Tag Archives: InCity Times

“High Fiber”: the first star of the really small screen era

By Jim May

Hey, America, are we even we ready for this? A recent proposal by the FCC will make many of the stalwarts of American media-communications technologically obsolete within a decade. Telephone landlines providers, TV broadcasting, Hollywood theaters and cable television are just a few of the “old” technologies facing mammoth industry shakeups or possibly ruination.

The proposed FCC plan ambitiously reimagines our nation’s media and technology by establishing high speed Internet as the country’s dominant communication network. For me, this is like watching the symbols of the “old” technologies — Verizon buildings, Hollywood studios and 30 Rock itself — institutions that shaped our country’s culture in the 20th century – tumbling over Niagra Falls into the abyss.

Fewer than three years ago, the iPhone showed how much functionality “really small screen” devices can have combining cell phone-with-PC-camera-GPS. So in order to keep up, Apple’s competitors are designing next-gen products that will outperform even your current PC, the one that gives you movies live through wireless Internet now. Continue reading “High Fiber”: the first star of the really small screen era

If dinner is still twitching, don’t eat it! (also: This week on PBS: “Food, Inc.” – the award-winning film about US factory farming and the “food” Americans eat)

editor’s note: Before you read Paula’s piece, please remember to watch the amazing movie “Food, Inc,” a scathing indictment against America’s farming “system” and the food we eat. It was at many cinemas last year (in Worcester for a week or two). So in case you missed it, turn to channel 2 or 21 and watch this great documentary. We promise you will be eating less meat immediately! (and feeling so much healthier!)

By Paula Moore

Eating out is becoming a blood sport.

According to recent news stories, food adventure clubs — whose members sample “gross-out” dishes such as sautéed lamb’s brains and duck embryos — are springing up across the country. During one recent outing at a Korean restaurant in New York, a group of gastro-warriors dined on freshly vivisected lobster and live octopus. The lobster’s head watches as you consume the body, and the octopus writhes as a chef clips off his tentacles—which diners eat quickly while the limbs are still wriggling.

Apparently, it’s not enough that we eat all manner of dead animals — now we have to eat live ones too. But consuming live animals doesn’t just push the boundaries of good taste: It’s animal abuse. Continue reading If dinner is still twitching, don’t eat it! (also: This week on PBS: “Food, Inc.” – the award-winning film about US factory farming and the “food” Americans eat)

Protest at Clark U tomorrow (Sat., April 17)

Cafeteria workers, students, community groups to protest tomorrow civil rights violations by food service giant Sodexo at Clark University.

Cafeteria workers employed by food service contractor Sodexo at Clark University will be joined by student groups and community supporters in a march and rally on Saturday, April 17, near the Clark campus. The workers have been trying to form a union with SEIU Local 615.

The support for Sodexo workers has been escalating in Worcester. Recently three protesters were arrested on Main Street, Worcester during a protest of Sodexo’s legal violations. Saturday’s event at Clark is one of several across the country this week intended to protest Sodexo’s attacks on employees trying to form a union. Sodexo cafeteria workers, janitors, students, religious leaders and elected officials in 11 states will participate in rallies and lead strikes in some locations; and some individuals may participate in civil disobedience. Events are planned for Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Illinois, Colorado, Louisiana, Georgia and California.

Sodexo is the 22nd largest employer in the world, with more than 80,000 workers in the U.S. Sodexo made more than a billion dollars in profits in 2009, yet SEIU leaders note that the company pays its U.S. workers as little as $7.50 an hour and does not offer affordable healthcare options. Continue reading Protest at Clark U tomorrow (Sat., April 17)


PETA is constantly under vicious and vigorous attack by people who have two goals in mind: to do all that they can to stop us from winning animal rights victories and to cripple our ability to expose animal abuse. But we are not about to let them succeed.

Industry giants and their sleazy front groups are going after PETA for one reason: We’re making tremendous progress in our campaign to end cruelty wherever it occurs, from slaughterhouses to laboratories, the exotic-animal trade to the fur trade, and sleazy roadside zoos to miserable circuses. Our opponents are very upset about the effectiveness of our investigations, including the one that we conducted on turkey farms owned by Aviagen Turkeys, Inc., in West Virginia. That investigation led to the first cases in U.S. history in which factory-farm employees faced felony cruelty-to-animals charges for abusing birds. And that scares them! Continue reading Help!

The Gong Show! (aka: last night’s Worcester City Council meeting!)

By Rosalie Tirella

Last night I sat before a little TV set mesmerized – absolutely mesmerized! – by all the whackiness that was flying around the august City Council chambers. You should have been their, folks! OR: You should have at least watched last night’s Worcester City Council meeting on your TV set! You could have sliced the rancor and the nuttiness with a meat cleaver! It was “Reno 911” Worcester style! What a gas, gas, gas!!!!

Here we go: Nutty Scene #1: Sam Rosario. Rosario, a duplicitous blowhard whom everyone in Worcester thinks is a duplicitous blowhard, is representing the liveries in their quest to become taxis. Sammy is a guy who once told political opponent Joe Cassella to step out of a three-way city council primary race because he (Cassella) had no chance of winning – it was really a race between him (Rosario) and the incumbent (dope Joff Smith). That was before Cassella trounced him and then went on to run against Smith in November and do fairly well – and seemingly (thank God!) put an end to Rosario’s political aspirations. Well, last night Sammy went bonkers. Continue reading The Gong Show! (aka: last night’s Worcester City Council meeting!)

The quest/remembering Grace

By Rosalie Tirella

So sad. So heartbreaking. My quest for a new best friend (dog) has been a real heartbreaker.

