Tag Archives: innercity

A message from Stand for Children

Below is a statement from Jason Williams, Executive Director of Stand for Children in Massachusetts, following the recent announcement from the Massachusetts  Secretary of State that 81,117 certified signatures of registered voters to quality An Act to Promote Excellence in Public Schools´were allowed, and that the initiative will be submitted on January 4, 2012, to the state legislature for consideration:

“We are pleased that, with today’s announcement, lawmakers will now have a chance to weigh in on An Act to Promote Excellence in Public Schools when they return in January. The proposed changes to state law in the Act will bring Massachusetts one step closer to creating great schools statewide, where all students, regardless of their background or zip code have a chance to do well. As a former classroom teacher in one of our nation’s toughest school districts, I’ve seen firsthand the impact the achievement gap is having on so many of our children. Having been born and raised in Fall River, I find it alarming that the achievement gap remains wide in Massachusetts. One of the best things we can do to make sure no child is short-changed is to ensure there is a teacher who gets results in every classroom. This initiative does this by putting performance first when deciding which teachers to retain, which, according to a UMASS Amherst poll released last week, 85% of registered Massachusetts voters support.  Massachusetts is a state that values education and together we can live up to that value for all of our students.  I invite teachers, parents, school leaders and community members to get involved in the Great Teachers Great Schools campaign at www.greatteachersgreatschools.org so no child spends another minute in a classroom where they are not learning. “

Sam Castañeda Holdren, MSW

Stand for Children

Worcester’s pitbulls: breaking my heart!

By Rosalie Tirella

I tell you, this city breaks my heart. Riding around the city these weeks I have seen so many Worcester pitbulls under duress. While our city teachers and cops bitch and moan about their $100,000 salaries and clog up/slow down Worcester City Council meetings because they are quibbling over their most lucrative contracts, I see the stuff that matters:

In 80-degree weather, one afternoon, a pitbull is with his master – a Latino guy – who has decided that he will strenghthen his poor dog’s jaw by making it carry a bottle of water. So instead of panting (to cool it self off), the pitbull is clenching his jaw to hold – most likely – his master’s water bottle. Heat stroke, here we come.

If only citizens like me could make a citizen’s arrest. Or – as a few of my pals have done – stop driving, get out of their car and offer the punk $50 or $100 for the poor dog. Chances are the puke will take the money and unload his pitbull. He figures cnyically, correctly, that he can get another one easily – he has friends or he himself is a breeder (in the worst sense of the word).

Some people I know would love to be armed – to shoot the puke who is tormenting his dog.

A few years ago, I saw one pitbull in Piedmont, carrying (courtesy of his stupid master) a red brick, wrapped in some cloth. His idiot owner felt his pit was in training – this creul task was strenghthening his dog’s jaw.

No one, absolutley no one cannot tell me Worcester has no pitbull fighting rings. We’ve got them – they are just totally underground. The city should offer a $1,000 reward for anyone coming to them with info on a pitbull fighting ring. They will be up to their earlobes in dead pit bulls (mostly bait dogs).

The past executive director of the Worcester Animal Rescue League, my pal Doreen, was pushed out of her job by uber-bitch/tough-to-deal with (and power hungry) Jan Beckwith of Second Chance Animal fund (cuz she wanted Doreen’s job). Now Doreen is no gone and the new executivbe director at WARL is lovely but doesn’t have a clue as to how to help pits. She has turned WARL into a no kill pit bull shelter and refused to accept any Worcester dogs because of the city’s recently adopted pitbull ordinance.

Back to Doreen. Doreen knew pitbulls and the hellish lives they lead in our city. She had “tools and gear” at WARL confiscated from pitbull fights. She saw the pain and fixed it. For example, Doreen drove – DROVE – the pitbulls that were too damaged for immediate adoption but still adoptable in the near future (they just needed extra time/socializing) to Boston – Jamaica Plain – to a pitbull foster care agency. For special pit bull foster care. The good folks in Jamaica Plan took Worcester’s pits and worked with them – saved their lives. These dogs got adopted!

The pit bull puppies, the young, easy going pits, Doreen kept them at WARL – they were totally adoptable. And guess what? They got adopted.

Now this insanity. WARL is run by kids who don’t deal with the real world and Doreen – the woman who knew how to deal with these special needs dogs – is ousted.

The good news: the City of Worcester is working with Barton Brook Kennel and the Leicester facility is working miracles with our pitbulls.

But in the meantime, I still see all the pain, all the suffering that our city pits endure. In a way,the pit bull ordinance is beside the facts: the assholes who are killing and tormenting these lovely animals – dogs with so much heart! – are continuing their brutal ways, are killing pits in their cellars, attics, inner-city apartments – you name it.

This is why I hope there is a God. So he or she can hear me and my friends as we pray for and try to help our city’s pitbulls.