House budget week
The House continues deliberations on the fiscal 2017 budget bill, expecting to resume at 10 a.m.
Southeastern casino review, Day 2
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission holds another meeting on a license for a commercial casino in southeastern Massachusetts, Shaw’s Conference Center, 1 Feinberg Way, Brockton, 10 a.m.
Health Policy Commission
The Health Policy Commission holds a board meeting to hear updates on provider price variations, out-of-network billing, the Accountable Care Organization certification program and a recent Supreme Court decision on health care, 50 Milk St., 12 p.m.
Green Line extension
State transportation officials will solicit public feedback in Cambridge on the delayed Green Line Extension project, St. Anthony’s Parish Hall, 400 Cardinal Medeiros Ave., Cambridge, 5:30 p.m. open house and then presentation and Q&A, 6:30 p.m.
George Donnelly, vice president of Northwind Strategies and former editor of MASSterList, talks about his new book, ‘The Boston Economy,’ on ‘NightSide with Dan Rea,’ WBZ NewsRadio 1030, 9 p.m.
Going ugly fast: The general election begins
The presidential general election unofficially got underway last night – and it sure got ugly fast. Even as the results from yesterday’s primaries were still streaming in from across the Northeast, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton were already trading rhetorical blows from their respective election-night stages. As the New York Times described it: “Mrs. Clinton chided the Republican’s penchant for harsh language by saying that ‘love trumps hate.’ Mr. Trump was more bluntly dismissive of Mrs. Clinton, saying her appeal boiled down to her gender. ‘Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she would get 5 percent of the vote,’ Mr. Trump said.”
Recall all the recent talk about how Trump and Clinton have a lot of work cut out for themselves in uniting their respective parties? The parties are going to organically unite on their own, as the campaign gets even nastier and as human tribal genes click into hyper-tribal mode, for nothing unites people like shared animosities.
OK, we’re aware we must add the obligatory caveats: There’s still an outside chance a brokered GOP convention will deny Trump the nomination and Bernie Sanders could still make life miserable for Hillary, etc., etc. etc.
Leak investigation into the Walsh wiretap disclosures?
Tucked into their Globe op-ed this morning on how grand jury proceedings should and shouldn’t be conducted, Nancy Gertner and Jack Corrigan delicately broach the subject of how grand jury details leaked out about the ongoing fed probe into alleged union strong-arming tactics in Boston. Among the disclosures was that the feds had wiretapped a conversation between contractors and Marty Walsh, then head of the Boston Building Trades, during negotiation over use of union laborers on construction projects.
Gertner, a retired federal judge, and Corrigan, a former state prosecutor, never mention the Walsh wiretap disclosures. But they make clear the grand jury leaks in the case were wrong if committed by the feds. “Yes, there should be an investigation if there was real impropriety, but this time it should include the source of these leaks,” the duo write. “And the press needs to remind the public that leaks are never the whole story.”
Now the BRA gets dragged into the union-probe controversy
We’ll just let this Herald story speak for itself:
“A BRA member and labor official reportedly linked to a federal probe into union strong-arming tactics will remain on the board as he faces separate charges for threatening to ‘kill’ a fellow union member with a baseball bat.
“Michael P. Monahan, 53, an IBEW vice president, is set to be arraigned in Dorchester District Court on May 5 on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and making threats to commit a crime.
“‘You’re dead, your (expletive) kids are dead … and you won’t even see it coming,’ he warned the alleged victim.”
Monahan’s attorney said the “dust-up” never happened. Did we mention that Monahan was the union member on the Boston Zoning Board of Appeals at the time the feds wiretapped Walsh saying a contractor might have problems getting necessary permits in Boston? A Herald editorial is calling on Walsh, who didn’t appoint Monahan to the BRA, to demand Monahan’s resignation.
Springfield criticized, not punished for Hillary promotion
The Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance says the city of Springfield erred when it promoted a Hillary Clinton campaign stop on its official website, Peter Goonan of MassLive reports. However, the OCPF said it was closing its file on the case without penalties because the city responded quickly to address the issue.
Luxury condos overtake home prices
For the first time in four years, the price of a condominium in the state surpassed that of a single-family home, Sam Bonacci of the Worcester Business Journal reports, citing data from The Warren Group. A surge in sales of luxury condos in Boston is behind the flip, which has happened only once before in the past 20 years.
‘Bullet train’ between Worcester and Boston to launch next month
Mention ‘bullet train’ to someone knowledgeable about train systems and they’ll think of super-fast trains in Europe or Japan. But we’re talking a local version of ‘bullet train’ here, as in the one being launched next month by the MBTA between Boston and Worcester. The non-stop service will transport riders between the two cities in less than an hour, reports MassLive’s Lindsay Corcoran.
Amazon finally caves on Roxbury same-day delivery service
Initially, it looked like Amazon was going to ignore Mayor Walsh’s plea yesterday that Roxbury be included in the online company’s new same-day delivery service in Boston, after the neighborhood’s glaring exclusion from the service raised concerns and complaints last week. But by Tuesday afternoon, BostInno’s Dylan Martin was reporting that Amazon had caved on the issue. From Amazon’s statement: “We are actively working with our local carrier to enable service to the Roxbury neighborhood in the coming weeks.” File under: Happy (somewhat) ending.
Worcester may tie tax breaks to living wage
The Worcester City Council voted yesterday to endorse a new tax increment financing policy that will require developers to pay a living wage on projects that receive tax breaks from the city, Nick Kotsopoulos of the Telegram reports. The policy, which was toned down from its original version to the disappointment of some community groups, also includes residency requirements for project hires.
Gaming Commission crunches tax numbers
Allowing two casinos in the Southeastern part of the state would generate more total gambling revenues but cut the state’s annual tax take by $28 million to $42 million, a consultant is telling the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Bruce Mohl of CommonWealth magazine reports. Two previous consultant reports were split on whether the region can handle two resort gambling destinations.
Land use issue emerges in state Senate race
The state’s role in local land use and zoning decisions became an issue in the race to replace now Weymouth Mayor Robert Hedlund in the state Senate, Neal Simpson of the Patriot Ledger reports. Joan Moschino said she supports a move to reform the state’s zoning laws, while Patrick O’Connor said he supports continued local decision making.
Every parent’s nightmare: Another drug death
The Telegram’s Dianne Williamson alerted us to a very sad and powerful obituary written by the family of 20-year-old Emmett J. Scannell, a scholarship student at Worcester State University who recently died of a heroin overdose. “Emmett was a caring, funny, smart, young man with the potential for greatness,” the heart-breaking obit reads. “He loved his brother and sister, biking and snowmobiling and had a smile and charm that could light up a room, but it won’t ever again because he had and died from Substance Use Disorder.” The family bravely chronicles his battles with alcohol and drugs and urged others to fight the scourge of heroin. Read the obit to see how you can help in a small way.
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