Happening Today

‘Breakfast of Champions’

Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez hosts the Dimock Center’s fourth annual ‘Breakfast of Champions,’ with scheduled speakers including U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, Rep. Elizabeth Malia and others, 55 Dimock St., Cheney Building – 4th floor, Boston, 8:30 a.m.

SJC hearing

Supreme Judicial Court hears the case of Derrick Washington v. Peter St. Amand, Commonwealth v. Shane Moffat; Commonwealth v. Fernando Perez; D & H Distributing Company v. Commissioner of Revenue; Timothy Deal v. Department of Correction Commissioner; Commonwealth v. Roger Francis, John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Second Floor, Pemberton Square, 9 a.m.

Northeastern dedication

U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey, U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III and Mayor Martin Walsh are scheduled to attend the opening of Northeastern University’s new Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex, Northeastern University ISEC, 805 Columbus Ave., Boston, 9 a.m.

Budget hearing

House and Senate Ways and Means committees travel to Everett for the last in a series of public hearings on Gov. Baker’s $40.5 billion fiscal 2018 budget, with today’s hearing focusing on economic development, housing, labor, consumer affairs and business regulation, Everett High School library, 100 Elm St., Everett, 10 a.m.

Committee on Marijuana Policy

Committee on Marijuana Policy convenes its third public hearing as it works towards its goal of having an omnibus bill ready by June, Hearing Rooms A-1 and A-2 |, 11 a.m.

MBTA Control Board

MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board discusses efforts to reduce operating costs of The Ride, bus maintenance, ad revenue, and an extension of the board’s term overseeing the MBTA, Transportation Board Room, 10 Park Plaza, 12 p.m.

Bonding committee

Senate Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets will hold a hearing on a $200 million local road bill that passed the House unanimously last week, Room 222, 1 p.m.

Behavioral health

U.S. Sen. Edward Markey is among those expected to attend the Special Legislative Commission on Behavioral Health Promotion and Upstream Prevention’s ‘State of the State on Behavioral Health’ event, Room 428, 1:30 p.m.

Leadership meeting

Gov. Charlie Baker meets privately with House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, House Minority Leader Brad Jones and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Senate President’s office, 2 p.m.

Red Sox home opener

Boston Red Sox return to the field for the 2017 season with today’s Opening Day game, Fenway Park, 2:05 p.m.

Cambridge impeachment

Cambridge City Council meets to possibly handle a resolution asking the council to call on the U.S. House of Representatives to support a resolution authorizing an impeachment investigation of President Trump, Sullivan Chamber, 5:30 p.m.

MBTA updates in Quincy and Mattapan

MBTA officials provide updates to the Quincy City Council on upcoming projects at Quincy Red Line stations and other T matters, while the T holds a simultaneous hearing on the Mattapan trolley line in Boston, Quincy City Hall and Mattapan Public Library, respectively, both events starting at 6:30 p.m.

Today’s Stories

State Sen. Ken Donnelly loses his battle against brain tumor

State Sen. Kenneth Donnelly, 66, an Arlington Democrat and former firefighter, has passed away after battling a brain tumor for the past eight months, according to reports from numerous media outlets, including the Arlington Advocate, WCVB, the Lowell Sun and SHNS (pay wall). “Absolutely devastated to hear about the passing of my friend Ken. He was a great man, a great friend, and he will be missed,” Rep. Marc Lombardo, a Republican, wrote on Twitter Sunday night. An assistant Senate majority leader, Donnelly was first elected to the Senate in 2008 and represented Arlington, Billerica, Burlington, Lexington and Woburn in the Senate’s Fourth Middlesex district.

Mount Wachusett golden-parachute fallout

Gov. Charlie Baker says a $334,000 retirement payout to the former head of Mount Wachusett Community College is “disappointing” while lawmakers call for more reforms to rein in huge golden-parachute payments to retiring state higher-ed officials, reports the Herald’s Matt Stout. The expected payment to Daniel Asquino, the retired president at Mount Wachusett, exceeds the $269,984 that former Bridgewater State University President Dana Mohler-Faria got when he stepped down. Mohler-Faria’s payout sparked a mini-uproar and also calls to rein in such payments.

Boston Herald

Tito’s ‘troubling pattern’ of bogus claims

The Globe’s Adrian Walker, reviewing the latest mayoral campaign dust-up over a drug treatment center, comes to the reluctant conclusion that Tito Jackson has a ‘troubling pattern’ of making flimsy claims against the Walsh administration. “Jackson is a talented politician, with a good issue — the growing economic inequality that afflicts our city — on which to build his campaign,” Walker writes. “But he doesn’t have to grope for examples to make his point.”

