Category Archives: Animal Issues

New column by Steve: SOME EARLY THOUGHTS ON THE TRUMP IMPEACHMENT … and🎶🎶

By Steven R. Maher

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Trump being Trump

The vote on whether President Donald J. Trump should be impeached will take place this Wednesday February 5, 2020. To no one’s surprise, a Senate majority will vote to exonerate Trump. That was foretold in the 53-47 party breakdown in the Senate between the parties at the beginning of this process. In this hyper-partisan era, party registration is everything.

Trump will contribute nothing to the reconciliation of a deeply divided America. To the contrary, Trump will make the situation to worse. He will denounce everyone involved in the impeachment. He will denounce the system as “rigged”, even though he benefited the most from any “rigging” which took place.

Addicted to Tweeting

How many problems has Trump made better with his verbose denunciations and damning tweets? Recently I was in a phone conversation with one Trump supporter. I said Trump’s popularity would be far above what it is now if he stopped tweeting. This person heartily agreed.

Another Trump supporter emailed me that Trump was a patriotic American who loved his country and his country’s freedoms. I concede Trump does love his country. If Trump is re-elected, his love of our country’s freedoms will be severely tested. Second terms are when Presidents are usually impeached, and the Presidents get involved in scandals that threaten the Presidency itself (think of Nixon with Watergate and Bill Clinton with Monica Lewinsky.)

Most Americans will put up with a lot, but Trump has clearly become addicted to tweeting, to the point of obsession. A life without tweeting would appear a penalty worse than death to President Trump. He is like a heroin addict who has to maintain a continual state of being high in order to exist. To expect patience, understanding, or an extended hand of reconciliation from an individual trapped in such a circumstance is to expect manna from heaven.

Pelosi’s Goals

I think Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi had several goals in this first Trump impeachment. First, she wanted to send a strong message to Trump that there were lines he dare not cross. Despite what everyone thinks, Trump suffered greatly during this impeachment process. Donald Trump is a human being, and press reports describes his rages during this impeachment as choleric, that he was angry to the point of imbalance. Trump will approach some issues differently to avoid going through something like this again.

Pelosi’s second goal was to force the Republicans to defend Trump using legalistic arguments (“what Trump did was not an impeachable defense”). This could end up turning large masses of voters against the Republicans. In the wake of the Nixon resignation in 1974, there was a Democratic landslide. Whether that part of Pelosi’s plan was a success we will know in November 2020.

Impeachment as a tool against Trump by the Democrats is dead right now. If an effort is made to impeach Trump again, it will have to come from the Republicans. Given the bizarre nature of Trump’s Presidency, if Trump found himself a lame duck no longer feared by his party, that is an entirely possible event.

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Elliott Smith

Before Spring arrives:

And before GOOD WILL HUNTING, the early version of “Miss Misery” (which I like better than the reworked one for the movie):

Chef Joey column … Crying foul over the “Python Bowl” … + 🇺🇸🎶

Things We Take for Granted

Text and photos by Chef Joey

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Chef Joey. file pic: Rose T.

Things we take for granted – sunrise and sunset, running water, gasoline stations just waiting for us to pull in … What we do not realize is there are simple foods out there that we take for granted.
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Let’s take the potato: it can be mashed, baked, fried, stuffed, au gratin – even made into pancakes – and it costs basically nothing compared to other things. Carrots, onions all the basics are inexpensive and vital parts of any meal as the base ingredient.

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The onion is one of the most cultivated foods out there in this crazy world – food origins trace back to 500 BC due to the ability to transport and store it. The Egyptians took them as a sign of eternal life, and when the first settlers came to what we now know as the United States, the “bulb onion” was one of the first crops planted by our pilgrim fathers.

Little did they know that there are red, yellow, brown and even sweet (Vidalia) onions out there from which we can make savory snacks and even sweets with this caramelized item. The onion is also one of the only veggies that can be eaten at any stage of its growing stage.

Carrots are also another crazy veggie that has a bunch of colors besides orange. There is yellow, purple, red, black and white out there. The tops can be eaten as well. This veggie can also be mashed or baked, shredded for salads, pureed on its own or made into soup – combined with ginger it is a tasty delight!

Earlier I wrote a CECELIA article about lentils. There are so many food items out there that we are passing by that can feed our entire family for pennies, and yet the world goes bonkers for “Vegan Hamburger.” I, as a devoted eater, think foods should be used for their flavor – not be manipulated to taste like chicken or beef etc. An onion soup or a caramelized onion quiche is delicious and costs less than $5 to prepare – and eight people can enjoy it and be full. That is the most important part.

With this new world of Google and other searches, you can never run out of new ideas for basic food recipes, changes of the old family traditions … We can step out of the box and embrace the fact that you do not have to spend $200 at the grocery store to feed your family. Trim it down and you will enjoy healthier choices, especially with the rising costs of everything. This is the one thing you can control, and making your own food makes you more in control of yourself – and your budget.

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Chef Joey is in France – he will be sending us a Francais column!

In addition to the nutrition items, quite often foods have recipes written on them, or suggested preparation techniques. Try them. That is exactly how new traditions get started, because you learned something!

🥕🥕Carrot and Ginger soup🥕🥕

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The basics are the best!

Peel and chop:

1 pound carrots
2 cloves garlic
2 large onions

Additionally you will need:

a piece of fresh ginger (size of your thumb)
bay leaf
vegetable bouillon cubes (2)

Sauté the onions and garlic in butter or oil (about 3 tablespoons) until soft.

Add the carrots and 8 cups of water and bring to a boil.

Add fresh ginger – about 2 teaspoons to this mix – as it is boiling and bay leaf – add veggie bouillon to the soup. Two cubes is plenty. When the carrots are soft, mash them in the broth for a healthy hearty winter soup!

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By Jennifer O’Connor

For football fans, the biggest day of the year is right around the corner. For pythons in Florida, their days are numbered.

In a grotesque twist on the Super Bowl, Florida wildlife officials and Gov. Ron DeSantis are promoting a spectacle called the Python Challenge™ Python Bowl, in which participants are encouraged to hunt and kill as many snakes as possible. Footballs made from the doomed snakes’ skin will be used during Super Bowl festivities.

When inexperienced and untrained individuals go traipsing through the woods and swamps on a mission to kill, it’s akin to sending a quarterback onto the field with no game plan. Neither one will end well.

The python “problem” in Florida is fueled by the exotic pet industry, which encourages a capricious public to buy these animals on a whim. “Must-have” novelty pets tend to be disposed of rather quickly (often abandoned outside to fend for themselves) when the excitement wears off.

Displaced pythons are here through no fault of their own and shouldn’t have to suffer for it. Their unique physiology puts them at risk of experiencing a prolonged, agonizing death at the hands of people unequipped to kill them humanely. The contest allows firearms, snake hooks, snake tongs, snake bags and noose poles to be used. Anyone in the state can decapitate a python with a machete at any time—even though pythons can live for up to an hour after getting their heads chopped off.

There’s also the impact on the Everglades to consider. The national park is a delicate ecosystem that provides myriad flora and fauna, including numerous rare and endangered species, with important habitat. Within the park, 47 plant species have been listed as threatened by the state of Florida and 113 as endangered. Yet Gov. DeSantis opened up more than 150 miles of secondary trails within Big Cypress National Park to Python Bowl contestants. Imagine the disruption to native wildlife and the potential for environmental destruction when teams of four-wheelers take over Big Cypress. Drones and dogs are also allowed in some areas.

Pythons are not only beautifully patterned reptiles but also fascinating animals. They’re excellent climbers and swimmers. To keep their eggs warm, mother pythons continually contract their muscles to raise their body temperature, and they rarely leave their eggs while incubating them. Pythons hunt using chemical receptors in their tongues and heat sensors along their jaws. Unless threatened, they are docile and shun contact with humans.

It is one thing to recognize an environmental crisis in the Everglades in which humans have released snakes into a habitat that’s perfect for them to breed in and then to kill them humanely in order to alleviate the problem. It is another thing entirely, however, to trivialize their deaths and turn their skin into footballs. Killing animals should never be portrayed as fun, and compassionate football fans should be able to enjoy the Super Bowl without having to support cruelty.

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No animals tested – no animal ingredients! Look for RABBIT🐰 LOGO on the package – that means it’s a vegan/cruelty-free product🐰:
petaLiving-social-15CrueltyFreeCompanies

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At the Aurora Hotel: Creative Hub Worcester Art Show

Text and photos by Ron O’Clair

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Main South’s Aurora Hotel – Creative Hub art gallery on ground floor!

I attended the Creative Hub Worcester Art show on the 25th of January, which started at 4:30 p.m. and went on until 7 p.m. or so. This is located in the Aurora Hotel on Main Street on the ground floor, just to the right of the main entrance to the building.

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Entrance area to the Aurora Hotel – graced by Aurora! pic:R.T.

