Tag Archives: CECELIA

Music to our souls! The Gaffneys repudiated by Worcester voters!!

Blow that horn, parade down those streets! The Gaffneys are OUT!

By Ron O’Clair

The good guys won yesterday!

Of note: The voting people of Worcester spoke yesterday with a resounding defeat of the Gaffney duo, which I had correctly predicted long before Michael Gaffney abruptly announced his intention of pulling out of the Worcester City Council race.

Though Gaffney had come in second in the last election when he ran against Mayor Joseph Petty and, as a consequence, many people thought he would do well in this election, I had come to believe his association with the Turtle Boy “hate blog,” his vitriolic political rhetoric on and off the council floor, his feeding into and fanning people’s fears and racial and ethnic prejudices would have alienated a significant proportion of the voting public.

The Turtle Boy blog defamed and ridiculed many of Councilor At-Large Gaffney’s very own constituents and, for some reason, instead of distancing himself from that vitriol, Councilor Gaffney stoked the flames of hatred and racism, as well as continued to be one of the Turtle Boy blog’s major financial supporters. This sent a message to many people in Worcester as to the true character of the man himself. How anyone could claim to be the “People’s Councilor” while at the same time trashing half the populace and supporting a blog that ridicules the downtrodden of Worcester alienated many voters.

I tried to interview Michael’s wife, Coreen Gaffney, for a story for CECELIA in her campaign for the District 4 seat, held by Councilor Sarai Rivera, only to be refused an audience with Mrs. Gaffney. I truly wanted to know what Coreen Gaffney would do differently, if she won the D 4 seat. I intended to be fair and impartial, even though I have long supported Sarai Rivera. But I was turned down by Coreen. The boycott of all media during election time became the policy of the Gaffney duo. Husband and wife turned down any and all press interviews about their plans if elected to the Worcester City Council. How bizarre!

Most candidates welcome the chance to get their views expressed in print and other media, but not the Gaffney duo. I wish them well in future doing, whatever it is they do. On reflection, I am not sad to see them out of Worcester city politics, given their toxic political rhetoric and stylings, their exploitation of cultural differences and their reluctance to be honest with the media. I am sure all of  this had a lot to do with their defeat.

Of course, we will never know their chances of winning for sure because they decreased their own chances with their announcement that they were withdrawing from the election just weeks before it took place. Someone was going to be bumped off the at-Large Council seat, with the addition to the mix of the ever popular Gary Rosen, who decided not to run for re-election to the District 5 seat. Yesterday that seat was won by Matt Wally. I had predicted that the loser would have been Michael Gaffney. Perhaps, Gaffney saw the handwriting on the wall and made the decision to abruptly announce his and his wife’s withdrawal from their respective races.  To spare themselves from the embarrassment of a humiliating defeat.

I truly believe had the Gaffneys not pulled out, there would have been little difference in the results.

The backlash from supporting the Turtle Boy “hate blog” all these years, pulling political stunts on and off the council floor that traumatized so many people in our community, caused so much hurt to so many people – especially the most vulnerable in our community, opened up so many racial wounds – all this would  have negatively impacted their vote totals.

Congratulations to the incumbents who won: Mayor Joe Petty, Councilor Kate Toomey, Councilor Gary Rosen, Councilor Khrystian King, Councilor Moe Bergman and Councilor Konnie Lukes.

Congratulations to all who won re-election to the Worcester School Committee and to challenger Dante Comparetto who certainly worked very hard to secure his win on the school committee.

I would remind all the winners that they serve at the will of the people and that they need to be careful not to spew hatred at their own constituency!  It is unbecoming a City Council member to sow hatred. Mike Gaffney is a good case in point.

Main South’s Clark U – always in style!

But first …


Clark University students to host ‘Splash,’ offer free workshops to area youth on November 19

Clark University’s Educational Studies Program, a student organization, will host Splash on Sunday, November 19, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on campus at 950 Main Street, Worcester. This day-long event allows area youth in grades 5-12 to take free classes taught by Clark students.

Sample Splash classes include American Sign Language; History of Westerosi (on which ‘Game of Thrones’ is based); Fidget Spinner Physics; and Autism: Fact and Fiction.

Classes will also be offered in geography, history, economics, public speaking, photography and ballroom dance. Parents of Splash participants can attend workshops on secondary education. Lunch will be provided.

Registration for Splash workshops ends Wednesday, November 15. For more information, email clarkuesp@gmail.com.

Splash was started at MIT and has since spread to over 20 colleges nationwide, including Clark, Boston College, and Smith College by way of a nonprofit organization called Learning Unlimited, founded by MIT graduates. Clark’s Splash program began in the spring of 2012.

