Happening Today

Biz ‘Leader Lab’

Alliance for Business Leadership holds its 2017 ‘Leader Lab,’ with Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera, U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III and Newton Mayor Setti Warren expected to speak, Marriott Copley Place, 110 Huntington Ave. – 2nd floor, Boston, 8:30 a.m.

SJC cases

The Supreme Judicial Court will hear first-degree murder appeals from Franklin Castano, James Rakes, Enez Kolenovic and Gerald Sullivan, John Adams Courthouse, Courtroom One, Second Floor, Pemberton Square, Boston, 9 a.m.

Student Government Day

Gov. Charlie Baker participates in the 70th Annual Student Government Day, House Chamber, 9:30 a.m.

Neal on the air

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal is a scheduled guest on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 11 a.m.

‘Drain the Massachusetts Swamp’

Sheriff Tom Hodgson and Reps. Geoff Diehl, Keiko Orrall, and Shaunna O’Connell speak at WBSM Radio’s ‘Drain the Massachusetts Swamp’ rally, with talk-show host Howie Carr opening, front of New Bedford Free Public Library, 613 Pleasant St., New Bedford, 12 p.m.

State chamber address

Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash is the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, Marriott TownePlace Suites, 50 Rosebrook Pl., Wareham, 12 p.m.

Franklin County courthouse opening

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg speaks at the opening for the Franklin County Courthouse, 425 Main St., Greenfield, 2 p.m.

‘Banned in Boston’

Attorney General Maura Healey will be part of the performance line-up for Urban Improv’s Banned in Boston event, House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston, 5:30 p.m.

Youth Villages gala

Gov. Baker attends the Youth Villages Spring Gala with First Lady Lauren Baker, Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, 138 St. James Avenue, Boston, 8:15 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Swift local reactions to U.S. missile strike in Syria

President Trump last night announced that the United States had carried out a missile strike against Syria in retaliation for the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons, the New York Times reports.

The local reactions from the state’s Congressional delegation, all Democrats, was swift. U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren deplored Syria’s use of chemical weapons but insisted Congressional authorization is required for expansion of military operations and any escalation needs “clear goals and a plan to achieve them,” according to her statement posted at the Globe.

From U.S. Sen. Ed Markey at Twitter: “The suffering of the Syrian people cannot cease without a concrete plan to ensure a diplomatic end to this civil war.”

From U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern at Twitter: “Any US military action against #Syria must be approved by Congress and be supported by our allies and the American people.” 

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, on his Twitter account, initially said the president “cares enough about the Syrian people to launch 50 Tomahawks but not enough to let the victims of Assad find refuge & freedom here.” He later posted a more formal statement: “We cannot stand by in silence as dictators murder children with chemical weapons. But military action without clear goals and objectives gets us nowhere.”

From U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III at Twitter: “Assad’s vicious brutality demands a response. But this country doesn’t fight wars without giving the American people a say.”

Facts on those Raytheon-made cruise missiles fired at Syria

The BBJ’s Don Seiffert has some facts on the cruise missiles made by Waltham-based Raytheon Co. that were launched yesterday at Syria. The last time there was mere talk of a possible attack on Syria, Raytheon’s share prices rose to an all-time high, in the macabre fashion of  Wall Street investors.


Is another ed-funding lawsuit on the way?

The Worcester School Committee has voted to reach out to counterparts in Brockton and other communities about the possibility of joining together to launch legal action against the way the state funds school systems, Scott O’Connell of the Telegram reports. The move comes more than two decades after legal action helped prod lawmakers into passing sweeping education reform legislation in 1993 and two years after a legislative task force recommended several additional changes to education funding formulas—most of which have yet to be implemented. 


Raising the age to buy tobacco could get tucked into final marijuana bill

State lawmakers appear poised to raise the legal age to buy tobacco in Massachusetts from 18 to 21 – and the tobacco measure could end up being included in any overhaul of the state’s marijuana legalization law, reports the Globe’s Joshua Miller. “Doing so would harmonize the legal age for three drugs: alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco,” writes Miller, noting scores of towns and cities have already raised the tobacco-purchase age.

