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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LOCAL NEWS
7:05 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

Ice Bucket Challenge Results

Credit WGBH Greater Boston

In only a matter of weeks, the Ice Bucket Challenge raised a windfall. 220-million dollars for a disease many had never heard of, ALS.

Steve Perrin runs the “ALS Therapy Development Institute” in Cambridge. Ice Bucket Money is like a turbo-charge. This one lab, among many worldwide, received four million dollars and it’s allowed researchers here to fund, in a matter of months, two new drugs for human testing.

“The two drugs we’ve funded probably wouldn’t have been ready for clinicial development for two to three more years,” said Perrin.

This lab is also using Ice Bucket Money to  expand a program  that tests patient skin cells in hopes of identifying different types of ALS. “The more data we have to understand and stratify and classify patients, the more successful we’re going to be in getting the right drug to the right group of patients,” said Perrin.

Originally capped at 25 patients, the program will now include 300, among them, Mike Wesolowski. “I have what seems to be a slowly progressing variant, at least so far we can tell,” said Wesolowski.

Mike and his wife, Jenn, were on vacation last summer in Portugal.  It was the height of the Ice Bucket Challenge craze, but ALS was the last thing on Mike’s mind when, as he was climbing this castle wall, his body began to give out. In January, doctors diagnosed ALS.

“We would go out for dinner sometimes and our conversations would turn into tears,” said Jenn.

Mike is doing everything he can to stay positive.  But the thing that has been most empowering is being part of the research.  Mike has high hopes for the information his skin sample will yield. “That it will really bring more understanding on molecular level, what’s causing this and what can be done to slow it or stop it,” said Wesolowski. “It’s exciting.”

And, for Mike and Jenn, that may be the most tangible outcome of the Ice Bucket Challenge, a sense that a viral sensation is fueling scientific momentum.  

LOCAL NEWS
7:05 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

Nancy Frates On The Ice Bucket Challenge Round Two

Credit WGBH Greater Boston

Pete Frates' mother, Nancy Frates (@momfrates), discusses the Ice Bucket Challenge, and the road to an ALS cure. 

"The money we raised last year is increasing the speed to get drugs to trials," said Frates. 

Almost a year after the first Ice Bucket Challenge, Frates said, "We've continued to raise money, and the ripple effect has continued." 

The Ice Bucket Challenge won the Grand Prix for Good at the Cannes Lions Festival.  

The Frates are determined to continue the Ice Bucket Challenge "Every August Until A Cure." 

LOCAL NEWS
7:00 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

WATCH: Boston Music School Merger

Credit WGBH Greater Boston

Berklee College of Music is known across the globe as the gold standard in music education. It’s the largest independent college of contemporary music in the world, boasting about a-hundred grammy-award winning alumni.

 

The Boston Conservatory is the oldest performing arts institution of its kind in the nation, teaching not only music, but dance and theater as well, with dozens of Tony award winning and nominated alumni.

 

 

Now, these two institutions are considering becoming one.

      

LOCAL NEWS
7:00 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

Overtime Pay Ruling, Boston Music Merger & Ice Bucket Challenge

Credit WGBH Greater Boston

Former Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (@marthacoakley) and Former Social Security Commissioner Mike Astrue, discuss two Supreme Court rulings that went under the radar this week. 

President of Berklee College of Music Roger Brown and President of The Boston Conservatory Richard Ortner, discuss their potential merger. 

Pete Frates' mother, Nancy Frates (@momfrates), discusses the Ice Bucket Challenge, and the road to an ALS cure. 

LOCAL NEWS
7:07 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

WATCH: Stan Rosenberg & Margaret Marshall On Marriage Equality Ruling

Credit WGBH Greater Boston

Former Massachusetts Supreme Court Justice, Margaret Marshall, and President of the Massachusetts Senate, Stan Rosenberg (@SenStan), discuss the historic same-sex marriage ruling, and the road ahead. 

"I felt totally elated...becuase it started here in Massachusetts," said Rosenberg. 

Margaret Marshall, one of the key players in legalizing gay marriage in Massachusetts, doesn't like thinking about the "me" in making history.  

Transgender rights are, "the next frontier here in Massachusetts," said Rosenberg. Right now, a transgender person in Massachusetts "can be denied the right to be served in a restaurant." 

LOCAL NEWS
7:05 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

WATCH: Boston 2024 & No Boston Olympics Talk Revised Plans

Credit WGBH Greater Boston

No Boston Olympics Co-Chair, Chris Dempsey (@cdempc), and Boston 2024 Communications Advisor, Doug Rubin (@dougrubin), discuss Boston 2024's revised plan for the Olympic games. 

