Tag Archives: incitytimesworcester.org

Worcester, go vote!☑️🇺🇸 TODAY!😊

Yes, Blackstone River Road/Greenwood Street can get a little dirty…but ya gotta look beyond the refuse and dumped carpets to … read the signs! New places to vote today in my neighborhood – not at the church, which used to be the old QV Community Center:

We are asking you to vote for Joe (Petty):
Re-elect Mayor Joseph Petty

And we are urging you to vote for the diverse and progressive City Council candidates we have been shoving down your electoral throats for two months!

SPECIAL NOTE: We are begging you to reject – NOT VOTE FOR – candidate DONNA COLORIO – the woman behind Worcester’s re-elect Trump cabal and a member of the nefarious Tea Party, Worcester branch. A candidate who can see good in President Donald Trump – a devil who should be in prison, not seated behind the Resolute Desk – must not be elected to help lead a diverse, urban, often challenging city like ours!

Donna Colorio is THE WRONG CHOICE! The scary thing: she could win a seat on our city council – sit in that big ol’ chair in the Levi Lincoln room soon to be vacated by long-timev City Councilor Konnie Lukes (who chose not to run for re-election)! During the preliminary election Colorio ran neck and neck with candidate/former city councilor Tony Economu. She could overtake him! … PLEASE, WORCESTER VOTERS! We are urging you to VOTE FOR neither candidate – VOTE FOR ETEL H! A NEW VOICE THAT WE NEED! Tony is nice but pointless. DONNA COLORIO IS CRAZY CONSERVATIVE – AND WILL HURT OUR CITY! VOTE ETEL! NEW, YOUNG, ENERGETIC, COMPASSIONATE! Etel is member of MOTHERS OUT FRONT, a grassroots women’s group that has clamored for safety, re: gas leaks by our city schools and in our neighborhoods. They have gone up against the behemoth gas co – and won! Etel is a mom who wants safer, more diverse Woo public schools! And neighborhoods! She CARES ABOUT OUR POOR AS WELL AS MIDDLE CLASS TAX PAYERS! She wants to include everyone in the city’s rebirth! VOTE ETEL for Worcester City Council!

– Text and pics by Rosalie Tirella

This World Vegan Month, let healthy, humane eating habits take root!

By Heather Moore

Every November — World Vegan Month—compassionate, health-conscious and environmentally friendly individuals revel in the growing interest in vegan living. And this month, there’s even more reason to celebrate. Both The Economist and Forbes predicted that 2019 would be the Year of the Vegan, and their proclamations have pretty much been on the mark. Vegans have been sprouting up all over, as more and more people become aware of the ethical and ecological ramifications of animal agriculture, as well as the health hazards of eating animal-based foods.

According to Veganuary, a charity that inspires people to go vegan for January and throughout the year, a quarter of a million people in 190 countries pledged to go vegan in January 2019.

If you weren’t one of them — or you’re not already vegan — why not pledge to go vegan for World Vegan Month? You’ll improve your health, help stop animal suffering and combat climate change, all while expanding your culinary horizons. Researchers from Oxford Martin School believe that if everyone went vegan, it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two-thirds, avoid 1.5 trillion dollars’ worth of climate-related damage, and save up to 8 million human lives (not to mention billions of animals) by 2050.

And you won’t be on your own if you give meat, eggs and dairy foods the boot. In 2017, 6% of Americans identified as vegan — an increase of 600% in just three years — and the number is likely even higher now. The new generation of “beefy” veggie burgers has been flying off supermarket shelves and restaurant griddles like the proverbial hot cakes. Americans spent $670 million on vegan meats from 2017 to 2018, and the food industry organization Dining Alliance found that sales of vegan meats in restaurants have increased by 268% over the past year. Sales will continue to skyrocket, according to UBS, a financial service company, which forecasts that the vegan meat market will grow by 28% a year and reach $85 billion by 2030.

A growing number of young people — including those who may be paying for their own meals by 2030 — have reason to rejoice this World Vegan Month. The Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest school district in the nation, began serving vegan meals in all of its schools in the 2018 – 19 school year. Other California schools, as well as schools in New York, Florida and Maine, have recently started offering vegan options, too.

