WORCESTERMAGAZINE.COM | JUNE 4 - 10, 2021 | CULTURE § ARTS § DINING § VOICES
DREAM NICHOLS GRAD TRADED A CAREER IN FINANCE FOR MAKING MUSIC. PAGE 13
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IN THIS ISSUE
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Featured ..............................................................................4 City Voices ........................................................................10 Cover Story.......................................................................13 Artist Spotlight................................................................18 Next Draft .........................................................................19 Screen Time .................................................................... 24 Adoption Option............................................................ 28 Classiﬁ eds ....................................................................... 29 Games............................................................................... 30 Last Call ............................................................................ 31
On the cover Worcester native Eric Aukstikalnis is making waves in the music industry. PHOTO BY ANTONIO JOSEPH MARRONE
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There’s a new ‘Casey at the Bat’ with Stephen Murray’s mini-opera Richard Duckett Worcester Magazine USA TODAY NETWORK
At the end of the poem “Casey at the Bat” by Worcester’s Ernest L. Thayer, there is no joy in Mudville. Casey, after all, has just struck out at the bottom of the ninth. There were two out, but two on. Mudville has lost 4-2. Stephen Murray, a proliﬁ c Worcester composer, lyricist, playwright, as well as a performing arts educator and baseball fan, isn’t looking to change the result in his new mini-opera, a musical adaptation of “Casey at the Bat.” However, scoring a hit with it would be nice. And there could be some joy, or at least hope, in Mudville, couldn’t there? “At the end of the poem you’re left with Casey being humiliated, but I didn’t let the piece end there,” Murray said of his composition, or turn at the bat. “I have Casey moving forward. There’s always going to be another game, another chance. I snuck in a happy ending in there, at least an optimistic ending. They still lose the game, I can’t change that. But there will be another game.” Murray added, “Maybe it’ll encourage people to go to Polar Park.” People haven’t seemed to need too much encouragement in that regard as the Worcester Red Sox, the new Triple-A aﬃ liate of the Boston Red Sox, can already be designated as a hometown hit at the brand new and already popular Polar Park. Murray, who lives in Worcester, has already been there. At the time of writing this story, a song from Murray’s “Casey at the Bat” was scheduled to be sung before the Worcester Red Sox game versus the Rochester Red Wings on June 3, along with a reading of Thayer’s “Casey at the
Stephen Murray — a Worcester composer, lyricist, playwright, educator and baseball fan — has created a musical adaptation of “Casey at the Bat.” TRACY MARTINO
Bat.” The poem was ﬁ rst published anonymously in The San Francisco Examiner on June 3, 1888, under the pen name “Phin,” based on Thayer’s college nickname, “Phinney”. June 3, 2021, is also the date Murray hopes to have a rendering of his “Casey at the Bat” up and running on YouTube. Against a backdrop of baseball-related visuals including depictions of the history of baseball in Worcester, “Casey at the Bat” is performed by vocalists Todd Vickstrom, Heidi White, Paul Spanagel, Tracy Martino, Nicole Lian, Peter Arsenault, Alex Irwin and Murray. Artist Marsha Gleason of Northboro has cre-
ated a painting of Casey to celebrate the project. The ultimate goal is to have the work performed on stage in front of a live audience, hopefully in the fall, Murray said. The project is produced with the cooperation of the WCLOC Theater Company and the Worcester Historical Museum. Murray has written over 30 shows, including the romantic comedy “Making Scents,” which has been performed four times locally dating back to its premiere in 1995 with WCLOC. Among Murray’s other popular shows, some written
with a youth audience in mind, are “Kamp Kaos,” “Pom-Pom Zombies” and “Katastrophe Kate.” More recently he’s written “Help! I’m Trapped in a Musical!”, “The Enchanted Bookshop Musical,” and “Greece is the Word: The Zeusical!” Murray is also choral director, music teacher and curriculum leader at Wayland Middle School. With the arrival of the Worcester Red Sox in mind, Eric Butler of WCLOC had asked Murray if he would be interested in writing an original piece based on “Casey at the Bat.” There have been other musical adaptations, including the opera “The Mighty Casey” by 20th-century American composer Willian Schuman. However, there was a feeling that Schuman’s work “didn’t really radiate with contemporary audiences,” Murray said. As for Murray’s work, “It’s an opera in the sense that there’s no (spoken) dialogue. It has a mix of musical styles. It’s not an opera in the traditional sense of the 1800s. It’s contemporary opera,” he said. Baseball had taken root in America in the mid-to-late 1800s. The Worcester Worcesters were a Major League Baseball team from 1880 to 1882 in the National League. Thayer (1863-1940) reportedly wrote “Casey at the Bat” in the spring of 1888 at his family’s home at 67 Chatham St. in Worcester. He came from a prominent and wealthy family of mill owners, and at Harvard University was a classmate and friend of William Randolph Hearst, who hired him as a humor columnist for the San Francisco Examiner (then called The Daily Examiner). “Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic, Sung in the Year 1888” (to give the poem its full title) was apparently Thayer’s last piece for The Examiner. Thayer may have been a See CASEY, Page 5
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one-poem-wonder, but it was a home run. The Baseball Almanac has called it “the single most famous baseball poem ever written.” The poem got an assist to its popularity by vaudeville performances, as the piece lends itself naturally to an easy rhymed dramatic (and comic) recitation. Thayer’s “Casey at the Bat” is 52 lines long, and divided into stanzas of four lines each, rhymed AA BB. The narrator relates how things look bleak for Mudville, down 4-2. The last hope with two out at the bottom of the ninth is Casey, but the fans fervently believe he is the right man in the right place: “Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;/ Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.” Casey has a deﬁ ant look, but based on the way things turn out, we could call it unduly arrogant. He deliberately takes the ﬁ rst two pitches for strikes, and then swings (”And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow.) … and misses. Murray said his “Casey at the Bat” opens with a narrator and music that’s close to ragtime. He’s also added his own lyrics to the narrative, and created characters for the story. “When the lyrics go away from the original poem, the music is more modern” he said. There’s a four-part chorus in addition to the individual performers. The work is scored for piano, violin, bass, ﬂ ute and drums, and all being well, those instruments will be heard in future live performances. For the YouTube recording that can be heard now Murray used his computer for the instrumentals. Also for YouTube, the visuals are “a lesson in the history of Worcester baseball as the piece is sung .. I’m still an educator,” he said.
While the musical score is new, the score in the game remains the same. Murray wrote additional operatic text and music for “Casey at the Bat” to “round out the story a bit more and extend the story of what happens after Casey strikes out,” he said. “In my version, Casey is a happily married man.” He hasn’t seen his wife, Dora Mae, in a while because he’s been on the road. However, Dora Mae is “totally a creation of my imagination. There’s no mention of Dora Mae in the poem. But what the heck?” Murray said. Similarly, he’s added a child, a Little Leaguer who idolizes Casey. The umpire in Murray’s opera is based on a historical character. The wonderfully nicknamed Foghorn Bailey called the ﬁ rst perfect game in Major League history baseball — thrown by pitcher Lee Richmond of the Worcester Worcesters, no less, on June 12, 1880. Murray said he came across Foghorn while doing research for “Casey at the Bat.” “He was legendary for how loud he was,” Murray said. According to one story, Foghorn and an opera singer were engaged in a competition at a Boston restaurant to determine who was louder. Foghorn won. Spanagel sings the part of Foghorn; Vickstrom sings Casey; White is Dora Mae; and the child fan is sung by Alex Irwin, one of Murray’s students at Wayland Middle School. Spanagel was scheduled to sing “The Umpire’s Song” June 3 at Polar Park. Irwin recorded his part at his home, and sent it along to Murray, who mixed it at his home studio in Worcester. For the adult singing parts, all the singers had been vaccinated against the coronavirus so they were able to come to Murray’s studio and sing together in person. “That was very nice,” Murray said. “People have been desperate to express themselves in theater.” Indeed, “I’m hopeful to ﬁ nd a
way where this can be presented live. That’s exciting to see live theater happening again, so I think by early fall we’ll be able to get this in front of people.” “Casey at the Bat” is about 30 minutes in length, and Murray said he’s thinking of a future presentation where he adds some other adaptations of Massachusetts poems. Meanwhile, “I am a baseball fan. I remember when the Worcester Tornadoes were in town. I’m really excited that the Woo Sox are in Worcester,” he said. Plus, we have the Worcester Bravehearts as well. Murray went to see the second home game in the history of the Worcester Red Sox May 12, when they played the Syracuse Mets. “It’s a beautiful park,” Murray said. But as the game entered the bottom of the ninth, Murray might have had a sense of deja vu (all over again, as Yogi Berra might have put it). The Woo Sox were down 4-2, and that’s the way the score remained. “It’s exactly what happened in ‘Casey at the Bat,’” Murray said.
“Casey” by Marsha Gleason; 20” x 16” oil painting. SUBMITTED PHOTO
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‘Heavy Metal Parking Lot’ to take over Ralph’s Rock Diner Robert Duguay Special to Worcester Magazine | USA TODAY NETWORK
The grand return of live music to its fullest in Worcester is hopefully still a few months away, but that doesn’t mean a crowd of metalheads can’t have some fun in the meantime. h Other than the music, another thing that metal has over a lot of other styles is the art that comes with it. Characters such as Eddie on the cover of Iron Maiden albums, the crosses on the cover of Metallica’s Master Of Puppets and countless other examples are emblazoned in fans’ minds to the point that it’s symbolic.
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On June 5 at Ralph’s Rock Diner on 148 Grove St., Worcester, an event called “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” will be happening outside as a ﬂ ea market pop-up. It starts at 1 p.m. and a bunch of bands and labels are going to be selling original merchandise, with DJ Style Buresh spinning music all afternoon into the early evening. One of the labels taking part in the event is Atomic Action Records, based out of Providence. Owner and operator Brian Simmons will be having his son Alex from the Newport hardcore punk act Bullet Proof Backpack man the operations. “It’s been a long stretch without interacting with any of our friends,” Alex said. “This will be a great opportunity to catch up with our buddies and hang out with all of our friends. I will be stepping in as Atomic Action for the day alongside my own label, Youth Distribute. We’ll have some mail order exclusive records and tapes from each label at our table, with some fresh releases. If you can, stop by and hang out with us for the day.”
Worcester hometown metal heroes High Command will also be part of the event. They’re excited about the whole thing and they’re looking forward to experiencing the pop-up in its entirety. “It’ll be a great opportunity to stop by and catch up with some of the best bands, labels and artists New England has to oﬀ er and pick up some exclusive limited edition merchandise,” guitarist Ryan McArdle said. “Tables will be set up by vendors all throughout the Ralph’s parking lot, and food and ice-cold libations will be served at the bar. A dunk tank will be set up and give patrons the opportunity to dunk some of the worst people Worcester has to oﬀ er and raise money for the Worcester County Food Bank. It’s a win/win.” Local speed metal shredders Seax will also be involved in the festivities. They plan on having a plethora of merch and records for sale with a wide range to choose from. “First of all, we’re really exSee DINER, Page 7
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cited about this event,” frontman Carmine Blades says. “COVID-19 has kept us all apart and on the downlow for the past year and it feels great to be working on these types of events again. I think they’ve put together a really awesome thing and we’re looking forward to checking out all the other vendors. As far as our table goes, we’ll have all our albums for sale plus T-shirts, patches, pins, etc. Come on down!” This is the ﬁ rst “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” so be sure that more editions of this event will take place as summer rolls along. To check out the complete lineup of record and merch tables, there’s only one way to do so and that’s by showing up. High Command COURTNEY BROOKE
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Hope isn’t renewed in a day
Hope for Worcester volunteers Linda Oldroyd, John-Michael Condon, Shanel Soucy, Stuart Rideout, Lucille Rideout, Kate Deboise, Tanja Hayward and Esther Manu. They are at Union Station, where the group will hold a black-tie fundraiser June 11. ASHLEY GREEN/TELEGRAM & GAZETTE
Veer Mudambi Worcester Magazine | USA TODAY NETWORK
Local nonproﬁ t Hope for Worcester plans to begin an annual tradition with a black-tie fundraiser on June 11 at Union Station. With Gov. Charlie Baker giving the all-clear May 29 as vaccination numbers rise and infections fall, in-person events are swiftly making a comeback. h “People have felt so isolated over the last year that they wanted a reason to get dressed up and go out,” said Tanja Hayward, vice president of the HfW board. The gala will raise money for the organization’s outreach programs and the annual Day of Hope, which has been happening every summer since 2016. The community event on July 24 will oﬀ er essential needs of all kinds, including but not See HOPE, Page 9 limited to free groceries, health screenings, career services, and even free haircuts and family portraits.
