Thinking Citizen Blog — “Is Long Island the answer to Mass. and Cass?” (Boston Globe)

Thinking Citizen Blog — Saturday is Justice, Freedom, Law, and Values Day

Today’s Topic: “Is Long Island the answer to Mass. and Cass?” (Boston Globe)

“Mass and Cass” is shorthand for the opioid addiction crisis in Boston. It refers to a tent city at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard. Local residents business owners are urging the city to remove the homeless settlements as threats to public safety and health, while opponents argue that it is wrong to criminalize homelessness and addiction. Could the 225 acre “campus” on Long Island in Boston Harbor be a solution? It once served over 1,400 patients and inmates at an almshouse and Chronic Disease Hospital. In 2014 the “campus” (19 buildings on 35 acres) was closed when the bridge to the island was deemed unsafe. Is it time to re-open the campus? Would the cost be prohibitive? Today, a few excerpts from an article in the Boston Globe. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.

CITY OF QUINCY OPPOSES A NEW BRIDGE, COST OF CAMPUS RENOVATION ESTIMATED AT HALF A BILLION AT THE END OF 2021

1. “Much of the focus on Long Island has been about whether a new bridge can be built. The City of Quincy, concerned about traffic that has long run through its neighborhoods to get to a bridge, is waging a protracted legal battle to fight it.”

2. “But the deteriorating condition of the campus highlights another herculean hurdle: the immense time and resources that would be required to rebuild the campus itself.”

3. “An analysis done in the waning weeks of former mayor Martin J. Walsh’s administration in early 2021 pegged that cost at more than $500 million to rebuild the campus, a figure that would almost certainly be more today because of inflation and supply chain issues.”

POTENTIAL FUNDING SOURCES ARE MANY

1. “We have more resources on the local, state, and federal levels than in the history of community-based services.” (chief executive, Volunteers of America of Massachusetts).

2. “Municipalities and the state are not only awash in federal COVID-19 related relief money but are also divvying up a $525 million settlement with drug companies that made or marketed opioids that were found to have contributed to the addiction crisis.”

MAYOR WU AND SOON-TO-BE GOVERNOR MAURA HEALEY

1. Wu favors a ferry rather than rebuilding the bridge.

2. Maura Healey: “We need to do everything we can to expand access to long-term treatment, recovery, and care for substance use disorder — and reopening Long Island should be part of that.”

3. Any experts out there? Precedents? Analogies? From anywhere in the US? from around the world?

Mass and Cass — Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Island_(Massachusetts)

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/09/03/business/is-long-island-answer-mass-cass/

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/09/05/opinion/close-methadone-clinics-mass-cass/

Tents may be gone from Mass. and Cass, but a humanitarian crisis remains — The Boston Globe

For the last four years of posts organized by theme:

PDF with headlines — Google Drive

Two special attachments below:

#1 A graphic guide to justice (9 metaphors on one page).

#2 “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: the Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, 11/17/20

YOUR TURN

Please share the coolest thing you learned in the last week related to justice, freedom, the law or basic values. Or the coolest, most important thing you learned in your life related to justice, freedom, the law, or basic values. Or just some random justice-related fact that blew you away.

This is your chance to make some one’s day. Or to cement in your mind something that you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply about something dear to your heart.

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Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.

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John Muresianu

Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.