Winter 2007

Winter 2007

Statistically Significant

Statistically Significant

Illustrations by Travis Foster big employers still hold sway in bay state Politicians in Massachusetts often refer to the economic importance of smaller employers (for instance, in her speech on the night of the September primary, GOP gubernatorial candidate Kerry Healey worried about burdens on “the small businesses that create half the jobs” here), but(...)

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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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Another day of reckoning approaches for Renaissance

Another day of reckoning approaches for Renaissance

Renaissance is the largest charter school in the state. Has its size protected it from scrutiny? Photograph by Frank Curran. HAS THE BOSTON Renaissance Charter School gotten its act together, or will the curtain come down? That’s the question facing the state Board of Education, which renewed the school’s charter in 2005 for another five-year(...)

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Romney’s scorecard

INTRO TEXT When Mitt Romney announced in December 2005 that he would not seek a second term as Massachusetts governor, his reason was simple: “We got a lot more done than I expected we would…I’ve got the job done I set out to do.” As he takes the first steps toward running for president, CommonWealth(...)

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Not all contractors are so independent

INTRO TEXT Employers may be keen to offload workers from their payrolls and contract for services instead (“Lone Rangers,” CW, Summer ’05). But recent cases suggest that companies can go only so far in treating workers as if they’re not employees. In December, the Supreme Judicial Court upheld rulings by a lower court and the(...)

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