Tag Archives: drugs

How horse racing rewards drug abusers

By Kathy Guillermo
 
In most sports, medication abuse is taken seriously. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens have been denied induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame repeatedly. Lance Armstrong was stripped of all seven of his Tour de France victories and has been banned for life from sanctioned cycling events.
 
But in horse racing, the abusers are elected to the Hall of Fame.
 
On the eve of the 2016 Kentucky Derby, Thoroughbred trainer Steve Asmussen was chosen for induction into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame. The racing reporters and writers who voted him in essentially condoned the behavior of a trainer who, in the words of Bernard Goldberg of HBO Real Sports, has “two reputations. I think one reputation is, one of the very, very top trainers of all time. The other reputation is, here’s a guy who’ll cut corners, who’ll give his horses drugs to get ’em out on the track, because they’re not making any money unless they are out on the track.”
 
With this vote, racing writers scoffed at meaningful reform to spare horses from dying on the track and harmed the sport they claim to love. They should be ashamed of themselves.
 
Last November, the New York State Gaming Commission released its report on evidence submitted by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) following our 2013 investigation of Asmussen. The Commission found that he had given horses the hormone thyroxine without medical necessity and fined him $10,000 for administering it to at least 45 horses within 48 hours of a race. More importantly, based on the evidence that PETA submitted showing the near-daily use of sedatives, painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, the commission introduced, in its own words, “sweeping new regulations.” According to Commission Executive Director Robert Williams, the evidence from Asmussen’s barn “prompted the Commission to put forth substantial changes to further combat the entrenched drug culture in horse racing.”
 
The proposed rules mandate that no drug be given to a horse except as an actual medical therapy, that all metabolism-modifying drugs be tightly controlled, that veterinarians renew prescriptions based only on their medical judgment, that the unnecessary use of any substance that abnormally affects a horse be prohibited, and that trainers keep a log of all dispensed medicines administered by the stable.
 
Unfortunately, this came too late for Finesse. Just days after PETA submitted its complaints to authorities, the Asmussen-trained Thoroughbred collapsed after a race and died of a “cardiac event.” Asmussen later admitted to HBO’s Goldberg that Finesse had been given thyroxine as well as clenbuterol and Lasix.
 
Asmussen is certainly not the only trainer with a history of drug violations. Yet when PETA released a video of the Asmussen investigation in 2014, many in racing wrote movingly of the need to reform medication rules for the benefit of the horses and the survival of racing. The link between overmedication and breakdowns on the track was acknowledged. Many vowed to fight for reform. The Jockey Club promised to introduce medication reform legislation and indeed, in 2015, worked with members of Congress to do so.
 
Yet for many in racing, including the columnists and writers whose job it is to cover the facts, it’s back to the same old deadly business as usual.
 
Asmussen is training one of the Derby favorites this year, Gun Runner, and his win and earnings totals cannot be disputed, but how did he earn this? Being recognized as one of the elite of racing should entail much more than simply racking up a high volume of wins. Achieving meaningful change in horse racing would be easier if the men and women who write about it acknowledged that the overuse of medication leads to breakdown and death and must be stopped.

Super cool!!!!!!!

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Rosalie wants to join the WPD Vice Squad – for reasons other than crime-busting!

By Rosalie Tirella

I tell ya, this past week’s drug bust in the house next door to mine, in Worcester’s lower Vernon Hill neighborhood, was a blast! Not a bust! But a blast! All we gawkers/rubberneckers who watched the 15, maybe more, super cops converge on 48 1/2 Ward St. early one pretty spring morning quickly got sucked into the cool cool show and realized the Worcester Police Department Vice Squad and the Mass State Police vice crew are da bomb. Creme de la creme. A #1. Top of the pops. The BEST – ever. Super-Fly-Shaft-Popeye-Doyle deelish! The stuff of early Sly Stallone movies!

Cocky, happy warriors cuz they know they’re the good guys who are out to defeat the bad guys – the whore masters, drug pushers, machine-gun-packing post-pubescent pukes who destroy lives, families and (mostly) our Worcester inner-city neighborhooods.

The kind of men and women (EMTs and fire fighters included!) who pulled America through 9/11.

Trust me: They are worth every cent we taxpayers – mostly cowardly, out-of-shape losers who love to grouse about squandered dough tumbling down the fed/municipal government rabbit hole – pay them.

They’re our inner-city heroes! Never forget that!

You always read about the bad seed – the trigger-happy cop suffering from PTSD. You seldom read about the rest of the troops, the mostly good guys, who are in peak physical and mental shape. Agile of mind and body. The guys who enjoy the freedom and excitement of their jobs, the camaraderie of the investigation – and the raid.

The adreneline junkies!

Out to apprehend the junky junkies!

Like the Worcester vice squad cops who were outside my house a few days ago… They looked so freakin’ AMAZING in their basic tee shirts and jeans, their uniform of the streets. Their clothes fell so beautifully on their bodies because their bodies were beautiful – not an ounce of fat anywhere I could see – hard, sculpted muscles that were worked at and on in THE GYM. EVERY DAY.

Six pack abs, bulging pecs and biceps. Spring in their steps. Shaven heads, too. The guns they wore on the waistbands of their jeans were compact, hard-edged, stream-lined – just like they were. Everything about these guys was urban tough. Cuz they know what they’re up against.

Swoon …

I’ve seen these vice squad guys (and gals) and their German Shepherd and Belgian Shepherd drug-sniffing dogs do their work before, usually in our inner city, where poverty, despair, anger, depression, ignorance, emotional, sexual and physical abuse and exploitation of every stripe come together in relentless waves of bad luck and bad happenings.

Most people here never catch a break. They hurt and hurt … and kill each other mindlessly, pointlessly …

You drive through places like my Worcester neigborhood and witness the drug houses, dumped garbage, unemployed young men, obscenity-laced shouting matches playing out in the streets, the condemned buildings, abandoned property, undernourished little kids and feel … oppressed.

