Innovation assessment briefing
Massachusetts Consortium for Innovative Education Assessment holds a legislative briefing, with Sen. Patricia Jehlen, Dan French of the Center for Collaborative Education, Erik Fearing of the Revere Teachers Association, and others expected to speak, Room 428, 10 a.m.
Attorney General Maura Healey joins Boston Public Schools Superintendent Tommy Chang, Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell and others to announce a new after-school initiative with the 3Point Foundation and UMass Boston, Martin Luther King, Jr. K-8 Inclusion School, 77 Lawrence Ave., Dorchester, 10:45 a.m.
State of power grid
The state of New England’s power grid will be the focus of a media briefing hosted by Gordon van Welie, president and CEO of ISO New England, via WebEx conference call, 11 a.m.
‘Ask the Guv’
Gov. Charlie Baker is a scheduled guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 12 p.m.
MassAccess, a nonprofit advocacy agency that supports community media centers, holds its annual meeting and honors Sen. John Keenan and Rep. Antonio Cabral as legislators of the year, Great Hall, 12 p.m.
Goldberg luncheon for new legislators
Treasurer Deborah Goldberg hosts a luncheon for new state legislators, Treasurer’s Office, Room 227, 12:30 p.m.
Gov. Charles Baker, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, and House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Minority Leader Brad Jones, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Speaker’s Office, 2 p.m.
Juvenile Justice Committee
Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee meets to hear updates on compliance with the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, monitoring, court holding facilities and other issues, 10 Park Plaza – conference rooms 5 and 6, 3 p.m.
Rattlesnake Review Group
Fisheries and Wildlife Board’s Rattlesnake Review Group holds its first meeting, Athol Town Hall, 584 Main St., Athol, 6:30 p.m.
Helipad task force
A proposed public heliport will be up for discussion at a task force meeting of elected officials and others, Amphitheatre on the mezzanine level of the Seaport World Trade Center, Boston, 7 p.m.
Lewis on Greater Boston
Sen. Jason Lewis is a scheduled guest on ‘Greater Boston’ to discuss the state’s new marijuana law and bills he filed to tighten the restrictions on legal pot, WGBH-TV Ch. 2, 7 p.m.
Trump’s tragedy and triumph
Is President Trump a secret pro-immigration provocateur bent on discrediting the anti-immigration cause he so fervently touted during the election? Obviously not, notes the Globe’s Evan Horowitz. But his executive order temporarily barring immigrants from seven pre-dominantly Muslim countries was arguably one of the most ham-handed presidential actions we’ve seen in years, sparking weekend protests, legal actions and generally creating a circus-like atmosphere in Boston and elsewhere across the nation.
For those confused about what’s going on, the Globe has an excellent interactive timeline, with story links, on exactly what unfolded and when, starting with Trump’s executive order and including how two judges in Boston played a key role in temporarily staying Trump’s order.
Meanwhile, Wicked Local takes a look at the large rally held at Copley Square yesterday to protest Trump’s action, featuring U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and other speakers. CBS Boston reports on how U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton is “ashamed” that Trump is our president. The Globe has a political round-up of where all 33 of New England’s Congressional members, overwhelmingly Democratic, stand on Trump’s order.
Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, is also criticizing Trump’s move, though in more diplomatic tones, arguing Trump’s not making America safer with such measures, reports WCVB TV. The Globe also takes a look at local doctors who joined yesterday’s Copley Square rally.
Hub could become refugee hub following Trump’s order
From the Herald’s Jack Encarnacao: “Refugees and anyone else looking to skirt President Trump’s ban on Middle Eastern travelers are being advised to head for Boston’s Logan International Airport, thanks to an expansive federal court order that stayed the executive order here for seven days.” WCVB has a good explainer piece on why Boston may become the temporary gateway into the country for many immigrants. The Globe profiles one of the federal judges, Allison Dale Burroughs, who temporarily countermanded Trump’s immigration order. And the Boston Globe also has a piece on how Attorney General Maura Healey and other attorneys general are condemning Trump’s actions.
Anti-bubble reality check: Is Trump’s action playing well elsewhere?
Judging by the media coverage, one might think that just about everyone who’s anyone, especially in blue-state Massachusetts and other coastal enclaves, is against Donald Trump’s executive order barring immigrants from seven Muslim countries. But the president of the union serving U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services employees in New York City is in favor of the move, as the Herald reports. Meanwhile, some local Republicans think Trump’s actions are necessary, reports CBS Boston. Much of the conservative media is definitely behind Trump, reports Media Matters. And, finally, back to the Globe’s Evan Horowitz: “All this high-profile liberal outrage isn’t necessarily bad for Trump, it helps prove his commitment to his supporters, burnishing his image as a fighter for forgotten Americans who is willing to take on the establishment at any cost.” The first polls on this issue are going to be interesting.
Protests and outrage are not confined to Boston
Back to the bubble: Here’s a quick look at what’s happening outside Boston in reaction to President Trump’s immigration order:
— Anti-Trump protest at Bradley International Airport after Trump bans refugees, reports MassLive.
— UMass Dartmouth blasts immigration order after professors held at airport, reports the Taunton Gazette.
— Worcester Mayor Petty wants residents to protest against Trump, council order, reports Worcester Magazine.
— Refugees arrived locally ‘under the wire,’ reports the Salem News.
— In Lawrence and statewide, sanctuary cities dig in, reports the Eagle Tribune.
— The last time we banned refugees, one Massachusetts congresswoman stood up, reports Univeral Hub.
