And Another Thing

Monday - Friday 6 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Hosted by Maya Shwayder and Dara Kennedy

And Another Thing involves you in serious conversations about important issues facing the people of western New England. Journalists Dara Kennedy and Maya Shwayder speak with people from a wide variety of backgrounds who are dealing with challenges and looking for solutions. You can expect insight, uncovered angles and passionate voices, along with a diversity of opinions and experiences shared on the air and online.

Send us an email at Leave a voice message anytime at (800) 639-9120. Join the conversation on social media using the links to the right. And please suggest important topics for discussion.

And Another Thing is produced by New England Public Media.

Mass. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito will run for no public office next year
Sam Doran / SHNS

The decisions of both Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito to run for no public offices next year opens up lots of political possibilities, according to the panel of journalists who reviewed some of the week’s top news stories on And Another Thing. Panelists found the decision of Polito to leave politics particularly surprising.

Baker and Polito won't run again: what it means

Dec 1, 2021
Sam Doran / SHNS

There will be no third term for Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. He and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito will not run for any public offices next year, according to a joint statement they released Wednesday morning that has shaken up the Massachusetts political world.

New England appreciates football

Nov 30, 2021
Youth football clinic at Amherst Regional High School

The risk of severe brain injuries and the negative attention focused on some star plays do not appear to have hurt the popularity of football among fans in western New England or the country. Ahead of high school championship games, there is also excitement about new big-name coaches at UMass and UConn, as the New England Patriots have returned to the upper rankings in the NFL.

Michael Bobbitt, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council
Massachusetts Cultural Council


This episode is rebroadcast from October 4, 2021.

Reviving arts and cultural organizations in Massachusetts devastated by the economic impact of the pandemic has become largely the responsibility of a playwright and theater director, who has become the new Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Hunger remains a concern in western New England

Nov 24, 2021
USDA Economic Research Agency

As families across western New England and the country prepare to share Thanksgiving meals, hunger, which had been waning prior to the pandemic, remains a concern. Food insecurity has declined only slightly from its height during the pandemic. Area agencies that try to help those without enough to eat all report great generosity and assistance from the public.

Why Black women are frequent targets on social media

Nov 23, 2021

An Amnesty International study in 2018 found that Black women are the most harassed group on Twitter. A recent report in The Washington Post showed that even though Facebook knew its algorithms were disproportionately harming black and minority users, the social media giant chose to do nothing.

Amilcar Shabazz

Prominent University of Massachusetts professor of Africana Studies Amilcar Shabazz began life with a more mundane name. He grew up in Texas as Eric Frank. Then in college, Shabazz read a great deal about Malcom X and other Black activists.

Massachusetts State House
Jesse Costa / WBUR

The state of Massachusetts has billions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief money sitting in bank accounts, instead of being used, and with the state legislature in recess it could remain that way for months. Governor Charlie Baker slammed lawmakers Thursday for taking no action on the funding before their recess.

Baker blames legislature for ARPA spending delays

Nov 18, 2021
Gov. Baker with Mass. Sen. Pres.  Spilka and Mass. House Speaker Mariano

  Gov. Charlie Baker is among those disappointed that Beacon Hill Democrats couldn't agree on a plan to put nearly $4 billion to work throughout the economy before breaking for a seven-week stretch of informal sessions, and is blaming a legislative decision earlier this year for causing delays.

Capital hard to find for minority businesses

Nov 17, 2021
Hub owners Chris Joel and Tiana Ray Burnett
Denise Vozella / NEPM

Black and Latino Americans make up more than a fifth of the Massachusetts population but own just 9-percent of all businesses in the state, according to 2018 US Census data. A report in May by some business leaders who say they want to create equity in small business concludes the gap between rich and poor is growing wider in the state. The Coalition for an Equitable Economy report concludes entrepreneurs of color have far more difficulty obtaining needed capital.

Alex Jones at a Dallas rally

In a ruling that conspiracy theorist and media personality Alex Jones says shows, “Tyranny is now here in America,” a Connecticut Superior Court judge has sided with the families that brought against a defamation lawsuit against Jones without the case going to trial. The suit stems from claims Jones made but has no retracted Sandy Hook School shootings in 2012 did not really happen. Judge Barbara Bellis issued a default ruling in the lawsuit Monday over the failure of Jones and his legal team to comply with court orders to hand over financial documents.

Massachusetts state Sen. Adam Gomez.
Hoang 'Leon' Nguyen / The Republican /

This episode is rebroadcast from July 19, 2021.

The new Massachusetts state senator representing West Springfield and parts of Springfield and Chicopee brings experience of trying to persuade lawmakers to make change with him to Beacon Hill. Senator Adam Gomez is the first Puerto Rican and first Afro-Latino state senator in the state’s history.

Week in review: New England governors launch 2022 bids

Nov 12, 2021
Gov. Charlie Baker has yet to reveal is 2022 political intentions

Two New England governors launched 2022 reelection efforts this week, but the political future of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker remains unknown. New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu resisted calls from fellow Republicans to consider a bid for the U.S. Senate and began a bid for his fourth term, saying he can accomplish more in his current job. Connecticut Democrat Ned Lamont became a candidate, saying he loves the job.

Holyoke Soldiers' Home future still being reviewed on Veterans' Day

Nov 11, 2021
Soldiers Home in Holyoke.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

On Veterans’ Day, residents of the Soldiers Home in Holyoke are living under the specter of a tragedy near the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in early 2020. The deaths of 77 residents of the long-term care facility for veterans have been connected to COVID-19.

