IN A RECENT report on the importance of afterschool programs, the Legislature’s Afterschool and Out-Of-School Time Coordinating Council, chaired by Sen. Brendan Crighton and Rep. Jennifer Benson, reached a familiar conclusion, but offers a promising new solution.
For years, chronic underfunding has left too many Massachusetts children without access to the invaluable afterschool and summer learning programs that help them reach their full potential. Available funding streams have remained elusive and inadequate. We believe new state and local revenue from the sale of recreational marijuana would go a long way to properly fund these programs that are proven to increase positive outcomes for kids in school, college, and career.
Our state mandates that a proportion of cannabis revenue be spent on youth education and prevention programs. The research is clear: Students who participate in afterschool programs get higher grades, graduate at higher levels, have fewer behavior issues, and have lower rates of drug abuse than their peers – exactly the outcomes that marijuana revenue should be used to support.
Massachusetts biotech executives and scientists expressed concern Monday following reports that a Chinese scientist has used gene-editing technology to alter the DNA of human embryos, leading to the birth of twin girls — a practice that is banned in the United States.
According to media reports and a filing with Chinese regulators, researcher He Jiankui used the gene-editing technology CRISPR/Cas9 to alter the embryos of seven couples during fertility treatments in the hopes of making them immune to HIV infection. The experiment led to the birth of two healthy twin girls a few weeks ago, The Associated Press reported.
The researcher's claims, which have not yet been published in a scientific paper, prompted a swift outcry among Boston-area life sciences officials Monday, given that such genetic changes can be passed on to future generations. Several Cambridge-based biotechs are developing drugs using CRISPR/Cas9, but they have balked at pursuing this kind of "germline" editing for regulatory and ethical reasons.
For sixth-graders at the Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School, the encounter between Pilgrims and the Wampanoag just got real.
The students of language arts teacher Susannah Remillard are using the sketches of Samuel De Champlain, the letters of Gov. William Bradford and interviews with Wampanoag employees of Plimoth Plantation to re-create Southeastern Massachusetts, circa 1600s.
What they are finding is a far more complex story than the traditional celebration of the Pilgrim landing, one that is edged by an elegy for the Wampanoag lives lost to disease in the years immediately preceding the Mayflower’s arrival and for the hardships faced by the new settlers.
I got into Summer Search and was paired with a mentor, Jonny. He has become a confidant who is a consistent source of encouragement. I can talk to him about anything, whether it’s issues at home or my schoolwork — anything. He is always there for me and understands the importance of my feeling recognized and acknowledged for my achievements. He helped me navigate my junior year, whether it was SAT deadlines or preparing for my college search. He pushed me to see that I can do more and that I can do better. Best of all, because of his support, I have become more comfortable just being me.
This past summer, I had the opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic to perform community service at a health clinic. With a scholarship from Summer Search, I went with 28 other students from all over the country and two international students. I was also only one of two students from Summer Search Boston on this trip, and I had never met the other students before. I was nervous. I told myself that the two weeks would go by quickly; I would just mind my own business and do what had to be done.
I soon became friends with a larger group of girls on the trip who welcomed me, even though they all knew each other from home. These girls had money and, like everyone on the trip, talked about college and career. I felt like I couldn’t relate. My mother works three jobs — cleaning a bank during the day, working at a chocolate factory at night and working the weekends as an apartment cleaner — all without a day off. College didn’t feel like an option for us financially.
Fierce 15 winner MaxQ AI, formerly known as MedyMatch, has received a 510(k) clearance from the FDA for its artificial intelligence software that rapidly detects brain bleeds in CT scans.
Its Accipio Ix detection platform had previously been granted access to the agency’s expedited access pathway, which allowed the Tel Aviv, Israel and Andover, Massachusetts-based company to receive FDA advice while it went through the review process.
The clearance now allows emergency healthcare providers and physicians in acute care settings to use the program to prioritize clinical assessment and care of patients with hemorrhagic stroke or intracranial trauma. Accipio Ix previously received a CE mark in May.
Boston is getting a new plan to combat the effects of climate change. Mayor Marty Walsh on Wednesday unveiled his "Resilient Boston Harbor" proposal.
