Summer 2013

Summer 2013

A can-do attitude

A can-do attitude

A recounting of the race to build the nation’s first subway is as much about American bravado as it is about a transformative transportation project.

The Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the Incredible Rivalry that Built America’s First Subway By Doug Most New York: St. Martin’s Press 404 pages once upon a time, before the invention of the internal combustion engine and before Henry Ford perfected the mass production of affordable automobiles, transit was king. It was a brief(...)

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Fitting the Boston mayoral race into an historical context

Fitting the Boston mayoral race into an historical context

Boston at the close of the Menino era finds itself with a surfeit of candidates and a dearth of critical issues

BOSTON AT THE close of the Menino era finds itself with a surfeit of candidates and a dearth of critical issues. That may be a good thing—many candidates will enliven the public debate and offer voters ample choices, and the absence of urgent ”life or death” issues is a reflection both of Mayor Menino’s stable(...)

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The Massachusetts H-1B connection

10 firms secure two-fifths of foreign workers

MORE THAN 1,200 Massachusetts companies hired 5,481 skilled foreign workers last year through a controversial visa program that is simultaneously being praised for helping to plug holes in the state’s tech workforce and criticized as a way to replace US employees with cheaper foreign labor. The H-1B visa program, which allows skilled foreign workers to(...)

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We’re not missing this one

We’re not missing this one

The last time Boston had a race for mayor without an in­cumbent was 1993, three years before CommonWealth came into existence. We missed that race, but we aren’t go­ing to miss this year’s campaign to replace Mayor Thomas Menino.

THE LAST TIME Boston had a race for mayor without an in­cumbent was 1993, three years before CommonWealth came into existence. We missed that race, but we aren’t go­ing to miss this year’s campaign to replace Mayor Thomas Menino. As our name suggests, we try to take stock of issues across the state, paying particular(...)

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Summer 2013 correspondence and updates

There are so many loathsome things about dirty-energy billionaire Bill Koch’s ramblings about Cape Wind in CommonWealth (“Look who’s talking,” Spring ’13) that it was hard to know where to start.

Dirty-energy billionaire There are so many loathsome things about dirty-energy billionaire Bill Koch’s ramblings about Cape Wind in CommonWealth (“Look who’s talking,” Spring ’13) that it was hard to know where to start. His dismissal of renewable energy’s environmental and climate benefits as “BS arguments”? His blatant NIMBYism? His climate change denial? His hypocrisy? His(...)

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Managing innovation

Managing innovation

The BRA’s Nicole Fichera pushes South Boston’s new economy

You’re the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s Innovation District manager. What does that mean? The Innovation District lives in between planning and economic development. It’s really meant to be an urban lab for testing a lot of new ideas about how cities can develop, how people can live, how we can be more sustainable. My job in(...)

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Poverty sprawl

Poverty sprawl

More poor now live outside urban centers

INNER CITY SLUMS along with isolated rural outposts, have long defined our concept of poverty in America. Whether it is endless blocks of urban deprivation or a dilapidated house with a sagging porch in a remote corner of countryside, this is what forms our picture of poverty. Lying between the two is suburban America, the(...)

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Moving backwards

Moving backwards

Common Core jeopardizes ed reform

I AGREE WITH Commissioner Chester that some around K-12 education are enthusiastic about Common Core. Washington, DC-based trade groups like the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Governor’s Association, Achieve, Inc., as well as federal and state administrators, tend to be big fans of Common Core. But it is worth remembering that noted(...)

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Educating for the 21st century

Educating for the 21st century

Massachusetts showed leadership in adopting the Common Core State Standards

THIS SUMMER MARKS the 20th anniversary of the Commonwealth’s landmark Education Reform Act of 1993. That law ushered in a new era of clear, measurable academic standards for all students that were aligned to an accountability system that holds students, schools, and districts accountable for results. In return, the state committed to investing billions of(...)

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All aboard for the Cape

All aboard for the Cape

WHEN MICHAEL DUKAKIS was governor, passenger trains ran to Cape Cod.  So it should come as no surprise that one of the Bay State’s biggest mass transit boosters took the first Cape Flyer run out of Boston’s South Station on Memorial Day weekend. Dukakis and his wife Kitty travelled to Buzzard’s Bay to visit Kitty’s(...)

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