December 9, 2017

Worcester Sun, Dec. 9-16: Mariano’s a homer, Polito on opioids, Railers’ Rome, 40 hours with WFD + much more

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Joe Santa Maria / For Worcester Sun

WFD's Park Ave.-based Engine 4 is one of the busiest crews in the city.

Sun columnist

Mariano: Why I can’t quit Worcester

Ray Mariano

“I am a Worcester guy. I know everyone does not love our city, but I truly do. Oh sure, there are things that we should fix: Worcester could be much cleaner, our roads and sidewalks could be in better shape, and Kelley Square is a mess. But, warts and all, Worcester fits me perfectly.”

This week’s cover story

Joe Santa Maria / For Worcester Sun

Engine 4 is usually on the move.

On the scene: 40 hours with the Worcester Fire Department |  Park Ave.’s Engine 4 is a 2003 E-One Cyclone II. It’s more than 25 feet long, can pump 1,500 gallons of water per minute, and has a 500-gallon water tank and thousands of feet of firehose. But, time and again, the most commonly used equipment is contained in a 9-square-foot cabinet, where the first-responder gear is stored, primarily in two light canvas bags, one of which contains the Narcan supply.

Guest commentary

Sam Doran / State House News Service

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito: Commonwealth makes inroads against opioid crisis |  “While there is still much progress to be made, Massachusetts is beginning to see some positive results. During the first nine months of 2017, there was a 10 percent decline in opioid-related deaths, the first semblance of momentum on this issue in many years.”


Jaime Flores Photography / For Worcester Sun

Railers captain Ashton Rome is happy to be back in Worcester.

Rome sweet home: Railers captain skates full circle |  Ashton Rome came to Worcester in 2006 as a 20-year-old farm boy from Manitoba. It was his first time living on his own, at a time in which he remembers having no real-life responsibilities. A decade later, Rome is back playing in Worcester, leading a young Railers team, expecting his third child and keeping an eye on his post-playing career.

News analysis

GOP reform bill will be taxing for teachers, small businesses |  In the name of capital gain, the tax-reform plan threatens the human-based economy that is the foundation of our thriving, growing communities, cities and neighborhoods. Without the personal contributions and professional incentives to sustain local activity and involvement, society fails to adapt and flourish with the skills necessary to address the problems of the future.

Editorial: For you. About you. | “Why?” It’s the question we hear more than any other. Why, in an age when an unlimited amount of news is available at your digital fingertips, would Worcester Sun begin publishing a print edition? We’ll tell you.

Sun columnist

Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

Sina-cism: A thankfully modest sunrise for local journalism |  “The Worcester Sun’s print debut represents a very modest chapter in the history of American newspapers, and one for which we can be very thankful, for if there’s anything that journalism in America today needs, it’s more modesty.” Chris Sinacola opines on the state of the ink-stained wretches still toiling to make journalism matter.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 222]: Shining a light on Worcester tax relief |  You can say one thing, for sure, about the city’s infamous and divisive dual tax rate: It tends to encourage a lively debate. While talk is good, action is better. And when it comes to taking action, the City Council continues to err on the side of trying to keep the majority of their constituents happy. Of course, when tax bills rise for residents and businesses alike, it’s tough to see a winner. Hitch flips the switch on another predictable outcome.

Sun Serial

Giselle Rivera-Flores

A Mother’s Journey: Don’t starve the artists |  “The whole ‘We’d like to give you exposure in exchange for your work’ bit is overrated, misguided and usually, false. Work is work. And no work should be done for free.”

What if … Worcester

Trump vows to fight ‘fake news’ by cutting funds to cities | The tendrils of a freedom-chilling threat by the president to defund communities, large and small, that harbor media outlets that badmouth his administration reach into Central Mass. Wondering what the future could hold for capitalism and national pride in our city? Find out with author BJ Hill in the Sun’s serial glimpse into the fantastic, fascinating (and mostly fictional) possibilities of a not-so distant tomorrow.

College notebook

Becker Post Presentation

Courtesy of Becker College

From left, Georgia Johnson, Jakaa Campbell-Branch, Becker College President Nancy Crimmin and Allana Tonelli-Raylove at the school’s Senior Poster Presentation.

The Quad [Dec. 9-16]: Four things to know from WPI, Becker and QCC |  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.

Chelsea Creekmore / Destination Worcester

The Worcester Railers are bringing a far-away galaxy to the DCU Center.

Worcester Weekly: Gingerbread, ‘Star Wars’ benefit + more, Dec. 9-16 |  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.

Inbox [Dec. 9-16]: News and notes from DCU’s Toys for Tots, BayPath Elder Services, Webster Five and UniBank |  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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