Inquiries

Islands face special pot challenges

Islands face special pot challenges

Nantucket, Vineyard hemmed in by fed regulations

LIVING ON AN island brings with it challenges many on the mainland don’t grasp, from being locked in during storms to being overrun by tourists during the summer season. But those on Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard are now facing a new question that their fellow Bay Staters won’t encounter: What about pot? Massachusetts voters, like(...)

Read More »

Panera Cares, but for how long?

Panera Cares, but for how long?

Compassionate café not making ends meet

FOUR YEARS AFTER the Panera Cares community café opened at Center Plaza in Boston, it’s still in business. But the restaurant’s unorthodox approach to addressing hunger isn’t working out exactly as planned. The concept is simple. Customers walk into the café, pick their food, and pay whatever they can afford. The hope is that enough(...)

Read More »

Watching the games people play

Watching the games people play

State keeps real-time track of every slot machine

SECRETED ON THE 12th floor of 101 Federal Street in Boston’s Financial District is a windowless command center, manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Keycard entry is so restricted and the information so sensitive that even top level managers don’t have access. Four big-screen monitors are mounted on the wall with information(...)

Read More »

Challenging DeLeo

Challenging DeLeo

House speaker facing a revolt from the outside

HOUSE SPEAKER ROBERT DELEO has a challenger—but it’s not a member of the chamber he oversees. The insurgency is coming instead from a 27-year-old Franklin resident who says he’s grown weary of the consolidation of House power in the office of one man. “We don’t think the speaker should have the amount of power he(...)

Read More »

Walsh plays hardball at Quincy Market

Walsh plays hardball at Quincy Market

Mayor seeks to redo lease for higher return

BOSTON MAYOR MARTY WALSH is trying to play hardball with the company that owns the lease on Faneuil Hall Marketplace. City officials and heavily redacted emails obtained under the Public Records Law confirm that the city, which owns the marketplace, is attempting to renegotiate the terms of the lease, which dates back to 1975 and(...)

Read More »

Public records harassment tough sell

Public records harassment tough sell

Enforcement rare on statute aimed to give communities relief

WELLESLEY RESIDENT RONALD ALEXANDER seems to be exactly the sort of guy lawmakers had in mind when they included a harassment provision in the new Public Records Law. Alexander has filed more than 200 public records requests with Wellesley since 2013. He has filed 162 requests with the school department and school committee, 40 with(...)

Read More »

More unclaimed money

More unclaimed money

State treasurer holds checks for eminent domain

THERE’S ANOTHER UNCLAIMED money fund in the state treasurer’s office that most people have never heard of. Unlike the traditional abandoned property fund, which consists of money left behind by people in bank accounts, lapsed insurance policies, and safe deposit boxes, this other fund is filled with unclaimed checks from eminent domain land-takings by the(...)

Read More »

Big Pharma hides costs with bait and switch

Big Pharma hides costs with bait and switch

Drug companies offer copay breaks to get big insurance payments

THE ADS FOR high-end prescription drugs seem ubiquitous. Invokana, Xarelto, Abilify, and Humira are just a few names familiar to anyone with a television. The drugs are some of the stars of the more than $5 billion in direct-to-consumer advertising the pharmaceutical industry does each year to convince patients to ask their doctors to prescribe(...)

Read More »

Wynn shipping contaminated soil around nation

Wynn shipping contaminated soil around nation

Cleanup of 500,000 tons of toxic dirt from casino site sent to landfills in seven states and Canada

THE CLEANUP OF the Wynn Resorts casino site in Everett is a case of addition through subtraction. Before the Wynn tower could start going up, all of the contaminated soil on the property had to be removed. An estimated 500,000 tons of dirt containing PCBs, arsenic, lead, ash, petroleum products, and asbestos were carted off(...)

Read More »

Nickeled and dimed

Nickeled and dimed

Dartmouth officials give little in public records requests

THE TOWN OF Dartmouth is certainly a stickler for the rules, unwilling to forego a nickel copying fee for a document disclosing a legal settlement involving hundreds of thousands of dollars. CommonWealth sent a public records request to Town Administrator David Cressman for a copy of a settlement agreement between Dart-mouth and its former police(...)

Read More »