Mariano: Petty vs. Gaffney, Round 2

In many municipal elections, candidates have to work hard to show the distinctions between them. Often the differences are a matter of degree – candidates agree more or less on what needs to be done. Not in this one.

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.

Inbox [Sept. 10-16]: News and notes from Worcester Arts Council, Worcester Fire Fighters Local 1009, Clark, Assumption and Seven Hills Foundation

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 roundup contains a political endorsement from an advocacy group. 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.]

Worcester Arts Council accepting grant applications

The Worcester Arts Council is accepting grant applications for its 2018 funding cycle. The deadline for all grant applications is Oct. 16.

Based on community input received during 2017, WAC will give preference to community projects in the following categories: Public Art (murals, monuments, street art, etc.); Children’s Programs; and Visual Art (ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography and video), However, all projects within the realm of arts, sciences and humanities will be considered. WAC will accept grant applications from the following: individuals, nonprofit organizations, associations that can establish a nonprofit objective, schools, libraries and other public agencies.

WAC will be offering two types of competitive grants in 2018: Project Grants and Fellowship Grants.

Up Next: Lukes wants to pump brakes on PawSox

Up Next is an occasional preview of the upcoming municipal government and political scene.

While support for the idea of bringing the top Red Sox minor league affiliate to the city is certainly ubiquitous, it is clearly not unanimous. For her part, Councilor at-large Konstantina B. Lukes is saying, “Not so fast.”

And wondering if anyone will hear her.

The one-time mayor and longtime voice of dissent (and often reason) has filed an item on the agenda of the Tuesday, Sept. 5, City Council meeting that brings into question the board’s position on the matter. Or at least, how the council reached its conclusion.

City of Worcester

Konnie Lukes

“I don’t know where this council is coming from,” Lukes told the Sun late last week.

The enthusiasm surrounding the notion of replacing the moribund former Wyman-Gordon property in Green Island — sure, now the Canal District Alliance has time for that side of Kelley Square — with a grand ballpark as the new home of the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox has enrapt officials at all levels of city government, not to mention dozens of business leaders, commentators and pretty much all the regular folks.

[In fact, 77 percent of voters in a recent Sun poll said they’d be in favor of the move.]

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.

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.