Tag Archives: InCity Times

EDITH๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ – ALWAYS IN STYLE! … WHAT PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE??

By Edith Morgan

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Edith – our political reporter! Our former scribe, Steve Maher, is struggling … his Parkinson’s disease has worsened. We pray for Steve.

What I watched on TV – Tuesday night’s presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump – could not, by any stretch of the imagination, be called a debate. The rules, clearly enunciated by moderator Chris Wallace and agreed to by both debaters, were totally violated and ignored by Donald Trump. That was surely no surprise from Trump, an acolyte of the infamous Roy Cohn, the evil brains behind the late divisive US Senator Joe McCarthy. We saw, in full application, that technique being used on us at that show. Call it that! As that it was!!


Trump incites American hate groups to disrupt the November 3 election, intimidating ALL voters.

I recall the McCarthy era well โ€“ and recognize the technique, a set of experiences perfected by Hitlerโ€™s propaganda minister, Goebbels. Name-calling, lying, blaming everyone else, deflecting and out shouting your adversary. And never taking responsibility. Changing the subject whenever incontrovertible facts get in the way.


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So how do I summarize this circus? Questioner Wallace did his best to ask the questions on six topics he had prepared, trying to give equal time to each speaker, and allowing for comments and /or rebuttals. Trump interrupted incessantly, so it was really difficult to hear what Joe Biden had to say on any subject, despite constant attempts by Wallace to re-enforce the rules.

The audience, sparse due to the threat of the novel coronavirus/COVID 19, obeyed the rule that they were to abstain from clapping, commenting, etc. They did observe absolute silence all through the show. Some were wearing masks (Notably, the First Lady was masked, though not most of the Trump side.)


Trump – indecent. He slammed Beau, the dead son of Joe Biden – and he called Hunter Biden a drug addict. Hunter is in recovery.

The event took place on the campus of Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio. Had the rules been followed, the program was to be divided into six 15-minute segments with a topic for each segment. Neither candidate had seen the questions ahead of time. Among subjects of questions were the major issues facing our country: the Supreme Court, COVID 19, our economy, race in America, โ€œlaw and orderโ€ and climate change.

There had been a lot of discussion on media as to how each candidate was preparing for the debate. Clearly, Trump had no need to prepare, as he failed to adhere to the format, did not answer with any but invented facts, and simply veered to personal attacks. Trump described a U.S. economy that is so great I hardly recognized that he might have been talking about America โ€“ unless you think that the greed-ridden Dow Jones is the real picture.

After decades of attempts to kill the Affordable Care Act, Trump still had no plan in place – after almost FOUR years in office! He continued to blame the huge California fires on โ€œpoor forest management,โ€ ignoring the fact that the Federal Government owns most of the forests that are on fire! Hence, they were under Trump’s control!! Whose “poor forest management” was that?! That was only one example, but you get the drift. Fact checkers will have a field day with all the other Trump lies and distortions.


โค historian Jon Meacham – who’s voted for Dems and Republicans.

I am concerned that this fiasco will have been widely viewed overseas, with obvious repercussions for Americaโ€™s reputation, so badly damaged already by the Trump administration. But I believe that the good, common sense of much of the American public, will, after watching three of these “debate” spectacles, will finally reel and turn from Donald Trump in disgust and clean house. Those of us who are teachers know that you have to hear something three times before it takes.

In the famous words of U.S. Army lawyer Welch (our own Massachusetts-ian): Have you no shame, sir?โ€

Of course the answer was, and is, NO.

Rats Off to You, Worcester City Councilor Donna Colorio!๐Ÿญ

By Rosalie Tirella

I received a phone call last week from an elegant gent I used to know and love. He lives at the gateway to our city’s elegant West Side: Homer Street, Institute Road, Massachusetts Ave …home to the Antiquarian Society building, depository of the first newspapers of our grand USA – newspapers containing the musings of Thomas Payne … His neighborhood is also home to WPI, our city’s engineering university where the finest scientific minds help search for the cure to COVID … Streets where tree canopies make you feel you are in Wellesley or Weston as you drive down the tree-lined Flag or Troy streets, the wide enough to host a parade Massachusetts Ave.

