In this issue, Jan. 17-23

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Sun Shine: Outreach program strikes inspiring chord in Main South | Time, of course, can change things. Chamber music used to be for the West Side folks. But thanks to the Worcester Chamber Music Society, youngsters in Main South, a neighborhood despite best efforts still known more for its struggles than its culture, have had the opportunity to develop a deep appreciation of the musical classics. Bronislaus B. Kush returns to profile the uplifting program.

Neighborhood Strings

Mark Henderson / Worcester Sun

The Neighborhood Strings Teen Group performs at the Instrument Giving Ceremony last Friday night at Straight Up Cafe on Main Street.


Local Business Spotlight: Whiskey takes its shot |  After presiding over a pair of one-time hot-spots, a long-time city nightlife entrepreneur was back pounding the pavement in 2015, so he leased 316 Main St. in February, began remodeling and opened the doors in November. This time things were different, though, for Roger Bachour. He decided it was time for downtown to grow up.

Whiskey hookah and cigar lounge, 316 Main St.

Giselle Rivera-Flores / For Worcester Sun

Whiskey hookah and cigar lounge, 316 Main St.


Sina-cism: Merkel reminds us of our history |  There is no question the sexual assaults allegedly committed in Germany by dozens of male refugees from the Middle East are more than an isolated incident. Equally true that Angela Merkel’s instinct to help humans in dire need is not invalidated by the actions of these men. The vast majority of refugees merit our compassion and assistance, and, says Chris Sinacola, an honest review of our own past.


In Her Own Words: A survivor’s story |  Nicole Bell, 35, of Worcester, is a survivor of sexual exploitation. Last Monday, on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, she shared her story at a City Hall event sponsored by the Worcester’s City Manager’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women. The Sun was struck by her honesty and candor. Her story is poignant and deserves to be shared. Free to read.

Nicole Bell and Mayor Petty

Courtesy Nicole Bell

Nicole Bell with Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty at last Monday’s National Human Trafficking Awareness Day event at City Hall.


Editorial: Overlooking a vital piece of the budget puzzle |  The first City Council meeting of the year included a debate about next year’s municipal budget. While it’s too early to know how this budget process will play out, only District 5 Councilor Gary Rosen raised an issue that is key to the discussion and cannot be overlooked. We discuss the vital piece of the budget puzzle and the argument that should swing the debate.


Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 24]: Tribute to Spag’s |  We take a drive down Memory Lane and bang a uey on Route 9 to pay a visit to everyone’s favorite bargain-bin store of yesteryear. One last time with Hitch.


Bilal Shakir leads Worcester State with 15.1 points per game through Jan. 15.

Worcester State Athletics / SportsPix

Bilal Shakir leads Worcester State with 15.1 points per game through Jan. 15.

Shakir headlines city quartet hooping it up for Worcester State |  “I was born and raised here, so to be from Worcester and to play for Worcester State is a great thing. It’s been awhile since we’ve been good and I’m glad I can be a part of it so far.” Top-scoring guard Bilal Shakir (Tech)  has made a major impact, indeed, for the Lancers — who recently reeled off a five-game win streak — along with Jamal Mustapha (Doherty), Jamal Smith (St. Peter-Marian) and Isaiah Tatum (Holy Name).


Up Next: Bergman explores tax break, boost to property values |  The at-large councilor is proposing a home-rule petition to legislate a tax break for Worcester residents who build an addition to their homes to accommodate elderly relatives who come to live with them. Adding value to a home without additional tax burden strikes many local and state officials as a decent idea.


Kait Maloney, a Grafton Hill girl and SPM grad, is raising money to run the Boston Marathon for New England Center for Children, where she works.

Courtesy Kait Maloney

Kait Maloney, a Grafton Hill girl and SPM grad, is raising money to run the Boston Marathon for New England Center for Children, where she works.

Local Crowdfund: SPM grad plots a course for helping kids in need |  “After the [2013 Boston Marathon] bombing I said, ‘I’m doing this when I get home.’ It’s been a goal for a while. Everything that the marathon does and is, all the wonderful things, it makes you want to do it.” Kait Maloney has spent much of her life helping people, so strapping on the running shoes and rising to a 26-mile challenge were a natural fit.


Worcester Weekly: Six things to do, Jan. 17-23 |  This here is what we like to call, a week of opportunity. Many different beneficial ways to spend your time. There may be none more important, though, particularly this time of year, than stopping by Worcester Historical Museum to reflect on the impact of Martin Luther King Jr. College sports, pottery and your first step to social entrepreneurship, and more, are all around the corner, too. Never waste an opportunity!


New in Free to Read

2015 YCI committee and advisors, back row from left, Trishaal Biswas, Amy Mosher Berry (YCI coordinator), Dennis Asante, Caitlyn Nguyen, Niamh Anderson Toomey, Adrian Kelley, Laura Giordano, Lissett Quispe, Rayaan Yunus, Kelina Smith, Nina Gallagher, Nana Ampofo (YCI Intern), Sarah Riley, Dorean Asuako; front row from left, Ronald Pena, Kwadwo Appiagyei-Obeng, Lillian Cain, Jada Mpawenimana, Mark Coplin, Tyler Monteros.

Courtesy Amy Mosher Berry

2015 YCI committee and advisors

Sun Shine: Teen council YCI invests in community’s future
For the past 16 years members of Youth for Community Improvement have been making a difference by deciding the allocation of much-needed funding to nonprofit organizations throughout Worcester and the surrounding areas. “I honestly think that some of these young people have the best ideas to solve big, complex problems in our community,” said advisor Amy Mosher Berry. Find out more about a remarkable group of young leaders.

Jackie Penny sits beneath one of her paintings with husband Tony, youngest daughter Lydia and twins Sophia and Henry at the reception for her new Hanover Theatre exhibit.

Giselle Rivera-Flores / For Worcester Sun

Jackie Penny sits beneath one of her paintings with husband Tony, youngest daughter Lydia and twins Sophia and Henry at the reception for her new Hanover Theatre exhibit.

Artist Jaclyn Penny sees Worcester through her children’s eyes
“The bricks of the city, once depicted with a harsh point of view, now seem ever so soft. They blend into the street signs and sidewalks. Flowing with a whimsical beauty, the illustrations of Goodnight Worcester stand alone in the halls of the Hanover Theatre.” Find out more about the Clark and Worcester State graduate, her art, and what inspires her.

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