Legos Club begins tomorrow at the library


Legos Club is back for the fall!

Every other Saturday beginning TOMORROW, October 1, from 9:30-11:00am, in the children’s program room of the main library, children between the ages of 4 and 12 can come play with the largest collection of Legos this side of Legoland.

Be amazed as the only sound that comes out of these children is the soft shuffle of Legos!

More details here.

Many thanks to the Friends.

(Image: Lego, a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic image from Phil Whitehouse’s photostream.)

Caution: Free Books

For some of us, the prospect of free books is dangerous.  If you are one of us, you may not want to read any further.

Ben Franklin Bookstore is giving away [all its] books today through Saturday from 10am-6pm.

If someone goes (and does not have a blog), please take pictures.  This is a really depressing end of an era.

Driving the ALB out of Worcester

Someone needs to tell this person that we’re supposed to keep Worcester’s firewood in Worcester.  It oughtn’t be travelling the region as a replacement bumper.

If he/she were truly as “bad ass” as they claim to be, they’d have bolted a steel girder back there instead of a log.  Worcester’s got a lot of spare girders piling up on Worcester Center Boulevard, and they’re ALB-proof.

There are folks with day-glo vests and binoculars tree-gazing on Rattlesnake Hill today.  If they find any Asian Longhorned Beetles, I’m blaming the jamoke in the log-mobile.

CWW: 24 Hour Comics Day at Worcester Art Museum

Artists are invited to join a 24-hour Comics Day marathon Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Worcester Art Museum to create their own graphic novels.
Starting at 9 a.m., artists of all ages can gather in WAM’s classroom studios in the Higgins Education Wing and for the fourth consecutive year race against time and fatigue to create a 24-page comic before 9 a.m. Sunday morning.
The museum will supply all the coffee artists need to keep their creative juices flowing.
Youth under 18 years old are welcome at no cost to participate in the 3-hour and 8-hour challenges.  All challenges begin at 9:00 a.m.  The coffee and food fee for adults is $5.  Results will be on display in the Education Wing through October 29.
More info here; registration (REQUIRED) here.

Dressing the Dead

Regular readers of this blog know my personal (and official) concern for The Dead.  To that end…

Graham, Putnam, and Mahoney Funeral Parlor is seeking nice men’s suits and ladies’ dresses in which to dress less fortunate clients for their wakes and funerals.

This funeral home takes care of the funeral arrangements for many homeless and indigent folks.  They want to ensure that all of their clients have the opportunity to be buried in decent clothes.

Please contact Graham, Putnam, and Mahoney Funeral Parlor at 508-754-1717 if you have items of clothing you think would be suitable (or to ask what they might need in particular).  They’re located at 838 Main Street, near the intersection of May Street.

Please keep this in mind the next time you’re cleaning your closet or organizing a yard sale or swap, and please pass this information along to your friends & family.

I know that some of you (well, perhaps just one) are interested in reading more about the funeral ‘industry’ and modern burial practices.  I try to read as much as I can about both the rural cemetery movement in particular and funerals and cemeteries in general.

I recently acquired a copy of Grave Matters by Mark Harris; it’s a good (‘though obviously biased towards ‘green’ burial practices) overview of modern funeral options.

Curtains: Adventures of an Undertaker-in-training by Tom Jokinen was an interesting look from the (somewhat) inside of a modern, small family-owned funeral home.  Much more biased towards ‘traditional’ (or, at least, common practice for the last 50-100 years) forms of funeral practice.  Highly recommended.

My notes from the last Hope Cemetery Commission meeting will be posted soon.

Germain could spice up MY LIFE

Yesterday’s Nick K. column was called “Germain could spice up race“, but everyone knows that if Germain decided to run for mayor, the primary reason would be to give me multiple post ideas in the coming months.

I’ve edited the following quote to show the hidden subtext in his hints about running for mayor:

“My base is very solid with the unions, the municipal retirees,  and the elderly, and one obsessive blogger and I know I could count on them if I decided to run for mayor,” Mr. Germain said. “I am confident they would put a lot of people women on the ground for my campaign.   And write a lot of posts about how dreamy I am.”

Please run, Mike.  I’m running out of things my husband can tease me about.

In other articles you should be reading…

Jeremy & Brittany wrote an excellent article on red light cameras and other (better) ways to improve traffic flow and safety.  I am also a huge fan of the Public Works column.

Both Jeremy and Nick also had excellent columns on takeaways from the preliminary election.

Burns Bridge Update: Environmental Waivers (?) and Design Elements

There was an article about the meeting I liveblogged in yesterday’s Telegram.

You may recall that there was previously an article about how the state had requested some sort of environmental waiver, as well as an editorial decrying this waiver request.

So one might think that a reporter would ask a question about these environmental impact waivers.

Sadly, this blogger had to ask about the waivers, and was told that the Telegram article had no basis in fact.

And this is what John Monahan reported:  “[Project Manager Michael O’Dowd] said the request is not called a waiver, but was a request for a categorical exclusion from further environmental reviews.”

So, not only was there no apology, amplification, or clarification on the original Monahan article, but there was also no explanation for what the heck a “categorical exclusion from further environmental reviews” means, and how that differs from a waiver.

I don’t expect that someone will get everything right all the time (goodness knows I’m not), but I do expect that if someone is wrong that they will clarify their previous reporting.

The meeting presentation for Wednesday’s meeting is available on the web.  I suggest downloading the (rather large) .pdf rather than opening it in a browser.

In the liveblog, I mentioned that all of the designs for the ends of the bridge were ugly.

This is not an opinion.  This is fact.

The designs begin on page 37 of the large .pdf.

Option 1:

Option 1, night view from the other end of the bridge:

In short, Option 1 looks as if it came out of the set of Kismet; I’m half-expecting Howard Keel to pop out of a second-floor balcony and start singing “Stranger in Paradise.”

Option 2:

Option 2 is supposed to look like sails, but it screams “You are entering StarFleet Command in San Francisco circa 2355” to me.  Beam me up, Scotty!

Option 3, which is Option 2 with crossed oars:

Remember, these options were instigated because this bridge was too boring and not distinctive enough. I have no idea why anyone thinks prefab concrete pillars are going to make this bridge a “signature bridge”, or why we think some generic-looking prefabbed monstrosities are going to scream “Worcester”, “Shrewsbury”, or “Lake Quinsigamond.”

The problem is that we continue to approach making a bridge unique by using prefab ideas.

I would much prefer that we construct the bridge without them (that is, plain and perfectly serviceable) and have a competition — or two, one for the Worcester side and one for the Shrewsbury side — for the design elements on the end of the bridge.

Why aren’t we using the artists in our own community to create designs that uniquely reflect our community?

These pillars are absolutely unacceptable. If you feel as I do, you should use the comment form to let MassDOT know.

[I should note that I do like those glowy blue triangular obelisk things near the bumpouts. They are kind of cute.]