Tag Archives: Mayor Joe Petty

City Councilor Michael Gaffney drops another bomb


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A few days ago: Rose walking her mutts. With the leaves turning color, her thoughts turn to the fall city election … pic: R.T.

By Rosalie Tirella

No, it is not the usual City Councilor Michael Gaffney political hate bomb, right before this Tuesday, September 19, the last date all Woo city councilor candidates at large must officially declare their intent to run for mayor. No, this time, it’s not Gaffney: demonizing minorities, refugees or immigrants; accusing the editor of a local paper of being a sexual predator after the paper runs A FEW PARAGRAPHS! on him that he doesn’t like – Gaffney does this to cost the editor his job and stop the stories – not to help women; lying about and twisting the intentions of present Worcester Mayor Joe Petty; cynically thinking he’s smarter than every one else in the room so he boldly obfuscates and manipulates his way into the voters’ psyches.

No. It’s not the usual Gaffney scheme, taken straight out of the Donald Trump Shit on the Other – Prey on the Weak Handbook. No. This is something new: Gaffney’s declared that this fall, this election season  – when he runs for mayor of Worcester for the second time – HE WILL NOT BE TAKING ANY QUESTIONS FROM THE MEDIA – pertaining to his mayoral run!

That’s right: He will be answering zero Q and A-where do you stand on the issues? candidate surveys. He will be participating in zippo candidate profile pieces, shunning any kind of forum hosted by any paper, radio or TV station  … saying NO to any media-sponsored forum that will help voters make informed decisions in the voter’s booth this November. 

A guy who runs for mayor of the second largest city in New England but refuses to tell the voters what he is gonna do, if elected mayor! That’s Gaffney!

Endorsements? Screw ’em! The Gaffer, who never shuts up when it comes to spreading falsehoods about his perceived political enemies, is clamming up when it comes to talking facts, ideas and goals for Worcester! Unless he is planning to spend $40,000 on advertising, like he did last election cycle, so he can control his message, totally. Because he’s got the dough. … Very presidential candidate Donald Trump! Money money money.

Boycotting voter education, while doling out a ton of voter miseducation on Turtle Boy!

Even though Gaffney thinks he’s merely poking a thumb into the local media’s eye ball, grabbing control of his message, he’s  hurting himself. You wonder: What is Mike Gaffney so afraid of? What is Mike Gaffney trying to hide, ashamed to admit, unwilling to own? Why can’t he be a part of this very American tradition? What doesn’t he want to discuss?

Obviously, quite a lot. Basically the way he does politics – his political m.o.

For starters:

Gaffney’s Sanctuary City lies/race-baiting debacle that messed up Worcester for weeks;

his vindictive political style and bashing of poor people a la his political supporter CHANGE WORCESTER FB PAGE ANONYMOUS AUTHOR PAUL COLLYER – a guy who is so NEGATIVE about Worcester it hurts!

… or may be it’s Gaffney equating – like his buddy Aidan Kearney, owner and writer of Turtle Boy – minorities and poor people with crime and stupidity, an America on the cusp of moral collapse

… or, like Aidan Kearney, like Donald Trump, it could be Gaffney’s stoking the prejudices of people who fear a changing Worcester/America – and refusing to admit to the fact in order to keep feeding the red meat to  his political “base”

… or, coordinating hateful stories with Turtle Boy … and Paul Collyer’s FB page, Change Worcester, becoming an echo chamber – though Collyer has often been the original source from which some of the puke was first puked up.

When you think about it, every puke-y, ugly Worcester political  hate-storm, every nasty Woo political scream fest, every depressing headline about one Woo group pitted against another can be traced to City Councilor Michael Gaffney. Or, if not the source, the Gaffer’s fanned the flames of misunderstanding and prejudice. For political gain. To win.

Now why would we want a guy like this to be Mayor of Worcester?

Worcester is the second largest city in New England. A complicated, diverse, growing metropolis! We deserve better! Incumbent Mayor Joe Petty is better – he is a BETTER man than Gaffney will ever be. He’s a bigger man, a man whose heart is not capable of hatching all the shifty, soul-shriveling political schemes of a Mike Gaffney. And, for this Woo voter, that’s what it comes down to: Petty is perfect for my city of 2018 and beyond not just because he’s a guy with the smarts and collaborative instincts to create a Woo on the move but because he’s got Modesty and Grace. Grace: a quality the spiritually vacuous Gaffney knows nothing about. Being a good person who never exploits the OTHER in our society, the weariest and weakest among us: refugees, the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the men, women and kids struggling with drug addiction. Mayor Joe Petty works hard to make our city a millennial playground, but he also keeps his eyes on our kids in our schools, our families in our inner-city neighborhoods, our workers who need good jobs and job training … even our pups in our dog parks! He is a GOOD PERSON WHO DOES RIGHT BY EVERYONE. In a multicultural city, with a minority-majority public school system, a lot of poor folks who the global economy has abandoned … during these awful Trump Times in which cities are gut-punched daily, courtesy of our insane President, we need Grace in City Hall. We need Joe Petty.