Eating animal-based foods is old school. Even meat companies, including Hormel and Smithfield Foods—the largest pig-killing company in the world—have launched lines of vegan meats. There’s a vegan fast-food war going on, too, with well-known companies trying to win customers over by introducing meat-free meals. And it’s working. KFC sold out of Beyond Meat vegan chicken, which it recently tested at a KFC near Atlanta, in just five hours.

Subway offered a Beyond Meatball Sub (made vegan by forgoing the cheese) at select locations in October, Mexican food chain Del Taco recently joined Chipotle in offering vegan meat options, and UNO Italian restaurants just added a vegan menu, complete with the Beyond Burger and Daiya vegan cheese on its pizza.

And that’s not all. Las Vegas-based vegan butcher NoButcher opened its first brick-and-mortar store on October 19. It offers vegan turkey, bacon and pepperoni along with vegan pulled pork and Mediterranean grilled vegetable sandwiches.

America is clearly hungry for change. Heck, thinking about all these vegan foods has left me famished. I plan to plant myself at a vegan-friendly restaurant (or two) this month. How about you?


From Chef Joey: Healthy Snacks for All to Enjoy!😊

By Chef Joey

ICT_Yum Yums-edited
Joe Joe: now a proud Papa!

It’s all back! The fall season, school and me! It has been a while, but I am back at CECELIA with my trusty pen and a few easy tips for healthy snacks.

My Miss Gigi is in now in her second year of school and growing at a rapid rate that is fueled by a never-ending supply of snacks!
Toss in a few neighborhood kids during play time in our backyard and the volume goes up!


Popcorn is a safe, fun snack and very cost friendly when there is a plethora of hungry kids. …
Yellow or white: both are healthy choices! pics:Rose T.

A pan, a drop of oil and 10 minutes gets you a snack. And if you shake some parmesan cheese on top, you add a splatter of protein and flavor, and your “Smart Food” just cost you a whole lot less.

Cookies, small cakes and muffins are always the safe way to go. Hermits, for example, are quick, easy to make, tasty as can be and full of healthy goodies like eggs and real molasses (recipe below).

My other favorite thing to make with molasses are cookies. You do not need to add extra sugar, and they’re loaded with eggs, cinnamon and ginger – kids love them! (recipe below)

Small cakes are fun, too, and easy to store and portion out. I bought mini-cupcake tins this year and make batches of 24 mini-cakes that I freeze. Pop them into the lunch bag and they are fresh and thawed by lunch! Google any cake mix and divide it in half – this gives you a smaller batch to make. I usually put in less sugar than the recipe calls for. A bag of flour is significantly less expensive than 1 box of premade mix and much healthier – and takes the same amount of time.

We all know about the healthy yogurt drinks/pouches and apple sauces that are available – finally unsweetened. These are a fantastic addition to a bag lunch and more appealing to a young kid than an apple!

Lunches can be boring, but not if you change the salad parameters! Subbing quinoa for salad greens is great, and you can add a protein (tofu cubes, tuna, diced chicken etc.), cook a double batch of the ancient grains and let them cool.

Garbanzo beans = yummy hummy!

You can literally add anything: chopped red onions, scallions, shredded carrots, diced cukes or even feta cheese. Season with a great salad dressing, and you have a healthy multi-grain lunch that is low in calories and high in fiber. I also sub quinoa or faro for couscous and make tabbouleh with it – simply add chopped scallions, parsley, mint, diced cukes, tomato too if you want – add fresh lemon juice and some olive oil to taste – salt and pepper and you have another option that does not go soggy!

For lunches, I try and mix up the sandwiches. I start with fresh bread – Gigi loves Syrian bread, sometimes I make 3 cheese sandwiches – and a smear of butter inside – it’s a lactose delight that fills the tummy. I cut these in small pieces so it is more of a snack than a sandwich. The important thing to remember is making something that your kids like to begin with and turn it into something else – baked salmon, cold mixed with a little dill, mayo and a touch of Dijon mustard makes a great salmon spread instead of tuna! Frozen 4 oz wild filets are cost effective for this tasty lunch.

Taking the time to shop and look at the prices per pound is the way to shop – don’t hesitate to buy sale items and freeze them.

You can freeze fruit!

Another favorite is pork cutlets. Cut them thin, pound them out a little, pat them with flour in a bowl, beat 2 eggs, and in another bowl add some seasoned breadcrumbs. Dip in the egg, then the crumbs, and fry lightly until golden brown. Dry on a paper towel and place in the fridge – always a tasty snack! You can do this with chicken, veal or turkey! No bread needed!!


🙂🙂Molasses cookies🙂🙂

1 ½ cups soft butter (room temp to blend)
½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup molasses
2 eggs
4 ½ cups flour
4 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cround cloves
½ tsp salt

Mix the dry ingredients together – whip the butter until fluffy, add molasses and one egg at a time until light and fluffy.

Add the dry ingredients and mix well.

Chill mix for an hour.

Heat oven to 350 degrees – roll out into small balls and place on cookie sheet – bake 8 to10 minutes, depending on your oven and cool on a rack.

These cookies can be stored for up to 3 months!


1/3 cup raisins (cover in boiling water while prepping)
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup molasses
3 tbsp butter melted
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup walnuts (optional)

Mix the molasses, butter, egg and vanilla – and fold in the rest – drain the raisins first.

Spread the batter (on parchment paper is ideal) using wet hands and form into a rectangle (divide batter into 2 batches, if you have small pans). You want the rectangle to be about 2 inches wide and 1 inch high to cut it into 1 x 2 cookies.

Bake at 375 degrees until the edges are crisp – around 10 to 15 mins. Cut into strips and cool on a rack!

Enjoy! And get plenty of recess!😉

Politics Sunday: CONGRESS SHOULD NARROW FOCUS OF TRUMP IMPEACHMENT … and … Woo City Council endorsements

By Steven R. Maher

I think the Democratically controlled House made the right decision to begin impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump over the Ukrainian arms sale.

Trump crossed the opaque line and acted illegally when he slowed down the arms sales to the Ukrainians making arms sales to the Ukraine contingent upon that country publicly investigating presidential candidate Joe Biden – the political opponent Trump fears most. But I think that Congress’s charges against Trump should begin and end with one single count: that Trump committed an impeachable offense when he delayed shipment of needed anti-tank weapons to the Ukrainian army. This is especially true when we consider that the funding was approved by a veto-proof, bi-partisan majority.

Do I think that Trump committed other impeachable offenses that further investigation will reveal?

Yes. But do I think it’s necessary to prosecute Trump at this time for these other offenses? No. Trump can be impeached and removed from office only once. Why distract from what is the Democrat’s strongest hand?

Impeaching Trump on one offense will remove him from the Oval Office totally. There is one uncontested set of facts here, with the evidence to back it up provided by both the White House and Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. If you listen carefully when Republican Congressmen come on television regarding the Ukrainian episode, they say Trump’s actions do not “rise to the level foe an impeachable offense.” This type of language is often used in courts to justify turning a case over to a judge. Questions of law in civilian courts are decided by judges, not a jury.

Narrowing the case against Trump down to one episode will prevent a Republican filibuster by allowing GOP Congressmen to drag in all sorts of outside characters and issues. (Under the law, only the Senate allows a filibuster by that body. But effectively, the Republicans would be filibustering by using a search for competing facts to form a factual basis to deny an impeachment charge.)

The Republicans would like nothing better than to spend the next year on 50 impeachment charges. That would delay it until after the 2020 election.

The Democrats made this mistake with the Mueller probe, which Trump effectively bogged down in a host of tweets and counterclaims, causing Mueller to waste time and money fishing Trump’ ocean of red herrings. Which, of course, Trump and the Republicans denounced Mueller for!

Right now, the Democrats should focus on one crime and one charge of impeachment. If the Republicans resort to chicanery to defeat this one count impeachment charge, the outrage of the American people will likely be reflected at the polls in November 2020.



Worcester, RE-ELECT JOSEPH PETTY: mayor and city councilor at large! CECELIA file photo:Ron O.

REMEMBER, Worcester – VOTE☑️🗳️ TUESDAY, NOV. 5😊🇺🇸🇺🇸!

By Rosalie Tirella

If you live in my neighborhood, that means you cast your ballot at THE NEW BLACKSTONE CANAL VISITOR’S CENTER – located at the bottom of McKeon Road! Plenty of free parking! Great lil’ museum that chronicles the history of Blackstone River Road (the old Millbury Street) and Greenwood Street (Quinsig Village) – a Swedish mill neighborhood that is now African, Latino and the white kids and grandkids of those factory workers! Very diverse – OLD AND NEW WOO!♥️

One of the African small businesses in Rose’s neighborhood.

We are asking you to vote for the folks we endorsed in this issue of CECELIA: Candy Carlson, Sarai Rivera, Morris Bergman, Etel Haxjiaj – and especially Mayor Joseph Petty and Matt Wally.These two guys want to keep the apartments of the old 3-deckers in Worcester UP TO CODE and AFFORDABLE. That’s HALF the housing stock in Worcester! Where our working class and working poor live! MATT WALLY wants each apt inventoried by the City to see that the stoves work, heaters work, porches are legal, etc. Mayor Joe Petty wants to give landlords $$grant money so they can fix their apts – if they KEEP them affordable. Hooray for safe 3 deckers! habitable homes! ♥️♥️♥️

Pics: Rose T.


To us from Beto😢♥️😢

Beto – all heart! RUN FOR SENATE IN TEXAS, Beto! The people ♥️ you! … I will now probably support Warren for prez – or whoever ends up fighting THE EVIL ONE👿👿!!!!


Our campaign has been about seeing clearly, speaking honestly and acting decisively in the best interests of America.

Though it is difficult to accept, it is clear to me now that this campaign does not have the means to move forward successfully. My service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee. Acknowledging this now is in the best interests of those in the campaign; it is in the best interests of this party as we seek to unify around a nominee; and it is in the best interests of the country.

I decided to run for President because I believed that I could help bring a divided country together in common cause to confront the greatest set of challenges we’ve ever faced. I also knew that the most fundamental of them is fear — the fear that Donald Trump wants us to feel about one another; the very real fear that too many in this country live under; and the fear we sometimes feel when it comes to doing the right thing, especially when it runs counter to what is politically convenient or popular.

I knew, and I still know, that we can reject and overcome these fears and choose to instead be defined by our ambitions and our ability to achieve them.

I knew that we would have to be unafraid in how we ran the campaign. We’d have to run with nothing to lose. And I knew that our success would depend not on PACs or corporations but upon the grassroots volunteers and supporters from everywhere, especially from those places that had been overlooked or taken for granted.

We should be proud of what we fought for and what we were able to achieve.

Together we were able to help change what is possible when it comes to the policies that we care about and the country we want to serve. We released the first comprehensive plan to confront climate change of any of the presidential candidates; we took the boldest approach to gun safety in American history; we confronted institutional, systemic racism and called out Donald Trump for his white supremacy and the violence that he’s encouraged against communities that don’t look like, pray like or love like the majority in this country; and we were one of the first to reject all PAC money, corporate contributions, special interest donations and lobbyist help.

We proposed an economic program that focused on both equality and equity and would give every American the certainty that one job would be enough; and a healthcare plan that would guarantee that every one of us is well enough to live to our full potential.

We knew the only way our country would live up to its promise is if everyone could stand up to be counted. We released the most ambitious voter registration and voting rights plan, one that would bring 55 million new voters into our democracy, and remove barriers for those who’ve been silenced because of their race, ethnicity or the fact that they live with a disability.

We spoke with pride about El Paso and communities of immigrants. We elevated the plight and the promise of refugees and asylum seekers. And we proposed nothing short of rewriting this country’s immigration laws in our own image, to forever free from fear more than 11 million of our fellow Americans who should be able to contribute even more to our shared success.

And at this moment of truth for our country, we laid bare the cost and consequence of Donald Trump: the rise in hate crimes, the terror attack in El Paso, the perversion of the Constitution, the diminished standing of the United States around the world. But we also made clear the common responsibility to confront him, to hold him accountable and ensure that he does not serve another term in office. Committing ourselves to this task not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans first before we are anything else.

I am grateful to each one of you, and to all the people who made up the heart and soul of this campaign. You were among the hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans who made a donation, signed up to volunteer or spread the word about this campaign and our opportunity to help decide the election of our lifetime.

You have been with me from the beginning, through it all. I know that you did it not for me personally, not for the Democratic Party, but for our country at this defining moment. Though today we are suspending this campaign, let us each continue our commitment to the country in whatever capacity we can.

