508 #259: Ana Sequera

posted by Mike on July 23rd, 2015

508 is a show about Worcester. This week’s guest is Worcester City Council District 2 challenger Ana Sequera.

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508 #258: Cindy Nguyen

posted by Mike on July 16th, 2015

508 is a show about Worcester. This week’s guest is Worcester City Council District 1 challenger Cindy Nguyen.

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508 #257: Tina Zlody

posted by Mike on July 9th, 2015

508 is a show about Worcester. This week’s guest is Worcester City Council At-Large challenger Tina Zlody.

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Supreme Court vacates Worcester panhandling ruling

posted by Mike on June 29th, 2015

The US Supreme Court has told the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit that the lower court made a wrong decision in upholding Worcester’s 2013 anti-panhandling ordinances.

Supreme Court of the United States [PDF]:

14-428 THAYER, ROBERT, ET AL. V. WORCESTER, MA
The motion of Homeless Empowerment Project for leave to file a brief as amicus curiae is granted. The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted. The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit for further consideration in light of Reed v. Town of Gilbert, 576 U. S. ___ (2015).

SCOTUSBlog: “When the Court “GVRs,” it “grants certiorari,” “vacates” the decision below, and “remands” a case to the lower court without hearing oral argument or deciding its merits. A GVR order is not accompanied by a written opinion addressing the merits of the case, but the Court usually provides some direction to the lower court by, for example, instructing it to reconsider its decision in light of a recent decision by the Supreme Court.”

The anti-begging ordinances, which began being enforced in February 2013, have stopped kids from holding fundraising events on street corners, but don’t seem to have cut down on the number of down-and-out adults panhandling in those same spots.

Part of Worcester’s anti-panhandling package discouraged people from wandering on traffic islands and in the road; part tried to keep people from being persistent or scary in their soliciting; another part set up hundreds of “no begging” zones around bus stops, ATMs, and doors. This court case focuses on the third set of ordinances, those establishing buffer zones for certain kinds of speech (asking for money or other things of value).

Reed v. Town of Gilbert held that certain “content-based regulations of speech” were not allowed.

For what it’s worth, I remain mildly opposed to the anti-begging ordinances and majorly opposed to the shoddy process through which they were enacted.

ACLU:

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Reed v. Town of Gilbert confirms that laws regulating speech are subject to the strictest scrutiny when they hinge on the content of the speech. And the Supreme Court’s decision in McCullen v. Coakley holds that buffer zones banning speech are rarely if ever constitutional.

How, in light of those decisions, can Worcester enforce hundreds or thousands of buffer zones that prohibit begging but do not prohibit other kinds of speech? The answer is that Worcester absolutely cannot do that.

508 #256: This Drone Survived 508

posted by Mike on June 26th, 2015

508 is a show about Worcester. This week’s guest is drone enthusiast and “This Car Survived Kelley Square” creator Chris Markman. We talk about unmanned flying machines and Worcester’s capital budget.

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508 #255: Election Introduction

posted by Mike on June 11th, 2015

508 is a show about Worcester. This week’s panel is Brendan Melican and Paul Cooney. We hash out the questions we’d like to ask this year’s Worcester City Council challengers.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Staying warm: