Tag Archives: incitytimesworcester.org

Congressman McGovern: GOP Budget Hurts Millions of Working Families with Cuts to Hunger Programs

image004
image001

0704171304a-1

Congressman Jim McGovern, a senior House Democrat and Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Nutrition Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at today’s hearing entitled, The Next Farm Bill: Pathways to Success for SNAP Households.

Congressman McGovern criticized House Republicans for their budget’s $10 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which helps millions of families put food on the table every year.

“I know it’s become convenient for some to look at SNAP as an ATM machine to pay for other things, but SNAP is a vital, important program that millions of families rely on to put food on the table. And it’s not a particularly generous benefit. The average benefit is about $1.40 per person per meal. You can’t even buy a cup of coffee for that. That’s why many SNAP recipients end up at food banks at the end of the month.

“Yes, we need to figure out ways to help get people to be secure and have a job. We’re all for work. But understand one thing – 67 percent of the people on this program are not expected to work or cannot work. They’re children. They’re senior citizens. They’re people who are disabled.

“Of those who can work, a majority work. And let’s get that on the record. I’m tired of the perception that everyone on SNAP is lazy or doesn’t want to work. The fact is, the majority of them that are able to, do work. If we’re talking about how we can help transition people who can work into the workforce, we need to understand that you don’t do it by cutting the program by $10 billion. When we talk about things like ‘the cliff,’ it’s not just SNAP. It includes things like housing, it includes daycare.

“Being poor in this country is hard work. And I would like to think that we would recognize that. And this budget that was unveiled today, does not. And by the way, not only are there cuts in SNAP, we see cuts in things like Pell grants. You want children of SNAP families to be able to have a future? One thing you don’t do is cut their education benefits.

“If this is the budget and this is what we’re going to see in the Farm Bill, a cut of $10 billion, then I predict right here and now that we will not have a Farm Bill. And I will certainly do everything I can to kill a Farm Bill that has a $10 billion cut in it.”

Full Text of Congressman McGovern’s Remarks:

“This is our 23rd hearing on SNAP. And I just read the Republican budget, where there is a proposal out there for a $10 billion cut in SNAP. Ten billion dollars.

“In the last Farm Bill, there were savings of $104 billion and $92 billion came from SNAP. I know it’s become convenient for some to look at SNAP as an ATM machine to pay for other things, but SNAP is a vital, important program that millions of families rely on to put food on the table. And it’s not a particularly generous benefit.

“The average benefit is about $1.40 per person per meal. You can’t even buy a cup of coffee for that. That’s why many SNAP recipients end up at food banks at the end of the month.

“Yes, we need to figure out ways to help get people to be secure and have a job. We’re all for work. But understand one thing – 67 percent of the people on this program are not expected to work or cannot work. They’re children. They’re senior citizens. They’re people who are disabled.

“Of those who can work, a majority work. And let’s get that on the record. I’m tired of the perception that everyone on SNAP is lazy or doesn’t want to work. The fact is, the majority of them that are able to, do work. The question is, why do they earn such low wages? Why does work pay so little in this country?

“Of those who are not working, who we believe are able to work, we need to explore this population. This able-bodied adults without dependents policy – where if you don’t have a job within three months, or you don’t have a work training program, you lose your benefits for three years. Well, that population is complicated. And I’ve come to understand that in that population, there are the chronically homeless, the people who can’t read, we include kids who are aging out of foster care, we have people with undiagnosed mental illnesses, and now a lot of veterans are falling into that category.

“I’d like to ask unanimous consent to insert into the record an article that appeared in the Washington Post, on May 22, that talks about one Navy veteran who was thrown off the benefit because he couldn’t get work within the prescribed period of time, who was living off of squirrels that he was skinning and eating. That was his only source of food because he lost his SNAP benefit.

“I point this out because, if we’re talking about how we can help transition people who can work into the workforce, we need to understand that you don’t do it by cutting the program by 10 billion dollars. When we talk about things like “the cliff,” it’s not just SNAP. It includes things like housing, it includes daycare, it includes a lot of things that are not part of what this committee has jurisdiction over.

“The perception in Washington about SNAP and about those who receive the benefit does not reflect the reality. And yeah, we can find people that abuse the program, I’m sure. And I’m sure we can find people that ought to be in a job and are not, but the vast majority of people in this program, I think, would prefer not to be. Being poor in this country is hard work. And I would like to think that we would recognize that. And this budget that was unveiled today, does not. And by the way, not only are there cuts in SNAP, we see cuts in things like Pell grants. You want children of SNAP families to be able to have a future? One thing you don’t do is cut their education benefits.

