Greater Boston

Weekdays at 7 p.m. on WGBH 2

Jim Braude delivers news with local depth and local perspective through conversations with the people who bring Boston to life.


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8:06 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Is It Time To End Mandatory Minimum Sentences In Mass.?

Mandatory minimum sentences, which require judges to sentence drug offenders to a minimum sentence even if they believe leniency is merited, are a hot debate in Massachusetts, thanks, in large part, to a single statement made two weeks ago by the chief justice of the state's Supreme Judicial Court, Ralph Gants.

I am convinced that mandatory minimum sentencing in drug cases will be abolished; the only question is when...Because doing so makes fiscal sense, justice sense, policy sense, and common sense.

The responses to that came fast and furious, including from Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley, who said it was an effort to return to a failed policy of 30 years ago.

Former federal Judge Nancy Gertner and former Essex county prosecutor Bill Fallon hashed it out.

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7:00 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Tsarnaev Defense Rests, Mass. Education Secretary & Tom Brady's Jump

Closing arguments will be heard Monday in the Marathon Bombing trial. Today, the defense rested after calling just four witnesses. Adam Reilly was in the courtroom again today.

Harvard Law professor Noah Feldman, Rev. Jeffrey Brown, of Roxbury’s Twelfth Baptist Church, and Boston Public Radio co-host Margery Eagan discuss 

State Education Secretary James Peyser answers questions about the Baker administration's support for charter schools and whether a no-new-taxes governor can close the achievement gap in Massachusetts. 

Some very different types of Patriots fans weigh in on the video-gone-viral of Tom Brady jumping off a cliff. 

Finally, Jim salutes the response of Boston’s top police officers to this weekend’s shooting of a cop.

11:34 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Marathon Bombing Trial, Mandatory Minimum Sentences & Kennedy Institute

The government rested its case in the Marathon bombing trial, in dramatic fashion. WGBH's Emily Rooney and Adam Reilly were both in the courtroom.

Is it time to end mandatory minimum sentences in Massachusetts? Former federal Judge Nancy Gertner and former Essex County prosecutor Bill Fallon take up that issue and more. 

Hear the heartfelt tributes to Ted Kennedy at today’s dedication of the Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate, and Jim recounts his personal experience with the man known as the Liberal Lion of the Senate.

Local News
5:59 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

The Case Against Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, The Prosecution Rests

In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is depicted sitting in federal court in Boston. Tsarnaev is charged with the April 2013 attack that killed three and wounded more than 200.
Credit (AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins)

After 15 days of testimony and 92 witnesses the government rested its case at noon Monday in the trial of admitted marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The first people to testify were those who lost the most, Bill Richard, the father of 8-year-old Martin Richard, who died at the scene; and a friend of Lingzi Lu talked about holding her hand until her last breath.

We heard from people who lost limbs: Roseann Sdoia and Jessica Kensky, a double amputee.

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7:10 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

WATCH: MIT Grad's Mission: Build A Wheelchair That Works Anywhere

Scolnik in Haiti, helping a woman use her creation, a wheelchair that looks like a cross between one of those chairs you see in road races and a mountain bike.
Credit Courtesy of Tish Scolnik

As an MIT freshman, Tish Scolnik considered becoming a doctor, but then something caught her eye: an ad for a class called "Wheelchair Design for Developing Countries." 

The class turned into a calling and a major, mechanical engineering. She won grants for trips to far-flung villages, from East Africa to India, where she met one wheelchair user after another, all facing the same predicament.

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7:00 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Future Of Mass. Gaming, Marathon Bombing Trial & Combatting Youth Violence

On what has been an historic week for casinos in Massachusetts, Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby looks at what lies ahead.

The jury heard some of the most difficult testimony yet today in the Marathon Bombing trial when the medical examiner took the stand. WGBH's Adam Reilly was in court.

The decision on whether to spend a billion dollars to expand the South Boston Convention Center lies in Gov. Charlie Baker’s hands. Jim asks our caucus if it’s a good idea or if there are better places to spend the money. Pioneer Institute fellow Charlie Chieppo, Democratic state committee member Mara Dolan, and BASE founder Robert Lewis Jr. weigh in.

Plus, how a local gym is working to keep some of the city’s most violent young men off the streets and out of jail.

Finally, hear Jim out on why the American workweek should be shortened to four days.

7:00 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Tsarnaev Trial, College Safe Spaces & Greater Bostonian

With the prosecution expected to wrap up its case tomorrow in the Marathon bombing trial, what has the defense been doing to convince jurors to spare the life of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev? WGBH's Emily Rooney and Adam Reilly hash it out.

