Worcester Magazine May 14 - 20, 2020

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End of an Era After 55 years, St. Cyr Salon and Day Spa closing doors for good



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M AY 14 - 20, 2020 • V O L U M E 45 I S S U E 387 Find us on Facebook.com/worcestermag Twitter @worcestermag Instagram: Worcestermag

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Worcester Magazine has put its calendar section and event recommendations on hold for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, and other standing features may be put on hold or appear more sporadically. Also, considering the pace of news these days, some articles may be updated online as the situation changes. For the most up-to-date versions of articles, visit WorcesterMag.com or Telegram.com.

Featured ......................................................................................4 City Voices...................................................................................8 Cover Story................................................................................10 Artist Spotlight .......................................................................15 Lifestyle......................................................................................16 Listen Up....................................................................................16 Table Hoppin’ ..........................................................................17 Film .............................................................................................18 The Next Draft..........................................................................19 Adoption Option ....................................................................20 Games .........................................................................................21 Classifieds .................................................................................22 Last Call .....................................................................................23

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the cover Bob Cyr in the salon he operated for 55 years. Story on page 10 Photo by Ashley Green; Design by Shiela Nealon


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Was everyone too quick to delay plastic bag bans? BY BILL SHANER



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ait, why did we delay the plastic bag ban again? Worcester, like thousands of communities across the country, put policy into place in March to restrict the use of reusable shopping bags in supermarkets in a flurry of other policy actions to combat the spread of COVID-19. In Worcester, a plastic bag ban was set to take effect April 1. City Manager Ed Augustus Jr. pushed the bag ban out to a July 1 start date following an order requesting such from City Councilor Gary Rosen. Shortly after, Gov. Charlie Baker banned the use of reusable shopping bags statewide. But where did the idea that reusable bags spread the virus come from? Signs point to the plastic industry. As cities and states across the country reverse and delay plastic bag bans, environmentalists fear a reverse of progress in cutting pollution. In late February and early March, before most cities or states had taken any serious policy action to combat the virus, several posts from people tied to conservative and libertarian think tanks floated the idea that reusable bags could spread the virus. The libertarian think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute sought a tentative link between COVID-19 and reusable bags, noting “Whether reusable bags could become a significant carrier of the coronavirus remains to be seen, but there are good reasons to fear they will harbor other equally dangerous bacteria and viruses transmitted from carrying meat and produce.” Later, in early March, climate change skeptic John Tierney, writing for City Journal, a publication of the right-wing think tank the Manhattan Institute, sought a more direct connection. In an oped, he wrote, “These reusable tote bags can sustain the COVID-19 and flu viruses — and spread the viruses throughout the store.” He cited several small studies

which show that reusable bags can spread bacteria and viruses. None of the studies specifically link the coronavirus. As an investigation by the magazine Mother Jones notes, Tierney’s article was quickly followed by a request from the Plastics Industry Association to the US Department of Health and Human Services to make a public statement against the use of reusable shopping bags. “The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing many Americans, businesses and government officials to realize that single-use plastics are often the safest choice,” the letter stated. A day later, on March 19, City Manager Ed Augustus Jr. ordered

the delay of the city’s single-use plastic bag ban to July 1. The bag ban was voted in last October, and was set to take place in April. By phone this week, Councilor Gary Rosen said he has long been a skeptic of reusable shopping bags, believing they can carry germs and bacteria. “I thought it was a good thing to do, put the plastic bag ban on hold for a while,” he said. “I just thought it was something to do on the side of caution and the side of safety.” But environmentalists reject the claim that reusable bags are a significant carrier or, even, worse than disposable single use bags. Mike Ewall, executive director of the Energy Justice Network, said

research has proven that plastic is one of the surfaces on which the virus lasts the longest — up to two days. Cloth and canvas, the materials comprising most reusable bags, carries the virus for a shorter amount of time, he said. “We’re going to spread more COVID around by having more plastic bags as opposed to bags that are not able to carry COVID around as much,” he said. Further, new research from Harvard University has shown that air pollution worsens the effects of the virus. In a report published April 7, researchers at the university argued that people who live in regions with high levels of air pollution are more likely to die from the

disease. The Wheelabrator trash incinerator in Millbury, Ewell said, is a large regional polluter. “And you‘re going to create more pollution when the stuff gets thrown in the trash and burned and aggravates the carbon and other respiratory elements which are already caused by Wheelabrator’s trash incinerator,” he said. The narrative that reusable bags help spread the virus is at best limited in scope, Ewell argued, and doesn’t take into consideration the ramifications of reversing environmental policy.


Pick up the May issue

Amid school and business closures, quarantine and isolation, some families have found a silver lining. See how the pandemic has redefined family time for some moms, dads and kids in the Bay State. Plus, you’ll find dozens of fun ways to make the most of your time at home. Pick up your FREE copy today! M AY 14 - 20, 2020





Expressing themselves



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Worcester Youth Center’s HopeVid-2020 project helps kids share pandemic feelings

Pictured outside the Worcester Youth Center on Chandler Street are director Samuel Martin, peer leader Dante Kubicki and director of creative leadership and innovation Nydia Colon. PHOTO/ASHLEY GREEN



ow were we feeling at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic? That’s a question the Worcester Youth Center hopes to be able to answer one day with its multimedia HopeVid-2020 project. In part, the project will be a time capsule of the creativity of youth center members as they expressed their feelings. In the here and now it is an outlet that people will also soon be able to see, listen to, and share online as HopeVid-2020 is produced

by the Worcester Youth Center remotely with social distancing. “When this whole lockdown happened, we noticed our kids had a lot of emotions bottled up inside of them,” said Nydia Colon, director of creative leadership at the Worcester Youth Center. “We know the arts are a good outlet. Why not create a project that lets kids express how they’re feeling right now — a historical record of how the youth center was feeling at that time — and provide a vehicle to express themselves emotionally.” Through music, rap, poetry, painting, drawing and other arts, youths will be putting out creative

work that they’ve been working on individually and together. “I’m pretty sure we’re going to have wonderful pieces of art, music, and we’re going to thread it over our timeline and it’s going to be a wonderful thing,” Colon said. “I think it’s going to be truthful and raw and beautiful at the same time.” The Worcester Youth Center, located at 326 Chandler St., offers a number of services, activities and programs to youths ages 14 to 24. It has about 425 active members, and prior to the pandemic, about 50 to 60 would come in daily, according to executive director Samuel N. Martin.

“There’s a lot of things available to me and anyone who goes there,” said Dante Kubicki, 17, a junior at Doherty Memorial High School who joined as soon as he could at 14 just after he had moved to Worcester with his family from New York. Among other things, the new world of the pandemic “just really feels very abnormal to me. It feels out of place. Not boring, but I’m missing something. I’m lacking,” Kubicki said. “When we sent our kids home Thursday and we were not going to open Friday, we got the Zoom app. All across the world it’s how people

are communicating,” said Colon. Now youth center members can check in online via Zoom at the same time the doors would normally open at 2 p.m. “I think it’s going well. We had to get the word out and understand what the process is,” Martin said of moving online. “Kids are in different situations. Some are taking care of siblings while parents are working. Unfortunately, some may not be taking it as seriously as they should be. I think it’s a mixed bag in general. They’re frustrated they don’t have a youth center to go to, and even school to go to … One kid said, ‘I’m putting the phone down



some music or just keep up with each other,” Kubicki said. Kubicki has another date in mind as he works on the project. As things stood when he was being interviewed, Kubicki is scheduled to begin basic training on June 22 to become a member of the Army Reserves, specializing as an auto mechanic. “Anything on wheels,” he said. He’ll maintain that commitment through his senior year at Doherty and graduation and also likely through college, which he hopes to attend. Moving to Worcester from New York, when he joined the Worcester Youth Center, “I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. The youth center helped him get his first job as a caddy at the Green Hill Park golf course. “There’s a lot of people to help you with whatever tough situations you’re going through. There’s someone to talk to. There’s a lot more people you can connect with,” he said. He lives at home in Worcester with his “baby sister,” father and step-mother. Besides school, Kubicki has a job at Walgreen’s Pharmacy. “I do notice a bit some more stress about it,” he said of his feelings during the pandemic. “Especially working in an essential environment. I also spend a lot more time in the house unfortunately with the whole COVID going on. I usually play basketball, or I’m running, exercising.” But Kubicki said he’s enjoying being a part of the HopeVid-2020 project, and might visit other groups online. “The writing portion — I might be on that a little bit,” he said. “I do think it really targets my interests personally. I love the arts in general. It allows you to express creatively in the unfortunate time we’re in. This is actually us, how we’re feeling, how we’re doing — and just really let loose.” Colon also oversees a writing group as part of the project. “People are going into other groups (besides their specialty). ‘Can I see pictures?’ ‘Can I write a poem?’ They can say, ‘OK, this is what it looks like to me. This is what it sounds like to me’ … When they put it on as a piece of poetry, or monologue or paint something, you know it’s coming from them. That’s their truth,” she said. “The response has been so exciting. I think it really has shown us all over again that we’re social beings and we cannot succeed alone without each other. With the 2 p.m. check-in, it’s just nice to hear another human being.”

