Category Archives: Music

REC Worcester Earth Day clean-ups … Vegan St. Patty’s Day yum yums … and music 🎵🎶🌹🎵 to our ears!🌸

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From REC:

Saturday, April 8

8 am – 12 pm

We are excited to invite you to join us for this year’s REC Earth Day Neighborhood & Garden Cleanups!

This is truly a community-wide event in which residents come together every year to give Worcester the Spring-cleaning it deserves.

Last year, more than 1,000 volunteers came together to pick up more than 50 tons of trash at over 60 sites in Worcester!!!🌸❤

Let’s do even more this year to make
Worcester cleaner and greener🌻🌺!

WE CAN’T DO IT WITHOUT YOU❤💛💜❤!

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If you would like to help us coordinate the cleanup of a particular site, we encourage you to sign up as a Site Coordinator.

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Otherwise, please sign up as a Volunteer (or group of volunteers) and we will connect you with a site in your area!

This event is only possible because of your volunteerism and commitment to our city. The REC, along with many partners including city government, non-profits, and businesses provide the materials, pick-up services and logistics.

We look forward to working with you!

Please feel free to contact Pat Barnosky with any questions or concerns
– earthday@recworcester.org – 508-799-9139

Thank you for joining with your neighbors and friends to support the 28th Annual REC Earth Day Neighborhood & Garden Cleanups!

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GO VEGAN THIS ST. PATTY’S DAY!🍻🍏

Irish Cabbage Salsa!

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1 cup shredded green cabbage

1/2 cup diced yellow onion

1 carrot shredded

2–3 green onions chopped

2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. whole grain mustard

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

Refrigerate overnight.

Makes about 2 cups

*****

Irish White Bean and Cabbage Stew

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1 large onion chopped

3 ribs celery chopped

2-3 cloves garlic minced

1/2 head cabbage chopped

4 carrots sliced

1-1 1/2 pounds potatoes cut in large dice

1/3 cup pearled barley optional or substitute with gluten-free grain

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

1/2 teaspoon rosemary crushed

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6-8 cups vegetable broth

3 cups cooked great northern beans (2 cans, drained)

1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

salt to taste

Place vegetables, seasonings, barley and broth into a large stockpot.

Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients, check seasonings, and add more herbs if necessary.

Simmer uncovered for at least 15 minutes before serving.

*****
😄😄😄❤

🇺🇸🎵🇺🇸🎶🇺🇸🎵

But first …

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Congressman McGovern leads Democrats calling on GOP House Budget Committee Chair to protect anti-hunger programs

Congressman Jim McGovern, the Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee Nutrition Subcommittee, led last week a group of 18 House Democrats on the Agriculture Committee calling on House Budget Committee Chairman Diane Black (R-TN) and Ranking Member John Yarmuth (D-KY) to protect funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the top anti-hunger program in the country, and to reject attempts to change the structure of SNAP or place additional burdens on those looking to access SNAP benefits.

SNAP currently serves about 43 million Americans in both urban and rural areas, and its entitlement structure allows the program to expand during times of economic hardship and contract as conditions improve. SNAP provides the most vulnerable Americans with a modest nutrition assistance benefit — on average, just $1.40 per person, per meal — to supplement their food budgets. And among those households that can work, the vast majority do in the year before or after receiving benefits.”

In the letter, McGovern and House Democrats write that “SNAP is our nation’s best chance to alleviate hunger across our country. Each year, SNAP provides millions of children, seniors, veterans, and other vulnerable adults with food assistance,” the lawmakers write in the letter. “It is an efficient and effective program that helps families lift themselves out of poverty, and cuts extreme poverty almost in half.

“SNAP improves health, educational, and economic outcomes, and increases the incomes of working families. Recent innovations in the program have encouraged healthier eating and have increased SNAP participants’ consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. An increase in SNAP benefits would likely only improve these outcomes, with recent research confirming that just a $30 increase in monthly SNAP benefits for households could lead to healthier eating and lower rates of food insecurity.”

McGovern and House Democrats write that “Far too many Americans continue to struggle with food insecurity in the United States, and we must preserve the dignity and health of the most vulnerable among us through the basic and reliable food assistance provided by SNAP. We strongly urge you to maintain the entitlement structure of SNAP and reject any attempts to further cut funding or place additional burdens on those looking to access these modest benefits.”

RECENT HEARINGS

During the 114th Congress, the House Agriculture Committee undertook a thorough review of SNAP, holding 18 hearings, hearing more than 30 hours of testimony from over 60 experts which resulted in 830 pages of official hearing record. Both conservative and liberal experts testified that:

· SNAP benefits should not be cut and the current benefits are inadequate;

· SNAP does not discourage program participants from working;

· Case management and job training programs can help to move people out of poverty and

· These efforts require a well-funded, multi-year commitment.

COST SAVINGS

In the letter the lawmakers highlight how the success of SNAP will create new cost savings:

· Between 2007 and 2012, SNAP caseloads and spending grew as a result of the most recent economic recession, but that was to be expected.

· As the economic recovery continues, SNAP participation has declined in recent years.

· As a result of this decline and other factors like low food inflation, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that SNAP will save over $92 billion over 10 years.

FOOD ASSISTANCE CUT OFF IN STATES

However, the lawmakers point out that the recent decrease in SNAP participation is due in part to the return of the three-month time limit in 20 states for non-disabled childless adults who are working less than 20 hours a week.

