The David Prouty students and their sweet, young art teacher, Anna Lisa, were at the Richard Sugden Library this eve to show off students’ art and chat with proud parents and friends. The artist meet-and-greet showcased so many terrific works created by Spencer and East Brookfield young people. Nibbles and refreshments provided🍾🍪!
– pics+text: Rosalie T.
Junior Eva LaPorte with her gorgeous fish light. She made it out of popsicle sticks, crepe paper and painted it over with Modge Podge.
Jordan Lyon, a junior at David Prouty High School, shows off her pottery. She’d like to minor in art in college.
For all you cat lovers. By Isabella DeMarco!
The students’ art teacher: Anna Lisa Battles. So young and so enthusiastic! Only her third year at David Prouty. She says she loves her students’ creativity.
An appreciative crowd.
Senior Keira Laverty and her baby, Luna, next to Keira’s painting. Keira wants to be an English teacher.
By Grace Haftarczuk
Looking at all the self-expression!
By Heather Bartolomei
Check out all the David Prouty High School art at the library, on Pleasant Street in Spencer.
Relaxing with my critters. Just took an apple tart outa the oven – gotta try baking this breakfast treat with peaches, plums … different kinds of apples. If I have the $, next time I bake an apple tart I’ll add walnuts, raisins, maybe even a handful of almond slivers.
Apple tart, hot out of the oven!
It’s a weird turn of events…baking apple tarts in a gorgeous loft-style apartment after snoozing in parking lots – for months! Hatching this new life out of my cracked old one…going from urban decay to rural renewal! Feeling content here in the country … while feeling repudiated by the city I once loved, Worcester, my hometown. I mean, come on, if the Worcester city manager or any one of the City politico phoney baloneys found their 60-year-old sister or mother or Irish auntie homeless, do you think she’d be writing out her Christmas cards in her car, during a December snow fall, in the church parking lot across from St. Paul’s Cathedral? Would she knock on the door of nearby Abby’s House rooming/apt building for low-income women and ask to use the ladies room and be met with: NO!!!! GO AWAY!! YOU CAN’T PARK YOUR CAR AND SLEEP HERE!!! … and then to have to walk over to the Abby’s House shrubbery and discreetly take a pee on their sleeping tulip buds. The flowers will pop up in all their pastel glory in four months or so, but there is no promise of spring for you!
If this were your experience, how long would it be before you hated Worcester’s guts?
How long would it be before you realized: these City Hall fakes will never think outside the box and have the guts to solve Worcester’s homeless crisis. BECAUSE THEY DON’T WANT TO. They will never get their people off the sidewalks of Millbury Street or Main Street or Vernon Street because they are ok with having not enough affordable housing units or enough housing vouchers or seeing human suffering right under their noses. They will talk the talk but never walk the walk. They want the city’s poor and vulnerable to move out, to relocate to the hinterlands. Or to just die! Disappear. Worcester’s new motto: If you don’t build it, they won’t come! … And new rich people from Boston will supplant the vulnerable locals. Worcester city leaders love the humongous crappy new apartment buildings that are now all over the city, with their $3,000 rents and Boston renters. City councilors don’t care if the rents in other blue collar, even downtrodden Worcester neighborhoods, top off at $2,400 – because that’s what gentrification is all about. A kind of fascism. A kind of economic and even racial cleansing. But Worcester city leaders call it a “renaissance.” Half the city population is in a slow, undignified unraveling…emigrating to Orange or Warren or some other rural area in Worcester. But they call it a RENAISSANCE.
There are crappy new Worcester apartment buildings sprouting up every other month all over Woo – not just in the Canal District, my old childhood neighborhood that we used to know and love as Green Island. Nail guns and planks of pine are their hallmark, but the junk edifices lure the Boston renters who don’t give a hoot about architecture or history and think the $3,000 Worcester rents are a steal compared to Boston’s $5,000. And the trains and Mass Pike are near enough…and the amenities they want are now in Worcester – dog parks, upscale coffee shops, fancy artisan wine kiosks. We finally look like Providence! Tim Murray’s wet dream has finally become our hideous reality!
