Daily Archives: September 16, 2010

Tufts University, Most Dangerous In America?

Published September 16, 2010

WBUR employs some street-smart Jumbos, but none of them can believe this: The Daily Beast reports Tufts University is America’s most dangerous college campus. A Tufts official calls the conclusion “gross inaccuracy.”

A statue of Mighty Jumbo, the Tufts University mascot (graysky/Flickr)

Mighty Jumbo (graysky/Flickr)

In its second annual ranking, the Daily Beast compiled federally mandated crime stats for campuses across the country.

The numbers for Tufts, which cover reports (not convictions) over the most recent three calendar years, are grim: one murder, 36 forcible rapes, 100 robberies, 119 aggravated assaults, 174 burglaries.

After the mean streets of Medford, the University of Maryland, Baltimore, comes in at No. 2. Harvard University comes in at No. 3; MIT is No. 14.

Tufts brass was quick to respond, noting its crime data covers all three campuses, including in Chinatown. In an internal memo provided to me by a source, Executive Vice President Patricia Campbell calls the Daily Beast’s methodology “flawed” (emphasis mine):

First, unlike some Boston area universities, Tufts has reported to the U.S. Department of Education not only incidents that take place on our three campuses but also incidents on adjacent public property that are reported to us by municipal police. This is done so that our community is aware of such incidents and can take proper precautions, but it may create the misperception that our campuses are less safe than they really are. Most of those off-campus incidents do not involve Tufts students, faculty or staff. Second, safety data reported for our health sciences campus in downtown Boston has historically included off-campus areas that are several blocks away from campus–much farther than would normally be reported. This has also inflated the number of incidents reported for Tufts.

The Daily Beast explains its methodology this way:

We pored over the three most recent calendar years of campus security and crime data (2006-2008) compiled by the U.S. Department of Education, as well as the FBI and the Secret Service, in conjunction with the Clery Act, the federal mandate requiring all schools that receive federal funding to disclose crime information annually. The data reflect incidents reported to campus or local police, not convictions.

If you don’t go to school in Camberville, the report does offer uplifting news: Nationwide, incidents of major crimes on college campuses are down, compared to last year’s report (which, by the way, named Emerson College most dangerous).

Are you a student who feels unsafe? Or do you think the rankings are bogus?

Broadcasting Greats Are Honored Today

Published September 16, 2010

WBUR's Robin Young (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

WBUR's Robin Young (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Two WBUR greats are honored today: Here & Now host Robin Young and Con Salsa host José Massó will be inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

“They’ve invested more than their time and energy.  They have brought us great gifts, from music and insight to information and companionship,” said Arthur Singer, the Hall of Fame president.

“They’ve been our eyes and ears at our sporting events, at the State House, our city halls and our schools. As  Massachusetts  listeners and viewers we are fortunate to have had them in our lives.”

For many in Massachusetts, Robin’s face may be more familiar than her voice. She is a Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker. She has been a national host and reporter on ABC, NBC and CBS and locally on WBZ-TV. She hosted a cooking game show. She directed Red Sox games. Once she appeared on the cover of TV Week with Bobby Orr. If you missed it, the Globe printed a Q&A with Robin this weekend about the changing media landscape.

WBUR's Jose Masso in January 2009 (Josh Reynolds/AP)

WBUR's Jose Masso (AP)

José’s career spans decades, long before we were Boston’s NPR News Station. Con Salsa — which he describes as “part music show, part party, part community center” — celebrated 35 years on WBUR this summer. Radio Boston recently interviewed the Puerto Rican salsa king.

As one observer wrote in Hispanic Issues in Higher Education:

José’s resume reads like the cast of a Hollywood movie. The political liaison on the presidential campaign trail. The investigative TV journalist. The innovative high school teacher who makes learning fun. The late-night disc jockey. The high-powered sports agent.

Other broadcasters honored today:

  • Bruce Arnold
  • Jim Coppersmith
  • Phil D.
  • Dale Dorman
  • Tom Ellis
  • Gary Lapierre
  • Wilmer “Bill” C. Swartley Jr.

Along with many of our deceased colleagues:

  • Roger Allan
  • Ken Coleman
  • “Big Brother Bob” Emery
  • John Henning (commemorated here and here)
  • Robert J. Lurtsema
  • Johhny Most
  • Harry Wheeler

What’s your connection to these men and women?

Mass. Unemployment Drops To 8.8%

Published September 16, 2010

This just in:

Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported today that preliminary August job estimates show 3,201,900 jobs in Massachusetts, an increase of 2,100 jobs. The August job growth follows a revised 15,200 jobs gain in July, previously reported as a 13,200 job gain. This marks the seventh straight month for job gains in the Commonwealth, adding 64,300 jobs since December 2009. Massachusetts is currently third in rate of job growth in the nation year-to-date based on the July preliminary estimates for all states.

The total unemployment rate dropped from 9.0 percent in July to 8.8 percent in August and remains below the 9.6 percent national rate which was up over-the-month from 9.5 percent.

The largest job gains were in leisure and hospitality; professional, scientific and business services; and construction. Government lost 1,900 jobs, most of them temporary census jobs.

The Massachusetts economy continues to grow ahead of rest of the nation’s. But let’s not forget how many Bay Staters are still looking for work — some 304,000, which is more than the population of most New England cities — and how many of them aren’t included in that 8.8 percent figure because they have given up looking.