Suicide Prevention Day
House Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad and Rep. James Cantwell are scheduled to receive Leadership in Suicide Prevention Awards from the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention, Grand Staircase, 8:30 a.m.
The Supreme Judicial Court will hear several cases, including Commonwealth v. Steve James, dealing with a first-degree murder committed by the defendant at the age of 17, John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Second Floor, Pemberton Square, Boston, 9 a.m.
Healey on radio
Attorney General Healey is scheduled to be on Boston Herald Radio, 70 Fargo St., Boston, 9:30 a.m.
Warren at Lynn health center
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren visits Lynn Community Health Center for a tour of its facilities and a roundtable discussion on the Affordable Care Act, Lynn Community Health Center, 269 Union Street, Lynn, 10:15 a.m.
Transportation Committee holds a public hearing on Gov. Charlie Baker’s bill delivering $200 million for local road repairs, Room B-1, 11 a.m.
Addiction donation announcement
Gov. Charlie Baker, Mayor Marty Walsh and Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders and others attend an announcement at the Boston Medical Center Grayken Center for Addition Medicine on a major donation to help fight addictions, BMC Shapiro Center Lobby, 725 Albany Street, Boston, 11:30 a.m.
MBTA control board
The MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board will meet to take up a proposal on bus maintenance, receive a report on state of good repair and plans for a new automated fare collection system, Transportation Board Room, 10 Park Plaza, 12 p.m.
Gov. Baker meets privately with House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Speaker’s Office, 2 p.m.
Neal, Sarno tour Springfield’s Union Station
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal take members of the media on a tour of Union Station as its $95 million renovation nears completion, Springfield Union Station, 2 p.m.
Perkins School for the Blind
Gov. Baker presents a proclamation to the Perkins School for the Blind for Blind New World, a campaign to erase stigmas surrounding vision impaired people, Grand Staircase, 4 p.m.
Race, gender and political leadership’
‘Boston City Council President Michelle Wu, Councilor Ayanna Pressley and others participate in a panel discussion on UMass Boston McCormack Graduate School senior fellow Carol Hardy-Fanta’s new book ‘Contested Transformation: Race, Gender, and Political Leadership in 21st Century America,’ UMass Boston Campus Center – Room 3540, Columbia Point, 6 p.m.
State of UMass address
University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan delivers his first ‘State of the University’ address, with Gov. Baker, Lt. Gov. Polito, Senate President Rosenberg and House Speaker DeLeo expected to attend the event, UMass Club, One Beacon St., Boston, 5 p.m.
‘Steaming, raging mad’
So how’s that ‘turning point’ going for President Trump? The ‘pivot’ from bad Trump to good Trump following his speech last week to Congress? Not so well, based on this jaw-dropping Washington Post piece on how the president has become ‘steaming, raging mad’ at all the Russia-related leaks, a ‘fury’ that ultimately led to his latest tweetstorm charge that former President Obama wiretapped his Trump Towers phone. Check it out.
Timeline of Sessions’ meetings with Russians
Not to needle the president, but if you’re interested in the who-and-whens of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ interactions with Russian officials – and what Sessions has said or not said about those past meetings – here’s a handy NYT timeline on the meetings that are now at the center of intense debate in Washington.
Walsh still feeling the fed heat
From the Herald: “Two aides to Mayor Martin J. Walsh were acting on his behalf — not the city’s — when they pressured Boston Calling organizers to hire union labor for a concert on City Hall Plaza, federal prosecutors claim in a new motion filed in U.S. District Court.” To the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld, the bottom line is this: “The heat’s still on. … A new court filing makes it clear the U.S. Attorney’s office still considers the Boston mayor a key player in the drama — and maybe more.”
State to hike health care costs for 70,000 employees
The president of SEIU Local 509 doesn’t like this, not one bit. From the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett: “Sweeping changes to the state’s health care program mean that nearly 70,000 state and government employees will have to pay more as of July 1. The Group Insurance Commission — which manages health insurance for over 115,000 state and government employees, 124,000 retirees and another 186,000 dependents — is altering several programs for the upcoming enrollment year to save millions in state dollars.”
‘Vote no, take the dough’
The Globe’s Frank Phillips has a round-up of all the Republicans who recently voted against legislative pay raises but who are now collecting the pay raises, starting with House minority leader Bradley Jones.
