Happening Today

Happy St. Patrick’s and Evacuation Day

Regional schools breakfast

Massachusetts Association of Regional Schools holds an annual legislative breakfast, with speakers MARS executive director Perry Davis, Sen. Anne Gobi and Rep. Kim Ferguson, Nashoba Valley Regional Technical High School.100 Littleton Rd., Westford, 8:30 a.m.

Evacuation Day observance

Rep. Nick Collins and Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry are among the honorary chairs of the South Boston Citizens’ Association’s historical observance of Evacuation Day, Dorchester Heights Monument, South Boston, 10 a.m.

DeLeo on the air

House Speaker Robert DeLeo is a guest on Boston Herald Radio, 11 a.m.

Markey on the budget

Sen. Edward Markey joins Chelsea Collaborative Executive Director Gladys Vega to hold a press conference on the Trump administration’s budget, Chelsea Collaborative, 318 Broadway, Chelsea, 11 a.m.

St. Patrick’s Day luncheon

Ancient Order of Hibernians holds its 48th Annual St. Patrick’s Day luncheon, with State Auditor Suzanne Bump attending, One Market St., South Lawrence, 11:30 a.m.

Rally against Trump energy policies

350 Massachusetts, Neighbor to Neighbor, West Roxbury Saves Energy, Climate Action Now, and other partnering climate activist groups rally against President Trump’s energy policies and to demand action from Gov. Baker, Boston Common, across from State House, 2:30 p.m.

Hampden County St. Pat’s party

Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni hosts his second St. Patrick’s Day party with U.S. Rep. Richard Neal scheduled to give brief remarks, John Boyle O’Reilly Club, 33 Progress Ave., Springfield, 5 p.m.

Evacuation Day reception

South Boston Citizens Association holds its annual Evacuation Day reception and banquet featuring a New England boiled dinner, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center – 2nd floor, 415 Summer St., Boston, 5:30 p.m.

St. Patrick’s Day Evacuation Day Banquet

Gov. Charlie Baker attends the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Evacuation Day Banquet, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, 415 Summer Street, Boston, 7 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Total elimination

The Globe’s Matt Rocheleau has an extraordinary list of all the programs and agencies that President Trump has targeted for total elimination within his proposal federal budget. It really drives home how deep the budget cuts would be if approved by Congress. The Globe’s Annie Linskey has a general story on the historic budget showdown unfolding in Washington.

Boston Globe

Baker on Trump’s budget: ‘Bad for Massachusetts’

Locally, keep your eye on, among other budget actions, what happens to the National Institutes of Health’s overall budget, which funds so much research (and jobs) in Massachusetts. Right now, the NIH is targeted to see its budget slashed by $5.8 billion, which is why Republican Gov. Charlie Baker is not mincing words about Trump’s budget and proposed NIH cuts: “It’s not just bad for Massachusetts,” Baker said on WGBH yesterday. “It’s bad for the country.” Baker indicated he personally plans to lobby Congressional Republicans about the proposed cuts

Meanwhile, the planned NIH budget hit is freaking out the local biotech sector, reports Max Stendahl at the BBJ.


Markey, Walsh and others lash out at budget cuts

The reaction to President Trump’s budget proposals was swift and sure across the state yesterday. U.S. Sen. Ed Markey said the fiscal blueprint “robs the defenseless to pay for defense,” according to a report at MassLive. Mayor Marty Walsh slammed the planned budget as “reckless” and “heartless,” reports the Herald. WBUR’s Benjamin Swasey has more reactions from U.S Reps. Joe Kennedy III and Niki Tsongas and others. Even a conservative former aide to Mitt Romney is criticizing some of the cuts, reports the Globe.

Suffolk Probate’s ‘procedural meltdown’

The Globe’s Andrew Ryan and Stephanie Ebbert have a devastating story this morning on the complete chaos, the ‘procedural meltdown’ and the surreal bureaucratic nightmare in general at the Suffolk Registry of Probate and Family Court, based on an assessment of the office by the Massachusetts Trial Court. A spokesman for suspended Register Felix D. Arroyo is still blaming “the racist attitudes and intentional sabotage” at the registry. But the woes obviously go back years, if not decades, all pre-Arroyo, which is what Arroyo should be stressing in his defense. This is about hackerama in the extreme.

Boston Globe

Charter school backers hope to win in court what they couldn’t win at the ballot box

Thought the debate over charter school expansion ended last November when voters overwhelming rejected Question 2? Wrong. From Bob McGovern at the Herald: “The Supreme Judicial Court is set to hear a direct appeal from five unidentified Boston public school students who are challenging the validity of the state’s charter cap. Their argument is that the cap “arbitrarily and unfairly deprives” children in the poorest districts from receiving an “adequate education.”

Boston Herald

Rep. Finn agrees to settlement over campaign finance blunders

From Shira Schoenberg at MassLive: “State Rep. Michael Finn, D-West Springfield, failed to disclose around $8,000 worth of campaign donations and spending during his mayoral campaign. He loaned too much of his personal money to his campaign and did not properly account for all of his campaign spending, according to a settlement reached between Finn and the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance that detailed Finn’s sloppy record-keeping.”


Boston’s Citgo-sign mania: ‘Y’all, I just don’t get it’

The BBJ’s Catherine Carlock asks: “Maybe this question will brand me with an indelible scarlet ‘O’ — for ‘outsider’ — but I must ask: Why, exactly, is Boston so enamored of a sign bearing the name of a Venezuelan oil company?” So she consults with Greg Galer, executive director of the Boston Preservation Alliance, about the curious significance of the Kenmore Square Citgo sign. Actually, we were sort of hoping Citgo would tell the new building landlord to take a hike and let the sign finally come down. But then Mayor Walsh intervened.


State delivers warning on Leafly’s pot-delivery advertisement

From the Globe’s Dan Adams: “Massachusetts officials are warning the online marijuana directory Leafly that it may be violating state law by publishing ads for pot-delivery services they say are operating without state oversight.”

Boston Globe

Huge surge of candidates in Worcester, Roxbury

Worcester officials say 31 people have already pulled nomination papers signaling their interest to run for either City Council or school committee, an unusually large number this early in the election season, Nick Kotsopolous of the Telegram reports.  

Meanwhile, Adam Gaffin at Universal Hub reports that nine people are now eyeing the Roxbury seat on the Boston City Council being vacated by mayoral hopeful Tito Jackson. One of those candidates is former state Rep. Carlos Henriques, who Meghan E. Irons at the Globe notes is hoping to stage a comeback after being expelled from the legislature after facing sexual assault charges.

Warren backs high-speed rail between Springfield and Boston

From Gintautass Dumcius at MassLive: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Thursday pledged to push Capitol Hill leaders for infrastructure investments and offered her support for high-speed rail linking major cities in Massachusetts. ‘We need a train that runs from Boston to Worcester to Springfield,’ Warren, D-Mass., said during an ‘office hours’ event at the Worcester Public Library.” State Sen. Eric Lesser, D-Longmeadow, continues to push for a feasibility study of high-speed rail connecting Springfield and Boston.


Vets group rips Warren (again) and shows its true colors

Lowell-based Veterans Assisting Veterans is taking a second bite of the publicity apple by once again going after U.S. Elizabeth Warren’s support for protecting illegal immigrants. But this time, in an open letter by its leader, the obscure group is comparing Warren to “Hanoi Jane Fonda” and blasting the “War of Terror, illegal immigrants and refugees that are tearing down the foundation of civilized society.” Hmm. Immigrants and refugees tearing down the very foundation of civilized society? That’s heavy stuff. The Herald, unfortunately, provides more on a group whose 15 minutes of fame is, one assumes, almost over.

Boston Herald

Remembering Rob Cunningham

Massachusetts Republicans are among those morning the sudden death of Robert T. Cunningham, a longtime GOP operative and director of the state’s unemployment assistance division, who died unexpectedly at the age of 44, Jim Sullivan of the Globe reports. Cunningham helped steer Scott Brown’s successful run for the state senate in 2004 and took the helm of the Mass GOP in 2013.

