Monthly Archive: June 2016

One injured in four-vehicle crash in east Davenport

The driver of a Mercedes SUV suffered non-life-threatening injuries Wednesday afternoon when she lost control of the vehicle and caused a crash with two other vehicles while exiting River Drive onto River Street, Davenport police said. Police said the crash occurred at 3:50 p.m. as the woman was driving the Mercedes west on River Drive. She then tried to exit onto River Street near McClellan Boulevard. River Street leads to the Village of East Davenport. The Mercedes struck a Ford F-150 pickup truck that was at the stop sign at River Street and River Drive. The impact totaled the pickup truck, causing it to lose its drive shaft. The Mercedes also struck a Toyota Camry that was near the truck. The Camry also was struck from behind by another vehicle that fled the scene. The Mercedes rolled onto the driver s side. The driver had to be cut out by firefighters. She was taken to Genesis Medical Center-East Rusholme Street, Davenport, for treatment. Speed was a factor in the crash, police said. The woman faces traffic charges in connection with the crash. No one else was injured. I got hit twice, said Ellen Reilly of Moline, the driver of the Camry who was on her way home from work. I felt the other car hit me. But when I got out no one was there. But the damage was. The back of her Reilly s Camry had dents in it and blue paint smudges. The front of the vehicle was in pieces. Police said it was totaled. As for the Mercedes, Reilly said, “she was flying when she hit me.” The three people riding in the pickup truck also fled the scene but were found by police. The owner had no insurance or driver s license but told police that his son was driving. Reilly said that in the past she has used River Street to get onto River Drive, but after this crash, I never will again. The intersection was closed for about an hour as police investigated crash and cleared the scene.

Portland Metro Thursday Traffic: Northbound ramp to Hawthorne Bridge from Naito closes tomorrow for the Blues Festival

Daily traffic It’s going to be a busy weekend downtown with the annual Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival taking up the bulk of south Waterfront Park. The Hawthorne Bridge often becomes a default viewing spot for pedestrians and also a well-used route to the festival for east side fans. As a result, the northbound on ramp to the Hawthorne Bridge from Southwest Naito Parkway will be closed Friday-Sunday, July 1-4 for the Blues Festival. The ramp is closed each year for safety, due to the volume of pedestrians around that area. Drivers who need to access the bridge can take the ramp from Southwest Madison Street. Also expect police to close the bridge to motor vehicles during the fireworks display on July 4. *** BEAVERTON 7:58 a.m.; Westbound crash on the shoulder of U.S. 26 between Bethany and 184th Avenue. Watch for slowing. *** DUNDEE 7:48 a.m.; Injury crash reported on Highway 99W near Southwest 11th Street south of Dundee. This tends to be a congested area in any case. Expect slowing this morning. *** DONALD 6:45 a.m.; Crash I-5 southbound near the Donald exit (south of Wilsonville) has traffic backing to Arndt Road. *** BUXTON 6:20 a.m.; An overturned log truck is blocking Highway 47 south of Johnson Road, and north of Stub Stewart State Park. Up to two lanes in either direction of I-205 between Mill Plain Boulevard and SR 500 will close from 8 p.m.-6 a.m. nightly through Friday, July 1. Workers will grind, pave and stripe the freeway in that area throughout the week. Also concrete barriers are being removed. Expect some slowing and watch for workers through Friday morning. Many state and local sheriff’s offices are announcing enhanced patrols for the Fourth of July weekend. If you’re going to drink, have a designated driver, arrange for a ride or use public transportation. Check back throughout the morning for the latest commuting updates and follow us on Twitter: @trafficportland [1] #pdxtraffic Tweets [2] References ^ @trafficportland ( ^ #pdxtraffic Tweets (

Colombia ceasefire throws displaced lives into focus ? Maria’s story

* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation. MEXICO CITY, Mexico, (UNHCR) ? When gun-toting gang thugs pumped round after round into their home in El Salvador, blind couple Rosario and Victor* grabbed their daughter and threw themselves onto the floor to dodge the bullets. Minutes later, several figures they could not see broke into the house and loomed over them as they lay huddled on the ground. Victor had draped himself protectively over 10-year-old Natalia and Rosario, who thought they were dead. ?I was paralyzed, dead throughout every part of my body,? Rosario says, weeping as she relives the terror. ?But then we realized it was the police and I started to breathe again.? The family had been hounded by the gang who demanded US$500 in ?rent? on the two massage therapy clinics they ran in the Salvadoran capital. When the gang doubled the extortion demand to US$1,000 every two weeks, the family shut the businesses and moved house to try and escape their tormenters. But easily recognizable because of their grey canes, the gang found them time and again. Recognizing their vulnerability, the police came up with a novel ? if macabre ? way of spiriting the family out of the house under the watchful eyes of the gang. They should play dead. Covering them with a shroud-like white sheet, the officers carried the family out of the house, one by one. Placing them on stretchers and covering them with a shroud-like white sheet, the officers carried the family out of the house, one by one, and through the streets of their ramshackle neighbourhood, accompanied by a forensic specialist, to lend credibility to the performance. ?I was not dead, but I felt as though I was,? says Rosario. ?It was difficult to control my breathing as I was so nervous until I got into the police vehicle.? It was clear that the family?s life in El Salvador was now over. Once clear of the neighbourhood, they joined thousands of men, women and children fleeing the street gangs – or “maras” as they are known in Spanish – whose crimes range from murder, rape and extortion to drug dealing, kidnap and human trafficking. The police took them to a point close to the border with Guatemala, leaving Rosario and Victor in the care of Natalia. ?We were safe but with nothing but our pyjamas,? Victor recalls. ?We had just US$20 that we borrowed when we crossed into Guatemala, guided all the way by our daughter.? Once in Guatemala, they spent two days sleeping on the street with no food. They were finally helped by a truck driver who recognized their desperate plight, and slipped them over the border to Tapachula in southern Mexico, where they sought help at a shelter for migrants. With the help of UNHCR, the UN Refugee agency, the family of three were transferred to a shelter in another part of Mexico which had better facilities for the visually handicapped, who are among the most vulnerable of the many thousands now running for their lives. “Thousands of men, women and children are now fleeing gang violence in El Salvador … Like Rosario and Victor, many face extreme risks and are in urgent need of protection.”-UNHCR ?Thousands of men, women and children are now fleeing gang violence in El Salvador, which is now one of the world?s most violent countries,? said Mark Manly, UNHCR?s representative in Mexico. ?Like Rosario and Victor, many have faced extreme risks and are in urgent need of protection. More must be done to make sure they have adequate information on how to apply for asylum, improved access to the asylum procedure and safe, dignified places to stay while their cases are looked at,? he said. Manly stressed that the desperate situation of refugees like Rosario and Victor was a reminder of why UNHCR ?needs to redouble its work with the authorities and civil society to make it happen.? The couple sought, and were granted, asylum in Mexico, where they have now settled and are finding a measure of peace. Rosario has a passion for singing, particularly the hits of Italian pop singer Laura Pausini, which she belts out in the shelter. She and Victor would like to start their massage therapy business over again, although they still worry about the gangs, whose reach is international. ?Now, in this shelter, we feel safe, although always we are afraid that one day the mara will find us. They know how to find people,? Rosario says, her thoughts clouded by anxiety over the relatives she left behind. ?The rest of our family is still in Salvador under threat because of us.? *Names have been changed for protection reasons.

