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

How One UMass Economist Would Set A Boston Area Minimum Wage

July 23, 2014
Pedro Rodriguez, right, talks with Andrus Reyes at a Burger King in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood in December, as part of nationwide protests in support of higher wages for workers in the fast-food industry and other minimum-wage jobs. (Stephan Savoia/AP)

BOSTON — Using Arin Dube’s calculations, the Boston metro could have a have a wage floor of $12.85 an hour.

Mass. Adds 3,700 Jobs In June; Jobless Rate Ticks Down To 5.5 Percent

July 17, 2014

BOSTON — That’s the lowest state jobless rate since August 2008, and the figure is down from 6.8 percent in January.

GOP’s Baker Backs New Abortion Clinic Bill

July 15, 2014
Protesters hand out literature outside a Boston Planned Parenthood a day after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 35-foot buffer zone around Massachusetts abortion clinics violates free speech. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

BOSTON — The new bill would allow police to disperse people substantially impeding access to abortion clinics.

Boston, Mohegan Sun Reach Community Deal

July 10, 2014
A rendering of the proposed Mohegan Sun casino at Suffolk Downs in Revere

BOSTON — Under terms of the deal, Mohegan Sun would provide an estimated $300 million in investments in Boston over a 15-year period.

Mass. Is 1 Of 4 States With A Full Fireworks Ban

July 03, 2014
(derekskey/Flickr via Compfight)

BOSTON — The three other states that ban all fireworks are also in the Northeast: Delaware, New Jersey and New York.

Mass. Casinos Have Majority Support, WBUR Poll Finds

July 02, 2014
An artist's rendering of MGM's proposed resort-style casino in Downtown Springfield (Courtesy)

BOSTON — Fifty-six percent of respondents said they approve of locating casinos in Massachusetts, while 38 percent said they disapprove.

Boston Area Voters Favor Suffolk Downs Casino Plan, Poll Finds

June 30, 2014

BOSTON — The UMass survey also found that a plurality of the region’s voters would would currently vote to uphold the gambling law.

Mass. Adds 9,100 Jobs In May; Unemployment Rate Drops To 5.6 Percent

June 19, 2014

BOSTON — Massachusetts employment is now at its highest level since 1990.

MBTA Toughens Its Cellphone Policy For Drivers

June 16, 2014
In a photo released by the Newton Fire Department, an MBTA bus hangs over the Mass Pike. (Courtesy)

BOSTON — Bus, train and trolley operators now face termination for possession of a phone or similar device while on duty.

1 Chart That Shows The Long-Term Unemployed Crisis

June 09, 2014

In one chart, Boston Fed scholar Rand Ghayad reveals the difference between short- and long-term unemployment,

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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