Daily Archives: September 29, 2010

Beard’s Departure Leaves A Hole In Boston Media

Published September 29, 2010

You may not know his name, but you have seen his work for years — maybe five or 10 times a day, if you’re a real news hound.

David Beard

David Beard

David Beard, the editor of Boston.com and a friend of WBUR, is leaving the Boston Globe to become the online editor at the National Journal in Washington, D.C.

“The city is diminished by his leaving, because he had a clear-eyed vision of what the ‘soul of the city’ is,” says my boss, John Davidow, the executive editor of wbur.org. Many of my colleagues have described Beard’s departure as another loss for the Globe — and for Boston.

Beard came to the Globe in 1998 and took the helm of Boston.com in 2004. Since then, Web traffic has grown to almost absurd numbers: 200 million page views a month, 13 million of them on mobile, according to the Globe. (His partnership with WBUR also helped our online audience grow.)

So why is Beard leaving? “I didn’t want to live my life managing decline,” he says of the ailing Globe, in an interview with the Nieman Journalism Lab. Beard wants a career change, and the move to the National Journal is a chance to help bolster deep, watchdog journalism in the nation’s capital.

The National Journal is rebranding itself as a “digital-first” news operation, perhaps in response to the royal butt-kicking from Politico, the startup that came from nowhere. Beard is, as we say, a good get.

He is also a great guy. Good luck, Dave.

An Older, Wiser Coakley Is Takin’ It To The Streets

Published September 29, 2010

Remember how Martha Coakley lost to Scott Brown in January? How she barely campaigned while Brown was shaking hands at Fenway?

Coakley, McKenna (AP)

Coakley, McKenna (AP)

Now the attorney general faces a new challenger from out of nowhere, this time in her re-election bid. Millbury lawyer Jim McKenna, a Republican, scored an upset in his write-in campaign for the Sept. 14 primary election. It was the second time in Massachusetts history that a statewide write-in campaign succeeded.

McKenna formally launches his campaign today. On Tuesday, McKenna hired Brown’s old campaign staff. And they’re trying, again, to portray Coakley as part of the “boys and girls club.”

“Martha Coakley is wrong on illegal immigration and she has failed to prosecute the political corruption on Beacon Hill,” McKenna declares on his campaign website. “She has been more focused on prosecuting Garden Clubs than with the lawmakers stuffing bribes down their shirts.”

Coakley isn’t taking any chances. She’s campaigning. She strolled down Shrewsbury Street, Worcester’s main drag, chatting with “a car mechanic, baker, optician, nurses union officials and people on the street,” the Telegram & Gazette reported:

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Coming In 2040: Boston To NYC In 84 Minutes

Published September 29, 2010

Imagine traveling to New York at 220 miles per hour.

Imagine traveling to New York at 220 miles per hour.

Those of us who have made the perilous journey on a Fung Wah bus to New York can appreciate this: Amtrak has unveiled plans for a high-speed Northeast line that can get you there in an hour and 15 minutes. (The drive takes about four and a half hours.)

Amtrak would have to build new tracks, and the $117 billion proposal isn’t funded yet. Construction would begin as early as 2015, with the project slated for completion in 2040. So yeah, I’ll be 55. (Commenter Mike captures it: “This is a great idea, but can they reduce the construction schedule. We are so behind with high speed rail, starting in 2015 and ending in 2040 is a little sad.”)

Here are some of the lofty details from the news release:

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Wednesday Morning: A City Enraged

Published September 29, 2010

Boston Globe front page, 9/29/2010What’s news on a mild Wednesday morning in Boston — untempered outrage as the city reels from a quadruple homicide in Mattapan:

Police Vow Arrests In Mattapan Massacre

Boston’s grisliest mass murder in nearly two decades — made all the more horrific by the senseless execution of a baby in his young mother’s final embrace — sent horror rippling yesterday throughout the city, from the most powerful seats of government to the child’s devastated family. (Herald)

Woolson Street Wonders If More Cops Would Help

Woolson Street is one block away from the bustle of Morton Street. It’s a neighborhood of triple deckers in vinyl siding or in need of paint. And early Monday morning it was the scene of a crime that left four people, including a toddler, dead. (WBUR)

District Attorney: Cuts Cost Crime-Fighting

Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said plummeting budgets have led to crippling crime-fighting cuts, including layoffs to community liaisons instrumental in helping prevent violence such as yesterday’s Mattapan slayings. (Herald)

‘Forget The Miracle. That’s Old Rhetoric’

Rev. Eugene Rivers said the “Boston Miracle,” which pulled the city out of the murder spree of the 1990s, is “antiquity” now.  “We need a model that deploys faith-based workers, working with the police supporting them, and then providing seven-day-a-week wraparound care.” (WBUR)

We’ve Hit A New Low In Depravity

Residents across huge swaths of Boston haven’t felt this kind of fear and uncertainty since the crack-induced violence of the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the combination of drugs, huge profits from dealing them, and guns fueled a surge in the homicide rate that seems unimaginable today. (Brian McGrory/Globe)

What else is news: Amtrak has unveiled plans for a high-speed train that would travel from Manhattan to Boston in 84 minutes. And Massachusetts appeared to weather the recession better than most, according to new census data.