I got to meet one of the people whose art adorned the walls who also happens to reside in the Aurora Hotel. He is an interesting guy: Monyenou Tehoue, with a most difficult to pronounce name!

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Artist Monyenou Tehoue

I took photographs of all the art in the exhibit …
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Check out the exhibit!

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Lots of thought-provoking work

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BUY$ ART AT AURORA – support$$ our local artists!!

… and hobnobbed with the people, had some delicious fresh strawberries and blueberries, along with a cup of coffee – all graciously provided by the Creative Hub Worcester staff.There was a big cheese platter, too.

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They were actually giving out wine samples, but I am in recovery – haven’t had a drink in almost 40 years. I have no intention of starting up again anytime soon!

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The gallery is a beautiful space!

It was a nice time. I got to see many different forms of artwork, including some that were based on photography. I hope you enjoy my pictures and that you will attend the gallery to support our local artists, like Monyenou Tehoue.

I met some very prominent Worcester people such as the owner of the Heywood Building on Harding Street, which is being repurposed quite nicely from its long forgotten manufacturing days. It started its life as one of the many Worcester Shoe Factory buildings. He said progress is being made on converting the building to housing people instead of machines, banking on the convenient location near Union Station to be the selling point to commuters interested in living in Worcester and commuting via the train to Boston.

I met this very flamboyantly dressed gentleman named Mike who looked like a cross between the “Joker” and/or a very tall Leprechaun. He wore a Derby hat, saddle shoes, heavy gold rings and necklaces. He was very outgoing and friendly. I took some photographs of him that would have been better had I used the flash, but you can still see the styling!

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Sorry!😢😢

The gallery was filled with people from every social group, young to old, rich to poor, working class to the affluent. Everyone seemed to have a good time looking over the various artworks exhibited. There are going to be more exhibits in the series at the Aurora, each with its own theme (this show: OTHERNESS). You should check out this show and the upcoming ones for yourself!
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Go look at the art at the Aurora!

More info:

❄️January:​ “The Feeling of Otherness” ​Dates:​ January 24 –

❄️February 13th
❄️February:​ “Main South Residents” ​Dates:​ February 15th – March 7th

❄️March:​ “Multi-Theological Perspectives” ​Dates:​ March 9th – March 31st

❄️April​: “Female Artists, Female Empowerment” ​Dates:​ April 4th – April 22nd

Where:​ This exhibition series will take place at the Aurora Gallery on the first floor at 660 Main St.,
Worcester, MA, 01610. Free parking will be available at the lot on the corner of Main St. and Ionic
Ave., and the first floor where the exhibitions will be held is fully accessible.

♥️♥️♥️Creative Hub Worcester’s mission is to provide affordable and accessible opportunities in the Arts for all Worcester area community members, with a focus on at-risk and under-served youth. 
Please contact gallery@creativehubworcester.org​ ♥️♥️♥️

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Volcano traps animals exploited by Taal’s tourist industry … and more …

By Jason Baker

PETA Asia’s emergency line has been ringing nonstop. After the Taal volcano in the Philippines spewed hundreds of tons of suffocating ash and sent lava streaming down its sides, PETA Asia was the first charity on the scene, and staffers are working to help as many animals as possible in the evacuation zone, providing food, water and veterinary care to dogs and cats who’ve been abandoned or taken to evacuation centers. We’ve done food drops, and one of our staffers had a four-hour meeting with the government trying to coordinate a rescue plan.

Taal is a tourist destination, and travelers flock to the picturesque area and rent horses to ride to the summit of the volcano. Now that the volcano is active, everyone living in the area has been ordered to evacuate, and countless animals have been left behind, including the horses.

These at-risk animals are precisely why we ask tourists never to ride an animal when vacationing. Long after a traveler is back home with memories and anecdotes, the horses, donkeys, camels and other animals forced to give rides to tourists around the world are still in harm’s way.

Taal authorities believe that all the animals who were in the area immediately surrounding the volcano have likely died. It’s an especially painful possibility for PETA Asia staffers, who have been working for years to improve conditions for the island’s animals, especially the horses forced to haul tourists to the summit.

Long before the volcano erupted, a team of PETA Asia staffers, veterinarians, assistants, veterinary students and volunteers as well as a farrier had been conducting clinics to provide care. Clinic staff treated horses with severe injuries, including one who couldn’t walk because of a huge laceration on her leg. Most horses needed fundamental care such as vaccinations (for rabies and tetanus, which is very common on the island), deworming, parasite control and wound care, among many other issues. They were also treated for saddle sores and thrush, and most needed to have their hooves trimmed and teeth filed.

