Happening Today

Deval Patrick defamation suit

A defamation lawsuit against former Gov. Deval Patrick by the former head of the Sex Offender Registry Board will go before the Supreme Judicial Court along with other cases, John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Second Floor, Pemberton Square, Boston, 9 a.m.

Greenhouse gas emissions

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection holds hearings in Boston and Lakeville on proposed amendments to regulations dealing with greenhouse gas emissions, One Winter St., Boston, and 20 Riverside Drive, Lakeville, starting at 9 a.m. and then meetings at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. in Boston .

African Caribbean American Coalition

African Caribbean American Coalition holds its first Advocacy Day at the State House to push legislative priorities and celebrate members’ contributions to Massachusetts, Grand Staircase and Great Hall, 10 a.m.

Governor at Health Connector

Gov. Charlie Baker and Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders visit the Massachusetts Health Connector and deliver remarks on the recently completed Open Enrollment period, 100 City Hall Plaza, Boston, 11 a.m.

MBTA control board

MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board discusses parking management, overnight service and Silver Line bus overhaul, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 12 p.m.

Tobacco products regulations

Department of Public Health holds a hearing on proposed amendments to regulations for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products, 250 Washington St., Boston, 1 p.m.

Leadership meeting

Gov. Baker, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito meet privately in their first meeting since lawmakers voted to override Baker’s veto of a pay-raise package, Governor’s Office, 2 p.m.

Helipad task force

A proposed helipad in Boston will be reviewed and discussed at a task force meeting of elected officials and others, Room 428, 2 p.m.

CBS president at Tufts

CBS News President David Rhodes will give a talk at Tufts University’s Fletcher School about the news media in the presidential election, Tufts University campus, 160 Packard Ave., Medford 5:30 p.m.

Fisheries regulations

Division of Marine Fisheries and Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission holds the first of four public hearings on proposed fishing regulations affecting a variety of fish, Annisquam River Station, 30 Emerson Ave., Gloucester, 6 p.m.

Today’s Stories

The game that ranks right up there with Carlton Fisk’s home run

The Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy asks the right question but then doesn’t follow through with a clear answer: Was the Pats’ come-from-behind Super Bowl win last night the greatest in Boston sports history? It’s a tough one. But we’re sure of this: For Bostonians, the game will go down as one of the most memorable events in Boston sports history, with many iconic moments, ranking it right up there with Carlton Fisk’s Game 6 World Series home run, Bobby Orr’s flying goal to win the Stanley Cup, the U.S. men’s Olympics hockey victory in 1980 (that was a Boston event, btw) and Harvard’s 10-10 victory over Yale. The words “twenty-five points down” will ring through the ages.

Kerry: Trump travel ban undermines national security

Citing concerns over national security, John Kerry, the former U.S. secretary of state and Massachusetts senator, is among a group of prominent Democrats with foreign policy and intelligence backgrounds who are calling on the courts to extend the partial blocking of President Trump’s controversial travel ban, reports the Washington Post. In a brief, the Democrats say Trump’s executive order would “endanger U.S. troops” and harm the country’s antiterrorism efforts.

FYI: For those confused about the legal status of the travel ban, the NYT has an excellent overview of all the legalities involved. It appears the Boston legal angle is now moot, after a federal judge’s ruling on Friday that effectively backed the Trump administration. The battle is now being waged out west, unless Attorney General Maura Healey or someone else tries to revive the case here, something Healey hadn’t decided on as of Saturday, according to a report at WBUR.

Washington Post

Protecting dairy farmers from terrorists

Speaking of national security concerns, what does a list of dairy farmers, the Chicopee SWAT-team budget, and State Police station salaries all have in common? Apparently, they’re all tied to terrorism risks increasingly cited by state agencies for withholding public records, reports the Globe’s Todd Wallack. The state’s Supreme Judicial Court today holds a hearing on a public-records case,  Wallack notes.

