Tag Archives: InCity Times

SPEAK OUT AGAINST TRUMPISM!!!

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Chiderah Okoye

NSBE Boston invites you to join us at the March for Science Boston on Saturday, April 22nd from 1pm – 4pm, at the Boston Common.

This is a family friendly event and it will be outdoors.

March For Science is a celebration of people who love and support science.

The Boston rally is part of the National March for Science taking place in Washington, DC.

NSBE Boston is an exhibition partner for the 2017 the March For Science Boston and will have an exhibition stand. NSBE Boston chapter President, Chiderah Okoye, will be a featured speaker at the Rally.

Date: April 22
Time: 1 pm – 4 pm
Location: Boston Common

Volunteer with NSBE Boston : If you are a interested in being a volunteer at the Boston March for Science, please contact Lenny – PCI@nsbeboston.org

March for Science champions publicly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity.

We are committed to making science accessible to everyone and encouraging people from diverse backgrounds and experiences to pursue science careers.

Diverse science teams outperform homogeneous teams and produce broader, more creative, and stronger work. This group is inclusive of all individuals and types of science.

For more information, please visit the March for Science website – www.marchforscienceboston.com

Innocence Project director to speak at Clark University, April 20:

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Justin P. Brooks

The California Innocence Project, founded in 1999, espouses three goals:

to free innocent people from prison

to help train law students to become great lawyers

and to change laws and procedures to decrease the number of wrongful convictions and improve the justice system.

The California Innocence Project’s founding director, Justin P. Brooks, will talk about the organization’s crucial efforts to accomplish those key goals, during a talk at Clark University, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20, in the Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons, Maywood and Florence streets.

This event, free and open to the public, is sponsored by Clark’s Study Abroad and LEEP Center, and by CAPA – The Global Education Network.

Brooks is executive director at the Institute for Criminal Defense Advocacy and professor of law at the California Western School of Law, in San Diego, where he also directs the California Innocence Project, a law school clinic that is a founding member of global Innocence Network and has helped launch organizations throughout Latin America.

“Over the years, it has given me great joy to see our work go global in an ‘innocence movement’ that grows bigger and stronger every day,” Brooks writes.
Brooks has spent his career litigating wrongful conviction cases. He recently was featured in Time magazine, and presented popular TED Talks. His high-profile cases include the exoneration of Brian Banks, a former NFL player wrongly convicted of rape when in high school.

Brooks teaches a global seminar, titled “Wrongful Conviction,” at the CAPA London Study Center.

The seminar is open to Clark University students.

Global Seminars are three to four-week, 1-2 unit summer programs providing students with intensive study and experiential opportunities.

Spring in Woo’s inner-city💙💙💙💙🎵

S-p-r-i-n-g !🌷💐🌺🌹🌻🌼🐰

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Central Mass Kibble Connection dog and cat food give-away with Dorrie!🌻 – outside the Mustard Seed on Piedmont Street, every Wednesday🌷, 4 – 5 p.m pics: R.T.

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At the Mustard Seed soup kitchen with volunteer “Autumn” – free meals each day at 6 p.m. – for the needy and homeless.

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Alden Family gallery opening
At the Worcester Historical Museum Alden Family gallery – opening. photo:WHM

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Central Mass Kibble Connection dog and cat food give-away with Dorrie!🌻 – every Wednesday🌷, 4 – 5 p.m.💐

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Thank you, Dorrie!!!!

Let’s let spring keep springin’!:

Do you believe in climate change?

By Heather Moore

A recent report by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans believes that the climate is changing, mostly because of human activities, and that carbon emissions should be scaled back.

If you’re one of them, or if you’re concerned about pollution, water scarcity, food shortages or deforestation, then you really should go vegan. And Earth Day, April 22, is a fitting time to do so.

According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, animal agriculture adds 7.1 gigatons (that’s a lot) of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere each year. And animal agriculture is the single largest source of both methane and nitrous oxide, which are 25 and 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide, respectively.

So, if you really want to scale back carbon emissions—and curb other, more potent, greenhouse gases—then scale back your consumption of cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, pulled pork and other animal-based foods. Research shows that meat-eaters are responsible for around 2.5 times more dietary greenhouse-gas emissions per day than vegans.

A recent Arizona State University study found that Buddhists in China offset roughly 40 million tons of greenhouse gases per year just by eating plant-based meals.

Scientists at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have calculated various ways to combat climate change and found that cutting greenhouse-gas emissions from transportation and energy use alone isn’t enough. They concluded that curbing meat and dairy consumption is the key to bringing them down to safe levels.

Still proud of yourself for switching to LED light bulbs?

Well, you should be—but just don’t stop there. You can do more. Buying a hybrid car and installing solar panels might not be affordable for everyone, but anyone can prioritize vegan foods over meat, eggs and dairy products. Choosing bean burritos over beef is an easy—and effective—way to combat climate change.

Oh, you say that you’re one of the 12 percent who don’t believe in climate change?

Well, it’s a big world with plenty of other problems caused by animal agriculture that need to be addressed, too. Do you believe in pollution? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that nearly 70 percent of the nation’s lakes, ponds and reservoirs and more than half of its rivers and streams are too polluted for their intended use. The EPA places the blame largely on animal agriculture.

And speaking of water, it takes a whopping 850 gallons of water just to produce 8 ounces of beef but only 174 gallons to produce 8 ounces of soy burger.

And Food Tank reports that just 43 gallons of water can produce a whopping 16 ounces of dried beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils. Plus, the production of beans releases only 5 percent of the volume of greenhouse gases as beef production—if you’re worried about that kind of thing.

If you aren’t, well, did I mention that scientists at Florida International University say that the demand for meat is likely to cause more worldwide species extinctions than any other factor?

Or that researchers with the Institute of Social Ecology in Vienna believe that the best way to meet the expected global food demand in the year 2050—without sacrificing any forests—is for everyone to go vegan?

Believing that our climate is changing isn’t the only reason to go vegan—there are billions of other living, breathing, feeling, mooing, oinking, clucking “reasons” as well.

But if you agree with the 70 percent of people who told Yale researchers that they do believe in climate change, then it’s only sensible for you to choose (and enjoy!) vegan meals on Earth Day and beyond.🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸

Happy Easter!

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Heading to a family gathering today🌷🌷… Have to be up and ready early (ugh), have to get my political funnies in pre-dawn😂😂!! Have a holy day🎻! No more wars, Mr. President! Stop bombing everybody! Save the planet! Stop killing the trees, birds, bears and bees! Please!!!! pic: Rose T:

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Also, from Franny:

If you are interested in adopting a rabbit or just want to know more about caring for a house rabbit or even sponsoring or fostering a rescued rabbit, you can contact the House Rabbit Network of Woburn, Ma. either by email at www.rabbitnetwork.org or tel 781-431-1211 There is always someone available to call you or email with advice.

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pic: Franny McKeever

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Here is Dorrie’s newest cutie, precious Peke, Peggy Sue💙! Dorrie brought her home Friday:

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💛💛💛💛 pics: Dorrie Maynard

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Happy Easter, Peggy Sue!🌺🐰

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And with bunnies on the brain. From PETA.ORG …

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Do you check PETA’s database every time that you shop and look for our cruelty-free bunny? Or do you toss whatever product is nearest to you in your shopping cart without thinking twice? Whether you’re a die-hard label-checker or someone who’s never even thought about checking a label, we’ve got a cruelty-free checklist for you!

It’s hard to believe that some companies still test on animals purely for vanity’s sake, as we don’t need to have animals burned and blinded for yet another mascara, shampoo, or body wash. With so many compassionate companies in our cruelty-free database, we think it’s the perfet time to clean out your cabinets, purse, and shower and get rid of your old products that may have been tested on animals. With that in mind, we want you to figure out how cruelty-free your products really are.

Here’s how this will work:

Print this image, and tape it to your bathroom mirror. Voilà! The checklist is yours to use.

Go through all the items on the list, giving yourself a pat on the back for each cruelty-free product you own and tossing out the offenders.

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Whether you’re new to checking labels for PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies logo or you’re a compassionate queen or king, here are some of our favorite products to help you round out your cruelty-free morning routine:

1. For body wash or soap, try Bronner’s Pure-Castile Bar Soap, Lush Wash Behind Your Ears Shower Gel, or Method, which can be found at Target.

