‘Boston After The Bombings’: Hope And Healing

On Point host Tom Ashbrook moderated “Boston After the Bombings: A Public Conversation of Hope & Healing” on Wednesday, April 24, at Emerson College’s Cutler Majestic Theatre. This  free community event was presented by WBUR and The Boston Foundation, with support from Emerson College, ArtsEmerson, M. Steinert & Sons  and the Boston University School of Music. It was broadcast live on WBUR and streamed on You can watch a video of the event here:

Or, if you prefer, listen to the full conversation here:

Pianist Han Na Son, with whom the late Lu Lingzi studied at Boston University, opened the program with a performance of Chopin’s Nocturne in c minor, Opus 48, No. 1. (She returned later in the evening with Claude Debussy’s “Reflets dans l’eau” and Johannes Brahms’s Intermezzo, opus 118, No. 2.)

Tom then introduced the first of two panels to discuss the immediate effects of the Marathon bombings on the Boston community. This panel included:

Dr. Natalie Stavas, a resident at Children’s Hospital who was running the Marathon near the finish line when the explosions occurred. Despite a broken foot, she leapt over the barricades and rushed to provide first aid to the victims.

Daniel Linskey, superintendent-in-chief of the Boston Police Department, who supervised the department’s role in the investigation and was in the command post in Watertown during the manhunt that ended in one suspect’s death and the other’s arrest. (Read Linskey’s account of the bombings and the manhunt.)

Dr. Peter Burke, chief of trauma services at Boston Medical Center

Paul Grogan, president of The Boston Foundation

Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission

Kevin Cullen, Boston Globe columnist

The second panel, which broadened to discuss the larger implications and long-term effects of the bombings, featured:

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst

Imam Shuhaib Webb, Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center

Rev. Ray Hammond, Bethel AME Church

Dr. Eli Newberger, author and pediatrician, Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital

Ayanna Pressley, Boston city councilor at-large


A ‘Carol’ For Rosie’s Place

Just before the holidays, WBUR celebrated the 10th anniversary of our annual reading of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, a benefit for Rosie’s Place. WBUR hosts and reporters, along with the singing group Syncopation, gathered for a sold-out show Dec. 18 at the Omni Parker House Hotel, where Dickens himself read the classic story of Scrooge and Tiny Tim on his national tour.

After an introduction from Meghna Chakrabarti and Sacha Pfeiffer, each “stave,” or section, of Dickens’ own stage adaptation received a full-bodied reading from some of our on-air favorites: Tom Ashbrook, Bob Oakes, Robin Young, Bill Littlefield and Delores Handy. Seasonal songs punctuated the staves, vivid poinsettias from Winston Flowers decorated the stage, and hot cocoa and cookies at intermission rounded out the festive mood.

Our thanks go to the Omni Parker House for the use of its beautiful ballroom, to Keezer’s for outfitting the men in handsome evening wear and to Bearly Read Books of Sudbury for its support — and for a handsome facsimile copy of “A Christmas Carol,” which sold at silent auction for $200. That, along with all other proceeds from the event — about $15,700 this year — went to our friends at Rosie’s Place. Happy new year to all!

Radio Boston goes live at TEDxBoston

Anthony and Meghna

Anthony and Meghna

With WBUR acting as media sponsor for TEDxBoston, Radio Boston co-hosts Anthony Brooks and Meghna Chakrabarti hosted a live show direct from the World Trade Center. The all-day event was also livestreamed here on, and we broadcast the 1 p.m. session live at 90.9.

For yet another WBUR-exclusive approach to the event, check out our Storify take on a great day of ideas, innovation and entertainment — and stay tuned for news of the next TEDxBoston conference.

Tom Ashbrook hosts On Point Live with Bill McKibben and Martin Sexton

Bill McKibben spoke with Tom Ashbrook June 14 in a special edition of On Point Live at the Paramount Center in Boston.

Bill McKibben spoke with Tom Ashbrook June 14 in a special edition of On Point Live at the Paramount Center in Boston.

Two decades after proclaiming “the end of nature,” McKibben expressed a cautious optimism that we can still avert ecological catastrophe in a united effort against carbon-based fuels.

Martin Sexton’s passionate musical performance highlighted the communal interest  in protecting our planet and set the stage for the powerful ecological discussion. Together, Tom and Bill answered questions from the audience and discussed the political landscape that will dictate the future of climate change, fracking and fossil fuels.

Ultimately, Bill argued that activists must promote immediate change if we are to sustain a healthy planet for future generations.

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