A few days ago: Rose walking her mutts. With the leaves turning color, her thoughts turn to the fall city election … pic: R.T.
By Rosalie Tirella
No, it is not the usual City Councilor Michael Gaffney political hate bomb, right before this Tuesday, September 19, the last date all Woo city councilor candidates at large must officially declare their intent to run for mayor. No, this time, it’s not Gaffney: demonizing minorities, refugees or immigrants; accusing the editor of a local paper of being a sexual predator after the paper runs A FEW PARAGRAPHS! on him that he doesn’t like – Gaffney does this to cost the editor his job and stop the stories – not to help women; lying about and twisting the intentions of present Worcester Mayor Joe Petty; cynically thinking he’s smarter than every one else in the room so he boldly obfuscates and manipulates his way into the voters’ psyches.
No. It’s not the usual Gaffney scheme, taken straight out of the Donald Trump Shit on the Other – Prey on the Weak Handbook. No. This is something new: Gaffney’s declared that this fall, this election season – when he runs for mayor of Worcester for the second time – HE WILL NOT BE TAKING ANY QUESTIONS FROM THE MEDIA – pertaining to his mayoral run!
That’s right: He will be answering zero Q and A-where do you stand on the issues? candidate surveys. He will be participating in zippo candidate profile pieces, shunning any kind of forum hosted by any paper, radio or TV station … saying NO to any media-sponsored forum that will help voters make informed decisions in the voter’s booth this November.
A guy who runs for mayor of the second largest city in New England but refuses to tell the voters what he is gonna do, if elected mayor! That’s Gaffney!
Endorsements? Screw ’em! The Gaffer, who never shuts up when it comes to spreading falsehoods about his perceived political enemies, is clamming up when it comes to talking facts, ideas and goals for Worcester! Unless he is planning to spend $40,000 on advertising, like he did last election cycle, so he can control his message, totally. Because he’s got the dough. … Very presidential candidate Donald Trump! Money money money.
Boycotting voter education, while doling out a ton of voter miseducation on Turtle Boy!
Even though Gaffney thinks he’s merely poking a thumb into the local media’s eye ball, grabbing control of his message, he’s hurting himself. You wonder: What is Mike Gaffney so afraid of? What is Mike Gaffney trying to hide, ashamed to admit, unwilling to own? Why can’t he be a part of this very American tradition? What doesn’t he want to discuss?
Obviously, quite a lot. Basically the way he does politics – his political m.o.
Gaffney’s Sanctuary City lies/race-baiting debacle that messed up Worcester for weeks;
his vindictive political style and bashing of poor people a la his political supporter CHANGE WORCESTER FB PAGE ANONYMOUS AUTHOR PAUL COLLYER – a guy who is so NEGATIVE about Worcester it hurts!
… or may be it’s Gaffney equating – like his buddy Aidan Kearney, owner and writer of Turtle Boy – minorities and poor people with crime and stupidity, an America on the cusp of moral collapse
… or, like Aidan Kearney, like Donald Trump, it could be Gaffney’s stoking the prejudices of people who fear a changing Worcester/America – and refusing to admit to the fact in order to keep feeding the red meat to his political “base”
… or, coordinating hateful stories with Turtle Boy … and Paul Collyer’s FB page, Change Worcester, becoming an echo chamber – though Collyer has often been the original source from which some of the puke was first puked up.
When you think about it, every puke-y, ugly Worcester political hate-storm, every nasty Woo political scream fest, every depressing headline about one Woo group pitted against another can be traced to City Councilor Michael Gaffney. Or, if not the source, the Gaffer’s fanned the flames of misunderstanding and prejudice. For political gain. To win.
Now why would we want a guy like this to be Mayor of Worcester?
Worcester is the second largest city in New England. A complicated, diverse, growing metropolis! We deserve better! Incumbent Mayor Joe Petty is better – he is a BETTER man than Gaffney will ever be. He’s a bigger man, a man whose heart is not capable of hatching all the shifty, soul-shriveling political schemes of a Mike Gaffney. And, for this Woo voter, that’s what it comes down to: Petty is perfect for my city of 2018 and beyond not just because he’s a guy with the smarts and collaborative instincts to create a Woo on the move but because he’s got Modesty and Grace. Grace: a quality the spiritually vacuous Gaffney knows nothing about. Being a good person who never exploits the OTHER in our society, the weariest and weakest among us: refugees, the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the men, women and kids struggling with drug addiction. Mayor Joe Petty works hard to make our city a millennial playground, but he also keeps his eyes on our kids in our schools, our families in our inner-city neighborhoods, our workers who need good jobs and job training … even our pups in our dog parks! He is a GOOD PERSON WHO DOES RIGHT BY EVERYONE. In a multicultural city, with a minority-majority public school system, a lot of poor folks who the global economy has abandoned … during these awful Trump Times in which cities are gut-punched daily, courtesy of our insane President, we need Grace in City Hall. We need Joe Petty.
We don’t need schemer, never-dreamer Mike Gaffney!
Worcester politicians Coreen and Michael Gaffney are against a living wage for all workers and workers’ unions. photo: Rose T.
By Ron O’Clair
My interests lie in the 700 Block of Main Street in Main South and the quality of life issues that affect the people who live and work in this area.
