Common Wealth Magazine

We survive.

That may be the main takeaway as we near the end of the first week of the month-long Orange Line shutdown.

After all the fuss and hype, by the media and state officials, the shutdown hasn’t been too bad so far.

There were definitely hiccups and a few hiccups here and there, but it was nothing like the.”new circle of hell” the boston globe he had predicted on Monday in his main news.

And the reality has not matched the projections put forth by state officials before the shutdown began.

While Governor Charlie Baker and MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak warned of the inconvenience and urged riders to be patient, State Highway Commissioner Jonathan Gulliver suggested closing the Orange Line and its replacement transportation would turn Boston into a total disaster. He urged people to avoid boston Yes they can.

“I know that some of the public transport users may be considering driving as an alternative to shuttle buses. I assure you that is not a good option and you should look at other transit options,” Gulliver said. “We urge travelers to assess their trip and, if possible, adjust or find a route that avoids the ferry detour if you must drive and shift your travel time to off-peak hours.”

“If possible,” he added, “avoid the region entirely until the diversion period is over.”

The warnings seem to have worked. Poftak said on Wednesday that passenger levels had dropped, although he lacked numbers. Some Orange Line passengers used the shuttle buses, but many switched to commuter rail or just stayed away and enjoyed the end of summer.

Toward the end of the week, Poftak stopped holding daily media briefings on the closure because there wasn’t much interest in hearing how the project stayed on schedule.

James Aloisi, a former transportation secretary, said the media frenzy over the closure of the Orange Line had the desired effect. But he worries that the lull of late summer will give way to a post-Labor Day crush.

“The problems will come after Labor Day, when people go back to work and school,” he said. “That will test the system.”



Going your own way: State Sen. Lydia Edwards of East Boston has parted ways with her progressive colleagues by supporting a narrowed bill that expands the crimes for which a defendant can be considered dangerous and detained before trial and by supporting Kevin Hayden for prosecutor of Suffolk County over Ricardo Arroyo. In both cases, Edwards, the only black senator in the Senate, prioritized practical considerations over political orthodoxy.

– On the dangerousness bill, he split from the ACLU of Massachusetts. “They focus on the rights of the person holding the gun and not the person facing the gun. That is your job. My job is to listen to both sides,” Edwards said.

– On Hayden, he backed the savvy prosecutor over the progressives’ spoiled candidate. “Kevin was responding, Kevin was producing and Kevin was listening,” he said, citing his willingness to investigate possible criminal charges against the owner of a Revere apartment building that was the scene of a recent fire. “Why would I do anything more than try to help him, a black man at that, keep his job,” he said. read more.

Carr hired: Massport official Gordon Carr is selected as CEO of the New Bedford Port Authority, making him a key player in both the fishing and offshore wind industries. read more.

Finalists interviewed: The state Board of Higher Education interviews the four finalists for their best positions. This is what they had to say. read more.


wrong address: Todd Gazda, executive director of the Collaborative for Educational Services in Northampton, says raising the scores needed to pass MCAS is another slap in the face for Massachusetts educators. read more.



A poll by the conservative Fiscal Alliance Foundation says that about two-thirds of voters from both parties they want the state to respect the 1986 law passed via a ballot question to return revenues above a certain amount to taxpayers. (boston herald)

Governor Charlie Baker presents a $40 million plan to strengthen school safety in the state. (boston globe)

Massachusetts start warning the thousands of people who were wrongfully convicted as part of the state drug lab scandal who are eligible to split a $14 million settlement. (WBUR)


Holyoke City Councilman Wilmer Puelo-Molla resumes its duties after 90 days in jail and while preparing for trial in Rhode Island on several serious charges. (Mass Live)

Worcester faces a shortage from 911 dispatchers. (Telegram and Gazette)


Pregnant women protest the closure of the North Shore Birth Center at Beverly Hospital, which is part of Beth Israel Lahey. Hospital officials say the center must close due to a shortage of midwives, but former patients complain the closure is disrupting their pregnancies. (Salem News)


a federal judge ordered the Department of Justice to release a redacted version of the affidavit used to obtain a search warrant for former President Donald Trump’s assets in Florida. (New York Times)

President Biden, who has faced criticism within his party for his willingness to try to work through the political aisle, says the Republican Party has turned to “semi-fascism.” (Washington Post)


Suffolk DA candidate Ricardo Arroyo could face investigation by the State Attorney’s Office for omitting mention on his 2005 and 2007 sexual assault investigations law license application. Arroyo says he was unaware of the investigations. (boston globe)

the Berkshire Eagleme endorses Timothy Shugrue on Andrea Harrington for Berkshire County District Attorney. The newspaper criticized Harrington’s “widely acknowledged poor performance” and her decision to spend the past four years “viewing herself as the county attorney general.” What opposed to being a careful and competent chief prosecutor.”

a new MassINC Polling Group survey shows the Democratic primary race for the attorney general job tightening, with Shannon Liss-Riordan closing in on Andrea Campbell, who has led in polls to date. (boston globe)

Jack Spillane hold a 90 minute conversation on Zoom with the three Democrats vying for the nomination for Bristol County Sheriff, and the right to face Republican incumbent Tom Hodgson in November. (New Bedford Light)


Amazon will close five stores in the state to offset “excess growth” during the pandemic. (boston globe)


Governor Charlie Baker said he was “disturbed” for recent comments by the president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association against raising the MCAS passing score. (boston herald)


boston city transmit four parcels of land (33,000 total square feet) in the Four Corners section of Boston and donates $850,000 in seed money to a group planning to create an “Urban Wild” there. (Dorchester reporter)


A mother in Great Barrington take a photo of her son bathing in dirty brown water that he says comes from his faucet. The water supplier, Housatonic Water Works Co., says the discoloration is due to manganese in the water source. Officials say they are exploring buying a new filtration system, but that could precipitate a rate hike. (Berkshire Eagle)

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US Attorney Rachael Rollins and US Senator Ed Markey tell communities that bar outside candidates for police chief positions may be violating civil rights laws. (WBUR)


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