Winter 2000

Winter 2000

Turning Heads and Profits

Joanna Lau remembers one of the first big defense industry meetings she ever went to, in the early ’90s. When she entered the room, she was the only woman in the place. All heads turned in the meeting room: 185 men in military uniforms and pin-stripes gaping at the Chinese woman in the peach suit.(...)

Read More »

Order In The Courts

Last fall’s Governor’s Council battles to confirm Margaret Marshall as chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court and the appointment of Francis Spina and Judith Cowin to the state’s highest court turned out to be every bit the sideshow one might expect from a court system long considered something of a circus. The courts stand(...)

Read More »

Making it in Massachusetts

Deep in the heart of the vast, 175,000 square foot production floor at the Riverside Manufacturing Co. in New Bedford, where sewing machines clatter and pressing machines spew out steam, lies Santa Cardoso’s kingdom. There, the women of Assembly 2 put the finishing touches on Giorgio Armani men’s suits and Joseph Abboud blazers. They sew(...)

Read More »

Southie Without Tears

All Souls: A Family Story from SouthieBy Michael Patrick MacDonaldBeacon Press, Boston, 1999, 266 pages. Myths, even as they are unravelling, can be hazardous to your health. Certainly, the varied myths of South Boston–most especially, the Myth of Whitey–have been unravelling for years now, and the damage has been fearsome. Michael Patrick MacDonald has lived(...)

Read More »

Taking back Braintree

BRAINTREE—It’s easy to get lost in the details of the 17-month political melodrama that rocked town hall here. There was, for instance, the town administrator secretly getting paid more than town meeting authorized; the misuse of town money, cars, and cellular phones; the threats and intimidation of municipal employees and residents by town officials; a(...)

Read More »

Immigration in Massachusetts

Massachusetts has become increasingly dependent on foreign immigration for its labor force. The Changing Workforce: Immigrants and the New Economy in Massachusetts, a report by Northeastern University’s Center for Labor Market Studies for MassINC and Citizens Bank, found that immigrants make up 11.6 percent of the Massachusetts population and 13 percent of the state’s work(...)

Read More »

Politics: A Trivial Pursuit

By early December, most of us had read quite enough about the greatest entertainers of the 20th century, not to mention the most amazing athletes and most appalling crimes. We’d like to point out that the art of politics has also changed a great deal in the past 100 years — in Massachusetts more than(...)

Read More »

Chemical Reaction

Machines stamp, whir, and grunt loudly in Plant B of the Acushnet Rubber Co. in New Bedford. The stench of rubber fills the vast space of the century-old factory, as workers churn out gaskets, wiper blades, and other rubber products used by auto makers and office-equipment manufacturers. High tech it isn’t. But forward-thinking is still(...)

Read More »

Schools and unions

In Brockton, they helped establish a Horace Mann Charter School that serves high school dropouts; in this, the school’s second year, enrollment has doubled to 110 students. In Worcester, they collaborated with the school administration to establish grants to nurture up-and-running innovative educational programs of proven effectiveness. In Brookline, they monitored renovation of the high(...)

Read More »

A new team

With this issue, we are pleased to announce several changes in the staffing of CommonWealth. First and foremost, we welcome Robert Keough as editor. A distinguished journalist and researcher, Bob Keough has covered the people and politics of Massachusetts for nearly 20 years. Bob got his start in journalism as editor of Dorchester Community News,(...)

Read More »