Category Archives: InCity Yum Yums

Trump clone Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney and his Resolution (or Revolution?!) of Hatred

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You see this big sign when you enter Worcester City Hall from the city parking garage. It WELCOMES ALL TO WORCESTER! photo: R. Tirella

By Rosalie Tirella

Take City Councilor Michael Gaffney (PLEASE!). Has there ever been such a dangerous Worcester City Councilor? Such a loathsome opportunist, cynic, headline-grabber and power-snatcher posing as a city “leader”? A demagogue lurking beneath a friendly, penguin-emblazoned sweat-shirt, force smiling that weird, serpentine smile of his and doing all sorts of nefarious things to my beloved city? Worcester’s  own snake in the grass!

Michael (Mike) Gaffney’s goal?

Pure raw power.

And to overthrow the Democrats who, for the most part, have run this city for decades.

Gaffney wants a Republican-lead Worcester and he, already the head of the city’s Republican committee. wants to be crowned her king.

Screw the  fairly progressive Democratic Gateway City we all live in and pretty much love. Welcome to carnage-strewn Trumpland! Welcome to Gaffney shitsville where people, especially minorities, are thrown under the bus daily.

If we aren’t smart and vigilant, Gaffney – with the help of his friend and personal public relations machine, the racist, classist Aidan Kearney of Jefferson, the evil voice of the hate-spewing Turtle Boy blog  – could become our next mayor! Think I’m kidding? Worcesterites are getting used to Gaffney’s creepy, slippery ways. And he’s smart: people often don’t realize he’s playing them, playing on their deepest prejudices when he decides to run hard with a (wedge) issue on the City Council floor and wants their support. Or when he conflates two issues and ends up scapegoating a minority group. Or when he just fucks with our heads, sowing racial intolerance and chaos.

Forget about leading a  complex, diverse, very cool Gateway City! Gaffney is all about hatred.

Gaffney, a relative newbie to the Worcester City Council, is the exact kind of morally bankrupt asshole you’d expect to be vomited up during these toxic Trump times! His ideas, his speeches, even his supporters are all taken from the Donald Trump playbook. Our insane PRESIDENT😰😫😫 has made it ok for politicians like Gaffney to behave in racist, divisive, bigoted ways. Trump has, perversely, validated their un-American-ness! Because he’s the biggest fascist!

So Gaffney throws a bomb on to the City Council floor every other week!

He traumatizes the City of Worcester with his red herrings for mere political gain and to weaken the city’s present power structure. Gaffney’ll pounce on any issue – or create one – that he thinks will hurt our mayor, Joe Petty, and make him (Gaffney) the hero. Gaffney will say anything or float any nutty, racially explosive idea to gain the upper hand. Usually it’s one that is somehow connected to vulnerable subsets of our people – for example: the minority-run Mosaic Group or City Councilor Sarai Rivera and her property. Gaffney beat those issues and people to death. He was able to be so merciless because both issues’ main players were people of color. And there are lots of bigots in this town (all Turtle Boy readers) who cheered him on!

Now we’ve got the latest Gaffney-manufactured shit-storm, another racial and ethnic hornets nest, with our weakest brothers and sisters (many children) at its heart: Next city council meeting City Councilor Michael Gaffney is ASKING THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL TO WEIGH IN ON SANCTUARY CITIES. TO, IN A VERY PUBLIC WAY, DECLARE THAT WORCESTER IS OR IS NOT A SANCTUARY CITY. Gaffney is demanding that his City Council colleagues  sign on to – or not! – the anti-Sanctuary City resolution he has so craftily crafted!

What garbage. What bull shit. What a way to make the City Council fritter away the city’s time! This has nothing to do with making Woo a better city! Gaffney has set up this situation up so he can WIN POLITICAL POINTS – and he wins either way!

He hurts Mayor Joe Petty and the Dem power structure in town no matter how the council votes. Just bringing this shit resolution on the council floor opens the floodgates to race baiting, group-hating and soul-sapping arguments between Woo residents and among Woo City council members. Rotten words and hurt feelings will rule the day as we rue the day!

Gaffney does not give a fig that he teases out all kinds of racist feelings in our community,  exploits people’s deepest prejudices and obfuscates the real issues.

He willfully chooses to make things murky! He uses people. He keeps Worcesterites from understanding each other and learning the truth about each other!

On Gaffney’s watch there is no bending that arc towards justice! Just more hatred in hate-filled times.

