Opinion

Finding Better Ways to Allocate Limited Public Safety Resources

Finding Better Ways to Allocate Limited Public Safety Resources

Estimating the costs and savings attached to criminal justice reform legislation

Massachusetts’s criminal justice reform legislation is arguably the most wide-ranging and comprehensive in the country, at least as far as progress in a single legislative session goes. However, unlike most states that have pursued comprehensive reform, our legislation was largely crafted without independent technical assistance from the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI). One of the key(...)

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Why Charlie Baker is beatable

Why Charlie Baker is beatable

Ignore the conventional wisdom and study the numbers

PEOPLE FREQUENTLY ASK ME about the race for governor this November. Their interest often gets boiled down to one question: “Is Charlie Baker beatable?” They usually make clear that they’re pretty sure the answer is no. They are certainly not alone in that view. My answer? Of course he is! But he’s the most popular(...)

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Local access channels getting tuned out

Local access channels getting tuned out

Cable companies keep programming in standard def, off channel guides

WE ARE IN a new age of news and media. It started with the 24 hour news cycle, it changed again with the advent of social media, and most recently our media landscape changed with the introduction of the term “fake news” into our vernacular. For the first time, perhaps ever, we have foreign countries(...)

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Three pieces of ‘employability’ advice for college seniors

Three pieces of ‘employability’ advice for college seniors

A little planning will go a long way in finding a good career match

START GETTING INTERNSHIPS your first year of college. Always keep an open mind about what kind of career could work for you. And refuse to think you have to squelch your personality—or fit in a cookie cutter—to be an attractive job candidate. From my two years as a career services counselor at Bentley University, those(...)

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Harbor barrier study undermined by assumptions

Harbor barrier study undermined by assumptions

Starting point of UMass Boston research dictated conclusions

A PUBLIC UNIVERSITY releases a report advising on the course of action that a major urban center should pursue to prepare for predicted sea-level rise and increased frequency and severity of storm events.  What is the public reaction?  How is the report evaluated?  Does a single study based on numerous unexamined assumptions set the course(...)

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How to solve homelessness

How to solve homelessness

Solutions abound; they just need money

TONIGHT, 6,300 MEN and women across the Commonwealth will sleep on the streets or in shelter. Although that statistic may be disheartening, this does not have to be the case. Homeless services providers across the state do not lack for solutions to end homelessness – we lack the necessary resources. Additional funding would allow providers(...)

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Acknowledging the everyday trauma in students’ lives

Acknowledging the everyday trauma in students’ lives

We focus on high-profile events but ignore daily reality in low-income neighborhoods

HIGH-PROFILE ACTS of violence in schools have, rightly, received our attention – and the headlines. However, there is a deeper story: pervasive trauma experienced by too many inner-city youth, often deemed routine, which is ultimately ignored. There is a disproportionate response by the media, policymakers, and the public after a school shooting. While Parkland and(...)

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House bill plays Robin Hood on health care

House bill plays Robin Hood on health care

Introduces concept of ‘unwarranted factors’ of price variation

THE HOUSE HEALTH CARE BILL breathes new life into an approach taken in the 2012 cost containment bill—using some Robin Hood-like assessments as a means to improve the financial plight facing some of our have-not health care providers. Essentially, the House bill attempts to raise some $450 million in assessments over three years to finance(...)

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Regulatory reset needed on Uber, self-driving cars

Regulatory reset needed on Uber, self-driving cars

Impose a series of fees and use the funds for public transit

Second of two parts (First part can be found here.)  MASSACHUSETTS STATE AND MUNICIPAL DECISION MAKERS must push a reset button and develop a template for a more comprehensive and robust regulatory framework that will guide the operation of Transportation Network Company and autonomous vehicle business models. It’s a necessary first step in the process(...)

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Clouds over Mass. solar industry

Clouds over Mass. solar industry

Clear, bold leadership needed from Beacon Hill

IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE THAT, just a decade ago, seeing solar panels was a novelty in neighborhoods across Massachusetts. Today, that’s all changed.  Solar projects are ubiquitous across the Commonwealth – from the rooftops of homes, schools, and office buildings to solar canopies in parking lots and community solar farms. What’s been dubbed a “solar revolution”(...)

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