Massachusetts

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Posted by motoman 03/17/2009 @ 13:09

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Pepsi Bottling Group to buy Massachusetts bottler - Forbes
AP , 05.14.09, 11:21 AM EDT Pepsi Bottling Group Inc., the largest bottler for soft drink maker PepsiCo Inc., said Thursday it plans to buy a fellow bottler in Massachusetts. Terms of the deal to acquire Pepsi ( PEP - news - people )-Cola Bottlers for...
Massachusetts sets tough fast-food menu rules - Reuters
By Jason Szep BOSTON, May 13 (Reuters) - Massachusetts approved the toughest statewide restaurant menu labeling rules in the United States on Wednesday, requiring major chain restaurants to display the calorie content of the food they sell....
Mass. transit authority banning driver cell phones - The Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts transit officials are banning operators of their trains, street cars and buses from carrying cell phones while they are driving the public. The policy change announced Wednesday follows a trolley crash last week that injured...
Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund arts grants aid sites in ... - The Republican - MassLive.com
by The Republican Newsroom By PATRICK JOHNSON SPRINGFIELD - Two Springfield organizations were among the recipients of $12.4 million in arts and culture grants awarded Thursday by the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund....
Massachusetts census numbers flat compared to other states - The Republican - MassLive.com
by The Republican Newsroom By STAN FREEMAN Massachusetts, like the rest of the nation, continues to grow older and more racially diverse, according to new figures from the US Census Bureau. However, the bureau's population estimates for July 1, 2008,...
Dealers Struggle With Chrysler Elimination Plan - FOXNews
A dozen Chrysler dealers in Massachusetts, six New Hampshire Chrysler or Jeep dealers and one Rhode Island dealer are among those targeted for closure as part of the restructuring process for the automaker. Midway Motors in Framingham, Mass.,...
BUSINESS IN BRIEF: M&A activity seen increasing in Massachusetts ... - Enterprise News
BOSTON – Massachusetts deal-makers are getting increasingly optimistic that merger and acquisition activity is going to pick up later this year, the Association for Corporate Growth reports. About 71 percent of the investment bankers, private equity...
Climate change bill could end regional alliance - Boston Globe
By Susan Milligan WASHINGTON - A landmark alliance that Massachusetts helped form is slated for elimination under a climate change bill being written in Congress, possibly depriving the Bay State of as much as $100 million it now collects from power...
Mass. Senate approves ethics, lobbying bill - Boston Globe
By Steve LeBlanc AP Writer / May 14, 2009 BOSTON—The Massachusetts Senate approved a bill Thursday designed to crack down on lobbying excesses as Beacon Hill tries to rebuild public confidence after a series of ethics scandals....
Massachusetts - Top 5 Regions Targeting Biotech, 2009 - FierceBiotech
For a state that had everything going for it on the biotech front, Massachusetts had earned a reputation for being a hard place to do business. Its world-class cluster grew up around some of the world's top academic research centers....

Massachusetts

Map of the United States with Massachusetts highlighted

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts ( /ˌmæsəˈtʃuːsɨts/ (help·info)) is a state located in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It borders Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north. To the east, it borders the Atlantic Ocean. Most of its population of 6.4 million live in the Boston metropolitan area. The eastern half of this relatively small state is mostly urban and suburban, while Western Massachusetts is mostly rural. Massachusetts is the most populous of the six New England states. It ranks third among U.S. states in overall population density and fourth in GDP per capita.

Massachusetts has been significant throughout American history. Plymouth was the second permanent English settlement in North America. Many of Massachusetts' towns were founded by colonists from England in the 1620s and 1630s. During the eighteenth century, Boston became known as the "Cradle of Liberty" for the agitation there which led to the American Revolution and the independence of the United States from Great Britain. In the nineteenth century, Massachusetts was the first U.S. state to abolish slavery. Also, it was a center of the temperance movement and abolitionist activity preceding the American Civil War. In 2004, Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legally recognize same-sex marriage. The state has contributed many prominent politicians to national service, including the Adams family and, more recently, the Kennedy family.

Originally dependent on agriculture and trade with Europe, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the twentieth century the state's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. Today the state is a leader in higher education, health care, high technology and financial services.

The Massachusetts Bay Colony was named after the indigenous population, the Massachusett, whose name can be segmented as mass-adchu-s-et, where mass- is "large", -adchu- is "hill", -s- is a diminutive suffix meaning "small", and -et is a locative suffix, identifying a place. It has been translated as "near the great hill," "by the blue hills" "at the little big hill," or "at the range of hills," referring to the Blue Hills, or in particular, Great Blue Hill, located on the boundary of Milton and Canton, to the southwest of Boston. (c.f. the Narragansett name Massachusêuck; Ojibwe misajiwensed, "of the little big hill").

Massachusetts is officially a "commonwealth." Colloquially, it is often referred to simply as "the Commonwealth," although "state" is used interchangeably. While this designation is part of the state's official name, it has no practical implications. Massachusetts has the same position and powers within the United States as other states and a similar form of internal government.

Massachusetts is bordered on the north by New Hampshire and Vermont; on the west by New York; on the south by Connecticut and Rhode Island; and on the east by the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the state is uplands of resistant metamorphic rock that were scraped by Pleistocene glaciers that deposited moraines and outwash on a large, sandy, arm-shaped peninsula called Cape Cod and the islands Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket to the south of Cape Cod. Upland elevations increase to the north and west and the highest point in the state is Mount Greylock at 3,491 feet (1,064 m) near the state's northwest corner.

The uplands are interrupted by the downfaulted Pioneer Valley along the Connecticut River and further west by the Housatonic Valley separating the Berkshire Hills from the Taconic Range along the western border with New York.

Boston is located at the innermost point of Massachusetts Bay, at the mouth of the Charles River, the longest river entirely within Massachusetts. Most of the population of the Boston metropolitan area (approximately 4.4 million) does not live in the city proper; eastern Massachusetts on the whole is fairly densely populated and largely suburban as far west as Worcester.

Central Massachusetts encompasses Worcester County, and includes the cities of Worcester, Fitchburg, Leominster, Gardner, Southbridge and small upland towns, forests, and small farms. The Quabbin Reservoir borders the western side of the county, and is the main water supply for the eastern part of the state.

The Pioneer Valley along the Connecticut River in Western Massachusetts is urbanized from the Connecticut border (and greater Hartford) to north as far as Northampton, and includes Springfield, Chicopee, West Springfield, Westfield, and Holyoke. Pioneer Valley economy and population was influenced by agriculturally productive Connecticut River Valley land in the 17th and 18th century, water power for the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century and expansion of higher education in the 20th century.

The remainder of the state west of Pioneer Valley is mainly uplands, a range of small mountains known as the Berkshires, and also includes parts of the Taconic and Hoosac Ranges. It is the summer home to the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Lenox), Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, the Norman Rockwell Museum (Stockbridge), Mount Everett and Mount Greylock, the highest point in Massachusetts. It largely remained in aboriginal hands until the 18th century when Scotch-Irish settlers arrived and found the more productive lands already settled. Availability of better land in western New York and then the Northwest Territory soon put the upland agricultural population into decline. Available water power led to 19th century settlement along upland rivers. Pittsfield and North Adams grew into small cities and there are a number of smaller mill towns along the Westfield River.

The geographic center of the state is in the town of Rutland, in Worcester county. The National Park Service administers a number of natural and historical sites in Massachusetts.

The fourteen counties, moving roughly from west to east, are Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden, Worcester, Middlesex, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bristol, Plymouth, Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket. All but two of the Commonwealth's counties are named for British counties, cities, or nobles.

The primary biome of inland Massachusetts is temperate deciduous forest. However, much of the state has been logged, leaving only traces of old growth forest in isolated pockets. Secondary growth has regenerated in many woodlots and forests, particularly in the western half of Massachusetts. Urbanization, particularly in the eastern half of the state, has affected much of Massachusetts. No longer are there vast expanses of wilderness. Gray Wolf, Elk, Wolverine and Mountain Lion once occurred here but have long since disappeared.

Wildlife species that are doing well are adapting to a changing setting. Coyote, White-tailed Deer, Raccoon, and Wild Turkey are now found in suburbs of major cities and are increasing in population. Black Bear and moose have made comebacks in western and central Massachusetts, and are slowly expanding their range. Peregrine Falcon can be found nesting on artificial platforms on many of the state's tallest buildings in larger cities such as Boston, Worcester and Springfield.

The Atlantic Flyway is the primary migration route for North American bird species. Common Loon are a relatively recent addition to the breeding bird list, their nests at the Wachusett Reservoir are considered the most southerly in the world population of this species. A significant portion of the eastern population of Long-tailed Duck winter off Nantucket. Small offshore islands are home to a significant population of breeding Roseate Terns, and some beaches are important breeding areas to the endangered Piping Plover.