Plus, college safe zones and trigger warnings are meant to protect kids from disturbing things, but do they do more harm than good? Boston Globe editorial writer Marcela Garcia, Harvard Kennedy School ethics lecturer Christopher Robichaud, and New England School of Law adjunct professor Wendy Murphy weigh in.

Meet the young inventor who’s changing the lives of wheelchair users around the world. 

Finally, Jim shares his innermost feelings on a very special and trendy piece of equipment, the selfie stick.

8:10 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

The Back Bay Blaze, 1 Year Later: 'Firefighters Are Willing To Die For Strangers'

Firefighter Michael Kennedy and Lt. Edward Walsh, who were killed in a Back Bay fire Wednesday.
Credit Boston Fire Department

It was a year ago this week that Boston lost Lt. Edward Walsh and firefighter Michael Kennedy, who died after running into a burning building in the Back Bay, trying to save others. 

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7:00 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Paid Parental Leave, Olympics Reversal & Anniversary Of Back Bay Fire

Did you know that City of Boston employees who take time off to care for their newborns don’t get paid for it? Councilor Michelle Wu co-sponsored an ordinance to get paid parental leave for the city's men, women and same-sex couples. She's joined on set by Jon Hurst, the president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts.

Boston’s Olympics organizers now want you to vote on their plan to bring the games here. Our nightly caucus weighs in on Boston 2024’s change of heart, as well as Monica Lewinsky's re-emergence to speak out on something she knows a lot about: cyber-bullying. Hear from Harvard Business School historian Nancy Koehn, 2014 Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor and president of the Mass. Military Heroes Fund Steve Kerrigan, and Republican Rep. Keiko Orrall.

Nearly a year after the deaths of two Boston firefighters, the city’s fire commissioner, Joseph Finn, looks back on the loss and how their legacies live on.

7:00 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Voting For Boston 2024, Race For 2016, MA Minimum Wage & #RaceTogether

Support for Boston’s Olympic bid has tripped out of the starter’s gate. Now, Boston 2024 says it won’t go forward without public support. Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim and United Independent Party founder Evan Falchuk have proposed ballot questions to gauge just that.

Elizabeth Warren says no White House bid, but the Globe says, "Run, Liz, run." Our nightly caucus weighs in on that and the $9 minimum wage in Massachusetts. Hear from Sen. Bruce Tarr, a Republican from Gloucester, former New Bedford Mayor Scott Lang, and Boston Globe business columnist Shirley Leung.

Just a week after its launch, Starbucks has scrapped its plan to promote a conversation on race. The idea was for Starbucks’ baristas to engage customers by writing the words "Race Together" on customers’ coffee cups. But as WGBH’s Edgar B. Herwick III tells us, much of the response online was scalding hot. 

Jim tells two stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

6:55 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Evan Falchuk & Josh Zakim Pushing Vote On Boston Olympics

Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim and United Independent Party founder Evan Falchuk, explained their reasons for supporting city and statewide ballot questions, respectively, about Boston's bid for the 2024 Olympics.
Credit WGBH News

Support for Boston’s Olympic bid has tripped out of the starter’s gate. Now, Boston 2024 says it won’t go forward without public support. Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim and United Independent Party chairman Evan Falchuk have proposed ballot questions to gauge just that, hoping to provide a place for voters to weigh in, maybe even have the final say.

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Local News
6:00 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Minimum Wage In Mass. Is Rising — But Can You Live On It?

Kathy Brown's nametag hangs from her Shaw's work uniform.

When Kathy Brown needs to get somewhere, she walks. Bundled in a dark parka and wearing a bright pink backpack, she has weathered this winter on foot.

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12:03 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Efforts On 2 Fronts To Legalize Marijuana In Mass.

Glenn Prescott said he’s been smoking pot since the sixth grade and, legal or not, he has no plans to quit.
Credit Stephanie Leydon / WGBH News

It takes a couple of tries, but on a windy morning on Boston Common, Glenn Prescott succeeds in lighting a joint. He’s breaking the law, but if police catch him, he’d only face a fine. Possessing less than an ounce of pot is a civil violation, but buying it is still a crime.

"If the cops pull up, that's—you’re dealing drugs, they consider that drugs,” said Prescott, “You get arrested, and then a record and stuff like that, so I’m scared when I got to get it sometimes."

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7:00 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Marijuana In Mass., Participatory Budgeting & Jim And Jared's Theater Trip

We’ve decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana and said OK to its medical use. Is outright legalization the next step? Should it be? We discuss the issue of marijuana in Massachusetts with State Rep. David Rogers, a Cambridge Democrat who’s co-sponsoring the pending bill that would legalize marijuana; and Walpole PD Deputy Chief John Carmichael, who opposes the bill.