2. If you’re looking for your new favorite face wash, try Aveda’s Outer Peace Foaming Cleaner or Pacifica’s Kale Water Micellar Cleansing Tonic.

3. For shampoo and conditioner options, try Avalon Organics Scalp Normalizing Tea Tree Mint Shampoo or Carol’s Daughter Rhassoul Clay Enriching Conditioner.

4. In terms of toothpaste, Nature’s Gate Crème de Peppermint Toothpaste or Desert Essence Ultra Care Toothpaste are fantastic options.

5. We love freshening up with JĀSÖN mouthwash and Tom’s of Maine Wicked Fresh! Mouthwash.

6. Herban Cowboy and Kiss My Face both offer heavenly deodorant scents.

7. Le Labo and Flower Beauty are just two of the many perfume companies that carry vegan options.

8. We love Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics and Pacifica for all their lovely vegan nail polish shades.

9. You don’t need beeswax or animal tests to keep your lips moisturized! Try Crazy Rumors or Shea Moisture.

10. wet n wild MegaVolume Mascara and Urban Decay Perversion Waterproof Fine-Point Eye Pen will give you bold eyes without the cruelty.

11. Get your eye shadow on with Lime Crime palettes.

Tragically, hundreds of thousands of rabbits, rats, mice, guinea pigs, and other animals who are full of life and personality are kept inside barren cages in laboratories and killed after substances are dripped into their eyes or rubbed onto their raw skin—or after being forced to inhale or ingest massive quantities of test substances.

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With every vegan, cruelty-free product purchase, you’re sending a message that you don’t support archaic tests on animals.

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Bunny update from our gal pal, Franny!!!💐🌷🐰🌸

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Franny and her hubby and four kids share their home with their three much loved (and litter-box trained!) rabbits! Here is Linus and Gretta, best bunny buddies! pics: Franny McKeever

By Franny McKeever

Easter is approaching and, as a rabbit lover and rabbit rescue volunteer, I am writing to request you do not buy a rabbit for Easter!

If you are interested in having a rabbit, it should be for all the right reasons and not because of a holiday – and certainly not as a gift. Bunnies fill our animal shelters in the months following Easter. The unlucky ones get dumped outdoors to fend for themselves after families realize what is involved. They do not survive.

Rabbits are every bit as nice a pet as a family cat or dog and will live with you as a companion for eight to 10 years, if cared for properly. However, they are not low-maintenance starter pets, as some people assume. They have traditionally been kept in outdoor hutches or cages, and so it is no surprise that they are neglected without much thought. Rabbits are actually wonderful, sociable, skittish, demanding pets. They need a person to understand them and take them seriously!

First, rabbits need to live indoors. They will need a bunny-proofed area in your home to be free and exercise for at least four hours a day. Ideally, they will have a large exercise pen, bunny condo or bunny-proofed room in your home to call their own. They will have a litter box that is changed every couple of days and stocked with hay twice daily.

They will also receive a large leafy green salad of bunny-safe vegetables and fresh water. They need bunny toys to play with and chew on and lots of attention on their terms. They will need their nails clipped every few weeks and they will need to be brushed. They will also need an exotic pet vet, and you will want to have a separate fund or pet insurance, as exotic vets can be very expensive.

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Franny’s “Stella”!

Bunnies are very fragile prey animals that should never be picked up by a child. They don’t generally want to be picked up at all. If they do not get enough attention, they often do better with a bunny friend that they must gradually learn to trust in a process called “bunny-bonding.” This will not work with every pair of bunnies, since they are very particular about which bunny they can work things out with!🐰This can only happen after they are spayed or neutered – which is a necessary procedure to keep bunnies healthy and well behaved pets.

All bunnies should be spayed or neutered, and one way to avoid the $200 to $500 cost is to adopt a bunny!

Adoption is the very best way to bring a spayed or neutered rabbit into your home! You will be giving a bunny a home and at the same time perhaps become one less person perpetuating the bunny breeding business that causes the overpopulation of bunnies in the first place.

So if you are truly interested in having a bunny for the eight to 10 years they will live with you, absolutely do your homework first!!

Learn all you can about the care involved. Decide first if you have the time to dedicate to these wonderful, funny and spirited animals that need the same love and room to run around as any larger animal does.

Please understand that a bunny is not a novelty pet to be purchased as a seasonal holiday gift but rather a long-term commitment to be loved and cared for every day of their lives!

🎵🎵🎻 to our souls!💛 and … Make your own Easter Yum Yums!🍰

From PETA.ORG:

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Why You Should Celebrate a Cruelty-Free Easter

As Christians remember Christ’s crucifixion as the final sacrifice and celebrate His victory over death in the resurrection, let us resolve to emulate His compassion in our own lives by showing mercy to animals.

There’s no better place to begin than the dinner table. As we break bread, let’s break ties with some of the most violent and ungodly places on Earth — slaughterhouses and factory farms.

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Before they become Sunday’s centerpiece, animals on factory farms are denied everything that God designed them to want and do. They never breathe fresh air, nurture their young, play with other animals, or do anything to live out the biblical concept that “God’s mercy is over all His creatures.”

For example, pigs spend their entire lives in filthy concrete pens, and cruelty is rampant, as witnessed by PETA investigators.

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PETA’s investigation of Belcross Farm, a pig-breeding facility in North Carolina, resulted in the first-ever felony indictments for cruelty to animals by farm workers in the U.S.

PETA’s undercover investigation at Seaboard Farms, Inc. has resulted in the filing of felony cruelty-to-animals charges against a former manager at the facility.

Easter is also no celebration for hens on egg farms, who suffer constant confinement to tiny, filthy wire cages. Male chicks are killed — often through suffocation — since they don’t produce eggs, and female chicks have their beaks painfully seared off to keep them from pecking one another.

Cows on dairy farms are kept continually impregnated, and their calves are snatched away just after birth so that their mothers’ milk can be consumed by humans.

At the end of their short, miserable lives, these animals are crammed into trucks, with little protection from the elements, to suffer the ultimate terror of the slaughterhouse, where workers hang them upside-down and slit their throats.

What You Can Do

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Plant-based foods can be found in supermarkets (editor’s note: check out TRADER JOE’S in Shrewsbury, Rt 9, just over the bridge) and on the menus of many chain restaurants.

Since eating vegan is easier than ever, there’s simply no reason for any animals to end up on our plates!

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Homemade Vegan Easter Eggs!🐰🐰

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There are a variety of places online where you can order vegan Easter candy, and finding vegan chocolate bunnies, chocolate eggs, or jelly beans — just like those you remember filling your Easter basket with as a child — is no longer difficult. However, if you’re like me and you’ve waited until the last minute to plan for the sugar fest that often comes with the holiday, finding these goodies won’t be quite as easy.

But don’t fear! Those of us who tend to procrastinate — or are just super-crafty — can go the homemade route!

Below is a recipe for basic chocolate eggs, which you can then turn into a variety of designs.

🌷💙Chocolate Eggs💙🌷

1 8-oz. package nondairy cream cheese, softened at room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Decorations, e.g., chopped nuts, unsweetened cocoa, toasted flaked coconut

Beat the nondairy cream cheese in a mixing bowl until it is smooth.

Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until it is well blended.

Add the melted chocolate and vanilla and mix well.

Refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls or egg shapes and roll them in the nuts, cocoa, or coconut.

Store the finished chocolates in the refrigerator.

Makes approximately 5 dozen chocolates

🌷🌼Some “eggs-traordinary” ideas!!🌼🌷:

Roll egg-shaped chocolate in chopped nuts.

If you can find a cute Easter-themed mold, simply fill it with the chocolate and refrigerate.

Allow the chocolate to cool in a thin layer, then cut out your favorite shape with Easter-themed cookie cutters.

Decorate egg-shaped chocolate with dyed coconut. I recommend adding a few drops of food coloring to water and then adding your coconut. Allow to soak for a few minutes in the water, then remove and allow to dry completely before using to decorate.

Use plastic Easter eggs to get your desired shape, scoop out the center, and fill with peanut butter, nuts, or another favorite candy.

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Close the plastic egg and refrigerate until both sides are firm and have joined together.

Cover egg-shaped chocolate with holiday color foils or ribbons.

