Callie Crossley Commentary

COMMENTARY
5:00 am
Mon September 1, 2014

Roxbury Innovation Center Gives Dudley A Much Needed Boost

The Roxbury Innovation Center in Dudley Square.
Credit City of Boston

Location, location, location—that’s the well-known adage in real estate. Where a property is located determines its value.

And location has made all the difference for Boston’s Innovation District enhanced by being part of a revitalized waterfront, while Cambridge’s nerd/entrepreneurs have turned Kendall Square from its academic bookishness into a hip tech haven. That same transformative energy is the vision for Boston’s latest innovation hub soon to be located smack in the middle of Dudley Square in Roxbury. 

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COMMENTARY
12:18 pm
Mon August 25, 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

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
5:00 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Why The Boston Public Library Needs Its Head Examined

Credit Flickr/LearningLark

I know a guy who frequently stole books from the Harvard Coop. This was the '80’s, when Harvard Square was alive with the shouts of “free the people.” This guy saw himself as a robber intellectual, and the five-finger discount as an honorable way to stick it to the man.

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COMMENTARY
5:00 am
Mon August 11, 2014

'Simple Fairness' Is Required For Tsarnaev

This courtroom sketch depicts Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev during arraignment in federal court Wednesday, July 10, 2013 in Boston. The 19-year-old has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction, and could face the death penalty.
Credit (AP Photo/Margaret Small)

“Where would you go?”  The questioner demanded, briefly pausing an animated conversation. “Where would you go to find a place where they don’t think Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is guilty?”

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COMMENTARY
12:01 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Why The Obamas Keep Returning To Martha's Vineyard

President Barack Obama and daughter Malia ride their bikes in Manuel F. Correllus State Forest in West Tisbury, Mass., after first lady Michelle Obama, with daughter Sasha, passed by first, Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, during their family vacation on the island of Martha's Vineyard.
Credit (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The First family is once again headed to Martha’s Vineyard. Except for the re-election summer two years ago, they’ve come every year since the president has been in the White House. And I think I know why. But first, when it was announced they would return, an islander named Robert took to the pages of the Martha’s Vineyard Times practically shouting a common question.

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COMMENTARY
1:44 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Vino Commerce Coming to Taxachusetts

Red red wine.
Credit iStockphoto via NPR

I’m generally a glass half empty person-- unless it’s a glass of wine.

But full glass or no, I may have many more options for what I’m pouring into my glass. State lawmakers finally approved a bill allowing Massachusetts consumers to receive direct shipments from out of state wineries.

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COMMENTARY
5:00 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Vino Commerce Coming to Taxachusetts

Red, red wine.
Credit iStockphoto via NPR

I’m generally a glass half empty person-- unless it’s a glass of wine.

But full glass or no, I may have many more options for what I’m pouring into my glass. State lawmakers finally approved a bill allowing Massachusetts consumers to receive direct shipments from out of state wineries.

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COMMENTARY
7:56 am
Mon July 14, 2014

California Protests Against Undocumented Children Recall Boston Busing

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 that has become a hot spot for migrants, human smugglers and drug cartels.
Credit (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

“They are our children now.” A simple message on a sign in Murrieta, California, a quiet sentiment in the deafening crowd of angry demonstrators.

Protestors yelling “Send them home!"

"Them": some of the unaccompanied minors fleeing Central America for the U.S.

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COMMENTARY
8:35 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Fixed Nurse-Patient Ratios Are Needed In More Than Just The ICU

Nurse Danielle Zamerelli checks patient in the intensive care unit at Emory University Hospital Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Atlanta.
Credit (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

If you have ever had a loved one in a hospital intensive care unit, you know. In that sterile scary room, the nurse can be the most important person.

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COMMENTARY
5:16 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Dear New England: I Know Barbeque, You Don't

Credit Memphis in May

It’s barbeque time, and take it from someone who knows. What passes for barbeque around here is, well, not good.

Why do I know? I’m from Memphis where barbeque is imbued in the spirit and soul of the community. The French call it terroir, that environmental “ it” factor which gives their wines that Frenchy essence.  The essence of barbeque is bred in the bones of the people from the River City.

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COMMENTARY
1:00 am
Mon June 23, 2014

50 Years Later, We Need A New 'Freedom Summer'

Freedom Summer activists in Oxford, Ohio in June 1964.
Credit Ted Polumbaum Collection/Newseum via NPR

“How bad could it be?”

That’s the question Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons asked herself as she applied to be a volunteer in a summer project that became known as Freedom Summer. It was 1964 and 20-something Gwendolyn defied her worried family, ramped up her determination, and joined nearly one thousand young people heading to Mississippi, the state synonymous with racial hatred and oppression.

