Youth baseball official frustrated by city’s tag days stance

With funding for youth sports leagues becoming increasingly difficult to come by in some corners of the city, Nick D’Andrea, secretary/treasurer for East Side Babe Ruth, remains disappointed in the city’s apparent disinterest in regulating the practice of “tag days,” which used to generate thousands of dollars per season for his and similar organizations.

“They keep kicking that can down the road,” said D’Andrea, who brought the issue before City Council last April with support from first-term Councilor-at-large Khrystian King.

Sun archives: King brings tag days debate back before council

City spokesman John Hill said safety and legal concerns prevent the city from condoning or supporting so-called tag days, when local organizations, such as youth sports teams, would apply for permits from the city and stand at intersections to solicit donations from motorists. For example, many remember the firefighters’ Boot Drive for Multiple Sclerosis.

“At the council’s request last April, the city manager asked the law department to investigate the idea of reinstating the Tag Day ordinance, which has been repealed upon implementation of the city’s panhandling ordinances in 2013,” Hill wrote in an email statement to the Sun.

“The law department recommended not implementing a new Tag Day ordinance for two reasons: first, because of the risks to persons and property arising out of Tag Day events; and, second, because it would place the city in the untenable legal position of requiring a permit for an activity which constitutionally requires no permit.”

Filmmakers hope to whip up fundraising frenzy for Major Taylor biopic ‘Black Cyclone’

Running from Foster to Highland streets through the heart of downtown Worcester — and never more than a few blocks away from the infamous incline of George Street — is Major Taylor Boulevard.

The bustling thoroughfare is named after Marshall “Major” Taylor, a pioneering athlete who trained to become the first black world champion cyclist in 1899 by repeatedly sprinting the steep 500 feet between Main and Harvard streets. The second world-champion black athlete, after boxer George Dixon, Taylor’s grueling workout inspired an annual fundraising event at George Street that continues with its 15th edition in July.

The American sprint champion in 1900 and one-time holder of seven world records, Taylor retired in 1910 at 32 years old, fell on hard times and died destitute at 53 in a Chicago hospital, his legacy all but forgotten already.

Locally, the Major Taylor Association has attended to that legacy with events, including the George Street Challenge, not to mention a downtown monument, for the man known as “The Worcester Whirlwind” and “The Black Cyclone.” A number of books have been written, as well, but many feel his impactful life deserves more attention

In an effort to shed more light on Taylor’s heroics on a national level, a group from Beverly Hills, California — including producer Rashid Bahati, author John Howard and script writer Rob Walker — have come together to create a feature film, “The Black Cyclone.”

ABA basketball hopes to drop Anchors in Worcester

The New England Anchors are a first-year ABA basketball team with strong prospects on the court, and significant connections to the city off of it. But whether the team will make it to next year, and make its home here, are — much like the opening tip-off — matters decidedly up in the air.

Inbox [March 8]: Becker taps new marketing chief, St. Peter-Marian adds girls hockey and moves into Worcester Ice Center, YWCA hosts forums, EcoTarium names new director, Worcester addresses graffiti

Interesting and worthwhile things happen every day in our community. Alas, we can’t cover them all. That’s where Inbox comes in, to offer readers an easily digestible compilation of interesting and noteworthy items you and your neighbors keep telling us about.

Becker names new executive director of marketing and strategic communications

Carolyn Assa has joined Becker College’s Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications as executive director.

Assa has spearheaded high-profile branding initiatives, built in-house agencies and launched award-winning magazines at education institutions in the region. In her new role at Becker, she will be charged with sharing the college’s story, building awareness of the college brand, and finding ways to promote Becker to new, as well as existing, audiences.

“Carolyn has achieved success across storytelling platforms in the field of education, worked with diverse clients as a public relations consultant, and has extensive media experience,” said Becker College President Robert E. Johnson. “We are excited to have Carolyn on board at Becker to direct our marketing and strategic communications efforts.”

Most recently, Assa worked as an account executive at Boston-based public relations agency, Ellis Strategies. Her past experience includes leading the communications and marketing department at Perkins School for the Blind, the oldest school for the blind in the United States, and at Bunker Hill Community College. She holds a master of arts degree in communications from Emerson College and a bachelor of arts in journalism from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Worcester Sports Complex

Courtesy Worcester Railers

An artist’s rendering of the planned Canal District dual hockey rink complex.

St. Peter-Marian partners with Railers to offer girls’ hockey; Guardians to play at Worcester Ice Center

The St. Peter-Marian athletic department and President Christopher Cummings announced that the Guardians have partnered with the Worcester Railers Hockey Club and Railers President Michael G. Myers to create a state-of-the-art home for the St. Peter-Marian boys’ hockey team and the Guardians first-ever MIAA girls’ hockey program.

