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Sandra Larson

Stories by Sandra

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City floats latest Cass Blvd. plan at community meeting

New bus lanes, street widening dropped; community still skeptical of plans

The Boston Transportation Department last week unveiled its latest revision of Melnea Cass Boulevard redesign plans, reviving a process stalled by community resistance at several stages over the past three-and-a-half years. The new plan no longer includes the bus rapid transit lanes that were a key part of earlier versions.

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Mayors talk inequality, financial empowerment at UMass Boston forum

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the mayors of three other large U.S. cities shared a stage at UMass Boston Sunday to discuss financial empowerment strategies that help cities address increasing income inequality and persistent poverty.

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City pursues improvements for elderly residents

Mayor Martin Walsh and the city’s Elderly Commission have launched an Age-Friendly Boston initiative with the aim of making Boston a place that supports senior citizens in continuing to lead productive, safe and healthy lives.

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Mixed reactions to Egleston Square proposal

Some wary of height, parking for 76-unit project

Community members crowded into a meeting room at Brookside Community Health Center last week to hear details and offer comments on a market-rate residential/retail development proposed for 3200 Washington Street in Egleston Square.

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BPL opens new teen, children’s spaces

Boston Public Library on Feb. 21 unveiled the renovated second floor of its Central Branch’s Johnson Building, featuring dazzling new spaces for children, tweens, teens and adults.

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Transit activists hopeful MBTA shut downs will spur investment in system

In the aftermath of the historic January and February snowstorms in Boston that caused transit shutdowns, stuck trains, borrowed shuttle buses and frustrating delays at frigid platforms, the MBTA announced it could be another 30 days before full service resumes on its rail lines.

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Snow piles, cancellations - and good deeds

After multiple storms piled more than 90 inches of snow on Boston from mid-January to mid-February — and with more snow expected this week — the city is a mess, with clogged streets and sidewalks, drift-buried cars, countless cancellations, tempers wearing thin and few places to put snow even where shovels and plows attempted to keep up.

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Restored Bolling Building ready for BPS move-in

Ground floor retail still to come to former Ferdinand’s Building

After three years of painstaking restoration and new construction, the former Ferdinand building, now the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building, is days away from opening as the new Boston Public Schools headquarters.

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Developers advancing market-rate housing development in Egleston Square

Jamaica Plain neighborhood and economic development groups are reviewing a proposed Egleston Square development that will bring 76 residential units and more than 5,000 feet of ground-floor retail space to the site of a former plumbing and heating supply company and a still-operating auto repair shop.

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Walsh, committee members tout potential of Olympics bid

Promises to protect city against cost overruns

The organizers of Boston’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, along with Mayor Martin Walsh, fielded questions last week from the public on funding, cleanup, potential venues, transportation, and most of all, a persistent sense that the process has not been open and inclusive of Boston residents. Despite bitter cold, the meeting drew some 350 people who filled a lecture hall at Suffolk University Law School and spilled over into a second room to watch the meeting on a video feed.

BRA report touts reforms

Agency responds to audit findings

Accountability and transparency are the new stated goals at the Boston Redevelopment Authority,according to a new year-in report issued by Mayor Martin Walsh and BRA DirectorBrian Golden last month.

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Chinatown group forms community land trust to fight gentrification

A group of community residents and advocates in Boston’s Chinatown have formed the city’s first new community land trust in over 25 years in an effort to preserve affordable housing in the neighborhood in the face of increasing development pressure.

Questions linger on Boston’s bid to host Olympics

Activists, elected officials call for more transparency

Even after a public presentation by Boston 2024, the private group organizing Boston’s bid to host the 2024 Olympics Summer Games, not everyone is convinced the process is sufficiently transparent.

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Northeastern University preps minority- and women-owned businesses for contracts

Northeastern University is launching a new initiative to help local and minority-owned and women-owned businesses build their capacity to win contracts from Northeastern and other large institutions.

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Community mulls pros, cons of bid for olympics

Roxbury residents wary of Franklin Park use

The United States Olympic Committee’s announcement Jan. 8 that Boston will be its sole U.S. contender for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games — and that Franklin Park in Roxbury could be tapped as an event venue — has created a local flurry of fears, hopes, and most of all, questions.

