Monthly Archives: December 2010

What is it with Worcester and Dr. Seuss?

First it was Tracy, who used a Dr. Seuss riff to explain the title of her blog.

Then the wonderful Tim McGourthy wrote a poem for the councilors to read in support of Worcester Woogle.

And now — just in time for the holiday season — is “How the Worcester City Council Stole College“, via a HC grad.

A highlight:

Then the Woos, young and old, would sit down to a drink.
And they’d drink! And they’d drink!
And they’d DRINK!

(Image:  Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 image from sealexander2010’s photostream.)

Southborough school helps Chandler Elementary

In this morning’s MetroWest Daily News, there’s an article about how Southborough’s Finn School donated 390 books — one for each student in grades pre-K to 6th — for Chandler Elementary students to take home.  They also donated winter boots, and Chandler Elementary “is setting up a ‘store’ for parents, who can come in and select a pair of boots for their children.”

Of especial interest:

“I was very impressed, when I visited the Chandler School, with how involved the kids are and how dedicated the staff is,” said [Finn School principal Mary] Ryan. “They have amazing people who work there under what I would say are difficult situations.”

“The blog article”: kinda weird

Shaun Sutner’s article on local bloggers came out today.

Most of the article is a well-deserved profile of Nicole Apostola, Bill Randell, and their quirky interests (municipal signage, the Worcester airport). It begins with a quirky interest of its own: who will maintain “[o]ne of Jeff Barnard’s most valuable legacies,” the Worcester blogroll?

Kind of a weird beginning for an article in a daily paper. But then again, how many blog posts by those profiled are weird the whole way through? Not sure who the target audience for this piece is, but not bad at all.

FWIW, here are my recent thoughts on local blogging. And here’s what Jim has to say.

More grousing about paywalls

If, since Jeff’s passing, you miss someone complaining about the Telegram & Gazette paywall, I bet you’ll enjoy Dave Winer’s recent essay, “The Paywall may be journalism’s Maginot Line”:

The Maginot Line would have been a perfect defense in World War I. It didn’t help much in the second war.

Analogously, there was a perfect paywall in the pre-Internet news business, the physical product of a newspaper. There is no equivalent in the new distribution system.

Dave also draws some parallels between local papers and Groupon, a site that’s recently come to Worcester.

I went from “I don’t have time for another stupid website” to “Please, Groupon, how can I give you my money?” in about 2 days. The kicker for me was today’s offer of cheap Bikram yoga classes. If you feel that yoga’s not yoga unless sweat is pouring off your body, check it out.

American Community Survey interactive chart has a great interactive chart of the American Community Survey.  The chart shows different characteristics (median household income, median age, percentages of the population with a certain ethnic background or educational level attained, etc.) and allows you to select Massachusetts cities and towns that have a population over 65,000 for comparison.

I recommend comparing Worcester and Springfield (or Worcester, Springfield, and Lowell) on any level, or the average household income differences between Worcester, Springfield, Cambridge and Somerville. 

Watch out — it’s extremely addictive!