The last few times I adopted a pooch I seemed to find my canine soulmate within a week or two. I adopted both my fabulous dogs from the Worcester Animal Rescue League: “Bailey,” a big-boned Nova Scotia Retriever, 5 years ago, and “Grace,” a Lab/Beagle/Australian Cattle Dog mix (a classic “Heinz 57,” as my vet put it), 15 years ago.

Both were fantastic finds.

Grace was sweet and quiet and loved to ride shot-gun in the jalopy I happened to be driving at the moment. As I’d drive, Grace would have her front paws firmly planted on the two bucket seats in front and her rear legs a hold of the back seat. She could handle anything the road through at us! Curves, pot holes – my quick braking. She once fell head over paws into the front seat as the dope infront of me stopped short and damn near killed me and Gracie. Once, on Route 20, I almost drove headlong into a speeding 18 wheeler (don’t ask). After that two-second brush with death, Grace and I turned and looked at each other – at the same time. Yes, she had been scared shitless, too. Continue reading The quest/remembering Grace

Some thoughts on (possible) sheriff candidate Frank Beshai …

By Rosalie Tirella

It’s one of those weird wonders … Frank Beshai, a good guy AND ex-con in recovery, may be running for Sheriff of Worcester County – again. (We interviewed him in 2004 and endorsed him in his run for sheriff. Back then, we were newer at the game, and Beshai’s talk of seeing the Big House with an insider’s perspective, intrigued us.)

Maybe we have grown wiser … . Don’t get me wrong. I love “Heat of the Night” with Rod Steiger as the old timey sheriff sporting cool aviator glasses and crumby Southern-style hangups.

Frank Beshai would be more at home in “Heat of the Night” than in the Worcester County House of Correction. Beshai would make a great TV/movie sheriff.

But this is 2010 and we’d like to think of Worcester County as a fairly progressive place. A place where we need ideas, experience and … electability. Frank Beshai – during an Oct. 2010 InCity Times interview for his run for the District 3 City Councilor seat – seemed a little … out of it. Weird. A tad creepy. He was just, I don’t know, out to lunch … or out of ideas. Just pushing a turn-the-bums- (read: incumbents)-out ethos.

While it’s OK to be a protest candidate, it is not OK to seem ancient, exhausted, grasping for ideas to hang your brain on … . This is the Frank Beshai of 2010.

While it is nice to know Beshai turned his life around, a “reborn” guy does not make a great sheriff. Beshai should give up politics (he’s been trying to get elected to anything for years) and maybe start a rehab program for ex-offenders, with a Christian twist.

This is probably Frank’s destiny.

Pray on it, Frank.

Some great Worcester events to enjoy this spring!

editor’s note: Check out “The Big Read” at the Worcester Public Library and REC’s cool spring programs – some for Earth Day – others just for any day!

Worcester joins the “The Big Read”

By Worcester School Committee member John Monfredo

A great event will take place at the Worcester Public Library during the month of April and it merits the support of everyone in our community. It’s a kind of national month-long celebration of reading called “The Big Read.”

The Big Read is an initiative of the N.E.A. (National Endowment for the Arts) designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. It brings together partners across the country to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment. The Big Read’s aim is to address this issue by providing citizens with the opportunity to read and to discuss a single book within their communities
Worcester is one of 400 communities participating in the Big Read and Umass Memorial Health is the lead organization for it in this area. They have partnered with the Worcester Public Library and with Worcester: The City that Reads. This year the book picked by local youth groups in Worcester is the works of the nineteenth century gothic writer, Edgar Allan Poe.

Throughout April, Worcester will be reading the short stories and poems of the master of the macabre. We are encouraging schools in the Worcester County area to participate Continue reading Some great Worcester events to enjoy this spring!

What makes you happy, Worcester?

By William S. Coleman III

When I was given the assignment of writing this column, I thought I would ask people around the city: “What makes you happy?”

I met a woman who has lived in Worcester for seven years. She told me, with a coy look in her eye, that when she moved to Worcester she had no expectations, and Worcester hasn’t disappointed her yet!

While driving around the city, I stopped people randomly and had them tell me what makes them happy. Some of their responses: Continue reading What makes you happy, Worcester?

One InCity Times website reader has this to say about our new Charter School …

Unusual Connections …

By Tamara Rindahl

I wonder how many members of the Massachsetts DoE are aware of the Spirit of Knowledge Academy’s connection with the Soka Gakkai, a Japanese Buddhist organization — or with the Japanese government’s New Komeito Party?

Daisaku Ikeda, the head of the Soka Gakkai International, is listed as a writer and educator. In fact, he is the president of the Soka Gakkai International, a lay Buddhist organization formerly affiliated with the Nichiren Shoshu School of Buddhism. The Soka Gakkai split with the Nichiren Shoshu priests in the 1990’s, with both sides accusing the other of financial and sexual misconduct.

With those meddlesome priests out of the way, Ikeda, a billionaire, is now able to do whatever he wishes, including telling his members that they cannot achieve enlightenment unless they take him as their mentor, and buying over 200 degrees from various universities. He also funds a “Gandhi, King and Ikeda” exhibit, comparing himself to Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Soka Gakkai and the New Komeito Party have a reputation for corruption and financial misconduct in Japan. Soka Gakkai members who have tried to leave have been harassed and threatened. The Soka Gakkai members in Japan are also pressured to donate money to, do unpaid work for, and vote for New Komeito Party candidates at election time.

Are these the people whom you want to be running a Massachusetts public school — educating your children, spending your tax dollars?