June 4, 2017

Worcester Sun, June 4-10: Mariano on our shrinking local ballot, a focus on the Jane Jacobs influence in city development + more

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Chelsea Creekmore / Destination Worcester

Crompton Collective is a prime example of the Jane Jacobs ethos.

Sun columnist

Mariano: Why no one wants to run for local office

Ray Mariano

“With so few people running for office, it hardly seems worth the cost and the effort to hold the election. Maybe they could just draw straws. … So what happened? Why are so few people interested in running for local office?”

Flickr / Leonardo DaSilva

The shape of downtown changes by the day — but is the social risk worth the financial reward?

A visionary Worcester under fire |  While Worcester experiences “unprecedented investment” in downtown development especially, the great influx of cash from outside economic forces neglects, in one advocate’s mind, a broader image of community and risks far more than the city would stand to gain from using the determined, blue-collar progress of Main South as a blueprint for a vibrant, inclusive and sustainable future.

Guest commentary

Meaghan L. Hardy-Lavoie

A view of Union Station.

Worcester 2.0: An outsider’s inside look at the city’s developing future |  “In Istanbul I was drowned in the city and its events, while in Worcester I have to dig in to reach them. In Istanbul, a machine of 15 million, I always felt disposable and replaceable. In Worcester, I feel more significant. … But where do people of color and/or lower income stand within this revitalizing/renewing Worcester? How much are they incorporated into this transformation? What are their roles?” Kaner Turker, a Clark grad student, shares his perspective.

Sun columnist

Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

Sina-cism: The word on Trumpian truths from Assumption College |  “In a recently published article, a local professor concludes, to believe Trump is corrupting language in an effort to inhibit resistance is to give the man too much credit. … The left’s portrait of the president as nefarious is no more true than the right’s fading hope that he may yet prove to be the second coming of Ronald Reagan. The grim reality is that sometimes a buffoon is just a buffoon.”

The unbelievably true story of Augustine Kanjia continues …

Courtesy Augustine Kanjia

The Roman Catholic School assembly hall in Motema.

Part 40: Poverty Strikes Hard as Mother Returns |  “The whole class, instead of sympathizing with me, burst into laughter and some bowed their heads on their desks. I could not see them during the excruciating punishment. My eyes were red and full of tears. My classmates could not stop laughing, and Mr. Bangura enjoyed his job and continued punishing me hard.” With Augustine struggling at school and Grannie scrambling to make ends meet, Hannah comes back into the picture, But can she help?

Sam Doran / State House News Service

Gov. Charlie Baker checks his watch Friday morning before announcing the departure of Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Ron Walker, who will be replaced by bank executive Rosalin Acosta, right.

On Beacon Hill: What does it all mean? |  Words can inspire, they can sting and they can leave one scratching their head. The words spoken last week — and still to be uttered — from Boston to Washington, D.C., did that and more as gubernatorial candidates geared up for a weekend of Baker-Trump bashing, the president excoriated an historic international climate pact, the feds busted a major fentanyl trafficking ring in Lawrence and Democrats sniped each other over ideological purity. Plus, McGovern, Chandler, Aaron Hernandez and cybersecurity.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 168]: Getting carried away with plastic bags |  Forget about the splintered neighborhoods, persistent crime, aging infrastructure and simmering feud with the teachers union. No time for that stuff — it’s an election year, so let’s talk about banning plastic shopping bags. Maybe conservative longtime councilor and former mayor Konnie Lukes can see the liberal writing on the wall, as at least one at-large incumbent is likely to be on the outs come November. But still, the city certainly has bigger fish to fry. Never one to hide behind politics, Hitch has some thoughts.

Flickr / Daniel M. Hendricks

Sometimes the simplest solutions can make the biggest difference.

Editorial: In Worcester, a lesson in laundry and kindness |  Just as the school year is about to end, a small news item out of Sullivan Middle School has provided a glimpse into the world inside those halls. At Sullivan and elsewhere, something as simple as clean clothes is a problem for some students. The solution put in place is surprisingly straightforward.

Wikimedia Commons / Terageorge

DCU Center

Worcester Weekly: Boxing at the DCU Center, Riverdance + more for early June |  The most fun you’ll have with a calendar of events all week. And you just might learn something, too. Here are some of the best things to do, places to go — and reasons why — over the next few days.

Topix.com

Mayor Petty

Inbox [June 4]: News and notes from city of Worcester, EPA, Bravehearts and Worcester State, WPI and Holy Cross |  Have news 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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