Tag Archives: Worcester

For Father’s Day … you all know it … reposting …

On Seeing My Father

By Rosalie Tirella

Ever since my father died (about two months ago), I’ve been seeing him every where. When he was alive, he made about 1,000 entrances in my family’s life. Married with kids but not wanting to be married with kids, my father lived with my mother, two sisters and me some months and was Missing in Action (MIA) during others. He was as tentative as the junk yard dogs he loved so much (and owned).

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Pieces of my father, photos of him all over the house

Some of his entrances were comical – like the time he waltzed into our Lafayette Street apartment with some Frank Sinatra LPs and sang “I Did it My Way” to me. My mother had sent him out for a loaf of bread!

But most of his entrances were cruel, small, mean. He made my sisters, my mother and me cry and succeeded at that so well that we eventually learned to … simply dismiss him — cut him out of our world the way you cut the bruise out of an apple. We went on with our lives, worked around our peripatetic “Daddy.” My mother held down a 60-hr-week job to pay the bills, we kids went to school, held after-school jobs, applied to colleges. My father popped in – for weeks or months.

Very confusing.

Then, after all these years, my father died in the nursing home two months ago. And Bingo! He’s now larger than life for me – omnipresent, so to speak.

As I drive around Worcester selling ads for my newspaper, InCity Times, with the radio blaring and paperwork to the side of me, I see him. I’m eight years old; my sisters are six. It’s Easter afternoon and my father strides into our Green Island flat, chomping on a big cigar. My mom has my two sisters and me sitting in our three little kiddie rocking chairs waiting for her to get dressed. We’re going to Easter Mass! We wear new pastel dresses with butterflies embroidered on them. My mother “set” our hair the night before, and now our straight brown hair bounces happily around our faces in “baloney curls.” In my father strides, enraged. We had not seen him for almost … forever. We did not know from which land he strode – not the sweet and holy world that my mother and grandmother had created in our apartment, a world filled with prayers to the saints, rosary beads, homework papers, rules and pet hamsters! Was my father going to hurt anybody this time, I asked myself?

No! He was going to have his picture taken with the Easter Bunny! God love my wonderful, hopeful, dreamy mother, she had my father sit in the grownup rocking chair in the kitchen. She would put the big, vinyl Easter Bunny she had bought at the five and ten and blown up (to our merriment) near the rocking chair where he sat. Then she told us little kids to “sit on Daddy’s lap.” We would all say “cheese” on the count of three! It would be a great Easter picture!

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Daddy and my two kid sisters, years ago.

I was only eight but thought my mother mad. No, I would not get on Daddy’s lap! No, I would not be in the Easter Bunny picture. My sisters – twins and safe in their look-a-likeness – happily clambered atop my father. Then my mother lifted her little Brownie camera, peered through the little viewer and said, “One two! Say Cheese!” and snapped the picture.

Today I look at the square little photo from the ’60s and see two little gangly girls in pretty dresses in baloney curls looking exactly alike and smiling widely. Each one straddles one of my father’s legs. The bottoms of their dresses fan out over my father’s lap. And there’s my 30-something father; he’s wearing a striped muscle shirt. His hands are on my sisters’ knobby knees and he stares into the camera, looking … trapped. His rugged handsomeness blows me away! When I was a little girl he seemed the ugliest person in the world!

When I’m on the road, I look out of my car window and think I catch my father’s eyes. But it’s just some old man.

“He’s dead!” I tell myself angrily and shake my head as if to shake out the images of him. Then four or so hours later I see my father walking down Shrewsbury Street (his favorite street) and I have to remind myself all over again.

When my father was diagnosed with cancer, he was not living with my mother and us. Mom had stopped giving him second and third chances a decade ago. My sisters and I had moved out of the apartment in pursuit of higher education/careers. So it was a shock to see him walking past the fish and chips joint on Grafton Street, red-faced, his nylon jacket unzipped, billowing out behind him. He wore no shirt that raw, autumn day and he looked dazed. Then there was his neck: as big as a basketball. The lymphoma had set in.

And yet my father went walking around Worcester – his hometown that he seldom traveled outside of –as if nothing unusual had happened. It was one of my aunt’s – his sister – who had found him in his mother’s old house, lying in the darkness, and said: “Bill, you’ve got to go the hospital.” And then he did – quietly and with some grace – because he knew he was dying.

