Winter 2011

Winter 2011

Piloting through shortfalls

massachusetts communities lead the nation in reaping revenues from tax-exempt properties, but the payments represent pennies on the dollar compared to what municipalities would bring in if the land were on the tax rolls. Some 84 cities and towns in Massachusetts have instituted PILOT (payments in-lieu of taxes) programs where a nonprofit—mostly hospitals and colleges(...)

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Name that malady

Name that malady

First, The Beatles, now flagellate hyperpigmentation. There’s no limit for the apps someone can download for their iPhone or iPod. The New England Journal of Medicine now has a smartphone application available for download that runs a version of the Journal’s popular Image Challenge. The app is available for $2.99. Each week, NEJM posts a(...)

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Money for nothing

Money for nothing

kathryn harper and her husband, Winston, were beside themselves one weekend in early November. The 63-year-old Salem grandmother had just scratched a $5 Massachusetts State Lottery ticket and discovered she was an instant millionaire, giving the couple money they could use to make trips, help their kids, and pay off their mortgage for a worry-free(...)

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The little college that could

The little college that could

The Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology in Boston’s South End is churning out graduates at a rapid pace, demonstrating that community colleges can deliver on their promise.

Wilkelson Gedeon had his heart set on majoring in engineering at the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. But the Arlington native, a self-declared procrastinator, missed the application deadline. After a friend had raved about the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Tech­nology in Boston’s South End, he applied and was accepted to the electrical technology program.(...)

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The meter is running

The meter is running

The South Shore town of Kingston is getting into the renewable energy business. In the process, it’s cashing in on one of the state’s green initiatives by transforming it from a money-saver into a money-making program.

the south shore town of Kingston is discovering that going green is not only good for the environment but good for the municipality’s bottom line. Kingston is plunging into the renewable energy business, partnering with private firms to put up giant wind turbines and a large-scale solar installation. Tapping existing state and federal subsidies and(...)

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Money talks—and delivers

Money talks—and delivers

WinnCompanies has a history of giving big to politicians—and winning big when it comes to state and federal funding for its development projects.

until his arrest last year, few Bostonians had heard of Martin Raffol. Many more people, however, had probably heard of his boss, Arthur Winn—one of the state’s most prolific affordable housing developers, the businessman behind the failed Columbus Center development, and a highly public business figure who had become entangled with Dianne Wilkerson, the disgraced(...)

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A son seeks answers

A son seeks answers

Peter Cadden is convinced law enforcement officials got it wrong when they concluded his mother caused the traffic accident that killed her, but they won't listen.

Helen Cadden left her bank and walked up toward the Mattapoisett fire station. The 87-year-old grandmother always crossed Route 6 there when she ran errands because there was a crosswalk with a sign saying “State Law: Yield for Pedestrians in Crosswalk.” But on this particular morning, a sunny day in early August 2007, she never(...)

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MAP shows the way

At Boston’s St. Francis House, the focus is on jobs, not group therapy

“damn, I was doing so good!” Gerry exclaims as he buries his 30-something bald head in his hands. “Then he had to ask that question.”   Gerry is one of eight people seated around a long, worn Formica table on the fourth floor of downtown Boston’s St. Francis House. They are looking at a big-screen(...)

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Congressional math

Congressional math

With the Massachusetts delegation set to shrink by one, Beacon Hill will decide how to eliminate one of 10 House seats

massachusetts legislators got the bad news in late December. And by late February or early March, they should have detailed Census figures confirming what they’ve long expected: The state’s congressional delegation is about to shrink by one, forcing Beacon Hill to choose which of the 10 US House seats to eliminate. “It’s going to be(...)

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Measurement error

Measurement error

Convention center pushes ‘place-making’ over heads on beds

the process currently underway to determine how—not whether—to expand the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) offers yet another example of the need for real public sector accountability. Last year, the Massachusetts Convention Center Auth­ority (MCCA) assembled the Convention Partnership to consider expanding what is already New England’s biggest building.  Heavy with tourism industry officials(...)

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