Tag Archives: Worcester

WFD Fireman Lt. Jason Menard procession from St. John’s Church …

Photos+text by Rosalie Tirella

Worcester – Thousands of firemen and firewomen from all corners of America lined Temple and Green streets this early afternoon – six deep – to bid farewell to WFD fireman Lt. Jason Menard who died going above and beyond the call of duty last week while saving two lives in a fire on Stockholm Street. An American hero, he gave his life for theirs.

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The hundreds and hundreds and hundreds!! of firemen honored their Lt. Menard through music, pageantry – and by bussing into Worcester to stand for two hours in the raw New England cold, a hint of drizzle always in the air, waiting, waiting for the casket set atop the fire engine, a casket covered in blue to solemnly pass before them to give the final salute … Yet their spirits were high! They were strong! – together!! – mitigating their loss through bonhomie! And sometimes swigs of beer from the bottles they got at the barrooms that line Green Street!

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Before the procession came through, a gaggle of firemen (fire chiefs?) walked all the way down Green Street, in the middle of the street, inspecting their men who stood on the sidewalks on either side … and to order the men, in clipped tones of voice: “LOCK IT UP! LOCK IT UP!” The hundreds of firemen immediately fell into silent attention at the barked commands. They stood looking American: black, white, Latino, Italian, Vietnamese, Irish, gray haired, long locks, male, female, heavy, skinny …

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Men in their navy blue dress firemen uniforms and white gloves hugging each other in the thin gray sunlight, slapping each others’ shoulders in the cold. The badges sewn on the sleeves of their coats and jackets signified where they were from: New York City, Baltimore, Boston, Millbury, Shrewsbury, Rhode Island, Washington state.

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The final salute … crisp, in unison, to shout to Jason as he rode atop his wreath-bedecked fire engine: WE ARE HERE FOR YOU, brother! Thousands of us! You did not die in vain!!
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Monday wrap-up✝️🇺🇸🐈 …

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pic: R.T.

We will see all of Worcester today! Dignitaries, city councilors, the city manager, neighborhood people, our poor, rich and homeless and our first responders … all converging on the stately St. John’s Church on Temple Street and surrounding neighborhoods . .. The funeral of WFD Fireman Lt. Jason Menard – 11 a.m. … The ceremony, the rituals, the beauty of a Roman Catholic mass. The hundreds and hundreds of firemen and women from all over the North East walking our streets, kneeling on the church pews, standing together in small groups in the church parking lot … wearing their pure white dress shirts, drycleaned and pressed … their navy blue uniforms adorned with medals – heartbreaking and unforgetable!

– Rose T.

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From Steve:

DEVAL PATRICK’S WEIRD RELATIONSHIP WITH BAIN CAPITAL

By Steven R. Maher

Former Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick is coming to the Democratic Presidential campaign trail fresh from Bain Capital, the investment company 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney presided over during his Presidential campaign. President Obama and most of the Republican candidates had portrayed Romney’s Bain as a corporate predator, taking over and selling off other companies’ assets, or leveraging them to the hilt for profit. In the process, Bain was alleged to have devastated entire communities with massive layoffs.

It’s a strange relationship for a liberal Democrat to have, but the friendship between Patrick and Bain dates back to the earliest days of Patrick’s first gubernatorial campaign. In a 2012 investigative report, the InCity Times took a closer at this alliance after an episode where Patrick, a long time political ally of President Obama, shocked many in the political world when he told CNN Bain was not a “bad company.” Patrick’s comments reportedly appeared in Romney campaign advertisements in battleground states.

State law requires campaign donations over a certain amount of money to include the name of the donor’s employer. So, in 2012 we went to the website of the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) which allows a search of campaign donations by a donor’s employer, and then sub-search by candidate. We searched Contributor Employers containing the name “Bain,” sorted by candidate.

Like Start-up

Deval Patrick received 31 donations from Bain employees totaling $11,500. The fascinating thing about this support is that 65% of it came at the time Patrick needed it most: prior to his first election as Governor in 2006. Patrick received 14 donations totaling $4,900 prior to the September 26, 2006 Democratic primary and another 7 donations totaling $2,500 before the November 2006 general election. It may not sound like much, but for a struggling gubernatorial candidate without spectacular personal wealth of his own, such amounts go a long way in the early stages of a campaign.

