Recent Stories

Changing of the guard

Changing of the guard

Jessica Tang says she’ll bring a different style, but no change in values, as the new president of the Boston Teachers Union

Photograph by Frank Curran What will be different about the Boston Teachers Union under your leadership? One thing that I’ve brought to the union is a focus on organizing and working with students, families, community members and coalition building. But we’ll also continue to do a lot of what I guess you would call the(...)

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Walsh plays hardball at Quincy Market

Walsh plays hardball at Quincy Market

Mayor seeks to redo lease for higher return

BOSTON MAYOR MARTY WALSH is trying to play hardball with the company that owns the lease on Faneuil Hall Marketplace. City officials and heavily redacted emails obtained under the Public Records Law confirm that the city, which owns the marketplace, is attempting to renegotiate the terms of the lease, which dates back to 1975 and(...)

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Public records harassment tough sell

Public records harassment tough sell

Enforcement rare on statute aimed to give communities relief

WELLESLEY RESIDENT RONALD ALEXANDER seems to be exactly the sort of guy lawmakers had in mind when they included a harassment provision in the new Public Records Law. Alexander has filed more than 200 public records requests with Wellesley since 2013. He has filed 162 requests with the school department and school committee, 40 with(...)

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The high toll of inmate phone calls

The high toll of inmate phone calls

Advocates say charges keep prisoners isolated, undermine criminal justice reforms

IT’S EASY TO take ordinary conveniences like making a telephone call for granted. Advances in technology have made communication cheaper and higher quality than ever before. But one group has been excluded from enjoying the benefits of the falling cost of this modern amenity: inmates. For years, inmates and their families across the nation have(...)

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Financial insecurity hits Mass. seniors hard

Financial insecurity hits Mass. seniors hard

Problem affects women most due to lower earnings, longer life

MASSACHUSETTS MAY HAVE come out on top in a recent US News & World Report ranking of states, but it’s a different story when it comes to economic security for senior citizens here. On a measure of the ability of single older residents to pay for basic needs, Massachusetts ranks as the second-worst state in(...)

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Picking winners and losers

Picking winners and losers

For state government, it’s tough to say no

IN THIS ISSUE OF CommonWealth, we by happenstance ended up with three features that take an in-depth look at three forms of government intervention in the state economy. All of them are well-meaning and designed to create jobs and spur the state’s economy to greater heights. But the stories also demonstrate the limitations of government(...)

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More unclaimed money

More unclaimed money

State treasurer holds checks for eminent domain

THERE’S ANOTHER UNCLAIMED money fund in the state treasurer’s office that most people have never heard of. Unlike the traditional abandoned property fund, which consists of money left behind by people in bank accounts, lapsed insurance policies, and safe deposit boxes, this other fund is filled with unclaimed checks from eminent domain land-takings by the(...)

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Letters to editor, Summer 2017

Letters to editor, Summer 2017

PREP SCHOOL CLAIM SPECIOUS While I applaud Michael Jonas’s commitment to presenting all sides of the ongoing debate that surrounds  the operation and performance of Massachusetts’s public vocational- technical high schools, I must respond to some of the opinions shared in the article (“Voc-tech tension,” Spring 2017). The idea that the Commonwealth’s public vocational schools(...)

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Baker won’t commit to health care assessments

Baker won’t commit to health care assessments

Legislature budget plan includes employer fees, but omits administration Medicaid reforms

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE GOV. CHARLIE BAKER said Monday he has not yet decided whether he will sign off on $200 million in new employer fees he has linked to MassHealth reforms that the Legislature laid aside Friday as part of their budget deal. The budget approved by the House and Senate includes a two-tiered(...)

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