Summer 2007

Summer 2007

Not-so-prime spots

Not-so-prime spots

UPDATE: For more recent foreclosure data, go to the Head Count in our Winter 2009 issue. home foreclosures in Massachusetts continued to climb this spring—up 40 percent in May compared with the same period last year, according to the Warren Group. The map based on the number of foreclosures during the 180-day period ending on(...)

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Letter of introduction

Letter of introduction

Photograph by Russ Campbell on behalf of the MassINC board of directors, we are delighted to introduce readers to Gregory Torres, the new president of MassINC and publisher of CommonWealth magazine. Greg brings an uncommon set of qualifications that make him the right person to lead MassINC into its second decade. MassINC is now one(...)

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Dispatches

Dispatches

Pay up—and shut up? Under one school of thought, second-homeowners are a major asset to the Massachusetts economy. They pay property taxes, constantly renovate those second homes, and buy up all the heirloom tomatoes and artisanal goat cheese the natives can crank out, without requiring much in return in the way of services. But there’s(...)

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Squeaky wheels

Squeaky wheels

the specter of little toothpicks twirling on the horizon of Nantucket Sound is causing fits among the political elites who make summer a verb on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. On overcast days, they wouldn’t see anything but the soft line separating water from sky. But on sunny days . . . Those toothpicks(...)

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Made in Massachusetts

Made in Massachusetts

nowadays we expect to see actors, athletes, and other celebrities used to sell products. Things were much different a century ago, when goods got their props from doe-eyed, rosy-cheeked boys and girls. Images of cherubic-looking youngsters were used to advertise things any kid would want, of course, like bicycles, chocolates, and lace-up shoes. They were(...)

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Simple pleasures

Simple pleasures

buildings matter. They temper our mood, refract our ambitions and sensibilities. At their best, they might inspire us to behave better. “We want [buildings] to shelter us,” says essayist Alain de Botton in The Architecture of Happiness (Pantheon, 2006). “And we want them to speak to us—to speak to us of whatever we find important(...)

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Down town

Down town

Following one failed comeback scheme after another, Malden may finally get smart

smart-growth policies are often associated with leafy suburbs in commuter rail territory (see Town Meeting Monitor). So it’s easy to forget that there are older cities in Massachusetts that already have all the right elements—high density, mixed-use zoning, extensive public transit—and have still fallen short of the urban village ideal. The city of Malden, where(...)

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Tax and mend

Tax and mend

asked why he’s taken a lead role in the bid by House Democrats this year to enact an overhaul of the little-known alternative minimum tax, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal of Springfield points to Maggie Rauh, a Chicopee accountant and mother of three in his western Massachusetts district. Rauh and her husband are among the many(...)

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AN OPPORTUNE TIME FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGES

Once I got past the inflammatory cover headline (“College Try: Why Aren’t Mass. Community Colleges Making the Grade?” CW, Spring ’07), I was glad to see CommonWealth present such a thoughtful and balanced assessment of the challenges and the potential of our state’s community colleges. This is a timely topic. Gov. Deval Patrick acknowledged as(...)

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On second thought

On second thought

Smart-growth forces enjoy a reversal of fortune in Kingston

UPDATE: Kingston’s Place turned out to be far from a done deal. The developer pulled the plug on the project in 2010. kingston — Residential growth, smart or otherwise, is rarely an easy sell in the outer Boston suburbs. Townsfolk fear that too many new homes and residents will erode the quality of life that(...)

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