The Tradition Continues At Nichols Dog House

The late Richard Nichols didn t know how to read or write, but he knew how to put food on the table for his family. With the help of his wife, Lola, and his daughters, Nichols was able to run two delis and a coffee canteen truck in the late 70s and early 80s. And he operated Nichols Dog House, a food truck on Roosevelt Drive in Derby near the Seymour border, for about 40 years. When he died last year, his family paid tribute by bringing the truck to his wake and serving food to the mourners [1] . Now, after an extended absence, Nichols Food Truck is back on Roosevelt Drive, and the tradition continues with Nichols daughter, Debbie Nichols Smith; his grandson, Shaun Gonzales, and Gonzales girlfriend, Janaye Hernandez. The Valley Indy recently interviewed the trio about continuing the family business. The interview has been condensed with minor editing alterations. Valley Independent Sentinel: For somebody that s never been here before, what would you recommend from your menu? Shaun Gonzales: The chili dog. If you like it hot then you can get a chili on a Georgia Hot. Debbie Nichols-Smith: The chili is a secret recipe. VIS : Is there anything your father wouldn t make? Was there any orders he thought was taboo? Gonzales : Oh no he would make anything. There s a couple of truck drivers that come by with these thick Spanish accents and they would order hot dogs with mayonnaise and have him crush up potato chips on top of it. If he had it he made it. VIS : Shaun, when did you start working with your grandfather? Gonzales: I probably started working there when I was about ten, and then when I was about 18 I started taking it over full-time for him. When I was 10 I would just set things up. Like if he needed hot dogs I would set up the bun for him. He would teach me what people wanted and what the works meant. I would clean the pots and pans stuff like that. VIS : So you were setting up orders when you were ten, you turn 18, and so what were some of the additional responsibilities he gave you? Gonzales: Well that was when he had a heart attack and got his first bypass surgery. So I took it over part-time. I would drive the truck here, set it up in the morning, run it all day and bring the truck back home. Debbie Nichols-Smith: The last two years of his life his health problems were getting more serious and he was getting less able to do things. Gonzales: :We would take shifts on trying to help out whenever we could, but without taking [the business] away from him because he still wanted to be a part of it. Debbie s husband Edward was a big help too. VIS : At 18 years old that seems to be a lot of responsibility. It sounds like you had some big shoes to fill. Gonzales: Yeah. I mean I had other things I wanted to do. As a kid you want to go out and hang out and stuff, but my family needed help. Nichols-Smith : My father was all about family. Janaye Hernandez: When Shaun and I got together he was 18 and every time I would be at his house, he would hear the truck pull in and Shaun would get up and help out his grandfather with the truck. He s always been like that. Gonzales: My father wasn t around when I was growing up so my grandfather was my main father figure. VIS : You guys had to clear a number of hurdles with local government to get back on the road, and then you had emergency repairs for the truck. What happened? Gonzales: We had to get a new motor in it. It seized up over there by Griffin Hospital and it wasn t too far from home! Nichols-Smith: The guys at D-Street Garage fixed it. They always fix the truck when something s broken. VIS : Do you guys have a regular customer that stands out? Gonzales: Oh yeah we have a couple of those. She [Hernandez] has a few fans. Hernandez: Yeah, I ve had customers bring me flowers. Gonzales: We ve got one customer that orders three iced teas and two hot dogs or two hamburgers. He orders two of everything. VIS : We ve been seeing more food truck festivals nowadays. It s a growing trend like craft beer in this state. Why do you think people are attracted to these food trucks? Nichols-Smith: Good and fresh cooked food. Gonzales: Yeah, that and it s a smaller business. Smaller businesses just give more attention to detail with their food. Nichols-Smith: This area here is the iconic spot. My father was here for so long, this is where he was known. VIS : Are there any events that you guys go to? Nichols-Smith: Keeping with my father s tradition we go to the Annual Model A Antique Car show at Beardsley Cider Mill. He use to do the Derby-Shelton memorial day parade every year for 20 years and a couple years ago they threw him out. VIS : Why was that? Nichols-Smith: They said he needed a special permit. He could never figure that out so he just stopped because he didn t like confrontation. He was always a peaceful person. I always took care of the licenses and permits. My dad couldn t read. He worked this whole business, his whole life, illiterate. But he got numbers like he was a human calculator. Gonzales: He dropped out of school when he was young because his mom was sick. VIS : How did he manage his food truck if he couldn t read? Nichols-Smith: No one knew. He would remember the sodas by the color of the cans. He told us he passed the driver s test by memory. Gonzales: Sometimes I see people look at our menu list for a little bit, and then they ask Yo, what do you have to drink? I ll just [verbally] list them because you never know they might not be able to read. Nichols-Smith: My father could tell you what was on that list but he couldn t read that list. That s why he had a simple menu. He couldn t chance the embarrassment. He was proud of what he did and we were proud of him. I just couldn t imagine growing up not knowing how to read. As long as he could put food on the table he was happy. VIS : It sounds like he had a great work ethic that helped him through life. Shaun, after being around him for so long what was one thing that you learned from him? Gonzales: Just be good. Just be a good person and everybody will remember you. And that s not something he taught me, I saw it. I saw it from him. Be a good person and work hard. He was the hardest working person I knew. The truck is open from 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Click here [2] for the truck s Facebook page. References ^ bringing the truck to his wake and serving food to the mourners ( ^ Click here (

