Happening Today

Baby Boomer exit report

Boston Foundation and Third Sector New England release a report on ‘the mass exit of Baby Boomers from their nonprofit leadership roles, combined with an insufficient investment in succession planning and leadership development,’ 75 Arlington St. – 10th floor, Boston, 8:30 a.m.

T control board

The MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board holds a public hearing on its strategic plan, which is expected to lay out the short- and long-term goals of the MBTA, Transportation Board Meeting Room, Second Floor, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 9 a.m.

Sudders visits Ascentria

Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders visits the Ascentria Care Alliance, a social services group that provides refugee resettlement assistance and that recently laid off employees, closed to press, 14 East Worcester St., Suite 300, Worcester, 9:30 a.m.

Warren, Keating legislative luncheon

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and U.S. Rep. William Keating are among the public officials scheduled to attend a one-hour legislative luncheon held by New Bedford Harbor Development Commission and Seatrade International, Seatrade International, 10 North Front St., New Bedford, 12 p.m.

Amazon warehouse opening

Gov. Charlie Baker, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy, Sen. Michael Rodrigues, Rep. Carole Fiola and Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia attend the grand opening of the Amazon Warehouse in Fall River, 1180 Innovation Way, Fall River. 2:30 p.m.

Pirate Party event

The national director of Restore the 4th, a group that opposes government surveillance efforts, gives a talk about ‘how the Massachusetts legislature really works,’ hosted by the Massachusetts Pirate Party, 9A Hamilton Place, Boston, 3 p.m.

Warren town hall

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren hosts a public town hall event to hear from constituents and discuss her work in Washington, Dwight Performing Arts Center, Framingham State University, 100 State Street, Framingham, 6 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Now or never: After delay, Trump demands, and gets, health-care vote today

All eyes will be on Washington again today as Republicans try to repeal huge sections of ObamaCare.  From the New York Times: “President Trump issued an ultimatum on Thursday to recalcitrant Republicans to fall in line behind a broad health insurance overhaul or see their opportunity to repeal the Affordable Care Act vanish, demanding a Friday vote on a bill that appeared to lack a majority to pass. … House Speaker Paul D. Ryan emerged from the session and announced curtly that Mr. Trump would get his wish for a vote on Friday.” The Globe’s Victoria McGrane and Astead W. Herndon have more on Congressional action that could lead to the potential loss of a billion dollars or more for Massachusetts.


Rosenberg almost speechless over potential health-care hit to Massachusetts

As Republicans prepare today to vote on their controversial health-care plan, Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg was at a literal loss of words when asked how the state would fare if it lost up to $2 billion in federal funds with the elimination of ObamaCare, reports SHNS’s Andy Metzger at the Worcester Business Journal. “That kind of base reduction in federal aid, just is, I can’t even describe – I can’t even find a word to describe what that would mean to the state budget,” said Rosenberg, adding he hoped to work with states “to get Washington to come to their senses about what they’re doing here.”

Worcester Business Journal

Baker’s Assessment 2.0: Lowering and spreading the pain

Gov. Charlie Baker heard an earful from the business community over his controversial plan to assess/tax/penalize/whatever companies whose health insurance offerings don’t meet a set of state requirements. So the alternative plan the administration is now floating? Reducing the revenue pain by a third, but spreading the pain out to include more businesses, reports the Globe’s Priyanka Dayal McCluskey. 

The non-surprising result: Those who won’t be paying as much are happy with the alternative plan and those who weren’t going to pay anything but will now be paying more aren’t happy, as McCluskey reports. The bottom line: Baker isn’t budging from the idea of making businesses pay more in general. SHNS’s Matt Murphy has additional details on the alternative plan.

Boston Globe

State: Western and Central Massachusetts broadband secure — for now

Officials scrambled yesterday to reassure central and western Massachusetts broadband users that the state’s Internet ‘backbone’ will remain secure and operational despite a bankruptcy filing by the company that operates it. But state officials acknowledge they are facing a time crunch to find a solution, Larry Parnass of the Berkshire Eagle reports.

Berkshire Eagle

Healey hot on the trail of ‘Wayne Tracker’

From the Department of You Can’t Make This Up: In her ongoing legal fight with ExxonMobil over climate-change issues, Attorney General Maura Healey is seeking any documents using “alias” email accounts at the giant oil company. And it just so happens that former Exxon chief Rex Tillerson, now the secretary of state of the United States of America, used to use a second email account under the name “Wayne Tracker” for correspondence on corporate matters, reports the Globe’s Stephanie ‘Anne Eaglescout’ Ebbert, who explains how she got the nickname.