Let us continue to fearlessly champion the issues and causes that brought us together. Whether it is ending the epidemic of gun violence or dismantling structural racism or successfully confronting climate change before it is too late, we will continue to organize and mobilize and act in the best interests of America.

We will work to ensure that the Democratic nominee is successful in defeating Donald Trump in 2020. I can tell you firsthand from having the chance to know the candidates, we will be well served by any one of them, and I’m going to be proud to support whoever that nominee is.

And proud to call them President in January 2021, because they will win.

We must support them in the race against Donald Trump and support them in their administration afterwards, do all that we can to help them heal a wounded country and bring us together in meeting the greatest set of challenges we have ever known.

I’m confident I will see you down the road, and I look forward to that day.

Thank you for making this campaign possible, and for continuing to believe that we can turn this moment of great peril into a moment of great promise for America and the world.

With you always, and forever grateful.




Praying for Peter Stefan!🙏🙏

By Rosalie Tirella

Graham, Putnam and Mahoney Funeral Home, located in – and serving – inner-city Worcester! For decades! CECELIA file photos: Rose T.

Peter Stefan, owner of Graham Putnam and Mahoney Funeral Home in Main South, is being crucified by the City of Worcester and the State of Massachusetts for bodies left untreated in his funeral parlor! (AND BEING LAUDED BY THE COMMUNITY – ALL the Worcester County folks who have been helped by Peter – for his compassion!)

I mean no disrespect, but these CITY AND STATE LOSERS, through legal loopholes and general disdain for good deeds and kind hearts, HAVE NOT ALLOWED PETER TO DO HIS JOB – to JUST CREMATE THE REMAINS!, already! City of Worcester’s lawyers, led by head-hack DAVID MOORE, have sat on the paperwork they need to sign off on so Peter can cremate the bodies. The State of Mass keeps playing games with Peter, too – inspecting his funeral home and slapping him with injunctions BUT NOT ALLOWING HIM TO CREMATE THE BODIES! Just let Peter do his job! – lay to rest the unclaimed, probably homess, family-less, dead who have, sadly, been decomposing in body bags at the funeral home, for months. Governor Charlie Baker: Stop dismissing the tribulations of the poor – and help a man WHO IS TRYING TO HELP the indigent!

Remember the 1980s and the AIDS epidemic? When no one knew what the AIDS virus was all about? Well, none of the city’s funeral directors would touch the AIDS victims! Too afraid of catchin’ sonething from the bodies! ONLY PETER RESPECTFULLY EMBALMED AND BURIED/CREMATED the victims, the dead. Only he looked at them – and saw their suffering. And he welcomed their grief-stricken boyfriends, lovers and family members – into his funeral parlor for lovely, loving wakes and ceremonies. Filled with love – not hate. … The men (and women) who died of this new, scary illness, AIDS, were treated WITH DIGNITY and GRACE by Peter!

Remember all the homeless folks who have died in Worcester’s abandoned railroad box cars, with exploded propane containers by their sad, forgotten, burned beyond recognition bodies?! Well, Peter went down to the bowels of our city in the middle of winter and picked up the lost ones – and laid them to rest – with dignity and respect!

REMEMBER PETER’S charitable ways, WORCESTER CITY SOLICITOR DAVID MOORE👿👿?! And city council members!

WHO HAS PAID FOR the free podiatry clinic at the Worcester Senior Center? Year after year? “SAINT” PETER!

Who has helped Worcester’s lost, downtrodden and homeless for YEARS? Peter Stefan!

Who used to go to Nissan’s bakery and buy A TON OF DONUTS, BREAD, PIES AND OTHER GOODIES for the downtrodden and drunk/high homeless of the old PIP wet shelter, in Main South! And was best buds with exec. director Buddy B? For YEARS!! Worcester ICON Peter!! He is OLDER AND STILL NOT WISE to the scum-bag Worcester and Boston bureacrats’ games – head and paperwork shenanigans!

Peter has been the poor man and woman’s guardian angel for decades! Living Jesus’s gospel for decades – in a God-less world! But don’t worry! All of Worcester has rushed to Peter’s side! To defend him! They are: Singing his praises! Telling their Peter stories!