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and doing some reflection.’” The youth center decided to make HopeVid-2020 its major project in the current situation, Colon said. “First of all, they have all this energy from being inside. The Zoom platform is brilliant and lets them create something that’s important to them. The digital arts — kids are instinctively drawn to that. They really, really took to it,” she said. One hope is that the HopeVid-2020 time capsule will become part of the archives of the Worcester Historical Museum, Colon said. Meanwhile, a number of volunteers in areas such as sound editing have been stepping forward to bring their expertise to the project. Many youths are creating remotely on their phones and have been given tips on recording, Colon said. Roberto Diaz, program director at the youth center, is coordinating music production. When youths send in their recordings and footage to the youth center, Diaz and volunteer sound engineers and editors will start mixing and put it all together on a timeline and all the youth center’s social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. “We’re talking about a landing page for the entity itself,” Colon said. Following the daily 2 p.m. “wellchecking,” youth center members break out into groups and miniworkshops. Kubicki is a member of a youth center music group that is working on an extended piece that will allow for individual expression while also being a whole, unified work. He can play several instruments, including cello, string bass, electric bass and some guitar. He is also a member of a jazz band and has played rock and R&B. “You check in at 2 p.m. and they ask on a scale of 1 to 10 how are you feeling. Then they move on the question of the day, then we split off into our groups,” Kubicki said. “In the music group we kind of do our own thing and bring it together. We decided on a beat together. I’m sticking to the instrumental part (on the extended piece).” There’s a “solid eight or so” in Kubicki’s music group right now. “Some people come in for a day. You get an outside perspective,” he said. “It’s really how are we doing and how we are feeling. My goal is to create a riff so that I can incorporate that into the beat. Nydia’s given us a date (to finish the piece). It’s actually coming together.” At the end of the session each day, youth center members may all come together again and “maybe share



The Library of Disposable Art: Beer Cans DAVID MACPHERSON



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now, it’s time to go to the art museum. Get ready to see a lot of art. Be prepared to be overwhelmed and thrown into shut down through sensory overload. See trends and head scratchers. That much art, you will want to scurry home and have a nice beer to calm your nerves. Well, you are in luck, because the art museum for today’s field trip is at Friendly’s Discount Liquor Store in Whitinsville. Seeing art at a liquor store is a nice alternative to the expected art museum. There is no admission fee. You are able to touch the art, just not drink it (until purchased). You are also expected to make a stop at the gift shop (or register) and take something home. Having so much art, so much product, for you to experience should not be cheap and you ought to buy yourself some fine art, or at least a six pack. When I was just a young drinker, there was not a lot of choices for beer at the store. You had the Milwaukee School of Pilsner Art and that was about it. And the cans were nothing exciting to look at or contemplate. We are in a renaissance for beer currently. There are many small breweries, some right in town, making a wide variety of beer. And their cans and bottles are decorated with witty titles and striking visuals. Isn’t it a fact that one of the side effects of the Renaissance was a focus on the arts? Well, the beer can art gets that same bump. It is like every row at the liquor store is another gallery at a museum. So much to look at. They say when you are in the market to buy fine art that you should only purchase something you are dreaming about and realize you can’t live without? Isn’t that the same thought process when we go and buy a half case of IPA?

A series of beer cans designed by local artists in 2018 for 3cross Brewing.

Let’s walk around the galleries and see what moves us. Please be quiet, or the docent who is currently removing post-date beer from the shelves, might ask us to keep it down, or they might ask for our ID. You never know. We can start with the fine line cartoony label for Flying Dream Brewing Co.’s The Nightmare After Christmas. The fancy lettering informs us it is a Russian Imperial Stout. Down a shelf and we have the good girl art of Becky Likes the Smell, a double IPA. The good girl, obviously named Becky, has a full sleeve of tattoos and is giving us a sneer. A few beers away is a beautiful can practically radiating like a lava lamp. The beer is Charms & Hexes. There are abstract shapes that must mean something. We must stare at it longer to decipher its meaning. Art is never easy to understand. The beer can art for Wizard Burial Ground: Bourbon Barrell Aged Quadrupel Ale is like something that was airbrushed on a 1970s van. It has wizards and it’s groovy. On to another shelf we see all the different colorful cans for the Prairie Artisan Ales. These are very distinctive in name and in image. I like these very bright, cartoony cans. You see one can

from this brewery and you can always identify which is theirs. It’s like going into a gallery that has an exhibition of just one artist. The same is true of the shelf with the Prairie beers. The images have a Looney Tune Cartoon feel. There are characters with eyes bulging out and pumpkins checking their Twitter feed. The names are great too: Apricot Funk, Bomb, Vape


Tricks. It’s like potable underground comix. For more serious art, you might want to cross the aisle and check out the beer from Dieu du Ciel. They are French Canadian, so you know they got class. The labels to the bottles have a sense of dread. There is a German Expression vibe going on with this art. It is not for the fainthearted, bucko. And all

the beer has French names, so that must make it important. Ah, the pretensions of art reach all the way to the beer section. I have no idea what the beers taste of, but just looking at all these beer cans and bottle labels can make one drunk and unable to drive for at least two hours. It is art. It gives off the art hangover just like going to a museum. And we take the art home and we break into its top and we drink what we find inside and are very happy. But what do we do with the can? We can collect it. Put it in the basement with all the other beer cans. But no. We toss it. We are expected to. Hell, there is a deposit on all these works of art. We are not expected to keep it. Beer never lasts. That is true even for the art that wraps around it. David Macpherson is a poet and humorist living in the Worcester area, and is the host of Listen! A Poetry Reading, which normally meets Sundays at Nick’s Bar and Restaurant, and is currently meeting Sunday nights online.



Don’t overinflate preacher’s importance BILL SHANER

TIME OF THE PREACHER: We really can’t do anything about this


Tired of hear- ‘Worcester Song’ ing Trump complaints Its native son-poet Richard Fox ALAN IRA GORDON


Adams Square Baptist Church guy, huh? He held another service on Sunday, despite having been fined several times by the Worcester Police Department for a few hundred bucks each time. If that’s the worst we can do, of course he’s just going to eat the cost. He’ll make it back in the free press he’s getting in a day. He now gets a platform to talk about how basic public health measures to combat a global crisis are in fact “tyranny.” Now, I want to be careful here and say the civil libertarian in me does not want to root for anyone to be punished by the state. But the state is the only infrastructure we have to deal with this world historical event. Look at the case of Walmart. Without the state they’d have let every single employee at their Worcester store get sick and die before they shut down. So I am going to sort of root for this pastor to be punished by the state. They should throw the book at him and add pages to the book until there’s something that sticks. For real. What I think is counter-productive, however, and why I’ve held off on writing about this for so long, is that by being such an obviously selfish jerk, this pastor has been able to attain a bit of celebrity. The media loves this archetype. We love to prop up people which our readers can then hate on. It’s why Trump won, really. And this guy is obviously following the playbook of leaning into the heel roll to improve his brand visibility. So I think the way we cover this story is counterproductive. Yes, it is news for sure that a pastor is violating state orders. But let’s not turn this guy into some sort of villain. He’s just a run-of-the-mill opportunistic grifter in the deeply American tradition. Better to ignore it.

To: Joseph Gustafson

THE BUDGET WARS: Well this week we received another indica-

Valerie Jackson lives in Worcester

Sticking up for Janice Harvey WILLIAM HYNES

Keep ripping the Jack O’Lantern of a president we suffer as citizens. His rodomontade begs for routine puncturing. Joe Gustafson should stick to poetry. William Hynes lives in Holden.

Much evidence backs that up from Bishop on down the line: the city vastly hums a voice with poets devouring its history to spew forth writings that drift upon fresh currents of accolades. They patiently spend time in her waiting room, nourishing themselves amongst his mother’s pears re-energized in this brightside time and place, to speak in new voices steeped with song and sound from the heritage of their predecessor’s Worcester day. Alan Ira Gordon is a Worcester native and resident. He is an instructor in the urban studies department at Worcester State University. He’s written poetry and short stories for many years, and many years ago he won the Worcester Magazine annual short story competition for his story, “Maya Leaves On Saturday.”



MCGOVERN V WALSH: So this is silly and stupid and really will only resonate with people who follow politics like some sick game (so most of my readers, probably). David Bernstein over on Twitter Dot Com decided to do a best Mass politicians of the 2010s bracket. We’re all bored, why not. The final match of said bracket was our own Jim McGovern versus Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. I am disappointed to say that Walsh took a whopping 61.2 percent of the vote, and ‘Ol Jim only netted 38.8 percent, out of 2,811 votes. To my mind it’s not even close who’s had better politics or been more effective. McGovern all day. Plus, Boston is terrible anyway and Worcester rules. I’m going to go on a limb and say it, the only reason why Walsh won is because there’s more people in Boston who have internet poisoning and would thusly participate in such an exercise.

Yes, there is someone else out here as sick of Janice Harvey — me! I used to really enjoy her columns before she became a political writer; they were clever, witty, relatable, and often heartwarming. Now the vitriol and hatred spewing from her is palpable, so when I see her column in Worcester Magazine, I scan it first for President Trump’s name, and if I spot it, I skip the column. You might want to do the same (I only read the “Moody Blues” one because of your letter). As far as her comment regarding Governors Baker and Cuomo, I actually laughed. How can someone as educated as Ms. Harvey, a teacher, be so taken in by those who would so readily disregard our Constitutional rights?

channels Kunitz, pronouncing that this place provokes poetry.

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tion that this budget season has to be a knives out affair. What I’m talking about is the capital budget, which is essentially how City Hall plans to invest extra money above providing basic services. The plan, released this week, calls for $76 million in new loans the city wants to take out, and $109.4 million in loans that were already approved which, by the way, includes $63.8 million to fund Polar Park construction. Meanwhile we’re talking about maybe level funding department budgets (Tip: whenever you hear “level funded” it means people are getting laid off ). We don’t know yet whether that will be a reality, but it’s certainly out there in the air as we wait for more concrete budget numbers. It would be nice if someone with any modicum of power could make the case that we shouldn’t be taking on any new borrowing while considering staff cuts. Whether that happens also remains to be seen.



The Final Cut St. Cyr Salon and Day Spa to Close after 55 Years SARAH CONNELL SANDERS

The St. Cyr Salon & Spa at 235 Park Ave. in Worcester was converted from apartments to a beauty salon.



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t. Cyr Salon and Day Spa has been an iconic presence in Worcester since 1965, and its owner, Bob Cyr, has had a colorful career not only as a beautician and businessman, but also as a Marine and boxer. He was even once named “Mr. Worcester” in a bodybuilding contest. He’s a man who’s seen a lot, and he doesn’t mince words when he he says why he’s closing his salon for good after 55 years.



Bob Cyr and his late wife, Nancy, opened St. Cyr Salon and Spa in the 1960s.


“I’m running away,” said Cyr. “I’m just so scared of this Coronavirus. That’s why I’m closing the salon.” It’s an end to a storied chapter in a storied life. At the peak of his career, he owned three schools where he was known for scouting top talent in the industry, but even before that, he’d lived many lives. Cyr was born in Worcester in 1941 and moved to Maine as a teenager to work as a lobsterman. At 18, he joined the United States Marine Corps and became a welterweight boxing champion. Upon his return to his hometown of Worcester, he ran into an old friend, Reggie LeBlanc, at a hamburger joint on Shrewsbury Street called Speedy’s. LeBlanc was getting into the salon business and invited Cyr to attend beauty school with him. Cyr was hesitant at first. It wasn’t common at that time for men to become Clairol colorists or makeup artists, but LeBlanc had convinced a whole group of men to enroll together. According to Cyr, the instructor said it was the “craziest class” in history. Soon after, Cyr pawned his most valuable ring for the money to make

With Sincere Gratitude, We Say.....




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There are no words to express how difficult the decision has been to not re-open St. Cyr Salon and Spa after we are able to resume and recover as a country. Thank you to every loyal client for putting your beauty needs in our hands, sharing your life events and celebrations with us. With 55 years of memories to cherish, thank you to all past and present employees. Our success was a direct result of your hard work and dedication. We want to help in any way we can. Your service providers will be contacting you directly with their new location. We have also sent you an email with their contact information. Please feel free to direct any questions to info@stcyrsalon.com. Along with my staff may I once again express our gratitude for your business. May God bless you and your families. Wishing you all the very best.

Robert Cyr and Staff “Robert, thank you for your generosity and guidance. You have been an inspiration to so many of us. We will proudly carry what you have instilled in us in our lives and careers.” - with love from the Staff.


a downpayment on a wig business at 235 Park Ave. in Worcester. His empire grew to include a Supercuts franchise and eventually his own salon. Cyr lived by the words, “Mirror, mirror, is it true that others see me as you do?” Cyr married his high school sweetheart Nancy, and together they opened St. Cyr Salon and Spa. Employees say that Nancy’s beautiful smile, kind heart, and sense of humor created a balanced and calm atmosphere in the business. As St. Cyr grew, the couple purchased the three-story building at 235 Park Ave. In the late 1960s, the Cyrs developed a cosmetic line and dispatched a successful sales team using a model similar to that of Avon. They sold their first line to a large firm and turned their efforts toward building a luxury skincare, shampoo and fragrance brand, which benefited from national distribution for many years after that. On a roadtrip to the White Mountains during the 1980s, the Cyrs got caught in a terrible storm and pulled over at a restaurant on Route 16 in the small town of Bartlett, New Hampshire. They stayed the night in a cottage on the property and woke up to the most majestic view. “I bought the place that day,” he remembers. The Cyrs went on to build one of the region’s top resorts — Nordic Village Luxury Mountain Getaways. Cyr showed up to a planning board meeting shortly after the initial purchase wearing a fur coat and an earring. A town selectman followed him out and suggested he stop dressing like a “city slicker” if

he wanted anyone to take him seriously. He listened. “I sold Nordic Village for approximately $13 million in 2007,” says Cyr. Nancy Cyr passed away in 1996 after a battle with cancer. Her husband of 37 years started the Angel of Peace Foundation in her honor and created a beautiful monument for her at Nestlenook Farm in Jackson, New Hampshire, where Cyr plans to move full time now that his salon has closed. He intends to continue operating Nestlenook Farm next winter as a popular destination for sleigh rides, ice skating and snowshoeing. “She was a wonderful woman, a valuable asset to the business, and the love of my life,” says Cyr. Cyr has announced the permanent closing of St. Cyr Salon and Spa with a full but heavy heart in the uncertain time of COVID-19. He is especially grateful to his loyal staff whom he considers to be his family. He realizes their dedication directly contributed to the salon’s success for many years and he hopes that they will go on to open their own businesses just as he did at the start of his career. The most iconic image of Cyr shows him standing in front of a Rolls Royce outside his salon in the 1960s. He is flanked by his two beloved Afghan Hounds and an array of beautiful stylists, all dressed in white. It is a sharp contrast to the fearful tone he carries today. “I ran my course,” he says, “I experienced success. Now, I’m just scared to death of being around people.”

Cyr has announced the permanent closing of St. Cyr Salon and Spa with a full but heavy heart in the uncertain time of COVID-19. He is especially grateful to his loyal staff whom he considers to be his family.




artists wanted Let us feature your artwork in Worcester Magazine’s

Artist Spotlight!

me Email a brief bio and so to samples of your work ia.com WMeditor@gatehousemed r to be considered for ou Artist Spotlight!



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Thank you. To the everyday heroes who continue to go to work, so we can stay home. We appreciate you.


CITY LIFE If you are an artist, or know of a local artist, email WMeditor@gatehousemedia.com. Fair warning, in order to publish your work, you’ll need to provide a small bio and high resolution digital copies of some of your art. We reserve the right to choose what will run, based on resolution and what will reproduce best on newsprint.



Jordyn Valencourt is a senior photography student at Endicott College and soon to be a 2020 graduate. For the past four years she has been studying all areas of photography, but her passion lies in fashion and portraits. These are a few pieces of work from various projects she has worked on. Although these images are all black and white, she enjoys working in color very much. Currently working out of the Brookfields, she finds herself drawn to the North Shore. See more of her work at w ​ ww.jvalphoto.com​and on instagram @jval.photo. Please feel free to reach out to Valencourt for any inquiries or to work together.




