Best of Worcester – Thank You!

I am once again really touched that readers have voted this blog the best local blog in Worcester Mag’s Best of Worcester 2013.

Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

While so much of this blog is about my personal quirks — an obsession with street signage, a compulsive inclination towards extreme thrift, and intermittent forays into activism — it’s just as much a dialogue between me and you.

Winning this award is bittersweet.  If our friend Jeff Barnard were here with us, he would certainly be blogging circles around me.  I miss his insight and his friendship, and the best blog Worcester ever had.

Rush Street Gaming

WoMag reported on a meeting Rush Street Gaming officials had today with folks in the Canal District.

For your benefit, we’ve put together a fact sheet about Rush Street.

So — when they tell you their jobs will be good-paying and full-time, you can ask why they offered buyouts to ALL of their 92 slots attendants in their Niagara Falls casinos, and why they’re encouraging those employees to go from full-time to part-time.  And how long it would take before they do the same in Worcester.

Profiles in Democracy

We heard the word “democracy” bandied about a bit more than usual at last night’s City Council meeting [WoMag liveblog, Telegram article ($)].

To recap, this is what democracy looks like:

  • A City Hall where the outside doors are locked after an open meeting has begun so that no additional members of the public can come.
  • Five police officers inside, and seven police cars outside.
  • A City Council that repeatedly reminds us that they cannot tell the City Manager what to do.

Most of our elected officials chastized the crowd for not coming out in great droves for their own personal pet projects and issues.

If we recall, at the meeting at the Hibernian Cultural Center, the City Councilors chairing the meeting:

  • Repeatedly misled the public (I hesitate to say “lied”, because that would imply they knew what they were talking about)
  • Interrupted members of the public who came up to speak
  • Told people they didn’t want to hear their opinions

If the City Council is wondering why people don’t show up at meetings, perhaps it’s because when people do show up, it’s accompanied by beratings from elected officials, invitations that local law enforcement intervene at the first hint of passion, and repeated reminders that our elected officials are powerless to do anything to dissuade the City Dictator from doing whatever he likes.

You cannot tell people to show up at the ballot box for a referendum in one moment, and then tell them that when they vote for the City Council, they’re voting for a body that has no power to direct the actions of an appointed official.

Unlike many members of the Council, I believe that my representatives can and do make a difference.  Why else would I spend many of my Tuesday nights at City Council meetings?  Why do they?

I am so proud to be involved in this movement, to be working alongside not only my good friends but also people with whom I disagree on many points.  I am so proud that people are showing up at these meetings and voicing their opinions.

And — whatever side of this issue you’re on — I hope you become more informed and involved.

You need to come out tonight to City Hall, Levi Lincoln Chamber, at 7pm.  Neil Bluhm will finally present some plans, and we’re interested to see what he says.

Here are other ways to get involved 

The final location of Duffy’s is now history

In case you haven’t visited the Wild West lately, the building in Cherry Valley that most recently housed the now-defunct Duffy’s Discount  has been demolished.

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Many years ago, this building had housed a Goretti’s Supermarket, and then later Cheapo Depot, Cherry Valley Liquors, and several lesser-known convenience stores.  The last tenant was Duffy’s Discount, which had moved there about a decade ago from 1511 Main Street in Worcester.

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Looks like a good sized lot for a hockey rink or two.  The Goretti family ought to see if the WBDC can extend its tentacles into Cherry Valley.

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Hermitage Country Club

Just in time for Earth Day…

Colin directed me to a few articles of interest to you God’s Acre fans.  (And I know you’re out there, people!)

Did you know that there was a Hermitage Country Club founded in the early 1900s that catered to motorists?  Yeah, me neither.

But if you want to see what the Abel Swan Brown Hermitage looked like (as opposed to the Andrew Clark Hermitage), check out the bottom of this page.

This article indicates that Solomon Parsons had visited Jerusalem in 1850, which I’d never heard before.

City Surveys

The Worcester Public Library is doing their annual survey for National Library Week.

You should fill out this survey if you use library services – even if you don’t live in Worcester. 

And a reminder that the online Public Survey for Worcester’s Parks, Open Space and Recreation Plan — in English and Spanish — needs to be completed by Friday, April 19, at 5:00 PM.

This survey will help shape the City’s priorities for the next seven years and help make the City eligible for State and Federal funding to implement various improvements.

If you’d like to see what other folks have talked about at the meetings I’ve attended, you can look in the Open Space category of the blog.