Episode 62: The T’s chief technology officer

Riding the T sometimes feels like a step back in time. Red Line cars that are 40 years old. Payment systems that are slow and inefficient. Underground stations that leak whenever it rains.

But David Block-Shachter, the MBTA’s chief technology officer, says the transit authority is changing. In an interview for The Codcast with Josh Fairchild and James Aloisi of TransitMatters, Block-Shachter, who doesn’t own a car or a driver’s license, provides a glimpse of what technology can do for the T.

Episode 61: The ICE fight

What Gov. Charlie Baker calls a common-sense approach to dealing with federal immigration officials, Carol Rose of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts dismisses as fraternizing with the “Trump deportation machine.”

Rose calls Baker “well-intentioned,” which is fairly mild since many of her political allies on the immigration issue are calling him racist or worse. But Rose makes clear she believes there is no middle ground in the fight over state cooperation with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, officials.

Episode 60: YIMBYs take on NIMBYs

While “not in my backyard” has become the default response to development proposals in many communities, in a few places NIMBY is starting to meet its match. YIMBY — which stands for “yes in my backyard” — is a fledgling national movement, concentrated largely in already densely populated and high-cost urban areas, that is pushing a very different message: We want to see more housing, more density, and a tempering of the run-up of housing prices in our community to make it more accessible to all, say YIMBY activists.

The Boston area has several YIMBY groups — in Somerville, Cambridge, Newton, and Jamaica Plain. Eric Herot and Meg Wood of JP YIMBY join the Codcast this week to preach a bit of the community-based, pro-growth gospel. They’re not out to carry water for developers, but Herot and Wood often support their projects because they say neighborhoods like theirs will benefit from more housing. The tensions that can set off are clear.

Episode 6: Weld flashes the old charm

William Weld made libertarianism sound like a political middle ground between Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton during an interview Tuesday night with CommonWealth magazine.

Episode 59: Health care duopoly in the making?

On this week’s Codcast, Paul Levy, the former CEO of Beth Israel describes Partners as a regulated monopoly. He is skeptical that a merger of the BI, Lahey, and several other hospitals will steal a lot of business away from Partners or produce dramatic savings that will be passed along to patients in the former of lower insurance rates.

Episode 58: Trash talk

Stephen Lisauskas, a vice president at Waste Zero, a North Andover company that advises municipalities on ways to reduce their trash disposal costs, says cities and towns can fairly easily boost recycling and reduce trash generation. He worries that inertia on Beacon Hill and out-of-sight-out-of-mind attitudes toward trash among residents of the state are likely to discourage recycling and lead to a boost in expensive trash exports. Massachusetts and the rest of the states in the northeast already have the highest trash disposal costs in the country.

Episode 57: Pot politics

After a dumbfounding outburst by House Speaker Robert DeLeo on Wednesday evening, it appears the House and Senate are finally getting down to business. A fiscal 2018 budget is slated for a vote on Friday and the House and Senate lawmakers trying to broker a deal between the branches on marijuana legislation are finally getting back to work.

Episode 56: McDonough weighs in on health care

No one understands these issues as well as John McDonough, who joined Bruce Mohl and me for this week’s Codcast. McDonough is a professor at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, but his policy studies today are informed by decades he spent as a policy practitioner.

Episode 55: The Greenway Deal

The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy gained a measure of stability this week as the state, the city of Boston, and park abutters agreed to provide $2 million a year to help cover the organization’s operational expenses.

James Aloisi, the former secretary of transportation who played a hand in the formation of the Conservancy, said he has a hard time understanding why the state was playing hardball in the first place. He likened the situation to a homeowner who buys a piece of property and builds a house on it — and then goes to his neighbors to ask them to share in the cost of upkeep. (Gov. Charlie Baker should know all about this situation; he used to serve on the board of the Conservancy.)