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Crash data points to ‘crisis’ on Mass. roads
02-29-2024 7:01 AM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

Safety on Massachusetts roadways is “at a crisis level,” the state highway administrator told lawmakers this week as he detailed steps the Department of Transportation has taken to try to prevent some of the most dangerous and deadly situations and to...

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Mare Berger and Molly Aronson: Voices of the people and peace must be heard
02-28-2024 5:36 PM

As Jews, we urge the Gazette to stop quoting individuals and organizations who are falsely equating antisemitism with calling for a cease-fire in Gaza. In the face of unspeakable violence by the Israeli state, it is not antisemitic to protest the...


Decision time nearing on state’s to-go cocktails policy
02-28-2024 12:45 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — The industry group representing package stores signaled this week that it’s ready to “beg” lawmakers to end the authorization for takeaway drinks, a pandemic-era policy allowing many bars and restaurants to sell beer, wine and cocktails to...


Lottery launching ‘Jaws’ ticket into its pool
02-28-2024 12:36 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

With no significant jackpots at stake last month, sales at the Massachusetts Lottery were down nearly $34 million compared to last January, the agency’s head reported to the Lottery Commission on Tuesday.Executive Director Mark William Bracken said...


Healey life-sci, climate tech plans will span 10 years
02-27-2024 4:55 PM

By Alison Kuznitz

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey will recommend reauthorizing the state’s life sciences initiative for another decade in a sprawling economic development bill she plans to file this week, she told hundreds of business leaders Tuesday morning. The bill will...


MassDEP’s Clean Heat Standard poised to advance energy shift
02-27-2024 4:00 PM

By TANISHA BHAT

While many communities have made progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, many experts believe the next big step statewide will involve electrifying home heating systems, a process the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection is...


Ratepayers fed up with high energy costs
02-27-2024 10:42 AM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — From the edge of the Atlantic Ocean in Lynn to the state’s western border in Richmond, people in Massachusetts are letting the state know how they feel about wallet-busting energy bills.“I struggle to pay my bills, my electric runs $250 a...


Senate plans another sex education reform vote this week
02-25-2024 6:01 AM

By SAM DRYSDALE

Senators this week are expected to vote again on a bill to update the state’s sex education guidelines, something the chamber has already approved four times without getting buy-in from the House.The Senate Committee on Ways and Means polled the...


Head Start might have leg up as Massachusetts budget priority
02-22-2024 4:12 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Although they would not explicitly commit to fulfilling a funding request for Head Start, two of the most powerful players at the State House indicated Wednesday that funding the early education program is at the top of their priority list in...


Guest columnists Wendy Berg and Mark Reynolds: Polluters should pay at the border
02-20-2024 5:23 PM

By WENDY BERG and MARK REYNOLDS

The magnitude of global climate change has come home to us in Massachusetts. Last summer, flooding caused by intensive storms washed away roads and other critical infrastructure, destroying the crops on many local farms and in our community...


Massachusetts to ramp up outreach about tuition aid expansion
02-20-2024 11:12 AM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

BOSTON — A recently expanded state financial aid program has yet to make a major impact on high school seniors evaluating their college options, a leader of an educational nonprofit warned Tuesday.The MASSGrant Plus expansion program, supported by a...


Psychedelics petition backers use Oregon as model
02-18-2024 2:01 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Massachusetts voters may get the chance to cast ballots to legalize access to some psychedelic substances this fall. And though advocates say the Oregon psilocybin therapy program that would be used as a model for Massachusetts is beneficial...


Massachusetts to create AI task force to support adoption of technology
02-15-2024 1:58 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey has signed an executive order to create a task force meant to study artificial intelligence and to advise her administration on the state’s role in implementing and encouraging private sector use of the new technology.The...


Local officials tout governor’s municipal tax plan as ‘very exciting’
02-13-2024 4:16 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey’s proposal to give cities and towns new tax-hike authority would provide “game-changers” at the local level, especially for less populated areas, one mayor said Tuesday.A bill Healey filed last month would offer...


Guest columnists Maria José Botelho, Deb Patterson and Camille Cammack: Scripted early reading approach no substitute for real teaching
02-12-2024 5:36 PM

By MARIA JOSÉ BOTELHO, DEB PATTERSON and CAMILLE CAMMACK

In December, Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley made a proposal that the Legislature mandate that schools use “high-quality” reading curriculum across Massachusetts to “fix the literacy crisis.” Gov. Maura Healey’s recent release of her Literacy...


Major Elijah Kahn: The Salvation Army of Massachusetts looks forward to a new year
02-12-2024 5:33 PM

It is with the most heartfelt gratitude that The Salvation Army of Massachusetts thanks all those who contributed to the 2023 Red Kettle Campaign. Throughout the holidays your donations, regardless of size, contributed to aiding so many families...


Guest columnists Markelle Smith and Ray Ettenger: Big step ahead for watershed, but one looming step back
02-11-2024 2:42 PM

By MARKELLE SMITH and RAE ETTENGER

This July, in the Connecticut River watershed, from northern Vermont and New Hampshire downstream to western Massachusetts, heavy rains brought intense flooding that swelled rivers, turned backyards into ponds, and ravaged agricultural fields....


Report examines migrant jobs, earnings prospects
02-11-2024 12:10 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

Immigrants who settle and find work in Massachusetts provide “a direct economic benefit to the region in which they are working in both the value of work produced and in added local spending power,” according to a new report that lands as...


Guest columnist Rob Moir: Will melting Greenland ice divert Gulf Stream?
02-07-2024 7:05 PM

By ROB MOIR

With climate change, a 1% increase in watts per square meter of heat energy is warming the ocean, causing seawater to swell, currents to flow stronger, and greater storms to rage. Ancient Greeks believed Oceanus, the ocean river, separated the known...


US growth lifts confidence of Massachusetts employers
02-07-2024 10:31 AM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

Massachusetts businesses kicked off the new year with a sunny disposition.Business confidence among employers surveyed by Associated Industries of Massachusetts rose in January to an 11-month high. The business trade group attributed the boost to...


Easthampton mayor part of Healey’s new housing commission
02-07-2024 9:06 AM

By SAM DORAN

As part of her push to boost housing supply, Gov. Maura Healey swore in around 30 members of two panels late last month, bringing together groups like developers and builders, advocates for the homeless and people with disabilities, and local...

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