Pics: Rosalie Tirella
Millbury Street, last week:
Endicott Street – Our Lady of Czestochowa church (aka St. Mary’s) parking lot, rear:
The count will run now through May 14, 2017
Some of you have participated in the past – others have not.
So let me give you a bit of information …
As you may or may not be aware, the Massachusetts Commission on Unaccompanied Homeless Youth has been working to gather crucial data for better understanding the scope and needs of unaccompanied youth and young adults who are experiencing housing instability or homelessness.
This anonymous information is gathered through an annual survey as means to advocate and invest in services and housing that meet the needs of this vulnerable population.
The Commission defines unaccompanied homeless youth and young adults as a person 24 years of age or younger who is not in the physical custody of a parent or legal guardian and lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.
Your participation is vital to sustaining the momentum built and legislative investment in funding local resources and in taking action to understand and end youth homelessness!
Please accept our sincere thanks in your efforts to help us to make this the best year yet!
We are contacting agencies to get an estimate for the number of surveys you believe you will need.
We can print them, deliver them to you, along with some giveaways for young people who complete the survey and pick them up.
PLEASE REPLY ASAP – so we can get these out to you!!!
Maurie Bergeron, MHSA
Director of TIL Services
Chandler elementary school in Piedmont looking so pretty today …
Bad news: driving up Endicott Street – more dumped crap. City of Worcester takes the illegally dumped garbage away (just two days ago!); the slobs dump more stuff – DEFILE OUR INNER-CITY NEIGHBORHOODS. Landlords must be fined. PEOPLE MUST BE EDUCATED!!!
– Rose T.
Richard Thompson on the radio, while driving thru Woo’s inner-city … he puts it all under the microscope.💗💗
Text and pics by Rosalie Tirella
Coming home yesterday, after delivering ICT, I saw, to my delight!, that the garbage-mini-mountain at 90 Endicott St. had been excavated the hell outa my neighborhood! Yay! (Thanks, Mayor Joe Petty and Worcester Mayor’s Office!💐💐) But not before I spied this dispiriting sight by the corner of Endicott and Millbury streets, just several yards from the first pile of shit. And what’s with the heap ‘o concrete at Bott Square?:
Still, yesterday’s Woo trash was dwarfed by the Mass of Shit and Garbage we call the President of the United States: Donald Trump. Thin-skinned Trump skipped the correspondents’ dinner last night to have his needy, dishonorable, ecosystem-killing, sick self propped up by the good people of Harrisburg, PA – Middle America.
A low point for my country!
The nadir for white working class Americans! A big chunk of the USA – a group of folks that Trump plays like a fiddle!
Here he is in Harrisburg, yesterday, at the 100 Day Rally he threw for himself, brain washing good people who fear so many things, primarily: #1: losing their jobs in the new, global economy and #2: a multicultural America.
They are looking for some kind of savior, someone to help them make sense of it all and keep them in the middle/lower-middle class. Unfortunately, the Dems were asleep at the wheel this election cycle, and Trump – a showman par excellence – shrewdly stepped in to fill the void. Wrong answers. Wrong leader.
Here’s what Trump missed last night. The kid’s very good, but Stephen Colbert would have shattered Trump into a million golden orange pieces! His speech would have been iconic satire! Oh, well.
Writing this post with Cece at my feet …
Lucky Cece! She has no idea!
Every day I wake up depressed about this President. Hopeless. Afraid of a nuclear war … global obliteration.
I hated Reagan, loathed Geoege W. Bush. But we are in uncharted (polluted) waters with Trump and his evil geniuses Bannon, Conway, Sessions, Ivanka – the list of nefarious, mendacious hacks in the Trump White House seems to go on and on and on – even though he’s filled so few top govt jobs (most important at the State Dept.). These clowns are attempting to shred American democracy right before our eyes! The ones who appear “sane”? Trump’s top generals-military boys. But they are just as bomb-happy nuts as Trump. Only their reasons for restarting a nuclear arms race sound way more intellectual/”intelligent” than Trump’s “tremendous,” “great,” “brilliant” and other bull shit adjectives that he uses to sell Americans war/death.
