Best of the Sun … so far, part 2

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Opinions are like … well, let’s just say we all have ‘em.

Some are educated and reasonable, others are knee-jerk and irrational. But, they are a mainstream consumable now, ubiquitous and bite-sized and multiplatform, acceptable in “polite” conversation, and many would say more trivial by the day.

Here again is a space where Worcester Sun expects to distinguish itself as we continue to grow into the journalism enterprise and media company that our members and the city deserve.

Perspective is an invaluable resource. An ability to see reason and value in dissent is a handy club to have in the bag, indeed. [Editor’s note: Just ask Abraham Lincoln … or Frankie Five Angels.] Our job is not to demand or advance an agenda, or to see the city and its stories through a particularly colored set of lenses.

What we hope to accomplish is simple: improve the conversation.

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Whether it’s a Sun Shine piece that helps you see a group of people in a light you may have never considered; or one of our dozens of locally focused, deeply researched editorials on subjects ranging from schools to minor league baseball to Kelley Square and the Constitution.

Or a sharp, witty, thought-provoking commentary from Chris Sinacola and others in our growing roster of op-ed contributors; or maybe the inspirational perseverance and storytelling in our two very different first-person serials.

There are many ways we hope to contribute to a more complete and forward-thinking discussion of all the important matters impacting the future of our community. Ways to make you think about something a little differently. Or even just for a bit longer.

We don’t want to change minds, necessarily, we want to open them.

Today, in the second installment of our year-end, “Best of the Sun … so far” series we offer our best in thought-provoking storytelling, opinion and commentary from our first five months on the job.


Commentary, perspective and insight

Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

Sina-cism: A true common core for education If you think that schools here or across America are going to be fundamentally affected by Common Core’s fate, forget about it. What actually happens between teacher (or parent) and student will always trump whatever a theorist or curriculum calls for.

Sina-cism: I come not to bury Trump Newsflash to the media and the American left: Trump’s supporters have done a lot of thinking. They’re upset at the course of our nation and believe their candidate can set matters right.

A line of Syrian refugees crosses the border of Hungary and Austria on their way to Germany in September.

Wikimedia Commons

A line of Syrian refugees crosses the border of Hungary and Austria on their way to Germany in September.

Welcoming refugees in U.S. is the better way Today’s national security challenges may be more dynamic, more consequential or more insidious than in the past. But pinning fear about security on refugees is illogical. City attorney Alex Mooradian tells you why in our first free-to-read Sun original.

In their own words: For two hours at a time, a safe haven and some hoops To help youth feel safe and hear a positive message, the Worcester Police Department, Worcester Public Schools, Worcester Youth Center and Straight Ahead Ministries opened the doors to youth basketball near the end of a tumultuous summer. Organizers and the youths themselves talked about what the program meant, what they were trying to escape and how safe they felt.

Youth basketball

Sun Staff / Worcester Sun

Youths play basketball at Worcester East Middle School during a summer anti-violence outreach program.

Sun Spots with Hitch: Vol. 9 Don’t know about you, but we have turkey on the mind this week [Well, we did back then]. Lots of turkeys, of all different shapes and sizes. And gravy. Now we’re thinking about gravy [that’s still happening] … but, wait: nationally syndicated and locally rooted cartoonist David Hitch has something to say about those turkeys first.


Editorials

A history test for Melinda Boone After it was announced Boone was scheduled to step down as superintendent of the Worcester Public Schools at the end of November, we looked at how history will remember her tenure. (published Oct. 11)

Melinda J. Boone

Worcester Public Schools

Melinda J. Boone

A chance to play in the big (minor) leagues Worcester has an opportunity to engage the owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox in discussions about moving the team to our city. Two decades ago, the city was “played,” so should Worcester swing for the fences again? Find out. (Sept. 27)

Protest tactics speak for themselves The case against four Black Lives Matter protesters charged with disturbing the peace was delayed until January, nearly a year since the protest shut down Kelley Square for four and a half minutes. We compare that case with a lesser-known protest that played out over eight months and ask, “Who is better serving their cause?” (Nov. 15)

Another day, another (local) dollar Even with Black Friday and Small Business Saturday over, you can still make an impact with your dollars during the holiday season. We look at the benefit to the local economy when you shop and give locally.(Nov. 29)


Serials / first-person

Part 1: The Decision That Saved My Life As he jumped out of the door I grabbed his left leg tight, and he was shot in the head. He dragged me on his way down without the rebels knowing. I quickly rolled under the bus with my legs out among the dead. Augustine Kanjia had a long road to travel from war-torn Sierra Leone to Quinsigamond Community College.

Augustine Kanjia

Mark Henderson / Worcester Sun

Augustine Kanjia

A Mother’s Journey | Part 7 — The keys to success I started the day as any other – running around at lightning speed to make sure my daughters were at school on time. Midway through the day, I received a text: “Your keys are ready. You can come by anytime.” Giselle Rivera-Flores opens a new door in her journey toward building a business inspired by helping her daughter learn.

Giselle Rivera-Flores and her daughters, Evian, left, and Brooklyn are on the go ... as usual.

Courtesy Giselle Rivera-Flores

Giselle Rivera-Flores and her daughters, Evian, left, and Brooklyn are on the go … as usual.

Check back Sunday, Jan. 3, for the next chapter in both stories, as Giselle gets closer to opening her business and Augustine gets closer to leaving Africa.


Sun Shine

Chastity Bowick, facilitator of Trans4mations, a transgender support group backed by AIDS Project Worcester.

Courtesy Chastity Bowick

Chastity Bowick, Trans4mations

Finding support can be a transformational experience One day, Chastity Bowick found herself marooned in Worcester, alone and unshackled. Thing is, she’d always been isolated, since she was 7 years old and knew she was not like everyone else. Today, successfully transitioned and feet firmly planted on the ground, she has made the city her home, and home to one of the area’s only support groups for transgender individuals. Read about her story, and the tales of those she’s helped emerge from the ashes of lives they never wanted.

Youth take matters into own hands — and it’s good news Tired of hearing about another Worcester youth firing a weapon, or slashing tires, or copping heroin — or the banal musings of folks who believe our youth is lost? So are we, so we found these kids. And we wrote this.

Kathy Esparza and Caleb Encarncion-Rivera, second and third from left, pose with Y4D4's second cohort of teen activists -- along with city officials, among them City Manager Edward M Augustus (third row, left) and District 4 Councilor Sarai Rivera (third from right) during a ceremony at City Hall last November.

Courtesy Kathy Esparza

Kathy Esparza and Caleb Encarncion-Rivera, second and third from left, pose with Y4D4’s second cohort of teen activists at City Hall.

Speaking of coming back Sunday, if you’ve enjoyed the first two parts, you’ll love the “best of the rest,” the final installment of our humbly presented Best of the Sun … so far series, which will include a heavy dose of Patrick Sargent, some our most-clicked news reports and business debuts, and a curtain call for what we consider the most well-rounded roster of journalism professionals and freelancers in the city.

One thought on “Best of the Sun … so far, part 2

  1. Hope you will follow up on the lack of snow plowing and road treatment as the roads,including main ones,are and were horrible.

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