Features

Trading gangs and guns for a future

Trading gangs and guns for a future

Can we get young men to give up the dead-end life of the streets?

PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK OSTOW HAKEEM JACKSON DOESN’T mince words. “Just a couple of years ago I was shooting at people,” he says. A wiry 20-year-old with an affable bearing, Jackson is sitting at the Boston offices of Roca Inc., a nonprofit that works with young people who have been in and out of jail and(...)

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Democracy isn’t working in Massachusetts

Democracy isn’t working in Massachusetts

Crowded winner-take-all primaries, incumbency, and special elections subvert will of voters

ON SEPTEMBER 15, 1998, David Nangle, then a State House aide, was effectively elected to the Massachusetts Legislature even though 76 percent of the voters in the district where he ran chose someone else that day. Nangle won the Democratic primary for an open Lowell-based seat in the House of Representatives by garnering just 24(...)

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Nurses, hospitals tangle over staffing levels

Nurses, hospitals tangle over staffing levels

Union skirmishes foreshadow ballot campaign over who makes the call

MARK BRODEUR, a nurse at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, says his unit, which serves patients recovering from anesthesia post-surgery, is usually staffed pretty well. But not long ago he says he found himself struggling to care simultaneously for three patients all requiring critical care. “I had one incoming patient, so I’m hearing the report(...)

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Utilities on both sides of bargaining table

Utilities on both sides of bargaining table

Eversource, National Grid could end up awarding billion-dollar clean energy contracts to themselves

IN MID-MAY,  the MBTA hired a Colorado company to help the agency manage the $2 billion extension of the Green Line into Somerville and Medford. Less than three months later, the Colorado firm was acquired by Jacobs Engineering Group, a key player on one of the three construction teams vying for the Green Line contract.(...)

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Lawrence’s Rivera facing tough reelection fight

Lawrence’s Rivera facing tough reelection fight

City showing signs of progress, but mayor faces battle to retain his post

Photographs by Meghan Moore THE MARCHERS PLOD ALONG, wearing matching maroon shirts and holding campaign signs, fronted by the candidate himself, Mayor Daniel Rivera, who waves to onlookers, his gut hanging over pressed khakis. It’s not a very enthusiastic display in a parade that features, by turns, synchronized Latin dancing, beauty queens in chiffon, and(...)

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Are thoroughbreds a good bet for the state?

Are thoroughbreds a good bet for the state?

Beacon Hill struggling with subsidies for the sport of kings

TEN HORSES SHOOT OUT of the gate with Simply Mas moving quickly to take the lead. The pack bunches up at the first turn, with Worth the Worry moving up on the inside and Goodbyeguinessbok gaining ground on the outside.  As they head down the stretch, Simply Mas fades and Worth the Worry surges to(...)

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The promise of MASS MoCA

The promise of MASS MoCA

The museum’s latest expansion is a hit, but its impact on the struggling town of North Adams remains a work in progress

Photographs by Michael Manning TWO YOUNG MEN from Brooklyn tentatively inch down the hallway, holding onto a handrail because it’s so dark. They turn a corner and the room in front of them opens up, filled with intense light of different colors.  They make their way to a bench and sit down, mesmerized by a large(...)

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Beating the craps out of each other

Beating the craps out of each other

A Massachusetts-Connecticut border war over gambling stirs fears of an Atlantic City meltdown

Illustration by Phil Foster CASINOS ARE ABOUT GAMBLING. Take away the restaurants, the shops, and the entertainment and what remains is the foundational reason for a casino’s existence—getting people to come and leave their money behind, lured by the slim chance they might walk away with a fatter wallet. Those who build and operate the(...)

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The view from $10m up

The view from $10m up

What the ultra-luxury invasion of Downtown Crossing means for Boston

Research assistance by Michael Malpiede BOSTON’S DOWNTOWN CROSSING has always been a crossroads, a place where subways, streets, and people from all walks of life intersect. Foot traffic tended to be heaviest during the day, with the area emptying out at night after the stores shut down. But that’s starting to change. Emerson College and(...)

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Voc-tech tension

Voc-tech tension

Massachusetts vocational schools are a big success story, but are they shutting out those who might need them most?

Photographs by Mark Ostow KELSEY CLARK, A SENIOR at Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School, is showing a visitor work from her graphic design portfolio. There is a pointillism-style poster she drew for assignment to promote a rock concert (she says it left her practically drawing dots in her sleep). A brightly colored(...)

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