Fall 2010

Fall 2010

Turnaround artist

Turnaround artist

Mayor Lisa Wong is determined to revive Fitchburg. Will she stick around long enough to make it happen?

Lisa Wong became a rising superstar in Massachu­setts politics the moment she trounced a veteran Fitch­burg city councilor and catapulted into the mayor’s office at age 28. The wonky daughter of Chinese immigrants, a woman with a short résumé and no previous political experience, was suddenly on everyone’s must-meet list. She was invited to join(...)

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Breathing easier

Breathing easier

Asthma project at Children’s Hospital in Boston is redefining care and sharply reducing costly emergency room visits and hospital admissions

Izaeyah French of Dorchester is an energetic 7-year-old who loves kickball—and loves knowing asthma won’t keep him on the sidelines while other kids play. In the past, “my head would hurt and I’d have to stay home,” he says. But, thanks to a pilot program at Children’s Hospital Boston that addresses environmental factors in kids’(...)

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Raising the bar

Raising the bar

The race for auditor is grabbing little attention in this crowded election season, but the office has the potential to wield enormous power

Suzanne Bump’s campaign staff is antsy. It’s already an hour into the campaign event, a barbeque with Malden Democrats, and their candidate for state auditor is seriously lagging behind schedule. The most frequent inquiry she gets is: “What does the state auditor do, anyway?” This question takes some time to answer. Campaigning for auditor is(...)

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Online teaching

Online teaching

The Internet is a useful teaching tool, but only that

“Although scads of red are always stomach-dropping, I’m really going to learn a lot from this interaction.” I’ve taught writing, off and on, for more than 10 years, and received plenty of feedback from students. The note I just quoted, though, was a little unusual. Its author is the first person I’ve “taught” without ever(...)

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False start

False start

Women athletes at state schools are gaining under Title IX, but they still run far behind men in nearly every measure of equal treatment

Judy Dixon understands equal opportunity—and the lack of it. Dixon was the first person to file a sex discrimination case against a major university under Title IX, the landmark federal legislation that requires gender equity at any educational institution receiving federal funds. In 1975, Dixon sued Yale University, where she was serving as the women’s(...)

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Overcoming tough times

Overcoming tough times

We need to get serious about supporting working families in Massachusetts

Economic crises are social accelerators—things that were abstractly understood as trends are suddenly new and crushing realities. Twenty-five years ago, while the “Massachusetts Miracle” of growth charmed a generation of optimists, some observers of “deindustrialization” warned us about a looming vision of an hourglass economy of un­equal incomes and unremitting pressures on single-parent families and(...)

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Jobs held hostage by housing

Jobs held hostage by housing

Trends suggest the state’s high housing costs could drag down job growth once again

Like new england Patriots victories, high housing costs became matter of fact in Massachusetts over the last decade. As we rebuild from the Great Recession and the housing bubble that precipitated it, now is a good time to revisit whether the high cost of living is something the state can continue to take for granted.(...)

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Tribes lobby for reservation land

Seeking leverage in state gambling debate, Wampanoags push for law that would let them take Massachusetts land into trust

The demise of state gambling legislation this summer was a blow to Gov. Deval Patrick and many legislators, but no one was more disappointed when the deal fell apart than members of two Massachusetts Indian tribes, the 2,200-member Mashpee Wampanoag and the 1,200-member Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah). For years, both tribes have eyed(...)

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