November 19, 2017

Inbox [Nov. 19-25]: News and notes from Simon Malls, Webster Five, Paul DePalo, Worcester Free Tax Service, Mass. Symphony and Bravehearts

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Auburn, Solomon Pond malls open at 12:31 a.m. on Black Friday

Auburn Mall and Solomon Pond Mall in Marlborough have announced their hours for Black Friday, Nov. 24.

The malls will open at 12:31 a.m. on Black Friday and will close at 9 p.m.

Webster Five hires new SVP, senior lending officer

Webster Five Cents Savings Bank has hired Senior Vice President and Senior Lending Officer Christopher Watson to lead its Business Banking Division.

Russ Dye, current SVP, senior lending officer, will be retiring on March 30, 2018.

Christopher Watson

Courtesy of Webster Five Cents Savings Bank

Webster Five Cents Savings Bank has hired Christopher Watson to lead the Business Banking Division.

Watson will work alongside Dye for the next five months and will assume full responsibility for managing the WebFive for Business team upon Dye’s retirement. Watson will join the senior management team and direct the business lending, cash management and credit departments.

“I am delighted at the opportunity to be joining one of the largest and most skilled
business banking teams in the area,” he said.

“I am confident that Chris will be an excellent leader of the WebFive for Business team and a valuable asset to the Webster Five Senior Management team,” Dye said. “I look forward to working closely with him over the next few months, which will ensure a seamless transition.”

Read the full article at the Webster Five website

Local attorney launches campaign for Governor’s Council

Attorney and former public school teacher Paul DePalo has announced his candidacy for the District 7 Governor’s Council seat.

Paul DePalo

Courtesy of Paul DePalo

Local attorney Paul DePalo launched his campaign for Governor’s Council.

DePalo, a Democrat, lives with his family in Worcester. He received a B.A. in English from Wesleyan University, a J.D. from Northeastern University, and an M.Ed. from Fitchburg State University. He is co-founder of the local affiliate of the Bernie Sanders group Our Revolution. He is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts’ state and federal courts, and is licensed as a principal and special education teacher.

The Governor’s Council consists of eight district-based councilors and the lieutenant governor, who serves ex-officio. The council’s primary job is to approve or reject the governor’s judicial nominees. District 7, currently represented by Republican Jen Caissie of Oxford, contains the 1st Worcester, 2nd Worcester, Worcester-Middlesex, Worcester-Hampden-Hampshire-Middlesex, and Worcester-Norfolk State Senate districts.

“So-called ‘tough on crime’ policies like mandatory minimum sentences have wasted money, produced sky-high recidivism rates, and insidiously impacted communities of color,” DePalo said. “Plus, incarceration correlates with negative health outcomes and increased school discipline — feeding into further court involvement and perpetuating the school-to-prison pipeline. It’s shameful.

“As Governor’s Councilor I will support judges who fully understand how their decisions intersect with our communities and seek alternatives to costly and ineffective incarceration whenever possible,” he said.

Worcester Free Tax Service Coalition seeks volunteers

The Worcester Free Tax Service Coalition, which completed nearly 2,000 tax returns that resulted in $3.4 million in tax savings for low- to moderate-income individuals and families, is seeking volunteers for next tax season.

The coalition will hold an agency information session from 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at Worcester Public Library.

The coalition is considered one of the most effective programs of its kind at helping hard-working people to increase savings, reduce debt, or finance education or career-training programs. Over the past 14 years, thanks to the work of volunteer tax preparers, a total of $30.8 million has been refunded to local taxpayers.

Some volunteers are professional tax preparers, while others come from local businesses, colleges and universities, and the community. After undergoing IRS training, each volunteer is certified to provide professional, efficient and free tax-preparation services.

“I know preparing income tax returns isn’t what most people think of in terms of community involvement, but it’s an interesting skillset that allows me and my fellow volunteers to deliver a tangible, meaningful impact for families who really need the help,” said Worcester resident Christina Lane, a coalition volunteer since 2016.

For more information, contact Yasmine Shawwaf, coalition coordinator, via email at; or by phone at 508-757-5631, ext. 223.

Mass. Symphony sets Holiday Pops Concert for Dec. 9

The Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jorge Soto, will present its annual Holiday Pops Concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at Mechanics Hall.

Mackenzie Melemed

Courtesy of Mass. Symphony Orchestra

Mackenzie Melemed will be the featured pianist at the Mass. Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Pops Concert on Dec. 9.

Joining the orchestra will be the combined choruses of Anna Maria College, Assumption College, Clark University, Worcester State University and WPI (choruses all under the direction of Joshua Rohde).

Soloists will be Jane Shivick, Sarah Callinan, Elisabeth Gondek, Richard Monroe, Michael Calmes and Ron Williams. The featured pianist will be Mackenzie Melemed and there will be a visit from Santa Claus.

For ticket information, contact the Mechanics Hall Ticket Agency at 508-752-0888 or the orchestra at 508-754-1234. The orchestra’s website is at

Visit this page for more information and to access a ticket form

Bravehearts announce 2018 schedule, season opens May 30

The Futures Collegiate Baseball League’s eighth season — and the Worcester Bravehearts’ fifth — will open on Wednesday, May 30, 2018.

The Bravehearts will begin at home in a rematch against the team that beat them in the 2017 Championship Series: the Nashua Silver Knights. The team will then host the Bristol Blues on Thursday night, May 31. Those dates will be the earliest the Bravehearts have ever opened a season.

The 2018 FCBL will include 2017 champ Nashua, the league runner-up Bravehearts, and the North Shore Navigators, Brockton Rox, Martha’s Vineyard Sharks, Bristol Blues and Pittsfield Suns. Each team will play a 56-game regular-season schedule split evenly, with 28 home games and 28 road games.

The Seacoast Mavericks and Wachusett Dirt Dawgs will sit out the 2018 season. The Mavericks will continue to work on building a new complex in Dover, N.H., with the hopes of playing in 2019 at their new facility. The Dirt Dawgs are evaluating re-location options to field a team again in 2019.

Worcester Bravehearts season tickets, loge boxes and flex-pack pricing will stay the same and are now available online for the 2018 season. The team’s popular 5-game plans that include an all-you-can-eat buffet at each game are expected to be released in time for the holidays. Single-game tickets will go on sale in April.

Read the entire story on the Worcester Bravehearts website

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