5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester - June 8

 by TWIW StaffJune 8, 2021

In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, ThisWeekinWorcester.com 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 – Tuesday, June 8 - the Worcester Public Library forgives lost library items for those vaccinated at its clinics in June, a new restaurant and live music venue is coming to Commercial Street in Worcester, the Worcester Art Museum announces an exhibition on baseball jerseys and the historical cultural impact, Massachusetts is ranked the state with the fourth best economy and gas prices increase one cent in Massachusetts for the second straight week.

Get Vaccinated at Worcester Public Library Get Forgiven for Lost Items

The Worcester Public Library [WPL] hosts vaccine equity clinics each Wednesday between June 9 and June 30 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at the Main Library at 3 Salem Sq.

Those who get vaccinated at one of the Worcester Public Library vaccination clinics can show their new vaccine card to the staff at the Welcome Desk and they will forgive any WPL lost items.

Individuals seeking to be vaccinated at WPL must be 12 years old or over, live or work in the City of Worcester and meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Latin individuals
  • Individuals who do not speak English, or prefer to speak in another language
  • Individuals who do not have access to public transportation or who have barriers getting to a vaccination site
  • Individuals who do not feel comfortable receiving the vaccine in a traditional healthcare setting
  • Individuals with disabilities and those who have access and functional needs
  • Individuals experiencing homelessness
  • Individuals with mental illness and/or residents with substance use disorder

Restaurant and Live-Music Venue Coming to Commercial Street

A new restaurant and live music venue, Off the Rails, announced plans to open at 90 Commercial St. in Worcester, at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, on July 17.

The restaurant intends to provide live music seven days a week from a two-person stage visible from outdoor seating along commercial street.

Managing Partner Chris Besaw said, “Our goal is to bring a little Nashville to Worcester.”

The venue, owned by Worcester Railers owner Cliff Rucker, intends to enhance outdoor concert space along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and fit up to 10,000 attendees.

The restaurant’s Executive Chef is Rick Araujo, recently of Civic Food and Drink in Westborough.

The construction of the larger music venue begins in June and targeted for completion in December.

Art Museum Exhibition on Baseball Jersey Influence on Fashion

The Worcester Art Museum opens "The Iconic Jersey: Baseball x Fashion" in June. It is the first museum exhibition to focus specifically on the design evolution of baseball jerseys and their impact on wider national culture.

The exhibition will feature 37 garments, including historic and contemporary jerseys as well as runway looks—from Jesse Tannehill’s 1908 Boston Red Sox Uniform Shirt to MIZIZI’s Black Lives Matter jersey—along with two, one-of-a-kind jersey chairs and other ephemera that capture the phenomenon of the baseball shirt, both on and off the field.

The exhibition will run through September 12. It is accompanied by a scholarly catalogue that further examines the subject.

Massachusetts Ranked 4th Best State Economy

A new study from Wallethub.com ranked Massachusetts the fourth best state economy in the United States.

The study ranked each state and the District of Columbia from best (one) to worst (51) using 29 key indicators of economic performance and strength broken down into three major categories to assess an overall score between one and 100.

Massachusetts received a score of 65.74 out of 100 and as follows in each major category:

  • Economic Activity: 9th
  • Economic Health: 34th
  • Innovation Potential: 1st

In overall ranking, here is how the study rated New England and surrounding states, ordered by overall rank:

State Overall Score Economic
MA 4 65.74 9 34 1
NH 12 56..71 40 14 3
CT 21 48.42 28 50 6
NJ 22 48.14 19 46 12
NY 31 45.45 18 47 18
PA 34 44.20 36 41 19
VT 40 39.56 48 33 23
RI 41 38.65 47 39 26
ME 44 37.10 46 28 42

Across the country, Utah ranked first with a score of 78.28 followed by Washington (72.04) and California (66.83). After Massachusetts, which ranked fourth (65.74), was Idaho with a score of 61.93.

The five worst ranked state economies and their overall scores are:

  • 47th - Oklahoma (34.98)
  • 48th - Alaska (34.98)
  • 49th - Louisiana (29.39)
  • 50th - West Virginia (25.65)
  • 51st - Hawaii (23.56)

To see more results and the methodology the study used to find the results, see WalletHub.com.

Gas Prices Up One Cent This Week in MA

AAA Northeast reports changes in gas prices across the region on a weekly basis.

Massachusetts’s average gas price is up one cent from last week, averaging $2.93 per gallon. That price is the nine cents higher than a month ago ($2.84), and 92 cents higher than June 7, 2020 ($2.01).

Massachusetts’s average gas price is 12 cents lower than the national average.

AAA Northeast’s June 7 survey of fuel prices found the current national average to be one cent higher than last week, averaging $3.05 a gallon. Today’s national average price is 10 cents higher than a month ago ($2.95), and $1.03 cents cheaper than this day last year ($2.02).

Comparison to neighboring states, according to AAA Northeast:

Region Current Price One Week Ago One Month Ago One Year Ago
Massachusetts $2.93 $2.92 $2.84 $2.01
Rhode Island $2.96 $2.94 $2.87 $2.00
Connecticut $3.08 $3.07 $2.99 $2.00



Lead image: Wright & Ditson, Boston Red Sox Uniform Shirt, worn by Jesse Tannehill, 1908, wool flannel, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, B-176-61. Courtesy of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum/Milo Stewart Jr.

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