Inbox [Aug. 6-12]: News and notes from American Cancer Society, Assumption, Auburn and Solomon Pond malls, Hanover Theatre, UMass Medical School, state

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.

American Cancer Society honors Worcester business leader

The American Cancer Society recently honored Kham Inthirath of Northbridge with a Sandra C. Labaree Volunteer Values Award.

The award recognizes Inthirath’s accomplishments in support of its mission to celebrate and save lives and to lead the fight for a world without cancer.

Kham Inthirath

Courtesy of American Cancer Society

Kham Inthirath, right, receives the Sandra C. Labaree Volunteer Values Award from Holly Grant, executive director, American Cancer Society.

As founder and president of Worcester-based Envision Digital Group, Inthirath donated the services of his digital marketing agency to produce compelling videos to illustrate the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events in Worcester and Boston in 2016 as well as the Real Men Wear Pink of Worcester Reveal Party.

Tips from the Pros: Top six myths about MBEs

Myths have a negative impact on MBE [minority business enterprise] success because legends can reinforce or encourage bad decisions by aspiring entrepreneurs and MBEs — decisions that can be critical and sometimes fatal to the establishment or growth of the businesses. Joset Wright-Lacy, president of the National Minority Supplier Development Council, explains.

Inbox [Aug. 2]: News and notes from East Side CDC, Worcester Wares, WPI, Holy Cross, MassDiGI, Ninety Nine and YOU Inc.

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.

East Side CDC lands $125K in Brownfields funding

Worcester East Side Community Development Corp. recently received $125,000 in Brownfields Redevelopment funding.

The award was one of nine worth $1.5 million from the Baker-Polito administration.

East Side CDC will use the award for assessment of a site that will become eight units of garden-style, handicap-accessible housing for extremely low-income or potential homeless residents while they continue to receive supportive services from the Department of Mental Health.

Read the entire story on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website

Worcester Wares calling for artists

Editorial: Investments big and small

For those who follow the news, that Worcester is in the midst of a mind-boggling run of private investment in the city is not a shock. The grand announcements, ribbon-cuttings and groundbreakings have lately come at a breakneck pace. In the wake of these types of mega deals we’re left with large-scale projects we refer to with one- or two-word names:

  • Grid District
  • Harding Green
  • Former courthouse
  • Central Building
  • Homewood Suites
  • A.C. Marriott
  • 145 Front

…and the list goes on.

The large-scale developments in the city have benefits that far outweigh even the most lofty price tags. Investments in Worcester affirm the value we place in the city in which we live, work and play. It is a sign that people outside Worcester see what we see: a city that inspires and aspires.

Alas, a majority of the plans you read or hear about are downtown. It’s understandable, of course. The push to remake downtown as an 18-hour destination is in its second decade and each success along the way fosters the belief in what can be achieved in the long run.

However, a vibrant and growing city is more than just major downtown developments. It’s also property owners throughout the city building or rebuilding properties out of the limelight and without fanfare.

Dismas House

Inbox [July 30-Aug. 5]: News and notes from Worcester Art Museum, WBDC, Dismas House, Clark, Burncoat, Doherty, Shepherd Hill and UMass Medical School

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 Art Museum offers free admission in August

The Worcester Art Museum announced the continuation of one of its most popular summertime traditions: free admission for the month of August.

“Free August” includes access to special exhibitions, the permanent galleries, and WAM’s August programming — including Art + Market, tours, Art Carts, arms and armor demonstrations, and Nude Drawing in the Galleries.

Inbox [July 26]: News and notes from city of Worcester, UMass Medical School, Worcester Police and Fire, Family Health Center and WCAC

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.

West Nile found in mosquitoes in Worcester

West Nile Virus has been detected in mosquitoes collected in Worcester, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health told city officials on Tuesday. No humans have tested positive for the virus.

DPH found positive mosquito samples in the northeastern and southeastern quadrants of the city. During the summer months, DPH collects routine samples of mosquitoes to monitor for West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

West Nile is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus. While West Nile can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection.