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“The Day of Hope addresses not only physical needs, like food, clothing, and shoes, we have all of those,” said Hayward, “but also relational and spiritual needs.” The goal, Hayward says, is to address immediate concerns but also have an eﬀ ect going beyond a single day. This can mean matching community members with valuable resources such as addiction recovery centers or providing a sense of belonging like ﬁ nding a new church family. “It’s 122% about relationships,” said Shanel Soucy, assistant coordinator. “Not just one day but creating support systems that can work with people over time.” To this end, the organization engages with leaders in businesses, churches and other local organizations to focus on individuals with speciﬁ c circumstances. Addiction recovery emerged as a major issue, so HfW raised money both for recovery programs and to sponsor those who joined them. Another of their year-round initiatives that was launched during the pandemic last year was “Bags of Hope.” These care packages contain basic personal hygiene products, socks, slippers and sweatshirts, and were delivered to recovery centers across the city. “People don’t pack a bag before they go into detox centers,” said Hayward, who ﬁ rst proposed the idea when someone she knew called from recovery to ask if she could bring a pair of slippers. The idea was soon adapted for those quarantined in COVID recovery as well, adding in things like books and puzzles and delivered to places such as Community Health Link. Over 1,250 Bags of Hope were delivered. Fortunately, the Day of Hope event last year was not paused due to the pandemic — in fact, it was held in two locations si-
multaneously. Soucy explained that as the event was going to be smaller due to COVID safety restrictions, the organizers asked themselves — why not use those resources to hold two smaller ones rather than one big one. “People wanted the event in more areas and it was a lot easier to reach the people that we wanted to reach,” she said. For this year’s Day of Hope, that will be doubled with four locations. From there, Soucy hopes it will multiply to eight, then 10 and so on. The four locations are the Living Word Church, Belmont AME Zion Church, The Journey Community Church, all in Worcester, and the House of Destiny Church in Southbridge. The formal gala will include a live auction, bake sales and live band. The ﬁ rst hour will be a cocktail reception with Sam Bowen and All Nighters playing smooth jazz. The auction will include both items and services, such as a wine tasting for a party of 20 donated by Total Wine and WooSox tickets that have been sold out to the public. All money will go to fund the Day of Hope and outreach initiatives like Walking Out of the Darkness, to raise money for suicide prevention. Tickets to the event include food and refreshments. Stuart Rideout, a board member, emphasized that the organization wants to make it fun and get the word out so people have a chance to dress up and go out. Rideout also deﬁ ned the mission of HfW as all encompassing. “We want to break the cycle for people who are disenfranchised, those who cannot ﬁ nish high school or college, those who face uphill recoveries from addiction — help the next generation come into their own.” The Hope for Worcester fundraiser will be held 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, June 11, at Union Station. Tickets are $20 and can be ordered online at www.hopeforworcester.org.
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CITY VOICES Worcester Magazine’s Letters To The Editor Policy Letters to the editor are a great way to share your thoughts and opinions with thousands of readers and online viewers each week. There is no word limit, but we reserve the right to edit for length, so brevity is your friend. If handwritten, write legibly - if we cannot read it, we are not running it. A full name and town or city of residence are required. Please include an email address or phone number for verification purposes only. That information will not be published. Make sure your letter makes it into Worcester Magazine in a timely fashion — send it in by the Monday of the next issue. Please note that letters will run as space allows. Send them to Worcester Magazine, 100 Front St., 5th Floor, Worcester, MA 01608 or by email to WMeditor @gatehouse media.com.
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Classrooms are set up for social distancing in Burncoat High School Monday, March 15. RICK CINCLAIR/T&G FILE
‘Community means to listen and to love’ Jack Miller Special to Worcester Magazine USA TODAY NETWORK
Malcom X once said, “Truth is on the side of the oppressed.” Many times in school systems, speciﬁ cally urban ones, there is a large demographic of BIPOC students. Considering the demographic we have been given, justice, law enforcement controversy and white washing are bound to be issues that are talked about. The key to creating a better system for education is to listen to those who say there are problems. I grew up in a very privileged position. Although this does mean I was blind to the injustices around me constantly, I was given opportunities that were not commonly given to my POC friends. I grew up being taught by those that
had the same skin color and ethnicity as me. My ﬁ rst POC teacher was in 9th grade. The ﬁ rst step that would be taken by me as a superintendent for this school system would be to expand the faculty demographic, to provide diﬀ erent views of the world and create a more welcoming environment for POC students. This would be a huge step forward as education is based around allowing diﬀ erent views in your life and ﬁ nding your own way. POC students in school systems, including in WPS, have been saying this for a long time, and to no avail. They have not had that privilege. Curriculum is obviously an integral part of education; however, for it to truly be considered education it needs to be just that: education. In a See COMMUNITY, Page 12
Union buzz seems to be everywhere Victor D. Infante Worcester Magazine USA TODAY NETWORK
A couple decades ago, in a land far, far away, I was actually a business journalist. I wasn’t particularly good at it, and I wasn’t very happy doing it, but it’s a weird little hiccup on my resume that sometimes makes itself useful. Indeed, one of the dings on my ﬁ rst and only performance review for that magazine was that I was often too sympathetic toward organized labor, and used a lot of resources from labor unions. Which? Fair. I personally thought they were too dismissive of labor, and too quick to follow well-established party line talking points designed to enrich shareholders and owners at the expense of workers. So my then-em-
ployers were probably right to lay me oﬀ , cause that marriage just wasn’t going to work. Still, I can hear those party lines reverberate through the news all the time. Certainly, I’ve been hearing them during the ongoing Saint Vincent’s strike – now currently the longest ongoing strike in the country – every time St. Vincent Hospital CEO Carolyn Jackson puts out a press statement. It’s the same old shtick: Vilify organized labor, cast aspersions on people who perform actual labor, and don’t draw attention to actual ﬁ nancials, save those the company wants to frame and present. It’s worth noting that St. Vincent’s owner, Tenet Healthcare Corporation, is trending pretty well on the stock marSee UNION, Page 12
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‘in these United States’ Jovonna Van Pelt Special to Worcester Magazine | USA TODAY NETWORK when we have dead children again in the classrooms when visiting professionals are the coroner the grief counselor settling for condolences isn’t even a Band-Aid on a bullet wound we return to real life to find we are still dying. Jovonna Van Pelt is a Greenfield poet and author of “Unrelated Questions” from Human Error Publishing.
we are so fond of death here in these United States as the virus slows down post-pandemic normalcy revives mass shootings police violence dead Asian women dead black teenagers dead for nothing for bigotry carelessness ignorance dead for easy guns wait until all the schools are in session
“we are so fond/of death/here in these United States” PIXABAY
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Community Continued from Page 10
school system I would run, the curriculum would be, in the simplest terms, brutal. Not as in overbearing or diﬃ cult, as in truthful. This more pertains to English and history classes. We need to understand what truly happened in history to be sure never to repeat it. A loose example would be that myths such as “Christopher Columbus discovered America” or “The Native Americans and Europeans got along very well” would not be taught, as they are untrue. The way that it needs to be is that, if the truth is too violent or “raw” for young audiences, young audiences are not ready to learn it. Lying does nothing but misinform the youth, which is against education as a concept. Disciplinary policy is an interesting topic to explore. If
education is based on learning, then discipline needs to follow suit. In a school setting that I am the superintendent for, these policies would be focused on education more than punishment. Using education over punishment will create a welcoming environment that houses love and safety. Oﬀ the disciplinary policy, a much more speciﬁ c rule that would be implemented would be to take police oﬃ cers out of schools, as it reinforces the school-to-prison pipeline which disproportionately affects BIPOC students. Community is essential. To create a community, we need to understand the diﬀ erent backgrounds that students and teachers come from and accommodate accordingly. To create a loving environment, we need to listen to people who come out to talk about the inevitable problems in the system. This exact incident occurred in WPS with an Insta-
gram account known as “racismfreewps,” where hundreds of students came forward to talk about problems with faculty or systems that occurred to them, yet were not acknowledged by WPS. I must make it clear that this is not an attack on WPS, more a commentary. In a system that I ran, we would listen and address the issue, as well as learn how to help the students aﬀ ected. Community means to listen and to love. The superintendent’s job is to listen and to ﬁ x problems to create a more welcoming community. Jack Miller is a student at Burncoat High School, and this essay was the winner of a schoolwide contest which “asked students to act in the role of school superintendent to a city as large and diverse as Worcester and to suggest procedure and policy ideas that would improve access and justice, etc.”
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Union Continued from Page 10
ket. MarketWatch today puts the stock price, as of this writing, at $68.06 a share, up from $66.51 on Jan. 1, and not down much from its high this year of $68.25. It’s way down, though, from its all-time high of around $197, in 2002. It tumbled pretty hard in the oughts – remember that big recession? – but for the past year, it’s been mostly stable with the usual peaks and valleys, and on the whole trending upward. It’s deﬁ nitely improved over a year ago, when the stock price was a mere $22.11. Point being? Tenet Healthcare looks pretty healthy, at least on paper. It certainly calls into question the rationale behind its intractable resistance to raising nursing staﬃ ng levels. Ah, but that’s corporate America, where the proﬁ t is king. Still, the past few weeks, I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about unions and organized labor, enough to make me wonder if something’s in the air … probably related to the shocks of the past year, as everyone dusts themselves oﬀ and eyes returning to normal … only to realize that normal wasn’t always that great. Recently, I had an exchange with someone representing workers at a local company who were looking to organize. While I’ve been a dues-paying member of the Providence Newspaper Guild for ages, I’ve never really been active in the process of starting a union, so I passed them along to to the AFL CIO’s useful website on how to do just that. On another front, acclaimed line cook and sometimes journalist Bill Shaner, in his blog, laid out a pretty convincing argument that the hiring problems restaurants are having nationally are less about overly generous unemployment beneﬁ ts and more of a form of labor strike, noting that, where he works, “it’s more that people are leaving because there
Signs worn by striking nurses at St. Vincent Hospital. PHOTO BY TAJONN NICKELSON
are other places that are willing to pay a lot more money and they work you a lot less hard. The sous chef is leaving for another restaurant where he’s getting a lot more money. One of our better line cooks did the same a few weeks ago. I’m sort of doing that as well. In the past month, all I’ve had to do is ﬂ oat a rumor that I was considering leaving and I got two raises. There’s a worker shortage and restaurants are being forced to pay more because they laid everyone oﬀ a year ago and people had to ﬁ nd other work and they probably found that the other work is a way better deal than working at a restaurant. There is a long, long history of exploitation of workers in the restaurant business.” Shaner also notes that he’s leaving the restaurant to spend more time with his newsletter/blog, and also to do booking for Ralph’s Rock Diner. Unions aren’t perfect, and they can’t, as one former local union rep once put it, “stop companies from making stupid business decisions,” but it seems the events of the past year have reminded people that maybe employers, even decent ones, aren’t always making their decisions based on what’s best for their employees, and maybe those employees are better oﬀ standing together. Certainly, union talk is in the air.
