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

It’s Been 10 Years Since ‘The Steal’ Saved The Red Sox

October 17, 2014
The Steal

BOSTON — Ten years ago, on Oct. 17, 2004, “The Steal” catapulted the Sox over the Yankees in Game 4 of the ALCS.

Mass. Adds 9,400 Jobs In September, After Market Basket Disruptions End

October 16, 2014
Protesters celebrate outside Market Basket headquarters in Tewksbury after the grocery chain reached a deal to return control back to Arthur T. Demoulas. (Aram Boghosian for WBUR)

BOSTON — Amid erratic jobs numbers, the state unemployment rate increased last month, from 5.8 percent to 6 percent.

Lion’s Head Time Capsule Contents In ‘Remarkably Good’ Condition

October 15, 2014
The contents of the Old State House time capsule (Courtesy of The Bostonian Society)

BOSTON — The items include: various Boston newspapers from 1901; campaign buttons, including one of Teddy Roosevelt; and a nail from the Old South Church.

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.

Herald On Obama Watermelon Cartoon: ‘Regret If We Offended Anyone’

October 01, 2014
The Boston Herald's Wednesday cartoon

BOSTON — The cartoon references the White House intruder and is being criticized by some for racist connotations.

Sick Time For All?: A Look At Mass. Ballot Question 4

September 30, 2014
Rosario Cabrera, right, attends to Donna, her "consumer," in Donna's New Bedford living room. The personal care attendant makes $13.88 an hour, but hopes for benefits like sick time. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

BOSTON — Question 4 would mandate paid or unpaid sick time, depending on an employer’s size. The Massachusetts proposal could become the most comprehensive sick time law on the books.

Strong Support For Sick Time Ballot Measure, WBUR Poll Finds

September 23, 2014

BOSTON — The survey finds 56 percent of respondents said they would back the proposal, compared to just 25 percent opposed.

Tom Brady Posted His (Pre-Patriots) Resume

September 18, 2014

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

Mass. Loses 5,300 Jobs In August As ‘Temporary Job Disruptions’ Are Cited

September 18, 2014
Though not mentioned by name, protesting Market Basket workers, like those seen here last month in Tewksbury, likely affected the state jobs figures. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

BOSTON — Though Market Basket is not cited by name, the state jobs report makes an apparent reference to workers who were off the job there last month.

Boston Area’s Economic Growth Slowed Last Year

September 16, 2014
New England metro GDP growth in 2013

Greater Boston’s economy grew 1.6 percent in 2013. The metro area expanded 2.5 percent the year before.

Led By Massive Target Theft, Data Breaches Affected 1.2 Million In Mass. In 2013

September 04, 2014
Nearly 1 million Massachusetts residents were affected by Target's massive security breach in late 2013, the state says. Here's a Target store in Watertown on Dec. 19, 2013. (Steven Senne/AP)

BOSTON — Nearly 1.2 million residents had their personal information compromised last year, with most of the breaches stemming from a data theft from Target stores.

Deal Reached To End Market Basket Standoff, Bring Back Arthur T.

August 28, 2014
Protesters celebrate outside Market Basket headquarters in Tewksbury after the grocery chain reached a deal to return control back to Arthur T. Demoulas. (Aram Boghosian for WBUR)

BOSTON — The long-feuding Demoulas family has agreed to sell the majority stake of the regional supermarket chain to Arthur T. Demoulas.

Miss Newport Folk Festival? NPR Has You Covered

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

BOSTON — 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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