Fall 2016

Fall 2016

Crime and punishment

Crime and punishment

What’s the right thing to do with an 18-year-old caught with a gun?

Photographs by Mark Ostow DIANE MCMANUS SAYS her youngest child, Timothy, is “no street kid.” He was “raised in the church,” she says, a respectful son who minded the rules she set down, even as a teenager growing up in a rough patch of Dorchester off Blue Hill Avenue. But while Diane McManus was out(...)

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Dysfunctional DCR tries to be smarter landlord

Dysfunctional DCR tries to be smarter landlord

Underfunded, understaffed agency struggles to raise the rent

Photographs by Michael Manning THE HEAD OF THE CHARLES Regatta is a major draw for Massachusetts. Attracting more than 11,000 athletes and tens of thousands of spectators from all over the world, the October regatta is to rowing what the Boston Marathon is to long-distance running. For the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the state(...)

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Turning around New Bedford

Turning around New Bedford

Mayor Jon Mitchell’s game plan for his Gateway City

Photographs by Frank Curran JON MITCHELL WALKS a fine line as the mayor of New Bedford. On the one hand, he is the self-professed squeaky wheel, constantly pressing state and federal officials for more money, whether it’s for dredging the harbor, building a rail link to Boston, or replacing the ancient bridge that connects New(...)

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Youth movement

Youth movement

At 22, Solomon Goldstein-Rose is poised to claim a House seat

Photograph by Frank Curran THE SCENE: The Amherst town cemetery, sitting on a stone wall circling an old burial plot, not far from Emily Dickinson’s grave. Solomon Goldstein-Rose, who won the Democratic primary for an open Amherst-based House seat and faces no opposition in November, suggested the graveyard over a busy bagel shop because his(...)

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Can Elizabeth Warren legislate?

Can Elizabeth Warren legislate?

If Dems do well, she’ll have to put policy ahead of politics

DURING HER FIRST four years representing Massachusetts in the Senate, Elizabeth Warren has become the chamber’s leading progressive voice. Hillary Clinton considered her for the vice presidential slot and, while Warren didn’t get it, she’s become a valued surrogate, with her Twitter war with Donald Trump and her ability to rally the supporters of Clinton’s(...)

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Charter showdown

Charter showdown

A charter school leader and teachers union president debate the ballot question

IN NOVEMBER, MASSACHUSETTS voters will have their say on a ballot question that would allow up to 12 new or expanded charter schools each year above the existing state cap on the independently-run, but publicly-funded, schools. The issue has inflamed passions on both sides. We asked two prominent Boston education leaders, Jon Clark, co-director of(...)

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The missing piece of education reform

The missing piece of education reform

Leadership by superintendents and principals is key

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS ago a broad coalition of legislators, business people, education experts, and state officials put together and passed a wide-reaching education reform law. That law reflects a set of shared beliefs—basically, that a combination of increased funding, state testing tied to graduation requirements, new state curriculum frameworks, charter schools, and increased authority for superintendents(...)

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Why Trump’s performance matters in Mass.

Why Trump’s performance matters in Mass.

Clinton expected to win, but her victory margin could influence legislative races

REPUBLICAN KATE CAMPANALE stunned the state’s political establishment in 2014 by winning the 17th Worcester district House seat, edging out Democrat Douglas Belanger by just 43 votes out of 9,750 cast. Campanale will face Democratic challenger Moses Dixon on November 8, after Dixon defeated Belanger in the September 8 Democratic primary. Campanale is in a(...)

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Baker’s big health care move

Baker’s big health care move

Revamping MassHealth offers great potential — and great risks

FOR THE THIRD time since 1996, the Massachusetts Medicaid program, called MassHealth, is preparing for transformation. After submitting a final proposal in July, state officials are anxiously awaiting a decision on the plan from the US Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services. The goals are to: first, transform how medical services are delivered to many(...)

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The toughest mile

The toughest mile

State provides funding to wire rural towns for internet

IN 2008, THE Patrick administration set out to wire 123 cities and towns in western Massachusetts for broadband. But eight years, 1,200 miles of fiber-optic cable, and nearly $100 million later, the effort has stalled with 44 communities still without high-speed internet. The towns that remain essentially disconnected—or, in the words of state officials, “unserved”—represent(...)

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