In this issue, April 24-30

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Gaffney poses with Gov. Charlie Baker during a recent luncheon, where he also met with Mass Fiscal Alliance head Paul Craney.

Courtesy Mike Gaffney

Gaffney poses with Gov. Charlie Baker during a recent luncheon, where he also met with Mass Fiscal Alliance head Paul Craney.

Mike Gaffney, a Q&A with Worcester’s ‘People’s Councilor®’ |  Million-dollar lawsuits and luncheons with governors, mudslinging, Main South and making waves on the radio. You could say there’s a lot to talk about with Michael T. Gaffney. The ambitious counselor shared his thoughts with Patrick Sargent on Gordon Davis, City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr., future plans for higher office, moving to Beacon Street and trading in home improvement for politics.

Frank's will take over 274 Shrewsbury St.

Patrick Sargent / For Worcester Sun

Frank’s will take over 274 Shrewsbury St.

Local Business Spotlight: Frank’s to tune up old Rivalry’s spot |  A pair of industry newbies are getting ready to open soon on busy Shrewsbury Street, offering pub fare, drinks, live music and dancing to a crowd they feel is neglected on Restaurant Row. Patrick Sargent has the 411 on the latest rival in the bustling nightlife neighborhood.

Brooks House, Brattleboro, Vermont

Wikimedia Commons

Brooks House, Brattleboro, Vermont

Sina-cism: Of Worcester and Brattleboro, a tale of downtown destiny |  “While enjoying a vegan mushroom burger at the organic café beside Whetstone Falls, I perused the weekend edition of the Brattleboro Reformer, whose cover story, ‘Uphill challenge facing Vermont downtowns,’ had a good headline, but the story couldn’t quite live up to it.” There’s a lot to learn about commerce and progress from a 145-year-old Brattleboro landmark. We’re sure Sinacola can live up to thoroughly telling this tale.

Editorial: Transgender ‘bathroom bill’ merits passage, and a civility reminder |  If Massachusetts approves legislation covering access to public facilities — the so-called bathroom bill — people who identify as members of the opposite gender will be able to use public restrooms of that gender even if they have not had sex-reassignment surgery. This is not something to fear. It’s another of life’s opportunities for mutual courtesy and respect. In public restrooms, that has always meant minding our own business, whoever we’re sharing the space with.

April24SunSpot_teaseSun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 52]: Balanced budget? There’s a stretch |  It’s every municipality’s favorite time of year, when not a single person or department has enough money for next year and an extraordinarily equal amount of folks has exactly zero ideas for finding more. Which is where state aid comes in: just wait for lottery and taxes to go for a spin in the tumbler and watch your magic number roll down the chute, fulfilling all your budgetary needs before you can say, Bingo! Hitch thinks, these days, that strategy may be a reach.

The unbelievably true story of Augustine Kanjia continues …

Augustine Kanjia

Mark A. Henderson / Worcester Sun

Augustine Kanjia (present day, at home in Worcester) with his wife, Theresa Johnson, and his 17-month-old daughter, Ann-Britt Anna.

Part 14 — Family vs. Husband-to-be |  “With everything that was said, I could not believe my ears. A poor man, a failure, loving their sister only for her money … Theresa’s sister Mary, who had never met me, was the bitterest person in my life. She never stopped trying to separate us. Meanwhile, troubles began mounting at work. Some reporters became jealous because of the name I was making for myself with my investigative journalism.” No matter the progress Augustine makes, he continues to find the fork in the road. Can he take it?

Kate Rafey

Courtesy of Music Worcester

Kate Rafey is the new director of development at Music Worcester

Inbox [April 24]: Music Worcester names new director of development, Rotary Club sets gala, WCAC adds to board, Worcester Public Library springs a sale |  Interesting and worthwhile things happen every day in our community. Alas, we can’t cover them all. That’s where Inbox comes in, to offer readers an easily digestible compilation of interesting and noteworthy items you and your neighbors keep telling us about. Have a release or a photo you or your group would like to share? Let us know by emailing it to Be sure to include a link to the full release on your site or Facebook page so we can include it and send Sun members your way.

Worcester Weekly: Craft Brew Race + 5 more things to do, April 24-30 |  Dangerous, fun, or dangerously fun? That is the question. First of all, lighten up Francis. Secondly, if you’re not up for craft beers and live music and active, happy people, well, we have many more potential ways for you to enjoy yourself. Poetry, art, lacrosse, a few singing pirates — that ought to get you through the week.

New in Free to Read

Mike Ricardi, left, and friend Jim Gahan, right, pose with Jack Russell, former frontman for Great White, whose pyrotechnics caused the deadly Station nightclub fire.

Courtesy Mike Ricardi

Mike Ricardi, left, and friend Jim Gahan, right, pose with Jack Russell, former frontman for Great White, whose pyrotechnics caused the deadly Station nightclub fire.

The Station nightclub fire, and the final moments of a fateful friendship
“Take a step back and appreciate life,” Mike Ricardi advises. “You never know when it’s going to change in an instant.” The Worcester resident knows this all too well. He wrote a book about his experience that awful night in 2003 when fire broke out at a Rhode Island music hall, claiming 100 lives, including a college friend he can never forget.

Angelo Padin

Courtesy of Angelo Padin

Angelo Padin, president of WooCutz and Simplicity Tech

Angelo Padin is a young entrepreneur on the cutting edge
“Too many barbers who own their own businesses still live in the Stone Age,” said Padin, president and founder of WooCutz, a small firm in Worcester that advises mom-and-pop barbershops on how to effectively use social media platforms. “I want to help them out.” Bronislaus B. Kush gets the straight buzz on a former Marine bent on making a difference.

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