A visionary Worcester under fire

While Worcester experiences “unprecedented investment” in downtown development especially, the great influx of cash from outside economic forces neglects, in one advocate’s mind, a broader image of community and risks far more than the city would stand to gain from using the determined, blue-collar progress of Main South as a blueprint for a vibrant, inclusive and sustainable future.

Long-sought schooling change delivers results for Gino

After years of frustrating delays and grappling with Worcester Public Schools, a deaf Worcester teen is at last in a special-education setting that has him thriving. The Sun checks in with Gino Berthiaume, his mother, educators and others who have seen the transformation that can come from an Individualized Education Program in action.

What does WAFT do, anyway? An inside look at Worcester’s anti-foreclosure warriors: Part 2 — The team rallies around an Oak Street family

Neither Donna Berrios nor her husband have been inside their home since the eviction notice was issued five days before. Their son, A.J., not similarly barred by the sometimes ambiguous foreclosure laws, carries out a large textbook. Meanwhile WAFT protesters have assembled for support as group leader Grace Ross angles to keep Berrios in her Oak Street house.

Worcester schools flunking PCBs test, union says

For years, union officials have been forced to take on the role of PCB police. They have tested for the cancer-causing chemicals in the window caulking at some schools, and found reason for serious concern — while Worcester school officials have put up bureaucratic walls, they say, including pointing to following federal guidelines. Why then are state courts not convinced? Richard Nangle brings us up to date, including a recent ruling in the union’s favor.

Q&A: Mike Angelini, Worcester’s power broker, gets down to business

On the fifth anniversary of his paper that dramatically refocused Worcester’s economic development efforts, the chairman of the law firm Bowditch & Dewey, Hanover Insurance Group’s board of directors and Massport discusses the impact of his paper, the city’s current economic development efforts, the role of public and higher education in moving the city forward, the city’s dual tax rate, Worcester Regional Airport, commuter rail, and more.

Nick Wright and Richard Stavros

Pulling for rowing on Lake Quinsigamond

Worcester’s little-known rowing community is widening its reach, welcoming more high school students and giving middle schoolers a chance to get involved. Maria Reidy, who is also a high school crew team member, has the details, and offers a glimpse into why rowing — at any age — is worthwhile.

Maximum capacity: Hard-working Becker student crashes Bravehearts all-star party

The lead developer of the video game Bravehearts Derby never misses a chance to improve his skills. In doing so, the Becker College senior-to-be is showing the drive, personality and perspective of an entrepreneur. The keys? Making the most of the fact that there are 24 hours in a day and that it could be gone tomorrow. Meet Rejon Taylor-Foster, the guy you wish you were at 21.

Q&A with Malika Carter, Worcester’s chief diversity officer

In her first extended one-on-one interview since being named Worcester’s chief diversity officer, Malika Carter sits down with the Sun and discusses what prepared her for a city the size of Worcester, the city’s hiring practices, last summer’s dialogues on race, a recent incident involving a member of the city manager’s cabinet, the role of media, and difference between threats and free speech.

Ray Mariano, a Worcester conversation

“When you leave, you should just leave.” It’s easy to believe him, too. At first. But Mariano, famously a product of the Great Brook Valley housing complex with degrees from Worcester State and Clark, is about as quintessential a public servant as this city has ever seen. The longtime mayor, city councilor and school board member seems to have more he wants to accomplish. We sat down for a few questions, and a few more stories with the “retiring” Worcester Housing Authority director.

University Park

Sun Shine: Walking Together, on a mission in Worcester’s Main South

A storefront, some folding chairs and a caring heart are the foundation of an Episcopal ministry at 799 Main. As she walks, listens, helps, and even provides quarters at a local laundry, Rev. Meredyth Wessman Ward is making a gentle difference in many lives. Her work is part of the church’s recent efforts to reach out to people in new places and new ways.