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INDYMASS #10: June 12, 2024

A roundup of recent articles from the Massachusetts independent press


Commentary: BINJ Needs Your Support!

All I have to say this time out is: Please read my colleague Linda Pinkow’s appeal for summer donations to our Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism first (and consider giving whatever you can afford)! Then check out some of the best recent articles published by the Mass indy press!

ARTS
Theater Review: “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” — A Genially Absurdist Comedy
The Arts Fuse
David Greenham enjoys the latest production at the Gloucester Stage.

Stitching Music Back Into Society’s Fabric: Real School of Music
Burlington Buzz
A legit “School of Rock” prospers in the Boston burbs.

Local artists invited to design utility boxes as part of project
The Worcester Guardian
Popular public art program makes it to the Woo.

CRIME
Stash’s owner convicted of tormenting, even beating, his underpaid, undocumented workers
Dorchester Reporter
More background on one of the most shocking cases of bad boss behavior in recent memory—all the more so to me because it’s perpetrated by a fellow Greek-American … against Greek immigrants no less. Also reminds me that the “small business is always great” contingent is too often willing to gloss over the fact that small is not always better when it comes to human institutions. 

FOOD
Charlie’s Kitchen is taking on new operators: Team behind The Cornerstone in Somerville
Cambridge Day
The longtime owners of Charlie’s Kitchen in Harvard Square are giving young chefs David Toraji Oshima and Derek Luangrath a shot at running the storied burger spot—and eventually buying it if all goes well. Exciting news to those of us who basically grew up there! 

Fond Memories of Jasper White Served Up by Local Chefs, Others
Sampan
Fascinating that famed chef Jasper White helped out local health initiatives in local Asian-American communities for many years before his recent untimely passing.

EDUCATION
Editorial: Best wishes to a special class
Marblehead Current
A touching tribute to kids making it through high school in a very difficult time. Local journalism at its finest.

ENVIRONMENT
New committee will weigh where Plymouth’s wastewater should end up
Plymouth Independent
The first decision on the Wastewater Groundwater Discharge Community Advisory Committee’s agenda will be whether to discharge dirty water to Plymouth Bay or the Camelot industrial park.

Bridges of the Mass Central Rail Trail — A Status Update In Pictures
Sudbury Weekly
A useful photo essay with some cheeky commentary on progress of the construction of two new Sudbury rail trails.

GOVERNMENT

State unlikely to enforce city’s paused ban on ‘nip’ bottles
The New Bedford Light
State regulator refuses to support local ban on tiny liquor bottles. New Bedford packie owners are thrilled. But ban supporters, concerned about the negative effects cheap booze have on addiction, homelessness, and litter, are strangely absent from the piece (though some do appear in the comments section).

Removal of Town Wharf seating annoys local residents
The Local News
Cars before people once again. Locals protest the loss of a nice place to sit and have lunch at a municipal parking lot. A compromise may be in the offing.

HISTORY
WASP flew high many decades after WWII service
YourArlington.com
Herstory in this case. Engaging look at the life of a pioneering woman pilot and the injustice that she and her comrades faced post-war from a sexist airline industry and a government that refused to honor their service for decades.

“I spent my entire life learning what it means to be Japanese”
Lexington Observer
An interesting interview with Professor Charles Shirō Inouye of Tufts University on growing Japanese and Mormon in Utah and Japan after his parents suffered through unjust internment by the US government during WWII.

HOUSING
Shattuck Campus Cottages for Unhoused People Will Be Fully Removed by End of July
Jamaica Plain News
In a period when the state is placing limits on how long homeless folks, new immigrants, and refugees can stay in state-sponsored short-term housing, it’s not clear that removing one of the stop-gap measures created to ease the crisis at Boston’s ad-doc Mass and Cass homeless encampment two years back is such a great idea.

Presentation ties housing stock to school budgets
The Newton Beacon
Public schools need more money, but property taxes aren’t being raised. Is the answer to build more housing? A useful discussion in Newton.

JOURNALISM
Behind the scenes at Swellesley: A digital recorder on its death bed spits out 2 last interviews
The Swellesley Report
Bob Brown recounts the kind of situation that perhaps only a longtime local journalist can appreciate: the death (and last gasp of life) of a much-used, much-loved piece of newsgathering equipment.

Before GBH cut ‘Basic Black,’ local ties frayed
The Bay State Banner
A damning history of the decline of support for local Black programming at the PBS flagship station.

POLICE
Records: Northampton Police Spent $61,000 On Outside Investigations
The Shoestring
Advocates question the Northampton Police Department’s spending significant sums on independent investigations of alleged police malfeasance—particularly when police leaders ignore findings they disagree with.

We create the conditions that necessitate police
Worcester Sucks and I Love It
Bill Shaner ripping apart the badge-licking culture of the Worcester City Council once again. Disturbing stuff from central Mass.

PRISONS
With inmates nearly gone, focus turns to what’s next for MCI-Concord
The Concord Bridge
The last inmates at the infamous state pen will be gone by the end of the month, but a resident-lead local advisory board will take the next steps in determining what will be done with the property as the state starts “offloading” it.


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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