Walsh says his plan is not just a comprehensive strategy to protect the city from climate change flooding, but a transformative vision that will add 67 acres of greenspace to Boston's 47-mile shoreline.
The idea is to build seawalls and natural barriers, and elevate roads in low-lying areas by as much as 7 feet to prevent flooding from rising sea levels. A redesign of Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester is one proposal in the plan.
"This is about prevention," Walsh told reporters in a briefing Tuesday. "Making investments in this type of work is the key to our city."
Each year, emergency medical staff professionals treat nearly 300,000 people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital, according to the American Heart Association. If defibrillation is provided within five to seven minutes, the survival rate is approximately 30 percent.
In DeKalb County, medical staff arrived on time during a recent incident where an individual suffered cardiac arrest. The patient, who happened to have a cardiac arrest episode on his birthday, was assisted by Decatur Firefighters and other medical personnel.
In September, Decatur city officials honored AMR paramedic Taylor Hiffner, EMT Mbill Khan and firefighters from Decatur Fire and Rescue Department for their role in securing a positive outcome for the patient experiencing cardiac arrest.
The latest report by the Children’s Advocacy Institute (CAI) reveals that both Democrats and Republicans have engaged in “bipartisan neglect” in protecting and supporting our nation’s most vulnerable children.
The report documents multiple failures across the child welfare system that demonstrate a lack of understanding of the underlying causes of abuse and neglect. The system remains woefully underfunded, worsened by counterproductive flaws in the funding formula, and an inability or unwillingness to hold states accountable for violating federal laws. While two bipartisan efforts over the past decade — including the Family First statute — made some positive strides in adding more flexibility to fund prevention, the Congress has fallen woefully short.
This should be a nonpartisan issue. Liberals should want opportunity and a better future for impoverished children. Conservatives should understand these children are not the children of “others,” but of our national “family.” We, the state, have seized them. How we treat these children — our children — will be a fair test of the conservative “family values” shibboleth.
A federal judge sent the right message last week when he blocked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s suspension of an Obama-era rule that allows students defrauded by for-profit colleges to have some or all of their federal student loans forgiven.
This was his second ruling in a suit filed by attorneys general from 19 states who argued that Ms. DeVos had broken the law by delaying the rule from taking effect, and they demanded that it be immediately reinstated.The judge, Randolph Moss of Federal District Court in Washington, had earlier found that Ms. DeVos had broken the law, and last week he invalidated Ms. DeVos’s attempt to dismantle the rule, but stayed his ruling for 30 days to give the Education Department time to respond. The next step should be to order the department to grant debt relief to the thousands of student borrowers who have applied and are clearly eligible under the original rule.
The rule, known as “borrowers defense,” is rooted in a provision of the Higher Education Act of 1965 intended to lift the debt burdens of students who were misled by their schools. The rule was designed to compel schools to offer a fair education and to refrain from predatory practices — like lying about career opportunities or steering students into ruinously priced loans — that have been well documented over the last decade.
Ms. DeVos has essentially made the Education Department a subsidiary of the for-profit college industry. Republicans in Congress who wish to hide from this issue are being peppered with complaints from constituents victimized by the for-profit schools — particularly veterans, who have been targeted by companies that covet their G.I. benefits.
Veterans Education Success has received complaints from nearly 100 veterans and service members who say Kaplan misled veterans and service members about the university's accreditation, the transferability of Kaplan credits, the quality of Kaplan's programs and the career prospects of Kaplan's graduates.
They also report that Kaplan deceived veterans and service members about the cost of Kaplan's programs and has borrowed money on behalf of veterans and service members without their consent. With Harvard Law School, we published a report, “Veteran and Servicemember Complaints about Misconduct and Illegal Practices at Kaplan Schools.”
Unfortunately, Kaplan, now known as Purdue University Global, looks set to inject the worst of Kaplan's bad practices into the Purdue system.
Nadine D. Najah, of Danvers, and a recent graduate of the Pioneer Charter School of Science 2 in Saugus, has been awarded the Henry David Thoreau Scholarship.
The scholarship, supported by the Henry David Thoreau Scholarship Fund, is named for the 19th-century naturalist and author and given annually to eight Massachusetts high school seniors.
