MAYORS AND CITY MANAGERS across eastern Massachusetts are forming a coalition to advocate for the MBTA’s commuter rail system. Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, who is active in forming the coalition, said the commuter rail system often gets overlooked in discussions about transportation even though its impact is enormous in many communities. “It’s the lifeblood of
This Reel Deal video helps sort out complicated ballot measure
The second installment of CommonWealth’s new video explainer, the Reel Deal, is a voter guide to Question 1, which would establish mandatory nurse-to-patient staffing ratios across Massachusetts. The question has become one of the most contentious issues on the November 6 ballot and a topic of dinner table conversations across the state. Our explainer video,
State-owned terminal, completed in Jan. 2015, to rev up in Dec. 2020
THE STATE’S STAGING TERMINAL for offshore wind development got its first major customer on Monday, nearly four years after it opened for business in New Bedford. Vineyard Wind, with power contracts in hand to build an 800-megawatt wind farm off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, signed an 18-month lease that starts December 1, 2020. The
New commuter rail platform in Worcester; big disruptions coming on D Line
MBTA OFFICIALS SAY the addition of early morning buses on 10 routes has increased ridership by more than 900 riders and reduced crowding. One example is the Route 455 bus from Lynn to Wonderland. Its first trip used to leave Lynn at 5 a.m. carrying an average of 51 passengers, with 12 of them standing.
Building boom looks to move city beyond its past without leaving it behind
QUINCY MAYOR THOMAS KOCH calls the MBTA’s Red Line the “spine” of his aging city. With four stops in North Quincy, Wollaston, Quincy Center, and Quincy Adams, the T’s Red Line allows residents to move around the city and connect with Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville to the north. These transit connections have long been the
Outsider Harrington topples Berkshire DA, Ryan reelected in MIddlesex
AGAINST THE BACKDROP of a national rethinking of criminal justice policies, Suffolk County residents voted for big change in the district attorney’s office as Rachael Rollins, a former federal prosecutor running on strong reform platform, topped a five-way Democratic primary field in the contest to replace incumbent Dan Conley, who did not seek reelection. Change
Hydro-Quebec dismisses claims by enviros, power generators
MASSACHUSETTS SIGNED a $16 billion, 20-year contract to import hydro-electricity from Quebec to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but energy advocates and other power generators are saying the deal is unlikely to move the needle on emissions and could actually increase them. The debate revolves around the meaning of emissions. The contract will definitely lower greenhouse
Political competition is a rare phenomenon in Mass.
WHEN IT COMES to the Massachusetts Legislature, voters won’t have a lot of choice this fall, either during the primary on September 4 or the general election in November. Seventy-eight percent of the 200 candidates running for the House and Senate will face no opposition in the primary. Most of that group (55 percent) will
Ryan facing spirited challenge with calls for reform in the air
DONNA PATALANO, who is challenging incumbent Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, looks like exactly the right candidate at the right time. The Winchester attorney is pushing a strong reform platform focused on addressing racial disparities in the criminal justice system and the need to rethink policies of the tough-on-crime era of the 1980s and 90s.
Groups urge blacks, progressives not to split their vote
WHAT HAD BEEN a strong undercurrent in the Suffolk County district attorney’s race is now becoming an open topic of conversation – and consternation: The fact that candidates with similar profiles in the five-way Democratic primary could split the vote and hand the election to a candidate who wins far less than majority support. That’s