Municipal Government

The promise of MASS MoCA

The promise of MASS MoCA

The museum’s latest expansion is a hit, but its impact on the struggling town of North Adams remains a work in progress

Photographs by Michael Manning TWO YOUNG MEN from Brooklyn tentatively inch down the hallway, holding onto a handrail because it’s so dark. They turn a corner and the room in front of them opens up, filled with intense light of different colors.  They make their way to a bench and sit down, mesmerized by a large(...)

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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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About-face on marijuana

About-face on marijuana

Some towns voted for pot in fall, against in spring

THERE’S BEEN A LOT of pot talk lately on Beacon Hill, as the House and Senate battle back and forth over whether changes should be made (and which ones) to the law voters approved last fall legalizing recreational marijuana. But there has also been a lot of chatter at the local level, where communities concerned(...)

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Boston says it’s studying whether to rebuild Long Island Bridge

Boston says it’s studying whether to rebuild Long Island Bridge

Mayor had vowed to rebuild but now says no decision has been made

A SPOKESWOMAN FOR Boston Mayor Marty Walsh issued a statement saying the city is doing a cost-benefit analysis on rebuilding the Long Island Bridge, which is a shift from the mayor’s earlier stance that the city would definitely rebuild the span. Walsh’s statement came in the wake of a CommonWealth story reporting that the mayor(...)

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Communities seek change on pot opt-out

Communities seek change on pot opt-out

Officials want clearer path to outlaw retail marijuana

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE UNCERTAINTY OVER THE PROCESS cities and towns must follow to opt out of the sprouting legal marijuana market has sparked confusion across the state and needs to be clarified by the Legislature, the attorney general’s office and a municipal lobby said Monday. Cities and towns are urging lawmakers to let them(...)

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Rural schools caught in ‘death spiral’

Rural schools caught in ‘death spiral’

Enrollment changes can have big impact in sparsely populated districts

ON A SUNNY October day, students play at recess outside Hawlemont Elementary School tucked into the wooded hills of Charlemont, which are electric with fall color. As they head back to class, Wayne Kermenski, the principal, calls them over to visit the animals behind the school’s newly constructed post-and-beam barn. They jump at the opportunity.(...)

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Hodgson’s off the wall idea

For the most part, Massachusetts is bereft of the cast of local Trump acolytes who have risen up elsewhere to pronounce the incoming president a leader of enormous vision and deeply-considered ideas. And then there is Tom Hodgson. The longtime Republican Bristol County sheriff has long been something of an outlier in the Bay State(...)

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Trash debate coming to head on Beacon Hill

Trash debate coming to head on Beacon Hill

With time running out, House pitches waste commission

WITH MASSACHUSETTS RUNNING OUT OF OPTIONS to bury and burn its trash, the long-neglected issue of recycling is getting some attention in the final days of the 2015-2016 legislative session. The Senate approved a sweeping measure at the end of June requiring cities and towns to reduce the amount of solid waste they dispose of(...)

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