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Rural schools caught in ‘death spiral’

Rural schools caught in ‘death spiral’

Enrollment changes can have big impact in sparsely populated districts

ON A SUNNY October day, students play at recess outside Hawlemont Elementary School tucked into the wooded hills of Charlemont, which are electric with fall color. As they head back to class, Wayne Kermenski, the principal, calls them over to visit the animals behind the school’s newly constructed post-and-beam barn. They jump at the opportunity.(...)

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Renewables not cheap

Renewables not cheap

Wind, solar far higher cost than ‘polluting energy’ sources

IN DECEMBER, A company called CleanChoice Energy mailed out a sales pitch to electricity customers in eastern Massachusetts. The letter acknowledged that 100 percent renewable energy from solar and wind would cost “a little more” than “polluting energy,” but said the added expense was worth it. “That’s because the energy you are choosing is better(...)

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T subsidy confusion

T subsidy confusion

Passenger subsidies rise -- but maybe not

THE MBTA’S OPERATING subsidy per passenger seemed to increase last year compared to the year before, but officials say the primary difference was in how the figures were calculated. In 2015, the T said the subsidy per passenger on the Red, Orange, and Blue lines was 61 cents. That compared to $1.39 per passenger on(...)

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Contributing to debate

Contributing to debate

Public school debate teams give students more than just a good argument

Microphilanthropy is an occasional feature that calls attention to small acts of generosity that people do for the benefit of others and highlights little-known needs that could benefit from generosity, even on a small scale. IF YOU WENT to a high school with reasonable resources, there was almost certainly a debate team. It’s possible the(...)

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The toughest mile

The toughest mile

State provides funding to wire rural towns for internet

IN 2008, THE Patrick administration set out to wire 123 cities and towns in western Massachusetts for broadband. But eight years, 1,200 miles of fiber-optic cable, and nearly $100 million later, the effort has stalled with 44 communities still without high-speed internet. The towns that remain essentially disconnected—or, in the words of state officials, “unserved”—represent(...)

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Drawing a line

Drawing a line

Engineers and architects battle over regulation

IT’S NOT QUITE a gang war with combatants brandishing mechanical pencils but there’s a brewing battle over state regulations that engineering companies say are arcane and outdated but architects insist are necessary for the “health, safety, and general welfare” of the public, especially for projects involving tax dollars. Under Massachusetts regulations, only a licensed architect(...)

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Pharmacy school pays chief well

Pharmacy school pays chief well

President makes more than Harvard, MIT heads

CHARLES MONAHAN JR. makes $1.3 million a year in total compensation, more than all but one of his presidential peers at other colleges in Greater Boston. Monahan does not work at Harvard University, MIT, or one of the other big-name schools in the area. He’s president of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences(...)

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Sandwich shop struggling on Boston Common

Sandwich shop struggling on Boston Common

Outdoor seating and seasonal opening make rough go for chain

THE EARL OF SANDWICH is struggling financially at its Boston Common restaurant location, with losses mounting and revenues declining. The city of Boston hasn’t taken a hit—rental payments to the city are a flat $50,000 a year, not a percentage of sales—but the deteriorating financial situation raises concerns about whether the restaurant chain will stick(...)

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Addressing hunger at Bunker Hill CC

Addressing hunger at Bunker Hill CC

Not just feeding a need to learn

Microphilanthropy is an occasional feature that calls attention to small acts of generosity that people do for the benefit of others and highlights little-known needs that could benefit from generosity, even on a small scale. THE CHARACTERISTICS OF the student body at Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown are not surprising for a large urban(...)

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