Tag Archives: incitytimesworcester. org

What will you give the Easter Bunny this year?

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Lilac, 4-6-2017 pic: R.T.

Reposting for Easter …

By Kendall Bryant

Easter is almost upon us, or as we in the sheltering world say, “Brace yourselves — it’s rabbit season.” I’ve rescued rabbits for 10 years, and I volunteer in the small-animal room at my local shelter. And every spring, it seems as though, for many cast-off Peter Cottontails, the bunny trail leads straight to our door.

While most of us consider cute, scampering rabbits to be one of the quintessential signs of spring, it can be a tough time for many of them. The ways in which we inadvertently cause them to suffer — for everything from fur to floor cleaner — would make any bunny hopping mad.

Let’s start with the Easter Bunny. Every year, breeders and bunny mills churn out irresistible baby rabbits for parents to put in their children’s Easter baskets. And every year, for several weeks after Easter, shelter workers take in a deluge of these same rabbits — after they have chewed through electrical wires, books, baseboards, doorjambs and all the Easter lilies.

What breeders and pet stores often fail to mention as they’re ringing up those fluffy little bundles of Easter joy is that rabbits, like all animals, have some particular needs. They chew incessantly (their teeth never stop growing), and they have special dietary needs (think less lettuce, more hay). They require constant mental stimulation and space to run around in, and they get depressed when confined to a cage. They can live for up to 12 years.

So, when Bugs turns out to be more work than parents bargained for, he usually finds himself tossed out like a stale Peep. He might be dropped off at an animal shelter, relegated to a cage outside or simply turned loose in the wild, where he won’t stand a chance against starvation, harsh weather and predators.

But buying bunnies on a whim and then abandoning them once reality sets in is just one way that we cause them to suffer.

Many of the fur accessories, trim and jackets that you see in stores are made from rabbit fur because it’s often cheaper than other animals’ skins. Rabbits on fur farms spend their entire lives confined to tiny, filthy metal cages and often have their necks broken while they’re still conscious and able to feel pain. On angora farms, rabbits scream and writhe in pain as workers tear the fur out of their skin. I couldn’t wear a coat made of rabbits any more than I could wear one made of golden retrievers.

Rabbits’ mild manner and the ease with which they breed also make them a favorite victim of experimenters, who use them to test chemical products, burning their skin with noxious chemicals and dripping substances into their eyes, even though superior non-animal testing methods are readily available.

And it should go without saying, but anyone who cares at all about rabbits shouldn’t eat them. The House Rabbit Society and other rabbit advocates have been fervently protesting outside stores that sell rabbit meat.

We humans have long had a hard time thinking straight about other animals — we keep some as “pets” while serving up others on our plates — and our treatment of rabbits shows just how schizophrenic our relationship with other species can be.

So this Easter, let’s give rabbits a break by vowing not to wear them, eat them or buy cosmetics or household products that were tested on them. (You can check to see if a company is cruelty-free by using PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies searchable database.) And if you’re really ready to give a rabbit a lifetime of care, hop on down to your local humane society or rabbit rescue group to adopt one — preferably right after Easter.

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These companies don’t test their products on bunnies … Support them!

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A kind of Easter Parade!

How I Saved Money by Going Vegan

From PETA.ORG:

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By Shekalia

Back in the day, I wasn’t necessarily swimming in cash. I was a student, so you can imagine how empty my pockets were. When I found out that animals suffer miserably on cramped factory farms for our food, I was determined not to let my financial situation deter me from going vegan. But I was surprised to learn how affordable vegan foods are and that I could actually save money by ditching animal-derived foods and planning my meals.

I created a budget and became a money-saving ninja. And now I’m here to pass on what I’ve learned. Here’s how I saved money by going vegan:

Brainstorm Meal Ideas Before Making Your Grocery List

Some folks make the mistake of creating a shopping list without actually thinking about what they’re going to cook. Don’t do that. Instead, sit down and think, “What dishes do I want to make?” By doing this key first step, you’ll avoid overspending at the store and start saving money.

Here are some ideas for meals that are cheap and easy to make:

Stir-fry: This can be made up of anything, and it only takes one pot. Just chop up your fave veggies, heat up some oil, and start frying. Add some cooked noodles and tofu.
Pasta: You can buy pasta for as little as $1—and pasta sauce is just as cheap. Add veggies like onions and mushrooms for texture.