Parlee in Rose’s space!

Parlee Jones!

Our Story

By Parlee Jones

Peace Worcester People! As many of you know, I have two little side entities through which I share knowledge. One of them is Peaceful Pleasures, my incense and oils business. Along with other products for body, mind and spirit. The other is OurStory Edutainment. OurStory Edutainment is a multi-cultural learning institute which teaches Black History through Education and Entertainment. We use music, documentaries, spoken word and life experiences as the vehicles through which we do this.

The reason I came up with OurStoryEdutainment was because I wanted my children to have knowledge of who they were from the cradle. It is imperative that children know from the cradle that they are loved and valued. Knowing their history and ancestry is also important.

black history
Black History

There was not and still is not anyone else celebrating Black Culture on the regular. I chose this as my task. The symbol I use for OurStory is the Sankofa symbol.


The Sankofa symbol is an adinkra symbol which means “go back and fetch it.” You must know your past in order to move towards the future. Adinkra are visual symbols, originally created by the Akan of Ghana and the Gyaman of Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa that represent concepts or original thoughts.

The mission of OurStory Edutainment is to develop self-awareness, social awareness and global awareness to the history, accomplishments, oppression and rebuilding of Black People. By providing this knowledge, we seek to wake the sleeping people to what is happening around them and how these destructive situations were created in our communities and how to heal them by bringing people of all cultures together to learn our shared human story. Knowledge of self to better yourself.

The goal of OurStory Edutainment is to provide a better understanding of Black Culture. To provide a greater sense of personal identity as people from the Diaspora by showing our history and how we continue to keep our traditions and ways of life alive throughout the years.

jason reggae

Here is a listing of the activities I have scheduled for the rest of this year to celebrate and learn more about a history that has been buried or twisted or just plain left out of our history books.

Through our celebrations we will learn together what they never taught us in history class.

If you would like to help sponsor an event or make a donation towards the food and goodies we will be giving away, please feel free to contact me at 508-410-1209.

OurStory Edutainment / Peaceful Pleasures Event Schedule ~ Please mark your calendars accordingly!

Classic Reggae ~ Roots and Lovers Rock

Reggae Music in Conjunction with Satalite Music and LB Fitness.

Saturday, November 11, 2017 ~ Part 4

Saturday, December 9, 2017 – Part 5

WCUW Radio Station, 910 Main Street, Worcester, MA

8 pm to 1 am. $10. BYOB

Come and join us for a laid back evening of your favorites in Classic Reggae with Music by I~Lox (Lennox) and J Wonder!!! Nice, easy and laid back vibes. BYOB. Respect a must!

Black Culture Matinee ~ Join us as we explore Black Culture through the lens of movies, documentaries and other art forms.

Saturday, November 25, 2017 ~

Saturday, December 30, 2017~ Celebrating Kwanzaa

Saturday, January 27, 2018 ~

Saturday, February 24, 2018 ~ Black History Month Celebration

Worcester Public Library, Three Salem Square, Worcester, MA

2 pm to 4 pm Free

Worcester Kwanzaa Celebration 2018 ~ Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday which celebrates, family community and culture. Celebrated from December 26 through January 1, its origins are in the first harvest celebrations of Africa from which it takes its name.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017 ~ Umoja – Unity ~

Wednesday, December 27, 2017 ~ Kujichagulia – Self-Determination

Thursday, December 28, 2017 ~ Ujima – Collective Work & Responsibility

Friday, December 29, 2017 ~ Ujamaa – Cooperative Economics

Saturday, December 30, 2017 ~ Nia – Purpose

Sunday, December 31, 2017 ~ Kuumba – Creativity

Monday, January 1, 2018 ~ Imani – Faith

All events at WCUW Radio Station, 910 Main Street, Worcester, MA

6 pm to 9:00 pm

Bob Marley Birthday Bash Weekend

Our 11th Annual Celebration of the words, music and life of Robert Nesta Marley.

Friday, February 2, 2018 9 pm to 2 am $10.

Electric Haze, 26 Millbury St., Worcester

Live Reggae Bands celebrating Bob’s music.

11th Annual Bob Marley Bash – Family Friendly

Saturday, February 3, 2018 1 pm to 5 pm

Worcester Public Library, One Salem Square

Documentary ~ MARLEY

Sunday, February 4, 2018 2 pm

WCUW Radio Station, 910 Main St., Worcester

Lots of fun stuff!! Hope to see you around the town!!!

Edith – always in style!

Fall back! Autumn is here!

