By Michael Gaffney

Rassias, the developer and owner of the former Anna Maria Nursing Home in South Main will no longer hold public meetings about the development.

Apparently, most of our politicians are in hiding and sent out their usual cover-girl, Dianne Williamson, at the T&G to once again make excuses for the administration. Unfortunately, since she tried to tell everyone not to believe their own ears when Joe Petty called them “morons” and apologized for saying it, she has little credibility. Never mind her taking pictures of the backside of a man that was helping her to post up on her Facebook page so her “tolerant” martini sipping friends could mock him. In other words, the usual response from the political elite and their media lap-dogs.

I said most politicians as this notice was sent out by Councilor Gary Rosen:

Please forward this update to residents and business owners who are interested in or concerned about the program to be opened on this property.

The addiction treatment center at the Washburn House at 1183 Main St., Worcester, is in its second month of operation. The owner of that facility has purchased the nearby former Anna Maria Rest Home at 1398 Main St. to basically put a Washburn House extension into that facility.

Recently, I helped organize a public meeting at the Christ the Rock Fellowship Church so that area residents and business owners, among others, could hear information and question the owner of the proposed substance abuse treatment facility.

At that meeting, in response to the fears and concerns of dozens of upset area residents and business owners, I asked the owner of Washburn House to shelve his plans to open a second substance abuse treatment center at this facility. However, the owner stated that he expected this second addiction treatment center to be open around January, 2018.

A few days later, I called the owner to discuss the suggestion posed by several people at the aforementioned meeting that another and a highly-publicized meeting be held at South High School to accommodate the large number of residents and business owners who were in opposition to this facility siting.

However, the owner of Washburn House and now its Anna Maria extension refused to answer my calls. A few days later, I received a letter from the property owner’s attorney.

The attorney stated that the use of the former Anna Maria Rest Home as a substance abuse treatment center was a use permitted under the City of Worcester Zoning Ordinance. He stated that the acquisition and renovation costs to the owner of this property would total in excess of One Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars. The attorney stated that this project, “should be seen as a story of success, not the target of ridicule.”

The attorney also stated that his client would NOT attend the proposed public meeting at South High School.

The attorney stated that the owner of Washburn House and its sister program at Anna Maria would be willing to work with a citizens advisory council of 5-7 individuals. However, he made it very clear that these individuals cannot be the people elected to represent the home and business owners of the area, i.e. State Representative Kate Campanale and me, the District 5 Worcester City Councilor.

That’s so ironic considering that, at the recent public meeting at the church, the owner of Washburn House had two state representatives (neither of whom represents the Washburn House area and both of whom, evidently, are in his part-time employ) on stage preaching to the residents and business owners in attendance.

The attorney suggested that I provide input into the membership of this 7-member advisory council. I shall do that. However, two members on that council must necessarily be State Representative Campanale and myself. We must not and will not agree to stop representing and advocating for the people who elected us to serve their community, OUR community.

Gary Rosen

District 5 Worcester City Councilor

They ran into hiding! And now will only communicate with a fake panel of specially selected parties that have no interest in the property? Likely the two State Reps O’Day and Mahoney that he has in his pocket? Probably Councilor Rivera as she’s already been favorable to dumping the project in South Main and was seen hanging out with Alan Fletcher, the trust fund baby that just got handed an $830,000.00 tax deduction, days after she voted for the tax break. That’s the two of them together, he is the person yawning:

You may recall that the development of the Anna Maria Rest Home was hidden from the public until I exposed it a few weeks ago in an email to the City Manager. If you missed the article, you may want to go back and read it. The City Manager refused an order from Council to inform the public when these projects were to come up. Will this mean that the Major and City Council will at least give him a firm talking to at the next meeting?

More importantly, when will State Reps O’Day and Mahoney come forth and explain how they can afford a $5,000.00 per year membership at the exclusive Tatnuck Club? It appears that they have corporate sponsored memberships. And if you are guessing that the corporate memberships are sponsored by Rassias, I’ll bet your odds are rather good.

How can Rep Mahoney justify a $5,000.00 per year membership, when he owes 3 years of taxes in excess of $14,000.00:

You may remember at the only public meeting Rep Mahoney disclosed that he was an employee of Rassias while Rep O’Day stayed silent. It would have been nice if the T&G had followed up on these two.

