Sandra Larson has been writing for the Bay State Banner since 2009 and has contributed more than 100 stories on urban issues, including extensive coverage of foreclosure, affordable housing, minority jobs issues, and the city’s revitalization plans for Dudley Square in Roxbury. For the Banner and for Exhale Magazine, she has interviewed and profiled many prominent women, among them author Isabel Wilkerson, playwright Lydia Diamond, FACE Africa founder Saran Kaba Jones, former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, and Massachusetts first lady Diane Patrick. Sandra holds a bachelor’s degree in biological aspects of conservation and a master’s degree in journalism. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in urban and regional policy. She lives in Boston with her husband and 12-year-old son.
Memory cafes are new to Boston, but the model was developed in the 1990s in Holland, and over the past decade has spread across the U.S. In some areas they are called “Alzheimer’s cafes,” but memory cafes are not Alzheimer’s education sessions or support groups. A 2005 evaluation of memory cafes in the United Kingdom observed that the cafe setting provides “a safe space in which to ‘re-story’ the experience of dementia.” Organizers say cafe participation can open a path to starting difficult conversations about dementia.
Increase in extreme heat days poses threat to already-vulnerable residents
Boston is in for more severe storms, damaging floods and dangerously hot days in the coming years, experts say. While all Bostonians will feel the impacts of extreme weather and increased flooding, the impacts may be felt hardest in the city’s communities of color and lower-income neighborhoods. These residents already face a slate of challenges and inequities that will make it harder to withstand heat waves and bounce back after disasters.
From the MBTA’s recent outsourcing of its cash-counting operations to the heavily-funded campaign to lift the cap on charter schools, Massachusetts is witness to a push for greater privatization of services that traditionally have been public, or government-provided.
Opportunities seen for local job seekers
A strategy for boosting economic development along the Fairmount Corridor by attracting and retaining businesses and jobs — and particularly, connecting corridor residents to those jobs — appears to be gaining traction.
The city is offering several Roxbury land parcels for sale to developers as part of a pilot competition to encourage the creation of “compact” multifamily rental or ownership housing with a range of affordability.
Population increases present challenges
Hosted by Imagine Boston 2030 and the Boston Planning and Development Agency’s research division, the Boston by the Numbers series is an opportunity for Bostonians to see and discuss the data and trends that help guide long-range city planning.
Parents, students turn out for weekend sessions at Bolling Bldg.
Boston Public Schools Superintendent Tommy Chang last weekend shared some of his department’s efforts to acknowledge and address systemic racism.
The Bolling Municipal Building in Dudley Square was transformed Monday evening into a marketplace for local entrepreneurs and a site for thoughtful discussions on creating an inclusive innovation ecosystem and supporting local entrepreneurs who have already taken the leap.
BPS teachers say budget shortfalls are cutting critical services in their schools and causing them to dig deeper into their own pockets for classroom supplies.
North Carolina minister and political leader Rev. Dr. William Barber II electrified an overflow crowd in Boston last week as he hammered out an agenda for a “moral revolution of values” in times of pain, injustice and outrage.