Uncategorized

...now browsing by category

 

Pony dreamin’ …

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

By Rosalie Tirella

Working on my beloved InCity Times - being sunny in my sun dress -  … then I saw a guy as I was driving down the Worcester street with … CAM00099

… my trusty Husky-mix Jett – an old man struggling: his cheapo Dollar Store plastic bag had torn open and all his cans of food had spilled onto the hot sidewalk.

There he was slowly placing the cans back into his ripped-open bag, as if maybe he could make it all work if the cans were some how wrapped in the plastic. This ripped open my heart. It was so steamy out, the guy so poor, so stoic about his situation – not getting all flustered, just trying to put his cans back into the bag and hoping for the best …

… I tooted my horn! I picked up my Shaw’s tote bag from the passenger side of my jalopy and waved it at him! A pretty tote, actually – colorful with big blue berries and oranges printed on it.  He stopped struggling and looked up … I just kept waving it at him. Of course this all had to  happen in the middle of Woo inner-city traffic, but I think the other drivers knew what I wanted to do and they waited behind my car without getting impatient and getting on their horns in that lovely Worcester way …

The old man, skinny enough, wearing a striped tee-shirt that little boys wear, walked into the middle of the street and reached into my car and took my shopping tote. He said, “Thank you,” quielty, politely … elegantly. And looking at me with his sad eyes, he smiled the smallest smile. He had been pleasantly surprised, but in his own quiet way. I smiled at him and drove off.

Then I had this epiphany: Society has it backwards. It’s not about acquiring stuff! It’s about giving it all away! This is what brings happiness!

My little gift meant a lot to him! The tote had only cost me $1  … but at that moment, it had meant so much more: one person REALLY seeing another person… I felt GREAT! I told myself: This is how Jesus must have felt EVERY SECOND of  his life!

Then I wished this wish: That I could do this for my entire life – travel the streets of Worcester with my trusty dog Jett and maybe a wolf-shepherd mix – a big white one. But I wouldn’t drive a car – I would ride a horse – a beautiful little appaloosa horse … almost

a pony, a scrubby, scrappy little appaloosa horse! And with my trusty dogs running along side me on my tough little pony (it’s a dream, so my dogs can run as fast as my pony) we would ride thorugh the streets of Worcester giving it all away: tote bags, doggie water bowls, bottles of water, sandwiches - anything a poor person might need to get through a city moment.

The pony and the dogs and the gallopping would be the best of nature and helping the people I care most about would be the best of Worcester … I would be free … like they must have felt in the Old West, in the 1850s, when danger was at bay for an hour or two and you could just ride your pony on and on and on with nothing but sky and grass for miles, a dream to wrap your thoughts in  … but I would be galloping on Woo cement and meeting everybody …

Years ago, when I was little girl growing up in Green Island, my family lived near the railroad tracks. One afternoon I looked out our third floor flat kitchen window and saw a litte white pony galloping down Lafayette Street!

It was a miracle! I had been praying to Jesus for a pony! I had lots of horse books from the Worcester Public Library. I had taught myself to draw horses. I tried to buy the little plastic horses and ponies you found Woolworth’s and the five and tens.

I shouted to my mother: A pony! A pony! I want it! Let’s capture her!

My mother looked out the window and saw what I saw – the pony galloping down Lafayette Street - but she was unimpressed, closed the curtain on my dream. She said: Ponies were expensive. Where would we keep it? It most likely belonged to someone!

“A pony!” I squealed, oblivious to her reality check.  A BEAUTIFUL PONY!!!!

But we let the little pony run away out of our lives. Most likely it had been with a travelling circus that was going town to town by the rails. Maybe it had jumped off the train car to escape the pent in feeling of a box car and the nightly shows, with maybe whips and harnesses and people who pull at your head and make your legs hurt from all the work … It had been dreaming its own pony dreams! … and there it was, my pony dream, real, running free right in front of me, Rosalie Tirella! The little girl on Lafayette Street, with the lovely mother and evil eyed father, the g irl who would lose herself in books and school and pony dreams, a little girls who tried to forget her cramped urban world and who prayed for a pony every night. To this little Jesus statue which I still have!!!!