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Following his dream Continued on next page
Eric Aukstikalnis graduated with a degree in ﬁ nance from Nichols College, where a former ﬁ nance professor personally recommended him for an elite position as a ﬁ nancial analyst and promise of a six-ﬁ gure starting salary, which he declined in favor of a music career. PHOTO BY ANTONIO JOSEPH MARRONE
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Eric Aukstikalnis has been working simultaneously with international DJ and legend,Steve Aoki since October 2020. A record where Aukoustics and Aoki collaborate with featured artists Gatuso and MKLA expected to release June 2021, counting as Aukstikalnis’ fourth major release of the summer, following “Stars In My Eyes”, “Missing You,” and “Wasted On You,” which just hit 200,000 streams on Spotify in 28 days. PHOTO BY ANTONIO JOSEPH MARRONE
Nichols grad Eric Aukstikalnis traded a career in ﬁ nance for making ‘Monster’ hits Liz Fay Special to Worcester Magazine | USA TODAY NETWORK
In January 2018, Worcester native Eric Aukstikalnis took a brave leap of faith when he packed up his life in Massachusetts and moved across the country to Los Angeles in pursuit of his dream career as a music producer. In 2017, Aukstikalnis graduated with a degree in ﬁ nance from Nichols College, where a former ﬁ nance professor personally recommended him for an elite position as a ﬁ nancial analyst and promise of a six-ﬁ gure starting salary. h Unwilling to settle for a standard 9-5 job, Aukstikalnis followed what he described as “a gut instinct” to choose music production over a corporate career. Aukstikalnis had a keen ear for music from a young age. Longtime friend and collaborator Worcester singer/songwriter Sam James noticed Aukstikalnis’ musical abilities long before the already multifaceted producer decided to pursue music full time. , Page 15
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“I remember him coming over my house in Sturbridge years and years and years ago,” James said. “He’d bring his piano with him and come over just to make songs for fun in my home studio, and even then I always knew he was talented.” Receiving recognition from a local star like James was surely a positive indicator of future success for Aukstikalnis, but little did the pair know that in just a few short years they would come together to produce multiselling hits. Aukstikalnis recalls his ﬁ rst year on the West Coast as a challenging period of life changes, career struggles, and isolation after leaving behind many long-term relationships. “I was going through a really, really, really tough time mentally. I had just moved to LA, and I was going through a lot of diﬀ erent things in my personal life. My music wasn’t really taking oﬀ the way I hoped, and it was just kind of like a rock bottom period of time for me because I gave up all my friends and family, and left everything behind to go pursue a dream in LA and sleep on a couch,” he said. Despite its shortcomings, Aukstikalnis’ new life in California wasn’t all bad. Aukstikalnis was fortunate enough to have a small but close-knit team around him able to understand and support his career goals, all while teaching him the ins and outs of the music business. Aukstikalnis’ manager, Ernest Osei, and career mentor, David Saint Fleur, a Warner Bros. A&R executive, both natives to Worcester, helped keep Aukstikalnis on the straight and narrow path when the going got tough. Osei met Eric in 2012 while the two were working as caddies at Worcester Country Club. Early into the friendship, Aukstikalnis shared one of his rap songs with Osei on Face-
“I was going through a really, really, really tough time mentally. I had just moved to LA, and I was going through a lot of different things in my personal life. My music wasn’t really taking off the way I hoped, and it was just kind of like a rock bottom period of time for me because I gave up all my friends and family, and left everything behind to go pursue a dream in LA and sleep on a couch.” book. Osei was immediately taken by Aukstiklnis’ gift for writing melodies. “Eric sent me one of his songs, which at the time he was a rapper, and I noticed the great melody he had on his hook. So I asked him if he wrote for artists on the side, and when he said he didn’t and that he just enjoyed making music I told him about a team of composers that I’d been working closely with, and soon after took him under my wing.” A couple of years down the road, Osei introduced Aukstikalnis to Saint Fleur, who was already a successful music producer working alongside such artists as Bebe Rexha, Dipset and Cassidy. Osei says Saint Fleur is the person who really “trained Eric’s ear to make a hit record.” “Eric was actually a singer/ rapper when I ﬁ rst met him, but he was very, very musical,” says Saint Fleur. “So I remember the ﬁ rst time I met him we were at a studio session in New Hampshire and we ended up making a song together on a whim based oﬀ just a quick idea, that ended up landing us a cut with DJ Dzeko, who is now known for producing Jackie Chan starring Tiesto featuring Post Malone and Preme. So we ended up getting that cut just from the ﬁ rst time being in the studio together and ever since then we’ve been building records together.” According to Saint Fleur, Aukstikalnis’ strength as an artist lies in his ability to think
up creative, new ideas and bring them to life. “Eric is a Quincy Jones type of producer, he’s the guy to put in the room to get things started and come up with great, fresh ideas, and he’s a great songwriter too. He’s just very musical — great melodies and great concepts.” Osei said that Aukstikalnis’ early challenges in LA had some beneﬁ ts.
“Eric pulling oﬀ the transition to life in Los Angeles not only made him stronger as a person, but him coming out to Los Angeles inserted him into an environment surrounded by the best of the best from all over the world to compete with, which really pushed Eric to step up his game in terms of production and songwriting. He knew needed to make sure that when he would pitch songs, they would cut through the competition and be heard as undeniable hits, which ultimately made his product stronger.” After 10 months of struggling to make his life in Los Angeles work, Aukstikalnis was ﬁ nally presented with his ﬁ rst big opportunity when Saint Fleur sent him the concept of a song titled “Monsters,” which according to Aukstikalnis, is the project that really got his career moving. “Monsters” was originally assigned to Worcester rap star Joyner Lucas, who was imme-
diately taken by the concept. Lucas nailed his version of “Monsters” within days of receiving the project. However, the style of the record didn’t ﬁ t any of Lucas’ ongoing projects at the time, which led Lucas to sit on the song for two years in hopes of placing the track somewhere it would make sense. Sadly, Lucas eventually declined the opportunity to release his epic version, but can be heard on YouTube since being leaked by an unidentiﬁ ed user late 2020. While waiting patiently for word about “Monsters,” Aukstikalnis still sensed a dark cloud of discouragement looming over him while in search of his next move, but all hope was not lost after contributing to “Monsters”, which gave Aukstikalnis an opportunity to “escape his mind, and think outside the box”. Only a month later, he delivered the now hit recSee DREAM, Page 16
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ord “Faith” featuring American icon Dolly Parton and Swedish superstar DJs, Galantis, which recently hit over 100 million plays across all streaming platforms since its release in October 2019. After “Faith” served as Aukstikalnis’ formal debut into the music scene, he ﬁ nally began to reap the rewards of hard earned success, as his music career continued to lift oﬀ like a rocketship. By the end of 2019, a plethora of manifestations were coming to fruition for Aukstikalnis since 2013 when he cleverly invented his musical identity, Aukoustics, a play on words where he combined the beginning of his last name with his artistry. Over the last four years, Aukstikalnis has developed a handful of records, some of his most notable collaborations being the 2019 song “Get Like Me” starring Bhad Bhabie featuring NLE Choppa and “Mobb’n” by Kash Doll, both co-produced by Aukstikalnis. By 2020, Aukstikalnis was ready to start releasing records under his personal artist brand, Aukoustics. Such projects include “Stars In My Eyes,” “Wasted On You,” and his most recent, “Missing You” featuring DJ Tez Cady. “Missing You” released early May 2021, hitting 20,000 plays on Spotify within its ﬁ rst 48 hours. The 2019 song “Get Like Me” is another notable project co-produced by Aukstikalnis, starring Bhad Bhabie featuring NLE Choppa. After two years of grinding away at other projects, “Monsters” worked its way back into Aukstikalnis’ orbit during fall of 2020 when Lucas made his ﬁ nal decision to pull his version of the record. After receiving word of Lucas’ decision, the original songwriters quickly reassigned “Monsters” to internationally acclaimed DJ Dynoro with hopes of placing 2020’s newest
Eric Aukstikalnis at work at Universal Music Studios in Santa Monica. PHOTO BY VIVIAN NOURI
rising rap and R&B star 24kGoldn on the vocals. With luck on their side, 24kGoldn agreed to take on the project amid being in the height of his popularity after releasing his 2020 single “Mood,” which during this time had been charting as the Number 1 song
across the globe. Nearly three years later, “Monsters” was released on all platforms May 28, paired with an extravagant music video, which, according to Saint Fleur, cost $200,000 to shoot. Aukstikalnis is credited for his contributions as a co-producer and
songwriter on the track. But “Monsters” isn’t nearly the last we’ll see of Aukoustics this season. Aukstikalnis has been working simultaneously with international DJ and legend Steve Aoki since October 2020. A record where Aukoustics and Aoki collaborate with
featured artists Gatuso and MKLA is expected to release June 2021, counting as Aukstikalnis’ fourth major release of the summer, following “Stars In My Eyes,” “Missing You” and “Wasted On You,” which just hit See DREAM, Page 17
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“Eric pulling off the transition to life in Los Angeles not only made him stronger as a person, but him coming out to Los Angeles inserted him into an environment surrounded by the best of the best from all over the world to compete with, which really pushed Eric to step up his game in terms of production and songwriting. He knew needed to make sure that when he would pitch songs, they would cut through the competition and be heard as undeniable hits, which ultimately made his product stronger.” Ernest Osei Aukstikalnis’ manager
Dream Continued from Page 16
200,000 streams on Spotify in 28 days. According to James, he and Aukstikalnis are joining forces once again to release another major project coming fall 2021, which James describes as “way bigger than ‘Faith,’” which was the pair’s ﬁ rst major record together. Aukstikalnis’ relentless dedication to his craft is undeniable, but is just one ingredient to his quick growth and impressive résumé. Aukstikalnis has the combination of personality traits necessary to succeed in a highly competitive business environment. An artist at heart, Aukstikalnis’ empathetic and personable nature make him a standout peopleperson, complementary to his eagerness to learn, willingness to explore fresh ideas, and ability to quickly adapt in new environments. In fact, his mentor, David Saint Fleur, compares Aukstikalnis’ adaptability to that of a chameleon. “Eric is really good at adapting to his environment. When I ﬁ rst met him I didn’t know if he was a producer, songwriter, rapper, or singer.
He’s kind of like a chameleon, he can master any environment you put him in, and he can play any role as a producer.” Reﬂ ecting on his journey to becoming a professional music producer, Aukstikalnis hopes his followers are inspired enough by his story to go out into the world and pursue their own wildest dreams. “In regards to the last four years, these opportunities have been the best thing that’s ever happened to me in my life,” he said. “This journey has pushed me to grow out of my comfort zone, to seek discomfort in ways that I would’ve never imagined and experienced things I would’ve never been able to, had I decided to sit at a desk job fresh out of college. It’s the memories I’ve made over the last three and a half years, and the many ups and downs that have helped me evolve into the man I am now and the person I’m still evolving into. … My dad told me from a really young age, ‘Eric, I want you to follow your dreams,’ and I live my life by that motto. This has all been a dream come true, and this is only the beginning of my story.” Follow Aukoustics on all streaming platforms and on social media @Aukoustics.
