A more sensible approach to sugary beverages

Shortly after my blog criticizing New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed ban on sugary drinks in containers of more than 16 oz, I read the Boston Globe's Yvonne Abraham piece offering an alternative solution, and it's worth passing along. Massachusetts exempts most food products from the state sales tax, now at 6.25 percent.  Given how …

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Scott Harshbarger for casino czar

It’s amazing that so much of the negotiation of a casino-and-slots bill has gone on behind closed doors. After proposals had sucked much of the oxygen out of the air last year, Governor Patrick and legislative leadership, especially House Speaker Robert DeLeo, collaborated secretly to reach agreement before a bill reached the legislative floor.During the …

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Prop 2 1/2 has become the gate keeper and should stay: confessions of a convert

As editorial director of WCVB-TV, Channel 5, I was an ardent opponent of Prop 2½. I thought it arbitrary to cap a city’s or town’s property tax levy to 2½ percent of the previous levy, unnecessarily tying the hands of local officials trying to cope with changing financial circumstances. Much of that is still true, …

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Casino gambling: providing informed consent

Reasonable doubts remain about the studies touting the benefits of casino gambling to Massachusetts, especially if today’s Boston Globe is correct that the legislature only asked for an analysis of benefits and not a cost-benefits analysis. Former Attorney General Scott Harshbarger and former Governor Mike Dukakis have raised significant warnings about the economic payoff, citing …

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Casino Gambling for Massachusetts is a Crapshoot!

Two little letters say it all about one’s perspective on Speaker Robert DeLeo’s proposal to site two resort casinos and slot machines at four racetracks in Massachusetts. He and other supporters speak of gaming (a harmless family entertainment akin to bingo night or Radio City Music Hall); opponents preserve the b and the l and …

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