Tag Archives: Worcester City Hall

ACTION ALERT! Support Urban Agriculture in Worcester!

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We Help Make Change in Your Local Food System!

For the past 3 years, we have been working with the City of Worcester on a zoning ordinance that would allow commercial farming in the City of Worcester.

Over the past year, the process has been stalled and community advocates have no longer been included in the development of the policy, or in the process for bringing it to the community.

We asked some of our key partners to start making phone calls to City Hall, and as a result Councilor Rivera asked for the Urban Agriculture Ordinance to be on the agenda at TONIGHT’s City Council meeting – Tuesday, January 31, at 7 p.m.

WE NEED YOU TO COME SHOW YOUR SUPPORT!

How can you do that?

1. Come to Worcester City Hall, 3rd floor for the meeting TONIGHT, Tuesday, January 31 at 7 pm. Bring a sign if you want! Having extra people in the room shows a lot of support!

2. Come and speak at City Council. Are you an aspiring small farmer? Are you a beekeeper? Are you an avid gardener that might like to sell some of what you grow? Come and share your story! You WILL make a difference!

3. If you can’t come but have something to say, send an email … we can read your remarks. Don’t forget to include your zip code as a City resident.

4. If you can’t come, call your City Councilor and let them know your interest in and support of the ordinance and that you won’t be able to attend the meeting in person, but that you’re supportive.

GET INVOLVED TODAY!

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Save Our Lady of Mount Carmel church! Attend next week’s City Council meeting!

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Pray very hard, people! AND GET POLITICAL! pic:R.T.

By Mauro DePasquale, Mount Carmel Preservation Society

Next Tuesday, at Worcester City Hall, will be our last opportunity to preserve our beloved Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church as a local historic district in Worcester.

This designation is an important step to ensuring protection against the wrecking ball.

The life of our church and parish should not come down to the whim of a few who want to give up on our more than 100-year-old historic Church and still vibrant and great parish.

Read what follows and understand that we must stand tall together to counter the determination of the Diocesan leadership to demolish our beautiful historic church and the heart of Italian American culture in Worcester, as well as the heart of Worcester’s Italian American community.

We must also speak up and set the story straight and stop their continual loop of misinformation.

There can be many financial and economic benefits for Our Lady of Mount Carmel to be declared a historic district or building. We are very close to succeeding. Work to make the church safe is near completed. Once we collect all pledges, we will have met our fundraising goal.

We have more than 12,000 petioners on our side; we have a sustainability plan. The City record and the media have recorded the City’s Commissioner Kelly stating that Mount Carmel doesn’t have to be knocked down.

The record also makes clear the cost needed to “make it safe” to be occupied is $120,000. We have a different interpretation of the response from our Vatican appeal. It addresses a procedural process, and the Vatican’s response did not invole the Holy See’s actual review of all the information accumulated in City of Worcester records and from the Mount Carmel Preservation Society’s efforts.

Our Lady of Loreto is in much larger debt to the Diocese than Our Lady of Mount Carmel. We understand Loreto is in over $600,000 in debt.

What about all the money our parish has raised over the years? Why are these men so willing to give up on that historic investment?

The City has done due diligence on this matter. It’s had the historical commission hearings, city council sub-committee hearings, and it has come before the general Worcester City Council.

Please call Worcester City Council members and ask them to do the right thing and to vote to preserve our Lady of Mount Carmel to support our Mount Carmel Preservation effort to fix our church and to save our parish on Mulberry Street.

Please be present at that City Council meeting on December 13, 2016, – City Council Chambers, 3rd floor, City Hall.

If rides are needed to City Hall, let us know. You can email me at maurodep1@gmail.com

Thank you, and God Bless you and Our Lady of Mount Carmel!

Come Help us Share in the HEARTBEAT of LOVE! Tomorrow! Tuesday, Nov. 15 – 6 pm – in front of Worcester City Hall!

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The Heart of the Commonwealth – WORCESTER Beats for EVERYONE!

