Just when you think Worcester is cutting-edge, brilliant, city leaders disappoint

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Bank of America parking lot mural. pic:R.T.

By Rosalie Tirella

Have you seen our downtown murals? They’re GLORIOUS! Global, edgy, multi-voiced…They’re all over the place! Their politics … their young-ness … their yearning … LOVELY! They depict a complex, often challenging world; people of many races, especially the young (cuz the ARTISTS ARE GIFTED and YOUNG!); they show me the Worcester, the global community of TODAY! WOW! So atypical for my city – a city that typically contemplates the hair in its ear canals. “This is what you’d see in San Fran,” I think to myself as I drive around, soaking in all our new, fab public art. “Never in Worcester! Not in four score and seven centuries!”

Of course, my instincts are on point. After only four days of the art event’s final celebration: The same old depressing Wusta crap: Tuesday, tomorrow, night City Councilor Konnie Lukes – one of Worcester’s preeminent slumlords – is gonna rain all over our mural parade. At the City Council meeting she’ll basically call them ugo. A la Trump, she will give voice to all the racist, xenophobic, close-minded fatheads who’ve whined (to her?) about the murals’ themes while manifesting her own personal, foggy, out-of-touch, whack-doodley world view. She will grill the city manager, whose office spearheaded the art-scapade! Who, she’ll demand, decided what was going up?, who was vetted and how?, why all the outsider artists?, how long are these danged murals gonna stay up?, are they bummers? and do we have to up-keep them? Plus: THIS HAPPENED SO FAST, WITHOUT ME KNOWING A THING ABOUT IT! IT’S A LEFTY … CONSPIRACY!!!!!

Pathetic.

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YWCA mural…pic:R.T.

Then this…

Our very cool public health head honcho, Mattie Castiel, a physician, medical school professor, public policy pro, COMPASSIONATE community leader with years of experience making life better, HEALTHIER, for thousands of Worcester folks – especially those at society’s fringe – suggests a city-sanctioned homeless camp with toilets, outreach workers, even a police presence. So that the city can better serve its homeless folks. Grapple with a serious public health issue.

She says a camp is a more efficient, BETTER WAY to CARE FOR our city’s homeless, rather than have them living in 80+ makeshift encampments across the city – woods, parks etc. These hidden, often lonely corners of our community are where our homeless neighbors, many struggling with mental illness, sleep/live/suffer. Matilde asks: Why not have a central place for them to get the help they need? Especially with winter coming on?

Well, from the press release Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus fired off, FREAKING OUT BIG TIME over her suggestion, you’d think Matilde, the city’s relatively new (and naive to the Woo political bs?) Commissioner of Health and Human Services, was a crack pot! A cuckoo! From Ed: “To be clear, the city of Worcester does not plan to establish any kind of homeless camp. We are not considering it, and I would not be in support of it. … My administration remains committed to taking a common sense approach to addressing the issue of homelessness.”

Like having 20+ beds for the chronically homeless in a city of 180,000+?

Thank you Ebeneezer Scrooge!: Better they die and decrease the surplus population!

What does Dr. Mattie Castiel know?

Here’s her resume:

Commissioner of Health & Human Services
City of Worcester
September 2015 – Present (1 year 1 month)

UMass Medical School
Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Psychiatry, & Family Medicine
UMass Medical School
2009 – Present (7 years)

Latin American Health Alliance
Executive Director
Latin American Health Alliance
2004 – Present (12 years)

UMass Memorial Medical Center
Internal Medicine Physician
UMass Memorial Medical Center
2001 – Present (15 years)

Education:

University of California, San Francisco – School of Medicine

Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), Medicine
1977 – 1981

California State University-Northridge

California State University-Northridge
Bachelors Cellular & Molecular Biology, Cell/Cellular and Molecular Biology
1972 – 1976

The know-nothings on the Worcester City Council will ride this pony hard (see the blood-encrusted lash?), for easy, cheap publicity (the homeless have zero clout).

When will our “leaders” realize: Events are in the saddle, and once again they are riding the Worcester City Council!