But as Worcester grows more congested, more car-clogged, more gun-happy, more murderous, more impersonal, more physically ugly and plastic … small towns like Spencer, my town, grow more attractive. The one-on-one friendly, easy conversations I have here with perfect strangers are so nice! The miles of forest and open space I see through the WRTA Elder Bus window as I make my way to my excellent occupational therapists at my excellent rural hospital, Harrington Hospital, are a visual tonic. The way people interact with my dogs Jett and Lilac is … healthy. Every other person here owns chickens or cats or dogs or horses, so they love animals – including mine! The town library is in a historic Spencer building and staffed by gracious, always helpful and knowledgeable librarians. You can have conversations with them – and not be blown off the way you are sometimes in Worcester. The town high school is slated to be totally renovated after the town’s young parents with their small children got a referendum rolling and got a question on a town ballet and voters went to town hall to vote YES or NO on the renovation question. The young and progressive types out numbered Spencer’s old and cheapskates. These types are dying out and Spencer is beginning to take on a luster all its own. A true renaissance as people rethink their futures, not just clamor for some stupid, trendy, expensive clothing shoppe. It’s more real here. The values feel different, more basic: families, animals, the natural beauty of the natural world, conversations, crafting, cooking … backyard farming. Spencer is also becoming racially and ethnically diverse, without a lot of noise, a lot of crazy meetings at City Hall with the accompanying histrionics and false promises made by politicians – a la Worcester. Spencer, my town now, is the place where I’ve seen more biracial couples than I’ve ever seen in Worcester! Not just the kids or the young but the middle-aged and older. A white guy in his 50s and a Black woman in her 40s walk to their car after a meal at the restaurant downstairs from my apartment. They are holding hands in the Spencer moonlight …
I was all smiles when I first drove into town and saw all the young moms with their kiddos outside my old New Leader newspaper office on Main Street, by the traffic light and one of Spencer’s few busy intersections, waving to me and other motorists – and waving their placards: VOTE YES! VOTE FOR THE IMPROVED HIGH SCHOOL! I smiled at the young moms and waved back and thought: Things have changed here. I have got to go to town hall to register to vote.
And that’s really the good news – young locals with young children, young couples from different cities and towns – with the women (they look like girls to me!) pregnant with their first babes – all embarking on an adventure – their new adult lives in a town that is changing and beginning to support young families, young readers at the library, young students as they ready themselves for college and career. The fancy schmancy amenities may not be here. Yet. But they will be. The old timers, political and otherwise, are dying out. Hopefully, this next generation will shape their town in new better ways. For example: the Worcester Community Action Council is in the middle of counting the town’s homeless to help and support them. The town senior center has a director who is trying new things and offering us old timers more than the same old same old … There’s a yoga class and a writing class and a friendly coffee klatch chat all offered at the library…
And the school department’s official website proudly calls Spencer a Gateway Town and welcomes new students into the fold. The town high school’s parking lot is filled with cars AN HOUR AND TWO AFTER SCHOOL HAS BEEN DISMISSED. Monday through Friday. You see the high school marching band practice playing their instruments and marching in this same school parking lot. You are impressed by the students. You are amazed at their teachers’ commitment. You feel the small town love and cohesiveness – and want to be a part of it.
SPENCER during this Election Season: I’m thinking of the sweet people I used to live next to in the poor part of this town: Elm, Mechanic, Main streets. Old row houses built for the factory workers – Spencer was once a French town known for its sheet metal workers, blue collar thru and thru. Then the SAAD factories, the mills down the road in Dudley and Douglas closed, like all our factories and mills here in Worcester, then 1, 2, 3! Spencer became poor. Spencer in many places looks like my part of Blackstone River Road …
But except for one creepy neighbor – like the creeps here who CREEP me out! – I liked the people of Spencer. The poorer folks in this big, sprawling Central Massachusetts town – my Elm and Maple street neighbors, tenants living in the long row houses, were unfailingly polite, modest … a quiet friendliness suffused their “hello”‘s, “have a nice day”‘s. And everyone was a builder/crafter: they fixed their porches, weaved beautiful fake flower wreaths for their front doors, added bits and pieces of wood to their little garden fences …
I saw their poverty and, unlike the hustlers here in my buildings, they did lots of improvisation when it came to surviving poverty: the old guys carved their own crooked walking canes, the ladies had shopping carts just like my late Mom did when we lived in Green Island, and they pulled their shopping wagons up the hill to the supermarket to grocery shop – and pulled it home. In all kinds of weather. Sometimes I’d offer an old woman a ride – proud and quietly determined, she always declined. I was nice but I wasn’t a Spencer girl. New in town.