CAM00093

A little girl who loved all animals, but especially dogs and horses …

My mom was a single working mom raising her family on minum wage from  the dry cleaners down the street. We couldn’t afford a car! How could we swing a pony? But the pony, round and adorable, had seemed at home in my neighborhood, like it belonged in Green Island …

That is how my appaloosa feels in my pony dream of today!

REC Farmer’s Market – the place to be! Every Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Fuller Family Park – in back of YMCA, Main South branch

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

By Ron O’Clair (photos by Ron O’Clair)

(Don’t forget to check out REC’s great website, www.recworcester.org, for the latest REC news! – R. T.)

Acopia Harvest International Booth, Hydroponics - Monica from Central Falls, R.I, and Kavohn, (not pictured)

Brian, Sam & Madison, Left to right

On Saturday the 21st of June 2014, I attended the first of the weekly Farmer’s Markets sponsored by the Regional Environmental Council, and supported by a number of corporate sponsors. I got there right at 9:00 a.m. and they were still in the process of setting up the booths for the day ahead.

There were several area farms setting up under canvas to sell their locally grown produce, and one farmer came all the way from Rehoboth, Massachusetts to participate in the event. That was Mike and his daughter Mackenzie from Oakdale Farms in Rehoboth, Massachusetts.  They offered a variety of fruit and vegetables for sale under their tent, and Mike tells me that he grows them with organic farming methods.

There was another tent set up featuring produce grown in Worcester and Sutton from the New Lands Farm.  They had a variety of locally grown produce for sale, and all of it was fresh from the farm for sale to the public through the R.E.C. Farmer’s Market system.

National Grid had a booth set up to explain about the new meters that are coming into use, and the various ways that consumers of electricity can save money and energy at the same time. This was staffed by Carrie Lemelin from western Mass., and two intern college students, Rida Fayyaz from Pakistan, and Sopheakfva Chhim from Cambodia, and an intern from WPI. I forgot what school that Rida attends.

There was a Kids Fun Zone tent set up manned by a Clark University Intern, Alexis Charney from Stratford, Connecticut that was a place for the area kids to have fun with activities while the parents browsed the booths looking for good buys of fresh vegetables and fruits.

Acopia Harvest International had a booth of hydroponics set up for businesses and children’s education on hydroponic methods of growing plants.

There was a booth set up sponsored by the Ecotarium that had a U. Mass. Amherst full professor in attendance, Professor Robert Ryan and two college students, Benedita Silva Pinto from U.Mass. Amherst was one, and William Collier from Clark University was the other. They were doing a study on urban issues, and planned to interview Farmer’s Market attendee’s to ask questions for their research project.

There was a booth from Habitat for Humanity manned by Matthew Moore, who had served a year in the AmeriCorps VISTA program.

There was a booth set up that sold Honey products as well as farm produce from a farm in Rutland, Mass., the Schultz Farm running Flo’s Country Farm stand, where I purchased a large container of fresh strawberries for only $5.00. They were scrumptious.

There were many other booths, and many interns from the various colleges and universities that dot the Worcester Landscape, far too many to list in this article. I urge my reader’s to come to the Fuller Family Park next Saturday and check it out; the program will run throughout the summer.

Urban renewal! Main South’s Junction Shops Mill Project!

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

By Ron O’Clair  (photo by Ron O’Clair)

DSCF3652

A couple of days before Christmas of 2011, Brady Sullivan Properties, a real estate development company out of Manchester, New Hampshire plunked down $1.1 Million dollars to purchase the long vacant and derelict factory complex that dominates the skyline on Beacon Street here in the City of Worcester.

The buildings had gone to seed, the roofs were leaking, the windows were broken, the pipes had frozen and burst, in short, the place was one step away from the wrecking ball when it was sold to a developer that wanted to reclaim this Worcester landmark and turn it into market rate apartments.
Other people over the years that it lay dormant had envisioned turning the place around, and giving it a renewed lease on usability to bring it into the future along with our fair city, which is the 2nd largest in the entire New England area.

Worcester was long noted as a manufacturing hub, and it was because of that capacity to produce goods that Worcester attracted the many different types of immigrants who came to our city looking for a better way of life than that they had known wherever it was they came from. People from all over the world have chosen to make Worcester, Massachusetts their home, primarily for the opportunities for advancement that this city offered for them.

