Baker signs Massachusetts pay equality bill [with video] | “This is a commonwealth of Mass. that in 1954 passed the first legislation around gender discrimination and I think it’s incredibly apt that we would be one of the first states in the country here today to pass legislation to ensure that people are paid what they are worth, based only on what they are worth,” the governor said earlier this week.
Facing a $100M shortfall, MBTA trumpets solar array-parking plan | Under the deal, Omni Navitas Holdings will install solar panels on the top of nine parking garages and at 28 surface parking lots, including lots on the Worcester commuter line but none in the city, paying $1.9 million the first year with 3 percent annual increases in rent. According to T officials, the arrangement will generate 48 million kilowatt hours of electricity, and the solar power sold would be subject to net-metering caps
Editorial: UMass Medical School’s ALS success | Since the Ice Bucket Challenge of 2014, UMass Medical School in Worcester has led a global collaboration that recently identified a gene involved in causing ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. That’s a significant step on the long road remaining for ALS research, and it was funded by folks who shivered for science on TV and Facebook. How cool is that?
Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 81]: Odd days in Worcester, America | With much of Massachusetts in what U.S. Drought Monitor considers a moderate to severe drought, Worcester has imposed mandatory water restrictions including limiting outdoor use to an even-odd, every-other-day schedule. Makes sense: the city’s reservoir capacity is lagging woefully behind annual trends and the rain of the last few days will have hardly made a dent. Hitch is thinking it might start getting pretty tough to figure out which days are truly “odd.”
Inbox [Aug. 3]: Worcester economy holds steady, Leadership Worcester announces class, Worcester Common Ground’s potential $1M idea, WPI taps dean of engineering | Interesting and worthwhile things happen every day in our community. Alas, we can’t cover them all. That’s where Inbox comes in, to offer readers an easily digestible compilation of interesting and noteworthy items you and your neighbors keep telling us about. Have a release or a photo you or your group would like to share? Let us know by emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include a link to the full release on your site or Facebook page so we can include it and send Sun members your way.
New in Free to Read
Local Business Spotlight: Technocopia, making it work
With a shared vision and support from their community of friends and colleagues, three WPI grads set out to create a Utopia for innovation. “We could teach others and take care of ourselves,” said founder Nicholas Bold. “We were making genuine progress bringing in more people to help, and we didn’t have to go at odds with anyone.” And then progress met permits. Sean M. Haley has the fascinating tale of how Technocopia got where it is today.
Sun Shine: ACE makes the grade for Worcester refugee students
“As a refugee myself I had challenges; due to culture it was hard for me. Even coming with a college degree it was difficult,” said Kaska Yawo, executive director of African Community Education. “I had to relocate from New York to Worcester to live in my cousin’s house, who had joined the military. I had various jobs until I got a job with the Catholic Charities in the resettlement area.” Augustine Kanjia takes a closer look at how far ACE and its students have come in a decade.