What will it take to bring us together as a people and as a nation?
America is hurting in so many ways. The novel coronavirus is killing more people every day. Each one of us will be touched by the loss of someone near to us or that of a friend or family member.
What can we do to get through these very challenging times?
We can pray, be kind, refocus on what is really important. Let’s face it: Life is precious and life is short.
Bill in his younger days when he painted/created American flags with the community all over Worcester County/America. One of his public art 🇺🇸🇺🇸 …
Just the other day we were facing the devastation of the attack on America with 911 in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. – that was nearly 20 years ago. Then the Mid East wars … Now this pandemic. It is not going away any time soon, and Washington politicians better realize it. The Pandemic of 1916-1920s killed more than half a million Americans … This one has killed more than 132,000 …
I hope to help America by helping us be better people. The movement to finally end systemic racism in every day practice will not let up.
Bill with helpers …
I hope and embrace the effort of us as Americans to see our past and create a new future that breaks the chains that have held us to a sub-human and second class status as a people. For that I have, over the years, painted the American flag on rusted old fences (with permission from local governments), walls, etc in Worcester and 16 states – from Hiram, Maine, to Kauai, Hawaii.
Worcester had six of my flags at one time. Now there is just one a fence on Frontage Road, off Lincoln Street.
The good people of Philadelphia invited me to paint an American flag on a 150-foot fence of the
American Legion Ball Field in North East Philadelphia. The summer campers dedicated the flag by saying the Pledge of Allegiance at its dedication.
I hope we come together as caring Americans with a bright future. It will take time and patience, but some day we will all be able to “BREATHE.” Black Lives Matter for all.
– William S. Coleman III
REPARATIONS – NOW
By Rosalie Tirella
HARRIET: Watch this movie tonight!
RIP, John Lewis.🇺🇸🇺🇸 To honor a GREAT AMERICAN, ONE OF OUR CIVIL RIGHTS ICONS, America must begin to make reparations.
Let us start with FREE PUBLIC UNIVERSITY AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOR ALL AFRICAN AMERICANS in our country. DESCENDANTS OF AFRICAN AMERICAN SLAVES. A beginning. … I watched the film HARRIET two nights ago. …
HARRIET DVD cover♥️
Wonderful film – not as harrowing or intense as it could have been, but the filmmakers said they wanted their movie HOPEFUL. And it is. It is rated PG 13 – perfect for all junior and senior high students. Should be shown in all American schools – public and private. THE BRUTAL REALITY WAS CONVEYED in this beautifully acted movie – it MADE ME REALIZE WE NEED TO MAKE REPARATIONS. Now. Please watch this movie with your kids this weekend!
Here in Worcester we can begin with FREE Worcester State University and Quinsigamond Community College for all DESCENDANTS OF SLAVES. Our Black brothers and sisters. NOW. White folks, especially our fat glue pot politicians, know how to make the system work for them. They must SHARE THE WEALTH. Former Worcester District 4 City Councilor Barbara Haller made all the right calls and got her daughter a history professor job at Worcester State University (WSU) on the West Side. T and G ACE COLUMNIST Jim Dempsey (he told me) COULD NOT GET A TEACHING JOB at WSU WHEN HE RETIRED FROM THE NEWSPAPER – that is how “connected” you must be – but operator/political Haller got her daughter in alright. Her daughter is even head of the professors’ union…more politics. Haller’s daughter has a great job, great pay – for life. Pathetic. … WHY NOT HAVE BARBARA’S DAUGHTER – WHOSE KID IS NAMED HARRIET – give back? Why not have her do the right thing and PUSH FOR FREE COLLEGE CLASSES AND BOOKS for all of Worcester’s Black, African Americans at WSU? Now. The City must follow thru. … WHITES HAVE FEATHERED THEIR NESTS FOR CENTURIES. Haller and her daughter are a bold example of that. Why not have them do FOR Worcester BLACKS WHAT Babs DID FOR her DAUGHTER?
One of my favorite marinades is the everything one: fresh parsley, cilantro, rosemary – even mint. Put it all in a blender, with some oil and lemon juice. It is great on chicken or fish! It is really tasty – my favorite summer dressing!💙
Lets face it – you are home and need snacks! Especially healthy ones! These “cakes” topped with a dollop of sour cream are delicious – and nutritious. And easy to make!
1 zucchini, shredded
1 cup flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup or slightly more (depending on zucchini size)
A HANDFUL OF CHOPPED MINT OR BASIL!!!!
Mix everything EXCEPT the zucchini and mint or basil. Your mix should have the consistency of a thick pancake mix (which it is … less vanilla – double recipe!)
Then add the zucchini.
In a fry pan, heat a 1/4 inch of high heat oil – like sunflower. Drop large tablespoons in the pan (don’t splash!). They will level out – and like with a pancake it will bubble.