Now his elegant neighborhood is RATSVILLE – rats climbing West Side trees, rat burrows in West Side back yards, rats skittering up Mass Ave, rats nibbling on organic eggplants in chi chi West Side organic carefully tended gardens – gardens where Opera records have played – to the annoyance of my elegant old gent friend: he listens to ZZ Top and Greg Alman – LOVES Southern Rock.

All Southern Man past as he watched a big-ar*ed rat climb the tree by his back yard and another rat, smallish, hang from one of his many front porch bird feeders. The City of Worcester came to his doorstep and claimed: you’re the rat-magnet! Shut down your bird feeders!!

My elegant old gent thought: LIKE HE*L I’ll stop feeding my pretty robbins, feisty blue jays and hardscrabble little English sparrows. Not to mention the humming birds with their sugar water dispenser – now frequented by savvy Worcester rats!

My old friend – who loves nature but not rats – has exterminated twice. The rats return. He has had confabs with the city and his lawyer – and telephoned me. Not to take me to a socially distanced Martin Sexton concert as I had begged but to WHINE ABOUT RATS AND THE CITY. Not senior Sex in the City – but Rats in the City. A new kind of TV show, starring him but, alas, not I …๐Ÿ“ฝ

I said to him: Sweetie, I adore you, but I implore you: I have my own RAT problem here in Quinsig Village with my own rats to fret about – and they have guns and tasers. Rats bigger than your rats, and stinkier, too … but not as bright!

Worcester City Councilor at Large Donna Colorio declared at last night’s Worcester City Council meeting: WORCESTER IS FULL OF RATS: THEY’RE INUNDATING PARK AVE, VERNON HILL, GRAFTON STREET. We need to look into this rodent problem. She asked City Manager Ed Augustus to eradicate all the Worcester rats who destroy our happiness, peace of mind and organic eggplants! I second that emotion … and say, “Rats off to you, City Councilor Donna Colorio!”
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Letโ€™s Hear it for the Apple!!๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ

By Edith Morgan

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Edith tending her urban garden. pic: R.T.

Itโ€™s apple-picking time, and our local orchards are full of Worcester County apple pickers, whole families, filling bags with fragrant, perfect apples! Not since Eve succumbed to the temptation of the serpent and got Adam to take a bite of that fatal apple, has this fruit played such an important part in our lives.

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You can make roasted apple squash soup!

When you stop to give it some thought, apples play a big part in many areas of our lives: in our language (“You are the apple of my eye!”); in our folk lore (โ€œAn apple a day keeps the doctor away!โ€) and in the vernacular – โ€œAs American as apple pie,” โ€œMotherhood and apple pie,โ€ to name but a few of the most common.

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Bake your own this fall! pics: Chef Joey

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Whether we stop to think about it, we use apples in so many ways: apple sauce for babies, apple cider vinegar, apple butter to spread on our bread, apple juice, apple cider and hard cider to drink. And a close examination of the various juice drinks will show you that apple juice is added to all the other juices (probably because it is cheaper than the other fruits mentioned on the label).

We are very fortunate to have so many choices in our supermarkets: Macintoshes, Galas, yellow and red delicious, Green Granny Smiths and innumerable other varieties. Some tiny and almost round, others large and more oval. And with Halloween just around the corner, it will be โ€œapple bobbing timeโ€œ soon. Socially distanced, of course …

The apple is infinitely versatile, and can be used in breads, pies, cakes, cupcakes or just wrapped in pie crust and baked. Fancy dishes like apple strudel are around most of the year, and of course caramel apples make their yearly appearance this time of year. Apple-filled puff pastries are among my favorites. And apples get along with nearly every other kind of fruit, blending in or as fillers.

Apples are enhanced with cinnamon, honey, and nutmeg, or any other spices you favor.

I like to experiment with the different kinds of apple, as each variety has its own flavor, sweetness and reaction to heat: some disintegrate and are great for apple sauce, others stay firm and crisp even when baked. There is an apple for everything you may want to cook!

