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On the road in Worcester …

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

… listening to FLOGGING MOLLY! Irish music super freaking punked up! LOVE IT!!!!!

Believe it or not, The Old Injun Fighter got me turned on to this group – while he, accompanied by me, was out plowing Worcester’s streets. It was several years ago, after one of the city’s humongous snowstorms, when Woo stands still and our streets look like they are covered with Marshmallow Fluff. (Marshmallow Fluff was “invented” in Lynn, the Old Injun Fighter’s hometown!) Anyways, the OIF and I were going out back then. He plows for the City of Worcester. After a big snowstorm, the guys can be out for 24 hours clearing Woo byways! To have company is a good thing! There is nothing quite like being in lust with a blue collar guy as he quietly and expertly does his job.

The OIF is very low key, a soft talker, a do-er not a blabber. The strong silent type. He takes pride in being the only plow guy standing after the blizzard of 1978.

He loves music. Classic rock. That’s why I was taken by surprise when I was fiddling with his truck radio and came upon this group that sounded so amped up wild and crazy and yet tender. The Old Injun fighter looked at his dashboard and said: Who’s that?

Rose: I don’t know. Want it louder?

OIF: Yup.

Rose smiles …

The snow keeps falling …

- Rosalie Tirella

Hooray for the Mass minimum wage increase! Everyone who works MUST earn a living wage …

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

… It’s the equitable thing to do!

Take our fave gas station attendant, Mike, the guy who makes it all go so smoothly at Worcester’s  Quinsigamond Village BP station. Mike is the hardest worker I know! He’s at BP every day! On weekends! In the rain, during snowstorms – shoveling, shoveling, shoveling for his customers. When it gets busy, Mike runs – literally runs around – to give folks gas, take charge cards/cash, etc. He helps out in the garage, too! And for four years now, he’s been lovely to my dog Jett! This sweet guy will soon be making $10+ an hour. He so deserves this raise!!!!

Mike doesn’t own a car – lives nearby and walks to work. He lunches at Subway. Sometimes I worry about his health. Jett and I have become attached to him. I give him little gifts for Christmas and Thanksgiving and Easter.

He is one of  Worcester’s hardest workers! I’m so glad he’s gonna begin to earn what he deserves!

- Rosalie Tirella

Mike giving Jett – his favorite “customer” – a treat!

Worcester’s REC Earth Day cleanups are this SATURDAY! Be there!

Thursday, April 10th, 2014
This Saturday, let’s show some love for Worcester’s neighborhoods, especially our inner-city communities!
8 am -12 pm

The Regional Environmental Council is excited to be celebrating our 25th Annual Earth Clean Ups with YOU working together to pick up trash in our communities for a cleaner, greener Worcester!

Our staff will be readily available the day of if you need more bags, gloves and have any questions regarding the clean-up.
Please do not hesitate to call the REC office at 508-799-9139

American Red Cross offers copings tips for Boston Marathon bombing anniversary

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Cambridge – American Red Cross mental health volunteers from across the state will be offering emotional support during the Boston Marathon bombing anniversary service at the Hynes Convention Center on April 15, as the city remembers those lost and hurt last year.

Last year’s events struck many in a number of ways. Fear, confusion and sadness were common reactions, and the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing may trigger those same feelings.

“Boston is still healing from this tragedy,” said Christine Tebaldi, Disaster Mental Health lead for the Massachusetts Red Cross. “Those wounds might feel fresh on April 15, and the Red Cross is here to support the community’s emotional recovery.”

The American Red Cross offers the following tips to help you cope:

·         Simplify your schedule before and several days after the anniversary.

·         Limit media exposure to coverage of the bombing—TV, radio or newspapers.

·         Schedule time with those you find supportive.

·      Expect yourself to have reactions that mimic your reaction from a year ago, and know these are predictable and shouldn’t worry you. Remember what coping has worked for you in the past and implement those skills.

·         If you have children in your life, speak with them in age appropriate ways about what they may experience. Know that behavioral regression in children is common as an anniversary reaction.

On Marathon Monday, more than 30 Red Cross Mental Health/Psychological volunteers will be stationed along the route and at Athlete’s Village to support individuals experiencing stress, anxiety or other emotional reactions.

People needing extra support are encouraged to call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990Text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746, or to call the Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050 or 1-800-847-0710.

Those experiencing acute psychiatric distress can call the B.E.S.T. Team at 1-800-981-4357.

Worcester is so wonderfully diverse! The people I meet …

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

… so basic and nice. THE REAL WORCESTER! The down-to-earth Worcester! The silly Worcester! The Worcester that we all know and adore!