Dempsey, and Massachusetts residents, are most worried about the impact on taxes. "We need a hard guarantee that the IOC isn't going to be calling on Massachusetts tax payers," said Dempsey. 

"It's easy to make promises now," said Dempsey. "It's much harder to come through." 

Boston 2024 is focusing on the impacting legacy of the games. "We think at the end of the day this is a winning plan for Boston," said Rubin. "We believe that the benefits far outweigh the risks."    

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LOCAL NEWS
7:00 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

Boston 2024 Revisions & SCOTUS Equal Marriage Ruling

Credit WGBH Greater Boston

Former Massachusetts Supreme Court Justice, Margaret Marshall, and President of the Massachusetts Senate, Stan Rosenberg (@SenStan), discuss the historic same-sex marriage ruling, and the road ahead. 

No Boston Olympics Co-Chair, Chris Dempsey (@cdempc), and Boston 2024 Communications Advisor, Doug Rubin (@dougrubin), discuss Boston 2024's revised plan for the Olympic games. 

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LOCAL NEWS
7:10 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

WATCH: Kelly Beatty Talks Northern Lights And Jupiter and Venus' Visability

Credit WGBH Greater Boston

J. Kelly Beatty (@NightSkyGuy) discusses the Aurora Borealis, visible just miles from Boston, and Venus and Jupiter's close encounter in our night sky. 

People were able to see the Northern Lights near Boston because "The solar storm, the attack that we were under from the sun, was particularly intense," said Beatty. 

We can see the glow in the sky, "more often than you'd think," said Beatty. "About five to ten times a year."

And on June 30th, the distance between Jupiter and Venus in the sky will be "a third of a degree apart", said Beatty. "It is doggone pretty and I think people should go look for it."

LOCAL NEWS
7:09 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

WATCH: Stephen Crosby On Massachusetts' First Casino

Credit WGBH Greater Boston

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."

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LOCAL NEWS
7:00 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

Affordable Care Act Updates, MA's First Casino & A Look Up Into The Stars

Credit WGBH Greater Boston

The Boston Globe Columnist, Dante Ramos (@danteramos), Former Undersecretary of Massachusetts Consumer Affairs, Barbara Anthony (@BarbaraBAnthony), and Lakeville Representative Keiko Orrall (@KeikoOrrall) discuss the Affordable Care Act ruling. 

Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chair, Stephen Crosby, talks Massachusetts' first casinos. 

WGBH's Adam Reilly (@reillyadam) takes us inside the new Plainridge Park Casino.

And J. Kelly Beatty (@NightSkyGuy) discusses the Aurora Borealis, visible just miles from Boston, and Venus and Jupiter's close encounter in our night sky. 

Local News
1:14 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

Welcome To Plainridge Park: Our Man Reilly Buys Himself $40 Of Fun

WGBH's Adam Reilly takes a gamble on the automated game 'OMG Puppies!' at the newly opened Plainridge Casino-- Massachusetts' first.
Credit WGBH News

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!

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LOCAL NEWS
11:23 am
Thu June 25, 2015

WATCH: Andrew Zimbalist On The Hidden Costs of Boston 2024

Credit WGBH Greater Boston

Smith College Professor Andrew Zimbalist discusses Boston 2024 and the U.S. Olympic Committee's new public opinion poll. 

"First of all, I think if the USOC was serious about Agenda 2020, they would have picked Los Angeles because Los Angeles doesn't have to do all of the building that Boston has to do," said Zimbalist. 

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LOCAL NEWS
7:00 pm
Wed June 24, 2015

WATCH: Tsarnaev Analyzed From Inside And Outside The Court

Credit WGBH Greater Boston

WGBH's Emily Rooney (@EmilyRooneyWGBH), and WGBH's Phillip Martin (@phillipWGBH), discuss the Tsarnaev sentencing. 

Former U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, Donald Stern, and forensic psychologist Robert Mendoza, discuss Tsarnaev's apology. 

Smith College Professor Andrew Zimbalist discusses Boston 2024 and the U.S. Olympic Committee's new public opinion poll. 

LOCAL NEWS
7:15 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

WATCH: Free After 21 Years In Prison

Credit WGBH Greater Boston

Angel Echavarria has just experienced his first month of freedom in 21 years.

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. 

Florence Graves, founding director of the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, has been investigating this case for the past ten years. 