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COMMENTARY
9:44 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Political Infighting Won't Stop 70,000 Minors From Crossing The Border

Of the 15 migrants pictured, three are minors, all traveling alone. The group rests alongside railroad trackes outside Huehuetoca.
Credit Carrie Kahn/NPR

Maybe the children will lead them. The children from Central America who recently crossed into the United States illegally. They have put immigration back in the headlines.

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COMMENTARY
8:29 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Black College Grads Still Face Bias In Job Market

Avielle D. Watkins give a hug to a fellow student as the class of 2014 celebrate during the graduation ceremony at Howard University in Washington, on Saturday, May 10, 2014.
Credit (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The strains of "Pomp and Circumstance" have just about faded from the air. Most 2014 college graduates have exited their ivory towers headed out to enter the world of work.

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COMMENTARY
12:58 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Teen Job Market Becoming A Perfect Storm

Amanda Hebeler takes a reservation at a pizza restaurant.
Credit Charles Rex Arbogast / AP Photo

The headlines are full of stories about young people gone wrong. Remember the kid who got away with murder because of ‘affluenza’, the young men killing strangers to prove their gang mettle, the girl who sued her parents to get college funding, and the roving group of thugs beating up homeless men for fun?

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COMMENTARY
5:00 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Let Us Remember Our Veterans' Sick

Memphis National Cemetery
Credit Wikimedia Commons

My Dad’s faith in the Veteran’s Administration was strong.

Not so surprising since dad was a World War II veteran, part of the so-called Greatest Generation. Even though he had to weather the rampant racism common during his time in the army, he felt great pride in his service. And he felt secure in the benefits afforded him as a vet—he used G.I. subsidies to go to college--the first in his family--and he made a down payment on a house using the same benefits. But, mostly he was confident that his health care would not be a burden for me and my sister.

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COMMENTARY
10:41 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Bring Back Our Girls And Send Them Back To School

Outrage over the more than 100 kidnapped school girls has spread internationally. Here, a protest from last Thursday in South Africa.
Credit Ben Curtis/AP via NPR

On the recent Mother’s Day holiday, many American mothers enjoyed cards, kisses and hugs, but for the Nigerian mothers of more than 200 missing school girls it was just another day of fearful waiting, another day added to the now weeks their girls have been missing.

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COMMENTARY
8:25 am
Mon May 12, 2014

The Importance Of Being Barbara Walters

Barbara Walters on The Today Show in 1973
Credit Courtesy photo

Attention must be paid.  One of broadcasting’s legends will officially retire by week’s end. Barbara Walters is best known today as the creator and host of the daytime chatfest, The View. But, she is also the first woman to sit in the anchor chair on evening news broadcast.

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COMMENTARY
5:00 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Bringing Sexual Assault To Light Is A Good Start

The scene of a crime.
Credit Wikimedia

I got a lot of advice and tips when my niece was accepted to college. None more sobering than that from a friend with two beautiful twin daughters enrolled at top universities in the northeast. She told me she was on a mission to warn parents and relatives of young women about the prevalence of sexual assault on campus.

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COMMENTARY
1:00 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Dudley Square: Poised For Renewal

The Ferdinand Furniture building in Dudley Square. The building is being renovated and will soon house Boston Public Schools headquarters.
Credit Will Roseliep / WGBH News

For many years, I didn’t know the name of the triangle shaped building, which sits on a corner in Dudley Square. But no matter how many times I passed it, my eyes were always drawn to the cobalt blue windows, pristine against the crumbling brick exterior.

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COMMENTARY
10:19 am
Mon April 21, 2014

'Guide My Feet, While I Run This Race'

Runners start the 117th running of the Boston Marathon, in Hopkinton, Mass., Monday, April 15, 2013.
Credit (AP Photo/Stew Milne)

For the last few weeks, I’ve found myself inadvertently humming the words of a favorite old styled hymn, the spiritual "Guide My Feet." The lyric is simple, the first two lines repeated: “Guide my feet, while I run this race, guide my feet, while I run this race.”

"Guide My Feet" is a staple of church choirs, folk and gospel artists because of its message — a humble plea for divine guidance during the race of life.

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COMMENTARY
4:00 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Single Moms, Unemployment And Day Care

Shanesha Taylor was arrested for leaving her two young children in her car unsupervised for nearly an hour while she went on a job interview.

In the picture Shanesha Taylor is staring straight into the camera with tears streaming down her cheeks. It’s her mug shot, taken after the Arizona single mother was arrested for leaving her children in a locked car with the windows slightly cracked.