That was especially true when I was growing up and Worcester still had many factories producing goods that were shipped out of Worcester to the various places around the globe where they were needed. You could find a job here in the city without even trying hard.

Brown Shoe on Hammond Street was a major source of Worcester pride in quality manufacturing, there was Chess King right on the same street, Hammond Street that made all sorts of apparel for sale in shops here in the city and elsewhere, there was Thom McCann out on Millbrook Street, another shoe manufacturer. There was Worcester Knitting Company on Brussels Street near where Rotman’s Furniture is today, they made knit goods like sweaters and polo shirts for sale all over the world. I worked there in the early 1980’s myself as an assistant building maintenance man, and night watchman.
The list of factories that used to dot the Worcester landscape is long and was impressive in the total output of goods that were manufactured here in Worcester for sale here at home and elsewhere. A legacy of this history of manufacturing is that there are lots of vacant factory buildings that are getting more run down as time goes on, and many have succumbed to the wrecking ball of time already, such as Standard Tool on Shrewsbury Street to name just one example of a major manufacturer that closed its doors and took its place in the history of Worcester books.

Thanks to Mr. Shane Brady, CEO of Brady & Sullivan Properties and his frequent visits to his daughter when she was enrolled in out prestigious Clark University in Main South, the Junction Mill Shops Project got underway, and is making good progress towards reuse of long abandoned and vacant manufacturing space. Turning an eyesore into something that Worcester will be proud to have fully functional and in use once again.

There are going to be over 100 apartments in the complex. That is 100 plus families that will come to Worcester to settle here in our great melting pot of a city, looking for a better life for them and their children. Worcester has one of the finest public education programs in the country as witnessed by the recent visit of our President Barack Obama to honor students from Worcester Technical High School. I have long said that Worcester has one of the finest public school systems to be found anywhere in the country, and that visit by the President bears out my assertion.
Now if we could only attract the manufacturers back to hire some of those people…..

The Junction Mill Shops Project is underway, there is a completion date sometime in the near future, I was unable to have the management contact me to get the specifics of the anticipated completion date, or the exact number of rental units there will be in the finished product, but anything that helps to transform that area from a vacant expanse of derelict buildings into modern homes for families has to be a positive for the City of Worcester.

The recent crackdown I initiated in the 700 Block of Main Street with increased enforcement against the drug dealers that frequent this neighborhood is also a step in the right direction and I thank the Worcester Police for taking my complaints seriously and acting to curb illegal activity that was a constant disturbance for my tenants here on Main Street during the nocturnal hours of each and every night.

Congratulations are in order for Mr. Shane Brady, the CEO of Brady & Sullivan Properties for saving those old mill buildings and making them thrive once again.

From State Rep. Dan Donahue

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

 

Good news for Quinsig Village and the City of Worcester

By State Representative Dan Donahue

Recently, I joined my colleagues to pass the House version of the Environmental Bond Bill which included a $7 million investment in the expansion of the Worcester sewer system along the Route 20 Corridor. This funding is a step forward to providing immense environmental, operational benefits while fostering economic growth in the district, and the city as a whole.

For too long this area of Worcester has been overlooked and underutilized when in reality it is ripe for commercial and industrial development that will attract new businesses while better serving our existing businesses. With the area’s direct access to the Massachusetts Turnpike and the opening of the Route 146 Connector, the construction of sewer lines can help spur economic development for the Route 20 Corridor. Further, the increasing market demand for manufacturing and distribution space in the region, and the potential for parcel assemblage, this project is expected to generate high-value opportunities for economic growth and redevelopment in the region that is advantageous to businesses and residents alike.

In addition to fostering economic development in this part of the city, the Route 20 project would provide immense environmental and operational benefits to the area and the city. Currently, there is no direct sewer line along Route 20, thus sewage flows through on an indirect route through the city’s downtown sewer lines before flowing up to the Upper Blackstone Wastewater Treatment Facility. This lack of infrastructure along Route 20 Corridor is not operationally efficient and the existing sewage facilities during extreme weather results in sanitary overflows impacting environmental resources, such as Lake Quinsigamond and the renowned Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary. This project will reduce the burden of the overall sanitary sewer infrastructure by transferring sewage flows from the existing, over-taxed Lake Avenue and Dunkirk Avenue stations to the proposed Route 20 sewer system, which will connect directly to the Upper Blackstone Water Pollution Treatment Facility.