When I’m in Grafton Hill, I always visit George’s Bakery and buy a spinach feta cheese “triangle.” This lovely lady – always a ready smile for her customers! George’s has the best Middle Eastern food in the city!

This cutie grabbed InCity Times as soon as I placed it on the shelf! I asked her if I could take her pic. Her granddaughter said: She doesn’t understand English. And yet she pores over ICT! Hey, if you are mesmerized by us, we are mesmerized by you! (Through gestures and smiles we asked her to pose for a photo and she nodded yes!)

We are so proud of Mass for  raising its minimum wage! Now wonderful people like this Quinsigamond Village McDonald’s worker will at least make $9 an hour – and $10+ eventually (the sooner the better). The minimum wage MUST BE indexed to the cost of living. People, like this guy and the gal at George’s Bakery, above, need to be able to earn a paycheck they can LIVE on.

By the way, I always buy my java at McDonald’s. They sell NEWMAN’s OWN coffee – which is organic, shade grown and (I think) Fair Trade. Plus, Newman’s takes all the profits and uses the money to pay for the late great Paul Newman’s HOLE IN THE WALL GANG camps for kids who have cancer.

We adore Paul Newman! (Who doesn’t?)

- Rosalie Tirella

We’re ecstatic! Plymouth Town Representatives have voted to ban the use of wild animals in circuses!

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Victory! In Massachusetts, Plymouth Town Representatives have voted to ban the use of wild animals in circuses! ADI worked closely with local supporter Kati Carloni, who successfully used our evidence to lobby for change. http://bit.ly/1lGnyEn

Check out InCity Times’ no-exotic-animals-in-the-circus FACEBOOK PAGE! Click on the copy, beneath the elephant on THE RIGHT of this post, TO LEARN MORE!

HOORAY!!!!!!      - R. T.

In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day 2014! Worcester celebrates!

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Parlee and Athena!

By Parlee Jones

We must CELEBRATE!  I had the honor of being Honorably Mentioned as a 2014 Woman of Consequence Award presented by the City Manager’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women this past Thursday (March 20th, 2014) with my friend Ms. Athena Haddon as the chosen one.

This celebration of the Women and Young Women of Consequence provides an opportunity for the City Manager’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women to educate the public about the contributions that women and young women make to improve communities and to inspire others. Their leadership can be shown in community activism, volunteering or holding public office, but it can also be shown when women, young and old, lead by example. Community engagement, dedication, and compassion resulting in positive change is what a real leader is all about.

Woman of Consequence – 2014

Athena Haddon

Ms. Haddon has inspired many people through her patience, honesty, trust and perseverance. As a dedicated employee, volunteer and resident of Worcester, she is a role model to all around her. She has been called the “heart and soul” of Everyday Miracles, a peer recovery support center in downtown Worcester, serving more than 3,000 diverse members in recovery from alcohol and /or drug addiction every year.

One of Athena’s leadership initiatives includes the founding of “Women’s Space” to help more women in early recovery to access services. She also became active with Worcester’s Department of Public Health Task Force on Sexual Exploitation to address serious health implications of sex trafficking in the local community. Prevention and intervention strategies were developed to eliminate sex trafficking and exploitation in Worcester. This led to her founding “A Ray of Light” to train service providers to work with victims and survivors of sexual exploitation. She has volunteered and worked for nearly a decade for DAWN, Developing Alternatives for Women Now, which works with women in prostitution-related crimes. Athena is a voice of compassion and positive change, and a true leader in her community. It is hard to capture on paper all her accomplishments, her enthusiasm and her genuine compassion for helping others.

Parlee Jones

Another extremely inspiring woman in our community is the well-known Ms. Parlee Jones, is creative and active in many domains as well as being a dedicated leader called “exemplary and tireless” in her work on behalf of the homeless, and the battered women with and without children whom she helps on a daily basis. She has assisted over 700 women to self-direct their lives and improve their situations. Through her passionate guidance, support, and empathy to all the women she helps, she improves the lives of those around her. Her accomplishments listed above would be incomplete if her work on social and racial equality in the community were not mentioned. Parlee founded OurStory Edutainment nearly a decade ago which offers black history education and entertainment. It is truly a multicultural asset that makes the city more global, and makes Parlee a true leader.

Young Woman of Consequence – 2014

Jenny Cao

Jenny Cao, currently a Senior at South High, is a student in the Goddard Scholars Program. An outstanding student, she’s taken many Honors and Advanced Placement level classes since her Freshman year. She consistently scored yearly grades in the very high ‘90s and even a few 100s. A National Honor Society Member, she also created the Goddard Tutoring Club, is a member of the Yearbook Club, and she is also on the Math Team. She’s played 1st Doubles on the Varsity Tennis Team and is a well-rounded student. Jenny demonstrates leadership qualities and is a role model in her service to the community.

Rose Payva

Rose Payva, a Senior at North High, is an excellent student, having consistently scored high grades in all classes including many Honors and Advanced Placement classes. She founded the Principal’s Advisory Council, was a participant in the National Education Start-Up Challenge, and has been a member of the Math team since her Sophomore year. Rose is a well-rounded leader; the Captain of the Soccer and Tennis Teams, a participant in Dynamy Youth Academy, and a Peruvian Cultural Dancer. Rose is a dedicated role model to those around her.

Congratulations to all!  Below are some words on being Honorably Mentioned.

“I am honored and humbled by this honorable mention and in keeping in tune with the award, I will honorably mention some folks.

I will honorably mention the homeless men, women and families that are looking for a safe place to rest their heads tonight. Please keep them in your thoughts.

I will honorably mention the families that have lost loved ones to racial violence. Trayvon Martin’s family, Jordan Davis’ family, and all other unnamed loved ones. Please keep in prayer the many unnamed victims.

I will honorably mention the men and women that work tirelessly to find a place for families to go. Who go to their own homes with an ache in their heart because they don’t know where that last client will go tonight with her little one. Please send them positive energy and vibes.

I will honorably mention all who work to show our youth that you can be successful without falling victim to today’s norms. To those who work with youth where they are! Pease send blessings their way!

I will honorably mention OurStory Edutainment which is the vehicle in which I strive to instill knowledge of self in people of color. Young and old who have not heard of Ida B Wells or Denmark Vesey.  As we introduce them to a rich history not taught in school books.

And I will honorably mention Abby House as the vehicle in which I have been able to assist the most honorable women I have met on a journey not easily taken. The journey back to a home.

Thank you Lynne for nominating me and thanks to my village for supporting all I do.  Because it takes a village to take care of its people, young and old.  I am so humbled to have a village that sees the world as I do. And strives to make positive change when called upon.
Peace and blessed be!”


The work of killed AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

From The Guardian. To see more of Anja’s so beautifully human photos, click here! – R. T.

Schoolchildren walk past election graffiti on their way home on the outskirts of Kandahar

Schoolchildren walk past election graffiti on their way home on the outskirts of Kandahar

Sad news …

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

… re: the beautiful orca, from Boston.com … Also, Massachusetts has NOT banned the use of bull hooks on elephants in traveling shows! Click on our circus FACEBOOK PAGE TO THE RIGHT to learn more!   – R. Tirella

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California bill that sought to end killer whale shows at SeaWorld in San Diego and phase out their captivity was put on hold Tuesday, dousing an escalating fight between animal activists and supporters of the major tourist attraction.

The bill’s author, Democrat Richard Bloom of Santa Monica, agreed during the bill’s first hearing before the water, parks and wildlife committee to revisit his proposal after further study. As a result, AB2140 is dead for this year and the soonest lawmakers could vote on the proposal would be mid-2015.

‘‘It’s unfortunate that much of the conversation has been fueled … by fear and invective and misinformation,’’ Bloom said. ‘‘It’s clear that many committee members are simply unprepared to make a decision on the bill.’’

Bloom was inspired by the 2013 documentary ‘‘Blackfish’’ in which filmmakers argue that captivity and mistreatment of orcas make the animals aggressive. It examined the events leading to the 2010 death of trainer Dawn Brancheau in SeaWorld Orlando when the whale Tilikum pulled her underwater.

John Hargrove, a former SeaWorld trainer in Texas and San Diego who appeared in ‘‘Blackfish,’’ told lawmakers at the hearing that orcas appeared agitated and dragged him underwater multiple times.

The bill would have banned the import, export and breeding of orcas while requiring SeaWorld San Diego to move its 10 killer whales out of tanks and into larger sea pens. …

To read entire story, click here!

Cool events at the Worcester Historical Museum!

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
Historic Scavenger Hunt

Saturday, April 12, from 1 p.m. -3 p.m.
Salisbury Mansion
Free with museum admission

Join us for an afternoon of fun for the entire family with our Historic Scavenger Hunt. Explore Worcester’s only historic house museum and see how the Salisbury Family lived.

More info

The Old Neighborhood
Thursday, April 24 at 7:00 PM

Thomas Doughton, Senior Lecturer for Interdisciplinary and Special Studies, College of the Holy Cross, will discuss the development and unique history of the Laurel/Clayton neighborhood, and its eventual loss in the 1960s.

More info