Inbox [May 14]: News and notes from WalletHub, Clark, Sullivan Group, GWCF, Grafton Hill Business Association and University Park Campus 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.

Massachusetts 6th in United States for working moms

The financial website WalletHub has ranked Massachusetts the sixth best state in the country for working mothers.

Using 13 metrics over three categories — child care, professional opportunities and work-life balance — the commonwealth rated only behind Vermont, Minnesota, New Jersey, Delaware and Connecticut.

Massachusetts ranked fourth in pediatricians per capita and sixth in average length of workday. It also rated highly in parental-leave policy score and 12th in lowest percentage of single-mother families in poverty.

Read the entire story and see the complete rankings on WalletHub.com

Clark’s Mosakowski Institute adds scholar

Clark University’s Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise works to connect both the university’s research and its teaching to the world of public policy making and implementation. The University is pleased to announce that Margaret A. Post, Ph.D., will strengthen that mission when she joins the Institute as a research assistant professor, beginning in August.

Worcester Sun, May 14-20: Mariano on church closings, thoughts on Petty and Gaffney, growing up at City Hall + Mother’s Day

What if … Worcester sees a future with shorter pregnancies. Giselle Rivera-Flores takes a look back for Mother’s Day. And a whole lot more of the best commentary and storytelling in the city in your May 14-20 Worcester Sun.

Inbox [May 10]: News and notes from Assumption, Clark, WalletHub, Community Harvest Project and BJ’s

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’s economy sees slow start to ’17

According to the Worcester Economic Index (WEI), a quarterly analysis compiled by Assumption College Professor of Economics Thomas White, Ph.D., economic activity in the greater Worcester area slowed during the first quarter of 2017.

Since December, the WEI declined 0.4 percent on an annualized basis.

Though the WEI shows the unemployment rate fell from 5 percent in March 2016 to 4.2 percent in March 2017 — which White considers a positive signal — the recent data on Worcester-area unemployment has been less encouraging because of seasonally adjusted employment estimates.

“During the first quarter of the year, there is usually an increase in the unemployment rate, as seasonal hiring for the holiday season unwinds,” White said. “This year, however, the increase was greater than normal due to an increase in the size of the labor force. Therefore, the rise in the local unemployment rate over the last few months is the reason the WEI fell to start the year.”

Worcester Sun, May 10: Jay Pelletz continues to disappoint customers, legal marijuana delays + fighting for $15

All that and more in your Wednesday, May 10, Worcester Sun.

Ora Szekely

Inbox [April 26]: News and notes from Clark, UMass Medical, Anna Maria, Worcester Community Action Council, Research Bureau and Bravehearts

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.

Clark prof’s latest book ‘Politics of Militant Group Survival in the Middle East’

The nature of international conflict has evolved in recent decades. Rather than conflict between state militaries, warfare increasingly takes place within regional conflict systems involving both states and non-state armed groups. Understanding the internal dynamics of these organizations is an important part of understanding the nature of international conflict, according to Ora Szekely, Clark University assistant professor of political science.

Szekely explores these dynamics within the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict in her latest book, “The Politics of Militant Group Survival in the Middle East: Resources, Relationships and Resistance.”

Szekely draws from field research conducted in Lebanon, Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Egypt to compare the performances of four key non-state actors of the Arab-Israeli conflict ecosystem: The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Hamas, Amal, and Hizbullah. Her research reveals how strategic domestic and foreign policy choices affect certain groups’ ability to “militarily resist and politically recover from confrontations with far more powerful adversaries.”

Worcester Sun, April 26: McGovern’s imperfect storm, Rosen’s taxing mission, Hernandez fallout + more

Top 6 stories. Bushel N Peck hits the Free to Read section — and we don’t stop there. It’s your Wednesday, April 26, Worcester Sun.

Valentino’s has ambitious plans for heart of Shrewsbury Street

By taking the best of what Restaurant Row has to offer — including an iconic location — and adding the charm of an Italian coffee bar, a new, family-owned, cafe-style “grab-and-go” restaurant is aiming to attract a distinct Shrewsbury Street demographic:

Everyone.

Valentino’s Press and Pour, which plans to open in May at 154 Shrewsbury St. (the former long-time home of dessert and coffee bar Cafe Dolce), will feature a full bar and cafe, lottery, tobacco products, and a variety of to-go items including coffee, ready-made sandwiches and desserts.

“This street is still growing and there’s nothing that caters to the masses,” said Joe Stake, a partner who will manage the restaurant and tend bar. “You have to go to different places if you want different things. The street is very segmented.

“So we’re trying to offer all of it under one roof.”

Courtesy Valentino's

Valentino’s plans an upscale and upbeat vibe … with scratch tickets and Bloody Mary’s too.

Stake’s cousin, Luke DeWolfe, bought the building in 2015. He renovated the attached three-decker and originally planned only to be a landlord for the cafe space. Now he’s staring down a mid-May soft opening of his own restaurant, with a full-scale grand opening planned for some time in June.

Editorial: Building a community with HOPE

As a society, our track record with at-risk youth is not good.

More than 16 million young people “never had an adult mentor of any kind … while growing up,” according to a 2014 study. “This population includes an estimated nine million at-risk youth who will reach age 19 without ever having a mentor and who are therefore less likely to graduate high school, go on to college, and lead healthy and productive lives,” according to the study.

The same study revealed a disturbing paradox “that the more risk factors a young person has, the less likely he or she is to have a naturally occurring mentor.”

In his paper “Designing Effective Mentoring Programs for Disadvantaged Youth,” Wellesley College Economics professor Phillip B. Levine studied school-based and community-based mentoring programs. He concluded “that a traditional mentoring program of the community-based type, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, is the approach most likely to be successful in improving subsequent labor market earnings among disadvantaged youth.”

These things together paint an extraordinary picture of the vital role youth workers play in the future of children and, by extension, our future as a society. Youth workers are our best chance, sometimes our only chance, to positively impact youth whose futures are at risk.

In this light we salute the HOPE Coalition and Clark University, which will sponsor the 13th annual Youth Worker Training Institute graduation on May 1.

Worcester Sun, April 19: Mariano on Petty’s PCBs response, Valentino’s vies for heart of Shrewsbury Street + more

It’s a jam-packed Wednesday, April 19, Worcester Sun. Get in there!

Jane Week in Worcester events, presented by Jane Jacobs in the Woo

Worcester Sun is a proud partner of Jane Week in Worcester. Here are all the Jane Week in Worcester events: