Tag Archives: InCityTimes

For kids of all ages! Brought to you by the Worcester Historical Museum!

Free and open to the public!

For kids of all ages! Come to one of the Worcester Historical Museum’s two Valentine-making workshops and learn about historic Worcester Valentine styles and techniques. Get a chance to make your own Valentine to enter into our Valentine Contest or make cards for family and friends.

Tues., January 17, 3:00-4:30 pm
Great Brook Valley Branch Library,Worcester

Wed., January 18, 3:00-4:30 pm
Children’s Room, Main Library at Salem Square

Lorraine Laurie and D-4 City Councilor Barbara Haller …

By Rosalie Tirella

… are picking up the Santa Suit this afternoon (and some of the folks) for the lighting of the Kelley Square Christmas Tree later today!

Yes, once again District 4 City Councilor Barbara Haller proves to be … well, herself … quietly doing the right thing for the ‘hood.

Barb will be gathering up Green Island neighborhood activist Lorraine Laurie at 3:30 p.m. Together, they will pick up the Santa suit and then drive around D-4 to round up folks for the festivities at Kelley Square, which start around 5:30 p.m. State Rep. John Fresolo will also be there. Wagon rides and resfreshments will round out the fun event.

Sorta wistful for me. This is Haller’s last time leading the Green Island holiday festivities (with Lorraine) while wearing her District 4 City Councilor hat.

Things change. I grow wistful …

Years ago (10) when I first started InCity Times, Lorraine told me to visit St. Mary’s Elementary School on Richland Street and talk with the principal, an ancient (very nice, if by the books) nun who ran St. Mary’s – and the school’s Christmas Tree annual ornament contest. Her assistant principal, also a very old nun (they must have been in their late 70s/early 80s) was also on hand. Together – thrilled to get press – the old women (one of them with a limp) took me to a few classrooms. The kids were all busy making their Christmas ornaments for the Kelley Square tree. The nuns were serious about this and so were their young charges – quiet, focused, just the way I remember the old St. M’s when my two kid sisters attended the Polish/Catholic grammar school. The students’ Christmas ornaments would go up on the Kelley Square Christmas Tree! The creators of the three or so best looking works of art would be awarded prizes!

Everyone was excited!

Well, the nuns are gone. A “civilian” is head of St. Mary’s now. And (of course, why make the extra effort?) there is no longer a school-wide Kelley Square Christmas tree ornament contest. No sparkly, felt-covered, paper-plate-enhanced and styrofoam-ball-glued trinkets for the Kelley Square Christmas tree. (though there will be plenty of lights)

Sometimes the past – wrapped in elderly nuns wearing their black and white habits – and their old fashioned desire to do the right thing – evaporates right before your eyes.

Then there is D-4 City Councilor Barb Haller. Haller didn’t win re-election. This has broken my heart, too. I believe this is a huge loss for D-4, the Worcester City Council and the City of Worcester. Haller has done so many great things for D-4 – without fanfare, without asking for credit. Quietly and with focus Barb, has made us a better place.

This is her last “official” stint as Kelley Square Christmas Tree cheerleader (avec Lorraine, of course!).

Things change …

Thank you, National Grid!

By Rosalie Tirella

As of 5:30 a.m. today (Tuesday, Nov. 1), the many senior citizens at Illyrian Gardens, 545 Salisbury St., Worcester, got their electricty back on, courtesy of Natioal Grid.

Thank you, National Grid!

Thank you all who helped and advocated and did the work: sawing the tree branches on Salisbury Street, messing with wires in the cold, etc. You saved lives!

The old people in this housing complex heat, cook, shower – do everything – with electricity. When the lights went out a few days ago for them – their life “lights” may have been cut short, too. Many are frail, many have special meds/machinery they need to take/use to stay healthy. Many don’t even speak English. In other words, they are some of MA’s most vulnerable citizens.

But it’s over now!


My mom and her pals were thrilled to wake up this morning to warm apartments, warm/hot water and well-lighted hallways, etc. They could use their stoves again! In short, they were “reconnected” to safety, to their lifelines – their homes.

But my mom and her friends are no sissies. Many of these seniors survived the Great Depression, World War II, grinding poverty and political upheaval/poverty in Albania. They are tough cookies. No one complained when I visited yesterday to check on my mom. Four or so of the “ladies” were in the I. Gardens community room playing a game of cards, of all things, smiling to me, as if to say, this too shall pass. One fella was teaching a friend how to use her mini-flashlight. Everyone was so polite. Smiles, pats on the back, nods of recognition. “Mama?” the little dumpling shaped Albanian ladies would ask me.

