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Time To Talk About Gentrification In Worcester



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WPI, Worcester Historical Museum team up on Digital Worcester: The Worcester Historical Museum is bursting with fascinating information about the city’s past, but in this modern age, the internet serves as the data portal to the masses. 18 The Women’s Image Center helps cancer patients look, feel their best: Mary Aframe opened the first The Women’s Image Center two decades ago in Fitchburg. Her Worcester location at Vernon Medical Center followed shortly thereafter with the goal of helping women look and feel their best before, during and after cancer treatment. 19

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the cover

Time to Talk About Gentrification in Worcester The Wyman-Gordon property, slated for development. Behind it, the edge of the Green Island neighborhood. Story on page 12 Photo by Elizabeth Brooks, Design by Kimberly Vasseur

Lady Gaga’s shooting star: Co-written and directed by Bradley Cooper, who stars alongside the terrific Lady Gaga, the 2018 version of “A Star is Born” manages to find something special within the familiar. 23



Find us on Twitter @worcestermag Instagram: Worcestermag

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news Tax change proposal on multiunit housing sent for review A



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proposal to tax larger apartment complexes like businesses, increasing the tax rate for those properties significantly in an effort to shift burden off homeowners, went back to subcommittee review after several councilors this week spoke against the measure. District 1 Councilor Sean Rose, chair of the Standing Committee on Municipal Operations and author of the order, said he would take the proposal back to his committee to review new information provided by City Hall staff. The new information includes just how many properties would be affected by the order, where they are and who owns them, among other pieces. The order is an effort to push more of the tax burden onto commercial properties and off residential properties. Under the city’s split tax rate, commercial properties pay far more that residential properties, at a rate of $34 to the residential $19, but residential properties make up much more of the share, at about 73 percent of the city’s property tax base. Per information provided by the assessor’s office, the change would affect hundreds of properties in Worcester, ranging from five to more than 200 units. If implemented last year, the apartment buildings would have collectively paid $11,231,667 more than they did. Breaking it down by unit per month, the Large apartment complexes, like this building at 1 Quincy St./85 Chatham St., would be taxed as commercial increase could translate to an properties under the proposal. average rent increase of $56.75 if BILL SHANER C O N T I N U E D O N PA G E 6

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news TA X C H A N G E

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the costs were passed from landlord to tenant wholesale. The discussion at Tuesday night’s Council meeting came about a month before councilors are expected to vote on the residential and commercial tax rates – consistently one of the most contentious and split decisions of the year, as some want to narrow the gap between the tax rates, and others want to keep the resi-

dential rate as low as possible. Rose maintained in his comments Tuesday that the proposal could be a good solution. Landlords of buildings at a certain size run the properties like businesses, and make income off it, he said. “I have a problem with people owning five-plus income properties paying the same as single family homeowners,” he said. “For me it’s not really equitable for our residents to pay that same tax.” He also argued the rental

market is such that businesses may not be able to pass the tax increase off on tenants and remain competitive. He pointed to two massive apartment buildings downtown, one taxed as commercial and one as residential, that offer the same rents. “There’s clear evidence that the market could potentially bear this change,” he said. The proposal came out of his committee earlier this year by a two-to-one vote, Rose and AtLarge Councilor Kate Toomey in

favor, and District 3 Councilor George Russell opposed. Russell was one of several councilors in opposition last night. He made the case that tenants would be the ones affected. In some buildings, per the assessor’s numbers, the tax increase per unit would be up to $100 dollars per month. Russell said he feels those will be directly passed on to tenants. He also made the case that his district would be more affected by the change than others. “As a guy who represents Vernon Hill, Quinsig Village, there’s no way I can support this,” he said. “I see addresses in the center and on the east side of the city.” At-Large Councilor Khrystian King shared Russell’s concerns. District 5 Councilor Matt Wally said the order has merit, but cautioned it could put developers in tricky situations with financers and banks. Toomey defended the measure by saying the Council doesn’t

yet have the impact on overall revenue for the city. “If you’re making a profitable living on a property, that’s income, and you should be taxed. If we don’t have this conversation, we’re not going to be able to find a way to help residents who own property here in the city,” she said. At-Large Councilor Moe Bergman opposed the order, but from another perspective. The proposal requires a home rule petition and would require a legal change at the state level to allow the city to carry it out. Though it has been proposed in the past, no community in Massachusetts has ever done it. The lack of case law and the shaky legal ground opens the city to lawsuits that could prove expensive, he said. “To create this chaos without having a high degree of confidence it will ultimately succeed, I think does a disservice to the city of Worcester,” he said. Sandra Katz, a resident and property owner, spoke out against the measure as well. “I would urge you to think very hard and long about the possibility of doing something like that. I can promise you, as sure as I’m standing here and God made green apples, that that cost is going to be passed on to the tenant population,” said Katz. There’s no way a tax increase would not be then calculated into rents for tenants, she said. Rents are on the rise anyway, and the city has both a homelessness problem and a housing shortage, she said. “I would urge the council to deep six this situation,” Katz said. “I don’t think it’s going to get us what we want.” Bill Shaner can be reached at 508-767-9535 or at wshaner@ Follow him on Twitter @Bill_Shaner.


1,001 words


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WHAT U DOIN: Had a lot of people reach out to me this week upset to

see South High, and its principle, featured prominently on a campaign mailer for Paul Fullen, Republican and I would argue far right candidate for the 17th Worcester District. Fullen and Jeff Creamer, principal of Main South, are pictured shaking hands with the front facade of South Community High School displayed prominently in the background. It also includes a plug from Creamer, which, importantly, attributes him as the principal. This is a problem for two reasons. The first, I would argue, is more significant but I already dedicated a whole column to it, so I won’t belabor the point. I found Fullen to be openly racist at a candidate’s forum ahead of the primary. South High, as I’m sure my readers know, is a very diverse school. To see the principal of said school endorse him is utterly disappointing, and the people that reached out to me with this are right to be angry. Now, issue number two: They used the school building and Creamer’s public position in campaign literature. This is a wonkier problem, but perhaps a bigger one for the school administration. What we see here is, essentially, photo evidence of a public employee campaigning on school grounds. Let’s just pull a few quotes from the state Ethics Commission advisory on this subject. “In general, a public employee may not use his public position to engage in political activity.” Hmm. Seems Creamer dapping it up with a candidate in front of his school next to a quote attributing him as the principal is, uh, definitely using his public position. In this passage of the 2011 guidance on the subject, the situation becomes a bit more clear: “a public employee may not engage in political activity, whether electionrelated or non-election related, on his public work time; while acting in his official capacity or while in his official uniform; in a public building...” From the picture, we can clearly check two of those three boxes. And that’s conflict of interest law, mind you, not just ethics guidelines. If he hasn’t had it already, I imagine Creamer is due for an uncomfortable call from downtown. And the school district really opened itself up to something here.



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DON’T TREAD ON KELLEY SQUARE: I want to make that bumper

sticker. Like seven interwoven snakes in the shape of Kelley Square. Let’s make it happen, because a major change is a-coming, and I think we need to make sure the state knows there is a certain magic to this intersection. Sure, it’s got the most accidents in the state, but not the most bad accidents. Cars have to move slowly and drivers have to be incredibly alert, so the prospect of a massive deadly accident is diminished by design. As I tweeted a few months ago, Kelley Square basically proves anarchy works. There are no rules except those dictated by the driving culture, and as such, it handles a massive volume of traffic with efficiency. The state redesign could shatter that magic in two key ways: slow traffic too much, and make the Canal District a business-killing parking lot, or speed traffic too much, and make Kelley Square actually deadly and prohibitive for pedestrians. I’m not the only one saying this. Both Walk Bike Worcester and the Canal District business community have come out this week, ahead of the first MassDOT listening session (happened last night after deadline, check the website for coverage) to make it clear that Kelley Square kind of rules and any big changes could throw a wrench in the works. Both Gerald Powers of WalkBike Worcester and the Canal District called for incremental changes that make the intersection more clear for new drivers and safer for pedestrians. But don’t do too much to it, know what I mean?

DEMERITS: Joe Petty cracks me the hell up sometimes. I was watching the meeting Tuesday from home, and this quote had me giggling alone like a lunatic in my apartment. At the end of meeting, he addressed some college kids who were there to observe, presumably for a government class: “What, did you guys get demerits or something, you had to come do punishment Bill Shaner, reporter here?” Twitter: @Bill_Shaner


the beat

Check online for our coverage of the first Kelley Square redesign public hearings. The hearing was expected to take place Wednesday

night, after our print deadline, and serve as a first introduction to the project, how state officials are viewing the intersection, and input from people in the crowd on what they want to see happen.

There’s a movie being filmed at Worcester Regional Airport this week. On Tuesday, the Telegram reported that the signs outside the terminal had been changed to French, and a french flag is flying over the airport. The movie is “Eve,” starring Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell.

Senator Harriette Chandler is slated to reintroduce a bill intended to end the practice of child marriages in Massachusetts. Since

2,000 there have reportedly been 205 child marriages in Worcester County and 1,200 across the state. Chandler wants to eliminate all marriages under the age of 18. Massachusetts law does not currently allow for an age requirement on marriage.

The Worcester Housing Authority is cracking down on fraud in

units they control, with a newly-formed team of fraud investigators. The investigators look into cases including tenants who open up their units to others or do not report their entire income.

Deer crashes are on the rise in Worcester County this week, with Sutton, Oxford

and Sturbridge leading the pack. AAA Northeast reported that the fall months, the busiest for deer crashes, Worcester County recorded 199 deer crashes, the second most of any county behind Bristol.

week, using a program that touts active methods of response, like barricading doors. The training, offered by Synergy Solutions, will teach 1,500 hospital staff new methods of reacting to an active shooter situation.

City and state officials announced last week a $15-million state grant to demolish the former Worcester State Hospital site intended

to make way for the Worcester Biomanufacturing Park, which officials hope will help the area land some of the major bio-technical companies that have chosen Massachusetts for plants and headquarters.

was followed by the annual Taste of Shrewsbury Street, which brought even more people down to sample meals from the budding restaurant row.

American Airlines launched its first flight to Philadelphia last week, making it the second major carrier to launch flights from

Worcester Regional Airport, behind Jet Blue. Delta flights to Detroit are expected to start next year.


Hundreds came out for the Columbus Day Parade on Shrewsbury Street Sunday to celebrate their Italian-American heritage. The event

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Staff at Harrington Hospital in Southbridge began active shooter training last




Columbus Day Parade losing its appeal?


o many in Worcester’s Italian community, it may be considered heresy to even think of renaming the annual Columbus Day Parade. Hundreds (737, to be exact) offered their opinion in a recent Worcester Magazine poll on Facebook asking whether the parade should change its name. An overwhelming 63 percent voted “No,” while 37 percent said “Yes.” Several people commented. Among the responses: “Why does it even have a parade?”

“Why … it’s more of an Italian heritage parade than for Columbus himself. Many Italian immigrants regarded Columbus as a symbol of Italian pride. That’s why the parade … is held on that weekend.” “What is this question? It’s a Columbus Day parade. Just like a St. Patrick’s Day parade. Or a Thanksgiving Day parade.” “Why stir up trouble?” “Who thinks we should change the name of Worcester Magazine?” The topic struck a chord, to be sure. No doubt, some have had

enough with what they believe is political correctness run amok. The fact is, however, that Christopher Columbus is a controversial figure who didn’t discover America and never came to North America. He is also said to have engaged in slavery and committed horrific acts of violence on people, including dismemberment. There are those who question some of the accounts of Columbus’ actions, but to say his is a complicated and complex history is not an understatement. More and more communities are ditching Columbus Day. Some now observe Indigenous Peoples Day. It

remains a national holiday, but that does not mean cities and towns have to name their parades after it. In Worcester, the Columbus Day Parade now attracts small crowds along Shrewsbury Street, which years ago was home to many Italian families. That has changed over the years, with many either dying or moving out. The area is now much more diverse, and some — Italians among them — have suggested a celebration that is more reflective of the mix of people who now populate and do business there would be appropriate. A name change - or outright elimination of the parade - would outrage many. In addition, the organizer of the Columbus Day

Parade has been quoted as saying the parade is here to stay. This space does not suggest scratching Columbus’ name from the parade because of political correctness. In fact, perhaps a separate parade is worth exploring. Still, it cannot be ignored that, whatever the reasons, fewer people appear to be taking in the annual Columbus Day Parade. It is certainly worth examining that, and discussing how to revitalize it, re-engage the community that once so staunchly supported it, and engage the newer mix of people and businesses who have made Shrewsbury Street a much different neighborhood than it was years ago.

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to advancing their degenerate narrative that America is a dystopian nightmare. Mr. Trump has exposed the bias and anti-Americanism of the arrogant alt-left media and brought to light what will serve for decades as the epitome of an oxymoron: journalistic ethics. Thus, for example, the press gives a pass to Keith Ellison, deputy chair of the DemoTo the Editor: George Washington established the cratic National Committee, despite nation. Abraham Lincoln preserved far more credible accusations of violence against his girlfriend that the union. And now, Donald J. occurred in 2016, not 36 years ago. Trump is making America great Indeed, the media covered up a again. With the confirmation of grinning Obama taking selfies with Judge Kavanaugh to SCOTUS, the Louis Farrakhan while hanging great President Trump wins again. David Duke’s unsolicited endorseThis most recent win is, of course, a win for America because ment of Mr. Trump around his neck like an albatross. the rule of equal treatment under Though howling media dogs the law and the presumption of surround him and a pack of innocence prevailed, despite the establishment Democrats seeks efforts of wild-eyed, screeching Democrats and their handmaidens to pierce his hands and his feet, in the press, who are committed C O N T I N U E D O N N E X T PA G E



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A win for Trump and America

72 Shrewsbury St. Worcester, MA 01604 Editorial 508.767.9527 Sales 508.767.9530 President Paul M. Provost Publisher Kathleen Real-Benoit

Editor Walter Bird Jr. Culture Editor Joshua Lyford Reporter Bill Shaner Photographer Elizabeth Brooks Contributing Writers Stephanie Campbell, Sarah Connell, Janice Harvey, Jim Keogh, Jessica Picard, Jim Perry, Khrystina Reardon, Corlyn Voorhees Director of Creative Services Don Cloutier Creative Director Kimberly Vasseur Ad Director Helen Linnehan Media Consultant Diane Galipeau Media Coordinator Madison Friend

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Take two aspirin and call me in 2020 JANICE HARVEY


onald Trump and the GOP are bad for my health. It might be hyperbole to say life under this regime is slowing killing us all, though there are plenty of people out there who would nod in agreement. I’m not even referring to the easing of environmental restrictions the 45th president has managed to squeak past us while bellowing about nonsense. I’m talking about the stress of living life under a carnival roller coaster, which is pretty much what the last year and a half has felt like. My blood pressure is proof: 134 over 86 is not normal for me, and I can’t blame my salt intake alone. The Kavanaugh circus needed only a calliope to complete the act under the big tent. Tensions rose in every corner, as pundits chewed on the nomination, jamming microphones in the faces of

every elected official from here to Kalamazoo. Republican Sen. Susan Collins strung us along for a week before dropping a massive water balloon from the third floor porch onto the collective heads of women below. By dismissing Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations of sexual assault and voting to confirm Eddie Haskell to the Supreme Court, Collins wrote her political epitaph - at least among women. ( Google that name if you’ve never seen an episode of “Leave It To Beaver.”) If there was ever a doubt in our minds regarding Republican disdain for females, the doubt was erased during the Kavanaugh debacle. The remarkable thing that came out of this terrible mess was the light shed on sexual assault - its prevalence, its profound effect on its victims, and the ways in which we address it. Donald Trump warned that men should be afraid they’ll be blamed for things they didn’t do, but

the flip side of this dog whistle is the notion they should be even more worried about the things they did. Surely Donald Trump knows this; he didn’t pay off Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal to cover up things he didn’t do. If men think twice before putting terrified women in wrestling holds to cop a feel, and reconsider wagging their genitals in the faces of female party goers, then maybe Dr. Ford didn’t sacrifice her privacy in vain. I don’t know a single woman who hasn’t been placed in a compromising or potentiallydangerous situation at some point in her life by men who think they have every right to “give it a shot.” Whether it’s verbal harassment or physical assault, every woman I’ve asked has a story. I have more than one tale of my own. I’ve considered airing my experiences, but I’m not ready, and I might never be. I understand why women wait,

Your Turn: Worcester’s Notre Shame TED D. CONNA

Janice Harvey contributing writer

There’s no way to sugarcoat this. Losing Notre Dame is an epic failure for Worcester, and the outcome could have been different if the community had been welcomed into the process. Too bad Hanover and City Hall didn’t see it that way. We will live with our shame. Ted D. Conna of Worcester is a leader of the Save Notre Dame Alliance.


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President Trump is right on the issues that affect the lives of working Americans whom Democrats dismiss as deplorable. It’s time Worcester take the bold step of at least renaming North High School as Donald J. Trump High School. Even better, Worcester should be the first municipality in the nation to erect a statue of President Trump, a true maverick and profile in courage, and place it on the Common where the people of Worcester can gaze upon it lovingly and the City Council may draw inspiration from the greatness of so honorable a man of the people. Winning!


Steven Feldman Worcester


ments there profitable. Every one of those five Council votes was an opportunity to require Notre Dame 46 subsidiaries in 13 states, plus be saved, but the Council never one offshore. Hanover reported bothered to do that. about $200 million in after-tax So either the Council completeprofit in 2017. Opus, its investment ly dropped the ball, or else they’re arm, manages about $10 billion in just a rubber stamp for City Manassets, including three subsidiaries ager Ed Augustus Jr. and the city’s related to CitySquare II, through corporate partners, like Hanover. which Hanover bought Notre Either way, it’s a problem. With the Dame and is now spending a small Council’s approval, Hanover called fortune to destroy it. the shots while taxpayers ponied Many of us wonder what this up $94 million for CitySquare, and demolition is costing, but Hanover’s soon we’ll be borrowing another not saying. What would have been $100 million for the ballpark. But possible if the millions spent on the Council couldn’t find a nickel destroying Notre Dame had been for Notre Dame, so Worcester dedicated to saving it instead? loses an irreplaceable architectural And what if the City Council masterpiece. It’s sad, it’s shameful, had actually lifted a finger to it’s infuriating, it’s embarrassing — save Notre Dame? They treated and it’s too late to change it now. us to a few speeches and some All of this points to a problem hand-wringing this past summer, I’ve watched play out repeatedly but only after it was too late to for more than 30 years. Worcester’s matter. For years before that they urban planning process is inaccesdid virtually nothing when they sible to most citizens, with power could have used their authority to and decision-making confined to demand Notre Dame be saved. The a small, powerful group of political Council often hid behind the fact insiders and corporations, and that Hanover owned it, but from public participation effectively 2012, when they first “requested” sidelined and ignored. Until that Hanover save Notre Dame, to the changes, this kind of cultural carpresent, the Council voted to apnage will happen again and again, prove three DIF amendments and and the cynicism it generates will two TIF agreements that funded continue to undermine public the progress of CitySquare and trust in city government. helped make Hanover’s invest-

greed, misogyny and racism. Only a blue wave can slow further damage and hopefully restore some balance. Mitch McConnell’s dreams have come true, and there’s very little we can do to alter that fact. I’m not naive enough to think Kavanaugh will be impeached and removed from the bench; that’s wishful thinking and would require many elected officials doing the right thing. Sadly, we seem to be in short supply of that species. Meanwhile, until Robert Mueller wraps up his investigation, I’m taking the salt shaker off the kitchen table, going for a massage and watching “Friends” reruns. My alreadybroken heart can’t take much more of this.

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et me get this off my chest. Whoever scheduled a baseball party across the street from the cultural vandalism at Notre Dame, on the very day the real carnage began, deserves an award for insensitivity. That just rubbed salt in the wounds of those who care about preserving our cultural history. I’ve got nothing against a new ballpark, aside from the all-too predictable, top-down way it came about, with dissenting voices effectively ignored. But did the destruction of one of our best architectural landmarks really need to be the backdrop and metaphor for our so-called “renaissance?” A more appropriate reaction to our failure to value and preserve our heritage would be shame, not celebration. When Hanover Insurance bought Notre Dame in 2010, they made an implicit promise to the Worcester community that they would give it a new life, and for at least a few years, they did put some effort and money into studying options for the building. But once they concluded, years ago, that no one could make money on it, Hanover pretty much bailed on

their commitment to save it. Even though many community leaders worked tirelessly for years to save Notre Dame, Hanover never offered the kind of cooperation they needed to succeed. Hanover has been a generous philanthropist elsewhere in the city, but there was no charity here. Nor was there any meaningful commitment to work with the community to raise the money the project would have required. Hanover basically said, “Find us millions of charitable dollars, or a Boston-style developer with deep pockets, and we can talk; otherwise, it’s coming down.” But without ongoing commitment to saving Notre Dame on Hanover’s part, community efforts were doomed from the start. A $6-million subsidy or charitable campaign could have saved Notre Dame, but what developer or major donor would take a risk on that when the owner of the building was no longer on board? It’s well known that one development group repeatedly tried, and they got nowhere. And it’s not that Hanover couldn’t afford to encourage a community effort to save Notre Dame. Hanover is a $5-billion Delaware corporation, with about

or never speak up. I get why they forget the details but remember the act. They’ve spent years trying to erase from their memories everything about the assault, but the delete button doesn’t completely obliterate the crime. And make no mistake: these are crimes. These men are criminals. I suspect nothing good will come from Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. He’s a vengeful liar and a partisan tool, and for those reasons alone he should have been rejected by the judicial committee. He was coached by Trump, the master of denial and faux outrage, and in that regard Kavanaugh was a very good student. Watching Kavanaugh testify caused millions of women to suffer PTSD, myself included, and it’s my fervent hope that those same women vote in November. The GOP has finally scraped off its veneer of concern for the country and revealed itself to be the party of

