Tag Archives: InCity Times

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma remind us: Disaster plans must include animals

By Lindsay Pollard-Post

The scenes from the Texas Gulf Coast — where Hurricane Harvey caused unprecedented flooding and devastation — are harrowing: homes and businesses destroyed, roads turned into rivers, entire neighborhoods submerged, senior citizens trapped in a flooded assisted-living facility and terrified residents fleeing for their lives through murky, chest-deep waters.

But there is at least one sign of hope in this disaster: More than ever before, rescue efforts are including animals. Many emergency shelters are allowing people to take refuge along with their animal companions; evacuees are carrying their dogs, cats, birds and other animals to safety; and teams are rushing to the area to save stranded animals.

PETA’s rescue crew is on the ground in Port Arthur with a boat, food and supplies and has already rescued several families, dogs who were stranded in water up to their necks and even an armadillo.

The devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey is a reminder that it’s vital to make an emergency plan now that includes all members of the family. Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, fires and other disasters often strike with little to no warning, so preparation can mean the difference between life and death both for us and for our animal companions.

Start by mapping out possible evacuation routes and compiling a list of places where you can stay with your animals if you must quickly leave your home. Ask family members and friends if they would be willing to accommodate you and your animals for a few days, and call around to campgrounds and hotel chains — many hotels will waive their no-animals policies during emergencies. Keep a list with the addresses and phone numbers of all your lodging options or save them to your phone.

Even if you have no other option than to sleep in your car temporarily, your animals will be safer with you than they would be if left behind in an empty house. But use caution — never leave them in a parked vehicle during warm weather, as the interior temperature can quickly reach deadly levels.

Next, ensure that you’re ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice by assembling an emergency kit for each animal. Include a carrier, a leash, bowls, towels, a favorite toy or blanket and enough food, bottled water and medication to last at least a week. Have your animals microchipped, and make sure they’re wearing collars with legible identification tags.

Once you’ve completed these steps, take a moment to think through a variety of emergency scenarios. Whatever the situation, the most important point to remember is to keep your animals with you at all times. If you can’t evacuate, or choose not to, keep them indoors. Never leave them chained or penned outside, where they can drown in rising floodwaters or be killed by falling debris.

If you do evacuate, transport small animals in secure carriers and keep larger dogs leashed or harnessed, as frightening sights and sounds and unfamiliar surroundings can cause them to bolt.

Never leave animals behind: As we’ve learned from other disasters, downed power lines or impassable roads may prevent you from returning home for weeks, leaving them stranded.

If authorities force you to evacuate without your animals, leave them indoors with access to upper floors. Do not crate them. Provide at least 10 days’ worth of dry food, and fill sinks, bathtubs and large containers with water. Put signs on windows and doors indicating the number and species of animals inside, as rescue workers may be able to save them.

And be sure to watch for other animals in trouble, including any who may have gotten loose or been left behind by your neighbors. If you see any animals in distress and can’t help them, note their location and call authorities immediately.

Animals can’t dial 911, row a boat to safety or open a can of food. They count on us to protect them. Taking time to plan now will help ensure that our animal family members stay safe when — not if — the next disaster strikes.

Jesus blues lady!

By Rosalie Tirella

There is so much music to revel in … the music of life!

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CDs for sale at Rose’s friends’ shop … pics: Rose T.

And I’m a real revelator! I try to listen to EVERYTHING:

For me, the blues is my late mom … her pain, her music, so deep, dark, God-focused and yet transcendent – BEAUTIFUL, like my mother’s deep brown eyes!

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Rose’s mom – a Worcester teen at a Worcester County lake…

Being my mother’s daughter, being in her life as a little girl and teenager, was like singing the blues with her every day:

Watching Ma walk to work at the dry cleaners (we never owned a car), her back slightly hunched from the years of toil…her back growing more bowed through the years…

… Ma trudging, almost marching!, home at end of her 11-hour day at the dry cleaners.

Home in Green Island, home from work. Ma has three little girls to feed, to help with their homework, to put to bed…her husband, my father, Daddy, with the pretty hazel eyes, red hair dolled up in a pompador, looking handsome, looking at Ma’s small hunched shoulders and shouting: “Hey, fuck nut! Hey, donkey!”

