Happening Today

Zika update

The Massachusetts Public Health Council meets to get an update on the Zika virus, the mosquito-spread virus that can cause fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis, Henry I. Bowditch Public Health Council Room, 2nd floor, 250 Washington St., Boston, 9:30 a.m.

Billerica: ‘Yankee Doodle Town’

The Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight holds a hearing on a Rep. Marc Lombardo and Sen. Kenneth Donnelly’s bill to designate Billerica as the “Yankee Doodle Town,” honoring colonial minuteman Thomas Ditson who was tarred and feathered by the British and who later fought at the Battle of Lexington and Concord, Room B-2, 11 a.m.

MWRA lead pipes

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority Board of Directors will review program guidelines for a $100 million lead service line replacement program and hear about lead levels in service areas; the meeting will be preceded by a meeting at 10 a.m. by the authority’s water and policy committee, 100 First Ave., second floor, Charlestown, full board, 1 p.m.

Workforce housing announcement

Gov. Charlie Baker joins Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash and other officials to announce a $100 million workforce housing initiative for middle-income working families in Massachusetts, 678 Washington Street, Lynn, 1:30 p.m.

Wynn Boston Harbor casino update

NAIOP Massachusetts, a commercial real estate group, hosts a sold-out event in which Wynn Design and Development Massachusetts President Chris Gordon will provide an update on the $2 billion Wynn Boston Harbor casino development in Everett, Red Thread, 101 Seaport Boulevard, Suite 600, 6 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Silverglate: Carmen Ortiz’s ‘tyranny’ over local politicians may be over soon

Civil liberties attorney Harvey Sliverglate says a case now before the U.S. Supreme Court could lead to limits on federal prosecutors’ ability to press “anticorruption” charges against local pols – and he writes at WGBH that such a development would be most welcome: 

“Depending on how the court rules, the ability of U.S. Attorneys such as Carmen Ortiz to send public and quasi-public figures to jail could be seriously restricted. This, likewise, could force changes in how the media, including The Boston Globe, reports on cases purportedly involving corruption, such as the apparently ongoing Ortiz probe into alleged union wrongdoing into which Boston Mayor Marty Walsh may or may not figure. The hope—at least for civil libertarians—is that clear and reasonable standards will be established that differentiate between truly corrupt and illegal behavior and run-of-the-mill political conduct—even if tawdry or distasteful.”


Add Scott Brown’s name to those auditioning for a VP spot

Some have noted that U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren appears to be auditioning for a vice president spot on a future Hillary Clinton ticket. But it’s sure looking like former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, a Republican who Warren defeated in 2012, is also auditioning to be Donald Trump’s running mate this fall, based on Brown’s own “attack dog” antics, such as his recent anti-Hillary diatribe in the Herald.

Slate’s Ben Mathis-Lilley thinks N.J. Governor Chris Christie will ultimately get the Trump nod, but thinks Brown definitely falls into the “people who would be useful to Trump and would probably say yes” category: “In theory, the former Massachusetts senator is the nice version of Trump: a moderate Republican man’s man who appeals to regular Joes (assuming that these Joes are white) but doesn’t get as nasty about all the Muslim and Mexican stuff. In practice, Scott Brown has had a hard time actually winning elections. Still, Brown doesn’t have a lot going on right now, would project a usefully non-thuggish vibe, and, unlike Trump, has actual military experience.”


Republicans retain Hedlund’s Senate seat

For the time being, Massachusetts Republicans can breathe a sigh of relief. From the Patriot Ledger’s Christian Schiavone: “Patrick O’Connor scored a solid victory in Tuesday’s special election for the Plymouth and Norfolk state Senate district, extending Republican control of a longtime GOP-held seat. O’Connor beat Democrat Joan Meschino of Hull by 937 votes in the eight-town district and will serve out the remainder of Robert Hedlund’s term, which ends in January 2017. O’Connor and Meschino could face off in a rematch in the November election for a full two-year term.”

Patriot Ledger

With money in hand, Barr Foundation becomes instant player on waterfront development issues

Developers have pretty much gotten their way on new mega-projects along Boston’s South Boston waterfront. Aesthetically, the results haven’t been overly impressive: Though developers have followed strict waterfront rules, their new buildings are mostly dull, glass-covered behemoths with little or no character.

