A motorcycle guy gets his chest blown away on lower Chandler Street this past Saturday night. His soul is thrown off his bike and floats to Heaven like some inner-city feather. And that is the end of his dream called life. His Saturday night, all Saturday nights. No more bodegas, pizzerias, BBQ chick, cell phone shacks, dreamy sunsets, kisses, or cold cheap beers with friends on a summer night.
photos: Rosalie Tirella
The beauty of life in the here and now, in Worcester, gone forever. Poof. Like magic it disappears from him just as mysteriously as it came to him.
His 46-year-old body, however, is no feather. It dies a horrific death from massive internal hemorrhaging, crushed bones … the blood must be washed from the cement … physical and emotional shock. The pain keeps coming no matter how hard the EMT kids work on him.
A Honda plows into him on Chandler Street, and he plows into a Nissan. 2,000-pound hunks of moving metal.
What could he do? How could he win?
A slow motion dream for the dying man, this accident on the corner of Wellington and Chandler streets, but not for the gawkers. The witnesses know it is over – in seconds – at one of Worcester’s most deadly intersections. An urban space where many cars often speed up as they race to the tony West Side of the city, drivers pretending not to see all the poor Latinos, Whites and Blacks who live in the crummy three deckers and apartment buildings that line the street. They criss cross it every day – at all hours. They walk, run, stagger across the wide 4 -lane Chandler Street. Sometimes they’re on bicycles or pushing baby carriages or holding the hands of their little kids – the 5 year olds holding on to Papa or Mama tight with one small hand and covering their ear with their other soft little hand. The traffic is too loud for them!
The poor cross their busy street to get to the street’s local restaurants, Chandler Elementary School, the Family Health Center inner-city clinic/urgent care, Community Health Link mental health center, a homeless shelter, the several storefront Pentecostal churches, friends’ houses. As a driver, you have to go slow, you have to be AWARE at all times cuz life comes out at you from all angles on Chandler Street. Four or so years ago, I was the center of mayhem as I rescued a stray cat at the exact intersection where the biker was killed. It was a young cat, really an older kitten like my Cece (black too!),
and I almost got us both killed running out of my car into traffic, scooping up the kitten and running back to my car with the kitten clasped to my chest. But it was OK. The neighborhood folks – the community – were good and had my back as I navigated the stream of cars.
If only I could have saved the biker – but how?
They called him T.C…. Family, friends, the community, prayed TC did not suffer long. Of course, he did. A bunch of biker kids and men and their friends rode up to the site of his death a few days ago to mourn …
… They left their not so pretty neighborhoods to gather at the not so pretty intersection of Wellington and Chandler streets to say GOOD BYE, TC! To pay tribute to a fellow biker. To connect with him – and each other.
If you read my columns, you know I love these outsiders, inner-city bike guys and gals who cobble together these unlicensed, unloved sometimes kooky sometimes cool urban motor babies. They take their lives into their hands when they ride them. But it’s all they’ve got on a lovely summer day in the ‘hood. They want to feel free like the wind. Can you blame them? You were young once too! Their motto? Bikes Up! Guns down!
The bikers are loathed by Woo’s conservative crew … people like Paul Collyer (the Somerville-based political gadfly who runs FB pages CHANGE WORCESTER and WORCESTERS DIRTY SECRET where he posts Turtle Boy/City Councilor Mike Gaffney racist rants) and his toxic political allies, the always race baiting Woo City Councilor Mike Gaffney and Turtle Boy-Aidan Kearney who always gets the ugly ball rolling with a post that fires up people’s racial and socio economic prejudices and fears. Collyer, Turtle Boy, Gaffney AND PREZ DONALD TRUMP, cannot accept a global, often poor, always multicultural America, Worcester…a world that is messier than they’d like to see. These guys want to shut voices down … or they do not understand…know how to listen to the new global urban landscape.
The Worcester Police force knew how to listen to the TC crowd! The Worcester police officers who went into the big crowd on that summer day and talked softly and dispersed the group without so much as raising their voices understood the community’s pain. They did not fan the Collyer/Gaffney/Turtle Boy flames of hatred, racism, ignorance. Nope. THEY WERE OUTSTANDING police officers who did an excellent job of keeping the situation from blowing up. They got traffic moving again, kept everybody calm and, best of all, respected the bikers’, outsiders’, pain, feelings. They smiled, chatted, WORKED smart so the situation did not escalate…THEY DEFUSED THE SITUATION. Kudos!
Watch the videos. They make me sad. A bunch of bikers, people of color, mostly poor, mostly cut off from the mainstream…scores of them gathered at lower Chandler Street and riding their bikes up and down where TC died. They did “burns” in his honor and chanted TC !TC! TC! and made more videos on their cell phones to share, to tell the world TC MATTERED – ALL LIVES MATTER! In a video you see one big black guy looking choked up, confused, softly muttering TC, TC … and shaking his head. Not the face of violence.
Not at all.
The TC “wake” was political, was peaceful, was REAL. It was a statement. It was a love song. Like a bird on the wing.
Below: Check out this ol’ photo from the Worcester Historical Museum! Embrace the glorious porches! When so many of our city neighborhoods had sturdy, even beautiful, decorative, back and front porches … You could park 4 or 5 of your old kitchen chairs on them, invite family and socialize … Or you could just amble over to a city park.
photo: Worcester Historical Museum
Below: Worcester’s Green Island – my neighborhood – today! Very few front porches – most of them have been torn down.😥😥😥 The ‘hood loses some of its social spiciness! I remember as a kid standing on our back porch chatting with my next door neighbor who was standing on her back porch. You could also stand on your porch and yell up or down to your upstairs or downstairs neighbors who were hanging out on their porches!
Harding/Endicott streets …
… Streets most likely named after, like all the streets in my ‘hood – some of the oldest streets in the city💙 – Revolutionary War poo-bahs or Worcester industrialist hoo-hahs. I was born on (French general) Lafayette Street, my kid sisters had friends on nearby (General) Lodi Street. Was Harding Street the namesake of some military dynamo-killer, too?
