Callie Crossley Commentary

Commentary
12:10 am
Mon May 18, 2015

Despite Steps To Fix DCF, The Journey Will Still Be Long

A week ago yesterday was our national celebration of American mothers. But so often I find myself thinking about the children who aren’t being mothered, even if many of them live with the women who birthed them.

These are the children most at risk for abuse or neglect, the children whose plight is often forgotten until it becomes front-page news.

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Commentary
12:00 am
Mon May 11, 2015

Hollywood On The Charles And The Mass. Tax-Film Credit

There is more to the tax-film credit than dollars and cents.
Credit Denver Public Library

One of my book club members is in the movie business -- sort of. She’s an extra in movies shot in the Greater Boston area. It’s a second career born when she was between jobs.  This year she’s been tapped for multiple casting calls -- one sign that the local movie scene is bigger than ever.

Business is booming because of the Massachusetts tax-film credit.

Movie companies get a 25 percent break on production and a 25 percent break on payroll. The state is one of 43 offering tax credits to entice motion picture production companies to do business outside of Hollywood.

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Commentary
12:01 am
Mon May 4, 2015

'Do You Know Any Looters With Hope?'

A police officer watches a corner market burn in the west side of Baltimore
Credit Eyder Peralta NPR

“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” The opening lines of poet Langston Hughes’ well-known poem, “A Dream Deferred.” Hughes’ words capture the pent up frustrations of black Americans striving to realize the American dream.

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Commentary
8:22 am
Mon April 27, 2015

The Politics Of Humiliation: Why Loretta Lynch's AG Appointment Was Delayed

Senate Republicans put Loretta Lynch's Attorney General appointment into political purgatory for five months.

At long last — confirmation of Loretta Lynch, who now is the first black female Attorney General. The 56-43 final tally included 10 Republicans who crossed party lines to vote for her.

It only took weeks of door knocking on Senators offices, protests in the street, a back room deal, and a hunger strike to make it happen.  All that on behalf of a nominee who should have been a shoo-in. In fact she had been shooed in--Loretta Lynch was unanimously confirmed twice before by the same body, and by many of the same people.

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Commentary
12:07 am
Mon April 20, 2015

Marathon Memorial 2: The Pain It Takes To Forget

Running shoes hang from a memorial near one of two blast sites near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, Wednesday, April 15, 2015, in Boston.
Credit AP Photo

I didn’t think the second anniversary of the Boston marathon bombing could possibly be more powerful than the first one.

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Commentary
12:05 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Here's Hoping That Boston Mayor Walsh Is Serious About A Real Police Review Board

Credit Wikipedia

In St Louis, Missouri what started as a meeting inviting citizen feedback, devolved into a physical brawl of fists and curses between angry community members and local police. The fight back in January was perhaps not unexpected in this city just eight miles from Ferguson and just months after the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Before the St Louis Board of Alderman, a deliberation about the pros and cons of a citizen review board was simply too raw for a civil debate.

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Commentary
12:01 am
Mon April 6, 2015

In Boston: Which Came First, The Parking Spot Or The Car?

Credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/jasoneppink/with/9232689730/ / Flickr

When I told friends years ago I was moving to Boston, most delighted in repeating that old joke about parhking the cahh in Hahvard Yahrd. The joke mocks the clichéd Boston accent, but having lived here for a while, I think it’s also a joke about parking.

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Commentary
12:01 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Has Hillary Clinton Shortchanged History?

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Credit National Public Radio

Whether or not you believe she broke the rules, the ongoing debate raises a variety of legitimate concerns about security, classified documents, privacy, and regulations for government employees.

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Commentary
12:01 am
Mon March 16, 2015

The Charter School Debate Returns — This Time In The Form Of A Lawsuit

Credit Jonathunder / Wikimedia Commons

And we’re back. Just when I thought the debate about charter schools was tabled for the long term, it’s again taken center stage.

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COMMENTARY
1:00 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Growing To Love Valentine's Day

What’s not to like about an occasion where chocolate is pretty much a requirement?
Credit Chrys Omori / Wikimedia Commons

By now even the most clueless must have seen the red hearts and candies and roses for sale. Just four days to go before Valentine’s Day.

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COMMENTARY
8:42 am
Mon February 2, 2015

It's Past Time For Massachusetts To Open Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Boston Gardner in Dudley Square. Owner Jon Napoli wants to open a medical marijuana dispensary next door.
Credit WGBH

It is unconscionable that patients needing medical marijuana are still waiting to get it. Sixty-three percent of Massachusetts voters approved the 2012 ballot initiative making the drug legal for medical use, but bureaucracy, embarrassing procedural errors, and an apparent lack of political urgency have slowed the process to a crawl.

