Tag Archives: incitytimesworcester.org

“Happy Thanksgiving!” from Beto O’Rourke … and … Wed. wrap-up✨🎶

But first …

Worcester’s proposed new homeless shelter shouldn’t be at J.B.’s junkyard!

Great idea, Mauro DePasquale! Let the state/city make the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel recreation center A NEW CITY HOMELESS SHELTER. Winter is here …Why have our homeless men and women freezing to death on our city streets?

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So many young, homeless kids in the Canal District. They need services! photo: Rose T.

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The beloved church of Worcester’s Italian-American community was razed – the only church building left standing: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church Recreation Center. file photo: Rose T.

😢We hear Hotel Grace plans to leave St. John’s church basement and shelter its homeless on Southbridge Street – in J.B./Frankensteins junkyard big concrete building. … BIG mistake! You cannot just dump 50 – 100 homeless people in a huge concrete box and pay J.B. $$$$.

Legit homeless shelters need: showers, heat, toilets, separate, safe quarters for the women, space for men, a kitchen, a triage nurse, a social service advocate. Like the old PIP – but not a wet shelter. To give $$$ and trust the lives of the most vulnerable in our community to the hustler J.B. IS WRONG!

Hotel Grace folks, please WORK WITH THE DIOCESE AND CM ED AUGUSTUS TO GET THE OUR LADY OF MT CARMEL CHURCH Recreation Center – a big, safe space with toilets, the required facilities – up and running as a homeless shelter.

It is not – like J.B.’s building – sitting on a main Worcester street, in an already struggling neighborhood – a South Worcester ‘hood on the rise again!

Mt. Carmel Rec Center is set way back off Shrewsbury Street, on Mullbury Street. It is a quick walk from the WRTA Union Station HUB … buses or vans can easily drop off and pick up clients …

This building should not be razed, and if the Italian American community wants to keep it alive doing Jesus’ work, then PERFECT! Praise God!

– Rose T.

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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BETO, run for public office again – US senator-TX, governor of TX, El Paso mayor! Any one will do – America needs your strong, compassionate voice!

Dear Rosalie,

Throughout the week we had seen giant beams of light moving through the night sky over El Paso and Ciudad Juárez. Saturday night after Ulysses’ basketball game at the Delta center, we drove down to Bowie High School, where the lights on the El Paso side of the border originated, to learn more.

The lights it turned out were part of an installation known as “Border Tuner” or “Sintonizador Fronterizo.” Participants here and at a location in Juárez were able to control the beams of light — and when a beam of light from El Paso intersected with a beam of light from Juárez, the participants on both sides of the border could suddenly hear each other and speak to each other.

At one point on Saturday night a DJ in El Paso was transmitting music on his beam of light and a woman in Juárez was singing along on hers. All of us could listen as their beams were joined.

A little later Amy and Ulysses and I stepped up to the mic and introduced ourselves to whoever might be listening on the other side.

“Hola, me llamo Beto. Como se llama usted?”

“Catalina” came the response from the other side of the river.

“Y cuantos años tiene, Catalina?”

“Diez.”

“Yo tengo cuarenta y siete,” I told her.

I then shared my kids’ ages and asked her what sports she played:

“Tengo hijos de trece, once y nueve años. Cuales deportes juega, Catalina?”

“Taekwondo,” she answered.

I encouraged Ulysses to speak. He stepped up to the mic and told her he played basketball, “yo juego baloncesto.”

We then watched and listened as others spoke to people across the river through these beams of light. A family who followed us turned the dial that moved the light beam so that it connected with a different light beam from Juárez. A new conversation began, with a different family, about food and music.

There were tens of thousands of people on both sides of the border who participated, able to talk and listen to each other regardless of the political or national divisions or the physical distances. Sometimes profound conversations about history and art, sometimes playful conversations between young people who were getting to know one another (a young woman in Juárez asked a young man in El Paso, “eres guapo?”), sometimes collaborative music compositions, sometimes families talking about sports and their favorite kinds of foods (Catalina told us hers were tacos).

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, the artist who conceived the project, told me that he wasn’t so much building bridges between Juárez and El Paso as he was illuminating the connections that already exist — connections of family, of history, of culture, of language, of people.

Border Tuner was beautiful and it helped us to remember or see in a different way how special the U.S.-Mexico border is. Not a place to be afraid of, not something to lock down or wall-off. It’s a place to celebrate and share with one another. At its best it’s an example of how people can be good to each other… a timely example given the divisions in our country and the willingness of some to try to make us believe our differences are dangerous.

It reminded me to be grateful for where I live and for the people of this binational community. And how important it is to tell our story, lest it be told for us or against us.

Amy and I are going to spend Thanksgiving in El Paso with family who will be coming in from all over. We’re hoping to get in some great hikes in the Franklins, maybe see a couple of movies. Eat a lot of great food.

We hope that you and yours have a safe, restful and fulfilling Thanksgiving. I am grateful for you and for everyone I’ve had the chance to work with this year, for everyone who has volunteered for or supported our work, for everyone doing all that they can for this great country at its moment of truth.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Beto

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♥️🎶🎶🎶

🍎🌽😊🐻🥦🎶❄️🥔🌽

And you gotta love the sweet ewe, too! She’s hanging out with Rose, 19, at the VT commune …years ago😢! Here, Rose became a vegetarian because she loved caring for the farm animals, like the beauty below:
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in Vermont♥️♥️, many years ago…

RIP, Bosch … and Saturday wrap-up☕❄️ + 🎶

😊From the Worcester Historical Museum😊
30 Elm St.🎄🎄🎄🎄

😊😊ANNUAL MEETING!😊😊😊

Wednesday, December 4, 4:30 PM

All are invited to join us at 30 Elm St. to review the busy past 12 months, participate in the election of officers, and learn about what is ahead for Worcester’s past.

