Ted Siefer

Freelance writer

Stories by Ted Siefer

International issues play key role in Lowell rep’s race

International issues play key role in Lowell rep’s race

Rady Mom, the country’s first and only Cambodian-American legislator, faces an insurrection from within his own community

RADY MOM IS NOT your typical pol, as anyone who has met the two-term state representative on Beacon Hill can probably attest. He exudes warmth and compassion and often displays a broad smile that seems to express some deeper understanding of the universe. It probably has something to do with the fact that Mom meditates(...)

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Gateway Cities discover the power of food

Gateway Cities discover the power of food

Fresh veggies, koshari turn food deserts into oases

PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEN RICHARDSON FOOD HAS ALWAYS LOOMED LARGE in the life of Dimple Rana. While growing up in Revere, she helped her parents, immigrants from India, work in Indian grocery stores in Somerville. Later, she helped manage convenience stores owned by her family. But working retail wasn’t her ambition. She promptly left Revere after(...)

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Fall River’s lightning rod

Fall River’s lightning rod

Mayor Jasiel Correia should be riding high, but these are trying times

Photographs by Meghan Moore  FALL RIVER MAYOR Jasiel Correia’s voice was scratchy and raw. It was March 13, the day after yet another nor’easter, and he had spent a good part of the day, like many a mayor across the state, dealing with snow removal complaints and public safety issues. And then, probably unlike most mayors,(...)

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Pot and the minority community

Pot and the minority community

Is legal marijuana a blight or boon?

Photographs by Michael Manning THE PRESIDENT OF THE LAWRENCE CITY COUNCIL had already issued a stern warning against booing. City resident Steven Gil was at the podium, struggling mightily to make the case at the hearing in early October that allowing marijuana businesses in the city would be a good thing. “Please don’t shut the(...)

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Lowell’s single-issue election 

Lowell’s single-issue election 

Divided city showed consensus is possible 

ELECTIONS, as they say, have consequences. This is certainly the case in Lowell, where voters on Tuesday delivered a stunning rebuke to their elected officials and their decision to relocate the city’s sole public high school from downtown to its suburban edge. In the process, voters also showed that consensus can emerge in a city riven by race, class, and(...)

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Lawrence’s Rivera facing tough reelection fight

Lawrence’s Rivera facing tough reelection fight

City showing signs of progress, but mayor faces battle to retain his post

Photographs by Meghan Moore THE MARCHERS PLOD ALONG, wearing matching maroon shirts and holding campaign signs, fronted by the candidate himself, Mayor Daniel Rivera, who waves to onlookers, his gut hanging over pressed khakis. It’s not a very enthusiastic display in a parade that features, by turns, synchronized Latin dancing, beauty queens in chiffon, and(...)

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Why Lowell is torn over new high school

Why Lowell is torn over new high school

Rebuild downtown, or move to the fringe of suburbia?

MEETINGS OF THE LOWELL CITY COUNCIL are typically sparsely attended affairs, characterized by amicable discussions among councilors and unanimous votes. This has all changed in recent weeks, as the city grapples with whether to rebuild its sole public high school at the downtown site it’s occupied nearly since the city’s founding or to build a(...)

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Lawsuit challenges Lowell at-large voting

Lawsuit challenges Lowell at-large voting

Says approach leads to all white city government

A CIVIL RIGHTS GROUP has brought a federal lawsuit against the City of Lowell alleging that its electoral system has led to a stark lack of minority representation in city government. In the suit, filed in US District Court in Boston on Thursday, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice alleges that the(...)

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Holyoke’s mayor isn’t afraid of pot

Holyoke’s mayor isn’t afraid of pot

Alex Morse sees potential for urban farming in his old city’s mills

Photographs by Mark Morelli  OUTSIDE HOLYOKE CITY HALL is a stone fountain that once gurgled with water, offering a more wholesome substitute for alcohol to “a thirsty humanity,” as the inscription reads. Erected in 1901, the monument was one of several put up by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union around the country as part of(...)

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Mom-and-pop economic development   

Mom-and-pop economic development  

Boosting unbanked immigrant entrepreneurs in Lawrence  

Photographs by Meghan Moore JOSE ROSARIO CAN barely walk a step without pointing to some of the changes he’s made since becoming the owner of Universal Auto Repair in Lawrence. There are the four new vehicle lifts; the diagnostic computers; the uniforms for his staff, complete with name tags; the fresh coat of interior paint;(...)

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