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Celebrate! Today, Saturday, January 24 – FREE admission …

Howland Valentine (2001.FIA.06.1.8)

 

A Howland Valentine –  one of the many Worcester Valentine’s you can check out at the WHM!  

Howland Valentine (2001.FIA.06.1.8)

 

… to the Worcester Historical Museum, 30 Elm Street. And the museum’s Salisbury Mansion.

Celebrate the WHM’s 140th birthday!

10 am to 4 pm at the Worcester Historical Museum

1 pm to 4 pm at the Salisbury Mansion.

Activities, 10 am to 3 pm:

Make your very own Valentine!

Scavenger hunt!

Time capsule!

B-day cupcakes and more!

FREE to ALL! Have FUN!!

Steal these ideas, Worcester!

From The Boston Globe.   – R. T.

12 ideas for making Boston more inclusive

Imagine a city where no one stands on the outside, where everyone has dignity and an equal chance. Doers and dreamers are hanging their hopes on efforts like these to make it so.

1) CREATE SPACES WHERE PEOPLE FROM ALL WALKS CONVERGE

  • What does it take to sustain community in one of Boston’s most culturally and economically diverse neighborhoods? ForSpontaneous Celebrations, a community arts center and coalition in Jamaica Plain, it requires a balance of spontaneity and intentionality: programming that is responsive while building tradition, leadership that reflects the neighborhood’s diversity, and a building whose look and feel actively resists the sweep of gentrification that has transformed the neighborhood.

  • It doesn’t hurt to have a history of activism, either. In the 1970s, the group’s founders helped initiate a movement that saved large swaths of Boston from being sliced literally in two, defeating the expansion of Interstate 95 and spawning a celebration, Wake Up the Earth, that has grown into a massive spring festival drawing some 10,000 people.

  • “From the beginning, the intention of Spontaneous Celebrations has been to use the language of the arts to build a community and celebrate what can be accomplished when people from all kinds of backgrounds come together,” says administrative director Marco Goldring. The organization’s second largest gathering, the Jamaica Pond Lantern Parade, rings the pond in a 4,000-person procession of light on two nights in October.

  • Over the years, the group’s building on Danforth Street has welcomed a wide range of programming from partners — samba and square dancing, social-justice training, dialogues on faith, stilt-walking lessons, martial arts classes, and more. Goldring describes the facility as a physical symbol of the center’s commitment to inclusiveness in the face of growing economic divides.

  • “We are a place that is designed to be comfortable for everybody, no matter how long or how short they’ve lived in JP and no matter how close to the edge they may be living.”

  • — Francie Latour …

  • To read entire story, CLICK HERE!

I Have a Dream

By Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: “For Whites Only.” We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest — quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

Great city story …

It’s happening in the Canal District. From a farmers market that refuses to accept SNAP, WIC cards, a farmers market that refuses to let low-income seniors buy bread with their senior citizen farmers markets coupons … to the people who work the market, attend the market. The same person of color in every publicity picture doesn’t hide the facts: gentrification purposely, purposefully  excludes poor people and people of color.  ….

From THE BOSTON GLOBE.  – R.T.

Gentrification: white people following white people

When we think of gentrification, we imagine swarms of young upper middle class white people moving into previously minority neighborhoods, bringing pour-over coffee and higher property tax bills in their wakes. It’s a controversial migration, not least because of the existing residents who are displaced, but it’s also seen as a welcome step away from the segregation that set in after the “white flight” of the 60s and 70s.

Now an inventive new study using Google Street View and an archive of 1990s videotapes has found that gentrification may involve less racial mixing than we assume—and in fact, may reinforce residential segregation. …

CLICK HERE to read entire piece.

Fantastic for our Worcester kids!

From THE NEW YORK TIMES. Go, President Obama, go!!!!!!   – R.T.

Expanding Community College Access

JAKE NAUGHTON FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

In the abstract, President Obama’s proposal for making community college tuition-free seems a reasonable response to a troublesome fact: The American work force is less educated than it needs to be at a time when most jobs in the new economy will require some college education. But for such an idea to work, states and localities that have been starving community colleges for decades will need to begin holding them to higher standards and commit to sustained financing instead of using the new federal money to dodge their own financial obligations.

The president’s proposal deserves to be taken seriously by the public, state legislatures, municipal authorities and, of course, Congress, which will be asked to underwrite it. Although many details have yet to be worked out, the preliminary plans released last week call for an estimated $60 billion in new spending over 10 years to help cover tuition and fees for full-time and half-time students who maintain a 2.5 grade point average — about a C-plus — and who make consistent progress toward completion. …

To read entire NYT editorial CLICK HERE!

