Forecast: June 2010

The month in preview

| Boston Magazine |

FESTIVALS
6/12-6/13 ENTER THE DRAGON BOATS

Started in 1980 as a way to celebrate the success of the Hub’s Chinese denizens – and, of course, to commemorate the life of ancient poet Qu Yuan – Boston’s Dragon Boat Festival is now the longest-running festival of its kind in North America. The party/race along the Charles is expected to draw as many as 20,000 spectators, a number that reflects not only the popularity of the event, but also the continued growth, and influence, of the city’s Chinese community. bostondragonboat.org.

6/1 The builder of the Cape Wind turbines, Siemens, opens its U.S. headquarters for offshore wind power in Boston.

6/4 Boston Pride celebrates its 40th anniversary by kicking off Pride Week, the gay community’s annual celebration.

CONTROVERSIES
6/1 MMM…TASTES LIKE BUREAUCRACY!

In a bid to bring more visitors to the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, certain food vendors will be allowed to sell their fare on the empty green space starting today. Just to make sure the place remains devoid of fun, frivolity, and funnel cakes, however, the greenway’s overseer has forbidden vendors from wearing jeans or tank tops and stipulates that they offer "healthy" foods. Because nothing keeps the crowds coming like celery sold by guys in suits!

EDUCATION
6/1 POLS’ LAST PUSH FOR SCHOOLS BOUNTY

Applications are due today for the second round of funding in the federal Race to the Top program, which is handing out $3.4 billion in grants to states with the best education reform plans. Massachusetts struck out in the first round of funding, in March, ranking 13th among the 16 finalists thanks in part to an absence of incentives for teachers to work in low-income schools.
Should Massachusetts again fail to claim a share of the jackpot, Governor Patrick will have spent a good deal of political capital for naught. Like Mayor Menino, Patrick has been a convert on charter schools. In January, he signed an education bill that included a push for more charters – a move that just might have had something to do with the allure of more federal funding.
Patrick’s embrace of charter schools, however, hasn’t been without consequence. It’s the reason the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts – the state’s second-largest teachers union – voted in April against cooperating with the administration on the second round of the application for Race to the Top funds, potentially imperiling the state’s bid.
Given the likelihood of a close governor’s race this fall, one might wonder if Patrick will regret breaking with the union – a typically loyal voting bloc that he might very well need in order to win a second term.

Expert Knowledge: Deval’s Game Plan

COMEDY
6/4-6/5 COCO COMES HOME
Brookline native Conan O’Brien never trained as a standup comedian, but 17 years of opening monologues seems like decent practice for taking the stage at the Wang Theatre. This visit is part of a national tour, which should keep the Harvard alum’s fans satiated until his new talk show debuts on TBS in November. citicenter.org.