People are happier in states that spend more money on public places like parks and libraries

Christopher Ingraham | January 11, 2019 https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/01/11/people-are-happier-states-that-spend-more-money-public-places-like-parks-libraries A new study published in the journal Social Science Research finds that Americans report greater levels of happiness in states that spend more money on public goods such as parks, libraries, infrastructure and public safety. In economics, public goods are defined as goods that are available to everybody and to which no one is excluded from using. “They’re typically not profitable to produce in the private market, so if the government doesn’t provide them, they will either be underprovided or not at all,” study author Patrick Flavin of Baylor University said in a statement. Because they’re available to all, spending on public goods tends to be less politically contentious than other spending categories, such as antipoverty programs or unemployment benefits. Flavin suspected spending on these types of goods would be linked to higher levels of happiness in a given state. By devoting resources to amenities that otherwise would probably not exist, “government can help to create and sustain communities...
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Mr George L Darey Jun 5, 1928 – Dec 21, 2018 Conservation Advocate

George L. "Gige" Darey 6/5/1928 - 12/21/2018 Conservation Advocate https://www.rochefuneralhome.com/m/obituaries/George-Darey/#!/Obituary George L. Darey, 90, passed away peacefully from congestive heart failure at home in his native Lenox on Friday afternoon December 21, 2018. Born to the late John Darey and Francine Darey, Gige graduated, after some pranks, from Lenox Memorial High School, received a B.A. in Political Science from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh and two Masters degrees from the University of Massachusetts, in Biology and School Administration. Following graduation, he served in the Korean War. Thanks to a claimed major in Geology at induction, Gige met and began to work for a speed reading instructor in the Army, which led to a future in teaching. Gige loved teaching high school: History and Social Studies at Mahar, in Orange, MA, Speed Reading and Study Skills at Wahconah in Dalton, MA. Being a lifelong outdoorsman, he started highly successful Fish and Game Clubs at each school. He began a Lenox summer...
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As I See It: Conservationists must defeat Fitchburg-Westminster landfill expansion

Opinion | Telegram & Gazette | December 14, 2018 https://www.telegram.com/news/20181214/as-i-see-it-conservationists-must-defeat-fitchburg-westminster-landfill-expansion It was a beautiful fall day, with cool crisp air and plenty of sunlight filtering through the partially bare hardwood trees when I set out to hike the Ball Hill loop in the state Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) Leominster State Forest. The trail heads southeast from the parking lot for Lower Crow Hill Pond, where families swim and picnic during the warmer months. This beach is the most popular attraction at the 4,200-acre, nearly 100-year old state forest, which also features hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and other soul replenishing activities. As I headed toward Berry Hill, elevation 1,185 feet, I planned to walk the loop to Black Bear Run, which passes just south of the Fitchburg-Westminster landfill. At the junction of the Red Oak and Ball Hill trails, I cut the loop short by bushwhacking due north toward Black Bear Run. I hadn’t gone more than a few yards when I heard...
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Voters say raise my taxes to preserve parks, but Beacon Hill isn’t keeping up with demand

Editorial | The Boston Globe | November 30, 2018 https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/editorials/2018/11/30/voters-say-raise-taxes-preserve-parks-but-beacon-hill-isn-keeping-with-demand/mt1Y00W9LXGaEmqd9MlRPJ/story.html Quincy is restoring a bell tower at a historic church; Bedford chose to fix up a skate park; Cambridge put its money into a rehab of affordable housing. What those projects, along with hundreds of others like them all over Massachusetts, have in common is that they were paid for with a wonky government program that’s rightly celebrated as a runaway success. Now, though, the program — a state-local partnership known as the Community Preservation Act — is becoming a victim of its own popularity. The number of towns and cities participating has ballooned to 175 over the past two decades, but the main state funding source hasn’t grown with it. Boston’s vote to join the program in 2016 put an especially big strain on its finances, forcing the state’s contribution to be split among even more municipalities. Advocates, including local leaders, are asking the state to provide more revenue to account for the program’s growth. Governor Charlie Baker is on board. Now...
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In dual forums, Baker, Gonzalez stake their positions on environment

Matt Stout | The Boston Globe | October 12, 2018 https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/10/11/dual-forums-baker-gonzalez-stake-their-positions-environment/9lpfmxle2gDxjFagY0o3mJ/story.html Governor Charlie Baker vowed that, if reelected, he’ll deliver a “much better” MBTA built on a multiyear, $8 billion investment plan, with a promise to find more resources if needed. His Democratic challenger, Jay Gonzalez, said if he’s successful on Nov. 6, revamping public transportation, including a commitment to expansion, will be a top priority. And it’s “going to take money” — more than Baker’s investing, he said. The contrast was just one of several the two delivered Thursday in a pair of forums, where questions ricocheted between transportation, gas pipelines, climate resiliency, and some of the state’s most pressing energy and environmental issues. Baker and Gonzalez both stressed the importance of combating climate change and greasing the skids for more sustainable solutions, such as more electric cars on the roads. But they also cut clear lines of distinctions, perhaps none more so than on the T, where Baker has resisted calls to funnel...
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