Chili: All this dish requires is beans, veggies, and spices, and voilà—you’re done! You can’t beat this simple go-to meal, plus chili can be used in a variety of ways: Put it on fries, on Fritos, on nachos—the list goes on. If cooking isn’t your thing, most grocery stores carry “vegetarian” chili that’s actually vegan. Just check the label to make sure that it doesn’t contain animal-derived ingredients.

Don’t Forget the Staples — and Buy in Bulk

Food is usually cheaper when you buy it in large quantities — and if your kitchen is always stocked, you won’t be tempted to order expensive takeout when cravings hit. Stock up on staples like beans, grains, nuts, and frozen fruits and veggies. (I like to buy quinoa in bulk because it can be more expensive in smaller amounts.) Sometimes, I prepare a large portion of beans and rice to eat with other dishes that I cook during the week. This saves me time and brain power, as I don’t have to come up with a meal from scratch.

Shop Sales

We all love a good deal. Plan your grocery shopping around when stores and markets have sales. And don’t skip the dollar store — most stores carry staples like beans, rice, pasta, and frozen produce as well as other vegan options. Go to your local dollar store and browse the aisles — you never know what you may find.

Cook!

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I started cooking when I was 6 and was quite the little chef — although it involved mostly meat-based dishes. When I went vegan, I realized that preparing meat-free meals is far simpler. Cooking your own meals saves you money, too, while sparing your body the negatives effects of eating unhealthy takeout.

While cooking at home will save you money, there’ll be moments when you need to grab a bite to eat on the go. Taco Bell, Subway, and other vegan-friendly fast-food places have meals that’ll fill you up for just a few bucks!

Try Mock Meats and Tofu

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Mock meats like those made by Gardein and Tofurky are great sometimes. Don’t focus on replacing meat with mock meat, though. Instead, concentrate on eating more whole foods — and don’t forget about our friend tofu. One block can cost as little as 99 cents, it’s extremely versatile, and it’s also a better, cheaper substitute for meat that can be found at pretty much any grocery store.

By going vegan, you’ll be able to eat well for cheap and you won’t contribute to animals’ suffering. Knowing that piglets’ tails are cut off without painkillers, male chicks are ground up alive, and cows are separated from their calves inspired me to change my lifestyle — and as a result, I was able to cut my spending in half. I no longer buy meat, dairy foods, or eggs, which accounted for most of my budget in the past. I now buy and prepare affordable, nutritious plant-based foods. What could be better than saving money and being kind to animals and my body?

Time to abolish electoral college

By Steven R. Maher

Hillary Clinton may have been defeated in the electoral college, but she apparently has won the majority of votes in the 2016 presidential election.

This happened to candidate Al Gore as well in 2000. Filmmaker Michael Moore has called for the abolition of the electoral college. Given that George W. Bush and Donald J. Trump were not the choice of the majority of American voters, that might not be a bad idea.

During a class in public speaking I took at Nichols College, the professor illustrated the way language can be used to mask a falsehood without telling an outright lie. (This would be something along the line of saying, “It all depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”)

During the Cold War, there was a contest to see who built a better car: the United States or the Soviet Union. The American automobile won. Pravda, the Soviet newspaper (ironically, given all the lies it told, Pravda is Russian for “Truth”), reported the results as follows: “In an international competition of automobiles, the Soviet vehicle came in second, while the American vehicle came in next to last.”

The Pravda statement was true. It was a clever way of disguising the truth, which is that Americans made a better car than Russians. Reading it, one would think there were many nations participating in the competition. This wasn’t so, but the Russians were denying the truth without lying.

Another example of this would be: “Donald Trump was elected President in a landslide, with Hillary Clinton coming in second.”

That would be true if you looked at the electoral college only. It would disguise the fact that a majority of the American electorate voted for Clinton for President and rejected Donald Trump.

There is no mandate in this election for Trump.

Michael Moore is right. We should abolish the electoral college.

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For Donald Trump. Joan and Bob sing Woody:

WOW! It’s finally happening: Downtown Worcester mural fest!

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Mural –  Dramatic lady – Downtown Worcester, Hanover Theatre  pic:R.T.

