Tag Archives: CECELIA

Lenten recipe by Chef Joey … + more🎉🎶

Lenten Fish Dish!

By Chef Joey🇫🇷🥖

ICT_Yum Yums-edited
Joey is a Tahini fan!

As we approach the period of Lent for the year 2020, we often hear people declaring what they are giving up. Or perhaps you fast during this 46 pre-Easter day count down.

Lent always starts on Ash Wednesday. This year it happens to be soon – February 26. Lent lasts for 46 days, 6 of them being Sunday and those are exempt (you can eat treats and such on Sunday)! Fasting helps us remember that Jesus had spent days in the wilderness fasting. We nowadays can reflect while we plan for Easter.

As I said Sundays are exempt from fasting, so it really makes for a 40-day liturgical period. That being said, many people turn to the dreaded “Fish for Friday Dinner” period, or generally abstain from eating something that is a luxury, like chocolate, or giving up the drink. However, Saint Patrick’s Day gives you a “day off for free drinking” – so whoever makes up the rules has say!

Many Lentin dishes, breads and snacks come into play depending on the ethnicity. And that being said, it’s not so bad to take this time to get rid of excess weight and keep a low profile and eat healthier.

I happen to love fish. I made Tahini-style topping the other day because I had a craving – it’s so easy! You just get a jar of Tahini (sesame paste) from the market. With this goodie you can make hummus or Baba ghanoush or shawarma topping – it really is the bomb!

Yum! pics: Chef Joey

For the dinner you need about ¾ cup tahini, thevjuice of 2 lemons, 2 cloves of garlic chopped fine and water. This is dependent on the tahini – some are thicker than others.

You want to mix your ingredients and have it spreadable like mayonnaise – not runny. So between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of water.

Mix it all together.

Then take your fresh fish and top it with the paste and bake – 350 degrees F, for 15 mins or so.

This can be topped with sautéed onions, pine nuts, or you can add some fire to it with tobasco or a chili pepper. Some people add parsley or cilantro. Your options are endless.

Served with a nice fluffy rice and a vegetable, and you have some healthy eats! And the sesame paste is nutrition in itself!

This is not limited to fish. You can modify the mix and use with chicken or even a plant-based meat flavor product. Just adjust your garlic to your liking!



It’s only right that black folks are leading the vegan revolution

By Zachary Toliver

“Vegan — isn’t that a white thing?”
For longer than I care to remember, this was a common response from anyone who learned about my vegan lifestyle. When hearing the word “vegan,” they probably thought up images of hip, white people eating $10 avocado toast with a side of raw kale rather than me, with my natural locks and melanin existence, cooking up jerk tofu with a side of black-eyed peas.
Thankfully, these stereotypes are fading fast. New data about the changing American diet show that it’s folks who look more like me that are ditching meat.
Recent Gallup findings revealed that while 19% of whites reported eating less meat in the past 12 months, 31% of people of color stated that they had reduced their meat intake. Only 5% of nonwhites from the study claimed to have eaten more meat in the previous year. Nonwhite Americans are also three times as likely as white Americans to describe themselves as vegetarian.
I can’t speak to why my brothers and sisters of color outside of the black community have cut back on eating animal flesh. Maybe they’ve seen shocking footage from slaughterhouses, where sensitive animals suffer every single day in dank sheds before their throats are slit. Perhaps they’ve listened to warnings from United Nations scientists who have cautioned that meat consumption must decrease by as much as 90% in order for us to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change. After all, there are plenty of reasons to treat fellow sentient beings with respect and dignity and to go vegan.
However, I’m not surprised to see more of my own people going vegan when the same Gallup study found that nine out of 10 people who reduced their meat intake said that they did so because of health reasons.
Black Americans have a lot on the line when it comes to what we eat. According to the American Heart Association, we are disproportionately affected by obesity and more likely to have diabetes than our white counterparts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that African Americans have nearly double the risk of dying early from heart disease or strokes as whites. Study after study links these ailments to eating animal flesh, eggs and dairy.
Living vegan is a revolutionary act for black people. It’s the process by which we decolonize our diet and resist habits that have destroyed our well-being. Numerous vegan staples, like tofu, rice, quinoa and seitan, originated in communities of color. I look forward to a day when “slave food” — things our ancestors had to eat for survival — like chitlins (animal intestines) or hog maw (pig stomach), lard and pigs’ feet are left in the past, where they belong. True soul food is the nourishment that will improve our health and expand our own compassion.  
It certainly helps the vegan movement grow in the black community when cultural icons like Jay Z, Beyoncé, most of the Wu-Tang Clan, Ava DuVernay, Jermaine Dupri, Angela Davis and Colin Kaepernick (just to name a few) promote the vegan lifestyle in one way or another. It’s pretty hard to justify white vegan typecasting when Jadakiss and Styles P — some of the hardest hip hop artists ever to do it — run all-vegan juice bars across New York City.
Everyone can join in on the vegan revolution. You’ll save nearly two hundred animals from a horrifying death every year, and your body will thank you. But best of all, if you’re black like me, you’ll also dismantle some unsavory stereotypes.

Mardi Gras first🎉🎉🎉🎉

Ma’s day♥️🌷🌷♥️🌷

By Rosalie Tirella

Back to Elliott Smith tonight, after a day of working around the apartment and listening to Aimee Mann, Beatles, Fats Domino. All great artists but, I don’t know, at this point in my life, Smith’s melodies are the most beautiful and addictive to and for me. I love his lyrics, too! – so sweet and cutting. And true. Elliott puts it all out there in his songs. That is so hard to do! Strangers read/listen to your essays/songs! They learn your deepest pain – or joy!

Yesterday was the day my late mom, CECELIA, was born. Yesterday, was her birthday, and I worked to see her before me, in her prime, for me. Ma in her early 40s, a single working mom but with energy, hope, great love for her three girls – good girls who always make her proud. She is standing before me, a half hour before parent teacher night at Lamartine Street School, where she will learn how I am doing in sixth grade, Mr. Chickarian’s class. She is heading out the door – and looks so pretty! She us happy and excited because she knows I am an all A student – and she will hear nothing but accolades about her first born, me. Her favorite child. Her shining star – the girl who trims her 60 hour work week ar the dry cleaners with magic! Beautiful book reports that she has read and loved. English grammar work sheets that her Rosalie finishes in 10 minutes flat. So smart she gets extra work, special assignments for a special student … Tonight she cannot hear: HEY, MULE! HEY, F**K NUT! from the bedroom, my father closed off, mean and miserable. Daddy never goes to our parent teacher nights, but admits, grudgingly, that “the kid is smart.”

🌷Ma’s fine naturally black hair is in a soft curly perm, her Elizabeth Arden classic red lipstick on her pretty mouth with its perfect, white teeth, her thick eye brows black and exotic looking … her pretty figure looking a little matronly in her special Marcus dress (she is 42, after all) but still attractive. I love this dress! It is a nubby, short sleeved, cocoa-colored number that skims Ma’s pretty knees. It has white trim along the hem, around its round neckline and sleeves. A thin matching white belt tied around Ma’s waist makes her look like a model to me. Basic high heels – black – and a new pair of No Nonsense Panty Hose – nude – from White’s Five and Ten on Millbury Street, bought special for tonight, round out the outfit. Ma is also wearing her good jewelry: costume jewelry she’s had since her early working days – when she was a maid/housekeeper, along with her two older sisters, for the Bishop of Sprinfield. Single and free and young she loved to buy nice clothes and good costume jewelry at Springfield’s Steadglitz (I think) Department Store in downtown Springfield. Tonight she is wearing my fave fancy jewelry: big pink stones set in shiny silver-plated necklace. Matching earrings! Ma’s perfect white teeth sparkle against her Elizabeth Arden red lipstick, her Heaven Scent perfume (her fave) fills our Lafayette Street kitchen. We kids are clamoring about her – our beautiful mother-rock-star walking by our old gas stove, to make sure the gas knogs are all on off before walking out the door to make the short walks to my favorite school where my fall leaves drawing, along with my classmates’, adorns our big classroom windows – taped up by another grade 6 star student, Mary A.

Ma has another dress just like this one, the same style – but in a bright yellow, with black trim and belt. She wears this dress to our school plays and musicals. Same hair do and shoes. New panty hose and different Springfield jewelry. Always the same because we are poor – but always beautiful because she is Ma♥️.


My Kelley Square

By Rosalie Tirella

Yesterday, as I was driving through Kelley Square and dealing with THE TRUCK IN REVERSE, and taking pics of THE TRUCK IN REVERSE, I realized, later on, as I looked at my photos: THERE IS A HUGE TRENDY BAR JUTTING RIGHT INTO KELLEY SQUARE!! And across the street there is another BAR/BBQ feeding into Kelley Square. And up Green Street and on Water Street there are more BARS/GLORIFIED PUBS where patrons can guzzle alcohol – get drunk, whoozy, booze-buzzed – and then DRIVE THROUGH KELLEY SQUARE. Get into their cars and DRIVE RIGHT INTO KELLEY SQUARE TRAFFIC! The rats’ maze that it is now – or the new multi-laned Peanut Mess which will have cars driving thru at a FASTER speed because it will be multi-laned and laid out straight by Mass DOT.

pics: R.T.

