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Nov. 3 vote for write-in candidate Peter Stefan – Governor’s Council, District 7!!

By Rosalie Tirella

Abhorrent – my neighbors. After yesterday’s crazed cupcake incident, then the WHITE-PAINT-all-over-Rose’s car catastrophe, I guess it’s time for my nemesis to vacuum her car! No heart.

Homeles Coalition 2012
Peter has always helped Worcester’s homeless. ICT file photo.

The opposite of my friend, Main South community activist and one-man social service agency Peter Stefan, owner of Graham, Putnam and Mahoney Funeral Home at 838 Main St. Peter’s the Heart of Worcester’s Main South neighborhood!!

Peter saw my paint-covered-car photo and called me to say: MOVE OUT! THEY’RE GONNA GO AFTER YOUR DOGS! I’LL PAY FOR YOUR CAR TO BE WASHED AT THE CARWASH! COME DOWN FOR SOME MONEY!!

You know, my friend Peter is ALL HEART, no matter what some folks at City Hall may think! Injustice of any kind moves him – even though he’s seen a lot in his 80+ years and he’s been in the middle of so many great battles for social justice here in our city, often on the vanquished side. Yet, he never despairs, his heart never grows cold, never turns away, unmoved, by people in need. Peter’s never dismissive of poverty, homelessness, domestic violence, animal cruelty.

Peter is running for Mass Governors Council, District 7, – you should vote for this good, unpretentious man! … Today, you’d think he’d be calling me for a positive political story. Ingratiating himself with this writer and inner-city newspaper owner. Pushing for some pretty prose. Nope. Peter called me this afternoon because he was moved by my car pic and plight – got in touch with me to HELP ME, offer real feelings about my dogs, my life, the safety of us all. And expressing real dismay at the actions of bad actors.

This is the Peter Stefan I’ve known – Worcester has known – for years and years. The guy who gives food to the hungry, helps indigent seniors pay for their prescription meds, helps another elderly person pay his heating bill, buries Worcester’s unwanted: the scrawny homeless guys found in train box cars, dead in the dead of winter … the murdered gang members … little babies tragically mute, their sweet breath stopped cold…their parents too poor to pay for their caskets (so small!) and their burial sites and funeral services. No one cares about these people. They have no clout. Peter has always cared for them … loved them.

If you write Peter Stefan’s name on the ballot line where it says governors council and fill in the oval next to his name on November 3, if you elect Peter to Governors Council, we will ALL GET A FIERCE LOVER OF SOCIAL JUSTICE, RACIAL EQUALITY, COMPASSION FOR ALL – especially the state’s most vulnerable. He will make Massachusetts courts MORE JUST – racially balanced, lots of women judges/clerk magistrates, less incarceration and more community service/true rehabilitation.

A bonus: Peter will also donate his entire Governors Council salary – a $36,000 a year salary – for two years – to Worcester County Food Pantries and Homeless Shelters: from Fitchburg and Gardner to Southbridge and Webster. The Worcester County Food Bank in Shrewsbury, too. And the Veterans Shelter and Pernet Health food pantries, right here in Worcester. Milford and Athol, small towns but also struggling with hunger, especially during these days of COVID and job layoffs/economic landslides, will get money, too. Most likely Peter will visit the food pantries to check out the operations for himself! He was a board member and a HUGE advocate of the now gone PIP WET HOMELESS SHELTER down the road from him, in Main South, at the cusp of downtown. Peter would go every week to Nissans Wholesale Bakery on Quinsig Ave and buy a ton of freshly made pastries, rolls and more for all the homeless people at the PIP. Every week. He’d then drive down to the PIP, deliver them to the wet shelter on the corner of Charlton and Main and talk to the people there, visit with the staffers, buck up PIP Executive Director Buddy Brousseau, who loved Peter. Peter used to say: “I’m the PIP’s junkyard dog!” He was right! Whenever the PIP was in the news and it was bad, Peter was all over the situation asking newspaper readers, rhetorically: WHAT IF THIS WAS YOUR MOTHER OR DAUGHTER OR SON OR FATHER? He always saw THE HOMELESS PERSON as a person first and foremost. A human being, God’s child.