By Rosalie Tirella

Several years back I was driving through Main South and I saw this: a mom and her little girl – the girl was about four or five – walking past the revamped PIP shelter. It was now a free lunch spot for the neighborhood’s downtrodden. This slice of downtown Worcester was truly menacing 15 or so years ago when the PIP was still a wet shelter. Outside the big, multi-storied brick PIP building at 701 Main St. men and women, strung out on heroin, coked-out on coke or just plain drop-dead drunk,  lurched and staggered across Main or Charlton street, talking/swearing to themselves words slurred… They were so high/drunk you feared for their lives! You feared for yours! They were craving – physically needing – their next fix, and many would do anything to get it.  They couldn’t help themselves! You saw, out in the open, the Main South drug biz. Women offered themselves up for sale so they could buy their drugs –  johns paid them 50 bucks (the cost then for a bag of smack) and abused the street girls: I know of one woman konked on the head with a beer bottle because she told her john that pigeons are messy birds, another woman got her hand smashed when some asshole slammed the refrigerator door on it; her face was swollen and bitten up from the bed bugs in the apartment. Sirens, screams, gun shots were all part of the aural scenery on this side of downtown Worcester…

Fast forward to seven or so years ago: Now I was looking at a less perilous area, with the mom and her little girl crossing Charlton Street, walking by the new and improved PIP. It was now a place for the hungry and homeless (addicted or sober) to eat a hot lunch and (oftentimes) be driven to the hospital by ambulance for first aid/detoxifixation.

The one true constant in that ‘hood, the one thing that had outlived the police cruisers, the street fights, the ambulances, the heroin, the prostitution, the old PIP’s angel executive director, Buddy Brousseau, the old PIP’s angel PIP doctor for the homeless and the big-hearted PIP case workers was the lovely mural painted on the Charlton Street side of the PIP. The mural’s tall flowers, its themes of beauty and love, its tropical colors, somewhat faded through the years, STILL gave this tough inner-city corridor warmth, softness …  As it always had and always WILL! Public street art – the artist’s urban dream superimposed on the urban reality. For all to experience!

Children are better, braver than adults! It was the little girl, walking with her mom on Main Street, who made me see! She, on catching sight of the mural,  ran away from her mom, to the PIP building, to its mural and flung herself at one of the mural’s painted sunflowers. With her arms outstretched over the painted brick wall I could see she was “hugging” the flower! For a long time! She was smiling … delighted! She had found a new friend during her walk with  her mom – a  yellow sunflower taller than she was! There they were: the painted flower, her petals unfolding,  and the little Latina girl, her heart unfolding. Mom, a nice young woman, had adult distractions: she was carrying a grocery bag and pushing a baby carriage, with a little one inside. It was July and crushingly hot. Mom wanted to keep on walking, get home, get out of the heat wave – intensified by all the concrete surroundings. She could’t pay too much attention to the mural that had captivated her daughter, though she was smiling when she walked up to her girl with her cheek pressed against the painted flower and took her by the hand and gently lead her away.

I think of that little girl and her mom often. I remember how the mural had moved the little girl, lifted her straight up off Charlton Street and deposited her on her own little cloud of happiness!

This is what I want for all our city kids – many of them deprived in ways you may not be able to relate to. You think it’s poverty. You think it’s sadness. You think it’s an abusive dad… You think it’s malnutrition. You’re certain it’s a shitty apartment. Often it’s all of the above – entwined, braided  … over and over again, through generation after generation sometimes.

And so it is with GREAT LOVE AND GREAT JOY that I SAY: POW! Knock out the hurt and pain! WOW! Look at all that great public art!

WORCESTER’S DOWNTOWN, the hub of our inner-city, the seat of our city govt, is getting a big MAKEOVER. Bright, huge, colorful  MURALS will be painted ON THE SIDES AND BACKS OF OUR DOWNTOWN BUILDINGS from August 26 to September 4. By local artists and visiting artists from all over the world. So much art! Such BIG COLORFUL PICTURES – a ton of them! – for all the little city kids to be  WOWED by!

This is HUGE, Worcester! This art fest, with so many artists creating street art right before our eyes, is a gift. Everbody – rich and poor; black, brown and white; old and young; college-educated and autodidact – can feast their peepers on our buildings.  And enjoy!