But Ma always looked so cute!! What was Daddy thinking? And she was so smart and had such pride in herself and her children.

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Rose’s mother, at her sister’s house

… I see my mother walking to work, carrying in one hand the cheap pocketbook that she bought for herself at White’s Five and Ten on Millbury Street. In her other hand: her lunch in a brown paper bag, which always contains one sandwich, one piece of fruit and her Thermos (also purchased at White’s) filled with Maxwell House coffee, a little milk and sugar – the meal that would carry her through her work day.

Back home, on Lafayette Street, more name calling courtesy of our Daddy and a quick hard loud slap to the face for Ma. Daddy, of course, jealous of some imaginary lover/interloper. As a little girl, I watched Ma force herself not to cry as my father’s hand left her soft, rounded cheek.

But there was Salvation! ALWAYS SALVATION! Plus: Comfort, love and peace… Every day, every hour. On Sundays especially!

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One of Rose’s mother’s prayer cards.

… Every day of Ma’s life – up until the last few months when her Alzheimers got worse – and then she HELD her little yellowed dog-eared penny prayer cards and prayer books tight in her hands – Ma prayed. Big time. To a Big God. Who kicked ass and took names. The Old Testament Yahweh.

Yay!!

My mother’s God could take on my asshole father, rough and tough Green Island, a minimum wage paycheck, physical exhaustion. No sweat! He was older than the stars!

Throughout the day, no matter where Ma was – she was checking in with God – praying to him in whispers, chanting to him, sometimes singing to him in her not so pretty voice (though she was a tremendous whistler). Sometimes she would make a loose fist with her right hand and repeatedly, gently, strike her heart, her breasts, with it. While praying. Lost in time. Very dramatic to a little kid like me!

With God on her side, of course Ma and her three little girls and old Polish Mama, Bapy, would endure!

In the a.m., before breakfast, Ma would pray. Before eating one slice of toast. Before waking us kids up for school. Before anything. … It is 5:30 in the morning, and I am in bed but peaking out from under the covers to watch my mother start her day. Our day. She is kneeling on one of the rickety wooden kitchen chairs at our old green kitchen table. In the brightening kitchen she is whispering to God – not reading from a prayer book – but talking straight from the heart. Her arms are raised, her head lowered. She is serious but looks calm. I find the sight of my mother praying comforting. I smell the morning coffee percolating. Mmmm!

It is time to leave our third-floor tenement for school and work. The letters K M and B? – in honor of the 3 kings who visited the Baby Jesus in Bethlehem – are written in chalk above our apartment’s front and back doors. The Christmas story is retold to us every day as we start our day, head out into the world. I watch Ma make a little cross on her forehead with the back of her thumb as we leave the tenement.

After school, when my two kid sisters and I drop into the dry cleaners where Ma works to say hi to Ma we may see her off to the side, sitting on her metal chair, her eye glasses sliding down her nose as she prays, reading from one of her prayer cards. This takes only a few minutes, but the act connects her to God. A shot in the arm for Ma. A shot of love.

At home, after supper, before we go to bed, we may say the rosary together, with Ma leading the prayers. Just one section – not the whole rosary, thank goodness! Just one Our Father, followed by 10 Hail Mary’s and One Glory Be. I’m into it because I am praying with my new white rosary I just got for First Holy Communion at Saint Mary’s. Plus the nuns gave us girls a cool white taper candle and a pretty white pocketbook with a pink little rose embossed on the flap. I got all the goodies just for going to CCD class at St. Mary’s! Definitely one of the few perks of trudging to catechism class every Monday at 5 p.m.

Then it’s time to fall asleep! I am in my bedroom, under the covers. If Daddy is with us – he sometimes goes MIA for months – I hear Ma and Daddy talking, sometimes laughing, in Ma’s bedroom. Then there’s a lot of groaning and moaning, and Ma’s bed springs are squeaking like mad, which keeps me up. But it all stops soon enough and the flat goes quiet.

