Where the hell do we go from here?

Hey there, it’s Josh – second-funniest male regular contributor to the Clam (and third overall, also behind KT). Then again, there’ve been only three regular posters so that should say something.

Losing Jim sucks. It sucks hard. He was the North Star that we guided the site through, and even what he didn’t write himself the rest of us wrote to try and make him proud. We’ve all in Clam Nation known this week was coming, but we all hated that reality.

I’ll share what is the ideal Dowd story – from the last time I saw him out in public. Here in Salem, Deacon Giles Distillery hosts a night of boozy three-minute PowerPoint presentations as a competition about once a quarter. In mid-February, they hosted the event. Jim decided a couple of days beforehand to enter – with his topic being “the difference between being eaten by a shark and brain cancer”.

I Googled “Sharkbite” and went with this because we’re a family-friendly blog here and JESUS THE REAL PICS WERE GROSS

To sum up, shark bite victims don’t need to deal with idiots sending you “Israeli company cures sharkbite!” emails, and the screams drown out morons on shore asking if you have tried CBD oil as shark repellent. But at the same time, there are very few hopeful clinical trials on sharkbite running currently.

I fixed my car’s radiator with CBD, too.

With facts like that, he put together a brilliant and funny presentation that, needless to say, won.

Once he knew his diagnosis last summer, he (and the rest of us) knew that we were on borrowed time, and he continued to work, make jokes about being radioactive, and do what he did best – stir shit up with brilliance and passion. Personally, for me he was the bridge that connected my world of friends in Salem with awesome people down the line on Cape Ann, expanding my universe of amazing, snarky, and sweet people that I remain connected to now. I was on my way home from a business trip to Florida when Jim passed away. That evening, some of his friends gathered to host a spur-of-the-moment memorial party that may still be going on, much like the party in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that has lasted for four generations thus far. I sent hugs from my airliner that was lurching around the sky.

Onward!

What will become of the Clam and this website? I don’t think we can answer that right now. But we will. There are still things we are outraged by, things we want to celebrate, and stupidity to highlight. Regardless of what we do here on these pages, Clam Nation persists – because Clam Nation was founded from Jim Dowd’s vision, but it’s really all of you.

The Blast Crater In Our Lives

KT here. I’ve been away from the Clam for a bit – had to take a break, have a baby, buy a house, adult stuff like that. But, I am back at you today.

For the worst reason.

Our beloved leader, Jim Dowd, who made up so much more than half of the Clam, has shuffled off this mortal coil.  He is no more. He has ceased to be.

We knew it was coming, he told us goodbye, but there’s only so much emotional preparation you can do in advance. The weight still hits you like a sack of dead seagulls. 

Fuck. Extra fuck. Like super fuck, for the fuck of shit, yabba dabba fucking shit, a pantry full of dicks.

Now that I’ve offended the most delicate among us by getting the majority of the profanity out of the way (IT’S WHAT HE WOULD HAVE WANTED), let’s talk about how much this sucks (spoiler: it sucks major ass) and more importantly, Clam-eulogize Jim in a way he deserves. Snarkily and with no holds barred, but with all the love in the world.

James Dowd, EGS Santa. Because you’re gonna want a Jewish Santa.

 

“Don’t say I had a brave battle with cancer,” he messaged me a few weeks back. “I just sat there and did what they told me.” And that’s basically the truth of the matter. Jim believed that we are all just along for the ride on this planet. There’s no battle of inward steeliness that can change the outcome of any random cell mutation, it’s a team of doctors throwing everything at their disposal at the problem. There’s no amount of willpower that can be mustered to overcome an aggressive brain tumor that will keep coming back. I hate that premise as well, that surviving cancer is because someone successfully drew from some well of inner strength to somehow combat cell mutation, and the rest- the ones unlucky enough to have types of cancer where the survival rates are miniscule – just laid down and died. It’s chance.

 

Jim hated the generic and ultimately useless platitudes, sorries and condolences, nearly as much as he hated Facebook comments from well-meaning acquaintances and strangers that asked if he’d tried CBD oil. In Jim’s world (and in the world of so many others around him and like him), science and the best medical staff in the US were always the answer, and if they had no answer, that was that.

 

I told Jim that when I wrote something for him, it would be full of sports references and also talk about his lifelong passion for NFL football. That guy definitely never missed a Superbowl and will absolutely not haunt me from beyond by having me miss the last stair on my trek downstairs for coffee fortnightly until I apologize for saying that.

 

But the truth is, I don’t even know where to start in explaining who Jim was as a person or what he meant to me and my family. We ended up becoming friends over a Good Morning Gloucester rant about his stolen bike wheel, and partnered up for so many things over the last 6-7 years – Snotbot, the Gloucester Clam, marketing projects for diverse clients. And we both were prolific Facebook messengers. It was rare that more than a day or two went by without a message back and forth unless one of us was out of the country (and even then), tens of thousands of them over the years, from snarky to serious, mostly about the Clam, but also advice about starting companies, buying houses, launching careers, managing friendships, and dealing with high-energy redheaded sons and the school system that tries valiantly to keep their penchant for building rockets, massive robots or trebuchets headed in a positive academic direction. 

and this. remember this?

 

I got a message on vacation last August that he was spending time with my mom, and not for a good reason. For background, my mom has worked at MGH as a Neuro ICU nurse since before I was born, and Jim was transferred into her unit. He assured me the mass they found in his brain was most likely  just a breach in the Lord of the Rings trivia containment unit, and not to worry. The surgery would remove the mass, and he also requested they remove the area that held knowledge of the Star Wars prequels.  I don’t handle things like normal people, so my course of action over the past 9 months was to keep speaking to him like nothing was wrong, and not to treat him any differently. We joked about death a lot. 

After he told me he was starting home hospice care at the end of April, the messages kept up, but as weeks passed, got harder and harder to decipher. He mused that at the end, Keith Richards and Bob Dylan appear in the room, ostensibly to explain the meaning of life and their secret to keep death at bay. He told me that once he slipped into unconsciousness, Morrissey jokes were fair game. I joked that I would keep pinging him like the Opportunity rover, until his battery was low and it got dark. And then the messages stopped.

I will forever miss having someone that i could text at basically any time of day with “ugh, these assholes” and not only would Jim immediately know which assholes I was talking about and what the assholes had said in particular, but also launch into a diatribe about why, exactly, the assholes were wrong, what they failed to grasp about this argument in particular, and how eventually they’d be replaced by robots anyway – so joke’s on them.  

There was no one in the world, no one I will ever meet again in  my lifespan, like Jim. Jim was such a larger than life person. Come to think of it, louder than life may be a better descriptor. While most humans learn to modulate the volume of their voice when they are a preteen, Jim never truly grasped that concept, much to our community’s delight and consternation. The last time I saw him in person was at the O’Maley production of Mary Poppins, where we inadvertently ended up sitting next to each other and I had to whack him to be quiet when he loudwhispered about the numerous set changes. Jim was the kind of guy Sefatia would need to tell to take it down a notch. 

Jim was a one of a kind friend – and I know everyone who has ever had the pleasure of him diving headfirst into their lives, loudly and without apology, feels the same. We’ve lost so much with his passing. He doesn’t leave holes in our lives, he leaves blast craters.

 

 

One of my favorite and most unexpectedly wholesome things about Jim was his unwavering belief that humanity could still solve the climate change crisis. During our trip to LA to film Patrick Stewart for the Snotbot Kickstarter, we ended up at a taco bar around the corner from our hotel, and the conversation over a nightcap turned to how our planet is a sauna and we’re over here squeezing our waterbottles over the coals. Myself as well as Iain, the head of Ocean Alliance, were of the opinion that this is it for us, that humanity has another 100 good years at most, that despite the brilliance of our species and the incredible feats and inventions we’ve accomplished, we won’t be able to work together to keep ourselves alive – despite all of us still trying our best. Jim, however, firmly believed that even if leadership lagged, the incessant research of the scientific community would eventually solve the issues enough to minimize the effects of global warming to continue our species beyond the next century. It’s ironic in an Alanis Morrissette sense that he got to peace out before the ending got spoiled for him.  

Jim’s ability to weave a narrative was unbelievable. I don’t know which type of posts were my favorite – angry screeds with snarky photos, or less angry, but still tough-love filled essays about how Gloucester gets to where it needs or wants to be. Jim dunked on Gloucester sometimes, but what a lot of people didn’t understand was the nuance. Jim LOVED Gloucester, and when you love something, you want what’s best for it. You have opinions about where it goes and what goes into it. Sometimes those opinions are peppered with profanity, but they’re just as valid. Thankfully, thousands of people understood his message, and those who didn’t were usually the type of person who has their profile picture wearing sunglasses in the driver’s seat of a lifted truck. Nuance is lost on them, anyway.

