The pandemic affected senior citizens sooner and more harshly than most other people, and now that the threat of COVID-19 is significantly diminished — “on the run,” as Gov. Charlie Baker says — it’s a good time to take stock of how we support our aging and elderly population.

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Should restaurants be allowed to continue serving to-go cocktails? Sen. Diana DiZoglio, D-Methuen, pushed for a state budget amendment that would extend the drink deliveries, allowed as part of the emergency orders issued due to COVID-19. The effort appeared to fizzle -- until a Senate comm…

Are jobless benefits keeping people out of work? Some business leaders want the state to pull out of federal pandemic relief programs that give an extra $300 in weekly benefits to people who've lost jobs due to restrictions meant to stop spread of COVID-19. The federal benefits, which are …

The story of schools staying open through a pandemic, of students trying to stay on track with classes, and of teachers keeping tabs on students, has been one of hardship. Despite the benefits of connectivity and technology, the majority of adults and certainly many kids prefer in-person ins…

Should the MBTA stick with high fines for fare evaders, or scale back those penalties to something that working people can afford to pay? The T's Fiscal and Management Control Board has studied several proposals to rework the structure of fines for fare evaders, who are said to skim $10 mil…

Are you ready to head back to the Fenway? Gov. Charlie Baker has announced the relaxing of rules meant to stop the spread of COVID-19, following updated guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as more people get vaccinated. The state is dropping the mask mandate,…

One way Democrats and Republicans make sure they remain political gatekeepers, here and everywhere, is by keeping a firm grasp on whose name gets on the ballot, particularly for a statewide election. The process is exclusionary by design. Cracking it even a hair can be counted as a victory f…

It’s not like state education leaders have been relaxing without much to occupy their time, after more than a year spent ripping apart and rebuilding public education in a pandemic. But guidelines for screening for dyslexia, particularly in the elementary grades, are a long time coming.

What do you think about red-light cameras that snap pictures of cars running a traffic light or making an illegal turn? Gov. Charlie Baker has proposed allowing cities and towns to adopt the traffic control devices as part of a sweeping bill aimed at making Massachusetts roads safer. But t…

Should the state give big subsidies to movie producers? Massachusetts gives one of the heftiest subsidies of any state to producers of films, TV shows and commercials. Subsidies equal to 25% of production costs can be sold, transferred or cashed in by a studio, up to five years after the fi…

Is it getting any easier to book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination? The state last week broadened the criteria of those eligible to get the vaccine to include anyone age 16 and older, regardless of health status. But as health officials urge patience in booking a vaccine visit, othe…

Should Massachusetts follow New Hampshire’s lead and lift its “mask mandate”? The New Hampshire mandate, in effect since Nov. 20, was allowed to expire as of last Friday. An announcement by Gov. Chris Sununu’s office cited a reduction in the number of deaths and hospitalizations due to COV…

If we didn’t lead digital lives before the pandemic, we certainly do now. We’ve been to class and work from our kitchen tables. We’ve visited with grandchildren and gone to the doctor on Zoom. We’ve ordered groceries, attended a Passover seder or celebrated Easter services online.

How closely should gas projects be regulated? At a recent Beacon Hill hearing, a representative of gas utilities told lawmakers that new rules stemming from the 2018 Merrimack Valley gas disaster are unnecessary. Jose Costa, of the Northeast Gas Association, says a rule requiring an engine…

Editor’s Note: The Duxbury High School football coach was fired after school officials investigated the team’s use of anti-Semitic language on the field, which reportedly included using “Auschwitz” as the code name for a play.

Should Andover schools work harder to return high school students to full-time, in-person schedules before the end of the academic year? The schools plan to ask state education officials for a waiver from a requirement that high school students return to a five-day, in-person schedule due t…

Last week's town election in Andover saw just 5% of registered voters (or 1,232 people) mark a ballot in which all of the incumbents for local office ran unopposed for reelection. How come more people don't put in their names for Select Board, School Committee or another town position?

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