The Final Chapter for Worcester Public Libraries: 193-year-old institution being razed

Wondering what the future could hold for city libraries and the books that line their walls? Find out with author BJ Hill in the Sun’s serial glimpse into the fantastic (and mostly fictional) possibilities of a not-so distant tomorrow.

WORCESTER, July 19, 2052 — Scores of people gathered on the Worcester Common throughout the day Friday to witness the demolition of the Worcester Public Library Main Branch. Aside from the college campus depositories, the building, built in 1964, was the last standing public library in the city and the largest library in Central Massachusetts. The teardown is part of Beacon Hill’s cost-cutting plan to close and consolidate libraries across the Commonwealth.

Sun Serials | Ray Mariano | Free to Read

Begun in 2040, the “10-year plan” aggregates local libraries’ physical materials into four regional centers: Whately, Worcester, Waltham and Wellfleet. Samples of books, including works of local history and genealogy, have been reviewed, categorized and transferred to the Region C Information Distribution Center, formerly the Greendale Mall. Relocation and storage fees are being paid for by Amazon.com, which, in 2041, initiated its ambitious plan to purchase every copy of every known paper-based volume in existence.

Of the old C/W MARS regional consortium, which at one time included more than 149 libraries in Central and Western Mass., only eight buildings remain open to the public: Pittsfield, Leominster, Leicester, West Brookfield, Shrewsbury, Wales, Williamstown and Lenox. All eight are set to close within the next 12 months.

“I understand that it’s sad to see the old libraries go, but we need to start thinking about space in Worcester,” said state Sen. Edward Rodrigues, who voted for the plan. “This move eliminates on building upkeep costs, saves on librarian salaries and benefits, and all but cuts out book purchases. We’ve outsourced all of that — almost for free — and now we can put that prime CitySquare land back on the tax rolls for a new tenant.

In fact, proponents say CitySquare, the sprawling downtown development project, will finally be completed in the next few years.

More What if … Worcester: Gardens and gargoyles: Dilapidated churches grow into urban farms

A Mother’s Journey: The inner-city detour

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

The gap between rich and the poor affects all aspects of American life. While it should never impact a child’s chance to receive a good education, there remains an obvious schism at the center of many a school-related controversy.

A pronounced funding rift is often cited as the main reason behind failing or underperforming schools, and more and more seems to be among the top determinants — along with parent engagement, which also lags in lower-income areas — of whether a child will excel in school or fall into the cracks of the nation’s achievement gap.

Founding The Learning Hub was an attempt to break through the barriers of financial disadvantages and shine a light on a group of students in inner cities that otherwise lack key supportive academic services.

From personal experience, I learned higher-income cities and towns equal more academic support services and better schools, while low-income towns and cities like Worcester consistently lack similar supports and struggling students are shuffled up through the ranks of what I see as a failing school system.

Last August, The Atlantic published, “Good School, Rich School; Bad School, Poor School,” and it remains one of my consistent motivators since launching The Hub. The article looks at the state of Connecticut and breaks down the school system based on location. It ultimately leads to an unsurprising finding: schools in better neighborhoods receive better access to wraparound services while schools in poor neighborhoods are left wanting.

Read Giselle’s previous chapter, The look of leadership, or scroll down to explore more of her story.

Ninety Nine

Inbox [July 19]: News and notes from Loyal Techs, Ninety Nine restaurant, Community Harvest Project, Clemente Course Worcester and YWCA Central Mass.

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.

On-site, on-demand tech support startup Loyal Techs launches in Worcester

Loyal Techs, an on-demand support service, has launched, aiming to revolutionize the way consumers receive on-site and remote technical support.

With the click of a button, Worcester residents can book affordable and expert tech support for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. It’s a simple, inexpensive and convenient option for troubleshooting and fixing tech issues without booking a pushed-out appointment with a hefty price tag.

“Our only focus is our awesome customers and the services we provide,” says Anthony Inguaggiato, CEO of Loyal Techs. “Our goal is to provide the best tech support anyone has ever experienced. We want to be the only tech support option you think of for on-demand high-quality support.”