Opinion

DCR is an agency without a vision

DCR is an agency without a vision

Budget cuts are deliberate disinvestment in state’s parks

KUDOS TO THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION for stepping in to help the Department of Conservation andRecreation (DCR) focus on its core expertise – parks and parkways stewardship – by taking management of two state piers off DCR’s crowded plate. But changing day-to-day management responsibilities doesn’t solve the long-term problems our park system faces. That system continues(...)

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State needs to help with college funding

State needs to help with college funding

Resentment and anger building on campuses

YOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME and a few students at a table in the basement of the Northern Essex Community College Library while we discuss various issues that face our classmates. We are the Student Senate, and every week we sit around the same table to ponder strategy. Recently we reviewed the 2018 budget situation(...)

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Moving beyond health cost targets

Moving beyond health cost targets

A struggle for the soul of the Health Policy Commission

IN LATE MARCH, the board of the Health Policy Commission voted unanimously to leave the 2018 cost growth benchmark for total state health care expenditures at 3.1 percent. This target for per-person growth in health spending was set under our 2012 cost containment law as the predicted growth in the state’s overall economy for 2018(...)

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New Seaport garage makes sense

New Seaport garage makes sense

300 net new spaces in 1,500-space garage

THE NEWS THAT MASSPORT is moving forward with a planned 1,550-space parking garage in the Seaport District, and that the city wants to add another 550 spaces to its garage in the nearby Marine Industrial Park, unleashed some negativity on social media and elsewhere.  The negative reaction was no surprise to those of us who(...)

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With mixed record on opioids, Baker joining task force

With mixed record on opioids, Baker joining task force

Prescriptions have slowed, but overdose deaths rising

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER IS JOINING a White House task force on opioids, to be chaired by fellow governor Chris Christie, whom Baker endorsed in the Republican presidential primaries. Baker is bringing with him a reputation for action on the issue, both here in Massachusetts and leading his fellow governors. Yet despite these efforts, opioids remain(...)

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The world isn’t as flat as we thought

The world isn’t as flat as we thought

Mobility is key to closing economic divide

LONG-TERM TRENDS WILL CHANGE the global economy, putting unique strains on both large cities and outlying areas. PwC has identified five megatrends actively shaping our world: rapid urbanization, technological breakthroughs, shifts in global economic power, demographic and social change, and climate change. These trends combine to create a geographic and economic divide—booming cities that produce(...)

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Eversource electric vehicle proposal worth pursuing

Eversource electric vehicle proposal worth pursuing

Unfortunately, it’s being overshadowed by rate hike request

RECENT ACCOUNTS OF THE EVERSOURCE rate case have understandably focused on the utility’s request for a controversial rate increase. However, at risk of getting lost in the shuffle is a modest proposal within the larger rate case for electric vehicle infrastructure that, if further refined, could be a win-win-win for the environment, consumers, and utilities.(...)

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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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School funding fix needed

School funding fix needed

State failing its constitutional obligation to public education

PUBLIC SCHOOLS TODAY find themselves under a microscope and pulled by competing forces like never before. Education is a system in flux as it strives to institute necessary change in order to effectively meet the demands of today’s students and society. Change never comes without cost, be that time, money, resources, or personnel. These elements(...)

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Lawmakers must remove autonomous vehicle roadblocks

Lawmakers must remove autonomous vehicle roadblocks

Self-driving cars will ease congestion and promote economic growth

WHAT IF YOU COULD REMOVE error as a cause of motor vehicle crashes? The reality is we are getting closer to that point every day. Cars are getting smarter, and smarter means safer. Advanced braking systems can detect a potential collision and help a car stop before it happens, and features such as adaptive cruise(...)

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