One of my own favorite quick snacks? A nuked baked apple! Just clean out the apple core, put a mixture of honey, a bit of lemon juice, some cinnamon into the cavity, and microwave it for 3 to 5 minutes โ€“ the time depends on the type of apple you are using. You might want to top it off with a bit of whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream.

Enjoy!!!

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Edith and family at one of Edith’s birthday dinners๐ŸŒธ

Yom Kippur 5781

By Edith Morgan

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Edithโค

Rosh Hashanah has come and gone, the 10 days of repentance are ending – the culmination of all that soul-searching is Yom Kippur, which falls on the tenth day of Tishri in the Jewish calendar. All Jewish holidays begin on the eve before, a tradition that has survived in Christian tradition on Christmas: Christmas Eve.

Preparing for Yom Kippur involves remembering and repenting for the errors and sins of the past year and resolving to do better in the coming year. Most Western religions have some version of these rites. There is confession among Catholics and the universal New Year ritual of making resolutions.

The actual preparation for fasting begins with a hearty meal just before the evening of the start of Yom Kippur โ€“ in preparation for the whole day following when we are enjoined to give up pleasurable activities. The Torah enumerates them as follows: 1) no eating or drinking; 2) no bathing; 3) no anointing the body with oils; 4) no wearing of leather shoes (this is a reference to the fact that leather shoes long ago were much more comfortable than going barefoot; and 5) no sexual relations. These were the activities that were considered pleasurable at that time. I think we could probably add to that list, as we have far more self-indulgences available to us now …

There are, of course, services … and this highest of holidays is treated as a Sabbath service (the Sabbath is the highest holiday).

Because I had moved around so much while growing up, my family never really got bonded with a particular congregation. But my parents, as much as possible, observed the holidays, though my father came from a Reform Jewish background and my mother was a convert to Judaism. So we practiced an interesting mix of traditions in our home!

The beginning evening service in the synagogue is called โ€œKol Nidreiโ€ โ€“ and I still have recollections of a chant by that name which we heard on that evening. I think its sad and haunting melody helps to put us in the right frame of mind โ€“ to begin the day of fasting and repenting.

Without the daily distractions, we can then spend the day putting our spiritual and physical house in order: making plans for an improved year, creating an improved self and making certain that our word is good. This is a time also for re-examining our relationship to God and remembering what it is that is expected of us.

I would like to close with a quote from Michael Strassfeldโ€™s book โ€œThe Jewish Holidaysโ€:

โ€œOpen for us the gates of light, blessing, joy, knowledge, splendor, confession, merit, compassion, purity, salvation, atonement, kindness, forgiveness, solace, pardon, assistance, sustenance, righteousness, healing, peace and repentance.โ€

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Try these terrific fall recipes! (yes, they’re veggie!โค)

FORGO THE TURKEY THIS AUTUMN … STOP THE TORTURE ON FACTORY FARMS – CUT BACK ON YOUR POULTRY, BEEF, LAMB AT YOUR HARVEST FEASTS!

EAT YOUR VEGGIES!

Try these terrific fall recipes from PETA:

โคSAVORY STUFFED SQUASH

Ingredients:

2 oz. vegan margarine, plus extra for brushing the squash

2 Tbsp. maple syrup, plus extra for brushing the squash

Pinch ground cinnamon

Pinch grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

2 1-lb. squash (acorn or winter squash work well), cut in half lengthwise and seeded

2 vegan sausages, sliced

1 green apple, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350ยฐF.

Melt the vegan margarine in a small saucepan over low heat or in the microwave and stir in the maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Spoon into the seeded squash halves and bake for about 40 minutes, or until you can pierce the skin with a fork.

Pour the margarine mixture from the center into a medium bowl.

Scoop out some of the cooked squash flesh with a spoon, making sure to leave enough at the bottom so that the squash hold their shape, and add to the bowl.

Add the vegan sausages, apples and walnuts and mix until well combined.

Fill each squash half with the mixture, then brush with vegan margarine and maple syrup.

Cover with foil and bake for another 35 to 40 minutes.

Makes 4 servings

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โค”CHEESY” PUMPKIN RAVIOLI

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Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. vegan margarine (try Earth Balance brand)

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. cumin

Dash white or black pepper

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/4 cup ground cashews

1 cup pumpkin purรฉe

8 fresh premade lasagna sheets

Instructions:

Melt the vegan margarine in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin, pepper, sea salt and cashews and stir until well combined.