… because these days it is so much dumpier and trashier inside and outside the White House!
Sing it, Lucinda!!!!💜💙💛💚❤💗
St. Mary’s was the church of Rosalie’s Polish immigrant grandparents and mom. Rosalie attended CCD classes at the church’s school and walked to mass at St. Mary’s every Saturday night with her mom and two sisters for 17 years! Here she is with her beloved Polish Grandpa on their Lafayette Street back porch. She looks decked out for mass! pics: R.T.
By Rosalie Tirella
I say: The cold, proud priest had it coming to him! Jesus said: Be a lamb, be a serpent! The robbery – aka the recent break in, the filching of microphones, the stealing of $, the messing around in the sacristy at St. Mary’s church in lower Vernon Hill – was my inner-city neighborhood being a serpent.
I’ve watched the lead up to this break in at St. Mary’s on Ward Street – the Polish church’s proper name is Our Lady of Czestochowa – from my plant-filled kitchen window (I live in the apartment building next door) …
… my parking lot, my walks with Jett and Lilac … for almost three years. I’ve heard the stories from my neighbors.
I ain’t no Aesop but here’s the moral of the story:
If you have a church in one of Worcester’s poorest, most drug-infested, gun-choked neighborhoods where the people are often sad, physically or emotionally abused, underemployed/poor, addicted to heroin or alcohol, desperate, hopeless, homeless! – if you are smack dab in the middle of the world that Jesus came to save and loved the most (Jesus said: THE LAST SHALL BE FIRST! THE FIRST SHALL BE LAST!), then you deal with it. Sensitively, if you’re me. Beautifully, compassionately if you’re a priest or a minister. Heck! If you’re a priest like St. Mary’s Rev. Ryszard Polek maybe you should even try ministering to the people! After all, Jesus LIVED IN/WAS A PART OF a community just like lower Vernon Hill during his sojourn on earth – we’re talking the underbelly, the social outcasts of Nazareth, Jerusalem. He was in the desert storm, wind-whipped whispers from the Devil swirling all around him. The Devil whispered into Jesus’ ears: Come! Follow me! And all this – here the Devil stretches out his arms over a rich, opulent and decadent city – is yours!
Jesus said: Fuck off, Devil! I’m sticking with the poor folks … my lepers, my cripples, my robbers, my whores … the psychically tormented, the insane! Be gone! And Jesus shook the Devil off like the desert dust from his feet!
And the Devil went away…
If only the pastor of St. Mary’s – the un-Christ like Rev Polek – had learned his Bible lessons from the good nuns at his church in Poland where he was born and lived up until fairly recently. But now his rectory – his home – is next door to his church – a two-minute walk from my apartment. Rev. Polek sees and is surrounded by the exact same men, women, youth and children I am, but he DOESN’T SEE. Jesus would cry! And be pissed! Righteous anger!!!!
The Rev. Polek has:
Not allowed the Worcester Public Library bookmobile Libby to park in his precious, recently repaved church parking lot so that the little kids (and adults) of the neighborhood can check out books, DVDs, CDs and more. He does have Libby parked on the church parking lot during the school year for the children who attend his church’s elementary school – St. Mary’s.
Rev. Polek has run out of his rectory and chased folks off the church parking lot (repaved recently!!!) and the church’s little pocket park – most recently a sweet neighborhood guy and his sweet pit bull. The man ALWAYS had a plastic bag and picked up after his dog! His daily walks with his beloved pooch in this concrete tough world where dogs that need much exercise are sometimes crated for hours, owned by drug dealers or fought were to be admired! We all smiled at this pair! Not the pastor! He ran out yelling at the man and chased them off. For ever.
There is much illegal trash dumping in my neighborhood. Right inside, in the back of St. Mary’s church parking lot. On the Endicott Street side. It’s a trash hot spot, to tell you the truth! Rev. Polek has refused to work with the City of Worcester and State Rep. Dan Donahue when he was asked if video cameras could be installed and trained on the hot spot so the illegal dumpers could be caught. I’ve posted photos here of the thrown OFFICE FURNITURE, MATRESSES, chairs, contractors bags filled with garbage etc. All on St. Mary’s property. It sits there for days. Sometimes weeks.
