Tag Archives: Elm Park

Go, Mia and son, go!!! … and The case for Black, Brown and Latino Leadership in the Sanders Campaign


I was delivering InCity Times today when I spotted the beautiful Mia and son enjoying the lovely weather at our lovely Elm Park! I had to snap a pic! So cute! – R.Tirella


The case for Black, Brown and Latino Leadership in the Sanders Campaign

By Chris Horton

Bernie Sanders’ campaign for president is unleashing something very powerful, something that has been locked away in the hearts of millions of Americans for decades.  He is speaking simple truths about the big issues of our lives and country, truths that have been banned from the airwaves almost since the beginning.  Millions are responding with passion, even joyfully, to this coming of the light. 

Sanders’ vote in the Nevada caucuses, while not a win, was far higher than anyone thought possible even a month ago.  His win of a majority of the Latino vote is encouraging.  But it is very concerning that Clinton won 3/4 of the African American vote, just as it is very concerning that in Worcester, few Black, Brown or Latino leaders have stepped forward for him.

It is critically important that the American people have leadership that they trust at this dangerous moment in history.  The economy is sliding toward a terrible new crisis. Wars are spreading across the globe and the danger of a new World War has never been greater. And – right on schedule – fascism is rearing its ugly head, here and abroad.  Yet these threats are all man-made, and Bernie is showing us the promise of a brighter future on the other side.  He shows us there is nothing we can’t accomplish when we all come together and take our government back from the billionaires.

But history teaches us that racism in all its forms has been and remains the greatest obstacle to winning that brighter and better future.  It also teaches us that the broad unity we need is only possible when we have Black, Brown and Latino leadership at every level: 

 –  for the numbers;

 –  for the strength, experience, understanding and passion “people of color” bring to the battles, 

 –  because the alternative is wasting our strength on fighting each other.
Black, brown and Latino leadership in the struggle is a necessary idea, necessary for believing that a winning combination is possible. 

I rarely pass up the chance to talk with Trump supporters.  The working-folk among them know and understand a great deal of what Bernie is saying. Most will admit their reasons for supporting Trump are nonsense. But they sense that the “us” they imagine coming together to fight – an all-white, native-born “us” – is incapable of confronting the billionaires who are the actual problem. This leads to fatalism, and so they either drop out or turn to stupid outrageous stuff that at least feels good and expresses their anger and disgust.  Thus, curiously, I think many may be drawn to Trump because the Sanders Campaign looks “too white to win”  in the larger battles to follow.

So why has Bernie’s support among Black, Brown and Latino voters been building so slowly?

Do they detect insincerity, a shallow understanding or pandering?  Does Clinton have something more or different or special to offer?  I have hesitated to write about this because I know I can’t really understand what it’s like to grow up and be black in America. But time’s running out, we vote in 9 days, so it’s long past time to take a risk.

So here is my case:

First, Bernie’s core economic program will benefit all working folk, but are most urgently needed by Black, Brown and Latino working folk   His plans for massive job creation, bringing our work back home from overseas, raising the minimum wage to $15, requiring benefits like family leave and paid vacations, medical care as a right for all, expanding Social Security, breaking up the big banks behind our foreclosure crisis and free public college – and for making the rich and the billionaires pay for it – will go far to restoring the health of all of our communities, but none more so than Black, Brown and Latino communities.  

This is not the same as reparations for slavery, but it would accomplish much the same economically and it is a program around which we can build broad unity.  

Second, Bernie’s challenge to the “white working class” to reject racist thinking and stand together with Black, Brown and Latino folk is not based on moralizing or shaming but on a well-founded appeal to common self interest, and to the need we have for each other in the struggles to win our common objectives.    

Third, Bernie far more than any other major party candidate for President has responded to challenges from Black Lives Matter activists, by putting their issues and demands forward strongly, including an end to police violence against Black folk, demilitarizing police, abolishing private prisons, ending mandatory minimum sentences, ending the war on drugs and decriminalizing marijuana.  And he states these strongly not just in urban centers but, as I have seen with my own eyes, at town hall meetings in rural nearly all-white towns.  

