Economy

Winter costs make region cold for business

Winter costs make region cold for business

New Englanders pay $1 billion more for energy than the rest of the country

TO SAY THAT this has been a tough winter is an understatement. Already, we’ve seen record cold snaps, soaring energy bills and story after story about how Massachusetts has burned 2 million barrels of oil to generate electricity because we didn’t have an adequate supply of energy. And it’s only February. Already, Massachusetts is one(...)

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A question of access: Shifting the transportation conversation

A question of access: Shifting the transportation conversation

Equity, climate, and choice are keys to developing a workable plan for the future

TRANSPORTATION AND MOBILITY matters to everyone who commutes, travels, or runs errands on a daily basis, and these everyday trips create a sense that we are all experts on transportation. For creative problem solvers, every traffic jam, transit delay, confusing intersection, or missing bike lane connection provides an opportunity to brainstorm possible solutions. But what(...)

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Debit card payer pulls plug on pot dispensaries

Debit card payer pulls plug on pot dispensaries

Cash only after statement by federal prosecutor begins to chill legal market

THE HARDLINE STANCE from the top federal prosecutor in the state about pot enforcement has caused a company that processes debit transactions for medical marijuana dispensaries to stop accepting the bank cards and forced the shops to revert to cash-only, adding a layer of hardship to patients. Westborough-based Merchant Services Consulting Group (MSCG), which processes(...)

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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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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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Confusion reigns in states with legal pot

Confusion reigns in states with legal pot

More questions, fewer answers on how US attorneys will enforce federal drug laws

THE ONE THING that is certain with the change in enforcement of federal marijuana laws is that there will be no uniform approach to enforcement by US attorneys in states that have legalized the sale of recreational marijuana. Public comments and statements from some of the 12 US attorneys in the eight states that have(...)

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Momentum for more housing choices in the state

Momentum for more housing choices in the state

Lawmakers need to create incentives for communities to increase housing stock

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER joined the fight to promote housing last week—adding more push to the consensus that 2018 is the year to tackle the Commonwealth’s housing crisis head on.  As we head into the 2018 session, it’s time for the Legislature to pass bills that will make it easier for our cities and towns to(...)

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Panera Cares, but for how long?

Panera Cares, but for how long?

Compassionate café not making ends meet

FOUR YEARS AFTER the Panera Cares community café opened at Center Plaza in Boston, it’s still in business. But the restaurant’s unorthodox approach to addressing hunger isn’t working out exactly as planned. The concept is simple. Customers walk into the café, pick their food, and pay whatever they can afford. The hope is that enough(...)

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Mega booze store out for self

Mega booze store out for self

Total Wine’s challenge of state liquor laws could undercut public safety

MASSACHUSETTS LAWS AND regulations governing the sale of alcohol are partially based on the idea of maximizing carefully considered controls and oversight to help reduce negative impacts associated with over-consumption. Recent reports show the Commonwealth’s regulatory approach works. The Bay State has the nation’s second-best record on limiting driving under the influence (DUI), trailing just(...)

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More tools needed to combat wage theft

More tools needed to combat wage theft

Problem costs state workers $700m a year

MASSACHUSETTS HAS AN epidemic of wage theft. An estimated $700 million in wage theft occurs annually in our state, robbing workers and their families of essential income and the ability to stay afloat financially. That’s also bad news for good employers. It creates an uneven playing field for companies that follow the law and that(...)

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