This project has been a collaborative effort and is the result of the leadership of Worcester City Mayor Joe Petty and his Route 20 Taskforce, Worcester legislative colleagues in the House and Senate, the Worcester City Council and City Administration.

Constructing and expanding sewage infrastructure along the Route 20 Corridor would reduce operational costs, encourage economic development, and ensure the preservation of our local environment. As the Environmental Bond Bill awaits approval from the State Senate I will join the Worcester Delegation and Worcester City Officials in continuing to fight to ensure this project becomes a reality for the city.

Cool stuff happening, thx to the Worcester Education Collaborative! For ex: Reading, eating and fashion!

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

 

In August WEC will be at two of the One City, One Library branch sites with new literacy programs, thanks to the creativity of our intern from Clark University, Sadie Hazelkorn.

She will help  children create their own cookbook of family recipes at the Goddard  School of Science and Technology on Tuesday Aug 5 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. and at Roosevelt school on Thursday, Aug. 7 from  3 to 4 p.m.

Sadie also is working with teens at the Goddard library site to produce a back to school fashion show featuring thrift store attire.

Besides writing descriptions of the outfits they will model, the teens are creating a guide of fashion tips on a budget.

(Sorta local boy makes good!) – New Superintendent takes command of U.S. Naval Academy

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

(right over the line in RI – R. T.)

By Jessica Clark, U.S. Naval Academy Public Affairs

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) — The U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) held a change of command ceremony July 23 in Annapolis, Maryland.

Vice Adm. Walter E. “Ted” Carter Jr. relieved Vice Adm. Michael Miller, becoming the 62nd academy superintendent.

Carter, a native of Burrillville, Rhode Island, served as president of the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, before he was nominated in June as the next superintendent. A career naval aviator, he graduated from the Naval Academy in 1981.

Miller, a native of Minot, North Dakota, and 1974 USNA graduate, retired at the ceremony, completing 40 years of active duty naval service.

“Every change of command is a bittersweet event, mixing the achievement of what has been with the promise of what is to come,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, the ceremony’s keynote speaker. “Our Navy and our nation face some significant challenges in the coming years and decades, and our ability as a naval service to meet these challenges in a very real and a very central sense begins here at the academy.”

Mabus spoke about the advancements the Naval Academy has experienced under Miller’s leadership, including the increase in diversity within the Brigade of Midshipmen, improvements in admissions standards, Click to continue »

This is poetry, too!

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

WOW … This is my genre now … Deep into my middle age I am … hooked!!!!!!!!! So many fantastic songs, such fantastic writing! Goes way deep … – R. Tirella






Don’t forget! This Sunday! GEORGE STREET BIKE CHALLENGE FOR MAJOR TAYLOR in downtown Worcester!

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

 

Seven Hills Wheelmen present …

GEORGE STREET BIKE CHALLENGE FOR MAJOR TAYLOR!
This SUNDAY, JULY 27

See how fast you can pedal up a steep Worcester hill where 1899 world
champion cyclist Major Taylor trained.

The 13th annual George Street Bike Challenge for Major Taylor Open on Sunday, July 27, 2014, is
presented by the Seven Hills Wheelmen and Barney’s Bicycle.

It is open to riders age 12 and up.

Entry fee is $20.

Online registration closes at
1 p.m. July 26; on-site registration opens at 8:30 a.m. July 27 and
racing starts at 10:00 a.m.

Free admission for spectators.

Proceeds benefit Major Taylor Association.