Finally, the record clearly shows that Bernie has cared about and fought for these issues over the course of his 55 years as a political activist, mayor and legislator.

For example:
 — His record of introducing, fighting for and winning legislation supporting racial justice and civil rights in the Senate and House is second to none.  The NAACP and the ACLU both regularly give him top ratings.

 — In 1988 when Jesse Jackson ran for the Democratic Nomination for President, not one elected Democratic official endorsed him, even after he had won eleven primary and caucus contests.  The lone elected official in America to endorse him was the Mayor of Burlington Vermont, Bernie Sanders, who went on to organize Jackson’s win in the Vermont caucuses.  Listening to his endorsement speech from 1988 is like listening to his campaign speeches today, only the statistics have gotten a lot more shocking in the intervening 28 years!  

 — Some would belittle Sanders’ Civil Rights work in Chicago, but that was and still is a real battleground. Chicago was then arguably the most-segregated city in the world, and probably still is.  As a 19-year-old college student I was present at the Battle of the Willis Wagons on Chicago’s South Side in the Summer of 1963, where the City was putting mobile classrooms on the playground of an all-Black elementary school rather than changing the boundaries to put some students in a neighboring all-white school.  While I don’t remember meeting Bernie personally I remember the commitment and seriousness of the members of his campus group, the Young People’s Socialist League or YPSL.  We spent many days and a night with community folk preparing for the battle to stop the bulldozers.  How proud I would be now had I stayed and been arrested with Bernie!  But then, my whole life might have taken a different and perhaps more useful path.  

Bernie is the real deal.  The campaign against him is focusing on sowing doubts about his honesty, motives and commitment.  I would urge we shrug off these attacks as the diversions they are and join in committing to a historic peoples’ victory at the polls and in the urgent battles that will surely follow.  

At Elm Park! Saturday, September 19! Bridge Fest!

BridgeFest 2015

September 19

10 am – 2 pm

Elm Park

Register Now!

The Fifth Annual BridgeFest 5K Road Race/ Walk and Family Festival will be held on Saturday, September 19, at a new location this year – Elm Park!

The event includes:

a road race and walk

live music by classic rock band REWIND

arts and crafts vendors

food vendors

FREE FUN kids activities, such as a bouncy house, facepainting, hairbraiding, games, magic shows and more!

A Grand Prize Raffle will be conducted with tickets available in advance for such prizes as:

airline tickets

$1,000 cash!

Patriots tickets

Beats Headphones

Great Wolf Lodge passes and overnight stay!

Proceeds from BridgeFest benefit the Health and Wellness Initiative of The Bridge, which provides activities and services to help individuals with mental health challenges and developmental disabilities to live healthier and longer lives. Individuals affected by these challenges die on average 25 years sooner than the rest of the population. The Health and Wellness Intiative is working to change that reality for as many people as we can.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact loriem@thebridgecm.org.

Join Worcester Park Spirit for Summer Fun!

By Lorraine Michele Laurie

Parks have been a part of Worcester’s history since the City’s founding.  The Worcester Common was the first land set aside by the town for common open space in June of 1669.  Today there are more than 60 Worcester parks and playgrounds and four City of Worcester beaches that cover 1,250+ acres of land!


One of the cool sculptures at Elm Park, one of Woo’s loveliest public spaces! The Elm park Concert Series is held here! The FREE concerts are attended by hundreds of folks! They showcase local bands every Thursday evening during summer time! Sponsored by Park Spirit!

Park Spirit of Worcester, Inc. was founded in 1987 to “protect, promote, enhance and advocate for Worcester City parks.”  It was the brainchild of Thomas W. Taylor who was the Parks Commissioner at the time.  Because of dwindling funds for parks on the whole and the ineligibility of some parks for Community Development Block Grant Funds, Mr. Taylor felt that an advocacy group was a means of keeping the parks in good shape.  Joined by distinguished Worcester leaders such as Bob Bowditch, Ed Simsarian, Joan Bagley and Phil Reid, the ground work was laid for a strong citizen’s group.  Soon neighborhood leaders from all around the City joined in “Preserving the Parks.”  The group lent support to the creating of the” Parks Gift Catalogue” and “Artworks in the Parks.”

