Daily Archives: March 15, 2011

Concerned With Nuclear Power? (What You Said)

Published March 15, 2011

Japan’s continued struggles with its stricken Fukushima-Daiichi plant have re-raised long-standing questions about nuclear power’s safety. Yesterday, Sen. John Kerry called for “more fail-safe plants if any are going to be built” in the future.

This morning, WBUR’s Bianca Vasquez Toness reported from Plymouth’s Pilgrim Power Station. Though the plant is similar in design to the damaged site in Japan, Plymouth officials are reassuring residents of the plant’s safety.

Following Bianca’s story — and with three power plants in or just outside Massachusetts — we asked users: Are you concerned about nuclear power following Japan’s crisis? Here’s what you said:
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Putting The Winter In Perspective

Published March 15, 2011

Just two short months ago the State House was covered in snow. Now, flowers are beginning to sprout. (hyperion327/Flickr)

Just two short months ago the State House was covered in snow. Now, flowers are beginning to sprout. (hyperion327/Flickr)

- A reporter’s notebook

What a nice day out today.

The sun is shining and the sky is blue. I saw a bunch of crocuses the other day and out on the State House grounds I can see the tips of daffodils peeking up through the ground.

The calendar indicates that this is the final full week of winter — a winter many of us hardy New Englanders are glad to see in our rear-view mirror.

Remember those snow storms that came at us fast and furious? That big one the day after Christmas, and all the others that followed? It seemed like every couple of days.

As a WBUR reporter, I was often the guy out in those storms, giving updates on trouble spots and talking to folks inconvenienced by mother nature.

I remember chatting with a couple at a makeshift shelter in Scituate. A huge wave had come crashing though the door of their rented house right on the beach. It ripped the door right off its hinges. They were okay. Just shaken up a bit.

I remember talking to another fellow in Scituate as we watched his boyhood home burn to the ground. An arcing utility line sparked the blaze, but since the neighborhood was flooded out, the fire department couldn’t get an apparatus close enough to douse the flames.

Then there was another storm where I spoke with a long line of people waiting at a Dunkin Donuts in Whitman. It was crowded because their own homes had been without power for three or four hours, and they needed their jolt of caffeine to start their day.

I was none too pleased when I almost ruined a pair of shoes riding around with a state Department of Transportation crew as they unplugged clogged storm drains along I-93. A sudden rain, coupled with those huge snowbanks, turned low spots on the roadway into lagoons.

But since Friday, after hearing the stories and seeing the pictures from Japan, I’ve put things in perspective.

It wasn’t that bad a winter after all.

Tuesday Morning: Checking In On Probation

Published March 15, 2011

Dangerous levels of radiation are leaking from a nuclear plant damaged by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said there is a high risk of more radioactivity leaking from overheating nuclear rods and ordered everyone within 12 miles of the plant to evacuate.

The Globe’s Big Picture blog has devastating pictures of the disaster.


Mass. House Speaker Robert DeLeo proposed changes designed to reduce the influence lawmakers have over the Probation Department, which is under the cloud of a corruption investigation. WBUR’s Fred Thys is covering the speaker’s remarks scheduled to be delivered at a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce breakfast.

When you hit all green lights on your drive to work, found a dollar bill in the back pocket of your jeans and managed to score a free lunch in the office kitchen, you thought you were lucky. That’s small potatoes compared to a list of “lucky” Massachusetts residents.

A state auditor’s report says that the Commonwealth is missing out on thousands of dollars in tax revenue thanks to ineffective policing of the Lottery. The report says an ongoing scam has lottery winners that owe back taxes giving their winning tickets to middlemen who then cash the winners in, for a fee. The report doesn’t label the middlemen, but some “lucky” residents have cashed in up to a thousand tickets. Luck of the Irish?

As the world watches the growing nuclear crisis in Japan, fears are spiking over local nuclear power plants. The Pilgrim Power Station in Plymouth provides electricity for about 600,000 homes. Operators assured state officials Monday that the facility is safe.

Steeped in complex medical jargon, a dizzying array of insurance paperwork and wonky economic principles, the rising tide of health care costs are often difficult to understand. WBUR’s Martha Bebinger reports on the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization’s efforts to catch consumers up.

Authorities yesterday struck a blow to fans of running naked through Medford when the president of Tufts University announced he was scrapping the school’s annual Naked Quad Run. Twelve students were hospitalized and one was arrested at the last Naked Quad Run in December. No word on the number of embarrassed college males.

What we’re following: We’ll, of course, continue to report on the nuclear crisis in Japan, the investigation of Sunday’s chemical plant explosion and the ruling that allows protests at military funerals.