Category Archives: Green Island Grrrl

Worcester♥️ Photo📸 Wrap-up💝!! + more👕

This morning. A shopping cart sullies our Blackstone River Road driveway😢😢😢:
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pics + text by Rose T.

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This does the neighborhood no favors …

But for the YES!!! HOORAY! file …
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we were thrilled to see all the over-growth cut down on this side of Blackstone River Road! Sidewalk clear – and walkable!

Of course, the landlord was annoyed that he/she had to step up for THE URBAN GOOD, so now he/she is selling the HUGE PARKING lot! Maybe the multifamily next to it … There were for-sale signs with a phone number posted. Another slumlord on the way? Or an oblivious-to-the-locals gentrifier who sees the future galloping towards Blackstone River Road – Canal District Part 2?

Yesterday to see this – the FREE BUS FOR SOME FOLKS$!! Of course, their windows are painted over!
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FOR SHAME!!

Worcester is turning into a 2-tier city on this side of Park Ave! The Canal District money $people and the poor folks of the neighborhood/city who are NOT ALLOWED ON THE BUS:
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CD developers ALLEN FLETCHER, ED MURPHY AND “DINO”‘s bus! They also bought land for parking lots to pick up CD shoppers EVERY 10 MINUTES!!! on MY SIDE of Green Island, anticipating even more gentrification – even more displacement of poor residents!

They create OTHERNESS in our community!!!

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A positive: Ron O’Clair walked down his street, Main, a few days ago to attend the neighborhood’s WPD-sponsored National Night Out. The city’s beloved community leader Brenda Jenkins organized the huge Main South block party! There was music, dancing, BBQ, kids games, visitors from the WPD mounted unit, politicians … and good vibes between Worcester police officers and the neighborhood folks:
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WPD Chief Steve Sargeant – good guy. LET’S GET THOSE WPD BODY CAMS on our officers, Chief! For the community’s welfare – and your guys’/gals’! photos: Ron O’Clair

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Enjoying the fun night! 300+ people attended! cutlines: Rose T.

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Kids dunk tank!

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Lots of info for folks and a BBQ tent where yummies were cooked and served!

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D 4 City Councilor Sarai Rivera and friend!

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“The lineup”!!

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WPD’s finest! So beautiful!

Worcester’s longest-serving mayor – Joseph Petty:
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He’s well-loved because he’s a UNITER! Mayor Petty is modest, honest, real, direct, caring – never hogs the lime-light! He brings us all together – cares about city kids, their education, our urban neighborhoods, small biz folks. He’s fair and, best of all, a genuinely GOOD PERSON!

🇺🇸🇺🇸 Hero:
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Thank you! We so ♥️ your bravery and dedication – your love of country … your service to America!

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FYI:

Wonderful Toni Morrison interview:

Bomb scare in Worcester’s Canal District, Trump scare in El Paso and Dayton (today!), new Dorrie column … + more🌷

Yesterday: a bomb scare in Worcester’s gentrified Canal District … a President who shows no heart is asked to Stay Away! by El Pasoans because … he has no heart! This is what happens when Worcester and the Trump Administration create “Otherness.” Exclude people. The WRTA fights free rides for poor Worcester people, but local Canal District developers create free rides for rich people. Right in the poor people’s neighborhood – the other side of Kelley Square.

President Donald Trump fights the future majority-minority America – and El Paso, a majority-minority American city, says STAY AWAY, Mr. President! Don’t visit us today and shower us with your hollow words! Don’t use us as a political prop!

The same can be said to local millionaire developers Fletcher, Murphy and “Dino” of the Canal District: Stay away! Don’t use the other side of Kelley Square as a backdrop for your urban politics – the gentrification of a once iconic Worcester neighborhood!

– Rose T.

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Church goers, Sunday afternoon, July 2019 – Worcester’s Blackstone River Road. A city neighborhood: diverse, congested, often poor, sometimes violent (a mother’s belly cut open – her baby ripped out of her womb!), always busy, sometimes cowed, often proud – an inner-city neighborhood that is authentically AMERICAN. Not a fake, manufactured show, like the Canal District.

pic/text: Rose T.

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After church services, the music goes on! Blackstone River Road. pic: R.T.

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My Thoughts on the Mass Shootings in El Paso and Dayton

By Dorrie Maynard

Horrific is the first word that comes to mind in the aftermath of the mass shootings that took place this past weekend. I feel like we are not safe – no matter where we go! It must be horrible to have to explain to children what is happening, why things are taking place in this country at this time.

As a child, I remember the worst thing that happened was then U.S. President John F. Kennedy being shot and killed and my mother crying as she watched the news. She explained to me, her little girl, that someone had just shot and killed – the President of the United States.

Now what do parents say to their children? There seems to be no easy way to tell them that there are sadistic people in this world, with their own evil agenda. That some people are wired wrong and fail to respect life in any way, shape or form.

How awful it is for the friends, families and communities of the people who were murdered while they were just shopping, partying – or just being! People whose lives didn’t matter to the person doing the shooting, the murdering.

What makes people snap like that? I know folks want to blame guns, but I think it goes beyond that! I admit that assault weapons should not be available to the general public but, if we are being honest, anyone who wants a gun can get one. Perhaps not legally, but these individuals have no regard for life, never mind the law. If they have the will and the money, nothing is going to prevent these evil people from acting out their plans.

Things have gotten so out of control in America: Road rage, murders, bad policing, people unable to support their families or having a safe/affordable place to live … mass shootings, constant bad news or lies being shoved down people’s throats – and, yes, people licking ice cream containers in a public place and putting them back into store freezers for some unsuspecting person to buy!

How did it come to this?

We are supposed to be a strong, civilized and evolved country!

My heart goes out to all who were forced to have these shooting affect their lives. Forever.

It truly is a sad state of affairs … that this country has come to this. As a child, I was always taught to respect others, no matter what our differences may be. I was also taught daily in school to respect the American flag and all it stands for. Every day at school we stood up by our desks to say the Pledge of Allegiance with our hands over our hearts. We didn’t just say it, we were taught it! … Not implying it works for all, but it could be a small step to getting this country back on track.

Peace, Prayers and Condolences to those directly affected by this needless violence and to everyone who feels the effects of a country gone wrong!

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From presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke …

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Moral clarity, guts, compassion, vision = BETO!!!

I am so proud of my hometown of El Paso. Always have been.

I tell our story wherever I go. This place of immigrants, of people from all over the planet, who came here to do better for themselves and to do better for this country. I tell people about how we are one of the safest cities in the United States. Nearly 700,000 people and we’ve averaged only 18 murders a year.