Graves and Echavarria talk the long fought battle for freedom, and readjusting to life outside of prison. 

"The only thing that bothers me is that they're not apologizing," said Echavarria. 

LOCAL NEWS
7:09 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

WATCH: Inside The November Project

Credit WGBH Greater Boston

WGBH's Edgar B Herwick III (@ebherwick3) takes us inside the November Project. 

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. 

LOCAL NEWS
7:00 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

New U.S. Hostage Rules, Prisoner Freed After 21 Years, Tom Brady Appeal Update & November Project

Credit The Boston Globe

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.

Boston Globe Reporter Shira Springer (@ShiraSpringer) and Orpheus Sports and Entertainment Lawyer, Chris Brown, talk Tom Brady's deflategate appeal. 

And WGBH's Edgar B Herwick III (@ebherwick3) takes us inside the November Project. 

LOCAL NEWS
7:25 pm
Mon June 22, 2015

WATCH: Former NH Governor Sununu Talks His New Book

Credit WGBH Greater Boston

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." 

Commentary
7:15 pm
Mon June 22, 2015

IMHO: Will Taking Down A Flag Change Anything?

Protesters stand near a flying Confederate flag during a rally to take down the flag at the South Carolina Statehouse, Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Columbia, S.C.
Credit AP Photo

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. 

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LOCAL NEWS
7:10 pm
Mon June 22, 2015

WATCH: Baker's Task Force Discusses New Opioid Plan

Credit WGBH Greater Boston

The Governor's head of Health and Human Services, Marylou Sudders (@MLSudders), the medical director for substance use disorders at Mass. General Hospital, Dr. Sarah Wakeman, and President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, Steve Tolman (@StevenATolman), discuss Governor Baker's 65 step plan to tackle Massachusetts' opioid epidemic.  

"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." 

LOCAL NEWS
7:00 pm
Mon June 22, 2015

Baker's Opioid War, Confederate Flag Debate & Sununu's New Book

Credit WGBH Greater Boston

The Governor's head of Health and Human Services, Marylou Sudders (@MLSudders), the medical director for substance use disorders at Mass. General Hospital, Dr. Sarah Wakeman, and President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, Steve Tolman (@StevenATolman), discuss Governor Baker's 65 step plan to tackle Massachusetts' opioid epidemic.  

Tufts University professor, Peniel Joseph (@PenielJoseph), and Boston Globe columnist Scot Lehigh (@GlobeScotLehigh), discuss the renewed focus on the confederate flag flying in the state capitol. 

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.

LOCAL NEWS
7:25 pm
Thu June 18, 2015

WATCH: George Mumford On How To Be Mindful

Credit WGBH Greater Boston

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."

LOCAL NEWS
7:08 pm
Thu June 18, 2015

WATCH: James Carroll & Ray Flynn On Pope Francis' Climate Change Message

Credit WGBH Greater Boston

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."  

LOCAL NEWS
7:01 pm
Wed June 17, 2015

'Maybe I Should Have Asked More Questions': Dos Santos's Coach Speaks Out

Jonathan Dos Santos's coach, Paris Cherry (@PastorPCherry12) speaks out on the Dorchester murder. 

"He was a kid who didn't fit the criteria of an at risk youth," said Cherry. "He really talked about wanting to do something positive with his life."

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LOCAL NEWS
6:54 pm
Wed June 17, 2015

Jonathan Dos Santos Coach, Gloucester Opioid Program & Summer Film Remakes

Credit WGBH Greater Boston

Coach of Jonathan Dos Santos, Paris Cherry (@PastorPCherry12), talks the Dorchester murder. 

Gloucester Police Chief, Leonard Campanello (@ChiefGPD) and President of Meredith Management, John Rosenthal, talk Gloucester's innovative drugs-for-treatment approach to deal with the opioid crisis.

WGBH Art's Editor Jared Bowen (@JaredWGBH) and Film Critic Garen Daley discuss the summer trend in movie remakes. 

LOCAL NEWS
7:38 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Greater Bostonians: Parfait Gasana & Wade Cedar

Credit WGBH Greater Boston

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.”

LOCAL NEWS
7:00 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Boston 2024 Updates

Credit WGBH Greater Boston

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."   

LOCAL NEWS
1:56 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Joan Jonas: Video & Performance Art Pioneer

Credit Moira Ricci

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. 

LOCAL NEWS
7:30 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

WATCH: 'It Was A Crazy Kind Of Torture': Alan Cumming On His New Memoir & Abusive Father

Credit WGBH Greater Boston

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."

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