Park Spirit is still flourishing in 2015.  Besides its own activities, it also serves as a fiscal agent for smaller groups that want to work on activities in certain parks.  One such group is The Friends of Newton Hill, headed up by Rick Miller.  As a member organization of Park Spirit, it is composed of neighbors, students and local business volunteers.  This group is also dedicated to advocating and maintaining the natural beauty of its trails and paths.

One of Park Spirit’s signature events is the Annual Elm Park Summer Concert Series which began Thursday, July 9, and runs every Thursday evening through August 13.  The opening concert was the Beatles Night with “Union Jack.”  The next concert, a swing soul night, took place on July 16 and featured the “Love Dogs.” It was country night on July 23 with Nashville Recording Artist Mychael David and the “Help Wanted Band.” 

Up for July 30: Classic pop night with the Dinosaurs!

A 20 piece swing band, “The Milford Jazzy Machine Orchestra,” will entertain on August 6. 

The final concert of the summer series will take place on August 13 with the maximum rockin’ rhythm of the “Silverbacks”!

Admission is FREE for all concerts!

Dorothy “Dottie” Hargrove, President of Park Spirit, encourages everyone to enjoy a fun-filled evening of music and camaraderie in beautiful historic Elm Park.

To join Park Spirit of Worcester, Inc. go to www.parkspirit.org and become a “friend of Worcester’s Parks.”

Tomorrow! Free Music! Farmers Market! CITY HALL common and Elm Park

11:30 am – 2 pm

Farmers Market and live band and artisans selling their crafts!

Worcester City Hall Common

Free parking underneath City Hall parking garage


Then …

Starting at 6:30 pm




Great rock, blues, folk, jazz bands every Thursday eve, into August!


One of my fave WOO Summer Concert SERIES!


– R. Tirella

Elm Park! Today! Art in the Park celebration! See the sculptures! Meet artists! Dance to the live music!


Art in Elm Park!

Remember the TOASTER that graced the Highland Street side of Elm Park a few years back? As big as a van, it was! Colorful, too! And touchable! Fun! 

This summer enjoy more big, bouncy, wild sculptures at Elm Park!

Celebrate by coming to the park today for the …


Today! Sunday, June 14

3 pm – 7 pm

Elm Park

Fun for the whole family!

Music 3 pm – Eastern Medicine Singers – an Algonquin Drum Group!

Carving of the Spiral:

Sculptor Anne Alexander will be hand carving a large spiral that will be exhibited during Art in the Park 2015.

Walk around the park and see all the sculptures!

Great kids’ playground with picnic tables! Beautiful pond, too!

If you haven’t been to Elm Park lately, you’ll be pleasantly surprised: new benches, new lighting, new decorative street lamps … Looks so pretty!

Bring a picnic dinner and enjoy this Woo-hoo day!       – R.T.

Elm Park: the Worcester Food Truck Festival! Sat., June 20!

From the food truck fest website:

Spend the day at Elm Park trying everything from lobster rolls to bubbling pizza, juicy burgers and an eclectic selection of international foods like Vietnamese sandwiches!

Saturday, June 20

11 am to 5 pm

Elm Park!

More than 7,500 people passed through last year’s Food Truck festival!

Street parking will be available and pets are allowed on a leash. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair and enjoy your treats in the park! 

From Noon – 5 pm (VIP hours 11 am – Noon)!

General Admission will be available at the gate, or for pre-purchase, for $5 (tickets purchased at the gate will be cash only).

Children under 12 are admitted for free!

Food and drink will be available for purchase separately.

ATMs will be on site. No refunds.

For more info – including which food trucks are participating and which beers are available – visit:


Today! Starting at noon! Walk/run for the homeless at Elm Park!!

Today! Sunday – May 17

Elm Park

Starting time … NOON

Registration & Start Times:

5K Runner registration begins at noon (12 pm)

Walker registration begins at 1 pm

Walk+Run begins at 2 pm

Join us after the Walk+Run!


Live music by the Chuck & Mud!

