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Don’t go, Aurora!

By Rosalie Tirella

A few weeks ago, I drove by her and smiled – happy at our chance encounter. I had almost forgotten her! My Aurora! Remorseful, I tried to snap a picture of her while driving by in my jalopy, but my cell phone camera wobbled in my left hand (I’m right-handed) so I missed the shot, especially with all the Main Street traffic speeding between us.

Downtown Worcester: I would have just driven by Aurora, over my left shoulder. pic: Rose T.

Aurora! The Main South enchantress of my Worcester childhood! The star of – the star ON! – the Aurora Hotel on Main Street – that 4-story-high red brick building almost on the corner of Main and Chandler streets! The beautiful, long-haired, swan-necked, life-sized Greek Goddess drawn onto the front entrance of the old downtown Aurora Hotel. Her figure cut into one of the Hotel’s entryway stone columns – a permanent “drawing” for all to admire: the smooth lines of the folds of her robe, the straight, noble nose, the dainty bare feet – sandal-less, naked, even in January! Aurora of the Aurora Hotel! Still young and flawless, face smooth and unwrinkled, just as you were when I stood before you to admire you 50 years ago! Eyes staring away in calm wonder. I bowed before you, Aurora! You were unmoved! Yet you continue to grace all the poor pedestrians hurrying by you to shops, to cafes, to city hall, to bus stops.

Drawn into stone, yet walking amongst us: the Hispanic grocery shoppers, men in recovery, drug sellers with their tiny white square packets … desperate women, addicted to heroin or crack, and willing to do anything for their fix. In their youth, some as beautiful as you, Aurora!

Goddess Aurora of the Aurora Hotel dreamily floating in stone, down Main Street, still with us – after all these many many years! Artsy signage for the old flophouse of my Worcester childhood. Before that, maybe a nice place to live for aging actors, or work space for a city photographer (Mr. Cocaine!). Later, for a decade or so, Aurora actually adorned the entrance way to the NEW main art gallery for Arts Worcester located on the ground floor of the Aurora Hotel! Wow. West Side matrons, patrons and art lovers inside the Aurora during art show openings, tumblers of white wine in their soft hands. Worcester cops outside the Aurora Hotel – now a non-profit residential building with studio apartments and rooms for rent to recovering women alcoholics/drug addicts – the cops with their guns in holsters, standing erect in their blue uniforms in the crosswalk in front of the old hotel … making sure all the beautiful people felt safe inside and the neighborhood people felt unwelcome outside the Aurora. What a picture that made!

But I will always remember the old Aurora Hotel of my childhood – its lobby a portal for the old Aurora clientele: bums going in and out with their flies open.

Shopping Goddess Aurora! As a little girl walking by you you made me happy because 1. You were so beautiful and 2. Ma, my two sisters and I were walking to my favorite store in the whole wide world, THE MART, just three or four doors down! (now a neighborhood supermarket) … Flawless, your dress never dirty or wrinkled, your eyes wide open, never droop-lidded like my tired and weary Ma’s – you said to me: Ask Ma to buy you a pretty MART dress, Rosalie! Run downstairs to the pet section and nag your mother into buying you a pretty little grey and white mouse – the one with bulging red eyes!

There she was. Still is! Aurora! On the hotel wall! Waiting for me. For you? For everybody! A new Downtown Worcester emerges – all the new murals and street art diminish Aurora. But only slightly. She is still beautiful and still calmly wafts above all the City of Worcester craziness. She’s been around for maybe almost 100 years. She will be here when we are gone – have stopped all our yammering about taxes and racism and potholes!

Aurora! The Roman Goddess of Dawn! Tiny waisted, every day you dreamily usher in the new day, announce the sun to all Worcesterites! City manager, mayor, college kids, junkies, house wives, doctors, babies, cabbies … you greet us with grace! And then you slide back onto your column by the revolving doors of the Aurora Hotel.♥️

Elliott Smith and this Elliott Smith song were the inspirations for this column.

A tribute to my father John F “Doc” Coughlin, Sr., a Worc. sports icon … Canal District’s Bob Largesse’s apts … MLK honored at Clark U + 🎶

By James P. Coughlin

With the upcoming dedication of the John F. “Doc” Coughlin Locker Room at the Worcester Ice Center in the Canal District of Worcester, on Dec. 7, I would very much like to add my deepest appreciation and heartfelt thanks for all that the officials at Worcester State University and the Ice Center have done done to make this new memorialization to my father, possible.

My father devoted over 40 years of his life to first serving as a Community Organizer for Worcester’s Athletic Community. He organized the Worcester Little League (for baseball) in 1956 (three years after I was born) and coached for 17 years. He was instrumental in the formation of the Worcester Peewee Youth Hockey Association and also coached for 14 years.

Subsequently, he organized the hockey program at what then was St. Peter’s High School on Main Street, Worcester, In 1981, the Worcester community honored him for his work with youth sports for over 25 years. And once that was done, he established the Hockey Program and Team at Worcester State College in _____ which is now known as Worcester State University, WSU. He was the first and most successful hockey coach in the history of Worcester State University, and his teams won more than 140 games in his 15-year career. Under his leadership, the school hockey team, “The Lancers” won the Eastern College Athletic (ECAC) Division III hockey championships for many years.

In doing some “family research” on my father, I learned that even as a young man growing up in the Winter Hill neighborhood of Somerville, Massachusetts, he also was a “sports community organizer” at the park in his neighborhood, Trump Field, between Somerville and Charlestown, MA in the Boston area. I am told from very reliable sources that he had an inexplicable knack for bring young people, his colleagues, together and very handily organized them into competitive teams for baseball and football on an informal basis.
Sadly, he lived only 66 years and on January 6, 1986 he died of pancreatic and liver cancer and I have been fatherless for 34 years since then.

In the wake of his death, my older brother John Francis Coughlin my senior by 8 years very ably began to carry on my father’s legacy by coaching hockey, not only at Worcester State but for other schools as well. I know that my father is now looking down from the heavens above and beaming with a great smile because of how proud he is of my brother for carrying on his legacy. He now serves as the assistant coach of the WSU hockey team under head coach Shayne Toporowski.

