Sina-cism: Montaigne is not on this inconsequential Worcester ballot

Several times this summer and fall I have asked myself whether I ought to gin up more enthusiasm for the upcoming Worcester municipal election.

Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

But every time I looked at the ballot, heard a candidate speak, or read a profile or election story, I woke up the next morning feeling refreshed for the extra sleep.

If the French philosopher and essayist Michel de Montaigne were running, I’d feel differently. We’ll get back to him later. But he’s not, and the truth is that this Worcester municipal election is about as inconsequential as an election can get.

Perhaps, like incumbent Mayor Joe Petty, you believe Worcester is a city on the rise, with abundant investment, strong schools, great restaurants, a new hockey team, and a can-do spirit that has left its gritty mill city reputation in the past.

Perhaps, like challenger Konnie Lukes, you believe there is another Worcester, one missing out on prosperity, where gangs run rampant, drug-dealing is rife, there are too many empty storefronts, an opioid epidemic spirals out of control, and councilors fail to address problems like an over-reliance on property taxes.

More Sun commentary:

Worcester Weekly: Mayoral debate, Fall Fest on the Common + more, Oct. 22-28

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

Sunday, Oct. 22 — Great Pumpkin Nights, 6-9 p.m., EcoTarium, 222 Harrington Way  Want to feel old? (“No,” says everybody ever — but let’s play along.) The classic autumn TV special “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” debuted 51 years ago this week, Oct. 27, 1966. Forget lollipops and Halloween candy, Linus is bringing Activia to the pumpkin patch these days.

A better way to feel young again would be the EcoTarium’s 14th annual Halloween-themed fundraiser. More than 3,000 professionally carved jack-o’-lanterns and pumpkin displays light up the museum grounds (well, not all the way; bring a flashlight!). “Friendly” costumes encouraged. Trick-or-treating, entertainment and more fun.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 207]: Gaffney makes offer Worcester can’t refuse

Michael Gaffney, one-time (self-proclaimed) People’s Councilor®, is getting out of Worcester politics — and nobody seems to be lining up to pull him back in.

The at-large right-wing rabble-rouser, who gave Mayor Joe Petty a legit run for his money in the 2015 election, suddenly and cryptically announced on his blog that he and his wife are abandoning their bids for City Council seats.

With Gaffney it always seemed to get personal, but now it appears city leaders might just return to strictly business.

Hitch checks in with the guy who’s really pulling the strings for a definitive answer.

Inbox [Aug. 30]: News and notes from Jeremiah’s Inn, Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund, Our Revolution, Communicators Club, NAMI 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.

[Editor’s note: This article contains political endorsements from advocacy groups. The Worcester Sun sharing these publicly available statements in no way constitutes an endorsement on our part of the corresponding organization’s choices or opinions.]

Jeremiah’s Inn to sponsor inaugural Chopped!Worcester

Jeremiah’s Inn will host its inaugural Chopped!Worcester fundraiser from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 25 in the White Room at Crompton Collective, 138 Green St.

Using ingredients from the food pantry at Jeremiah’s Inn, four local chefs will go head to head, creating an appetizer and an entrée. Their food will be evaluated by a three-judge panel. After both rounds are complete, a winner will be declared.

Chef contestants are Mike Arristia (Hangover Pub), Matt Mahoney (Kummerspeck), Chris O’Harra (Flying Rhino) and Jay Powell (Twisted Fork). Their dishes will be judged by Jim Eber, Alina Eisenhauer and a third judge to be announced. Dale LePage will serve as emcee.

Tickets are $27 and include food provided by local restaurants and caterers, and the opportunity to bid on auction items. There will also be a cash bar featuring special nonalcoholic drinks.