“So, so,” I would reply with a twist of my hand.

They nodded sympathetically and took their baby steps down darkened hallways.

Yesterday, at Illyrian Gardens, I saw elderly folks at their best: everyone tried to help everyone else – their “neighbors,” their friends. And they did it with smiles – gentle laughs.

Tom Brokow was/is right: They are the GREATEST generation.

Thanks to National Grid these old timers can keep on being great!

Does District 4 City Council candidate Sarai Rivera “stretch the truth”? …

By Rosalie Tirella

… Or fib? Or bull-shit? Or pad her resume?

District 4 voters need to know.

Incumbent District 4 City Councilor Barbara Haller has so much integrity. She works tirelessly – at everything. Her relationship with the Main South CDC goes back years. She and director Steve Teasdale are friends who have worked on countless projects together through the years.

So why did her challenger, Sarai Rivera, attach a doctored Main South CDC logo to her campaign literature? Why did she bull shit the community and make it seem like the Main CDC was endorsing her candidacy, when, according to Teasdale, it was most clearly NOT. The CDC was shocked that Rivera would do such a thing.

Sarai gave a weak excuse.

This kind of bull shit must stop.

Another example of Sarai Rivera’s “stretching the truth”: during the recent debate between the two District 4 candidates a few nights ago, the daily reported that Sarai said something like to the crowd: I am already doing all the work of a city councilor and I will continue to … .

No, Sarai, you are not doing ALL the work – especially all the work that City Councilor Barbara Haller does for her district. Pretty much from the morning to night – all the time. For years …

Let’s stop stretching the truth, Sarai Rivera. Voters don’t want to elect liars.

Of course, creepy rabble rouser Keven Ksen is running Rivera’s campaign. The 40-soemthing Ksen does not even have a job – living off his parents bucks/trust fund, no doubt. And – of course – he is not getting paid by Sarai. More “volunteer” work for Kev! Keven was pretty much fired by the City of Worcester from his Common Ground CDC job after an incident with the Worcester police over his camera. Ksen, whose short fuse makes him scary-mean, saw the funds for his job at Common Ground magically disappear after that incident – years ago. He hasn’t made traction since – but he always makes it a point every election cycle to try to destroy Barbara Haller. Every election cycle Ksen throws his weight behind Haller’s challengers – any challenger really. Which is what a few biz owners/property developers on Chandler Street do, too. Cynical moves, really.

So now it’s Sarai for Kev. Or Kev for Sarai!

But not for District 4 – we hope! Because they are playing the election game a little dirty.

Another question: Sarai claims she is a pastor and then claims she is a social worker. Which is it? What does she do?

Voters need to be respected. Not finessed.

Free Press files suit to challenge FCC’s Open Internet rules

Rules Arbitrarily Leave Wireless Internet Users Unprotected

BOSTON – Free Press this week filed in the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston a petition for review of the Federal Communications Commission’s December 2010 Open Internet order. The Federal Register published the new rules last week, opening the window for such lawsuits.

Free Press, headquartered in Western Massachusetts, will challenge the arbitrary nature of rule provisions that provide less protection for mobile wireless Internet access than they do for wired connections.

Free Press Policy Director Matt Wood made the following statement:

“When the FCC first proposed the Open Internet rules, they came with the understanding that there is only one Internet, no matter how people choose to reach it. The final rules provide some basic protections for consumers, but do not deliver on the promise to preserve openness for mobile Internet access. They fail to protect wireless users from discrimination, and they let mobile providers block innovative applications with impunity.

“Our challenge will show that there is no evidence in the record to justify this arbitrary distinction between wired and wireless Internet access. The disparity that the FCC’s rules create is unjust and unjustified. And it’s especially problematic because of the increasing popularity of wireless, along with its increasing importance for younger demographics and diverse populations who rely on mobile devices as their primary means for getting online.

“Free Press will fight in court to make these rules stronger, even as we work elsewhere to uphold the FCC’s crucial role in promoting openness and equality on the Internet.”

School Daze …

Public Information:

Worcester Public Schools 2011 – 2012 School Year and Days Off/Holidays

PRE-SCHOOL STUDENTS will report on September 6, 2011, as stated in the individual notification letter sent to parents.

KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS will begin school on September 6, 2011. The Worcester Public Schools will be screening Kindergarten children by appointment on August 31st, September 1st and September 2nd. If your child does not have an appointment for screening, contact the school your child is registered at after August 22nd.

STARTING DATE: August 31, 2011 – Grades 1-6
(all students)

STARTING DATE: August 31, 2011 – Grades 7 &8
(all students)

STARTING DATE: August 31, 2011 – Grades 9-12 (all students)


HEADSTART STUDENTS will report as stated in the individual notification letter sent to parents.

All registration for elementary schools, PreK, Kindergarten through Grade 6, will be conducted at the following location:

Dr. James L. Garvey Center for Parent Information
768 Main Street
Tel: 799-3194, 799-3450
Monday – Friday: 7:30 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.
Evening appointments are available by appointment only beginning August 31, 2011.
Please call Bob Vartanian at 508-799-3194 or 508-799-3450 for an appointment.

New student registrations will be conducted at the home school or at the
following location:
Dr. James L. Garvey Center for Parent Information
768 Main Street
Tel: 799-3194, 799-3450
Monday – Friday: 7:30 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.
Evening appointments are available by appointment only beginning August 31, 2011.
Please call Bob Vartanian at 508-799-3194 or 508-799-3450 for an appointment.
Beginning August 17th

* University Park Campus School’s students register at the school.
Transfers between Worcester Public Schools’ Middle Schools: parent/guardian should go to the sending school to get a transfer slip and return any books and materials to the sending school. Then take this transfer slip to the receiving school to complete the transfer.

New student registrations can be completed at the home high school.
Dates: August 23rd , 24th , 25th, 26th and 29th , and 30th
Time: 9:00 – 12:00 noon
or at the following location:
Dr. James L. Garvey Center for Parent Information
768 Main Street
Tel: 799-3194, 799-3450
Monday – Friday: 7:30 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.
Evening appointments are available by appointment only beginning August 31, 2011.
Please call Bob Vartanian at 508-799-3194 or 508-799-3450 for an appointment.

Transfers between Worcester Public Schools’ High Schools: parent/guardian should go to the sending school to get a transfer slip and return any books and materials to the sending school. Then Take this transfer slip to the receiving school to complete the transfer.

*University Park Campus School and Worcester Technical High School registrations are completed at the schools.

All schools will be serving breakfast and a hot lunch on August 31, 2011.


August 29 – Teacher/Staff Reporting Day
August 30 – Staff Development
August 31 – First Day of School


September 5 – Labor Day

October 7 – Staff Development

October 10 -Columbus Day

November 11 – Veterans’ Day

November 23-25– Thanksgiving

December 23-30 – Holiday Vacation

January 2 – Non-School Day

January 16 – Martin Luther King

February 20 – Presidents’ Day

February 21-24 – Winter Vacation

April 6 – Non-School Day

April 16 – Patriots’ Day

April 17-20 – Spring Vacation

May 28 – Memorial Day

June 14 – Last Day of School

Why Worcester School Committee member Tracy O’Connell Novick must go

By Rosalie Tirella

I’ve thought about it and often wondered: How did Tracy O’Connell Novick, someone so anti-innercity students/families get elected to the Worcester School Committee? Most likely the reason: Irish surname and church ladies/their ilk who liked someone white – a white, young stay-at-home mother, etc. Someone who just loves children.

Bull shit. Novick is the last thing the Worcester Public Schools needs. She should be jettisoned (by the voters this Novemeber) fro the Worcester School Committee. And move to Weston where she would be a much better fit.

This all came home a few days ago when I was at the Worcester Public Library on Salem Square and saw ol’ Tracy Novick with her kids walking from the library parking lot to the entrance of the library. There she was:

Like something out of a 1950s Leave it to Beaver show – only this one filmed in Weston or Wellsley – certainly not in Worcester. Novick was wearing a long skirt – and yellow Izzody shirt and little yellow shoes to match her little yellow shirt. And BIG sunglasses. Sort of a June Cleaver for Worcester – without the great looks of the actress who played June (who in real life was actually divorced and raising her kids on her own – a working single mom).

As Novick – who lives on Olean Street – stopped her kids to let the car go she seemed so fake. The Queen of Olean Street (in a west side neighborhood). Waiting for the car to crawl by, looking so concerned, I thought: what a little performance. Her actions, telling her kids to wait, were so “Watch me! I am the perfect mom! I am a star in Worcester and a role model for the community!” Watch me!

