Archive for Environment

What Is It About Drivers v. Cyclists?

Want conflict? Just mention urban cyclists! Liveable Street’s blogger Steve Miller joins us to talk safety, the likelihood of jolly coexistence and more. He works for the Harvard School of Public Health and is known in transit as the founder of Hub on Wheels as well as on Boston and Cambridge’s bike advisory boards.

Fair warning: Mike is a cyclist, who often walks and occasional drives, but a cyclist first.

Miller has considerable knowledge in this area. He’ll talk about the turmoil and outlook.

If you can catch the show live, do it Tuesday, October 2nd at 2:30 PM here. Afterward, you can listen to or download the whole show back here, at the show URL or on our iTunes page.


O’Connor Ives Podcast

Three-term Newburyport Councilor Kathleen O’Connor Ives joined us to talk about her run for the open MA Senate seat in 1st Essex. She acknowledged it’s a tough field. She wants to beat out two other Democrats in next week’s primary. There are also two unenrolled and two Republicans after the spot.

As her website details, she has staked out specific proposals across a spectrum of issues from the environment to economic redevelopment to public safety to women’s rights to campaign-finance reform. She bristled only once with us, at the mention that one of her opponents likes to portray himself as the progressive in the race. She pointed out that her positions gives her as much right.

Listen in as she speaks to her policies and planks. We covered a wide range of topics, as well as her collaborative style by which she expects to pass legislation. She also differentiated herself from her fellow Dems in the race. For example, she said they stress their executive experience, which she says is not all that useful for a job that would entail understanding policy, parsing proposed legislation and researching. As an environmental lawyer, she thinks she has a leg up here.

Listen in as she presents herself as “not a Pollyanna.” Yet she is relentlessly hopeful and has a clear sense of direction.

icon for podpress  Kathleen O'Connor Ives [31:14m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Mike Barrett Podcast

The technology-and-business oriented candidate for 3rd Middlesex MA Senate puts himself out there. Lexington’s Mike Barrett has strong ideas and is as plain spoken as it comes.

He is one of the four Dems running for that nomination to go in November against one of the two Republicans who also want Sen. Susan Fargo’s seat. He was the candidate who announced even before she decided not to run for reelection.

Listen is as Barrett describes his visions for a revitalized Massachusetts, particularly from Worcester East. He had been a state legislator from his Cambridge years (6 in the House and 8 in the Senate). Since, he has run a high-tech related consultancy, with a particular emphasis on health care. He dovetails his sundry experiences into a future that supports our local innovators.

He speaks to how he sees our companies replicating a modern form of boom from the mini-computer era. This would turn our focus from business-to-business (B2B) to more business-to-consumers (B2C), with advances in health care related to IT, computers and even robots. He explains what he sees as growth paths and what the role of government should be.

Barrett is plain also about money. He says he is the candidate not afraid to say where taxes need to go up, and where fees for public services do. He said that waffling on taxes are not good positions for progressives to take.

Listen in as he describes how he thinks he can accomplish is myriad goals. He reminded me several times that he’s an optimist and that he accomplished his goals the last time he was in the General Court.

icon for podpress  Mike Barrett [34:31m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Activist Lee Podcast

Looking first for a preliminary win next week, then to unseat the Boston District 2 Councilor in November, Suzanne Lee spoke about her broad, deep platform. The long-time educator and community activist has a detailed set of goals and ways to get there. See her campaign site’s Issues section for the nine areas.

Lee seems to bring her indefatigable attitude from her years as principal of two Boston schools and her avocation of community activism. She would apply what worked in both those areas, as well as draw on her considerable business, university, non-profit and institutional contacts. Listen in as speaks of getting non-governmental people to couple with the city in jobs, arts, environment, housing and more.

She would involve her district’s diverse neighborhoods (think South End, Chinatown and South Boston) with the whole process from major projects to early planning. She’s huge on transparency of government. She led on three major master plans here, just as a citizen. Likewise, she’d bring the parts of the district together for meetings to discuss common issues — something not common in Boston.

Click below to hear us hurry through many areas of her platform. Be sure to go to her website for the details.

icon for podpress  Suzanne Lee [32:45m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Bob Massie Goes for U.S. Senate Podcast

Bob Massie just announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat from MA coming up next year. He wants to go up against Sen. Scott Brown who has been filling the term of the late Ted Kennedy. He joined us to speak about himself and how he expects to win the seat.

His campaign website is up and getting populated. His more personal blog, with everything from his economic views to his social activism to philosophy is here. Also, he is a regular contributor to BlueMassGroup.

As a social activist from way back, he has a deep and wide record of accomplishments…supported with Princeton, Yale and Harvard degrees and more. He starts off our show with a quick recitation of everything from his professional experience and education to physical challenges he overcame. He also discusses his 1994 race for MA Lt. Gov. and what the legacy is for his current candidacy.

Listen in as we talk about wide ranges of topics from federal funding to what’s right and wrong with Congress as it is to what he offers. He has a few, but only a few areas of agreement with Brown. He tells us what his aims would be in the seat. Massie speaks to how he expects to court voters, raise funds and win next year.

icon for podpress  Bob Massie [53:41m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Two-winged Trolley Podcast Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Tuesday, Oct. 5th, at 2 p.m. Eastern, we talk trolleys. Bill Lind comes on to describe why left-wingers and right-wingers alike need to join him on the electric trolley.

You can listen live then here. Afterward come back to Left Ahead! or return to the show URL to hear or download it on demand.

