I have a very old car--17 years old to be exact. It might as well be the 19th century when it comes to the navigation knobs. In my car there are no whisper touch digital controls, no GPS on the big screen dashboard, no audio stream pumping out music, talk, and entertainment channels, no apparatus linking my phone to the car.
Strike one for the sisterhood. There she was the only woman in CNN’s Republican debate standing strong among the ten male candidates. Carly Fiorina’s two debate performances catapulted her from near the bottom in the national polls to very near the top. It’s enough to make American women everywhere burst with pride. Right?
Not so much. Fiorina’s increasing prominence has reenergized an ongoing off stage debate –the conversation among women about how to support women with whom you fundamentally disagree.
Many eyes are now on the District 4 City Council race. Last week attorney Andrea Joy Campbell finished first in the preliminary election for the seat held by veteran City Councilor Charles Yancey. She won handily beating him by 823 votes out of 3,422 cast.
She works hard for the money. Singer Donna Summer was right.
And there’s no better time than Labor Day to pay tribute to a woman’s labor, and significant contribution to the economy. A contribution that could be more significant if women earned the same dollar as men, instead of just 77 cents. I get mad every time I think about it.
The incessant telephone calls make my blood boil. The ringing and ringing and ringing—calls revealed by caller ID not to be from friends, or from legitimate callers like my doctor’s office. No, these are phone calls from businesses I have never contacted, and from people – or most likely these days, robots -- I don’t care to know.
Hurricane Katrina looms large in my emotional memory and always will. Three months after the storm hit my father died unexpectedly. Those gale force winds that ripped the Gulf Coast to shreds ten years ago also tore out a large part of my family’s heart. Looking back, I see Katrina, a storm best described in biblical terms, through the lens of a familiar scripture. Proverbs 27:1 says, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” Or, as the church elders always said, “Tomorrow is not promised.”
Please allow me a few moments of unabashed city boosterism.
The Boston Public Market is open at last and I couldn’t be more thrilled. About 20 first day enthusiasts, including me, rushed to the corner of Hanover and Congress streets to be first inside. As doors opened, one woman expressed our collective excitement –“Finally!” she declared.
In this Nov. 6, 2014 file photo, entertainer Bill Cosby pauses during a news conference. Cosby admitted in a 2005 deposition that he obtained Quaaludes with the intent of using them to have sex with young women. In court documents released Monday, July 6, 2015, he admitted giving the sedative to at least one woman.
And now a brief pause from the travails of the world. I don’t know about you but I am psychically weighed down by the recent series of bad news—the terrorist attacks, the Charleston church massacre, the Greek financial crisis, the tornado watches on Cape Cod, and the flash floods and brush fires leveling communities across the country.
I never feel more southern here than when I reflect on growing up in a place where the Confederate flag was sacrosanct. It didn’t take the assassinations in South Carolina’s Mother Emanuel Church for me to know that it is still held in high regard in many of the former states of the Confederacy. I saw it everywhere, including my hometown of Memphis. On any given day I would see the flag on pickup trucks and luxury car bumpers, pinned on lapels, or hanging from charm bracelets. The confederate flag decorated lots of front yards, and flew from too many porches to count.
No matter how it looks, it’s not a simple case of black and white. The twisted tale of Rachel Dolezal — the white woman who reimagined herself black is a comment on American’s fraught racial history and current racial tension. It’s actually an all too familiar context, which often leaves white Americans confused and black Americans angry.
A gunshot knocked 7 year old Divan Silva off his bike and onto the pavement. He was bleeding. He’d been shot in the buttocks. The sound of the gunshot sent his mother running in his direction and strangers coming to his aid. The random gunshot, which hit the second grader, also struck a 20 year old in the head. Neither was a life-threatening wound.
Even though I love fresh vegetables. I’ve never been interested in growing my own produce. Too much work, and I never experienced the much ballyhooed Zen calm often touted by my gardening friends. So when summer arrives I frequent either the small food retailers in my neighborhood, or the large grocery stores. But last year I became a regular at my local farmers markets. During the summer, six farmer’s markets set up shop in my town -- outside on city plazas and parking lots, including one of the oldest and largest located inside a community center.
I rarely take pictures when I’m on vacation, preferring to capture the places I see in my mind. I was following my pattern years ago when I visited Normandy, France, the site of one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. Here on D-day more than 12 thousand Allied troops lost their lives. Standing there overlooking the quiet beach it was hard to imagine the deafening sounds of gunfire and screams when the first waves of Allied soldiers met the barrage of deadly German gun fire.
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.
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.
“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.
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 twicebefore by the same body, and by many of the same people.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.”
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
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.
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.
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.