And I make sure that people know that those two things are connected. It is the very presence of immigrants and asylum seekers and refugees that has made us so safe. We don’t just tolerate our differences, we embrace them. We treat each other with the dignity and respect we are owed as human beings. It is the foundation of our success and our safety.

I’ve always thought the example set by El Paso could offer a path forward for a country that is so consumed by our differences and our divisions.

Si queremos asegurar nuestro país, I often say, necesitamos seguir el ejemplo de El Paso.

But on Saturday, we realized that we can take no comfort in our safety, in our ability to see the best in each other by seeing ourselves in one another. That, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, “we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.”

Though El Paso is a safe community, we are part of a country that is violent. A country that has failed to adopt laws that would allow us to perform a background check on everyone who wants to own a firearm. One that still allows weapons designed for war to be sold into our communities. We lost 40,000 of our fellow Americans to gun violence last year — inexplicable but for the stranglehold that the gun lobby has on Congress and the White House, and the fear that our elected representatives have of the NRA.

And though we are a city that prides itself as a home of immigrants, we live in America at a moment that the President seeks to make us afraid of immigrants, to see them as animals and rapists and killers, a threat to our very lives. An invasion that must be stopped. An infestation that must be stamped out.

At a rally in Florida in May, President Trump asked how America could stop immigrants from coming into the country.

“Shoot them!” someone yelled back.

As the crowd roared their approval, the President smiled.

That violence, that hatred, that fear found us on Saturday. Drove more than 600 miles to a community that is 85% Mexican-American. A community of first- and second-generation immigrants. It walked into one of the busiest Walmarts in the country, full of families from El Paso and our sister city of Ciudad Juárez and killed 22 people. A 90-year old man shot dead next to the wife he’d been married to for 70 years. A 15 year old boy about to start his sophomore year in high school. Young parents, both of them murdered, as they shielded their 2-month old son.

Death and suffering. Pain and devastation. Families grieving an indescribable loss.

But this terrorist, echoing the words of Donald Trump and hosts on Fox News in his manifesto, will fail to achieve his aims of stopping America from being America. A country of immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees. A country which 243 years ago chose to define itself not along lines of race or ethnicity but instead on the principle that we are all created equal.

This hatred and violence won’t define us. The people I’ve met at University Medical Center and Del Sol Hospital, shot in the chest, in the stomach, in the back, in the leg, in the arm, in the foot, all of them meeting their pain with courage will do that. All of them recovering as they receive the care and help they need from their fellow El Pasoans. Lines around the block at blood donation centers. Vigils of thousands throughout the community, in Central El Paso, on the eastside, and over in Horizon.

Though on Saturday, El Paso bore the brunt of the hatred and violence in this country, I believe our community also holds some of the answers. Not just to our pain and challenges, but to those of the country.

Because we now know first hand that no physical distance, no set of circumstances unique to your community, can separate you from what is happening to all of us in this country. We are all in this together. Unless we make it harder for people to kill, unless we stop this racism and fear, unless we stop seeing our differences as dangerous, unless we hold those in the highest positions of public trust accountable — this violence will find every one of us, sooner or later.

It is on all of us to stand up and be counted, especially when we feel the consequences of America at its worst, to fight for this country to be its best.

That is the spirit of El Paso, a city where everyone belongs. And the hope I have for America is that we become a country like that too.

– Beto O’Rourke

Ron in Rose’s space: on the most recent US mass murders … and presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke LEADS and COMFORTS America🇺🇸

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Here’s Ronny’s perspective:

The El Paso and Dayton Shootings

By Ronald O’Clair

We the people have to take action to curtail these types of horrific crimes from being perpetrated upon society by a seemingly ill fringe element of our own society that has forgotten all life is sacred, regardless of skin color. We have seen time and time again how a seemingly normal teen or young adult apparently comes to believe that they need to kill as many people as possible and then kill themselves to avoid the penalties for their own killing spree.

I am torn between my belief in the sanctity of the 2nd Amendment guaranteeing the right of the citizenry to bear arms that “shall not be infringed” and the desperate need to do something to combat this wave of violent American mass murders – at the hands of our own homegrown terrorists in training! Which in reality is what these attackers are. They are, for the most part, lost, depressed, enraged boys who think they are men, carrying mostly approved weapons with which these mass murders are being carried out. For the most part, these deranged people were legally authorized to possess and use such weapons against their fellow American citizens in whatever misguided sense of outrage drove them to kill innocent men, women, little children.

There are many who believe the Internet is responsible for this killing epidemic or that violent video game availability somehow desensitizes these people to see murder as “fun.” Somehow their twisted minds had convinced them that this is the “right” thing to do. They often prepare themselves to die violently during their killing sprees, at the hands of brave and heroic police officers who put their own lives on the line to protect innocent students, concert goers, back to school shoppers – or after the killers run out of targets and law enforcement has arrived on the scene of the crime – so they kill themselves.

We must never forget these are hate crimes and crimes against humanity, crimes against our American system of laws that require gun owners to be stable people. …

When I had my own rights violated by a police officer in the Worcester County town I lived in at the high school of that town that I was involved in legal business with, I felt it was my duty to follow the trail and see just how extensive the corruption was. So I pushed the envelope a bit and deliberately pressed the “buttons” of those people in the judicial system in charge of my care and custody – on a piddly little charge of “Disturbing the Peace.” That saga had begun October 1, 1986, and continues to the present day. I am still (to my mind) serving the best interests of our nation as I was sworn to do as a proud member of the US military. I never was relieved of that obligation, as far as I am concerned. I am still on a mission, still gathering information on the injustices that are being perpetrated upon the populace. Chronicling the social ills, the pain, the injustices …

We Americans are losing … This is a pivotal moment in our history! As far as I am concerned, the time for action is now while the citizenry feels the injustice of allowing sick people to possess firearms.

So now we come down to the question of should we allow the talking heads in Washington to spin the narrative of these deadly incidents – the Democrats wanting the Banning of Assault Weapons, weapons of war; closing the gun show loophole; a waiting period while background checks are done – universal background checks … The Republicans now saying they may support Red Flag legislation: the right of family members to contact authorities to confiscate the gun/weapons of (in their opinion) their dangerous, suicidal family member/s.

In light of the massacres at El Paso and Dayton, I would be open to further Background Checks and enacting a Federal Red Flag Law (provided that there is an appeal process that protects the citizen’s rights). That is as far as this patriot is willing to go.

Monday wrap-up☮️

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Jesus speaks:

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Trump, finally:

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Trump: a turnip where the heart should be.

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Clark University and Public Consulting Group receive $12 million grant from Department of Labor to expand apprenticeships

Clark University has been awarded a $12 million apprenticeship grant from the Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration to provide business technology training nationwide to people struggling with unemployment and underemployment, and to those who seek to master relevant technology skills in an evolving workplace.

