Category Archives: InCity Voices

Love you, “Mare”!

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Mary Tyler Moore as the lovely but always approachable and real (and funny) Mary Richards…

By Rosalie Tirella

She made having a career look fun! She made the news industry look fun! Being female, single and on your own was an adventure! – not scary, though sometimes lonely. You felt the pathos because Mary Tyler Moore was such a great actor.

You didn’t need a man to make you happy. You could have handsome boyfriends visit you from out of state! You could still keep your career because the Pill was invented 10+ years ago and recently made available to single women who, at least in Mary’s world, knew you couldn’t have it all and didn’t try to have it all. That lie happened in the 1980s, in tandem with the horrific power skirt outfits that were designed to mimick men’s suits, down to the frou frou sash ribbon you wore as your “tie” over your white blouse. Mary Richard’s world was pre-DRESS FOR SUCCESS. You could wear white go go boots and mini skirts to work and throw your tam high into the Minneapolis air! You were an independent woman!

Mary Richards was a success at her job, but she always looked sexy at the office. She didn’t have big boobs or wear low cut sweaters. She just had that gorgeous, willowy body – the body of a former dancer, which Mary Tyler Moore was. Mary Richards could walk-prance her way into your heart. She looked graceful walking from one end of her apartment to the other end in her bathrobe! She made the mundane single woman stuff look glamorous in that beautiful body of hers. Legs long and lean … toe, heel, toe, heel … shoulders slightly curved,  arms loosey goosey by her sides  …

The beautiful Mary Richards showed American women you didn’t need to act all desperate and creepy and manipulative with men if you were over 35 and still unmarried. You didn’t need to have an agenda. You had YOU! You were the carnival ride! The giant M – for “Mary” – tacked on to Mary Richards’ apartment wall confirmed the fact! And, if you watched the show every week like I did as a kid growing up in Green Island, you got the point: Your happiness stemmed from YOU. If you couldn’t walk alone through a city park during winter and not sparkle like the icicles hanging from the tree branches, then you hadn’t made it after all.

You had your job, with co workers who were like family; back at your apartment, you had your upstairs and downstairs neighbors – gal pals Rhoda and Phyllis – another family to tell your problems to, to share your dreams with, to critique your wardrobe with …

Even in our cramped three decker tenement on Lafayette Street, watching the MTM Show while sitting on the old red vinyl couch my mom brought back to Worcester from her 10-year stint as a housekeeper for the Bishop of Springfield (probably his old office furniture), I felt empowered. I wanted to be Mary Richards. I wanted to “turn the world on with a smile/… take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile.”

“WELL, IT’S YOU GIRL! AND YOU SHOULD KNOW IT!”

I hummed along to the Mary Tyler Moore Show opening theme song every week – even though I knew all the words by heart. “R,” for “Rose,” tacked on to a secret place in my heart!

LOVE YOU, MARY! THANKS FOR SHOWING SO MANY OF US THE WAY!

– Rose
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Go, Lettuce Ladies, go!!!

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PETA’s Lettuce Ladies have toured the world — from England to India, and beyond — with their vegan message, helping countless folks turn over a new leaf.

They’re culturally conscious advocates who encourage people everywhere to ditch meat by offering them free, delicious, plant-based meals, …

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… vegan starter kits and leaflets bursting at the seams with information about how our choices affect animals.

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Lettuce Ladies embody empowerment! Our advocates are all volunteers. Lettuce Ladies choose to turn heads to protect animals, improve people’s health, and help fight climate change.

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They know that, unlike themselves, millions of animals suffering and dying on factory farms and in slaughterhouses are never given the chance to consent. Cows, pigs, chickens, minks, foxes, and all other animals exploited by the food and fashion industries have no say in what happens to their bodies, so our Lettuce Ladies use their own to call attention to the plight of these living beings.

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Today, in a society that uses scantily clad models to sell everything from cars to cheeseburgers, those who use their bodies as a political or an emotional statement to call for justice and compassion — as our Lettuce Ladies do — are a breath of fresh air!

From Congressman Jim McGovern …

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Worcester shows pink! … Jim joined the Million!!!!! Women March in D.C. this past weekend! Go, Jim, go!

McGovern Introduces Bill to Overturn Citizens United and Get Money Out of Politics

House, Senate Bills Push Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United

Days after the seven year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the Citizens United case, Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-02) and Representatives Ted Deutch (FL-22) and Jamie Raskin (MD-08) joined Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) in re-introducing the Democracy for All Amendment.

