Samantha Power

The Quad [Oct. 22-28]: Four things to know from Clark, Holy Cross, Assumption and Westfield State

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.

NAACP leader to discuss climate, racial justice Tuesday at Clark

Jacqueline Patterson, director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program, will discuss links between climate and racial justice as she presents “Upholding the Beloved Community,” a free public lecture at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24, in Jefferson Academic Center, Room 320, at Clark University.

Patterson has worked as a researcher, program manager, coordinator, advocate and activist on issues such as women’s rights, violence against women, HIV and AIDS, racial justice, economic justice, and environmental/climate justice. She serves on the International Committee of the U.S. Social Forum, the Steering Committee for Interfaith Moral Action on Climate, Advisory Board for Center for Earth Ethics and is on the boards of directors for the Institute of the Black World, Center for Story-based Strategy and the U.S. Climate Action Network.

Editorial: Powering up help to Puerto Rico

Irma. Jose. Maria. Here, we heard these names among an extraordinary lineup of September hurricanes.

Puerto Rico remembers them well. In turns they battered the U.S. territory — especially Maria, which hit as a Category 4 monster on Sept. 20. It caused death and destruction on a scale officials a month later are still sorting out.

By the look of things in many parts of the island the historic onslaught could have happened yesterday. Power remains out to about 80 percent of the island — that’s 80 percent of the nearly 3.5 million American citizens (about 2.8 million, or roughly the population of New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island combined).

About a quarter of the population is without public drinking water, according to various reports. Other services, from sewage treatment to gasoline pumps to ATM machines, are also agonizingly slow to get up and running again. Crops were wiped out.

It’s worth remembering here, too, that despite President Trump’s callous treatment of this devastating natural disaster — as if sending relief is some sort of charity or goodwill, rather than his obligation — that Puerto Rico pays more than $3 billion annually in federal business, payroll and estate taxes.

Worcester Weekly: Mayoral debate, Fall Fest on the Common + more, Oct. 22-28

The most fun you’ll have with a calendar of events all week. And you just might learn something, too.

Sunday, Oct. 22 — Great Pumpkin Nights, 6-9 p.m., EcoTarium, 222 Harrington Way  Want to feel old? (“No,” says everybody ever — but let’s play along.) The classic autumn TV special “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” debuted 51 years ago this week, Oct. 27, 1966. Forget lollipops and Halloween candy, Linus is bringing Activia to the pumpkin patch these days.

A better way to feel young again would be the EcoTarium’s 14th annual Halloween-themed fundraiser. More than 3,000 professionally carved jack-o’-lanterns and pumpkin displays light up the museum grounds (well, not all the way; bring a flashlight!). “Friendly” costumes encouraged. Trick-or-treating, entertainment and more fun.

Inbox [Oct. 11]: News and notes from Assumption, A Livable Worcester, REC, WPL Foundation, QCC, UniBank and Ninety Nine

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.

Assumption’s annual business ethics lecture to address Worcester’s opiate crisis

Assumption College’s annual Business Ethics Lecture will feature Joseph Sawicki, lead clinical pharmacy coordinator at Saint Vincent Hospital, who will discuss Worcester’s opiate crisis and the ethical difficulties faced by caregivers, managers and providers in a healthcare setting.

The lecture, “Making Sense of Complex Patient Care Issues,” will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, in La Maison Auditorium at Assumption.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 204]: Amazon-to-Worcester talk? It’s a jungle out there

Much like the top Red Sox affiliate moving to the Canal District, the prospect of online retail behemoth Amazon choosing Worcester for the site of its economy-changing HQ2 is a dream almost too sweet to wake up from.

And with visions of so many dollars and jobs and tax breaks dancing in their heads, chins have been wagging about the possibilities from Airport Hill to the Burns Bridge.

Of course, there are drawbacks, too, and plenty of warning signs back in Seattle. Pros and cons? Yeah, Hitch has some thoughts.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 203]: Warren and Markey, first responders

There are about 3.4 million people — Americans — living in Puerto Rico.

Nearly two weeks ago Hurricane Maria devastated the island. Yesterday, half of those Americans were still without drinking water and some two-thirds remained without electricity, including a few hospitals.

President Trump, as has become American custom, has been widely criticized for his callous, less-than-urgent response.

Never fear, though, Hitch says, because Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey are on the case.

Inbox [Oct. 4]: News and notes from National Grid, Holy Name and WPI, Sen. Chandler, Research Bureau, AdCare, Anna Maria, UniBank

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.