Romney received only two Bain donations worth $700 in 2007, the same amount in 2008, one Bain donation of $200 in 2009, $1,200.00 in five donations in 2010, and none at all in 2011 and 2012 at the time of our report.

Bain looked at Patrick the way an investment company looks at a start up company with an attractive new product: a good investment, providing seed money for a struggling political entrepreneur. For Mitt Romney, the payback he received from the Bain donations was enormous: staggering under the blows from Obama’s attacks on Bain, he got a rebuttal from an African American supporter of Obama. It was a return on investment, in political terms, that was priceless, a working man’s equivalent of having a winning Power Ball ticket.

Patrick was not the only high-level Massachusetts Democrat to benefit from Bain employees’ largesse:

Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray received ten donations worth $4,350; State Treasurer Steven Grossman received $2,350 in six donations; Boston May Thomas Menino received $500 from a Bain donor; Massachusetts Speaker of the House Sal DiMasi, (before DiMasi went to jail), received a $250 donation from a Bain employee. The Massachusetts Democratic State Committee received $35,000 in donations from Bain employees. Former Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly received $1,000 in contributions from Bain employees and former State Senate President Robert E. Travaglini received $700 from Bain employees.

♥️♥️♥️:

Thinking of Worcester fireman Jason Menard

By Rosalie Tirella

I, like most Worcesterites, didn’t know Jason Menard, the 39-year-old Worcester fireman who died a horrible death this past week while doing his job. But I, like all of Worcester, love him. Not so much for “fighting” the flames in that Quinsig Village flat but for perishing while saving two of his “brothers” – fellow WFD firemen – up in that third-floor fire-trap on Stockholm Street, in Quinsigamond Village, Worcester’s old blue collar Swedish neighborhood. A neighborhood, like many of our older, ethnic neighborhoods, filled with 100-year-old two- and three-deckers: Kindlin’ wood.

One Worcester fireman was a newbie and couldn’t find the staircase in the carbon monoxide- and smoke-filled building. Jason found him (by touch? by words?) and led him to the staircase (did they hold hands?, lean together shoulder to shoulder?, whisper? cry out?). Jason helped another fellow fireman to an open window … to safety. And they say Jason was searching for the tenants’ baby when, and the cliches tumble out now: when the fireman was “overcome,” “overtaken,” “succumbed” … “didn’t make it.”

What does all the verbiage mean? Safe, sterile “nothing” words that can never convey the physical pain or emotional and bodily shock Jason experienced – or how a WFD “brother” pulled Jason’s body out. How that fireman felt lugging his dead friend out of all that crap. We call it smoke-inhalation, carbon monoxide poisoning, but Jason’s lungs were burning up! On fire like that building – his delicate, fluid filled lung membranes inflamed, burning… Only Jason gasped for fresh, clean, cool air. Only he felt his fireman suit and gear grow heavy! An encumberance between him and the stars in the cold Worcester sky, it turned out.

What if we could empty those Worcester night stars like coffee cups? And have Jason’s wife’s tears flow out of them to wash our city souls clean? Have Tina Menard stop all our clocks! Shut our city down!! To shout, like an ancient woman warrior: MY HUSBAND, A GOOD MAN, A GOOD FATHER TO OUR CHILDREN, IS DEAD!!

The man she loved at the grill, by their kitchen table, over their dishwasher, in bed, under the quilts … Jason died hurting and suffering in that crumby old Worcester three-decker.

FireFIGHTER. That is the trendy term to describe all firemen these days, including Jason Menard. Implying the guys FIGHT fires, BATTLE flames – which they do. But to me the term renders the men plastic, Disney-like, super-hero action figures – all iron-clad muscles, steely gazes, red cape-wearing fearlessness, even godlike … when in truth, the WFD guys – all firemen – are just guys. Guys who maybe love the challenge more than most of us, but men, often in the middle of life and love: youngish wives, young children, aging parents, mortgages, college savings accounts for their kids. They have fancy lawn mowers they love because they remind them how successful they are – married with kids and a nice home in the nicer parts of town. Leaf and snow blowers mark the seasons in their big back yards. Sex, BBQs, wide-screen TVs, Red Sox games – the fun stuff of guys in their 30s and early 40s! In their prime!