The daughter of Samira Najah and the late Abderrahman Najah, Najah will be attending Brown University, where she plans to major in environmental studies. Always a good science student, Najah was inspired to become passionate about climate change after reading Alex Scott’s article “Learning to Love CO2” while preparing a project for a science fair. In addition to studying ways to turn carbon dioxide into a usable product that won awards at local and international science fairs, Najah lives what she preaches by installing water-efficient showerheads in her home and washing clothes in an eco-friendly mode after learning in her AP Environmental Science class how much energy is used on wasted water. Najah intends to use what she will learn in college to help reverse, or end, the effects of climate change.
The West End House Boys & Girls Club, an institution serving Boston’s youth since 1906, celebrated a milestone moment in its Expect More Campaign, a $23.5 million expansion of its facility and programming, today with Mayor Martin J. Walsh, local community leaders, families and alumni.
Students who flooded city streets across Massachusetts to demand better gun laws last March have not gone away. They have been working quietly, planning and collaborating for several months to keep the conversation on guns ongoing.
This Thursday, roughly 45 students will set out on a four-day march, walking about 50 miles from Worcester City Hall to the Smith & Wesson manufacturing facility in Springfield.
Among them will be David Hogg, a teenage survivor-turned activist following the Parkland, Florida shooting in February, and Manuel Oliver, whose son Joaquin died in the Parkland school shooting along with 16 others.
The protest, known as "50 Miles More: Massachusetts march," has been in the works for three months.
Dozens of national gun control advocates, including a survivor of this year’s Florida school shooting, joined local student activists in Worcester on Thursday morning to kick off a 50-mile march to demand stricter gun-control laws.
The group plans to end the march Sunday at the headquarters of firearm maker Smith & Wesson. Activists say they will criticize the company for its role in producing and selling weapons used in many mass shootings.
David Hogg, who vaulted to the national spotlight after surviving the deadly Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School attack in February, joined the group at a pre-march rally outside Worcester City Hall and is taking part in the march. He was joined by Manuel Oliver, a parent of one of the Parkland shooting victims, US Representative Jim McGovern, and young gun-reform leaders from Massachusetts.
“I’m here to support them. . . . I showed up and said, ‘What can I do to help?’ ” said Hogg, a public face for youths pressing for gun-law reforms.
Beginning Thursday, a group of students will march westward a quarter of the way across Massachusetts in the latest act of a national, youth-led campaign to save lives and change the conversation about gun violence.
The Massachusetts event will begin in Worcester and end Sunday in Springfield outside the headquarters of Smith & Wesson, where the students say they’ll challenge the firearms manufacturer to do its part to prevent mass shootings and other routine gun violence.
The organizers say they were inspired by civil rights activists who marched from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery in 1965 to pressure lawmakers to enact new national voting rights legislation.
From the outside, Good Chemistry — Worcester’s first medical and possibly first recreational cannabis dispensary — is a nearly-anonymous storefront tucked between a few thrift stores on Harrison Street, part of the wider Crompton Collective network of mill buildings. The only detail suggesting what lies inside is the tastefully-decorative fog on the windows and a small, unadorned sign.
Inside is a different story.
Today, Good Chemistry is open for business, and the sleek interior design, the long bar not unlike a coffee shop, and bright displays laying out the price quality and characteristics of pot products, is a first look for Worcester at the new face of weed.
Bruce McFadden of Dunwoody held a dinner to thank the emergency medical responders who saved his life earlier this year.
On April 23, Bruce McFadden suffered a heart attack while at work in Dunwoody. 911 was activated and AMR Medical 79 and DeKalb Fire Engine 18 responded. The first responders quickly recognized his condition (STEMI) and took appropriate interventions that saved McFadden’s life.
Non-profit organization "Stop Handgun Violence" and "March for Our Lives: Boston" announced on Thursday plans for a four-day walk beginning August 23. The group is following the lead of another national gun reform movement led by youth known as "50 Miles More."
Activists say they plan to walk from Worcester to Springfield, where they will target gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson. In a scheduled rally for August 26, protestors say they will make demands of Smith & Wesson.
Good Chemistry, a Colorado-based marijuana firm that’s about to open its first Massachusetts medical dispensary in Worcester, is one company seeking workers.