Boston Globe

State campaign-donation law withstands first legal challenge

A state law banning corporations from making political donations withstood its first legal challenge yesterday when a Superior Court judge ruled against two local business owners seeking to overturn the restriction, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy at New Boston Post. The Arizona-based Goldwater Institute, which has successfully argued similar cases in other states, says it plans to appeal the ruling to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Representatives from the conservative Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance and Goldwater Institute plan to hold a conference call today to discuss the Superior Court ruling .

New Boston Post

Senator Romney? Part II: Mitt seriously exploring Senate race in Utah

Last week we reported how the Herald, Washington Examiner and Desert News were saying Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, was eying a possible run for U.S. Senate in Utah. Now the Atlantic’s McKay Coppins, in a big piece, cites multiple sources as saying Mitt is actively exploring a race, assuming Utah Senator Orrin Hatch doesn’t run for re-election, and Mitt’s even talked to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell about a possible bid. Romney would win a cakewalk if he does run, Coppins writes.

The Atlantic

Baker-tied fundraising firm blamed for IndyCar ticket fiasco

From the Herald’s Joe Battenfeld: “Nearly a year after the Boston Grand Prix folded, several hundred ticket buyers are still owed refunds while newly released documents show the bankrupt promoters of the IndyCar race are blaming the ticket fiasco on a prominent fundraising firm that worked for Gov. Charlie Baker’s campaign.” An attorney for the firm, fundraise.com, adamantly denies it bungled the handling of ticket sales.

Boston Herald

Keolis racking up $600K a month in fines

Keolis Commuter Services is being fined an average of just over $600,000 each month by the MBTA for late or canceled trains and other service failings, Bruce Mohl of CommonWealth Magazine reports. About half of the fines stem from trains that failed to meet schedules, though the T didn’t disclose how exactly the fines are assessed and what the process is for waiving penalties. 


Legislation would create a new Disability Abuse Registry

From Mike LaBella at the Eagle-Tribune: “In an effort to prevent re-hiring caretakers with a documented history of abusing disabled people, state Rep. Linda Dean Campbell has proposed creating a state Disability Abuse Registry. The legislation was introduced earlier this year by Campbell, D-Methuen, who also represents Haverhill.” Campbell said the legislation has 58 co-sponsors.

Eagle Tribune

Will sales-tax question referendum cancel out millionaire-tax initiative?

Here’s an interesting question: What happens if both the proposed sales-tax cut and millionaire-tax initiatives land on the statewide 2018 ballot? Think about voter turnout and what would happen if both were to pass, raising taxes here and cutting taxes there, etc. The Globe’s Scot Lehigh looks at all the scenarios and even crunches some of the numbers.

Boston Globe

Backers want expanded role in ballot initiative reviews

Organizers of the Citizens Initiative Review that worked to produce a neutral statement to voters on the initiative petition question that led to the state legalizing recreational marijuana say the November experiment was a success and want to expand the approach in future elections to reach even more voters, Shira Schoenberg of MassLive reports. Question 4 was chosen as a test case for the approach, which is used in Oregon and other states to help voters understand complex ballot questions. 


We want our money back: Civility breaks out at Curtatone-Hodgson meeting

Actually, it’s kind of nice to read at CommonWealth magazine, as well as Wicked Local, that Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone and Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson, who have recently been hurling rhetorical bombs at each other over sanctuary-city issues, actually had a civil and substantive discussion during a UMass School of Law at Dartmouth panel yesterday. Neither the Democratic Curtatone nor the Republican Hodgson backed down from their respective positions and the discussion was spirited at time, according to reports. But it was civil.


Boston issues its first BYOB license to a restaurant

The city of Boston yesterday issued its first bring-your-own-booze (actually just beer and wine) license to Roslindale’s Star Street Bistro, as part of city councilor Michelle Wu and Steve Murphy’s push to help smaller neighborhood restaurants that can’t get or afford the sky-high costs of regular liquor licenses in the city, reports Adam Gaffin at Universal Hub.