Clark is the only academic institution in Massachusetts involved in this effort.

The “Scaling Apprenticeships Through Sector-Based Strategies” grant proposal was written in close partnership with Public Consulting Group, Inc. (PCG), of Boston, Mass., and will be implemented through a consortium of institutions of higher education, technology industry partners, and workforce boards across the nation. A Tech Quest Apprenticeship Expansion Consortium (TQ Consortium) has been developed to promote and implement apprenticeships.

“This grant serves as a platform to change the way America approaches the pathway from education to the workplace,” said David P. Angel, President of Clark University. “We need to bring the earn-and-learn model of apprenticeships into careers in business technologies coast to coast. Together with our eight state coalition of partners in higher education, workforce development and industry, we’re going to redefine career awareness, career readiness, and lifelong learning to improve the competitiveness of our workforce.”

“We know this opportunity is larger than meeting the specific goals of the grant. It’s about advancing higher education and workforce development public policy toward apprenticeships as a model of teaching, learning, and career achievement simultaneously,” said Bill Mosakowski, Founder and President of Public Consulting Group, a national firm in management consulting and operations improvement.

The Tech Quest program will provide IT and IT-related apprenticeships to a minimum of 5,000 individuals over the next four years in eight states: Florida; Massachusetts; California; Nevada; Pennsylvania; Oregon; Texas; and Missouri. Eligible participants include unemployed, underemployed, and incumbent workers. Through the apprenticeship programs, these workers will be matched with employers and receive on-the-job training and academic training, gaining employment as they improve their skills and move up the career ladder.

A minimum of five new technology-focused apprenticeship programs will be established to help expand IT-related apprenticeships into new service areas. These programs include traditional and high-demand emerging IT-related occupations.

According to Nicholas Haber, Director, STEM & CTE for Certiport – A Pearson VUE company, “The grant is a great opportunity to expand apprenticeships in high demand business occupations such as business analysts, data scientists, business intelligence, project management, business management, and others. Apprentices will be able earn Certiport’s new industry recognized Entrepreneurship and Small Business Certification to validate the skills and training they receive in their apprenticeships along with many other technology certifications.”

Apprenticeship services will be provided through an initial consortium of six universities, 13 industry partners, 12 workforce boards, and the National Association of Workforce Boards. The Deshpande Network, associated with the MIT Deshpande Center, and the nonprofit Entrepreneurship for All will offer additional entrepreneurial incubator and accelerator services and training. A full list of consortium partners is included below.

“The span and scope of this grant will allow us to offer our training programs nationally,” said Angela Pate, PCG Manager, Business Development. “The consortium of business partners, colleges and workforce boards will collectively focus on standardizing programs that can be implemented anywhere, so we can lift even more workers into positions with higher pay and stronger futures.”

PCG will provide administrative, programmatic, and partner coordination to support Clark University as they work to achieve the grant outcomes. PCG will also serve as the national sponsor and workforce intermediary for the project, working with the Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship and private Standards Recognition Entities (SRE) to register new apprenticeable occupations and training standards.

The Department of Labor has awarded a total of $183.8 million in Scaling Apprenticeship Through Sector-Based Strategies grants to private-public apprenticeship partnerships in information technology, advanced manufacturing, and healthcare. These grants support the training of more than 85,000 apprentices in new or expanded apprenticeship programs. A full list of the 23 academic institutions and consortia who received grants with their private-sector partners can be found online.

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consortium partners:
Institutions of Higher Education: Clark University (Massachusetts), University of California-Merced (California), Rancho Santiago Community College (California), University of Florida (Florida), Santa Fe Community College (Florida), Florida Vocational Institute (Florida)
Workforce Development Boards: Contra Costa County Workforce Development Board (California), Nova Workforce Development (California), San Bernardino Workforce Development Board (California), San Diego Workforce Partnership (California), CareerSource North Central Florida (Florida), Boston Private Industry Council (Massachusetts), Kansas City & Vicinity Workforce Development Board (Missouri), St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (Missouri), Las Vegas Workforce Connections (Nevada), Portland Metro Workforce Development Board (Oregon), Bucks County Workforce Development Board (Pennsylvania), Workforce Solutions Borderplex (Texas)
The Deshpande Network and Entrepreneurship For All
National Association of Workforce Boards

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about Public Consulting Group:

Public Consulting Group, Inc. (PCG) is a leading public sector solutions implementation and operations improvement firm that partners with health, education, and human services agencies to improve lives. Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, PCG has over 2,500 professionals in more than 60 offices worldwide. PCG’s Human Services practice helps state, county, and municipal human services agencies to achieve their performance goals in order to better serve populations in need. PCG’s seasoned professionals offer proven solutions to help agencies design programs, services, and systems; increase program revenue; cut costs; and improve regulatory compliance with state and federal regulations.

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Go beyond cow’s milk!

By Zachary Toliver

Perhaps you caught the vegan protesters outside the Starbucks headquarters in Seattle recently. I was one of them, for a reason most folks don’t think about, which I’ll get to in a second.

Our message was that there are countless reasons to protest the dairy industry, from thoroughly documented abuse of animals and environmental destruction to the billions in subsidies that Big Dairy receives every year.

For me personally, it was also about “normalizing” the consumption of cow’s milk and why that’s straight up discriminatory. Sure, we were outside Starbucks to demand that the company drop its surcharge on vegan milk. But as the entire world goes vegan, treating cow’s milk as the standard is a major problem, even for America’s biggest coffee brewer.

Normalizing cow’s milk is inherently racially biased. Some 70% of African Americans are lactose intolerant: In general, people of color are less likely to have the genetic mutation required to digest lactose. But according to the National Institutes of Health, most humans are lactose-intolerant, regardless of race — 65% of the global population.

There’s nothing healthy about drinking the breast milk of a different species. In what world does it make sense to promote the consumption of a product that causes stomach distress to well over half the population?

The dairy industry spends millions on misleading ad campaigns urging people to drink cow’s milk when medical professionals have shown again and again that dairy is a health hazard. It’s loaded with artery-clogging cholesterol and saturated fat. Studies suggest that consuming it may also contribute to asthma, recurrent ear infections, constipation, iron deficiency, anemia, juvenile-onset diabetes, and even cancer.

Instead of slapping a surcharge on the majority of the population at risk of being sickened by cow’s milk — many of whom are people of color — companies should incentivize customers to choose animal-friendly, vegan milks. Thankfully, many coffee chains—including Tim Hortons, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Noah’s New York Bagels, Philz Coffee, and Costa Coffee — already offer dairy-free milk at no extra charge.

