Fall 2003

Fall 2003

Poetic views of good ideas

Play on Words In a good play on words Ideas seem to just emerge, Fully formed long lyrical lines From the chamber of a brilliant mind. Hah! Don’t believe it my friends! Chaos–thousands, thousands of words, Ideas, theories, notions carom off walls, Tumble off the backs of one another. Some drift lazily like hot-air balloons,(...)

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A 5 raise buys a lot of trouble for Stonehams town moderator

STONEHAM–Five bucks can’t even get you into a movie in most places, but it can still buy a lot of trouble in Stoneham. Moderator Michael Rotondi won an annual pay raise of $5 from town meeting in May, but two months later the voters snatched it back, with some claiming they never realized just how(...)

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What Boston needs to do to capitalize on the Democratic National Convention

What Boston needs to do to capitalize on the Democratic National Convention

Political and civic leaders of smart, effective cities use big public events to achieve long-lasting development and social benefits. That’s what I’ve learned from six years of visits to world-class metropolises in this country and abroad in search of models for civic development. These benefits are achieved because hosting high-profile occasions forces these cities to(...)

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Letters

I would like to correct some erroneous information about AARP that appeared in your conversation with Theda Skocpol (“Civic Dissociation,” Summer 2003). Skocpol uses AARP as an example of an organization that doesn’t provide much opportunity for engagement among its members, saying, for example, that AARP “doesn’t have chapters.” This statement is incorrect. We have(...)

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Barnstable cant get enough of charter schools

Barnstable cant get enough of charter schools

At a time when school districts across the Commonwealth are feeling the triple squeeze of the federal No Child Left Behind law, MCAS tests, and shrinking budgets, officials in the Cape Cod town of Barnstable are taking an unusual tack. Rather than tightening their grip on teachers and principals, they’re loosening it, encouraging each public(...)

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Doubling down

Doubling down

Bankruptcy expert Elizabeth Warren says that housing and education, not restaurant meals, are driving two-income families to the edge

WHETHER USED AS an income bracket, a collection of values and attitudes, or a state of mind, “middle class” is a pretty broad category. But at its core, middle class connotes material comfort born of personal responsibility. The luxuries associated with a middle-class lifestyle are contingent, the fruit of effort, not entitlement. And if financial(...)

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Counterpoints

The automobile insurance market in Massachusetts is severely stressed. The signs of this stress are readily apparent: an ever-decreasing number of insurance companies writing policies; auto-insurance writers that are successful elsewhere refusing to enter the market; a highly concentrated distribution of market share; and the increasing unease with which companies, regulators, and legislators alike view(...)

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Argument

The automobile insurance system in Massachusetts is a mess. Let us count the ways: Massachusetts has the fourth highest average auto insurance rates in the country and the insurance companies have requested a 12 percent increase for next year. Urban motorists pay well over the state average, with some current premiums between $2,000 and $3,000(...)

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