Cover egg-shaped chocolate with vegan nonpareils or another small vegan candy.

You can shape and decorate the chocolate any way you’d like, so get creative with it!

Enjoy!🐰🐰🐰🐰

Ringling – never in style!!! It’s here – BOYCOTT THIS WILD ANIMAL-ABUSING “SHOW” ONE LAST TIME!!!!

The elephants and tigers won! No more Ringling! The final gurgle this weekend…BOYCOTT THE ANIMAL ABUSE! Fuck the nostalgia BS! Stay away! Better yet! Lead a Protest at DCU!

We repost this classic InCity Times cover story written by ICT super scribe Steve Baer. It was written early in the fight for the animals, when we first began to educate you all, when we dreamed for the end and, along with so many regular folks across America, WORKED TO SHUT DOWN ALL CIRCUSES THAT USE WILD ANIMALS!

– Rose T.

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Elephants and Circuses

By Steve Baer

In June 2000, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Animal Welfare Institute, The Fund for Animals, the Animal Protection Institute, and Tom Rider, a former employee of Ringling Brothers, filed a lawsuit against Ringling Brothers in Federal District court under the Endangered Species Act.

The lawsuit charges that the circus uses a stick with a sharpened metal hook on the end (called a “bullhook” or “ankus”) to repeatedly beat, pull, push, torment and threaten elephants. This type of aggression should be illegal, and is, but only because the recipients of the beatings were highly endangered Asian Elephants. Other animals in the circus, unfortunately, are not given the same level of protection. The intention of the lawsuit was to immediately stop Ringling’s inhumane mistreatment of animals in the circus.

It wasn’t, however, until October 2006, a year after a September 2005 court order by a Federal District judge who announced that he will incarcerate Ringling’s lawyers and executives if they do not turn over critical veterinary documents that Ringling disclosed their internal veterinary records. The records revealed Ringling Brothers severe abuse of the elephants.“[We] hope the spotlight continues to shine on the use of inhumane chains and bullhooks and Ringling’s cruel behind-the-scenes treatment of elephants,” said Nicole Paquette, G e n e r a l C o u n s e l a n d Director of L e g a l Affairs at the Animal Protection Institute.

“ T h e Court has run out of patience for R i n g l i n g Bro t h e r s ’ s t a l l i n g ploys,” added M i c h a e l Markarian, president of The Fund for A n i m a l s . ” This trial will come not a moment too soon, as R i n g l i n g ’s e l e p h a n t s continue to suffer every day from abusive discipline and prolonged chaining.”

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Training

Elephants are not domestic pets. They are wild animals. The same is true of lions, tigers, and bears. To be trained for the circus, an elephant had to have been chained down and had the spirit repeatedly beaten out of him or her by a team of “animal trainers.” The “trainers” use baseball bats, metal pipes, ax handles, metal prods, and sticks. The intention of the “trainers” is to show the elephant who is boss. The elephant, being an emotionally sensitive creature, as well as having a sensitive skin, is known to cry during such sessions. The torment, which doesn’t end for days, leaves behind a mere shell of the former animal. The elephant suffers emotional scars, and often physical scars too.

One “trainer” for a major circus was caught on under cover video saying “You’ve got to make them scream – You’ve got to make them cry!” in reference to how to make an elephant ready for performing in a circus.

According to Henry Ringling North in his book “The Circus Kings,” the big cats are “chained to their pedestals, and ropes are put around their necks to choke them down.” Writes Mr. Ringling North, “They work from fear.” Bears may have their noses broken while being trained to “teach” them to respond to commands, and their paws burned to force them to stand on their hind legs.

Once animals have learned to feel helplessness and have become spiritually drained, they are kept in a state of submission through various mechanisms.

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Animals, such as bears, may be forced into tight fitting muzzles so they will remain subdued and discouraged from protecting themselves. The muzzles interfere with vision and respiration. Similarly, tight collars are employed to make animals more manageable. Others have their teeth removed. Chimpanzees and bears reportedly had their teeth knocked out by a hammer. Animals are declawed, defanged, and/or tranquilized to maintain control over them.

Elephants are forced to perform tricks by being hit with the ankus and electric prods. The ankus has a long handle with a sharp metal hook. It is jabbed into the most sensitive parts of an elephant’s body – under the trunk, behind the ears, around the eyes, inside their mouth, behind the knees, and in the genital region. Elephants are kept in fear, so they can be easily controlled by the circus.

Frequently an elephant will sustain an injury while being forced to perform an unnatural movement, such as balancing on two feet on a stool. Undercover investigators as recently as July 2006, have videotaped trainers beating elephants. Ringling’s own “Animal Behaviorist” in a January 2005 e-mail, recounted to Ringling’s General Manager that she saw an elephant named Lutzi “dripping blood all over the arena floor during the show from being hooked” after a handler “hook[ed] Lutzi under the trunk three times and behind the leg once in an attempt to line her up for the Tmount.” (A “T-mount” is a stunt where two elephants and at least one person stand on the back of a kneeling elephant.)

An elephant cannot always carry his or her weight on two legs, so a torn ligament is not uncommon. If the injuries are left untreated, it can be disastrous for the elephant.

Make no mistake about it, the whips, tight collars, muzzles, electric prods, bull-hooks, and other enslavement tools used during circus acts and training sessions are reminders to you, and to the animals, that they are being forced to perform. Animals do not naturally ride bicycles, stand on their heads, or jump through rings of fire. In contrast to the exciting public relations hype associated with circuses, animals in the circus live a dismal life of domination, confinement, and violent training.

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On The Road

Most circus animals usually live and travel in small, barren transport cages. Their cages are often so small that it is difficult for the animals to turn around. The animals are hauled around the country in poorly ventilated trailers and boxcars for up to 50 weeks a year in all kinds of extreme weather conditions. Animals defecate, urinate, eat, drink and sleep in the same small cramped cages. Access to the basic necessities of food, water, and veterinary care is often inadequate. Tigers and lions who naturally secure a territory of 75 to 2,000 square miles are often forced to live and travel in cages only 4 feet wide by 6 feet long by 5 feet tall.

Circus animals who are not confined to cages may often be chained or tethered almost the whole day. Most circuses routinely chain their elephants, while ungulates such as camels, zebras, and horses are tethered or stalled.

Under sworn testimony to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, witnesses and former circus employees have reported that elephants are normally chained by one front leg and one rear leg. Chains are usually, although not always, long enough to permit the elephant to take a step or two forward or backwards, and to lie down. Elephants are also kept chained in enclosed boxcars where they stand in their own excrement and urine for days unable to move around, smell fresh air, or find intellectual stimulation. Reportedly, circus elephants are confined in this way for 20 or more hours each day. The prolonged standing in wet, unsanitary conditions can lead to physical problems – such as arthritis and life threatening foot problems (foot rot, cracked nails, and infected cuticles) – and psychological problems. In the wild, elephants travel tens of miles each day. The inadequate exercise that elephants enslaved by the circus experience contributes to their decline in health.

In sworn testimony, Tom Rider, a former Ringling Brothers elephant barn-keeper stated, “After three years of working with elephants in the circus, I can tell you that they live in confinement and they are beaten all the time when they don’t perform properly.”

Other former Ringling Brothers employees have spoken out against behind-the-scenes animal cruelty. Former Ringling performer Kelly Tansy commented, “On my very first day with the circus, I witnessed animal cruelty. I saw an elephant being beaten in what appeared to be a disciplinary action. The beating was so severe that the elephant screamed. I have come to realize, through all the circuses that I have worked for, that mistreatment of animals is a standard part of training and is thought to be a ‘necessary’ part of exhibiting them. Additionally, Tansy reports, “I have seen chimps locked in small cages constantly when not performing; elephants chained continuously; and even animals being beaten during performances.”

Animal Psychology

The continual frustration of wild animals who are unable to engage in their instinctive behaviors can lead the animals to some serious psychological problems. Stereotypic actions such as hyper-aggression, apathy, selfmutilation, bar-biting, and pacing are indicative of psychological maladies. Frustrated by the lack of ability to move elephants repeatedly bob their heads and sway back and forth; some repeatedly rattle their chains with their trunks. Both of these actions are signs of neurotic behavior. Animals in the circus are often deprived of food and water to induce them to perform, as well as to prevent untimely defecation while they are in public view.

