Happening Today

Coaching and college success

A new report on the impact of coaching on the college success of Boston Public Schools graduates will be unveiled, with remarks by Boston Foundation president Paul Grogan and others,  Boston Foundation, 75 Arlington St., Boston, 8:30 a.m.

Lunch with the governor

The Chamber of Central Massachusetts South hosts Gov. Charlie Baker for lunch and a discussion of issues on Beacon Hill, Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center, 14 Mechanics St., Southbridge, 11:30 a.m.

School tour

Gov. Baker joins local legislators to tour Quaboag Regional Middle High School with four National Honor Society students, 284 Old West Brookfield Rd, Warren, 1:30 p.m.

Women’s Bar honors Haddad

Speaker Pro Tem Patricia Haddad will be honored with the distinguished public service award at the Women’s Bar Association’s Newly Admitted Lawyers Reception, where Supreme Judicial Court Justice Barbara Lenk plans to give welcoming remarks, Omni Parker House Hotel, 60 School St., Boston, 6:30 p.m.

Rosenberg honored at Mass Equality Gala

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg is honored as a “political icon” at the MassEquality for Beacons of Light: The 2017 Icon Awards Gala, Courtyard Downtown, 275 Tremont St., Boston, 6:30 p.m.

Healey at rate hearing

Attorney General Maura Healey will testify at a public hearing regarding Eversource Energy’s request to increase its electric rates by $96 million, One South Station, 5th Floor, Hearing Room A, Boston, 7 p.m.

Ayyadurai on the radio

Republican V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, who announced he is running against Sen. Elizabeth Warren in 2018, is a scheduled guest on ‘NightSide with Dan Rea,’ WBZ NewsRadio 1030, 9 p.m.

Today’s Stories

‘Do-or-die’ day for GOP health-care plan

In the end, Republicans may be the ones to scuttle their own health-care plan, if they can’t line up enough votes for passage today, as both the New York Times and the Boston Globe report this morning. But the prospects of conservative Republicans possibly blocking the GOP initiative wasn’t stopping U.S. Reps. Jim McGovern and Richard Neal, both Democrats, from making last-minute assaults on the GOP’s controversial plan, reports Shannon Young at MassLive. The Herald’s Kimberly Atkins reports how Republican President Donald Trump his launched his own last-minute push and threats.

Depending on what happens today, the Globe’s Joan Vennochi says former Gov. Mitt Romney’s own ‘RomneyCare’ legacy is at stake. And we’ll soon see if Gov. Charlie Baker’s “speak softly, but carry a big briefing book” approach toward the bill has worked, as a Globe editorial put it.

It’s official: The Middleborough route is a go, Stoughton route to be … studied

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has made it official: The state plans to advance the Middleborough route as part of the overall South Coast rail extension, reports the Globe’s Nicole Dungca. The Stoughton route? It’s still included in the plans, but is considered the “Phase 2” portion of the project, requiring more studies and reports, new trains and technologies, and the acquisition of more land by the state. It’s not quite in the “legislative studies” limbo category, but it’s close. Steve Urbon at Wicked Local has more.

Is a South Coast rail-route suit coming?

As the Baker administration advances the Middleborough route for the proposed South Coast rail extension, state Sen. Marc Pacheco says he is “actively researching our legal options” to challenge the state if it ultimately pursues the Middleborough alternative, Rebecca Hyman of the Taunton Gazette reports. 

Taunton Gazette

SJC rules the bottom-line isn’t the bottom-line in corporate mergers

In a decision tied to the recent sale of Hopkinton’s EMC, the Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that EMC executives were “not obligated to focus solely on shareholder interests, and instead should weigh the company’s broader goals and objectives,” writes the Globe’s Jon Chesto, who notes the ruling could have wide corporate repercussions, at least in Massachusetts.