Inbox [March 5]: Becker panel to talk refugees and immigration, Assumption adds addiction counseling certificate, MassDiGI Game Challenge a hit, Bravehearts sign six

Interesting and worthwhile things happen every day in our community. Alas, we can’t cover them all. That’s where Inbox comes in, to offer readers an easily digestible compilation of interesting and noteworthy items you and your neighbors keep telling us about.

Panel discussion on refugees and immigration Monday at Becker

What are the practical implications of the Trump administration’s immigration measures? What impact do foreign-born workers have on the economy at the local, regional and national levels?

Deborah Becker

Courtesy WBUR

WBUR-FM (90.9) senior correspondent Deborah Becker

WBUR-FM (90.9) senior correspondent Deborah Becker will moderate a panel of community leaders who span higher education, international relations, health care and refugee assistance. The event is 6:30-8 p.m. Monday, March 6, in room 210 of the Weller Academic Center, 61 Sever St. on the Worcester campus of Becker College.

The panelists are scheduled to be Becker College President Robert E. Johnson; David Jordan, president and CEO of Seven Hills Foundation and professor of practice in social innovation at the Yunus Social Business Centre at Becker College; Dr. Olga Valdman, family medicine physician at Family Health Center and assistant professor at UMass Medical School; and Meredith Walsh, executive director and co-founder of the Worcester Refugee Assistance Project.

This event is presented by the Becker College Center for Global Citizenship.

Read the entire story on the Becker College website

Assumption announces grad certificate in addiction counseling

Assumption College has announced that beginning in fall 2017 it will offer a new Certificate in Graduate Studies in Addiction Counseling, which aims to raise the standard for the educational preparation of addiction counselors. The new certificate program is a one-year, six-course curriculum that consists of four content courses and two addiction counseling internships.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 138]: Star of the day, who will it be?

It’s getting harder and harder in America these days to impress your audience and keep it engaged.

Take the president. Please! We’re here all week folks. … But if the man who brought Frederick Douglass back from the dead and won, like, all the Electoral College votes that were ever available can’t get a standing ovation, then what are the rest of us to do?

Funny, Hitch was wondering the same thing.

Edge at Union Station

Railers players’ first stop? Their new apartments at the Edge

Worcester Railers HC searched high and low, east and west, and all across the city to find a home for its incoming crop of mostly young up-and-coming hockey players.

Conveniently enough, what team officials were looking for was right around the corner the whole time.

The Railers have agreed to lease five four-bedroom apartments at Edge at Union Station, according to team and property officials, to accommodate 20 players in anticipation of the start of the club’s inaugural minor league hockey season in October.

“We’re looking forward to it,” said Michael Myers, Railers president. “It’s a perfect setup for us since they’re right there next to the [Worcester Ice Center].”

Worcester Sports Complex

Courtesy Worcester Railers

An artist’s rendering of the planned Canal District dual hockey rink complex.

The Worcester Ice Center, which broke ground this past October, is a 100,000 square-foot facility — anchored by two full-size ice rinks and a full-service restaurant to be run by Niche Hospitality — and has been slated to open in August 2017. At the corner of Winter and Harding streets, it’s a short walk from the Edge.

The team, Myers told the Sun, leased the apartments at the Edge for one year to “test the waters and see how it is for [the Railers players].”

More Railers coverage in the Sun:

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 135]: A high-five for Tom Brady

Sports fans in New England are a fortunate bunch. Across the generations, even when some of our favorite professional teams or collegiate programs suffered lean years, we’ve enjoyed championship seasons and legendary performers.

Tom Brady, the Patriots’ quarterback and leader, has combined the titles and the talent at an unprecedented level, culminating Sunday in an historic performance that won’t soon be forgotten. Here’s Hitch.

Bravehearts’ local quartet has spring in their step

Jack Riley — one of four Worcester-area players returning to the hometown team’s roster for 2017 — is back after a two-summer hiatus and wouldn’t have it any other way. “I love coming back home for the summer and playing for some of the best fans around.”

Melifonwu and McCubrey: Two football futures kick off with no-nonsense announcements

All across the country last Wednesday, National Signing Day, media members packed into high school gymnasiums, libraries and cafeterias to catch a glimpse of the nation’s most highly touted college football prospects making their commitments official.

It has become a day of de-commitments — with players pretending to put on one school’s hat before wearing another to signify their choice, and all other sorts of unnecessary drama.

Here in central Worcester County, we had a pair of Division I football commits, and neither of them provided much drama, though they certainly could have.

Grafton’s Ifeatu Melifonwu, a star running back and defensive back who rushed for nearly 1,900 yards and led the Indians to the Division 3 state championship game at Gillette Stadium in December, became a wanted man toward the end of the recruiting process.