Decision on panhandling preliminary injunction

As the Telegram reports [$], Judge Timothy Hillman “refused to issue a preliminary injunction blocking the city’s panhandling ordinances.”

Because I know many of you enjoy reading legal decisions during your lunch hour, I’ve posted the decision (which I’ve skimmed but haven’t read deeply) onto Google Docs.


CWW: Tricks, Treats, Music

1) Friday night from 6-8pm at Old Stubridge Village is “Tricks or Treats” — free admission and trick-or-treating:

Children can take part in “spooky but safe” trick-or-treating from house-to-house around the Village Common, which will be decorated for Halloween. Visitors can enjoy juggling by Lucky Bob the Comedic Juggler, hear tales by storyteller Katie Greene, and see puppet shows by Carravan Puppets.

 Read more

Candy for trick-or-treating generously donated by Treasure Treats/Everson Distributing.

Donations of canned goods for a local food pantry encouraged.

2) Mechanics Hall Brown Bag concerts begin next Wednesday and continue through December 4.

Open Meeting Law training and Rules Commission Meeting

There will be an Open Meeting Law training held by the Attorney General’s Office next Wednesday, October 30, from 6-8pm at Quinsigamond Community College, Harrington Learning Center, Room HLC 109A&B [map].

If you are interested in attending, you can find registration information on their website.

There is also going to be a Rules and Legislative Affairs committee meeting on Wednesday, November 13, at 5pm.  There’s no agenda (yet) but we’ve been told that there will be a representative from the Attorney General’s office to discuss questions about Open Meeting Law compliance.  I’ll post again as this meeting approaches and we see an agenda.

Worcester Public Library Board Openings

There will be two openings for the Worcester Public Library board for next year.

If you’re interested in applying, the city clerk will need to receive your letter of intent and resume to by Friday, November 15 at noon.

For more information about the process, please read this flyer.

If you have any questions about the process, send Jim an email.

The Friends of Worcester Public Library is also looking for two at-large members for its board.  We’re looking for folks who can attend one meeting a month (third Tuesday of the month at 4pm) and who are also willing to volunteer their time in book sorting, book sales, or the bookstore/cafe.  Please send me an email if you are interested and I’ll have someone get in touch with you.

If you aren’t interested in serving on our board, but are interested in volunteering for the Friends (book sorting, book sales, bookstore/cafe, and other activities), please leave a comment or come on down to the Food for Thought Cafe in the main branch and express your interest!

And — in case you were wondering — yes, we always need books and magazines for the Give and Take bookcase at Union Station.

Due to my schedule, I haven’t been able to attend the Worcester Public Library board meetings for months.  However, Jim Kersten has sent me the following:

WPL Head Librarian’s Accomplishment Report – June-August

WPL Strategic Plan 2013-2016 – final draft

WPL Strategic Plan – Action Plan

WPL Head Librarian’s Accomplishment Report – September

(I haven’t had a chance to read any of these documents — but please leave a comment if you have questions and I’ll try to find answers.)

Fiddling while Rome burns

Last night, the City Council discussed the crime rate at the Midtown Mall (in the WoMag liveblog, search for “8.10”; Telegram [$] article).

According to the WPD, there were 87 total police related calls in 2012.  In 2013 through September 25, there were 49 calls.  For those of us who can do math, that seems as if the Midtown is tracking towards 66 police calls this year, which means things are getting better, right?

I’m not going to defend Dean Marcus, though I wish we’d hear from some of his tenants and their customers to get a fuller picture of the building.

But we’ve got a situation where the Central Building is scheduled to be demolished in four months.

If we need the city administration to strongarm anyone, or talk about eminent domain, or solicit developers who are just dying to redevelop a building, perhaps we should focus on the Central Building, which will otherwise turn into another parking lot right on Main Street.

Also, talking about the police calls to the Midtown Mall without comparing to the police calls at other downtown buildings doesn’t tell us anything valuable.

In fact, there’s a building right across from the Midtown Mall that gets numerous police calls, where there have been assaults and shootings right outside the building, and whose bathrooms are rumored to be places of ill repute.