That was what my father devoted himself to for the hockey and athletic community of Worcester. But what I want to relate in this Op/Ed is about my relationship with my father.

My older brother, John, as a direct result of being older and accompanying my father to most, if not all of his hockey games became the “Athlete in the family.” By comparison, I became the “quiet Coughlin.” Quite frankly, I tried both baseball and hockey and I not very good at either, and my father was okay with that.

I took an interest in history and politics at an early age, becoming interested in not only religion but historical figures such as Eli Whitney, the inventor of the “Cotton gin” who happened to be either born in, or lived in nearby Westboro, Massachusetts, in the Worcester area. So, he took me to Westboro to literally track down the home where Whitney was born and trace the important things he did in that town.

I also had an interest in politics and something you should know about our family history, (if I might). My father and mother were both working in a women’s skirt factory in Boston and he met his future wife, Eva Barelli there. My mother just happened to have a sister who was then working as the personal secretary on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. to a “rising star” and freshman United States Senator from Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy, and the rest is history.

Given my interest in politics at an early age (that could have possibly been transmuted to me by my aunt’s sister, Mary Barelli Gallagher), my father made it a point to bring me to visit and tour both the New Hampshire and Massachusetts State Houses.

As kids are at an early age, I also developed an interest in religion during my time attending the former St. Paul’s Elementary School on Chatham Street in Worcester. In particular, I had a fascination for seeing as many manger and Nativity scenes as I possibly could. So, my father, once again as a testament to the unconditional love he imparted on me, he took me around in his car and we visited literally EVERY SINGLE Catholic Church in the city that had a Nativity scene of the Christ child on display for Christmas. And he accompanied me to every church while I insisted at saying a short prayer at each church.

As a youth, for reasons I don’t recall, I never learned to swim. And in my early 20’s, I decided to take introductory swimming lessons, (not in Worcester, but in Cambridge, MA) at the YMCA in downtown Cambridge. One day, I , for whatever reason was running late for the bus departing from Seven Hills Plaza, going down Route 9 to Boston. As it turned out, I had missed the bus that morning in time to make it on some for my swimming class. So, my father being one “never to take no for an answer”he took it upon himself to literally chase after the bus like he was a police cruiser chasing after a suspect of a crime. We drove at a speed that was not “exactly at the speed limit” and eventually caught up with the bus in Shreswbury (about 10 miles from Worcester.)

Through these personal and special stories about my relationship with my father, I have tried to portray the “private Mr. Coughlin” behind the scenes in our family and how he interacted with me. However, the manner in which he treated me with unconditional love was absolutely identical to how he treated all of the young people whom he coached whether it was for baseball or hockey for over 25 years. Ion short, was truly about: being a selfless guide and helper for all the young people whom he coached over the years.

In many ways, my father was like an on-call social worker for his players. So in the final analysis, the nickname of “Doc,” which he acquired, I am told, because he once went out of his way to check on a player who was hurt in a game one night, was very appropriate for him.

Another part of my father that is also quite touching was how he did not have a “carte Blanche” way of treating of his players—rather he treated them all as individuals.
I have one very special memory of my dad paying very special attention to one of his younger hockey players when he was coaching in the 1960s.

During the course of one hockey game, he noticed that one of his better players was not playing his usual best. So, he decided to check in to see what was happening with this particular player’s reduced ice hockey performance. He had a great ability to read his players auras and could very easily tell if someone was withholding something from him.

Well, the young man’s father had recently died and he was still grieving from his loss. As a result, his emotional pain was having a major interference in his life and perhaps his hockey playing as well.

So, my father very quietly and with absolutely no fanfare of any kind, took it upon himself to do some very special fathering for this player.

He broke off from his plans for the next day or so and became a “surrogate father” for this player. He took him out to breakfast, lunch, and dinner; took him bowling and to a college hockey game; and did exactly the very things this player enjoyed doing with his late father.

In paying tribute to my father, I would be remiss if I did not also mention the rather important role that my mother played in our rather public hockey family in Worcester. My mother was a very supportive spouse to my father throughout his long coaching career. She always referred to the players on the then-Worcester State College hockey team as “my other boys.” It was a ritual after every hockey game that she would host the entire hockey team to an Italian dinner at our house at 332 Chandler St., regardless if the hockey squad won or lost its game that night. My mother would spend hours in preparation for the team’s meal that night. It would often be a 12-course meal, featuring all kinds of Italian food, homemade Italian pastries, and much more.

However, there was one rule in our family’s house. That was, if you were coming to dinner at the Coughlins, you absolutely had to eat—no ifs, and, or buts about it. God only help the hockey player or their girlfriends (who were also welcomed) who did not want to eat. My mother could not understand for the life of her, “Why would someone come into my house and not eat?” My grandmother was an Italian immigrant from Naples, who married my grandfather, who came from Rome. My grandparents had nine children, among them was my mother, Eva.
My grandmother passed onto all of her children, the Italian phrase, “mangia, mangia, beva, beva,” which translates into the English: “If you eat, you will feel better.” If you were among those hockey players who either declined to eat or as my mother would often say, “ate like a bird,” you were among those guests at our family dinner table who were treated to hearing my mother’s endless rendition of “mangia, mangia, beva, beva,” until those players or their girlfriends finally relented and had some dinner.

As for my dad’s players, besides calling him “coach,” they also affectionately called him “Mr. C.”
Similarly, the players also referred to my mother as “Mrs. C.”

As I introduced myself on the “John F. Coughlin Memorial Field” a short time ago as the son of “Doc” Coughlin, two of the coaches on the field at the time for football practice told me that my father had inspired them, personally, to coach after they graduated.

These stories are extremely touching to me as a member of the Coughlin family and are a great source of pride, strength, and appreciation as I have remained fatherless since the age of 32, when my father died of cancer on Jan. 6, 1986.


