Access Denied: Mounting opposition, pricetag bury pipeline plans

For activists fighting the suspended Access Northeast pipeline project, their arguments about its incongruity with green energy conversion have finally borne fruit.

Developers Thursday withdrew their proposed $3.2 billion Access Northeast pipeline project, which would cut through nine communities as it works its way to the state’s coastline south of Boston.

The decision was cause to celebrate for pipeline opponents. But they do not believe their work is done as pipeline supporters indicate they may submit plans down the road if they can find a way to pay for it.

“Over the last three years, we have seen a truly incredible wave of grassroots resistance to new fossil fuel pipelines in Massachusetts,” Craig Altemose, Executive Director for 350 Massachusetts for a Better Future, said in a statement. “Thousands of concerned citizens have called and emailed their legislators, submitted public comments, packed into public hearings, and taken to the streets for massive rallies and multi-day marches.

“Spectra recognized that their deep pockets were no match for grassroots power. It’s only a matter of time before other fossil fuel companies come to the same realization. We look forward to Spectra similarly abandoning their plans for the similarly offensive and unnecessary Atlantic Bridge project.”

Inbox [July 2-8]: News and notes from Zipcar, South High, Armory Business Center, Worcester Public Library, WPS, POW! WOW! Worcester

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.

Zipcar launches in Worcester

Zipcar, the world’s leading car-sharing network, announced a partnership with the city of Worcester to bring its “wheels when you want them” membership service to area residents, businesses, visitors and students.

Six Zipcars are available for reservation by the hour or by the day in easily accessible locations downtown. The vehicles are parked in designated spots for convenient pickup and drop-off and can be reserved on Zipcar’s mobile app, online or over the phone.

The Zipcar Worcester fleet features a variety of makes and models. Each reservation includes gas, insurance and 180 miles of driving per day.

“We’re excited to bring Zipcar to Worcester as part of the city’s growing transportation network,” said Chris Moulding, Zipcar regional community marketing manager.

In Worcester, battle for pedicab supremacy is afoot

The race is on for local bike taxi companies to get the official “green light” from City Hall to hit Worcester streets this summer. But with the support of key city influencers, one enterprising firm appears to have a head start.

Otherwise known as “pedicabs,” these bicycle-towed taxis are aimed at the city’s high-traffic nightlife areas in hopes to help bar and restaurant hoppers beat the heat.

“I think [bike taxis] would be big for Worcester. Just being out and around, I think it would be easy to jump in an open-air cab to take you to the end of the street so you don’t have to move the car. They’re very popular in bigger cities, and I know they will be popular here — especially getting between the major nightlife areas,” said Jason Grayson, president of Worcester Pedal Bike Company.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 174]: A blunt assessment

As it turns out, regulating marijuana is no piece of cake. Did somebody say, cake? Man, I could go for some cake right about now. Frosting’s the best! Wait, what? Oh right

While State House leaders seemed to put out the fire after bungling their first pass at a legal pot law, voters are still feeling the burn from a proposed tax that could go as high as 28 percent.

With deliberations set to continue this week, Hitch is hungry for some real answers.

Inbox [June 25-July 1]: News and notes from Homewood Suites, Dept. of Public Works, Advocates, WRTA and Sen. Moore

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.

Homewood Suites opens its doors downtown

The Homewood Suites in Washington Square, Worcester’s newest hotel, has officially opened. With 118 suites, the hotel offers upscale accommodations in the heart of downtown.

“As a hub for scientific and technical research, Worcester is known to be a city that hosts conventions and conferences, and that boasts strong higher education and medical sectors. We’re excited to offer guests a hotel that accommodates either one night of traveling or an extended-stay visit for business or leisure purposes,” said Ryan Hanratty, hotel general manager.

Developed and owned by First Bristol Corp., Homewood Suites by Hilton Worcester offers a combination of studio and one-bedroom accommodations, featuring fully equipped kitchens and separate living and sleeping areas. Guests are also provided all the essentials needed for a smart, reliable and convenient stay, including complimentary daily full-hot breakfast, evening social Mondays through Thursdays, Wi-Fi and a grocery shopping service.

Sina-cism: Adieu, Paris accord, you meant so little

Sadly, the media doesn’t focus on the science at all, but almost exclusively on the politics of climate.
Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

Much ink has been spilled and many BTUs of hot air generated since President Trump announced on May 25 that the United States will pull out of the Paris climate accord, but it wasn’t until Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty declared his support for the deal — joining dozens of other mayors nationwide — that I realized just how ridiculous the whole thing is.

Look, there is plenty of evidence that climate change, or global warming (or whatever term is in vogue this week) is taking place. I don’t want the Earth’s flora and fauna to die. I have nothing against residents of the Netherlands, 47 percent of whom are threatened by rising sea levels. And while I’ve never been to the South Pacific, I hope the low-lying island nations there do not sink beneath the waves.

But the Paris climate deal was never going to save the planet — and never will — regardless of what the United States does.

Worcester Weekly: Lombardi Trophy, Stand Down for vets + more, June 11-17

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

Professional sports

Monday, June 12 — Worcester Bravehearts vs. North Shore Navigators, 7:05 p.m., Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field, 1 College St.  Outfielder Joe Caico of Hopedale, back for his second season with the Bravehearts, got off to a fine start at the plate, hitting .346 (9-of-26) with 2 home runs and 6 RBI (not to mention 9 runs and 3 doubles) as the team won five of its first seven games.

Courtesy Jaime Flores Photography

The Bravehearts are off to a 5-2 start in 2017.

Meanwhile, relief ace Cody Lawyerson, from University of Maine, has struck out 11 and walked but 1 in 5-2/3 innings of work over three appearances. Kevin Kirley of Clinton and Nichols College is a pitcher for the Navigators, who lost their first six games of the season, including a 9-3 drubbing by the Bravehearts Friday night. Tickets start at $6.

Editorial: Oui, the people

It was less than a week ago that President Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.

That the president’s statement bore only passing resemblance to the truth, that the White House’s transcript of the president’s speech contained fewer facts than mentions of the word “applause” (15) — these are matters we will leave for another time.

Additionally, international reaction — from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s disappointment with the “United States federal government” to French President Emmanuel Macron trolling Trump with a message that read “Make our planet great again” — is best reviewed in another forum.

What bears examination, and praise, here is the immediate and broad opposition that transcends political ideology, geographic boundaries and income level.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 169]: Staying cool, with Charlie Baker

It’s not easy being a Republican in Massachusetts — or, really, anywhere these days, what with President Aerosol chiseling new holes in the O-zone whenever he takes a break from tweeting jibberish.

Baker, though, has not been shy about disagreeing with Trump on health care and other socioeconomic issues; he again strayed from the pack to affirm the Bay State’s commitment to address climate change.

Hitch thinks this won’t be doing Baker any favors with the already-skeptical state GOP.

Inbox [June 7]: News and notes from Worcester Tech, Main IDEA, Mass. Symphony, WPI and Holden Democratic Town Committee

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 Tech student earns second place in Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge

Worcester Tech student Adhi Murillo earned second place in the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) New England Regional Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge recently.

Adhi Murillo

Courtesy of Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship

Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) New England Regional Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge Second Place Winner Adhi Murillo of Worcester Technical High School.

Murillo and winner Allison Pereira of New Bedford will represent New England at nationals in October in New York, where they will present and defend their business plans to compete for prizes totaling $20,000.

Murillo created Katharoes and won $500 for her plan for an app for on-the-spot cleaning services where customers can request one room or an entire house to be cleaned.