❄️😊⛄🦌Spend some time at Worcester Historical Museum and Salisbury Mansion this December….

❄️HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS🦌

Winter Whimsy❄️❄️

Extended days for Salisbury Mansion for the Holidays:
Wednesday-Sunday,
November 29 through January 5
1-4 PM

Join us at Salisbury Mansion for a new twist on the season as decorators let their imaginations run to whimsy and fun.

The mansion will be decked out for the holidays beginning the Friday after Thanksgiving.

$5 per person, members free, 1-4 PM, Wednesday through Sunday

🍎Each room is expertly appointed with a Winter Whimsy theme:

Southeast Chamber/Dollhouse Room: TOYLAND, TOYLAND
Middle Chamber: CHRISTMAS ON POINTE
Southwest Chamber: ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD…IT’S MICA!
Northwest Chamber: FESTIVE WORCESTER
Parlor: O TANNEBAUM, O TANNEBAUM
Front Drawing Room: OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS…
Back Drawing Room: JOY AND WONDER ON CHRISTMAS MORNING
Library: HOMEMAID CHRISTMAS
Hallway: DECK THE HALLS!

🎄Evening Candlelight Tours will be illuminating the mansion on Fridays, November 29-January 3, 4:30-6:30PM. There is a separate entrance fee of $10 per person/NO PASSES. Salisbury Mansion is only open at night to the public on the above Friday evenings.💒💒

Please note: Salisbury Mansion will be open five days a week in December…for all to enjoy this historic home during the holidays.

Salisbury Mansion guests will also receive a coupon for a complimentary visit to Worcester Historical Museum.

🎄FESTIVE WORCESTER🎄🎄🎄👏👏

⛄Saturday, December 14, 10 AM-4 PM

The museum’s archives include photographs of holiday celebrations at home and at work, public displays, and visits to Santa Claus…all mid-twentieth century. Become part of the community photo album. Bring YOUR favorite Christmas photo to the library for scanning.

🐻TEDDY BEAR TEA!☕

Saturday, December 7, 10AM-1PM

🐻Go on a Bear Romp, enjoy a Puppet Show, write a letter to Santa, play bingo with Mrs. Claus, arts⛄ and crafts❄️, make a gingerbread house, and much more. Sandwiches, cocoa and cookies will be served!

Reservations are required.

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Member adult $12; Member child $10; Non-member adult $15; Non-member child $12; Children under 3 free.

⛄⛄⛄⛄⛄⛄⛄⛄⛄

From PETA.ORG:

This Thanksgiving Make Your Own Vegan Holiday Roast with Sage Stuffing!♥️

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Love that sage stuffin’!

♥️Ingredients:

♥️For the Sage Stuffing:

1/2 cup finely diced onions

1/2 cup finely diced celery

1/2 cup finely diced carrots

1 1/2 tsp. fresh, minced garlic

2 Tbsp. corn oil

1/2 tsp. sage

1/4 tsp. chopped basil

3/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper

3 Tbsp. vegetable bouillon

1 cup water

2 cups whole-wheat or white bread crumbs

1/4 cup coarsely chopped dry sweetened cranberries

1/4 cup coarsely chopped roasted pecans

♥️For the Vegan Holiday Roast:

1 1/2 lbs. extra-firm tofu, patted dry and cut into small pieces

2 Tbsp. arrowroot or cornstarch

3 Tbsp. vegan broth powder

3/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. white pepper

1 1/2 tsp. agar-agar flakes or 1 tsp. agar-agar powder

2 Tbsp. barley malt syrup

2 Tbsp. water

♥️Instructions:

Sauté the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic in the oil for 5 minutes.

Add the sage, basil, salt, pepper and broth powder and sauté for 5 more minutes.

Add the water and bring to a simmer.

Stir in the bread crumbs, cranberries and pecans just until incorporated. Cook for a few minutes until the mixture is firm, then remove from the heat.

Place the tofu, arrowroot, broth powder, salt, pepper and agar-agar flakes in a food processor and blend into a smooth paste.

Dissolve the barley malt syrup in the water and set aside.

👏👏👏To Assemble:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Oil and flour a loaf pan (or oil, then line with parchment paper).

Spread a layer of the tofu mixture inside the pan, lining the bottom and all four sides. (Spread only a thin layer on the ends.) Use all but about 1 cup of the mixture.

Firmly but gently press the stuffing into the pan, on top of the tofu mixture.

Cover the stuffing with the remaining tofu, carefully sealing the edges.

Cover the pan with foil, making certain the foil doesn’t come into contact with the tofu.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

Remove the foil, glaze the top of the loaf with the dissolved barley malt syrup, turn the oven up to 450°F, and continue baking for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow the loaf to cool for about 10 minutes. Unmold, slice and serve hot with a sauce of your choice!

Makes 8 servings (1 medium roast)

This recipe was adapted with permission from The Classical Vegetarian Cookbook by Ron Pickarski.

🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩

🍩🍩🍩Dessert!:

☕☕☕☕☕☕☕

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Go, Joe!!!!

Pledge to Go Vegan in 2020! (Or, at the very least: EAT WAY LESS MEAT AND POULTRY – SAVE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF ANIMALS FROM AMERICAN FACTORY FARM HELL!!!) – Rose T.

Need a reason to go vegan? How about tens of billions? That’s how many animals are killed for food in the U.S. each year. The easiest way to help animals like the ones pictured below is to go vegan!