Pride & Polish, Trucker Talent Search, health initiatives on display for August’s Great American Trucking Show

Sid Colangelo s and Kyle Cousins 2015 Kenworth W900L won Best of Show, Working Bobtail at this year s 75 Chrome Shop Pride & Polish Show in Wildwood, Fla. The truck will compete for the 2016 Pride & Polish National Championship at GATS. A ttendees at this year s Great American Trucking Show [1] will find new attractions, as well as Overdrive s Pride & Polish show truck championship, Partners in Business seminars and Trucker Talent Search sing-off finals. The show will be held Aug. 25-27 in Dallas, Texas, at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center, and attendance is free for owner-operators and truckers who register online prior to the event. Click here to register to attend. [2] New to the show will be a Discovery Pavilion and additions to the Health Pavilion. The Discovery Pavilion [3] will give attendees the chance to test out products, view product installations and learn more about products and equipment. New to the Landstar Health and Wellness Pavilion [4] this year will be U.S. Department of Transportation physicals conducted by AccuScreen for $59, as well as free sleep apnea screenings provided by the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund [5] , a nonprofit that helps drivers whose medical problems have led to financial hardship. The pavilion also will provide an opportunity for attendees to register as bone marrow donors, give blood and receive a mammogram. Free screenings will include urinalysis, blood pressure, vision, nutrition evaluations and more. Another health initiative at the show will be the Fit for the Road 5K run/walk Saturday, Aug. 27. Registration includes a T-shirt and is $30 before the race [6] or $40 onsite. Proceeds will benefit the St. Christopher fund. Check-in for the 7 a.m. race will begin at 6:30 a.m. at the GATS Community Tailgate at Fair Park. Free roundtrip shuttle service will be provided from the convention center. Also at the GATS Community Tailgate will be free truck parking provided by TA-Petro. Free roundtrip shuttles will run regularly from the truck parking lot to the convention center and back. The lot also will feature food vendors, showers, restrooms and a worship service on the Sunday after the show. Returning to GATS this year will be the Overdrive -Red Eye Radio Trucker Talent Search [7] competition, where three finalists will compete Friday, Aug. 26, at 3:30 p.m. in the GATS Theater. Trucker and recording artist Tony Justice, the event s emcee, also will perform at the competition. At the indoor Pride & Polish, show truck winners from the 2015-16 season will compete in the 2016 National Championship Finals. Trophies also will be awarded for the separate GATS competition that will kick off the 2016-17 season. Overdrive s Partners in Business seminars will be offered twice daily Friday and Saturday in the GATS Theater. Company drivers wanting to become owner-operators, or owner-operators looking to get a step ahead in their business, will find helpful information at these free one-hour seminars. ATBS, the nation s largest owner-operator financial services provider, will present the Friday seminars. Kevin Rutherford, trucking radio host and a former owner-operator accountant, will present the Saturday seminars. Partners in Business is produced by Overdrive and ATBS and is sponsored by Ryder, Goodyear Smart Fleet and Attendees will receive a free copy of the 2017 Partners in Business Manual , which covers a variety of practical financial tips, equipment management strategies and more. Show info: Where : Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center (Dallas Convention Center) When : Thursday, August 25: Noon to 5 p.m. Friday, August 26: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, August 27: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Register : Free online at [8] Lodging: Hotel information at [9] Parking: Free truck parking will be available at the Cotton Bowl s Fair Park References ^ Great American Trucking Show ( ^ Click here to register to attend. ( ^ The Discovery Pavilion ( ^ Landstar Health and Wellness Pavilion ( ^ St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund ( ^ $30 before the race ( ^ Overdrive-Red Eye Radio Trucker Talent Search ( ^ Free online at ( ^ Hotel information at (