Boston Globe

Baker’s very business-like complaints about Trump’s order

Before this past weekend’s legal battles over President’s Trump’s immigration order, Gov. Charlie Baker dashed off a six-page letter to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, urging the administration to reverse the controversial order and arguing it was hurting Massachusetts businesses and higher-education institutions, reports WCVB, which also has a link to a full copy of Baker’s letter.


State ditches free online tax-filing system

It’ll be interesting to see if this move actually saves the state money, for it seems like it will push some people back to old-fashioned paper tax returns. From the Globe’s Deidre Fernandes: “Massachusetts has joined a growing number of states that have ditched their free online tax-filing system, pushing residents to use software developed by private companies, and in some cases to pay for it.”

Boston Globe

Another signal that Healey’s running for governor?

The Herald’s Joe Battenfeidl thinks he’s spotted more evidence that Attorney General Maura Healey plans to run for governor: She’s not accepting the pay raise approved by lawmakers last week.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State William Galvin will probably accept at least some of the pay raise allotted to him under the pay-raise bill, so we assume that means he’s not running for governor. But Galvin’s nevertheless worried about the budget ramifications of the pay-raise bill. The Herald’s Matt Stout explains.

Boston Herald

‘Massachusetts’ Other Liberal Rising Star’

The New Republic’s Luke O’Neil takes a look at U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark. The nut graf: “At a time when the Democratic Party is bitterly divided between the emboldened progressives and reeling centrists, Clark has carved out a space that fluctuates between the party’s poles. She’s willing to be a progressive pugilist when necessary, but has also demonstrated the savvy to reach across the aisle in the service of her ideals. That political flexibility—or cunning, depending on your perspective—may prove invaluable to the Democratic opposition to Trump, which suggests Clark’s star may rise further yet.” 

Clark may indeed be a rising star, but it’ll still be hard for her to get out from under the shadow of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who, well, just has a thunder-bolt way with words, such as her urging Democrats this past weekend to “grow a backbone,” as reported by Nik DeCosta-Klipa at Boston.com.

The New Republic

From Middle East power broker to education funding debates

In a profile by Shira Schoenberg at MassLive, freshman state Sen. Adam Hinds draws parallels between his new job at the State House and his post at the United Nations trying to resolve disputes between warring factions in Kurdistan, Iraq, Syria and other hot spots. And, no, he doesn’t miss his old job, thank you.


Mom-and-pop liquor store owners to Total Wine & More: Just obey the law

Local liquor store owners don’t have much sympathy for giant liquor retailer Total Wine & More, which is now battling regulators over the state’s liquor-pricing laws and allegations it was deliberately underpricing booze at its stores, reports Mike Gleason at Wicked Local.

Wicked Local

Connecticut lawmakers ‘shaken’ over news Aetna may bolt Hartford for Boston

Even though it took them more than half a year to realize that Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker was trying to lure Aetna to Boston, lawmakers in the Nutmeg State are now wasting no time fretting over the possibility that Aetna may downsize or entirely abandon operations in Hartford, the Hartford Courant reports. “You can’t even put it into words,” said state House Majority Leader Matthew Ritter of Aetna’s presence in Connecticut. “It’s a pillar. It is so critical to the city. It’s so critical to the suburban towns around it.” 

Hartford Courant

The Curse of Patricia Campatelli?

From the Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert: “Two years after he unseated an official accused of lax work habits and confrontational behavior, Suffolk Register of Probate Felix D. Arroyo has been placed on administrative leave and the office is under investigation again, a court official said late Friday.” Arroyo, the former city council member, is saying the paid-suspension is “unwarranted” while others suggest he simply inherited a completely messed up office from his predecessor, Patricia Campatelli, accused of confrontational and violent behavior, not to mention a penchant for smoking butts, scratching lottery tickets, perusing online real estate listings and filling out puzzles during work hours, writes Ebbert.

