Editorial: Work cut out for next City Council

Some say this municipal election is not very exciting. We don’t necessarily agree — because there are so many exciting things ahead for our city.

The next Worcester City Council will help see the city through the next phase of all the downtown changes, and it is a critical phase indeed, when it’s all supposed to start coming together — more residents, workers and visitors in the city core together creating the “feel” of an interesting, fully functioning urban center.

No blueprint can do this. No construction crane can create it.

It falls largely on leaders with vision, good sense, and a spirit of cooperation to make the myriad “smaller” decisions that fill in the gaps, and bring in the life, once the money and concrete has been poured for most of the big-ticket choices.

The delicate task for the next City Council — and for the constituents who elect them and sometimes offer suggestions to them — is to be sensitive to what’s missing in the downtown development operations.

Mayor Petty answers Ray Mariano’s questions

Twenty-two questions, 22 unedited answers. Find out what the current mayor told the former mayor about the safety of Worcester, the dual tax rate, #WooSox, and the greatest weaknesses of Augustus and Binienda.

Sina-cism: If taxpayers don’t pay, PawSox can come

Twice in recent years I have signed postcards urging the Boston Red Sox organization to consider moving their top minor-league affiliate, the Pawtucket Red Sox, to Worcester. But in doing so, I felt a bit like the utility relief pitcher who’s brought into the middle of a 14-3 game to soak up innings and save the arms of the real players.

Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

In short, I don’t think the PawSox are coming.

It’s not that I wouldn’t like to see additional development, including minor-league baseball. Like thousands of others, I enjoy frequenting the Canal District, and have been impressed with the development there.

I love that the gentrifying places like Bocado Tapas Bar and BirchTree Bread Company rub elbows with the blue-collar likes of Table Talk Pies. I’m excited by Allen Fletcher’s proposal for a $20 million commercial development of the current combination mudhole and parking lot between Green and Harding streets. And the thrill-a-second intersections are priceless for entertainment.

Like many, I wonder each time I drive or walk past the vacant Wyman-Gordon property why no one has yet found the right combination of ideas and funding to take the next leap in the neighborhood’s evolution. While I had no appetite for a slots parlor on the site, baseball would suit me fine. And yes, the rumor mill has been in overdrive since late June, largely because Worcester officials and former Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino, current PawSox chairman and co-owner, toured the city, including the Canal District and potential ballpark site nearby.

Worcester Weekly: Solar eclipse, Holy Cross soccer + more, Aug. 20-26

Monday, Aug. 21 — Solar Eclipse on the Common, 1:30-3 p.m., Worcester Common Oval, behind City Hall, 455 Main St.  First of all the “path of totality” sounds like something out of a Superman comic story arc. (It would also make another strong entry in the omnipresent “great name for a band” debate.) Alas, it merely describes the course of a rare, awe-inspiring event, sponsored by Mother Nature.

Wikimedia Commons/Tomruen

Watch an uncommon event on the Common as people will gather behind City Hall to watch tomorrow’s solar eclipse.

While Worcester-area viewers won’t get a clean glimpse of the first total solar eclipse to dawn over America since 1979 (and the first to span the contiguous United States since 1918), there’s still reason to party. So head downtown, meet up with your favorite lawyer, social worker or purveyor of gentrification, and add a dollop of community atop your scientific fascination.

For more information

Wednesday, Aug. 23 — Canal District Music Series with Toni Lynn Washington, 6-8:30 p.m., behind Crompton Collective, 138 Green St.  It would be completely understandable for anyone to have at least a nagging case of the blues lately. Summer vacation has been usurped by back-to-school sales. Nobody has eclipse glasses in stock. Then there’s Trump v. Sanity in the High Court of Public Opinion.

Joe's Albums

Worcester Sun, Aug. 20: Mariano on Trump, Joe’s Albums, Little Free Libraries, dark tourism + more

Sun columnist

Mariano: We have no choice: Trump must go! | “Donald Trump has lost the moral authority to lead our nation. His words and actions have weakened our country, given safe haven to hate and bigotry and diminished our nation in the eyes of the world.”

More Ray on Trump:

Donald Trump is breaking my heart — the five stages of Trump
What happens if Trump gets impeached
Rating Trump’s staff and cabinet selections

Local Business Spotlight

Joe’s Albums helps lead resurgence of vinyl & retail on Main Street | “Between size and proximity, I wanted to get more ‘central’ and larger. I had looked in the Canal District … then looked down here and saw all of the development going on and thought that was very intriguing. … I think Worcester is truly coming back this time.” Art Simas reports on the place where vinyl records and retail are making a comeback.

Mandell: A San Francisco/East Bay wake-up call — will Worcester’s renaissance benefit all?

No, this is not India, but the United States. How can this injustice be sustainable? How would it be different here if we all were committed to building fair, healthy and loving places? Maybe I do need the Kleenex the homeless man tried to give me on the BART train ride. … Not only is the renaissance on the horizon, but we need to plan for the negative impacts of growth as well — that many of us will be closed out of its benefits.

Worcester Weekly: Helping refugees, Canal District veggies + more, July 23-29

The most fun you’ll have with a calendar of events all week. And you just might learn something, too.

Road trip!

Sunday, July 23 — 2017 DockDogs Day, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Klem’s, 117 W. Main St., Spencer  Tommy used to work on the docks. Guess you could say, he’s been down on his luck — especially since the union went on strike. And without Tommy — or Bon Jovi — around the docks, well, they’ve gone to the dogs. It’s tough.