It’s called City Hall.

This item will be referred to the Public Safety committee; I’ll let folks know when it’s going to come up.

Food Truck Hearing – tomorrow, 5pm

Whether you do or don’t want to see an expanded food truck scene in Worcester, it is very important that you show up at tomorrow’s (Wednesday) meeting of the City Council Economic Development subcommittee.  The meeting begins at 5pm in the Esther Howland Chamber (the one on the left).

If you cannot attend, you can send your comments to the City Council as a whole or the members of the subcommittee specifically (Rushton, O’Brien, and Russell).  You can find contact information for all Councilors in this document.

Worcester: city that “gets it”

There’s a column about Worcester’s downtown by Paul McMorrow in today’s Globe that’s partly a rebuttal to the story from last week.

I’m not sure I agree with the column more than I did the article, but you should read it and comment away:

Plenty of work remains. Well over 1.5 million square feet of buildings remain on the drawing boards. The city needs every one of them to create a downtown that hums with life. Worcester’s failed mall showed that cities can’t wish vibrant downtowns into existence. People need real reasons for coming, and staying, downtown. That’s why the residential component of Worcester’s CitySquare plan looms large — and why it shows the city understands the importance of incremental change.

No to shelters/sign-holding, yes to residents of parks

Perhaps you’ve seen Bill Eddy’s latest campaign mailing:



Using this mailing, let’s sum up what he’s against and what he’s for.


  • sign-holding
  • homeless shelters sited in his district

We’d best not find Mr. Eddy or his supporters waving Eddy signs by intersections, or he’ll/they’ll be in violation of Mr. Eddy’s beloved “panhandling” ordinance.  And Mr. Eddy jumped on the anti-shelter bandwagon rather hastily after an angry mob of his constituents packed South High in opposition to a temporary SMOC shelter on Main Street.


  • Webster Square residents
  • Columbus Park & Hadwen Park residents

Since this a targeted mailing, it omits how much more Mr. Eddy “stands up” for the more affluent areas of the west side.  But let us assume that at some point or another he may have “stood up” for the poorer folks in the Webster Square area.  Who, exactly, are the “residents” of Hadwen Park — Squirrels?  Birds?  Bugs?  As long as it’s not members of  Occupy Worcester and/or a stray pit bull or two, they should be all set.

Here’s a peek at what he’s sending to his more affluent constituents:



He’s a bit clearer about who his constituents are in this mailing — he needs not invoke the names of  parks or vaguely remembered topography as he does for his mailing to the poor folks.  In this mailing he just trots out quotes from anyone he figures might have lots of vote-casting friends.

What’s consistent is his persistent belief that one can stand by the side of the road with a sign. 

Despite what the mailer says, “Anyone” can’t stand out with a sign — thanks in large part to Councilor Eddy and the eight other councilors who voted with him.

CWW: Smiles for Sophia Festival and Sundae Sunday


Smiles for Sophia – Burncoat’s Second Annual Fall Festival.  11am-3pm at Burncoat High School.

Admission is $5 for all ages and 100% of the proceeds benefit The Sophia Fund. The event will be held rain or shine.

The festival is geared towards children ages 2 to 12 and features pony rides, entertainment, arts & crafts, jumpies, games, food and prizes. A ¼ mile Harvest Fun Run will be held at 1:30 pm. Children are encouraged to wear costumes for the run, and prizes for the most creative costume will be awarded.

The event is held in honor of Sophia Kuczarski, a Burncoat resident who lost her battle with leukemia in 2012 at the age of four. Lauren Angers, a neighbor of Sophia’s and an event organizer says “Sophia had a loving personality and contagious smile that is missed by everyone who knew her. She was a spunky and brave little girl who loved nothing more than playing and having fun.” This event seeks to honor Sophia’s memory in a playful and fun manner while also raising funds to support families with childhood.


Sundae Sunday, a celebration about Sunday openings at the Worcester Public Library; 1:30pm.  There will be ice cream and balloon animals.  I shouldn’t have to say anything more!