Add in the pumpkin purรฉe and continue stirring and mashing until the consistency resembles that of mashed potatoes.

Lay the fresh lasagna sheets on a flat surface and place a dollop of the pumpkin-cashew mixture every 2 inches.

Lay another lasagna sheet on top and press down around the filling. Cut into squares, using a fork to seal the edges.

Gently add to a pot of boiling water and cook for 15 minutes.

Serve with your favorite sauce for the perfect pumpkin dinner!

Makes 4 servings

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โคBUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

Ingredients:

1 cup carrots, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

1 bay leaf

6 sprigs fresh parsley

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1 Tbsp. whole peppercorns

1 cup white wine

5 cups water

2 large onions, diced, with 1/4 cup reserved

3 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Pinch of nutmeg, to taste

1/4 cup Corn Nuts snack, plain flavor, coarsely crushed, for garnish

Instructions:

Place the carrot, celery, parsley, thyme, peppercorns, bay leaf, white wine, water and all but 1/4 cup of the onions in a large pot, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 hours.

Strain the soup, discard the pulp, and return the liquid to the pot.

Add the squash and remaining onion to the pot and cook over medium heat until the squash is tender.

Transfer the squash, onion, and one cup of the liquid (reserving the remaining liquid in a separate container) to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Season it with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Pour the purรฉe back into the pot and add some of the reserved liquid, stirring to achieve desired consistency. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle Corn Nuts over each.

Makes 4 servings

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โคPUMPKIN SPICE PANCAKES

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Pick your own this fall!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups vanilla almond milk

2 Tbsp. vinegar

1 cup pumpkin purรฉe

2 Tbsp. vegan margarine, melted (try Earth Balance brand)

2 Tbsp. maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla syrup

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

3 Tbsp. brown sugar

2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Instructions:

Combine the almond milk, vinegar, pumpkin purรฉe, vegan margarine, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and vegetable oil in a large bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients, then let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
Spray a skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into the skillet.

When the batter starts to bubble, flip and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

Repeat with the remaining batter.

Serve with maple syrup and a pinch of pumpkin pie spice for a delicious breakfast!

Makes 12 Servings!

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NO!!

Their beaks are seared off, they’re crammed into teeny cages…they sit in their own excrement … PLEASE! FORGO THE TURKEYS AT YOUR HARVEST FEASTS! – Rose T.


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Meet me at the DINER โ˜•๐Ÿ๐Ÿฉ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿณ

By Rosalie Tirella

Did you know the film DINER makes my ALL-TIME TOP 15 MOVIE LIST? Today, as I rewatch it, it is number 8. Once it was #1 – even besting my all time #1 flick: THE AWFUL TRUTH staring Irene Dunne and Cary Grant!

Maybe this Barry Levinson masterpiece, a swan song to his Baltimore youth, is so near and dear to my heart because I see my Worcester-as-a-true-Gateway-City in it: my childhood friends, my parents, my friends’ parents …

… all that penny-pinching, the plain-spoken average Joe just wanting – because it’s what he can afford – the basics. All that Greek, Italian, Polish, Lithuanian industriousness … believing in the American Dream of house, backyard, car and college for your kids. Realizing that Dream in a few generations because you COULD back then. The factories were union shops … the small stores cried out for the thrifty, smart Italian or Russian proprietor. All that touchy, feely, sometimes saccharine, immigrant love! Church all the time. Praying to God – together as a family. The search for success in a new country while staying true to Old Country truths and traditions. Can we have both? we wondered. …

DINER’s grubby Baltimore warehouses were Worcester’s, the movie’s modest shoppes in a nondescript downtown matched our old Denholms, Marcus and American Supply … the religiosity of the people in DINER, the respect for elders, the many churches … and even more diners serving up roast beef sandwiches, French fries, bleh plain white bagels … and all that private talk with best friends. The pain and joy of assimilation. The ol’ Worcester.

