Happening Today

Baker honors teacher of year

Gov. Charlie Baker will be joined by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester and others to honor Boston charter school teacher Sydney Chaffee for being named the 2017 National Teacher of the Year. Huntington Theatre Company BU Theatre, 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston, 10 a.m. 

Net neutrality presser

Following a a closed-door net neutrality roundtable, Sen. Edward Markey and technology and venture capital executives will hold a press conference. 2 Avenue de Lafayette, 6th floor, Boston, 10:30 a.m. 

Muddy River ribbon cutting

A slew of state and city officials, including Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, are expected to be on hand for the Muddy River Phase I ribbon cutting and to dedicate the new park land to former City of Boston Park Commissioner Justine Liff. Administration Building, Fenway Room, Emmanuel College, 400 Fenway, Boston, 1 p.m. 

Healey headlines Armenian commemoration

Attorney General Maura Healey speaks at the 102nd Armenian Genocide Commemoration. House Chamber, 11:10 a.m. Auditor Suzanne Bump and Treasurer Deborah Goldberg are among the state officials expected to attend a State House reception immediately following. 

Today’s Stories

Brown New Zealand bound

It’s not the vice presidency or some of the other top positions his name was connected to after he became an early backer of Donald Trump, but if all goes well and he passes muster with Congress, former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown will be headed to the other side of the world to be ambassador to New Zealand. You can bet that Sen. Elizabeth Warren will be quietly wishing a hearty bon voyage to her long-time nemesis. While the not-shy-about-self-promotion Brown is not likely to meet any kings or queens, he should at least will meet the prime minister of the remote island nation.

Not surprisingly, Brown’s nomination caused a stir down under, with many of the first media reports there focusing on his one-time work as a nude male model. 

Boston Globe

Walsh’s $16K per month consultants spark speculation

The re-election campaign of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is paying Democratic strategists Stephanie Cutter and Teddy Goff $16,000 a month, Meghan E. Irons of the Globe reports. Given the high-profile nature of the Precision Strategies partners— both former Obama campaign staffers—the hiring could suggest Walsh wants to use this year’s mayoral campaign to build a political brand and message that will travel beyond the city. 

Boston Globe

Arlington Dems eye Donnelly Senate seat

State Rep. Sean Garballey formally entered the special election to fill the seat vacated by the death of Sen. Kenneth Donnelly and another Arlington Democrat could take the plunge as soon as next week, Matt Murphy of State House News Service reports. Cindy Friedman, Donnelly’s chief of staff, will announce her own campaign on Monday. 

State House News Service (paywall)

Legault announces state Senate run

Former Salem city councilor William Legault launched a campaign for the Second Essex district Senate seat Thursday, a move that prompted incumbent Joan Lovely to declare she’ll seek re-election when the seat comes up in 2018, Dustin Luca of the Salem News reports. Legault had been affiliated with the United Independent Party, but with that designation no longer recognized by the state, says he’s now a registered Democrat.

Salem News

City: Tower needed because, Trump

As they prepare to plead their case for an exemption from an ages-old state law prohibiting tall buildings from casting shadows on Boston Common, city officials are saying the $153 million windfall the city would see from selling the Winthrop Square parcel is necessary as a “backstop” against potential Trump administration budget cuts, Brian Dowling of the Herald reports. “This is an opportunity for us to backstop the exodus of federal money,” said Brian Golden, head of the Boston Planning & Development Agency. “We think the timing is right for this kind of deal because, I think, we all anticipate a contraction in federal money that flows to the state for these types of things, especially affordable housing.”

Boston Herald

T apologizes for fare fumble

The MBTA is red faced once again. This time it is apologizing for mistakenly informing riders that they would have to pay $6.25 for the five-mile ride between South Station and the new Boston Landing stop in Brighton, MassLive’s Gintautas Dumcius reports. At that rate, a ticket to Framingham would cost $30. Don’t ask about Worcester. Math hasn’t been a strong point for the T, but still, that’s a little much. The true cost of the trip: $2.25.

MassLive

Family wins custody battle over Hernandez’ brain

As if the sordid saga of Aaron Hernandez could not get any more bizarre and disturbing, a scuffle briefly broke out yesterday over, of all things, the brain of the disgraced and now deceased former Patriots star. The former NFL player’s lawyer alleged his brain was being illegally withheld, a dustup resolved when the state medical examiner’s office later announced it would be releasing Hernandez’s grey matter after determining that suicide was the cause of death, the Boston Globe reports. Hernandez’s family plans to donate his brain to Boston University so it can be studied for signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Meanwhile, at WBUR, Steve Brown probes how the high-profile death could impact state lawmakers as they prepare to take up long-delayed criminal justice reform bills. 

Boston Globe

Hernandez’s prison one tough place

The Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley where Aaron Hernandez hung himself has long history of violence that stands out even among maximum security lockups, writes MassLive’s Kristin LaFratta. Just a few months ago, a fight between two rival gangs in the prison tore up the housing unit during three hours of rioting. The prison was also the place where convicted pedophile priest John Geoghan met an untimely end after he was inexplicably placed in the same cell as Joseph Druce, who was doing time for having killed a man for making sexual advances. There have also been several suicides as well. Granted prison is not meant to be Club Med, but just maybe the Shirley lockup could use a little outside scrutiny.

MassLive

Worcester transit agency seeks higher fares, service cuts

Seems the MBTA is not the only transpiration agency in the state looking to fix a budget deficit with both service reductions and fare hikes. Cyrus Moulton of the Telegram reports that the board of the Worcester Regional Transit Authority has presented a plan to boost fares—though not by as much as previously planned—and trim some lesser-used services. The fare hikes will be the subject of public hearings before a final vote.

