Daily Archives: January 18, 2011

Sargent Shriver, Peace Corps Founder, Dies At 95

Published January 18, 2011

R. Sargent Shriver, who founded the Peace Corps during the Kennedy administration and launched an ill-fated campaign for vice president, has died. He was 95.

Shriver’s family said he died Tuesday in Bethesda, Md., where he had been hospitalized for several days.

President Obama called Shriver one of the “brightest lights of the greatest generation,” a World War II veteran who embodied the idea of public service during his long and distinguished career.

Shriver announced in 2003 he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. His daughter, former California First Lady Maria Shriver, became a champion of the cause.

“He lived to make the world a more joyful, faithful, and compassionate place,” the Shriver family said in a written statement. “He worked on stages both large and small but in the end, he will be best known for his love of others.”

Shriver co-founded the Special Olympics with his late wife, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. She died in August 2009, just weeks before the death of her brother, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

In 1961, after President John F. Kennedy created the Peace Corps by executive order, Shriver served as the first director. The government agency celebrates its 50th anniversary in March.

Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams said Sargent was a “distinguished public servant and a visionary leader.” Williams said the Peace Corps has deployed more than 200,000 volunteers to 139 countries.

Former NPR president and Peace Corps official Frank Mankiewicz, who worked closely with Shriver, paid tribute to his friend in an interview Tuesday with All Things Considered.

“I’ll be surprised if there’s anyone who served as a Peace Corps volunteer or a staff member, either, for that matter from … 1961 to 1965 who isn’t grieving today and who didn’t see Sarge as a kind of an embodiment of the idealism that created the Peace Corps,” Mankiewicz said.

Shriver led President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” later in the 1960s. He served as U.S. ambassador to France between 1968 and 1970.

Shriver would go on to become Democratic Sen. George McGovern’s running mate in a doomed 1972 presidential campaign, after vice-presidential candidate Thomas Eagleton abruptly withdrew from the race. Massachusetts was the only state to vote for the McGovern-Shriver ticket.

Four years later, Shriver sought the Democratic nomination for president but dropped out after a disappointing showing in the New Hampshire primary.

In 1994, Shriver was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States.

“Sarge was a crusader for social justice and racial equality, a vice-presidential nominee who fought for peace, and a father who instilled a deep sense of duty in all of his children,” said Sen. John Kerry in a statement.

Give Us Your Best (Worst) Commute Nightmares

Published January 18, 2011

This isn't real, but it might as well be.

This isn't real, but it might as well be.

I’ll start!

My colleague and neighbor in Harvard Square, WBUR’s Lisa Tobin, was kind of enough to give me a ride this morning. Traffic was moving through the square and on Memorial Drive. Then we arrived at the entrance to the BU Bridge rotary.

After staying in one place for 78 minutes, I reluctantly bailed on my poor driver and walked. I expected carnage at the other side of the bridge, an accident so horrific that the holdup could be forgiven. Nope, just one (1) Boston cop directing traffic.

Another Cambridge colleague, WBUR’s Joe Spurr, said he was not allowed onto the BU Bridge. He was redirected down Mem Drive, where he had to cross the Harvard bridge and then drive back up Comm. Ave.

Lisa finally arrived at work, 110 minutes after she left Cambridge. If hell ever froze over, Boston this morning is what it would look like.

And the Boston Globe reported yesterday that BU Bridge construction won’t be finished till December.

Your turn: Share your best (worst) commute nightmares in the comments. Hey, it’s good to vent.

Bobbie Cartlon (@BobbieC) tweeted:

So frustrated 2 hours in traffic to go 2 miles, gave up,#workingfromhome. Will try again later.

If we get enough good stories, I’ll share them today on Radio Boston.

Tuesday Morning: I Almost Wrote Monday

Published January 18, 2011

Good morning! It will be messy out there today as a storm brings a mix of snow and freezing rain. But hey, at least it will warm up a little.

More than 130 schools are closed across the state, and more than two dozen flights out of Logan Airport are cancelled.

A Boston Foundation report is recommending teacher raises be tied to student performance — not the length of a teacher’s service — upsetting the teachers union and emboldening administrators, who are about to engage in contract negotiations.

NPR’s Chris Arnold has a really nice explainer on the recent Ibanez decision in Massachusetts, which invalidated hundreds, maybe thousands, of foreclosures. Meanwhile, on Beacon Hill, a bill introduced this week would require a judge to review all foreclosures and would protect former homeowners from eviction.

Also on Beacon Hill: A clearer picture of state finances could emerge today. Gov. Deval Patrick and legislative leaders are working out an estimate of how much the state will collect in taxes and other revenue in the next fiscal year. Patrick is due to release his state budget later this month.

WBUR’s Bob Oakes interviewed a high-ranking Episcopal priest who recently was married. She is gay. “We got married because we love each other and because we want to commit to each other. We think it was a sacramental act. And so for people to have an opinion that can be so negative — it hurts your feelings.”

A story about “Netflix for art” is getting a lot of attention. WBUR’s Andrea Shea reports on a Cambridge start-up called TurningArt, which tries to take the fear out of buying art.