Worcester and Boston – sign the proper papers already so Peter, sensitive and compassionate, a city legend, can continue doing Jesus’s work for his community!

United States will join 31 nations and 49 out of 50 states in recognizing the first genocide of the 20th Century

McGovern Profile Photo 1ab(1)
Congressman Jim McGovern LEADS THE WAY!! Again!

Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern this week managed rule debate on the House Floor for H.Res. 296, a resolution recognizing and memorializing the Armenian Genocide, the first genocide of the 20th Century. Lasting from 1915 to 1923, more than 1.5 million Armenians were killed, as well as members of many other religious and ethnic minority groups. Though several proclamations have been issued by the Executive Branch and measures passed by Congress over the years, none in modern times have stated the facts while clearly calling this conflict what it was – a genocide. With passage of this resolution, the United States will finally join 31 other nations and 49 out of 50 states in fully acknowledging the facts about the Armenian Genocide.

Excerpts from McGovern’s speech:

“M. Speaker, this rule is about U.S. leadership. Standing for human rights. And whether we are going turn to a blind eye to atrocities – even if they took place 100 years ago. H.Res. 296 is a resolution formally recognizing and memorializing the Armenian Genocide. And let me say it is about time.

“1.5 million Armenians died at the hands of the Ottoman Empire and the emerging nation of Turkey over a century ago. Tens of thousands of Armenians were violently expelled from their ancestral homelands!

“These truths are important. Acknowledging them is important. Yet, the United States has only tinkered around the edges of recognizing this reality. Some of our nation’s closest allies already have – 31 nations in fact. Countries like Canada, Italy, France, Poland, Sweden and Germany. Even Russia has recognized this genocide! …

“White House statements and Congressional resolutions over the years have referred to “mass atrocities” and other euphemisms. But nothing in recent times has fully recognized it by calling it what it actually was – a genocide.

“We need to speak the truth, M. Speaker. 49 of our own 50 states have formally recognized the Armenian Genocide. But the federal government has not. This is a dark stain on our human rights record. The United States should stand foursquare for human rights. Anything short of that sends exactly the wrong message to abusers around the globe.

“M. Speaker, I represent a congressional district in central Massachusetts. It is the home to the oldest Armenian community in America. The first Armenian Orthodox church in America was built in Worcester, Massachusetts, my home town. People still worship in it today.

“When I was first elected in 1996, we had rows and rows of pews filled with survivors of the Armenian Genocide sitting at the front of the church during our annual April remembrance of the Armenian Genocide. Sadly, almost two years ago, the last of our survivors, Rose, passed away.

“I have learned so much from this community. And to those who insist that now is not the time for us to recognize the Armenian Genocide, I have to ask in return – when will it be the right time? When the very last survivor of the genocide has passed away?

“Those who want the world to forget; those who want to deny genocide – they believe that history will be erased with the last eye-witness to genocide.

“I must be honest, M. Speaker. As many political leaders have proclaimed “never again” over the years, the Armenian-American community has been left to wonder when “never again” would finally become “enough is enough.”

“With this resolution, the United States will join the ranks of the many nations, parliaments and institutions that have fully recognized and commemorated the Armenian Genocide. We will speak out clearly in favor of human rights. Finally, we will say loud and clear that “enough is enough….”

“Standing up for human rights is not a Democratic or Republican issue. It’s an American issue. Even in an age of heightened partisanship, this Congress must still be capable of speaking with one voice against genocide and crimes against humanity – no matter when they took place.”



I know what you did last Halloween!🎃🎃

By Imalay Guzman

Imalay, her hubby and their children! photo submitted

As the holiday season approaches, many of us get ready to get into our end of the year routine. It’s almost religious the last three months of the year: we repeat what we do, usually taking out winter clothes while looking through last year’s holiday decorations.

Almost everyone celebrates Halloween, and there are people like myself who decide that the month of October isn’t just about Halloween. I guess in the eyes children Halloween is that one night where they can dress up as their idol or favorite hero to hunt for free candy. As for high school kids, the fun of Halloween comes from enjoying the thriller with friends attending haunted attractions or parties – candy is the last thing in a hormonal teen mind.

As a kid my mother used to get us our costumes ahead of time just to black mail us to be behave for the whole damn month of October!

