508 #241: Stone Soup

posted by Mike on March 22nd, 2014

508 is a show about Worcester. This week, we hang out at the grand reopening of Stone Soup, an artist/activist community center. And we talk to a few of the people involved.

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posted by Mike in 508, Worcester | on March 22nd, 2014 | Permanent link | No Comments »

508 #240: Think Tank

posted by Mike on March 11th, 2014

508 is a show about Worcester. This week’s guests are Lauren Monroe and Adam Zelny of the Think Tank, an alternative education center.

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posted by Mike in 508, Worcester | on March 11th, 2014 | Permanent link | No Comments »

Lent approaches

posted by Mike on March 4th, 2014

This year, it is back to basics. I am keeping things simple for Lent.

  • Fasting: Facebook still seems like the perfect thing to “give up.” As a vegan, I’ll be skipping an extra meal on Fridays rather than fasting from meat.
  • Prayer: Give Us This Day is still my go-to prayer book. Susan Stabile has a good roundup of other resources.
  • Almsgiving: MINE OWN BEESWAX again this year.

I hope everyone reading this has a powerful Lenten season. If you’re curious about Lent but not religious, I’ll point you to Jacob’s essay on the topic.

posted by Mike in Lent | on March 4th, 2014 | Permanent link | No Comments »

508 #239: HX Library

posted by Mike on March 2nd, 2014

508 is a show about Worcester. This week, the HX library of radical and science fiction books moves to Stone Soup. An uncut, uncompromising look.

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posted by Mike in 508, Worcester | on March 2nd, 2014 | Permanent link | No Comments »

Ron Wehrle, 1936-2014, RIP

posted by Mike on February 28th, 2014

Ron Wehrle, beloved member of Worcester’s Catholic Worker community, passed away on Monday. His funeral was this morning.

For some classic shots of Ron brandishing his cigar, re-watch this lovely video about Worcester’s Catholic Workers:

A Life Worth Living from Doug Rogers on Vimeo.

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posted by Mike in ??????????, Catholic Worker movement, Worcester | on February 28th, 2014 | Permanent link | No Comments »

508 #238: Weed

posted by Mike on February 26th, 2014

508 is a show about Worcester. This week, we talk about medical marijuana, the plan to find a new City Manager, a new city health plan, the South Worcester Industrial Park, trees, and free public wifi.

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posted by Mike in 508, Worcester | on February 26th, 2014 | Permanent link | No Comments »

Transform Now Plowshares activists sentenced; and, the Worcester connection

posted by Mike on February 19th, 2014

Reuters, yesterday:

A U.S. judge sentenced an 84-year-old nun, Sister Megan Rice, on Tuesday to 35 months in prison for breaking into a Tennessee military facility used to store enriched uranium for nuclear bombs.

Two others accused in the case, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed, were sentenced to 62 months in prison. The three were convicted of cutting fences and entering the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in July 2012, embarrassing U.S. officials and prompting security changes.

Tom LewisA fourth “participant” in the breakin was Worcester’s own Tom Lewis, the late artist-activist. As the Washington Post reported in an amazing article about this act of protest last spring:

They spray painted the building’s north wall, which was designed to withstand the impact of aircraft but not the words of the Book of Proverbs. They poured and splashed blood that had once been in the veins of a painter-activist named Tom Lewis, one of the Catonsville Nine who, on Hiroshima Day 1987, hammered on the bomb racks of an anti-submarine plane at the South Weymouth Naval Air Station near Boston. In 2008, Lewis died in his sleep, and his blood was frozen so that he might one day participate in one last Plowshares action.

In bright red rivulets, the last of Tom Lewis streaked down the concrete.

There Is a Mid-Winter Festival Hidden in Plain Sight

posted by Mike on February 2nd, 2014

image

Groundhog Day, Candlemas, St. Brigid’s Day, and the old pagan festival of Imbolc are all mid-winter holidays that basically happen on the same day every year. By that day, midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, you know for sure that the days are getting longer. It’s still winter, but you know you’re going to make it. So you do things like bless all the candles you’ll need for the coming year (if you’re a Christian), or study the behavior of giant hibernating ground squirrels to predict the onset of spring (if you’re a Pennsylvanian). You might welcome Brigid (the saint or goddess) into your home (if you’re Irish). It’s a time of purification and light.

The mid-winter festival is a great day to consider how your New Year’s Resolutions are going, and if necessary toss them out to prepare your life for spring. Candlemas is when I officially start planning for Lent. That means starting to think about what I might want to give up, and asking my non-Christian friends if they’re observing Lent this year (many of them do!). It’s also a good day to start fantasizing about your garden (if you haven’t) and to do a little something to get started on your taxes.

This year, Chinese New Year and the Superbowl are both taking place on mid-winter weekend, resulting in an embarrassment of feastday riches.

Candlemas–now my favorite neglected holiday.

posted by Mike in Religion | on February 2nd, 2014 | Permanent link | No Comments »

508 #237: The City Manager Hunt

posted by Mike on January 30th, 2014

508 is a show about Worcester. This week’s panel is Nicole Apostola, Chris Robarge, and Tracy Novick.

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We talk about the reopening of Stone Soup, Worcester Magazine’s story on the American Antiquarian Society, the hunt for a new City Manager, and how to explain the role of the Worcester City Council to political newbies.

posted by Mike in 508, Worcester | on January 30th, 2014 | Permanent link | No Comments »

508 #236: Surveillance

posted by Mike on January 22nd, 2014

508 is a show about Worcester. This week, we talk about the Pulse’s “14 to Watch in 2014″ and PILOT.

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posted by Mike in 508, Worcester | on January 22nd, 2014 | Permanent link | 1 Comment »