Voices

The evolution of Stephanie Pollack

The evolution of Stephanie Pollack

Why a life-long Democrat became one of Charlie Baker’s biggest backers

Photographs by Frank Curran STEPHANIE POLLACK AND Charlie Baker are the odd couple of Massachusetts politics. Pollack is short and Baker is tall. She’s a lifelong Democrat and he’s a lifelong Republican. She supported Deval Patrick in 2010; Baker was running against Patrick during that race. She’s a progressive with a history of pushing higher(...)

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Judy Grinnell’s river rehab

Judy Grinnell’s river rehab

After a decade overseeing Hoosic River Revival, she is stepping away

Photograph by Frank Curran What’s the Hoosic River Revival all about? The Hoosic River trickles through downtown North Adams within old, concrete, inaccessible flood control chutes that protect the city but don’t provide any other advantages. Our goal is to create a 21st century system that restores the river to a more natural state and(...)

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Red states dodge a Medicaid bullet

Red states dodge a Medicaid bullet

Under-the-radar attempt to repeal entitlement unlikely to go away

REPUBLICANS IN WASHINGTON couldn’t cobble together enough votes in March from their own party to repeal and replace Obamacare. President Trump learned that health care is more complicated than he thought and quickly put the Affordable Care Act in his rearview mirror. House Republicans, who had symbolically voted dozens of times to repeal the ACA,(...)

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Bending the Medicaid cost curve

Bending the Medicaid cost curve

Massachusetts is betting big on accountable care organizations

IN A WILDLY uncertain national health care environment, something new, audacious, and risky is happening in MassHealth, the Medicaid program that provides health coverage to 1.9 million people who are poor, elderly, and persons with disabilities in Massachusetts. Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration is betting that an emerging health care delivery and payment model, called “accountable(...)

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Esports: More than a game

Esports: More than a game

Big bucks online competition now gaining academia's interest

FOR MOST PEOPLE over the age of 30, playing video games is perceived as a waste of time, a solitary, non-social activity that serves to melt one’s brain. Yet as a 20-year old who has been playing video games for about 15 years (and whose brain is still intact), I believe that perception is way(...)

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What about those holes?

TO SHOW YOU how stupid I am, I thought Suffolk Construction had forgotten to finish the job when it was building Millennium Tower at Downtown Crossing. Every day last year I watched, fascinated, as the building soared higher and higher into the air. And then it seemed to be finished. Lights were coming on in(...)

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Correspondence, Spring 2017

Correspondence, Spring 2017

MILLIONAIRE’S TAX IS FAIR In his recent piece in CommonWealth regarding the proposed Fair Share Amendment, or “millionaire’s tax,” Edward M. Murphy clearly understands why the amendment is necessary (“Dump the millionaire tax,” Winter ’17). He is right that the $1.9 billion that would be generated by the tax “could make a real difference” in(...)

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Governor Fix-It’s fix-it man

Governor Fix-It’s fix-it man

Steve Kadish is the guy in charge of delivering on Charlie Baker’s vow to make state government work

Photographs by Frank Curran STEVE KADISH IS up most days before 5 a.m. After making coffee for himself and his wife and packing lunches for each of them, he sends his first email by 5:30, one of dozens that will go out in a day checking on progress addressing a problem in state government. When(...)

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Grid in the balance

Grid in the balance

Clean, reliable, competitively priced power — or suboptimal solutions?

ON THE FACE of it, New England’s power system is in good shape. Over nearly two decades, the region’s competitive wholesale electricity markets have attracted investment in the power plants and demand-side resources needed to meet consumer demand. Upgrades to the region’s high-voltage transmission system have vastly improved reliability, allowing power to move freely around the(...)

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Dump the millionaire tax

Dump the millionaire tax

Proposed constitutional amendment doesn’t accomplish its stated goals

FORTY-THREE STATES IN this country tax the income of their citizens in some form. Of the states that tax wages, only eight, including Massachusetts, use a single rate rather than a graduated rate. That century-old policy is the main reason why in 2018 the Commonwealth’s voters will likely face a ballot question seeking to impose a(...)

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