Happening Today

UMass Dartmouth MLK breakfast

UMass Dartmouth holds its 15th annual Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast, Woodland Commons, UMass Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Road, Dartmouth, 8:30 a.m.

Town clerks conference

Massachusetts Town Clerks Association wraps up its Winter Conference with a panel on submissions to the attorney general’s municipal law unit and a seminar on campaign finance, ethics, and open meeting law updates, Devens Common Center, 31 Andrews Pkwy., Devens, 9 a.m.

ACLU on Trump challenge

ACLU of Massachusetts holds press availability regarding expansion of its challenge of President Trump’s order on immigration and refugees, Moakley Courthouse, 1 Courthouse Way, Boston, 10 a.m.

Trump order hearing

A federal court hearing is held on the challenge to President Trump’s order on immigration and refugees, US District Court, Moakley Courthouse, 1 Courthouse Way, Boston, 11 a.m.

Civic Engagement Campaign

Student ambassadors and staff members from 28 colleges and universities across the country will convene as part of the Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement, Friday through Sunday, Harvard University, Cambridge.

Today’s Stories

Lawmakers approve ye ole pay raises at behest of King Robert

As expected, lawmakers yesterday easily overrode Gov. Charlie Baker’s veto of big pay raises for legislators, constitutional officers, judges and other public officials, according to published reports. Attorney General Maura Healey announced yesterday she won’t accept her pay raise for the duration of her current term, joining Baker, Lt. Gov. Karen Polito and Treasurer Deb Goldberg in refusing the approved pay bumps, the Herald reports. State House News Service has more on the controversial pay move at SouthCoast Today.

Bar far, the strongest reaction to the pay hikes comes from the Globe’s Scott Lehigh, who’s now referring to legislative leaders as “King Robert” (not to be confused with his “penultimate royal predecessor, Thomas the Brash”), “Charles the Rectitudinous” and “Prince Stanley the Pious Process Pretender.”

Before the vote, Jon Keller at WBZ merely noted that some lawmakers indeed deserve pay hikes, but not all lawmakers, making the whole process a sort of farce. And the Globe’s Adrian Walker, like Keller, said an argument can be made for pay hikes, but not in the way lawmakers went about approving them.

Courtroom showdown today over Trump order

Boston’s federal courthouse will be the focus of attention today as a U.S. judge hears arguments in the challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union and others to President Trump’s controversial immigration order. The Globe’s Milton Valencia takes a look at the judge, Nathaniel M. Gorton, described by colleagues as “no-nonsense jurist who takes a conservative but reasonable approach to cases and his views of the law.” The Herald’s Bob McGovern and O’Ryan Johnson take a look at what the government plans to argue in the case. Meanwhile, ACLU attorneys plan to brief reporters before the hearing about what they intend to argue.

As suspected, poll shows the rest of the country doesn’t see Trump’s order the same way as Massachusetts

As the Globe’s Andrew Ryan noted earlier this week, there’s a lot more pro-Trump supporters out there than anti-Trump folks care to admit. The latest poll seems to support that assertion. From Shannon Young at MassLive: “Despite weekend protests at airports across the country, voters are largely split over President Donald Trump’s executive order that bars refugees and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries, according to a new poll.” 

But drilling down into data, Young also finds that while 47 percent of voters support the president’s action compared with 49 percent against (a statistical tie within the margin of error – and a close call that falls suspiciously along the nation’s red-blue political fault line), a clear majority of voters generally don’t like details of Trump’s plan, such as barring people from specific countries. But wasn’t that the whole point of Trump’s order – singling out specific countries?

Wait a freakin’ second: Worcester mayor didn’t call protesters ‘freakin’ morons’?

Just one day after Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty apologized after he was apparently caught on a hot mic referring to protesters as “freakin’ morons … morons, morons, morons,” a city activist—typically not a fan of the mayor— has come forward to say that it was actually his voice on the audio, Alban Murtishi of MassLive reports. 

But what about the mayor’s apology? From Steven Foskett at the Telegram: “Mayor Joseph M. Petty said Thursday night that amid public outcry over comments attributed to him at the start of the City Council Tuesday, he ended up believing that maybe he did call demonstrators he had only minutes before thanked for their support ‘freakin’ morons,’ among other things.”  It’s so implausible it might be true.

Springfield mayor: ‘I’m not going to kowtow to these demands’

Hopefully, someone has an accurate recording of this one. Yesterday community activists gathered at Springfield City Hall to deliver a letter to Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, urging the mayor to establish a police policy that avoids “unnecessary cooperation with federal immigration officials,” reports Peter Goonan at MassLive. Sarno was away from the offices when activists arrived, but beforehand he told the media “I’m not going to kowtow to these demands,” declaring police will cooperate with feds on criminal matters involving immigrants, though not on civil immigration matters.