Boston Globe

Back in the news: DCR pulls ranger trucks off road after another emergency-lights incident

They almost can’t help themselves. From the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld: “The scandal-plagued Department of Conservation and Recreation has abruptly grounded its entire fleet of park ranger trucks after top brass discovered a ranger using his blue emergency lights during a recent nor’easter, the Herald has learned. The extraordinary move to take the 22 state trucks out of service is the latest incident involving the alleged misuse of emergency lights in Gov. Charlie Baker’s parks and recreation agency.”

Boston Herald

Rep. Nangle files bill that would tax nonprofits led by high-paid fat cats

Rep. David Nangle, whose bill last year to slap property taxes on some nonprofits went nowhere, is back again with a revised bill, this time targeting nonprofits that pay their executives six- or even seven-figure salaries. “If large nonprofits are going to compensate their executives like they’re Fortune 500 companies, then they should have the same tax obligations of a Fortune 500 company,” he told the Globe’s Sacha Pfeiffer.

Boston Globe

‘The legendary incompetence of county government’

Maurice Cunningham doesn’t exactly have kind words for suspended Suffolk County Register of Probate Felix Arroyo or his predecessor, Patricia Campatelli. But the real problem with their county office is county government in general, he writes at WGBH. “Boston loves tradition, but one custom we can do without is the legendary incompetence of county government,” he says. “Surely Governor Charlie Baker will remember when he, as Bill Weld’s Secretary of Administration and Finance, led the effort to abolish county government altogether.”


SJC names new trial court administrator, Arroyo breathes sigh of relief

Speaking of Felix Arroyo, the Supreme Judicial Court has announced that Jonathan S. Williams, formerly with the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, has been selected as the next state Trial Court administrator, reports Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. Williams will succeed Lewis H. ‘Harry’ Spence, who will retire on April 17 – and there’s at least one person bidding good riddance to Spence: Arroyo, the suspended Suffolk County Register of Probate who has tangled with the trial court in recent weeks. The Herald has the details on the Arroyo camp’s response to the change-of-guard at the trial court.

Mass Lawyers Weekly

Massachusetts theaters to join in screening ‘1984’ to protest Trump

Nearly 200 independent movie theaters across the country – including ten in Massachusetts – plan to screen the movie “1984,” based on George Orwell’s classic anti-totalitarian novel, in response to the policies and practices of President Donald Trump, reports Ray Kelly at MassLive. Theaters in Cambridge, Arlington, Natick, Gloucester, Lowell, Northampton, Pittsfiled, Williamstown, South Hadley and Great Barrington plan to run the film on April 4, the same day the protagonist in Orwell’s novel begins rebelling against his government, Kelly writes.


Premiere of ‘The Man in the Cowboy Hat’

In other film news, the premiere screening of the documentary ‘The Man in the Cowboy Hat’ – about Roslindale’s Carlos Arredondo, who tragically lost a son in Iraq and later sprung to fame in the minutes following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings – will be held tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the Copley Square Branch of the Boston Public Library, writes Wicked Local’s Julie Cohen, who takes a look at why Janice Rogovin felt compelled to make the film.

Wicked Local

State troopers mourn loss of comrade

The state trooper who died unexpectedly Wednesday, Matthew F. Daigle, 31, a former U.S. Air Force veteran,  is being mourned by family, friends and colleagues. Daigle was “highly-regarded and deeply respected by his brother and sister troopers,” Col. Rick McKeon wrote in a message to the department on Wednesday night. Daigle, who was assigned to the Framingham barracks as a member of the Division of Field Services, died during an off-duty run, reports Jonathan Dame at Wicked Local.

Wicked Local

Report: T is No. 1 in bus maintenance costs

From the Herald: “The MBTA spends more money on bus maintenance than every other major transit system in the country, according to a Pioneer Institute report that dubs the work ripe for outsourcing and could reinforce the agency’s push to privatize several of its garages.”

Boston Herald

How appropriate: Patriots to visit White House on (the old) Patriots Day

The New England Patriots will celebrate their Super Bowl LI triumph at the White House on April 19, somewhat appropriately on the actual anniversary date of the Battle of Lexington and Concord and the date that the Patriots’ Day holiday used to be celebrated on until it was changed in 1969 to the third Monday in April. Nick O’Malley at MassLive has more details, including the Patriots players who plan to skip and/or boycott the event in protest of President Trump.


Evans to Tito: ‘I don’t want to be a political pawn’

Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans isn’t happy that city councilor and mayoral candidate Tito Jackson has dragged him into the mayor’s race over unsolved shootings and police body-camera policies, reports the Globe’s Jan Ransom. “I don’t want to be a political pawn here, and he’s trying to get some attention,” Evans said yesterday on WGBH. “Don’t use us as a political pawn here to make it seem like the city is out of control.”

Boston Globe

Northeastern scores a coup: Google exec to head its cybersecurity institute

John Manferdelli, a director of engineering at Google, will be the head of the new Northeastern University Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute, in a move the BBJ’s Kelly O’Brien describes as a “coup for academia as well as a city known for losing more bright minds to the Silicon Valley tech industry than it steals back.”


Partners chief slams NIH cuts

From Lindsay Kalter at the Herald: “Dr. David Torchiana, CEO of medical giant Partners HealthCare, slammed President Trump’s massive budget cuts to the National Institutes of Health yesterday, saying such a move runs counter to the business magnate’s goal of boosting the country’s economic edge.”

Boston Herald

Dem committeeman suspended from legal aid work over false claim charge

From the Globe’s Frank Phillips: “Robert LeBlanc, a former Methuen city councilor and town manager who has been elected to the party’s state committee for the past 20 years, was suspended Nov. 7 for a year after the Committee on Public Counsel Services decided he falsely claimed to have made a jail visit to one of the clients assigned to him.”

Boston Globe

Faulkner Hospital service workers vote to join union

From the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett: “The 500 service workers at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital voted to unionize this week, bringing administrative, housekeeping, medical interpreters and food service workers into the growing health care union. The union (1199 SEIU) had worked since January to bring the Jamaica Plain hospital into its chapter.”


Gas-station signs? Yes. Actual stations? Not so much

The number of gas stations in Massachusetts is down 12 percent between 2004 and 2015 and 14 percent in Greater Boston, drops that far outpace the national trends, Matt Rocheleau of the Globe reports. As of 2014, the Bay State still had just under 2,000 stations, but a scant and shrinking number are located in the city proper. The reasons for the decline: Industry consolidations, pressures on mom-and-pop gas stations and the high cost of real estate.

Boston Globe

Sunday public affairs TV

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. Guest: U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, who will discuss the ongoing health-care debate in Washington, the Trump-Russian connection and other issues with host Jon Keller.

This is New England, NBC Boston Channel 10, 9:30 a.m. With host Latoyia Edwards, this week’s topics: Surviving Breast Cancer and Type 2 Diabetes, with medical experts and others discussing the diseases.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Guests: British Consul General to New England Harriet Cross, who will discuss Brexit, US/British trade and terrorism; Flexion Therapeutics CEO Dr. Mike Clayman on his firm and the efforts to get an arthritis drug approved; and Boston Globe business columnist Shirley Leung on the top business stories of the week.  

CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. Bertucci’s CEO Brian Wright and chef Rasario Del Noro discuss their Italian restaurant business, including menu modifications and business strategy.

On the Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. Guest: U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, who speaks 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: Women Leading Women.

Today’s Headlines


Man charged with restoring UMass Boston’s finances is searching for solutions – WBUR

Former mayoral rivals launch ‘peace and democracy’ talks – Dorchester Reporter

Boston ranks among worst cities for mobile network performance – Boston Magazine


Cape officials praise possible rail connection – Cape Cod Times

How green is your weed? State’s marijuana crop expected to suck up energy – WGBH

Immigrants make Middlesex state’s fastest growing county – Worcester Business Journal

Bridgewater cracking down on minors with marijuana – Brockton Enterprise

UMass AD says Pat Kelsey owes school $1 million, per buyout clause – MassLive

State broadband unit says middle mile operation still assured – Berkshire Eagle

Judge allows suits against state ban on recording private conversations to continue – Universal Hub

Gas stations disappearing across Massachusetts – Boston Globe

AG Maura Healey asks Eversource to cut profits, not raise rates – MassLive

Education department plans expansion of Early College programs – MassLive


Schumer prepared to force nuclear showdown over Gorsuch – Politico

Trump delivers ultimatum: Pass health care reform on Friday or he’ll move on – Washington Post

Pages from Trump’s tax returns raise a decade’s worth of questions – New York Times

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