I saw DINER for the first time decades ago (we are both that old!) in Worcester’s once bustling downtown – with our Mart, Sylvia’s Dress Shoppe and Marcus still open for business. I loved the Paris Cinema in its pre-porn days, before it became an XXX-movie theater. I still miss its wonderful vintage PARIS cinema sign which screamed HOLLYWOOD!!! and MOVIE STARS! I can still picture its thick, heavy, red velvet ropes, deep, red-plush chairs and its big gaudy chandeliers, lit from within, dripping those strands of big crazy rhinestone teardrops! But Showcase Cinemas was great too – in a more compact way, with its huge glass wrap-around concession area, right in the middle of the first floor – popcorn and Jujus before the escalator ride up to one of four screening rooms. Marble stairs to class it up. You always saw people from your school or church going up or down them making sharp clack clack clacks with their shoe heels. COMMUNITY.

Back to the film DINER: I saw it with two Burncoat Senior High School gal pals, falling for the film’s six handsome male leads … and its terrific storyline: a group of Baltimore townies, guys now in their early 20s, best buddies from high school, grow up – in fits and starts … going in separate directions, but wistful for old times … tentative. As they head into their adult lives, they are having second thoughts about a lot of stuff – from Eddy and his impending marriage, to Billy and his pregnant friend. Eddy is making his fiancee take this 100-question, esoteric, wicked hard!! football test – one wrong answer and their wedding is off! Billy, the Masters Degree candidate in business college got his TV news station producer friend pregnant during their weekend in New York City. They had been platonic, best friends for six years. Now home for Christmas vacation, Billy offers to marry his friend. tells her he loves her. She says, “You’re confusing friendship with a woman with love. It’s not the same thing.” Billy, sitting opposite her, looks flummoxed.

A few of the guys, like Shrevey and Boogie, will stay townies, not heading off to college, not straying too far from their childhood neighborhoods, but they are still living lives, still navigating affairs of the heart. Shrevey is a salesman at a furniture store in downtown Baltimore and married to the gorgeous, young Ellen Barken, whom he loves, knows is beautiful … but still … they don’t seem to connect … don’t have much to talk about these days. Ellen doesn’t understand or share his passion for music and records – touchstones for Shrevey. He lashes out at her when she doesn’t know where an lp goes – rock n roll or rhythm and blues. …

… And Boogie, a young, beautiful Mickey Rourke, before the boxing and Botox, is stunning and riveting as he sweet talks the ladies and tries to survive poverty and moving beyond his job at the hair dressers. He is desperate for money because he owes a loan-shark TWO GRAND. Tomorrow. He tells his mom he’s got $56 to his name.

… So he comes up with crazy, degrading schemes like taking bets on a box of his special “surprise” popcorn and a not very bright beauty.

A young Paul Reiser plays the young comedian of the gang, and a baby-faced Kevin Bacon plays the brilliant alcoholic trust-fund kid with a maniacal laugh that subs for crying.

To see the guys standing by the gray, dirty Baltimore harbor … to see them sitting at the diner, at the shiny chrome counter looking out those big windows at their world, from their cool clubhouse … is to see Worcester when she was grand and gaudy and gritty. To see Eddy’s mom complain to Billy: Why is Eddy still living at home?, then to watch her chase her son with a carving knife when he demands: MA, MAKE ME A SANDWICH!!! only to acquiesce and ask Billy: BILLY, DO YOU WANT A SANDWICH? IT’S NO TROUBLE! is to see shades of your Polish Mom or Greek Granny… You also see why Eddy is still a big kid!

My favorite shot in the film? After Billy and Eddy ham it up with a pretty, middle-aged stripper at a strip club, they take her out for coffee at a diner. Sitting at the long counter that faces the street, they look out the window and chat as they watch the world go by. Their banter is soft, sweet, respectful, silly … tinged with sadness and longing. They talk thru the late night. As dawn lights up their city, a horse clomps by – he’s pulling a wagon filled with junk and rags, the bells on his harness tinkle. The neighborhood rag man. They were a big part of city life not so long ago. My late mother used to tell me of the rag man and his horse – lowly travelers – coming through her Green Island, down Lafayette Street, up Millbury Street, up Water, calling for RAGS, JUNK. I once saw the rag man, when I was very young, a toddler. I saw his brown horse clomping down Lafayette Street pulling an old wagon. A beautiful horse!!! A coach like Cinderella’s! The rags were dirty and in a heap but I was entranced … by my city’s magic. Made in Americaโค.