Sometimes I look out my car window and see my father after the cancer ravaged him. I see a helpless old man – my father after the chemo-therapy, the radiation, the blood transfusions. The chemo treatment took all his curly thick hair away and left him with silver, wispy locks my aunt would cut in a bowl shape. Gone was all his wild, curly red hair that rode high above his already high forehead in some grand pompadour, the wild “do” that lead my feisty old Grandma (she was my mother’s mom and lived with us and loathed my father) to nickname him: “The Red Devil.”

Run, devil, run! There you are standing outside the Commerce Building on Main Street, waiting for the bus. There you are walking out of the Millbury Street fruit store, eating a juicy plum and throwing the pit into the gutter. There you are eating the same juicy plum over our Lafayette Street kitchen sink, my sweet mother looking absolutely smitten by you. You have no time for dishes, meals served on plates. Family sit-down meals are not part of your universe. “Gotta get outta here!” you used to say. “Here” being: our Green Island flat, poverty, a wife, three kids, responsibility.

You want to leave – I can tell. But I just can’t let you go, Daddy.

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This just in from Bill Coleman🇺🇸 on our 19th B-day! Thank you, Billy😊!

Looking Back

By Bill Coleman

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Bill at a community meeting several years ago.

I remember picking up my first copy of InCity Times 19 years ago – seems like the other day!

It was exciting to have another newspaper in the city of Worcester to compete with the telegram and Worcester magazine and many other newspapers that were coming about, but not challenging the status quo.

I had a feeling the passion of its founder, publisher/editor/chief salesperson/delivery gal Rosalie Tirella, would drive this publication – that this paper was going to be the one that had legs and would stick around. Why? Because of the way she would gather content and the feelings of a community who felt lost and abandoned … from the issues that kept them stifled in their willingness to speak out against neighborhood Injustices.

Oh, the established media types of the day and its writers didn’t give Rose a chance in the beginning! They thought she would fall flat and fail, but they didn’t know that this young woman with a passion in her heart for our Worcester Neighborhoods would fight and challenge the city’s status quo.

Rose went on the attack when they went after her personally, and those who are no more than faded journalistic names in a Dewey Decimal System in a library are not part of the conversation that we’re having in this community – our long history gone – but Rose is still here as a long established journalist who has successfully survived.

I have written many articles for InCity Times and have had welcome feedback from many segments in the Worcester community, some for its humor “What Makes You Happy, Worcester?” or “Mine is Bigger than Yours” and then, “Black Like Me Worcester,” a political history of the political involvement of Worcester and its Communities of color.

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Bill’s cover story for ICT

This editorial space would never have been afforded by the mainstream media.

Today in our world we talk about finally ending racism and addressing the issues of police brutality, lack of job opportunities and affordable housing.

As we are grateful to have a voice in InCity Times and CECELIA newspapers and incitytimesworcester.org, we are even more grateful to have an editor – Rose – who understands the pulse of people’s heart and the climate in our communities, today 2020.

Through the publication of CECELIA and InCity Times newspaper and their above website, we have a permanent record of the events of our times – Worcester and the world. History will forever remind those in the future looking at what we did to improve the lives of people in our city neighborhoods.

InCity Times will be a part of that archive. Congrats, Rose, and thank you.

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Today – CECELIA!

MISS YOU, JACK HOFFMAN:
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💙💙💙💙💙💙💙

SUMMER LEARNING A MUST THIS YEAR! PARENTS, BE INVOLVED! … + more🇺🇸🌺🎶

By John Monfredo, Worcester School Committee

This summer I’m worried about our students: they just experienced a loss of learning during these past four months due to the pandemic crisis. Now comes summer vacation! Again, my advice to WPS parents is get your children and teens into an on-line summer school learning situation. It’s not the best – but it’s something!

Remember, research clearly shows us that students who read over the summer start school in the fall ready to learn. The same applies to math loss as well. Remember, summer vacation is great as a break from school, but it doesn’t have to be a break from learning. Now, due to the pandemic crisis, students have had more time on their hands. Here are more facts for you to consider about learning and safety during the summer, from the researchers. It applies as to what has taken place for the past four months:

🔰All students experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer.

🔰On average, students lose approximately 2.6 months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills during the summer months.

🔰Low-income children experience greater summer learning losses than their higher income peers because middle-class parents have the means to engage their children, for example trips to a number of learning institutions and museums.

🔰Students may not have the same structured meal schedule and sometimes lose access to nutritious meals during the summer.

