Mariano: Developing Worcester and making progress | “The key ingredient to success, in our downtown, is putting people on the sidewalks. For Worcester to have a real downtown, we need all kinds of people, of all ages, residents and visitors, going to and from somewhere.”
And, we’re getting there. Whether outsiders are noticing or not, Ray Mariano says, Worcester is building itself a better and better place to live.
Sina-cism: In Millbury, addicted to the wrong fight | “Free speech is usually a beautiful thing, but it exudes a foul odor in a situation where the people who would be served by Spectrum’s facility are already living here — not in Millbury backyards exactly, but in Millbury homes and apartments. The only communities in America untouched by addiction and mental illness are ghost towns.”
Chris Sinacola, with an assist from Cervantes, takes on the NIMBYs next door.
Randell: On Austin Street, a poor example of leadership, citizenship | “The owners of 89 Austin St. — Iglesia Cristiana de la Comunidad, led by the Rev. Jose Encarnacion, who is married to District 4 Councilor Sarai Rivera, a co-pastor of the congregation — were issued a condemnation order on May 7, 2013, and have had more than three-and-a-half years to rectify the problems.”
One part of the potential solution happens monthly on Meade Street, where businessman Bill Randell attended meetings for two years to do right by the city and his neighbors.
Local Business Spotlight
Hidden Gem: Uncle Jay’s Twisted Fork | Organic cooking and fresh ingredients generously flavored with vast experiences and a dollop of family influence are but a few of the attractions drawing local foodies-in-the-know to Uncle Jay’s Twisted Fork bistro in Cherry Valley — not to mention, making eccentric (and talented … and loud) chef/owner Jay Powell a local favorite. Giselle Rivera-Flores dishes with the burgeoning celebrity and gets the skinny on his recent hiatus.
Editorial: Holidays in Worcester, full steam ahead | The “W’s” are hung on the light posts with care; Christmas and Hannukah soon will be here. With a cup of cocoa and an impressive list of local holiday happenings in hand, The Sun is ready to sink into the beauty and peace this season celebrates. The Festival of Lights sets the stage this Friday.
Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 114]: The local lowdown on getting high | While a comfortable (if not overwhelming) majority of state residents cast their ballots in favor of legal recreational marijuana use among adults, their intrepid local officials — particularly in well-heeled towns like many that encircle Worcester — have an entirely different idea about how things should go. What’s going to happen when these two worlds collide beginning next month? Hitch has his theories.
The unbelievably true story of Augustine Kanjia continues …
Part 27: Goodbye, Gambia | “We arrived at about 6 p.m. at JFK. Planes were moving as fast as I could count. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. In Sierra Leone I’d lived in the diamond mining area. There was an airplane that came to my hometown every morning. I was only used to that tiny airplane that came around 11:30 a.m., not the likes of those that were baffling and amazing me now. Yes, we are in America, I whispered to myself.” It’s a long way from Dakar to New York. Find out how close Augustine and his family get to Worcester.
On Beacon Hill: Hundreds of Worcester students languish on waitlist as report calls for $27M to fill vocational education spending gap | The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, in a paper titled “Skills For Our Future,” reported that while a career, vocational and technical education (CVTE) costs about $5,000 per pupil more than a traditional high school education each year, good CVTE programs can boost college attendance and career earning power. Also this week: More educators seek more money, and DiMasi’s back in town.
Worcester Weekly: Festival of Lights, tough call at Clark + more to do, Nov. 27-Dec. 3 | “Three words, ladies and gentlemen, three words: Food. Truck. Rodeo. Listen, I’m not sure why it’s a rodeo or what a rodeo has to do with Worcester or the holidays, but really it’s those first two words that count. There’s a ton of other stuff to rope you in, too, including the dulcet tones of Sam James.” But that’s all the way down there at the end of the week, so better jump in and find out what you can do for fun until then.
Inbox [Nov. 27]: McNickles garners human rights award, Auburn Mall touts ‘giving tree,’ Auburn Rotary raises $3,500, Sutton author to sign new outdoors book | 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.