Category Archives: InCity Feature

From the Worcester NAACP branch: Let Worcesterites decide if they want a strong mayor form of govt

This past Monday (7/14) the executive committee of the Worcester NAACP voted to support the efforts of the WLCC (Worcester Labor-Community Coalition), of which this branch is an active member.

We are asking the [Worcester] city council to delay the hiring of a new city manager, so that a dialogue can take place on whether Worcester should continue with a strong city manager or change to a strong mayor type of city government.  

The WLCC decided to pursue this endeavor after reviewing results of recent poll it had commissioned at special called Monday (7/14) meeting.

The poll results included responses to the importance the role city government plays in the economic development.

While there was a near tie between those supporting city manager/strong mayor government, along with the numbers showing those that could not decide one way or the other.   Eighty eight percent felt that there needs to be a process that allowed the voters to have input and decide the matter for the future government of Worcester.  

 There is a planned press release this coming Monday releasing results of the poll to the public.  There will be presentations made at the city council meeting the following Tuesday (July 22nd), to request that they support the stated objectives.

We encourage those that support this vote by the executive committee to attend that city council meeting.

Summer hair-care tips from Jolleen of Shear Dimension hair salon, Greenwood Street …



Summer Hair Care is all about Moisture!

Hair tends to dry out due to sun damage, water damage, styling and highlighting in the summer.  It is important to keep it well hydrated during the summer months.

Here are a few recommended products and treatments from Shear Dimension to keep your hair healthy this summer:

Every Day Moisture
- Awapuhi Moisture Mist – this is a leave in conditioner and great for everyday before the beach, after swimming, and before styling.
- Dramatic Repair Spray – this is also a leave in spray conditioner targeted towards highlighted hair and has SPF benefits as well as deeper conditioning molecules for over-processed hair.
Once a Week
- Super Charged Moisturizer – Deep Conditioning for sun/water damage.
- Awapuhi Ginger Keratin Intensive Treatment – Deep conditioning infused with keratin for delicate or over-processed hair.
Salon Specialties
Express Keratin Treatments – This is an luxury conditioning treatment to rid yourself of frizz from environmental and chemical damage.  These treatments last from 6 weeks to 3 months (and start at only $30-$80!)
Brazilian Blowout –  Intense smoothing and conditioning treatment to re-infuse your hair with the keratin, soy, silk and wheat protein. You will be left with a silky smooth shiny finish that can last 3-6 months!
Don’t forget our groupon deal at !   You can save up to 50% on services and a deep conditioner is included with purchase! 

Transparency in food labeling should include how animals are treated

By Dan Paden

According to a poll released last year, the vast majority of us favor transparency in food labeling. Eighty-two percent of respondents said that foods containing genetically modified ingredients should be labeled as such, and in May, Vermont passed the nation’s first GMO labeling law. For most of us, our food matters. We want to know if what we’re buying and eating is locally grown or organic or sustainable. I would add one more criterion to that list: Are the foods we eat kind or cruel? If you consume meat and other animal products, the answer is the latter.

Every time PETA has sent an investigator to a factory farm, we’ve found cruelty and unmitigated suffering. Every single time. Our latest investigation is no exception. For more than two months, a PETA investigator worked at a pig factory farm owned by a worldwide leader in pig breeding. The company is a leading U.S. supplier of pig semen and of sows who are sold to other meat companies and will be artificially inseminated. When most of us think of GMOs, we probably think about corn or soybeans, but animals are also routinely genetically manipulated for our dinner plates.

At this facility, lame and injured pigs were left to languish without any apparent veterinary care. PETA’s investigator documented one pig who pitifully dragged himself along the hard floor by his front legs, until he collapsed, apparently exhausted. He lay immobile for days in a pen with other pigs, unable to eat or drink, and was finally hauled to slaughter. Other pigs suffer from rectal prolapse, a painful condition in which internal tissue protrudes from the anus, or “belly ruptures,” in which the animals’ abdomens bulge with protruding intestines—again, without any apparent veterinary care.