Ahhhh, but I digress! Check out the new beautiful porches in my neck of the ‘hood! Take note of what the NEW landlord has done to Worcester City Councilor Konnie Lukes’s old (as in former) slum building on Harding Street: he’s torn down Lukes’s former, God-awful, rickety, dangerous, paint-peeling-and-faded, OUT OF CODE, eye-sore slum porches! He is putting new beautiful ones up! Ones that aren’t baby/toddler death traps! Yay!💗💗💗
The new landlord has actually HIRED capable contractors – a move the cheapskate Lukes would abhor – who expertly REBUILT AND REPLACED Konnie’s old crap last week. Just a few months after buying Konnie’s urban mess…the one she and hubby Jim turned a blind eye toward FOR YEARS as she, on the City Council floor, preached urban core revitalization, tidiness and brightness yet owned the shittiest rental property. Of course, she and Jim lived on the swanky Woo West Side and vacationed at their Cape Cod home – far away from us hoi polloi!!!
Hah! Konnie, Ms. Crusading City Councilor … at Worcester City Hall railing against the disrespect shown inner-city Worcester at every turn, but shitting all over her in “real life”! The hypocrite!
When I saw the new porches being built the other day, I shouted: “GREAT JOB, GUYS!” to the crew working so hard in the summer heat wave. I gave them a thumbs up! They grinned and shouted back to me! The new porches: so safe and in compliance – a definite lift to the Harding Street/lower Endicott Street area, these pressure-treated, sturdy back porches!
Here’s what the porches used to look like (for years, up until a few months ago), when City Councilor Konstantina Lukes owned them/the building:
Jim and Konnie’s other rental property, a few streets away in Green Island, made the newspapers as photogs rushed in to take pictures of her apartments with their gurgling, non-functioning toilets and a single light bulb hanging from a cord in a kitchen – the only “light fixture.” Like in a 1940s prison movie.
Why did Konnie even pretend to care about Worcester’s urban core when she so blatantly hurts us?
Why is she still on the Worcester City Council?
Aside from Lukes’s voter-catnip always lowest residential tax rate stance, what does Konnie Lukes really stand for?
At this point in her overly long Woo political career, nothing. Lukes is simply a REACTIONARY who adds zippo to the urban conversation. She was always the City Council naysayer: now she’s morphed into someone dangerous. Some one, like Turtle Boy-Aidan Kearney and his brigade, who shouts NO! to the new Worcester and the challenges she faces: refugees from the Mid East, Africa and other war-ripped regions; poorer people; hungry children – 1 in 4 Worcester kids goes to bed hungry; folks with no entry into the working class; heartless, absentee, do-nothing landlords in place of the old non-greedy, pretty nice, property-loving Worcester three decker landlords of just 10 years ago … a city core unable to right herself because the new global economy is just not there for the regular folks who live here.
For City Councilor Konnie Lukes – on the heels of the tragic deaths of the 2 Woo babies this past week, for her to intimate on the City Council floor that their deaths were a “refugee” problem is pure evil. A la the Turtle Boy brigade.
Konnie Lukes needs to go – not run for City Council and win office for the umpteenth time. Several years ago she told me she would not run for public office if there were new candidates she liked to replace her (read: reactionary, like Konnie…Calling Michael Gaffney and his tool, Coreen!!) I was pleased with Konnie’s decision. She was in her early 70s back then and had almost a half century of public “service” under her girdle belt. But Lukes can’t let go of the spot light – and all the free perks$$$ and the almost $30,000 per year Worcester City Councilor “stipend.”
This city has left Konnie Lukes and the Turtle Boy creepos way behind. And they cannot adjust to the new reality … . Konnie, like Aidan Kearney, no longer “gets” her city, cannot embrace her new people/cultures/challenges. Her ignorance, her anger, her belief that to solve our social problems all we need to do is lock folks out of/turn folks away from Worcester, an IMMIGRANT CITY, is a REACTIONARY move. Dangerous.
This city’s evolution is about way more than Konnie’s old porches …
… but Konnie’s old porches are a good place to start.
… drinking my java, thinking about local politics – thanking the dear sweet Jesus that former Worcester mayor, city councilor and school committee guy Joe O’Brien is coming out of his new-daddy-hood cocoon to run for public office again. Yeeeehaaaa!!! He’s running for Worcester city councilor at large, which means: Mayor Joe Petty, who’s running for re-election, will, once again, win the mayoral seat and Joe O’Brien – because he’s well liked and a smart, compassionate and effective public servant – will be second highest vote getter and become the Worcester City Council vice chairperson, KNOCKING COUNCILOR MICHAEL GAFFNEY OFF THE COUNCIL VICE CHAIR PERCH, a perch he milks to no end! YAY! 🙌 🙌 HOORAY! Yipee! Reason enough to REJOICE that O’Brien is running for public office! We are so sick of councilor at large Michael Gaffney – he’s brought Woo political discourse to a new, toxic low! Plus, by being vice chair, he trots out his mayor-in-waiting schtick at every turn. O’Brien’s strong win will make him #2, the new vice chair and …. keep Gaffney off that dias at City Hall! Rip the mayor’s gavel out of the Gaffer’s cold, clammy hands! Take the pinch-hitter title away!
Again, reason enough to be ELATED that Joe O’Brien is running for city council!!! (he’d never run for mayor this election cycle because he’s Petty’s friend and political ally.) But there are other reasons to be thankful for our soon to be new city council vice chair: First, O’Brien will be the antidote to the poison that is Michael Gaffney. Every time Gaffney uses race or class to hurt one group of folks to win political points with the Turtle Boy brigade or twists the truth in the sickest ways a la sicko prez Donald Trump, O’Brien will call him out. Call out his twisted lies and counter them with TRUTH. O’Brien is an articulate, progressive policy wonk who went to Harvard. He’s also a regular guy/dad/husband who loves/lives Worcester 24/7. He’ll brook no bull shit from Gaffney. For example, we could have used Joe a few days ago: The Gaffer was on his video channel crying over the fact that our City Council went on record supporting a statewide living wage of $15/hour. His cynical, slimey Gaffney intimation? That the living wage is a nefarious Socialist plot to subvert democracy! My late great mother who worked her whole working life for minimum wage and wanted a LIVING wage for the folks who came after her was NOT a Socialist! She LOVED AMERICA! SHE WAS A PATRIOT. She once told me SHE WOULD DIE FOR HER COUNTRY! Gaffney is no American patriot. He wraps himself in the American flag and sticks a WPD badge on his lapel to create the image of patriotism. It’s all marketing. For votes. Gaffney, like Donald Trump, is a power-hungry con artist who lies to people to win elections. Joe O’Brien will, on the council floor, rebut Gaffney’s slick lies.
Second, Mayor Petty, along with most of the other city councilors, is doing an admirable job at keeping Worcester, a Mass Gateway City, open to and PROUD of immigrants…making our public schools strong and the portal to a middle class life, a life of knowledge and a never-ending quest to LEARN MORE. Our parks are beautiful, our inner city ‘hoods need help, but we are all trying. Downtown may yet prove to be our own urban dance party – singing and swinging to a million different voices! I cannot wait! Michael Gaffney is the political thunderclap over our urban dance party. Immigration, refugees, a global multi-cultural Worcester, a Woo struggling with poverty and hunger in many of its quarters…Gaffney, like Trump, exploits all this and plays to people’s economic fears and racial prejudices. O’Brien is just the opposite – he will help lead the city council – and city! – to higher ground. He will help bring people together – not divide, to conquer.
Here are last night’s Bill Maher video clips. Maher, one of America’s most gifted satirists, has Trump pegged. But you can extrapolate and apply his satire to Gaffney, on a much teenier political scale, of course. Spiritually, Trump and Gaffney are identical twins:
But enough Gaffer talk! On to:
Mike Gaffney’s wife, Coreen Gaffney. She is running for the Worcester District 4 City Councilor seat – a seat her fat patootie will NEVER warm! Not for one milli-second! Once again, the Gaffneys know/show no shame. Coreen, the wife of toxic Michael Gaffney – a politician who gets his political steam from castigating minorities, refugees and Sanctuary Cities – runs for office in Worcester’s majority-minority, mostly inner-city District 4. (And, no, Mike, it is NOT sexist to write in news stories and headlines that Coreen is married to you. IT IS NEWS-WORTHY. You’re a CONTROVERSIAL COUNCILOR and you GET YOURSELF INTO THE NEWS every other day. Think of it like this: If Hitler’s lover ran for Vice Fuhrer, wouldn’t you want to know that she was Adolph’s squeeze?) Yeah, D 4 could use better garbage pick up (more often – and street sweeping, too!), but that doesn’t mean we throw the district (my district!) out with the unrecycled water bottle!
This November the dynamics of the Worcester City Council are gonna change – for the better!!😄😄😄😄💗💗💙💛
The same can be said for Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney – he is just as American-Democracy-hating and truth-twisting as Donald Trump. Gaffney is a lying, combative street fighter, just like his hero!
By Rosalie Tirella
So a few weeks ago we were on the telephone with the Holden police – Turtle Boy blogger Aidan Kearney now lives in the Jefferson part of Holden – and has become that Worcester suburb’s bete noire. I will not discuss why I called the good officers on the bad Turtle Boy, but I was surprised when the Holden copper told me he was familiar with Turtle Boy – that he had been getting phone calls about Turtle Boy-Kearney all week long!
I said: Well, hot damn! So you know how it spins with the Turtle! Worcester’s hater is now YOUR hater! Worcester’s community divider is now YOUR community divider! Worcester’s problem is now YOUR problem, officer!
Loathed in Worcester because of his loathesome Turtle Boy blog Kearney can now be loathed in Holden, a much smaller pond with a much larger collective memory. Like all small towns. We are hoping Holden will do to Turtle Boy Kearney what he has done to Worcester and its minority communities – box him in, marginalize him, stereotype him, laugh at him, accuse him of all sorts of crimes and misdemeanors.
Karma’s a bitch, Aidan!
Turtle Boy-Aidan’s exodus from Worcester makes sense: with his son now almost old enough (or old enough) to be going to school – being part of a school system/community – bully boy Aidan Kearney-Turtle Boy did not want to see the pitch forks turned on his kid. And his growing family. Which would happen here. Because he has trashed an entire city! Made a million enemies with his abusive and stupid blog.
Turtle Boy Kearney, his wife, little boy and baby girl had to pack it all up and … run away.
Now Aidan Kearney belongs to Jefferson-Holden – a white, mostly upper-middle class town where he doesn’t come in contact with the “wangstas,” “hoodrats” and skanks that he writes about in his blog every day and sees EVERYWHERE in Worcester and places like Southbridge, Gardner, Brockton, Lawrence … you know, the state’s Gateway Cities, once great factory towns now struggling to reinvent themselves. Kick a city when she’s down – that’s Turtle Boy Kearney’s M.O.
The Turtle Boy has taken a huge dump on these places, Worcester included. Turned our people into cartoon characters that just sit around in Section 8 housing smoking weed, selling their food stamps, abusing their kids, growing more morbidly obese or scrawny by the second. Turtle Boy has taken poverty, mental illness and poor job prospects for uneducated American workers and turned it all into one big dystopian joke that all the haters in Worcester can laugh at, feel superior to.
And Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney supports it all – has for years and continues to do so by purchasing $$$ ads on the Turtle Boy blog.
Gaffney’s one of the few advertisers left – including a gun seller and a place where there had been a murder. Gaffney is in fitting company!
A peek today at the once porn-ad-choked Turtle Boy blog shows us a gray, square ad with a “click here for a free consultation” typed over it. You click on the ad and you see … Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney! It’s an ad for Gaffney’s ambulance-chasing lawyering business.
Typical Gaffney charade like this one which the media uncovered a few weeks ago …
Up until a few weeks ago, for years, Gaffney had his decades-old photo and lawyer ad on the Turtle Boy blog, plainly visible, with the words “Attorney Gaffney” written for all to see.
Now the Gaffer is ashamed of being aligned with the Turtle (which he is) – now sees the Turtle-Boy-Gaffney-bond as a liability (which it is).
But not quite.
Gaffney still needs Turtle Boy Aidan Kearney and his followers/readers – many Worcester voters. Gaffney still needs his evil cheerleader and mouth piece. So maybe he can be Woo mayor some day!😱😱😱😱 So Gaffney creates and pays for $$$ a Secret Turtle Boy ad. Slippery as always!
So WHAT IS MICHAEL GAFFNEY – a city councilor who is so ravenous to be mayor that he will do or say anything, no matter how nefarious, to accomplish his political goal – REALLY SUPPORTING?
Besides the usual Turtle Boy hatred … this recent Turtle Boy blog post made me especially sad, reminded me of what Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney really stands for:
The recent Turtle Boy Aidan blog post I am writing about today was written by Turtle Boy a while ago. It’s about a little girl … around 7 years old who is identifying as a little boy. AG Maura Healey is supporting the little boy and his family – in the face of the Trump administration’s cruel roll back of transgender folks’ rights (kids will be physically hurt, bullied, deprived of expressing their true voices because of Trump!) Aidan-Kearney-Turtle-Boy, as in the dark on this issue as Donald Trump and his nightmare of a Cabinet are, just had to chime in on the news. The header of his recent post:
“Maura Healey Using This Confused 7 Year Old Who Thinks She’s Transgender As A Political Prop. Is The Most Disgusting Thing I’ve Ever Seen A Politician Do”
Turtle Boy-Aidan’s evil post begins:
“If your 7 year old girl says she’s a boy, what do you do? Pump her up with hormones, feed into the delusion, and give yourself the SJW medal of honor. Tell her that boys have penises and they’re disgusting and then give her a popsicle.”