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Commentary
5:37 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Is America Ready For Drones? I'm Not!

A DJI Phantom commercial drone with a Go Pro camera attached underneath.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

My cousin got a drone for Christmas. He’s a gadget geek, and drones are all the rage especially for early adapters of cutting edge technology. It seems to me the popularity of drones has shot through the roof in less than a year. Wasn’t it just a year ago when Amazon president Jeff Bezos made big news when he revealed that Amazon hoped to use drones to make same day deliveries?

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Commentary
12:01 am
Mon January 19, 2015

The Blood, Sweat, And Tears Shed At Selma, Alabama

The real Martin Luther King in real life at the start of the Selma to Montgomery march in 1965.
Credit History.com

Audiences are flocking to see Selma the new Hollywood movie depicting the story of the voting rights campaign in 1965. It’s the story of Bloody Sunday, and the marches from Selma to Montgomery. It is history I know well. It was my great honor to chronicle the events and the people for the documentary series, “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years 1954-1965.”

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COMMENTARY
1:00 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Don't Expect Emotional Closure From The Tsarnaev Trial

In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, second from right, is depicted with his lawyers, left, beside U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr., right, as O'Toole addresses a pool of potential jurors in a jury assembly ro
Credit (AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins)

Week two of jury selection for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and I’m still wrestling with why so many believe his trial will bring closure to the marathon bombing tragedy. Don’t misunderstand-- Tsarnaev must stand trial for the crimes for which he is accused.

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COMMENTARY
12:00 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Castro's Not The Issue — It's The Cuban People

Old Havana, Cuba
Credit Jialiang Gao / Wikimedia Commons

I was a one-time smuggler. I trafficked hand-rolled Cuban cigars. I inched my way through customs dripping with nervous perspiration. I was re-entering the country from Canada, and was petrified my stash of premium Cohibas would be discovered. They were a special gift for a loved one. They were in my boot. It was years ago and that episode ended my cigar smuggling. But if the just announced change in Cuban policy had been in place then, I could have legally bought those cigars here.

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COMMENTARY
1:00 am
Mon December 29, 2014

On Squaring The Past Before Embracing The Future

Credit flickr

I discovered recently that when it comes to greeting the New Year there are two kinds of people. They form two camps of folks– those who only look back, and those who only look forward.

I’m in the look back camp. I just can’t put the old year to bed without a thorough review. I need time for a deep reassessment, a revisit of key experiences during the past 12 months. Some of my friends unkindly call this rehashing. Some have even gone so far as to suggest my new mantra should be the song ‘Let It Go’ from the movie Frozen. No matter. I know what works for me.

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COMMENTARY
1:00 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Dear Young Black-Lives-Matter Protestors

Black Lives Matter protesters in Los Angeles.
Credit Nick Ut/AP via NPR

I hear you. This is YOUR movement. You are the young people who have organized the silent vigils and noisy demonstrations of thousands in Missouri, Berkeley, Boston, and New York.  It is you who have inspired a demographic rainbow of white, black, Asian and Latino in protests at state capitals and courthouses, chanting "Black lives matter".

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COMMENTARY
1:00 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Meet Cosby's Accusers With Belief, Not Skepticism

Bill Cosby as Cliff Huxtable

I’m surprised there is only one "show-me state" in America.

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COMMENTARY
8:57 am
Mon December 8, 2014

It's About Race

A demonstrator holds his hands up on campus at Boston University Dec. 1, 2014 during one of a series of nationwide in the wake of a grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer who killed 18-year-old black Michael Brown.
Credit (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

“What is my future now? What is my future now?” The tortured screams of a New York City demonstrator last week — a young black man driven to the streets in fury and frustration. He was one of hundreds clogging thoroughfares and blocking traffic to protest another Grand Jury’s refusal to indict a police officer, this time for the choking death of Staten Island’s Eric Garner.

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COMMENTARY
3:19 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Darren Wilson Was Not Indicted, But Ferguson Was

Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr., hold up a photo of their son, Michael Brown, as a young child during a news conference Monday, Aug. 11, in Ferguson, Mo.
Credit Jeff Roberson/AP via NPR

Whether or not you believe that Officer Darren Wilson intentionally shot teenager Michael Brown, know this-- what happened to the teen was not an isolated incident.  

Not in Ferguson, where two other young black men have been killed by police since Michael Brown, and where there have been years of complaints about police harassment and excessive force. And not across the country, where the list of fatal shootings of unarmed black young men has grown since Brown’s death.

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COMMENTARY
5:00 am
Mon November 24, 2014

The Internet: 'If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It'

Professor butts and the self-operating napkin.

