Category Archives: Uncategorized

On Rent Control: Part Two—Personal History

The Joint Housing Committee of the Massachusetts Legislature recently held a virtual hearing on House Bill H.1378, a proposal to grant cities and towns the right to establish rent control. As a person who lived in a rent control apartment, … Continue reading

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On Rent Control: Part One—Legal History

The Joint Housing Committee of the Massachusetts Legislature recently held a virtual hearing on House Bill H.1378, a proposal to grant cities and towns the right to establish rent control. As a person who lived in a rent control apartment, … Continue reading

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First Snow

Is there anything more delightful than first snow? Ours arrived, an unassigned holiday inserted into the calendar, in the early morning of Friday January 7. I slept late and woke to a pixelated sky descending over the earth with lazy … Continue reading

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On January 6: The Wisdom of Thomas Paine

“These are the times that try men’s souls.” We have no definitive proof that the opening line of Thomas Paine’s pamphlet, “The American Crisis,” published in the deepest dark of the American Revolution, directly inspired George Washington and his troops … Continue reading

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Life is Short

A Twenty-first Century Myth “Life is short,” we mutter as the calendar flips through these dark December days heading to another year. We believe our time on earth is brief, but that assumption doesn’t correlate with twenty-first century reality. Aside … Continue reading

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I am Not in Charge

Its December 2021, an inauspicious year if ever there was, save one personal milestone. I have gotten further along in achieving last year’s new year’s resolution than ever before. What was my resolution? “I am not in charge.”’ At first … Continue reading

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The Graffiti in our Minds

Spirits of anguish past and present are my companions as I tromp the carpet of dead leaves. At its peak, Metropolitan State Hospital, Massachusetts’ last and largest institution for mentally ill (built 1930), held 2,000 patients behind its Georgian Revival … Continue reading

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Understanding the Language

As part of my remembrance of my friend, Phil Saviano, who died on November 28, I retrieved this stream of memory I wrote after our trip to Mexico in 2000. I decided not edit it; even as some of the … Continue reading

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Smoky Bar Man

A Tribute to Phil Saviano, 1952–2021 Front page, above the fold, in The Boston Globe. Feature length obit in The New York Times. Segments on major outlets—nationwide. I have only one friend whose death warrants such a blanket of coverage. … Continue reading

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Giving Thanks (Despite Our Faults)

Thanksgiving. Crisp leaves underfoot. Stinging fresh air. Roasted turkey. Glutinous stuffing. Fruity, creamy pies. Frantic airports. Family around the table. Football. Horns of plenty. Pilgrim pageants. The national folktale of our collective well-being. A day of gratitude. Last year, two … Continue reading

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