Inbox [Oct. 9]: Worcester Academy inks Canal District rink deal, Tour de France winner visits, help for grandparents raising grandkids, Clark lecture explores refugee crisis and Middle East policy

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Worcester Academy becomes anchor high school tenant at Canal District rink

Worcester Sports Center, expected to be built and open by August 2017 on Harding Street in Worcester, has signed Worcester Academy as an anchor high school tenant, managing partner Cliff Rucker said.

Worcester Sports Complex

Courtesy Worcester Railers

An artist’s rendering of the planned Canal District dual hockey rink complex.

“I am delighted to announce that Worcester Academy will be our first high school anchor tenant with both their boys and girls ice hockey teams,” said Rucker, who also owns Worcester Railers HC, an ECHL team expected to begin play next season. “The Worcester Academy agreement further emphasizes our commitment that this is a community resource built for the student-athletes of Worcester.”

Worcester Academy’s long-term commitment will provide the school with permanent locker rooms for both teams in the center, while allowing its teams to practice daily and play home games minutes from campus.

“Worcester Academy is thrilled to expand its footprint in Worcester and to be involved in the continued growth of the Canal District right down the hill from campus. Most importantly, this venture allows us to provide a top-notch practice and playing facility for our hockey teams that is within walking distance of campus,” said Ronald Cino, head of school at Worcester Academy. “Our partnership with Mr. Rucker’s sports center will benefit not only our student athletes, but their families and our community as a whole.”

Read the entire story on the Worcester Academy website

Five-time Tour de France winner in city this week

Five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault of France, will be in Worcester Wednesday and Thursday [Oct. 12-13] for a charity bicycle ride and related events.

Nicknamed “The Badger,” Hinault famously battled Greg LeMond when they were on the same team in the 1980s. LeMond won the Tour in 1986, answering Hinault’s attacks. Note that famed anti-doping advocate LeMond also beat Hinault to Worcester and the Major Taylor statue, appearing here in May 2008 as keynote speaker at the statue dedication.

Tom Swenson, representing the Major Taylor Association board of directors, will present a Major Taylor cycling jersey to Hinault in recognition of the ties between the cycling legends at a welcome presentation at the Major Taylor Statue outside the Worcester Public Library at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The 60K bike ride starts at 9 a.m. Thursday at Bikes and Life, 1067 Main St., followed by a catered party at the store Thursday evening. Cost is $25 at the door.

Read more information and to register for the ride on the Bikes and Life website

Town hall meeting to focus on opioid epidemic’s impact on grandparents raising grandchildren

The Commission on the Status of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and the state Attorney General’s Office will hold a town hall focused on kinship caregivers raising children impacted by substance use. The event will take place from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Worcester Senior Center, 128 Providence St.


Participants will learn, share and exchange information about the impact of the opioid epidemic and other substance use on kinship caregivers. It includes a brief presentation, an open forum for kinship caregivers to share their experiences and to make suggestions, and an opportunity to connect with local resources for caregivers and their loved ones.

Check out the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren website

Syrian refugee crisis and U.S. policy in Middle East focus of Clark lecture

Clark University will host “Obama, Syria, and the Transformation of U.S. Policy in the Middle East,” a lecture by political scientist Steven Heydemann, at 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17 in Room 320 of the Jefferson Academic Center. This lecture is part of the Harrington Public Affairs Lecture Series and is free and open to the public.


Courtesy Clark University


Heydemann is professor and Janet W. Ketcham 1953 chairman of Middle East Studies at Smith College, and a nonresident senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy of the Brookings Institution. He will discuss U.S. policy in the Middle East and the Syrian refugee crisis.

Between 2007 and 2015, Professor Heydemann held a number of leadership positions at the U.S. Institute of Peace, in Washington, D.C. During his lecture, he will reflect on his experience as director of the USIP’s Syria program, in which he managed “The Day After” project, a Syrian-led effort to plan for a post-Assad transition.

Professor Heydemann also provided technical expertise in support of the creation of a Syrian-led NGO The Day After Association, which works to support the principles and aims of The Day After project in Syria. He remains an adviser to the Board of the NGO, which is shorthand for a non-governmental organization.

Professor Heydemann specializes in comparative politics and the political economy of the Middle East, with a particular focus on Syria.  His interests include authoritarian governance, economic development, social policy, political and economic reform, and civil society. He consults widely with the U.S. and European governments on issues relating to Syria policy and the status of the Syrian conflict. He also writes regularly on Syria for major media outlets, and has appeared as a Syria expert on leading television networks including the BBC, Al-Arabiyya, Al-Jazeera and PBS.

This lecture is sponsored by the Clark University Political Science Department through the Francis A. Harrington Public Affairs Fund and the Center for Gender, Race and Area Studies.

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