There’s beautiful stuff here, too – don’t get me wrong. I live on Ward Street for the beautiful stuff … like the poor parents who dress their little kids up so cute and adorable – transcending the badness … the kids who walk the family chihuahua after coming home from elementary school, in the ugly concrete parking lot, yet they look so happy as they trot alongside their feisty wee pet … The retired lady who picks up the trash strewn on the sidewalk, outside her front door. … My awesome 90-year-old apartment with its high ceilings, solid, heavy dining room doors that come together to slide shut, the original 90-year-old woodwork that is stained dark brown and looks so lovely against my creamy walls. I look out my top floor window at night and see the city lights twinkling like millions of little white flowers cast out onto a deep purple sea. I remember my late mom who grew up near by and her goodness enfolds me like the purple night enfolds the white city flowers …

Back to singing the praises of the Woo PD vice squad!

I’ve seen their Belgian shepherd dog go through a car on Canterbury Street sniffing for drugs. Nothing languid about that dog! A model of tough, lean, intrepid, single-minded thoroughness. With just the slightest prompt from his lean, cool cop handler the dog jumps into the car’s trunk to run his nose over every square millimeter of trunk space. Then jumping out of the trunk, always on lead, he leaps into the back seat sniffing wildly, then lithe paws straddle the front seat sniffing madly – then onto the dashboard. Finally, the car hood is popped open and the dog – smaller and more agile than a German Shepherd dog with an edgier temperment – crawls on top of (the now cold) engine! And he is losing himself in the car’s innards. To get at the drugs. This all happened in around five minutes.

Back to the raid next door to my place! Like I said, watching the Worcester PD Vice Squad or any of the cops and state police who pursue drug dealers and other vice is like watching a big budget cop movie in the cineplex. Only it’s happening in real life, real time, yards away from you!

I watched the show on Ward Street a few days ago: the cops opening up a drug dealer’s car and pulling stuff out of it. Paper work. Floor mats. Clip boards. Some of the guys were taking gulps from their bottled water. All were talking loudly, boisterously. The hood was theirs! The arrests had been made earlier, at a different drug house. There were several houses involved located in two states – there were a bunch of young men involved – all, sadly, in their mid-20s. Thousands of dollars in cash were recovered – and a machine gun, too! (thank you, NRA!) But no one had been hurt. The guns, heroin, cocaine, drug dealers are now gone! Poof! Out of my Ward Street neighborhood! Just like in the movies! (Or, some of them are gone, at the very least)

Our urban cavalry road in and saved the Woo day! Women and children are now a little – maybe a lot – safer when we walk down Ward Street.

And I’ll always remember the playfulness in the voice of one vice squad cop who said good bye to the young lady who had been watching him do his job from HER apartment window: “See ya later, Sweetie!”

Swoon …

Worcester, can our urban core turn the corner?

Text and photos by Rosalie Tirella

Yesterday, while running errands, I saw this heap of garbage on the corner of Endicott and Millbury streets, behind a restaurant no less:

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Disgusting. Demoralizing.

Across the street in front of Our Lady of Czetchowa/St. Mary’s Church parking lot – not the Ward/Richland streets side but the Endicott Street side – I saw more shit: a mattress box spring leaning against a fence, a tall garbage can overflowing with garbage and much more trash strewn on the surrounding sidewalk. A mini landfill! I did not take a photo cuz there was a tough guy putting more crap there, and you know how that goes here in the hood …

The pastor of St. Mary’s, a Polish priest, who has ZERO interest in the neighborhood his church is smack dab in the middle of so he is ALSO PART OF THE PROBLEM, has refused to cooperate with the City of Worcester in any way – will not allow city workers to install a video camera on church property to catch the illegal dumpers, so they can be fined or at least shamed at their pig-pile ways.

This “pastor” will not even allow the Worcester Public Library book mobile LIBBY to park in his precious church parking lot. But he does allow LIBBY to idle there for his St. Mary’s School students – his church’s mediocre, dying parish school.

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Public library for private school kids. No public library for Worcester inner-city kids! One of the school’s marketing points, for parents: IT’S A SAFE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT.

Nope! With all the garbage, junkie used syringes and guns found on Ward Street NEXT DOOR TO ST. MARY’S, St. Mary’s School is located in one of Worcester’s least SAFE neighborhoods.

The Polish pastor does NOTHING to safeguard his students because he does NOTHING to improve the neighborhood.

Here’s his PRECIOUS parking lot in the middle of being repaved:

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Then a quick drive by the old PIP in Main South where, a few weeks ago, I saw this homeless recovering addict lying in a nearby doorway in hospital scrubs and yellow socks:

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This time, yesterday, at the corner of Main and Charlton streets, the hood HOT SPOT while the old PIP wet homeless shelter existed for so many years I saw: 15 or so people in a roiling urban dystopia – hookers, guys and gals watching drug deals going down, a guy pretending to butt fuck a lady against the wall, people sitting on the curb, people sitting on overturned milk crates, many on the phone, many dazed and confused, most all looking to score junk, crack, pussy … a carnival of urban despair/violence … a 10 minute walk from Worcester City Hall, the downtown city leaders are working so feverishly to resuscitate.

I drive by the area every day. THIS IS THE WAY IT ALWAYS LOOKS. … THIS IS EXACTLY THE WAY THIS INFAMOUS CORNER LOOKED WHEN THE PIP WAS OPEN. THE PIP WAS BLAMED FOR THE URBAN DYSFUNCTION. But the PIP has been gone for a few years now AND YET THE SCENE LOOKS EXACTLY THE SAME!

How can we save the inner-city when the inner-city refuses to save itself? On any level. Even if that means throwing your trash into a trash barrel or NOT kicking in your back or front door just cuz you want to?

