Happening Today

WPI digital health

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito joins Dr. Laurie Leshin, president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Ann R. Klee, vice president of GE Boston Development and Operations, to announce a capital investment at WPI to advance digital health innovation and regional economic growth, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Robotics Engineering Laboratories, 85 Prescott St, Worcester, 8:30 a.m.

MassDevelopment meeting

MassDevelopment board of directors will hold its monthly public board meeting, 99 High St., 11th Floor, Boston, 9:30 a.m.

Health Connector Board

Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders chairs a meeting of the Massachusetts Health Connector Board, John McCormack Building, One Ashburton Pl. – 21st floor, Boston, 9 a.m.

City Hall scandal hearing

Judge Leo Sorokin will hear a motion to dismiss federal criminal charges against two Boston City Hall aides accused of extorting the music festival Boston Calling into hiring union stagehands, Moakley Courthouse, Boston, Courtroom 13, 10 a.m.

Gaming Commission

Gaming Commission meets with an agenda that includes Plainridge Park Casino audit update, MGC quarterly budget review, Foxboro request for mitigation funds, legislative update, slot machine lease agreements, and regulations dealing with progressive jackpots and standards for gaming devices, 101 Federal St., 12th floor, Boston, 10 a.m.

Higher Education Committee

Joint Committee on Higher Education holds a hearing on 14 bills, including one that would require public and private universities to develop policies to respond to sexual assault and dating violence, Room A-1, 10 a.m.

Baker gets buzzed

Gov. Charlie Baker will once again get his head shaved in Granite Telecommunications’ annual ‘Saving by Shaving’ fundraiser for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Granite Telecommunications, 150 Newport Ave. Extension, Quincy, 10 a.m.

Moulton at chamber

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton speaks at a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Forum, Marriott Long Wharf, 296 State St., Boston, 11:45 a.m.

Trump working group

The House’s newly created Trump Administration Working Group, led by Reps. Ron Mariano and Patricia Haddad, holds its first meeting, Room 350, 1 p.m.

Warren town hall event

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren hosts a public town hall event, Salem High School, 77 Willson St., Salem, 5:30 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Direct hit: Judicial nominee withdraws after devastating Globe story

From the Globe’s Andrew Ryan: “Judicial nominee Linda M. Medonis abruptly withdrew her nomination hours before a confirmation hearing Wednesday after a report detailed her role in transferring a probate employee from court to court despite repeated accusations of vulgarity and racial hostility. The end of Medonis’s current judicial prospects marked the latest fallout from the continuing controversy over the suspension of embattled Suffolk Register Felix D. Arroyo.” Humility prevents Ryan from mentioning higher up that it was his own solid reporting that first revealed Medonis’s disastrous missteps regarding the probate employee.

Meanwhile, SHNS’s Matt Murphy, who first reported that Medonis was bowing out from judicial consideration, has more on the entire affair (pay well), including the reaction from the office of Gov. Baker, who nominated Medonis to the judgeship.

Boston Globe

Vindication for Arroyo?

Meanwhile, suspended Suffolk County Probate Register Felix Arroyo, who has always maintained he was the victim of racist attitudes and sabotage within the probate office, suddenly appears like he was dead-on accurate in some, if not most, of his claims, based on the Linda Medonis debacle. The same Globe story notes that Arroyo was opposed to Medonis’s nomination as a judge. Meanwhile, Arroyo is demanding Medonis’s “immediate resignation” as a top probate official, reports Matt Murphy in a separate story at SHNS (pay wall).

Amherst’s plan for a 60-member town council gets the Ishtar treatment

Not since the release of ‘Ishtar’ has an idea, or a movie, received such negative reviews so fast, so decisively, as a proposal in Amherst to create a new 60-member town council, judging by the reactions of residents at a recent hearing, as reported by Diane Lederman at MassLive. “Most expressed dissatisfaction, even bewilderment, at the 60-person council idea. A number said it didn’t offer a real choice for voters, that it looked like a slightly smaller Town Meeting,” said Charter Commission chairman Andrew Churchill.


‘Want to buy a train station? South Station could be yours for $100M’

From Catherine Carlock at the BBJ: “South Station, one of the most recognizable and highly trafficked buildings in the city of Boston, is for sale. Equity Office Management, which operates as part of Blackstone Group LP, has put the 205,000-square-foot asset on the market with HFF listing the property. A sale price could top $100 million.” To be clear: HFF is selling the 98-year lease with the state.


The ‘No Regets’ show, brought to you by the UMass Board of Trustees

Students and faculty members yesterday disrupted a University of Massachusetts board of trustees meeting, protesting the ouster of UMass-Boston chancellor Keith Motley and cancellation of classes at the Dorchester campus, reports the Globe’s Laura Krantz and SHNS’s Colin Young at the Sentinel & Enterprise.

The Globe’s Shirley Leung says the drama unfolding at UMass is almost as good as landing a coveted ticket to Broadway’s ‘Hamilton,’ coming to Boston next year.

Special ops: Is Gomez going for it?

Former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez, a Cohasset Republican who burst on the political scene four years ago when he ran for John Kerry’s vacant U.S. Senate seat, is considering another Senate bid, this time against incumbent Elizabeth Warren, reports both the Herald’s Matt Stout and SHNS’s Matt Murphy at Wicked Local. “I think we obviously learned a lot from it last time,” he says of his unsuccessful 2013 race against Ed Markey. “I think if we decide to go into this, it would be a completely different race than last time. It’s really making sure we have a crystal clear strategy.”

House budget doesn’t include Baker’s sick-time caps for retirees

The House budget released earlier this week doesn’t include Gov. Charlie Baker’s Baker proposal to limit the amount of sick time that many retiring state employees can collect at 1,000 hours, the equivalent of six months’ worth of work, writes the BBJ’s Greg Ryan.