Flip it over and cook until golden – place on a paper towel.
Then arrange on a platter and serve with a little sour cream for dipping. Enjoy!
During the pandemic, Chef Joey does the right thing and always wears a facial mask when shopping for groceries – or when he’s in crowded public spaces where social distancing is challenging!
We Need a New PIP – and the ol’ Buddy!
By Rose T.
I took these pics yesterday:
Worcester’s Canal District: the Green Street Bridge’s homeless folks
Heading into the Canal District from Downtown Worcester
We’ve got 10, 15 homeless folks under the Green Street bridge in the Canal District every day. All summer. … Some wear facial masks – some don’t. …
Former Worcester District 4 City Councilor Barbara Haller once said she was the only “legitimate” person in the PIP/Main South neighborhood (she lives on nearby Castle Street) … And so a 10-year battle to close the PIP began. Babs and her allies, esp Billy Breault, won: Worcester’s wet shelter closed. But the social ills didn’t go away. The city is now filled with homeless camps, homeless panhandlers, homeless hot spots by railroad tracks … We have THE HIGHEST HOMELESS POPULATION IN THE STATE – 13% – and we don’t have a comprehensive homeless shelter like the PIP – which had a great support staff: nurses, social workers, a doctor/saint, a cafeteria that served two meals a day – and catered City of Worcester events – and a compassionate executive director – Buddy Brousseau. I miss Buddy.
And with all the Green Island Gentrification …
Text+pics by Rose T.
… My old Green Island streets are being repaved like never before! I mean, like never! Bigelow, Lafayette, Harding, Endicott, Washington … and with freshly painted crosswalks, too:
Capped off by a total redo of the Crompton Park basketball courts and park entrance/walkways! … They say gentrification – when not actually removing the poor people of the ‘hood – improves the cosmetics of their surroundings: We get new sidewalks, street lights, benches … curb-cuts … trees are planted:
Crompton Park, yesterday
More police presence:
We’d love💓 to see this guy💓 in our neck of the woods!
But the neighborhood people are still poor, the kids are still hungry, the rents are still too high, the good factory jobs gone, opportunities squelched. So no big societal change here, folks. More glaring inequity, when you think about it.
IMPORTANT!!!! From CNN.COM:
Following the Trump administration’s decision to reroute coronavirus hospital data first to the administration, instead of sending it to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some data is no longer available on the CDC.gov website.
We here are “action” people, and we are always ready with quick solutions to complex problems. We are at it again.
Before we make major changes to some of our oldest institutions, let’s use the time we have in coronavirus quarantine to reason, get facts, and THINK – something which seems to be much out of style nowadays.
We are under some pressure to change the Worcester Police Department. There are calls to defund the WPD, to move some of its funding to other city programs or to change the way in which services are rendered. It is not only the police who are under pressure to change; schools, voting and many other governmental services are also under attack. The
U.S. Post Office is under scrutiny, too, and our health care system (which is actually a sickness care system) is also under attack – often just to save money or to make sure that all are equally served.
All institutions and organizations suffer “hardening of the arteries”: they really need to be reviewed and revitalized periodically and brought into the present. That is why we hear about term limits. We have limits on licences for various professions, as new techniques and new knowledge become available.
Right now, here, we face demands to make major changes to our police department – primarily to make sure that minorities are treated respectfully and fairly. Everyone agrees those are noble and doable goals. But achieving them will require a number of serious changes, not only in our police department, but in a number of other organizations involved in these changes.
We need to ask ourselves some serious questions and to get answers that will enable us to still have protection in many areas now performed by the police. Over the years, more and more of the tasks usually done by others are being done by the police (the same is true of the schools).
So let us first ask ourselves: What functions are the police fulfilling now? Ask them to list all that they do: safety, CPR, domestic interventions, chasing down wanted persons, traffic control, community policing, election supervision, etc. … What functions do we want our police department to perform? Which of their functions are better done by other organizations? What training and education, and how frequently, should we require of police officers so they can be up-to-date and fully informed in the performance of their duties? How do we pay for any new services? If money is short, what do we cut for these new services?
When we have really answered all these questions, involving all the “stakeholders,” then we can form a plan and make some intelligent and long-term changes.
And above all, in a free society, it will be the responsibility of us all to continually monitor what goes on, keep our elected representatives in the loop, and exercise the responsibilities of citizenship all the time.
The new technologies can help, but so far, there is no substitute for a real human on the scene. I have been disappointed in the pictures from body cams. There is still no substitute for trust, for good training, good will – and, for all of us who work for and are paid by the public, to remember at all times that we (police officers, teachers, nurses, all government employees and elected officials) are PUBLIC SERVANTS.
Now that many states are reopening for business, it feels like we are returning to some semblance of normalcy.
