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Got robots?

Got robots?

Dairy farmers use technology to eke out a living

Sixth-generation family farmers Dave and Steve Barstow have stretched the limits of what dairy farmers can do to stay afloat. They opened a store and bakery on their dairy farm at the foot of Mt. Holyoke in Hadley. They generate electricity from composted cow manure and food scraps. They even market a line of farm(...)

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What can the Mass. delegation do?

What can the Mass. delegation do?

With the GOP in charge, the short answer is, not a lot.

MASSACHUSETTS VOTERS RAN against the grain on Election Day and returned to Washington the nine incumbents who represent the Bay State in the House. They join fellow Democrats Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey in the Senate. So when their Republicans colleagues who control both the House and Senate move this year to push through a(...)

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Can Elizabeth Warren legislate?

Can Elizabeth Warren legislate?

If Dems do well, she’ll have to put policy ahead of politics

DURING HER FIRST four years representing Massachusetts in the Senate, Elizabeth Warren has become the chamber’s leading progressive voice. Hillary Clinton considered her for the vice presidential slot and, while Warren didn’t get it, she’s become a valued surrogate, with her Twitter war with Donald Trump and her ability to rally the supporters of Clinton’s(...)

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Why Trump’s performance matters in Mass.

Why Trump’s performance matters in Mass.

Clinton expected to win, but her victory margin could influence legislative races

REPUBLICAN KATE CAMPANALE stunned the state’s political establishment in 2014 by winning the 17th Worcester district House seat, edging out Democrat Douglas Belanger by just 43 votes out of 9,750 cast. Campanale will face Democratic challenger Moses Dixon on November 8, after Dixon defeated Belanger in the September 8 Democratic primary. Campanale is in a(...)

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We’re turning 20

We’re turning 20

Two decades of politics, ideas, and civic life in Massachusetts

MASSINC, THE PARENT of CommonWealth magazine, turns 20 this year. We’re planning a birthday party on December 1 that we’re calling Serious Fun II and we’re starting to think about what the next 20 years might look like. I invite you to support our work by attending the birthday party and offering your suggestions on(...)

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Mending the social fabric

Mending the social fabric

Yuval Levin wants us to knit together pieces of American Dream

The Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in the Age of Individualism By Yuval Levin New York: Basic Books 262 pages   SPEND SOME TIME in West Virginia or Kentucky and you begin to understand why Donald Trump has made it so far as a candidate for president. Making America great again sells well in(...)

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A Springfield revival?

A Springfield revival?

Railcar manufacturing, a casino, and other changes are creating optimism

Photographs by Mark Morelli SPRINGFIELD MAYOR DOMENIC SARNO remembers the day after Thanksgiving in 2012. The sky was clear and the temperature unseasonably warm. The mayor was at the city’s downtown museum complex for an event kicking off the start of the holiday season, and earlier he had attended the annual Parade of the Big(...)

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Mass. chiefs approve most gun permits

Mass. chiefs approve most gun permits

Only 1.8% of applicants denied, suggesting discretion not abused

ONLY A TINY fraction of Massachusetts residents who apply for firearms licenses or identification cards are turned down, suggesting the state’s reputation for restricting gun use may be overstated. Just 1.8 percent of those who applied for Firearms Identification Cards (FID) and licenses to carry concealed weapons between 2010 and 2015 were rejected, according to(...)

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Gateway Cities preoccupied with panhandling

Gateway Cities preoccupied with panhandling

Towns say beggars are bad for business, public safety

IN NEW BEDFORD, the City Council considered requiring panhandlers to get licenses to ask for money in the city. Manchester, New Hampshire, banned the exchange of items of value between motorists and pedestrians. And Worcester and Lowell enacted ordinances aimed at cracking down on “aggressive panhandling,” which, among other things, banned soliciting in close proximity(...)

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