In this issue, Feb. 7-13

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Worcester City Hall

Terageorge/Wikimedia Commons

Worcester City Hall

Mosaic, grant challenges present from the start, city official says |  “It’s been a challenging grant from the beginning, and I think we all knew it would be. It’s a very complicated grant. These other pieces, obviously, are very concerning,” said Worcester’s chief of Community Health as Mosaic Cultural Complex and the city itself face scrutiny over the handling of a $6 million, multiyear health care initiative. Patrick Sargent adds context to the controversy.


Local Business Spotlight: Yummy Steak House, new on Grafton Street |  Partnered with Jacky Chen, a hibachi chef drawing in the attention of teppanyaki devotees and Worcester foodies alike with his charisma, recent Worcester’s Best Chef honoree Ken Zhang is determined to concoct one of the city’s best Japanese cuisine duos. Giselle Rivera-Flores rolls in for the inside scoop, and some custom sushi.

Co-owner Jacky Chen keeps customers enthralled at the hibachi.

Giselle Rivera-Flores / For Worcester Sun

Co-owner Jacky Chen keeps customers enthralled at the hibachi.


Sina-cism: A city’s search for itself |  It simply cannot be true that the Zip code, sex or race of the city’s next schools superintendent constitutes proof of excellence for leading a system of 25,000 students. The real search is one for self-definition. The discordant din raised in the press, on social media and in the city’s diners amounts to a collective expression of frustration that a city this good can and should be so much better, but isn’t. Chris Sinacola looks within.


Feb7SunSpot_teaseSun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 30]: Cold comfort? |  Despite a fourth quarter lull Worcester’s economy was on the upswing overall in 2015, according to a widely cited quarterly index. So, that’s good news, right? Well, then there’s this whole thing about foreclosures in Worcester County outpacing the rest of the state. So, how close is perception to meeting reality? Who knows?! But Hitch has an idea, anyway.


Cover of the 1947 edition of the Negro Motorist Green Book. “Carry your Green Book with you…you may need it…”

Courtesy New York Public Library Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Cover of the 1947 edition of the Negro Motorist Green Book. “Carry your Green Book with you…you may need it…”

Worcestory Lesson: Green Book, Hotel Worcester welcomed blacks visiting city in the ’40s |  With a renewed interest by scholars in studying the role of travel as part of the 20th-century African-American experience, guides like The Green Book, published to aid travelers confronting race in unfamiliar places, provide a unique starting point. The guides grew quickly as resources for the black middle class hitting the road.


Mike Pucko, former Holy Name football coach

Ken Powers / For Worcester Sun

Mike Pucko, former Holy Name football coach

The Score with Ken Powers: Bowl-winning Pucko rings in new chapter |  “It’s been coming for a few years,” the 62-year-old, three-time champion said recently. “Things at Holy name are changing. We were just getting further and further away from what I was looking to do.” What Mike Pucko is looking to do is coach winning football, like he’s always done, and he may have his sights on the college sideline. Find out more with KP.


Up Next: City petition expands protection for landlords |  A petition proposed by Councilor at-large Moe Bergman and drafted by City Solicitor David M. Moore would allow landlords statewide to terminate the lease of a tenant charged with crimes involving illegal weapons or explosive devices. The law, drafted as a home-rule amendment, appears to close a loophole in state law. Patrick Sargent reports.


Brooklyn's creative mind seems to be a stumbling block in her education, at least according to explanations Giselle has received from WPS staff.

Giselle Rivera-Flores / For Worcester Sun

Brooklyn’s creative mind seems to be a stumbling block in her education, at least according to explanations Giselle has received from WPS staff.

Sun Serial: A Mother’s Journey | Part 12 — The defining moment |  If you do not have ADHD, dyslexia, a language barrier or any other learning disabilities, then welcome to the Worcester Public School system, where your future is bright and merry. For everyone else, you will find yourself fighting every second of the day to prove you and your child capable. … A difficult conversation reignites the spark lighting Giselle’s path toward making The Learning Hub, and her daughter, a success.


Local Crowdfund: Moynagh’s Tavern takes the plunge, again |  Starting with a three-man team in 2000, Tim Moynagh said the tavern contingent has raised more than $300,000 for Special Olympics Massachusetts through the annual Polar Plunge. “We get a ton of support from all the people involved — our customers, family, friends, everyone. It speaks volumes about all of the people that support us and contribute to our efforts,” Moynagh said.

Dan Hickey, left, and fellow Moynagh's Tavern Polar Plunge team members don their "Snow White" dwarfs costumes prior to last year's dip.

Courtesy Dan Hickey

Dan Hickey, left, and fellow Moynagh’s Tavern Polar Plunge team members don their “Snow White” dwarfs costumes prior to last year’s dip.


Worcester Weekly: Six things to do, Feb. 7-13 |  Guys, if you don’t have Valentine’s Day covered, we have an idea for you to get out ahead of the pack. Ladies, maybe you can butter up your man with some top college sports action to ensure he properly observes the most important day on your calendar. No Valentine? Try a lecture or poetry discussion; there’s bound to be tons of single people there! Click on in there and check out the rest!


New in Free to Read

Joe Abramoff shows off some of the wares you might find at Allergic to Cubicles on Chandler Street.

Giselle Rivera-Flores / For Worcester Sun

Joe Abramoff shows off some of the wares you might find at Allergic to Cubicles on Chandler Street.

Local Business Spotlight: Allergic to Cubicles 
If you’re looking for the soft texture of 50/50 T-shirts that reigned in the ’70s or the iconic Pat the Patriot satin throwback Starter jacket that dominated the high school hallways of the early ’90s, then Allergic to Cubicles is the place to spend countless hours rummaging through classic fashion gems. Giselle Rivera-Flores channels her inner hipster to properly scrutinize this new Chandler Street store.

pathwayslogoSun Shine: Compassion, help at any hour from Pathways for Change
“The very first thing that came out of this agency was the hotline. It was the hotline first, and then the agency built up around it,” says Heidi Sue LeBoeuf, counseling director. Founded in March 1973, Pathways for Change was one of the first rape crisis centers to open in Massachusetts. Patrick Sargent tells us more about the dedicated folks behind such an essential service.

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