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‘Inside, Outside/Fleshy, Crystalline’: get to know the work of Katie Dye Kira Houston Special to Worcester Magazine USA TODAY NETWORK
Artist Katie Dye might say that other sculptural mediums have “transparency issues.” For Dye, the ethereal, colorchanging properties of glass make it a joy to work with and look at. Her puzzling glass objects draw us in with their vitality. Take “Tabidus”: the milky orange interior and dripping arteries make this glass heart look alive, as if it might begin to pulse in our peripheral vision. Dye draws from the human body, which she freezes mid-motion and mid-transformation. She blurs the lines between interiors and exteriors, excavating internal organs while encasing extremities. Her enigmatic creations unsettle our sense of inertia, convincing us for a moment that the inside, the outside, the ﬂ eshy, and the crystalline might all intermingle. Dye has always considered herself a maker, recalling fondly the three-dimensional mud sculptures she built as a child. She still uses a stool in her studio gifted to her by an inﬂ uential high school art teacher. Dye studied studio process at MassArt where she met and fell in love with glass. We might be familiar with the aesthetics of blown glass, a sculptural process Dye described as something like “dancing.” Dye, however, prefers the lesser-known process of kiln casting. She uses a method called “lost wax” to tame the glass in the kiln. This ancient form of casting has evolved to employ a modern plaster recipe containing silica. An artist working in this method ﬁ rst creates a wax model of the intended sculpture, encases this model in plaster, then melts the wax, leaving a hollow mold. Dye produces her glass objects through this mold-making process, letting the technicalities of craft guide her to new shapes and forms. While “Tabidus” was cast from an
“Somnus,” cast glass and pigment, 5” x 7” x 2.5” KATIE DYE/ARTSWORCESTER
anatomical model (no dissection required), Dye also engages in a type of indirect self-portraiture by using her own body to create molds. She uses a material called alginate to safely make casts of her limbs. In her series “Transpositions,” she encases negative-space imprints of her own hands and feet in natural glass artifacts. In “Transposition 6,” for example, the inverted texture of the artist’s ﬁ ngers becomes encased in a cocoon of crystal blue. The surrounding glass object appears spontaneous, but at the right angle, light illuminates the fossilized ﬁ ngers. To ensure this essential illumination, Dye usually builds her own lighted pedestals to display her works. Viewers must interact with the glass’s transparent properties to piece together the visual puzzle pieces. Interiors and exteriors harmonize to evoke a sense of suspended motion. Dye’s glass freezes the body in action, but it also
embodies action. In her dynamic composition Stretch, the hands seem like they might wiggle their digits and pull the red string at any moment. Bodily images, dissociated from their limbs, prompt a consideration of the contradiction between the glass’s inert reality and seeming vitality. The aura of delicate suspended motion which Dye cultivates both fascinates and mystiﬁ es our roaming eyes. This interplay between vitality and stasis, or life and death, is key to reading Dye’s work. Dye follows in a long tradition of sculpting the human body, and as early as 900 BCE, when Olmec artists created one of the ﬁ rst sculptures of the human heart referenced from a human sacriﬁ ce, bodily sculpture has associated itself with death. The ancient Romans and various subsequent cultures created death masks by taking imprints of the deceased’s face. Due to a phe-
“Tabidus,” cast glass, 3” x 5” x 2.5”
nomenon known as the “hollow face illusion,” a backward-facing mask appears forward-facing to the human eye, even despite contrary visual cues. The Romans used this illusion to devise hollow death masks which seemed to shift between convex and concave positioning, convincing viewers they had seen a ghost. Today, Dye utilizes the active properties of glass to produce this same shifting vitality. Her casts seem to defy death, appearing moments from reanimation even when the viewer knows the material is inert. Through their shifting, ethereal qualities, Dye’s sculptures transform our traditional ways of viewing the world. They capture a sense of fragile preservation, but also an impetus to motion. They ask us to investigate multiple levels of texture, ﬁ nding hidden forms inside the glass. They appropriate familiar bodily images to produce uncanny metamorphoses. Like the Roman death masks which ﬂ oated spectrally in candle-lit tombs, Dye’s sculptures seem to stretch, grab, transﬁ gure, and glow. Her playful creations let us see past dichotomies — between the inside and outside, the ﬂ eshy and crystalline, the living and dead, the vital and inert — to imagine how our own preconceived incongruities might meld and reconﬁ gure through art. “Art History 201: Art, the Public, and Worcester’s Cultural Institutions,” at Clark University gives students the opportunity to work closely with regional contemporary artists. With individual artists from ArtsWorcester’s gallery programs, the students hone their visual and critical skills by producing short essays positioning the artists’ work within contemporary art history. This year, the students also curated small selections of their artist’s work for these online spotlights. This collaboration was funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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CITY LIVING THE NEXT DRAFT
Stories of misogyny, harassment in craft beer spur reckoning in industry Matthew Tota Special to Worcester Magazine USA TODAY NETWORK
Michael Tomaiolo at his Marlboro Atlantic Poke. RICK CINCLAIR/TELEGRAM & GAZETTE
Atlantic Poke opens second site in Marlboro Barbara M. Houle Special to Worcester Magazine USA TODAY NETWORK
When Michael Tomaiolo opened Atlantic Poke at Lakeway Commons in Shrewsbury in July 2018 he knew he wanted to expand the concept, sooner than later. He really got serious about his business plan last month, opening Atlantic Poke, 237 Boston Post Road W, Marlboro, in a shopping plaza across the highway from the Apex Center. Tomaiolo, of Shrewsbury, is aware that some people might consider it a dicey proposition to expand in 2021, a time of transition and rebuilding for the industry, but he had the conﬁ dence to move forward. “I live for challenge,” said Tomaiolo with a grin. The
space in Marlboro is very manageable, he said, and the location oﬀ ers plenty of parking. “A win, win deal.” As a nationwide shortage of restaurant workers emerges, Tomaiolo said he’s fortunate to have suﬃ cient staﬀ at both restaurants. “Several employees live in Worcester and Shrewsbury and can go from one location to another if needed,” said Tomaiolo, who ﬁ lls in at both businesses, most times helping out in the kitchen. FYI: He continues to hire summer help in Marlboro. Shrewsbury and Marlboro Atlantic Poke have the identical menu and décor. Guests build their own poke (POHkeh) bowl, based on a variety of ingredients such as sushi
Everyone who loves craft beer needs to take the time to absorb the hundreds of stories posted to Instagram over the last few weeks by women in the industry who say they faced sexism and misogyny. Don’t gloss over them —
really read. It will not be easy. There have been more than 1,000 posted so far, a seemingly never-ending cascade of toxicity. Outrage, sadness, disappointment are three emotions commonly felt after viewing these anonymous stories pinned to Brienne Allan’s Instagram account, @ratmagnet. On May 11, Allan, produc-
tion manager at Salem’s Notch Brewing, asked if others in the beer industry had experienced sexism. A surge of responses followed. And she has posted them nearly nonstop since. You might see your favorite brewery or brewer mentioned alongside allegations of harassment, assault or rape, miSee DRAFT, Page 22
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20 | JUNE 4 - 10, 2021 | WORCESTERMAGAZINE.COM
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“When Captain Benjamin Flagg’s house went on the market last week, I begged Realtor Joe Abramoff for a chance to poke around inside.” PHOTO COURTESY OF SARAH CONNELL SANDERS
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My Realtor Joe Abramoﬀ and I both graduated from Flagg Street Elementary School a million years ago. When Captain Benjamin Flagg’s house went on the market last week, I begged him for a chance to poke around inside. He was happy to oblige, just as long as I promised not to arrive in full colonial garb. I told him I had purchased a petticoat special for the occasion, but he was concerned I might scare oﬀ prospective buyers. “Scare them oﬀ ?” I said. “You should be paying me to stand outside churning butter with a sign that says, ‘FOR SALE.’” He respectfully declined. Aside from being the oldest
house in Worcester — constructed in 1717 — I’m fairly certain Flagg’s house is also a time portal. The wide oldgrowth heart pine ﬂ ooring ﬁ ts together like a puzzle, each board its own unique size and shape, cut with an axe from trees found on the parcel. The original post and beam structure consists of hand-hewn exposed beam ceilings, most probably shaped by Flagg himself, who was known for being an accomplished carpenter. We spent a lot of time studying local history as students at Flagg Street School, but I can’t remember learning speciﬁ cally about Flagg. According to Abramoﬀ , who probably paid more attention than I did, the Flagg family was gifted 150 acres by the King of See SPINNING, Page 23
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Weapon E.S.P. cuts up culture with ‘Mr. Automatic’ Victor D. Infante Worcester Magazine USA TODAY NETWORK
Let’s get one thing straight: Listening to Weapon E.S.P.’s new album, “Mr. Automatic,” is an absolute blast. The Southbridge rapper has a way of coming up with lyrics that are surprising and, at times, laugh-out-loud funny. Indeed, the line, “If I see red your head will leak like Giuliani’s face,” from the album’s ﬁ rst full song, “Bane’s Physical Frame,” is so funny, I hooted out loud, stopped the song, rewound and played it again. Weapon is an extremely inventive lyricist, with a seemingly endless array of pop culture references that make his songs pop. Indeed, the record label the album’s released on, Genosha Records, is an “X-Men” reference: A ﬁ ctional island nation where mutants like the XMen were oppressed and enslaved, which later had a revolution and became a mutant-led nation. (That this ended badly a few years later is a whole other article.) Save to say, Weapon doesn’t skimp on the references, and his reveling in them gives the album a sense of joyousness. But as is apparent from the get-go, this isn’t an album about pop culture. This is an album about masculinity, and that he largely conveys a sense of swagger using imagery from an art form often relegated to the hopelessly geeky is more than a little enjoyable. Mind, superheroes are everywhere in the culture these days, and hip-hop has embraced them as far back as the WuTang Clan and probably even further, but still: When the ﬁ rst song after a brief intro is built around a notable Batman villain, it gives you an idea what to expect. Weapon has a sort of loose, casual ﬂ ow on the song, shifting into shorter, more punctuated lines for eﬀ ect. He raps, “With more juice than Bane’s physical frame” – Bane gets his super strength from a drug he injects himself with – “Bullying snatching your chains/ ’til Genosha’s all that remains.” Sometimes I feel like I should slap rappers for mixing their pop culture references, and other times I feel like they should be the only ones allowed to do it, because as an expression of machismo, this works pretty well. Indeed, in the next song, “Cutting the Wires,” frequent collabora-
The cover to Weapon E.S.P’'s new album, “Mr. Automatic." PROMOTIONAL IMAGE
tors Lo Gun and Ghost of the Machine pick up the thread of the rapper’s braggadocio, with Ghost looking askance at the idea of competition between rappers while, “modern day gestapos catching bodies.” Sometimes, in hiphop, it’s the point that’s whispered underneath the thunder that’s the one to pay attention to, and the game this album is playing is no diﬀ erent. As the album unfolds, the violent and martial imagery becomes more pronounced. “No capes in city, no saints, nobody safe,” raps Weapon in “Cooking,” “Blood dries quicker than paint son
I/Still I ain’t had time celebrate/no I ain’t selling faith son.” In “The Proven Formula” he raps – after some arresting cuts from DJ Grazzhoppa – that “unseen moving the needle Italiano machismo/ Meta human cerebral splashing the easel/ﬂ ashing the root of all evil/cashing in for all my people at last/abusing my power like cops who got bullied in class.” Indeed, Weapon eyes the toxicity entwined with that sort of perceived masculinity throughout, a morass which drowns police and drug dealers alike. Perhaps that human frailty is why the album’s so invested in superheroes,
although even they fail eventually. The song “Frank Castiglione” – the real name of the antihero The Punisher – deals with being transformed by life. In the comics, The Punisher becomes a murderous vigilante after his family is killed. In the song, Weapon raps, “They kept me out the light too long/They did me wrong/Now I’m an instrument of death on wax/Frank Castiglione.” Weapon reacts to the slights from peers by becoming a lyrical “killer.” (Strangely, one doubts as many police will embrace Weapon’s iconography the way so many do the Punisher’s. But that’s, again, another article.) Weapon doesn’t really ﬂ inch at the problematic nature of the icon he’s exploring here: The damage, after all, is part of the journey, and he’s really just one archetype he explores. “Sword Serenade” gives us references to the X-Men again, baseball legend Sammy Sosa and the Akira Kurosawa directed ﬁ lm “Yojimbo,” among others, all of them eyed by the rapper in his quest to succeed: “Now watch the rep grow/Without rafﬂ ing oﬀ my soul/Getting paid/Never fade/All I do is sharpen my blade/Weapons grade son/This is my sword serenade.” In “Clint East,” Weapon raps, “Remember when I was no name like Clint (Eastwood) in Spaghetti westerns,” invoking perhaps the most famous ﬁ lm image of silent machismo. Soon after he raps, “Kill the hatred oﬀ like inglorious bastards,” a reference to the Quentin Tarantino ﬁ lms. Despite the displays of force throughout the album, thematically it’s actually a slow burn to the end, culminating in “Mine For Diamonds,” which ﬁ nds the rapper ogling wealth and success, but even here, there’s something burbling underneath the hunger: “Heal the masses with these scriptures/They tried to hide to the truth from us/Third eye wide/Never knowing who to trust.” It’s ultimately unclear if the album’s persona ﬁ nds any of this pursuit worthwhile. The future is left as an open door, and as much as the album’s persona seems to know where that road’s headed, the album itself tells a diﬀ erent story: One that cautions that the future is far more uncertain than one would wish.
22 | JUNE 4 - 10, 2021 | WORCESTERMAGAZINE.COM
Draft Continued from Page 19
sogyny or workplace discrimination. Last week, Wormtown Brewery was named in multiple posts, including two alleging sexual harassment. One person said a “palpable ‘boys club’ mentality” pervades the brewery. Another, an Asian-American, reported discriminatory behavior based on race, saying one brewery owner joked in a mocking Asian accent about making a beer and calling it “Me So Thirsty.” Still another said one owner of the brewery often drinks excessively in the taproom, openly berates female managers and “has made female staﬀ feel a sense of obligation to drive him home or to hotel rooms when he is intoxicated.” A Wormtown employee summed up their experiences working at the brewery: “It is a toxic environment across the board, and something needs (to) change, and fast.” In a message to staﬀ last Friday, Wormtown General Manager Scott Metzger wrote that the brewery has created a committee led by Katrina Shabo, director of marketing, to recommend ways to systemically improve its culture. All current owners save for brewmaster and co-founder Ben Roesch have stepped down from “any day-to-day or direct involvement in the operation of the brewery,” according to Metzger. The trade publication Brewbound reported that the ownership group stepping away consists of Wormtown managing partner David Fields, CFO Kary Shumway, Rich Clarke and Jay “Digger” Clarke. Roesch will retain ownership, but report to Metzger as an employee. Instead, the brewery will be run by “an advisory board comprised of a diverse and inclusive group, with the right skillsets to help us steer the business, by ﬁ lling experience gaps, improving innovation, instilling better management practices and overall strategic guidance,” Metzger wrote. The brewery pledged to investigate the allegations and launch mandatory diversity, equity and inclusion training, along with “enhanced leadership training for all persons in a supervisory role.” “Wormtown Brewery is successful because of our passionate and committed team. That any member of our team may have experienced the harassing and discriminatory behaviors de-
Wormtown Brewery on Shrewsbury Street. ASHLEY GREEN/TELEGRAM & GAZETTE
scribed, is not acceptable,” Metzger wrote. “While there is work to do, we know a critical ﬁ rst step is to make room to listen and learn, and in turn, to provide support in the most helpful ways we can.” Even one of this state’s oldest and most successful breweries, often used a model for others, has harbored such pernicious behavior. It was sobering, but not surprising. Still, I trust that the core people remaining at Wormtown will listen and learn and grow. I know Roesch, one of the kindest brewers around, will. I know Shabo, likely deeply hurt by these allegations, will. I know others, like Metzger and head brewer Scott Drake, will. Going forward, Wormtown must be as transparent and honest as possible with the results of its investigation into these allegations and with what actions it will take to substantively improve its culture, even if that process gets in the way of its distillery opening. Now, not just Wormtown, but the entire brewing industry must look inward. “While there have been a few breweries that have been focused on, when we hold up a few totems and say just these few breweries are really bad, and we need to punish them, that sends the wrong message,” said Dani Babineau, CEO and co-founder of Redemption
Rock. “The truth is, it isn’t happening at a few bad breweries, it’s happening everywhere. This has shown how pervasive this behavior is in the industry. Everyone needs to take a deeper look at themselves: The entire industry is due for a reckoning.” It does not shock Babineau that the behavior exists despite the beer industry being more inclusive today than it ever has been. “Most of my experiences have been more along the lines of crude jokes, macroaggressions, and not being taken seriously, which is not innocuous, but doesn’t threaten my physical safety,” she said. “Most women who are reading these are not surprised because it’s part of our daily existence.” So how does the industry respond? Already some of the larger breweries named in allegations have ﬁ red employees and started internal investigations. Breweries have to create means for employees to ﬁ le complaints. Consumers, too, must demand change and turn away from brewers who won’t. As chair of the Massachusetts Brewers Guild’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, Babineau has been working to develop a code of ethics for member breweries, including adding a complaint process for employees to report violations. That would give the MBG power to expel members that violate its code.
“The code of ethics touches on sexual harassment and racial bias; it’s also very much encompassing of safety issues, fair pay, and fair business practices,” she said. “We’re really trying to create a document that isn’t just widereaching, but that also can eﬀ ect change within the industry in Massachusetts.” Allan, according to the Boston Globe, has started work on creating a national certiﬁ cation program for breweries that have worked to educate employees on how to prevent sexual harassment and assault. She is working with Craft Beer Professionals, a Virginia-based networking organization with over 12,000 members, the Globe reported. The kind of stories Allan has shared on her Instagram account have played out again and again in the beer industry for decades. As a young brewer just trying to learn the craft and break into the industry, Maureen Fabry remembers the occasional snide comments about women being less capable than men as brewers. Those comments occurred 20 years ago, and yet that attitude clearly still exists. “It was easy for me to discount it as just oﬀ handed comments,” said Fabry, who co-owns Milford’s CraftRoots Brewing with her partner, Robin Fabry. “But any comment that is making a point that women are less capable or can’t do the same amount of work, anything like that discrediting women’s contributions is something we need to pay attention to.” Fabry believes Allan’s amplifying of these stories will prove instrumental in holding people accountable and spurring action. “In a lot of these breweries,” she said, “the reasons that these brewers are coming out is there is no avenue for women to speak out in their organizations, or they may not feel safe doing so or may not know what the outcome would be. So the next step is to provide a safe and inclusive and respectful workplace.” You can read Wormtown’s full statement on the allegations against its brewery here: wormtownbrewery.com/ combatting-harassment-in-the-workplace. Read the Massachusetts Brewers Guild response to the stories being shared on Allan’s Instagram here: massbrewersguild.org/news. Another Instagram account was created to catalogue and post new stories about sexism in the beer industry: https://www.instagram.com/emboldenactadvance.
WORCESTERMAGAZINE.COM | JUNE 4 - 10, 2021 | 23
Hoppin’ Continued from Page 19
white rice, brown rice or mixed greens and add-ins, protein, sauce and toppings. Choose from tuna, salmon, shrimp, chicken or organic vegan tofu and add other ingredients, such as edamame, carrots, red cabbage, green onion, seaweed, corn, cilantro (and more) to complete the bowl. There also are a variety of sauces like Spicy Mayo, Traditional, Wasabi Soy, Ginger and crab salad. The Atlantic is the featured bowl at the restaurant. Other bowl choices include Wasabi Tuna, Plant Based Superstar, Chicken and Shrimp and Land Lover. The menu is gluten friendly, according to Tomaiolo, who said it contains no dairy, no tree nuts and no peanuts. He attributes the success of his Shrewsbury restaurant to not only “healthy and delicious food,” but also customer satisfaction and cleanliness. Tomaiolo is a stickler when it comes to health and sanitation. “Cleanliness should be a top priority when it comes to running your restaurant,” he said. A loyal customer base bolstered takeout amid the pandemic, according to Tomaiolo, who expressed gratitude. Takeout and delivery are available at both locations. Hours in Shrewsbury and Marlboro: 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday
Spinning Continued from Page 20
England at 136 Plantation Street where the house still stands today. The original plot of land commanded striking views of Worcester’s lush and hilly countryside. Despite King George’s gift, the Flaggs became vocal separatists, closely tied to the
through Friday; 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Telephone: Shrewsbury, (508) 377-4441; Marlboro, (508) 4805020. Visit www.atlantic.poke.com, or connect on social media. Tomaiolo credits his wife, Julia, for helping out in running both operations, referring to her as the “backbone” of the business end. “With two young children and now two businesses, we’re very busy parents,” said Tomaiolo. “Most important to us is that we spend family time with the kids.” In a Meet the Chef column published in 2019 in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Tomaiolo said he has been around food his entire life. His great-uncles and grandfather owned the former White Cliﬀ s restaurant and banquet facility, a historic Northboro landmark. His cousins own and operate A.J. Tomaiolo’s Restaurant in Northboro and Leo’s Ristorante in Worcester. The restaurateur believes that restaurants will bounce back in 2021. “Recovery deﬁ nitely will take time,” said Tomaiolo. “It takes hard work, and owners are faced with more challenges, but nationwide there’s a will to survive,” he said. “I think most owners will say that it’s never been easy to be in the restaurant industry, but this past year will probably go down as the worst in its history.” Despite the pandemic, Tomaiolo continues with an up-
beat vibe. Drop by one of his restaurants and enjoy a healthful approach to fast-casual dining.
American Revolution. Benjamin Flagg III even went so far as to lead a Worcester militia to the Battle of Lexington and Concord to ﬁ ght the British in 1775. In later years, Flagg III earned a reputation as an outspoken advocate for the Worcester Fire Society, which eventually led to the creation of the Worcester Fire Department as we know it today. I can imagine he took great pride in the
massive center chimney that feeds three wood-burning ﬁ replaces inside the house. Cauldrons still dangle over the enormous hearth, and a deep bread oven can be located in the back right corner of the main ﬁ replace if you look hard enough. “Picture this,” I told Abramoﬀ , “It’s an open house, I’m dressed as a witch, and I’m all like: ‘Double, double toil and trouble...’” He looked nervous.
Jeremiah’s Inn food drive on tap Pitch in support for Jeremiah’s Inn and its Annual Summer Food Drive on June 7 and June 13. The 27th food drive event will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Shaw’s Supermarket – Gold Star, 14 West Boylston St., Worcester, where there will be collection boxes on site for donations and nonperishable items. K-LOVE Radio personnel will join food drive staﬀ and volunteers until 2 p.m. both days. There’ll be music, games and giveaways! If you can’t make it to Shaw’s, the Price Chopper at 221-223 Park Ave., Worcester, and Price Chopper, 50 Cambridge St., Worcester, will have donation collection boxes at their stores throughout the food drive week, according to Alyssa Dancause, communications coordinator for Jeremiah’s Inn. The message from Jeremiah Inn’s Executive Director Janelle Wilson: “Jeremiah’s Inn transforms the lives of people impacted by the eﬀ ects of hunger and Substance Use Disorder (SUD) through programs that celebrate the diversity and inherent worth of all individuals, and through community edu-
cation that builds awareness of and advocates for those in need. Since 1996, Jeremiah’s Inn has been licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Abuse Services to operate a Residential Recovery Program for Men. It has assisted more than 100 men a year on their journey to recovery from substance abuse. “Jeremiah’s Inn operates a Nutrition Center & Food Pantry through which the donated food will be distributed,” said Wilson. “The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased the demand for their emergency food uses. The number of ﬁ rst -time clients in 2020 rose almost 300 percent. These families need our support!” For a list of the most requested food items, or for information about donations, visit www.jeremiahsinn.com/fooddrive. Additional food drive sponsors: First Baptist Church of Worcester, Country Bank, Herlihy Insurance Group, POBCO Inc., IBEW Local 96, Masterman’s Safety and Industrial Supply Company, UniBank Sterling, Bay State Savings Bank, Cornerstone Bank, the John E. Wornham Charitable Gift Fund, Millbury Federal Credit Union, Teamster’s Union Local 170, William F. Lynch Co.
