508 #89: Challengers

posted by Mike on October 23rd, 2009

508 is a show about Worcester. This week’s panel is Aria DiSalvo and Brendan Melican.

Audio: mp3 link, other formats, feed

Video: Downloads and other formats

508 contact info

Aria DiSalvo tells us about the “Stop Spewing Carbon” anti-biomass incinerator campaign.

Election molehills: Mayor Lukes’s husband has cars registered outside Worcester! Candidate O’Brien linked to his boss!

Brendan talks about the police department’s latest feud with the newspaper. Mike talks about the Center for Nonviolent Solutions kickoff.

As the centerpiece of the show, we come up with reasons to vote for every challenger in the upcoming election.

Mike contrasts Worcester Magazine’s search for an “edgy” writer with their past claims to be “non-dowdy.”

Worcesterites will be celebrating the October 24 International Day of Climate Action with a weatherization “barnraising” and tree planting.

The clip on voting for challengers:

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6 Comments Leave a comment.

  1. On October 24, 2009 at 08:13 Nicole said:

    I think the city administration (Chief Gemme, and to a lesser extent City Manager O’Brien) is having a tough time understanding what a press release is. It’s not to be printed verbatim in the Telegram or any other newspaper. The newspaper is under no obligation to do anything with it, but it can be a starting point for a reporter to begin to gather data.

    In the case of the crime statistics, a good reporter would analyze how Worcester is doing, compared to cities like Providence or Springfield, and compared to itself in the past 10 (or 20, or 5) years. Is there a standout area? Is there an area where we are dramatically doing better or worse?

    If the crime statistics are such big news, why are they not being featured on the Announcements section of the City of Worcester website? Better yet, why doesn’t Chief Gemme do his own weekly podcast or some other broadcast to highlight the great things his department is doing?

    Part of being a prominent public official is media and community relations. It’s tough to talk with media outlets you think are being unfair. It’s also tough to have to negotiate union contracts and address complaints about police officers. But that’s all part of the job of a police chief.

    I think that certain people (Konnie, Gemme) also have a hard time understanding that it’s the nature of journalists to dig. As my husband says, if a journalist thinks you’ve buried something, they’re going to keep sniffing and digging until they find it. That’s not to say that you can’t refuse to answer questions, but sometimes it helps to avoid things in a less grumpy way.

  2. On October 24, 2009 at 15:43 Tracy said:

    To Brendan’s comment on “pushing the good news out the door,” it’s something that more than one city department is missing chances on. Some departments–the DPW and the Clerk’s office come to mind–really have embraced online technology. They strive to be on top of things and get the news out themselves (am I alone in following the DPW on Twitter?). The continued comments on why the schools, to cite another example, don’t get more positive press is a missed opportunity, in my view, by the schools to get their own message out. (I’m hoping the new website helps some of this.) Make the schools’ individual websites exciting and active pages. Get the superintendent blogging, or at least putting new messages up online.
    And, yes, the WPD could do that, too.

  3. On October 29, 2009 at 08:46 Nicole said:

    …if only the DPW Twitter feed would tell me when the Belmont Street’s road scarification will finally get paved nicely. (Although the scarified part at the intersection of Belmont and Plantation Streets is actually preferable to the washerboard effect that was previously there…)

  4. On October 30, 2009 at 11:34 Tracy said:

    @Nicole: and I hope that they tell us when the snow ban is in effect this winter. Could be brilliant!

  5. On October 30, 2009 at 12:22 Nicole said:

    @Tracy: Or even take this article in the T&G — http://www.telegram.com/article/20091030/NEWS/910300404/1101/LOCAL
    why isn’t that on the DPW Twitter feed? Or listed on the main DPW webpage?

    Another thing I think the DPW could do would be to have people sign up for email alerts for their specific street. For instance, I live on W– Ave, and if they had a signup on their website, I could get an email alert for when leaf collection is going to occur on my street or (though it’s not the case on my street…) when a parking ban would be in effect.

    Also — on a personal note to Tracy — my sons and husband helped with the gate project at Cascading Waters and our older son (five years old) still mentions your daughters and was especially impressed with how they helped him manage our younger son (age 2). For weeks afterward, he was like, “Let’s go back and see if those girls are there!”

  6. On November 6, 2009 at 21:43 Tracy said:

    Nicole, they usually are…just let us know when you’re coming!

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