Winter 2007

Winter 2007

Risky business

Risky business

few books have generated as much anticipation here in the CommonWealth office as Jacob Hacker’s The Great Risk Shift. In terms of addressing themes we keep coming back to in this magazine, the only equivalent that comes to mind is Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone (see “Picking up the Spare,” CW, Summer ’00), the book-length expansion(...)

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The new math

The new math

EDITOR’S NOTE: After CommonWealth went to press, it was reported that Manuel Rivera would not be taking the job of superintendent of Boston’s public schools. Manuel Rivera, who arrives in Boston in July, launched a wholesale reconfiguration of the Rochester school system. AS THE BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS struggle to raise achievement and keep students and(...)

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Recipe for success

Recipe for success

shortly after the polls closed on election night, November 7, it was clear that voters from all around Massachusetts had turned out in droves to elect Democrat Deval Patrick as governor. At one point that evening, CBS4 political analyst Jon Keller went on the air with some wry advice for the governor-elect. Noting that there(...)

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Republicans have a positive role to play

For the past 16 years, the Massachusetts Republican Party, including its legislators and candidates, has been dominated by the agendas and personalities of single individuals: governors who mobilized the Republican base and appealed to voters wanting balance in state government. For all that time, the party focused its efforts on keeping hold of the governor’s(...)

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Meeting transportation needs may require more tolls and a higher gas tax

Meeting transportation needs may require more tolls and a higher gas tax

gov. patrick faces a transportation challenge that could make the Big Dig look like a piece of cake. Massachusetts could have a shortfall in highway and transit funding of $13 billion to $17 billion over the next 20 years—potentially exceeding the $15 billion price tag of the Central Artery/Tunnel Project. Closing the gap will require(...)

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The cable guys

The cable guys

it may not be etched in stone, but it’s a rule nonetheless: No one can write about public-access television without making reference to “Wayne’s World,” the Saturday Night Live skit—later a movie—about an access show starring two high-school-age stoners who prattle on about the heavy metal they can’t play and the sex they haven’t had.(...)

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Performance pacts offer energy upgrades for (almost) nothing

INTRO TEXT it sounded almost too good to be true, the way the young man speaking before Newton’s board of aldermen described how improvements to crumbling firehouses and neglected school buildings could basically pay for themselves. The source of the fiscal magic? Performance contracting. Under a performance contract, clients use savings on utility bills to(...)

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Homing in on the problem

Homing in on the problem

phil mangano, former manager of hippie musical acts of the 1960s and volunteer at a downtown Boston soup kitchen, would seem one of the least likely Bay Staters to find a home in the administration of President George W. Bush. But that is where he has been toiling for the last four years, gaining converts—and(...)

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