Westborough votes tomorrow on marijuana moratorium
Voters in Westborough could make that town among the first to pass an all-out moratorium on recreational marijuana businesses when they go to the polls on Tuesday, Elaine Thompson of the Telegram reports.
Councilor: Sanctuary cities like Newton have erected their own walls (think zoning)
Newton city councilor Jake Auchincloss noticed something about some of the very same people who recently voted to make Newton a sanctuary city: They also have opposed zoning changes to allow additional housing in the community. “There is dissonance here,” he writes at CommonWealth magazine. “Immigration restrictions create a barrier to entry by literally creating a barrier: a border, a security guard, a wall. Zoning creates a barrier to entry by restricting the supply of housing units to below what the market would provide.”
Boston approves nearly a 1,000 housing units for South End
Speaking of housing, you can’t accuse the city of Boston, sanctuary city or no sanctuary city, of not doing enough to promote housing, the latest being the Boston Planning & Development Agency’s approval late last week of two Sound End housing projects with a combined 975 residential units, as reported at the BBJ. Granted, they’re mostly upper-end housing, but more housing is needed in general.
Healey recuses herself from Thornton law case, plans to appoint special prosecutor
From the Globe’s Andrea Estes: “Attorney General Maura Healey will appoint a special prosecutor and recuse herself from any investigation into alleged campaign finance violations by Thornton Law Firm, whose lawyers, including former House assistant majority leader Garrett Bradley, donated to her political campaign. The action followed a day of calls by Republicans, including Governor Charlie Baker, for her to step aside to avoid a potential conflict of interest.” The Globe’s Adrian Walker has more on the Thornton mess.
‘The revolt of the AGs is to be celebrated’
This is interesting — and one can’t help but think of Attorney General Maura Healey’s recent anti-Trump actions of late while reading it: Without naming names, conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, writing at the Washington Post and syndicated at the Boston Herald, is praising both Republican and Democratic state attorneys general, past and present, for standing up against over-reaching presidents with a penchant for dashing off executive orders without Congress lifting a constitutional finger: “The revolt of the AGs is to be celebrated. It is a reassuring sign of the creativity and suppleness of the American Constitution, of its amphibian capacity to grow a new limb when an old one atrophies.”
Wanted: Sacrificial GOP lamb to run against Healey
Speaking of the attorney general, Republican activist and Herald columnist Holly Robichaud says the state Republican party needs to find someone, anyone, who can “campaign around the clock to defeat Attorney General Maura Healy,” assuming Healey indeed runs for re-election, not for governor.
Former Worcester mayor: ‘If I ran for mayor …’
Whenever a former mayor of any city writes not one but two op-ed columns headlined ‘If I ran for mayor …’ it’s going to spark speculation. Which is what’s happening with former Worcester Mayor Raymond V. Mariano’s recent columns in the Worcester Sun, where he’s been writing about his priorities for the city “if I was going to be a candidate for mayor this year.”
Report: Ex-BRA leader heads team trying to buy Suffolk Downs
This is an unbelievable re-development opportunity. Not quite up there with Seaport. More like Assembly Square in Somerville. From the Globe’s Tim Logan and Shirley Leung: “A prominent local developer has agreed to buy Suffolk Downs in East Boston, a deal that could turn the down-on-its-luck horse track into a new neighborhood that transforms the northern corner of the city. A group led by former Boston Redevelopment Authority chief Tom O’Brien has the 161-acre site under contract, according to people familiar with the situation, and a sale could close by summer.”
Baker’s Planned Parenthood funding vow draws cheers and jeers
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s pronouncement late last week that he’s prepared to increase state funds for Planned Parenthood if the GOP-controlled Congress strips its Medicaid funding is drawing cheers and jeers. At the Herald, Joyce Ferriabough Bolling praises Baker’s action while state Rep. James Lyons says that “unfortunately, Gov. Charlie Baker has joined with many Democrats” in backing Planned Parenthood.
‘The War to End All Wars’
The Pioneer Institute is putting together an April forum to mark the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into World War I. For history buffs (and for those with relatives who served in the war, as is this case for one MASSterList author), this looks fascinating. The institute has more details at its web site.
