Fall 2012

Fall 2012

Rhode Island red

Rhode Island red

The Ocean State did the math on pensions and boldly went where no state had gone before

little rhody was in big trouble. That much Gina Raimondo knew when she pumped her fist in victory on election night two years ago. It wasn’t until the new Rhode Island state treasurer set up shop in her cavernous offices in the Ocean State’s majestic State House that she found out how close the ship(...)

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A bank for infrastructure

A bank for infrastructure

If the state doesn’t have any money for transportation improvements, maybe Wall Street can help

  Illustration by Peter and Maria Hoey. the pivot was abrupt, but it hardly sounded unfamiliar. For two straight hours, Joe Curtatone, the mayor of Somerville, had led an auditorium packed with angry residents in a rousing denunciation of the state’s Highway Department. This was a somewhat unusual scene, in that Somerville residents are normally(...)

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Fire drill

Fire drill

Two-thirds of Massachusetts schools lack sprinkler systems even though fires are commonplace

  ‘ As adults we believe we are putting our children into a safe environment,” says State Fire Marshall Stephen Coan. as tropical storm Irene raged through the western part of the state during the first weekend of August, a lightning bolt exploded into the Rowe Elementary School and destroyed the small brick and wood building(...)

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Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope

Five different takes on the Brown-Warren Senate race

Photo credit: Tannen Maury/EPA/Landov Photo credit: Don Treeger/The Republican/Landov   Story telling   Spinning a good yarn is how we have recorded history, shared experiences, and tapped human emotion going back to cave drawings—and it’s central to how candidates connect with and win over voters. Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren have both unspooled now-familiar personal(...)

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A representative sample

A representative sample

Pollsters forced to pursue new methods

as we approach election day, one can scarcely turn on the news or pick up a newspaper without reading about polls. Polls in the run-up to election day tend to focus on which politician is up and which one is down, what their “favorability rating” is, and where their support is coming from. The prevalence(...)

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Gridlock

Gridlock

Does Massachusetts have the answer to Washington's paralysis?

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled the word “struvious.” President Obama and Speaker John Boehner have become a symbol of Washington gridlock, unwilling to talk even as the nation heads for a fiscal cliff. Photo: Alex Wong/EPA/Landov. It’s customary for the president of the United States to congratulate a new speaker of the(...)

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Closing the biomass carbon loophole

Closing the biomass carbon loophole

Burning wood not that clean

worldwide, forest fires and forest harvesting are recognized as major sources of the carbon dioxide (CO2) that is warming the climate, causing drought, and melting ice caps. Yet, paradoxically, most state, regional, and federal efforts to reduce emissions treat biomass power plants that burn wood for fuel as “carbon neutral,” with zero net emissions. Massachusetts(...)

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Half full or half empty?

Half full or half empty?

The rate continues its decade-long fall

from the sound bites blanketing the airwaves, it’s clear that politicians everywhere are concerned about the impact of the recession and slow recovery on the middle class. Elected leaders intuitively feel the public angst. But are things truly getting worse for middle-class families? Or are voters mostly reacting to the constant barrage of dispiriting media(...)

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Correspondence

Green is good, economically My fellow real estate developer David Begelfer misses the mark when he suggests Massachusetts’ forward-looking climate and energy policies are somehow too expensive and bad for our economy (“Out Front on Climate Change,” Summer ’12). The truth is, that since the enactment of the 2008 Green Communities Act, average monthly energy(...)

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High-stakes test

High-stakes test

Trying to fix a broken school district may be the right thing to do, but no one has ever succeeded at it. Can Lawrence break the mold?

  Lawrence school receiver Jeff Riley greets families in late August on the first day of school at Lawrence High School jeff riley received a fairly consistent piece of advice when he was considering the offer to become receiver for the Lawrence public schools, the person in charge of the state takeover of the chronically(...)

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