Category Archives: Rosalie’s Blog

Our Teddy Kennedy

By Rosalie Tirella

I was glued to the TV this past weekend, watching history unfold before my eyes: the wake of the late, great US Senator Edward Moore Kennedy, the funeral mass of Ted Kennedy, the goodbyes to Ted Kennedy. From folks in Boston, Massachusetts, from his colleagues/staff in Washington DC., from people all over the country. The entire American pageant.

I only cried at the end, when I had wisely switched to CSPAN for the gravesite ceremony. Thanks to CSPAN, there was almost complete silence as Kennedy was carried to his grave in Arlington Cemetery. No commentators bloviating, no melodramatic music piped in by the news channels to seduce you into a mood. You simply saw the silent end – heart-rending. To be put into the ground. To be covered with dirt. To be locked in the earth, darkness, forever. Even with the flag draped over Kennedy’s coffin, all the flowers at the cemetery, the “eternal flame” at the grave site, and brothers Jack and Bobby waiting silently in the earth nearby, you felt: Teddy will never see a tree again – or the sky. Oh, the exquisite pain! Continue reading Our Teddy Kennedy

Taco is correct!

I agree with Taco on one important point: the same folks keep getting recyled through Worcester’s political system. Let’s all take a big gulp of Milk of Magnesia and purge ourselves of folks like City Councilor Mike Germain, a guy who knows nothing about pretty much everything. We need to get these guys the hell outa city hall.

Sad but true: Awhile ago I was told that Worcester City Manager Mike O’Brien and L.G. Tim Murray (maybe before he was L.G.) went to someone’s house – together, paid this person a personal visit – to ask this person to run for a seat on the Worcester City Council. How’s that for trying to control the system? When would Tim Murray come to my home and ask me to run for city council or school committee? Like Taco said, these guys want to fill the council with council-bots – people who will rubber stamp their programs/agendas. They, in turn, will support the council-bots with their considerable political muscle ($$, volunteers, endorsements, important contributor lists, etc). I am not saying all their programs are merit-less. I AM saying their way of doing politics sucks.

– Rosalie Tirella

Joe blows!

By Rosalie Tirella

We hope Mayor Konstantina Lukes blows “Joe-Blow” O’Brien right outa the freakin’ water!

Amazing! Every election cycle the old Murray/Rushton/Donahue/Eddy brigade farts out yet another political wannabe. This time around the farted (oops! we mean annointed!) is Joe O’Brien, a guy with nothing to offer but his connections – and searing political ambitions.

Yes, yes, I know he has done some work on behalf of the schools, and he lives in Main South, etc, etc. But it seems to me O’Brien’s political work has always been in service to HIS POLITICAL CAREER – as if the ambitious O’Brien were just biding time until … the President came calling!

But President Obama hasn’t given O’Brien a ring-a-ding-ding. So O’Brien decides he wants to be mayor of Worcester -an idea that apparently popped into his head after spending a few years as Congressman Jim McGovern’s regional director. O’Brien’s job as McGovern’s top banana was a political plum thrown to him after helping run (so they say) L.G.’s Tim Murray campaign. (Talk about connections! Can’t the rest of us be connected too so we can get high-paying jobs for giving half-assed speeches on behalf of our pals?) Continue reading Joe blows!

Dump the free-loaders!

By Rosalie Tirella

Yes! Yes! The synapses in my head are firing like mad! How they crackled this afternoon when, coming out of a store in Holden (near the Jefferson line for Gawd’s sake!), I saw a WORCESTER DPW truck sitting in a parking lot with four Worcester public works employees – slurping on milkshakes! What the heck were our DPW workers doing in Jefferson practically – on city time?  Couldn’t they slurp on their McShakes in Worcester, the city that employees them? The DPW pickup truck had a double cab – a front and back seat – so no one was cramped. Thank goodness! Because it was such a fine summer day! A sunny, perfect day to take a jaunt through the country! ON WORCESTER TAXPAYERS’ DIME!!!

Pathetic.