🔰Studies show that out-of-school time is a dangerous time for unsupervised children. Research shows that at least 11 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 12 care for themselves over the summer months (unsupervised.)🔰🔰🔰

In addition, the academic delay that occurs over the summer is one of the greatest problems confronting teachers each fall. In fact, when your children return to school, they may have experienced such learning loss during the summer – added to learning-loss during these past four months. Students will need to spend several weeks catching up to where they once were academically!

On the positive side, as a former WPS elementary school principal (Belmont Community School), I know that families have a major influence on their children’s achievement in school – and throughout life. Many studies have found that students with involved parents, no matter what their income or background, were more likely to succeed in school if parents or guardians encouraged and supported learning at home.

Again, you MUST BE INVOLVED IN YOUR CHILD’S LEARNING! Now more than ever!
Let’s look at what can be done. These suggestions come from the National Association of School Principals:

Devise A Plan. Tell your child that reading and learning activities will be an important part of their summer. Assure them that they’ll still have lots of time for play.

Transform everyday activities into learning opportunities. Children can count change, read directions for a trip, write a shopping list, or calculate a recipe’s measurements.

Gather activity books. Give children their own activity book with crossword puzzles or number games customized for their specific age group. Set a “due date” to keep them on track, but let them work at their own pace.

Initiate a writing project. Have your child keep a summer journal, write letters to family members or friends, or craft a play to perform with siblings or neighbors. Start a family cookbook with your favorite recipes, instructions, and shopping lists.

Strategize screen time. Educational computer games or apps can engage students’ minds, but make sure your child is spending enough time away from the screen.

No electric devices. Assign a daily block of time for family members to turn off phones, computers, and the TV, and instead play a board game or read together.

Designate daily reading blocks. Set aside at least 20 minutes a day for your entire family to read. (That means parents, too!) Organize a summer read-a-thon with goals for each family member, or sign your child up for your library’s summer book. Need additional books, contact me!

Go global. Set aside several nights during the summer to have an international evening. Together, cook a meal with recipes from a different nation. Learn basic words in that country language. Find the country on a map, and together examine a book or article with information on what life is like there.

Don’t forget math. Finally, try to motivate your child to complete 5 to 10 math problems (from a grade-appropriate workbook) a few times a week, ask him/her mental math problems as one drives in the car and play math problem games ( or card games) as the situation arises. Hopefully, the work will be fun (keep it low-level and simple), and the child will do it for enjoyment.
Learning alone and informally, or via a structured group for either part of the day or part of the summer will help to prevent learning loss and help your child stay sharp for school next year.

Remember to be creative during summer learning and, most important, have fun with learning!! Also, be sure to check out various learning websites for other ideas, too. Good luck! Most important, be consistent with a plan each and every day.

😸Have any questions, class?😊Please ask John via incitytimes@hotmail.com

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FYI:

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New Edith column😊: Let It Grow!!🌸🌺🌷🍀 + more

By Edith Morgan

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Edith!🌸🌹🌹🌺

It is so great to live in a part of the world that has four seasons! Every year we participate in nature’s birth, blooming, reproducing, then sleeping, resting – and then beginning the whole process all over. Each season brings its own unique beauties!

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Children love nature!

That’s why I enjoy watching what will come up on its own, starting seeds in my various indoor experiments in March, and going out daily to see what’s up. On a bad weather day I can dream over the wonderfully tantalizing catalogs that come before March and see what is sprouting in my eggshells, pots and other trays.

My house sits on a 70’ by 70’ lot and takes up most of it, so there is not much space left to grow things. But nature manages to get a foothold in cracks, in the lawn, anywhere there is a bit of dirt, some sun, and occasional rain. What started out as a fern or two is now a lush yearly cover around the house; the Solomon’s seal has filled in every available space before the porch, and the lilies of the valley crowd each other out on the side, yearly more dense and fragrant. The forsythia bloom despite their northern location, and the azalea bursts into full flower in the spring.

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This year I am trying out two raised boxes (4′ by 6’) beside the house, filled with a rich mixture of soil, manure and fertilizer. Tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and sundry herbs are thriving there, and I just have to make sure that they get watered on dry spells.

At the only really sunny corner I have, I am growing, or letting grow, strawberries, two yucca plants, and a wild mix of daisies, day lilies, a few scattered tulips, an invasion of chives, and pots of all kinds that have geraniums, gladiolas and various other bulbs. I call that area. “my little God’s one-tenth acre” and just watch what comes up. As I get older (almost 90 now) I want to enjoy seeing things grow without having to babysit a lot of plants each year.