By Edith Morgan

pics: Rose T.

“Fall” is such a multipurpose word, but perhaps at least some of its several dozen meanings apply to this season. I personally prefer to call it “Autumn” – that has a more defining and descriptive ring to it.

Most of the birds have by this time migrated, and those that remain are already at my feeders, making sure that the feeders will be full every day. It has really been too warm (72 degrees on November 3rd!!) for hibernation – the squirrels are still active, and the air feels more like summer.

On the 5th, we will go back to daylight saving time – and catch an extra hour of sleep. (Does this mean that now the adolescents who need an extra hour of sleep to perform better in school, will improve their morning performances?)

But mostly autumn means we gather the leaves, cut down the yellowed growth of the lilies, glads and other garden plants, empty the rain barrel, and prepare the lawn for its long winter sleep.


The grass will get a final feeding and, once the snow arrives, a sprinkling of seed on the snow, to melt down in and fill in empty spaces where weeds might pop up in the spring. This year the city will sweep our streets last, so all the leaves will have fallen from the trees, and all we need to worry about is an early snow.


And, of course, this is the time of year we vote – this year for our local representatives. Usually the turnout is shamefully low, despite the fact that our city councilors and our school committee members have jurisdiction over the things that affect our lives daily and directly!

Autumn is a time of endings: the end of our growing season, the end of mild weather before the winter comes, the end of flowers and vegetables in the garden.

It is also the time for the last hurrah of our maple trees, as their leaves glow in the sunshine, bright red, orange, yellow and finally brown. Some plants reserve their most magnificent display for now: day by day we watch our neighbors’ flame bush grow more red, until now all its leaves are cherry red. Soon only the stately pines will be green and unchanging. It is almost as if nature puts on a final great burst of magnificent color, and then goes silent.

For us, this is a good time for reflection: we will be indoors and at home more. That means more time for reading and thinking, as we edge into the year’s end. It’s a chance to “batten down the hatches” and be ready for winter.

Above all, this is the season of Thanksgiving – a time to look back and be grateful for all that we have, for all the good things we have experienced in the past year … . So, let’s celebrate and be grateful. And share what we have.

Go, Mayor Joe Petty, go!

From the Mayor’s Office:

City of Worcester and Community Partners Unveil Plan for Incoming Evacuees of Hurricane Irma and Maria

The City of Worcester announced yesterday its collaborative plan for the resettlement of incoming evacuees of Hurricane Irma and Maria, alongside partners from the non-profit community Amor Para Puerto Rico and Centro, Inc.

“Cities step up. This is what we do,” said Mayor Joseph M. Petty. “Evacuees are not just coming to Worcester but to cities like Boston and Holyoke and New Bedford. We are committed to working with our community and state partners to make sure that the people of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Island are cared for and are receiving the services they deserve. We will not back down from our commitment to our fellow Americans.”

Speakers urged the public to call 2-1-1 if they or someone they know is an evacuee from the devastation brought by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The City of Worcester and Worcester Public Schools have worked to distribute fliers with this information across the city.

“The City of Worcester has been working with our non-profit service providers for the past several weeks to convene working groups to address all of the major issues incoming evacuees face: case-management, housing, employment, education, healthcare, and community support. If you’re planning on bringing family here, call 2-1-1 and let Centro know who is coming and when they can be expected,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus.

One of the community support groups is Amor Para Puerto Rico, a non-profit formed to respond to the needs of incoming evacuees from Puerto Rico as well as raising money for relief efforts on the island.

“Amor para Puerto Rico stands in solidarity with all Puerto Rican Americans,” said City Councilor Sarai Rivera speaking on behalf of the organization. “To those on the Island we will continue our relief efforts and our commitment to help rebuild Puerto Rico. To those on the mainland that have resettled or those thinking of resettlement here in Worcester whether long term or short term we embrace and welcome you to our neighborhoods, our schools, our community based organizations, our churches, our businesses, our City Hall, our hospitals and clinics. Our city is now your city and we are here to help in your transition.”

At the time of the event over 100 students new students have enrolled in the Worcester Public Schools from areas affected by Hurricane Irma and Maria.

“While this situation remains fluid, I am confident we will be able to provide all of the services needed for our children,” said Superintendent Maureen Binienda. “I believe this firmly from our long history of welcoming students from all parts of the United States and the world.”

Centro, Inc located on Sycamore Street in Worcester is the lead agency handling intake of incoming evacuees and case management services for Worcester and all of Worcester County.

