2-year-old boy Was Killed By a Car:Protests For The Safer Streets in Boston

2-year-old boy Was Killed By a Car:Protests For The Safer Streets in Boston

Boston Protest street safetyA protest demanding street safety in Boston gathered residents in South Boston’s Tynan School on Thursday.

The incident that brought the community together was another tragedy that happened two weeks ago with a 2-year-old boy.

The little child was killed by a car on the sidewalk. Tragically, the little boy named Collin McGrath was in a stroller when a van jumped the curb after crashing into a small car.

‘’We should be able to leave our houses without the fear of getting hit by a car’’, the leader of the march, Kati Donovan said. Kati was hit by a car and she is still in the wheelchair. She has compassion for what’s happening in the streets because she has been through it herself.

People came from every corner of South for the gathering to protest against dangerous situation created by drivers for residents.

Kati Donovan led a slow-down march up to L Street, just past the corner of East 5th where little McGrath lost his life.

The city has since installed flex poles at several intersections for more visibility. But residents demand a master traffic improvements for all of the Southie.

Among protestors, there were people whose family members were killed in the streets. Deidre Habershaw said he remembers the promises given by the city officials to improve street safety, but yet, practically nothing happened.

His dad was killed more than five years ago.

For the safer environment, residents are demanding more traffic lights, four-way stop signs, speed bumps, crosswalks, and a 20 mph speed limit.

In response to the demands of the protestors, Boston Police Commissioner William Gross said that they have to address the issue, and they are willing to do so.

 

Residents are very going to watch the response from community leaders carefully. The continued inaction would impact how they would vote in November.

 

An MIT Dropout Might Have Created the Next Big Device

MITAn MIT dropout wants to change the game and hopes to help saves thousands of lives with his new device.

 

But before I reveal what type of device this is, let’s get to know a little about the inventor of it. Kai Kloepfer is a 21-year-old college dropout from MIT in Boston.

 

He grew up in Colorado and was always interested in technology as well as engineering. He first started working on this device back when he was still in high school. He created the first model for a science fair about 6 years ago. Since then, he has been working on it and improving it slowly here and there.

 

Now, he is working towards making his science project his new business. Lots of investors from California were willing to invest in his creation, which is how he was able to obtain funding for it.

So, what, might you ask, is this device he’s working on? It’s a smart gun. Yes, that’s right, a smart gun.

 

If it goes the way he hopes, his invention will be the first ever handmade smart gun!

 

How would a smart gun work? Well, according to Kloepfer, the gun has a sensor on the handle that will only recognize one fingerprint, the owner’s. It can only be used and functional when the authorized person uses it with the right fingerprint.

 

Since he was from Colorado originally, the movie theater shooting that occurred a few years ago had upset Kloepfer and motivated him to come up with the invention of the smart gun. He hopes this new device can help save the lives of innocent people.

Biofire, his company, is constructing the handgun by hand and incorporating the sensor in it. Kloepfer stated that the smart gun will need charging every once a year.

 

In his opinion, Boston might not be the right city for having a gun company, however, there are lots of talented people that are right for the position of working in this company. He says, “Boston is, in my opinion, the best city in the United States for hardware electronics.”

 

This will make all the difference, especially with gun-related deaths that happen year-round.

Boston’s Parking System is Corrupt and Residents Demand Action

bostonParking fines keep rising in Boston throughout the last few years, if not decades. For those who commute to work in town, it comes with a price.

 

Locals who live in the city are starting to have to pay for parking by their own houses.

 

City councils are calling it a “broken neighborhood system.”

 

Antonio Planas, a Boston Herald reporter, says that Boston city councils are trying to find a solution to this system.

 

Residents are being charged for getting parking stickers to be able to park in their own neighborhood. If they do not have the required permit parking, they will get fined each time they park in the neighborhood.

 

What’s worse is that the city is actually limiting the number of permits that are being bought or handed out to residents, meanwhile, parking enforcers are giving residents or others more tickets every day for not having the permits.

 

At Boston’s Committee on Planning, Development and Transportation, city officials are trying their best to fix this problem, since it really has become a big problem for Boston residents.

 

Those city officials have been frustrated with the fact that the city is giving out an unlimited amount of the residential parking permits and is not charging people for those permits. The problem is that certain neighborhoods do not have a lot of parking spaces available which makes it hard for the ones living in those areas to park their cars when they return home.

 

Councilors are thinking of pricing the permits $100.

 

Parking spots might take up to an hour to be found, which is not going to work for people either.

 

Mayor Marty Walsh does not agree with the price for the permits. He states, “this would impact residents who can’t afford to pay for their permit, meaning a police like this could directly penalize those who make the least and may have few reasonable and affordable alternatives to travel.”

 

It’s true. The city should to put an end to this and find a reasonable solution to fix the parking problem in Boston to help its low-income residents.

 

There is talk about finding alternatives, like some sort of satellite tracking parking system or giving people incentives to park somewhere else.

 

Residents, commuters, and visitors of Boston should not be punished for owning vehicles but instead given some sort of an incentive.

 

The City of Boston Expanding Driverless Car Testing Project

boston driverless carsSelf-driving cars have returned to the roads of Boston after a brief shutdown to review safety standards following the death of a pedestrian in Tempe, Ariz., and the city of Boston will expand its testing project.

The city has been working with self-driving car company nuTonomy, which has been testing autonomous vehicles in the Seaport since January 2017 under the supervision of Boston officials, after initially trying out the cars within the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Industrial Park.

The testing will be citywide from now on, the officials say.

It’s important to mention that in March, Massachusetts officials have delayed a plan to expand testing in the region.

NuTonomy Inc. and Optimus Ride, two Boston-based companies testing the technology in the Seaport District, took a break at the request of city officials, who sought to better understand the companies’ safety procedures after the Uber crash.

Since the accident, Uber has kept its self-driving cars off the road in Arizona, Toronto, Pittsburgh, and California. After that, Arizona, which has loudly championed a low-regulation environment for driverless companies, ordered Uber to keep its program halted in the wake of the death. Uber has also said it will not seek to extend its permit to test in California after it expires.

But in Boston, NuTonomy and Optimus Ride got the green light to resume operations from city officials the following Tuesday. The companies began testing the technology here last year, and nuTonomy offers a ride to some members of the public through a partnership with the ride-hailing firm Lyft. Neither company has reported any incidents from their Boston tests.

“We have met with our partners, nuTonomy, and Optimus Ride, to review the testing policies and procedures that are mandatory components of the City of Boston’s program. With this safety review complete, Boston will allow autonomous-vehicle testing to resume,” said Boston Transportation Commissioner Gina Fiandaca.

NuTonomy declined to comment beyond confirming resumption of its testing. Optimus Ride did not return requests for comment.

Meanwhile, state officials were originally scheduled to sign a new agreement with a coalition of several Boston suburbs that would allow companies to apply to test self-driving vehicles on their streets. The deal hasn’t been sealed until at least late April.

Among other standards, the Boston tests require a driver to be seated in the front seat at all times to take control of the car as needed.

Arizona allowed companies to conduct tests without a so-called safety driver. But in the Tempe incident, a driver was in the front seat when the car hit the pedestrian.

 

Robots Are The New Chefs At Spyce In Boston

robotsRobots are slowly taking over human jobs and this restaurant is ahead in the game. Spyce, a new restaurant in downtown Boston has replaced the regular human cook with robots. The idea was started by Chef Daniel Boulud, who partnered up with a few Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers.

The restaurant has seven automated cooking pots that prepare the food. The bots only take 3 minutes to prepare each meal, sometimes even less! Michael Farid, a co-founder of Spyce, explains how the system of their kitchen works with the robots. He states, “We have an ingredient delivery system that collects from the fridge.” He also explains how everything is equally portioned and sent to the robots to be cooked. Once the food is done, the robots place the food in a bowl and it is ready to be served.

Spyce might just be the first restaurant to have robots as chefs that cook meals faster than any other dining place. When customers enter the restaurant, they first create their meals. They use touch-screens to place their order. Every bowl contains lots of veggies and grains. The menu also includes the number of calories each bowl has and a variety of cuisines from all around the world.
As people wait for their meals to be finished, their name appears electronically displayed on their bot chef with the list of their order. Before the bots place the food into the bowl, they get rinsed with hot water to get cleaned. The robots are visible to the customers. They wanted people to have a different experience and have fun while waiting for their food.

