This past year has been exhausting. Globally, climate disasters seemed to be everywhere. The world saw a multitude of terrorist attacks. And then there were those endless Trump tweets.
Here in Worcester, things have been moving quickly. The city is making a pitch to get a Triple-A baseball franchise. We also submitted a bid to attract Amazon and thousands of new jobs into Worcester. And downtown development is continuing to reshape the landscape. In fact, the city has been moving so quickly that workers spent weeks sweeping up the leaves before they actually fell from the trees.
But, it is a new year and hope springs eternal. Maybe, just maybe, things will be better in 2018. Here are my wishes for the New Year.
City Manager Ed Augustus: That our city manager sheds his thin skin while continuing his good work to reshape and develop Worcester. Overall, Ed Augustus is doing a very good job as city manager, especially in the area of development, but even the slightest criticism of a department or procedure is taken way too personally.
First lady Melania Trump: That she finally says out loud what we all know she is thinking every time she looks at President Trump: “Donald, why must you always be such a jerk?!”
Fox News host Sean Hannity: That this king of fake news is forced to have his mother present for each of his television programs, and that every time he tells an obvious lie she walks on stage and washes his mouth out with soap right in front of his national audience.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions: That our diminutive AG grows a spine and stands up to President Trump’s bullying and then grows a heart and puts back protections for transgender persons that existed under the Obama administration.
Sean Rose and Matt Wally: That our two newest members of the Worcester City Council, who both campaigned tirelessly, bring some of that energy along with a few new ideas into a lifeless City Council and that they do more than sit quietly waiting for the city manager to tell them what to do.
Billy Riley: That this Worcester hero continues to do God’s work at the St. John’s soup kitchen, serving the poorest among us.
Judge Roy Moore: That for his crimes, he is banned from every shopping mall in America and then that this accused child molester is required to do community service at a senior center, where he will meet people his own age.
School Committee member Dante Comparetto: That in his enthusiasm as our newest member of the School Committee, Dante resists the urge to lead middle school students to walk out of school in a protest march to improve the food in the school cafeteria.
Larry Lucchino: That the head of the Triple-A affiliate Red Sox team sees the value of locating his franchise right in the heart of the commonwealth.
Vladimir Putin and the Russian government: That American cyber hackers collude with punk rock group Pussy Riot to help elect disgraced serial sexual predator Bill O’Reilly as the next Russian czar.
Setti Warren: After publicly supporting Worcester’s bid to lure Amazon to our city, that the mayor of Newton and candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor finds more good things to say about Worcester.
President Trump wish 1: That he stops telling everyone how wonderful he is … wait… hahaha. That will never happen. I will have to make another wish.
President Trump wish 2: That he stops telling lies every time he opens his mouth … wait … hahaha. That will never happen. I will have to make another wish.
President Trump wish 3: That he finally admits that his campaign promises to “build the wall” and “let Mexico pay for it,” to “drain the swamp,” and that he could act “very presidential” were all complete baloney and that it was all fake news.
African animals: That the world stops allowing these beautiful creatures of God to be killed and used as trophies.
Worcester bike swervers: That these kids are forced to wear helmets when they ride and to stay out of the middle of the street. Better yet, that they actually stay inside and do homework instead of terrifying drivers on city streets.
Senator Ed Markey: Hello, Ed … wake up … say something, anything … people are watching.
Trump Labor Department officials: That these Grinches who have proposed to rescind an Obama-era protection — that will now allow restaurant owners to take tips away from servers and keep them for themselves — be forced to wait tables at a local bar during Happy Hour so they can see what real work looks like.
Acting Senate President Harriette Chandler: While overseeing the investigation into actions related to the president of the Senate, that my favorite state legislator presides over the state Senate with the dignity and class that has marked her entire public career.
Special prosecutor Robert Mueller: That, for the good of every American, he follows the evidence wherever it may lead and gets to the truth.
Former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn: When he stands before a judge for his crimes, that this cretin finally gets the jail cell he so richly deserves while people in the gallery chant, “Lock him up! Lock him up!”
Governor’s Councilor Jen Caissie: That my very favorite Republican decides to run for an office that matters, one worthy of her considerable talents.
Carl Gentile and John Fresolo: That they are forced to watch the Boston Red Sox win another division title while their favorite New York Yankee players falter down the home stretch – again.
Social media commenters: That everyone who writes an opinion on Facebook or other social media has the courage to actually use their own/real name. If you have something to say, say it – just have the spine to put your real name next to it.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders: That just once when she is asked what he meant and why the president sent out a certain tweet, rather than defending the indefensible, she answers honestly and says, “I have no clue what the heck that guy was thinking!”
City Councilor Konnie Lukes: After nearly 30 years on the City Council, KL is really slowing down. Here’s hoping that she gets a two-year supply of 5-hour Energy drinks. With Michael Gaffney soon to be gone, we need someone on the City Council to keep our city leaders on their toes.
Jared Kushner: After being forced to submit four separate updates to his security clearance form addressing more than 100 omissions, including more than 100 calls and meetings with representatives of more than 20 countries, along with numerous other transgressions, that he follows in his father’s footsteps and spends some quality time in a federal prison.
Ivanka Trump: That she practices her cursive writing so that she can write long mushy letters to her husband while he serves out his federal prison sentence.
Bill Coleman: That Bill gets to see hundreds of local citizens take the time to view the Worcester Citizens of Color WWII Honor Roll, located at Lincoln and Belmont streets, that he worked so hard to get put back up.
School Superintendent Maureen Binienda: That our hardworking superintendent gets to be creative the next time she submits her self-evaluation and that along with the “exemplary” and “proficient” grades she gave herself this year, next year she gets to include grades like “super fantastic” and “golly so wonderful!”
Senator Elizabeth Warren: That she invests a few dollars and buys one of those genetic tests that trace your DNA so that she can finally find out if she has a drop or two of Native American blood.
Mayor Joe Petty: While he continues to support the city manager, that our mayor finds his voice, which was obviously lost in the city manager’s office, and charts an independent course for the City Council.
All nations of the world: Peace.
Editor’s note: We hope you’ve enjoyed this free preview of Ray’s unique perspective and unmistakable candor. Be sure to check back in coming weeks to find out how you can keep on reading Worcester’s best commentary without becoming a Sun member when the preview ends. Ray can be reached via email at Mariano@worcester.ma.
Raymond V. Mariano is a Worcester Sun columnist. He comments on his hometown and global issues that impact it every week in the Worcester Sun. His column will appear weekly in the Sun’s print edition, on newsstands Saturdays.