We have asked City Hall (and have been bounced to several departments) for the following information. This is info Worcester tax payers (anybody really – it’s public record) need to know:
Top 125 City of Worcester Wage Earners (we have 2007 – we want to post 2008)
who, from the Worcester City Council and School Committee, has declined (for 2008 – 2009) the hefty pay raise the City Council voted for itself last year. The raise doubled their stipends! The nefarious vote – the community was up in arms – made each city councilor worth $29,000/year and the Mayor $34,000. Before then city coucilors were payed $14,500/year – an appropriate stipend for part time work, in my opinion. But everyone took the raise! Except these angels: Dennis Irish (gone), Gary Rosen and Mike Germain.
The school committee folks saw their stipeds double, too (it’s in the city charter). They now get $14,500/year – double what they received in previous years, before last year’s vote. Who didn’t take the money and run this fiscal year?
We are waiting for this (very depressing) public information …
Ever since my father died (about two months ago), I’ve been seeing him every where. When he was alive, he made about 1,000 entrances in my family’s life. Married with kids but not wanting to be married with kids, my father lived with my mother, two sisters and me some months and was Missing in Action (MIA) during others. He was as tentative as the junkyard dogs he loved so much (and owned).
Some of his entrances were comical — like the time he waltzed into our Lafayette Street apartment with some Frank Sinatra LPs and sang “I Did it My Way” to me. My mother had sent him out for a loaf of bread!
My dear readers, if there’s anything you’ve learned about InCity Times these past seven-plus years, is that we are ambitious – and a wee-bit technophobic, which makes for really interesting newspapering. Yes, yes, we have heard it all before: Rose, all the newspapers have websites!; Rose, ICT needs to be in cyberspace; Rose, think how great this will be for your writers and advertisers! So for four or so years, we’ve been on the fence about an ICT website – vascilating like crazy! To build an InCity Times website – or not to build an InCity Times website? That was the question!
Allen Fletcher has quit Worcester Magazine – sold it to some out of towners. He says he wants to move on to the next “phase” of his life. He’s had enough of newspaper-ing. He’s had enough of … . What exactly? The stress of writing all night? The stress of wondering where he was going to get the money to pay the bills? The stress of wanting a Paris vacation with only a Lake Quinsigamond vacation fund? The stress of starting a business from scratch and trying to grow it when the revenue isn’t yet flowing?
Truth be told, Allen Fletcher hasn’t experienced any of the stresses of owning a small business. His extreme wealth has insulated him from all the pain and woe – from every kind of financial disaster you can imagine – while he was at the helm of Worcester Magazine. That’s why he managed to own it for 15 years! The lucky (and pathetic) bastard! You can do anything with millions of dollars at the ready – play with any kind of toy you want! Own a newspaper, for instance. Save face, especially!
Yea, we went to the ZZ Top concert and it was great!” I told one of my gal pals last summer. “I love ZZ Top!” “ZZ Top?” my gal pal asked, giggling. Where the hell were my ZZ Top records, she wanted to know? Which of their songs could I sing?
Actually, none before I met my boyfriend “Joe.” Lucinda Williams, Aimee Mann, Elvis Costello – these are – or were – the artists I listened to on my “hi-fi” stereo. All literate and sometimes snarky singer songwriter types who rocked my world. And they COULD rock out! Warren Zevon is still a personal hero. But ZZ Top? And their delicate, exquisitely sensitive songs such as, “Cheap Sun Glasses” or “She’s Got Legs” – you know, those lovely ballads that reduce all women to hookers? Well, let’s just say they weren’t my thing.
Happy seventh birthday to us! That’s right! InCity Times is seven years old, and we’re proud to be here. But we’ve no time to rest on our hot little laurels because the city that InCity Times loves is under siege and we have to write it about it. So here goes:
We don’t know what’s happening with the Worcester City Council this term, but this group of politicians seems to be in dire need of an enema. We don’t know how they feel about anything! They need to emote, pour out their feelings! We don’t know what they want to do – really do – about anything! They say one thing – City Manager Mike O’Brien proposes another. They demurely agree with O’Brien and the tail wags the dog!
You live in Worcester and are a middle-aged, single woman. You didn’t watch the Sex and the City television show when it ran on cable TV from 1998 to 2004 because 1. you didn’t have cable, 2. you didn’t have a TV and 3. you didn’t believe all that cultural icon hyperbole that had been heaped upon … a freakin’ TV show! You had your own life to live – to hell with Carrie Bradshaw’s!
But when Sex and the City went off the air four years ago, and you read all the accolades written by some very smart people in some very smart magazines and newspapers (hello, New York Times), you figured, what the hell, you’d take a peek and see what all the fuss was about. You now owned (were given) a 20-year-old television set that wasn’t hooked up for cable but was hooked up to a 10-year-old VCR (also a handy-me-down), and you knew the public library had all six seasons of Sex and the City on videocassette. So you borrowed some SATC videos, asking the librarian at the check-out desk (a bit cynically): “Did you watch the show? Is it any good?”
You have been the City Manager of Worcester for quite some time now, after the Worcester City Council, during their now infamous St. Valentine’s Day massacre, threw former City Manager Tom Hoover to the wolves, pushed him over the cliff, flushed him down the crapper. You pick your metaphor. That is, then Mayor Tim Murray and city council allies decided Hoover was no good for Worcester (mostly because they couldn’t boss him around and probably because he was from Ohio) and forced him to resign (or they would fire him). Hoover left Worcester after more than a decade of service to Wormtown (basically living and breathing Worcester for years), landed himself another city/town manager job in another part of the country and promptly had double or triple (we can’t remember) by-pass heart surgery.
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.”
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.