Gateway Cities

Lawrence’s Rivera facing tough reelection fight

Lawrence’s Rivera facing tough reelection fight

City showing signs of progress, but mayor faces battle to retain his post

Photographs by Meghan Moore THE MARCHERS PLOD ALONG, wearing matching maroon shirts and holding campaign signs, fronted by the candidate himself, Mayor Daniel Rivera, who waves to onlookers, his gut hanging over pressed khakis. It’s not a very enthusiastic display in a parade that features, by turns, synchronized Latin dancing, beauty queens in chiffon, and(...)

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Why Lowell is torn over new high school

Why Lowell is torn over new high school

Rebuild downtown, or move to the fringe of suburbia?

MEETINGS OF THE LOWELL CITY COUNCIL are typically sparsely attended affairs, characterized by amicable discussions among councilors and unanimous votes. This has all changed in recent weeks, as the city grapples with whether to rebuild its sole public high school at the downtown site it’s occupied nearly since the city’s founding or to build a(...)

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Where the food deserts are

Where the food deserts are

Gateway Cities tend to have less access to grocery stores

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE CHELSEA, SPRINGFIELD, AND TAUNTON top a new list of cities with the highest percentage of low-income residents lacking access to grocery stores, a problem with nutrition ramifications that is most acute in rural areas and so-called Gateway Cities, according to new data. In low-income areas where there is limited grocery store(...)

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Holyoke’s mayor isn’t afraid of pot

Holyoke’s mayor isn’t afraid of pot

Alex Morse sees potential for urban farming in his old city’s mills

Photographs by Mark Morelli  OUTSIDE HOLYOKE CITY HALL is a stone fountain that once gurgled with water, offering a more wholesome substitute for alcohol to “a thirsty humanity,” as the inscription reads. Erected in 1901, the monument was one of several put up by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union around the country as part of(...)

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A better way to address regional inequality

A better way to address regional inequality

Proposals of DiCara, Waskiewicz aimed at wrong targets

IN THEIR RECENT PIECE “Bridging the urban-rural divide in Mass.,” Lawrence S. DiCara and Matt Waskiewicz address the issue of regional inequality. They explain how the erosion of manufacturing jobs has caused the decline of outlying rural areas around Massachusetts. To address the issue, they propose, as part of “a framework of urban-rural mutualism,” three solutions: incentivizing(...)

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Bridging the urban-rural divide in Mass.

Bridging the urban-rural divide in Mass.

Three suggestions for linking Boston and rest of state

EVAN HOROWITZ AND JAMES PINDELL of the Boston Globe remarked in a November 14 article that “the Trump effect” occurred in Massachusetts as well: while Greater Boston voted more Democratic in 2016 than 2012, outside of I-495 trended more Republican—often significantly. A map accompanying the story depicted a growing divide between Greater Boston and the(...)

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Turning around New Bedford

Turning around New Bedford

Mayor Jon Mitchell’s game plan for his Gateway City

Photographs by Frank Curran JON MITCHELL WALKS a fine line as the mayor of New Bedford. On the one hand, he is the self-professed squeaky wheel, constantly pressing state and federal officials for more money, whether it’s for dredging the harbor, building a rail link to Boston, or replacing the ancient bridge that connects New(...)

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A Springfield revival?

A Springfield revival?

Railcar manufacturing, a casino, and other changes are creating optimism

Photographs by Mark Morelli SPRINGFIELD MAYOR DOMENIC SARNO remembers the day after Thanksgiving in 2012. The sky was clear and the temperature unseasonably warm. The mayor was at the city’s downtown museum complex for an event kicking off the start of the holiday season, and earlier he had attended the annual Parade of the Big(...)

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Musical chairs

Musical chairs

Constant turnover among school superintendents roils state districts

Photographs by Michael Manning STATE EDUCATION OFFICIALS placed the Southbridge schools into receivership earlier this year, citing continual underperformance in all testing areas, high suspensions and disciplinary problems, and unacceptable graduation rates. A key reason why state officials decided enough was enough was the void at the top of the school system. Since 2011, Southbridge(...)

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