Tag Archives: Mayor Joseph Petty

Worcester political gadfly Paul “Paulie” Collyer …

By Rosalie Tirella

… is, like Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney and his (Collyer’s) lawyer, local right-wing attorney Margaret Melican, and local hate-blogger Turtle Boy-Aidan Kearney: Deeply Negative and BULLYING. Especially when it comes to our City Manager, Mayor and District 4 City Councilor and, when you think about it, Worcester in general.

Paul Collyer is a political player wannabe who gets zero traction in Worcester (or his hometown-base Somerville) and is eternally frustrated because he is bellowing and no one is listening. So he lashes out. At the mayor, at the CM, at the D 4 councilor.

Paulie’s pissed that no one in Worcester – or few folks – ever jump on his Paulie urban agenda bandwagon – with all its negative and BULLYING bells and whistles – noisy as hell. Paul Collyer has tried – FOR YEARS – to hog the Woo urban conversation, and the locals, after they get to work with him say on the Chandler biz association or some other civic group, all come away with just one thought: Collyer’s a nut. A colorful nut – but a NASTY, BULLYING nut. An ultimately dangerous nut. A nut who is not what he appears to be… A showboating nut, too. Big turn off for most Worcester folks, who have blue collar roots and can be modest…

Collyer got his urban-agenda way with former City Manager Mike O’Brien – a guy who gave Paul his ear – and our inner-city neighborhoods the finger – after being brain-washed by the charming Collyer. The Paul-Mike bromance was on! Beers together at night under the stars! The jokes! The laughs! The sharing of hopes and dreams and French fries! O’Brien, thanks to Paul Collyer, began to think Worcester’s road to urban renewal was/is Somerville’s – Paul’s homebase. Worcester is MOST DEFINITELY NOT Somerville! Somerville, at this point in its history, has become a suburb of Boston – Cambridge #2. Worcester is a GATEWAY CITY – filled with immigrants from all over the world. And their kids and grandkids.  Its urban challenges are very different  from Somerville’s because of intense poverty,  childhood hunger, the opioid crisis, a struggling under-educated workforce lost in the new global economy, refugees … Yeah, the educated, well off millennials are attracted to the new Woo and her new restaurants, stores etc and the kids are setting down roots. That is a good thing. But with gentrification comes a two-tier city: the haves and have nots…

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Green Street

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Green Street

Worcester cannot become a mini Boston or New York: the well off and very poor – and no middle! Worcester is a compassionate city! City leaders will not forget the least amongst us! And they are working to grow a working class!

But I digress! Back to Paul and Mike! Former Woo City Manager Mike O’Brien was all ears when it came to Collyer’s urban agenda and quickly lost his feel for our city – and lost his job (that is, he was no longer a good fit for Worcester, could no longer lead her – everyone saw this – so he quit and moved to a ‘boro). O’Brien lost his feel for the heartbeat of Worcester – after following Paul Collyer’s advice. The same is happening to City Councilor Mike Gaffney, who has become  Collyer’s mouthpiece at City Hall. The same goes for Gaffney’s wife, Coreen, who is challenging Woo District 4 City Councilor Sarai Rivera – Paul’s arch urban nemesis. Coreen is probably running against Sarai cuz Paulie told her to – charmed her hat into the ring, so to speak. Coreen’s really Paulie’s political tool – not her husband’s – as I wrote earlier!

Last night at the Woo City Council meeting when the Council evaluated the City Manager and a few weeks before that, all of Collyer’s reactionary foot soldiers took a hit! Down went Margaret Melican from her ZBA dream cloud! Down went City Councilor Konnie Lukes when she, an old bag who’s out of touch with the new Woo, tried to save Melican, another old bag who’s out of touch with the new Woo! Gaffney sounded insane last night when he read his evaluation of City Manager Ed Augustus – emotionally over wrought, in pain, like he was reading his eval with a knife sticking in his right eyeball. On the social media front, Collyer’s not so secret FB page – Worcester’s Dirty Secret – where he writes about Woo trash and recycling gets no traction with officials, so Paul has gone rogue on it and instead writes about/trashes City Manager Ed Augustus, Mayor Joe Petty and D 4 City Councilor Rivera – anyone who is not drinking the Paulie Koolaid. He is brutal in his incoherent way.

And now this: TOTAL REVOLUTION! Paul’s been stymied, he’s stuck … SO HE HAS STARTED ANOTHER FACE BOOK PAGE – CHANGE WORCESTER!