Energy storage product to debut at Holy Name tomorrow

Tomorrow, National Grid and Vionx Energy will introduce a premier energy storage project developed in partnership with Holy Name Central Catholic Junior/Senior High School and WPI.

The project will demonstrate a multi-hour, battery-based energy storage system that will capture and store for later use the power generated by the 600 kW wind turbine located at Holy Name.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will join Bishop Robert J. McManus, Mass. Dept. of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson, state and local elected officials and representatives of National Grid, Vionx, WPI and Holy Name during a ceremony at 10 a.m. at Holy Name, 144 Granite St.

On Beacon Hill: Bowling for dollars

Recap and analysis of the week in local, state and federal government from State House News Service and Sun research.

BOSTON — Line ’em up and knock ’em down. That’s been the House’s approach to Gov. Charlie Baker’s budget vetoes since returning from summer recess.

But if Speaker Robert DeLeo was hoping to see the Senate quickly pick up the spare, he found that it might take them a few extra frames.

For the second straight week, House leaders put dozens of votes on the floor to override $9 million more in spending vetoes, bringing the amount of money Democrats are looking to pour back into the $39.4 billion state budget to $284 million.

Then it was the Senate’s turn.

But in their first session since late July, senators acted on only $25 million worth of overrides focused on statewide services and programs that help children [see story below]. It was less than half of what Sen. Karen Spilka said the Senate was prepared to consider restoring to the budget, and the voting came over the objection of Senate Republicans who urged just a little patience.

The release of September tax collection totals this week will color in a full quadrant of the fiscal year picture and give legislators a better idea of how their financial forecast is holding up — well, at least the revenue side of the equation.

“The current fiscal environment, specifically soft revenue collection reports to date, indicates there is no basis to support the legislature’s decision to increase spending by $284 million,” Baker scolded Thursday evening, powerless to stop the type of decisions that have exacerbated midyear budget cuts in each of the last two years.

Baker watched the override votes from Boston after continuing to wear out the shuttle flight path between Logan and Reagan National. The governor headed back to Washington – this time the White House – for a meeting of President Trump’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

His path nearly crossed with U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, who was at the White House a day earlier as the ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee. Congressional leaders were there to discuss tax reform, but the bipartisan nature of the photo-op did not exactly buy the president or GOP leadership any rope with Democrats.

Flickr / Ben Wikler

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Neal, along with U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and others from their party, blasted the GOP tax reform framework as a trickle-down economic plan geared toward helping the wealthy, despite the White House casting it as middle-class tax relief.

In Massachusetts, leaders – Baker included – seized on the proposed elimination of state and local tax payment deductions as a particularly egregious simplification of the tax code.

That change would particularly hurt Bay State residents, they said, because they earn more than workers in many places around the country and pay higher income and property taxes that can be used to lower their federal tax burden.

Trump’s tax plan also proposed to eliminate the federal estate tax, a levy that got some attention at the state level as well last week. Rep. Shawn Dooley has proposed to raise the $1 million threshold for the Massachusetts estate tax at one of several hearings last week that put the State House in a morbid mood.

Despite the rejection by voters in 2012 of the concept of helping the terminally ill end their own lives, legislative proposals to revive the debate live on, even if their chances of resurrection seem remote.

Matters of life of death were also never far from mind for those with family in Puerto Rico, where water, food and medicine shortages continue to cause grave concern in a state with one of the top five populations of people from the Caribbean island in the country.

The devastation in Puerto Rico from the one-two punch of hurricanes Irma and Maria continued to influence both policy and politics, as Baker took steps to assure the community and his critics that Massachusetts stood ready to assist in any way possible [see video below].

— Matt Murphy

ALSO ON THE AGENDA

  • With another break looming, lawmakers about to buckle down?
  • McGovern on SNAP, Baker on WPD
  • Worcester awarded state recycling grant
  • Watch: Baker, Sanchez on Puerto Rico aid
  • Senate restores $25 million in Baker budget vetoes

Worcester Weekly: Oktoberfest, Worcester State football + more, Sept. 24-30

The most fun you’ll have with a calendar of events all week. And you just might learn something, too.

Tuesday, Sept. 26 — Architectural Scavenger Hunt, 5-7:30 p.m., Leo’s Ristorante, 11 Leo Turo Way  There are so many new buildings going up in Worcester, it can be easy to forget about the treasure trove of historic, intriguing and captivating old buildings that continue to lend character, culture and rising heating bills to every hilly neighborhood and winding one-way street in the city.

Mariano: Petty vs. Gaffney, Round 2

In many municipal elections, candidates have to work hard to show the distinctions between them. Often the differences are a matter of degree – candidates agree more or less on what needs to be done. Not in this one.