Trump continues to sully the Oval Office …
From the Worcester NAACP:
Greetings and Happy Holidays!
Please join us at our next meeting tomorrow, Mon., Nov. 27! James Bonds will discuss the series of events leading to the replication of the original “Colored Citizens of Worcester Honor Roll for World War II.”
Dr. Thomas Doughton will share the history behind the original “Honor Roll” dedication, as well as future plans to honor all of Worcester’s African American WW II Veterans.
Our meeting agenda will also include:
Black Minds Matter (collaboration with Holy Cross College) – A series of discussions designed to raise awareness of issues facing Black boys and men in education. The Worcester NAACP is looking for members who are interested in working with Dr. Thomas Doughton and Holy Cross college.
Worcester’s Black Jewish Alliance – Update on future event ideas. We are looking for members to join the alliance in our efforts to build relationships between the Black and Jewish Communities through educational experiences and cultural events.
Ideas for quarterly public discussions concerning social justice issues, politics or other topics of importance. We are looking for members to help create quarterly public forums to discuss issues that matter to our communities.
2017 Holiday Party @ the YMCA, Main South, 766 Main St., Monday, December 11th @ 6:30pm – We are looking for volunteers to help with our annual Potluck Holiday Party!
See you at the meeting!
Nine charts to be THANKFUL for: Humanity is getting better
Missing my working class hero-troubadour Tom Petty this holiday weekend! No matter what – he just kept writing!
By Imalay Guzman
Around this time of year families gather around a dinner table crowded with food just to thank God for their blessings. Thanksgiving is much more than stuffing your face and spending time with family. Take a look at life and everything that it has pushed you to become. I like to look back at the year that has passed and thank God for every single thing that happened to me because every situation and decision that I made ended up a lesson learned .
Although Thanksgiving is a major holiday dedicated to food and family, being thankful or grateful can be a state of being – happening more than just once a year. Every bump in the road leads you a step closer to your goals. I teach my kids to be grateful everyday because not everyone in this world is so lucky to have what they have. The blessings you receive from this world have a lot to do with the type of person you are. People can argue otherwise but in my opinion Good Deeds attract Good Karma.
There are people who dedicate their Thanksgiving holiday to giving back to those who are less fortunate. It doesn’t take much to give back, being able to understand and have sympathy goes so far. Everyone deserves a meal on Thanksgiving – especially those who are homeless and have to find somewhere to stay. Let’s take a look at the things that we take for granted and a look at those who wish who they had what we have. We can all learn to appreciate the small things – after all, the small things are what matter most.
When it comes to donating, I know that you don’t need to give money or even go out your way to give funds to a corporation. Most times you donate and are clueless as to were that money is really going.
Helping others can be as easy as walking out your house and giving a person without a sweater a jacket that you no longer use. Charity can be as easy as giving food to those who sit and beg so they can eat. I know often people hesitate to give money to poor people due to the assumption of misuse. But in reality, a good gesture comes from the heart, regardless what the person uses it for. It should give you a sense of peace knowing you helped someone who needed it!
I am grateful for the people who show me support. It can be challenging being a mother of three children. I am thankful for the people who gave me opportunities when no one else would. I appreciate every single person who plays an active role in my life because without them, I won’t be able to achieve the little things I have a chance to achieve. Without them I wouldn’t be working on my personal life goals.
I praise God because without him I am nothing. I have faith in him and all his plans for me.
Wishing everyone a blessed Thanksgiving – and hoping everyone can be generous and selfless!
Kennedy Joins McGovern on 43-Mile Western Massachusetts Hunger March!
Today, Congressman Jim McGovern is finishing the 8th annual “Monte’s March,” a 43-mile two-day walk as part of his anti-hunger push in Western Massachusetts.
Congressmen Joe Kennedy III will join the march in Sunderland at 1 p.m. today.
The march is aimed at helping to increase awareness about hunger in local communities and help Massachusetts families in need this thanksgiving.
All proceeds will benefit The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.
Last year, the event raised more than $200,000.
· WHAT: Finish of Monte’s March, a 43-mile anti-hunger march across Western Massachusetts
· WHEN: Today!
· WHERE: March will cover 43 miles across Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties.
“Thanksgiving is about more than just being thankful,” Congressman McGovern said. “It’s about bringing families, friends, and communities together to help those who are in need. I’m so grateful that here in the Pioneer Valley, we know the importance of helping our neighbors. Hunger is something that touches too many families across the Commonwealth, but working together, we can help ensure that no family goes hungry this holiday season.”
