Massachusetts: 'C' is for 'Corruption'

Massachusetts: ‘C’ is for ‘Corruption.’ The Center for Public Integrity assigned letter grades to each of the states for risk of corruption, and the results are pretty startling. No state earned an A+ or A-, and seven states earned an F. Massachusetts came in with a pretty average (but not all that impressive) C. “Politics has always been a contact sport … and Massachusetts has a colorful history of corruption capers” write Maggie Mulvihill, Matt Porter and Kirsten Berg, citing our history of political embarrassments, blue laws, and culture of distrust. “Every decade of the 20th century stars a breed of government rogue, from the rascal politician James Michael Curley, reelected from his JAIL cell in 1904, to last year’s federal conviction of the third consecutive House Speaker for corruption.” [Center for Public Integrity]

Southie Survives Another St. Patty’s Day … except for flesh wounds from that guy who fell off the roof and all-around classiness and shenanigans from hordes of drunk people. [WCVB | BostInno]

NStar Won’t Pay for Blackout Losses! NStar Won’t Help the Elderly! Breathe easy for the week, MBTA. You’re not longer the most-criticized entity in Boston. [ | Herald]

Western Mass. Has a Coke Problem. A Coca-Cola problem, that is. Fifth-grade humor aside, the local impact of the recently expanded Coca-Cola factory in Northampton is no laughing matter. The Coke factory produces a massive amount of sludge that can’t be poured into the Connecticut River (thank goodness), but has to be taken … somewhere … after it’s treated. And then someone has to pick up the tab. [Triple Pundit]

Mass. High School Grad Rates Up, ‘Dropout Factories’ Down. A national report shows that the Class of 2009 graduation rate is at 83.3 percent in Massachusetts, up from 77.6 percent in 2002. Meanwhile, the state also had six fewer ‘dropout factories’ (schools that have graduation rates of 60 percent or less), down to 18 in 2010 from 24 in 2002. The goal? 90 percent graduation rate by 2020 and eliminating dropout factories by 2016. []