Features

The next Kendall Square?

The next Kendall Square?

Harvard tries its hand at innovation on Boston side of the Charles

AFTER YEARS OF DELAYS and then years of planning, something big is starting to happen on the Boston side of the Harvard University campus. Out behind the stately Harvard Business School, across Western Avenue, is a big, sprawling space filled with gravel, dirt, and crumbling pavement. It’s not much to look at right now, but(...)

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Leaks, leaks, and more leaks

Leaks, leaks, and more leaks

Ortiz says she's not responsible; watchdog is toothless tiger

Illustrations by Anthony Freda THE HEADLINES KEEP COMING. “Mayor Walsh is drawn into federal labor probe”…“Prosecutors investigate fees collected by Joyce on Randolph projects”…“Joyce’s role in solar project probed”…”Everett mayor focus of inquiry”…“O’Brien pressed by US anew”…“Everett casino plan under new scrutiny”…“Lawmakers targeted in inquiry.” All these stories have three things in common. They all(...)

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Building a government agency from scratch

Building a government agency from scratch

An inside look at the launch of the Mass Gaming Commission

 Photographs by Mark Morelli I’VE ALWAYS HAD MIXED FEELINGS about gambling. I had no moral concerns about it; indeed, for years my wife and I had enjoyed a day or two at the Saratoga racetrack each summer. Moreover, I had occasionally visited casinos throughout my life, actually becoming pretty good at blackjack when I was(...)

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The paradox of Robert DeLeo

The paradox of Robert DeLeo

The affable everyman with a vise-like grip on the House he leads

Photographs by Michael Manning ROBERT DELEO CLIMBED to the rostrum of the House of Representatives one afternoon in late January for what has become a routine annual ritual, but is also a remarkable expression of the power of his office. It was the seventh time DeLeo stood before the 160-member body as House Speaker to(...)

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Why whites control Lowell city government

Why whites control Lowell city government

Voting system concentrates power in heavily white Belvidere

Photographs by Meghan Moore LOWELL IS MOST commonly associated with block upon block of old mill buildings; immigrants from Asia and the world over; and tough streets, the kind that produced famed boxer Micky Ward. What probably does not come to mind are tidy tree-lined boulevards and quiet blocks filled with exquisitely restored Victorian homes,(...)

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Tackling the time warp at the T

Tackling the time warp at the T

Gerard Polcari tries to revamp procurement

Photograph by Mark Morelli ON HIS FIRST day on the job last May as the MBTA’s chief procurement officer, Gerard Polcari checked in with Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack and then headed straight to his office to learn everything he could about the department he was inheriting. He interviewed everyone on the staff and analyzed the(...)

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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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