However, Spyce does have human employees. They have a person who greets customers at the entrance who is also there to assist with placing orders and answering questions. They have people who prepare the food at night for the next day. The restaurant also has employees who add final touches to the meals, like bits of cheese, seeds or cilantro before it is ready to be served.

The team of Spyce believes that these robots make the dining experience better. The restaurant’s motto is “culinary excellence elevated by technology.” While human-made meals are delicious and great to have, this experience is one of a kind and a must try.

Lyft is Bringing Back Self-Driving Cars in Boston

Lyft is Bringing Back Self-Driving Cars in Boston

Self-driving Cars

Self-driving cars are back on the road again!

Recently, Boston city officials gave permission to companies, Optimus Ride and NuTonomy to resume the testing of self-driving cars.

Lyft actually partnered up with the Boston-based company, NuTonomy. This will give Lyft’s clients the option to choose a self-driving car in the near future.

NuTonomy is not the first self-driving car company that Lyft has partnered up with. They have also partnered up with other self-driving auto companies, such as Waymo, Drive.ai, Ford, and GM.

Drive.ai is helping Lyft create self-driving taxis to be used in San Francisco. Lyft paired up with GM to develop the self-driving Chevy Bolts.

Both co-founders of Lyft plan to have the majority of their cars be autonomous by 2021.

These self-driving cars have been testing in Boston since the start of 2018, mainly in the Seaport District.

One thing all of these companies have in common with each other is to make driving easier and safer with no human-caused errors to deal with.

Although there were a few bad incidents involving autonomous cars, the mayor met with Optimus Ride and NuTonomy, and reviewed their procedures. He trusts that these cars are safe to continue test driving.

He even believes these companies will have a positive impact and will make a huge difference in the future.

The rule is that all autonomous cars must have a driver on the wheel at all times.

As for expanding to other parts of the city to test these vehicles, it is being delayed until further notice from the state.

If these autonomous cars can survive the streets and weather conditions of Boston, then they will be much easier to drive in other cities with easier road systems.

 

 

Amazon About To Expand in Boston

Amazon BostonAccording to the Boston Globe, which cited Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the e-commerce giant is in talks to lease 430,000 square feet in a planned 18-story building in the city, potentially hiring 2,000 or more workers to fill it.

“It’s not HQ2. But it is great news for Boston,” Walsh reportedly said in a meeting with Boston business leaders on Tuesday.

The building would be part of a planned development in Boston’s Seaport District that’s expected to be ready by 2021. The deal is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks. Amazon will seek $5 million in tax breaks from the city.

Amazon has the option to expand the lease to a million square feet and 4,000 employees by 2025 by expanding into the building next door, which is also in the planning phases.

The future jobs available at Amazon in Boston are expected to be in the tech-heavy fields of robotics, cloud computing, and voice-activated systems.

“Amazon is considering additional options for expansion in the Boston area to meet the demand of our growing employee base and as part of our ongoing hiring efforts,” the statement reads. “This is independent of the company’s search for HQ2, a second headquarters in North America.”

Boston is seen as desirable for the company due to the quality of its nearby schools that focus on tech, like MIT.

The new office is a significant size, but what’s interesting is the option on the lease for a million square feet — that would be a good start for a company that’s looking to build a new headquarters with several million square feet of space.

Amazon says the new headquarters will have 50,000 employees and $5 billion in investment over 10 years.

Of course, the fact that it’s just an option on the lease and not a done deal means it could just be there in the case Amazon were to decide on Boston. And the fact that the land is being leased — and not purchased by the company — is another potential hole in the theory.

While Fortune notes that the search for office space in Boston started before Amazon announced its search for HQ2, if the company is going ahead with leases in candidate cities, it could mean that internally, it has decided Boston is not the frontrunner. Also, Amazon would most likely lease two buildings in a city long-term, then build another headquarters somewhere else in the city.

Amazon has not shied away from opening new offices in HQ2 candidate cities since the announcement of its search for HQ2. Amazon announced in September that it will open a 360,000-square-foot office in New York City, another potential HQ2 city.

Heavy Storm in the US to Bring Record-breaking Low Temperatures

Heavy Storm in the US to Bring Record-breaking Low Temperatures

As the weather is getting cold parts of US and Canada, temperatures are expected to fall below -20F (-29C), said the National Weather Service. In Canada, high winds have knocked out power for tens of thousands of residents in Nova Scotia.

Giant waves caused by the storm saw freezing floodwaters inundate parts of the New England coast.

According to reports, the extreme weather has already left 19 people dead in the US and two more in Canada.

Four deaths were reported due to traffic accidents in North and South Carolina. Further accidents occurred in Wisconsin, Kentucky and Texas.

In Philadelphia, a car was unable to stop at the bottom of a steep hill and was hit by a commuter train, killing a passenger in the vehicle.

In Virginia, a girl was fatally struck by a car while sliding, and a 75-year-old man was killed after being hit by a snow plow.

With the snowfall ending, temperatures are forecast to continue plummeting into the weekend as frigid air lingering over the North Pole prowls towards the US mid-Atlantic region.

The National Weather Service said on Friday: “An arctic outbreak will keep temperatures 20F to 30F degrees below average across the north-eastern US.

Experts say the so-called bomb cyclone storm drew moisture and strength from as far south as the Caribbean Sea.

More than 1,200 flights were canceled on Friday, a day after 4,000 others were grounded.

New Hampshire’s Mt Washington, which boasts of having the “world’s worst weather”, is expected to see a record low of -95F (70C) on Friday night. There are mass power shutdowns in Canada.
Atlantic and central Canada are being hit by the winter storm.

The provinces of New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador are both under winter storm and blizzard warnings.

In the morning Jan. 5, Nova Scotia Power said some 125,000 customers were still without power after 140km/h (87mph) wind gusts hit parts of the maritime province.

Outages have also been also reported in New Brunswick and Newfoundland. Also, Ontario and Quebec were both under extreme cold warnings.

In Massachusetts, Boston received over 1ft (30cm) of snowfall.

 

Boston Weather

Utility companies in eastern North America are advising residents to leave their homes and seek shelter elsewhere if they experience problems heating their properties.

The storm has so far forced hundreds of schools and businesses to close in New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, the Carolinas, Maryland and Virginia.

Panicked New York City residents rushed to shops before the snow came, clearing shelves of milk, eggs, and kale, the New York Times reported.

The weather pattern has already brought snow to the US South as far down as Florida, where the cold snap has caused iguanas to lose their grip and fall from trees.

Natural gas prices in the US northeast have risen, driven by demand for heating fuel.

 

Boston City Council Considers Plastic Bag Ban

Boston CityThe Boston City Council is set to consider a proposal banning single-use plastic bags and instituting a 5-cent fee.

During Wednesday’s meeting of the 13-member body, a vote on the proposal is expected to occur. City Council President Michelle Wu backs the proposal.

The proposed ordinance, which would affect pharmacies, restaurants and convenience stores across the city, aims to reduce street litter and says plastic bags “contribute to a significant burden on the City’s solid waste disposal and single-stream recycling systems.”

What the proposal would do:

 

  1. The retail store providing the check-out bag can charge 5 cents for the bag, and the store will keep the money it collects.
  2. Any retail establishment providing a check-out bag – a carry-out bag with handles — to customers must ensure the bag is a reusable bag or a compostable plastic bag, or a recyclable paper bag.
  3. A second offense and all subsequent offenses would come with a $100 fine.
  4. Enforcement of the ban falls to the Boston mayor’s office of energy, environment, and open space. The first time of a violation of the ban would draw a warning, and a second violation within one year would lead to a $50 fine.
  5. Retail establishments can ask the office of energy, environment and open space for an “undue hardship” exemption.

 

The lead sponsor, City Councilor Matt O’Malley, represents West Roxbury and Jamaica Plain, as well as parts of Roslindale and Roxbury.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has said he is open to considering the plastic bag ban.

Cambridge and Somerville are on the list of nearby communities that have restricted the use of plastic bags in recent years.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, and Los Angeles are among those US cities that have banned plastic bags.