Tag Archives: InCity Times

Edith! Always in Style! 🍃🍃Here’s a column from her! + more🇺🇸

Education – Not Just Schooling!

By Edith Morgan

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Edith, yesterday, tending her tender flora. pics: Rose T.

The novel coronavirus has given us the great gift of time – time to think, time to plan, time to do something better.

Before we open our school buildings, let us ask some pertinent questions. Let us put on the table ALL our assumptions about public education: Why do we do what we do? Are those reasons still valid in the 21st century?

🖋Let us create an idealized goal – what kind of human being do we want to graduate after 12 year with us in our schools? If we do not have a clear destination, how will we know when we are there?

📘Are paper and pencil tests really a valid accountability measure for accomplishing our stated goals?

📙Does our curriculum at all levels reflect what we want a full-fledged adult American citizen to know, be able to do, and pass on to descendants?

🌊If we are all going to live to a healthy, productive, nine-decade life, how do we prepare our graduates for their 30-to-40 years of retirement?!

These are some of the more basic questions we should be asking ourselves. Right now, our emphasis is almost entirely on getting our children back into our old school buildings and trying to figure out how to pay for these new groupings.

📚We have not addressed the pressing problem of pre-school education, lack of affordable day care or any kind of affordable child care – and application of all that is known about how children learn, develop, and thrive. While individual teachers try to encourage and enhance individual talents and skills and interests, we pay little attention to these things as systems. We are still wedded to the factory model of education, teaching to the middle, and creating a few special places for all those who are not ”average.”

🌺What if each teacher really knew what the total curriculum goals were and was given no more than 10 students, to be their assigned group, and be responsible for the full development of those 10 students for one school year – or more?

🍃They would not be limited to the school building – but would use the facilities of the entire city – its parks, streets, museums, stores and eateries, etc. The group would be responsible for each other and spend a full day together so that parents would be able to work knowing their young were in good hands all day, developing at their own rate, and not being herded about to the sound of bells.

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Gigi works on her puzzles. pic: Chef Joey

We should also remember that languages are most easily acquired at early ages, not after puberty, when for most of it becomes more difficult. The early elementary times should be given over to enriching vocabulary, developing good sentence structure and comfort with many forms of expression (prose and poetry). Once children have a good command of the language, there is plenty of time to go over the rudiments of phonics by grade 3. English basic words are generally not phonetic.

Every American child should master more than one language – there are so many ideas and nuances that can not be expressed in one language but exist in another.

And, above all, our young must, from sixth grade on, be able to think critically, analyze propaganda and know when they are being used to become mere consumers. We are now so immersed in advertising everywhere we look that we no longer even question the right
of moneymaking to occupy every inch of space around us!

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A portion of Edith’s garden – Edith espouses TEACHING/LEARNING outdoors, in nature.

By the time we graduate seniors from our high schools, we should expect that they can navigate various forms/applications, and the tiny print designed to mislead that is found in contracts, credit card statements, etc. Years ago there was a test, the SHARP test (senior high assessment of reading proficiency) which simply tested whether students could use and understand the most common forms they would encounter in adult life: Tax forms, W-2, driver’s license, credit card monthly reports, bank forms or whatever is current now. Too many of our high school graduates are constantly taken advantage of because of their lack of education in these areas. And as part of any civics curriculum, senior high students should have a thorough understanding of how various economic systems work and how they affect our students’ lives and futures.

Let’s start questioning – NOW!!

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FYI:

Under the Green Street Bridge …

By Rosalie Tirella

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Under the Green Street Bridge. photo: R.T.

When I was a kid growing up in Green Island, we never saw this scene, walking under the Green Street Bridge, on our way downtown to Woolworths or the Mart: photo below – of a gaggle of young, attractive homeless YOUNG people. People in their 20s or 30s with their whole lives ahead of them – zonked out, high, sprawled out before garbage pails overflowing with refuse. In the chi chi Canal District a 2-minute walk from the gourmet cupcake shop and organic makeup vendor and doggie speciality shoppe. …

On Lafayette Street, when I was a little girl, we had a few homeless people in the neighborhood, but they were usually guys – older guys, hardcore alcoholics suffering … from aloneness, hunger, DTs. They were, heartlessly, called bums or winos back then. No one talked about addiction or mental health or physical health problems. These guys were considered weak, “losers” – failures at life. No one expected them to ever get a job, get married and live with a wife in a home or even sober up, stop drinking. Lafayette Street, especially Millbury Street towards the Crompton Park side, was lined with crumby dank uriney smelling bars where these guys drank and drank for cheap and then stumbled to Hotel Vernon or some other Millbury Street flophouse to sleep it all off. As a teen, I once counted 24 stinking hole in the wall barrooms on Millbury Street. So Worcester’s Canal District was once Worcester’s Skid Row! … You saw the “bums” walking to school or catechism class at St. Mary’s

… There they were, sleeping it off, hunched over, disheveled and smelly in various and sundry Millbury Street doorways. The guys could be a little scary when they were awake – rush up to a little kid to demand a quarter. Many a day my kid sisters and I RAN past those Millbury Street bars on the way to visit our mom at work at the cleaners or grab a hamburger at Messiers Diner after school. The bums didn’t stop us from enjoying the real pleasures of Green Island – we just had to run down Millbury Street to get to them!

