When Luis Lopez played his first professional baseball game, Bill Clinton was president, “Forrest Gump” had just beaten “Pulp Fiction” for best picture at the Academy Awards, and Derek Jeter was still a year away from his rookie season with the New York Yankees.
Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 8:30 am
Staten Island's Fox Beach neighborhood used to be a working-class area with about 180 homes, mostly small bungalows. Fox Beach is — or rather was — a few hundred feet from the Atlantic Ocean, and after Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012, homeowners decided their neighborhood was dangerous in terms of natural disasters and too expensive because of the rising cost of flood insurance.
So the state has been tearing down the homes.
Bill Bye's home at 16 Kissam Ave. was a recent one to go.
Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 6:59 pm
Dan Reiter, 37, is a long-board surfer and contractor who used to live in Tampa, Fla. Then he discovered the surf breaks along a stretch of coast south of Cape Canaveral. "It's one of the most beautiful places in the world to live and surf and raise your kids," says Reiter, 37, as we watch head-high waves roll into Hightower Beach.
But there's trouble in this coastal paradise. It's on a low-lying barrier island that's getting lower as sea level rises. So the cities here are looking for ways to keep the water at bay or retreat from it.
Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:16 pm
Activists who have been working for months on a climate change plan for Springfield, Massachusetts say they must factor in an unwanted development — the possible construction of a wood-burning power plant in the city.
Neighborhood representatives, community organizers, and people from health-focused organizations have been brainstorming ways to improve the environment and reduce greenhouse gases with a goal to present a plan to the Springfield City Council by the end of the year.
A fishing ban has been imposed on all commercial and recreational fishing from Norwalk to Milford until the environmental impact of a massive overnight fire in Bridgeport can be evaluated. The fire has also forced evacuation of residents and cut electrical power.
Massachusetts Gaming Commissioners evaluated casino proposals from Mohegan Sun and Wynn Resorts in five categories and suggested changes to both projects. Final deliberations by the regulators that could lead to the awarding of a greater Boston license will begin Sept. 15
Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 7:01 pm
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will meet Monday to consider issuing a license for a casino in greater Boston.
The gambling industry regulators have completed an exhaustive review of the two competing casino proposals and have suggested changes to both projects. Mohegan Sun and Wynn Resorts will respond to the commission’s suggestions by the end of this week. Acting chairman James McHugh said there will be a public discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of each proposal.
Dozens of opponents of the biomass plant proposed by Palmer Renewable Energy in Springfield, MA urged the city council during a special meeting Wednesday night to appeal a court ruling reinstating the project's building permit.
Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 9:41 am
The city council in Springfield, Massachusetts has green-lighted an appeal to try to block construction of a wood-burning power plant.
The council authorized the filing of a notice of appeal of last month’s Massachusetts Land Court ruling that reinstated the building permit for the biomass project. Dozens of project opponents urged the council to act prior to a September 15th deadline. City Councilor Tim Allen said a lawyer advised the council the appeal has a 25 percent chance of success.
Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 10:56 am
Chances are your local mall is hurting. There are roughly 1,200 enclosed malls in the U.S. and only about a third of them are doing well.
Online shopping, the recession and demographic shifts are some of the factors killing shopping malls. And as these changes leave behind huge concrete carcasses, they're being "reimagined" into everything from medical centers to hockey rinks.
Earlier this week, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra announced he had picked a developer to build a new minor league baseball stadium and other surrounding buildings in a new, $350 million project. As the deal moves to the city council for its review, however, there are still a lot of questions.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno speaks during the unveiling of plans for a major renovation to a 280-unit downtown apartment complex. Listening to the mayor are Springfield Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy ( at far left), and Erik Dowling of the SilverBrick Group, the developers.
Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 6:26 pm
A New York City-based developer unveiled plans today for a major renovation to an apartment complex in downtown Springfield. The project was hailed by city officials as another big step in downtown’s revitalization.
