WBUR Staff

Benjamin Swasey

Digital Editor, WBUR

Ben is an editor — and occasional blogger — for wbur.org. When he reports, it’s most often on economic and transportation policy, social issues and politics.

Ben is from western Massachusetts, and now lives in Cambridge.

Recent stories

Report: Boston-Area Car Commuters Spent 64 Hours In Gridlock Last Year

August 26, 2015
The Boston area ranks sixth for gridlock-plagued commutes in 2014. Here's morning traffic on Route 1 into Boston in February. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The “congestion cost” per car commuter in the Boston area was nearly $1,400 last year, per the report.

Photos: Braves Field, Now BU’s Nickerson Field, Is 100

August 19, 2015
An aerial view of Braves Field in 1933 (Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection)

In August 1915, the Boston Braves moved into a brand new home: Braves Field. Now it’s Nickerson Field, where Terrier teams play.

Quotation Of The Week: Janis Joplin’s Final ‘Burst Onto The Stage’

August 14, 2015
janis

Forty-five years ago this week — on Aug. 12, 1970 — Janis Joplin held her final concert. It was in front of an estimated 40,000 spectators at Harvard Stadium. She died two months later.

Quotation Of The Week: Opioid Crisis Rages On

August 07, 2015
everett-opioid

Patti Scalesse’s son was discharged from the Marines at age 21 with a prescription for pain medication. Within a year, she says, he had switched to heroin.

Authorities Release New Footage Of Night Before Gardner Art Heist

August 06, 2015
A screen grab from surveillance footage released Thursday of the night before the 1990 art heist at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. (Courtesy U.S. Attorney's Office in Massachusetts via YouTube)

Law enforcement officials are asking the public’s help identifying “an unauthorized visitor” in the video.

Quotation Of The Week: Walsh’s Words, Then A Withdrawn Olympic Bid

July 31, 2015
walsh-olympics-guarantee

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he was not ready to sign an agreement that would put the city on the hook for any cost overruns. Hours later, the Olympics bid was dead.

Mass. Economy Bounced Back From Snow-Slammed First Quarter

July 30, 2015
In the second quarter, the Massachusetts economy bounced back from a snow-slammed first three months of the year. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The state’s economy grew robustly, at an estimated rate of 5.4 percent, in the second quarter.

Boston Under Construction: A Snapshot Of A Boom

July 30, 2015
"It was a gritty kind-of backstreets area for my entire life. Now it’s a handsome new campus,” Boston Redevelopment Authority Director Brian Golden said of the Boston Landing/New Balance headquarters development -- one of the most notable under construction in the city. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

We replicated the city’s map of the roughly 70 projects currently under construction in Boston. One official called it “arguably the biggest building boom in the history of the city of Boston.”

Quotation Of The Week: ‘No Such Thing As A Bad Kid,’ Boston’s Top Cop Says

July 24, 2015
evans

William Evans says his humble roots helped shape his views about community policing.

AP Videos: How Boston Has Suffered Through Years Of Snow

July 23, 2015
(AP)

It’s YouTube’s largest-ever upload of historical news content. So obviously we searched “Boston” videos and found several about snow.

Find The Uninsured Rate In Your Mass. Town

April 02, 2015
(Courtesy of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation)

Massachusetts has the lowest rate of residents lacking health insurance. We know that. But the state figure masks significant variation on a more local level.

Boston Wants Your Ideas For Reimagining City Hall Plaza

March 09, 2015
Have an idea to reimagine the oft-barren landscape that is Boston City Hall Plaza?

Have an idea to reimagine the oft-barren landscape that is Boston City Hall Plaza? Mayor Marty Walsh wants to hear it.

The Smiley Face Was Made In Worcester, And It’s Now 50

October 03, 2014
Smiley face creator Harvey Ball, of Worcester, autographs posters in his office on July 6, 1998. (Paul Connors/AP)

The iconic yellow smiley face was created by Worcester artist Harvey Ball in 1963.

Tom Brady Posted His (Pre-Patriots) Resume

September 18, 2014
0918_brady-resume-crop

“Really thought I was going to need this after the 5th round,” the now-star QB wrote.

Miss Newport Folk Festival? NPR Has You Covered

July 28, 2014
Ryan Adams performs at the Newport Folk Festival. (NPR Music)

The 55th iteration of the iconic music festival happened this past weekend in Rhode Island, and NPR Music, as it does every year, is posting audio and photos.

Doc Says Pedal: Boston Launches ‘Prescribe-A-Bike’ Hubway Program

March 26, 2014
(gobanshee1/Flickr via Compflight)

Boston Medical Center physicians can refer low-income patients for a $5 membership to the area’s bike share system, under a new initiative.

Liner Note Nostalgia And Music Consumption Now

March 19, 2014
Ben found this CD, Soul Asylum's "Grave Dancers Union," from 1992, in WBUR behind the studio. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Was Ben’s love of music deepened because early on he often read while he listened? He mulls it over.

Guatemalan Children Serenade Kerry With ‘Sweet Caroline’

June 07, 2013
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry listens as students in a State Department educational program focused on impoverished and indigenous children serenade him with a rendition of "Sweet Caroline" during a visit to their school in Antigua, Guatemala, on June 5, 2013. (State Department/Flickr)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry got a touching reminder of his Boston roots in Guatemala this week.

Storm Aftermath: Practicing Medicine Without Power

November 02, 2011
A stethoscope (nwxiang/Flickr)

The staff at one North Andover pediatrician’s office is, for the fourth straight day in an outage, “seeing sick kids in the cold, with no computers, no phones and no lights.”

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