Features

Home wreckers

Home wreckers

A state program designed to help homeowners deal with contractors gives a false sense of protection.

Photographs by Mark Morelli FOR MOST HOMEOWNERS, their house is their past, present, and future, the hard shell around their nest egg. That shell requires regular attention and occasional investment, and that means hiring home improvement contractors to keep everything shipshape. For many homeowners, finding the right contractor is a process that can trigger a(...)

Read More »

Is there room for nostalgia at the T?

Is there room for nostalgia at the T?

Emotions run high over rolling museum pieces on Mattapan Line

PHOTOGRAPHS BY MICHAEL MANNING THE MBTA RECENTLY DECIDED to replace all the cars on the Red Line rather than just a portion of them. The agency’s chief operating officer, Jeffrey Gonneville, made the case that a Red Line with a uniform style of car would lead to much better service and lower maintenance costs. He(...)

Read More »

Steward’s asset-light philosophy

Steward’s asset-light philosophy

State's 5th-largest employer takes unusual step of selling off hospital facilities

NO ONE IS QUITE SURE what to make of Steward Health Care’s latest move.  A for-profit health care company operating in a sea of nonprofits, Steward has always been something of an aberration in Massachusetts. But now the state’s fifth-largest employer is moving far outside the mainstream. After six years trying to turn around a(...)

Read More »

Crime and punishment

Crime and punishment

What’s the right thing to do with an 18-year-old caught with a gun?

Photographs by Mark Ostow DIANE MCMANUS SAYS her youngest child, Timothy, is “no street kid.” He was “raised in the church,” she says, a respectful son who minded the rules she set down, even as a teenager growing up in a rough patch of Dorchester off Blue Hill Avenue. But while Diane McManus was out(...)

Read More »

Dysfunctional DCR tries to be smarter landlord

Dysfunctional DCR tries to be smarter landlord

Underfunded, understaffed agency struggles to raise the rent

Photographs by Michael Manning THE HEAD OF THE CHARLES Regatta is a major draw for Massachusetts. Attracting more than 11,000 athletes and tens of thousands of spectators from all over the world, the October regatta is to rowing what the Boston Marathon is to long-distance running. For the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the state(...)

Read More »

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(...)

Read More »

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(...)

Read More »

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(...)

Read More »

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(...)

Read More »

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(...)

Read More »