By Grace Dempsey, News Editor
graphics by Emily Cheng
“abSENT” App Now Available
On March 23, abSENT, an app created by Newton sophomores Kevin Yang and Rosham Karim, was released. The mobile app notifies students at South and North when one of their teachers is absent, providing a streamlined way to learn about canceled classes. Despite some setbacks that delayed its release, abSENT is now up and running and can be downloaded on the App Store and Google Play.
“If you have an idea, and you genuinely love that idea, then no matter what you will be able to pursue it.” – Kevin Yang (sophomore)
“We got a lot of users — we’re up to around 400 at this point. […] So it’s 10% of the people who could have used the app right now.” – Roshan Karim (sophomore)
Starbucks Efforts to Unionize
On Feb. 15, Newtonville Starbucks baristas filed to unionize. Workers told GBH, a Boston-based public media producer, that the company has since responded unfairly, as managers have cut hours and increased pressure to halt the unionizing process in direct violation of labor laws. The company denies that the treatment of their employees is due to union organizing efforts.
“[The manager’s not letting me take a leave of absence and making me quit right about the time the union vote is happening, when she knows that I’m a union organizer.” – Naomi Goldstein, Newtonville Starbucks Barista
“There are more hours available during the holidays seasons and, as a result, the local teams make adjustments, and that’s an ongoing process. It’s certainly not related to any organizing efforts.” – Corporate Starbucks Spokesperson
MBTA Green Line Extension
On March 21, the Green Line’s extension branch to Union Square in Somerville opened. The project has been in the works for years, and construction, starting in 2018 and set to be completed in December 2021, experienced delays due to COVID-19. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is also in the process of extending the new branch through Medford to the Tufts University campus. The extension is projected to be opening this summer.
“I’ve never really been there before. My sphere just extends to Back Bay and downtown. But if Somerville is worth going to, I will.” – Madeline Mechanic (freshman)
“Union Station’s strategic location will contribute to an estimated removal of 26,000 private vehicle trips per day from local streets.” – Joe Pesaturo, MBTA Spokesperson