Fall 2015

Fall 2015

All bases covered at ML Strategies

All bases covered at ML Strategies

Firm includes an all-star cast of former government officials

(Updated October 20, 2015. A correction was added to the chart of leading lobbying firms.) Photographs by Frank Curran IT WAS CRUNCH TIME in the battle for a Greater Boston casino license potentially worth billions of dollars. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission was seeking some final feedback from the two finalists, Wynn Resorts and Mohegan Sun, and(...)

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Rich-poor divide in high school sports

Rich-poor divide in high school sports

Data reveal inequality that threatens American Dream

EACH YEAR, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association compiles athletic participation data from public, charter, and parochial high schools across the state. In nine out of the past 10 years, the publicized narrative about the data has been the same: that athletic participation is increasing. But below the surface, the data reveal some alarming trends about(...)

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Contracting system isn’t saving money

Contracting system isn’t saving money

Some think the approach may even be driving up costs

Photographs by Mark Morelli   IT SOUNDED LIKE a good idea at the time. Stung by the enormous cost overruns of the Big Dig and other open-spigot public projects, officials on Beacon Hill wanted to put more of the risk associated with excess spending on contractors. They came up with a system in 2004 that(...)

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State faces testing showdown

State faces testing showdown

Whether to scrap MCAS in favor of the new PARCC assessment comes loaded with lots of other questions

Photographs by Kathleen Dooher IN 2010, WHEN the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to adopt the Common Core State Standards, it marked a big moment for the effort to get states to sign on to a common set of academic benchmarks for public school students. The existing Massachusetts standards were widely regarded(...)

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Overlords of the MBTA

Overlords of the MBTA

A close-up look at the T's Fiscal and Management Control Board

Photographs by Michael Manning THE NAME JOSEPH AIELLO probably means nothing to most MBTA riders. But the first major snowstorm might change that.  Aiello is the chairman of the five-member MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board that has the job that has overwhelmed governors, transportation secretaries, and the system’s general managers for more than a(...)

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Opportunity gap

Opportunity gap

Robert Putnam says a growing divide in everything from stable home lives to access to extracurricular activities is cutting poor children off from the American dream.

Photographs by Frank Curran THE NEW YORK TIMES recently called Robert Putnam the “poet laureate of civil society.” One of a handful of academics known for bringing social science out of the ivory tower, the longtime Harvard political science professor puts research findings on big trends in American life into layman’s language, telling stories that(...)

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Reform through destruction

Reform through destruction

With public sector turnarounds, incremental change doesn’t always work

JERRY MILLER DIED in August in Virginia after a long illness. He was 83. Few people in Massachusetts now remember his name, but for several years in the early 1970s he was a controversial public official in the news nearly every day. Some saw him as an innovative reformer; others thought him irresponsible and dangerous(...)

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The T’s chief tweeter

The T’s chief tweeter

Lisa Battiston works with the agency’s 138,000 followers

When did you start at the T and where did you come from? I started in November 2011. I came from outside the authority. I had just gotten my masters in fine arts from Emerson in creative writing. Are you a whiz at social media? As adept as most 20-somethings are at social media. I(...)

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Don’t tax my yogurt

Don’t tax my yogurt

New Roche Bros. store taxes items by where they're bought, not what they are

FOR MANY, the new Roche Bros. supermarket in the old Filene’s building at Boston’s Downtown Crossing is manna from heaven. There is a large full-service grocery store in the old Filene’s Basement, and at street level, Roche Bros. has opened a ready-to-eat section for breakfast, lunch, and dinner featuring a salad bar, a hot food(...)

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