Education Secretary James Peyser, Lowell Public Schools Superintendent Salah E. Khelfaoui and Middlesex Community College President James Mabry participate in a STEM@Work roundtable, Middlesex Community College, Federal Building, Courtroom, 3rd Floor, 50 Kearney Square, Lowell, 8:30 a.m.
495 MetroWest commission
Sen. Karen Spilka, Rep. Kate Hogan and Assistant Secretary for Communities and Programs Juan Vega co-chair a meeting of the 495 MetroWest Suburban Edge Community Commission, Boxborough Library, 427 Massachusetts Ave., Boxborough, 9 a.m.
Cabinet meeting in Lowell
Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and cabinet secretaries hold their weekly cabinet meeting in Lowell, University of Massachusetts Lowell – Chancellors Conference Room, University Crossing, 220 Pawtucket Street, Suite 400, Lowell, 10 a.m.
Energy storage panel
Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson participates in a panel on ‘Realizing the Promise of Storage’ at the 2017 MIT Energy Conference, Boston Marriott Cambridge, 50 Broadway, Cambridge, 10:15 a.m.
‘Ask the mayor’
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh appears live on Boston Public Radio’s ‘Ask the Mayor,’ WGBH 89.7FM, 11 a.m.
The State of Women’s Advancement
Northeastern University hosts a public policy panel as part of a daylong symposium titled ‘The State of Women’s Advancement in Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Policy Research,’ with panelists Sens. Karen Spilka and Patricia Jehlen; UMass Boston professor Randy Albelda; Northeastern professor Alicia Sasser Modestino; and Megan Costello, the executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement in Boston, Northeastern Alumni Center, 716 Columbus Avenue, 6th floor, Boston, 11:30 a.m.
Gov. Baker, Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ron Walker, Education Secretary Jim Peyser and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash announce nearly $12 million in Workforce Skills Capital Grant Awards to 32 vocational schools, community colleges and public high schools, Greater Lowell Technical High School, 250 Pawtucket Blvd, Tyngsborough, 2 p.m.
Bump at UMass
State Auditor Suzanne Bump is the featured speaker at the University of Massachusetts School of Public Policy, Life Sciences Lab, Room S340, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2 p.m.
Mayor Walsh offers remarks at a showcase called B.L.A.C.K (Black Leaders Aspiring for Change and Knowledge), Boston Latin School, 78 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, 6 p.m.
Bump addresses women in public service
State Auditor Suzanne Bump provides the keynote address at the Women in Public Service Workshop Dinner Reception hosted by UMass Women into Leadership, Marriott Center, Campus Center, 11th floor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 6 p.m.
Truce reached in Blame Lawrence War
From Keith Eddings, political war correspondent for the Eagle-Tribune: “New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu and Mayor Daniel Rivera reached a quick and peaceful settlement in their interstate war of words over Sununu’s allegation that the city is fueling New England’s opiate crisis. … On Thursday, the freshman Republican governor shifted tone and commended Rivera, a Democrat, for his work combating addiction and offered a less combative solution to region’s opiate crisis.”
The settlement came after Gov. Charlie Baker, obviously angling for a Nobel Peace Prize, asked everyone to stop pointing fingers about the cause of the opioid crisis, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy at the Sentinal & Enterprise.
From pickup truck, Lantigua launches comeback bid in Lawrence
The truce in Lawrence was reached just in time for Mayor Daniel Rivera, whose city faces yet another political battle. Like Napoleon returning from Elba, former Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua has returned from a two-year exile in the Dominican Republic and says he’s ready to launch a campaign to recapture his old office, Keith Eddings of the Eagle-Tribune reports. Eddings interviewed Lantigua in the cab of his pickup truck and got the skinny on his time in the Caribbean and his plan to focus on crime and safety in what is shaping up to be a crowded race.
Boston law firm faces possible criminal charges over campaign donations
From Andrea Estes and Viveca Novak at the Globe: “State campaign finance officials plan to ask Attorney General Maura Healey to consider criminal prosecution of partners at Boston’s Thornton Law Firm, saying they have evidence that the firm illegally reimbursed lawyers and their spouses for up to $175,000 in campaign contributions to state candidates and causes.”
Curt tosses support to Ayyadurai – not himself
Curt Schilling, the former Sox hurler who’s often hinted he might run for the U.S. Senate, has a new favorite candidate to unseat Sen. Elizabeth Warren in 2018 – and it’s not Curt. Now a Breitbart talk show host, Schilling on Thursday tweeted his support for Shiva Ayyadurai, the MIT grad best known for suing those who question his claim that he invented email, Boston Magazine’s Kyle Scott Claus reports. “As of today, from where I sit, you’re my choice for Senator of the state of Mass. in 2018 and it’s not even close,” Schilling tweeted at the would-be senator, who responded with a thanks and a suggestion the two grab a beer at some point.
