PEOPLE ASK ME all the time where we get our story ideas. There’s no easy answer. Sometimes they come from a tip, sometimes they spring from a question that needs answering, and sometimes the story starts out trying to answer one question and ends up somewhere entirely different. In this issue, we have a little(...)
DPH chief criticized It is unfortunate that Interim Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Lauren Smith made statements regarding patients with chronic Lyme disease that do not reflect evolving understanding about the persistent symptoms that many patients experience because of delayed or inadequate treatment. [After the Winter ’13 issue went to press with the article(...)
THE STATE AND MOST MUNICIPALITIES impose a surcharge for parking violations and give the vehicle owner 21 days to appeal before assessing a penalty. The MBTA, by contrast, assesses a penalty after just three days, appeal or no appeal. Someone caught parking in a T lot without putting the proper payment in the honor box(...)
ALEX MORSE took Holyoke by storm two years ago. The 22-year-old freshly minted Brown University graduate shocked the city’s political establishment by defeating Holyoke’s incumbent mayor in a campaign that drew heavily on his youth and energy. Morse argued that the beleaguered former mill city needs to embrace the innovation and arts economy in order(...)
Grid operator sees escalating strategic risk
THE REGION’S POWER GRID had a close call during the February blizzard. Six power plants running on natural gas ran out of fuel and couldn’t obtain any more. Several oil-fired plants said their fuel stocks were depleted so they couldn’t supply any more electricity. Along with other plants shut down because of storm-related outages, more(...)
Fall River mayor mixes soup and politics
FALLR RIVER MAYOR WILL FLANAGAN is up for reelection this year. He’s also launching a new soup that will be sold in area supermarkets, with the proceeds going to provide scholarships for the city’s students. In the mayor’s mind, his candidacy and his soup are unrelated. But there is obviously some synergy between the campaign(...)
Delay, delay, delay
CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl interviewed William Koch by phone from his office in West Palm Beach on Feb. 20. Koch was with Brad Goldstein, his media representative. What follows is a lightly edited transcript of the conversation. WILLIAM KOCH: I’m sorry we’re calling you so late. I was just trying to make a little money(...)
'Am I a true believer? Absolutely.'
This slightly edited interview with Cape Wind’s James Gordon took place at his office at the Park Plaza Office Building in Boston on Feb. 28 at 10 a.m. in the office’s conference room. Read the full story, and the full interview with Bill Koch. CommonWealth: Tell me your impression of Bill Koch. GORDON: I met Bill back(...)
Cancer drugs help patients, but could they also be endangering caregivers, family members, and the environment?
Workers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center prepare chemotherapy drugs in a clean room. NOT TOO LONG ago people smoked everywhere and gave little thought to how their smoke might be affecting others. Then scientific studies began exploring the danger of secondhand smoke, and in 1993 the Environmental Protection Agency concluded that secondhand smoke(...)
The man behind Cape Wind and the project's biggest opponent have been negotiating privately for more than a decade
AFTER SPENDING 12 YEARS and $65 million trying to bring wind turbines to Nantucket Sound, Jim Gordon thinks the end of his struggle is in sight. “This is the year,” he says in February at a Boston conference attended by about 150 offshore wind industry officials from around the world. Gordon is cautious by nature,(...)