Clark honors MLK Jr

From Clark University:

Clark U. to hold panel, film screening to commemorate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., Jan. 22

Clark University will host Lessons from MLK: Seeking Solidarity in Times of Educational Inequity, a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Wednesday, January, 22; the day will consist of two community-wide programs to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. King.

🏵️“Lessons from MLK: Seeking Solidarity in Times of Educational Inequity,” a community luncheon/panel presentation featuring Clark faculty, staff, and community members who will discuss the persisting challenges and opportunities surrounding educational inequity in K-12 public school and university settings, will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Tilton Hall in the Higgins University Center, 950 Main St.

🏵️From 5:30 – 8 p.m., the University will hold a screening of “I Am Not Your Negro,” the Oscar-nominated documentary based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript, Remember This House, in Jefferson Academic Center, Room 320. A post -film discussion will follow.

🏵️Both events are free and open to the public. They are sponsored by Clark’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.



Isn’t it a shame how Bob Largesse, who claims to be a Canal District “leader,” is a negligent landlord when it comes to his non-CD rental property. A few streets away from the Canal District is BOBBY’S inner-city package store at the end of Ward Street/bottom of Stone Street. Look at HIS APARTMENTS UPSTAIRS! A few days ago, in the depths of wintertime, when it’s around 25 degrees F outside, we saw the cardboard in his windows:





Bob, a millionaire developer, knows what to do, but he ain’t doing it!

– text/photos by Rose T.





The late, great Elliott Smith once said his songs reflect a “strong, quiet beauty.” He was right. – R.T.

So … Allen Fletcher’s chi chi “public” market opens soon …

Text and pics by Rosalie Tirella

… in early February. We are impressed by the fact that a guy pushing 75 years old – Allen Fletcher – can become so animated by homemade pasta, over-priced burgers, trinket shoppes and artisan beer. But Allen is a rich old WASP – scion of the original owners of the Telegram and Gazette and has millions$$$$ to burn. Rich WASPs have lived well, so they tend to live well into their 90s! Allen obviously hopes to “age in place” – and gentrify an entire neighborhood to accommodate his tastes and hobbies! And he wants to build a monument to his ego so he continues to get attention and air time, is still a Woo player well into his 80s when most people are DEAD.

Drove by Allen’s place a few days ago. It is huge and sucks up a big chunk of a once intense vibrant busy overbuilt Eastern European immigrant neighborhood. The real deal I grew up in:

I wondered how many Worcester folks are gonna buy his overpriced burgers, noodles, tee shirts, cup cakes, etc. Where are these silly customers gonna come from? Certainly not the surrounding neighborhoods.

Q: ALLEN, WILL YOUR PUBLIC MARKET THEME PARK ACCEPT SNAP/EBT CARDS (food stamps)? So that working people and families can buy some of the groceries and meat and such sold at your “public” market? Many of them Black, Hispanic and Vietnamese. Minorities I never see in your Canal District.

Worcester’s REAL public market, that grand old building on Main Street with the marble ram’s head, hanging fowl and cow’s head adorning the top of the building, was A REAL PUBLIC MARKET – built for ALL, especially the hoi polloi! People like my Polish immigrant grandfather who would walk down to Main Street to buy staples he could afford for his family!

STAPLES. AFFORDABLE FOOD. Not your fancy theme park stuff.

Bring in the tourists!

Q: Allen, will you advocate for apartments that don’t rent for $1,400 – $3,000 a month like the ones in your “Public” Market building?

Q: Will you remember the homeless kids under the Green Street Bridge – just 10 buildings down the road from your project?

In Worcester: SO MANY HUNGRY WORCESTER KIDS – SO MANY ANGRY YOUNG MEN WITH GUNS AND BAD TEMPERS … ARROGANT AND IGNORANT – A LETHAL COMBO! … HOW DOES THIS PROJECT make them more aware? IMPROVE THINGS FOR HALF THE CITY? The people living in old three deckers – out of code, owned by landlords who pinch the penny.

We hear Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus may retire in 2 years.

After the fun of ushering in the Woo Sox stadium project and team and all that gentrification, after all the cool negotiating over cocktails in fashionable Woo restaurants, City Mabager Ed Augustus may not want to stick around to face junkies nodding off or shitting by the Green Street bridge … He may not want to solve these problems, be around for gentrification’s after-effects: More poverty, more hunger, more displaced families, more homelessness, more guns. Ed Augustus may not want to deal with these unsexy, not so fun issues! Instead, he may want to retire to his nice summer home on Cape Cod!

My old neighborhood – one of the poorest in Worcester – transformed.

A ride through it yesterday:







How will the wolf survive?

How will the wolf survive all of Allen Fletcher’s good taste?

Reposting Parlee’s terrific MLK Jr. coulmn!

But first …


A Letter to Martin …

By Parlee Jones

MLK Jr. – Prophet of peace!

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

– MLK, Jr.

Dear Dr. King,

As we prepare to celebrate your 8[7]th birthday, and also, the 5[1]st Anniversary of the Selma marches, I thought I would write you a letter, to let you know what’s been going on.

I have been thinking a lot about the civil rights movement and the protests that have been happening since the no indictment verdicts came in Ferguson, Missouri, after the murder of Michael Brown and in the murder of Eric Garner at the hands of the NYPD.

Some people are asking, why are they protesting, what do they want? What do they think protesting and shutting down city streets will do?

My response: What did Dr. King and his supporters think a bus boycott would do? What did they think a 50-mile march would do?

The bus boycott lasted 381 days. For one year and 16 days Black people in Montgomery, Alabama, did not use public transportation! Needless to say, that hit the city in the pocket-book. City officials resisted a long time. Them good old boys did not want those Black folks in the front of their buses. Really!

“Initially, the demands did not include changing the segregation laws; rather, the group demanded courtesy, the hiring of black drivers, and a first-come, first-seated policy, with whites entering and filling seats from the front and African Americans from the rear.