Joining Congressman McGovern for the full 43 miles will be the founder of Monte’s March, WRSI The River radio host Monte Belmonte, as well as Andrew Morehouse, the Executive Director of The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.
SCHEDULE FOR 43-MILE HUNGER MARCH:
Today, 11/21: Second day of march is 26 miles from Northampton to Greenfield:
· 12:00 p.m.: Bridgeside Grille
· 2:00 p.m.: Berkshire Brewing Company
· 6:00 p.m.: Finish march at Mag Pie (Joined by Greenfield Mayor Martin)
By Rosalie Tirella
When my late mother was around 14 years old she got the How To Pitch Baseball book by Lew Fonseca lots of American kids (mostly boys) owned around that time (World War II) and pored over after school, during school, before baseball practice and after a game (sand lot, park or school yard) – kid-arenas where your team either won or lost and a million stories unfolded between the first and ninth inning. All of them were dusty and dirt-beneath-your-fingernails hardscrabble, especially if you played them in Green Island!
The slim red book is small and light – a teenaged boy could have held it in the palm of his hand easily.
It was published in 1942 as part of the Little Technical Book Library and belonged to Ma, a baseball lover from impoverished childhood to impoverished nursing-home death. But most likely it first belonged to her big brother, Walter, who played baseball on his high school’s b-ball-team. So it was a hand-me-down, one of many that came my mother’s way because she was the youngest of five children in a Polish immigrant family and it was the Great Depression . She did things like walk the railroad tracks with her Polish father, my “Jaju,” looking for “coke” – bits of scrap coal that had fallen along the railroad tracks – to take home for their little black stove my grandfather had set up in the corner of their big kitchen in the Lafayette Street tenement. To heat the cold water flat up in winter. Ma and Jaju would wander the Worcester fields, too, picking wild blueberries and mushrooms to take home to my Polish granny, Bapy. Bapy would cook them in soups or breads. She was a great cook, made egg noodles, stuffed cabbage – everything they ate at dinner from scratch. She kept (illegally) rabbits in a hutch on the back porch for stew. Jaju slaughtered them for Bapy and occassionally made Ma a lucky rabbit’s foot key chain from the scraps. Ma said the rabbit stew was delicious and, even though not all mushrooms were safe to eat, Jaju was an expert mushroom picker, and knew the safe ones.
Like I said, Ma’s big brother Walter played baseball and was on a team in high school. They didn’t have baseball teams for girls. I know Ma would have joined one if they had them, especially if they were St. Mary’s school- or church-affiliated. She was tiny and skinny but always active, a great walker, walked all over Green Island – up Millbury Steet to buy sausage at Biehler Brother Polish Market – or up Richland Street to help the nuns with decorating their classrooms at St. Mary’s School. Ma whistled when she walked – so much so that Jaju nicknamed his skinny legged, whistling daughter “scrovonik” – Polish for Little Sparrow. St. Mary’s school cum church was Ma’s, all Woo Polish folks’, cultural and educational nexus. A bridge to America, a new country, a place mysterious and grand and scary.
Baseball was another bridge to America! For Ma and Walter and so many kids of Italian, Irish, Lithuanian, Greek, Portuguese and Polish immigrants of the first half of the twentieth century. They found their parents flaying about – out of their deeply religious countries of origin and thrown into the great wide open moneyland that was America. They would do better than Ma and Papa. They would be fluent in English. They would be rich. They would live in houses, not tenements. They would go to baseball games and the movies. They would play ball!!!
When Ma died, her little red baseball book became mine. It is sweet looking and fine to the touch, but I like my baseball book best of all because it’s a window on America that is no more: an America that encouraged – practically forced – first generation kids and their immigrant parents to get with the American program! Become a part of the best country on the planet. No one called it “assimilation” back then or felt sorry for or psychoanalyzed anybody who was struggling to get with the American program. Our great land was serious and striving, even though it was brutally racist and loved its booze, vaudeville stars and strippers… For every illegal dog fight in Green Island there was a little paper American flag taped on a tenement wall. Right next to the picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Patriotism is the subtext of Ma’s/my little red baseball book!
This late morning, as I turn its pages, I connect with the “late” America: one that paid lip service to equal opportunity for all but was dead serious about work ethic. Believed in dreams, infinite possibilities, the act of self-creation ane recreation. Embracing intellect, too – even if you were just a kid from Green Island you could be smart! In so many paragraphs the book is telling kids: The KEY TO SUCCESS IN AMERICA IS THE SAME AS IN BASEBALL – dream, work like crazy for your dream, and if you can’t realize your dream and you’ve had to settle for another position on the American team, that is great too! You’re playing the American game with gusto! Fonseca (or most likely his ghostwriter!) says this straight up in his introduction. He writes: “Pitching without a doubt is baseball’s citadel. … More often than not, however, he [the wannabe star pitcher] will find his forte is elsewhere.”
No matter your position, in America, you can still shine! It’s the effort that counts!
I love this caption, printed under the photo, you see below:
“Run out every batted ball.”
“Never assume you are out till umpire rules.”
And our American love of science, math, Hard Facts, is on display, in several diagrams like this one:
Very “Technical” – just like the book’s cover says! There is a science to great baseball!
Even the President of the United States plays ball!! Fonseca tells his young readers that none other than our PRESIDENT throws the first ball of the first game of the baseball season! Every year! Right onto the diamond!
An American tradition!
In the book there is a photo of FDR throwing the first ball …
The kids probably didn’t know President Roosevelt’s polio-ravaged body would never allow him to “play ball.” He couldn’t even stand up! “Standing” for the photo – to throw that baseball was a herculean effort on FDR’s part. It was in fact an optical illusion that the wheel-chair-bound Roosevelt and his team worked hard to create: Before the baseball game, a big ramp was built so that the President’s car could be driven up it. Then hidden behind a ton of bunting and banners the president’s team propped him up, held him tight while he gripped a railing or his son’s arm with one hand and threw the baseball with the other. Sonetimes FDR just sat in his car and pitched – the roaring crowd didn’t know the difference. Sometimes the President’s car was driven on the field and he watched the game from the sidelines. No one knew the difference!
None of this is mentioned in Fonseca’s little red book. After all, FDR embodied everything that Fonseca preached in his little red book!: high spiritedness, optimism, intelligence, competitiveness, most important, control. Without control, Fonseca tells his young readers, your pitching is no where. Without self-control, you can never be a great pitcher! FDR was a great pitcher for America! He was the Babe Ruth of presidents!
Flash forward to today.
President Donald Trump TOTALLY OUT OF CONTROL. absolutely undisciplined. Today. Trump would probably make fun of FDR and his physical handicap – just like he did that New YorkTimes reporter.
Or the many other folks on the campaign trail (U.S. Senator John McCain. A Gold Star mother). The way Trump still treats his fellow Americans is appalling! Most recently, NFL players (he called kneeling NFL football players “sons of bitches”) and the folks of Puerto Rico (he intimated they were lazy and a drain on the mainland).
Now Las Vegas. A mass murderer with a ton of money but no soul. A big empty hole inside he filled with evil. What were Paddock’s motives, America wants to know?
What are Trump’s motives?
How is Trump making America great again???
My mom, like every kid in America, went to the movies religiosly. There was an A picture screened, preceded by the B, preceded by cartoons and shorts like this:
Baseball was Ma’s fave sport! She must have loved this video when it came up on the big movie screen!! There were two or three movie houses in Green Island. They gave away dishes, so people would keep coming back. To make an entire table setting! American generosity and salesmanship!
Aa little kid, Ma listened to ALL the games on the big family radio in their “front room,” talked baseball with her big brother whom she watched play rough and ready pick up baseball games in the Green Island “big yard” – the sand lot down the street. Ma even grabbed her #2 pencil and, because she was a good artist, drew big sketches of her fave baseball players mid-swing or mid-catch. The hard, stitched balls only her mind’s eye could see…sailing through time and space … sateliltes of love. She gave her sketches to her teachers, the nuns at St. Mary’s school on Richland Street (still standing and operating!). They gave her little prizes for her skills: penny prayer cards (pretty picture in front, prayer in Polish on back), or little plastic statues of the Blessed Mother or Saint Joseph.
Paddock worshipped winning money – an unhappy addict. A brutal killer who didn’t see, like I did on YouTube news, that pretty girl with long hair in short denim jeans and sexy cowgirl boot go down mid run to safety. She was hit with a bullet in her middle but like a young beautiful deer in shock got up and holding her stomach, ran, kept running. In shock. Would this lithe beauty die???
