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Living in the Berkshires, I have been fortunate to have some really good doctors. But I also know that doctors who decide to practice here make a sacrifice to do so. While the Berkshires are a beautiful place to live and raise children, doctors do not make the same salary as they would in a metropolitan area, and with the student debt that most physician’s carry it is a real problem.

One after another, they looked at a seething, conspiracy-addled crowd and indulged, fed and stoked every element of their furious worldview. I didn’t see a single true leader on Trump’s stage, not even Trump himself. I saw a collection of followers, each vying for the affection of the real power in Waco, the coddled populist mob.

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Just years after labor activists persuaded a handful of states to raise their minimum wage to $15 per hour, workers initially thrilled with the pay bump are finding their hard-won gains erased by inflation. New York, California, and Massachusetts are among states where legislation has been filed to boost minimum wages to $20 or more. But opponents to hikes in wages say it can be detrimental to small businesses who already operate on thin margins. Barry Nicholson, a businessowner in Corning, a city by the Finger Lakes in New York, said a big wage increase would be “a smack in the face to small businesses.”

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Phillip Eng, an engineer with decades of experience running public transit systems, has been named the general manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the Boston area’s troubled public transit agency. Democratic Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey made the announcement Monday. Eng, the former president of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Long Island Rail Road and one-time interim President of New York City Transit, is currently executive vice president at an engineering consultant firm. The MBTA oversees the nation’s oldest subway system as well as commuter rail, bus and ferry service and has come under intense scrutiny in recent years for a series of safety issues that led to a federal review.

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A massive fire has destroyed five homes and damaged three others in a beachfront neighborhood in Scituate. The fire broke out Friday night near Minot Beach. No injuries have been reported. The fire chief told nbcboston.com that the American Red Cross of Massachusetts is helping about a half dozen people who were displaced. The Scituate Police Department said Friday night that residents should expect potential power outages and issues with water pressure and discoloration. Crews are expected to remain on the scene on Saturday to extinguish any hotspots. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

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Officials say five freight train cars have derailed in Massachusetts. But no hazardous materials were being hauled, and there were no reports of injuries. Authorities say the freight cars toppled over at about 11:30 a.m. Thursday. They were carrying sealed containers of trash and recycling material. The fire department called railway operator CSX and the utility National Grid to the scene, and officials took precautions to protect a nearby waterway. The train was not moving at the time of the derailment. CSX said there were no effects on the environment, and the cause remains under investigation. CSX said the cars derailed on a line jointly owned with Norfolk Southern.

This week, Cat Wei, Parvati Ramchandani and Mario Giannone are writing in Edith Wharton’s innermost rooms. They have come to The Mount on a raw almost-spring day as writers in residence — three of the nine who will come in March, as part of the 2023 Edith Wharton-Straw Dog Writers-in-Residence program.

How well do we know, really know, our dearest beloved — wife, husband, lover, child? What happens when trust is eroded? How do we repair the damage? Those questions go to the heart of playwright Kate Snodgrass’ edgy, sly comedy, “The Art of Burning” which is being given a cannily staged, persuasively acted production at Hartford Stage.


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