So, this is what the Gaffer’s true intentions are:

1. To get the mayor and city council to say: YES, we’re a SANCTUARY CITY.

2. To get the mayor and city council to say: NO, we’re not a SANCTUARY CITY.

If they go with #1 they make all their constituents happy and do the right thing, but the City, thanks to President Trump, loses millions of dollars (except for cops) in federal funding. Also: the more conservative folks in Worcester, plus all our racists and bigots, will hate them and try to vote them out of office in November.

If they go with #2, their constituents and supporters will be devastated and Worcester’s most vulnerable folks will be scapegoated, sent back to violent lands, torn apart. They will be broken-up and broken-hearted. We’ll get the federal monies, but we’ll lose a good chunk of our collective soul.

In the meantime,  a crazy, evil, confused and confusing debate swallows up our city.

Thanks to City Councilor and mayoral candidate Michael Gaffney.

For Gaffney to create this kind of civic havoc is wrong.

For him to create a scenario, under the guise of his stupid SANCTUARY CITY RESOLUTION, divides folks. It pits one group of people against another, magnifies our slight differences and attempts to erase our shared humanity.

It’s just not right!

As we say here in lower Vernon Hill: Michael Gaffney’s a PIECE OF SHIT.

Food justice in Worcester! REC’s Winter Mobile Farmers Markets roll into action!

From REC:

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The 2nd session of REC’s Winter Mobile Farmers Markets starts on Wednesday, February 1

It runs through Thursday, May 11!

Be sure to stop by one of our stops for any/all of your local vegetable, cage-free egg, grass-fed beef, and other speciality item needs!

WEDNESDAYS:

9-11am: Green Hill Towers
(In the Community Room)
27 Mount Vernon St, Worcester

12-2pm: Family Health Center of Worcester (1st Floor Lobby)
26 Queen St, Worcester

THURSDAYS:

8-10am: Seabury Heights
240-244 Belmont St, Worcester

11am-1pm: The Worcester Senior Center (in the Main Lobby)
128 Providence St, Worcester

Human Kind – be both!

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Dorrie🐱🐶🐯🐰🐵🐻🐼💝!

By Dorrie Maynard

Here’s a feel-good story for you: It’s about a woman who helped save and trap two of the luckiest feral kittens in Worcester!

The woman’s name is Melissa and the two (twin?)sister kittens are named Daisy and Delilah. They are completely black and precious!

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Daisy and Delilah!

They were born outside, in the elements, and now live the life of kitty royalty. Melissa had owned a cat years ago, but for a very long time, after it died, she never got another one until she saw these kittens, homeless and helpless, in her backyard.

She got in touch with me. We set live traps in her yard. There were originally four kitties: one must have been taken in by someone else, and one of the others had died right before Melissa was going to take her in. Melissa was devastated but determined to save the two remaining kittens.

Like all feral kittens – kittens born to feral cats and are unused to human contact – these babies were afraid of humans and being inside Melussa’s home at first. But Melissa showed them love, fed and cared for them. They came around!

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Now they are HOME! They have complete run of Melissa’s house, every cat toy, cat comfort, the best of food and cat parents who couldn’t be happier with their cuties.

Not only did Melissa and her husband take in these two kittens, they helped me to trap and transport eight other cats in the neighborhood to be spayed/neutered and vaccinated and then to be re-released in the neighborhood, where they could be as healthy as possible and not reproduce, ending the cylce of that feral colony.

Feral cats usually live two or three years in outdoors, alone, exposed to whatever is out there: cars, poison, lack of food, sub zero temps – and die horrific deaths! When the cats came back after being “fixed” by the vet, Melissa hated the thought that they would be put out right away, so she made plans to keep them in her basement for a few days. That turned into a complete night-
mare. The cats (wild) were so freaked out they started jumping and breaking things. She said she could hear glass crashing down there! She and her husband went down to clean up the glass because they were afraid the cats would cut themselves and decided to let them run back outdoors through the bulk head door. They thought they had all run out until Melissa went downstairs a few days later and realized there was at least one or two cats still down there.

They let the bulk head open again, and finally the remaining cats made their way out. Melissa and husband Dan made a very lovely feral cat house for the cats – shelter, warmth – but the cats
have not used it yet, according to a neighbor who feeds them and allows they to hang out on their porch.

Hopefully, this colony of cats will figure it out and start to use it – especially now that the weather has turned bitter.

Melissa has already taken her two kittens to a wellness visit and has plans to have them spayed this month.

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Daisy and Delilah hit the jackpot when they were welcomed into Melissa and Dan’s home and life!

