Voices

Shadow transit agency

Shadow transit agency

When these three transportation policy wonks talk, the MBTA listens

PHOTOGRAPHS BY FRANK CURRAN LOOKING AT THESE THREE GUYS, you wonder what they have in common. Marc Ebuña is a 30-year-old information technology worker who dresses fashionably, lives in Jamaica Plain, and sports a Fitbit. Ari Ofsevit is a 33-year-old graduate student studying engineering and city planning at MIT; he lives in Cambridge, bicycles nearly(...)

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Colleges can’t be bystanders on opioids

Colleges can’t be bystanders on opioids

Campuses need to step up to avoid overdose tragedies 

THE OPIOID CRISIS, rooted in the overprescribing of painkillers, has seized the attention of public officials from Beacon Hill to Capitol Hill. So, too, has the inadequacy of mental health services on college campuses become well documented. But so far, neither policymakers nor college administrators have connected the dots between the painkiller epidemic and the(...)

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Drugs are best treatment for opioid abuse

Drugs are best treatment for opioid abuse

Relying on medication is not a morally compromised approach

THE OPIOID ADDICTION crisis in the United States has prompted leaders at the state and federal level to promise more money, new laws, and greater focus on the problem. That focus is needed but so far the policy goals lack clear definition. Even as attention on the problem has ramped up, we have continued to(...)

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Flying without a PILOT

Flying without a PILOT

Don't call UMass Lowell's groundbreaking pact with the city a PILOT

Photo by Frank Curran Lowell and UMass Lowell signed a master agreement in August, committing the university to providing nearly $8 million in cash and in-kind contributions for the community over the next 20 years. The agreement includes new funds for repair and upkeep of the city-owned minor league baseball field and a commitment to(...)

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Time to put pedal to the metal

Time to put pedal to the metal

Utilities are the key to electric vehicle expansion

WE GENERALLY THINK of Eversource, National Grid, and other utilities as the providers of the electricity we need to keep the lights on. That they are, but over the next 20 years they will also increasingly become the folks we rely on to power our cars, buses, autonomous vehicles, and pretty much all other means(...)

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Are homes only for the upper-class?

Are homes only for the upper-class?

Reduction in middle-class homeowners is threat to Mass. economy

HOMEOWNERSHIP HAS TRADITIONALLY been a marker of middle-class life, and a tool for vaulting families solidly into the middle class. Sustainable homeownership builds family wealth, and helps stabilize neighborhoods. But over the past decade, the nature of homeownership in Massachusetts has shifted drastically. Middle-class families in Massa-chusetts are increasingly struggling to access homeownership—especially in greater(...)

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Progressive politics from the ground up

Progressive politics from the ground up

With the election of Donald Trump, progressive federalism’s moment may have arrived

Photographs by Frank Curran STATES’ RIGHTS HAS a long and ugly history in this country. The phrase has often served as code for the segregationist Jim Crow policies that southern states clung to in the face of federal pressure in the 1950s and ’60s. It made progressives wary of a bigger role for states in(...)

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Deregulated health care not the answer

Deregulated health care not the answer

Medical capitalism works for investors, not patients

THE UNITED STATES has by far the most expensive health care system in the world. We spent $3.35 trillion, almost 18 percent of GDP and more than $10,000 per person, on health costs last year. The next highest country, Switzerland, spends approximately $7,000 per capita. France, Canada, Australia, and the UK spend about half of(...)

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Changing of the guard

Changing of the guard

Jessica Tang says she’ll bring a different style, but no change in values, as the new president of the Boston Teachers Union

Photograph by Frank Curran What will be different about the Boston Teachers Union under your leadership? One thing that I’ve brought to the union is a focus on organizing and working with students, families, community members and coalition building. But we’ll also continue to do a lot of what I guess you would call the(...)

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Letters to editor, Summer 2017

Letters to editor, Summer 2017

PREP SCHOOL CLAIM SPECIOUS While I applaud Michael Jonas’s commitment to presenting all sides of the ongoing debate that surrounds  the operation and performance of Massachusetts’s public vocational- technical high schools, I must respond to some of the opinions shared in the article (“Voc-tech tension,” Spring 2017). The idea that the Commonwealth’s public vocational schools(...)

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