Summer 2015

Summer 2015

Rethinking tough-on-crime

Rethinking tough-on-crime

Is Massachusetts ready to join the national reassessment of criminal justice policy?

BONNIE DITORO DOESN’T try to hide from her past. She was a heavy-duty cocaine user, a newly widowed mother of two whose life in the mid-1990s was spiraling out of control. But she’s equally clear about what she was not. DiToro says she was no drug kingpin. [soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/215625268″ params=”color=0066cc&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”144″ iframe=”true” /] In(...)

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Rivera’s old-school push for change

Rivera’s old-school push for change

Mayor makes use of some 'old Lawrence' tactics

AT DANIEL RIVERA’S INAUGURATION as mayor of Lawrence in January 2014, he was hailed as the guy who would take the city in a new direction. Even though he squeaked into office by just 81 votes over the scandal-plagued incumbent, William Lantigua, Rivera was toasted as the politician who would get the city back on(...)

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Plum Island at risk

Plum Island at risk

Storms and sea level rise pose difficult choices for North Shore community

Photographs by Mark Morelli except headline photograph by Gabrielle Gurley PLUM ISLAND IS one of the most spectacular places to live in Massachusetts. With high dunes and rolling beaches on the lip of the Atlantic Ocean, people move to this barrier island north of Cape Ann for a deep blue slice of paradise. But paradise can(...)

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Health care sticker shock

Health care sticker shock

What you see is not what you pay

I HAD A minor stroke in April. Then I saw the bill and nearly had a heart attack. For a trip to the emergency room, admission to the hospital for about a 36-hour stay, multiple imaging studies of my brain and nervous system, and a couple follow-up visits with my primary care physician and a(...)

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Uber is a transportation outlaw

Uber is a transportation outlaw

Should popularity trump statutes and regulations?

THIS LEGISLATIVE SESSION, the Massachusetts House and Senate will most certainly take up debate on the controversial issue of so-called “rideshare” companies.  These are companies that use an app to connect customers with drivers, most using their own personal vehicle. The largest of these companies by far is Uber, whose business plan and actions to(...)

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Ridesharing choices must be protected

Ridesharing choices must be protected

Uber supports rules that support safety and innovation

UBER IS A technology platform that allows people in Massachusetts, and in more than 310 cities worldwide, to find rides from available drivers. In many of these cities, Uber offers a ridesharing service called uberX, where drivers use their personal cars to pick up passengers. This type of peer-to-peer transportation system, comprised largely of part-time(...)

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Man in the middle

Man in the middle

John Grossman brings government, providers, and money together for pay-for-success projects

Photographs by Frank Curran JOHN GROSSMAN calls himself an intermediary. It’s an unusual job description, but it’s one that captures what he does putting together complex deals that leverage money from the private sector to fund social service work for government. Grossman is the man in the middle, trying to address social ills by bringing(...)

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DCR 2.0

DCR 2.0

State agency is struggling to bring its system for leasing land into the current century

IN LATE 2011, the commissioner of the state Department of Conservation and Recreation said the agency’s system for leasing public land was in disrepair, with many tenants enjoying sweetheart deals, rents going uncollected, and the expiration dates of many leases ignored. Then-commissioner Ed Lambert called the lease situation a significant problem, one that needed to(...)

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State House press gets free office space, parking

State House press gets free office space, parking

Boston Herald is the only outlet that pays any rent

THE MEN AND WOMEN who are elected to state office are provided office and parking space at the State House when they arrive for work on Beacon Hill. The same holds true for the individuals who work in the media and are assigned to Beacon Hill to cover the officials. With media retrenchment and the(...)

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The failure of public assistance

The failure of public assistance

Welfare programs have become permanent way of life.    

Democrats and Republicans alike have fought for and voted to support programs and funding to provide assistance to our most vulnerable citizens. The intention of this support was always to provide those in need with a temporary helping hand. For citizens who found themselves out of work, temporary unemployment benefits were provided. For those who(...)

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