DiLeo Gas to distribute $10k in gift cards to those in need SARAH CONNELL SANDERS


y now, you’ve probably seen an episode of “Some Good News” with John Krasinski, the beloved albeit sheepish actor who played Jim on “The Office.” Krasinski manages to find the silver lining during a daunting chapter in the history of mankind with the help of his star-studded circle of friends. He reminds his audience that there’s plenty for which we can still be grateful. After all, mother nature has had a chance to take a deep breath. Strangers are showing kindness to one another. We’re all saying thank you more often. And, we can buy an entire growler of Hill Farmstead Edward from Armsby Abbey, to go.

(Krasinski hasn’t explicitly mentioned that last one, but I never thought I’d see the day.) Worcester has its own fair share of good news, so I thought this week, I’d share one story that made me smile, courtesy of the fine folks at Dileo Gas Inc. Dileo Gas hired Brian Sora based on his background in the nonprofit world, an unusual qualification for the Director of Operations at a propane company. “They wanted to take someone aboard that could not only help with the growth of the business but also help expand their community involvement because that was important to them as well,” Sora explained, adding, “Their belief in not just serving our community, but actu-

ally being a part of the community, is what makes me proud to say I work here every day. DiLeo Gas is a family-owned and operated small business that has delivered propane to area residents for three decades. The DiLeos have always believed that businesses have a responsibility to their community, be it social, environmental or economic. “With everything going on right now, we know a good majority of our customer base, and community for that matter, are experiencing hardship,” said Sora. The team set to work brainstorming how they might ease some of the stress at hand. They turned to Worcester Community Action Council, which has helped to provide home heating bill

assistance for lowincome customers of DiLeo Gas for Brian Sora prepares for the DiLeo Gas gift over 15 years. DiLeo card giveaway to support families in need. serves roughly 25% SUBMIT TED PHOTO of WCAC’s propane clients. from local farms, grocery stores and “We wanted to have the bigrestaurants in increments of $25. gest impact we could, so we began Recent giveaways have included purchasing gift cards from local esQueen’s Cups, Chuck’s Steakhouse, sential businesses like grocery stores and Chefee’s Diner. Recipients do not to distribute to these lower-income need to be DiLeo customers, they families that are using propane,” said simply need to explain that they are Sora, “This way, we can help those a propane client of WCAC in general. who are most at risk afford the things There are also opportunities to win they need while supporting local, gift cards if you follow DiLeo Gas on family-owned businesses at the same Facebook. time.” Do you have some good news to DiLeo Gas plans to distribute share? Let’s talk. more than $10,000 worth of gift cards


Savageland makes hard-hitting debut VICTOR D. INFANTE



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he trio of artists that comprise the hip-hop combo Savageland don’t waste any time letting the listener know we’re they’re coming from on their eponymous debut album. “Living in the States, you’re living on one of the most brutal societies in the history of the world,” says Rage against the Machine frontman Zach de la Rocha in a sampled snippet of a speech where he lays out the sins baked into the country’s DNA: native genocide, chattel slavery, the dropping of the atomic bomb. De la Rocha is talking about the necessity of challenging the systems that have emerged from this darkness. As framing devices go, it’s not subtle, but then, it wasn’t meant to be. Savageland — comprising Worcester-area rappers Weapon E.S.P. and Ghost of the Machine, with New York producer Reckonize Real — have set the album up as a study in defiance. Not just in the predictable swagger that permeates the hip-hop world. The album shifts between taking political, cultural and artistic punches, sometimes with the shallow rapper braggadocio which is fairly commonplace, sometimes with deeper, more intellectually complex

rhymes, often in the same song. The result is a portrait of a world where one has to fight for every inch of success or freedom. “I swear I was born with a beard quoting Geronimo Pratt with words from William Shakespeare,” raps Ghost, in “Bruce Lee With the Scratches.” “Front row at the apocalypse smoking roach clips, Superman couldn’t save Metropolis so that (racial expletive) dipped./A Savageland thriving in the ashes, you Denzel after the lashes when we finished rapping your baby moms and her check the only thing you trappin’/pyromaniac’s set ablaze whoever they gassin’.” There’s a lot for the listener to unpack there, not the least of which is a simultaneous embracing of comic book tropes — “The Savageland” is a reference to a dinosaur-filled “land that time forgot” in Marvel Comics, mostly in X-Men stories — while embracing the idea that any superhero is showing up to save anyone. Interestingly, the two videos the artists have put out — one for “Bruce Lee,” and another for the song “Enoch” — have both made use of desolate seeming locations within the Worcester area that convey that sense of dystopian wasteland which the artists have used as both backdrop and point of reference.

Indeed, backdrop and context are everything on this album, and a lot of that is left in Reckonize’s hands. The beats he lays down are layered and have a sort of eerie languidness, which adds a sort of richness when Weapon comes out punching on “Dystopia,” rapping, “Spartacus in the pit wit/ Claws coming outta my fists/It’s Mr. Adamantium dipped/The taste of blood’s addictive now I gotta admit/ Eating rappers alive.” “Dystopia” shines solo spotlights on Weapon, Ghost and guest rapper Estee Nack, each one bristling with swagger, but also distinct and isolated by a swell of music between each rapper’s verse. Much the same happens with “Atomic Bonds,” which features guest DJ Grazzhoppa, but by now, the point and counterpoint of Ghost and Weapon’s styles has become evident, with the latter’s lyrical denseness balancing out Weapon’s verbal lacerations.

Establishing the give and take of the collaboration is important, because it’s about here where the album gets to the heart of what it’s about: “The skin you in could get you life behind bars,” raps Ghost on “7th Trumpet,” “Or slap on wrist/Killed black man to crowdfund a trip.” He wields the political cudgel confidently here, and it’s one that always seems horribly timely. In the days since this album was released, for example, charges have finally been made against two men in the slaying of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, a black man whose shooting by two white men was captured on video. The charges took two months to come, leading many to level charges of racism against a system dragging its feet. This song was probably written before all that, but it doesn’t matter: The subject matter is always sickeningly timely. It’s interesting that the rappers have drenched so much of this stretch of the album in Bible references. The title “7th Trumpet” heralds the return of Jesus Christ, whereas “Goliath,” of course, references the famous battle between David and the giant who was felled by a slingshot. The former speaks to the idea that this moment that the rappers are illustrating is the actual apocalypse, the latter inferring a fight against seemingly impossible

odds. Both symbols, however, come laden with a sense of hope: In both situations, good eventually triumphs over evil. Of course, it’s hard to feel that hope when you’re in the middle if it all: “The horror lies in what motivates human organism,” raps Weapon, in “Dark Alliance,” “Lord of the Flies immortalized in our rendition/y’all could choose to listen/probably choose to ignore the wisdom/Space cadets lining up 8 balls like our solar system/Look em dead eye you can tell they soul missing.” Likewise, in “Enoch” — which presumably is named for the son of Cain, the first murderer — Ghost decries, “domestic hypercriticism Racist Christian terrorism fear monger algorithms/ privileged people beat the system. Christmas Eve paganism, Ronald Reaganomic victims pay ya mom and dad’s pension/call your album plagiarism.” The violence exists at all levels. It’s baked into everything, even our music. It goes all the way back to Cain and Abel. As the album winds down with “Kumite” and finally, “Brainchild,” it all coalesces again, the beat and sampled music seemingly building a wall between the two individual rappers, leaving each of them isolated and battle-ready again at the end. It feels like the end of a boxing match, with the two rappers exhausted and bloodied, but still unmistakably triumphant.



Bull Run in Shirley regroups with takeout and Provisions BARBARA M. HOULE


The Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley has opened a Provisions Shop, selling everyday goods such as flour, eggs and toilet paper as well as meats and seafood, prepared meals and beer and wine. Pictured are owners Alison and George Tocci, executive chef Stephen Barck and Bryan Sawyer. PHOTO/ASHLEY GREEN to do is heat and eat. Since we’re on a Monday deadline for this column, we’re not giving you all the details for the pop-up, assuming it sold out days ago. Hey, the last one sold out in a matter of hours! If you have a tidbit for the column, call (508) 868-5282. Send email to bhoulefood@gmail.com.


