- The conversation about expanding passenger rail service from Hartford east to Boston and north to Montreal continues, with public hearings last week in Springfield and Hartford and this week in New Haven and Brattleboro. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find reports on the first two hearings. But a pre-hearing article in The Republican suggests that Connecticut’s small haul in the first round of federal rail stimulus funding may be a difficulty, and says track improvements in Massachusetts will begin this fall.
- A Boston-based branding firm won itself some free publicity by releasing a ranking of New England’s top 25 consumer brands. ESPN and GE took the top two slots, and Dunkin’ Donuts was third—but first in cool and regrettably-scrapped signage. Subway and Ben and Jerry’s rounded out the top five. (Of these, only Dunkin’ and Ben and Jerry’s, and to a somewhat lesser extent Subway, really suggest “New England” to me, in the sense of being strongly identified with the region and evoking it in their marketing. But that’s not exactly what these rankings sought to measure.)
- The Lazy Scholar, summering in Northampton, has dug up a some digital archives of Western Massachusetts’ past.
- In New England this summer? Watch out for moose and, sadly, oil.
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.