Rattlesnake project update
Fisheries and Wildlife Board meets and is expected to discuss the controversial Rattlesnake Conservation Project, as well as U.S. Federal Wildlife Service refuge issues, invasive species policy, and Massachusetts Endangered Species Act regulations, Richard Cronin Building, One Rabbit Hill Rd., Westborough, 10 a.m.
Bump hosts new legislators
State Auditor Suzanne Bump holds a reception in her office for new legislators, Room 230, 10 a.m.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission holds a meeting to set agendas for its future meetings, 101 Federal St., 12th Floor, Boston, 10:30 a.m.
Iwo Jima commemoration
Those who survived the carnage of the Battle of Iwo Jima more than 70 years ago will be honored at a State House ceremony, with at least eight men who fought at Iwo Jima expected to attend, Memorial Hall, 11 a.m.
Public Safety reorganization
State Administration and Regulatory Oversight Committee holds a hearing on Gov. Baker’s bill to eliminate the Department of Public Safety and establish a new office to handle some of the department’s current functions. Room B-1, 11 a.m.
Baker receives Marine Corps League award
Gov. Charlie Baker receives the Marine Corps League Semper Fidelis Public Servant Award, Memorial Hall, 11:30 a.m.
Following last week’s raucous public meeting, the Governor’s Council meets to possibly vote on the nomination of attorney Michaela Stewart to a seat on the Boston Juvenile Court bench, Council Chambers, Room 360, 12 p.m.
Anti-carbon emissions rally
A coalition seeking to increase the rate of carbon emissions reduction under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative rallies outside the State House before presenting the governor’s office with a letter signed by more than 130 Massachusetts lawmakers, professors and energy companies, outside State House, 1 p.m.
Gov. Baker joins Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton, Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson and members of the Legislature to visit the Solar City regional headquarters, 24 St. Martin Drive, Building 2, Unit 11, Marlborough, 2:30 p.m.
Criminal justice panel
Boston Bar Association hosts a panel on the state’s criminal justice system, with plans to discuss reviews by the Council of State Governments and Massachusetts Sentencing Commission, with speakers including Sen. William Brownsberger, Trial Court Chief Justice Paula Carey, Lon Povich, legal counsel to Gov. Baker, and others, 16 Beacon St., Boston, 4 p.m.
Baker at Framingham Business Association
Gov. Baker joins Lt. Governor Karyn Polito at a reception for the Framingham Business Association, La Cantina Italiana, 911 Waverley Street, Framingham, 5:30 p.m.
Councilors celebrate Black History Month
Boston City Councilors Ayanna Pressley, Tito Jackson and Andrea Campbell host the council’s annual Black History Month celebration, Bruce Bolling Municipal Building – lobby, 2300 Washington St., Roxbury, 6 p.m.
A ‘first step’ toward criminal justice reform
Gov. Charlie Baker yesterday filed legislation designed to reduce the “revolving door” of criminals landing back in jail after being released from prison, reports the Herald’s Chris Villani, and the same bill would give prisoners a greater shot at early release, even if they receive a mandatory minimum sentence, reports SHNS’s Andy Metzger at Wicked Local.
But are those and other steps enough to satisfy advocates of more far-reaching criminal justice reforms? Answer: No. Calls for more expansive reforms will continue, especially reforms that reduce the number of people being locked up in the first place, according to a report at WBUR. At CommonWealth magazine, state Sen. William Brownsberger outlines where he thinks criminal justice reforms can and should be headed.
But Conley pushes back
Not everyone is enthusiastic about more reforms. From CommonWealth’s Bruce Mohl: “Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley on Tuesday pushed back against efforts by Chief Justice Ralph Gants and members of the Senate to do away with mandatory minimum sentences and give more discretion in handing out punishment to judges. “
Deportation Economics 101
Local politicians are gearing up for another major fight against President Trump’s latest order on immigration. Attorney General Maura Healey is vowing ‘fierce opposition’ to the president’s new plan, reports Tori Bedford at WGBH. Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III is also worried that the latest orders might lead to mass deportations of immigrants, reports the Globe’s Adrian Walker.
But what caught our attention is the Globe’s smart coverage this morning on the economic consequences of all the controversies swirling around immigration, let alone possible deportations, such as how hospitals are increasingly under intense pressure to reject qualified international medical students applying for residencies in the United States, as reported by the Globe’s Michael Levenson, and how local tech firms are becoming mighty nervous about the status of their foreign workers and H-1B visas, as reported by the Globe’s Janelle Nanos. From the travel and tourism industry to the biotech sector, a lot of state industries are growing alarmed by what’s happening in Washington.
Citing potential loss of funds, UMass declares it won’t be a ‘sanctuary campus’
Despite demands from some students, faculty and staff that UMass declare itself a “sanctuary campus,” a school spokesman said in a statement yesterday that such a move would merely “create a false sense of security” and “jeopardize federal funding to support our mission, including hundreds of millions of dollars for financial aid to students and research support for faculty,” reports Diane Lederman at MassLive.
Meanwhile, the Newton City Council last night voted to become a “welcoming city,” a designation OK with pro-sanctuary city advocates, reports Felicia Gans at the Globe. Proponents say “welcoming city” better describes their intent and purpose, though it can also be seen as a retreat from the “sanctuary city’ tag. Just pointing it out.
Dan Wolf joins the gubernatorial ‘listening tour’
Yet another Democrat has joined Newton Mayor Setti Warren on the gubernatorial listening tour. From Lauren Dezenski at Politico: “Dan Wolf, former Democratic State Senator and current Cape Air CEO is actively considering a run for governor and will kick off a speaking tour across the state at a Cambridge Democratic City Committee meeting on Thursday.”
