December 30, 2017

Worcester Sun, Dec. 30-Jan. 6: Mariano’s New Year’s wishes, Audio Journal helps visually impaired ‘see’ the world, more downtown development, Hitch + more

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From Petty to Putin, Kushner to Coleman, Sun columnist Ray Mariano outlines his hopes for a more prosperous, less volatile, New Year.

Sun columnist

Mariano: Wishes for the New Year

Ray Mariano

“This past year has been exhausting. 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.”

Sun Shine

Art Simas / For Worcester Sun

Vince Lombardi, director of Audio Journal, at the controls where volunteer readers keep those who are blind or visually impaired up to date with community and national news and events.

Audio Journal helps visually impaired ‘see’ the world |  “Our No. 1 priority is finding listeners so that there are as many people listening to us who can benefit from the radio shows,” director Vince Lombardi said. He said there are about 5,000 legally blind people in Central Massachusetts, and that the nonprofit Audio Journal reaches about 3,500 of them.

Editorial: New Year for the renaissance |  Worcester has come far the last 25 years, preparing itself for the future. While developers continue those big-ticket improvements, let’s add feet to the equation. We urge folks to get out and enjoy this city more. Pedestrians — users of the city — add energy and vitality, and inspire the street-level, human-scale practicalities that help a place come alive.

Guest commentary | From The Conversation

Archaeological dig in Israel provides clues on the ritual of feasting |  Communally shared meals have long been vital components of human rituals. My colleague Leore Grosman and I discovered the earliest evidence of a ritual feast at a 12,000-year-old archaeological site in northern Israel and learned how feasts came to be integral components of modern-day ritual practice.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 228]: New Year, same old Beacon Hill |  The more things change, the more they stay the same. Politicians politic. Complainers complain. And state and municipal employees take full advantage of generous pension, vacation time and other benefit loopholes that leave Average Joe’s head spinning and shaking all at once. So, here we are at the end of a volatile, divisive, often confounding 2017, and would you know it? More compensation consternation. Hitch, for one, has had enough.

Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

Sun columnist

Sina-cism: A new city rises to our east |  “The debate over Framingham’s future evoked strong feelings and heated arguments. Traditionalists, including some of my in-laws, saw the city movement as a mix of power grab and spending opportunity, and worried about the loss of a hard-to-define small-town feel.”

College notebook

Courtesy Becker College / MassDiGI

Ryan Canuel, owner and director of the downtown tech startup Petricore Games, was honored with a Rising Pixel Award at a recent industry conference in New York.

The Quad [Dec. 30-Jan. 6] Four things to know from UMass Medical School, Becker, Holy Cross |  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.

Worcester Weekly: New Years on the Common, Railers + more, Dec. 30-Jan. 6 |  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.

Augustine Kanjia

The incredible story of Augustine Kanjia continues …

Dangers in the Wild and at Home | “I stayed home while the other kids in our big compound went off to school. This was certainly a tough time. My brother would flog me very well if I made any mistake with his combat uniform. I was also responsible for cleaning his military boots. I had to shine them until he could see his face on the shoe toes.”

Courtesy Worcester Cultural Coalition

With the help of a $1.1 million grant, city officials will work with the WBDC to turn part of 20 Franklin St. into an arts and performance venue.

Inbox [Dec. 30-Jan. 6]: News and notes from WCC, Mercantile Center, Operation Homefront, CMRPC |  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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