Recent Stories

The Airbnb gold rush is on

The Airbnb gold rush is on

Whole buildings, like this one in Chinatown, are being converted into hotels

Photographs by Ken Richardson AIRBNB, LIKE THE draw of ride-hailing apps to car owners, started with the premise that your home can make you a little extra money by renting out rooms to travelers looking to save a few dollars. Empty-nesters, they said, could rent out junior’s bedroom now that he’s moved out and put(...)

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Everyone knows Anthony in the North End – just not this one

Phony host names on rental site mislead as to who the owner is

THIS STORY IS A SIDEBAR TO THE MAIN STORY: THE AIRBNB GOLD RUSH IS ON. ANTHONY WAS A popular Airbnb host. His 88 units in Boston, including about half in the North End, drew more than 2,000 mostly positive reviews over a 15-month period. “We had a fantastic stay in Anthony’s place,” wrote Carol from(...)

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The big worry

The big worry

Transit ridership is declining as ride-hailing apps gain steam

Illustration by Peter Horjus ONCE A MONTH, the MBTA’s Laurel Paget-Seekins jumps on a conference call with her counterparts at half a dozen transit agencies in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington, DC. They are all worried about the same thing.  Why are fewer people boarding their buses and trains(...)

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A birthday reckoning

A birthday reckoning

The state's landmark ed reform bill turns 25 this year. It launched Mass. to the top of the class -- but has not been the 'great equalizer' some hoped for.

Illustration by Kyle Webster THIS YEAR MARKS a significant milestone in the state’s rich history of leadership in education. It was 25 years ago that Massachusetts officials came together to pass the landmark Education Reform Act of 1993. With a huge infusion of new funding, much of it directed at districts educating lots of students(...)

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Worcester comeback seems for real 

Worcester comeback seems for real 

Pent-up demand is finally being realized in state’s second-largest city

PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK MORELLI MARS IS THE LIMIT for robotics engineer Kevin Harrington. Harrington, 32, wants to build a machine that would harvest the sun, soil, and atmosphere of the Red Planet to produce food, building supplies, and robots for human colonies in the future. “Let’s say we want to go to Mars and we(...)

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Mayor of firsts

Mayor of firsts

Yvonne Spicer says she’s undaunted by new challenges—a good trait for the first person to serve as mayor of Framingham.

Photographs by Frank Curran YVONNE SPICER, like a  lot of her fellow Framingham residents, freely admits that she voted against the charter question to make the state’s biggest town a mid-sized city. But once the measure passed by the thinnest of margins, the former teacher and vice president of the Museum of Science did what(...)

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Pot and the minority community

Pot and the minority community

Is legal marijuana a blight or boon?

Photographs by Michael Manning THE PRESIDENT OF THE LAWRENCE CITY COUNCIL had already issued a stern warning against booing. City resident Steven Gil was at the podium, struggling mightily to make the case at the hearing in early October that allowing marijuana businesses in the city would be a good thing. “Please don’t shut the(...)

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Treating addiction as a chronic illness

Treating addiction as a chronic illness

Michael Botticelli’s personal experience informs his approach at BMC’s Grayken Center

You’ve shaped drug policy at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, at the White House, and now as executive director of the Grayken Center at Boston Medical Center. But it seems like the most important item on your resume is the fact that you’re in recovery from substance abuse yourself. That’s not an uncommon trajectory.(...)

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Puerto Ricans struggle to rebuild lives in Mass.

Puerto Ricans struggle to rebuild lives in Mass.

Evacuees face language, culture, economic barriers

ON A CRISP morning in November, Veronica Perez and Limarie Rivera, both self-evacuees from Puerto Rico, borrow a car from Rivera’s cousin and make their way to the New North Citizens’ Council in Springfield. New North is one of nearly two dozen welcome centers around the state designated as a first stop for people coming(...)

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