Some of you aren’t drinking enough coffee

When I was a kid, I’d get off the school bus and go next door to have coffee and kahvileipä (coffee bread, often called nisu or pulla, depending on the region of Finland). It wasn’t my first cup of the day. From as long as I can remember, I drank coffee with my parents in the morning and pretty much any other time of the day. Of course, I started off with plenty of milk and sugar. Mine is now black, Tanzanian Peaberry from Indigo Coffee.

In spite of the apparent ubiquity of Dunkins and Starbucks, the rest of you aren’t consuming as much as did your grandparents, sez the Guardian: Americans are drinking half the coffee they did in the 40s. One theory that they put forward is that we are working fewer hours than we did 70 or 80 years ago and hence need less caffeine to keep us going.

But, don’t ever think that I’ll consume any of this stuff.

Wachusett Earthday newsletter – April 16, 2024

Wachusett Watershed Regional Recycling Center

131 Raymond Huntington Highway
West Boylston, MA 01583

News from the Executive

Did you see us in The Landmark on March 14?

If you’re not a subscriber, you can read a copy of the article that one of our volunteers has provided at the Center.

Volunteer Spotlight

Tonya and Bill Cronin –
You’ll recognize these two hardworking people who are often stationed at
our Reuse Dropoff location to accept your (up to two) packed cardboard
or plastic boxes.

Tonya and Bill offer a welcome, packing tips, and help. They’ll let
you know where you can find extra boxes, and help you find a place for
stuff that doesn’t fit into a box. Repacking as necessary, these two
then stack your boxes in covered storage areas nearby, so your donated
goods are ready for unpacking and shelving at the reuse center. Bill
also is the vintage electronics master repairman and Tonya helps in the
Store when she can.

Thank you, Tonya and Bill!

Looking ahead

April 27 9am to 1pm is our first Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day.

See the website for details about Latex Paint Collection.,

What’s new on the floor?

What to do on a Monday when we  weren’t open on Saturday? Organize the Annex! Here are pictures of the Left side of the Annex where Baby and Home Medical items are stored.

There are more pictures on our Facebook page.

Special discoveries

A local resident asked us if we’d help him give away his baby grand piano from the 1950s. It’s best kept at home vs. our furniture pavilion so here are pictures. If you are interested, message us and we’ll pass along your contact information to him. Transportation will be needed but it’s on the first floor.

Where do things go?

Worcester Earn A Bike and Funky Phoenix each paid us a visit recently and took some bikes and parts they could use but we have plenty more as well as bike racks – FREE.

News from the North 40

More changes! One MIBOX has gone back home and the other moved nearer the Furniture Pavilion in the N40 so we can unload it and send it home soon. Thank you MIBOX for being so great to work with.

“I’m running for re-election.” The party sez, “No, you’re not.”

Teuvo Hakkarainen, who hails from the same Finnish town where my grandfather was born, is not a known relation. He was a member of the Finnish Parliament and, most recently, one of Finland’s representatives to the European Parliament.

Hakkarainen announced that he is a candidate for re-election. His party, the Finns Party (formerly True Finns), had told him that he was not on its list of candidates. He wants it in writing. “I get so many calls…,” he said.
Finns Party and Hakkarainen at odds over European election candidacy

Although Hakkarainen claims that he has served Finland well, particularly on forestry issues, he has not always acquitted himself well in the past. He showed up drunk on his first day in the Finnish Parliament, was reprimanded for being too racist in his racist party, and, well, more.

It appears that he’ll seek re-election without his party’s support. The elections take place in June.


Friend and tech-writing colleague Tom Parmenter used to say, “We write our manuals for the one person in the office who’ll read them.”

Crime in suburbia – December 28

From The Landmark – December 28

There were 10 animal-related calls, nine suspicious incidents, and several additional incidents that suspiciously weren’t deemed suspicious.


November 28

5:51 p.m.: Phone, assist Rutland, East Country & Pommogussett roads. Rutland advises they have a stolen Ashburnham ambulance and request assistance. Ambulance was returned to Heywood Hospital.