And more nuggets of ignorance from the Turtle Boy blog post:
” … Trump announced yesterday that he was rolling back President Obama’s executive order that forces schools across the country to allow any student to use any locker room, so long as they declare themselves a member of that gender beforehand. I know, the horror. But the fact of the matter is that in states like Massachusetts the bathroom and locker room rules will not be changed … .”
” … Seriously, this girl’s parents should be ARRESTED. This is sick and twisted.”
” …. disgusting political stunts I have ever seen, Maura Healey brought up an 8 year old girl to condemn Trump for coming after her 7 year old “brother” Jacob, who has a vagina and is in fact a girl. This is really the most vile thing I have EVER seen a politician do:”
“Seriously, this girl’s parents should be ARRESTED. This is sick and twisted. They allowed their eight year old daughter to be Maura Healey’s political prop.”
“Right now we’re here to talk about why it’s important for your sister to undergo dangerous hormone therapy so Mom and Dad can pat themselves on the back for being progressive. Because for you puberty will be a natural part of life, but for your sister puberty is a disease and the only way to prevent this disease is to load her up with puberty-blocking hormones, because science and biology are bad.”
InCity Times was the first newspaper in Worcester to support and write about transgender folks and their fight for civil/human rights – see our story on Jesse on this website. So we come to this issue with a special passion! Turtle Boy Kearney is WRONG ON SO MANY FRONTS here!!!: No one can force a human being to be a certain sex; most trans people ALWAYS felt who they were meant to be – from teenie tiny kidhood! No one forces transgender folks to take hormones! – parents do not inject hormones into their kids! Most trans folks CHOOSE to make hormone therapy a part of identifying. And their desire to be who God intended them to be can be made a living hell by family, community and society if people (like Turtle Boy) don’t understand the issue. Contrary to what Turtle Boy writes on his blog, a kid self-identifying is not pulling some gag to mess up society and invade the “wrong” restroom – it’s a real and true THIS-IS-WHO-I-AM moment. It’s the need to USE THE CORRECT RESTROOM! To be HONEST with society! This can be so difficult in today’s America that psychotherapy is often a big piece of the transgender person’s “coming out.”
The amazing thing for me is not Aidan-Turtle Boy’s usual bashing, cruel and totally stupid, misinformed, DANGEROUS and possibly hate-crime-inducing take on the issue but THAT A BLUE COLLAR GUY, a TURTLE BOY reader!!, actually brought the EVIL of this Turtle Boy post home to me months before Aidan even wrote it … . The guy is a TB rah rah reader but he’s also married to a wonderful woman – a school principal. A year or two ago the guy told me his wife, the school principal, had a boy in a kindergarten class in her school who was identifying as a girl. He was serious when he told me this. Trying to understand. Thinking of what that really meant – for the 5 year old, for her family, for her teachers, for her classmates. How could the girl be supported at school? How could everybody learn? Accept? Love? He was so serious as he told me all this. As a dad with young kids he may have never thought about the issue, but he knows little kids don’t – can’t – lie about something like gender. Now that his wife, an educator, a professional with college and post-college degrees and psychology courses galore under her belt, was grappling with the issue, he was, too. Trying to figure it out. In a real way. This blue collar rough around the edges guy. He made me proud!
The fact that this guy is not getting his “facts” from the fucked up Aidan Kearney-Turtle Boy but from his wife, a pretty wonderful person, a caring human being wanting to do the right thing, makes all the difference. We wish this could happen to all the Turtle riders – including Michael Gaffney!
But it won’t. Turtle Boy and Worcester City Councilor Gaffney exploit the crises, revelations, changes and growth in Worcester. No room for illumination here, folks! Screw a BETTER WORLD! These two guys, each having his own motives that overlap, always muddy the waters, create sadness, perpetuate ignorance and fan prejudice. We’re certain every multi-cultural, diverse American place – WHICH IS EVERY WHERE in the U.S. – has a Michael Gaffney and Turtle Boy to sow the hate. Just as America has Donald Trump and his evil mouth piece and cheer leader, Breitbart editor Steve Bannon. They exploit the fears and prejudices of folks who long for a white, straight Worcester and America …
photo: Worcester Historical Museum
… a place that never really existed.
They kill community.
They kill people!
I write this because … Years ago, when I was a little girl growing up in Green Island, there was a woman – big, vulgar, brassy, tough – who had two daughters in their late teens. I’ll call them “Betty” and “Jane.” Jane was movie star beautiful – long blond hair, lovely pink 1970s lip-stick-slathered lips, pearly white teeth and beautiful smile. When Jane walked down Lafayette Street in her tight, faded bell bottom blue jeans and pretty blouse tucked in HEADS TURNED. She was always polite to my mother and me and my two kid sisters – fans who ooohed and ahhed at her loveliness like everyone else in the neighborhood – when we passed her on the street walking home from school or from the dry cleaners where my mom worked 60 hours a week as a “counter girl.”
Then there was daughter Betty. Betty was tall and lanky. She wore no make up and had short hair – a boy’s hair cut. Her stride was loping and she wore boy jeans. As a little kid I wondered if Betty was a young man but I never asked Ma. I just kinda followed her lead, which was: She was always nice to Betty – treated Betty exactly the way she treated her sister Jane: with respect, politeness, the same “hello!” and beautiful Ma smile …
Rosalie’s mother had the prettiest smile!
… My mother never lectured us. And she never ever bad mouthed or made fun of anyone. She led by example. Taught us through her deeds. And when it came to people in our already diverse inner-city neighborhood Ma was the Statue of Liberty! A beacon of beauty and hope!
So we kids followed Ma’s lead! “Hi, Betty!” we’d chirp, if we saw Betty walking down a street in Green Island. “Hi, Jane!” we’d chirp if we saw her sister walking down to the park.
The girls always smiled and said “hi” back. Though Betty’s smile was never as wide as her sister’s. She always seemed serious. Day after day. Year after year.
One day, Betty kind of disappeared. We still saw Jane in the ‘hood, but never Betty. She was gone. Maybe I asked Ma about it, maybe I didn’t. But we did learn that Betty had hanged herself.
This shocked me and my sisters. Betty was a part of our world, always nice to us – polite in a rough neighorhood filled with bullies. Now she was gone!
In many ethnic urban neighborhoods different kinds of folks took their lives. We called them “ghosts.” A Polish immigrant who never “got” America, never adjusted to life here on any level, who was always in his apartment and always looking so unhappy. A street person who drank and drank and then collapsed dead drunk in the bushes by the PNI club on Lafayette Street to sleep it off every day. … One day I asked Ma if I could give the guy a blanket. She said “Yes” and gave me a nice clean full-sized baby blue blanket to give to him. I ran out of our flat and walked up to him – he was all tottering disshelved mess, his fly open – and gave him the blanket. From Ma and me. No words exchanged. Just the doing, the deed. He took the blue blanket and went to his bushes behind the PNI, by the fence, to collapse. The boys in the neighborhood saw the giving of the gift, walked over to him, stole his blanket … and stoned him. Threw rocks at him. I never saw the old guy again.
Aidan Kearney aka Turtle Boy and Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney are those Green Island boys today, here in Worcester, in the 21st century.
Mad Man in Chief Donald Trump’s got nothing on Worcester’s Sicko City Councilor Michael Gaffney. Woo has never seen a politician quite like him – the dirtiest fighter we’re likely to step over (eeek!!!) in a generation, a guy so hungry to win the Woo mayoral seat he’ll use his slippery smarts to spread malicious lies about his political opponents, incite racist reactions … throw our fair city under the bus, splattering bodies left and right – especially if they belong to our most vulnerable communities. Makes no difference to the Gaffer! As long as he wins!
Just when we were thinking: Gaffney’s sanctuary city bull shit resolution – meant to devastate Mayor Joe Petty and catapult him – the Gaffer – into the mayor’s seat in November, forget about sowing crazy, divisive seeds in our community – blew up in his face sending him to ICELAND to vacation and realize the error of his ways … He’s back!!! WITH EVEN CRAZIER SHIT!!! It’s as if the crystal Iceland beauty did nothing for his soul – he may as well have vacationed in a vat of shit. I’ll take it a step higher (or lower): Gaffney’s even more vindictive and mendacious AFTER vacation! Forget about “putting things in perspective,” “counting your blessings,” or just having plain ol’ fun while on vacation. Gaffney in Iceland = a vindictive asshole hatching more nefarious political schemes. Too bad if the public is misled!
So…right outa the box, he is on his FaceBook Page linking Mayor Joe Petty with the anti-fascist protest yesterday in downtown Worcester. The protest got a bit hairy, like protests often become when America starts flexing its democracy muscles … These days that’s happening thanks to the (Russian-induced?!) election of Donald Trump. It’s like OUR COUNTRY IS IN THE MIDDLE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN, and every day there are protests in cities and towns great and small – including Worcester – that reflect an America in crisis. In Worcester, at yesterday’s protest, a reporter was allegedly assaulted by a protester. A handful of protesters were arrested.
STOP THE PRESSES! says GAFFNEY in two of his posts! I SEE THUGS RUINING WOO AND AMERICA! I SEE VIOLENCE ROCKING WORCESTER! A vulnerable GIRL reporter was slugged!!! AND IT’S ALL MAYOR JOE PETTY’S FAULT! HE STARTED ALL THIS! LOCK HIM UP! LOCK HIM UP!!!
Is there a well padded booby hatch we can throw Gaffney into?
The slick, deceptive Gaffney put a photo of Petty at a Washington DC rally in his FB page post along with a few of yesterday’s Worcester protest photos – to make it look like Petty was at yesterday’s protest. And Gaffney worded his post – and his previous one about the protest – in such a way that it looks as if Petty was not only at yesterday’s protest but incited the violence at the march. Caused the violence!
Petty wasn’t at the protest. Most likely he was enjoying the three-day weekend like the rest of us.
Presidents Day Weekend.
Here’s a screen shot of one of Gaffney’s FB posts about yesterday’s protest:
Gaffney did this during a weekend America honors our greatest Presidents – politicians like FDR, Abe Lincoln, George Washington, Teddy Roosevelt.
He’s made Donald Trump, his political role model – not Teddy or Abe.
And it’s this way with all devils like Trump and Gaffney: They sense the good guy/gal qualities in people/voters – and go in for the kill, thinking the people are too stupid and naive to see the truth, that they can be easily lied to and manipulated. They spin their web of lies because they believe their opponents or the people are not gonna “catch on” or fight back because they won’t be able to wrap their heads around all the noise, confusion, convoluted fake facts they’ve created. A win for the Trump’s and Gaffney’s!
Don’t bet on it!
Michael Gaffney, like Donald Trump, will be called out and exposed by the press and a wise hoi polloi EVERY time he does something wicked, illegal … low-down low.
Today, on Presidents Day, when we remember and honor our great presidents, City Councilor Michael Gaffney chooses to slither beneath us, swollen with his own green puss of lies and hatred for American Democracy.
This is how Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney describes tomorrow’s rally for refugees and immigrants. His every word toxic, divisive … DELIBERATELY misleading. He’s a bright guy – full of himself – he knows how to make his every word glow evil:
“Joe Petty, the Mayor of Worcester, calls for a mob to descend on our City to coerce local officials to violate their oath of office.”
Calling Joseph P. McCarthy! Calling Joseph P. McCarthy!
This, on the other hand, is how Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty and his office describe the event. Petty is a good, intelligent, sensitive city leader. He’s a great listener, a great bridge-builder between our communities – a perfect fit for the Worcester of 2017: diverse, striving, multi-lingual, up and coming!
From the Mayor’s Office:
“Good evening …
“Tomorrow evening, January 31 at 6 PM in front of Worcester City Hall, Mayor Joseph M. Petty, will be addressing a crowd that is peacefully protesting President Trump’s executive actions on immigration and recent, divisive city council orders.
“Hundreds are planning to attend the Solidarity Rally in support of Worcester’s refugees and immigrants.
“The event is sponsored by dozens of organizations.
“All are welcome to attend.”
Michael Gaffney, we’re begging you: Get some therapy! You’re not well. The mayoral seat isn’t worth all your scheming, your contorting the truth like a midway pretzel, your scapegoating minority groups … hurting so many people – that means the City of Worcester!
