Spring 2001

Spring 2001

The Speaker succession well never see

When the state House of Representatives voted in January to scrap the eight-year limit on the Speaker’s position, lawmakers came under blistering attack for summarily jettisoning the one true check on the exercise of unlimited leadership power. But if the move had newspaper editorialists and government watchdog types in a tizzy, many legislators seemed to(...)

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Swapping needles

Swapping needles

Backed by an arsenal of data and degrees in medicine and public health, Dr. Howard Koh, the state’s public health commissioner, considers needle-exchange programs a proven way to keep intravenous drug users free of the deadly HIV virus until they’re ready to seek treatment for their addiction. Billy Breault, armed with a passion for his(...)

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Labor goes gray

The American labor movement, facing a falloff in clout as fewer workers wear the union label, is hoping for a shot in the arm from an unlikely source of vigor: retirees. In January, the AFL-CIO quietly established the Alliance for Retired Americans, a national organization that plans to automatically enroll–and pay annual dues for–workers as(...)

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Immunity for juveniles

A 1996 law aimed at cracking down on serious juvenile lawbreakers has developed a crack of its own. The state Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that juvenile court judges do not have authority to grant immunity from prosecution to witnesses against juvenile defendants under the Youthful Offender Act. That statute makes juveniles age 14 and(...)

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Heritage Road Five Years Later

Heritage Road Five Years Later

When Demetri and Linda Theofilou flew east from Chicago in the spring of 1997 to look for a house in the Boston suburbs, they knew they’d have to act quickly. Inventory was low, and housing prices were on the rise. They found a three-bedroom split-level that they liked, on Heritage Road in Billerica. The house(...)

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Fives Are Wild

In publishing, like politics, five years can be an eternity. Since 1996, a number of political publications have come and gone. Locally, the liberal opinion journal Otherwise and the state government newspaper Beacon Hill, both launched around the same time as this magazine, have disappeared; nationally, George, which debuted a year earlier, is history. As(...)

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Household Income

Despite a long economic recovery that has driven unemployment rates to new lows, many Massachusetts residents have not achieved the income level they enjoyed prior to the recession of the early ’90s. According to an analysis of census data by Northeastern University’s Center for Labor Market Studies for MassINC’s American Dream Project, median household income,(...)

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