Abuse and neglect go hand-in-hand when animals are treated as beasts of burden. A recent PETA Asia investigation in Jordan’s “Lost City” of Petra, for example, documented the entrenched suffering of more than 1,300 horses, donkeys, mules and camels who are forced to carry tourists or pull carriages every day. Handlers routinely whip and beat the animals during grueling treks through the ancient city in the sweltering heat, and there’s no water or shade for them, either.

Conditions are similar in the Havasupai region of the Grand Canyon. Horses, donkeys and mules used to transport tourists or their gear to Havasu Falls are routinely starved, beaten, overloaded, whipped, kicked and forced to work while injured. Horses often collapse. And in Egypt, PETA Asia documented the plight of horses and camels, even those with painful, bloody wounds, who struggle in the sweltering heat to carry tourists in Giza and Luxor.

The situation in Taal is immediate and dire and in constant flux, but we’ve saved some of the animals, including a stray dog named Palakatik, who recognized us when our boat pulled up and came running! There were a lot of happy tears amidst the grief.

But while options are limited while a volcano is active, every single tourist can make a difference by refusing to force any animal to provide a ride, wherever rides are offered, including horse-drawn carriages in Nassau and New York City, elephant rides in Thailand’s scam “rescue” camps or Santorini’s donkey and mule caravans. When you take that ride, animals suffer and die.

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In Steve’s opinion:
Patrick running effective TV political ads

By Steven R. Maher
               
Deval Patrick was never my favorite politician. His ties to Mitt Romney’s old investment firm of Bain Capital dampened whatever sympathy I might have had for him.
               
That is, until I saw the Patrick for Governor advertisement on television today:

“According to Advertising Analytics, a political ad tracking service, Patrick is spending more than $100,000 on a two-week ad flight in New Hampshire, where he’s told supporters that his plan is to finish near the top,” the website Politico reported on January 3, 2020. “He [Patrick] intends to carry that momentum to South Carolina, where he’s spending an additional $60,000 on ads this month. Representatives from Patrick’s campaign would not specify details of the buy or the nature of the TV ads. During a campaign stop in his hometown of Chicago, Patrick spent time filming scenes for the ads, the Associated Press reported.”
               
“Some people say it’s too late for me to run for president, Politico quoted Patrick as saying in a January 6, 2019 web post. “Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, people told me then what I couldn’t do,” he says. “I’ve been an underdog my whole life. And I’ve never let that stop me.”
               
The usually pacific Patrick was combative, passionate, and Obama-like. He seemed resolved, resolute, and determined. Watching this advertisement makes one wonder if Patrick had gotten into the race six months ago, whether he would be the one rising in the polls at this point in Iowa and New Hampshire.

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Lookin’ cute, healthy and rockin’ out!😊♥️🎶:

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An end to speciesism🐻 … Main South: Aurora art show!🖌️ … and more♥️!

An End to Speciesism

By Tracy Reiman

It’s obvious when you think about it: Most conflict stems from the idea of “us vs. them.” Our family vs. theirs. Our country vs. theirs. Our religion vs. theirs. Our species vs. theirs.

In the ranking of species, humans have conveniently put Homo sapiens not only at the top but also in its own category separate from the rest of the animal kingdom—a ranking as inaccurate and arbitrary as declaring that men are more important than women or white people more important than people of color. Is the human race really separate from and above all the animal races? PETA doesn’t think so, and that’s why, in 2020 and beyond, we have our sights set on ending the toxic mindset known as “speciesism” — prejudice or discrimination based on species.

If you’ve ever wondered how someone can be moved to tears by a news story about an abused dog yet think nothing of eating a bucket of chicken wings that caused multiple birds to suffer and die, that’s speciesism.

It’s speciesist to convince ourselves that we have the “right” to experiment on animals in laboratories because it might help humans. It’s speciesist to tell ourselves that it’s OK to eat ice cream made from cow’s milk because our desire for the dessert outweighs a mother cow’s need to care for her calf. That it’s OK to steal sheep’s wool for sweaters and scarves and to deny orcas their freedom for our “entertainment.”

It may be convenient for humans to ignore animals’ interests, but it’s not right. Animals aren’t objects for us to use; they’re individuals, just like us. When we look into an animal’s eyes, there’s someone—not something—looking back at us. Someone who feels hunger, thirst, pain, fear, joy and love and who makes decisions, has preferences, overcomes challenges and uses language (even though we may not be able to understand it).