For more info, go to: walkrunforthehomeless.org 

With your help, this year we will:

Raise $30,000

Help 350 families maintain safe and stable housing.

Assist over 1000 additional people who need access to safe shelter, nutritional meals, and the household goods to move beyond homelessness.

Bring together with over 1,500 walkers, runners and volunteers to demonstrate a community commitment to ending family homelessness.

Everyone who participates in the Walk+Run makes a difference! Walk, run, volunteer or make a donation – every contribution helps to make a better Worcester!

Today at 6 p.m.!!! Elm Park neighborhood: Fruit & Sever Tenant Association tenant public hearing

Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants and
Fruit & Sever Tenant Association Tenant Public Hearing Event

TODAY! December 5

Public Hearing at 11 Sever Street

Today at 6 pm tenants from Fruit/Sever Merrick Apartments will come together at a Public Hearing to state their concerns and various issues surrounding their living quarters.

For the last twelve (12) months a group of dedicated and concerned tenants have been meeting regularly talking about very much needed repairs to their apartments and the sub-standard living conditions.

The feeling of being neglected and not heard has gone long enough to where the tenants feel that enough is enough and the public should know of the conditions these apartments are in.

Mold, water leaks, pest and maintenance neglect just to name a few has gone far enough where the tenants feel that the only way to get attention is by holding a public event an stating their concern publicly.
Please join us at 11 Sever Street  at 6:00pm as tenants talk about their concerns and how they have been ignored.

Together we can ensure that all tenants are living in Safe and Healthy Homes! The Fruit and Sever Tenant Association are organized by tenants currently residing at the Fruit/sever Merrick apartments in partnership with Mass Alliance of HUD Tenant Organizer who come together on a monthly basis to talk about concerns and issues so that together we can ensure our home and neighborhoods are Clean, Healthy and Safe.

For more info: http://www.saveourhomes.org
About the Mass. Alliance of HUD Tenants: The Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants (MAHT) organizes, trains and provides technical assistance to more than 40 HUD tenant groups, currently representing over 8,000 predominantly low income families in Eastern and Central Massachusetts who live in privately-owned, HUD-subsidized multifamily housing. MAHT’s mission is to preserve and improve at-risk HUD buildings as permanently affordable housing with a maximum of resident participation, ownership and control.
MAHT’s strategy is to “organize the unorganized” HUD tenants in at-risk buildings before owners decide to opt out of HUD subsidy program. By joining MAHT, tenant groups can increase their collective bargaining strength and access with owners, HUD and other agencies. By building local tenant unions, area wide coalitions, and a strong national union, HUD tenants can Save Our Homes.
Founded in 1983 as the nation’s first and most accomplished area wide HUD tenant coalition, MAHT is the only resident-run, membership coalition providing organizing and technical assistance to HUD tenants in Eastern and Central Mass.

Day of Play – Elm Park! – Sat., June 9

By Dianne Bruce

Fun for Families!

11 AM – 5 PM – this Saturday, Elm Park

Young children learn the essential skills they will need to become successful as adults through play! Building block towers develops skills in architecture and engineering. Finger painting develops an understanding of our senses, color and art. Playing hop-scotch develops number recognition and early math skills. Playing tag develops social and team development skills. Playing outdoors develops an understanding of science and nature.

Unfortunately the focus of young children’s play time is vanishing. Studies and statistics in the United States have been mounting and it is clear we are facing a national crisis. Children spend far too much time in front of a screen — 7 hours 38 minutes a day on average, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2009. In the last two decades kids have lost eight hours of free play a week and 3000 US schools have eliminated recess. With an increased focus on academic study and test preparation, starting at very early ages, children today do not get valuable play time to feed their imagination.

Today’s science shows that children learn imagination, critical thinking skills and crucial problem solving skills through play. Through the Day of Play we will create six “play” areas where young children, ages 3-10, will participate in activities that are carefully designed to experience the real power of fun and games that lead to learning! Elm Park will be filled with six ”Play Areas” where children 3-10yrs old will engage in fun activities that lead to learning. In the Creative Arts Area children will design banners, hats and participate in a community weaving project. This encourages cognitive, linguistic and social development. In the Construction Area children will have the opportunity to “touch a truck” and other construction equipment.