Battle of former budget chiefs: Jay Gonzalez to announce he’s running against Baker
Jay Gonzalez, former Gov. Deval Patrick’s budget chief, will officially launch his gubernatorial campaign today, signaling that he’ll try to link Gov. Charlie Baker to the highly unpopular (at least in Massachusetts) President Trump, reports the Globe’s Jim O’Sullivan. Gonzalez will become the first Democrat to formally announce his candidacy, though Newton Mayor Setti Warren has sent off every possible signal that he also intends to run. The Boston Herald and State House New Service (via the Washington Times) have more on Gonzalez’s planned announcement. Baker, who himself is a former State House budget guru, is widely expected to seek a second term.
Baker condemns pay raise as ‘irresponsible’ but …
He doesn’t sound like he has his heart in it, but Governor Baker on Friday did veto the controversial pay-raise bill OK’d by lawmakers. From SHNS’s Colin Young at WBUR: “Gov. Charlie Baker needled the legislative pay hikes that lawmakers approved for themselves this week as ‘fiscally irresponsible,’ but defended the Legislature’s process and stopped short of saying he’ll lobby lawmakers to sustain the veto he handed down on Friday.”
GOP going after freshmen Dems over pay raise
Gov. Baker may or may not be passionately against the pay raises voted on last week by lawmakers. But other Republicans love the issue and plan to target freshman Democrats who voted for the controversial measure, reports Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive.
Quite a deal: $40K for taxpayers, $41 million for lawyers
The Globe’s Andrea Estes, a member of the newspaper’s Spotlight team, digs into how former State House lawmaker Garrett Bradley has carved out quite a business niche convincing local pension-fund overseers to sue companies for alleged misconduct that reduced the value of retirement systems’ investments. In Plymouth County alone, as Estes writes, “court records show that the retirement fund has collected a grand total of $40,035 from all the lawsuits combined while the lawyers have received 1,000 times that amount: $41.4 million.” Nice racket, don’t you think?
GOP power broker forced out at DCR over porn
The Department of Conservation and Recreation is once again in the news, all for the wrong reasons, once again. From the Globe’s Frank Phillips: “The western regional director for the troubled state Department of Conservation and Recreation was forced to quit his job Thursday after his supervisors discovered pornography on his office computer, according to two sources knowledgable about the situation.” The case involves Michael F. Case, described as a major GOP political figure in the Berkshires.
The T’s ‘whack-a-mole’ problem
The MBTA is scheduled to lay off 27 workers for absentee-related reasons, but Bruce Mohl and Steve Koczela at CommonWealth magazine note there’s otherwise been little, if any, progress on cracking down on chronic absenteeism at the agency: “MBTA officials made almost no progress last year in curbing employee absenteeism, in part because success in reducing one type of absence was offset by a surge in another area. T officials likened the situation to the whack-a-mole game, where you pound one area down and another pops up.”
Medicare waste: Where does Massachusetts stand?
This isn’t a ranking Massachusetts health-care providers should be bragging about, but it’s still kind of nice to know that our Medicare providers are not as greedy as those in other states, as reported by the BBJ’s Craig Douglas.
The state’s messed up mental-health system, Part DCCCLVII
Following the Globe’s recent Spotlight series on the state’s mental-health system, the Patriot Ledger’s Neal Simpson, via Wicked Local, takes a look at the issue from a different angle: “With a shortage of facilities for patients who require intensive, in-patient mental health care in Massachusetts, people who experience urgent and sometimes dangerous psychiatric crises are often left to languish for hours in noisy emergency departments alongside people with heart attacks, broken bones and stab wounds. ’These psychiatric patients are receiving no care whatsoever,’ said David Schildmeier, spokesman for the Massachusetts Nurses Association. ‘They’re just being housed.’”
Smaller hospitals actually like Baker’s price caps
The big hospitals and provider networks may not like Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposed caps on health-care prices as a way to rein in costs, but smaller community hospitals say it’s about time, reports Jessica Bartlett at the BBJ.
Rick Holmes retires as editor of award-winning Daily News opinion pages
After more than two decades of getting to say who says what on the opinion pages of the MetroWest Daily News, Rick Holms is calling it quits as op-ed editor, though he’ll still write a weekly column, after he takes time off to travel outside “my blue Massachusetts bubble and learn more about what’s going on in my country.” He did a fantastic job over the years, rightly earning the section awards along the way. Fortunately, he’ll still be writng columns.
Depressing data on opioid deaths
Massachusetts State Police investigated 877 suspected overdose deaths in 2016, a 16 percent increase over last year, as the arrival of fentanyl appeared to overwhelm millions of dollars in anti-opioid spending and heavy public attention on the opioid crisis, Laura Crimaldi of the Globe reports. More complete data from the Department of Public Health is due to be released next month.
Lawrence readies for historic ‘building boom’
Developers are poised to invest tens of millions to renovate three historic mills in the city of Lawrence into more than 600 apartments this spring in what is being called the most transformative development wave since the city’s founding days, Keith Eddings of the Eagle-Tribune reports.
Sanctuary status: What’s at stake for Boston
More than $500 million in federal funding to the city of Boston could be on the line if the Trump administration follows through on threats to shut off the spigot to communities that don’t cooperate with efforts to curb illegal immigration, Joshua Eaton of WGBH reports. More than half of the funds from the federal government go to the Boston Housing Authority while another 20 percent-plus supports the city’s schools.
Helipad task force may face choppy takeoff
Residents and some city councilors are among those ready to voice their opposition tonight to a new helipad in Boston, as a newly appointed task force begins its work to identify potential sites for helicopters that officials say GE and other corporations are clamoring for, Meghan Ottollini of the Herald reports.
Legalization clears the haze at smoke shops
The statewide vote to legalize recreational marijuana has been a boon to smoke shop owners and customers alike, Aimee Chiavaroli of the Standard-Times reports, allowing them to finally drop an elaborate charade: Previously, keepers of such shops would be forced to show would-be customers the door if they openly asked for pot-related paraphernalia.
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