Lame and injured animals are simply put in what workers call the “junk pen” and are held there until they are taken to the slaughterhouse. Mother pigs are confined to metal crates so small that they can’t even turn around, and many develop painful ulcers on their shoulders from the constant pressure of lying, nearly immobile, on the hard slatted floor. Their crying, writhing piglets are castrated—without any anesthetics or pain relief whatsoever—right in front of them. Mother pigs are fiercely protective, and some thrashed and struggled in the metal crates or tried to bite the workers in a desperate attempt to protect their precious babies. Boars used for semen production are also confined to tight metal crates, jammed together inside a filthy shed.

Many pigs at this facility die in the sheds where animals are fattened for later breeding or slaughter, and a company vice president blamed some of the deaths on workers’ “not really caring about the pigs.” At this factory farm—as at others—animals are viewed as commodities, not as the smart, social, feeling individuals they are. Unwanted pigs have the word “CULL” callously spray-painted on their backs, and they are eventually taken to slaughter. We have a right to know where our food comes from and how it is produced. That’s the impetus behind the movement to require labels on GMO foods.

We should also insist on transparency when it comes to the way that animals who are raised and killed for food are treated. Until that day comes, there’s one thing that we as consumers can do to ensure that we are not supporting animal suffering with our food choices: Look for the label that says “vegan.”

Hooray for Worcester in-city kids!

Worcester’s Wheels to Water summer swim program kick off and Spray Park ribbon-cutting, July 1, East Park, Shrewsbury Street. All activities are free, courtesy City of Woo! … Photos by Ron O’Clair!


Gordon Hargrove – the man in blue and Executive Director of the Friendly House! – was the go-to-guy for former CM Mike O’Brien after O’Brien shut down all the city swimming pools but still wanted city kids to be able to go swimming. Gordon helped O’Brien come up with a blue print for the Wheels to Water program which we still have several years later. It’s been expanded to more places and dubbed wheels to water AND BEYOND! Here’s Gordon with a couple of pals (Friendly House Director of Youth Services Daniella Delgado – I think the fella is little Stevie D’Agostino!) inside the new spray park!      – R. Tirella



Project Manager Michael Moonan and his two daughters, Caroline (youngest) and Lauren


Kids enjoying the water spray park

Kids running through the water jets

Christina with her twin boys, Domenic, and Damien



community and City of Woo workers …


Worcester Fire Department, Steven Vescera, Fire Inspector, Michael J. Cronin, Dagle Electric Const. Corp, Project Manager

Youth Connect Worcester staff, Andrew, DeMario, and Cindy


Hooray for Woo’s Italian Americans!!!  Here’s where the brandy new spray park is located!

Christoforo Colombo Park sign

The grand clock, just outside East Park!

Antique clock that graces the sidewalk outside the park

Gordon Hargrove’s HEART OF GOLD appreciation celebration!

By Ron O’Clair

I attended the gala event held yesterday at the Mt. Carmel Recreation Center on Mulberry Street to honor Gordon Hargrove for his 50 plus years of service to the Worcester Community through his work with the Friendly House agency on Wall Street, which has an intimate relationship with the United Way of Massachusetts.

Former Mayor Jordan Levy was the Master of Ceremonies, introducing the speakers who took turns presenting Gordon with an array of gifts, awards and accolades for his unselfish giving over the many years of his service here in the 2nd largest City in New England, Worcester, Massachusetts.

Gordon was given honors in a Proclamation from Governor Deval Patrick, the United States Congress presented him with a United States Flag that had been flown over the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

He was feted by Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus, and the High Sheriff of Worcester County, Lew Evangelidis, State Senator Dr. Harriet Chandler, Congressman Jim McGovern, and other notable politicians. The invocation was given by Reverend (City Councilor) Sarai Rivera because the Reverend that was scheduled could not attend. 

There were other speakers. They all said  Gordon Hargrove was always willing to help the less fortunate among the Worcester Community. Everyone had a good time, and Gordon certainly deserves the praise for a job well done. His wife, Sona, spoke last, and his sister, Dottie, came to the podium to say a few words of support for her brother Gordon. 