๐Ÿฆ‹ During the COVID 19 pandemic Peter doesn’t spread the novel corona virus – he wears his facial mask and social distances – but he still spreads love. Always has. As the owner of Graham, Putnam and Mahoney Funeral Home, he cleansed and cared for the bodies of AIDS patients when no one would touch them. It was in the 1980s and no other funeral homes wanted to wash, embalm, respect the bodies of deceased HIV patients; funeral home owners were fearful of the relatively new virus – thought they could catch it through body fluids. Plus, many funeral home directors were just plain old homophobic and didn’t want to deal with gay folks and their friends and families.

Peter led the way – became an advocate for people with HIV BEFORE ANY ONE ELSE IN HIS BUSINESS. This decision, I will never forget, because it was so selfless and fearless.

Classic Peter.

Please vote for our Classic Peter (Stefan) on November 3!!

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FYI:

New Rose Column: SPENCER VOTES?๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ

Hard Times in My Old Spencer Town

By Rosalie Tirella

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SPENCER during this Election Season: I’m thinking of the sweet people I used to live next to in the poor part of this town: Elm, Mechanic, Main streets. Old row houses built for the factory workers – Spencer was once a French town known for its sheet metal workers, blue collar thru and thru. Then the SAAD factories, the mills down the road in Dudley and Douglas closed, like all our factories and mills here in Worcester, then 1, 2, 3! Spencer became poor. Spencer in many places looks like my part of Blackstone River Road …

But except for one creepy neighbor – like the creeps here who CREEP me out! – I liked the people of Spencer. The poorer folks in this big, sprawling Central Massachusetts town – my Elm and Maple street neighbors, tenants living in the long row houses, were unfailingly polite, modest … a quiet friendliness suffused their “hello”‘s, “have a nice day”‘s. And everyone was a builder/crafter: they fixed their porches, weaved beautiful fake flower wreaths for their front doors, added bits and pieces of wood to their little garden fences …

I saw their poverty and, unlike the hustlers here in my buildings, they did lots of improvisation when it came to surviving poverty: the old guys carved their own crooked walking canes, the ladies had shopping carts just like my late Mom did when we lived in Green Island, and they pulled their shopping wagons up the hill to the supermarket to grocery shop – and pulled it home. In all kinds of weather. Sometimes I’d offer an old woman a ride – proud and quietly determined, she always declined. I was nice but I wasn’t a Spencer girl. New in town.

Often I’d go to Spencer Town Hall, pictured here, to talk with Laura the Town Clerk and try to make an appointment with the Town Manager (ha!). Laura was polite but, my advocacy for the poor people fell on deaf ears. Laura, I’d say, WHY NOT HAVE A TOWN COMMUNITY GARDEN IN THAT BIG TOWN LOT NEAR MY HOUSE? The people need free fresh veggies and … What about a FOOD HUB like they have in Northern Worcester County?

My suggestions were met with a Laura smile, condescending, stubborn as a mule …

So WHEN I SAW ALL THESE POOR SPENCER FOLKS WALKING IN THE SLUSH, A WET SNOW FALLING ON A DARK NOVEMBER NIGHT TO TOWN HALL – ELECTION NIGHT IN SPENCER – I WAS APPALLED. Some folks were in their motorized wheelchairs driving along with traffic! Most were drenched, a few weren’t wearing boots …

The old Republican middle classers of Spencer had their big old Caddies and Buicks parked in the town hall parking lot and voted with ease. They came out in droves to re-validate old ways, the same old same old pols …

I voted – and asked a poll worker: IS THIS THE ONLY PLACE TO VOTE? TOWN HALL? WHY NOT A POLLING SITE AT THE PUBLIC HOUSING, IN THE COMMUNITY ROOM, OVER WHERE I LIVE? Why have the poor from my area walk in snowstorms and the cold?

The old woman poll worker replied: WE DON’T EVEN HAVE ONE IN OUR SENIOR HOUSING! WE NEED ONE THERE!

Laura and all the Spencer movers and shakers were practicing their own version of voter suppression. With their small town smiles… So many people/voters living on Elm, Mechanic, Maple, Main streets and more probably looked out their windows on that election night and …left their canes by their doors…and stayed home that Election Night.

Next day I drove down to Congressman McGovern’s office off of Shrewsbury Street – Spencer is part of his Congressional District. He is supposed to represent the people of Spencer. Upset I told Chief of Staff Gladys Rodriguez Parker and other McGovern staffers what I witnessed the night before. WE NEED MORE POLLING SITES! IT’S NOT FAIR!!!

