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The Telegram and Gazette’s Dianne Williamson trolls for readers!

By Rosalie Tirella

You know the spaghetti’s hit the fan at the Telegram & Gazette when T & G columnist Dianne Williamson writes a column begging T & G readers to … keep reading the T & G!

In a recent column, Williamson manages to be more creepy than funny when she 1. calls her readers stupid. She writes: “As most of you know – or maybe you don’t because you’re watching ‘American Idol’ rather than reading this newspaper …, ” and 2. not-so subtly threatens them as she grovels: “… we’re so desperate to hang on to our readers,” she writes, “that we may soon resort to blackmailing anyone who cancels his subscription.”

We suspect she’s only half-kidding.

Continue reading The Telegram and Gazette’s Dianne Williamson trolls for readers!

Lies and more lies

By Jack Hoffman

A word about the Pennsylvania primary: SO! And that’s about all it’s worth. Hilary gained 14 delegates, which will be a wash (a zero gain) once North Carolina votes. Republican nominee John McCain was the big winner – make no mistake about that.

Several months ago I was approached by a friend who suggested I submit a resume, along with a syllabus, on a potential course about truthfulness and the media, to be taught at a near by college. The position was nixed due to the possibility of a conflict with a course on propaganda. At first I questioned that decision, and soon realized the one who raised that possibility was 100% right. The media has in fact become a platform for disseminating higher authorities’ propaganda – not to be mistaken for God’s agenda, although some might think otherwise.

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We don’t want the Circus in this town!

Take a stand for elephants and other wild animals! Boycott Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey Circus!

By Steven Baer

After five years of staving off the legal system, and countless years of denigrating the valid concerns of animal advocates, the big-top tent is about to blow over on the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus revealing the atrocious behavior and animal-abusive activities of their circus, and all circuses in general.

Circus in Court
In August 2007, Federal District Court Judge Sullivan issued a ruling rejecting a last-ditch evasive attempt by Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus to sleeze out of a pending trial over a lawsuit that charges the circus with harming and abusing Asian elephants – that’s a serious violation under the Federal Endangered Species Act.

Continue reading We don’t want the Circus in this town!

Do the right thing, Worcester!

By Rosalie Tirella

When I was a little girl, my mom took me to see a traveling circus. I don’t know in which parking lot/hall the circus had tamped down its stakes and put up its tents, but I do recall it was in Worcester. I remember walking into the saw-dusty smelling circus tent. I remember running over to see a camel – excited about seeing an exotic animal I had read about in school. But low and behold! The camel was chained – his head in shackles – close to the ground. Blame it on my sweet mom, who once freed a “flying” grasshopper I had caught and tied a red string to (with her new manicure scissors she gingerly cut the thread I had wrapped around its skinny brown body and up it “flew” over our third-floor porch railing, back into our yard). Or blame it on the Old World Catholicism that seemed to envelop the Green Island apartment I grew up in – a household run by my Polish immigrant grandmother, “Babci,” who (to me) seemed as formidable as Moses. Whatever the reason, killing, tormenting, even chaining animals was definitely forbidden in my world.

So, it should have come as no surprise to my sweet mom that her little girl would burst into tears and run straight out of the circus tent, screaming her head off at the sight of the distressed camel. My mother never took my two sisters or me to see a live animal act again.

Continue reading Do the right thing, Worcester!

The Hunger issue

Help feed your neighbors

By William S. Coleman III

The words “Hunger in America” can attract the eye of any reader; could Worcester have a hunger crisis? There are many families in Worcester who do not have the basic food essentials in their house. Times are tough, and many folks are just getting by. If you can open your refrigerator and see the abundance of food, you are lucky.

Hunger in Worcester means more than just a few soup kitchens and food pantries providing bags of good quality food to single people and families in need. Hunger means that one has to hold back the pain, hurt or embarrassment of asking for food from a pantry or distant family member or friend.

Each night in Worcester someone goes to bed hungry. Be it the elderly living alone and depressed or a child who is hungry in a house with no food. There is a hunger crisis before our eyes in our community.

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A tale of two cities (or: I’ve got the sucky sidewalk blues)

By Rosalie Tirella

Years ago, I lived on Dewey Street. It wasn’t a great time in my life, and my environment seemed to echo my dire straits – down to the beat-up street and sidewalk. Bumpty, bumpety, bumpety … bump. I got minor whiplash driving down Dewey Street back then.With all its potholes and patch-jobs and tornup sidewalk – especially the stretch from Oberlin Street to Chandler Street – I wondered how kids in the neighborhood safely walked to school (you had to spend a good deal of your trek on the street that lies behind Park Ave and skirts through Main South/Piedmont).To make matters worse, the dumpy street seemed to be an open invitation to slobs of every stripe. People threw away lots of trash on Dewey Street. One Christmas morning I awoke to a dumped sofa and soiled pampers on the sidewalk in front of the three-decker next door. Ho. Ho. Ho.

Well, here it is decades later and a drive down the same stretch of Dewey Street – no doubt named after Worcester’s famous Dewey’s – is still a depressing experience. Look at the photos I took! The street is still busted up, the sidewalk is still torn up and trash is king.

Continue reading A tale of two cities (or: I’ve got the sucky sidewalk blues)

Know your health insurance rights when switching jobs

By Steven R. Maher

Health insurance is a big issue when switching jobs. The story of Mike is instructive when dealing with insurance companies.

Mike (not his real name) started a new job in September 2007, moving from a large corporation to a larger corporation, both companies having the same health insurer. In his early fifties, Mike was in good health except for soreness in the arms brought on by aggressive weight lifting, which had been diagnosed prior to starting his new job. Mike started physical therapy for this condition shortly after his new employer’s health insurance kicked in. It was then that Mike received the letter.

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Going bananas in the new Worcester Courthouse!

By Jack Hoffman

Recently, I had to travel to Worcester to retrieve some probated documents. I thought it might be a great opportunity to see the new Courthouse, since it’s been awhile since I visited the old place down at Lincoln Square. And I could save a little on the legal bills.

I was told in advance I could park at the Centrum Parking lot – sorry, you know it’s been a long time. It’s now the DCU.

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Can’t we all just get along?

Rodney King and the four-letter word we don’t want to talk about

By Jack Hoffman

There aren’t enough superlatives to describe the brilliance and eloquence articulated by Barack Obama in his recent speech on race – a speech, even acclaimed by many of his detracters. And criticized by those who for one reason or another never heard parts of the entire speech and already had some pre-conceived agenda. Oh, sure you can grab a line or two and have some questions about its meaning, but to actually change the political winds from a few outtakes out of thousands of sermons by a former pastor I find quite shallow.

Before the ink was dried, the speech was on the hate mongers script to define Obama’s credibility by comparing him with the incendiary remarks of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright: A potential president who showed us honesty, bravery, and courage on a hot and dangerous topic called race, but just as important he showed character and loyalty by not throwing someone under the wheels who had so much meaning in his life and thousands of others.

Continue reading Can’t we all just get along?