Uncivilized behavior has created an uncivilized urban environment.

How are we going to take back our urban core, Worcester?

Beauty

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By Rosalie Tirella

Four or so weeks ago, outside my Worcester inner-city three decker, I made a new friend: Beauty, a little Chihuahua-mix from across the street. She was funny-looking cute in the way only mutts can be: long, thin body, a head that was disproportionately big for her shoulders, a kink in the middle of her tail, no taller than a beer can. The great thing about Beauty:  she was wearing a sparkly blue collar attached to a sparkly blue leash, which was held by a little girl, about six years old. One of the little kids in my neighborhood, just like you see all over Worcester inner-city neighborhoods: teeny, slips of children, undernourished, dull, pinched complexions, sometimes hair not combed out, running pell mell across busy city streets not much higher than the car tires that whiz by them. These children are so vulnerable looking you are scared for them. At first you see them as sickly and you despair for the city (they’re Worcester’s future). Then you see them as beautiful – the most exquisitely delicate of children, bones made of glass, eyes made of sea shells, hair of silk … They are the glass ornaments with which you’d adorn your Christmas tree, they are the wind catchers you’d hang from your kitchen window, in a special spot, so the morning sunlight can shine through them.

This little girl with the Chihuahua was wearing a dollar store short set; her shoes looked like slippers. But, she was full of spirit! She was running to beat the band to meet me in my parking lot, with Beauty trotting confusedly, but proudly ( little head up!), next to her. I had just got home from working and was unloading my car. The girl was smiling, seemed interested in me and Jett, my husky mix, who always travels with me. She watched me as I organized my bags and put Jett’s lead on him. She began to follow me, walking right uo to the front door of my building with me.

I smiled. I knew the pattern! Lots of inner-city kids growing up without the physical trappings of a middle-class childhood –  vacations at the Cape, big backyards filled with swing sets and the latest electronic gadgets and toys – are like this little girl.  They have personalities that absolutely sparkle, that seem to burst out of their tiny bodies! They lack the material shit their rich, spoiled and, ultimately, boring counterparts have so they create their own fun. Make their own childhood castles, their unique kiddie worlds. They are curious, aware, intuitive … sharp. They are interested in – sometimes fascinated by! – the people around them. Human toys! They want to engage you! Chat! Listen to your voice and what you have to say! Years ago, growing up in Green Island, I used to be one of those little kids! Not so young, maybe 10 … Saturday mornings I was running down Lafayette Street, making my way to the little old lady who fed 20 cats outside her flat, watching them run wild atop this little hill of garbage in her back yard. Fascinating! Then I’d run down Bigelow Street for my next adventure – to visit the weird old lady whose mouth hung down stiff on one side like it was just waiting for a cigar to be slipped in and who always wore heavy black man’s shoes. One of her legs was shorter than the other, so the soles of one of her heavy monsters was much thicker than the other.  Fascinating! This lady always began her friendly chats with me on her back porch with: NOW YOU KIDS LISTEN TO YOU MOTHER … her voice gravelly, husky, gruff from the cigarettes she smoked incessantly. I’d spend a half hour with this chain smoker, looking at her big, black man’s shoes that were always polished and shiny, and her thick ankles – always in tight fitting (you could see the red band the socks’ elastic top made on her white skin) ankle socks. Wanda was always such a know it all! So much fun to listen to her pontificate! Then I’d move one door down and say hello to Wanda’s neighbors, the old couple in the flat next door. They weren’t as chatty as Wanda with the crooked mouth but they were soothing, very domestic, like the little old couple you’d find in a Gingerbread house in the middle of enchanted woods! The wife used to sew beautiful little pillow dolls with plastic cupie doll faces. She’d show me her latest projects – dolls with dresses made of the prettiest cotton fabric, wearing bonnets she made specially for them. Bonnets trimmed with white lace to match the lace at the hem of their dresses! I adored these handmade beauties! Wanted all of them, which she had placed all over her husband’s and her bed and sofa. They had taken over their tenement! She knew I coveted her pillow dolls and would sometimes give me one of her less pretty babies. For Christmas or my birthday or First Holy Communion. Special occasions like that. I’d run straight home to show my mom, cutting through the big field between our buildings, not watching where I ran because I was so excited, coming home with brambles,we called them “pickers,” all over socks andthe bottoms of my slacks!

Ma! I’m home!!! Look what Elsie gave me!!!!!

These days, summer of 2015, this little girl, proud owner of Beauty, reminded me of me! Curious about the people around her, shy but open, wanting to learn what you liked, who you knew … people like me, now a middle aged lady down the street, stoking HER curiosity, HER imagination. I knew and loved the pattern!  So I obliged!

Hi! I said to her with enthusiasm. HELLO!

Is that your dog? she asked me, looking fascinated by the entire Rosalie-Jett production/catastrophe!

Yes! I said, His name is Jett. You’ve got such a cute dog! I love his collar! What’s your dog’s name? 

I could tell right then and there he didn’t have one! She was about to improvise! Looking at the sidewalk and then looking at me, glancing at my dress, my face, then my legs, she blurted: BEAUTY!!!!!

I wanted to scoop her up and hug her!  Kids and their not-so-secret compliments! I wanted to cry!

But instead I said: That’s a great name! I love that name! Smiling, now setting my bags down to seriously chat with my new friend, I said: How old is Beauty? She’s a great friend! I love her blue collar! It matches her leash!  I wish Jett had one like that.

Shyly pleased with my compliment and still basking in the glow of her ingenuity, the little girl walked her little dog around me smiling. I opened my car door and got Jett’s doggy treat jar out. I twisted off the cap and took out a little piece of liver snap and offered it to Beauty. She was too nervous to eat it.

I’ll bring you some treats you’ll like tomorrow, I told Beauty. Then said goodbye to my new friends.

The next day I had a bag of goodies ready for Beauty. At the end of my day, just as I had expected, Beauty and her little girk owner rushed across the street, oblivious to traffic, to meet me and Jett. My heart sang! Innocence amid the crack houses, the yellow police tape, the guy men with their pants right off their asses so you saw their underwear.

Here are some snacks for Beauty! I said to the little girl (who never gave me her name, whose name I didn’t ask to know), giving her the dog treats. Looking at the skinny dog, Beauty, noting the ridges of her little back bone and how they protruded through her thin coat, I realized Beauty is the last to be fed in this household I declared for all the universe to hear: I’LL HAVE FOOD FOR YOU TOMORROW! I WILL! FOR YOU!!!!

I went upstairs to my apartment and wanted to collapse on my bed. The city is overwhelming, too stimulating, like electricity going through me! Instead, I immediately began putting together a beautiful puppy package for Beauty: A big blue stuffed dog toy shaped like a bone. It squeaked when you squeezed it. A plastic pup canister with red paw prints on it that I filled with Jett’s dog food. And then – the piece de resistance! – a big water bowl that looked and acted like a water cooler! (pictured above). It was topped off with a huge, clear plastic  jug, that once filled would keep the water flowing and, I believed, serve Beauty well – and fascinate her little mistress. Then, lastly, a blue water/food bowl that looked too cute! I put it all on the dining room table for the next day.

The next day my building had graffiti sprayed all over it by gangs. It had been tagged – by  gang members and drug kings who have been shooting at and killing each other with impunity all over Worcester this summer. Last week there were bullet casings found on our street. Before that, up a ways, one kid fired his gun at another kid. They were both in their cars, driving their cars.

I, in a panic, called my cool landlord and shouted: THE BUILDING HAS BEEN TAGGED! GET DOWN HERE NOW AND PAINT OVER IT! COVER IT UP. NOW. PLEASE. PLEASE.

He is my friend. So within a half hour he was downstairs calmly painting over the convoluted letters that were like a slap in the face to this end of the street, home to about 10 little kids who ride their bikes all over and … BEAUTY AND HER OWNER.

Ten minutes or so later, my cell phone rang. It was my landlord:  COME DOWN HERE, ROSE.

What now?! I cried as I threw on my shoes and ran downstairs. At the bottom of the stairwell I met my landlord and a little black boy, about 11. The boy was shaking, then he got still, like a small animal, or a bird, in physical shock.

I looked at my landlord. He said: Take him upstairs. He was just chased down the street by a guy in a van, with a gun.

What?! I cried. I’ll wait with him in the hallway upstairs. Did you call the police?

Just as my landlord was about to answer my question, a car pulled up in front of our building: the boy’s relatives. They had come for him. He went out to them and got into the car. My landlord called 911. The cops were on the scene in minutes. They talked to the relatives and the little boy.  A few hours later the police caught the guy who had been chasing the boy. They found him hiding in the bushes next door. With his gun.

For days I was too stunned to write this…but then the shock wore off and I am so worried about Beauty and her owner!

WHERE WERE THEY?! I DID NOT SEE THEM ANYWHERE!

My heart dropped to the soles of my shoes. I worried about them and all the cute, skinny little kids in my neighborhood and Worcester’s inner city neighborhoods, with their innocent faces and social little personalities. Beauty, that funny looking little dog, no higher than 6 inches at the shoulders, and her little girl owner were in the back of my mind all day, as I ran InCity Times. When I got home, they were not on the sidewalk near my house waiting for me like they used to be. I went upstairs and felt very alone.

So I decided to TAKE ACTION!  I began working the phones, calling all the politicians in town. I told them about the little boy my landlord and I gave shelter to – from a storm made of kids with guns and disrespect and no love for anyone, not even themselves. Self-destruction! Confusion!  Children being chased by other children with guns! In my neighborhood, in our city! I cried to them. I’ve seen it! Just yesterday! The expression on that little boy’s face! He was quarry.

THIS IS MADNESS. STOP THE MADNESS.

Everyone responded to my fears and pleas in politician triple-speak. Such useless bull shit! Fuck you all! Except for Worcester Mayor Joe Petty, a guy totally underestimated by his opponents, who said to me, like he’s said before: I’M LISTENING, Rose. I’M LISTENING. I COULD HEAR HIM LISTENING, INTENSELY, OVER THE PHONE. Within 24 hours we had Worcester Police  Department fiot patrols on my street. The neighborhood has quieted down, calmed down. People are not on edge 24/7 – though we are all watching our backs. Joe Petty is Worcester’s Quiet Man. Like John Wayne in John Ford movies, he doesn’t say much but he’s got integrity, is modest, and will always rise to the occasion. I think he’s heartbroken over all the senseless killing and shooting, too!

And so, today, it’s quiet, though I’m AWARE, like half the city, of the potential for mayhem. Just three days ago a mom and her two year old child were shot while sitting in a car. BOOM. A toddler. Not much smaller that Beauty’s owner, I bet.

BTW: I have decided to name the little girl, BEAUTY.  She’s the real deal!

My landlord says: Don’t over think it, Rose. Do your thing. The unofficial Mayor of Green Island, Lorraine Laurie, says the same thing: Just run your life, Rose. It’s a gang thing – take it from your big sis!

I love Lorraine but she’s wrong.

It’s MY THING, TOO.

And yours.

We all have to take responsibility for the little kids in our struggling neighborhoods, though few do, which is the problem.

Two days ago I saw Beauty, and her owner and a new addition to the troops –  her teeny little brother – about three years old. Totally adorable! Like his sister, sweet and friendly in such a heartbreaking, tentative way… . He was walking Beauty! Not his sis! She was beside him, though, overseeing the walk. Very serious. To see such BEAUTY on parade in a hood like mine, in a world like ours, takes my breath away.

