.

Thanks again for your support of my work over the years. I hope I can continue to live up to your faith in me and the movies I make.

All my best,

Michael Moore

P.S. Any and all profits that may come my way from this 25th anniversary release will go to helping other filmmakers preserve and distribute their films — especially those facing “extinction.”

Hooray Fitchburg!

Fitchburg man is finalist in PETA’S “SEXIEST VEGAN OVER 50″ contest!

Fans Can Help PETA Choose Winners by Voting for Their Favorite Meat-Free Man and Woman on PETA Prime’s Website


JOHN METCALF: a very cute Fitchburg guy! Let’s all vote for this vegan-loving guy so he wins the grand prize!

 Fitchburg  — It’s no secret where sexy celebrities Ellen DeGeneres, Samuel L. Jackson, and James Cromwell get their energy—they all attribute it to going vegan! And it’s their example that inspired PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—to launch its annual Sexiest Vegan Over 50 contest.

This year, PETA has narrowed the field down to seven men and seven women—and 62-year-old Fitchburg resident John Metcalf is among the finalists. The contest is sponsored by PETA Prime—a resource for baby boomers who want to live a healthy, humane, and rewarding life.

 “While many baby boomers have had to reach for pills to fight high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and impotence, older vegans tend to be slim, healthy, and energetic,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “One look at PETA’s finalists makes it clear that the only thing sexier than being passionate is being compassionate.”

 Metcalf has both brains and brawn—this mechanical engineer is an avid hiker who tackles New England’s Mount Wachusett twice every day. He also enjoys biking, canyoneering, technical climbing, and anything else that gets him outdoors.

He says that he’s “a lot happier” since he went vegan and eagerly shares with friends, family, and neighbors how factory farming takes a toll on animals as well as human health.

 Visitors to can see photos of all 14 finalists and cast their votes through October 19.

Two winners (one male and one female) will be announced on October 22.

PETA will select the winners based on several factors, including vote count, and each winner will receive a three-night stay for two at the beautiful Guatemalan eco-resort Laguna Lodge, a PETA photo shoot in Los Angeles, and a selection of goodies from the PETA Catalog.

See the full contest details here.

 For more information, please visit

Traumatized circus elephants head to the Elephant Sanctuary – Worcester lawyer reports from the sanctuary!

I’m re-posting one of several InCity Times articles written for us by Worcester resident and lawyer Deirdre Healy on the Elephant Sanctuary. The circus is coming, and the Telegram and Gazette will run the lies, misinformation about wild animals in circuses that Ringling will shrewdly feed them. Plus their heartbreaking photos!  The T and G photographers degrade the wild animals, degrade their subject matter when they – photo-journalists! –  photograph lions in wash tubs, as they did last year. They degrade the truth!  The Telegram and Gazette photographers create more  publicity stills for Ringling!

This article is to counter the crap Ringling will lay on the T and G and the T and G , without questioning ANYTHING, will foist on Worcester.

Lies, lies, lies.

Telegram and Gazette  editorial page “writer”Chris Sinacola should google editorials that THE BOSTON GLOBE, THE NEW YORK TIMES and THE LOS ANGELES TIMES have written about elephants and other wild animals in circuses. He should read them, too. Maybe he’d learn something from these first-rate newspapers.

The T and G’s editor Karen Webber should read the articles reporters on these three great American newspapers have written on wild animals in circuses. She should educate herself!  Look at the issue through a contemporary lens, the lens of SCIENCE, ANIMAL BEHAVIOR, EVOLUTION … It’s 2014, not 1914!

–  Rosalie Tirella

By Deirdre Healy

October is Elephant Awareness Month in Tennessee because of the efforts that the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald has made toward improving the lives of elephants throughout the world.

Interestingly enough, I had the opportunity to volunteer at the sanctuary in October. The Tennessee sanctuary has volunteer days about once a month. Kathy, Marissa and I traveled from Massachusetts to Hohenwald, TN for a long weekend so that we could work outdoors one Saturday for the benefit of “the girls,” as the elephants are lovingly called.

The sanctuary houses 15 female Asian and African elephants. Most are Asian elephants. There are only 2 African elephants. Apparently it is natural for female elephants to live together. In the wild, they live in matriarchal herds. Male elephants, by the time they reach the age of 20, spend most of their time alone.

Elephants are highly social, sensitive, playful, intelligent animals. There are about 600 elephants living in captivity in the United States in zoos, circuses and sanctuaries. The majority are used to provide entertainment in circuses and zoos. The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee has been developed specifically to provide a place where traumatized elephants can recover from the debilitating experience of captivity.

Circuses can be grueling for elephants. Their sensitive skin is hit with bull hooks to “train” and control them. They endure long trips in small, confined spaces which can cause long-term problems with their feet and legs. Wild elephants normally walk close to 20 miles a day. Being cramped in small zoo enclosures or daily trips in small containers for the circus is torture for them.

Coming to the Sanctuary is a blessing for the elephants and the caregivers. The girls, after living in very difficult conditions that are not natural for them, come to this Sanctuary comprised of 2,700 acres. They are free to roam; something they had not experienced before. Elephants communicate very well. The caregivers, while working hard throughout the day for the girls, report that they often have heart-touching communication with them. The girls communicate through noises such as squeaks and rumbles, as well as their actions.

Since this is a Sanctuary for elephants, freed from the abuse they suffered at the hands of humans, they are not there for our entertainment. The volunteers will only see an elephant by accident. We spent our volunteer day moving about 300 bales of hay in the enormous barn and doing barn clean-up. Other volunteers painted and caulked a barn. Sometimes volunteers paint the fences or remove barbed wire from some fencing.

The day before we worked at the sanctuary, we toured through the National Park in the area and went to the Meriwether Memorial (for Meriwether Lewis of Lewis & Clark fame). As we approached the memorial’s log cabin, we discovered a dog that was clearly in distress. We took him to the veterinarian and got him fixed up (shots, neutered, etc.). He was healthy and the only long-term issue he had was blindness in one eye. We named him Meriwether. With 27% unemployment, there is a lot of poverty in rural Tennessee. The local shelter was full and if we did not take him, the only option was to have him euthanized. We took him home to Massachusetts with us. He was here for less than a week when we found his new adoptive family.

Animal abandonment is a big problem in Hohenwald. Cats and dogs are left at the elephant sanctuary. In fact, if you get the chance, go to and search on “Tarra and Bella” where you’ll find a variety of video clips on the relationship between Tarra the elephant and Bella the stray dog. They became friends several years ago. Bella had been abandoned and was discovered guarding a bulldozer. Bella liked guarding large noisy things and became attached to Tarra. Tarra was very happy about her new friend and they have been inseparable ever since. Even when Bella was injured, Tarra stood outside of Bella’s recovery room every day (Tarra had never stood outside that building before) until Bella was able to return to the sanctuary!

The Elephant Sanctuary is a wonderful place with a worthwhile mission helping this endangered species. For more information, go to


Please visit the InCity Times Circus Page on our (this) website. Click on the text by the elephant photo!    - R. Tirella

Do we need to buy leather jackets, etc this autumn? The leather industry is a BRUTAL industry! Buy pleather, instead!

It looks good on! All depends on how you wear it! – R. T.



14 Things the Leather Industry Doesn’t Want You to See

1. Every year, the global leather industry slaughters more than a billion animals.

Cows on Feedlot

2. If you’re wearing leather, it probably came from China or India.

Indian Leather Cows on Truck

In China, there are no penalties for abusing animals on farms.


Testing, testing, testing …

By Edith Morgan

School has started – parents heave a sigh of relief, and the Damocles sword of mandated testing programs hangs heavy over teachers and students. And the purveyors of the tests are laughing all the way to the bank at the prospect of yet another very profitable year of ripping off the taxpayers, gaining control of what and how we teach our children, and generally playing into the hands of the privatizers and dehumanizers who are increasingly getting control over us in so many ways.

