The Download

Globe cuts political losses

The print version of the Boston Globe cut its political losses today, abandoning its stand-alone Friday Capital section and tucking the slimmed-down remains into the back of Metro. For those who read the paper online, the change may go unnoticed. But the political retreat in the print edition underscores the challenges facing Globe owner John Henry(...)

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The hazing of Frank DePaola

“Thank you, sir, may I have another?” That is the infamous response from a pledge to the Omega fraternity in the movie Animal House as he gets whacked repeatedly with a paddle by a sadistic senior member of the frat house. But it also could be what state Highway Administrator Frank DePaola uttered under his breath(...)

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Battle for MBTA’s soul underway

As the task to slice and dice the MBTA’s historic collapse gets underway, a battle royale has erupted anew between two camps of transportation influencers who can be loosely described as the expansionists and the fix-it-firsters. On the expansion side, advocacy groups like the MassPIRG and Conservation Law Foundation, which backed a controversial Big Dig mitigation agreement(...)

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Eavesdropping on Instagram

The police and school departments in Lowell are preparing to hire a company to monitor social media use within the city’s borders, scrubbing public posts on Twitter, Facebook, and other sites for speech that could be considered dangerous or threatening. Local officials say they need the monitoring tools to track bullying, suicide notes, and various(...)

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Beacon Hill’s MBTA fix: Let them ride the T

Nonplussed by the plight of the poor, a French aristocrat once said “let them eat cake.” With hundreds of thousands of people struggling during the MBTA’s winter crisis, Massachusetts legislative leaders have come up with similar rejoinder: Let them ride the T. Senate President Stan Rosenberg, the Amherst Democrat, is receptive to greater investment in the(...)

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Gaming Commission challenge fails

A federal appeals court upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit brought by Caesars Entertainment against Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby. The ruling uses language that could spell trouble for other lawsuits filed against the commission by Boston, Somerville, Revere, and Mohegan Sun. Caesars filed its lawsuit against Crosby and Karen Wells, the head of the(...)

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