Organized by: Worcester Interfaith

STATEMENT:

We stand in solidarity speaking directly to our neighbors, our co-workers, our sanitation workers, court advocates, store clerks and police officers. We stand in solidarity talking to all of the students and young people.

We stand in solidarity speaking as mothers, fathers and parents, to the Refugee and Immigrant families who have fled pain-filled pasts to come to our city and also to those who count generations here; this city is YOUR HOME, it is OUR HOME.

You are welcomed here, we are glad you are a part of our community and grateful for the many contributions offered through your presence. You are not only welcomed here you are appreciated and LOVED here!

For years we have reprinted, emblazoned and trumpeted our City as the “Heart of the Commonwealth.” Today we are being challenged to make these words mean something. The events across our country and Commonwealth have challenged us to put our words into meaningful action.
As the heart of Massachusetts, Worcester must be a community committed to justice and ready to defend justice. We pledge today as community leaders, elected officials, community organizations and faith leaders to be voices that reject hate and racism.

We pledge to challenge and resist those attacking immigrants and refugees, our transgender GLBTQI brothers and sisters, Blacks, Latinos, and those who practice the Muslim faith.

We pledge to rebuff those who seek to create discord and hate.

We pledge to denounce and challenge those who choose to demean and attack.

We pledge to use our collective power to support and protect anyone who may be targeted because of who they are.

We know that many are fearful of the climate of animosity, racism, bitterness and hatred that has been stoked over the past few months.

We will not be part of going backwards.

We seek working together to ensure that, as the Heart of the Commonwealth, the only BEAT you hear in Worcester is that of LOVE and not hate.

You’re Invited!

Come Help us Share in the HEARTBEAT of LOVE!

Tuesday, Nov. 15 – 6 pm – in front of City Hall.

Driving around yesterday, delivering InCity Times, listening to Dylan (aka GOD) …

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Me and Bob!

… I snapped these photos of the Latin American Festival, City Hall.
– Rosalie Tirella

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Festival, brought to you by …

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(Tweaked! Again! Sorry!) … Just one question for Worcester’s city council and city manager …

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There’s plenty of room on our Common for Worcester’s planned memorial to our city’s fallen African American W W II soldiers. Right here, for instance – the Franklin Street side of City Hall.        pics: R.T.

By Rosalie Tirella

… Why is Worcester’s planned memorial to our fallen African American W W II soldiers being erected at the Worcester Police Station?

Why not put the statue honoring our Black soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice right where it belongs? On the Worcester Common, along with all the other statues honoring Worcester’s fallen heroes?

There’s a slew of them on our Common –  in the middle of our soon-to-be revitalized downtown! Around and behind Worcester City Hall … they adorn the grass and trees that surround them even as we try (at least on holidays) to adorn them – lay wreaths braided with flowers or pine at their feet. We walk or drive by the stone and iron soldiers if we work in or visit the heart of our city. They make you think … put aside your work, dining, shopping obsessions for a few fleeting seconds to see something greater – a person’s life story, a city’s story, world history. The stone and iron soldiers come alive!

You can even build the new memorial to our Black WW II soldiers next to our John Power WW II monument that stands right outside our City Hall. The monument to our Black WW II heroes –  it was called the “Colored Citizens World War II Honor Roll Memorial” –  was once located in our African American Laurel-Clayton neighborhood but disappeared, along with the neighborhood!, when the interstate highway was built.  John Power is STILL with us – standing guard by Worcester City Hall (see my photo, above). So, truth be told, we will be building a new monument because we lost, destroyed, the old one! How can you “lose” a monument? What does that “loss” say about our city a few decades ago? Back then, how sacred to our city fathers were the memories of these dead African American soldiers – Black men from Laurel-Clayton, from Worcester?

Not very sacred at all.

Hell! There’s room for a tank or a couple of Jeeps to the right of the John Power statue. There John stands as the hip students walk by to get to their recently built dorms on Franklin Street …

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Soldier Power doesnt look hip at all! He looks like your average WW II grunt – ditch digger, mucking around in stinking trenches with penecillin pills, canned spam in his knap sack  –  but a KILLER too. Make no mistake! See the rifle slung over Power’s right shoulder and the long dagger in his left hand? He’s clutching the dagger ready for the fight – hand to hand combat – to the death probably. How can any city deprive a Black soldier, who fought the same fight, the honor we’ve bestowed on John Power? Power’s helmet is on askew cuz he’s in battle. He looks Irish – and a little cockey. Why can’t we humanize our dead African American soldiers this lovingly?

Why can’t Worcester’s Black community have the same thing? A touching yet tough depiction of men in war in stone?

Why stick our Black soldiers at the bottom of Bell Hill, at the Worcester police station, in the middle of a 20-way intersection, surrounded by ugly concrete (we’re talking the police station, too!) – a place where few will visit, stop to honor these men, think about them? A place where drug dealers, robbers, rapists and killers are flung?

Yes, the police station is a stone’s throw from the old Laurel-Clayton neighborhood, razed and replaced by the Plumley Village low-income public housing complex, home to many people of color – Blacks, included. Why not – I’m certain residents would be honored -put the monument there? It would be back at its real home. Placed before the entrance way to the buildings and high rise, lots of folks would stop and pay their respects.

Or is that the point? The intention (maybe subconscious) of Worcester City Leaders? To keep the monument to our fallen Black WW II Soldiers out of the public eye –  especially out of reach of the African American community?

And something else…to stop it from being a focal point, a symbol, a place for Blacks to gather, to remember, to rally, to teach … to protest. So often people come to their city or town common to express views, speech-ify … Protest! It’s been happening as long as there have been places where people chose to live together. A kind of gathering at the communal fire place! In America we’ve been doing it ever since our forefathers and mothers sailed into Plymouth Rock!

It’s happening still. All over. Especially with Black Lives Matter and, before that, Occupy Wall Street. It’s happening in Worcester. Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus has come down brutally hard on the BLM movement/rallies here, just as his predecessor City Manager I HATE ALL POOR RESIDENTS Mike O’Brien was hard with Occupy Wall Street protesters – refusing to meet with them, making sure they were off THEIR Worcester Common!

Would city leaders want a Black Lives Matter march to end at the “Colored Citizens World War II Honor Roll Memorial” on the Worcester Common? Would they want to see anyone give witness to pain, anger, racial discrimination in Worcester, “a city on the move”? Would they want a large crowd of folks agitating for change? In the middle of downtown?

Nope.

Is this what John Power died for?

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(P.S. Don’t let this happen, Bill Coleman and James Bonds!)

The Monuments by Worcester City Hall

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The George Hoar monument

By Gordon Davis

Yesterday morning a friend called me to get historical information about the Worcester Common, behind our City Hall.  She has lived in Worcester for most of her life. She has seen the Common go through several iterations.

She is too young to remember the Old South (Congregational) that doubled as a religious meeting house and the Town Hall.  The cemetery in the Common is of parishioners. The Church still exists on Salisbury Street.

She is not too young to remember the so called reflecting pool that only seemed to collect trash and restrict the foot traffic flow through the park area. The architect seemed not to have read Jane Jacobs!

The jury is still out on the Ice Oval which doubles as a skating rink in the winter and a sitting/eating area in the summer. I have never used the skating rink, but I like the tables and sun umbrellas in the summer.

Monuments sprinkle the Worcester Common and nearby area.  Some of them are relatively new.

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There is a monument concerning the genocide of Armenian people by the Turks during World War I.  This monument is located on the right hand side of the front of City Hall as you face City Hall.

There is also an Irish Cross which symbolizes the 1916 Easter Rebellion by the Irish Republican Army against British rule.