WOW. Think about it – all up and down Green and Water streets: 20 to 25 bars/pubs where you can drink beer, wine, mimosas, martinis … AND THEN DRIVE THROUGH KELLEY SQUARE.


So different from my childhood WHEN KELLEY SQUARE WAS REALLY ABOUT WORKING CLASS PEOPLE, THEIR BUSINESSES AND THEIR KIDS. I grew up on Lafayette Street and felt: Kelley Square was a serious/fun biz district that accommodated my mom and us kids. We had:

Jack and Jill children’s clothing store on Green Street – great for First Holy Communion dresses and pocketbooks and Easter dresses

Atlas Fabric Store on Green Street – millions of yards of all kinds of fabric for our moms and grandmas – or anyone who liked to sew skirts, dresses, coats, etc.

Molly the hairdresser for those brillo pad shaped curly perms for moms and grannies – and cheap haircuts for us kids. Cheap and basic.

Then the Automotive Parts Distributors biz on Kelley Sq…and next to it, the blue collar/working class King of Kelley Square, where Allen Fletcher’s building now sits and houses the Wachusett brewery mega bar that juts into Kelley Square: Edward’s Paint. BIG, MAJESTIC, A GIGANTIC NEON SIGN EDWARDS PAINT SIGN. Pink I think. At Edwards: thousands of gallons of paint, paint brushes, rollers, painters pants, paint trays, heavy canvas drop cloths, infinite paint colors … ALL MEANT for Worcester’s contractors, handymen, house painters, do-it-your-selfers. The worker bees of Worcester.🐝🐝🐝🐝

Then Water Street: strictly for families and fun. Not a barroom in sight. A special place for fsmilies overflowing with rootbeer floats, homemade pastrami on rye sandwiches, french fries, apple struddel, blueberry pies, birthday cakes!, Babka Bread, brownies, bismarks, BULKIES!!!!!♥️♥️♥️:

Widoffs Bakery♥️

Lederman’s Bakery♥️

Weintraub’s Deli♥️

Charlies Surplus Sports Store♥️ – kids and adults basketball shorts and jerseys, sweat pants, basketball socks and more! And the gregarious Charlie!♥️

The Broadway Ice Cream Shoppe and restaurant! With its inimitable proprietor, Sam♥️!!! Always Sam looking so natty in his beige sports coat, standing, every Sunday morning, at the Broadway’s front door … to shake hands/greet every man woman and child who walked in! Usually after church – for a hot fudge sundae – icecream made at the Broadway – or a burger and fries or a plate of scrambled eggs, homefries, bagel with cream cheese. Sam made my mom, a single working mom, a counter girl at the dry cleaners on Millbury Street … Sam made Ma feel like a million bucks when she walked in! The warm smile, the handshake, the Hello, girls to us! He made everbody feel special – factory workers, shirt pressers, brick layers, mechanics and short order cooks.

Water Street was great! No bars. No pubs. No booze. … ABSOLUTELY BUILT FOR workers, then KIDS AND PARENTS – AND FUN AND SUGAR HIGHS! You could spend your day on Water and Green streets AND DRIVE HOME THROUGH KELLEY SQUARE unscathed. Or you could walk across it, like Ma, me and my kid sisters did. Holding hands. Looking two, three, four ways … serious but feeling safe.

Crossing Kelley Square with a grin because we just had icecream cones at the Broadway or bought a dozen bulkies for home at Widoffs. All affordable – all made for the working families of the neighborhood, Green Island and Vernon Hill – and any other Worcester guy or gal with a few bucks in his or her pocket.

My uncle’s gold Electra sailed effortlessly through Kelley Square – with all of us kids and grownups in it – to the 290 on ramp…He had just bought two dozen bulkies at Widoffs. For sandwiches my mother and aunt would make at the beach…We were going to Hampton Beach and sailing through our beloved Kelley Square to get there …


New Chef Joey column and recipes♥️ + 🎶



ICT_Yum Yums-edited
Joey and Gigi are home😊

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.

Carrots …

… 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)
bay leaf
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!




Delivering new issue of CECELIA … This Season of ♥️: Show cats and dogs some ♥️ – get them “fixed”! + more🌷

If you love animals, here’s what you should do this February♥️

By Lindsay Pollard-Post

Rose’s Cece is “fixed,” as well as Jett and Lilac. pics: Rose T.

If you love animals, here’s what you should do this February♥️: Make a date with your veterinarian. No, not for dinner and a movie – a date to have your pets “snipped.”

February may be associated with romance, thanks to Valentine’s Day, but it’s also Spay/Neuter Awareness Month, and if you have an animal friend who still hasn’t been “fixed,” there’s no better time to do it. Many veterinarians, spay/neuter clinics and animal shelters offer special deals on spaying and neutering in February, helping you save a little cash. But more importantly, having your animals fixed can save countless lives.

In many parts of the country, February is the last chance to “beat the heat” and get cats spayed before longer daylight hours shift their breeding cycles into overdrive. “Kitten season” begins in early spring and, for many shelters, brings a big influx of felines and a mad scramble to accommodate them all.

As cute as kittens may be …

A few years back: kitten Cece♥️

… the consequences of their overpopulation are anything but. Many shelters have no choice but to make room by euthanizing older cats who’ve been there a while and are less likely to be adopted. Other facilities turn away newcomers — leaving them in the hands of people who can’t or won’t take care of them. Many end up on the street, forced to fend for themselves.

Sterilizing cats before kitten season strikes can prevent a catastrophe. And that goes for dogs, too. An “oops” litter of puppies can happen just as quickly as unplanned kittens can. And unless those pups are fixed, they can soon go on to have litters of their own, further worsening the problem.

Spaying and neutering aren’t just vital to ending animal overpopulation and homelessness, though—they’re also one of the best decisions you can make to protect your animal companions’ health.

Spaying spares female animals the stress and discomfort of heat periods, greatly reduces their risk of mammary cancer and eliminates their risk of diseases of the ovaries and uterus—including cancer. Early “fixing” is a good thing: Females who are spayed before their first heat cycle not only avoid pregnancy but also have one-seventh the risk of developing mammary cancer.

Giving males the “snip” cuts their risk of prostate cancer and eliminates any chance of testicular cancer. It also helps keep the boys out of trouble: Neutered males have less of an urge to roam or fight. And altered animals are less likely to contract deadly, contagious diseases, such as feline AIDS and feline leukemia, which are spread through bodily fluids.

If your animal companions are already fixed, give yourself a pat on the back—and then get to work finding another animal who needs to be “snipped.” Chances are, each of us knows someone—perhaps a family member, neighbor or colleague—who just hasn’t gotten around to making that appointment yet or who can’t afford it.

We can make a world of difference by encouraging those people to have their animals sterilized, offering to drive their animals to and from their appointments or even paying for the surgery ourselves. It’s money well spent: Spaying one female dog can prevent the births of 67,000 puppies over the course of six years, and fixing one female cat can prevent 370,000 kittens from being born in seven years.

A trip to the vet to have a cat or dog “snipped” may not be the most romantic thing you can do this month, but it’s one of the best ways to show animals that you love them.♥️♥️♥️♥️





Yesterday, delivering new CECELIA … Presidents Day, winter vacation/schools out, a quiet Kelley Square/Green Island. A few pics by Rose:








Wish I had seen Marc Bolan:

New political column from Steve 🇺🇸 + more 🐈🎶

FILE - In this April 13, 1934 file photo, President Franklin D. Roosevelt smiles as he speaks to a Congressional welcoming committee which met him at Union Station on his return to Washington. (AP Photo)
FILE – In this April 13, 1934 file photo, President Franklin D. Roosevelt smiles as he speaks to a Congressional welcoming committee which met him at Union Station on his return to Washington. (AP Photo)



By Steven R. Maher

During the past few days the conservative Drudge Report has been reporting that Michael Bloomberg is ready to pick Hillary Clinton as his Vice-Presidential running mate.

Now as someone who has donated money to, and voted for, Hillary Clinton, I say Hillary’s time has come and gone. It would be a mistake for Hillary, her family and the country for Hillary to get into this presidential race now.

“According to the Drudge Report, presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg is considering Hilary Clinton as a vice presidential running mate after positive internal polling about the potential pairing,” MSNBC’s website reported Sunday. “According to Drudge, in such a partnership Bloomberg would change his official residence from New York to Colorado or Florida. The constitution suggests there may be limitations in both members of a presidential ballot residing in the same state.”

