The Back Story

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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A warning on natural gas

A warning on natural gas

Report suggests more pipeline capacity is needed

JUST MINUTES BEFORE Charlie Baker became governor, the Patrick administration released a $250,000 study suggesting winter electricity prices are likely to remain very high for the next four years and additional natural gas pipeline capacity is needed to address the problem. The report by Synapse Energy Economics of Cambridge said the state is likely to(...)

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From Lottery games to Olympic Games

Bain explores game to finance Boston bid

One of the biggest areas of concern when it comes to the potential of an Olympics in Boston, among both proponents and opponents of a Hub Games, is where to find the necessary funding. Organizers claim the estimated $4.5 billion needed to get the Games up and running will be fully taken care of by(...)

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How pay reflects power on Beacon Hill

Should speaker, Senate president be paid like governor?

If anyone has doubts about the centralization of power in the Legislature, take a look at the special advisory commission’s recommendations on the pay of top elected officials. The commission is urging lawmakers to dramatically boost the salaries of the House speaker and Senate president from $102,000 to $175,000 a year. The commission said the(...)

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Patrick’s education-policy split personality

Officials at odds on standardized testing

When the Boston Globe reported on its front page earlier this month on a brewing backlash against what critics say is an overemphasis on standardized testing in Massachusetts schools, the state’s education secretary, Matthew Malone, seemed to be leading the charge. “It’s assessment gone wild,” Malone told the paper, adding that there seemed to be(...)

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Sweetheart deals?

Critic of one DCR deal has his own

The state Department of Conservation and Recreation is coming under fire yet again for leasing state land to private entities at below-market rates, but this time even one of the critics is being accused of having his own sweetheart deal with the state. The agency has taken flak in the past for lax oversight of(...)

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DOT’s asphalt nightmare

Transportation officials scramble to explain reversal that could lead to crumbling roads

State transportation officials are scrambling to justify a potentially costly flip-flop that could end up leaving the state with mile after mile of crumbling roads. Frank DePaola, the state’s highway administrator and the person who is taking over as transportation secretary next month, overruled his engineers back in July and allowed asphalt with recycled engine(...)

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Electricity impasse

Consensus missing on state’s energy plans

Electricity prices are going to skyrocket this winter, and state officials are discovering it’s too late to do anything about it. National Grid, which purchases electricity for many of its customers, reported last month that prices this winter will be 16 cents a kilowatt hour, double the current price and 37 percent higher than what(...)

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Bottle bill debate misses big picture

State needs to recycle much, much more

Massachusetts is battling over an expanded bottle deposit law (Question 2 on the November ballot) while ignoring the much bigger recycling crisis looming on the horizon. The state is quickly running out of landfill space and facing growing resistance to the hundreds of thousands of tons of Bay State trash being shipped to other states.(...)

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