The Scope

Jewish community faces challenges to maintain a community environment as the pandemic persists

The historic entrance to the Congregation Kehillath Israel synagogue.
January 11, 2021

Friday night services at the Boston Synagogue would normally be followed by a Shabbat feast, where congregants would enjoy each other's company and catch up on what’s happened during the week.  Now,...

Worsening food insecurity during pandemic drives hunger relief efforts

The fridge’s freezer is stocked with a wide array of baked goods — bagels, rolls and loaves of bread.
January 5, 2021

Payday for most people is the most exciting day of the month. But for Keisha LaRosa, a 35-year-old Boston resident, that is not the case. Instead of celebrating, LaRosa is faced with several hard decisions....

Three local bookstores prepare for winter and rising COVID-19 cases

Three local bookstores prepare for winter and rising COVID-19 cases
December 17, 2020

For some book lovers, independent bookstores are the go-to place to discover great stories, even during a pandemic. Boston’s bookstores have reopened to in-person browsing since the summer, after temporary...

Nowhere to go: Houselessness, a Virus and an Overwhelmed City [Video Doc]

Nowhere to go: Houselessness, a Virus and an Overwhelmed City [Video Doc]
December 17, 2020

When Boston Mayor Marty Walsh ordered a city-wide shutdown in mid-March due to the escalating COVID-19 pandemic, residents holed up indoors and the streets quickly emptied, except for nearly 6,000 houseless...

City officials, community members fight against rising sea level in East Boston

East Boston
Vulnerable due to its waterfront location, East Boston is at risk of severe flooding in the near future from rapidly rising sea level.
December 16, 2020

By 2070, nearly half of East Boston could be exposed to flooding during severe storms due to rapidly rising sea level, according to the city of Boston’s climate vulnerability assessment. Preparing...

The grassroots battle against food insecurity in Boston, a photo essay

Despite the pandemic, barbers are still cutting and styling at D’Friends Barber Shop in Jamaica Plain. The Community Fridge can be seen from the inside of the shop with Northeastern student Talja Ketchum painting vibrant rainbows and flowers onto its exterior. The barbers are enthusiastic about the new initiative right outside their door. “My best friend gets a haircut at this barbershop all the time, so he put me in contact with the owner,” said Josiel Gonzalez, a co-founder and main organizer for the JP fridge. Jay Valeria, 24, has been a barber at D’Friends for three years now. “There’s a lack of love and warmness [in the world],” explained Valeria. “I feel like this promotes love.”
As community fridges continue to pop up across the nation, Boston residents are coming together to address food insecurity across the city.
December 14, 2020

On the bustling corner of Centre and Dyer Streets in Jamaica Plain stands a brightly painted fridge as a symbol of a grassroots action against food insecurity in Boston. Anyone can open its doors to find...

Latina-owned zero waste shop UVIDA helps customers use less plastic

UVIDA shop owner Maria Camila Vasco (right) explains one of her deodorant products to a customer at the North End store.
December 8, 2020

As the urgency of climate action heightens, Maria Camila Vasco’s passion for the environment and reducing plastic pollution culminates in her zero waste UVIDA shop. UVIDA, one of Boston’s first...

Black Voices Boston tells personal stories over the pandemic through dance performances

Black Voices Boston tells personal stories over the pandemic through dance performances
December 6, 2020

As the pandemic continues and the majority of art performances are cancelled or moved online, a choreographer director got creative in keeping his dancers engaged while telling Bostonians’ personal stories...

How the Chinese Culture Connection supports the community in Malden during the pandemic

Students make Chinese blue and white porcelain artwork in a class at the the Chinese Culture Connection center, photo taken before COVID-19.
December 3, 2020

Massachusetts has been hit hard by COVID-19. At one point in time, the state had the highest unemployment rate in the country as many organizations were forced to close permanently and unemployed workers...

Boston might have just had its first snow but rising temperatures remain a threat to communities

Boston hit record of more than 4 inches of snow on Oct 30 this year.
November 10, 2020

Boston might have had its first snow in October, but residents shouldn’t get used to it, as climate change is causing rising temperatures around the planet. Experts say heat has been a critical danger...

MSPCA-Angell in Jamaica Plain helps people adopt surrendered pets during the pandemic

MSPCA-Angell in Jamaica Plain helps people adopt surrendered pets during the pandemic
"We get hundreds of phone calls a day," said manager of the shelter Victoria Odynsky. "And when we post our pets on social media or on our website, we're getting so many inquiries about them that honestly it's hard to keep up."
November 5, 2020

Adoption and sales of pets around the country has seen a swift increase during the COVID-19 pandemic as people are trying to fill the social isolation with an animal companion. The increase, however, has...

Video series: Mission Hill businesses cutting through COVID-19 challenges Punjab Mini Mart

Video series: Mission Hill businesses cutting through COVID-19 challenges Punjab Mini Mart
Watch how Mission Hill businesses adapt and get creative through challenges posed by COVID-19 to remain open for residents and students.
November 3, 2020

Editor’s note:  Mission Hill is one of Boston’s most rapidly changing neighborhoods and an area where students have started to become the predominant group in the past years, driving up rents and...

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