State Rep. Kate Campanale talks Trump, Dixon, guns and making things happen

“I’m Kate Campanale, and I’m a Republican, and this is what I’ve done, and this is how I’ve represented my district. It’s made it difficult for people to see beyond the ‘R’ when all they’re getting is the national news. And that can be a little troubling for some Republicans, especially in Mass.”

Thirteen stripes, 13 sponsors — selling out the American flag

Wondering what the future could hold for capitalism and national pride in our city? Find out with author BJ Hill in the Sun’s serial glimpse into the fantastic, fascinating (and mostly fictional) possibilities of a not-so distant tomorrow.

May 30, 2028 — A Worcester company has become the 13th and final firm whose name will appear on the New Flag of the United States of America. For $2 trillion, D&A Cybernetics purchased the rights to place its moniker and logo within the red bottom stripe of the flag. By terms of the contract, the names will be on the flag for at least 20 years. Companies had to pay 10 percent of the cost up front, with 20 years to pay off the remainder. Only American-based companies were allowed to bid.

When U.S. President Dwayne Johnson introduced the idea of selling placement rights to the flag during his first presidential campaign in 2020, it received a practically hostile reception and almost cost him the Democratic Party’s nomination.

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

Destructive climate erupts at Clark meat-eater protest

Wondering what the future could hold for activism and divisive protests in our city? Find out with author BJ Hill in the Sun’s serial glimpse into the fantastic, sometimes troubling (and mostly fictional) possibilities of a not-so distant tomorrow.

WORCESTER, Aug. 24, 2063 — He had been sitting there for decades, but in the end, it took just a minute for Dr. Sigmund Freud to be ignobly yanked face-first to the concrete. The doctor’s statue, which until yesterday sat amiably on a low bench in Clark University’s open Red Square, was the latest victim of protesters lashing out against the culturally promoted, but environmentally destructive, practice of eating meat.

As temperatures across the country topped 105 degrees for the 13th straight day, protesters nationwide have embarked on campaigns to eradicate monuments and memorials to anyone who had both contributed to the current climate change by consuming meat and passively committed aggressions against animals.

Next to burning fossil fuels, raising livestock for meat consumption is regarded as the second-largest contributor to climate change.

“Hey! Ho! Meat Eaters got to go!” Chanted the crowd of 257 people assembled in Friday evening’s twilight on Clark’s Red Square.

Sun Serials | Ray Mariano | Free to Read

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