I have been a vocal advocate of citizen activism – and a neighborhood activist – for many years. I’ve worked with all of our District 4 city councilors since the late great D 4 Councilor Janice Nadeau. I worked especially closely with former District 4 City Councilor Barbara Haller (and now Worcester Zoning Board of Appeals member). Barbara loved her job and passionately served the people.
I have come to work with our present D 4 city councilor – Sarai Rivera – on issues affecting MY District after a period of inititial dejection because she won the race against my favorite Worcester city councilor, Barbara Haller.
Now we have a challenger to the District 4 seat – Coreen Gaffney, wife of toxic Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney. Coreen comes with major political connections via marriage to Mike Gaffney, also head of the city Republican committee, and she has the silver spoon effect: plenty of money to spend to finance a decent battle for the District 4 seat. Her husband spent $40,000 of his own money in advertising to win his election two years ago.
Barbara Haller’s defeat came as a surprise to veteran councilor Haller and myself. I believe it was due in large part to Sarai garnering a substantial voter base of her own ethnic background, working with the get out the youth vote and registering many neighborhood voters who previously did not participate in city elections. It was a masterful piece of political saviness for a heretofore unknown politician.
Now many of you know that I ran for a Worcester city councilor at-large seat in the last election. What hampered me most, besides my relative obscurity as a political candidate, was the lack of a nice little nest egg$$$ to buy airtime, campaign literature, mailings and the other gimicks that politicians use to get their message out to the voters in time for election.
I relied on my own record of service to the community and my obvious success in transforming the most blighted area of my District – the area around the former PIP wet homeless shelter – into a cleaner, safer and QUIETER place for my tenants and me here at 707 Main St. It’s a rooming house I have managed since June of 2003. I have actually resided here since July 1996 and have worked, as I say, with ALL of the DIstrict 4 Councilors, many city officials, the Worcester Police Department and WFD firemen and women. My issues, from years of living with and dealing with these challenges: grime, safety, the opioid crisis, the PIP, prostitution, noise…
I naively believed that my years of work in a very challenging part of the city, LIVING ACROSS from the PIP, the popular articles I wrote for over a decade for InCity Times would have been enough to show the voters my level of committment to District 4. I thought that perhaps the people who reside in my District would see that I was the RIGHT person.
Last election cycle when I ran for office I did manage to pull in 580 votes – so there were at least that many people who agreed with me. My years of work have paid a few dividends here in what was once the absolute most crime-infested spot in the City of Worcester.
The old WPD, under now retired Chief Gary J. Gemme, would have liked to contain all the nefariousness/crime in my immediate vicinity, which of course made it easier for them but very unfair for poor residents, biz folks, families, kids.
So now we have Coreen Gaffney running against the indomitable spirit of Sarai Rivera because Mr. & Mrs. Gaffney have moved into MY district and think they are going to take credit for accomplishemnts that were the result of many years of hard fought battles beginning with William Breault and continuing with myself and many other people who worked tirelessly to put a clamp down on illegal behavior regarding illicit drug sales and prostitution in this Main South area that comprises District 4.
City Councilor at-Large Michael Gaffney and now Coreen Gaffney – who declined my request for an interview prior to my authoring this story – are the interlopers here.
They believe they have rights because they have begun a “beautification” project, cleaning local weeded sidewalks and picking up trash here and there. They think this is a new and novel approach! Ha!!!
Well, they aren’t doing anything new and special. We District 4 residents, business owners and volunteers have done all this many times in the past – to not too much in the way of success long-term, or appreciation in the near-term. I myself picked up litter on my Main Street 700 block for a number of years on end – and got physically attacked while doing it. This happened more than once.
To me, Coreen Gaffney comes off as mini me carbon copy of her husband Michael Gaffney whose support of the offensive Turtle Boy blog belittles his very own constituency. This speaks volumes about his character as a city councilor.
That is why I urge my readers to consider carefully who they vote for in the mayoral race (Michael is running for mayor) and the District 4 race.
A vote for Coreen Gaffney would be a great disservice to District 4.
Re-electing D 4 incumbent Sarai Rivera would be a good thing.
That is as fair and impartial as I can be under the circumstances – Coreen refused to be interviewed by me.
The toxic shenanigans of Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney…
…whose political future is disintegrating right before his – and our – eyes! (No mayoral win for you, Gaffer! EVER!)
Another self-inflicted cannon ball to the nuts, Mikey! Yesterday you were planting flowers all over town, today you smear Bird-shit all over my city!!!
Has there ever been a creepier councilor in Worcester?
What did Worcester do to get this reactionary? (I mean, besides voting for him?)
How thin-skinned can one un- charismatic politician be? “Punishes” editor Walter Bird for a goofy little item in his paper that tweaked the Gaffer. Just a tweak. But the tweak makes Gaffney go nuts… ballistic! The paragraph wounds him to the soul. Cuts like a butter knife. Scorches like a match flame.
So he decides then and ONLY THEN to dump sexual creep allegations on editor Bird! Gets him removed from his job, too, as the paper’s publisher investigates these serious allegations. Important to remember: Allegations dumped on Worcester only after Gaffney was rubbed the wrong way by Walt…(so Gaffer is no feminist!) We’re talking ONE PARAGRAPH here, folks! A little blurb in a catch-all column.
Wow! I need to make myself another cup of Folger’s!