(can’t we change Paulie?!😈)

Paul’s new Facebook Page has, for its profile picture, a red ballot box. His home page commands: GO VOTE. We are presuming for all the candidates/city board candidates that Paul Collyer wants you to vote for: Michael Gaffney, Margaret Melican, Coreen Gaffney, etc. Paulie even did his own little City Manager evaluation last night, along with our city council: he gave EVERYBODY a D+.

This new Paul Collyer SECRET nutty Face Book page is just another WORCESTER’S DIRTY SECRET, without the trash – though I’m sure Paulie will get around to shoveling plenty of that in soon enough! Into his new Woo-altering social media SECRET SPECIAL platform! Ha ha ha!😂😂😂!

To Paul: Good God, man! You’re 54 years old! Grow up! Nut up! Stop playing with the lives of the people in the second largest city in New England! For your ego’s sake. Just to win. Please! Go away! Marry Susan and buy a bowling alley in the Catskills and live happily ever after! That’s the ticket 4 you – really! – Paulie!! Or: Just run away … run for dog catcher … in Wakefield. Take your super conservative, poor-people trashing, bullying, dystopian urban world view and go! To any city or town other than my beloved Worcester💗💗💗!

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:

Petty-Screenshot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Go, Worcester, go! “Power to the people!”

By Rosalie Tirella

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I’m the grand-daughter of immigrants…
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Rosalie and her Polish grandpa many moons ago🌃

All of us Americans, if we look far back enough, or just over our shoulders to our parents, have roots that lead back to other lands, places that often persecuted us, kept us down, treated us like second and third class citzens and worse …

These past few years the blood has flown in Syria – horrible oppression and chaos and war. Maybe President Obama should have sent troops into Syria, U.S. combat boots on the ground, especially after the country’s “leaders” began using poisonous chemicals to kill dissidents, killing the children, too. Horrific. Many Syrian families swarmed into inflatable “boats” to cross the ocean to leave their hellish country for new countries … They had hope. But they were poor…So many of the people, little children!, didn’t make it…

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“Turkish media identified the boy as three-year-old Alan Kurdi and reported that his five-year-old brother had also met a similar death. Both had reportedly hailed from the northern Syrian town of Kobani, the site of fierce fighting between Islamic state insurgents and Kurdish forces earlier this year.” The Guardian

When Donald Trump bans Syrian refugees from American soil for months, this can happen…

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“A Turkish police officer carries the young boy who drowned in a failed attempt to sail to the Greek island of Kos.” The Guardian. Photographs: Reuters.

And this …

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Trauma

Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney has sunk to a new low, and his toxic political shell game could have brought our city to its knees. But instead the people were glorious and rose up and rallied! – HUNDREDS IN A JANUARY SNOWSTORM OUTSIDE OUR CITY HALL! Where, in the snow and raw New England cold, they shouted, NO! NO! NO! NEVER IN OUR CITY! Refugees and immigrants ALWAYS welcome here!

And then, inside Worcester City Hall, people whose roots extend to countries all over the globe got up to testify – tell their family stories. Armenia. Vietnam. Central America. Italy. Ireland. Africa. They were saying: Listen to our stories. The refugee and immigrant stories of today are our stories! AMERICAN stories!

Lovely!

The Gaffney resolution went down to defeat tonight. So will City Councilor Konstantina Lukes’ miserable proposal. A toxic after-thought cobbled together by – get this! – the daughter of Albanian immigrants who owned and operated a diner in Connecticut! (What would your father think of your shit-sandwich, hold the compassion, Konnie? You were the apple of his eye!)

Worcester is not Trumpland! We are not a police state where people are bullied into doing what our impetuous, vindictive, dangerous new president wants them to do! As Worcester Mayor Joe Petty said to the peaceful, yet ebullient (cuz they were on justice’s side😇) crowd before the City Council meeting: He – WE – will not allow WALLS TO GO UP BETWEEN GROUPS OF PEOPLE. In Worcester, the walls COME DOWN!

Go, Mayor Petty, go!!!

No one, no child, should fear that he or she will be forced to leave Worcester, their home: friends, school, church, work, sports teams, a routine they call their own … a place where they’ve begun to realize their unique American Dream!

Power to the people! We, the people, can do amazing things! We did, here in Worcester, TONIGHT!!!