Things seem far more lush than usual this year. I think it is one of the few benefits of the novel coronavirus: less driving, less air pollution, more totally clear blue skies, all have given Mother Nature the go-ahead to expand and celebrate!

AS I write this, my mock orange bush is in bloom, the peonies too are putting out their wonderful fragrance, in three colors, and the roses are full of buds – they should be open for Father’s Day. The invasive wisteria still snakes around everything Maybe next year I can train the tendrils along some kind of structure, give it its own place, and hopefully get it to finally bloom, too.

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Mother Earth likes it when we grow things!

If am still “self-quarantined” due to the pandemic next spring, maybe I can undertake more ambitious gardening. That is something we can all do, alone or with others. And sharing cuttings, harvest and floral gifts is always an added blessing.

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FYI:

It’s time to see ourselves in everyone else … + more😊🎶🎵

By Ingrid E. Newkirk

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Ingrid has changed the world!

I was in Washington, D.C., when 14th Street burned, following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Like many of us, I went on to witness more riots and rampages when other outrages against black men and women sparked that desperate need to take to the streets to say, “Listen to us! Stop this!”

Now it’s happening again. On June 1, I watched as, only blocks from my office, rubber bullets and tear gas were used against peaceful protesters trying to exercise their First Amendment rights by holding signs and chanting outside the White House. A few days later, I found myself marching yet again.

Perhaps other quietly executed presidential acts should come as no surprise when, instead of condemning the police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck until he died — calling for his mother and pleading that he couldn’t breathe — and instead of expressing empathy for those seeking an end to racial injustice, the president condemns the protesters and called out the military. I say that because, last month, the president legalized acts of violence against others who have committed the “crime” of not only failing to be born white but also failing to be born human.

The Trump administration not only reversed police reform advanced by President Obama, but has rolled back that president’s protection of federal lands and wildlife. A new ruling allows hunters in Alaska — mostly privileged white men like Mr. Trump’s trophy-hunting sons, who kill for the sheer pleasure of it — to lure black bears, including mothers and their cubs, out of their dens with artificial light; to use bait to attract black and brown bears; to hunt wolves and coyotes during the denning season; and to shoot caribou while they’re swimming or from motorboats.

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Bears must be FREE and not exhibited in roadside zoos or county fairs! President Trump recently made it legal to KILL MORE BEARS BY luring black bears, including mothers and their cubs, out of their dens with artificial light and to use bait to attract the black and brown bears.

One injustice cannot be allowed to fly under the radar while another, often more personal injustice, remains to be urgently corrected. If you are my age, you may remember the LIFE magazine picture of young white men and women who were boarding buses to go to Southern states to help black people there register to vote. They were being screamed at, called “white n*****s,” and told to go fix poverty among “their own kind” in Appalachia. It made me wonder what my own kind was, exactly. Where were the lines drawn?

I believe that injustice is one big rotten mass, and just as Mr. Floyd showed us that he loved his mother, and just as my mother loved me, if we really look, we can see what President Trump cannot: that a mother bear loves her babies, too. She will guard them with her life. But now she will lose that life—and in her own home, a place no longer sacred but instead “fair game” to anyone who values putting animals’ heads on the wall over sparing their lives.

Those of us who champion animal rights believe with all our hearts in civil rights because, to us, it is one big struggle against all the ugly “-isms,” all hate, all bias, all injustice. We united for civil rights in the ’60s, and now everyone with an open heart must unite again to fight continuing injustice. At this moment in time, the focus must be on demanding an end to racism — we get that — but, in due time, we must work together to end all oppression.

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Ban all exotic animal shows from Worcester!

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RESCUE ALL ANIMALS WHO SUFFER!

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🎵🎵🎵🎵🎵🎵🎵:

Happy Birthday, WAYLON JENNINGS!💞💞:


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New recipe from Chef Joey🍸… BLACK LIVES MATTER – but WORCESTER’S “Comfortable” Black Folks Must Demand Reform, Too!🗽+ more🎵

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Chef Joey🥖🇫🇷🇺🇸

English Muffins!

Text and pics from Chef Joey

Here in France I was thinking about things that I can get in the states, and English muffins came to mind. …

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During the global pandemic, the French government gives free facial masks to all people! Joey – pictured here wearing his mask – got his daughter Gigi ready for school. The kiddos went back to school last month – avec social distancing and stringent cleaning protocols.

