Happening Today

Gaming Commission meets

As it marks its five-year anniversary, the Mass. Gaming Commission holds a meeting to set the agendas for upcoming meetings. Topics contemplated for future discussion are a review of the commission’s mission and values, enhanced ethics, and emergency regulations for racing medication. 101 Federal St., 12th floor, Boston, 10 a.m. 

Markey hosts opioids update

U.S. Sen. Edward Markey convenes regional stakeholders and holds a press conference to discuss progress made on combatting the opioid epidemic at the federal and state levels and the rising threat of illicit fentanyl. Participants include Rep. Jim Cantwell, Taunton Mayor Tom Hoye, and Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter. Central Fire Station, 50 School Street, Taunton, 11:30 a.m. 

BPL returns Italian artifacts

The Boston Public Library formally returns to Italy three artifacts previously part of its Special Collections. Participants in the ceremony are expected to include Boston Mayor Walsh; Boston Public Library Head of Special Collections, Beth Prindle; Homeland Security Investigations, Special Agent in Charge (Boston) Matthew Etre; Carabinieri Brigadier General Fabrizio Parrulli; and Acting U.S. Attorney William Weinreb. Abbey Room, Central Library, 700 Boylston St., Boston, 12 p.m. 

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Baker in New Bedford

Gov. Charlie Baker and Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack will join New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell at the grand opening of the CoveWalk. The waterfront recreational path follows the top of the hurricane barrier protecting the city and was built in part with $5 million in state grant funds. 127 West Rodney French Blvd, New Bedford, 2:30 p.m. 

UML MakerSpace dedication

UMass Lowell holds an event to dedicate its College of Engineering’s new Lawrence Lin MakerSpace, an 8,500-square-foot work area with 3-D printers, laser cutters and other equipment. Lin, a 1990 UML graduate, will speak at the event, as will Chancellor Jacquie Moloney, vice chancellor for advancement John Feudo, College of Engineering dean Joseph Hartman and student Stephen Kender. 1 University Ave., Lowell, 4 p.m.

Democratic platform hearing

Democratic Party hosts a hearing to solicit input and feedback on the party’s platform. After a series of hearings around the state, the party’s Platform Committee will draft a proposed 2017 party platform. GSM Labor Council, 560 Pleasant St., New Bedford, 7 p.m. 

Today’s Stories

Must-see TV

The New England Patriots travel to the White House to be lauded by President Donald Trump for winning their fifth championship in Super Bowl 51, setting up the potential for some must-watch moments of political awkwardness. Several members of the team have publicly stated they will not make the trip specifically of Trump’s presence—most recently Alan Branch, who cited Trump’s history of sexist comments as his reason for staying home. 

But most of the team will be in attendance, including longtime Trump friend and quarterback Tom Brady. Brady, who did not make the Rose Garden scene when President Barack Obama hosted the team after its fourth Super Bowl win two years ago, has mostly sought to avoid answering questions about his political support for Trump–despite the fact that one of Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ hats just happened to be in plain sight in his locker last year.

On the other side of the meeting will be the president who left his Super Bowl viewing party when it looked like the Patriots were being blown out by the Atlanta Falcons–that is, before the Patriots mounted their historic comeback. Back in November, as a then-underdog candidate, of course, Trump got a late boost in the form of an endorsement letter from head coach Bill Belichick that Trump read at an election-eve event in New Hampshire. Add in the fact that the team hails from one of the states that voted most heavily in favor of Trump’s opponent last November and you have the recipe for an interesting ceremony indeed. 

And, as if the visit wasn’t due for enough attention already, the media spotlight got turned up to scorching early Wednesday when news broke that former Patriot and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez committed suicide in his prison cell, just days after being acquitted in a double-murder trial. 

CBS Local

Baker’s public records stance referred to Healey

Now this could get interesting! State Supervisor of Public Records Rebecca Murray has asked the office of Attorney General Maura Healey to “take whatever measures” necessary to get Gov. Charlie Baker to comply with an administrative order that he turn over records of constituent phone calls to the Boston Globe, Bruce Mohl and Colman Herman report in CommonWealth Magazine. Baker has maintained, as have past governors, that a 1997 SJC ruling exempts his office from the state’s public records law. But Murray is apparently unsatisfied with that response and in a letter sent on Good Friday, kicked the matter over to Healey, who has had no comment as of yet. 

CommonWealth Magazine

Another Mayor Walsh?

How many special elections can one state handle? State Rep. Chris Walsh is said to be considering leaving the State House as he mulls a run for the newly created job of mayor in Framingham, where residents recently voted to convert from a town to a city, the State House News Service reports. While lawmakers in Massachusetts recently voted themselves a raise, it can’t compare with the $187,639 salary that comes with the mayor’s job in Framingham, making it one of the highest paid public offices in the state. 

MetroWest Daily News

Shortsleeve weather?

The interest in Sen. James Timilty’s seat is certainly perking up, to say the least. Joe Shortsleeve, the former WBZ-TV reporter and anchor, said is considering running for Sen. James Timilty’s soon to be vacated seat, the State House News Service reports. A registered Democrat who lives in Medfield, Shortsleeve said he has considered running for public office since he joined the Liberty Square Group, a political consulting firm, in 2014. Shortsleeve joins a steadily growing field of candidates, but name recognition isn’t something he will have to worry about.

