New court facility opening
Gov. Charlie Baker joins Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Ralph Gants, Chief Justice of the Trial Court Paula Carey, Auditor Suzanne Bump, Secretary of Administration and Finance Kristen Lepore, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll and others for the opening of the Essex Probate and Family Court, 36 Federal Street, Salem, 8:30 a.m.
Carbon pricing report
A new study on carbon pricing researched by the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard is released at a Boston Foundation event, with Sen. Michael Barrett and Rep. Jennifer Benson expected to attend, Boston Foundation, 75 Arlington St., 10th floor, 9:30 a.m.
Massachusetts State Retirement Board meets with the issue of former House Speaker Thomas Finneran’s pension being a possible topic of discussion, One Winter St., 8th Floor, Boston, 10 a.m.
Stocking Jamaica Pond
Gov. Baker and others help the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife stock Jamaica Pond in Boston with trout, Jamaica Pond Beach Area, between Pond Street and Elliott Circle on the Jamaicaway, Boston, 10:30 a.m.
Vietnam Veterans Day Ceremony
Gov. Baker. U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joe Dunford and Quincy Mayor Tom Koch participate in the Vietnam Veterans Day Ceremony organized by the Vietnam Combat Veterans of Quincy, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Clock Tower, 305-310 Victory Rd, Marina Bay, Quincy, 2 p.m.
Rosenberg addresses faculty senate
Senate President Stanley Rosenberg will address the University of Massachusetts-Amherst Faculty Senate, Herter Hall, Room 227, Amherst, 3:30 p.m.
If Kerry was moving from Marlborough to Hudson, this wouldn’t be news
The Globe is obviously limbering up for its summer glorification coverage of all things Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, with today’s early spring installment on how former Secretary of State John Kerry and his wife are moving their summer residences from Nantucket to Martha’s Vineyard, shelling out $11.5 million for a “spectacular 18-acre property overlooking Vineyard Sound.”
JFK diary sold for $700K to Beverly collector
From the Associated Press at CBS Boston: “A diary kept by a young John F. Kennedy during his brief stint as a journalist after World War II in which he reflected on Hitler and the weakness of the United Nations sold for more than $700,000 Wednesday, according to the auction house. Boston-based RR Auction said the diary sold for $718,750, far exceeding the pre-sale estimate of $200,000. Joseph Alsop, a JFK collector from Beverly, outbid one other live and six telephone bidders in a packed house for the 61-page diary.”
Boston Latin and other top high schools dragged into affirmative-action fight at Harvard
It’s probably best to start with this April 14 story in the Crimson about a lawsuit filed by an anti-affirmative action group and its subpoena of Boston Latin School’s records, then this Crimson story from earlier this week about how the same group has now subpoenaed three more competitive high schools in New York, Virginia and Silicon Valley. Boston Latin is trying to stay out of the lawsuit accusing Harvard of discriminating against Asian Americans in its admissions processes, the Crimson reports.
Open-government groups applaud challenge to Baker on records
The ACLU and Common Cause of Massachusetts are applauding a move by the state’s supervisor of public records to ask Attorney General Maura Healey to weigh in on whether a 1997 court case truly exempts the office of the governor from the public records law, Bruce Mohl of CommonWealth Magazine reports.
Rosenberg plans to have a criminal-justice chat with DeLeo
Playing peacemaker, Senate President Stan Rosenberg said yesterday he plans to chat “very soon” with House Speaker Robert DeLeo, who earlier this week politely, but definitively, slammed the door on activists calling for more comprehensive criminal-justice reforms this year, reports SHNS’s Matt Murphy. “In the end, what I’m hoping is that we’ll have the Council of State Governments piece signed into law, but we need to go beyond it and I’m hoping for a much more robust package of bills to be signed during this term,” Rosenberg said.
Fearing deportations, immigrants seek fewer social services
Frightened immigrants and refugees are refusing to step forward for basic social services out of concerns about President Trump’s hard line on immigration, reports the Globe’s Maria Cramer. “This fear among refugee and immigrant communities is unprecedented,” said Dr. Sondra Crosby, who runs the Immigrant and Refugee Health program out of Boston Medical Center.
ICE looking for previously deported Uber driver charged with rape
File under ‘tale of two newspapers’: While the Globe is covering how immigrants are foregoing social services out of fear of being deported, the Herald is reporting that ICE officials are now searching for a previously deported Uber driver who earlier this week was charged with raping a female passenger in Boston. The feds can’t find the suspect after he posted $2,500 bail before officials could file a detainer, reports the Herald’s Brian Dowling.
Council OKs Winthrop Square tower, sending shadow controversy to Beacon Hill
The Boston City Council just couldn’t resist the $153 million that the Hub will net from the sale of the old Winthrop Square garage, yesterday approving a home-rule petition that would allow a new skyscraper to be built on the downtown site, despite complaints the tower will cast shadows on Boston Common, reports the BBJ’s Catherine Carlock. The petition, and the shadow controversy, now heads to Beacon Hill for consideration.
