THIRTY YEARS AGO this month marked the last time a Republican assumed the presidency with the approval of Massachusetts voters. Ronald Reagan won 49 states in the previous November’s election, including every state in New England. Four years before, he won all of them but Rhode Island. This month, a new Republican governor, Charlie Baker,(...)
If sun power is expensive, why is it saving municipalities money?
THE US ENERGY Information Administration says solar power is expensive relative to other types of electricity generation, yet cities, towns, and schools across Massachusetts are finding that solar can save them lots of money. The federal agency, which tries to compare the cost of electricity produced from various sources, says solar is one of the(...)
Digital-first Springfield news outlet is trying to expand its brand across the state to Worcester and Boston.
A SPRINGFIELD-BASED NEWS outlet is taking a run at being the go-to source for state news in Massachusetts. MassLive, a website affiliated with the Springfield Republican, is trying to expand its brand beyond western Massachusetts by offering coverage across the state, with a special emphasis on Worcester and Boston. Newspaper websites traditionally piggyback on their(...)
Jim Vrabel offers a rich history of community organizing in Boston told through the voices of the activists of the 1960s and 1970s who helped shape the city
A People’s History of the New Boston By Jim Vrabel Amherst, University of Massachusetts Press 288 pages history is replete with the stories of the mighty and powerful. Jim Vrabel’s latest book, A People’s History of the New Boston, tells another story. Vrabel, a former newspaper reporter and longtime community activist who has worked for(...)
Massachusetts is a winner under the Regional Student Program, while New Hampshire is a loser
a program set up to provide more educational opportunity for New England college students is proving to be a brain gain for some states and a brain drain for others. Massachusetts and Maine are big winners, while New Hampshire and Connecticut are losing more students than they’re taking in. For Vermont and Rhode Island, the(...)
Comprehensive immigration reform is a long-shot, but a Republican takeover of the Senate could mean more visas for Massachusetts.
most of the attention on the immigration bill that is now foundering in Congress is on the 11 million or so immigrants who live in this country without the government’s permission. The bill the Senate passed last year—the focus of the debate on so-called comprehensive immigration reform in Washington—would provide them with an arduous pathway(...)
The number of unenrolled voters is climbing to historic highs
political parties in Massachusetts are approaching a crossroads, as fewer new registrants choose to affiliate with either party and the number of unenrolled voters climbs to historic highs. Since 1978, the number of unenrolled voters in Massachusetts has soared by 97 percent, while the two major parties each added just 9 percent to their rolls.(...)
The list is leaking like a sieve, and Massachusetts residents are among those complaining the loudest
the federal trade Commission’s Do Not Call Registry, once an effective deterrent to unwanted telemarketing calls, is now a toothless tiger. Telemarketing scam artists have found ways around the registry, as reflected in the rising number of complaints from angry consumers. Americans filed more than 3.7 million complaints about unwanted phone calls last year, more(...)
Congress needs lessons in bipartisan cooperation to get US higher education policy back on track
Degrees of Inequality: How the Politics of Higher Education Sabotaged the American Dream By Suzanne Mettler New York: Basic Books 261 pages the american dream is in trouble. As our economy has become more globalized and competitive, it has become harder to achieve what was once available to most Americans—a good job with a good(...)
GOP has trouble connecting with non-white voters
The partisan divide between cities and less urbanized areas is growing into one of the defining characteristics of Massachusetts politics. The suburbs are often held up as the place where elections are won or lost, but a steady long-term shift in urban voting is rendering suburban voters less able to change the outcome. Cities’ relatively(...)