For more information visit:
www.majortaylorassociation.org or call Barney’s Bicycle, 508-799-BIKE.
————————————————————————-

ALSO – check out their weekly bike rides!!!!
SEVEN HILLS WHEELMEN
EVERY MONDAY
WORCESTER-HOLDEN BICYCLE RIDE

Meet at 6:00 p.m. Mondays at Barney’s Bicycle, 582 Park Ave., Worcester,
Mass., for a 15-mile bicycle ride with the Seven Hills Wheelmen. Helmets
are required. For more information, call (508) 831-0301 or visit
www.sevenhillswheelmen.org.
————————————————————————-
SEVEN HILLS WHEELMEN
EVERY MONDAY & FRIDAY
SOUTHBRIDGE BICYCLE RIDE

Meet at 6:00 p.m. Mondays and Fridays at Southbridge Bicycles, 100
Central St., Southbridge, Mass., for a 30-mile bicycle ride with the
Seven Hills Wheelmen. Helmets are required. For more information, call
(508) 831-0301 or visit www.sevenhillswheelmen.org.
————————————————————————-
SEVEN HILLS WHEELMEN
SELECTED DATES
EASY-PACED BICYCLE RIDE

“EASY C RIDER” Seven Hills Wheelmen features the “Easy C Rider,”
moderately paced bicycle rides of 15 to 35 miles on relatively gentle
terrain in the Worcester, Mass., area, on selected Saturdays or Sundays.
Starting times and locations are posted each week at www.easycrider.com.
Helmets are required. For more information, call (508) 831-0301 or visit
www.sevenhillswheelmen.org.
————————————————————————–
SEVEN HILLS WHEELMEN
EVERY WEDNESDAY
WEST BOYLSTON BICYCLE RIDE

Meet at 6:00 p.m. Wednesdays at the Old Stone Church, Route 12 and
Beaman Street, West Boylston, for a 15- to 25-mile bicycle ride with the
Seven Hills Wheelmen. The group will determine the route and pace.
Helmets are required. Schedule changes (for Wednesday night West
Boylston rides only) will be posted at www.sevenhillswheelmen.org/weds.htm
For more information, call (508) 831-0301 or visit
www.sevenhillswheelmen.org.
————————————————————————-
SEVEN HILLS WHEELMEN
BICYCLE RIDE
August 10 and 17, 2014

Meet at 9:00 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 10, and Sunday, Aug. 17, at Dudley
District Court, Route 197 and Lyons Road, Dudley, Mass., for a 24-mile
bicycle ride with the Seven Hills Wheelmen. Helmets are required. For
more information, call (508) 831-0301 or visit www.sevenhillswheelmen.or

 

Friendly House and Elder Services farmers’ market coupon kickoff!

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Farmers’ Market Coupon Distribution Kickoff

 

Elder Services of Worcester Area’s Nutrition Program and Friendly House wish to announce the MA Dept. of Agricultural Resources Farmers’ Market Coupon Kick Off Events.


Monday July 28, 2014 

11:00 am 

Worcester Youth Center
(Beaver Brook) 

306 Chandler St, Worcester

&

Thursday July 31, 2014 

10:00am 

Worcester Senior Center 

128 Providence Street, Worcester

  • As available, first come, first serve.
  • Distribution will begin July 28th and coupons must be redeemed by October 31, 2014.

 

Eligibility requirements:

  • Recipients must be at least 60 years old
  • Must meet income requirement; be at or below  185% of Federal Poverty Line. ($21,257/single or $28,694/couple) 
  • Picture ID, proof of address, and recipient signature required.  

 

 

 

Additional Information: 

Elder Services of Worcester Area- 508-852-3205 www.eswa.org Worcester, surrounding towns, plus Barre, Hardwick, New Braintree, Oakham, & Rutland. 

  

Friendly House: (508) 755-4362 

www.friendlyhousema.org   

Worcester Area  

 

Southern Central Mass:

Tri-Valley, Inc.-  508-949-6640 www.trivalleyinc.org

Southern Central MA -Bellingham, Blackstone, Brookfield, Charlton, Douglas, Dudley, E. Brookfield, Franklin, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millville, Northbridge, N. Brookfield, Oxford, Southbridge, Spencer, Sturbridge, Sutton, Upton, Uxbridge, Warren, Webster & W. Brookfield. 


Northern Central Mass: 

Montachusett Opportunity Council -978-345-7066  www.mocinc.org Northern Central MA -Ashburnham, Ashby, Ayer, Berlin, Bolton, Clinton, Fitchburg, Gardner, Groton, Hubbardston, Lancaster, Leominster, Lunenburg, Pepperell, Princeton, Shirley, Sterling, Templeton, Townsend, Westminster, and Winchendon.

   

 

 

Don’t forget! FREE! This Sunday, July 27: Stanley Kunitz’s Annual Birthday Celebration in Vernon Hill!

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

The 2014 Celebration will be held THIS Sunday, July 27.

FREE!

Join us at 2 p.m. for the 109th anniversary of Stanley Kunitz’s birth.

4 Woodford St., (in Vernon Hill, off Providence Street) the house Kunitz grew up in …

You can bring poems to share during the Open Mic and then enjoy birthday cake. A docent-led house tour will begin at 3:15!

The docent-led tour includes historical information about artifacts and memorabilia collected during and after Carol and her late husband Greg’s twenty-year friendship with the poet.

History: Each year, Carol Stockmal opens the Stanley Kunitz Boyhood Home to the public on Stanley Kunitz’s Birthday – July 29.

Everyone is welcome to attend, commemorate, and celebrate his birthday with a tour of the house, an open mic, and a chance to sit in the garden (weather permitting.

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

This poem mentions Worcester Academy, living off Providence Street … cool! – R. T.

The Testing-Tree

By Stanley Kunitz

1

On my way home from school
   up tribal Providence Hill
      past the Academy ballpark
where I could never hope to play
   I scuffed in the drainage ditch
      among the sodden seethe of leaves
hunting for perfect stones
   rolled out of glacial time
      into my pitcher’s hand;
then sprinted lickety-
   split on my magic Keds
      from a crouching start,
scarcely touching the ground
   with my flying skin
      as I poured it on
for the prize of the mastery
   over that stretch of road,
      with no one no where to deny
when I flung myself down
   that on the given course
      I was the world’s fastest human.


2

Around the bend
   that tried to loop me home
      dawdling came natural
across a nettled field
   riddled with rabbit-life
      where the bees sank sugar-wells
in the trunks of the maples
   and a stringy old lilac
      more than two stories tall
blazing with mildew
   remembered a door in the 
      long teeth of the woods.
All of it happened slow:
   brushing the stickseed off,
      wading through jewelweed
strangled by angel’s hair,
   spotting the print of the deer
      and the red fox’s scats.
Once I owned the key
   to an umbrageous trail
      thickened with mosses
where flickering presences
   gave me right of passage
      as I followed in the steps
of straight-backed Massassoit
   soundlessly heel-and-toe
      practicing my Indian walk.


3

Past the abandoned quarry
   where the pale sun bobbed
      in the sump of the granite,
past copperhead ledge,
   where the ferns gave foothold,
      I walked, deliberate,
on to the clearing,
   with the stones in my pocket
      changing to oracles
and my coiled ear tuned
   to the slightest leaf-stir.
      I had kept my appointment.
There I stood in the shadow,
   at fifty measured paces,
      of the inexhaustible oak,
tyrant and target,
   Jehovah of acorns,
      watchtower of the thunders,
that locked King Philip’s War
   in its annulated core
      under the cut of my name.
Father wherever you are
    I have only three throws
       bless my good right arm.
In the haze of afternoon,
   while the air flowed saffron,
      I played my game for keeps--
for love, for poetry,
   and for eternal life--
      after the trials of summer.

4

In the recurring dream
   my mother stands
      in her bridal gown
under the burning lilac,
   with Bernard Shaw and Bertie
      Russell kissing her hands;
the house behind her is in ruins;
   she is wearing an owl’s face
      and makes barking noises.
Her minatory finger points.
   I pass through the cardboard doorway
      askew in the field
and peer down a well
   where an albino walrus huffs.
      He has the gentlest eyes.
If the dirt keeps sifting in,
   staining the water yellow,
      why should I be blamed?
Never try to explain.
   That single Model A
      sputtering up the grade
unfurled a highway behind
   where the tanks maneuver,
      revolving their turrets.
In a murderous time
   the heart breaks and breaks
      and lives by breaking.
It is necessary to go
   through dark and deeper dark
      and not to turn.
I am looking for the trail.
   Where is my testing-tree?
      Give me back my stones!