Two decades of coaching excellence

Two decades of coaching excellence 30 June 2016 Griffins Coaches has developed a stellar reputation as the premier coach and minibus hire company in County Limerick. Since its establishment in 1995, Griffins Coaches has developed a stellar reputation as the premier coach and minibus hire company in County Limerick. We popped into their Ardpatrick HQ to discuss the proud history and current well-being of this exceptional family-run operation with transport manager ine Griffin. Griffins Coaches is a third-generation family-business, which was set up in 1995 by the father-and-son team James and Kevin Griffin, both of whom had previously worked for Bus ireann as drivers. Jim s wife Anne was involved in the business for a number of years. Kevin’s wife ine and son Derek have since joined the business, alongside several other members of the family. Since inception, Griffins Coaches has provided a professional and flexible service to cater for a wide range of transportation needs across the Ballyhoura region of South Limerick and North Cork, including (but by no means limited to) school transport, tours, sporting events, social clubs, weddings, stag and hen party weekends, school trips and festivals as well as transfers to Dublin, Shannon, Cork and Kerry Airports. Particularly renowned for their work with numerous sports clubs and teams, Griffins Coaches is the official transport provider to Limerick GAA and also boasts strong ties with Blackrock GAA, Charleville Rugby Club and Charleville CBS among others. They support many local clubs, schools and events through sponsorship and donations, a case in point being their sponsorship of the 2015/2016 Limerick Intermediate Football Championship. Reflecting on the genesis of this outstanding family operation, Aine who has been running the business alongside her husband for the past decade notes: James and Kevin started out with one minibus doing some casual work and they secured a school route fairly quickly and built it up from there. They bought a second, medium-sized bus within two years and today we have a fleet of twelve in total, from 12-seaters up to 53, doing a variety of work. Operating a range of coaches / minibuses of varying sizes allows Griffins Coaches to cater for literally any event or occasion. For luxury travel, their executive 50 seaters come with an array of extra specs including air conditioning, television and DVD, reclining seats, CCTV, toilet facilities, fridge etc. Regarding the multifaceted and flexible nature of the work carried out, Aine confirms: We do a bit of everything really. The bread-and-butter work would include school runs for Bus Eireann and work for the HSE as well as local GAA clubs and Limerick County Board. We ve had a very good working relationship with Limerick GAA for over 5 years and have transported many of their county teams the senior, intermediate, minor, U21 and underage teams in both football and hurling as well as the Limerick ladies footballers. At the time of writing, Griffins had just collected a new 2009-reg bus from Callinan Coaches to increase their fleet to meet with rising demand for their high-quality and reasonably-priced services. We re also expanding more into the tour market, offering all-Ireland tours as well as into the North for various tour companies. We have been doing tours on a small scale since 2012 but this year we ve decided to expand into it in a much bigger way. We bought a brand new touring coach in 2009 but have made the decision this year to buy another 2009 as we are hoping to purchase a new touring coach in the New Year. Our son, Derek, came on board four years ago when he turned 23. Within a year he had started as a tour coach driver and will be providing that service going forward. At present, Griffins Coaches provide employment to a total of fifteen people, between full-time and part-time employees. The Limerick company operates a strong, dependable fleet of vehicles, all of which are maintained in superb condition at all times. It s a fresh and modern fleet, confirms Aine. The 50-seaters, for example, would range from 07 to 10. Griffins have their own garage / workshop and the vast majority of preventative maintenance and servicing work is handled in-house. Kevin, who is a qualified mechanic, and Derek look after that. Jim [James] is also a qualified mechanic and he ran his own garage at one stage. He has retired now but he is still very much part of the business and he still plays a role behind the scenes. Of course, the recession knocked the wind out of every transport company s sails but the Griffins have come out the other side with their business very much intact. It was tough and we had to find other efficiencies, but things are picking up again in the last couple of years. We had to adapt and change the way we were thinking or we would have gone under. We focussed on looking after the business we already had and upped the level of service even higher to make sure that we didn t lose any more business than we had to. Griffins Coaches has been a great success story over the past 20 years and remains on very solid footing going forward. To what does Aine attribute this success? Building the business up slowly and gradually and not overextending ourselves has certainly benefited us an awful lot. We are also very particular about our business and our service. Everything has to be spot-on from the vehicles to the drivers to our communications and customer relationships and we are always punctual. Aine concludes. We are delighted that Limerick GAA have once again chosen us as their main transport provider. Service is obviously a very big part of it and our level of customer service is top class, which is why we get so much repeat business and keep getting more new work, But we won t be getting complacent. We know that we will have to keep that high level of service up and also to provide the same high standards to tour companies and other customers. Griffins Coaches, Ardpatrick, Kilmallock County Limerick. Tel: 063 91144 Mobile: 087 9625689 Email: [email protected] [1] Taken from Irish Trucker & Light Commercials magazine, Vol 18 N o 7, September 2015 References ^ [email protected] (

Canal Digging: Is Worcester’s Canal District the city’s real downtown core?

