The Back Story

Commuter rail ridership numbers don’t add up

Commuter rail ridership numbers don’t add up

Official data point in every direction

COMMUTER RAIL RIDERSHIP is up. No, it’s down. Actually, it’s held steady. These three statements cannot all be true. And yet, all three are supported by official data collected and published by the MBTA and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation in recent years. As leaders on Beacon Hill weigh the future of the MBTA, they do(...)

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Kid-free Boston

Kid-free Boston

A sharp decline in children is dramatically reshaping the city

IN A 2011 Boston Globe op-ed, columnist Scot Lehigh asked: “Where are the snow shovelers of yesteryear?” He suggested that the once-eager entrepreneurs must be more consumed by Facebook, texting, and video games than by making a few quick dollars trudging through the snow and slush. This winter’s snowfall has many Bostonians echoing Lehigh’s question. We crunched some numbers and now we have(...)

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Keolis accused MBTA of meddling in hiring

Keolis accused MBTA of meddling in hiring

Letter: T actions caused loss of repair chief

THE TOP OFFICIAL at the state’s commuter rail operator raised concerns in a December letter to the MBTA that agency officials were undermining efforts to hire an experienced executive to oversee train repair and maintenance. Thomas Mulligan, who at the time was the chief executive at Keolis Commuter Services, wrote a letter on December 24(...)

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House paid Boston law firm $262,000

House paid Boston law firm $262,000

Money went for ethics investigations

THE MASSACHUSETTS HOUSE paid $262,000 to a Boston law firm in 2013 and 2014 for work on ethics investigations. House officials are declining further comment on how the money was spent, but the timing of the payments suggests most of the money went for an investigation of former Rep. John Fresolo of Worcester. The House(...)

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The price of leadership

The price of leadership

Hecht, who bucked DeLeo on term limits, is demoted

CORRECTION: Several corrections were made to the original version of this story, all of them dealing with the pay of leadership positions in the House. Specifically, Rep. Jonathan Hecht’s leadership stipend was incorrect in the original version, as were the stipends of Reps. Harold Naughton, Patricia Haddad, Byron Rushing, and the heads of the two(...)

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Five takes on the T

Five takes on the T

Crisis at the state's transit agency

EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT the collapse of the T and wondering whether, to borrow a phrase from departing GM Beverly Scott, even God Jr. could get the trains running on time again. The stakes are incredibly high for Greater Boston and the state as a whole, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of people who(...)

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Is state takeover of Holyoke schools coming?

Is state takeover of Holyoke schools coming?

Community concerned; mayor takes nuanced stand

IN 2012, THE chronically low-performing Lawrence school system became the first district put into state receivership under a 2010 education law that gives the state sweeping new powers over struggling schools. Will Holyoke be next? That question now looms over the Western Massachusetts district of 5,500 students, where achievement has long been low and dropout(...)

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No good deed goes unpunished

No good deed goes unpunished

Generous teacher may have run afoul of state ethics laws on “Ellen DeGeneres Show”

Good deeds, they say, are their own rewards and a Dorchester charter school teacher may soon have to settle for that. Nicole Bollerman, a third-grade teacher at UP Academy Dorchester, has received well-deserved praise from around the country since the Boston Globe put the spotlight on her just before Christmas for winning a $150,000 prize(...)

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Steward rules

Steward rules

State regulators unable to stop for-profit health company from acting on its own

STEWARD HEALTH CARE is changing the rules of hospital oversight in Massachusetts and there is little state regulators are doing about it. In November, Steward announced it was closing the beleaguered Quincy Medical Center at the end of last year. The announcement seemed to fly in the face of both the contractual commitment Steward made(...)

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