But that and other things on the city’s waterfront could be changing if the Barr Foundation, the powerful nonprofit founded by cable titan Amos Hostetter and his wife, Barbara, decides to start really throwing its weight around, the Globe’s Shirley Leung reports. The foundation has recently funneled $800,000 to Boston Harbor Now, the Trustees of the Reservations, and the Boston Redevelopment Authority to enhance waterfront planning and activities.

Boston Globe

Rattlesnakes were re-introduced elsewhere too?

Profusely apologizing for a lack of public input over plans to reintroduce rattlesnakes on a Quabbin Reservoir island, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton signaled state officials may look at other options if further study and public response shows a continued “elevated level of concern,” reports State House News Service’s Katie Lannan in the Berkshire Eagle.

But pray tell: What was Senate President Stan Rosenberg referring to about rattlesnakes being reintroduced elsewhere? From MassLive’s Gintautas Dumcius: “Rosenberg, D-Amherst, said he has been told of two other places in the state where rattlesnakes have already been introduced in a ‘much quieter way.’ … ‘I mean if we need to regenerate the species, there’s already two things going on, two places,’ and maybe there are other places to put the snakes, he said.”

Just wondering: Where exactly did those ‘much quieter’ re-introductions occur?


Why did Dean Foods buy Friendly’s Ice Cream? In a word: Walmart

Friendly’s Ice Cream announcement that it has sold its ice cream distribution and manufacturing business to Dallas-based Dean Foods Company begs the question: Why would a Texas firm want to own an iconic regional ice cream maker? Reports MassLive’s Jim Kinney: “In recent years the Dallas-based national conglomerate has been forced to adjust to changing tastes and to a changing marketplace where behemoth retailer Wal-Mart will process its own milk for its own stores at a new plant in Indiana. Wal-Mart’s plans alone will cost Dean the sale of roughly 100 million gallons of milk a year starting next year.” 

Kinney also notes that Dean’s interest in Friendly’s is “part of the industry-wide shift toward branded products and away from the white carton labeled simply ‘milk’ or ‘ice cream’”


Harvard professor: Time to treat conservative like post-war Germans and other losers

Harvard Law School Professor Mark Tushnet has created a small sensation within right-wing media circles by stating in a blog post that liberals have triumphed in the culture wars and that conservatives need to be treated like vanquished foes, reports the New Boston Post.

“The culture wars are over; they lost, we won,” writes Tushnet, noting the shifting balance on the U.S. Supreme Court and urging liberals to now press their legal advantage. “Trying to be nice to the losers didn’t work well after the Civil War, nor after Brown,” he said of the famous Brown v. Board of Education desegregation ruling. “And taking a hard line seemed to work reasonably well in Germany and Japan after 1945.”

The New Boston Post, itself a conservative outlet, has a roundup of all the outraged reactions on the right to Tushnet’s comments.

New Boston Post

Rep. says ‘Dirty Dozen’ label is politically motivated

Rep. Jim Lyons of Andover says he landed on the Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund’s Dirty Dozen list of lawmakers with poor voting records on environmental issues because he is a Republican, Bill Kirk of the Eagle Tribune reports. Lyons says he stands by his vote against former Gov. Deval Patrick’s environmental bond bill in 2014, which helped land him on the list. “They’re slapping this label on me for one reason only; I’m a Republican,” he said. 

Eagle Tribune

Brockton mayor in email dustup

Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter is facing charges from a former challenger that the mayor sought to skirt public records law by using a private email account to conduct public business, Marc Larocque of the Enterprise reports. The city has told Ron Matta it would cost $10,000 to fulfill his public records request for copies of emails from Carpenter’s private Gmail account.

The Enterprise

Private developer plans UMass Lowell dorm

A Pennsylvania-based developer plans to build a $40 million dormitory near the campus of UMass Lowell, capable of housing 400 students, and it says it will go forward even without the backing of the school, Christopher Scott of the Lowell Sun reports. An earlier attempt to develop the riverfront parcel into a private dorm fell apart because there was no guarantee that students could use financial aid to pay for the housing.

Lowell Sun

Beer company sells land to pot grower

Boston Beer Company plans to sell a 52-acre parcel of industrial land in Freetown to AmeriCann, a publicly traded developer of marijuana growing facilities, for $4.15 million, Jessica Bartlett of the Boston Business Journal reports. The Sam Adams brewer bought the parcel in 2007 for $6 million and drew up plans to build a $200 million brewery there that never got off the ground.