“Former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ran for president in 2016, losing to Donald Trump in an election that served him 304 electoral votes and Clinton 227. Helping Trump’s victory were his wins in key industrial and Rust Belt states — Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. Those states are likely to be key in the 2020 election as well,” said the MSNBC report.

“Clinton was asked earlier this year by talk show host Ellen DeGeneres if she would consider running as vice president in the 2020 presidential election.”

“Well, that’s not going to happen,” Clinton said at the time. “But no, probably no.”

“Bloomberg, a late contender in the presidential race, has been pouring money into ads and online memes to support his run,” continued the MSNBC report. Those efforts appear to have born[e] fruit, with him rising in the polls.”

If Hillary were to get into this, it would bring back all the Clinton scandals, the 33,000 missing emails, etc. We should expect Hillary to be impeached if the Republicans recapture the House. Does anyone want to relive the last four years with the Republicans doing all the things to Hillary the Democrats did to Trump?

There are more important issues facing the American people – global warming, budget deficits, the conflicts in the Middle East, etc. The Republicans would seize with delight on bringing back Hillary’s 33,000 emails and Bill Clinton’s indiscretions.

Hillary would have been a great President. But her time has come and gone.

There would be too many scandals that would be revisited on the American people if Bloomberg does. Given the demographics of today’s Democratic Party, Bloomberg would be better off picking Kamala Harris. She dropped out of the race a few months ago, but connected with voters, especially young people.🇺🇸🇺🇸




Please, Worcester families: If you are heading South for school vacation week: BOYCOTT SEAWORLD AND ALL ANIMAL SHOWS …



New Dorrie column♥️…WRTA bus hearing 🕠 from CC Gary Rosen + 🎶!

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!!!👏👏👏

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.,🚌🚌🚌


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!


Gary Rosen
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

Whitney Valentine Card
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!



Politics Friday: Steve and Jim … + more🎶


By Steven R. Maher

Donald, we are all exasperated!!

One of the heart-warming aspects of the Democratic primaries now under way is what the defeated candidates are saying. No one’s talking about bolting the party in the event their candidate doesn’t get the nomination. Everyone is clear about the need to get behind the nominee, whomever he or she is, and defeat Donald Trump.

The 2018 results showed that the Democrats, running on a pro-peace platform, and progressive policies like health care, can defeat Trump and his minions. But this will require all Democrats to pull together with the same spirit that animated their 2018 retaking of the house. Some moderate Democrats were surprised at the way many Sanders supporters didn’t come out to support in 2016 the party’s nominee, Hillary Clinton.

“My No. 1 goal is to win,” Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez told The Associated Press in an article published online January 2, 2020. “The only way this is possible is if we’re united around our eventual nominee, and I have no doubt that every candidate in this race will do that, no matter who she or he is. The stakes get higher on an almost daily basis making it all the more imperative we come together.”

2016 nominee Hillary Clinton recently traded barbs with Sanders, according to the AP. “Democratic officials fear that such divisions could ultimately make it harder to beat Trump, pointing to lingering bad blood between Clinton and Sanders four years ago that may have helped him eke out a victory,” reported the AP.

“[T]he number one priority for our country and world is retiring Trump, and, as I always have, I will do whatever I can to support our nominee,” said Clinton

“At the end of the day, no one wants history to repeat itself,” one Democratic strategist quoted by the AP said.




Congressman Jim McGovern Highlights House Passage of Conservation Bill Protecting 1.3 Million Acres of New Wilderness

Legislation is Latest Democratic Measure to Prevent Climate Change

McGovern Profile Photo 1ab(1)
Go, Jim!

WASHINGTON — U.S. Congressman James P. McGovern (D-MA) Chairman of the House Rules Committee, hailed tonight’s House passage of the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act (H.R. 2546), which combines six previously separate bills that together recognize more than 1.3 million acres of wilderness across the West and protect more than 1,000 river miles under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The package, which passed by a 231-183 vote, will help prevent climate change by improving land management and by limiting resource extraction on especially sensitive public lands.

“Today, House Democrats took strong action to preserve and protect the pristine and beautiful ecosystems that our country has to offer,” said Congressman McGovern. “While the President and his allies do everything in their power to undermine our environmental protections as a favor to big oil lobbyists and corporate polluters, we are prioritizing conserving and protecting our delicate ecosystems like never before. I proudly voted yes on this important bill to protect our wilderness – and our planet – for generations to come.”