 

One of my favorite No Snark Sundays was a story he retold about hosting his septuagenarian aunt’s wedding to a high school sweetheart and realizing his back porch was completely rotted and filled with larvae. He had two choices: the easy way, to just block the back porch off so no one stepped through a rotted floorboard and push the repair off to some other future time, or the hard way, to completely pull up the rot and fix the deep-rooted problem. And he somehow seamlessly compared this dilemma to our country’s problem with police brutality and accountability when it comes to murdering unarmed POC. And he did it so well.

 

And so, I’ll leave you with this, from the master himself.

 

I know we say this here a lot, but it’s important to stress that we are not a frightened people. We are not afraid of terrorists, though they attack our city. We are not afraid of Ebola even though it’s foreign and scary-sounding. We’re not afraid of our kids mixing with new ideas and different social classes and cultures because this is what will make them real people not just another set of clones blithering around a mass-produced consumer culture. We are not afraid because each of us is descended from brave people who risked everything at one point or another. We owe our civilization to those who pushed back against the darkness. Who stood for justice and equality in the face of what then looked like insurmountable odds. Their blood flows in our veins and their DNA is what 3D printed us out into this crazy place and time. We have the tools. We have the people who know what needs to be done.

So take a breath. Roll up the sleeves. This is going to be hard.

But the fucking door stays open.”

 

I hope he got to see Keith Richards on his way out the door.

 

If you have a story about Jim you’d like to share, his family would love to hear it and keep these memories for his children to read. Email heyjimdowd@gmail.com with funny observations, memories, and so on. JUST NO CONDOLENCES. You don’t want to be haunted by someone that loud. 

My Plan From Here

[ed note: Jim Dowd, as many of you know, was diagnosed with a Grade IV Gioblastoma last August. He recently entered hospice care at home and is as peaceful as one Jim Dowd can possibly be. He hates condolences. His amazing wife Bo transcribed this for him. – KT]

 

Carbon has a half life of approximately three and a half thousand years.

Right now, I’m basically a big bag of grass clippings.

That grass specifically having been corn processed into the “ITO” family of products.

 

Fritos

Doritos

Tostitos

 

 

In about 3000 years the protons and neutrons and electrons from these carbon atoms will probably get picked up by the solar winds.

They’ll fly around the solar system just as they did the first dozen billion years out from the big bang. I imagine it as a carefree time.

 

 

As I am mostly carbon I imagine there is lots of useful material I could be incorporated into. Maybe structures or even potentially living things of the microbial variety.

So, if you are looking for me, you’ll most likely find me at the bottom of a yogurt in the chunky stuff.

 

I’ll try to remember to smile as I pass through.

Question 1: Forcing us all to suddenly become nurse/patient staffing ratio experts somehow?

Clam Nation, Question 1 is the November 2018 ballot question which has caused the most consternation among your Clamrades, who are pretty much split down the middle or undecided regarding the vote.

Short answer: vote yes because it will keep more people alive.

Question 1, also known as the Patient Safety Act, would mandate specific patient staffing ratios at hospitals around Massachusetts. There’s a lot of uncertainty, speculation, and rumor surrounding Question 1.

Image result for trump, l, forehead

Because we haven’t had enough of that yet, ffs

Here’s our analysis: Nurses are the front line of healthcare. For instance, if you wind up in a neuro ICU because an undiagnosed tumor in your brain just made you have full-on seizure including chewing on your tongue like a fruit roll-up, the people doing the actual work of keeping you alive (putting in lines and tubes, ordering tests, giving meds, all the actual action), will be done by nurses, not doctors.  

The pressure we currently put on nurses burns them out and they quit, especially floor nurses. Therefore: less burnout = more skilled nurses coming back to the bedside. And staffing more skilled nurses = less patient death overall because a skilled nurse is often the thing between a live patient and one stepping into a lighted tunnel going, “Granddad, you lost weight!”  

The outcome of the vote could change quite a few things around the highly-influential and science-y neighborhood that is the Massachusetts Health Care Industrial Complex, which regularly treats the sickest people in the world and gets penalized because of it (people come here literally from all over the world because they are really sick for treatment, some of them die, and we look like we’re not doing a good job).

So we would like to dissect the issue. Because that’s what nerds do. Also, we eat a lot of Fritos (unrelated). 

The Mass Nurses’ Association (MNA), our state’s most powerful nursing union, spearheaded this ballot initiative because of staffing concerns in hospitals throughout Massachusetts. There have been disagreements, even among nurses. Some are comfortable leaving things the way they are and say “This proposal undermines the flexibility and decision-making authority of nurses and puts rigid mandates above patient safety, clinical nurse input, nurse manager’s discretion, and every other consideration in a hospital.”

For hospital administrators and management staff who actually listen to floor nurses, this is great. However, would you believe some hospital administrations are more focused on the bottom line than they should be in our for-profit healthcare system? Shock, no? nursing unions exist for this reason, and we guarantee someone you love is alive because of them.

Looking at the hundred-year history of the MNA, it’s pretty interesting. And then, in 1994, it gets REALLY interesting.  With the introduction of managed care, health care systems in Massachusetts became more corporatized and, by design, pushed to get more for less. The nursing union pushed back because I mean, have you ever worked a 12-hour shift without going to the bathroom while being required to help everyone around you go to the bathroom, and then OMG there’s also a literal ream of paperwork you need to finish before you go home? That is some real Kafkaesque shit right there.

Not to mention being punched in the face, verbally abused, or possibly stabbed.

Meanwhile, in 1999, California passed AB 394, a benchmark safe staffing law similar to the one on the ballot here. In 2004, AB 394 was implemented. There isn’t anything else like AB 394 in the entire United States, so we don’t have much of a basis for comparison.

If you look at the “No on 1” website, they claim the effectiveness of mandated staffing ratios is “not scientifically proven” (right up there at the top of the page). ORLY?  Well, thank goodness after AB 394 was passed, a whole bunch of highly-credentialed folks including nurses, doctors, and policy wonks decided to study the outcomes of mandated ratios over several years.

While only 1/50 states have anything this comprehensive on the books, California is basically a country of 40 million people with a massive health care system. A quick Google search will take you to several publications touting the effectiveness of the mandated staffing ratio they implemented, even if only a little more effective than being without one. Your Google experience may vary – and always check your sources. Some hospital systems have published findings skewed in their favor.

Nurse staffing and patient outcomes: a longitudinal study on trend and seasonality” There are lots of equations and deltas and variables here, and right off the bat, the authors stipulate more research is needed. However, they found evidence that the incidences of things like falls and pressure ulcers (both of which kill people) lessen when there are more nurses on staff.

References to a study by Linda Aiken, Ph.D. RN, comparing staffing, staff satisfaction and patient outcomes in California to those in New Jersey and Pennsylvania:  
DPE Fact Sheet
UPenn’s LDI Issue Brief
Lower burnout rates = better employee longevity = more experienced nurses taking care of us over a longer period of time.

Image result for dumpster fire gif

Newark, probably

 

Some emergency room nurses are actually afraid the hospitals will make them turn patients away if this mandate is passed, which is why they’re voting no. What is particularly shocking to us is that hospital administrations would continue to spread this rumor, putting the burden of responsibility on their staff. Thankfully, since 1986, it’s been illegal for hospitals to turn people away as long as those hospitals take Medicare. Though to be fair, that requirement combined with ratios does create a potential conflict. But the law does give wiggle room for a crisis

“Question 1 would remove real-time decision-making power from nurses and caregiving teams and put it in the hands of a rigid government mandate.”

No. Just No.  Nurses exhibit real-time decision-making power all the time. Nurses need to think about notifying doctors of one person’s critical labs as they wade through blood and shit and are berated and harassed. Having fewer patients to focus on will give them more time they need to make decisions and advocate. Again, put yourself or your loved one in that bed and ask, “How much time should the nurse be given to review the critical lab results before they have to go deal with changing the fluid bag in room 5?”

If you have misgivings about government oversight of staffing, think about day care centers. Sure, a daycare provider would get more bang for her buck by having a 12:1 ratio. But would you really want to leave your kid for 10 hours with someone who has 11 other children to watch? Nah. Neither did other people, which is why Massachusetts imposed staffing regulations on licensed day care centers.

To be real, nobody in Massachusetts really knows what the health care climate here will be like if people vote in favor of mandating nursing staffing ratios. But if you end up in the hospital, do you want the nurse who hasn’t eaten in 12 hours, or the one who isn’t going into hypoglycemia as she takes your blood pressure? From this writer’s perspective (and the experience of the entire fucking state of California), more nurses = less death.

The politics behind this one are weird. The MNA fought for years to try and get some measures taken to protect their members through the legislative process, only to be outmaneuvered the whole way. So finally, they took Every. Single. Thing. on their wishlist and got it into a ballot question. If this had managed to go through the Legislature (where good ideas go to die at the hands of Speaker DeLeo) we’d probably have a common-sense system now, and not an incredibly expensive, divisive ballot question. Thanks, spineless legislature!

