Fall 2012

Fall 2012

Waiver warfare

Waiver warfare

Obama administration offers states waivers from education and welfare law, but Republicans raise alarms

of the domestic policy achievements of the past two decades, most would agree the two biggest are the welfare reform law of 1996 and the No Child Left Behind education law of 2001. The first ended guaranteed lifetime cash assistance to needy families and required the poor to work while receiving temporary aid. The education(...)

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Romney writes off 2002 campaign loan

GOP nominee forgives $550,000 loan

FOR NEARLY EVERYONE else, a half-million dollars would be a pretty healthy retirement account. But for Mitt Romney, who has an estimated worth of $250 million, it’s akin to change under the couch cushions. When Romney was running for governor in 2002, he loaned his campaign $550,000, a sum that included $150,000 to clean up(...)

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Tracking the cash

Tracking the cash

Massachusetts lawmakers turn the corner in reporting donor information

after decades of shrugging off campaign finance disclosure mandates, Massachusetts lawmakers have finally turned the tide in reporting what their donors do for a living, giving watchdogs the tools to monitor the influence of money in state politics. Under campaign finance law, anyone who contributes an aggregate of $200 or more in a calendar year(...)

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DCR cottage leases face quicker demise

DCR cottage leases face quicker demise

Lambert seeks to phase out program

massachusetts officials are vowing to phase out a controversial program that has offered cheap, virtually permanent permits for state park land to private citizens for summer cottages. After years of complaints and a series of critical audits over several decades, the state in 2006 stopped allowing permit-holders to pass their cottages along to their heirs(...)

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Chinese students flocking to UMass Boston, Lowell

CHINESE AND OTHER international students are flocking to US colleges, including two campuses of the University of Massachusetts.  UMass Boston, viewed locally as primarily a commuter school, saw its number of international students rise 38 percent during the last school year to 929, or about 6 percent of the campus population and more than a(...)

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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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