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Pass on the steak!😢😢😢😢

Just imagine: As a vegan, you’ll being speaking up for these animals— and all other animals who face abuse on today’s farms. You’ll have a clear conscience and be able to look these animals in the eye without guilt, as you vow to make their lives better — while also improving your own.

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Chickens: the most abused of God’s creatures! Billions suffer on our factory farms!!! No room to turn in cages, beaks cut off, pumped up with antibiotics, injected with hormones to make their wings, white meat, big for the shopper and their legs small! Most can’t walk on their abnormally small “drum sticks”!!

You’ll save more than 100 animals each year, and you can also become healthier by consuming foods that don’t contribute to heart disease, cancer and strokes.

Plus, you’ll help to reduce climate change and world hunger.

Being vegan has never been easier, thanks to hundreds of delicious vegan products, restaurants, and accidentally vegan foods you probably already love!

It’s plain and simple: Going vegan is the best resolution you can make! We have plenty of resources about how to go vegan, so take the pledge today! And visit PETA.ORG

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Pigs are as intelligent as dogs are – why torture and slaughter them???

😢😢😢😢😢😢😢

RIP, Bosch

It’s the holidaze … ‘Tis the time the Old Beau and I reach out to each other – every year! – never planning to but, after all this time, a distant “family” – waving to each other across the oceans of time. “Apart” but not really. Not in love any more but always missing each other a little bit, just around the edges.

Last holiday season I was amazed when, as we chatted aimelessly on our cell phones, he remembered the Worcester restaurant where we drank coffee – just once! – that was poured from a French press. Or that I didn’t like the star act at a concert we went to years ago but that I thought the female guitarist in the was terrific! What I had felt and thought he had remembered! Important. To him.

I don’t remember any of that stuff – just how he was there for my big ol’ golden retriever Bailey when Bailey got nasal cancer – and how Bailey, up until a day or two before he died, would trot up to the Old Beau, wagging his big, feathery, gold tail. Or how the Old Beau would visit my mother, now repeating and repeating her words because her early dementia had become “moderate,” and sit with her in her studio apartment and watch a Red Sox game with her on her color TV, quiet, respectful – repeating the score to her, over and over. Ma loved the Red Sox and until she fell ill knew all the players, ball parks, scores … stuff I was oblivious to but that the Old Beau enjoyed, too. … I had walked out of her apartment, tears running down my cheeks, a few hours earlier, upset that she had hid the two big Irish porcelin dolls that I had given her for the top of her TV set. Ma had taken them off the TV and had hid them at the bottom of her clothes closet, telling me again and again about the need to safeguard them. Precious gifts from her beloved daughter, Rosalie! The Old Beau stayed through all that, a prince in his paint-flecked brown contractor pants and torn tee shirts – visiting her from his work sites, if there were emergencies … These are my memories!

Well, the Old Beau called me last week and left a voicemail … very formal sounding, grammatically perfect, as always. To me (what I especially loved about him) my man strided into my world from another American era: the 1940s or 1950s when we were all more civil and modest … parents revered public education, stood behind school teachers and kept their kids’ noses in their big, boring text books, like it or not. The kids obeyed their parents and teachers, no matter how misinformed they were, and thru it all became … smart, well spoken! College-ready! Just like my Old Beau,from Lynn where his childhood had been rough.

I heard a faint sadness in his voice this time. I called him back.

“Bosch died,” he said right off. His grand, 100-pound, long-haired German Shepherd dog who would protect him to the end but also loved to play with little plush toy bears or squeaky hearts or tennis balls was dead. At 15 years old. Ancient. Now weighing nothing – 65 pounds. He had had an appetite, a playful spirit for months – but the disease killed it, along with his hind legs. His disease, common to GSDs, had left them useless. Bosch got around the living room – his new world now – by pulling himself up on his two big front paws and dragging, hauling, his big body around. Until it withered away, too, like his hind leg muscles …

“Oh, my Bosch!” I cried out, remembering when I had first seen the dog – in a wooden stall, in a big shed, standing on his hind legs, his big head and ears filling the top of the stall. It was dark in there, even on the sunny fall day. Bosch was slamming his body against the gate, paws tearing at the old wood, howling into the solitary bleakness. I couln’t make him out! So I asked the woman, shaken: IS THAT A BEAR in there?

She said: No, just a big, older German Shepherd whose owner had died. Of cancer. He missed her, he was tough to adopt out. We left the little wooden shed. I said: “I know who will adopt him – it will be a perfect fit!”

And so I talked, pushed, cajoled, begged the Old Beau into adopting Bosch (the new name, after the tool maker, he gave the dog). Well, my old man saved his life – saw into the shell-shocked, deprived old dog’s soul … and nurtured him back to health. Veterinarian visits for vaccines and more … hundreds of dollars spent! Lots of good dog food – Bosch was malnourished, 20 pounds underweight, when the old man brought him home. Five years of leisurely walks in the Old Beau’s West Side neighborhood. The old man carefully, quietly, brushing out that beautiful coat – and calling Bosch “Fluffy” – smiling to himself – because Bosch looked so beautiful when he was all combed out, standing regally on the little back porch. Nights on the Old Beau’s bed where together they slept, primal, close – just a boy and his pup! Like being on the plains when Native Americans went on hunts with their big fierce hunting dogs … or the stars of some 1950s Disney movie! Old Yeller watch out! Except they were both mine …

Just thinking of♥️, and missing♥️, my Old Beau♥️ this Thanksgiving week …

****
P.S.
I bought this CD for him, for his birthday, years ago. We saw YES in concert – all the original band mates! – twice. Beautiful nights, both.