We don’t need schemer, never-dreamer Mike Gaffney!

Late-afternoon Gaffney musings …

Text and pics by Rosalie Tirella

Hanging with the mutts …

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… and Miss Cece …

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… drinking my java, thinking about local politics – thanking the dear sweet Jesus that former Worcester mayor, city councilor and school committee guy Joe O’Brien is coming out of his new-daddy-hood cocoon to run for public office again. Yeeeehaaaa!!! He’s running for Worcester city councilor at large, which means:  Mayor Joe Petty, who’s running for re-election, will, once again, win the mayoral seat and Joe O’Brien – because he’s well liked and a smart, compassionate and effective public servant – will be second highest vote getter and become the Worcester City Council vice chairperson, KNOCKING COUNCILOR MICHAEL GAFFNEY OFF THE COUNCIL VICE CHAIR PERCH, a perch he milks to no end! YAY! 🙌 🙌 HOORAY! Yipee! Reason enough to REJOICE that O’Brien is running  for public office! We are so sick of councilor at large Michael Gaffney – he’s brought Woo political discourse  to a new,  toxic low! Plus, by being vice chair, he trots out his mayor-in-waiting schtick at every turn. O’Brien’s strong win will make him #2, the new vice chair and …. keep Gaffney off that dias at City Hall! Rip the mayor’s gavel out of the Gaffer’s cold, clammy hands! Take the pinch-hitter title away!

Again, reason enough to be ELATED that Joe O’Brien is running for city council!!! (he’d never run for mayor this election cycle because he’s Petty’s friend and political ally.) But there are other reasons to be thankful for our soon to be new city council vice chair: First, O’Brien will be the antidote to the poison that is Michael Gaffney. Every time Gaffney uses race or class  to hurt one group of folks to win political points with the Turtle Boy brigade or twists the truth in the sickest ways a la sicko prez Donald Trump, O’Brien will call him out. Call out his twisted lies and counter them with TRUTH.  O’Brien is an articulate, progressive policy wonk who went to Harvard. He’s also a regular guy/dad/husband who loves/lives Worcester 24/7. He’ll brook no bull shit from Gaffney. For example, we could have used Joe a few days ago: The Gaffer was on his video channel crying over the fact that our City Council went on record supporting a statewide living wage of $15/hour. His cynical, slimey Gaffney intimation? That the living wage is a nefarious Socialist plot to subvert democracy! My late great mother who worked her whole working life for minimum wage and wanted a LIVING wage for the folks who came after her was NOT a Socialist! She LOVED AMERICA! SHE WAS A PATRIOT. She once told me SHE WOULD DIE FOR HER COUNTRY! Gaffney is no American patriot. He wraps himself in the American flag and sticks a WPD badge on his lapel to create the image of patriotism. It’s all marketing. For votes. Gaffney, like  Donald Trump, is a power-hungry con artist who lies to people to  win elections. Joe O’Brien will, on the council floor, rebut Gaffney’s slick lies.

Second, Mayor Petty, along with most of the other city councilors, is doing an admirable job at keeping Worcester, a Mass Gateway City, open to and PROUD of immigrants…making our public schools strong and the portal to a middle class life, a life of knowledge and a never-ending quest to LEARN MORE. Our parks are beautiful, our inner city ‘hoods need help, but we are all trying. Downtown may yet prove to be our own urban dance party – singing and swinging to a million different voices! I cannot wait! Michael Gaffney is the political thunderclap over our urban dance party. Immigration, refugees, a global multi-cultural Worcester, a Woo struggling with poverty and hunger in many of its quarters…Gaffney, like Trump, exploits all this and plays to people’s economic fears and racial prejudices. O’Brien is just the opposite – he will help lead the city council – and city! – to higher ground. He will help bring people together – not divide, to conquer.

Here are last night’s Bill Maher video clips. Maher, one of America’s most gifted satirists, has Trump pegged. But you can extrapolate and apply his satire to Gaffney, on a much teenier political scale, of course. Spiritually, Trump and Gaffney are identical twins:

Good discussion:

But enough Gaffer talk! On to:

Mike Gaffney’s wife, Coreen Gaffney. She is running for the Worcester District 4 City Councilor seat – a seat her fat patootie will NEVER warm! Not for one milli-second! Once again, the Gaffneys know/show no shame. Coreen, the wife of toxic Michael Gaffney – a politician who gets his political steam from castigating minorities, refugees and Sanctuary Cities – runs for office in Worcester’s majority-minority, mostly inner-city District 4. (And, no, Mike, it is NOT sexist to write in news stories and headlines that Coreen is married to you. IT IS NEWS-WORTHY.  You’re a CONTROVERSIAL COUNCILOR and you GET  YOURSELF INTO THE NEWS every other day. Think of it like this: If Hitler’s lover ran for Vice Fuhrer, wouldn’t you want to know that she was Adolph’s squeeze?) Yeah, D 4 could use better garbage pick up (more often – and street sweeping, too!), but that doesn’t mean we throw the district (my district!) out with the unrecycled water bottle!

Smile, people!

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This November the dynamics of the Worcester City Council are gonna change – for the better!!😄😄😄😄💗💗💙💛

City Councilor Mike Gaffney: a bowl of PURE, SICK, TWISTED EVIL with a turd on top! … Or: Can Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney sink any lower than he’s already sunk? (YES!!!!) … Or: Gaffney’s jumped the shark, knows he’s taken a drubbing in Woo and his mayoral dreams are dust – so he’s gone bat-shit CRAZY!

By Rosalie Tirella

Mad Man in Chief Donald Trump’s got nothing on Worcester’s Sicko City Councilor Michael Gaffney.  Woo has never seen a politician quite like him – the dirtiest fighter we’re likely to step over (eeek!!!) in a generation, a guy so hungry to win the Woo mayoral seat he’ll use his slippery smarts to spread malicious lies about his political opponents, incite racist reactions … throw our fair city under the bus, splattering bodies left and right – especially if they belong to our most vulnerable communities. Makes no difference to the Gaffer! As long as he wins!

Just when we were thinking: Gaffney’s sanctuary city bull shit resolution – meant to devastate Mayor Joe Petty and catapult him – the Gaffer – into the mayor’s seat in November, forget about sowing crazy, divisive seeds in our community – blew up in his face sending him to ICELAND to vacation and realize the error of his ways … He’s back!!! WITH EVEN CRAZIER SHIT!!! It’s as if the crystal Iceland beauty did nothing for his soul – he may as well have vacationed in a vat of shit. I’ll take it a step higher (or lower): Gaffney’s even more vindictive and mendacious AFTER vacation! Forget about “putting things in perspective,” “counting your blessings,” or just having plain ol’ fun while on vacation. Gaffney in Iceland = a vindictive asshole hatching more nefarious political schemes. Too bad if the public is misled!

So…right outa the box, he is on his FaceBook Page linking Mayor Joe Petty with the anti-fascist protest yesterday in downtown Worcester. The protest got a bit hairy, like protests often become when America starts flexing its democracy muscles … These days that’s happening thanks to the (Russian-induced?!) election of Donald Trump. It’s like OUR COUNTRY IS IN THE MIDDLE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN, and every day there are protests in cities and towns great and small – including Worcester – that reflect an America in crisis. In Worcester, at yesterday’s protest, a reporter was allegedly assaulted by a protester.  A handful of protesters were arrested.

STOP THE PRESSES! says GAFFNEY in two of his posts! I SEE THUGS RUINING WOO AND AMERICA! I SEE VIOLENCE ROCKING WORCESTER! A  vulnerable GIRL reporter was slugged!!! AND IT’S ALL MAYOR JOE PETTY’S FAULT! HE STARTED ALL THIS! LOCK HIM UP! LOCK HIM UP!!!

Is there a well padded booby hatch we can throw Gaffney into?

The slick, deceptive Gaffney put a photo of Petty at a Washington DC rally in his FB page post along with a few of yesterday’s Worcester protest photos – to make it look like Petty was at yesterday’s protest.  And Gaffney worded his post – and his previous one about the protest – in such a way that it looks as if Petty was not only at yesterday’s protest but incited the violence at the march. Caused the violence!

Petty wasn’t at the protest. Most likely he was enjoying the three-day weekend like the rest of us.

Presidents Day Weekend.

Here’s a screen shot of one of Gaffney’s FB posts about yesterday’s protest:

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Gaffney did this during a weekend America honors our greatest Presidents – politicians like FDR, Abe Lincoln, George Washington, Teddy Roosevelt.

Sick.

He’s made Donald Trump, his political role model – not Teddy or Abe.

And it’s this way with all devils like Trump and Gaffney: They sense the good guy/gal qualities in people/voters – and go in for the kill, thinking the people are too stupid and naive to see the truth, that they can be easily lied to and manipulated. They spin their web of lies because they believe their opponents or the people are not gonna “catch on” or fight back because they won’t be able to wrap their heads around all the noise, confusion, convoluted fake facts they’ve created. A win for the Trump’s and Gaffney’s!

Don’t bet on it!

Michael Gaffney, like Donald Trump, will be called out and exposed by the press and a wise hoi polloi EVERY time he does something wicked, illegal … low-down low.

Today, on Presidents Day, when we remember and honor our great presidents, City Councilor Michael Gaffney chooses to slither beneath us, swollen with his own green puss of lies and hatred for American Democracy.

Drain the swamp.

We 💙 Mayor Joseph Petty!

By Rosalie Tirella

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pics: R.T.

We love our Mayor Joe Petty – a good man, a modest man, a family man, a man we’d like to claim our Urban Superman! Since he’s been mayor I’ve availed myself of his services! I’ve called/texted Petty about illegal dumping, drug houses, street lighting problems here on Ward Street – the nitty gritty of inner-city life that you need to stay on top of 24/7, if you want to create a safe, liveable city. I’ve contacted him many, many times. I’d say weekly!!! He and his staff have come through for our ‘hood every time!

And Joe’s talked of the finer things too – stuff we in-city denizens would love to see happen here: a dog park for our pits and huskies and hounds, a sports field for our kids in our three deckers, mounted police on real horses – magical nature! These “good things in life” are sometimes out of our reach – but they blunt the sharp edges of our lives here, take some of the sting out, make people feel GOOD, like we MATTER.

ALL LIVES MATTER!!

But Joe Petty’s only human – we all screw up sometimes…the hot mic, the cold truth (which we may never know)…the evil Gaffney calling for a resignation so he can be our mayor. GAK!

IT’S TIME FOR FORGIVENESS, PEOPLE!

PERSPECTIVE, PEOPLE!

Petty’s done a lot for this town! Let’s let go…let God!

Petty is not a racist or classist – he’s been there for all the diverse ethnic and cultural groups that call Worcester home. For years. He works to turn the cacophony of 21st century Worcester life into JOYFUL NOISE! America! I am proud of him for that – and forever grateful. For me, that’s what city life’s about – DIVERSITY!  The excitement as we discover new and different perspectives, foods, music, religions… I love mixing with all the folks in my neighborhood – I’m the minority here! And, always,  everyone, for almost four years, has been great: Beauty and her little brother, the teens walking down my street, the Latino guy across the street who jumped my car battery just a few days ago, in the brutal cold. Our conversation was pleasant, comfy in the January ice box of Woo! He was so nice to me – and vice versa.

The people just new to America – or almost newbie – is the Worcester of today! Mayor Joe Petty gets that – he embraces our new city – unlike Turtle Boy and his folks who want to see Woo whiter, more upper-middle class … more suburban, with cool stuff to do. Just minus the other REAL stuff! If you cannot dig in and enjoy or at least try to understand the new city, then maybe you need to move on – as Turtle Boy Aidan Kearney has (to Jefferson, MA) – and watch the grass grow green…

I remember one especially fine Mayor Joe Petty moment: It was a weekend a few years ago and he attended a gathering of new immigrants to Worcester – a group whose name I can’t even remember, so obsure to me (shame on me). There were maybe 20 or so folks who came together for the cultural event. All were poor, few could speak English. But there was the news story about Joe at the event. There was Joe smiling and meeting and greeting – letting these people (refugees?!😌) know that they had a seat at the Worcester table. That they mattered.

Of course, Aidan Kearney on his Turtle Boy blog and his minions in the comment section had a field day: What’s Petty doing there? What a waste of time and energy!!! When Woo has so many urgent problems that need solving NOW! What a dope!

But Aidan and his followers, including his biggest supporter the politically conniving City Councilor Michael Gaffney, don’t get it! When the mayor does this kind of stuff – it’s outreach – he is nipping potential urban problems in the bud: Getting new people – especially kids – to trust Worcester govt and all her branches: our police, our schools, our city councilors. Why feel disconnected?, he is telling them with his hand shakes, hugs and food sampling. Why feel alone?

A sense of not belonging makes it easy for kids growing up to join a gang, hate City Hall, eschew voting, embrace damaging parkland, the hood where you live. Better to shower them and all the people with love! We’re a Catholic, Muslim, Old Time Religion kind of town that embraces LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING. We know how to do the right thing. The smart thing! The American thing!

Forgiveness, people! Let’s move on!

Go, Joe, go! We know your a good mayor – a good man! We’ve got YOUR back!

Worcester City Council inspired! Yes, to WPD Mounted Police Unit!


By Rosalie Tirella

Their official title: Mounted Police Unit. The  name every little kid in every Worcester inner-city neighborhood will shout when she or he sees one of the five Worcester Police Department’s courageous steeds and their cool cop riders: HORSES!

And then they’ll think, instinct leading them the way it does with all kids and artists: YEAH!! MY HORSES! LET’S PAT THEM!!!!

And then they’ll drop whatever they’re doing – good or bad – and run to the brown, black or bay equine (white is usually not the color of most police horses) to stroke the steed’s elegant neck. And the animal – huge, majestic, its coat glistening in the sun – will patiently stand (police horses must be calm, even-tempered, not skittish) as the city kids touch, tickle it and ask the cop astride it questions like: How much hay does he eat? How fast can he go?

No nags for our WPD!  No thoroughbreds either!  – they’re too high strung for the job!  The city’s handlers (volunteers from the Sheriff’s Office and Mass State Police) will know which good horses to choose for the second largest city in New England – Worcester, my city, a city whose downtown and inner-city neighborhoods so desperately need more beauty a la the 12 POW! WOW! WORCESTER murals that grace our downtown buildings and bridges.

Picture this: a WPD mounted police officer and his trusty black steed trotting by the YWCA or the Hanover Theatre on a summer night before the Latin American festival, twinkly lights shining in the Hanover trees, salsa music blowing over Worcester City Hall, the Big Dipper blinking down on dancers pressed against each other in the languid August night: Absolute CITY MAGIC!!!!!!

Sure, City Manager Ed Augustus, the guy behind this brilliant proposal, knows a good cop and his horse can do the job of 10 police officers on foot patrol on in police cars. He knows this makes them perfect for patroling neighborhoods and crowd-control. A courageous yet calm horse can make its way through thick crowds of folks, the officer riding him or her can see great distances because he or she is perched so damned high!

Most city kids will want to be up that high! In that cat bird’s saddle! They’ll want a ride, too! Down Piedmont Street or up Ward Street! And they will see – learn – just how beautiful and mysterious nature is, how important it is to be kind – never cruel! – to animals; that our police officers can be as gentle and even tempered as the horses they ride. The community will see that Worcester Police Chief Steve Sargeant cares about our community – about streets that most people avoid or on which they even have the temerity to dump their garbage – right out of their car windows as they drive by!  My neighbor has seen this happen on our street – Ward – and she’s run out of her home to give the slobs hell! Go, sweet neighbor, go!!!!

City kids, when they see the police horse, will admire his or her elegant neck with pretty long mane combed out like a pretty girl’s. They’ll admire its height, recorded in “hands” – usually between 15 and 16 of them – from its clopping hooves to its tingly spine. That’s roughly my height!  Then those big soft brown eyes and ears that can turn in almost every direction to pick up the slightest sound! Horses can see almost 360 degrees around because of where their eyes are in their heads and their long flexible necks.  Horses are amazing animals – intelligent and affectionate!  They’ll rub their foreheads against your chest to say: Hi! I missed you! Any carrot treats for me?

There is nothing quite so special as a horse – any city kid can tell you that!

Thank you, Worcester Mayor Joe Petty and the majority (which means we’ve got a YES vote!) of the Worcester City Council for being so excited about this idea! Thank you for whole heartedly endorsing it! With volunteers, maybe even donated horses, the vet students at Becker, the fields at Green Hill Park, the donated stable space WE CAN MAKE THIS HAPPEN!

Of course, where would we be without Worcester City Councilors Mike Gaffney and Konnie Lukes taking a big steamy dump on the proposal? – as big as horse shit! These two perpetual naysayers and cheapskates are against Mounted Patrol Units. They say it costs too much money.

We say to community destroyer Gaffney and slumlord Lukes: Un-pinch your shriveled souls! GET CREATIVE! USE YOUR CONTACTS! GET BEHIND THIS PROPOSAL and vote YES!.. Even though we don’t need your crummy votes!

Here’s to the new cool Worcester!

Go, Ed Augustus and Steve Sergeant, go!!!

Go, horses, go!

Pony dreamin!

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Mayor Joe Petty in our in-city neighborhoods – always in style! … and … a cool recipe Italiano!!!

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From the Mayor’s Office!!!!:

TODAY!

5 p.m. – starting at the Friendly House!

Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty will be leading a Mayor’s Walk around the Wall Street portion of the Grafton Hill neighborhood this evening …

… from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

We will be starting at Friendly House (36 Wall St.), then moving on to the former El Morocco site, and finally stopping at Westerman’s (50 Suffolk St.).

The Mayor will be joined by fellow elected officials, members of the administration, service providers and neighborhood group representatives.

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And…

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Don’t forget! Tomorrow! REC Beaver Brook Farmers Market – across the street from Foley Stadium!

Farmers Market 1-1-1

Veggies at ICT head honcho Rosalie’s shack:

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She’s growing a 5-foot-tall tomato plant but ZERO tomato buds! What the?????

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A friend gave R this corn yesterday – straight from the farmer’s farm! Thank you, friend!

*******

P.S. Here’s a great Italiano recipe from PETA.ORG!

Put the brakes on animal cruelty/American factory farms!
EAT LESS MEAT!!!!

Giambotta – Southern Italian Vegetable Stew!

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Also spelled Ciambotta, this is a traditional dish hailing from Southern Italy!

It’s comfort food at its finest — and simplest!

1 Tbsp. oil or water…Saute in frying pan:

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, diced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

Add to big pot filled with 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth and 1 (28-oz.) can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes:

3 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1 medium eggplant, chopped into 1-inch pieces

2 large yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped

2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced

2 medium zucchini or summer squash, diced

Spice it up with:

2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried tarragon
1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup (10 to 12 leaves) chopped basil

Cook in pot to taste…enjoy!