I suppose, despite the phony political correctness nowadays and new Canal District moniker and dreadful gentrifier Allen Fletcher STILL squatting on our Ash Street – THINGS HAVE GOTTEN WORSE IN MY OLD NEIGHBORHOOD. Instead of just a handful of winos sprawled out on the Canal District streets, there are a ton of heroin-addicted, glue sniffing YOUNG PEOPLE there! Street kids who have no flophouses to give them shelter from the storm – or a place to temporarily sober up. … Nope. Worcester is TEEMING with alcohol- and drug-addicted YOUNG PEOPLE – you see them by the train tracks outside the new Blackstone Visitors Center, a stone’s throw from Holy Cross College. You see them on Cambridge Street, Webster Square, Vernon Hill. Backpacks on tight, maybe walking with another pal from the streets. With the pandemic forcing many of us to curtail our activities, some days, driving around Worcester, that’s all I see is homeless people! Some days I will see MORE HOMELESS PEOPLE THAN average Woo working peeps. It is heartbreaking. It is bleak. It is the New Woo Normal. Encampments in our woodsier city parks or green nooks. Right before the last storm, I saw a guy, in his 30s, over stuffed backpack on back, casually walking into the woods on Greenwood Street – going home, to shelter in maybe the tent he set up.

WHY DO WE AS A CITY ALLOW THIS? WHY CAN’T WE HELP? GIVE THESE YOUNG PEOPLE SAFE, CLEAN, DRY PLACES TO SHELTER …or just to sleep it off? 50 years ago flophouses served a purpose, as did SROs, as did the PIP: to keep the lowliest among us from suffering in the gutter. Dying in filth. To GIVE ALL AN AFFORDABLE HOME. We have lost our way as a society. Our Worcester city councilors and city managers leading the march to NO EMPATHY LAND. We thought by eradicating these cheap cots/hots we would eradicate addiction, human pain, hopelessness from our city. But there is no limit to human suffering, and when the Red Sox AAA stadium is built the homeless kids under the Green Street Bridge will be pushed out … to a new Worcester bridge or underpass, with their used works, beat up cell phones and overflowing shopping wagons in tow.

There, but for the Grace of God, go I …

Worcester Woke?

By Rosalie Tirella

I was thinking about this American WOKE MOMENT and how many sins – murder, theft, rape, pedophilia – does it take to bring a “historic” statue down in America? To send a book tumbling off our library’s bookshelves and into the recycling Dumpster. To relegate all the perpetrators to hell. General Robert E. Lee, Christopher Columbus, actor John Wayne, the movie GONE WITH THE WIND … the kid book I am holding right now on “Indian Crafts” – written in 1968, a previously WOKE time in America – by an Italian-American! couple. …

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I grew up honoring Columbus in our Worcester Public Schools …

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Rose’s Prov Junior High on Vernon Hill

… We were taught he was a great explorer …I learned that at Lamartine Street Elementary School where before every Columbus Day, in our art class, we made Columbus’s three ships, the Nina, Santa Maria and I forget the 3rd, out of white paper plates we colored with our Crayolas – three different sized paper plates for his three different sized ships.

Brave, stalwart, believing that the earth was round when everyone else swore it was as flat as a Monopoly Game Board – Columbus was unafraid to fall off earth’s edge if he sailed too far. Columbus dared to go too far.

In college – the ultra liberal UMass/Amherst – I read (for my essay writing class) a terrific essay comparing/contrasting Civil War generals Lee and Grant. Both brilliant. One, Grant, leading the Union soldiers, the other, Lee, leading the Confederate side – and on the wrong side of history. Still, in the essay Lee was described as a brilliant general. He was as interesting as Grant.

“Gone with the Wind” – a horrifically racist movie by any metric – but I watch this famous Selznick film for the great soap opera between MOVIE STARS/ICONS Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh! Rhett and Scarlet – forever falling off the true love boat! Why can’t Scarlet love Rhett? Why does she throw her beauty and passion on the pale, insipid Ashley Wilks? Why can’t Rhett just dump Scarlet and hook up with the Lil’ the town prostitute and savvy bordello owner who HAS A HEART OF GOLD AND HAS ALWAYS LOVED Rhett? To see Clark tinkle Bell’s gold bell earring as he leaves her “parlor” … to see him rage and weep at his little girl’s tragic fall from her little show pony … to watch Scarlet throw herself at the weak, vascilating, unattractive Ashley Wilks is to BE ENTERTAINED by this super soap opera. And Hattie McDaniel, the amazing Black actress who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Mami in the film, once famously said: It’s better playing a maid than BEING a maid. … I LOVE McDaniel’s acting in this movie – better than Leigh’s! … and I love that famous scene where Clark, as Rhett, sweeps Vivien – Scarlet – off her feet and carries her up to their bedroom skipping every other step of their miles-long, sweeping, red-velvet-covered spiral staircase. I WON’T BE TURNED OUT TONIGHT, SCARLET! Rhett says – as Scarlett struggles to free herself from his arms, taffeta and red velvet dressing gown all a flutter. WHAT A SCENE! AMAZING WHEN SEEN ON THE BIG SCREEN – with an audience. So good that movie houses – pre-pandemic – used to screen the film – so we movie goers could see that scene.

And American actor John Wayne … His statue removed from his hometown square. The Duke!! An acting legend! John Ford’s exquisite tool Ford used to paint a MAGNIFICENT portrait of the American West – the men and women, the landscape – think Monument Valley – and late in his career the Native Americans he used in his films …WHY KILL THE DUKE, STAR OF Ford’s THE SEARCHERS, an American masterpiece. I have watched this film at least 10 times thru the years – it is haunting and beautifully, sensitively acted by AMERICAN ACTOR John Wayne! Watch it tonight – then tell me if you want to pull down the John Wayne statue!

The kid book I am flipping through was deemed, at some point, culturally insensitive – Indian crafts that kids can make. But I am reading it – and the crafts are explained, if not drawn, pretty sensitively … a kid could learn about the various tribes in different regions of our big country … and how their natural environment shaped their lives: what they ate, if they hunted or grew crops, what kind of homes they built for themselves. The map of the tribes is interesting … the craft projects are doable. Kids would learn and have fun!

Why pull the book from the library shelf?

Worcester will continue building monuments honoring our history, …

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… but let’s put us – US – in historical context, too, as we re-interpret our books and our Christopher Columbus statue in our WASHINGTON (a slave holder) Square.

Here are some excerpts from my evaluation of Worcester Public Schools Superintendent Maureen Binienda … + more🖋📚

First, some pics of the Vernon Hill School – major repairs atop roof!
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The Vernon Hill Elementary School, today. For decades it was the Providence Street Junior High School. pics: R.T.

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💙

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This school has beautiful WPA murals in its main entrance hall, painted by artists commissioned by President Roosevelt’s administration during the Great Depression.

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By John Monfredo, Worcester Public School Committee

This week the Worcester School Committee, as part of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education evaluation process, submitted our end-of-the-cycle evaluations of WPS Superintendent Maureen Binienda based on her goals, performance and the state’s Model Rubric process.

Her evaluation from all members was summarized by Mayor Petty. The Superintendent came away with high marks from most members, receiving mostly proficient marks for her performance.

Here are some excerpts from my evaluation of the superintendent:

When Superintendent Binienda applied for the position about four years ago, after having been an exemplary principal at South High, in an interview she referred to herself as an “urban warrior,” … an individual who will go above and beyond to educate and support our students. Five years later one can say that she has lived up to that title. In addition, she has continued to do all that she can to make decisions that are in the best interest of ALL students.

This past year our superintendent and her staff had to “step-up” to meet the pandemic crisis and have been important team players with our Mayor and our City Manager. This crisis is new, but the idea of “One City Working Together” to provide the best education for our students has been ongoing during the tenure of Superintendent Binienda.

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At-home school work – now more than ever during the global pandemic! pic: Joey Cancelmo

As part of the evaluation process under instructional leadership, more in-service opportunities have taken place for all staff members. Thanks to her leadership, we were more prepared to fight this pandemic crisis by improving our technology programs.

We have had students engaged in meaningful opportunities in and outside of school.

There has been an expansion of the College and Career Opportunities at the high school level with such programs as an expanded AP Capstone, an expanded College application Celebrity Day, more students received the Seal of Bi-literacy on their diploma, and additional training for students on their PSAT and SAT testing has continued.

Chronic absenteeism has been reduced, as well as suspension rates.

Under Management and Operations, she has placed safety within the schools as a high priority that emphasizes positive relationships, respectful interactions, acceptance and caring for one another. During this pandemic crisis she continues to review and implement changes as to how we can best meet the needs of families. She has brought to the district many nationwide speakers, as the district emphasizes the importance of sharing information with staff on bias, discipline and social and emotional learning.

Family and Community engagement has always been a major strength … throughout her career she has continued to lead by example. The time commitment has been exemplary, for one could see her helping families at Andy’s Attic on a Saturday morning, bringing cheer to our immigrants at various community functions at Adult Learning events, or bringing food to the homeless, families in need and attending student sports or musical events at their schools.

She is a leader who motivates others, is a good listener, and is a skillful communicator. Her qualities of commitment, passion, honesty and integrity make up her character. Many families within the city talk about her passion for education, her high energy, outstanding work ethic and her eagerness to do all that she can to make a difference in the lives of students.

The community has embraced her positive approach to making those difficult decisions daily. Parents have appreciated her commitment in reaching out to them and giving them a chance to articulate their opinions. She has continued to employ strategies to deal with conflict and has constructively worked to resolve problems that have surfaced. As stated, she is a leader with outstanding skills and an independent thinker who puts students first.

In summary, every student deserves a champion, someone who will never give up on them, who understands the importance of connections and is adamant that they will become the best that they can possibly be … Our champion in this community is Superintendent Binienda.

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FYI:

Sweet🐾 column from Edith!🐹🐀🐿🐾

🐿Turnabout is Fair Play!🐀

🌻By Edith Morgan🌻

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Edith is a great gardener!

We humans have pretty much invaded and taken over most animals’ habitats. Many species just gave up the ghost before the advancing human hordes. They gradually died out, or moved, until there was nowhere else to go.

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Cute squirrel. pics: PETA

But there are the survivors … They have adapted beautifully and are thriving in the city surroundings.

My best friends have a big yard, and work very hard to raise fresh vegetables and herbs which they consume and also share. I have enjoyed many a bag full of tomatoes, cukes and even plums and peaches, until their trees gave out.

But this year they are having to share their garden with some unwelcome visitors: the one or two rabbits that used to visit them in years past have done what rabbits are so well known for: they have multiplied and were eating to the ground every bit of green they could find.

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Adorable chipmunk!

In desperation, our friends erected a high mesh fence around their second planting, figuring the rabbits could not get over or under that. But word must have gotten out in the animal world, because, while the fence seems to have slowed down the rabbits, it seems to have been less of a deterrent to the chipmunks, who can squeeze through most any opening. And to add insult to injury, a ground hog found its way to their garden, requiring a much bigger “have-a-heart “ cage to be transported far away to a new home in a park.

I have been lucky so far this summer. I do fed the squirrels daily, and I notice now that there are bids also eating the peanut-bread treats I put out. But so far they have left my newly constructed garden alone. I feel we have a deal: I feed them beside the porch, and they leave my tomatoes, peppersand herbs alone.

I don’t have a problem sharing my food with wildlife; after all, we invaded the animals’ territory. It only seems fair to let them return and get a little of their own back!

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FYI:

Edith, always in style: … Hey, Fellow Americans! We’ve been robbed!! + more🎶

By Edith Morgan

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Edith!🌿🌻🌾🌺🌸🌹🌷🍎

Once upon a time (last century, actually) we Americans were all very rich. Of course, most of us did not know that, so let me tell you:

We,the people, owned so much public property, so many publuc buildings, so many public facilities, so many great American services … Actually, I had an old inventor friend who, when the national debt ballooned, suggested that we could wipe it out by mortgaging our public properties to ourselves – and pay it all off.

What did we own? Millions of acres of beautiful parklands, canyons, lakes, forests, natural wonders.

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Save the planet – EAT LESS MEAT!

We built libraries, federal buildings, bridges, interstate highways, cross-country railroads and wonderful national services (the U.S. Postal Service is one).

We, the American public, also owned the airwaves, which we rented out in three-year terms to providers, to be renewed after they had proved that they were serving the public good: education and entertainment.

Much of this public wealth was acquired after the Great Depression of 1929 – as the Roosevelt administration saved the capitalist system by implementing “the New Deal.” Millions of Americans were put to work, building up America: we built – for much needed paychecks – libraries, bridges, public buildings, parks, schools, playgrounds – and services. By mid-20th-century, we had a postal services that went daily to EVERY city, town, suburb, village and rural address in America – and to our troops overseas! And connected us to every other nation with such a system.

Many of us took these great assets for granted, and used them, and sometimes abused them. But they were equally available to all – and our taxes maintained them. So we have the Grand Canyon and all the surrounding gorgeous parkland, Mount Rushmore, all our great national parks throughout our states, and many of the schools and other buildings still standing from that time.

But for several decades now there has been a concerted effort (a plot, really) to “privaaaaaaaaaaatize” our assets, to take them out of our hands and put them into the hands of profiteers who will keep us out, or charge us to use them – or destroy them in a hundred ways for short-term profit, while destroying them for future use.

What has happened to our airwaves is especially disturbing: we no longer have any criteria about service. Now the only criterion is: do you have enough money to run programs on the frequency assigned to you? And so this noble property now runs 24 hours a day, filling the space with mostly advertising and reruns in summer, with a rare space given to quality, artistry, and education. And every year the time soaked up by interminable ads, one following upon the other, without pause.

There are, out of the hundreds of channels, two or three still supported by a small amount of public funding and donations. But increasingly making money dominates the airwaves, leaving us, the American public, with only the choice of changing channels, or turning it off.

Our public lands are under attack: deforestation, grazing in our parks, mining fracking, selling off huge pieces of land, over-use by an ever-growing population – polluting rivers, lakes, and even the ocean.

And, of course, lest we get wise and vote in a government that will preserve these great bounties for us and future generations, there is now a concerted effort to wreck our postal service, so that not enough of us can vote comfortably by mail! President Trump is the tip of the sledge hammer …

WHEN WILL WE WAKE UP????

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FYI! Love PBS’s FRONTLINE:

🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶:

Still haven’t bought SHOOT OUT THE LIGHTS! Must own this classic! – Rose

Who Killed Worcester’s Travis Monroe?

By Christi Berry

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Travis as a little boy. photos submitted.

People know what happened. They know the favor they asked to have done and yet, as a parent, I ask you: What if it was your child dead? Would you like the idea that someone could cash in a chip on your life?

October 1, 2006, is a day beginning with disbelief that the knock on the door was to inform me that my son was dead. Not my son, Travis! He was not a child of high risk to be found dead in the road.

Thirteen years since his death, and facts that I learned have left me shocked. To learn the issues of how the systems, have a save space of lead way to hide behind, filled with loop de loops to help them not do their jobs properly: it is called “Administrative Issues.”

Administrative Issues has been the key points of loopholes to ensure no accountability and arrests in the death of Travis is my true feeling, and there are some issues that an inexperienced mother is able to find in sanitized files. So imagine what one would be able to uncover and correct, if they wanted to address the miscarriage of justice?

This case has disclosed issues of chain of custody, failure to follow protocols … and prejudice statements circle the wagon early on – blaming the victim and ready to lay this case to rest as a hit and run before the medical examiner ruled the manner of my son’s death.

How come a system can protect their own agenda, mistakes, mis-justice – to protect one another, as they express no value for Travis’s life.

Travis’s life mattered! Abd I am here to ensure that his life brings out Progressivism in the mistakes and rebuilding, as I did with the Abby Foster Kelly Charter School. Travis’s Monroe life has made change toward Civil Rights … equality. In his death, the movement is going to move forward until we can get accountability. This is my gift from God and my purpose, and for that I was blessed with the gift of my son Travis.

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Mother and Son

Facts: the police knocked on the door and told them they knew it 99.9% because someone else, (a substitute teacher) had made an Official Identification of my son. I know I went to the hospital to identify Travis and still in disbelief it was my child. Seeing ink on his hands – knowing he had been fingerprinted and remember how sad that made me feel. Wow it took his death to still allow them to put his prints in the system.

Travis was a young Black Male, that in his life fingerprints were not in the system – but in death they are – what a double slap to his character as a good kid. At least in his death they could not take away the fact of his choices. His toxic screen showed he made all the right choices: no drug or alcohol in his blood or system. Those are the facts that can never change. My Travis made all the right choices, and yet he lost his life, as if had no value to the city of Worcester.

Facts: on 10/16/2006 UMass Medical Center had to make a Late Entry to Travis’s medical chart: Diagnosis: 1: Presumed pedestrian VS MVC and head trauma 2: death. One should ask why this was done and at whose requests. I believe the reason for this is to blame Travis and help the friend cash in a chip to no legal responsibility to liability.

That was the first Red Flag that the ducks were lining up to protect someone with the wording of “Collision” to remove any responsibility for the driver of the vehicle.

The second one was on December 16, 2006, the Police Department went up to meet with the Medical Examiner Officer to show her what they had to help her determine the manner of death. They were hoping that she would change the death certificate to Motor Vehicle. Facts: this is not a common practice, unless the medical examiner requests it, which she did not.

The outcome from the visit prompted the Worcester Police to write a report to favor what they wanted to have the report say. The Medical Examiner never changed Travis’s Death Certificate. It still legally says the manner of death is Undetermined.

The black and white facts are that Travis did not have to die. There were many encounters with Travis, stumbling within 30 yards – from multiple people see he needed help and that he was stumbling and looking disorientated. Instead, they claimed they feared for their own safety.

Seven people between the hours of 3:30 a.m. and 5:35 a.m. had a chance to make a difference to the outcome of my son’ss life and they did nothing! Instead a teacher driving down the street was the first to called 911 at 5:49 a.m. – report that there was a body in the road and the Fire Department dispatch at 5:49 a.m. and arrived at 5:58 a.m. to find a fracture to Travis’s skull, visible blood from ears, nose, mouth … and his pupils were fixed and dilated. The time from when “Lesperance,” drove away according to his statement at 5:35 and the fire department arriving at 5:58, that 20-minute window cost Travis his life.

My question would be: Why would a person drive away with Travis in the road? to be a risk to the public as well as to his own life?

I know there are young adults who confronted Travis that night and knew he needed help but drove away. I plea with you “Tony’s”: COME FORWARD and tell what you saw that night while you were outside with the girls.

Believe me when I say this: for me, justice is taking responsibility … accountability. These are the principles and fundamentals of how Travis was raised.

What I have seen since District Attorney Joe Early taking office in January of 2007: Travis’s case is no longer being handled as a homicide.

We have been able to show all the loopholes of administrative issues since February 2007 and how his DA office sat on a request to run the DNA found on Travis. Instead, they politely met with me and played the merry go round game to answers to the question that have come up in my internal audit of Travis’s case.

Under the law, I have received a sanitized file of records to most of Travis case file from the police.

However the District’s Attorney Office is not releasing anything.

I do know for a fact that they have not given me the complete file. There has been a lot of finger pointing and no one taking responsibility, and Travis’s case staying in Traffic and listed unofficial CLOSED.

What I would say is there is a lot of good people in the uniform and in the system. However, the systems work on favors, deals and pleas, and sometimes justice is not blind or fair.

Still parts are caught up in a broken structure that needs to be fixed. We must calibrate the scales of justices. Travis did not get scales of justices.

This case has proven to have a conflict of interest and should have been moved out of this Jurisdiction. We know the name of the City employee coming up in the investigation that were given different treatment. The Officer came with prejudices, attitudes and discipline issues – put in the traffic unit to finish out their time to retirement. A lot of the Officers who did the initial investigations have died, moved, retired or made it clear there were a lot of things wrong but they will not speak against a one in ”The Blue Line.”

I been through the chain of command asking and pleading for help.

I have appealed to the Attorney Generals Office, the local FBI office, the State Crime Lab, the Worcester Police Department and District Attorney Joseph Jr. Early’s office. Everyone is aware of the issues in Travis’s cases. Instead, no one wants to do anything, and placing the burden of proof upon me as if I am the defendant in a court case of Monroe Estate verse the Commonwealth.

All I want is for people to correct the mistake and right the wrongs and, with that, make justice for Travis’s life.

The mis-justices do not start or stop at the Police Department “Administrate Issues.” It is deeper rooted, and the roots are woven into the State and federal connections. While each department issues cross cancel out each other failure to follow procedure. This technique was a great plan to dispose of a lot of vital evidence and allows it to be almost impossible to prove each other’s actions – as the time clock to race against a statute of limitations.

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Travis’s mom hopes the new racial awakening in America and Worcester brings her truth and peace of mind.

Travis’s case has reached the statute of limitations, if his death was a hit and run in 2011. What I don’t understand is why we have a system that is designed and structured with the power to do the right thing, and yet they all protect each other and not the people they are sworn to protect. Travis death and the death of others are just another reason why our social system of inequity needs to change.

We need to change the scale of justice and the process to justice. It is time that the truth comes to light and we must help shine a light to breaking the cycle to social injustice to all.

Again I ask you: What if the shoe was on the other foot and someone killed someone you loved?

It is time to do the right thing, step up and Speak Up and give Travis a voice.

He would have stepped up for you.

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Travis

Worcester School Committee member John Monfredo writes, Chef Joey cooks🍾 +🎶🎶

During the Pandemic: WHAT WILL THE NEW WPS NORMAL BE? Call it: The “Now Normal”!

By John Monfredo, Worcester School Committee

As schools across our state and nation continue to plan for the fall, many wonder just what will take place. What is the new normal??? But as Juliette Kayyem, a CNN national Homeland Security, said: “I call it the Now Normal because I think every day is going to be different.”

The new normal of the present is anything but normal. Much of the nation is looking at online learning as a means to deliver instruction to students who are at home. Thus, the new normal at the present time will be online learning.
As a school committee member, I worry about another wave of infection as more of society opens up. I see digital technology continuing to play a major role in education, as well as other aspects of our society. Zoom is now a household name with so many meetings and educational learning taking place.

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Many Worcester children and their parents look to our public schools for more than books and recess time. file photos: Rose T.

For the time being the new normal will be about on-line learning, and the schools will have to have the necessary tools for our educators to support learning. Another new normal, I hope, will be more interaction between teachers and parents. Many parents will need training on how to assist their child at home via digital learning. So schools will need to set up workshops for our parents.

Collaboration and partners are essential in sustaining learning instruction -especially during this crisis. Teachers are our experts on instruction and will need to do all that they can see that our students are making progress.

I do have a deep concern for those parents living in poverty and the many barriers that make it difficult to support their children in the educational process. Parents are the child’s first and most influential teachers, and educators need to reach out and include them in the learning process. Educators must reach out to these parents and encourage them to continue to support their child with praise and love. In addition, we need to make sure that these families have Internet access, for the Worcester Public Schools will equip every student with a Chromebook this fall.

Another vulnerable group will be our SPED students and our ELL students, for they will need additional support from our school district. The new normal will be for the schools to interact with social agencies and inner-faith groups to work with them in the delivery of service to the children. Perhaps these organizations can also run after-school programs to assist children in need of services.

The bottom line is that teachers, parents and community leaders will have to work together to tackle the countless issues of learning during this global health crisis.

Most importantly, as Worcester Public Schools Superintendent Maureen Binienda said, “The new normal and the old normal share a most important belief: Quality learning needs to be the focus of the work .”

The New Normal will continue to be social distancing, refraining from hugging and shaking hands. Again, this is most difficult when working with younger children. Let’s look at other ways of showing affection, perhaps by placing one hand on our heart and saying something comforting.

The new normal will continue to have all students and teachers wear facial masks to school.

In addition, more hand-washing will take place, as well as deep-cleaning/sanitizing the school building.

According the American Academy of Pediatrics the following guidelines were issued regarding the opening of schools…Schools should:

Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces

Have students wash their hands often

Desks should be 3 to 6 feet apart

Teachers move from one classroom to another, not the students

Lunches eaten at their desks

Use outdoor spaces when possible

Facial masks for all adults and students

Flexibility to go virtual, if the virus surges

So, will the WPSchools open with the new normal?

I hope we don’t open in-person until we see a two-week downward trend in the virus. When our public schools do open, our schools will need to assist families by doing the following:

📚Over-communicate what they can expect before they return …

📗… have a period early in the school year where students can talk about their emotions and feelings …

📘… be consistent with instruction …

🖊Establish a strong relationship with the students and families … and reach out as often as you can to assure parents that their child is alright

😊… give parents ideas that they can do in assisting their child at home

😊… for those parents who have remote learning, check again to be sure that the teacher is constantly in touch, and find ways to assist those children who are having difficulty with their studies.

It may be the new normal for our schools, but let’s hope we can get back to a normal school day sooner rather than later!

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EVERY WPS STUDENT SHOULD BE GIVEN A FREE WRTA BUS PASS FOR THE SCHOOL YEAR DURING THE PANDEMIC. THIS MAY MAKE TRANSPORTING STUDENTS TO AND FROM OUR SCHOOLS AT DIFFERENT TIMES SAFER, AS SCHOOL BUSES CAN TRANSPORT NO MORE THAN 20 STUDENTS AT A TIME.

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FROM CHEF JOEY …

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Chef Joey knows how to savor sweet life!!

SWEET POTATO STICKS!

text+pics by Chef Joey

Side dishes are an important part of any meal or gathering, and with covid-sized upgrades, it is more important than ever to watch what we eat and how we prepare it.

A bag of sweet potato or even regular potatoes is inexpensive and can yield quite a large amount of side dishes. One of my summer favorites is sweet potato sticks – not fries, as they are baked!

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Yummy – and healthier than French fries!

Cut the potatoes into strips, toss in sunflower oil, and season with salt and pepper. Better yet, experiment with Montreal seasonings:

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Be creative when you cook your daily meals!

Bake 375 F for 30 minutes, until cooked. You have a light healthy side! Enjoy!

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Joey unwinding after a long day parenting and caring for his elderly mom and running a pet-filled, happy household!

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I saw Dave Brubeck and his players about 10 years ago at Mechanics Hall with the “Old Beau,” who had had a long day running his carpentry/contracting biz before the concert that evening (a week night). I turn to him to say something – he is fast asleep, head back, mouth open, snoring softly.💓 – Rose T.