Anyone who has carefully observed animals knows this is true. Think of the clever sheep in the U.K. who learned that they could cross hoof-proof cattle grids by lying on their sides or backs and simply rolling over them. Their reward was tasty flowers and vegetables in neighboring gardens. Think of the octopuses who — though colorblind themselves — can, within a split second, elude capture by “becoming” part of the sandy ocean floor or the pearlfish who use oyster shells as speakers to help amplify the volume of their communications. Think of the elephants who mourn their dead, the female orcas who stay with their families for life, the puffins who use sticks to scratch their backs and the rats who willingly put themselves in harm’s way to save others.

These other animals aren’t just like us: They are us.

So how do we end speciesism in our own lives? We can start by valuing other animals as individuals, not for the ways they can be exploited. And then we must act, by rejecting anything that causes harm to other living beings. It can be as simple as choosing personal care and household products that aren’t tested on animals; leaving animal-derived foods off our plates; buying sustainable vegan clothing instead of items made from wool, leather, reptile skin or feathers; shunning SeaWorld, roadside zoos and other facilities that imprison animals for entertainment; and always referring to animals as “he” or “she” instead of “it” (the same pronoun you’d use for a sofa or table).

PETA’s vision for 2020 is that we all break free of our prejudices and see ourselves in everyone else — animals included. Are you ready? Visit PETA.org to find out how you can end speciesism in your own life.

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MAIN SOUTH: ART SHOW AT THE AURORA

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Aurora! pic: Rose T.

Creative Hub Worcester takes over Aurora Apartments Gallery Space

🖌️Who:​ Local non-profit organization Creative Hub Worcester, and this project is made possible by the support of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation and The Community Builders

🖌️What:​ ​Creative Hub Worcester @ The Aurora Gallery proudly presents our first submission-based
exhibition, and opening reception, called “The Feeling of Otherness.” This is the first of four shows
which will take place in the course of four months, beginning in January, in the Aurora Apartments’
first floor gallery space.
Why:​ ​For Creative Hub, this exhibition series is part of a community-focused initiative that aims to celebrate and promote the work of local artists, specifically focusing on the voices of those who may be silenced or underrepresented. The Aurora Apartments first floor gallery, previously occupied by
Arts Worcester, deserves to continue its legacy as a premier exhibition space. Our January
exhibition, “The Feeling of Otherness,” aims to engage artists around the topics of prejudice,
discrimination, racism, and marginalized communities.”

🖌️Who Should Attend:​ The entire community is invited to come enjoy these exhibitions.

🖌️State and city leaders, Managers and Local Officials are invited to attend the opening receptions to support our local artists and learn more about Creative Hub Worcester’s current programs and initiatives.

When:​ Our January exhibit, “The Feeling of Otherness,” will kick off with an opening reception on Saturday, January 25 from 4:30pm-7:30pm.

The current exhibition schedule for 2020 is as follows:

January:​ “The Feeling of Otherness” ​Dates:​ January 24 – February 13th
February:​ “Main South Residents” ​Dates:​ February 15th – March 7th
March:​ “Multi-Theological Perspectives” ​Dates:​ March 9th – March 31st
April​: “Female Artists, Female Empowerment” ​Dates:​ April 4th – April 22nd

😊Where:​ This exhibition series will take place at the Aurora Gallery on the first floor at 660 Main St., Worcester, MA, 01610. Free parking will be available at the lot on the corner of Main St. and Ionic Ave., and the first floor where the exhibitions will be held is fully accessible.
Creative Hub Worcester’s mission is to provide affordable and accessible opportunities in the Arts for all Worcester area community members, with a focus on at-risk and under-served youth. 
Please contact gallery@creativehubworcester.org​

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The trad and rad:
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Vintage Valentines Day card from the Worcester Historical Museum, 30 Elm St., Worcester😊

“Cupid’s Trick” by Elliott Smith:

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

By James P. Coughlin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Clark honors MLK Jr

From Clark University:

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

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

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

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

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

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CANAL DISTRICT’S BOBBY LARGESSE’S CARDBOARD WINDOW PANES

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

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

– text/photos by Rose T.

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FYI:

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🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶:

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

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

BLESSED!

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♥️ pic: Rose T.

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

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

– Rosalie Tirella

Gorgeous🎵🎵:

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Turn over a new leaf in 2020: Go vegan

By Heather Moore

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Gingerly now!! pic: Chef Joey

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

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

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

How much more incentive do you need?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From PETA.ORG:

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New year, new eating habits!😊

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

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

🍾1. Be More Adventurous

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

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

🍾2. Be Kinder

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

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Cute Cows!