“We are blessed to live in a city where elected officials, community leaders and citizens have come together to identify the most effective way to assist the self-evacuees from Puerto Rico as a result of this season’s hurricanes,” said Juan Gomez, Executive Director of the service agency Centro, Inc. “Centro is proud to be a partner in this important initiative, by receiving the referrals, conducting assessments and providing case management, so to ensure none of the families fall through the cracks.”

Since Hurricane Maria, the City of Worcester has received 113 new students in the Worcester Public Schools from the affected areas and Centro, Inc. is working with 203 evacuees in total.

Don’t waste your votes next Tuesday! I got this in the mail from the WDCC …

pics: R.T.

Remember: A vote for either Gaffney is A VOTE FOR HELL!!!!

(What we mean is … A vote for Coreen or Michael Gaffney is a vote for: scapegoating minorities, refugees and poor people; political discourse at its basest level; all around incivility; a ringing endorsement of the Gaffneys’ best friend and partner-in-hate, TURTLE BOY-AIDAN KEARNEY and his vile vile blog, which Michael Gaffney links to on his FB page and uses to dump his vile assertions – together, Aidan+Mike have been the catalyst for  Woo’s ugliest community-splitting battles in recent memory; community discord almost weekly as Mike throws political “bomb” after bomb into our community; cultural wedge issues; making groups of folks feel bad; making groups of folks feel mad; lies too numerous to keep track of – a la Trump; demagoguery; carpet baggery; nastiness; an unwillingness to see a complex, multicultural Worcester; a willingness to throw anyone under the bus for political gain; a willingness to say anything for political gain; misrepresentation/contortion of facts; untrustworthiness; immaturity; mini-Donald Trump style and talking points;  just plain old bizarreness.)

Neither one of these two individuals  should be elected to the Worcester City Council!

They suck!!

The Gaffneys are no friend to the people of Woo’s inner city!

Rosalie Tirella

Go, Jim, go! … City Councilor Mike Gaffney = Worcester’s Tricky Dick … and more

Tricky Gaffney

By Rosalie Tirella

Worcester City Councilor Mike Gaffney is a fraud. He or his agents paid for a 3-candidate telephone poll to be conducted a few days ago. It was not Worcester City Councilor at Large Moe Bergman who paid for the poll – as Gaffney lied, straight-faced, crooked-souled, to Worcesterites on his FB page. Then he asked folks for their votes! (How twisted is this guy?)

Gaffney or his agents did this because Gaffney wants to know how he will do next Tuesday, election day, not running but running for city council, and he wants to PUSH voters to vote for him. Some “polls” do that … lead the voters to favor the political candidates who paid for the polls. Fake polls. Marketing really.

Moe B and fellow City Councilor at Large Krystian King were the lowest at large vote getters last election. Would a MIA Mike Gaffney garner more votes than two city councilors who are actually doing THE HARD WORK OF RUNNING FOR OFFICE? Putting themselves out there at forums, answering various and sundry candidate surveys, responding to the emails of  pesky reporters and columnists? Will the Gaffney phone calls lead voters to fill in the bubble next to the Gaffer’s name next Tuesday? His name and his wife Coreen’s are still on the ballot because Mike announced their withdrawal from their respective races just a week or so ago – right before election day!

Gaffney said he and Coreen, who was recently let go from her high paying job at Hanover Insurance, were heading to greener pastures – goodbye, Worcester! But Gaffney didn’t divulge their plans. We are thinking: Gaffney, being Gaffney, made up the rosy scenario to cover up their bad luck/ dim prospects!

Gaffney is a conniving snake … We can never read him, trust what he says. He seems to hate people – and himself. His self-loathing is palpable – and sad. He is Woo‘s very own Richard Nixon. How can anyone  believe/believe in Tricky Dick???



Congressman Jim McGovern, New England Members of Congress Demand Explanation for Silencing of EPA Scientists

Congressman Jim McGovern joined yesterday fellow New England Members of Congress in a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt demanding answers after the EPA canceled presentations by its scientists at a workshop on the health of Narragansett Bay.

The presentation was to be made at an event focusing on the challenges climate change and other threats pose for the critical economic resource.

Joining Congressman McGovern on today’s letter were Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Jack Reed (D-RI), as well as Representatives Richard Neal (D-MA), Jim Langevin (D-RI), David Cicilline (D-RI), Joe Kennedy (D-MA), Katherine Clark (D-MA), and Seth Moulton (D-MA).

In the letter, the lawmakers asked Pruitt how he would react if the federal government silenced experts from his home state on a topic of the utmost importance to local communities’ health and economic wellbeing.

