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The Common

Greater Boston’s daily podcast where news and culture meet.

  • Immigration and border security have long been hot-button issues in national politics. Now, with concerns mounting over the state's overstretched family shelter system, where nearly half of the people housed are migrants, asylum-seekers or refugees, immigration is becoming a firey point of conversation in state and local politics, too. WBUR Senior Political Reporter Anthony Brooks joins The Common to discuss how the immigration debate is entering and informing political discourse on Beacon Hill and beyond. Greater Boston’s daily podcast where news and culture meet.
  • Team Common is off today, so we’re bringing you a story from our friends in the WBUR newsroom. We'll be back with our regular show tomorrow. Today’s story comes from Arts Reporting Fellow, Solon Kelleher. It’s about a jukebox in Cambridge, redesigned by artist Elisa Hamilton to play stories from people in the community instead of music. Greater Boston’s daily podcast where news and culture meet.
  • Chinatown's streets will come to life on Sunday with thunderous drums and the piercing clang of cymbals as nine lion dance troupes celebrate the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese New Year Parade. WBUR Podcast Fellow Cici Yu joins The Common to preview this year's parade, and give us a window into the vibrant history and community surrounding lion dance in Boston. Greater Boston’s daily podcast where news and culture meet.
  • Online sports betting was legalized in Massachusetts just over a year ago. Since then, Bay State gamblers have wagered almost $5 billion dollars. Additionally, while it's illegal for people under the age of 21 to gamble in Massachusetts, mental health and addiction workers have noted an uptick in teens and young adults seeking help for compulsive gambling. Today on The Common, Boston Globe Addiction Reporter Chris Serres breaks down the surge in youth gambling and how online gambling apps are fueling this growing problem. Greater Boston’s daily podcast where news and culture meet.
  • Through June of this year, Boston's Museum of Fine Arts is displaying 27 images taken by Stephen Shames of the women at the heart of the Black Panther Party. WBUR Reporter Arielle Gray set out to review the exhibit, titled Comrade Sisters: Women of the Black Panther Party, and was struck by one photo in particular -- it shows a group of five unnamed teenage Black Panther volunteers, four girls and one boy, taken right here in Boston. Today on The Common, Arielle tells us about how she managed find the young people in the photo and what she learned about their experiences with the Boston chapter of the Black Panther Party. Note: A previous audio version of this episode stated that the Museum of Fine Arts is free on Wednesdays. This is no longer true. The MFA offers $5 minimum, pay what you wish tickets after 5 p.m. on certain dates, including upcoming dates on March 14 and May 16. Greater Boston’s daily podcast where news and culture meet.
  • The Cape has a dirty water problem. The main culprit? Pee. Over the years, waterways around Cape Cod have been increasingly impacted by peoples' septic tanks, which leach nitrogen and phosphorus -- from urine -- into the Cape's ground water. This, in turn, leads to unhealthy water quality and toxic algae blooms that are dangerous for humans and wildlife alike. Municipalities around the Cape are now looking for solutions that will keep their tourist-attracting bodies of water clean and pee-free. Among them, as WBUR Climate and Environment Correspondent Barbara Moran tells us, is one innovative method known as pee-cycling. Greater Boston’s daily podcast where news and culture meet.
  • Massachusetts’ strained shelter system has been struggling to keep up with an influx of families who are in need of housing. But where are these families coming from? Senior Health and Science Reporter Gabrielle Emmanuel set out to answer that question in a new story for WBUR. She found that roughly half of the families seeking help through the state family shelter system are newly arrived migrants, mostly from Haiti. Also, this is not the first time they’ve had to start over somewhere new. Today Gabrielle joins The Common to tell us more about the journey these families have endured on their way from Haiti to Massachusetts. Greater Boston’s daily podcast where news and culture meet.
  • This one's for all you last-minute romantics out there. While Boston is famously a reservation-first dining city, there are no shortage of walk-in-friendly restaurants available to accommodate your procrastinated Valentine's Day plans -- no matter what kind of vibe you're going for. Today, Erika Adams, editor of Eater Boston joins The Common to walk us through six of her top reservation-free dining picks in Greater Boston. Greater Boston’s daily podcast where news and culture meet.
  • As the devastating war in Gaza continues, dozens of cities across the U.S. have passed resolutions in support of a ceasefire. Those cities include Chicago, Seattle, and our very own Somerville, Cambridge and, as of this week, Medford. Leila Farsakh, professor of political science at UMass Boston, joins The Common to discuss what can be drawn from the successes of these resolutions, and what they may tell us about changing public opinion regarding the ongoing war in Gaza. Greater Boston’s daily podcast where news and culture meet.
  • After two full weeks of canceled school, the Newton Teachers Association and Newton School Committee reached a deal on a new four-year teacher contract late last week. The final contract includes increased pay for paraprofessionals, a promise to staff additional social workers in the district and longer parental leave, among other measures. WBUR Senior Education Reporter Carrie Jung joins The Common for a look at the longest teacher strike in recent memory, and for a breakdown of what made it, and didn't make it, into the final contract. Greater Boston’s daily podcast where news and culture meet.
  • Have you ever dreamed of putting on your swimsuit, zipping up your winter coat, and heading downtown for a free sauna experience with friends and previously-unknown neighbors? If so, we've got the story for you. Through March 3, Winter City Sauna, a free pop-up sauna, is posting up on Boston's City Hall Plaza and offering visitors the opportunity to warm up in community (up to six people at a time!) just steps away from City Hall. When we saw this headline, we knew we had to check it out - so Common Producer Katelyn Harrop hopped on the T, towel in hand, to learn more about this place-making effort lead by Somerville-based community organization CultureHouse in partnership with the city of Boston’s Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture. Greater Boston’s daily podcast where news and culture meet.
  • For those opening full-service restaurants, a liquor license can be a key part of creating a sustainable business. But in the city of Boston, getting your hands on such a license can cost anywhere from $400,000 to $600,000 on a private market. One that exists due to a shortage of licenses available through the city. Today, Boston Globe Magazine contributor Erick Trickey joins The Common for a deeper look at why it can be so financially challenging to get a liquor license in the city, and how this system disproportionately impacts small businesses and Black entrepreneurs. Greater Boston’s daily podcast where news and culture meet.