BU Central: It’s Central for a Reason

Cults's Madaline Folin at BU Central April 28, 2012 | photo by Tara Jayakar

Cults's Madaline Folin at BU Central April 28, 2012 | photo by Tara Jayakar

By Tara Jayakar | Apr 28th, 2012

As we’ve said before, shows at BU Central are vastly under-attended. It seems to be the kind of place where if you’re in, you’re in and if you’re not… well, you’re missing out.

Saturday’s show was Cults, and they were fantastic. The stark change between the mostly white album cover and sunshine associated with Cults and the darkness of the BU Central show only highlighted how complex the band is, bringing out the underside of a band so inextricably woven into the summer air.

“I’m surprised,” said CAS Senior Becca Antonopolis between acts. “There’s no one here.”

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Students Learn the Ropes at Statehouse

By Tara Jayakar
CONTRIBUTING WRITER
April 14, 2012BOSTON — During heated testimony over a Senate bill that would deny a driver’s license to a truant student, Joe Sherlock — aka state Sen. Stephen Baddour, D-Methuen — argued that education level and driving aren’t connected.

“Because you can pass calculus does not mean you (wouldn’t) barrel down the 495,” he said.

Sherlock knows what he was talking about — the Haverhill High School senior is acquainted with both high school math and driving. The legislative process is newer to him.

But that was the purpose of Friday’s 65th annual Student Government Day at the Statehouse, which saw students learning about the finer details of debate, compromise and power politics. For Sherlock, it meant taking on the role of a state senator, but expressing his own opinions.

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Mild Winter Thaws Cape’s Budget Worries – Front Page

By TARA JAYAKAR
CONTRIBUTING WRITER
April 05, 2012

This past winter’s lack of snowfall has been seen as a windfall by Cape officials who have snow removal money left over in their town budgets. But they say budgetary rules may keep them from using the money until next year.

“Public finance is a pain in the neck,” said Brewster Public Works Superintendent Robert Bersin, whose department has a $25,000 surplus that can’t be used elsewhere. “It’s earmarked for the snow and ice budget.”

Some state and local officials had eyed the leftover money as a way to ease budget deficits or to pay for long-delayed projects. Some, for example, have suggested using state snow removal money to bail out the MBTA, which is proposing rate hikes.

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Note: Full article includes amounts budgeted and spent for 15 Cape Cod municipalities’ snow removal funds this past winter. (2011-2012)

Ag Day Nurtures Statehouse Connections

photo courtesy of Cape Cod Times

Dave Roberts, shown here at Truro Vineyards, was among the agriculture producers and purveyors displaying their wares at the annual Agriculture Day fair at the Statehouse on Tuesday. Roberts is the owner of the Truro winery. || Jim Preston, Cape Cod Times

By TARA JAYAKAR
CONTRIBUTING WRITER
April 04, 2012

BOSTON — Standing at his table by the Statehouse’s grand staircase, Truro Vineyards proprietor Dave Roberts described how his sales flowed after legislation last year allowed state wineries to market their products at farmers markets.

“We were at 67 different agriculture events, the average winery sales were up 66 percent,” Roberts said. “All because the farmers market legislation that was passed last year.”

Roberts was among the agriculture producers and purveyors displaying their wares at the annual Agriculture Day fair at the Statehouse. Among the tables of sustainable vegetables, berries and dairy products were Cape businesses showing off cranberries, aquaculture and seafood.

“We’re here to see and be seen” said John Lowell, co-owner of East Dennis Oyster Farm.

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HBO’s “Girls” is Funny Because It’s True

HBO's "Girls" poster

HBO's "Girls" poster

By Tara Jayakar | Mar 27th, 2012

HBO, in collaboration with Xfinity and COM, screened an advance showing of its new series “Girls” Monday night. The screening included the first two episodes, free white-cheddar popcorn, a pamphlet on how to get Comcast cable and a surprisingly powerful mini flashlight (you have to remove the plastic thing on the battery!).

The swag was unnecessary because the show was good enough to make you forget, or at least ignore, your hunger and your fear of the dark, but it wasn’t overwhelmingly amazing enough to make you want to pay through the nose for premium cable.

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HIV Consent Bill May Face Tougher Challenge in House

By TARA JAYAKAR
CONTRIBUTING WRITER
March 15, 2012BOSTON – Physicians and AIDS advocates are debating whether a proposed bill that would allow doctors to test patients for HIV with a simple verbal consent needs other changes that would make it easier for health providers to see such records.

“It’s a good step that it went from written to verbal but it needs to go further,” says Dr. Lynda Young, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society. “The other part to this is that this proposed legislation has separate written informed consent for each release of the information.”

The Senate passed a bill March 2 changing the existing law requiring “written” consent for HIV testing to “spoken” consent.

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Testing Waiver Loosens ‘Noose’ for Cape Schools

By TARA JAYAKAR
CONTRIBUTING WRITER
February 20, 2012

Cape educators say they are relieved with the news that Massachusetts schools have been released from the federal testing guidelines of the No Child Left Behind Act, but some are wondering what this new freedom will mean.

“What kind of relief do we get?” Barnstable public schools Superintendent Mary Czajkowski asked a day after the Feb. 9 announcement.

The White House announced earlier this month that Massachusetts and nine other states will be granted a waiver from the 2005 federal education law that sets annual “adequate yearly progress” benchmarks for student achievement in basic areas of math and reading.

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Hyannis Eyes Cultural District Title – Front Page

proposed cultural district map

Courtesy of Rich Holmes, Cape Cod Times

By TARA JAYAKAR
CONTRIBUTING WRITER
February 13, 2012

HYANNIS — Barnstable officials are taking steps to ask the state to declare the current HyArts district in Hyannis a designated cultural district in hopes of bolstering the town’s image as an art destination and cultural mecca.

“I just think it’s going to be an enormous plus for our community,” said Hyannis Public Library Director Carol Saunders.

The district is the result of collaboration among the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Cape Cod Art Association in Barnstable, the Hyannis Main Street Business Improvement District, the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, Hyannis Area and Cape Cod chambers of commerce and the town of Barnstable.

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