Tag Archives: Lafayette Street

Worcester County District Attorney Joe Early Jr.’s investigative division moves to Green Island’s Lafayette Street! (Hooray!)

By Ron O’Clair

It has been 36 years since Green Island had a permanent police presence in the neighborhood once the City of Worcester finally opened the new headquarters building at Lincoln Square after nearly four years of construction and several years of discussion on the 14th of August, 1978. The move closed the Lamartine Street Station that was formerly in the Green Island neighborhood at 39 Lamartine Street which was used to house the Motor Patrol, and the Impact Division of the Worcester Police Department, consolidating operations of the department in the new location.

The former station was sold, and now houses Worcester Electrical Associates.

From that time to this, the only police presence in the neighborhood was via patrol route cars, or if someone summoned the police to respond to an emergency.

All that changed on the 1st of August 2013, when the District Attorney Joe Early Jr. Investigative Division moved out of its 19 Midstate Drive, Auburn location and came back to the City of Worcester where it had not been since 1990 when the old CPAC (Crime Prevention and Control) unit moved out of 283 Main Street due to having outgrown that space.

The Investigative Division of the Worcester County District Attorney is responsible for investigating all the murders that occur anywhere throughout the 59 Communities that make up Worcester County, with the exception of the City of Worcester itself, where murders happening within the City limits are investigated by the Worcester Police Department.

The unit, headed by State Police Captain Francis D. Leahy, and contains 17 investigators who are responsible to investigate drug trafficking and other major crimes within the Worcester County, and are available to assist other departments upon request.

The Midstate Drive facility which contains 5,732 square feet proved to be insufficient space for the ever growing unit, and the lease had expired, so a search for a new facility began early in the year. It had gotten so cramped in the Auburn space that some evidence had to be stored in the attic of the Holden State Police Barracks building, which was hardly ideal.

The new facility was chosen from amongst the many who responded for the request for proposals that had a dozen property owners vying for the chance to house the unit. Oddly enough, one of those bidders was the property owner of 1 Exchange Place, which was part of the old Waldo Street Police Station complex that was vacated when the City of Worcester built the new Headquarters Building at Lincoln Square.

Ironically the best suited property proved to also be the lowest bidder, and the property owner was willing to work with the District Attorney’s Office to remodel the 9 year old building to suit the new tenant, which took several months to complete.

The new facility located at 81 Lafayette Street has 8,796 square feet of space in total, and has been fortified with bullet proof glass, bullet resistant panels in the walls of the entryways, electronic card access to all areas, a public waiting area, a climate controlled evidence room, a fully functional kitchen, a work out space, offices for all seven supervisors, and the unresolved cases team, and cubicle space for each investigator, a large room that seats 50 people , two interview rooms with audio and video, and has enough additional capacity so that the unit can grow if needed from the current 17 members up to 24 members.

The unit is a welcome addition to the Green Island neighborhood, and will hopefully contribute to reducing crime in the area. Captain Leahy has plans to introduce the unit to the neighbors and neighborhood business owners once they are fully settled in their new space.

Law abiding citizens should feel free to stop in to the new offices with any tips that you may have about any illegal activity that is going on under our noses, I am sure that the capable investigators of Joe Early Jr., our District Attorney would be more than happy to have the support of the residents and business owners in furnishing valuable information that the investigators could follow up on. It is the civic duty of every citizen to help the police in any way that you can to combat crime, and this unit will add another level of enforcement in the area, and decrease the burden on our overtaxed City Police.

Met up with Worcester City Councilor Phil Palmieri yesterday …

By Rosalie Tirella

… Impressed! We spent some time talking about trees and beautification for Green Island – the streets where real people live. Families, kids, working people. People who deserve better than having their streets look like East Germany before the Berlin Wall came down. Yup. It is that stark on Lafayette Street, Ellsworth Street …. Weeds rule in many places. Flowers don’t exist in this concrete world.

So we got some folks working to make things better for the community! Including District 2 City Councilor Palmieri, whose district includes the Wyman Gordon area.

Totally impressed with Phil. He met me in his truck in the Water Street parking lot. I was in my car with my dog Jett. Off we went, Phil following me in his vehicle as I gave him a mini tour of my neighborhood streets. Along the way, we’d pull over and talk about such and such a corner. What could we do here and here and here?

Phil was great! He told me what could be done in a basic, down to earth style. But he was also very savvy in what the city could do, volunteers could accomplish, the kinds of resources he could bring to the table. Very smart guy! I was impressed by his knowledge, his experience – with all the names and agencies at the tip of his tongue. He told me he would call this person, that office, bring in that group. WOW I said. WOW. WOW!!!!

The guy knows how to make city streets pretty! LOOKING AT AN UGLY FENCE TOPPED WITH CYCLONE WIRE, Phil said, There’s one in my area and we had it painted black. Remove the weeds and over growth. It will look so much nicer. WOW !!! Spying an especially depressing looking spot, Phil said, I don’t know if it’s asphalt or concrete, but we can see, you can break up and dig down and plant in asphalt. He said neighborhood folks and businesses would have to be drawn in, so they could SUPPORT ALL THE GOOD WORK that was going to be done.