Can you imagine if the newspaper had been a real alternative rag, like the late great Boston Phoenix or The Village Voice?! Hell, those papers would take no prisoners and CALL A REACTIONARY A REACTIONARY! They would not let Gaffney get away with the evil stuff he gets away with here! They would call him out at every turn!
Truth? Walter Bird has pretty much always handled the Gaffer with care.
Cuz he’s a conservative guy too who agrees with much of what Gaffer stands for when it comes to the issues: minimum wage, taxes, etc. On his FB page Walter Bird once railed against then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, calling her, like many conservatives did: Hil-LIE-ary. Walter was never out to get Gaffney. Walter is no libby. He is your average Woo reporter: below average writer, cliche-wielding, basically conservative.
This is Worcester, folks! Things get stupid here, but Gaffney has sent our metropolis off the rails hurtling into outrageously nasty planets (unless you’re talking Paulie Collyer, a Gaffney mini-me and a guy who’s just as thin-skinned and vindictive as Gaffney). I mean, what kind of fourth-rate politician punishes a fourth-rate writer for not handling him with kid gloves? A Sicko pol, that’s who!
Put on the cassette player!
A Worcester that loses!
Political players that do NOT inspire: Gaffney AND political gadfly Paul Collyer, hate-sower-sewer Turtle Boy Aidan Kearney and all his gangsta-writers, Turtle Boy BFF poet laureate and Woo rogue lawyer Margaret Melican, plus the usual enablers: Billy, Artie, Johnny…)
Politics that do not illuminate
Politics that don’t make the world a better place
About five years ago we were Googling Walter Bird and stumbled on some of the stuff that the Gaffer is vomiting up now. I read a Twitter exchange between a 40- something Walter Bird and a very pretty early-20 something young lady. Ol’ Walt was really pushing himself on the gal. A real creep. She resisted. It was pretty gross. But the gal was not a minor. She was, I thought, someone he might have met at a bar and wanted to fuck. Yeah, there was a huge age gap and yeah he was TOTALLY UNATTRACTIVE in this Tweet little conversation, but he was single, the girl did not totally shut him down, she held her own, eventually put him off, let him know she wasn’t nibblin’. Not interested.
Yeah, Walt Bird came on strong, but I did not think he crossed a line. He was creepy but not illegal. The gal was of age. An adult. She handled the creepy situation OK. So I didn’t write the blog post. Chalked it up to just some Saturday night bar blather, courtesy of a loser guy so in love with himself he can’t see he’s a loser.
I do not know how Walter Bird has conducted himself at his paper, but, when it comes to the paper’s young women/interns, if he acts and writes like what I read in his Tweets a few years ago HE SHOULD DEFINITELY NOT BE AROUND these young women in the office!! He is no role model! Not to be trusted. If I had a college-aged daughter, I would not let her anywhere near the desk of Walter Bird. She would intern at CECELIA, where the talented writers roost!
As for Gaffney, expect more of the same. He’ll keep his political base because of his sick, race-baiting, ultimately women-hating stunts and fiscally conservative council votes but, like Prez Donald Trump, he won’t grow his political coalition because of the deplorable stunts –
the stunts that make him a hero to his base!
Gaffney is a pathological liar, manipulator … a spinner of fakeness … He always will be.
Ask yourselves (like we do with Trump): Is this guy mentally ill?
I mean, where is the Gaffer coming from?
Abuse in a childhood foster home?
Extreme childhood neglect?
From whence does his anger, vindictiveness, arrogance and (at his core) self-loathing spurt?
How thin-skinned can one un- charismatic politician be?
People tell us Gaffney comes from nothing, had a crappy youth, worked for everything he has … is self-made.
MIA! Parading around our D 4 streets (where does Coreen stand on the proposed 25 MPH inner-city speed limit?!)…
… planting fuckin’ flowers. Oblivious. When we need solutions to OUR INTENSE HEART-BREAKING, DEADLY District 4 Challenges!!:
Like the homeless, opioid problems … . I took this photo on Millbury Street a few days ago. You see folks struggling like this every day on Millbury Street, the beginning of the gentrified Canal District.
So many homeless men and women in the Canal District …
… hanging out under the Green Street bridge …
Sleeping on Green Street …
District 4 cries out for help! Coreen Gaffney plants pansies!!
The Canal District – a district of the well off and very poor/homeless! No middle! Like a mini NYC or Boston!
… Then there are the homeless, the bereft, in Main South!
Where is Coreen’s caring-for-the-homeless/drug-addicted blue-print?
“Canning” at Endicott Street:
WHERE IS COREEN GAFFNEY’S JOB-CREATION PLAN for the undereducated?
Where is her plan to employ the thousands in D 4 who would be employed in factories, if we had an abundance of factories, like the good old days?! There is no longer this economic engine for the uneducated/undereducated in D 4! No factories to lift people out of intense poverty!
Where does Coreen Gaffney stand on FIGHTING FOR $15 – the minimum/living wage issue? WORKERS IN D 4 need a living wage!
Where are Coreen’s blue prints for D 4’s forgotten workers? Do not ask her! She is too busy posting happy pappy photos of puppies and kittens and public relations photos from D 4 AGENCIES WE ALL KNOW AND LOVE IN WORCESTER!
Sucking ass is not the solution, Coreen!
We do not need a gardener or calendar event listings person!
Are you brain dead? Heartless? So stupid that you don’t SEE what we here in D 4 see every day? That’s right – you and Mike just moved here two years ago to jumpstart our political nightmare!!