Participant Domenic Mercurio in a recent email said Friendly House Executive Director Gordon Hargrove was in attendance and thanked Monsignor F. Stephen Pedone, pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Our Lady of Loreto Parish, and the “very generous” parishioners for their unceasing commitment and support of Friendly House’s mission to assist families in need. Hargrove explained how COVID-19 has placed Friendly House’s families in increasingly difficult positions, and financial needs are becoming greater and greater as their ability to support themselves has been severely compromised. According to Mercurio, Msgr. Pedone reported that as a result of the compassion of parishioners, the food drive collected more than 1,700 pounds of food and $700 in monetary and gift card donations for Friendly House families. He said the pride and gratitude he felt for the parish community could not be sufficiently described or overstated. Mercurio said another food drive is planned for June. Another Pop-Up at the Castle The Pop-Up Pick-Up Dinner from the Castle Restaurant in Leicester last Saturday was so successful the owners have scheduled another for May 16. James Nicas and his sister, Evangeline Nicas, were overwhelmed with calls and notes about last week’s event. “So many people contacted us, even the ones who called too late to reserve,” said Jim Nicas. The restaurant will accept a few more meal reservations this time around, according to Nicas, who said it again would be first-come, first-served. Orders are packed in aluminum containers so all you have


Bull Run. We plan to be here for our 75th anniversary, 76th and beyond. We’re not going anywhere.” In a recent Bull Run newsletter, Tocci noted how on a Saturday, a neighbor picked up dinner to go and dropped off a simple brown paper bag filled with origami cranes. She had made the cranes, a symbol of peace worldwide, from the red and white Tavern placements. Tocci also wrote, “While we will never get used to seeing empty dining rooms — or a hideous buzzing refrigerator against our Taproom wall — it feels good to see the tables used for bags brimming with goods for people. We’ve brought in shelving where there used to be concerts. Even that large refrigerator perched incongruously in a corner of our Colonial Tavern means we’ve been able to give staff hours as they help weigh, sort, bag, box, stack and restock. “‘Feel that refrigerator is mocking me,’ said your innkeeper slumped over a glass of wine after closing up Week Seven. ‘That refrigerator means we’re in business,’ was our general manager’s unvarnished reply.’” Visit www.bullrunrestaurant.com for information about ordering from the Provisions Shop, etc. Telephone: (978) 425-4311. The business currently is open Wednesday through Sunday. Connect on social media. Curbside takeout at Sole, VIA and One Eleven Worcester Restaurant Group began offering curbside takeout on May 12 at all three of its restaurants: The Sole Proprietor, 118 Highland St.; VIA Italian Table, 89 Shrewsbury St.; One Eleven Chop House, 111 Shrewsbury St. “The storm clouds are beginning to fade and we can see the light starting to break through,” was Worcester Restaurant Group’s message before reopening curbside takeout service. Follow the restaurants on social media, or visit websites for more information. Parishioners hold food drive to benefit Friendly House Coronavirus kindness: Members of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and Our Lady of Loreto Knights of Columbus recently held a second food drive for the benefit of Friendly House families in Worcester.

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he family-owned Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley celebrates 75 years in business next year, having built a foundation of trust and loyalty with customers and community. The coronavirus outbreak has shed light on the importance of that customer loyalty as the Bull Run now focuses all efforts on takeout/delivery and a new Provisions Shop, according to Alison Tocci, co-owner with her husband, George Tocci. “Our customers and community have brought us this far and have not let us down now,” she said. “We are overwhelmed and thankful for all the support. People are very kind.” The owners have shifted the business from a restaurant with seven dining rooms, robust concert venue and corporate and wedding facility to meet the changing demands of community. “Like other businesses, we’re thinking outside the box,” said Tocci, innkeeper at Bull Run. The couple really didn’t know what to expect when the business pivoted to offer curbside pickup and meal delivery to nine towns at the same time it launched a Provisions Shop, she said. Online ordering was set up and working within 24 hours. “It was a fast turnaround, and we couldn’t have done it without the help of our employees,” said Tocci. “They are our A team. We are so appreciative of the staff.” The Provisions Shop definitely is a one-stop source, offering an estimated 300 items that include produce, restaurant-quality meats and seafood, poultry, dairy, dry goods, snacks, household products, toiletries, gift boxes, prepared meals, beer, wine, etc. Baking items, such as flour and yeast, especially are in high demand, according to Tocci. Crucial to the restaurant’s success is the longstanding personal relationships with local vendors such as Little Leaf Farms in Shirley, a 25-acre hydroponic farm and leading producer of baby lettuces sold throughout the Northeast. Paul Sellew, founder and CEO of Little Leaf Farms, said Bull Run has been a tremendous partner and local advocate for the company established in 2016. “We salute the Bull Run’s ingenuity at this time as the

staff has had to transition to a whole new way of doing business,” he said. “Little Leaf is just down the road ( four miles) and delivers lettuce to us the same day it’s harvested,” said Tocci, who explained she discovered the farm while on a bike ride. “I introduced myself, got a farm tour and knew right away that we had to have their greens. Little Leaf is pretty much the only brand of lettuce featured on our menu and several special recipes are part of our take-out meals.” This past Mother’s Day, Bull Run partnered with Little Leaf Farms and featured their crispy baby greens in salads served with take-out familystyle meals and a la carte dinners. Also, Little Leaf Farms accepted nominations for mothers who deserved a special day and provided Bull Run Mother’s Day family meals to them. Stephen Barck is the executive chef at Bull Run who updated seasonal menus and the new takeout specials posted online. Tocci refers to the chef ’s dishes as “amazing.” Alison Tocci is the fourth generation to operate Bull Run. Her dad, Lee Guercio, took over the family business in 1946. She and her husband bought it 10 years ago from her brother Lee Guercio Jr. The couple previously lived in New York City; George was in the music business and Alison worked in advertising and marketing. Bull Run changed to a farm-to-table restaurant when the Toccis took it over. It is the only green-certified restaurant in the area using very little plastic and only recyclable cardboard for takeout. Before the pandemic, the business employed 80 people. Thirty of the full-time employees still are on staff, in addition to the general manager and event planner. “Right now we’re only booking functions and musical venues through 2021,” said Tocci, who explained that more than 30 weddings had been scheduled before the pandemic. “The good news is that Bull Run lived through the Civil War, the Great Depression and the 2007 recession,” said Tocci, adding that the business also took a hit when Fort Devens closed in 1996. “We learned to embrace diversity, to innovate and be flexible and nimble,” she said. “We are deeply rooted in the community and generations have enjoyed family functions and music at



‘Bad Education,’ ‘Lost Children’ faves amid pandemic viewing JIM KEOGH “Bad Education” I’ve said it before: I’m a sucker for any story where the hero is a journalist. Based on the true case of the single largest public-school embezzlement scandal in American history, the HBO film “Bad Education” chronicles the peak and fall of school superintendent Frank Tassone (Hugh Jackman), whose crisp suits and charismatic manner mask a set of highly elastic morals. Frank and his business manager, Pam Gluckin (Allison Janney), have turned their Long Island school district — one of the highest ranked in the country — into their personal ATM, extracting millions to fund posh lifestyles. Two things trip them up: Pam’s lunkhead son uses a school credit card to purchase materials for a home-improvement project, and Rachel (Geraldine Viswanathan), a crusading reporter for the high school newspaper, begins asking uncomfortable questions about why the district is building a skywalk to

connect two school buildings rather than fix the leaky roofs. Watching Frank squirm as the scam comes apart is a thing of beauty. When he gets cornered, Frank doubles down on his bad behavior, which includes issuing a quietly menacing threat against the student reporter: Expose me, and things will get rough for you. But how? No Harvard recommendation from him? Rachel is OK with it. She’s got a story and she’s not letting go. “Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children” In 1979 and 1980, 29 AfricanAmerican children and young adults were abducted from the streets of Atlanta and murdered. Think about those numbers. Forty years later, they still sound like a piece of fevered fiction rather than a grotesque reality. The five-part HBO documentary “Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children” gives a detailed accounting of the investigation and subsequent trial of the man eventually convicted of two of the slayings,

a local music impresario named Wayne Williams. The film builds a compelling case for Williams’ guilt, then in the later episodes counterargues that case by introducing formerly suppressed evidence suggesting members of the Ku Klux Klan may have played a role in some of the murders. Interviews with law enforcement officials and family members reveal a dichotomy within the community over whether the right man is sitting in a prison cell. The local cops and FBI agents insist Williams is the killer, while a significant number of the victims’ family members are equally adamant that Williams is a scapegoat and justice has been denied. As morbidly fascinating as the case itself is the Atlanta political ecosystem surrounding it. Atlanta was a city on the rise, and local boosters pleaded for quick resolution to the murders so the focus could return on the area’s economic expansion. But the voices of those parents and siblings — still grieving, still agonizing — remind you that Atlanta’s

Hugh Jackman and Geraldine Viswanathan in “Bad Education.”


child murders never stop echoing for some. “Middleditch & Schwartz” This I understand: Improvisation is the ultimate training ground for comic performers. Would “Saturday Night Live” have existed without the comedy farm league of The Second City, The Groundlings and the Upright Citizens Brigade? What I don’t understand is how a life form sharing the same basic carbon blueprint as myself can stand in front of a group of people and be spontaneously funny. Asked to do the same, I

would prefer to smother myself with a pillow. Thomas Middleditch (“Silicon Valley”) and Ben Schwartz (“Parks and Recreation”) perform three improv shows on their new Netflix special and the pair are ridiculously good at it. They inhabit characters, invent countless absurdities, and are quick to recover when they’ve lost the narrative thread. The first two shows, which take place at a wedding-goneinsane and in a law school class visited by an alien, are keepers.



