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Martin Desmarais



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Immigrant activists arrested in Boston protesting U.S. deportations

Activists blockied the Suffolk County House of Correction in Boston

Immigration activists blocking the Suffolk County House of Correction in Boston were arrested last week as a part of a national protest of the Obama administration’s immigration policies, which have resulted in the deportation of 2 million undocumented immigrants.

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Simmons College professor Afaa Michael Weaver wins prestigious poetry award

$100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award

Some might be surprised that the most recent winner of the prestigious $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the 62-year-old Afaa Michael Weaver, grew up in one of the most notoriously dangerous neighborhoods in America — the Baltimore ‘hood immortalized in HBO’s acclaimed "The Wire." However, for current Simmons College professor and Somerville resident Weaver, poetry was just always part of who he was.

Mayor Martin Walsh announces increase in Boston Main Streets funding

Mayor Martin Walsh gave a big boost to Boston Main Streets organizations, announcing that funding will increase $400,000 city-wide for their efforts to support local businesses. Walsh’s budget has allocated $75,000 for each of the city’s 20 Main Street organizations, which is a 30 percent increase from last year.

City updates CORI reform ordinance

Last week, the Boston Workers Alliance capped a two-year effort of working with the city that has resulted in improved Criminal Offender Record Information regulations for businesses working with the city.

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Entrepreneurs set to launch Dorchester business lab

Set to open later this month and modeled after business lab concepts very common in the high tech startup world in Silicon Valley and Cambridge, the Fields Corner Business Lab contains about a dozen small private offices, several conference rooms, private work stations and flexible work areas, as well as office amenities including a printer/copier room, reception area and a kitchen. The lab takes up the entire top floor of the historic Lenane Building in the heart of Fields Corner and has 8,000 square feet of office space available.

Coalition pushing for criminal justice reform

Prison reform advocates in the state are gearing up for a busy month. The Jobs Not Jails Coalition has a Boston rally planned on April 26 and will return four days later to present a petition to Massachusetts Legislature — all the efforts targeted to show decision-makers the groundswell of support to change prison policy.

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Somali nonprofit struggles to meet immigrant community needs in Boston

After almost two decades as the only social services organization serving Somali immigrants in the Boston region, the Somali Development Center in Jamaica Plain is facing a looming challenge as the population of immigrants it is helping grows, while the funding continues to diminish.

Boston Public schools cites gains with new assignment policy

Boston Public Schools got a first look at the numbers from its new home-based, school-choice system and reported that the average distance a new kindergarten student will travel to school next year dropped 18 percent compared to the old plan — from just over a mile to just under a mile.

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Sen. Warren convenes local businesses, U.S. agencies

Small businesses in the Boston area got a chance to pitch their services to government agencies and government contractors in a bid to get a piece of the multi-billion-dollar pie that is offered by the federal sector every year.

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School department intervenes at Madison Park

Boston Public Schools publicly stepped in last week to try and save troubled Madison Park Technical/Vocational High School, which has been plagued by poor test scores, poor attendance and hardly any internship participation from its students. With the backing of Mayor Martin Walsh, Interim Superintendent John McDonough began what BPS is calling an "immediate intervention" at the school.



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