By Rosalie Tirella
Some folks on the left are disappointed in our prez. Not I! He is cool, goodlooking, smart and progressive. How wonderful to turn on the tube and see a guy who speaks well, listens carefully, reacts intelligently, has a sense of humor (a wee bit smug, perhaps) AND is pretty much the community organizer I voted for last November.
President Barack Obama still cares about families, neighborhoods and kids. He wants a health care system that doesn’t break the bank – a system that serves the guy with cancer or the girl who just broke an ankle. Not the insurance companies or the HMOs. And no, there will not be rationing of health care. And like Obama said, if you have health insurance that you are happy with and you like all your docs – then keep them. But chances are you will be paying less money for their good services. Continue reading Trust Obama!
By William S. Coleman III
I will always remember the night of November 4, 2008. On this night America elected a qualified man – a black man – to be the next President of the United States of American and leader of the free world.
That night I joined a packed house of people gathered at a Green Street pub to watch the election returns.
There were all races of people: male and female, 21 and older, digital and analog. We came together to witness history and hoped history would be on our side that night.
The room would erupt, as the election returns would come in first from the East Coast: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, and then New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, and the big shocker, Florida – all for Barack Obama. Continue reading Black like me: Worcester’s Black leaders – a brief history (part 1)
Worcester Normal School, which later became Worcester State College, was the alma mater of Worcester’s first African-American schoolteachers: Jennie Cora Clough and Sarah Ella Wilson. Although nearly 20 years separated the women, both became influential members of the Worcester community.
Jennie Clough, who graduated in January 1878, was born in 1857 to one of Worcester’s most prominent African-American families. Her grandfather, Peter Rich, had been born a slave in Lancaster, Mass. As a young man he moved to Worcester, where he became one of only three “colored” property owners in the community. Continue reading Worcester’s first African-American school teachers: Jennie Cora Clough and Sarah Ella Wilson
By Rosalie Tirella
… of himself again! Like the perfect idiot that he is! Like someone who should have been arrested (and would have been, if he were black and poor and this face-off occured in Main South’s Crystal Park).
If John Fresolo had just done what prima donna State Rep. Bob Spellane had done – thrown a hissy fit at a Worcester Little League game, attacked his ex-brother in law, come within a hair’s breath of mixing it up with his ex-wife … demanding the $19 bucks he said she owed him for a new pair of sneakers for their son (I predict four score and seven years of psychotherapy for the Spellane kiddies!) – the rotund Telegram & Gazette columnist Dianne Williamson (she got that way from eating all that red meat and smoking!) would have written a delicious column on him. We would have read all the kooky details: like Spellane went ballistic over half the cost of a pair of kid sneakers! That Spellane went postal AFTER last year’s mess, the one is which he used his political position and his father in law’s good name to pay ZERO mortgage payements on a country house he bought. AFTER his wife’s family gave him (for which they are now suing him) $150,000. After Spellane had to pay the state a fine for coming within spitting distance of breaking state ethics laws. After Spellane and his wife graced the cover of a Worcester glossy magazine as one of the main characters in a cover story about Worcester’s illustrious – and happily married! – political couples. After Spellane cheated on his wife with a girl reporter from a local cable TV news station.
How big a crumb bum can this crumb bum get?
Much bigger, we suspect! During the recent (now infamous) Little League game, supposedly to cheer his son on, Spellane acted like the kind of kid coaches “bench” every game: a stupid and selfish bully. Spellane shoved his smarmy face into the face of his ex-brother-in-law. They chased each other around a picnic table, for Gawd’s sake! REAL grown ups had to pull him off the other guy.
But, hey, this is Worcester. Spellane is “connected,” and Dianne Williamson swims in the same fetid sludge in which Spellane and his political bros doggy paddle. Of course, Williamson is going to protect him!
But Worcester knows a hypocritical Telegram & Gazette columnist when she sees one. And she also knows a fool pol when she sees one – a fool pol who apparently knows no bounds when it comes to making a perfect ass of himself.
By Jim May
A unique opportunity exists in 2009 for the futures of both Worcester and WPI. The long range opportunity could be enormous. In the short term it is still a very attractive marketing opportunity.
Not that long ago, the last place on earth you would have found me on my Fourth of July weekend was Lincoln Square, the epicenter of the Summer Nationals car show. However, over the last five years I have come to increasingly appreciate the passion that the car restorers have for their craft which is not unlike my own: remodeling older homes and historic buildings in the Highland-WPI area.
Needless to say, I am a pretty “green” kind of guy: anything pro-environment is a plus for me.
I responded strongly to the forward thinking appeal of Obama’s messages of fuel-efficient cars, alternative solutions and providing incentives for inventors. Continue reading Proposal for an annual Worcester “Car of the Future Conference”
By Ingrid E. Newkirk
There’s a shocking military scandal that you may not know about: the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is directly responsible for the extreme suffering of countless goats, pigs, monkeys, and other animals.
