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(...)

Read More »

The hiring man

The hiring man

Sidestepping seniority and tenure rules, Boston principals such as William Thomas are hiring who they want.

WILLIAM THOMAS, THE headmaster at Charlestown High School, got to do something new this spring: He posted his job openings for next year and personally selected the teachers to fill them. The power to build his own team didn’t receive a lot of attention locally, but it was a revolutionary moment for the Boston Public(...)

Read More »

Summer 2014 Editor’s note

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(...)

Read More »

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(...)

Read More »

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(...)

Read More »

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(...)

Read More »

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(...)

Read More »

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(...)

Read More »

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(...)

Read More »