It’s an easy recipe, and by eliminating the butter and using oil and water instead of milk you can make it vegan!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups flour

1 packet yeast

1 tsp salt

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1/4 tsp salt

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The not-so-secret recipe!

Mix it all together, well.

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Cover and let rise 16 hours.

Form into muffins and place in a heated skillet that’s dry. Cover.

Cook a couple of minutes and flip. Let cook, then serve. It’s that easy!

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Cheers!!

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BLACK LIVES MATTER – BUT WORCESTER’S “COMFORTABLE” BLACK FOLKS MUST DEMAND REFORM, TOO!

By Rosalie Tirella

IF BLACK FAMILIES WANT CHANGES IN WORCESTER – ESPECIALLY IN OUR POLICE DEPARTMENT – …

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WPD Chief Steve Sargent – the buck stops with Steve! ICT file photo

… THEN THEY HAVE TO WORK FOR IT, TOO! It can’t be CECELIA, the college kids, the young people, Gordon Davis, Dante and activist Kevin Ksen, D4 City Councilor Sarai Rivera and the usual suspects. THE REGULAR FOLKS – BLACK MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES WITH NICE HOMES, KIDS IN OUR SCHOOLS, GOOD JOBS IN CITY GOVT OR IN OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS … They must rise to meet these days!

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It cannot only be Woo college kids …

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… and the city’s vocal progressives demanding reforms in the WPD!

I know from 20 years experience running CECELIA, InCity Times, our website and more: Too often Blacks who are “all set” in Worcester, have reaped the benefits of a good city job etc, are middle class, are professionals, keep their mouths shut, do not get involved so as not to jeopardize their good jobs, their situations in their nice neighborhoods. They know how Worcester rolls. They do not want to lose their good jobs, their comfy situations, their good relations with Worcester’s white power brokers …

Cowards. Through the years some terrific, educated Black people who know the score, have said to me: Rose, don’t quote me. I have to be careful …

These African Americans walk a tight rope every day here in Worcester. Even the recent open letter from Worcester’s Black Clergy to the City of Worcester was wimpy! It didn’t say very much at all, despite its lengthiness! Just asking for talks with the City. Well, pastors, Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus will be glad to meet with you and blab and blab and say beautiful sentences. His rhetoric will soar! But you will get nothing from him and City officials: No civilian review board. No body cameras for all WPD cops. No banning of chokeholds, etc by WPD cops. No defunding WPD overtime to give $$$ to other city services that help Blacks and other minorities and the poor – homeless agencies, social workers, health services. And no removal of WPD cops from our public high schools.

YOU WILL GET NOTHING. NONE OF THE ABOVE. BECAUSE YOU ARE PLAYING IT SAFE SO AS NOT TO ANGER City Manager Ed Augustus and the city’s powerful players. So as not to hurt your and your families’ situation.

The city poo blahs know this – they know the patterns of our city better than anyone!

So nothing of substance will happen for Worcester’s Black Community.

Again.

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FYI:

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Edith is back! 🌸🌷🌺🌹🍀

The Last Straw?

By Edith Morgan

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A recent photo of Edith in her beautiful Worcester Victorian. photo submitted

Is the George Floyd murder the “last straw” – the one that “broke the camel’s back?” Are we, the American people, finally ready to make some REAL changes?

And why now?

Violence of all sorts is deeply embedded in all areas of our culture. WAR is our prime metaphor as a solution for anything that needs changing: We have the war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on cancer, the war on crime, the war on bacteria and viruses – on anything that harms us. And the Trump administration declared war on certain immigrants, on people of color, on Muslims, and on anyone unfortunate enough to try to seek refuge from countries where the drug lords rule, getting rich by feeding our deplorable drug habit) or where a tyrant is in charge. And murder, mayhem and fear rule each day.

We do not have a great history of being hospitable to newcomers, have always had quotas (with Hitler killing in Europe … I came under a special quota in 1941, as a member of my European family, Jewish, penniless and deprived of citizenship (and thus made into non-persons). It was by the grace of God that my family entered the United States – just two months before Pearl Harbor, when all immigration stopped as we went to War.

All during World War II there was never a weapon in our home, nor did we children play with toy guns. And we came from a nation where the police were not armed (neither was the population).