But these firemen, when they get into these fire-trap three deckers and warehouses in our old New England factory towns – Lawrence, Lowell, Worcester … – become guys in their prime doing their best. They save lives – and families. And communities. They save each other, too. All the time. Grabbing, holding each other hands, as they stumble to safety … giving each other hearty hugs of encouragement … pulling and pushing each other to that open window … sighing and maybe crying in all the smoke and darkness and admitting to the fireman next to them: I’M AFRAID, bro! A firefighter once told me, smiling: “There have been plenty of (WFD firemen) guys who’ve saved my life.” … intimating that he had returned and would continue to return the favor, again and again. If that’s not intimacy, true love, then I don’t know what is!

And that’s why the guys seem so close when you drive by one of their many Worcester neighborhood fire stations: together, they grill steaks on their grills/BBQ smokers outside their firestations; one guy will make a big pot of homemade soup or chilli for his crew on the station stove; they sit on lawnchairs outside on the drab cement parking lot, talking in the inner-city sun or maybe listening to one of their mate’s bag-pipe playing out by their sparkling red, just washed and hosed fire trucks, safe in their bays, ready for a parade – or a 3-alarm fire!

Jason Menard and the Worcester Fire Department firemen (and -women) are firefighters … but, best of all, they’re HUMAN BEINGS rushing into the void, not knowing, not thinking, about their mortality. Innocent as lambs.

“Just” men, “just” firemen.

Lovely.

From BETO – save Rodney Reed!! + FYI

It’s been over a week since I left the campaign trail and it’s been so good being home with family and hearing all of your support. I’m grateful to have so many of you at my back. So today, I’m asking you to join me in helping someone else.

I’m reaching out in the interests of justice for a man who is about to be wrongly executed. On November 20, the state of Texas plans to execute Rodney Reed despite overwhelming evidence that points to his innocence.

Governor Greg Abbott has the power to stop the execution. He’s done it before, he can absolutely do it again. So our job is to make sure that we cause an outcry so loud, so united that Abbott has no choice but to listen to our demands and cancel the execution.

Here are the two best ways you can help save this man’s life and put pressure on Governor Abbott:

Sign the petition. Add your name to the petition and join millions of other people in urgently demanding Governor Abbott to stop the execution.
GO TO: https://www.freerodneyreed.com/#sign?source=em20191112

Make phone calls. With only 8 days left, we need to ramp up the pressure and show the urgency of our demands.

Dial this Number: (512) 967-0567
With this number, you’ll be connected to Governor Abbott’s office and other influential people with the power to stop or delay Reed’s execution. Before you’re connected, you’ll be provided some pointers on what to say during the call. If you get sent to voicemail, please leave a message and try calling again whenever you can.
Rodney Reed has been on death row since 1998,
alleging him responsible for the murder and rape of Stacey Stites.

Since his arrest, Reed has faced mountains of unfair challenges –– not uncommon in our broken incarceration system –– in proving his innocence. He was repeatedly denied DNA testing that could support his case, critical pieces of evidence were withheld from his trial, and in the end an all-white jury convicted Reed. Despite his flawed trial and evidence from a new witness claiming that Stites’ ex-fiancé admitted in prison that he’s responsible for the murder of Stites, Reed remained on death row.

When you look at the facts, it becomes painfully clear that going forward with executing Rodney Reed would be absolutely wrong.

It’s our duty to stand up to this unfair, racist incarceration system and fight for every single human’s right to find justice.

Please take a couple of minutes out of your day to sign the petition or call Governor Abbott’s office before time runs out.

Thanks for your help,

Beto O’Rourke

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FYI:

Historic … bloodbath! Come together, America!!!!😢😢

Go, NYC!!🦆🦆🦆 … and … Try a Vegan♥️ Thanksgiving Feast this autumn! + 🎶

NYC foie gras ban makes way for ducklings!

By John Di Leonardo

The New York City Council has taken a bold step toward eliminating one of the worst factory-farming abuses by listening to its conscience instead of foie gras industry falsehoods and overwhelmingly passing a citywide ban on this deadly atrocity.

As a Long Island resident who rescues hundreds of abandoned ducks every year, I take this win personally. Unlike most people who consume foie gras (and even those who produce it), I have gotten to know many ducks firsthand, which is how I know that they are smart, playful and highly social. They have long memories and display abstract reasoning from a very young age, and many mate for life and grieve for a long time if their partners die. Insatiably curious, ducks are always looking for something to do, from splashing and blowing bubbles in mud puddles to staging epic mock straw-throwing battles and even playing fetch like dogs.

