Happening Today

Mayor thanks workers

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh thanks public works employees and delivers a snowstorm update, Public Works Yard, 400 Frontage Rd., Boston, 8 a.m.

Environmental Business Council

Office of Coastal Zone Management Director Bruce Carlisle speaks at an Environmental Business Council program on ‘Adaptation and Resiliency Programs at the State Level.’ Nixon Peabody LLP, 100 Summer Street, Boston, 8 a.m.

SJC hearings

The Supreme Judicial Court hears first degree murder appeals from Maxwell Wiggins Jr., Jason Barbosa and James Keown, John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Second Floor, Pemberton Square, Boston, 9 a.m.

Warren and Eversource

Newton Mayor Setti Warren, Eversource officials and Action for Boston Community Development celebrate the activation of solar panels that are part of partnership to provide solar credits to low-income households in Newton, Utilities Building, 60 Elliot St., Newton, 9:30 a.m.

Cabinet meeting

Gov. Charlie Baker holds a closed-door cabinet meeting, Room 360, 10 a.m.

Offshore wind contracts

Department of Public Utilities holds a public hearing on the competitively solicited long-term contracts for offshore wind and clean energy generation resources, One South Station, 5th Floor, Hearing Room A, Boston, 10 a.m.

495/MetroWest commercial development

495/MetroWest Suburban Edge Community Commission, co-chaired by Sen. Karen Spilka, Rep. Kate Hogan and assistant secretary for communities and programs Juan Vega, holds a meeting focused on commercial development, with Sens. James Eldridge and Richard Ross and Reps. Carolyn Dykema and David Muradian expected to attend, 201 Westboro Road, North Grafton, 11 a.m.

Today’s Stories

Isn’t it a little too early to be handing out passing grades to the T?

Here’s a post-storm Globe headline: “The MBTA passes a big winter test, for now” and here’s one from the Herald: “MBTA’s $100M gamble pays off.” OK, we have no doubt the T has made improvements and its performance yesterday, except for a number of delay glitches here and there, was generally fine. But let’s see how it performs after getting hammered by back-to-back-to-back storms like what happened in 2015. Getting through one blizzard, in New England, seems to us to be a very low-threshold test and it’s why the “for now” qualifier is definitely necessary.

Report: 35 kids died while in state custody last year

Even though the report was released late Wednesday when all eyes were on the oncoming Thursday snow storm, the Herald’s Matt Stout made sure it wasn’t buried: “As many as 35 children died while in state care or custody last fiscal year — half of them less than a year old, including a dozen substance-exposed newborns, according to a new report that underscores the troubles still facing the state’s child welfare agency despite new funding. The report, released late Wednesday by the state Office of the Child Advocate, also showed sharp hikes in abuse and neglect allegations, as well as deaths, statewide.”

Boston Herald

Snow vs. Snow at the SJC

As the snow fell all about yesterday, the SJC released a ruling in the case of Snow vs. Snow, as Universal Hub notes. No kidding. Here’s the PDF of the opinion, over a divorce judgment and alimony. FYI: We have more snow-related posts down toward the bottom.

Universal Hub

Will Suffolk Downs soon be sold?

There is nothing official, but indications are strong that Suffolk Downs may soon be sold, Jack Sullivan and Bruce Mohl report in CommonWealth Magazine. Several would-be buyers have come forward to kick the tires on the 161-acre property straddling the Revere and East Boston line, Suffolk Downs has acknowledged. What might replace the old racetrack is anyone’s guest. State Rep. Adrian Madaro of East Boston says he wants nearby residents to have a say in any future changes.


Lawmakers want UMass Boston project oversight

Lawmakers representing the Dorchester home of UMass Boston have filed several bills that would change how the campus handles building projects, according to Jennifer Smith of the Dorchester Reporter. Lawmakers called for more transparency and public input after reports indicated the campus had been in advanced discussions about a possible soccer stadium for the Kraft family’s New England Revolution. 

