PCBs: Where Worcester delayed, Princeton was decisive

Indignant at potentially exposing town residents and workers to PCBs through no fault of their own, Princeton officials wanted payback. They decided they would go for it in the form of a lawsuit directed at Old Monsanto, the company that made virtually all of the potential human carcinogen (98 percent, according to the lawsuit). To do so, they hired a heavy hitter in the environmental field: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Richard Nangle reports.

Worcester Windows painting

Inbox [Dec. 21]: New Worcester Windows exhibits on display, Holy Cross ranks with top-value colleges, Anna Maria students plan volunteer work, Naughton named to anti-nuclear weapons panel

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. 

Worcester Windows Winter Exhibits on display

The Worcester Cultural Coalition is pleased to announce two Worcester Windows Winter exhibits are on display. “Worcester City Hall and Common” is located at the Community Gallery in the basement level of City Hall, 455 Main St. “Let There be Light” is located at Bay State Savings Bank, 28 Franklin St. Both are free and open to the public.

Worcester Windows is a community gallery program that uses storefronts throughout downtown Worcester as exhibit space to enhance the City’s downtown area. In addition, Worcester Windows provides display opportunities for local emerging and established artists.

Editorial: Worcester Art Museum’s new gallery shows its mettle

Three years ago, Higgins Armory on Barber Avenue gently closed its ornate old doors. Years of financial strain had finally forced the museum to surrender.

As heartbreaking as that was — the armory was a labor of love for more than 80 years and a thoroughly Worcester original — there was a glimmer of good news.

The Worcester Art Museum agreed to take in the core Higgins collection, and promised to do all it could to properly care for and showcase the magnificent treasures. The art museum even said it would take pains in the coming years to incorporate armory items into its existing holdings, displaying pieces together in order to tell a fuller cultural story than either of the two museums could do on their own.

WAM, which is unveiling its revamped Medieval Galleries this weekend, has been as good as its word.

There’s chivalry on Salisbury Street — and swords, shields, and gleaming suits of armor. And museum officials promise more progress in their embrace of the Higgins collection in the years ahead.

A Mother’s Journey [Part 34]: The gift of reflection

Editor’s note: Since September 2015, Worcester Sun has chronicled the trials, tribulations and triumphs of Sun contributor Giselle Rivera-Flores as she explores ways to help her daughter and other Worcester families find affordable educational support and assistance. We used to describe her as an aspiring business owner; now, she’s an inspiring one, a full-fledged director of a nonprofit tutoring collaborative that began officially in late January but has transformed considerably since. During her journey she has, you could say, stepped beyond the walls of her dream.

Giselle Rivera-Flores

Giselle Rivera-Flores

The holidays are officially here, and while many people are out enjoying their gift shopping and hot cocoa sipping, maybe even relaxing by the fireplace after a long day at work, I am frantically wondering, “How the hell am I going to get this all done?”

Work has become life. It gets harder and harder to turn off that Woopreneur switch inside. Finding a balance between work and life has been a struggle from the beginning of this journey, and while I often do well fitting both business and leisure time into my day, it’s becoming increasingly hard to do.

The struggle, though, helps remind me that above all, family comes first. I try to remember that to achieve professionally, we must achieve personally. Creating memories and building upon the foundations of what is important to our family is an essential part of happy success.

Considering the time of year, I want to give my fellow entrepreneurs some friendly advice about surviving the holidays and getting work done before it’s time to put on that ugly sweater.

Read Giselle’s previous chapter, The original Woopreneur, or scroll down to explore more of her story

Rosenberg highlights likely 2017 priorities on Beacon Hill

BOSTON — Senate President Stanley Rosenberg hinted at 2017 agenda items, highlighting climate change, housing, education funding, and economic issues for low- and middle-income families while not dismissing the possibility of raising taxes to help pay for those initiatives.

“We still have some huge needs around housing and homelessness, we haven’t done a multi-year commitment to education funding in a long time, we did improve funding on transportation but there’s still a big gap compared to what people want us to deliver, and let’s not forget the opioid heroin crisis,” he said Tuesday, Dec. 13.

“Of course, we’re going to continue to work on economic issues for all folks, but particular for low- and moderate-income people.”