Boston Globe

BC prof’s shock-and-awe explanation for Trump’s immigration order

Boston College history professor Heather Cox Richardson believes Donald Trump’s controversial immigration order was not sloppily and recklessly handled by the administration, as some critics claim. To the contrary, she believes the order was a deliberate “shock event,” probably orchestrated by White House aide Steve Bannon. Richardson’s Facebook post on the issue has gone viral, as noted over the weekend by the Globe’s Yvonne Abraham and as noted last week by Meghna Chakrabarti and Kassandra Sundt at WBUR.

Facebook (Richardson)

Slamming the legal door on rapists seeking parental rights

From the Herald’s Matt Stout: “A rapist who fathers a child during the sexual assault would have his parental rights to the child stripped under legislation being pushed on Beacon Hill, the first to surface in the wake of a stunning appellate court ruling that opened the door for predators to seek visitation privileges.” CNN has an excellent explainer piece on how it’s possible here and elsewhere for rapists, or at least accused rapists, to win parental rights. Believe it or not, it’s even easier in a handful of other states.

Boston Herald

Opponents cling to hope as Otis pipeline awaits green light

A judge in Berkshire Superior Court is expected to endorse an agreement allowing Kinder Morgan to build a pipeline through Otis State Forest as soon as today, Clarence Fanto of the Berkshire Eagle reports. But opponents say they are not yet done fighting the project. 

Berkshire Eagle

Patrick’s executive privilege case before state’s highest court

The Supreme Judicial Court is scheduled to hear arguments today on whether former Gov. Deval Patrick was protected by “absolute executive privilege” when he made comments about the former head of the Sex Offender Registry Board who is now suing him for defamation, Julie Manganis of the Salem News reports.  

Salem News

Homeless turn to ERs for shelter, not just medical care

More Massachusetts families appear to be using the state’s hospital emergency rooms as shelter in recent years, Isaiah Thompson of WGBH reports, citing both data and the observations of hospital officials and homeless advocates. 


Widmer: Baker health tax ‘bad policy’

Writing in CommonWealth Magazine, former Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation head Michael Widmer calls Gov. Baker’s proposal to slap a tax on businesses that don’t offer health insurance plans to employees both ‘bad policy’ and a misreading of history. 


Union spends big to slow T privatization

The MBTA’s largest union spent more than $250,000 on lobbying in 2015 and 2016, most of it aimed at trying to forestall privatization efforts at the agency, Matt Stout of the Herald reports. The $255,155 spent on lobbying by the Boston Carmen’s union is the most it’s spent over the course of a legislative session in at least a decade.

Boston Herald

Bill targets fake service dog claims

State Rep. Kimberly Ferguson has gained 40 co-sponsors for a bill that would, among other things, open the door to penalties for anyone who falsely claims their pet is a service dog to gain access to places where only those specially trained animals are allowed, Kim Ring of the Telegram reports. 


Today’s Headlines


No cheap ride to fight MBTA privatization – Boston Herald

Sanctuary effort spreads to more communities – Boston Globe


SJC to hear arguments in dispute over sex offender registry board chair firing – Salem News

Beverly considers impact of sea level rise – Salem News

Forest pipeline opponents hang tough – Berkshire Eagle

Rewriting state regs—minus the fury – Lowell Sun

Cape environmental watchdog to step aside – Cape Cod Times

Find out how Brockton area lawmakers justified salary hike – Brockton Enterprise

Most SouthCoast lawmakers defend pay raise; some not talking – Standard-Times

Over 500 people at Mass. companies, institutions affected by Trump travel ban – Boston Business Journal

Idling trains irk neighbors of Andover station – Eagle-Tribune

Baker’s health care tax is bad policy – CommonWealth Magazine


Trump: Obamacare replacement might take a year – Politico

Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and 94 other tech companies call travel ban ‘unlawful’ in rare coordinated legal action – Washington Post

At winter White House, outside world tugs at Trump – New York Times

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