Daily Archives: March 22, 2011

Gallery: Bedford Company Will Send Robots To Japan

Published March 22, 2011

Bedford robotics company iRobot is sending four of its machines to Japan to help get the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant under control. While the company is known for the popular vacuuming robot Roomba, the machinery going to Japan is a little more high-tech.

The company will send two PackBot and two Warrior robots to assist Japan’s Self-Defense Force at the country’s crippled nuclear plant. These robots can maneuver dangerous terrain, detect toxic chemicals and radiation in the air and lift and tow heavy objects.

According to the Boston Herald, engineers altered one of the Warrior’s arms to be able to carry a fire hose, which could be used to cool the plant’s overheating reactors.

Six volunteers from the iRobot staff will travel to Japan to assist in the efforts.

Census: State Gets More Diverse; Boston Grows

Published March 22, 2011

Secretary of State William Galvin today released detailed Massachusetts population data from the U.S. Census Bureau. In addition to providing a snapshot as to how the state changed from 2000-2010, legislators will use the data to determine how to best eliminate one congressional district.



  • The state is more diverse. Asian and Hispanic populations increased nearly 50 percent from 2000-2010. The state’s black population increased 26 percent. The white population decreased 1.9 percent — to just over 80 percent of the state’s total.
  • Worcester County saw the biggest gains; Cape Cod and the Berkshires the biggest losses.
  • Boston’s population grew by nearly 5 percent. At first, Galvin erroneously reported that Boston had the state’s biggest total population loss.
  • Here’s all the Massachusetts data.


Full Live Blog Details:

5:38 p.m. Why the population declines in Cape Cod and the Berkshires? Here’s WBUR’s Fred Thys:

According to the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, people can’t afford to live there and there are few jobs. But Galvin says people have second homes on Cape Cod that they might not be registering as their primary residence. Same with the Berkshires. It could be a summer residency issue.

5:32 p.m. Here’s how some other outlets across the state are reporting today’s figures:

5:15 p.m. Confirmed his city grew nearly 5 percent, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said this:

I am proud to see Boston’s population continue to grow. Our City continues to be a vibrant and attractive place live, work and raise a family. As we continue to innovate and bring new jobs to our City and work to provide opportunities for families, I am confident Boston will continue to grow and thrive.

At 617,594 residents, the mayor says it’s the first time since the 1970s that Boston’s population is over 600,000. It also maintained its “majority-minority” status, with 53 percent nonwhite or Hispanic.
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Tuesday Morning: School Food Gets Worse

Published March 22, 2011

School food has a bad rep, but sometimes it’s warranted.

Out-of-date food has cost the long-time director of Boston public schools’ food and nutrition her job. School officials found almost 300 cases of expired food in 40 cafeterias across the system.

A black baby born in Boston today is four times more likely than a white infant to die before the first birthday, according to the Boston Public Health Commission. WBUR’s Martha Bebinger reports on an often overlooked endemic problem.

We might have a White Sox fan in the White House, but we might soon find a Red Sox fan as prime minister of the Tibetan government in exile. Lobsang Sangay, a research fellow at Harvard Law School, and Medford resident, is the favorite to win a three-way election for the post.

What we’re following: We’ll report on the census data crucial to the redistricting process that will be made public this afternoon, the Boston school food issues and the possible appointment of a Parole Board member. Former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky will join Radio Boston to speak about his newest collection of poems.