Here, as an American citizen, I have participated in our local “Crime Watches” and have supported “Community Policing” and always enjoyed great cooperation and caring. I know that being assigned to that group is not the road to promotion, but I always felt that this activity was the most important one. But over the years, in many cities, police work has morphed from the community model (what comes to my mind is the Norman Rockwell painting of the cop sitting on the soda fountain stool next to the boy – obviously a runaway –with the clear implication that he will talk him into going home) to the fully armed, militarized force so much in evidence nowadays.

We now have a whole list of young Black men and boys, killed by police, often unarmed, often with their hands up, usually not in the midst of some imagined heinous crime – mostly just out walking.

When did we give our policemen the right to be judge, jury and executioners?

What happened to “innocent until proven guilty”?

Why do we need to know about every occasion before we know what really happened?

Clearly, the case of George Floyd was different in one important respect: This time, a brave and bright 17-year-old girl with a steady hand and camera, held it on the activities from beginning to end. The whole world saw the unending horror of this killing, thanks to modern technology, so there was no way of playing games with the evidence.

Even though President Trump has in the past said we should not believe our eyes, but believe him (with his record of at least 10,000 public lies??), most people all over the nation and the world this time saw – and were horrified.

We have always heard that “a picture is worth a thousand words” and these pictures certainly were …

So I am hopeful that this time there will be some soul searching, some thinking, some planning, and that gradually we really reform our failed “criminal justice system,“ rife with its inequalities, vengefulness, emotional excesses and politicization.

Any democratic society has to rely very heavily on TRUST: We assume certain things in a free society, that as we go about our daily lives, we can take for granted that the vast majority of people will automatically do what is right and legal: stay in their lane, stop at signs, let pedestrians cross, look out for children and the old and infirm, take turns, and pay for what we select in stores, etc. Laws exist to remind those who choose to do their own thing at the expense of us all that they will lose their freedom to prey on us. All human endeavors have their flaws, so we have to change and/or improve the rules.

We have a right to challenge bad laws, assemble with others, protest and encourage changes.

But we do not have a right to become enraged and destroy the property of others. A good look, usually from an aerial view, of the tens of thousands of protesters, in so many cities, show that they are peaceful, unarmed, slow moving, and of mixed races and ages. But a closer look at the looters and burners and rock throwers shows that they are NOT part of the concerned Americans who truly mourn and want a change.

I took part in the protest marches in the 1960’s, and millions marched peacefully, always on the lookout for the “agents provocateurs” who come to disrupt and give the event a bad name, or who were just hooligans doing their own thing.

The rest of the world does not look upon the protesters as anything but peaceful- and truly concerned citizens exercising their rights. And tens of thousands in other nations have joined our people, and will continue to support them.

Already there are good signs that real changes are taking place …

Perhaps now that we are on the march, the ongoing tragedies of Columbine, Newtown, the Falklands and so many others will also receive attention and lead to making our children safe in their schools without the presence of armed policemen.

Drive fear from our land.

Chef Joey banana cupcake recipe …+more🎶📰

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🌌😍🌌Chef Joey!

Banana Cupcakes

Text and pics by Chef Joey

Turns out it is a rainy day here, with a chance of thunderstorms. So my morning excursion to the supermarket was thwarted by the heavy rains that accompanied some thunder. Instead, I looked around my kitchen and discovered I had a plethora of ripe bananas and needed to do something with them …

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… – so I threw together a batter that comes out like the consistency of a thicker pancake batter. You can use this as a pancake batter, too! I made some pancakes with the excess mix that I made my banana cupcakes with!

So I had a bunch of short bananas that I threw into my mixer – make sure everything (except the milk) is room temperature. You can do this in a bowl too – by hand. I was lazy, it was raining after all.

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I added:

2 eggs

1 stick of butter

½ cup of sugar

1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla

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I gave it a blast and added 1/3 cup of brown sugar and a ½ cup flour, with 2 teaspoons of baking powder.

Mixed it again and put it in a bowl. I added another cup of flour and ¾ cup of buttermilk – or regular milk with 1 tsp of white vinegar added

Mix well and pour into your pre-greased or papered cupcake pan:
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This made 12 cupcakes and a large apple banana pancake!

I baked them at 375 degrees for about 18 minutes in my convection oven turning once.