Even if it was possible to supply circus animals with all their material wants, something vital would still be lacking. What’s lacking is the joy that is associated with simply having the ability to evade being forced to do something.

Under natural conditions, in the wild, elephants have a life span of about 60 years. Elephants are normally migratory, traveling over 4,000 miles a year. Elephants have poor eyesight, but all of their other senses—hearing, smell, taste, and touch—are acute. Their trunk is frequently at work picking up scents of food and danger from the ground and air. Elephants can smell water at great distances and can hear certain sounds more than a mile away. Elephants in the wild dine on a wealth of plant parts—leaves, twigs, bark, shoots, fruit, flowers, roots, tubers, and bulbs.

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Female elephants are among the few mammals, including humans, that live beyond their reproductive years. The typical cow will end her reproductive years at around 45 years old. During this post-reproductive period between 45 and 60 plus years, she assists in the care of the young of other elephants.

Elephants display complex, highly social behavior, living in tightly knit families headed by the oldest females. These elephants remain together for life. The family also defends the young, sick, old, and disabled from predators. Elephants are highly emotional individuals. They express joy, pleasure, and compassion, as well as sadness and grief. Wild elephants have been known to celebrate births of new elephants and to grieve and even shed tears over the death of a family member.

It is a shame and a travesty of morality that for the sake our children’s and our own momentary entertainment we encourage so much distress to come to pass on the families and the young of elephants.

What are we teaching children?

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Circuses use animals to appeal to children and the child nature in adults. Observing animals at the circus, however, teaches children nothing about the natural behaviors of other species. They may learn about the size, shape and color of the animals, but behavior patterns, social interactions, intelligence, hunting instinct, maternal care giving, food gathering and movement patterns are absent. Instead, children are presented with images of either ferocious or stupid animals, whose seemingly only purpose is to amuse humans. The child unconsciously takes home from the circus the feeling that it is acceptable to exploit another being… animal or human.

Dr. Michael W. Fox, a veterinarian, animal behaviorist, and former professor of psychology reveals that “Parents have told [him] that they do not take their children to the circus where there are performing animals because they know intuitively, empathically, that it is wrong.”

Dr. Fox acknowledges that exposing children to “covert animal cruelty and overt domination, control, and exploitation teaches children that it is culturally acceptable, and the norm, to subjugate other sentient beings [humans included] and make them perform unnatural acts.” According to Dr. Fox, “The child’s nascent capacity to empathize with other living beings is certainly… crippled.” Dr. Fox asserts that “To expose and subject sensitive and impressionable children to the wild animal-abusing circus is child abuse.”

Tuberculosis

Protect yourself. A deadly and highly contagious human strain of tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis or TB) is infecting and killing captive elephants. TB is an airborne disease that spreads through tiny droplets in the air.

According to Dr. John Lewis of the International Zoo Veterinary Group, “[I]f tuberculosis is diagnosed in an elephant there are clear public health implications as the disease can be spread by close contact with infected animals [and] people.” Circuses routinely allow members of the public to feed, pet, and ride elephants.

TB is difficult to identify in elephants. Elephants are too large to be x-rayed, skin tests are unreliable, and trunk wash cultures only indicate whether the elephant has active TB. Circuses may also intentionally mislabel trunk wash specimens from infected animals using a TBnegative animal as the donor. No test can determine if an elephant is harboring a TB infection. Infected elephants may exhibit no symptoms of TB or may suffer from chronic weight loss, diminished appetite, chronic nasal discharge, coughing, and intolerance to exercise.

An extremely thin elephant, Lota, was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1996. A photo taken in May 2001 shows a child petting her at a circus. A few months later, this elephant was taken off the road and again given tuberculosis treatment

Most circuses have been cited by the USDA for failure to comply with TB testing requirements for elephants and handlers. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has determined that USDA veterinary medical officers and animal care inspectors who conduct elephant inspections may be at risk for TB infection.

Contingency Plans

Two police officers, one a fairly regular looking 5-feet 5-inch tall man and the other a very muscular 6-feet 4- inch tall man, were covering a detail at a circus near Worcester. They were asked by a citizen of the town “If one of the [three] elephants rampage what are you prepared to do.” The shorter police officer motions toward the larger police officer and replies, “I’ll hide behind him!” In truth there isn’t much more most people could do. Once a stressed out elephant rebels against a trainer’s physical dominance, the rampage is nearly impossible to stop without lethal force. In the event that an elephant runs amok, circus personnel cannot protect themselves, nor can they protect the general public.

An elephant who went berserk in Florida in 1992 with five children on her back was shot with more than 50 rounds of ammunition before an officer was located who happened to have armor-piercing bullets specially designed by the military to penetrate steel.Would you want your child on the back of an elephant that is being shot at?

In 1994, a stressed out circus elephant name Tyke could not take the abuse any longer. Her deadly rampage lasted an hour in downtown Honolulu. Department-issued semi-automatic pistols were useless. A zoo veterinarian’s lethal injections had no effect. The police finally located a high-powered counter-sniper rifle and fired three rounds into her heart. Tyke died after having been shot 87 times.

Where Are the Regulating Bodies?

The only federal law regulating the treatment of most wild animals in circuses is the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The AWA is inadequate and is inconsistently enforced. Circuses that do not comply with the Act are often given several opportunities to remedy violations. The USDA, itself determined that they “cannot ensure the humane care and treatment of animals as required by the AWA.”

According to Dr. Peggy Larson, a former USDA inspector and a veterinarian, “Circus animals are poorly inspected under the USDA Animal Welfare Act.” Dr. Larson stated that USDA veterinarians, who concern themselves primarily with housing and husbandry, do not know how to diagnose diseases in wild animals. And since neither a large animal practitioner nor a small animal veterinarian is equipped to handle elephants or big cats, circus animals are often not treated when they need care. Dr. Larson concluded, “USDA compliance is at best hopelessly ineffective.”

It can not be overstated that the vigilance and help of the public is essential when it comes to identifying and reporting circus animal abuse. If it were not for the help of concerned and compassionate people the truth about Ringling Brothers Circus cruelty and other circuses would still be well hidden and left unchecked.

Many uniformed people see elephants and other circus animals as being something of an American cultural tradition. Often, though, after becoming informed that no circus can possibly provide the right environment or proper care for such creatures, people find it unconscionable to allow an animal circus into town. Over 50 municipalities across the US, from Marin County CA to Weymouth MA prohibit circuses from operating in their community if they have elephants or other wild animals.

Ringling Brothers Circus – The Cruelest Show On Earth Industry Leader

Of all the animal circuses, Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus is the most diabolical and manipulative, not only to the animals, but also to the public.

Ringling Bros. public relations department has been working overtime to deceive the public into believing that animals imprisoned in the circus are “treated like family.” But no amount of misleading propaganda can sanitize the circus’s horrific record of animal neglect and their sabotage of the work of animal advocacy groups.

Since 1993, Ringling Brothers has been cited for more than one hundred deficiencies in animal care during inspections conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The circus has consistently opposed legislation and regulations to improve the conditions of captive wildlife. In California, for example, Ringling Bros. opposed legislation to limit the time an elephant may be confined in chains in a 24-hour period. Ringling Brothers has been investigated by the USDA as a result of allegations of cruelty to animals made by former circus workers, one of whom testified before Congress about his experiences with the circus. Since late 1998, three former Ringling Brothers employees have stated that the circus’s elephants, including the babies, receive regular beatings. The Ringling Bros. circus has been sued by two animal protection organizations for conducting illegal spying operations.To settle one case out of court, Ringling Bros. agreed to turn over custody of older animals.

Ringling Brothers Circus failed to protect a 4-year old Bengal tiger from being shot to death while he was in his cage; killed a 3-year old elephant through neglect and tried to hide the body; forcibly separated two baby elephants from their mothers by dragging the babies away with rope, resulting in rope burn wounds on the rear legs of the babies; overworked a 15-year old horse to the point of exhaustion and death; drowned a 4-year old elephant; tried to cover-up the death of a 2-year-old lion that dehydrated in a circus train that was traveling with no water break across California’s Mojave Desert on an overly hot day; euthanized an 8-month old elephant who fell from a pedestal breaking his legs that were bound together during training; caused a wild caught sea lion to die in her transport container, and failed to provide adequate ventilation for their tigers resulting in one tiger injuring his eye and breaking his tooth as he attempted to tear open a cage door and escape from the dangerously high temperatures of the trailer.

But the crimes that Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus commits extend beyond nonhuman animals. Ken Feld, CEO of Ringling Brothers Circus has been caught performing illegal wiretaps on the public, hiring ex-CIA people to illegally monitor and interfere in peoples’ lives, manipulating public sentiment against animal protection organizations, and using lobbyists and lawyers to defeat legislation which was designed to protect people from harm. Proof of this information is found in “Smith vs. Feld, civil action case number 98-357-A.

In that document Clair E. George, former Central Intelligence Agency deputy director for covert operations states that “Feld had set up a special unit, much like the Watergate ‘plumbers,’ to destroy anyone who threatened the image of the circus as wholesome fun-for-the-whole-family, conscientious custodian of animals. Feld’s main target was People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).”

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PETA had circulated USDA reports that described horrible conditions at Ringling Brothers circus’s Center for Elephant Conservation in Polk City, Fla. At the Center USDA inspectors found two tightly chained baby elephants with lesions and scars on their legs, evidently caused by constant friction with their restraints. When USDA inspectors asked about the injuries, the elephant handlers told the inspectors that baby elephants were “routinely” chained to forcibly separate them “from their mothers.” The handlers angrily tried to block the inspectors from taking pictures. It was also discovered that about half of the elephants in Ringling Brothers Circus shows in Florida had a form of tuberculosis that was transmittable to human beings.

Animal-Free Circuses

Not all circuses use animals. Good circuses dazzle their audiences solely with skilled human performers who are so talented at their art that they don’t need to enslave animals. Some animalfree circuses that have grown in popularity include Cirque du Soleil, Circus Smirkus, Circus Chimera, Circus Millennia, Cirque Eloize, Circus Oz, The New Pickle Family Circus, and Bindlestiff Family Circus. These animal-free circuses make it possible for families to have fun without causing animal suffering.

The number of cities and towns that are banning the use of animals in circuses is growing. People in many communities are realizing that wild animals don’t belong in the circus because of harm to the animals and the inherent risk to public safety.

You Can Help

Every individual has the power to limit and even stop the use of animals in circuses. Educate others. Most people would not support the circus if they saw animal trainers beating elephants mercilessly with razor sharp bullhooks behind the scenes or knew that tigers were kept in cages only 4’ x 5’ for the majority of their lives. Talk to friends, family, and neighbors about the cruel treatment animals endure under the big top. Encourage them to join you in taking a stand against animal circuses. You can also write letters to urge industry leaders and circus sponsors to avoid bringing animal circuses into town; ask your town to ban live animal acts; encourage legislators to support legislation to end exotic animal acts; request enforcement of animal welfare regulations; and report any perceived violations of state and local animal protection laws to the police and animal control.

If you are interested in helping to stop animal circuses from coming into Massachusetts please contact the Animal Protection Institute at 1-800- 348-7387, or go to www.api4animals.org or www.morebeautifulwild.com

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Four Fast Facts about Animals in the Circus

1. Every major circus that uses animals has been cited for violating the minimal standards of care set forth in the United States Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

2. Animals born in circus “conservation” breeding programs have never been released into the wild.

3. From 1994 to 2005, at least 31 elephants died premature deaths in the circus.

4. Captive elephant and captive feline attacks on humans in the U.S. have resulted in hundreds of injuries, many resulting in death.

Easter … another perspective

Parlee for Rosalie
Parlee Jones💗💗💗💗

By Parlee Jones

Peace, Worcester People!! I hope this issue of InCity Times finds you in the best of health – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

When I was a child my mom made sure that my two sisters and I were greeted with gifts for every holiday!! Christmas presents! Easter baskets! Thanksgiving feasts! Fourth of July cookouts at the ocean! She did her best to make sure that we wanted for nothing. She also did this for our children, her grandchildren, until she passed away September 13, 2013.

Once my sisters and I grew up and started doing our own research, we took different paths ~ a Rasta, a Muslim and a 5%er – all ways of life that give an alternative view to the Anglo-Christian norms that are accepted in the United States and, basically, worldwide. Learning truth or where these “holy-days”/“holidays” originated is usually a part of gaining knowledge.

Countless Christians celebrate Easter Sunday as the day that Jesus Christ rose from the “dead,” which is written in the New Testament of the Bible. According to the Gospel of John in the New Testament, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb where Jesus was buried and found it empty. An angel told her that Jesus had risen.

Easter is Christianity’s most important holiday. It has been called a moveable feast because it doesn’t fall on a set date every year, as most holidays do.

As with many holidays, the new Christian religion had to include aspects of what is considered “pagan” holidays to make it easier to convert more people to Christianity. Christianity adopted the pagan Spring festival. … All things fun about Easter are pagan!

What do bunnies and eggs have to do with Easter? The egg is an ancient symbol of new life and has been associated with pagan festivals the world over celebrating spring since the beginning of time.

“In the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, Easter eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of Christ, with further symbolism being found in the hard shell of the egg symbolizing the sealed Tomb of Christ — the cracking of which symbolized his resurrection from the dead.” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_egg.

Colored eggs, I’m quite sure, developed with amazing marketing for the masses. Bottom line, we know it’s about the dollar bills!

Well, what about the Easter Bunny?

Since ancient of days, bunnies have been associated with spring and rebirth. It is thought that the Goddess of Spring, Eostre, had a hare as her companion. The hare represents fertility and revival. Later Christians changed the symbol of the hare to the Easter Bunny.

According to some sources, the Easter Bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs.
-www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/21/easter-bunny-debunked-how_n_852187.html

Goddesses who celebrate Spring and Rebirth:

The goddess Ishtar is the East Semitic Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility, love, war and sex. She is the counterpart to the Sumerian Inanna and is the cognate for the Northwest Semitic Aramean goddess Astarte.

Ostara is a fertility goddess. Her annual arrival in spring is heralded by the flowering of trees and plants and the arrival of babies, both animal and human. She is also known as Eostre, the Germanic Goddess of Spring. Eggs and rabbits are sacred to her, as is the full moon, since the ancients saw in its markings the image of a rabbit or hare. She is also a dawn goddess and may be related to the Greek Goddess of the dawn, Eos.

Similar Goddesses were known by other names in ancient cultures around the world and were celebrated in the spring time:

🌸Aphrodite from ancient Greece;

🌷Ashtoreth from ancient Israel;

🌺Asarte from ancient Greece;

🌹Demeter from Mycenae;

🌻Hathor from ancient Egypt;

🌼Ishtar from Assyria;

💐Kali from India;

🌷Ostara from Germanic culture.

Just a few interesting facts that make you go … hmmmm!

Thanks for listening with an open mind and heart! Peace and Blessings! And enjoy your holy-day!!!

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Parlee, at an Abby’s House event

FYI 🌷🌷🌷🌷…

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At the Mustard Seed kitchen, on Piedmont Street: every eve, free dinner to the community. Pictured here: Central Mass Kibble Kitchen super volunteer Dorrie Maynard checks in with super Mustard Seed volunteer “AUTUMN”💗💗💗 (in red apron, behind the counter) before dinner. Besides serving food to the needy, Autumn helps Mustard Seed diners connect with social service programs or Dorrie/Central Mass Kibble Kitchen, if they are pet owners and need help feeding their dogs and kitties. Go, Autumn, go!! pic: R.T.

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8th Annual Asian American Mental Health Forum

Spinning Threads of Hope:
Preventing Suicide in Asian Communities

Opening Remarks by:
MA Dept. of Mental Health Commissioner Joan Mikula

Keynote Speech by:
MA Dept. of Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 – 9 AM to 3 PM

Higgins University Center, Clark University

Hosted by Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts

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Roberto G. Gonzales

April 14 at Clark U: Leading expert to present ‘Lives in limbo: undocumented and coming of age in America’

Clark University will host Roberto G. Gonzales for “Lives in limbo: undocumented and coming of age in America,” at NOON, on Friday, April 14, in Jefferson 320, Clark University campus.

This free, public event will highlight the disastrous effects immigration policies have had on more than two million children coming of age in the United States.

Gonzales, an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, has conducted the most comprehensive study of undocumented immigrants in the United States.

His book, “Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America” (University of California Press 2015), is based on an in-depth study that followed 150 undocumented young adults in Los Angeles for 12 years and exposed the failures of a system that integrates children into K-12 schools but ultimately denies them the rewards of their labor.

Gonzales’ National UnDACAmented Research Project has surveyed nearly 2,700 undocumented young adults and carried out 500 in-depth interviews on their experiences following President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

His work has been has been featured in top social science journals as well as in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, TIME magazine, U.S. News & World Report, and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Gonzales has received support for his work by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Heising-Simons Foundation, and the James Irvine Foundation. He has received the American Sociological Association Award for Public Sociology in International Migration and the AERA Scholars of Color Early Career Award.

This event is co-sponsored by the Sociology Department, the Center for Gender, Race and Area Studies, the History Department, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

The first 50 guests will receive a free copy of Gonzales’ book.

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As you do your spring cleaning, add these products to your ‘toss’ pile

By Amanda Nordstrom

This spring, as you dust cobwebs out of corners and pack up unwanted clothes for the charity thrift store, there’s an important task that you may not have thought of: tossing cruelly produced items from your bathroom. If your soap, shampoo, toothpaste or deodorant were made by companies that still test on animals, it’s time for a fresh start.

It’s hard to believe that in this day and age — when more than 2,400 responsible companies have gone cruelty-free — some manufacturers are still needlessly poisoning and killing animals in order to test their products. Rats, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits and others are forced to swallow or inhale massive quantities of a test substance or endure immense pain as a chemical eats away at their eyes or skin. Some tests, such as the now-infamous lethal dose test, continue until a predetermined percentage of the animals dies.

No law in the U.S. requires companies to test personal-care products on animals — and such tests have been banned in the European Union, India, Israel, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, Australia and New Zealand. Not only is using animals as test tubes cruel, it often produces inaccurate or misleading results. Even if a product has blinded an animal, it can still be sold to consumers.

Fortunately, the number of forward-thinking companies grows every day, as more and more manufacturers reject cruel and crude tests on animals — relics of the 1920s — and opt instead for modern, sophisticated techniques to evaluate the safety of their products. The results of non-animal tests are quick and accurate, and no one gets hurt.

If you don’t spend your days working on this issue, as I do, you may not realize that there are a surprising number of pioneering non-animal tests now in use and more in development, including cell and tissue cultures, reconstructed skin grown from human cells and computer models that allow extrapolation of existing data to predict the activity of a chemical.

For example, the fluorescein leakage test method uses a fluorescent dye to measure a chemical’s ability to break through a solid layer of cells, thereby mimicking the damage that the substance would cause to the eye. This spares rabbits the pain that they endure when chemicals are dripped into their sensitive eyes. EpiDermTM — a 3-D, human cell–derived skin model that replicates key traits of normal human skin — is more accurate at predicting allergic responses than cruel tests on guinea pigs and mice, which involve injecting them with chemicals or smearing substances onto their shaved skin.

Even China, a country not known for its progressive stance on animal welfare, is moving forward on this issue. Late last year, the Chinese government, which currently requires cosmetics companies to pay for inhumane tests on animals, announced that it is accepting findings from the completely animal-free 3T3 Neutral Red Uptake Phototoxicity Assay, which tests chemicals for their potential toxicity when they come into contact with sunlight.

As these and other sophisticated tests show, we don’t have to choose between protecting animals and keeping humans safe. It’s really a choice between effective and ineffective science.

So this year, as you go about your spring cleaning, why not clear your conscience as well as your clutter? It’s as simple as making the decision to support companies that are committed to animal-friendly principles by always buying cruelty-free. PETA has a searchable online database that makes finding cruelty-free products a breeze.

petaLiving-social-15CrueltyFreeCompanies

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IN CELEBRATION OF NATIONAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT WEEK

THE FITCHBURG COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT INVITES YOU TO:

A Community Development Celebration

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26, 2017: 4 PM – 6 PM

GARDEN ROOM — FITCHBURG PUBLIC LIBRARY

610 MAIN STREET, FITCHBURG

• View the programs funded by the Community Development Block Grant

• Learn about current Community Development projects

All are welcome to attend.

For more information please call: (978) 829-1899

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“Saint Dorrie”!👼🌷

By Rosalie Tirella

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photos by Rosalie Tirella

Today, Palm Sunday, as I watched my pets play with each other, I thought of my Worcester gal pal Dorrie Maynard. Not because Dorrie had justed gifted my brats with the dog and kitty snacks they love so dearly, but because it is day #1 of Holy Week – the week before Easter – and Dorrie is, for me, the Easter Story told in 2017.

Let me begin at the beginning: When I first started InCity Times💗💗💗 years ago (can you believe it?!💗), I hit Highland Street in search of advertisers for my brandy new feisty rag. Back then Highland Street was THE artsy, sophisticated, cool, student hot spot of Worcester – a kaleidoscope of restaurants (high- and low-priced, classic and ethnic), funky shops, artist nooks, WPI and Becker student hangouts. I walked into each arresting store determined to sell some of the biz owners ads for my paper. Jewelry, clothing, futons, clam chowder, books, brunch, artists’ prints, bottles of wine … A stroll down just two blocks of Higland Street and you could procure it all! The businesses belonged in ICT!

Back then, Dorrie owned and ran the street’s funky vintage clothing and decor store – Treasures Unlimited. She had bought the little shop on the corner when it was the iconic Shakey Jake’s (as a college grad I used to go to Shakey’s for 1950 vintage boy shirts!) and kept the magic flowing as the new proprietor.  Dorrie re-christened the space and brought her own artistic eyes and sensibilities to her biz: display cases, choice of goods, etc. It was  all so  beautiful!  I loved to visit Dorrie just to see her new arrivals and displays!

At this time, when I first got to know her, Dorrie was at her peak gorgeousness: model-tall, willowy, beautiful face, soft blond hair … the kind of woman lots of women fear because of all that blatant loveliness. And let’s be honest: lots of  beautiful women  are off-putting/can be competitive, manipulative, narcissistic … . Once people get to know them, they hit the road, despite the Venus vibes!

Dorrie was the opposite. She was a goddess wrapped in hard-won truths and down-to-earthness.  A regular person: hard-working, real, open, thoughtful, honest, no games. Never games! I could talk about anything with Dorrie  – discuss family, men, personal challenges … and learn that I was not alone in my disappointments and victories. Life had been rough for Dorrie, starting in Rochester, New York, where she was born and raised, and yet here she was, on Highland Steet, awesome in every way. I immediately glommed on to Dorrie! (and her pals and little dog that she rescued and brought to the shop every day – always adorned in teeny silk scarf collars). Being a good woman who wanted to help out another good woman and maybe give her own biz an extra boost, Dorrie took out ads in ICT. Truth be told, I would have given the space away to Dorrie, so enamored of this cool chick was I.

So every couple of weeks, I’d traipse down funky Highland Street to visit and sell ads to my funky biz pals: the cool Tom Cat at Wormtown Trading (miss you/love you, Tom Cat!💚), the elegant and perfect Elizabeth of the Futon Company (ditto, Elizabeth!💚) and vintage artiste Dorrie Maynard.

Over the first year or two of our friendship I figured out Dorrie had some writerly gifts – and I wanted her to share them with ICT readers. I decided to take her under my zippy writer wings – nurture her talent as she had nurtured my biz.

Dorrie began writing InCity Times columns and then penned a cover story that really knocked my socks off: Dorrie getting pregnant as a kid and deciding to give her baby up for adoption. Then, years later, reconnecting with her son. Dorrie’s baby was all grown up! – and now he was looking for his birth Mom. Dorrie opened her home to her long lost son and shared the whole experience, honestly and gracefully,  with ICT readers.  Our troops loved the read! My respect for Dorrie blossomed.

Then we had a fight. I forget what it was about! It happened about seven years ago…I think it had something to do with dogs and cats and animal shelters. New to social media, Dorrie figured screw InCity Times, FB would be enough.

Obviously, it wasn’t because she’s back in the ICT fold writing good stuff. Animals, of course, brought us together again! About a half year ago – I forget who called whom – but we began to talk about Dorrie’s latest urban endeavor – feeding the cats and dogs of the homeless, very poor, even drug-addicted of Woo.