Boston Globe

Moulton: No, I’m not running against Baker, a ‘good man’ and no threat to the USA

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, a Democrat, is quashing rumors/requests/suggestions/whatever that he should run for governor. “Look, I have my disagreements with Governor Baker,” Moulton told the Globe’s Joshua Miller in a recent interview posted at YouTube. “But I think Governor Baker is a good man and he’s doing a pretty good job at leading the state. And Governor Baker, most importantly, is not a threat to the United States of America. And so long as Trump is in office, I’m going to stay in Washington and be as close as I can to keeping an eye on that guy.” The non-threat crack got huge laughs from audience members.

YouTube (Moulton)

MBTA union boss indicted on fraud charges

Timothy Dockery, an MBTA buyer and head of Local 453 of the Office and Professional Employees International Union, is facing charges that he used his personal job to submit bogus invoices that netted him more than $100,000 in cash and kickbacks, according to Attorney General Maura Healey’s office, as reported by Jack Sullivan at CommonWealth. There’s more on the case by Patriot Ledger staff at Wicked Local.


Bill would block pot purchases with EBT cards

Those who use state EBT cards would be prohibited from buying pot with their cards, under a bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Shaunna O’Connell, reports the Herald’s Hillary Chabot. It’s one of 50 marijuana-related bills that the state’s Joint Committee on Marijuana Police will tackle at a State House hearing today. Separately, the ACLU of Massachusetts is planning to advocate at today’s hearing that lawmakers approach marijuana regulations in a “sensible and efficient” way, the legal group has announced.

Boston Herald

Wanted: Working-class candidates to oust Robert DeLeo et gang

Writing at CommonWealth magazine, Sean Mulkerrin at the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health thinks the national and state Democratic parties have been hijacked by the professional-managerial class and thinks the Massachusetts House is ripe for takeover by working-class candidates.


Clark: It’s Trump playing politics with commission, not me

Responding to a Globe editorial that accused her of playing politics over President Trump’s new anti-opioids commission, U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark isn’t backing down, saying in a letter to the editor that there’s indeed politics being played – by Trump.

Boston Globe

State: Broadband operator may not be easy to replace

State officials are asking a federal judge to require the company that operates the middle-mile broadband network for central and western Massachusetts to continue operations despite its recent bankruptcy filing, saying it may be near-impossible to quickly find another entity to step into the role, Brad Petrishen of the Telegram reports. KCST USA says it has lost $11 million running the broadband network that connects scores of municipalities—including public service agencies—to the Internet. 


Ted Cutler, RIP

Ted Cutler, one of Boston’s most generous philanthropists who described himself as just a mere “Dorchester boy,” passed away last week, according to a report at WBUR. He was a big donor to his alma mater, Emerson College, and funded the multiday Outside the Box festival, among his many charitable and art donations over the years, the Globe reports. “He helped feed Boston’s hungry, heal our sick and bring art and beauty to children,” the Herald writes. More on Cutler’s death at NECN. To say Ted will be missed is perhaps the understatement of the year. 


Statewide electronic tolls, anyone?

We had to check to see if this was an April’s Fool joke. But apparently it isn’t, if the Herald’s Holly Robichaud is right in saying that Rep. Brian Murray is filing legislation to enact electronic tolling on roads across the state, using the same gantry tolling system now deployed on the Pike. She suggests Murray may be frustrated that regular Mass Pike users/tollpayers are now carrying an unfair burden for funding the state’s highway system.

Boston Herald

You gotta stay home, Sal

From an AP report at WBUR: “The federal judge who granted former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi a compassionate early release from prison denied a request Friday to ease the terms of his home confinement.”


‘Unparalleled’ animal cruelty case in Westport

Dogs, cats, cows, horses, pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, and rabbits at a Westport farm were kept in deplorable condition for years, leading to the indictment of the farm owner and 26 others in the largest animal cruelty case in New England, according to a report at CBS Boston. “In some cases, they were living in such deep manure waste that their hooves had rotted off and they were suffering from painful eye, intestinal and skin ailments,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s Office said in a statement Friday.

CBS Boston

Healey to Texas: Nice seeing y‘all

Remember that showdown between Attorney General Maura Healey and ExxonMobil, the one in which a Texas judge threatened to have Healey dragged to the Lone Star State to testify in a climate-change case? The same Texas judge has decided to toss the case to Manhattan, but not without “a 12-page ruling dripping with skepticism,” reports Matt Stout at the Herald.