The pastor’s kicked me and Jett and Lilac off his precious church parking lot when I used to walk my pups there (plastic poop bag in hand) in the early a.m. No church service. Just me in my Mom’s New York Yankees baseball cap trying to give my two high energy dogs, both on leads, some exercise in the inner city. A city without a dog park.
The pastor confronted me the last time I walked my mutts, and when I scolded him for not understanding the neighborhood he was smack dab in the middle of and told him Father Madden of St. John’s church, up a few streets, is super great with his neighborhood, actually has programs for the people of the ‘hood, welcomes them … feeds them Rev. Polek said to me in broken English wrapped in a heavy Polish accent: THEN GO TO FATHER MADDEN! Go to him!!!
I said FUCK YOU! then whipped around, leading Jett and Lilac – they wanted to play with the pastor who just frowned at their exuberance – stormed off! Stormed off his fucking precious church parking lot!
A week later Rev. Polek had about 20 NO TRESPASSING. POLICE TAKE NOTICE signs posted at the entry of his parking lot, the sides of his parking lot, by the shrine on his parking lot, near the church side of his parking lot… . What’s the Polish word for overkill?! (Rev. Polek!)
But then arrogance superseded nastiness:
Three or so weeks ago, I forget which holiday, the Rev. Polek hauled out the church portable microphones, the speakers, the portable PA system, gold leaf encrusted portable awning and lead a mini church procession around his church parking lot, ending up in front of the church’s shrine. It was warm out, but he was wearing heavy, opulent vestments trimmed in bright red. About 150 parishioners followed him, singing, too. He sang a sad Polish hymn that my mother used to sing around the house when I was a little girl growing up on Lafayette Street. Very plaintive, dark… I cried when I heard that song because it reminded me of Ma and my rough childhood in Green Island. I looked out my kitchen window to watch the Rev. Polek and his tiny flock.
The pageantry was intense and beautiful. It was a sea of people and pretty dresses and bowed heads in the middle of the inner city, surrounded by tired three deckers, Section 8 housing, poor people, many brown- and black-skinned. It was all in Polish – words and music – not Spanish the way most celebrations in my neighborhood sound.
I struggled with its interpretation: I had never seen anything like this. Was Rev. Polek saying, Hooray! I’ve got a new parking lot! Screw you poor city people! Look how great and holy we are! Look at my flock! Old, young, babies. We rule this brandy new church parking lot! It’s ours! Not yours! Stay off! Look at us! We are better. We are nothing like you!
Then two or three weeks later, his church is busted into and besides taking money, this outdoor portable PA system that he was using in that parking lot procession was stolen! Ripped off! Nothing else taken! No gold chalice, no gold leafed icon. JUST the PA system that he was using a few weeks ago – not even flaunting it but he may as well have been – a great outdoor PA system before all the eyes and ears of a poor BUT MUSIC-OBSESSED community.
His neighbors, his neighborhood, too.
The recent break in at St. Mary’s is no tragedy, no desecration of a holy space! Jesus, the spirit of Jesus, St. Mary and all the saints and angels, was never there to defile.
And somewhere in the ‘hood there’s a great party going on, the lovely mariachi band sending love through music out to the pretty brown ladies in three deckers, the junkies nodding off in the hallway, the dancers at the backyard party, me writing this story, sweet Jesus up in the city sky!!
Breakfast in bed …
Hit the road …
Mutts in tow …
See all the illegally dumped garbage in my ‘hood (this shit, yesterday, Millbury Street) …
My summer day shot to hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Not cool, City Hall seat-warmers, pencil-pushers, bootlickers …
… Everything except the visionary…
Save us, Oh Lord!
pics/text: Rosalie Tirella
By Edith Morgan
We Worcesterites are in the midst of making decisions about many of the distinctive structures that dot our city, and that give testimony to some part of our history. In the cse of some, the decision has already been made, and they have either been razed and replaced (for example, The Odd Fellows Home on Randolph Road), or “repurposed” (like the Higgins Armory building, whose collection is now part of the Worcester Art Museum’s collections).