Issues for restaurants and diners Last-minute restaurant can-
“We’ll sell this place in no time,” I assured him. “We?” he asked. Who do I picture embracing the 18th-century charm of The Flagg House? Perhaps a college professor steeped in puritanical research. Or, a scholar at the Antiquarian Society, busy piecing together the accuracy of Felicity Merriman’s life. Maybe even an aspiring costumed historian with their sights set on making it big at Old Sturbridge
cellations and no-shows reportedly have increased nationwide during COVID-19, with some restaurants now asking guests for upfront fees when making reservations. A local owner recently said some people make reservations at three or four diﬀ erent restaurants, deciding at the last minute where they will go. With the return to full dining capacity, there’s another problem. A local diner shared her story: After waiting from 6:30 to 8 p.m. for meals to be served at a city restaurant, the guest who had made dinner reservations asked for the check. “Staﬀ ﬁ nally came to the table to say that the kitchen would eventually get to our order, blaming the delay on shortage of employees,” said the guest. “It’s not customer entitlement,” she said, “but the fact the restaurant asked for reservations only. The place was busy, but not full. It wasn’t the friendliest service I’ve encountered. We left because we had no idea when our meals would be ready. We ﬁ gured another 30 to 45 minutes at best.” Restaurants struggle to hire new staﬀ , including chefs, to keep up with demand. Don’t forget it when heading out to venues. If you have a tidbit for the column, call (508) 868-5282. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Village. Abramoﬀ is inclined to think it will be a Worcester family looking for an alternative to a traditional three-decker. Either way, Worcester’s oldest house has hit the market and it won’t be available for long. If you think it might be right for you, Abramoﬀ can be reached at joseph.abramoﬀ @realliving.com. (Costumed butter churning demonstrations by special request.)
24 | JUNE 4 - 10, 2021 | WORCESTERMAGAZINE.COM
Hammer shows how to destroy your Hollywood career in simple steps Jim Keogh Special to Worcester Magazine USA TODAY NETWORK
There are many ways to cripple your professional future. Badmouth your boss. Tweet an ethnic joke. Or partake in the Louis C.K. courting ritual of masturbating in front of a horriﬁ ed woman. All should do the trick. Another consideration is the Armie Hammer strategy. The tall handsome actor who made his name playing the aggrieved Winklevoss twins in “The Social Network” has done a ﬁ ne job of promoting his own career-icide by allegedly expressing cannibalistic desires with his lovers, even supposedly biting one of them in in a way that was not love-hungry, just hungry. (He has also been accused of sexual violence and degradation toward women, and has denied the most serious of the charges.) True or not, once the cannibalism stuﬀ began to seep into the media, Hammer was ﬁ nished. He stepped away from a rom-com he was set to ﬁ lm with Jennifer Lopez; he was dropped by his agency and publicist; his wife ﬁ led for divorce. Last week when channel surﬁ ng I came upon “Call Me by Your Name,” in which Hammer plays a graduate student who romances a younger man during a summer in Italy. I stuck around for a few minutes, but given what I’d learned about Hammer’s alleged chewy proclivities, watching him playfully ﬂ irt onscreen now just felt, as a trained clinical psychologist might describe it — icky. According to his IMDB page, Hammer has two ﬁ lms in the can: “Crisis,” a collection of stories detailing the corrosive im-
Armie Hammer, shown here in “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” may well be driving his career off a cliff. WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT
pact of opioids, and “Next Goal Wins,” which chronicles the American Samoa soccer team’s legendary 31-0 loss to Australia in the 2001 World Cup. I expect
“Crisis” to slip unnoticed into the sea, but “Next Goal Wins,” because it’s directed by supernova-hot director Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit”), surely will get a
full theatrical run in 2022. I can’t predict Hammer’s destiny. Does his comeback clock start ticking after a period of exile? Does he ever recover?
Other actors have overcome heinous behavior. Who could have expected we’d see Mel Gibson’s face on a screen again after his anti-Semitic torrent during an OUI arrest in 2006, or following the threatening phone calls he made to his former girlfriend that were leaked in 2010? (Give them a listen and ponder whether you’d want this guy within 500 yards of your daughter.) But Gibson’s dance card has ﬁ lled up with comedies (“Daddy’s Home 2”), action pictures (“Expendables 3), and historical dramas (“The Professor and the Madman”), largely because he was unafraid to indulge his unhinged reputation. The passage of time and the fraying of attention spans can help scandal-dinged actors weather almost any storm. Robert Downey Jr.’s stint in jail on drug charges has not handicapped his career. Paul Reubens’ arrest on exposure charges in a Florida movie theater did not permanently bury his Pee Wee Herman character, and actually may have added to his legend. Hugh Grant seems to be doing just ﬁ ne years after police nabbed him in his car with a prostitute. Still, the court of public opinion is a ﬁ ckle thing. Silent screen comedian Fatty Arbuckle was acquitted of the manslaughter of starlet Virginia Rappe, yet was deemed so toxic that he was forced to cobble together a directing career under a pseudonym. This was well before social media gave eternal life to every transgression, whether earned or not. In this overheated atmosphere, a successful Hammer comeback will require delicacy, repentance, and, one would hope, a change of diet.
WORCESTERMAGAZINE.COM | JUNE 4 - 10, 2021 | 25
NEW ON DVD
First-time director and lead team up in basketball drama ‘Boogie’ “Fresh Oﬀ the Boat” author Eddie Huang’s directorial debut, a coming-ofage basketball drama starring newcomer Taylor Takahashi, tops the DVD releases for the week of June 1. “Boogie”: Takahashi, in his ﬁ rst feature ﬁ lm role, stars as the titular Alfred “Boogie” Chin, a Chinese American high school basketball prodigy in Queens, New York. While the movie “has much of Huang’s urban Asian American style and swagger, the script is, unfortunately, a missed shot,” writes critic Katie Walsh in her review for Tribune News Service. The viewer is supposed to believe Boogie dreams of going pro, but “it’s hard to tell if the NBA is Boogie’s dream, or the immense expectation of his father (Perry Yung), who is recently released from prison and obsessed with Chinese American sports greatness,” Walsh writes. Though Walsh found the script and main character lacking in aspects, in part due to Takahashi’s inexperience, “the cityscapes soundtracked to modern hip-hop are fun and stylish, evoking a sense of place far richer than the characterizations of the people within this environment.” Walsh also lauded the ﬁ lm’s supporting cast, especially Taylour Paige, who plays Boogie’s love interest. “Even the bright spots remind us that the story issues wouldn’t matter if we knew or cared about our hero more,” Walsh concludes in her review. “It’s unfortunate that a ﬁ lm with such a unique character, point of view and premise ultimately ends up feeling lightweight, insigniﬁ cant and ultimately, disappointing.” Also new on DVD June 1 “The Courier”: Benedict Cumberbatch stars as a British spy in this Cold War thriller set during the Cuban Missile Crisis. “Embattled”: A son strives to follow in the footsteps of his father, a famous MMA ﬁ ghter, while trying to break out of the abusive cycle his father has continued.
Taylor Takahashi stars as Alfred ‘Boogie’ Chin in director Eddie Huang’s “Boogie.” DAVID GIESBRECHT/FOCUS FEATURES
“Endangered Species”: A rich American family on safari in Africa see their idyllic vacation turn into a battle for survival when they are left stranded in Kenya after a rhinoceros attacks their vehicle. “The Vault”: A brilliant engineering
student joins a team of thieves attempting to break into a safe beneath the Bank of Spain in this heist thriller. “The World To Come”: Katherine Waterston, Vanessa Kirby and Casey Afﬂ eck star in this historical drama set in the mid-1800s that ﬁ nds two neighbor-
ing couples battling hardship and isolation in the American frontier. “Trigger Point”: Barry Pepper stars as a former special forces member who joins an elite team of assassins targeting the world’s worst villains in this action thriller. “Your Honor”: Bryan Cranston again breaks bad in this limited series, but this time as a judge trying to protect his son after he is involved in a hit-and-run accident that kills the child of a powerful mobster. “A Glitch in the Matrix”: This documentary examines one of the central question posed by the “Matrix” ﬁ lms — what if we are actually living in a simulation? “Spare Parts”: An all-girl punk band on tour are forced to ﬁ ght as gladiators for a sadistic town’s amusement after having their limbs removed and replaced with weapons. “Mommie Dearest”: For its 40th anniversary, the cult classic starring Faye Dunaway is released on Blu-ray for the ﬁ rst time. “Shoplifters of the World”: There’s panic on the streets of Denver when four teens ﬁ nd out The Smiths are breaking up in 1987. “Stray”: This documentary follows Zeytin, a stray dog living on the streets of Istanbul, Turkey. Out on Digital HD June 1 “The Concessionaires Must Die!”: A misﬁ t group of workers try to save their beloved single screen movie theater theater from being shut down forever in this comedy. “Hamlet/Horatio”: Beginning with the death of Hamlet, this drama is told from the perspective of his friend Horatio. “It’s Not a Burden”: This heartfelt documentary explores the stories of adult children caring for their older parents. “The Sound of Identity”: Documents Lucia Lucas’ historic performance at the Tulsa Opera as she became the ﬁ rst known transgender woman to perform a principal role in opera history.
26 | JUNE 4 - 10, 2021 | WORCESTERMAGAZINE.COM
5 THINGS TO DO
Fellowship of the King SUBMITTED PHOTO
FELLOWSHIP OF THE KING, THE MACHINE, SILVERBACKS AND MORE ... Richard Duckett and Veer Mudambi Worcester Magazine | USA TODAY NETWORK
Tribute to the King He is, after all, “The King,” and The Fellowship of The King promises to perform the music of Elvis Presley “with skill, respect, passion, love and above all, authenticity.” The Worcester area band covers music from Presley’s entire career, 1954-1977, and will be showcased June 6 at Indian Ranch. The Fellowship of the King was nominated for “Best Tribute Band” at the 2017, 2018 and 2019 Worcester Music Awards. (RD) Continued on next page
What: The Fellowship of the King When: 1 p.m. June 6 (doors 11:30 a.m.) Where: Indian Ranch, 200 Gore Road, Webster How much: $15. The show will be sold at a limited capacity with distanced seating. www.indianranch.com.
WORCESTERMAGAZINE.COM | JUNE 4 - 10, 2021 | 27
Pink Floyd from ‘The Machine’
The Jean McDonough Arts Center on Franklin Street, home to Worcester PopUp and BrickBox Theater. FILE PHOTO
Art and more at PopUp show There will be music, magic, fashion, art and more (even elephants) at “The All Out All ART Variety Show” presented by ArtReach Saturday at the Worcester PopUp. Over 1,000 pieces of art will be on display along with performances and magic acts all day. The free, fun family event is open and accessible to all. (RD) What: “The All Out All ART Variety Show” When: Noon to 8 p.m. June 5 Where: Worcester PopUp at the JMAC, 20 Franklin St., Worcester How much: Free. Register on Eventbrite.
What: The Machine Performs Pink Floyd When: 6:30 p.m. June 4 (parking lots open 4:30 p.m.; gates open 5 p.m.) Where: Northlands, Cheshire Fairground, 247 Monadnock Highway, Swanzey, New Hampshire How much: $99 to $139 per pod (up to five people per pod) depending on availability. www.northlandslive.com.
