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Obama comes to Boston

29 Oct

President Obama is scheduled to visit Boston on Wednesday, 10/30, to talk about his healthcare program.

In light of the recent difficulties with the new healthcare website, the President has planned a speech at Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall to discuss the benefits to Obamacare. Faneuil Hall was previously used as a backdrop to former governor Mitt Romney’s signing of Massachusetts’ health care bill in 2006. Obama’s advisers felt that using Faneuil Hall as the setting of a speech on healthcare would be symbolic of compromise between Democrats and Republicans. The goal of the trip to Boston is to bolster public support of the healthcare plan.

The speech is set to begin at 3:55 pm. Health and Human Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is supposed to testify about the problems with the healthcare website in front of Congress on Wednesday.

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South Station Renovation

21 Oct

The city is currently working on renovating the historic South Station. The station, which was opened in 1899, is the country’s oldest train station. The city felt it was finally time to bring the old station into the 21st century. The renovations are meant to update many of the stations facilities and make the station a more enjoyable area.

The station’s renovation is the brainchild of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). With South Station being a major transportation hub, servicing MBTA trains and buses and Amtrak, there are high expectations for the project. MassDOT cited an inefficient capacity for current train operations, inadequate facilities for passenger queuing, and little vehicle storage as the major problems with the station.

Plans for the improvements, along with potential changes, were released through MassDOT’s blog. Ideas include updating technology for improved rider information services, better facilities, and increasing the amount of light and space in the station. MassDOT has also released a survey for feedback about potential changes and to help devise more potential updates for the station based on visitors’ needs. Plans also include adding a new Starbucks, Tavern in the Square bar and restaurant, Barbara’s Books, and a two-floor CVS Pharmacy.

Boston Marathon Memorial

17 Oct

Northeastern University recently opened a one day exhibit to commemorate those lost in the Boston Marathon bombings. The exhibit, titled “Our Marathon”, was a crowd-sourced digital archive of the attack. Items used in the display were originally placed at the memorial and had been collected by the City of Boston Archives. The exhibit, located at Northeastern University’s Snell Library, opened on the 15th and lasted until 8 PM that evening. The exhibit was planned as an extension to the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks’s digital project. Workers collected data, anecdotes, and other physical memories of the bombing to use as the basis for the display. Hopes are that “Our Marathon” will become a long-term memorial. The exhibit, is one of the largest collections of its kind, with researchers collecting data since May. Anyone can contribute their stories the exhibit online.

Boston Book Festival

15 Oct

This year, the Boston Book Festival will take place in Copley Square from October 17th through the 19th. The book festival is a celebration of, of course, books. While the focus is on literature, the festival has many different events that would appeal to any taste. The scheduled activities include presentations by keynote speakers,  live music, interactive seminars, and kid-friendly activities. Presenters include Salman Rushdie, Wes Craven, and Claire Messud, among others.

The festival is free to attend but some presentations will have an entrance fee. Early arrival and reservations are suggested in order to ensure a spot at seminars. Like any festival, the Boston Book Festival will have vendors and food trucks. If you’re interested in getting involved, you can sign up to volunteer here.

Weekend Events

10 Oct

Are you looking for things to do this weekend? Check out some of these events!

Honk! Festival of Activist Street Bands

This street festival is a celebration of music and social activism. Different groups showcasing different musical styles, from New Orleans brass bands to Brazilian Afro bloc, the groups that perform are lively and fun. In addition to playing great music, they are taking a stand. Many of the performing groups were formed in support of a cause or to protest an injustice. The performances are held in the street and sometimes they even recruit audience members to join in.

Lucy Light Forest

This public art show is set up by the athletic company Lucy. The display, which includes 10,000 solar-powered LED lights that respond to movement, takes place on the Charles River Esplanade. Lucy is using the art display as a backdrop for free fitness classes, including Pilates and Vinyasa yoga. The art show ends on Sunday.

Boston Derby Games

If you’ve never heard of roller derby, you should visit the games! The Boston Derby Games, taking place in Wilmington, involves skating women and a fight or two. This seasons’ competition will be at the Shriner Auditorium and the seats are track side, putting the audience up close and personal with the action.

Collegefest

It’s time again for Collegefest. Collegefest is a giant “festival” for college kids, bands, and companies to interact. Taking place at Hynes Convention Center, Collegefest features performances from many artists and lots of free things. It’s $10 for Sunday entry only and $15 for a two-day pass.

Boston Bus Strike

8 Oct

On Tuesday morning, bus drivers for Boston’s school system went on strike. The strike, considered an “illegal work action,” disrupted bus service for a majority of students attending Boston’s public, private, parochial, and charter schools. It is estimated that 33,000 students were affected by the strike. Prior to the strike, parents were warned of the impending action and were told to expect delays considering schools were scheduled to be open as usual. About 600 drivers have ceased working due to the strike.

Officials speculate the strike was driven by the union workers’ discontent with system changes, including improved punctuality and real-time geographic tracking. The mayor is currently working with the public school system to help accommodate students that are affected by the bus shutdown. MBTA offered students over the age of eleven, with a valid Boston school student ID, free transportation and Boston police also aided in student transportation.

Fall Season with Summer Weather

30 Sep

With the return of pumpkin spice lattes and sweater weather, one would think fall has officially arrived, but is it here to stay?

Forecasts for the current week and upcoming days project warmer temperatures and lack of rainfall similar to summer weather. Currently, the city is well below the average for amount of rainfall, but it is not a record-setting level, nor does it indicate a dry season. Forecasts are not predicting any rain in the next eight days. Wednesday is predicted to be the hottest day of the week, with temperatures reaching the low eighties while the entire week is projected to be just as warm. This warm streak is good for apple orchards, viewing the changing leaves, and other outdoor activities. The heat makes it a great time to start new crops too.

Unfortunately, the heat means the sweaters might just have to stay in the closet for a few more weeks.