feature Time to Talk About Gentrification in Worcester BILL SHANER



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hen Worcester and Pawtucket Red Sox officials announced in late August the team would move from McCoy Stadium and the Providence media market to Worcester, the news was pegged by fans and critics alike as a historically-significant day in the city of Worcester. For City Hall, landing the deal was the end result of a decade or more of steady progress toward a more developed and attractive city for new homeowners and young professionals willing to pay for new luxury apartments downtown. Worcester, as has so often been repeated, is a city on the rise, and the WooSox coming to town both confirms the premise and promises to launch the city into a new chapter. Of course, there are critics, both locally and from afar, who argue the ballpark and ancillary development, which requires a massive public subsidy ($100.8 million before interest), is too much risk for too little benefit, and could end up burdening the taxpayer and saddling an up-and-coming neighborhood with a large, car-centric mojo killer. But if all goes according to plan, and there’s good reason to believe it will, given the track record of Pawsox Chairman Larry Lucchino and company, Worcester’s new leaf raises the specter of an issue that has dogged growing cities around the country, and it’s one many in Worcester may have thought impossible only a few years ago: It may be time to talk about gentrification. Though there’s ample disagreement on the exact definition of the word, it means, loosely, the process of a neighborhood takeover by a more well-off population. As the neighborhood becomes more attractive for a new class of people

the size of neighborhoods, although the borders aren’t always exact, he looked for changes in demographics from the 2000 census to the 2010 census and 2015 mid-year surveys. Near new stadiums, he found, median incomes increase, the number of collegeeducated residents increase, and the percentage of residents of color doesn’t decrease, but it slows in growth. Though his study did not find wholesale neighborhood turnover and significant rent increase, the groundwork for gentrification is clearly laid. Further, the cost of the ballpark itself contributed significantly to both the increase in median income around it and the slowing Two vacant properties at the of the growth of populations of color. A 10-percent increase in the intersection of Lodi Street and stadium cost, van Holm wrote, Lamartine Street. led to a 2.81-percent increase in ELIZABETH BROOKS median incomes in the neighborhoods around it. It also led to a roughly 1-percent dip in populations of color versus other — usually white, college-educated poor and Latino neighborhoods projects. young professionals — rents rise in the City – the type of neighborThe fact is of note because the due to demand, and longtime resi- hoods that, historically, fall victim Polar Park project is among the dents and businesses are pushed to the gentrification process. most expensive proposals in Minor out by the new population. Unlike cities where the tide of League Baseball, at about $90 milIn the long-term, will Worcesgentrification has already come lion projected for the park itself, ter see gentrification like Boston, and gone, Worcester has the and $240 million overall, with the New York or the Bay Area? Will chance, now, to take preventaancillary hotels, apartments and whole neighborhoods fall victim tive action against the wholesale retail spaces. The park is projected to a growing creative class pushing displacement of neighborhoods. to be the fourth most expensive further and further away from the But it’s a complicated problem he case of Green Island and in minor league history, per a downtown neighborhood built for government to solve, not least Polar Park is an instructive study put together by Holy Cross for them? Will Worcester, like because the increase of property one because the park is economists. Somerville before it, cease to be a values and the availability of highseen to herald a bright ho“Policy makers commonly tout working-class city entirely? end housing stock is a top priority rizon for the city, but also because sports stadiums as redevelopment In the short-term, what does the for city administrations across the there’s significant evidence urban projects that generate widespread new ballpark development, which country. Is there something the city ballparks contribute directly to the public benefits, but their potential will feature hotels, new retail spac- can do, through urban design, ingentrification of neighborhoods effects on vulnerable populations es and about 250 units of market vestment in affordable housing or around them. living near the construction must rate housing, mean for Green Isin smart zoning, to keep Worcester In “Left on Base: Minor League be taken seriously. The results land, the small and often-forgotten the prideful working-class city it Baseball Stadiums and Gentrifica- presented here show that minor neighborhood southwest of Kelley has historically been, while maktion,” a study published earlier this league baseball stadiums have Square, and immediately abutting ing room for a new class of more year in the Urban Affairs Review, a significant effect on income the new development? And it’s not well-to-do people seeking an urban author Eric Joseph van Holm stud- and racial composition in the just Green Island, the ballpark and experience? ied 24 minor league ballparks that surrounding area 10 years later, the Canal District in general are opened around 2000. Analyzing indicating their potential to alter surrounded by some of the most census tracts, which are roughly neighborhoods within a city,” van



DOWNTOWN Age 32.6 Income (Median) 25,036 Home Value (Median) 112,500 Percent White 47 Black 20 Hispanic 28 Asian 1 Population 2,720 Percent Renter Occupied 91 Poverty Rate 47.6


Age 32.9 Income (Median) 25,945 Home Value (Median) 213,700 Percent White 30 Black 19 Hispanic 45 Asian 5 Population 3,573 Percent Renter Occupied 91 Poverty Rate 33.9

The Neighborhoods

Census tract data of some of the neighborhoods surrounding the new ballpark project on Madison Street. Source: ACS mid-cycle survey (2016).

OAK HILL Age 31.3 Income (Median) 53,448 Home Value (Median) 193,400 Percent White 44 Black 18 Hispanic 18 Asian 18 Population 3,516 Percent Renter Occupied 58 Poverty Rate 27.1

UNION HILL Age 27.3 Income (Median) 40,313 Home Value (Median) 154,000 Percent White 42 Black 9 Hispanic 41 Asian 4 Population 4,340 Percent Renter Occupied 88 Poverty Rate 24 GREEN ISLAND Age 29.7 Income (Median) 30,096 Home Value (Median) 218,200 Percent White 34 Black 13 Hispanic 41 Asian 10 Population 2,002 Percent Renter Occupied 89 Poverty Rate 33.9

Asian, according to mid-cycle survey census data from 2016. Other neighborhoods around the ballpark are similarly composed. Main South, just across the railroad line, is 45 percent Hispanic with a median family income of $25,945 and a poverty rate of 40.8 percent. Across I-290 are Union Hill and Vernon Hill, which are 45 and 41 percent Hispanic, respectively, with poverty rates at 31 and 24 percent. In all three neighborhoods, almost all the residents rent. In Main South, 91 percent of residents are renters, on Union Hill 78 percent, and on Vernon Hill 88 percent.



n a recent sunny afternoon in Green Island, the mostly triple-decker neighborhood was still, save for the occasional family out on a walk, a neighborhood auto mechanic pulling cars in and out of his small, white brick shop, and work vans plunky slowly down the tight and sometimes bumpy roads. Manuel Rodriguez, a resident of Grosvenor Street, worked on a car parked in front of his house. His wife Elizabeth looked on through the open window of their first-floor apartment. When asked what he thought


ity neighborhoods, and change to middle and high-income, mostly white neighborhoods,” she wrote. The neighborhoods surrounding the ballpark are similar to the ones described in Wilkin’s report. Green Island, roughly encompassed by a census tract that stretches from Green Street to the north, and south along Millbury Street to the intersection with Quinsigamond Ave, is a majority Latino neighborhood and, for the most part, poor. The median income for a family in that neighborhood is $30,096, and the median home value is $218,200. Almost all residents are renters, at 89 percent, and 33.9 percent live in poverty. The racial composition of the neighborhood is 41 percent hispanic, 34 percent white, 13 percent African-American, and 10 percent


writing, mostly on NFL stadiums, that, more than anything, athletic complexes shift the housing development around it to a priority on loft, condo and studio spaces, as opposed to traditional single family units like homes or floors of a triple decker. Wilkins, like van Holm, called for greater focus on preserving housing for low- to moderateincome families. Nonprofit housing ownership, emergency renter funds and zoning reform to promote the inclusion of affordable units are tools local governments can use to resist gentrification, she wrote. “The construction of athletic stadiums results in the displacement of that community’s original population. Those neighborhoods start as low-income, mostly minor-

VERNON HILL Age 31.6 Income (Median) 40,313 Home Value (Median) 154,000 Percent White 42 Black 9 Hispanic 41 Asian 4 Population 4,340 Percent Renter Occupied 88 Poverty Rate 24

O C T O B E R 11 - 17, 2018

Holm wrote. Van Holm argued the results indicate the need for governments to track the effect of public projects, not just on employment and tax revenue, but on local populations. If a local population is shown to be harmed or displaced by a project, consideration, he argued, should be given to employment opportunities or other benefits for those directly impacted. He also argued for the development of inclusionary housing policies and programs, that set out to tuck below market rate housing in areas that begin to prosper. A local study out of Clark University came to largely the same conclusions as “Left on Base.” Author Dominique Wilkins found in her review of existing




O C T O B E R 11 - 17, 2018

feature the development would bring to the neighborhood, he said, through his wife as a translator, rents would probably go up, and traffic may congest the tight residential roads. Elizabeth Rodriguez said they’ve lived there for about 10 years. “The rent’s not bad, but I don’t know what’s going to happen when they come,” she said, referring to the ballpark and ancillary development. “I hope the rents don’t go up, but the landlord across the street, he’s already happy. He’s already saying he’s gonna hike the rents up. He’s already speaking about that.” From their front porch, the southern edge of the Wyman Gordon property slated for the development could be seen at the end of the street. “For the city, it’s going to be good because they’re going to make money, but for the people living around here, the rents are going to spike up and it’s not going to be so good,” Elizabeth Rodriguez said. A block over, on Lodi Street, Jennifer Puello had a different perspective. She stood on her front porch as a crew brought in furniture from a pack van. Upgrading, she called it, with a smile. She said the area needs more retail, and she’s excited to see what the park will bring. “Progress, you know. It’s good. It’s good for the city,” she said. She said she isn’t necessarily worried about rent hikes – she and her husband are looking for a house anyway. Next to her triple decker, which appeared recently renovated, sat a vacant lot, fenced off with no trespassing signs and an aging collection of litter wrapped around the links. The 4,356-square-foot lot, listed for $59,000 and billed as ideal for a single-family or duplex home on Zillow, has sat vacant for six years with little interest, said Puello. But that’s not the case recently. “Last week, there were like seven people looking, saying ‘I want to buy it, I want to buy it.’” Local housing experts warn outside interest in the neighborhood could lead to displacement of longtime residents, but Green Island also might, just by nature of its design, be resistant to a wholesale demographic takeover. Andy Howidth, director of development at Worcester Community Housing Resources, said Green