A shot of rock music at Ciderworks
The Silverbacks at Douglas Orchard
Do you like rock music? Do you like craft beer and cider? Tequila Mockingbird will be playing this weekend at Common Ground Ciderworks. TMB plays rock from multiple eras, from Tom Petty and Bob Dylan to Sublime and Nirvana — the one common thread being songs you’ll probably know and can definitely dance to. (VM)
Outdoor concert fans should clear a spot on their calendars to head to Douglas Orchard and Farm on Saturday evenings this summer. Their 2021 Summer Concert Series kicks off tomorrow with a performance by The Silverbacks, bringing a nostalgic wave of mid- to late 60s classic rock. Bring your own chair, but food will be available in the form of BBQ fare provided by EB Flats. Masks are a must. (VM) What: Live Music at the Pavilion: The Silverbacks When: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. June 5 Where: Douglas Orchard and Farm, 36 Locust St., Douglas How much: $10 per person 16 and older. Kids are free. Pay at the door.
The Machine performs Pink Floyd with an A to Z approach. The New York-based quartet coming to Northlands June 4 has been known to play one Pink Floyd song for every letter of the alphabet. The band’s knowledgeable and faithful renditions of the Pink Floyd repertoire is matched by use of expanded theatrical elements and elaborate stage displays and lighting. The Machine WENDY PODMENIK DARUGAR June 5 will bring another renowned tribute act to Northlands with Badfish: Tribute to Sublime. (RD)
What: Tequila Mockingbird plays at Common Ground When: 1 to 4 p.m. June 6 Where: Common Ground Ciderworks, 31 E. Brookfield Road, North Brookfield How much: Free! Tequila Mockingbird will perform this weekend at Common Ground Ciderworks KIM RING/ TELEGRAM & GAZETTE
The Silverbacks PROMOTIONAL PHOTO
28 | JUNE 4 - 10, 2021 | WORCESTERMAGAZINE.COM
Welcome to Adoption Option, a partnership with the Worcester Animal Rescue League highlighting their adoptable pets. Check this space often to meet all of the great pets at WARL in need of homes. WARL is open seven days a week, noon-4 p.m., 139 Holden St. Check them out online at Worcesterarl.org, or call at (508) 853-0030. Looking for a happy, easygoing, senior gal? Zoey is your woman. Zoey was surrendered by her heartbroken owners after they moved here from out of state and could not ﬁ nd a place to live. Once they did, they were unable to keep Zoey. She was a big part of their family since she was a puppy and was spoiled like a princess. Her lovely personality shows how well she was cared for and loved by them. She has lived with kids and is gentle with them. Zoey slept in bed and under the covers with her family. She likes to play with stuﬀ ed animals and any toys that squeak, although the stuﬃ es may not last too long. Zoey does not mind seeing other dogs or even walking by them, but she prefers not to interact with them. She has been like this her whole life and so her new home will need to be one with no other animals. Zoey loves to give kisses and her tail does not stop wagging. She enjoys meeting new people and going for walks. At the end of the day, Zoey likes to wind down on the couch with a nice drink of water and a cookie. She will be a great companion for some very lucky family. Could that be you? If you would like more information about this sweetheart or you would like to set up an appointment to
Zoey is available for adoption through the Worcester Animal Rescue League. PHOTO COURTESY SARA MCCLURE
meet her, contact the shelter today. WARL COVID-19 Procedures As of Nov. 9, 2020 As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we want to
share with you some changes we have implemented so that we can continue to serve the pets and people of our community while keeping our team protected. • ADOPTIONS: At this time,
adoptions are being held BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. If you are interested in adoption, please visit our website worcesterarl.org/ adopt/ to learn more about our available animals then call us at (508)
853-0030 ext.0 or email us at info@worcesterarl. org to schedule an appointment. • CASUAL VISITS TO THE SHELTER are prohibited. We will strictly enforce this in order to keep our animal care team protected while still maintaining the most essential function of our operation ... ﬁ nding homes for animals in need. • ANIMAL SURRENDERS: Our business practice for surrendering a pet remains the same. All pet owners must contact WARL in advance of surrendering a pet. Please call (508) 853-0030. • SPAY/NEUTER CLINICS: All scheduled appointments will be honored. If you have a scheduled appointment, we will be contacting you to discuss changes to our drop oﬀ / pick up procedures. • DONATIONS ACCEPTED except for open bags of food. • Pet food, cat litter, and other shelter supplies will be essential in continuing to provide for our animals and to assist community members in need. To avoid unnecessary travel and exposure, items can be purchased online from our Amazon Wishlist — https:// www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/3AX342JIL73M0 • Weekly training classes are going on for adopters. • The WARL Volunteer Program is temporarily suspended. All regular volunteer shifts are on hold. We look forward to welcoming you back as soon as we can. We have many animals in our care who depend on us to stay healthy and well. The above measures help to protect our staﬀ and community from the spread of COVID - 19 by minimizing face-to-face interactions while continuing to operate only core essential services. Please continue to follow our Facebook page for additional updates. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact the shelter at (508) 853-0030 or info@ worcesterarl.org.
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WORCESTERMAGAZINE.COM | JUNE 4 - 10, 2021 | 29
court to determine that the Re- ity, Department of Modernization, 81 Tacoma Street, Worcester, MA 01605 spondent is incapacitated, that the and thereafter, Monday thru Friday 8:00 A.M. through 4:30 P. M. Copies of appointment of a Guardian is neces- the contract documents may be obtained by depositing $50.00 in the form sary, and that the proposed Guardi- of a company check, made payable to the Worcester Housing Authority, an is appropriate. The petition is on for each set of documents so obtained. The amount of the deposit will be file with this court and may contain refunded to each person who returns the plans, specifications and other a request for certain specific au- documents in good condition within ten (10) days after bid opening. Bidthority. You have the right to ders requesting contract documents to be mailed to them should include a LEGALS object to this proceeding. If you separate check in the amount of $40.00 for each set payable to the Worcester Housing Authority to cover mailing and handling costs. wish to do so, you or your attorney th of The Worcester Housing Authority at invites sealed bids for Curtis Playmust file a written appearance th of Commonwealth of The Worcester Housing AuthorityThe invites sealed Housing bids for Authority Curtis PlayWorcester invites sealed bids for Curtis PlayTrial Court ground in10:00 accordance with the documents prepared by this courtResurfacing onThe or before A.M. Trial CourtMassachusetts Trial Court ground Resurfacing in accordance with Resurfacing the documents by with the documents prepared by ground in prepared accordance ily Court WHA. on the and return date of 06/15/2021. ily Court Probate Family Court WHA. WHA. 1P1703GD Project consists of but is not limited to: removal and installation of new This day is WO21P1703GD NOTofa but hearing date, but 1P1703GD Docket No. Project consists is not limited to: removal installation of newto: removal and installation of new Project consists and of but is not limited recreational poured rubber surface as described in the specifications and and Family a deadline date by which you have recreational poured rubber surface as described in therubber specifications recreational poured surface and as described in the specifications and and FamilyWorcester Probate and Family drawings. in St. toCourt file the written if you drawings. drawings. in St. 225 Mainappearance St. The worktoisthe estimated to Ifcost 01608 object petition. you$70,000. fail The to work is estimated to cost $70,000. The work is estimated to cost $70,000. 01608 Worcester, MA 01608 Bids will be received until 2:00 p.m. on Thursday June 24, 2021 OTICE OF PE- General file the written appearance by the General Bids willNOTICE be received until 2:00 p.m. onwill Thursday Juneuntil 24, 2:00 2021p.m. on Thursday June 24, 2021 General Bids be received OTICE OF PECITATION GIVING OF PEatreturn the Worcester Housing Authority, of Modernization, 81 TaNTMENT OF date, action may be takenatinDepartment at the Worcester Housing Authority, Department of Housing Modernization, 81 Tathe Worcester Authority, Department of Modernization, 81 TaNTMENT OF TITION FOR APPOINTMENT OF coma Street,without Worcester, MA notice 01605 to at which time and place all bids will be CAPACITATthis matter further coma Street, MA 01605coma at which time and place MA all bids willatbewhich time and place all bids will be Street, Worcester, 01605 CAPACITAT-GUARDIAN FORWorcester, INCAPACITATpublicly opened and read aloud. ANT TO G.L. you. In opened additionand to read filing the written publicly opened and read aloud. ANT TO G.L.ED publicly PERSON TOaloud. G.L. A pre-bid PURSUANT conference be held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 10, 304 you or will your Aappearance pre-bid conference will be attorney held A at pre-bid 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, Juneat10, conference will be held 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 10, 304 c. 190B, §5-304 at 51 Great Brook Valley Avenue, at which time bidders will be Mohanad A. 2021 mustat file51a Great writtenBrook affidavit stating 2021 Valley Avenue, at Great which time bidders willAvenue, be 2021 at 51 Brook Valley at which time bidders will be Mohanad In A. the matter of: Mohanad A. to visit facts the project site(s) with a Worcester Housing Authority Worcester, invited the specific and grounds of the invited to visit Of: the Worcester, project site(s) with thetoa visit Worcester Housing Authority invited the project site(s) with the a Worcester Housing Authority Worcester, AL Sammarraie or visit the premises shall be no defense ged Incapaci- representative. your objectionFailure within to 30attend days after Failure to attend orrepresentative. visit the premises shall no defense Failure tobe attend or visit the premises shall be no defense ged IncapaciMA representative. RESPONDENT Alleged Incapacifailure to perform contract terms. e named Re- in the return date. IMPORTANT NOfailure to To perform contractReterms. in failure to perform contract terms. e named Retatedin Person the named areThe subject to M.G.L. c.30 §39M & to minimum wage rates as required er interested Bids TICE outcome of this proceedBids are subject to M.G.L. c.30 §39M & to wage rates as §39M required Bids areminimum subject to M.G.L. c.30 & to minimum wage rates as required er interested spondent and all other interested M.G.L. to 27H inclusive. been filed by by ing mayc.149 limit §§26 or completely take by M.G.L. c.149 §§26 to 27H inclusive. by M.G.L. c.149 §§26 to 27H inclusive. been filed by persons, abid petition hasaccompanied been filed byby a Each shall be bid deposit in the amount of 5% of the pmental Serv- Each awaybidthe above-named person’s be accompanied by a bid deposit the amount of 5% Each bid shallinbe accompanied byof a the bid deposit in the amount of 5% of the pmental ServDepartment ofshall Developmental Servprice the form of a Bid Bond, issued by a responsible surety compain the above bid right to in make decisions about perprice in theMA form of a Bid Bond, issued responsible compabid priceby in athe form of a surety Bid Bond, issued by a responsible surety compain the above ices bid of Worcester, in the above ny licensed to do business in the state of Massachusetts, or a certified alleging that ny sonal affairs financial or licensed to or doalleging business affairs in theny state of Massachusetts, or in a certified licensed to do business the state of Massachusetts, or a certified alleging that captioned matter that or a above-named treasurer’s or person cashier’s check issued by a responsible bank or marraie is in check, both. The has or AL a treasurer’s or cashier’s checkor issued by a responsible bankcheck or issued by a responsible bank or check, a treasurer’s or cashier’s marraie is Mohanad in check, A. Sammarraie is in company, payableAnyone to the Worcester Housing Authority by bidnd requesting trust the right to askmade for a lawyer. company, made payable to the Worcester Housing Authoritytoby bidtrust company, made payable the Worcester Housing Authority by bidnd requesting needtrust of afor Guardian and possible requesting ders the greatest bid amount. ammarraie of ders mayfor make this request on behalf of for the greatest possible bid amount. the greatest possible bid amount. ders ammarraie that of Bid Shahlaa H AL Sammarraie of and Contract Documents be made available on the Worcesme other suit- Bid theforms above-named person. If thewill forms Documents will be made available Documents on the Worcesforms and Contract will be made available on the Worcesme other suitWorcester, MAand (or Contract some other suit- Bid Housing Authority website ted as Guard- ter