Comfy cats. Entitled cats. They gave me the same look that the Spencer movers and shakers had given me!! …and did nothing.

โคLove to all my Spencer neighbors who vote despite the voter disenfranchisement in Spencer, courtesy of Congressman Jim McGovern, oblivious Town Clerk Laura, the Boneheaded Spencer selectmen and pointless Spencer town administrator.

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FYI:

Edith in Rose’s space! …The Vice-Presidential Debate๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ’ƒ

My VP Debate Notes

By Edith Morgan

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Edith

The Vice-Presidential Debate. It was a relief, compared to the Trump-Biden fiasco days earlier. Though the rules were the same as for the Presidential Debate, the two participants followed them much better, and their interchanges were much more civilized – and more rational.

Of course, there were the usual lies and distortions, which you can check in great detail in the CNN Fact Check video. There is not time in this article to get into all of them! VP Mike Pence was his usual colorless, acolyte self and dutifully repeated his bossโ€™ stories. Often he did not fully adhere to the time limits and often ignored the warnings of moderator Susan Page, who had generated many good questions in the nine areas she wanted covered, and who – by and large – kept control of the event.

I kept an eye on Democratic nominee Kamala Harris, and I found she really comes across as a caring human being – and as someone who does not let anyone walk over her, as Pence tried repeatedly to do. Women are accustomed to being interrupted or ignored by men in conversation โ€“ but Kamala simply smiled and said โ€œI am talkingโ€ and continued to speak.

The CNN Fact Check found some inaccuracies in both speakers’ answers but, of course, far more and more serious ones on Penceโ€™s part.

The format, nine areas in 10-minute segments, did not allow any in-depth discussion of any important topic. The areas covered included the COVID Pandemic, the role of the Vice President (both candidates for President are well over 70 years old and, therefore, there is reasonable belief that one of them may be unable to complete his term), Trumpโ€™s present health (voters need to know), the economy (here there was the greatest divergence from the truth), climate change, China, Americaโ€™s role in the world, the Supreme Court (where Pence kept insisting Kamala tell him whether the Democrats intended to pack the Court if they win โ€“ forgetting or not mentioning how the Republicans had just done that and were about to continue), the future of Roe v. Wade, the future of ACA (I was disappointed that Kamala did not more forcefully remind everyone that the Republicans had been trying to get rid of ACA for years, saying for the last decade that they had a health plan for Anericans, but we had never seen one), racial justice, and the upcoming elections.

At one point, Senator Harris went into her background, as many voters do not yet know her well โ€“ and it was a good summary of all her impressive experience and the skills she would bring to the White House. She did a good job of elaborating on Joe Bidenโ€™s beliefs and defending his programs, too.

Perhaps this will be the last debate for this election, as Donald Trump has just announced that he will not participate in any more debates, if they are virtual. I think that after his insane performance in the first debate, he has decided not to risk another such fiasco … or maybe he really is ill enough not to be able to do it? Nevertheless, he plans to do his mega-rallies instead, where he continues to spread the novel corona virus … and all his lies.

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MEENA FOR PRESIDENT!!!:


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President Donald J. Trump has COVID 19

By Edith Morgan

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Edith

The COVID 19 virus is truly an equal opportunity invader – and seems finally to have reached the supposedly safest house in America -the Trump White House.

After Trump called the virus a โ€œDemocratsโ€™ hoaxโ€ and saying it would just disappear and telling reporter Bob Woodward that he knew how deadly it was but did not tell the public because he did not want to panic us … and leading millions of Americans to avoid wearing face masks … now has come home to Trumpland. Trump and wife Melania are at Walter Reed Hospital, under quarantine, and for all practical purposes out of mainstream life for a couple of weeks.

This is so close to the November election! Trump is – of course – in a Presidential Suite in the hospital, getting the best medical care in the world … and he claims he will carry on his presidential duties from Walter Reed. He does not look well …

Meanwhile, Trump has exposed so many people around him: not just family members, but staff, military personnel, Secret Service men and women and all those tasked with guarding and transporting him, not to mention the thousands packed together in his rallies.


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Most of us have continued to listen to Dr. Anthony Fauci and our doctors and the research scientists who have continuously reminded us to wash our hands, wear facial masks and keep our distance.

