Happening Today

Family homelessness report

Boston Foundation releases a report on family homelessness and the increase in the number of families in need of Emergency Assistance, 75 Arlington St. – 10th floor, 8:30 a.m.

Mortgage lending report

UMass professor Jim Campen, author of the Massachusetts Community and Banking Council’s 23rd annual “Changing Patterns” report on mortgage lending patterns, presents data from the latest study, MassHousing, One Beacon St., Boston, 9:30 a.m.

State Retirement Board

Massachusetts State Retirement Board meets with Treasurer Deborah Goldberg as chair, MSRB Headquarters, One Winter St. – 8th floor, Boston, 10 a.m.


Dam removal and water quality

Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration hosts a presentation on removal of small dams and water quality, 251 Causeway St. – 8th floor, large conference room, Boston, 10:30 a.m.

Juvenile justice reform

Young people from across the state are expected to march from Old South Church to Boston City Hall to the State House in support of juvenile justice reform and youth jobs funding, Old South Church, 645 Boylston St., Boston, 10:30 a.m.

Municipal Finance Oversight

State Auditor Suzanne Bump chairs a Municipal Finance Oversight Board meeting at which the city of Pittsfield will request $111.2 million in qualified bonds for various projects and Springfield will request $53.2 million in qualified bonds for the Union Station redevelopment project, Room 230, 11 a.m.

Boy Scout Day

Gov. Charlie Baker, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg and Sen. Bruce Tarr participate in ‘Massachusetts Boy Scout Day on the Hill,’ Grand Staircase, 11:45 a.m.

Black Advisory Commission

Gov. Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Ronald Walker and members of the Legislature celebrate Black History Month with the launch of the Black Advisory Commission, Room 157, 1 p.m.

Baker at Tufts University

Gov. Baker sits down with Alan Solomont, dean of Jonathan M. Tisch College for Civic Life and former U.S. ambassador to Spain and Andorra, for a talk on Baker’s vision and policy priorities on a wide range of issues, Distler Auditorium, Granoff Music Center, Tufts University, 20 Talbot Ave., Medford, 7 p.m.

Press freedom and war on terrorism

Former U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz is scheduled to sit on a panel that will delve into issues surrounding press freedom and the war on terrorism, with the event sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists/New England, the Muslim Justice League and the Roxbury Community College Muslim Student Association, Roxbury Community College, 1234 Columbus Ave. – Building 3, Library, 7 p.m.

Moulton, Walsh on ‘Greater Boston’

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton are scheduled guests on ‘Greater Boston,’ WGBH-TV Ch. 2, 7 p.m.

Diehl on ‘Nightside’

State Rep. Geoff Diehl, a Republican weighing a run for U.S. Senate, is a scheduled guest on ‘NightSide with Dan Rea,’ WBZ NewsRadio 1030, 9 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Thanks to new state law, Trump’s transgender order may not impact Massachusetts

Local activists may be upset with the Trump administration’s decision to rescind federal guidelines allowing transgender students to use the bathroom matching their gender identity, as the Globe’s Felicia Gans writes. But transgender students in Massachusetts may not be as impacted by the decision as much due to the new transgender rights bill passed last year by lawmakers, Gans notes.

Boston Globe

State is ‘backing off’ controversial Quabbin rattlesnake plan

Is it possible? Is the Quabbin Reservoir rattlesnake colonization controversy really over? Apparently so, for now, reports the Herald’s Chris Villani. “We are backing off and looking at all the options,” Joseph Larson, the state Fisheries and Wildlife Board’s chairman and chairman of the recently established Rattlesnake Review Group, told the Herald. But the controversy may end up just being moved elsewhere, as the state looks at other sites to raise rattlesnakes in the wild, as Villani notes.

Boston Herald

Business group urges Baker to do more to thwart Trump’s immigration policies

The progressive Alliance for Business Leadership and the American Civil Liberties Union are urging Gov. Charlie Baker to take an even tougher stand on President Trump’s latest immigration order, saying the president’s actions are “bad for business, bad for science, bad for education, and bad for Massachusetts,” reports the BBJ’s Kelly J. O’Brien. Though the open letter applauds Baker for speaking out against a previous executive order by Trump, the group says more must be done.