In addition to climate change prevention measures, the bill includes important climate mitigation efforts like those in the Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act, originally introduced by Rep. Huffman, which increases wildfire resiliency in Northwest California through the restoration of degraded and climate-impacted forest ecosystems. Among other steps, it requires federal land management agencies to work with local residents and develop a new coordinated fire management plan that prioritizes reducing fuel near existing roads, infrastructure, and other developed areas.

The Protecting America’s Wilderness Act is the biggest public lands conservation measure to receive a House vote since the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act became law in March 2019, shortly after Democrats took the House majority in the 2018 election. That law permanently authorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund; recognizes wilderness areas, protects public lands and rivers around the country from degradation, and enhances their climate resiliency; protects climate-sensitive fish habitats in the Pacific Northwest; and protects other fish, wildlife and bird habitats nationwide.

This bill enjoys broad support from environmental groups and stakeholders:

“Colorado Mountain Club is pleased to see the passage of the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act which protects a variety of landscapes in Colorado, from west-slope deserts to San Juan peaks, for natural resources and primitive recreation. The bill codifies some long-standing Wilderness Study areas in remote Northwest Colorado, as well as iconic mountain vistas in the Southwest part of the state.” – Julie Mach, Conservation Director, Colorado Mountain Club

“Wild Connections board and members are thrilled to see the House pass the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act – which protects more than 600,000 acres of wilderness throughout Colorado. These are primarily rugged and scenic lower-to-mid-elevation areas and ecosystems that are currently underrepresented in Colorado’s wildernesses. All of the areas in the bill are most deserving of wilderness designation. We are especially pleased that it would offer protection to the remarkable wild values found in six of the bill’s proposed wildernesses in central Colorado–Beaver Creek, Grape Creek, McIntyre Hills, Table Mountain, Badger Creek, and the Browns Canyon National Monument. With ever increasing development pressure on Colorado’s wild lands, the protections afforded by the CWA become more valuable.” – John Sztukowski, Conservation Director, Wild Connections

“This legislation is a monumental move to protect our environment and fight the climate crisis. Preserving our public lands and waters– keeping fossil fuels in the ground and permanently protecting these places– will help halt and reverse climate pollution. The Protecting America’s Wilderness Act represents real action. These protections will provide immeasurable benefits to our communities, climate stability and for generations to come.” – Athan Manuel, Director of Land Policy, Sierra Club

An Ongoing Campaign for Climate Action

The wilderness bill is the latest in a string of climate-friendly packages advanced by the House from the Natural Resources Committee.

The House in December approved the Coastal and Great Lakes Communities Enhancement Act (H.R. 729), a package of 10 bipartisan coastal resilience bills that aid coastal ecosystems and economies, improve ocean monitoring and research, and offer coastal managers tools to protect coastal communities most vulnerable to climate impacts.

In October 2019, the House passed Rep. Joe Neguse’s (D-Colo.) Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act, which designates wilderness areas, recreation management areas and conservation areas in Colorado; and Chair Grijalva’s Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act, which protects more than 1 million acres of public lands north and south of the Grand Canyon from new extraction activities.

In September 2019, House Democrats passed a collection of bills to protect our nation’s coastal waters from destructive offshore drilling. That package included Rep. Joe Cunningham’s (D-S.C.) Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act, which prohibits oil and gas leasing in the Atlantic or in the Straits of Florida; Rep. Huffman’s Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act, which protects the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling; and Rep. Francis Rooney’s (R-Fla.) Protecting and Securing Florida’s Coastline Act, which blocks offshore leasing in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.

In April 2019, the House passed the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan Authorization Act (H.R. 2030), which implements a water-sharing agreement known as the Drought Contingency Plan between Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, California, New Mexico and Nevada that accounts for ongoing water shortages and regional climate change throughout the Southwest. The bill, authored by Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), became law and received unanimous praise from Colorado River basin states, tribes and other stakeholders.



New Chef Joey recipe🍅♥️ … cold pups😢 … + more🎶


Recipe+pics by Chef Joey

ICT_Yum Yums-edited
Chef Joe-Joe🍪♥️🍪. file pic:R.T.

So follow my usual sauce🍅🍅 recipes… Sautee onions and garlic …



But now add:

fresh fennel

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♥️♥️♥️

Memories + inspiration…lead to ART

– Rose T.


Reclaiming our Strength, Dignity and Values

A speech delivered by Marcia Amarsingh …

Marcia Amarsingh

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