Just every day people …

Go, Mayor Petty, go! Go, America, go!!! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

By Rosalie Tirella

This is how Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney describes tomorrow’s rally for refugees and immigrants. His every word toxic, divisive … DELIBERATELY misleading. He’s a bright guy – full of himself – he knows how to make his every word glow evil:

“Joe Petty, the Mayor of Worcester, calls for a mob to descend on our City to coerce local officials to violate their oath of office.”

Calling Joseph P. McCarthy! Calling Joseph P. McCarthy!

This, on the other hand, is how Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty and his office describe the event. Petty is a good, intelligent, sensitive city leader. He’s a great listener, a great bridge-builder between our communities – a perfect fit for the Worcester of 2017: diverse, striving, multi-lingual, up and coming!

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pic: R.T.

From the Mayor’s Office:

“Good evening …

“Tomorrow evening, January 31 at 6 PM in front of Worcester City Hall, Mayor Joseph M. Petty, will be addressing a crowd that is peacefully protesting President Trump’s executive actions on immigration and recent, divisive city council orders.

“Hundreds are planning to attend the Solidarity Rally in support of Worcester’s refugees and immigrants.

“The event is sponsored by dozens of organizations.

“All are welcome to attend.”

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pic: R.T.

Michael Gaffney, we’re begging you: Get some therapy! You’re not well. The mayoral seat isn’t worth all your scheming, your contorting the truth like a midway pretzel, your scapegoating minority groups … hurting so many people – that means the City of Worcester!

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AMERICAN IDEALS – AMERICA! – always in style! (especially in Worcester😄)

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TOMORROW! Tuesday, Jan. 31

Before the Worcester City Council meeting!

6 p.m.

WORCESTER CITY HALL – Main Street

BE THERE!

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pic: R.T.

This demonstration, in support of Worcester’s immigrants and refugees, is to show THE CITY AND THE WORLD that Donald Trump and City Councilor Michael Gaffney’s hate-filled demagoguery has no place in Worcester! They will not score political points with our most vulnerable people – most of them women and children (under 12 years of age!)!

Let’s stop the madness in Worcester!

This demonstration is organized by Showing Up for Racial Justice Worcester. To learn more and sign up, check out their FB page!

Go, Worcester, go!

Go, Mayor Petty, go!

GO, AMERICA, GO!!!!!!!!!

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pic: R.T.

– Rosalie Tirella

Trump clone Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney and his Resolution (or Revolution?!) of Hatred

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You see this big sign when you enter Worcester City Hall from the city parking garage. It WELCOMES ALL TO WORCESTER! photo: R. Tirella

By Rosalie Tirella

Take City Councilor Michael Gaffney (PLEASE!). Has there ever been such a dangerous Worcester City Councilor? Such a loathsome opportunist, cynic, headline-grabber and power-snatcher posing as a city “leader”? A demagogue lurking beneath a friendly, penguin-emblazoned sweat-shirt, force smiling that weird, serpentine smile of his and doing all sorts of nefarious things to my beloved city? Worcester’s  own snake in the grass!

Michael (Mike) Gaffney’s goal?

Pure raw power.

And to overthrow the Democrats who, for the most part, have run this city for decades.

Gaffney wants a Republican-lead Worcester and he, already the head of the city’s Republican committee. wants to be crowned her king.

Screw the  fairly progressive Democratic Gateway City we all live in and pretty much love. Welcome to carnage-strewn Trumpland! Welcome to Gaffney shitsville where people, especially minorities, are thrown under the bus daily.

If we aren’t smart and vigilant, Gaffney – with the help of his friend and personal public relations machine, the racist, classist Aidan Kearney of Jefferson, the evil voice of the hate-spewing Turtle Boy blog  – could become our next mayor! Think I’m kidding? Worcesterites are getting used to Gaffney’s creepy, slippery ways. And he’s smart: people often don’t realize he’s playing them, playing on their deepest prejudices when he decides to run hard with a (wedge) issue on the City Council floor and wants their support. Or when he conflates two issues and ends up scapegoating a minority group. Or when he just fucks with our heads, sowing racial intolerance and chaos.

Forget about leading a  complex, diverse, very cool Gateway City! Gaffney is all about hatred.

Gaffney, a relative newbie to the Worcester City Council, is the exact kind of morally bankrupt asshole you’d expect to be vomited up during these toxic Trump times! His ideas, his speeches, even his supporters are all taken from the Donald Trump playbook. Our insane PRESIDENT😰😫😫 has made it ok for politicians like Gaffney to behave in racist, divisive, bigoted ways. Trump has, perversely, validated their un-American-ness! Because he’s the biggest fascist!

