Inbox [Dec. 14]: Worcester Fire Chief Gardell to retire, Clark adds business analytics degree, WPD to hold Civilian Police Academy, Moore seeks display suggestions

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Worcester Fire Chief Gardell announces retirement

Worcester Fire Chief Geoffrey Gardell will retire from the department at the end of January, City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. announced in a statement.

Gardell was appointed fire chief in the summer of 2015. At the time, he informed Augustus he planned to stay 12 to 18 months.

The city will follow the state Civil Service process in selecting a new fire chief. Internal candidates for the position have already taken a written exam and gone through an assessment center evaluation. The Civil Service Commission has the results of those evaluations, and is expected to provide the city with a list of candidates this month.

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 …”

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

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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.”

Inbox [Nov. 30]: Worcester trumpets top bond rating, Petty renews statewide gun buyback push, literacy group announces new leadership, Brain Injury Association elects board president

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Worcester gets highest-ever bond rating from Fitch

Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. announced the city of Worcester has received its highest-ever municipal bond rating from Fitch Ratings, a global independent credit rating agency.

The agency upgraded the city’s municipal bond rating to AA, up from AA-.

Edward M. Augustus Jr.

Courtesy NAMI Mass

Edward M. Augustus Jr.

Worcester is rated annually by three independent rating agencies. In addition to the Fitch Ratings AA (stable) rating, Moody’s Investors Service and Standard and Poor’s Rating Service have reaffirmed the city’s strong ratings of Aa3 (stable) and AA- (stable), respectively.

“The entire community should take great pride in the city’s improved credit rating,” Augustus said. “It is a statement that the city has strong management, demonstrated positive financial performance over time, and continued economic development growth. It required us to execute a coordinated long-range plan, making difficult decisions in order to deliver consistent, steady progress to expand our tax base, grow our reserves, and address our long-term liabilities.”

Worcester Weekly: Festival of Lights, tough call at Clark + more to do, Nov. 27-Dec. 3

A Clarkie conundrum

Wednesday, Nov. 30 — Clark women’s basketball vs. Mount Holyoke, 7 p.m., Kneller Athletic Center, Clark University, 950 Main St.  This is not your average Wednesday evening at Clark University, thank you very much. There’s a lot to think about here: Do we support our fellow students, female athletes at that; or do we fill our liberally hued craniums with more stories of oppression at a lecture about housing evictions? All this and we’re still dealing with Trump. What is a Clarkie to do?

Well, Cougar fans, or anyone else who enjoys the competitive spirit of collegiate athletics, would do well to wend their way through campus and find a seat at the Kneller center to watch junior star Sam O’Gara and teammates take on the Panthers.

Eva Millona, prominent Worcester-based immigrant advocate, sees ‘uncertain future’ under Trump

A major advocate for immigrants said Tuesday, Nov. 15, she hopes Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric was “just marketing.”

Eva Millona, executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), told reporters she hoped Trump would not follow through on immigration stances he took during his successful presidential campaign.

Eva Millona

Antonio Caban / State House News Service

Eva Millona

“We hope that that was just marketing,” said the longtime Worcester resident and Clark University graduate who has worked in refugee and immigrant resettlement since spearheading a Worcester-area project in the 1990s. “The future remains uncertain.”

Len Gengel

Inbox [Nov. 2]: You Inc. offers substance abuse programs, Gengel to speak at Assumption, Binienda to be honored, Clark screens Vietnam doc, biz group backs Rep. Kane

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You Inc. substance abuse programs begin Saturday

You Inc. is launching a pair of programs for people affected by substance abuse. Both programs meet Saturdays at 81 Plantation St.

Step Up to Stand Back is a 10-week psychotherapy group program for caregivers of substance using youth.

The group will focus on understanding addiction, practicing self-care, connection with community resources, psycho-education, and training in practical interventions for personal, community and family based recovery. The group will meet 10:30-11:30 a.m.

See-Saw is a 10-week group for children ages 7-11 of adult substance users who are in, or currently working toward, recovery.

The group will focus on psycho-education about substance use and offer a safe space to process guardian substance use, prevention for at-risk youth, and supporting youth to develop and practice healthy. The group will meet 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Len Gengel

Courtesy Assumption College

Len Gengel will deliver Assumption College’s annual business ethics lecture.

Be Like Brit co-founder to speak at Assumption’s annual business ethics lecture

Assumption College will welcome Len Gengel, father of Britney Gengel and co-founder of Be Like Brit, to campus for the college’s annual Business Ethics Lecture sponsored by its MBA program.

Worcestory Lesson: Strange bedfellows unite to turn Worcester into a modern 1848 city

“The town government had proved itself ill-equipped to police its growing population and provide much-needed services. The temperance movement backed the calls by Worcester’s political elite — led by the Lincoln, Salisbury and Estabrook families — to change the form of government.” An exploding population, shifting societal priorities, and bit of chaos, lead to big changes in the Heart of the Commonwealth. David DuBois weaves the tale.