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Officers address homicide, race, community policing at Rox meeting

Mothers of murder victims seek improvements in relations with Homicide cops

Boston Police Department Superintendent-in-Chief William Gross and Deputy Superintendent John Brown spoke Jan. 10 to a gathering of people who have lost loved ones to homicide in communities of color. The event, held at Roxbury’s Bethel Baptist Church, was organized by the Women Survivors of Homicide movement.

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Search for school superintendent nearing home stretch

Finalists to be introduced in February forums

At a public forum held this week by the Superintendent Search Committee, attendees learned that some 70 people have applied for the Boston job, filled by interim Superintendent John McDonough since Carol R. Johnson’s retirement in 2013. Forum moderator Bob Gittens explained that this large applicant pool has been reviewed and narrowed with the help of the executive search firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates. A winnowed-down group of applicants will be interviewed by the Search Committee in the next few weeks, and by early February, three final candidates will be referred to the School Committee and Mayor Martin Walsh.

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Bike entrepreneur, partners propose Dorchester bike shop/cafe

A long-abandoned former public bath house near Uphams Corner available for redevelopment has sparked the interest of four proposers, among them Dorchester native and self-styled bicycle repair entrepreneur Noah Hicks.

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Good jobs topic dominates Oversight Committee meeting

With a number of major Roxbury development projects poised to advance this year, calls are growing ever louder for the projects to bring good jobs and community benefits.

Tax prep centers help residents with Earned Income Tax Credit

Every year, many lower- and moderate-income Bostonians miss out on what could be a substantial benefit: the Earned Income Tax Credit.

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Summit examines Patrick administration criminal justice reforms

A summit last week highlighted Governor Deval Patrick’s record of criminal justice reforms and provided a forum for conversations on best practices for prisoner re-entry and the use of data to support and sustain reforms.

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Airport cleaners protest health, safety problems

Logan airport service workers along with service union representatives and other supporters rallied Dec. 17 to protest continuing hazardous and unsanitary working conditions for employees of ReadyJet, a cleaning contractor used locally by several airlines.

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Opening soon: Dudley Square’s Bolling Building features wealth of architectural details

When the long-dormant former Ferdinand’s furniture store reawakens as the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building next month, Dudley Square will have a gleaming new centerpiece. Set in motion in 2011 by former Mayor Thomas Menino, the redevelopment promises to grace Boston’s geographic center with a sophisticated exterior that knits together historic and contemporary architecture, an airy modern interior and a sixth-floor community space and roof deck with sweeping city views available to Boston School Department employees, visitors and the public.

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Program puts BPS students on path to Boston teaching jobs

Thirty-six Boston high school students are starting on a seven-year path through high school and college and into teaching careers, thanks to a new Boston Public Schools program aimed at developing a more diverse next generation of teachers.

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Hundreds attend local Brother’s Keeper summit

Mayor Martin Walsh welcomed some 500 community members to a My Brother’s Keeper summit in Roxbury last Saturday. A diverse group of community stakeholders that included local residents, clergy, educators, police and business and nonprofit leaders — as well as a good number of teens — gathered at the James P. Timilty Middle School to help shape the local MBK initiative that aims to improve the opportunities and outcomes for Boston’s boys and men of color.

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Residents reject addiction programs for former Radius Specialty Hospital on Townsend St.

Roxbury residents were vociferous in their opposition to the city’s proposal to site addiction recovery services displaced from Long Island at the former Radius Specialty Hospital on Townsend Street.

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Report shows Latinos underrepresented in local government leadership

A report released this week, “The Silent Crisis: Including Latinos and Why It Matters,” shows that while Latinos make up 17.5 percent of Boston’s population, they hold only 7.5 percent of cabinet, senior staff or chief positions and only 7.1 percent of board and commission seats in city government.

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Governor Patrick signs order on environmental justice

Governor Deval Patrick has signed an Executive Order on Environmental Justice that enhances environmental protections and benefits for communities of color and low-income or limited-English-proficiency communities, groups that bear a disproportionate burden of environmental pollution and toxins.

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Stories from Roxbury’s elders evoke bygone era

Roxbury seniors shared their stories as part of the Roxbury Elder Storytelling Project.