Dorchester Reporter

Now there are five: LeGarrette Blount joins Pats teammates in White House boycott

New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount yesterday became the fifth team member to say he’ll skip a trip to meet President Trump at the White House, where the Pats will be honored as Super Bowl champs, reports Nick O’Malley at MassLive. The Globe’s Adrian Walker: “As far as I’m concerned, the refusal of five Patriots to celebrate their Super Bowl victory at the White House exemplifies the true spirit of patriotism.” As far as we’re concerned, Patriots plays can do just about anything they want after Sunday’s spectacular come-from-behind win.


Healey cheers court’s travel-ban decision

Attorney General Maura Healey was among many lawyers and advocates across the country who praised a federal appeals court ruling yesterday that denied a request to reinstate President Trump’s travel ban, writes Milton J. Valencia and Maria Sacchetti at the Globe. “Tonight, the Ninth Circuit upheld the principle that no president is more powerful than our Constitution,” said Healey, who was one of 16 state attorneys general from who filed court briefs supporting a lower-court decision in Seattle.

Boston Globe

Bristol sheriff praises illegal immigrant detention policy

While Attorney General Healey and other Dems were praising a court decision on the president’s immigration order, Republican Thomas M. Hodgson, the Bristol County sheriff who wants to lend inmates to help build President Trump’s Mexico-border wall, was cheering a policy pushed by the administration on how to detain illegal immigrants before they’re bailed from jail, reports the Herald’s Chris Villani.

Boston Herald

Lawmakers try to seal off sheriff’s wall idea

From Jim Hand at the Sun Chronicle: “A proposal by Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson to send his inmates to the Mexican border to help build President Donald Trump’s wall is running into a barrier at the Statehouse. Democratic legislators have filed bills to block the move.”

Sun Chronicle

RIP, two more dailies

Both the Malden Evening News and the Medford Daily Mercury have stopped publishing daily print and online editions after runs of well over 100 years each, the Associated Press reports at the Telegram. 

Meanwhile, the Boston Globe seems to be benefiting from a surge of interest in supporting journalism in the Trump era. Citing an internal memo, Dan Kennedy reports that among a host of positive indicators is a one-week gain of more than 1,300 paid digital subscribers. 


DeLeo: Let’s wait yet another month before restoring budget cuts

House Speaker Report DeLeo wants to wait yet another month to see how state tax revenues are holding up before taking any action on restoring some of Gov. Baker’s $98 million in budget cuts made in early December, reports Colin Young at SHNS. But DeLeo was saying the same thing about waiting for December’s revenue numbers and then January’s revenue numbers – and after February the state would be about two-thirds through the fiscal year. And so?

SHNS (pay wall)

After pay hike, new pressure for tax holiday

The head of the state’s retail association says the group will push hard for a return of the sales tax-free weekend this year and lawmakers may have handed the group some leverage by pushing through a pay hike package that cost about the same amount, Chris Villani of the Herald reports.

Boston Herald

Bad restaurant reviews called political payback

Barnstable County Commissioner Ronald Beaty Jr. posted nearly identical negative reviews of two Cape Cod eateries owned by the family of another commissioner in what is being called an act of political revenge, Geoff Spillane of the Cape Cod Times reports. The reviews were posted just days after commissioners criticized Beaty for contacting community leaders directly to lobby for financial support for the Cape Cod Water Protection Collaborative—and months after both restaurant had closed for the winter. 

Cape Cod Times

SJC says that, yes, a teen charged with murder can also be charged with lesser crimes

Besides its Snow vs. Snow case yesterday, the Supreme Judicial Court was issuing a ruling on another front, as reported by O’Ryan Johnson at the Herald. Basically, the court ruled that lesser charges against a teen accused of murder didn’t have to first go through juvenile courts. O’Ryan explains.

Boston Herald

Setti defends McCain

It may sound unusual for a Newton mayor and undeclared gubernatorial candidate to be weighing in on a raging foreign policy feud between the president of the United States and a senior senator from Arizona. But for Setti Warren, the current spat between Donald Trump and John McCain has a personal angle – and he’s taking McCain’s side, as he notes on Facebook.