Phil said it was a process and sometimes government works slowly, especially for folks like him. And me! But Phil, whose district includes parts of Green Island such as Lamartine Street, Wyman Gordon area, seems committed to the cause. He said he will be working with D 4 Councilor Sarai Rivera, who told me a few days ago that she will be working to revive a kind of Green Island masterplan with residents. Add Peggy Middaugh and her group (The Worcester Tree Initiative), which scoped out Lafayette Street a few days ago, looking for places to plant trees, and we just may have ourselves a softer, prettier Green Island. FOR THE KIDS. FOR THE MOMS AND DADS. FOR MY BELOVED GREEN ISLANDERS!

On the corner of Lafayette and Grosvernor streets in Green Island …








By Rosalie Tirella

… sits this big apartment building. A dirty drug house until the (now defunct) Green Island CDC bought it and saved it (years ago). They got it looking like this. One of the nicer looking buildings in my old neighborhood!

Why can’t we get a Green Island Community Development Corporation up and running again? I know the Oak Hill CDC has absorbed “The Island” to some extent, but more houses were saved and more families were helped when we Green Islanders had our own CDC and our own board of directors. It was located on the corner of Lafayette and Millbury streets and you could walk in any time and talk with the always smiling and helpful staffer Lorraine Laurie (and you also got a bunch of neighborhood gossip/dirt, courtesy of “Sweet Lorraine”!).  Andy, who rented space from the CDC to run his farmer’s market program, was often there (he passed away last year). More federal money seemed to flow into the hood then. Today, the regular folks of Green Island, the people who live on Lafayette, Lodi, Lunel, Grosvernor, Scott and Ellsworth street aren’t seeing the federal monies that Allen Fletcher and pals at the Canal District Task Force are getting for trees, benches, brick crosswalks, flowers, facade improvements. They are just two streets away, but they may as well be two galaxies away! Bobby Largesse says his biz group has no money to beautify the streets just mentioned. We hear Bobby and pals are sitting on $40 K – and have more grant money pouring in!!! None of this dough is trickling down to the kids and families of Lafayette Street and beyond …  for beautification, festivals, even COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS.  Even Harding Street, a busy biz street parallel to Millbury Street, looks no different than it did a decade ago! I mean, Harding should definitely be considered part of the Canal District!

Or is it the Cabal District, Monsieur Allen Fletcher??!(this is not a photo of Allen, but this is how Allen looks scuttling around the district in the fall and winter, beret-clad but  … not at all French!We love Paris! Allen defiles are Paris dreams!! AURGH!!!! GRRRRR!!! GAK!!!!)

But I digress!

We Green Islanders want our trees, please!

Better yet we want our own CDC! Several years ago Mac, the owner of Island Auto on Harding Street, another Harding Street small biz person and I were hoping to reboot the old Green Island CDC. Get the paper work, incorporate, etc. But I got cold feet because the guys  were hinting that I would be the organization’s secretary, and stenography ain’t my bag, brother. Plus, I think, I borrowed $800 or so from Mack and never paid him back (never lend money to friends) and he kept my ICT news boxes, took back a cool cell phone he gave me for my biz  … and it was really quite the blood bath, folks! So the CDC idea died.

Maybe new people would be willing to give it another shot – for the kids of Green Island!

Let’s do it for the kids of Green Island!

By Rosalie Tirella

More trees, if you please!

Last week we blogged about the brutalist look to the Green island Street on which we were born and raised – Lafayette Street. We drive down it/past it every day and nothing seems to have changed all that much: UGLY. DOWNTRODDEN. ROUGH. NO TREES to soften the blow of inner-city life! We saw these kids walking  down Lafayette yesterday – and we thought to ourselves: They deserve better. They were so nice! They were good kids! A diverse bunch – kids who were transcending race/creed/color to … hang out, have fun!

Last week we made some calls for the kids. We called Peggy M. of the Worcester Tree Initiative. We told her how things looked in our old stomping grounds. She is all for planting trees on Lafayette Street, but she said she needs to plant them in spots where they can grow. There IS a lot of concrete on Lafayette Street! Still, Peg told me she was gonna take a drive through and check things out.

I bumped into Bobby Largesse of the Canal Distict biz alliance. I told him about Lafayette Street. I asked him to ask  his posse to do for Lafayette Street what they did for Millbury and Water streets: make it look pretty with benches and trees and flowers. Bobby told me that the two streets’ benches, trees, side walks and brick crosswalks were all paid for by federal stimulus money. Now all gone. He said businesses on Lafayette Street could buy a big planter and get flowers that way.

Not good enough, Bobby.

Can Bob Moylan of the DPW help out? What about Woo Chief Economic Development Officer Tim McGourthy? We are talking the simplest, easiest way to make an urban environment prettier, softer, more welcoming. Plus trees put out oxygen and pull out CO2. Woo’s asthma rate is one of the highest in the state! For our kids, guys and gals! Let’s do this for our kids!

We hope Peg  comes through with the trees – on the sidewalk or in yards. We know a cool family on Lafayette Street – my late mom’s old pals –  who would love to beautify the street they have lived on for decades.

Let’s do it for the kids, Worcester.



Lafayette Street pals!