Tag Archives: Harriette Chandler

SIGN O’ THE TIMES, MAYOR PETTY?🌼

By Rosalie Tirella

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Worcester Mayor Joe Petty at a Main South community event. CECELIA file photo.

Worcester Mayor Joe Petty has decided (on a whim? because he’s got nothing better to do? because he doesn’t have a life?) to run for state senator, “filling” retiring senator Harley Chandler’s seat. She’s 80+ years old. At 60, Petty’s a young senior – as am I. Truth be told at the ripe old age of 60, I just wanna write, read, bird watch, bake bread, get another dog, decoupage … But our very good, very modest, very senior citizen of a mayor has been bitten by the Ambitious Bug and decided to reach for the stars…the State House!!

A few in Worcester feel this is a bad idea. To wit: Joe’s political signage (VOTE JOE PETTY STATE SENATE) have been torn down, ripped up. All over the city and the West Side. Even the PETTY FOR SENATE mini-billboards, 8′ x 4′ monstrosities.

Petty’s campaign peeps have whined to the press. Vandalism! Destruction of property! Cheaters!

We say this is petty. Destroying a political opponent’s campaign signs is typical political season silliness, mean spiritedness, yes, unusual, no. Petty, who’s been Worcester mayor since 2012 and, before that, Worcester city councilor at large forever, knows this fact of campaign life.

On another level, we say the magnitude of the destruction may signal something more, may be a sign of the times … Maybe, just maybe, Worcester is trying to tell our good mayor: Joe! You’re a nice, modest, fair minded guy, but please do NOT run for Chandler’s seat! Don’t go to Boston! Stay away from the State House! We need someone new. Young. Female. Buy a hammock, set it up in your backyard and … retire from politics. You’ve been a fine public servant for decades. You’ve done good things for many people, especially your friends and family!, but a different voice is needed. Give it a rest – give someone else a chance to lead, to be in the spotlight, to collect a pretty good paycheck!

Let’s be real: Joe Petty has never been especially articulate. He’s never been especially inspiring or charismatic. He’s never really had much of a vision. But he was smart enough to give the Worcester visionaries creative space and support, the Woo egomaniacs the mic, the diverse Worcester a chance … That’s why we liked him and voted for him. Joe did the right things at the right time.

But his political platform planks for his state senator run: more affordable housing, more environmental justice feels, well, typically politically savvy. As mayor of Worcester Joe’s failed at the affordable housing thing…we have a true HOUSING CRISIS IN THE CITY AND IN WORCESTER COUNTY. Homelessness, old people displaced from the apartments and houses they’ve rented for years, sky rocketing rents – most apartments in Worcester at the $2,000 mark, up from $1,500 last summer – make this a problem too big for Joe’s small lens. THIS IS A CRISIS JOE PETTY ISN’T UP TO. THIS CRISIS CALLS FOR EXTREME CREATIVITY. Joe Petty is not that creative a guy. Converting CSX BOX CARS to rental homes? Rent control? Tiny houses built by our Worcester Technical High School students under the leadership of our local building trade union heads? Looking at safe spaces for the homeless who live in their cars? Establishing City of Worcester homeless camps with outhouses, community kitchens, places to legitimately camp, staffed by City of Worcester social workers and maybe a Worcester cop or two? More housing vouchers? BIG HOUSING COMPLEXES designated for low-income seniors … rental units for growing families as the Canal District/gentrification is not family friendly. The CD rental units are meant for young couples, singles or empty nesters… All of this has been out of Joe’s mental grasp.

We’re grasping… Do you think Joe Petty can advocate for any of these big, very major, outside-the-box housing solutions?

Neither do I.

Diversity. … Massachusetts is pretty racially segregated. If our Worcester Public Schools teaching staff is still lilly white and the City of Worcester had to be sued by a group of Black and brown WPS parents and community leaders to change the way we elect the Worcester School Committee, do you think Joe Petty has the mental tools – or the guts – to make our state, Massachusetts, less racist?

I doubt it. Take a look inside Mayor Petty’s office in City Hall – the Irish aunties rule the roost. God help you if you ask them to email you an attachment!

So we say: Retire from politics, Joe. You’ve done a lot of good for a lot of people. You’re a nice man, a loyal and loving husband, dad and friend. But “to every season turn, turn, turn … .”

A young man shoots for the stars, an older man looks up and sees their infinite beauty.

So, Joe, read all of Shakespeare’s plays in your new hammock in your yard. Bird watch from that hammock. Write a political memoir and hand deliver it to the Worcester Historical Museum. Visit every national park in America! Sip a glass of wine on the Seine! Run a marathon. Run a church bake sale. It’s ok to be … free.