Not only is Rep O’Day an employee of Rassias, he is also the Director and Treasurer of the Spring Hill Recovery Center, another Rassias Corporation:

If you actually read the above screenshot, you may have noticed Brenda Jenkins is also listed as a Director. If you don’t remember her, she ran the former Mosaic Cultural Center in Worcester:

You will also remember that Mosaic was audited by the City of Worcester at my request. They failed to provide the services they were contracted for and they did not pay their employees. The Attorney General was called to investigate and as a result of the investigation Mosaic must continue to submit its financial statements for review to the Attorney General’s Office until June of 2018. Their former location has since been sold.

You may also remember that Ms. Jenkins’ son, according to Turtleboysports, allegedly posted the following statement on his Facebook page about playing on the need of others to make money:

In case you also missed it, the woman standing next to Brenda Jenkins in the above picture is Etel Haxhiaj. The woman that openly discriminated against Margaret Melican for commenting on Turtleboysports blogs. As reported by Masslive “In a taped session of the advisory council, Haxhiaj admitted that her line of questioning was unconventional for a consideration of a Zoning Board candidate. Advisory council members are supposed to base their decisions on the qualifications of the candidate.”

It now becomes clear, Haxhiaj was using her position to extract revenge for Ms. Jenkins against Turtleboysports for exposing Mosaic. She then stated that she would continue to ask inappropriate questions of any candidate that didn’t share her beliefs.

And she had the green light to do it as the City Manager and Mayor have refused to take any action to prevent her stated goals.

This is how they operate. The shut down any opposing voices. They shut down any information to the public. They engage in politics of division to serve their own purposes, money and power.

The neighborhood was kept in the dark on this project because of the circle of corruption here.

It is the same tired act in Worcester where wealthy business owners get special treatment by the political elites in the City. They claim to be for the common person, yet sell them out at every opportunity for money and power. State Rep O’Day and Mahoney are in the pocket of Rassias and used their influence with our corrupt local leaders to push this development through without opposition.

Our last blog on this topic was trolled endlessly by an employee of Rassias that only disclosed her employment when called out on it. A few others also trolled any responses. It has become apparent that when anything connected to addiction treatment is questioned, it unleashes a small, but vocal group to scream about victimhood and shaming. How dare you question any effort to combat addiction? Truth is, they work for the addiction industry. And they make money off of praying on the needy and those that want to help. As allegedly stated by Ms. Jenkins son, it is an unlimited source of income for them.

Instead of more severe punishments for dealers, such as manslaughter charges for any deaths resulting from their product or limiting the sale and availability of needles that allow a cheap, highly addictive and deadly drug to be injected easily, they push for money for treatment because they make money off of it. Let’s be honest, addiction treatment is an industry. Worse, it is an industry with an extremely poor track record of success that destroys neighborhoods and cities.

The lovely young woman in the picture above was my friend. Her name was Hannah. She got into drugs with her boyfriend. Not some doctor, the new strawman for those that want to make money off of need. In 2015, she entered detox. One month later she entered into a six month recovery program. She was released with a job lined up, a home to live in, and her child seen above. Several days later, she died of an overdose.

I’m tired of the addiction industry’s failures and excuses. I’m tired on walking on eggshells about this topic knowing that any discussion of real solutions and the real effect on neighborhoods will be met by zealous addiction treatment profiteers screaming their bumper sticker slogans. Meanwhile, people like Rassias and his cronies come in, tear up our City and line their pockets so they can drink martinis at the country club.

At the Women’s Addiction Treatment Center in New Bedford, the police now take up regular positions around the facility at known drug dealing areas. It is a lock down facility, but the employees do not restrain or prevent addicts from escaping. Those up for release will not be released without having transportation because of the overdoses that were taking place in the parking lot.

Thus a whole new opportunity for drug sales is presented. Along with the break-ins, hold ups, begging, and associated crime that comes along with it. Valuable police resources funded by taxpayers are thus taken up to monitor the facility (not Rassias, he lives in Holden with our friend, Diane Williamson at the T&G).

Multiple schools in the location with children walking to and from each day will suffer with discarded needles on the sidewalks, wooded areas, and play grounds. The children will learn a valuable lesson on how to avoid a strung out addict on their way to school.

South Main deserves better. They should have been at the table with an honest discussion about the project before it began. They should have been informed and should not be shut out of the discussion.

Worcester deserves better. Yes, we want to be welcoming and open to those in need, but we can’t keep pace with our needy. Nor can we continue to allow our city to be used by wealthy businessmen making money off of the most vulnerable.

We all deserve better. Enough with the profiteers of misery that use the poor, the needy, the addicted, to line their pockets. Enough with corrupt politicians that sell us out for money and power.