Immigration controversy roundup: Cardinal O’Malley, tech community reax and more

Many other local stories are swirling about regarding President Trump’s immigration order. Here’s a few of them: — Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley and other faith leaders, along with Gov. Charlie Baker and Mayor Marty Walsh, yesterday convened at Boston’s Cathedral of the Holy Cross, in what the Globe describes as an “extraordinary display of a coalescing opposition to President Trump’s immigration order.”

— Writing at BostInno, Tom Hopcroft, president of MassTLC, is trying to mobilize the tech community to oppose the president’s executive order and support Attorney General Maura Healey’s legal action against the measure.

— Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito yesterday ripped into the president’s order. “This order walling off our state and our country is not something that we support, and it puts our economy and many people in our Commonwealth at risk and feeling insecure,” Politio told SHNS’s Colin Young, writing at MetroWest Daily News.

In the battle between WHDH and NBC Boston, the winner is … WCVB

Since WHDH TV and NBC Boston split at the start of the year, things haven’t gone well for either television outlet, with their ratings falling and viewers fleeing elsewhere, reports the Globe’s Dan Adams and the Herald’s Brian Dowling and Chris Villani. So where are viewers mostly going? WCVB TV, both papers report. “We have former NBC-watchers in some time periods and former Channel 7 watchers in others,” brags WCVB General Manager Bill Fine. “We are going up in a five-station market.”

Entercom, CBS Radio marriage could lead to heartbreak for some stations and talk jocks

While the WHDH-NBC Boston divorce hasn’t turned out well for either party so far, it appears marriage has its own drawbacks for local radio stations. From the Herald’s Jessica Heslam: “The shotgun marriage of Entercom and CBS Radio could put Hub stations on the chopping block, corral rival talk jocks under one roof and dent their big-money contracts as competition intensifies in this new dysfunctional family.”

Boston Herald

Interfaith gathering pushes for criminal justice reform, health care

From the Globe’s Jacob Geanous: “Hundreds of people from about 50 faith-based organizations filled a Jamaica Plain church Thursday night to renew a call for equality and justice at a time of uncertainty under President Donald Trump. The event, entitled “For a Time Such as This,” was put on at Bethel AME Church by the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, and drew several city councilors and top state leaders, including Senate President Stanley Rosenberg.” The focus was on criminal justice reform, affordable housing and saving the Affordable Care Act.

Boston Globe

New Lowell High poised to smash cost records — as in $326M and up

The city of Lowell has received refined price estimates for building a new high school and it appears any of the options selected will likely be the most expensive school built in the state by a wide margin. Kori Tuitt of the Lowell Sun reports that cost estimates now range from $326 million to $386 million, well above the $198 million is cost to build Newton North and the $257 million price tag on a proposed new Somerville High. 

Lowell Sun

Brockton protesters want personnel chief booted from office

About 30 demonstrators gathered outside Brockton City Hall Thursday to call for the ousting of Director of Personnel Maureen Cruise after the city was found guilty of employment discrimination and could end up on the hook for a $4 million judgment, Marc Larocque of the Enterprise reports. 


Boston March for Science set for April 22 – politicians not exactly welcome

Despite some misgivings about jumping into the political arena, organizers have picked April 22, Earth Day, as the date for the national March for Science in Washington and sister marches in Boston and elsewhere. As Boston Magazine’s Spencer Buell notes, organizers say that it’s going to be a non-partisan “pro-facts” event and that politicians will not be dominating events. But as Spencer also notes: “Bucking party affiliation may be a heavy lift considering the demonstrations are effort(s) to counter the message from the White House, whose new occupant has made no secret of his hostility to science, scientists, and expertise generally.”

Boston Magazine

Baker administration blows past nursing-home report deadline

Some lawmakers are not happy that the Baker administration won’t be releasing a comprehensive report until December on approved wage increases for thousands of low-paid nursing home workers, the Globe’s Kay Lazar reports. The deadline for the report was supposed to be the end of last month, not the end of this year.

Boston Globe

BJ’s, Retailers Association take on GOP tax plan (and GE)

A coalition of companies and business groups, including Westborough-based BJ’s Wholesale Club and the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, have launched a campaign against a Congressional Republican plan that would slap higher taxes on products grown or manufactured outside the U.S., reports Greg Ryan at the BBJ. Basically, the battle is pitting corporate importers and exporters against each other, with BJ’s and the retailers association siding with the former, saying the plan will hurt consumers. Who’s on the other side of the equation, i.e. exporters? None other than Boston’s very own General Electric, reports Bloomberg News at the Globe.