This constitutional amendment would help to reverse the concentration of political influence held by large corporations and the wealthy capable of spending millions of dollars in American elections. To help get big money out of politics and restore democratic power to the American people, this amendment would affirm the right of the people to pass state and federal laws regulating spending in elections.

Congressman McGovern has been a leading voice in Congress calling to get money out of politics and introduced a similar measure to overturn Citizens United in 2011.

“There’s too much money in our politics. It is a corrupting force. It undermines our democracy and drowns out the voices of the people,” Congressman McGovern said. “The Democracy for All Amendment empowers Congress and state legislatures with the ability to limit spending in political campaigns in their respective states. It will help return power to the people and take it out of the hands of special interests. Citizens United was a dreadful decision that has done great harm to our democracy. This is a way to begin to take back our country.

“The Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision reserved meaningful political participation for the rich and wealthy special interests,” said Congressman Deutch. “At every turn and on nearly every issue, from gun safety to climate change, unlimited political spending ensures that Congress is tuned in to the needs of special interests and tunes out the voices of the American people. It’s time to get money out of politics to guard our elections against a dangerous threat that erodes the faith of the American people in our democratic institutions.

“The 2016 election was supposed to be a call to ‘drain the swamp’ — because so many Americans are fed up with business as usual in Washington, where moneyed special interests drown out the voices of regular Americans,” said Senator Udall. “But instead of reform, President Trump has set out rewarding Wall Street insiders and billionaire donors with cabinet and other key positions in the new administration, and the ultra-wealthy and well-connected look to have more power than ever in determining the future of our democracy. Each year, because of Citizens United and subsequent decisions, the door has opened wider for rich special interests and corporations to pour unlimited sums of money into our elections and root themselves in our government.

“The only real way we can put our democracy back in the hands of all Americans, instead of a privileged, powerful few, is to amend the Constitution. Our Democracy for All Amendment restores the authority of the American people – through Congress and the states – to regulate campaign finance, so that our elections aren’t put up for sale to the highest bidder. Millions of people across the country and over a dozen state legislatures, including New Mexico’s, have voiced support for a constitutional amendment, and we must keep pressing forward to ensure a government that is of, by, and for the people.

“Coloradans want commonsense reforms to fix our broken campaign finance system and bring some semblance of sanity to our politics. This constitutional amendment would do that by establishing the authority of Congress and the states to pass reasonable campaign finance rules,” Senator Michael Bennet said. “In order to get Washington working and restore faith in our democracy, we must end the flood of unlimited secret money that’s drowning out the voices of Colorado families.

“Seven years ago, five justices overturned two centuries of jurisprudence to determine that private business corporations enjoy the political free speech rights of the people,” said Congressman Raskin. “Today, after hundreds of millions of dollars in dark money have been spent by CEOs in the name of their unwitting shareholders and billionaires act as our new political bosses and cabinet secretaries, we can see what plutocracy looks like. I’m proud to support the Democracy for All Amendment to rebuild the wall of separation between massive corporate and private wealth and public elections.

“Americans may be divided about many things, but they are united in their belief that the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision was a disaster,” said Robert Weissman, President of Public Citizen. “They know that the political system is rigged, and that Citizens United-enabled spending by corporations and the super-rich is a big part of the problem. It is past time to overturn this decision and get big money out of politics. Public Citizen thanks Rep. Ted Deutch and other sponsors of the Democracy for All amendment for their leadership in advancing this vital initiative.

“Common Cause commends Congressman Deutch, Senator Udall, and many other members of Congress for their leadership in championing the Democracy for All Amendment to help reduce the influence of big money in politics,” said Aaron Scherb, Director of Legislative Affairs at Common Cause. “The Democracy for All Amendment would help ensure that the voices of all Americans can be heard in our democracy even if they can’t hire a lobbyist, make a large campaign contribution, or start a super PAC.

“After the election, it’s clearer than ever that we need money in politics reform,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way. “Super PAC spending during the 2016 cycle was nearly double what it was in the last presidential election. The voices of everyday Americans can’t be heard when wealthy special interests can tilt our elections to fit their interests. We applaud Senator Udall, Representative Deutch, Representative McGovern, Representative Raskin, and the other congressional champions who continue to push for needed reforms like the Democracy For All Amendment.