Although African Americans represented at least 75 percent of Montgomery’s bus ridership, the city resisted complying with the demands. To ensure the boycott could be sustained, black leaders organized carpools, and the city’s African-American taxi drivers charged only 10 cents-the same price as bus fare-for African-American riders. Many black residents chose simply to walk to work and other destinations. Black leaders organized regular mass meetings to keep African-American residents mobilized around the boycott.”

This is so powerful!

And then Selma, 10 years later!

Even after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbade discrimination in voting on the basis of race, efforts to register black voters met with fierce resistance in southern states such as Alabama .

In early 1965, you and SCLC decided to make Selma, located in Dallas County, Alabama, the focus of a voter registration campaign.

As you well know, Alabama Governor George Wallace was a notorious opponent of desegregation, and the local county sheriff in Dallas County had led a steadfast opposition to black voter registration drives. As a result, only 2 percent of Selma’s eligible black voters (300 out of 15,000) had managed to register.

You won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, and you drew international attention to Selma during the eventful months that followed.

On February 18, white segregationists attacked a group of peaceful demonstrators in the nearby town of Marion. In the ensuing chaos, an Alabama state trooper fatally shot Jimmie Lee Jackson, a young African-American demonstrator. In response to Jackson’s death a massive protest march from Selma to the state capitol of Montgomery, 54 miles away was planned. A group of 600 people set out on Sunday, March 7, but didn’t get far before Alabama state troopers wielding whips, nightsticks and tear gas rushed the group at the Edmund Pettis Bridge and beat them back to Selma. The brutal scene was captured on television, enraging many Americans and drawing civil rights and religious leaders of all faiths to Selma in protest.

You also led another attempt to march on March 9, but turned the marchers around when state troopers again blocked the road.

That night, a group of segregationists beat another protester, the young white minister James Reeb, to death.

Alabama state officials (led by Walllace) tried to prevent the march from going forward, but a U.S. district court judge ordered them to permit it. President Lyndon Johnson also backed the marchers, going on national television to pledge his support and lobby for passage of new voting rights legislation he was introducing in Congress.

Some 2,000 people set out from Selma on March 21, protected by U.S. Army troops and Alabama National Guard forces that Johnson had ordered under federal control.

After walking some 12 hours a day and sleeping in fields along the way, they reached Montgomery on March 25.

Nearly 50,000 supporters-black and white-met the marchers in Montgomery, where they gathered in front of the state capitol to hear you and other speakers including Ralph Bunche (winner of the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize) address the crowd.

“No tide of racism can stop us,” you proclaimed from the building’s steps, as viewers from around the world watched the historic moment on television.

A movie based on the events of SELMA [was released last year]. Can’t wait to see it with my children, family, friends and their children. Because this is a piece of history from which we need to learn.

“We are faced with marches, protests and boycotts as we face the continued brutality of the police force against young people of color, who end up dead instead of in jail. Not only people of color, but the majority are.
We are developing a network of organizations and advocates to form a national policy specifically aimed at redressing the systemic pattern of anti-black law enforcement violence in the US. We are demanding, that the federal government discontinues it’s supply of military weaponry and equipment to local law enforcement. We are advocating for a decrease in law-enforcement spending at the local, state and federal levels and a reinvestment of that budgeted money into the black communities most devastated by poverty in order to create jobs, housing and schools. This money should be redirected to those federal departments charged with providing employment, housing and educational services.”

Dr. King, the exposure of the injustices via the internet is world wide. It is so hurtful when these police officers are not found guilty of murder, when the murder took place in front of millions of people.

We are still striving to do this non-violently, but the blind are still so blind. We have our demands and are voting and trying to work through the system. A lot of our friends are still silent. We are trying to help our White allies understand their privilege. We are tired of burying our children. Things have improved since the 1950s and 1960s but, unfortunately, we still have a long way to go.

Happy Birthday, Dr. King! Your words still ring true in this day and time. We need your spirit with us, to help guide us, more than ever! Please stay near.

Peace and Blessings,

Parlee Jones


So joyful!!!!:

It’ll be Martin Luther King Jr. Day soon, Worcester!

By Rosalie Tirella

Martin Luther King Jr. holiday next Monday, January 20. I liked this interview:

In it MLK talks of the early progress … he talks of his boyhood experiences …. Such as: when he was a little kid his two best friends were white boys. At age 6, when MLK was a bit older and went over to their house to play with them, the adults there began to make excuses: No, they aren’t home. No, they can’t come out to play right now. Once a white woman in a department store slapped his face – said he had stepped on her foot (he didn’t). His mother, who was with him at the department store, was upset, went to look for the woman … She was gone.

This interviewer next turns to the bus boycotts. MLK says the bus drivers were often rude to the Black passengers and that often times Blacks would put their bus fare$ into the fare box at the front of the bus and then have to get off the bus and board the bus through the rear door! Or how the first 10 seats on the bus were always reserved for whites, so that even if there were no white people sitting in those front bus seats, Blacks still had to stand. They had to stand over empty seats!

This interview is powerful. Listen – HEAR MLK.

Worcester will have its MLK breakfasts and events this weekend and next Monday – this is GREAT! BUT WHERE ARE WE NOW WHEN IT COMES TO RACIAL JUSTICE IN WORCESTER?
City Manager Ed Augustus just made the economic development head of Worcester – Traynor – the creep who allegedly called a black man a f***n ni**er IN THE CITY HALL GARAGE – our TOP CITY OF WORCESTER LAWYER!! Traynor is replacing retiring head city solicitor Moore. There was no public investigation of Traynor’s alleged racial slur – no suspension, nothing – he GOT A PROMOTION! HIS DREAM JOB! … Also, several months ago: City Manager Ed Augustus said he WOULD OPEN UP HIRING PRACTICES IN WORC GOVT. That the city job searches would REALLY be open and that to combat systemic racism, he, the great and noble Ed Augustus, would do the right thing: Providing two job candidates were equal in their job qualifications, Ed would HIRE THE BLACK PERSON – AND NOT the white person or city hall insider. To break down our racist system …

Yeah, right, Ed. You’re so full of it! There are so few Black teachers working in the Worcester Public Schools. So few Black librarians working in the Worcester Public libraries! We get lip service from you and City Leaders – hypocrites who give yourselves and pals the jobs, the economic – and political power – in our city.