This is why Worcesterites have so little respect for the municipal workers we pay $50,000, $80,000, even $100,000 and $150,000 (our cops’ salaries). Only to get … this – sitting in the middle of Holden in a Worcester DPW truck. Using gas that Worcesterites paid for, showing no incentive, showing no respect, sneaking around. So, how long is their lunch break? Why couldn’t these four guys take their own vehicles? Was that it for today, as far as their work goes? Were they calling it a day?  Giving themselves the afternoon off – far, far away from the peepers that sit in the head of DPW and Parks Commisioner Robert Moylan? Jeepers, creepers! Or were the DPW guys going to bring Moylan back some of that good country cookin’?

We’ll never know. 

Even more outrageous: the sight of Worcester Police Officers Don Cummings and Tom Daly whining during this week’s Worcester City Council meeting about losing their Quinn Bill benefits (read lots and lots of dough). Wah! Wah! We can’t make over  $100-grand now! Wah, wah! We can’t take our nice vacations! Wah! Wah! We won’t be able to put in that Jacuzi! Wah! Wah! We will lose our upper-middle class way of life. Continue reading Dump the free-loaders!

Guest panelists wanted

Have a viewpoint you want to share? Please join us – the InCity Times gang – at WCCA TV 13, Main Street, Wormtown. We film our current events show, “Straight Talk,” there and would like to see more guest panelists talk up their pet peeves, pet causes, etc, etc.

It’s not too hard – and kinda fun.

Call me at 508.963.8386 so we can have you on our next show!

Thanks!

– Rosalie T., founding editor/publisher, InCity Times

The T & G editorials: let the sliming begin!

By Rosalie Tirella

Well, we all know that the Telegram and Gazette has always been a Republican paper – from its inception, when the tight-assed Booths and Stoddards ruled its pages – to the present, where its true colors show most blatantly on its op-ed pages, specifically its editorials. New editorial writer Chris Sinocola is much more conservative than Robert French (and not as good a writer). So, of course, the Obama-bashing is beginning in earnest.

Take this morning’s T & G editorial, the writer (Sinocola, I presume) starts the fear mongering. Oh my! President Barack Obama MAY begin to tax the middle class! We watched a few Sunday talk shows and a few guys answered a few questions re: taxes rather nebulously. Mon Dieu! Call the guards! Call the exorcist! Here we go! TAX TIME! Beware all you regular folks – Obama is out to screw you!

Not so fast, dink-puss Sinocola! In your op/ed piece there is NOT ONE IOTA of proof that President Obama is going to shift the $ burden on America’s middle class – the folks that make $40,000 – $100,000 a year. Obama himself has said so! Again and again and again. He hasn’t even rolled back the Bush tax cuts for the rich! He should have put the kibosh on the Bush law that gives big tax breaks to people who make over $250,000. Instead, he is going to let that law fade: in 2010 he will not re-sign that STUPID Bush law. InCity Times is asking Obama to reinstate the President Bill Clinton tax brackets. Continue reading The T & G editorials: let the sliming begin!

Obama was right! The Cambridge cops DID act “stupidly”

By Rosalie Tirella

The “Skip” Gates debacle was just that – a debacle. And President Barack Obama was correct in labeling the Cambridge cops’ behavior as stupid. And when Governor Deval Patrick weighed in with an equally accurate description, decrying the way this country treats Black Americans, he was right, too.

Both guys – African Americans first, elected leaders second – were on target. America DOES relegate blacks to second-class status even though the laws have changed and the “no colored” signs have been ripped off every diner door in the South. Both know that many black guys fear for their lives if stopped by cops, if acting too “uppity” (which Professor, in Officer Crowley’s eyes, did). Heaven forbid you should be black and proud and know the score – just the way First Lady Michelle Obama was when she said, after the presidential nomination of her husband: for the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country. She knows first hand, based on living in the South Side of Chicago, being the daughter of a public works guy and stay at home mom, that life is dangerous in America if you are black and you step over the line, say too much.

It is, in many ways, the same things for women.  As the owner/editor/publisher of InCity Times, we’ve got lots of supporters – but some detractors, too. Most of these folks are male politiicians (white), male biz owners (white) who have always enjoyed unquestioned power in this town. But because I dare to “run with the big dogs” they try to thwart me at every turn. Which only strengthens my resolve tenfold. I will speak out.