If elected, will you follow the lead of your toxic husband CITY COUNCILOR MIKE GAFFNEY and vote the way he does on the tough issues that impact District 4? Your evil hubby has been ANTI: people of color, refugees, sanctuary cities, street level social service agencies, the homeless, the drug-addicted…HE HAS BEEN PUNITIVE, DESTRUCTIVE…NO ANSWERS. Truth be told, Michael Gaffney has used all of the above as wedge issues to garner votes from the angry, confused, bigoted…
Will you follow his lead? If elected to the city council, will you vote the way your evil husband does?
Your husband hates Woo being a sanctuary city…
You seem to echo his statements/beliefs when tough issues come to the forefront of city life!
Fuck your flowers!
They are pretty, but we have REC, urban gardeners, college interns, teens in church groups who do/can do what you’re doing. And they do not expect to be elected to public office!
Your urban flora escapade is a pretty smokescreen … just cheap, feel-good publicity for you and Michael in an election year. We need answers to OUR OPIOID problem, to our malnourishment/health problem, to our jobs problem, to our obesity problem …
So many folks in D 4 are overweight or underweight – either way: MALnourished. D 4’s poverty rate is the highest in the city! But on your FB page you post pics of you and hubby eating at Woo’s finest restaurants. Michael posts photos of his white Porche…
You two suck.
But you have highjacked my beloved city because a la Donald Trump you VALIDATE the socio-economic, racial prejudices and fears of so many in Worcester. People who are not adjusting to the new diverse, multicultural, urban, global world …
Kids in our city who need understanding…
… not hatred and ignorance. The kind that pours out of Turtle Boy-Aidan Kearney and your husband Michael Gaffney.
D 4 is MY District…
I love D 4 so much! And I can tell you, Coreen, you DO NOT GET HER, understand her complicated beauty! For one nanosecond!
You do not deserve to represent District 4 because you are clueless …
I hope to see you planting evergreens this Christmas season in D 4 – AFTER YOU’VE LOST THE ELECTION!
But I won’t be waiting for you outside the Main South CDC or Mahoney’s…cuz you’ll be gone.
The same can be said for Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney – he is just as American-Democracy-hating and truth-twisting as Donald Trump. Gaffney is a lying, combative street fighter, just like his hero!
By Rosalie Tirella
So a few weeks ago we were on the telephone with the Holden police – Turtle Boy blogger Aidan Kearney now lives in the Jefferson part of Holden – and has become that Worcester suburb’s bete noire. I will not discuss why I called the good officers on the bad Turtle Boy, but I was surprised when the Holden copper told me he was familiar with Turtle Boy – that he had been getting phone calls about Turtle Boy-Kearney all week long!
I said: Well, hot damn! So you know how it spins with the Turtle! Worcester’s hater is now YOUR hater! Worcester’s community divider is now YOUR community divider! Worcester’s problem is now YOUR problem, officer!
Loathed in Worcester because of his loathesome Turtle Boy blog Kearney can now be loathed in Holden, a much smaller pond with a much larger collective memory. Like all small towns. We are hoping Holden will do to Turtle Boy Kearney what he has done to Worcester and its minority communities – box him in, marginalize him, stereotype him, laugh at him, accuse him of all sorts of crimes and misdemeanors.
Karma’s a bitch, Aidan!
Turtle Boy-Aidan’s exodus from Worcester makes sense: with his son now almost old enough (or old enough) to be going to school – being part of a school system/community – bully boy Aidan Kearney-Turtle Boy did not want to see the pitch forks turned on his kid. And his growing family. Which would happen here. Because he has trashed an entire city! Made a million enemies with his abusive and stupid blog.
Turtle Boy Kearney, his wife, little boy and baby girl had to pack it all up and … run away.
Now Aidan Kearney belongs to Jefferson-Holden – a white, mostly upper-middle class town where he doesn’t come in contact with the “wangstas,” “hoodrats” and skanks that he writes about in his blog every day and sees EVERYWHERE in Worcester and places like Southbridge, Gardner, Brockton, Lawrence … you know, the state’s Gateway Cities, once great factory towns now struggling to reinvent themselves. Kick a city when she’s down – that’s Turtle Boy Kearney’s M.O.
The Turtle Boy has taken a huge dump on these places, Worcester included. Turned our people into cartoon characters that just sit around in Section 8 housing smoking weed, selling their food stamps, abusing their kids, growing more morbidly obese or scrawny by the second. Turtle Boy has taken poverty, mental illness and poor job prospects for uneducated American workers and turned it all into one big dystopian joke that all the haters in Worcester can laugh at, feel superior to.
And Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney supports it all – has for years and continues to do so by purchasing $$$ ads on the Turtle Boy blog.
Gaffney’s one of the few advertisers left – including a gun seller and a place where there had been a murder. Gaffney is in fitting company!
A peek today at the once porn-ad-choked Turtle Boy blog shows us a gray, square ad with a “click here for a free consultation” typed over it. You click on the ad and you see … Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney! It’s an ad for Gaffney’s ambulance-chasing lawyering business.
Typical Gaffney charade like this one which the media uncovered a few weeks ago …
Up until a few weeks ago, for years, Gaffney had his decades-old photo and lawyer ad on the Turtle Boy blog, plainly visible, with the words “Attorney Gaffney” written for all to see.
Now the Gaffer is ashamed of being aligned with the Turtle (which he is) – now sees the Turtle-Boy-Gaffney-bond as a liability (which it is).
But not quite.
Gaffney still needs Turtle Boy Aidan Kearney and his followers/readers – many Worcester voters. Gaffney still needs his evil cheerleader and mouth piece. So maybe he can be Woo mayor some day!😱😱😱😱 So Gaffney creates and pays for $$$ a Secret Turtle Boy ad. Slippery as always!
So WHAT IS MICHAEL GAFFNEY – a city councilor who is so ravenous to be mayor that he will do or say anything, no matter how nefarious, to accomplish his political goal – REALLY SUPPORTING?
Besides the usual Turtle Boy hatred … this recent Turtle Boy blog post made me especially sad, reminded me of what Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney really stands for:
The recent Turtle Boy Aidan blog post I am writing about today was written by Turtle Boy a while ago. It’s about a little girl … around 7 years old who is identifying as a little boy. AG Maura Healey is supporting the little boy and his family – in the face of the Trump administration’s cruel roll back of transgender folks’ rights (kids will be physically hurt, bullied, deprived of expressing their true voices because of Trump!) Aidan-Kearney-Turtle-Boy, as in the dark on this issue as Donald Trump and his nightmare of a Cabinet are, just had to chime in on the news. The header of his recent post:
“Maura Healey Using This Confused 7 Year Old Who Thinks She’s Transgender As A Political Prop. Is The Most Disgusting Thing I’ve Ever Seen A Politician Do”
Turtle Boy-Aidan’s evil post begins:
“If your 7 year old girl says she’s a boy, what do you do? Pump her up with hormones, feed into the delusion, and give yourself the SJW medal of honor. Tell her that boys have penises and they’re disgusting and then give her a popsicle.”
And more nuggets of ignorance from the Turtle Boy blog post:
” … Trump announced yesterday that he was rolling back President Obama’s executive order that forces schools across the country to allow any student to use any locker room, so long as they declare themselves a member of that gender beforehand. I know, the horror. But the fact of the matter is that in states like Massachusetts the bathroom and locker room rules will not be changed … .”
” … Seriously, this girl’s parents should be ARRESTED. This is sick and twisted.”
” …. disgusting political stunts I have ever seen, Maura Healey brought up an 8 year old girl to condemn Trump for coming after her 7 year old “brother” Jacob, who has a vagina and is in fact a girl. This is really the most vile thing I have EVER seen a politician do:”
“Seriously, this girl’s parents should be ARRESTED. This is sick and twisted. They allowed their eight year old daughter to be Maura Healey’s political prop.”
“Right now we’re here to talk about why it’s important for your sister to undergo dangerous hormone therapy so Mom and Dad can pat themselves on the back for being progressive. Because for you puberty will be a natural part of life, but for your sister puberty is a disease and the only way to prevent this disease is to load her up with puberty-blocking hormones, because science and biology are bad.”
InCity Times was the first newspaper in Worcester to support and write about transgender folks and their fight for civil/human rights – see our story on Jesse on this website. So we come to this issue with a special passion! Turtle Boy Kearney is WRONG ON SO MANY FRONTS here!!!: No one can force a human being to be a certain sex; most trans people ALWAYS felt who they were meant to be – from teenie tiny kidhood! No one forces transgender folks to take hormones! – parents do not inject hormones into their kids! Most trans folks CHOOSE to make hormone therapy a part of identifying. And their desire to be who God intended them to be can be made a living hell by family, community and society if people (like Turtle Boy) don’t understand the issue. Contrary to what Turtle Boy writes on his blog, a kid self-identifying is not pulling some gag to mess up society and invade the “wrong” restroom – it’s a real and true THIS-IS-WHO-I-AM moment. It’s the need to USE THE CORRECT RESTROOM! To be HONEST with society! This can be so difficult in today’s America that psychotherapy is often a big piece of the transgender person’s “coming out.”
The amazing thing for me is not Aidan-Turtle Boy’s usual bashing, cruel and totally stupid, misinformed, DANGEROUS and possibly hate-crime-inducing take on the issue but THAT A BLUE COLLAR GUY, a TURTLE BOY reader!!, actually brought the EVIL of this Turtle Boy post home to me months before Aidan even wrote it … . The guy is a TB rah rah reader but he’s also married to a wonderful woman – a school principal. A year or two ago the guy told me his wife, the school principal, had a boy in a kindergarten class in her school who was identifying as a girl. He was serious when he told me this. Trying to understand. Thinking of what that really meant – for the 5 year old, for her family, for her teachers, for her classmates. How could the girl be supported at school? How could everybody learn? Accept? Love? He was so serious as he told me all this. As a dad with young kids he may have never thought about the issue, but he knows little kids don’t – can’t – lie about something like gender. Now that his wife, an educator, a professional with college and post-college degrees and psychology courses galore under her belt, was grappling with the issue, he was, too. Trying to figure it out. In a real way. This blue collar rough around the edges guy. He made me proud!
The fact that this guy is not getting his “facts” from the fucked up Aidan Kearney-Turtle Boy but from his wife, a pretty wonderful person, a caring human being wanting to do the right thing, makes all the difference. We wish this could happen to all the Turtle riders – including Michael Gaffney!