But no one seems to be listening to Maura Healey
She’ll probably have to say it a thousand times before it truly sinks in, so Attorney General Maura Healey may have to say tonight on WGBH’s ‘Greater Boston’ what she reiterated yesterday on WGBH’s ‘Boston Public Radio’: She is running for re-election. “You know as lawyers sometimes you get in the courtroom and the other side objects and they say ‘asked and answered.’ That’s a little how I feel on this one,” Healey yesterday. “I’m running for reelection.” But, aha! An astute caller on the show noted how she specifically didn’t mention she’s not running for governor. SHNS’s Colin Young at the Herald News has more.
Councilor tries to tie mayor to violent ‘anti-fascist’ protest in Worcester
Worcester City Councilor Mike Gaffney used his Twitter and Facebook pages (and a sleight-of-hand use of photos) to tie Mayor Joe Petty to an ugly ‘anti-fascism’ protest in the city over the weekend, suggesting the mayhem was caused by Petty’s previous support of protests at City Hall, the Worcester Telegram reports. Petty, who criticized Sunday’s protest that led to seven people being arrested, is accusing Gaffney of “trying to out-Trump, Trump.”
The horror: High-end bars may be forced to serve alcohol in plastic cups
This will show those upscale bars that the city means business. From the Herald’s Dan Atkinson: “Your days of sipping adult beverages from a Solo cup could be making a comeback, specifically at some of Boston’s high-end bars. Following a string of local bar assaults involving glassware, the city’s Liquor Licensing Board is moving to crack down on establishments where patrons have suffered injuries related to glasses holding drinks. Watering holes with repeat offenses could have to use plastic barware in lieu of the real deal.”
Conservation Law Foundation sues state over Seaport high-rise ruling
The Conservation Law Foundation has carried through on its threat to sue the state over its environmental approval of a $260 million luxury-condo development on the South Boston waterfront, claiming in a new lawsuit that officials overstepped their legal authority by approving an amendment to the city’s harbor plan density restrictions, reports the Globe’s Kathleen Conti.
Ware mourns death of native son in Iraq
The death of Private First Class Brian Patrick Odiorne, 21, in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, has left family and friends in shock and grief in his hometown of Ware, reports MassLive. Odiorne was killed in a ‘non-combat related incident’ while supporting the fight against ISIS.
Holyoke rocked by ‘political earthquake’
Kevin Jourdain, the longtime Holyoke city councilor and current council president, has shaken the political scene in Holyoke with his surprise announcement that he won’t be seeking re-election, reports Matt Szafranski at Western Mass Politics & Insight: “After more than two decades on the body, at-large but for the current term, Jourdain has had an outsized influence on city politics even as a conservative in the arch-Democratic city.”
App helps shoppers steer away from Trump-tied stores and products
From Olivia Vanni at BostInno: “DoneGood, a local startup that helps consumers discover businesses that align with their values, just launched a new version of its Chrome extension that makes it easier for people to boycott stores, companies and products with ties to Trump. Once you install the extension, it will give you automatic alerts whenever you visit a website flagging that the company is linked to the 45th president.”
Tanglewood unveils $30M expansion plan
From Clarence Fanto at the Berkshire Eagle: “The Boston Symphony Orchestra is taking the wraps off the biggest single investment in its summer home at Tanglewood since the opening of Ozawa Hall in 1994. Orchestra leaders announced Tuesday night that a $30 million, four-building, heated and air-conditioned year-round multi-use complex — including a 200-seat performance space — will rise at the top of the lawn overlooking Ozawa Hall.”
Gatehouse Media preps for more cuts as profits plunge and parent company readies for sale
The parent company of GateHouse Media, owner of a string of local newspapers, is talking about cutting expenses yet again due to falling profits – yet it’s also planning to buy up more newspapers across the country, reports the BBJ’s David Harris. Keep in mind: New Media Investment Group, which owns Gatehouse and which made the reduction disclosures in recent filings, is managed by an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group, which recently announced it would be acquired by Japan’s SoftBank Group for $3.3 billion.
Robert Gould Shaw memorial vandalized
National Park Service and Boston Police have launched investigations after a concerned citizen reported yesterday morning that the sword was broken off on the famous Robert Gould Shaw and Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial across from the State House. The broken-off portion of the sword was found lying at the foot of the memorial early Tuesday morning.
Lights out for Brockton power plant idea?
Mayor Bill Carpenter may have made a new Brockton power plant a major platform issue in his two successful campaigns for mayor, but even he’s close to pulling the plug on the idea that’s been debated and fought over since late last decade, reports Marc Larocque at Wicked Local.
Markey slams president over Mexican wall proposal
From Shannon Young at MassLive: “U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, criticized President Donald Trump’s plans to build a wall along the United States’ southern border with Mexico Tuesday, contending that the structure will not properly address immigration and drug trafficking-related issues.”
Residents raise enough money to challenge fed compressor-station ruling
From Jessica Trufant at Wicked Local: “With donations from the community, a group of residents against a proposed North Weymouth natural-gas compressor station has raised enough money to challenge federal regulator’s approval of the project. The North Weymouth Civic Association recently raised $2,000 at a meat raffle to help the Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station cover its legal expenses.”
‘Boston’s Broadcast News Overload’
With last month’s launch of NBC Boston, James B. Freeman at New Boston Post wonders whether we’ve hit the broadcast-news saturation point in Boston: “Bostonians now have a choice of six local television channels to surf through each morning, where, undoubtedly, too much is not enough. Despite emanating from The Hub, there may not be enough substantive local news (now known with a serious panache as “hard news”) to justify today’s endless coverage about, well, everything.”
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