Category Archives: InCity Letters

Worcester’s Chandler Street, Ryan and more …

Text and photos by Dorrie Maynard

Chandler Street, right before you hit Park Ave.

First things first: I would like to mention that I happened to be driving down Chandler Street on a recent Wednesday and was completely shocked and disgusted at the trash in and around the garbage cans along the street.

When I went home, I called customer service in Worcester and asked who was in charge of emptying the trash cans, assuming it might be the city’s DPW.

Chandler Street’s garbage cans overflowing with trash …

I was told it was the Chandler Business Association: they had requested that the trash bins be put in place, and they are responsible for emptying them. They gave me a number to call (508) 304-8133. I quickly hung up and called the number. Unfortunately, it rang and rang. I finally got a message that the message box was full!

I continued to call the number over the next few days because, when I drove by the trash cans on Thursday, they were even fuller.

The Chandler Business Association requested the trash bins on this major Worcester roadway – home to hospitals, restaurants, small businesses, three deckers, an elementary school! – but doesn’t empty them. The CBA, unintentionally, has created garbage-magnets.

Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus, you said you were going to present a NEW, COMPREHENSIVE CITY GARBAGE DISPOSAL AND RECYCLING PLAN to the Worcester City Council. That was months ago! You still haven’t presented (produced???) your blueprint for a clean, green Worcester!- cutlines: R.T.

However, when I drove by on Friday, they had finally been emptied.
Needless to say, I will be keeping an eye on this situation.

There is no reason that the trash cans on such a busy street should look like that on ANY given day.

If the Chandler Business Association requested these cans, they should be held accountable for the way they look, are emptied, and portray the city of Worcester. With all the new developments heading this way, residents and business owners should be able to take pride in the way their neighborhoods look and how their street corners are maintained.

Speaking of street corners, I would like to mention the great job that was done on replacing the corners of the sidewalks in and around my neighborhood. Unfortunately, I was a bit baffled as to why just the corners were replaced when the sidewalks are a complete mess. Once again, I called customer service and asked. I was told the sidewalks are scheduled to be replaced, but I was curious as to how all the sidewalks around Becker College (on Sever Street) have been completely redone over the past few weeks (seeing that they don’t pay taxes to the city and the locals that own property do). I was given the name and number of an Emily Paulson. I left her a message and have not heard back. I guess I will be keeping an eye on this situation as well!

Giving the benefit of the doubt, maybe Becker paid for the sidewalks privately??? I see that my property taxes keep going up, and I am not seeing the improvements to justify it. Hoping to be proven wrong, as I would love to see and have new sidewalks!

Last but not least: I met a young man who I wanted to write about because of his situation in the city. His name is Ryan Lawrence, he is a 30 year old homeless man in our city. I became curious as to how he ended up homeless. I have seen him in my travels over the past year or so.

I decided to ask him if he would be willing to share his story. We met at the Worcester Public Library. He said his wasn’t much of a story: He had a very loving and supportive family. He grew up in Spencer, and he had been adopted from day one. He told me it was his career choice that somewhat gave way into his becoming homeless. He is a licensed barber and hair stylist. He explained that he had a party lifestyle because he never really had a set schedule as to when he had to show up for work. He paid $150 for a chair per week at a shop and could come and go as he pleased. He also had a set up in his apartment and could make $20 cash per hair cut all day long. It was the drugs and drinking between appointments and even during appointments that lead him on a five year downward spiral.

In an atmosphere that is not at all conducive to being and staying sober (which he has been for four months) I found it impressive that he has been able to maintain his sobriety.

Ryan said he decided that he was in an “awkward limbo” and needed to climb out of a hole. He wanted and needed to make a change. I had seen him struggling in the past, but his recent recovery really gave me hope for anyone that wants to heal and is willing to put in the effort to make it all happen.

Ryan pretty much keeps to himself in and around local food pantries. He lives in a self-reliant “camp” on the outskirts of Worcester. He is able to shower and keep himself clean by using the facilities at CHL. He takes pride in his appearance and it shows: he is always clean and shaven.

Ryan believes homelessness is caused by people having faith in chemicals and the system that enables them, as opposed to having faith in themselves. It’s hard work to take a look at yourself from the outside and work your way inwards. He thinks people would rather take a pill from a doctor that tells them their “issues” or buy drugs from a dealer to keep themselves medicated and complacent. He truly believes that exercise, a good diet and being self reliant have been what has allowed him to continue with his journey.

He reads about ­Buddhism and is very well spoken. We talked for well over an hour about all kinds of things – from self will, government, God, narcan and the natural order of life.

Ryan is hoping to meet a girl someday who shares his values and way of “found life” – perhaps live in the rural parts of Wyoming and be self-reliant … or maybe journey to India and never return.

Either way, I wish Ryan luck in his journey and I admire his strength and determination to be a ­survivor.



Should this woman-abuser be allowed to determine ANYTHING woman-centric for all American women? NO!!!!

No to Brett! The Supreme Court – We the People! – deserve integrity, justice for All.

Laughable: Trump an alleged perv, most likely a pedophile (miss teen pageant door-buster … creepy photos with young daughter Ivanka … telling an interviewer if she weren’t his daughter he’d fuck her) vouching for Kavanaugh. As if Trump’s recommending “this fine man” means anything to anybody. It doesn’t. . – R.T.

Main South: Clark U. to host “The Past, Present and Future of the Rohingya Crisis”

Clark University’s Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies is hosting a panel discussion, “The Past, Present and Future of the Rohingya Crisis,” …

at 4 p.m., Thursday, September 20 …

… in Jefferson Academic Center, Room 320 on the Clark University campus, 950 Main St.

FREE and open to the public.

rohingya crisis
More than 900,000 Rohingya have taken refuge in Bangladesh after a series of attacks by the armed forces of Burma/Myanmar and Buddhist nationalists.

Their plight is the fastest growing humanitarian emergency in the world.

Clark guests will explore such questions as, Who are the Rohingya, and why do so many people in Burma/Myanmar regard them as a threat to the nation?

Panelists will present the historic roots of the contemporary crisis, which the UN has called a “textbook case of ethnic cleansing;” …

… outline the broader political and military context in which the forced migration is occurring; and evaluate proposed solutions.

Expert panelists include:

Tun Khin, (@tunkhin80) president, Burmese Rohingya Organization (UK),

John Knaus, associate director for Asia, National Endowment for Democracy,

Debbie Stothard, director of Altseam-Burma and secretary general of the International Federation for Human Rights, and

Matt Wells (@mattfwells), senior crisis adviser, Amnesty International.

The event is sponsored by Judith T. ’75 and Lawrence S. ‘76 Bohn; the Departments of Asian Studies, Peace Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, International Development and Social Change; International Development, Community and Environment; STAND (the student-led movement to end mass atrocities); the Political Science Department through the Chester Bland Fund; and the Department of Asian Studies at the College of the Holy Cross.


Also happening in the neighborhood:

Worcester Earn-A-Bike is hosting Vie Cycle of Austin, Texas, to hold a Two-Day Bicycle Maintenance Workshop for Women+

September 16 & 19, from 6 pm to 9 pm.

Learn about wheels, chains, fixing flats, adjusting brakes and general maintenance while connecting with fellow bike riders and demystifying the bicycle!

Vie Cycle was founded as the result of ten years of bike love, education and advocacy. The principal behind Vie Cycle (pronounced /vee/ like the French word for “life) is that women+ and bikes were made for each other. Women’s liberation is rolled up in the invention of the bicycle. We live the lives that we do as a result of bicycles. Vie Cycle’s goal is to promote a life cycle rotating from bikes to education & empowerment which result in sustainability & self-reliance. When you feel better, you bike more, you share your knowledge and you keep improving about your skills. It’s a beautiful cycle.

Sign up at

Tuition is $60.00, however no-questions-asked financial assistance is available to anyone interested in attending (Contact Worcester Earn-A-Bike at 508-614-9322 or email

Woodstock, Spencer – here’s why people are shunning animal attractions at country fairs

But first:
Today, 7 a.m: The gang’s all here, upstairs, in the new apartment. Rose’s place has 2 levels, lots of rooms. Coolio … pic: R.T.


Exotic, wild animals don’t belong crammed in cages and “pawed” by naive/oblivious people at country fairs!

By Katherine Sullivan

When I was in grade school, I visited my local county fair. As many fairs do, this one featured cows and pigs on display, a petting zoo, pony rides, rodeo events, and — most upsetting to 10-year-old me — pig races. I’d admittedly been somewhat interested in watching these races.

I “loved” animals — and at the time, I naively rationalized that it’d be totally lovely to watch animals do their thing. (I hadn’t quite grasped the “captivity” concept yet.) But then my mom informed me that people bet on the pig races and that the winner’s prize — to my horror — was a pound of bacon.

I cried, my mom and I got as far away from the pig races as we could, and my journey toward becoming vegetarian — and later vegan — had begun. As I aged, asked more questions, and did more research, I realized the obvious — fairs are hell on Earth for all animals forced to participate.

Sea lion, as part of a traveling petting zoo at a country fair.

