Worcester Sun, Nov. 2: Mass. Pike progress, Randell’s airport predictions + more in this issue

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Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack on Friday urged drivers to show patience in the coming weeks as work crews take down toll plazas.

Michael P. Norton / State House News Service

Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack on Friday urged drivers to show patience in the coming weeks as work crews take down toll plazas.

As Mass. Pike toll booths disappear, new website comes back online |  The website and customer service hotline were shut down Oct. 28 to allow MassDOT to “migrate approximately 1.7 million customer accounts from the current E-ZPassMA system into the new and updated system, and ensure customers are billed the correct gantry rate.” And work at toll plazas in Millbury, Auburn and Westborough was expected to wrap up this morning.

Sweet Kitchen & Bar, other Worcester-area businesses, to serve up more safety with help of state grant |  “Our business model depends on delighting our guests. Having a happy and engaged workforce is critical; that starts with our employees knowing that their well-being is our first priority,” said Alina Eisenhauer, executive chef at Sweet. “This grant will help us deliver on that mission.”

Worcester Regional Airport

Wikimedia Commons/Terageorge

Worcester Regional Airport

Randell: Don’t sleep on this big airline touching down in Worcester |  It’s always fun to make a prediction on an up-and-coming player and have it pan out. A review of some recent picks starts with a big win for local businessman Bill Randell — and for Worcester. In his regular Worcester Sun column in late September, he said Rectrix Aviation was poised for commercial service out of Worcester Regional. Three weeks later Rectrix announced plans for flights to Baltimore. Maybe we should check out his latest picks to click on Airport Hill.


Editorial: ‘No’ on Question 1 — a risky bet on slots |  A “yes” vote on Question 1 would allow a slot machine parlor 3 miles from the $2 billion Wynn Resorts casino being built in Everett. And that’s just a start. We recommend you save your money and your “yes” vote for another time.


Editorial: ‘Yes’ on Question 3 |  Ballot Question 3 would mandate more humane treatment of egg-laying hens, pigs and calves. The key argument against passage is that it will raise consumer prices. That argument lays an egg (pun intended), so we urge you to vote ‘yes’ on 3.


Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 107]: Hunger Games: Beacon Hill |  Halloween is a holiday built around excess — not only the practice of it, but the idea of it. The allure of it. More candy. Spookier decorations. Gaudier costumes. Bigger, better, extreme! We get what we want, and we ask questions later. Questions like, “since when did they start putting thumbtacks in Snickers?” For the state Legislature, it seems, Halloween came a little earlier than expected this year and apparently came with lots of tainted Snickers. As it turns out taxpayers — go figure! — might just be left holding the bag. Hitch explains.

Len Gengel

Courtesy Assumption College

Len Gengel will deliver Assumption College’s annual business ethics lecture.

Inbox [Nov. 2]: You Inc. offers substance abuse programs, Gengel to speak at Assumption, Binienda to be honored, Clark screens Vietnam doc, biz group backs Rep. Kane |  Interesting and worthwhile things happen every day in our community. Alas, we can’t cover them all. That’s where Inbox comes in, to offer readers an easily digestible compilation of interesting and noteworthy items you and your neighbors keep telling us about. Have a release or a photo 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.

New in Free to Read

White House photo

Courtesy of Technocopia (Carl Stevens photo)

Attendees to last week’s Makerspace Organizer Meeting at the White House gather for a group photo. Nick Bold from Technocopia is on the bottom step, fourth from the left (red tie, full mustache).

Local makerspace Technocopia accepts White House invitation

Shortly after celebrating the grand opening of its new downtown space in the Printers Building in early August, startup makerspace Technocopia received an invitation to the Obama administration’s Makerspace Organizers Meeting at the White House. The Sun sat down with Technocopia executive director Nick Bold to find out what the government wants next for the Maker Movement.

One of the first ordinances passed by the new city government was to establish the city seal.

Courtesy Worcester Public Library

One of the first ordinances passed by the new city government was to establish the city seal.

Worcestory Lesson: Strange bedfellows unite to turn Worcester into a modern 1848 city

“The town government had proved itself ill-equipped to police its growing population and provide much-needed services. The temperance movement backed the calls by Worcester’s political elite — led by the Lincoln, Salisbury and Estabrook families — to change the form of government.” An exploding population, shifting societal priorities, and bit of chaos, lead to big changes in the Heart of the Commonwealth. David DuBois weaves the tale.

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