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(...)
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(...)
Alex Morse sees potential for urban farming in his old city’s mills
Photographs by Mark Morelli OUTSIDE HOLYOKE CITY HALL is a stone fountain that once gurgled with water, offering a more wholesome substitute for alcohol to “a thirsty humanity,” as the inscription reads. Erected in 1901, the monument was one of several put up by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union around the country as part of(...)
Once-thriving publicly funded research program driven into bankruptcy by questionable characters
FEW PLACES HAVE the resources and brain power to match Boston when it comes to biomedical research, including the search for effective ways to treat and prevent cancer. Internationally renowned hospitals, combined with some of the leading universities in the world, make the region a magnet for top researchers and the funding that fuels their(...)
A state program designed to help homeowners deal with contractors gives a false sense of protection.
Photographs by Mark Morelli FOR MOST HOMEOWNERS, their house is their past, present, and future, the hard shell around their nest egg. That shell requires regular attention and occasional investment, and that means hiring home improvement contractors to keep everything shipshape. For many homeowners, finding the right contractor is a process that can trigger a(...)
Emotions run high over rolling museum pieces on Mattapan Line
PHOTOGRAPHS BY MICHAEL MANNING THE MBTA RECENTLY DECIDED to replace all the cars on the Red Line rather than just a portion of them. The agency’s chief operating officer, Jeffrey Gonneville, made the case that a Red Line with a uniform style of car would lead to much better service and lower maintenance costs. He(...)
State's 5th-largest employer takes unusual step of selling off hospital facilities
NO ONE IS QUITE SURE what to make of Steward Health Care’s latest move. A for-profit health care company operating in a sea of nonprofits, Steward has always been something of an aberration in Massachusetts. But now the state’s fifth-largest employer is moving far outside the mainstream. After six years trying to turn around a(...)
What’s the right thing to do with an 18-year-old caught with a gun?
Photographs by Mark Ostow DIANE MCMANUS SAYS her youngest child, Timothy, is “no street kid.” He was “raised in the church,” she says, a respectful son who minded the rules she set down, even as a teenager growing up in a rough patch of Dorchester off Blue Hill Avenue. But while Diane McManus was out(...)
Underfunded, understaffed agency struggles to raise the rent
Photographs by Michael Manning THE HEAD OF THE CHARLES Regatta is a major draw for Massachusetts. Attracting more than 11,000 athletes and tens of thousands of spectators from all over the world, the October regatta is to rowing what the Boston Marathon is to long-distance running. For the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the state(...)
Railcar manufacturing, a casino, and other changes are creating optimism
Photographs by Mark Morelli SPRINGFIELD MAYOR DOMENIC SARNO remembers the day after Thanksgiving in 2012. The sky was clear and the temperature unseasonably warm. The mayor was at the city’s downtown museum complex for an event kicking off the start of the holiday season, and earlier he had attended the annual Parade of the Big(...)