The New York Times recently stationed a duo on the streets of the Big Apple to ask people what they do for work and how much they earn. From 400 requests, 27 gave answers, producing a randomly diverse compensation snapshot. New York City implemented a salary transparency law last year, and Massachusetts, along with several other states, appears on track to pass its own version, one that would require companies to make salary ranges available for open positions. A House and Senate bill is teed up and seems to have ample support in both chambers, and if passed into law, would provide another tool to help close the gender wage gap.

But would you tell a reporting team how much you make? No surprise that 19 out of 20 people told the Times to get lost, for It remains a taboo topic for most — a fundamental invasion of privacy. Those in the public sphere, however, are used to having their salaries available for inspection, which brings us to our salary multiple choice quiz (answers below):

(1) Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (base salary):

a.    $265,220

b.    $185,000

c.    $222,185

(2) State legislators (base pay)

a.    $73,654

b.    $90,434

c.    $110,233

(3) Boston City Councilors

a.    $103,000

b.    $87,000

c.    $72,000

(4) Massachusetts chief medical examiner

a.    $276,000

b.    $377,00

c.    $422,000

(5) MBTA subway dispatchers

a.    $103,000

b.    $122,000

c.    $89,000

(see answers below)

Will NH settle for second fiddle in Presidential primaries?

There’s a poop-storm arising from the Democratic National Committee’s decision to move South Carolina ahead of the Granite State in the presidential primary calendar. Democrats in New Hampshire feel betrayed and flummoxed by the President, and also hemmed in by a state law mandating that its primary be first in the nation. That leaves open the very real possibility that officials there will go the Live Free or Die route, in part because they don’t have the power to change the law. They likely will hold a primary anyway.

The DNC is giving New Hampshire until early June to adjust its primary calendar. Fat chance, it seems. “They could say June, they could say next week, they could say in five years, but it’s not going to matter,” said former Gov. John Lynch told the New York Times. “It’s like asking New York to move the Statue of Liberty from New York to Florida. I mean, that’s not going to happen. And it’s not going to happen that we’re going to change state law.”

Healey – tax relief still on the table

In an interview with WBZ-TV political analyst and MASSterList contributor Jon Keller yesterday, Gov. Healey said she believes there’s room in the upcoming Fiscal 2024 budget for targeted tax relief. That includes “expanding the senior circuit breaker, providing relief to lower-income folks, to renters, providing a child a child tax credit,” Healey said. “That’s something that I’ve been supportive of for a long time, as well as making an adjustment to the estate tax.” Healey said she’s crunching the numbers for a budget due March 1.


Frozen: A burst pipe medley

And you think you’ve got problems. Frozen and burst pipes created chaos across Boston from the historic cold, including forcing an evacuation at the Wang Theater where patrons at comedy show were forced to evacuate Saturday night and wait outside in 10 degree weather, chanting at one point “Let us in!” Adam Gaffin at Universal Hub has a rundown of several institutional frozen pipe challenges.

Universal Hub

Boston’s commute ranks 5th worse — an improvement?

Boston’s average driving time per leg of a commute: 32.6 minutes. That puts us behind Riverside, Calif., Washington, DC, San Francisco, and New York City (ranked worst), according to data from Automoblog. Riddle me this: With hybrid work schedules and downtown Boston struggling to return to full occupancy, why does the commute remain a nightmare? The Boston Herald’s Gayla Cawley has more driving data, who notes that this is an upgrade for Boston, which was rated second worse in the world in an INRIX study a few weeks ago.

Boston Herald

Meet the embattled Mass. librarian

The cultures wars have invaded Massachusetts libraries, reports the Boston Globe. Challenges and disruptions over programming and books nearly quadrupled in 2021 over the previous year, and librarians are being called unpleasant names. Library staff have been called “groomers, pedophiles, or accused of sexually exploiting children via phone calls, social media posts, and in person,” says one suburban librarian.

Boston Globe

Back to school: Woburn teachers’ strike over after a week

A week-long walkout by teachers in Woburn is over and students will be back in class today after weekend negotiations resulted in a deal that includes the teachers’ union paying for the bulk of the $250,000 in costs associated with the strike. The Globe’s John Hilliard reports the local union was claiming victory after winning sizable raises for teachers and paraprofessionals in exchange for a slightly longer school day. 

Boston Globe

In Westfield, volunteer vets will help boost school safety 

Seven Westfield military veterans are being trained to become an extra layer of security at local schools, MassLive’s Amy Porter reports. After training, the vets will be deployed first to local elementary schools, which do not have school resource officers, to help watch entrances and grounds. Veterans who take part will be eligible for a property tax rebate.


Northampton reparations resolution ready for a council vote 

One of Northampton’s few Black elected officials has formally introduced a resolution that would create a commission to study reparations as the city follows the lead of neighboring Amherst in looking to right historical wrongs. Alexander MacDougall of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has the details on what could happen next.

Daily Hampshire Gazette

Warren invites Taunton mom to State of the Union to highlight child care crisis 

A mother of four from Taunton who is also a full-time nursing student at UMass Dartmouth will be U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s special guest at President Biden’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday. As Daniel Schemer of the Taunton Daily Gazette reports, Warren invited Eugénie Ouedraogo, who she met in 2021, to highlight the role that high-quality child care can play in improving lives. 

Alewife T station to be closed for at least a week after a garage crash

A driver slammed into a concrete barrier on the top level of the Alewife station garage on Saturday afternoon, sending concrete debris through glass panels above the lobby, Stacy Kess of the Cambridge Day reports. A structural assessment of the garage is now underway.

Cambridge Day

Taunton Daily Gazette

Quiz answers:

  1. c; 2. a; 3. a; 4. c; 5. a

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