November 19, 2017

Worcester Sun, Nov. 19-25: Mariano on the Gaffney legacy, thoughts on State Police scandal, wildfires, Sprinkler Factory exhibit + more

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Worcester Sun

Councilor Michael Gaffney, with his wife, Coreen.

Sun columnist

Mariano: Michael Gaffney was right and wrong

Ray Mariano

“Michael Gaffney is leaving the City Council. It is fair to say that he is one of a kind. I can’t think of another local elected official to compare Gaffney to. … Michael Gaffney is universally disliked by his colleagues in City Hall. I think he likes it that way.”

Sun columnist

Flickr / WyoFile

Getting voters’ attention is about more than turnout numbers, Sinacola says.

Sina-cism: Voter turnout is more than a numbers game |  “Turnout for its own sake does not guarantee a more robust democracy, but it does run the risk of mob rule. A long and steady investment in civics education on the other hand would serve all residents of Worcester and our nation well.”

Editorial: Untangle the Massachusetts State Police mess |  A troubled daughter of a local judge crashed her car in Worcester in mid-October, setting in motion events and accusations that have put scrutiny on the State Police and changed its leadership. The public is confused and its trust shaken. The promised internal investigation must be thorough, make its findings available — and also address and clarify rules and recommendations for the writing and editing of police records going forward.

Flickr / Jason Lawrence

State Police and government leaders are under fire for an arrest report scandal involving a judge’s daughter.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 216]: Fishing for answers in State Police scandal |  While it’s no surprise to anyone paying attention that sometimes those in power benefit disproportionately by the connections and positions they’ve cultivated, once in a while a particularly egregious example slithers its way into the spotlight. Enter an alleged heroin addict, her drug-fighting judge dad, his buddy the Worcester DA and the state’s top cop. Indeed, Alli Bibaud’s altered arrest report has prompted a federal lawsuit, two early retirements and cacophony of opinion. Not one to miss out, Hitch drops his line in the water.

Courtesy Charlotte Eckler

Worcester artist and native of Syria Bayda Asbridge, seen here with her artwork “The Dream of Alan Kurdi,” is the principal artist in the Sprinkler Factory’s “Healing Fibers” exhibit.

‘Healing Fibers’ exhibit: Between cultural appropriation and activism | The “Healing Fibers” exhibit on a recent Saturday night was a place to hear the silent cries of those who do not have a voice. The artwork displayed all incorporated fibers in some way and highlighted the event’s theme of indigenous culture and activism using various perspectives from history, philosophy, aesthetics and politics.

From The Conversation

Wikimedia Commons / U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

The Rim Fire in the Stanislaus National Forest near in California in August 2013 burned about 149,780 acres.

WPI Prof. Albert Simeoni: As wildfires expand, fire science needs to keep up |  In the month of October nearly 250,000 acres, more than 8,000 homes and over 40 people fell victim to fast-moving wildfires in Northern California, the deadliest and one of the costliest outbreaks in state history. Now is the time to wrestle with hard questions. A WPI professor of Fire Protection Engineering tackles the simmering scourge.

Sun Serials | The incredible story of Augustine Kanjia continues …

Augustine Kanjia

Tragedy Falls on Our Doorstep |  “My grandmother was afraid because the police would come to investigate why [the woman] died in front of our house. I was busy playing soccer that day, but seeing everyone running toward our house, I knew I should be there. It was an unpleasant scene. My uncles had to lift the woman up and my grandmother cleaned the place. And I stood there crying aloud.”

Sam Doran / State House News Service

Gov. Charlie Baker

On Beacon Hill: Around the turn they come |  The Legislature came down the homestretch last week with blinders on looking to finish what it could before the holiday recess, while Gov. Charlie Baker had his eye on next year – which happens to be his re-election year – as he filed new legislation and took executive actions to ramp up the fight against opioid addiction. Plus, McGovern, Baker, Moore, Warren and the State Police scandal.

Worcester Weekly: Holy Cross hoops, ‘Christmas Carol’ + more, Nov. 19-25 |  The most fun you’ll have with a calendar of events all week. And you just might learn something, too. Here are some of the best things to do, places to go — and reasons why — over the next few days.

College notebook

QCC accredididation

Courtesy of Quinsigamond Community College

Quinsigamond Community College Campus Police Deputy Chief Reynaldo Rodriguez, left, and QCC Campus Police Chief Kevin Ritacco.

The Quad [Nov. 19-25]: Four things to know from Becker, Quinsigamond Community College, WPI and Clark |  Have campus news you or your college or university organization would like to share? Let us know by emailing it to Be sure to send a link to the full release on your site or Facebook page so we can include it and point Sun members your way.

Inbox [Nov. 19-25]: News and notes from Simon Malls, Webster Five, Paul DePalo, Worcester Free Tax Service, Mass. Symphony and Bravehearts |  Have news you or your group would like to share? Let us know by emailing it to 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.

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