But it won’t. Turtle Boy and Worcester City Councilor Gaffney exploit the crises, revelations, changes and growth in Worcester. No room for illumination here, folks! Screw a BETTER WORLD! These two guys, each having his own motives that overlap, always muddy the waters, create sadness, perpetuate ignorance and fan prejudice. We’re certain every multi-cultural, diverse American place – WHICH IS EVERY WHERE in the U.S. – has a Michael Gaffney and Turtle Boy to sow the hate. Just as America has Donald Trump and his evil mouth piece and cheer leader, Breitbart editor Steve Bannon. They exploit the fears and prejudices of folks who long for a white, straight Worcester and America …
photo: Worcester Historical Museum
… a place that never really existed.
They kill community.
They kill people!
I write this because … Years ago, when I was a little girl growing up in Green Island, there was a woman – big, vulgar, brassy, tough – who had two daughters in their late teens. I’ll call them “Betty” and “Jane.” Jane was movie star beautiful – long blond hair, lovely pink 1970s lip-stick-slathered lips, pearly white teeth and beautiful smile. When Jane walked down Lafayette Street in her tight, faded bell bottom blue jeans and pretty blouse tucked in HEADS TURNED. She was always polite to my mother and me and my two kid sisters – fans who ooohed and ahhed at her loveliness like everyone else in the neighborhood – when we passed her on the street walking home from school or from the dry cleaners where my mom worked 60 hours a week as a “counter girl.”
Then there was daughter Betty. Betty was tall and lanky. She wore no make up and had short hair – a boy’s hair cut. Her stride was loping and she wore boy jeans. As a little kid I wondered if Betty was a young man but I never asked Ma. I just kinda followed her lead, which was: She was always nice to Betty – treated Betty exactly the way she treated her sister Jane: with respect, politeness, the same “hello!” and beautiful Ma smile …
Rosalie’s mother had the prettiest smile!
… My mother never lectured us. And she never ever bad mouthed or made fun of anyone. She led by example. Taught us through her deeds. And when it came to people in our already diverse inner-city neighborhood Ma was the Statue of Liberty! A beacon of beauty and hope!
So we kids followed Ma’s lead! “Hi, Betty!” we’d chirp, if we saw Betty walking down a street in Green Island. “Hi, Jane!” we’d chirp if we saw her sister walking down to the park.
The girls always smiled and said “hi” back. Though Betty’s smile was never as wide as her sister’s. She always seemed serious. Day after day. Year after year.
One day, Betty kind of disappeared. We still saw Jane in the ‘hood, but never Betty. She was gone. Maybe I asked Ma about it, maybe I didn’t. But we did learn that Betty had hanged herself.
This shocked me and my sisters. Betty was a part of our world, always nice to us – polite in a rough neighorhood filled with bullies. Now she was gone!
In many ethnic urban neighborhoods different kinds of folks took their lives. We called them “ghosts.” A Polish immigrant who never “got” America, never adjusted to life here on any level, who was always in his apartment and always looking so unhappy. A street person who drank and drank and then collapsed dead drunk in the bushes by the PNI club on Lafayette Street to sleep it off every day. … One day I asked Ma if I could give the guy a blanket. She said “Yes” and gave me a nice clean full-sized baby blue blanket to give to him. I ran out of our flat and walked up to him – he was all tottering disshelved mess, his fly open – and gave him the blanket. From Ma and me. No words exchanged. Just the doing, the deed. He took the blue blanket and went to his bushes behind the PNI, by the fence, to collapse. The boys in the neighborhood saw the giving of the gift, walked over to him, stole his blanket … and stoned him. Threw rocks at him. I never saw the old guy again.
Aidan Kearney aka Turtle Boy and Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney are those Green Island boys today, here in Worcester, in the 21st century.
Mad Man in Chief Donald Trump’s got nothing on Worcester’s Sicko City Councilor Michael Gaffney. Woo has never seen a politician quite like him – the dirtiest fighter we’re likely to step over (eeek!!!) in a generation, a guy so hungry to win the Woo mayoral seat he’ll use his slippery smarts to spread malicious lies about his political opponents, incite racist reactions … throw our fair city under the bus, splattering bodies left and right – especially if they belong to our most vulnerable communities. Makes no difference to the Gaffer! As long as he wins!
Just when we were thinking: Gaffney’s sanctuary city bull shit resolution – meant to devastate Mayor Joe Petty and catapult him – the Gaffer – into the mayor’s seat in November, forget about sowing crazy, divisive seeds in our community – blew up in his face sending him to ICELAND to vacation and realize the error of his ways … He’s back!!! WITH EVEN CRAZIER SHIT!!! It’s as if the crystal Iceland beauty did nothing for his soul – he may as well have vacationed in a vat of shit. I’ll take it a step higher (or lower): Gaffney’s even more vindictive and mendacious AFTER vacation! Forget about “putting things in perspective,” “counting your blessings,” or just having plain ol’ fun while on vacation. Gaffney in Iceland = a vindictive asshole hatching more nefarious political schemes. Too bad if the public is misled!
So…right outa the box, he is on his FaceBook Page linking Mayor Joe Petty with the anti-fascist protest yesterday in downtown Worcester. The protest got a bit hairy, like protests often become when America starts flexing its democracy muscles … These days that’s happening thanks to the (Russian-induced?!) election of Donald Trump. It’s like OUR COUNTRY IS IN THE MIDDLE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN, and every day there are protests in cities and towns great and small – including Worcester – that reflect an America in crisis. In Worcester, at yesterday’s protest, a reporter was allegedly assaulted by a protester. A handful of protesters were arrested.