Scratch the surface of this new normal, however, and we find cause for concern: Greenhouse-gas emissions are creeping back up dangerously fast, partly because people are shunning public transportation in favor of private cars in order to avoid exposure to the coronavirus.
How can we, as individuals, ease the pressure on our planet, while still social distancing? By going vegan.
In April, daily fossil fuel emissions around the world were 17% lower than in the previous year, and U.S. vehicle use dropped by around half.
Now that productivity is climbing back up, transportation-related emissions are doing the same. Many workers are driving their own cars to work — instead of taking the bus or train — to limit their risk of contracting COVID-19. The London School of Economics warned Britons that if they start relying on private transportation, they may see emissions exceed pre-pandemic levels. The U.S. faces a similar predicament: Bloomberg analysis found that public transportation ridership in major cities dropped by 50 to 90% from pre-coronavirus levels.
Climate change experts say that moving forward, the government must incentivize greener forms of technology, such as electric vehicles. These are important reforms, but they take time and money, and Americans facing economic insecurity do not necessarily have readily available funds to buy a new car. So, while we wait for our policymakers to do their part, we, too, can make a major difference at home, through our choice of food.
A study by the University of Oxford concluded that eating vegan might be the single biggest way we can reduce our climate impact: “It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car.” Going vegan would not just reduce our carbon footprint: It would also reduce emissions of highly potent greenhouse gases, such as methane and nitrous oxide. New Scientist reported that producing just over 2 pounds of beef caused more greenhouse-gas emissions than driving a car for three hours!
Worldwide adoption of vegan foods would reduce contamination of the air and waterways with antibiotic-laden animal manure. Farm owners often spray this waste into the air, which can sicken people living near the facilities. Nitrogen-rich waste that washes into bodies of water causes algal blooms and large “dead zones” in our oceans and rivers, which is disastrous for marine health.
Try vegan ice-cream this summer! At Trader Joes in Shrewsbury, Rt 9, right over the bridge.
Vegan foods require less land to produce than meat and dairy, because rather than growing crops to feed animals and then eating those animals, we can simply eat the crops ourselves. This presents a compelling solution to world hunger. Currently, meat and dairy production uses 83% of farmland and generates 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse-gas emissions, only to provide people with just 18% of all calories and 37% of all protein.
Going vegan avoids the deforestation — and subsequent habitat and biodiversity loss — that comes with animal agriculture. This is a particularly pressing concern during a pandemic that originated in an animal host: Destroying forests forces wild animals into close proximity with humans, making us vulnerable to new and unprecedented diseases.
Let’s not forget the other concern in a post-coronavirus economy: finances. For those of us needing to tighten our purse strings while the economy recovers, there are notable economic advantages to going vegan. A study of over 1,000 Americans found that meat-eaters spent around $23 more on groceries per week than vegetarians or vegans, who also save plenty in health costs: The Guardian reported that every year, about $285 billion is spent treating illnesses caused by eating red meat.
Most significantly, going vegan saves scores of animals from a life of intensive confinement — cut off from everything that would make their lives natural and meaningful — and a violent, painful death. Let’s show kindness to animals, our planet and our bank accounts by going vegan today and encouraging our friends and family to do the same.
❤❤Yummy Vegan Recipes❤❤:
Get your blender ready! Cool Blender Smoothies:
PLEASE HAVE A LISTEN! EXCELLENT MICHAEL MOORE RUMBLE PODCAST, #95. – Rose T:
Yesterday I saw our WPD – our day to day beat cops – at their BEST. Guns were fired on Hope Ave. and WHOOSH!!!! I was driving in South Worcster running my biz – but SoWoo quickly became A MOVIE! It was like the ENTIRE Worcester Police FORCE WAS RUSHING TO THE GUNFIRE. Scores of guys from all directions. To Save people. To get the bad guys! To put themselves in harm’s way for … the citizenry. In a matter of minutes!
On Cambridge Street I saw WPD police cruisers converged on a three decker.
Cambridge Street. pics: R.T.
Up a ways on Canterbury I saw one of their cool undercover vice squad guys zooming to the action. So young! So fearless. Now the lights were flashing and the the siren was on in his crumby hoodmobile. The cop looked just like a punk. I mean. WOW.
Then a ton more police cruisers on Webster Street where several kids were stopped, on the sidewalk, outside their vehicle looking … concerned. One cop was GINGERLY leading one of the kids into the paddy wagon. Handled with care. No police brutality to my eyes. And, of course, Hope Ave. was yellow taped and our boys and gals in blue were down there on top of things. Pics were taken of this long black box in the driveway of the Webster Sq Firehouse by a cool lady cop.
Webster Square Fire Station
Hard at work. Serious stuff.