Wild about weed in Holyoke

Ted Siefer at CommonWealth magazine takes a look at Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse and his aggressive effort to attract marijuana companies to his hard-scrabble city. The campaign seems to be working, with GTI, a national medical marijuana company, proposing to build a cultivation facility and nearby dispensary that would be located along a canal in the heart of the city’s downtown art and technology district.


To set the record straight: Mitt’s ‘binders full of women’ wasn’t his idea

The Globe’s Yvonne Abraham notes that former Gov. Mitt Romney’s now famous “binders full of women” wasn’t even his idea, in terms of seeking out and collecting applications from women to serve in state government. Abraham explains.

Boston Globe

LaMattina won’t seek re-election, sparking scramble for his council seat

In a surprise move, Boston City Councilor Sal LaMattina announced yesterday that he won’t be running for re-election, shocking political observers and sparking an all-out scramble for his seat, reports the Herald’s Dan Atkinson. “It’s so rare that a vacant seat becomes available, Sal’s seat is wide open,” said ex-councilor Michael McCormack. 

Boston Herald

Internet backbone draws plenty of corporate interest

More than a dozen companies have expressed interest in taking over the network providing high-speed Internet access to much of central and western Massachusetts, despite claims made by the current operator in bankruptcy court that it is a money-losing proposition, Larry Parnass of the Berkshire Eagle reports. Officials from the Mass. Broadband Institute say the state would be willing to craft a new contract with different financial terms if the current operator backs out of its deal.  

Berkshire Eagle

Automakers to Beacon Hill: Self-driving car industry headed for crash in Massachusetts

From the Herald’s Brian Dowling: “Automakers are warning Beacon Hill they will take their self-driving car business out of the state if new regulations under consideration choke off an innovative technology they say represents a great leap forward toward safer roads.”

Boston Herald

N.C. legislator compares Lincoln to Hitler

Veering off momentarily from all things Massachusetts, we thought you’d be interested in how a North Carolina legislator, angered over same-sex marriage matters, is apparently trying to outdo Sean Spicer on the Hitler analogy front, comparing Abraham Lincoln to Hitler. You know, it’s that War of Northern Aggression stuff. Anyway, back to all things Massachusetts.

Washington Post

Clark says Trump is ‘truly a danger to our democracy’

From the Globe’s Jeremy Fox: “US Representative Katherine Clark on Wednesday said President Trump is ‘truly a danger to our democracy,’ and said she is deeply concerned by reports that Russian operatives attempted to influence the outcome of the presidential election.”

Boston Globe

‘The Grocery Gap’

From SHNS’s Michael P. Norton at CommonWealth magazine: “Chelsea, Springfield and Taunton top a new list of cities with the highest percentage of low-income residents lacking access to grocery stores, a problem with nutrition ramifications that is most acute in rural areas and so-called gateway cities, according to new data.”


You don’t say: ‘Man charged with severing man’s hand with a machete deemed dangerous’

What can you say? He’s dangerous, we assume, almost by definition. In any event, the AP reports at MassLIve on a Lowell man’s court appearance after being charged with using a machete to sever another man’s hand. He’s being held without bail.


With Cardinal’s blessing, local PR meister appointed to Vatican’s higher-authority PR team

From Lisa Wangsness at the Globe: “Pope Francis has appointed Ann Carter, a longtime outside public relations adviser to the Archdiocese of Boston, to an advisory panel on Vatican communications. The appointment is another indication of the influence of Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, who submitted Carter’s name to the Vatican.”

Boston Globe

Rejected ride-hail drivers can only fume

The 8,000-plus would-be Uber and Lyft drivers who failed to pass newly implemented state background checks by the Department of Public Utilities have little recourse to challenge their rejections, Adam Vaccaro and Dan Adams of the Globe report. An administrative appeals process only allows for challenging findings if incorrect information was used to arrive at the decision, meaning drivers who want to appeal on other grounds must turn to the costly, time-consuming option of taking their cases to Superior Court.  

Boston Globe

In dramatic Hadley vote, three is the magic number

In just the latest reminder of the power of every single vote, Hadley resident Keith Shannon won a seat on that town’s school board with just three write-in votes—including his own and his wife’s, Jack Suntrup of the Hampshire Gazette reports. Just one candidate declared for two open seats on the committee, which is grappling with dropping enrollment figures in the district. 

Hampshire Gazette

Report: Road closures make marathons a heartfelt danger to spectators

Heart patients brought to the hospital on the days of major marathons, including Boston’s famous road race, are up to 15 percent more likely to die than similar patients on non-race days—likely because of road closures that lead to traffic delays, Martha Bebinger of WBUR reports, citing research published in the New England Journal of Medicine. 


Today’s Headlines


At-large council field could get even larger – Universal Hub

Veteran Boston PR exec named to Vatican panel – Boston Globe

Road closures on Marathon Day increase risk of death from heart attack, research finds – WBUR


Agency gives pipeline company green light for tree cutting in Otis State Forest – Berkshire Eagle

UMD officials: University doesn’t need off-campus housing bylaw change would allow – Standard-Times

Easton official’s Facebook, Twitter posts stir social media storm – Taunton Gazette

2013 Senate candidate ponders challenging Dem darling Warren – Boston Herald

Westborough opponents of pot shops share how they did it – MetroWest Daily News

Salem to explore allowing food trucks – Salem News

Rejected ride-hail drivers have little recourse in Mass. – Boston Globe


Putin hoists Trump on his own fake news petard – Politico

After campaign exit, Manafort got loans via ties to Trump – New York Times

Trump backs off fiscal pledges and adopts centrist policies he once fought – Washington Post

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