One duck I found abandoned in a canal last year was a moulard, the same breed that is commonly raised and killed for foie gras. Like other moulards I have met, this fellow was endearingly gentle and friendly, so much so that I named him Angel.

Foie gras producers take advantage of moulards’ sweet nature in the most despicable way imaginable—by ramming a pipe down their throats and pumping up to 4 pounds of grain into their stomachs every day. Because gentle moulards endure this abuse stoically, the foie gras industry adds insult to injury by making the absurd claim that they don’t mind being tortured.

As an anthrozoologist who is well acquainted with duck behavior, I can assure you that they mind very much being confined to cramped, filthy sheds and pens where they have no choice but to live amid their own excrement.

They mind very much never, ever getting a chance to bathe or swim, one of their intrinsic needs as waterbirds.

And yes, they mind very much when their diseased livers expand to up to 10 times their normal size, pressing on other internal organs and making it difficult for them to breathe and regulate their body temperature.

Their frantic panting, unkempt feathers and difficulty walking are all clear indications of their pain and discomfort.

New York City Council Member Justin Brannan was spot-on when he said, “Force-feeding a bird for the sole purpose of making it sick to create some bizarre delicacy is gruesome and inhumane.” Even famous chefs have disavowed foie gras.

The late Charlie Trotter visited several foie gras farms, after which he said, “What I have seen, it’s just inappropriate. … I don’t believe that any animal would have to go through that for our benefit.” Influential French-born chef Albert Roux says foie gras “should carry a health warning … so that people are aware of the inhumane methods of producing the delicacy.”

Angel — whose mangled, partially amputated beak was mute testimony to his factory-farm past — was lucky enough to escape the blade that claims millions of his brothers (most ducks killed for foie gras are male). He went to live at JuneBug Lodge, an idyllic vegan bed and breakfast in Watkins Glen, New York, where he became fast friends with a group of other rescued ducks and chickens.

Angel was special, but no more so than any of the birds who are imprisoned, force-fed and slaughtered for foie gras.

They are all sensitive individuals who want nothing more than to do what nature intended — swim in ponds and socialize with their family and friends. That doesn’t seem like too much to ask!

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🦆♥️🦃♥️🐔♥️🐖♥️

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Veggies! Yes! pic: R.T.

Let’s torture ZERO – or try for fewer, you carnivores!! – animals this holiday season! Have a heart – cook/sample some veggie treats, sides – and even main dishes – this Thanksgiving/Christmas! TRADER JOE’S, ON ROUTE 9 in Shrewsbury, HAS THEIR INCREDIBLE Thanksgiving Tofurkey Roll ready for you! Yummy! A great center of the table gracing main meal.♥️ – Rose T.

From PETA.ORG:

♥️♥️♥️:

Sweet Potato Biscuits

1 cup cooked sweet potatoes

1 cup flour

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

4 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds

Directions:
Mash the sweet potatoes well in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients and the oil. Mix well. Add the seeds.

Using your hands, form into 6 biscuits. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes at 375°F.

Makes 1 dozen! Enjoy!

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Apple Bavarian Torte

1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. vegan margarine, chilled

3 apples, peeled, cored, cut in half, and thinly sliced

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup white sugar, chilled

1/4 tsp. plus 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup flour, chilled

1 8-oz. package nondairy cream cheese (try Tofutti or Galaxy brand)

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

1/4 cup sliced almonds

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Oil a 9-inch springform pan.
In a skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon margarine. Toss the apples with the brown sugar and cinnamon and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain off and reserve the liquid.

Cream together 1/2 cup margarine, 1/3 cup white sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and the flour. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of the springform pan. Set aside.

In a food processor, blend together the nondairy cream cheese, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, cornstarch, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar.

Pour this mixture over the crust and spread the apples on top.
Bake for 10 minutes. Drizzle with a couple of spoonfuls of the reserved apple liquid, avoiding the edges of the pan, and continue baking for 25 minutes.

Sprinkle almonds over the top of the torte. Continue baking until lightly browned. Cool before removing from the pan.