Let us all hope that the very professional staff at Walter Reed, who have in the past performed so many near-miracles, will be on top of this problem and that Trump will quickly recover, without the really bad time that Boris Johnson of the UK experienced.

Do you all recall the story of โ€œThe boy who cried wolfโ€? After so many lies, misinformation, flip-flops, and incessant tweets, my first instinct was that this news was just another diversion caused by Trump because of his plummeting poll figures to provide an excuse to delay the election – or to say it was all rigged. When you have been lied to often enough, you begin to question everything.

I will assume for the time being, that this is the real thing: apparently the Trump tweets that used to come in the middle of the night, by the dozens, seem to have stopped โ€“ a sign that Trump is not up to doing that!

There are so many questions, but this White House is so secretive that we can only speculate.
So, stay tuned, wear your masks, wash your hands, stay 6 feet apart and keep healthy โ€“ flu season is just around the corner.

Happy Birthday, John!โค๐Ÿฆ‹โค

By Rosalie Tirella

A week ago, when I went to Family Health Center for my EKG, I brought along … John Lennon. An old broad with a trembly ticker and a dead Beatle making their way through Worcester’s Piedmont neighborhood. How strange!

At the time I thought: I’ll be at FHC for awhile, let’s bring some reading material …

But why John Lennon? I’ve got a ton of books and mags in my shack. Why did I grab a 10-year-old copy of a truncated ROLLING STONE (owner/publisher Jann W. had just shrunk his once iconic magazine) that was buried on a book shelf buried behind a clothes rack stuffed with my favorite tee shirts and blouses? A magazine I hadn’t read since the day I bought it, a decade ago?

Simply put: JOHN LENNON. He made me feel safe, protected. John would watch over me as I trembled under my hospital johnny. I would close my eyes and squeeze tight my Rolling Stone as my old heart-beat was recorded …


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A friend had prayed over me that week, put his pudgy hand on my shoulder and asked God for a healthy heart and tranquility, then promising he’d buy me a new Bible – one with PINK covers! For girls! I said to him: I’ll try a new take on this God thing – “Whatever gets you though this life!” A few days earlier the pastor of Woo’s premier Catholic church had come through for me with grace and a deep comprehension of the hungry heart. But maybe not mine. Pre-EKG test, the heart monitor that gets the sticky squares and wires all tangled in the beginning, as I looked mortality square in the puss and the FHC EKG technician complained about her old EKG machine … I closed my eyes and eschewed my friend’s Pink Bible verses, forgot the Jesus hanging from the cross and chose BEATLES instead. John’s Music. Amazing harmonies. The real God, for me.

John Lennon, the beautiful. The perfectly human deity I’ve been praying to since I was 14 years old in my Green Island bedroom with those ugly green painted walls and brown metal bed! It’s always been John! – Beatles and post-Beatles. You choose what MATTERS as you are wheeled in and out of the hospital and sit naked on the examination table.

LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS. NOWHERE MAN. IN MY LIFE. STRAWBERRY FIELDS. All John Lennon masterpieces. John: the sarcastic Beatle, the angry Beatle, the intellectual Beatle, the Beatle in restless search of his mother who had abandoned him. The Beatle of lullabies, ocean tides, harmonicas, fists and honesty. The Beatle who played his guitar in that sexy bow-legged stance. The Beatle who’s seen my less-than beautiful smile (a gap between my two front teeth since I was 9!) – and still loved me enough to sing his beautiful songs to me!


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The God my late Mom, Cecelia, loved so much she worshipped him on the Ed Sullivan Show and wore him on her Keds! A pair of white Keds with the faces of John, Paul, George and Ringo stamped all over them. All the kids wore ’em back then. As a two-year-old I sat at my mom’s feet, mesmerized by the cute mop-top boys on her Keds, the boys she sometimes danced to in the kitchen, turning the volume up on her white plastic radio sitting atop our old refrigerator, singing with them: I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND! TWIST AND SHOUT!! HELP! Ma polka-ed, jitterbugged, waltzed around our big kitchen floor – she loved to dance and knew all the dances from the 1940s and ’50s – but she also free-formed grooved to the new rock n roll. Because she had rhythm and was a joyful person, despite – maybe because of – her hard life. THE BEATLES AND THEIR MUSIC AND THEIR IDEAS MOVED HER. Our Lafayette Street tenement was our concert hall, dance hall …


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Our youngish Ma, raised in and oppressed by the Catholic church, loved the Beatles gorgeousness, their FREEDOM, CREATIVITY, YOUTH. She, along with millions of young people all over the world, had caught the YOUTH WAVE of the 1960s! And ever since then, America’s worshipped youth, everything young.