Soon old Bapy, wracked with her arthritis which wrecks her sleep, will be up making noise in the kitchen. Going to fetch a little piece of golden cake to feed to my hamster Joy, also nocturnal, and up and running on her little squeaky hamster wheel. I have told Bapy: NO, BAPY! DON’T FEED JOY CAKE! SHE GETS SPECIAL FOOD – HARTZ HAMSTER FOOD! Bapy is super stubborn and doesn’t listen to me and keeps feeding my hamster cake. Joy is obese for a hamster – even with all her running on her hamster wheel! Ma tells me not to worry: Bapy lived on a farm in Poland before she came to America and took care of chickens, dogs, cats, even a horse on her farm. And she raised her kid brother and sisters when she was 12 because her mother died, and her step-mother wanted no part of the brood. Bapy knew how to love things.

Joy did live a long life, for a hamster – almost four years. And she always stood on her tiny pink feet at the front of her little cage when the dumpling shaped Bapy leaned over it and called to her, cooing ever so gently. Joy was just waitin’ for that cake!!

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Bapy, 18, on her wedding day.

The WPD and dogs on the roof … and … Kate in Rose’s space … The new Worcester Dog Park in Vernon Hill park: a review

From Rose:

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See? Two little black poodle dogs on the pitched roof. Thrown out last night on that pitched roof! It’s the white building on the corner of Ward and Richland streets! Before St. Mary’s school. Right outside Rose’s window!

Rose has freaked! She has called the police 10 times! And the city animal control dept.-dog officers. She has told authorities: The little dogs were put out the window! They are barking, begging to come into the apt! There is no fence. They run to the end of the pitched roof yelping. They will slip,tumble off and die!

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The WPD sent Police Officer Vegas to the scene last night.

He did nothing.

The dogs are still slip sliding on the pitched roof – crying.

What a loser police department we’re saddled with…Cops so unwilling to truly engage with the community…educate, illuminate …The WPD dispatchers so nonchalant, uncaring, unhelpful. …

Kudos to the State Police dispatchers – they were compassionate when Rose called – they tried to be helpful!

text+pics: Rosalie Tirella

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THE NEW WORCESTER DOG PARK IN VERNON HILL PARK: A REVIEW

By Kate Grady

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Yay!! photos by Kate Grady

On August 21 Worcester opened up its first ever off leash dog park at Vernon Hill Park. I visited the park, without a dog, Tuesday afternoon. It’s located on 400 Providence St. It was quiet while dog owners were taking advantage of the last summer days and a little late summer sun.

Walking up to the fenced in area, three dogs alternated running the perimeter of the space and digging large holes in the dirt patches.

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Planted on the side of the hill next to the playground, the playing canines were the only indicators of the dog park from a distance. Dog owners in the City of Worcester have high hopes for this new addition to Vernon Hill Park, providing a first-time opportunity for dogs to engage in off-leash play.

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I sat down at one of the two benches located by the entrance for the “Dogs under 30-lbs” side.

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While the bench provided comfortable supervision for humans, the lack of shade on an 80-degree day proved to be a bit too hot. Dog owner Jennifer, sitting next to me, agreed a canopy or some sort of tent to provide shade for such days is a necessary addition to the dog park.

Dirt dust clouds puffed at my feet around the body of her 5-month Pitbull mix, Alpha.

Following Alpha, another dog Bella, a 6-month old rat terrier mix, tumbled in front of her owner’s feet. “I’ve been here a couple of times, too,” said the pup owner. “I live right there. We walk here. I wish it was a little grassier. But I don’t have a backyard she can run around in.”

There was a small odor coming from the entrance of the gate.

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The dog lover added: “Maybe they could also change the trash. I don’t how often it’s changed.”

The trash barrel was full of garbage – up to its rim, beside of which there was an empty bag container for one of the three dog waste stations the City of Worcester provides for this site.

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Conveniently, Bella’s mom can walk her to the park. Pup owner Jennifer must take Alpha from Belmont Street, which is about a 10-minute drive.

Notably, the park is being used by residents from all parts of the Worcester. It appears that public knowledge of this new location is mainly circulated through Facebook and other social media platforms.

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The two fenced-in areas are separated by the weight of the dogs that come to the park. One side is meant for dogs under 30 lbs. and, the other side caters to larger dogs that weigh more than 30 lbs., in hopes of preventing any accidental injuries during play.

Even though large and small dogs are separated, incidents can still occur. “I had problems on the first day,” Jennifer said. “My dog got attacked, but I found the owner on Facebook. This is my third time here and it’s been great.”

Different ropes hung on the fence and water dishes sat in-front of them. “And people are nice,” Jennifer said. “They leave toys and water dishes behind for other dogs to use.”

It is surprising that there is no water source available to the dogs, while they are playing at the Park, even if there are available water dishes left behind to use.

While the site includes all the fundamental components of a dog park – fencing, double-gate system, benches, trash-cans and waste stations – dog owners feel as though a liite more is needed to make it a more suitable environment for their pets. However, in the meantime Worcester’s first dog park provides a safe space for people to socialize and excersise their dogs. The dogs love to play! Folks get to meet and make friends with fellow dog-lovers.

Cheers to our happy canine companions in Worcester!

Brimfield is way more expensive than Webster Square’s Unique Finds Antiques and Vintage gift shop whose prices are FREE and up!

Or if you’re a maker/seller: Buy at UF and MARK UP FOR YOUR Brimfield tent/stall! (the way some Woo shops already do!)

Some goodies we spied yesterday at UF:
pics: Rose T.

Unique Finds Antique and Vintage gift shop – 1329 Main St., Worcester. At the corner of Main and Henshaw streets.

Open Mon – Sat, 2 – 8 p.m.

Vinyl – vintage – antiques – industrial – tableware – vintage toys – electric and folk guitars – record players – neon signs – old books and mags – furniture – antique toys – vintage collectibles – jewelry

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And Thanks, Ron, for this Springsteen album!
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Took it home and added it to my Boss cassettes/lps collection…
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Chef Joey = music to our autumnal tummies!

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Too debonair, this Papa of the cutest toddler!

FALL YUM YUM

Text, recipe and photos by Chef Joey

Fall is approaching – there is always room for dessert! Having a toddler around makes me want to make nutritious desserts …

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Gigi!!!

So grab some local cream and eggs and you have a protein-filled nutritious dessert that can double as a dinner. But don’t tell the kiddies!!

What is this magical dessert that sounds too good to be true?

It is none other than Crème Brulée!

This delicious concoction traditionally made with vanilla flavoring first started appearing in cookbooks around 1690. It was translated into English mid-1700’s but kept the name. By 1800 it was called “Burnt Cream” in England.

Other names are Crème Anglaise. In Spain it is called Crema Catalana, and is the dessert served once a year on Saint Joseph’s day (March 19), and instead of vanilla, it is flavored with the zest of lemons or oranges. You can do Nutella, chocolate, rasberrry etc – that’s what is so great about this dessert!

I recently reintroduced myself to this dessert, thanks to my new friends Stephanie and Penny who were constantly being served custard, which is cooked on top of the stove vs baking. It is an easy technique and you don’t have to put the sugar on top and burn it.

It’s a delicious concoction that takes minutes to prepare and can be made ahead of time and keeps for a couple of days!

You will need ramekins for individual servings – or a glass pie plate will do for family style.

For the basic recipe you need:

1 quart of cream

6 eggs, separated
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Back at Rose’s shack – 6 eggs. pic: R.T.

1 cup of sugar

and a vanilla bean!

I’ll list them below again. The fun is you can substitute the vanilla and add lemon, orange, almond, chocolate, pistachio, coconut etc – endless combinations!

If you take a ride to Cooper’s farm in Leicester, a quart of milk there is magnificent to make this concoction!

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Road trip! pic: R.T.

So turn your oven on to 325, separate the eggs and save the whites for breakfast.

Add ½ cup sugar to the yolks and whisk until light in color and very fluffy.

In the meantime, add the seeds from the vanilla bean to the milk/cream in your sauce pan and bring to a boil.

Let it sit for 15 minutes to cool down, then slowly add it to the eggs whisking constantly.

Prepare your baking pan by placing the ramekins in the large rectangle pan.

Fill the ramekins with the filling, then pour HOT water into the holding pan – so it comes up just over halfway up the ramekins or pie plate.

Place in your hot oven and bake for 45 minutes.

The center should be a little jiggly and yet firm to the touch. Depending on your oven, adjust the cooking time.

Remove from the oven, take the ramekins out of the water, place on a cookie sheet and bring to room temp, then refrigerate.

They are ready to eat like this or dust with the rest of the sugar, just a light coating, and using a blow torch, fire it evenly on the sugar until it melts! You can do it under the broiler, but just keep a close eye on it!

