Fall 2007

Fall 2007

Dispatches

Dispatches

THE $15 MILLION PARKING SPOT It’s one thing to figure out the tax bill for a homeowner’s new deck or rehabbed kitchen, but the board of assessors in the town of Rowe faced a more unusual valuation conundrum last year: Just what is the property value of 244 tons of nuclear waste? The waste is(...)

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The 0.1 solution

The 0.1 solution

in the summer of 1995, the entire Boston public school system seemed possessed by anger and incompetence. Every day brought new reports of financial scandals, mismanagement, racial tensions, sour labor relations, high dropout rates, low test scores, school violence, crumbling buildings, and middle-class flight. Schools superintendent Lois Harrison-Jones had just left office after four years(...)

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Tax returns

Tax returns

critics have blamed much of Deval Patrick’s early troubles on Beacon Hill on a lack of political experience. But if experience counts, Patrick may do better on Capitol Hill, where his chief Washington advocate—Susan Liss—is a policy veteran with close ties to Sen. John Kerry and Democratic Party leaders. Liss’s hire is part of a(...)

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Pension pinching

Pension pinching

massachusetts is not quite the public pension paradise that it’s often made out to be. In fiscal 2005, we ranked 15th in the total amount of paid benefits divided by the number of beneficiaries, which is rather modest given the high cost of living here. (“The pension system is not overly generous for typical employees,”(...)

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Plugged in, tuned out

Plugged in, tuned out

it’s morning in Boston. Take a look around. Whether you’re on the subway, walking through downtown, or standing in line at Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts, you’re surrounded by young people—twentysomethings, thirtysomethings, maybe a few teenagers, all of them getting ready for work or for school. Now look more closely. What are they doing? Maybe a(...)

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Joke candidates

Joke candidates

Romney: so handsome it’s not funny?AP Photo/Jim Cole it’s too early to predict how far Mitt Romney will go in his bid for the White House, but what does it say about the sixth major presidential candidate in three decades from the Bay State that he is so daunting to professional impressionists? “He’s tough,” says(...)

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Ed reform’ missing piece

Ed reform’ missing piece

when massachusetts passed its education reform law in 1993, everyone expected that the combination of greatly increased funding and high-stakes testing would produce dramatic gains in student achievement. Since then, state aid to public schools has tripled, with most of the new money going to inner-city schools, and the MCAS exams have been put in(...)

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