Students convince Ipswich to join bag-ban brigade

Voters in Ipswich have approved a ban on Styrofoam containers and plastic bags at local businesses, becoming the latest of about 30 communities to take the step, Amanda Ostuni of the Salem News reports. The Town Meeting article was drafted, submitted and promoted by a group of high school science students.

Salem News

Plymouth pitches Mayflower anniversary to fill Olympic void

Organizers of a celebration planned for the 400th anniversary of the voyage of the Mayflower in 2020 say the event could help fill a “signature event” void for the state’s travel and tourism industry after the collapse of the Olympics bid and the loss of the Grand Prix race, Kathleen Conti of the Globe reports. Plymouth 400 Inc. believes the event could be a major windfall for the state and have begun to line up financing from both private and public sources.

Boston Globe

Nonprofit institutions employ a half million people in Massachusetts

From prestigious universities to youth sports leagues, nonprofit institutions today employ about 530,000 people in Massachusetts, or 17 percent of the state’s workforce, according to the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, reports the State House News Service’s Michael P. Norton in the Boston Business Journal. The 22,000 nonprofits paid more than $30 billion in salaries and wages to employees last year alone, the network says.


A plea to Mick Jagger and Keith Ricards: Please bring the Rolling Stones back to Lynn

OK, so police had to use tear gas on fans who went on a rampage after the Rolling Stones cut short a concert during a thunderstorm at the Manning Bowl stadium in Lynn, fifty years ago next month. But now the publisher of the Daily Item, Ted Grant, has written an open letter to the iconic British band, stating “a lot has changed” since that little misunderstanding and asking that the boys come back for another try in Lynn, reports the Associated Press at Wicked Local. Grant has even nobly offered to pick up Mick et gang at Logan Airport and let them crash at his house.

Wicked Local (AP)

Baker tells New York inmates: ‘Welcome to Massachusetts’

Meeting with prison inmates who are part of a new reentry school program in Roslindale, Gov. Charlie Baker repeatedly asked where the prisoners were from and occasionally remarked on their home cities’ reputations or geography. The inmates hailed from Everett (“pretty good high school football team”), Brockton (“City of Champions”), and Lynn (“Swampscott” — Baker is from Swampscott, right next to Lynn). But none of the Bay Staters’ provenances drew as much reaction as the out-of-staters. “Welcome to Massachusetts,” Baker said when an inmate said he was from New York. When the second New Yorker disclosed his roots, Baker expanded. “Welcome to Massachusetts,” Baker repeated. “Are these guys, like, Yankees fans?” The inmate responded: “Undercover.” 

– Andy Metzger/SHNS

Today’s Headlines


Celtics to build new practice facility in Brighton – Boston Globe

Scaled-back Green Line project still one of MBTA’s priciest – Boston Globe

N.H. businessman recommended to lead Suffolk board – Boston Globe

T takes risk with new construction method – CommonWealth Magazine

Former Gov.: North-South rail link would pay for itself – WGBH


Brockton mayor defends use of private email, $10,000 bill for public records request – Brockton Enterprise

Private dormitory proposed for Lowell riverfront parcel – Lowell Sun

Taunton casino to hold vendor and job fair Saturday – Standard-Times

Lyons decries ‘dirty dozen’ assignation – Eagle Tribune

Hearing set for alleged misuse of CPA funds – Cape Cod Times

Milton Selectmen win open meeting complaint over police chief’s contract – Patriot Ledger

Weymouth puts Republican O’Connor over the top in South Shore Senate race – Patriot Ledger

Worcester council approves tax-financing policy – Telegram & Gazette

Rosenberg sitting out marijuana referendum – CommonWealth Magazine

AAA says marijuana OUI laws useless – CommonWealth Magazine

Plymouth seeks to raise funds for 400th Mayflower anniversary – Boston Globe


As expected, Donald Trump wins in West Virginia – Boston Globe

Bernie Sanders wins in West Virginia – Boston Globe

Michael Dukakis calls Donald Trump ‘a gift from God’ to Democrats – Boston.com

How to Contact MASSterList

Send tips to Matt Murphy: Editor@MASSterList.com. For advertising inquiries and job board postings, please contact Dylan Rossiter: Publisher@MASSterList.com or (857) 370-1156. Follow @MASSterList on Twitter.

Subscribe to MASSterList

Start your morning with MASSterList’s chronicle of news and informed analysis about politics, policy, media, and influence in Massachusetts. Plus, get an inside look at Beacon Hill’s hottest new job postings.