WFD Fireman Lt. Jason Menard procession from St. John’s Church …

Photos+text by Rosalie Tirella

Worcester – Thousands of firemen and firewomen from all corners of America lined Temple and Green streets this early afternoon – six deep – to bid farewell to WFD fireman Lt. Jason Menard who died going above and beyond the call of duty last week while saving two lives in a fire on Stockholm Street. An American hero, he gave his life for theirs.

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✝️✝️✝️

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The hundreds and hundreds and hundreds!! of firemen honored their Lt. Menard through music, pageantry – and by bussing into Worcester to stand for two hours in the raw New England cold, a hint of drizzle always in the air, waiting, waiting for the casket set atop the fire engine, a casket covered in blue to solemnly pass before them to give the final salute … Yet their spirits were high! They were strong! – together!! – mitigating their loss through bonhomie! And sometimes swigs of beer from the bottles they got at the barrooms that line Green Street!

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Before the procession came through, a gaggle of firemen (fire chiefs?) walked all the way down Green Street, in the middle of the street, inspecting their men who stood on the sidewalks on either side … and to order the men, in clipped tones of voice: “LOCK IT UP! LOCK IT UP!” The hundreds of firemen immediately fell into silent attention at the barked commands. They stood looking American: black, white, Latino, Italian, Vietnamese, Irish, gray haired, long locks, male, female, heavy, skinny …

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Men in their navy blue dress firemen uniforms and white gloves hugging each other in the thin gray sunlight, slapping each others’ shoulders in the cold. The badges sewn on the sleeves of their coats and jackets signified where they were from: New York City, Baltimore, Boston, Millbury, Shrewsbury, Rhode Island, Washington state.

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The final salute … crisp, in unison, to shout to Jason as he rode atop his wreath-bedecked fire engine: WE ARE HERE FOR YOU, brother! Thousands of us! You did not die in vain!!
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Monday wrap-up✝️🇺🇸🐈 …

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pic: R.T.

We will see all of Worcester today! Dignitaries, city councilors, the city manager, neighborhood people, our poor, rich and homeless and our first responders … all converging on the stately St. John’s Church on Temple Street and surrounding neighborhoods . .. The funeral of WFD Fireman Lt. Jason Menard – 11 a.m. … The ceremony, the rituals, the beauty of a Roman Catholic mass. The hundreds and hundreds of firemen and women from all over the North East walking our streets, kneeling on the church pews, standing together in small groups in the church parking lot … wearing their pure white dress shirts, drycleaned and pressed … their navy blue uniforms adorned with medals – heartbreaking and unforgetable!

– Rose T.

✝️✝️✝️✝️✝️✝️✝️✝️✝️

From Steve:

DEVAL PATRICK’S WEIRD RELATIONSHIP WITH BAIN CAPITAL

By Steven R. Maher

Former Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick is coming to the Democratic Presidential campaign trail fresh from Bain Capital, the investment company 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney presided over during his Presidential campaign. President Obama and most of the Republican candidates had portrayed Romney’s Bain as a corporate predator, taking over and selling off other companies’ assets, or leveraging them to the hilt for profit. In the process, Bain was alleged to have devastated entire communities with massive layoffs.

It’s a strange relationship for a liberal Democrat to have, but the friendship between Patrick and Bain dates back to the earliest days of Patrick’s first gubernatorial campaign. In a 2012 investigative report, the InCity Times took a closer at this alliance after an episode where Patrick, a long time political ally of President Obama, shocked many in the political world when he told CNN Bain was not a “bad company.” Patrick’s comments reportedly appeared in Romney campaign advertisements in battleground states.

State law requires campaign donations over a certain amount of money to include the name of the donor’s employer. So, in 2012 we went to the website of the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) which allows a search of campaign donations by a donor’s employer, and then sub-search by candidate. We searched Contributor Employers containing the name “Bain,” sorted by candidate.

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Deval Patrick received 31 donations from Bain employees totaling $11,500. The fascinating thing about this support is that 65% of it came at the time Patrick needed it most: prior to his first election as Governor in 2006. Patrick received 14 donations totaling $4,900 prior to the September 26, 2006 Democratic primary and another 7 donations totaling $2,500 before the November 2006 general election. It may not sound like much, but for a struggling gubernatorial candidate without spectacular personal wealth of his own, such amounts go a long way in the early stages of a campaign.

Romney received only two Bain donations worth $700 in 2007, the same amount in 2008, one Bain donation of $200 in 2009, $1,200.00 in five donations in 2010, and none at all in 2011 and 2012 at the time of our report.

Bain looked at Patrick the way an investment company looks at a start up company with an attractive new product: a good investment, providing seed money for a struggling political entrepreneur. For Mitt Romney, the payback he received from the Bain donations was enormous: staggering under the blows from Obama’s attacks on Bain, he got a rebuttal from an African American supporter of Obama. It was a return on investment, in political terms, that was priceless, a working man’s equivalent of having a winning Power Ball ticket.

Patrick was not the only high-level Massachusetts Democrat to benefit from Bain employees’ largesse:

Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray received ten donations worth $4,350; State Treasurer Steven Grossman received $2,350 in six donations; Boston May Thomas Menino received $500 from a Bain donor; Massachusetts Speaker of the House Sal DiMasi, (before DiMasi went to jail), received a $250 donation from a Bain employee. The Massachusetts Democratic State Committee received $35,000 in donations from Bain employees. Former Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly received $1,000 in contributions from Bain employees and former State Senate President Robert E. Travaglini received $700 from Bain employees.

