In the Media Archive - Page 871 of 887 - News @ Northeastern

  • Deciding Death

    Huffington Post -- 06/06/2013

    Justice Department lawyers will soon decide whether to seek the death penalty in the case of alleged Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. They will focus on the crime, and perhaps the youth of the criminal (the United States apparently hasn’t executed a teenager in over 100 years) and not on the randomness or value of capital punishment, a penalty increasingly discarded by the states either through abolition (Maryland is the latest) or official indifference (California’s death row population is over 700). Whitey Bulger, the accused murderer of 19, will come to trial this week in Boston, but the federal government is not seeking the death penalty in his case. Then there is Gary Leon Ridgway, known as the Green River Killer, who admitted killing 49 women, most by strangulation, and is actually thought to have murdered many others. He is serving life terms in the Washington State Penitentiary. In contrast, take Carlos De Luna, convicted of killing a Texas gas station attendant in 1983 under circumstances where, according to one analyst, all of the “essential players in the criminal justice system — police, prosecutors, defense counsel and judges — failed completely,” preventing a trial that was “in any sense” fair and just. The man who De Luna insisted was the murderer eventually admitted he had in fact done the killing but De Luna had been executed in 1989.

  • NU’s Jonathan Lee is on Celtics’ radar

    The Boston Globe -- 06/05/2013

    Former Northeastern guard Jonathan Lee made another trip to the Celtics’ practice facility in Waltham Tuesday for his second pre-draft workout with the team. The 6-foot-2-inch guard is pegged to go somewhere in the second round in the June 27 NBA draft. The Celtics have only the No. 16 pick in the first round, but the team is in need of a backup point guard and is looking at numerous options, such as Lee, Miami’s Shane Larkin, and German prospect Dennis Schroeder, all of whom have worked out for the Celtics. Lee averaged 13.8 points, 4 assists, and 4.4 rebounds for the Huskies last season as the team won 20 games and advanced to the NIT first round.  …

  • Bridge Collapse Sparks Questions Over Bridge Safety in Mass.

    WGBH Boston Public Radio -- 06/05/2013

    Northeastern University civil and environmental engineering professor Ming Wang went with me to visually inspect the Charlestown Bridge, a rusty truss bridge that crosses the Charles River, connecting Charlestown to Boston’s North End. The bridge has six lanes, but two of them are blocked off and there’s a sign posted that reads “No Trucks”. Wang found the Charlestown Bridge to be structurally deficient- marked by corroded beams that he said were beyond repair. It looked as if the bridge had been patched up in a piecemeal sort of way. Underneath the bridge are steel beams that are rotting away. Other, newer, redundant beams are carrying the weight. “In this case because of redundancy it seems to be safe, but from what I see the corrosion is really ugly, and its time to repair by stripping the paint,” Wang said as he flaked off some of the rusty paint on the surface of the beams. Stripping the paint from the Charlestown Bridge will not be easy, because it most likely contains lead, Wang said.

  • In Philanthropy, Why Naming Rights are the Name of the Game

    WQXR -- 06/05/2013

    Patricia Illingworth, an editor of Giving Well: The Ethics of Philanthropy, believes that naming rights are a mixed blessing from an ethical standpoint. To some degree, “the arts seem to be a place where people from all walks of life and all social classes can gather together in solidarity,” she noted. “So if billionaires are branding institutions and organizations with their names,” that can alienate some people. Nevertheless, Illingworth believes that named buildings can serve as an example and encourage increased giving from others. Does an arts institution risk alienating patrons by associating with a major donor who holds a controversial personal agenda? “The point is, [patrons] are going to walk in anyway,” said Pogrebin. “They may object but it’s not going to keep them away. Time passes and people get used to things.” A more complex picture emerges if a donor feels at liberty to dictate programming. According to a recentNew Yorker piece, a documentary film was halted because of pressure applied on PBS from David H. Koch. Opinions differ as to whether this occurs within performing arts organizations. “We like to think that the democratic process is what determines the social agenda,” said Illingworth. “And yet when philanthropists start acting like governments, in a sense they can determine the social agenda. Naming rights can exacerbate that.”…

  • Design for understanding? Watch the Swiss. -- 06/04/2013

    Revolutions in computing and communications have produced a relentless flood of information about our world and ourselves—right down to our DNA. Today, Boston’s research and technology sectors generate, process and interpret huge amounts of data across industries, from global business to personal genomics. This information gives us fresh insight and new answers, but presents its own critical questions. Namely, how do we each understand it? Boston’s universities, including Northeastern, and information design firms, such asFathom, Visual I/O and Small Design are leading the response to this new challenge. Through experimental, theoretical, and developmental work in the design and visualization of information, designers are mapping a brave new landscape of visible language that helps us imagine and invent our futures, guide our personal and collective decisions, and navigate our daily lives. It is no small task. The complexities presented by enormous amounts of information—or “big data”—exacerbate issues of interpretation, point of view, and comprehension. Rendering large amounts of complex information to be useful and meaningful requires an extremely sophisticated level of design. To present information as clearly as possible to people with different perceptions, cultures and languages, we often employ visual methods.

  • Middle-class parents in the Boston Public Schools -- 06/04/2013

    If you’re a middle-class parent in Boston, the question inevitably occurs: Should I raise my family in the city or abscond to the suburbs, where the public schools are a more certain bet? Anecdotally, it seems that increasingly parents are choosing to stay, and a new study based on in-depth interviews with Boston parents begins to explain why. Sociologists Chase Billingham and Shelley McDonough Kimelberg of Northeastern interviewed 32 middle-class parents with kids enrolled in the Boston Public Schools. Many of them lived in the city’s rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods—Jamaica Plain, the North End, South Boston, the Fenway, Charlestown—and all of them had the means to leave once their children reached school-age. Instead they decided to give the BPS a shot. And, as the interviews reveal, the decision was based largely on the belief that, through major investments of time and money, they could shape their local elementary schools into the kinds of places they wanted their kids to attend. Urban public school systems are famously intractable, and it’s hard to believe that against such sprawling bureaucracies, parental initiative can make much of a difference. But, as the authors explain, the parents they interviewed do much more than organize bake sales and chaperone field trips. They also guide strategic planning and curriculum development, sit on hiring committees, recruit other middle-class families into their schools, and write grants (including one that pays for a second kindergarten teaching assistant).

  • FBI: Indianapolis among U.S. cities with increase in violent crime

    Indianapolis Star -- 06/04/2013

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that violent crime in the United States rose for the first time in six years in 2012 — and Indianapolis was no exception. There were 776 more violent crimes and seven more murders in Indianapolis in 2012 than in 2011, according to the FBI. But experts cautioned that it would be premature to attach any significance to the statistical bump. “I would be very careful not to jump to any conclusions based on one year” said James Alan Fox, a criminology professor at Northeastern University in Boston. “Violent crime has been decreasing for so long it was bound to go up.” According to the FBI’s 2012 preliminary Uniform Crime Report, violent crime increased 1.2 percent nationwide but jumped 3.7 percent in cities with populations similar to Indianapolis — 500,000 to 1 million people.

  • Big housing plans for smaller cities

    The Boston Globe -- 06/04/2013

    Northeastern University’s Dukakis Center has said the state needs to double or triple its rate of housing construction in order to meet coming demand. The Patrick administration believes the state needs 10,000 new apartments and condominiums per year over the next decade just to have a housing market that functions normally. Massachusetts has only hit that level of home construction a few times over the past two decades. Boston Mayor Tom Menino recently outlined a plan to add 30,000 new housing units to Boston by 2020; as big as that number sounds, it still means that 70 percent of the state’s new homes will have to come from somewhere outside Boston. Much of the remainder will have to come from places like Lowell, Quincy, and Malden.  …

  • An 18-Year-Old California Entrepreneur Sells Flights on Vintage Jets

    ABC News -- 06/04/2013

    Burris, who lives in Lincoln, Calif., northeast of Sacramento, says after he graduates from high school he will attend Northeastern University in Boston, and plans to major in business administration, with a concentration in entrepreneurship and new venture management.

  • Tracing the links between civic engagement and the revival of local journalism

    Nieman Journalism Lab -- 06/04/2013

    Serving the public isn’t enough for journalism, the Northeastern University professor says. His new book The Wired City taught him that the public first has to be created, nurtured, and given a voice.  …