Fall 2010

Fall 2010

Time on T’s side

The MBTA and Massachusetts Bay Com­muter Rail Company publish “report cards” showing the commuter rail’s  performance and, by all accounts, the trains arrive when they are supposed to 95 percent of the time. Except they don’t. The two agencies tout the “adjusted” on-time performance of the commuter rail lines, which excludes incidents outside the direct(...)

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Police scramble on Quinn pay

Police unions and individual officers are trying hard to save what’s left of the 40-year-old Quinn Bill with mixed success. Budget woes forced lawmakers to cut what was once a $50 million state contribution to $10 million in fiscal 2010 and $5 million this year. The law, more formally called the Police Career Incentive Pay(...)

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A business improvement district in Boston-finally

With city services cut and unlikely to rebound to pre-recession levels any time soon, Bostonians are stepping into the breach. Businesses in the Downtown Crossing area are banding together and voluntarily agreeing to pay more property taxes next year to fund their own cleanup and security operations. Other parts of the city, including the Rose(...)

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Turnaround artist

Turnaround artist

Mayor Lisa Wong is determined to revive Fitchburg. Will she stick around long enough to make it happen?

Lisa Wong became a rising superstar in Massachu­setts politics the moment she trounced a veteran Fitch­burg city councilor and catapulted into the mayor’s office at age 28. The wonky daughter of Chinese immigrants, a woman with a short résumé and no previous political experience, was suddenly on everyone’s must-meet list. She was invited to join(...)

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Breathing easier

Breathing easier

Asthma project at Children’s Hospital in Boston is redefining care and sharply reducing costly emergency room visits and hospital admissions

Izaeyah French of Dorchester is an energetic 7-year-old who loves kickball—and loves knowing asthma won’t keep him on the sidelines while other kids play. In the past, “my head would hurt and I’d have to stay home,” he says. But, thanks to a pilot program at Children’s Hospital Boston that addresses environmental factors in kids’(...)

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Raising the bar

Raising the bar

The race for auditor is grabbing little attention in this crowded election season, but the office has the potential to wield enormous power

Suzanne Bump’s campaign staff is antsy. It’s already an hour into the campaign event, a barbeque with Malden Democrats, and their candidate for state auditor is seriously lagging behind schedule. The most frequent inquiry she gets is: “What does the state auditor do, anyway?” This question takes some time to answer. Campaigning for auditor is(...)

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Online teaching

Online teaching

The Internet is a useful teaching tool, but only that

“Although scads of red are always stomach-dropping, I’m really going to learn a lot from this interaction.” I’ve taught writing, off and on, for more than 10 years, and received plenty of feedback from students. The note I just quoted, though, was a little unusual. Its author is the first person I’ve “taught” without ever(...)

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