Makes 6 to 8 servings🐔🦃🦆🐖♥️🍂

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This past weekend was a Paul Simon kind of weekend …
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🎶🎶🎶pic: R.T.

I saw their big reunion concert in NYC’s Central Park years ago! Drove down in the back of a pick up truck from that Vermont hippie commune I was stuck on and told you about. Foolish, sweet youth and youngness! Baby-faced joy! It was a chilly ride down, even with the cute head farmer hugging me all the way …

Steve is on a roll! 😊

HUNTER BIDEN’S $50,000 IN MONTHLY PAYMENTS COULD DOOM DAD’S CAMPAIGN

By Steven R. Maher

President Donald Trump didn’t have to open himself up to a charge of impeachment to discredit Joe Biden’s campaign. When he discovered that Hunter Biden received an alleged $50,000 in monthly payments from the Ukrainian holding company Barisma, Trump could have simply given the story to Fox News and let them run with it.

Hunter joined the Barisma Board of Directors in April 2014 and served until April 2019. Barisma’s history up to this point was summed up by Wikipedia: “In the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, Mykola Zlochevsky faced a money laundering investigation, and his company Burisma Holdings, the largest natural gas producer in Ukraine, assembled a “high-profile international board” in response. Chris Heinz, John Kerry’s stepson, opposed his partners Devon Archer and Hunter Biden joining the board in 2014 due to the reputational risk. Among those who joined the board of directors in April 2014 were Biden, Archer and former Polish president Aleksander Kwaśniewski.”

At this point, Hunter Biden was drawn into the matter. “[Hunter] Biden served on the board of Burisma until his term expired in April 2019, receiving compensation of up to $50,000 per month in some months. Because Vice President Biden played a major role in U.S. policy towards Ukraine, some Ukrainian anti-corruption advocates and Obama administration officials expressed concern that Hunter Biden’s having joined the board could create the appearance of a conflict of interest and undermine Vice President Biden’s anti-corruption work in Ukraine.

“While serving as vice president, Joe Biden joined other Western leaders in encouraging the government of Ukraine to fire the country’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin who was widely criticized for blocking corruption investigations. The Ukrainian parliament voted to remove Shokin in March 2016. In 2019, President Donald Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, claimed that Vice President Biden had actually sought the dismissal of Shokin in order to protect his son and Burisma Holdings.” Wikipedia went on to quote sources who maintain neither Biden did anything illegal.

It’s hard to see how Joe Biden gets out of this with his prestige sufficiently intact to win the presidency. This whole deal reeks of the insider trading for which the Washington “swamp” is infamous. Using one’s political position to financially aid one’s kinfolk is exactly what Trump’s supporters sent him to Washington to fight.

If Joe Biden wins the Democratic nomination, I will, of course, vote for him. Getting Donald Trump out of the Oval Office should be the goal of every voter.

One hopes the impeachment proceedings will wrap up soon, with something becoming public that will bring over enough Republican Senators to remove Trump from office.

And let’s hope the Democrats nominate someone with a clean enough background to defeat Trump!

Politics Friday: Steve M. and🍂🍂🍂🍂 more …

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☑️☑️☑️☑️🇺🇸🇺🇸👏

NY MAYOR BLOOMBERG WOULD GIVE FISCAL CONSERVATIVES A CHOICE IN 2020

By Steven R. Maher

New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s entry into the Presidential race is good news for fiscally conservative Democrats.

One thing you can say in candidate Bernie Sanders’ favor is that he’s straightforward about his socialist end goals. But Elizabeth Warren, with her $42 trillion health plan alone, is planning to take the country to an economically unknown place. She plans to radically restructure society with a soak-the-super-rich scheme to finance her plans should she be elected President. How the disparate segments of Warren’s various finance plans would work together is a mystery to me. Separately, I think something like Medicare For All could be risked. But if you throw it in with Warren’s other plans, the likelihood is all these drastic changes aren’t going to work – if we do all Warren’s proposals at once.

One Warren proposal I definitely endorse is her desire to break up large corporations – using anti-trust laws – to name a few: Google, Facebook and Amazon. These global corporations are the 21st century’s version of the military industrial complex that President Dwight Eisenhower railed about as he left office.