Sometimes it does take a village to make good things happen! This couple and their neighbors cared enough to have the stray/wild cats in their neighborhood fixed so they will stop breeding. They set up housing for them and are committed to keeping the cats fed and watered.

Thanks to the Worcester Animal Rescue League (WARL) – they first got the phone call about the cats and then handed the kitty project over to Spay Worcester. Spay Worcester then asked for a volunteer to spearhead the round up.

And so the story goes…

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE STORY OF A BOYCOTT THAT CHANGED THE WORLD

editor’s note: we re-run this ICT column by our old friend Bill Coleman – hoping all is well with Bill and so missing his passion! – R.T.

By William S. Coleman III

He never held a public office, he was never appointed ambassador to the United Nations, and he was not the bishop of his church. The world knew him as a Southern Baptist preacher who was thrust into the national limelight because he saw things that were wrong and he tried to make them right.

The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was an educated man who, like his father, preached the word of God as an ordained minister. He could have been assigned to a middle-class neighborhood where he could have conducted weddings, baptisms, funerals and local fund raisers for its church and its congregations.

He could have lived a simple life, not challenging the local status quo or political leaders. He could have just preached “tranquilize” to his congregants and “gradualism” to those wanting to live in a community where people felt they had the right to live free. Dr. King, as he was known after he received his Doctorate of Philosophy degree from Boston University, was very happy enjoying family life with his wife Coretta and their children.

But there was a storm brewing in his heart that would challenge the times for which he lived. America was about to erupt into a modern day civil war on injustice.

When we research the time and era for which Dr King began his early preaching ministry, we see an America separated by race, gender, class, education, religion, economics and political power.

This was an America where the nation was separated by cultural regions and a living Mason/Dixon line that was alive and taking great tolls. American sports teams in the most prominent colleges in the country were segregated, black and white players could not be on the same sports team. County Sheriffs and local police departments would not hire able and capable African American men to serve in their departments.

It would be hard for young people today to imagine not being able to talk to a friend simply because the color of that friend’s skin or accent in that friend’s voice was not the same as ones of their parents.

We seem to work in a world today of multiple diversities. We can’t imagine drinking from a water fountain that said whites only or use by colored people only. One could not think that going to a movie meant sitting on one side with all white patrons or being up in the nose bleed section of the balcony which was set aside for Negroes as blacks were once called.

As we look back on those times we see that our schools were segregated, our churches were divided and woman’s place was below a man’s. America was on the verge of an uprising that would push the civil rights movement of our nation’s quest for equality and right to challenge the way things were.

The young preacher had no idea what he was about embark on, when a group of church leaders asked him to help stop end the discriminatory practice that forced black Americans to ride in the back of the bus. Dr. King was invited to speak with some community leaders about ending this practice, those established powerful and controlling white male leaders said to Dr. King: we cannot change this practice, it is the way it is.

They warned him not to aggravate and get people all riled up. This practice would stay.

Dr. King, appealing to the good nature of these gentlemen, was polite and said he would bring their message back to his congregation. When he spoke to the crowd and he shared the many meetings he had with the business and city leaders of that day, he was moved to emotional tears when the city’s black population said we will boycott the buses, said we will walk to our jobs, we will carpool to our businesses, our farms and our churches.

Everybody did just that. For one year. Until this bus boycott stopped an unfair and antiquated practice and started a peaceful nonviolent movement for change and acceptance that influences every movement in America and the world today.

Dr. King got the ball started with the help of some powerful black women and powerful back men, working together with common white and black folks wanting so tirelessly to end modern day segregation in America.

My question to you today…For the next generation of community leaders of every race, gender, persuasion, religious belief, height, size, financial status, ability or disability, street educated or academically institutionally educated…Are we there yet?

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Congressman Jim McGovern Pledges to Fight GOP Repeal of Affordable Care Act

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From Jim’s office:

Today Congressman Jim McGovern, a senior House Democrat, led debate for Democrats against S.Con.Res. 3, the Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Resolution, the House Republican bill to begin the process of repealing of the Affordable Care Act.

“For nearly seven years my Republican friends have railed against the Affordable Care Act. Their well-funded allies have spent billions of dollars distorting the ACA and lying to the American people about what it actually does. And for nearly seven years, there has not been a single comprehensive health care bill brought to the floor by Republicans as a replacement for the Affordable Care Act. Not one!

“We have voted over 60 times to repeal the ACA on the House Floor. I’d be the first to admit the ACA is not perfect. We want to work in a bipartisan way to strengthen it, to make it better. But my colleagues don’t want to do that. They are determined to just vote for an outright repeal and that is going to hurt countless people in this country.”