Officials with the SilverBrick group outlined plans for what they said would be a $6 million renovation of the 280-unit complex that fronts Main Street. The extensive makeover will include luxury amenities intended to persuade people to pay market-rate rents to live in the urban center.
Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 12:50 pm
As established casinos across the Northeast close their doors or administer cost-cutting measures, New York is just getting into the game. And although it won’t host a casino if its own, Albany has become a key player.
The mantra has been "jobs and the economy," and New York's capital is crossing its fingers, hoping for a windfall should a casino go up in nearby Rensselaer County.
Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 11:47 am
Late August is peak vacation season, and boardwalks up and down the coasts are crowded. Many beach towns attract musicians, jugglers and costumed characters who work the boardwalk for tips.
Ocean City, Md., is grappling with an influx of new boardwalk performers — some of whom are generating lots of controversy. The trend may be the unintended consequence of a couple of legal victories for the town's street performers.
Originally published on Sun August 24, 2014 12:06 pm
A federally-funded universal free lunch program is being introduced this year in the public schools in Springfield, Massachusetts.
The Springfield Public Schools will receive $15.4 million to provide lunch daily at no charge to any student who wants it. Springfield Superintendent of Schools Dan Warwick said the quality of the school lunches will improve with more vegetables and fruits on the menu.
Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 7:14 pm
Shopping malls are a part of American culture — people go to malls to socialize, eat and, of course, buy. But as purchases are increasingly just a click away online, malls have been losing money.
NPR’s Sonari Glinton has been reporting a series on shopping malls across America, and he joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss why some malls are doing better than others, and the creative new ideas that some malls are adopting to attract customers.
Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 12:26 pm
In a city where public safety consistently ranks as the top issue in public opinion polls, a veteran Springfield city councilor caused a buzz this week when he suggested people had become complacent about violence.
In an op-ed published on MassLive.com, Springfield City Councilor-at-large Tim Rooke called on the “silent majority” to speak up and help dismantle the violent drug gangs that he said are causing families to move out of Springfield and hurting businesses.
In her first bookThe End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream is Moving, author Leigh Gallagher observes a growing trend in America’s housing landscape: fewer people are choosing to live in suburbs. This hour, Leigh joins us to explain some of the forces driving Americans out of suburbia, and give us a glimpse of what the post-cul-de-sac future might look like.
Tuesday is primary day across the state. All eyes will be on the Republican race for governor between businessman Tom Foley and state Senator John McKinney, but a series of legislative races have also gotten some attention.
Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 8:21 am
In the wake of at least nine fatal drug overdoses in Worcester in less than a week, the city is taking the problem into its own hands by trying to get those struggling with addiction the help they need.
Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 9:08 am
Crime fiction writer Lawrence Block lives in New York's West Village, in a stately art deco building overlooking Abingdon Square. He bought an apartment there decades before actress Jennifer Aniston did. (She sold hers shortly thereafter.) Block is 76, silver-haired and keen-eyed; and in his pastel shirt and khakis, he looks decidedly more Hamptons than downtown.
The recent FUSE scandal has raised questions about charter school oversight. Is this type of problem representative of the overall charter school system? We take a look at just how effective these schools are and how much oversight they have. We're joined by experts and we want to hear from you, especially if you have experience in the charter school system.
Hartford officials recently held a pre-bid conference for developers and others interested in building a new minor league stadium and its surrounding neighborhood. While the city fielded questions about available land and other infrastructure improvements it has in mind, one big question sticks out: "Have you identified promising sources of federal or state funds?"
The mayors of Connecticut's cities will take part in a conference call this week to discuss whether their communities have space to host some of the children from Central America who have been flooding the U.S. border.
New Haven Mayor Toni Harp and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch are hosting the call on Friday. Harp said they will make the request to their counterparts in Hamden, Meriden, New Britain, East Hartford, Waterbury, Hartford, West Haven, Norwalk, and Stamford.