♥️♥️♥️:

Thinking of Worcester fireman Jason Menard

By Rosalie Tirella

I, like most Worcesterites, didn’t know Jason Menard, the 39-year-old Worcester fireman who died a horrible death this past week while doing his job. But I, like all of Worcester, love him. Not so much for “fighting” the flames in that Quinsig Village flat but for perishing while saving two of his “brothers” – fellow WFD firemen – up in that third-floor fire-trap on Stockholm Street, in Quinsigamond Village, Worcester’s old blue collar Swedish neighborhood. A neighborhood, like many of our older, ethnic neighborhoods, filled with 100-year-old two- and three-deckers: Kindlin’ wood.

One Worcester fireman was a newbie and couldn’t find the staircase in the carbon monoxide- and smoke-filled building. Jason found him (by touch? by words?) and led him to the staircase (did they hold hands?, lean together shoulder to shoulder?, whisper? cry out?). Jason helped another fellow fireman to an open window … to safety. And they say Jason was searching for the tenants’ baby when, and the cliches tumble out now: when the fireman was “overcome,” “overtaken,” “succumbed” … “didn’t make it.”

What does all the verbiage mean? Safe, sterile “nothing” words that can never convey the physical pain or emotional and bodily shock Jason experienced – or how a WFD “brother” pulled Jason’s body out. How that fireman felt lugging his dead friend out of all that crap. We call it smoke-inhalation, carbon monoxide poisoning, but Jason’s lungs were burning up! On fire like that building – his delicate, fluid filled lung membranes inflamed, burning… Only Jason gasped for fresh, clean, cool air. Only he felt his fireman suit and gear grow heavy! An encumberance between him and the stars in the cold Worcester sky, it turned out.

What if we could empty those Worcester night stars like coffee cups? And have Jason’s wife’s tears flow out of them to wash our city souls clean? Have Tina Menard stop all our clocks! Shut our city down!! To shout, like an ancient woman warrior: MY HUSBAND, A GOOD MAN, A GOOD FATHER TO OUR CHILDREN, IS DEAD!!

The man she loved at the grill, by their kitchen table, over their dishwasher, in bed, under the quilts … Jason died hurting and suffering in that crumby old Worcester three-decker.

FireFIGHTER. That is the trendy term to describe all firemen these days, including Jason Menard. Implying the guys FIGHT fires, BATTLE flames – which they do. But to me the term renders the men plastic, Disney-like, super-hero action figures – all iron-clad muscles, steely gazes, red cape-wearing fearlessness, even godlike … when in truth, the WFD guys – all firemen – are just guys. Guys who maybe love the challenge more than most of us, but men, often in the middle of life and love: youngish wives, young children, aging parents, mortgages, college savings accounts for their kids. They have fancy lawn mowers they love because they remind them how successful they are – married with kids and a nice home in the nicer parts of town. Leaf and snow blowers mark the seasons in their big back yards. Sex, BBQs, wide-screen TVs, Red Sox games – the fun stuff of guys in their 30s and early 40s! In their prime!

But these firemen, when they get into these fire-trap three deckers and warehouses in our old New England factory towns – Lawrence, Lowell, Worcester … – become guys in their prime doing their best. They save lives – and families. And communities. They save each other, too. All the time. Grabbing, holding each other hands, as they stumble to safety … giving each other hearty hugs of encouragement … pulling and pushing each other to that open window … sighing and maybe crying in all the smoke and darkness and admitting to the fireman next to them: I’M AFRAID, bro! A firefighter once told me, smiling: “There have been plenty of (WFD firemen) guys who’ve saved my life.” … intimating that he had returned and would continue to return the favor, again and again. If that’s not intimacy, true love, then I don’t know what is!

And that’s why the guys seem so close when you drive by one of their many Worcester neighborhood fire stations: together, they grill steaks on their grills/BBQ smokers outside their firestations; one guy will make a big pot of homemade soup or chilli for his crew on the station stove; they sit on lawnchairs outside on the drab cement parking lot, talking in the inner-city sun or maybe listening to one of their mate’s bag-pipe playing out by their sparkling red, just washed and hosed fire trucks, safe in their bays, ready for a parade – or a 3-alarm fire!

Jason Menard and the Worcester Fire Department firemen (and -women) are firefighters … but, best of all, they’re HUMAN BEINGS rushing into the void, not knowing, not thinking, about their mortality. Innocent as lambs.

“Just” men, “just” firemen.

Lovely.

From BETO – save Rodney Reed!! + FYI

It’s been over a week since I left the campaign trail and it’s been so good being home with family and hearing all of your support. I’m grateful to have so many of you at my back. So today, I’m asking you to join me in helping someone else.

I’m reaching out in the interests of justice for a man who is about to be wrongly executed. On November 20, the state of Texas plans to execute Rodney Reed despite overwhelming evidence that points to his innocence.

Governor Greg Abbott has the power to stop the execution. He’s done it before, he can absolutely do it again. So our job is to make sure that we cause an outcry so loud, so united that Abbott has no choice but to listen to our demands and cancel the execution.

Here are the two best ways you can help save this man’s life and put pressure on Governor Abbott:

Sign the petition. Add your name to the petition and join millions of other people in urgently demanding Governor Abbott to stop the execution.
GO TO: https://www.freerodneyreed.com/#sign?source=em20191112

Make phone calls. With only 8 days left, we need to ramp up the pressure and show the urgency of our demands.