Collectively, these murals will be our very own STATUE OF LIBERTY! Yes, the millenials and upper-income empty nesters, people city leaders want to attract to our urban core, can and will enjoy the art, but for me, the murals are for the people. Power to the people! Especially the little kids! … of Green Island, South Worcester,  Main South, Piedmont…Our sometimes weary, hungry and forsaken…our immigrants, refugees. Without a lot of dough or connections, they may not be able to eat dinner at downtown’s new pricy restaurants. They may not be able to buy tickets to that special concert at Mechanics Hall. Maybe they are even afraid – intimidated because they are new to America and don’t have confidence in their English or American government! – to enter City Hall.

But the best things in life are free!  Like our glorious Free Worcester Public Library. Like all the BEAUTIFUL FLOWERS AND TREES growing in our downtown … And soon the folks from Lafayette, Hacker, Queen, Cambridge, Charlton streets (yes! PIP people, too!) will be able to walk through their downtown look up at its buildings and see “rocking horse people,” “newspaper taxis” … “girls with kaleidoscope eyes” – you name it! There are gonna be a lot of murals!

(Sun)flower to the people!

Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy!

I picked up the vinyl version a few days ago at Unique Finds Antiques and Vintage gift store, 1329 Main St., Worcester.

Glorious!!!

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Note: antique photo – NOT my relatives!

Unique Finds has a great vinyl, CD and 45 selection!

The shop is open 7 days a week, until 7 p.m.

BEST PRICES in the city! – pic/text: R.T.

Super cool!!!!!!!

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

By Rosalie Tirella

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

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

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

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

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

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

The adreneline junkies!

Out to apprehend the junky junkies!

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

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

Swoon …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Swoon …

WARD STREET’S little kids, moms, families, law abiding citizens thank you, Worcester Police Dept. Vice Squad, Mass State Police, Conn State Police and your heroic German Shepherd dogs!

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DRUG RAID AT 48 1/2 WARD ST.

From the Worcester Police Department FB page:

Year-Long Drug Investigation Yields Numerous Guns and Drugs – 11 Arrests Made

Worcester Police Chief Gary J. Gemme announced today that as a result of an extensive narcotics investigation initiated by members of the Worcester Police Vice Squad, eight search warrants were executed and eleven arrests were made. This was a joint investigation by the Worcester police department, Massachusetts State Police, and supported by the Worcester Country District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. The execution of these search warrants and the securing of the premises of the targeted sites involved the assistance of the Oxford Police Department and Auburn Police Department.

“Today was a bad day for those who would prey on our residents and neighborhoods. With one fell swoop, the Worcester Police Department and their law enforcement partners put a serious dent in drug trafficking in our city,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. “This kind of case only comes together through cooperation across agency lines. Thank you to the Worcester Police Department, District Attorney Joseph Early’s Office, the Massachusetts State Police, and Connecticut State Police for their tireless work to make Worcester a safer place.”

Describing the operation, Chief Gary J. Gemme said “In the early morning hours, officers involved in the operation prepared to enter pre-determined locations simultaneously to execute eight search warrants including sites in Oxford, Auburn and Connecticut.”

Members of the Worcester police vice squad, and Massachusetts State Police made entry into the following locations and secured the premises:

11 Russell Street, 1st Floor Worcester
11 Russell Street, 2nd Floor Worcester
48 ½ Ward Street, Worcester
75 Ward Street, Worcester
21 Merrick Street, 3rd Floor, Worcester
143 Orchard Hill Drive, Oxford
Starters Distributors, 848 Southbridge Street, Auburn

Connecticut State Police, Massachusetts State Police and Worcester Police executed a search warrant at 442 Eastford Road, Woodstock, CT.

The search warrants yielded more than 200 grams of cocaine, more than 200 grams of heroin, 11 firearms, 10 vehicles and approximately $75,000 cash.

Commenting on the investigation, Chief Gary J. Gemme said, “Anytime you can focus on areas of the City impacted by drugs and violence, it goes a long was to enhance the safety and vitality of our neighborhoods. … This is just one of a number of investigations and wiretaps that we are working on which focuses on guns and drugs.”

