Spring 1999

Spring 1999

Which Side Are They On

Labor was showing its muscle and the television news cameras were rolling. Inside stately Faneuil Hall in Boston, the two candidates for governor, just eight days away from last fall’s election, were preparing for their final debate. Outside in the October night, thousands of placard-waving union supporters – most for Democratic candidate Scott Harshbarger, a(...)

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When Unions Rule the Schools

In Medford they derailed a community service program for high school students. In Concord they watered down a rigorous training program for new teachers. And in countless other districts across the state, they have blocked innovative ideas at the proposal stage, forced administrators to fill vacancies with unqualified staff, and refused to allow the extension(...)

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The Senator From Southie

Sister Pauline Ross greets state Senator Stephen F. Lynch at the door of the Marian Manor nursing home on Dorchester Street in South Boston. It’s a Friday afternoon and Sen. Lynch is making the rounds, as he does most Friday afternoons. Marian Manor is a long-term care facility run by the Carmelite nuns. It once(...)

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A Guide to Local News OnLine

The Internet’s gale-force hype caused quite a bit of anxiety when it first blew through the newsrooms of the region’s dailies a few years ago. Editors fretted that they would lose their most demographically prized readers to online media that promised instant access to news and information. Debates raged over how to treat breaking news:(...)

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A Case Study In Court Reform

For sheer diversity of activities, New York’s Midtown Community Court, located off Eighth Avenue on the edge of the Manhattan theater district, is unique in the halls of American justice. In one room, a pot of soup often can be seen simmering for the homeless or other hungry visitors. In another room, acupuncture treatments are(...)

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Our Frame Work

Every once in a while, I wonder whether CommonWealth magazine is one of the most backward-looking publications produced today. They say it’s possible to be so square you become hip, so maybe a magazine can be so retro in perspective it becomes cutting edge. Or maybe we just like history. It seems to me the(...)

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Labor Stories

When it comes to work, everyone’s got a story. Or, more likely, many stories. If you want to hear a tale, all you have to do is ask, “What was the first job you ever had?” “What was the worst job you ever had?” “How do you like your job now?” Usually, the worst experiences(...)

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Remembering Wessagussett

WEYMOUTH — The land isn’t much to look at, as even Jodi Purdy-Quinlan, the most ardent champion of these overgrown woodsy acres, will admit. “All this brush would have to come out,” she says with a sweep of her hand, as we slowly drive down Sea Street in her metallic-green Ford pickup truck. Surrounded by(...)

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Fried

Michael opened his front door and stepped into the pre-dawn light, not to check the weather or get the papers but merely to express his stupefaction at standing upright at this hour of the day. It was 4:30 a.m. He’d had four hours of bad sleep featuring a dream of global Network collapse, but that(...)

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