Grasping bits of optimism and glimmers of hope

Today is One Boston day, the seventh anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, when the Tsarnaev brothers set off two crude pressure cooker bombs that resulted in three deaths, wounded hundreds of others and sheared off limbs brutally and indiscriminately.  The terrorist attack bloodied one of Boston's most iconic events and shattered our sense of …

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Political wheeling and dealing flirts with criminal

You scratch my back; I'll scratch yours has always been one of the rules of the political road in Boston.  Behaviors can be very subtle but still powerful, their meaning clear.  As alderman, state rep and state senator, Martin Lomasney used to say, "Don't write when you can talk; don't talk when you can nod; …

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Walsh’s “State-of-the-City”: a clarion call

If you want to hear everything our national government now is not, listen to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh's state-of-the-city address.  In a rousing half-hour speech at Symphony Hall, he credibly held out Boston as a model to be emulated nationally. It was a spirited reminder of how pathetically the federal government is failing to meet …

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Boston’s election matters beyond Boston

Where 'ya from? Travel anywhere outside New England, and the answer is likely to be "Boston." Whether we live in Newton, Lowell or Quincy, Boston's decision to reelect Marty Walsh or choose Tito Jackson to be mayor has consequences for us. Transportation, housing, safety, education - all issues being debated in this year's Newton mayoral …

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Walsh positions Boston in the vanguard

"We face a new reality in our relationship with the federal government," and mayors, city councilors, state legislators, the public and the business community have to tackle the challenges together, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh told the business community Thursday at a meeting of he New England Council.  In a focused and forcefully delivered speech, the …

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Women’s March Boston: life in the bubble?

I hate being in large crowds but had to be at Boston Common yesterday for the local version of the Women's March occurring in hundreds of cities around the nation and on all continents.  As with anti-Vietnam War marches in the late sixties and early seventies, this was a time to stand up and be …

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Anteing up for the arts

Massachusetts is a world-class laggard when it comes to public support of the arts, and things could get even worse.  The Massachusetts House just cut funding for the Mass. Cultural Council (MCC) by $2 million, to $12.2 million. (Originally, House Ways & Means  had tried to cut twice than amount.) There's still time for the Senate to restore the MCC to …

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Backlog of complaints? Hit the delete button!

Forty years ago, Italian postal workers faced a backlog of 20 million pieces of mail following a series of strikes. Unlike London, which faced a similar problem and simply took a couple of weeks to eliminate the backlog, the Italians burned some of the letters, sold off others for pulp and dumped others into the …

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Charlie Baker: charm, practicality and reassurance

The question during the 2014 gubernatorial campaign was often "Will the real Charlie Baker please stand up?"  Today, Governor Baker stood before a meeting of the New England Council, the real Charlie Baker, the one I knew from his days in the highest echelons of the Weld and Cellucci administrations.  He is smart, comfortable in …

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Will Marty Walsh become another Michael Bilandic?

Will Marty Walsh become the next Michael Bilandic?  Bilandic was the first Chicago Mayor to try to fill the large shoes left when Mayor-for-life Richard Daley died in 1976. Walsh, of course, replaced our own Mayor-for-Life, Tom Menino and is working to make the job his own. Bilandic's first challenges were negotiating the shoals of …

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