Photos by Steven King. If you re looking for Worcester s Canal District, don t go looking for a canal. No, maybe that wasn t an especially original observation, but it s still a valid one, despite years of lobbying by Canal District bigwigs to uncover the Blackstone Canal to give Worcester an urban waterway to rival Providence. And despite the disparate businesses in the neighborhood old industrial buildings still churning out products, abandoned ones converted into restaurants and bars the Canal District still feels like a cohesive block. Starting near Union Station and branching out in a westward direction between the railroad tracks and I-290, the neighborhood is a concentrated dose of what the rest of Worcester hopes to grow up to be. A walkable area with retail stores doing business during the day and a thriving nightlife scene when the sun sets, the Canal District is in some ways the downtown Worcester doesn t yet have. But things could always be better, as neighborhood business owners admit, some more willingly than others. There s that pesky canal, for one. Technically, it still flows, but now it is full of sewage, as Worcester took the route many other cities took and converted it into a part of the wastewater treatment system. If you drive on Harding Street you can imagine the canal below, and business owners have not given up on resurrecting or recreating the waterway. Allen Fletcher looks out over Green Street from his Ash Street residence. Even if the Canal District never gets its canal, the lobbying has paid dividends. Businessman Allen Fletcher said he, 3G s Sports Bar owner John Giangregorio and others have been meeting every Wednesday for 15 years trying to get something off the ground, and visitors to early versions of those meetings have become some of the key investors in the neighborhood. As a result of [those meetings], I could probably name 10 to 20 people who came to those meetings, got infected by our bullshit, entranced by the pictures we were weaving in the air, and thought, Yea, I ve always wanted to open my own bar, and they bought a place in the Canal District, Fletcher said. That s when the rebirth of the Canal District, which started as a bar scene, happened I attribute that, very much, to all the yakking we did. Fletcher and Giangregorio, who chairs the Canal District Business Association, are both former leaders of the Canal District Alliance, a group of business owners and stakeholders looking to take the organic growth in the area and weave it into a district-wide plan for success. Now that leadership torch has fallen to Mullen Sawyer, who said he is looking to expand economic development in the area without resorting to top-down approaches or the big chains that are the drivers for other urban renewal plans. When I started, we had gotten to the point where we were credible and economic development was happening in pockets, Sawyer, who started on the CDA board eight years ago, said. And it s my goal to expand that district-wide It s organic. It s local people, local mom and pop shops, no box stores to be found. Asked to describe the key to the Canal District s success, Sawyer jokes, lots of alcohol. That just may be an accurate description of the area s success. From the outside looking in, it doesn t even appear the Canal District needs the canal. Compared to just about any other dense commercial area of the city, the neighborhood is on a huge upswing, fueled by a river of booze. Nearly every business owner surveyed commented on the nightlife in the area. That nightlife has a dark side, though. As much as the area has improved from the dark age between the heyday of manufacturing and industry and where the neighborhood is today, police incidents still take place. Fights are not uncommon, especially around the bars in the Canal District, and gun violence also rears its ugly head. Just recently, a man was shot in the head during an alleged robbery on Water Street around 2 a.m. The incident happened Saturday morning, June 25. It could, perhaps, be attributed to intense efforts to clean up other neighborhoods, such as Great Brook Valley. Many fear the bad seeds booted from what was once a notoriously dangerous area of the city, have taken root elsewhere, like the lower Grafton Street area that opens up in the Canal District. Mullen Sawyer stands at the corner of Water and Harrison streets. While nightlife in the district, good and bad, is what draws the most attention, Canal District boosters are quick to point out that the area has held on to longtime businesses and diversified its portfolio, so to speak. Sometimes the Canal District gets mischaracterized as a place to have a drink or socialize. And we are, and we re the best in the region, said Giangregorio. It s more interesting and spicier to talk about restaurants and bars, but the real core and backbone of the Canal District has always been the business to business. History is important for those who have invested their fortunes and staked their reputations on the Canal District. Many of the buildings in the area are historic, and President Barack Obama signed a measure designating the Blackstone River Valley the newest national park in the country in December 2014. The canal, which was built in 1828, gave Worcester a link to the ocean through Providence, and was a huge economic driver for the area. The culture of the immigrant populations that worked on it, advocates say, is just as important to remember. The common core was authentic, historic and cultural, Sawyer said about what draws people to the Canal District, a list that includes wagon tours of the area with high school students giving a guided history lesson. We want to bring the history alive to people in our community. If the history of the district is interesting, the future might be even more intriguing. And if talk about that future keeps returning to the reopening or replicating of the canal, that s only because people like Giangregorio, Fletcher and Sawyer have been relentless in bringing up the topic and pushing for money to fund it. A study completed in 2003 is their main weapon in the argument that the estimated $30-million investment would result in huge returns for the neighborhood, city and region. And while some might call a decades-long lobbying effort quixotic, boosters remain optimistic even while admitting challenges. I m extremely confident about the canal coming back, and I will move heaven and earth to do it, Sawyer said. But the economics [of government grants] have changed dramatically more than anything, we want to stress that this canal makes good economic sense. It s a very small investment that would pay 100 times itself in dividends. The movement has attracted attention and some support, but it has not enjoyed robust backing from city officials, some of whom see it as too expensive and not yielding as much as its proponents believe. John Giangregorio in his 3G s Sports Bar. For now, however, what does the Canal District have as its landmark if not a canal? Many people point to Kelley Square, a seven-way intersection possibly designed by a malevolent trickster god, as the focal point of the district. There are no traffic lights regulating the flow of traffic from the highway or main streets into the intersection, and you can tell who the out-of-towners are by looking at the cars that come to a petrified stop at the boundary of the square. And while traffic coming through Kelley Square is clearly a boon for businesses, with an estimated 60,000 cars passing through per day, the delivery system for those people mainly I-290 may have done more harm than good. When it was built in the 1960s, the highway leveled neighborhoods and separated businesses from residential areas. The resulting crash even caused some property owners to lop off the top floors of their buildings, removing residential housing and adding scarcity to scarcity. But Fletcher, who renovated a Canal District property into apartments he lives in currently wants to bring back residential units and make the area mixed-used again. I have tenants that will get in their car and drive down to Water Street, and I have to train them in urban living, he said. The path [I-290] took up was just huge, and the devastation it caused was incalculable, Fletcher added. What I believe we need is more people living down here. It gives it more of a sense of reality, and it s not as subject to the boom and bust of bars opening and closing. While the organic nature of the Canal District s growth is undeniable, the government has chipped in its fair share, despite the adversarial tone some have set in addressing the city s unwillingness to commit substantial resources to reopening the canal. With a little lobbying push, the city was able to pull down $7.6 million in federal grant money to implement huge streetscape improvements that have made the district more walkable than nearly anywhere else in the city. And Harding Street is due to be reconfigured soon, turning it into a two-way street. Those