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Mayor vetoes proposed commission on black and Latino boys and men

City Council members reacted indignantly last week to Mayor Martin Walsh’s veto of a proposed new Commission on the Status of Black Men and Boys in Boston that District 7 Councilor Tito Jackson had been championing for the past 10 months.

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Dismay, call to action after ‘sobering’ school report details racial disparities

Following last week’s release of a Boston Public Schools report revealing deep disparities in outcomes for black and Latino males in the Boston schools, community members raised questions and voiced a mixture of emotions and thoughts from dismay and anger to suggestions and passionate hope for change.

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Forum examines challenges women and girls face in jobs, education

Nonprofit leaders discussed the challenges unique to women in girls during a forum presented by Simmons College and the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts.

Report details disparate educational outcomes for blacks, Latinos in Boston schools

The school department released a report this week outlining the challenges black and Latino students face in the city’s education system

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Elder financial abuse a growing problem as population ages

As the ranks of older adults are expected to swell nationwide in the coming decades as the large Baby Boomer generation reaches their 60s and 70s, more and more elders are at risk of being swindled by unscrupulous caregivers and scam artists.

Pay-for-success plan brings Roca to Roxbury

An innovative gang-intervention program opened an office in Roxbury last week.

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Gubernatorial candidates address Latino audience at forum

A gubernatorial candidate forum hosted by Northeastern University and El Mundo Media last week elicited lively exchanges on immigration reform, increasing access to education and creating a Latino-inclusive administration.

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City hosts summit on lead paint danger

With ninety percent of housing units in Boston were built before lead paint was banned, lead is a pervasive danger in the city, yet many landlords and renters do not fully understand the laws around lead paint removal.

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Walsh announces financial empowerment initiative

Mayor Martin Walsh has announced the opening of the Roxbury Center for Financial Empowerment in Dudley Square as part of a new initiative to address income inequality and poverty in Boston.

Coalition calls for wage guarantees for construction on Roxbury projects

A coalition of labor activists secured an agreement from the Roxbury Strategic Master Plan Oversight Committee to push for higher minority participation and higher wages on any new construction on public land in Roxbury.

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City councilors hear testimony on City Realty

Owners of City Realty defended their firm against allegations of doubling rents and forcing out tenants in properties they have acquired during a City Council hearing Monday.

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Hub linkage fees fund $1 million in job training grants

The City of Boston’s Jobs and Community Services (JCS) Office recently awarded over $1 million to 19 community-based employment and workforce development programs.

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Walsh administration calls for 50,000 new units of housing in Boston

The Walsh administration unveiled a sweeping new plan to meet Boston’s growing housing needs.

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Anti-racism bloggers share insights in Ford Hall Forum discussion

Bloggers Spectra Asala, of Spectra Speaks (spectraspeaks.com), Jay Smooth of Ill Doctrine (illdoctrine.com) and Andrew Ti of Yo, Is this Racist?, spoke about anti-racism blogging during a panel discussion hosted by the Ford Hall Forum.

Councilor Tito Jackson to hold hearing on corporate landlords

City Realty has caught the attention of housing activists and the City Council, purchasing dozens of apartments and raising rents.

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Forum pushes gubernatorial candidates on human service issues

The Providers’ Council, a statewide organization of human service providers, held a forum on human services with gubernatorial candidates.

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Roxbury workers stunned by hospital closure

Radius Specialty Hospital is closing its Townsend Street facility, the former Jewish Memorial Hospital.

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Marvin Gilmore celebrates 90th birthday with 200 friends, family members, supporters

World War II veteran and developer Marvin Gilmore celebrated his 90th birthday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Boston.

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Former Massachusetts man raises funds to help ailing Mississippi blues musicians

Edgar Smith, who spent much of his career working in Boston, created a foundation to provide financial assistance to aging blues musicians.

Minority- and woman-owned firms get boost from pilot program

A pilot project of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations and the Massachusetts Minority Contractors Association has brought nearly $39 million in economic opportunity to minority-owned and women-owned business enterprises in its first year.

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Circle the City street fair celebrates vitality of communities along Blue Hill Ave.

In its second year, Circle the City will host a street fair on a mile-long stretch of Blue Hill Avenue September 28.

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