Tag Archives: housing study

Worcester City Council agenda for Tuesday, Nov. 20

This august body meets tomorrow, Tuesday, November 20, at 7 p.m. The fate of Worcester’s affordable housing stock/policy will be discussed about 7 p.m.  Click on link below. – R. T.


The 10% affordable housing “cap” – a red herring

NOTE: We need to remember: the 10% figure re: the limit some folks are suggesting for Worcester’s affordable housing stock was NOT set by the state for cities like Worcester – or even towns in MA. The 10% is the quota the state established for affordable housing in all communities before it stepped in and overrode the town or city’s zoning laws. In other words, if a municipality wasn’t at 10%, then the state would allow affordable housing developers to circumvent the snob zoning laws in that city or suburbs to build their housing units. The state was/is telling these municipalities: IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THIS AMOUNT OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING – 10% –  IN YOUR COMMUNITY, THEN YOUR ZONING RULES CAN BE CHANGED – a developer can come into your community and develop affordable housing on land/lots that are smaller than the tracts of land your local zoning laws permit.
That is where the 10% comes from. It was in no way a “goal” the state was asking cities like Boston, Worcester or Lowell to meet. Or any community, for that matter. – R.T. 


City Manager Mike O’Brien to discuss new city housing policy …

… this coming Tuesday, at the Worcester City Council Meeting (meeting begins at 7 p.m.).  Here is the agenda. The manager’s recommendation letter is found in the “attachment” to the right of his presentation: First Item of Business, 6A. This will all probably be happening a bit after 7 p.m.

Click on the link below for the City Council Agenda. Then click on Mike O’Brien’s attachment, re the Housing Study to see what he has to say in his letter – 6 a. To make his “letter” readable, go to top of menu bar and hit 100%. You are only seeing the document at 32% of its size.

We believe this strategy is anti-working folks, anti-inner-city resident. It is ultimately racist/classist – bent on eliminating certain populations in the City of Worcester.

– R.Tirella


There’s been a delay … / ICT PETA op ed

The Housing Report (for the City of Worcester) is not ready. Should be coming out around Oct. 18. – R. T.
Starving monkeys won’t help humans live longer

By Alka Chandna, Ph.D.

Since the late 1980s, experimenters at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the University of Wisconsin–Madison have isolated monkeys in tiny barren cages and kept them chronically underfed—giving them a whopping 30 percent fewer calories than they needed—to see if this would make the animals live longer. Now, more than two decades later, the NIA experimenters report that 20-plus years of unrelieved deprivation had no effect on the monkeys’ life spans.

This hideous experiment may not have extended the animals’ lives, but it certainly made their pitifully caged lives more miserable.

While it is always unethical to confine and kill animals for experimentation, condemning smart, social animals to a lifetime of hunger and isolation, just to prove a point, is especially egregious. It’s time for these so-called “caloric-restriction”—read, “starvation”—experiments to end and for the government to stop paying for this cruelty.

Primates are extremely intelligent animals who form intricate relationships, experience the same wide range of emotions as we do and exhibit a capacity for suffering similar to that of humans. And like us, rhesus macaque monkeys—the species used in the starvation experiments—are highly social animals who need companionship in order to thrive.

In their natural homes, these gregarious animals live in multigenerational troops with up to 200 other monkeys. They spend their days traveling miles through lush forest terrain and grooming one another. In the caloric-restriction experiments, they are confined alone in metal cages so small that they can take only a step or two in any given direction. Most likely, they will die in these cages. The cheap plastic toys and scratched mirrors commonly given to monkeys in laboratories as “environmental enrichment” are poor substitutes for the companionship of another living being.

Rhesus monkeys also have impressive intellectual abilities. They can count, use tools, communicate complex information and express empathy, and they possess a sense of fairness—something that many experimenters seem to lack.

In one particularly horrible experiment, described in Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan’s book Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, macaques were fed only if they pulled a chain that electrically shocked another monkey, whose agony was in plain view through a one-way mirror. The majority of the monkeys preferred to go hungry rather than pulling the chain. One refused to eat for 14 days.

Sadly, these astonishing traits have not saved monkeys from being abused in laboratories.

When the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s experiments were first made public in 2009, PETA filed complaints with both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the university’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. Our concerns were dismissed, and the monkeys remain in their barren cages, waiting to die.

Even if the results of the starvation experiments had turned out differently, if the researchers had discovered that chronic deprivation prolongs life, so what? What difference would it make? When most of us eat too much rather than too little, is it realistic to expect that people will voluntarily go hungry—not for weeks or months but for years and decades—even if it means adding a few years to their lives?

Previous studies have shown us that being obese can shorten a person’s life span by as much as a decade and that the cholesterol, saturated fat and toxins in meat and fish increase the risk of early death. According to the American Cancer Society, one-third of all cancer deaths in the United States can be attributed to nutritional factors. And still we gorge ourselves on meat, dairy products, sugar, soda and heavily processed foods and wonder why we get sick.

We already know how to improve our health and prevent many of the ills often associated with aging. Locking up animals for decades in cruel and pointless experiments is not the answer.