Traffic was stopped and slowed down. All the cops were working together, no yelling, no strutting their stuff. … I couldn’t even hear them talk! And believe me, I was doing some serious rubber necking! Our police officers were total professionals. The WPD at its finest.
Now, a letter from one of our readers:
I am emailing you to let you know of the problem of fireworks going off and the WPD response to our complaints. I live at 44 Elm St. and a man comes to the parking lot of the Ghanaian Presbyterian Church almost every night (except when it rains) and shoots off fireworks. He has set a nearby bush on fire (photo attached) and terrified two Yemeni children rescued from the fighting living next door.
I am terrified he will set the trees under my unit on fire or disrupt the gas meters on the outside of the building. When I have called the WPD …there is no action taken when the fireworks are being shot off at that moment. Last night (7/8/2020) the police claimed they never heard of the Ghanaian Presbyterian Church (the former Chestnut Street Congregational Church)!!!
Today, myself and a friend went down,in person, to WPD headquarters to speak to an officer and were sent home with a promise of beat officers coming to speak with us. We came home and waited…no one called or came.
My friend called the WPD again…said no information or contact info was left…we left contact info. This is so frustrating.
Could you cover this problem? I am sure we aren’t the only people who have experienced this recently.
Editor’s response: Althea, we’ve been on this CITY-WIDE ISSUE since the end of June!! THESE NEW FIREWORKS ARE MAJOR. LIKE EAST PARK FIREWORKS. LOUD. PROPULSIVE. LIKE BEING IN A WAR ZONE. They can start fires in buildings, if fired too closely – which they usually are, right in the middle of our densely populated city neighborhoods. We call, too. And we stay on top of the guys that shoot the works! You have to! The cops are overwhelmed with major stuff(see my above post). … We called you – and left a voicemail. Call us!
– Rose T.
Public Outdoor Town Hall to Demand a People’s COVID-19 Bailout!
Tomorrow! July 11, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 pm
Where? East Park, 180 Shrewsbury St. Worcester!
We Want Bernie Worcester and Humanity First Movement Massachusetts, with participation from other organizations, as part of a coordinated national event organized by the Movement for a People’s Party (MPP, peoplesparty.org), will be bringing to our Representative our demands for a full “people’s stimulus” in the next Congressional Covid Stimulus Bill (see below.)
Congressman Jim McGovern of Worcester has agreed to be present to hear our stories and respond to us.
Face masks and social distancing will be expected of all participants.
This will a peaceful non-violent event in the spirit of democratic civic engagement.
The event will be live-streamed for those who can’t (or shouldn’t) attend in person.
Chris Horton of Worcester, a volunteer with We Want Bernie Worcester, said: “In the coming months, if parts of the economy fail to recover and many small business are allowed to fail, and if the extra unemployment relief payments and the moratoria on foreclosures and evictions end as scheduled, people rightly fear that their situations would become desperate.
“Congress has already authorized trillions of dollars in financial relief and assistance to large financial institutions, corporations and the very wealthy. We are asking our Representatives to firmly block any new relief package that doesn’t fully fund the needs of the people.”
The demands, in short, are:
1. Defund police and divert funds back to schools and social services
2. Medicare for all
3. Monthly $2,000 cash payments for all
4. Cover payroll to protect small business jobs
5. Suspend rent and mortgage payments
6. Suspend student and credit card loan payments
RECIPE FROM CHEF JOEY!
America! Eat in moderation! Stop supersizing your meals! … Did you know that 1 serving of meat/protein should be the size of a deck of cards? … 🌸🌷Make this low-cal rice salad by Chef Joey and be on your way to health … Just in:
🌸🌸TEXT AND PHOTOS BY CHEF JOEY:
💐Rice is not just a side starch – it makes a wonderful salad in the summertime! Nice and cold!
Joey’s rice salad
🌷Make a homemade salad dressing with crushed cloves of garlic, Dijon mustard, oil and apple cider vinegar.
Chopped cloves of garlic, garlic bulb
❤Then cook your rice – brown rice has protein for you vegans.
Throughout the country and the world, the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic continues – and with no end in sight. Everyone has their opinion on what to do or not to do but, remember, there is no manual written on what to do next. We are all trying to figure this all out and hopefully listen to what health professionals are telling us on how to be safe.
When it comes to education, everyone has an opinion on how we should educate our students as we move forward. These last four months of the school year in Worcester – and America – were traumatic for our parents, students and teachers. Now everyone is trying to figure out how we educate our students for the coming school year. The new normal …
Chef Joey’s Gigi working on her math homework the previous school year. pics: J.C.
Whatever Worcester decides to do, it will have to be a new normal for our public schools. School districts everywhere are grappling with whether they continue with virtual learning, use a hybrid model (a combination of face to face instruction and online learning) or take a chance and go back to school full time – with many restrictions.