As a kid, the month of October is just Halloween time. Once you become an adult, you realize that there are other things that get celebrated, like breast cancer awareness. The month of October celebrates many things from fluffernutter to hookah; most recently the nation has made progress on renaming Columbus Day into indigenous people day. It’s been a slow progress and many people are hoping as these changes occur that they are also made in the history lessons in our schools.

I’m stuck in a dilemma where I don’t see the point of celebrating a satanic holiday. But because it has become commercialized, I feel obligated to participate for the sake of my kids not feeling left out.

Reading this you’re probably thinking: she must be a Jehovah witness. But I am not! I say satanic because as the world keeps changing we have to recognize that Satanism is now known as a religion. Anywho!? I just see it as a waste of money to buy costumes for three kids that will only wear them once – and those costumes run up to $20 per costume! Coming from a mom of three I feel like the $60 I’m willing to give to a store can be more beneficial for my own debts.

What has been working for me is making a family movie night – having our own candy and snacks, taking the concept of costumes and making them into warm PJs. I have younger children so this has worked for me, but as they get older things change. Having a curfew or a good idea of your kids Halloween plans can be helpful for the older kiddos.

Have a safe and warm Halloween … Happy Candy Hunting!

Fashion turns animal-friendly … + more🐇

By Paula Moore

Californians know that animals are not ours to wear. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley and West Hollywood all banned the sale of new fur items, then California went on to make history by recently banning fur sales statewide, becoming the first U.S. state to do so.

This year, it also banned fur trapping as well as the importation and sale of skins and other body parts from certain lizards, caimans and hippopotamuses.

And while the state technically banned alligator- and crocodile-skin sales back in 1970, the exotic-skins industry has been fighting it ever since. But the animals won yet again, and the long-awaited ban goes into effect in January.

It’s not just the Golden State that is applying the Golden Rule to animals raised and killed for their skins. Everywhere you look, fashion is becoming more ethical, and it’s happening quickly. More and more consumers realize that whenever animals are seen as nothing more than commodities to be turned into wool coats or leather boots, cruelty will always be part of the production process. And companies now understand that once cruel practices have been exposed in their industry, they have to change course or lose customers.

Here’s an example: No one was even talking about angora until a PETA Asia investigation showed rabbits on farms in China tied down and screaming as their fur was ripped out by the fistful. They were the screams heard ’round the world.

As PETA Asia’s video went viral, sending shockwaves through the clothing industry, stunned retailers rapidly dropped angora wool from their clothing lines. Calvin Klein, H&M, Tommy Hilfiger, Topshop, Inditex (which owns Zara) and hundreds of other major retailers have banned it.


A PETA Asia investigation into goat farms in South Africa, where most of the world’s mohair is produced, found that fast shearing leaves goats cut up and bleeding, and the worst wounds are crudely stitched up right on the filthy shearing floor without any pain relief whatsoever. Following PETA Asia’s exposé, more than 300 retailers worldwide dropped mohair.

PETA and its international affiliates have also exposed the global wool industry’s systemic cruelty to sheep at 100 different facilities on four continents. In shearing sheds, workers race against the clock and lose their temper over the smallest impediment—often taking out their frustrations on the terrified, struggling sheep. PETA’s exposés have shown that sheep are punched, kicked and slammed to the floor as well as sustaining gaping, bloody wounds from careless shearing.


I could keep going — from feathers to leather to crocodile skin, animal abuse is rampant in the fashion trade, and retailers and consumers alike are saying, “Enough!”

Animal-derived materials also pollute the planet, squander precious resources and endanger workers’ health with poisonous chemicals, which is another reason why they are a fashion faux pas for millennials and other eco-conscious consumers. The groundbreaking Pulse of the Fashion Industry report released in 2017 found that three of the four most environmentally damaging materials were derived from animals. Leather tops the list, followed closely by silk and wool.

Now for the good news: As the momentum against animal skins grows, so do consumers’ choices. Innovative and sustainable vegan options — like leather made from pineapple leaves, apples and cork; wool made from seaweed and hemp; cashmere made from a waste byproduct of the soy foods industry; down made from eucalyptus; and fur made from frayed denim and recycled plastic bottles — are on the rise, and more are in the works. Even polyurethane, while not as sustainable as the aforementioned materials, doesn’t do half the damage caused by the leather industry.

