Economy

UMass Amherst investing in innovation

UMass Amherst investing in innovation

More than $100m goes for institute, venture fund, faculty

THE UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST, the flagship campus of the state’s university system, is diving into the innovation economy with a splash they hope will ripple out far beyond the campus, boosting the region’s economic development for decades to come. The university has invested heavily in the initiative in recent years. Well over $100 million(...)

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How we turn Western Mass. into a high-tech hub

How we turn Western Mass. into a high-tech hub

Transportation, access to capital, and skilled workforce are key

THOSE OF US in Western Massachusetts watched for two generations as the Route 128 corridor boomed and greater Boston turned into one of the world’s great tech centers. Meanwhile, our largely manufacturing-based economy, once a thriving ecosystem, was unable to compete as the technology revolution took hold and policymakers focused elsewhere — leading to a(...)

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Where the food deserts are

Where the food deserts are

Gateway Cities tend to have less access to grocery stores

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE CHELSEA, SPRINGFIELD, AND TAUNTON top a new list of cities with the highest percentage of low-income residents lacking access to grocery stores, a problem with nutrition ramifications that is most acute in rural areas and so-called Gateway Cities, according to new data. In low-income areas where there is limited grocery store(...)

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The view from $10m up

The view from $10m up

What the ultra-luxury invasion of Downtown Crossing means for Boston

Research assistance by Michael Malpiede BOSTON’S DOWNTOWN CROSSING has always been a crossroads, a place where subways, streets, and people from all walks of life intersect. Foot traffic tended to be heaviest during the day, with the area emptying out at night after the stores shut down. But that’s starting to change. Emerson College and(...)

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Voc-tech tension

Voc-tech tension

Massachusetts vocational schools are a big success story, but are they shutting out those who might need them most?

Photographs by Mark Ostow KELSEY CLARK, A SENIOR at Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School, is showing a visitor work from her graphic design portfolio. There is a pointillism-style poster she drew for assignment to promote a rock concert (she says it left her practically drawing dots in her sleep). A brightly colored(...)

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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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Wynn shipping contaminated soil around nation

Wynn shipping contaminated soil around nation

Cleanup of 500,000 tons of toxic dirt from casino site sent to landfills in seven states and Canada

THE CLEANUP OF the Wynn Resorts casino site in Everett is a case of addition through subtraction. Before the Wynn tower could start going up, all of the contaminated soil on the property had to be removed. An estimated 500,000 tons of dirt containing PCBs, arsenic, lead, ash, petroleum products, and asbestos were carted off(...)

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Running away from homelessness

Running away from homelessness

Back on My Feet invites homeless people to run with them to feel included and healthy

Microphilanthropy is an occasional feature that calls attention to small acts of generosity that people do for the benefit of others and highlights little-known needs that could benefit from generosity, even on a small scale.  GOVERNMENT POLICY MAKERS, community activists, and social workers have designed many different programs with the goal of avoiding or remedying(...)

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Democrats’ platform of opportunity

Democrats’ platform of opportunity

Party needs a coherent, future-oriented vision

THERE’S AN OLD QUIP that a camel is a horse designed by committee. In June, Massachusetts Democrats will affirm a new state platform – the camel meant to guide federal and state party officials from Massachusetts for the next four years, including the gubernatorial candidates. Like 2013’s version, it will be a laundry list, not(...)

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“What the heck are you thinking?”

“What the heck are you thinking?”

Capuano channels consumer-rights outrage as Congress kills internet privacy rule

“I HAVE A simple question: What the heck are you thinking? What is in your mind?” With that, a dumbfounded Rep. Michael Capuano took to the House floor on Tuesday and spoke for many as Republicans passed a measure to kill internet privacy regulations that were approved late last year. The rules would have prevented internet service(...)

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