Ingredients list:

6 eggs separated
1 quart cream or Coopers Farm milk
½ cup sugar
1 vanilla bean (just the interior seeds)
325 degree oven – rectangular pan – 8 ramekins

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P.S. Cece is doing great! Kitty’s back!!
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Ron in Rose’s space … Politically speaking, Coreen Gaffney = bleh … and you ain’t gonna win if you don’t have the dough re mi

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Worcester politicians Coreen and Michael Gaffney are against a living wage for all workers and workers’ unions.    photo: Rose T.

By Ron O’Clair

My interests lie in the 700 Block of Main Street in Main South and the quality of life issues that affect the people who live and work in this area.

I have been a vocal advocate of citizen activism – and a neighborhood activist – for many years. I’ve worked with all of our District 4 city councilors since the late great D 4 Councilor Janice Nadeau. I worked especially closely with former District 4 City Councilor Barbara Haller (and now Worcester Zoning Board of Appeals member). Barbara loved her job and  passionately  served the people.

I have come to work with our present D 4 city councilor – Sarai Rivera – on issues affecting MY District after a period of inititial dejection because she won the race against my favorite Worcester city councilor, Barbara Haller.

Now we have a challenger to the District 4 seat – Coreen Gaffney, wife of toxic Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney. Coreen comes with major political connections via marriage to Mike Gaffney, also head of the city Republican committee, and she has the silver spoon effect: plenty of money to spend to finance a decent battle for the District 4 seat. Her husband spent $40,000 of his own money in advertising to win his election two years ago.

Barbara Haller’s defeat came as a surprise to veteran councilor Haller and myself. I believe it was due in large part to Sarai garnering a substantial voter base of her own ethnic background, working with the get out the youth vote and registering many neighborhood voters who previously did not participate in city elections. It was a masterful piece of political saviness for a heretofore unknown politician.

Now many of you know that I ran for a Worcester city councilor at-large seat in the last election. What hampered me most, besides my relative obscurity as a political candidate, was the lack of a  nice little nest egg$$$ to buy airtime, campaign literature, mailings and the other gimicks that politicians use to get their message out to the voters in time for election.

I relied on my own record of service to the community and my obvious success in transforming the most blighted area of my District – the area around the former PIP wet homeless shelter – into a cleaner, safer and QUIETER place for my tenants and me here at 707 Main St. It’s a rooming house I have managed since June of 2003. I have actually resided here since July  1996 and have worked, as I say, with ALL of the DIstrict 4 Councilors, many city officials, the Worcester Police Department and WFD firemen and women. My issues, from years of living with and dealing with these challenges: grime, safety, the opioid crisis, the PIP, prostitution, noise…

I naively believed that my years of work in a very challenging part of the city, LIVING ACROSS from the PIP, the popular articles I wrote for over a decade for InCity Times would have been enough to show the voters my level of committment to District 4. I thought that perhaps the people who reside in my District would see that I was the RIGHT person.

Last election cycle when I ran for office I did manage to pull in 580 votes – so there were at least that many people who agreed with me. My years of work have paid a few dividends here in what was once the absolute most crime-infested spot in the City of Worcester.

The old WPD, under now retired Chief Gary J. Gemme, would have liked to contain all the nefariousness/crime in my immediate vicinity, which of course made it easier for them but very unfair for poor residents, biz folks, families, kids.

So now we have  Coreen Gaffney running against the indomitable spirit of Sarai Rivera because Mr. & Mrs. Gaffney have moved into MY district and think they are going to take credit for accomplishemnts that were the result of many years of hard fought battles beginning with William Breault and continuing with myself and many other people who worked tirelessly to put a clamp down on illegal behavior regarding illicit drug sales and prostitution in this Main South area that comprises District 4.

City Councilor at-Large Michael Gaffney and now Coreen Gaffney – who declined my request for an interview prior to my authoring this story – are the interlopers here.

They believe they have rights because they have begun a “beautification” project, cleaning local weeded sidewalks and picking up trash here and there. They think this is a new and novel approach! Ha!!!

Well, they aren’t doing anything new and special. We District 4 residents, business owners and volunteers have done all this many times in the past – to not too much in the way of success long-term, or appreciation in the near-term. I myself picked up litter on my Main Street 700 block for a number of years on end –  and got physically attacked while doing it. This happened more than once.