“The Donald Trumps of the world certainly don’t have to worry about health care if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. If someone in their family gets really sick – they’ll just sell some stocks or close down another American factory, or not pay their workers – as our President-elect has been known to do on many, many occasions.

“As someone who represents Massachusetts, this is especially personal because Medicaid is one of the best tools we have in the fight against opioid addiction, providing real care for the addiction and the underlying conditions that drive the opioid epidemic in our communities. Repealing Medicaid expansion under the ACA would rip coverage away from an estimated 1.6 million newly insured individuals with substance use disorders.

In Congressman McGovern’s closing remarks, he spoke directly to Republicans, “It is a cruel thing to do to take away people’s health care. We believe that health care ought to be a right, I know you don’t. We believe health care protections ought to be in law, you believe they ought to be up to the insurance companies. But this is a lousy thing to do. We’re gonna fight you on this. This is a fight worth having. Protecting people’s health care is something we should all be dedicated to and we’re going to fight you on this.”

*****

Full Text of Congressman McGovern’s Floor Speech:

“For nearly seven years my Republican friends have railed against the Affordable Care Act. Their well-funded allies have spent billions of dollars distorting the ACA and lying to the American people about what it actually does. And for nearly seven years, there has not been a single comprehensive health care bill brought to the floor by Republicans as a replacement for the Affordable Care Act. Not one!

“We have voted over 60 times to repeal the ACA on the House Floor! I’d be the first to admit the ACA is not perfect. But rather than work together to tweak it, to make it better, all we get from them are repeal bills, repeal bills, repeal bills. And let me again point out – not once, not once was a replacement bill offered.

“Not only do Republicans not have a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act and protect access to health care for more than 20 million Americans who gained coverage, they can’t even agree on a timeline for when they’ll pass their replacement.

· President-elect Trump says repeal and replace will be done on the same day and he wants it to happen now.

· Rep. Steve Scalise said Republicans will replace the ACA over the course of the next few months.

· Sen. John Thune said it could take two or three years for the replacement to be implemented.

· Rep. Chris Collins said Republicans have six months to work out the replacement plan.

· Sen. Mitch McConnell refused to even give a timeline, just saying it would happen.

“While Republicans fight for each other over timelines, I think it’s appropriate to ask: If they did have a replacement, what would that replacement be?

“And what, specifically, would they replace the ACA with?

“Well, President-elect Donald Trump has the answer! When asked what we should replace Obamacare with he said, and I quote, “Something terrific.” When pressed for details and more specificity, he said “Something that people will really, really, really like.”

“You can’t make this stuff up! It would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic.

“It’s tragic because what Republicans are trying to do is take health care protections away from millions and millions of families.

“No one in Congress has to worry about health care if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. And the Donald Trumps of the world certainly don’t have to worry about health care if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. If someone in their family gets really sick – they’ll just sell some stocks or close down another American factory, or not pay their workers – as our President-elect has been known to do on many, many occasions.

“But for millions of Americans it will be a different story. Repealing the ACA would mean over 30 million Americans would lose coverage, including nearly 4 million children; more than 52 million individuals with pre-existing conditions could have coverage rescinded or see their premiums dramatically increased; millions of young adults would be unable to stay on their parents’ plans until they are 26; over 14 million individuals enrolled in Medicaid under the expansion would lose coverage; and nearly 140 million individuals with private insurance would lose access to preventive services without co-pays or deductibles.

“And millions of seniors would see their prescription drug prices increase because it would re-open the so-called doughnut hole that the ACA has begun to close.

“Republicans want to slash Medicaid, a health care program that does a lot of good and enables mothers to work their way out of poverty by providing affordable coverage for their children.

“And as someone who represents Massachusetts, this is especially personal because Medicaid is one of the best tools we have in the fight against opioid addiction, providing real care for the addiction and the underlying conditions that drive the opioid epidemic in our communities. Repealing Medicaid expansion under the ACA would rip coverage away from an estimated 1.6 million newly insured individuals with substance use disorders.

“That’s what’s at stake – and that’s what my Republican colleagues are so happy, so giddy, and so excited to do. It is sad. It is pathetic.

“But – they’re moving forward anyway – with no replacement in sight. I suppose they can roll out their oldies but goodies – like health savings accounts or their other healthcare prescription – take two tax breaks and call me in the morning.

“But that doesn’t do it.

“We have a complicated health care system, no doubt. I wish it were simpler. That’s why I’ve always favored a single-payer system and that is why I favor a public option.