I was fascinated! Dorrie was always great but she was never Mother Theresa. She was not the homeless population’s biggest champion. When she owned Treasures Unlimited she felt they brought Highland Street down, took a bite out of business and street attractiveness. And, I’ll be honest, Dorrie could be a bit of a party gal and, because she was so damned pretty, guys painted the town with her – always on their dime. Once, home from a trip to Las Vegas with her latest beau, she showed me a photo of herself go-go dancing in a huge cage. The red lights shining on the mini-skirted Dorrie looked lurid. Her go go boots were not thigh high but they may as well have been.

I never judged my friend because, like me, she was looking for true love. Just in all the shitty places.

Right before our fight, Dorrie had just been dumped by the guy I think she truly truly loved and wanted to marry: “Fred” a hippy carpenter/architecture maven. THE ONE. Tall, lanky, thick black hair that framed his lean handsome face and made me go: WHOA!!!!! every time I saw him. Fred was movie star hot. I once spied the two love birds talking together, leaning on the big farmers table in Dorrie’s kitchen: the lust and love between them were palpable. They looked so beautiful together!

I drove away thinking: She found THE guy. I was so happy for my friend! Then Fred fell in love with Dorrie’s best friend – get this – at a party Dorrie threw in her own home.

Oh, shit, I thought to myself when Dorrie told me the horrible news. Dorrie is deep and sensitive. I hoped she wouldn’t do anything crazy and rash the way I would…

She did: To make a long story short, Dorrie fell into about a half million$$ in cash and assets and quit her job and … well, the whole fucking shebang. She drowned her heartache in global travels! She hung out in Paris and  Italy – alone or with a gal pal – where she drank the best champagne, slept in the finest hotels. Art. Food. The world was her oyster. For three years.

Then the half million$$ ran out – heart broken Dorrie burned through it all – to kill her heartache. Only she didn’t – she came home and now had nothing: no life with the dreamy Fred, no business, no future plans…no happiness. All that money, all those great cities with iconic architecture and amazing grub hadn’t made her happy!

Then, back living at her big wonderful Victorian home off Highland Street, no longer the busy owner of Treasures Unlimited, she adopted a couple of street pups – teenie toy dogs with runny eyes and matted fur. She also, a lapsed Catholic, made her way to St. Paul’s cathedral downtown. To help hand out food to the poor. She then hooked up with Abby’s House – a  women’s shelter – and worked miracles with their thrift store. Made it sparkle! Just like Treasures Unlimited – all proceeds going to homeless women!

Dorrie began to feel happy again. Her life grew … meaningful. She began to work more closely with the homeless and the hungry. An animal lover, she began to work wth local animal shelters…Today her paid job is at Abby’s House where she serves homeless women. Then after work she drives all over the city of Worcester giving out free pet food and pet supplies to Woo’s neediest and most downtrodden. Many of them homeless or on the edge of homeless – still good dog and cat owners.

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Dorrie in her SUV loaded to the roof with pet food and supplies … and love.

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Dorrie outside the Mustard Seed in Piedmont, giving out free pet food and other goodies to the poor.

As a super dedicated volunteer of Central Mass Kibble Kitchen Dorrie dives into the ‘hood to hand out pet food to the high, the lost, the struggling, the working poor – anyone who owns a pet and needs food for their “baby.” Through her weekly pet stops at the Mustard Seed soup kitchen in Piedmont and the St. John’s church food distribution center on Temple Street, Dorrie has come to know and love hundreds of Worcester street and poor people – and their pets. They make her smile. She brings them joy. I have never seen my pal so happy and fullfilled! Some of her Kibble Kitchen “customers”:

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Last week I spent an afternoon with Dorrie volunteering outside the Mustard Seed on Piedmont Street…

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I saw the whole Dorrie Kibble Connection scene: the despair, the joy, the greed, the thankfulness, the crappy three deckers, the skinny men and women, the pale little kids, the strung out, the faces flushed from booze – or the cold, the tentativeness of men without jobs, family, home; the women in bedroom slippers and the happy pups who came out with their owners, trotted down Piedmont Street, little happy wiggle butts, to get their dog treats and new chew toys. The angry became less bellicose as soon as they saw Dorrie. Hello, Mama! tney said to her, cueing up for the pet food and supplies at the back of Dorrie’s big SUV – stuffed to the gills with bags of dog and cat food and pet supplies.

A few “customers” took too much stuff. But most were wonderful – took just the right amount of stuff: 5 cans of cat food for their cat, a small bag of dog chow for their small terrier mix, a harness for their pit bull, a collar for their princess pup…Dorrie’s love for these people and their pets, the elegant way she treated each and every one of her “customers” and the respect they showed her, was an inspiring sight to see in the ‘hood where so much sorrow and violence lurks. Tne good manners, the thank you’s, Dorrie’s love mixed with her saleswoman know-how. The little niceties provided by Dorrie. The little special touches. Here on Piedmont Street, with the police cruisers driving by!

Rose to Dorrie: You are blowing my mind, girl!! It’s like you’re running Treasures Unlimited in the ghetto! Aren’t you afraid someone is gonna pull a knife? One bad apple high on drugs, with a gun?

Dorrie to Rose: Rose a few of them are high on K. I swear sometimes I go home high just from standing next to them! It’s the K. But it is OK.

Rose: What the hell is K? My God, Dorrie, who are you?! … What if something bad happens?

Dorrie: No… I’m safe. They’d protect me. They love me. I give them what they need. And I give them the extras. They call me Mama – it’s a sign of respect…

Dorrie was right. After spending an afternoon outside the Mustard Seeed with her, watching her fit Chihuahuas with collars, give huge rawhide bones to families with pitbulls, talk about the fussy eating habits of one person’s cat, ask one lady how her pregnancy is going, give another lady a beautiful bed spread special for her – taken off Dorrie’s very own bed!!…

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…listening to all the polite THANK YOU, DORRIE!s, SEE YOU NEXT WEEK, MAMA!s I became convinced that no harm will ever come to Dorrie on this inner-city street – a street rife with guns and heroin and people on the edge.

Jesus said: Love the dispossessed! … The first shall be last! And the last shall be first! …And the criminal and the homeless and the crazy and the downtrodden followed Jesus, and they loved and trusted him and talked of their worlds of pain and cried to be cured and Jesus made them well again and they threw palm fronds before the hooves of the mule on which he rode into tneir town preaching the Good News, a new way to live…LOVE ….that was/is the answer.

Jesus came to them for them and their histories and stories. Jesus offered them hope and compassion. Knew their lives were hard but didn’t play the blame game like society did. HE LOVED THEM. AND CAME FOR THEM. TO SOOTHE THEIR WANTING AND  PAIN. Just like Dorrie does in Piedmont and on Temple Street …

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… Dorrie is up to her neck in suffering…She is digging in her SUV (KIBBLE KITCHEN, a 501 C nonprofit, NEEDS A VAN!) for love, a big bag of high protein dog kibble!  For one man’s pit bull – he always gives her a little gift back! – an old dog collar his pit bull has outgrown, a box of Entemann’s chocolate chip cookies. Dorrie loves their gifts. I see Dorrie’s smile, I see tne joy spread over her face! Her love radiates out of her finger tips and the points of her running sneaks!

I tell her as she digs in her van for bags of cat food and three cans of special cat food for some lady who lives in the hood – she brought an old empty baby carriage to load up – Dorrie, I don’t understand! You’ve changed! In such a big, deep way! In a way I can’t understand! But it is AWESOME!

Still, I am made slightly uncomfortable by the people outside the Mustard Seed. I am no Dorrie! She is serving them – like some high end Macy’s personal shopper! I wanna go home! Dorrie wants to interact with her precious customers. She knows what kind of pet food to give each person! She also gives folks goods they have requested: a pair of blue jeans, size 32. A pair of ear buds. She gave one homeless guy and friend her VERY OWN CAMPING TENT!!

Rose: What are you doing, Dorrie?! Giving away all your stuff!!

Jesus said: If you want to be with me, leave your house, mother, children, wife, husband. SHAKE THE DUST OFF YOUR FEET!

