“Me Too” movement reaches Boston with Wynn Resorts name change
The luxury hotel chain Wynn Resorts is simultaneously building Massachusetts’ first luxury casino resort in Everett and attempting to distance itself from its founder, Stephen Wynn. Wynn is yet another powerful man to finally fall to allegations of rape and sexual harassment. While he was head of the company, he successfully received a bid to build one of the first casinos in Massachusetts when they were legalized in 2011. Now the name of Wynn Boston Harbor will be changed to Encore Boston Harbor, a different branch of the Wynn Resorts company. The company is also trying to have him removed as an individual qualifier for the project’s casino license. Individual qualifiers are individuals that have to stand accountable for the license and must exhibit good character and are subject to background checks. The chief executive officer Matthew Maddox said that while the company remains strong, the change is a response to “cultural sensitivity.” The director of the Boston Area Rape and Crisis Center (BARCC), Gina Scaramella, approved of the gesture.
Longfellow Bridge improvements cause transportation disruptions
The iconic “salt and pepper” bridge, named for the famed 19th century Massachusetts poet Henry Longfellow, is undergoing renovations to bring it up to code. The bridge is a major connector between Boston and Cambridge because it allows the MBTA red line and multiple lanes of traffic to cross the Charles River. However, because of this project the bridge has been closed multiple times throughout the year. This past weekend, the red line could only move on one track between Kendall and Park Street. Some stations were replaced entirely with shuttles. Shuttles between Park Street and Kendall are expected to replace service on May 12 and 13 as well. Luckily, the project is slated to finish sometime in May, restoring the bridge and traffic patterns. In other MBTA news, shuttle buses will replace Orange line service this weekend between Forest Hills and Jackson Square, and the Tufts Medical Center station will be closed all of June.
Dockless rental bikes debut in Greater Boston Area
Hubway bikes and their stations are now ubiquitous around Boston and Cambridge, but the brand could soon be facing competition in other areas from other bike rental startups, such as California-based LimeBike and Spin, that are testing out dockless bikes. These bikes have locks on their wheels and an accompanying app that allow riders to drop them off anywhere, adding to the convenience of shared biking. The app allows users to locate bikes in their area. However, this infrastructure has other accompanying issues. For one, many bikes have fallen off the app, meaning that the app is no longer aware of their location, making the bikes unusable and unreliable. Also, the fact that the bikes can be left literally anywhere has caused problems in other cities, most notably when a blind resident in Dallas, Texas was severely injured by an improperly placed dockless bike. Wellesley alumna and Zipcar founder Robin Chase ’80 still believes that this approach is a good step towards reducing dependence on cars. The bikes will not be in Boston, Cambridge and Brookline because these areas have an exclusive contract with Hubway.