Patriot-Ledger

Senators slam Pilgrim safety exemption

Both U.S. senators from Massachusetts were harshly critical of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s decision to exempt the Pilgrim Nuclear power plant from a safety upgrade as it prepares to refuel for the final time in its working life, Christine Legere of the Cape Cod Times reports. U.S. Sen. Edward Markey said the move undermines safety in communities near the plant. “By providing exemptions from requirements meant to address the risk of terrorist attacks or severe accidents such as natural disasters, the NRC has broken its promise.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren said NRC “continues to ignore the concerned voices of Massachusetts communities.”

Cape Cod Times

Tsongas sounds upbeat note at town hall

U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas told a Town Hall in Andover that she is upbeat about Democrats’ chances to reclaim the House in 2018, Paul Tennant of the Eagle-Tribune reports. Unlike some similar events in GOP districts, the event was mild and polite, with Tsongas drawing the loudest applause when she expressed support for a single-payer health care system.

Eagle-Tribune

Plainridge pumps up the volume

Plainridge Park Casino posted its best month since mid-2015, bringing in $14.1 million in March, reversing a recent slump and pumping more revenue into the state’s tax coffers in the process, Travis Andersen of the Globe reports

Boston Globe

Adidas apologizes for marathon email gaffe

Athletic shoe maker Adidas moved to quickly apologize for an ill-conceived marketing email to customers that offers “congrats” to running for having “survived” Monday’s Boston Marathon—four years after the finish line bombing that some did not survive— Spencer Buell of Boston Magazine reports. In a full-throated apology that other corporations might want to take note of (we’re looking at you, United Airlines), Adidas said it was “incredibly sorry. Clearly, there was no thought given to the insensitive email subject line we sent Tuesday. We deeply apologize for our mistake.”  

Boston Magazine

Warren too revealing in new book?

Did Elizabeth Warren give away too much in her new book? Apparently The Boston Globe’s James Pindell thinks so. Pindell zeroes in on a scene from Warren’s new tome, “This Fight is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class,” in which Warren decides not to run for president in 2016 after a cozy chat on the couch before bedtime with her husband James Mann, who fretted that it could get even uglier than her mud fest in 2012 with Scott Brown. Warren credits the conversation with sealing her decision not to run. Notes Pindell: “But if we take Warren at her word, then the play for Republicans is obvious: make Warren’s reelection bid such a miserable experience for her that she will never want to run for anything ever again, including president.”

Boston Globe

Mass law prof sparks Trump tax protests

One of President Trump’s latest Twitter targets is the Tax Day protests calling upon him to release those elusive tax returns of his. True to form, Trump blamed the protests on “paid organizers.” In fact, it was Jennifer Taub, a law professor in Northhampton, who got the ball rolling back in January, and with a Tweet, no less, WGBH’s Barbara Howard reports.

WGBH

Worcester mayor present PCB cleanup plan

Worcester Mayor Joe Petty has presented a plan to clean PCBs from the city’s high schools, just a week after a court case ended years of back-and-forth with a teachers union over testing for the dangerous chemicals at all city schools, Scott O’Connell of the Telegram reports. 

Telegram & Gazette

The Duke remains unbowed

Former Gov. Mike Dukakis tells the Boston Business Journal’s Don Seiffert that he remains an optimist even amid the stunning rise of President Donald Trump. The one-time presidential candidate tells Seiffert in the subscribers-only story that optimism is a necessary trait for all successful politicians. 

Boston Business Journal (paywall)

Greenway gets a beer garden

Massachusetts brewery Trillium has been given the green-light to operate a beer garden in the heart of the Rose Kennedy Greenway starting this summer, Gary Dzen of the Globe reports. Guests should be able to sip a selection of beers from the Massachusetts brewer—as well as wines sourced from Bay State vineyards—while enjoying views of the Boston Harbor starting in June.

Boston Globe

Two enter race for LaMattina’s council seat

Two candidates—one from East Boston and one from the North End—say they’ll run to fill the District 1 City Council seat being vacated by Sal LaMattina, Matt Conti of North End Waterfront reports. Stephen Passacantilli, who hails from the North End, is director of operations in the city’s transportation department; while Lydia Edwards of East Boston is deputy director of the Boston Office of Housing Stability.

North End Waterfront

Bipartisanship revival?

OK, the days of Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill grabbing a drink after work are long, long gone. That said, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey is working with Sen. Marco Rubio and other colleagues from both parties on a bill aimed at stopping the flood of fentanyl into the country, MassLive’s Shannon Young reports. The bill has picked up support from national law enforcement groups.

MassLive

Today’s Headlines

Metro

Two city managers announce runs for Sal LaMattina’s council seat – Universal Hub

What was uncovered in the Boston Public Schools vendor audit? – WGBH

BCEC pub needs name; branding deal up for grabs – Boston Herald

Historic Boston churches fear towers may overshadow them – Boston Globe

Massachusetts

Worcester’s draft regs on pot shops are set for public input – Telegram & Gazette

Panel to guide Framingham’s transition – MetroWest Daily News

Lawmakers pack budget with funding requests – Salem News

‘Best town administrator in Massachusetts’ retires after 33 years in Raynham – Taunton Gazette

Worcester could create zoning for urban farms – Worcester Business Journal

Steamship Authority begins exploration of New Bedford freight options – Standard-Times

Purge of ride-hail drivers shows need for better process – Boston Globe

Mike Dukakis is a lot more optimistic about life under Trump than you’d expect – Boston Business Journal

Mayor announces PCB cleaning plan for Worcester high schools – Telegram & Gazette

Nation

Republicans avoid big loss by forcing runoff in Georgia House race – Washington Post

Trump’s ‘armada’ heading to N. Korea was really off Australian coast – Politico

Amid Trump’s threats over sanctuary cities, immigrant nexus Miami is first to fall in line – Washington Post

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