“I appreciate the chair’s indulgence, but I am really angry at this budget. I will just say one final thing. If this is the budget and this is what we’re going to see in the Farm Bill, a cut of 10 billion dollars – I think that may even be a floor, not a ceiling – then I predict right here and now that we will not have a Farm Bill. And I will certainly do everything I can to kill a Farm Bill that has a 10 billion dollar cut in it.”

🍓🍑🍊🍌🍋🍎🍏🍐🍇🍍🍐🍑🍓🍏

FYI…

Chef Joey’s strawberry shortcake biscuits – always in style!!

FullSizeRender-1
Chef Joey – Chef Dreamy!!

Strawberry Shortcake Biscuits

Recipe and photos by Chef Joey

0704171304a
Strawberries

2 cups of flour

pinch of salt

1 stick soft butter

0704171143a

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup sugar

Add up to 1 cup of milk to bring up to dough consistency. Scoop into a cup cake tin, or make small biscuits with an ice cream scoop, for consistency in size.

Bake at 375 for 12 – 15 mins.

0704171155a

Take the tops off the berries.

0704171304

Slice and add to a pan with a little bit of water to prevent burning.

Cook strawberries down, about 15 mins.

Adjust flavor with sugar, but this time of year they should taste great!

Cut your biscuits in half.

0704171232

0704171649(1)

Add the berries and their sweet juice…

0704171650

0704171655

Garnish with whipped cream.

Enjoy!

When “cute” is condescending

20170717_093434
The wheels are always turning in Cece’s feline brain. She’s definitely brighter than Jett … pics: R.T.

20170626_113522
… whom Rose loves the most!

20170709_192042
Then there’s Lilac❤ …

By Ingrid Newkirk

Every morning, a crow with just one foot comes to visit my office in Washington, D.C. I hear her cawing nearby — I know she’s a “she” because she had a very noisy baby last year — and I call out to her.

She lands on my windowsill, and I put out her breakfast. She loves blueberries but hates falafel — which I learned after she spat it out onto a man walking beneath the window. Crows occasionally eat baby squirrels, so sometimes, I pretend that I’m giving her a baby squirrel, but it’s actually a warm, soft bean burrito. She probably thinks the red stuff inside is stomach contents, but it’s really just beans and tomato sauce.

One day, someone saw “my” crow eating her breakfast and said, “Aw, she is so cute!”

How often do we perceive animals as “cute,” no matter what they are doing, instead of reflecting on their experience?

After all, here’s this one-footed crow somehow surviving, avoiding electrical wires and traffic and mean people in our concrete city. She’s scavenging to feed herself and her demanding offspring. She arrives soaked to the skin in winter storms when it’s freezing outside, and even in high winds, she has to cling to branches and fire escapes with one foot. If she injures her other foot, she’s a goner! She is doing so many impressive things that I couldn’t possibly do. She is a whole, adult individual, with a disability and enormous challenges, yet we often infantilize such stunningly clever beings, giggle at them and think of them as just “cute.” It’s like calling a starving refugee “cute.”

Usually, whatever animals do, it is thoughtful and clever, not just cute.

When a small dog who has no opposable thumbs, none of our advantages, tries to drag a child’s plastic swimming pool into the house, it’s impressive. You can see the video online. The dog’s name is Gus. He is working on this project because he wants the pool in the house. Using various strategies and never saying never, he succeeds. That’s problem-solving.

When a jumping spider goes to another spider’s web and taps it in order the lure the second spider (who thinks she’s caught a fly) closer, is that “cute”? Not to the second spider, who gets eaten. It’s intelligent. There’s evidence that jumping spiders learn this behavior and that they work out exactly which types of taps will trick the other spider and which won’t.

And when octopuses figure out how to use discarded coconut shells as shelter, aren’t they being not just cute but also clever? For them, it’s a matter of survival.

There are so many jaw-dropping examples of animal ingenuity:

Squirrels dig up and rebury their food if they suspect that another squirrel has watched them stash it.

Pigs have temperature preferences and can learn through trial and error how to turn on the heat in a cold barn if given the chance.

Rabbitfish, like geese, take turns standing guard so that others can eat in safety.

Prairie dogs talk to one another about predators and get specific — giving details about size, shape, color and speed.

Chickens will forgo a treat in order to get a larger reward later.

Cats, who rarely meow to communicate with each other, invent a whole language of meows specifically to communicate with humans.

Pigeons, who remember human faces and recognize people who are nice to them, stay together for life, and both parents share equally in nesting duties.