Meanwhile, ACLU urges Baker to end ICE connection

More urging, in the form of “calling on,” via Shannon Dooling at WBUR: “The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts is calling on Gov. Charlie Baker to end the state’s participation in a partnership program with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The 287(g) program trains local law enforcement officers on certain customs enforcement operations, which are likely to expand following President Trump’s executive orders.”


And Baker urged to take the lead in reducing carbon emissions

And yet more urging, via SHNS’s Matt Murphy at WWLP: “As governors from Maine to Maryland consider the future of a regional carbon cap-and-trade program, Gov. Charlie Baker is facing calls from over 130 state lawmakers, academics and business leaders to lead the effort to double the emission reduction goals through 2030.”


Eversource warns Massachusetts may not hit emission targets

Speaking of emission reductions, a top Eversource Energy executive said yesterday that Massachusetts was in danger of not meeting its carbon emission reduction targets for 2020, making the state an “outlier” in New England, reports Bruce Mohl at CommonWealth magazine.

Sort of conversely, Eversource is also waging a low-key lobbying effort to convince Beacon Hill lawmakers that the state really does need more natural-gas pipelines, Mohl reports in a separate CommonWealth piece.


Councilor apologizes for recent board rancor and name calling

Newsflash, via Andy Metzger at SHNS (pay wall): “For the first time in two weeks, members of the Governor’s Council did not descend into a shouting match as they confirmed Michaela Stewart for a judgeship on the Boston Juvenile Court.” In particular, Councilor Marilyn Devaney, a Watertown Democrat, apologized to her fellow councilors and pledged she would take a different approach in the future. “I rise to express how sorry I am for unacceptable behavior and being part of the donnybrook,” she said. “It is embarrassing to me, because I am honored to serve as a Governor’s Councilor.”

SHNS (pay wall)

He picked on the wrong cop: Lawrence police officer to run against his nemesis – Mayor Rivera

He says it’s not about revenge. But William Green, a city police officer who’s long butted heads with Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera, says he’s going to challenge Rivera in September’s preliminary election, reports Keith Eddings at the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune. “This isn’t personal,” said Green, who was suspended by Rivera late last year as the mayor considers bringing more than a dozen misconduct charges against Green. “This is not a vendetta. This isn’t payback.”

Eagle Tribune

Elizabeth Warren is the GOP’s new benchmark of liberal villainy

We assume U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren takes this as an honor. From Shannon Young at MassLive: “Jumping on the recent attention Elizabeth Warren has gained in Congress and as an outspoken opponent of President Donald Trrump, the National Republican Senatorial Committee released a series of ads Wednesday casting the Massachusetts senator as the new face of the Democratic Party. The paid NRSC digital ads, which compare 10 senators’ voting records to that of Warren, target Democratic incumbents in states Trump won in the 2016 presidential election.”


Chinese overtake Brits as Boston’s top overseas tourists

This is pretty amazing, thanks largely to the Massachusetts Port Authority’s major push in recent years for more international flights coming in and out of Boston’s Logan Airport. From the Globe’s Katie Johnson: “A record number of Chinese tourists visited Boston last year, dethroning the United Kingdom as the number one source of overseas tourists for the first time, according to initial estimates. And next month, local tourism officials are leading their first sales mission to China to attract even more.”  

Boston Globe

Rosenberg offers mixed forecast for this summer’s sales tax holiday

The region is still in the depths of winter – well, sort of, if you exclude today’s expected mid- to high-60s temperatures – but some people are already talking summer. As in Senate President Stanley Rosenberg yesterday offering a non-committal forecast about a summer sales tax holiday this year. “Stay tuned,” is all Rosenberg would say. SHNS’s Katie Lannan has more at the Telegram.


NH’s Sununu signs bill allowing citizens to pack concealed guns without local license

This will keep those busloads of pesky Bay State ballot stuffers out of New Hampshire. From the AP at the Press Herald: “Republican Gov. Chris Sununu signed legislation Wednesday removing the requirement that people get a license from local officials to carry a concealed pistol or revolver.”

Press Herald

Sorry, Charlie: Your Medicaid plans won’t work

Michael Widmer, the former head of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Association, thinks Gov. Charlie Baker’s Medicaid reform proposals flunk the cost-control test: “The administration is understandably frustrated by the growth in Medicaid spending, which is crowding out other budget priorities. But its proposals not only fail to deal with the underlying dynamics driving Medicaid growth, they also would exacerbate the major financial pressures engulfing the health care sector in Massachusetts.”

Boston Globe

Iwo Jima vet: ‘I wake up with it each and every day’

The Herald’s Peter Gelzinis has a moving piece this morning on yesterday’s State House ceremony commemorating the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. The event featured about a half dozen survivors of the brutal, long-ago struggle on Iwo. “I wake up with it each and every day, but I also feel blessed to be able to carry on,” said Bob Lavoie, who at 90, journeyed into town from Hopkinton.

Boston Herald

Lawsuit: Wahlbergs seared Wahlburgers partners

From the Globe’s Megan Woolhouse: “Boston’s famous Wahlberg brothers, who founded their own burger chain to much acclaim, are being sued by their business partners and longtime family friends, who say they were shut out of plans to expand the Wahlburgers restaurant chain. William ‘Billy’ Leonard and Edward St. Croix allege in a lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Plymouth County Superior Court, that Mark, Donnie, and Paul Wahlberg left them out of plans to develop Wahlburgers into a franchise operation.”

Boston Globe

‘Brewster pig on the lam’

Animal control officers yesterday were giving chase to an escaped Brewster pig that’s been on the loose since Sunday. The Cape Cod Times is all over the dramatic unfolding story and has a slide show of the all-out pig hunt. 

Cape Cod Times

Becker College president among three finalists for UMass Dartmouth post

Robert E. Johnson, the president of Becker College in Worcester, is one of the three recommended finalists to become the next chancellor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, reports Scott O’Connell at the Telegram. The other two finalists are James P. Lentini, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at Oakland University in Michigan, and Philip K. Way, provost and vice president for academic and student affairs at Slippery Rock University.


‘The UMass culture of bureaucracy’

Civil liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate updates readers at WGBH on the ongoing war between college administrators and faculty members over “who will define higher education.” This week’s target: The University of Massachusetts, where Silverglate says a “handsomely-paid bureaucracy” is running roughshod over faculty members.


State board shoots to fill UMass-4-H void

The Massachusetts Fisheries and Wildlife Board said yesterday it will develop its own program to teach shooting sports to kids, after the University of Massachusetts dumped its own 4-H-tied shooting program, the Herald’s Chris Villani reports. “It’s not about guns, it’s about kids and safety and responsible use of firearms,” said Jack Buckley, the board’s director. “I think it could save a kid’s life.”

Boston Herald

Spinning history

At the New Boston Post, Matt McDonald provides a conservative spin on Ed Markey’s liberal spin on the American Revolution, based on a remark Markey made at Tuesday’s ‘We Will Resist’ rally, and then he spins it back to a remark Donald Trump made at a Saturday rally.

New Boston Post

Today’s Headlines


Boston teachers get big-buck bump – Boston Herald

Amazon settles on Back Bay for Boston expa – Boston Globe

Wahlbergs embroiled in food fight – Boston Globe

UK was biggest source of foreign tourists to Boston. Now it’s China – Boston Globe


Mass. tech leaders to Baker: Do more to counter Trump’s immigration policies – BBJ

Republican Senate ads cast Elizabeth Warren as face of Democratic Party – MassLIve

ACLU Calls On Gov. Baker To End State’s Partnership With ICE – WBUR

Lawrence police officer to run for mayor – Eagle Tribune

Trump Rescinds Rules on Bathrooms for Transgender Students – NYT


Scientists discover 7 ‘Earthlike’ planets orbiting a nearby star – Washington Post

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