improvements could draw in even more visitors to an area Sawyer estimated was already dealing with a population where around 50 percent of business patrons were from outside Worcester ironically, non- Worcester residents may be giving the Canal District more credit than those living close by. Worcester s famous for having a we could never do that mentality, Sawyer said. And I think it s the external visitors to the Canal District who are showing us the time is ripe. And we re reaching critical mass. What s different is everybody acknowledges what these business people have been able to do here against all odds, he continued. So there s total credibility that we have grassroots functionality, and that makes a profound difference in being able to secure new investments that come our way it s a community of entrepreneurs making a profound difference. GOLEMO S MARKET 42 MILLBURY ST. To step into Darek Golemo s store is to step in to a Polish market, or at least as close as you can conjure in Worcester, Massachusetts. The proprietor estimated that 98 percent of the merchandise is imported, and even some of the meat is flown in from Europe. Polish candies, sauerkraut and 20 varieties of jarred pickles line the shelves, while enough meat to satisfy the hungriest carnivore hangs behind the counter. Half those things on the hooks there are made here, Golemo said, gesturing to the row of meat hanging behind the cash register. A good one-fourth of the stuff here we make here. We make our own hams, our own kielbasas, our own liverwurst, blood sausage. Golemo s has been in business 30 years, but sales are not as robust as they were back in the days when the customer base lived within walking distance. Everybody s moved out to the suburbs, Golemo said. All the Polish people, all the Eastern Europeans, they ve gone away. But we ve been here too long to just close our doors. Everybody still travels they go to work here in Worcester, so they stop in and buy their stuff here. While Golemo said he used to go to neighborhood meetings, he has stopped attending, even as he continues to support revitalization efforts in the Canal District. The meetings have changed, Golemo said. The meetings kind of repeat themselves, it s the same thing over and over. Those meetings with the Canal District is just the same thing over and over. They want to open the canal, and that s pretty much all they talk about. I m for it, I have nothing against it, but The two most popular items at the Polish market are garlic kielbasa and regular kielbasa, according to Golemo. Regulars from Worcester county may stop in once a week but even people from out of state make the trek once or twice a year to get a taste of authentic Polish meat. WEINTRAUB S JEWISH DELI 126 WATER ST. If the old manufacturing buildings are a reminder of the Canal District s industrial past, Weintraub s Jewish Deli is a reminder of its old neighborhood feel. As the name implies, Weintraub s started a long time ago 1920, according to current owner David Mizrahi when the area was predominantly Jewish. Mizrahi, who has been working in the iconic neighborhood restaurant for 28 years, said he remembers those days fondly. Years ago, it used to be busy here, Mizrahi said. Like a Saturday morning, it used to be lines to come here, [and at] the bakery across the street [Widoff s]. Now that bakery is closed now for 10 months. Of course, the Canal District is still busy it s just usually around dinnertime or late at night. That s of little help to Mizrahi, who closes up shop at 6 p.m., another way Weintraub s is hanging on to the past. And while he has loyal customers, the deli has suffered from the days when a thriving residential neighborhood was just around the corner. You used to have the old customers, most of them, they moved out from Worcester, Mizrahi said. They got old, they passed away. The new generation, they come [rarely]. No neighborhood that has gone through hell like the Canal District emerges without some scars, and for Mizrahi the damage is evident, even as the commuters making use of the highway that winds through the district remain oblivious to the impact it had when the state constructed it in 1960. This Jewish area, once they put [I-290] in it split the city, Mizrahi said. Everybody moved to the west. They used to have two temples here, they closed them. It used to be another two delis, a butchery, a fruit store. Two other bakeries. Now, they re all gone. Even though most of the neighborhood has changed, Weintraub s soldiers on. If you stop in, Mizrahi recommends the pastrami or the corned beef. HARDING TIRE 180 HARDING ST If Harding Street is ever reconverted into a waterway, it would give a lot of business owners waterfront property but it would also put some underwater. Say, for example, a business that relies on automobile traffic. Debbie Feingold and her sister, Anne Mack, run Harding Tire, and customers come down the street to get their wheels replaced. But even with a wide, one-way road providing access and parking, the sisters say business has decreased. It s a struggle to compete with these big box stores, but we offer great service and we ve been here forever, we give everyone a fair price, Feingold said. Years ago, all the businesses were feeding off each other, and you don t have that anymore. This is great over here. But it s an evening destination. The traffic that was flowing during the day doesn t flow as much. Harding Tire has been around since 1928. Feingold reminisces fondly about the days when manufacturing businesses lined the streets and employees would visit in droves to keep their cars up to date. The transition to a restaurant and bar economy may have spin-off implications for other types of businesses, but it doesn t help a tire shop as much as the old industrial companies once did. With the bars, it s 9 [p.m.] and after, Feingold said. I have to come down here some nights, the alarm going off for some reason. Apparently, we should be open from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. It was happening here, which is great, but it s not so great the next morning when we have to clean up the mess. We d just like to see more daytime traffic here. Feingold and Mack own the building, and have no plans to move their business. They ll keep doing the same thing they have been doing for decades making up the difference between Harding Tire and the corporate behemoths by putting in more hours and more personalized service. And that small-proprietor attitude is just as emblematic of the Canal District as the most popular watering hole. Nobody s afraid of hard work, Feingold said. It s just more difficult. BLACKSTONE TAP 81 WATER ST. When Jeff Mararian bought the Blackstone Tap in 2004, he was taking a risk. At that time, Mararian said, the only other bar on Water Street was the now-defunct gay bar Rage, and the neighborhood was still rough around the edges, a long way from the destination district it is now. It s grown excellently, Mararian said. It was a big risk. Some people thought I was crazy. But I saw the writing on the wall. In fact, Mararian counts Blackstone Tap as the oldest bar on Water Street that is still operating. But the past is not as interesting to him as the future, in which a canal runs by his property and spurs development in the empty buildings that still pockmark the area. Being called the Canal District, it would be good to have a canal [but] like anything in the world, it comes down to money, Mararian said. If it was there, would it revitalize all of Worcester? Absolutely. You ll see. All the rest of the buildings are going to be filled soon. Everyone has talked with their buddies about how cool it would be to open a bar. Mararian actually did it, and did it at the exact right time, just before the wave of businesses crested and brought new value to his property and the district as a whole. A friend of mine from college and I had always talked about opening a bar this place was a retail space at first, so we came in, gutted the place and turned it into a bar, said Mararian, who spent about a year gutting and revitalizing the building. As for his bar s place in the revitalization of the neighborhood as a whole, Mararian said he is trying to accommodate all walks of life, to be the bar where anyone can feel welcome. I try to describe it as the bar about everything, where Seinfeld: is the show about nothing, Mararian said. So if you want good beer, entertainment, if you want to play darts, play lottery. It s a bar for everybody. I get an after-work crowd, a college crowd, a late night crowd I could bring my grandmother in here and she could have a glass of wine, or I could have a DJ in here on the weekend and have people partying or whatever. WESTERMAN S STORE AND RESTAURANT EQUIPMENT 52 GREEN ST. The boom of restaurants and bars in the Canal District comes with demands. One of those is for kitchen equipment, and by and large it is not coming from a big box chain store or from out of town. Westerman s, with a storefront on