Features

The yin and yang of Baker

The yin and yang of Baker

An MBA’s focus and a surprisingly emotional touch make for a strong start for the Republican governor.

Photographs by Mark Ostow CHARLIE BAKER IS getting worked up about “queueing theory.” He’s sitting at a conference table in his smaller “working office” in the governor’s suite at the Massachusetts State House. The space, last occupied by Deval Patrick’s chief of staff, is where Baker has opted to conduct most business, eschewing the ornate official(...)

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Closed doors

Closed doors

Newton supports affordable housing — until it’s time to build it

Photographs by Michael Manning   IN NEWTON, WHERE single-family home values are creeping into the million-dollar range, few things trigger more raw emotion than proposals for affordable housing. That emotion was on full display in early December at Newton City Hall as proponents and opponents of a mixed-use development packed the Board of Aldermen meeting(...)

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Politics behind the plug

Politics behind the plug

Utilities play key role in energy debate, but who are they looking out for?

THERE IS A PATTERN that runs through the energy debate on Beacon Hill. The Baker administration wants to bring new natural gas pipelines into the region; utilities are tasked with arranging the financing. The Baker administration wants to bring hydroelectricity down from Canada; the job of soliciting bids for that work falls to the utilities.(...)

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RTAs taking the wheel

RTAs taking the wheel

Regional transit authorities want to satisfy growing need

Photographs by Meghan Moore WHILE GREATER BOSTON AGONIZES over the multibillion-dollar MBTA project to extend the Green Line a mere five miles, another transit tug-of-war is going on across the rest of the state. The Bay State’s regional transit authorities have their own expansion dreams, albeit modest ones. Their dreams don’t involve complex rail construction(...)

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All bases covered at ML Strategies

All bases covered at ML Strategies

Firm includes an all-star cast of former government officials

(Updated October 20, 2015. A correction was added to the chart of leading lobbying firms.) Photographs by Frank Curran IT WAS CRUNCH TIME in the battle for a Greater Boston casino license potentially worth billions of dollars. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission was seeking some final feedback from the two finalists, Wynn Resorts and Mohegan Sun, and(...)

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Rich-poor divide in high school sports

Rich-poor divide in high school sports

Data reveal inequality that threatens American Dream

EACH YEAR, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association compiles athletic participation data from public, charter, and parochial high schools across the state. In nine out of the past 10 years, the publicized narrative about the data has been the same: that athletic participation is increasing. But below the surface, the data reveal some alarming trends about(...)

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Overlords of the MBTA

Overlords of the MBTA

A close-up look at the T's Fiscal and Management Control Board

Photographs by Michael Manning THE NAME JOSEPH AIELLO probably means nothing to most MBTA riders. But the first major snowstorm might change that.  Aiello is the chairman of the five-member MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board that has the job that has overwhelmed governors, transportation secretaries, and the system’s general managers for more than a(...)

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Rivera’s old-school push for change

Rivera’s old-school push for change

Mayor makes use of some 'old Lawrence' tactics

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(...)

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Plum Island at risk

Plum Island at risk

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(...)

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DCR 2.0

DCR 2.0

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(...)

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