I believe in balanced budgets and a pro-growth government. Two of the best presidents in modern America history were Dwight Eisenhower and Bill Clinton. Each balanced the American budget and gave America a period of peace and prosperity. Yes, we can have peace and prosperity at the same time! It’s been done. We need a common-sense President who watches what goes on overseas but does not rush to insert America into other nation’s wars the way George W. Bush did. It will require scaling back Trump’s tax cuts for the top 1% of the country.

There are two existential issues facing our country right now: One is global warming is reaching a boiling point – literally. The other is the national debt problem (trillions of dollars in the red), which could explode at any time.

America needs a President who can turn the bleeding red ink into a positive cash flow. Mike Bloomberg is a billionaire and has the experience of dealing with large governments such as New York City. Bloomberg will provide a choice for those who see fiscal calamity as something requiring immediate Presidential action. He is also on the forefront of slowing down global warming and common-sense gun control!

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From Chantel Bethea, the lady💮☑️🚶‍♂️🚶‍♀️we hoped would be on the Worcester School✨✨ Committee😉 Jan 2020:

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for, and I apologize that we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our Children of Worcester Public School.

But I feel proud and thankful for this wonderful campaign that we built together, this diverse, creative, unruly, energized campaign.

I know how disappointed you feel because I feel it, too. And so do the parents and children who invested their hopes and aspirations in this effort.

This will be a trying two years. But I want you to remember this: Our campaign was never about one child or even one election. It was about the city of Worcester changing the narrative and opening the eyes of those in power, and about building an Community that’s hopeful, inclusive and energized. And we did that.

We have seen that our city is more deeply divided than we thought, but I still believe in the People of Worcester. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future.

And let me add, our engagement within the school system needs to be seen more and with all of us at the table. Participation (Us coming together and Working together) is going to be key Not just every two years, but all the time. So let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear to our hearts. Making our school system work for everyone.

So now our responsibility as Worcester Advocates is to keep doing our part to build that better, stronger Worcester, we want for our children. And I know we will. I am so grateful to stand with some amazing advocates that know and understand that The Works Doesn’t Stop Now.

I will always be grateful to the creative, talented, dedicated men and women that worked so hard with the campaign. You poured your hearts into this campaign. Some of us, it was our first campaign. I want each of you to know that you were the best campaign team anyone could have ever expected or wanted.

And to the volunteers, community leaders, activists, and young people who knocked on doors, talked to neighbors, posted on Facebook, had a house party, THANK YOU! We could not have done what we did without you!

And to all who put their faith in this campaign and in me, I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your Champion. And the Work Continues Regardless!

Thank You again for Believing in Me !!!

– Chantel Bethea

🏡🏠🏘️🏘️🏘️🏘️🏘️🏠🏠🏠

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No affordable housing here in the Canal District!

Amazing! Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus shuts down the affordable-housing-generating OAK HILL CDC 🏡🏠🏘️ (which was led by and empowered we low-income neighborhood folks!) without compunction … but his city DPW and subcontactors always suck up the extra city bucks$$ by dogging their city jobs, working at their sites in our city neighborhoods MAKING THOUSANDS OF EXTRA dollars. The crews have been on Whipple Street/in Quinsig Village for months and months – $$$$$taxpayer-funded! How many of you have seen the city DPW guys napping in their big City of Worcester trucks?!?! – killing that last hour of being on the taxpayers’ clock with their precious zzzzzzs, “hiding” behind Canterbury Street … skulking around the side of St. John’s Cemetery. Of course: they are relatives and friends of Woo city officials – got their city jobs the way Ed Augustus did: they knew somebody in City Hall. … When Oak Hill CDC moved from its Providence Street House, by Woo Academy, way way down the street to the seniors housing complex nook, I thought: sonething’s up …

So now, with the Green Island CDC gone years ago, THERE WILL BE NO ONE IN MY OLD NEIGHBORHOOD ADVOCATING FOR affordable housing, for keeping regular folks in their apts outside the Allen Fletcher and Co. gentrified Canal District. Money-mismanagement was allegedly a problem at the Green Island CDC, too. … Allen Fletcher was supposed to be Mullen’s pal – where is he now???? He can donate that $75,000 to keep the CDC open!!!

– pic + text by Rosalie Tirella

🇺🇸New by Steve: False info spreading on rules for impeachment

By Steven R. Maher

Over the next year there will be a lot of untruthful information disbursed about the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Readers should be aware that Russian robots, Iranians robots, and other bad actors will be trying to shape the election results to fit their desired outcome.