Every year, thousands of live animals are shot, stabbed, dismembered, burned, and poisoned in routine trauma-training exercises under the misguided notion that such cruelty will prepare medics and members of the infantry to deal with battlefield injuries. It’s horrific but true: The DoD subjects animals to every kind of violent injury that happens on the battlefield.
But despite effective and painless non-animal alternatives available for these trainings—including the DoD’s own Combat Trauma Patient Simulator—the Department continues to maim and kill countless individual animals in gruesome and totally unnecessary ways, including Continue reading Ask President Obama to stop cruelty to animals by the Department of Defense
By Jack Hoffman
So now, in addition to venereal disease, and the other leading exports of Mexico – women with mustaches and VD – now we have swine flu.” These are the words of New England’s number-one (after “Rush”) talk show host Jay Severin. But he didn’t stop there. He went on to describe Mexicans as “the world’s lowest of primitives.” Finally WTKK 96.9, home of such luminaries as Limbaugh, Michael Graham, Imus and the ever so sweet Laura Ingraham (did I leave anyone one out? Ooops! Michael Savage – he got booted from MSNBC), said they had heard enough. They suspended Severin from the radio station indefinitely.
Why did they wait so long? His misogynist outbursts about Hillary Clinton as “a whore with a fat ass” and diatribes against other women who didn’t fit his description of “the perfect woman” always got him a pass with management. These are the comments that his “brightest of the bright” couldn’t wait to hear every weekday afternoon, 3-6 p.m. He wasn’t the only one who captured all those vacuum heads who love hate talk. No doubt 99% of them voted for Palin – yes, Palin, not McCain. Continue reading Talk show haters may become dinosaurs
By Richard Schmitt
It’s this time of year again, the season of genocide remembrances and conferences; President Barrack Obama went to Turkey and without using the dreaded word “genocide,” spoke harshly about the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Turks. It is the time of year to remember genocides and its victims.
The local paper displayed a bar graph of different genocides: 200,000 persons killed in Bosnia – Herzogovina from 1992 to 1995; 800,000 in Ruanda in 1994; 2 million in Cambodia under Pol Pot, 1975 – 1979; 6 million in the Nazi Holocaust, 1938 – 1945; 300,000 killed by the Japanese in Nanking, China, 1937- 1938; 7 million killed in Stalinist Russia during the forced collectivization of agriculture; 1.5 million killed in Armenia in 1915. Continue reading War and genocide
By Rosalie Tirella
When the Friendly House, Worcester’s premier social service agency, opened its doors in 1920, its beginnings were as humble as those of the Italian and Syrian immigrants who also made the Grafton Hill neighborhood their home. Located at 38 Wall Street, the place looked like a very large home. But, oh, what an abode! Inside: the first community-based dental clinic in the country, First Aid classes for the neighborhood moms, cooking classes for the girls, and “SNAPs” tables for the boys. Every spring in the ’40s, a Friendly House Doll Carriage Parade wended its way through the neighborhood, with little girls’ doll carriages festooned with flowers and little boys’ bikes decorated to the hilt. The “works of art” would be judged and first-place prizes awarded.
“In the beginning,” says Friendly House executive director Gordon Hargrove, “there was a lot of arts and crafts, music, drama. The Friendly House really didn’t have sports – the more athletic activities. In the ’20s and 30’s, the adults in the neighborhoods had their own baseball teams. The Groton AA.” Hargrove laughs. He is delighted to have the chance to take out the photo boxes and show a visitor all the vintage photos and share the history of a Worcester landmark, a landmark that he has been a part of since the 1950s and headed since the 1970s. To know the Friendly House is to know Gordon Hargrove. Continue reading The Friendly House sports and recreation programs – an 89-year tradition
By Jeffrey Turgeon
The Friendly House gymnasium on Wall Street in Worcester is a well-worn and Spartan facility with few of the amenities a new gym has; the basketball court with multi-purpose floor allows for only one game to be played at a time, the scoreboard is missing a few light bulbs, the concrete walls are kept without any fancy decorations, and the halls outside the gym are packed with donated clothes and food awaiting distribution to those in need. So why then, with all these limitations, do youth come from all throughout Central Massachusetts — including many from the area’s most affluent communities with the big, fancy gyms – to play basketball in this aging gym? The answer lies not in what the facility has or doesn’t have, it lies in the people that volunteer to lead the program. These volunteer coaches (along with the scorekeepers and referees) are extremely dedicated and caring individuals and are a reflection of the program’s director, Jim Williams. Continue reading Go, Friendly House! Basketball team is tops!