Education Board meets
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meets, with plans to discuss history/social science curriculum frameworks, vote on accountability regulations, and discuss the House Ways and Means fiscal 2018 budget proposal. 75 Pleasant St., Malden, 8:30 a.m.
ACLU on Dookhan cases
Carl Williams, staff attorney, ACLU of Massachusetts, will hold a media availability on the dismissal of tainted cases connected to state chemist Annie Dookhan. John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Boston, 3 p.m.
Tsongas town hall
U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas holds a town hall meeting at the West Middle School auditorium. 70 Shawsheen Rd., Andover, 5:30 p.m.
Driverless cars discussion
Ira Moskowitz, director of advanced manufacturing programs at the Massachusetts Tech Collaborative’s Innovation Institute, will lead a discussion on Massachusetts’ opportunity to play a leadership role in the emerging autonomous vehicle industry. John F. Kennedy School of Government, Belfer Building, Land Hall Classroom, 4th Floor, 79 John F. Kennedy St., Cambridge, 1:15 p.m.
‘World in Disarray’ talk
Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, and James Stavridis, dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University, will discuss global challenges in a talk being dubbed “The World in Disarray.” The Fletcher School, 160 Packard Ave., Medford, 3 p.m.
Moulton tops Mass. delegation in fundraising
U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton has raised more cash for his campaign account than any other member of the Bay State’s congressional delegation, James Pindell of the Globe reports. Moulton, a leading and outspoken Trump critic, raised $476,000 in the first quarter, outpacing Richard Neal, who raised $440,000, and Representative Joe Kennedy III, with $389,000. At the other end of the spectrum: Rep. Stephen Lynch, who raised $23,000, just a tick above the amount raised by game developer Brianna Wu, who intends to challenge him in the Democratic primary in 2018.
PACs beat path to Neal’s coffers
Writing for WGBH, David S. Bernstein suggests one reason for U.S. Rep. Richard Neal’s resurgent fundraising efforts: His ascension to the role of ranking Democrat on the powerful, budget-crafting House Ways and Means Committee. Neal received funds from 163 Political Action Committees in the first quarter, including 30 from financial industry PACs closely watching potential tax code changes.
Timilty seat draws plenty of interest
No date has been set yet for the special election to fill the senate seat being vacated by James Timilty but candidates to replace him are lining up, Jim Hand reports in the Attleboro Sun-Chronicle. Democrat Ted Philips of Sharon announced his intention to run Monday while speculation on the Republican side focused on two state reps—Jay Barrows of Mansfield and Steven Howitt of Seekonk. While neither has made a decision, they would be well-positioned to put together campaigns on the fly, Hand notes, and could benefit from a GOP-friendly district, where Gov. Baker won 60 percent or more of the vote in some communities in 2014.
Final reckoning on Dookhan disaster
Remember Annie Dookhan? Actually, how could anyone actually ever forget the rogue state chemist who routinely falsified criminal evidence, casting into doubt tens of thousands of drug convictions across Massachusetts? Today is the deadline for prosecutors to inform The Supreme Judicial Court what cases they will try and salvage of the 24,000 that Dookhan worked on and the Herald’s Bob McGovern reports that it’s likely that prosecutors will recommend to the SJC that as many as 20,000 cases be dismissed outright.
Lawrence seeks help amid surge in violence
Amid a surge in gun violence, including two homicides in as many days, Lawrence police are reaching out for help from state and federal agencies, including a special prosecutor to handle serious violent-crime cases, Jill Harmacinski of the Eagle-Tribune reports. After convening a meeting with state police and his own department Monday, Police Chief James Fitzpatrick said he will ask both Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett and Attorney General Maura Healey to consider assigning “special prosecutors for firearms crimes committed in Lawrence.”
Get me the express desk
Globe Editor Brian McGrory dropped just the latest in a string of memos on the newspaper’s quest to redefine its news gathering and distribution operation in the digital age, including plans to create an ‘express desk’ that will quickly pounce on “in-the-moment important, quirky and just plain fascinating stories that metrics show our readership craves.” Dan Kennedy writes at Media Nation that new developments in the memo include plans to add another reporter in the Globe’s Washington, D.C. bureau and a possible initiative to sell sports-only digital subscriptions in some markets.
Calling all Southies
Few things unite the Boston region as much as Patriots Day and the running of the Boston Marathon. Ok, maybe one thing: Calling out-of-town news outlets on the carpet when they butcher local geography. The latest example comes via none other than the New York Times, which published a piece on celebrity chef Barbara Lynch in which it claimed that “Southie” is a “local term for this neighborhood and the people who built it.” Kyle Scott Claus of Boston Magazine notes that the Grey Lady isn’t the first to fall into the ‘Southie’ trap or to be completely befuddled by the region’s geography.
Is Hillary itching for a rematch?
OK, we haven’t taken leave of our senses here. But Trump’s epically abysmal poll numbers – see Gallup poll on promise keeping, or lack thereof – are generating all sorts of speculation. The Boston Globe’s Joan Vennochi argues that Clinton is “of course” thinking of a rematch, adding “why shouldn’t she when Martin O’Malley, an asterisk in the last presidential contest, can boldly contemplate 2020?” After all, Vennochi notes, “nothing is farfetched. Not after Trump.”
