Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chair, Stephen Crosby, talks Massachusetts' first casinos.
"The whole Commonwealth of Massachusetts has waited a long time for this. You could say 25 or 30 years," said Crosby.
"We're losing ten billion dollars a year of people in Massachusetts gambling in other states. If we do nothing more than bring back that ten billion, Massachusetts will have 250 million in taxes and ten thousand jobs."
On the Plainridge Casino, Crosby said, "It's a very attractive facility, it's in a very convenient location," said Crosby. "For lot of people, this is just a lot of fun."
When Plainridge Park Casino finally opened its doors Wednesday, the crowd that had gathered outside rushed in with urgency.
And the staff treated them like conquering heroes – standing and applauding, heartily, as their enthusiastic customers filed by. At the front of the casino, a velvet-voiced emcee talked up the dining options: Flutie’s Sports Pub! Freshly shucked oysters at Slacks Seafood and Oyster House!
Echavarria was arrested in 1994 and convicted two years later of a murder in Lynn, Massachusetts. He was given a sentence of life without the possibility of parole, but always maintained his innocence.
Then, last month he was released during a bail hearing, after a judge determined the prosecution's case was weak and that his lawyer made errors that could have cost him his case decades ago.
A few days ago, prosecutors announced they would not re-try him.
After climbing 19 sections of Harvard's stadium steps, Herwick sat down with November project co-founders Brogan Graham and Bojan Mandaric.
"The grumps, the scrooges, the non-huggers, the non-athletes, the people that don’t want to try at all, they don’t usually come back and that’s okay," said Graham.
November project co-founders Graham and Mandaric spend most of their time on the road these days, launching November Project communities across the world. To date they are up and running in 19 cities, from Baltimore to New Orleans to Calgary.
Co-Founder of GlobalPost and Founder of The GroundTruth Project, Charlie Sennott (@CMSennott), talks the new rules for American hostages.
Former prisoner, Angel Echavarria, and founding director of the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, Florence Graves, talk about his 21 years behind bars for a murder he says he didn't commit.
Former New Hampshire Governor, John Sununu (@GovernorSununu), discusses his new book, "The Quiet Man, the Indispensable Presidency of George H. W. Bush," and the 2016 Presidential race.
"I have too many friends running in this campaign," said Sununu. "I'm probably not going to endorse anybody. I'm out making sure that the world sees what a good president George Herbert Walker Bush was."
On Clinton's chances at the Democratic nomination, Sununu said, "I think there's a 70 percent chance she will, but not much more than that."
The flag outside the South Carolina capital may be coming down, but there are far tougher issues that re-emerged there.
Charleston mayor Joseph Riley had a message not terribly popular in his home state. "It is insane, the number of guns and the ease of getting guns in America. It just doesn't fit with the other achievements of this country," said Riley.
"I think the most important game changer is that we need to see substance abuse as an illness," said Sudders. "This is a public health crisis...and we need to treat it as a chronic medical condition and we need to focus on public awareness, education, intervention, treatment and recovery. The entire spectrum."
During the press conference, Governor Baker cited Steve Tolman as the first person to start talking about this in a serious way. "I saw the devastation. I talked to the moms and dads...you saw the heartache in the households and one thing led to another," said Tolman.
"No patient that I see ever thought that they would become a heroin addict," said Dr. Wakeman. "Kids are now experimenting with pills the way they used to experiment with marijuana or alcohol."
Sports psychology consultant, George Mumford (@gtmumford) struggled with heroin addiction in his twenties, but went on to become a nationally recognized teacher of mindfulness mediation. Mumford has worked with prison inmates and NBA legends like Michael Jordan.
He outlines his approach in 'The Mindful Athlete,' which drops references to Greek mythology, Carlos Castaneda, and the classic TV series Kung Fu.
Mumford says mindfulness most resonates with, "people who are curious or who are committed to excellence or people in a lot of pain."
Pope Francis' long-awaited encyclical letter on climate change was released today. He described it as a global problem with far reaching environmental and social consequences, and blamed apathy and greed.
In one passage, the pope wrote: "The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth."
There has been widespread reaction to the Pope's message, including from presidential candidates.
Author, James Carroll, and Former Boston Mayor, Raymond Flynn, weigh in on Pope Francis' message.
Flynn said, "This isn't something coming out of the clear blue sky. This is something he's been committed to for a long time."
"[Encyclicals] are statements that really challenge the conscious of catholics. It isn't true that catholics always say yes," said Carroll. "So for the pope effectively embrace the question of climate change..has profound meaning for the Catholic Church."
WGBH’s Stephanie Leydon introduces us to two new Greater Bostonian. These two men hope to influence the evolution of a country with something many of us would be delighted to donate.
Children in Rwanda typically don’t start school until age seven, and even then might not so much as touch a book. Parfait Gasana was born in a refugee camp. His parents fled the 1994 Rwandan genocide that left an estimated 800,000 people dead.
“illiteracy contributed to some degree to the negative history that took place,” said Gasana. “The genocide that took place where the old regime was able to influence people who have no educational background basically.”
English is now one of Rwanda’s official languages and Parfait sees picture books as powerful teaching tools. “I read Curious George. I’m going to be honest here. I didn’t know English -you could see signs, you could see what he was doing”
It’s how he learned English when he arrived in the U.S. at age twenty-three. He then went on to UMass Boston where he earned a Masters Degree in International Relations, and teamed up with a fellow student to launch a plan to get books to children in Rwanda.
Wade Cedar grew up in Newburyport, a world away from Rwanda. But like Parfait, grew up without a permanent home, living at one point in the family minivan. “I found education to be my outlet as well. So when he said he wanted to do something to give these children an opportunity - I couldn’t turn it down”
They found an early ally in UMass Boston Dean Ira Jackson. Parfait and Wade landed in Rwanda's capital city, Kigali last summer with their bags filled with books. They set up the Kigali Reading Center, where kids gather for songs and stories and they can borrow books to take home.
“We had droves of children running down the street barefoot because we were handing out books out of a backpack. And endless, endless children calling out to more friends. They just kept coming. We ran out of books we didn’t have enough. It was amazing,” said Cedar.
Books changed Parfait and Wade’s lives, and they believe they can do the same for Rwanda. The Kigali Reading Center now has thousands of books, and more are on the way.
“We hope that we’re planting a seed in human capital,” said Cedar. “Once we give these children the tools, they teach the next generation.”
Last month, Steve Pagliuca, who made millions turning companies around at Bain Capital took over as chairman of Boston 2024, as that organization looked for a turnaround of its own.
Today, for the first time since getting involved in the Olympics effort, Steve Pagliuca spoke in public about Boston 2024, at an event hosted by BostInno. He addressed Olympic critics, and those who say that the concept of a “walkable” games isn’t feasible, now that some events would be held in New Bedford.
Dorchester Reporter reporter,Lauren Dezenski (@LaurenDezenski), and Boston City Councilor, Josh Zakim (@joshzakim), discuss the evolving Olympic bid. "If you look at this bid 2.0 conversation," says Dezenski, "we still need to see more." "My number one concern is...we don't want to be on the hook for cost overruns," says Zakim. "We don't want to be spending gobs of money on this."
Of all the artists in the United States, only one can be the US representative in this year’s Venice Biennale, the splashiest, most renowned contemporary art event in the world. That artist is Joan Jonas, a video and performance art pioneer. Ever since Jonas acquired her first video camera in 1970, much of her art has been committed to the screen.
“She came up during a time when many artists in New York’s downtown scene were undertaking a range of different experimental practices that went outside of the studio and into the landscape, working with the body, working in dance, working in ephemeral forms, that she was very much part of,” said Henriette Huldisch, curator of MIT’s List Visual Arts Center, which is looking back at her career with a retrospective running through July 5. Jonas has “always pushed forward,” said Huldisch, “You can see both a real arch and a real development but also an incredible consistency of imagery and motifs throughout her work.”
These qualities have made her, including at age 78, consistently contemporary. And they are the reason why Paul Ha, the director of the List Center, thought Jonas was a natural to serve as the U.S. representative to this year’s Venice Biennale.
“She actually didn’t want to do it,” said Ha, “She didn’t want me to submit.”
Modest to a fault, Jonas was chosen, and a collection of new work is now on view at the U.S. pavilion.
“If you’re fortunate enough to experience her performances, you see how contemporary she is, and by using modest means: video projection, sound, musicians joining her,” said Ha.
Jonas’ colleagues point out that her pieces are in no way autobiographical. But they are very much inspired by place, including her annual sojourns to Nova Scotia.
“She draws a lot of source of inspiration from nature,” Huldisch said “There’s a sense of mystery. She is incredibly inspired by literature, myth, fairytale, but other kinds of fictional storytelling as well.”
“Volcano Saga,” featuring a young Tilda Swinton, is Jonas’s interpretation of an Icelandic myth.
“One of the things she was particularly interested in was that this saga features a female protagonist, which is very, very rare if you look at myth and legends of the world,” said Huldisch.
Sometimes it’s lonely at the vanguard. Jonas spent most of her career without major museum recognition, until now, when the world is watching and the response has been rapturous.
Masterpiece Mystery! host and 'Good Wife' actor, Alan Cumming (@Alancumming), discusses his emotional memoir 'Not My Father's Son.' The memoir explores Cumming's painful childhood, an exploration into his ancestry and his emotionally and physically abusive father.
"He would get me to do something that I couldn't do...and then of course I would fail at it," Cumming recounted, "And I would know he was going to hit me...but also I knew that he was intending me to fail before I did it, so it was mental torture as well."
Former media consultant for George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, Patrick Griffin (@PatWGriffin), and former democratic Representative from New Hampshire, Richard Swett(@rnswett), talk developments in the 2016 presidential race, and American political dynasties.
The list of African-Americans killed by lethal police force in the last year is chillingly long: Michael Brown in Ferguson, Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Freddy Gray in Baltimore and Walter Scott in South Carolina, just to name a few. Their deaths have fueled the national movement known as 'Black Lives Matter,' sparking mass protests, sometimes violent.
Then there's Boston, where two recently fatal shootings by law enforcement have not come close to eliciting the same reaction. WGBH News Reporter Adam Reilly (@reillyadam) takes us deeper.
In Boston, "you have police leaders who are quite sincere about getting the info out as quickly as possible," Reilly reports.
Medical Marijuana of Massachusetts, a non-profit headed by Former Congressman Bill Delahunt, was originally awarded three medical marijuana licenses. But just five months later, those licenses were revoked, along with those of about half a dozen others.
The company filed a lawsuit, and a judge later overruled the decision, saying the state didn't follow its own rules. While the company can move forward with two of the licenses, Delahunt has already moved on, leaving the company and now working with a group that's focused on opiate addiction.
Delahunt, opens up about what he calls the unethical and adversarial process to win a medical marijuana license. "How many lives could have been saved?" Delahunt asks, "if physicians had the right to administer [medical marijuana] for pain."
"For a long time it didn't receive the attention that it should have," says Delahunt.