Colman M. Herman

Guest Contributor

Stories by Colman M. Herman

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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Baker’s public records silence

Baker’s public records silence

Status quo has benefits for governor

Gov. Charlie Baker isn’t saying where he stands on legislative efforts to update the state’s Public Records Law, possibly because he is not eager to disrupt the status quo. Like his predecessors dating back to the late 1990s, Baker contends that his office is not covered by the Public Records Law, a situation that allows(...)

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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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Cunha probes BRA-Sox deal at glacial pace

Cunha probes BRA-Sox deal at glacial pace

After 19 months, Inspector General still investigating

BOSTON MAYOR MARTY WALSH said that if he were mayor in 2013 he would not have supported the agreement between the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Redevelopment Authority that allows the team to close off Yawkey Way and retain the Green Monster seats. Brian Golden, the current head of the BRA, also opposes the(...)

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Push on for changes in Public Records Law

Push on for changes in Public Records Law

Some call for Legislature, judiciary to be covered

FOR THE FIRST TIME in a long time, momentum seems to be building for making changes in the state’s Swiss-cheese Public Records Law. Attorney General Maura Healey, a newcomer on Beacon Hill, says she intends to break with the practice of her predecessors and work closely with Secretary of State William Galvin to enforce the(...)

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