THE GREEN and yellow Brazilian flag adorns many downtown shops in Framingham, reflecting the pride of the town’s dominant immigrant group. But as much as the waves of Brazilian immigrants have transformed Framingham over the past 30 years, the town has been a melting pot for generations — only slightly more than half of its immigrants are from Brazil. One in four Framinghamites is foreign born.
All the same, immigration continues to cause political friction even in a town seemingly accustomed to newcomers of all nationalities. For here a microcosm of the national immigration debate played out very intensely on the local level: Town Meeting members faced a vote to require the town-funded English as a Second Language program to check the immigration status of its students to qualify for two classes funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Globe subscribers can read the entire column here.
Westborough High School students were victors at the debate competition held as part of the 2013 Boston International Economic Summit on Dec. 4.
The winning team, which beat 97 others, was made up of Ivan Truong, Adhithyan Krishnan and Maxwell Silverman. The debates focused on how best to improve the global economy.
The Summit marks the end of a semester-long program that teaches students the basics of international economics, global trade, political relations, and world geography.
“In today’s global economy, it’s vitally important to prepare students with experiences that really broaden their knowledge of issues facing countries around the globe," said Eduardo Garrido, director of Santander Universities US, one of the event's sponsors.
Other sponsors included the Challenger Foundation, Gillette Stadium and Patriot Place, the Massachusetts Council on Economic Education, and the International Economic Summit Institute at Boise State University.
Shandana Mufti can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Shujie Leng BU Washington News Service WASHINGTON–Trained service dogs can provide many therapeutic benefits to military veterans suffering from both physical wounds and post-traumatic stress syndrome, Rep. James McGovern, D-Worcester said Tuesday…
Milford voters emphatically rejected a $1 billion Foxwoods-backed gambling resort on Tuesday, crushing a casino proposal five years in development, and shrinking the field of applicants for the state’s most lucrative gambling license.
The casino plan proposed by Foxwoods and its partners, the last of 11 original Massachusetts casino or slot parlor applicants to reach the ballot box, joins a prominent list of pricey projects to die at the hands of the voters.
“There was always a lot of opposition,” acknowledged somber Foxwoods chief executive Scott Butera, after the votes were counted. “We tried to change people’s minds and educate people, but we weren’t able to do it. “It just wasn’t meant to be.”
The Bay State suburbs have proven to be the graveyard of casino dreams, and Milford voters followed suit, defeating the proposal 6,361 to 3,480 in a town-wide referendum. Turnout was 57 percent of 17,400 registered voters, according to the town clerk’s office.
SHREWSBURY, Mass. (AP) — Authorities say an 86-year-old man has died in a house fire in Shrewsbury the chief says was difficult to fight because of a large amount of material in the home and a maze-like layout.
Chief James Vuona tells The Telegram & Gazette that resident Richard Hosking had to be rescued by firefighters and died later Wednesday night at the hospital.
His wife, 85,-year-old Anne Hosking, got out on her own but was taken to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation and is expected to survive.
He says firefighters who entered the home were hampered not only by thick black smoke, but a large amount of accumulated belongings and a complicated floor layout.
The cause remains under investigation. The state Fire Marshal’s office is assisting.
Hopkinton, where I live, is 26.2 miles from the heart of the city, as every runner knows. Realtors around here talk up the ease of the commute to the city, and technically, they’re right. We can walk to the Ashland station, bike to the one in Southborough, or drive to either and take advantage of usually ample parking.
Yet in the past six months, I’ve taken the train into Boston just once. Some of my neighbors never use it all. The service is too much like convenience-store coffee: promising, but ultimately disappointing. It takes too long and costs too much.
Globe subscribers can read this column here.
The state this week announced several major transportation projects, including plans to straighten part of the Massachusetts Turnpike that cuts through Allston and reconfigure exit and entrance ramps as well as some local roads.
State officials said the project will relieve traffic congestion and the pollution it produces, while opening up land for development.
The estimated $260-million, multi-phase project is scheduled to start in fall 2016 and be completed by 2020, according to the state transportation department.
The state said it is currently considering at least two options, or “conceptual alignments,” to straighten out I-90 and reconfigure ramps around the Allston-Brighton toll area, officials said.
The Pike’s alignment and interchange configuration there was originally driven by the layout of the abutting Beacon Park rail yard, transportation department spokesman Michael Verseckes said.
But, a large chunk of land in the rail yard was freed up several months ago when railroad company CSX Corp. vacated the property to move its operations to Westborough and Worcester.
As part of that move, CSX entered a purchase-and-sale agreement to sell the 80-acre rail yard to Harvard University, which, in its newly-approved master plan, says it hopes to eventually use the property as “enterprise research campus” space, but in the near-term will likely use the land for “construction support activities” as it builds out other projects.
Meanwhile, the state will maintain its transportation easement rights around the rail yard property, which will allow it to straighten the turnpike, preserve space for its commuter rail operations and reconfigure “the ramps and existing connections such that the area's future development potential can be maximized,” Verseckes said.
State officials said they expect the pike straightening project will open up about 60 acres of land for future development.
The project will replace a nearly half-mile long, “structurally deficient” viaduct that includes 29 bridge structures built in the mid-1960s, state officials said.
“Right now, MassDOT is evaluating the condition of the elevated portion of the turnpike in this area to identify any and all deficiencies,” Verseckes said.
And, officials said it will reduce congestion allowing traffic to flow through the area faster, which will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks that often inch along as they try to travel there during rush hour.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation said its Highway Division will coordinate the project “with federal, state and city representatives and conduct public outreach with business, educational and other area institutions in the area.”
“In the next several months, MassDOT will be working with stakeholders and abutting landowners to refine the designs, identify any potential environmental impacts, and move forward with a plan that reduces congestion in this area by simplifying the roadway's profile,” said Verseckes.
