Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 11:09 am
Standing on Boston’s Long Wharf, John Barros, the city’s chief of economic development, recalled what the site looked like in January 2014, when a nor’easter brought record high tides.
“We’re at ground zero here,” said Barros, who was part of a steering committee that spent the past year working on a plan to prepare for storms like that one, as well as the effects of climate change and rising sea levels.
“When we think about what 2-to-5 feet means, which is some of the conservative estimates of sea rise, 2 feet, this place would probably be underwater every day,” he said.
Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 6:10 pm
The mayor of Springfield is calling on the administration of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to end a practice by the past administration of placing homeless families in congregate housing.
An angry Mayor Domenic Sarno said de-facto group homes for homeless families have been created in apartment buildings concentrated in a handful of city neighborhoods since last fall with city inspectors finding in some cases 3-4 families living in a single apartment.
" This is absolute BS," said Sarno at a city hall news conference.
Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 6:20 pm
The city of Northampton, Massachusetts is planning a number of solar power projects that would further reduce the city’s carbon footprint, while providing a new source of revenue.
As soon as this summer, Northampton is likely to join dozens of other municipalities in the state that have turned old landfills into solar farms. And, in what appears to be a first in western Massachusetts at least, solar arrays may pop up at some municipal parking lots, according to Chris Mason, the city’s energy officer.
Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 4:31 pm
UMass Amherst will replace its on-campus textbook store later this year with a virtual store operated by Amazon.
Under a five-year contract Amazon will provide online textbook ordering through the UMass Amherst website, operate an on-campus pick up location and provide free delivery to off campus addresses in Amherst and five surrounding communities. UMass spokesman Ed Blaguszewski said the change is being made to save students money.
"Up to about $380 annually per student based on national estimates of what students pay for books," said Blaguszewski.
Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 12:10 pm
The Springfield, Massachusetts city council is considering an ordinance that would put restrictions on public officials obtaining jobs at the new MGM casino being built in the city.
Under a proposed municipal ethics ordinance, the city’s elected officials—the mayor and 11 city councilors – would be barred for at least five years from obtaining a job at the MGM casino after leaving the city’s employment. Non-elected officials who are considered “major policymakers” would face a two-year ban.
Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 6:13 pm
The Massachusetts doctor who was cured of the deadly Ebola virus is going to return later this week to West Africa to work in the missionary hospital where he was infected.
Four months after he was declared Ebola-free, and with his strength and stamina now back, Dr. Rick Sacra will leave Thursday for Liberia, where he had spent much of the last two decades working for a missionary organization.
The Springfield, Massachusetts city council will discuss a proposal on Monday night that would restrict the city’s mayor or councilors from working for MGM for at least five years after leaving city employment. Non-elected officials considered “major policymakers” would face a two-year ban.
Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 6:10 pm
An announcement about the long-term fate of the historic Cathedral High School in Springfield, Massachusetts is now expected by mid-February. Advocates of rebuilding the school that was wrecked in the 2011 tornado are encouraged by word the school will operate for one more year, at least, at its temporary campus.
Springfield Bishop Mitchell Rozanski will begin a series of meetings on January 24th in what will amount to the final due diligence on whether to rebuild the Catholic high school with a 130-year- history in Springfield.
Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 3:43 pm
One thing's for sure: Nikki Bollerman believes in her school and the kids who go there. How else to explain Bollerman, 26, giving a $150,000 windfall to the Boston area public charter school where she teaches third grade?
Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 12:12 pm
The city of Boston’s new chief of arts and culture has been making the rounds during her first full week on the job. Her name is Julie Burros and she hails from Chicago, a city famous for embracing and supporting the arts (like “Cloud Gate” in the above photo).
Burros quickly earned the nickname “arts czar” after Boston Mayor Marty Walsh fulfilled his campaign promise by appointing her to the newly created cabinet-level position this past September.
Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:15 pm
Now that MGM has won Massachusetts regulatory and voter approval to build a resort casino in downtown Springfield the Las Vegas-based entertainment giant has employment and local purchasing commitments to keep.
Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 4:15 pm
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and a host of federal, state and local officials took an inaugural train ride Monday on newly rebuilt tracks in western Massachusetts.
