Some miscellany from the past few weeks:
- Two years after Democrats swept every U.S. House race in New England, how big a comeback will Republicans mount on Tuesday? Will we be able to point to anything regionally distinct about the election results? Until then, check out the profile of the race in Connecticut’s 4th Congressional district (which, incidentally, doesn’t “count” as New England in some tellings) in The Hill, and the survey of all of the region’s close House races in The Washington Times. For what it’s worth, Nate Silver currently gives the GOP a clear edge only in New Hampshire’s 1st district.
- More federal stimulus money for rail in New England: $121 million for the New Haven-Springfield corridor (in addition to $40 million earlier this year, and $70 million for track improvements north of Springfield), $2 million for studies on the Boston-Nashua corridor, and $600 thousand for studies on the Boston-to-Portland corridor. Ryan Lynch at Mobilizing the Region notes that Connecticut is now only $40 million from meeting the budget for the “near-term vision” for New Haven-Springfield commuter rail. Meanwhile, several stories out of the 2010 Northeast Rail Summit in Springfield, including praise for the New England states’ cooperation, uncertainty about long-term funding mechanisms, and caution about how fast high-speed rail in the region will be.
- New-ish book of note: the collection Asian Americans in New England: Culture and Community, edited by University of New Hampshire literary scholar Monica Chiu. From Arleen de Vera’s review in the JAH: “Its New England focus problematizes the accepted narrative of Asian American studies, with its emphasis on labor migration, California, and the emergence of the yellow peril.”
- Art critic Greg Cook of the Boston Phoenix is soliciting nominations for the “Worst Public Art in New England,” WBUR reports. Cook attacks, for instance, the Boston Irish Famine Memorial as “simple-minded, facile, maudlin, utterly appalling and embarrassing, poorly executed, the most-cheesy memorial to human tragedy in Boston.” So far, most of the nominations are from around greater Boston–but surely there’s bad public art elsewhere in the New England states.
About this feature: Each week, I compile recent articles and other items relating to New England’s history, its regional identity, and its future. If you come across something interesting or relevant, please submit it for inclusion in a future post. Click here for previous roundups.