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.

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

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 182]: Pedestrian safety at a crossroads

Much attention was paid last week to the safety — or lack thereof — of the city’s bustling byways, boulevards and thoroughfares.

One city councilor, possibly driving for pole position in what could be a contentious election this fall, suggested a reduced speed limit, while an independent study showed Worcester to have the most dangerous intersections in the Bay State.

Hitch, of course, always draws his own conclusions.

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.”

Editorial: More training programs needed to meet demand for skilled workers

More than 3.5 million Massachusetts residents are employed.

That’s a problem.

It’s not a problem that it’s the highest number ever for the state. Nor is it a problem because the unemployment rate of 4.2 percent outpaces the national average of 4.4 percent.

It’s a problem because that number could be and should be higher, much higher. And not addressing the root cause of that problem has wide-ranging effects on both the population and the economy.

Businesses are increasingly finding it hard to find employees. This inability can mean businesses hiring to grow, or simply to keep up with current demand, cannot do so.

Michael Moore Lisa Nelson

Inbox [July 12]: News and notes from WCCA-TV, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, UMass Medical School, Clark 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.

WCCA-TV runs “Worcester in 10” contest

WCCA-TV is holding a contest to find out what people love about Worcester.

Post a 10-second video on Facebook describing what you love about Worcester. It can be complicated or simple, serious or silly. Every day for 10 days, WCCA-TV will pick a video posted that day to win $10. At the end of the contest, which runs until July 19, one person will win a $100 grand prize.

For more information, or to enter a video, visit WCCA-TV Facebook event page

Kickoff reception set for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk

A Mother’s Journey [Part 48]: The look of leadership

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

In the past I rarely found myself looking at the participants in a meeting and questioning the balance of ethnicity and gender in the room. But nowadays, it seems that is all I can focus on.

Raised by a strong woman, I never paid close attention to the roles Latinas played in my environment. I never doubted my abilities to accomplish things, because I was raised to view myself as a capable human being and not a statistical figure in society.

As I get older, though, and more involved in the community, more vocal about how I envision my future, I can’t help but realize how concerned I should be with the lack of diverse representation in my entrepreneurial community.

While my inner feminist is thrilled to read statistics from a recent Harvard Business School study, “Diversity in Innovation,” which claims that the “female labor market participation in the United States has nearly doubled from 1950, going from 33 percent to 57 percent in 2016,” my inner Latina is crushed by the same study.

Read Giselle’s previous chapter, The new home frame of mind, or scroll down to explore more of her story.

Marijuana and abortions, taxes and Trump: Looking ahead at what could go wrong on Beacon Hill

BOSTON — The limited agenda of the first half of 2017 is turning into the limited agenda of the second half as the Legislature and Gov. Charlie Baker begin July still working on the state budget and changes to the voter-approved marijuana law.

The lack of activity and consensus on major issues within the Legislature also appears to be fueling continued efforts by activists to just bypass Beacon Hill altogether and put additional laws in place without the involvement of elected officials.