Chef Joey – always fashionable!!๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ

Bonjour from Beautiful France!

By Chef Joey

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Joey’ daughter Gigi accompanied Joey to France – Vinny stayed home.

Bonjour from beautiful France! On Monday Gigi and I had to return to France to bring my mother back to finish up a few things since my fatherโ€™s passing last year. Air travel is no longer the same thing, airports are empty and so is the flight. We were on a brand new โ€œAirbusโ€ that holds 300 passengers, there were 42 of us and 21 crew members. There was a dinner service and a breakfast snack and a great crew on board. The flight was so smooth and extra fast – what normally is a 6 ยฝ hour flight was now 5 hours and maybe 40 minutes. The ground crew in Paris was not even there yet, we were so early.

The best part is one of the flight attendants who took a liking to Gigi was on the next flight to Nice and was super helpful getting us to the next terminal.

We had all sorts of new โ€œCovidโ€ travel upon arrival – after baggage we called an Uber โ€“ 3 minutes later we were on our 14 kilometer ride to our house. Everyone wearing masks and a bit exhausted from the travel but we were in good spirits. Gigi was especially pumped because she had a hot chocolate in Paris, and the sugar kicked in the whole 1 hour flight from Paris. The cat nap in the car was not sufficient to calm a five year old on chocolate.

At home we quickly unpacked and had the โ€œmandatoryโ€ nap for Gigi. Five hours later we were off to the market – snacks and dinner were part of our mission! What I immediately noticed as I entered the grocery store was the difference of being bombarded with โ€œjunk foodโ€ at the entrance of American stores to entice you to load up before procuring real food. Most French markets start you off in the wine department. Not too shabby. The produce is usually near the cash registers, so freshness is the last thing you see is veggies. Of course, there’s the fresh bread and pastries.

The other great thing about French food is it is all GMO-free and pretty much all organic, too. Italy is even better with the veggies all grown locally in green houses on the terraced cliffs, a marvel just to see them function year round.

Mask wearing, like the states is mandatory. However, here you get a fine$, and the whole south of France is under video surveillance. So there really is no way to escape the law, and it is a good thing. It used to be no shoes, no shirt, no service or entryโ€ฆnow it is no mask no way!

We plan on going to an open market this weekend, so I have pictures and more story line to report. We just got here and Gigi started school today and had a nifty organic lunch for her first day. Four courses even at a cost of $1 a day โ€“ and as of December, most schools are leaning to all vegan meals for kids to curb eating disorders.

The French government monitors all foods and literally will pull products if they have too much fat, calories or even sugars. Nestle lost a whole summer of purchases a few years ago because there was too much sugar in their chocolate! Anyways, like all things, moderation is key – and smart eating decisions are the way to go!

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Chef Joey. Mask up in France – or “face” a fine!

From John: COME NOVEMBER๐Ÿ‘ช, CAN OUR MOST VULNERABLE WORCESTER STUDENTSโค RETURN TO SCHOOL๐Ÿƒ?

By John Monfredo, Worcester School Committee

Itโ€™s hard to believe that we are in the throes of a global pandemic, with over 200,000 people in the United State dead – passed away due to the novel coronavirus. This certainly has frightened many people – and rightly so.

Guidelines from the CDC have been posted just about every day, and the importance of wearing a facial mask has been articulated by every health official across our nation.

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Back to school … BUILDINGS?? pics: R.T.

When it comes to starting school, there appears not to be any right answer, other than to make decisions on the side of safety. In Massachusetts, using the data, each city has been placed in a catalog of green to go and red to stop when moving forward with decision making of returning to schools in person.

In Worcester, remote learning for the entire school population was the course of action agreed upon by the Superintendent and the Worcester School Committee. At this point in time WPS students will continue with remote learning until the end of the first semester, which ends around the first week in November. Based on data from the medical professionals and where we are as a community, a decision will be made on whether part of the student population will go back using a hybrid model of going to school one or two days a week or continue with the present remote learning model. Also, parents will have the option of staying with the remote model.