I am rewatching the Beatles classic movie, their best in my opinion, A HARD DAYS NIGHT, starring John and his (soul)mates … and feeling Peace and Love (God). It’s an early ’60s Dick Lester film that truly captures the Beatles, their off-beat humor, their wit, their spirit and their early music. Plus, the times: Beatlemania and the ascendancy of youth culture, the out with the old and in with the YOUTH vibes, the soft poking at the nose of society: 1940s/50s music, middle-aged people, old time-y TV variety shows, public relations marketing schemes, teams and offices filled with pr flaks AT THE MERCY OF YOUTH they can never understand because they aren’t young. … Pointless charts, mundane surveys and fake trend-setters. ALL TO BE UPENDED BY THE FAB FOUR AS THEY TAKE OVER – by the sweetest of storms – STODGY OFFICES, BORING TV SHOWS, POINTLESS TV PRODUCERS, CLUELESS OLDER FOLKS, EVEN FAMILY and WOMEN (they call women “birds”). The Beatles are their own family – close to each other in their Beatle bubble. John in love with Paul – and vice versa. They make their own intimate magic – but share it with the world. How lucky we are! Free and truly themselves only when out of the clutches of their wild girl groupies, insistent managers, nagging director, boring TV producer. FREE in their beautiful songs:

This film still holds up for me – not like their HELP! flick, made a few years after A HARD DAY’S NIGHT, or their goofy Christmas radio mini-shows. I love their animated YELLOW SUBMARINE but not as much as their kinetic A HARD DAY’S NIGHT! It’s in black and white and feels very off the cuff, very Beatles … The guys say things in the movie they WOULD HAVE SAID IN REAL LIFE. But it was all scripted, all in the movie script! Great writing!!

For me, as an old lady in 2020, the thrill of the flick is STILL WATCHING THE BEATLES PLAY THEIR MUSIC. STILL WATCHING JOHN LENNON PICK HIS GUITAR. STILL THE SIGHT OF PURE HAPPINESS – GOD – AS GREAT, GIFTED FRIENDS GRAB THEIR GUITARS AND DRUMSTICKS … to sing their song.

โคHappy Birthday, John Lennon – October 9. We love you and still miss you!โค

EDITH๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ – ALWAYS IN STYLE! … WHAT PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE??

By Edith Morgan

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Edith – our political reporter! Our former scribe, Steve Maher, is struggling … his Parkinson’s disease has worsened. We pray for Steve.

What I watched on TV – Tuesday night’s presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump – could not, by any stretch of the imagination, be called a debate. The rules, clearly enunciated by moderator Chris Wallace and agreed to by both debaters, were totally violated and ignored by Donald Trump. That was surely no surprise from Trump, an acolyte of the infamous Roy Cohn, the evil brains behind the late divisive US Senator Joe McCarthy. We saw, in full application, that technique being used on us at that show. Call it that! As that it was!!


Trump incites American hate groups to disrupt the November 3 election, intimidating ALL voters.

I recall the McCarthy era well โ€“ and recognize the technique, a set of experiences perfected by Hitlerโ€™s propaganda minister, Goebbels. Name-calling, lying, blaming everyone else, deflecting and out shouting your adversary. And never taking responsibility. Changing the subject whenever incontrovertible facts get in the way.


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So how do I summarize this circus? Questioner Wallace did his best to ask the questions on six topics he had prepared, trying to give equal time to each speaker, and allowing for comments and /or rebuttals. Trump interrupted incessantly, so it was really difficult to hear what Joe Biden had to say on any subject, despite constant attempts by Wallace to re-enforce the rules.

The audience, sparse due to the threat of the novel coronavirus/COVID 19, obeyed the rule that they were to abstain from clapping, commenting, etc. They did observe absolute silence all through the show. Some were wearing masks (Notably, the First Lady was masked, though not most of the Trump side.)


Trump – indecent. He slammed Beau, the dead son of Joe Biden – and he called Hunter Biden a drug addict. Hunter is in recovery.

The event took place on the campus of Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio. Had the rules been followed, the program was to be divided into six 15-minute segments with a topic for each segment. Neither candidate had seen the questions ahead of time. Among subjects of questions were the major issues facing our country: the Supreme Court, COVID 19, our economy, race in America, โ€œlaw and orderโ€ and climate change.

There had been a lot of discussion on media as to how each candidate was preparing for the debate. Clearly, Trump had no need to prepare, as he failed to adhere to the format, did not answer with any but invented facts, and simply veered to personal attacks. Trump described a U.S. economy that is so great I hardly recognized that he might have been talking about America โ€“ unless you think that the greed-ridden Dow Jones is the real picture.

After decades of attempts to kill the Affordable Care Act, Trump still had no plan in place – after almost FOUR years in office! He continued to blame the huge California fires on โ€œpoor forest management,โ€ ignoring the fact that the Federal Government owns most of the forests that are on fire! Hence, they were under Trump’s control!! Whose “poor forest management” was that?! That was only one example, but you get the drift. Fact checkers will have a field day with all the other Trump lies and distortions.


โค historian Jon Meacham – who’s voted for Dems and Republicans.

I am concerned that this fiasco will have been widely viewed overseas, with obvious repercussions for Americaโ€™s reputation, so badly damaged already by the Trump administration. But I believe that the good, common sense of much of the American public, will, after watching three of these “debate” spectacles, will finally reel and turn from Donald Trump in disgust and clean house. Those of us who are teachers know that you have to hear something three times before it takes.

In the famous words of U.S. Army lawyer Welch (our own Massachusetts-ian): Have you no shame, sir?โ€

Of course the answer was, and is, NO.

Rats Off to You, Worcester City Councilor Donna Colorio!๐Ÿญ

By Rosalie Tirella

I received a phone call last week from an elegant gent I used to know and love. He lives at the gateway to our city’s elegant West Side: Homer Street, Institute Road, Massachusetts Ave …home to the Antiquarian Society building, depository of the first newspapers of our grand USA – newspapers containing the musings of Thomas Payne … His neighborhood is also home to WPI, our city’s engineering university where the finest scientific minds help search for the cure to COVID … Streets where tree canopies make you feel you are in Wellesley or Weston as you drive down the tree-lined Flag or Troy streets, the wide enough to host a parade Massachusetts Ave.

Now his elegant neighborhood is RATSVILLE – rats climbing West Side trees, rat burrows in West Side back yards, rats skittering up Mass Ave, rats nibbling on organic eggplants in chi chi West Side organic carefully tended gardens – gardens where Opera records have played – to the annoyance of my elegant old gent friend: he listens to ZZ Top and Greg Alman – LOVES Southern Rock.

All Southern Man past as he watched a big-ar*ed rat climb the tree by his back yard and another rat, smallish, hang from one of his many front porch bird feeders. The City of Worcester came to his doorstep and claimed: you’re the rat-magnet! Shut down your bird feeders!!

My elegant old gent thought: LIKE HE*L I’ll stop feeding my pretty robbins, feisty blue jays and hardscrabble little English sparrows. Not to mention the humming birds with their sugar water dispenser – now frequented by savvy Worcester rats!

My old friend – who loves nature but not rats – has exterminated twice. The rats return. He has had confabs with the city and his lawyer – and telephoned me. Not to take me to a socially distanced Martin Sexton concert as I had begged but to WHINE ABOUT RATS AND THE CITY. Not senior Sex in the City – but Rats in the City. A new kind of TV show, starring him but, alas, not I …๐Ÿ“ฝ

I said to him: Sweetie, I adore you, but I implore you: I have my own RAT problem here in Quinsig Village with my own rats to fret about – and they have guns and tasers. Rats bigger than your rats, and stinkier, too … but not as bright!

Worcester City Councilor at Large Donna Colorio declared at last night’s Worcester City Council meeting: WORCESTER IS FULL OF RATS: THEY’RE INUNDATING PARK AVE, VERNON HILL, GRAFTON STREET. We need to look into this rodent problem. She asked City Manager Ed Augustus to eradicate all the Worcester rats who destroy our happiness, peace of mind and organic eggplants! I second that emotion … and say, “Rats off to you, City Councilor Donna Colorio!”
WIL+ratsgluetrap+NC+PO+DB
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Letโ€™s Hear it for the Apple!!๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ

By Edith Morgan

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Edith tending her urban garden. pic: R.T.