Sunday Sadness … and Chef Joey’s soup recipes + FYI

Sunday Sadness

By Rosalie Tirella

Jett in the country. pics: Rose T.



I went out to the country with my mutts yesterday … I had to get away from my building. A terrible place to live – window broken in first floor apartment in dead of winter. Landlord has done nothing – I called the City of Worcester. They sent him a letter. The old man who lives there, on the first floor – I found him on the ground a few days ago, in the very cold, his ol’ gal pal by his side. Bitter cold and dusk. He was white as iced anow. Dead drunk. We couldn’t lift him to bring him indoors to get warm. The guy downstairs got home and just walked by us. A young guy who could have done the job. The other guy tenant next door was home (landlord owns that property, too) – He did nothing.

I called 911. The ambulance took the old man – scrawny and in his 70s – away. Then I reported the incident to Worcester Elder Services.

The new Worcester: gentrified and a vicious, uncivilized under class. The culture has grown crass … no true community anymore in Woo’s old neighborhoods. Just raw fear.



By Chef Joey

ICT_Yum Yums-edited
Chef Joey😊

It is January and it is cold out, and the New Year has begun. So have the credit card bills and the post-holiday money crunch and belt tightening. But it doesn’t mean you cannot eat healthy! Simple healthy grains and canned summer veggies make great soups!

We know the old lady in the shoe story … broth was a protein based dinner that kept everyone going. You can do the same and make a pot of soup for under $10 – it will feed a crowd! This soup base is the start to just about every soup out there – you just add good stuff! There really is no such thing as a bad soup!

You need …

onions, garlic and celery to get the ball rolling, or the boil rolling!

Chop up 2 or 3 onions nice and fine – they are your anti-oxidant friends and flavor boosters, 2 or 3 cloves garlic and of course 4 or 5 stalks of celery chopped small.

Toss all of these into a nice size pot and add a tablespoon of oil – and a ¼ cup water so it does not burn.

Mix well and cover – check on it every few minutes and keep stirring.

When soft add … (1) 2 large cans of crushed tomatoes and cook for 20 mins. Add 1 quart of heavy cream and you have CREAMY TOMATO SOUP!

(2) a bag of lentils 4 cups of water and 1 8 oz package of frozen chopped spinach and cook 40 mins and you have spinach and lentil soup!

(3) add a bag of frozen mixed veggies and a can of kidney beans, one 1 can diced tomatoes and one liter of the stock of your choice and you have minestrone!

It is that easy!! Enjoy and look for my easy recipes with the basics in the next issue of CECELIA!



Rose’s New Year’s thank-you … and … Happy Veganuary! + 🎶♥️


♥️ pic: Rose T.

Last night I enjoyed a big bowl of lentil soup – homemade – by Chef Joey.😊 He gave me enough soup (with baby carrots, which I love) for lunch today and tomorrow. So tasty and healthful for these deep winter days!

It is good to have good friends! The true blue sort! The stick-by-your-side sort (not the fake, sunny weather types). The friends who drop sweaters off at your doorstep, let you use their cars, know your demons – your righteous and rocky ways – and still care. And still support your vision for your city, animals and the🌎. … So many InCity Times/CECELIA contributing writers have become dear ones – friends I will remember to my dying day! Some have been along for the kooky/brutal/sometimes inspired ICT ride for 10+ years! Some have hung on (by the tips of their fingernails!) for almost 20! … Through the years they’ve been for me, the rag, the website, my two dogs and Cece!
Never against.

– Rosalie Tirella




Turn over a new leaf in 2020: Go vegan

By Heather Moore

Gingerly now!! pic: Chef Joey

Happy Veganuary, everyone! Veganuary, for the uninitiated, is the month when people around the world pledge to go vegan in order to help stop animal suffering, protect the planet and improve their health. More than a quarter of a million people in 190 countries pledged to go vegan in January 2019. According to the Veganuary program director in the U.S., 46% of people signed up for health reasons, 34% cited concerns about cruelty to animals and 12% were motivated by climate change.


I’m hoping the figures will be even higher this year. It doesn’t really matter which reason means the most to you as long as you actually go—and stay — vegan. Scientists say that if we all went vegan, it could save the lives of up to 8 million humans (not to mention billions of animals), cut greenhouse-gas emissions by two-thirds and prevent 1.5 trillion dollars’ worth of climate-related damage by 2050.

Researchers have also said that going vegan is the “single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth.”

How much more incentive do you need?

According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, more than half of food-related greenhouse-gas emissions come from meat, eggs and dairy. If we want to combat climate change, alleviate world hunger, conserve water and land, and help prevent a mass wildlife extinction, we have to choose vegan foods.

It’s estimated that each vegan spares nearly 200 animals every year — and that’s just counting the animals who are killed and eaten, like chickens, cows, pigs and fish. Animal agriculture is also the main cause of habitat loss, and many of the recent fires in the Amazon rainforest were likely set by ranchers who were clearing land to raise cattle. At least 500 species, including jaguars, giant armadillos and tapirs, may have been harmed by the fires.

Animal-derived foods are killing the planet, and they’re killing us. Heart disease and stroke already account for more than $329 billion in health-care costs and lost productivity, and the cost of diabetes care exceeded $327 billion in 2017 alone.

Cardiologist Joel Kahn, one of the many health experts to endorse the Million Dollar Vegan initiative—a nonprofit, nonpartisan campaign that encourages world leaders and other prominent figures to go vegan, at least for a month — believes that going vegan can prevent 80% of the diseases that are costing us so much money and hurting our quality of life.

I suspect that’s one of the reasons why Million Dollar Vegan — which was cofounded by the same man who also helped launch Veganuary — is giving $1 to charity for every person who pledges to go vegan in January.

