In this issue, Dec. 6-12

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Here’s what we have for you in the Dec. 6-12 edition of Worcester Sun:

Canal District leaders high on dispensary plans at former Widoff’s site |  Mayflower Medicinals, Inc., a prospective medical marijuana dispensary firm based in Boston, met with the Canal District Alliance on Thursday, Dec. 3, to propose opening a dispensary at the longtime Water Street bakery site. Working with the property’s new owner and with a wave of neighborhood support, the firm is well positioned to become the city’s first marijuana outlet. Patrick Sargent reports.

An artist's rendering of the proposed retail space -- and new home of Mayflower Medicinals marijuana dispensary -- at 129 Water St.

Courtesy Baystate Investment Fund LLC

An artist’s rendering of the proposed retail space — and new home of Mayflower Medicinals marijuana dispensary — at 129 Water St.

Mutual discontent: More allegations of money owed and shoddy work by Pelletz |  Three more men have come forward with stories of delayed or incomplete work and money owed, one claiming Mutual Builders owner/broker Jay Pelletz owes him more than $80,000. The Better Business Bureau is investigating two new complaints. And the state Attorney General’s office is actively involved in at least one case. Patrick Sargent has more.

Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

Sina-cism: A true common core for education |  The city’s latest election might in part have been a referendum on Common Core. Effective organizing wins local elections. But 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.

Sun Spots with Hitch: Vol. 12 |  The City Council is a deliberate bunch, that’s for sure. A second delay of the much-anticipated, potentially calamitous and certainly divisive tax classification hearing — amid parliamentary posturing and what some might call modern filibustering — has piqued Hitch’s interest.

Editorial: Uncomfortable truths about stopping gun violence |  Last Monday, three days after a mass shooting in Colorado and two days before the slaughter in San Bernardino, California, Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty called on fellow mayors to make Dec. 14 a yearly statewide gun buyback day. We confront some uncomfortable truths about guns and what we are left to do.

The keys to success, indeed -- The Learning Hub is coming soon to Pleasant Street.

Giselle Rivera-Flores / For Worcester Sun

The keys to success, indeed — The Learning Hub is coming soon to Pleasant Street.

Sun Serial: A Mother’s Journey | Part 7 — The keys to success |  On Wednesday morning, 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. 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


New in the Sun!

Worcestory Lesson: Worcester Gas Light Co., impact and legacy |  The development of a gas system in the city is similar to building out broadband Internet access today, or the telephone system in the early 20th century. A complete system was seen as a mark of progress and advancement. In an era long before the environmental movement or even electricity, the byproducts of this process were not understood in the same way that we know them today. Local history blogger David DuBois debuts as a Sun contributor in our newest feature.

Worcester Gas and Light Company

Courtesy Worcester Historical Museum

The former Worcester Gas and Light Company


Rose-Ellen Padavano, left, and Angela Padavano recently opened Somethin' Catchy on Shrewsbury Street.

Giselle Rivera-Flores / For Worcester Sun

Rose-Ellen Padavano, left, and Angela Padavano recently opened Somethin’ Catchy on Shrewsbury Street.

Local Business Spotlight: Shanty hopes to catch on to Shrewsbury Street dining scene |  “We said, what does Worcester need? We realized that unless you want to go to your local pizza shop on a Friday night, there really isn’t a place to grab some great fish and chips. We wanted to create a place where we can become the experts in the market.” Indeed, Rose-Ellen Padavano and company know a thing or two about running restaurants in Worcester. Check out the charm behind the third time.

Local Crowdfund: DIY mini computers — join the evolution |  “I have tested the product on all ages and it seems that it is so simple that anyone can do it. That is our goal. We want this product to reach everyone, despite [their] age, and allow them to utilize the PC in a way that has not been done before,” says electrical engineering student Phuoc Phan. Have a little tech geek in you? Then you’ll want to check this out.

Yuni Design's DIY mini-computer

Courtesy Yuni Design

Yuni Design’s DIY mini-computer

Worcester Weekly |  The holidays are in the air — not so much the drones yet, though, so that’s disappointing. Get on it, Amazon! Anyway, Worcester is delivering the goods, with an annual artisan extravaganza at Union Station, a poetry event to ring in the season and the arrival of a 36-year holiday tradition. There’s also college hockey, events for entrepreneurs and cinephiles, and good, old-fashioned family fun.


New in Free to Read:

Jakeline Estrada and Talyta Contreras

Mark Henderson / Worcester Sun

Jakeline Estrada, left, and her mother, Talyta Contreras, owners of Talyta’s Cafe.

Hidden Gem: Talyta’s Café

“Her mother’s dream of opening a restaurant appeared it would remain just that, a dream. After eight years of going to school and working in the hospitality industry, though, Jakeline Estrada and her family began a journey to make that dream a reality.” Now, they recently celebrated the downtown eatery’s one-year anniversary.

Parlee Jones is the shelter advocate at Abby's House. Well, that's her day job; we don't have room to list everything else here.

Fred Hurlbrink Jr. / Worcester Sun

Parlee Jones is the shelter advocate at Abby’s House. Well, that’s her day job; we don’t have room to list everything else here.

Q&A with Parlee Jones, Abby’s House shelter advocate

Parlee Jones accounts for much of the slightly unexpected calm found at Abby’s House. Because, she’s on it. Visitors and colleagues take turns hanging from her door frame. There’s always someone who needs help in her office. And few, if any, leave disappointed. The women of Abby’s House are far from the only set benefiting from Jones’ devotion to public service. Find out more about one of the city’s true driving forces.

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