Running to them, over-joyed, I GUSHED: HI! I have so many great gifts for BEAUTY!

Horse deaths at race tracks should be as rare as Triple Crown Winners

By Kathy Guillermo

Seeing the video of the fourth race on Belmont Stakes day, when a horse named Helwan broke his leg and was euthanized, reminded me of the very first time I saw a horse break down during a race. It was many years ago, and I thought it would be the only time. I thought that a death on the track was as rare as a Triple Crown winner.

What seemed to me then to be shocking and unusual is actually so routine today that numbers are reported in a detached way, as though they were simply statistics from less deadly sports—more than three horses a day die on tracks, which is 24 a week and 1,000 a year. These stats don’t convey the horror of the loud crack of a bone and the horse crashing to the ground while running at top speed.

But what’s even more astounding is that the racing industry could stop many of these deaths right now if it wanted to. Some good people in racing, some members of Congress, outside experts and PETA have been saying it for years: Get rid of the medication. Stop drugging horses to keep them running when they should be resting. Eliminate the use of the debilitating diuretic Lasix on race day.

The drugs are leading to the breakdowns, and all medications should be prohibited in the week before a race. If a horse actually requires medication, that horse should not be racing.

Instead, not a day passes without the death of a Thoroughbred or Standardbred or Quarter Horse somewhere on a U.S. track. On June 14, Danzig Moon, who finished fifth in this year’s Kentucky Derby and ran in the Preakness, broke a hind leg and was euthanized at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. On June 15, when only six Thoroughbred tracks in the U.S. were open, four horses broke down.

Drug use is pervasive even at the top levels. Veterinary records released by New York State reveal that all eight horses who ran in the Belmont Stakes were given the powerful painkiller and anti-inflammatory medication phenylbutazone on June 4, just two days before the race. Is it coincidental that every horse was suffering from “inflammation”?

The French horse Helwan, who died on the day that American Pharoah won the Triple Crown, had a winning career in Europe and had never raced on Lasix. But racing for the first time in the U.S., where nearly every horse is given this drug, Helwan was given Lasix, which can cause dehydration and the loss of a hundred pounds in a single day.

It is inexplicable that racing without drugs should panic so many trainers and owners. It is inexcusable that the racing industry doesn’t stop its ceaseless bickering and clean up this mess immediately. Some members of Congress agree. Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico and Rep. Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania have introduced a bill that would repeal the Interstate Horseracing Act, which allows betting across state lines, by phone and on the Internet. Ninety percent of the $11 billion wagered annually on horses comes from this form of betting, and without it, the racing industry would collapse.

Pitts, along with Rep. Anna G. Eshoo of California and Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, has also reintroduced legislation to end drugging in racing and ban violators. Both these bills would improve the chances for horses’ survival, and clearly, federal oversight is essential. The racing industry won’t do this itself. That much is clear.

InCity Voices: Speaking out on my son’s addiction

By Robin Generelli

Thanks again for letting people speak on topics that need to be addressed.

Again, love your paper [InCity Times] … a paper about … telling the truth about things!! In my last email I said I could go on for days about all that I think is backwards….. So here it is:

Most important to me are my thoughts on addiction an enormous problem across this country and the world. I’m so tired of being told this makes money.

ok yeah to some extent it does to the doctors who do the prescribing, charging the health insurance companies for office visits that probably lasted just long enough to write the prescriptions the ones causing all the problems in the first place!?!?!?

In turn people becoming addicted… What happens next: these addicts lives are turned upside down. Life becomes unbearable, then they are referred to a psych doc who then gets his money for the visit, prescribes more drugs for anxiety… Xanax…Seroquil for sleep…the list goes on.

What a joke!!! The last thing an addict needs is more drugs.

So you’re thinking: How do you know this?

This is my life. I lived this mess. My son had surgery at age 18, was given oxycodone – the devil I call it. S

Soon addicted he went from a caring good kid with a huge heart to an addict that quick.

It’s like buying a loaf of bread at the corner store – that’s how easy it is to get this crap.

How does this happen? Went to rehab only to be prescribed more meds – huge friggin joke! Then oh it’s a psych issue, they say. Ha! My son is an addict whose life became out of control in the first place because of prescription drugs – not needing more drugs – and certainly not needing an excuse from some psych doc wanting to make excuses for his behavior.

My son was a happy, loving, caring kid who has a beautiful family, a mom and dad who give the world to all our children: hugs, kisses, care, support. Our children are the most important things to us. Other than probably being too spoiled (not a good thing) there is no excuse, except for the fact he has an addiction and needs to take reposibility for it.

I know we are not the only family dealing with this demon of addiction.

Many many families are in the same boat drifting down this river of complete insanity.

What next? you ask. No job … getting Mass Health ect… Are you kidding! Maybe they should focus more on recovery programs, a good DRUG-FREE rehab. Hey! That’s an idea!

One of the so called rehabs my son attended – a three day stay (a joke) leaving with more prescriptions(totally insane). He had all his belonging stolen – brand new clothes mind you! I have a friend who works there, and she laughed telling stories about staff stealing cigarettes, clothes, money ect from clients. TRAGIC.

Mass health pays for this?

Ask any E. R. [hospital emergency room] worker about the regulars. Yes, the regulars addicted, alcoholic, homeless (which is usually the case when addiction becomes bad enough) who are picked up by ambulance (how much is an ambulance ride?). A stay in the E. R. (thousand at least) only to do the same thing the next day. All on your pocketbook!! Mass Health – I mean ok – your pockets is really the truth.

So just a thought: have places that these people can go to for a year if needed if that’s what it takes to get well.

Teach life skills.

Help with jobs ect.

In the long run, it would be a cheaper way! Cheaper than an ambulance ride and er visit daily? Crime would go down, I’d bet my life on it.