Springfield Central Public Library

With a population of fewer than 1,700, the rural western Massachusetts town of Colrain has limited access to something people in other areas may take for granted—the Internet. Many residents have come to depend on the town’s Griswold Memorial Library for Wi-Fi and other types of Internet access need for research and submitting basic forms with medical providers or employers.

Government intervention to head off spikes in evictions or home foreclosures during the COVID-19 pandemic appear to be paying off in parts of New England, according to experts interviewed on And Another Thing. Evictions have increased since the end of temporary moratoriums, but they have not reached pre-pandemic levels thanks to unemployment and rental relief programs.

African drummer Alpha Kabinet Kaba better known as Bisko at home in Holyoke
Laura Kuphal / L.L. Art and Photography

Holyoke, Massachusetts, resident Alpha Kabinet Kaba was no stranger to pandemic when COVID-19 arrived in the United States. The native of Guinea saw his home country ravaged by Ebola in 2014 and lost three relatives to that contagious virus. A new outbreak of Ebola in Guinea this year appears linked to that original outbreak in 2014.

Week in review: why some election firsts matter

Nov 5, 2021
nancy eve cohen / NEPM

Change sometimes comes slowly. Still, municipal elections this week provide plenty of evidence it is coming in western Massachusetts. That is one conclusion of the journalists who reviewed some of the top news stories of the week for And Another Thing.

Labor shortage slows many areas of western New England economy

Nov 4, 2021
Storrowton Tavern in West Springfield is now closed on Mondays and Tuesdays due to a worker shortage
Hoang 'Leon' Nguyen / The Republican

Last month, the usually busy Storrowton Tavern and Carriage House restaurant in West Springfield, Massachusetts, reduced its hours and its business. Storrowton Tavern is now closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Like many businesses across western New England and the country, the restaurant can’t find enough workers. And owners do not want to burn out the workers he has by pushing them to put in too many hours.

Concern about gas pipeline proposed from Longmeadow to Springfield

Nov 3, 2021
A map shows details of Eversource's Western Massachusetts Natural Gas Reliability Project.

A proposed natural gas pipeline from Longmeadow to Springfield, Massachusetts, has some residents of both communities up in arms. But utility Eversource insists the five-mile pipeline is safe and essential to assure reliable service. What’s called the Western Massachusetts Natural Gas Reliability Project is a proposed pipeline that would take one of four routes from Longmeadow to a regulator station in Springfield.

An "I voted" sticker.
Daniel Morrison / Creative Commons /

Low voter turnout is forecast across Massachusetts for 55 municipal elections in the state. One reason for the lower turnout is that local elections are usually held separately from national and state elections, which have better known candidates. Local campaigns also have less money.

Jane Swift speaking at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
Berkshire Eagle /

The last western Massachusetts resident to hold statewide office finds the prospect of candidates for both Governor and Lieutenant Governor with western Massachusetts ties exciting. Former Lieutenant Governor Jane Swift (R-North Adams) discussed the political challenges faced by candidates from the western part of the state as part of a wide-ranging interview on And Another Thing.


New England states are preparing for a new round of COVID-19 vaccinations as early as next week. That’s when lower dosage shots for children as young as 5 could receive final federal approval. It is one of the topics up for review by panelists this week on And Another Thing.

Debates heat up over changing voting rules in Mass.

Oct 28, 2021

  Some temporary measures designed to make voting easier in Massachusetts remain in place due to COVID-19 for municipal elections around the state next week. Some Democrats are moving to make provisions such as early voting permanent. At the same time, some Republican lawmakers want to create new rules, including a voter identification requirement.

Office of the Connecticut Attorney General

An advocacy group that opposes abortion is going to court in defense of some women’s health clinics in Connecticut operated by other abortion opponents. The Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a clinic in New London that says it fears it is a target of a new law that prohibits deceptive advertising practices by crisis pregnancy centers. The lawsuit claims the law violates the free speech rights of Care Net Pregnancy Resource Center of Southeastern Connecticut.

Significantly lowering Greenhouse Gas emissions from New England will require significant cuts in emissions from source, aside from the electric industry, which has received the most attention so far. The biggest source of emissions is transportation. Policy makers in many northeast states have considered a proposal to create economic incentives to lower emissions. However, the Transportation Climate Initiative has been a difficult political sell in most areas.

Deported immigrant activist returns to western Mass.

Oct 25, 2021
Eduardo Samaniego at September 5, 2017 rally in Northampton in reaction to termination of the DACA program

A man who finished high school in the U.S. unaware until he began applying to college that he was not a legal resident has returned to the Pioneer Valley. That's after being deported to Mexico in 2019. Now he is continuing his activism on behalf of immigrant rights.

Charles Ryan celebrates his mayoral race victory in 2003 with his wife, Joan

Former Springfield Mayor Charlie Ryan is being remembered in many ways following his death this week. Ryan, who served a total of five terms as mayor, is remembered as someone “who loved Springfield” and particularly as “someone who evolved.”

State lawmakers in Connecticut fight it out over crime bills

Oct 21, 2021
The Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford, Connecticut.
Photo Phiend / Creative Commons /

In a state with one of the lowest crime rates in the country, Republican leaders of the Connecticut General Assembly are making a major issue of crime a year before the next General Assembly elections. Democrats, who outnumber Republicans by nearly two to one in the Assembly, accuse the GOP of misrepresenting crime data and trying to scare voters.

The Massachusetts State Police general headquarters.
Jacqueline Tempera / MassLive /

Three days after a deadline requiring Massachusetts state employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or receive a waiver, it is unclear what may happen to the approximately 5% of the state workforce that has not met the requirement.