I sat at one of the Hargrove family tables, with relatives of Gordon’s from the state of Virginia, the LoCastro family, Dick and his wife Kimberley, and their daughter, Kourtney Bonsey who is a student at Regis College here in the Boston area. Dottie Hargrove, along with City Councilor and State Representative candidate Phil Palmieri, filled out the table that I, Ronald L. O’Clair, intrepid reporter and photographer for the InCity Times, chose to sit at.

  The real highlight of the event was towards the end, when Bishop Daniel Patrick Riley of the Catholic Church gave the final blessing and then burst into a rendition of “Danny Boy.” It was a wonderful cap to a stellar event.

Gordon Hargrove, an inspiration for all!




Phil Palmeri and Dottie Hargrove

InCity YUM YUMS – Chef Joey’s Peach Salad recipe!

Fun times with the crew at quality beverages. Here’s Joey hanging with sis,  Natasha, to his left. – R. T.

photo 2

photo 1

 By Chef Joey

Summer time is a great time to enjoy the bountiful fruits and vegetables that are local and tasty.  Adding whole grains or cheese to a salad gives it the protein/fiber you need and with greens not to mention the calcium, and adding a fruit will make it a well-balanced meal.

We all know eating healthier can reduce the risk of heart disease or stroke, and a healthy diet also can help keep you safe from certain types of cancer.  I have two quick salads made with the same homemade dressing using honey as a base – the fruits have natural sugar, and so does honey, so it seems natural to pair them.  The dressing does not have to be made in a blender, but doing so stops it from separating because it is aerated.

Adding beans to a regular salad is a great source of protein and using the liquid from your can, for example chick peas, combined with some garlic and lemon juice makes a tasty fat free topping and there is no need for oil!  Do the same with the liquid if you soak your beans.  Dry cleaners don’t like it but your heart will!

Peach and crumbled Blue Cheese Salad and Watermelon Basil Feta Salad


Blue cheese, mescalin greens, crumbled blue cheese, garlic (1 clove) 2 tbsp Dijon mustard, ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, 3 tbsp honey (brown sugar can be used if so use 6 tbsp) ¾ cup salad oil

Take 6 peaches and poach then in a mixture of 3 cups water and 31/2 cups sugar one vanilla pod and 2 tbsp lemon juice.  Heat and when it is bubbling cut the peaches in half and place in the sugar mix – if the peaches do not separate don’t worry they will separate once chilled with the aid of a spoon.  Turn peaches gently and poach for about 5 minutes each side, remove with slotted spoon and let cool.

In the meantime add garlic, honey, mustard and balsamic and blend, add the oil through the top of blender till it is the consistency of pudding – adjust your seasonings (salt pepper or oil)

Peal the peaches and cut slices save one for garnish – chop the peach into bite size cubes, place in salad bowl, add blue cheese and a large handful of mescalin greens per person add the desired amount of dressing (not too much!) and toss – plate and make a spiral ribbon out of the peach slice and garnish the top.  You can accent with a balsamic glaze topping for show!  Easy fast and delicious

For Watermelon salad  mix that salad dressing with cubed watermelon and fresh sliced up basil – add feta cheese and its Done!