Regulators pan UMass psych-bed plan
State regulators from the Department of Public Health are casting doubts on plans by UMass Memorial Hospital to reduce the number of psychiatric inpatient beds at its Worcester facility, Kim Ring of the Telegram reports. The hospital wants to convert 13 beds for use by surgical patients but the DPH wants more information after nurses and others testified at a public hearing that the beds are heavily used and that the city’s emergency rooms are already handling overflow from the unit.
Racial divides in housing prove hard to close
Just five cities accounted for nearly half of all mortgages to black home buyers in 2015 while in 86 communities no buyers of color were extended such loans—signs that Massachusetts remains starkly divided by race, Katie Johnston of the Globe reports. The same divides persist in Boston proper: According to the Massachusetts Community & Banking Council, “black households received 41 percent of all the home-purchase loans in Mattapan, but none in the Back Bay, Beacon Hill, the North End, Allston, the Fenway, downtown, Mission Hill, or the South Boston Seaport area.”
Eastern hits casino jackpot
Not sure what kind of bragging rights this gives to Eastern Bank – maybe the “official bank of the Massachusetts casino industry.” But the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is changing banking relationships and will deposit casino tax revenue and other fees from now on with Eastern Bank, the State House News Service reports. The commission currently collects $110 million a year from taxes on legalized gambling, a number that is expected to rise to $250 million to $300 million once the state’s two resort casinos in Everett and Springfield open.
State House News Service (paywall)
Amazon may have eyes for BJ’s Wholesale
Is another Massachusetts business about to be scooped up? Donna Goodison of the Herald reports that the private equity owners of Westborough-based BJs Wholesale Club are considering a sale after shelving plans to go public and that Amazon may be among the first suitors in line. Goodison cites a New York Post report citing “modest internal interest” at Amazon in the warehouse store chain, which bagged its own IPO plans because of headwinds in the retail sector.
For rent: One dorm room
An enterprising UMass Amherst student briefly advertised her campus dorm room for rent on the Airbnb service before the school got wise and shut her down, Nicole DeFeudis of the Hampshire Gazette reports. The ad offered the Southwest dorm for $85 a night and noted its close proximity to dining halls and great views over campus. School officials say the ad clearly violates the residence hall contract all students sign and apparently put the kibosh on the effort before any would-be renters arrived.
Goodbye, once again, to Taxachusetts
Here’s more evidence that the old Taxachusetts label is truly a relic of the 1980s. Massachusetts weighs in at No. 27 in the annual State Business Tax Climate Index put out by the nonprofit Tax Foundation, the Boston Business Journal’s W. Marc Bernsau reports.
Last call for Pilgrim
The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station is getting refueled for one final time before its scheduled closing on June 1, 2019, Christine Legere of the Cape Cod Times reports. It’s not exactly a quick fill-up for the “trouble plagued reactor,” though, Legere notes. The process requires “great precision” and involves removing “168 highly radioactive fuel assemblies.” It also takes 30 days. Separately, Legere reports that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has granted Pilgrim an exemption from safety upgrades that would have ensured the plant’s venting system could operate even after a major earthquake.
What do Trump and Gilda Radner have in common?
OK, we won’t keep you in suspense – Emily Litella. An editorial in the The Republican sees a striking resemblance between Trump and Litella, one of the more memorable characters played by the late Gilda Radner back during the glory days of “Saturday Night Live” in the 1970s. Litella, the editorial notes, was “frequently confused by — and indignant about — the news of the day.” After ranting for a time, she’d be corrected. (It’s not “sax and violins,” she might be told, but “sex and violence.”) “Oh,” an astonished Litella would intone. And then she’d simply say: “Never mind.”
Competition for Josh Zakim could blossom in District 8 council race – Universal Hub
Police Commissioner Evans runs marathon for first time since bombing – Boston Globe
The New York Times (again) misses the mark on ‘Southie’ – Boston Globe
Unreleased tax returns may doom Trump’s overhaul effort – New York Times
Why political action committees now love Rep. Richard Neal – WGBH
UMass Lowell nears $100 million in capital campaign – Lowell Sun
Who will replace Timilty? – Sun-Chronicle
Close to 20,000 tainted drug cases may be wiped today – Boston Herald
Amazon reportedly shows interest in BJs Wholesale Club – Boston Herald
State unhappy with UMass Memorial plan to cut psychiatric beds – Telegram & Gazette
Southbridge to boost teacher salaries, offer merit raises – Telegram & Gazette
Quincy attorney becomes president of New England Bar Association – Patriot Ledger
Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station exempted from safety upgrades – Cape Cod Times
Deadly shootings trigger emergency Lawrence, state police meeting – Eagle-Tribune
Patriots visit the White House: Tom Brady expected to attend, per report – MassLive
Around Mass., racial divides persist – Boston Globe
UMass Amherst investing in innovation – CommonWealth Magazine
Making his debut on the Supreme Court, Gorsuch jumps right in – Washington Post
Climate change reroutes a river in a geological instant – New York Times
Poll: Trump woes take toll on GOP – Politico
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