Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 171]: Worcester budget writers are a cut above

The city’s spending plan for fiscal 2018 comes with a healthy bottom line of about $632 million, some $13 million more than last year.

That, of course, after those intrepid souls on the City Council bravely hacked a whopping $622,112 from the city manager’s original proposal. While a large majority of the new spending will go to schools, many observers decried the lack of scrutiny on how their tax dollars are spent.

Hitch takes a little off the top to get to the bottom of this.

Sina-cism: Adieu, Paris accord, you meant so little

Sadly, the media doesn’t focus on the science at all, but almost exclusively on the politics of climate.
Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

Much ink has been spilled and many BTUs of hot air generated since President Trump announced on May 25 that the United States will pull out of the Paris climate accord, but it wasn’t until Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty declared his support for the deal — joining dozens of other mayors nationwide — that I realized just how ridiculous the whole thing is.

Look, there is plenty of evidence that climate change, or global warming (or whatever term is in vogue this week) is taking place. I don’t want the Earth’s flora and fauna to die. I have nothing against residents of the Netherlands, 47 percent of whom are threatened by rising sea levels. And while I’ve never been to the South Pacific, I hope the low-lying island nations there do not sink beneath the waves.

But the Paris climate deal was never going to save the planet — and never will — regardless of what the United States does.

Inbox [June 4]: News and notes from city of Worcester, EPA, Bravehearts and Worcester State, WPI and Holy Cross

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.

Augustus, Petty vow to continue battling climate change

Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty and City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. reaffirmed Worcester’s commitment to battle climate change locally, continue investing in green technology and maintain the city’s place as a leader in clean energy.

Topix.com

Mayor Petty

In the wake of the announcement that the federal government would back out of the Paris Climate Agreement, Petty will join more than 80 mayors across the country in signing onto a U.S. Climate Mayors statement, pledging to “adopt, honor, and uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement. We will intensify efforts to meet each of our cities’ current climate goals, push for new action to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target, and work together to create a 21st century clean energy economy.”

The full statement can be found here.

“As our federal government retreats from its responsibility as steward of our environment, it is vitally important for state and municipal governments to uphold our commitment to the future of our planet,” Petty said. “If the president doesn’t want to do it, we will.”

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 162]: For Petty and Gaffney, it’s child’s play

Kids don’t interact they same way they used to. Mostly we peg the lack of discourse and facility with understanding disparate viewpoints on our ever-accelerating attachment to technology.

But what it really comes down to is a lack of grownup good examples.

If a youngster ever does look up from their phone, what do they see? Bitter hyperbole. Sarcastic nonsense. Egomaniacal posturing. And that’s just in City Council chambers.

Hitch, for one, has heard enough.

Editorial: City Council’s dog squabble deserves motherly rebuke

Don’t have children? Or are the children grown and gone?

Well, if you live in Worcester you can take heart this Mother’s Day anyway.

You’ve got the City Council.

Just kidding — mostly. But the word “childish” did get bandied about like a birthday balloon at last Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

And what, this time, caused the yapping and snarling that broke out in the chamber?

A dog, of course! A free, smart, useful, probably cute-as-a-button K-9 proposed for the police department.