This sort of past-as-future thinking has become the life work of this urbanist, who has long been famous for his conservative military analysis. Starting 13 years ago, he and Paul Weyrich (now deceased) performed a series of eight major transit studies. Those are collected in their book Moving Minds: Conservatives and Public Transportation.

He’s not shy about telling conservatives to stop throwing money at highways. Nor is he afraid to tell liberals what they need to say and do to get support from the other side.


d’Alessandro Goes for 9th CD Podcast

Dem Mac D’Alessandro joined us in a wee breather in his 21 cities and towns in 21 days campaign. He’s going after the 9th Congressional District and heads toward the 9/14 party primary against incumbent Rep. Steve Lynch.

The differences couldn’t be starker, at least in MA terms. The seat used to belong to liberal star Joe Moakley from 1973 through his death in 2001. Lynch, a conservative Democrat, has held the seat since. The incumbent has seemed out of touch with the delegation and electorate, supporting among other issues the Iraq War, efforts to defeat health-care reform, in favor repeatedly of the PATRIOT Act and more.

In contrast, D’Alessandro offers strong and detailed positions on schools and the environment as well as sweeping issues such as reviving the economy and national defense. He walked us through key aspects of how he’d work to increase employment, reduce military expenditures (particularly private contractor firm waste) and where he stands on foreign policy.

“I want to take an organizers spirit to Congress,” he told us. That has been a big part of his résumé and he spoke of advancing his ideas in Congress. For special interests/lobbyists for example, he said “they are having their way.”  He’d stand up to them and set an example, joining with the few doing that already. Likewise, he would call out those who favored the G.W. Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and funding current wars while saying we could not afford domestic programs.

He spoke of those who decry extending unemployment benefits in this deep recession and who say those are incentives for people not to seek work. “That’s hogwash!” he said. He wants to make sure we “keep our heads above water as an economy” as we work to add jobs.

Listen in as he describes his attitude toward a two-state Middle-East solution and more. On energy for one, he favors removing subsidies for petroleum producers. “If the market was allowed to act like a market..perhaps we’d have more fuel-efficient vehicles now,” he said.

In a ranging show, he covered a lot of topics. The only area where we were at a lot was the same. His campaign has not been able to get Lynch to debate. We haven’t had any response to getting him to speak with us and you.

icon for podpress  Mac d'Alessandro [57:38m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Comments (1)

Dukakis and the T Podcast

Mike  DukakisHot stuff from the Duke today on the T. Former Gov. Mike Dukakis joined us to talk about the MBTA specifically and mass transit in general. He is a huge public-transit advocate and the T flourished in his two terms as governor. He has answers and ideas.

One big thing he thinks we progressives can do is to advocate for our legislators to reasonably fund the T. It has teetered under mismanagement and staggered under overpowering debt for some time. Gov. Dukakis (now distinguished political-science professor at Northeastern) says the right start is to apply a 6¢ to 9¢ gasoline tax to the T and drop that failed notion of a never ending growth spiral of a sales tax.

The Duke speaks of a steel interstate for modern times, that is,  a fast, frequent system of intracity and intercity rail. As well as the predictable environmental and other benefits, it sees this as a jobs action when the state and nation need it the most. In fact, he said that his administrations’  10¢ for transportation efforts was just that.

Listen in as he explains how we have all the highways we need and that we’re “not going to build our way out of the highway mess.” Instead, “if you want a first-class public transportation system,you got to pay for it.”

He has high hopes between MA and federal effort, we’ll be able to do just that.

icon for podpress  The Duke Takes the T [54:24m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Tim Murray Podcast

Some of the strongest achievements of the MA executive branch have come recently in transportation. Lt. Gov. Tim Murray, the lead behind those efforts, joined us to speak of what they’ve done, how they did it and what’s still part of his vision.

Tim Murray mugAs mayor of Worcester, he campaigned on that vision. That includes such long-needed improvements as rail from where people live to where they want to work. When trains are fast, frequent and affordable are in place, employers and employees alike have many more options. Such transit-oriented development inevitably leads to new businesses and business expansion…as well as jobs during and after.

Murray spoke of the leapfrogs over boulders people had wanted to jump for years. There was the Transportation Reform Law that finally compressed the various related satrapies into a manageable and more affordable agency. There was the CSX deal (with eager help from the likes U.S. Sen. John Kerry among others) that makes major rail infrastructure improvements and additions to freight and commuter lines. Just recently the nearly $100 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER)  will enable three major train projects here.

Listen in as Tim Murray speaks of how they funded and got support for these massive improvements. Now he’s looking ahead with us to rail that would support high-speed train and even WiFi where we don’t have any.

icon for podpress  Tim Murray Drives the Trains [53:58m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Sustainable Food Podcast

“Chefs who are already on the journey” is how Melissa Kogut speaks of the members of the Chefs Collaborative. As executive director, she coordinates a variety of efforts to bring and spread sustainable agriculture (including seafood) to restaurants — efforts you are more likely to taste than be aware of while you’re doing that.

Listen in while she speaks of what they’re about, including:

They also link to Ocean Friendly Chefs, which is offering an online course on seafood sustainability. That, for the moment, is free.  Another of their connections is to Green Restaurants Association, which certifies and lists eco-friendly eateries.

Kogut did not shy away from the stereotypical criticism of her organization, as well as of Slow Food®.  There is a basis to the complaint that these movements are, for the present at least, much more for the upper classes than the larger public. It is true that most of the Collaborative’s members run high-end restaurants.

Kogut notes that the membership continues to grow and they are getting support now from large food suppliers as well. She sees the effort expanding to a much wider range of restaurants. Meanwhile, click or download to hear what the pro foodies are doing.

icon for podpress  Gentler Food [56:50m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download