To me, Coreen Gaffney comes off as mini me carbon copy of her husband Michael Gaffney whose support of the offensive Turtle Boy blog belittles his very own constituency. This speaks volumes about his character as a city councilor.

That is why I urge my readers to consider carefully who they vote for in the mayoral race (Michael is running for mayor) and the District 4 race.

A vote for Coreen Gaffney would be a great disservice to District 4.

Re-electing D 4 incumbent Sarai Rivera would be a good thing.

That is as fair and impartial as I can be under the circumstances – Coreen refused to be interviewed by me.

Quite the snub from the little grub!

It’s Labor Day …

By Rosalie Tirella

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Celebrate workers! pics: R.T.

Fight for $15!

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Run the mutts!

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Baby recently spayed lil’ Cece!

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Today Rose takes a lazy day off to mull over:

Woo City Councilor Mike Gaffney

The toxic shenanigans of Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney…

…whose political future is disintegrating right before his – and our – eyes! (No mayoral win for you, Gaffer! EVER!)

Another self-inflicted cannon ball to the nuts, Mikey! Yesterday you were planting flowers all over town, today you smear Bird-shit all over my city!!!

Has there ever been a creepier councilor in Worcester?

What did Worcester do to get this reactionary? (I mean, besides voting for him?)

How thin-skinned can one un- charismatic politician be? “Punishes” editor Walter Bird for a goofy little item in his paper that tweaked the Gaffer. Just a tweak. But the tweak makes Gaffney go nuts… ballistic! The paragraph wounds him to the soul. Cuts like a butter knife. Scorches like a match flame.

So he decides then and ONLY THEN to dump sexual creep allegations on editor Bird! Gets him removed from his job, too, as the paper’s publisher investigates these serious allegations. Important to remember: Allegations dumped on Worcester only after Gaffney was rubbed the wrong way by Walt…(so Gaffer is no feminist!) We’re talking ONE PARAGRAPH here, folks! A little blurb in a catch-all column.

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Wow! I need to make myself another cup of Folger’s!

Can you imagine if the newspaper had been a real alternative rag, like the late great Boston Phoenix or The Village Voice?! Hell, those papers would take no prisoners and CALL A REACTIONARY A REACTIONARY! They would not let Gaffney get away with the evil stuff he gets away with here! They would call him out at every turn!

Truth? Walter Bird has pretty much always handled the Gaffer with care.

Why?

Cuz he’s a conservative guy too who agrees with much of what Gaffer stands for when it comes to the issues: minimum wage, taxes, etc. On his FB page Walter Bird once railed against then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, calling her, like many conservatives did: Hil-LIE-ary. Walter was never out to get Gaffney. Walter is no libby. He is your average Woo reporter: below average writer, cliche-wielding, basically conservative.

This is Worcester, folks! Things get stupid here, but Gaffney has sent our metropolis off the rails hurtling into outrageously nasty planets (unless you’re talking Paulie Collyer, a Gaffney mini-me and a guy who’s just as thin-skinned and vindictive as Gaffney). I mean, what kind of fourth-rate politician punishes a fourth-rate writer for not handling him with kid gloves? A Sicko pol, that’s who!

Put on the cassette player!
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Fast-forward to:

A Worcester that loses!

Confusion!

Dirt…muck…shaming!

Political players that do NOT inspire: Gaffney AND political gadfly Paul Collyer, hate-sower-sewer Turtle Boy Aidan Kearney and all his gangsta-writers, Turtle Boy BFF poet laureate and Woo rogue lawyer Margaret Melican, plus the usual enablers: Billy, Artie, Johnny…)

Politics that do not illuminate

Politics that don’t make the world a better place

Truth?

About five years ago we were Googling Walter Bird and stumbled on some of the stuff that the Gaffer is vomiting up now. I read a Twitter exchange between a 40- something Walter Bird and a very pretty early-20 something young lady. Ol’ Walt was really pushing himself on the gal. A real creep. She resisted. It was pretty gross. But the gal was not a minor. She was, I thought, someone he might have met at a bar and wanted to fuck. Yeah, there was a huge age gap and yeah he was TOTALLY UNATTRACTIVE in this Tweet little conversation, but he was single, the girl did not totally shut him down, she held her own, eventually put him off, let him know she wasn’t nibblin’. Not interested.