Animals at State and County Fairs — Used, Abused … and Killed

The state – and county-fair -circuits are rife with exploitative animal displays. Consider just some of the different types of animal exhibits that are featured at fairs:


4-H encourages its members to raise animals for “projects.” Its programs teach kids to raise animals in a way that will improve their chances of winning contests—i.e., make the most money off their animal “friends.”

After the fair, most of these animals are taken to auctions, where they’re sold to the highest bidders, who typically take them to be slaughtered.

The young boys and girls who participate in these events often don’t fully grasp that the animals they are raising and love will be slaughtered for monetary gain.

We’ve heard from numerous students who were absolutely heartbroken to learn this, including Alena Hidalgo from Pearland, Texas. As part of her agricultural program, she raised Gizmo, a pig. The two bonded, and when the time came to send him to slaughter, Hidalgo persuaded her school to let her send him to a local sanctuary instead. Gizmo is one of many animals Hidalgo has saved — after that ordeal, she decided to go vegan.

Other Animal Displays:


The rodeo — a violent spectator “sport” — is a staple at many state and county fairs. In rodeos, gentle animals such as horses and calves are provoked with spurs, tail-twisting, or electric prods and straps are cinched tightly around their abdomens to make them buck and run wildly around an arena.

Countless animals have paid with their lives to satisfy humans’ desire to play cowboy in these events — and so have humans.

Oxen and draught horses pull thousands of pounds – no matter how hot and humid!

Pulling Contests:

In pulling contests, dogs, horses, and oxen are forced to drag hugely oversized loads.

Although they’re meant to be competitions, the only actual “test” is whether the animals will end up with harmful injuries, such as hernias or heart failure.

Pig Races:

In the aforementioned races, highly intelligent and sensitive pigs — including some who are young and still developing — endure mishandling, noise from crowds, and blaring music.

Pig racing …

Spectators at these events, especially children — myself included, once upon a time — often don’t know that most of the pigs are sold for slaughter at the end of each season.

Exotic-Animal Shows and Displays

Exploitative events such as Sea Lion Splash and dancing-bear shows portray intelligent animals as silly clowns. This past May, PETA and Long Island Orchestrating for Nature (LION) demonstrated outside the Empire State Fair in Uniondale, New York, to protest notorious exhibitor Sea Lion Splash. Even though PETA informed the State Fair Group of the exhibitor’s numerous federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations—including failing to supply adequate veterinary care to sea lions suffering from painful conditions—fair organizers refused to cancel the cruel act.

These sea lions and other animals like them suffer tremendously when they’re carted from town to town and forced to perform. They live in an almost constant state of discomfort, frustration, depression, and anxiety. Always on the move, exhibitors rarely take the time to exercise animals or give them adequate rest, and sick and injured animals often go without veterinary care.

The acts that animals are forced to perform are demeaning, and trainers often employ cruel behind-the-scenes training techniques — such as beatings and food deprivation — to force animals to perform tricks that are unnatural, frightening, and even painful.

But even when they’re not forced to perform, animals on display still suffer. For example, consider the nurse sharks who were kept inside a small tank and put on display at the Santa Barbara County Fair:


The tank that these sharks are forced to live in is a fraction of the size of their natural habitat. Sharks, like other animals, are sensitive beings who need room to roam. Supporting one of these cruel attractions is like buying a ticket to SeaWorld or patronizing a circus. After hearing from PETA and our members and supporters, the International Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, Georgia, canceled a similar nurse shark encounter and decided not to host any events exploiting animals at all, proving that it pays not to be silent.

Big-Cat Photo Ops

Booth operators at many state and county fairs breed big cats to draw paying customers. Once they grow too large to be safely handled, older animals are frequently discarded at roadside zoos or sold to exotic-animal dealers.


Three 11-day-old tiger cubs died when exhibitor Craig Perry, operator of Perry’s Exotic Petting Zoo, used them in photo sessions. Although he knew that the cubs were sick, he didn’t provide them with veterinary care.

Pony, Elephant, and Other Animal Rides

Tethered tightly to turnstiles and forced to plod in endless circles, ponies can develop hoof ailments, and many suffer from sore, chafed skin caused by ill-fitting equipment. Ponies used for rides aren’t protected by the AWA, and when local or state authorities fail to intervene, the outcome can be fatal.

For elephants and camels used for rides and carted from venue to venue, life bears no resemblance to their natural existence.

nosey-resized-400x267 (1)

Stuffed into cramped, hot trucks and trailers, transported across the country, and used for entertainment, these intelligent animals are forced to carry patrons on their back while plodding in circles for hours.

For years, abusive handler Hugo Liebel forced Nosey the elephant to perform grueling tricks and give rides, even though she showed signs of painful, crippling arthritis.