In Worcester, our school superintendent Maureen Binienda told the Worcester School Committee at a special July meeting that the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has asked state school districts to prepare three plans for the new school year: One plan would be for students returning to school, the others are remote learning or the hybrid model which is a combination of both. The plans are due in August, with additional informational guidelines being sent out later this month.
📚DESE guidelines include the stipulations that all students in grade 2 and up wear a facial mask …
📗📘 … and there must be at least 3 feet of space between all students.
After a long discussion and looking at the school budget as presented by WPS Chief Financial Officer Brian Allen $12.7 million more would be needed for a reopening of our city schools.
Puzzle time at home after a dip in the pool!
🖊Our school district would be hampered by having only 20 students per school bus …
… additional materials including PPE – personal protective equipment – cleaning supplies, more custodial staff, school nurses, school bus monitors, childcare programs and technology equipment are all part of the cost increase.
The school committee, due to the cost and the safety factors, did not see this as a viable option and suggested that the hybrid model would make more sense. This model combines face to face instruction with online learning. Students may be in school one week, with another group of students coming in the second week. In the off-week students would be home doing on-line learning. This model can lend itself to individualized learning, collaboration via online discussions and several modes of interacting with course content for various learning styles.
Other ideas with this model could be having K to grade three come Monday and Wednesday and grades 4 to 6 come in to school on Tuesday and Thursday, with all students participating in distance learning on Friday.
There could also be many other combinations as well.
To assist in the planning, Superintendent Binienda will put together several teams to review all the options for our school district.
In the meantime, Superintendent Binienda will continue her quest for connectivity via online learning, as well as trying to get every student in the district a Chromebook. She has also sent out a survey to our parents for their input about the next school year and their experience with remote learning. Questions are asked about access to the Internet, student support at home, access to food, transportation to school and more.
Depending on updates to the COVID crisis these plans may change.
However, no matter what plan we adopt, it will not take the place of a normal school day, for there is no substitute for learning that takes place in a school setting. Personally, as a former WPS school principal (Belmont Community School), the shutdown must be especially difficult for our K to grades 3 children to overcome. These school years are the developmental periods in a child’s life and cannot be replicated by on-line learning.
There will have to be social distancing and mask-wearing at all school assemblies in WPS auditoriums and gyms this coming school year.
Many in education feel that due to the COVID slide and lack of summer learning, many students will return to school in the fall with around 70% learning gains in reading achievement and less than 50% in math.
Learning is at the core of any school, but learning also has social and emotional aspects – and that is another area that will have to be addressed. Yes, this will be a difficult school year for our students and our teachers, but rest assured: Worcester’s Superintendent Binienda, who is such a tireless worker, will do her utmost to have our students, with the assistance of their parents, succeed academically, emotionally and socially this coming school year!
One of our city’s high schools – North High. ICT file photo
Our Vernon Hill Elementary School on Providence Street.❤ CECELIA file pic
Disclaimer: I am not Italian, nor Catholic. I am simply a resident of Worcester, here since 1967.
So how do I feel about the vandalizing of the statue of Christopher Columbus outside Worcester’s Union Station?
Worcester is home to a great multitude of statues, military markers, war memorials and other statuary. We have seen the Burnside statue – or “Turtle Boy” – in downtown Worcester; the Major Taylor statue outside the Worcester Public Library … the Vietnam War memorial in Green Hill Park, the Korean War memorial, The World War II memorial at Brittan Square, the Citizens of Color World War II Honor Roll by Lincoln Square – all on public property.
The Citizens of Color World War II Honor Roll
We also have religious statuary on various religious properties and some statuary on private properties.
Worcester is replete with sculptures of all sorts, with different meanings and histories.
In my own home, I have a small replica of Michelangelo’s Moses and a brass Buddha, both gifts. My own religious tradition forbids making “graven images,” and so I have naturally looked at these as works of art, or expressions of the beliefs of others.
But I was also raised in the belief that we must respect what others value and that if these things represent imperfect or even evil lives and beliefs, it’s my job to try to educate people – or at least get them to see how others see them. It was never my assumption that if something offends me, I could simply decide to deface or destroy it.
The Christopher Columbus statue outside Worcester’s Union Station was recently defaced with a can of red paint. City workers power-washed it (almost) clean. Columbus statues, all over America have been toppled or defaced after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police and America’s ensuing reckoning with systemic racism and subjugation of peoples.
So, let us look at Christopher Columbus: for me, he was a historical figure who believed, against most of the people of his day, that the earth was round, and he could find a shorter way to India by water. Remember: it was the royal family of Spain, not Italy, that funded the voyage that led him to these shores. (That is why we still mistakenly call our indigenous peoples “Indians.”)
