Worcester Art Museum Free Today (and in August!)

Today, courtesy of the Highland Street Foundation, admission to the following cultural institutions is free:


MIT MUSEUM, Cambridge
WAM will also be free of charge in August courtesy of the Kirby Foundation.
Happy Free Fun Friday, everyone!

Give me* your tired, your poor

*and by “me”, I mean “someone else”

The huddled masses/wretched refuse will once again be paid attention to at tomorrow night’s Council meeting.

In item 10f, Councilor Russell asks whether the Council can ban folks from going through other people’s recycling bins for returnables.  In item 11c, Councilors Rosen and Gaffney ask about the extent of drug use in the main library, as well as whether the sharps disposal boxes on the first floor of the library have been working.

I would like someone to ask why we continue to try to find new ways to criminalize being poor, and when we can start considering drug addiction a community problem and not a library problem.

Kudos to the City Manager for putting a sharps container in the main library bathrooms.  We need more, and we need to stop pretending that this is a downtown issue, or that all who use opiates are poor, homeless, or regular library patrons.  There are people in your neighborhood, in all neighborhoods, even in Holden, who are using IV drugs on a regular basis.

Focusing on the library to the exclusion of the larger issue is short-sighted and dangerous.  (Not that that’s what’s happening here, but Council discussions can quickly degenerate into oneupsmanship of whose constituent saw more illicit activity in which bathroom.)

And, for goodness sake, if we spent as much time trying to get quality jobs in Worcester as we did for blaming folks for being poor and trying to pick up a few extra bucks, no one would have to head out early on a trash day for returnables.

GWLT National Trails Day Celebration TOMORROW!

via GWLT:

There will be 6 hikes earlier in the day along the MidState Trail that runs from Rhode Island to New Hampshire through Worcester County (gwlt.org/midstate)

Followed by a Celebration at Sibley Farm at 2pm (131 Greenville Street, Spencer).
Congressman James P. McGovern will be coming to show his support for the MidState Trail.
There will be Live Music, Free BBQ, Trail Information, opportunity for hikes, and a guided yoga session.

Something for everyone!

Come learn more about the 92 mile interstate trail next door!

Memorial Day Events in Worcester

The following events will be held to commemorate Memorial Day:

Sunday, May 24, 2015
Water Ceremony
2:00 p.m. at Elm Park
Registration – 1:15 p.m. at the corner of Elm and Highland Streets

Monday, May 25, 2015
125th Memorial Day Observance
Remembrance Ceremony
9:00 a.m. at Hope Cemetery
Participants will meet at 8:45 AM inside the Main Gate for a short procession to the G.A.R. veterans’ section (#45).

Monday, May 25, 2015
Wreath Laying Ceremony
11:00 a.m. – Massachusetts Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Green Hill Park

It’s a preliminary!

We’ll have a preliminary election this year for at-large Council, at least.

Worcester has only had four preliminary elections for at-large seats under the current charter: in 1993, 1995, 2007, and 2011.  (Note that there’s never been a preliminary for school committee.)

A couple of years ago, I wrote a long, boring post about election results which touched on preliminary elections.  I won’t rehash that here, but I’ll note that, in the past, a preliminary election has not meant an increase in voter turnout.

Does a preliminary election mean that a non-incumbent is more likely to pick up a seat? Let’s see…

In 1993, there were 14 candidates in the preliminary election; 5 incumbents were running.  All 5 won re-election.

In 1995, there were 14 candidates in the preliminary election; 6 were incumbents.  One incumbent, John T. Buell, lost to S. Gary Rosen, a popular school committee member who was running for at-large council.

In 2007, there were 18 candidates in the preliminary, as there will be this year.  Six incumbents were running.  Two, Mike Perotto and Dennis Irish, were replaced by non-incumbents Rick Rushton (then-D5 councilor) and Mike Germain.

In 2011, there were 14 candidates in the preliminary; 6 were incumbents, and all 6 incumbents won re-election.

This year, we’ve got 18 candidates for the preliminary.

If this year proves to be anything like 2007, we could see a significant shakeup of the at-large council members.


Blast from the past

Spotted on Rte. 56 in Leicester:

bradlees1Department store Bradlees declared bankruptcy in 2000, and all stores were closed by March of 2001.

A bit of local trivia which many readers will remember — the smallish Home Depot store on Gold Star Boulevard was originally a Bradlees store.

Those of a certain age may remember some Bradlees television commercials featuring “Mrs. B” and the jingle “At Bradlees, you buy what Mrs. B buys.  And nobody can buy like Mrs. B.”

Evidently some enterprising soul on Rte. 56 bought like Mrs. B and got themselves a trailer or two when the store chain was liquidated.