Still in limbo are Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, and under threat of being razed is Notre Dame des Canadiens. And countless old school buildings are now condominiums, scattered in various parts of the city.
Resurrected beautifully, a number of buildings now serve their original purposes: Union Station, so long left to disintegrate, now stands proudly beside the I 290 highway, host once again to trains and now also busses going to many places far and near. The Hanover Theatre too is a joy to attend, as is the jewel of Worcester restorations, Mechanics Hall, also saved from disintegration. And this past week, Memorial Grove in Green Hill Park, while not a building, was replanted in time for Memorial Day 2016.
While Worcester is not yet really a great tourist destination, we are taking steps to put ourselves on the map. What other destination cities have that we still do not have is a pedestrian-friendly environment. We are still plagued by narrow streets, too much traffic, narrow and uneven sidewalks, and lack of consistent street signs that enable newcomers to our city to get around.
My husband and I just returned from a long trip around the U.S., and we have both in the past travelled widely around various parts of the world. So we have had a chance to look at what makes other places attractive to people. Each place hs its own attractions: sometimes it is geography (unusual scenery, water, hills and mountains, perfect climate, etc.); sometimes it is newness and cleanliness, and a sensible layout of streets and walks; other times it is trails through nature, or through historical sites – even cemeteries and monuments commemorating important events. Whatever the attraction, there is sufficient public support to publicize these “wonders” and to welcome visitors.
One feature that ALL these cited have is that they are very well maintained: they are not trashed by either inhabitants or visitors, and there is always a staff continuously cleaning, pruning, replanting and repainting so that all always looks attractive, safe and really cared for. There is a commitment to daily maintenance because there is an understanding that no matter how beautiful your structures are, and how great your parks and buildings are, no one will feel safe if sites seem neglected and abandoned.
So, Worcester, let’s decide what we want to show off and really commit to paying to keep it all looking and feeling inviting to all!
Lilac donning her Easter bonnet!:
Not-so-Happy District 4:
Lower Endicott Street:
Ward Street heading into the Canal District:
This Earth Day these filth hot spots will be cleaned up by the best of the best. The next day they’ll be clogged with garbage. A chronic problem!
City Leaders may want to institute FREE GARBAGE PICK UP IN SOME OF OUR INNER-CITY ‘HOODS. The illegal dumping will never go away …
Is it financial hardship that keeps folks from plunking down 10 bucks for city trash bags?
Or: Is it a symptom of something deeper, a kind of depression/malaise that stops our folks from keeping their environs clean?
We can debate the causes all year long. Meanwhile, my neighborhood grows dirtier and dirtier.
So wonderful when our readers show us the love:
Like William here! To hear the enthusiasm in his voice a week ago as he picked up the latest issue of ICT! To be bombarded with his compliments! To experience his intelligence and thoughtfulness! Our readers make it all STILL GREAT. After almost 15 years!
My friend works in a flower shop. She “sent” me these beauties a few days ago for Easter!:
Love the soft peach roses, gal pal!
And love the hundreds of vintage toy trucks and cars – some of them actually antiques dating back to the 1920s – for sale at Unique Finds Antiques and Vintage gift store at 1329 Main St., Worcester. These guys really take you back! Who can remember the Texaco jingle?
Lilac, my tenacious hunter, caught a rabbit (or squirrel?) a week ago:
A brutal, but quick, ending for the little guy. You can’t break your dog of his/her high prey drive. … Lilac slept like a babe that night, true to her soul:
Easter sans Lucinda? Never in a million Easters! Reposting one of my favorite Lu songs!
HAPPY, HAPPY EASTER!
– pics+text by Rosalie Tirella
By Rosalie Tirella
As in Worcester’s HUGE ILLEGAL DUMPING PROBLEM!!!
I’ve lived in the ‘hood for most of my life. It’s never been this bad in our city. I took this pic a month ago … This photo and several others were published in InCity Times. Garbage galore on Worcester streets!
Let’s face reality: The city’s yellow garbage bags, recyling bins and drop off center in Quinsig Village aren’t enough. People are basically shoving their shit anywhere they please – usually in District 4.
Why is that?
Are people too poor to buy the $10 bag of city trash bags?
Are they sick of lugging things up and down in their recycling bins?
Are people moving in and out of Worcester inner-city apartments because they are fleeing domestic violence, unpaid rent bills, gun play and are just too freaked out to dispose of their shit in an orderly, legal fashion? So they just dump their crap, thinking: I’ll get another bureau at Good Will. I can leave this desk on this street corner and my sister will give me her old one. GOTTA GO!!!
In other words: folks, under duress, just abandoning stuff before heading to their next urban catastrophe.
Is it depression? People so overwhelmed by their HUGE PROBLEMS that they’re just too crestfallen, sad, stuck to expend the energy needed to dispose of their garbage properly?
The broken window theory? As in: look at all this garbage strewn all along lower Endicott Street…What difference does it make if I dump my old desk top computer on the sidewalk? … And the next person comes along and thinks the same thing vis a vis his box spring mattress!
You should see our Worcester inner city streets! You should see how people have adjusted to the piles and piles of debris! Kids and families walk by all the garbage as if its part of the Worcester scenery. A few days ago I saw five teens walking down lower Endicott Street. They were friends, talking animatedly among themselves, laughing. Having fun. How heartbreaking for me as an adult to watch the casual way they walked by a HILL of green contractor bags filled with crap! As if they were oblivious to all that ugliness! I grew up on these streets. My mom and kid sisters and I never walked past a HILL OF GARBAGE BAGS! It would have been such an affront to the way my mother raised her kids/ lived her life.
Do you think the middle class renter or, God help him/her, developer is going to want to put his/her money into a neighborhood that looks like a landfill? Do you think some middle class person with a job and a car and a career – or even a working-class worker bee – is going to want to LIVE in these refuse-choked neighborhoods?
Do we want our little children walking to school past all this UNSANITARY SHIT?
A few months ago, I saw a big slimy rat, in the dark, skulking towards garbage. How many rats’ nests do we need to find before we DEAL WITH ALL THE ILLEGAL DUMPING IN OUR CITY??? How many of our little kids have seen rats in their backyards?
Some ideas TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM:
Create one or two FULL-TIME City of Worcester inner-city garbage guy/gal jobs. Not DPW nuisance patrol – a team that goes to spots after the city’s received numerous calls about illegal dumping at the sites … but two folks whose job is simply to drive up and down our inner-city streets picking up the tv sets, sofas, bags of clothing, etc. The jobs should be given to two District 4 folks. The requirements: KNOW YOUR ‘HOODs. KNOW WHERE THE GARBAGE IS. AND PICK IT UP. For 7 hours a day. For 7 days a week. There is certainly enough crap in our urban core to make weekend shifts a must!
These special inner-city garbage guys and gals may have to go to the same inner-city street corner every day FOREVER to pick up the new trash dumped on that particular day. Who cares? You can’t put a price tag on a lovely looking city. A clean city. Trust me: These folks will be worth their weight in gold!
Free yellow trash bags for the working poor. NOT welfare recipients. PEOPLE WHO ARE PLAYING BY THE RULES AND STRUGGLING TO KEEP A ROOF OVER THEIR HEADS. Ten bucks is a lot if you are working full-time at ACAP and renting an apartment in Worcester and trying to pay all your bills.
Easier and less expensive ways to dispose of junked furniture etc at the Quinsig Village dump
Put ALL CLOTHING DONATION BOXES AT THE CITY LANDFILL. GET THEM OUT OF BUSINESS PARKING LOTS, OFF WORCESTER SIDEWALKS. People are abusing the situation.
HUGE FINES for businesses and landlords whose properties, for whatever reasons, have become garbage-magnets. We can think of three businesses right off the top of our head. I’m certain you can too! They stay bold and do nothing because they figure the city is too busy with other stuff. City leaders need to tamp down on these folks – make them take responsibility for the restaurateurs they’re renting their space to…make them put in a dumpster if they have several sketchy apartment situations in their building…
OUR GARBAGE PROBLEM IS NOT JUST A D 4 ISSUE. IT IS A CITY ISSUE in that it impacts DEVELOPMENT IN OUR URBAN CORE – keeps potentially solid renters and home buyers from wanting to come into our inner city and actually make a commitment to a good chunk of Worcester – to live and raise their families on our streets.
Streets filled with very cool old Victorians, three deckers and older apartment buildings, I might add!
And lots of very nice people doing the best they can, under not so hot circumstances.
By Rosalie Tirella
Should this little Polish church on Ward Street, Our Lady of Czetchowa, run by the pastor who refuses to let the city install video cameras on church property to catch illegal dumpers, DUMPERS WHO DUMP BEDROOM SETS AND OFFICE FURNITURE AND MOUNTAINS OF GARBAGE, be re-christened:
OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL SLOB-INESS?
OUR LADY OF HOGS?
OUR LADY OF INNER-CITY BLUES?
Yesterday, while running errands, I saw this:
The church parking lot walkway was littered with paper. To the right, the box spring mattress had been removed but the other crap remained.
As a kid growing up in Green Island, on Lafayette Street, my family belonged to this parish and my sisters attended St. Mary’s elementary school and jr/sr high school. I trudged to weekly catechism class at St. Mary’s, taking this path through a clean parking lot on whose edge sat a beautiful, open shrine to the Virgin Mary where you could light a candle and kneel and pray (it’s got bars now so people can’t steal the statues and candles) and to fastidious nuns who taught me my Catholic do’s and don’t. The neighborhood was poor and tough then (filled with blue collar bars and a few flop houses), but we kids and my mom, walking to St. Mary’s church or its parish school – and we walked everywhere cuz we didn’t have a car – found the walk to St. M’s … pleasant.
Especially on Sundays! We were going to church! To Jesus and to all his saints! To our church with the organ player from Poland whom I loved so much! He was short, not at all good looking, but did everything with such flair. He wore his long coat draped over his shoulders like a cape and walked past us parishioners dramatically, so his coat billowed in the breeze – just like a maestro! Once in church with my family, sitting in our church pew, I’d love to sneak a peek to the back of the church, the balcony where he played. You weren’t supposed to turn around in church – you were supposed to sit perfectly still in the pew, facing forward, looking straight ahead to the altar where the priest lead mass. But I loved to take furtive glances at the maestro who played the church organ with such flair! drama! passion! His little torso bent over the keyboard, reaching to the left, then to the right, his hands flying across the keyboard, his face sometimes looking up, to heaven, totally blissed out, into his music … his gig for God! While playing, he still wore his coat on his shoulders – like a cape! – like the little maestro he was! Our little church on Ward Street swelled with his music! I felt the whole world could hear his organ playing and the congregation accompanying him with our voices old and young, male and female. Singing on Sunday! A blast!
My mom and my two sisters and I always dressed up for Sunday mass, this special event. In springtime, my mom wore her pretty powder pink gloves – the ones that went to her wrist – to church. Sometimes my sisters and I wore our communion dresses, even after a few years had passed since we had made our First Holy Communion at St. Mary’s! (We also wore the dresses for class picture day! They were so pretty!) Here’s mine, hanging on the wall of one of my spare bedrooms today: a love song to my late mom and the Green Island of my childhood:
WE NEVER SAW GARBAGE HEAPED ON ENDICOTT STREET OR IN THE CHURCH WALKWAY on the way to mass. NEVER DID OUR WALKS TO THE CHURCH or St. M’s school feel like strolls through a landfill. Never were we made to feel bad or sad about our little journey, like it must feel now for anyone who walks up Endicott Street.
Maybe everyone here has grown used to the ugliness – and many add to it on hourly basis.