The Back Story

Is anyone home at Millennium Tower?

Is anyone home at Millennium Tower?

City records indicate few condo owners take residential exemption

WEALTHY PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD have bought condos at the ultra-luxury Millennium Tower in Downtown Crossing, but not many of them live there full time. City of Boston assessing records indicate three of every four owners don’t consider their condos their principal residence, suggesting the 60-story building, which is nearly sold out, is(...)

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How John Henry ended up buying the Globe for nothing

How John Henry ended up buying the Globe for nothing

By selling some assets, billionaire got what he wanted at no cost

IT TOOK A LITTLE LONGER than he planned, but John Henry managed to purchase the Boston Globe and a new printing facility in Taunton for nothing. Henry, a billionaire who also owns the Boston Red Sox and the Liverpool Football Club, started the ball rolling in October 2013, paying The New York Times Co. $70(...)

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West Station vs. Boston Landing 

West Station vs. Boston Landing 

New Balance station doing much better than expected 

SOMETHING SEEMS AMISS with the state’s ridership numbers for the proposed West Station in Allston. The draft environmental impact report for the Allston Interchange forecasts 250 daily commuter riders and 2,900 bus riders when the station opens in 2040. But a host of people, most of whom want West Station built much sooner, are saying(...)

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Checking in on T control board at halfway point

Checking in on T control board at halfway point

FMCB adopts a collegial approach to oversight

  THE MBTA’s FISCAL AND MANAGEMENT CONTROL BOARD is halfway through its five-year term, which seems like a good time to review its progress so far.  The law creating the control board said the five-member group was needed to ensure that the transit authority embraces transparency and accountability, strives for organizational and fiscal stability, and earns the trust of the public.   The MBTA has(...)

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MBTA parking contract said to be in disarray

MBTA parking contract said to be in disarray

T’s ex-parking director gives private operator F+, claims costs are rising

THE MBTA’s DIRECTOR OF PARKING resigned last week after distributing a 30-page statement detailing how the agency’s parking contractor is not living up to the terms of its contract and how T management is refusing to step in to correct the problems. David Friend said in his statement that he submitted his involuntary resignation after(...)

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An exercise in democracy or a crapshoot?

An exercise in democracy or a crapshoot?

With 12 candidates, Democratic race for 3d Congressional District may showcase election system flaws

THE DEMOCRATIC CONTEST to succeed retiring US Rep. Niki Tsongas is shaping up to be a wild scramble, with 12 candidates in the race as of this week. On the Republican side, three candidates have thrown their hats in the ring so far. As much as the race looks like a healthy outpouring of democratic(...)

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Walsh’s transportation to-do list

Walsh’s transportation to-do list

It’s a unique moment to address the city’s inequities

In the aftermath of a massive general election victory by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh – and recognizing the political capital that goes along with that – it seems a good time to assess the opportunities for meaningful progress on a number of initiatives that have the potential to set Boston and the region on an irrevocable path toward a(...)

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MBTA overnight bus service a tough sell 

MBTA overnight bus service a tough sell 

Absent financial help, project unlikely to proceed 

The MBTA put off action this week on an overnight bus service pilot project, and a review of the underlying numbers suggests the initiative will have a hard time gaining traction without someone other than the T kicking in additional money.  The debate shows how difficult it is for the MBTA to expand operations in tight economic times without strong demand for(...)

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MBTA still having problems with some contracts

MBTA still having problems with some contracts

Collision-avoidance system, paratransit call center are 2 examples 

Two years ago, when the Green Line extension ballooned in cost from $2 to $3 billion, the project highlighted the MBTA’s inability to hire competent contractors and to oversee their work to a satisfactory completion.  The Green Line extension now appears to be back on track; the price has been pared back to $2.3 billion and a new team has been put in place to(...)

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Rick Perry links pipelines, natural security

Rick Perry links pipelines, natural security

Region's grid operator to release fuel security study next month

THERE WAS MORE NEWS out of Washington this week suggesting that the federal government could intervene to override local opposition to natural gas pipelines in order to protect national security. According to press reports, Energy Secretary Rick Perry singled out New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his political opposition to building new pipeline capacity in(...)

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