Clips

A sampling of my work with the Boston Globe.

ARTS & CULTURE

March 6, 2011- Making a home for art, too; Cooperative venture brings gallery to downtown Framingham

An artist-run gallery opened up in Framingham, offering members, who must apply for inclusion, a venue for community and fine art exhibits.

Oct. 24, 2010- Author cites area’s role as 1800s path to new spirituality; Horowitz traces rise of occultism

Though the term “New Age” may conjure up laughable stereotypes, today’s alternative spirituality movement has evolved on a trajectory that’s included Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mary Todd Lincoln, and millions of regular Americans. Some of what’s considered “alternative” these days was once mainstream, argues prominent publisher Mitch Horowitz in his fascinating book “Occult America: White House Séances, Ouija Circles, Masons, and the Secret Mystic History of Our Nation.”

CRIME

May 29, 2011- Local ties cited in drug bust affidavit; Ex-officer among 18 facing charges

Vast quantities of drugs and money, threats of violence, and a corrupt cop. They’re all in here.

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

July 17, 2011- Doubts on site’s safety linger; Neighbors seek tests for pollution

Concerned neighbors banded together in Framingham to push for answers about potentially-hazardous operations in their residential neighborhood.

July 1, 2010- Raising alarm on mercury danger; Campaign targets Sudbury River fish

Getting vital public health messages to non-English speakers can be difficult, but a regional agency started a grassroots campaign to warn Portuguese-speaking and Spanish-speaking communities about the dangers of eating potentially mercury-laden fish from the Sudbury River.

HUMAN INTEREST

March 31, 2011- Students ask, they answer; Young Watertown journalists host House candidates

In this article which made the front page of Globe’s Metro section, cute kids meet legislative hopefuls thanks to a unique Watertown student journalism program.

Dec. 2, 2010- Cuts hit mental health patients; Edinburgh Center cites years of losses

In a scene that’s been repeated throughout the state, a Waltham outpatient mental health clinic was forced to slash services to hundreds of patients with severe mental illnesses because government insurance plans reimburse only a fraction of treatment costs. Clinics have tried to maintain services for their neediest clients, but after years of losing money, have made hard choices to remain open.

Oct. 28, 2010- School play, protest serve up lessons for life

When Framingham High School’s drama director heard the fringe group Westboro Baptist Church would be protesting the school’s production of “The Laramie Project,” she resolved that Framingham would answer hate-filled messages with a community-wide show of love and inclusiveness.

I co-wrote the Dec. 2, 2010 Globe article about what happened when the Westboro Baptist Church showed up in Framingham and at Brandeis.

May 24, 2009- Two families that served with honor; Natick plans ceremonies for Grupposo, Arena brothers

In this Memorial Day article, I had the privilege of profiling two Natick families who sacrificed enormously for the country. Six Arena brothers and five Grupposo brothers–all children of Italian immigrant parents–served in World War II and the Korean War. Both families were honored with dedications in town.

Just four days after the story ran, one of the Grupposo sons, Sebastian “Busty,”  died at age 90. I wrote his obituary for the Boston Globe, and to this day, think of his life and story as a guide on how to be an exceptional human being.

INVESTIGATIVE

July 26, 2009- Town officials object to firefighter’s costly absences; Volunteer time raised OT bill

This is one of my all-time favorites. A high-ranking Rockland firefighter called into work many, many times to fulfill various volunteer commitments not affiliated with the Fire Department. This forced the department to pay others time-and-a-half to cover his shifts. To make matters worse, during the same time period, he worked overtime for other firefighters, boosting his salary by a total of $66,980 over three years.

POLITICS

Sept. 11, 2011- Teachers cut back extras in protest; State examines labor charge in Watertown

What happens when you mix plunging town budgets, increasing school costs, teachers who want raises, and parents who want what’s best for their kids? Nothing nice, as this article shows.

April 17, 2011- Lawn’s regional appeal powered him to victory

Straightforward post-election write-up with some analysis.

Dec. 26, 2010- Business owner takes city to court

This story details how a small business owner said an influential city councilor–and former employee of his– used her political power to intimidate him and make doing business in Waltham miserable.

Feb. 21, 2010- Local GOP committees report surge in wake of Brown’s Senate victory

Local Republican committees were emboldened by Scott Brown’s victory, and hoped his election would herald a new era of conservative politics in a liberal state.

May 3, 2009- Activists try local approach; Gay-marriage foes contact candidates

An anti-gay marriage group started targeting candidates for local municipal election. The tactic flopped, as candidates–even conservatives–acknowledged they have no role in formulating social policy.

PROFILES

July 25, 2010- Hard-working Waltham grocer serves world of clients

Angel Cruz, a Puerto Rico native, has been running his small grocery in Waltham for 30 years, and has persisted despite the tragic death of his 22-year-old son, two massive strokes, and a six-day-a-week schedule.

July 30, 2009- New town manager brings world of experience to his job

Hopkinton, Mass., is a small town that got a worldly town manager in Norman Khumalo, a Zimbabwean who never had any intention of leaving his home country. But when opportunity came in the form of a full scholarship to a Canadian university, he took the plunge and started an educational and professional journey that landed him in Massachusetts.

Feb. 15, 2009- From Redmen furor, a call to civic engagement Natick group’s organizer urges new focus on local government

The story of how Natick’s Jimmy Brown turned his attention from one hot-button issue– harnessing townie angst over the School Committee’s decision to ditch the town’s “Redmen” sports nickname–into a greater movement for civic involvement. To this day, Brown still organizes debates.

Dec. 28, 2008- BRIGHT LIGHTS: Reaching out aids her own recovery from brain injury

Peggi Robart’s life was changed in an instant after sustaining a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. Rather than succumb to the life-altering effects of TBI, Robart became instrumental in reaching out to veterans, legislators, and health care providers to increase TBI awareness.

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