“No Child Left Behind” – left so many behind! –  and its illegitimate offspring,  “Race to the Top” (or more correctly, “Race to the Bottom”) both require standardized testing . How do you suppose mandatory standardized testing was included? How many palms of elected officials in Washington, D.C. were crossed with silver to make sure the testing companies made out like bandits every year in every school?

I was in education at all levels for more than 40 years and have kept up since then. I have never yet met or heard of a teacher who does not test students regularly. Weekly, or sometimes even daily, students have to prove that they have learned or mastered what is being taught.

Remember the spelling tests, the math tests, the essays, the many ways teachers check to see what is being learned, what needs to be re-taught, what has to be taught a different way if too many in the class did not “get it”? The tests reflected accurately what had been taught and enabled the classroom teacher to assess what students had “gotten”  and what they still needed to know. So, if there was a clear understanding of what the curriculum required, it was always up to the teacher to make certain that those things were taught and learned. Good teachers also applied a variety of ways to learn, adapting their methods to the learning styles of their students.

Standardized tests pretty much throw all that out the window.

Their form does not take into consideration the most important things that American schools traditionally valued: Their job was not simply to make kids “marketable” but to grow a new generation of good citizens, informed enough to participate ALL THEIR LIVES in their families, communities and nation – and to make intelligent and thoughtful choices all along. There is NO standardized test which even considers these goals, as they are not amenable to multiple choice bubbles.

We are fortunate in Massachusetts to have in Cambridge an organization called “FairTest,” which has for many years monitored and reported on testing throughout the nation. Every administrator, teacher, parent and citizen interested in securing the best education for ALL our children should at the very least read their report, “How Standardized Testing Damages Education” – updated July 2012. It details how this testing does NOT provide accountability, measures very little and is not accountable to our parents, teachers, students and community.

To learn more google FairTest. They are also on Facebook and Twitter.

West Side: Bancroft Tower at Salisbury Park open to the public! Hooray!

Park Presentation: Salisbury Park Tour the Tower! 

Park Spirit of Worcester, Inc. is pleased to announce the reopening of Bancroft Tower at Salisbury Park to the general public:

Free of charge!

Starting this Sunday, October 5!

10 A.M – 2 P.M

In an effort to draw awareness to one of Worcester’s most historic landmarks, Park Spirit of Worcester, Inc. – in collaboration with Preservation Worcester, the Worcester Historical Museum, the City of Worcester Parks, Recreation and Cemetery Department and the Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity at Worcester Polytechnic Institute – will ‘present’ Bancroft Tower and Salisbury Park for all to enjoy for four successive Sundays in October:

Open 10 AM 2 PMOctober 5

Same times on: October 12

October 19

October 26

  Park Spirit’s public reopening of the Tower is part of a four weekend ‘Park Presentation’ of Salisbury Park, where Bancroft Tower and Salisbury Park will be cleaned up by the Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity at WPI and informational ‘tours’ will be provided by docents from Preservation Worcester and Park Spirit of Worcester, Inc.

Within the Tower, historical displays created by Park Spirit in collaboration with the Worcester Historical Museum will trace the landmark’s past as individuals make their way to the turret to take in one of the best views of Worcester and enjoy the fall foliage.

Park Spirit of Worcester, Inc.’s mission statement is to protect, promote, enhance and advocate for Worcester city parks and the nonprofit organization is seeking to do all of those things in regards to Salisbury Park and Bancroft Tower.   

The ‘Park Presentation’ was designed “to promote” and to draw awareness to Salisbury Park, which will be furthered by the #Selfies4Salisbury challenge – where the group will challenge notable Worcesterites to go to Salisbury Park, take a picture or ‘selfie’, post that picture on a social network with a short description of how they support Salisbury Park and Bancroft Tower, tag Park Spirit of Worcester, Inc. and then challenge others to do the same. In the same fashion as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, individuals who receive a

#Selfies4Salisbury challenge would be given the option to take the challenge or make a donation to support Salisbury Park and Bancroft Tower.

