Massachusetts’ three largest Sunday papers run Initiative piece

Yesterday, the Initiative for Investigative Reporting published a piece on the physician-friendly practice of purging or omitting malpractice settlement payments and disciplinary actions from physician profiles. The Boston Globe, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, and The Springfield Republican are also carrying the report.

You can find their versions here:

Sterilized Records: Medical website can omit history of malpractice, misdeeds, Telegram & Gazette

Once a model, state medical board lags badly, Boston Globe

Investigation: Massachusetts medical board omits, removes thousands of embarrassing records from physician database, The Republican

State inspector general urges Boston to seek better deal from Red Sox in 2013; Boston City Council plans to hold a hearing

Reacting to a report by the Initiative for Investigative Reporting, the state inspector general is demanding a better financial arrangement between the city of Boston and the Red Sox for game-day rights to Yawkey Way and Van Ness Street, and for the air rights over the Green Monster seats, The Boston Globe reports.

The sweetheart deal that put about $45 million in revenue in the Sox coffers in exchange for an average of $186,000 a year in lease fees to the city caught the attention of Inspector General Gregory W. Sullivan after The Initiative for Investigative Reporting published a story on the agreement last November.

Sullivan urged city officials to determine how much money the Red Sox have made using public property since 2003, when the team signed a relatively low-cost lease for the streets. The city should negotiate a better deal, he wrote.

“Yawkey Way and Lansdowne Street are public property,’’ Sullivan said yesterday in an e-mail to the Globe. “The public should receive fair market value for the use of its property.’’

The current arrangement is up for renegotiation after the 2013 baseball season. The Boston City Council will hold a public hearing on the lease between the city and the Red Sox this Wednesday (February 29, 2012).

Read the full Globe account here.

Boston Globe Editorial Takes a Swing at BRA-Red Sox Deal

The Boston Globe published an editorial today on the Initiative for Investigative Reporting’s recent story that highlighted a deal between Red Sox management and the Boston Redevelopment Authority that allows for the closure of public streets during Red Sox games.

Here’s a teaser:

The bottom line is that the city gave away control of public streets – and allowed the banishment of private vendors – without seeking much in return. Generous lease terms that the city deemed seemed appropriate nine years ago are no longer defensible now.

Read the full editorial: Drive harder bargain with Sox

Initiative’s Fenway Park Stories Also Run in Boston Globe and on Channel Five

The Initiative for Investigative Reporting’s Fenway Park story has also been published by the Boston Globe and Channel Five News.

You can read the Globe’s story here: Streets’ use a sweet deal for Red Sox

And watch Channel Five’s version here: City Loses Millions In Red Sox Deal





Boston Globe editorial questions Cambridge City Council oversight

Watchdog New England and Cambridge Day’s recent story on Cambridge city manager Robert Healy’s rich salary and retirement package has spurred a Boston Globe editorial that asks city council: Who is making sure the Cambridge public is getting its money’s worth?

The editorial cites the private matter in which Healy’s most recent contract was negotiated, the handling of the Malvina Monteiro lawsuit and wonders whether city government in Cambridge resembles a fiefdom.

Healy’s supporters contend that Cambridge residents are comfortable with Healy’s leadership. But the essential drawback of a city-manager system of government is that a willful manager can gain so much leverage over the City Council that the government begins to resemble a fiefdom. After 30 years in office, Healy has assumed vast power in Cambridge. The council, which assigned two of its members to negotiate Healy’s latest pact and then approved it without discussing its costs, should take its oversight role more diligently.

Read the full editorial: Cambridge city manager’s pay shows lack of council oversight