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So many great DVDs to watch and discuss with your history teacher: HARRIET..

The other unknown factor is the air quality in each school building and whether the work being done now will allow some students to return to their buildings. The projected finished air quality project has been estimated to be completed sometime at the end of December.

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The Vernon Hill School was once Providence Junior High School. It has scores of HUGE windows, but is it Covid-safe during winter?

Come November, depending on those factors, perhaps we will be able to bring back our most vulnerable students: our special education children and our English Language learners on a four-days-a-week schedule first.

Another group worth mentioning that I am extremely concerned about is our Pre-K to Grade One students. These students need a teacher in front of them!! There is no substitute for real interaction from a teacher in any grade, but especially one in early education.

How does one learn to read remotely? Distance learning within this subset is most difficult for children who need the classroom teacher in front of them. With online learning there is no engagement or sense of community that exists for these young ones.

It is most unfortunate that these children are starting their school career with a computer, and their first school experience in school is behind a screen and devoid of the environment that students absolutely need.

What is most important in learning are the people, the nurturing and the relationships between teachers and students.

My advice at this stage of the pandemic is to do all that we can to get our early learners, SPED students and ELL students back in school. However, with distance learning taking place now, we need to understand that RELATIONSHIPS are essential for the school district. We may not be together, but we can stay in touch and show that we care. We need to keep in mind that children require strong connections with adults to thrive. I would encourage teachers to check in one on one with each student via Zoom as frequently as possible and send a class-wide email every day to the parents.

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Little learners need their teachers in-person!!

Also, teachers will need to reach out to the parents on how to support their childโ€™s learning and actively solicit parent feedback weekly. We are in difficult times, but everyone needs to give their best effort. Letโ€™s hope that in the near future we can find a way to return our neediest students back to school!

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FYI:

Meet 6 Black Vegan YouTubers who prove veganism protects animals, keeps you healthy – and reflects the best versions of US!โค๐Ÿ’ƒ

From PETA.ORG:

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With new vegan YouTube channels popping up every day, it never hurts to add more content creators to your subscription list. There are so many different ways to promote animal rights, from vegan fitness to cruelty-free beauty. These Black vegan YouTubers prove that being vegan is the best way to protect animals while achieving the best versions of ourselves.

โคSweetPotatoSoul

SweetPotatoSoul is just as sweet as her name suggests. Sheโ€™s a bright, energetic mom-on-the-go with dozens of vegan recipes and life hacks that will make your day-to-day regimen simple. Her vegan soul food series features a classic buttermilk waffles recipe, so you can indulge in your favorite breakfast treat without supporting the dairy industry. Cows have strong emotional bonds with their calves, who are torn away from them on dairy farms, so follow SweetPotatoSoul for some great vegan options.

โคToni Mitchell

If youโ€™re working on a glow-up and you need some healthy vegan recipes and a killer workout regimen, Toni Mitchell has the perfect channel for you. Her 25-minute HIIT workout will leave you sweaty and hungry for one of her delicious, easy vegan meals. She also has plenty of tips and tricks for staying vegan on a busy schedule as well as meal prep ideas so that your meals are never boring!

โคRachel Ama

If your vegan plate is looking a bit drab lately, Rachel Ama is here to help. Her channel is packed to the brim with colorful, exciting meals that are fun to prepare and even more fun to eat! Her epic vegan mac and cheese recipe is loaded with a savory sauce and vegan bacon bitsโ€”a delectable dish that protects pigs and cows from the cruel industries that harm these kind, empathetic animals every day.

โคSoTrueQ

If youโ€™re ready to bulk up, SoTrueQ has you covered with vegan bodybuilding information that will help you achieve your fitness goals. His vegan high protein eating and workout videos illustrate how being vegan is the best way to maintain long-term results.

โคThe Urban Black Vegan

The Urban Black Vegan is entertaining, to say the least. His videos are full of passionate rants about vegan ethics, food, and health that are amusing and informative. His channel is a necessary addition to your subscription list if youโ€™re in need of some inspiration.