If you take the pledge, you’ll have plenty of company — and plenty to eat. More than half of the chefs in the U.S. added vegan items to their menus in 2018, and sales of vegan meats, such as Beyond Burgers and Sausages, have been skyrocketing. Between April 2017 and July 2019, sales of vegan food grew about 31%, to $4.5 billion. They’re estimated to reach $6.5 billion by 2023.

Don’t be left behind. If you haven’t already gone vegan, it’s never too late to start. Visit to pledge to go vegan for at least 30 days.



Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty’s Inaugural speech … and … City Councilor Gary Rosen showboats tonight re: free WRTA bus fare

Mayor Joe Petty this summer at Main South’s National Night Out event. file photo: Ron O’Clair

Thank you, reverend clergy, Judge Bibaud, Senator Markey, Congressman Kennedy, elected officials, City Manager Augustus, Superintendent Binienda, the Worcester community, honored guests on stage and of course my wife Gayle and my children and family, for being here today.

This year’s campaign featured some of the most diverse and vibrant policy discussions and debates. I want to thank everyone who participated in this highest form of civic engagement. I want to recognize someone who is not here, the longest serving School Committee member – Brian O’Connell – who passed away a few months ago. His service to our city will always be remembered.

I also want to recognize our second ever Poet Laureate Juan Matos and the first ever Youth Poet Laureate Amina Mohammed.

Tonight is the time when we put behind us the differences that defined our campaigns and our candidacies. Politics is built on competition but governing is about consensus. Politics is about a promise, a promise of change and of betterment, but governing is about progress and it is a process.

As we stand on the edge of a new decade, I know that our city is stronger than ever. We did not get here by doing less, but doing more. Streets are safer due to the work of the Worcester police, health services are provided to those who need it, and programs are in place to help those who are hungry and homeless.

We have much to be proud of in our city. It’s not just about a new ballpark or the development in Kelley Square. These accomplishments are something to be quite proud of but don’t define us. There are other changes that are just as important: we’re creating a vibrant downtown with new housing and restaurants. The City Square development is almost finished. The South Worcester Industrial Park is filled. Flights from Worcester Airport happen every day. After languishing for decades, the old courthouse is under construction and we’re seeing the northern end of Main Street slowly coming to life.

At moments like this, when things are going well, it’s important that we focus on the building blocks of the future. Long before the idea of a ball park became a reality, we started looking at our three-decker housing stock, investing and developing more affordable housing, stabilizing our neighborhoods, and investing in our parks and school facilities. This is the work that is before us. Though it may be the large scale developments that generate news and excitement, it is the SLOW work of improving our neighborhoods, our schools and our city which moves our city forward.

This is about a generational promise to the future of our city; setting in place the building blocks of the next generation. That is why we are building new schools, why we have the highest bond rating and the largest unused tax levy in our city’s history. The work we do is a process and we move forward together.

For all the work that we do as a city it is imperative that we move forward in a data-informed manner, measuring results and adjusting policies over-time if we are not meeting our goals.

With the new Office of Urban Innovation we should begin with a data audit for our internal systems and analyze current digitalized information to create a better understanding of the state of our city. Every call to customer service, every building permit, every suspension of a student should be quantified and shown – transparency is essential.

To assist in this endeavor, I will ask the City Manager to implement a 24-hour Customer Service Center to be more responsive to residents and businesses.

We must demonstrate our work to the larger community, to researchers and to the residents of Worcester so we can provide a better understanding of the tactics and strategies that are implemented. We must be held accountable.

I hear the rising chorus of gentrification, of rising rents that come with rising home prices, and we should address them. As part of the Housing Now Initiative that we announced a month ago, we called for the formation of the Advisory Committee on Housing. We will examine housing options for all of our residents, renters, and home owners in neighborhoods.

We will examine our housing stock for patterns of neglect, foreclosures and code violations, and focus our city’s resources on those neighborhoods and properties most in need. We will work together to address issues and work with our State Legislature to develop tools and secure resources that currently do not exist.

Moving forward, we need to create a city that will embrace the challenges of the 21st century.

We will continue to review our public health policies within the community to address issues such as the opioid crisis, mental health issues, sexual education deficiencies and homelessness.

When we talk about a cleaner city and cleaner neighborhoods, a more eco-friendly city, this extends into many areas. We have seen the success our City has experienced through investments in green technologies and renewable energies. We have one of the largest municipal solar arrays of any city in Massachusetts. These investments bring successes and I want the City Manager to bring to the council a sustainability program that makes Worcester the greenest city in America. I have created a new city council subcommittee to deal with the concerns of environmental issues. For example, at the last City Council session, we banned single use plastic bags which are a good starting point for this coming decade.

Sustainability and environmental resilience relates to the way our population moves around the city and the state of the WRTA. We must better utilize the WRTA system to determine how we will encourage more public transportation use in our city and safer bike and pedestrian travel. This will help reduce our carbon footprint.

We also need to address and enforce issues like code violation and illegal dumping. We are investing in our city, our parks and our street-scapes so we must also invest in improving our trash and recycling programs to keep our neighborhoods clean. I will be asking the City Manager to reintroduce his plan to clean up our city and increase the monitoring and enforcement of illegal dumping.

As Worcester has become a cultural destination for many, we still need to do more. The city has embarked on ambitious programs to create urban art. The most notable of these is the murals created by Pow Wow.

What our city has in murals, we lack in public sculpture. Art in the Park at Elm Park is a great addition to the cityscape, but we need something more permanent such as an ART PARK and public sculptures and I’d like to see that project move forward in one of our parks or open spaces.

When we reexamine our city facilities as part of a larger community use, we need to examine how we are utilizing them at the city, state, and federal level. Even as we are building two new high schools, we need to examine other public facilities and spaces to see if they are being utilized to the highest and best levels.

Parks like Foley Stadium and Duffy Field need to be renovated and improved not just for the use of our schools but for outside organizations like the Worcester World Cup or the Worcester Rugby Club. These events build community and enrich our entire city.