So my son going from addict to convict – this is what usually occurs – doesn’t seem surprising. Receives tattoos and more prescriptions in jail. Are you kidding me?! Is this seem crazy to anyone but me?

Quick story. One November night I was going to visit, something I hardly do because its so hard to see my child in this situation. Just so depressing.

Again freezing cold night, of course. I had on a coat (with a hood), was told I had to put my coat in the car because of the hood. Are you kidding? I said. I probably would have been nicer but usually you get the you’re-a-scumbag attitude from the staff there. (Not all I have to add – some staff are very nice). Gee, I said that’s hilarious. My son gets better drugs in here and tattoos from neck to waist, but my hood is a threat.

The reply was that’s not supposed to happen?!?!?!? No kidding, Sherlock! But it does. How?

No response – that’s what I usually get when I confront people about this stuff. And by the way gabapentin ( not sure of the spelling). Is a jailhouse favorite jonnies the slang in jail widely prescribed in there. What a joke – ask any addict that’s been in jail. Mention jonnies and they laugh – you do get high on them. A suboxone goes for $100 a whack for one. Gee sounds like a good gig to me – crooked workers making an extra buck selling to inmates.

Just want to set things straight. Not all guards do this crap. I have friends – the most honest, upstanding guys who are guards never would dream to do such things. But dishonest crooked people exist in every part of society! My son has to pay the price for the things he’s done – ABSOLUTELY!

But make a difference – do not add to the problem.

Programs in jail should be required for every inmate – period!

editor’s note: Robin is a faithful ICT reader!

All over Green Island yesterday, on Millbury Street, Worcester police cruisers, state-ies, drug-/criminal-sniffing German Shepherds …

By Rosalie Tirella

… Oh, my! I said to myself as I drove through the hood yesterday afternoon, running my biz!! So pretty out! So sunny out! Perfect day for a man hunt! Or a huge huge heroin bust!

There they were, three cops, on foot patrol, being led by a single minded German Shepherd dog who was pulling them into all the doorways of all the establishments on Millbury Street. Then the Worcester police cruisers with lights flashing (sirens off), then the state police cruisers with their lights on (also silent) filled the scene.

This city girl said: COOL! I wanna tag along!

In my car, driving slowly, gunking up traffic, I thought: This must be big! Maybe I’m in the middle of a search for a killer or drug-lord or just plain ol’ drugs! I stupidly followed the cops who were working diligently, with their dog. And I caught their adrenaline rush!

Cops may not wanna admit this but they must love the high of the chase, the adrenaline rush! On the edge! You have to think FAST! Very Steve McQueen! Some of their coolness rubbed off on me cuz I got fearless and giddy and felt EXCITED. The officers – two men in their 30s and a woman in her 30s – showed not a smidgen of fear. They smiled as they walked the hood with their lanky dog, and when a car tooted at them (not me!) the gal copper yelled at him: NOW THAT HELPS! Then she looked at her colleagues and smiled. She was beautiful and full of  herself! I like to see fearlessness in women doing dangerous jobs! I hope she is or becomes a mom and raises FEARLESS DAUGHTERS!

The German Shepherd dog had a mind of its own and led the police officers, all crisp and buff, up Endicott Street. I followed along in my jalopy, trying to snap photos.

Then they made a right onto Ward Street, their dog straining, putting his nose into people’s yards and then, as if thinking NOPE!,  moving on to the next property.

I called out to them! You have a beautiful working dog! Here’s mine – Jett! Jett was bounding up and down in the back seat, eager to jump out and play with the working dog, who didn’t even know we were there. HE WAS WORKING THAT HARD. One of the cops, nice enough, but with a smug little smile on his face, said: Ma’am, the dog is working right now!

I said, I know! Then I said who I was and told them I was snapping a few photos for the website and paper.  The cops, youngish and cocky, the queenie and her kings of the hood – until some punk maybe decided to shoot at them (or me!) from a window (everyone and his/her brother seems to own a gun in Worcester!) – looked at each other and grinned. I smiled back.

Spring in the city!

Horse racing’s daily double: drugs and death

By Kathy Guillermo

It’s time for the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to step in and clean up the thoroughbred racing industry’s addiction to drugs.

As The New York Times has just reported, over a period of four months, a PETA investigator worked for well-known trainer Steve Asmussen, trainer of Curlin and Rachel Alexandra, at two of the most famous racetracks in America: Churchill Downs in Kentucky and the Saratoga Race Course in New York. PETA’s investigation exposed many serious problems but none more harmful than the routine, pervasive and improper use of prescription drugs during training, a regimen that has begun the downward spiral to the slaughterhouse for thousands of horses.

Fragile young horses—raced before their bones have fully matured and unable to handle the pounding and stress—suffer routinely from injuries, lameness, exhaustion and what is euphemistically called “soreness.” Owners don’t want to waste time waiting until foals are physically capable. They want to get the cash flow started.

PETA’s investigator saw veterinarians and stable hands, apparently on Asmussen’s orders, give horses an aggressive daily regimen of pain-masking and performance-enhancing drugs and treatments. These drugs often aren’t used for genuinely therapeutic purposes. Instead, they’re used to keep horses going when their legs and lungs are screaming, “Stop!” Horses in the racing industry are so routinely doped up that they’ve been called “chemical horses,” and their feet, bones and bodies are progressively destroyed as a result.

It’s little wonder that an average of 24 horses suffer catastrophic (fatal) breakdowns every week at racetracks across America.

One of Asmussen’s drugs of choice was thyroxine. Although it’s approved only as a prescription medication for horses with hypothyroidism, the drug was being administered to every horse in his barns, apparently without testing or evidence of any thyroid condition. This drug seems to have been recklessly administered just to speed up metabolism.