SNL director tries to lighten up Gorton’s Seafood’s brand

This is interesting: Gloucester’s Gorton’s Seafood, via Boston-based Connelly Partners, is trying to modernize its 167-year-old brand with a new ad campaign featuring the old Gorton’s fisherman trying to adjust to life on land, not sea, reports David Harris. The director of the series of videos: Mike Bernstein of “Saturday Night Live.” The BBJ has a video.


Rattlesnake group pledges statewide view

Department of Fish and Game Commissioner George Peterson is promising “total transparency” and a statewide review by the Rattlesnake Review Group, which launched its work earlier this week, Bradford Miner reports in the Telegram. Peterson said the 13-member working group will look at the state of existing timber rattlesnake populations in all five of its local native habitats rather than focusing just on the original, controversial plan of establishing a new colony on an island in the Quabbin Reservoir. 


RIP, Facebook, 12, of Boston, victim of November election

A MASSterList reader sends in this piece by Bethany Mandel at the Federalist, announcing the demise of Facebook, at least in her life, because of all the Trump hysteria out there. Her suggested obit: “Facebook, The, 12, of Boston died in the early months of 2017, after a long illness stemming from the 2016 election cycle. Born of Mark Zuckerberg, survived by Instagram. In lieu of flowers, please click on an ad on the Facebook sidebar while you check messenger every now and then.” Because she writes at the moderately conservative Federalist, one assumes she’s mostly fed up with anti-Trump rants, but just about everyone is sick of all things Trump at this point and probably sympathize with her sentiments.

The Federalist

Go Pats!

The Globe’s Derrick Jackson isn’t happy about Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick, and Tom Brady’s cozy political relationship with Donald Trump. Whether you agree with him or not, let’s all agree on this: Go Pats!  

Boston Globe

Sunday public affairs TV

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. Guest: Jim Rooney, president of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, who speaks with host Jon Keller about the new federal refugee policy, business prospects under President Trump and other issues.

This is New England, NBC Boston Channel 10, 9:30 a.m. With host Latoyia Edwards, this week’s focus: “All Things Super Bowl and Sports in New England,” with former Pats player Matt Light of the Matt Light Foundation and Kate Scarlata, RDN, on healthy Super Bowl snacks.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Travis McCready, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center CEO, and Richard Doherty, president of AICUM, talk about President Trump’s immigration order; MullenLowe president Geoff Cottrill weighs in on the themes of this year’s Super Bowl ads; and Doug Banks of the Boston Business Journal looks at the top local business stories of the past week.  

CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. This week the show examines the booming cyber security industry in the Greater Boston area and the politics of cyber security.

On the Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Jay Gonzalez, Democratic candidate for governor, who talks with anchor Ed Harding and State House reporter Janet Wu.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s focus: Immigrant and Refugee Concerns, with Nadeem Mazen of CAIR, Rahsaan Hall of the ACLU of Massachusetts and Sarang Sekhavat of MIRA.

Today’s Headlines


Bitter Boston sports radio rivals could soon have same owner – Boston Globe

Hub gun violence not child’s play – Boston Herald

Big layoffs at pair of Boston high schools – Boston Herald


State report on nursing home wages is lacking – Boston Globe

AG Healey won’t accept pay hike – Boston Herald

Northampton adopts ‘fair employment city’ status with unanimous council vote – MassLive

Worcester Mayor Petty says review of audio reveals he did not make comments calling protestors ‘morons’ – MassLive

Local activist insists Mayor Petty wrongly took the fall for calling demonstrators ‘morons’ – Telegram & Gazette

Pot advocates fume over proposal – Gloucester Times

Pilgrim opponents not backing down – Cape Cod Times

Worcester’s 2016 economy strongest since Great Recession, Assumption professor says – Worcester Magazine

Gov. Baker’s red tape review continues bipartisan dance – WBUR

Cost estimates for new Lowell High sites are in – Lowell Sun

Public gets answers on solar-powered pod proposal – Brockton Enterprise

Brockton personnel director under fire from protesters outside city hall – Brockton Enterprise

UMass limiting guests on Super Sunday – MassLive


Poll: 4 in 10 back impeaching Trump – The Hill

House votes to overturn Obama rule restricting gun sales to severely mentally ill – WGBH

Trump’s Mar-a -Lago getaway could cost taxpayers more than $3 million – Politico

Trump will take executive action against Wall Street regulation, aide says – Washington Post

Kellyanne Conway cites “Bowling Green Massacre” that never happened to justify travel ban – Washington Post

Uber CEO to leave Trump council – New York Times

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