Copyright 2015 Compassionate Cooks, LLC. Reprinted and adapted from The 30-Day Vegan Challenge: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Healthfully and Living Compassionately by permission of the author, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

For these Worcester times: Re-elect Mayor Joseph Petty!

By Rosalie Tirella

When did Worcester cease being the city of my childhood (rough and tumble working-class town with so many shining stars!) and become the Worcester of 2015? Kids with guns killing kids, home break-ins galore, folks addicted to heroin dying in stairwells, slug-fests at local high schools with teachers taking it (literally) in the chin, poverty so encompassing many of our school children look like they’ve walked out of a Charles Dickens novel?

It is heartbreaking to see what former president George Bush (and before him prez Clinton and vp Gore with NAFTA) have done to this once great country.

Cities and towns all over America suffer because of our warped economy – one that rewards and perpetuates a healthy upper middle class but creates a bigger and bigger under class every day.

The factories are gone, the mines shut down, the farms industrialized … and the good paying American jobs that immigrants and uneducated folks used to catapult themselves and their families into the American middle class are gone with them.

Now it’s service jobs galore and everyone makes $8, $9, $10 and $11 an hour. Everyone lives pretty much on the cusp of homelessness. No wonder we see hunger, violence, drug addiction … despair in cities and towns all over this great land – Worcester, included.

Have you ever seen so many Dollar Stores in Worcester? You used to see them in the poorer parts of the South. Now they are here and all over the country – and doing gangbusters.

Where are the stores for the working middle class in Worcester? The old American Supply on Front Street? The old Sylvia’s Dress Shop on Franklin Street? All gone. Yes, we can blame Wal-Mart, but it’s their cheap prices that drive working families there. Stores built for the $9 an hour paycheck.

Where does the Mayor of Worcester, a supposedly ceremonial job, fit in with all this?

Why should we care so passionately about giving the Worcester MAYOR’s job to incumbent Joe Petty or challenger Mike Gaffney in a few weeks? (We love Bill Coleman but, seriously, he’s gotta get a new hobby!)

Because THESE TWO GUYS HAVE TOTALLY OPPOSITE WORLD VIEWS … DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSED SOLUTIONS TO THE SOCIAL ILLS THAT ARE EATING away at Worcester – and America’s – soul.

It’s more than Democrat (Petty) versus Republican (Gaffney).

It’s more than KEEP GOVERNMENT OUT OF MY POCKET BOOK (Gaffney) versus IT’S NOT THE POCKETBOOK – GOVERNMENT IMPROVES PEOPLE’S LIVES (Petty)…

It’s about TRUST, DECENCY, NO GAMES and FAIRNESS/RESPECT FOR ALL OUR CITIZENS.

That’s what Worcester needs now and Mayor Joe Petty, who is running for re-election, has all of the above!

Today’s Worcester has a huge amount of people who are poor. The Worcester of 2015 has a majority minority school system. Our housing is expensive and our people don’t have the dough to pay for it and all the essentials. THIS IS AMERICA. THIS IS GRINDING POVERTY that never lets up for lots of Worcester families. Plus: So many of our kids and families are folks of color, come from different parts of the world. This adds more layers to our challenges. So many Worcester families are under duress – racism, poverty, domestic abuse, shitty apartments, violence in the streets …

Mayor Petty has worked to RELIEVE THE PAIN AND BUILD BRIGHTER FUTURES FOR ALL WORCESTER FAMILIES.

He gets that we have a diverse population with lots of needs. He believes good government helps meet some of those needs.

Mayor Petty has:

Pushed for the RECOVERY SCHOOL for Worcester kids once addicted to drugs and now ready to learn in a supportive classrooms

Pushed for an ACADEMY FOR THE MOST GIFTED WORCESTER PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS. Sorta like a mini Boston Latin housed in Doherty High School

Beautified Elm Park so it is gorgeous and there for all folks to enjoy

Worked effectively and sensitively with Worcester folks of all colors and creeds

Pushed for city programs that support Worcester inner-city youth and families

Pushed for several playgrounds and playscapes to be built at some of Worcester’s neediest inner-city schools in some of Worcester’s poorest neighborhoods

Championed Woo’s inner city neighborhoods and small businesses

Has taken an even-handed approach to the violence that erupted in the city and around our public schools. Petty did NOT bash anyone, was no alarmist … HE JUST WORKED THE PROBLEM and things got better. And he took the heat from morons who had a less nuanced view of the problem.

NUANCED!

That’s the word!

In the Worcester of 2015 we need NUANCE! We don’t need folks screaming:

WE HATE DR. BOONE!

BRING IN THE NATIONAL GUARD!

KILL THE CDCs!

WHITE TEACHERS IN WORCESTER RULE!

MAUREEN BINENDA FOR WPS SUPERINTENDENT – OR ELSE!