While we send probes into space to search for intelligent life forms, we are often oblivious to the ones all around us, right here on Earth — both on land and in the sea. But if we wish to call ourselves “thinking animals,” it’s time to move past “cute” when considering other animals and on to words indicative of empathy and respect.

Tweaked#2: Worcester is MIA re: a sizable BLACK MIDDLE CLASS!

By Rosalie Tirella

A very late breakfast with Cece …

20170716_124329-1
pics: R.T.

… who still refuses to sleep/play in her new kitty bed!

20170715_124724

… Thinking about my city, Worcester, and how she, unlike many mid-sized American cities, has no African American middle class!!

Look around your Woo lives, Woo peeps!

Do you see – like I saw when I lived in Hartford and Springfield – hundreds of African Americans making their way across the urban landscape in crisp suits, polished shoes, brief cases swinging by their sides, ready to lead a city? Are they, with their college degrees,  their professional credentials, entering City Hall meeting rooms to join City Manager Ed Augustus to add their voices to our civic conversations? So we navigate the 21st century TOGETHER?

Where are Worcester’s solidly middle class Black neighborhoods, like you see in so many American cities?

Where are Worcester’s black school principals, black teachers, black librarians?!

No where. Or: their numbers are so puny they can’t have a huge effect on Worcester civic life – or life in general. Every day life. Where we forge our identities, our beliefs.

When I lived and worked in Hartford and Springfield as a young woman years ago I was the minority. Most of the teachers, social workers and city leaders that I interacted with were Black or Hispanic. Black teachers, librarians, school principals, social service agency directors, site managers and social workers. Politicians. Eye-opening for a gal who grew up in white, Irish Catholic Worcester!

And guess what?

There was nothing radical about my co-workers/friends! They did not hate white people. They were proud to be Americans. They believed in a meritocracy. They were open to me, nice, polite, real. Wanting to collaborate because we were working TOGETHER to help all people in our city! These Black professionals were well spoken, thoughtful and family-oriented.  They looked at learning, the school experience, child care, city safety the way I looked at the issues – or the way you’d see them!

But because Worcester doesn’t open its doors to  Black/Latino professionals, racism blossoms here. The worst kind of racial stereotypes rule!  People here don’t see a Black professional class, so they don’t know one exists. Our city grows more diverse by the day, and yet we still have Worcester Public Schools (at the elementary level) stuffed with all-white-teaching staffs! Our public library and its branches still have so few African American and Hispanic staffers. The Greendale Branch Library looks like it waltzed out of 1950! Pathetic!!

The situation, if you compare us to similar cities, IS NOT NORMAL!!

It just feels that way to most folks in Worcester because our racism, our separate state of being, is all they know – and feel comfortable with. It is their milieu. Their “norm.” Poor BLACKS – they too live in this weird racist home zone that reflects a skewed picture of Blackness. They can feel hopeless, depressed, less whole, less self confident living in this world, in Worcester.

Worcester – a city that excludes so many folks of color – politely and not so politely. Repeatedly. Since day #1. No matter how many community meetings the city hosts. No matter how many “official” pronouncements come from City Hall, the City Council and School Committee – all proclaiming we are an OPEN TO ALL city!

No matter if the U.S. Department of Justice!! calls us out and comes to Worcester to help right our wrongs.  We hold more polite, controlled community meetings … the City Manager makes more promises … even hires a City Diversity officer, Malika Carter, to help make us whole, to bring Blacks and other minorities into the picture. But she gets our game soon enough and quits her high paying City of Worcester job. Most likely Carter left us only after only a year and half because she realized the City Manager gave her no real power to effect  real change in our city. She was just the city’s fake badge of honor it awarded itself to make itself feel better about itself … the titular head of … nothingsville!

Factor in the racism of these perennial Worcester slugs:  

The Turtle Boy (Aidan Kearney) blogger who destroyed the lives of so many black and minority professionals in Worcester … lead the charge to harass them out 

and his rogue lawyer/Turtle Boy blog poet laureate Margaret Melican (cousin, so he says, to local hater Brendan Melican) who supports the Turtle Boy poison

and race-baiting/nightmare of a human being Worcester City Councilor (and mayor wannabe) Michael Gaffney who some people have called: “pure evil”

and Change Worcester and Worcester’s Dirty Secret FB pages author – “anonymous” blogger-crank conservative Paul Collyer, a political gadfly who has attacked Worcester City dems, a progressive City agenda and Worcester City Councilor Sarai Rivera – incessantly and  mercilessly … for months and months and months …

and, well, you’ve basically got yourself a Woo shit sandwich! A racist shit sandwich! And it is not going away any time soon because these creeps actually have forums, platforms, bully pulpits, reach so many Worcesterites so they can stoke their class fears and racial prejudices. They incite hatred for poor people, homeless people, addicted people – our community’s weakest members!

