Billy Breault

Mariano: The man nobody wants but every neighborhood needs

“He is loud and brash. His hair is long and unruly, and he wears a giant mustache that looks like a battering ram. … When he gets angry, and that is often, he looks like someone you want to avoid. Detractors call him a loudmouth, a bully and much worse.” In the first of a new series, Ray Mariano profiles Billy Breault, the Marshal of Main South.

Mariano: Wishes for Trump, City Council (and more) in the New Year

While I have no great predictions, here are my wishes for 2017.

Randell: Groundhog Day comes early —  again — for City Council

“The City Council needs to take control of the budget, rather than letting the city manager’s budget control them.” Bill Randell continues to keep a sharp eye on Worcester’s wallet.

Bill Randell

Randell: On Austin Street, a poor example of leadership, citizenship

One part of the potential solution happens monthly on Meade Street, where businessman Bill Randell attended meetings for two years to do right by the city and his neighbors.

Roseland development

Worcester Sun, Nov. 27-Dec. 3: Mariano on Worcester development, Randell on Austin Street, Uncle Jay’s Twisted Fork + much more

The best commentary in Worcester with Mariano, Sinacola and Randell — not to mention Hitch and the Worcester Sun editors. If you haven’t started following Augustine Kanjia’s incredible story, what are you waiting for? Either way you’ll regret missing this chapter. Those stories and more in your Nov. 27-Dec. 3 Worcester Sun.

Sun Shine: Main IDEA paints a new picture of opportunity in Worcester’s Main South

Eve James was so impressed by the impact the summer arts program has had on her children that she became a volunteer herself. “I feel as though my family has become part of their family.” She said the “excellent teachers” make Main Idea what it is. With the help of Eve and her son Isiah, a dedicated group of volunteers continues to buck the odds and make their vision flourish. Sloane Perron shines a light on this worthy endeavor.

Sun Shine: Main Idea paints a new picture of opportunity in Worcester’s Main South

Art and creativity allow children to express themselves, foster a sense of self-confidence and broaden their horizons. At Main Idea, a weeklong summer day program in Main South, a team of volunteers and teachers is invested in the positive impact art can have on individuals, especially at-risk youth.

Main Idea is a weeklong summer arts education program now run out of Clark's Atwood Hall.

Courtesy Main Idea

Main Idea is a weeklong summer arts education program now run out of Clark’s Atwood Hall.

Parent-turned-volunteer Eve James is a Main Idea believer.

She first heard about the program six years ago when her children, Isiah and Kara, came home from Jacob Hiatt Magnet School with fliers trumpeting a new summer program. Kara was a year too young at the time, but James registered Isiah. “Free is hard to come by and camps are very expensive,” she said.

Isiah, now 15, came to Main Idea with ADHD and other behavioral issues, and on the second day of his first summer his behavior prompted a call to his mother. By the time James arrived at the class, though, teachers had already handled the issue and helped her son.

Isiah, Kara and Eve James are all believers in Main Idea.

Courtesy Eve James

Isiah, Kara and Eve James are all believers in Main Idea.

Isiah went on to receive an award for art that first week. James even recalls the art and dance teachers having a good-natured fight over who could give him an award. Seeing her son’s boost in self-confidence, she began to cry at the award ceremony.

“Every year he went back, he got better and better,” James said. After graduating from the program, Isiah became a counselor-in-training while Kara, now 11, still participates in the program.


Sun Shine Rewind:

Finding support can be a transformational experience [Aug. 30, 2015]

LGBT immigrants find safe haven in Hadwen Park [Aug. 9, 2015]

Chef Louis Torres, left, and waiter Rey Ortiz are in recovery and proof of the impact Cafe Reyes can make.

Giselle Rivera-Flores / For Worcester Sun

Chef Louis Torres, left, and waiter Rey Ortiz are in recovery and proof of the impact Cafe Reyes can make.

Cafe Reyes serves up an evolution in recovery [Oct. 11, 2015]

Main South youth take matters into own hands [Aug. 16, 2015]


Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 78]: Sarai Rivera’s happy place

So, we hear the City Council had some fun last week. Forget about timely, substantive debate on improving services, coping with gun violence/rights and diversity, or better financially supporting city students.

Nope, they all followed Rabblerouser Gaffney down the rabbit hole of first amendment debate — and, boy, did Councilor Rivera ever take the cheese!

Incensed by material Gaffney submitted that contained vulgar references, the Main South councilor even gave everyone an update on the birds and the bees. Hitch, for one, was fascinated.

Worcester Sun, July 24-30: In this issue

We bring you an in-depth look at “one of our city’s best-kept secrets” in our signature Sun Shine series. And introduce something new: The Wide Woo of Sports, a peek under the radar at unique and interesting athletic endeavors around the city. Thoughts on downtown parking. Hitch on Sarai Rivera and public speaking. Healey, Worcester and “copycat” guns. Bay State DNC connections. And more in your July 24-30 Worcester Sun.

Editorial: Differing reactions show government at its best, worst

Richard Pelletier’s Nashoba Valley Winery is the model small business.

Its vineyards, winery, orchards and restaurant on 52 acres in Bolton draw thousands of visitors a year and, according to a report by David Boeri on wbur.org, employs up to 100 during peak season and 50 people year-round.

A decision this spring put all that in jeopardy.

When a well-known -- and well-heeled -- small business needed help, it got it from the state. When an established Worcester business needed help, it got the shaft from city councilors. Wonder why?

Wikimedia Commons

When a well-known — and well-heeled — small business needed help, it got it from the state. When an established Worcester business needed help, it got the shaft from city councilors. Wonder why?

After 16 years of allowing Pelletier to hold licenses for serving alcohol in the restaurant and for making wine, beer and liquor, the state’s Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission [ABCC] told him it would issue him to either a pouring license or a manufacturing license, but not both.

According to the WBUR report: “ ‘If I file the restaurant license first, they won’t issue me my farmer’s licenses. And if I file my farmer’s licenses first, they won’t issue me my restaurant license,’ Pelletier says.