Yeah, Walt Bird came on strong, but I did not think he crossed a line. He was creepy but not illegal. The gal was of age. An adult. She handled the creepy situation OK. So I didn’t write the blog post. Chalked it up to just some Saturday night bar blather, courtesy of a loser guy so in love with himself he can’t see he’s a loser.

I do not know how Walter Bird has conducted himself at his paper, but, when it comes to the paper’s young women/interns, if he acts and writes like what I read in his Tweets a few years ago HE SHOULD DEFINITELY NOT BE AROUND these young women in the office!! He is no role model! Not to be trusted. If I had a college-aged daughter, I would not let her anywhere near the desk of Walter Bird. She would intern at CECELIA, where the talented writers roost!

As for Gaffney, expect more of the same. He’ll keep his political base because of his sick, race-baiting, ultimately women-hating stunts and fiscally conservative council votes but, like Prez Donald Trump, he won’t grow his political coalition because of the deplorable stunts –
the stunts that make him a hero to his base!

Gaffney is a pathological liar, manipulator … a spinner of fakeness … He always will be.

Why?

Ask yourselves (like we do with Trump): Is this guy mentally ill?

I mean, where is the Gaffer coming from?

Abuse in a childhood foster home?

Extreme childhood neglect?

Extreme poverty?

From whence does his anger, vindictiveness, arrogance and (at his core) self-loathing spurt?

How thin-skinned can one un- charismatic politician be?

People tell us Gaffney comes from nothing, had a crappy youth, worked for everything he has … is self-made.

But made into what?

Saturday wrap-up: Why not take a September stroll through Webster Square’s Unique Finds Antiques and Vintage gift shop …

… and find those autumnal goodies for your autumnal abode? The store is located at 1329 Main St., Worcester. On the corner of Main and Henshaw streets.

Hours: Mon – Sat, 2 – 8 p.m.

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Back at her shack…Rose got these cute planters in the FREE section of Unique Finds:

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Ron and Sue gave Rose this boombox so she could play her cassettes! Her boombox’s cassette player is busted! Thank you, my friends!

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Rose, today, in her shack…she will be playing this spare beauty…

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Or: Go out and enjoy your neighborhood, like this dad and his little girl!

Yesterday!

Green Island!

The toughest urban-scape, the prettiest pink bike helmet!

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The poorest people, the best memories!

The bleakest intersection …

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… the most adept riding!

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Past the junked cars, sloping three decker porches, cracked pavement, dirty clotheslines, high fences topped with barbed wire.

Under the ugly bridge to …

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… dead factory world.

No matter!

Memories are made here, too!

THEY COUNT!

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Make your childhood memories, lil’ girl!! Ride through the weeds and the poverty. Wearing your pink bike helmet!

Your father loves you so! I can see that from my car window, on my way home to my nearby apartment: You wear the helmet, daddy doesn’t. You ride in the inside, daddy on the outside, with traffic. He is smiling – broadly – having fun! So proud of you!

Little city angel riding your bike so fast with daddy! With such confidence! The way city kids do!

Home soon…to supper? Snacks?… In the late fall and winter the kitchen windows fog up with all the frying and boiling… That’s the way it was in our Lafayette Street tenement when I was a little kid. I’d ride my little bike with its rusty handle bars through the streets of Green Island. I named my bike “Rusty”!

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You are so strong, little girl in the pink bike helmet, pedaling past the big trucks! You have no idea how resilient you are – and will be!

pics+text: Rosalie Tirella

From the Worcester NAACP … and … fairs and animals …

But first …

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Rose’s Cece was spayed Monday. Pray for the lil’ Miss Cece! (she’s so little!) pic: R.T.

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State and county fairs: Cruelty on the midway

By Jennifer O’Connor

Every time my phone rings between April and October, I brace myself for what’s coming: a caller reporting appalling abuse at a state or county fair:

Ponies tethered to turnstiles plodding in endless circles for 12 hours a day.

Chained bears forced to beg for marshmallows.

Bagged goldfish dumped in garbage cans after being won as prizes.

Why do fair boards continue to book these cruel and exploitative displays and allow animals to be treated as objects?

Life on the fair circuit is anything but fun and games for animals.

