Despite a bus fleet that is overdue for replacement, the MBTA is installing what it says is the most extensive surveillance system on a major transit system in the country. As reported in today's Globe, a total of 225 buses will be equipped with three cameras each, capable of providing live, high definition video feeds to the MBTA's control center as well as to MBTA police cruisers.
The MBTA just announced that they'll be installing a new surveillance system on 225 buses by this summer. It's built around cutting-edge cameras that will provide a 360 degree field of view to monitors on each of the buses, to the Transit Police dispatch center, and to 80 squad cars equipped with similar monitors.
Total cost will be $6.9 million ... funded entirely by the US Department of Homeland Security. An additional 210 buses will get cameras but no on-board monitors.
The Bay State Banner's Yawu Miller put out a fine piece this week which demonstrated that Mayor Martin Walsh has only appointed two people of color to serve on his new 17-seat cabinet so far. As this juncture, there are still several cabinet appointments to go; so this publication joins the Banner in insisting that the mayor do better on that front while he has the chance.
BOSTON - Mayor Martin Walsh spoke to a Massachusetts Biotechnology Council event at the Omni Parker House ballroom this week, and focused his remarks on the challenge of bringing more jobs in the sector to Boston as well as to biotech powerhouse Cambridge - without continuing the open competition between the neighboring cities sometimes instigated by former Mayor Thomas Menino.
There's an event on Saturday evening that we'd like everyone to attend: the 1st Annual Activist Ball. It's a benefit for the encuentro 5 movement space and Occupy Boston Radio - both extremely worthy organizations that can really use your support. Virtually every significant progressive organization in Boston has held some kind of event or function at e5, and many groups - including this publication - have found a home there over the years as well.
Some years ago, at the heart of a South African region once aptly nicknamed the “generator of the revolution,” tourism boosters proposed the erection of a giant, Statue of Liberty-scale Mandela figure triumphantly looking out onto Nelson Mandela Bay and the Indian Ocean beyond it. The statue was to have replaced a hazardous manganese-ore shipping terminal. Mined in the ecologically fragile Northern Cape, the ore is railed South to Port Elizabeth where it is stored for exportation. How fitting it must have appeared then that Nelson Mandela’s statue should supplant the ore dump - a toxic node in a global economy where health and environment are incidental to returns on investment. But that was not to be; the statue remains an artist’s sketch and metropole-bound freighters continue to dock. The next super-sized city project to engage the future Nelson Mandela City’s imagination is a white elephant, a giant soccer stadium built for the World Cup. But the story captures South Africa’s and the world’s difficulty in handling the contradictory Mandela legacy: genuine hope powered by struggle, shameful compromise camouflaged by revolutionary imagery.
A few days ago I got a press release from the Museum of Fine Arts announcing a new program to give discounted admission to Massachusetts residents who show Electronic Benefits Transfer cards at the museum's ticketing desks. That is to say, the roughly 900,000 people who manage to qualify for the remnant of the federal food stamps program (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) in the Commonwealth will get a break at our region's flagship art museum. But I was dismayed to find that the MFA is not letting EBT card holders in for free. They're charging them $3 a ticket for up to four tickets per card holder. And that amount must be paid in cash. People can't charge their EBT card to get in. Nor can they use credit cards, debit cards or checks like other attendees.