Thyroxine was also detected in the systems of several horses who had mysteriously died in the barns of another major trainer, Bob Baffert. The necropsy report on Baffert’s horses stated, “The drug, thyroxine, was so routinely prescribed in the Baffert barn that it was dispensed for one of the horses a week after he had died.”

Horses in Asmussen’s Saratoga stables were also given Lasix, which dehydrates the animals and makes them lighter and faster. Lasix is legal to use in New York for the right purpose—to prevent bleeding in the lungs—but not to shave a few seconds off a horse’s running time. This controversial drug is banned on race day in Europe.

PETA’s investigator also witnessed the drugging of horses day after day with muscle relaxants, sedatives and other potent pharmaceuticals used for treating ailments such as ulcers, lameness and inflammation—seemingly without regard for the long-term effects on the horses’ welfare.

Trainers will do just about anything to gain an advantage. Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas and Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens joked about jockeys who used concealed battery-powered shocking devices on horses. The prized horse Nehro, who came in second in the 2011 Kentucky Derby, was forced to race on painful, chronically damaged feet, and his hooves were in such bad shape that one of them was held together at one point with super glue. PETA’s investigator also found that many undocumented laborers were hired and forced to work long hours for little pay in difficult, dangerous jobs.

PETA has filed 10 legal complaints at both the federal and state level, and we’re working for the passage of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2013, a federal bill that would put the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (the same agency that investigated Lance Armstrong) in charge of drug enforcement in horse racing. Everyone reading this can also make a difference by refusing to patronize or bet on horse races.

Ron’s urban diary: Merry Christmas, Worcester Police Officer Thomas Daly!

By Ron O’Clair

I am pleased to have spoken with you yesterday outside the “ground zero” property that I have managed for the last decade as the Building & Property Superintendent of 703-711 Main Street. I had been watching activity from the front seat of my vintage 1995 Chevrolet full size van with 56,565 original miles when you had passed by my block on your way around to end up coming down Charlton Street, where I motioned you to a stop as I was exiting my vehicle.

I thought at first glance that you were Officer Jon Kachadoorian, whom I have come to know from my route, and who is an exceptional example of Worcester’s finest. I authored him a nice letter of commendation for the assistance he provided to me when my other vehicle, the 4X4 GMC pick-up with the minute mount plow had been broken into and I caught one of the crack whores that frequent my neighborhood asleep inside what had been a locked vehicle until I caught her inside and yanked her out by her feet. The story was in one of the 4 editions of the InCity Times that I gave you to read for your enjoyment.

I was pleased that you took a couple of minutes out of your busy day to speak with me, and I truly enjoyed the experience. It is refreshing to note the recent change of attitudes displayed as regards me by the various members of the department that I have been trying to enlist as allies in my crusade to retake the streets in my area from the criminal conspiracy to traffic narcotics that has been an ongoing problem here for the entire decade of my responsibility as the building superintendent, and seven more years that I was a resident of the rooming house before that.

It was not always so, and I have the chapters to prove it.

We are all in this together, and need to work together to turn the tide for a better future for the City of Worcester, which I hope to make the first community in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to be able to succeed where so many others have failed utterly to maintain the peace, restore civility in the streets, and make the streets safe for all to use and enjoy without fear as they go on about their legal and lawful business.

It is my plan to bring the different factions that are working very hard, each in their own unique way to lead the lost sheep that despoil my neighborhood back into the fold, in a united effort to combine forces and work together towards the common goal of rehabilitation and treatment of the drug and alcohol addicted who are a continual drain on the resources of the various agencies, yet repeatedly relapse back into the same old routine after incarceration or treatment for their addictive behaviors.
The majority of these people pick up the needle or the crack pipe the very same day they are returned to the streets of our community after a period of forced withdrawal via arrest and detainment for one violation of the law or another in the long list of crimes they commit daily to support their drug habits.

The way it is now, all these factions are pulling in different directions, and it is as if we were in a round lifeboat in a sea of anarchy, with everyone pulling away from everyone else in chaos, getting the boat nowhere fast. The plain and simple truth of the matter is that the addicted take the handouts meant to help them, and find ways to use the assistance to further their addiction, rather than get clean and sober. Whatever they receive in the way of well meaning help is turned into revenue to buy more drugs.

The only way treatment will ever work, is that you have to get the addicted to want to change, and to better themselves with an invasive program of recovery aimed at enabling them to see that there is hope for a better future, and that they are all worthy of redemption.
It is a multifaceted enigma that has boggled the best minds in the business as to how to go about the task. I have spent the better part of my life studying the human condition, and have much knowledge acquired at great cost to me in personal sacrifice. Having over thirty years in the fellowship myself, I have seen and heard every excuse there is for why people continue to destroy themselves with alcohol and drug abuse.

I will safely estimate that over 85% of the crime that goes on daily in our City of Worcester can be laid squarely on the doorstep of drug and alcohol addiction, and the continual struggle to feed the habits of the drug addicted. There is a vast underground economy that revolves around stolen goods and services that are bartered for drugs.

There has emerged a counterculture that is so wrapped up in the throes of addiction since the introduction of crack cocaine to the mix of available drugs being sold on the streets of our fair city. I see them each and every day and night from my perch here with the birds eye view at ground zero. It does not take a rocket scientist to know what they are doing, and they have become so brazen that you can not only see them in the act, you can hear them making the deals out in the open with no fear of being apprehended.

This in not, surprisingly enough, the failure of the police that is to blame for this rampant lawlessness, though most people will point their fingers your way and try to blame it all on lackluster performance of your police duties. I have learned through my observations that the police are hampered in the performance of their duties by several factors, the least of which is officer malfeasance.

The citizens have failed the police.

The police have not failed the citizens.