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Worcester City Hall – Joe’s been here forever. photo: R.T.

“Harley” Chandler, you’re a classy lady! Please do the right thing …

By Rosalie Tirella

… and let it go, Harley! Let it go!

We love State Senator Harriette Chandler. She is as progressive and decent as they come, but her lawsuit against former political opponent William J. Higgins Sr. is silly – especially during the holidays when the money she and Higgins will squander suing the hell out of each other could be better spent on things like turkey and all the fixings for the folks at the local homeless shelter. Or mittens and hats for inner-city kids whose parents don’t own cars and have to walk Worcester’s mean streets when its 14 degress out! (Years ago I was one of those kids!)

When you think how blessed Senator Harriette Chandler has been – attending the best colleges, getting the best jobs, having a husband who loves her, living in warm lovely home in a safe and beautiful neighborhood – and I drive down streets like Charlton and see: thugs putting baseball bats in trunks of cars, thugs going to car windows and slipping thier hands in to exchange white packets for (your guess) or a 30ish-year-old women just standing in the middle of the sidewalk so drugged out, yu think she’s going to fall right over … . I mean, this is what I saw just last month outside the PIP!

My life and my travels make me wanna take Higgins (who is comfortably middle class in Northboro) and Chandler and knock their heads together! Knock some sense into both of these … very vain people.

Chandler should know this by now: Everyone gets slimed in today’s sleazoid all-American culture. It really is the age of soft porn in America! Whether it’s the way we dress, the movies we see, the video games we play, the talk radio station we listen to, the cable TV news show we watch, the reality shows to which everyone is addicted, we Americans are drowning in a cesspool of vitriol. It is called FREE SPEECH! And believe me there are so many examples of soaring rhetoric and lovely, elliptical phrases … . Unfortunately, they are stuck in most Americans’ college Intro to Poetry text books. It really sucks, Harley! I oughta know, having swum in the cesspool of the Telegram and Gazette’s Dianne Williamson columns or, like I said, tuning into Fox News. Or: having had to strike back, when all I really wanna do is … go on long walks in the park with my little Husky-mix, Jett!

But if we curtail the rantings of an old fart like William Higgins (whose free speech is not half as toxic as Glenn Beck when he out and out LIES about President Obama or the tea party nuts when they mangle the US Constitution and call our President Hitler and say truly horrible things about Democrats and unions) then you and I won’t be able to freely express ourselves.

Besides, I saw a TV clip of Higgins yesterday: He was wearing oxygen tubes when he was debating you! He was connected to an oxygen tank! He is ancient and very very very fraile – maybe in the early stages of dementia!

Harley, drop your silly lawsuit and get down on your knees and thank God that you are one of the few truly, truly lucky people. Don’t turn my Christmas – or the City of Worcester’s holiday season – into a muck-fest!

This past year you worked with ex-cons and their supporters to pass the CORI reform law. This was great news to people, who may have committed a crime years ago, and can’t get a freakin’ minimum wage job collecting shopping carts at the local Price Chopper! I have known a few poor souls like this!

Please, Harley and William, come together. William, apologize to Harriette and admit that what you said were fabrications made up in the heat of the political moment. Lots of political candidates say crappy things about their opponents election season.

And, Harley, even if William doesn’t say he’s sorry, drop the lawsuit and move on.

Go buy a bunch of hats and mittens and drop them off at the Friendly House, and be swept up in the spirit of giving.

Happy Holi-(Holy)days!

Marty Lamb: Tea Party mouthpiece in “Lamb’s” clothing/Vote for McGovern and Chandler!

By Rosalie Tirella

So besides having to put up with Marty Lamb’s fake news interviews on TV 3, we have this: Lamb claiming in radio ads that his opponent, incumbent Congressman Jim McGovern, has been arrested during these past few years. Arrested! What poppycock!

What the radio ads don’t tell listeners: Jim McGovern was arrested for protesting America’s slow response to the tragedy in Darfur and our two catastrophic wars in the Mid East – both of which McGovern was staunchly against from the get go. He and other folks were calling attention to the issues by calling attention to themselves. Civil Disobedience. You can’t get more American than that (think of Concord’s Henry David Thoreau!).

Jim McGovern will win reelection no sweat, but if he feels he needs to, he should tell voters Marty Lamb wants to kill Medicare, Social Security, the minimum wage, and the civil rights that Martin Luther King Jr. died trying to make a reality. King didn’t get to “the mountain top” Continue reading Marty Lamb: Tea Party mouthpiece in “Lamb’s” clothing/Vote for McGovern and Chandler!