Often I’d go to Spencer Town Hall, pictured here, to talk with Laura the Town Clerk and try to make an appointment with the Town Manager (ha!). Laura was polite but, my advocacy for the poor people fell on deaf ears. Laura, I’d say, WHY NOT HAVE A TOWN COMMUNITY GARDEN IN THAT BIG TOWN LOT NEAR MY HOUSE? The people need free fresh veggies and … What about a FOOD HUB like they have in Northern Worcester County?
My suggestions were met with a Laura smile, condescending, stubborn as a mule …
So WHEN I SAW ALL THESE POOR SPENCER FOLKS WALKING IN THE SLUSH, A WET SNOW FALLING ON A DARK NOVEMBER NIGHT TO TOWN HALL – ELECTION NIGHT IN SPENCER – I WAS APPALLED. Some folks were in their motorized wheelchairs driving along with traffic! Most were drenched, a few weren’t wearing boots …
The old Republican middle classers of Spencer had their big old Caddies and Buicks parked in the town hall parking lot and voted with ease. They came out in droves to re-validate old ways, the same old same old pols …
I voted – and asked a poll worker: IS THIS THE ONLY PLACE TO VOTE? TOWN HALL? WHY NOT A POLLING SITE AT THE PUBLIC HOUSING, IN THE COMMUNITY ROOM, OVER WHERE I LIVE? Why have the poor from my area walk in snowstorms and the cold?
The old woman poll worker replied: WE DON’T EVEN HAVE ONE IN OUR SENIOR HOUSING! WE NEED ONE THERE!
Laura and all the Spencer movers and shakers were practicing their own version of voter suppression. With their small town smiles… So many people/voters living on Elm, Mechanic, Maple, Main streets and more probably looked out their windows on that election night and …left their canes by their doors…and stayed home that Election Night.
Next day I drove down to Congressman McGovern’s office off of Shrewsbury Street – Spencer is part of his Congressional District. He is supposed to represent the people of Spencer. Upset I told Chief of Staff Gladys Rodriguez Parker and other McGovern staffers what I witnessed the night before. WE NEED MORE POLLING SITES! IT’S NOT FAIR!!!
Comfy cats. Entitled cats. They gave me the same look that the Spencer movers and shakers had given me!! …and did nothing.
❤Love to all my Spencer neighbors who vote despite the voter disenfranchisement in Spencer, courtesy of Congressman Jim McGovern, oblivious Town Clerk Laura, the Boneheaded Spencer selectmen and pointless Spencer town administrator.
Being a vegan is about having compassion — compassion for Mother Earth and all her inhabitants.
🌱🌱🌱. pics: Rose T.
Yet we know plenty of people who aren’t vegan but are compassionate, which got us thinking: Are they actually vegan on the inside, and have they just not let their true selves emerge?
NOW YOU CAN ANSWER THE BURNING QUESTION, “AM I A VEGAN?” BY CONSIDERING THESE QUESTIONS:
🌺1. Do you close your eyes or sob during certain Disney movie scenes?
🌾2. Do you know SeaWorld sucks?
🌱3. Do you boycott plastic straws and keep a reusable one in your purse, car, etc.?
♥️If you’ve stopped using plastic straws to save fish, the next step is definitely refusing to eat fish to save them.
🌿4. Are there certain animal body parts that you refuse to eat?
We have this friend – let’s call her Sheila. We attended a wedding once at which the buffet included, among other things, BBQ ribs. As we filled our plates, Sheila turned and said something like, “I can’t eat ribs — it freaks me out that it’s, like, a ribcage.”
🐩5. Would you stop whatever you’re doing to help a stray dog?
🎀6. Do you buy cruelty-free cosmetics?
⭐7. Do you only buy faux fur?
🐈8. Would you sometimes rather hang out with animals than with people?
🌏9. Do you use reusable shopping bags?
🌏10. Do you support oppressed communities and recognize that supremacist viewpoints are whack?
🦊11. Do you freak out when almost hitting an animal while driving a car?
Remember: Good defensive driving techniques can help save more than just human lives!
✨12. Did you try “The Daniel Plan” for Lent?
😢13. Do you feel bad for animals in zoos?
😊14. Do you consider yourself an “animal lover”?
😊15. Do you like Beyond Burgers?
😢16. Do you think bullfighting is a disgrace?
🍦17. Do you buy vegan ice cream at the grocery store?