Massachusetts has an extensive coastline and has a declining commercial fishery out to the continental shelf. Atlantic cod, haddock and American lobster are species harvested here. Gray Seal have a large nursery near Monomoy Island and other islands in Nantucket Sound. Harbor seals are commonly seen feeding and playing just offshore year round. Finally, a significant number of the endangered North Atlantic Right Whales summer on feeding grounds in Cape Cod Bay, so many that the state has recently unveiled a special license plate depicting a right whale with the slogan, "Preserve The Trust". It is an attempt to raise public awareness that these animals are in fact endangered. Whale watching is a popular summer activity off the coast of Massachusetts. Boats regularly sail to Stellwagen Bank to view species such as Humpback Whale, Fin Whale, Minke Whale and Atlantic White-sided Dolphin.

A field guide to the geology of NE Massachusetts and SE New Hampshire by Hon, R. , Hepburn, J.C. & Laird, Jo. (Siluro-Devonian igneous rocks of the easternmost three terranes in southeastern New England: examples from NE Massachusetts and SE New Hampshire. Guidbook to field trips in New Hampshire, adjacent Maine and Massachusetts, 42nd Ann Meet. NEGSA, March 11, 2007, p. 23–43) can be accessed at Field GuidePDF (3.60 MB); and a Google Earth .kmz file(Avalon_Nashoba.kmz)showing the field stops and associated geological map overlays can be downloaded from Google Earth.

Massachusetts was originally inhabited by several Algonquian tribes: the Wampanoag, Nauset, Nipmuc, Pocomtuc, Pennacook, Mahican, Massachuset, and some Narragansett and Pequot. A vast number of the indigenous people were killed by waves of smallpox inadvertently brought to the New World by Sir Herbert Popham and his ship to the Saco, Maine area in 1622.

The first European settlers in Massachusetts, the Pilgrims, established their settlement at Plymouth in 1620, and developed friendly relations with the native Wampanoag. This was the second successful permanent English colony in North America, after the Jamestown Colony; both were preceded by temporary camps, the unsuccessful Popham Colony, and Spanish settlements in Florida in the 1500s. Most early settlers came from within 60 miles (100 km) of Haverhill, England. The Pilgrims were soon followed by more Puritans who established the Massachusetts Bay Colony at present-day Boston in 1630. The Puritans, whose beliefs included exclusive understanding of the literal truth of the Bible, came to Massachusetts for religious freedom. Dissenters such as Anne Hutchinson, Roger Williams, and Thomas Hooker left Massachusetts because of the Puritan society's lack of religious tolerance. In 1636, Williams founded the colony of Rhode Island, and Hooker founded Connecticut.

By 1636, the colonists had also begun to settle the inland Pioneer Valley along the Connecticut River, where the state's best agricultural land is concentrated.

Native American-European racial tensions led to King Philip's War of the years 1675–76. Mendon was involved in an early battle in July 1675 and settlers were killed in the Blackstone Valley. There were major campaigns in this war in the Pioneer Valley and Plymouth Colony. In 1690 there was an unsuccessful expedition against French Quebec under William Phips. Massachusetts became a single colony in 1692, the largest in New England, and one where many American institutions and traditions were formed. The colony fought alongside British regulars in a series of French and Indian Wars that were characterized by brutal border raids and successful attacks on British forces in New France (present-day Canada).

Massachusetts was a center of the movement for independence from Great Britain, earning it the nickname, the "Cradle of Liberty". Colonists here had long had uneasy relations with the English monarchy, including open rebellion under the Dominion of New England in the 1680s.

The Boston Tea Party is an example of the protest spirit of the later pre-revolutionary period in the 1770s, and the Boston Massacre is a famous incident which escalated the conflict. Actions by patriots such as Sam Adams and John Hancock followed by counter-actions by the Crown were a main reason for the unity of the Thirteen Colonies and the outbreak of the American Revolution. The Battles of Lexington and Concord initiated the American Revolutionary War and were fought in the Massachusetts towns of Concord and Lexington.

Future President George Washington took over what would become the Continental Army after the battle. His first victory was the 11 month Siege of Boston in early 1776, where his successful fortification of Dorchester Heights forced the British to withdraw from Boston on March 17. This day is celebrated in Massachusetts as Evacuation Day.

The Massachusetts Constitution was ratified in 1780.

After independence and during the formative years of independent American government, Shays' Rebellion was an armed uprising in the western half of the state from 1786 to 1787. The rebels were mostly small farmers angered by crushing war debt and taxes.

On March 15, 1820, Maine separated from Massachusetts, of which it had been a non-contiguous part, and entered the Union as the 23rd state as a result of the ratification of the Missouri Compromise.

During the 19th century, Massachusetts and the New England region became a national and world leader in the Industrial Revolution, with the development of machine tools and textiles. The economy transformed from primarily agricultural to industrial, initially making use of its many rivers, and later the steam engine to power factories for textiles, shoes, furniture, and machinery that drew labor from Yankees on subsistence farms at first, and later drew upon immigrant labor from Canada and Europe.

Horace Mann made the state system of schools the national model. Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson made major contributions to American thought. Members of the Transcendentalism movement, they emphasized the importance of the natural world to humanity.

In the years leading up to the Civil War, Massachusetts was a center of social progressivism, the temperance movement, and abolitionist activity within the United States. Antagonism to these views resulted in anti-abolitionist riots in Massachusetts between 1835 and 1837. The works of abolitionists contributed to subsequent actions of the state during the Civil War. Massachusetts was the first U.S. state to abolish slavery, in a 1783 judicial interpretation of its 1780 constitution, and was the first state to recruit, train, and arm a Black regiment with White officers, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.

Massachusetts would establish itself as a leader in education and innovation during this time. Alexander Graham Bell invented his telephone in Boston in 1876.

The industrial economy began a decline in the early twentieth century with the exodus of many manufacturing companies. By the 1920s competition from the South, followed by the Great Depression, led to the collapse of Massachusetts' two main industries, textiles and shoes, although a few companies would survive into the 1950s. In the years following World War II, Massachusetts was transformed from a factory system to a largely service and high-tech based economy. Some manufacturing does exist in the State today, generally in specialized markets.

Government contracts, private investment, and research facilities led to a new and improved industrial climate, with reduced unemployment and increased per capita income. Suburbanization flourished, and by the 1970s, the Route 128 corridor was dotted with high-technology companies who recruited graduates of the area's many elite institutions of higher education.

The Kennedy family was prominent in Massachusetts politics in the 20th century, especially with President John F. Kennedy in the 1960s. The famous Kennedy Compound is located at Hyannisport on Cape Cod.

In recent years tourism has played an ever-important role in the state's economy, with Boston and Cape Cod being the leading destinations. Other popular tourist destinations include Salem, Plymouth and the Berkshires.

In 1987, the state received federal funding for the Central Artery/Tunnel Project. Known as the "the Big Dig," it was at the time the biggest federal highway project ever approved. Often controversial, with its estimated $14.6 billion price tag, and claims of mismanagement, the Big Dig has changed the face of Downtown Boston, connecting areas that were once divided by elevated highway, and improving traffic conditions (although traffic problems still exist).

In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage, and the sixth jurisdiction in the world (after the Netherlands, Belgium, Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec) to do so.

On November 4, 2008, citizens of the state voted to decriminalize the possession of marijuana. Effective January 2, 2009, a person, 18 years of age or older, caught with an ounce or less of marijuana may be charged with a $100 fine as well as face confiscation of any marijuana on their person. The violation will only be considered a civil violation (rather than criminal). Also on that ballot, the citizens voted to ban greyhound racing in the state.

Massachusetts had an estimated 2006 population of 6,437,193. An estimated increase of 3,826, or 0.1%, from the prior year and an increase of 88,088, or 1.4%, since the year 2000. This includes an increase since the last census of 149,992 people (499,440 births minus 349,448 deaths) and a decrease from net migration of 89,812 people out of the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 200,155 people, and net migration within the country resulted in a loss of 289,967 people. As of 2000, Massachusetts is the third most densely populated U.S. state, with 809.8 per square mile (312.68 per square kilometer), after New Jersey and Rhode Island, and ahead of Connecticut and Maryland.

Massachusetts has seen both population increases and decreases in recent years. For example, while some Bay Staters are leaving, others including Asian, Hispanic and African immigrants, arrive to replace them. Massachusetts in 2004 included 881,400 foreign-born residents.

Most Bay Staters live within a 60 mile radius of the State House on Beacon Hill, often called Greater Boston: the City of Boston, neighboring cities and towns, the North Shore, South Shore, the northern, western, and southern suburbs, and most of southeastern and central Massachusetts. Eastern Massachusetts is more urban than Western Massachusetts, which is primarily rural, save for the cities of Springfield, Chicopee, and Northampton, which serve as centers of population density in the Pioneer Valley of the Connecticut River. The center of population of Massachusetts is located in Middlesex County, in the town of Natick.

The five largest reported ancestries in Massachusetts are: Irish (23.5%), Italian (13.5%), French/French Canadian (or Franco-American) (12.9%), English (11.4%), German (5.9%).

Massachusetts is the most Irish state in the country in terms of percentage of total population. Massachusetts also has large communities of people of Finnish and Swedish descent; Armenian, Lebanese (Worcester) descent; and Italian descent. Other influential ethnicities are Greek Americans, Lithuanian Americans and Polish Americans. Massachusetts "Yankees," of colonial English ancestry, still have a strong presence. French Americans are the largest group in parts of western and central Massachusetts. Boston's largest immigrant group is the Haitians. Fall River and New Bedford on the south coast have large populations of Portuguese, Brazilian, and Cape Verdean heritage, all of which are also prevalent in the Brockton area. There is a growing Brazilian population in the Boston area (especially in Framingham) and also an abundant population of Brazilians thrive in Cape Cod especially in Barnstable, Falmouth, and Yarmouth. Lowell, in the northeast of the state, is home to a large Cambodian (Khmer) community, second in the country to the concentration of Cambodians in Long Beach, California. Although many of the Native Americans have intermarried with whites (or died in King Philip's War of 1675), the Wampanoag tribe maintains reservations at Aquinnah, at Grafton, on Martha's Vineyard, and at Mashpee on Cape Cod. The Nipmuck maintain two state-recognized reservations in the central part of the state. Many Wampanoags and other native people live outside of reservations.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 6.21% of the population aged five and over speak Spanish at home, while 2.68% speak Portuguese, 1.44% French, and 1.00% Italian.

Massachusetts was founded and settled by staunch Puritans in the 17th century. The descendants of the Puritans belong to many different churches; in the direct line of inheritance are the Congregational/United Church of Christ and Unitarian Universalist churches. Both of these denominations are noted for their strong support of social justice, civil rights, and moral issues, including strong and early advocacy of abolition of slavery, women's rights, and (after 2000) legal recognition of same-sex marriage. The world headquarters of the Unitarian-Universalist Church is located on Beacon Hill in Boston. Today Protestants make up less than 1/4 of the state's population. Roman Catholics now predominate because of massive immigration from Ireland, Quebec, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. A large Jewish population came to the Boston area 1880–1920. Mary Baker Eddy made the Boston Mother Church of Christian Science the world headquarters. Buddhists, Pagans, Hindus, Seventh-Day Adventists, Muslims, and Mormons also can be found. Kripalu and the Insight Meditation Center (Barre) are examples of non-western religious centers in Massachusetts.

According to the Association of Religion Data Archives the largest single denominations are the Catholic Church with 3,092,296; the United Church of Christ with 121,826; and the Episcopal Church with 98,963 adherents. Jewish congregations had about 275,000 members.

The latest (2008) estimated Census population figures show that Massachusetts has grown by slightly over 2 percent, to 6,497,967, since 2000. This slow growth is likely attributable to the fact that Massachusetts continues to attract top scholars and researchers from across the United States as well as large numbers of immigrants, combined with steady emigration away from the state towards New Hampshire and southern and western regions of the U.S. because of high housing costs, weather, and traffic.

Recent census data shows that the number of immigrants living in Massachusetts has increased over 15% from 2000–2005. The biggest influxes are Latin Americans. According to the census, the population of Central Americans rose by 67.7 percent between 2000 and 2005, and the number of South Americans rose by 107.5 percent. And among South Americans, the largest group to increase appeared to be Brazilians, whose numbers rose by 131.4 percent, to 84,836. This surge of immigrants tends to offset emigration, and, of course, given the 350,000 increase in population in the Commonwealth between 1990 and 2000, many immigrants to Massachusetts come from elsewhere in the USA.

Following the shift to a high-tech economy and the numerous factory closures, few jobs remain for low skilled male workers, who are dropping out of the workforce in large numbers. The percentage of men in the labor force fell from 77.7% in 1989 to 72.8% in 2005. This national trend is most pronounced in Massachusetts. In the case of men without high school diplomas, 10% have left the labor force between 1990 and 2000.

The United States Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that Massachusetts's gross state product in 2006 was US $338 billion. Per capita personal income in 2004 was US$42,102, making it the 2nd highest, just behind that of Connecticut. Gross state product increased 2.6% from 2004 to 2005, below the national average of 3.5%.

Sectors vital to the Massachusetts economy include higher education, biotechnology, finance, health care, and tourism. Route 128 was a main center for the development of minicomputers. Massachusetts was the home of many of the largest computer companies such as Digital Equipment Corporation, Data General, and Wang Laboratories situated around Route 128 and Route 495 (another beltway approximately 25 miles (40 km) farther away from Boston). Most of the larger companies fell into decline after the rise of the personal computer, which was based in large part on software such as Visicalc and Lotus 1-2-3 and hardware technology such as memory and operating systems developed by many of these companies. High technology remains an important sector, though few of the largest technology companies are based there.

Its agricultural outputs are seafood, nursery stock, dairy products, cranberries, tobacco and vegetables. Its industrial outputs are machinery, electrical and electronic equipment, scientific instruments, printing, and publishing. Thanks largely to the Ocean Spray cooperative, Massachusetts is the second largest cranberry producing state in the union (after Wisconsin).

As of 2005, there were 6,100 farms in Massachusetts encompassing a total of 520,000 acres (2,100 km2), averaging 85 acres apiece. Almost 2,300 of Massachusetts' 6,100 farms grossed under $2,500 in 2007. This very low mode income shows that most farms in Massachusetts are not the primary sources of income for their owners. Particular agricultural products of note include tobacco; animals and animal products; and fruits, tree nuts, and berries, for which the state is nationally ranked 11th, 17th, and 16th, respectively.

Massachusetts has a flat-rate personal income tax of 5.3%, with an exemption for income below a threshold that varies from year to year. The state imposes a 5% sales tax on retail sales of tangible personal property—except for groceries, clothing, and periodicals—in Massachusetts by any vendor. The 5% sales tax is charged on clothing that costs more than $175.00. Only the amount over $175.00 is taxed. All real and tangible personal property located within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is taxable unless specifically exempted by statute. The administration of the assessment and collection of all real and tangible personal property taxes in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is handled by the city and town assessor and collected in the jurisdiction where the property is located. Massachusetts imposes a tax on any gains from the sale or exchange of capital assets held for more than one year. The state also collects a 12% tax on the sale or exchange of capital assets held for one year or less (short-term capital gains). Interest from non-Massachusetts banks is no longer taxed at 12%, but the first $100 of interest from Massachusetts banks is tax exempt from even the 5.3% tax. There is no inheritance tax and limited Massachusetts estate tax related to federal estate tax collection.

A recent review by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found 13 states, including several of the nation's largest, face budget shortfalls for FY2009. Massachusetts faces a deficit that could be as large as $1.2 billion.

The major airport in the state is Logan International Airport. The airport serves as a focus city for American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, US Airways, and JetBlue Airways.

Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, TF Green Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island, and Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in Manchester, New Hampshire also serve as airports to the state as all three are located near the border.

Massachusetts has approximately 42 public-use airfields, and over 200 private landing spots. Some airports receive funding from the Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission and the Federal Aviation Administration, which is also the primary regulator. Logan, Worcester Regional Airport and Hanscom Field are operated by Massport, a state transportation agency.

Interstate highways crossing the state include: I-91, I-291, I-84, I-93, I-95, I-495, I-195, I-395, I-90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike), I-290, and I-190 . Other major thoroughfares are U.S. 1, Route 2, Route 3, U.S. Route 3, U.S. Route 6, U.S. Route 20, Route 24, and Route 128. A massive undertaking to depress I-93 in the Boston downtown area called the Big Dig has brought the city's highway system under public scrutiny over the last decade.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) operates public transportation in the form of subway, bus and ferry systems in the Metro Boston area. It also operates longer distance commuter rail services throughout the larger Greater Boston area, including service to Worcester and Providence, Rhode Island.

Sixteen other regional transit authorities provide public transportation in the form of bus services in their local communities.

Massachusetts has 10 regional metropolitan planning organizations and 3 non-metropolitan planning organizations covering the remainder of the state; statewide planning is handled by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation.

The Massachusetts Constitution was ratified in 1780 while the Revolutionary War was in progress, four years after the Articles of Confederation was drafted, and seven years before the present United States Constitution was ratified in 1787.

On Nov. 4th, 2008, Massachusetts voters passed a bill 65-35 to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, becoming the twelfth state to do so. Possession of less than an ounce will be punishable by a $100 fine, but will no longer be considered a criminal offense and have no associated imprisonment.

The governor of Massachusetts is head of the executive branch and serves as chief administrative officer of the state and as commander-in-chief of the Massachusetts National Guard. The current governor is Deval Patrick, a Democrat. All governors of Massachusetts are given the official style His/Her Excellency, a carry-over from the Commonwealth's British past, despite such styles being uncommon in American political traditions. The title is actually used only on the most formal occasions, such as when the governor addresses the two houses of the General Court sitting in joint convention. Responsibilities of the governor include preparation of the annual budget, nomination of all judicial officers, the granting of pardons (with the approval of the Governor's Council), appointments of the heads of most major state departments, and the acceptance or veto of each bill passed by the Legislature. Several executive offices have also been established, each headed by a secretary appointed by the governor, much like the President's cabinet.

The Governor's Council (also called the Executive Council) is composed of the Lieutenant Governor and eight councilors elected from councilor districts for a two-year term. It has the constitutional power to approve judicial appointments and pardons, to authorize expenditures from the Treasury, to approve the appointment of constitutional officers if a vacancy occurs when the legislature is not in session, and to compile and certify the results of statewide elections. It also approves the appointments of notaries public and justices of the peace.

The Massachusetts state legislature is formally styled the "General Court." (See Massachusetts General Court) Elected every two years, the General Court is made up of a Senate of 40 members and a House of Representatives of 160 members. The Massachusetts Senate is said to be the second oldest democratic deliberative body in the world. Each branch elects its own leader from its membership. The Senate elects its president; the House its speaker. These officers exercise power through their appointments of majority floor leaders and whips (the minority party elects its leaders in a party caucus), their selection of chairs and all members of joint committees, and in their rulings as presiding officers. Joint committees of the General Court are made up of 6 senators and 15 representatives, with a Senate and House chair for each committee. These committees must hold hearings on all bills filed. Their report usually determines whether or not a bill will pass. Each chamber has its own Rules Committee and Ways and Means Committee and these are among the most important committee assignments.

Judicial appointments are held to the age of seventy. The Supreme Judicial Court, consisting of a chief justice and six associate justices, is the highest court in the Commonwealth; it is empowered to give advisory opinions to the governor and the legislature on questions of law. All trials are held in departments and divisions of a unified Trial Court, headed by a Chief Justice for Administrative and Management, assisted by an administrator of courts. It hears civil and criminal cases. Cases may be appealed to the Supreme Judicial Court or the Appeals Court for review of law, but findings of fact made by the Trial Court are final. The Superior Court, consisting of a chief justice and 66 associate justices, is the highest department of the Trial Court. Other departments are the Boston Municipal, District, Housing, Juvenile, Land, and Probate Courts.

Massachusetts's Congressional delegation is entirely Democratic. U.S. senators are Ted Kennedy and John Kerry. The ten members of the state's delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives are John Olver, Richard Neal, Jim McGovern, Barney Frank, Niki Tsongas, John F. Tierney, Ed Markey, Mike Capuano, Stephen Lynch, and Bill Delahunt. Federal court cases are heard in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Appeals are heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

Massachusetts is the home of the Kennedy family, and routinely votes for the Democratic Party in federal elections: it is the most populous state to have an all-Democratic Congressional delegation (ten representatives and two senators); this also makes Massachusetts the largest state to have a solid delegation of either party. Democrats hold all of the state's other state-wide elected offices as well, making Massachusetts the only state where all congressional seats and all statewide-elected offices are held by a single party. As of the 2006 election, the Republican party holds less than 13% of the seats in both legislative houses of the General Court: in the House, the balance is 141 Democratic to 19 Republican, and in the Senate, 35–5.

During the 1972 presidential election, Massachusetts was the only state to give its electoral votes to George McGovern, the Democratic nominee (the District of Columbia also voted for McGovern). Following the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974, two famous bumper stickers were sold in Boston, one saying "Don't blame me, I'm from Massachusetts," and the other read "Nixon 49, America 1".

There are 53 cities and 298 towns in Massachusetts, grouped into 14 counties. Eleven communities which call themselves "towns" are, by law, cities since they have traded the town meeting form of government for a mayor-council or manager-council form. Boston is the state capital and largest city. It is the center of the nation's 11th largest metropolitan area. Cities over 100,000 in population (2004 estimates) include Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Lowell, and Cambridge. Massachusetts shares the governmental structure known as the New England town with the five other New England states, as well as New York and New Jersey.

Massachusetts has historically had a strong commitment to education. It was the first state to require municipalities to appoint a teacher or establish a grammar school (albeit paid by the parents of the pupils) with the passage of the Massachusetts Education Law of 1647; this mandate was later made a part of the state constitution in 1789. The town of Franklin has been noted to be the birthplace of public education in North America, due to the fact that education pioneer Horace Mann was born in the town, and The Public Library is the first public library in America. Massachusetts is home to the country's oldest high school, Boston Latin School (founded 1635), America's first publicly funded high school, Dedham, (founded 1643), oldest college, now called Harvard University (founded 1636), oldest incorporated preparatory school, Phillips Academy (founded 1778), first racially integrated high school Lowell, and oldest municipally supported free library, Boston Public Library (founded 1848). In 1852, Massachusetts became the first state to pass compulsory school attendance laws. The per-student public expenditure for elementary and secondary schools (kindergarten through grade 12) was fifth in the nation in 2004, at $11,681. Massachusetts has scored highest of all the states in math on the National Assessments of Educational Progress.

Massachusetts is home to many well-known preparatory schools, colleges, and universities. There are more than 40 colleges located in the greater Boston area alone. Ten colleges and universities are located in the greater Worcester area. The University of Massachusetts (nicknamed UMass) is the five-campus public university system of the Commonwealth. The population of metropolitan Boston and Worcester, and of the Five Colleges area in Western Massachusetts, in particular, surges during the school year.

There are two major television media markets located in Massachusetts. The Boston/Worcester market is the 7th largest in the United States. All major networks are represented. The other market surrounds the Springfield area. Some communities in Berkshire county are serviced by the Albany, New York market, and some southeastern Massachusetts communities are serviced by the Providence, Rhode Island market. The Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Worcester Telegram & Gazette and the Springfield Republican are the Commonwealth's largest daily newspapers. In addition, there are many community dailies and weeklies. There is a number of major radio stations (AM stations with 50,000 watts of effective radiated power, FM stations with more than 20,000 watts) which serve Massachusetts, along with many more regional and community-based stations. Some colleges and universities also operate campus television and radio stations, and print their own newspapers.

Massachusetts has a long history with amateur athletics and professional teams. Most of the major professional teams have won multiple championships in their respective leagues. Massachusetts teams have won five Stanley Cups (Boston Bruins), seventeen NBA Championships (Boston Celtics), three Super Bowls (New England Patriots), and eight World Series (seven for the Boston Red Sox, one for the Boston Braves). The state is also the home to the Basketball Hall of Fame (Springfield) and the Volleyball Hall of Fame (Holyoke); those sports were invented in the Commonwealth. Massachusetts is also the home of the Cape Cod Baseball League and prestigious sporting events such as the Boston Marathon, the Eastern Sprints (rowing) on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, and the Head of the Charles Regatta (also a rowing event). The Falmouth Road Race (running) and the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic (bicycle racing) are also very popular events with long and distinguished histories.

The PGA Deutsche Bank Championship and the Champions Tour Bank of America Championship are regular professional golf tour stops in the state. Massachusetts has played host to nine US Opens, four US Women's Opens, two Ryder Cups, one PGA Championship, and one Senior Open. The New England Revolution is the Major League Soccer (MLS) team in Massachusetts. The Boston Cannons is the Major League Lacrosse (MLL) team.

Many colleges and universities in Massachusetts are active in college athletics. There are a number of NCAA Division I teams in the state involved in multiple sports: Harvard University, Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern University, College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Sailing and yachting are popular along the Massachusetts coast and the offshore islands. Hiking and cross-country skiing are also popular activities in many of the state's undeveloped lands. The Appalachian Trail, the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, the Midstate Trail, and the Bay Circuit Trail are all long-distance hiking trails. The Tully Trail, a 22-mile (35 km) loop near the northern end of the huge Quabbin reservoir (through the towns of Athol, Orange, Warwick, and Royalston) incorporates waterfalls and stunning vistas. A handful of downhill skiing operators still maintain slopes in Massachusetts, although many skiers prefer to drive to major resorts in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Sport fishing has a strong following. Spincasting during the warmer months and ice fishing during the winter on inland lakes and ponds, fly fishing inland rivers for trout, surf casting for striped bass and bluefish, and deep-sea fishing for cod and haddock also remain popular. Hunting, primarily for whitetail deer and waterfowl, continues to attract a number of residents.

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United States congressional delegations from Massachusetts

These are complete tables of congressional delegations from Massachusetts to the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives. All twelve members of the current delegation are Democrats – no Republican has been elected to Congress from Massachusetts since 1994.

Article I of the United States Constitution allocated 8 seats to Massachusetts.

After the 1790 Census, Massachusetts had 14 seats. From 1793 to 1795, Massachusetts apportioned 13 of its 14 seats into 4 districts, elected on a Plural ticket; the remaining seat was elected At-large. In 1795, however, it returned to single-Representative districts.

After the 1800 Census, Massachusetts had 17 seats.

After the 1810 Census, Massachusetts had 20 seats. The three new seats were all added in the Maine district. On March 15, 1820, Maine became a state and was allocated 7 of Massachusetts's seats, so Massachusetts was left with 13 seats.

The 1820 census kept the apportionment at 13.

After the 1830 Census, Massachusetts had 12 seats.

After the 1840 Census, Massachusetts had 10 seats.

After the 1850 Census, Massachusetts had 11 seats.

After the 1860 Census, Massachusetts had 10 seats.

After the 1870 Census, Massachusetts had 11 seats.

After the 1880 Census, Massachusetts had 12 seats.

After the 1890 Census, Massachusetts had 13 districts. Starting with this redistricting, the districts' numbers ran west to east: with District 1 in the west (Berkshire County) and the highest numbered district at Cape Cod. Before then, the district numeration was not as consistent; sometimes running east to west, other times going counter-clockwise around Boston.

After the 1900 Census, Massachusetts had 14 districts.

After the 1910 Census, Massachusetts had 16 districts, running west to east: district 1 in Berkshire County, districts 10, 11, 12 in Boston; and district 16 on Cape Cod.

After the 1930 Census, Massachusetts had 15 seats.

After the 1940 Census, Massachusetts had 14 seats.

After the 1960 Census, Massachusetts had 12 seats.

After the 1980 Census, Massachusetts's delegation was reduced from 12 to 11 seats. Republican Margaret Heckler lost her seat when the Democratically-controlled state legislature redistricted the seats and she was defeated by Barney Frank.

After the 1990 Census, Massachusetts lost one seat. Incumbent Brian Donnelly retired. Since then, the commonwealth has had 10 seats.

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List of United States Representatives from Massachusetts

This is an incomplete list of Members of the United States House of Representatives from Massachusetts in alphabetical order.

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University of Massachusetts Amherst

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The University of Massachusetts Amherst (otherwise known as UMass Amherst, Massachusetts, or UMass) is a selective research and land-grant university in Amherst, Massachusetts. The University of Massachusetts Amherst offers over 90 undergraduate and 65 graduate areas of study. It was known as the University of Massachusetts from 1947 until the creation of the UMass system, for which it now serves as the flagship campus.

The university was founded in 1863 under the provisions of the Federal Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act to provide instruction to Massachusetts citizens in the "agricultural, mechanical, and military arts". Accordingly, the university was initially named the Massachusetts Agricultural College, popularly referred to as Mass Aggie or M.A.C.. At the time, the university had 50 men enrolled and including only a fraction of what the campus is today- including the Old Chapel, South College, and Goodell Hall, which was the library at the time. In 1931, due to an increase in enrollment and support from the Commonwealth, it was renamed Massachusetts State College.

The school has several buildings of importance in the modernist style, including the campus center designed by Marcel Breuer, the Southwest Residential Area designed by Hugh Stubbins Jr of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, The Fine Arts Center by Kevin Roche, and the Mullins Center by Gordon Bunshaft. The eclectic mix of building styles draws mixed reactions from students and visitors. The Lederle Graduate Research Center is currently undergoing an exterior renovation. New construction projects on campus include the Studio Arts Building and the Integrated Sciences Center.

In 2004, former Governor Mitt Romney proposed an ambitious expansion project in which the size and population of the university would almost double as it took over the role of the state's community college system which Romney has begun to consolidate and dismantle. While this proposal received the support of the student government, town residents are exceedingly resistant to any such plan as it would increase the already critical traffic congestion in the center of town.

Following Mitt Romney's mandate, the UMass Amherst administration has pushed for admission of more students than there are residences. A large construction initiative, known as "New Dirt" is currently underway, in renovating and building new residential and academic facilities. Before the completion of North Apartments, the increasing size of the undergraduate body caused residence halls to reach maximum capacity, and many first year and transfer students were placed in area hotels until housing became available.

In 2003, for the first time, UMass Amherst was legally designated by the state legislature to be a "research university" and the "flagship campus" of the UMass system.

The number of applications to UMass Amherst has almost doubled from 16,500 to 29,000 in just five years, increasing for the third consecutive year. Sixty-four percent of applicants were accepted to the University, and 2% to the Commonwealth College (14% of those accepted). The incoming Class of 2012 had an average 3.55 GPA in high school, also an increase from previous years.

The Commonwealth College (ComCol) is the honors college at UMass. The honors college provides students the opportunity to intensify their UMass academic curriculum. The requirements of the college are to complete a set number of the required classes for one's major at the honors level as well as complete a senior year thesis or capstone project and several Dean's book courses. Completion of the ComCol courseload is no longer required in order to graduate the University with higher Latin honors designations, such as magna or summa cum laude. ComCol provides honors students an additional community of students to interact with outside of their academic department.

The W.E.B. DuBois library is the tallest library in the United States and the tallest academic library in the world. It is also well regarded for its innovative architectural design, which incorporates the bookshelves into the structural support of the building. It is home of the memoirs and papers of the distinguished African-American activist and Massachusetts native W. E. B. Du Bois as well as being the depository for other important collections, such as the papers of the late Congressman Silvio O. Conte.

The W.E.B. DuBois Library is also notable for being home to the Learning Commons, opened in 2005. The Learning Commons provides a central location for resources provided by several departments across campus including Library Reference, Office of Information Technologies Help Desk, Academic Advising, Writing Center, Career Services, and Assistive Technologies Center. The Learning Commons has 164 computers with a broad range of software installed arranged in a variety of configurations for both individual and collaborative work. The library has all sorts of services including tutoring, writing workshops, and supplemental instruction scattered among its 26 floors. The building itself is so large that it needs a security force. That security force is the Building Monitor Desk. The desk is managed by various supervisors and student employees.

The Integrated Sciences and Engineering Library is the other main library on campus. It is located on the 2nd floor of the Lederle Graduate Research Center (occasionally referred to as the Lederle "low rise").

UMass Amherst is home to the DEFA Film Library , the only archive and study collection of East German films outside of Europe.

Other libraries include the Shirley Graham Du Bois Library in New Africa House, the Biological Sciences Library in Morrill Hall, and the Music Reserve Lab in the Fine Arts Center.

UMass Amherst is a member of Internet2.

The Office of Information Technologies (OIT) provides all faculty, staff, and students with an OIT account which provides access to a variety of services including email (UMail), online storage space (UDrive), web hosting space, and blogging space.

OIT maintains 11 computer classrooms across campus with approximately 300 computers available to members of the UMass community. Many of these are the computer available in the Learning Commons located in the WEB DuBois Library. Additionally many departments and programs have their own computing resources available for members of those groups.

Many UMass Amherst instructors make use of Blackboard's WebCT Vista learning management system (which has been branded as SPARK on campus) for delivery of course content via the web.

In the winter of 2003, the Office of Information Technologies (OIT) rolled out the SPIRE system, which is based on PeopleSoft's student information system. At UMass, SPIRE is a web-based system used to register for courses, as well as a variety of other tasks.

On October 21, 2005 UMass Amherst was designated as the first-in-the-nation Microsoft IT Showcase School by CEO Steve Ballmer, recognizing the university's innovative leadership in applying information technology to teaching and learning.

In April 2008, UMass Amherst announced a campus alert system whereby members of the university can receive emergency notification via text messaging.

UMass Amherst is part of the Five Colleges consortium, which allows its students to attend classes, borrow books, work with professors, etc., at four other Pioneer Valley institutions: Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges.

All five colleges are located within 10 miles of Amherst center, and are accessible by public bus. The five share an astronomy department and some other undergraduate and graduate departments.

U.S. News and World Report's 2009 edition of America's Best Colleges placed UMass Amherst at #102 on their list of "Best National Universities" ranking it the joint 46th amongst Public Universities. The Times Higher Education Supplement ranked UMass Amherst as the 175th best university in the world. The MBA program is highly ranked by the Princeton Review.

UMass Amherst has many registered student organizations (RSOs). Most RSOs are funded by the Student Government Association (SGA), from the activity fee that all students pay, however, the SGA has often been criticized for not funding all clubs fully or equally. In recent years, the fee has been about $81. In order to start an RSO, one needs a group of at least eight interested students, who then petition the SGA for recognition. Each semester, the SGA reviews RSOs, and those which have too few members are considered inactive. Club Sports, which are non-NCAA athletic or organized sports teams, are considered RSOs.

On May 6, 2008, the Center for Student Development hosted an awards show entitled The Sammies for the second time. The Sammies is designed to allow RSOs to give awards to other outstanding RSOs. Over 50 different awards were presented to student leaders and exemplary RSO in more than 20 categories. Among the winners was the UMass International Relations Club which garnered the coveted "Best RSO of the Year" award.

The Student Government Association (SGA) is the undergraduate student governmental body, and provides funding for the many registered student organizations (RSOs) and agencies, including the Student Legal Services Office (SLSO) and the Student Center for Educational Research and Advocacy (SCERA). The SGA also makes formal recommendations on matters of Administration policy and advocates for undergraduate students to the Administration, non-student organizations, and local and state government.

The SGA has three branches: the President and Executive Cabinet, the Undergraduate Student Senate, and the Student Judiciary.

Area governments There are a total of six area governments. Each of the campus's six residential areas has an area government, and there is also a Commuter Area Government to serve commuter students. Area governments provide social programming for their areas, and are in charge of the house councils for the dorms in their area. They also represent the needs and interests of students in their areas to the Administration, Housing Services, and the SGA.

Area Governments have a tradition of sponsoring large events, generally in the Spring, such as Fill the Hill, Bowl Weekend and Southwest Week.

House councils Each residence hall or residential "cluster" (a group of residence halls) at UMass Amherst has a house council. House councils report to their respective area governments. Its budget comes from voluntary dues collected in return for access to common supplies (access to the kitchenette, rental access to vacuums, brooms, games, etc). House councils also engage in social programming for their halls or clusters, and advocate to housing staff in regards to concerns of students in their hall/cluster.

The Minuteman Battalion is one of the permiere Army ROTC battalions in the Army. Boasting a program that annually performs well above national averages and among the top handful of programs in the northeast USA, Army ROTC recently enjoyed the announcement of a senior Cadet being named the #1 Cadet in the nation in a national class of over 4,000 Cadets. UMass has earned this prestigious achievement twice in the last 15 years. The training program is among the best at preparing officers for the US Army and commissionees regularly outperform their peers in initial Army officer training. Active on the Amherst campus, the program's Scabbard and Blade community service club is very active and represents UMass well throughout the year with food drives, assistance to local veteran's groups and assistance with the Medical Readiness Corps at UMass in preparing for large-scale medical disasters. The most unusual activity associated with Army ROTC is the Light Leader's Tactical Society, in which Cadets train in dynamic real-world environments and scenarios. Most students are on a full tuition scholarship. UMass-Amherst is the host program for the Pioneer Valley and Five Colleges Army ROTC programs including: Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, Amherst College, Hampshire College, Western New England College (WNEC), Springfield College, Westfield State College and American International College (AIC). At AIC and WNEC, students on Army ROTC Scholarships also earn free room and board.

UMass Amherst has the largest marching band in New England. The Minuteman Marching Band consists of over 390 members and regularly plays at football games. The band is led by George N. Parks. The Minuteman Band also won the prestigious Sudler Trophy in 1998 for excellence. The band is well known across the nation for its style and excellence, particularly for its percussion UMass Drumline and tuba sections. The band also performs in various other places like Allentown, Pennsylvania, Bands of America, Boston, and on occasion Montreal.

UMass is home to numerous fraternities and sororities, organized under four councils: IFC, NPC, NPHC, and the MGC. Several Greek Life organizations had houses on North Pleasant Streetuntil Alpha Tau Gamma, Inc. who owned the property for many years, did not renew the leases. The North Pleasant Street houses were colloquially known as Frat Row. Most of Alpha Tau Gamma Properties' houses were out of code and were razed November, 2006. The land was then sold to the University. Currently several sororities & fraternities still live in "Frat Row" including Sigma Delta Tau, Pi Kappa Alpha, Iota Gamma Upsilon, Phi Sigma Kappa and Theta Chi. Behind "Frat Row" or North Pleasant Street there are more sorority houses such as Sigma Kappa, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Alpha Chi Omega. Two other houses Chi Omega and Sigma Phi Epsilon are situated on Olympia Drive, on the northern outskirts of the campus. Delta Upsilon is also situated on North Pleasant Street just past Lederle and Totman. Alpha Epsilon Pi is also on campus. Alpha Epsilon Pirecently relocated to Sunset Ave, and Pi Kappa Alpha returned to campus in Spring of '07.

Several organizations do not have houses, such as Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Phi, Zeta Psi and the NPHC, and the MGC fraternities and sororities.

The Greek community has several annual traditions, including UDance, the Relay for Life and the annual Greek Week, during which the various fraternities are partnered with sororities, and these teams compete with each other throughout a week of challenges.

The Greek community at UMass Amherst is a great way for students to get involved in the community of UMass and of Amherst. It is a diverse group of students, and an even more diverse group of alumni. The alumni of the UMass Greek community are actively involved in the present community and offer the students great networking opportunities.

The different councils of the Greek system have governing boards, referred to as Executive Boards. The members of these boards are elected or appointed into their positions and hold them for a year term.

The student-operated newspaper, The Daily Collegian, is published Monday through Friday during the University of Massachusetts' calendar semester. The Collegian is independently funded, operating on advertising revenue. Founded in 1890, the paper began as Aggie Life, became the College Signal in 1901, the Weekly Collegian in 1914 and the Tri-Weekly Collegian in 1956. Published daily since 1967, the Collegian has been broadsheet since January 1994. The Daily Collegian is the largest daily college newspaper in New England.

The Union Video Center is the University of Massachusetts' student-run television station, located in the basement of the Student Union. UVC-TV 19 is part of the University's Housing Cable Services Network and airs on channel 19 to over 11,000 viewers on campus via a closed circuit system. UVC began as the Student Video Project in 1974, and was renamed the Union Video Center in 1978 after growing into a full-fledged television station. Today, UVC-TV 19 serves as a resource on campus for full-time undergraduate students interested in learning about any aspect of television, video production, or cablecasting by providing access to audio and video equipment, studio, and editing workstations. Student members cover campus events and guest lectures, produce original shows, films and documentaries, and air their work on UVC.

The student-operated radio station, WMUA 91.1 FM, is a federally licensed, non-commercial broadcast facility serving the Connecticut River Valley of Western Massachusetts, Northern Connecticut, and Southern Vermont. Although the station is managed by full-time undergraduate students of the University of Massachusetts, station members can consist of various members of the University (undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff), as well as people of the surrounding communities. WMUA began as an AM station in 1949, and today broadcasts music, news, sports, and public affairs programming. The station is located in the basement of the Lincoln Campus Center.

The campus (42°23′20″N 72°31′40″W / 42.38889°N 72.52778°W / 42.38889; -72.52778) extends about a mile from the Campus Center in all directions. The university owns significant amounts of land in the nearby town of Sunderland.

The campus may be thought of as a series of concentric rings. In the outermost ring are parking lots, the admissions center, playing fields and barns for the animal science program. In the middle ring there are the six residential areas and dining commons. The innermost ring has most of the classroom buildings and research labs.

The Isenberg School of Management has its buildings in the southernmost part of campus near the Visitors Center and the Newman Center, the Catholic student center. In addition to being the site of the main administration building, Whitmore, the southeast side of campus has buildings mainly dedicated to the humanities and fine arts. Buildings include Herter, Bartlett, Mahar and the Fine Arts Center (Abbreviated "FAC"). Between Whitmore, the FAC and Isenberg lies the Haigis Mall, a local stop on both the PVTA and Peter Pan bus lines. The buildings on the southwest side of campus house the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. These include Dickinson Hall and Tobin Hall.

The Student Union Building houses most of the University's Registered Student Organizations (RSO's) and it is the home of the Student Government Association. Other facilities include the Campus Design and Copy (CD&C) center, a convenience store, a ball room, and a student lounge. Several student-run businesses and co-ops are also present including Tickets Unlimited (Tix), Bike Coop, the Fair trade convenience store, bagel shop People's Market and a vegan/vegetarian eatery Earthfoods Cafe.

South College is the home of UMass' world renowned linguistics department. The DuBois library was intended to be an annex to South College.

Campus Center Designed by famed architect Marcel Breuer, the Murray D. Lincoln Campus Center is located adjacent to the Student Union and is accessible via passageways from both the Student Union as well as from the main level of the parking garage.

On the concourse level are the campus store, restrooms, graduate student lounge, which serves beer, and the Bluewall, which contains a cafe, a smoothie stand and a fair trade coffee stand. This level is a high-traffic area throughout most of the day with students and faculty not only using it as a 'pass through' from one building to another, but also as the central hub of on-campus life. Many people often pass the time between classes on this level and it is common to find vendors and organizations operating from fold-out tables along either side.

The lower level of the campus center has multiple conference rooms and a large auditorium. Within the central space of the lower level are telephones, ATMs, vending, as well as couches and television. The offices of the University newspaper, The Daily Collegian, can be found at the far end of the level, along with the University radio station, WMUA, and its offices. One of the basement rooms is home to the UMass Science Fiction Society's library which is the second largest Science Fiction library on the east coast.

The top floor of the Campus Center, "The Top of the Campus" recently underwent a complete renovation. It is home to a state of the art teaching kitchen, beverage lab and dining room facility.

Campus Center Hotel Above the concourse level is the Campus Center Hotel (official website), a five-level full service facility with 116 rooms, including two suites located in the Campus Center. The Campus Center Hotel is the training ground for the university's Hospitality and Tourism Management students.

Fletcher's Cafe Fletcher's Café is a student run business on campus at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. It is located in Flint Lab, the Hospitality and Tourism Management building, which is next to the campus center parking garage. Students that are part of the Hospitality and Tourism Management major take on full managerial responsibilities and are required to hire employees, order food and drinks, take care of accounting and hopefully make a profit by the end of the semester. Fletcher's Cafe is currently run by Dan Shaw.

The north side of campus is mostly dedicated to science and engineering, and many buildings there are newer than their counterparts in the humanities. The Physics Department primarily uses Hasbrouck Lab, located at 666 North Pleasant Street. The Lederle Graduate Research Tower is the largest building on the north side, housing the Math department on its sixteenth floor. As the Math Department headquarters, the sixteenth floor is prominently labeled 4². The Silvio Conte Polymer Research facility is located in North campus.

The Computer Science department recently moved into an airy new building built for them on the edge of campus, though classes are often taught elsewhere, especially for lower division classes. Between the imposing concrete LGRT, the second-story walkway from it to its sister structure the LGRC, the glass-and-aluminum Computer Science building, and other new buildings for the Engineering and Polymer Science departments, North Campus looks more "high-tech" than the rest of campus.

Major sporting events, such as UMass's hockey and basketball team games, are held in the Mullins Center, amidst the fields to the west. Other locales for sporting events include Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium (where UMass holds its football games) and Garber Field, which is an artificial-turf field adjacent to Boyden Gym used for lacrosse, field hockey, and various team practices.

On campus there are two major gyms, the Totman Gym near Northeast and Sylvan and the Boyden Gym to the south. Each houses basketball courts, a weight/fitness room (Both are free to undergraduates), and various other resources such as racquetball and squash courts. To the west of campus are numerous fields used for recreation and for soccer and baseball. There is also a set of tennis courts located north of Boyden.

In addition to Totman and Boyden, there is Curry Hicks Cage, which hosts a small indoor track, pool, and basketball court. It is also occasionally used as a venue for guest speakers (such as the fall 2006 visit from comedian Bob Saget) and for the Western Mass high school basketball championships and other similar sporting events. The Cage was the home of the UMass men's and women's basketball teams before the Mullins Center was built.

Ground was broken in fall 2007 for a new building across the street from the Mullins Center. It will be a three-floor rec center, complete with a weight/fitness center spanning two floors. It is estimated to be constructed by spring 2008 and commissioned in spring 2009.

The campus bus system was established in 1969 as the Student Senate Transit Services (now UMass Transit). In 1973 a demonstration grant secured money to set up a fare-free transit system. This coupled with increased parking fees and strict parking regulations used to alleviate vehicular congestion and parking problems on campus. In 1976 the University of Massachusetts Transit Services became part of PVTA. The PVTA bus system is the second largest free public transportation system in the world. It serves not only the University of Massachusetts campus, but also the surrounding colleges and communities. This bus system is run primarily by University students and is free for students, which allows them to easily get to classes at the other four colleges.

At UMass Amherst, first and second year students are required to live on campus. Housing is open to all full-time undergraduate students, regardless of year. Upper-class students who have continuously lived on campus during their first and sophomore years are guaranteed housing as long as they choose to live on campus. If, however, a student is admitted after their sophomore year, or moves off campus, and wants to move back onto campus, they are not guaranteed housing, but instead must go through a housing lottery, since demand outstrips supply. Building and room selection is accomplished by a complex system that takes into account building seniority as well as class year; those choosing to move from their building are subject to a lottery system. There are approximately 12,000 students living on-campus.

Students living on the UMass campus live in one of the six residential areas: North, Sylvan, Northeast, Central, Orchard Hill, and Southwest. Several residential areas have a student-run business. All campus residence halls are staffed by Resident Assistants, who provide programming and community development, as well as enforce policies, and have quiet hours, which start at 9 pm on weekdays, 12 midnight on the weekends, but may vary from hall to hall.

Recently completed, the newest residence halls on campus opened in the Fall of 2006. Located between Sylvan and Northeast, these apartment-style dormitories house approximately 850 undergraduates in four buildings. The buildings are currently named North A, B, C, and D. Each unit comprises four single bedrooms, two full bathrooms, and a shared common area including a full kitchen. Other amenities include Ethernet and cable access, central air, and laundry on-site. New to North in 2008 includes free wireless access throughout the North Residential area. This is separate from the main UMASS wi-fi and allows for faster speeds and easy connectivity in the area. This is a nine-month housing area, which allows students to remain on campus from September to May.

Sylvan is adjacent to the North Residential Area, and before the opening of North in 2006, was the newest residential area on campus, construction having been completed in the early 1970s. Sylvan contains three, eight-story towers: McNamara, Brown, and Cashin. Sylvan is distinctive for offering suite-style living in a shady wooded area. Sylvan derives from Latin silva, "a wood or grove." Each residence hall contains 64 suites and each suite is either all-male or all-female. For Fall 2007, a gender-neutral suite was made available "to students who do not want to identify a gender, students whose gender identity is in transition, and their friends and allies." In Fall 2009, Cashin will become a 12-month dorm providing on-campus housing for graduate students.

Each suite is a mixture of double and single rooms, a common bathroom, and a common living room. Suites accommodate six to eight residents. Sylvan is also home to the Sylvan Snack Bar (SSB) one of eight student-run businesses on campus. The SSB delivers food right to students doors in the Sylvan living area. The snack bar, located in the basement of the McNamara building, provides food and a student hang out for the Sylvan residents.

Northeast is across the street from North and diagonal to Sylvan. The residential area consists of nine buildings assembled in a rectangle surrounding a grassy quad. Northeast is one of the oldest residential areas on campus and has what one might call classic academic architecture, consisting of red brick buildings and gabled/shingled roofs. Buildings of note in Northeast include Johnson, which is an all female dorm; Hamlin, which is an all male dorm; as well as Lewis, which provides international students with 9-month housing and is home to one of the Residential Wellness Center facilities offered on campus. Thatcher is unique because it has a foreign language program, which includes several floors, each with a different language. The residents of these floors are encouraged to speak the language they are studying with their floor-mates. Dwight Hall offers the Asian-American Student Program. Crabtree Hall and Leach Hall house the Engineering Residential Academic Programs (RAPs). There is also the 2 in 20 Floor, which fosters a positive connection with the campus's LGBT community. Its location is undisclosed to protect its residents' privacy.

In Fall 2008, the cluster of Crabtree, Mary Lyon, and Knowlton (CMLK) became all-freshmen housing, as Northeast joined the First Year Experience program to offer freshman-only living. The previously all-female Knowlton became co-ed, and Johnson became the new all-female dorm.

Northeast is also home to Worcester Dining Common, which contains a separate dining room called the Oak Room, primarily offering Asian-style food during the lunch and dinner hours. Worcester's basement is also home to a large, grocery-style convenience store as well as one of the four Pita Pit locations on campus.

Central is unique because it has three academic buildings in addition to nine residence halls located along a hill on the east side of campus. Academic buildings in Central include Hills House, New Africa House, and Fernald Hall. Central is also home to the Central Art Gallery in Wheeler House. New Africa House has a particularly interesting history; the building was formerly known as Mills House, and was a dormitory prior to an incident in 1969 when a group of black students seized the building and barricaded themselves within, ordering all white residents to either join forces with them or get out of the building. The faculty of the newly formed Afro-American Studies department responded by moving its offices into the building to show solidarity with the black students, and the building became New Africa House.

Central is organized into 4 clusters of buildings: Gorman-Wheeler and Brett-Brooks at the bottom of the hill, Baker, Chadbourne and Greenough ("BCG") organized in a quad halfway up the hill, and Van Meter-Butterfield ("VMB") at the top of the hill. Gorman Hall is a building-wide Living Learning Community called NUANCE. Founded in 1989, it is a diversity awareness Living Learning Community. It also offers substance-free housing on its Wellness floor. Wheeler is home to the Central Art Gallery. Brett is a nine-month housing dorm, allowing students to stay during breaks for a fee. Brett has had a reputation for being a popular option for student-athletes before the North Apartments were built, and still houses the freshman hockey players. Brooks is the only all-Wellness dorm on campus, requiring all of its residents to abstain from substance use. Baker, one of the largest dorms on campus, houses the Area Office. Greenough has a substance-free floor and is also home to the Greeno Sub Shop, another one of the student run businesses. Chadbourne houses the Josephine White Eagle Native American Cultural Center. Butterfield and Van Meter are freshman-only dorms. Van Meter is the largest dorm on campus in terms of residents, while Butterfield is the smallest and has a rich community history.

University Health Services is located next to Brett and Brooks halls, on Infirmary Way. Central is serviced by Franklin Dining Common, across the street from Brett and Wheeler. Franklin contains kosher and vegan dining options as well as a convenience store and the UCard office.

Completed in 1964, The Orchard Hill residence area is north of Central, and has four residence halls: Dickinson, Webster, Grayson and Field. As of the 2007 school year, Dickinson and Webster buildings were converted to freshman-only housing. Webster is home to one of the Residential Wellness Center facilities offered on campus. Orchard Hill is known for its yearly spring event, Bowl Weekend, which is put on each year by the Orchard Hill Area Government. Many students from the Commonwealth College honors program live in Orchard Hill as part of Learning Communities. Orchard Hill also houses a number of Talent Advancement Programs. . Orchard Hill also refers to the hill on which the Orchard Hill Observatory and a cell phone tower are located. The cell phone tower also supports a microwave relay system for internet and land phone service at the Five College Radio Astronomy Observatory, located on a peninsula within the Quabbin Reservoir. Grayson and Field dorms are the only pair of dorms on campus to be internally connected. Field also houses Sweets 'n More, a student run business on campus.

Orchard Hill is the only residential area on campus where single rooms are not offered; all of the rooms in the four buildings are doubles with the same layout. The area is serviced by both Franklin and Worcester Dining Commons, which are roughly the same distance away.

Southwest is the largest residential area on the UMass campus.

Southwest is composed of five 22-story towers (Coolidge and the all-freshman Kennedy are side-by-side in the north and John Quincy Adams, John Adams and Washington are arranged in a cluster in the south) and 11 smaller residence halls, also known as low-rises (the height of which varies from building to building), holding a total of around 5,500 students. The low-rises are arranged as such: two freshman-only clusters in the north (James-Emerson and Thoreau-Melville), a freshman-only cluster in the south (Cance, Moore, and Pierpont), and located along Sunset Avenue to the east are two clusters (Prince-Crampton in the north and MacKimmie-Patterson in the south) offering nine-month housing. Cluster offices are located in James, Melville, Cance, Prince, MacKimmie, Pierpont, and in each of the five towers. Additionally, Thoreau and Cance are home to the area office for the north and south portions of Southwest, respectively. Moore is home to the Residence Life Resource Center. Meanwhile, JQA and Washington are the homes to two of the Residential Wellness Center facilities offered on campus.

Southwest houses three of the five campus dining commons, including the inactive Hampden Dining Common. Hampshire is in the north and the newly-renovated Berkshire is in the south, both offering traditional food. Berkshire also offers Late Night, a popular snack-oriented option open until midnight on weeknights. Hampden, which was originally going to be a tower itself before contractors realized the foundation would not be able to support one, is host to the Hampden Art Gallery, Convenience Store (C-Store), Southwest Area Government(SWAG) Office, Latin American Cultural Center(LACC) and the Southwest Cafe & Pita Pit.

Also found in Crampton in Southwest is the Stonewall Center, a resource for LGBT students and allies.

Southwest houses approximately 50% of the students living on campus. Southwest is known for its lively, festive, and active community spirit, often stereotyped (both positively and negatively) as a center for "party" activity. After both victories and losses by the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox in 2002, 2003 and 2004, as well as after the December 2006 UMass defeat in the NCAA Division I-AA football championship game, students held large impromptu festive gatherings (also referred to as riots) in the Southwest Mall which led to injuries, incidents of property destruction, and significant police involvement. The first of these so-called riots was in 1996 when the Minutemen lost to Kentucky in the NCAA Final Four. Although the Patriots were not involved in Super Bowl XLI, campus security was tightened on Super Bowl Sunday in 2007 as a precautionary measure. The 2007 Boston Red Sox playoffs and World Series games were met with tight security as well and proved to be effective. On the night of the Red Sox World Series victory there was loud but peaceful celebration and minimal arrests were made.

Parking at UMass is open to all students via Parking Services for a fee. Cost varies depending on seniority and location. The most typical student parking permits range from $60 to $300 for the year. It is a color coded system with Green, Purple and Yellow Lots available to students. Purple Lots are typically closest to the dorm/housing areas; Yellow Lots are the cheapest but the farthest away; Green lots are for commuter students. Parking is also available in the campus garage for a fee of $1.50 per hour during the day. In the evening there is a night rate of $3.00. Payment options include cash or ucard. Meter parking is also available at select locations through out campus. The meters accept nickels, dimes, and quarters only.

UMass is a member of Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The university is a member of the Atlantic Ten Conference, while playing ice hockey in the Hockey East Association. For football, UMass competes in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), a conference of the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS; known as Division I-AA before the 2006 season). UMass originally was known as the Statesmen, later the Aggies, then the Redmen, before changing their logo and nickname to the Minutemen. In a response to changing attitudes regarding the use of Native American-themed mascots, they changed their mascot in 1972 to the Minuteman. This has been lauded by many in the NCAA as being one of the greatest name changes due to the "minuteman" relationship with Massachusetts and its historical context. Women's teams and athletes are known as Minutewomen. UMass considers Boston College, the University of New Hampshire, and the University of Connecticut as their biggest rivals.

The UMass-Amherst Department of Athletics currently sponsors Men's Intercollegiate Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Ice Hockey, Football, Lacrosse, Skiing, Soccer, Swimming and Track & Field. They also sponsor Women's Intercollegiate Basketball, Softball, Cross Country, Rowing, Skiing, Soccer, Swimming, Field Hockey, Track & Field and Tennis. Among Club Sports offered are Men's Varsity Wrestling, Men's Rowing, Men's Rugby, Women's Rugby and Men's And Women's Bicycle Racing.

Umass Amherst is also the location of The Amherst Tritons Swim Team. It is the local Amherst community parent-run swim team program located at Umass Amherst. The team practices during the week on campus in Totman Gymnasium, on the weekend the team travels to various locations for friendly competition allowing each boy or girl between the age of 5 and 18 to show off their skills. The team is a recreational team but also allows those who how have in interest in participating in Unites States Swimming League (USS). The team allows swimmers of all different swim levels to participate and reach their own goals. The team’s head coach is Jay Yankowski an Umass Alumni Swimmer.

The slogan of the Alumni Association, "You were. You are. UMASS." The University is campaigning to get Alumni to purchase specialty Massachusetts license plates with the UMass Amherst logo. The proceeds from sales of the plates would go to help fund student scholarships. The University Alumni Association operates out of Memorial Hall.

While some students at UMass add to its reputation as a party school, others among the undergraduate and graduate population have also received press for their activism, including rallies to repeal the imposition of a Student and Exchange Visitor Information System Fee in 2003-2004, to protest for more favorable in 2005 and 2007, protesting tuition and fee hikes that make the university the second most expensive for in-state students (behind the University of Vermont) and many other campus issues.

Throughout the school's history, it has been the site of many sit-ins, and protests, often led by the Radical Student Union and its successor movements, Take Back UMass, amongst others.

On November 17, 2005, ABC News' Primetime reported University of Massachusetts at Amherst as having the highest rate of violent crime on a campus of its size.

UMass officials said the report was flawed in two ways: first, ABC used figures from 2002 and 2003, when UMass reported 57 and 58 violent crimes, and did not take into account the data from 2004, when only 28 violent crimes were reported; second, the news program calculated the rate of violent crime by dividing the number of crimes by the total enrollment rather than by the number of on-campus residents."'Just as you would not include visitors, commuters, and tourists to calculate the crime rate among a city's population, neither should an aggregate number including off-campus students be included in a calculation of an on-campus crime rate", O'Malley, the general counsel, wrote to ABC News.

A team of scientists at UMass, led by Vincent Rotello, have developed a molecular nose that can detect and identify various proteins. The research appeared in the May 2007 issue of Nature Nanotechnology, and the team is currently focusing on sensors which will detect the malformed proteins made by cancer cells.

On May 25, 2007, a large protest was held during the University of Massachusetts at Amherst Graduate Commencement where Andrew Card received an honorary degree. The protest was picked up and broadcast by MSNBC, as well as receiving a writeup by the Associated Press stating that small groups of students and faculty booed and held up signs while Andrew Card was given his honorary doctorate in public service. Due to the protests, Card chose not to speak and Provost Charlena Seymour's comments regarding the award were drowned out by the people involved in the protest.

The commencement protest followed two demonstrations on campus on May 8 and May 15, 2007 with regards to the honorary degree. Card was also protested earlier in the year when he came to UMass to give a lecture entitled "The American Political Landscape: Looking Towards 2008" on April 11, 2007. The Radical Student Union and the Graduate Student Senate organized protests which included a "die-in," where students fell prone with fake blood spattered on their clothes, as well as protest signs and the unfurling of a very large protest banner.

University of Massachusetts president Jack M. Wilson has proposed a "one university" plan for the UMass system, part of which included the excision of the Chancellor position. There are also other leadership restructurings which have received a fair amount of complaint from faculty and administration of the various UMass schools in the state: the faculty of UMass-Amherst passed a no-confidence vote in both the president and the trustees; UMass-Boston is currently considering doing the same.

There has been concern that much of the proposed plan has been developed behind closed doors within a small circle of the Board of Trustees. Members of the board have noted that even within the board itself there were members that were aware of the plan prior to it being transmitted to the board-at-large, a fact that has led some to speculate about the evolution of an insider group with its genesis in the involvement of Romney's appointments to the board and other organizations during his gubernatorial tenure. Stephen Tocco, Chairman of the Board, was backed and elevated by then-governor Mitt Romney. Romney also made other appointments to the board just before leaving office, as well as appointing Wilson as a Massachusetts Commissioner to the Education Commission of the States shortly before his exodus. The current plan centralizes some of the power within the UMass system by effectively combining the role of President and Chancellor into the President's office. Due to the uproar from a wide variety of camps, some commentators worry that this reorganization plan may weaken Wilson's position, depending on the effects of the various no-confidence votes and future reactions of the administration and faculty. In 2004, Ryan Kingsbury was named the Vice Dean of the school of Education. He resigned four days later, when we arrested for a DUI. He made various sexual remarks about the arresting officer's wife.

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Source : Wikipedia