above-named person cannot afford ter Housing Authority Housing website Authority ter website ted as Guardable (http://www.worcesterha.org/currentbids.html) person) be appointed as Guardat no cost. Hard copies Surety on (http://www.worcesterha.org/currentbids.html) a lawyer, one may be appointed(http://www.worcesterha.org/currentbids.html) at at no cost. Hard copies at no cost. Hard copies Surety on ian to serve Without Surety on be made available on June 03, 2021 at the Worcester Housing Authoron asks the will State expense. WITNESS, Hon. will be at made available on June 03, 2021 at the Worcester Housing Authorbe made available on June 2021 the Worcester Housing Authoron asks the the will bond. The petition asks the03,81 Department of First Modernization, Tacoma Street, Worcester, MA 01605 that the Re- ity, Leilah A Keamy, Justice of this ity, Department of Worcester, Modernization, 81 Tacoma Street, Worcester, MA 01605 Department ofthat Modernization, 81 Tacoma Street, MA 01605 that the Recourtity, to determine the Rethereafter, Monday thru Friday 8:00 A.M. through 4:30 P. M. Copies of ated, that the and Court. Date: May 21, 2021 Monday and thereafter, Monday thru the Fridayand 8:00thereafter, A.M. through 4:30 thru P. M.Friday Copies8:00 of A.M. through 4:30 P. M. Copies of ated, that the spondent is incapacitated, that contract may be of obtained by depositing $50.00 in the form dian is neces- the Stephanie K.documents Fattman, Register the contract documents mayinbethe obtained the contract documents be obtained by depositing $50.00 form by depositing $50.00 in the form dian is necesappointment of a Guardian ismay necesof a company check, made payable to the Worcester Housing Authority, posed Guardi- ofProbate 06/04/21 WM of atocompany check,Housing made payable to the Worcester Housing Authority, a company check, made payable the Worcester Authority, posed Guardisary, and thatset theofproposed Guardieach documents so obtained. The amount of the deposit will be petition is on for for each of documents so obtained. for each set of documents so obtained. Theset amount of the deposit will be The amount of the deposit will be petition is on an isrefunded appropriate. The person petitionwho is onreturns to each the plans, specifications and other may contain refunded to each person who returns refunded to each person whoand returns the plans, specifications otherthe plans, specifications and other may contain file with this court and may contain in good condition within ten (10) days after bid opening. Bidspecific au- documents documents in good within ten (10) days after bid opening. Biddocuments in goodspecific conditionauwithin ten (10) days aftercondition bid opening. Bidspecific aua request for certain requesting contract documents to be mailed to them should include a he right to ders ders requesting documents ders You requesting contract documents to be mailed tocontract them should includetoa be mailed to them should include a he right to thority. havein the right toof $40.00 separate check the amount for each set payable to the Woreding. If you separate check in the amount of $40.00 separate amount of $40.00 forcheck each in setthe payable to the Wor- for each set payable to the Woreding. If you object to this proceeding. you mailing Housing Authority toIf cover and handling costs. your attorney cester cester Housing Authority Authority to cover mailing and handling costs.to cover mailing and handling costs. your attorney wish cester to do Housing so, you or your attorney ppearance at ppearance must at file a written appearance at e 10:00 A.M. e 10:00 A.M. this court on or before 10:00 A.M. 06/15/2021. 06/15/2021. on the return date of 06/15/2021. ring date, but ring date, but This day is NOT a hearing date, but hich you have hich you have a deadline date by which you have earance if you earance if you to file the written appearance if you If you fail to If you fail object to to the petition. If you fail to rance by the rance by the file the written appearance by the y be taken in y be taken return in date, action may be taken in ther notice to ther notice this to matter without further notice to g the written g the written you. In addition to filing the written our attorney our attorney appearance you or your attorney idavit stating idavit stating must file a written affidavit stating d grounds of d grounds the of specific facts and grounds of 30 days after 30 days after your objection within 30 days after ORTANT NOORTANT NOthe return date. IMPORTANT NOthis proceedthis proceedTICE The outcome of this proceedmpletely take mpletely take ing may limit or completely take med person’s med person’s away the above-named person’s ns about perns about perright to make decisions about percial affairs or cial affairs sonal or affairs or financial affairs or d person has d person has both. The above-named person has wyer. Anyone wyer. Anyone the right to ask for a lawyer. Anyone t on behalf of t on behalf may of make this request on behalf of rson. If the rson. If the the above-named person. If the cannot afford cannot afford above-named person cannot afford appointed at appointed aatlawyer, one may be appointed at TNESS, Hon. TNESS, Hon. State expense. WITNESS, Hon. ustice of this ustice of this Leilah A Keamy, First Justice of this 021 021 Court. Date: May 21, 2021 Register of Register of Stephanie K. Fattman, Register of 06/04/21 WM 06/04/21 WM Probate 06/04/21 WM
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30 | JUNE 4 - 10, 2021 | WORCESTERMAGAZINE.COM
“Go No Further”--better off without it. by Matt Jones
J O N E S I N’
Enjoy Fun By The Numbers puzzles? Then you’ll love sudoku. This mind-bending puzzle will have you hooked from the moment you square off, so sharpen your pencil and put your sudoku savvy to the test! Here’s How It Works: Sudoku puzzles are formatted as a 9x9 grid, broken down into nine 3x3 boxes. To solve sudoku, the numbers 1 through 9 must fill each row, column and box. Each number can appear only once in each row, column and box. You can figure out the order in which the numbers will appear by using the numeric clues already provided in the boxes. The more numbers you name, the easier it gets to solve the puzzle!
R U O Y E C A PL AD HERE! Call
-34 4 5 2 8 8 8 cla
or email a.com i d e m e s u o ateh ssifieds@g
Across 1 Org. with an Octagon 4 “ ___ bleu!” 9 Peace out 14 What a Cessna can hold 16 Gear part 17 “Follow me” 18 It’s a block ... house (and it’s mighty mighty ... cold) 19 Concern for the production designer of the show “30 Giant Rock”? 21 Highest-rated 24 “The Book of Mormon” co creator Parker 25 Says yes to 26 Out ___ limb 27 First name in talks? 28 The Great Gatsby 29 “Plush” rock band, initially 32 Chill-inducing 34 Z, in New Zealand 35 Hanauma Bay site 36 Auto manufacturer’s second-place prize? 40 Ethereal 41 Half of a Nickelodeon duo 42 Gets closer 43 A TD earns six 44 Lincoln, familiarly 45 Mid-2000s Sony handheld console, briefly 47 “That’s impressive!” 48 551, at the Forum 49 Just skip it 50 They do copy (abbr.) 51 What beauty may be in, if you’re indecisive? 56 Interior design focus 57 Sign starter on some old restaurants, maybe 61 Repair wrongs 62 From Ulaanbaatar, e.g. 63 Like diamonds and gold 64 Actor Charles of “Whose Line ...” and “Nashville” 65 “Without further ___” (or what the theme answers are missing) Down 1 Bars on product labels, briefly 2 Progressive character?
3 4 5 6 7
Zoom need Furry marine mammal Attract Put in the fridge “Toy Story” composer Newman 8 Microsoft browser 9 Like glue 10 Dances by jumping up and down 11 Goof off 12 “Am ___ late?” 13 “___: Love and Thunder” (2022 movie) 15 Lincoln’s loc. 20 They may have forks 21 Shoe reinforcement 22 Kind of musical wonder 23 Potato-peeling tools 28 Rapid transit 29 Brutal 30 Eric’s moniker 31 Prize amounts 33 Wall climber 34 Satori-seeking discipline 35 Matador’s motivator 37 Trip around the world 38 Spike in filmmaking 39 Hardly remote 44 Bruce Wayne’s butler 45 Having a kick 46 Spill absorber
48 “Lorna ___” (1869 novel) 49 Some used cars 51 Ball-shaped cheese 52 Cryptozoology figure 53 MBA course 54 Browser button 55 ___ points (2021 Eurovision ranking for United Kingdom) 58 Actress Vardalos 59 Uncouth fellow 60 “Achtung Baby” co-producer Brian
Last week's solution
©2021 Matt Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org) Reference puzzle #1043
WORCESTERMAGAZINE.COM | JUNE 4 - 10, 2021 | 31
Stephanie Benenson, immersive installation artist Sarah Connell Sanders Special to Worcester Magazine USA TODAY NETWORK
POW! WOW! Worcester’s ﬁ rst event of the summer will kick oﬀ on Friday, June 4 at 8:15 p.m. outside the Kids Club in Great Brook Valley. Artist Stephanie Benenson of Harbor Voices Public Art spent the 2020-2021 school year working alongside Burncoat Middle School students on this artwork, titled “Not Alone.” The installation explores mental health and the teen experience. Students conducted and recorded interviews with peers, community members, and local nonproﬁ t organizations like the Shine Initiative to understand the importance of mental health awareness, particularly during the past year when cases of depression and anxiety among their age group have skyrocketed due to the pandemic. What is the philosophy behind Harbor Voices? It’s a hybrid nonproﬁ t combining art education and public art. One of the most important things to the work is the people who are involved — people who are interviewing others or are interviewing each other or are the interviewees — all manage to connect to one another through shared experiences. The project that we’re working on right now explores this idea that teens felt isolation and anxiety associated with the pandemic. Through this artistic and creative process, students are discovering that there are others who are facing similar obstacles and they have found a networking community of support. Can you describe your background as an artist? I grew up on the north shore of Massachusetts and my grandfather and my father were both painters. I was raised in a community of artists and I started as a painter and printmaker for many years, then found that my painting started to become more abstract. I began gravitating towards immersive light and sound experiences. That’s when I decided to go to the Rhode Island School of Design and get my master’s in newgenre public art where community engagement is at the core of the creative process. I feel very lucky that my students have been able to beneﬁ t from your expertise. What can people anticipate if they come to our event on Friday or Saturday? I think that people can anticipate some really remarkable moments of authentic storytelling and authentic sharing. One of the things that makes me so proud of the students involved in this process is the fact that they were all able to really connect deeply to their own personal experiences, but also to the experiences of their peers and their family members. They also formed connections with the Shine Initiative constituents that they interviewed during our artistic process. As one of the storytellers in the installation says, we are emerging now, excited about the possibility of living in a post-pandemic world, but there’s also
Stephanie Benenson SUBMITTED PHOTO
a lot of healing and a lot of trauma associated with that, and most people are still processing. One of the things I expect to see is that this will be another step in our healing journey and people will have an opportunity to sit back and process what this year meant to them and meant for their families. We are helping to break down stigma associated with mental health. I think that the students were all so keen on the message that, “You’re not alone.” The more we talk about it and the more people gather together to support each other, the better oﬀ we’ll all be. Could you share a success story from a past installation? The ﬁ rst installation that Harbor Voices did was with students at Gloucester High School. The project revolved around immigration storytelling into Gloucester Harbor, which spans centuries. And so, we were connecting these century old immigration stories of people talking about their great-great-grandparents in conjunction with students who had just arrived, or had families that were just establishing themselves in this country. There was one student after the installa-
tion who published an article in the school newspaper titled, “Diversity Breeds Success.” The bullet points in his article were about how much stronger his soccer team is and how much better oﬀ their school is because they have such a global representation. He expressed that the recent immigrants to Gloucester had brought so much success to their athletic program and that he was proud to be a part of it. That is an example of how an installation is just the beginning of the conversation. Do you have any advice for ﬁ rst-time Harbor Voice attendees visiting the installation in Great Brook Valley this weekend? The lights are put in the installation to help encourage deep listening. Sometimes in an art exhibition, if there are a lot of people around, you might not hear all of the sentiments that are expressed in the exhibition. I hope that everyone takes some time to sit through the installation and really listen deeply, listen to the words and the stories that are shared, because I think they’re just so remarkable and the work that Worcester’s students did is incredible.
32 | JUNE 4 - 10, 2021 | WORCESTERMAGAZINE.COM
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