Blog Archives

Downtown View:Air Rage

October 29, 2015
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On August 6, a United Airlines passenger at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport was arrested after he refused to turn off his cell phone and then punched another passenger. On September 11, a 27-year-old man on a JetBlue flight stood up and urinated onto the passengers seated in front of him. On September 14, a...

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Downtown View:Statistics

October 22, 2015
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You probably already know that the United States has the third most land area, 9,629 square kilometers, of all the countries in the world. Russia is almost twice as large. Canada is a hair bigger with 9,985. The Mississippi-Missouri river system is the fourth longest, behind the Nile, the Amazon and the Yangtze. Except...

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Downtown View:Ideas

October 8, 2015
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This seems to be an ideas era. It’s as if we need a fresh start, that we’ve run out of old ones, that surely there’s something we can do to make this old city come alive. The biggest idea, the Olympics, didn’t do it, except for introducing us to Widett Circle, a large acreage...

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Downtown View:Fall Advice

September 25, 2015
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Students? There are lots of them downtown. We also have another large group of newcomers. They are the newly minted and less-newly minted college graduates on their first or second job. They want to live within walking distance of their work in the downtown, Back Bay, Kendall Square, the hospital areas or the Seaport...

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Downtown View:City Council Blahs

September 17, 2015
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So last Tuesday, I go to vote in the city council preliminary election. I think I’m pretty smart, but not smart enough I guess. There was no election—at least in my precinct. My district city councilor had no opposition. There were not enough candidates running at-large to hold a preliminary election anywhere. “For an...

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Downtown View:Donald O’Trump

September 10, 2015
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It started when the nine-year-old in our family misheard Donald Trump’s name and called him, with disgust and outrage, Donald O’Trump. She hasn’t been the only one disgusted and outraged. Globe columnists, Times columnists, television commentators have been spewing disbelief, abhorrence, indignation and revulsion. They parse his “policies” as if they actually mean something....

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Downtown View:More Children Downtown.Now What?

September 1, 2015
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Karen is taking a break. This column from January 2012 still has relevance three years later. New mayor, but same problem, and a new school in the North End and an expanded school in the North End is not enough for downtown families. Mayor Menino has once again focused on the schools, and we...

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Downtown View:Is There Hope for Downtown?

August 20, 2015
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Karen is taking a break. Here is a column from 2010. Isn’t it interesting how times have changed? Even though Downtown Crossing’s central location should make it a convenient destination for Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Charlestown, North End and Waterfront residents, few choose to go there, even though a good number work nearby. I...

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Downtown View:Predicting the Future

August 14, 2015
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Karen is taking a break. In 2009, she asked several Bostonians to predict the future. How did they do? Last June, I bet you didn’t think we’d be here now: Obama as president, Hillary as secretary of state, the economy gone bust, General Motors in bankruptcy, Lehman Brothers no more, Sal DiMasi under indictment....

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Downtown View:Immigrants 1850

July 22, 2015
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Recently I researched and wrote a book about a group of immigrants who came to America in the 1840s and 1850s. Getting to Grand Prairie: One Hundred Londoners and Their Quest for Land in Frontier Illinois will appear this summer. It tells a true story of the farming community I grew up in. I’m...

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