Facebook (Setti Warren)

Flying high with marijuana

The Globe’s Joshua Miller has found a fascinating gray area where it’s really not clear whose laws apply, federal or state, or who enforces what, when it comes to carrying pot onto an airplane at Logan. As he writes at one point: “Huh?” That was our reaction too.

Boston Globe

Do as we say, not as we do: Ivy League gender pay gap is far bigger than national average

Here’s an interesting factoid via Kyle Scott Clauss at Boston Magazine: Male and female Ivy Leaguers may start off making roughly the same amount of money after graduating, but between the ages of 24-36 the gap widens big time, with the guys making far more, so much so that the Ivy League gap is twice as wide as the national average, based on stats from a recent report.

Boston Magazine

Because it needed to be done: Covering the TV reporters covering yesterday’s storm

Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin was covering the TV reporters covering yesterday’s snow storm and has gripping storm-team tales, including: “WCVB’s David Bienick was standing by at the Charlton rest stop on the turnpike, where he scooped out some snow with his hand before running after some guy getting in his car to ask him, in so many words, what kind of idiot he was. WCVB later showed us a viewer photo of a ruler stuck in the snow, followed by another viewer photo of a patio table covered by snow.” This is going to win Adam a Pulitzer.

Universal Hub

Thundersnow videos

Now for our own MASSterList Storm Team Coverage: We could have sworn we saw actual lightening yesterday, but we weren’t running a video at the time, so we can’t prove it. But Boston.com’s Dialynn Dwyer did compile a whole bunch of videos from people witnessing clearly audible thundersnow events yesterday.


WGBH tracks Boston Yeti during storm

WGBH had some fun on its Facebook page yesterday during the storm, with a dramatic video and note: “Developing story: WGBH News has located and is tracking the progress of the elusive Boston Yeti, who has emerged for today’s storm.” The Globe notes Boston Yeti’s penchant for donuts. But what type of donuts? Not mentioned. Sloppy reporting.

Facebook (WGBH)

Sunday public affairs TV

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Shirley Leung of The Boston Globe and Doug Bankers of the BBJ talk about the business of the Super Bowl champs New England Patriots, how the T did during this week’s storm and President Trump’s tweet rebuking Nordstrom for discontinuing his daughter’s line of clothing.    

CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. Boston Marathon Race Director and DMSE Sports  President Dave McGillivray talks about his work managing running events and how the running industry has evolved over the decade.

On The Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m., Guest: Jim Borghesani, a marijuana advocate, who talks with anchor Ed Harding and State House reporter Janet Wu.

CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes, this week’s focus: Notes from Africa.

Today’s Headlines


Boston reaps tax windfall from new construction – Boston Globe

Retired judge will lead Suffolk Probate investigation after Register placed on leave – Boston Globe

Buzz building about Suffolk Downs sale – CommonWealth Magazine

State House bills zero in on UMass buliding projects – Dorchester Reporter


Municipal light plants decry proposed greenhouse gas limits – Telegram & Gazette

First-time buyers falling as share of Mass. real estate market – MassLive

Report: Despite effort, 35 kids died in state care – Boston Herald

In wake of pols’ pay hike, retailers seek tax-free holiday – Boston Herald

Quincy city councilor proposes freeze on some development – Patriot Ledger

Cape Cod officials duel over restaurant reviews – Cape Cod Times

Jackson to run for City Council – Berkshire Eagle

Worcester residents reminded to clear sidewalks—or face fines – Worcester Magazine

Congressman Neal on meeting with Trump: ‘He’s on a steep learning curve’ – WGBH

Sutton gun shop closes following Healey investigation – Worcester Business Journal

HUD recognizes Lowell Housing Authority – Lowell Sun


LL Bean freezes pensions, offers buyouts – Boston Globe

White House leans into Trump Inc. – Politico

Appeals court rules 3-0 against Trump travel ban – Washington Post

Tribe reportedly files leal challenge to Dakota Access pipeline – NPR

California farmer backed Trump but now fear losing field workers – New York Times

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