Fall 2014

Fall 2014

More grandparents raising their grandchildren

lori fortin of Athol thought the joys and stresses of raising kids were behind her, but when her daughter got caught in the undertow of opiate addiction, Fortin found herself once again changing diapers, seeking out playgroups, and ultimately gaining custody of her grandchildren through probate court. Fortin is just one of thousands of grandparents(...)

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Probation verdicts to end pensions

When former Probation commissioner John J. O’Brien and two of his top deputies return to court on November 12 for sentencing, they’re not just facing the potential loss of their freedom for their convictions on mail fraud and racketeering. They also will see their monthly pensions disappear. State workers convicted of crimes related to their(...)

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Life savers

Life savers

This drug is conquering hepatitis C but, at $1,000 a pill and $84,000 per treatment, can we afford it? Health plans are already restricting access to the drug and the state prison system is not prescribing it at all

The diagnosis was a shock to Waxman, in part because she didn’t know much about the disease. Its name conjured up images of needles, drug use, and unprotected sex, but that didn’t make sense to her. “I had never lived what you would call a high-risk lifestyle,” she says.cheryl waxman was healthy all her life.(...)

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Laying it down, testing it later

State transportation officials take an unusual U-turn on use of a controversial asphalt additive

Workers lay down asphalt on Union Street in Hingham, one of many road projects using asphalt containing recycled engine oil.     TRANSPORTATION AND ENGINEERING officials from across New England gathered at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in June for what was being called an emergency “pavement summit.” The officials had learned a major asphalt provider(...)

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Battling for the urban vote

Suburbs are losing their clout as the road to the governor’s office now runs through the state’s cities

robert lewis jr. stood on a stage in Dorchester, gripping a podium and firing up the crowd in front of him, hollering, “Isn’t it so great to be with a winner?” There wasn’t anything unusual about the setting Lewis found himself in. He runs a foundation that uses baseball to mentor city kids. Before that,(...)

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The man who lied to Worcester

John Henry’s stewardship of newspapers didn’t extend to the Telegram & Gazette

shortly after buying the Boston Globe last year, John Henry wrote a 3,000-word essay for the newspaper explaining why he bought it. The purchase wasn’t about profits, Henry explained, it was about finding a way to sustain the newspaper for the long run. The Globe, he said, is the eyes and ears of the region(...)

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President-in-waiting

Liberal State House veteran Stan Rosenberg is about to become one of the most powerful players in state government as president of the Massachusetts Senate. He’ll bring decades of insider experience to the post — and an outsider’s profile that’s atypical for a Beacon Hill pol.

IF LIFE HAD taken a different turn, Stan Rosenberg might be an Orthodox Jewish rabbi today. That was his ambition while studying for his bar mitzvah in the early 1960s at Temple Israel in Malden. Had he followed that path, his days would be filled leading prayer services, wrestling with complicated questions posed by religious(...)

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Guest workers

Comprehensive immigration reform is a long-shot, but a Republican takeover of the Senate could mean more visas for Massachusetts.

most of the attention on the immigration bill that is now foundering in Congress is on the 11 million or so immigrants who live in this country without the government’s permission. The bill the Senate passed last year—the focus of the debate on so-called comprehensive immigration reform in Washington—would provide them with an arduous pathway(...)

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Tracking student migration

Massachusetts is a winner under the Regional Student Program, while New Hampshire is a loser

a program set up to provide more educational opportunity for New England college students is proving to be a brain gain for some states and a brain drain for others. Massachusetts and Maine are big winners, while New Hampshire and Connecticut are losing more students than they’re taking in. For Vermont and Rhode Island, the(...)

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Fall 2014 Editor’s note

Names and faces

a former editor of mine often used to remind me that names sell newspapers. What he meant was that people like to read about interesting people. At CommonWealth, we sometimes forget that adage, focused as we are on issues of policy. But we didn’t forget with this issue; it’s full of stories about some of(...)

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