โคYoungmedusa

Youngmedusa wears many hats. Her channel features spiritual reflections, discussions about being part of the LGBTQ+ community and Black, fun tags and challenges, and animal-friendly beauty tipsโ€”all with a vegan perspective.

โคโคโคโคโคโค:

Edith in Rose’s space! ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ

Changing Policing

By Edith Morgan

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Under the Green Street Bridge: WPD cops are often asked to deal with/help solve Worcester’s homeless challenge. pic: R.T.

AMERICAN POLICING: Changes are needed, certainly. But, before we do anything, we should be clear as to where the trouble really lies:

Some people are blaming unions, but that isn’t right. Union have power over a limited number of things, by law: hours, wages and conditions of work. Those things need protection, and individual workers need the protection of their coworkers, so they do not have to stand alone against the power of the bosses, the corporation and big money. That is only fair, and works very well in most European nations where labor and management actually sit down together as equals.

One problem I have not seen mentioned in the regular press is that in many places in the U.S. policemen are a kind of Brotherhood, a sort of fraternity โ€“ with all that this means in terms of loyalty to your fraternity brothers – no matter what. That explains why police officers mostly will not turn in their fellow officers – even when it is obvious they are guilty (we see the same phenomenon in college fraternities).

In addition, there are certain obvious events that we can all agree should be remedied NOW; there is much agreement that chokeholds should be banned by police depts โ€“ and cops should be punished if they are used.

In addition, I have always been amazed that the public tolerates and excuses (at least, until the โ€œBlack Lives Matterโ€ movement) the execution of Black victims: I call it execution because I can not imagine that police officers, trained to shoot, need to put 7 to 12 bullets into unarmed subjects! One shot should be all that is allowed โ€“ and should certainly be enough to disable a truly threatening person.

Of course, there is the question as to why a fully armed poluice officer is threatened by an unarmed person, or child.

We need to get answers to these questions.

And, above all, we need to redefine the function of our police forces.

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A New Kind of October

By Edith Morgan

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Edith and family …

October usually brings to mind Indian summer days, a warm and comforting spell before winter comes to New England. We think of Oktoberfest, falling leaves, the final harvest, drives into the country to see all the brightly colored trees and bushes. We get out our warm clothes, prepare for Halloween and bring in our bulbs and indoor plants, and thoroughly enjoy the last sigh of warm weather …

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But October of 2020 promises to be very different! This year, we face the continuation of precautions against the COVID 19 menace and the expectation that we will be masked and distanced for some time to come.

Our children will be subject to various kinds of schooling, in very different settings, with the gaps between those who can afford$$$$ all the technology and those who can not, widening ever more. And in addition to the threat of the virus, the yearly flu will spread around among us – at least among those who did not get vaccinated against this yearโ€™s type.

And, of course, our country will be limping along to the November 3rd Election, when the final bunch of votes will be cast in this very important national election.

By now every registered voter in our state hs received the absentee ballot application, and hopefully most have returned it so they can receive their ballot. And early in the month, as soon as possible, all of us will have returned the ballot well before November 3rd, so we can be sure; it will arrive in time to be counted. So much hangs on this election that for the first time in many years, I am truly apprehensive …

This October also will see a continuation of the protests against racial injustice and police brutality – and hopefully the beginning of some much needed changes or, rather, improvements, not mere changes, in the ways we govern ourselves.

As I write this, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has just died, and already the scramble to decide what to do to fill her spot is raging day in and day out. …


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All the ugliness of the struggle for power and money is already showing itself. This is not the America I came to in 1941 when we had a President, FDR, who, though born rich and powerful, nevertheless had a real feel for and caring for us, the people. (Actually, I have always credited the wonderful first lady, Eleanor, known all over the world to this day for her great and effective advocacy for human rights.)

How have we descended to this state, where now we are the laughing stock of most other nations, are ruled by someone who promised to get rich off the presidency, where every major arm of the executive branch has been decimated, and is being headed by political hacks incompetent but loyal to the person of the president (or else), not to the constitution or the people who are paying their salaries?

The answer hangs in the air , depending on the November 3rd election. I pray that all voters realize thatโ€ฆ

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