For myself, I see the DPW yard in the heart of Shrewsbury Street as a key opportunity to continue the economic development in that commercial corridor in the coming years. I will be convening a committee of business and neighborhood leaders to work with the city administration to identify a new location for our Public Works offices and facilities. This will give our city a chance to modernize operations, serve our constituents and free up the Albany Street garage space and East Worcester Street DPW buildings for future development.

One of my goals since I started public office was to invest in the Worcester school system, infrastructure, and public education of our children. Much of the future of our city’s successes begins in the classroom. Currently, we are in the process of building two new high schools and I expect that they will come in on-time and under-budget just as Nelson Place Elementary School did. This is not a process where we can stand still. With forty-four school facilities we must always be investing and looking towards the future needs of our children, our city and our economy as a whole. Going forward I will continue to advocate for a new Burncoat High School and Worcester East Middle School in the coming years.

As we start this new term, I am particularly proud of the part Worcester played in getting the new Student Opportunity Act passed and signed into law. As the Worcester School Committee begins work on next year’s budget, the additional funding planned by the Act will allow us to do more to meet the needs of all of Worcester’s students. This additional funding will be instrumental in addressing all our students’ diverse backgrounds and educate the whole child.

Whatever their needs are, whatever language they speak at home, whatever race or ethnicity or gender or identity our students are, they are OUR students. As the mayor of the city and the chair of the Worcester School Committee, I commit to the Worcester Public Schools being fair and equitable in supporting every one of our students. It is critical that the spending of new funding reflect all the needs of our students, our schools, and our community.

I call upon the elected officials, School administrators, Community Leaders and Worcester residents to work together to set strategic goals, and provide clear metrics for our schools. As chair of the Worcester School Committee, I will be working with our state association to organize a retreat with the School Committee to identify strategies and approaches for handling the continuous changing social economic environment of the urban cities and public education. I will also be appointing a School Committee task force to assist in the review of the School Committee rules and agenda format. Prior to the Worcester Public Schools’ administration proposing a budget this spring, the Finance and Operations subcommittee will hold multiple budget hearings across the city to ensure that all of Worcester’s voices are heard. We will incorporate tools and resources to closely track and monitor progress and use of these funds to ensure positive and effective outcomes in our educational process.

Another important part of education is health awareness. In this term we will enact a comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education curriculum. I will also propose that we use the additional funding to create additional health educators in the Worcester public schools.

In closing, I have stood on this stage every two years since 1998 and sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution and to serve the people of Worcester. Just as in 1998 the work before us is great and it remains an honor to serve.

I am proud to be the Mayor of the City of Worcester and I would be remiss, if I did not mention those who make my job easier and our city better. These are the fine men and women who work for our city. Our city workers have experienced great highs and great sorrow this year. From the DPW workers who saved a child’s life, Peter Lamoureaux and Daniel Patenaude are here tonight, to Fire Lieutenant Jason Menard who lost his life.

Fire Chief Michael Lavoie is here tonight. He has persevered and has shown great leadership. RECOGNIZE CHIEF LAVOIE. I also want to recognize the countless unnamed police officers who keep us safe, the DPW workers who keep our city clean and the teachers and principals in the schools who educate our children and the city employees.

We honor and thank you, though your talents many sometime go unrecognized. We need to study the City’s human capital, focus on retaining talented staff and review our work culture and benefits so we do not lose you to our private counterparts.

Though our city has changed, I still feel the same way I did the first time I took the oath of office: a lucky kid from Worcester.

I am still that same kid from Webster Square, the fry cook from Big Boy’s restaurant, your kid’s little league coach, your city councilor, your mayor, and most importantly the husband to an amazing woman and the father to three beautiful children.

I am still ready to do the work of the people that I have been honored to do for twenty-two years and I am humbled to have you stand this council and school committee, and with me.

– Joe Petty

Demo at City Hall 7-7-16
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO ATTEND WORCESTER CITY COUNCIL meetings (every Tues, City Hall, 7 p.m.)- ALL PUBLIC MEETINGS – AT Worcester CITY HALL, Main Street, downtown Worcester. And to peacefully protest – express your ideals, hopes and more – before City Hall. The people’s building! ICT file photo



WRTA buses: expensive to ride for working poor/special needs folks, and the buses come ’round once an hour! Often late – as much as 40 minutes! pic: Rose T.

It is ironic: the Worcester city councilor who called the WRTA BUS SERVICE obsolete, intimating the city should put the kibosh on the whole thing – GARY ROSEN (a guy who hasn’t ridden city buses for more than half a century) has ASKED AND RECEIVED THIS City Council SUBCOMMITTEE wish: CHAIRING City of Woo Public Transportation Services subcommittee:


Sensing the political winds have shifted, Gary has not only embraced WRTA buses but wants to make them free for all riders.

Why HAVE THE FATE OF OUR WORKING POOR, IMMIGRANTS AND SPECIAL NEEDS PEOPLE wrapped up in Gary Rosen’s desperate ploy to stay current – and not get his butt voted off the Worcester City Council next election cycle?

Gary has decided to ANNOUNCE TO THE WORLD AT TONIGHT’S Worc city council meeting THAT HE ALONE CAN SAVE US…that he will hold and chair public hearings on free WRTA bus rides for all and making the WRTA work for its riders!

Like we – or the city council – disagree. But, hey, it got Gary some mentions in the press – FREE PUBLICITY, which is something the 70-something Woo pol thrives on.

A Question:
Gary promised, when he “retired” from City Council years ago, that he would not run for public office ever again – and do media, TV shows etc instead. New ventures. CC Gary Rosen said once out, he would stay out – that there should be NO REVOLVING DOOR between punditry and being in public office. Well, here it is, years later AND GARY ROSEN DOES BOTH!


Don’t screw up the WRTA bus public hearings for your fat ego, Gary. And list dates and times of hearings at THE HUB, CITY HALL BUS SHELTER AND OTHER BUS SHELTERS. The old fashioned way. On flyers. TAPE THE ANNOUNCEMENT FLYERS to walls where WRTA riders are! The bus stops. And meet and talk with the people!