At least not all of them, there are of course instances of corruption and malfeasance, it is inevitable, they are only human, under a lot of stress, and there are times that when they are caught in a lie, rather than do the honorable thing of confessing and seeking forgiveness for their transgression, they attempt to cover it up with one excuse after another. More honesty and integrity in the small percentage of officers that this statement applies too would go a long way toward reclaiming lost prestige and respect from the general public and engender better community relations as a result.

(Yes, Officer Balsavitch, this applies to you too, I am still awaiting my apology for the time you physically attacked me after I returned to the building from 18 hours of shoveling snow to need to call the police for the usual bullshit back in the days of Joanne Delaney, Lori and Randy Carr, former tenants who were, as usual drunk and causing a disturbance. You accused me of rolling my eyes your way in disrespect just prior to attacking me – I don’t forget those type of incidents – but I do forgive when asked nicely too.)

The solution will not come with adding more and more police, and building more and more jails. That approach only adds to the burden on the taxpayer who has to pay for the increased personnel and construction of more space to warehouse inmates which despite programs that are in place to curb recidivism do not seem to be having much effect on keeping the released inmate clean and sober for any length of time once they return to their old haunts, and the “friends” they are used to using with.
A true friend would encourage them to put the heroin or crack down for good, their using friends hate to see anyone succeed in recovery and when you are trying to stay straight, you get more offers for a free bag, or a free hit of crack then you ever did when you were firmly on the hook and a steady source of income for the dealers to grow rich on the illegal gains.
American citizenship demands that a citizen do their civic duty to help the police maintain order and discipline in the community in which they reside. Three short city blocks south of Federal Plaza, Main Street in Worcester turns into a ghetto of crack and heroin addicted persons perpetually engaged in the pursuit of money to finance drug habits. This is a legacy from the days of the former PIP having been located here, and the drug consuming public knowing that it is the place to go to score their drug of choice. It is a 24/7/365 day pursuit.

It would not be possible for this to have happened here without the indifference shown by a large portion of the average American citizens of Worcester having failed to understand and comply with the requirements of their civic duty.
The drug culture has spawned generations of people that have no idea of what it means to be a man, and live by the code that makes a man a man.

There is no honor to be found, or precious little at any rate.

It has become accepted practice to take everything there is to be gotten in an entitlement mentality that was designed to be temporary assistance to the truly needy, and make it a lifestyle choice. There is no shame in our society, most everyone is out to get as much as they can without putting any effort into making contributions to pay for it.

Food Stamps, SSDI, Welfare, Fuel Assistance, Section 8 housing, earned income tax credits for people that have never even held a job, but produce offspring out of wedlock that are not being supported by the father of the child, who often has several children that he is not supporting with different mothers.

None of those things would have been allowed to transpire in our America of the past.

What made America great half a century ago has all but disappeared in today’s society.

Pause @03:29 Hours.

Resume @07:27 Hours.

That is why, Officer Thomas Daly, that it was so refreshing having that two minutes of camaraderie with you as a fellow crime fighter engaged in the battle to reclaim our city streets. I may not wear a badge, but I damn sure should have a cape and a mask as I go on about the legal and lawful business that I have been engaged in these last 27 years and 85 days as of today since the day “Chewy” got his leg broken by me for his attempt to deprive me of the oxygen I need to survive, and I embarked on my quest for the answers to the questions I had as to why.

Why did he do it?

Why did the corrupt Worcester County Administration of that time cover for him, rather than charge him for attempted murder? Or at the very least charge him with assault of a prisoner in restraints?

Judge Paul V. Mullaney, (Retired) is still alive, God bless him, and he and I have since become friends despite his signing the 20 day observation order that was part of the attempt to discredit this honorable former Staff Sergeant of the United States Air Force, Reserve of the Air Force who was, and is a victim of that corruption.

He is my last and best hope for vindication seeing as how Judge William J. Luby is deceased, and Attorney Kevin Reynolds has been disbarred. It was with their assistance that I was released into my own custody the day after, (The day after!) being declared legally mentally incompetent and having had my sister Dorothy appointed my legal guardian, which was on the 14th day of the 15 days I spent at Worcester State Hospital while they tried to destroy my credibility to ensure a rosy future for “Chewy” who has been collecting full disability and benefits all this time I have been struggling to buy postage and ink for my printer to develop my skills as a writer to tell this story, and get paid for it as was my intention all along when I agreed not to sue the County if they released me immediately as they did.

The records exist, the proof is in my record of honesty and integrity, as well as the simple physics that would clearly show that the injuries inflicted on “Chewy’s” leg could not have resulted from a simple fall on water I purposely poured on the floor in my protest to that filthy holding cell that they refused to clean while I was in it.

You bet your ass they cleaned the formerly spotless hallway though, it was nice and tidy when they took “Chewy” out on a gurney while I gasped for oxygen with a crushed Larynx from his hand crushing my windpipe.

Once I was released 15 days after Chewy and I had our little lesson teaching episode, I thought that I could put the incident behind me and go on with my life as I saw fit, but the stigma of having been incarcerated in the State Hospital followed me around the rest of my days. I was never treated the same way by family, friends, associates, or even my unit members at Westover Air Force Base.

Like the actor in the movie, I had received the four white feathers and had no choice as I saw it than to attempt against all odds to prove my record of honesty and integrity was beyond reproach in order to maintain my personal sense of honor.
People without honor would never understand why I spent these last 27 years and 85 days and still counting seeking that which is mine by right, and that which I deserve, my honor. I cannot rest until my old unit members take back their feathers, and that has not happened yet.
I will keep at it, and I hope to one day get those feathers recalled.

Unless and until I finally publish my story, I don’t see it happening.

Merry Christmas 2013 Officer Daly, you have the author’s permission to make and distribute as many copies of this intellectual property of the author as you can afford too, I can’t afford to pay for the ink.

I think you know from this narrative what I would like to get for Christmas this year, those damn feathers.

End @08:06 Hours, 24 December 2013 Word count: 2,450