I had an example of this yesterday when a gentleman approached me with the accusation the Democrats had written the impeachment to prevent Trump or his counsel from participating in the Judicial Committee activities on the impeachment. I left this person feeling quite upset with the Democrats for doing this. But first I wanted to check the accuracy of these facts.

So, I went to Google and searched for the Judiciary Committee on impeachment. Up popped a story on factcheck.com entitled “DEBUNKING FALSE STORIES” and subtitled “Viral Posts Distort Impeachment Inquiry Rules” by Angelo Fichera: “Some viral posts, shared by thousands of Facebook users, purport to state ‘the rules’ of the impeachment inquiry proceedings — likening the U.S. to the ‘USSR.’ But two of the three ‘rules’ distort the facts. One of them — about what can and can’t be asked of witnesses — is false, and another (that no ‘involvement’ by Trump’s counsel is permitted) is misleading…I did some further research an found on fact.check.com a copy of the Congressional resolution specifying that the Judiciary Committee work to set up a system where the President and his counsel are both allowed to participate in Judiciary Committee proceedings.”

The judiciary committee, which is the one drawing up the articles of impeachment, is the one to keep your eyes on. Fichera’s story quoted the house impeachment rules: “The resolution says: ‘The House authorizes the Committee on the Judiciary to conduct proceedings relating to the impeachment inquiry referenced in the first section of this resolution pursuant to the procedures submitted for printing in the Congressional Record by the chair of the Committee on Rules, including such procedures as to allow for the participation of the President and his counsel.’” (emphasis added.)

Both pro-Trumpers and anti-Trumpers need to be constantly vigilant about information they happen upon on the Internet.

This information on Trump’s counsel was given to me by an honest gentleman in good faith. I told this individual that I would appreciate a copy from his sources in the form of an Internet print out or web link to the article or website before he surprises me again with such an allegation. I recommend you do the same.

As Ronald Reagan once put it: “Trust but verify.”

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FYI:

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It was GP’s birthday🎂🎈♥️♥️:

On the new Worcester School Committe the old Worcester rolls on! Tracy O’Connell Novick, don’t be a hypocrite! Push for WSC DISTRICT REPRESENTATION!

Text and photos by Rosalie Tirella

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Lots of minority WSC candidates on the ballot yesterday – and voters came out for them! … A new Quinsig Village polling spot – the new Blackstone River Visitors Center/museum…

How ironic that ol’ incumbent – Tracy O’Connell Novick- got reelected to the Worcester School Committee yesterday (all the Irish surnames running for Worcester School Committe did), and the first phony sentences out of her mouth were:

The community will be the priority!!!…

And…Strong outsider campaigns run, but incumbency is a tough nut to crack!!!

OF COURSE IT IS, YOU NUT Tracy!!!! Who better to know than you? When you were on the Worcester School Committee last go around and then Worcester Mayor and School Committee head Joe O’Brien WAS PUSHING FOR DISTRICT REPRESENTATION ON THE WORCESTER SCHOOL COMMITTEE, you voted against it!!

TRACY O’Connell Novick, YOU VOTED AGAINST CRACKING THE INCUMBENCY NUT! All the school committee members at that time did! No one joined Joe O’Brien in making the School Committee more inclusive, more representative of the people of our city! Reflecting minorities, folks – children – from our working class and poorer neighborhoods. People who see up close: the child hunger, teen pregnancy, health challenges, domestic violence and abuse, the lack of resources … AND ALL THE GREAT STUFF … ALL THE POTENTIAL! Let’s make the Worcester School Committee mirror our Woo City Council: 5 district members and 6 at large members.

Tracy, you live on Olean Street – on the city’s West Side. An added perk: you also live at the nature nook – Cascades – so you LIVE RENT FREE COURTESY OF THE TAXPAYERS, IN THE CUTE HOUSE THERE! Now you can make almost $15,000+ a year as a member of the Worcester School Committee, courtesy of the Worcester taxpayer

Why would you give up some of that entitlement by pushing for District Representation on the school committee – even though you said incumbency is a tough nut!

Doing the right thing means you may be off the school committee next time – it means new city candidates, new city voices, Woo folks from under-represented Worcester neighborhoods and communities WILL HAVE A CHANCE … It means they will get elected to the school commityee. The numbers, as you know, are there.