The investigation began approximately a year ago and included a wiretap and surveillance. It is expected that the arrests made during this investigation will disrupt the illegal activities of the drug organization.

“This was a great effort and a lot of good police work went into this over the past year,” said Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. “This action truly exemplified how well the state police assigned to the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office and Worcester Police work together.”“You cannot overstate how important it is to get heroin and cocaine in this quantity off the streets and take back these neighborhoods,” he said. “It is also a very good day for law-enforcement and for public safety when we can get this many weapons out of the hands of drug dealers.”

During the raids, the following individuals were placed under arrest:

Juan DeJesus, 24 of 48 ½ Ward Street, Worcester was charged with Possession of Class A Substance with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Class B Substance with Intent to Distribute, Trafficking in Class B Substance more than 200 Grams, and Conspiracy to Violate Controlled Substance Laws.

Jose Tapia, 26, of 48 ½ Ward Street, Worcester was charged with Possession of Class A Substance with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Class B Substance with Intent to Distribute, Trafficking in Class B Substance more than 200 Grams, Conspiracy to Violate Controlled Substance Laws, Possession of Class B Substance, and Possession of Class C Substance

Jose Correa, 38, of 143 Orchard Hill, Oxford was charged with Trafficking in Class B more than 200 Grams and Conspiracy to Violate Controlled Substance Laws.

Joshua Amart, 24, of 11 Russell Street, Apartment 2, Worcester was charged with Distribution of Class B Substance (Subsequent Offense).

Pito Bauza, 45, of 42 Grand Street, Apartment 2, Worcester was charged with Possession of Class A Substance and Conspiracy to Violate Controlled Substance Laws.

Eduardo Diaz, 33, of 159 Water Street, Worcester was charged with Use of Firearm in a Felony, Resisting Arrest, Possession of Firearm/Ammunition without an FID Card, Possession of Class A Substance with Intent to Distribute, Interfering with a Police Officer and Conspiracy to Violate Controlled Substance Laws.

Wilfredo Valle, 32, of 300 Gregory Avenue, Passaic, NJ, was charged with Use of Firearm in a Felony, Resisting Arrest, Possession of Firearm/Ammunition without an FID Card, Possession of Class A Substance with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Class B Substance with Intent to Distribute and Conspiracy to Violate Controlled Substance Laws.

Israel Diaz, 36, of 41 Merrick Street, Worcester was charged with Possession of a Machine Gun, Trafficking in Class B Substance more than 200 Grams, Trafficking in Heroin more than 200 Grams, Conspiracy to Violate Controlled Substance Laws, Use of a Firearm in a Felony, Possession of a Firearm without an FID Card, and Possession of Ammunition without an FID Card.

Additional charges are pending and all eight individuals will be arraigned tomorrow at the Worcester County District Courthouse.

Three additional individuals were arrested in Connecticut and are facing numerous firearms and drug charges.
“These arrests and seizures of narcotics, firearms and suspected drug profits will deliver a significant blow to the cocaine and heroin trade in Worcester and the surrounding region,” said Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent, Massachusetts State Police. “Today’s operation and the investigation that preceded it is a model for interagency cooperation.”
“I commend the work of the State Police Detective Unit attached to District Attorney Early’s office and of our partners at the Worcester Police Department, ” he said.

Chief Gemme commended Captain of the Bureau of Investigative Services, Paul Saucier, Vice Squad Lt. Joseph Scampini, and Police Officer Larry Williams for their tireless work on the investigation. “The results of this investigation are a tribute to the dedication that we continually see from our officers working to keep our community safe,” said Chief Gemme

WOW

This past weekend Worcester’s inner city was alive with fall fun!

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On Cambridge Street, in Maloney Field, we saw scores of kids and their parents playing soccer. All the families were, pretty much, folks of color. Poverty, struggles do NOT stop kids from playing – nor interested parents from joining in the fun.

So important for Worcester politicians to keep Worcester’s older neighborhoods in mind. The middle class can always buy themselves out of problems and dilemmas. The poor face them every day – and surmount more than you think!

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PLEASE VOTE TODAY FOR WORCESTER POLITICAL CANDIDATES WHO STAY TRUE TO THE PROMISE OF OUR INNER-CITY!

I’m a former (and present-day) Worcester inner-city kid: Worcester Public Schools student, kindergarten – grade 12; participant in Worcester’s Summer’s World; dreamer in the Worcester Public Library’s children’s room; belly flopper in Worcester’s Crompton Park swimming pool, mad dasher at the Girls Club on Vernon Hill, quiet girl at St. Mary’s church and catechism class in Green Island … eons later owner and editor of InCity Times.

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The City of Worcester services, parks and schools worked for my single mom and us kids. The WPS teachers supported the work ethic that my mom was all about, the Worcester parks and our public library and their city events – the Fourth of July fireworks at East Park, the free musical instrument instruction at Lamartine Street School – kept things interesting and fun for us. FOR FREE. For kids and grandkids of immigrants.

The American Dream in ACTION – WORCESTER!

Worcester politicians need to remember first and foremost we’re a Gateway city. They must INVEST in the kids and parents and adults of our urban core. We’ll most likely be here for the rest of our lives, giving the city its true feel … .

… Its every day music.

– pics and text: Rosalie Tirella

Jim McGovern on hunger in Massachusetts and America

From Congressman Jim McGovern’s office! Go, Jim, go!!!! – R.T.
 
On House Floor, McGovern Praises Community Voices Campaign to Highlight Real Families Helped by SNAP, Anti-Hunger Programs  
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the House Floor yesterday Congressman Jim McGovern, a senior House Democrat and leading champion of anti-hunger efforts, spoke about Community Voices, a summer-long national campaign launched by the Center for American Progress, the Coalition on Human Needs, Witnesses to Hunger, the Food Research and Action Center, Feeding America and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
 
McGovern praised the work of Community Voices (including the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless) to amplify the stories of real families helped by SNAP, WIC, and other anti-hunger programs. Click here to watch video of today’s speech.
 
“All too often, the discussion around SNAP and our other anti-hunger programs is punctuated by misinformation, false stereotypes or downright nasty rhetoric. It’s frustrating and it’s wrong. 
 
“Community Voices reminds us what a positive difference these programs make for families who are really struggling.
 
“Every Member of Congress should have received a Community Voices booklet. It’s a call to action to protect our vital federal nutrition assistance programs.  I encourage you to read the stories about how these programs are helping the families who need them most.. Without them, hunger would be much worse.
 
“And I urge you to keep their stories in mind the next time proposals come before Congress to cut funding for WIC or restrict access to SNAP or make it more difficult for children to get healthy meals in school. Harmful changes like these would hurt real families who are already struggling. We shouldn’t make their lives more difficult. We shouldn’t be making hunger worse in this country.
 
NUMBERS:
 

o   In 2014 alone, SNAP lifted 4.7 million people out of poverty, including 2.1 million children.

o   92 percent of benefits go to households with incomes below the poverty line.

o   Federal investment in our nutrition programs is one of the smartest investments we can make.

o   For every $1 spent on preventive services for a pregnant woman in WIC, the program saves $4.21 in Medicaid costs by reducing the risk of pre-term birth and associated costs.
 
STORIES OF REAL FAMILIES:
 
Yesterday, McGovern also shared stories of real families helped by SNAP and other anti-hunger programs:
 
Linda from the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless:
 
o   “Several years ago, I volunteered at a summer program at a park in Morgantown, Kentucky, assisting with skill-building activities. Without this nutrition program, the kids who came would not have had lunch, since school was not in session.

o   “If the kids didn’t come to that park for nutritional food, I’m not sure they would have gotten it anywhere else. None of the food was wasted, and if there was any food leftover, the kids would take it back to their families.

o   “Food is a basic human right, and our government sometimes forgets that and needs to be reminded. This is a moral imperative for our country to make sure that all people, especially children, have the resources needed to develop – even more so for families and children in poverty.”
 
Jonetta from Sacramento, California:
 
o   “Several years ago, I left an abusive relationship, and now I am raising my daughter by myself. My daughter participates in the school meal program and the after-school snack program. The snack program really helps so that my daughter isn’t as hungry when she gets home from school. We also receive $356 a month in SNAP.

o   “This money is supposed to supplement my food budget, but it is really all of my food budget because my income barely covers my rent. Right now, I’m homeless, and it’s hard to find a place to live for less than $500 a month. Because of SNAP, we are not starving.

o   “As a mom, I try to cut out a lot of bad food from my family’s diet, but it is a difficult task to buy the healthier food because it is expensive. It’s also very difficult because we have been homeless for a couple months so I have to use other people’s refrigerators. I am very thankful for these programs and to all the people who are trying to make these programs better. They really help me and my daughter.”
 
The full text of Congressman McGovern’s floor speech is below:
 (as prepared for delivery)
 
“I recently had the pleasure of speaking with a group of people involved with “Community Voices: Why Nutrition Assistance Matters.” It was inspiring to hear about the real and positive impact our federal nutrition programs have in the daily lives of Americans all across this country.
 
“Community Voices is a summer-long national campaign launched by the Center for American Progress, the Coalition on Human Needs, Witnesses to Hunger, the Food Research and Action Center, Feeding America and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
 
“It was started to share the personal stories of individuals and service providers who experienced firsthand programs like SNAP or WIC or school meals. These contributors are the real experts when it comes to the importance and effect of our vital nutrition assistance programs. 
 
“The Community Voices campaign culminated in this booklet – a compilation of many of these personal stories.
 
“I’d like to take a moment and share a few of these stories. Jonetta from Sacramento, California says:
 
‘Several years ago, I left an abusive relationship, and now I am raising my daughter by myself. My daughter participates in the school meal program and the after-school snack program. The snack program really helps so that my daughter isn’t as hungry when she gets home from school. We also receive $356 a month in SNAP.
 
‘This money is supposed to supplement my food budget, but it is really all of my food budget because my income barely covers my rent. Right now, I’m homeless, and it’s hard to find a place to live for less than $500 a month. Because of SNAP, we are not starving. As a mom, I try to cut out a lot of bad food from my family’s diet, but it is a difficult task to buy the healthier food because it is expensive. It’s also very difficult because we have been homeless for a couple months so I have to use other people’s refrigerators.
 
‘I am very thankful for these programs and to all the people who are trying to make these programs better. They really help me and my daughter.’
 
And let me share another story from Linda from the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless:
 
‘Several years ago, I volunteered at a summer program at a park in Morgantown, Kentucky, assisting with skill-building activities. Without this nutrition program, the kids who came would not have had lunch, since school was not in session.
 
‘If the kids didn’t come to that park for nutritional food, I’m not sure they would have gotten it anywhere else. None of the food was wasted, and if there was any food leftover, the kids would take it back to their families.
 
‘Food is a basic human right, and our government sometimes forgets that and needs to be reminded. This is a moral imperative for our country to make sure that all people, especially children, have the resources needed to develop – even more so for families and children in poverty.’
 
“I want to thank Jonetta, Linda and all of those who took the time to share their stories. They remind us that these programs are helping real families who are trying to do their best in tough times.
 
“All too often, the discussion around SNAP and our other anti-hunger programs is punctuated by misinformation, false stereotypes or downright nasty rhetoric. It’s frustrating and it’s wrong. 
 
“Community Voices reminds us what a positive difference these programs make for families who are really struggling.
 
“And the data backs up just how important these programs are. In 2014 alone, for example, SNAP lifted 4.7 million people out of poverty, including 2.1 million children. Ninety-two percent of benefits go to households with incomes below the poverty line, which includes millions of struggling families working hard every day to put food on the table.
 
“And, federal investment in our nutrition programs is one of the smartest investments we can make. For example, for every $1 spent on preventive services for a pregnant woman in WIC, the program saves $4.21 in Medicaid costs by reducing the risk of pre-term birth and associated costs.
 
“I have long believed that we need to hear firsthand from the people who are directly touched by SNAP or WIC or school meals. They are the real experts and can guide us as Members of Congress as we work to strengthen and improve these programs.
 
“Every Member of Congress should have received a Community Voices booklet. It’s a call to action to protect our vital federal nutrition assistance programs.  I encourage you to read the stories about how these programs are helping the families who need them most.. Without them, hunger would be much worse.
 
“And I urge you to keep their stories in mind the next time proposals come before Congress to cut funding for WIC or restrict access to SNAP or make it more difficult for children to get healthy meals in school. Harmful changes like these would hurt real families who are already struggling. We shouldn’t make their lives more difficult. We shouldn’t be making hunger worse in this country.”