Tag Archives: incitytimesworcester.org

Hooray!!! US Supreme Court clears way to strike down Worcester anti-begging ordinance!

BOSTON – Today, the United States Supreme Court vacated a 2013 First Circuit Court ruling that had preliminarily turned aside an American Civil Liberties Union challenge to anti-begging ordinances in Worcester.

The decision clears the way for federal courts in Massachusetts to strike the ordinances down, based on the Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this month in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, which confirmed that laws regulating speech are subject to the strictest scrutiny when they hinge on speech content, as well as last year’s McCullen ruling concerning speech buffer zones.

The following statement may be attributed to Matthew Segal, legal director for the ACLU of Massachusetts:

“Following Friday’s landmark ruling on marriage equality, this morning the Supreme Court struck a blow for speech equality. By vacating the First Circuit’s ruling on our challenge to Worcester’s anti-begging laws, the Supreme Court has given federal courts in Massachusetts an opportunity to say what the ACLU of Massachusetts and Goodwin Procter LLP have long argued: the First Amendment is for everyone, not just for the wealthy.

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Reed v. Town of Gilbert confirms that laws regulating speech are subject to the strictest scrutiny when they hinge on the content of the speech. And the Supreme Court’s decision in McCullen v. Coakley holds that buffer zones banning speech are rarely if ever constitutional.

“How, in light of those decisions, can Worcester enforce hundreds or thousands of buffer zones that prohibit begging but do not prohibit other kinds of speech? The answer is that Worcester absolutely cannot do that.”

In May 2013, the ACLU and the firm Goodwin Procter LLP filed suit in federal court in Worcester on behalf of three Worcester residents to block two anti-begging laws enacted by the City of Worcester, claiming the laws are unconstitutional and violate the right to peacefully solicit donations in public and to engage the public in political and other speech. In November 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit granted an injunction against part of the ordinance. Judges ruled that the ordinance’s ban on “soliciting any person in public after dark, which shall mean the time from one-half hour before sunset to one-half hour after sunrise” could not be enforced, but did not strike the measure down.

The ACLU has also challenged Lowell’s anti-begging ordinance.

For more information about Thayer v. City of Worcester, go to:

https://aclum.org/cases-briefs/thayer-v-city-of-worcester

For more information about the ACLU of Massachusetts, go to:

http://www.aclum.org

Open tomorrow (Monday), Tuesday …

… Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday – ’til 7 p.m.

That’s Seven Days a Week! For your shopping pleasure …

Unique Finds Antique and Vintage gift shop!

1329 Main St., Worcester

I visited the shop this weekend and took pics of these just-in jewels-in-the-rough:       – R.T.

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Cambridge Street: Food Drive for the poor!

Friends of Jeremiah’s Inn,

1 out of every 3 children living in one of Worcester’s 14 lower-income neighborhoods experiences hunger. That is not ok!

Each year, the Jeremiah’s Inn Food Pantry feeds 12,500 individuals.

More than 1/3 of the people receiving food are children.

During the summer, our food pantry stocks tend to run low. You can help people from going hungry this summer by participating in the Jeremiah’s Inn 21st Annual Food Drive.

Jeremiah’s Inn will be at the Price Chopper on Cambridge Street …

 8 am – 6 pm

July 6 – 11

… ready to receive your donations of food!

If you’d prefer to send a check, you can mail it to: Jeremiah’s Inn, 1059 Main Street/PO Box 30035, Worcester, MA 01603.

Thanks for your support!

This just in! The Broadway restaurant on Water Street has made batches of homemade ice cream!

Nothing beats the Broadway’s just-made homemade Snickers ice cream.  Or Smores ice cream. Or Salted Caramel ice cream! Or Pina Colada ice cream. Or Black Raspberry ice cream. Or Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream.  Or …

 Head down to this Worcester culinary landmark today! It’s located at 100 Water St., Worcester!

You can’t see it here, in this pic I took last week, but I have a little pot belly.

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 Sigh. It will never disappear as long as I live two minutes away from the Broadway. It’s all the Broadway’s fault! It’s their HOMEMADE ice cream with its white chocolate chunks and cherries and brownie hunks … its their cheddar cheese-veggie omelettes bursting at their edges … all sirens to my InCity Times sailor soul!

– Rosalie Tirella

TOMORROW! FREE yoga, live music, kids activities, art for sale at the BEST, MOST PROGRESSIVE Farmers Market in Worcester!

TOMORROW!

Saturday, June 27

9:30 am to 1 pm

Fuller Family Park in MAIN SOUTH, behind the YMCA Central Branch

So much more than fresh, local produce, fresh baked goods, fresh eggs …

(and don’t forget to check out the market at Beaver Brook, every Monday and Friday!)              – R.T.

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Fenway Health commends Supreme Court Landmark Marriage Ruling

Fenway Health commends the U.S. Supreme Court for its landmark ruling today striking down state government discrimination against same-sex marriage, thereby legalizing marriage equality in all 50 states.

“Today the U.S. Supreme Court said that same-sex couples and gay, lesbian and bisexual people are fully equal citizens of the United States,” said Stephen L. Boswell, MD, FACP, President & CEO of Fenway Health. “This is the logical culmination of the right to equal protection under the law regardless of sexual orientation articulated in the Romer v. Evans case by Justice Kennedy in 1996, further developed in the 2013 U.S. v. Windsor case.  We commend the Court and our colleagues at Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, especially the incomparable Mary Bonauto.”

Same-sex marriage is especially important to lesbian couples. When Massachusetts legalized marriage in 2004, most same-sex couples marrying in the early years were female same-sex couples. Because lesbian couples earn less, on average, than gay male couples, and are more likely to be raising children, the legal protections of marriage are especially important for them.

Studies have shown that lesbian, gay and bisexual people derive positive health benefits from same sex marriage. A study, coauthored by a number of Fenway staff, including Judith B. Bradford, PhD, and Kenneth H. Mayer, MD, FACP, Co-Chairs of The Fenway Institute, suggested that legalizing same-sex marriage improves the health of gay and bisexual men and saves money in health care costs. “Effect of Same-Sex Marriage Laws on Health Care Use and Expenditures in Sexual Minority Men: A Quasi-Natural Experiment,” was published February 2012 in the American Journal of Public Health and showed that in the 12 months following the 2003 legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, gay and bisexual men had a significant decrease in medical care visits, mental healthcare visits, and mental healthcare costs, compared with the 12 months before the law change. This amounted to a 13% reduction in healthcare visits and a 14% reduction in healthcare costs. These health effects were similar for partnered and single gay men.

And a UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and Williams Institute analysis of data from the 2009 California Health Interview Survey, the nation’s largest population-based state health survey, found that psychological distress is lower among lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals who are legally married to a person of the same sex, compared with those not in legally recognized unions.

Previous studies have documented that excluding lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals from marriage has a stressful impact on this population.

“While today is a day for celebration, we still have much work to do to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people against discrimination and realize full equality for LGBT people,” said Sean Cahill, PhD, Director of Health Policy Research at The Fenway Institute and author of two books on same-sex marriage and LGBT family recognition. “Most states still do not have sexual orientation and gender identity nondiscrimination laws, and LGBT people experience health disparities, discrimination in social services, and abuse in our criminal justice system. Still, today’s landmark court ruling is an amazing and exciting step toward full equality for all Americans.”

Calling all runners and volunteers!

Join the 2015 Mass Dash Relay Race to support the Jimmy Fund!

Saturday, July 18

The Mass Dash Relay is seeking runners and volunteers for its one-day, 100-mile team relay across Massachusetts on Saturday, July 18 to raise money for pediatric and adult patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Jimmy Fund in Boston.

Teams of up to 6 runners will begin the non-stop relay race of 18 legs varying in distance from 3.8 to 8 miles each.

Runners will depart at sunrise from the foot of Mount Greylock in Lanesborough and head to the finish line at University of Massachusetts, Amherst by evening.

To register your team, visit www.massdashrelay.org.

Calling all volunteers!

Mass Dash is also looking for race crew volunteers to check in runners at relay stops throughout the race.

To sign up, volunteers can visit the following link and click “volunteer now” to check off the transition where they would like to help. http://www.doitsports.com/volunteer2/jobs-by-date.tcl?event_id=212905&sort=job

Since Mass Dash began in 2010, more than 2,000 runners and volunteers have raised more than $500,000 for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

For more information about Mass Dash, please visit:

massdashrelay.org.