 The Salisbury Park ‘Park Presentation’ and public reopening of Bancroft Tower are a reflection and growth upon the free, public events that Park Spirit has hosted or collaborated on this year: the Bird Walk and Park Presentation Series at Elm Park/Newton Hill, Dodge Park, Green Hill Park, Cookson Park and Hadwen Park (supported by Mass Audubon and the Friends of Newton Hill); Elm Park Summer Concert Series; the ‘Flash Beautification’ of the pocket park on the corner of Mulberry and Shrewsbury Streets; Hot Night in the City (hosted by the Worcester Center for Crafts); and the Park Stewards summer work program.   

Bancroft Tower was built in 1900 by Stephen Salisbury III to honor George Bancroft a Worcester born historian, statesman and diplomat who went on to found the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and to become Secretary of the U.S. Navy.

“Blessing of the Animals” (God loves them!)


Fr. Barry Langley, OFM, Assistant Director of St. Anthony Shrine and the Franciscan Friars invite the community and their pets to the annual “Blessing of the Animals” for the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi. St. Francis saw animals as his brothers and sisters because they were God’s creatures, just like people. He said of animals: “Not to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission — to be of service to them wherever they require it.”

So Francis prayed that God would work through him to help animals as well as people.

 St. Anthony Shrine & Ministry Center, “The Church on Arch Street,” will hold a Blessing of the Animals ceremony on Saturday, October 4 at 2 PM. 

In celebration of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, The Patron Saint of Animals, Fr. Barry Langley will lead a brief ceremony and bestow a blessing on the dogs, cats, and other domestic pets in attendance.  

Each animal will also receive a certificate and be blessed individually by name.

 The ceremony will take place outside, directly in the front of the Shrine at 100 Arch Street in Boston’s Downtown Crossing.

WHEN:           Saturday, October 4 at 2 PM

WHERE:         St. Anthony Shrine & Ministry Center

100 Arch Street


From PETA-LATINO!! To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month …

… try these cool recipes! (If you scroll to bottom of post, and click on the link, the recipes are in Spanish!) – R.T.

Did you know that in 1988, the United States dedicated an entire month to honoring Hispanic heritage? It’s true: Hispanic Heritage Month goes from September 15 to October 15. Celebrate by making these traditional recipes with a vegan twist and sharing them with your friends and family!

1. Pupusas with curtido


2. Vegan Albondigas Soup

albondiga soup

3. Colombian Potato Empanadas


4. Mangú with Tempeh 


5. Vegan Cheese Arepas


6. Mango Ceviche


Read more:

Hands up! Don’t shoot!

By Parlee Jones

“Our Lives Begin To End The Day We Become Silent About Things That Matter” … Martin Luther King, Jr.

Peace, Worcester people!  As I sit down to write this article regarding the murder of Michael Brown and the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, my heart is heavy. It’s heavy with sorrow, anger, fear, dismay and doubt.  You see, I am a single mom. I am raising a young Black Man and young Black Woman. Right here, in America. Not in a “third world country,” right here in America – Worcester, Massachusetts. Land of the free and the home of the brave. … or is it the land of the thief and the home of the slave????

By now we all know what happened in Ferguson, Missouri, August 9.  It is easy to see that this was an UNJUST shooting.  An unarmed 18 year old is dead.  Shot 6 times in the upper body.  2 times in the head.  We can go back and forth with what he did prior to being executed, but does that really matter when Officer Darren Wilson wasn’t aware of any alleged behavior?

Bottom line: Michael is not here to defend himself or tell his side of the story.

It seems to me that many people, here in Worcester, too, are trying to make it okay that if he did take cigars, it justifies his murder.  IT DOES NOT!

It is not okay for a lot of people in this country to agree with the slaying of this young, Black man.  He should not be dead. The officer that shot him didn’t even know about the incident at the store which is still in question as to if it was Michael Brown.  One witness states that there was a verbal altercation between Michael and Officer Darren Wilson.  How did Michael end up dead?