Universal Hub

New England Baptist joins Beth Israel-Lahey merger

From Don Seiffert at the BBJ: New England Baptist Hospital wants to jump in on the merger already being sought between Beth Israel Deaconess Medical and Lahey Health, growing the size of the network to nine hospitals. New England Baptist announced today that it signed a letter of intent to join the merger, touting its existing joint venture with Beth Israel.”


UMass board? Hello? Anyone there?

The Globe’s Shirley Leung turns up the heat on the University of Massachusetts board, saying it was clearly AWOL while UMass-Boston underwent a slow-motion financial meltdown that ultimately led to chancellor Keith Motley’s announcement he will be stepping down. She asks a lot of tough questions and raises a lot of uncomfortable points.

Boston Globe

Setti’s lien listed his address at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington?

Newton Mayor Setti Warren, preparing a run for governor, has some explaining to do about a federal tax lien, driver’s license suspension, speeding tickets and a Washington D.C court-ordered lien, the Globe’s Frank Phillips writes. But the really odd thing is that the latter lien listed his residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, i.e., the White House. Warren used to work in the Clinton White House in the 1990s, Phillips reports. Frank has more, including Warren’s responses.

Boston Globe

Moving on up—to $40 million

A condo at the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences at One Dalton has sold for $40 million, a figure that would eclipse the previous record for residential real estate in the city by $5 million, Catherine Carlock of the Boston Business Journal reports, citing an interview the project’s developer gave to Bloomberg. 


Sunday public affairs TV

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV-Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. Guest: Eileen McAnneny, head of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Association, who talks with host Jon Keller about Senate President Stan Rosenberg’s call for tax hikes and the overall tax climate in Massachusetts.

This is New England, NBC Boston Channel 10, 9:30 a.m. With host Latoyia Edwards, this week’s focus: Cyber Security, Strong Women, Strong Girls and Health Care, with guest Robert Siciliano, personal security expert with Hotspot Shield.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. The Boston Globe’s Shirley Leung and the Boston Business Journal’s Doug Banks talk about some of the week’s major business stories including the March jobs report, Senate President Rosenberg’s case for the millionaire’s tax, background checks on ride-share drivers, and more.

On the Record, WCVB TV, Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano, 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 focus: Commentary and Crime .

Today’s Headlines


At $40M, new Four Seasons condo would smash Boston price record – Boston Business Journal

For Arroyo, probate job no soft landing pad – CommonWealth Magazine

In changing higher ed landscape, UMass Boston gambled—and lost – WBUR

Two first-time candidates to seek at-large seats – Dorchester Reporter


Trump’s policies not slowing Worcester schools’ international applications, yet – Worcester Business Journal

Bridgewater lawyer nominated for Superior Court – Brockton Enterprise

Taunton officials stressing need for SouthCoast rail connections – Brockton Enterprise

Ayyadurai is no ordinary Senate candidate – Lowell Sun

Keolis fines averaging $608,000 a month – CommonWealth Magazine

Worcester, other school districts explore legal action to achieve funding equity – Telegram & Gazette

Distracted-driving crackdown is underway in Quincy – Patriot Ledger

Hull pitch for Nantasket development strikes out – Patriot Ledger

Bourne selectmen place pot shop moratorium on warrant – Cape Cod Times

‘Citizens’ statement’ on Mass. marijuana ballot question was effective, but little known – MassLive

Framingham Town Meeting member first to announce candidacy for city councilor – Framingham Source

How Cambridge built its $200 million savings account – WickedLocal Cambridge


U.S. strikes Syria over chemical attack – New York Times

ISIS lifts veil on American at heart of its propaganda machine – CNN

All that White House drama may be sexy, but it’s beside the point – NPR

The government is demanding to know who this Trump critic is. Twitter is suing to keep it a secret – Washington Post

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