Join the conversation as Susan Kaplan hosts two special editions of Focus: Western New England. Susan will be talking with Democratic candidates for the newly drawn First Congressional District seat in Massachusetts.
From calling them Soccer Moms to Walmart women, political candidates vying for women voters often try to put the gender in a box. On Focus: Western New England (3/15/12), we take a closer look at women voters and hear what they really want from their elected officials.
This hour, electricity -- or the lack of it. In the 2008 ice storm, the December 2010 snowstorm, this year's June tornados, August's Tropical Storm Irene, and last months freak snowstorm . All of these volatile weather events strained the region's electric system past the breaking point.
The June 1st tornadoes ripped through towns and cities in western and central Massachusetts. Some residents are back in their homes but many are still living in shelters, motels, or with friends. FEMA and MEMA have committed funds and other resources, but how do individuals and communities rebuild, in some pockets, literally, from the ground up?
The fight is on over the fate of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, located on the banks of the Connecticut River, just north of the Massachusetts border. Vermont officials say they have the authority to force the plants closure next year, but that would mean the loss of hundreds of jobs and a relatively cheap energy source. Entergy, which owns the plant, is suing the state to keep it open. And Japan's Fukushima disaster has intensified the debate.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's battle with state workers over pay and bargaining rights has had ripple effects around the country, as voices are raised in solidarity with both sides. The Democratic governors of Massachusetts and Connecticut are making their own proposals to trim pay and benefits of public sector workers, as they contend with major budget issues. Although the fight here is not nearly as contentious as elsewhere, it's unprecedented in recent history.