Category Archives: InCity Letters


By John Monfredo, Worcester School Committee

When I look back, I am so impressed again
with the life-giving power of literature.
If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of
myself in the world, I would do that again by reading,
just as I did when I was young.

~ Maya Angelou ~

During the month of June, “Worcester: the City that Reads” committee, co-chaired by my wife Anne-Marie and me, collected over 20,000 books from our four-month long book drive. Every student – from pre-Kindergarten to grade seven – received a book for summer reading. Thanks to the generosity of the public, we were able to reach and surpass our goal. What we would like to do now is to continue our literacy program and have the schools participate in a “Book Swap” program during the week of September 21.

Thus far, close to 20 Worcester Public Schools have volunteered to participate, Every school that wished to be part of the literacy program received about 100 books as part of the “Book Swap” program and will be in the mix for the Book Swap program. These books were collected by me during the summer and donated by generous citizens and businesses who continued to collect books for our drive.

Again, our main goal is to encourage reading and put books into the hands of ALL our students. As a community, let us continue to make literacy a priority in Worcester.

A note from director Michael Moore …


Well, this is it!

Tonight, at the Venice Film Festival, I will premiere my new movie, “Capitalism: A Love Story.” After 16 months of production, I am proud to present this work of mine to you. It is unlike anything you’ll see on the silver screen this year.

Twenty years ago this week I premiered my first film, “Roger & Me.” Continue reading A note from director Michael Moore …

Gary Rosen replies …


Although I decided not to go through the rigors of a political campaign this fall, the election for State Representative in the 13th Worcester District is one year away (the fall of 2010). I shall use the next few weeks and months to assemble a strong campaign committee, recruit volunteers, raise money, and plan the strategies we’ll need for a successful result next fall.

And this man that you have labeled as old is going to use that foolish statement as encouragement and motivation. As a former teacher at Wachusett Regional High School, many families still remember and respect me for the fine education I gave their children. And soon I’ll be getting some needed exercise this fall into the early winter by leisurely walking the town of Paxton, knocking on doors and talking to registered voters.

But don’t worry, Rosalie, I have the intellect, ability, energy and character to serve the people of the 13th Worcester District quite well.

Best Regards,

Gary Rosen

Don’t be fooled by “statistics”

By John J. Foley, Jr.

In a recent issue of InCity Times, Congressman Jim McGovern and Jack Hoffman presented their cases for a radical overhaul of our health-care system. I do not deny that we need some reforms to the system. My main objection to both of their articles is the intellectual dishonesty running through their arguments.

I have long ago ceased to expect anything akin to objectivity or fairness from Mr Hoffman, but we have a right to hold a public official to higher standards. Continue reading Don’t be fooled by “statistics”

Sex Offender Registry Update and The Good Samaritan Bills

Sex Offender Registry update

By District 4 City Councilor Barbara Haller

Since 2005 I have provided attendees of Main South’s National Night Out the opportunity to look at the photographs and descriptions of convictions of Level 3 sex offenders who live or work in Worcester. This year’s event was no exception.

I have updated my book of Worcester’s Level 3 (high risk) Sex Offenders as published on the Massachusetts State Sex Offender Registry. The information was provided by the Registry on July 31, 2009. The Registry states on its web page ‘… the risk of reoffense is high and the degree of dangerousness posed to the public is such that a substantial public safety interest is by active dissemination ….’

Attendees at the National Night Out had the opportunity to look through the book. My intention is that as a result of making this information readily available that families will sit together and talk about the threat of sexual crimes. Sexual crime is a fact of life and the Level 3 book shows that in living color. Continue reading Sex Offender Registry Update and The Good Samaritan Bills

Brand new trailer for Michael Moore’s “Capitalism: A Love Story”

It’s here! Check out the brand new trailer for Michael Moore’s ‘Capitalism: A Love Story.’

Mike is premiering the film at the oldest film festival in the world, the Venice International Film Festival.

Next he heads to the Toronto International Film Festival where ‘Roger & Me’ won the festival’s People’s Choice award 20 years ago.

‘Capitalism: A Love Story’ opens nationwide October 2nd.

Can’t wait for you to see it!

Just a few fab pups and kitties ready to be adopted at WARL!

Biscotti is a young domestic short hair cat that is tiger and white.
Poor Biscotti was abandoned by her family. Thank goodness she is here now, in a safe place, while she waits for someone to fall in love and take her home. She’s a lovely girl who likes people, though she appreciates having “me time” to spend doing secret cat things. She would prefer a home without dogs; she thinks they’re too loud and silly. Come on down to meet this pretty girl today!

Caterpillar is a domestic long hair dilute calica.I’m Caterpillar. I was pregnant when I came to the shelter. I gave birth to 6 kittens on May 2 during the shelter’s big yard sale. I’m a quiet cat. Sometimes people don’t hear me talking to them, so I’ll get on their laps or onto a counter to get their attention. Continue reading Just a few fab pups and kitties ready to be adopted at WARL!

Exotic “pets”: suffering for sale

By Jennifer O’Connor

A toddler is strangled to death by her family’s pet python. A woman lies in a coma, her face and hands ripped off, after being attacked by her friend’s pet chimpanzee. A 9-year-old girl is dead after an attack by her stepfather’s pet tiger. Thousands of people all over the country—most recently in Florida, where the horrific python attack took place—have been bitten, mauled and killed by exotic pets. How have we reached the point where lions and tigers live in basements, monkeys are diapered and alligators are walked on leashes?

Every year, countless people succumb to the temptation to purchase “exotic” animals such as monkeys, macaws, lizards—even tigers, lions and bears—to keep as “pets.” Unbelievably, there is no federal law prohibiting the private ownership of wild or dangerous animals. But captivity is often a death sentence for exotics and, in too many cases, for the people who “had” to have them. Continue reading Exotic “pets”: suffering for sale

T & G’s Dianne Williamson: public relations flak/hack for candidate Joe O’Brien

By “Cheese Wiz”

I was furious when I read the piece about Joe O’Brien in the Telegram and Gazette by Dianne Williamson. But what made me even angrier was the lame system that the telegram has for “Comments.” Thankfully, I was able to recover my text below on two pieces I wrote about the apparent “coronation” of [mayoral candidate] Joe O’Brien by both Dianne Williamson and, later that afternoon, by Jordan Levy on his radio show. Is that how the system works?

1. Dianne and Jordan Levy supporting one candidate on the same day. Instant coronation, right?

Not so fast, Worcesterites! Let’s take a closer look at your shoo in and the stinky stuff underneath. Eww.

Dianne shows all the depth of Fox News covering Sarah Palin. And Levy, well, I was just grateful he had another topic this week besides Rushford’s obvious profiteering.

So, was that a real Dianne piece or was it a tryout for a P.R. job if the Telegram thing forces her into retirement? Continue reading T & G’s Dianne Williamson: public relations flak/hack for candidate Joe O’Brien

Fair housing and domestic violence

By Sarah Loy

Domestic violence affects people of all social and economic levels and includes physical, emotional, financial or sexual abuse by a spouse or other intimate partner. Victims of domestic violence are most often women and children. Domestic violence can affect performance at work and at school and can disrupt a family’s home life, not only through the abuse experienced at home, but also by causing difficulty in the family’s ability to find or keep affordable housing. According to a report by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness in the United States (Lost Housing, Lost Safety: Survivors of Domestic Violence Experience Housing Denials and Evictions Across the Country (NLCHP, 2007).

Maintaining housing stability while you are experiencing domestic violence or even after you leave a violent relationship can be difficult. It can be made more difficult if you are evicted from the apartment you live in or are prevented from renting a new apartment because of past incidents of domestic violence where, for example, neighbors have complained about police calls, or the abuser has damaged the apartment. Continue reading Fair housing and domestic violence