public hearings held in the month between announcement and approval of the ballpark. One of the city councilors most vocal on the issue is District 4 Councilor Sarai Rivera. Earlier this ne of the key unresolved year, she called for a look into comissues in the push to conmercial gentrification downtown, struct the new ballpark especially in the small spaces is whether or not the city primarily run by people of color will sign on to a community benin and around the midtown mall. efits agreement, which will lay out Now, she’s focusing on the neighcertain conditions for hiring local, borhoods around the new ballpark purchasing local and making sure as well. the immediate neighborhood sees “I have it in my notebook, so it’s tangible benefit from the project, funny you called,” she said as we which is expected to generate a met earlier this week. “I have this strong $744,000 budget surplus in big list of things I bring up to the the first year. manager and right there on it, ‘genThe Worcester Community trification and Green Island.’” Labor Coalition is currently in Rivera, perhaps more than any talks with the city regarding the other councilor, has to look at this language of the CBA, but they have project through multiple lenses. As not yet come to an agreement, or one of the three members of the released a draft document of what Standing Committee on Economic it entails. Community Labor CoaliDevelopment, she voted for the tion organizers say gentrification, project twice and adamantly affordable housing talk and protecsupports it. But as the District 4 tions for area small businesses are councilor, she represents almost aspects of the deal. all of residential Green Island, all Sheilah Dooley, a member of the of Main South and parts of Vernon coalition and director of Pernet Hill. Health Center in Green Island, said Rivera said she and the city language protecting Green Island manager had a meeting with some is essential. of the key stakeholders in Green “This whole area, Vernon Hill, Island around the time of the anGreen Island, could change drastinouncement. cally in the coming years,” she said. “There’s a lot of conversation “It’s definitely an issue people are about the Canal District, but this concerned about.” is going to directly impact the She cautioned against the menresidential aspect of Green Island,” tality that raising rents and driving she said. “And Green Island has a the poor people away will clean up longstanding history of a neighborthe area. hood, of a community, of residents.” “It’s not just going to go away It’s also a neighborhood that, because the rents go up and other historically and along with South people move here,” she said. “We Worcester, has been neglected by need to strengthen families and City Hall, she said. But she and Aumake lives better for people ingustus have approached both busistead of shooing them away.” ness leaders and residents in the Augustus said his office is waitarea. In meetings with residents, ing for a list of requests from the concerns about the new developCLA and is open to them. He did, ment stood next to ongoing issues however, point out that language with the empty storefronts on requesting local preference for Millbury Street, the triple deckballpark jobs is already in the ers in the neighborhood needing agreement. more support from the city, and the area’s particular trouble with the way it’s districted for schools, she said. Gentrification, Rivera said, is a tricky thing for city government to work around. “How do we infringe on someGentrification” is not a one and say, ‘You purchased this word often spoken at City Hall. The subject only came building but by the way we’re going up several times at the two to put stipulations on what you


Elizabeth and Manuel Rodriguez at their home in Green Island. EIZABETH BROOKS

Island is, for the most part, small units on tiny lots – “postage stamp lots,” he called them – which may be less attractive to new tenants or owners just by nature of their size. “I think there’s some hope that the neighborhood around the ballpark will remain a diverse community,” he said. Two factors will play heavily in the fate of the neighborhood, he said. One is the patch of vacant lots between Green Island and the Wyman Gordon property along Lamartine Street. What happens with those lots, especially the two at the intersection of Lamartine and Lodi, will be telling of what happens to the neighborhood. If, for instance, large luxury housing units are proposed, the neighborhood could start to swing that way, diminishing the stock of small, affordable, single-family units, he said. The second factor is the success of downtown housing developments such as 145 Front Street – where a one-bed can rent for as much as $2,080 per month, The Grid and The Edge, which offer rents considerably higher than the surrounding neighborhoods. If those complexes fill and there remains demand, the rent surge will spill over. “If the downtown housing really

drives rents up tremendously, Kelley Square and Green Island and the ballpark neighborhood will follow,” said Howidth. But, he said, there hasn’t been much evidence to suggest the new luxury housing is driving up area rents, at least not yet. “If you walk down Green Street and count housing units at 7:30 at night with the lights on, it doesn’t give you a picture of the area running up quite as fast as people would like,” he said. The city has already taken some steps to work with Green Island as the development comes online. City Manager Ed Augustus Jr. is having staff in the housing department put together a plan to use grants for rehabilitating houses in Green Island, similar to the Union Hill initiative of 2015. The grant funds are offered to landlords for needed renovations, but come attached with affordability restrictions on the units. “Private market forces are going to be what they are, but we can try to mitigate it a little bit with some public participation at least in some of the housing there,” he said.


feature charge.’ Do we say that on the West Side, on the South Side?” The issue is coupled with wage stagnation and gender and race equity. Gentrification could be combated by giving people more opportunity for better work, Rivera said. The thing to do now, she said, is to make it an issue and open up a citywide conversation. “We’re not the first city to go through this,” she said. “We have an opportunity to get it right.”



entrification in Worcester is not by any means an issue sparked by Polar Park alone. There are pockets of the city already seeing rent increases and demographic changeover – Howidth pointed to the Elm Park neighborhood and the area around UMass Medical

School – and the development renaissance in the city’s core could, if successful, kick the process into overdrive. Multiple experts interviewed for this story pointed to one surefire way to combat the issue: building and incentivizing housing that regular, working people can afford, and making sure neighborhoods have a mix of high end and affordable units. In the case of Green Island, Augustus argued the housing complex projected for the site, at 250 units, introduces market-rate housing to a neighborhood that doesn’t really have any. “We’re diversifying it. That’s what we want. We don’t want certain areas for poor people and certain areas for rich people. We want economic diversity, we don’t want segregation by income,” he said. Mullen Sawyer, executive director of the Oak Hill Community Development Corporation, agrees there’s merit to that argument. Market-rate housing alleviates the pressure on smaller, more afford-

District 4 City Councilor Sarai Rivera ELIZABETH BROOKS

able units, and overall contributes to the vibrancy of a neighborhood. The trouble, Sawyer feels, is the city’s housing market, especially at the lower ends, is in a squeeze – far more demand than available supply. Vacancies are nearly non-existent, at less than 1 percent net, per

his research, and folks even up into the middle class are spending far too much of their income on housing already. The only area where ther has been significant growth in the Worcester housing market is at the highest levels, what we might call luxury or market rate housing.

The most plausible result, Sawyer said, is that home prices and rental rates are bound to rise. “We’re going to look back and say this is a tipping point,” he said. “It’s a citywide tipping point.” The city needs to take more action, Sawyer said, to create housing units for low- to middleincome families, and do more to encourage investment and home ownership. Units can be created through rehabilitating old triple deckers and multi-families to open up units that may not be available. Local employers also need to do more to place their workforce in affordable units, he said. Local CDCs are organizing to come up with a way to introduce more units to the market, which Sawyer said are needed in the thousands to keep the city stable. Still, the need for more working-class housing is a real one, and the city has taken steps to improve and expand the stock. In a report on affordable housing put together earlier this year, city planners laid out the past five



feature years of investment in affordable housing, which totals $17.6 million. The funds went toward developing or preserving 1,752 units deemed affordable by the state’s criteria. At 13.4 percent of housing units that qualify as affordable throughout the city, Worcester has the third most in the state, behind Springfield and Boston. Worcester, wrote Chief Economic Development Officer Mike Traynor, has more affordable

housing crisis of 2008. If home ownership rates climb back TO 30 and 40 percent, neighborhoods will be much more resistant to gentrification. The city can help via an expanded down payment assistance program, he said. “That’s how the economy will work for everybody,” he said. “It will tone down gentrification.” Yvette Dyson of the Common Ground Community Development Corporation works closely

Tyler Brown, editor of the short film “Uncommonwealth: Permit to Build,” talks about the issues of change and gentrification he’s seen in Worcester. ELIZABETH BROOKS


while, he said, the public schools need more investment. “If you know that there’s people struggling and there’s not enough housing for people and you know there’s kids that are going to school hungry and aren’t getting fed at lunch because they’re running out egardless of whether of lunches at school, why wouldn’t Polar Park, or the down- the money go there?” he asked. town luxury housing “That’s a problem. That doesn’t developments, or other make sense.” force usher in a wave of gentriBrown said response to the fication, the threat of it, and the film has been overwhelming. The accompanying anxiety, are top of documentary has had a handful mind for many longtime residents of showings in collective houses, watching the changes to the city’s art galleries and colleges around core. the city. This mood is perhaps best “People were like, ‘Yeah, this captured by a documentary put is true,’” Brown said. “When we together by members of the Future were making it, a part of me didn’t Focus Media Co-op, edited by Tyler necessarily believe in the video, Brown, a 21-year-old living in the what we put together and created. Green Island area, and featuring I didn’t believe people were going rapper TyShawn Dion, who grew to care as much as they did.” up in Worcester. The issue is a personal one for The 9-minute film, called “UnBrown. He and his mother both commonwealth: Permit to Build,” work to afford their place, but opens with, and largely focuses on, some months it can be tough. the words of Dion. That financial strain, coupled with “At the end of the day, Worcester the looming threat of possibly is the heart of Massachusetts” he dramatic rent hikes, has Brown said, opening the film. “So all this wondering if his family can stay in fake love, the ‘New Worcester,’ this Worcester. whole new wave that’s coming in, “It doesn’t smack you until it’s in that’s not Worcester.” your home,” he said. “You don’t reDion goes on to argue the new ally care about it until it’s too late.” development downtown aims to appeal to well-to-do white people Bill Shaner can be reached at from Boston, and people he knows 508-767-9535 or at wshaner@ that used to live downtown have Follow him on already been pushed out. MeanTwitter @Bill_Shaner.



O C T O B E R 11 - 17, 2018

R Yvette Dyson is the executive director of Worcester Common Ground, a nonprofit community development corporation. ELIZABETH BROOKS

housing than the next 11 cities and towns in Worcester County combined. The city also launched a down payment program that has helped 95 families start a mortgage. But despite those investments, the waiting list for Worcester Housing Authority units is many thousands long, and people often wait years for the chance to move in. Rents in Worcester and across the state are on the rise, and people have been struggling to make rent before gentrification in Worcester could be seriously considered. Sawyer feels the answer is increased home ownership rates. In neighborhoods like Green Island and Union Hill, those rates dropped to the teens after the

with these families in the lower Chandler Street area, just up Madison Street from the incoming Polar Park development. High-end housing and new development are not bad things, she said. Cities need them to grow. But there aren’t enough affordable units and there aren’t enough job opportunities. “What’s never understood is close to 45 percent of the population is earning less than the median income,” she said, which should, in theory, qualify them for affordable housing. “We’re not able to provide housing for these folks.” If rents spike dramatically in any of the working class neighborhoods around the ballpark, Dyson said with confidence, people won’t be able to afford it. “It’s just going to displace

people,” she said. Even the narrative of the development renaissance can do damage to the city’s working poor, she said. Instantly becoming a hot spot, putting the city “on the map,” encourages outside investors to buy up property as low as they can, feeling they can sell it in the coming years and triple their investment. It’s that process, among many others, that make it hard for working people to scrape by, even in a city where people have historically come to do just that. “I don’t know if we’re going to answer this question on gentrification,” Dyson said, “but if we don’t do anything, we’re not living up to our end of the bargain.”


WPI, Worcester Historical Museum team up on Digital Worcester JOSHUA LYFORD



O C T P B E R 11 - 17, 2018


he Worcester Historical Museum is bursting with fascinating information about the city’s past, but in this modern age, the internet serves as the data portal to the masses. In a partnership with Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Department of Humanities and Arts, the collective archives of the institutions are being digitized for public consumption. The origins of Digital Worcester lie in conversations about information and public access between museum staff, Librarian and Archives Manager Wendy Essery and Executive Director Bill Wallace, and WPI Associate Teaching Professor of History and Director of Digital Worcester Joseph Cullon several years back. “I’d say the conversation began about three to four years ago,” said Cullon. “That’s when I started working with students to think about how we can create processes to both digitize and make accessible the materials. At WPI we have projects where students during their junior year work on IQP (interactive qualifying projects) projects. Those are to encourage them to think about the social implications and social uses of technology so they become more rounded and think about the relationship between technology and society. I said, ‘Hmm, this fits within that.’ This is about thinking about how technology can make our past more accessible and about the way in which communities have access to their collective past and can share their individual pieces of it.” Digital Worcester, which exists online as, plays host to a vast network of collections, from city directories and documents, to a massive Worcester photo collection. The collections will continue to expand indefinitely as the two


institutions’ collective archives are uploaded and those utilizing the site add their own. “It encourages the user to become a Worcester historian,” said Wallace. “We are all the keepers of Worcester history. If we share it, it becomes our history. That’s what we see as our job at the Worcester Historical Museum, we don’t need to own it all, we just need to make sure there’s access to it.” Beyond providing an everexpanding online database, the hope is to get those who may not normally interact with archives involved and to increase the involvement and research quality for

those who do. Being online lends itself well to those who may not typically track down dusty tomes and yellowed pages. “Not many people read history books anymore, most history professors who write history books will get snotty when people don’t read them, or when people who don’t have history PhDs write history books and sell more than us, we get really bitchy,” Cullen said. “I want to change the conversation about how we do our business. What does it mean to make the work of history visible? There are a lot of people that do history who come in here every day who look

for maps, or photographs and they are more alike to me than they are different, but my profession hasn’t found a way to communicate with them. That was another important piece to me.” For many, Digital Worcester can provide an access point to arenas they may not have known existed. For those who live and breath the city’s history, it can be an impactful tool, as well. “I use them all the time,” said Essery. “To search for an address, where I only know the person’s name or where they work, now I have the address. I can find all the people there and I know their

company. There is a lot of detective work. Research is based on questions. You can answer many of your questions through Digital Worcester and come up with other questions. You can hone your research. We have many collections that no one knows about.” Digital Worcester is a tool to disseminate information, but also to gather new information as exterior collections are added to the collection. An example of this is with the recently started Worcester LGBTQ+ History Project, found online at The C O N T I N U E D O N N E XT PA G E




The Chadwick Square Diner, 1982.


culture The Women’s Image Center helps cancer patients look, feel their best

At center, Mary Walsh Aframe, CFM, owner and founder of The Women’s Image Center, left, Victoria Crosbie, CFM, right, Kirsten Kamyck-Moulin, CFM. ELIZABETH BROOKS


“We can help regardless of the situation. The PINK Revolution is very gracious,” said Aframe. “Women are amazing,” she added. “They get through their treatment, and at the same time they’re taking care of people. They’re working. They’re at the soccer field. They’re helping out elderly parents. They don’t miss a beat.” When she started the shop, Aframe remembers women would come to her in an effort to keep their treatments hidden from their employers. “We have really come a long way,” she said, adding, “It’s important that we look like a boutique or a room in someone’s home, rather than another pharmacy.” Aframe even serves tea. “I’ve had women say, ‘I feel like my whole self again,’” she said. Aframe credited her amazing staff for making the experience easy for women to feel comfortable and confident. “It’s so positive because women are so grateful for the help and very appreciative,” she said.

project is an effort to cultivate, preserve and digitize Worcester County’s LGBTQ+ history. “As we say here, Worcester is the museum, this building is just a headquarters,” said Wallace. “This archive is the central repository, in a sense.” For those responsible for the Digital Worcester database, access to information is crucial. “We talk about Worcester identity a lot now,” said Cullon. “A key part of that is the past. As long as that past is kept in a seperate box from what’s going on, it’s not accessible. The past can’t inform the way we see the future and who we want to be and how to be a diverse community. We’ve always been a diverse community, it’s how to make that accessible. Digital Worcester is the archive, then you think about the ways you can get people to engage that archive.” You can find Digital Worcester online at For more information about the Worcester Historical Museum and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, head to and, respectively. O C T O B E R 11 - 17, 2018



ary Aframe opened the first Women’s Image Center two decades ago in Fitchburg. Her Worcester location at Vernon Medical Center followed shortly thereafter with the goal of helping women look and feel their best before, during and after cancer treatment. The healthcare boutique carries custom breast prosthesis, breast forms, post-mastectomy bras, post-surgical camisoles, wigs, hats and headscarves.

“I grew up around wigs because my sisters have alopecia and two of my family members have opened women’s hair replacement businesses in Boston,” Aframe said. As a former dental hygienist, Aframe’s science background was helpful in pursuing her mastectomy fitter certification from the American Board of Orthotics and Prosthetics, Inc. “My mission is to help women with image changes related to their cancer treatments,” Aframe said. “I want them to live their lives feeling

confident, like they did before treatment. Over the years we have helped thousands of women.” Her biggest challenge was offering big city services in smaller communities. The Women’s Image Center is one of just two shops in the country with a 3D scanner to make custom prosthetics. “We use a scanner and a 3D CAD program to duplicate the amount of tissue volume that has been lost in the breast due to a mastectomy” she said. “The material is very skin-like. It’s not in the pocket of a special bra, it fits the surgical site like a puzzle piece on concave and convex areas. We have shade guides to match your skin color. It’s the best you can get.” With the closing of Lady Grace Intimate Apparel in Shrewsbury, it has become increasingly important to Aframe that women know where to find high-quality prosthetics. In two weeks, she is launching a printed catalog for The Women’s Image Center with a cheery layout and helpful tips. An organization called The PINK Revolution provides insurance and financial resources to get women what they need.


C O N T I N U E D F R O M PA G E 18


culture Lyford Files JOSHUA LYFORD


right, I am writing this from a porch in North Carolina overlooking a bay with a distant view of the sea. So far this morning, I have seen what I’ve been told was a green heron and a kingfisher. The latter had a much more interesting name, though it leaves little to the imagination. It probably seems a bit odd to be “vacationing” in North Carolina, or maybe “in poor taste” would be more accurate, following the devastation of Hurricane Florence. I am not here to sun my pasty flesh on the beach, however. I am here on a mission: to meet a newborn baby. Consider the mission achieved and by the time you read this, I will be back in our Shrewsbury Street office, where I shall remain for the foreseeable future, having had the audacity to use the entirety of my accrued five days of vacation. The humanity! Anyways, I’m going to be forthright, I’m trying to get this column done in record time, so I can go back to ogling sea birds and reading cheesy novels.

THIS IS ONLY A TEST: Aha! The first email I stumbled across,

an announcement from the ECHL. Now, let’s see if I can rewrite this, maintain the important facts and keep my writing voice intact and authentic in under two minutes. Break! So, the league is unveiling a pilot program for reviewing goals this season. Goals are reviewable at the refs behest under the following circumstances: puck crossing the goal line; puck entering the net following a distinct kicking motion; puck directed, batted or thrown in by an attacking player; or a puck entering the net before the net dislodges from the moorings. Why is this relevant? Well, the DCU Center is one of only four arenas in the ECHL that will be utilizing the new goal review system. I’ll tell ya what, part of me wishes it was the good old days and human error was a bigger part of play, but those days are behind us and I’m not even a hockey writer, just a writer who writes about hockey (I’m telling you, there’s a difference, but whatever. I’d rather just write about hockey anyway), so who cares what I think? Regardless, it will be neat to see how this affects the flow of the game, and I swear to God, if video review turns hockey into baseball-slow molasses events, I will be OUTRAGED. On the other hand, boy will that give me plenty of content in here.



O C T O B E R 11 - 17, 2018

I AM, IN FACT, KIND OF AN IDIOT: There is a vibe

I get from people pretty often that everything I do must be a coordinated effort, a dance of calendar notes and outlines and thought and planning. I hate to break it to you, it isn’t. I only started reporting because I couldn’t get anyone to pay for my horror fiction and thought, well fuck it, at least I’m writing. With the dumpster that journalism is in as an industry right now, I weaseled my way into a full-time role and later an editor position solely through being the last man standing as everyone else went into marketing or retired. Luckily, I can still buy Busch Light and ramen noodles on a reporter’s salary. I don’t even have a calendar and I sure as hell don’t have notifications on my phone. If I end up at an event, it’s generally because I just showed up there, or I had a beer in my hand and someone offered to drive. Do you know how often I write about things in this column and say, “I have to remember to get to this, it sounds amazing,” and then completely space out? Weekly. With that said, I don’t really know anything about comedy. Sure, I’ve written quite a bit about it, but that’s mainly because I like to laugh and Shaun Connolly knows how I operate and emails me 50 times about each of his events. Now I’m going to write about a comedy night at the Summit Lounge on Water Street. Paul Cyphers is putting it on, not Connolly, but I want you to understand the process of how it ended up in here: Facebook was open on my laptop when I turned it on and the event page was loaded on my feed. Bingo-bango, here we go: on Saturday, Oct. 13, Comedy Night at the Lounge returns with Sam Ike, Alex Giampapa, Jai Demeule, Alex Williams, Penina Beede, Dave Williams and Paul Henry. Cyphers, naturally, hosts. What makes this extra neaty-o? The Summit is a private cannabis club, so you can get stoned as hell while laughing your ass of. That’s sick. Get there early, the last few of these have been at-capacity. Byyyye. Joshua Lyford Culture editor @Joshachusetts

culture Lifestyle SARAH CONNELL

Simply Dunkin’

Worcester dropped its “Donuts.” Franchise owner Rob Branca says Dunkin is on a first-name basis with America and he’s ready to let the doughnuts speak for themselves. The styrofoam is Dunkin’ franchise owner Rob gone too, replaced by doubleBranca at his 640 Park Ave. walled cups designed to keep store in Worcester. your coffee hot and limit waste. SARAH CONNELL Branca already has two “next gen” Dunkins (or DD’s) operating in the city where he is highlighting a broad menu that includes espresso and nitro cold brew.

Third Time’s a Charm

Table Talk Pies and Wormtown Brewery are collaborating for the third year in a row to bring us Table Talk Pumpkin Pie Ale, brewed with real pies. President and Owner of Table Talk Pies Harry Kokkinis kicked off the launch party with a special “Table Talk Pie Eating Contest.” (Pro tip: velcro your pie plate to the table.)

Yes We Can

3cross Fermentation Coop introduced 16-ounce cans this week featuring

label art by local artists. The first five can releases include Sheldon Brown Ale designed by Aaron White, Trackstand Pilsner designed by Scott Boilard, Single-Speed Pale Ale designed by Derek Ring, Brevet IPA designed by Adam Cutler and Hilltopper Belgian Blond Ale designed by Tia Kinsman. Coop members will get first dibs on Wednesdays followed by the general public on Thursdays. “Our hope is that the artwork featured on our beer labels will bring a new audience to those artists, and to Worcester’s vibrant art scene in general,” says Heather Odell, 3cross worker-owner and taproom manager. 3cross Fermentation Coop is Massachusetts’ first communityand worker-owned brewery. and has been operating as a cooperative since January 2018. 3cross donates 1 percent of all revenue to organizations that support sustainability and environmental action, and makes all business decisions with the goal of minimizing impact on the planet. John Debary of GQ declared Polar champion of “The Ultimate Seltzer Showdown” last week. Seltzers were judged by an impressive panel that included The New Yorker’s honorable food goddess, Helen Rosner. In his conclusive piece for GQ, Debary noted, “The judges praised its aroma of ‘mountain air’ and called out its balance and ‘initially intense, but pleasantly-fleeting’ bubble profile, which, according to Worcester, Massachusetts-based Polar, is achieved by using high pressure and near-freezing temperatures to ensure optimal carbonation.” I’m still not sure what “natural flavors” are, and despite my best efforts, the Crowley crew won’t reveal their family recipe. A representative from British Beer Company on Shrewsbury Street confirmed their impending departure via phone over the weekend. Mexicali Cantina Grill vied for the transfer of BBC’s liquor license at the License Commission Meeting on Oct. 4, in addition to a request for an entertainment license. The large space, formerly The Urban Kitchen + Bar and Coral Seafood, has proved to be an extraordinarily challenging space despite its ample parking and central location on “Restaurant Row.”

Cheap Beer and Slap Bracelets


On Saturday, Oct. 13, The Compass Tavern is channeling its inner Ninja Turtle with a 90’s bar crawl. Participants will gather at 3 p.m. to set their away messages and cuddle their Furbies in good company. Now, that’s what I call a bar crawl. Stops also include Whiskey on Water, The White Eagle, The Union Tavern and Buck’s Whiskey & Burger Bar. Tickets start at $20. Sarah Connell contributing writer


Shrewsbury Street Says ‘Cheerio!’ to BBC

O C T O B E R 11 - 17, 2018

Polar Crowned Champion

culture Stripping Down at NU Kitchen

335 Chandler St., Worcester • 508-926-8800 • SANDRA RAIN


W O R C E S T E R M A G A Z I N E . C O M O C T O B E R 11 - 17, 2018


u” may translate to “naked” in French, but pants are definitely not optional at NU Kitchen on Chandler Street. It’s a relaxed environment, but not that relaxed. The play on words is a testament to clean eating - to stripping away the junk. Barn board islands and You can order breakfast any time wide farm tables inhabit the fast casual dining room of day at NU Kitchen. along with a hearth that doubles as a stage for live music. A strange vinyl-sided structure occupies one end of the restaurant, upending the coffeehouse flow. Artwork is local and ever-changing. The chalkboards are pleasing to the eye, but filled with a font too small to decipher. Patrons can order from a hurried human behind the counter, or simply punch in their requests on a self service computer monitor. The long line is seemingly constant. Fresh-pressed juices are vivid and tasty. You’ll enjoy 16 ounces of vita C ($6.99) packed with orange pineapple, ginger and carrot. The sweet beach ($6.99) will refresh you, made with pineapple, apple, cucumber and mint. Food comes out faster than juice, so order accordingly. A specials board boasts “NU Creations,” including a steamy brussel hash ($8.99) made with roasted sprouts, sweet potatoes, red onions and spicy chorizo, then topped with a sunny side egg. Classic breakfast sandwiches and burritos are great on the go. Order the PortaPesto chorizo ($6.99) made with fresh cracked eggs, portabella mushrooms, parmesan, dijon pesto and chorizo served on toasted ciabatta. NU Kitchen’s Impossible Burger ($12.99) is the result of a team of farmers, chefs and scientists in search of the veggie burger that could offer a truly medium-rare consistency. The Impossible Burger debuted at David Chang’s Momofuku Nishi (NYC) in 2016 made with textured wheat protein, coconut oil, potato protein and soy leghemoglobin. At NU Kitchen, it arrives with a slab of pineapple and a dose of chipotle mayo. The Impossible Burger is not as juicy as the real thing, but it could certainly fool a vegetarian. Super grain bowls are the premier selection on NU Kitchen’s menu if you are looking for a hearty and healthy lunch. Chipotle avocado and lime ($8.49) reigns supreme, piled high with organic quinoa, brown rice, steamed kale, corn, black beans, fresh salsa, avocado and a spicy chipotle lime dressing. It reminds me of a dish I’d make at home after a trip to the farm stand. It’s not all healthy at NU Kitchen. Some of the supercharged smoothies are basically milkshakes. Take, for example, the cacao cold brew (24 ounces for $7.99) which includes froyo, peanut butter, dates and cinnamon. It is as delicious as it is packed with calories. Things move fast at NU Kitchen and certain details go unattended to. Customers grab the wrong drinks. There aren’t any knives to be found. Serving utensils are elusive. Still, it’s a nice place to spend the day on your laptop and an even better spot for conversation with friends. I admire any restaurant where I can eat breakfast for dinner. On my last visit with two friends for lunch, our total came to $76.76. Explanation of Stars: Ratings are from zero to five. Zero is not recommended. One is poor. Two is fair. Three is satisfactory. Four is good. Five is excellent.

Food: HHH Ambience: HHH 1/2 Service: HH Value: HHH

culture Lady Gaga’s shooting star JIM KEOGH


arilyn Monroe was in Japan doing a morale-boosting tour for U.S. troops when she placed a call to her husband, the retired Yankee great Joe DiMaggio. Everywhere she went she’d been greeted by adoring crowds, Marilyn told him. “Joe,” she said, “you’ve never heard such cheering.” “Yes I have,” he replied. And there you have the essence of a marriage between supernovas, distilled in nine words. “A Star is Born” takes a little more time and verbiage — and music — to get there, but the sentiments are

achingly similar. It’s a story about two people traveling on professional and personal trajectories that slam them together in a transformative collision, then carry them apart when the Universe decides to take sides. Since 1937, four different “A Star is Born” movies have been made with the same tragic narrative arc of one comet soaring while the other plummets. Why keep remaking this particular tale? Because 80 years later it’s still an irresistible watch. Co-written and directed by Bradley Cooper, who stars alongside the terrific Lady Gaga, the 2018 version of “A Star is Born” manages to find something special within the familiar. I’m not certain what the magic ingredient is, but it’s clearly chemical. These two fall in love on screen as convincingly as any movie couple in recent memory. There’s something in the way they look at each other — a combination of longing, admiration and empathy — that you can’t coach. Cooper plays Jackson Maine, an alt-country legend whose talent is challenged by encroaching hear-

ing loss and a serious problem with alcohol and pills. One night after a concert, he slips into a drag bar for a drink and watches a young woman

named Ally (Lady Gaga) deliver a knockout rendition of “La Vie en Rose” (she’s the only non-drag singer

allowed to perform). He’s smitten. The night’s courtship is capped by an impromptu solo by Ally in the parking lot of an all-night grocery store, her soulful voice piercing the neon-lit air. This time Jackson is not only smitten, he’s lost himself to her. The rhythms of their relationship are fascinating to witness, because the stages on which they play out are both intimate and frighteningly public. When Jackson first coaxes Ally to the microphone to perform one of her original songs, she galvanizes the arena-sized crowd, and the video of her debut goes viral. In 2018, stars aren’t born until social media dictates when the contractions will start. Booze takes its toll on Jackson, and as he down-slides, Ally explodes into pop stardom. The resulting frictions are inevitable, and include a disastrous episode at the Grammy Awards. Cooper is excellent as the growly, leathery Jackson; delivering one of the best performances of his career. He’s also a fine singer. But this is Gaga’s gala, a rousing coming-out party for her acting career — she’s stripped down (no meat

dresses), authentic and vulnerable. Cooper also proves to be a generous director — and wisely so — by giving his co-star substantial screen time to display her transcendent music chops, allowing her to perform entire songs. She devours the opportunity. Anytime Gaga belted one out, I wanted to wave my phone in the air. I know the lady is already a star, but in this film, she’s a constellation. *** Cinema 320 continues this week with “The Cakemaker,” which follows the twisting relationship between a gay German baker and the widow of an Israeli businessman whom they both loved. The movie will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Friday, and at 1 and 3:15 p.m. Sunday in the Jefferson Academic Center at Clark University. There is no Saturday Jim Keogh show. contributing writer




Adoption option


W O R C E S T E R M A G A Z I N E . C O M O C T O B E R 11 - 17, 2018


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, or call at 508-853-0030.

Meet Boston, an awesome, 7-year-old boy who is handsome and loyal to hometown sports teams. Boston’s favorite activity in the world is playing fetch. He could play for hours and hours, and is very good at it. He would like to be the only pet in a home, and since he is so strong, it is recommended he go to a home with no small children. He is such a sweetheart. Ask to meet him today.

sports p Local golfers Gale, Henderson reflect on U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur WALTER BIRD JR.


band’s friends, Steve Gagen, who she said helped her with more technical aspects of the game. Playing in mostly male leagues also helped, she said. “I was an alternate in [her husband’s work league],” she said. “I think there was one other woman in it. When you’re golfing with me, it’s a lot different. It’s a lot more competitive. That really elevated my game.” Henderson readily admits to wishing she started playing golf much sooner. “Absolutely, absolutely,” she said,

Above, from left, Kristen Henderson, Joanne Catlin and Mary Gale. Left, Kristen Henderson practices for the 2018 US Senior Women’s Open at Orchid Golf & Beach Club in Vero Beach, Fla. PHOTOS SUBMIT TED

how your swing is that day, but I do. I love it.” As for playing in another tournament, Henderson said, “Absolutely. Would I have liked to play better? Yes. But did I learn a lot? Absolutely. Hopefully, the next time it will be a little bit better.”

The Railers on Monday, Oct. 8 announced they had released Josh Anderson from their training camp roster. In a preview of their home opener, the Railers and Mariners played their lone exhibition game Saturday, Oct. 6 at the Rinks at Exeter, NH, where the Railers won, 5-0.


pointing out no one in her family golfed, save for her brother, who did so only socially. “I was never athletic, was never on teams in high school or college. I still amaze myself that I love the feeling of competition. It’s so nerve-wracking, you know. Everything’s riding on this shot and

The Worcester Railers kick off their second season in the ECHL with back-to-back games on the road against the Reading Royals: Saturday, Oct. 13 and Sunday, Oct. 14. Their home opener is Saturday, Oct. 20 at the DCU Center against the Maine Mariners.



