By John Monfredo, Worcester School Committee
When I look back, I am so impressed again
with the life-giving power of literature.
If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of
myself in the world, I would do that again by reading,
just as I did when I was young.
~ Maya Angelou ~
During the month of June, “Worcester: the City that Reads” committee, co-chaired by my wife Anne-Marie and me, collected over 20,000 books from our four-month long book drive. Every student – from pre-Kindergarten to grade seven – received a book for summer reading. Thanks to the generosity of the public, we were able to reach and surpass our goal. What we would like to do now is to continue our literacy program and have the schools participate in a “Book Swap” program during the week of September 21.
Thus far, close to 20 Worcester Public Schools have volunteered to participate, Every school that wished to be part of the literacy program received about 100 books as part of the “Book Swap” program and will be in the mix for the Book Swap program. These books were collected by me during the summer and donated by generous citizens and businesses who continued to collect books for our drive.
Again, our main goal is to encourage reading and put books into the hands of ALL our students. As a community, let us continue to make literacy a priority in Worcester.
Although I decided not to go through the rigors of a political campaign this fall, the election for State Representative in the 13th Worcester District is one year away (the fall of 2010). I shall use the next few weeks and months to assemble a strong campaign committee, recruit volunteers, raise money, and plan the strategies we’ll need for a successful result next fall.
And this man that you have labeled as old is going to use that foolish statement as encouragement and motivation. As a former teacher at Wachusett Regional High School, many families still remember and respect me for the fine education I gave their children. And soon I’ll be getting some needed exercise this fall into the early winter by leisurely walking the town of Paxton, knocking on doors and talking to registered voters.
But don’t worry, Rosalie, I have the intellect, ability, energy and character to serve the people of the 13th Worcester District quite well.
By Rosalie Tirella
Yup! That was my first, true, gut – “visceral,” if you want to get fancy – reaction when I heard that these three guys are most likely going to run for State Rep. Bob Spellane’s seat when he vacates it next year to become a grown up.
While I have always liked City Counilor at Large Gary Rosen, at 64 years old, he’s simply too old to run for this seat. It’s like he’s embarking on a political career when he should be … gardening. It’s strange: Gary dropped out of the Worcester mayoral race last month because he said he wasn’t up to campaigning. Too energy-sapping. Too much work. But he would have done pretty well (won reelection to his city councilor at large seat) if he had just kept his name on the ballot and spent the rest of the fall sorting his sock drawer. But yeesh, Gary, a run for state rep slot? How many people in Paxton know you? How are you gonna reach all these voters? Think of all the Gary-Rosen-for-State-Rep combs you’ll have to pass out!
It just goes to show you: some people are 9 parts ego and 1 part human being. Continue reading Joff Smith, “Rick” Rushton and Gary Rosen! Gak!!!
By Rosalie Tirella
Kate Toomey, mayor of Worcester. How disorienting a freakin’ sentence is that?!
Mayor Toomey. Mayor Toomey? I just don’t get it! What do other people see in her that I am obviously blind to?
Toomey’s a woman with zero personality, zero charisma, zero charm. But forget the personality for a moment. As a Worcester city councilor (this is her second term), she never really adds anything of substance to Worcester city council meetings – except her approval of any plan hatched by the Rushton/Murray/Petty/old boys’ team. I watch the city council meetings ever week (from the comfort of a living room, away from the T & G/Blow Mag hacks who just love to give Rushton and Petty and their pals all the best play and make it a habit of dumping on Mayor Konnie Lukes, even Gary Rosen – outsiders, both), and Toomey never ever has came up with a cool plan or vision for anything! She has never had a passion about any issue. She has never advocated for anybody/anything on the council floor with vigor. She has never stood her ground fighting for anything. Toomey seems quiet, even a little withdrawn. Continue reading Kate Toomey as mayor of Worcester?
By Rosalie Tirella
We hope Mayor Konstantina Lukes blows “Joe-Blow” O’Brien right outa the freakin’ water!
Amazing! Every election cycle the old Murray/Rushton/Donahue/Eddy brigade farts out yet another political wannabe. This time around the farted (oops! we mean annointed!) is Joe O’Brien, a guy with nothing to offer but his connections – and searing political ambitions.
Yes, yes, I know he has done some work on behalf of the schools, and he lives in Main South, etc, etc. But it seems to me O’Brien’s political work has always been in service to HIS POLITICAL CAREER – as if the ambitious O’Brien were just biding time until … the President came calling!
But President Obama hasn’t given O’Brien a ring-a-ding-ding. So O’Brien decides he wants to be mayor of Worcester -an idea that apparently popped into his head after spending a few years as Congressman Jim McGovern’s regional director. O’Brien’s job as McGovern’s top banana was a political plum thrown to him after helping run (so they say) L.G.’s Tim Murray campaign. (Talk about connections! Can’t the rest of us be connected too so we can get high-paying jobs for giving half-assed speeches on behalf of our pals?) Continue reading Joe blows!
By “Cheese Wiz”
I was furious when I read the piece about Joe O’Brien in the Telegram and Gazette by Dianne Williamson. But what made me even angrier was the lame system that the telegram has for “Comments.” Thankfully, I was able to recover my text below on two pieces I wrote about the apparent “coronation” of [mayoral candidate] Joe O’Brien by both Dianne Williamson and, later that afternoon, by Jordan Levy on his radio show. Is that how the system works?
1. Dianne and Jordan Levy supporting one candidate on the same day. Instant coronation, right?
Not so fast, Worcesterites! Let’s take a closer look at your shoo in and the stinky stuff underneath. Eww.
Dianne shows all the depth of Fox News covering Sarah Palin. And Levy, well, I was just grateful he had another topic this week besides Rushford’s obvious profiteering.
So, was that a real Dianne piece or was it a tryout for a P.R. job if the Telegram thing forces her into retirement? Continue reading T & G’s Dianne Williamson: public relations flak/hack for candidate Joe O’Brien
Forty years ago, it rocked Chicago, the nation and the world
By Jack Hoffman
There has never been a year like 1968, and it’s highly unlikely there ever will be one again. It was a year that has had more books written, music composed, scenes from movies, parts of plays all portraying a piece of that tumultuous time than any other year in American history. Even today historians, academics and students are still analyzing, dissecting and debating over why and what happened during the most disturbing and pivotal year in American history. It all seemed so incongruous to my feelings about Chicago, where I once attended college nearby, a city I always loved, to see America undressed and exposing its ugly side along the picturesque shores of Lake Michigan and once tranquil Grant and Lincoln Park.
Now forty years later and to the week and day watching The National Democratic Convention of today I can hear the strains of Crosby Stills and Nash singing a welcoming song to Chicago 68, one of several metaphors of the sixties, In To begin to try and understand what led to Chicago we need a chronological encapsulated picture of that momentous year.
Continue reading The 1968 Democratic Convention