“We applaud Members of Congress for re-introducing the Democracy For All Amendment to ensure that big money interests will no longer be able to dominate our elections and our government, drowning out the voices of ordinary citizens,” said John Bonifaz, President of Free Speech For People. “To advance the promise of political equality for all and to reclaim our democracy, Congress must pass this constitutional amendment and send it to the states for ratification.

“Americans across the political spectrum know we must have the 28th Amendment so that people, not money and global corporations, govern America,” said Jeff Clements, President of American Promise. “At American Promise, we applaud this progress in Congress and urge cross-partisan support for this effort.”

For chilly winter afternoons …

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Chef Joey shared this recipe with you last year…This Italian soup may be just the ticket to glide through these cold winter days!

Pasta e Fagiole

Recipe and photos by Chef Joey

This is a simple pasta and bean soup – Pasta e Fagiole – quick, easy and delicious!

Enjoy – and stay warm!

Ingredients:

2 large onions diced

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4 cloves of garlic, chopped fine

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½ stick butter or ¼ cup oil for vegan

4 cans of Cannellini beans or white navy beans or 1 bag presoaked (save the liquid!)

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3 tablespoons veggie bouillon

1 large can crushed tomatoes

Package of small pasta cooked, such as Ditalini, which means baby-fingers pasta, “little digits.”

2 quarts water

In a large large pot, melt the butter and add the onions and garlic and coat.

Then add 1 cup of water so the butter/oil does not burn.

Reduce heat and add your veggie bouillon.

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Simmer.

Add the water and all the juice from the beans but not the beans, if canned. If fresh beans, then add so they can cook.

Add crushed tomato and let simmer 20 minutes.

Add the canned beans, if using those, and simmer another 20 minutes.

Spoon cooked pasta into individual soup bowls, pour the hot soup over pasta and serve!

Attn: Mt. Carmel boosters! … TONIGHT! – Thurs! – Historic Commission meeting at 5:30 p.m. – Worcester City Hall

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The steeple of Our Lady of Mount Carmel church, located on Mulberry Street in Worcester’s glorious Italian American East Side neighborhood! pic:R.T.

In the Levi-Lincoln Room (3rd floor)

See you there!

By Mauro DePasquale, president

Our Lady of Mount Carmel church Preservation Society

Please consider this:

1. The Diocese does not want a Historic District. It holds a permit to knock the church down.

2. The Mount Carmel Preservation Society (MPS) wants the Church to be re-opened with masses and to save the parish on Mulberry Street.

3. The Diocese is merging the two parishes but has not committed to seating the parish sacred gathering space on Mulberry street in our historic church. According to the Bishop, the merger is non-negotiable and was a part of the unilateral offering made by the Bishop on December 30. (BTW An offer with no guarantees but to explore possibilities.) While a permit for May demotion continues to be on cue.

4. MPS provided a comprise by offering six points for the Diocese to consider and respond to before we withdraw our petition.

5. The Diocese ignored our request as of this writing and many in our group have interpreted an implied negative message which is to be published in the Jan 22nd bulletin. This is after we held our part of the bargain of delaying our petition, held quiet with the press, upon request of the Bishop, until Jan 10. We had no real choice but to move forward with the petition as vetted by the Worcester City Council, due to time constraints for processing it.

6. Whereas the MPS mission is, in part, to preserve the church – and we have discussed the consequences a number of times with the Board and general membership – and whereas the Bishop has not indicated in anyway that he is willing to even discuss our 6 points, we can choose to either walk away or move forward with whatever hope the Historic District has to offer toward preservation of our sacred space and community anchors.

Our members spoke clearly at our latest meeting on how they wish to proceed. Therefore, we are moving forward with our petition, with hopes the Diocese will continue discussions to truly work toward preserving and re-opening our Church.

7. Our mission is to preserve our Church and, for the time being, the Historic District offers at least a chance to preserve it. With consensus from the membership and our Board, we have little choice but to move forward with open eyes and hearts – open to continue to appeal for the Bishop to have a change of heart in favor of saving and re-opening our historic church.

We believe the Diocese does not want the church to sit there on Mulberry Street as an eyesore. No one does. It deserves better – to be re-opened, with masses celebrated there weekly.

Hopefully, this process will encourage a move toward preservation and real, open, bilateral discussion …

Moving ahead…

Mauro

Who does not like a bun?

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Chef Joey☕🍷🍺🍸🍼!

Text, photos and recipe by Chef Joey

No one!

Here is a great recipe for cinnamon and/or raisin buns. You can make veggie roll ups, sausage bread or whatever you want for fillings. This is a simple, easy way to make a snack – a recipe that will stay with you for life!

There is a quick way to do this and that is to purchase bread dough – or the economical, fresh-and-tasty way: Making your own dough…

4 cups of flour

5 tablespoons of yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ cup oil and warm water until above ingredients feel like dough – usually around one cup.

Mix everything together and let it rise – same with pre-made dough.

After your dough has risen, in a warm, draft-free place – covered, of course! – roll it out, following my pictures:

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If you are making cinnamon buns, melt 1 stick of butter ½ cup sugar and 3 teaspoons of cinnamon.

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Spread the mixture over the two sets of roll outs you get from this recipe.

It is at this point too that you can add raisins that have been presoaked or boiled for maximum plumpness.

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If making something for a football party, you can layer out salami, pepperoni, crumbled cooked sausage and shredded cheese – pasta sauce – or whatever you are craving. And roll it up!

Once rolled, set it on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. If you are making a savory (salt-based) app, you can sprinkle corn meal as a nonstick surface for your treats.

Let it rise – once again in a draft-free area, lightly covered – and preferably warm (a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees works great).

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes to 20 minutes – tops.

If making cinnamon rolls, brush with melted sugar and butter for a shiny effect.

When cooled, slice and serve, and you have the perfect snack.

Freeze them and pull out as many as you feel that you will need as a snack or for a party!

So here is the trivia part of buns … They basically are mini-loaves of bread that were carted around by royalty when they travelled to avoid bread crumbs in their carriages from slicing loaves of bread or breaking baguettes. The “upper crust😉” thought it was great, and the servants liked the easier clean up!🍞

A LETTER TO DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

TODAY! Be there! At Worcester State University …

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editor’s note: I’m re-posting this column written by ICT contributing writer Parlee Jones … – R.T.

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Parlee, center, and family

By Parlee Jones

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

– MLK, Jr.

Dear Dr. King,

As we prepare to celebrate your 8[8]th birthday, and also, the 5[2]st Anniversary of the Selma marches, I thought I would write you a letter, to let you know what’s been going on.

I have been thinking a lot about the civil rights movement and the protests that have been happening since the no indictment verdicts came in Ferguson, Missouri, after the murder of Michael Brown and in the murder of Eric Garner at the hands of the NYPD.

Some people are asking, why are they protesting, what do they want? What do they think protesting and shutting down city streets will do?

My response: What did Dr. King and his supporters think a bus boycott would do? What did they think a 50-mile march would do?

The bus boycott lasted 381 days. For one year and 16 days Black people in Montgomery, Alabama, did not use public transportation! Needless to say, that hit the city in the pocket-book. City officials resisted a long time. Them good old boys did not want those Black folks in the front of their buses. Really!

“Initially, the demands did not include changing the segregation laws; rather, the group demanded courtesy, the hiring of black drivers, and a first-come, first-seated policy, with whites entering and filling seats from the front and African Americans from the rear.

Although African Americans represented at least 75 percent of Montgomery’s bus ridership, the city resisted complying with the demands. To ensure the boycott could be sustained, black leaders organized carpools, and the city’s African-American taxi drivers charged only 10 cents-the same price as bus fare-for African-American riders. Many black residents chose simply to walk to work and other destinations. Black leaders organized regular mass meetings to keep African-American residents mobilized around the boycott.”

This is so powerful!

And then Selma, 10 years later!

Even after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbade discrimination in voting on the basis of race, efforts to register black voters met with fierce resistance in southern states such as Alabama .

In early 1965, you and SCLC decided to make Selma, located in Dallas County, Alabama, the focus of a voter registration campaign.

As you well know, Alabama Governor George Wallace was a notorious opponent of desegregation, and the local county sheriff in Dallas County had led a steadfast opposition to black voter registration drives. As a result, only 2 percent of Selma’s eligible black voters (300 out of 15,000) had managed to register.

You won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, and you drew international attention to Selma during the eventful months that followed.

On February 18, white segregationists attacked a group of peaceful demonstrators in the nearby town of Marion. In the ensuing chaos, an Alabama state trooper fatally shot Jimmie Lee Jackson, a young African-American demonstrator. In response to Jackson’s death a massive protest march from Selma to the state capitol of Montgomery, 54 miles away was planned. A group of 600 people set out on Sunday, March 7, but didn’t get far before Alabama state troopers wielding whips, nightsticks and tear gas rushed the group at the Edmund Pettis Bridge and beat them back to Selma. The brutal scene was captured on television, enraging many Americans and drawing civil rights and religious leaders of all faiths to Selma in protest.