And so should Professor Gates. C’mon, a frail old guy who walks with a cane telling three big burly cops – in their prime – ‘yo mama” – in his OWN home – does not need to be handcuffed, booked and have “mug shots” taken of him. How degrading. Which is exactly what that asshole Crowley and the Cambridge Police Department were going for. “Know your place feisty old black man,” they seemed to be saying to Professor Gates.

Well, his place is WAY ABOVE these blue collar pin-heads. He has written books, edited books; he has been interviewed hundreds of times on news shows, he teaches at Harvard. He knows the President of the United States.

He is a brilliant man.

Crowley was/is your basic dope.

If the colors had been switched, the apologies and back pedalling and beer summit would never have happened.

T & G’s Clive McFarlane: hypocrite extraordinaire!

By Rosalie Tirella

Well, I hope pin-head Telegram & Gazette columnist Clive McFarlane is feeling guilty. 

Several months ago, when the Worcester School Committee was voting on the new school superintendent, school committee member Dottie Hargrove put her vote behind school superintendent candidate Melinda J. Boone, who hails from Norfolk, VA. By doing so, the wonderfully sunny and INTELLIGENT Dottie Hargrove made way for the city’s first African American/female school superintendent and put an end to the serious nepotism that parades as hiring practice in the Worcester Publis Schools.

By voting the way she did,  Dottie Hargrove was actually answering the prayers of most Worcesterites. She was saying: It’s not who you know in this town anymore – it’s what you know! By dumping job candidate Steven Mills, the city’s connected-guy, Dottie, along with the majority of the school committee, was saying this LOUD AND CLEAR to Mills and most important the parents and students of Worcester: a new day is dawning in Worcester.

But Mills was/is deaf. In a story about his desire to be the next Worcester school superintendent, he made it a point to flaunt the fact that he worked on Lt. Gov. Tim Murray’s political campaigns – as if that would instantly make him school superintendent of Worcester.  What a stupid – but telling – thing for Mills – the toady! – to say to a reporter!

The real questions on Worcester parents’/residents’ minds: Did Mills have enough experience? Was he smart enough to handle the work load? Could he do the job? Most people wanted answers to those questions and didn’t give a damn if Mills is palsy walsy with Murray.

And the majority of Worcester School Committee members wanted answers to those questions, too. And when they got the answers – based on a non-partisan, super-intelligent search committee who reviewed all candidate resumes, interviewed all candidates, etc and recommended Boone for the job – it was a new dawn for Worcester!

You would think Clive McFarlane, a Black of Jamaican descent, would have been celebrating with the rest of us. After all, he was on the receiving end of affirmative action policies when it came to getting his metro columnist job at the T & G.

Years ago,  Clive would most likely have not gotten his plum job because the old T & G was so clubby. Thanks to places like the MLK Center on Dewey street, whose director Robert Thomas told me several years ago that he had to “point a gun” to then T & G publisher’s Bruce Bennett’s head to get him to hire an Asian American for a job at the T & G, things have changed at the T & G (well, slightly).  Thomas told me Bennett said to him something like: you know how I feel about affirmative action, Robert. Well, dink-puss Bennett got his arm twisted by Thomas and he relented and hired the Asian American guy – who worked out wonderfully. Bennett is gone – and actually right after a reminder from InCity Times that there are NO reporters of color at the T & G, Bennett gave McFarlane the job and when he was retiring from the T & G said he was glad of his affirmative action (Clive as metro columnist) hires.

So how stupid of Clive McFarlane – a product of affirmative action, a system whose goal is to destroy the old white boys’  club –  to defend the skewed hiring practices of the Worcester Public School System – a system that most likely would have kept him out of any teaching job. 

Clive beat Dottie up in his column last winter – making her seem spacy, as if she didn’t know what she was doing and thus ruined the W.P. Schools for everyone! For two columns Clive dumped on Dottie, intimating that she was putting an end to a long, grand, proud Worcester teaching tradition.  Clive said even though the WPS system was clubby, the WPS had great teachers and our school system was excellent. So what if it was a teeny bit … corrupt? he seemed to be saying.  Clive was for the status quo – a status quo that doesn’t give two shits for him.

But I ask: How can you have an excellent school system when you have most of our schools without any black/Lationo teachers while our schools are filled with a majority of minority students?

So in has last Dottie Hargrove column ( a week or so ago)  the idiot Clive threw Dottie a bone: Yes! Dottie was passionate about inner-city kids and their education! No one was more passionate about these kids!

Unlike you, asshole!

Because if you were, Clive,  you would have known that Dottie was on the poor minority kids’ side all along! That she had a ton of love for the kids in our schools – was a reading teacher for many years in our school system, is a professor now – teaching college students how to be effective teachers.

If only you had interviewed her, Clive-o, and given her a fair shake!

And that’s no jive.

City Clerk David Rushford, part II

By Rosalie Tirella

This Sunday Worcester City Clerk David Rushford whined about his reputation being sullied via the news rags. Bull shit! Rushford has brought this tsunami on himself.

And let’s give him the benefit of the doubt: OK, David, you only charge $50 per marriage. Let’s do the math. $50 x 950 marriages (the number of couples you married last year) = $47,500.

$47,500!

That’s what you pocketed last year, if we go with the conservative number.

Now let’s take you pal Jordan Levy’s statement – that you usually perform half that number of marriages, that last year was atypical. Half of 950 marriages is 475. Let’s do the math with 475 marriages and the $50 fee:

 475 x $50 = $23,750.

Why should the taxpayers of Worcester pay you a nice little sum of $23,750 on top of your base salary of $131,000?

The money belongs to the City of Worcester. That $23,750 could go towards the hiring of a city youth worker – someone who can work with city gang members, some young kid fresh out of college who needs a job, needs a break. That’s the trouble with Worcester – the same people keep giving themselves and their relatives/pals break after break.

Let’s not allow City Clerk David Rushford to be yet another Worcester hog at the municipal trough.

P.S. Rushford lives on Regent Street – the street before Mass Ave.

City Clerk David Rushford: The Marrying Man?

By Rosalie Tirella

Let’s see: the city is cash strapped, the state is cash strapped (until the new MA state sales tax kicks in!) and the country is searching for the bootstraps it needs to pull itself out of this financial hell hole. What better time for Worcester City Clerk David Rushford to add as much as $95,000 to his base salary of $131,000!

Meet David Rushford – Worcester’s Marrying Man. This Sunday we learned that Rushford, who is already closing the Worcester City Clerk’s office a couple of hours earlier than 5 p.m (creating banking hours for himself and his staff while still collecting the same pay check) has been making some serious side money ON CITY TIME and CITY PROPERTY marrying people.  He won’t say how much he charges, but thanks to yet another whacky Massachusetts law, Rushford, or any city/town clerk in Massachusetts can charge $50 – $95 every time he/she officially marries a couple.

You would think that the fee would go to the city or town. After all, the momentous event is happening in a city or town hall. It is being performed by a city/town clerk who is working at his city/town job in a city/town hall (thus collecting his/her city/town pay check). You would think with all the whining David Rushford has done about losing a few city clerks and not being able to perform all his work with the staff he’s got, that he would be tickled pink if marrying people meant more moeny for the City of Worcester. Maybe then City Manager Mike O’Brien could rehire some of Rushford’s city clerks he laid off earlier. 

Nope. The dough goes to the city/town clerk doing the marrying.

Last year, Rushford married 950 couples. Do the math: 950  x $100 = $95,000!

WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THIS STATE?! HOW NUTTY CAN WE GO? WE (City of Worcester) LAY OFF CITY NURSES AND TEACHERS AND PARKS PEOPLE AND STILL ALLOW RUSHFORD TO MAKE AS MUCH AS $95,000. WHY DON’T THE MOVERS AND SHAKERS IN WORCESTER GET RIGHTEOUSLY PISSED AND WORK TO HAVE THIS ARCANE STATE LAW CHANGED SO THAT THE MONEY GOES TO THE CITY OF WORCESTER? Not our city clerk who lives in an amazingly huge mansion on Mass Ave – for being little more than a glorified secretary.

Insane!

Here’s hoping city councilors do something productive during their two summer meetings. Let’s have them petition the state to rescind the law or at least pass some local ordinance that allows the City of Worcester to collect – and KEEP – the fee.

$95,000 could go to Worcester’s parks, city pools – city kids. It could go towards public health, AIDS awareness.

It amazes me to see how Blow Mag and many city pols just seem to enable/excuse this bad behavior. Why? Because they know Rushford. Because they are all in the same boys club, standing in the same swill.

Pathetic.