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For 55 years, my wife and I have been living in a rent-controlled apartment in Greenwich Village. It has allowed us to live comfortably, while many other renters in our income bracket have been painfully priced out of the area by exorbitant rents. Obviously, I am a proponent of rent control and would like it continued and expanded. But it’s not only self-interest that motivates me.

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Officials say five freight train cars have derailed in Massachusetts. But no hazardous materials were being hauled, and there were no reports of injuries. Authorities say the freight cars toppled over at about 11:30 a.m. Thursday. They were carrying sealed containers of trash and recycling material. The fire department called railway operator CSX and the utility National Grid to the scene, and officials took precautions to protect a nearby waterway. The train was not moving at the time of the derailment. CSX said there were no effects on the environment, and the cause remains under investigation. CSX said the cars derailed on a line jointly owned with Norfolk Southern.

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Officials say a department-issued rifle has been stolen from a marked Massachusetts State Police cruiser. An agency spokesperson said Thursday it appears that someone forced their way into the vehicle overnight and took the rifle from its secured mount. The vehicle was locked and parked in the garage of a residential complex in Malden, just north of Boston. The spokesperson says there is no indication the weapon has been used since it was reported stolen. It is standard department procedure for troopers who are assigned patrol rifles to secure them in their cruisers while off duty.

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A former Haitian mayor has been charged with lying on his U.S. visa application. The arrest of 50-year-old Jean Morose Viliena in Massachusetts on Wednesday came just one day after he was found liable in a civil trial for his role in a killing and two attempted slayings in his home country. Federal prosecutors say Viliena was indicted on three counts of fraud for writing on his visa application that he had never been involved in acts of violence in his homeland. Authorities allege that while mayor of the town of Les Irois on Haiti’s western tip, Viliena was involved in acts of violence against political foes.

This week, Cat Wei, Parvati Ramchandani and Mario Giannone are writing in Edith Wharton’s innermost rooms. They have come to The Mount on a raw almost-spring day as writers in residence — three of the nine who will come in March, as part of the 2023 Edith Wharton-Straw Dog Writers-in-Residence program.

How well do we know, really know, our dearest beloved — wife, husband, lover, child? What happens when trust is eroded? How do we repair the damage? Those questions go to the heart of playwright Kate Snodgrass’ edgy, sly comedy, “The Art of Burning” which is being given a cannily staged, persuasively acted production at Hartford Stage.


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