Trump never mentioned her or the others who were in the madman’s shooting gallery. Gun control? Not a peep from Trump on universal background checks, something most Americans want.
Trump is a demagogue, a slick, creepy divider of Americans, not a healer like FDR or Obama…
… but a killer, like Paddock. A killer of America, Ma, the immigrant’s dreams, science, good sportmanship, baseball’s highest ideals …
Donald Trump, our murderer in chief.
Las Vegas Massacre
By Ron O’Clair
Our country is being divided by hatred. Virulent anti-American hatred of all sorts, mainly directed at those who support President Donald J. Trump.
Stephan Paddock, a 64-year-old American citizen, decided for whatever reason, to barricade himself into two adjoining hotel rooms, bust out the windows and fire into a crowd of thousands of concert goers, killing 59 outright and injuring more than 500, many of whom are clinging to life as I write this column. The death toll may go higher if some of those injured succumb to their wounds.
Paddock’s family was shocked, they had no clue he was even capable of doing such a thing. All the facts are not in as of yet, and there is much speculation as to his motives, and what kind of help he had during this attack on innocent concert goers. The official narrative points to a “lone gunman” at this time, though there are many who seem to think that there was more than one shooter involved.
We do know that this man had acquired an arsenal of weapons and deliberately shot defenseless people from afar indiscriminately, not caring who was killed or injured.
This kind of killing is on the rise in our country. There are many who blame the weapons for the tragedy. …
Now, with this latest outrage there is a growing swell of support for enacting more laws prohibiting firearms. We have been unable to come up with a solution to this type of indiscriminate killing which has been happening off and on in America since the Texas Tower shooting back in the 1960s, when a lone gunman barricaded himself atop a Texas University Tower and began killing whomever crossed his sights.
This author has no solution to offer.
I do not believe there is one – other than to remain vigilant and aware of what is going on in our own neighborhoods around the country.
I believe we need to be more proactive with neighborhood watch groups willing to report suspicious activity to the police for investigation/action.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this latest American tragedy and their extended family members. I pray to the God of my understanding that America can learn from this tragedy and hopefully prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.
Ron O’Clair, comments? email@example.com
LOVE YOU, TOM!!
By Rose T.
Tom Petty put the HEART in heartland rock! He’s on the soundtrack to so many of our lives! Name me a Baby Boomer who doesn’t have a TP album or hasn’t gone to a TP concert? Still searchin’ that cobweb-covered cranium of yours?? Ha! … I remember being 19 at my first Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers concert: every bone in my young body, calcium-rich – and still growin’!! … My friend’s lighter, like the thousands in the arena raised by fans and groupies, flickering in the darkened, “weedy” mega youth”church”…The both of us glancing at each other. Smiling.
“Wherever you are tonight / I wish you the best of everything … It’s over before you know it.” – Tom Petty
By Parlee Jones
(my Sun’s birthday. He is a Black Man)
Colin Kaepernick did not stand during the national anthem at a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers in August, 2016. After the game, Kaepernick stated his decision to choose not to stand for the anthem saying, “I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed.”
Colin’s silent protest hit a nerve within me. Since that time, I, myself, and my children have not stood for the national anthem or pledge. I will continue to sit in silent protest for Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Michael Brown and all the other victims of murder by police that look like my sun. I am also tired of police brutality, the school to prison pipeline and other abuses under white supremacy and the present systems that control America.
I am an American. My ancestors on my dad’s side kidnapped and brought to America under the guise of slavery long ago. My mom’s people migrated from Italy.
I understand that some people may have a hard time separating peaceful protest and “disrespect of a flag and song,” but that is not a concern of mine.
Those folks are telling me that they see the value of a piece of cloth and words to a song mean more than the life of a Black man, woman or child. Kind of like a vote for Trump really says to me you are a racist. White folks may see this differently, but trust me when I say a majority of People of Color see you as racist if you voted for Trump. Regardless of your reasoning.
I know many that feel they live in two worlds. Many people of color have two lives. Myself included. Their time in the “business / work / corporate / professional” world (with white folks) and time at home w/ family and loved ones where the “social norms” are not expected and they can be free to live their true culture and way of life. Many people do this unconsciously.
W.E.B. Du Bois wrote over a century ago:
“It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness — an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.”
There are many videos online with Fannie Lou Hammer, Marcus Garvey, James Baldwin, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and many others that speak on why Black Folks have been torn with their experience in America.
