Happening Today

Developmental and intellectual disabilities

Rep. Paul Donato hosts an informational session with Coleman Nee, CEO of Triangle Inc., to discuss its community-based services for youth and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities in eastern Massachusetts, Room 222, 10 a.m.

Rosenberg heads to Canada

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg departs Boston’s Logan Airport en route to Quebec City for the Quebec-Massachusetts Cooperation Conference, 10 a.m.

Rental Voucher Cookie Day

Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry and Rep. Kevin Honan host a “Cookie Day” with Homes for Families and the Housing Solutions Coalition to lobby for fiscal 2018 funding of the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program, Grand Staircase, 10 a.m.

Baker announces his latest SJC pick

Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to announce his nominee, Elspeth B. Cypher, a state appeals court judge, to serve on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Room 157, 11 a.m.

DeLeo acts on early education and Care Business

House Speaker DeLeo announces steps the House plans to take related to the recommendations of his Early Education and Care Business Advisory Council, House Members’ Lounge, 3rd floor, State House, 11 a.m.

House Dems caucus

House Dems caucus House Democrats plan to caucus and discuss how they can respond to the policies of President Donald Trump, Rooms A1 and A2, 12 p.m.

Governor’s Council

Attorney Salim Rodriguez Tabit, a candidate for a Superior Court judgeship, appears again before the Governor’s Council to answer more questions raised about his failure to disclose a complaint against him, Governor’s Council Chamber, 2 p.m.

‘Men for Choice’ awards

Pro-Choice Massachusetts holds its annual ‘Men for Choice’ awards, recognizing U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy and former state Sen. Daniel Wolf, with Treasurer Deb Goldberg expected to attend, Carrie Nation, 11 Beacon St., Boston, 6 p.m.

Wampanoag chair on the air

Cedric Cromwell, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal chairman, is a scheduled guest on ‘Greater Boston,’ WGBH-TV, Channel 2, 7 p.m.

Walsh on ‘Nightside’

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh is scheduled to appear on ‘NightSide with Dan Rea,’ WBZ NewsRadio 1030, 8 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Cypher gets the nod for Supreme Judicial Court

Gov. Charlie Baker plans to announce today that’s he’s nominating Elspeth B. Cypher, a state appeals court judge, to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, replacing Justice Margot Botsford, who retires next month, reports the Globe’s Jim O’Sullivan and SHNS’s Andy Metzger at WWLP. As O’Sullivan notes, Cypher is Baker’s fourth nomination to the seven-member high court and, assuming she’s confirmed, it would cement the Republican Baker’s stamp on the SJC for years to come.

Warren ‘red-carded’ off the Senate floor

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any crazier in Washington, it did. From the Globe’s Matt Viser and Victoria McGrane: “Senator Elizabeth Warren was ruled in violation of Senate rules late Tuesday night after quoting from a decades-old letter written by Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow — a rare rebuke that silenced Warren from further debate on the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions as attorney general. The striking 49-to-43 vote, which occurred along party lines, marked yet another setback for decorum in a chamber that has long considered itself the world’s greatest deliberative body.” Warren later told the Globe: “I’ve been red-carded; I’ve been thrown out of the game.” The Herald has more on the red-carding of Warren.

Boston Globe

Markey, Warren fire their salvos, but it wasn’t enough to stop DeVos appointment

Before last night’s Senate-floor fireworks involving U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the state’ senior senator and U.S. Sen. Ed Markey were firing salvos at Republicans on another front, with Markey calling Betsy DeVos “too extreme” to be education secretary and Warren saying “this whole process stinks.” But in the end Dems couldn’t stop DeVos’s Senate confirmation on an historic tie-breaker vote cast by Vice President Mike Pence, reports Shannon Young at MassLive.


Warren is definitely winning on the fundraising front

She may be losing rear-guard appointment battles in Washington. But U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is definitely winning when it comes to raising campaign funds, to the tune of $5.9 million last year alone, according to an AP report at the Herald.

Boston Herald

Next up for Markey: The fight over net neutrality

The dust hasn’t even settled from the bruising fight over Betsy DeVos’s appointment as education secretary and already U.S. Sen. Ed Markey has another battle on his hands, this one over the White House’s plan to loosen the Internet net neutrality regulations, reports Mike Deehan at WGBH.


‘Most Famous Living Rhode Islander at This Particular Moment’

The Globe’s Mark Arsenault takes a look at White House spokesman Sean Spicer, a Little Rhody native and arguably the “Most Famous Living Rhode Islander at This Particular Moment.” But it’s not your typical profile. Instead, Arsenault gets hold of Spicer’s “17 rules for life” and sees if he’s applying them in Washington.

Boston Globe

Powerful Rasky Baerlein PR firm to split up

Speaking of spinmeisters, one of the city’s most powerful and politically wired public relations firms, Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications, is officially splitting up, reports the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld and the Globe’s Jon Chesto. They’re swearing and spinning that it’s an amicable split. Still, they’re splitting up into three separate firms (one each for Larry Rasky, Joe Baerlein and Amy Carter). Check out George Regan’s counter-spin in Battenfeld’s piece. Gotta hand it to George: He never misses a beat.

Bruins find a good day to bury bad news

On yet another spinmeister front, the Boston Bruins used the cover of the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl parade yesterday to fire coach Claude Julien, taking a page right from the PR manual of the immortal Jo Moore, the U.K’s (and perhaps the world’s) spinmeister of all spinmeisters. The Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy is outraged at the timing.

Division of insurance chief steps down

From the Globe’s Priyanka Daval McCluskey: “Massachusetts insurance commissioner Daniel R. Judson is stepping down to take a job in the private sector. Judson will leave the Division of Insurance Feb. 24, according to the division. He will begin a new job the following week as president of the Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau of Massachusetts, a private association of insurers.”

Boston Globe

Springfield mayor slams latest refugee arrivals

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno lashed out at local resettlement agencies who are helping refugees expected to arrive in the city from Bhutan and Eritrea this week, saying the city has already done more than its share to help displaced families, Peter Goonan of MassLive reports. “As I have continued to state to federal and state government officials, enough is enough,” Sarno said in a release.


Springfield’s Sarno is definitely tilting rightward these days

Matt Szafranski at Western Mass Politics and Insight says Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno’s outburst over Bhutan and Eritrea refugees is just the latest sign of him moving to the right: “Since the 2016 election, Sarno has put up a more public conservative show, involving himself in Hampshire College’s flag fracas and now making public declarations about Springfield not being a ‘sanctuary city.’ Until recently, he has also chased national conservative television coverage like Fox News.” Ah, the proof-positive Fox News evidence. End of argument.


Lowell sanctuary proposal gets chilly reception

Another city grappling with immigration: A citizens’ petition to establish Lowell as a so-called sanctuary city got a chilly reception from city councilors, who nonetheless referred the idea to the city manager for review, Todd Feathers of the Lowell Sun reports. 

Lowell Sun

Even fortune tellers get more licensing scrutiny than security guards

Question: How do you license a fortune teller? By how accurate he or she predicts the future? Anyway, the Globe’s Nicole Dungca and Evan Allen report that fortune tellers, hairdressers, kickboxing timekeepers and many others all have to be licensed by the state before operating in Massachusetts. “But not security guards,” making Massachusetts an outlier in regulating and training private guards, they report.

Boston Globe

Bill takes tough stance on fentanyl traffickers

Trafficking in fentanyl would be added to the list of reasons prosecutors can seek to use the state’s “dangerousness statute” to hold suspects for up to 120 days without bail under a new bill filed by Rep. Chris Markey, Wesley Sykes of the Standard-Times reports. 

Standard Times

Worcester officials want rail summit

Hoping to press for more attention from both state and federal officials, the Worcester City Council is asking City Manager Edward Augustus Jr. to convene a summit on rail service to and from both Boston and New York City, Nick Kotsopolous of the Telegram reports. 


Elizabeth Warren’s new book will be coming out on April 18

Start the pre-ordering, if you’re so inclined. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s new book, “This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class,” will be published April 18, Henry Holt and Co. has told the Associated Press, as reported at MassLive.


Mass. business confidence hits a 12-year high

We thought President Trump’s recent controversial moves – including his controversial immigration order, killing off the Asian trade deal and threatening to slap tariffs on imports – might dent the local business community’s enthusiasm for the president and the economy. Wrong. Business confidence last month hit a 12-year high in Massachusetts, reports SHNS’s Colin Young at the BBJ. It seems businesses like the state’s 2.8 percent unemployment rate more than anything else.