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Korean War memorial

The number of war memorials is surprising. The most surprising is that of the anti-imperialist and anti-racist founder of Worcester Polytechnical Institute, George Hoar (above). His image sits majestically wondering why the City has not changed much of its war mentality or its racist policies. Mr. Hoar opposed the Spanish American War.

The City has honored Colonel Biglow of Worcester who fought against he British in the War of American Independence.

The Civil War memorial has the names of the 398 soldiers from Worcester who died fighting the racist Confederacy and its system of chattel slavery.
 
There is a relatively new monument to the brave trooper who gave their lives in the Iraq Wars I and II. I suppose we will have to modify the monument to include Iraq War III.

On the side of City Hall there is a statue of an American GI. This generation fought the Nazis and the Axis of Fascism, Germany, Italy, and Japan government.  The Honor Roll of Black Veterans should be erected next to it, instead of on the isolated traffic island in Lincoln Square.
 

Across the street from the Worcester Commons is the first Vietnam War memorial. It predates the extravagance in Green Hill Park.  I thought for a while no knew that it existed, but every once and while I see flowers there.

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A few blocks away is the Korean War memorial (above). Although the statue is moving, it is pretext. Nonetheless, the soldiers who died and fought there performed their duty as they understood it. 

Unfortunately, it has the feel of the Western savior. Many more Koreans died in that Cnflict than Westerners.

The Worcester Common’s character changed when the Worcester Regional Transportation moved it busses to the Hub.

What will our Common be like with the demolition of Notre Dame and finished construction of City Square?

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Today! Be there!

The Islamic Society of Greater Worcester is inviting the community to an interfaith prayer service. 

TODAY, Sunday (Dec. 13)

1:30 pm 

in front of Worcester City Hall, Main Street  

Please join the Worcester NAACP as we stand with our community in expressing sympathy and condolences to the families of the San Bernardino California mass shooting.  

Worcester City Clerk David Rushford (hog at the municipal trough) and my Christmas gifts …

By Rosalie Tirella
I could write about how I believe Worcester City Councilors Konnie Lukes and Phil Palmeiri are absolutely RIGHT when they say  City Clerk David Rushford needs to get off the city trough and give up all the dough he is making marrying people, as justice of peace in our City Hall – but I won’t. It’s Christmas. 
But I will say this for now since it will come up for a city council vote soon: If Rushford, who makes over $150,000 between his City Clerk job, his Elections Commission job and his private Justice of the Peace business which he is allowed to run out of City Hall  using City Hall space, time etc ,  wants to do the marrying  job on city time using city resources then he should not be allowed to collect the $60 – $100 fee he charges every time he marries a (1) couple. THAT MONEY SHOULD GO TO THE CITY. IT IS A JOB HE IS PERFORMING IN CITY HALL ON CITY TIME.
Doesn’t the guy make enough money? Hasn’t he hogged three jobs all to himself? Does he need to be the justice of peace from hell? I pity his poor clerks this holiday season. They are working for a prima donna – and can’t utter a peeep.
SO: Let’s take Rushford’s windfall – which Rushford won’t disclose to the public (thousands of dollars) – and use his justice of the peace fees to open up a city branch library or run a program for city kids. We hope Worcester follows Boston, whose city coucilors are also pushing for the same reform, when it comes to keeping the “marrying” fees. Let’s hold our city leaders feet to the fire so they do the right thing.
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Here’s my Christmas gift … I read this in the NYTimes recently.  
 InCity Times has been railing against using chimps for medical experiments (most researchers don’t need them to do their research). We wrote story after story about the issue. And now finally – progress.
 Also,  Congress is moving to ban exotic animals in cirucuses.  California is always ahead of the curve – great op/ed in LA Times:
This is exactly what ICTimes has been pushing for …  for YEARS!
Hooray!
So things like this never happen again: Ringling Bros was fined big time for animal abuse/neglect. One violation: Carting away tiger shit in a wheel barrow and then using the same  wheelbarrow to bring the big cats their food.
Pathetic.