Voyages of explorations were common in those days – many triggered by the desire to get to the spices and other riches of Asia. Actually, we are not named Columbia, but America, after Amerigo Vespucci. So I am not sure what the defacing of Columbus really means, except that someone, or some group, feels a need to express hatred for whatever they think Columbus represents. I personally do not believe this is the way to express that, as there is no educational value to this behavior, and there are numerous better ways of opening conversations with the descendants of this particular historical figure. We might all find out that the genocidal behavior of the early settlers here was not peculiar to Italians, nor was it unusual for the time (or even for our time!).
Slaves built the White House
Holding just white people responsible for slavery is really a very narrow view of history: it seems that we humans, every time we achieve power over our fellow humans, set about enslaving them. And many of our greatest monuments and works of art were created by the captives of the rulers: the pyramids were built by slave labor, the great cathedrals of Europe by serfs and peons, and I do not think the Great Wall of China was built by the Emperor’s own hands. Look anywhere in the world, and you will find the great creations commissioned by the rich and powerful, but not made by them.
We have only very gradually crept out of the grasp of the rich and powerful and the idea that all men (and lately, also women) are created equal. How many millennia did THAT take?
So, I do not believe in defacing or destroying what may be works of art, unless their creators see that they are inappropriate. I do not want to see a repeat of what my family left in Europe in 1933 – the book burnings, the vandalizing of Jewish stores, our synagogues and homes and, finally, the attempted extermination of those deemed “inferior.”
Let us think carefully about what history REALLY teaches.
“Turtle Boy” during the days of March For Our Lives!
Why are most Americans overweight, obese – even morbidly obese? OVER-EATING SUPER-SIZED MEALS! And not eating enough veggies and fruits; consuming way too much fat in meat, dairy products and even dessert! Too much sugar, too! A national disgrace! A national health crisis! … AMERICA: STOP SUPER-SIZING YOUR MEALS! EAT LESS!! EAT LESS MEAT! FILL UP ON FRUITS, VEGGIES AND VEGAN GOODNESS! – Rose T.
Summer is almost here, and that means sunshine, swimming pools and social-distance socializing within small groups! Throw a grill in the mix, and you’ve got a perfect BBQ!
But if you find yourself at a cookout with omnivorous friends, have no fear: You’re in a great place to spread awareness about living a cruelty-free lifestyle.
🌞1. Bring Your Favorite Mock Meats
Or make your own black bean veggie burger!
Most meat-eaters are unaware of how delicious vegan foods can be. Show them by bringing along your favorite grillable plant-based protein. There are loads of options at grocery stores, or you can get fancy and make your own.
🌞 2. Know the Facts
By bringing your own foods to the party, you’re already opening up the conversation. The next step is to know the facts. Be ready for the “standard” questions, such as:
What do you eat?
Where do you get your protein?
Don’t we need meat, eggs, and dairy products to be healthy?
Isn’t eating meat natural?
And our favorite:
If you were starving on a boat at sea and there was an animal on board, would you eat that animal?
Answers to these and all the other “frequently asked questions” can be found here.
🌞3. Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve
If bringing your own faux meat doesn’t do it, then a stylish and poignant T-shirt from the PETA Catalog will definitely get the conversation started. Check out our selection of animal rights tees to see if there’s something that speaks to you — so that you can speak to them.
❤ 4. Don’t Forget the Sides
Why stop at the burgers and dogs when there are so many delicious classic summer sides that you can veganize? Try PETA’s recipes for coleslaw, pasta salad, baked beans, potato salad, and chocolate pudding to get conversations going and mouths watering.
❤ 5. Set a Good Example
It’s important that we set a good example whenever we’re advocating for animals. We don’t want to give meat-eaters any excuse not to take us seriously, so beware of some common pitfalls:
Don’t accost people with your points. Try and work animal rights into the conversation subtly. People are generally curious and will ask about it.
Build people up! Instead of telling them how many animals they harm each year, tell them how many animals they could save (200 each year if they go vegan).
Leave the “meat is murder” talk out of it. This will likely start a heated argument, and you don’t want to be that vegan who ruined the party.
If the cook uses the same utensils to cook both meat and veggie options, don’t make a huge issue out of it. Remember: It’s not about personal purity. It’s about advocating for the animals who are suffering on factory farms.
Be yourself! You’re not talking to a group of strangers, you’re talking to friends. Appeal gently to them as individuals. For example, if you know that a family member is trying to get healthy, tell that person about the health benefits of going vegan. If a bacon-loving friend has a dog, tell that person that pigs are smarter than dogs.
❤Remember: You’re right. The facts, scientific studies, and ethics are on your side, so don’t get frustrated. Just by chatting casually about animals rights, you’re making a huge difference for animals.