Itโ€™s apple-picking time, and our local orchards are full of Worcester County apple pickers, whole families, filling bags with fragrant, perfect apples! Not since Eve succumbed to the temptation of the serpent and got Adam to take a bite of that fatal apple, has this fruit played such an important part in our lives.

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You can make roasted apple squash soup!

When you stop to give it some thought, apples play a big part in many areas of our lives: in our language (“You are the apple of my eye!”); in our folk lore (โ€œAn apple a day keeps the doctor away!โ€) and in the vernacular – โ€œAs American as apple pie,” โ€œMotherhood and apple pie,โ€ to name but a few of the most common.

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Bake your own this fall! pics: Chef Joey

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Whether we stop to think about it, we use apples in so many ways: apple sauce for babies, apple cider vinegar, apple butter to spread on our bread, apple juice, apple cider and hard cider to drink. And a close examination of the various juice drinks will show you that apple juice is added to all the other juices (probably because it is cheaper than the other fruits mentioned on the label).

We are very fortunate to have so many choices in our supermarkets: Macintoshes, Galas, yellow and red delicious, Green Granny Smiths and innumerable other varieties. Some tiny and almost round, others large and more oval. And with Halloween just around the corner, it will be โ€œapple bobbing timeโ€œ soon. Socially distanced, of course …

The apple is infinitely versatile, and can be used in breads, pies, cakes, cupcakes or just wrapped in pie crust and baked. Fancy dishes like apple strudel are around most of the year, and of course caramel apples make their yearly appearance this time of year. Apple-filled puff pastries are among my favorites. And apples get along with nearly every other kind of fruit, blending in or as fillers.

Apples are enhanced with cinnamon, honey, and nutmeg, or any other spices you favor.

I like to experiment with the different kinds of apple, as each variety has its own flavor, sweetness and reaction to heat: some disintegrate and are great for apple sauce, others stay firm and crisp even when baked. There is an apple for everything you may want to cook!

One of my own favorite quick snacks? A nuked baked apple! Just clean out the apple core, put a mixture of honey, a bit of lemon juice, some cinnamon into the cavity, and microwave it for 3 to 5 minutes โ€“ the time depends on the type of apple you are using. You might want to top it off with a bit of whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream.

Enjoy!!!

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Edith and family at one of Edith’s birthday dinners๐ŸŒธ

Yom Kippur 5781

By Edith Morgan

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Edithโค

Rosh Hashanah has come and gone, the 10 days of repentance are ending – the culmination of all that soul-searching is Yom Kippur, which falls on the tenth day of Tishri in the Jewish calendar. All Jewish holidays begin on the eve before, a tradition that has survived in Christian tradition on Christmas: Christmas Eve.

Preparing for Yom Kippur involves remembering and repenting for the errors and sins of the past year and resolving to do better in the coming year. Most Western religions have some version of these rites. There is confession among Catholics and the universal New Year ritual of making resolutions.

The actual preparation for fasting begins with a hearty meal just before the evening of the start of Yom Kippur โ€“ in preparation for the whole day following when we are enjoined to give up pleasurable activities. The Torah enumerates them as follows: 1) no eating or drinking; 2) no bathing; 3) no anointing the body with oils; 4) no wearing of leather shoes (this is a reference to the fact that leather shoes long ago were much more comfortable than going barefoot; and 5) no sexual relations. These were the activities that were considered pleasurable at that time. I think we could probably add to that list, as we have far more self-indulgences available to us now …

There are, of course, services … and this highest of holidays is treated as a Sabbath service (the Sabbath is the highest holiday).

Because I had moved around so much while growing up, my family never really got bonded with a particular congregation. But my parents, as much as possible, observed the holidays, though my father came from a Reform Jewish background and my mother was a convert to Judaism. So we practiced an interesting mix of traditions in our home!

The beginning evening service in the synagogue is called โ€œKol Nidreiโ€ โ€“ and I still have recollections of a chant by that name which we heard on that evening. I think its sad and haunting melody helps to put us in the right frame of mind โ€“ to begin the day of fasting and repenting.

Without the daily distractions, we can then spend the day putting our spiritual and physical house in order: making plans for an improved year, creating an improved self and making certain that our word is good. This is a time also for re-examining our relationship to God and remembering what it is that is expected of us.