You see this big sign when you enter Worcester City Hall from the city parking garage. It WELCOMES ALL TO WORCESTER! photo: R. Tirella
By Rosalie Tirella
Take City Councilor Michael Gaffney (PLEASE!). Has there ever been such a dangerous Worcester City Councilor? Such a loathsome opportunist, cynic, headline-grabber and power-snatcher posing as a city “leader”? A demagogue lurking beneath a friendly, penguin-emblazoned sweat-shirt, force smiling that weird, serpentine smile of his and doing all sorts of nefarious things to my beloved city? Worcester’s own snake in the grass!
Michael (Mike) Gaffney’s goal?
Pure raw power.
And to overthrow the Democrats who, for the most part, have run this city for decades.
Gaffney wants a Republican-lead Worcester and he, already the head of the city’s Republican committee. wants to be crowned her king.
Screw the fairly progressive Democratic Gateway City we all live in and pretty much love. Welcome to carnage-strewn Trumpland! Welcome to Gaffney shitsville where people, especially minorities, are thrown under the bus daily.
If we aren’t smart and vigilant, Gaffney – with the help of his friend and personal public relations machine, the racist, classist Aidan Kearney of Jefferson, the evil voice of the hate-spewing Turtle Boy blog – could become our next mayor! Think I’m kidding? Worcesterites are getting used to Gaffney’s creepy, slippery ways. And he’s smart: people often don’t realize he’s playing them, playing on their deepest prejudices when he decides to run hard with a (wedge) issue on the City Council floor and wants their support. Or when he conflates two issues and ends up scapegoating a minority group. Or when he just fucks with our heads, sowing racial intolerance and chaos.
Forget about leading a complex, diverse, very cool Gateway City! Gaffney is all about hatred.
Gaffney, a relative newbie to the Worcester City Council, is the exact kind of morally bankrupt asshole you’d expect to be vomited up during these toxic Trump times! His ideas, his speeches, even his supporters are all taken from the Donald Trump playbook. Our insane PRESIDENT😰😫😫 has made it ok for politicians like Gaffney to behave in racist, divisive, bigoted ways. Trump has, perversely, validated their un-American-ness! Because he’s the biggest fascist!
So Gaffney throws a bomb on to the City Council floor every other week!
He traumatizes the City of Worcester with his red herrings for mere political gain and to weaken the city’s present power structure. Gaffney’ll pounce on any issue – or create one – that he thinks will hurt our mayor, Joe Petty, and make him (Gaffney) the hero. Gaffney will say anything or float any nutty, racially explosive idea to gain the upper hand. Usually it’s one that is somehow connected to vulnerable subsets of our people – for example: the minority-run Mosaic Group or City Councilor Sarai Rivera and her property. Gaffney beat those issues and people to death. He was able to be so merciless because both issues’ main players were people of color. And there are lots of bigots in this town (all Turtle Boy readers) who cheered him on!
Now we’ve got the latest Gaffney-manufactured shit-storm, another racial and ethnic hornets nest, with our weakest brothers and sisters (many children) at its heart: Next city council meeting City Councilor Michael Gaffney is ASKING THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL TO WEIGH IN ON SANCTUARY CITIES. TO, IN A VERY PUBLIC WAY, DECLARE THAT WORCESTER IS OR IS NOT A SANCTUARY CITY. Gaffney is demanding that his City Council colleagues sign on to – or not! – the anti-Sanctuary City resolution he has so craftily crafted!
What garbage. What bull shit. What a way to make the City Council fritter away the city’s time! This has nothing to do with making Woo a better city! Gaffney has set up this situation up so he can WIN POLITICAL POINTS – and he wins either way!
He hurts Mayor Joe Petty and the Dem power structure in town no matter how the council votes. Just bringing this shit resolution on the council floor opens the floodgates to race baiting, group-hating and soul-sapping arguments between Woo residents and among Woo City council members. Rotten words and hurt feelings will rule the day as we rue the day!
Gaffney does not give a fig that he teases out all kinds of racist feelings in our community, exploits people’s deepest prejudices and obfuscates the real issues.
He willfully chooses to make things murky! He uses people. He keeps Worcesterites from understanding each other and learning the truth about each other!
On Gaffney’s watch there is no bending that arc towards justice! Just more hatred in hate-filled times.
So, this is what the Gaffer’s true intentions are:
1. To get the mayor and city council to say: YES, we’re a SANCTUARY CITY.
2. To get the mayor and city council to say: NO, we’re not a SANCTUARY CITY.
If they go with #1 they make all their constituents happy and do the right thing, but the City, thanks to President Trump, loses millions of dollars (except for cops) in federal funding. Also: the more conservative folks in Worcester, plus all our racists and bigots, will hate them and try to vote them out of office in November.
If they go with #2, their constituents and supporters will be devastated and Worcester’s most vulnerable folks will be scapegoated, sent back to violent lands, torn apart. They will be broken-up and broken-hearted. We’ll get the federal monies, but we’ll lose a good chunk of our collective soul.
In the meantime, a crazy, evil, confused and confusing debate swallows up our city.
Thanks to City Councilor and mayoral candidate Michael Gaffney.
For Gaffney to create this kind of civic havoc is wrong.
For him to create a scenario, under the guise of his stupid SANCTUARY CITY RESOLUTION, divides folks. It pits one group of people against another, magnifies our slight differences and attempts to erase our shared humanity.
It’s just not right!
As we say here in lower Vernon Hill: Michael Gaffney’s a PIECE OF SHIT.
Today, Rosalie, after donning her Santa cap to watch the WFD fire trucks snake up her Ward Street and Richland Street …
… shouted from her 4th floor – yes, FOURTH! floor! – apartment: Another sad footnote to our lives here! … THERE REALLY ARE TWO AMERICAS! My America cannot make enough money to buy the crap houses we rent for exorbitant amounts of $$$ here, in our inner cities. The heroin, the guns! The garbage! Our people are suffering! … These neighborhoods weren’t like this a generation ago – these houses, these streets, were spring-boards to the middle class! I remember!
Rose looked to great minds for answers:
The minds were mute.
American workers need a living wage! Rose cried. FIGHT FOR $15! she shouted, fists clenched. AMERICANS NEED FREE COMMUNITY COLLEGE SO WORKERS CAN LEARN NEW SKILLS TO GET GOOD-PAYING JOBS! she said.
But just look at the local politician who is running for Worcester mayor next election cycle, arguably the city’s most up and coming political up-and-comer: caustic, racist, race-baiting, hate-spewing, Turtle-Boy blog-promoting and all around asshole Michael Gaffney. Mike Gaffney! God help my city!
