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This makes me think of …

By Rosalie Tirella

All the hand-wringing over the Worcester Craft Center makes me think of other Worcester cultural institutions. So often these places whine about their precarious financial states, yet they keep admission prices so high that they pretty much lock out half the population of Worcester – that is we Worcesterites who live on the other side of Park Ave – the East Siders! We East Siders are a hard-working lot! We love our kids and care about the arts, but too often working-class families think like this: Yeesh! We’d love to go to the Ecotarium and take our three kids (let’s say said kids are all over the age of 12), but we can’t afford to shell out $44 – almost 50 bucks for an afternoon of fun!

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The demise of the Worcester Center for Crafts

By Rosalie Tirella

The Worcester Center for Crafts’ demise is heartbreaking for some – but not for me or most inner-city folks. Sure, I would go to their exhibits and their craft shows (once in a while), but I was too poor as a kid to have it a part of my life and too frugal/harried as an adult to take classes there. To me the Craft Center (located off Park Ave/Grove Street) was a place where mostly West Side matrons coverged to discover their inner-potters after their kids went off to college or they divorced their husbands or retired from their jobs. Hey, anything to stave off an ugly mid-life crisis! And if they found themselves in the midst of an existential funk they could not see their way through, they at least had some funky brooches to show for their angst.

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We got Doug Chapel!

By Rosalie Tirella

Hooray! This afternoon, I met Doug Chapel, the long-time Worcester magazine cartoonist who got an EMAIL from Worcester mag editor Jim Keogh saying … SEE YA! To be dumped via email after several years of great work … Once again Jim Keogh and company prove themselves to be sans soul. (When they first took over Worcester magazine they jettisoned 95% of the staff, after giving everyone the impression that they would keep their jobs.)

Doug and I chatted about bringing his strip to InCity Times. Good news: we’ll be running it, starting next issue, which hits stands next Friday! And in the old half-page format so people can actually read it! (Worcester Magazine shrank it before zapping it.)

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Worcester Magazine “slimes” cartoonist

By Rosalie Tirella

So, the super rats at Worcester Magazine have dumped Wormtown cartoonist/chronicler Doug Chapel. Pathetic. They can certainly afford to pay Chapel the measly $100 per month for the two bi-weekly columns he drew for them. His cartoon doesn’t even take up much space! (It was reduced from a half-page “strip” to coaster-size a while ago, making it hard to read/truly appreciate.) So instead of making the words/ideas even smaller, Jim Keogh and crew completely zapped it.

This has nothing to do with bucks. What Keogh and crew can’t afford to do is publish a point of view that doesn’t mirror theirs. Doug’s point of view is cool but cranky; sometimes he’s even critical of the way things go down in this city. But make no mistake, he’s a Worcester lover. Why ban a fan? More important, why ban a fan who is young, artistic, committed to the city and respects/trusts his community enough to be 100% honest with readers?

Dougie, I feel your pain!

East Highland neighbors meet tragedy with unity

By Nathaniel Needle

This is my story about my neighborhood. My wife Mihoko and I have raised our two sons for the past 8_ years in the same 3rd-floor walk-up on Home St. We moved here from Japan. In Japan, I got used to having the only white face (well, New York Jewish, so maybe rye face, or often wry face) in the room, or the whole train station for that matter. But Home St. took even more getting used to. It felt less like coming “home” than arriving on a new planet, one colonized by people from all over Earth. My 3-decker is a sampler of the neighborhood: on the first floor, recent Brazilian immigrants; on the second floor, an African-American family whose roots on this continent probably go back a century or so more than my family’s roots do; and on the top floor, my family – an Asian immigrant, a Buddhist Jew, and a couple of bi-cultural kids.

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Republicans need another Eisenhower

By Steven R. Maher

If the Republican Party has one modern idol, it’s Ronald Reagan. Listening to Republicans talk about Reagan is like hearing teenagers swoon about their first love. But if there’s a Republican President the party should be praying to reappear, it’s the 34th President, Dwight David Eisenhower. The World War II commander in the European theater, it was Eisenhower who led the Republicans out of the wilderness into which the Great Depression had cast them.

Eisenhower was President from January 1953 to January 1961. Eisenhower ended the Korean War, balanced the federal budget, and kept the country out of any wars. While many of his contemporaries viewed Eisenhower as a mediocrity, after the turmoil of the 1960s the Eisenhower era was seen as a period of prosperity. This was exemplified by the 1970s TV show “Happy Days,” in which the 1950s were depicted as a happy interregnum of peacetime affluence and contentment.

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InCityTimes new TV show “Straight Talk”

A few months ago (October 2008), we began filming a current events television show – Straight Talk. It airs on TV channel 13 and can be seen Mondays 11:30 p.m., Thursdays 7:30 p.m. and Fridays 11:30 a.m. It features moi (yikes!), ICT columnist Jack Hoffman, American Civil Liberties Union (Worcester County chapter) head honcho Ronal Madnick and guest panelists galore. It’s Worcester’s version – I think, anyways – of the scrappy McGlauglin Group TV show. I hope you all watch Straight Talk – and enjoy. I have only caught 12 seconds of it, as I am extremely self-conscious about this whole TV thing, but the set looks fine and the panelists quite animated! Stay tuned!

– Rosalie

p.s. This is all new to me; I apologize for screwing up the comments page! Please send us your comments/lets!

Fur: The gold standard of cruelty

By Paula Moore

Anna Wintour feels our pain.

In the September issue of Vogue magazine, Wintour informs us that she and her fellow editors are taking this recession very, very seriously and have edited “the collections with value for money in mind.”

We’re then treated to a two-page article on Fendi’s new gold fur—24K-gold bars are pressurized into a mist and infused into fur coats and shawls. “You can sport part of your financial portfolio, and your financial adviser will be pleased to see you so prominently into gold and out of bad stocks,” the writer gushes. One coat in the collection costs $100,000.

If we needed any more proof that fur-loving fashionistas are out of touch with the rest of the population, this is it. By now, most of us know that there is no kind way to rip the skin off animals’ backs, and we’re not buying it—at any price.

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