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Weird fun with Margot Robbie in ‘Birds of Prey’ TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE Lovable psychopaths lead the way in new DVD releases for May 12. “Birds of Prey”: Tribune News Service film critic Katie Walsh says the best thing to come out of 2016’s much-derided DC antihero team-up “Suicide Squad” was Margot Robbie’s inspired take on Harley Quinn, the self-proclaimed “Joker’s girl” and quirky chaos clown. Robbie’s Quinn, with her colorful pigtails and baseball bat, instantly became an icon, a perennial Halloween costume, eclipsing even her lesser half, Jared Leto’s heavily tattooed Joker. Now, writes Walsh, she’s better than ever with her own girl gang in the brilliant, breakneck “Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn.” Director Cathy Yan soars with her stylish sophomore feature, which is colorful, campy and cheerfully brutal, a perfect reflection of Harley herself.

Robbie, as usual, tears into the role with a wide-eyed gusto that is equally childlike and unhinged. “Birds of Prey” is also the cinematic introduction to the other birds in the flock, the beloved comic characters Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), styled as a butt-kicking blaxploitation queen, and Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a mysterious yet neurotic assassin out for vengeance. Along with renegade cop Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) and precocious pickpocket Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco), this is Harley’s new girl gang, who band together against the sinister Roman Sionis, aka Black Mask (Ewan McGregor). “Birds of Prey” is a circus for the senses, but the performances give the film its heart and humor, Walsh says. “Fantasy Island”: The 1970s-80s prime-time staple is reimagined as a horror movie. But Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips says

it’s mostly just horrible, with four intertwining fantasies and four stories’ worth of lame ideas that are poorly executed. “Shameless: Season 10”: More dysfunctional fun with the Gallagher clan on Chicago’s South Side. William H. Macy is Frank, the alcoholic patriarch of the group.

Margot Robbie stars in “Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley [ WARNER BROS.] Quinn.”

ALSO NEW ON DVD MAY 12 “The Photograph”: Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield take a good long look at love. “Lost Transmissions”: Mental illness drama set in the Los Angeles music world. Stars Simon Pegg and Juno Temple. “Lucifer: The Complete Fourth Season”: Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis), the Devil, moves from Hell to Los Angeles where he owns a nightclub. Based on the DC Comics character. “Narcos: Mexico”: This companion

series to Netflix’s “Narcos” focuses on the drug trade in Mexico. This is season one; season two premiered on Netflix earlier this year. “Redcon-1”: Special forces soldiers fight zombies in Britain. “Stray Dolls”: Crime thriller stars Olivia DeJonge and Cynthia Nixon “The Traitor”: The life of mob boss Tommaso Buscetta, who was one of the first to become a police informant. “Vivarium”: A terrifying portrait of a young couple slowly unraveling under the crushing weight of social isolation. OUT ON DIGITAL HD MAY 12 “The Invisible Man”: This thriller starring Elizabeth Moss explores the psychological horror of domestic abuse. OUT ON DIGITAL HD MAY 13 “Top Gun”: Maverick, Goose and Ice Man are back. The 1986 Tom Cruise hit is out on Ultra HD Digital.



Timberyard Brewing takes advantage of lumberyard past with beer drive-thru MATTHEW TOTA


Kate Ohanesian, Timberyard’s taproom manager, prepares orders. would be a global pandemic, and we could use the brewhouse in this way,” said Kate Ohanesian, Timberyard’s taproom manager.



ment through a little slot in it, and then cars drive right through the brewery and pop their trunk.” Through its drive-thru, Timberyard has reclaimed some of the business it lost when its taproom closed. The brewery is even brewing more beer than it did before the pandemic to meet the new demand. And while it can never replace the taproom, the drive-thru is helping Timberyard connect with its customers and their families again. “People are bringing their kids and dogs out for the drive. And it’s not like they’re just coming to stock up on beer,” Ohanesian said. “We used to do this event the last Sunday of every month — a family day. We’ve been keeping up that tradition by making these activity packs for the kids that come through.” Soon, the brewery hopes the boost from the drive-thru will make it possible to bring back its fur-


The drive-thru at Timberyard Brewing Co. allows customers to drive into the former lumberyard warehouse to have beer and food placed in their trunks, without ever having to get out of their cars.

More breweries have turned to drive-thru sales to ensure the safety of their customers and employees, including Wachusett Brewing Co., which uses an Airstream trailer for its drive-thru window. Timberyard’s offers the most immersive experience yet, as it takes you through the brewhouse, past the stainless-steel tanks where your beer fermented. By design, Timberyard’s property is ideal for a drive-thru. Lumberyards typically allow for vehicles, especially trucks, to quickly and safely enter and exit. That layout works just as well for beer sales; on a typical Saturday, the brewery can serve about eight cars a minute. “We really lucked out with our buildings being on a former lumberyard, with two separate entrances large enough that a Mack Truck could drive through,” Ohanesian said. “We built a little kiosk out of old scrap plywood. We take pay-


M AY 14 - 20, 2020

uring the pandemic, Timberyard Brewing Co. in East Brookfield has started to look more like the lumberyard it replaced as, most days, a steady stream of vehicles line up in front of the old lumber warehouse. There is at least one major difference, of course. Instead of massive trucks queuing up at the entrance, then exiting with their order of lumber, the brewery sees long lines of cars leaving with cases of cans and takeout containers overflowing with smoked wings. Since opening in 2018, Timberyard has used its unique location, the former home of Howe Lumber, in exciting ways. The brewery transformed the hardware store and showroom into its taproom, converted the warehouse that once housed shelves upon shelves of lumber into its 15-barrel brewhouse and turned Howe’s offices into a kitchen. But with the COVID-19 outbreak shutting down its taproom, Timberyard has found perhaps the best use for the 8-acre yard: a drive-thru for fresh beer and BBQ. “It never occurred to us there

loughed staff. It has already needed more staff on hand to assist with food orders, including BBQ and smoked wings. “We’re trying to figure out how we can add people to work,” Ohanesian said. “We’re a pretty small team to begin with, and our jobs have changed so much. My job went from taproom manager to now more like running the line on the day of the drive-thru. We’re all pivoting our roles, but we’re seeing that we can bring most of our team back in the next month or so.” The drive-thru at Timberyard Brewing Co., 555 East Main St., will be open Saturdays from 1 to 6 p.m., Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. and Wednesdays from 5-8 p.m., for the rest of the month. Visit timberyardbrewing.com for an updated list of available beer and food. Tap Notes Last week, I told you the story behind a new beer from Moon Hill Brewing Co. and Anthony’s Liquor Mart, two small businesses in Gardner, and how it typifies craft beer’s culture of community and collaboration. More of these partnerships are happening every day in the industry, including just last week in Marlboro. Lost Shoe Brewing & Roasting Co. teamed up with the Donut Stand, a pop-up doughnut shop run by Mike and Hanna Lombardi, the chefs behind The Vin Bin’s cafés, to brew an imperial pastry stout, a style of beer defined by decadence. Lost Shoe brewed the stout, which will be available in cans later this month, with 80 glazed chocolate doughnuts from the Donut Stand. “We plan to do some other collaboration beers with the Donut Stand in the future,” said Lost Shoe co-founder Melynda Gallagher. “We miss having the Donut Stand pop-ups in our taproom, so this was a fun way to work together during these times.”


ADOPTION OPTION Welcome to Adoption Option, a partnership with the Worcester Animal Rescue League highlighting their adoptable pets. Check this space often to meet all of the great pets at WARL in need of homes. WARL is open seven days a week, noon-4 p.m., 139 Holden St. Check them out online at Worcesterarl.org, or call at (508) 853-0030.

Meet Callie! Callie lived with 4

children; the youngest is 7. Life can throw some curves, and the family couldn’t keep Callie who was their only pet. Callie wants to be your one-and-only pet as well. She doesn’t want to share her with humans. The owner said Callie is initially afraid of people, but when she warms up to you, she wants a lot of attention. Callie is stressed right now, because she has lived with her family since she was kitten. Be patient with her as you help her adjust to your home. Callie is a large cat over 20 pounds who can’t clean herself. We shaved off her mats and around her butt. She needs to lose weight. Canned food is better for weight loss than dry. Exercise will help. Even if you just carry her to the far side of your home so she has to waddle back to her food, it will help her lose weight.

WARL COVID-19 Update



M AY 14 - 20, 2020

As of March 25, 2020

• ADOPTIONS: At this time, adoptions are being held BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. If you are interested in adoption, please visit our website worcesterarl. org/adopt/ to learn more about our available animals then call us at (508) 853-0030 ext.0 or email us at info@worcesterarl. org to schedule an appointment. • Casual visits to the shelter are prohibited. We will strictly enforce this in order to keep our animal care team protected while still maintain-

ing the most essential function of our operation...finding homes for animals in need. • ANIMAL SURRENDERS: Our business practice for surrendering a pet remains the same. All pet owners must contact WARL in advance of surrendering a pet. Please call (508) 853-0030. • SPAY/NEUTER CLINICS: All scheduled appointments will be honored. If you have a scheduled appointment, we will be contacting you to discuss changes to our drop off/pick up

procedures. • DONATIONS: We will not be accepting linens of any kind or used, stuffed dog toys. While we are grateful for your thoughtfulness, we will not accept these donations if brought to the shelter. • Pet food, cat litter, and other shelter supplies will be essential in continuing to provide for our animals and to assist community members in need. To avoid unnecessary travel and exposure, items can

be purchased online from our Amazon Wishlist - https:// www.amazon.com/gp/registry/ wishlist/3AX342JIL73M0 • Weekly training classes are suspended until further notice. • The WARL Volunteer Program is temporarily suspended. All regular volunteer shifts are on hold. We look forward to welcoming you back as soon as we can. We have many animals in our

care who depend on us to stay healthy and well. The above measures help to protect our staff and community from the spread of COVID - 19 by minimizing face-to-face interactions while continuing to operate only core essential services. Please continue to follow our Facebook page for additional updates. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact the shelter at (508) 8530030 or info@worcesterarl.org. Thank you for your continued FURiendship and support.


J O N E S I N’

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!


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Down 1 Recover from a pub crawl, say

39 Happy moments 40 Zero, on the pitch 41 "Mm-hmmm" 43 Subject at the beginning of Lizzo's "Truth Hurts" 45 Scruff of the neck 46 Hindu precepts 47 In the heavens 48 Attendees 52 "___ for takeout" (sign in some restaurants) 55 ___ Luis (Brazilian seaport) 56 "No Scrubs" R&B trio 57 Fish eggs 58 Get ___ groove 59 Geol. or chem. 60 You, to Caesar (found in GRATUITY)

Last week's solution

©2020 Matt Jones (jonesincrosswords@gmail.com) Reference puzzle #988


Sudoku Answers

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Like innovative technology Greek wedding exclamation Chinese sculptor and activist Ai ___ Some band members Heavenly sphere Down at the final buzzer ___ California (Mexican state) 9 Guitar-heavy alt-rock genre 10 MLB stat 11 In medias ___ 12 Gallery stuff 13 "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" character? 17 "Anything you want!" 18 Hornet home 24 Back muscle, for short 25 Bumper sticker symbol depicted in yellow on a blue background 26 One with a home in both Nome and Rome, perhaps 27 Neighbor of Ore. 28 Enzyme suffix 30 Got ready to take off 31 "black-" or "mixed-" follower, on TV 36 Bride's reply 37 Compilations on cassettes 38 Become visible


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Across 1 Garbage-carrying boat 5 Singer Dylan 8 Catcher Yogi 13 Two-door car 14 "Who Do You Think You ___?" (genealogy-based series) 15 "Late Night with Seth Meyers" writer Ruffin 16 Gets a bluegrass instrumentalist (off the J)? 19 Joined up on Zoom, e.g. 20 "What ___ I thinking?" 21 Spill the ___ (gossip) 22 3-D exam 23 "Ratatouille" rat and namesakes 25 Mrs. Garrett on "The Facts of Life" 29 Relics for mom's sister (off the Q)? 32 "Tour" grp. 33 "Addams Family" cousin 34 Debonair 35 They're pointed out on an airplane 37 Taj ___ 39 Detached 41 Shar-pei shout 42 ___ Soundsystem 44 Warning at an all-bird nude beach (off the X)? 49 Winter transport 50 "Mansfield Park" novelist 51 "I Ching" concept 52 Be choosy 53 Contented sound 54 Ending with Wisconsin 55 Wine cocktail for someone who puts lines on the road (off the Z)? 61 By themselves 62 Playing card with a letter 63 Step in a game of hangman 64 Jacques Cousteau's realm 65 ___ boom bah 66 It might get you an answer

"Off the Rack"--if you're playing Scrabble, they work. by Matt Jones



Invitation For Bids The Worcester Housing Authority invites sealed bids for Phase VI at MA12-01 Great Brook Valley Gardens in accordance with the documents prepared by ICON Architecture. The work is estimated to cost $1,294,724. Project consists of improvement of five buildings. It includes but is not limited to: Re-facing gable ends, replacing existing exterior lights and storm doors, cleaning and repointing masonry, replacing window sills, installing corner guards and site work at select buildings. General Bids will be received until 2:00 p.m. on Monda,y June 22, 2020 at the Worcester Housing Authority, Department of Modernization, 81 Tacoma Street, Worcester, MA 01605 at which time and place all bids will be publicly opened and read aloud. Filed Sub-Bids will be received until 2:00 p.m. on Monday, June 8, 2020, and publicly opened and read aloud at the same address. Filed sub-bids will be taken for the following portions of work: Masonry Work Miscellaneous and Ornamental Iron Roofing and Flashing Metal Windows (Alternate 1 ONLY) The project address is 81 Tacoma Street, Worcester, MA 01605. Subject to COVID-19 restrictions or guidance received by WHA, a pre-bid conference will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at the project site. In the event the pre-bid conference is cancelled, an Addenda will be issued. Attendees must heed to latest COVID-19 Construction Field Safety Guidelines set forth by the State of Massachusetts. Failure to attend or visit the premises shall be no defense in failure to perform contract terms. Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the pre-bid conference may be suspended, or a video link may be posted. In addition, the contract award and/or Notice To Proceed may be delayed up to 90 calendar days from the date of the general bid opening. Bids are subject to M.G.L c149 §44A-J and Davis Bacon wage rates as well as other applicable laws. General Bidders must be certified by the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) in the following category of work: General Building Construction. Filed Sub-Bidders must be certified by the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) in the all category(ies) of work for their respective section(s). The DCAMM categories are Masonry Work, Miscellaneous and Ornamental Iron, Roofing and Flashing, and Metal Windows. Each bid shall be accompanied by a bid deposit in the amount of 5% of the bid price in the form of a Bid Bond, issued by a responsible surety company licensed to do business in Massachusetts, or a certified check, or a treasurer’s or cashier’s check issued by a responsible bank or trust company, made payable to the Worcester Housing Authority by bidders for the greatest possible bid amount (considering all alternates).



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Bid forms and Contract Documents will be made available on the Worcester Housing Authority website (http://www.worcesterha.org/ currentbids.html) at no cost. Hard copies will be made available on May 13, 2020 at the Worcester Housing Authority, Department of Modernization, 81 Tacoma Street, Worcester, MA 01605 and thereafter, Monday thru Friday 8:00 A.M. through 4:30 P. M. Copies of the contract documents may be obtained by depositing $50.00 in the form of a company check, made payable to the Worcester Housing Authority, for each set of documents so obtained. The amount of the deposit will be refunded to each person who returns the plans, specifications and other documents in good condition within ten (10) days after bid opening. Bidders requesting contract documents to be mailed to them should include a separate check in the amount of $50.00 for each set payable to the Worcester Housing Authority to cover mailing and handling costs. The contract documents may be seen, but not removed at Worcester Housing Authority, Department of Modernization, 81 Tacoma Street, Worcester, MA 01605. Attention is called to the following: 1. Provisions of Equal Employment Opportunity; 2. Provisions for payment of not less than the minimum wages as set forth in the Specifications 3. Provisions of Chapter 14, Acts of 1966, Imposing a Temporary Sales Tax, Section 1, Subsection 6 (d) and (k) exempting the Authority from the operation of such a chapter; 4. Requirement to furnish and pay for a Performance Bond and a Labor and Materials Bond as set forth in the specifications, 5. Insurance certificate indicating coverage for public liability, property damage and workers compensation, in accordance with the contract requirements, must be filed by the successful bidder upon signing of the contract. The contract will be awarded to the responsible and eligible bidder with the lowest proposed contract price. The Worcester Housing Authority reserves the right to reject any or all bids, in whole or in part, or to waive any formalities in the bidding if it be in the public interest to do so. No bid of a General Bidder shall be withdrawn, after opening thereof, prior to thirty (30) days, Saturday, Sundays, and legal holidays excluded, without the consent of the Worcester Housing Authority. In addition, the contract award and/or Notice To Proceed may be delayed up to 90 calendar days from the date of the general bid opening due to COVID-19 circumstances. Questions regarding this project shall be submitted in writing 1 week prior to opening by noon time and emailed to Mod-Bids@ worcesterha.org Reference the WHA Job Number 2019-12 only in the subject line. Worcester Housing Authority Joseph P. Carlson, Chairman DATE: May 1, 2020

SEALED BIDS shall be received at the Purchasing Office, 69 Tacoma Street., Worcester, MA 01605 Solicitation package may be picked up at the location above or may be downloaded from our website: www.worcesterha.org/purchasing, or call (508) 635-3202/3203, TTY/TDD (508) 798-4530. Bidders are responsible for ensuring they have received any/all addenda prior to submitting a bid. Separate awards will be made for each solicitation. WHA or its affiliate reserves the right to reject any or all responses, in whole or in part, deemed to be in their best interest. Award of all contracts is subject to the approval of the WHA Executive Director or Board of Commissioners. The Operating Agency shall indemnify and hold harmless the WHA and its officers or agents from any and all third party claims arising from activities under these Agreements as set forth in MGL c.258, section 2 as amended. Bid No. Release Date Project Title 20-23 5/15/20 Fee Accountant Services Jackson Restrepo - Chief Procurement Officer

Bid Opening 2:00 PM June 4, 2020

Request for Quotation for Small Purchases (QSP) The Worcester Housing Authority (WHA), the Awarding Authority, invites written quotes from Contractors for the furnishing and installation of Vinyl Flooring at: • WHA’s property 689-04, located at 197 Providence Street; In accordance with the Scope of Work prepared by The Worcester Housing Authority and outlined herein. SCOPE OF WORK The work includes and is not limited to the furnishing and installation of Vinyl Flooring CONSISTING OF: A. Equipment: a. Tarkett Click LVT Northern Red Scotch #27015-33035-NR531 b. Acceptable underlayment for concrete sub-floor moisture barrier per manufacturers’ specifications. B. Installation to include, but not limited to: a. Supply and install luxury vinyl woodgrain pattern tile planking throughout entire unit: except for the 2 bathrooms b. Supply and install ¼ round throughout entire unit: except for the 2 bathrooms C. Warranty – minimum requirements: a. Labor and Materials – 1 year Quotations will be received until Friday, May 27nd, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time). Special attention will be paid to price and time of job completion. SITE MEETING An optional site visit will take place on Monday, May 18th, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at 197 Providence St. Project completion date by: Friday, June 12th, 2020. Quotations are subject to M.G.L c149 §44A-J and Davis Bacon wage rates as well as other applicable laws. Go to: www.wdol.gov General Decision Number: MA190004 01/04/2019 MA4. Superseded General Decision Number: MA20180004, Construction Type: Residential, Counties: Barnstable, Berkshire, Bristol, Essex, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk and Worcester Counties in Massachusetts. All quotes should be delivered to: Worcester Housing Authority, via e-mail to ModBids@worcesterha.org and received no later than the date & time specified above. Worcester Housing Authority

classifieds@gatehousemedia.com • 888-254-3466


Rosemary Ford


Founder of 365Z


any of us remember Zachary Ford as the talented center fielder who represented Worcester in the 2002 Little League World Series. His mother, Rosemary Ford, remembers how thoughtful and kind he was to everyone around him, and she channels his good will every day. There might not be a little league season this year, but we can all make a sport of doing nice things for one another in the spirit of Zachary Ford. Can you provide a brief history of 365Z Foundation? We envision a world where everyone performs a kind act for someone else — every single day. And in doing so helps perpetuate a community-wide kindness movement. Such a mission is inspired by a young life. Zachary Ford tragically took his own life at age 20. In the days and weeks following his passing, his family heard stories about how Zach, through his own acts of kindness, had made a positive, lasting impact on the lives of so

many others. Sometime after Zach’s death, I was invited to be a guest lecturer at Quinsigamond Community College for a course entitled “Death and Dying and its Effect on Families.” In response to a student inquiring as to how I cope with Zach’s death day to day, I replied, “In memory of my son, I perform an act of kindness every day.” Through my commitment to perform acts of kindness every day, at the end of a year I hoped I would perform 365 acts of kindness, thereby remembering and honoring my son’s life. Professor Paul LaCava solicited the concept of a 365 Foundation among friends and colleagues, educators, public officials, clergy, businesspersons, lawyers, and medical professionals. All enthusiastically agreed that this was truly a most worthy cause. In time, I was invited to join the founders’ group, and in honor of Zach, the “Z” was added to the 365. The 365Z Foundation was formed to inspire all to bring more kindness and light into the world.

The 365Z Foundation is a work in progress. We are building a fellowship of people of all ages who share the desire and commitment to make a personal difference in the world, one small act of kindness at a time. We are not affiliated with any religious, political or social-rights based organization, nor do we provide direct services such as medical care, psychological counseling, or housing. The 365Z Foundation provides ideas, guidance and resources designed to encourage, inspire and challenge individuals to perform conscious acts of kindness — to make the decision to help someone in some way, every day; and in doing so, help perpetuate a community-wide kindness movement, raising awareness and personal commitment to helping others.

What is your matching goal? Our matching goal was $5,000. That was met, but we would like to continue this donation challenge.

that we sponsor at all levels of education. The high schools that participate each have 365Z Kindness Clubs where students embrace their school community as well as their local community by doing acts of kindness and making a difference in someone’s life whether it be a large gesture or small. We are hopeful that we will still be able to have our bowla-thon in November where we raise money for holiday meals for families in our community. We partner with Planting the Seed who supplies toys for each family. Last year, we were able to help 225 families. What does the future look like for your foundation? We understand and feel the sense of uncertainty, however we are confident that our mission will prevail whatever the future holds. Our hope is that we can be together in person at future events but we are continuing to learn the virtual platforms and its capacity to help others and spread kindness.


– Sarah Connell Sanders


Has COVID-19 impacted any of your yearly fundraising events? Yes, we had our first annual walkathon scheduled for May 16th; it would have been our largest fundraiser for this year. That event would have covered our yearly $10,000 scholarships for graduating high school seniors who personify the core values of our foundation. Please check out the video that was created by the seniors initiated by Jeff Camusso and his son Michael, a math teacher at Forest Grove Middle School. We also sponsor camp scholarships for the YMCA, Broadmeadow Brook, and The Bravehearts’ summer program. We put together Valentine bags for those in need — 550 were distributed this year to the elderly, Veteran’s Inc., Jeremiah’s Inn, and The Mustard Seed, to name a few. We help in sponsoring both the Special Olympics in Worcester along with the mini-Olympics. We have Kindness Programs


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How are you identifying children and families in need? As a board we came up with a list of agencies and establishments that we felt catered to women and children in need. Ed Gardella, Paul Lacava, Eric Waldron, Jeff Camusso and Chris Weber are all members of the board. They placed orders at local stores and have already delivered to several organizations in need. At every establishment, they were greeted with gratitude. Some of the organizations that have already received goods are St. Peter’s Church, Daybreak, Friendly House, St. Bernard’s Church, InterFaith House, among others. Those receiving goods today are Quinsigamond Community College who have an established program to help students with small children and Joseph’s Project in West Boylston. We are hoping to continue our outreach to these and other organizations The 365Z Foundation delivering goods to women and children in as none of us knows how long need during the COVID-19 crisis. SUBMITTED PHOTO this pandemic will last.

Rosemary Ford

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