Dial this Number: (512) 967-0567
With this number, you’ll be connected to Governor Abbott’s office and other influential people with the power to stop or delay Reed’s execution. Before you’re connected, you’ll be provided some pointers on what to say during the call. If you get sent to voicemail, please leave a message and try calling again whenever you can.
Rodney Reed has been on death row since 1998,
alleging him responsible for the murder and rape of Stacey Stites.

Since his arrest, Reed has faced mountains of unfair challenges –– not uncommon in our broken incarceration system –– in proving his innocence. He was repeatedly denied DNA testing that could support his case, critical pieces of evidence were withheld from his trial, and in the end an all-white jury convicted Reed. Despite his flawed trial and evidence from a new witness claiming that Stites’ ex-fiancé admitted in prison that he’s responsible for the murder of Stites, Reed remained on death row.

When you look at the facts, it becomes painfully clear that going forward with executing Rodney Reed would be absolutely wrong.

It’s our duty to stand up to this unfair, racist incarceration system and fight for every single human’s right to find justice.

Please take a couple of minutes out of your day to sign the petition or call Governor Abbott’s office before time runs out.

Thanks for your help,

Beto O’Rourke

************
FYI:

Historic … bloodbath! Come together, America!!!!😢😢

Go, NYC!!🦆🦆🦆 … and … Try a Vegan♥️ Thanksgiving Feast this autumn! + 🎶

NYC foie gras ban makes way for ducklings!

By John Di Leonardo

The New York City Council has taken a bold step toward eliminating one of the worst factory-farming abuses by listening to its conscience instead of foie gras industry falsehoods and overwhelmingly passing a citywide ban on this deadly atrocity.

As a Long Island resident who rescues hundreds of abandoned ducks every year, I take this win personally. Unlike most people who consume foie gras (and even those who produce it), I have gotten to know many ducks firsthand, which is how I know that they are smart, playful and highly social. They have long memories and display abstract reasoning from a very young age, and many mate for life and grieve for a long time if their partners die. Insatiably curious, ducks are always looking for something to do, from splashing and blowing bubbles in mud puddles to staging epic mock straw-throwing battles and even playing fetch like dogs.

One duck I found abandoned in a canal last year was a moulard, the same breed that is commonly raised and killed for foie gras. Like other moulards I have met, this fellow was endearingly gentle and friendly, so much so that I named him Angel.

Foie gras producers take advantage of moulards’ sweet nature in the most despicable way imaginable—by ramming a pipe down their throats and pumping up to 4 pounds of grain into their stomachs every day. Because gentle moulards endure this abuse stoically, the foie gras industry adds insult to injury by making the absurd claim that they don’t mind being tortured.

As an anthrozoologist who is well acquainted with duck behavior, I can assure you that they mind very much being confined to cramped, filthy sheds and pens where they have no choice but to live amid their own excrement.

They mind very much never, ever getting a chance to bathe or swim, one of their intrinsic needs as waterbirds.

And yes, they mind very much when their diseased livers expand to up to 10 times their normal size, pressing on other internal organs and making it difficult for them to breathe and regulate their body temperature.

Their frantic panting, unkempt feathers and difficulty walking are all clear indications of their pain and discomfort.

New York City Council Member Justin Brannan was spot-on when he said, “Force-feeding a bird for the sole purpose of making it sick to create some bizarre delicacy is gruesome and inhumane.” Even famous chefs have disavowed foie gras.

The late Charlie Trotter visited several foie gras farms, after which he said, “What I have seen, it’s just inappropriate. … I don’t believe that any animal would have to go through that for our benefit.” Influential French-born chef Albert Roux says foie gras “should carry a health warning … so that people are aware of the inhumane methods of producing the delicacy.”

Angel — whose mangled, partially amputated beak was mute testimony to his factory-farm past — was lucky enough to escape the blade that claims millions of his brothers (most ducks killed for foie gras are male). He went to live at JuneBug Lodge, an idyllic vegan bed and breakfast in Watkins Glen, New York, where he became fast friends with a group of other rescued ducks and chickens.

Angel was special, but no more so than any of the birds who are imprisoned, force-fed and slaughtered for foie gras.

They are all sensitive individuals who want nothing more than to do what nature intended — swim in ponds and socialize with their family and friends. That doesn’t seem like too much to ask!

*********

🦆♥️🦃♥️🐔♥️🐖♥️

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Veggies! Yes! pic: R.T.

Let’s torture ZERO – or try for fewer, you carnivores!! – animals this holiday season! Have a heart – cook/sample some veggie treats, sides – and even main dishes – this Thanksgiving/Christmas! TRADER JOE’S, ON ROUTE 9 in Shrewsbury, HAS THEIR INCREDIBLE Thanksgiving Tofurkey Roll ready for you! Yummy! A great center of the table gracing main meal.♥️ – Rose T.

From PETA.ORG:

♥️♥️♥️:

Sweet Potato Biscuits

1 cup cooked sweet potatoes

1 cup flour

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

4 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds

Directions:
Mash the sweet potatoes well in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients and the oil. Mix well. Add the seeds.

Using your hands, form into 6 biscuits. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes at 375°F.

Makes 1 dozen! Enjoy!

🍎🍏🍎🍏🍎🍏🍎👏

Apple Bavarian Torte

1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. vegan margarine, chilled

3 apples, peeled, cored, cut in half, and thinly sliced

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup white sugar, chilled

1/4 tsp. plus 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup flour, chilled

1 8-oz. package nondairy cream cheese (try Tofutti or Galaxy brand)

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

1/4 cup sliced almonds

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Oil a 9-inch springform pan.
In a skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon margarine. Toss the apples with the brown sugar and cinnamon and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain off and reserve the liquid.

Cream together 1/2 cup margarine, 1/3 cup white sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and the flour. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of the springform pan. Set aside.

In a food processor, blend together the nondairy cream cheese, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, cornstarch, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar.

Pour this mixture over the crust and spread the apples on top.
Bake for 10 minutes. Drizzle with a couple of spoonfuls of the reserved apple liquid, avoiding the edges of the pan, and continue baking for 25 minutes.

Sprinkle almonds over the top of the torte. Continue baking until lightly browned. Cool before removing from the pan.

Makes 6 to 8 servings🐔🦃🦆🐖♥️🍂

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This past weekend was a Paul Simon kind of weekend …
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🎶🎶🎶pic: R.T.

I saw their big reunion concert in NYC’s Central Park years ago! Drove down in the back of a pick up truck from that Vermont hippie commune I was stuck on and told you about. Foolish, sweet youth and youngness! Baby-faced joy! It was a chilly ride down, even with the cute head farmer hugging me all the way …

Steve is on a roll! 😊

HUNTER BIDEN’S $50,000 IN MONTHLY PAYMENTS COULD DOOM DAD’S CAMPAIGN

By Steven R. Maher

President Donald Trump didn’t have to open himself up to a charge of impeachment to discredit Joe Biden’s campaign. When he discovered that Hunter Biden received an alleged $50,000 in monthly payments from the Ukrainian holding company Barisma, Trump could have simply given the story to Fox News and let them run with it.

Hunter joined the Barisma Board of Directors in April 2014 and served until April 2019. Barisma’s history up to this point was summed up by Wikipedia: “In the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, Mykola Zlochevsky faced a money laundering investigation, and his company Burisma Holdings, the largest natural gas producer in Ukraine, assembled a “high-profile international board” in response. Chris Heinz, John Kerry’s stepson, opposed his partners Devon Archer and Hunter Biden joining the board in 2014 due to the reputational risk. Among those who joined the board of directors in April 2014 were Biden, Archer and former Polish president Aleksander Kwaśniewski.”

At this point, Hunter Biden was drawn into the matter. “[Hunter] Biden served on the board of Burisma until his term expired in April 2019, receiving compensation of up to $50,000 per month in some months. Because Vice President Biden played a major role in U.S. policy towards Ukraine, some Ukrainian anti-corruption advocates and Obama administration officials expressed concern that Hunter Biden’s having joined the board could create the appearance of a conflict of interest and undermine Vice President Biden’s anti-corruption work in Ukraine.

“While serving as vice president, Joe Biden joined other Western leaders in encouraging the government of Ukraine to fire the country’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin who was widely criticized for blocking corruption investigations. The Ukrainian parliament voted to remove Shokin in March 2016. In 2019, President Donald Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, claimed that Vice President Biden had actually sought the dismissal of Shokin in order to protect his son and Burisma Holdings.” Wikipedia went on to quote sources who maintain neither Biden did anything illegal.

It’s hard to see how Joe Biden gets out of this with his prestige sufficiently intact to win the presidency. This whole deal reeks of the insider trading for which the Washington “swamp” is infamous. Using one’s political position to financially aid one’s kinfolk is exactly what Trump’s supporters sent him to Washington to fight.

If Joe Biden wins the Democratic nomination, I will, of course, vote for him. Getting Donald Trump out of the Oval Office should be the goal of every voter.

One hopes the impeachment proceedings will wrap up soon, with something becoming public that will bring over enough Republican Senators to remove Trump from office.

And let’s hope the Democrats nominate someone with a clean enough background to defeat Trump!

Politics Friday: Steve M. and🍂🍂🍂🍂 more …

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☑️☑️☑️☑️🇺🇸🇺🇸👏

NY MAYOR BLOOMBERG WOULD GIVE FISCAL CONSERVATIVES A CHOICE IN 2020

By Steven R. Maher

New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s entry into the Presidential race is good news for fiscally conservative Democrats.

One thing you can say in candidate Bernie Sanders’ favor is that he’s straightforward about his socialist end goals. But Elizabeth Warren, with her $42 trillion health plan alone, is planning to take the country to an economically unknown place. She plans to radically restructure society with a soak-the-super-rich scheme to finance her plans should she be elected President. How the disparate segments of Warren’s various finance plans would work together is a mystery to me. Separately, I think something like Medicare For All could be risked. But if you throw it in with Warren’s other plans, the likelihood is all these drastic changes aren’t going to work – if we do all Warren’s proposals at once.

One Warren proposal I definitely endorse is her desire to break up large corporations – using anti-trust laws – to name a few: Google, Facebook and Amazon. These global corporations are the 21st century’s version of the military industrial complex that President Dwight Eisenhower railed about as he left office.

I believe in balanced budgets and a pro-growth government. Two of the best presidents in modern America history were Dwight Eisenhower and Bill Clinton. Each balanced the American budget and gave America a period of peace and prosperity. Yes, we can have peace and prosperity at the same time! It’s been done. We need a common-sense President who watches what goes on overseas but does not rush to insert America into other nation’s wars the way George W. Bush did. It will require scaling back Trump’s tax cuts for the top 1% of the country.

There are two existential issues facing our country right now: One is global warming is reaching a boiling point – literally. The other is the national debt problem (trillions of dollars in the red), which could explode at any time.

America needs a President who can turn the bleeding red ink into a positive cash flow. Mike Bloomberg is a billionaire and has the experience of dealing with large governments such as New York City. Bloomberg will provide a choice for those who see fiscal calamity as something requiring immediate Presidential action. He is also on the forefront of slowing down global warming and common-sense gun control!

