I watched the movie GREEN BOOK yesterday. It’s a good, educational, engrossing family flick but I, as an Italian American, felt there were way too many goofy, lovable, stupid Italian American characters in the film, most notably one of the main characters: Tony-lip, Don Shirley’s driver for the life-changing concert tour thru the Deep South. Tony couldn’t have been too thick headed – more than a good lug with a quick temper – if he cared for, grew to love, accepted the gayness of Don – and KEPT HIM SAFE. He navigated places like the Alabama and Louisiana of 1962 with a gay, black man – a guinea greaseball, half-n***, to most Southerners. He couldn’t have been that dumb if he did such a great job!
Still, I liked the movie, the somewhat simplified, nostalgic version of reality. The film showed you: back then, in the South, segregation was the norm, lynchings happened, Black sharecropper were slightly free slaves … .Tony and the “Doc” managed to survive the dangerous tour – a tour of courage for pianist Shirley – and become great friends. Friends for life.♥️
The Green Book – a “guide” book for Blacks if traveling through the American South in the 1950s and early ’60s was a kind of underground railroad for African American tourists: places you could eat, rest, play in back then without getting killed. Places where you and yoyr dollars were welcome – often dumps but filled with fellow African Americans who were on vacation, wanted to meet you or hang out in the motel courtyard. A good time – and you got to see your country. The Green Book itself really isn’t shown too often or discussed at great length in the movie; it is treated as it was at the time: a resource. It’s the experiences of the two men that are the heart of the movie. A different hurt in different Southern places – often the capital cities of the South where, you’d think, all those educated, well-off white people would be more hip to the truth. But they weren’t. Don knew that. Tony learned that. Tony felt for Don, had empathy. Plus they just “clicked” as two people often do, becoming real friends. And together they broke through some societal barriers – for the night of the concert at least. Don was trying to doing his part to desegregate the South – like Harry Belefonte – through his music, intelligence and grace.
Every Worcester Public School junior and senior high school student should watch this film in her/his social studies class – with an insightful, sensitive, knowledgable Worcester Public School teacher.
Things we take for granted – sunrise and sunset, running water, gasoline stations just waiting for us to pull in … What we do not realize is there are simple foods out there that we take for granted. Let’s take the humble potato – it can be mashed, baked, fried, stuffed, au gratin,neven made into pancakes. And it costs basically nothing compared to other foods. Carrots, onions all the basics are inexpensive and vital parts of any meal as the base ingredient.
♥️ pics by Chef Joey
The onion is one of the most cultivated food out there in this crazy world. Food origins trace it back to 500 BC, due to the ability to transport and store it. The Egyptians took onions as a sign of eternal life, and when the first settlers came to what we now know as the United States, the “bulb onion” was one of the first crops planted by our pilgrim fathers.
Little did they know that there are red, yellow, brown and even sweet (Vidalia) onions out there! That we can make savory snacks and even sweets with this caramelized item. It is also one of the only veggies that van be eaten at any stage of its growing stage.
… are also another crazy plant that has a bunch of colors besides orange. There is yellow, purple, red, black and white ones out there – their tops can be eaten as well. This veggie can be mashed, or baked, shredded for salads, pureed on its own or made into soup – combined with ginger is a tasty delight.
Earlier this winter I wrote an article about lentils. There are so many food items out there that we are passing by that can feed our entire family for pennies, and yet the world goes bonkers for “Vegan hamburger”! I as a devoted eater think that foods should be used for their flavor – not be manipulated to taste like chicken or beef etc. An onion soup or a caramelized onion quiche is delicious and costs less than $5 to prepare, and eight people can enjoy it and be full. That is the most important part.
The basics are the best!
With this new world of Google and other searches, you can never run dry of new ideas for basic food recipes or changes of the old family traditions. We can step out of the box and embrace the fact that you do not have to spend $200 at the grocery store to feed your family – trim it down and you will save $ and have made healthier choices, especially with the rising costs of everything around us. This is the one thing you can control, and making your own food makes you better in control of yourself and your budget.
In addition to the nutrition items, quite often foods have recipes written on their packages or suggested preparation techniques. Try them – that is exactly how new traditions get started because you learned something!
Carrot and ginger soup!
Peel and chop:
1 pound carrots
2 cloves garlic
2 large onions
Additionally you will need
A piece of fresh ginger (size of your thumb)
chicken of vegetable bouillon cubes (2)
Sauté the onions and garlic in butter or oil (about 3 tablespoons) until soft add the carrots and 8 cups of water and bring to a boil – add fresh ginger about 2 teaspoons to this mix as it is boiling and bay leaf – your choice at this point is to add veggie or chicken bouillon to the soup. 2 cubes is plenty. When the carrots are soft, mash them in the broth for a healthy hearty winter soup!
Say YES TO VEGGIES!!!
A late-on-arrival WRTA bus, downtown Worcester. … Gary, BRING BACK THE WRTA FREE SHUTTLE BUS THAT USED TO RUN FROM CITY HALL TO the city’s TRANSPORTATION HUB! WRTA Riders need that connection!! A tough walk to make if you are walking and carrying bags and bundles! Especially in the rain and cold! pic: Rose T.
