Posted on August 11, 2010 by Marcos A. Marrero
Aproximate area of US "Rust Belt" cities in orange
As reviewed in an article from few weeks ago, our communities in Springfield and Holyoke can take advantage of regional and national resources intended to serve post-industrial cities across the United States. One such useful resource is Rustwire.com, which describes itself as:
a site intended to consolidate thoughtful, constructive stories about post-industrial cities across the Rust Belt. It was developed by two former newspaper reporters with ties to five Rust Belt cities, and it is maintained with help from half a dozen others from across the region
Similar to the springfield institute, they provide multi-author, multi-media rich perspectives on the struggles and successes that will transform our cities moving forward. We salute the entrepreneurship of the site’s contributors and recommend it to our readers.
Filed under: Digital divide & media | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 3, 2010 by Aron Goldman
We are grateful to Khali Maddox-Abdegeo (video above) and Eli Colgram (both from Universal Community Voices Eliminating Disparities) for guiding us through the Mason Square and McKnight neighborhoods last week. Highlights from our third Wednesday Ride include: A warm welcome at Arise for Social Justice, A hidden mural at Nation of Islam Mosque #13 (right), a visit to State Representative Ben Swan’s office (where we picked up Hal Swan), some oral history of Springfield from a McKnight resident and history buff, and growing numbers of riders! Enjoy this streetscape video (above), with music by Springfield native and UMass grad, Taj Mahal (Farther On Down the Road).
Click to check out Ride #1 and Ride #2, and you can also use our new category (Wednesday Rides) to see a running list of all our posts. Join us this week as we revisit the bike path from its Northern tip (and see if the drainage project is complete). We’ll gather at the YMCA on Chestnut Street at noon, and depart shortly thereafter.
Filed under: Health disparities, Wednesday Rides | 2 Comments »
Posted on July 27, 2010 by Aron Goldman
The Men of Color Health Awareness movement (MOCHA) kicked off their Monday walks last night (weekly at 6:30PM, at the mini-track behind the YMCA).
We had a great discussion about the Real Food Challenge, thanks to Myles Postell Reynolds (video below).
Filed under: Food systems, nutrition, & urban agriculture, Health disparities | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 26, 2010 by Monique Thomas
The Massachusetts policy for housing the homeless in hotels is now in the spotlight for its inefficiency after several incidents of crime, the most troubling of which involved the endangerment and death of a child. To end the problem of homelessness—to truly end it, not just placate it for the time being— we have to not only get those in need off the streets but into sustainable living situations, and with the resources they need to rebuild their lives.
The state spends about $2 million a month to house the 800 to 900 families that partake in the program. The way the money is being spent now, the solution is temporary at best and detrimental at worst; it’s harder to secure a job or even an interview for one without a permanent address, and it is also emotionally taxing on the families to not have a place to call their own. Here in Springfield, the number of homeless people is nearly double what it was two years ago, and the city’s Housing Department is placing people in hotels because the shelters are full. There is a general consensus that this policy is wholly ineffective, but the question is, what’s the best solution, considering budget constraints and the immediate need for a system that works?
Filed under: Housing & community development | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 22, 2010 by Aron Goldman
Seven of us headed out from the Y at noon yesterday to discover the North End. Gorgeous weather, visually rich. We used the Gerena community corridor to pass under I-91, we happened upon a bountiful community garden, and followed the giant cement wall that separates the Connecticut River and “Riverview Apartments and Senior Center.”
We were fortunate to be joined by a group of young people from all over New England who are spending the summer riding bikes and raising awareness about climate change (Students for a Just and Stable Future). They share their perspectives on Springfield in the 2 min. video below, and they are hosting a discussion about climate change at the Forest Park Branch Library TONIGHT (Thursday) at 6PM (flyer here).
Join us every Wednesday at noon at the YMCA on Chestnut St. (map) for a casual bike ride to a different neighborhood each week. Let us know if you’d like to guide a tour of your neighborhood. We’re headed to Mason Square next week. Try Holyoke, too!
Filed under: Food systems, nutrition, & urban agriculture, Health disparities, Housing & community development, Local democracy & civic engagement, Transportation & infrastructure, Wednesday Rides | 3 Comments »