The logistics of moving from venue to venue mean a revolving door of cages, chains, crowds and chaos. There’s never enough time to allow animals to rest or give them a reprieve. It’s too expensive to pay a veterinarian to travel with these convoys, so animals who are ill or injured may go untreated. After all, not many small towns have vets with experience in colicky camels, sick sea lions or ailing alligators.

Bob Steele, who hauls bears around on the fair circuit, has been cited over and over again for failing to provide a bear who had large patches of hair loss with veterinary care.

He has also been cited for housing the bears in unsafe structures and for putting them as well as the public at risk in his Great Bear Show. Steele hauls an arthritic, aging bear around the country and admits to feeding the bears Skittles and M&M’s.

But nearly all the animal exhibitors that you see at your local fair have deplorable records of animal care – and since no one is monitoring caravans on the move, there’s no way of knowing how many animals have suffered and died along the way.

Reptiles and fish are specifically excluded from protection under the federal Animal Welfare Act, and horses and ponies used for entertainment aren’t regulated, either.

So as far as the law is concerned, that “world’s largest alligator” jammed inside a sweltering box and that goldfish being bombarded by ping-pong balls are no different from stuffed animals.

And there are no regulations against forcing ponies to give rides until they can’t take one more step. It’s pretty much a free-for-all.

Then there are all those “agricultural” displays, in which animals are viewed as commodities to be “scored.” Earlier this summer, there was a collective “Aww” when a photo ran of a 15-year-old and his cow nestled close to each other sound asleep at the Iowa State Fair. Yet that cow is destined to be treated as nothing more than a milk machine. When she’s too spent to produce another drop, she’ll be slaughtered.

What does it say about society’s mindset when children are encouraged to participate in programs such as 4-H that ultimately mean the exploitation or death of an animal they’ve befriended and whose trust they’ve actively courted?

Forward-thinking fair boards know they must evolve — and they are. Techie “petting zoos” are replacing tired ponies, and fairgoers are standing in line to ride Segways instead of elephants. Cruel animal displays are being removed to make way for fresh and innovative exhibits that appeal to a generation that cares about animals and our planet. Fair boards still clinging to archaic displays that no compassionate person wants to see are doing a disservice to their local communities by holding on to relics from an unenlightened past, and they’re destined to see dwindling crowds.

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Greetings [from the Worcester NAACP branch],

There is much to talk about in these perilous times, and there is so much we need to do to “resist” against the racial hatred and bigotry espoused by those who identify with white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups.

It is time to unite and say “enough is enough.”

The display of hatred we witnessed in Charlottesville must never happen again.

The national organization of the NAACP is extending ways you can take action by: sharing what issues matter to you, contact your representative regarding President Trump’s lack or moral clarity, and signing a petition to abolish the Electoral College.

Please go to the following link to take action today! http://www.naacp.org/campaigns/unite-us/

There is much we need to do to make sure that the values of justice, equality and inclusiveness remain strong in our city.

We can’t do this alone, we need to stand and work together. The next few events were are planning demonstrate our commitment to stand with our brothers and sisters in Worcester.

SongsOfHope

With “Songs of Hope,” the Black and Jewish communities unite to push back against hatred with a musical expression of hope, endurance and triumph.

“Faith in Worcester, Day of Prayer” unites faith-based leaders (Christian and non-Christian) in healing and lifting up our elected officials, protectors, healers, educators, all those who serve and live in our great city, and those who are suffering.

We will empower young people at our Candidates Forums as they facilitate and ask the candidates questions that concern our communities.

We look forward to working with your group or organization in the future.

[Mark your Calendars!]:

“Songs of Hope,” September 10th @ 4 pm, Belmont A.M.E. Zion Church

“Faith in Worcester Day of Prayer,” October 3rd @ 5:30 pm, City Hall, Worcester (rain date October 10th @ 5:30 pm)

“Candidate Forums- City of Worcester Councilor At-Large” October 18th & October 25th, 6 pm – 8 pm, Worcester Youth Center
“New Americans” – Update by Dr. Thomas Doughton, Worcester NAACP Executive Committee Member at Large.

… We are looking for volunteers and donors for “Songs of Hope.”

Thank you, and please consider joining the Worcester NAACP!

Pat

Worcester Unit, NAACP
4 East Central St., #484
Worcester, MA 01613
naacpworcester2058@gmail.com