We will have recyclable materials like cardboard boxes and plastic coffee cans for children to construct towers and bridges. This encourages gross and fine motor skills in addition to cognitive development. The Science Area will include science, technology, engineering and math related activities that will include a nature scavenger hunt, WPI robotics demonstrations, learning to become a citizen scientist and simple experiments. The activities are designed to encourage curiosity which leads to a love of learning critical to academic success.

Physical Play activities include I am Moving, I am Learning, Alphabet Yoga, an obstacle course, demonstrations and sidewalk games. We will also be creating the largest Simon Says game in Worcester. In addition to encouraging physical development we believe that it is critical that young children be encouraged to engage in physical play in an effort to stem the increasing obesity and diabetes rates in our children.

In the Language Area we will have children’s authors reading from and signing their books. There will also be related activities that will reinforce the stories that they hear. Literacy and linguistic skills are developed through listening to and retelling stories. In the Music/Dance Area we will have ongoing entertainment. At this time we have engaged Chuck and Mud, Vic and Sticks, a World Drum demonstration. All of the performances will have an interactive component. The South High School Marching Band will also perform across the park. Children will have the opportunity to make an instrument out of recyclable materials and join the parade. Music and dance encourage development across cognitive and physical domains.

Our goals for the Day of Play include bringing greater community awareness to the importance of child development and school readiness as a community responsibility. We are hosting the event at Elm Park to bring families from across the community to a green space they can use in the future for fun physical activities that may serve to reduce our growing child obesity issue. Families will be provided with simple, inexpensive activities that they can recreate at home to prepare their child for school.

Our program booklet will also provide information about community based services that can assist families if they have questions or concerns about their child(ren)s development. Through our website and Facebook/Twitter feeds, we will be providing monthly updates to keep the learning going long after the event.


Have fun!

Parents hear over and over that they are their child’s first teacher. Every parent wants the best for their children. They want their children to enter school ready to learn and succeed. How can parents prepare their children for school? PLAY! It is how children learn. It is how children make sense of their world. It is how children develop a myriad of skills that will set them on the path to success.

Edward Street Child Services has developed a community-wide Day of Play to give parents hands on activities that they can do that day and can recreate at home. Children and families will be given fun and engaging activities that will promote learning, build imagination, and get ready for school. The day begins at 11:00 on June 9th at Elm Park. It is free and open to the public.

Our Construction Area will feature blocks and Legos. Blocks help children develop spatial skills, hand eye coordination, problem solving skills and creativity. If children work as a team they also develop language a social skills. Block play is associated with improved math skills.

The Creative Arts Area will include recycled materials that children can use to create banners. They will also create their own hats. Volunteers from the newly created Worcester Children’s Museum will help children create Fairy Houses using natural materials. While inspiring creativity, these activities will also help children develop hand eye coordination and fine motor skills.

Active Play will include sidewalk games, an obstacle course and Alphabet Fitness. We will also have an interactive karate demonstration. These activities promote gross motor development.

Our Science Area is designed to spark interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The roots of these careers are generated through the curiosity of young children. We will have robotics demonstrations, experiments and letterboxing.
The Reading Area will feature Mother Goose on the Loose, author Jackie Penney reading her book Goodnight Worcester, Baby Llama from Llama Llama Red Pajama, Fancy Nancy and a Red Sox reading game featuring Twister from the Tornados. Literacy skills lead to success in all areas. Children will receive a free book to encourage reading at home.

The Music and Dance area will feature interactive sessions with Vic & Sticks, Spirit of Drums, McInerney Irish Step Dances and Chuck and Mud. Children will create their own instruments using recycled materials. We will end the day with the largest Simon Says in Worcester and a trip around Elm Park led by the South High Marching Band. Simon Says is a healthy way to help children develop self control and control impulsive behavior. Music and dance promote gross motor, creative and cognitive development.

Most importantly, the Day of Play will go beyond the day. Using social media we will provide families with new, fun and engaging activities on a monthly basis throughout the year. We want to help parents be effective in their role as their child’s first teacher.