Be there Feb 24!!!👏👏👏
🚌From CITY COUNCILOR GARY ROSEN:
Here are the details of the Feb. 24 meeting of the (Worc City) Council’s Public Service and Transportation meeting…
Here are the details of the first meeting of this city council term of the council’s Public Service and Transportation Committee.
🚌🚍🚌This meeting will deal only with the quality of the WRTA bus services and the soon-to-be proposed Zero-Fare pilot project.,🚌🚌🚌
PUBLIC SERVICE AND TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE MEETING
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2020, 5:30 PM
ESTHER HOWLAND (SOUTH) CHAMBER (3rd floor of Worcester City Hall)
The following items directly from the committee’s Pending List will be discussed by the committee (Gary Rosen, Chair; Councilors Sarai Rivera and Donna Colorio):
1. Petition of Jo😊 Hart request …
2. Communication of Eric Kneeland, Director of Programs & Operations of the 😊Worcester Regional Research Bureau, transmitting, “The Implications of a Fare-Free WRTA.”
#8a CC June 4, 2019🚌🚌🚌
😊😊3. Order of Councilor Gary Rosen – Request the City Council Standing Committee on Public Service and Transportation hold a public hearing(s) to discuss whether the inefficient, under-utilized, taxpayer-subsidized and possibly obsolete WRTA is serving the public transportation needs of Worcester residents.🚌🚌🚌🚌🚌🚌
#10b CC May 28, 2019
👏👏4. Petition of 👏👏👏Jo Hart request City Council work with the City Solicitor and the Department of Transportation to clarify who or what entity is actually responsible for seeing what needs to be done to obtain at minimum a workable level of public transportation for Worcester from the Worcester Regional Transportation Authority (WRTA).
#8g CC November 13, 2018
♥️12. Order of Councilor Gary Rosen, Councilor Sarai Rivera, Councilor Khrystian E. King, Councilor Morris A. Bergman, Councilor Donna M. Colorio, Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson, Councilor Sean M. Rose, Councilor Gary Rosen, Councilor George J. Russell, Councilor Kathleen M. Toomey, Councilor Matthew E. Wally and Mayor Joseph M. Petty – Request Public Service and Transportation Committee hold public hearings throughout the city to consider the recommendations made by the Worcester Municipal Research Report in a report of May 2019. The report deals with the feasibility and desirability of establishing a three-year first of its kind pilot project in Massachusetts in which the WRTA would implement a fare-free system.♥️♥️♥️
♥️♥️♥️As in several other cities and towns across America, it is expected that such a change would significantly increase ridership, reliability and efficiency, among others.
#13b CC January 7, 2020
Please forward this informative email to any individuals or organizations that are interested in all WRTA services and the proposed Zero-Fare pilot project!
At-Large Worcester City Councilor
Chair of City Council’s Public Service and Transportation Committee
and Worcester’s Representative on WRTA Advisory Board 🚌🚌🚌
What does Valentine’s Day mean to you?
By Dorrie Maynard
A Whitney Valentine’s Day card – courtesy of Worcester Historical Museum.
What does Valentine’s Day mean to you?
I asked a bunch of people because I believe it to be a Hallmark holiday. I feel like there should not be one special day of the year to show love or be loving towards others.
I am not a fan of chocolate or flowers that have been cut. I prefer living plants!🌷🌷🌷
With the price of greeting cards these days, who wants to spend $5 on a card that once opened will probably sit a on shelf for a week and then go in the recycling bin?
Going out to eat isn’t always a good idea: some places get overwhelmed with patrons, and the service and food tends to be just “OK.” I think a perfect gift, if gifts are exchanged, is spending quality time with people or beings that are special. My personal preference of a gift would be a “Spa Day.”
I think everyday should be like Valentine’s Day! It doesn’t cost anything to be nice or smile at people EVERY DAY! The way things are in the world today, we could all use some heartfelt happiness from strangers. I try to help the homeless, their pets, and make it a point to smile at people while out and about – most people smile back!
What I also found is that so many people are so lost in their day to day doings they are too busy to look away from their smart phones or so deep in what they have to get done that they don’t take the time to just “be” a functioning human being with a beating heart! Yes, we all have one if we are walking on the face of the earth!
My favorite character from the “Wizard of Oz” movie is the Tin Man. All he wanted was a heart! My favorite Wizz of Oz quote: “Remember, my sentimental friend, that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others”.
Another of my all time favorite quotes about the heart is from the Little Prince (by Antoine de saint Exupery): “And now here is a secret, a very simple secret: it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
And … “All grown-ups were once children….but only a few of them remember it.”
So this Valentine’s Season of ♥️, spread a little love and kindness, or simply just smile at someone who looks like they could use some love!
So follow my usual sauce🍅🍅 recipes… Sautee onions and garlic …
But now add:
toss in some cherry tomatoes
… add a can of chopped tomatoes
a handful of fresh parsley
… and a can of white navy beans – or any other white beans.
And Voila! You have a light pasta topping!
Cook for 30 mins and you are done!
Cook your pasta or rice while your sauce is cooking!
Cold Dogs Need Warmhearted People to Watch Out for Them!