– pic/text: Rosalie Tirella

This just in from Steve: IS TRUMP WAGGING THE DOG, OR IS TRUMP A MAD DOG? … + JFK 🎥

By Steven R. Maher

Is Donald Trump a “Mad Dog,” or is he just trying to appeal to votes, as the fictional President did in the celebrated movie “Wage the Dog” by bombing another country? In the American political lexicon, this “Wag the Dog” movie reference means that the President was trying to divert attention from a domestic scandal.

Along with America, this writer woke up on Friday January 3, 2020, to find out that we are a big step closer to being at war with Iran after President Donald Trump ordered the U.S. military to kill Iranian Quds force commander Qassim Soleimani. The Quds force is a unit of the Iranian military that conducts terror attacks abroad against foreign states, usually in conjunction with terrorist groups such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the Shiite militias in Iraq. I think Trump had no idea about the outrageousness of his actions. Qassim Soleimani was an evil man who deserted to die for his crimes. But Trump was not going after some terrorist leader hiding in a cave. He was going after one of the most powerful men in the Iranian hierarchy. I don’t think he understood how this would look to the rest of his countrymen, never mind the rest of the world.

I lean to the theory that this was a “Wag the Dog” motivation compounded by Trump’s incompetence.

This was a situation of Trump trying to solidify his base and not comprehending the enormity of what he was doing.

I’m also starting to wonder how much more Trump has to do to solidify his base. If the people supporting him are not satisfied with Trump now, nothing Trump does will change their minds. If they won’t vote for him now, they never will.

If Trump was trying to provoke Iran, he couldn’t have done anything more provocative then killing the second highest leader in the Iranian state. This would be equivalent to a foreign state killing on American (or Canadian or Mexican) soil the U.S. Secretary of Defense. It was an act of war against a country the United States has not declared war on.

Do you feel safer?

After the Soleimani killing, Trump said Americans should feel safer.

Former Defense Secretary and CIA Director Leon Panetta on Friday warned the U.S. is now closer to entering a conflict with Iran than it has been for decades following the President Donald Trump-authorized airstrike that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. Soleimani, among other activities, was the commander in chief of the Quds force.

Panetta, who headed the Pentagon from 2011 to 2013, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer “the real question” about the killing was not about if he agreed with the strike but “whether or not this action has given us less of a chance of going to war or increases the chances of war” according to the Huffington Post website. “And I think right now we are closer to war with Iran than we’ve been in the last 40 years. “And that is a danger that we have to pay attention to that was not dealt with with one act.”

JFK – so superior to Trump, our moron in chief!

Why Going Vegan is the Ultimate New Year’s Resolution🍾♥️ + 🎶


New year, new eating habits!😊

It’s a new year, and that means a New Year’s resolution may be on your mind. Perhaps you’ve decided to drop a few pounds to fit back into those favorite jeans that are hiding in the back of your closet, or maybe you’d like to do your part to save the planet. No matter what your goals are, follow through this year by going vegan, and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier, happier new year!

You won’t believe how easy it is. You can accomplish all of the following New Year’s resolutions simultaneously—just by going vegan:

🍾1. Be More Adventurous

If you’re bored with your daily routine and eating the same foods, there’s a whole new world of vegan food for you to explore. Seitan, tempeh, and tofu can all be prepared in a number of delicious ways.
Roll that roulade!

Search through some of our favorite vegan recipes to get started: visit PETA.ORG

🍾2. Be Kinder

What could be more kind than saving animals? This new year, give up animal flesh and other animal-derived foods and switch to a compassionate plant-based diet.

Cute Cows!

🍾3. Lose Weight

Following a vegan diet that’s full of fruits and veggies has helped many people lose weight. Of course, tons of junk food options are vegan, too, so be sure to steer clear of processed foods if you really want to kick your weight loss to the next level!

flat belly♥️!

🍾4. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

A staggering 51 percent or more of global greenhouse-gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture, according to a report published by the Worldwatch Institute. While biking to work is a great way to cut down on emissions, nothing compares to the impact you’ll make when you go vegan.

Save her – 🌎🌎🌎♥️!!!

🍾5. Save Water

While skipping showers is one way to conserve water, the very best way is by going vegan. More than half of the water used in the United States today goes to animal agriculture, and since farmed animals produce 130 times more excrement than the human population, the run-off from farm waste is fouling our waterways.

🍾6. Be Healthier

Rose lost 20 pounds after going veggie, cutting back on sugar and eating more mindfully!

Vegans are approximately one-ninth as likely to be obese as meat-eaters and have a cancer rate that is only 40 percent that of meat-eaters. People who consume animal-derived foods are also at increased risk for many other illnesses, including strokes, obesity, osteoporosis, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, multiple allergies, diabetes, and food poisoning. Learn more about the health benefits of vegetarian eating.

🍾7. Reduce Your Cholesterol

Did you know that cholesterol is only found in animal-derived foods? For a healthier year, go vegan to cut out all cholesterol from your diet.

🍾8. Update Your Wardrobe🧣🧤


Being vegan isn’t just about food choices — animals suffer and are killed for fur, leather, and wool. If your New Year’s resolution is to update your wardrobe, be sure to make compassionate choices like buying fashionable vegan leather and other synthetic options.

♥️9. Donate to Charity
Consider donating old fur items to the homeless to help keep them warm this winter.

♥️10. Save Money
Not only does eating veggies keep you healthier, it also helps you save money! Compared to the prices of animal flesh, plant-based staples — like beans, rice, pasta, and tofu — are much cheaper than meat.

♥️11. Travel More
Put aside any savings you have from not purchasing meat or expensive animal skins, and use the money for a trip to a place you’ve always wanted to explore.

If any of these New Year’s resolutions are on your list, make sure you follow through with them by going vegan — you’ll accomplish your goals and so much more!


The Fifth Beatle♥️♥️🎶♥️: