02/17 THE GLOBE DELIVERS A TED KENNEDY CLOSE-UP
Kennedy-philes, rejoice: On top of an ambitious seven-part series on the life of Ted Kennedy we hear the Globe will be running this month, the paper today drops a beefy biography edited by Washington bureau chief Peter Canellos. "We consider this the definitive biography," Canellos says. By hitting shelves now, the tome will scoop the senator’s much-anticipated autobiography, for which he received an eye-popping $8.5 million advance.
02/01 STAKES ARE RAISED IN THE HEALTHCARE WARS
Tufts Medical Center CEO Ellen Zane set up a turning point in the Hub’s evolving healthcare battles when she said her hospital might stop accepting Blue Cross Blue Shield’s patients starting today, unless the firm began reimbursing Tufts doctors at a rate comparable to what it paid docs at other Boston teaching hospitals. The demand followed the revelation that Partners HealthCare hospitals had worked out a plum deal with BCBS back in 2000, when Partners employed a no-nonsense negotiator—named Ellen Zane. Though Governor Patrick is trying to get insurers and healthcare providers to play nice, expect more of this kind of brassy brinkmanship.
02/02 TAX BILL DUE ON THE HOUSE THE CRASH FORGOT
Boston’s property tax rate dropped 3.1 percent this year, but Ofer Nemirovsky, the private-equity mogul at work on a 24,000-square-foot palace in the Back Bay, is still cutting a hefty check as his third-quarter property taxes come due. The $28,000 he owes is for the pair of townhouses he’s joining to make the city’s largest home. When the 15-bathroom spread is finally finished, his annual tax bill on it could approach a quarter mil.
02/02 PUCK DROPS ON A BLOCKBUSTER BEANPOT
Blessed though we (finally) are here in the Hub of Hockey with the resurgence of the Bruins, this is no year to forget our collegiate icers and their annual tussle for city bragging rights at the Garden. For the past 16 years, Harvard and Northeastern have been Beanpot also-rans, with Boston University and Boston College taking turns with the trophy. Both BU and BC are consistently national powers, and each is again looking fearsome: BC, which has played in the past three NCAA title games, is the defending national champ, while BU has been ranked in the top five all season.
But this year you’d be wise to take in tonight’s semifinal games (BU vs. Harvard; BC vs. Northeastern), not just next Monday’s title bout. That’s because of the surprise play of the Huskies of Northeastern, who’ve been among the nation’s top-ranked all year and have spent a good portion of the season sitting atop the Hockey East conference. Plus there’s Harvard, which is, well, the number-one-ranked college in America, says U.S. News & World Report. Sure, the Crimson are a mediocre squad in a lackluster conference, but they gave BC all it could handle in an overtime thriller in last year’s finals. If they show up to play again, this ‘pot could be one for the ages."
TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, beanpothockey.com.
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QUESTIONS YOU’LL HAVE REASON TO ASK THIS MONTH
What’s next for Mitt Romney? In January, the ex-governor stuck his toe back into the business world by rejoining the board of the Marriott hotel chain. As for his political plans over the next four years, perhaps those will come into clearer focus after the speech he’s scheduled to give at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, DC (2/26–2/28). It’ll be interesting to see whether, after arguing for a restructuring of the auto industry in the fall and advising Congress on economic recovery last month, Romney uses the speech to continue promoting his rediscovered image as a moderate problem-solver, or as a chance to fire up the conservative base.
Just how bad will things get for Boston schoolkids? Forced to trim $100 million, city school administrators will submit a budget this month that is expected to lead to widespread job cuts. The grim likelihood is that extracurriculars and electives will get dialed way back.
Did Boston.com just break the Internet? Small-town-newspaper behemoth GateHouse Media, publisher of dailies like the Newton Tab, doesn’t much care for the Globe website’s practice of linking to its online stories. GateHouse says it amounts to stealing content, and has filed suit demanding that Boston.com stop. If the federal judge expected to issue a ruling this month agrees, the ripple effect, dooms-dayers say, could disrupt the way blogs and sites like Google News aggregate and link to content all over the Web. GEOFFREY GAGNON