  Patience may be a virtue but, sadly, not one I possess. Anything in my fast paced life that slows me down –like a sluggish connection to my Wi-Fi network --drives me crazy. There I was the other morning counting down the seconds until the spinning beach ball stopped and the connection locked. Those few seconds of downtime felt like minutes.

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COMMENTARY
4:01 am
Mon November 17, 2014

The Great Immigration Disgrace: A Step Forward

In this June 25, 2014 photo, a group of immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally are stopped in Granjeno, Texas. The epicenter of the recent surge in illegal immigration is a 5-mile slice of deep South Texas th
Credit (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Enough already. I’m tired of the very serious issue of immigration reform being kicked around like the proverbial political football.

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Commentary
12:01 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Ebola: A Nasty Psychological Cocktail

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing makes sense when fear takes over. Which explains why 7 in 10 Americans—according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll---want mandatory quarantines for health workers who’ve treated African Ebola patients, even if they have no symptoms. And why a Pew survey found 41 percent of Americans overall say they are worried about Ebola. Worried about a virus that almost none of us will ever be exposed to, and had hardly thought about a few months ago.

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COMMENTARY
9:53 am
Mon October 27, 2014

The Massachusetts Election By The Numbers

Credit hjl / Flickr

Seven, 17, 23, 25, one. Seven, 17, 23, 25, one: no, not my lottery picks, but numbers I’ve been thinking about in the countdown to next week’s election. Let me explain.

Seven: It’s just seven days until November 4 — voting day — and I’m getting hoarse trying to talk folks into going to the polls. For any number of reasons, chiefly apathy and anger, people I know are saying they are not paying attention to this election.

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COMMENTARY
1:00 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Pinkwashing Breast Cancer

Credit Wikimedia Commons

I hate to be the skunk at the pink garden party. But, some truths must be told about October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the proliferation of pink to mark the annual event.

Thirty years ago breast cancer awareness was a grass roots movement. The pink ribbon was originally peach, designed by 68-year-old Charlotte Haley whose grandmother, sister and daughters were sufferers. Her effort to inform lawmakers and others about the need for more research funding morphed into Breast Cancer Awareness month a massively marketed national campaign.

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COMMENTARY
5:00 am
Mon October 13, 2014

The Ghost Of Charles Stuart Still Haunts Boston

Credit Associated Press

The ghost of Charles Stuart still haunts Boston.

Twenty-four years ago, this month, Stuart, faked a car jacking, killed his wife and unborn baby, and claimed a black man committed the murder. His lie sparked a months long random stop and frisk of every black man in Boston within sight of a policeman.

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COMMENTARY
5:00 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Hyatt: A Cold Case Of Worker Abuse

The Hyatt Regency in Cambridge
Credit WIkimedia Commons/Fletcher6

Their victory is bittersweet. Five years after being fired by Hyatt Hotel, 98 former Boston area housekeepers will split a $1 million settlement.

The hospitality workers union filed suit against local Hyatt hotels after they replaced the housekeepers with lower paid workers.  Hyatt then asked the housekeepers to train them, saying they were vacation fill ins. The replacements were also cheaper $8 an hour versus the housekeepers’ $15 plus benefits. The housekeepers took their story public, and their protests to the streets.

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Local News
8:55 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Child Abuse Vs. Loving Discipline

Where I come from, every kid knows what a switch is.

Memphis is smack in the middle of the Bible Belt where "Spare the rod and spoil the child," is a religious prescription and a cultural assumption. A rambunctious child is always disciplined with more than a good talking to. A "pop" on the behind — sometimes a belt, and sometimes a switch, a small tree branch stripped of leaves.

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COMMENTARY
4:15 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Ferguson Speaks 'The Language Of The Unheard'

Duane Merrells walks with an upside down flag in a protest Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, for Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo. Brown's shooting has sparked more than a week of protests, riots and looting in the St. Louis suburb. (
Credit AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

This commentary was originally published on August 25, 2014.

Tear gas and curfews and cops armed for battle --- a scene reminiscent of the too recent history of this nation’s racial strife.

It might as well be 1964, remarked one observer of the Ferguson, Missouri crisis.

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COMMENTARY
8:41 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Obama Disappoints By Delaying Immigration Reform

President Barack Obama
Credit AP Photo

Only a politician on his way out of office can afford to disappoint.

And so it was two weeks ago lame duck President Obama backed away from his promise to take executive action on immigration reform. To be precise, the president characterized it as a postponement of his longstanding promise, one he said he would fulfill later in the year. Translation: right after the November midterms. A more nakedly political decision would be hard to imagine.

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