Veteran Homestead Resident Jeff Matthew Wray Shares His Inspiring Recovery
Saturday, June 28
Bike MS: Cape Cod Getaway 2014
UMass Boston
5:3 0 am registration – 7 am lineup – 7:30a m start
Gardner – More than 2,000 riders will pedal from UMass Boston through the coastal towns of Massachusetts’ South Shore to Providencetown in the National Multiple Sclerosis Society 150 mile charity bike event.
One of those riders is Jeff Matthew Wray, a wounded veteran war hero who almost lost his leg by 25mm machine gunfire while deployed in Iraq.
Wray served our country first as a Marine then in the Army and saw combat in three deployments to Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. His last deployment ended his military career when he received life-threatening injuries to his leg and abdomen including severe organ damage. He fought for his life for two years and during that time he almost lost his leg to amputation and was told he would never walk again.
That news was not going to stop Wray from a full recovery and after several months of research he found Dr. Robert Gaines who reconstructs the limbs of soldiers as chief of Orthopedic Trauma at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia. Dr. Gaines reconstructed Wray’s leg and with extensive rehab, Wray was not only able to walk again, he is healthy and physically active.
However, before the surgery, the transition from soldier to civilian was a difficult one for Wray. Not only did he have physical injuries, he suffers from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from combat. He became addicted to alcohol to ease his physical and emotional pain that added to his severe depression and lead him to an attempt to take his own life.
Today, Wray is a happy and healthy man thanks to Veteran Homestead Inc., an independent, non-profit organization that provides housing and care to U.S. Armed Services veterans who are elderly, disabled or diagnosed with a terminal illness. Wray resides at the Northeast Veteran Training and Rehabilitation Center (NVTRC) in Gardner. The NVTRC, specific to veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan wars, is one of six facilities that Veteran Homestead created and oversees in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Puerto Rico to serve veterans needing medical, psychological, and spiritual care.
The NVTRC facility focuses on Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who are suffering from TBI and PTSD, two of the most common maladies suffered by veterans of these wars. It is the only facility of its kind in the United States that serves these afflicted veterans and their families by offering housing, physical therapy, counseling and college courses. The facility can also accommodate amputees and burn patients. There is a therapy dog-training program, as well. Veteran Homestead hopes to replicate this type of facility across the U.S.
Wray has been at the NVTRC since May 2013 and attributes his success and healing to the programs offered there. “Life is really good today, I didn’t think I could be happy again. Veteran Homestead saved my life. If it wasn’t for this place I’d be dead or in prison,” said Wray.
Wray currently helps struggling veterans by speaking at the local VA hospital. He currently studies at Mount Wachusett Community College and after graduation plans to attend bible college to become a minister to serve and give spiritual guidance to his community.
About Veteran Homestead, Inc.
Created by Vietnam veteran Leslie Lightfoot, Veteran Homestead raises funds through its own efforts and receives some state and federal support. The organization directs 90% of funding to the veterans in its direct care and 10% to grant writing and fund raising. Other Veteran Homestead facilities include:
•The Veteran Homestead Hospice – Fitchburg, Mass.: The only privately run, veteran-specific hospice in the country.
•The Veteran Victory Farm – Fitzwilliam, N.H.: A working organic farm and permanent housing for veterans with substance abuse issues, mild TBI and in need of supportive services — the first one in the country.
•La Hacienda de Veteranos – Caguas, P.R.: The only facility of its kind in Puerto Rico, it serves homeless veterans, focusing on restoring a sense of self-worth.
•The Hero Homestead – Leominster, Mass.: For elderly homeless veterans.
•The Armistice Homestead – Leominster, Mass.: Assisted living in place for the elderly or medically frail.
Veterans In Need
•The Veterans Administration estimates that, as of September 30, 2011, there were 212,337 homeless veterans aged 18-30, with 144,842 of those in shelters. Homelessness among women veterans increased 141% between 2006 and 2010. By their own admission the VA is only seeing 1/3 of returned veterans.
•Approximately 22 veterans a day take their own life, according to Veteran Affairs department estimates.
•Families of service men and women are subject to severe emotional and financial strain associated with the disruption caused by multiple tours of duty. The divorce rate among returning wounded veterans is 84%, and it is not uncommon for a veteran to return to an empty bank account, a home foreclosure and a family in crisis.
•The Veterans Administration is treating more than 210,000 service men and women from Iraq and Afghanistan for PTSD; more than 67,000 are classified as disabled.
•The Department of Defense estimates that 360,000 service men and women have some type of blast-related brain injury, however, many returning veterans don’t even realize they have a traumatic brain injury.

Keep checking our anti-animal-acts FACEBOOK PAGE for the latest in animal welfare news! … A LANDMARK VICTORY FOR INDIA’S BULLS!

photo credit: PETA

A LANDMARK VICTORY FOR ANIMALS! The Supreme Court in India, has passed a landmark judgment banning bullock cart races and all performances of bulls throughout the country thanks to the work of Animal Equality India and other animal charities.

