Bald eagles spotted along the Charles River
Bird watchers and general enjoyers of the Esplanade Park along the Charles River have had something extra interesting to look out for over the past few weeks. Bald eagles have been spotted back along the Charles River. This is exciting as it marks the success of not only bald eagle rehabilitation but also the success of cleaning up the Boston Harbor and Charles River. It is the mark of a healthier ecosystem. The nation’s bird went locally extinct in Massachusetts in the early 1900s but since some were spotted in 1982 in Western Massachusetts, there has been a restoration effort. Their numbers have been increasing pretty steadily in the past few years and as of 2018, there were 76 territorial pairs. It is yet unclear if the Charles River sightings are just one bird or multiple birds but there have been a number of photos uploaded on Instagram.
Green Line project starting to move forward at faster pace
The Green Line will not be fully expanded into Somerville and Medford until late 2021 but the work is starting to move ahead two years out. The project will extend the line 4.7 miles out from its current terminus station of Lechmere in Cambridge following the commuter rail line that is already in place. There is a ton of earth work that needs to be done to widen the tracks to accommodate the trains. The dirt removed will be used for the new vehicle facility. So far construction has cost $170 million but the work is set to increase. This means more workers will be added on to the project and the budget for the next two years is expected to be $400 million. Already two major roadways in Somerville have been shut down for the project. Broadway Bridge outside of Ball Square has been torn down and Washington Street has been closed to tear down another bridge. The Broadway Bridge will be rebuilt over the next year to be longer. Even with all the change happening already, the majority of construction is still to come.
Tentative deal made in Stop & Shop strike
After 10 days, the United Food and Commercial Workers reached a tentative agreement with Stop & Shop, ending the strike. The local union chapters still have to vote and employees are not clear on the agreement but stores were open on Monday. Employees worked to remove expired food and restock as customers returned to their local grocery stores. The strike started when it was learned that Stop & Shop would be raising health care costs and cutting time and a half on Sundays. The new deal, which will last for the next three years, is said to keep time and a half for current members and raise pay while continuing to provide retirement and health care benefits.
Medford paints 3D crosswalks outside of local elementary schools
Massachusetts drivers are notorious for their dangerous tendencies such as speeding and aggression. There is no place where these tendencies are more dangerous than around schools. Just last year, a girl was killed crossing near Needham High School in a road rage incident. Student activists in Medford are trying to lessen the danger by painting three dimensional crosswalks. The crosswalks are still flat but a darker gray is painted around the traditional white blocks so they appear as if they are floating above the road. This makes them more eye catching to drivers so that they are more likely to stop. The idea was brought forward to Medford City Hall by a fourth and fifth grader and the mayor was present at the first unveiling.