Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 189]: On pot, Mass. lawmakers show green thumb

Maybe it was an earnest and honest diligence that kept state lawmakers from finishing their rewrite of the voter-approved legal marijuana bill that wallowed behind closed doors for months.

Or maybe they just figured most of the interested parties were busy restringing their ukuleles and crushing it on the ultimate Frisbee course.

Either way, what the joint committee came up with finally earned the governor’s signature. But, Hitch wonders, does it leave any room to grow?

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 188]: Beetles, barely — and other rare Worcester species

News came earlier this month that the once pervasive Asian longhorned beetle has all but disappeared from the Burncoat-area neighborhoods they once ravaged.

Some 35,000 trees in North Worcester, Boylston and West Boylston fell victim before years of vigilance quelled the scourge. That persistence is certainly missing in other corners of the city.

For Hitch, there is, indeed, a certain political animal that could use a wake-up call.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 187]: Throwing the book at Worcester trash scofflaws

For years cynical visitors and disenchanted residents have called our fair city a dump.

And for far too long they all had a point, as jaded and/or careless folks turned hillside knolls, little-used parking lots and neglected street corners into their own private rubbish and recycling centers.

City officials, though, have had enough. Cameras are on the lookout and illegal dumpers are on notice.

Hitch, for one, thinks it’s about time offenders were put in their place.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 186]: What the dickens happened to sales tax holiday?

The first time Massachusetts gave businesses and consumers a tax-free weekend, in 2004, the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years.

Just sayin’ — maybe it has special powers.

More Hitch | What if … Worcester | Free to Read

Of course, these days the powers-that-be at the State House aren’t feeling so charitable under the pall of a murky fiscal future. So much for a discount on that new bedroom set … or a championship parade.

Hitch visits an old friend to get to the bottom of this.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 185]: Holden Little League and the (David) Price of fame

With summer at its apex baseball season, from the big leagues to the Futures League to Little League, is at a fever pitch.

And while the Sox battle it out with the Yankees, and the Bravehearts vie for a playoff spot, a gaggle of 11- to 13-year-old all-stars from Holden recently brought home the town’s first state title — and now have a chance at the national stage.

What kind of motivation could a certified (or is it certifiable?) ace like David Price offer such a team on the rise? Hitch was wondering the same thing.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 184]: A word, or two, with the WRTA

When you hear the phrase “action plan,” you know you’re at a junior management seminar or a municipal meeting.

So, of course it’s fitting the pair of buzzwordy words would come out of a powwow involving a City Council committee and WRTA officials. Fear not, frustrated bus riders. They hear your complaints. And soon — OK, soon-ish — they promise — like, really for real — there will be an action plan to address them.

More Hitch | What if … Worcester | Free to Read

Hitch unpacks the B.S. and spins up some synergy to address this paradigm shift.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 183]: This is your brain on drugs, Massachusetts

Legal recreational marijuana is coming to a storefront near you!

Well, actually, the “where” might just be the final piece of this hazy puzzle to come into focus — the “who,” “what,” “when,” “why” and “how” have finally been dealt with now that state lawmakers pushed a compromise bill onto the governor’s desk.

Some of those details, though, have left many observers dazed and confused. Hitch, for one, is jonesing for better answers.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 182]: Pedestrian safety at a crossroads

Much attention was paid last week to the safety — or lack thereof — of the city’s bustling byways, boulevards and thoroughfares.

One city councilor, possibly driving for pole position in what could be a contentious election this fall, suggested a reduced speed limit, while an independent study showed Worcester to have the most dangerous intersections in the Bay State.

Hitch, of course, always draws his own conclusions.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 181]: Charlie Baker and sanctuary status

Even his detractors would have to admit, Charlie Baker has had a pretty decent run as governor of the Bay State.

The Republican’s ability to work with a deep blue Legislature has earned him accolades nationwide — just this week a poll found him to be America’s most popular governor.

More Hitch | What if … Worcester | Free to Read

Of course a good deal of his detractors belong to the GOP and they’re not so enthusiastic about Baker’s bipartisan attitude toward issues like health care and immigration.

Hitch explores the schism.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 180]: When Dukakis, Bulger and Trump collide

Former Bay State governor and Democratic nominee for president Michael Dukakis has not been shy in his critiques of the Tweeter-in-Chief, Donald Trump.

In a recent Boston Herald column, Dukakis says his wife, Kitty, “sees all the signs” of a serious personality disorder in the president. Billy Bulger, another power broker from years past, knows a thing or two about dangerous personalities.

So, Hitch thought it wise to bring everyone together to get to the bottom of this.