The Jacobs really love Marty
The Jacobs family, which own the Boston Bruins and TD Garden, have showered Mayor Marty Walsh with $13,000 in campaign donations, equaling the total amount the family has given to all Massachusetts political figures over the past 15 years, the Globe’s Frank Phillips reports.
Walsh won’t rule out voting for Baker
We missed this one from the other day, i.e. Greater Boston’s Jim Braude artfully grilling Mayor Marty Walsh, a Democrat, on whether he’d voted for his best bud, Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, in next year’s gubernatorial race. Walsh finally conceded that, yes, next year might be the first time he votes for a Republican: “You never know. We’ll see what happens in the (Democratic) field.”
Pittsfield joins ed-funding complaint chorus
City and school officials in Pittsfield are just the latest to call for state lawmakers to revamp the way education funding is calculated and distributed, Carrie Saldo of the Berkshire Eagle reports. “The state is not doing its fair share in making sure our children have the best education,” said Ward 6 City Councilor John M. Krol Jr. A number of other cities and towns are reportedly eyeing possible legal action to get the funding formula changed.
UMass Medical School to lay off dozens due to state contract shift
From the BBJ’s Jessica Bartlett: “MassHealth, the state’s health insurance provider for low-income patients, has reshuffled some contracts to save money in a move that will cost UMass Medical School 65 jobs. The school filed a notice with the state this week saying it will lay off 65 employees from its Commonwealth Medicine program. The cuts represent approximately 10 percent of the 600-700 person Commonwealth Medicine staff.”
In Worcester, magazine editor’s appointment to board raises concerns
Several members of the Worcester City Council expressed concerns about the appointment of the editor of Worcester Magazine to the city’s Citizens Advisory Council, Nick Kotsopolous of the Telegram reports. One councilor said the move could undermine the “checks and balances” between government and the media, though in the end the council voted 10-1 to confirm Walter Bird Jr.’s appointment.
Vocational schools: Too snobby or just not enough seats for students?
Earlier this month CommonWealth magazine’s Michael Jonas had a good piece on how suddenly popular vocational schools may be squeezing out students most in need of vocational training. Now WBUR’s Radio Boston has let New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell and Bob Dutch, superintendent of the Upper Cape Regional Technical School, argue the issue: Are vo-techs getting too picky on who gets into their schools?
The big tax-cut winners? We’ll give you one guess
The Globe’s Evan Horowitz has an excellent summary of all the Trump administration’s tax-cut proposals, from repeal of the estate tax to dramatically lowering corporate income taxes. Evan tries to maintain an objective posture when sorting out the winners and losers. But we don’t have to pretend: These tax cuts overwhelmingly, without a shred of doubt, favor the wealthy. Lowering the corporate tax (now above Sweden’s tax rate) makes perfect sense. But eliminating the alternative minimum tax on the wealthy and repealing the estate tax that only a tiny minority of the uber-rich now pay? Please.
Salem mayor sees eerie face in lamppost – and she’s right!
Kim Driscoll, mayor of Halloween City (aka Salem), tweeted a photo yesterday of a city lamppost with the note: “Anybody else see a face in this light?…Totally eerie, eh.” Actually, we do see it. Sort of looks like a trapped Orwellian Big Brother or the Cain character locked within the evil cyborg in RoboCop 2.
Scott Brown’s prize for losing: ‘Paradise on Earth’
The Globe’s Yvonne Abraham, an Australian who knows her south Pacific, says former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown won big time by losing, nabbing a coveted ambassadorship to New Zealand, which she describes as “Paradise on Earth.”
Warren raises concerns over FDA hiring freeze
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other Democrats have shot off a letter asking FDA Commissioner-Designate Scott Gottlieb how he plans to run the regulatory agency hampered by a hiring freeze and possible workforce reductions tied to tight budgets, reports Shannon Young at MassLive. “Given its crucial public health role, it is imperative that the FDA remain a strong regulatory agency equipped with sufficient, reliable funding and a robust workforce,” the Democratic lawmakers wrote. “We hope that you will keep your commitment and work to ensure FDA has the critical workforce necessary.”
With Fairmont Line success, is it time to expand inner-city rail service?
Ridership on the Fairmont Line through Mattapan and Dorchester has nearly tripled in the past five years, raising the question about whether the T should start offering more inner-city rail service in Boston, according to a new Boston Foundation study, as reported by the Globe’s Nicole Dungca.
New Bedford reels in overdose information
New Bedford police say they will no longer release information on the circumstances of fatal drug overdoses they respond to, citing respect for the families of the deceased, but raising questions about whether such policies only extend the stigma around drug-related deaths. Curt Brown of the Standard-Times writes the department will no longer release information such as where a person was found or who they may have been with—data that in some cases has enabled identification of individuals.
Walsh orders review of short-term rentals
Borrowing a page from President Trump, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh issued an executive order of his own Wednesday that calls on various city agencies to identify how many properties in the city are being advertised on short-term rental sites such as Airbnb and to ensure they are complying with city codes, Jordan Graham of the Herald reports.
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