So Gaffney throws a bomb on to the City Council floor every other week!

He traumatizes the City of Worcester with his red herrings for mere political gain and to weaken the city’s present power structure. Gaffney’ll pounce on any issue – or create one – that he thinks will hurt our mayor, Joe Petty, and make him (Gaffney) the hero. Gaffney will say anything or float any nutty, racially explosive idea to gain the upper hand. Usually it’s one that is somehow connected to vulnerable subsets of our people – for example: the minority-run Mosaic Group or City Councilor Sarai Rivera and her property. Gaffney beat those issues and people to death. He was able to be so merciless because both issues’ main players were people of color. And there are lots of bigots in this town (all Turtle Boy readers) who cheered him on!

Now we’ve got the latest Gaffney-manufactured shit-storm, another racial and ethnic hornets nest, with our weakest brothers and sisters (many children) at its heart: Next city council meeting City Councilor Michael Gaffney is ASKING THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL TO WEIGH IN ON SANCTUARY CITIES. TO, IN A VERY PUBLIC WAY, DECLARE THAT WORCESTER IS OR IS NOT A SANCTUARY CITY. Gaffney is demanding that his City Council colleagues  sign on to – or not! – the anti-Sanctuary City resolution he has so craftily crafted!

What garbage. What bull shit. What a way to make the City Council fritter away the city’s time! This has nothing to do with making Woo a better city! Gaffney has set up this situation up so he can WIN POLITICAL POINTS – and he wins either way!

He hurts Mayor Joe Petty and the Dem power structure in town no matter how the council votes. Just bringing this shit resolution on the council floor opens the floodgates to race baiting, group-hating and soul-sapping arguments between Woo residents and among Woo City council members. Rotten words and hurt feelings will rule the day as we rue the day!

Gaffney does not give a fig that he teases out all kinds of racist feelings in our community,  exploits people’s deepest prejudices and obfuscates the real issues.

He willfully chooses to make things murky! He uses people. He keeps Worcesterites from understanding each other and learning the truth about each other!

On Gaffney’s watch there is no bending that arc towards justice! Just more hatred in hate-filled times.

So, this is what the Gaffer’s true intentions are:

1. To get the mayor and city council to say: YES, we’re a SANCTUARY CITY.

2. To get the mayor and city council to say: NO, we’re not a SANCTUARY CITY.

If they go with #1 they make all their constituents happy and do the right thing, but the City, thanks to President Trump, loses millions of dollars (except for cops) in federal funding. Also: the more conservative folks in Worcester, plus all our racists and bigots, will hate them and try to vote them out of office in November.

If they go with #2, their constituents and supporters will be devastated and Worcester’s most vulnerable folks will be scapegoated, sent back to violent lands, torn apart. They will be broken-up and broken-hearted. We’ll get the federal monies, but we’ll lose a good chunk of our collective soul.

In the meantime,  a crazy, evil, confused and confusing debate swallows up our city.

Thanks to City Councilor and mayoral candidate Michael Gaffney.

For Gaffney to create this kind of civic havoc is wrong.

For him to create a scenario, under the guise of his stupid SANCTUARY CITY RESOLUTION, divides folks. It pits one group of people against another, magnifies our slight differences and attempts to erase our shared humanity.

It’s just not right!

As we say here in lower Vernon Hill: Michael Gaffney’s a PIECE OF SHIT.

Worcester, watered-down

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Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus has been front and center vis-a-vis environmental issues, energy conservation and green building in Worcester.      photo submitted

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Rose’s bathroom sink runneth over.     pic: R.T.

By Gordon Davis

Worcester has experienced a shortfall of rain for four of five years, ending in 2016. It looks like the shortfall will continue. Although this could be an anomaly, it could also be a pattern. It might be the beginning of a new normal where 38 inches of rain per year is all we get.

As Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus has shown us by standing in the dry ground exposed by low water, Worcester reservoirs are less than half-filled after the five-year shortfall. The intakes for the reservoirs are now above the water level and cannot draw in water.

The City of Worcester has taken some emergency measures, such as buying water from the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA) that runs the Quabbin and Wachusett reservoirs. It pays the MWRA $1.7 million per month for the water. The money comes from the City’s general funds. This expenditure will be made for the foreseeable future.

