Inbox [Oct. 19]: Betty Price Playground among grant recipients, city hosts landlord summit Saturday, Worcester nets top LGBTQ score, Torathon set for November, Craft center makes final call for youth

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McGovern announces nearly $1M for local parks

U.S. Rep James P. McGovern announced $950,000 in federal grant money from the National Park Service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Grant Program to parks and recreational projects in Worcester, Sutton, Leominster, Northborough, and Northampton.

U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern

Office of Congressman Jim McGovern

U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern

McGovern was in Sutton recently to announce $150,000 to Marion’s Camp Lodge for renovations and woodland trail development. Located on Lake Singletary, for nearly 60 years Marion’s Camp served as the Central Mass. Camp Fire Camp, hosting youth from all over Worcester County.

The grant money will be used to restore and renovate the camp’s historic Goddard Lodge (named after the camp’s namesake Marion Goddard) into a multi-use facility for community events and town summer recreation programs.

“For more than 40 years the Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped Massachusetts protect our parks and open spaces. I have long been a proud champion of the LWCF and the work it does to help cities and towns leverage federal dollars to spur local investment in these vital conservation projects,” McGovern said. “Thank you to the Baker-Polito Administration for working to bring these smart investments to our state. I look forward to seeing these federal dollars in action in Worcester, Sutton, Leominster, Northampton, Northborough, and across Massachusetts.”

In Worcester the Betty Price Playground — on Bell Hill at Laurel Street and Eastern Avenue — will be renovated with a $250,000 grant. The project will include the installation of new playground equipment and ADA improvements, including accessible walkways, site amenities, picnic tables, benches and tree planting.

Read the entire story on Congressman McGovern’s website

Worcester to host inaugural landlord summit

Owners of residential rental properties in Worcester and those thinking about investing are invited to the first Worcester Landlord Summit to gain valuable insight into being a successful property owner.

Edward M. Augustus Jr.

Courtesy NAMI Mass

Edward M. Augustus Jr.

This event is planned for 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at the DCU Convention Center, 50 Foster St. There is no cost to attend. Attendees will also get free admission to the 2016 Worcester Fall Home Show, also at the DCU Center the same day.

The target audience for this event is current and prospective owners of rental properties in Worcester, particularly full-time landlords and part-time investors. Attendees will have the chance to meet and hear presentations from city officials – including city councilors, City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr., and department heads – along with subject matter experts in various fields.

Read the entire story on the city of Worcester website

Worcester receives second consecutive perfect score on Municipal Equality Index

The city of Worcester was one of five Massachusetts cities to receive a perfect score of 100 in the fifth annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI), assessing LGBTQ equality in 506 cities across the nation

[Editor’s note: Consider that Northampton, among the few longtime bastions of the equality movement and almost certainly a more LGBTQ-friendly municipality than Worcester for several reasons, scored an 88, slightly above average for Massachusetts.]

The MEI is produced by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, in partnership with the Equality Federation Institute.

[Also fair to point out: Human Rights Campaign? Not exactly the LGBTQ community’s preferred spokespeople.]

The 2016 Municipal Equality Index (MEI), the only nationwide rating system of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law and policy, shows that cities across the country, including in Massachusetts, continue to take the lead in supporting LGBTQ people and workers, even when states and the federal government have not.

The average score for cities in Massachusetts is 85 out of 100 points, which falls above the national average of 55. Other Bay State communities receiving perfect scores were Boston, Cambridge, Provincetown and Salem.

Read the entire story on the Human Rights Campaign website

Torathon scheduled for Nov. 12

Musicians, rabbis, cantors and educators from across New England will join together for Worcester Torathon: Defining My Jewish Identity. The evening of music and study begins with a one-hour concert starting at 6 p.m. and courses follow.  Cantors and soloists, led by Ellen Allard, share the stories and music that helped shape their own Jewish identity.

Some of the courses will be: 2016 Election Results; Gene Wilder: a Comic Wonder; Exploring the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) Phenomenon; Jewish Identity and the Politics of Sex and Gender in the Talmud; Israeli Dancing; and Elie Wiesel: The Recent Passing of A Jewish Hero.

Tickets for the concert and classes are $20.00 before Nov. 11, $25.00 at the door. For high school and college students, prices are $5.00 in advance and $10.00 at the door.

Read the entire story on the Jewish Central Mass. website

Final call for Worcester Center for Crafts’s Youth Craft + Creativity classes

The Worcester Center for Crafts will launch its Youth Craft + Creativity Program Oct. 25 with the Fall 2016 semester, which consists of six-week sessions running through Dec. 9.

Aug 31-Crafts

The classes, which cost $200 per six-week session, are designed with an integrated, multidisciplined approach to youth education for ages 6 through 17 that is creative, fun and hands-on.

The program takes a new approach to craft education by offering youth and teens a window into creative 3-D thinking, knowledge of materials, and the habits of mind and skills needed for the 21st  century. Classes include Fantastic Fibers, Clay Creations, Discovering Paper, Shaped by Hand, Ceramics by Wheel and Hand, Flameworking: Glass Beads, and Adorn Yourself: Jewelry 101

Read the entire story on the Worcester Center for Crafts website

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