Spring 2011

Spring 2011

History lessons

History lessons

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(...)

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More efficient legal services for the poor

More efficient legal services for the poor

The state can save millions by putting lawyers for the poor on the state payroll, instead of contracting for their services

thanks to a relatively strong economic recovery and our prudent fiscal management during the recession, Massachusetts is in a much better financial position than most other states. Read the response to this article here. Even so, we will be facing our most challenging budget in the upcoming fiscal year. While tax revenues are expected to grow as(...)

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Public or private?

Public or private?

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(...)

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Spring 2011 Correspondence

Utilities are the rats Regarding your article “The Meter is Running” (Winter ’11), the only rats hiding under the rocks are the electric utility companies who refuse to buy meaningful amounts of clean, renewable energy and the regulatory agencies who won’t require them to do so. Business as usual is simply not acceptable with our(...)

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Urban (love) affairs

Urban (love) affairs

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.(...)

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Plan violates separation of powers provisions

Plan violates separation of powers provisions

The touted savings are overstated, and the plan conflicts with constitutional separation of powers principles

the committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) board and management staff have no quarrel, and in fact are in agreement, with the overall point made by Secretary  Gonzalez. Read the argument here. We feel that legal services to the indigent, required by law to be provided by CPCS, should be supplied in the most efficient and(...)

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Schools set aside funds for special ed increases

Brookline Public Schools are scrambling to close a nearly $1.5 million budget gap for the fiscal year beginning in July, yet the School Committee is nevertheless setting aside $400,000 in case the city’s cost for private special education rises. Public school systems that cannot accommodate certain special needs students internally often pay to send them(...)

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Hollywood stars not paying taxes?

Some of Hollywood’s hottest stars may be shortchanging Massachusetts on their taxes. A brief reference at the end of the state Revenue Department’s latest report on the film tax credit says the agency received no income taxes on residual payments to actors and directors who shot movies in Massachusetts between 2006 and 2009. There was(...)

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