STOP THE PRESSES! says GAFFNEY in two of his posts! I SEE THUGS RUINING WOO AND AMERICA! I SEE VIOLENCE ROCKING WORCESTER! A vulnerable GIRL reporter was slugged!!! AND IT’S ALL MAYOR JOE PETTY’S FAULT! HE STARTED ALL THIS! LOCK HIM UP! LOCK HIM UP!!!
Is there a well padded booby hatch we can throw Gaffney into?
The slick, deceptive Gaffney put a photo of Petty at a Washington DC rally in his FB page post along with a few of yesterday’s Worcester protest photos – to make it look like Petty was at yesterday’s protest. And Gaffney worded his post – and his previous one about the protest – in such a way that it looks as if Petty was not only at yesterday’s protest but incited the violence at the march. Caused the violence!
Petty wasn’t at the protest. Most likely he was enjoying the three-day weekend like the rest of us.
Presidents Day Weekend.
Here’s a screen shot of one of Gaffney’s FB posts about yesterday’s protest:
Gaffney did this during a weekend America honors our greatest Presidents – politicians like FDR, Abe Lincoln, George Washington, Teddy Roosevelt.
He’s made Donald Trump, his political role model – not Teddy or Abe.
And it’s this way with all devils like Trump and Gaffney: They sense the good guy/gal qualities in people/voters – and go in for the kill, thinking the people are too stupid and naive to see the truth, that they can be easily lied to and manipulated. They spin their web of lies because they believe their opponents or the people are not gonna “catch on” or fight back because they won’t be able to wrap their heads around all the noise, confusion, convoluted fake facts they’ve created. A win for the Trump’s and Gaffney’s!
Don’t bet on it!
Michael Gaffney, like Donald Trump, will be called out and exposed by the press and a wise hoi polloi EVERY time he does something wicked, illegal … low-down low.
Today, on Presidents Day, when we remember and honor our great presidents, City Councilor Michael Gaffney chooses to slither beneath us, swollen with his own green puss of lies and hatred for American Democracy.
We love our Mayor Joe Petty – a good man, a modest man, a family man, a man we’d like to claim our Urban Superman! Since he’s been mayor I’ve availed myself of his services! I’ve called/texted Petty about illegal dumping, drug houses, street lighting problems here on Ward Street – the nitty gritty of inner-city life that you need to stay on top of 24/7, if you want to create a safe, liveable city. I’ve contacted him many, many times. I’d say weekly!!! He and his staff have come through for our ‘hood every time!
And Joe’s talked of the finer things too – stuff we in-city denizens would love to see happen here: a dog park for our pits and huskies and hounds, a sports field for our kids in our three deckers, mounted police on real horses – magical nature! These “good things in life” are sometimes out of our reach – but they blunt the sharp edges of our lives here, take some of the sting out, make people feel GOOD, like we MATTER.
ALL LIVES MATTER!!
But Joe Petty’s only human – we all screw up sometimes…the hot mic, the cold truth (which we may never know)…the evil Gaffney calling for a resignation so he can be our mayor. GAK!
IT’S TIME FOR FORGIVENESS, PEOPLE!
Petty’s done a lot for this town! Let’s let go…let God!
Petty is not a racist or classist – he’s been there for all the diverse ethnic and cultural groups that call Worcester home. For years. He works to turn the cacophony of 21st century Worcester life into JOYFUL NOISE! America! I am proud of him for that – and forever grateful. For me, that’s what city life’s about – DIVERSITY! The excitement as we discover new and different perspectives, foods, music, religions… I love mixing with all the folks in my neighborhood – I’m the minority here! And, always, everyone, for almost four years, has been great: Beauty and her little brother, the teens walking down my street, the Latino guy across the street who jumped my car battery just a few days ago, in the brutal cold. Our conversation was pleasant, comfy in the January ice box of Woo! He was so nice to me – and vice versa.
The people just new to America – or almost newbie – is the Worcester of today! Mayor Joe Petty gets that – he embraces our new city – unlike Turtle Boy and his folks who want to see Woo whiter, more upper-middle class … more suburban, with cool stuff to do. Just minus the other REAL stuff! If you cannot dig in and enjoy or at least try to understand the new city, then maybe you need to move on – as Turtle Boy Aidan Kearney has (to Jefferson, MA) – and watch the grass grow green…
I remember one especially fine Mayor Joe Petty moment: It was a weekend a few years ago and he attended a gathering of new immigrants to Worcester – a group whose name I can’t even remember, so obsure to me (shame on me). There were maybe 20 or so folks who came together for the cultural event. All were poor, few could speak English. But there was the news story about Joe at the event. There was Joe smiling and meeting and greeting – letting these people (refugees?!😌) know that they had a seat at the Worcester table. That they mattered.
Of course, Aidan Kearney on his Turtle Boy blog and his minions in the comment section had a field day: What’s Petty doing there? What a waste of time and energy!!! When Woo has so many urgent problems that need solving NOW! What a dope!