“But the problem with our system before Obamacare was that it left all the decisions up to the insurance companies. Do you remember the days when insurance companies could charge women more for health insurance because they said “being a woman was a pre-existing condition?”

“They can’t do that anymore. Why? Not because of my Republican friends. They can’t do it anymore because we passed the ACA.

“It is a cruel thing to do to take away people’s health care. I will say to my Republican colleagues that they need to know that we will fight you every step of the way on this. There are some battles on behalf of the American people that are worth having and worth fighting and this is one of them, making sure that their health care protections remain intact. I came to Congress to help people, not make their lives more miserable.”

“This is a sad day because what we are doing here by voting for this budget is setting in motion a process to deny millions of people health care protections. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to do that.

Is the Affordable Care Act perfect? No. We’re the first to admit that and we want to work in a bipartisan way to strengthen it, to make it better. But my colleagues don’t want to do that. They are determined to just vote for an outright repeal and that is going to hurt countless people in this country. People who have benefitted from no pre-existing conditions. People who have benefitted by being able to keep their kids on their insurance until they are 26. Senior citizens who have benefitted from closing the doughnut hole. I could go on and on and on. All of that is about to be eliminated.

We’re told that there will be a replacement. Someday. Somehow. For six years, over six years, you have been talking about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and replacement and you haven’t brought one bill to the floor. Not one.

“Now, we believe that health care ought to be a right, I know you don’t. We believe health care protections ought to be in law, you believe they ought to be up to the insurance companies. But this is a lousy thing to do. And as I said in my opening statement, we’re gonna fight you on this. This is a fight worth having. Protecting people’s health care is something we should all be dedicated to and we’re going to fight you on this.”

******

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pic: R.T.

Peter Stefan of Graham, Putnam and Mahoney Funeral Home in Main South often helps seniors pay for their prescription meds. Our system is broken! Americans deserve single-payer health care! An expanded version of Medicare is the ticket to a healthier U.S.A! – R. Tirella

Tina Z. 🎋 parked here … WE HOPE TINA RUNS FOR CITY COUNCIL! – nice showing last election cycle, Tina!🎉🎉

HOME …

Artists: Joan Baldwin, Nina Bellucci, Joan Benotti, Jennifer Day, Jenna DeLuca, Matthew Dickey, Erin Diebboll, Gary Duehr, Kevin Frances, Jan Johnson, Kelly Anona Kerrigan, Carol McMahon, Evan Morse, Chelsea Revelle, Soha Saghazadeh, Brittany Severance, Dawn Southworth

Exhibition Dates: January 17 – February 26, 2017

Exhibition locations: Schiltkamp Gallery, Traina Center for the Arts,

Clark University – 92 Downing St.

Gallery Hours: Monday -Thursday, 9-9 / Friday, 9-4 / Saturday & Sunday, 12-5

Opening reception: Wednesday January 25, 4:30 – 6

Gallery Talk with Artists:Thursday, February 9, 12-1

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The word “home” can have myriad associations for each person, but on a broad archetypal level, home conjures the realm of domestic life, a household with various members, a secure dwelling, private space, and a place of sanctuary and refuge.

Home also can be seen as existing in concentric circles – the initial ring being that which encircles the individual and members of a household most closely – whether it be a private house, communal residence, apartment, dormitory, or temporary shelter – followed by larger circles of “hometown” and ever expanding associations with region, nationality, and identity.

To “feel at home” suggests a sense of belonging and comfort. But, of course, it is quite possible not to feel at home in one’s actual domicile or physical location and the concept of home may feel elusive or precarious depending on life circumstances, geography, and politics. The artists in this exhibition offer various perspectives on this universal longing for “home” – the quest for a sense of safety, peace, acceptance, and well-being.

Some of the work confronts issues of displacement and loss, while other pieces depict the simple pleasures of domestic life and the careful construction of personal space.

The potency of everyday objects and the memories they trigger are also a focus of investigation. And a few of these artists play on sentimental or cliché associations of home. Though the stories are often personal, the themes are universal.

This was a juried show in response to an open call. The artists included come from all over New England and range from graduate student to well-established and renowned professional.

This exhibition was curated and installed by the students in ARTS 296 Gallery Culture and Practice, a “problems of practice” course, in which students explore opportunities to connect what they learn in the classroom with issues and matters faced by professionals working beyond the campus.

Those students are: Madison Boardman, Maria Escobar Pardo, Katlyn Greger, Grant Henry, Celine Hunt, Autumn Perez, Aliyah Rawat, F. N. U. Rouran, Andrea Schuster, Andre Toribio, and Amy Yeager.