O C T O B E R 11 - 17, 2018

hings, it is safe to say, did not go the way Mary Gale and Kristen Henderson had hoped at the 2018 US Senior Women’s Open in Vero Beach, Fla., but both took away positives and weren’t hanging their heads after missing the cut for match play this week. Worcester’s Gale, who started golfing at her father’s urging when she was 10, shot a two-day total of 167 in stroke play Saturday, Oct. 6 and Sunday, Oct. 7 at Orchid Golf & Beach Club. She finished 23 over par - just four strokes from making the cut for match play. The Henderson, of Auburn, was playing in her first-ever United States Golf Association tournament, and had tough go of it, following up an 82 on Saturday with an 88 Sunday. She finished with a 26-over-par 170. “I didn’t play my best golf,” she acknowledged, “but I was very nervous and a little out of my element. It’s definitely a learning experience.” Henderson, who didn’t start golfing until her late 20s or early 30s, said she thought she played well Saturday. “I was super nervous,” she said, noting she still finished with 12 pars. “I think that affected my swing, some of my shots.” The two women, who went to the tournament with another golfer, Joanne Catlin of Ashburnham, also didn’t start their first round until around 1 p.m. Saturday. “You wake up and you have to wait around to go off,” Henderson said. “The wind conditions get a little worse in the afternoon, and the course conditions, so it was challenging. I felt better on Sunday, as far as nerves. I just didn’t play my best.” Catlin made it into match play, which started Monday and was expected to finish Thursday, but lost in the playoffs the first day. All three women had planned to fly back home Wednesday, although Hurricane Michael had them considering an earlier flight. The competition at the tournament was stiff, Henderson said, adding she was nonetheless excited to take part.

“This was such an honor,” she said. “I shot really well my first practice round, but there’s no pressure. When you get into this, and these are women from not only all over the country, but I think they said six countries had players there. The competition is very strong.” For Gale, a co-owner of Bedrock Golf Club in Paxton, a rough start Saturday may have killed her chances of advancing. “I did not play well at all [Saturday], and I played much better [Sunday],” she said. “I ended up making a great comeback and just missed it by four.” A couple different factors came into play, Gale said. “This is a very, very challenging course. Lengthwise, it was a challenge,” she said. “I didn’t feel as prepared as I normally would, just from different circumstances prior to coming. But, you know, you work through it and just do the best you can. I was glad to have the comeback round Sunday. I didn’t make it, but I had a great time. It was a great group, traveling with Kris and Joanne. We had a great time.” For Henderson, the road to her first USGA tournament started shortly after she married her husband Ross. “My husband brought me to a scramble after we married about 30 years ago. I liked it,” Henderson said. “Once I could play a little bit, I started going to the Cape with some women. I joined a golf league, nine holes a week. I started going to Blue Rock [Golf Course in Yarmouth], taking lessons, but just because that’s what we did.” Her handicap went from 24 to 12 in a year. “That was pretty exciting,” she said. “Then I felt like I could golf with almost anybody.” Henderson and her husband played a variety of golf courses; she figures they have played every course in Western and Central Mass over the years. “I just got the bug,” she said, adding she started getting serious with golf about six years ago. Henderson met one of her hus-

calendar Friday, Oct. 12 Cole Swindell & Dustin Lynch: Reason to Drink Another Tour with Lauren Alaina

DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester Country stars Cole Swindell and Dustin Lynch kick up a good time in Worcester. Show starts at 7:15 p.m. Tickets $36.75, $46.75 and $62. Visit

Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 13-14 29th Annual Harvest Festival

Sturbridge Town Common, Main Street Don’t miss the 29th annual Harvest Festival on Sturbridge Town Common and the grounds of the Publick House. Check out more than 80 local crafters and artisans, hear live music, enjoy specialty food vendors, and of course, don’t miss the Public House’s Scarecrow Contest and more. Festival is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Free admission and parking. Visit

Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13 and 14 Oktoberfest

Rapscallion Brewery, 195 Arnold Road, Sturbridge Live music from Big Jon Short, Boogie Chillin’ and Matt Soper, a bratwurst special and the release of O-Fest seasonal, a German Marzen.

Saturday, Oct. 13 Abby’s House 5K Run/Walk



O C T O B E R 11 - 17, 2018

West Boylston Middle/High School, 125 Crescent St., West Boylston A 5K run/walk to benefit Abby’s House. No pets. Registration at 8:30 a.m. Race starts at 9. Cost is $30 adults, $25 students. Visit abbyhouse.

Sunday, Oct. 14 Worcester Chamber Music Society Classical Cafe

Nuovo Restaurant, 92 Shrewsbury St., Worcester Relax with a beer or a glass of wine and delicious food, and unwind to the graceful sounds of Ferdinand Reis and Franz Joseph Haydn Haydn. Brunch and concert 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Cost $30 concert, $60 brunch and concert. Visit

Thursday-Sunday, Oct. 11-Oct. 14 qFLIX Worcester

The Hanover Theatre, 2 Southbridge St. The film festival for, by and about the LGBTQ+ community returns with the largest LGBTQ+ arts and cultural event in the region. Four days of independent film.

Friday, Oct.12 The Cove & Trick or Treat Radio Present: Trick or Treat Radio Masquerade Extravaganza

The Cove Music Hall, 89 Green St., Worcester Catch The Deadites and what they bill as “some of the best electronic dance music in the world.” Show is 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Cost $8 in advance, $10 at door.

Monday, Oct. 15 Daybreak Breakfast

Holy Cross, Hogan Campus Center, 1 College St., Worcester The YWCA’s 2018 Daybreak Breakfast and Great Guy Award Presentation focuses on domestic violence. Cost $35 per person, $350 table of 10. Visit

Fridays-Sundays, Oct. 12-28 Night of the Living Dead Presented by Braid Productions Alternatives Community Plaza, 50 Douglas Road, Whitinsville A stage adaptation of George A. Romero’s 1968 classic zombie horror film. Performances are 7:30-9 p.m. Tickets $20 adults, $18 seniors, $10 students. Visit

Friday, Oct. 12: A Matter of Perspective

ArtsWorcester, 660 Main St. The opening reception for A Matter of Perspective, a members exhibition and collaboration with the Fitchburg Art Museum.

Thursday, Oct. 11 Ice Nine Kills


The Palladium, 261 Main St. Ice Nine Kills returns to Worcester with Currents, Awake at Last, Fathom Farewell and Attraction to Tragedy. The band is touring in support of their new album, “The Silver Scream.”

Friday-Sunday, Oct. 12-14 Rock and Shock

DCU Center, 50 Foster St.; The Palladium, 261 Main St., Worcester Rock and Shock returns to scare and rock the hell out of you. Meet horror movie titans such as first-time guests Jeremy Davies and Linda Blair, Malcolm McDowell, Seth Raimi, Bill Moseley, Derek Mears and others at the DCU, where dozens of vendors will also be set up. Rock out to the blood-curdling metal of Ice Nine Kills, Twiztid, Trivium and more at The Palladium. For details, including tickets, visit

Sunday, Oct. 14 Terror

The Palladium, 261 Main St. Hardcore stalwarts, Terror, head to Worcester in support of their new album, “Total Retaliation.” With support from Harms Way, Backtrack, Year of the Knife and Candy.



games “Getting Shift-E”--moving over. by Matt Jones



O C T O B E R 11 - 17, 2018

JONESIN’ Across 1 Cut coupons, say 5 Show whose 50th season would premiere in 2024 8 Holiday driver, in a phrase 14 Sea movement 15 Japanese for “yes” 16 “Let’s hide out!” 17 Animal that’s a source of Musk? 19 Home theater component 20 Every last one 21 Handler of meteorology? 23 Indian yogurt drink 25 “I Am America (And ___ You!)” (2007 Stephen Colbert book) 26 Lofty 29 Agcy. combating price fixing 30 Hanoi lunar festival 33 Falco of two HBO series 36 Fantasy group 38 Circumvent 40 Clapton-inspired New Orleans dish? 43 Kick back 44 Old Norse letter 45 Name associated with IRAs 46 Shadowy figure 47 Use a crowbar 49 Group associated with Brooklyn since 2012 51 “No Logo” author Naomi 53 Jon of “Napoleon Dynamite” 57 British prep school offering singing lessons? 62 Actress Gabor 63 Wheat-free soy sauce 64 Advice to “Star Wars” fans? 66 Hot dish stand 67 “It’s a dog ___ dog world out there” 68 “Akeelah and the Bee” star Palmer 69 Says 70 ___-pitch softball 71 They may be beady Down 1 Great buy

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 18 22 24 27 28 30 31 32 33 34 35 37

___ Wafers (Nabisco brand) Matinee stars You can’t take a Scantron with it Oxford, e.g. “The Lion King” lioness Does some workout tasks Cut in half Like some shady calls Metallic quality “Wheel of Fortune” creator Griffin Neighborhood Luminous sign gas It ended in 1945 Scientist Albert who studied LSD “Come Back, Little ___” (William Inge play) Rockstar Games game, to fans Shakespeare play split into two parts Luau root Do some cutting and pasting Part of MIT, for short Messes up Like one end of a pool Sit ___ by (take no action) Tempe sch.

39 41 42 48 50 51 52 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61

Poet’s output Da Gama, for one Word in some obits Makes alterations to The other side Unscrupulous man Features to count Loser to Truman and FDR Draw forth Landscaping tools “Julius Caesar” inquiry Pie shop purchase Leave out Skewed type (abbr.) ___ the Elder (Roman statesman) 65 Scrape by, with “out”

Fun By The Numbers Like 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!

Last week's solution

Call 978-728-4302 or email today to place your ad here! ©2018 Jonesin’ Crosswords ( Reference puzzle #905


Sudoku Answers

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin (Never known to fail) O most beautiful flower of Mt. Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this my necessity, O Star of the Sea, help me and show me where you are my mother. O Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth, I humbly beseech thee from the bottom of my heart to succor me in my necessity, (make request). There are none that can withstand your power, O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee (three times). Holy Mary, I place this cause in your hands (three times). Say this prayer for three consecutive days and you must publish it and your request will be granted to you. DMH

ADVERTISEMENT The Worcester Housing Authority, the Awarding Authority, invites sealed bids from Contractors for the Egress Deck Repairs at 667-2 Greenwood Gardens #348140 (WHA Job No. 2017-14) for the Worcester Housing Authority in Worcester, Massachusetts, in accordance with the documents prepared by Allen and Major. The Project consists of: Pressure washing existing exterior wood deck framing at Clusters One through Four. Removal and replacement of all decking and stair treads, and deteriorated exterior deck framing, and rail caps. Repainting of entire exterior wood deck allowing residents to exist their dwellings. Project completion time shall be 130 consecutive calendar days. The work is estimated to cost $ 86,107 (including Alternates) Bids are subject to M.G.L. c.149 §44A-J & to minimum wage rates as required by M.G.L. c.149 §§26 to 27H inclusive. General Bids will be received until 2:00 p.m., Thursday October 4, 2018 and publicly opened, forthwith. All bids should be delivered to: Worcester Housing Authority, Department of Modernization, 81 Tacoma Street, Worcester, MA 01605 ADVERTISEMENT and received no later than the date & time specified above. The Worcester Housing Authority, General bids shall be accompanied by a bid deposit that is not less than the Awarding Authority, invites sealed bids from Contractors the Egress Deck Repairs at 667-2 Greenfive (5%) of the greatest possible bid amount (considering all for alternates), wood Gardens #348140 (WHA Job No. 2017-14) for the Worcester and made payable to the Worcester Housing Authority. Housing Authority in on Worcester, Massachusetts, in accordance with the Bid forms and Contract Documents will be made available the Worcesdocuments prepared by Allen and Major. ter Housing Authority website The Project Pressure ( ) atconsists no cost.of:Hard copieswashing existing exterior wood deck at Clusters One through Four. Removal and replacement of all will be made available on Septemberframing 19, 2018 at the Worcester Housing decking and stair treads, and deteriorated exterior deck framing, and rail Authority, Department of Modernization, 81 Tacoma Street, Worcester, MA caps.8:00 Repainting of entire 01605 and thereafter, Monday thru Friday A.M. through 4:30exterior P. M. wood deck allowing residents to exist dwellings. completion Copies of the contract documents maytheir be obtained byProject depositing $50.00 time shall be 130 consecutive calendar in the form of aBlessed companyVirgin check, madedays. payable to the Worcester Housing Prayer to the The work is estimated to cost 86,107 (including Alternates) Authority, for each setOofmost documents so obtained. The amount of the$ de(Never known to fail) Bids are subject to M.G.L. c.149 §44A-J & to minimum wage rates as reposit will be refunded to each person who returns the plans, specifications beautiful flower of Mt. Carmel, quired byten M.G.L. §§26bid to 27H inclusive. and other documents condition within (10) c.149 days after openfruitful vine, splendor in ofgood Heaven, General Bids will be received until 2:00 p.m., Thursday October 4, 2018 ing. Bidders requesting contract documents to be mailed to them should Blessed Mother of the Son of and opened, forthwith. includeImmaculate a separate check in the amount of publicly $40.00 for each set payable to God, Virgin, assist All bids should delivered to: Worcester Housing Authority, Departthe in Worcester Housing Authority mailing andbe handling costs. me this my necessity, O Star to of cover Modernization, Tacoma Street, Worcester, MA 01605 General must agree to contract with of minority and women 81 business the Sea,bidders help me and show me ment received no later the date & time specified above. enterprises certified the Supplier Diversity Office (SDO),than formerly where you asare my by mother. O and General bids shall be accompanied by a bid deposit that is not less than known as SOMWBA. The combined goal reserved for such enHoly Mary, Mother of God, Queen participation five (5%) of contract the greatest bid amount (considering all alternates), terprises shall notEarth, be less Ithan 10.4% of the final pricepossible including of Heaven and humbly and made payable to the Housing Authority. acceptedthee alternates. Seebottom Contract - Article 3 ofWorcester the Inbeseech from the of Documents structions Bidders. my heart to to succor me in my ne- Bid forms and Contract Documents will be made available on the Worcester Housing website A pre-bid (make conference will be held at 10:00 a.m. onAuthority Tuesday September cessity, request). There ( ) at no cost. Hard copies are none that can withstand your 25, 2018 at Greenwood Gardens - Community Room @ 337 Greenbe made available onbe September power, O Mary, conceived with- atwill wood St., Worcester, MA 01607 which time bidders will invited to 19, 2018 at the Worcester Housing Authority, Department Modernization, 81 Tacoma Street, Worcester, MA out forsite(s) us who visitsin, the pray project withhave the areWorcester Housing Authorityofrepresenta01605 andbe thereafter, Monday thrutoFriday 8:00 A.M. through 4:30 P. M. course to thee (threeor times). Holy tive. Failure to attend visit the premises shall no defense in failure Mary, I place this cause in your Copies of the contract documents may be obtained by depositing $50.00 perform contract terms. thenot form of a company check, made payable to the Worcester Housing hands (threedocuments times). may Say bethis The contract seen,inbut removed at: Authority,offorModernization, each set of documents so obtained. The amount of the deprayer for threeHousing consecutive daysDepartment 1. Worcester Authority, 81 will be refunded to each person who returns the plans, specifications and you must publish it and your posit Tacoma Street, Worcester, MA 01605 and other documents in good condition within ten (10) days after bid openrequest be 24 granted to Ave., you.Lexington, 2. F.W.will Dodge, Hartwell MA 02173 ing. Bidders requesting contract documents to be mailed to them should DMH 3. Reed Construction Data, 30 Technology Parkway South, Norcross, GA include a separate check in the amount of $40.00 for each set payable to 30092 Worcester Housing Authority 4. Project Dog, 18 Graf Road Unit #8the Plan Room, Newburyport, MA to cover mailing and handling costs. General bidders must agree to contract with minority and women business 01950 enterprises by hours the Supplier PUBLIC AUCTION NOTICE Questions regarding this project shall be submittedasincertified writing 72 pri- Diversity Office (SDO), formerly known as SOMWBA. The combined participation goal reserved for such enNOTICE IS HEREBY PURor to opening and GIVEN emailed to terprises shallJob not Number be less than 10.4% SUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF Reference the WHA only in of the final contract price including accepted alternates. See Contract Documents - Article 3 of the InM.L.C. 225 SEC. 39A THE FOLLOWthe subject line. structions to Bidders. ING VEHICLES WILL BE SOLD SEPTEMBER 29, 2018 AT A SALE TO A pre-bid conference will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday September 25, 2018 at Greenwood Gardens - Community Room @ 337 GreenSATISFY OUR GARAGE LIEN wood St., Worcester, MA 01607 at which time bidders will be invited to THEREON FOR TOWING AND STORvisit the project site(s) with the a Worcester Housing Authority representaAGE CHARGES AND EXPENSES tive. Failure to attend or visit the premises shall be no defense in failure to OF SALE AND NOTICE. perform contract terms. 2006 HONDA CR-V VIN# The contract documents may be seen, but not removed at: JHLRD78896C010597 1. Worcester Housing Authority, Department of Modernization, 81 2003 HONDA CR-V VIN# Tacoma Street, Worcester, MA 01605 SHSRD78893U144935 2. F.W. Dodge, 24 Hartwell Ave., Lexington, MA 02173 2009 LINCOLN MKZ VIN# 3. Reed Construction Data, 30 Technology Parkway South, Norcross, GA 3LNHM28T89R615292 30092 2007 ACURA TL VIN# 4. Project Dog, 18 Graf Road Unit #8 Plan Room, Newburyport, MA 19UUA66287A029200 01950 2005 HONDA ACCORD VIN# Questions regarding this project shall be submitted in writing 72 hours pri1HGCM56475A049322 SALE LOCATION : EARLY’S ON PARK or to opening and emailed to Reference the WHA Job Number only in AVE. INC 536 PARK AVENUE WORCESTER, MA 01603 the subject line.

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last call



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Greg Sestero cult film legend G reg Sestero will be in Worcester Sunday, Oct. 14 for a live Q&A following the screening of his 2017 film “Best F(r)iends.” But, it was a different 2017 motion picture based on Sestero’s co-authored memoir, “The Disaster Artist,” that rendered him a household name for uninitiated film buffs. James Franco produced and directed “The Disaster Artist” to examine the making of Tommy Wiseau’s 2003 film “The Room,” famously the worst movie ever created. Franco’s brother, Dave, plays Sestero in the Oscar nominated flick - a portrayal Sestero calls accurate. James Franco himself took home a Golden Globe for his seamless performance as Wiseau who wrote, produced, directed, and starred in The Room. “The Disaster Artist” chronicles the origin of Sestero and Wiseau’s oddball friendship, their subsequent move to Los Angeles, and the melodrama that ensues as they began making “The Room.” The plot of The Room itself is the least notable thing about the motion picture. What makes The Room special is the earnest delivery of its implausible dialogue. You’ve probably heard some of Wiseau’s lauded lines from your cinephile friends, most notably, “You’re tearing me apart, Lisa!” and “Why, Lisa, why, Why?!” (If your name is Lisa and this is the first you’ve heard of “The Room,” I hope some of your more bizarre interactions upon introducing yourself have just been elucidated.) Although “The Room” never garnered its own Academy Award nomination, it did amass a persistent cult following, similar to that of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Fans dress up, toss footballs and throw plastic cutlery in response to an inexplicable set of framed spoon photos that appear on screen. In many theaters around the world, show-

ings of “The Room” are a monthly occurrence and draw crowds that are as enormous as they are dedicated. Attendees shout out “Sestosterone!” whenever Sestero does something manly, and they diligently keep count of Sestero’s proclamations that he and Wiseau are best friends. Sestero’s visit to the Heart of the Commonwealth coincides with the efforts of Cinema-Worcester to bring innovative and interesting films from all over the world to our city. “Best F(r)iends Part 1” begins at 6 p.m. in the Park View Room Sunday, Oct. 14. “Part 2” will follow at 7:45 p.m., along with an intimate chat with Sestero himself. A ticket for back to back screening is just $15, so don’t be a little chicken, Peter. Cheep, cheep, cheep, cheep, cheep. What are some of the elements that generally characterize a screening of “The Room?” It is a life-changing experience. Throwing spoons at the screen with

your friends and watching their faces turn to avid shock with each moment of the film is something you must witness. The audience participation is brilliant. When did you realize you had developed a devoted following? Around 2009, when I was approached by Entertainment Weekly and CNN about “The Room.” They relayed that the movie was being studied in universities and had amassed celebrity fans. Are you ever insulted by the ironic enjoyment of your work? I was a surviving passenger on “The Room.” It was Tommy’s vision and more power to him. The film is still beloved 15 years later. I think it’s more insulting to have an empty theatre when a film shows. So I’ve come to appreciate the whole experience.

Are we meant to enjoy “Best F(r)iends” in this same manner or as a serious film? “Best F(r) iends” was taken seriously in its nature. I think it’s a true black comedy. The best moments in film are when everyone is giving their all, and I think this movie makes people relive what they love about “The Room,” but in a totally different landscape. When did you decide to immortalize your experience in the form of a memoir? I had answered so many questions over the years about my involvement with “The Room.” Mainly, “Why!?” So around 2010, as the film was being screened around the world, I thought it was a great chance to share the story of my experience. Do you feel you were portrayed accurately in “The Disaster Artist” by Dave Franco? I thought Dave did a great job portraying the journey of a young actor in Hollywood and the loyalty I

had to Tommy’s character. Dave understood the wackiness of trying to become an actor and the bizarro work you need to do initially. Can you share an anecdote about collaborating with James Franco? I loved collaborating with James. He went full method as Tommy. The voice, mannerisms. So much so that, whenever I’d see him on set, I’d call him Tommy. It was perfect. What’s next for you? “Best F(r) iends Volume 2” releases in January on VOD and Blu Ray. After that, I’m developing a horror film that I’m really excited about. Horror is my favorite genre, so it’ll be great to delve into that world. — Sarah Connell

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