Some People of Color try to assimilate into “white society” and unfortunately, they are always reminded that they are not white. Some children / people who are “mixed” struggle with this dynamic. But that is another article for another time. One drop of Black blood made you Black back in the day … I’m just saying.
I will end saying this. If you are not a person of color, please do not try to tell People of Color what racism feels like or looks like, how they should react and how you think they should do something. You are not walking in our shoes and really have no idea of what you are talking about.
I say this with love and sincerity.
Peace & Blessings
Text and photos by Ron O’Clair
I was pleased to have been able to attend on September 16 the block party at Stone Soup at 4 King St., in the rear parking area of the renovated and fully functional building that had nearly burned to the ground some time ago. It was a long process of renewal that saved that building from the wrecking ball. It took a lot of time and a lot of effort to secure the funds needed to make this happen. It was a Herculean effort that has paid big dividends for the neighborhood …
… with its programs being housed there.
Stone Soup is the headquarters for Earn-A-Bike, which is a really cool program that teaches children how to repair/build bikes, and the kids who volunteer end up with a free bike. It teaches kids the importance of hard work and saving for what you want in the world. There are many life lessons taught here, as they instruct the lucky recipient children in the art of making something whole again from a bucket of parts scavenged from other bikes that have been donated in various states of disrepair. They learn how to fix their own bicycles, too, and that can have an advantageous effect on their future development because they get to see what makes things work and understand a bit about how to make them work with a little effort. Plus they learn skills that can be applied at work or future jobs. It really is a unique program, one that should be emulated across the country, if you ask this author. It is a great program that, unfortunately, is being underutilized.
There is also the EPOCA organization, which advocates for removing roadblocks put in place that prevent ex-felons from gaining employment and housing in their attempts to re-integrate back into the community after their release form prison. I support this organization fully due to my own oldest brother John Jr. having been killed in August of 1973 when I was 12 because he COULD NOT get a job in an economy where they were so plentiful you could quit a job in the morning and have another by that afternoon, starting the very next day.
That was 1973 Worcester, with factories running three shifts around the clock, such as Robinson Thread, Worcester Knitting and many more in the Industrial Parks that dotted the Worcester Landscape.
My brother faced the challenges the EPOCA folks face today, where after release from prison, and having paid for their crime with their time, they find they face a monumental obstacle that prevents them from obtaining employment and housing based upon their criminal convictions with a bad CORI report.
EPOCA works to address these issues so that the recidivism rate will drop. It is a truly worthwhile effort, as I believe in rehabilitation for all!
In the accompanying photographs, you will see the crowd that showed up for the burgers, hot dogs, Table Talk pies, Polar Soda’s, and other goodies – all free to the neighborhood …
It was a good time to be had by all. You had a chance to mingle with your neighbors!
Parlee Jones, our own CECELIA/InCity Times writer had a spot at the table with her goods for sale which appealed to the women present (there was nothing there that interested me as a man). It was good to see my friend and colleague Parlee Jones …
… whom I have a great respect for – and also a Bob Marley oversized cigarette lighter (she doesn’t smoke – it is for her candles). I wish I had known Parler was going to be at the event so I could have given it to her. When I got it, I said, Oh, Parlee would love this, she LOVES Bob Marley (and puts on the city-wide celebration every year at the WP library) … so I picked it up at the yard sale I was at for her. (This was like 2 years ago, I really need to get my gift to her pronto!)
There is a gentleman who is the owner of the “Woo Rides” who came by on his Pedi-cab to offer free rides as an inducement to generate some business for his fledgling enterprise of carting people around Worcester.
There was a sound truck in the next driveway over that was used to carry the message of various speakers to the crowd. It was provided by an on call 1 hour notice D. J. service that I failed to get the name of, but if you need that type of service I am sure the good people of Stone Soup can tell you how to get in touch with the D.J.
It was a great time at Stone Soup! More than 200 people celebrated! I support all they do in our community, and I know there are other groups that I have not listed here that work out of that building as well.
I hope you found this article interesting and that you support Earn-A-Bike with donations of bicycles in any state or condition. Don’t throw your used bike out! Please donate it for the children of Worcester at Earn-A-Bike.
I also hope you support the EPOCA 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that supports ex-offenders who are trying to reintegrate into society and face challenges that, if not removed, lead to higher rates of recidivism. It is in the best interest of all to get people the help they need to STAY out of prison and become productive tax payers once again!