Read more by clicking on our ICTimes circus Face Book page to the right!

Remember! Keep checking in! Get educated! PLEASE get involved! Do it for the animals!!!!  – R. T.

The wake and burial of Bill W. – 23 May 2014

By Ron O’Clair

Friday the 23rd of May, 2014 was my 53rd birthday, and it was also the day that I laid to rest my fellow United States Air Force Veteran, William G. (Bill W.) White Jr.

As was reported to you reader’s of InCity Times in the last issue, Bill died from complications of COPD, which is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. That diagnosis encompasses many lung ailments, and a lot of those are caused directly as a result of lifelong cigarette smoking. That was what did him in, smoking cigarettes.

Bill asked me, his longtime sponsor in the A.A. program of recovery if I would make his final arrangements for him, and I agreed. He knew he was dying, and accepted that fact as stoically as one can. He had a lot of courage, but the disease made it impossible for him to catch his breath even with the maximum amount of oxygen that the hospital could provide.

He wanted to get out of the hospital and go fishing, and get things done, but realized that that was impossible, and that the end was near. He wanted me to thank all of the people that he associated with in the A.A. and the N.A. programs of recovery for being the only family he had outside of his nephew Lyle C. White of Auburn, and Bill’s sister Judy Cota, her husband Ken, and their daughter Jennifer up in Claremont, New Hampshire.  So I circulated the date and time of his service far and wide in the program of A.A.

I had a devil of a time finding who his living relatives were, and where they could be found, and for that, I wish to thank the efforts of Pat, who dispatches for the Millbury Police Department, and Detective Thibodeau of the Shrewsbury Police Department, and the many other municipal employees whom I burned up the telephone lines with trying to locate next of kin as the funeral home required in order that I may have published his obituary.

It is quite expensive to publish an obituary, and if you don’t, the only thing that gets published in the paper is a brief statement of facts, date of death and calling hours mostly.  I felt that Bill deserved to be remembered for his helping other alcoholics and addicts into the recovery programs that were such an important aspect of Bill W.’s life, so I authored the obituary that was published the day before the funeral in hopes that the people that go to the meetings would attend his services.

I anticipated a huge turnout of homeless, down and out junkies, crack heads, prostitutes, and other assorted riff raff, as those were the ones that Bill W. worked with the most, those that needed his help most desperately to try to beat their addiction problems. Bill spent vast amounts of money on these people, money that he got from the Veteran’s Administration for his disability and the Social Security Administration for his retirement, and the forced sale of his beloved cottage on the shores of Lake St. George in Liberty, Maine. If not for the insistence of his Uncle Ernest Bridges, the cottage would still be in the family, and Judy, Ken, Jennifer and Lyle would have inherited Bill’s share.

Druggies would often flock towards Bill in the meetings asking for his help, and he would gladly peel off a twenty dollar bill in the belief that he was helping someone into recovery. The amount would vary depending on the circumstances of the story they told Bill, but I never saw him turn anyone away empty-handed.

So, when it came time for his funeral, I expected a lot of these people to show up to pay their last respects to their benefactor, who was known in certain circles as “Captain Save-A-Ho” for all of the working girls that he tried to help into the Methadone Clinics to get them off the street.  I had a 50 seat school bus waiting outside to take the anticipated crowd out to the Veteran’s Cemetery to see what a proper funeral is all about, instead of erecting a shrine of cheap junk on a sidewalk after defacing the area with graffiti as they have become accustomed when one of theirs is killed in the drug business that goes on in our Worcester streets daily.

I wish to thank Eddy J. and Doris P. the only two that had the decency to come. The bus went to the burial service with me and 6 other people. The hearse was followed by two cars and the bus. 11 people attended the burial.

Thanks for the support on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend for a fallen disabled Veteran, shameful show of ungratefulness on behalf of those whom he tried to help.