“You would not have taken kindly to Washington bureaucrats telling scientists in Oklahoma they couldn’t speak with Oklahoma organizations to come up with ‘neighborhood solutions’ to better protect public health and a critical economic asset,” McGovern and the New England lawmakers write. “Neither do we.”

The State of the Narragansett Bay and Its Watershed workshop took place in Providence, RI, on October 23, and centered on the release of a 500-page report detailing the health of the Bay, problems it faces, and the progress made to address these issues.

The EPA, which helped fund the research through its administration of the National Estuary Program (NEP), was scheduled to send three EPA-affiliated scientists to present material they had contributed to the report and share their expertise on the challenges facing the Bay.

Just days before the workshop and without explanation, the EPA barred the scientists from presenting.

The EPA’s actions were a “blatant example of the scientific censorship we all suspected was going to start being enforced at EPA” under Administrator Pruitt’s leadership, chair of the science advisory committee of the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program John King told the New York Times. According to the Times’s reporting, at least one of the EPA scientists had planned to address climate change and related factors in her presentation. “They don’t believe in climate change, so I think what they’re trying to do is stifle discussions of the impacts of climate change,” King added.

“Narragansett Bay is one of Rhode Island’s and Massachusetts’ most important economic assets,” McGovern and the lawmakers note. “The [Narragansett Bay Estuary Program] and other environmental organizations in the Narragansett Bay watershed have long relied upon the expertise of EPA scientists to provide the data and analysis needed to plan for its future. . .

.  If EPA scientists are not allowed to participate in a workshop discussing the results of scientific research because that workshop included a discussion of climate change, that begs the question whether EPA will censor NEP grantees from discussing climate change . . . .”

Full text of the members’ letter below:

October 31, 2017

The Honorable Scott Pruitt
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

Dear Administrator Pruitt:

We write to request information on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) role in cancelling planned presentations by three EPA-affiliated scientists in Rhode Island. On Monday, October 23, the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program (NBEP) hosted a workshop to present findings from its recently released report, The State of Narragansett Bay and Its Watershed. This report, funded in part by EPA and the culmination of three years of work among universities, not-for-profit organizations, and government agencies, offers a look at the status of Narragansett Bay and the challenges it faces. It identifies 24 factors affecting the health of the Bay. Climate change played a significant role in this comprehensive analysis.

The State of Narragansett Bay and Its Watershed focuses on three climate change stressor indicators—temperature, precipitation, and sea level—because of their ubiquitous impacts on other stressor, ecosystem condition, and public health indicators. Based on datasets spanning nearly a century or more, analysis of these climate change indicators reveals long-term trends that are useful in understanding past environmental changes and projecting future changes in the Bay and its Watershed.[1]

Autumn Oczkowski, an EPA ecologist, was scheduled to give the workshop’s keynote address. Rose Martin, an EPA scientist, and Emily Shumchenia, an EPA consultant, were scheduled to speak on a panel titled, “The Present and Future Biological Implications of Climate Change.” All three scientists directly contributed to the report. The event was structured so that EPA scientists would not participate in the press conference with elected officials. On Friday, October 20, EPA informed NBEP Director Tom Borden that the three scientists would not be allowed to speak at the October 23 workshop. No satisfactory explanation for this decision has ever been provided to the organizers of the event.

Narragansett Bay is one of Rhode Island’s and Massachusetts’ most important economic assets. The NBEP and other environmental organizations in the Narragansett Bay watershed have long relied upon the expertise of EPA scientists to provide the data and analysis needed to plan for its future. During your confirmation proceedings, you appeared to support this kind of federal-local partnership, writing in response to a question from Senator Whitehouse, “I am fond of saying that we need national standards and neighborhood solutions. I think that should shape the work of the EPA.” The NBEP’s workshop was part of an ongoing, statutorily required process of local stakeholders collaborating with scientists to come up with “neighborhood solutions.” You would not have taken kindly to Washington bureaucrats telling scientists in Oklahoma they couldn’t speak with Oklahoma organizations to come up with “neighborhood solutions” to better protect public health and a critical economic asset. Neither do we.

We are also alarmed by what EPA’s decision to muzzle its scientists means for the future of the National Estuaries Program. All National Estuaries Program participants (NEPs) receive annual financial support from EPA. They are required by statute to develop and implement Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plans (CCMPs) to address water quality issues and the health of estuaries. NEPs submit to EPA an annual work plan consistent with their CCMPs, which EPA must approve for funds to be released year to year. Congress recently recommitted its support of this program by reauthorizing it through FY 2021.

If EPA scientists are not allowed to participate in a workshop discussing the results of scientific research because that workshop included a discussion of climate change, that begs the question whether EPA will censor NEP grantees from discussing climate change in their management plans, annual work plans, or other public documents. It also calls into question EPA’s commitment to provide ongoing scientific support to the 28 NEPs across the country. So that we may better understand EPA’s current policies with respect to these issues, we ask that you provide responses and responsive documents to the following questions:

Were Autumn Oczkowski, Rose Martin, and Emily Shumchenia prohibited from presenting their work at the NBEP’s workshop because it addressed climate change? Were there any other reasons why they were prohibited from participating in the workshop? Did that decision reflect official EPA policy? If so, please provide a copy of the relevant policy.
Who made that decision? At what level was it approved? Please provide all communications related to that decision, and any documents that reference the NBEP October 23 workshop.

Please provide all communications between Autumn Oczkowski, Rose Martin, and Emily Shumchenia or any other representative of the Atlantic Ecology Division and (1) Region 1 EPA Headquarters and (2) EPA’s main headquarters in Washington, D.C., related to the participation of any EPA employee’s or contractor’s participation in NBEP’s October 23, 2017 press conference and workshop, or the EPA research to be presented at that conference.

EPA spokesman John Konkus was quoted as saying “EPA scientists are attending, they simply are not presenting, it is not an EPA conference.”[2] Is it the policy of EPA to prohibit its scientists from presenting their work at anyplace other than “an EPA conference”? Please provide a copy of EPA’s policy governing the attendance and participation of its scientists at conferences and workshops, including how EPA defines an “EPA conference.”

Going forward, will EPA scientists be able to contribute to the work of the NBEP (and other NEPs), the recommendations put forth in The State of Narragansett Bay and Its Watershed, and the broader protection and restoration of the Narragansett Bay? Will there be any subject-matter limitations on what EPA scientists can research or discuss? If so, please provide a list of forbidden topics.

The Washington Post has previously reported that Mr. Konkus, who is deputy associate administrator in EPA’s Office of Public Affairs, “reviews every award the agency gives out” and “has told staff that he is on the lookout for ‘the double C-word’ — climate change….”[3]

– What role will Mr. Konkus have reviewing annual work plan submissions and long-term CCMPs for National Estuaries Program sites? Please provide any guidance used by Mr. Konkus or any other EPA staff used to review these submissions.

– Please provide a copy of Mr. Konkus’s resume, or any other documentation that would help explain Mr. Konkus’s ability to assess annual work plans and CCMPs that NEPs propose to address the environmental conditions in the estuaries they serve.

The New York Times reported that “political officials from E.P.A. headquarters in Washington spent two days last week in the Rhode Island office reviewing the lab’s work.”[4] Was that a regularly scheduled review of the lab’s work? If not, why was it performed?

Please identify the officials and provide all guidance related to the determination of research topics and priorities at EPA’s National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, including but not limited to the Atlantic Ecology Division in Narragansett, Rhode Island.

Will NEPs that seek to address the effects of climate change be penalized in any way? Please provide a copy of the criteria by which NEP annual work plans and other CCMP-related submissions will be reviewed and evaluated by EPA.

We request the courtesy of a response to this letter no later than November 17, 2017.

[1] Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, The State of Narragansett Bay and Its Watershed, p. 42, available online at: http://nbep.org/the-state-of-our-watershed/

[2] Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis, EPA Yanks Scientists’ Conference Presentations, Including on Climate Change, Washington Post, October 22, 2017.

[3] Juliet Eilperin, EPA Now Requires Political Aide’s Sign-off for Agency Awards, Grant Applications, Washington Post, September 4, 2017.

[4] Lisa Freidman, EPA Cancels Talk on Climate Change By Agency Scientists, New York Times, October 22, 2017.

Mike Gaffney … never in style … The Poll

Two days ago, I got a purported “survey” call, asking only three questions, and I was not quick enough to jot down the source of the survey, as my suspicions were not aroused until the actual questions were asked:

They were: about my voting for/against only three of the Worcester City Council candidates:

Krystian King

Moe Bergman

and Michael Gaffney.

Since Gaffney had publicly announced that both he and his wife Coreen were withdrawing from the race (although neither had formally notified the Election Commission), I called around to see what this might mean.

Moe Bergman did not do this. Tonight he told CECELIA: “I had no connection with this. I would not even know who to call to conduct a poll like this.”

Bergman thinks Gaffney is behind the poll.

And while I did not call Mr. King, I do not see how this survey would benefit him either.

At this point, I believe that someone is trying to influence the voters.