By Lindsay Pollard-Post
Lilac in the eve…We are all listening to music. Cozy-town♥️
Cece♥️. pics: Rose T.
Jett loves his mats – Huskies like it a bit cooler …
Rebel is one of the lucky ones. Starved, neglected and chained outdoors in rural Tennessee in the freezing cold, the bone-thin dog likely wouldn’t have survived more than another day or two. But last month, a kind man who was working on a power line nearby noticed him, along with two others who were also chained on the property. The man and his coworker gave their lunches to the dogs and poured their bottled water into the dogs’ bowls so they could quench their thirst.
Then the man did something that changed the lives of Rebel and the other dogs forever: He notified humane authorities, who rescued them. And as soon as Rebel became available for adoption, the man who first spotted him made him a member of the family. “He’s putting on some weight, and he sleeps in the bed with me,” Rebel’s rescuer reports. “He doesn’t have to sleep outside in the cold any more. He’s got it made now.”
Rebel’s story has a happy ending, but countless other dogs are still out there, tethered by chains or locked inside muddy pens, shivering in the bitter cold. They need warmhearted people to watch out for them — and to take action.
“Man’s best friend” is simply not equipped to survive frigid temperatures. Many succumb to hypothermia, alone and suffering, within a tennis ball’s throw of the warmth of their owners’ homes.
Even if they make it through the winter alive, spending it outdoors is pure misery. Many shiver constantly and desperately curl up into the tightest possible ball to try to retain their body heat. Others shift from foot to foot in an effort to find relief from the freezing-cold ground. Frostbite and dehydration (when water sources freeze) are constant threats.
Add to this the extreme loneliness and mind-numbing monotony of spending hour after hour, day after day, week after week, with no social interaction, affection, exercise or stimulation, and it’s easy to see why so many chained and penned dogs go mad or fall into a deep depression. For these highly social pack animals, solitary confinement is tantamount to torture.
The very least that dogs require to survive a winter outdoors is a solid wooden doghouse with a flap over the door, elevated off the ground and stuffed with straw. They also need a source of unfrozen water and increased food rations, because trying to maintain body temperature in cold weather burns extra calories.
But many people who leave dogs outdoors are unaware of their needs—or unwilling to meet them. If you see a dog in immediate danger (one who is very thin, ill or injured or lacks adequate shelter, food or water) or if chaining is illegal in your area, follow the example of Rebel’s rescuer and notify police and/or animal control officials immediately. Your call could mean the difference between life and an agonizing death.
In situations that are legal but still miserable, work with the owners to improve the dog’s living conditions. Offer to take the dog for walks, ask if you can provide toys or treats, and try to talk to the owners — politely — about the dog’s need for adequate shelter and food.
Being forced to live outside 24/7, whether on a chain or in a pen, is no life for a dog — it’s a life sentence. But, like Rebel, many neglected dogs’ lives have been turned around because someone cared enough to get involved. Each of us can be that someone for a dog in need.
WPD CHIEF Steve Sargeant – HE IS IN CHARGE OF WORC DOG OFFICERS. If a Woo pup or cat is hurt or in trouble call the WPD BIZ#(508) 799-8606. They will CONNECT YOU TO WPD DOG OFFICERS…OFFICER CHERRY AND CO. They try …
Elliott Smith wrote this song for his mom: she was a music teacher – loved to sing. In the song: Here she is at a karaoke bar singing the Everly Brothers’ CATHY’S CLOWN – with her new hubby in the audience – Eliott’s stepfather who most likely sexually abused him when he was a little kid. Elliott told no one, couldn’t take it … left home at 14 and moved to Portland, OR, to live with his real dad. He adored his mother… missed her … felt he betrayed her when he went away for good. HENCE the song title XO….KISSES AND HUGS! … to waltz time♥️ …Waltz #2♥️♥️♥️
Good evening everyone, I feel honored to be the guest presenter this evening on such a vital topic as “Reclaiming our strength, dignity and values.” I will begin with a quote from the great Marcus Mosiah Garvey, a national hero for Jamaica and a prominent civil rights militant in the US in the early 20th century also a predecessor for Dr. Martin Luther King.
“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds. “These words were later echoed in Redemption Song by Bob Marley.
What does this quote mean?
Emancipate yourself, according to the Merriam –Webster dictionary, the word emancipate means to free from restraint, control or power. Other words or synonyms which typically means the same are – liberate, unbind and unchain.
Another question to ask ourselves as African Americans or Blacks is “ Are we still enslaved? Or Are we still chained?
The answer to this question is variable, depending on whom, when and where we ask.
This day, February 7th, 2020 we might answer “NO” we are not enslaved as slavery was abolished in the United States of America on January 1st, 1863. Even though we are not being physically enslaved we continue to be mentally enslaved. This is true and the statistics which I will now share will support that statement.
A research done by Noonan et. al, published on October 3rd, 2016 on determinants in the US summarized as follows: the mechanisms for social determinants on health care includes racism at both the macro and individual levels, Incarceration and mental health issues among blacks needs to be addressed as African Americans remain the least healthy ethnic group in the USA. This they believe is a somber legacy of years of social injustice and a formidable challenge to equitable healthcare for all.
In 1928, ninety-two years ago Louis Dublin a Jewish American statistician wrote “an improvement in negro health to the point where it would compare favorably with the white race would at one stroke wipe out many disabilities from which the black race suffers, improve its economic status and stimulate its native abilities as would no other single improvement. So Louis Dublin recognized that health care parity would cause significant changes in the black community.
In 1984, fifty-six years after Dublin’s report, Margaret Heckler, then Secretary of Health and Human Services dissatisfied with the way health disparities were being reported to congress provided the first comprehensive review of health disparities through health education and promotion and access to health care. This was known as the “Heckler Report.”
However, today, another thirty-six years after the submission of this report African Americans still endure unacceptable health disparities. The end of slavery did not mean that African Americans could suddenly lead healthy lives. We continue to be subjected to systematic discrimination and oppression even after 157 years since the abolishment of physical slavery.
Disparities can also be seen in education, housing, access to healthy foods, environmental exposures, violence, criminal justice, poverty and I could go on and on.
What are African Americans doing to change that? As our population grows it seems the disparities become wider. The CDC projects that by 2050, there will be approximately 61 million blacks in the USA, that’s 15% of the population. It is therefore imperative that we strive for equality. African Americans need to reclaim their strength, dignity and values.
What do I mean by “reclaim” – to retrieve or recover something previously lost. Let me use the next few minutes to elaborate and boast on what Africa was and who Africans were pre- slavery.
We were not always slaves, a race seen as inferior. Back in Africa, we have today the oldest existing and continually operating educational institution in the world which is the University of Karueein founded in 859 AD in Fez, Morocco.
Africa had the very first university in the world, Sankore University of Timbuktu, which started operation in 13 BC. (Mali in West Africa). Africans were educated, brilliant people and not uncivilized and uneducated as the Europeans portrayed us. Africa had great civilizations such as Kush, Axum, Mali and the great Zimbabwe. The empire of Songhai and the Kingdoms of Mali, Benin and Kongo were large powerful monarchs. Art, learning and technology flourished in Africa. Africans were skilled in medicine, mathematics developing geometry and algebra, skilled in astronomy, domestic goods, made fine luxury items in bronze, ivory and gold. Africans participated in extensive international trading networks and in trans-oceanic travels.
There were great religious and philosophical minds, as evidenced by the establishment of the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian church. In fact, all evidence of human existence and our immediate hominid ancestors has been found in Africa. Kemet now known as Egypt found on the continent of Africa, is best known for its great monuments, architecture and engineering such as the construction of the Pyramids. Egyptian produced early types of paper, devised a written script and developed a calendar. In medicine, Africans wrote on the idea and understood the body’s dependence on the brain more than 1000 years before Greek scholars came up with the same idea.
Yes, slavery robbed us of all that, crippled us! Destroyed our ego, took our dignity, strength and our values. After years of slavery and discrimination African Americans have developed counterproductive behavior patterns. The trauma of enslavement has been carried by African Americans through generations and is currently manifesting in many health problems. Mental Health for example, according to the Minority Health office of the Department of Health and Human Services, black adults are 20% more likely to report serious psychological distress than white adults and are more likely to have feelings of sadness, hopelessness and worthlessness than whites.
We have developed what is termed as “Cultural Trauma”, a state that occurs when people’s cultural worldview has been de-stabilized to the point where it does not effectively provide a buffer against anxiety and uncertainty. So, cultural trauma leads to anxiety related conditions, poor health and maladaptive behaviors.
Trauma however can be treated, so African Americans need to resolve the Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome and have more responsibilities in developing our full human potential. We need to move beyond the feelings of shame and embarrassment associated with the degradations of slavery. This Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome can only be resolved fully after profound social change in us individuals as well as in institutions that continue to promote inequity and injustice.
It’s not going to be easy, we have had to fight for freedom, to fight for the rights to vote, to fight for education, fighting is now in our DNA. Of course we will have resistance, according to the great Dr. Martin Luther King, ‘when negroes assertively moved on to ascend the second ring of the ladder, a firm assistance from the white community developed”. As Dr. King saw it then, it’s the same now.
We need to create cultural institutions to nurture and promote black values, startup businesses especially in the health industry, more mental health clinics, more African American Therapists who truly have the ability to understand and empathize with our children. We need supportive treatment facilities such as half way houses, sober homes and other transitional facilities to address substance use and mental health. We know there are also disparities in sexually transmitted diseases, we need to build more facilities to treat HIV/ AIDS, Hepatitis C and HTLV-1 which no one is talking about.
We need to build more schools to educate our children, create and develop public education campaigns. We need more African American city councilors, school committee members and other local elected offices. We need to have more voices in politics, the senate and congress, participate in civil rights movements and most importantly we need to use our ability to vote.
These are some of the ways to reclaim our strength, value and dignity.
Thank you so much!
Marcia Amarsingh holds a Masters Degree in Counseling, is an Independently licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, Executive Director of Amarsingh Integrative Counseling Services LLC, President of Renewal Sober Living and Executive Director of Renewal Integrative Psychotherapies LLC
When Fiona Hill testified in a pronounced British accent before the House of Representatives this year, she gave straightforward testimony about the Ukrainian arms deal. She testified that the Russians had interred in the 2016 American Presidential election, and stated that the claims the Ukrainians interfered in the election was a falsehood fabricated by the Russian intelligence service.
Recently I came across a biography by Hill, of Russian strongman and former KGB agent Vladimir Putin.
Entitled “Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin”, the book was co-authored by Clifford G. Gaddy. This 2013, 390 page publication by the Brookings Institute has the advantage of being published before Donald Trump was elected President, and then subjected to the impeachment hearing before which Hill testified. It is a unique view of the Russian dictator by an informed intelligence analyst, and allows us to view the Russian dictator in light of his history.
“For most of the first decade of the 2000s, Putin displayed remarkable political strength as a political actor in the Russian context. This strength was derived from the combination of the six individual identities we discuss and highlight in this book, not from his staged performances,” wrote Hill.
“We term these identities the Statist, the History Man, the Survivalist, the Outsider, the Free Marketeer, and the Case officer. We discuss each in detail, looking at their central elements and the evolution and their roots in Russian history, culture and politics,” continues Hill, “…Vladimir Putin is a composite of them.”
Wikipedia defines a “statist” as “an advocate of a political system in which the state has substantial centralized control over social and economic affairs.” Putin and his followers believe in a strong state to protect Russians from outside invaders and chaos at home. Americans prefer a strong state to safeguard them economically and protect individual rights.
The 1990s under Boris Yeltsin were called a “time of troubles” by Hill and Gaddy. The time of troubles” is a reference to the chaos following the collapse of the pre-Romanov dynasty in the 1660s. Hill and Gaddy argue that the 1990s, the first post-Soviet era, was a similar era of upheaval. Many Russian citizens were impoverished during this period. Putin campaigned for a return to the pre-Soviet state, arguing that history justified it. “Vladimir Putin is a self-designated student of history,” writes the authors. “Throughout his time in office, Putin has actively deployed his own and his team’s interpretation of Russian history to reinforce policy positions and frame key events.”
Putin is the child of World War II survivors, a vital subject in his developing world-view. “Their collective experience has turned the Russian population into survivalists, people who constantly think of and prepare for the worst.” Putin showed this during during the 1991 food crisis. Putin bartered natural resources for food to feed the St. Petersburg population. Putin stored up reserves for future such crisis.
Hill focuses briefly on Putin’s KGB experiences in East Germany prior to his rise in Russian political circles. Hill traces Putin’s inner circle and argues that none of them, but above all Putin himself, saw themselves as outsiders in the bureaucracy. She argues further than this gave Putin the advantage of watching the disintegration of the Soviet state from a distance, observing who in the Russian bureaucracy made the wrong moves.
Putin advocated free markets. In 2011, during the global financial crisis, Putin Russian oligarchs wanted to transfer their monopoly enterprises back to state control. Putin refused.
Putin also believed in building up his financial reserves to weather financial difficulties. In the 2000s Putin “had amassed enough food to supply the entire country for up to three months, as well as sufficient fuel, clothing, medications, and other products and equipment for a similarly lengthy period. The authors also credited Putin with having created sufficient financial reserves to weather the 2008 banking collapse. It’s too bad Putin did not advice to his admirers George W. Bush and Donald Trump on the importance of balancing budgets and storing up cash reserves.
Perfect tune🎶 for the Trump era:
Kirk Douglas Had Something to Teach Us All
By Lindsay Pollard-Post
Acclaimed actor, producer, author, and philanthropist Kirk Douglas, who died on February 5 at the age of 103, had iconic roles in movies such as Spartacus, Paths of Glory, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, The Bad and the Beautiful, Lust for Life, and many others. Everyone remembers him for these performances — as well as for his chiseled features — but what many may not realize is that this Hollywood legend was also an animal advocate who boldly spoke out against injustice.
PETA Supporter Kirk Douglas with his beloved dogs. Photo Courtesy of Kirk Douglas
Following the killing of Cecil the lion, Douglas wrote a brave piece in which he opened up about his one (and only) experience of trophy hunting in the past — which he came to regret deeply and called “the most stupid thing I’ve ever done.” Explaining his change of heart about hunting, Douglas wrote,
“[O]ne day I looked up and all my trophies seemed to be staring at me. I realized how obscene it was to kill them. I quickly got rid of all the ‘trophies’ and tried to forget the sin that I had committed.”
He called the actions of Walter Palmer, who lured Cecil out of a park and shot him with a high-powered weapon, “inexcusable” and said that the practice of killing animals for sport “must be stopped.”
A PETA supporter, Douglas spoke with PETA in 2011 about his biggest fans—his canine companions. Through all the highs and lows of his long life, Douglas found joy and solace in spending time with his dogs.
“I’ve had dogs all my life …. They have never failed to give me friendship,” he said. “If I come home and the dogs are not there (they may be at the vet), the house feels empty. If you don’t have a dog, you are missing a lot in life.” He joked, “My wife says I could live without a wife but I could never live without dogs.”
Douglas’ compassion for others began early. As a child, he was deeply touched by seeing his mother give food to those in need even when their own family didn’t have enough to eat. “My mother said to me, ‘You must take care of other people.’ That stayed with me,” he said.
Kirk and Anne Douglas
He carried those early lessons in justice and doing right by others into his movie career. Douglas said that his proudest achievement was the role that he played in breaking the “Hollywood blacklist.” In the 1940s and 1950s, many prominent members of the film industry were banned from working because they were suspected of sympathizing with humanitarian causes or were branded a “communist threat.” Douglas stood up against this injustice by crediting blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo for his work on Spartacus.
Douglas’ remarkable life is an inspiration to us all to care for others and speak out against injustice.♥️
For more than four years, All Saints Episcopal Church on Irving Street has hosted a free community meal for members of Worcester’s homeless community.
Held from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursdays, church staffers and volunteers give a generous welcome to the guests. A line began to form at one of the church’s auxilliary entrances at noon. The doors opened promptly at 12:30.
God’s love brigade! pic: J.C.
Arriving guests were asked to give only their first names and register with the reception desk. They were each given a nametag. There is also an area where the guests can freely help themselves to all kinds of free clothing, including underwear, socks, gloves and scarves.
Sandwiches, ranging from turkey and cheese to tuna fish,were served initially along with soup and a small salad; later, a main dish consisting of some kind of pasta or eggplant was provided.
About 10 volunteers who prepared the food and acted as hosts and hostesses were dressed in their “Sunday best,” and wore bright yellow vests.
Not officially part of All Saints Church the volunteers are part of an association known as but rather “Worcester Fellowship Interfaith Hospitality.”
The Rev. Lyanna Johnson, pastor of the hospitality program, has overseen the effort for the past four years. She is planning to leave in two weeks to take up a ministry in Austin, Texas. “We are offering this program because they are our brothers and sisters,” she said. “Our being here is a way of reminding each of them that they are God’s beloved children.”
Johnson is being replaced by Pastor Zach Kerzee of the Simple Church in Grafton.
Several of those whom I initially asked to be interviewed declined to talk and I totally honored their “No.” Eventually, I met a couple, a man and a woman who agreed to be interviewed. For the purpose of my article, they went by their first names of Dave and Amy.
Dave told me that he has been coming to the All Saints lunch for about two years. He said that he has been “homeless for about two years” and has been staying at a “combination of shelters and living outside.”
However, he said that within the fairly recent past he has been staying in subsidized housing in Worcester that has been provided by South Middlesex Opportunity Council, SMOC.
Dave said he had formerly been successful as an electrical engineer,“working all over the country” for IBM, and in several states including North Carolina, Texas, Georgia and New York.
When asked to go on the record about the weekly meal, he said, “This place helps a lot of people with mental illness because there is a stigma involving mental illness and being homeless.”
“I developed a problem with anxiety, and with my concentration and could not do the job,” he said. He added that he does not currently work and but plans to interview for day labor jobs
“It’s the only thing I have enough concentration to do,” he said.Amy, his friend, has been homeless “off and on” and she, too, is also living in SMOC housing.
She has had similar experience with being homeless, “off on on” and she too is also living in SMOC Housing, (off Queen Street in Worcester.) She formerly worked as a Corrections Officer at MCI – Framinghhman for six years and in law enforcement. She also said that she previously worked as a Paralegal.
Amy, like David said she became homeless “because of a mental breakdown.” One of the guests who freely identified himself for this article was Julian Burgos who has lived in Worcester for two months. He said he has been homeless for only about a week and became homeless as a result “of drinking and said something, and the landlord called the police and I spent the night in jail.”
For the time being, he has been staying at both the Hotel Grace near St. John’s Catholic Church on Temple Street and the Queen Street Shelter across from the site of the former Worcester City Hospital.
Burgos, born in Westchester, PA said he was previously jailed for a short time in Pennsylvania and among those who were being held at the facility where he was staying was the former TV sitcom actor and comedian Bill Cosby, (formerly known as “America’s Dad) who was sentenced in 2004 for up to ten years in prison for aggravated sexual assault.
He said he saw the former actor, now visually impaired, behind a glass partition and was happy to meet him “because he was a major part of my life.”
Burgos said, “Cosby was a nice guy.”
Among the crew of volunteers at the lunch on Thursday, January 23rd were Page Cassidy and Vulia Nguyen, two students from Worcester’s Bancroft School, who said they are in the process of getting other students from their school to donate blankets and other articles of clothing for the guests at theHospitality Program.
Retired Episcopal Bishop Mark Beckwith greeted the guests as they came into the meal. He previously served as the bishop for the Newark Diocese, from which he retired in 2010. Other volunteers who have been helping from the very beginning of the program included Larry Schuyler, formerly of Worcester, and his wife, Lynne. The couple now lives is Oakham
At the conclusion of the meal, when the volunteers were doing the breakdown of the meal, Schuyler briefly organized the volunteers for a “laying on of hands and prayer” for retiring Pastor Johnson who is returning to her home in Austin, Texas.
This was a very touching moment for some of the volunteers, along with this reporter, in saying good bye to her because she touched the members of the program so deeply.
