Archive for April, 2013

Marathon Bombing Podcast

We’re here in Boston and went at last week’s bombings and the manhunt that followed. We hit the civil rights and political ramifications.

As background for those who are in denial about the U.S. being immune from domestic or foreign terrorist attacks, check the embedded Maddow clip below for a catalog and a reality check.

While the country became involved, we’re a bit more invested, being local. We disagreed about what was and was not police overreach. We concurred on our local and national attitude of keeping on though.

Click below on the arrow by the speaker icon to hear our opinions on the bombers, the use of martial law commands to civilians and more.

icon for podpress  Boston Bombings [33:10m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Boston Bombing Podcast

We’ll do our podcasty duty and open up to the Boston bombings and subsequent manhunt — the immediate and longer-term implications. We’re Boston-based and inherently involved.

We don’t often ask for call-ins but if you are available from 2:30 to 3 PM Eastern Tuesday, April 23rd, feel free to add your thoughts or feelings. Call 718-664-6966, and press 1 when the system welcomes you to let us know you’ve something to add.

To hear the show live, click this URL then. Afterward the show will be available to hear or download at that URL, back here at Left Ahead or at our iTunes page.


MassEquality Goals Podcast

As always, Kara Suffredini was insightful, clear headed, and surprisingly optimistic about the wide and deep agenda her MassEquality has. She came on today to talk the state of LGBTQ issues here in MA and beyond. Click below to hear her on homeless youth, aging LGBTQ problems, the work that still has to be done a decade after marriage equality, and more.

She described some of the diverse legislative agenda. Perhaps surprisingly to many, MassEquality has run afoul of passage in the last legislative session — by bill volume and not intentional opposition. Even bills that pass committees can die if they are in a long queue. As executive director, she notes that a big part of her lobbying effort “is making sure we rank” when it comes to scheduling votes.

Listen in as she discusses work that still needs to be done here. For example, while we have strong gay-rights protections here, those do not extend to gender identity in public accommodations…everywhere from supermarkets to the T to coffee shops and beyond. A bill to fix that is in the works again. Suffredini noted that in ways like marriage equality, MA is head of most states and the federal government but still lags in such areas. She added that in places like AL same-sex marriage is really not yet on the table. Rather they are concerned with job protection for gay citizens.

This was a wide-ranging session on both work still necessary here and what we can expect elsewhere.

icon for podpress  Kara Suffredini [35:12m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Suffredini on MassEquality Work

MassEquality Executive Director Kara Suffredini joins us to highlight and discuss some of the long agenda of bills in the works in MA. There’s much to be done for homeless LGBTQ youth, ensuring equal public accommodations, transgender rights, protecting the LGBTQ elderly and more.

Plus, there’s involvement with both efforts to overturn DOMA and the marriage-equality cases before federal and Supreme Courts.

We have more than we can handle in our show time, but we’ll plunge in with her.

If you can join us live, click this URL at 2:30 PM Eastern Tuesday, April 16th. You can also hear or download it at the show URL, back here at Left Ahead or on our iTunes page any time after the show.

Kara was on previously over a year ago, talking transgender rights. Hear that show here.


Take My T, Please, Podcast

Let’s cut to the crux. Ryan concludes that MA legislators are at a defining moment. They can build up the commonwealth’s transportation and education — as Gov. Patrick proposes — or they can screw around with watery variations that do not address big issues. If they do the latter, they will be so out of step and touch with the voters they are dooming themselves in future elections.

Listen in as we talk about the proposals from the admin and lege sides and what small beer the House has put on the table. We’re here because previous legislatures have kicked this can so long it’s lost all substance. Holes in roads, bridges crumbling, schools at all levels needing help…

We see this as both a huge and overdue opportunity, as well as likely Gov. Patrick’s play for a solid legacy around the state in his final term. Click below to hear our reasoning.

icon for podpress  Take My T, Please [28:13m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Cycling in Boston Podcast

OK, she had warned me that she had a meeting and we pushed out our start time, but not quite enough. Nicole Freedman, director of Boston’s bike programs, starts around 24 minutes. We run long, so she’s on for about 20 minutes.

Ryan and I chattered about our own bike hopes, dreams and surmises. I’m a cyclist and he a driver, but we like so many around here have thoughts and responses to cycling.

When Freedman clicks in, she spoke (if you pardon the term) of her goals on returning after a short career shift to Maine. Those include:

  • Continuing to expand HubWay, the wildly successful bike rental program
  • Adding helmet rental to that (cheap dispensers that mean you don’t have to schlep the headgear)
  • 20 more miles of bike lanes
  • Many more bike racks
  • More of the Roll It Forward community bike project (up to 750 more free bikes)
  • Cycle track pilots, starting with Mount Vernon Street
  • Continued and expanded education programs for motor-vehicle operators as well as cyclists

She noted that since 2007, bike ridership here has grown by maybe 85%.

She highlighted the pending Bike Week in the middle of May and the June through August Bike Fridays. Listen in too as she talked about her attitude with the hugely bike-supportive mayor stepping down. Some good things are constants and others may be in flux.


icon for podpress  Nicole Freedman [43:40m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download