While in this national political climate of legally accepted shenanigans (anything goes, just so long as you win), I think voters need to be warned that they are being duped.


We should take them at their word, even if they did it too late to be taken off the ballot. Their timing is suspicious, too.

Too bad this sort of thing is making its way into Worcester politics!!!

– Edith Morgan

Endorsements … Next Tuesday, please vote for …

Mayor – Joseph Petty

At-large city councilors – Morris “Moe” Bergman, Kate Toomey, Gary Rosen

District 4 – Sarai Rivera

Worcester School Committee: John Monfredo, Jack Foley, Brian O’Connell


Reelect Mayor Joseph Petty!

By Rosalie Tirella

Last-minute mayoral candidate and “machine-challenger” Konstantina Lukes FLOPPED as Worcester’s first popularly elected woman mayor several years back. She accomplished nothing in the cool office on the third floor of City Hall, unless you want to count painting it a new color and hanging new pictures on its walls. To sum up: It was a dead zone. Lukes showed no vision for Worcester and, even when she had a few glimmers of inspiration, she had no coalition on the city council to support her – or her ideas – because her colleagues dislike her so intensely. A naysayer from Day #1, Konnie has been Woo’s Wet Blanket, shooting down anything unfamiliar, wagging her finger at anything “outside the box,” saying NO to pretty much everything new that’s come before the city council – sometimes to save tax payers money but more often than not for spite – to poke her elbow into the eyes of the political machine that Konnie perceives as running this city (she IS right on this count). And sometimes Konnie votes NO out of pure cluelessness. (See: Year 1 of Pow Wow Worcester, the year Konnie proclaimed many of the beautiful murals painted on our downtown buildings to be bummers. Could the city council legislate happier public art?? she wondered aloud. … Woo calling Vladimir Putin!!)

On the other side of the aisle, incumbent Mayor Joe Petty loves all the murals, the new, young, artsy things happening (often because of him and cursed political machine) in Worcester. Dog parks? We got ’em. Police officers on beautiful horses? Check. Millennials sipping their fancy coffees in trendy eateries? Yep, Woo’s saddled with them, too.

But we love Joe Petty because of his feelings for a Worcester that’s way closer to our hearts than the coffee snobs. The Worcester that goes deep. The Green Island kids riding their rickety bikes. The Piedmont Latino dads and moms waiting for their kids to end their day at Chandler Elementary School – all proud smiles as they take their kids by their hands to cross a dangerous Chandler Street. Heading into a tough urban environment, with every intention of getting homework done, permission slips signed. Little kids cupping their hands over their ears because the traffic is so LOUD.

The ATVs, the locked down inner-city shrines …

pics: R.T.

The Worcester that baffles us, frightens us, makes us smile …



The Worcester we worry about because it has zero political juice, zero dollars, zero support from anybody … especially the Gaffney-Turtle Boy brigade.

Joe Petty’s a regular guy with a soft spot for our city kids, our public school families, immigrant populations, social service providers/heroes. He works to make our city schools great, our inner-city streets safer … Outsiders are welcome in Joe’s world. Every person counts.

As President Donald Trump becomes more and more obnoxious, profane, crude…the modest, soft-spoken Mayor Joe Petty becomes more gentle, more sensitive to the outsider – a tonic to our battered souls. Contrast Petty’s political style to the bombastic crap spewing out of the volcano mouth of City Councilor Michael Gaffney. As Trump and Gaffney become more bogged down in racial animosity and ethnic scape-goating, pulling the country and Worcester away from their dreams and ideals, we must remember our dreams and ideals. Choose light and hope.  We cannot have a mini-Trump as our mayor (Mike Gaffney),  a mini-Steve-Bannon waging war on a new multi-cultural Worcester that does not resemble the Woo of yesteryear (see Mike Gaffney again) or an out-of-touch naysayer who fears the future (see Konstantina Lukes).

The times, they are a changin’ – and we mean in A BIG WAY. Mayor Joe Petty is the guy for the New Woo: Worcester’s artsy, latte-lovin’ crowd and, more important to us, the ‘hood bikers, pit walkers, inner-city ravers – and saviors. The people who make this place we – and half of Worcester – call HOME. So rough around the edges. So misunderstood. Petty reaches out…


Revised! … Next Tuesday Worcester VOTES … Carpet Baggers Mike and Coreen Gaffney MUST stay true to their word and GO

By Rosalie Tirella

Next Tuesday, let’s not let the sinister  Michael Gaffney, a Worcester city councilor who’s skulked down the august corridors of our City Hall for far too long, make monkeys out of us voters. Let’s not allow Gaffney to continue wreaking havoc on the Woo polity, with his lies and manipulations, leaving the good people of Worcester emotionally drained and angry.