You also led another attempt to march on March 9, but turned the marchers around when state troopers again blocked the road.

That night, a group of segregationists beat another protester, the young white minister James Reeb, to death.

Alabama state officials (led by Walllace) tried to prevent the march from going forward, but a U.S. district court judge ordered them to permit it. President Lyndon Johnson also backed the marchers, going on national television to pledge his support and lobby for passage of new voting rights legislation he was introducing in Congress.

Some 2,000 people set out from Selma on March 21, protected by U.S. Army troops and Alabama National Guard forces that Johnson had ordered under federal control.

After walking some 12 hours a day and sleeping in fields along the way, they reached Montgomery on March 25.

Nearly 50,000 supporters-black and white-met the marchers in Montgomery, where they gathered in front of the state capitol to hear you and other speakers including Ralph Bunche (winner of the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize) address the crowd.

“No tide of racism can stop us,” you proclaimed from the building’s steps, as viewers from around the world watched the historic moment on television.

A movie based on the events of SELMA [was released last year]. Can’t wait to see it with my children, family, friends and their children. Because this is a piece of history from which we need to learn.

“We are faced with marches, protests and boycotts as we face the continued brutality of the police force against young people of color, who end up dead instead of in jail. Not only people of color, but the majority are.

We are developing a network of organizations and advocates to form a national policy specifically aimed at redressing the systemic pattern of anti-black law enforcement violence in the US. We are demanding, that the federal government discontinues it’s supply of military weaponry and equipment to local law enforcement. We are advocating for a decrease in law-enforcement spending at the local, state and federal levels and a reinvestment of that budgeted money into the black communities most devastated by poverty in order to create jobs, housing and schools. This money should be redirected to those federal departments charged with providing employment, housing and educational services.” www.BlackLivesMatter.com

Dr. King, the exposure of the injustices via the internet is world wide. It is so hurtful when these police officers are not found guilty of murder, when the murder took place in front of millions of people.

We are still striving to do this non-violently, but the blind are still so blind. We have our demands and are voting and trying to work through the system. A lot of our friends are still silent. We are trying to help our White allies understand their privilege. We are tired of burying our children. Things have improved since the 1950s and 1960s but, unfortunately, we still have a long way to go.

Happy Birthday, Dr. King! Your words still ring true in this day and time. We need your spirit with us, to help guide us, more than ever! Please stay near.

Peace and Blessings,

Parlee Jones

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YES!!!!! Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church …

… SAVED BY WORCESTER CITY COUNCIL!!!

Yes votes: Bergman, King, Lukes, Carlson, Rivera, Rosen, Russell, Toomey, Petty

No votes (both money guys): Economou, Gaffney

Mayor Joseph Petty at tonight’s city council meeting: “[I] look at this as more than just a church. [It’s] important to Italians, [it] represents history.”

YES!!!!

So much of present-day Worcester is seduced by the doe-eyed gentrifiers, glib developers, charming money-talkers – people whose lives revolve around CASH and PROFIT, what’s on trend, relentless social media marketing, the latest chi chi restaurant (gluttony=fat-assed people), Snapchat and – Poof! You’re gone! Disappeared!

So unlike the REAL SOUL stuff – the bread of life that nurtures you – the REAL you … your church, life-long friends, family, your neighborhood, animals, the sky. The stuff that has nothing to do with money but everything to do with happiness!

Here’s to Our Lady of Mount Carmel – a grand church!

Hooray for her neighborhood rec center that gives back to the community – at low or no cost!

Three cheers for her great inner-city little league baseball field that lets city kids slide into HOME …

“Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me!”
– Jesus Christ

Coincidental?

Today, looking at the Catholic church outside my kitchen window, just as I was about to cut my tomato vine down cuz it looked old and I thought I might put something new and hot there in its place …

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pics: R.T.

… I saw a beautiful tomato! Red and perfect. Pressed against the window sill in red-rosy loveliness …

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I had not noticed it!

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Then I saw another tomato … small – Jaw Breaker gumball-sized small and (truth be told) a bit crinkly. Still cute.

… In spite of the cold, my indifference, Cece’s morning walks though the flora, they grew…

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And this too! My African violet uncurling her purple, little petal hands …

Kudos to Mauro, Candy and the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Preservation Society!

Worcester wins!

– Rosalie Tirella