Telegram & Gazette

Scientists gear up for march

Saturday is both Earth Day and the long-planned March for Science and Dusty Christensen of the Hampshire Gazette reports that hundreds from Amherst area will be among those headed to Washington, D.C. and elsewhere to protest Trump administration policies. Six protests are scheduled across the Bay State, in Boston, Amherst, Falmouth, Great Barrington, Pittsfield and Worcester.

Hampshire Gazette

Can they hear me now?

Framingham-based Bose Corp. is facing a federal lawsuit alleging the audio technology company secretly disclosed its customers’ music and audio selections to third parties, including a data mining company, Laura Finaldi of the Worcester Business Journal reports. The suit targets the Bose Connect smartphone app.

Worcester Business Journal

Israeli settlements resolution has Democrats scrambling

A longtime member of the Democratic State Committee has proposed a resolution that would have the party take a stand against Israeli settlements in the West Bank, a move some party heavyweights say could alienate many voters, Mark Arsenault and Joshua Miller report in the Globe. Former party chairman Steve Grossman is among those hoping to derail the resolution before it comes up for a vote. 

Boston Globe

Tufts student government Israel sanction vote sparks outcry

Meanwhile, a move by the student government at Tufts University to call for the school to sanction Israel is sparking outcry and pushback, Andrea Levin reports at the Algermeiner: “In a particularly obnoxious move, Tufts’ Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter engineered the vote to occur just before Passover, thus blindsiding many Jewish defenders of Israel who had already headed home for the holiday. Those individuals were told to submit questions via Google if they couldn’t attend the proceedings.” 

Algemeiner.com

Happy Friday: The next recession will bust the Mass. budget

Tax-slashing policies from the 90s are on a collision course with exploding healthcare costs, with only a recession keeping the two from creating a crater in the state’s budget, Ethan Horowitz writes for the Globe. Plans to raise revenue—think: millionaire’s tax—may not be in place fast enough to avoid deep cuts in services and programs when they’d be needed most. “The clock is ticking. Nearly eight years have passed since we escaped the last recession, and if we find ourselves in an economic free fall anytime soon, we won’t have a lot of good options.” 

Boston Globe

Hundreds of rejected ride-hail drivers win appeals

More than 450 of the 8,000-plus Uber and Lyft drivers who failed state screenings have successfully appealed their license denials, Katie Lannan of State House News Service reports. Gov. Charlie Baker touted the numbers in a radio appearance Thursday, when he also dismissed claims that some drivers failed screenings due to minor infractions from the distant past. 

State House News Service (paywall)

Is Motley the fall guy for mounting UMass debt woes?

If you think it’s odd that outgoing UMass Boston Chancellor Keith Motley has gone overnight from rising star in charge of a sweeping remake of his public university’s long-crumbling campus to the goat for all its financial problems, well you have company. Jim Stergios, executive director of the Pioneer Institute, decries the “shameful scapegoating” of Motley, who was ousted after word broke of a $30 million budget deficit. The whole UMass system is drowning in debt right now, with Motley simply following a larger and risky financial game plan laid out by the system’s president and board of trustees, Stergios argues in his WGBH piece.

WGBH

Sunday public affairs TV

Keller at Large, WBZ-TV Channel 4, 8:30 a.m. Guest: U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who talks with host Jon Keller about her new book and politics. 

This is New England, NBC Boston Channel 10, 9:30 a.m. With host Latoyia Edwards, this week’s main topics: Boston Debate League, Milagros Para Niño’s HAWC, Healing Abuse Working for Change.

This Week in Business, NECN, 10 a.m. Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce CEO Jim Rooney on the latest state job figures and the state budget; Jules Pieri, CEO of The Grommet, on launching undiscovered products; and Doug Banks, editor of the Boston Business Journal Editor, on the Adidas marathon marketing mistake and apology; Partners latest attempt at branching out and other issues.   

CEO Corner, NECN, 10:30 a.m. Massport CEO Tom Glynn weighs in on the latest at Logan Airport including the Emirates decision to cut back on Boston service, the overall expansion of international direct flights, changes in the terminals and other agency topics.

On the Record, WCVB-TV Channel 5, 11 a.m. This week’s guest: Treasurer Deb Goldberg, 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: April Arts Showcase.

DC Dialogue, NECN, 1 p.m. U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch on the Trump presidency and policies, Jim Hunt, CEO of Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, on the potential repeal of Obamacare, and New England Council CEO Jim Brett on the popularity of Gov. Charlie Baker.

Today’s Headlines

Metro

Logan parking plans don’t fly – Boston Herald

Boston officials: Building needed for its windfall – Boston Herald

Is the next hot place to live already out of reach? – WBUR

New Seaport garage makes sense – CommonWealth Magazine

Boston charter school educator named national teacher of the year – Boston Globe

Massachusetts

Analyst: State’s puny March job growth likely an anomaly – Boston Herald

WRTA votes to raise fares, cut services to balance budget – Telegram & Gazette

MetroWest towns look to pilot Uber access for seniors – MetroWest Daily News

Hundreds of Valley residents to march for science Saturday – Hampshire Gazette

From Oprah to Zuckerberg, here are the 2017 Massachusetts commencement speakers – Boston Business Journal

Medical marijuana plan in Holyoke to include $15,000 in local grants, payments to city, $8 million investment, jobs – MassLive

Sen. Markey talks sea walls, opioid epidemic in Scituate – Wicked Local

Churches Step Up To Help With Opioid Epidemic, But Spirituality’s Role In Treatment Is Controversial – WBUR

Nation

President Trump to nominate Scott Brown as ambassador to New Zealand – Boston Globe

White House could provoke a spending showdown over funding for a border wall – Washington Post

Citing ethics concerns, Ivanka skips book tour – Politico

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