Spring 1998

Spring 1998

Lorna Burt is on the Case

“This next case is my worst nightmare,” says Hampden County Superior Court probation officer Lorna Burt as she steers her Nissan Pathfinder off the main drag onto a side road of a small Western Massachusetts milltown. “Jack,” who is 32, was convicted in 1990 of a second offense of indecent assault and battery on a(...)

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Happy Days Are Here For Now

Earlier this year, I paid a visit to state Senator Richard Tisei in his wood-paneled office on the third floor of the State House. Tisei is one of the newer generation of Republicans in the Legislature, one of those youthful politicians who might be described as “up-and-coming” if there were a functioning Republican Party in(...)

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Crime and Consequences

Crime and Consequences

I. A woman is shot in Springfield Shortly after midnight near the end of 1994, Juan Rosado left a Springfield house party carrying a loaded gun. The tatooed teenager belonged to the Los Solidos gang, which was suspected of shootings and robberies across the city. Rosado had just received word that members of a rival(...)

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Drug Court is in Session

The 32-year-old Roslindale woman, a former addict who had been arrested a year ago for heroin possession, stepped to the front of the crowded Mattapan courtroom for her weekly hearing before Judge Robert P. Ziemian. Wearing gray slacks and a pressed white blouse, she looked like someone on a job interview. She smiled as she(...)

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Water My Petunias

What is the point in having state legislators? What, if anything, do people expect from them? The author Alan Rosenthal tells of a Massachusetts state senator (unnamed!) who said he would regularly pick up clothes that constituents wanted exchanged at Filene’s Basement in downtown Boston. An Oklahoma representative once responded to a constituent’s complaint about(...)

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The Man Who Knows Too Much

The Decline of Representative Democracy: Process, Participation, and Power in State Legislatures By Alan Rosenthal CQ Press, Washington, D.C., 1998, 369 pages. There can’t be more than a cloakroomful of people in America who know as much as Alan Rosenthal does about our state legislatures, and thus (one would think) about the health of representative(...)

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Questions of Character

How much does character matter in a president? Bill Clinton’s many ethical entanglements have made his presidency a running debate on the link between private character and public leadership. While every president has been judged on his character, Americans today know far more about the president’s private life than we used to, if only because(...)

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Journal of the House

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts JOURNAL OF THE HOUSE Thursday, April 31, 1998 Met according to adjournment, at eleven o’clock A.M. in a Full Formal Session. Prayer was offered by the Guest Reverend Scarlet Byrd-Tanager of the First Unitarian Church of Salem, as follows: Oh God, Yahweh, Allah, Buddha, Divine Spirit, Great Whatever — shine your(...)

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John W Sears on the Grand Old Party

There is little about John W. Sears that suggests a thoroughly modern man. From the Gilbert & Sullivan references dropped into conversation, to the books aligned on the top of the piano in his Beacon Hill home (assorted memoirs of such noted Massachusetts Republicans as Henry Cabot Lodge, Leverett Saltonstall, Elliot Richardson, and John Volpe),(...)

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