Pan-handlers, all? Plus: Holy Cross and College Hill

By Cheez Wiz

A while ago, I pondered the effectiveness of government led by the forces of Mayor Joe O’Brien-Tim Murray-Jim McGovern and their biggest cheerleader, Jordan Levy. After all, how is this city going to grow when Joe’s “position papers” are basically outlines on how he is going to beg his federal and state connections for federal help? It doesn’t help matters that none of the big three has a private sector background. (Ya see, those panhandlers really do teach us things!)

The new Joe-Jordan-Jim-Tim Alliance relies on federal and state help. What they lack from the get go is a sense of ideas, creativity and business sense as a foundation for job growth. What happened to the ideas first put forth by President Obama – of the “carrot and stick” approach to building business?

What happened to increased use of No Child Left Behind? Why has that program been so watered down to suit the teachers’ unions at the expense of needy, low-income children? Why can’t we see more charter schools and thus a focus on “excellence,” instead of this all out effort for mediocrity?

If you want to know why America is failing, you don’t have to look any further than at the ticking time bomb that is the City of Worcester.

In the past 100 years the population of Worcester has declined. How can a young person – educated in the Worcester public schools – stay here if there are no jobs? When young people leave Worcester, that event changes families and splits them — in some cases, forever. The only families not so negatively affected are the union fat-cats.

Just take a look at what happened AFTER the November 2009 elections were over:

City Manager Mike O’Brien and the police unions announced a salary agreement. Wow! We got Deval Patrick, Tim Murray and Jim McGovern all here at the same time to announce this! One has to ask why. Maybe it was payback to the unions for all the votes for Democrats and for re-electing the same wimpy city council, huh, Jim?

The worse part about this was not that they made Mike “Mr. Woo” O’Brien appear there, too. Far worse is the fact that “federal stimulus job creation money” only seems to go to the public safety sector jobs which are heavily Democratic supporters of Obama and Jim McGovern and Patrick-Murray.

Where is the effort to build jobs, to train average folks, rebuild our cities and towns?

I voted for President Obama too, but I am dispirited and disappointed that the Democrats in 2009/2010 haven’t shown a serious approach to job creation, to education or to getting us out of this recession. It isn’t hard to predict a Republican sweep in 2010 – nationwide or regionally – as the current leadership here only gives out “rewards” to “friends.”

Is that “leadership for change” or the usual crooked politics we have come to expect? (Why does my stomach actually hurt having to admit that sad truth?)

The town-gown rage increased up on College Hill [Holy Cross]. Maybe this was because the PIP homeless shelter announced it would be closing, and the politicians needed to keep up the fury -somewhere. Seventy years ago, when my uncles were at Holy Cross, the neighborhood from where the students came from was the same kind of street that Caro Street is today: three deckers, working-class families, heavily parochial and ethnic.

The students have changed. The students at Holy Cross today come from mostly upper middle class households and not the working class families that line Caro Street. Maybe the Helicopter Mommies and Daddies of these students unintentionally encouraged their kids obnoxious behavior when they brought them here and looked at the three deckers in Worcester with not-so rosy eyes.

The students, on the other hand, umbilical-hooked to Mommy and Daddy via their ubiquitous iPhones, completely miss the resentment in the eyes of Worcester residents. Somehow, these Holy Cross kids think that residents should be glad to get their lawns pissed on!

When Holy Cross students in $40,000 SUVs roar past the middle-aged, three-decker-dweller couple struggling in a shared, 10-year-old family car, the students’ cars are too high to see the “bird” flashing in their rear view mirrors, and their stereos too loud to hear the expletives directed their way.

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