Every interaction starts conversations, opens hearts, and changes minds. Even a few words can start people on the path to making the kind choice for themselves, the planet, and animals: going vegan. Good luck!
Ever want to make a pasta topping that doesn’t have tomatoes in it? Well, there are other options!
This quickie is simple. You need to take about four or five carrots, peel them and run them through your food processor or grate on a box grater …
Like a regular sauce, you add onion and some garlic to a sauce pan and sauté them down …
Add the carrots and a little water …
… and simmer with a cover. When the carrots are soft, add chickpeas or navy beans or any other kind of beans you like:
If you like, add a little salt and pepper. Voila! You have a great light summer sauce!
Instead of carrots, you can use zucchini …
… – or both! To really dress it up, just before you serve, add a handful of fresh, chopped basil. Enjoy!❤
GREEN ISLAND HOOP DREAMIN’
By Rosalie Tirella
I can’t wait for all this pandemic stuff to end … eventually … so the brandy new Crompton Park basketball courts can open up to Green Island kids and the city’s Crompton Park Summer Basketball League can start up again! …
The City of Worcester did a GREAT job: new courts, new hoops, new bleachers, benches, landscaping … outside: new sidewalks, trees …
The Endicott/Harding streets entrance to Crompton Park, left. Trees are being planted …❤
❤When we were kids growing up in Green Island, my younger sister Rita LOVED PLAYING HOOP! But the Crompton Park basketball courts – and league – were the boys’ business and young men’s, and the guys who hung out at Ben’s Cafe or the PNI on Lafayette Street – many tough, buzz-drunk and knife-carrying. I remember walking by the Crompton Park basketball court with Rita on the Endicott Street side. I was oblivious to the men, boys, sweaty, grunty pick up games, but Rita kept looking wistfully at the guys dribbling that b-ball and doing those fancy lay-up shots – which my kid sister could also execute, perfectly, with her own signature flourishes! – and taking those “free throws” from the court’s faded white lines – which my kid sister could also easily execute.
But the times were different back then. My sister and I knew that she was out of the games because she was a girl, a skinny girl, a quiet girl. Still, she found ways, as all athletic girls in the ‘hood found ways to celebrate their God-given talents. Rita was young and gifted: she found all the places in the city a girl, in the mid-1970s, could play hoop, could be brutally athletic, could run unabashedly, like a boy, and leap and yell and not care how she looked or sounded to the world. Not lady-like. But beautiful in her own beauty! … So Rita played hoop in my Uncle Mark’s driveway with our boy cousins. Uncle Mark had tarred the parking lot, nailed up a brand new basketball hoop with backboard above his garage door. Every holiday, many summer, spring and fall days Uncle Mark would leave his cozy Burncoat ranch and drive to our Lafayette Street three decker, and honk his car horn right under our tenement and Ma and us kids would run down the stairs, scramble into his big gold Elektra and drive off … so we could all hang out in his and his wife’s, our Aunt Mary’s, big back yard and have a hamburger and hotdog cook out, courtesy of Aunt Mary. Ma would sit at their big picnic table and chat with Aunt Mary as she made the feast. I would be on a blanket with my cousin Mary playing Barbies – my cousin had Barbie, Stacy, Skipper, Ken and three Barbie wardrobe cases filled with Barbie clothes and shoes. … Rita would play basketball with our two boy cousins. Both jocky. Whomp. Whomp. Whomp went the real, regulation sized basketball against the backboard. Whoah!! yelled my cousins and sister as their basketball game heated up. My Uncle Mark was an elementary school principal but had loved and played football in college and almost went pro at college graduation. But his life changed when he met and fell in love with my aunt, married her, had three kids with her, began teaching history, bought a teeny house in Burncoat and reveled in the Eisenhower American GI Dream. Uncle Mark loved to see ALL kids playing sports and running under hoops and nets. He always took the older balls from his school and gave them to us kids: scuffed up basketballs; pink, slightly deflated dodge balls; hard regulation sized brown footballs that could smash a window; and less than pristine (beige) volley balls … My sister coveted them all. Uncle Mark gave us our share … I see: Ma grabbing a football from Uncle Mark and smiling her pretty smile…I see het carrying it up our old stairs to our third floor apartment … where Rita slept with her fave Uncle Mark hand-me-down basketball!
Rita’s other second homes: the St. Mary’s high school gym with new basketball court and rows of polished wooden bleachers and shiny red and white painted line floor … and the Winthrop House Girls Club on Providence Street. Our Vernon Hill Girls Club had a big, beat-up basketball court that doubled as a roller-skating rink for us girls …free roller skates for us to use, a free p a system where we could play donated ROLLING STONE albums … Rita played hoop there or often roller skated along the perimeter to I CAN’T GET NO SATISFACTION.
