Everyday Evil

Can a new network of radical vegans change the mainstream liberal agenda?

The funeral was supposed to begin at 7:30 p.m., but the mourners didn’t show up until closer to 8. They came dressed all in black except for their sneakers. None of them had been to this kind of funeral before, and they were nervous. “I haven’t memorized my speech,” a young woman named Bianca told me. The procession was going to begin at the New Haven Green. Bianca shuffled around the flagpole, trying to get warm. With nightfall, the mist had turned to cold pinpricks. . . Read more
Eric Boodman
The Week in Review

Dispatches from the government shutdown.

The Fiscal Crisis Affects the Presidential Breakfast President Barack Obama hasn’t tasted coffee in two weeks. Nor has he put butter on his toast, or poured fresh milk on his cereal. Instead, he has been drinking a coffee substitute made from boiled chicory root, spreading margarine on his stale bread crusts, and pouring reconstituted milk onto his cornflakes. Given the government shutdown, the Department of Presidential Breakfasts has had to drastically scale back its menus. Read more American Refugees Head to Canada Americans are flocking. . . Read more
Eric Boodman
Wasting Away

Funding cuts are making tuberculosis cases worse and more frequent.

Mariana Ornagua did not seem like the kind of patient who would give a doctor trouble. She had gone out of her way to be tested for tuberculosis in mid-November, waiting in line after her English class at the New Haven Adult Education Center to see the visiting TB nurse. A few days later, Ornagua took more time out of her schedule to get her results. The tiny bit of TB protein that had been injected into her forearm had raised a dark reddish welt. . . Read more
Eric Boodman
Dead in the Pots

What’s killing the Long Island Sound’s lobsters (and taking a culture with it)?

A chain swings in the salty breeze blocking the waterfront in front of Fair Haven Clam & Lobster, and three “No Trespassing—Keep Out” signs hang in prominent places. The barrel of a revolver points out of yet another sign, which leans in the upper window of the house. “Never Mind the Dog, Beware of Owner,” it says. The owner, Michael Fraenza, is a beefy, tattooed lobsterman. For the last fifty years, he has motored out from this dock six or seven mornings a week to. . . Read more
Eric Boodman
River People

The Quinnipiac River Fund asks people to re-imagine their waters.

In the summer of 1978, North Haven resident Nancy Alderman and her husband were woken up nightly by a terrible smell wafting through the open windows of their home. One night her husband Myles got in the car to follow the stench to its source. He ended up at the chemical plant of the pharmaceutical manufacturing firm Upjohn, which had over one hundred smokestacks and vents. “It was two miles from our house, but I had no idea it existed,” Nancy Alderman told me over. . . Read more
Eric Boodman
Eagle Eyes

A team of citizen scientists are helping collect data that could improve New Haven’s urban ecology.

“I like to know the names of things,” David Heiser tells me, and his office proves it. The table where we sit is covered with piles of framed and labeled insects with a jewel-like turquoise beetle at the very top. Behind him is an enormous, pastel-colored model of a flower’s insides, which looks vaguely pornographic. And near my hand, the tip of a hairy leg is just visible through the crack in a pouch marked “Tarantula.” As Head of Education and Outreach at the Peabody. . . Read more
Eric Boodman
Balkanization

A new monthly night of Balkan music and folk dance at Café Nine has been a long time in the works.

It was the end of the 1970s in Washington, D.C., and nobody was buying Laine Harris’s falafel. The competition was fierce. “I would line up with all the other vendors on the corner—rug dealers, hash-pipe carts, hot-dog carts,” he recalls. When the boredom became unbearable, Harris started to perform. Raised in Alabama, Harris had learned Balkan folk-dancing in college, and at his cart he chose a Macedonian dance involving fancy footwork and towel-twirling. Later, he challenged himself further by chanting rhymes in time to the. . . Read more
Eric Boodman