Summer 2000

Summer 2000

Counterpoint

There are two separate components to our current housing problem–the need for “affordable housing” and the equally important need for housing that can be made affordable. The distinction might be subtle, but it is significant nonetheless. What is generally thought of as “affordable” rental housing cannot be built today without deep government support. As illustrated(...)

Read More »

Argument

During a two-week period this spring, 27,000 low-income households in Massachusetts applied for federal housing vouchers to help pay their rent. They joined at least 60,000 families already waiting for other government-assisted housing programs. Only a small percentage of these families will receive help. And about half of those who reach the top of the(...)

Read More »

The debt cap that isnt

When state leaders approved a $2.4 billion Big Dig bailout this spring, they said their plan was responsible. And they said it was fair to taxpayers. What they didn’t say was that it would force the state to borrow money in excess of its self-imposed debt cap. Again. In the interest of holding down the(...)

Read More »

State seal

Native American wearing moccasins, a disembodied arm holding a sword, and some words in Latin that hardly anyone can understand. How did Massachusetts end up with this conglomeration of images as its state seal? For that matter, why does the state have a seal at all? We turned to the stewards of the seal, the(...)

Read More »

Massachusettss overseas sales force

Gov. Paul Cellucci and other state officials have caught flak over the years for their frequent trips and trade missions to foreign countries. But some state workers who promote Massachusetts businesses overseas never have to pack their bags for exotic locales. They’re already there. In March, Gov. Cellucci personally opened the new Massachusetts Trade Office(...)

Read More »

Banking on sick leave

There’s nothing like providing a job benefit one worker at a time. But that’s the way it is when it comes to supporting some government employees during an extended illness. A law passed five years ago was supposed to put an end to all that, but bills to create so-called “sick-leave banks” for individual civil(...)

Read More »

Urban Renewal

It’s the kind of steaming-hot day that can make even the most good-natured person cranky, but Rosie Mavrogeorge graciously invites a stranger inside her drab, wood-frame apartment building when asked about Clark University. The 62-year-old retiree used to pay no attention to the private liberal arts college two blocks away. But now she sits at(...)

Read More »

The Color of Justice

The Color of Justice

When it comes to drug cases, Judge Sydney Hanlon knows what she’s looking at. As presiding justice of Dorchester District Court, she runs Boston’s busiest community court, with 8,636 criminal complaints filed there last year. In narcotics charges, only one court in the city and three others in the state see more action than hers.(...)

Read More »

Mending Town Gown

Evan Dobelle knew that Trinity College had an image problem when he took over as president in 1995—that’s why he was hired. But the perspective of a hotel doorman helped bring the college’s local reputation into sharp relief. Having just arrived in Hartford, Dobelle was checking into the downtown Sheraton when the doorman stopped him.(...)

Read More »