“Via con dios,” Pastor Johnson: Spanish for “Go with God.”
Make our city a better city!
Slumlords galore in Woo!
This city is challenged – social ills, broken families, welfare cheats – dysfunction junction! This doesn’t mean we give up! Two great city depts:
IF YOUR NEIGHBORS ARE HURTING YOU OR YOUR PETS … IF YOUR BUILDING IS A DUMP – AND YOUR LANDLORD IS A SLUMLORD – YOU HAVE RIGHTS!
For your building/three decker: Call the City of Worcester Inspectional Services. Good peeps who know the challenges. They will come down to your apartment and check it out FROM TOP TO BOTTOM … and the City WILL cite your lanlord if there are code violations! Their phone number: (508) 929-1300
And … NON-EMERGENCY WORC POLICE – TO TALK WITH A POLICE OFFICER AND FILE A REPORT with WPD: Call (508) 799-8606
– Rose T.
Dorrie gave me two blankets, a comforter, jacket, mittens and more to hand out to Worcester’s homeless youth and street people – which I did! ALWAYS AN AWESOME EXPERIENCE! THE LOVE, the high of giving!! Feels great to connect one on one – chat and see folks immediately wear/use what you just handed them. Every face unforgettable … so beat up, missing teeth, squinted eyes, red eyes …
❄️Rose: Can you use this blanket?
Guy: You bet!! Thank you!
Grabs the blanket and places near his backpack.
❄️Rose: Do you need mittens and this comforter?
Gal: Everything! (and she walks to my car and reaches in to pet my dogs. Lilac gives her kisses!♥️) She says: YOU HAVE THE BEST DOGS!
Her face is covered with little red spots and a bigger red blotch – she is suffering. The women on the streets have it so hard!! Pray for them!! Help them!! Last week one girl I gave a scarf and hat to had a black eye and bruises on her face!
🙏🙏Please HELP our homeless youth and street people, CITY OF WORC AND THE PEOPLE OF WORCESTER! Do not look away and pretend to not see…
For the past several weeks the WRTA bus terminal in Worcester – The Hub – has been the scene for a gathering of anywhere between five and 10 supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, and they are going under the banner of “Worcester for Bernie.”
Cold temperatures that have hit the city in recent days have not deterred members of this group from getting out there to show their unconditional support for their candidate! They are somewhat of a “fluke” in local politics because no other candidate has supporters braving the cold weather to rally support for their individual candidacy – only Bernie’s people. ♥️♥️ pics submitted
Their presence is especially noteworthy because Massachusetts does not vote in a Presidential primary until March 3. … Several members of the group interviewed last Wednesday said they are doing this because of an intense love for the leading presidential candidate from the neighboring state of Vermont.
Mary DePew🇺🇸🇺🇸 and Bernie!
“I love Bernie because he is changing our world, he has already changed mine, by fighting for me who he does not even know, and showing me how to fight for those those I don’t know”
They even made several handmade spontaneous signs indicating their support.
The local woman who has spearheaded this effort is Mary Depew, 63, formerly of Clinton, a Worcester resiident since 1985. She said she has been active politically with the Sander’s campaign since 2015, (just prior to the start of Sanders 2016 unsuccessful campaign in 2016) which he very narrowly lost to former United States First Lady and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that year.
Depew said she has the title in the local effort of “Bernie Victory Captain.”
“We are an active group of local supporters who have been organized since 2015 and have previously met monthly, but shortly, we are going to start meeting weekly,” she said.
Depew has never done anything like this before, and was never politically active for any other candidate in the past according to her son, Joseph, 43.
“My mother has spent her own money for campaign expenses, driven people around in her car and has brought together a widely diverse group of people in this effort for Senator Sanders,” he said.
“There are people who are disabled, (including her son who has Multiple Sclerosis, MS) elderly people, and people of different ethnic backgrounds and young people who have never even voted before,” he said.
To prove the validity of her son’s claim of diversity, there was even a former Peace Corps volunteer among their ranks: Gabriel Connolly of Millbury.
Depew said that members of her group have also been involved in calling voters in the two early presidential contests in both Iowa set for February 3rd and New Hampshire on February 11.
To help Bernie WIN, CALL (508) 963 – 1399!
“We got lots of hang-ups,” she said. She indicated that many of the voters who she personally reached by telephone said they were undecided. Those voters, she said “will be called back later.”
Depew along with other volunteers have also gone to New Hampshire to campaign for their candidate. Not only that, Depow said that she even had the opportunity to dance and to be photographed with the popular United States Senator at a reception for campaign volunteers held n Manchester, NH in 2019.
When asked what kind of a dancer Sanders was, Depew flashed a broad smile and said, “He has his (dancing) moves.”
“There was a line waiting to dance with him,” she added.
“After Sanders finished dancing with one partner, he would say, “Next,” she said, as he went onto dance with the next woman in line.
In a follow-up interview on Sunday, she said, “ I thought, ‘I got to hug the man who is going to lead the world to peace.” I am not kidding. My first world leader hug ! Bernie!”
City resident Rena Grasso, a retired Psychology and Literature professor was among the more passionate of Sander’s supporters Wednesday.
When interviewed, she spoke about Sanders with the passion of a religious convert, continally using her hands to emphasize what she was saying about Sanders.
“He is not only trustworthy but has 40 years of unassailable uncorrupted principles and speaks with a moral voice,” she said.
For those interested in the local campaign, they can call (508) 963 – 1399 or email them at: Chris44horton@gmail.com
… He is cooking for family and friends there. He was nice enough to send us this recipe and photos – a vegan stew he made yesterday for loved ones. Vive le Joey! – Rose T.
Text, recipe and photos by Chef Joey🇫🇷
This is a Middle Eastern dish that is quite easy to make, and it can be vegetarian and even vegan. The protein source comes from the chickpeas; the main ingredients are onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, if you want … pumpkin or butternut squash or pretty much any hearty vegetable make it winter-worthy.
For color you have zucchini. As you can see in my pictures, it’s a rough chopped kind of stew, as it is meant to fill up the people who eat it!!😊😊
Traditionally, it’s served with steamed couscous, but I tend to use quinoa because it is gluten-free.
This recipe is simple:
You add some oil to the bottom of the pan and some tomato. You can substitute tomato paste, but I just use crushed tomatoes and reduce it down … you add your garlic, sauté, add your Moroccan spices. Which are generally Dried Mild chili pepper, ginger, cumin and coriander. Also: chervil, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg.
You have an equal amount of all the spices – about a teaspoon each to this mix. Then add your water – about 4 cups – bring to a boil.
Add your vegetables and simmer.
Then add chickpeas at the end and simmer till warm.
Total cooking time is about two hours. Add salt and pepper to taste and additional spices of your flavor choice.
You then steam your couscous or your quinoa, put it in a bowl and ladle the soup like dinner on top of it.
Enjoy this meal! Cost: less than $10! And it feeds 8 or more people!
two large onions
four cloves of garlic
1/2 a head of cabbage
one small butternut squash
chop these all up and larger size chunks and, of course, your chickpeas and couscous … then the Moroccan spices!
Hope you enjoy this as much as the people who have been eating it over the centuries. This stew is filling and delicious – back-to-basics food:
… in early February. We are impressed by the fact that a guy pushing 75 years old – Allen Fletcher – can become so animated by homemade pasta, over-priced burgers, trinket shoppes and artisan beer. But Allen is a rich old WASP – scion of the original owners of the Telegram and Gazette and has millions$$$$ to burn. Rich WASPs have lived well, so they tend to live well into their 90s! Allen obviously hopes to “age in place” – and gentrify an entire neighborhood to accommodate his tastes and hobbies! And he wants to build a monument to his ego so he continues to get attention and air time, is still a Woo player well into his 80s when most people are DEAD.
Drove by Allen’s place a few days ago. It is huge and sucks up a big chunk of a once intense vibrant busy overbuilt Eastern European immigrant neighborhood. The real deal I grew up in:
I wondered how many Worcester folks are gonna buy his overpriced burgers, noodles, tee shirts, cup cakes, etc. Where are these silly customers gonna come from? Certainly not the surrounding neighborhoods.
Q: ALLEN, WILL YOUR PUBLIC MARKET THEME PARK ACCEPT SNAP/EBT CARDS (food stamps)? So that working people and families can buy some of the groceries and meat and such sold at your “public” market? Many of them Black, Hispanic and Vietnamese. Minorities I never see in your Canal District.
Worcester’s REAL public market, that grand old building on Main Street with the marble ram’s head, hanging fowl and cow’s head adorning the top of the building, was A REAL PUBLIC MARKET – built for ALL, especially the hoi polloi! People like my Polish immigrant grandfather who would walk down to Main Street to buy staples he could afford for his family!
STAPLES. AFFORDABLE FOOD. Not your fancy theme park stuff.
Bring in the tourists!
Q: Allen, will you advocate for apartments that don’t rent for $1,400 – $3,000 a month like the ones in your “Public” Market building?
Q: Will you remember the homeless kids under the Green Street Bridge – just 10 buildings down the road from your project?
In Worcester: SO MANY HUNGRY WORCESTER KIDS – SO MANY ANGRY YOUNG MEN WITH GUNS AND BAD TEMPERS … ARROGANT AND IGNORANT – A LETHAL COMBO! … HOW DOES THIS PROJECT make them more aware? IMPROVE THINGS FOR HALF THE CITY? The people living in old three deckers – out of code, owned by landlords who pinch the penny.
We hear Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus may retire in 2 years.
After the fun of ushering in the Woo Sox stadium project and team and all that gentrification, after all the cool negotiating over cocktails in fashionable Woo restaurants, City Mabager Ed Augustus may not want to stick around to face junkies nodding off or shitting by the Green Street bridge … He may not want to solve these problems, be around for gentrification’s after-effects: More poverty, more hunger, more displaced families, more homelessness, more guns. Ed Augustus may not want to deal with these unsexy, not so fun issues! Instead, he may want to retire to his nice summer home on Cape Cod!
My old neighborhood – one of the poorest in Worcester – transformed.
A ride through it yesterday:
How will the wolf survive?
How will the wolf survive all of Allen Fletcher’s good taste?