News

Brazil’s pigs help people produce clean energy

Pigs, already the main source of income in this small municipality in south-western Brazil, now have even more value as a source of electricity. The mini-thermal power plant of Entre Rios do Oeste, inaugurated on 24 July, uses the biogas provided by 18 farms, in a pioneering technical-commercial agreement in Brazil involving pig farmers, the

Boston’s Homeless Women Struggle to Navigate Healthcare System

Last year, the City of Boston said the homeless population had gone down three percent. Despite the decline, homelessness in the city remains at just over six thousand—and most of them eventually will need medical care. Women on the street need specialized medical care. Boston provides an array of medical assistance to help them. Samantha

Cop accused of rape released on personal recognizance

A former Lowell police officer is expected back in court at the end of August for allegedly raping a homeless teenager back in 2016. Kevin Garneau, 49, of Pelham, New Hampshire is facing two counts of rape in connection with an alleged series of sexual assaults of a homeless female while on duty, according to

Brazil’s pigs help people produce clean energy

Pigs, already the main source of income in this small municipality in south-western Brazil, now have even more value as a source of electricity. The mini-thermal power plant of Entre Rios do Oeste, inaugurated on 24 July, uses the biogas provided by 18 farms, in a pioneering technical-commercial agreement in Brazil involving pig farmers, the

Hospitals give $3 million to Boston homeless organizations

Three major Boston hospitals are working together to tackle housing insecurity over the next three years. Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital will provide $3 million in funds over the next three years to organizations that are aiding those struggling to afford rent or are facing eviction. All three hospitals

Boston to make case for new Long Island bridge to Quincy

The City of Boston is hoping to convey that rebuilding a bridge to Long Island is the best option for accessing and reopening a recovery campus for addicts during a meeting on Tuesday, May 7,  in Quincy. The public meeting, being held at the Kennedy Center facility for the Quincy Council on Aging at 7

Prison industry can’t hide from human rights violations

Roughly 500 protesters — led by 19 different organizations — gathered in downtown Boston on Sunday, August 4, to take a stand against the American Correctional Association.  The ACA, an accreditation agency for prisons and detention centers in the United States, held its annual Congress of Correction at Hynes Convention Center from Thursday, August 1,

Horace Seldon: Fighting Injustice, Celebrating Civil Disobedience

Horace Seldon was happily lying on his back, waving his hands and feet in the air the first time Shay Stewart-Bouley saw him. Shay was just starting out as Executive Director of Community Change, Inc., the anti-racism non-profit Horace founded in 1968, and she was at the organization’s forty-fifth anniversary party. It also happened to

Arts & Culture

Rats In The Meadow: The Wilding

Alan and Phil caught the attention of the shop-keeper while Andrew and I stuffed our pockets full of candy bars. We wanted to be well-stocked for the trip into the Jersey meadows.  Alan paid for the sodas and we walked out of the store. We had nine candy bars in all. It was a good

Book Review: ‘Prey For Us’

I was introduced to Geoffrey Neil’s wonderful writing because his first book, Dire Means, was about homelessness in Santa Monica, California where some extremely devious people tried to end homelessness through evil means. In that book, I met a woman named Morana Mahker, who was very skilled at both eliminating people and tracking their movements

Champion of the Underdog: An Interview With Dolly Parton

“As a writer, I have to leave my heart open,” Dolly Parton begins. “That’s why I have always said I never could harden my heart, even against hurt or anything. Because as a writer, if you harden your heart, you’re not going to feel all that emotion you need to feel, and you won’t be

‘Friends’ Star Inspired to Action by Friend’s Homelessness

David Schwimmer, former star of “Friends,” turned his artistic talent to telling stories that highlight the struggle of homeless people after discovering that his friend had been living on Skid Row, hiding his homelessness even from those who knew him best. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons “I had a friend who was homeless for two

‘It changed my life’: Ordinary people power Game of Thrones

‘THEY KNOW ME AS THE ANIMAL MAN OF NORTHERN IRELAND’ Kenny Gracey – medieval livestock owner It’s not just on-screen talent that has felt the Game of Thrones effect – its success has pumped millions into Northern Ireland’s economy. Besides tourists flocking to see the iconic locations, the show had more than 6,000 employees, putting local talent

Columns

Running On Empty In Vermont: Part One

I kept drinking the wine so the withdrawal from the Klonopin wouldn’t hit me.  I didn’t want to have a seizure out here in the boondocks. My wife, Debbie, has already gone into detox at a place called Scatterberry Farm.  St. Dismas House said they had a room for me, but it would not be

Bizarre Boston: Raising Hell at Harvard

When I think about college students raising hell, I picture kegs of beer, red plastic Solo cups and loud music. Oh, and maybe a beer funnel or two. In my mind, the phrase “raising hell” is just a metaphor for having a wild time. However, maybe it’s not always just a metaphor. For some Harvard

Can’t go home-but why would I?

But why would I want to return to what was never a home in the first place?  Today I have a home.  I live with a family, my wife Mary Esther and her mother, and they love and nurture me in ways I can depend on. My birth parents brought me into the world, took

LAST WORD: Christina Sukghian Houle

About a month ago, an artist called Christina Sukhgian Houle dropped into the Spare Change News’ headquarters to meet with some of the vendors. Christina has joined forces with the newspaper’s co-founder, James Shearer, with the goal of making a documentary on homelessness in the Boston area. Christina is a relatively recent transplant to Greater

Running On Empty In Vermont: Part One

I kept drinking the wine so the withdrawal from the Klonopin wouldn’t hit me.  I didn’t want to have a seizure out here in the boondocks. My wife, Debbie, has already gone into detox at a place called Scatterberry Farm.  St. Dismas House said they had a room for me, but it would not be

‘I Always Came Back’: A Story of Survival

“Hey, baby!” Linda Burston, with an illuminating smile and wide eyes, greets every woman who comes through the doors of Women’s Lunch Place. They always know when Linda is in the room; even among the clink clank of dishes being piled high, the scraping of metal fork against ceramic plate, the hum of conversation among dozens of

The Avoidable Crisis

Stanley Forman: 40 Years After the Soiling of Old Glory

The photo was chilling. Before a crowd of onlookers, a white man appears to be attempting to stab a black man with the tip of a flagpole. “It really showed racism,” said photographer Stanley Forman 40 years after he took the Pulitzer Prize-winning snapshot of an anti-busing protest that had turned violent. “It was whites

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