Warren retreats, retrenches and tries to redeem herself on Carson nomination
It’s official: U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren yesterday officially flip-flopped on the Ben Carson nomination. From Jim O’Sullivan at the Globe: “Senator Elizabeth Warren, whose support for President Trump’s choice to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development in an earlier committee vote drew liberal outrage, altered her stance on the floor Thursday and joined other Democrats in opposing Dr. Ben Carson as the agency’s secretary. Warren’s vote for Carson in a Senate Banking Committee hearing in January incited an unusual attack on the liberal favorite from her left flank, which is seething over Trump’s presidency and seeking party purity in opposing him.”
Are Dems caving too much to ‘hard-line anti-Trumpers’?
The Herald’s Joe Battenfeld thinks too many Dems, like U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, are buckling under pressure from the party’s far left: “The problem with this lurch to the left and appeasement to the Trump haters is that Democrats are risking losing touch with moderate voters who just want Washington to stop attacking and leaking and start working to create more jobs.”
Entire Massachusetts delegation lines up in lock-step against Sessions
From Kyle Scott Clauss at Boston Magazine: “All 11 members of the Bay State’s congressional delegation are calling for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s resignation, after the Washington Post reported Wednesday that the former Alabama senator met privately with the Russian ambassador twice, despite testifying to Congress that he ‘did not have communications with the Russians.’”
The most brutal comments came from U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, the South Boston Democrat, who told the Herald: “When you say something that you know is totally false and you do it under oath, yeah, you’re a liar, you’re a perjurer.” Fyi: Worcester Magazine and Wicked Local have more responses from individual delegation members.
New England’s changing political landscape, thanks to Trump
For some pols, Donald Trump has been a curse (think Gov. Charlie Baker), but for others, he’s been a godsend (think embattled Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy). The Globe’s James Pindell has a terrific run-down on how the Trump Effect is playing out across New England.
R.I. protesters greet Speaker Ryan with chants of ‘coward!’
Speaking of the Trump Effect across New England, down in heavily Democratic Rhode Island, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan didn’t exactly get a warm embrace yesterday from natives displaying distinct Trump Effect behavior. From the Providence Journal: “Ryan, R-Wis., came and went on Thursday without addressing a boisterous crowd of several hundred protesters who chanted in the cold for hours outside 40 Fountain St., where he visited ‘Year Up,’ a youth mentoring and training organization. The demonstrators yelled ‘Coward! Coward!’ and ‘This is what Democracy looks like!’ and ‘You can run but you can’t hide — you work for us!’”
With his Thursday ‘witch hunt’ tweetstorm, Trump reverts back to norm
Two days after many pundits announced that Donald Trump’s Tuesday speech marked a turning point in his presidency – i.e. he acted presidential – it was back to tweetstorming for the president, who yesterday accused Democrats of having ‘lost their grip on reality’ and engaging in a ‘witch hunt’ over Attorney General Jeff Sessions, according to the Globe’s Jaclyn Reiss and the Herald’s Chris Cassidy. Whether his bellyaching is justified or not is immaterial. The tweets, we assume most can agree, are not exactly ‘presidential’ in nature. Right?
Harvard, MIT and Tufts experts say carbon fee bills make economic sense
What do you get when economists from Harvard, MIT and Tufts get together to write an op-ed? An impressive endorsement of two bills by Sen. Michael Barrett and Rep. Jennifer Benson that call for enactment of a new carbon fee system in Massachusetts. From the BBJ op-ed by James Stock, Christopher Knittel and Gilbert Metcalf: “With the Federal government retreating from its responsibility to address climate change, the most important contribution of passing a Massachusetts carbon fee would be to show the nation, and the world, that a carbon charge can be adopted, implemented, and successful in a U.S. state. Massachusetts has the opportunity to lead the nation in taking this essential step towards comprehensive, efficient, and effective climate policy.”
Muslim cemetery finally gets OK
After more than a year of false starts, protests and legal wrangling, the Dudley Zoning Board of Appeals on Thursday approved the Islamic Society of Greater Worcester’s plan to open a Muslim cemetery in town, Debbie LaPlaca of the Telegram reports. The ZBA attached nine conditions to the approval, including one that limits the society to using just six of the 55 acres in the parcel it owns for burials for the next decade.
Pot group: Baker helped create ‘no man’s land’ of legalized marijuana
Angered by Gov. Baker’s description of pot retails laws in Massachusetts being in a ‘no man’s land,’ a spokesman for the marijuana industry says Baker himself created the confusion when he backed delaying the start of retail weed sales in the state, reports Gintautas Dumcius at MassLive. “The governor apparently does not understand that pushing back legal sales–as he agreed to do–will extend the situation that he now describes as a ‘no man’s land,’” Jim Borghesani said in a statement.
Warren and Markey to Sessions: Hands off states’ marijuana laws
Meanwhile, worried that US Attorney General Jeff Sessions will crack down on states that have legalized marijuana either for recreational or medical use, a group of senators – including Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey of Massachusetts — are basically telling the nation’s top prosecutor to back off and allow states to develop their own pot regulations, Gintautas Dumcius also reports at MassLIve.
