Summer 2008

Summer 2008

Patrick reveals a big appetite for education reform

INTRO TEXT The unveiling of the Readiness Project should dispel any doubt that Gov. Deval Patrick sees himself as the master builder of the next epoch of education reform. “Our goal is to reinvent and re-engineer an entire system and all of its components,” said Patrick during his address at the John F. Kennedy Presidential(...)

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Liberal business group aims for impact on public policy

CAN A SEMI-ANNUAL gathering of liberal-leaning business bigwigs provide a fresh jolt of private-sector energy into civic doings and public policy in Massachusetts? That’s the thinking behind a year-old organization that is looking to connect CEOs and other top corporate officials with initiatives that will let them play a role in shaping policy on such matters(...)

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Preserving power

Preserving power

Secretary of State William Galvin is running a $50 million-a-year state tax credit program like a personal fiefdom. He decides which developers receive historic rehabilitation tax credits from the state and how much they get, using a selection process that creates uncertainty for developers and maximizes his political clout. What’s most startling is that Galvin,(...)

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Moving the goal posts

Moving the goal posts

Sudbury officials say this small stretch of sidewalk along Dakin Street qualified under the Community Preservation Act for partial state funding because the pathway is a recreational facility for walkers, joggers, bikers, skateboarders, and rollerbladers. THE COMMUNITY PRESERVATION Act arose from the noble desire to give municipalities more tools to fight urban sprawl and to(...)

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Money Man

Money Man

Asked what role US Rep. John Olver plays in the 10-member Massachusetts congressional delegation, Rep. Michael Capuano of Somerville puts it very simply: “Money.” Ask Olver about his role and the answer is a little less succinct. OK, make that a lot less succinct. In fact, prepare for a long lecture about how the congressional(...)

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The price of prisons

The price of prisons

What part of state government is growing faster than education or Medicaid? Nationwide, spending on correctional facilities jumped by 9.2 percent in fiscal 2006, second only to transportation, according to One in 100: Behind Bars in America 2008. The report from the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Public Safety Performance Project warns that “prison costs are blowing(...)

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What works

What works

INTRO TEXT COMING TOGETHER IN WESTERN MASS. To municipal administrators these days, the word “regionalization” is what “plastics” was to The Graduate’s Benjamin Braddock: an easy, but just a little distasteful, buzzword that sums up the promise of the future. Like it or not, regionalization of services among the state’s 351 cities and towns now(...)

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