The trip from Springfield to Greenfield highlighted the dawn of high speed passenger rail service along what is known as the Knowledge Corridor. For the first time in decades passenger trains will stop in Northampton and Holyoke. Kathleen Anderson, president of the Holyoke Chamber of Commerce, said it opens a lot of possibilities including more tourism.
Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 10:48 am
With only a few weeks now remaining now in Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration, WBUR’s Bob Oakes sat down with the outgoing Massachusetts governor for the last time in his executive office on Beacon Hill.
The conversation began with a look back to Patrick’s first inaugural address in 2007. In that speech, Patrick spoke of lifting up the poor and stabilizing the middle class.
Listen above to Gov. Patrick’s full conversation on WBUR’s Morning Edition.
Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 12:10 pm
New property tax rates have been set in Springfield, Massachusetts. For the first time in many years, the rates for both homeowners and business property owners have been reduced, as property values continue to recover from the Great Recession
Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 2:25 pm
A Massachusetts doctor cured of Ebola said he is returning in January to Liberia, where he contracted the virus, to continue working at a medial mission
Dr.Richard Sacra said he plans to spend four weeks at the same clinic near Monrovia, where he served for 20 years. Sacra contracted Ebola in August and underwent treatment at an Omaha, Nebraska hospital. He returned home in late September and spoke about his ordeal.
Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 2:31 pm
Tuesday in San Francisco, a group of Boston civic leaders, including Mayor Marty Walsh, will go before the U.S. Olympic Committee in a bid to bring the Olympic Games to Boston in 2024.
There are other cities looking to win the committee’s backing, including San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.
This is just the start of a long process. Once the U.S. committee picks a city next month, the competition moves to the International Olympic Committee, which will announce the host for the 2024 games two years from now.
Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 8:53 am
Picture the Olympic flame at night, reflecting off Boston Harbor. Picture rowers slicing up the Charles River, the sun warming the russet roofs of Harvard behind them.
That imagery may be part of the presentation Tuesday, as representatives from Boston try to persuade the United States Olympic Committee, or USOC, to choose Boston over three other U.S. cities for consideration for the 2024 Summer Games.
Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 6:36 pm
The Patrick administration today announced more funding to help strengthen the advanced manufacturing industry in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts will distribute $1.5 million to be shared by five regional workforce development agencies across the state to help recruit and train 280 unemployed or underemployed people for careers in precision manufacturing. A vocational high school in western Massachusetts will get $400,000 to equip its machine shop with state of the art equipment.
Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 6:20 pm
Updated at 9:30 a.m. ET
Sen. Elizabeth Warren failed to stop a change in bank regulations last weekend, but she raised her profile yet again.
The Massachusetts Democrat tells NPR that her fight over a provision in a spending bill was a "warning shot." She intends to continue her fight against what she describes as the power of Wall Street, even though that fight brought her to oppose leaders of her own party.
Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 6:20 pm
A new financing plan was announced today to accelerate the redevelopment of Union Station in Springfield, Massachusetts
City officials said a proposed addition of $3.2 million in local funds along with a previously announced $4.2 million grant from the state will allow the transit-focused elements of the project to be completed simultaneously with tenant-ready commercial space and additional parking.
"It is a big achievement having all the money that is now needed to get this project done," said Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.
Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 10:52 am
More than 400 business owners, contractors, and tradesmen packed a meeting Thursday morning to find out how to bid for work building the MGM Springfield casino.
MGM officials outlined a construction timetable, explained hiring goals for women, minorities and veterans, and provided contact information. Hunter Clayton, MGM Resorts top construction official said building the casino, hotel, retail stores, restaurants and other amenities is a unique and special project.
Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 6:40 am
MGM officials have invited contractors to a meeting this week in Springfield, Massachusetts to discuss the company’s casino construction plans.
At the public meeting Thursday at the MassMutual Convention Center, there will be a presentation about the design and the construction timetable for the $800 million development in downtown Springfield. Chris Boss, a carpenter from West Springfield said a project of this scope is a once in a lifetime opportunity for people in the construction trades.