Gaffney is an expert when it comes to dividing people along racial and socio-economic lines. He’s all about creating this dynamic: Society’s insiders vs its outsiders – outsiders being refugees, immigrants, the homeless,  poor people, people of color. Just like  Prez Donald Trump, Gaffney is at his Best – we mean Worst – when he is diving into the cultural wedge issues of America/Worcester. And blowing things apart.

No more. Let’s not allow this demagogue to poison our city any longer. Go away, Joe McCarthy!

WE MUST MAKE SURE GAFFNEY HOLDS TO HIS WORD: HE said he IS EXITING WOO POLITICS. He will not accept a seat on the Worcester City Council – even if re-elected by his supporters.

Let me recap: Two weeks ago Gaffney and his wife, Coreen –  a couple of carpet baggers if ever there were a pair – expressed disgust that most people here rejected their brand of toxic politics and said they were pulling out of their respective political races – mayor and D 4. Lately, during his video show, Mike Gaffney seemed mentally deranged. Watching the last segment, with Gaffney sporting a black eye from a tumble on a cement floor, growing more strident by the second, his arms flailing, complaining that Mayor Joe Petty is covered in crumbs, a viewer couldn’t help being repelled by the guy…fearing the guy’s … insanity… Why would anyone want this mentally unhinged person representing our city in any official capacity? Leading the second largest city in New England???

But we fear Gaffney may stick around – not keep his promise to Worcester.  He may have decided to fake bow out of the council race to  take the media heat off his weirdo refusal to act like a proper mayoral candidate. When they were running for office, Gaffney (and Coreen for District 4) refused to be interviewed by the media, refused to attend any candidate forums or answer any surveys/ q and a’s. Insane! How would voters know where they stood on certain issues? And they were making the game unfair for their political opponents, who subjected themselves to all of the above. The rigors of the race. No fun.

Also, by taking a fake break for himself the Gaffer was able to lull his opponents into complacency. All their seats were safe now that he pulled out of the race. They did not have to campaign against Gaffney. Or run as hard, if he were running against them.

Fast forward to the Day after Election and Gaffney has made the cut. Been re-elected by his supporters because his name was still on the ballot. He could think to himself: “Yay! I just pulled an Ed Augustus. Ed PROMISED he would not take the City Manager’s job – gave lots of compelling reasons why he was returning to his job at Holy Cross – but when the city council came a calling he said YES!”  

Gaffney could then decide to gift himself to his adoring fans – hundreds and hundreds of fellow hate mongers – and say to them YES! I WILL BE your CITY COUNCILOR once again!  Sow racial hatred, lie about my fellow councilors, lead odious crusades…

(An aside:

We did not know Worcester had so many haters! But, hey, look who’s defiling the Oval Office and leading us into the sewers?! Hater and liar in chief Donald Trump!)

The local and state election commissions must not let Gaffney get away with this shit.

THEY MUST VETO THIS MANIPULATIVE move – not allow Gaffney to hold office. He knowingly misrepresented his intentions, affecting the shape of the mayoral and councilor at large races.

Gaffney has pulled garbage like this on Worcester since Day #1.

Yes, the Gaffneys could still get the hell outa Dodge: Coreen has been let go from her high-powered and high-paying job at Hanover Insurance. They have put their Main South condo (in Coreen’s name) up for sale. Now that she is not running for the district’s council seat, they are hightailing it out of District 4. So much for their much ballyhooed, self-professed commitment to the urban core! It was just a pose. Just a political move so Coreen could run for political office. Against Gaffney’s nemesis on the city council – D 4 incumbent Sarai Rivera. Like I said: Gaffneys = CARPET BAGGERS.

And, yes, the polls were showing Mike Gaffney being rejected by a ton of Worcester voters this election cycle, people sick and tired of the Gaffney dramas that through the years have dragged so many members of so many Worcester communities straight into the mud.

And the local media has not been fooled by the Gaffneys’ shenanigans. Called them out at every turn. If Mike Gaffney wants to stay on for another term, if he is indeed reelected, THE LOCAL MEDIA WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE GAFFER WITH SHARP EYES – AND ELBOWS.

All this smells fishy.

Out of bounds.


The Gaffneys are an embarrassment to themselves and the City of Worcester.

Next Tuesday, Election Day, let’s put an end to Worcester’s misery. Vote the Gaffney bum out and re-elect Sarai Rivera to District 4, refusing to endorse in any way the bum’s wife, Coreen.