Whether lactose-intolerant or not, consumers who choose plant-based milk should feel good knowing that it comes without animal abuse. The dairy industry inflicts extreme violence on other sentient beings, who are powerless to defend themselves. Dairy farmers tear baby calves away from their distraught mothers in order to keep the milk for themselves and then sell the male calves for veal. Cotton farmers used to tear babies away from other mothers and sell them, too. Separating babies from their mothers is always wrong.

People are often surprised to learn that the dairy industry slaughters cows after only about five years because their bodies are worn out from having been kept constantly pregnant. There is no retirement home for cows. In fact, U.S. Department of Agriculture reports reveal that cows are sometimes still alive and conscious when workers skin and dismember them. No latte or cappuccino can justify that kind of suffering.

Alternatives:
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pic: R.T.

Up late learning about, thinking about, praying for El Paso …

Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s hometown. He lives there now, with his family:


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My Thoughts …

Impeach Donald Trump! A first good step towards healing our country riven by this madman! America is bloody and lost, thanks to our President! Trump never leads America – he uses our country as a backdrop for his sick Donald Trump Reality TV Shit Show!

Impeach Donald Trunp! Then maybe we can pass meaningful gun legislation – laws that the majority of Americans want on the books! Years ago! Especially after Sandy Hook! We must Never Forget Sandy Hook! And how then President Obama felt deeply – led our country – mourned with the parents and community of Newtown, all Americans. He tried to heal us … . What will Trump do today, besides Tweeting a few platitudes from his private country club?

TRUMP MUST GO!!!!

Yesterday: the massacre at an El Paso Walmart – in a shopping complex whose patrons are Mexican AND American, diverse and multicultural, mixed – AND respectful of each other. This weekend hundreds of folks were at the El Paso Walmart shopping complex doing the most mundane thing: back-to-school shopping.

It was the perfect symbol of everything that’s wrong with America for the shooter – a rifle-toting kid who walked in, like he was on a mission, and shot and killed 20 people and wounded 26 more (some of them may die, too).

A kid just ripe enough for these Trumpian times: believing in Trump’s evil world-view, goaded into – encouraged, applauded by THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES! – for hating the “Other” – for creating a battle ground in a Walmart – rivers of blood flowing in a Walmart! But the Others weren’t armed, like in a real battle. They were all innocents.

Don’t just blame Evil Trump. The mass-murderer, from Texas, was aided and abetted by FOX TV opinionators, bigoted Congressmen and do-nothing, go along to get along political and church “leaders.” All weak, kowtowing to Donald Trump – a man without a moral compass. A guy who never shows remorse for anything – a President who will DO ANYTHING – destroy the America he “leads” – for a second term in office. For your votes! to WIN again! to be reelected President of the United States!

Madness!

Congress! Use whatever Constitutional tools we have to remove this madman! Cabinet secretaries! Act on what you’ve known for months! and Remove this sick, demented President from office! Mike Pence – the necessary evil but WITHOUT THE TRUMPIAN ability to whip people up, send sickos who languish on society’s fringes into shooting rampages! Lost young men hooked into Trump’s racist, nativist Tweets and TV tirades. Toting rifles into El Paso Walmarts and, as one eye witness put it, “confidently” shooting at and killing man, woman, child. White- and brown-skinned. Choosing that Walmart in El Paso, in that border city, precisely because it is a border town, precisely because Americans and Mexicans, white- and brown-skinned folks, mix together peacefully there, doing the routine, the day to day: like back-to-school shopping.

– Rose T.

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See God’s light, today!

Summer recipes for when it’s too hot to turn on the stove❇️ … and FYI🇺🇸

From PETA.ORG:

Strawberry-Almond-Kale Salad With Citrus Vinaigrette

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Ingredients:

1 bunch kale, stemmed

1 lb. strawberries, sliced

1/4 cup sliced almonds

Juice of 1 lemon

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. agave

1/8 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper

3-4 Tbsp. orange juice (optional)

Directions:

Tear the kale into bite-sized pieces and massage with your hands until soft, about 30 seconds. (This makes the kale easier to eat.)

Place in a bowl and add the strawberries and almonds.

To make the dressing, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, agave, salt, and pepper and pour over the salad.

For an extra kick, splash orange juice over the salad and enjoy!

Makes 3 to 4 servings

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Smoothies! Grab your blendas:

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Gazpacho!🍅

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Ingredients:

2 cups (500 mL) vegetable cocktail or tomato juice

1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped

1 medium/large red pepper, seeded and roughly chopped

1 medium/large cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped

1/4 cup chopped sweet onion

1 medium/large garlic clove

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice or to taste

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Fine sea salt, to taste

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

1 1/2–3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, to taste

Chopped peppers, avocado, green onion, olive oil, croutons, etc., for serving

Directions:

Combine the vegetable cocktail or tomato juice, tomatoes, red pepper, cucumber, onion, garlic, lime juice, and parsley (if using) in a blender and blend until smooth.

Add in the rest of the seasonings (salt, red pepper flakes, pepper, and vinegar) to taste, and blend again.

Pour into an 8 cup glass jar and secure lid. Chill for 3 to 4 hours, or overnight.

Before serving, shake the jar to combine. Pour into bowls, and garnish with your desired toppings (such as chopped peppers, avocado, green onion, croutons, olive oil, etc.)

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Vegan Nachos!

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Tortilla chips

cooked beans, warmed

prepared vegan queso, warmed

Choose your favorite toppings!

chopped avocado or guacamole

diced red onion

sliced fresh or pickled jalapeños

sliced black olives

chunky salsa and/or chopped tomatoes

sliced fresh radishes

sliced scallions

chopped fresh cilantro

lime wedges

hot sauce

Arrange tortilla chips on a large serving platter and add desired toppings.

Devour immediately!

🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️

Cucumber Soup!

cucumber-soup
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This might be the simplest soup ever! Just blend 4 fresh cucumbers, a clove of garlic and fresh turmeric to taste!

Enjoy!

😉😉😉😉😉😉😉

“Nice Cream” Sundae!

ice-cream-sundae
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7-8 frozen bananas blended with coconut water, cinnamon and dates.
On top sprinkle blueberries, strawberries and blackberries.♥️

🐈🐈🐈🐈🐈🌷🐈

Heat-Free Lentil and Walnut Tacos!

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups raw walnuts

1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

10 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes and drained

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon coriander

1 cup cooked brown or green lentils

Serving Ingredients:

8 large romaine leaves (cabbage, radicchio and butter lettuce leaves also work well)

1 cup salsa of choice

1 avocado, pitted and sliced

Directions:

Place the walnuts and salt in a food processor and pulse to break the nuts down until crumbly.

Add the tomatoes, spices and lentils to the processor. Pulse until the mixture is well incorporated.

Check for seasoning and add additional salt, cumin or chili as needed.

Add a few tablespoons of water, if needed, to bind the mixture together.

Divide the filling into the romaine leaves.

Top each with 2 tablespoons of salsa and a few avocado slices.

Enjoy!

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FYI:

Pics and text by Ronny! Canal District meeting (where the real locals get crumbs😢)

At the PNI on Millbury Street, yesterday, 5:30 p:

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Worcester City Councilor Gary Rosen was at the meeting. All photos by Ron O’Clair

By Ron O’Clair

I attended the meeting held at the P.N.I. Club on Millbury Street last night. It was put on by the City of Worcester and was attended by approximately 120 people from all walks of life. An eclectic mix of folks there – the great melting pot that Worcester is:
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WHERE IS OUR COMMUNITY BENEFITS AGREEMENT (CBA), PAWSOX AND CITY OF WORCESTER???!?! Sign the CBA! – Rose T.

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Why didn’t the City of Worcester push for AFFORDABLE HOUSING FROM THE PAWSOX MILLIONAIRES – like Chinatown did when the City of Boston welcomed billionaire developers to develop Chinatown? The City of Boston DEMANDED – AND GOT – affordable housing, courtesy$$$ of the developers, for the Chinese Americans who breathed life into that iconic neighborhood for decades! – R.T.

The City of Worcester had a format similar to that used at the United States Department of Justice-mandated Civil Rights discussions that Worcester had to hold four or so years back. I attended those meetings and then, like last night, there were various tables seating from six to 12 individuals who had a roundtable discussion among themselves.

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A moderator was assigned to that particular table or tables, as some had two tables pushed together. They even had one table set aside specifically for people more comfortable with Española. Looking around I could see young, old, black, white … all concerned about the future of the Green Island neighborhood.

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Green Island is disappearing, with all the incoming development: building the Worcester Red Sox Stadium and redesigning Kelley and Brosnahan squares.

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Tables set up …

Brosnahan Square will be a rotary, which will prove to be an interesting experience seeing all the changes that have taken place there since the days of my youth when my own father John Sr. was the proprietor of John’s Globe Texaco at 544 Millbury St. His old gas station is now under Route 146!

I spoke with many who attended the meeting. My primary concern was the Field House at nearby Crompton Park which I believe should be made into a new, improved Green Island Neighborhood Center. A few years ago SEVERE flooding took it all out. Floors, walls, carpeting – ruined. The City applied for funding and cleaned up and remodeled the entire building. Now it needs to serve the people of Green Island!

I am hoping the PAW SOX STEP UP AND MAKE A SUBSTANTIAL MONETARY CONTRIBUTION TO GET THE NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER UP AND RUNNING! Part-time staffer, food pantry room, after school program and kids library. I hope it’s modeled after the South Worcester Neighborhood Center that was started and run by Ronald Charrette until his retirement earlier this year.

I had spoken to Ronald about this, and he was considering volunteering his time and efforts over at Crompton to get things rolling! If the city is in fact going through with this plan!

People had many questions at yesterday’s gathering. (A little late, perhaps?) Most were answered at the roundtable discussions.I spoke with Gordon Hargrove, executive director of the Friendly House, and he told me they were asking him if he wanted to run the new neighborhood center in Crompton Park.

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♥️🙂A Worcester icon! Gordon Hargrove, Friendly House heart and soul, brains and can-do attitude!🙂♥️

We all will have to see what goes on with it. Ron Charette is willing to volunteer to get the Crompton Field House Neighborhood Center once again serving the people of Lafayette, Endicott, Lodi, Bigelow, Scott, Lunell, Millbury, Grosvenor and Sigel streets – and MORE!

I saw Woo City Councilor Gary Rosen and Woo School Committee member Brian O’Connell. They are both running for reelection in the fall. Green Island/lower Vernon Hill inner-city package store mogul Bob Largess was there, too. He has that flowing white beard and gives out rides on his horse-drawn wagon around Crompton Park.

This PAW SOX stadium, market-rate housing and gentrification journey is going to be major. Hopefully, the Paw Sox’s owner$$$ Larry Lucchino and City Manager Ed Augustus and our City Council will sign the CBA! And Keep and build affordable housing so Green Islanders aren’t displaced!

We also hope they address:

the flooding issues that plague Crompton Park so that our beloved Field House does not get inundated once again!

New Neighborhood Center NOW!!

Comments? Contact Ronny c/o incitytimes@hotmail.com

Waiting for Ronny to send me his pics (story?) …

He’s at a City of Worcester community meeting. Hope to post his column here, later tonight.
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Rose, today

I try to guide my writers – most of whom have been with me for 15+ years!!!! – but, like Jett and Lilac, they pay no mind to my directives.
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Jett🌺 & Lilac❇️ pics: R.T.

Cajolery, ultimatums – they fall on deaf ears or to the ground where everyone follows their own story-tracks, tails a-waggin’!

Cece is the only one who listens …
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… always comes when I call her.
Cece, like my lil’ rag, was named after my late mom (her nickname). Delivering this issue of CECELIA …
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… makes me think of her and how FB, Snap Chat … social media have destroyed the newspaper industry (my love♥️). But not good writers. NEVER good writers.

From one of my fave writers! My favorite Bob Dylan song for the past 30 years! – and I love so many of them! I lost the double audio-cassette years ago. Guess who gave me the beautiful double lp?
Yep.
Ron Stultz💛.

🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂:

From the Worcester Historical Museum
30 Elm St.
Worcester

🙂FREE FUN FRIDAY: BLAST TO THE PAST!❇️

Friday, August 9

10 AM – 4 PM

This program is sponsored by the Highland Street Foundation

Back to the 1960s at WORCESTER HISTORICAL MUSEUM!!☮️

🙂11 AM – 2 PM: Keep a look out for SMILEY…born in 1963.

🚀12 -3 PM: Visit Dr. Goddard and see some great Worcester. inventions…especially a backup of the David Clark headset through which Neil Armstrong said “One small step…” in 1969.

All day: Visit the galleries to find who the first person was to settle in Worcester; see the LGBTQ+ exhibit…inspired by the Stonewall Riot of 1969; flip some burgers in the diner; race against the clock in the factory; and stop by the Research Library to see some great photos of Worcester in the 1960s.

🇺🇸☮️🌞Then Blast to the Past in the 2nd floor Auditorium and make a tie dye t-shirt☮️to👕 take home and a hippie craft (while supplies last)❇️❇️❇️

try a hula hoop; dance to 1960s music📻; take a photo in our photo booth; and see a slide show of the 1969 moon landing.🌜🚀

🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀

🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸:

Go, Marianne, go!!!!

👏👏👏♥️


Go, Beto, go!!!💛💛💛

😈😈😈😈😈😈:

How did we get here? How did we let these devils take over?!

Miss you, Ron Stultz – my “Unique Find”!

By Rosalie Tirella

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One of Ronny’s Unique Finds♥️. Rose visited (every week!) Ronny’s vintage/antique shop in Webster Square, Unique Finds. She visited the shop to check out Ron’s “new” lps and music section – and visit Ronny and his girlfriend – two of Rose’s favorite people. pics: Rose T.

Our readers expect in-city stories from us. So when we don’t write them, they email us notes like this one (yesterday, to me):

“I’m disappointed that you never covered Ron Stultz’s death. He died in the Worcester County Jail, although the jail says he had a medical emergency and they brought him to the hospital (where he died).”

A few hours later, after I emailed the person a response, I got this:

” … I don’t know the cause of death. I heard about it from someone else who was in jail back in May.”

I did a little Googling and found the obituary of my dear friend Ron Stultz, an InCity Times/CECELIA advertiser/booster, one of our website’s stars (for free) cuz we liked him and his store so much …
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Ronny’s store and its thousands of items (big pieces of furniture to ceramic dog tchotchkes) featured prominently on incitytimesworcester.org

… and a beautiful guy to know.

Ron was a music lover beyond compare – just like me … a comic-book super-hero expert, a WBCN radio station groupie (like me), a guitar stringer, a casual acquaintance of Lucinda Williams!! (in her early days❇️) …

♥️♥️♥️♥️

… a roving concert-goer, an Elvis fan, a STAX Records collector, a gifted carpenter, a great boyfriend to his “Mary” who must miss her soul-mate every day, a “better” dad who was mending fences with his now grown kids, an animal lover who always came up to my car to say hi to Jett and Lilac and pat their furbaby heads … a big, handsome, charming guy with tattoos up his big arms but whose smarts dazzled you more than the colored ink on his biceps ever could!

And a heroin addict.

Which I still struggle to believe – I always saw Ronny at his shop working on his biz: stringing guitars, moving vintage bureaus from one room to another, organizing the album bins, trying to do his books on his computer in his office. A guy for whom junk had been relegated to the junk heap years ago! A former heroin addict who did the detox route many times, who attended NA and AA meetings galore, did talk therapy, too, and now owned an overwhelmingly sprawling, lovely vintage and antiques shop. Ron was better now.

And yet the opioids brought him down! Jail time. Twice. Twice after his beloved antiques shop closed. They say he sold drugs, too, but I never saw this – and I popped into Unique Finds once, often twice, a week, at all hours, to visit Ron and Mary. How could this have been going on right under my nose? As I took photos of Ron’s albums, lamps, bookcases and cool camo jackets.

I couldn’t believe it when his shop was closed! Ronny gone! But now always telling me he had a new better spot for his shop – down the road in Leicester. I would text him and ask: When is Leicester happening? I can’t wait! But I got no reply. Ever.

So it was jail and, as my friend’s husband, another pal, could attest: in jail there are gangs, drugs, drug selling … So something happened to Ronny, the second time he was in. “An emergency” says the official record. For the record – to save Lou’s face! Plus the jail says Ron died at the hospital. His mates at jail said otherwise …

What a horrible way to die – in jail, away from Mary, away from his funky super hero helmets and Johnny Cash posters. Ron Stultz, son of the late and very rich Sonny Stultz, owner of Standard Auto junkyard up Vernon Hill (the biz is now run by Sonny’s daughter Dee – the late Ron’s kid sister). Ron Stultz, dead in jail, but a guy who exuded promise! at all times! … a guy who was born to wealthy parents, given a place at the table at Standard Auto but who squandered his chances – and drove his family crazy, and to despair. His motorcycle accident (as a kid) sent him down the opioid road, some say…his brain got used to that opioid high.

Ron Stultz: the family black sheep … the nonconformist … the brilliant and beautiful fuck up.

We’ve never been a big Martin Sexton fan but we LOVE this song.

The alleged “drug dealer” who hopped into his motorcycle and took off into the night! So well loved by me! I’m a black sheep,too! And loved by many non-drug-users! Because Ron was sunshine. Sweet. SOBER. Fun to be around, knowledgeable about music and musicians, easy to talk to … wise. Whenever I had man trouble or life conundrums, I found myself at Unique Finds, with Mary behind the main counter counting the sparse ones and fivers at their antique cash register and Ron playing with his music. Like a big 17 year old. Like the bad boy all us gals fall for in high school.

HI!!! we’d say to each other…And I’d run to Mary snd get a big hug from her. Then I’d start right in whining about all my problems. Mary, who knew me, I believe, in a former, groovier life, listened and said One day at a time, Rose. Or: you look good. Or sometimes she’d reach over to the necklace tree on the counter to her left and just hand me a pretty necklace to make me smile. Mary had/has long dyed black hair and is an older goth beauty. Her jangling bracelets and low cut blue jeans and black cut out tee-shirts complement her lovely black eye mascara. Ron’s sexy rock chick dream come true! Now Mary’s sexy bad boy, with his sweet, easy disposition gone! Gone forever! Just like my late great mom, the late crazy Tony Hmura, the late beautiful Amanda of Jan’s Kitchen on West Boylston Street and her wonderful, quiet, but slyly smart and funny dad, Bob. GONE! Without warning! Without a Goodbye!

Now I’ve lost Ronny Stultz – yet another love! A mystery. A charm. A treasure trove of rock n roll experience. Life … whatever that entails, whooshes by! and we cling to our rafts as they tumble and turn and are buried by tons of water – Niagra Falls! How do we all keep on keeping on?

I was surprised – but not really – at Ron’s sister Dee and her cousin, Deb, who works at Standard Auto full-time and co-runs the place with Dee: My dear Ronny’s obituary was so succinct – one sentence long! With no mention of relatives, work history, loves and losses … Worcester even! Worcester, Ron’s birthplace and hometown. There was so much wonderful stuff to say about your big brother, Dee! You didn’t say any of it! Like you were ashamed of him. Like you disowned your brother to protect Standard Auto and your middle-class reputation … for the money, too.

But you brother wasn’t a money person. Ron was a BAND person …
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Ron gave this pristine lp to Rose

Ron was a BRUCE person …
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Ronny gifted this Springsteen album to Rose

Ron was an Elvis person …
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Ron gave Rose this Elvis Christmas pocketbook one Christmas!

He was wild and free …

He was million times more than this on-line nothing you gave him:
“Ronald passed away on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. Ronald was a resident of Massachusetts at the time of passing.”

