IT WAS A COLD February 5 when Ed Markey took the stage in the Radio and TV Gallery of the US Capitol. There were only a few reporters there to hear him but Markey, a long-time Malden congressman and now Massachusetts’s junior senator, was feeling jubilant. Earlier that day, Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the(...)
Is it really raining?
THE STATE’S RAINY DAY FUND is set aside for years when the economy is tanking, tax revenues are falling, and officials are scrambling to fill budget gaps. That’s what happened in the early 2000s and in 2008 when the state was gripped by recession; the state tapped the rainy day fund to weather the economic storm.(...)
Screenwriters paid visit to ex-Phoenix writer
THE TWO SCREENWRITERS of Spotlight, the upcoming movie about the Boston Globe Spotlight Team’s investigation of pedophile priests in the Catholic Church, paid a visit to a former reporter for the now-defunct Boston Phoenix as they were doing research on the screenplay. Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy, who is also the director of the movie,(...)
Despite recent GOP gains, Democrats have advantage in retaining the White House in 2016.
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(...)
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(...)
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(...)
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(...)
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.(...)