BMC receives $25M donation to fight addictions
The is good news in the fight against opioid addition: From Sacha Pfeiffer at the Globe: “Boston Medical Center has received a $25 million gift, the largest in its history, and plans to use the money to fight what it calls the ‘heartbreaking’ public health crisis caused by drug addiction and the opioid epidemic. The donation to BMC, which serves more low-income patients than any other medical facility in New England, will create the Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine, named after billionaire investor and South Shore native John Grayken and his wife, Eilene.”
Middlebury College assault: ‘So much for safe spaces’
In case you missed it, a guest conservative speaker, Charles Murray, and an accompanying Middlebury College professor, Allison Stanger, were assaulted – yes, assaulted is the apt word – after a chaotic appearance at the Vermont school, according to multiple reports by the Washington Post and other publications. (The professor was briefly hospitalized.) If there’s a silver lining in this ugly incident it’s this: The students quoted in a follow-up Globe piece on Sunday were genuinely stunned and humiliated by the attack and seemed fed up with campus anti-free-speech antics in general, not just at Middlebury College.
From Robby Soave at Reason magazine: “Faculty members said Murray was guilty of hate speech, and ought to be condemned. Will they condemn the hate actions of the unruly mob that deployed violence against Stanger and Murray? And will Middlebury have the courage to see this through—to identify the protesters, and expel them (or have them arrested), as appropriate? So much for safe spaces.” The school is saying “outside agitators” may have been responsible for the attacks, but the whole protest, from beginning to end, was simply over the top, as are too many campus protests these days.
Warren defends Carson flip-flop
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren spent much of last Friday trying to explain why she was for Ben Carson before she was against Ben Carson as head of HUD, as the Globe’s Felicia Gans writes.
Trump win is Warren war chest gain
Republicans may have her seat in their sights in 2018, but Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s fundraising prowess has only benefitted from the election of Donald Trump, Steve LeBlanc of the Associated Press reports at SouthCoast Today. With $4.8 million on hand at the start of the year, her war chest is the largest of all Democratic senators whose terms are up in 2018, ahead of all Republicans running that year.
Opposition arises to Connecticut casino near Springfield’s MGM
The folks building the MGM casino in Springfield must be glad to hear about this (and maybe they knew something about it from very beginning). From the Herald’s Jules Crittendon: “A Massachusetts casino could be the ironic beneficiary of a confab of anti-casino activists just across the state line in Connecticut. The anti-gambling advocates are meeting tonight in East Windsor, Conn., to organize against a proposal by two tribes to open a casino in that Connecticut town.”
Sen. Lesser meets with Connecticut governor on high-speed rail
From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “State Sen. Eric Lesser, D-Longmeadow, met with Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy on Thursday as part of Lesser’s push to establish high-speed rail between Boston and Springfield. ‘I am glad we have allies in Connecticut who understand the power of regional transportation to transform our economies,’ Lesser said in a statement.”
State and city parking-garage projects to the rescue
The Massachusetts Port Authority, definitely, and the Boston Planning & Development Agency, apparently, are moving forward with plans to provide more parking-garage spaces in the traffic-clogged, parking-starved Seaport area, reports the Globe’s Jon Chesto, who has all the details.
Ash: Baker wants more data on tourism funds
The Baker administration is open to restoring funds directed to the state’s 16 regional tourism council, but secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash say that more data proving the funds actually increase tourism is needed, Sean F. Driscoll reports in the Cape Cod Times. “I’m not convinced that the data being presented is the data we need to increase spending,” Ash said.
City liquor license plan would help Mattapan, Lawn on D
Boston officials will unveil a plan Monday to add more than 150 new liquor licenses across the city, with an emphasis on neighborhoods currently underserved with the valuable permits, such as Mattapan, where there are currently no licensed restaurants, Meghan E. Irons reports at the Globe. The city plan, which requires legislative approval, would also grant a beer-and-wine license to the Lawn on D.
Low pay extending preschool waits
More than 20,000 children are on waiting list for subsidized preschool programs, a problem advocates say is exacerbated by low pay for early childhood educators, Christian Wade reports in the Salem News. Preschool teachers bring home around $25,000 a year on average, a third of what public school teachers earn in upper grade classrooms across the state.
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