The city of Cambridge is trying out a new system to decide how to spend its money called participatory budgeting, with anyone 12 and older voting on how to spend half a million dollars. Meanwhile, the MBTA was just a bit more crowded this morning, as dozens of lawmakers took to the tracks. But to what end? We’ll take up those questions with our nightly caucus: Cambridge City Councilor Nadeem MazenTiziana Dearing, who teaches social innovation and leadership at Boston College, and Jennifer Nassour, the founder of Conservative Women for a Better Future.

WGBH Arts Editor Jared Bowen took Jim to the theater and see a play like no other, Company One Theatre's production of "Shockheaded Peter," a musical based on a popular German children’s book written in 1845.

Finally, hear Jim out on Donald Trump as a Republican candidate for president in 2016.

7:00 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Galvin On Public Records, Olympics As Cash Cow? & Gardner Theft Investigation

Secretary of State William Galvin responds to tough criticism over Massachusetts’ public records laws.

It’s a tale of three headlines: Boston is among the worst in income inequality, housing is even less affordable, and Olympics boosters are promising thousands of jobs. We'll ask our caucus if one could help cure the others. Hear from Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson,  former City Councilor and candidate for Boston Mayor Mike Ross, and MassGOP chairwoman and Quincy City Councilor Kirsten Hughes

We’re going deep inside the investigation of the Gardner Museum theft, with the museum's security director Anthony Amore, and longtime Boston Globe investigative reporter and author Stephen Kurkjian.

And hear Jim out on embracing "good enough."

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6:19 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

WATCH: Sec. Of State William Galvin Responds To Criticism Over Public Records Laws

Secretary of State William Galvin.
Credit WGBH News

The editors of the three most powerful editorial pages in Massachusetts Tuesday night gave an impassioned plea to remove obstacles to the public accessing public records. Now, we’re hearing from the man who administers the law, Secretary of State William Galvin.

5:31 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Gardner Museum Security Director: 'We'll Get The Paintings Back'

The FBI has been searching for the 13 missing pieces of art since 1990.
Credit FBI

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s security director, Anthony Amore, is never far from his work searching for the 13 missing pieces of art lifted from the museum a quarter century ago.

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7:15 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

WATCH: At The Gardner, The Inside Story Behind The Biggest Art Theft In American History

Édouard Manet, Chez Tortoni, about 1875, oil on canvas
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

It was 25 years ago tonight when thieves masquerading as Boston police officers entered the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and pulled off the biggest art heist in American history. They stole 13 works now valued at more than $500 million. In the interim years, the museum’s director, Anne Hawley, has not spoken a lot about the case. But she recently sat down with WGBH Arts Editor Jared Bowen for her only TV interview on the subject.

See the missing works in the slideshow above. 

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7:00 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Boston Media Join Forces, Mass. Film Tax Credit & Gardner Museum Heist

The state’s most powerful editorial pages joined forces this week, in a rare show of solidarity, calling for more public access to supposedly public information.  See The Boston Globe's Ellen Clegg, The Boston Herald's Rachelle Cohen and The Patriot Ledger's Amy MacKinnon on set, together.

The Massachusetts film tax credit could be on the chopping block if Gov. Charlie Baker has his way with the end goal of doubling the state’s Earned Income Tax credit. We take up the question of women in high-power political jobs with former gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley, Fitchburg Mayor Lisa Wong and former Congressman Peter Blute.

The director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum talked to WGBH News Arts Editor Jared Bowen in her only TV interview about the unsolved theft of a quarter century ago.

Finally, hear Jim out on what legislators might consider to get out the vote.

Local News
12:03 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

The Challenges Of A Courtroom Sketch Artist

Compare the depiction of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the left, by Collins, to the one on the right, done by Art Lien.
Credit Jane Flavell Collins / Art Lien

The biggest story in town is unfolding inside the Moakley Courthouse, but because no cameras are allowed inside federal court, news photographers are left out in the cold.

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7:00 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

The Infamous Boat, Cameras In The Courtroom & Apple Watch

Dramatic testimony and a visit to the infamous boat highlighted day seven of the Marathon Bombing trial. But only two members of the press were let in on the trip. WGBH News special correspondent Emily Rooney couldn't go but got a briefing and was at the courthouse all day. She gives her perspective on cross-examinations of police officers at the Watertown shoot-out and the death of Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

As long as cameras are banned from federal courtrooms, we have to rely on illustrators' sketches. As WGBH’s Stephanie Leydon found out, the artists who create those images work under challenging conditions, to say the least. Our nightly caucus, tonight made up former Massachusetts House Speaker Tom Finneran, DJ Dream Fund co-founder Danroy Henry Sr. and retired U.S. Federal Judge Nancy Gertner, debates cameras in federal court.

Is the Apple Watch really the be-all-end-all of wearable tech? Boston Globe technology columnist Hiawatha Bray weighs in. 