December 2

10:15 a.m.: Phone, disturbance, Wheeler Road. Caller requesting officer to her residence she is selling. Reports she is having an open house and her neighbor has come and is causing a disturbance. He is putting up signs and causing an issue with her realtor.


November 22

10:17 a.m.: Suspicious activity, area of Overlook Road, Wachusett Street. Caller reporting a party in a tan-colored Malibu trying to shoot a deer from their car. 202 check the area, nothing found.

5:34 p.m.: Motor vehicle, at Holden, Main Street. Caller requested an officer after hitting a deer in Rutland and now parked over the town line, no injuries or fluid, deer no longer on scene.

Nov. 25
12:18 p.m.: Threats, Pommogussett Road. Party receiving threats from a user she met on tiktok after she received a tarot card reading. User threatened to kill her and her entire family if she did not pay hm $400.

Crime in Suburbia – Trouble on the loose


December 14, 2023


Nov. 15

3:26 p.m.: Animal call, Greene Road. Caller reporting a large white long-haired dog chasing at the tires of the school bus.

November 16 4:12 p.m.: Animal call, Wheeler Road. Caller reporting an older female, little black mix (35 lbs.) brindle dog missing. Dog’s name is Troubles. Animal located.

November 19
12:08 p.m.: Phone, animal mutual aid, East Princeton Road. Caller reporting two stray dogs that wandered into his yard. A shorthared dog and a blackand- white long-haired dog. ACO notified. The dogs have moved along.


Nov. 5
6:42 a.m.: Road hazard, area of Princeton line, Wachusett Street. Caller reporting traffic cones in the roadway have been hit by numerous vehicles. Hazard removed.

9:17 p.m.: Fire-motor vehicle collision, Pommogussett Road. Caller reports large beaver in roadway with a car bumper, unsure if there is a vehicle over the guardrail. 208 advised appears vehicle struck beaver and lost its bumper. No vehicles in water.

Nov. 7
5:47 p.m.: Road hazard, Barre Paxton Road. Party in the lobby to report a deceased deer in the road. 208: It was grass clippings wrapped in a tarp.

Nov. 11

2:17 p.m.: Disturbance, Maple Avenue. Party reports he hears screaming and banging coming from the upstairs apartment. Peace restored.

An afternoon of cancellation

I wanted to close my business Internet account with Charter/Spectrum, so I took my modem and went to their storefront on the other side of Worcester. There I waited for 15-20 minutes because, although there were plenty of people working, each customer took a long time. Finally, my name is called, and I go to the agent’s station. explain what I want to do, and confirm my account information (with ID).
The agent looks things over on his screen, leaves for a few minutes, and comes back to say that they can’t close a business account here. I have to call a special number, which he writes on a yellow stickie note. I ask if I can turn in my modem. He said no, but I could drop it off at any UPS store.
Puzzled, I left. From my car, I made the call. The automated system asked if I wanted to use voice recognition to speed up the verification for the future. I said ok and then waited.
The call center agent took my information and said, several times, that she was “waiting for the page to populate.” Oh, and did I have my security code. No, I didn’t. I was calling from my car and couldn’t get at any billing statement. She found another way to confirm that I was who I said I was.
After another five minutes, she said that she couldn’t close the account because there was a pending work order. I had had messages about an outage, but didn’t respond because I wasn’t going to be at the place where my business Internet was located and was going to close it anyway. This work order had to be cancelled so that I could close my account. I heard the agent say softly “Customer changed mind,” as she cancelled the work order.
“I’m going back out and try it again,” she said. “This should allow me to move forward with the disconnect.” While waiting, she asked if I wanted their mobile phone service. I didn’t want to ask if I could do that without being a Charter/Spectrum customer because that would prolong and already too long conversation, so I said no.
Finally, the account was closed. She gave me a 20-digit confirmation number and told me to go to any UPS store to drop off my modem.
That 15-minute phone call, after a comparable wait at the store, could have been handled either at the store or by a web transaction. But, in the name of customer service, I guess, they made it a lot harder to do something so very simple.
And, yes, I did drop off the modem at the UPS store. That was easy.