Colman M. Herman

Guest Contributor

Stories by Colman M. Herman

Bogus Health Connector website shut down

Bogus Health Connector website shut down

State official calls site ‘woefully deceptive’

The Baker administration has shut down a shadowy commercial website masquerading as the official Massachusetts Health Connector and referring customers to health insurers while collecting a fee in the process. The real Connector is a state clearinghouse for health and dental insurance plans, helping individuals, families, and small businesses secure health and dental coverage. About 208,000(...)

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Galvin upholds Jones decision on privacy grounds

Galvin upholds Jones decision on privacy grounds

Turns down appeals for police video of Patriots player

SECRETARY OF STATE WILLIAM GALVIN’S OFFICE has ruled that the Foxborough Police Department acted properly in denying on privacy grounds a public records request for a surveillance video of New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones. The 6-foot-5-inch, 265-pound lineman showed up shirtless in the parking lot of  the Foxborough police station on the morning(...)

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Baker administration making public records progress

Baker administration making public records progress

Appeals plummet; still, compliance not perfect

A clarification has been added to this story. THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION is making significant progress in fulfilling the governor’s pledge to make it easier and cheaper for the public to access records from his administration. Baker’s new procedures require every agency to designate a “records access officer” to receive and track public records requests, to(...)

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Another approach on drunken driving

Another approach on drunken driving

24/7 Sobriety program better at changing long-term behavior

A TOUGH BUT fairly low-tech approach to drunken driving prevention is showing some promise in a handful of states and starting to pick up converts across the country. Called 24/7 Sobriety and pioneered in South Dakota, the program typically requires individuals convicted of a second or subsequent drunken driving offense to visit a testing facility(...)

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Falls are a concern at assisted living facilities

Falls are a concern at assisted living facilities

State collects information but lacks analysis for root causes

NEW STATE DATA suggest falls are a major problem at assisted living facilities across Massachusetts, with roughly two of every five residents ending up down on the floor over the course of a year. Falls among elders are a serious public health problem. Each year, 2.5 million older people are treated in emergency departments for(...)

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An exit sweetener

An exit sweetener

Ousted DCR commissioner cashes in on way out the door

CAROL SANCHEZ, the former commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, pocketed $8,200 for doing nothing after she was apparently pushed out the door in early November. Sanchez served seven months as commissioner before abruptly announcing her departure, prompting speculation of bad blood between Sanchez and her boss, Matthew Beaton, the secretary of energy(...)

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IG condemns BRA-Red Sox deals

IG condemns BRA-Red Sox deals

Cunha doesn’t call for unwinding arrangements

MASSACHUSETTS INSPECTOR GENERAL GLENN CUNHA on Monday condemned the procedures the Boston Redevelopment Authority followed in awarding lucrative property easements to the Boston Red Sox in 2013, but didn’t recommend trying to unwind the agency’s deals with the ball club. Cunha spent two years reviewing an agreement between the BRA and the Red Sox allowing(...)

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Students, schools play cat and mouse with online cheating

Students, schools play cat and mouse with online cheating

Colleges look for innovative ways to stem distance learning cheating

AS COLLEGES OFFER more and more courses online, school officials are scrambling to come up with innovative ways to prevent cheating by students taking tests and other assessments remotely. It’s often a game of cat and mouse. One undergraduate student at Northeastern University says he took an online marketing course from a professor who tried(...)

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State down to one elder ombudsman

State down to one elder ombudsman

Single employee serves more than 14,000 assisted living residents

THE MASSACHUSETTS ELDER AFFAIRS office, which had been using two ombudsmen to respond to complaints from the 14,000 people in the state’s 237 assisted living facilities, is now down to one. One ombudsman took a buyout offered by the Baker administration this summer and Elder Affairs is not currently planning to fill the vacancy because of(...)

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DCR forgives $23,000 of club’s unpaid rent

DCR forgives $23,000 of club’s unpaid rent

Wollaston Yacht Club starts anew with clean slate

THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION and Recreation is forgiving three-quarters of the back debt owed by a Quincy yacht club renting space from the state on Wollaston Beach. The Wollaston Yacht Club’s unpaid rent of $30,500 had been a source of friction between the club and the state for years. On a number of occasions,(...)

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