Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 215]: The lifecycle of turkeys and other wild creatures

Turkeys can really move, up to 25 mph with the right antagonist on its tail.

Alas, it’s that time of year when nearly 50 million of our fine, feathered friends have nowhere to run, making the ultimate sacrifice so Americans might remember a little gratitude is in order for all this freedom and life and stuff.

Ironically enough there’s a dangerous movement afoot on the streets of Worcester putting the lives and freedoms of turkeys of a different feather very much at risk.

Hitch swerves into traffic to take on a topic decidedly for the birds.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 214]: Celebrating Mike Gaffney’s departure

What a long, strange trip it’s been!

Quibble with the means to his ends all you want, but the most polarizing politician in recent Worcester history sure knew how to stir up support and keep his name in the headlines before his bizarre decision to exit stage left.

He abruptly abandoned a platform — and ardent group of backers — that two years earlier made him a legitimate challenger to Mayor Petty. Voters, clearly, have had enough of his antics.

Hitch thinks he’ll still be missed, though.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 213]: On a draining Worcester election season

You might have heard something about the myriad changes underway and on the horizon in the Heart of the Commonwealth.

For many in Worcester it is an exciting time. Time to buy in. Time to get involved. But then, there are limits.

Not everyone wants to see how the sausage is made. And public service doesn’t come with the same cache it used to. No, now it comes with relentless scrutiny and unfettered criticism. Which means, amid all these changes — election year or not — city leadership remains mostly static.

Hitch isn’t so sure that’s a good thing.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 212]: Flipping through Worcester election options

The time is here for your voice to be heard, Worcester voters.

Consider the city’s promising development boom, if you like. Or maybe its nagging struggles with the opioid epidemic. Be heartened by the experience and earnestness of the candidates for City Council and School Committee. Or lament that there are so few to choose from.

Vote your conscience, the saying goes.

For Hitch, the choices are clear — in high-definition, even.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 211]: Mad Maura strikes again

Recently the top point guard on the Bay State depth chart, Attorney General Maura T. Healey, did what many aging basketball stars do — she dabbled in TV.

On Comedy Central’s “The Opposition with Jordan Klepper,” Healey expounded on her efforts to keep President Trump honest. While some would say Healey should be more focused on the many Massachusetts-based issues that come across her desk, she insists serially suing the president is all about the people of the commonwealth.

Hitch thinks maybe it’s about something else.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 210]: Quite a fright for WRTA and its riders

It’s not easy being in the bus business these days.

Everybody wants faster, cleaner, quieter — but nobody wants to pay for it. In Worcester, it seems, riders have been spooked.

The trick RTA administrators pulled earlier this year, hiking fares while trimming stops, has treated the organization’s coffers about how one might expect.

Hitch digs deep into his bag of goodies for this one.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 209]: A mixed bag of reactions to Holy Cross mascot-change crusade

The College of the Holy Cross is not only an imposing and influential institution in Worcester, but it has been known as a sort of bellwether for liberalism in the Catholic Church for decades, dating at least back to a 1974 Time article that called HC “the cradle of the Catholic left.”

And now the school’s Crusader mascot — potentially offensive to Muslims and Jews — is increasingly in the crosshairs, with a campus task force charged with making a recommendation to trustees by next year.

Hitch did his own research and found a few extra concerns.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 208]: Worcester and the Railers, love at first ice

Worcester is a town that likes to get its buzz on.

Whether it’s the Amazon and PawSox bids, City Square, the Canal District, airport and rail innovation, solar farms or yellow bicycles, as long as the Woo’s trending, the powers-that-be are happy.

Cliff Rucker and Worcester Railers HC have quickly become a driving force of buzz-worthiness, and the team’s debut to more than 12,000 raucous fans at the DCU Center pulsed even more electricity through downtown.

Hitch, for one, is charged up.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 207]: Gaffney makes offer Worcester can’t refuse

Michael Gaffney, one-time (self-proclaimed) People’s Councilor®, is getting out of Worcester politics — and nobody seems to be lining up to pull him back in.

The at-large right-wing rabble-rouser, who gave Mayor Joe Petty a legit run for his money in the 2015 election, suddenly and cryptically announced on his blog that he and his wife are abandoning their bids for City Council seats.

With Gaffney it always seemed to get personal, but now it appears city leaders might just return to strictly business.

Hitch checks in with the guy who’s really pulling the strings for a definitive answer.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 206]: Pot restrictions high on City Council wish list

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia now have laws on the books legalizing marijuana to some extent.

And with California’s massive medical marijuana infrastructure expected to buoy a potential $7 billion recreational marketplace, experts see no end in sight to the pot shop proliferation.

In Worcester, up to 15 licenses could be awarded once state regulators open the floodgates next July. And city councilors want their say on where these retail outlets will put down roots.Hitch is hungry for answers.

Hitch is hungry for answers.