Economy

Airbnb battle coming

Airbnb is running TV ads promoting the societal benefits of its short-term home rental business, the surest sign yet that a bruising battle over regulation of the company and others like it is brewing on Beacon Hill. The ads feature glowing interviews with four homeowners who are renting rooms to visitors to the Boston area.(...)

Read More »

Airbnb launches charm offensive

Airbnb launches charm offensive

TV ads come as Beacon Hill considers regulation

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE WITH A POLICY BATTLE on the Beacon Hill horizon, the short-term rental company Airbnb has launched a TV advocacy campaign framing itself as a boon to local small business, a check against inequality, and a reliable source of income for hosts. The charm offensive comes as legislative leaders appear to be(...)

Read More »

Dysfunctional DCR tries to be smarter landlord

Dysfunctional DCR tries to be smarter landlord

Underfunded, understaffed agency struggles to raise the rent

Photographs by Michael Manning THE HEAD OF THE CHARLES Regatta is a major draw for Massachusetts. Attracting more than 11,000 athletes and tens of thousands of spectators from all over the world, the October regatta is to rowing what the Boston Marathon is to long-distance running. For the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the state(...)

Read More »

Turning around New Bedford

Turning around New Bedford

Mayor Jon Mitchell’s game plan for his Gateway City

Photographs by Frank Curran JON MITCHELL WALKS a fine line as the mayor of New Bedford. On the one hand, he is the self-professed squeaky wheel, constantly pressing state and federal officials for more money, whether it’s for dredging the harbor, building a rail link to Boston, or replacing the ancient bridge that connects New(...)

Read More »

Drawing a line

Drawing a line

Engineers and architects battle over regulation

IT’S NOT QUITE a gang war with combatants brandishing mechanical pencils but there’s a brewing battle over state regulations that engineering companies say are arcane and outdated but architects insist are necessary for the “health, safety, and general welfare” of the public, especially for projects involving tax dollars. Under Massachusetts regulations, only a licensed architect(...)

Read More »

Mending the social fabric

Mending the social fabric

Yuval Levin wants us to knit together pieces of American Dream

The Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in the Age of Individualism By Yuval Levin New York: Basic Books 262 pages   SPEND SOME TIME in West Virginia or Kentucky and you begin to understand why Donald Trump has made it so far as a candidate for president. Making America great again sells well in(...)

Read More »

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(...)

Read More »

September tax revenues remain sluggish

September tax revenues remain sluggish

Come in 1% above benchmark amid troubling signs

REVENUE DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS on Wednesday said collections in September were 1 percent above the monthly benchmark target, but cautioned that the state is hardly out of the woods financially because tax payments continue to lag estimates. The September report showed collections totaled $2.74 billion, which was $189 million, or 7.4 percent more, than the same(...)

Read More »

Labor is the backbone of democracy

Labor is the backbone of democracy

Unions are our best tool to fight inequality -- and promote democratic values

THIS LABOR DAY, if you want a close up view of our nation’s widening chasm between the rich and the rest of us, all you have to do is take a walk. Boston and the state as a whole have become one of America’s best examples of its worst trend – runaway income inequality. With(...)

Read More »