Pained by the NFL’s backward attitude about medical marijuana

I will not watch the Patriots, I will not watch the Patriots, I will not watch the Patriots. I’ve been repeating this mantra and testing my resolve since November, but my gripe is not specifically with the team. It’s the National Football League that I can no longer support.

Here I am, in Patriot Nation, hoping that the Pats will flaunt another Super Bowl win in NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s face, but the league’s indifference to the health of its players is infuriating me. How can I support a business that’s uncompromising in its policies about pain relief while its employees develop devastating addictions? Read more…

Fighting sexual violence in the Donald Trump era

For the first 30 or so seconds after I awake in the morning, I live in a state of ignorant bliss. I look to see if my husband and dog are awake and start to assess the day ahead of me. Then it hits me. Each morning, before I’ve lifted my head from the pillow, the fog of sleepiness is replaced with a cloud of despair: A man who has condoned sexual violence is going to be our next president. Read more…

Massachusetts legislators’ end run around the Open Meeting Law

Massachusetts legislators last week pulled a fast — but legal — move last week when they delayed the deadline for allowing the sale of recreational marijuana. Voters sent a clear message when they passed the ballot question by a wide margin on Election Day. Given that Governor Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh vehemently opposed the legislation,  the passage of Question 4 was a big deal.

Nearly 1.8 million people voted yes but only six legislators voted for the delay. More importantly, the public does not know the identity of those six state senators because the the legislation was passed during an “informal session.” Such sessions require only one Democrat and one Republican to vote although votes must be unanimous. Think about that: One Democrat and one Republican can introduce and pass legislation, but taxpayers will likely not know the identities of those people.

I don’t care about the delay nor do I think this will be the last delay pertaining to this law. What I do care about is that Massachusetts legislators can do an end run around the Open Meeting Law to pass any laws. How is it that a bill can become law without the public knowing who sponsored it and who voted for it? How can it be legal to skirt public scrutiny?

Behavior like this is why people don’t trust politicians.


Forty years later, do sexual assaulters remember me?

More than 40 years have passed since two neighborhood boys sexually assaulted me, but lately I have been reliving the incident like it happened yesterday. After hearing Donald Trump boast about forcing himself on women, I’m suddenly an ashamed 12-year-old girl who doesn’t understand what happened to me.

For the first time, I think about the men these boys turned into, and wonder if they know, or care, what they did to me.

Do they remember dragging me into the dark corner of a neighbor’s yard, throwing me on the ground and taking turns sticking their hands down my pants and up my shirt? Do they recall how I fought? Do they ever wonder what they might have done if I didn’t bite the hand that was covering my mouth, allowing me to escape? Read more…


Oh sh*t, I have to take my blog live


Photo by Amit Lahav

I just learned that, a social network with about 37 million subscribers, is going to publish my commentary about sexual assault. They offered to link back to my website. Great news, right?

The only problem is that I’ve been tinkering with this blog for a while now and the only other person who has seen it is my husband. I have about 24 hours to turn into something moderately respectable. I work best when I’m on deadline, and I know I’ll get it done, but please know that this is not the final product. Please enjoy some of my previously published work in the meantime. And please come back and visit me! I promise to be more appropriately dressed.

Welcome to my blog

me and stella on beachRecent events in this country – particularly the shooting deaths of black men by police officers, the subsequent fatal attacks on police officers and the GOP’s nomination of Donald Trump for president of the United States –have left me practically paralyzed with despair. I watch CNN far too obsessively and I waste hours daily on Facebook, despite knowing full well that both outlets exacerbate my anguish.

While I’m tempted to hide on Cape Cod in my beautiful garden, with my devoted dog Stella, I’ve pushed myself to ask: What can I do to make a difference in the world right now? What’s my biggest contribution to helping heal a world filled with hatred, pain, prejudice, spite and anger?

I can support causes with my money, time and energy, of course, but I want, I need to do more. Even if I only succeed in making myself feel better and neutralizing the negative energy that’s threatening to overtake me, I can still try and have an impact. And my best tool is and always has been my words.

With that I start my blog. My goal is to write daily, even if it’s only a few words. I’ve been stuck for so long – since I finished Legendary Locals of Newton probably. Writing here daily will be good for my creativity. And my productivity.

I want to share my thoughts, the ones I’m reluctant to write in a Facebook post. I want to write about what it feels like to be a white, privileged upper-middle class woman right now. I want to vent and make somebody laugh. I want to share and make someone cry. I want to make people stop, think and consider an alternative point of view. I want to speak my mind.

A word about the name for this blog: Before I was hired as editor, I wrote a column for the Newton TAB. I titled it “Consider This,” because really, that’s all I ask of my readers.