gov. deval patrick clearly doesn’t think much of the judiciary’s management skills. He’s filed legislation calling for a professional manager, instead of a judge, to oversee the trial court. He wants to move the patronage-plagued Probation Department out of the judicial branch and into the executive branch. And he wants to abolish the judiciary’s Committee(...)
in upending a planned 300-acre biotech park, Fall River Mayor William Flanagan picked a fight with the governor, angered the state university, junked a decade’s worth of planning, and endangered a $23 million development project. He did it all for a roll of the dice with the Mashpee Wampanoag, who promised to bring a casino(...)
Ed Glaeser explains why cities are the hub of economic innovation—and our best hope for saving the planet
Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier By Edward Glaeser New York, The Penguin Press, 352 pages REVIEWED BY JOHN SCHNEIDER cities have always been my hometown. I’ve lived in five of them during my lifetime. The only house I have ever owned is in a city.(...)
The new prix fixe system for health care reimbursement is getting a try-out in Lowell, but key details are still murky
Gerri Vaughan, the executive director of the Lowell General Physicians Hospital Organization, answers a question about the state’s rush to embrace a global payment system with a question. “If Pat the patient comes, how do we deal with Pat?” she asks. Dr. David Pickul, seated across from Vaughan in a conference room at Lowell General,(...)
Nearly a year ago Attorney General Martha Coakley proposed new regulations to protect auto insurance consumers, but she’s never pulled the trigger and implemented them. Coakley solicited feedback on her proposal last summer and since then has kept extending the deadline for comments for several months at a time. The current deadline is April 15.(...)
Clerk-magistrates, with lifetime tenure and no mandatory retirement age, rule the roost in Massachusetts courthouses.
Ronald Arruda is the clerk-magistrate of the Bristol Juvenile Court, which is a little like saying he is the king of his court. He was appointed to the job by former Gov. Edward King in 1982 and, while six governors have come and gone since then, Arruda hasn’t budged. The 66-year-old clerk-magistrate can keep earning(...)
The NAACP’s Boston branch all but dropped out of sight in recent years, but new president Michael Curry is looking to erase doubts about the all-volunteer organization’s relevancy by stepping up its advocacy for civil rights in education and the workplace. Since moving into the top slot earlier this year, the 42-year-old Curry has focused(...)
How public sector unions became the bête noire of uneasy times
When it comes to rising anger toward public sector unions, Wisconsin’s hard-charging Republican governor, Scott Walker, has taken the battle to a new—and caustic —level. But think of Barry Bluestone as the canary in the coal mine. Nearly two years ago, Bluestone penned an op-ed in the Boston Globe warning of a growing backlash against(...)
Some say Civil Service is the way to rid government of patronage hiring. But is the cure worse than the disease?
the massachusetts trial Court’s policies and procedures manual says all hiring is to be based strictly on merit. No practice or appearance of nepotism or favoritism is allowed. Yet for almost a decade the state’s Probation Department did just the opposite. The hiring process was rigged top to bottom to employ job candidates recommended by(...)
Jill Lepore says the Tea Party movement has embraced an approach to American history that is more rooted in religious fundamentalism than in any serious examination of the past.
jill lepore, of all people, ought to be celebrating the fascination Americans have with the country’s Revolutionary War era. After all, Lepore specializes in early American history at Harvard, where she has been on the faculty since 2003. Lepore is heartened by interest in the nation’s early history. But she is less taken with the(...)