Rosenberg said he also expects the Senate to focus in 2017 on an issue that held Beacon Hill’s attention for much of the current session: energy. That work led to a law giving hydropower and offshore wind prominent roles in the state’s energy mix, but Rosenberg said the legislative work on energy is not done.

Ukulele players string together a community at Union Music

“I couldn’t have the club meet in a bar or a hotel. But I knew that Union Music has a performance space that can hold 50 performers. So I approached Carl and he thought it was a great idea,” said Rich Luefstedt, who considers himself more of a facilitator than leader of the Ukulele Club, which he started with five or six people per month six years ago. That figure has now grown to 20 to 30 per month at Union Music. Art Simas tiptoes through the tulips to tell this timeless tale.

Sina-cism: DACA is no way to reform immigration

The current debate over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — called into existence by a whim of President Obama in 2012 — illustrates the confusion many Americans have regarding civics.

Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

DACA permits illegal immigrants, including many who were brought to the United States as children, to remain here, provided they pay an application fee, have completed high school, are not convicted of felonies or serious misdemeanors, and meet several other requirements.

Many of those who qualify happen to be college students. And since president-elect Donald Trump has expressed opposition to DACA, there is a growing chorus of support for the program being heard on college campuses.

Related Sina-cism: The real line on immigration, and how Obama crossed it

More than 500 college presidents nationwide — including the presidents of Clark University, WPI and the College of the Holy Cross — have signed a letter to leaders in Washington, D.C., declaring in part:

“Since the advent of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012, we have seen the critical benefits of this program for our students, and the highly positive impacts on our institutions and communities. DACA beneficiaries on our campuses have been exemplary student scholars and student leaders, working across campus and in the community … To our country’s leaders we say that DACA should be upheld, continued, and expanded. We are prepared to meet with you to present our case. This is both a moral imperative and a national necessity …”

Editorial: CANDO spirit in Worcester

It’s Dec. 11. We’re in the thick of things now!

From giving thanks to giving presents, folks are in the middle of a month-long season that does the heart good.

Charitable giving goes into high gear over the holidays, too. Whether we drop coins in a red Salvation Army kettle or write a check to a pet cause before the tax year ends, it feels good to be kind.

The University of Massachusetts Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center must be feeling like a million bucks. Their Winter Ball at Mechanics Hall Dec. 2 outdid itself this year, passing the $1 million mark in a night of dancing, dining and donating.

Inbox [Dec. 11]: Bancroft School opens new fieldhouse, Worcester Public Library debuts new STEM program, ex-courthouse back on market, UMass increases downtown presence, Shrewsbury panel awards culture grants

Have a release or a photo you or your group would like to share? Let us know by emailing it to info@worcester.ma. 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.

Bancroft School holds grand opening of new fieldhouse

Bancroft School held a grand opening of its newly renovated athletics fieldhouse located on the east end of the Bancroft campus at 100 Shore Drive, Worcester.

Situated on a hilltop overlooking Indian Lake, the fieldhouse features an indoor track, a turf field, flexible-use meeting and conference spaces, and a wall of windows that provides spectacular lake views.

Bancroft School's new fieldhouse

Courtesy of Bancroft School (Karla Cinquanta photo)

Bancroft School’s new fieldhouse

“All the pieces have fallen into place,” Head of School Trey Cassidy said, “and we’re proud to celebrate the culmination of a vision to create a beautiful, functional, and modern fieldhouse that would allow more consistent year-round training by our teams, and give non-Bancroft athletes and their families from the local community an experience more reflective of Bancroft School’s high standards.”

LEEP Center staff

Inbox [Dec. 7]: Becker adds to financial leadership team, Clark’s LEEP wins national honor, Worcester State study eyes Latino men opportunity gap, UniBank announces Invest Worcester

Have a release or a photo you or your group would like to share? Let us know by emailing it to info@worcester.ma. 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.

Becker hires new executive director, leadership giving

Jane Grant of Worcester has been hired as the executive director of leadership giving, Becker College announced.

“Jane brings with her an extensive knowledge of both the Worcester community and advancement services,” said Colleen Bielitz ,Ph.D., vice president of institutional advancement and chief business development officer at Becker. “Her energy and expertise are vital to building our advancement team to meet the needs of our growing institution.”