“The nearly 50-year-old Turnpike viaduct in Allston carries more than 100,000 vehicles daily and no longer meets today’s needs,” said a statement from the department’s Highway Administrator Frank DePaola. “This project will allow us to straighten the roadway, replace and reduce the length of the viaduct, and to better support and maintain the future all electronic tolling format at the interchange.”
Governor Deval Patrick announced the turnpike straightening plan and three other projects Tuesday: more details about the previously-announced plan to convert the turnpike to all-electronic, open road tolling; a $1.3 billion project to replace and increase the capacity of Red and Orange Line trains, and to replace the Clayton Street Bridge in Dorchester.
The Patrick administration reinstated tolls overnight on the western end of the Massachusetts Turnpike, between Interchange 1 in West Stockbridge and the junction of I-291 at Interchange 6 in Springfield.
The state estimates it will collect $12 million from the tolls, money that by law may not be spent on turnpike construction or maintenance east of Interstate 95/Rte. 128.
The state Department of Transportation says the funds could pay for bridge deck replacement and resurfacing, bridge cleaning and painting, and bridge and culvert repairs, as well as service plazas and maintenance depot roof projects.
The following is a release from the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation
After more than a decade in business, Boston Biomedical Associates (BBA) is set to join one of Massachusetts’ most-thriving biotech communities—the City of Marlborough.
The biotech product consultancy’s owner and president Dr. Lauren Baker made the announcement today at a regional industry networking event, organized by the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio).
Speaking to more than 100 members of the region’s life sciences community, Baker said that BBA expects to relocate its Northborough headquarters to Marlborough in April 2014. The company will take up 17,000 sq.ft. of the second floor of 100 Crowley Drive, just off of Fitchburg Street and the I-290 Connector.
"Boston Biomedical Associates is extremely pleased to announce our relocation to the City of Marlborough and 100 Crowley Drive," said Baker. "We chose Marlborough as our new home because this community has a strong reputation of supporting the biotech industry and healthcare companies like ours, and we want to be a part of such a dynamic working environment."
BBA, a MassBio member, will be moving its 52 Massachusetts-based employees upstairs from the corporate headquarters of Park Place International, a healthcare IT services provider with offices across the U.S. and 45 employees in Marlborough.
“I’m pleased that my vision for this building as a local center for the biotech, healthcare and hi-tech industries is taking shape,” said Jon Delli Priscoli, CEO of First Colony Development (FCD), which built and owns the five-year-old building. “I want to welcome Boston Biomedical Associates to Crowley Drive, where they will join our first floor tenants, Park Place International. This new move further strengthens Marlborough’s position as a cluster for the life sciences industry. That’s why I think it is very fitting, and it is my honor, to host MassBio’s Regional Mixer at our state-of-the-art facility.”
The building’s location made it an ideal host for the MassBio Regional Mixer, which was sponsored by the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), BBA and FCD. Massachusetts State Representative Danielle Gregoire, Marlborough Mayor Arthur Vigeant, and MassBio President and CEO Robert K. Coughlin were among the more than 100 people in attendance.
“Massachusetts has been walking the walk on job creation and scientific innovation, and the continued expansion of the biotech industry is proof of that,” said Representative Gregoire. “As our economy continues to recover we, as partners in government, must support growth opportunity in any manner possible and celebrate achievement. We welcome Boston Biomedical Associates and look forward to working with them to ensure the best of our resources are available to their employees, as they begin this pivotal expansion.”
In addition to welcoming BBA to its new home, the MassBio Mixer was intended to showcase the I-495 and Marlborough region as a great place for biotech companies to do business.
“Our latest statistics show life sciences companies continue to expand throughout Massachusetts, bringing good jobs and economic activity to municipalities across the Commonwealth,” said Coughlin. “The City of Marlborough and its elected and business leaders have made all the right moves to position the city as a destination for the industry, and we are excited to see Boston Biomedical Associates recognize that effort and join the community. We will continue to support the growth of the 495 belt as a life sciences hub.”
In December 2012, MassBio upgraded the City of Marlborough to its highest rating of Platinum BioReady® Community, in recognition of the city’s unwavering commitment to foster and host biotechnology companies. In May this year, MassBio publically identified Marlborough as a growing hub for life sciences companies.
“We have set a goal for Marlborough to become the place to be for biotechnology companies,” said Mayor Vigeant, “and we are slowly but surely achieving this goal. We are proud to say that we are creating a dedicated life sciences community by attracting companies of all sizes and specialties. So, while we have larger, nationally recognized companies, like Boston Scientific and Quest Diagnostics, we are also nurturing and supporting the smaller innovators, who are at the heart of this fast-growing industry.
Proposed charter schools in Lynn, Andover invited to submit applications, but Newton and Westborough are not
Seven charter school applicants have been invited to submit full applications, meaning the conversation around an educational alternative will advance in Fitchburg, Lynn and Springfield.
They are among 10 schools who submitted initial proposals to the state this summer.
Three charter schools were not invited to submit full applications by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The proposed schools that failed to move ahead are Central Massachusetts Science Technology Art and Mathematics Via Language Immersion Public Charter School in Westborough, Chinese Immersion Charter School of Newton, and Sea Star Charter School of Cape Cod.
Schools that will advance to the next phase are Academy for the Whole Child Charter School, in Fitchburg; Argosy Collegiate Charter School, in Fall River; Fenix Charter School, in Lynn; Innovation Academy Charter School, in Fall River; Lynn Preparatory Charter School; Springfield Prep Charter School; and STEAM Studio Charter School, in Andover.
DESE will hold public hearings in the areas where the charter is proposed. Final applications are due Oct. 25 and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will award the new charters in February.