Please email Ron O’Clair – Ronaldoclair@hotmail.com – with any comments.
By Boa Newgate
This is Marc. …
Marc is serving his second year in the Army Reserves. Marc spends most of his time working and volunteering at the Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts (SEAC).
Anh Vu Sawyer, the executive director at SEAC, has often said: “It’s because of Marc and all the staff, SEAC has been able to serve the more than 9,000 clients who visit a year, in addition to reaching out to more than 5,000 individuals during outreach events to assist them with many of their needs.”
Marc’s contribution in the community and at SEAC leading the youth program has certainly helped SEAC to be recognized as a trusted non-profit organization serving immigrants and refugees. It was given numerous awards for the work it has been doing for the community – Community Hero, Humanities Award, Best Small Nonprofit Award to name a few.
Through his work with mental wellness programs and the suicide prevention program, and as a mentor to other youth, Marc has saved lives. He is a positive role model for many youths in and outside of Worcester. As a US military reserve, Marc aims to protect this country. He is loved by all he serves and works with: students, colleagues, friends, family and many members of his community. Marc is an everyday hero in the eyes of all who know him.
But Marc has a secret: one that has kept him in the dark. This secret gave him anxiety and great agony for many years, but he finally got the courage to share his story to me. He doesn’t want to live in fear anymore. He wants to empower others like him. Marc is a Dreamer … protected by DACA.
President Obama created DACA in 2012 in an executive order to help the children of immigrants, covering more than 800,000 people.
DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was drawn up after Congress failed to pass the DREAM (Development, Relief, Education for Alien Minors) Act.
There are certain qualifications for DACA: one must have arrived in the US before 2007 and be under the age of 16 with no criminal record. This ensures that those under DACA have a good purpose and that they are people who have earned and deserve their part in it. DACA recipients are given temporary legal status in America. They are given a Social Security card, given the ability to obtain a work permit – but they cannot apply for citizenship.
They pay their share in taxes and also pay $500 every two years to renew their status.
Tom K. Wong, an assistant professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego, oversaw a national survey of 3,063 DACA holders last month and found that “on average [these people] were six and a half years old when they arrived in the U.S. Most of them — 54 percent– were under the age of 7″ (factcheck.org).
100% of DACA recipients have no criminal record and 91% have jobs, but they have limited term.
They get nothing for free in this country.
They have dreams and aspirations just like everyone here. This is their home, they have no fault of their own when they arrive here. They are children of immigrants that came from very dangerous places. Their families risk their life to be here, seeking protection, freedom and a better life for their families, just like the original settlers of America.
On September 5, 2017, the Trump administration began its efforts to rescind DACA. The Trump administration gave Congress six months to come up with “a fix” before the federal government officially stopped renewing permits.
At this point, if I didn’t convince you that rescinding DACA is inhuman, here’s an economic perspective: “Ending DACA would hurt the U.S economy!” We could lose hundreds of thousands of jobs, more specifically we would lose “$460 billion in economic output over the next decade, as well as $24.6 billion in contribution to Medicare and Social Security” (Progressive Advocacy Group Center for American Progress and FWD.us).
Marc and the other Dreamers were brought to this country by their parents at a young age, meaning that they had no say in the decision of living here. But they have considered this country HOME –
the only country they have ever known. This is the only place they know of, have roots, with most of them residing here for the majority of their childhood.
If the Dreamers lose DACA, they’re potentially losing all they know and love. They have their culture in their hearts, but America is their home they love, and they will do their best to take care of and protect it. It’s cruel to kick people out of their homes.
By Rosalie Tirella
Fight for $15!
Woo City Councilor Mike Gaffney
The toxic shenanigans of Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney…
…whose political future is disintegrating right before his – and our – eyes! (No mayoral win for you, Gaffer! EVER!)
Another self-inflicted cannon ball to the nuts, Mikey! Yesterday you were planting flowers all over town, today you smear Bird-shit all over my city!!!
Has there ever been a creepier councilor in Worcester?
What did Worcester do to get this reactionary? (I mean, besides voting for him?)
How thin-skinned can one un- charismatic politician be? “Punishes” editor Walter Bird for a goofy little item in his paper that tweaked the Gaffer. Just a tweak. But the tweak makes Gaffney go nuts… ballistic! The paragraph wounds him to the soul. Cuts like a butter knife. Scorches like a match flame.