For a mostly balanced perspective on this topic, head over to WGBH’s take on the matter.

Last note: The final claim is regional hospitals will have to close because of mandated ratios. We can’t believe this is even an argument. Charitably, it’s the “You have to let us keep coal mines unsafe, otherwise you won’t have any coal,” line always made by billionaire coal-mine owners. Uncharitably, it’s what the passenger representative says to the press from the wing with a Kalashnikov in her back. “Just give the guys holding the plane what they want and they won’t kill us…or at least all of us.” It’s a hostage-taker argument. It’s obscene that it’s being made. We’re the richest country in the world. We can have safe regional hospitals and nurses not so exhausted they’re guaranteed to make critical mistakes. The end.

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Threatening us with death: not the foundation of a productive discussion

Landed Gentrification

Greetings, Clamunists. Are you enjoying the heat? We, ourselves, walked our dog in the woods last week and it felt more like a fateful patrol in a Nam movie. We fully expected a member of the Sheen family to show up and start imparting wisdom in the form of low, growly and possibly cocaine-induced narration.

As our brain cooks inside the Instapot of our skull, something has been annoying the piss out of us. More than one person has reached out in a rage about the several housing developments going up, decrying it as a sure symbol of “Gentrification” – the dreaded “G” word which indicates Gloucester will very soon be Newport Rhode Island and we will all be forced to wear red shorts and boat shoes with dress shirts. Then we will all perish from punching ourselves to death, as is just.

They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months.

Gentrification is real. And a massive challenge. And happening. But it is not just “shit you don’t like.”

See, here is the thing. If a person wanted to actually do something effective against gentrification, they would do all of this (which have been done other places, look it up, there are case studies):

  1. Create very strict rent control You would tell landlords, individual owners, many elderly, oftentimes somebody’s grandma, what they can charge for rent. As you can imagine, this would not be popular. But if you actually care about gentrification, you would do it. You’d have to.  
  2. Buy up all the available developable land and put it in trust This would cost hundreds of millions of dollars. And the land wouldn’t be fun parks or whatever, it would just be undevelopable rando plots of land. That will be a fun city budget item to propose: “We’re buying millions of dollars in land to do nothing with. It’s going to cost money and provide no return.” Or raise the money privately. So, great. Where is this trust? Do you need a website? A Gofundme? Reach out, we’ll help, but we don’t have access to millions of dollars until the Magnitsky act gets overturned and we can access our Cyprus bank accounts.  
  3. Build as much densely-packed affordable housing as possible Yes, you prevent gentrification by building new housing. Public/private partnerships, tens of millions of dollars invested at least. And you’d have to listen to closet-racists say shit like, “it will just bring in people from Lynn,” by which they mean brown people because racists.

You’d have to do all three of these things, and you’d need to start fifteen years ago. But if you are not fully on board with each and all of these, then you are not doing shit about gentrification and you’re just opposing a housing project you don’t like. That’s fine. Some housing project ideas are terrible. But don’t come running to us, the local firebrand lefties, with the “G” word unless you really plan to do something about it.

Additional note: Do not, under any circumstances, send us articles about gentrification that begin like this:

This once authentic neighborhood, which previously supported payday loan storefronts and off-track betting parlors, now is the domain of tattooed tech-industry workers riding fixed gear bicycles, flitting to brewpubs featuring single strands of lightbulbs and farm-to-table ingredients.

Hell on Earth, obvs. Hopefully with outdoor seating.

Don’t send us that, because it will enrage us. Something like ⅙ of downtown Gloucester is un or underoccupied. New cool places to hang out, new and interesting businesses, all that is very hard to make happen here because for some reason Gloucester landlords prefer to leave space empty. They ask for very high rents, and when they don’t get the rates they want, they just leave it vacant for months, years or decades.

This confuses the shit out of us. No Snark- can someone please explain this? In college we took economics and we seem to remember this “law” that when a commodity had high supply and low demand, the price would adjust downward. Markets, we were told, were perfect, almost ethereal entities and would always prevail. Then we were forced to don robes and worship a vision of Ayn Rand formed from cigarette smoke from an ashtray held by a statue of Alan Greenspan. Later we were told the shrooms Justin had found in the woods were not what he thought they were and the entire dorm spent the night puking, but that still markets were perfect and would always adjust. But for some reason, this economic law does not work here. For our part, we’d pretty much dig some variety of businesses shoved into those empty spaces.