Everett and Springfield casinos rising on shifting grounds
From the Herald: “The ground is shifting under the feet of the state’s two marquee casinos under development, as Wynn Boston Harbor has scaled back its ambitions for retail at the Everett gambling complex and an alliance of Connecticut tribes inked a plan to build a parlor north of Hartford to compete with MGM Springfield.”
Kennedy to chair transgender task force
U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III will lead the bipartisan Transgender Equality Task Force formed by the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, Gerry Tuoti reports at the MetroWest Daily News. Among his first missions will be working to restore the accommodation protections for transgender students in public schools that were rolled back by the Trump administration last week.
Arroyo is also fighting for a fatter pension
Suspended Suffolk Register of Probate Felix Arroyo isn’t just fighting for his job and reputation. He’s also fighting for a much fatter pension – double what he’s currently entitled to get – that comes with the plum Suffolk job, reports the Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert and Andrew Ryan.
Obama wins Kennedy ‘Profile in Courage’ award
Former President Obama has been named the 2017 winner of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for carrying on his fellow Democrat’s legacy. “President Kennedy called on a new generation of Americans to give their talents to the service of the country,” Kennedy’s daughter, Caroline Kennedy, said in a statement, reports the AP at WBUR. “With exceptional dignity and courage, President Obama has carried that torch into our own time, providing young people of all backgrounds with an example they can emulate in their own lives.” “Humbled to be recognized by a family with a legacy of service,” Obama said in his official Twitter account. The official ceremony will be held in May in Boston.
Neal to GOP: Stop hiding ObamaCare bill in the basement
tU.S. Rep. Richard Neal yesterday joined other Democrats in calling on House Republicans to share legislation that seeks to dismantle and replace the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, amid reports GOP members were stashing the bill out of sight in a Congressional basement, reports Shannon Young at MassLive. Democrats said there’s “no place to hide” and demanded to see the bill.
The Herald’s Kimberly Atkins has more on the deadly serious hide-and-seek antics in Washington.
State set to cut funding to Boston’s Greenway
From the Globe’s Laura Krantz and Joshua Miller: “The state is poised to pull the plug on millions of dollars in funding for the nonprofit that runs the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, setting off tense behind-the-scenes negotiations between state, city, and business officials over the park’s future.” The Globe’s Shirley Leung thinks that it’s time for the state to cut its ties to the Greenway — though she suggests it should be a phased-out process, not a cold-turkey process — and that it’s time property abutters pick up the slack.
Tired benchmark: A quarter of T workers make more than $100K
Both the Globe and Herald have stories this morning that initially highlight how approximately a quarter of T workers make $100,000 or more at the MBTA. Then the two stories diverge on what that actually means. Our quick reaction: One hundred grand ain’t what it used to be in terms of pay, sort of like how a hundred grand ain’t what it used to be in terms of buying a home. The $100K benchmark ought to be minimized or junked. Just let people know if the payroll is out of whack or not.
Ex-Bowdoin College president joins UMass Boston as deputy chancellor
From Bowdoin News: “Barry Mills, who served as Bowdoin’s fourteenth president from 2001 to 2015, has been named deputy chancellor and chief operating officer of the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Boston, where he will oversee the academic and research program and campus operations, and will work with Chancellor J. Keith Motley on developing and refining long-term strategy for the campus.”
‘Hitler Learns the Patriots Win Super Bowl LI’
OK, you’ve probably seen one too many parody versions of the Hitler-bunker-rant scene. But this one is pretty good, from a Pats fan’s perspective. The rest of the country probably sympathizes with poor Adolf. Favorite rant lines: ‘The Patriots were as beaten as I was in Stalingrad and they still won?’ … ‘If Belichick ran operation Barbarosa, I’d be sitting on top of a stuffed Stalin.’
Sunday public affairs TV
Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. Guest: Suffolk County District Dan Conley, who discusses with host Jon Keller gang crime, progress of police body-camera experiment, and relations between law enforcement and the community.
This is New England, NBC Boston Channel 10, 9:30 a.m. With host Latoyia Edwards, this week’s focus: Girls in Sports, with guest Trenni Kusnierek, CNS sports anchor.
This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Jim Lowell, editor-in-chief of Fidelity Investor, talks about the February unemployment report and the soaring stock market; Stephanie Kaplan Lewis talks about Her Campus Media, the company she founded for marketing aimed at college aged young women; and Shirley Leung weighs in on some of the big local business stories of the week.
CEO Corner, NECN, 10: 30 a.m. USTrendy founder and CEO Sam Sisakhti’s discusses how his fashion ecommerce site has grown to offering products from more than 20,000 designers from all over the world.
On the Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. Guest: Joe Kennedy III, who talks with anchor Ed Harding and co-anchor Janet Wu.
CityLine, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 12 p.m. With host Karen Holmes Ward, this week’s focus: Finish Line, Listen Hear, John Wilson .
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