Green Street and a warehouse on Suffolk Street, has been supplying such outlets as Lock 50, the Compass Tavern and Niche Hospitality with cooking equipment and kitchen appliances. We supply the food service industry with everything from refrigeration, pots, pans, china, Ron Entwistle, who runs Westerman s said. If you go in a restaurant, hotel, cafeteria we deal with UMass, hospitals, churches, bar rooms. You d be surprised how many places have kitchens. When the late Steve Westerman started the storefront on Green Street in 1971 after moving from another location, the neighborhood was sketchier, Entwistle said. [It was] nothing like it is today, Entswistle said. After dark, you really wouldn t want to be around here. It was a scary place many times, at 2 [a.m.] I d get the phone call to go down there, and I d actually bring a sidearm. You d get down here at 2 or 3 in the morning and the police would be gone. Now I ve got to go in and see if anyone was still in here. Entwistle started working at Westerman s in 1981, earning $5 per hour. Now the store is one of the largest kitchen equipment dealers in the area, and has the only regional franchise for Hobart Kitchen Equipment, the gold standard for cooking tools and gear. And while other manufacturing and retail stores are giving way to nightlife and restaurants, if any business was going to survive it would be the company that supplies those bars and eateries. The neighborhood is wonderful now, Entwistle said. You come down here any night, it s wonderful. On weekends now, weeknights, my son and his friends this is where they come. Park once and walk the loop at night This whole area is really alive now. Twenty-five years ago you wouldn t catch me down here at night unless someone smashed our windows. FAIRWAY BEEF 48 GRAFTON ST. Fairway Beef was one of a large cluster of meat packers in the Canal District when it opened in 1946. Now, George Sigel runs the last business of its kind in the area, and he is proud to continue the old ways of doing things while still getting excited about business opportunities for the future. We ve got a walk-in meat packer, Sigel said. It s all fresh meat, you can pick out what you want. You can t do that in a market. They mix the good with the bad, package that, and give it to you and you go on your way. It s doing things the old way. While Sigel can name all the bars that used to operate near his store at the foot of Grafton Hill and can name all the old meat packers, which were friendly with each other even as they competed for business he is visibly excited about the new wave of restaurants and nightlife opportunities coming to the Canal District. We get spin-offs from them too, Sigel said. One of the restaurants called, they had a busload of people coming in and needed 20 chickens cut in half. They said, How fast can you do it?; I said, By the time you get down here you ll have your chickens. It s one hand helping the other. While his business doesn t have an outside patio like some nearby restaurants, and might not benefit as directly as an entertainment building, Sigel is still excited about plans to reopen the canal. Everybody s buying property on the canal, on the edge of the canal, hoping it will come to life, Sigel said. It s an exciting part of the business real estate. It s going like crazy around here. The Canal District has never been a place where everyone keeps their head down without interacting with their neighbors, the way Sigel s and others tell it, and the octogenarian said he will make every effort to fit in with an evolving neighborhood. I want everybody to know that over here, you can get the meat and the cold cuts, Sigel said. If I have to change my hours I will, if I have to expand to prepared foods, I ll change. We ll grow together. This is what happens in the whole area here. Everybody expands together, and everybody needs someone. And we re part of it, and it s great. Sigel said he takes a financial loss on some products to get people in his store noticeably freezing inside to keep the meat fresh. The most recent community event at Fairway Beef is the naming of a giant statue of a steer mounted on the roof of the building. The naming contest is ending soon, but the statue might just be an icon on a Worcester icon. HOTEL VERNON 16 KELLEY SQUARE You and those horses, and that canal talk. You re out of your mind, Bob Largess said, imitating his detractors. But for me, it s money where my mouth was. Everyone was talking about it, but no one was doing anything. Fortunately, we were able to purchase the building and the bar as the tide was going out and the new tide was coming in. The horses Largess talks about are hooked up to wagons and drawn through the Canal District as part of a historical tour assisted by South High School students. But as unique as the horse-drawn rides are, Largess might be even better-known for the world-famous Hotel Vernon, the intentionally-shabby bar in the heart of Kelley Square. So far, no one has muscled in on Largess turf as the area s most beloved dive bar. I was happy to go to Lock 50, the newest restaurant on the street, Largess said. The owner asked me what I thought, and I said, I don t see any peanuts on the floor, and I don t see any dollar drafts. I love your bar. Don t think of the 30-plus bars in the Canal District as being in competition, Largess said. Think of them as part of an ecosystem that can draw people in and keep them there without confining them to one venue, creating an experience people from inside and outside Worcester seek out. The challenge for any bar is to get your ass off the couch and away from the TV and all the good stuff available to you at home, Largess said. The good fortune for me and for us in the Canal District is there s a whole bunch of different venues. You re like a kid at Hampton Beach, walking in and walking out. If I can get a buck out of you, that s fine. But if you stay here all night and have 20 drafts, we re going to have a problem just walk down the street. Largess is heavily involved in the betterment of the area, sharing drinks with his business neighbors and concocting new schemes such as the Canal District Music Series, coming up soon to draw people in. But he said he never drinks in his own bar, preferring to visit others. And that spirit of spreading the wealth may soon spread beyond the confines of Union Station to Brosnihan Square, the generally accepted markets of the district between I-290 and the railroad. I m an optimist, I m a dreamer, Largess said. I believe Worcester will continue to grow, and as spaces fill up in the Canal District, I believe that will spread to downtown. CROMPTON PLACE 138 GREEN ST. It might be hard for the trend-setting Worcesterites who visit the various tenants to believe, but not too long ago Crompton Place was boarded up and vacant. When Dino Lorusso bought the larger of the two Crompton buildings by Kelley Square eight years ago, having already owned the smaller building that houses El Patron and some other businesses, he set in motion a plan that was only slightly delayed by the financial crash in 2008. The overall vision is mixed-use, Lorusso said. The top two floors of this building will be residential, the bottom two will be commercial. Lorusso s buildings have become the most visible signs of the Canal District s resurgence, housing tenants as varied as a financial company, BirchTree Bread, a food truck commissary, a radio station, a salon, a barbershop and the White Room event space, popular for wedding receptions. But Lorusso insists he is just part of a larger group propelling the district toward greatness. I m only one part of it, Lorusso said. We ve got people who have been working just as hard as I have. I just own a bigger piece of real estate. I hope I m making a difference. I think I am. But my tenants are the ones who deserve the credit. His most well-known tenant is Crompton Collective, run by Amy Lynn Chase. The antiques and handmade items sold in the shop fly off the shelves, and the massive parking lot outside Crompton Place shows the draw Chase s unique flair for retail has. We were missing a place to gather and shop, Chase said. Shopping malls weren t our thing anymore, and there was a weird phase where we didn t have anywhere to gather anymore. I think we were successful because we hit it right at the perfect time. People were looking for something to do in a unique shopping experience. Chase started Crompton Collective in 2012, eventually expanding the store to fill 9,000 square feet. She said she could not imagine starting the store anywhere else but the Canal District. I think the district has a personality, and it s approachable, Chase said. Everyone s kind of creative and passionate. I looked at a bunch of other places in the city and didn t feel comfortable anywhere else. This place just has a really good vibe. Reporter Tom Quinn can be reached at 508-749-3166 x324 or [email protected] with story ideas, feedback, or questions. Follow him on Twitter @bytomquinn.

