Bushel N Peck spreads to Westborough, tweaks the menu

For decades Bushel N Peck has maintained its perch among the city’s go-to sandwich shops. And now, 37 years after the Oliveri family opened the first store in Tatnuck Square and after new owner Michael Bartosiewicz added locations in Grafton and Clinton, Bushel N Peck is on the verge of opening its fifth storefront in Westborough.

So hungry you could eat a Horse Feast? Try deadhorse hill

Tasting menus the last few years have spread like an epidemic across the country — setting up uninitiated diners and amateur foodies for what can end up being an exhausting night of relentless dish shuffling, constant overselling of unheard-of ingredients by the waitstaff and a bill for dessert that leaves wallets as dry as a glass of Chablis.

In Worcester, though, tasting menus are still more hidden treasure than booby trap, even on a Friday night.

At deadhorse hill, the trendy, well-regarded downtown eatery, Chef Jared Forman’s tasting menu is one of breathtaking explorations into the American palate. Coupling a unique approach to seasonal items with a regular rotation of inspiring presentations, the tasting menu we recently sampled provided all sorts of surprises as the dishes seemed to transport us across the landscape of New England.

The Quad [Nov. 8]: Four things to know from Anna Maria, Worcester State, QCC and UMass Medical School

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.

Anna Maria College hosts sculpture walk with Gloria Hall

Anna Maria College announced that Art in the Park Executive Director Gloria Hall will join the Department of Art and Design for a sculpture walk at noon today.

The tour will start in front of the Bishop Flanagan Campus Center and continue down Sunset Lane. During the walk, Ms. Hall will discuss Art in the Park, the partnership with Anna Maria College and stories and nuances of each sculpture. The walk will conclude at the Art Center Gallery in Miriam Hall with hot apple cider and the current exhibit, “Frank Poor, From the Road.” This event is free and open to the public.

120 Front Street

Inbox [Nov. 8]: News and notes from Worcester Cultural Coalition, Mercantile Center, Bravehearts, Applebee’s, city 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.

Williams to be honored at State House

Erin Williams, cultural development officer for the city of Worcester, was one of five Champion of Artists award winners who will be honored this morning at the State House.

The award of the Massachusetts Artists Leaders Coalition will be given at 10 a.m. as part of the 11th annual Artists Under the Dome event.

Williams currently serves on the Central Massachusetts Creative Economy Network, is a founding board member of MASSCreative, and a board member of Discover Central Mass.

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.

Seven Hills

Inbox [Oct. 8-14]: News and notes from Seven Hills and Children’s Friend, UniBank, Assumption, city and UMass Medical, Becker, QCC, Anna Maria

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.

Children’s Friend affiliates with Seven Hills Foundation

Worcester-based Children’s Friend recently became an affiliate of Seven Hills Foundation. Children’s Friend provides high-level professional mental health services, adoption and related services, grief support, and early education and care for approximately 1,000 infants, toddlers and preschool children throughout Central Mass.

“Children’s Friend will continue to serve the Central Mass. community as it has for decades; offering care and comfort to children, adolescents and families,” said Dr. David Jordan, President of Seven Hills Foundation. “Children’s Friend has for many years served as the beacon for children’s programs and services. The partnership we now share together will only further that.”

Seven Hills Foundation offers program sites at 170 locations throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island and employs nearly 3,800. It offers a continuum of support and services to 28,000 children, adults and seniors with disabilities and other life challenges through its 12 affiliate organizations.

Bushel N Peck spreads to Westborough, tweaks the menu

For decades, despite an ownership change in 2005, Bushel N Peck has maintained its perch among the city’s go-to sandwich shops, churning out classic, lunchtime favorites with an old-school American deli sensibility.

And now, 37 years after the Oliveri family opened the first store in Tatnuck Square and after new owner Michael Bartosiewicz added locations in Grafton (2013) and Clinton (2015), Bushel N Peck is on the verge of opening its fifth storefront in Westborough on a bustling stretch of Route 30.

(Then known as Elsa’s Bushel N Peck, the second shop opened in The Summit, on East Mountain Street, in 1990.)

“With the economy growing, we are trying to tap into those new customers,” said Bartosiewicz, a longtime employee of the Oliveri family who bought the business from Tom Sr. and Elsa in 2005. “We want to keep improving and we want to offer new exciting items to maintain our reputation in the community and stay up-to-date with the changing times.

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