In this issue, Dec. 20-26

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School safety audit highlights schism between priorities and decisions |  “To say that we’re going to put a million dollars of new funding into school safety, when school safety has recently been cut, is very worrisome [as far as] how we are going to fulfill the recommendations of the audit.” Find out which top Worcester schools official said that, and how administrators and school board members plan to reconcile the more than $5 million overall in initial suggested safety improvements.

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Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

Sina-cism: A fitting memorial |  The participants of World War I are all gone. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren now sift through the evidence of these lives, the heroism and fears of strangers in strange lands. And now, in Worcester, groups are coming together to restore a fading landmark to its former grandeur. Chris Sinacola says there can hardly be a better way to mark the centenary of WWI.

More from Chris Sinacola:

Sina-cism: Of Antioch and Aleppo on learning from history and finding perspective in the debate over Syrian refugees
Sina-cism: A true common core for education on high-stakes testing, curriculum standards and what really matters in education
Sina-cism: A run of the Mill situationon free speech and the vacuous nature of many modern campus protests
Sina-cism: I come not to bury Trumpon the spectacular rise of the presidential front-runner and the underestimated crowd that supports him


Sun Spots with Hitch: Vol. 16 |  Recount — what recount? One-time city councilor and 2015 contender Juan Gomez first wanted to tally the ballots a second time after a narrow defeat by newcomer Khrystian King. Then, he didn’t. … ‘Tis the season for the city’s taxpayers to take it on the chin … again, says Hitch.


Editorial: Inclusion, the Bill of Rights and Rule 33 |  Worcester is, and continues to evolve as, a city of diversity and inclusion. It is one of 47 in the country recently given a top score by a national LGBT advocacy campaign. It makes it difficult to point out, then, that news of progress came two days after the City Council’s latest dust-up with Act Now Worcester.


Tim Moynagh, owner, and Kathryn Stanley, general manager, are the forces behind Viriditas.

Giselle Rivera-Flores / For Worcester Sun

Tim Moynagh, owner, and Kathryn Stanley, general manager, are the forces behind Viriditas.

Local Business Spotlight: Viriditas, new downtown |  “We want to boost our vendors. We want to open the doors for other businesses to flourish and establish Worcester as a foodie city. We [Worcester] are already on the verge of that market. We have some amazing places in Worcester and we want to continue that trend.” — Kathryn Stanley, general manager. Check out the latest entry in the downtown, hot-spot scene.


Sun Serial: A Mother’s Journey | Part 8 — The stumbling block |  When the road to business ownership becomes difficult, the chips start to fall and the idea of what could have been an amazing new venture never breaks into the real world. I refused to let my idea die in the hands of someone else. Read how budding entrepreneur Giselle Rivera-Flores plans to clear some serious hurdles in the latest chapter of her tale.

Just as The Learning Hub is about to take off, along comes an unexpected challenge.

Giselle Rivera-Flores / For Worcester Sun

Just as The Learning Hub is about to take off, along comes an unexpected challenge.

Start here or follow along from the beginning:

Part 1 — The Brooklyn trip
Part 2 — The Playbook
Part 3 — The space race
Part 4 — The unsettling score
Part 5 — The point of no return
Part 6 — The poetry of motion
Part 7 — The keys to success


Special needs student still waits for Worcester schools to follow through |  Almost a year after school officials plotted a course of action with Kelly Rawson to help her 15-year-old son, there remains no clear path to the critical assistance experts say the boy requires. Where are we now, and what’s next for Gino? Patrick Sargent reports.


Worcester Weekly |  Ring in the holiday week, and final vestiges of 2015, with a distinctive musical performance at the museum, check out some big-time college hoops at the Hart Center, get creative with some like-minded folks at a new spot on the Canal District scene. Whatever you do, don’t forget to leave out the milk and cookies Thursday night.


New in Free to Read

Omar, right, and Fowzia Sherzai can smile now as the look back on the long road that led them to Pomir Grill on Shrewsbury Street.

Giselle Rivera-Flores / For Worcester Sun

Omar, right, and Fowzia Sherzai can smile now as the look back on the long road that led them to Pomir Grill on Shrewsbury Street.

Local Business Spotlight: Pomir Grill
After several years of testing the market and participating in a nearby garlic festival, Omar and Fowzia Sherzai began to search for commercial space for their new restaurant. This is the origin of Pomir Grill’s story, but it is far, far away from where Omar and Fowzia’s tale begins.

Augustine Kanjia

Courtesy of Augustine Kanjia

Augustine Kanjia in Gambia, February 1994

The unbelievably true story of Augustine Kanjia, Part 1
“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.”

Each of the nearly 38,000 immigrants in Worcester has a story to tell, but we don’t believe you’ve ever heard a story quite like that of Augustine Kanjia. From escaping war-torn Sierra Leone to having his life threatened as an investigative reporter and photojournalist in Gambia, Kanjia arrived in Worcester with his family and a dream. Five years after arriving, he and his family are safe and he is on track to graduate from Quinsigamond Community College. In this story from Oct. 25, we introduce you to Augustine Kanjia and are pleased to unlock Part 1 of his ongoing series.

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