Another stabbing in the Canal District – 3 G’s Sports Bar

From the Worcester Police Department – public information

Worcester Police Investigate Stabbing Outside of Bar –  one arrest made

On Thursday, January 8, 2015 at approximately 11:43 PM officers were dispatched to 3 G’s Sports Bar located at 152 Millbury Street.

Upon arrival, police found a 32-year-old male victim in the back
parking lot suffering from stab wounds. The victim was transported to a local hospital. His injuries are not considered life-threatening.

During the investigation, police learned that the incident occurred when the victim engaged in a verbal argument with three suspects inside the bar. When the men left the bar, a physical altercation broke out in the parking lot. As a result, the victim was punched, kicked and stabbed several times. Officers reviewed surveillance video the incident.

One of the suspects was identified as 26-year-old William Humphrey of Worcester. Police were able to locate William Humphrey and placed him under arrest.

The two other suspects are both described as Black males, possibly in their 20’s and wearing dark clothing.

William Humphrey, 26, of 13 Shepard Street, Worcester was charged with Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon. He also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

Police continue to investigate.

If anyone has information about this incident they can send an anonymous text to 274637 TIPWPD + your message or send an anonymous web based message at worcesterma.gov/police. Calls can also be made to the Worcester Police Detective Bureau at (508) 799-8651.

Looking for last-minute holiday gifts such as … vintage goodies, clothing and household items?

CAM00922 (1)A few months ago my neighbor gave me this blouse and other goodies. What I didn’t use I donated to non-profits, with one very nice pair of shoes (new) going to Abby’s. … All your donations are tax-deductible.   – R. Tirella

… then shop where our Parlee Jones works – ABBY’S HOUSE!

52 High St., Worcester

Parlee runs their homeless shelter; she places women, often fleeing domestic violence, in safe spaces.

By shopping at Abby’s House THRIFT SHOP (52 High St., across the street from St. Paul’s Cathedral) you support the shelter and the homeless women for whom it spells HOME.

Lots of greats buys! Lots of items Diamonds in the Rough! Don’t forget! The money you spend at the shop goes towards supporting Worcester’s iconic women’s shelter.

***************

Learn more (from their website):

Abby’s House Thrift Shop

The Abby’s House Thrift Shop continues to be our largest single source of revenue.

All of the profits from sales at the Thrift Shop fund our emergency shelter.

The Thrift Shop is full of quality clothing, accessories, home goods, and bargain-priced cosmetics.

We encourage you to visit the store today, not only to donate clothing and homegoods, but to add some great pieces to your wardrobe!

Hours:

Monday through Thursday: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Fridays: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Saturdays: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

The Thrift Shop is closed on holidays. When Worcester Public Schools declares a snow day, the Thrift Shop will be closed.

In case of bad weather, please call ahead to make sure we’re open: (508) 756-5486 extension 12.

Making Donations:

Donations are accepted during regular shop hours. We are happy to accept gently used, seasonal women’s clothing in good condition and household items of all kinds including kitchenware, lamps and decorative items. New, unopened health and beauty products are also welcome.

At times we are in need of furniture in good condition that may be used to set up an apartment, such as small kitchen sets or desk sets. If you would like to make a furniture donation, please call ahead.

We do NOT accept books, computers, TVs, furniture, records, record players, hangers, used pillows, men’s clothing or used children’s clothing and toys.

Please note that due to the new laws regarding child safety we can only accept children’s clothing or toys if they are NEW, in package or tagged.

CLICK HERE to visit the Abby’s House website to learn more!

From The Boston Globe: farmers markets and SNAP cards …

I’ve been meaning to post this BOSTON GLOBE editorial for weeks…   –    R.T.

EDITORIAL

Food stamps for fresh food: More produce, more benefits

THE SUPPLEMENTAL Nutrition Assistance Program, the federal food stamp program, has often struggled with the “nutrition” part of its mandate. The problem is that fresh fruits and vegetables are often too expensive for low-income families to afford, especially if they have to rely on benefits for most of their groceries.

The latest farm bill, signed into law earlier this year, offers a simple, innovative solution. The legislation doubles the value of SNAP benefits when they are used to purchase produce bought at local grocery stores or farmers markets who agree to participate.

The program, called the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive, provides $100 million over the next five years in grants to organizations that help make fruit and vegetables more affordable to SNAP recipients. The grant program is focused on encouraging people to buy more produce. …

CLICK HERE to read entire editorial!