And that was the problem. 1.: Novick was all show, wanted to be stared at, recognized 2. and when no one milling about outside the library (there were several folks) gave a damn, Novick began looking around for the attention -to her left, the guy on the cell phone. Didn’t he recognize her, God damn it?!

No, Tracy, no one gives a shit about you – least of all you school committee votes/stands.

Which is why you shouldn’t be in office. You don’t represent the kids and families of Worcester – most of whom are poor and people of color. You whacked away at Dr. Boone – Worcester’s first female, black school superintendent. You basically said “shove your feelings” to the Goddard School parents who testified at a winter school committee meeting on behalf of Goddard School and its principal. You heard the pleas of these Latino families and you still went on with your MCAS witch hunt. Earlier in the year, you voted against the government funds that were given to (without your vote) some of our inner city schools so our kids’ education would get a boost.

You vote against everything that will help our inner city kids because you claim all these federal/state funds come with strings, and you want our school committee and school system to be autonomous.

Just like folks in Wellsley or Weston.

In those Mass suburbs everyone is rich and highly privileged; even if all their schools were dynamited away, the kids in those towns would still get a great education, courtesy of their highly educated/successful parents and all the extracurricular enrichment programs parents can afford to send their kids to.

That is not the case in Worcester, Tracy. We depend, like Blanch Debois, on the “kindness of strangers” – the feds and the state.

You have stood on what you think is principal, but you’ve actually stood in the way of Hispanic student acheivement and low-income kid achievement. Our school system is a majority minority system – and filled with lots of low-income kids. You do them no good – maybe even harm.

Get the fuck off our school committee – move to Weston you belong, where your kind of ideas, votes and leadership will be appreciated.

It’s not here.

Regional Environmental Council (REC) is celebrating its 22nd Annual Earth Day Cleanup events

WHAT:   Press Event & REC Earth Day Cleanups Proclamation w/ Mayor Joe O’Brien

WHERE: Worcester City Hall, Levi-Lincoln Room, 3rd Floor

WHEN: Tuesday, April 26, 1:30pm

WHAT:   22nd Annual REC Earth Day Cleanups    

WHERE: 65 sites throughout the city of Worcester

WHEN: Saturday, April 30th, 8:00 am to 12:00 pm

Worcester – This year marks the 22nd Annual REC Earth Day Cleanups, to be held on Saturday, April 30, from 8:00am to noon at 65 locations throughout Worcester. More than 500 volunteers will clean our sidewalks, parks and neighborhoods.

Since REC began coordinating the event in 1989, Earth Day Cleanups have become an annual event that involves hundreds of neighbors and friends joining together to give our city a good spring cleaning.

Last year, 30 tons of trash was collected and removed from our streets. Sites are added each year when concerned individuals volunteer to coordinate a cleanup team in their neighborhood or in any area of the city that needs attention.

Please join us at City Hall on Tuesday, April 26 at 1:30pm as Worcester Mayor Joe O’Brien helps us continue our Earth Day Celebrations by commending these volunteers working together to make a healthy, sustainable and beautiful Worcester!

The cleanups are organized by the REC in partnership with the City of Worcester Department of Public Works & Parks, National Grid, Superior Waste & Recycling and with the support of numerous other local businesses, community organizations, neighbors, youth and area agencies who come together to care for and ensure our neighborhoods are clean and safe.

A note to all high school students

From Michael Moore

Dear High School Students:

How inspired are you by the thousands of students from Wisconsin high schools who began walking out of class four days ago and have now occupied the State Capitol building and its grounds in Madison, demanding that the governor stop his assault on teachers and other government workers? I have to say it’s one of the most exciting things I’ve seen in years.

We are, right now, living in an amazing moment of history. And this moment has happened because the youth around the world have decided they’ve had enough. Young people are in revolt — and it’s about time.

You, the students and young adults, from Cairo, Egypt to Madison, Wisconsin, are now rising up, taking to the streets, organizing, protesting and refusing to move until your voices are heard. Effing amazing!! It has scared the pants off those in power, the adults who were so convinced they had done a heckuva job trying to dumb you down and distract you with useless nonsense so that you’d end up feeling powerless, just another cog in the wheel, another brick in the wall. You’ve been fed a lot of propaganda about “how the system works” and so many lies about what took place in history that I’m amazed you’ve been able to sort through all the bs and see the truth for what it is. Continue reading A note to all high school students