When nonviolent arrestees can’t afford even a low bail, should the bail system be done away with? Emily Corwin reports from New Hampshire. Plus, asbestos in Boston’s renovation boom. We check back in with author Colin Woodard to learn why some in the region he calls “Yankeedom” flipped from blue to red in the presidential election. Plus, one woman remembers the 2007 ICE raid in New Bedford, MA.Listen to episode »
Federal policy changes were supposed to end random deportations of people who aren’t criminals, but in parts of New England, it’s still happening. We continue our series “Facing Change” and talk to Vermont farm workers. We also hear how Boston police are enforcing that city’s pro-immigrant “Trust” act. We also explore the history of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s formative time in the tobacco fields of Connecticut, and the story of how New England’s biggest mountain — home to some of the worst weather in the world — became a tourist haven.Listen to episode »
Across New England, there’s been an epidemic of opioid addiction, overdose, and death. This hour, we dig deep into the causes of this crisis with health reporter Martha Bebinger. We travel to Cape Cod to hear firsthand the stories of those affected. We also look for solutions, including for those most at risk of overdose: inmates getting out of prison. And we examine the role of New England’s traditional dairy industry in creating the landscape we love, as we remember forgotten farms.Listen to episode »
In January of last year, a disabled homeless man was struck and killed by a car in Concord, New Hampshire. Gene Parker’s death led to a lot of questions about homelessness in that state. This week we hear from two reporters who went looking for answers. Plus, what we’ve learned about acid rain, climate change and more from 50 years in the life of an experimental forest, and what biologists are doing to help big animals move safely under highways. And last, an inside look at policing and race discrimination.Listen to episode »
Perhaps nowhere else in the country is the impact of recent immigration trends so pronounced as in New England, where the predominantly white population is quickly aging, and where the influx of young immigrants is changing the identity of the region. This week, we hear from employers who bank on immigrant labor, community members getting ready for an influx of Syrian refugees, and foreign-born workers training to care for the elderly.
Also, the Connecticut origin story of the Gun that Won the West, and a how the murder of a priest taught us all a lesson about protecting the innocent.Listen to episode »
This week we meet a couple who found themselves drinking water contaminated by radioactive lab waste, and a man who has to wear a hazmat suit to enter his house. We’ll also learn about the down and dirty politics of Providence, Rhode Island in the 1970s and 80s, when city leaders cozied up to the mob. Finally, immigrants to New England give us a sense of what we should be grateful for.Listen to episode »
This week, a rare look a gigantic battery that’s helping to balance our region’s energy grid. Plus, perspective from Maine’s top energy official, who is stepping down. We’ll also take trips to tiny island where opioid addicts go to seek treatment, and to the city that inspires the country’s most famous horror writer. And we’ll learn what charitable donations – or lack thereof – say about New Englanders.Listen to episode »
We dig into data showing racial disparities in traffic stops and get a play-by-play of one, talk to historian Colin Woodard about what means to be a Yankee, and get rid of invasive plants and animals… by eating them, with chef Bun Lai of Miya’s in New Haven.Listen to episode »
A new report in Massachusetts found cases of serious abuse and neglect at a private special education school, illuminating a larger problem. Also this hour, we head to Block Island, Rhode Island, where the nation’s first offshore wind farm is about to get spinning. And on Soundcloud, From Brady to Big Papi to Bentley, Only A Game’s Bill Littlefield gives us his take on New England Sports culture.Listen to episode »
We have more choices for our Thanksgiving meal than the Pilgrims could have dreamed of. But did we make the right choice when we decided to breed traits like herbicide resistance into some of our most common crops? And should we have the right to know when we’re buying foods made with genetic engineering? We’ll hear from both sides of the GMO debate.
Later on, we visit an innovative policing program that changes the relationship between police and people with opioid addiction. Plus, a reporter interviews one (in)famous pilgrim, and a tribe welcomes visitors to a new cultural district on Martha’s Vineyard.Listen to episode »
Reliably “blue” New England turned several shades of red on November 8. President-elect Donald Trump picked up an electoral college vote in northern Maine, and lost New Hampshire to Hillary Clinton by fewer than 2,000 votes. Republicans won the governors’ races in New Hampshire and Vermont. Republicans also took some hard defeats. New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte lost her seat to Democrat Maggie Hassan. Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts worked hard on two ballot initiatives, neither of which went his way.
Meanwhile, we saw long lines at polling places and very high turnout. We turn to turn to a few of our reporters who covered the issues, and talked to voters.
Later in the show, a dying tree gets a second life in Vermont, and the Delta Blues thrives in Portland, Maine.Listen to episode »
With days to go before the election, we put New England’s changing political DNA under the microscope with pollster and University of New Hampshire political scientist Andrew Smith. We also have an update on the roadside outhouse turned voting booth from Episode 11. Plus, renewable energy is best for the planet, but reality here is a little…gassier. And we take a detour from the campaign trail and head for the hills, and mountains.Listen to episode »
This week we meet some of the refugees coming to New England from Syria and Iraq. John talks Patriots, Red Sox and more with Bill Littlefield, host of WBUR’s Only a Game. And in honor of Halloween we learn about a New England tradition you’re probably less familiar with: exhuming vampires.Listen to episode »
This week: What we know, and what we don’t about PCBs in New England’s schools. Plus, what we’ve learned about acid rain, climate change and more from 50 years of research in a New Hampshire forest, and what biologists are doing to help animals like bear and moose to move safely around human infrastructure. And finally, a peak into the surprisingly bad-ass world of bird-watching.Listen to episode »
This week, disagreements over land and money pit neighbor against neighbor. In Vermont, the question is whether to build more wind turbines to help meet the state’s ambitious renewable energy goals. In Rhode Island, the fight is over which kinds of farmers get government help buying land. And with referendums that would legalize marijuana for recreational use on the ballot in Massachusetts and Maine, what’s the potential for a new black market in neighboring states? Plus, we get inside the head of the kind of embezzler who makes big news in a small state, and we visit an outhouse re-purposed as a ballot box.Listen to episode »
Across New England, there’s been an epidemic of opioid addiction, overdose, and death. This hour, we dig deep into the causes of this crisis with health reporter Martha Bebinger. We travel to Cape Cod to hear firsthand the stories of those affected. We also look for solutions, including for those most at risk of overdose: inmates getting out of prison. They say the old way doesn’t work. And we examine the role of New England’s traditional dairy industry in creating the landscape we love, as we remember forgotten farms.Listen to episode »
This week, we bring you more stories about policing and race in four New England states. The top court is Massachusetts has ruled that fleeing from police might be legal as well as in the best interests of black men in Boston. Bridgeport, Connecticut looks to remake its police force more in the image of its population. And in Nashua, New Hampshire, a black officer deals with her own feelings about police shootings; and a young Latino man, who used to be in a Providence gang, befriends a white city police officer.
We also travel to The Big E, a massive agricultural fair that draws people from all over the region to argue over what kind of lobster roll is the best. Plus, our favorite science reporter refreshes us on the science behind fall foliage.Listen to episode »
While Boston has more than rebounded from the great recession, many of New England’s smaller cities are still feeling the pain of de-industrialization. But in Massachusetts, some of these former mill towns are plotting a comeback. We take a look at what two so-called Gateway Cities are doing to provide economic opportunity — and we consider how the high cost of rental housing in growing towns can keep some low-income New Englanders from getting a leg up.
In the second part of this episode, we continue our series about the biggest issues facing each of the New England states this election season. And finally, we remember an iconic New England restaurant chain as it fades from the region.Listen to episode »
In the 1950s, the automobile was king. A new federal highway system and dreams of “urban renewal” took hold. But many of those highways are now broken and in need of repair. This hour, we look into what’s behind the rebuild of one important New England interstate, and we remember the communities we lost during the urban renewal era, including one city’s Little Italy.
Later this hour, we discuss the important issues heading into this election for three New England states. And at New England’s biggest flea market, NEXT producer Andrea Muraskin finds that the people are as fascinating as the stuff on display.Listen to episode »
Lovely early fall weather means we’re spending our whole hour-long episode outside. All these sunny days, though, mean a shortage of water for crops, gardens, livestock, and lawns. Climate scientists warn that droughts interspersed with periods of heavy storms are becoming the new normal in New England. We look into how farmers and the rest of us are adapting.
We also consider what “national monument status” means. President Barack Obama just granted the status to nearly 90,000 acres of the north woods of Maine, and is considering doing the same for miles of ocean canyons and mountains off the coast of Cape Cod. And: it’s back to school time, but that means something different for the children of seasonal workers, bringing in the late summer crops.Listen to episode »
This hour, we look at racial disparities in the criminal justice system in one of the country’s whitest states. Plus, innovations in renewable energy technology are advancing in New England, but can ye olde grid adapt? And do you know what it takes to maintain a mountain trail? A whole lot of muscle, and some mohawks thrown in for good measure.Listen to episode »
A new report in Massachusetts found cases of serious abuse and neglect at a private special education school, illuminating a larger problem. Also this hour, we head to Block Island, Rhode Island, where the nation’s first offshore wind farm is about to get spinning. Plus, we learn about a time when Martha’s Vineyard went rogue.Listen to episode »
Heavily-trafficked Route 1 can be a headache for Connecticut drivers commuting to New York City, or turning into one of its many shopping plazas. But for pedestrians, it’s downright dangerous. WSHU reporter Cassandra Basler spoke with some who travel the highway by foot, sidewalk or no. We explore what it takes to transform a road system built for the car.
This hour, we also finish our story about the Housatonic River: the battle between the company that polluted the river, and the people who live there, over how to clean it up. And finally, we hear about the New England accent that time forgot.Listen to episode »
This hour, we talk with NHPR reporters Jack Rodolico and Natasha Haverty about what life is like for people like Gene Parker — who had trouble finding shelter after getting out of prison — and others living on the “edge” of homelessness in New Hampshire.
We also hear WBUR’s Meghna Chakrabarti as she explores the history of a Western Massachusetts company town still recovering after decades of PCB pollution in its river, just as that company makes plans to move to Boston. And with a growing bald eagle population and fewer available fish, Maine Public Radio’s Fred Bever tells us how America’s mascot is threatening sea bird populations in Maine. Meanwhile, VPR reporter Kathleen Masterson learns how to train a hawk to hunt for her supper.Listen to episode »
It’s the first episode of our new, weekly show about New England. We dig into data showing racial disparities in traffic stops with WNPR reporter Jeff Cohen, talk to historian Colin Woodard about what means to be a Yankee, and get rid of invasive plants and animals… by eating them.Listen to episode »