I would like to close with a quote from Michael Strassfeldโ€™s book โ€œThe Jewish Holidaysโ€:

โ€œOpen for us the gates of light, blessing, joy, knowledge, splendor, confession, merit, compassion, purity, salvation, atonement, kindness, forgiveness, solace, pardon, assistance, sustenance, righteousness, healing, peace and repentance.โ€

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Try these terrific fall recipes! (yes, they’re veggie!โค)

FORGO THE TURKEY THIS AUTUMN … STOP THE TORTURE ON FACTORY FARMS – CUT BACK ON YOUR POULTRY, BEEF, LAMB AT YOUR HARVEST FEASTS!

EAT YOUR VEGGIES!

Try these terrific fall recipes from PETA:

โคSAVORY STUFFED SQUASH

Ingredients:

2 oz. vegan margarine, plus extra for brushing the squash

2 Tbsp. maple syrup, plus extra for brushing the squash

Pinch ground cinnamon

Pinch grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

2 1-lb. squash (acorn or winter squash work well), cut in half lengthwise and seeded

2 vegan sausages, sliced

1 green apple, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350ยฐF.

Melt the vegan margarine in a small saucepan over low heat or in the microwave and stir in the maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Spoon into the seeded squash halves and bake for about 40 minutes, or until you can pierce the skin with a fork.

Pour the margarine mixture from the center into a medium bowl.

Scoop out some of the cooked squash flesh with a spoon, making sure to leave enough at the bottom so that the squash hold their shape, and add to the bowl.

Add the vegan sausages, apples and walnuts and mix until well combined.

Fill each squash half with the mixture, then brush with vegan margarine and maple syrup.

Cover with foil and bake for another 35 to 40 minutes.

Makes 4 servings

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โค”CHEESY” PUMPKIN RAVIOLI

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Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. vegan margarine (try Earth Balance brand)

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. cumin

Dash white or black pepper

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/4 cup ground cashews

1 cup pumpkin purรฉe

8 fresh premade lasagna sheets

Instructions:

Melt the vegan margarine in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin, pepper, sea salt and cashews and stir until well combined.

Add in the pumpkin purรฉe and continue stirring and mashing until the consistency resembles that of mashed potatoes.

Lay the fresh lasagna sheets on a flat surface and place a dollop of the pumpkin-cashew mixture every 2 inches.

Lay another lasagna sheet on top and press down around the filling. Cut into squares, using a fork to seal the edges.

Gently add to a pot of boiling water and cook for 15 minutes.

Serve with your favorite sauce for the perfect pumpkin dinner!

Makes 4 servings

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โคBUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

Ingredients:

1 cup carrots, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

1 bay leaf

6 sprigs fresh parsley

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1 Tbsp. whole peppercorns

1 cup white wine

5 cups water

2 large onions, diced, with 1/4 cup reserved

3 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Pinch of nutmeg, to taste

1/4 cup Corn Nuts snack, plain flavor, coarsely crushed, for garnish

Instructions:

Place the carrot, celery, parsley, thyme, peppercorns, bay leaf, white wine, water and all but 1/4 cup of the onions in a large pot, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 hours.

Strain the soup, discard the pulp, and return the liquid to the pot.

Add the squash and remaining onion to the pot and cook over medium heat until the squash is tender.

Transfer the squash, onion, and one cup of the liquid (reserving the remaining liquid in a separate container) to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Season it with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Pour the purรฉe back into the pot and add some of the reserved liquid, stirring to achieve desired consistency. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle Corn Nuts over each.

Makes 4 servings

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โคPUMPKIN SPICE PANCAKES

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Pick your own this fall!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups vanilla almond milk

2 Tbsp. vinegar

1 cup pumpkin purรฉe

2 Tbsp. vegan margarine, melted (try Earth Balance brand)

2 Tbsp. maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla syrup

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

3 Tbsp. brown sugar

2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Instructions:

Combine the almond milk, vinegar, pumpkin purรฉe, vegan margarine, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and vegetable oil in a large bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients, then let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
Spray a skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into the skillet.

When the batter starts to bubble, flip and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

Repeat with the remaining batter.

Serve with maple syrup and a pinch of pumpkin pie spice for a delicious breakfast!

Makes 12 Servings!

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NO!!

Their beaks are seared off, they’re crammed into teeny cages…they sit in their own excrement … PLEASE! FORGO THE TURKEYS AT YOUR HARVEST FEASTS! – Rose T.


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