Horrible as that sounds it’s only part of the story. As Shanesha explained to the arresting officer she had no one to watch her kids while she interviewed for a job. The 35-year-old mother is homeless; she risked leaving her children for a short time for the chance to get work.

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COMMENTARY
12:00 am
Sat March 29, 2014

Get Ready For Even More Political Negativity

This is a fire-breathing Godzilla.
Credit Wikia

It’s a long way to Labor Day, the official start of campaign season, but the airwaves are already full of campaign rhetoric. Even before former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown began his New Hampshire exploratory tour, there were TV commercials urging voters to “Tell Senator Shaheen to be honest.  Obama care doesn’t work.”

And now that Senator Brown is pondering a run, incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen has targeted him with radio spots. “Not so long ago, the ad’s announcer says, “Scott Brown said he was really disgusted with super PAC ads.

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COMMENTARY
12:42 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Massachusetts Is One Big Pothole

Cold patching potholes is only a temporary fix; permanent repair requires hot materials, which can only be applied in weather that is consistently 40 degrees or warmer.
Credit Shutterstock

There’s still a bit of a stubborn cold spell, but we’re heading toward everyday warm weather.

I’m grateful we dodged the last snowfall, but it’s hard to dodge winter’s gritty byproduct—potholes.

Teeth rattling, bottom bouncing, body-shaking potholes. I know because I’m dodging them every day.

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COMMENTARY
7:46 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Little Girls And The 'B-Word'

Between elementary and high school, girls self esteem drops 3.5 times more than boys, according to research.
Credit Ban Bossy

Girls start to hear it in their early years, and women hear it all their lives. The "b" word. No, not that one, b for bossy, the other equally offensive b word.

Little girls who are assertive are called bossy, little boys, leaders. 

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COMMENTARY
7:52 am
Mon March 10, 2014

MBTA Station Naming Rights Are A Win-Win

Credit ockam / Flickr

Name-dropping may still be considered crass in some circles, but in commerce it’s big business.

Corporations around the country have eagerly bought naming rights for the chance to re brand landmark buildings and sports arenas with signage and logos. The New York Mets now play at Citi Field, what was Chicago’s Sears Tower is now the Willis Tower named after the insurance company, and here the old Boston Garden became the Fleet Center and is now the TD Garden. 

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COMMENTARY
4:00 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Winter Weather Woes

Spring is just around the corner... we think.

I know them all by their first names: Barry, Shiri, Mike, Nelly, Chris, Todd, and the two Danielles. 

Boston’s meteorologists and weather casters have become my information port in the storm, appointment viewing throughout this never-ending winter. And I’ve been glued to the screen for the last few days when they began predicting today’s precipitation. 

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COMMENTARY
10:08 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Jason Collins, Michael Sam Signal Shift Away From Stereotypical Black Homophobia

Jason Collins, left, and Michael Sam.
Credit AP Photos

There’s been a seismic cultural shift towards the acceptance of homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and LGBT rights; but few could have predicted a time when African Americans — stereotyped as overwhelmingly homophobic — would become the face of that shift.

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COMMENTARY
8:42 am
Mon February 10, 2014

COMMENTARY: Kaitlin Pearson Is No Role Model

Fitchburg teachers aid Kaitlin Pearson was put on leave earlier this year after someone leaked modeling photos to school officials.
Credit Kaitlin Pearson - Model Facebook page

Fitchburg teacher’s aide Kaitlin Pearson was 2-years-old when an NBA superstar declared he was not a role model. 

It was 1993 and Charles Barkley’s comments sparked a national debate about whether he should be a role model, despite his bad boy reputation on and off the court. Barkley rejected that idea in a Nike ad, insisting parents and teachers should be kids’ real role models.  

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COMMENTARY
1:37 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

COMMENTARY: Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants Are A Practical Solution

Immigration reform may be dead on arrival nationally, but states like Massachusetts are keeping it alive.

This week Massachusetts lawmakers will hold a public hearing on the proposed Safe Driving Bill. It would allow undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses.

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Local News
6:00 am
Mon January 20, 2014

COMMENTARY: Martin Luther King's Fight For The Poor Must Go On

Demonstrators participating in the Poor People's March at Lafayette Park and on Connecticut Avenue, Washington, D.C. in June 1968
Credit Library of Congress

“We are tired of smothering in an air tight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society," said Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., 46 years ago.

It was March 18, 1968, and Rev. King was addressing a rally in Memphis, Tennessee. Gathered together were black sanitation workers on strike for equal pay and conditions, as well as labor and civil rights organizers and local supporters.

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