Finally, hear Jim out on municipal electric companies.

4:09 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Dennis Lehane On His Newest Book And Missing Boston's Attitude

Author Dennis Lehane's new book follows Joe Coughlin into middle age.

Dennis Lehane's gripping books are the things Hollywood movies are made of: "Mystic River," "Shutter Island," "Gone Baby Gone." Now, Lehane has a new book out, "World Gone By."  

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1:18 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

After OU Expulsions, Debating The Limits Of Free Speech

University of Oklahoma's Student Union, Evans Hall, and Bizzell Memorial Library
Credit Nicholas Benson, via Wikimedia Commons

Following the expulsion of two students at the University of Oklahoma for blatant racism, longtime civil liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate and Tufts University Center for Race & Democracy founding director Peniel Joseph debated over the true limits of free speech and whether the punishment fit the crime. 

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9:35 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Greater Bostonian: Marvin Martin Reimagines Dorchester’s Four Corners

Marvin Martin has helped reclaim one of the city’s most dangerous corners.
Credit WGBH News

For years, the commuter rail passed by but never stopped at Dorchester’s Four Corners, another slight for a part of town that was largely ignored. Drug deals and gang violence dominated life there. Outsiders avoided it, residents wanted to leave— who could blame them?

For the past 20 years, Marvin Martin has devoted most of his waking hours to changing the reputation and the reality of this neighborhood.

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7:04 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

First Amendment Debate, Early Parole & Dennis Lehane

What began a vile, racist chant by members of University of Oklahoma fraternity has become a legal battle: does the Constitution protect it? Civil liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate and Tufts University history professor Peniel Joseph debate the limits of free speech.

Tonight's caucus members are The BASE founder Robert Lewis, Jr., Boston Herald contributing columnist Jennifer Braceras, and former candidate for Massachusetts governor Juliette Kayyem. They cover the Pamela Smart case, the First Amendment debate, and Boston's Olympics bid.

Boston native and Jim's favorite author Dennis Lehane discusses his new book, which includes a character you just might recognize.

Finally, Jim calls himself a hypocrite for continuing to cover the Boston St. Patrick's Day breakfast and complain about it the next morning. But this year, the parade is the real story. 

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7:37 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Marathon Bombing Trial, MBTA Trouble & Our First 'Greater Bostonian'

Get a closer look at the Marathon bombing trial, what each side is really trying to accomplish, and whether they’re succeeding, with WGBH News reporter Adam Reilly and GroundTruth Project Executive Director Charles Sennott

Next, our nightly caucus takes up what ails the MBTA and whether the T-word, "taxes," is part of the cure. Hear from Charlie Chieppo, of the Pioneer institute, Michael Curry, president of the NAACP in Boston, and Shirley Leung, a business columnist at the Boston Globe on that, as well as gender quotas and the future of City Hall Plaza.

Then we meet the man who helped revitalize one of Boston’s toughest areas in a new series we’re starting called "Greater Bostonian."

Finally, hear Jim out on why, in his words, "New Hampshire, the first primary state, has far too much power."

6:54 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Mayor Walsh, Caucus On Clinton Email Controversy, And 'The Colored Museum'

Mayor Marty Walsh joins talks about the Olympics, public schools, casinos and more.

Then former Public Safety Secretary Andrea Cabral, former Social Security Commissioner Mike Astrue and WGBH News Reporter Adam Reilly weigh in on that one-on-one, as well as Hillary Clinton's email controversy, the Boston 2024 Olympics payroll and pension payouts. 

Finally WGBH News Arts Editor Jared Bowen tell us about a new show at The Huntington, "The Colored Museum," is pushing the envelope on racial stereotypes.

8:52 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

WATCH: Baker, DeLeo, And Rosenberg: A Study In Comity

Host Jim Braude with House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Gov. Charlie Baker and Senate President Stan Rosenberg.
Credit Meredith Nierman / WGBH News

Kicking off his first Greater Boston with a bang, Jim Braude has the big three of Beacon Hill as you've rarely seen them: Gov. Charlie Baker, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stan Rosenberg are on together to talk about the budget, Boston's Olympic bid and more.

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4:07 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Question Of 'Alleged,' Disturbing Details And Rants & Raves

Watch the whole show, or see segments by clicking the links below.

  • Question of "alleged": Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's defense attorney said he did it. Should the media?
  • Disturbing details: What to report on the Boston Marathon bombing, and when to pull back?
  • Rants & Raves: Our panel of journalism experts on the media's hits and misses this week.

Have an idea for next week or a rant or rave about this week? Let us know in the comments section.

11:06 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Emotional Testimony In Tsarnaev Trial, Women In Gaming & Braude On The Hot Seat

Watch the whole show above, or see segments by clicking the links below.

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