And on a much bigger canvas … The new president of the United States is Donald Trump! DONALD TRUMP!!! MADNESS! MADNESS!!!! Trump, like Gaffney, is an insult to the working class. A death knell for all Worcesterites/Americans. But Trump and Gaffney get people on their side, get working class folks’ votes because they exploit their fears, their anxieties around a multicultural Worcester/America that is different and beyond their comfort zone. These two politician-creeps work that vein … demonize immigrants, women of color, the disenfranchised. They whip up discord and hatred to garner votes. All an act …
– from Stephen Colbert
Because it is all about power – or better yet, feeling good about themselves, boosting their, believe it or not, LOW SELF ESTEEM!!!!
Donald Trump is lying when he said he had a “great” childhood/youth. He had a shitty one, thanks to Daddy Fred Trump.
Closer to home, Mike Gaffney also had a shitty childhood – we hear it was God awful deprived. Now this Man-Boy, who deep down loathes himself, wants us Worcesterites TO LOVE HIM BY VOTING FOR HIM, a la Trump. So he can love himself! Finally!!!!
Do not do this, Worcester!
First step: IMPEACH TRUMP, or find some Contitutional-loophole to get rid of him!.
Step 2: VOTE ANYONE BUT GAFFNEY FOR MAYOR OF WORCESTER. LIKE THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA and lots of Americans did with president-elect (!!!!) Trump, we cannot make the mistake and dismiss Gaffney as a cynical nut job who could never be mayor of the second-largest city in New England.
He could do it…win … and make Worcester a mean, racist place where children hide in corners – just as he did.
Do you want to see Turtle Boy blogger Aidan Kearey, Gaffney’s mouth piece, in Worcester City Hall, in OUR mayor’s office, as Gaffney’s Chief of Staff?!!!😖😖😖🚒🚔♨♨🎃🎃
We’ve got Breitbart in the Oval Office.
It’s no big jump to Turtle Boy in the Worcester Mayor’s Office.
Worcester, do not discount these two devils: Michael Gaffney and Turtle Boy Aidan Kearney could do it.
The family Thanksgiving Day dinner I attended with two friends was divine! Near the New Hampshire border in a farm house we gathered, seated ’round a long, dark wood table, the one my friend’s grandad had built for his farmhouse years ago. He set his big table under the sunniest window. … There were so many veggie dishes and desserts at this Thanksgiving feast! Many cooked from scratch. The wealth and comfort of my host, hostess and their kids, brothers and cousins made me think of – and talk to them about – my beloved Worcester ‘hood: its kids, our inability to get the public library book mobile to visit our neighborhood … so many struggles.
A few days later, a few pounds heavier, I am thinking about the people in my city who are destroying my city, my neighborhoods. Sure, the family in New Hampshire with whom I spent my holiday will do nothing for my people – there really are two Americas!! – but here in Worcester there are public officials who go beyond my dinner hosts’ indifference, detachment and cluelessness. These Woo leaders actively engage in destroying the city they were elected to serve, raise up …
The in-appropriateness of CDBG funds going to the church co-owned and run by D 4 Worcester City Councilor Sarai Rivera, who is also a pastor there, was trumpeted by At Large Worcester City Councilor Mike Gaffney in the most toxic terms on his most toxic YouTube show and on the city council floor where Gaffney sees himself as a modern day Douglas (ha!). His stupidity was aided and abetted by Aidan Kearney on his (formerly) pornographic, racist, classist and sexist Turtle Boy sports blog. These two Man-Boys are arguably the most racist public figures we have in Worcester today. They are leading this city down such a dangerous path!
Together, under the guise of “crusaders for justice” – an excuse for them to whip up racial hatred in Worcester in the same way Donald Trump has incited racial violence in Anerica – Gaffney and Kearney have destroyed several key progressive Black leaders/groups in Worcester. Groups and people who work to make Worcester’s inner city BETTER. Safer. Healthier. Smarter. Even happier. Gaffney and Kearney will have none of it! Since Day 1. Together. Working as Woo’s evil tag team. They have destroyed: Black (now former) Worcester Public Schools Superintendent Melinda Boone, the Black Lives Matter protesters at Kelley Square and the Mosaic Complex, a tiny Black social welfare agency run by Brenda Jenkins. They have destroyed Brenda, too, a Black woman, a true community activist, known for her fearlessness when it came to speaking out against racial inequality in Worcester and her years of work with our inner-city Black men/youth around mental and physical health issues.
Thanks to the fiery lies and hatred fanned by Gaffney and Turtle Boy Aidan. In the Worcester blogosphere and in Worcester City Hall every Tuesday night. Then oozing into our community life …
Instead of trying to foster thoughtful discussions, open dialogues about important issues – many racial because of the city’s evolving demographics – these two man-boys fan the flames of hatred. They confused Worcesterites, lied to people. Played to folks’ prejudices. Racist Kearney posted unflattering photos of Brenda Jenkins on his Turtle Boy blog – the community roared!!! – then there was his photo of Boone’s head pasted on top of a grave stone – the community roared again!!!!
City Councilor Gaffney has called City Councilor Rivera a soldier in THE “MCGOVERN CRIME FAMILY.” Is this any way to lead a Gateway City in the 21st century? What kind of city councilor talks the way Gaffney does – especially about one of the country’s most progressive congressmen, Jim McGovern? A man who has spent his entire political life fighting for the hungry, the poor, the disenfranchised?… Many in our city.. . Gaffney’s fact finding missions on behalf of the community are sick and twisted. He uses them as an excuse to publicly mock, denigrate and destroy leading people of color in Worcester. In this way racist Gaffney keeps people of color down – in city government, in city politics, in city life, in Worcesterites’ heads.
Lately, City Councilor Konnie Luke’s has joined Gaffney and blindly jumped into the racist fray – calling for lists, names and addresses of Worcester’s refugees and immigrants. She’s stupidly supported many of Turtle Boy and Gaffney’s hate-inspired crusades. I believe Lukes hasn’t thought things out – she is not a racist but she is getting there. She is paranoid and can be sucked into Gaffney’s – or any fear-monger’s – tsunami.
The Rivera church-CDBG issue WAS a valid issue – city officials shouldn’t look like they’re getting city sweet heart deals. But if we take the longview, sweetheart deals have been going on in Worcester city government for decades. DECADES!!!! From hiring, to firing, to job contracts, to neighborhood beautification – the only difference being that, up until recently, the “winners” (or should we say “sinners”?) were white, male and Irish Catholic. So, naturally, everyone looked the other way.
It’s a new world, kids! – and many in Worcester are unwilling to accept the fact. Gaffney and Kearney keep the blinders on.
