Archive for Worcester

Elections 2011 Far and Close Podcast

Our jabbering at its best or at least most expected…

We wrapped up or touched on elections here and there and beyond. From Mississippi’s sensible, compassionate rejection of a “personhood” abortion ban ballot initiative to Ohio’s overturning of the anti-union law, most of yesterdays elections had happy and sometimes profound results.

We hit on the numerous MA votes, from Holyoke’s election of a 22-year-old mayor to the strong reelection of Boston’s sole Latino and sole black woman city councilors, it was a pretty good Tuesday.

icon for podpress  Elections 2011 [30:39m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Grace Ross Podcast

Of course, we spoke of AG Martha Coakley and of the Tea Party and of Israel. Today’s guest was Grace Ross, after all.

We were just Grace and Mike, but we covered her analysis of the recent election, which led to many topics. While a professional and relentless activist, she has run for MA Governor twice — first as the Green-Rainbow nominee and recently in an effort to get on the Democratic ticket. She chomps and nibbles at the powers through advocacy, filing (often successful) legislation, and sometimes running for office.

She helped found the Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending. Her principal economic and political positions are available in her book Main St. $marts.

Listen in as she speaks of:

  • The vastly misunderstood and best champion at the state level against major corporate interests run amok (Martha Coakley)
  • How she was smeared as an anti-Semite in 2006 for poorly worded Green-Rainbow platform statements
  • The worst of the Bush 2 legacy — “We fear our neighbors now.”
  • How the energy ridden recently by the Tea Party is not right wing, rather populist energy
  • The commitment to the revolutionary spirit alive and well in MA
  • More than ever, we need real people, not sexy campaigners, running for office
  • Populist candidates having a shot at office if they do enough groundwork between major elections

We spent some time on how in the recent election, the GOP did well in General Court and some local elections and were shut out of statewide races. She admits she has “a bunch of friends who are Republican elected officials” and that she misses “the traditional Republican candidates we had in Massachusetts.” She thinks too many of the Dems and Republicans here do not identify with ordinary citizens, who are concerned with jobs, mortgages, education and such.

Listen in as she explains what she sees as ways for them to present concrete examples of alternatives.

icon for podpress  Grace Ross [60:02m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Two-winged Trolley Podcast

With homework for left and right wingers, William S. Lind gave us his past-is-future vision of public transit. His pessimism and hope on the topic are available also at The American Conservative and in full at the book he co-authored, Moving Minds: Conservatives and Public Transportation.

While a famous commentator on military and foreign affairs issues for that other wing, Lind is a serious pragmatist. As an urbanist and strong public-transit advocate, he calls conservatives and progressives alike to task. Listen in as he explains why many conservatives disdain public transit (even if they ride commuter rail) and what lefties need to do to talk the language and roll in the ideas taht are meaningful to the other side.

He gave us the history and concepts of when America could move by rail inside all towns of 5,000 or larger and intercity across America. He decries how the interstate highway system and its cars-over-trains subsidies killed that. Yet, he notes that unlike the multi-billion-dollar high-tech alternatives, trolley and related systems in the millions are within reach. Moreover, much of the necessary infrastructure is still in place, like rights of way.

Unfortunately, Lind suspects that as a nation, we are likely to do the usual — wait until it’s panic time to fix this. Fortunately, he said we can do the trick affordably within a decade.

His vision has work for everyone and sounds worth the effort. The sweetness is that the vision is worthy of both conservatives and progressives.

icon for podpress  Bill Lind [59:37m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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MA Nov. Choices Podcast

Empty promises have hit the fan…again. The Nov. election in MA may have even more important matters than the pick of governor. In particular, ballot question 3 would slash the sales tax from 6.25% to 3%.

Two of the usual LA suspects, Ryan and Mike, spoke of what that might mean. The only good angle to its being on the ballot is that it might increase voter turnout.

They also kicked around the chances of Gov. Deval Patrick’s re-election, even in the swirling winds of a recent poll of questionable worth showing a very tight race with GOP challenger Charlie Baker. Listen to hear what we think.

icon for podpress  MA Nov. Choices [33:55m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Worcester Check-In Podcast

Social activist (podcaster, blogger, video maker and on and on) Mike Benedetti joined us from and to talk about Worcester. That helped keep us from our usual speculation and judgments of politicians. He is much less rarefied and concentrates on real issues of real people, like the homeless and immigrants. His own real life is after all with the Catholic Worker community.

Listen in as we figuratively walk through Worcester to talk about what matters there, how it is the same and different from other Massachusetts cities and what has been changing there. We deal with the impact (and lack thereof) of having the lieutenant governor and one of the most influential members of Congress in Jim McGovern.

You can learn more of Benedetti in this The Pulse Magazine profile (about the middle).  You can also see more of his craft and labors at Pie and Coffee and WCAATV’s 580 show.

He discusses such progressive issues as the surprising effectiveness of placing group homes in Worcester. He also walks us through the slow economic recovery of the central downtown. Listen in to hear what is and what isn’t happening…and why Worcester is a fine place to be a vegan.

icon for podpress  Mike Benedetti [49:08m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Talking Worcester and Beyond

Mike Benedetti, blogger, video blogger and activist, joins us to talk west-of-Boston trends and politics.


Years of his commentary appear at Pie and Coffee. His pic here is a steal from his Facebook page.

Mike is hip deep into Worcester social action and politics. We got heavily into those when he was on almost three years ago. (Wow…three years?)

You can hear him live Tuesday, September 21st, at 2:30 p.m. Eastern here.  Later, you can play or download the show at that URL, here on LA, or on iTunes.