Better late than never: Local biotech execs slam Trump’s immigration order

Here’s one business sector that isn’t too happy. Nearly 100 biotech leaders and others tied to the industry are slamming President Trump’s controversial immigration order in an open letter, reports the BBJ’s Max Stendahl. “If this misguided policy is not reversed, America is at risk of losing its leadership position in one of its most important sectors,” the letter said. Stendahl notes that the biotech industry, which relies heavily on foreign talent and foreign corporations for its success, was strangely quite in the immediate days after Trump’s order.


Barney Frank fears Trump’s financial regulators more than actual changes to Dodd-Frank

Former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank says President Trump will probably fail in rolling back the substantive parts of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill that he helped craft after the 2008 Wall Street meltdown. He’s more worried about Trump’s financial-sector regulators who Frank thinks can effectively ignore and gut rules on their own, reports Bob Oakes and Yasmin Amer at WBUR. “They will probably sadly cut back on the financial autonomy of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” he said. “We may lose that one.”


Former anti-toll activist looks back on death threats and razor blades stuck in his car door handles

Doug Barth long ago pushed for elimination of tolls on the Mass Pike, not just removal of toll booths, and as a result he says at WBUR that he had to put up with death threats, denunciations, and razor blades stuck in his car door handles. So he’s not exactly thrilled that we now no longer have the booths but still have the tolls. He also doesn’t have fond memories of Stan Rosenberg and Charlie Baker, before they became State House leaders.


The widening income gap … in the Massachusetts House

Some House members are going to be happy if they land a coveted leadership post with the newly boosted pay stipends attached to them. But what of the other lawmakers who don’t get leadership posts? There may well be resentment in coming years among the House plebians, warn some lawmakers, as reported by SHNS’s Matt Murphy.

SHNS (pay wall)

Brockton mayor orders outside hiring review in wake of $4M judgment

Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter is ordering an outside review of the city’s hiring practices in the wake of a $4 million judgment against the community for racially biased hiring procedures, Marc Larocque of the Enterprise reports. Carpenter also says the city will seek to overturn or reduce the judgment in the case. 


Today’s Headlines


As Roxbury real-estate market heats up, residents vow to fight apartment building on street with 19th-century homes – Universal Hub

Boston official warns fake ICE officials are riding the Red Line, demanding ID from people who look Hispanic – Universal Hub

Boston named 8th of places to live; Worcester claims 54th and Springfield 67th – MassLive

Housing plan brings growing pains to Jamaica Plain – Boston Globe


West Mass is new brand identity for Pioneer Valley tourism, business – MassLive

‘Enough is enough’: Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno critical of new ‘influx’ of refugees to city – MassLive

Mass. keeps a closer eye on hairdressers than on security guards – Boston Globe

Former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank responds as Trump takes aim at Dodd Frank – WBUR

How refugees make it to Massachusetts – WBUR

Bill would let DA hold fentanyl traffickers for up to 120 days – Standard-Times

Lowell manager to investigate sanctuary bid – Lowell Sun

Brockton mayor calls for outside review of hiring after $4M discrimination judgment against city – Brockton Enterprise

Marijuana app developer plans billboards for Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Brockton – Brockton Enterprise

TJX stands to gain big time from planned Macy’s, Kmart closings – Boston Business Journal

DeLeo girds House Dems for age of Trump – WGBH

City solicits resident input for 100 events on Common – Worcester Magazine

Senate listening tour stops in Fall River, where SouthCoast rail looms large – Taunton Gazette

Hyannis downtown renewal plans begin – Cape Cod Times

Pilgrim nuclear plant powered down because of leak – Cape Cod Times

Worcester seeks regional summit on rail service – Telegram & Gazette

Ware selectmen want to collect taxes from recovery center set to open on church property – MassLive


Department of Defense looks to rent space in Trump tower – Washington Post

Warren silenced by Senate Republicans in Sessions debate – New York Times

Why I’m not afraid of Baby Donald – Politico

After pointed questions, fate of travel ban rests with appeals court – Washington Post

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