AT DANIEL RIVERA’S INAUGURATION as mayor of Lawrence in January 2014, he was hailed as the guy who would take the city in a new direction. Even though he squeaked into office by just 81 votes over the scandal-plagued incumbent, William Lantigua, Rivera was toasted as the politician who would get the city back on(...)
Storms and sea level rise pose difficult choices for North Shore community
Photographs by Mark Morelli except headline photograph by Gabrielle Gurley PLUM ISLAND IS one of the most spectacular places to live in Massachusetts. With high dunes and rolling beaches on the lip of the Atlantic Ocean, people move to this barrier island north of Cape Ann for a deep blue slice of paradise. But paradise can(...)
State agency is struggling to bring its system for leasing land into the current century
IN LATE 2011, the commissioner of the state Department of Conservation and Recreation said the agency’s system for leasing public land was in disrepair, with many tenants enjoying sweetheart deals, rents going uncollected, and the expiration dates of many leases ignored. Then-commissioner Ed Lambert called the lease situation a significant problem, one that needed to(...)
Can the state's new tools for struggling schools get troubled districts on track?
(Illustration by James Steinberg) DEVIN SHEEHAN, THE vice chairman of the Holyoke School Committee, welcomed Rob Curtin to the board’s monthly meeting in early March, but no one there was particularly glad to see him. Curtin, the director of district accountability for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, was there to present the(...)
Advocates want to identify at-risk mothers before tragedy strikes, but universal screening is not an easy sell
WHENEVER SHE PICKED UP a knife, Jamie Zahlaway Belsito thought about stabbing herself. The thought intruded so often that the mother-to-be thought it was a sign that having a baby was a mistake. The dark-haired, vivacious former Philips executive used to jet back and forth between Boston and the technology company’s headquarters in the Netherlands. Belsito(...)
Last summer's trial raised questions but provided few answers
IT STARTED WITH Michael Bizanowicz, a dangerous sex offender who broke into a Woburn home in 2004 and raped and killed Joanne Presti and then murdered her 12-year-old daughter, Alyssa. The crime was so shocking that state lawmakers a year later passed a law requiring sex offenders on probation or parole to be outfitted with(...)
In 2013, we paid $163m burying or burning materials that could have sold for $217m
FOR YEARS, HOMEOWNERS in Lynn faced no restrictions on their trash output. Technically, their weekly allotment was six barrels of trash, yet if additional barrels were put out at the curb they were always picked up. Mattresses, couches, and other large items were collected at no cost. But in December new regulations took effect limiting(...)
Surveillance cameras are everywhere. Can we tap technology to tackle crime without giving up all our privacy?
ON THE DAY of the Boston Marathon two years ago, before the bombs and the blood, Ed Davis was taking in the race from the viewing stand at the Copley Square finish line. Being a cop as well as a spectator, however, he couldn’t help but ponder things cops think about these days, especially if(...)
As assisted living residents grow older, the facilities where they reside struggle to keep up.
LAURA SHUFELT VIVIDLY remembers the February 2013 call from the assisted living facility in Centerville where her mother was living. A nurse at the facility told Shufelt her mother, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, was being transported to Cape Cod Hospital because of unexplained bruises on her buttocks and wrist, pain in her shoulder,(...)
Sibling issues at the Massachusetts State Lottery
A correction has been added to this story. ONE OF THE KEYS to the success of the Massachusetts Lottery is its agents. There are more than 7,600 of them scattered across the state, doling out instant games tickets, Keno, pull tabs, and big money drawing tickets from behind counters in gas stations, convenience stores, supermarkets,(...)