🚗18. Do you move snails to a safe place before pulling your car out of the driveway?
😢. Do you know that tiger selfies harm animals?
👼. Would you help a dog left in a hot car?
👼. Do you refuse to buy tickets to circuses that use animals?
😢. Does your heart break when you see live lobsters in grocery store tanks?
⭐. Do you do your part to reduce food waste?
🦁. Did your childhood BFFs include your stuffed animals?
🚗 Do you drive a hybrid or electric vehicle?
🌏. Do you recycle?
Jett!!! Would you rather stop and pet the dogs?
🐀. Do you choose humane rodent control over lethal methods?
♥️. Are you a feminist?
🐝. Do you refuse to buy honey in order to help save bees?
🌱. Do you feel guilty eating animal-derived foods in front of your vegan friends?
🎀. Do you catch bugs in your house and release them outdoors?
😫. Do you think raw meat looks gross?
😪. Do you refuse to hit “play” on any PETA videos marked “graphic”?
👼. Would you rather go naked than wear fur?
😫. Do you think trophy hunters have something seriously wrong with them?
😫. Would you refuse to eat your dog?
♥️. Do you have a favorite animal?
🍦. Do you choose almond, soy, coconut, oat, or other vegan milk over cow’s milk?
✨. Have you stopped eating “red meat”?
🐟. Are you a pescatarian?
🌽. Are you a vegetarian?
🐇. Does seeing fish, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, chinchillas, reptiles, birds, or other small animals at pet stores make you tear up?
If you answered yes to any of these, we’ve got news for you:
You’re a vegan!
OK, so maybe you’re not quite vegan yet … but clearly, there’s some compassion inside you that’s dying to be unleashed!
So let your inner vegan take hold. Ditching meat during Lent or eating animal-free when you’re with your vegan friends is great, but if you really want to help animals, going fully vegan is the way to go!!
REMEMBERING MY TOWN OF SPENCER
By Rosalie Tirella
Its slumlords, cheats …
So much of the town living in poverty!
No services for its poor – dental, medical, psychological …
Town Hall poobas (except for Lisa and Monica at Board of Health – my ex-landlord tried to get Lisa fired for doing her job!) don’t care a bit about the struggle.
When I’d visit Spencer town hall to say: YOUR KIDS, ELDERLY, RENTERS NEED SERVICES, the guy in planning dept would say: “Rose, we can’t be proactive”!!
So Spencer rots …
So the Spencer Public Schools are half empty…
… no one eats at its restaurants on Main Street on a Saturday night…
… the majority of incoming Spencer Kindergartners aren’t ready for Kindergarten…
Spencer = Worcester County’s Appalachia!
THE PEOPLE NEED HELP AND SERVICES …
So we are fighting the good fight! We are making the calls to politicians, advocating for the good Spencer people we have not forgotten…but are too shy to speak up.
Congressman Jim McGovern (Spencer is part of his district) will step up!
Congressman McGovern is a compassionate, strong political leader!
He will hold Spencer OFFICE HOURS/A RESIDENT/small biz LISTENING SESSION! It’s BEING PLANNED as I type …
PLEASE! SPENCER FOLKS! Attend this session and TALK WITH JIM, A GREAT PUBLIC SERVANT … TELL HIM:
YOU NEED A FOOD HUB
YOUR PUBLIC LIBRARY TO NOT BE CLOSED FOR ALMOST HALF THE WEEK! MORE HOURS!
ENRICHMENT FOR YOUR PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS!
A COMMUNITY HEALTH CLINIC
A COMMUNITY DENTAL CLINIC
THE TOWN OF SPENCER NEEDS MORE THAN ONE VOTING PLACE. It’s always been TOWN HALL:
SPENCER TOWN HALL!
Spencer TOWN CLERK LAURA AND THE SPENCER SELECTMEN AND TOWN MANAGER KNOW THIS! It’s the equivalent of voter suppression – only ONE place to vote in SPENCER?! – a geographically big, spread out, town! CRAZY! That’s why there are only 25+ people at your annual town meeting – when important civic decisions are made!
I voted last winter in Spencer, on a cold, wet, snowy night. As I drove up to Spencer Town Hall, I saw dozens of poor people from my old Elm Street neighborhood and from the apartment buildings on Main Street WALKING IN THIS WRETCHED SLEET/SNOW TO VOTE! SOME FOLKS USED CANES, SOME WERE IN THEIR ELECTRIC WHEEL CHAIRS!
