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slides: 13 Best MINDSETTER Columns of 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

 

GoLocalWorcester's MINDSETTERS™ consist of some of the best minds in the state--and these brilliant opinion writers never hesitate in pushing forward their points of view.

From the political musings of former Massachusetts Speaker of the House Tom Finneran, or conservative talk radio personality Michael Graham; to the educational insights of Worcester School Committee member John Monfredo, our expert opinion columns provide insight into some of the most important topics facing our state and nation.

From the politics of gay marriage to the educational issues surrounding common core standards, here are the 13 Best MINDSETTER™ Columns of 2013:

 

Related Slideshow: 13 Best MINDSETTER™ Columns of 2013

Prev Next

Money For Nothing—Bombers’ Family on Welfare

By Tom Finneran

The Brothers Tsarnaev set off more than the two bombs they are alleged to have planted at the Boston Marathon a few weeks ago. In fact, it appears that they have also detonated a political bomb that will tumble candidates and shape debates through the next presidential election cycle.

Read More

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Chronic Absenteeism And What We Can Do About It

By John Monfredo

Statistics show that students with more than 20 absences per year have less than a 1-in-5 chance of graduating. By ninth grade, school attendance is a better predictor of graduation than eighth-grade test scores, according a study by the University of Chicago.

Read More

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Governor - Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

By Grace Ross

One cannot help but be impressed by the things the Governor got right in his State of the State address this year nor avoid being disappointed by the things he seems to still misrepresent.

As the very famous Republican, Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.”

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Where Do You Stay, Markey?

By Arthur Christopher Schaper

With the 2013 US Senate primaries ended in Massachusetts, the residents of the Bay State have their choices to replace out-going (hardly outgoing) US Senator John Kerry: Gabriel Gomez of Cohasset, or Congressman Edward Markey of Medford, or is it Malden, or is it Maryland (Chevy Chase, to be precise, and this is no National Lampoon, either). Frankly, the first question Massachusetts residents ask has to do with his primary residence. In other words: "Where does Markey make his mark?" On the street, they would say: "Where do you stay, Markey?"

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Stephen Lynch’s Convictions Wilt in Democratic Primary

By Matthew Helman

Stephen Lynch has long been the most conservative member of Massachusetts’ Congressional delegation. As Lynch himself crassly put it, “Calling me the least liberal member from Massachusetts is like calling me the slowest Kenyan in the Boston Marathon.”

But, whether you agree with Lynch’s conservative politics or oppose them, at least we used to know where he stood. That is, until he entered the Democratic primary in the upcoming special election for U.S. Senate.

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Can Charlie Baker Appeal to the Masses?

By Don Roach

Last week I had the opportunity to have meet Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker and hear him speak on a number of issues facing the state.

For full disclosure I had not heard of Charlie Baker prior to meeting him last week. I’m not a big Massachusetts political aficionado as my state political knowledge ends at the town limits of Burriville. Nonetheless, I did some homework before seeing Baker finding that he was known for four things, his time as part of the Weld administration, the Big Dig, turning around Harvard Pilgrim, and losing to a seemingly beatable Deval Patrick in 2010. Well, there’s one more thing and that is, among Republicans, Baker has been viewed as the ‘next big thing’ in Massachusetts for quite some time.

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FlyORH: What Worcester’s Airport Needs Right Now

By Bill Randell

Over the past few months, I have gotten a lot of feedback.

  • We need other destinations; for example, Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, Florida Gulf Coast destinations and New York City.
  • Tickets are lower out of Boston.
  • Direct Air had better prices.

First, starting November 7, 2013 daily service begins to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale with JetBlue. If we can make these two routes successful, I am sure all of these other destinations will look into ORH.

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Scott Brown is Sarah Palin in a Suit

By Paul Giorgio

Let’s get this straight, Scott Brown is delusional. He is nothing more than Sarah Palin in a suit. No, scratch that--Sarah Palin in a Barn Jacket is more apropos. His latest gambit in his attempt to be relevant is laughable. '

Last week former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown showed up in Iowa ostensibly to test the presidential waters. Then again, maybe he might have thought that the Marshfield Fair didn’t offer corn dogs as good as those at the Iowa State Fair.

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Knowledge of American History and Civics in Danger of Becoming “History”

By John Monfredo

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (known as the Nation’s Report Card), data revealed that only about one-quarter of American students scored at or above proficient in their knowledge of United States History.

Student’s lack of basic civic knowledge should be a concern for everyone. Nationwide, the worst performance was by seniors in high school with 12% reaching proficiency. We all know that most of education reform has focused on closing the achievement gap in English Language Arts, Math and Science. However, we also need to look at the basic knowledge that our children are acquiring in knowing the concepts of American History.

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A ‘Liberal’ Gun Owner’s Search for a Cure

By Rena Grasso

hree months past Newtown, we have yet to satisfy the national cry to “do something” about our epidemic gun violence. In the past, ghastly mass shootings have spurred efforts that have dead ended in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), flawed by loopholes, and a now defunct ban on semi-automatics.

Moreover, Americans are divided on what to do, except to strengthen NICS, with which 90% of Americans including 72% of NRA members, agree. These numbers will probably pressure Congress to improve the NCIS, despite NRA opposition.

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“Jobs That Americans Won’t Do”

By Tom Finneran

Of all the dumb statements that people make, the “jobs that Americans won’t do” statement takes the cake. Of course, I can’t say for sure that it’s entirely untrue. But if it is true, I quake for our country. Which brings me to my friend Ulysses. Ulysses is black. Ulysses is old—70 plus years. He grew up in North Carolina at a time when racial bias and hostility were much more pronounced and severe than today. Yet growing up, Ulysses and his friends, all black, regularly worked side by side with white kids from the same community.

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James McGovern(ment) Comes To Worcester

By Arthur Christopher Schaper

Congressman James McGovern (or "McGovernment", as one GoLocal reader pithily commented), has opened up a new office in Worcester. An incumbent Massachusetts Democrat (yes, a deadening tautology, but bear with me), Rep. McGovern now has three offices in his 2nd Congressional District. My Congressman, Henry Waxman, only has two offices, yet his Congressional district spans the entire Santa Monica Bay, from the South Bay to the Valley.

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Will 2014 Be the GOP Year in MA?

By Michael Graham

t's a perfect political storm: President Obama's popularity is down, voters are angry over his unpopular health care law, and Republicans are energized and excited about voting. Just the conditions a minority party like the Massachusetts GOP needs to pick up a governorship and send a couple of Republicans to Congress.

Only one problem. I'm not writing about 2014. I'm writing about 2010. And while the Republican tide swept over nearly the entire country, it stopped dead at the border of Massachusetts.

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