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Worcester students make their voices heard to improve schools

WORCESTER, Mass. – Organized by local public high school students, more than 40 people packed into the Pleasant Street Neighborhood Network Center here July 31 to participate in the “Schools We Deserve Dialogue,” in which participants discussed ways to improve the city’s schools. Kicking off the meeting, which lasted for more than 90 minutes, Dr. Eric DeMeulenaere, of Clark University’s education department, requested that those in attendance, mostly Worcester students, think of their experience at school and what could be changed, and then to answer the question, “What would you like to see?” The resulting discussion was wide ranging, and the students raised a variety of issues, including the school budget, greater diversity of educators, how students are treated by teachers and guidance counselors, and…

Child rape: Michael Gaffney and friends think it’s funny

Stock image

Imagine you have a daughter. (If you do have a daughter, I suggest that for this thought experiment you use an imaginary one.) She’s eleven years old. Now imagine that she’s just been (allegedly) raped by a 38-year-old man. Imagine how you feel, the torment and anguish. And now imagine how you would feel if the (alleged) rapist accused her of raping him. That’s just what’s happened in Springfield recently. Can you conceive of how the mother feels? Or how the child feels? If you’re a decent person, you hear that story and feel sad, disgusted, and frustrated, and – the feelings run the gamut. But if you’re a writer at Turtleboy Sports, which is run by Aidan Kearney-and funded by city council member and…

Turtleboy getting desperate, resorts to impersonating opponents

Turtleboy Sports has become desperate. Aidan Kearney, the blog’s founder and chief writer, and its main patron, Worcester city council member and Republican City Committee Chair Michael Gaffney, are worried. It’s easy to see why Gaffney and Kearney would be scared: Turtleboy Sports is dramatically losing support in Worcester, and that doesn’t bode well for Gaffney’s re-election. A few examples: the TBS Facebook page keeps getting suspended (so much so that they’ve begun crying to Boston-based conservative blogs, alleging some sort of Facebook conspiracy) and the TBS Facebook wall has started to be populated by people criticizing the blog. Only recently, no one dared to “poke the turtle,” lest an army of “Turtleriders” bully them through phone calls, fake profiles, threats, and so on. While…

Not a freedom of speech issue: Margaret Melican probably shouldn’t be on the zoning board

Margaret Melican

Not moving Margaret Melican forward in the application process for zoning board was the right decision – but not because of her political beliefs. She should be kept off the board instead because of her troubles with the truth, and, more importantly, because she has repeatedly shown herself to be extremely unethical – at best. Worcester city council member and Republican City Committee chair Michael Gaffney, as well as the blog he sponsors, Turtleboy Sports, have been fuming publicly that Attorney Melican was asked – for a moment – about her relationship with Turtleboy Sports by the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) during her candidacy to become a member of the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals. Further, Gaffney and the blog he champions are arguing that those who…

Watch out for “Dan Margolis” imposters: Turtleboy Sports trolls at it again

I really don’t want this website to be simply an anti-Turtleboy Sports blog. I set it up so that I could have space, now that I’ve changed careers and am longer an official journalist, to write about what I find interesting. I’ve been meaning to sit down and write a review of the second volume of Francis Fukuyama’s Origins of Political Order, which I think offers some valuable insights into the problem of creating democracy in developing countries, as well as maintaining it here. I’d also like to write some positive stories about my city, Worcester. But, alas, I have to delve back into Turtleboy Sports territory, if only to ensure that no one thinks I’ve gone crazy and become some fanatical racist, or cop hater,…

Michael Gaffney’s reason for Turtleboy Sports

I’ve written at length over the past couple of months about how Worcester City Council member Michael Gaffney, chair of the Republican City Committee, funds Aidan Kearney’s Turtleboy Sports blog. Gaffney has been too cowardly to actually respond to the question of how he feels about supporting financially things like the explicit description of sexual acts Kearney imagines the 13-year-old “catch me outside” girl to partake in. But we know that Gaffney does support Turtleboy sports. The question is why. Why would Michael Gaffney support a blog that denigrates the city of Worcester, that sexualizes children, that leads groups of Internet trolls to bully private individuals? What does he get out of it? The answer is straightforward: Gaffney sees it as politically useful. Gaffney dreams…

Michael Gaffney’s Turtleboy Sports: the worst kind of cowards

First, on the headline: indeed, it is partly Michael Gaffney’s blog. Can anyone think of a person in Worcester who is more closely related (publicly) to Turtleboy Sports than him? He writes for it, he defends it, he’s quoted from it publicly, and, at least through advertising revenue, he funds it. That means it’s tied to him, and to the Worcester Republican Party that he chairs (which also shares their stuff). Since Gaffney and Turtleboy Sports like to talk about communism so much, I’ll put it in Soviet terms: Turtleboy Sports is their Pravda. But this post is to talk more generally about Turtleboy. I’ve written quite a bit recently about TBS, and all of their nastiness towards children, those experiencing addiction, the mentally unstable,…

Joking about child rape: Michael Gaffney-funded Turtleboy Sports hits another low

A question for Aidan Kearney and Michael Gaffney: Do you know anyone who, 20 years after their sexual abuse as a child ended, wakes up traumatized because of a dream they just had about it? Or someone who, even after ten years, still can’t stop the flashbacks? Do you know anyone who cuts themselves repeatedly, hoping that the physical pain of the blade will numb or blot out the emotional pain of the memories? Have you talked to them about their self-loathing, their feelings of worthlessness? Have you heard from them about their destroyed childhoods? My guess is that the answer to the above question is “no.” I mean, if you had any idea, would you really be doing what you do? Writing what you…

In defense of Worcester: Turtleboy and Michael Gaffney aren’t “the best of” us

The worst thing about Turtleboy Sports, the blog founded and run by disgraced ex-teacher Aidan Kearney and supported financially and in other ways by Worcester city council member and Republican City Committee chair Michael Gaffney is that it often sexualizes children. Just yesterday, on April 19, they were discussing whether a 16-year-old girl was a prostitute. A close second is their trademark style of finding people who are at their worst, and then piling abuse onto them and their family. Just the other day, Aidan and Michael Gaffney’s blog wrote a post shaming not only a man addicted to heroin, but his daughter as well, one of whom is apparently a teenager. (Thank goodness Aidan Kearney is no longer allowed to teach!) This list is…

Michael Gaffney and Turtleboy Sports: flailing, desperate, and trying to deflect from the issues

Poor Michael Gaffney and Turtleboy Sports. If they weren’t so sleazy, it would be tempting to feel bad for them in their desperation. They’ve become so desperate – Gaffney to defend any shred of dignity and Turtleboy to convince people that their blog isn’t just have haven for bullies, those who sexualize children, and others – that they are flailing to defend themselves. Why won’t you just answer the questions I posed, Michael Gaffney? Again: do you think it’s okay for a semi-local blog to tell your constituents to commit suicide? Do you support sexualizing children? Because that’s where your dollars are going. To recap, after I wrote an open letter to Michael Gaffney, who wants to be mayor, about his support for a blog…

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