Donna will leave Worcester’s Mustard Seed

posted by Mike on May 13th, 2015

Telegram & Gazette:

On June 1, Ms. Domiziano, an unpaid volunteer of nearly 30 years, will finally be leaving. However, her missive came not from God, she says, but a formal letter.

…The organization’s founders had, via a letter delivered by a local pastor, informed her of vital changes to the operation that would drastically limit her autonomy.

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508 #254: Questions

posted by Mike on April 30th, 2015

Every election year, inspired by Jay Rosen, we ask: “What do you want the candidates to be discussing as they compete for votes in this year’s Worcester City Council election?”

We sift through the suggested questions and pick 3 or 4. Then, we try to interview every City Council challenger on the show, asking those same questions.

To prime the pump, this week we get some suggestions from Brendan Melican, Bill Coleman, and Virginia Ryan.

Audio: Download the mp3 or see more formats.

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posted by Mike in 508, Worcester | on April 30th, 2015 | Permanent Link to “508 #254: Questions” | No Comments »

508 #253: Making Our Mark

posted by Mike on February 8th, 2015

508 is a show about Worcester. This week, we talk with some Worcester Public Schools art teachers, at the opening of their group show at the Sprinkler Factory, “Making Our Mark.” Guests include Keri Anderson, Jay Benotti, Christine Cross, Alana Juneau, Stacy Lord, Cory Shepherd, Michael Walden, and Fran Warner.

Audio: Download the mp3 or see more formats.

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posted by Mike in 508, Worcester | on February 8th, 2015 | Permanent Link to “508 #253: Making Our Mark” | No Comments »

508 #252: You Won’t Believe What These Journalists Just Said About Worcester

posted by Mike on January 31st, 2015

508 is a show about Worcester. This week’s guests are former Worcester Magazine editor Brittany Durgin, and former T&G online director Mark Henderson, now of The Worcester Sun. We talk about the state of Worcester journalism, exciting new projects, and staying warm.

Audio: Download the mp3 or see more formats.

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Staying warm:

Love in the Time of Ebola

posted by Scott Schaeffer-Duffy on January 30th, 2015

bethuneSome Americans responded to the ebola epidemic in West Africa by offering to care for the victims. Unfortunately, most of us were swept up in fear of the disease’s dreadful symptoms and mortality rate. Proposals circulated to block all flights to and from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. Emblematic of the hysteria, a Catholic school teacher and registered nurse from Louisville, Kentucky was forced to resign after returning from a medical mission to Kenya, even though she was never closer than 3,000 miles from the ebola outbreaks.

Fundamental changes in how we treat African visitors and returning medical volunteers were proposed for a disease that ultimately killed only two people on US soil. One can only imagine the draconian measures that would be adopted in a real pandemic.
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posted by Scott Schaeffer-Duffy in Religion, Worcester | on January 30th, 2015 | Permanent Link to “Love in the Time of Ebola” | 2 Comments »

508 #251: #blacklivesmatter

posted by Mike on January 24th, 2015

508 is a show about Worcester. This week’s guest is Julius Jones. We talk about the Pulse’s “Ones to Watch” list, Communities United and #BlackLivesMatter, and the rapidly diminishing ranks of local pro journalists. Also: Follow us on Twitter.

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Worcester Panhandling Update: the New York Times and the Supreme Court

posted by Mike on December 8th, 2014

It’s coming up on 2 years since Worcester passed its latest ordinance against begging.

I didn’t see any kids fundraising for little league over the summer. There still seem to be plenty of scruffy men with signs panhandling cars. I’m hoping we will soon get a report on the overall effects of the law.

The NYT today has a good roundup of the legal situation with the ordinance. The case may end up in front of the US Supreme Court.

A city ordinance enacted last year banned “aggressive begging,” but it used an idiosyncratic definition of what counts as aggressive. It encompasses any begging — including silently asking for spare change with a cup or a sign — as long as it is within 20 feet of a bank, bus stop, pay phone, theater, outdoor cafe or anywhere people are waiting in line.

The Supreme Court has said that asking for money is speech protected by the First Amendment. But in June, the federal appeals court in Boston rejected a challenge to the 20-foot buffer zones, saying they were justified by the unease that panhandling can cause.

A week later, the Supreme Court struck down a Massachusetts law that had established 35-foot buffer zones around the state’s abortion clinics, including one in Worcester. The court said the law, which banned counseling, protests and other speech near the clinics, violated the First Amendment.

There was a tension between the two decisions, and lawyers for the plaintiffs in the begging case asked the appeals court to reconsider its ruling in light of the abortion case. The appeals court turned them down.

I appreciate the paper of record validating that our law is “idiosyncratic.”

508 #250: So Much Stuff

posted by Mike on October 11th, 2014

508 is a show about Worcester. This week’s guest is Chris Robarge. We talk about our new permanent City Manager, eight stolen gargoyles, and Jodorowsky.

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posted by Mike in 508, Worcester | on October 11th, 2014 | Permanent Link to “508 #250: So Much Stuff” | 1 Comment »

508 #249: Politics and Journalism

posted by Mike on September 14th, 2014

508 is a show about Worcester. This week’s guest is Noah Bombard of MassLive. We recap this week’s primary election, talk about the state of the Telegram & Gazette and the future of local news, and ask if there’s any non-conspiracy-theory way to understand Worcester’s City Manager search.

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508 #248: The Presence of Metal

posted by Mike on August 4th, 2014

508 is a show about Worcester. This week, Mike and Brendan talk about crosswalks, internet silliness, and municipal broadband.

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