With the extra batter, I sliced an apple thin and sautéed it in a little butter until soft and poured on the remaining batter and covered and cooked over a medium heat. When the batter set after a couple of minutes I slid it onto a dish and slid it into a pan to cook the other side, as it is too heavy to flip. …

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Cooked another couple minutes and served with sprinkled sugar.

The cupcakes are great as they are not too sweet – you can add more sugar but soft bananas yields enough sugar, in my opinion:
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Enjoy – I’ll be back with more recipes!

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VEGAN BAKER’S CHEAT SHEET:

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Looking for a Miracle?! June is “Adopt a Cat”Month ! …+ more☮️🎶

By Lindsay Pollard-Post

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Rose’s Cece, as a kitten, when she was rescued by Rose – underweight, underfed.

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Cece today: the cat’s meow!
pics:R.T.

Recently, an Ohio man was feeling ill. Thinking a nap might help, he lay down. But soon, he was awakened by a scratchy tongue licking his face and paws pressing against his chest: It was Bear, the feisty longhaired black cat he had adopted from an animal shelter just over a year earlier.

According to a post by the shelter, “Bear knew something was wrong and sprang into action.” When the man woke up, he was dizzy and his vision was blurry, so he called 911. Paramedics found that his blood sugar was dangerously high — over 900 — and a doctor at the hospital where the man was admitted said that if he’d stayed asleep, he would have died. But now, the man is back home and on the mend, thanks to his feline guardian angel.

Shelters across the country are overflowing with cats like Bear who would love to be someone’s devoted — and possibly even lifesaving!! — companion. If you’re prepared to care for a cat for life, June — “Adopt a Cat” Month — might be the purrfect time to welcome a feline friend into your family.

Bear isn’t the only rescued feline who has returned the favor: In April, a Newfoundland man was awakened by his cat, Joey, standing on his chest and pawing at his cheek. Smelling smoke, the man hurried to the kitchen, where the slow cooker he had set hours earlier was burning. Thanks to Joey, disaster was averted and everyone in the house was safe — including the family’s dog, who had snoozed through the whole incident.

Adopted cats often form deep bonds with their rescuers — Joey’s guardian says that his feline firefighter likes to play fetch and follows him from room to room. And as a Canadian woman who rescued a cross-eyed cat named Mervin discovered, taking the time to understand your cat’s body language not only strengthens your connection, it could save the day.

When Mervin was unusually insistent about going for his daily stroll, meowing and scratching at the door, his guardian suspected that something was up. After she put his harness and leash on him, he led her straight to the problem: An electrical wire that was crackling and sparking near a pile of dried leaves, just inches away from her wooden deck. “He’s always seemed very smart and observant,” Mervin’s guardian remarked. “Always listen to your animals if you think they’re trying to tell you something.”

Some rescued cats have even gone on to help their guardians save other lives. After being awakened by her rescued cat, Kitty, a New York woman escaped an apartment complex blaze and helped the family in the unit above her get out safely, too, by catching their small children as they were dropped into her arms.

But amid the smoke and chaos, she became separated from Kitty, and the flames were too intense to go back inside and look for her. The next morning, the woman returned, insisting that Kitty was still alive inside the apartment. And she was. A firefighter emerged from the charred building, carrying Kitty in his arms. “She is a true miracle,” the woman said. “I saved her, and then she saved me.”

Could your miracle be waiting in a shelter? With “kitten season” in full swing, shelters everywhere are full of playful youngsters as well as affectionate adult cats of all personalities who need loving homes. Adoption fees are usually hundreds less than what pet stores and breeders charge and include spaying or neutering, microchipping, deworming and vaccinations for your new friend.

Best of all, when you adopt, you become a lifesaver. And if you ask Bear, Joey, Mervin and Kitty, that’s the greatest miracle of all.

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In My Opinion: Worcester Protest March, Police Brutality, America’s Marches + 🇺🇸🎶

By Ron O’Clair

On this day I witnessed a spectacle that would have been unheard of back on the 6th of June 1944. In the midst of an active pandemic, hundreds of people in Worcester were compelled to forget about social distancing and come out of their seclusion to protest the horrific death of another Amrrican citizen – George Floyd – at the hands of what has been described as “out of control” police here in America.

The principle trigger to the angst surrounding this particular death in custody was the fact of the victim’s heritage, a Black man. By now everyone has seen the video of the Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on the victim’s throat for almost 9 minutes, seemingly oblivious to the many people who attempted to impart the information that he was “Killing him.”