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From Chantel Bethea, the lady💮☑️🚶‍♂️🚶‍♀️we hoped would be on the Worcester School✨✨ Committee😉 Jan 2020:

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for, and I apologize that we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our Children of Worcester Public School.

But I feel proud and thankful for this wonderful campaign that we built together, this diverse, creative, unruly, energized campaign.

I know how disappointed you feel because I feel it, too. And so do the parents and children who invested their hopes and aspirations in this effort.

This will be a trying two years. But I want you to remember this: Our campaign was never about one child or even one election. It was about the city of Worcester changing the narrative and opening the eyes of those in power, and about building an Community that’s hopeful, inclusive and energized. And we did that.

We have seen that our city is more deeply divided than we thought, but I still believe in the People of Worcester. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future.

And let me add, our engagement within the school system needs to be seen more and with all of us at the table. Participation (Us coming together and Working together) is going to be key Not just every two years, but all the time. So let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear to our hearts. Making our school system work for everyone.

So now our responsibility as Worcester Advocates is to keep doing our part to build that better, stronger Worcester, we want for our children. And I know we will. I am so grateful to stand with some amazing advocates that know and understand that The Works Doesn’t Stop Now.

I will always be grateful to the creative, talented, dedicated men and women that worked so hard with the campaign. You poured your hearts into this campaign. Some of us, it was our first campaign. I want each of you to know that you were the best campaign team anyone could have ever expected or wanted.

And to the volunteers, community leaders, activists, and young people who knocked on doors, talked to neighbors, posted on Facebook, had a house party, THANK YOU! We could not have done what we did without you!

And to all who put their faith in this campaign and in me, I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your Champion. And the Work Continues Regardless!

Thank You again for Believing in Me !!!

– Chantel Bethea

🏡🏠🏘️🏘️🏘️🏘️🏘️🏠🏠🏠

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No affordable housing here in the Canal District!

Amazing! Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus shuts down the affordable-housing-generating OAK HILL CDC 🏡🏠🏘️ (which was led by and empowered we low-income neighborhood folks!) without compunction … but his city DPW and subcontactors always suck up the extra city bucks$$ by dogging their city jobs, working at their sites in our city neighborhoods MAKING THOUSANDS OF EXTRA dollars. The crews have been on Whipple Street/in Quinsig Village for months and months – $$$$$taxpayer-funded! How many of you have seen the city DPW guys napping in their big City of Worcester trucks?!?! – killing that last hour of being on the taxpayers’ clock with their precious zzzzzzs, “hiding” behind Canterbury Street … skulking around the side of St. John’s Cemetery. Of course: they are relatives and friends of Woo city officials – got their city jobs the way Ed Augustus did: they knew somebody in City Hall. … When Oak Hill CDC moved from its Providence Street House, by Woo Academy, way way down the street to the seniors housing complex nook, I thought: sonething’s up …

So now, with the Green Island CDC gone years ago, THERE WILL BE NO ONE IN MY OLD NEIGHBORHOOD ADVOCATING FOR affordable housing, for keeping regular folks in their apts outside the Allen Fletcher and Co. gentrified Canal District. Money-mismanagement was allegedly a problem at the Green Island CDC, too. … Allen Fletcher was supposed to be Mullen’s pal – where is he now???? He can donate that $75,000 to keep the CDC open!!!

– pic + text by Rosalie Tirella

🇺🇸New by Steve: False info spreading on rules for impeachment

By Steven R. Maher

Over the next year there will be a lot of untruthful information disbursed about the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Readers should be aware that Russian robots, Iranians robots, and other bad actors will be trying to shape the election results to fit their desired outcome.

I had an example of this yesterday when a gentleman approached me with the accusation the Democrats had written the impeachment to prevent Trump or his counsel from participating in the Judicial Committee activities on the impeachment. I left this person feeling quite upset with the Democrats for doing this. But first I wanted to check the accuracy of these facts.

So, I went to Google and searched for the Judiciary Committee on impeachment. Up popped a story on factcheck.com entitled “DEBUNKING FALSE STORIES” and subtitled “Viral Posts Distort Impeachment Inquiry Rules” by Angelo Fichera: “Some viral posts, shared by thousands of Facebook users, purport to state ‘the rules’ of the impeachment inquiry proceedings — likening the U.S. to the ‘USSR.’ But two of the three ‘rules’ distort the facts. One of them — about what can and can’t be asked of witnesses — is false, and another (that no ‘involvement’ by Trump’s counsel is permitted) is misleading…I did some further research an found on fact.check.com a copy of the Congressional resolution specifying that the Judiciary Committee work to set up a system where the President and his counsel are both allowed to participate in Judiciary Committee proceedings.”

The judiciary committee, which is the one drawing up the articles of impeachment, is the one to keep your eyes on. Fichera’s story quoted the house impeachment rules: “The resolution says: ‘The House authorizes the Committee on the Judiciary to conduct proceedings relating to the impeachment inquiry referenced in the first section of this resolution pursuant to the procedures submitted for printing in the Congressional Record by the chair of the Committee on Rules, including such procedures as to allow for the participation of the President and his counsel.’” (emphasis added.)

Both pro-Trumpers and anti-Trumpers need to be constantly vigilant about information they happen upon on the Internet.

This information on Trump’s counsel was given to me by an honest gentleman in good faith. I told this individual that I would appreciate a copy from his sources in the form of an Internet print out or web link to the article or website before he surprises me again with such an allegation. I recommend you do the same.

As Ronald Reagan once put it: “Trust but verify.”

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FYI:

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It was GP’s birthday🎂🎈♥️♥️: