A Mother’s Journey: The shape of the city

Editor’s note: Since September 2015, Worcester Sun has chronicled the trials and triumphs of Sun contributor Giselle Rivera-Flores as she explores ways to help her daughter and other Worcester families find affordable educational support and assistance. We used to describe her as an aspiring business owner; now, she’s an inspiring one. During her journey to establish and grow her nonprofit tutoring collaborative she has, you could say, stepped beyond the walls of her dream.

Giselle Rivera-Flores

Browsing the Internet usually leaves you with a headache, a newfound anger for politics, a handful of Pinterest ideas you’ll never actually do, and with a profound feeling that you’re wasting your life away with every click.

But every once in a while, the Internet will surprise you with a few gems. Last week, while on my “downtime” – my new term for those times I find myself procrastinating – I stumbled across an interesting article about building a city, and of course, I instantly thought of Worcester. I wondered: Do they have a great master plan like this one?

In, “How to build a city from scratch: the handy step-by-step DIY guide,” an article written by Stuart Jeffries for The Guardian, the author compares building a city in real life to building a city in cyberspace, using games like Minecraft and Civilization to get his point across. Immediately, he notes there are obviously more challenges in real life to building a city, including “vainglorious dictators, pompous architects, bureaucratic impedimenta” and so forth, but after he clarifies the real-life challenges, he lays out a plan of action that is simply logical.

I mean, as an entrepreneur, I work off lists every day. I probably wouldn’t do well without my handy lists and overall plans.

Building a city with Jeffries means following an extensive outline of 20 steps, but I just want to focus on the top five:

Read Giselle’s previous chapter, The risk-taker’s lament, or scroll down to explore more of her story.

The Quad [Nov. 5-11]: Four things to know from Becker, QCC, Anna Maria and New England College of Business

Have campus news you or your college or university organization would like to share? Let us know by emailing it to info@worcester.ma. Be sure to send a link to the full release on your site or Facebook page so we can include it and point Sun members your way.

Becker announces unique esports partnership

Becker College and Gamer Sensei, the top esports coaching platform, has announced a partnership to create a first-of-its-kind program for students this semester. Becker students who are members of the college’s esports club will have access to professional coaches from around the globe who will help them train and play in tournaments for some of the top competitive games, both individually and as a team.

“Offering a college coaching program has been a dream of ours ever since we launched the platform,” said William Collis, co-founder of Gamer Sensei. “With one of the nation’s leading game design programs and a student body that was already plugged in to the competitive gaming scene, Becker was a natural partner for us and we are excited to see how it takes off.”

Inbox [Nov. 5-11]: News and notes from Worcester Economic Index, Health Foundation, UMass Memorial, Women of Color Coalition and YWCA

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.

Worcester economy grows steadily

The economy in greater Worcester grew at roughly 1.9 percent during the third quarter of 2017, up slightly from the revised 1.7 percent turned in during the second quarter, according to the latest update of the Worcester Economic Index.

The WEI, a quarterly report by Assumption College Economic Professor Thomas White, is an estimate of local economic activity based on recent employment and unemployment data for the Worcester area.

“Over the past year the region has added about 2,200 jobs according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics payroll survey,” White said. ”And Worcester’s September unemployment rate of 3.7 percent is below both the Massachusetts and U.S. rates. These factors contributed to the growth in the Worcester Economic Index.”

Polito, state officials urge new perspective on domestic violence

BOSTON — A change in thinking around domestic violence — like the shift toward viewing drug addiction as health issue — is needed to help ensure victims get the support they need, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito told lawmakers.

Polito said a public health approach to domestic violence from state government would mean there is “no wrong door” for a victim to turn to when he or she needs support or services. Speaking at a Public Health Committee hearing Monday, she said that taking steps in that direction reminds her of “how we all worked hard on changing the stigma of opioid addiction.”

“We changed the conversation, that it’s not a character flaw or criminal action to be addicted to a drug,” Polito told the committee. “Same thing I feel with domestic violence.”

Sina-cism: Montaigne is not on this inconsequential Worcester ballot

Several times this summer and fall I have asked myself whether I ought to gin up more enthusiasm for the upcoming Worcester municipal election.

Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

But every time I looked at the ballot, heard a candidate speak, or read a profile or election story, I woke up the next morning feeling refreshed for the extra sleep.

If the French philosopher and essayist Michel de Montaigne were running, I’d feel differently. We’ll get back to him later. But he’s not, and the truth is that this Worcester municipal election is about as inconsequential as an election can get.

Perhaps, like incumbent Mayor Joe Petty, you believe Worcester is a city on the rise, with abundant investment, strong schools, great restaurants, a new hockey team, and a can-do spirit that has left its gritty mill city reputation in the past.

Perhaps, like challenger Konnie Lukes, you believe there is another Worcester, one missing out on prosperity, where gangs run rampant, drug-dealing is rife, there are too many empty storefronts, an opioid epidemic spirals out of control, and councilors fail to address problems like an over-reliance on property taxes.

More Sun commentary:

Railers’ Lannon hopes to have extended comeback up his sleeves

Ryan Lannon’s plans for this winter included a cross-country road trip and selling sportcoats. Well, not just any sportcoats, actually.

“It’s kind of a niche market,” Lannon said. “It’s a business casual athletic look. No one else makes short-sleeve [sportcoats].”

Inspired by summer weddings on Cape Cod in which the men scorch and sweat in the heat, Lannon planned to drive to locales where it’s hot year-round, such as Southern California, to sell his short-sleeve sportcoats as well as other apparel.

It sounds like a wild idea. But it’s not the only time Lannon has had one of those. He said his parents are used to him telling them he’s going to do something a little, well, unexpected.

Like, for example, when he told them last month he wanted to come out of retirement four years after his last game as a professional hockey player to join up with the expansion Worcester Railers of the ECHL.

AdCare Patriot Award

Inbox [Oct. 25]: News and notes from Center for Applied Behavioral Instruction, WCUW, Children’s Friend, AdCare, RTN Credit Union

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.

Local private school relocates, expands

The Center for Applied Behavioral Instruction, an accredited, private special education day school for students with autism spectrum disorder and challenging behaviors in Worcester, has relocated to an adjacent building at 345 Greenwood St., Suite 3.

An open house will be held 4-6 p.m. Friday at the new location.

There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony with officials from the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce. CABI staff will conduct tours of the facility.