I read my old TIGER BEAT or played Jacks with my cousin, Mary, Uncle Mark’s daughter, in the gym, off to the side, swaying to the Stones. I FELL IN LOVE WITH THE ROLLING STONES MUSIC then, in the corner, outside the painted foul lines, of the Girls Club basketball court, playing Jacks with my cousin.
Anywhere there was rope netting strung through a metal hoop there was my kid sister! Rita loved to run on the St. Mary’s basketball court, the Lamartine Street School cement schoolyard, Uncle Mark’s little driveway … loved to run. Period. She’d hang out at the Lamartine school yard and play Dodge ball or even soccer, not as popular back then, with our downstairs neighbor boys. Sometimes the boys would come up to our flat, to our screen door and rap on it loudly and ask Ma: CAN RITA COME OUT AND PLAY BASEBALL?
It was in the sandlot next door – with a gifted kid named RICH GEDMAN leading the show! Rich lived down the street from us and had his own hardscrabble childhood to overcome. The future Red Sox catcher was a good, quiet kid who could swing that bat and hit that ball over the roof of Val’s building a half block away!! My sister would run wicked fast after that home run! Rich liked Rita. He, like all the boys, never had much use for me – never asked Ma for me to come down and play baseball or softball. Sometimes whiffle ball, if they were desperate and needed a warm body on their team. I was the useless book worm. Rita could hit, field, throw, even pitch. I watched outside our third floor window sometimes but went back to my crafts or my writing.
Rita never walked anywhere in our ol’ Green Island. She ran to Whites, to Oscars, to Messiers Diner, to Petes Dairy Bar on Millbury Street. I always ran after her, struggled to keep up with my jock sister, my knee socks falling down around my ankles. Wait for me, Rita! I’d yell. She had so little body fat. I was mostly body fat.
Our mother, seeing all the uncorked Rita energy EVERY DAY in our house, in our dirt backyard, on the sandlot next door pushed Rita to try out for the St. Mary’s Girls JV and Varsity Basketball Teams. Junior and Senior High Teams. Rita did – and made the teams. She got: a cool red uniform, b-ball practices in the school gym, demanding coaches, home and away b-ball games – and her #1 rabid fan: Ma.
Our single, working-poor, over-worked mother would walk to the St. Marys gym on Richland Street after working all day as a counter girl at the Millbury Street dry cleaners to watch Rita play her home games. …
Still standing: Oscar’s, the dry cleaners where Ma worked.
… or to get a ride with another parent to an away game. Sometimes I would join my mother, but I wasn’t into sports. I got bored during the games, only tagged along because I had a crush on Rita’s teammate and friend’s big brother John. He often went to the games to watch his kid sister play b ball. I went to gawk at him: his tallness, his pretty eyes, his artistic/drawing abilities … his beautiful, thick wavy blond hair that brushed the tops of his shoulders.
But Ma was really engaged! She watched the score board with hawk eyes. Got up and cheered and cheered! After a 10 hour day at the dry cleaners! After her paltry snack and brown bag lunch at work … I can still see her: dumpling shaped, with slightly hunched shoulders from all that labor … getting up, standing on her bleacher seat!! TO CHEER AND SCREAM if Rita intercepted the other team’s pass and got the basketball and was now dribbling the basket ball up the court, going for that lay up. To score those precious two points to help WIN the game!!!
GO! GO! GO, Rita!! our little hunch- backed mother would scream. GO!!! Rita dribbled that b-ball like mad, in her own zone, hearing Ma just along the edges, I am sure. I see my gangly kid sister, knobby-kneed, running and bobbing and weaving in and out of enemy territory TO SCORE! I see Ma in her plum, beige or maroon polyester pants and long matching vests in the same drab colors, the ones that covered her middle-aged-lady tummy, the vests she bought at White’s – with their two big side pockets that held her work pens, scratch pad, receipt pad … and rosary.
I was a little embarrassed. My little mother, an inch over 5 feet tall, flecks of grey hair at the temples, was going bananas! In the bleachers! With the other kids! Ma’s arthritic, knotty knuckles raised in fists with the kids … pumping up and down in the humid, sweat-smelly gym. GO, RITA! GO, RITA!!! Ma screamed.🏀🏀🏀🏀 Our unforgettable mother, Cecelia, with her great, unbreakable heart CHEERING HER SCRAWNY JOCK DAUGHTER TO THE HEAVENS! Hoop lady. Prayer lady! I am next to her now, turn to see Ma whispering a Hail Mary for Rita and making a cross with her crooked right thumb on her thin lips. Hoop prayers. Hoop dreams for her beloved daughter … Ma …
Still standing but soon to be gentrified: Lafayette Street where Rose and her two kid sisters grew up.
Ma and toddler Rose, at Crompton Park: on the knoll, now gone, a ways from the b-ball court.