Mini-Trumps!

Worcester is, at this point in its history, stuck – it’s a city that can not move forward, cannot honestly embrace people of color. Poor Blacks and Latinos. Middle class Blacks and Latinos with college degrees and more, folks who’ve relocated from the South or  the Mid West, altered their LIVES, to take a high paying job in city government … only to face an intense backlash. From Turtle Boy. From Gaffney. From half of Worcester.

Heart-breaking.

Worcester Public Schools Superintent Melinda Boone was harassed out of her job. Turtle Boy and Gaffney lead such a horrific Melinda Boone witch hunt/hate fest that she moved out and on. The Latino assistant WPS Superintendent who applied for Boone’s job got kicked in the nuts – so he got himself another job and moved on, too. The Harvard-educated, so smart, so savvy, so cool Latino man who applied so whole heartedly for our City Mananger job … realized city leaders were really holding the slot for  Ed Augustus and he was just a … diversion. So what if he and the other CM candidates took weeks out of their LIVES to apply for the CM job, fly out to Worcester, interview for the job, meet and greet city poobahs, visit Worcester for extended periods of time to get to know us? It was just a fancy dance meant to distract from what was going on behind the scenes.

Malika Carter, the woman Augustus hired in February 2016 to spearhead the city’s diversity outreach and inclusion efforts, can now join that Black/minority professional graveyard that Turtle Boy has on his blog!

And Woo stays intolerant, narrow-minded, unfair, unjustinequitable … choose your adjective.

For how much longer?!

20170623_110814-1

 

We’re on a Chef Joey “roll” … lovin’ this Chef Joey Sunday morning bread pudding muffin recipe … and … Just 4 you!

FullSizeRender-1
Have you tried this Chef Joey recipe yet?

BREAD PUDDING MUFFINS

Photos and recipe by Chef Joey

IMG_5629-768x576

Here is a fast Funday Sunday treat for you and your friends/family!

Basic bread pudding recipe:

IMG_5624-768x576

IMG_5625-768x576

… for every cup of cubed bread you need one egg, beaten.

IMG_5626-768x576

The joy of this is you can make small batches!

Each cup of bread needs 1/2 cup of milk to soften it. For example, if you have 2 cups of bread (any kind), place in bowl and add 1 cup of milk. Four cups of bread calls for 2 cups of milk, etc …

IMG_5627-768x576

For each cup, use 1 egg.

When you have your final tally:

Whip the eggs, add 1/2 tsp vanilla and 2 tbsp of sugar per cup of mix.

For example, 4 cups of bread mix calls for 8 tbsp sugar and 2 tsp of vanilla to be added.

Whip it all up; mix with the eggs.

When it is all mixed, portion into cup cake tins …

IMG_5628-768x576

… and bake at 375 F for 15 to 20 minutes!

IMG_5629-768x576-1

Enjoy!❤
☕☕☕☕☕☕☕☕☕☕☕☕

20170710_155522(1)
A few days ago: Rose walkin’ with her mutts … pic: R.T.

Rose likes this vegan dish from PETA.ORG! Try it!

Vegan-Valentines-Day-Recipes-Heart-Shaped-Ravioli1-637x320-1455296630

Stuffed Heart-Shaped❤ Vegan Spinach-and-Cashew Ravioli

1 1/2 cups semolina flour

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry or all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup water

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup finely diced onion

1/2 cup finely chopped raw cashews

1/2 cup spinach

Mix the flour and 1 teaspoonful of salt in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix together 1 tablespoonful of olive oil and the water.

Add to the flour and mix until fully combined (add water as needed).

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat and add the garlic and onion. Cook until the onions are translucent.

Add the cashews, spinach and remaining salt and cook until the spinach is fully wilted and no water remains, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Place the dough on a floured cutting board and roll out to form a flat, even rectangular shape.

Cut the dough in half, forming two squares of the same size.

Spoon the filling onto one half of the dough in small mounds about 2 inches apart.

Place the other half of the dough on top and cut around the filling using a heart-shaped cookie cutter.

Press firmly with a fork around the edges of the ravioli.

Boil for about 8 minutes and serve with your favorite pasta sauce!

🍎🍏🍓🍑🍊🍌🍋🍈🍐🍍🍇
Common Ground Flyer 2017(1)

🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸

image001

CROSSROADS: A Healthy Relationships Group for Boys

To engage, educate, and empower BOYS (ages 14 – 18) as they navigate adolescence and begin to establish more independence.

Group topics will include:

Nurturing & reinforcing positive identity

Building relationships that include safe boundaries & positive connection

Understanding healthy sexual development

When: Wednesdays from 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. starting August 16

Where: 81 Plantation St.

Rolling Admission: members are accepted throughout the group

For more information contact: Kristen Birch at 508-849-5600 x 408

🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺

Like we said, we can’t help ourselves!!

https://nyti.ms/2uiEjT4

😄😄😄😄😄😄😄

Great idea!

Unique Finds Antique and Vintage gift shop – 1329 Main St. – Worcester

Open for business! ❤

Mon – Sat!🍀

BEST PRICES IN THE CITY!❤❤❤❤🎻

You name it, they got it! Yipee!🎵

text/pics: R.T.

20170713_162040-1

20170713_163219-1

20170713_162151

20170713_161144-1

20170713_16210420170308_180312-1-1

20170308_175611-1-1

20170713_163230

20170713_163234

20170713_163158-1

20170713_162003

20170708_115359-1
Lilac! What are you doing in this post?!

20170713_163421-1

20170713_161738-1

And a happy belated birthday to Woody Gutherie!


🔨🔨🔨🔨🔨🔨🔨🔨🔨
😩😩😩😩😩😩😩😩😩

We can’t help ourselves …

Ron’s back! Yay!!!❤❤❤❤ Unique Finds Antiques and Vintage gift shop … plus guitars, lps, collectibles, vintage tableware, comic books, industrial and toys for sale … SHOP OPEN❤!!

1329 Main St.❤❤❤
Worcester, MA ❤❤❤
OPEN MON. – SAT.🎵🎵 Closed Sunday😥

Visited my friends today (lookin’ good Ron!)! Took pics of some of the many “Unique Finds” in Ron and Sue’s shop!

Welome HOME, Ron!🎶🎶 – Rose T.

20170713_162037-1

20170713_163113

20170713_163442-1

20170713_163130

20170713_162024-1

20170713_163427-1

20170713_163210

20170713_162122-1

20170713_162011

20170713_163424

20170713_162110

20170713_161748-1

Bringing in the new

20170619_120439-1
Edith and her hubby, Guy!❤ pics: R.T.

By Edith Morgan

Something new is here: it’s obvious, in the greening of everything around us, and it’s obvious in the great perfume in the air. My lilies of the valley, all huddled up beside the house, are in full bloom and putting out great waves of wonderful perfume … . And after the often dreary days of winter, we are all enjoying longer daylight and warmer daytimes.

Spring came in with a real bang: rain, of course, but also record-breaking heat for a short time, giving us a preview of summer.

20170618_125648

20170608_185700

And the plants got the message and came on full tilt, so that in just a few days my yard was filled with ferns, Solomon’s Seal, May Apples and, of course, the lilies of the valley.

Before I had a chance to plant the bulbs, I had carefully started indoors. Everything was filled in with perennials and the ever-invasive wisteria vinlaes quickly curled around the porch rails, and atwisted their tendrils round everything, reaching out for every support they could find. Even my anciaent rhododendron put out so much new growth I was amazed. The lawn too took off, and after a battle to get it started, we mowed it, only to see it grow right back and needing another “haircut” almost immediately!

I think this year, we will adopt a more “lazy” style of gardening, letting nature have its way a lot more. It looks as though it will be a more lush summer. And as we get older, we prefer to enjoy what is, rather than to be eternally changing everything.

20170710_155813-1

On our small Worcester lot here, we have a nice selection of herbs that keeps coming up every year: the chives are crowding each other out, they are so plentiful; the onions too are growing happily without my care; and the small strawberry plant I put in two years ago has sent its tendrils all around and its progeny are blossoming profusely!

If I can reach the berries when they ripen before the squirrels and the birds get them, I can make a strawberry-rhubarb compote soon.

The battle to compete with the voracious squirrels is one price we pay for living so close to Green hill Park: while there are other “visitors” here, the squirrels seem to be the most aggressive, digging up buried acorns and other treasures and gnawing through whatever can be reached. We had a complete media blackout last week because they had chewed through the cable connection from our house to the street, leaving us for three days without cable, phone and Internet – a reminder of how very dependent we are on those connections!

20170623_135108-1
Read more Edith in this issue of CECELIA!