As Californians and kind consumers the world over would attest, the future of fashion is here — and it doesn’t hurt animals.


New 📚Book Review by Steve!

Collusion” a novel by Newt Gingrich and Pete Earley, by Harper Luxe, New York (2019, 512 pages).

Reviewed by Steven R. Maher

When I first saw this book, I was drawn to the title (“Collusion”) and to one of the names on the byline: Newt Gingrich. I thought it was a defense of Donald Trump during the Mueller investigation. When I saw the words “A Novel” and, upon the strong recommendation of the librarian, I decided to take a chance and checked the book out.

Newt Gingrich is not my favorite politician. He approaches issues from the Trump right – I am on the other side. Yet Gingrich here has written a fantastic novel about a conflict between U.S. and Russian intelligence services. I couldn’t put it down. It is truly amazing that someone who supported Donald Trump could write a book like this!

The name Trump doesn’t appear in this book. The President is not portrayed here as a raving lunatic, sitting in his sun tanning booth, tweeting out insults at 3 a.m, and given to making bizarre statements.

This is a novel about a Russian secret police effort to set off a chemical weapon inside the U.S. Capitol building, with the help of a domestic American terrorist organization called Antifa. If you like spy versus spy stories, this novel is for you. Gingrich weaves into the tapestry of this counter-intelligence tale a surprising number of current issues: the ongoing war against terrorism, the opioid epidemic, and other issues fresh out of the daily newspapers.

But Gingrich’s mind appears to be mired in the 1980s cold war, an era seen by Republicans as the golden age of Reaganism, peace and prosperity. He dedicates the book to the journalists killed by Vladimir Putin; quotes Putin on the first page as saying the Cold War never ended; and concludes the novel with long lists of Putin’s victims who were killed since Putin emerged as a Russian strongman in the early 2000s.

Gingrich’s background as a former Speaker of the House and Congressman, as well as Washington DC insider, equipped him with the knowledge of how the intelligence agencies work, and he was able to draw into the novel an understanding of opioid addicts, cyber-warfare, and other modern technologies incorporated into the computer age. The reader can learn a lot from this book.

The White Hats

The Good Guys:

• Former Navy SEAL Brett Garrette. The supposed hero of this novel, Garrette became opioid-dependent when he was treated with pain killers after he was badly burned while conducting a raid into Cameroon to free hostages held by Boko Haram. He becomes an opioid and then heroin addict. He is depicted as putting suboxone tabs under his tongue while on stake-out. Nonetheless, Garrette’s disease surfaces at the worst times: he is often fighting both the Russians and his withdrawal symptoms from opiates simultaneously.

• CIA Director Harold Harris, who lies about Garrette’s episode in Cameroon. This leads to Garrette being dishonorably discharged after serving an 18-month jail term.

• U.S. Senator Cormac Stone, whose son was killed during the Cameron raid. Because of the way Harris misrepresented Garrette’s actions, Stone holds Garrette responsible for his son’s death. Stone is out for revenge, which clouds his judgment.

• Thomas Jefferson Kim, a cybersecurity expert who provides critical assistance to Garrette during the effort to stop the weapons of mass destruction event.

• Antifa member Aysan Rivera. This is the one thing I take issue with Gingrich on this book. There has been no credible evidence tying the real Antifa to the Russians. That Gingrich is portraying Antifa as useful idiots and Russian assassins speaks more to Gingrich’s fears than to his knowledge.

The Bad Guys

The bad guys are General Andre Borsovich Gromyko, the Russian President’s chief adviser; Russian President Vyachesian Leninovich Kalugin; and Deputy Russian foreign minister Yakov Prokoyevich Pavel.

The story starts off with Pavel’s daughter and son-in-law being assassinated by the Russian secret police using a highly toxic poison, supposedly by Gromyko acting through the FSB, the Russian secret service. Pavel then announces to the CIA his desire to defect with his grandson; the grandson is his only remaining family member. What follows is a nail-biting book of twists and turns sprawled out over 500 pages. Never once did the reviewer feel bored by what he was reading. The book ends on a surprising note that I am not going to reveal here!😉