Ted Siefer

Freelance writer

Stories by Ted Siefer

Lawsuit challenges Lowell at-large voting

Lawsuit challenges Lowell at-large voting

Says approach leads to all white city government

A CIVIL RIGHTS GROUP has brought a federal lawsuit against the City of Lowell alleging that its electoral system has led to a stark lack of minority representation in city government. In the suit, filed in US District Court in Boston on Thursday, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice alleges that the(...)

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Holyoke’s mayor isn’t afraid of pot

Holyoke’s mayor isn’t afraid of pot

Alex Morse sees potential for urban farming in his old city’s mills

Photographs by Mark Morelli  OUTSIDE HOLYOKE CITY HALL is a stone fountain that once gurgled with water, offering a more wholesome substitute for alcohol to “a thirsty humanity,” as the inscription reads. Erected in 1901, the monument was one of several put up by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union around the country as part of(...)

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Mom-and-pop economic development   

Mom-and-pop economic development  

Boosting unbanked immigrant entrepreneurs in Lawrence  

Photographs by Meghan Moore JOSE ROSARIO CAN barely walk a step without pointing to some of the changes he’s made since becoming the owner of Universal Auto Repair in Lawrence. There are the four new vehicle lifts; the diagnostic computers; the uniforms for his staff, complete with name tags; the fresh coat of interior paint;(...)

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A Springfield revival?

A Springfield revival?

Railcar manufacturing, a casino, and other changes are creating optimism

Photographs by Mark Morelli SPRINGFIELD MAYOR DOMENIC SARNO remembers the day after Thanksgiving in 2012. The sky was clear and the temperature unseasonably warm. The mayor was at the city’s downtown museum complex for an event kicking off the start of the holiday season, and earlier he had attended the annual Parade of the Big(...)

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Gateway Cities preoccupied with panhandling

Gateway Cities preoccupied with panhandling

Towns say beggars are bad for business, public safety

IN NEW BEDFORD, the City Council considered requiring panhandlers to get licenses to ask for money in the city. Manchester, New Hampshire, banned the exchange of items of value between motorists and pedestrians. And Worcester and Lowell enacted ordinances aimed at cracking down on “aggressive panhandling,” which, among other things, banned soliciting in close proximity(...)

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Why whites control Lowell city government

Why whites control Lowell city government

Voting system concentrates power in heavily white Belvidere

Photographs by Meghan Moore LOWELL IS MOST commonly associated with block upon block of old mill buildings; immigrants from Asia and the world over; and tough streets, the kind that produced famed boxer Micky Ward. What probably does not come to mind are tidy tree-lined boulevards and quiet blocks filled with exquisitely restored Victorian homes,(...)

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