So he decides then and ONLY THEN to dump sexual creep allegations on editor Bird! Gets him removed from his job, too, as the paper’s publisher investigates these serious allegations. Important to remember: Allegations dumped on Worcester only after Gaffney was rubbed the wrong way by Walt…(so Gaffer is no feminist!) We’re talking ONE PARAGRAPH here, folks! A little blurb in a catch-all column.
Can you imagine if the newspaper had been a real alternative rag, like the late great Boston Phoenix or The Village Voice?! Hell, those papers would take no prisoners and CALL A REACTIONARY A REACTIONARY! They would not let Gaffney get away with the evil stuff he gets away with here! They would call him out at every turn!
Truth? Walter Bird has pretty much always handled the Gaffer with care.
Cuz he’s a conservative guy too who agrees with much of what Gaffer stands for when it comes to the issues: minimum wage, taxes, etc. On his FB page Walter Bird once railed against then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, calling her, like many conservatives did: Hil-LIE-ary. Walter was never out to get Gaffney. Walter is no libby. He is your average Woo reporter: below average writer, cliche-wielding, basically conservative.
This is Worcester, folks! Things get stupid here, but Gaffney has sent our metropolis off the rails hurtling into outrageously nasty planets (unless you’re talking Paulie Collyer, a Gaffney mini-me and a guy who’s just as thin-skinned and vindictive as Gaffney). I mean, what kind of fourth-rate politician punishes a fourth-rate writer for not handling him with kid gloves? A Sicko pol, that’s who!
A Worcester that loses!
Political players that do NOT inspire: Gaffney AND political gadfly Paul Collyer, hate-sower-sewer Turtle Boy Aidan Kearney and all his gangsta-writers, Turtle Boy BFF poet laureate and Woo rogue lawyer Margaret Melican, plus the usual enablers: Billy, Artie, Johnny…)
Politics that do not illuminate
Politics that don’t make the world a better place
About five years ago we were Googling Walter Bird and stumbled on some of the stuff that the Gaffer is vomiting up now. I read a Twitter exchange between a 40- something Walter Bird and a very pretty early-20 something young lady. Ol’ Walt was really pushing himself on the gal. A real creep. She resisted. It was pretty gross. But the gal was not a minor. She was, I thought, someone he might have met at a bar and wanted to fuck. Yeah, there was a huge age gap and yeah he was TOTALLY UNATTRACTIVE in this Tweet little conversation, but he was single, the girl did not totally shut him down, she held her own, eventually put him off, let him know she wasn’t nibblin’. Not interested.
Yeah, Walt Bird came on strong, but I did not think he crossed a line. He was creepy but not illegal. The gal was of age. An adult. She handled the creepy situation OK. So I didn’t write the blog post. Chalked it up to just some Saturday night bar blather, courtesy of a loser guy so in love with himself he can’t see he’s a loser.
I do not know how Walter Bird has conducted himself at his paper, but, when it comes to the paper’s young women/interns, if he acts and writes like what I read in his Tweets a few years ago HE SHOULD DEFINITELY NOT BE AROUND these young women in the office!! He is no role model! Not to be trusted. If I had a college-aged daughter, I would not let her anywhere near the desk of Walter Bird. She would intern at CECELIA, where the talented writers roost!
As for Gaffney, expect more of the same. He’ll keep his political base because of his sick, race-baiting, ultimately women-hating stunts and fiscally conservative council votes but, like Prez Donald Trump, he won’t grow his political coalition because of the deplorable stunts –
the stunts that make him a hero to his base!
Gaffney is a pathological liar, manipulator … a spinner of fakeness … He always will be.
Ask yourselves (like we do with Trump): Is this guy mentally ill?
I mean, where is the Gaffer coming from?
Abuse in a childhood foster home?
Extreme childhood neglect?
From whence does his anger, vindictiveness, arrogance and (at his core) self-loathing spurt?
How thin-skinned can one un- charismatic politician be?
People tell us Gaffney comes from nothing, had a crappy youth, worked for everything he has … is self-made.
But made into what?
But first …
State and county fairs: Cruelty on the midway
By Jennifer O’Connor
Every time my phone rings between April and October, I brace myself for what’s coming: a caller reporting appalling abuse at a state or county fair:
Ponies tethered to turnstiles plodding in endless circles for 12 hours a day.
Chained bears forced to beg for marshmallows.
Bagged goldfish dumped in garbage cans after being won as prizes.
