It’s too early to say if Governor Charlie Baker can deliver on all his promises, but delivering newspapers? He’s all over it.
At a press conference earlier this week to announce $5 million in job training funds, Baker recalled what work has meant to him over the years — and couldn’t resist taking what seemed to be a good-natured jab at the Boston Globe’s recent delivery woes.
“I’ve been working since I was probably 10. I had a paper route way back in the day — I was pretty good at it, by the way,” he said, looking directly at a Globe reporter, as the room erupted in laughter.
Baker was no delivery dilettante, it turns out.
Growing up in Needham, he delivered the Daily Transcript of Dedham for several years, by bicycle, pulling a cart full of newspapers. When his father got a job with the Nixon administration and the family moved to Washington, D.C., he delivered The Washington Post. (His family eventually moved back, and Baker covered high school sports for the paper he once delivered).
Baker isn’t the only local paper boy to rise through the ranks of Massachusetts politics. His predecessor Deval Patrick also delivered newspapers, in Milton, while he was a student at Milton Academy.
“Work fills me with purpose,” Baker continued at the press conference.
Baker did not offer to further fulfill his purpose by volunteering to help deliver the Globe, however. — KATIE JOHNSTON
MIT channels its inner rock star
Of all the tributes being paid to the late David Bowie, perhaps one of the most curious is happening at a place not often associated with music, let alone with an iconic gender-bending British rock star: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Defying its stereotype as a haven for all things math and science, MIT will host a sold-out concert tribute to Bowie, who died this month of pancreatic cancer, at Kresge Auditorium in Cambridge Friday.
The featured music will be two symphonies by classical composer Philip Glass, one called “Low” and the other called “Heroes,” inspired by Bowie albums of the same names.
An all-volunteer orchestra of about 80 people — assembled in just the past two weeks — will perform the pieces. Somehow, despite their hurried assembly, they’ve even found time to rehearse, according to Clarise Snyder, director of MIT’s concerts office.
Directing the orchestra will be MIT music professor Evan Ziporyn, who helped organize the event with Richard Guerin, manager of Glass’s record label, Orange Mountain Music. And because the musicians are volunteering their time, all proceeds will benefit the MIT Cancer Research Fund, Snyder said.
— SACHA PFEIFFER
Patrick Kennedy joins Quartet Health board
Patrick Kennedy made waves with a controversial tell-all book last year, detailing his famous family’s struggles with mental illness and addiction. It got people talking about tough issues. But the former congressman is not stopping there; he wants to change the way the health care system deals with mental illness.
About the same time he released his book, Kennedy joined the board of Quartet Health, a New York-based startup working to improve access to mental health care. Its app helps primary care physicians connect with psychiatrists for consults. Through partnerships with insurance companies, Quartet also crunches patient data to figure out who might benefit from services. The company raised $7 million last year.
“What Quartet is designing is the model of care that we need going forward,” said Patrick Kennedy, son of the late senator Ted Kennedy.
Quartet is growing in Massachusetts: Steward Health Care System, one of the state’s largest networks of doctors and hospitals, has signed up to use Quartet’s services. It also partners with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the state’s largest commercial health insurer.
Kennedy’s pitch for the company is essentially this: spend more money on services now to help prevent serious and more costly health problems that happen when mental illness like depression and anxiety go untreated.
“What speaks to these [insurers] is that paying more for mental health not only is the right thing to do, but actually produces more savings for them,” Kennedy said.
— PRIYANKA DAYAL MCCLUSKEY
Mr. Spock’s COPD story
Boston native Leonard Nimoy , the actor who enthralled millions of Trekkies in his iconic role as Mr. Spock in the television series Star Trek, is the subject of a documentary set to be completed this summer to raise awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Nimoy died of the disease known as COPD last Feb. 27. In the year before his death, Nimoy — who started his decades of smoking as a teenager in Boston’s West End — spoke openly on television and in social media about the disease and the dangers of smoking.
His daughter, Julie Nimoy , who finally compelled her father to give up the habit, is co-producing the documentary with her husband David Knight . They start work next month on the film, called “COPD: Highly Illogical — A Special Tribute to Leonard Nimoy,” and plan to have it ready for the 50th anniversary of Star Trek later this year.
“My Dad was very private about his personal life, and especially his health,” said Julie Nimoy, a chef, baker, and documentary maker. “He didn’t want us to worry. For him to tell the world he had COPD, that was cathartic. It was huge for him.”
— ROBERT WEISMAN