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New column from Ronny🇺🇸 …+ more🗽

Ancillary “Costs”

By Ron O’Clair

An 18-year-old youth by the name of Bryan Beras apparently was lying in wait for two victims of a street shooting in front of my Main South building, The Charlton, the other day …

All the while being under constant video surveillance, which was used to help secure an arrest after the fact of a double shooting. You could see in the video that the first shooting victim had walked by the van the shooter was in and was apparently called back by the shooter.

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Worcester Police Chief Steve Sargent. file photo R.O.

When the victim walked over to the open door of the van, he was immediately shot in the chest, whereupon the shooter ran after his walking companion in the opposite direction, firing more shots as he did.

It was quite apparent from the video images that there was some bad blood between the two victims and the shooter.

What is not seen in the videos is the damages that were caused to other people.

People not involved in the dispute between the victims and the shooter, such as the lady who is struggling to survive running the Beauty Salon at 711 Main Street. She has been informed by the owner of the building that, as a business operator, she is supposed to carry insurance to cover such damages to the property. As a consequence, she will be required to replace the plate glass window that got shot out.

This is not the first time that plate glass windows have been shot through in that location, and sad to say, probably will not be the last either.

So here is this struggling hair stylist nearly wiped out in the closings because of the corona virus, struggling to make a living who has to come up with money to pay for a window that never should have been broken in the first place.

The way I see it, this woman is as much a victim of street crime as are those who actually got shot.

Therefore, I called up the District Attorney’s Office to see if she could qualify for funds set aside for crime victims to help compensate them for being victims of street crime.
Hopefully, the D.A.’s Office can find the funds to pay for the shot-out plate glass window for this struggling small business owner who is lucky she or one of her own customers were not in the line of fire.

On top of the shot-out window, the building was vandalized with graffiti after the incident, on the front of the building and also on the Charlton Street side where they loaded the shooting victim into the car to take him to the hospital.

I don’t know if it is associates of the shooter or the victims that “tagged” the building and one of the businesses out front, but I highly doubt that it is just coincidental, coming as it did immediately in the aftermath of the news footage I released being shown on the media. Another ancillary expense that will require someone not involved in the dispute to pay out of pocket to repair the damage done to private property. As the building’s superintendent, if I fail to remove the graffiti, the City of Worcester will issue an order compelling me to remove it within 7 days or face fines and further court actions.

I am sure that young Mr. Beras will not even spend a dime on restitution having caused all of this by his selfish act of cowardice using a firearm to settle what should have been done with his fists like a real man would have. Any idiot can pull a trigger and ruin their entire life by doing so like this boy has done.

Everyone should know by now that everything is recorded 24/7/365 by video camera in this whole area of Main South because of all the previous trouble with street crime. Maybe he was not aware of the video camera coverage. It is possible, but these days, people should assume they are being filmed and act accordingly in public.

So here is this 18-year-old BOY, who most likely has a “baby momma” with at least one child of his out there somewhere. He undoubtedly has a mother and father who will miss him and his company as he spends the best days of his young life behind bars for attempted murder and illegal possession of a firearm. Some more ancillary victims affected by this senseless act of rage. Committed in anger over something inconsequential in the grand scheme of life.

All in all, Worcester is very fortunate that we still have concerned and caring neighborhoods that help look out for the people that live here. We are also fortunate to have a competent police force that continually strives to become better and more reactive to the community concerns raised at neighborhood crime watch meetings held throughout the City of Worcester. I have attended many of these meetings myself (where I met the present chief) over the years of being tasked as “building superintendent” of a commercial/residential property on Main Street, and I have been an active citizen activist for change within the Worcester Police Department since 01 October 1986 when I was 25 and had valid reason to be concerned due to events that befell me at that time.

Many people don’t see it, but we have made considerable progress since that time. Help us make it even better – Attend your next scheduled community crime watch meeting and bring up your own points at it regarding your own experiences with the WPD and crime in your own neighborhoods. This is a much more effective way to make change than “protest marching.”

If you have an area that is a hot spot of illegal activity, the addition of surveillance cameras can help reduce crime in that area like it did in my own little section of Main Street. Once the criminals realize they are being observed, they will find somewhere else to be, or wind up jailed for their own actions caught on camera.

Of course, you have to be willing and able to stand up for what is right in the face of numerous threats of violence and retribution from the criminal elements that try to intimidate people. Scare you into not following through with your own civic duty. To assist the police in maintaining order in your community. It is your civic duty to call the police if you see a crime and be willing to show up in a Court of Law to prosecute the guilty who continually try to destroy our communities with illegal drugs and criminal activities of all kinds.

When the citizens/police stop helping each other, what you end up with is like what you find in places like Chicago, Illinois, where there are more and more murders being committed each year. Don’t let Worcester become another Chicago. Do your part as a citizen and help your community thrive.

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FYI:

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Green Island Gold

By Rosalie Tirella

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Rose’s kid sister “Mary,” to the left of the pony, in the big play area of the Girls Club – or Winthrop House – on Vernon Hill with chubby sis Rose, far right, and twin sis standing next to Rose.

My sister, who lives outside Boston, has Parkinson’s Disease. I got the news about three weeks ago. Still “processing” it but have given up trying to figure out how I can SAVE her, how, as my wont, I can jump in and RESCUE “Mary,” make this awful sickness go away, like I tried to do for my late mom when she got sick. My kid sister, like all of us in the family, came up tough, so she is pretty stoic – her stoicism wrapped in HOPE and her love of God. So, like our late mother would do, probably like I would do, too, she is keepin’ keepin’ on: going to work, 9 – 5, Monday – Friday, except that now a special needs van picks her up and takes her to her job in the human services, which she LOVES, and brings her home at the end of her work day … going to church on Sunday, cleaning her apartment, being a part of her parish’s prayer group …

My sister, like our late mom, always loved to work. She got her first job at 14 1/2 (her new social security card and work card in her new Whites Five and Ten vinyl wallet) on Millbury Street working as a clerk at Commercial Fruit Store, working for one of her favorite bosses – “Macho,” a Greek(?) immigrant who was funny, loving/gruff and opinionated, spouting critiques of his customers and family who worked by his side and falling over little patches of ice in the big Commercial walk-in freezer. His goofy insults were delivered in jumbled, half-English “Machoisms” that my sister loved to share with us all, after she walked home from work, still wearing her mint green sales girl smock (proudly, I think). “Phillip, where you know … ” my sister would yell in a thick trippy accent or, because Macho was short, squat and had the butt of a picnic table, big and squarish, my kid sister would have fun backing into our kitchen the way Macho would back out of his Commericial Fruit freezer, butt first and swishing back and forth, his own bustling bustle, if you can imagine it. We all laughed at her Macho impressions! She was skinny but everyone could see Macho in her!!

Macho treated my sister like family and, even during her college years, Mary worked for him and his family with LOVE, reveling in the Christmas holiday spirit at the shop where, under soft yellow flourescent lights and surrounded by all matter of fruit beautifully displayed on sky-blue-painted staircase shelves that circled the entire little store she made holiday fruit gift basketd. Amid all the laughs, orders and the silly Machoisms flying in the middle of that Millbury Street staple (located next door to Lisbon’s Shoe Store), Mary made gigantic fruit baskets. Easy! She would take a ton of delicious Commercial fruit, a can of mixed nuts, a package of sweet, sticky, pitted dates and artfully place then arrange them in a big basket with big arched handle. Then she’d wrap it all in clear or colored cellophane wrap and shiny Christmas ribbon – then top it off with a big red or green bow secured to the top of the handle. Saw her work her magic a few times. Sometimes after school at Burncoat High, I’d visit. Mary was always industrious and smiling. She was the pretty one, with high forehead and straight teeth and pretty smile. She loved to walk downtown on a Saturday snd buy herself a pretty dress at Filenes Basement – and often a little gift for Ma and me.

Of course, my sister gave all her pay check to our mother, a single working mom struggling to keep our poor little gang together with her own minimum wage job at the drycleaners down the street. Our peripatetic Daddy was “with” us during our junior and high school years, but he left our Lafayette Street flat each morning, after Ma made and served him his breakfast, with his own agenda and itinerary. A job to help support wife, three kids and old granny definitely not on his list. So Mary, at 14 1/2 years old, was the Daddy.

Mary was so generous. She would, as they used to say, “give you the shirt off her back.” Ma raised her to be selfless, but it also came naturally to Mary, I think. She just loved to give. She was the kind daughter. Our downstairs neighbor was told our mother, with emotion in her voice: “She’s gold.”

Mary learned, through her early experience on Lafayette Street, that giving is its own reward, kinda like the way I felt when I gave out around 100 new donated hats and scarves to Worcester’s homeless folks this past winter. When I first got my first batch of donations from gal pal Dorrie, I winced and felt: This is going to be uncomfortable. BUT IT WASN’T! IT FELT GREAT!! TO GIVE SOMETHING TO SOMEONE WHO REALLY NEEDED IT, TO FEEL THEIR THANKFULNESS, to have them come up to you and say, BLESS YOU! THANK YOU, ‘MAM! THANK YOU FOR BEING SO NICE!

It was only a hat!

I got hooked on the love! I asked my friends for more donations, even got a beautiful long fake sheepskin winter coat, like new, AND GAVE IT TO A SLIP OF A WOMAN SITTING UNDER the Green Street Bridge. I would drive by in the dead of winter and see her in jacket coughing her head off … FOR HER, A WARM COAT …

Mary would do this years before it all became trendy. When I was in college, she would go to Charlies Surplus sports store on Water Street and buy and send me a half dozen pair of white basketball tube socks. I didn’t play basketball and they went up to my knees, but I loved them. Charlie’s!! When I successfully completed my first year at college, she sent me a dozen roses from her and Ma. She would give our loser father money, if her asked for it! Right after college, holding her first professional job, Daddy put the pinch to her – and Mary gave our loser father $800! A lot of dough back then! I went nuts! He is so awful! I said to her. GET IT BACK! She just looked at me and shrugged her shoulders …

So my other sister calls me last week with a similar gripe: “Mary is giving money to people she meets on the T! And on the streets! I told her: ‘You need the money!’ ”

I could hear the panic in my sister’s voice, but I was PROUD of Mary. And moved. Our Mary – as radical as ever! I could never be that GREAT. It was like standing next to my kid sis on Lafayette Street, by the old Philco, laughing about Macho, marveling at her sweet pretty smile. I said to my other sis: “It’s her money. Let her spend it the way she likes. This makes her happy. The people are grateful, they love her.”

Then I hung up my phone and said out loud to no one in particular: “Gold.”

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Amherst: Rose, left, with kid sister “Mary” who came to visit Rose on Rose’s graduation day from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst.

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