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.
When Alma del Mar Charter School opened its doors in 2011, it had only 120 students in grades K-2. Families placed their faith in a new school that based its academics on learning approaches different from other New Bedford schools.
Fast forward seven years, and Alma del Mar has a student enrollment of 415. The school has grown by one grade each year and boasts that its students — referred to as “scholars” by the faculty and administration — advance nearly a grade and a half each year in reading and writing, officials said.
On Friday, 37 scholars — 100 percent of the eighth-grade class — graduated and said goodbye to Alma del Mar as they move on to high school. More than half of these graduates started as second-graders and have been with the school since it opened.
For the Alma del Mar Charter School in New Bedford, every year for the past seven years has brought new changes and new growth, having first opened its doors in 2011 with only 120 students in grades K-2. That’s why Friday, June 15, 2018 was the cap of a very special year for the school, as many of its earliest students — referred to as “scholars” by the faculty and administration — graduated from the eighth grade.
What’s been dubbed a “solar revolution” in Massachusetts over the past several years didn’t happen by accident. Rather, it was the result of policies aimed squarely at growing the state’s renewable energy sector in order to stimulate local jobs and business innovation while reducing reliance on the fossil fuel-generated electricity that pollutes our communities and contributes to climate change.
Unfortunately, those policies – and the Massachusetts solar industry as a result – have suffered recently due to resistance from utility companies, as well as delays in expanding legislative initiatives essential to growth in the sector. Bold and swift action by Gov. Charlie Baker and our state legislators is needed to reverse this troubling new trend.
We have been heartened by action from the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy in May and the Senate Ways and Means Committee’s approval last week of a bill that goes much further to ensure the Commonwealth gains ground on efforts to grow its solar sector. We hope both branches of the Legislature can reach consensus on the Senate bill’s key solar provisions and pass it in the remaining weeks of this legislative session.
The City Council has given initial approval to a series of regulations governing the siting of adult-use marijuana establishments.
The council voted Tuesday night to advertise the new rules. The item will be back before the council for a final vote on June 26, according to City Clerk Susan M. Ledoux.
Under state law, Worcester is required to provide for establishment of up to 15 retail marijuana stores. That figure is based on 20 percent of the number of off-premises alcohol licenses the city is authorized to issue.
Private clubs that allow on-site consumption but not sale of marijuana do not count toward Worcester’s quota of 15 retail stores.
Also, there is no limit on the number of other marijuana-related businesses that do not have points of sale with the public, such as marijuana cultivators, independent testing laboratories, product manufacturers, research facilities, transporters and micro-businesses.
After serving four years in the military, John Andrews, 42, adjusted to civilian life by working at his local Walmart in Arkansas. Encouraged by co-workers, he also went back to school, hoping to move up in management.
Instead, he ended up $40,000 in debt,* with a diploma so useless he refuses to display it. “I got this degree that I don’t even hang on my wall anymore,” Andrews said at a recent Brooklyn Film Festival screening of “Fail State,” a new documentary by Alex Shebanowhighlighting ways for-profit colleges have exploited veterans and vulnerable students.
At the film festival, Andrews spoke about his experiences at the University of Phoenix, the for-profit school where he received a degree in business management. He chose the school because his Walmart colleagues taught there, and university administrators encouraged him to use the GI Bill, which covered some of his costs.
According to stats from the VA in Georgia, a little less than one third of veterans take their own lives.
It's a serious problem. The VA has several resources in place to help prevent veteran suicide. And so do non-profits. Today, AMR Medical Transportation partnered with the Safe America Foundation to help veterans and other at risk groups get the help they need.
"To help prevent suicides and school shootings we have t start treating the mentally ill. And the people with addictions issues and the crime that it drives," said Paulette Rakestraw, District 19 Ga State Rep.
AMR donated an ambulance to Safe America, a foundation that helps veterans and other crisis victims. The ambulance will only service PTSD and homeless veterans, opioid addicts and human trafficking victims.
Building a massive barrier wall in Boston Harbor to protect the city from the increasing risk of flooding isn’t worth a price tag that could reach $11 billion, according to a new study for a City Hall-led commission.
A research team at the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Sustainable Solutions Lab said the city should instead focus on smaller, shore-based projects, estimating it would take at least 30 years to build a wall while the need for solutions is far more immediate.
The study was the first to look at the feasibility of a harbor barrier wall, and it analyzed construction costs, as well as the impact on the environment, waterfront neighborhoods, and the region’s marine industry.
The concept of a wall, which under one design would stretch 3.8 miles from Winthrop to Hull and be the largest in the world, was considered a year ago to be a bold but possibly necessary solution to combat the effects of climate change.
But planners and environmental protection advocates said the UMass findings brought about a collective sigh of relief with its recommendation to instead dedicate $2 billion to neighborhood protection efforts. To some, the harbor wall would have been the aquatic version of the Big Dig — the massive, prolonged highway construction project that had billions in cost overruns.
“I think people know these big huge projects can become complicated and troublesome,” said Bud Ris, a former CEO of the New England Aquarium and a member of the Boston Green Ribbon Commission, a group of government, business, and civic leaders who encourage strategies to combat climate change. The group, cochaired by Mayor Martin J. Walsh, sponsored the study with funding from the Barr Foundation.
American Medical Response held an event to commemorate the donation of an ambulance to the Safe America Foundation. The ambulance will support Safe America’s efforts to help rescue victims of human trafficking. It will also be utilized to support the organization’s work with opioid addicts and PTSD-suffering veterans. The donation is part of AMR’s observance of “National Emergency Medical Services Week” with events being held nationwide.
Dozens of fifth graders at Springfield's William DeBerry Elementary School spent part of Monday afternoon learning "compression-only CPR" from American Medical Response EMT's.
Being 11 and 12-years-old is not too young to recognize the value of these emergency skills that could save a life.
"To me it feels really exciting. to learn something new, at the same time. 'Cause you don't know what to expect," said 5th grader Shakira Montesdeoca.
By contacting and working with the schools, American Medical Response hopes to train more young people to make a difference during the precious minutes that could mean the difference between life or death for a stricken victim.
Clamoring for "long-term stable growth" in their sector, solar industry workers rallied Wednesday for changes that would make it easier and more economical for people to support renewable energy.
After some boom years, employment in the Massachusetts solar industry has dipped, losing about 3,000 jobs in the past two years. The industry now employs 11,500 people in Massachusetts.
"This is still in the early frames of our growth as an industry," said Zaid Ashai, chairman and CEO of Nexamp, a solar company. He told supporters outside the State House, "It needs to be long-term stable growth."
Bill Burke’s family has been delivering beer and spirits to thousands of businesses inside Route 128 since 1935. To date, the 320-employee company serves 750 off-premise licensees and 2,350 on-premise locations, distributing the wares of 34 different beer suppliers and 12 spirit suppliers.
In its relatively small footprint, Burke Distributing Corp. handles approximately 7 million cases of beer a year. Now coming up on its fourth generation, the business has changed substantially since it began at the end of prohibition. Burke, president and CEO of the company, spoke with Jessica Bartlett of the Boston Business Journal about the transformation, and how the craft beer industry changes have substantially altered his business.