We are also actual tech workers, entrepreneurs, even, and we ride a bike and have an electric car and all that dorky crap. Newsflash: we have a right to be here too. Because this is an actual town where people live. This is not some kind of Plimoth Plantation-esque historical museum dedicated to one particular epoch. It’s a city. Things change. And there are kids to educate and roads to fix and high schools to keep from sliding off the continental shelf into the ocean and septic plants to relocate (next to your house- I saw the drawings). It’s real life here. It’s not curated.  

Image result for tire fire

They’re also putting in a pile of burning tires across the street from you

The last thing I’ll tell you is this. We do much of our work in Cambridge these days. When you get on an elevator in a building with a lot of tech workers, there are one or two people like us: nerds in biz casual (jeans, sneakers, button-downs) carrying laptops in messenger bags and holding expensive coffee drinks. Everyone else is drinking Dunks, in Carharts, carrying lunch boxes and with safety glasses on the backs of their necks. These folks (who also have tattoos, btw) are laughing their asses off at us because they don’t have student loans, absolutely will not get laid off they are in such high demand, and never ever have to sit through a 93 slide presentation titled, “Generating Optimal Outcomes by Leveraging Core Deliverables.” These folks make good money- many start at something like 40K right out of a one year, 10K training program and go up from there. A lot of these folks are leveraging training they received in the military. Industry is fighting tooth and nail for these workers, offering signing bonuses, ed reimbursement, all that. It’s 21st century blue collar middle class.

We are lucky as hell, here in Eastern MA, to have this, while the traditional middle class disappears everywhere else.

These folks run the labs, shops, benches, QA, shipping, chryo, and other essential infrastructure for what we coined as “Loading Dock Technology.” Back in the 90s when everything was all about programming, all you needed were computers and some bean bag chairs and maybe a foosball table. Today, in the exploding medical device, biotechnology, robotics, specialty manufacturing, nanotech, alternative energy and IOT (Internet Of Things) industries you need actual humans to build and run stuff because you are making actual, physical objects. You need the labs and benches built and that takes plumbers, electricians, HVAC, cryogenics and technicians.

These hands-on folks, often called, “science athletes” are what the Gloucester Biotech Academy  is producing for just one of these industries. It is truly amazing we have this resource right here, giant props to everyone who made this happen. Let’s get more of this.

Because these companies are coming to Gloucester. Near the MIT dome, lab and office space is $90 a square foot. Once a company gets their product developed down there, they move out to commercialize it at lower cost and wind up in places like Burlington, Watertown, the office parks in Lexington and now, Beverly (ever wonder why there is all that traffic on 128 now?). Soon, here.

This is just the way of things. We can stare out at the sea all we want and talk about marine industry, which is great, but let’s be honest. We haven’t had many takers on putting thriving industrial businesses next to the water here. But up in the office parks, we’re going to see more and more of loading dock tech companies, and people from here are going to work at them and that is good. As we said, we’re absurdly lucky to be in a place with economic options in modern-day America.  

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Still safer than Bitcoin

Yes, it’s change, but it’s only gentrification if we price out people. And for all the rage-posting at whatever ugly collections of townhouses someone will slap together, that really is up to private landlords and homesellers and the extent to which we commit to building and maintaining affordable housing. Affordability is a huge factor everywhere two hours or less from a tech industry hub. You can be as pissed off as you want, but it’s not going away.

Our task as a community will be to figure out how to make all this work for actual, real-live people as tech creeps north. Our job will be to create new opportunities for as many folks as possible, and to protect the vulnerable and the young in particular, whom we want to stay here, raise families and continue to make fun of our inability to use Snapchat correctly. Because we’re a city, not a “market” and the engines of our economy don’t pause to think about the real consequences on people lives, so that’s up to all of us.  

Unless Amazon winds up in Eastie, then we’ll all get priced out and wind up living a collection of abandoned shipping containers in a vacant strip mall parking lot in New Hampshire, which will be fun. If someone has a generator, I can bring the Instapot.

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Great, they didn’t even text. Now we’re going to need more chili.

NOTE: Any responses to this post implying we can have a thriving, multi-level economy based on the vague concept of “Arts” will be deleted. We love the arts, please keep doing art, we’re fans and patrons. But this ain’t Tanglewood and “art” communities (see: Provincetown) actually have worse Gentrification problems than tech towns. Look it up.