The lawmakers write that “this time limit has resulted in over a million people losing SNAP benefits in 2016 alone—not based on whether they still need assistance, but because of arbitrary time limits. Further, states are not required to provide job training slots, so some of these vulnerable people lose food assistance even if they are looking for work, but cannot find a job. That is a problem Congress should be trying to fix, not worsen.”

Joining Congressman McGovern were the following House Agriculture Committee Democrats: Representatives Marcia Fudge (OH-11), Tim Walz (MN-01), Rick Nolan (MN-08), David Scott (GA-13), Filemon Vela (TX-34), Alma Adams (NC-12), Jimmy Pannetta (CA-20), Darren Soto (FL-09), Anne McLane Kuster (NH-02), Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), Dwight Evans (PA-02), Stacey Plaskett (VI), Al Lawson (FL-05), Jim Costa (CA-16), Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01), and Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE)

Full Text of Letter to the House Budget Committee on Protecting SNAP:

Dear Chairman Black and Ranking Member Yarmuth:

As Members of the Committee on Agriculture, we write to provide additional views to the Committee’s Budget Views and Estimates letter that was considered and adopted by the Committee on March 1, 2017. We appreciate the opportunity to provide these additional views.

One of our Committee’s most significant areas of jurisdiction is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. SNAP is our nation’s best chance to alleviate hunger across our country. It provides our most vulnerable neighbors with a modest nutrition assistance benefit—on average, just $1.40 per person, per meal—to supplement their food budgets. The program currently serves about 43 million Americans in both urban and rural areas, and its entitlement structure allows the program to expand during times of economic hardship and contract as conditions improve. Among those households that can work, the vast majority do in the year before or after receiving benefits.

During the 114th Congress, the House Agriculture Committee undertook a thorough review of SNAP. We held 18 hearings and heard more than 30 hours of testimony from over 60 experts which resulted in 830 pages of official hearing record. We learned from experts—conservative and liberal—that SNAP benefits should not be cut, and that current benefits are inadequate. We also learned that SNAP does not discourage work, and that case management and job training programs can be successful in helping to move people out of poverty, but those efforts require a well-funded, multi-year commitment.

Each year, SNAP provides millions of children, seniors, veterans, and other vulnerable adults with food assistance. It is an efficient and effective program that helps families lift themselves out of poverty, and cuts extreme poverty almost in half. SNAP improves health, educational, and economic outcomes, and increases the incomes of working families. Recent innovations in the program have encouraged healthier eating and have increased SNAP participants’ consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. An increase in SNAP benefits would likely only improve these outcomes, with recent research confirming that just a $30 increase in monthly SNAP benefits for households could lead to healthier eating and lower rates of food insecurity.

Between 2007 and 2012, SNAP caseloads and spending grew as a result of the most recent economic recession, but that was to be expected. Indeed, the program worked as it was intended and expanded to respond quickly and effectively to an economic downturn.

As our economy continues to recover, SNAP participation has declined during the past several years.

Because of this decline in SNAP participation and other factors like low food inflation, recent projections from the Congressional Budget Office estimate that SNAP will save over $92 billion over 10 years as compared to baseline projections used to write the 2014 Farm Bill. We caution the Committee, however, that some of the caseload decline is attributable to the return of the three-month time limit in 20 states for non-disabled childless adults who are working less than 20 hours a week. Indeed, this time limit has resulted in over a million people losing SNAP benefits in 2016 alone—not based on whether they still need assistance, but because of arbitrary time limits. Further, states are not required to provide job training slots, so some of these vulnerable people lose food assistance even if they are looking for work, but cannot find a job. That is a problem Congress should be trying to fix, not worsen.

Far too many Americans continue to struggle with food insecurity in the United States, and we must preserve the dignity and health of the most vulnerable among us through the basic and reliable food assistance provided by SNAP.

We strongly urge you to maintain the entitlement structure of SNAP and reject any attempts to further cut funding or place additional burdens on those looking to access these modest benefits.

Thank you for considering our additional views. We look forward to working with you and with Members of the Committee on the Budget on this critical issue.

Sincerely,

More music to our ears!🎶🎶🇺🇸 … Congressman Jim McGovern Calls on Attorney General Sessions to Resign

McGovern
Jim in Worcester, at an event …

editor’s note: We’ve made some sentences bold. – R.T.

U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern, a senior House Democrat and leading voice calling for a full investigation into the ties between the Trump White House and Russia, called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign following revelations that Sessions lied under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee about his contacts with Russia during the 2016 election.

It is now clear that Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied under oath to Congress about his contact with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign. During his Senate confirmation hearing, he said ‘I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.’ We now know that statement is not true.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was already unfit to investigate the ties between the Trump White House and Russia because of his senior role on the 2016 Trump campaign. With this new evidence that he lied about his own contact with Russian officials during the campaign, it is clear that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is not fit to serve as the top law enforcement officer of our country and must resign now.

“Americans deserve the truth about the full extent of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and attack on our democracy. We need a full and independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the political, personal and financial connections of President Trump to the Russians. The time for action is now.”

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And …

“Strange Fruit” …

Strange Fruit

By Abel Meeropol

Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black body swinging in the Southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant South,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh,
And the sudden smell of burning flesh!

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for a tree to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop