Patriots’ Day celebrations
The commonwealth of Massachusetts commemorates the Battle of Lexington and Concord and the start of the American Revolution with a state holiday and a number of festivities and events across the region, including historic reenactments, the Boston Marathon and an early Boston Red Sox game.
Roxbury leaders, including Reps. Byron Rushing and Gloria Fox, play up their neighborhood’s role in Revolutionary history with a number of events, including a William Dawes reenactment, trolley tour of Roxbury historic sites, local hero awards, and a free buffet breakfast, First Church in Roxbury UU Urban Ministry, John Eliot Square, 10 Putnam St., Roxbury, starting at 8 a.m.
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh offers remarks at a Patriots’ Day ceremony and parade at City Hall Plaza, 1 City Hall Sq., 8:45 a.m.
Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito will be at the Boston Marathon finish line to crown the female winner of the race’s 120th running, Boylston Street, 10 a.m.
Mayor Walsh crowns the male champion at the Boston Marathon Finish Line, Boylston Street, Back Bay.
Arlington to Lexington and Concord: Stop bragging!
Patriots’ Day is sort of like Thanksgiving: It’s a pleasant, non-commercialized, simple holiday, officially commemorating the Battle of Lexington and Concord both in Massachusetts and Maine. It also unofficially marks the start of spring in these parts. But did you know that Patriots’ Day is also observed in Wisconsin? It’s true.
And here’s another Patriots’ Day factoid to think about today, amidst all the reenactments and Boston Marathon festivities and late-morning Red Sox game and the pancake breakfasts and afternoon barbecues: The most fierce fighting on April 19, 1775 didn’t take place in the towns you might think. From Edgar B. Herwick III at WGBH: “Today we remember April 19 for the Battles of Lexington and Concord, but the majority of the fighting and the dying that day actually took place in Arlington, known then as Menotomy. It was here that more than half of the 122 Americans and British who were killed that day lost their lives.”
Arlington, take a bow.
‘Baker boos don’t help the cause of transgender rights’
The Globe’s editorial board isn’t impressed with Gov. Charlie Baker’s fence-sitting tactic on the transgender rights bill now before lawmakers. But it’s less impressed with last week’s booing and heckling of Baker at a LGBT event. “The activists behind the protest said they are frustrated by Baker’s noncommittal stance toward the legislation. Yet their jeers did nothing to increase anyone’s understanding of the governor’s thinking, nor did they help advance the important cause of transgender rights.”
The Globe’s Shirley Leung also deplores the governor’s stand on the bill – but she too agrees booing the governor off the stage wasn’t exactly smart politics. “I don’t blame the governor for leaving abruptly. Heckling isn’t the way to win someone over.”
The Herald was more blunt in its editorial criticism of the protesters, calling them “mindless partisans” and asking why they aren’t more upset with Democrat House leaders, who have apparently stalled a vote on the transgender bill until early May, after lawmakers find out if they have a political opponent in the November elections. “Where are the protesters on their doorstep? So is this really about restroom rights? Really?”
Plan to tap estates to cover nursing home costs panned
Elder advocates are raising a red flag over a proposal Gov. Charlie Baker attached to his budget plan that would allow the state to recover nursing home costs from the estates of MassHealth patients after their deaths, Lorelei Stevens of the Cape Cod Times reports. The Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys has issued an alert on the potential change.
Wynn rooms will cost $1 million each to build
Steve Wynn plans to spend around $1 million to build each of the hotel rooms at his Everett casino—more than three times the value of an average Massachusetts home, Bruce Mohl of CommonWealth magazine reports. A Wynn official cited the data point while on the stand in the federal trial focusing on ownership of the land where the casino will rise.
The other major election – at Harvard
Forget about the presidential primary elections. The real action seems to be taking place across the Charles River in Cambridge, where the normally sleepy election of Harvard’s Board of Overseers is suddenly a hot topic. The reason? Conservative software engineer and activist Ron Unz has rounded up a slate of candidates to run on the platform of making Harvard tuition free and questioning the use of race in admissions, reports the Globe’s Laura Krantz. But there’s more: “The race veered into new territory last week, after opponents of Unz brought to light his funding of some authors and researchers with views critics brand as white supremacist, including several who write for a website that professes ‘diversity per se is not strength, but a vulnerability.’”
Of course, this Harvard controversy shouldn’t be confused with the other Harvard controversy involving the president of Harpoon Brewery, who The Crimson reports has announced his resignation as graduate president of the all-male Porcellian Club, after he made some rather unfortunate remarks about how forcing the club to accept female members “could potentially increase, not decrease the potential for sexual misconduct.”
Never a dull moment at Harvard.
The state’s Medicaid insurers are losing millions of dollars
Preliminary state budget proposals call for increases in Medicaid spending next fiscal year. But the additional funds won’t keep pace with rising health-care costs covered by struggling Medicaid insurers, reports the Boston Business Journal’s Jessica Bartlett. “Flat reimbursement rates will take the biggest toll on so-called managed care organizations. These insurers, which care for some 48 percent of Medicaid patients, manage health care services and spending for enrollees on a budgeted basis. It is a class of insurers that since 2014 has collectively booked tens-of-millions in operating losses in the face of rising drug costs and ballooning medical expenses that have outstripped the reimbursement rates set by the state.”
T pension plans to continue to fight records release
The MBTA’s pension fund may be marshaling new legal arguments to support its continued refusal to release its records to the public in the face of a court order to do so, Beth Healy of the Globe reports. The fund’s board met with its attorneys on Friday in a closed session and appears ready to provide additional support for its arguments before a judge, despite calls from the agency’s chief administrator for increased transparency.
A dirty-water crisis plays out close to home
Repay Shenoy of WGBH takes a look at Massachusetts’ own clean water crisis, one that has seen hundreds of residents in central Massachusetts using bottled water and searching for the source of drinking water contamination. Residents believe the state’s largest landfill is to blame for the problem, but officials have not made a definitive call on the cause.
Plainridge revenues flat in March
Revenues remained mostly flat in March at Plainridge Park, the state’s first casino, and operators are looking ahead to warmer weather to give business a boost, Sean P. Murphy of the Globe reports. Plainridge brought in $13.5 million in March, up less than $1 million from the month before.
Department of Very Good News: East Coast Grill to reopen
Mark Romano, owner of Highland Kitchen in Somerville, plans to reopen the highly popular East Coast Grill in Cambridge’s Inman Square, reports Boston Eater’s Dana Hatic. To the surprise and disappointment of many, the restaurant was suddenly closed earlier this year. Rut Romano is riding to the rescue. From Hatic: “As for the restaurant itself, Romano said he will keep the same concept, complete with ‘spicy, big flavors’ and the live fire grill. They’ll keep serving raw bar items, too, but Romano said they may remove the raw bar to extend the bar space, while expanding the drink menu with more beers on tap and a wider range of drinks. ‘It’s still gonna be the funky place it’s always been,’ he said.”
Monday’s MassterList Review of Book Reviews
Slim pickings over the weekend in terms of reviews of books by local authors or about local subject matters. But we did spot something appropriate for Patriots’ Day: A new forthcoming book by local writer, blogger and history buff J.L. Bell, who runs the terrific Boston 1775 blog about colonial-era Boston. Here are the bare minimum details of Bell’s new book:
The Road to Concord: How Four Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War (Journal of the American Revolution Books), by J.L. Bell – Hardcover – Available April 28.
Pols & Politics: Foundation prez picks up tab for Rosenberg – Boston Herald
The Boston Marathon: By the numbers – Boston Business Journal
Construction cost of Wynn rooms put at $1 million apiece – CommonWealth Magazine
T pension fund continuing fight to keep records secret – Boston Globe
It’s definitely an election year: Marathon signs get political – Boston Globe
Firefighters union says Worcester airport staffing level is ‘beyond dangerous – Telegram & Gazette
Baker proposal targets estates to pay nursing home costs – Cape Cod TImes
Contaminated Wells Force Central Mass. Residents To Live On Bottled Water For Months – WGBH
Hundreds protest as Cambodian leader visits Lowell – Lowell Sun
Middleboro Town Meeting vote could triple fines for handicap parking space violations – Brockton Enterprise
Kasich counts on 2nd-place finishes to launch him into contention – Boston Globe
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