Monday, July 9, 2012
A native of Vancouver, B.C., Alan's background as a singer and producer enliven the music you hear during the heart of the weekday, from spectacular orchestral works to intimate early music chamber pieces.
At noon each day, Alan takes you to one of the legendary concert halls of Europe for recent performances of the world's great artists and ensembles on Café Europa.
Each day at 1pm, reporter Cristina Quinn of WGBH News joins Alan for a summary of local and national news, keeping you in touch with the important issues surrounding the community.
Hear recent performances from Café Europa
Read and hear more reports from WGBH News
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
By Sean Corcoran | Tuesday, September 6, 2011
By Sean Corcoran | Thursday, August 11, 2011
Aug. 11, 2011
WOODS HOLE, Mass. — When the negotiations were complete, when the concerns of businesses, residents and politicians were settled and President John Kennedy signed the legislation to establish the Cape Cod National Seashore on August 7, 1961, the hard work of creating the Seashore park and protecting its ecosystem began in earnest.
Roger Higgin was a 19-year-old Park Service intern in the Seashore's maintenance department in 1968, before eventually becoming a full-fledged park ranger.
"When I first started, I thought the whole job was planting beach grass. The first spring, all we did was dig beach grass, and we would haul it down to Wellfleet, and they were planting around the headquarters at that time," Higgin said. "We spent months, right up until the beginning of summer, planting beach grass."
But beach-grass planting wasn't the only activity ongoing in the early years of the park. Higgin, who is now the park manager of the Cape Cod Canal, said trails were under construction for bicycles, horses and off-road vehicles. Efforts also were underway to protect certain animal life whose dwindling numbers threatened extinction. That work continues today, as each summer trails and beach lands are closed to protect a small, orange-legged bird called the piping plover.
In 1968, it was terns the rangers had to watch out for.
"We had a tern warden, and they would go out and do the same thing you do now for a piping plover, they would get the nest, and they would monitor the tern, and keep vehicles out, like you do now with the piping plover," Higgin said.
Throughout the Seashore's history, conflicts between people and nature, as well as between government, visitors and residents, have cropped up from time to time. And a look back at the park's history indicates that it's hard to predict just what those conflicts will be.
In the mid-1970s, for example, the Seashore experienced something of a crisis, Higgin said, when nude sun-bathing was the rage.
"I remember a nude-in at the Herring Cove Beach, and you could fill the parking lot," Higgin said. "It was a national scene. We're talking big-time trouble."
It wasn't the nudity that was the real concern, Higgin said, but the impact of having thousands of spectators trampling over fragile dune areas. In the end, the Park Service curved the practice with vigilant law enforcement and lots of citations.
But other issues emerged, including troubles with zoning rules. The original deal between the federal government and the six local towns called for the towns to enact strict zoning legislation to govern the 600 homes within the park boundaries and to limit their expansion. But Cape Cod National Seashore Superintendent George Price said it's now apparent that not every community made the zoning changes.
"We have been around for all these years trying to maintain the Cape Cod character, as it is described, and yet there are others who are new to the Cape who come in and would like to see how a large mansion -- that is their definition of a dream house on the beach. So it will be interesting to see how this plays over the next 50 years," Price said.
The very fact that communities involved in the Seashore did not make the zoning changes came as something of a surprise, Price said.
"I think people thought the legislation was pretty self evident, and I thought there was a common understanding of what should be in place, and that obviously is not the case," Price said.
Orleans resident Jonathan Moore was a Congressional aide to Sen. Leverett Saltonstall, who helped negotiate the park agreement with local select boards in the late 1950s and early 1960s. That deal included the creation of a community advisory board to work with the Park Service on local issues. Moore said that going forward, there will be more conflicts, but a system is in place to deal with them.
"My basic answer is: hold on for dear life," Moore said said. "There will be more challenges and more conflict. But the base is so strongly structured.
After all, Moore said, it's lasted 50 years. "It's held on and its succeeded so well, that infrastructure, both political and legal and social, is a lot of tenacity, a lot of endurance. I can't predict what the challenges will be, but saidI hope not expediently, but nearly expediently, the efforts to protect this peninsula are going to get tougher, not weaker," Moore said.
The creation of the Cape Cod National Seashore was something of a grand experiment in federal land preservation. The Park Service had never taken over a populated area like Cape Cod, and the effort took compromise and determination on all sides.
Today, there's general agreement that the experiment was a success. And its the very recognition of the park's value to Cape Cod's character and its economy that supporters say will see it through the next 50 years.
By The Associated Press | Thursday, August 11, 2011
Aug. 11, 2011
WASHINGTON — Consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren is taking the first steps toward launching a possible challenge against Republican Scott Brown, the U.S. senator from Massachusetts and a top Democratic target in 2012.
The 62-year-old Harvard law professor began contacting top Massachusetts Democrats on Thursday, including party Chairman John Walsh, about a potential candidacy.
Warren plans to make a decision after Labor Day and will spend the next few weeks talking with voters and party activists, a Democrat close to the national leadership told The Associated Press. The person was not authorized to speak publicly, and requested anonymity.
"I left Washington, but I don't plan to stop fighting for middle class families," Warren wrote in a posting Thursday on Blue Mass Group, a popular blog among Massachusetts Democrats. "I spent years working against special interests and have the battle scars to show it — and I have no intention of stopping now."
A favorite of consumer groups and liberals, Warren was tapped by President Barack Obama last year to set up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Congressional Republicans opposed her becoming the bureau's director, and Obama in July decided not to pick her to head the new agency, sparking speculation that she might challenge Brown.
Top national Democrats desperate to find a strong challenger to take back the Massachusetts seat long held by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy have been urging Warren to run for months. A poll in March showed Brown as the most popular politician in the state.
Warren, who lives in Cambridge, has never held elective office. She left the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau this summer, and recently returned from a vacation with her family to consider running.
Warren did not immediately respond Thursday to a request for comment.
In a move that appeared to underscore her seriousness about the race, two prominent Massachusetts political strategists - Doug Rubin and Kyle Sullivan — are assisting her as she decides. Rubin is the former top political strategist for Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.
Democrats say her image as a crusader on behalf of consumers against well-heeled Wall Street and corporate interests would be a boon to her candidacy. Party leaders also believe her national profile would help her raise the money needed to topple Brown, who has more than $10 million in his campaign account.
Faced with a crowded field, Democrats worry that a long, costly and divisive primary could dash their hopes of reclaiming the seat after their embarrassing loss to Brown in 2010.
There are several Democrats already running, including Setti Warren, the first-term mayor of the affluent Boston suburb of Newton and the state's first popularly elected black mayor; City Year youth program co-founder Alan Khazei; and Robert Massie, a former lieutenant governor candidate.