Spring 2013

Spring 2013

The MBTA’s got a ticket to write

The MBTA’s got a ticket to write

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(...)

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Holyoke mayor trying to get back on track

Holyoke mayor trying to get back on track

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(...)

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Natural gas dependence creates close calls

Natural gas dependence creates close calls

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(...)

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A souper campaign

A souper campaign

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(...)

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Spring 2013 correspondence and updates

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(...)

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No help needed

No help needed

Hydro shouldn’t replace homegrown renewables

AS RESIDENTS OF THE COMMONWEALTH of Massachusetts, we live in a state where we spend more than over $22 billion a year on energy, about $18 billion of which we import from outside of our region.  These dollars go primarily for gas, oil, coal, and transportation fuels, sending our hard-earned money out of Massachusetts and(...)

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Is two years too short?

Is two years too short?

Some communities lengthen mayoral terms from two to four years

  THIRTEEN TIMES between 1983 and 2010, John Barrett III ran for mayor of North Adams and won. But Barrett said the constant drumbeat of running for election in the second year of each two-year term took its toll on his energy and his ability to focus on the job at hand. “You usually spend(...)

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Subsidize hydro

Subsidize hydro

Our goal should be reducing carbon emissions, not supporting one form of renewable energy over another

AS MASSACHUSETTS POLICYMAKERS seek to move today’s economy beyond the legacy of fossil fuel combustion, we’re forgetting our heritage. New England was a world-class industrial power in the early 19th century, its success built on the energy from traditional water wheels and innovative water turbines. One of the best ways to bring non-fossil fuel power(...)

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Gateway insights

Gateway insights

Jack Yunits, the former mayor of Brockton, offers his recipes for success, but it would be nice to have more that could be duplicated elsewhere.

Urban Mayor–Making a City WorkBy Jack Yunits with contributions from Lees YunitsBoston, Acanthus Publishing396 pages THE COMMONWEALTH’S GATEWAY CITIES have enormous potential, which explains why state officials, after years of neglect, are making educational and economic development investments in these municipalities to increase job growth beyond Boston. Former MassDevelopment president and CEO Bob Culver liked(...)

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