Monthly Archives: May 2011

Hungry like the Wolfe

(Note: for the Proquest links, click here first.)

For quite a long time, Scott Wolfe, “professional Worcester-hater“, has been the pre-eminent troll of the T&G Letters to the Editor.

After writing numerous letters to the Telegram with nary a positive word about the City, he was (in)famously the subject of a Dianne Williamson column, which later caused him to sue Williamson for libel.  Unfortunately for him, truth is a defense.

Just two months ago, as you may recall, Wolfe had turned his cranky pen once again Worcesterwards.

Wolfe has never been just content to regale fellow Worcesterites with complaints about his city.  He’s written letters to editors of other newspapers.  For example, he’s written to the Globe about his (surprisingly optimistic) hopes for the new millenium, and, of course, about his hometown:

Worcester’s downtown has always been a ghost town composed of rundown, boarded-up stores. Nothing gets done in Worcester because the city council possesses no vision to bring Worcester out of its depression. Worcester’s mayor is just a figurehead who has no real power to make things happen. As for the $6.5 million face lift, the new courthouse, and the $22 million, 200-room Hilton Garden Inn, I say these are nothing more than pipe dreams.

He’s also written to the Lowell Sun about his favorite topic:

The airport is also a ghost town since there are no flights coming in and out because it is literally in a fog zone. Worcester is an ugly, exhausted, old, bombed-out New England mill town that will never rise again. Endless rows of ugly and dilapidated triple-deckers symbolize Worcester’s once huge, industrial base, which disappeared many years ago and will never return.

To be fair, sometimes Scott has turned his attentions away from Worcester.  He’s not a fan of certain ethnic groupsMore than 20 years ago, he turned his sarcasm towards the Commonwealth’s lack of a governor’s mansion:

How come a great and noble commonwealth such as Massachusetts has no governor’s mansion? After all, practically every other state in the union has a governor’s mansion, but not poor Massachusetts.

Our governor, who by the way is a real “Duke,” should and must live in a regal and imposing mansion – or even a palace. The Duke sees all sorts of very important people – heads of state such as Billy Bulger, George Kevarian, Barney Frank, Gerry Studds, Ted Kennedy and other highly distinguished guests of honor.

Of course, Wolfe doesn’t vote (or, at least, in the past he has not) so his opinions are for entertainment value only.  (Indeed, some have thought that his letters deserve to be printed in the funny pages, which would probably give Wolfe some gainful employment.)

Sometime after Wolfe’s failed lawsuit, he moved to Mashpee, though many of his letters complaining about our fair city list Worcester, not Mashpee, as his residence. 

When I read the Globe letter from the end of March, I thought that Wolfe had moved back to Worcester.

Imagine my surprise when I read the Globe Magazine this weekend and noticed that Scott Wolfe listed Mashpee as his residence when he proclaimed that the Cape “is only good for getting a lobster roll and some sand on your behind – and that is just from Memorial Day to Labor Day. After Labor Day, the Cape shuts down and it becomes an enormous ghost town. The same goes for Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. Cape Cod is boring!”

The funny thing is, of course, that Wolfe has previously complained that life in Mashpee is too exciting, because he lived on a golf course and golf balls were busily whizzing through his windows.

In a few short years, however, Wolfe has changed his opinion of Mashpee.  A few years ago, Mashpee was “a precious little gem on Cape Cod.”  Just a year later, though, he said that the “Cape is like a gigantic geriatric center with its many old age homes and its nursing homes. It’s worse than Florida.”

My issue with Wolfe is that no man can serve two masters. 

(The corollary to this, of course, is that no mayoral candidate can register cars in two municipalities.) 

Either you live in, and hate,  Mashpee — or you live in, and despise, Worcester.

But if you’re going to do the latter, please stop calling it Medical City. 

Even I stopped doing that seven years ago.

Guns cause problems at Worcester youth sports events

If you don’t follow the Telegram & Gazette, you probably want to check out their coverage of several (coincidental) firearms incidents at local ballgames.

Police to step up patrols after problems at ballfields:

The Tom Ash Little League has canceled its slate of games scheduled for its Grafton Street field tonight, after shots rang out on a nearby street last night.

[…]

The shots came from the area of 140 Arthur St. Witnesses, including an off-duty police officer, told investigators a man in a car was the target. The alleged victim, a 21-year-old man, denied he was shot at. Three shell casings were found on Arthur Street.

[…]

On Sunday night, a man involved in an argument on the Vernon Hill Park basketball court allegedly pulled out a shotgun. Players at the baseball field ran for cover. Two people were charged in connection with the incident.

News Bits

The Worcester Business Journal reported on the Worcester Business Development Corp’s plans for downtown, including plans to bring in Alex Krieger to guide the development of the Theatre District.  Longtime residents may recall Krieger’s previous roles in Worcester, including an unsuccessful attempt to straighten out Kelley Square, a stint as the prophetic Cassandra of Union Station, Foster-Street-sidewalk-stripper, and North Main Street planner.  (All Proquest links can be accessed by clicking here first.)

The WBJ also had an excellent summary of the city’s stormwater battle with the EPA.

If you missed stART, here’s an excellent review of some jewelry vendors at the event.

This post is an exhaustive summary of some of the (non-Kelley-Square) weaving that goes on in

Hanover backlash of a different flavor

Much of the backlash about the excessively positive Globe article about the Hanover Theatre has been about Mayor Joe O’Brien’s slightly less-than-glowing-but-nonetheless-really-really-upbeat comments.

A letter in last week’s Globe noted that, among the benefits associated with the Hanover were “fewer homeless people.” The complete line:

But he does find it rewarding — and that has a lot to do with the changes he sees around the theater: new businesses, cleaner streets, fewer homeless

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people, more signs of life.

Chris Berg, the author of the letter, is obviously not from Worcester, or he would have noticed multiple inaccuracies in that description of our fair city:

1) Worcester has eliminated homelessness. It’s not “fewer” homeless people; it’s “homeless? — not me!”

2) There are no “signs of life”, as signs are no longer allowed under our city ordinances.

3) The word “life” itself is questionable. While the city is well on its way to allowing chickens, panhandling and hot dog vendors still aren’t welcome. There’s not enough life to beat away with a stick. Or, rather, chase away with a pocketknife.

Chickens to be legal in Worcester?

Story from Worcester Wired with a bit of an update on the efforts to legalize keeping chickens in Worcester.

Working with the Worcester Department of Public Health and researching similar ordinances in other cities, the group has been crafting a proposed ordinance they hope to submit to City Council sometime this year. The measure would likely be referred to the city manager’s office, then sent to a committee before coming before the City Council for a vote.

Councilor Haller will be backing them. I’m curious to see

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if there’s any organized opposition.