Whitey Bulger: Why Bostonians Are So Obsessed With Him
June 29, 2011

I doubt the rest of the country is as preoccupied with all things Bulger as we are here in Boston. After several days, still the chit chat—everywhere—is about getting Whitey. (Do you think the FBI wanted him not to be found?

Franklin: When Will Gay Marriage’s Time Come in Literature?
June 28, 2011

It is a truth now occasionally, if not yet universally, acknowledged: that a single man, whether or not he possesses a good fortune, could be in want of not a wife, but a husband. The passage last weekend of New York’s historic same-sex marriage bill, which made the state the largest to join the gathering movement, was thrilling to all supporters of equal rights.

Government Jobs and the Economic Recovery in Metropolitan America (Updated June 24, 2011)
June 27, 2011

The current edition of Brookings’ MetroMonitor shows that government job growth is associated with the economic performance of America’s metropolitan areas since the beginning of the recession. Among the nation’s 100 largest metro areas, the 20 that have done the best since the recession started (taking into account recovery of jobs, output, unemployment rates, and house prices) are Augusta, Austin, Boston,   Buffalo, Columbus, Dallas, El Paso, Honolulu, Jackson, Knoxville, Little Rock, Madison, McAllen, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Pittsburgh, Rochester, San Antonio, and Washington. Of th

"The Departed," Whitey Bulger, and America's Most Wanted
June 23, 2011

There was more good news about the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list today: Just seven weeks after being able to mark "DECEASED" over Osama bin Laden's photo, the bureau can now mark "CAPTURED" over the picture of James "Whitey" Bulger, the South Boston mob boss wanted for 19 murders, not to mention racketeering, narcotics distribution, and extortion.

Government Jobs and the Economic Recovery in Metropolitan America
June 22, 2011

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Metropolitan Boston ... #winning
June 17, 2011

with Carey Anne Nadeau With the Bruins’ defeat of riot-prone Canucks (who’d have thought?) Wednesday night in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Boston area has now laid claim to a championship in each major American sports league (NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB) within the last seven years. The New England Patriots won their last Super Bowl in 2005; the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2007; and the Boston Celtics won the NBA title in 2008.  Our analysis confirms that, indeed, Boston is the first metro area to achieve the distinction of having held all four major sports titles within such a sho

Metros Turn Up the Heat on Addressing Climate
June 02, 2011

As the heat and humidity settle into Washington for the season and the hope that Congress might one day take action to prevent a warming climate melts away, readers can find some relief in a recent spate of reports emanating from across metro America.   Metros, where 84 percent of the nation’s population live and work, will be on the frontlines of adaptation to climate change. Unsurprisingly then, a network of pragmatic metro leaders are taking the adaptation imperative seriously. They’re acting—on data and empirical evidence, no less!—to prepare for a future that will disrupt human geography

Trapped on an 'Island' of Transit Isolation
May 31, 2011

with Louis Liss Looking at job access by transit in metropolitan America certain things emerge that were to be expected in most places; because transit has long been a city-oriented service and a lot of transit agencies operate from the “hub-and-spoke” model inherited from centuries past--that is, the old tradition of running most of the lines into downtowns. From that, cities like Chicago, Boston, and Cincinnati have systems that have almost concentric-looking levels of access from high in the central cities to moderate in the inner suburban fringe, to negligible in the coverage outskirts.

Maintenance on Silver’s Transit Line
May 23, 2011

Late last week, our recent report Missed Opportunity: Transit and Jobs in Metro America came in for some bumps and bruises on Nate Silver’s thoughtful and well-known political blog FiveThirtyEight. Silver is an analytical heavyweight, and he had several good points to make about how best to measure the effectiveness of transit systems. But Silver’s post also betrays some misconceptions regarding our report. There are some fundamental differences between what Silver seems to think we studied, and what we actually did study. He’s not the first to have those misconceptions, but he is the first to

Sprawling Jobs Tough Task for Transit
May 18, 2011

New Brookings research on transit and access to jobs enables for the first time metro to metro comparisons on transit performance. One question quickly emerges: Do metro areas with well-established transit systems provide the best access to jobs? We know that some of the largest metro areas are home to the best known and most used transit systems in the country. Several are at the vanguard of innovative planning and land use strategies. These metros are also some of the country’s most powerful economic engines. However, we were surprised to find uneven results in these places.