Explosion of drug-dependent infants reveals weakness in Mass. child protection

The Grave of Mya Barry in Pine Hill Cemetery, Quincy, Mass. (John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe)

Mya Barry's brief life and untimely death point to weaknesses in a social services system that is struggling to deal with the region’s booming addiction to prescription and illegal drugs — a plague that has besieged hospitals with drug-exposed newborns and overwhelmed state social workers for the past five years. Continue Reading →

Oceans of trouble for U.S. taxpayers

The photo above shows 48 Oceanside Drive in Scituate, Massachusetts. The house has repeatedly suffered flood damage from coastal storms, and the majority of repair costs are funded by a federal program. (Photo by Laura Owens)

Over and over again, the Atlantic has taken aim at 48 Oceanside Drive. Almost four decades ago, it slammed the house clear off its foundation. Thirteen years later, seawater poured through the roof during a nor’easter. So often has the sea catapulted grapefruit-sized rocks through the vacation home’s windows that a former owner installed bulletproof-glass. Continue Reading →