25 things you (probably) didn’t know about Terminator 2

It s hard to believe that The Terminator franchise one of the most beloved in action cinema has been around for so long But this weekend (July 2) the second and most critically acclaimed instalment in the series celebrates its 25th anniversary. Remember those ahead-of-their-time special effects, jaw dropping action sequences, and Arnold Schwarzenegger s glistening, naked bod? Here s 25 facts you (probably) didn t know about Terminator 2: Judgement Day . 1. It improved upon its predecessor Don t just take our word for it, ask the Academy: before Mad Max: Fury Road came along, T2 was the only sequel to win an Academy Award when the previous instalments had received no nomination. 2. You can see how long it took to shoot Edward Furlong who played John Connor visibly aged during filming, and appears much younger in some scenes. His voice also began to break during filming and had to be pitched to one level in post. 3. Schwarzenegger was paid $21,429 per word With his fee at around $15 million, and only 700 words of dialogue spoken, that works out to about 15,876 per word in modern day money. For those wondering, Hasta la vista, baby cost 63,503. 4. But he still had trouble remembering them Despite being paid all of that money, for the scene where the Terminator tells Sarah Connor about the history of Skynet, Schwarzenegger reportedly read his lines from a card taped to the car s windscreen. 5. But that s still not as expensive as the T-1000 To bring the T-1000 to life, Industrial Light and Magic s staff had to grow from six members to 36. $5.5 million was spent on the effects, and it took eight months to complete the final three and a half minutes of screen time. That s about 1,164,202 per minute! 6. It features the most accurate depiction of a nuclear blast According to several U.S. federal nuclear testing labs, the film features the most accurate depiction of a nuclear blast ever created for a fictional motion picture in Sarah Connor s nuclear nightmare scene. 7. But they used some unorthodox materials to achieve it Some of the materials used in the miniature Los Angeles model that mimicked all the destroyed masonry were crackers and Shredded Wheat. After each take, it would take an average two days to set the model up to shoot again. 8. Schwarzenegger used an old friend as a weapon [embedded content] The mini-gun used in the film was the same mini-gun that was used in 1987 s Predator , which also starred the Austrian action hero. 9. Director James Cameron called stunts on the fly The original script did not have the top of the truck being ripped off during the chase through the storm drain, but when the director arrived on location it was found that the cab wouldn t fit under an overpass. Cameron decided then that the roof was going to come off. 10. The camera crew refused to shoot a certain shot When pilot Charles A. Tamburro flew a helicopter under an overpass in the final chase scene (which he actually did!), the camera crew refused to film it because of the high risk involved. James Cameron took it upon himself to film it with the help of the camera car driver. 11. Arnie spent an age in make-up You wouldn t think of an all-out action hero spending too much time in make-up, but the damaged Terminator look in the climax of the film took five hours to apply and an hour to remove. 12. And it wasn t exactly traditional make-up The make-up artists mixed KY Jelly into Schwarzenegger s make-up for his Terminator in normal mode, to give him that slightly synthetic looking sheen. 13. The first trailer was comprised entirely of original footage [embedded content] As opposed to scenes taken from the film: James Cameron asked special effects creator Stan Winston to direct a teaser-trailer. Cameron didn t want the trailer to just be early footage, so with a budget of $150,000, Winston created a trailer that showed a futuristic assembly line churning out Terminators. 14. Schwarzenegger got a rather expensive thank you gift For accepting the role, Schwarzenegger was given a used Gulfstream III airplane (worth about $10.4 million) by producer Mario Kassar. 15. The sets looked rather authentic When the Lakeview Terrace Medical Center was dressed up to be the Pescadero State Hospital for the Criminally Insane for the film, local residents held a protest against its sudden change of purpose. They quickly realised it was only a film set. 16. But they weren t the only ones who were fooled Workers from a disused steel plant (which had been closed for 10 years) thought it was back up and running again, and a passer-by wandered onto the biker bar set thinking it was real, only to see Schwarzenegger dressed only in his boxer shorts. When she asked what was going on, Schwarzenegger replied that it was male stripper night. 17. Schwarzenegger wanted even more violence The actor was initially unsure about the Terminator not being able to kill people, feeling that a similar approach had destroyed the Conan the Barbarian series previously. Since Terminator 2 was rated-R, he relaxed a little on the subject. 18. Billy Idol was originally cast in the film Amazingly, the rocker was supposedly the original choice to play the T-1000. However a motorcycle accident prevented Idol from taking on the role. 19. And he wasn t the only music star who missed out on the role Blackie Lawless, lead singer of heavy metal band WASP, was considered. But the role had originally been written for a man of average stature, who could easily blend in to a crowd. When he [James Cameron] found out I was 6 4 , I couldn t. I regret not being able to do that, Lawless said in an AOL chat years later. 20. The sound designers used condoms and dog food The sound of the T-1000 passing through metal bars? That s an inverted can of dog food with the contents slowly oozing out. The sound of the T-1000 transforming and flowing like mercury? That s polish being sprayed into a mixture of flour and water, with a condom-sealed microphone submerged in the goo. 21. It exceeded its planned budget by a lot The project was first announced in 1984 as costing $12 million. The final budget was $102 million. 22. They used a lot of film reel Approximately 1 million feet of film reel was used in the production of the movie. 23. The shooting schedule confused Schwarzenegger Big blockbuster films are often shot out of sequence, but the stars can usually wrap their heads around this. Not Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was unsure if the Terminator was supposed to be played as too human or not human enough in some scenes. 24. The shoot was hampered by thieves The production had to borrow every wire connected to the lighting on the freeway used for filming the liquid nitrogen truck chase, as thieves had made off with all the electrical cabling meant to light the five-mile section, and there wasn t enough time to replace it all. They had to do this for 5 days. 25. Arnie vowed never to play an evil character again During the shooting of T2 , the star made the bold statement, which was upheld for only six years before his turn as Mr. Freeze in the terrible Batman & Robin . More: 12 classic cult movies turning 25 this year [1] 30 reasons why The Terminator is an all-time classic [2] 9 of the worst old age effects in screen history [3] References ^ 12 classic cult movies turning 25 this year ( ^ 30 reasons why The Terminator is an all-time classic ( ^ 9 of the worst old age effects in screen history (