Greater Boston

How to send news tips in Boston?

In Unread Alerts, I suggest that anybody with a cell phone ought to know the contact points for their local news organizations. Finding the contact information is a different maze on each site.

The Fine Print on the Real Estate Bubble

Dan Gillmor's Citizen Media blog, which normally just draws in the "citizen media gripes" in the comments like Seth, Delia, and myself (ok, I took a break for several weeks this summer), now has drawn a whole good deal more readers out of the woodwork. The impetus? In a post titled Another Gross Journalistic Failure, Dan offers a jeremiad against the mortage-morphing industry (previously known as the financial sector) and their apparent cheerleaders in the dead-tree business:

Patriot Tact — A Better Way to Prevent Crime in Libraries

[This is a letter sent to the Boston Globe in response to the horrid Op-Ed contribution “When Librarians protect terrorists” by Richard L. Cravatts on February 6th, 2006. I called the paper to see what follow-up they planned on this, but learned nothing. This is obviously much too long to be a letter, now. I’ve added some links here for your viewing pleasure.]

Where can audio-guide podcasts be found?

While the podcast medium has not ushered in much of a revolution so far– downloadable audio files have been around for years now, and their marriage with RSS has not made it that much easier to skim them, as it has for bloggus bloviatus, the common blog– there is one use where the aspect where podcasters make a brilliant use of the format.

Self-Organizing the Hub of the Universe

To bring order to the universe— at least that part we call the Hub here in Boston, home of the repeat NFL champion New England Patriots and World Series champion Boston Red Sox, Adam Gaffin has organized the Universal Hub. (I’ve only lived here seven years, and live in neighboring Brookline while working in neighboring Cambridge, but one of the first things I learned was that Oliver Wendell Holmes originally dubbed Boston the “hub of the universe.” It’s the hub of my commute, for sure.)

Escaping the convention

I have very little to add to the convention coverage from the 15,000 journalists and 30 bloggers. I started writing something this morning comparing watching the convention to a baseball game, in which you sit around chatting for the first several innings before all the excitement happens at the end of the game, but, if that hasn’t been said already, I haven’t looked hard enough. So I thought I’d try my unique tack here: escaping the actual convention.

Slogging the Convention — Welcome to Boston ’04

As tough as summer is for sitting down to write– I’ve been nicely distracted from my Civilities— it’s even tougher to put aside summer and dive into politics. This coming week I’ll have to do both, with Democratic National Convention 2004 steamrolling into town. We asked for it, and we got it.

Here’s the list of convention bloggers. I’m not on that list, since I take exception to calling this website a blog. Nonetheless, if I do come up with some idle thoughts that are blogworthy, Jon Lebkowsky and Aldon Hynes have asked me to contribue to Greater Democracy. With 15,000 journalists in town, it’s going to be a challenge with any unique slants. I expect to contribute one or two articles here. And about 200 pictures.

Joining Rep. Jeff Sánchez on the May 23rd ALA Asthma Walk

I’ll be doing the American Lung Association Asthma walk on the Charles River in two weeks, and I’ve joined team Sánchez. For a couple of simple reasons. One, my Dad has suffered from an asthma-like condition. The more direct reason is that Rep. Jeff Sánchez asked people to join his team at the recent Democratic Town Committee meeting. So I joined up, and I pledged to raise an additional hundred dollars. Sánchez’s district covers part of Brookline– not my part exactly, but just down the street, one of the places that I’m looking to buy a condo. Or just as well, Sanchez’s district may yet change thanks to a court-ordered redestricting of Boston’s legislative districts.

You’ll never guess who’s a friend of Boston’s Homeless

The fundraising bug has bit me bad. Here’s tonight’s Mastercard damage:

Next time we’ll show up early. Jamie and I missed the dinner (which only would have set us back another $30), missed the Mayor, missed meeting any new people, and missed much of Kendrick Oliver’s band playing– they played one song in the third set. The crowd really thinned out after the dinner; I haver never seen Avalon so empty. And once again, I get that feeling of winning a fundraising contest in weak competition. It would have been nice to learn more about the organizations my money went to. I hope I have the courage to look a homeless person in the face now.

Kerry booth blown away at Earthfest

Yesterday on the Esplanade in Boston, the John Kerry table was blown away at the eleventh annual Earthfest (officially, the WBOS Festival for the Earth presented by Whole Foods). First the wind whipped us, in our un-strategic position facing the Charles River (the wind was really great for the Clean Power Now booth, the PAC formed to alleviate environmental concerns the Nantucket Sound Wind Farm). Then the permit police got us for good. Apparently we had a table without the benefit of a permit from WBOS; instead we had the benefit of a favor. So we did what I called strategic dispersal after two hours.

Your Money’s Worth: My evening with some tall Kerry supporters

I was able to convince my friend Abby that there was no better way to mingle with the beautiful people than to hit Fire + Ice for the $75 “Young ProfessionalS” Kerry. For sure, it was tall people. (I am 5’8″, and Abby’s 5’7″. I felt dwarfed). This campaign is so tall, I am waiting for the Bushies to accuse Kerry of being Dutch, and not French.

A drink-up, a meetup, and now, my write-up

My campaign season has officially leapt from this virtual world onto the street. Here’s my write-up about my drink-up for Kerry, and my meetup for the Dems.

MIT E-Neighbors programs

I read in the Sunday Globe of Keith Hampton’s E-Neighbors project tracking the use of community networks by several Boston communities. “He believes that sticking to smaller groups helps avoid nasty postings and personal attacks.” I would also suggest that it may help that those members may know each others’ names, and would be kept in line for fear of public shame. (more on user names)
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