Tag Archives: Worcester

Worcester not only city without air service

By Steven R. Maher

Worcester critics often point to a lack of airline service at Worcester Airport as unique to the city. Yet it’s a problem other municipalities are facing as well.

“Financially strapped airlines are cutting service, and nearly 30 cities across the United States have seen their scheduled service disappear in the last year,” the New York Times reported in a May 21, 2008 article entitled ‘Airline’s Cuts Making Cities No-Fly Zones’. “And the service cuts are far from over, as jet fuel prices rise, airlines shut down and companies consider mergers, like the Delta-Northwest deal.”

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Jesse Pack: a boy finds himself (Part 1)

By Rosalie Tirella

In honor of Worcester’s annual Get Your Pride on Celebration, InCity Times interviews Jeese Pack of AIDS Project Worcester. Jesse made the courageous (he’d say natural) decision to “transition” from a young woman to a young man at the age of 19. Here’s his story.

Rose: Let’s talk about the event [the Get Your Pride On celebration – see our “ad”] on Water Street, Worcester Pride and the role your group is going to play.

Jesse: First, it’s going to be a lot of fun. I encourage anyone who’s going to be in Worcester to come to it. … There is going to be a pretty strong transgendered presence there. … Gunner Scott, who is the current director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, is going to speak during the political rally. There’s going to be a Mass Trans Political Coalition booth and table at the event, and they’re going to be passing out information about legal rights and needs of trans people. AIDS Project Worcester, as usual, is going to be a very strong presence there, with outreach workers. We’re gonna have our own table.…

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By Steven R. Maher

The question of civil service protection for local police departments has emerged as a sleeper issue in the state senate race between Douglas A. Belanger and Michael O. Moore. Belanger in 2004 proposed removing civil service protection for the Leicester police chief. Moore is a steadfast supporter of civil service.

Removing civil protection requires a charter change, or home rule petition to the state legislature. Generally, the legislature does not approve home rule petitions if they are opposed by the local state representative or state senator. If elected, Belanger or Moore would be in a position to kill any proposal to remove civil service in their districts by home rule petition.

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Hiring episodes shows civil service works for Worcester

By Steven R. Maher

Civil service laws govern the Worcester police and fire departments when it comes to the hiring and firing of personnel. Recently the Massachusetts Civil Service Commission ruled in Worcester’s favor in two cases that show how well the system works.

Civil service requires police and firefighter applicants to take a competitive written exam. The state then supplies the city a list of aspirants ranked by score results, with favorable preferences for veterans. The city conducts background checks of solicitants before deciding whether to hire the high scoring achievers on the list. Factors other than test results can be taken into consideration.

If a qualified candidate believes he has been passed over in favor of a less eligible hireling, the aggrieved party can appeal the hiring decision to the Civil Service Commission. If the commission believes unfair practices were used, it can take action ensuring the more qualified supplicant eventually gets a job. The system creates a level playing field for all, ranking job seekers using a standardized test. For that reason it is detested by politicians, because it inhibits venal practices like nepotism and patronage.

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Civil service for city employees

By Steven R. Maher

The proposal to remove Civil Service protection from the police chief, fire chief, and their deputy chiefs was hailed by the mainstream media as a progressive advance. But in reality, it’s a textbook example of a power grab.

Civil Service originated in the late 19th century, when corrupt political machines packed city governments with unqualified cronies. Civil Service evolved to ensure that public office holders were appointed based on qualifications, not political connections.

The Massachusetts Civil Service System is overseen by a five member Civil Service Commission. Generally, when Worcester fills the police or fire chief positions, a “departmental promotional exam” is held in which candidates from within the department test for the position. A list of the top three scorers is then forwarded to the City Manager for a choice.

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The Sheriff’s Mom remembers “The Village”!

Quinsigamond Village: a stroll down memory lane

By Pat Glodis

As I stroll through the many streets and pathways that I once skipped, ran and walked through so many years ago, I feel joy and love for the place I called my neighborhood and home. I look back and know I was one of the fortunate ones, a child from a modest Irish family, one of six children raised in this unique place. My mother was also a native of this special place called Quinsigamond Village. She was born in 1906 and lived all her 98 years in the village. The oldest of four children, she attended Quinsigamond School and later was one of the original members of theMother’s Club that would meet once a month. Most of the other mothers were from the Swedish population. I remember, while in school, when the moms would meet and we students could smell the aroma of fresh perked coffee and homemade pastries.

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Burton Berg’s Worcester

Burton Berg has been collecting vintage postcards of Worcester for decades. He’s got thousands of them – photos of all the noble institutions and the engaged Worcesterites who made this town swing! Have a look and enjoy!

By Rosalie Tirella

They take you back to a time when Worcester was a little greener and a lot busier; days when everyone seemed to know everyone else, when church affiliation was important, when families sat down to dinner without the light of a TV screen or computer monitor shining down on them. Horses pulled buggies back then and left big wheel tracks in our downtown thoroughfares! Harrington Corner was buzzing and the grand opening of a Main Street “five and ten” guaranteed throngs of (usually) lady shoppers.

What a Worcester! What a lively, urban, ethnic stew of people with big noses and dirty hands! Bowlers straddled the heads of businessmen; caps sat jauntily on the crowns of young factory hands. A truck would go down in a snow storm and a gaggle of people would be gawking over the flattened tires. People were always out and about back then – walking down streets, running after trolleys, going to work at the factory, eating at the diners, shopping at the bakeries or neighborhood grocery stores. Everyone one seemed more connected to one another. And Worcester really worked back then, too! The factories, hardware stores, offices, butcher stores, bakeries – everyone one of these enterprises locally owned and providing jobs to Worcesterites of all stripes.

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Captured by lies and freed by the truth

By Jack Hoffman

“Cautiva” (captured) is a compelling Argentinean movie that explores a part of the sordid past history of a brutal military government that ruled Argentina from the late ‘70s to early ‘80s. The merciless gangsters of Argentina, like so many brutal dictatorships, were commonplace in Latin America and had what I consider to be a most insidious way of placating supporters of the military and police who wanted a child, but were unable to conceive one. – Want a baby? No problem – we will just go out and kidnap a pregnant woman, steal her newborn, and away you go!

Christina, the heroine of the story, is now 19 years old and learns by scientific proof that her adopted parents had lied to her about her original adoption and that her real parents disappeared, victims of this incomprehensible crime.

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The Ghost of Enron

By Jack Hoffman

Five years ago today I was invited to speak at an anniversary party for ICT. Rose Tirella, the publisher, editor, delivery girl, and chief bottle washer of the paper asked me to write something- just anything will do. Being an author, network investigative producer and part time speechwriter writing a column seemed challenging.

Since that first meeting there certainly has been lots of pot- holes on this journalistic road. But thanks to Rose and her tutelage, the freedom without censorship to express my opinions that she gave me I stayed with her mostly out of respect and admiration for her work and belief in an alternative news source.

To the many that have given their time without financial compensation only love of the paper and its philosophy a special thank you. The paper could never have worked if it wasn’t for the loyalty of the advertises. Throughout the years when myself or other writers challenged the boundaries of the other mundane print media leaving Rose in a state of nervousness you folks still remained. And even when I or some other writer dared challenge the mundane boundaries set by the other local print media that certainly touched some nerves- you remained.

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Our fathers, ourselves

Billy’s girls

By Rosalie Tirella

Billy Fredette calls his two daughters “my girls” with the accent on “my.” They are the loves of his life. They ARE his life. So much so that he’ll get choked up just telling you!

In their Lafayette Street apartment he has shoe boxes filled with their awards – certificates for perfect attendance at Chandler Street Elementary School. Letters and cards created by them. He has been on the cover of the MSPCC newsletter, a Dad worthy of cover photos and laudatory articles.When money was tight several years ago, the teachers at Millbury Street Head Start loved his little family so much they pooled their resources and gave Billy’s girls a sleigh-load of Christmas gifts.

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