Why do fair boards continue to book these cruel and exploitative displays and allow animals to be treated as objects?
Life on the fair circuit is anything but fun and games for animals.
The logistics of moving from venue to venue mean a revolving door of cages, chains, crowds and chaos. There’s never enough time to allow animals to rest or give them a reprieve. It’s too expensive to pay a veterinarian to travel with these convoys, so animals who are ill or injured may go untreated. After all, not many small towns have vets with experience in colicky camels, sick sea lions or ailing alligators.
Bob Steele, who hauls bears around on the fair circuit, has been cited over and over again for failing to provide a bear who had large patches of hair loss with veterinary care.
He has also been cited for housing the bears in unsafe structures and for putting them as well as the public at risk in his Great Bear Show. Steele hauls an arthritic, aging bear around the country and admits to feeding the bears Skittles and M&M’s.
But nearly all the animal exhibitors that you see at your local fair have deplorable records of animal care – and since no one is monitoring caravans on the move, there’s no way of knowing how many animals have suffered and died along the way.
Reptiles and fish are specifically excluded from protection under the federal Animal Welfare Act, and horses and ponies used for entertainment aren’t regulated, either.
So as far as the law is concerned, that “world’s largest alligator” jammed inside a sweltering box and that goldfish being bombarded by ping-pong balls are no different from stuffed animals.
And there are no regulations against forcing ponies to give rides until they can’t take one more step. It’s pretty much a free-for-all.
Then there are all those “agricultural” displays, in which animals are viewed as commodities to be “scored.” Earlier this summer, there was a collective “Aww” when a photo ran of a 15-year-old and his cow nestled close to each other sound asleep at the Iowa State Fair. Yet that cow is destined to be treated as nothing more than a milk machine. When she’s too spent to produce another drop, she’ll be slaughtered.
What does it say about society’s mindset when children are encouraged to participate in programs such as 4-H that ultimately mean the exploitation or death of an animal they’ve befriended and whose trust they’ve actively courted?
Forward-thinking fair boards know they must evolve — and they are. Techie “petting zoos” are replacing tired ponies, and fairgoers are standing in line to ride Segways instead of elephants. Cruel animal displays are being removed to make way for fresh and innovative exhibits that appeal to a generation that cares about animals and our planet. Fair boards still clinging to archaic displays that no compassionate person wants to see are doing a disservice to their local communities by holding on to relics from an unenlightened past, and they’re destined to see dwindling crowds.
Greetings [from the Worcester NAACP branch],
There is much to talk about in these perilous times, and there is so much we need to do to “resist” against the racial hatred and bigotry espoused by those who identify with white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups.
It is time to unite and say “enough is enough.”
The display of hatred we witnessed in Charlottesville must never happen again.
The national organization of the NAACP is extending ways you can take action by: sharing what issues matter to you, contact your representative regarding President Trump’s lack or moral clarity, and signing a petition to abolish the Electoral College.
Please go to the following link to take action today! http://www.naacp.org/campaigns/unite-us/
There is much we need to do to make sure that the values of justice, equality and inclusiveness remain strong in our city.
We can’t do this alone, we need to stand and work together. The next few events were are planning demonstrate our commitment to stand with our brothers and sisters in Worcester.
With “Songs of Hope,” the Black and Jewish communities unite to push back against hatred with a musical expression of hope, endurance and triumph.
“Faith in Worcester, Day of Prayer” unites faith-based leaders (Christian and non-Christian) in healing and lifting up our elected officials, protectors, healers, educators, all those who serve and live in our great city, and those who are suffering.
We will empower young people at our Candidates Forums as they facilitate and ask the candidates questions that concern our communities.
We look forward to working with your group or organization in the future.
[Mark your Calendars!]:
“Songs of Hope,” September 10th @ 4 pm, Belmont A.M.E. Zion Church
“Faith in Worcester Day of Prayer,” October 3rd @ 5:30 pm, City Hall, Worcester (rain date October 10th @ 5:30 pm)
“Candidate Forums- City of Worcester Councilor At-Large” October 18th & October 25th, 6 pm – 8 pm, Worcester Youth Center
“New Americans” – Update by Dr. Thomas Doughton, Worcester NAACP Executive Committee Member at Large.
… We are looking for volunteers and donors for “Songs of Hope.”
Thank you, and please consider joining the Worcester NAACP!
Worcester Unit, NAACP
4 East Central St., #484
Worcester, MA 01613