This money is needed elsewhere, such as the public schools.

The City of Worcester has also instituted water use restrictions that have helped to mitigate the shortfall. However, even with the restrictions, the level of water in the reservoirs have not risen above 50 percent.

First of all, let me say that water is a human right. We deserve clean drinking water for no other reason than we are people. The people in Flint, Michigan, are the victims of human rights violations. Throughout the world denial of water could be used as a weapon or a means of genocide and ethnic cleansing.

Secondarily, water is an asset for a region. Like affordable energy, water is vital for a prosperous community. There have been examples of civilizations that cease to exist due to the drought conditions brought on by climate change. The Akkadian Empire, Khmer Empire and the Puebloan Culture are historical examples.

Of course, I am not saying that New England or even Worcester is facing imminent demise. I am suggesting some thought should go into the possibility that 38 inches of rain a year is the new average for the region.

The Worcester City Council has wasted its time and resources on nice but less vital issues such as dog parks and mounted patrols. There should a report from the City Manager on the short-term and long-term effects of the drought on Worcester and how the City plans to respond to it.

As we have seen, the reservoirs of the City will have to be redesigned. This is because 38 inches of rain will not keep them filled. Water use will have to be increasingly recycled. Roof water and runoff should be increasingly harvested …

This issue is actually a state or regional and federal issue.

The redesign and improvements to reservoirs is beyond the budgets of all cities and towns in Massachusetts.

As the federal government has become involved in the improvement of infrastructure like roads and bridges, it will likely have to become involved in the infrastructure of dams and reservoirs of water-short areas.

With the Trump presidency, water infrastructure improvement is unlikely to occur. This is especially true, as both the state voters and our Republican governor voted against the president-elect.

Worcester Mayor Joe Petty Renews Call for Statewide Gun Buyback Day

· Remembering the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting

· Collecting real and replica guns, which are also used to commit crimes

For the fifteenth annual Goods For Guns Day, 16 cities and towns in Central Massachusetts have agreed to participate in this year’s program, December 10th from 9 – 3 PM.

Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty is once again calling on his fellow mayors to join him to make the anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting the date of a yearly, statewide gun buyback day.

“Today I am again asking my fellow mayors to work within their own cities, and with their District Attorney’s and healthcare providers, to join us and honor the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting by making our cities safer and healthier.” Mayor Petty said, “We remember the victims of the Newtown shooting by dedicating this program every year in their memory.”

“Thirty-three thousand lives were lost to gun violence last year, but the vast majority of those deaths, around twenty-two thousand, are suicides” said Mayor Petty. “This is not just about getting guns off the streets; it’s about making sure that if you have a gun in your home, that it’s secured. It’s about safer streets and healthier homes and making sure the violence we saw in Newtown never happens here.”

Dr. Michael Hirsh is the medical director for Worcester’s Division of Public Health, as well as a pediatric trauma surgeon at the UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center and longtime gun safety advocate.

“This program is an opportunity, for families with guns in their households, to either dispose of them or to get a trigger lock to secure them,” said Dr. Hirsh. “This will ultimately lower the number of suicides, lethal domestic violence events, accidental shootings, and burglarized firearms that end up in criminal hands.”

The yearly Goods for Guns program in Worcester is sponsored by both UMass Memorial Medical Center and Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr.’s office.

“Our goal is, and always has been, getting unwanted and unsecured guns out of the house,” Mr. Early said. “This has benefits on so many levels. Reducing accidents and tragedies in Worcester County benefits us all.”

“As the Level One Trauma center for central Massachusetts, our caregivers are all too familiar with what can happen when there is an unsecured firearm in the home,” said Eric Dickson, MD, president and CEO, UMass Memorial Health Care and an emergency department physician. “This buyback program has undoubtedly saved lives in our region and is a powerful instrument for educating the community on the importance of responsible gun ownership.”

“Unsecured weapons are a risk both to public health and public safety. Most gun crimes are committed using illegally-obtained firearms, which makes it an urgent priority to get any unsecured guns out of our homes before they fall into the wrong hands,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr.” Worcester is proud to lead the way in this effort to make our communities safer.”

This year’s buy back added the cities of Fitchburg, Leominster and Dudley. Fitchburg Mayor Stephen L. DiNatale said, “The City of Fitchburg is proud to be participating in a regional effort to help community members place unwanted firearms in the hands of our local law enforcement. Similar to education, Goods for Guns is an excellent way to reduce the likelihood of theft, misuse, or accidents with improperly stored firearms.”

Police departments in Worcester, Millbury, Grafton, Leicester, Southbridge, Oxford, Northbridge, Webster , Dudley, Charlton, Spencer, Leominster, Barre and Fitchburg, will exchange guns for gift cards of varying amounts on December 10:

$25 rifle or replica guns

$50 pistol

$75 semiautomatic weapon of any kind

Residents are instructed to contact their local police departments for local buyback hours.

Residents of ANY city or town may drop off their weapons anonymously at ANY PARTICIPATING police station, in exchange for gift cards. Gun owners are further welcomed to pick up a trigger lock free of charge from the police stations listed above. This year’s buyback will also be accepting realistic toy guns and replicas.

Since the inception of the Goods for Guns program in 2002, almost 3,000 guns have been returned to law enforcement officials in Central Massachusetts. Last year’s program took 340 weapons off the street and out of the home in just one day.

The full list of cities and towns participating is as follows: Worcester, Westboro, Northborough, Southbridge, Leicester, Leominster, Barre, Fitchburg, Oxford, Dudley, Millbury, Grafton, Charlton, Spencer, Northbridge, and Webster.

A view from Grafton Hill

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The Mayor’s Walk began at Friendly House. FH Director Gordon Hargrove (center) begins the early evening tour! pic submitted

By Gordon Davis

Joe Petty, the mayor of Worcester, walked the Wall Street neighborhood yesterday with city officials, District 2 City Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson and neighborhood folks. He visited the Friendly House, Westerman’s, Grafton Street School and more. One of the stops on his walk was the empty lot that used to be the El Morocco Restaurant. The lot sits on high ground with a terrific view of the Worcester skyline.

A housing project of 90 units of 1, 2, 3 bedroom apartments is being planned for the now empty lot. All of the units will be market rate. There will be no affordable housing units. The developer stated that he could not build any affordable housing units under the state program.

Longtime director of Friendly House, Gordon Hargrove, felt that some of the units will eventually become affordable units.

Mr. Hargrove is working closely with the developer to ensure some additional benefit to the neighborhood. He indicated that the project would include upgrades to the Shale Street School playground.

The Mayor and developer showed a schematic of the building layout. However, the developer saidthe final project would look different than what was on the schematic. He did not have a copy of the revisions.

Like Mr. Hargrove, the Mayor felt that the housing units would help the neighborhood and the city.

The streets in the neighborhood are narrow, as most of the streets on the East Side were built well over 100 years ago. There might be some concerns about traffic and parking. For planners one and one-half cars per unit is considered standard.

Another concern expressed was how many children would live in the project and where they would go to school. An employee at Grafton Street School, only two blocks away, said the school was at capacity.

She also said Grafton Street School is the oldest functioning school building in the Worcester School District. There are some renovations going on at the school today, including a new boiler, windows and an elevator for people with physical handicaps.

During the walk City Manager Edward Augustus asked a DPW employee how often the storm drains were cleaned on this street, as he pointed to a clogged drain. The DPW worker said his department cleans the drains.

The walk ended on an interesting note – at Westerman’s, a vendor in Worcester that provides props for local movies. Included in props was the Teddy Bear from the movies “Ted” and Ted2”!

Worcester Mayor Petty parked in animal issues!

BLOOD DRIVE

Mayor Joseph M. Petty Announces 2nd Annual New Year’s Eve Blood Drive

All welcome to attend!
 
Thursday, December 31

from 9 AM to 2 PM …

… in the Saxe Room at the Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square …

… interested parties are invited to donate blood at the 2nd Annual New Year’s Eve Blood Drive for the Red Cross.
 
“The holiday season is one of the hardest times for the Red Cross to get blood donations but the need is still great,” said Mayor Petty.  “Last year we set a goal for fourteen donors and had over thirty people donate.  We’re hoping for at least thirty donors again.  We already have thirteen signed up so we’re almost half-way to our goal.”
 
Blood donors with all types, particularly O negative, A negative, and B negative, are urged to make a donation appointment.

Eligible donors can schedule an appointment to give blood using the Blood Donor App, by visiting redcrossblood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).  Walk-ins are welcome.
 
All presenting donors will receive a Red Cross holiday long-sleeve t-shirt and can enter to win a gift card from Brew City Grill on Shrewsbury Street.