Boston Globe

Et tu, Stan? Rosenberg tilts against Goldberg on pot oversight

More bad news for Treasurer Deb Goldberg, who is fighting to retain control over marijuana enforcement in the state, as called for in the Question 4 legalization initiative passed by voters last November. From SHNS’s Andy Metzger at the Worcester Business Journal: “Senate President Stan Rosenberg on Wednesday joined his House counterpart in questioning whether the treasurer’s office should retain full control over the regulatory body that will enforce legalized marijuana sales.” Meanwhile, Rosenberg is promising that lawmakers will not further delay the opening of marijuana retail shops after the legislature’s approved six-month extension, the Herald’s Kristen Giddings writes.

Worcester Business Journal

Warren plans to grill SEC nominee on ‘stock buy-back binge’

In a Washington Post op-ed co-written with Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren signals that her next target in Washington will be Jay Clayton, President Trump’s nominee to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, who Warren and Donnelly say must answer questions at a hearing today about the ‘stock buy-back binge’ that corporations are now indulging in across the country. Fyi: The two don’t say if they support or oppose Clayton’s appointment. Fyi II: Bloomberg reports today’s Banking Committee showdown is also a college reunion, of sorts, for both Warren and Clayton. It’s not exactly a happy reunion, let’s put it that way.

Washington Post

Poll: They’re just not that into you, Liz

Speaking of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, here’s a look at her 2020 presidential prospects, via Shannon Young at MassLIve: “According to a Harvard-Harris poll released this week, just 9 percent of respondents said they think the Massachusetts senator should be the 2020 Democratic candidate for president — placing her behind 2016 Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and former first lady Michelle Obama. … An overwhelming majority of voters surveyed — 45 percent — however, said they’d like to see ‘someone new’ make a Democratic run for the Oval Office.”


Broadband operator declares bankruptcy, blames state agency

The private company that operates a fiber optic network that extends high-speed Internet to central and western Massachusetts has filed for bankruptcy protection and it’s laying blame for its financial woes on the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, Mary Serreze at MassLive reports. KCST USA says the broadband backbone—dubbed MassBroadband123—has only attracted half of the clients originally envisioned and is operating at a substantial loss each year. 


Warren, Markey intervene in ongoing Charter-WWLP cable war

From Tony Dobrowolski at the Berkshire Eagle: “Three members of Massachusetts’ federal legislative contingent, including the state’s two senators, have asked Charter Communications to keep Springfield’s NBC affiliate on Berkshire County cable TV lineup. Sens. Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren, along with. U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield, all sent letters to both Charter Communications, which owns Spectrum, and WWLP-TV of Springfield on Wednesday expressing their concerns about the ‘ongoing business dispute’ between both parties.”

Berkshire Eagle

Motley was bluntly warned about UMass-Boston’s deteriorating finances

It wasn’t just a bunch of reports warning of theoretical financial woes if UMass-Boston proceeded with an ambitious campus expansion plan. Chancellor J. Keith Motley’s own financial chief repeatedly warned him, in real time as the expansion took place, of the school’s deteriorating financial outlook, reports the Globe’s Laura Krantz. “We are running out of money,” Ellen O’Connor, vice chancellor for administration and finance, wrote at one point to Motley.

Boston Globe

Springfield police’s internal affairs chief retires amid controversies

Springfield Police Capt. Larry Brown, longtime head of the department’s internal affairs unit, retired with little notice earlier this week, amid turmoil over allegations of excessive force used during the arrest of city teens accused of stealing an undercover narcotics car and another controversy involving off-duty officers accused of beating bar patrons in a dispute over a woman, reports Stephanie Barry at MassLive.


Was Tito’s criticism of commissioner merely a headline-seeking stunt?

This is shocking, simply shocking, via the Herald’s Dan Atkinson: “City councilor and mayoral candidate Tito Jackson’s criticism of police Commissioner William B. Evans, and hints that the city’s top cop would be ousted under his administration, may be a bid to garner media attention by picking on a popular leader, one of Jackson’s fellow councilors says.” A candidate for public office lusting for headlines? Perish the thought.

Boston Herald

SJC hands partial victory to Catholic shrine in much-watched religious tax case

The state’s Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that that the Attleboro Board of Assessors improperly taxed a Roman Catholic shrine that attracts hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and tourists each year, according to a report at WBUR. But in saying the shrine’s welcome center and maintenance facility shouldn’t be taxed, the court did rule the board properly assessed taxes on land the shrine leased for a wildlife sanctuary and a battered women’s home.


LGBT community bears the brunt of hate crimes in Boston

From the Globe’s Kay Lazar: “Members of the LGBT community are the most frequently reported targets of hateful acts in Boston, enduring more assaults, threats, and harassment than any other group, a Globe analysis of police data shows. The number of reported hate crimes and bigoted actions last year against the LGBT community surpasses those aimed at Muslims, Jews, Latinos, and Asians combined.”

Boston Globe

Former White House drug czar tapped to head BMC’s new addiction center

Michael Botticelli, the former White House drug czar, has been named as executive director of Boston Medical Center’s new addiction research center, reports Deborah Becker at WBUR. “The center was formally established earlier this month with a $25 million private gift from the Grayken family to be used to improve addiction treatment, prevention and training in addiction medicine,” Becker writes.


Lobstermen decry latest crustacean regulations

From Meghan Ottolini at the Herald: “Bay State lobstermen fear that a new proposal — meant to save lobsters in warming southern New England waters — could hurt business by barring them from harvesting in prime summer months and putting tighter restrictions on the size of their catch. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will present a plan in New Bedford tonight on ways to maintain or increase the number of lobsters in waters from southern Massachusetts to Delaware.”

Boston Herald

Lawmakers demand immediate closure of Pilgrim

South Shore lawmakers are not happy with federal regulators who say the Plymouth nuclear-power station is safe enough to stay open until 2019. From SHNS’s Katie Lanan at Wicked Local “Citing safety concerns, eight Cape Cod and South Shore lawmakers called on federal regulators Tuesday to immediately close the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, whose owners are exploring a possible sale of the plant.” 

Wicked Local

Dennis eyes complete recreational pot moratorium

The Cape Cod town of Dennis could be the next community to adopt an outright ban on recreational pot establishments, with selectmen voting 4-1 to place a ban before voters at the spring election, Madeleine List of the Cape Cod Times reports. Neighboring Yarmouth is also leaning toward adopting a moratorium until lawmakers clear up retail-marijuana matters.

Cape Cod Times

In Worcester, plan to let non-residents on boards hits resistance

A proposal to allow non-residents and those who are not registered voters to serve on some city boards and commissions has hit strong resistance in the Worcester City Council, Nick Kotsopolous of the Telegram reports. 


Today’s Headlines


Amazon one-hour delivery service comes to Boston – Boston Business Journal

UMass Boston was warned of financial crisis years earlier – Boston Globe

LGBT community top target for hate acts in Boston – Boston Globe

First applicant for BYOB misses hearing – Boston Herald

Board blunts proposal for pot shop near Westgate Mall – Brockton Enterprise


Dennis puts recreational pot sale ban on ballot – Cape Cod Times

Taunton City Council wants DYS to notify neighbors of escapes – Taunton Gazette

Taunton’s state senator looking into litigation to block SouthCoast Rail route swap – Taunton Gazette

Working group hears plenty of pros, cons on rattlesnake colony – Hampshire Gazette

Amid uncertainty, Massachusetts legal marijuana industry sputters to life – WGBH

Worcester crime rate on downward trend – Telegram & Gazette

MassBroadband123 operator files for chapter 11 bankruptcy; blames state technology office – MassLive


McCain: House panel lost ‘credibility’ to handle Russia probe – Politico

Paul Manafort is gone, but his business associates remain a key part of Trump’s operation – Washington Post

Health bill teeters as fence-sitters face pressure from party – New York Times

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