A trail of tears!
Yet, true to Spencer form, no one complained … the disenfranchised quietly accepted their fate.
In my old Spencer Maple Street/Chestnut Street ‘hood there is a public housing complex – as well as a bunch of run down apartment buildings. Why not make the public housing complex’s Community Room a voting place?
Why not the same – add a voting site – to one of the town’s senior citizens housing complexes – for the old people without cars?!! In their community room?
Why the shady voting history in Spencer? Why not invite ALL TO VOTE?! MAKE IT POSSIBLE for the poor, the crippled, the old without cars!
So clubby club town clerk Laura, selectmen, Spencer state reps and state senators can stay in power – run the town their way. Make $$.
So the disenfranchised stay disenfranchised – and ignorant. And unhealthy and undereducated.
THIS IS HALF THE TOWN!!! – Spencer only works for its old corrupt $$ guard!
Spencer is out of touch with the rest of up and coming Worcester/Worcester County. Lagging big time!
We fondly remember so many of our nice, poor Spencer neighbors – carrying or walking their little dogs up Elm, always ready with a smile, always polite – nothing like our landlord, Spencer former-saloon owner, Spencer-property owner Charlene Stavros and her daughter Brydi Richard – they stole my $500 security deposit! and kept 20 or so pretty window rods that I had planned to donate to Abby’s House. Crooked and violent, through and through – that clan.
Spencer money people …oppress the entire town! Give it its bad name!
So WE ARE CALLING GOBI AND CO AND BRINGING UP THE POVERTY PROBLEM IN SPENCER, AND how there are no services for its poor, children, old. And how the town needs 2 NEW VOTING SITES – IN A SPENCER SENIOR CITIZEN COMPLEX AND IN MY OLD ‘HOOD. Spencer’s physically handicapped and poor/carless residents shouldn’t be locked out of voting come election time – unable to easily exercise their franchise because Spencer town leaders want to stay in power – the new, the youth, children, students, old, handicapped people be damned!
Here at 29 Elm St., Spencer, my landlord Brydi Riccard’s girlfriend (they live here), across the way …
… is banging on my front door as I write this …
… bullying … trying to intimidate me because this morning I took photos of Elm Street for this New Year’s Day post.
Spencer’s poorer digs: Elm Street
What is wrong with this woman?
What ails a 40-something woman who has no job, perpetual housing and does nothing to contribute to society … just smokes and spies on this “outsider” as I live my life?
I haven’t a clue what ails her!
A few guesses: Living in a place like Spencer, so cut off from the direction America is heading, makes many people here afraid of anyone/anything new, I think. Also: Refusing to work, earn your keeps, contribute to society makes you … unwell, mentally and physically. Also: many here are stuck in a kind of cultural 1950s racist, rigid small town America. Many here embrace the worst of America: its racism, xenophobia, fear of knowledge, hatred of new ideas, new people. Instead, they have embraced: vaping, smoking weed/siting pot shops, smoking tons of cigs, running tattoo and chop shops …
The DEAD AMERICA that Trump trumpets!! Exploits! So he can stay President! Spencer/rural folks are the unknowing victims, pulled under the moving train!
As a New York real estate developer, Trump was a Democrat, espoused Democratic ideas, embraced gay people, even hung out with Hillary Clinton!! But he went low when he figured he might be elected prez if he played into rural America’s worst fears and prejudices! He figured right! So it has been two years of Trump blatently and not so explicitly excoriating immigrants, brown people, black people, refugees, transgendered folks, the poor … And the CRUEL JOKE IS ON ALL OF US!
We have a dumbing down – in Worcester, Spencer – AMERICA – that Trump exploits – and perpetuates. No good jobs here in rural America and in our older cities. No free college for our low-income young people so they can compete in the new, tech-driven economy and get middle-class jobs. No hope in the inner-city like Green Island or in small towns like Spencer because they have experienced years of atrophy. Of course, you’re gonna get crime, opioids, mass murders, as well as the more mundane shit: vaping, tons of mary jane, all the tattoo and chop shops.
Where are our books, America?!
Where are our civics classes, grades K – 12?!
Where is our CIVIC EDUCATION – like I was force-fed in the Worcester Public Schools as a kid? Just like the OIF got in the Lynn Public Schools when he was a kid! And he got a very good honors public school education IN LYNN!!! We both got the Sousa marches, our own personal little mini-booklets of the U.S. Constitution to keep!