But Aidan and his followers, including his biggest supporter the politically conniving City Councilor Michael Gaffney, don’t get it! When the mayor does this kind of stuff – it’s outreach – he is nipping potential urban problems in the bud: Getting new people – especially kids – to trust Worcester govt and all her branches: our police, our schools, our city councilors. Why feel disconnected?, he is telling them with his hand shakes, hugs and food sampling. Why feel alone?
A sense of not belonging makes it easy for kids growing up to join a gang, hate City Hall, eschew voting, embrace damaging parkland, the hood where you live. Better to shower them and all the people with love! We’re a Catholic, Muslim, Old Time Religion kind of town that embraces LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING. We know how to do the right thing. The smart thing! The American thing!
Forgiveness, people! Let’s move on!
Go, Joe, go! We know your a good mayor – a good man! We’ve got YOUR back!
I’m the grand-daughter of immigrants… Rosalie and her Polish grandpa many moons ago🌃
All of us Americans, if we look far back enough, or just over our shoulders to our parents, have roots that lead back to other lands, places that often persecuted us, kept us down, treated us like second and third class citzens and worse …
These past few years the blood has flown in Syria – horrible oppression and chaos and war. Maybe President Obama should have sent troops into Syria, U.S. combat boots on the ground, especially after the country’s “leaders” began using poisonous chemicals to kill dissidents, killing the children, too. Horrific. Many Syrian families swarmed into inflatable “boats” to cross the ocean to leave their hellish country for new countries … They had hope. But they were poor…So many of the people, little children!, didn’t make it…
“Turkish media identified the boy as three-year-old Alan Kurdi and reported that his five-year-old brother had also met a similar death. Both had reportedly hailed from the northern Syrian town of Kobani, the site of fierce fighting between Islamic state insurgents and Kurdish forces earlier this year.” The Guardian
When Donald Trump bans Syrian refugees from American soil for months, this can happen…
“A Turkish police officer carries the young boy who drowned in a failed attempt to sail to the Greek island of Kos.” The Guardian. Photographs: Reuters.
And this …
Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney has sunk to a new low, and his toxic political shell game could have brought our city to its knees. But instead the people were glorious and rose up and rallied! – HUNDREDS IN A JANUARY SNOWSTORM OUTSIDE OUR CITY HALL! Where, in the snow and raw New England cold, they shouted, NO! NO! NO! NEVER IN OUR CITY! Refugees and immigrants ALWAYS welcome here!
And then, inside Worcester City Hall, people whose roots extend to countries all over the globe got up to testify – tell their family stories. Armenia. Vietnam. Central America. Italy. Ireland. Africa. They were saying: Listen to our stories. The refugee and immigrant stories of today are our stories! AMERICAN stories!
The Gaffney resolution went down to defeat tonight. So will City Councilor Konstantina Lukes’ miserable proposal. A toxic after-thought cobbled together by – get this! – the daughter of Albanian immigrants who owned and operated a diner in Connecticut! (What would your father think of your shit-sandwich, hold the compassion, Konnie? You were the apple of his eye!)
Worcester is not Trumpland! We are not a police state where people are bullied into doing what our impetuous, vindictive, dangerous new president wants them to do! As Worcester Mayor Joe Petty said to the peaceful, yet ebullient (cuz they were on justice’s side😇) crowd before the City Council meeting: He – WE – will not allow WALLS TO GO UP BETWEEN GROUPS OF PEOPLE. In Worcester, the walls COME DOWN!
Go, Mayor Petty, go!!!
No one, no child, should fear that he or she will be forced to leave Worcester, their home: friends, school, church, work, sports teams, a routine they call their own … a place where they’ve begun to realize their unique American Dream!
Power to the people! We, the people, can do amazing things! We did, here in Worcester, TONIGHT!!!
This is how Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney describes tomorrow’s rally for refugees and immigrants. His every word toxic, divisive … DELIBERATELY misleading. He’s a bright guy – full of himself – he knows how to make his every word glow evil:
“Joe Petty, the Mayor of Worcester, calls for a mob to descend on our City to coerce local officials to violate their oath of office.”
Calling Joseph P. McCarthy! Calling Joseph P. McCarthy!
This, on the other hand, is how Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty and his office describe the event. Petty is a good, intelligent, sensitive city leader. He’s a great listener, a great bridge-builder between our communities – a perfect fit for the Worcester of 2017: diverse, striving, multi-lingual, up and coming!
From the Mayor’s Office:
“Good evening …
“Tomorrow evening, January 31 at 6 PM in front of Worcester City Hall, Mayor Joseph M. Petty, will be addressing a crowd that is peacefully protesting President Trump’s executive actions on immigration and recent, divisive city council orders.
“Hundreds are planning to attend the Solidarity Rally in support of Worcester’s refugees and immigrants.
“The event is sponsored by dozens of organizations.
“All are welcome to attend.”
Michael Gaffney, we’re begging you: Get some therapy! You’re not well. The mayoral seat isn’t worth all your scheming, your contorting the truth like a midway pretzel, your scapegoating minority groups … hurting so many people – that means the City of Worcester!
This demonstration, in support of Worcester’s immigrants and refugees, is to show THE CITY AND THE WORLD that Donald Trump and City Councilor Michael Gaffney’s hate-filled demagoguery has no place in Worcester! They will not score political points with our most vulnerable people – most of them women and children (under 12 years of age!)!
Let’s stop the madness in Worcester!
This demonstration is organized by Showing Up for Racial Justice Worcester. To learn more and sign up, check out their FB page!