Opinion

My flag won’t be flying this July 4th

My flag won’t be flying this July 4th

Our nation faces the most existential crisis since the Civil War

THERE’S NO FLAG flying above the front porch of our place in Maine this year.  That flag was a personal expression of belief in the fundamental integrity and stolidity of this great 241-year-old experiment in self-governance. It was an expression of hope in the fundamental goodness and right-headedness of our people, who may have different ideological perspectives but(...)

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Mega booze store out for self

Mega booze store out for self

Total Wine’s challenge of state liquor laws could undercut public safety

MASSACHUSETTS LAWS AND regulations governing the sale of alcohol are partially based on the idea of maximizing carefully considered controls and oversight to help reduce negative impacts associated with over-consumption. Recent reports show the Commonwealth’s regulatory approach works. The Bay State has the nation’s second-best record on limiting driving under the influence (DUI), trailing just(...)

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Health payment disparity affects labor talks

Health payment disparity affects labor talks

Tufts says it can’t match better-paid competitors on nurses pay

THE US SENATE on Tuesday delayed debate on its version of changes to the Affordable Care Act. No one knows exactly what the future holds for health care, but Gov. Charlie Baker estimates the Senate’s version of the bill would cost Massachusetts $1.7 billion annually by 2024. To say the least, these are challenging times(...)

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Remembering Mitchell Chester

Remembering Mitchell Chester

A "relentlessly regular guy" with a noble vision of education

David Coleman, the president and CEO of The College Board, shared this remembrance with friends and colleagues of Mitchell Chester, the Massachusetts state education commissioner who died this week at age 65.  I WORRY AS I think about Mitchell I think too much about myself. Mitchell encouraged me at pivotal moments. I met him first(...)

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Public transportation is investment in Springfield’s future

Public transportation is investment in Springfield’s future

A study of high-speed rail service to Boston should be in the mix

FORGIVE US  FOR opening old wounds, but it was just two years ago this spring that our state was crippled with foot after foot of snow. There was perhaps no more striking example of how dependent our economy is on reliable transportation. One economic analysis reported that Massachusetts lost $1 billion in wages and profits(...)

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5 takeaways from Baker’s health reform

5 takeaways from Baker’s health reform

Authorizes new class of practitioners called dental therapists

PHASE 2 OF THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION’S ambitious health reform agenda emerged this past week.  It contains good and smart proposals – and worrisome ones needing attention. Phase 1 is an ambitious effort to transform much of the state’s Medicaid program, known as MassHealth, into “accountable care organizations.” ACOs aim to focus hospitals, physicians, and other(...)

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Baker doubling down on failed biotech strategy

Baker doubling down on failed biotech strategy

State subsidies -- an expensive mistake -- have marginal economic impact

This opinion piece has been corrected in several spots (headline and story) to reflect the fact that $1 billion has not been spent by the Massachusetts Life Science Center. Only $650 million has been spent so far, which would significantly reduce the estimated cost per job HERE WE GO again. Government giveaways to industries will benefit(...)

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Fitness for parenting – it takes a village

Fitness for parenting – it takes a village

Bella Bond case prompts call for fitness test

“Ms. Bond’s ability to parent was not appropriately assessed.” Review of the Death of Bella Bond: Report of the Massachusetts Office of the Child Advocate, October 28, 2015  AS A FATHER AND GRANDFATHER, I know the gifts and blessings of children. I also know the awesome challenges and responsibilities of raising them in a healthy,(...)

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The upside of renewables

The upside of renewables

Clean energy advocates dispute any downside

A Commonwealth opinion piece (“The downside of renewables”) published on May 11 provided a flawed argument against renewable energy and its implications for the New England electricity grid by picking and choosing facts from European countries that are decades ahead of the US in the clean energy transition. We should learn from the successes and(...)

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Marijuana law must address race impact of War on Drugs

Marijuana law must address race impact of War on Drugs

Pending bill reintroduces regressive policies that voters rejected

IN NOVEMBER, MASSACHUSETTS voters chose to move our state’s drug policy into the 21st century by rejecting the failed War on Drugs and becoming the first state in the Eastern half of the country to legalize cannabis. Now, the Legislature is considering a bill which would reintroduce some of the same regressive principles that voters(...)

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