Boston Herald

Kennedy clan comeback

Chris Kennedy is running for governor in Illinois. Ted Kennedy Jr., a state senator in Connecticut, is mulling a gubernatorial run in the Nutmeg State. And U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, well, his stature is higher than ever due to his opposition to proposed Republican health-care changes. Yep, the Kennedys are back, as the Globe’s Annie Linskey reports.

Boston Globe

Dorchester artist goes for it

Universal Hub, citing a Herald reports, says that Aziza Robinson-Goodnight, an arts activists and chair of Boston’s Frederick Douglass sculpture project, plans to run for one of the four at-large Boston city council seats.

Universal Hub

WPI’s donor embarrassment keeps getting more embarrassing

Worcester Polytechnic Institute was pumped by the generous donations given to the school by alum Robert Foisie – until his ex-wife started raising hell about Foisie allegedly hiding money from her. Now it turns out the case is even more bizarre, according to the Globe’s Sacha Pfeiffer, who sifted through court records and found lawsuit allegations by relatives that he hired a hit man to kill one of his kids, that he’s being investigated by the FBI for wire fraud, etc. etc. Foisie has aggressively, and apparently somewhat successfully, fought the charges in court, Pfeiffer reports.

Boston Globe

Cape businesses pin summer help hopes on Keating bid

Cape Cod business owners are hoping Congress will back a bid by U.S. Rep. William Keating to help them secure hundreds of additional foreign workers for the upcoming summer season, KC Meyers of the Cape Cod Times reports. Keating is seeking a returning-worker exemption from the cap on H-2B  temporary work visas, which could means hundreds more temporary employees for seasonal businesses on the Cape and Islands.  

Cape Cod Times

State flooded with opioid-related visits to emergency rooms

The is a dubious and ominous distinction. From the Globe’s Matt Rocheleau: “Massachusetts had the highest rate of opioid-related visits to hospital emergency departments among 30 states included in the latest federal report, another grim benchmark of the drug scourge gripping the region.”

Boston Globe

State sees dip in teen birth rate

The number of teenagers giving birth in Massachusetts has declined steadily in recent years and is the lowest in the nation, but remains persistently high in some of the state’s gateway cities, Christian Wade of the Eagle-Tribune reports. The state’s teen birth rate was 9.4 per 1,000 births in 2015, well below the national rate of 22.1. But some cities saw much higher rates, including Lawrence, at 32.4 , and Lynn, at 32.3 per 1,000 births. 


Immigrants seek sanctuary in wedding vows

Marriage license data and other evidence suggests more foreign nationals may be advancing plans to marry American citizens amid uncertainty about the country’s immigration policies in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, Katie Johnston of the Globe reports. The city of Boston alone has seen a 20 percent surge in marriage license applications in the months following Trump’s election. 

Boston Globe

What will they think of next: A heated razor?

Boston’s Gillette probably can’t fit any more blades on a razor. So what’s next thing in the world of shaving? From the BBJ’s David Harris: “Gillette, the Procter & Gamble-owned razor maker that’s headquartered in Boston, is working on a new kind of razor that has some heat to it. The company filed a on March 9 for ‘heated shaving razors’— a shaving razor cartridge that would warm up when a consumer puts the razor in a battery-powered housing unit.”


Today’s Headlines


Here’s how expensive Red Sox tickets are this season – Boston Business Journal

WGBH to open Dorchester bureau – Universal Hub

Special report: Juvenile gun arrest rate doubles in city – Boston Herald


Uber, Lyft drivers in Mass. face Monday background check deadline – Associated Press

Immigration fears lead to sped-up weddings – Boston Globe

Teen births dip but still high in Lawrence, Haverhill – Eagle-Tribune

Business owners lament: Where are the workers? – Cape Cod Times

New ‘indivisible’ movement gains traction on Cape and Islands – Cape Cod Times

State worries bankrupt network provider could jeopardize public safety – Telegram & Gazette

Farm zoning proposed for Worcester neighborhoods – Telegram & Gazette

Framingham prepares for historic city charter vote Tuesday – MetroWest Daily News

Koch seeks $52 million for Quincy parks, buildings – Patriot Ledger


Democrats close in on 41 votes to block Gorsuch – Politico

Disclosures show Trump’s staff mixed politics and paydays – New York Times

New wave of Kennedys cresting across the country – Boston Globe

Trump’s budget would hit rural towns especially hard, but they’re willing to trust him – Washington Post

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