I remember: In 4th grade St. Mary’s catechism class in Kelley Square we had to march around the periphery of our classroom, MARCH! – as Sister Justine, a human trapezoid, severe and pimply, but on that day ecstatic, as she played on her little portable record player: ANCHORS AWAY! The U.S. Navy rah rah song! While we 30 little kids marched around her classroom singing and, yes!, having fun, as we sang along with the record. Sister Justine rewrote the lyrics of the marching tune to teach us about Jesus. So we sang, while marching: THIS PROVES OUR LOVE FOR GOD/ IN ALL WE SAY/ AND ALL WE THINK AND DO!!!!
Let’s have our public school kids listen to John Philip Sousa again!
At assemblies! Where our American flag, big and beautiful, is carried by a WPS student down the middle of the auditorium aisle – with other students, black, brown, white leading the procession, too!
It is our American collective consciousness that we are losing and need to tap into again!!
So we can be more whole!
“E pluribus unum”! “Out of many, one”! It’s our motto, for Christ’s sakes! It’s what we are all about! WHAT REALLY MAKES AMERICA GREAT!
In Spencer, my heart breaks for the children here! Most little Spencer kids, according to state tests, are not ready for kindergarten. I assume this holds true for much of poor rural America.
The high school down the road is only half full! Because Spencer is a dying town! It is a town comprised of white old folks who have lived here forever. Trump territory! Tragic! Visit a local eatery and most customers at the diners and restaurants here are 70 years+ old! These places look haunted! Ancient. Ghostly.
BROWN, BLACK, WHITE FAMILIES AND YOUTH = VIBRANCY, LIFE … ART! Immigration, welcoming the world’s disenfranchised, is how America regenerates herself! Spencer – all of rural America! – NEEDS to get this!
But, hey, that is just the beginning. Spencer, like most of a big chunk of rural America that relied on mills and small/big factories for its wealth decades ago, needs to change! And EMBRACE EDUCATION, NUTRITION, HEALTH AND HEALTH CARE!
No health center.
No mental health services.
No WIC, SNAP hub for poor families – to feed their kids, many of whom are rail thin.
No food hub. LET US EMULATE GREENFIELD AND GET A REAL FOOD HUB FOR WORKING FOLKS HERE IN SPENCER. The poo bas of Worcester killed that food distribution dream cuz they were afraid of competition for their chi chi farmers market – a TOTALLY DIFFERENT ANIMAL WITH A TOTALLY DIFFERENT CUSTOMER BASE.
Worcester’s Cambridge Street
In the shadows of Worcester’s Canal District
So 1 in 4 kids in Worcester is hungry/food insecure.
(For America, it is 1 in 5) Go, Woo Sox! Let us have another 1,000,000 stories on the Worcester AAA Red Sox team and baseball stadium and two about Worcester’s hungry kids!
Go, Woo City Manager Ed Augustus!!
Back to Spencer:
No vibrant downtown: Some downtown Spencer buildings need to be fixed up – or condemned! And Town Clerk Laura and the Spencer Selectmen damn well know this!!
A downtown Spencer building
But let us not forget Worcester’s shit buildings! The city drags its feet re: them, a la Spencer! God help us if this Jan/Feb we’ve got homeless folks camping out in this building and they rig up some funky propane stove to start a fire to stay warm. God help our Worcester firemen and women who will bravely enter the fire-fray because of the City Manager’s negligence!
Back to Spencer:
No diversity …No young people to plow new energy and ideas into the town!
No new investment. Because, like Worcester on many levels, the same old connected crowd gets grandfathered in and sweet-hearted-dealed in. And stays enfranchised! HOLDS TIGHT ONTO THE GOODIES/POWER!
In Worcester, former Mayor Joe O’Brien, had the right idea: HE PUSHED TO HAVE DISTRICT REPRESENTATION ON THE WORCESTER SCHOOL COMMITTEE. Like our Worcester City Council with districts 2, 3, 4 and 5 – which enable more inner-city neighborhood folks to jump into politics, run for office and REALLY GIVE VOICE TO THE FOLKS WHO LIVE in the city’s neighborhoods. Of course, the WPSchool Committee members – many of them old farts in their mid-70s and/or politically connected – were RESISTANT! SHOCKED!!! ABSOLUTELY MORTIFIED THAT THEIR COLLECTIVE CRAP-WISDOM WOULD BE QUESTIONED. Of course, they voted Joe’s just and true proposal down!