Driving around my city a few weeks ago, photographing all the POW! WOW! WORCESTER murals going up and all the attendant excitement, I, like everyone else in Worcester – except Worcester City Councilors Konnie Lukes and Mike Gaffney, two mural-haters and two of the most cynical politicians Woo’s ever had the misfortune of electing to public office – Can we torpedo them to Russia?), said to myself: WOW! WORCESTER IS ON THE MOVE! REALLY! THIS TIME IT’S GONNA HAPPEN! REALLY!
Yesterday, driving around downtown, I had second thoughts. My enthusiasm wavered, my hopes deflated. The ghost town-ness of our downtown had resurfaced – not so much on North Main Street by the courthouse but, in Main Middle, the part of Main Street that I and many Worcesterites most strongly associate with Worcester downtown commerce and bustle. Growing up that’s where most of the shops and restaurants and movie houses were. That is where the action was! Denholms, Woolworths, American Supply, Shacks, Marcus, the Mart (up the street a bit), the Eden, Rovezzis, Showcase Cinemas, the Paris Cinema, Sylvia’s Dress Shoppe…not to mention City Hall, lawyers’ offices, dentists’ offices and on and on.
All this amazing action in our Main Middle! – lots of it geared towards the folks in the middle(class). Not fancy restaurants – they’re great for the Boston wannabes and transplants, well heeled millenials and millenial transplants – but what about us natives? The peeps who give the city continuity, solidity? The folks who are here day in and day out? Downtown needs shops, eateries and businesses that once catered to Worcester’s secretaries, clerks, teachers and teachers aides, solid middle/lower middle class manager types and working class heroes who had solid jobs in our factories and owned the three deckers they lived in and had a car and were maybe even pinning their aspirations on a son or daughter who would be the first in the family to go to college.
A HUGE chunk of the Worcester population.
The population I am most passionate about, the people that may be reluctant to join in an urban core revival cuz they’re not 1. students or 2. part of the trendy, chi chi crowd. They’ll shop at the Auburn Mall, grab a bite to eat on Shrewsbury Street, spend their money some place else in the city, but they’re not gonna be drawn to a downtown that, for the present, caters to the elites and students … and the very poor.
MAIN MIDDLE NEEDS WORCESTER’S MIDDLE CLASS!
LET’S WORK IT FOR THE THOUSANDS OF JUST REGULAR FOLKS! Worcester has a ton of them…they are in so many of our great neighborhoods! The neighborhoods with the little capes, ranches and bungalows.
I’d love to see a Target downtown, more shops, yes, but Target too! Regular people love shopping at the big red T! It is not the devil. If located in the right downtown spot, it will draw folks into the center of our city. And … Many small businesses only employ family and a handful of close friends. Chain stores are more open…they take job applications and hire the best job seeker! These days minimum wage is 10 bucks an hour. Not great – we need $15 – but it’s a start. I support the push to have big chains pay their employees MORE $$ than minimum wage – they are multi-billion-dollar global corporations!! – they can handle $15 an hour. EASILY.
As I was saying … I felt letdown yesterday in our downtown: the lack of people doing stuff; the paucity of men, women and children window shopping, grabbing a quick bite, buying stuff made me sad. Worcester’s downtown, like most great cities downtowns, must be THE place to be on a Saturday! The mixing and the mingling of middle class and working class, well heeled and no heeled, rich and POOR should not be feared! It’s intoxicating!
City Councilor Mike Gaffney
By Rosalie Tirella
Was there ever a bigger bully than Worcester City Councilor Mike Gaffney? Was there ever a Woo politician more intent on taking a fairly progressive, compassionate Democratic city – Worcester – and turning it into … Pottersville?
And to spew his dark cloud over our children, women and needy while chanting his pro-police, law and order military, rah rah rah jingoism! A perfect fascist! And yet it’s a lie: in the city council chamber, before the city council, before all of Worcester, City Councilor Michael Gaffney denies our city the tools it needs to solve our problems – doesn’t want the City of Worcester to pony up the extra money to make our police force stronger, doesn’t want a progressive city manager to feel the love of a grateful city council and city. ..
That is until something juicy hits the papers – like cops in our schools – then the Gaffer will get up and grandstand and subject us to his slippery brand of demagoguery … MORE COPS IN OUR SCHOOLS!!! he’ll demand, even though he was against hiring more a while back. Is it because Mayor Joe Petty – a TRUE COP SUPPORTER and progressive mayor – was pushing for it? So now – without studying the cops in schools issue, without really thinking through a complex urban issue – the GAFFER, before the TV cameras and reporters shouts MORE COPS!
How cynical. And then his buddy Aiden Kearney, the brain behind the racist and classist Turtle Boy blog, will rush into support the Gaffer and dump his dumptruck-load of ugliness on us all.
So tonight Gaffney, before the Worcester City Council and the citizens of Woo, will get up and grandstand again – cuz this asshole thinks he can one day be the mayor of Worcester: HA HA HA HA!!! and believes this fight brings him a thousand votes closer to his goal.
He will take the brutal New England winter, the Nor’Easters that can cripple an entire county for days and say: WHY PUSH TO EXTEND City Manager ED AUGUSTUS’S CONTRACT NOW? LOOK AT SNOWPLOW GATE! And the Gaffer will begin the dance of the demagogues. He will shout, maybe illustrate his crooked argument with his own handmade posters – for the cameras, for his political career: LAST WINTER DURING A BIG SNOWSTORM THE PEEPS OF WOO WERE SLIPPING AND SLIDING ALL OVER THE PLACE. MY GOD! CAN WE GIVE ED OUR LOVE AND A CONTRACT EXTENSION AFTER THAT DEBACLE?!!!!##???!!!!##!!!
And on and on Gaffney will pontificate. Not for the safety of Worcester drivers and pedestrians. For the death of Ed Augustus, Joe Petty, Jim McGovern and the Democratic leaders who give our city its shape, if you will. The politicians who truly support our police union and teachers union, the politicians who’ve brought poor Worcester inner-city kids WPL book mobiles, RECREATION WORCESTER, after school programs … the guys and gals who’ve voted for living wages for laborers on city jobs … and more diversity in city departments. And a bustling down town jump-started with federal and state funds.
Mike Gaffney will have none of that.
He wants all that null and void because the Woo Democratic leaders made it happen, and Gaffney is head of the Republican Committe and wants his people in the power seats, as well as himself.
So tonight at the city council meeting he will say everything to make City Manager Ed Augustus look incompetent. He won’t have much to go on, but he’ll milk what little he has. Especially the New England weather.