Now — thanks to a PETA campaign that began in 2004, along with the efforts of many other caring parties — Nosey is finally getting the fairytale ending that she so rightfully deserves.

But other animals like her are still forced by exhibitors such as Carson & Barnes Circus to give rides for hours, all just so that humans can go for a five-minute joyride (joyless for the animals).

Petting Zoos

The animals used in petting zoos are hauled around in tractor-trailers, confined to small pens and cages, and forced to interact with large crowds of people.

These animals are rarely allowed to rest when on display, and they often develop health problems from this forced interaction.

Petting zoos are bad news for animals and humans. They subject animals to the stress of transport, alien environments, irregular feeding and watering, mishandling, and crowds of strangers.

Countless people have been sickened — and some have died — after contracting diseases from animals in petting zoos.

Animals Used as ‘Prizes’

The fate of goldfish, rabbits, hermit crabs, iguanas, and other animals who are given away as prizes or as promotional gimmicks in ping-pong, ring toss, and other games is often grim.

Fairgoers who “win” animals are usually provided with little or no instruction about caring for them and lack the knowledge, finances, or dedication required to meet their specialized needs. Many perish within weeks, victims of mishandling, unintentional neglect, or, in some cases, deliberate cruelty.

Good News: Some Fairs Are Shaping Up!

For years, Beulah — a female elephant from India — was forced to interact with and give rides for Sussex County Fair attendees. Then, in 2015, Nosey took Beulah’s place. But according to, fair organizers decided to make a change following protests and a public outcry. Peanuts the elephant was introduced this year — a 300-pound replica elephant made of silicone and foam. Peanuts, who looks similar to a real elephant, can shoot water through his nose at guests. But best of all, Beulah, Nosey, and other real elephants like them are being spared suffering thanks to the cruelty-free creation!

Wild animals were kept off the Brookhaven Fair’s itinerary this year following letters, protests, and town meeting appearances by supporters of LION and PETA.

In previous years, monkeys were forced to partake in rodeos. Lions, tigers, and bears had been forced to perform, too. But all that changed, thanks to persistence and activism.

Fair food has also improved. For the last few years, folks attending the Los Angeles County Fair have been able to opt for delicious vegan fare, such as Plant Food for People’s jackfruit tacos, nachos, and tortas:

But there’s still so much room for progress! Peanuts was created following protests from animal rights activists. Speaking up works! We must make our voices and actions impossible to ignore.

If you see cruelty to animals at any state or county fair, don’t hesitate to take action. Anyone can file a cruelty-to-animals complaint or ask the local animal control agency to check on an animal.

More swamp creatures, courtesy of Donald J. Trump

Edith! 🌼💮🐈

By Edith Morgan

We do not expect our elected officials to be saints, and we all understand that everyone has an Achilles heel. But some things are more easily forgiven than others. And we used to expect that those we select to represent us in public office are better able to do the job than we could do it. That ended with the election of Richard Nixon, when a friend of mine, a lifetime Republican, said sadly: “We voted our worst impulses … .”

I was afraid that in the age of the “ME” generation, when SELF was all important, that we might go down this road. When I was a kid we grew up being told that you gain self-esteem when you have actually done something to deserve it.

Then things got turned upside-down, and we were telling our children that they had to have self-esteem before they could accomplish anything. A cursory acquaintance with the biographies of great achievers should have disabused us of that notion, as they all struggled with issues of self-confidence, and often felt they were nowhere near as great as they wanted to be.

Which brings us to the culmination of the ME generations: We have now elected to president the apex of selfishness and egotism – Donald Trump – and given him and his minions the power to do us great harm.

And so daily, we are treated to yet another in an unending series of revelations (thanks to our still somewhat free press and our court system – at least at the levels below the Supreme Court).

We went through the indictments of the Russians (who are safely out of the reach of our courts, in Russia), the downfall of Michael Flynn and, just this week, the verdicts on Paul Manafort (eight guilty verdicts out of the 18) and the eight indictments of Michael Cohen. Add to that the corruption charges of two cabinet members and the charges against the two congressmen who were first to endorse Trump – and it goes on and on … The swamp is not only NOT draining, it grows deeper and more fetid by the day!

It seems there is not one area of our lives that has not been touched – and polluted – by this gang: Porter is gone, after it came out that he is a wife-abuser. The White House “advisors” seem to be on a very short leash and are replaced with whirlwind speed, often with even more reprehensible people.

I have been wondering where the bottom of this swamp really is, since this administration seems to be able to dredge up ever more fallible employees. All that is required, apparently, to work for this administration is blind and unswerving loyalty to Donald Trump (with no expectation that it will be returned).