🍾3. Lose Weight

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

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flat belly♥️!

🍾4. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

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

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Save her – 🌎🌎🌎♥️!!!

🍾5. Save Water

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

🍾6. Be Healthier

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

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

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

🍾8. Update Your Wardrobe🧣🧤

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

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

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

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

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

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The Fifth Beatle♥️♥️🎶♥️:

Steve’s Political Predictions – 2020 … and Iran … war??? No!!

PUNDIT’S PREDICTIONS FOR 2020

By Steven R. Maher

My editor recently asked me for my 2020 predictions. I don’t regard myself as a modern Nostradamus, but here I go again:

👓1. President Donald Trump will Tweet something that will outrage his enemies and delight his followers. The left will denounce this as another predictable act of character assassination by the greatest arch-villain of American history. Trump will say this is all fake news, that though what he tweeted was reported accurately, it wasn’t what he meant, and that therefore he shouldn’t be held responsible because he didn’t mean what he said. To the surprise of national pundits, any controversy over the Democrats impeachment of Trump disappears because Trump will continue to tweet bomb the Democrats, sucking all the political oxygen out of the atmosphere.

👓2. The United States Senate will vote to exonerate Trump of the impeachment charges.

👓3. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will be given the Nobel peace prize for trying to impeach Trump.

👓4. Worcester Congressman James McGovern will make headlines all over the globe when he denounces Trump as a 21st century Aaron Burr. Read McGovern’s remarks, Trump asks: “Who’s Aaron Burr?”

👓5. Four Republican Senators will have an attack of conscience after internal polls reveal they will be voted out of office if they give unqualified support to Trump during the Senate trial, and agree to subpoenaing former National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with narrowly drawn subpoenas, testifying only about the Ukrainian episode.

👓6. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will elope with both Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump, sneaking them out of the White House while Trump sits on the Presidential toilet in his bathrobe tweeting. Elvis Presley will appear at the wedding reception to sing “Jailhouse Rock”.

👓7. Either the Democrats or Trump will win control of the presidency and both houses of Congress in a landslide blowout in the biggest election turnout in American history. The winner of the Presidency will be the candidate whom most polls predict will lose.

👓8. William Weld will win the Massachusetts Republican Presidential primary in which thousands of Democrats and independents cross over so they can vote against Trump twice in 2020.

👓9. There will continue to be wars in the Middle East throughout 2020.

👓10. North Korea will NOT denuclearize in 2020.

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FYI:

CNN’s Fareed on Iran

Posted this vignette on my Rosalie Tirella FB page: NYE first nights, Woo style 🎶

… I wanted to tweak it today, here on the website, but after rereading it, I like it well enough:

New Years Eve First Nights, Woo Style

By Rosalie Tirella

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Worcester’s Main Street – last week. pic: Rose T.

Wouldn’t it be great to have our First Night back? … Years ago, New Year’s Eve, when I was 18, 19 and had the stamina to traipse down Main from noon to midnight, we celebrated in the heart of our city. Visiting every other downtown landmark to see it all: Woo city churches, halls, clubs, the YWCA and our library all hosting singers, jugglers, dancers, arts and crafts for kids, ethnic meals for $4 or $5 …sock hops! …jazz crooners … the Synchromaids at the YWCA kicking it all off with their Esther Williams spins and twirls in the Y pool – pre-Linda Cavioli. This, like all kiddie/family events, happened in the afternoon of New Year’s Eve.

First Night Buttons cost around $5. One year I saw BILL MORRISSEY ♥️ AND Patty Larkin in Mechanics Hall! But usually, we got – and loved – the hometown spin. Back then Worcester had a ton of local rock, pop, punk, folk and cover bands – they played all over Worcester County every weekend to devoted fans. Now my best friend, back home from college, my sister and I heard and danced to them all! Walking in the cold, down our Main Street lit up and shiny as the City could make it, sometimes with snow sprinkling down on us, with scores and scores of couples, families and single revelers, horns in hands, dime-store top hats on bald heads doing the same thing … We walked/ran down Main Street feeling energized, jazzed … happy in community.

Midnight on the steps at the old Worcester Auditorium – the light show, the beams of yellow and pink light criss-crossing the cobalt Worcester sky. A few couples uncorked their champagne, the countdown, the cheers, HAPPY NEW YEAR!! and then, at 12:01, like the frugal, practical Worcesterites we were, we all turned around and scurried back to cars … for home.

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