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  • 🙌 The best news you’ll hear this month

🙌 The best news you’ll hear this month

Plus: 🤫 Harvard pipes down

It’s Wednesday, Boston.

🚲 Shuttle buses got you down? To ease (some of) the pain from the Orange Line shutdown, the city is once again partnering with Blue Cross Blue Shield to offer five free Bluebike unlocks for all with the code MBTAORANGEMAY. 

👀 What’s on tap today:

  • Harvard pipes down

  • Brookline’s trash amnesty

  • The hottest new locale

Up first…

GOOD NEWS

A vacation for your brain

Images: The Boston Globe Staff, Margaret Spalluzzi. Illustration: Gia Orsino.

Raise your hand if you’re ready for another long weekend! If you’re like us, this summer weather might have you feeling ready for a break.

And while we can’t approve your PTO … we can give you a mental reset in the form of some seriously good news you may have missed this May:

🏳️‍🌈 Mass. celebrated 20 years of gay marriage. On May 17, 2004, Mass. became the first state in the nation to legalize gay marriage. And for the event’s 20th anniversary, a slew of feel-good stories about what the day means to local LGBTQ+ couples brought a (happy) tear to our eye. See: These WBUR profiles of four married couples, or this gorgeous Globe story in which one woman recounts the day and reflects on her relationship.

💰 A local billionaire gave a class of college grads a big ($$$) surprise. This year’s speech at UMass Dartmouth wasn’t the first time Robert Hale, co-owner of the Celtics and CEO of Granite Telecommunications, used a commencement address to surprise local students with cash. But that didn’t make the news any less good for the 1,100 graduates who each received $1,000 from Hale, on the condition that they’d give half of it to someone in need. Bonus: Here’s a video of the students’ (thrilled) reaction.

👑 Local students with chronic illnesses got their own celebration. High school can be tough — especially for teens with chronic illnesses who have to juggle medical treatments in addition to school work and social life. But everything about the prom put on for them by Hasbro Children’s Hospital is meant to be worry-free. This year, students were able to enjoy their own, accessible “aloha”-themed prom night, where attendees were able to “be more [themselves],” as one student put it, as other students don’t always get what they’re going through.

💪 One of Mass.’ last living Rosie the Riveters was honored. Did you know that a few OG Rosie the Riveters (a.k.a. women who worked in shipyards and factories during WWII) are still living in Mass.? 102-year-old Margaret Spalluzzi was honored with the state’s Congressional Gold Medal (the highest civilian honor) for her role working as a welder in the Hingham Shipyard. In an interview with the National Parks Service, Spalluzzi said that she was just happy to help her country: “It gave me a chance.”

🏆 A Boston Marathon winner was finally paid her dues. In 2014, Rita Jeptoo was the first woman to cross the Boston Marathon finish line. But when Jeptoo tested positive for doping soon after, second-place finisher Buzunesh Deba became the rightful winner … but never got her $100,000 cash prize from the B.A.A. Fast-forward 10 years, and a former Boston College quarterback took matters into his own hands, paying Deba $75,000 of the prize himself, purely out of principle — money that she said she’ll use to try and return to running’s elite ranks.

QUICK QUESTION

🥤 We’re working on a story and want to know: Do you drink trendy prebiotic sodas like Olipop or Poppi?

Let us know below!

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TOGETHER WITH DANA-FARBER CANCER INSTITUTE AND THE JIMMY FUND 

A little treat with a big impact 

🍨 Your ice cream cravings could actually do some good. Support Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund’s mission to defy cancer and indulge your sweet tooth at Scoop at Night presented by Herb Chambers from 5 to 8 p.m. on June 6. Ice cream lovers who are 21+ are invited to enjoy all-you-can-eat ice cream and two drinks for just $35. Use code BSIDE for $4 off each ticket and be part of something truly sweet. 

CITY

Quick & dirty headlines

Image: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe

🤫 Harvard’s new MO: Zip it. After months of being embroiled in controversy surrounding the conflict in Gaza, Harvard will no longer offer official statements on matters that don’t “directly affect the university’s core function,” at the suggestion of a working group that was established by the school to consider the issue. The move comes as “institutional neutrality” is becoming more popular among bigwig schools to avoid controversy and be more governable (though FWIW, the group explicitly calls Harvard not neutral in their statement). But critics say the idea is impossible with all the school’s interests like investments and donors.

📈 Mass.’ AAPI population is in flux. Per the Globe’s analysis of data from 2012 to 2022, the state’s Asian community — which makes up 7% of the total population — is rapidly growing and changing. While folks with Chinese ancestry still make up the majority, other Malaysian, Taiwanese, and Burmese communities have seen over 135% growth in population in that time. Also changing: Where they’re living, with more AAPI folks moving outside the city in recent years. Check out the full analysis here.

🗑️ Have you missed trash collection day a few too many times? We won’t tell. And neither will the town of Brookline during its trash amnesty week. Through June 1, if you live in Brookline, you can get rid of all your extra trash bags without any fees for overflow. But that amnesty only goes so far: The policy is meant to include extra bags of trash outside your town-designated can, so if you have bigger, bulky items, you’ll still need to dispose of those through official channels

😋 Bow Market just got a little bit bigger. The market just wrapped up its biggest expansion project since it opened in 2018, which is called the Bow Market extension. The completion of the project includes Carolicious Gourmet, which offers Venezuelan bites; a new venue with more space for Mike & Patty’s, a brunchy sandwich spot; and long-timer Hot Box, which serves pizza and roast beef. But that’s only the headline. Other spots like Tiny Turns Paperie, Blue Bandana Relics, and Soft Space Wellness also got upgrades.

GIVEAWAY

Together with SoulCycle!

Enter to win a free ride for you and a guest for SoulCycle’s Pride Ride Event on Sunday, June 2 with Brando! To enter, just refer a friend and have them accept your invite by the end of the day on May 30, 2024. If you have already referred a friend to B-Side (and they’ve accepted), you're eligible! Full details below*

18+. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Limit one entry per person. See official rules and an additional entry option here.

ONE LAST THING

Even more good news

Image: Molly Farrar. Illustration: Emily Schario.

Do you have room for just a little more good news? Of course you do! 

Remember Narrative, the soon-to-be-open independent bookstore in Davis Square that we featured back in February? The one that was near-single-handedly built from the ground up by owner Mila Hossain and features a curated selection of books by BIPOC authors? 

Well, it opened, and it was a huge success.

According to Hossain, she almost entirely sold out of stock on day one, and drew a line around the block for hours on end. Keep up with the latest from Narrative here (they have tons of cool events coming up!).

— Written by Gia Orsino and Emily Schario

📚 Thanks for reading! There’s nothing like a new, local independent bookstore to get me out of bed.

💜 Special shoutout to today’s sponsor, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, for supporting local journalism and fighting the good fight against cancer. 

💌 The results are in: Looks like B-Siders love them some Hinge, with 53% selecting it as their preferred dating app. One reader said: “‘Preferred dating app’ is an oxymoron. You think I want to be here???”

💃 Keep up with us @BostonBSide on IG, TikTok, and Twitter. Send comments and suggestions to [email protected] or [email protected].