Fall 2001

Fall 2001

Not Quite What the Doctor Ordered

Not Quite What the Doctor Ordered

When Bernice Speliotis downs the nine pills she takes each day or reaches for the inhaler she relies on to keep her asthma in check, the 72-year-old Lynn resident admits to some doubts about the blessings of retirement. “The golden years–they’re not that golden always,” she says ruefully. But if glaucoma, high blood pressure, and(...)

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Keeping the customers ‘satisficed’

Keeping the customers ‘satisficed’

The barely contested mayoral election is a sign of the political times in Boston. But it's nothing to get excited about

This year’s election campaign for mayor of Boston has hardly revved the city’s engines. But at least somebody is running against Tom Menino. Four years ago, Boston held a mayoral election with only one name on the ballot, an acute embarrassment in a city renowned for its politics. But the 2001 race is barely an(...)

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Small Business Climate

High-tax, high-cost Massachusetts is often portrayed as hostile to the entrepreneurial spirit. But in the new Small Business Survival Index, compiled by a Washington, DC-based advocacy group, the Bay State scores just above the middle of the pack. The index is a quirky sum of measures that severely punishes states like Massachusetts for high personal(...)

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Bringing a practical science into the classroom

Bringing a practical science into the classroom

Nancy Cianchetta is moving back and forth between adjoining lab rooms, where about a dozen fifth-to-seventh-graders seem oblivious to the made-to-order July weather outside. At benches, students chatter as they rig wind-powered winches, tweaking the angles of the vanes. Cianchetta, an Everett High School biology teacher, strides confidently through the patches of minor turbulence, expertly(...)

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The long morning after

One of the challenges in publishing a quarterly magazine is trying to anticipate what’s going to be on readers’ minds three to six months down the line. But the grim drama of September 11 gave new meaning to the term “overtaken by events.” With the issue you hold in your hands three weeks away from(...)

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Bill Bennetts family values

Bill Bennetts family values

The Broken Hearth: Reversing the Moral Collapse of the American FamilyBy William J. BennettDoubleday, New York, 199 pages William Bennett, perhaps the leading conservative voice in American public life today, turns his attention from Bill Clinton and his misdeeds, the subject of his previous book, The Death of Outrage, to the state of America’s families,(...)

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Farmland returns to the wild

Without farmers, farmland returns to the wild To live in a town that still counts thousands of undeveloped acres among its assets is to live with a lot of talk about land use, development, and saving open space. When such talk comes up I always think about what a nebulous term “open space” really is,(...)

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Americas Irish Ascendancy

Americas Irish Ascendancy

Tocqueville coined the word “individualism” to define a new form of life he saw emerging in North America in the 1830s. Here as never before in history it became possible for an individual, as long as he was white and male, to separate himself from his family background and decide his own socioeconomic destiny. In(...)

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Reforming School Funding

Reforming School Funding

What is the best way to divide a pie equitably? It’s simple enough when there are only two people involved–one slices, the other chooses. But this is child’s play compared to the division of the $3.2 billion school funding pie in the legislative playground of Massachusetts. We have 328 local and regional school districts operating,(...)

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Making the deans list

Making the deans list

Capitol Hill is generally considered a den of publicity hounds, free agents, and egomaniacs–folks who mean well, perhaps, but would get low marks in the “plays well with others” category of any grade-school report card. There are clear incentives for this sort of behavior, thanks to a celebrity-worshipping media, but it’s not always the best(...)

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