CUT OFF THE MOSAIC FOLKS AND STICK BRENDA JENKINS HEAD ON A STICK!

These folks, on a very deep SUBCONSCIOUS level are racist/classist, but will never see it. They are not living in the Worcester of 2015. THE WORCESTER OF TODAY.

Or maybe they feel the societal/economic changes in Worcester and they’ve panicked.

They want to preserve the old Worcester World Order – one where you CALL IN THE COPS, GET THE IRISH TEACHERS WPD BACK-UP, STOP BUILDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING, EXERT SOME TOUGH LOVE.

This is the Old Worcester World Order that Worcester city councilor at large and Worcester mayoral candidate MICHAEL GAFFNEY IS EMBRACING AND ESPOUSING.

It ain’t gonna work, Mike!

GAFFNEY IS SO WRONG FOR THE WORCESTER OF TODAY IT’S NOT EVEN FUNNY.

IT’S DOWNRIGHT SCARY!!!!!!!!!

Like presidential candidate Donald Trump, Worcester mayoral candidate Gaffney reflects the fears and prejudices of people.

Also their rage, disappointments, longing for an America, a Worcester, that simply no longer exists. That is gone FOREVER.

It was always complicated, but the big factories and big employers that gave folks – in America and Worcester – the foundation (filled stomachs, bills paid, a little house maybe) from which to solve problems is GONE. Now we’re in crisis mode. And people are wicked freaked out.

You can vote your fears and prejudices and vote for Gaffney November 3.

As a city councilor Mike Gaffney’s done shit. He’s for cutting everything. Then he demagogues the problems that he helped create with his scorched earth politics.

Sure he’s bright and very articulate and a good writer, but so were the Harvard professors and scientists who years ago published papers on the intellectual superiority of men over women because women’s brains were physically smaller. The brilliant professors papers were elegantly written and people all over the world bowed down to their brilliance. But they were still full of shit. STILL WRONG.

They had used their intellect to SUPPORT PREJUDICE. They had elegantly, scientifically backed into their era’s deepest prejudices.

This is what Mike Gaffney is doing today, in Worcester.

Let’s vote for a guy who is bright, hopeful, open and willing to admit great ideas can come from any one – even a gang banger’s mum, even a former drug addict, even a slip of a black girl running up Harrison Street to get to Union Hill School on a lovely Worcester autumn day.

VOTE JOSEPH PETTY FOR MAYOR OF WORCESTER!

On CM Ed Augustus and Woo residency … There will be protests outside the …

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Elephants suffer from painful arthritis when they are forced to be in circuses. 

By Rosalie Tirella

… DCU Center in Worcester this weekend AGAINST RINGLING’S USE OF WILD ANIMALS in their circus.  The public is being fed, by the local media, the same garbage Ringling feeds its animals: the elephants love being in Ringling. They are so happy amid all the people.

Just because elephants have faces that people perceive as sweet, docile, happy does not make it true.

People need to know THE TRUTH about wild animals in circuses!  They need to learn about the natural habitats, the physical and emotional needs of wild animals! THE TRUTH.

Remember when journalists were ravenous for the truth? When Woodward and Bernstein brought down a presidency?  When reporters were  called muckrakers by the powers-that-be cuz they got the dirt on all the politicians and captains of industry and printed it?

In Worcester the only muckraking local reporters engage in  is raking the animal muck for Ringling!

Better to get your circus news from The Boston Globe or The New York Times or even the Los Angeles Times …Great writers. Great reporting.

Learn about the Ringling protest planned for Worcester this weekend at  ringlingbeatsanimals.com

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Come live in Worcester, Ed! Live the life many of us experience here!

On Ed Augustus and the City of Worcester’s  “flexible” residency requirements

By Rosalie Tirella

Why aren’t local scribes putting the heat on the Worcester City Council for not making a peep about Worcester  City Manager Ed Augustus living in Millis, a BOSTON SUBURB?

Millis is 19 miles south of Boston, a more appropriate place for Ed Augustus to live if Ed were city manager of Boston (yes, we know – Boston has a strong mayor government) – not Worcester.

Years ago, when Augustus – who became Worcester’s new CM a few weeks ago – was a state senator for a Worcester district, he took heat for living in Boston. In fact, he  kinda crowed about it! That got Augustus into a bit of hot water in Worcester, so he didn’t run for re-election.  Things may have gotten … messy.  Instead, Augustus high-tailed it to California where he hung out for a year or two working for the children’s defense fund. Things cooled off in Worcester. A new state senator took Ed’s place. Ed Augustus came back to Worcester, eventually got a job at Holy Cross college because of his political connections – and bought a home in Millis! 19 miles south of Boston. The Boston area.

I don’t get it. If Augustus is so in love with Boston, why doesn’t he just work there? Plenty of political jobs for a good libby dem like Ed out there.