Jesus was one unique dude – the powers that be in Jerusalem saw him swimming in poor/crazy people, society’s rejects, and thought he was totally bonkers! An enabler and rabble rouser. But when Jesus preached to the thousands they CHANGED. At the end,  the crowds that came to see him were HUGE – thousands gathered at his feet. That’s why the Roman’s crucified him, they feared this weird guy who owned nothing – not even the robe on his back – was changing their world, their society. They would lose their grip on power and wealth.

Jesus said: Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me…

Dorrie gives a poor lady an extra bag of cat food for her kitten. She has so much to give…the donations come to her and Kibble Kitchen by the scores …bags and bags of Purina cat and dog chow keep on coming …

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Did you know at Christmas time Dorrie made 30 “Blessing Bags” for the homeless and poor who meet her every Wed at the Mustard Seed/Kibble Connection? Dorrie’s mom helped her pay for the new blankets, new hats, mittens, scarves, boxes of cookies, bars of soap, bottles of shampoo and conditioner, pairs of socks, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc that Dorrie lovingly put into each holiday gift bag. She gave to the Piedmont folks who no one remembers during the holidays – many have no family.

They have Dorrie!

So do I! Last week she made me a special blessing bag: She filled it with cherry jam and high-end chi chi soaps I love …

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… and facial moisturizers, too, knowing I can’t splurge on cosmetics and facial care products even though I covet them! She gave my pets – Jett, Lilac and Cece – beautiful gifts, too!

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Jett, before eating some high end dog food Auntie Dorrie gave him and Lilac.

When Dorrie met Cece …

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… she was moved. She said I was giving all my rescued critters “a good life.” I felt so proud!

At the end of my little trip to the Mustard Seed, I turned to Dorrie, looking a bit anxious because folks outside the soup kitchen were starting to get boistrous. Dorrie was busy, all smiles, in her Dorrie Zone, still passing out pet stuff to street people!

Dorrie! I shouted. It’s getting late!! Let’s not push our luck…I wanna go home!

Dorrie looked at me and began to pack things away…

Once in her SUV, driving down Pleasant Street, she said: It always feels so good to get home…to my clean bed.

Funny, after Dorrie drove me home and I collapsed on my big bed with my dogs, I felt, for the first time in a long time, GRATEFUL. Despite my problems and challenges.

I still cannot wrap my brain around my friend’s transformation. Lots of her friends don’t understand her epiphany and her new life. Her mom calls her Mother Tneresa and tells her she finally, in middle age, found her TRUE CALLING. But she worries about her daughter’s safety. So do I. Hundreds of thankful, nice and polite people at the Mustard Seed and St. John’s food pantry … but all it takes is one high on drugs crazy guy. One rapist. One knife blade. One bullet.

Dorrie couldn’t care less what we all think and say of her mission, her new loves, her goals, her looks … She is beyond it…this world we greedy losers jockey through…For what end?????

This Palm Sunday I see my friend walking with Jesus, not a casual follower, a woman who came to hear him preach. No. I see Dorrie walking side by side with Jesus, one of his apostles…the Mary Magdalene to his Peter and Paul…the beautiful party girl who lay with the rich men and pleasured so many…and now it is different.

Jesus and Dorrie are both so good looking and fearless! I am in awe as I watch them walk handin hand through Webster Square, to Coes Pond. Jesus dips his toe in the water and reaches out for Dorrie’s slender hand. Dorrie takes it again, her other hand is waving free against the sunset. Then Jesus and Dorrie do a little hippy dance by the water, kinda sexy too as Jesus dips her…Dorrie’s blond hair is wet. No matter! Appearances mean nothing! They don’t have a stitch of self-consciousness – or a stitch of clothing on! Tney threw their clothes off on the shore of Coes Pond. Now they are skinny dippin’ wiggling under water, over and under the cool currents like a couple of little kids! Or fish!

Then Jesus stands up in the water and places his high-arched foot on the pond’s surface and stands upon on it. He looks around, 360 degrees. Dorrie wants in! Beautiful in her nakedness, she gets up onto the surface too, and Jesus and Dorrie walk on the water. They are holding hands. They are both laughing …

Happy Palm Sunday!!!

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Baking your own Easter bread – always in style!🌷

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Here’s an Easter bread recipe from Chef Joey’s Greek and Italian family💗 …

EASTER BREAD!🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷

Photos, recipe and text by Chef Joey

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That wonderful spring holiday, Easter, is upon us and, as with holidays, food is involved. Main courses vary for Easter, as it is the end of Lent, but meat is usually at the top of the menu. Depending on your heritage, Easter lamb is right up there, but there is one staple food that is widely known and on just about everyone’s table: Easter Bread.

In many European countries, many traditions exist with the use of bread during Easter. Traditionally, the Easter bread is sweetened. I was curious to learn that “Communion” bread traces its origin back to Byzantium and the Orthodox Christian church. However, the recipe for sweeter bread – sweetened with honey – dates as far back to the Homeric Greek period! Many classical texts mention a “honey-bread.” It is also widely known that sweetened bread desserts similar to today’s panettone, were always a Roman favorite.

The Easter holiday is one where “sweet” bread brings itself into the symbolic realm.

The Sweeter breads indicate Easter Sunday and the rising of Christ.

Although bread is significant for religious purposes, it is also symbolic of life. A peasant proverb: “Chie hat pane mai non morit” — “One who has bread never dies.”

Throughout history there have been many shapes of Easter breads. One usually contained two points and an egg covered with a cross. The egg and the points that recall birds in flight speak of fertility, sexuality and procreation — basic themes in Easter and its pagan origins. This was most likely the influence of today’s braided bread.

The second bread was designed to have no general shape, but was rather baked to encircle an egg, with the initials BP put on it. The initials BP stand for Buona Pasquaor – “Happy Easter.”

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Babka is a Polish bread also made at Easter. Babka typically is tall and cylindrical, like panetonne. It frequently contains raisins, may be iced on top and is sweet.

Here is a simple, basic Easter bread recipe. You can adjust the sweetness. It is extremely delicious on a Monday morning toasted with butter – just sayin’! It is a basic sweet bread recipe my Greek and Italian family used with a few modern touches. You can place colored, pre-cooked hard boiled eggs in your braid, and there is no limit, usually one egg per household member was incorporated into the bread.

FYI: My Greek family used to boil the eggs in red onion skins to color them; the Italians used red wine instead of water. Try 4 cups of blueberries in water and boil your Easter eggs for lavender! Curry for yellow – the list goes on!💗💚💗💚💚💗

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pic: R.T.

Ingredients:🌸🌸🌸

1/2 cup whole milk

10 tablespoons sugar, divided

1 1/4 envelope active dry yeast

4 large eggs, room temperature

6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup (2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1″ pieces, room temperature, plus 1/2 tablespoon, melted

Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat or in a microwave until an instant-read thermometer registers no more than 110°F.

Transfer milk to a bowl; stir in 1 tablespoon sugar.

Sprinkle yeast over milk and whisk to blend.

If the milk is too hot, it will kill the yeast. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add eggs and whisk until smooth.

Combine remaining sugar, flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.

Add milk to mixture. With mixer running, add the room-temperature butter, 1 piece at a time, blending well between additions.

Mix on medium speed for 1 minute.

Knead on medium-high speed until dough is soft and silky, about 5 minutes.

If kneading by hand, have the flour in a separate bowl and add the milk mixture and butter so it incorporates.

Take a bowl double the size of the dough and wipe the inside with some melted butter.

Place dough in bowl. Brush top of dough with remaining melted butter; cover with plastic wrap.

Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

Punch down the dough and divide it into 2 equal pieces.

Then divide each piece into 3 equal pieces.

Dust your hands with flour and roll out to about a foot a half (18”). Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Arrange ropes side by side lengthwise on prepared sheet.

Pinch top ends together. Braid dough. Pinch bottom ends together to secure (braided loaf will be about 12″ long).

If adding hard boiled eggs, tuck them between braids, spacing evenly. Loosely cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm, draft-free area until puffed but not doubled in size, 45-50 minutes.

Arrange a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 375°F.

Whisk remaining egg with 2 teaspoons warm water in a small bowl.

Avoiding dyed eggs, brush dough all over with egg wash. Bake until bread is golden usually about 20 – 25 minutes and a thermometer inserted into center of loaf reads 190°F.

Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.🎷🎷

Happy Easter!🐰🐰🐰🐰

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