The WPS bozos cut off a great path for immigrants, minorities to represent and advocate for their kids in the Worcester Public Schools – a MAJORITY MINORITY SCHOOL DISTRICT!! now “ruled by” a bunch of old (we are looking at you WPSchool Superintendent Maureen Binienda) Irish-American Good Old Boys. Even if they are female.
These folks have been ruuning Worcester for almost a century; so Spencer isn’t the only place with its head up its ass. This is why urban spaces like Green Island, Vernon Hill AND Spencer/rural America are in trouble: the white old group, enfranchised, unwilling to relinquish power, won’t let go! They cling to power, even as their people suffer. People of color, new comers, the young … locked out.
I mean, look at the daily’s series on Worcester’s older neighborhoods: for the most part, the stories trotted out the SAME TIRED OLD WHITE retreads. Regurgitated. Again. Not exactly the most accurate picture of our city’s neighborhoods!
I am packing today, next week, …
… moving back to the city for what I HAVE MISSED MOST about it: ethnic, racial and cultural diversity … immigrant energy. New beautiful faces. Youth. The AMERICA OF TODAY!
I like my Spencer neighbors and the town’s first responders. They are usually polite, soft-spoken and carry a quiet, under-stated sense of humor. They exchange niceties with me when I’m out with my dogs, but many are so downtrodden! To see grown men limping, slow motion, down Elm Street, rail thin, clothes dirty and hanging off them … is surreal and heartbreaking. They say hello to me, I say hello back, respectfully.
The promise of America broken in two!
WISHING ONLY THE BEST for city and country in 2019!
First, Rose’s vindictive landlady Brydi Ricard, acting for Ma Charlene Stavros, (B. lives right across the way from Rose) …
… has still DONE NOTHING THE TOWN OF SPENCER BOARD OF HEALTH letter has directed her to do! Rose still has no heat source up stairs and her door is still barred.
(And Brydi, FYI: We think it is disturbing when your girlfriend bangs on our door as we write our columns! Thugs intimidate … so we call the cops on thugs.)
Rose wants her exit unblocked …
… We explain all this when we call Town Hall (yesterday), but the girl secretary in Town of Spencer inspection/planning/zoning has already distanced the town from town inspector Lisa D., who is cool, knows the job and is trying to do the right thing. In “official” Spencer where the money folks run the show and you gotta toe the party line, laws and rules are thwarted.
Another example of Spencer movers and shakers doing the squirrely thing: Rose voted yesterday, at Spencer Town Hall.
Spencer is a physically large town, has 4 precincts, yet we Spencer voters all have to vote at Town Hall!
This seems unfair – voting access stacked against the poor, old, the physically and mentally handicapped … folks who often support Dems and vote more progressive.
There are so many poor, elderly men and women, moms with teeny kids, CAR-less, disabled folks in Rose’s Elm/Chestnut Street area!…HUNDREDS! WHERE IS OUR VOTING BUILDING? SO MANY HERE DO NOT WALK ALL THE WAY TO TOWN HALL ON MAIN STREET TO VOTE!
When Rose went to vote last night at Town Hall she said the voting set up does not seem FAIR. Especially hard in cold, bad weather for the walkers! The ancient poll worker said to Rose: we need one in Howe (village? too – a senior spot?)! Yes! Even the poll workers here know this voting in town hall only is a kind of VOTER SUPPRESSION – designed, unwittingly?, to make GETTING OUT TO VOTE MUCH HARDER FOR THE ELDERLY, POOR, YOUNG – people who will vote their interests and lean Democrat, more progressive…
The awful truth? This Spencer voting system is rigged in favor of older folks, home owners, middle class voters with cars – folks who will keep the status quo in power and vote Republican/conservative…in their interest.
No changes! No new voices!
HELL, SPENCER! YOU ARE A BIG TOWN! WE NEED MORE PLACES TO VOTE – SO EVERY PERSON WHO WANTS to make their VOICE HEARD CAN DO SO!
SPENCER: the haves hogging it all while the people in my ‘hood – their needs go unmet! Their voices muffled! Yet they are friendly, polite, accepting of the BIG CHEAT and LIES.
They deserve better!
Voter suppression, in all its manifestations, must end in rural America!