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Stories of our connected and rapidly changing region.

Episode 157: Fishermen Raise Wind Power Safety Concerns; New England’s Industrial History Preserved

John Thomas, Nico Wheadon, John Dankosky, Elihu Rubin, Cathy Stanton at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, Connecticut Carlos Mejia / Connecticut Public

This week on NEXT:

Gun violence throughout our region, including police shootings.

How wind farms will impact fishing in the U.S.

And how to reuse old factory buildings that contain cultural importance in New England.

It’s NEXT!

Growing Gun Violence Across America

Clai Lasher-Sommers, in a file photo (Copyright of Joe Quint)

At least eight people died in mass shootings across America just last weekend alone – including in Brooklyn, New York and Gilroy, California. But nearly 50 people were injured in those shootings – just a few of the tens of thousands who are wounded by guns every year. 

The recovery can take a while. Former Red Sox star David Ortiz was just released from Massachusetts General Hospital, seven weeks after he was shot in the Dominican Republic. Ortiz underwent three surgeries after suffering damage to multiple organs from an attack that authorities are still investigating.

As WBUR’s Anthony Brooks reports, many survivors of gun violence carry wounds, both physical and emotional, for the rest of their lives. And a warning to our listeners: this story includes descriptions of gun violence that some might find disturbing.

Fatal Police Shootings in Hartford

The Hartford Police Department will roll out 325 body cameras to its officers by the end of 2019. Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

In Hartford, the Connecticut State’s attorney is investigating the fatal police shooting of Alphonso Zaporta after an altercation with officers. The struggle happened after a traffic stop – and the body camera footage shows what happened when Zaporta got ahold of one of the officer’s guns. Only a few seconds later, three shots were fired and Zaporta died. 

The ACLU and the city’s mayor both called for the release of the body camera videos – the first time a police shooting has been captured under Hartford’s new body cam program. From the reporting collaborative Guns & America, Ryan Lindsay reports that many New England cities are now part of this transparency trend.

Vineyard Wind And Commercial Fishing

Vineyard Wind, the first large-scale commercial wind farm in the U.S. is on hold as federal regulators argue over the impact it will have on commercial fishing in New England. A Reuters report this week showed that NOAA – the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Marine Fisheries Service — refused to sign off on the project’s design.

Nadine Sebai of The Public’s Radio has been talking to fishermen about the project. They say the wind farm could make one of the country’s most dangerous jobs even more dangerous.

Reusing Our Industrial History

John Thomas, Nico Wheadon, John Dankosky, and Elihu Rubin, at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, Connecticut Carlos Mejia / Connecticut Public

New England is filled with old factory buildings and other remnants of our industrial history. These buildings are a big part of our past and they loom over our present. What’s the best way to reuse these spaces that contain cultural importance but sometimes also chemical contamination?

Earlier this summer, I led a conversation about this topic at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, Connecticut. This special NEXT event was in conjunction with The Cities Project, a collaboration between news outlets in Connecticut to chart our changing cities.

Photo at the top: John Thomas, Nico Wheadon, John Dankosky, Elihu Rubin, Cathy Stanton at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, Connecticut Carlos Mejia / Connecticut Public

About NEXT

NEXT is produced at Connecticut Public Radio
Host: John Dankosky
Digital Producer: Carlos Mejia
Executive Producer: Catie Talarski
Contributors to this episode: Ryan Lindsay, Nadine Sebai, Anthony Brooks, Shannon Dooling
Music: Todd Merrell, “New England
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