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.

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.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 191]: Catching Z’s with Worcester School Committee

It’s a topic school board members say they’ve been studying for years: how to navigate the logistical and financial hurdles between them and getting the city’s many restless high schoolers more precious sleep.

Forget parental — or even personal — discipline, the only solution is to start school later. Which of course will cost millions of dollars and likely force elementary school kids to bus home in the dark during the coldest days of winter.

Hitch, unsurprisingly, has thoughts.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 188]: Beetles, barely — and other rare Worcester species

News came earlier this month that the once pervasive Asian longhorned beetle has all but disappeared from the Burncoat-area neighborhoods they once ravaged.

Some 35,000 trees in North Worcester, Boylston and West Boylston fell victim before years of vigilance quelled the scourge. That persistence is certainly missing in other corners of the city.

For Hitch, there is, indeed, a certain political animal that could use a wake-up call.