Spring 2013

Spring 2013

A souper campaign

A souper campaign

Fall River mayor mixes soup and politics

FALLR RIVER MAYOR WILL FLANAGAN is up for reelection this year. He’s also launching a new soup that will be sold in area supermarkets, with the proceeds going to provide scholarships for the city’s students. In the mayor’s mind, his candidacy and his soup are unrelated. But there is obviously some synergy between the campaign(...)

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Spring 2013 correspondence and updates

DPH chief criticized It is unfortunate that Interim Department of Public Health Commis­sioner Dr. Lauren Smith made statements regarding patients with chronic Lyme disease that do not reflect evolving understanding about the persistent symptoms that many patients experience because of delayed or inadequate treatment. [After the Winter ’13 issue went to press with the article(...)

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The MBTA’s got a ticket to write

The MBTA’s got a ticket to write

THE STATE AND MOST MUNICIPALITIES impose a surcharge for parking violations and give the vehicle owner 21 days to appeal before assessing a penalty. The MBTA, by contrast, assesses a penalty after just three days, appeal or no appeal. Someone caught parking in a T lot without putting the proper payment in the honor box(...)

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Holyoke mayor trying to get back on track

Holyoke mayor trying to get back on track

ALEX MORSE took Holyoke by storm two years ago. The 22-year-old freshly minted Brown University graduate shocked the city’s political establishment by defeating Holyoke’s incumbent mayor in a campaign that drew heavily on his youth and energy. Morse argued that the beleaguered former mill city needs to embrace the innovation and arts economy in order(...)

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Natural gas dependence creates close calls

Natural gas dependence creates close calls

Grid operator sees escalating strategic risk

THE REGION’S POWER GRID had a close call during the February blizzard. Six power plants running on natural gas ran out of fuel and couldn’t obtain any more. Several oil-fired plants said their fuel stocks were depleted so they couldn’t supply any more electricity. Along with other plants shut down because of storm-related outages, more(...)

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Where have all the anti-tax advocates gone?

Where have all the anti-tax advocates gone?

Are they needed anymore?

BARBARA ANDERSON Barbara Anderson used to prowl the halls of the State House with a vengeance whenever lawmakers started thinking about raising taxes or tinkering with her now-33-year-old baby, Proposition 2 1/2. She would position herself outside the House or Senate chamber, look the solons in the eye, and make sure they knew someone was(...)

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Springfield bets on sibling rivalry

Springfield bets on sibling rivalry

The Picknelly brothers, with dueling casino proposals, are at the center of Springfield’s push for gambling

THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE came to rest on the big money for Massa­chu­setts two years ago when Gov. Deval Patrick signed legislation ushering the Bay State into the casino era. After decades of attempts by gambling proponents, the plans are well underway for three resort casinos and one slot parlor. The gambling legislation divides the(...)

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What happened to Johnny Ramos is criminal

What happened to Johnny Ramos is criminal

They took away his job, all because of a crime he committed 34 years ago

JOHNNY RAMOS SAYs he did “a lot of stupid things” when he was a teenager growing up in Boston’s South End. He says he never used drugs or carried a gun, but still got into plenty of trouble. At the age of 17, he got arrested for fleeing from police officers after an incident involving(...)

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William Koch

William Koch

Delay, delay, delay

CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl interviewed William Koch by phone from his office in West Palm Beach on Feb. 20. Koch was with Brad Goldstein, his media representative. What follows is a lightly edited transcript of the conversation.   WILLIAM KOCH: I’m sorry we’re calling you so late. I was just trying to make a little money(...)

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