In fact, people were threatened by other police officers at the scene – told that they would be tazed or pepper sprayed, if they did not stop their protests while that officer continued applying pressure to the neck of George Floyd until it was plainly apparent that he was no longer moving – at which point another officer checked the victim’s pulse and summoned an ambulance.

Many people feel that this was the straw that broke the camel’s back and that drastic action must be taken to make changes to our American police procedures – throughout our country – to stop what many feel is discriminatory and selective deadly force being used on Black citizens. Never mind the fact that there are statistically far more non-blacks getting killed while in the process of being arrested or once in confinement. Even one death in custody is too many, when the cause was preventable.

The country has been a fire keg looking for a match since Michael Brown’s death … I am not going to argue that the police are blameless for that angst, as they callously left Michael Brown’s body lying in the street for an extended period of time while they “investigated” the shooting – in full view of many onlookers.

Mistakes were made on both sides of that issue, as is again happening with this latest tragic death of a citizen in police custody.

We might want to rethink our police training on a national level so that incidents similar to this one are not repeated. Worcester learned a valuable lesson along those lines many years ago with the death of Worcester resident Christino Hernandez, who also couldn’t breathe due to being held forcibly with his airway obstructed by improper Worcester police tactics being used.

You would think that other departments around the country would be able to benefit from that costly lesson and that these deaths would decrease over time with proper training of future offices.

I have the unique perspective of having been nearly killed while being held in police custody years ago – by an out of control Court Officer who lifted me off the cell floor while I was handcuffed from behind and basically defenseless. He was choking me – I couldn’t breathe.

But I was fortunate enough to have been able to disable him by breaking out his lower leg bones so that I could breathe!

Of course the County of Worcester swept that “under the rug” with a deal made by me that in return of charges being dropped, security cameras would be installed in the holding cells to prevent another such incident. They paid the then fully disabled Court Officer full disability for the rest of his life, never charging him for the assault on my person.

I was 25 years old – young – and figured that I was going to “change” the way things were being done by exposing the truth of the matter, not realizing what I was getting into, but also realizing that police are an integral part of our society. Despite my own bad experience, we need to have them.

This is where what I witnessed yesterday comes into sharp focus for me. The protesters have a just cause – there is ample need for reform in our policing here in America. We have double standards in both civilian and police hierarchy. On the civilian side, you have out of control segments of society that embrace a philosophy of “snitches get stiches” aimed at those who actually uphold their end of the citizenship bargain and do their civic duty to testify against those who are breaking our laws on a daily basis: dealing deadly poisons to our people who end up dead with a needle in their arm or a crack pipe at their lifeless feet.

You also have the police “Blue Wall of Silence” that prevents the good officers from “ratting” on the bad ones who need to be disciplined.

It boils down to the same thing, “snitches get stiches” in both civilian and police circles.

The people have the power to make the “change” happen, but they have to be willing to pay the price of their convictions by becoming willing to testify in a Court of Law against those that breach the peace. The law has remedies that are effective and will work, but the public has to support their local law enforcement and work within the law to bring about the “change” we all seek. Injustice will continue to happen on both sides of the fence unless and until people realize they are the last chance to effect change – by bringing to justice those who abuse their authority.

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Making demands is one thing, participating in wholesale looting, burning and destruction of public and private property is another. It will never change anything, except bring on more force of arms to control angry mobs of people stirred up by agitators with an ulterior motive that is not in the best interest of the average American citizen.

The police need to be willing to clean their own departments and hold their own bad apples to a higher standard of professionalism. Citizens need to step up and help the local authorities take a huge bite out of crime by doing their civic duty and assisting the police in curtailing criminal activity. (It can be done anonymously, so there is no excuse for letting the criminal elements continue to intimidate citizens into silent consent of illegal activity). We here in Worcester are fortunate that our own police department has made strides since the Christino Hernandez killing. Under our current police chief, Steve Sargent …

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WPD Chief Steve Sargent

… I have been watching from the sidelines since I was 25 years old – with a keen eye. I am now 59 – much has been accomplished but also much needs to be done, as well.

The Worcester “Peaceful Protest March” certainly drew attention to the problems we face. Now it takes courage to make our society better for all and hold bad police and criminal elements as well to a “higher standard.” We deserve a safe America where everyone gets to enjoy our uniquely American freedoms. Worcester has always been in the forefront of change. Let us not drop the ball now.

Like/dislike? Please let the author know – email Ronny at ronaldoclair@hotmail.com

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