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INDYMASS: May 17, 2024

A roundup of recent articles from the Massachusetts independent press


Commentary: Shoulder Season
A brief note to say that I think we’ve arrived at a good way to handle the drop off in HorizonMass content in the three four-to-six week periods between our spring, summer, and fall intern cohorts every year—simply switch from publishing our updates every two weeks to every three weeks across those gaps. Which is why I’m publishing this IndyMass three weeks after the last one and will publish the next one in three weeks … allowing myself a couple of weeks of much-needed vacation in the bargain. So you’ll hear from me and HorizonMass again in three weeks after our summer intern cohort has started work and then we’ll resume publishing biweekly again until our next slow period between late August and late September. For now, read on to check out some of the best recent articles published by the Mass indy press!

ARTS
Theater Interview: Playwright and Director Lydia R. Diamond on “Toni Stone”
The Arts Fuse
A deep-dive into the new production at the Huntington Theatre.

Expectations are high for opening of first-ever Haitian cultural center
Dorchester Reporter
Very good central location for the new center serving the growing and vibrant regional Haitian community in what was long a very white area of Boston.

LexSeeHer monument revealed
Lexington Observer
Big new statue honoring famous local women, including noted abolitionists and feminists, unveiled in Lexington.

BUSINESS
Biggest Cambridge projects could skip slowdown and some are optimistic labs will keep on coming
Cambridge Day
Developers keep on building new lab space, despite a glutted market. But one thing’s for sure, though not mentioned in the piece, if disgraced former state senator and Cambridge mayor Anthony Gallucio is involved, one should take positive projections with a very large grain of salt.

Boomerangs Closing in June Due to ‘Significant Financial Losses’
Jamaica Plain News
Thrifters mourn the loss of the local charitable chain.

CIVIL LIBERTIES
Editorial: How Free Speech Gets Canceled
Sampan
“… peaceful protests of current atrocities should not be confused or conflated with hate. And freedom of expression and speech should not be smothered because people don’t like what they are hearing. How can the U.S. claim a moral argument against repression in China and elsewhere, when at home, we can’t practice what we preach?”

COMMUNICATIONS
City manager, council, backpedal after Substack post about cable
Worcester Guardian
Worcester solon exposes own plan to ignore the decision of his city’s Cable Television Advisory Committee and renew the contract with Charter Communications’ Spectrum service in a blog post. Hilarity ensues.

EDUCATION
Wellesley private schools 2024-25 tuition rates announced, and they’ve gone up
The Swellesley Report
Fascinating look at what the one percent pays for private schools in one of the richest towns in America.

ENERGY
Glauconite poses challenge to another offshore wind farm project
New Bedford Light
Over a third of possible offshore wind turbine sites off the southern New England and Long Island coasts may be unsuitable for wind farms because of their geology.

ENVIRONMENT
A Neighborhood Holding Its Breath: Air pollution and the future of Chinatown
Bay State Banner
Advocates can’t make Chinatown air better with two highways running through it, but they’re working to keep it from getting worse.

Hanscom expansion opponents hope endangered designation blocks project
Concord Bridge
The National Trust’s addition of several landmarks abutting or near the site of the proposed Hanscom airfield expansion to a list of the nation’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places may help stop the project.

FOOD
Making the rounds: Local choices for Greek, Salvadoran fare
YourArlington.com
I just went to Arlington’s Greek Habits and as a Greek-American I encourage readers to run not walk to that excellent bakery and check it out a.s.a.p. 

GOVERNMENT
Reflections: Our intern’s guide to surviving Town Meeting
Marblehead Current
Another article by a teenager … a practical guide for attending a town meeting.

There’s a race for Select Board after all: Grassroots campaign for a second candidate emerges.
Plymouth Independent
An outsider seeks to unseat an incumbent on the Plymouth Select Board.

Town Meeting Study Committee to be formed in the fall
Lincoln Squirrel
A chaotic town meeting results in a look at how to improve its process.

Plans are moving forward to dramatically transform Newton’s Washington Street
Newton Beacon
The main drag along the Mass Pike is slated to become an “[a]rts, culture and an economic engine.”

GUNS
Divided Select Board Turns Toxic Over Failed Firearm Business Bylaw
Sudbury Weekly
Sudbury can apparently have a bunch of minimally regulated firearms businesses now.

LIBRARIES
IRS Revokes Holyoke Library’s Tax-Exempt Status
The Shoestring
After reading this, it’s still unclear why the library’s nonprofit wing didn’t keep up with its IRS reporting for three years. A fine reason for a follow-up article.

The Copley Library: A Hidden Gem for Teens
Boston Compass
A local teen discovers the many charms of Boston’s flagship public library (which clearly managed to keep up with its IRS paperwork lol).

POLICE
Whatever you’re doing is what it is
Worcester Sucks and I Love It
Bill Shaner’s latest column connects the dots between the US colonizing other countries and using the same brutal tactics at home it uses abroad when Americans (particularly poor Americans of color) peaceably assemble demanding reforms to US policy at home and abroad—something he saw happen in real time in Worcester when the Israel-trained Worcester Police Department crushed a small number of unarmed protestors during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement. Something that has fortunately not happened against Worcester protestors in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. Yet.

Town Meeting Votes to Approve Police Station Funding
Nicci Kadilak
Compared to some other town meetings mentioned in this installment of IndyMass, pretty much everything up for a vote passed Burlington town meeting with ease this year—including an expensive new cop shop. Does a town of 26,000 really need a $46 million police station? That’s half what Somerville recently spent on a huge new high school.


IndyMass is produced for HorizonMass, the independent, student-driven, news outlet of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism, by Jason Pramas and is syndicated by BINJ’s MassWire news service. Copyright 2024 Jason Pramas.


Jason Pramas is executive director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism and editor-in-chief of HorizonMass.

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