The trouble in Ferguson, Missouri, has been brewing for many years.  Just knowing that 63% of the population there is Black and there are only three Black police officers on the town police force speaks volumes.  The fact that the U.S. Justice Department may actually investigate the whole police department because there is a pattern of abuse also speaks volumes.

Where you get your news from will also tell a lot about how you look at the world.  Needless to say, FOX News Channel will have you believing lopsided reporting.  In the words of Malcolm X, “If you’re not careful, the newspapers [news channels] will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

Reading the comments that appear at the end of articles and stories surrounding this story, you can clearly see a racist thread. The people who are dancing around the word are either blind, in denial or racist.  Unfortunately, the history of Amerikkka has shown a blatant disregard for the lives of Black men.  Many will deny this, but if you are not living the experience as a Black person, you cannot judge or even speak on it.  Your experience is not the same.  If you have never heard of White Privilege, look it up.  Or maybe that will be my next article.  I am a community builder, so, please do not try to twist my words.  I love all people!

On August 14, I had the privilege of standing with about 50 other residents in a peaceful rally on Worcester’s City Hall Plaza.  We joined Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, New York, Boston, Los Angeles and many other cities in support of the people of Ferguson.  Many people spoke of their experiences with Worcester Police.  Unfortunately, there were too many stories.  I have one of my own.

.. If you wish to discuss any of my views, please contact InCity Times! Peace!

Autumn make up – e.l.f. cosmetics cruelty-free-pretty-me!


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3 cheers for Wet n Wild and e.l.f. make-up!! I always have the e.l.f. blush/lip tube jammed into the pocket of my blue jean jacket!  Have their creamy eye-shadows at home … . Use their mascara in the a.m. before I head out the door to run ICT!  Wet n Wild has great thick tubes of tinted lip balm. SPF, too! Used their cherry balm all summer. Price tag? For e.l.f. products a buck at the buck store! A bit more $ at Target and Burlington Coat Factory. Wet n Wild make-up: $2, $3 and $4/$5 at Walgreens or CVS. My point is: You don’t have to spend a lot of money to buy good, on-trend make up THAT IS NOT TESTED ON RABBITS JAMMED INTO CAGES getting high “doses” of product squirted into their eyes over and over again …  Cruel, cruel, cruel. Pointless.
- R. Tirella
When we heard that e.l.f. (eyes lips face) company was selling cool cruelty-free cosmetics for a buck each, we couldn’t believe it. But it’s not a fairy tale—e.l.f.really does exist, and you can easily find its products at your local Target and Kmart. It just doesn’t get any easier than that when shopping for cruelty-free makeup!

Operating under the belief that “[e]very woman should have the opportunity to participate in innovation, without sacrificing her budget,” e.l.f. offers a wide variety of high-quality beauty products that look and feel fantastic. But don’t just take our word for it—major magazines such as GlamourAllure, andSelf can’t stop raving about them, either!

While e.l.f. has loads of must-have mascaras, lip glosses, blushes, bronzers, brushes, and much, much more, we can’t help but be partial to its“PETA” tweezers. After all, e.l.f. has created these special tweezers just for us!

Emblazoned with the slogan “Fur Free,” these tweezers come in a case that sports PETA’s cruelty-free bunny logo and reads, “e.l.f. Professional Supports PETA in the Fur Free Campaign:” Pretty cool, huh? So now you can extend your “fur-freeness” beyond your wardrobe. What’s even cooler is the fact that 50 percent of the proceeds from sales of these tweezers go straight to PETA!

For an even more customized shopping experience, create your own online beauty profile. Just enter your stats, habits, and preferences, and the experts at e.l.f. will not only recommend the perfect products for you but also save your favorite picks in your very own personal account. You can purchase your “customized just for you” cosmetics online or cruise down to one of these convenient locations near you!

With such a huge variety of sensational cruelty-free stuff at such low prices, who wouldn’t be ecstatic about e.l.f.? PETA sure is. That’s why we’re proud to honor company CEO Joey Shamah with a Trail-Blazer Award for his compassion and commitment to never testing on animals.

To learn more about cosmetics testing on animals, go here.