But I sense a stirring, a realization on the part of people who had not been paying attention, that something is drastically wrong – polls have for some time indicated that the American public feels this country is going in the wrong direction. But mere change alone is not good enough: you have to be specific about what to change, and how, without hurting too many people. And perhaps now we can stop and think – and reverse course before it is too late.

I fled Hitler’s Germany as a small child in 1933. Germany did not reverse course and ran itself off the cliff. I hope and pray that we here will turn things around and retrieve the America that I found when I came to this country in 1941.



Drummin’ up community in Main South🔆💙 with the Main South CDC! 💮

Text and photos by Ron O’Clair

As I was coming back to Worcester from Spencer today, where I had some work done on my car, I decided to stop at the 7 Eleven at Main and Richards streets. When I parked my car there, I became aware of the sounds of drumming and looked over to the plot of land on the corner of Crystal Street that is directly adjacent to the 7 Eleven and is normally just a grassy area (most likely owned by Clark University) to see the place bedecked with oversized yellow umbrellas, chairs …



… and several people milling about.

There was a guy playing a beat on the drum set. For the people – real good for free! He reminded me of a Rastafarian Man from Jamaica, and all I could think of was the similarity of the gentleman to Bob Marley who was a great musician from that area of the World we all live in.


Next up was a fellow who evoked the visage of Carlos Santana, and he was going at those drums in a beautiful way. It was surreal, really.

I was glad that I had taken along my camera (to record the work done on my car); I snapped off some photos of the event for CECELIA and

Apparently security was being provided by Clark University Police, as there were four of the officers in the old portion of the street that sits there between that lot and the store.


On the other end of the lot, they had a “Plinko” type game set up for the children to play with on the grassy area that borders that side of Crystal Street. I inquired of the Clark Police who was putting on this event, and they told me it was the Main South Community Development Corporation, which was evidenced by the orange traffic cones piled up near them that had MSCDC written on them!

It was just a coincidence that I had decided to stop off at the 7-Eleven or I might have simply passed on by and never had the pleasure of listening to great music …


… and reminiscing about those great musical talents, Bob Marley and Carlos Santana. The visual effect of the Main South musical scene was very 1960s, 70s…🌸🌻

Taking aim at guns … a march from Worcester City Hall, Thursday, August 23, to Springfield to protest at the home of Smith and Wesson

Edith, at home💮 pic: R.T.

By Edith Morgan

They’ve all grown up, and most are gone from our Worcester neighborhood now. And so is the spring “rite of passage” that once took place here, in Green Hll Park. My neighborhood was predominantly Irish Catholic, and just over the hill was the Italian section, much of which is still around Shrewsbury Street, centered around Our Lady of Mount Carmel church. The Irish went to Saint Bernard’s church on Lincoln Street. As the boys reached early adolescence and coalesced into groups (now we call them gangs), periodically the Italian and Irish adolescent boys met in the park, had a good fight, and without killing anyone, returned home, later to intermarry. (Does that story line sound like a familiar story?)

The neighborhood has changed, but adolescent boys still form groups, some very tight-knit, others rather loose and flexible. What has changed, is that some are armed – not with fists, or perhaps a knife or stick, but now with the ubiquitous guns. And so what was once a rather easy to survive turf war is now a deadly encounter. And although the Worcester Police Department figures show a decline in Worcester shooting victims in the last four years, there is always the threat of death and injury from a gunshot. Looking at the 11 shootings so far in 2018, it appears that while they are more frequent in the southwest part of the city, there are four that are in other areas of Worcester.

The Worcester Youth Center has for many years provided interventions and alternatives to some of these problems and continues to do great work, with the help of many volunteers and social service agencies.

But after the Florida school massacre, we saw groups of high school students all over America (and, indeed, all over the world) finally saying “ENOUGH” and organizing to do something about guns in America.

We have been lucky in Massachusetts, in that we have numerous strict gun control laws already – and our legislators are busy plugging loopholes (such as the “Extreme Risk Protection Order,” etc).

But more can and should be done: and so I heard of a new group being formed here, a Central Massachusetts Coalition, who will work with the existing groups dedicated to gun control – and coordinate and organize activities aimed at this goal.

The next big event being planned is a march from Worcester City Hall on August 23, to go to Springfield and protest at the home of Smith and Wesson (one of the biggest manufacturers of guns). By walking about 15 miles per day, the group should reach Springfield by August 25 or 26.

Plans are still being finalized, but if you want to participate, or donate, or volunteer to help with transportation, food or chaperoning or simply donate $ – contact David Coyne, by calling 508-494-4053. As this group grows, there will be many more opportunities to help. Watch for further news. This group covers 100 towns in Central Mass., so help this effort, even if you live outside of Worcester.

We can not prevent all violent deaths, but we can put a real dent in gun deaths in our country and in our neighborhoods. Guns DO kill, more quickly and more efficiently than other means, and we can at least reduce the numbers.

Main South tonight! 🌜National Night Out brings together Woo cops and the community! 🌃 💙

Photos/text by Ron O’Clair

I was pleased to check out the “Night Out” Celebration held this evening at the community park on Murray Avenue, located behind the Main South YMCA.


It was a wonderfully attended event! The people of the area came out by the hundreds: I estimate that more than 1,000 people turned out!


I was happy to see the youth interacting with the Worcester Police Department officers who participated in the event. We are lucky here in Worcester that our police officers have worked with the community to ease tensions between the two. It has been an ongoing process and one our newest police chief, Steve Sargent, supports 100%.

The Worcester Police Mounted Unit had the horses there earlier in the day, and they were a huge hit with the younger participants. By the time I got there, they had already withdrawn the unit. Still, it was a great time to be had for all who cared to come!





This year’s 🔆 Green Hill Park Neighborhood Picnic! 🐎🚒🎵🍦(FREE!) We’ve come a long way!

The invite! pic: R.T.

By Edith Morgan

We’ve come a long way!

Free to everyone: this year’s Green Hill Neighborhood Picnic – our sixth annual celebration, and we want the whole community to come and celebrate!

Here are the details:

🌸the 6th annual Green Hill Neighborhood Community Picnic will be held:

🌸Thursday, August 9, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

🌸At Grant Square Park (corner of Windsor and Northampton streets)


Up to this year, we have always had the picnic on a Saturday, but this year for the first time we are having the picnic on a weekday, in the late afternoon/early evening. The change is largely due to our expanding the groups and organizations who want to participate.

Volunteers from our association, as well as from neighboring organizations, will be helping. The picnic is funded by donations from individuals, as well as corporations – all of whom will be mentioned and thanked at the picnic.

As usual, there will be:

🍦Free food

⚾Fun for children – games and more


🎁A raffle

🔆and numerous agency tables there to explain what they do, offer aid and get to know the neighbors.

🚒A Worcester Fire Department Fire Truck will put in its yearly appearance

🐎🐎and the Worcester Police Department 💙💙HORSES💙💙 will come pay a visit – a special treat for all!!!

😧New England weather being its usual unpredictable self, we have a rain date set for the following day, Friday, August 10, same time and place.

The picnic idea grew out of one of the Green Hill Neighborhood Association monthly meetings, a suggestion first put forward by State Rep Mary Keefe, who helped with the first picnic. We all felt a need to showcase our area and to bring together the many different groups who live in our area.

Under the very active leadership of the co-chairs, Winifred Octave and Debra Bolz, the group has grown and prospered. It all really began with Winifred (Wini) who lives right across from the park and saw every day that the facilities needed to be greatly improved.

It is said around here that no one says “No” to Wini, and so gradually the park saw many improvements: fencing, community gardens, an upgraded basketball court, improved parking, handicapped parking, seating – and other amenities. (Look out, Worcester city councilors! Wini is still looking for lights – which were promised!)

While the Grant Park area has for too long been one of our city’s more neglected backwaters, that seems no longer to be true; the gardens in the park, monitored by REC, and the added attention by various City of Worcester departments, all attest to the fact that this area is up and coming.

And while this area seemed to have more social service agencies than anywhere but Main South, our group has found a way to pull in many residents who regularly attend meetings, volunteer at events and take on tasks that help keep the area cleaner and safer. The City Code Department and the WPD Community Police Officers are a regular presence at monthly meetings and provide fast and efficient help wherever they can.

There is a lot more to tell – so come and meet us all, share good food, music, information – and FUN!!

Worcester Youth Center: Gordon Hargrove kicks off Senior Citizen Farmers Market coupon giveaway!🍓🍎🌽🍆

Text and photos by Ron O’Clair

Gordon chatting with some enthusiastic seniors. 😊😊

I would have to say the senior citizens event held yesterday at the Worcester Youth Center was a smashing success! I got there shortly after it began and there were already 131 seniors lined up, having been given a number to wait their turn to receive their Farm Produce vouchers – accepted at all Worcester REC FARMERS MARKETS and others outside the city.

Seniors at the Youth Center waiting for their farmers market coupons – worth $25.

The booklet each senior gets, filled with $2.50 coupons.

This opportunity was open to Worcester residents aged 60 and over. And has been run by Friendly House Executive Director Gordon Hargrove for years.

The beaming Gordon in his element! Helping people!

You could get a form to have any homebound elder fill out and return it to get them their own $25 worth of coupons. I saw this with a man in his 70s asking about his mother who is at home and who is 100 years old and couldn’t come in person! He was given a form that she needed to sign, and when he brings that form back, they will help her as well.

Seniors entering the Youth Center on Chandler Street, acros from Foley Stadium.

Getting some help: Allen Buttreau answers this woman’s questions at the door.

I think this is a wonderful program that enables many people who otherwise could not afford to buy the often higher priced produce and bread at farmers markets. Along with the vouchers, you could get a color publication called “Welcome to the Farmers’ Market!” put out by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Executive Office of Elder Affairs. It is chock-full of advice on how to use the Farmers Market vouchers, recipes, healthy cooking tips, advice and a complete list of when and where Farmers Market will be through out the season.

Jim Burns, the Director of Elder Services, hard at work at one of the tables signing up people for the Fruit and Veggies Vouchers.

The folks who got the vouchers at the Worcester Youth Center on Chandler Street only had to walk out the door and into the next parking lot to attend the REC Farmers Market being held there. REC HOLDS FARMERS MARKETS THERE EVERY MONDAY and FRIDAY 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., as well as Crystal Park, Main Street across from Clark University, on Saturdays, 9 a – 1 p. The seniors were able to spend all or some of their coupons and bring home a tasty treat of healthy, locally farm grown fruit or produce.

There was a tremendous turnout, which goes to show you that Woecester has many “food-insecure” seniors. People moved through the lines steadily, none having to wait for very long. It was well run and efficient.

Unfortunately, I was not eligible to participate. I have to wait a few more years to reach that milestone of 60!




Now – November 2😊🍆

Creating Access to Healthy, Affordable, Local Food!🍓🌽


Saturdays, 9 AM – 1 PM

Across the street from Clark University – 965 Main St.



Mondays & Fridays, 9 AM – 1 PM

306 Chandler St. (across from Foley Stadium)


And, for our Worcester teens and children! Free Summer Meals at our city swimming pools, playgrounds, libraries and parks!



Email Ron at

💒Column by Edith 🐦… and … Thursday wrap-up 🍦🌺🌿

Notre Dame church, summer 2018. CECELIA file pic: R.T.

All Is Not Lost – Worcester Can Adopt the Community Preservation Act (CPA)!

By Edith Morgan

In Worcester it seems to take about 10 years, from start to finish, to win a battle. It took a group of us 10 years to reclaim Green Hill Park from its status as a city dumping ground. It took 10 years to finally get the state-of-the-art Worcester Technical/Vocational High School. It took 10 years to finally get the great Senior Center up and running. And in every instance, after the 10-year battle was finally over, we ended up with a superb facility,

We won all those battles.

We’ve just lost the battle to save the iconic Notre Dame church – I suspect if we had had the time and support, we would have won that one, too. But have no fear, just around the corner are many more opportunities to do battle for our favorite projects. One of my favorites is the area at the north end of Main Street, at Lincoln Square, the intersection of Lincoln and Highland streets. There we have still standing, in various stages of neglect, the old courthouse, the Worcester Auditorium (the AUD), the Ionic Boys’ Club, and the world War I monument that used to sit in the middle of the rotary that once was at that intersection. All are unused and in various stages of deterioration. As with everything in this nation, the problem seems to be money or priorities.

And that is where the Community Preservation Act (CPA) comes in. Yes, we have lost the plea to have the Worcester City Council put the question on the November ballot (Do we Worcesterites want the CPA?), but we citizens can still get it on the ballot by getting over 5,000 signatures. So, probably the same people who have been working so hard to get the thousands of signatures needed for September and November candidates will now have to once again get out the petitions and gather signatures.

The CPA will, if adopted by Worcester (more than 10 Massachusetts communities have already adopted it and are collecting the matching funds from the Federal Government) will involve a small increase in our property taxes (the amount to be agreed upon later, varying from less than 1% to no more than 3%, with exemptions for some designated groups (perhaps low-income folks, seniors, etc.).

The reason I am supporting this initiative is that the money will be earmarked for three things – one of which is preservation projects. Had we had this money when the problem of Notre Dame arose, we could probably have been able to appropriate the funds needed for its rehabilitation! And perhaps we could have even created a haven of nature and beauty there, amid the ugly boxes that house the hotels and parking garages.

Once we have voted the CPA in, we can haggle about the details and consult our citizens about what projects should receive priority. But for now, the job is to get the signatures to put the question on the Worcester November ballot. We have saved Union Station and Mechanics Hall – but there are so many other majestic and historically significant Worcester icons needing attention!


June 28 – a letter from Ted Conna, co-leader of the SAVE NOTRE DAME ALLIANCE:

Hi all,

I have struggled in recent days with my own discouragement, with not wanting to discourage anyone else, nor wanting to perpetuate false hopes. I have not done the best job with that–I’ve been off my game for the past few days, and with hindsight, and there are a few things I would have done differently. That said…

Believe it or not, this is still not over. We’ve learned a number of things recently, most of it not ready for prime time, that give us hope for a last-minute change of course for Notre Dame. There may still be a surprise ending. We are proceeding to develop our legal case and we’ll go on trying to make our case publicly in the media.

So this is not the time to let up, and please don’t! Dale’s letter to the editor, Randy’s oped, Elaine’s letter today, Steve’s and Toni’s social media operation, and all the other things you’ve been doing or thinking about doing should continue in full force. We need to keep pumping our message out to the community, keep contacting the city councilors, keep the heat on to the bitter end–or better yet, to the sweet new beginning.



And …

The Save Notre Dame Alliance is pleased to announce the award winners chosen by a panel of jurors from the 100 eligible entries to our Show us your Notre Dame online art exhibition. The jurors were Juliet Feibel of ArtsWorcester, Luis Fraire of the Sprinkler Factory, Honee Hess of the Worcester Center for Crafts, and Jim Welu, former director of the Worcester Art Museum.

There were nine adult awards chosen, and a single youth award will be split three ways because the jurors felt there were three equally deserving entries.

We are extremely grateful to all of the more than 70 artists and musicians who performed and submitted work to Show us your Notre Dame. The arts community publicly embraced our effort to save Notre Dame with enthusiasm when many other community leaders who want us to succeed have been hesitant to do so. Many of the artists have also joined us, with their artwork, in our activist appeals to the City Council, and their work graced some of our press releases and printed materials.

The Save Notre Dame Alliance hopes to organize a gallery exhibition of all the submitted artwork in the near future, which will give the artists and the community an opportunity to meet and share the beauty of Notre Dame, as well as reflecting together upon the long and continuing struggle to save it for future generations of art lovers.


McGovern Profile Photo 1ab(1)
Go, Jim, go!!

Ranking Member McGovern Condemns House Republicans for Considering Resolution Designed to Undermine the Special Counsel’s Investigation

While providing cover for President Trump, Republicans fail to provide any oversight of an administration defined by scandal

Rules Committee Ranking Member Jim McGovern today condemned House Republicans for considering H.Res. 970, a resolution designed to undermine the credibility of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 Presidential Election. By bringing this resolution to the House Floor, Republican leaders are enabling the extreme wing of their party to spread conspiracy theories while ignoring many very real oversight issues.

“We know this isn’t a serious attempt at oversight because this Republican Majority apparently doesn’t believe in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities,” McGovern said this morning on the House Floor. “Republicans today are completely missing in action under President Trump. This is an administration that has been embroiled in one scandal after the next. It is an administration dripping with corruption. Apparently the Republicans only believe in oversight if it involves President Obama or Secretary Clinton.”

While Republicans focus on providing cover for President Trump with this resolution, they are abdicating their duty to conduct any legitimate oversight of the Trump administration. Judiciary Committee Democrats have constantly been stonewalled in their attempts to provide oversight. In total, Judiciary Democrats have sent 75 letters to the administration and 43 letters to the House Judiciary Committee and the House Majority addressing oversight issues and every single one has been blocked or denied.

Additionally, since Chairman Gowdy has assumed his role leading the Oversight Committee, he has not issued a single subpoena despite the refusal by the Trump administration and private actors to respond to dozens of requests for documents.

Chairman Gowdy issued 13 subpoenas during his tenure as Chairman of the Benghazi Committee. In contrast, since President Trump has been in office, Oversight Committee Republicans have blocked 45 subpoena requests.

“Only with the Trump administration can you have one scandal start at breakfast only to have another one by the time you sit down for dinner. We should be doing our job getting to the bottom of what’s happening and holding people accountable! But instead we’re throwing sand in the gears of the Russia investigation,” continued McGovern. “This is about whether this Congress is going to fulfill its oversight responsibilities or sweep possible wrongdoing under the rug.”

House Republicans are considering this measure under their 90th closed rule of the 115th Congress, which block all amendments from both Democratic and Republican Members.

This breaks their own closed rule record, making the 115h Congress the most closed Congress in history. A report released recently by Rules Committee Democrats highlights how Republican leaders have used restrictive rules to block measures to create jobs, bring down the cost of prescription drugs, and make education more affordable. These important policies deserve a debate on the House Floor, yet they are routinely blocked from even being considered.