WGBH Special Reports

Attorney General Calls for Change to Open Meeting Law

By Danielle Dreilinger   |   Monday, May 14, 2012
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May 14, 2012

state integrity logo

 
BOSTON — On Monday, Attorney General Martha Coakley called for an amendment to the state's open meeting law. The need for change comes as no surprise to those who have followed the State Integrity Investigation, a nationwide look at corruption risk.

Massachusetts flunked the "public access to information" category on the SII report card. Investigators found that while citizens have a legally enshrined right to government information and records, in practice those rights are hard to access. The state earned a C overall, placing it 11th in the nation for corruption risk.

"The amendment would clarify the standard for a finding by the AG of an intentional violation of the Open Meeting Law," Coakley said in a statement.
 
The current law states that a violation is considered "intentional" if it occurs after the official or governmental body has been given a warning by a court or prosecutor. Coakley's change would add situations where the board or member "acted with specific intent to violate the law" or "with deliberate ignorance of the law’s requirements."

The Massachusetts Legislature is exempt from the open meeting law.
 
The attorney general's office plans to hold a public hearing on the regulation in July.
 
> > READ: The AG's press release



The State Integrity report card is tabulated from the results of 330 questions. Click on each topic area to see the specific questions and scores pertaining to each.

MBTA Chief Mulls Your Ideas

By Bob Seay   |   Thursday, May 3, 2012
1 Comments   1 comments.

May 3, 2012

BOSTON — Could the state take back the Big Dig debt? Could the MBTA expand service? In the first part of the WGBH News interview, Richard Davey, secretary of MassDOT, talks about listeners' ideas for fixing the T.
Go to part 2.

richard davey and bob seay
WGBH's Bob Seay, right, interviews Richard Davey of the Mass. Department of Transportation

Excerpts from the interview ...

Seay: The first suggestion: Expand service. More riders, more revenue.

Davey: True. That is true. But what folks have to realize, though, is usually that our costs go up.

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International Models for the T: Your Thoughts

By WGBH News   |   Wednesday, May 2, 2012
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Washington Metro map

BOSTON — A number of responses to our "How You'd Fix the T" survey mentioned other cities and countries that show how good a good transit system can be ... possibilities explored by WGBH's Phillip Martin in his story "How to Create a World-Class Transit System."

 

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Former Transportation Chief: The T's Troubles

Friday, April 27, 2012
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April 27, 2012

red line

The Red Line. (ockam/Flickr)


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Fred Salvucci headed the state transportation department under two governors. He rode the #1 bus with WGBH's Bob Seay and gave his take on what's wrong with the MBTA and how to fix it. Their conversation, in five parts:

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Your Top 5 Ideas to Fix the T

By WGBH News   |   Friday, April 27, 2012
0 Comments   0 comments.

April 27, 2012
 
We asked how you'd fix the T, and you answered … often in very well-informed detail. In all the analysis and ideas, five suggestions emerged as the most popular.
 
Which idea do you like the best? Vote on Facebook.

Update, May 3: Richard Davey, head of the Mass. Department of Transportation, weighed in.
 
1. Expand service — more riders = more revenue
 

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'Tourist Train' Status: Delayed

By Sean Corcoran   |   Thursday, April 26, 2012
5 Comments   5 comments.

April 27, 2012


hyannis train station

Planners believe a summer weekend train from Boston to Hyannis would run in the black. (Sean Corcoran/WGBH)

 
HYANNIS, Mass. — Summer on the Cape means beaches, boating and sun. It's a boon for Cape businesses — but a hassle for everyone getting there, with traffic from Braintree to Bourne and beyond. An influx of tourists each summer doubles the Cape's population to 215,000.
 
Transportation officials expected to launch a new weekend train service from Boston to the Cape this summer to help ease that congestion. But with the MBTA facing its most significant budget crises in its history, the service is now on hold — and not because it would cost the MBTA money. It wouldn't. But with fare hikes and budget cuts on the table, launching a new train service to the Cape could be a political blunder.

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About the Authors
Danielle Dreilinger Danielle Dreilinger
Danielle Dreilinger is an author and news producer for WGBH.org.


Bob Seay Bob Seay
Bob Seay is the host of NPR's Morning Edition on 89.7FM WGBH Radio. He got his start in radio during college at WMUH, got involved with WGBH TV while in graduate school at Boston University and formerly hosted ME at WRNI in Rhode Island.
WGBH News
The WGBH News team comprises the WGBH radio newsroom, The Callie Crossley Show, The Emily Rooney Show and WGBH Channel 2 reporters and producers from Greater Boston and Basic Black. 

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