Worcester news you can use!

Free Trees and Less Stormwater
Community Meeting

Tomorrow! Wednesday, May 6


Quinsigamond Village Community Center

16 Greenwood St.

As part of our campaign to plant 100 trees in Quinsigamond Village and Main South neighborhoods of Worcester, Worcester Tree Initiative and the Blackstone Headwaters Coalition will be holding an informational meeting at the Quinsigamond Village Community center.

During the meeting we will be discussing the important roles that trees have to play in our environment, particularly when it comes to issues of water pollution and flooding.

We also want to know if you want to plant a tree in your yard along your street. We are giving the trees away for free!

The meeting is open to the public but the trees are only available to residents of Quinsigamond Village and Main South.

Whether you want a free tree or just want to learn we hope you will join us. Refreshments will be served.

Cancer Survivors and Caregivers to be Honored at
Relay For Life of Worcester

Local cancer survivors and their caregivers will take the celebratory first lap at the annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Worcester event on June 19 at Burncoat High School.

The Survivors Lap will start at 6:30 p.m., and anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer may participate.

As the survivors walk, other event participants will cheer them on in a demonstration of support and celebration.

The five-year survival rate for all cancers has risen to 68 percent, and there are an estimated 14 million Americans alive today who have been diagnosed with the disease.

The Relay For Life program is a community event where teams and individuals set up campsites at a school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path.

Each team has at least one participant on the track at all times. Four million people participated in more than 6,000 events worldwide last year. The money raised supports groundbreaking cancer research, education and prevention programs, and critical services for people facing cancer.

If you are a cancer survivor or caregiver and would like to take part in the Relay For Life of Worcester event, visit www.relayforlife.org/worcesterma



Congressman Jim McGovern introduced yesterday H.R. 2204, the Safe Communities Act, a bill that would give states and local communities the ability to regulate liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) rail transload facilities that are operated by a rail carrier.

“Communities ought to have a say in whether or not a hazardous LPG facility is sited in their backyard,” said Rep. McGovern.  “I am deeply troubled that no other federal, state, or local agency, besides the Surface Transportation Board (STB), has jurisdiction over a project that could potentially threaten the health and safety of hundreds of people, including hundreds of children.”

The filing of the bill comes in response to plans by the Grafton-Upton Railroad to build a 320,000 LPG storage and transloading facility in the Town of Grafton and the subsequent STB decision to pre-empt state and local zoning and environmental protection laws. If allowed to stand, the STB decision would pave the way for the construction of an LPG facility in a residential zone within Grafton’s water supply protection district.

“This issue is not new to Congress,” said Rep. McGovern. “The Safe Communities Act of 2015 is similar to a provision included in a bipartisan 2008 passenger rail bill that addressed health and safety concerns at railroad-owned and operated solid waste transfer facilities.”

The introduction of this bill follows Rep. McGovern’s filing of an amicus curiae brief in support of Grafton that he committed to at a January community meeting held in the town and moderated by State Senator Michael Moore.

On April 8, 2015, the United States District Court for the First Circuit (First Circuit) accepted the amicus curiae (or “friend of the court”) brief submitted by Rep. McGovern in March 2015 refuting the STB’s interpretation of federal law and congressional intent.  The accepted brief is in support of Grafton and its Board of Selectmen’s appeal of the STB’s January decision in favor of the Grafton and Upton Railroad.

Grafton appealed the STB decision to the First Circuit in October.  Grafton hopes to halt construction of the largest propane facility in the Commonwealth because of its close proximity to homes, a K-2 elementary school, a branch of the public library and a little league field.