Happening Today

Hearing on mandated reporting of abuse

The Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities holds a hearing on a bill by Rep. Jay Barrows that would add all state employees and volunteers who work with children to the list of those required by law to report to state officials cases of suspected abuse, Room B-1, 10 a.m.

Fish stocking

Stymied by the weather in an earlier attempt to stock fish in Jamaica Pond, Gov. Charlie Baker will try again today, Jamaica Pond Beach Area, 507 Jamaicaway, Boston, 11 a.m.

Canadian consul general talks hydropower

David Alward, the consul general of Canada to New England, meets with lawmakers for a lunch briefing on the economics of hydroelectricity and wind power; meeting closed to press but will be followed by media availability, House Members’ Lounge, 12 p.m.

Today’s Stories

President Trump?

For heaven’s sake, let’s set aside the word ‘presumptive’ when describing Donald Trump as the presidential nominee of the Republican Party. Let’s also set aside the idea of a contested GOP convention this summer. Donald Trump is and will be the Republican nominee for president of the United States of America.

And here’s something people better understand: Trump can win in November. After his huge victory in Indiana yesterday and the stunning withdrawal of Ted Cruz from the GOP race, can there be any doubt now that Trump has tapped into something very deep, troubling and baffling within the electorate? Can there be any doubt now that Hillary Clinton — the ‘presumptive’ Democratic nominee who stunningly lost to Bernie Sanders yesterday in Indiana – is a flawed and vulnerable candidate?

Trump, a classic populist demagogue who is neither conservative nor a traditional Republican, will soon shamelessly lurch to the center to win additional votes in a general election. What’s Hillary doing? She’s busy fending off a futile but energy consuming insurgency from her left, as the Globe’s Matt Viser and Annie Linskey note in a good round-up of yesterday’s Indiana races.

Boston Globe

Working-class vs Women

CommonWealth’s Jack Sullivan had a smart ‘Man vs Woman’ analysis last week about how the general election contest between the ‘presumptive’ party nominees, one male and one female, was shaping up.

But another way to look at it — from the voters’ perspective and not a candidates’ perspective — is Working-class vs Women, or Working- and Middle-class vs Women. That’s how it’s also shaping up. Now do a quickie analysis in the System 2 part of your brain (borrowing terminology from Daniel Kahneman’s classic ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’): Those two groups are viewed as traditional Democratic supporters. Trump is in the process of splitting them and turning one against the other. Does Hillary see this? The thinking here is: Yes. But does the Bernie Sanders left see it? Answer: No. 

Super PAC goes all out to retain Hedlund’s Senate seat for Republicans

A week before a special Senate election on the South Shore, a GOP-aligned political action committee is spending a lot of money on behalf of Republican candidate Patrick O’Connor as he tries to secure a Senate seat opened earlier this year when Robert Hedlund stepped down to become mayor of Weymouth, reports State House News Services Matt Murphy at Wicked Local. O’Connor, a town council member, already held a significant money advantage over former Hull Selectwoman Joan Meschino, who won a Democratic primary in April.

Wicked Local (SHNS)

A father-vs-son contest for a House seat? A challenger isn’t fooled

In yet another legislative race, Springfield City Councilor Bud L. Williams was in a “mad scramble” yesterday to gather enough signatures to make a run for a House seat long held by Rep. Benjamin Swan. But who will Williams, who unsuccessfully challenged Swan in 2002, face in an election? It appears both Swan, 83, and his son, also named Benjamin Swan, have both pulled nomination papers and submitted voter signatures, reports MassLive’s Stephanie Barry. 

 Williams smells a family switcheroo plot and accused the 11-term lawmaker of attempting to clear the field for his namesake, Barry reports. Hence, Williams’s mad dash for signatures. For the record: The two Swans said they have no intention of running against each other and will decide later this month what happens next, though the younger Swan said he hopes his father will “abstain” if the son’s nomination papers are in order.


Senate candidate sued over cruiser crash

And in yet a third legislative race, state Senate hopeful Joseph A. Boncore is being sued by the police officer who was driving a cruiser that was struck by a car driven by Boncore, who could find himself in court in the weeks leading up to the November election, Joshua Miller of the Globe reports. Boncore, who emerged from a cluster of Democrats in the race for the East Boston senate seat, admits he had two drinks on the night of the accident, which occurred in 2011. He was acquitted of drunken driving charges in 2012.

Boston Globe

Concord-Carlisle and Sherborn top list of best paid teachers

The Boston Business Journal’s Craig Douglas has once again crunched the numbers on a cool subject, this time on the best-paid public school teachers by town, city or regional school district. The data shows huge pay disparities between districts.

At the top are the affluent districts of Concord-Carlisle and Sherborn, both of which paid their teachers an average of more than $100,000 a year. The lowest paid teachers? They’re out in western Massachusetts: Florida (last on the list, at an average $40,903) and New Salem-Wendell ($45,204).

All in all, public school teachers earned an average of $74,737 in the commonwealth last year, with some 14 school districts posting an average annual salary of more than $90,000, reports Douglas. Scroll down toward the bottom for the search graphic by town or city (click on “all public schools” for complete easy-to-read rankings.)


Report says state chemist regularly got high on job

Here’s yet another state-lab controversy, not to be confused with the Annie Dookhan scandal: A chemist working at a state drug lab in Amherst got high while at work almost every day, consuming drugs sent to the lab for testing and making her own crack cocaine in the laboratory, a new investigative report finds, Evan Allen of the Globe reports. The revelations could put hundreds of prosecutorial cases in jeopardy, casting a shadow on all the work done at the lab during the time Sonja Farak worked there.

Boston Globe

Worcester police chief retires, the latest to leave city service

The longest serving police chief in Worcester since World War II, Gary J. Gemme, has informed the city he is retiring, reports the Telegram’s Steven H. Foskett Jr. When he first took the job in 2005, Gemme bluntly said he would retire in 11 years when he could maximize his pension at 32 years. And that’s exactly what did. 

 MassLive’s Scott Croteau notes that Gemme’s retirement is just the latest of many recent departures by top officials in Worcester. He has the full list.

The Telegram

Boston housing prices, as mapped by T Stops

Transit-orientated policy wonks are going to love viewing this as much as average people: Tracking housing prices by T stops. Real estate website Estately has put together the fascinating mapping system that calculates the approximate housing costs near each and every T stop, reports BostInno’s Olivia Vanni.

No huge surprises, with the usual suspect neighborhoods and towns doing either well or not as well. But what’s startling is a point that comes through loud and clear: Generally, the closer to downtown, the more you pay. It’s right there on the maps. Far be it for us to make techo suggestions, but how about doing a similar map for T bus routes, not just rail lines? The comparison between bus and rail lines might be intriguing.


Markey says Champion Plan could be national model

U.S. Sen. Edward Markey visited Brockton to see the city’s new Champion Plan for addressing opioid addiction in action and said the approach could become a national model, Ed Donga of The Enterprise reports. Since launching in February, the Champion Plan has connected 41 individuals with treatment and other support services. Markey still sounded a cautious note on the trajectory of the opioid-abuse crisis. “I think the fentanyl epidemic is just beginning,” he said.

The Enterprise

Globe again to offer buyouts

The Boston Globe will offer a buyout package to all of its newsroom employees at it again attempts to reduce its headcount ahead of a planned move to downtown next year. As first reported by Dan Kennedy in his Media Nation blog, Globe editor Brian McGrory told staff members that the buyouts are a result of continued pressure on the newspaper’s bottom line. “The Globe’s numbers aren’t as good as our words (or photos, videos and graphics),” McGrory wrote.

Dan Kennedy

Commission to tackle state’s rural issues

It took nearly a year, but the state’s new advisory commission on rural policy will hold its first meeting in June, Shira Schoenberg of MassLive reports. The commission was created by the legislature during the 2015 budget approval process to help advise state leaders on issues relevant to rural communities.


Auditor says ex-Bridgewater State president returned some funds

Former Bridgewater State University President Dana Mohler-Faria paid back the state nearly $12,000 for sick days that could not be fully documented after he cashed out with a $270,000 golden parachute that has become a rallying cry for those calling for reform of how public campus leaders are paid, Charlie Peters of The Enterprise reports. Mohler-Faria made the payment to the state weeks before the scope of his retirement package became public knowledge.

The Enterprise

Here’s a deal: For a donation to a homeless shelter, you can win free rent in Cambridge

A new campaign launched by Boston online charity startup Flutter and apartment-finding website Sunnu is tapping deep into anxieties over escalating rent prices in the area. For a $10 donation to a homeless shelter, a lucky city dweller could win a year’s worth of free rent in Cambridge – valued at more than $36,000, reports the Boston Business Journal’s Sara Castellanos. It kind of makes your mind wander about what it would be like to go a year without monthly rent or mortgage payments.


Today’s Headlines


Starbucks brews up controversy about chain stores in Southie – Boston Globe

First marijuana dispensary to open in downtown Boston this summer – Boston Magazine

Support continues for police body cameras – Boston Globe


State chemist was high on the job for years, report says – Boston Globe

Move to buy Dudley land could defuse standoff over Islamic cemetery – Telegram & Gazette

Sen. Markey sees Brockton’s Champion Plan as model for country – Brockton Enterprise

Raises all around in Quincy mayor’s budget – Patriot Ledger

Newly appointed Massachusetts rural policy commission will begin work in June – MassLive

Belchertown Board of Health unveils plan to ban smoking on town common, raise minimum age to 21 – MassLive

Beaton pushes hydroelectric and gas – CommonWealth Magazine

RMV says it sent records of driver in boat crash – Boston Globe


Ted Cruz suspends presidential campaign – Boston Globe

Bernie Sanders says Indiana win was ‘great upset’ – Boston Globe

Donald Trump can shift into Cruz control as Ted drops out – Boston Herald

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