Summer 2014

Summer 2014

Summer 2014 Editor’s note

Going deep on Probation

there’s nothing in this issue about the federal trial of former Probation commissioner John O’Brien and two of his top aides, but that’s only because we’ve been reporting on the case extensively online at commonwealthmagazine.org. For those of you accustomed to reading just our quarterly print publication, the online coverage is worth checking out because(...)

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State boosting rents for yacht, boat clubs

State boosting rents for yacht, boat clubs

Harvard to pay $18,000

state officials are trying to put their property management practices in order, preparing to charge 31 yacht and boat clubs more for the public lands they are leasing and possibly taking one deadbeat yacht club to court for failing to pay its long-overdue back rent. The new rental system, being phased in over the next(...)

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Agency heads differ on expense reimbursements

Agency heads differ on expense reimbursements

the people who run the state’s quasi-public agencies have very different philosophies about seeking reimbursement for the expenses they incur. Noting that “perceptions matter a lot,” Clark Ziegler, the executive director of the Mass Housing Partnership, says he is averse to conducting meetings with bankers, developers, and others over lunch or dinner. “When we schedule(...)

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She’s fighting for a T pass she can’t use

She’s fighting for a T pass she can’t use

Caroline Casey was one of 21 people arrested at a sit-in at the State Transportation building in June while advocating for a $10-a-month youth T pass for people age 12 to 21. The activists were protesting the Transportation Department’s lack of action on a youth pass pilot program, which they say Transportation Secretary Richard Davey(...)

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Change agent

Change agent

With her upset victory, incoming Massachusetts Teachers Association president Barbara Madeloni delivered a jolt to the education establishment

Had the leadership of the union sold out the members? That’s a baiting question. I think the union leadership has had a different understanding of the nature of what’s happening. The union leadership thought we could work with people around education reform as if we shared the same interests. The analysis that the membership responded(...)

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Do Not Call

Do Not Call

The list is leaking like a sieve, and Massachusetts residents are among those complaining the loudest

the federal trade Commission’s Do Not Call Registry, once an effective deterrent to unwanted telemarketing calls, is now a toothless tiger. Telemarketing scam artists have found ways around the registry, as reflected in the rising number of complaints from angry consumers. Americans filed more than 3.7 million complaints about unwanted phone calls last year, more(...)

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Applying Piketty

Applying Piketty

Five things we can do in Massachusetts to address the concentration of wealth and capital documented by author Thomas Piketty

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century must be taken as a profound challenge. Piketty’s big thesis is that wealth and capital must accumulate and concentrate—it’s the inherent nature of our economic system. It’s happened before, it’s happening right now, and he proves it. Overwhelming events like world wars, or a great depression, can reverse(...)

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Not exactly party time in Massachusetts

Not exactly party time in Massachusetts

The number of unenrolled voters is climbing to historic highs

political parties in Massachusetts are approaching a crossroads, as fewer new registrants choose to affiliate with either party and the number of unenrolled voters climbs to historic highs. Since 1978, the number of unenrolled voters in Massachusetts has soared by 97 percent, while the two major parties each added just 9 percent to their rolls.(...)

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Mr. Sunshine

Mr. Sunshine

Bringing an ad man’s optimism to the cynical world of journalism, the Boston Globe’s new CEO sees bright days ahead.

FOR SOMEONE RUNNING what many consider a dead-end business, Mike Sheehan is incredibly optimistic. The former Hill Holliday ad executive, who took over as the Boston Globe’s first-ever CEO in January, believes the newspaper can invest more in its journalism and come out ahead financially. He laid out his sunny philosophy at the unveiling of(...)

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