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5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester – April 15

By TWIW Staff | April 15, 2021
Last Updated: April 15, 2021

In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

These five things can cover a whole range of subjects and issues that we feel are pertinent to understanding what’s going on in the city and the cities and towns surrounding Worcester.

In today’s edition – Thursday, April 15 – the Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District issues a call for artists, Assumption University announces its commencement speakers for two ceremonies in May, the Worcester Public Library hosts a virtual author talk on Saturday, ElderCare 2021 premiers on May 3 and Massachusetts is ranked the third greenest state in a new study.


Call for Artists from the Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District

The Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District [BID] announced a new call for art, on Tuesday, April 13, titled “Downtown Reemerging.”

The BID seeks artists and makers to submit proposals for window displays in currently empty storefronts this summer.

The call is open to Massachusetts artists and makers in any phase of their career, from emerging to established. Selection preference will be given to those living or working in Worcester.

Up to six proposals will be selected for highly visible storefront locations in Downtown Worcester. Selected artists are eligible for $1,000 to $2,000 based on their submission. The submission deadline is Monday, May 17, at 11:59 PM.

On Thursday, April 15, the BID holds an information session from 7 PM to 8 PM. Contact Andrew McShane at [email protected] to RSVP or for more information.


Assumption University Announces Commencement Speakers for Class of 2020 and 2021

Assumption University will honor the Class of 2021 and Class of 2020 with in-person celebrations next in May.

The class of 2021 Commencement will take place at 10 AM on Sunday, May 9 at the DCU Center.  Pulitzer Prize-winning and nationally syndicated Washington Post columnist George F. Will will deliver the Commencement.

Will and Vincent Strully, Jr., founder and CEO of the New England Center for Children, will receive honorary degrees during the ceremony.

The class of 2020 commencement will take place on Saturday, May 15, at noon, also at the DCU Center.

Robert Royal, Ph.D., founder and president of the Faith & Reason Institute and editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing, will deliver the Commencement address.

Royal and James T. Brett, president and chief executive officer of The New England Council, will receive honorary degrees at the ceremony.


Worcester Public Library Author Talk with Hala Alyan

The Worcester Public Library (WPL) will host a virtual author talk with award-winning Palestinian American author Hala Alyan on Saturday, April 17 at 11 AM on Zoom.

Alyan will read a brief passage from her new novel The Arsonists’ City and there will be a brief talk with a question-and-answer period.

The novel is a rich family story with a personal look at the legacy of war in the Middle East, as well as an unforgettable portrayal of how we hold on to the people and places we call home.

Hala Alyan is the author of  Salt Houses, winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Arab American Book Award and a finalist for the Chautauqua Prize, as well as four award-winning collections of poetry, most recently The Twenty-Ninth Year.

Registration is required.


ElderCare 2001 Premiers May 3 on Local Access

Executive Director & CEO of Central Massachusetts Agency on Aging Dr. Moses Dixon and Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis announced ElderCare 2021 – “Communities of Strength, A Celebration of Older Americans.”

The annual event is virtual and pre-recorded this year. The event will feature a guest speaker line-up, educational & public safety presentations, messages of support for older adults and local resources.

ElderCare 2021 will premiere on May 3, 2021 on most local cable access stations across Worcester County as well “CMAA SeniorConnection” on YouTube.

Topics will include; Truths & Myths About COVID-19, Safeguarding Seniors, CBD Use for Older Adults, Mental Health for Seniors and Elder Law.

Guest speakers include:

  • Dr. Erik Dickson, President & CEO of UMass Memorial Healthcare & Hospital
  • Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis
  • Executive Director & CEO of Central Massachusetts Agency on Aging, Dr. Moses Dixon
  • Elder Law Attorney Polly Tatum
  • Experts on CBD and Mental Health
  • A COVID-19 Vaccination Panel.


Massachusetts Ranked the 3rd Greenest State in New Study

A new study by found Massachusetts as the 3rd greenest state.

The study compared all 50 states in 25 key metrics that speak to the current health of the environment and residents’ environmental-friendliness. The data set ranges from green buildings per capita to the share of energy consumption from renewable resources.

Researchers compiled a total score for each state on a 100 point scale. The top five states, by score:

  1. Vermont – 76.66
  2. New York – 75.93
  3. Massachusetts – 74.08
  4. Maryland – 73.51
  5. California – 73.90

The study compiled the metrics into three major categories. Massachusetts ranked in those categories as follows:

  • 2nd – Climate-Change Contributions
  • 3rd – Environmental Quality
  • 15th – Eco-Friendly Behaviors

Massachusetts ranked highly in some key metrics in the study:

  • 1st – Water Quality
  • 3rd – LEED-Certified Buildings per Capita
  • 8th – Energy Consumption per Capita
  • 10th – Air Quality
  • 11th – Gasoline Consumption (in Gallons) per Capita
  • 18th – Soil Quality

The worst ranked states in the study and their scores were:

  1. Kentucky – 38.17
  2. Alabama – 36.01
  3. Mississippi – 34.70
  4. Louisiana – 26.34
  5. West Virginia – 18.77

See the full study here.

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