And the wake and funeral were private. Ronny knew a ton of people! From all rungs of life’s ladder. Like me, he was a walking Charles Dickens novel – each character, no matter how low or high – sparkled! I – and many folks, I’m sure – would have liked to have said goodbye, old friend, to Ronny!

So now there are just the memories:

Ronny saying NO ROSE! to me as I made a grab for and he clutched ever more strongly to his wide hairy chest … an almost new COMPLETE STAX RECORDINGS MULTI CD BOX SET!!!

Ah, C’mon, Ronny! I said laughing, knowing I was never gonna get that STAX treasure chest.

NO, ROSE! Ronny said, smiling as I gingerly touched the box set’s cover and then walking to his lp section and handing me a so-so Johnny Cash album. (He knew it was so-so – that’s why he gave it to me!)

Or: Ronny sitting by Mary. Mary looking passed out, lying outstretched, in her desk chair and me screaming RONNY! RONNY! Something’s wrong with Mary!! and Ronny saying softly to me, It’s ok, Rose. She’s only sleeping …

Or Ronny bartering for an InCity Times ad when broke – usually for a couple of albums and a hug. Ronny was a big bear of a guy yet he gave the gentlest hugs! I always felt he was one of the most sensitive people I had ever come upon and that the world was too much for him…conspired against him.

Or: in Unique Finds … all the vintage gumball machines lined up in a row – painted fire engine red! Just like the ones I remember from my childhood. Maybe the actual ones from my ol’ Lafayette Street Freddy’s Penny Candy Store!

And all the toy fire engines – some the cool Tonka truck types, others big, metal and boxy from the 1960s – made for a little kid to hop into and pedal away in!

Or at the entrance of Unique Finds: this big – as big as an apartment washer or dryer – wild moon carny catch-all game that had stuffed animal prizes in it, plus little shutes that lit up and small multi-colored light bulbs. It whistled at ya, too!

Dee bought it and now, all clean and shiny, it sits in front of her work space at Standard Auto – all lit up!

Ronny was a magical Willy Wonka! And Dee knows it!

Today I see Ronny in his small Unique Finds office, rebuilding an old guitar that he rescued from some ol’ dump. He’s repairing it, giving it plenty of TLC … so much tenderness! … dusting it, varnishing it, recalibrating its frets, putting new strings on nice and taut and cutting the excess ends off.

Where did you learn to do that, Ronny? I ask my friend in wonderment as I watch his husky paws polish that old guitar.

I don’t know, Rose, Ronny says.

Just learned along the way, Ronny? I say, smiling, still watching my friend work.

Ronny gives me one of his sweet/sexy smiles – and a wink.

Miss you, Ron!

Love you, Ron and Mary!

Friday wrap-up🐝🐝🐝🐝

Sweet❇️ note🐶 to the editor:

Hello, Rose

Just checking in to say we hope that all is well with you and your furbabies – and to let you know we immensely enjoy your publications. The articles and recipes are great – we are going to try some of the veggie burger recipes definitely – my daughter April is vegan and I am vegetarian for over 25 years now. Just wanted to say we hope you’re well …

– Kathy and Dana
via the Internet

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One of Rose’s furbabies. pic: R.T.

🌞💛🌞🌞💛💛🌞

We Can Disagree Without Being Disagreeable

By Congressman Jim McGovern

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Jim meets we the people – Dem, Republican, Green, Independent … JUST SHOW UP!

All too often, our national political conversation seems to devolve into a shouting match. You can turn on the television and see talking heads screaming past each other or log on to social media to see anonymous insults traded back and forth at virtually any moment of the day. It’s exhausting, and I believe voters on all sides deserve better.

That’s why since I was first elected, I’ve been hosting “Coffee with your Congressman” across our district. I’ve traveled to bookstores, senior centers, restaurants – any type of venue that allows us get back to the type of real conversations that used to be so common. You won’t find all the finger-pointing, playing to large crowds, or made for YouTube moments that people are so sick and tired of today.

Instead, I’ve encouraged people to sit side-by-side in these more intimate settings and share their stories and concerns directly with me. And a funny thing happens every time: people stop talking past each other and actually start listening to one another. I’ve heard things that people just wouldn’t share at some large rally.

During a conversation at a coffee in Leicester, a young man talked about how he was brought here as a baby from Brazil. “My father instilled in me the American dream,” he told us. He made the issue of protecting DREAMers personal to everyone in the room that day, and left many with a new perspective as the nationwide debate over the border and immigration policy continues.

I met a lifelong Republican at a coffee in Uxbridge. It was clear we disagreed on nearly every issue, but there was no shouting or name-calling. Even though we didn’t agree on much, we still discussed the issues of the day and appreciated the chance to hear a different perspective.

I could go on and on. Holding these coffees has meant more travel and more events to reach the same amount of people as I would in some packed gymnasium. But it has been worth it to help facilitate meaningful conversations – including those that have reaffirmed that, even in this day and age, we can disagree without being disagreeable.

As chairman of the Committee on Rules, I’ve tried to bring this same approach to our nation’s capital. I’ve instituted a more accommodating legislative process that allows more amendments from both Democrats and Republicans to be debated on the House Floor – including those I disagree with. That’s because I believe in having fair fights and letting the chips fall where they may.

As I’ve watched more of these debates happen on the House Floor, I will admit that some politicians could stand to learn a thing or two from the people I meet regularly here in Massachusetts. No party has a monopoly on good ideas and there is much more common ground than some would have us believe.

None of this is to suggest we don’t have real and deep disagreements in our politics today. It’s no secret that I don’t agree with this president on much. I think his economic policy favors the rich and his immigration policy completely ignores human rights, to name just a few things.

But I also know that yelling won’t solve a single one of the issues we face today. So I will continue doing something radical for an elected official: talking less and listening more. Because as the Dalai Lama said: “When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”

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From RespectABILITY:

Fighting Stigmas and Advancing Opportunities for People with Disabilities

29 Years Later, the Fight to Fulfill the Promise of the ADA Continues!

By Philip Kahn-Pauli

This year marks the 29th anniversary of the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

After years of hard work, activism and protest by thousands of people with disabilities, an American president lifted his pen to tear down “the shameful wall of exclusion.” In signing the ADA, former President George H.W. Bush called on all Americans to join in the great work to “remove the physical barriers we have created and the social barriers that we have accepted.”

Today, nearly three decades later, the work to remove those barriers continues. “The ADA was meant to ensure that people with disabilities could earn an income and achieve independence, just like anyone else,” said former member of Congress and current Chairman of the national disability organization RespectAbility, Steve Bartlett, while reflecting on the anniversary. “Significant challenges remain to fulfill the promise of inclusion and independence.”

The work to address those challenges continues. Dozens of disability-led organizations and disability rights groups are working together to fulfill the promise of the ADA. The Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), “which collectively represents millions of Americans with all types of disabilities” coordinates the efforts of more than 120 member organizations “to advocate for federal public policy that ensures the self-determination, independence, empowerment, integration, and inclusion of children and adults with disabilities in all aspects of society.” Groups such as Disability:In and the National Organization on Disability work with some of the global economy’s largest businesses to promote diversity, inclusion and hiring for employees with disabilities. In the international realm, the United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD) works with disability leaders across the globe to advance the cause of international disability rights. Together, such efforts are critical to continue advancing the high ideals embodied by the ADA.

According to the best available data, one in four American adults live with a disability. That total includes more than 61 million people living across every community in the United States. It includes people who are blind or deaf or have other visible conditions such as spinal cord injuries.

It also includes peoples living with invisible disabilities such as learning disabilities, mental health conditions or on the Autism spectrum. Counted within that number are people from every segment of the broad mosaic of America society. Every racial group, every gender identity, and every aspect of society is deeply connected to the lived experience of people with disabilities.

Disability employment was a key issue that the ADA was meant to address. In his remarks on that hot July day, President Bush had a special message for the business community. He argued that people with disabilities are “a tremendous pool of people who will bring to jobs diversity, loyalty, proven low turnover rate, and only one request: the chance to prove themselves.” Today, American with disabilities still face challenges in entering the workforce.

The 2018 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium shows that out of more than 20 million working-age people with disabilities, only 7.5 million have jobs. Overall, the employment rate for people with disabilities has risen to 37 percent (compared to 28.7 percent 29 years ago), which is still far behind that of people without disabilities.

“Employment rates only tell part of the story,” added Philip Kahn-Pauli, Policy and Practices Director at RespectAbility. “When you look across the intersection of disability and race, you find serious gaps in outcomes.” Only 28.6 percent of African Americans with disabilities have jobs compared to the 38.6 percent of Hispanics with disabilities and 41.2 percent of Asian Americans with disabilities who have jobs.

Last year, 111,804 people with disabilities entered the workforce for the first. Among the 50 states, 29 states saw job gains for Americans with disabilities. The states that have added more jobs have done so because of cooperation and collaboration among leaders in the community, in government and in the school system.

States that have seen remarkable growth in jobs for people with disabilities such as Florida, Virginia and Illinois can attribute part of their success to programs such as Project SEARCH. SEARCH is a program for young adults with disabilities to improve their skills, learn from job coaches and ultimately find a job. Data shows that 70 percent of SEARCH interns who complete their training obtain competitive employment. By expanding such critical programs and working toward the principles of Employment First, states across the country can greatly increase the number of people with disabilities entering the workforce.

As more companies hire employees with disabilities, conversations are shifting to focus on inclusion. “Disability inclusion is no longer about automatic doors, curb cuts, ramps, and legislation,” said Jim Sinocchi, Head of the Office of Disability Inclusion at JP Morgan Chase. “Today, the new era of disability inclusion is about ‘assimilation’– hiring professionals with disabilities into the robust culture of the firm.”

Brand name companies such as JP Morgan Chase, Coca-Cola, Ernst & Young, IBM, Walgreen’s, Starbucks, CVS and Microsoft show people with disabilities are successful employees. Companies that embrace employees with disabilities clearly see the results. According to Accenture, disability-inclusive companies have higher productivity levels and lower staff turnover rates, are twice as likely to outperform their peers in shareholder returns and create larger returns on investment.

As the nation marks the anniversary of the ADA, it is critical to remember that disability is part of the human experience. It is nothing to fear because all of us will be affected by it eventually, whether by accident, aging or illness. Opening more job opportunities to people with disabilities will mean stronger communities and a better economy for all. That was the promise of the ADA and it is a promise that all of us must work to fulfill.

RespectAbility is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that understands we are a stronger community when we live up to our values – when we are welcoming, diverse, moral and respect one another.

We work with entertainment, policy makers, educators, self-advocates, nonprofits, employers, faith-based organizations, philanthropists, journalists and online media to fight stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities.

Led by people with disabilities and those who love them, we know that people with disabilities and their families have the same hopes and dreams as everyone else, even if they face different challenges.

We do not lobby; we educate. Our free tools and factual resources inform so people with disabilities can achieve the education, training, jobs, security and good health that everyone needs and deserves.

Mission Statement: RespectAbility fights stigmas and advances opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

To learn more visit respectability.org

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More from Jim McGovern:

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Go, Jim!!! 👏👏

Congressman McGovern Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to End Cuba Travel Ban

Legislation Would Remove All Restrictions on U.S. Travel to Cuba

Congressman James P. McGovern, Chairman of the House Rules Committee and Co-Chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, introduced bipartisan legislation yesterday, alongside Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) in the House of Representatives, to lift all restrictions on travel to Cuba by American citizens and legal residents.

The legislation, which was cosponsored by Kathy Castor (D-FL), Eric A. “Rick” Crawford (R-AR), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Darin LaHood (R-IL), José E. Serrano, Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), Donald S. Beyer, Jr. (D-VA), Denver Riggleman (R-VA), would also lift restrictions on transactions in conjunction with such travel, such as banking transactions.

Last month, the Trump administration further cracked down on travel to Cuba – implementing regulatory changes to ban “people-to-people” travel, the most common legal method of American travel to Cuba for non-family visits. The administration’s changes also bar all U.S. cruise vessels from entering Cuba.

“Every single American should have the freedom to travel as they see fit. Yet the travel ban deliberately punishes the American people – our very best ambassadors – and prevents them from engaging directly with the Cuban people,” said Congressman McGovern. “It is a Cold-War relic that serves only to isolate the United States from our allies and partners in the region, while strengthening the control of ideological hardliners in both countries. It’s time for us to listen to the majority of Americans, Cuban-Americans, and Cubans who do not support the travel ban, and get rid of it once and for all.”

The Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act (TSRA) of 2000 codified a ban on tourist travel to Cuba for U.S. nationals. It is the only country in the world for which the U.S. maintains a statutory travel ban. Currently, Americans can travel to China, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Russia, Iran and Syria – each with human rights records arguably as bad or worse than Cuba’s. Until just recently, Americans could even travel to North Korea.

Ironically, continued efforts to further restrict the right of Americans to travel to Cuba have had devastating consequences for Cuba’s fledgling private sector – the very people the United States aims to help. Until these harsher measures were imposed, Cuba’s private sector had grown to be approximately 30 percent of Cuban economy.

A companion bill will also be introduced on Monday in the Senate by a broad bipartisan group of 46 senators led by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT).

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