Boston Globe

Brockton snowplow driver caught on video acting like a first-class jerk

From Marc Larocque at the Enterprise: “An angry plow driver contracted by the city of Brockton dumped a heaping pile of snow at the end of a homeowner’s driveway out of spite, according to the man who was trying to shovel out the area – and the entire incident was caught on surveillance camera footage. The contractor that hired the driver, who was paid $105 per hour, has since lost his contract with the city of Brockton.” The video shows an initial small confrontation, but the big snow/slush dump occurs at about the 1:20 mark.

Enterprise (video)

The ugly divorce showdown at WPI

The Globe’s Sacha Pfeiffer has more on, as the headline summarizes, “a charitable gift, a divorce, an angry ex-wife” and a lawsuit against Worcester Polytechnic Institute over a donation by a certain ex-husband.

Boston Globe

Capuano on GOP health plan: ‘Pure politics at its basest form’

U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano thinks House Republicans spent too much of the past eight years denouncing ObamaCare and not enough time reviewing its pros and cons – and how so many people came to depend on it, reports Molly Boigon at WGBH. “It’s pure politics at it’s basest form,” he said. “The last several years has been nothing but screaming and political one-liners about Obamacare.”


Look out, Charlie, Trump never forgets

Gov. Baker, please take note. From Aiden Quigley at Politico: “President Donald Trump hasn’t forgotten Republican Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s decision not to endorse him and wasn’t timid in bringing it up during his visit to the state Wednesday. ‘Come on governor, even though you didn’t endorse me,’ Trump said as he posed for a photo op with Elaine Chao, secretary of transportation, and Mary Barra, CEO and chairman of General Motors. ‘He’s not forgotten,’ Chao said, laughing as Snyder joined the picture. ‘I never forget,’ Trump shot back.”


Transportation awards: Edgar Rodriguez and Michael Carroll, take a bow

Two Highway Assistant Patrol operators — Edgar J. Rodriguez and Michael Carroll –have been honored for providing life-saving medical assistance while on duty last fall in separate traffic accidents. Both incidents required CPR procedures and use of Automated External Defibrillators to save the lives of individuals. Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin and MAPFRE Insurance CEO Alfredo Costello were among those honoring the two heroes.

Mass.gov (DOT)

Another newspaper press bites the dust, this one in Framingham

GateHouse Media announced yesterday it’s closing its printing and packaging operations in Framingham and moving operations to its other regional facilities, according to the MetroWest Daily News. “Unfortunately, we are compelled to take this action as a way to leverage GateHouse production assets and avoid costly investment in facility and equipment upgrades,” said Peter Meyer, regional vice president at GateHouse. The report didn’t mention layoffs, but did say some new production jobs will be created at other Gatehouse facilities and that “those colleagues affected by this change will be given first consideration for these positions.”

MetroWest Daily News

Greenfield donation comes with a potential deal-killing catch

Five anonymous donors have banded together to offer $50,000 to help install a new turf field at Greenfield-Central High School, but the school committee is wary of accepting because the message the group wants displayed on the field may have religious overtones to some. According to a piece by Samm Quinn of the Greenfield Reporter, in exchange for their gift, donors want a logo displaying the phrase “#BlessTheWorld” to be displayed on the field, and that has some fearing the city is stepping into a separation-of-church-and-state minefield. 

Greenfield Recorder

Baker not happy with National Weather Service

Gov. Charlie Baker said yesterday he wasn’t exactly thrilled to learn that the National Weather Service kept forecasts in place predicting blockbuster snow totals even though internally meteorologists were lowering their expectations for the Tuesday (mostly) non-Blizzard, Shira Schoenberg of MassLive reports. “I’m disappointed that it seems that they gave one message to us and a slightly different one was traveling around the office,” Baker said while on WGBH radio. 


Advocates seek end to retail pet sales

Animal rights advocates are pushing legislation that would limit or even end retail sales of dogs and cats in the state, Christian Wade reports in the Gloucester Times. One bill, banning sales of pets under 8 weeks of age, already has 50 lawmakers behind it, but critics say ending pet-store sales would only encourage more black-market transactions. 

Gloucester Times

Couldn’t they just say the old maps were geographically and scientifically wrong?

Did you know that the so-called Mercator Projection world map, which most of us grew up with, is geographically and scientifically wrong, distorting the actual size of continents and countries? And that the Peters projection map, created in 1974, is considered more accurate? It’s true. So, geographically and scientifically, the Boston Public School’s decision on Thursday to start using the Peters projection map is completely justifiable.

But geographic and scientific accuracy apparently wasn’t reason enough for the BPS, which cited the need to ‘de-colonize’ curriculum and make students feel better about themselves and their ethnic origins, as Bob Shaffer reports at WBUR.


Map shows locations of local St. Pat’s Day parades and events

Speaking of maps, we sure hope this Wicked Local map of family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day parades and events in the area is accurate, or there’s going to be a lot of irate St. Patrick’s Day parents hauling their kids around. (No, the map doesn’t include bars. It’s sort of a distorted, family-friendly Mercator Projection map.) 

 Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone.

Wicked Local

Sunday public affairs TV

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. Guest: State Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry, who talks with host Jon Keller about the St. Patrick’s Day breakfast and her support for repeal of mandatory minimum sentencing.

This is New England, NBC Boston, Channel 10, 9:30 a.m. With host Latoyia Edwards, this week’s focus is ‘A St. Patrick’s Day Celebration,’ with guest Ken Casey of the Dropkick Murphys & Claddagh Fund and the Irish Cultural Center showcasing Gaelic hurling, the fiddle and Irish step dancing.

Live coverage of St. Patrick’s Day breakfast in South Boston, NECN, 10 a.m. to noon, and then the St. Patrick’s Day parade, NECN,12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. 

On the Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. Guest: Kirsten Hughes, chairwoman of the state Republican Party, 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 encore presentation: ‘Tricks of the Trade.’

This Week in Business, NECN, 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern Bank CEO Bob Rivers talks about the Fed raising interest rates and Eastern Bank’s Join Us For Good Campaign; Greater Boston Chamber president CEO Jim Rooney talks about the proposal to eliminate weekend commuter rail service and other issues; BBJ editor Doug Banks reviews the week’s top local business stories.

DC Dialogue, NECN, 8:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. This week the show reviews the American Health Care Act with Jess Tocco, A10 Associates president and the only person from Massachusetts to be part of the Trump transition team on healthcare and small business. Also, a look at the challenges of the New England power supply and costs with Dan Dolan,  President of the New England Power Generators Association. 

Today’s Headlines


At least 9 people now looking at Roxbury city council race – Universal Hub

Severe dysfunction alleged in Suffolk Probate – Boston Globe

Security company, guard sued over alleged assault of homeless at North Station – Boston Globe

Expelled state Rep. Carlos Henriques is running for City Council – Boston Globe

Marty Walsh vows to fight cuts to Boston’s federal aid – Boston Herald


Casella denies lying to Southbridge residents during signature drive – Telegram & Gazette

Governor sees how Haverhill keeps kids off streets – Eagle-Tribune

Business owner backtracks on moped test track – Cape Cod Times

Weymouth Landing project gets zoning board approval – Patriot Ledger

31 people signal interest in running for Worcester council, school board – Telegram & Gazette

Sturbridge selectman says ‘no fly list’ comment was made in jest – Telegram & Gazette

Reliability tops the ticket at MBTA’s open house for new ideas – WGBH

Sen Warren backs high-speed rail connecting Springfield, Worcester and Boston – MassLive

Massachusetts economy beating pre-recession highs, study finds, but immigration fears may stifle growth – MassLive

Westfield detectives admit to picturing ‘innocent shopper’ in press release about stolen credit cards – MassLive

Charlie Baker ‘disappointed’ with NWS after winter storm Stella predictions – MassLive


Freedom Caucus aligns with Bannon in risky Obamacare gambit – Politico

Rural voters lose in Trump’s budget plan – Politico

Trump digs in on wiretap claim, no matter who says differently – New York Times

Meals on Wheels is not showing any results only if you don’t count these results – Washington Post

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