Why is running in a district make it easier to get elected? Because people are running in their neighborhoods and surrounding neighborhoods – folks know them, and they know up close and personal the challenges/issues of their communities. AND running a district campaign DOESN’T COST AS MUCH MONEY as city wide because you are running in your DISTRICT – not ALL of Worcester. Fewer signs, flyers, letters, etc.

DR is a great way to bring minorities … working moms and dads … the working class and poor – NEW VOICES – into our public school conversation – making CHANGES, VOTING FOR REAL CHANGES in our Worcester Public Schools. Most likely these new voices will be THE FOLKS WITH KIDS OR GRANDKIDS IN OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS!

So stop giving cheap politician lip service to what you denied the city schools, and the voters, several years ago, Tracy O’Connell Novick! You help stop STRONG, OUTSIDER/MINORITY SCHOOL COMMITTEE CANDIDATES from serving on the Worcester School Committee!

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Inside my neighborhood’s visitor center/polling site – a history of the disenfranchised!! Working to/demanding they get their FAIR SHARE!
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Why is NO ONE IN THE CANAL DISTRICT? Why is Allen Fletcher’s big public market not open? Another delay …

Text and pics by Rosalie Tirella

Again: Why is the area around Allen’s Green Street building …
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Fletcher’s Folly???

… so dead??? Why are his $1,400 – $3,000/month studio apts/apartments unfilled??? Where are all the walkers for whom Fletcher is pining????!
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Green Street: zero walkers

Allen Fletcher, an old money Worcester scion whose family once owned a chunk of the old T and G, worth millions$$$, is sort of slumming it at his Ash Street School home. Still, he dreams the right dreams – of filling his Green Street and Water and Harding street neighborhood with walkers! With real city folks!!!!

I don’t see them. Never see them. Often, it is just Allen and I actually WALKING down Green Street, going about our lives/businesses. Separately. We ignore each other – I used to work for him👿 … But deep down we both know – we, arch enemies two, that we two, on some afternoons, are the only two city peeps feeling comfortable walking – really walking – through the neighborhood. Experiencing the scene!! Which IS a cool scene!
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I feel bad for Allen: He is trying to recreate the Kelley Square area of MY childhood/youth!

It was GRAND AND … GRITTY!!! A kind of Eastern European enclave/slum: Green/Water Street area and Green Island (Millbury Street) over the Square filled with walkers – all characters! – visiting the scores and scores of our small local businesses that lined the streets, one after another: restaurants, diners, dry cleaners, drug store, bank, fabric store, children’s clothing store, fruit store, hair dressers, five and ten store, bakeries, grocery stores, tailor, Polish sausage market and grocery store, fish store, shoe store …THE LIST GOES ON!! AND ON! My childhood writ LARGE! A blast! A nightmare! An urban tale still unfolding in my mind! Real community – the locals (many of us poor) mixing with middle class visitors and diners from the city’s middle class West Side!!

A Worcester- an America! – that I (along with Allen) miss! Earthier, more real, more unafraid of the new kid on the block, unafraid to walk a half mile or mile to shop. Friendlier, less stratified …

I see what Allen Fletcher is trying to do – TO FORCE – TO RECREATE – BY SHEER STUBBORNESS AND MILLIONS OF $$$ HIS OWN DOUGH$$ AND TAX-FREE LOANS from city/state/fed sources (TIFS). But I wish the development of my old neighborhood had been more organic, driven by, stemming from the people in my ol’ neighborhood – bubbling up from us – not forced down upon us by rich Allen and his rich enablers.

When I was away in college my neighborhood was evolving into something new … a Vietnamese enclave – tbe newbies were opening stores and restaurants. They were buying 3 deckers on Lafayette Street. They were attending St. John’s Church on Temple Street, too. They were nice and hard working. I dreamed of our city’s vetsion of Boston’s Chinatown – Worcester’s VIETNAM TOWN!! Slurping their great big bowls of soup. Buying their pretty blouses …

Then came the millionaires: Allen Fletcher and his two main pals Bob Largesse and Johnny 3 G’s … to alter the fate of hundreds of Green Islanders and shoppers! Change the scene for ever. Gentrify and exclude. Sad …
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