Why be the City Manager of Worcester and live 19 miles south of Boston?

Where is the Worcester City Council on this?

Worcester city councilors have been clamoring for Woo residency  for all top City of Worcester administrators FOR YEARS. Our school superintendent was pressured into and did locate to Worcester when she took her high-paying job. Same with our head librarians (who all flew the Woo coop anyways). Mayor Joe Petty demanded it, god damn it!

That was before Petty nominated and pushed for pal Augustus to get the city manager gig.

This isn’t personal. I like Petty a lot and Augustus is a good, capable egg.

But Millis?  Only a few minutes away from Boston? … Don’t you wish you lived only a few minutes away from an amazing city like Boston? The museums! The plays! The beautiful, historical architecture!  The music! The food! The celebrations and special events! …

Too expensive!

… Unless you’re the City Manager of Worcester!

Worcester Mayor Joe Petty …

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… told me a few hours ago HE WON’T BE DOING ANY PR with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at/in front of Worcester  City Hall or on our Worcester Common next week …

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“Busy all week.” Mayor Petty told me. (I took this pic of him, with his son, last summer!) He didn’t sound too excited about the wild animals in the circus … “Busy all week,” he said again.

Good enough for this gal!

Petty’ll pretty much be following the lead of former Worcester Mayor Joe O’Brien, whose office just stepped away from the whole Ringling elephant/wild animal horror show.

Petty also agreed with me: Fewer and fewer kids – people in their late 20s /early 30s – are into circuses that have wild animals. They don’t want to go – they skip the whole scene.

More and more young people just get the total up-side-down-ness of  forcing wild animals into a kind of servitude for humans. Cruel, cruel, cruel … THEY GET IT! I predict circuses with wild animals will soon go the way of the old circus “freak show,” a cruel term used not so long ago to describe hustlers parading people like “The Elephant Man” or little people, etc in front of large crowds, totally oblivious to their loneliness, sadness, emotional deprivation, often physical pain …

Most of Europe’s done it. Lots of other countries, too. Why is the U.S. lagging behind? We try to be first when it comes to human rights. Why not animal rights? The two are inextricably bound!

– R. Tirella

p.s. Petty also said, quite nicely, that YES, he listens to/hears me! Very nice telephone conversation. I felt like I was talking with a smart, sensitive guy! Made me feel good about my city!

Look who we bumped into this weekend …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Rosalie Tirella

… Worcester’s well liked, easy going mayor, Joe Petty! Pictured here, Mayor Petty and his son, give us nice smiles in the summer sun. Petty, like the weather these days, is  sunny. He has a friendly, sweet disposition, which is why he seems to be just what Woo ordered during these days of our downtown rebuilding, economic engine rev-revving and all the big egos vying for a piece of the action. Big egos with their big ideas, and Joe “The Quiet Man” Petty keeps everyone in check, keeps everyone at the table. Good family man, too.

But there are downsides to being so nice and easy … . Sometimes you have to go to the mat for something you believe in, fight for something near and dear to your heart and not be worried about hurt feelings or mixing it up with some tough customers. That’s just not our Joe. For instance, he floated the idea of a Worcester EXAM SCHOOL a la Boston Latin several months ago. EXCELLENT IDEA! So many Worcester parents – from all socio-economic backgrounds – would have loved something this special for their kids. It would have made everybody try so much harder –  to get into the exam school, to plan on getting in or even to say: I almost got into our exam school, but I didn’t. That’s OK. I am in all honors classes at my school these days. And I like me teachers … etc etc

A rising educational tide WOULD HAVE LIFTED all Worcester Public School students and their families. Made all our students better learners and strivers!

Believe it or not, there are brilliant immigrant kids and first generation kids in Worcester. Most families in urban/immigrant (poorer) neighborhoods know who’s brilliant, super bright in their families, churches, etc and they are not afraid to have them compete with West Side kids or upper income families. My mom thought I was smart. She expected me to get all A’s in school and to take honor classes in junior high and high school and AP classes in high school, which I did. She expected me to be just as smart as my gal pals in the Burncoat area ( I attended Burncoat High). She did not say: I only work at a dry cleaners, Rosalie’s friends’ parents are school principals and engineers and live in big houses across town. We just can’t keep up! We need to roll over, give up. NOPE. The thought never entered my mom’s mind. EVER. For one nano second. My relatives were the same way. … First- and second-generation Americans are super competitive. They are strivers who are proud to be American and proud of  their kids and public school teachers and great public schools.

But, of course, the Worcester School Committee didn’t think of WPS students and families when Petty presented  his dream. No, they thought of the politics and came up with crap.

Joe Petty, as head of the Worcester School Committee, should have stood up to them and pushed, pushed, pushed his vision. Defended his idea. SOLD his idea to his colleagues.

He didn’t.

He’s still a nice guy. Still doing great things for Wusta.

But he needs bigger … shamrocks.