So far, Good Chemistry has hired 24 workers to grow an initial cannabis crop at its Bellingham cultivation facility and prepare the Worcester dispensary for opening day. But with recreational sales starting this year, the firm will soon need about 100 workers to keep up with demand — or even more if it gets approval for additional shops.
Entry-level dispensary agents at Good Chemistry make around $15 an hour, a gig that comes with health insurance and other benefits, according to chief executive Matt Huron.
“On the dispensary side, we really look for people with retail experience, especially in a state like Massachusetts that doesn’t already have a lot of cannabis companies,” Huron said. “We want people who are personable, outgoing, and passionate about cannabis. There’s a lot of enthusiasm — people know that this industry is going to expand, and they see it as an opportunity to come in at entry-level and work their way up.”
Worcester's first marijuana dispensary of any kind is expected to open Aug. 2.
Good Chemistry, a Colorado-based company, was approved on Thursday to open its medical marijuana dispensary in the Canal District at 9 Harrison St.
The state Department of Public Health approval comes just days after the Worcester Board of Health approved the local license on Monday.
In a statement to WBJ, the company said it's looking at Aug. 2 for an official opening date to sell medical marijuana only, though the company said it will apply for a license from the Cannabis Control Commission to operate an adult-use dispensary at the site as well.
As the legal weed industry slowly crawls to functionality across the state, Worcester is getting in the game.
The city yesterday signed two community host agreements with companies looking to expand their medical cannabis business to the recreational side. Prime Wellness, on Pullman Street, and Good Chemistry, at 9 Harrison St., received the city’s first two community host agreements – documents that lay out conditions of approval and also substantial payments to the city coffers.
The community host agreements allow the two businesses to seek final approval from the Cannabis Control Commission. If all goes well for them, they could be the first two pot shops to open in Worcester – and take the first two of 15 retail licenses allowed by the city, per zoning rules. Good Chemistry will also open as a medical dispensary later this summer.
Founder and CEO of Good Chemistry Matt Huron tells us about being the first Medical Cannabis Dispensary to open in Worcester. Good Chemistry will open on at 9 Harrison St. in the Canal District on August 2nd (2018).
Working in a Brockton elementary school, Kathleen Smith tried to hold the attention of large classes — as many as 35 grade-schoolers in one big room. And conditions were deteriorating.
At Brockton High School, she remembered, "you truly had kids that would come in and sit on the radiators," she said. "You had books falling apart. You didn’t have materials. You didn’t have supplies."
That was 25 years ago.
Conditions like those led students in Brockton and 15 other cities and towns to sue Massachusetts. They argued that the state, by failing to provide thousands of students the opportunity to receive an "adequate education," was violating the Massachusetts Constitution.
Communities like Brockton had been arguing for years that they were underfunded, particularly when compared to wealthier communities; the litigation trail extends back into the 1970s.
But the funding disparity between Massachusetts' wealthiest districts and its poorest had grown incredibly wide. In 1993, Brookline spent $7,772 per student, while Brockton spent $4,090. By 1993, contemporary onlookers expected that — finally — Brockton and its co-plaintiffs might win their case.
At the same time, state business leaders were calling for a bigger investment in education. They had escalating concerns of their own: about whether the state was adequately preparing the workforce of the future.
"If the commonwealth is going to be competitive in the 21st century, we need to re-engineer education," Paul Reville recalled. In 1993, he was the executive director of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE).
Saïsa Nicolas vividly recalls the sights, sounds, and flavors of her early childhood in Haiti. The street vendors selling crafts and snacks, including the gooey, flavorful patties she devoured; the secret hideout she made behind the mango tree trunks she climbed for their sweet, sticky fruit.
Nicolas also remembers her family’s fear when she was just 4 and her aunt was kidnapped for ransom — then a frequent occurrence in the impoverished island nation.
“She was on her way to work. . . They grabbed her in a van,” the 18-year-old said in an interview last week near her home in Hyde Park. “Looking back, you realize, ‘Wow, what a scary moment.’ ”
Such dangers led her family to seek safety in the United States, moving to Boston when Nicolas was 9 and knew no English. She studied hard at a school for students learning the language and in English classes at the local library, where she also checked out books to practice her reading.