Worcester Sun, Aug. 7-13: In this issue

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Haley Fong, left, and Karmen Diep were among the recent Wednesday volunteers.

Alex L. Khan / For Worcester Sun

Haley Fong, left, and Karmen Diep were among the recent Wednesday volunteers.

Sun Shine: At Broad Meadow Brook volunteers are a natural fit |  “Utilizing volunteers is not just a means of maintaining the site for proper use, but also to build the sanctuary into a fixture known by, and incorporated into the lives of, residents of Worcester and surrounding towns. ‘We want to be engaged with the community,’ says Martha Gach, the conservation coordinator. ‘We recognize that there is no way the paid staff can do everything that we need to do here, and we also recognize that people want to be involved’.” Alex Khan straightens his tie and digs in for an in-depth look at where Worcester and nature and good people collide.


Dave Richardson, founder of Flying Dreams brewery and award-winning brew master.

Sean M. Haley / For Worcester Sun

Dave Richardson, founder of Flying Dreams brewery and award-winning brew master.

Local Business Spotlight: Flying Dreams brewery crafts a unique story |  And it starts, as so many good stories do, in a buddy’s basement. “It was a natural transition. I picked [home brewing] up quickly,” said award-winning Flying Dreams founder Dave Richardson, adding his background in sciences played a huge role in the early success. “The first time was awesome. The second time was even better. By the fifth time, I wanted to start a brewery.” Sean Haley taps into the creativity and passion that make Richardson and his brew house one of a kind.


New in the Sun!

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What if … Worcester: Dateline 2076 — City hosts Olympic games as new format spreads benefits, burdens around the globe |  “The new initiative is made possible through recent developments in automation and sub-orbital flight, which have deeply slashed travel time and cost. ‘Transportation breakthroughs, host city expenses, and crowd security made us rethink why everyone has to be gathered in one place,” said Olympics 2076 Committee Chairman Peter Theroux. “That was 20th-century thinking. Now traveling from Worcester to Johannesburg is as easy, and almost as cheap as, taking a short car ride.’ ”

Editor’s note: Today Worcester Sun is proud to introduce our newest contributor and series. BJ Hill is a talented, Worcester-based creative writer and journalist with an eye toward the future. In What if … Worcester, he combines all of those things into one fascinating, imaginative and often reality-based package that opens a window into the coming decades and centuries in and around the City of Seven Hills.


Worcester and state officials are working to remain vigilant and proactive when it comes to asthma.

Wikimedia Commons

Worcester and state officials are working to remain vigilant and proactive when it comes to asthma.

Worcester, state officials work to keep asthma problem from being swept under the rug |  “Nobody is really looking at the home environment,” Dr. Matilde Castiel, city health commissioner, said in an interview with the Sun. “People will go to an emergency room to get treatment and nobody looks at what actually triggers [asthma]. This method, having community health workers come to the house, that is a huge piece that is missing in our healthcare system right now.” Richard Nangle reports on what’s next in this under-the-radar health battle.


Liz Couture, aka T-Flex

Joe Parello / For Worcester Sun

Liz Couture, aka T-Flex

The Wide Woo of Sports: Roller derby and the satisfying social (and physical) impact of WoRD with friends |  “Couture, or T-Flex as she’s known on the rink, has been with Worcester Roller Derby for three years, but she’s now a seasoned pro compared to the majority of the roster. During their practices upstairs in a warehouse on Suffolk Street, these new skaters battle the heat to earn the right to actually hit each other.” And along the way, many of them are able to fill a void in their lives. Joe Parello straps on a helmet to get the inside story.


Editorial: Rising Sun — doing what we came here to do |  Worcester Sun launched a year ago this week. We look at the short history of our “audacious and risky” venture, tell you where we are and where we’re going. Most importantly, we take time to thank everyone who has made this anniversary possible.


books_flickrSina-cism: It’s summer, indulge in a classic read or two |  “The average non-institutionalized American age 15 or older in 2014 spent 19 minutes reading on an average day, but 27 minutes playing computer games, 38 minutes socializing, and two hours, 49 minutes watching TV. I think you can find time to read for an hour a day if you really want to.” Sinacola, with eight suggestions to polish off your summer in style.


Universal Wind Power could end up in the city after all -- at Worcester Regional Airport.

Wikimedia Commons/Terageorge

Worcester Regional Airport

Randell: Thinking bigger at Worcester Airport |  “Did you hear?! JetBlue [is planning] flights to Europe from the East Coast! OK, we are not a focus city at the moment, but maybe if we were to establish a Worcester-to-Havana connection as a successful, profitable flight then JetBlue may consider Airport Hill as the jumping-off point for a European vacation. We need to stop feeling that Worcester Regional Airport cannot compete and start selling the benefits of our airport.” Local businessman Bill Randell weighs in with his latest grand plans.


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Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 82]: DeLeo’s taxing stance on the economy |  It’s that time of year when our beloved state lawmakers disappear into the abyss of vacations and re-election campaigns, and leave all that cumbersome legislating behind for a while. Before they escaped Beacon Hill for Harwich or Nantucket or Old Orchard Beach, though, they left behind a few things that voters generally look forward to. Like tax-free weekend. Well, Hitch and House Speaker Robert DeLeo know someone with whom you can take up your complaint.


On Beacon Hill: July tax receipts buoy state budget outlook [plus videos] |  Despite dire warnings from the Baker administration about overly optimistic tax collection estimates used to build this year’s $39.1 billion state budget, the first month of the new fiscal year ended in the black, with receipts beating benchmarks by $7 million. Also: Watch officials debate the marijuana ballot question. Baker’s disparate stances on drug abuse prevention. And a right-wing political group gets a break and a warning.


The unbelievably true story of Augustine Kanjia continues …

Augustine Kanjia

Mark Henderson / Worcester Sun

Augustine Kanjia

Part 19 — Challenging Resettlement Process Begins |  “Many thought of returning home, but there was no money for their return and they had nowhere to return to, especially those whose houses were destroyed. The Gambia became unbearable and life was never as it used to be. I knelt and prayed for the will of God to be done in my life and for my family.” As his window of opportunity to escape his uncertain future in The Gambia begins to close, Augustine is on the hunt for another way.


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Inbox [Aug. 7]: WCHR announces employee wellness initiative, United Way seeks fundraisers, GWCF accepting grant requests, People’s United foundation supports 3 nonprofits |  Interesting and worthwhile things happen every day in our community. Alas, we can’t cover them all. That’s where Inbox comes in, to offer readers an easily digestible compilation of interesting and noteworthy items you and your neighbors keep telling us about. Have a release or a photo you or your group would like to share? Let us know by emailing it to info@worcester.ma. Be sure to include a link to the full release on your site or Facebook page so we can include it and send Sun members your way.


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Worcester Weekly: Worcester World Cup + 5 more things to do, starting Aug. 7 |  This three-day soccer-centric event has now been around for more than a decade bringing together many of the cultures that make Worcester what it is. Sixteen men’s teams will vie for the Cup, beginning with Honduras vs. Ecuador at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12. Women’s tournament, youth exhibition, food and entertainment, too, so go have a ball! Farmers markets, street hockey, country fair season is starting already, and more culture than you can handle.

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